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|11th Feb 2008, 1:02 AM||Falesyia Kermode - The Dive #76|
As Falesyia waited for her drink, she leaned against the bar, her elbows propped atop it, her gaze lingering at the sight before her. Out of curiosity her eyes followed the blonde man with the champagne bottle to the roulette table. She watched with curiosity as he poured a drink for a rather large man that wore a nicely pressed suit, and donned flashy gold jewelry. He was the type of man Falesyia had come to dislike. Most likely born into his riches, he had no respect for the person that had earned the money he so freely threw away. With his hands all over the chips and a petite blondie, he laughed with great enjoyment. The only thing stopping Falesyia from throwing out such types was the amount of money they brought her. As she figured, he wasn’t all that deserving of it anyway. If anyone had been looking into her eyes, they would have seen her plan form, her plan to help rid him of his money, since he seemed so careless with it. Unlike the raven haired stranger earlier, she was certain this man would prove to be an easy target. Blonde bombshell attached to his side or not.
With one swift moment she lifted her drink from the bar, making her way towards the roulette table. As she walked closer, the blonde man she seen earlier took his leave of the man, practically giving Falesyia the perfect spot to operate from. With her usual grace she approached the table, being sure to give the man a friendly smile as she took the now empty spot beside him. She pretended not to notice how his gaze took in her form, lingering much too long on certain areas of her body. All of this just fueled her desires to play the man like a fiddle. For though he had the poor blonde in his grasp, he was the type of man that thought the world belonged to him. Besides, two beautiful ladies by your side was much more satisfying than just one, no matter how willing she was.
With ease that should be alarming she taunted him with her feminine mannerisms. With hardly a word, she managed to distract him to the point that the nearly nonexistent care he took with his bets soon dissipated into nothing entirely. Once his mind was not able to even follow the game, he was destined to lose his money. While roulette is mainly a game of chance, played by those who wish to just socialize and have a good time, there is still the logic side of figuring out the best odds, the best ratios to place your money on. The man proved easy enough to distract as his words and focus seemed to be on proving to her that time with him would be time well spent.
His words and ogle’s simply ran off her back, as she watched his stack of chips diminish before her very eyes. However when his stack proved too small for his pudgy hands, he decided to try his luck at placing them on Falesyia. She had no problem leading a man of his type on, but once a man laid his hands on her uninvited, she quickly changed from a polite woman, to a fierce one. Just as she lifted his hand, taking it off her waist, she was about to lay into him when her phone rang. While she sometimes laid into a man who thought he had the right to take liberties with her, she felt as if this one really wasn’t worth it. Besides, she had already gathered much of his money. So instead she opened the phone and while looking into the robust man’s eyes she simply stated, “My, my... It looks like your stack is a bit small. I bet it’s not the only thing of yours that lacks in size.”
She turned from the man, walking away while she answered her phone. “Niko, while I appreciate it, I don’t need you to call me every time a man puts his grimy hands on me.” She listed to him as he told her of his observations of the raven haired stranger she took interest in earlier. It seemed that though he had moved on to a more difficult table, he still managed to do quite well. He ran the man’s face through the database, and he appeared nowhere in the LA Black Book. The man intrigued Falesyia. Though she had seen her share of skilled and gifted players, this man didn’t fit the bill. And even so, most men had a weakness of some kind. Either he didn’t have one, or she just had not discovered it yet.
She thanked Niko for keeping her updated, and walked slowly towards the table he advised her of. As she walked closer, she debated if she should pursue the man or not. The last attempt she had made was completely fruitless. What else have you to do? She soon asked herself. It was enough to make up her mind. As she neared the table, she saw the only seat open was that beside him. She sat gently atop the seat, sliding her body onto it fully. The cards were just finishing being dealt, which was the perfect opportunity for her to say hello in her own way without distracting the man.
She simply looked towards him, a faint smile upon her lips. Not to wide as to appear too eager, yet not to small as to appear simply cordial. It was a smile that was meant to be a signal of her intentional choice of seat, despite it being the only one at the table. In return she simply got a look of acknowledgement. Stating he recognized, and knew she was there. She wondered if it would continue to go on to ask why she seemed to choose him, but his gaze was much to brief to portray such a thing, as the cards had been dealt and he was once again focused on the game at hand.
While the hand played out, she studied the people that sat around it. She was surprised to see the blonde man in a pinstripe suit that she had seen earlier besides the arrogant man she had just successfully coerced money out of. She watched the players and their mannerisms, preparing herself to join in the next hand once it was dealt.
|11th Feb 2008, 10:20 AM||Sorén Alessandra Varvatos - The Haven #77|
Sorén delicately touched the keys with the tips of her fingers, carefully curving them into an arch. She deemed the antique piano was made of fragile glass, glass which had been shattered into countless pieces and glued back together. The treasured item grasped such profound importance to her, essentially for its history. It had once belonged to dearly loved sire, Vincent, and till this day she could still find his scent upon its surface, hear his soft hum with the soothing tones and feel his fervour as she played. Her eyes veered their gaze, focusing between the dusted grey blinds onto the lustrous sphere sinking behind mediocre buildings. Deep cerise and ginger hues streaked the dimming sky, notifying the dynamic city, and immortals particularly, of the soon onset of nightfall. She had intentionally situated the piano in this specific position so she could gape out the partially covered window at all times of the day without the sun’s rays directly gleaming on her skin. An admirer and believer of beauty, love and nature, it was imperative for her to experience as much of this as she could, since each moment she lived could be her last. Nothing in a mortal or immortal life could be taken for granted, including the insignificant pieces.
Pressing down with a diminutive force upon numerous keys, her eyes flickered over to the lightly penciled in notes that stretched across the brittle paper in front of her. Amongst her visits to various suspects and Kindred with likely information, she’d been writing an oeuvre, the foremost reason to release her increasingly intense thoughts and feelings. The notion of sharing the piece, once it was finished, had crossed her mind several times, perhaps at a place such as The Haven, where others, both living and dead, could experience what she has and appreciate the depths of its beauty. But each time the concept entered her train of thought, she dismissed it, afraid of too much exposure and what some may find. Her fingers with minds of their own adeptly played through the eight already completed pages, her luminous orbs wandering till the newly written notes were entailed. After hearing the last melodic sound played, she lifted her fingers off the keys and slid off the wooden stool, coming to face a barely lit apartment, shadows dancing about the room.
Caring little for lack of vision and knowing she’d be leaving soon enough, the fragranced candles remained unlit. As her slender figure passed through the doors and arches of the flat, the sun vanished completely from sight, drawing a dark amethyst curtain spotted with vivid pinpricks of light to replace it. In a compact box she called a bedroom, Sorén acquired a tightly fitted coat and slipped it on, departing shortly after. The quiet and peace of night had begun to take its effect on the city, dwellers finding their way home and cuddling up next to a familiar face, the proverbial warmth from their body. Treading upon sodden concrete, sweet air underfoot, Sorén found herself yearning for an intricate friend or lover to join her, matching her stride. This was no revelation nor an infrequent thought, but one that came all too erratically. She had never exchanged unbinding beliefs and affection with anyone in her entire long-lived life. Her sire would have to come the closest to anything as such, she loved him but wasn’t in love. Though she believed, within reason, that love was spontaneous and could not be searched for no matter how desired it was.
She’d walked out into the young night to visit the Algernon where time was inconsequential, where she could lose hold of her mind in each page in every book. Its aged walls came into view and suddenly she no longer wanted to leave the bitter cold, the whispering grey wind as it danced with chains untied. When the air swirled beneath her skirt and rushed through the tears in her stockings, up her legs and spine, her body responded with violent shiver, only she was adrift in a trance where she was ignorant to reality. Sorén exploits all that life bestows her, from the mind’s eye to the company offered by the lonely pigeon that sits on her outside windowsill. Hence with edging closer to the building she began to study the details of each and every red brick, the texture and structure then viewing the whole body before pondering of its history. She’d do this with everything and everyone, a habit she’d caught from Vincent.
The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans floated through the air and up her nostrils. It had neither a delicious nor garish taste, nevertheless the scent was intense. Awakening to her surroundings once more, Sorén carried herself through the doors and ascended the stairs to the higher level. As she paced across the aisles lined with heavy dusted books, the echo of her heels hitting the worn wooden floorboards pierced sharply through the air, against the silence. Scanning the rows of precious tales, her keen eyes instantaneously settled upon a thick, deep scarlet cover, the layer of dust wiped clean. Sinking to the floor with the book in tight grip, she began to flick through the pasty white pages, sliding the bookmarker from the page she left it in. Burying her face into the articulate words’ conferring of rapture, the shaded letters glistening with light, Sorén let the hours slip by.
Well into the midst of night, she walked the city paths over, the streets soulless and empty. Outside, the air stale and still, she hastily found entrance to The Haven. Gazing about the room, searching for something or someone of interest, Sorén rested against a wall mulling over the very few recognizable faces.
[[ooc: The last few stanzas are a bit rushed, sorry if it doesn’t make sense. Feel free to approach her. I’d have her do that herself though it doesn’t seem to be in character. As everyone is already well into their own scene, I don’t mind waiting for the time being.
Out of interest, what is the approximate time?]]
|11th Feb 2008, 4:48 PM||#78|
Join Date: Jan 1970
((Finally someone with whom I'm not scared to interact! Your as good as everyone else but your new too thankfully so it feels like less pressure!))
Caraltian closed his deep green eyes and bowed his head as the women moved out of sight. The Haven? It sounded vaguely familiar didn't it? He couldn't remember his head began to ache, he began to sway. It felt as if his brain was slowly nudging more and more forcefully against the front of his skull. He clenched his fists around the parks railings to stop himself falling and yet the pain refused to subside he moved back slowly until something cool and waxy pressed gently against the back of his neck, followed by something rigid pushing into his calf, and a crack under his foot.
Once the bush had engulfed him he disappeared, he felt the pain begin to slip away, he needn't check for people around, if there was someone he wouldn't be able to fade, this time however there was no one present and he did. He was thankful for the respite though it would be brief, he opened his eyes again....
His eyes shone like mirrors in the bright world everything was so bright he reappearred, Ouch his head hurt, where was he going? He bit his lower lip lightly and tried to remember, a word swam in his head. Hidden, Hovel, Hatchet, Hill, Heathen.... Haven.... that sounded right. He shook his head only to rewarded with more pain and tried to remember what this haven was.
A building, yes hopefully dark... his head hurt...
The building, the... haven... swam in front of him as he entered, his head still hurt, he backed into a corner and pressed his head to the wall, it was cool, he felt better, he smiled to himself and turned there was a woman near by, slim and dark haired.
"Hi" he muttered, smiling and closing his eyes again.
He opened them and the deep green eyes sought out activity, he turned to woman beside him. had he just spoken to her? he may have, or perhaps he just thought about it. Why couldn't he tell? He looked in her direction but not at her so whether he had spoken or not she couldn't really complain too much. The headache was gone thankfully. Why? He did not really know but with him that happened. What could he say?
|11th Feb 2008, 8:59 PM||#79|
Name: Dorothy Darcy Bookers [Dorothy]
Willingness to be a ghoul (if so, by what clan): Yes, when I really understand the story and get the hang of it, she can be a ghoul
Occupation: Singer/Pianist she doesn't get payed alot, but it's enough.
Dorothy Darcy Bookers is shy, cute and doesn't know much about the world around her. From the day she was born her parents teached her to play the piano and made her sing little songs. Soon they found out, she had talent.
And so little Dorothy grew to grown up, still a little childish, Dorothy. With the voice of an angel.
|11th Feb 2008, 9:03 PM||#80|
Welcome Anne, I hope you have fun here. Dorothy is gorgeous. If you need some help getting started, feel free to have Dorothy meet Ada or Andre' somewhere.
|11th Feb 2008, 9:04 PM||#81|
Thanks for the welcome ^__^
Oh awesome But I have to go now, so I will maybe pm you later.
|12th Feb 2008, 10:22 AM||Sorén Alessandra Varvatos - The Haven #82|
She ardently hungered to be emancipated, released from the iron ropes confining her. To feel the sun’s warm rays prickle the fine hairs on her arms and cheeks, the caress of a friend, a forbidden friend. Aspiring for her blood to gush through her veins, a pulse and pounding heart notifying her that she was alive. With no companion by her side, Sorén could only find warmth and compassion within poetry and music. In means to grasp hold of the scarce love left within her lifeless heart, the barricade must be broken in which very few know how. Upon crossing the path of another, she’d insinuate anything except her hidden benevolence in way of protecting herself. And so it was, with every bar or club she visited in the wilds of the night, she’d find numerous Kindred and Kine returning to their seat beaten and bruised with Sorén’s blunt words. The pattern repeated each time, subtle discrepancy making the story as its own.
A swift current of air bushed past her tender skin, thick and damp. The ambiance in this particular club was like no other, potent, vibrant and enthralling. Sorén believed it was the mood that made the place to what it was, both serenity and elation filling the room. She could feel a pair of weak, fatigued eyes steal a glimpse of her face, now shifting their view. Stiffening her shoulders instinctively without much thought, anticipating the gaze of an unsolicited bystander, her pallid spheres darted from face to face, near and distant. To find a face, an identification code, is to see into their history and, if read carefully, their concealed emotions. Of course without knowing the person or speaking to them it is pure guess work beyond that point, even so, some comprehension is appreciated more than none. And employing any knowledge becomes a challenge since a face never explains the meaning behind it, but restraining curiosity was never something Sorén was good at.
Amongst the voices, laughs and movements of others around her, she heard a muffled and subdued "Hi", which my or may not have been directed at her. As a result of an immortal life with the Kindred, her senses, like every other vampire, were enhanced to assist her in hunting and alike. It was something she took pleasure in using quite frequently, especially in the likes of food. Since her body was no longer able to digest food or liquid, she'd indulge in their gentle aromas, soothing from the skin to soul.
Once settling her meandering gaze onto a man near her and examining his bold features, she raised her curved eyebrow, as if to question him on anything he’d be willing to answer. She could faintly smell the sweet scent of dry blood upon his lips, an unambiguous vampire indeed. Shrouded in mystery with a glint of confusion in his eye, the young man engrossed her like a novel, a concise moment of intimacy where she felt akin to him. His truths she would not know. His lies she would not heed. He a shadow in her world, she a ghost in his. Though Sorén could relate almost every stranger with herself, thus she saw him aching, but what reasons she did not know. She situated her eyes to linger on him for a second or two longer, her manner of greeting.
[[ooc: Fayre - Not at all smooth, though I hope it’ll do.
Atropa – The second floor at The Haven is mentioned to be private, does this mean exclusive to vampires or vampires of Valerian and Claudia’s choice?]]
|12th Feb 2008, 2:25 PM||#83|
Moira and Valerian - Moira's suite at the Ritz
Moira's gaze studied every angle of Valerian's handsome face as he paced his way towards her, intent of deciphering the subtle trace of his emotions, little by little expanding her understanding of this young Toreador who in a few short hours had managed what most Kindred could not: gain her trust and budding affection not through a display of skills or arcane wisdom, but simple honesty, and acceptance. Although Valerian's demeanor had not changed, and the same bewildering smile lingered on his lips, his eyes held a grain of something different, something darker which, much like the subtle images his art depicted, was gone as soon as the gaze shifted. Moira wondered if he reminisced at her story, affected still by its sadness, or perhaps it had stirred some painful memories of his own. There was no creature in the world who could say they had never experienced pain and loss, and although such things seemed alien when applied to Valerian at a first gaze, Moira did not doubt there had been darker times in the young Toreador's life. However, just as she had herself chosen the moment of her confession, she would allow Valerian the time to do the same, if he even wished to discuss it at all. Some preferred to live in the present and never dwell on the past, even though it meant they were denied the relief of sharing their burden.
Another reaction eagerly awaited by Moira had been his response to her invitation to be her model, the first in two centuries. She was well aware that evening had been filled with surprises, most of which purposefully manufactured by herself, adding up to a possible overwhelming number. That was not her intent, but merely her nature: when she desired something strongly enough, Moira acted upon it, and risks were at times unavoidable. She had orchestrated their meeting, steering it according to her desires and yet Valerian had been quite able of surprising her, adding his own unexpected revelations to the mix.
Although their interactions so far had reassured her that Valerian was just as willing to partake in all the knowledge and companionship they had to share, nothing could have conjured a more compelling smile upon Moira's lips than his answer:
"I'd love to."
It was the first tangible shift in the tone of their conversation; when the barriers of formality were lowered to allow the response of a friend instead that of a polite new acquaintance, separated by rank and many centuries of unlife. In their case, the two blended casually into eachother, and it did not end there.
“Thank you,” Moira replied, inclining her brow. “It has been a very long time, but for the first time in centuries I can recognize something that resembles inspiration.”
That newfound feeling exhilarated Moira, barely daring to believe it was there, tangible and real and not self-induced deceit: Valerian had dislodged something inside her, and brought the very first spark of true inspiration she had felt since Josephine's death. The flicker was weak, barely there, but it was something, something she felt more grateful for than she could possibly express.
And it did not end there.
Silent as a cat, Valerian edged closer to where she sat, his sapphire eyes full of an unspoken invitation that sent a very different shiver deep into Moira's core. Even before he gently scooped her hand up and brushed it against his cheek, the purpose was there, undeniable, and to Moira, startling. Her momentary throb of desire to drink from him had been so brief, most would have missed it, or mistaken its reason. Furthermore she herself had dismissed it briefly, falling back into her age-long habit of avoiding such an exchange with another Kindred: each time she contemplated the possibility, the memories of Matthias' Final Death overwhelmed her.
Valerian however appeared to have noticed it, and acted upon it without hesitation, the power of his observation once again surprising Moira. Few things seemed to pass over him, although, perhaps, having grown so attuned to eachother, even their unspoken desires passed through them as through a pane of glass. And maybe a tiny fragment of her had wanted him to notice it.
When the tips of her fingers were laid to rest on the side of Valerian's neck, Moira retracted them almost instinctively, letting them hover an inch above the skin, but the arm did not withdraw. The initial yearning seeped back into her consciousness, brought to a whole new height by the fact that he offered it willingly, and with it fear. A feral glow ignited in Moira's eyes, very different than her usual calm, appraising spark, and her features mirrored the feeling bubbling beneath the surface: it was something akin to lust, but also very different, stirred to a boil by that part of her which was irrevocably inhuman and which had only one desire: to kill and to devour - the Beast.
Having fallen prey to it once, Moira had spent many years reinforcing her mental shield against the Beast, little by little pushing it back into its cage and chaining it inside, but every now and then it lunged forth and tried its restraints. It was reassuring to defeat it each time through pure mental effort and willpower, but one threshold remained untested: the very thing that had once upon a time unleashed the monster in her: Kindred vitae. As she battled fear with wanting, Moira recalled the catalyst for that reviled episode: seeing Josephine murdered before her very eyes had ignited the Frenzy, but the rage and cruelty flowing in Matthias' veins as she drank from him had sustained it.
None of that was present in Valerian: he surrendered willingly, bared his neck to her fangs without fear, out of desire to share much more than words could express, the most intimate unity their kin could achieve. Moira had defeated one of the ghosts haunting her that night with his help – what if she could defeat another? Surprisingly, subduing the pure, undiluted bloodlust required only her usual techniques, not much more difficult than each time she fed – it became apparent the only true stopper were her ancient fears. With that victory, a new clarity shone in her mind, revealing precisely what she wished: the animal instinct was still there, of course, no Kindred could fully distance themselves from it and it was dangerous to try; but with it came a rational decision to experience the exchange on both a physical and intellectual level, to sample its bliss and insights, but as Moira and Valerian, not predator and prey.
With that thought in mind, Moira's muscles relaxed, and ravenous indecision melted away from her face: she was herself once more. Sliding close enough to Valerian that their hips touched, the hand still in balance above his neck slithered underneath the jet black tendrils of his hair, cupping the back of his head gently though firmly, slowly pushing it to one side. The other arm found its way around the young Toreador's waist, drawing him against her chest in what would have resembled a loving embrace and held him there. She was close to his skin then, closer than she had ever been, the scent of the sweet essence coursing underneath it inflaming her senses, coaxing a soft purr from her lips which parted slowly as they inched closer.
Some Kindred preferred to surrender themselves to another's hunger, others enjoyed taking that which was offered to them; but there was yet another option: drinking from eachother at the same time, locked into a tide of blood and bewildering ecstasy, giving and receiving all at once.
Moira did not know for certain which of the three Valerian was, or whether he enjoyed something different each time. Lowering her cheek on his shoulder, her own neck lay openly bent like a slender flower stem, an invitation in its own should he wish to take it – perceptive as he was, she felt convinced no clearer encouragement was needed. In the meantime, Moira's lips locked themselves onto the soft skin, exploring the area with her tongue, building up the anticipation as much for herself as for Valerian. The sharp tips of her canines emerged through the gums, tempting beyond restraint: in one fluid motion, they pierced the exposed vein, unleashing a crimson flow.
The instant she felt Valerian's blood in her mouth, Moira experienced something extraordinary: it was sweet beyond sweetness, liquid fire more intoxicating than any drug: it was his very essence passing into her, imbued by all the qualities she had experienced in Valerian's presence, but intensified hundredfold. With mortals, it was sustenance, with a Kindred so much more than that: it was no wonder that such experiences created an instant affinity between those that shared one another in that way through blood alone. Instinctively, almost spasmodically, Moira's grip tightened as her jaws opened wider to allow as much of it to pass through, careful not to spill a single drop, abandoning herself to her senses – but not quite fully. All the while she painstakingly isolated one small part of her consciousness from the ecstasy that so tempted it into a blood-fueled insanity, and with it kept the ability to stop. It also permitted her to translate some of what she felt into conscious thought, adding to her understanding of Valerian in ways words never could... and for the first time, something different followed the crimson stream, leaving its dormant state, stirred awake by Moira's intrusion: a pang of sadness, pulsating like a beating, bleeding heart hiding underneath the many layers which composed Valerian's psyche.
((ooc: I also hope this makes sense. ._. It becomes more and more difficult to tell everything I want in one single post lol))
If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
|12th Feb 2008, 5:30 PM||#84|
(((ooc: burnziiy - Part of it is Valerian's personal chambers, and the other part is the VIP lounge. Both places are invitation only, though Valerian's 'regulars' have the freedom of going up there and wait for him, if they wish. As long as no one else is already there. Does that make sense?
And to answer your previous question, this night should've ended this past Sunday, as every night had been approx. 2 weeks RT time, but considering the pace we're keeping, I'm extending it another 2 weeks. So, the time in the RP should be about midnight, I guess. )))
|12th Feb 2008, 9:01 PM||#85|
Join Date: Jan 1970
Caraltian watched as the woman turned to him. Perhaps he had spoken, it was fuzzy, but her questioning look made it seem plausible that he had in deed prompted some type of interaction with the young woman. She did not speak, she maybe a dark person, a loner kindred being or some drug addled kine. No that didn't seem to fit her eyes were intelligent and she seemed in control despite her silence. She was indeed kindred her very being seemed to scream it to the heavens now he thought about it.
His train of thought haulted how long had he been standing simply returning her gaze? "I'm sorry I do not seem to know why I am here." Her look had seemed to be an invitation for him to talk rather than to question. In deed her looks were clearer than those of any kindred before, but at the same time deep and meaningful underneath. It was an admirable trait.
He flexed his fingers, there was somewhere he had to be later. He was not sure where, but he knew it eas somethign he must do, not yet but that night certainly. He had been feeling pulses of it for days now. But it was strong tonight, Lady Hester was at the web.
He forced himself back to the present time, he tilted his head to the young woman, trying to prompt her to speak, as she had made him do.
|14th Feb 2008, 1:44 AM||#86|
Join Date: Jul 2007
"If you don't want it, I'll take it back." She could tell that Annie was being 100% serious, but what was she supposed to do?
"I'm not lying to you Ann-- whatever your name is, but there needs to be a great level of trust in order for me to tell you, and -- it hasn't been reached yet." as if Jessica could get any more cryptic. Annie knew, she was in danger, and both of them will probably die within the sunrise of the next day. There was no avoiding the fate that was to come.
"If you tell anyone about what I'm going to say, and I mean anybody..." she trailed off, she didn't want to finish the sentence "...You see, i just can't trust you with the information."
((sorry for my prolonged absence. There was a problem with the internet billing and I couldn't get on.))
|14th Feb 2008, 1:29 PM||#87|
Aeode and Jessica - Outside The Haven
"If you don't want it, I'll take it back."
Aeode swept a suspicious glare over the other woman's delicate frame, puzzled as to what she had meant with it. For the moment, the message itself mattered less than the tone in which it was spoken: she noted the hint of a threat in it, the subtle warning it contained.
Her previous appraisal of Jessica had lead Aeode to believe she posed little threat to her, physically, should conflict ever arise, but that brought her little reassurance: any sort of deadly weapon could have been concealed underneath the folds of her clothes, not to mention the fact that the deeper she delved into this mystery, the clearer it became that she was nearing something greater and more dangerous than she had imagined at first: both Andre and Jessica's evasive, defensive attitudes suggested there was something they feared; even Dez' intuition had confirmed it.
Combat however was something Aeode avoided unless absolutely necessary, and in those circumstances nothing could have been truer: she did not wish to fight, or even argue: she simply wanted that for once vagueness was shed and clear, honest answers were given.
"I'm not lying to you Ann-- whatever your name is, but there needs to be a great level of trust in order for me to tell you, and -- it hasn't been reached yet."
Aeode's lips were pressed together into a frozen, cynical line as she beheld the woman before her, starting to doubt whether it was even worth trying to untangle the threads she stubbornly wove around the truth, pushing it deeper and deeper underneath. They kept going around in circles, one pushing forward while the other retreated, all the while avoiding the answers that mattered.
Just when Aeode was contemplating leaving and trying her luck with Valerian once he returned, Jessica spoke again, shifting the direction their conversation kept hurtling towards:
"If you tell anyone about what I'm going to say, and I mean anybody..."
Instinctively, Aeode's whole body inched forward, her expression rapt; she hardly dared to believe Jessica had been convinced to grant her the information she so craved. Like beats of a drum, her heart thumped loudly in her temples, flushing her system with the pinpricks of adrenaline.
And then, just as the elation was building up, a stifling grip snuffed out the hope, tossing her once more into that sea of frustration and doubt:
“...You see, I just can't trust you with the information."
A defeated sigh escaped through Aeode's parted lips; she felt as though a giant hammer had been lowered on the back of her head at great speed: it made her giddy. The initial feeling was of impotent rage, her fingers which painfully dug into the palms of her balled hands ached to reach for Jessica and extract the answers out of her by force, yet Aeode was beginning to conquer her anger. She realized it was useless, and destructive; it obliterated her rational thoughts and only served to alienate Jessica even more. As such, with much difficulty, she gathered her thoughts and attempted to put them together into a calm sentence that explained her feelings better than a tantrum would:
“You speak of trust,” she began slowly, “but we aren't exactly on equal terms, are we? You have all the answers and I have my questions and a few confusing memories. That inevitably puts the ball firmly in your court. Also, trust is a mutual thing; you say you cannot trust me when I've been quite clear about what I want: you, on the other hand, keep dangling the proverbial bone over my head, just out of reach, throwing me all sorts of cryptic answers that avoid the question and just when you seem ready to open up, you suddenly decide you can't trust me enough.”
Aeode paused for a moment, running the tip of her tongue over her dry lips: it had been apparent from the beginning that Jessica's derisive attitude, her unspoken fear of some unknown thing, was nearly identical to Andre deLucian's. Both of them must have feared the same thing, that much was obvious – the question was: what. And how did it connect to her.
“You are not the first person who's given me almost the exact same set of answers,” she continued – the more she spoke, the better her thoughts flowed. She decided not to mention Andre's name however; she had promised not to involve him – besides, names were not needed. All she wanted Jessica to know was that she wasn't the first she had come to for answers, nor the last. “I don't believe that to be a coincidence, already two people connected to my attack seem to fear a certain something: my guess is it's the same thing. But I understand fear, oh yes. My real name is Aeode Mallard; Annie is just one of the many aliases I've used over the last eight years. Do you know why? Out of fear that whoever tried to kill me that night and massacred every member of my family who was there would find out who I was and finish the job. It's almost as if the real Aeode Mallard, who was going to be an opera singer and marry Thomas Caulfield indeed died, considering I did loose my life as I knew it – and I want to know how, so I can start finding out why. Now, are you beginning to understand why it is so important to me to know exactly what went on that night?”
((ooc: No problem, Elektra, welcome back! :D))
If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
|14th Feb 2008, 3:28 PM||Damian & Archon - Damian's penthouse office #88|
Judging by the faint smile that formed on Archon's lips as Damian expressed the convenience of having him back in Los Angeles, he was pleased to know his returned presence was appreciated. While Damian could've surely coped rather easily for quite a while longer, he really was relieved to return the duties of Primogen to his friend and associate, so that he himself might return to focus fully on the more important matters. He had spent what he himself deemed a time long enough as Primogen of the esteemed Ventrue clan, both in Philadelphia and in Los Angeles, and mourned little over the loss of the duties thereof. In a handful of decades, he had outgrown the title and the tasks and responsibilities that came with it. He was destined for something bigger, and grander. He knew it, and over the years, many had come to agree with him. He had always been a force to be reckoned with, though there were always those that realized it better than others. There always would be.
And he was not the kind of man that waited for the right opportunity to just come along, whenever that may be. Or even if it may be. If the right opportunity did not present itself soon enough, Damian Alexander III was the kind of man that created it himself. After serving as Primogen in Los Angeles for a few decades, watching and studying the then current Prince - a Toreador - and reaching the conclusion that the man, while not a dolt exactly, was simply incapable of challenging, and controlling, the city and it's inhabitants, and kept them from reaching their full potential. In the right way, of course. The ways of error were many, and tricky. Los Angeles, and it's Kindred population, needed someone stronger to keep the order, without causing war to erupt between clans and sects, or even rebellions. Especially ones directed towards the Prince himself. One needed to be a master of balance, ruling with a firm hand, yet one gentle enough not to suffocate what it held in it's grasp. Give with one hand, recieve (or in some cases, take) with the other, carry the prize, and the whip.
So, when the Toreador Prince of Los Angeles had proven himself unworthy, in Damian's eyes, Damian had started to ready himself for a take over. A most cunning and peaceful take over - the kind he liked the best - that would remove the current Prince, and leave Damian as the most prominent and logical successor. After all, a ruler did spare himself a horde of enemies, and trouble, if he was elected by his future subjects, rather than claim the throne with brutal force and bloodshed. It all just needed a little more planning and an excellent execution. With the patience of a saint, and the skill of a virtuoso, Damian had pulled one tiny string after another, manuevered himself and manipulated others into the right positions and circumstances, all with the purpose of setting the game board to his liking, and allow him to be at the right place at the right time, when the current Prince would decide or be forced to resign. And it would all just seem like a fortunate string of coincidences and circumstances, rather than the work of one single person's scheming. Though throughout the years, as Damian's ways of dealing with people and situations became more widely known, some had started suspecting that he really had had alot more to do with the turn of events than he took credit for. Damian himself, however, neither confirmed nor denied such rumours, but simply did what he knew would keep people on their toes; leave the myths to once again blur and sometimes even conceal the truth. Just like he did with the rumours concerning his "lack of need" to feed.
Of course, the take over had not been perfectly smooth - in the game of politics, few things were - but while far from all had supported him (the Brujah being the ones most vocal about their objections, as always), the majority had, and Damian had been able to install himself in the office as Prince, ruler of the city, peacefully. Now, some would of course insist that the Kindred position of Prince was merely the position of an overseer, however Damian would never settle for something so... passive. He was the Prince of his domain, and he would rule it as such. As well as defend it. Just like he himself had been, there were others that were hungry for the position, or simply hungry for ridding themselves and the city of him, and so he'd fought his fair share of battles over it. And the fact that he was still there was testament enough of his might, as was the fact that only a few of the rebels remained, especially within the city limits. Some had been run out, others had left with their tail between their legs, and others yet had met their demise. Most by the hands of the sheriff, but also a lucky few by the hands of Damian himself. He was a noble, an aristocrat, that favored civility and sophistication, but he was also a knight, a warrior, a swordsmaster born with weapons in his hands, as well as a Kindred, with Kindred powers and disciplines. He would not go quietly into the good night.
"Thank you, my Lord", Archon said, obviously recognizing the compliment despite it being somewhat simple and detached in nature. "Although I have appreciated the opportunity to take care of business overseas, this is my home. It is hard to really enjoy new scenery, when you know the familiar one still depends on you. I am most grateful that you did agree to take my place, although I know the work of a Prince is never done. However, that can also be applied to the work of a Primogen. Despite all of our accomplished members, I must say it gave me peace of mind to know you would act on my behalf."
At that, Damian's lips simply curved with a slight smile in return. He was well aware that the work of a Primogen that Archon referred to, kept him more busy than it had Damian during his time as Primogen, simply because Archon made it so. Archon involved himself in the unlives of their fellow Ventrue - some may even call it that he interfered - more than Damian ever had. In that position, he had remained more of an overseer, compared to Archon. He'd been a mentor, guiding spirit, confessor, someone the clan could turn to and lean on when needed, rarely telling them how they should act, but rather, if needed, making them see things his way by simple conversation and advice, sometimes discreet and judicious manipulation. He knew that by meddling too much, he might fade from overseer to dictator, in the eyes of the clan. And while as Prince he ruled with a firmer hand, he still always tried to keep in mind that freedom of choice, to a certain degree, was one of his greatest responsibilities.
"There is much to tell from my journey", Archon continued.
It was almost as if he had sensed the polite and friendly question that was forming on the Prince's tongue, and wanted to interject with another topic of conversation first.
And, sure enough;
"But we might have more pressing matters right here in our city, that could perhaps benefit from being addressed at once. I suppose there is something you could tell me about de la Cour, that your grand banquet did not reveal? I assume his presence was not entirely up to him, judging from your lack of surprise."
Of course. Adrien de la Cour. The subject was bound to come up, sooner or later, in most any conversation between Kindred this night, and the ones that were to follow, as it was a most extraordinary turn of events, even by their standards. And, while Damian had said most of what he'd had to say regarding the hunter-turned-Tremere the other night at the Ball, there still remained his sudden appearance in Los Angeles, and his decision to attend the event and bring everyone's attention to himself.
"Ah, yes", Damian replied with the faintest of smirks stealing across his noble, handsome features. "The infamous Monsieur de la Cour. Indeed, I was aware of his presence in my city. He had the courtesy to present himself to me the night prior to the event, believe it or not. And by appearing here in my office, no less."
Weighing back in his chair a bit, he allowed his gaze to wander the room, as if asking it what impression Adrien's aura had left, what details in his appearance and behaviour the walls might have percieved, that Damian might not. After all, his meeting with the man had been a rather short one, as the dominant gentleman part of him had wanted to leave Mina to adjust and react to the exceptionally unexpected circumstances without an audience. Though had he cared once ounce less about her on a personal level, he would've most likely remained in his role as Prince, and Prince alone, and stayed to learn as much as possible from the reunion. But perhaps Mina would recognize the respectful gesture, and offer if not all, then at least some knowledge in return for his kindness.
However, her involvement in what had transpired in the office that night, would remain a secret, at least on Damian's part, as he did not wish to reveal the obvious distress she had felt back then. Only if she herself spoke openly about it to others would he consider mentioning it himself, if needed.
"However," he continued. "As far as his reasons to attend the Ball are concerned, I can only speculate. From what I saw of him during our brief meeting, he is prone to wear his defiance and his contempt of us on his sleeve. He makes it no secret that he stil harbours no feelings towards us, except those of malice, hatred, and ill-will. Perhaps his presence at the Ball was nothing more than a mockery, a blatant provokation to test the waters. To test me, and my patience."
He paused for a few moments, and the smirk became more apparent by claiming the expression in his steely eyes, as though he found it most amusing and ironic to be challenged so openly, by someone so young, and despised by all other Kindred.
"I, however, have decided that for the time being, I will go along with whatever plans the Tremere may have in store for him. As long as they keep him on a tight leash, and see to it that he refrains from killing. While I do not particularly trust the Tremere of San Fransisco, I do like to think I'm on fairly good terms with the ones within my own city, and so I will bestow it upon them to keep him in line."
|15th Feb 2008, 8:17 PM||Adrien - poker table with Zillah and Faleysia, at The Dive #89|
(((ooc: Sorry it took me so long! I completely forgot about Adrien. )))
Unlike at the previous table, Adrien found that the players that had gathered around this one, were at least fairly skilled. They paid attention to the odds, as well as their opponents; something the players at the last table mostly did not. And not only that, they posed a bit more of a challenge for Adrien to read as well. It took him more than five minutes to figure them out, and more than another five to confirm his observations. And it actually pleased him. It brought an added level of excitement to the game, that hadn't been in the last one, and it put his skills to the test. To Adrien, testing his skills and thus developing them, every chance he got, was of the essence. It was what helped keep him alive, and prepared. He had even gone as far as to starting to make an effort to develop his Kindred powers, his disciplines. But only when he was convinced he was alone, for never would anyone know that he had, although reluctantly, acknowledged even the slightest part of his vampire nature. If his enemies found out, they would surely see it as a sign that he was beginning to yield, to submit to his new existence. They would see weakness, and their drive to keep pushing him would grow even more relentless, whereas now, when seeing no sign of submission or deafeat whatsoever, they would eventually tire of their games.
However, to Adrien, using his powers did not mean he accepted his fate, merely the weapons handed to him. But it was a slow process, as his only tutor was his own mistakes and failures. He had no one to learn from. No one had offered, and even if they did, Adrien would dismiss them with little more than a sneer. He trusted no one, least of to teach him anything of value. He had to learn completely on his own. Even the books within Mina's museum was out of his reach, for as soon as he touched even one of them, Mina would know. She had eyes everywhere in that cursed place. Eyes of ghouls and fellow Tremere, that would register any minute sign he might give that he craved the information they held.
Luckily, a game of cards hardly called for the use of disciplines, or any other unnatural powers and abilities, and the skills that were required were a century old in him. He took his time studying each and every player - their faces, their manners, their quirks, their tactics - but never openly enough for it to be overly noticable. Unless, of course, they were the type that found such a thing unnerving, in which case he saw to it that they knew he was watching them, mostly by making eye contact every now and then. And even if he hadn't been Kindred, Adrien possessed the most piercing dark eyes. With a mere gaze, he could send icey chills padding up and down human spines, and, on occasion, Kindred ones as well. To those who were susceptible, it would prove most distracting and discomforting. Intimidating even.
At this table, Adrien would target one such player in particular; a young, cocky socialite, who, while he was a rather good player, soon found himself too irked by Adrien's scrutinizing gaze to focus properly. Before long, he was on a major loosing streak, helped along by the other young, gossamer-haired man sitting right next to him.
Adrien had just moved on to study him, when a presence closing on him from behind alerted his senses. Moments later, a creature of lily white, ebony black and firey red slid into the seat next to him; the young lady that had joined the previous table as well. With the faintest of smiles, she greeted Adrien, whose only ackowledgement of recognizing her was a swift lowering of his lashes. He couldn't help but to be a little suspicious of her, but at the same time, he knew it would be paranoid, even for him, to assume she was following him. Yet he couldn't shake the feeling that for some reason, he had gotten her attention. Granted, it could be as innocent as her wanting another chance to play against him. Or, it could even be that she was determined to recieve some sort of response to the glances she had been giving him during the last game. As was the case with most men, there were women who got their kicks from pursuing someone that seemed unavailable, someone that was hard to get and thus challenged their skills and their drive to prevail.
But, there was also the chance that there was something more sinister in the works, something far more alarming hiding beneath that beautiful exterior. Adrien had no doubt that he was being watched, both by the casino security, and by the Kindred. But he had a hard deciding which of those categories this woman belonged to, or even if she belonged to one of them. She wasn't Kindred herself, that much he had gathered as soon as she claimed the seat next to his. He could hear the soft beating of her heart, and the coursing of the blood in her veins. But that did in no way mean she couldn't be somehow connected to them. She could be a ghoul, sent to examine him, or even just creep him out.
Whatever the case, Adrien gave only that short glance in her direction, and left his thoughts to be known by none other than himself. But he did keep an eye on the surroundings, and on her, to see if there was anyone around that she kept making eye contact with, or showed some other sign of being up to something of which he would not approve.
But, either she was as skilled an actor as he himself was, or her joining this table as well was perfectly innocent, for during the time he spent there, raking in another small fortune, what he saw seemed fairly harmless. She didn't appear to communicate with anyone else, but she was studying him, that much was evident to him. Once or twice he even caught a glimpse of approval flashing in her eyes, as though she was quietly applauding his tactics. Though neither of those things meant a whole lot. They were playing poker, after all. It would be odd if she hadn't been watching him.
None the less, he still had a feeling he was unable, and thus unwilling, to shake, a feeling that she was indeed watching him, for other reasons than just the game. And so he decided to call her on it, on whatever it was she was doing. If she really was following him, he would let her know that he was aware of it. And if she wasn't, then it would do no harm to question it anyway.
So, once he had reached the amount of chips he had set his mind to when first joining, he slid from his seat and started to turn away in order to leave the table, but paused, with his right shoulder almost brushing against her left one.
"I will be heading over to one of the blackjack tables now", he said, barely bothering to look at her. "Shall I be expecting to see you there as well?"
Though he didn't wait for her to reply, he simply left before she had the chance.
|15th Feb 2008, 11:49 PM||Falesyia & Adrien - The Dive #90|
Falesyia found herself quite engulfed in the game at this table. Not that it had been the most challenging, as there were strong and not so strong players present, but she immensely enjoyed the game. Not the game of poker, the game of scouting for and acquiring fresh blood for Posh. Having both aspects, the poker game, and the raven haired gentleman on her mind was a welcomed relief from her previous boredom.
She held her own for the most part, though there were a few hands she had made less than impeccable decisions. Most of which ended up benefiting the man beside her. Rather than being distraught with such losses, she couldn’t help but lean back in her chair and smile approvingly. After all, he did deserve the acknowledgement that he had proved to be the most skilled player there.
A few times she flashed him a congratulatory glance, each and every time they would simply be ignored or dismissed, just as her glances earlier in the night had been. After a while she had begun to doubt her ability to get to this man. She had not come against his type before. Usually by now her target would have sensed she wished to speak to him alone. They would answer her glances with words, or looks of their own. But no, this time her target proved to be impenetrable. So she thought.
When he signaled to the dealer his intention to leave Falesyia felt a tinge of defeat. She had sat by his side for the most part of an hour, and now he was going to leave. True, she had not said a word, neither of them had, but she had attempted to communicate quite clearly. Perhaps they were each too dignified to speak. As Falesyia’s fingers caressed and toyed with a chip mindlessly, she had begun to make other plans. Perhaps this was not her night, maybe she should turn in early. A long soak in the tub with plenty of bubbles and a glass of champagne would be her consolation prize.
Just before she resigned to such a fate, the man beside her stood, finally breaking their silence with his words. There was no eye contact, yet there was no doubt in her mind that his words were intended to reach her ears. “I will be heading over to one of the blackjack tables now. Shall I be expecting to see you there as well?” Though he did not stay long enough for her reply, his words brought a sly smile to her face. Well hidden by her closed lips, her tongue caressed the upper ridge of her teeth. So her glances had gotten to him. He had simply applied his game induced self constraint to her as well. Though it was delayed satisfaction, hers was still just as sweet.
Just as the dealer was about to deal the next game, Falesyia motioned with her hand she would not be accepting any cards. She requested her small stack of a couple hundred in chips be given to the blonde man that had sat across from her. It was not a sign of sympathy, but rather an acknowledgement that he was the most likely to take over running the table.
Before her body had risen completely from the table, she had removed her phone from her purse, by time she stood and turned towards the bar she had flipped it open and pushed the familiar button. Two simple words were all she stated once Nicholas had answered. “Black Jack”. He would understand her perfectly, as this was by no means the first time she had operated. As she walked towards the bar, she recalled every little gesture, every little look, every motion the man had made. She had studied them, now she must finish analyzing them. Different men were to be approached differently if one was to obtain the ideal outcome.
Once she reached the bar she purposefully positioned herself with her back towards the black jack tables. If there was one thing he made obvious to her this night it was that he was not about to grant her an iota of control over him. No matter how badly she wanted or deserved it. He would govern every last detail of the when and if he would react to her. If he insisted on having the upper hand, she was glad to allow it.
She ordered her usual drink from the tender, as having something on the bar to fiddle with had become comfortable for her. If ever she wanted to encourage someone to speak, she would slowly take a drink granting them time to do so without seeming awkward. Just as she received her drink and took a sip from it she felt the presence of someone walking slowly beside her. As she lowered the glass her eyes looked up to take in his form. He had the clothes of a rebel, black jeans and a black tee, a combination that matched his attitude and seemingly unwillingness to accept society’s standards. Yet he held his long black coat over his arm, showing that he was not some young punk that didn’t know how to give respect. He simply held on to his respect, only granting it to those whom he deemed worthy.
When he came to a halt at the stool beside her, her eyes had already been anticipating his own. Though she had tried several times to look into them, he had never allowed her the opportunity until now. Though it was extremely brief, she struggled to make a connection of some sort, to penetrate his defenses, to get a fleeting glimpse of what it was that drove him. However his sooty emerald eyes proved to be like the rest of him, impenetrable. It was almost as if he was dead to the entire world, to feelings of any sort. It was a sense that sent a shiver down Falesyia’s spine, yet intrigued her all the more.
She waited just a moment, expecting him to take a seat, perhaps to order a drink. However he remained standing, undoubtedly declaring that though she had brought him here, it was only because he was willing. A brow soon arched in her direction. It would be her only invitation, his only admittance that he was listening. “I’d like to present you with a proposition.” She stated smoothly, replacing her glass back onto the bar. “An opportunity to finally play with equals.” Her own brows rose as to fetch his response.
Her eyes witnessed the shadow of a smirk come over his lips, much like the one she had seen when he gathered his winnings earlier in the night. “You’re not one of them then?” His words had sprung from his lips, uninhibited by any form of civility. They could have been words of disrespect if taken at face value. But if one was to listen closely with a discerning ear, they could hear the unintended words of flattery. So far this night, he had deemed her one of the few that was an admirable opponent.
With him still standing over her, daring her to challenge him, Falesyia didn’t budge. She knew who had the upper hand, even if he did not. She would not be the loser if he turned her offer down. Granted she would be disappointed at the loss of an opportunity to see this young man in his element. However, she was not about to grovel as some fool would. She had allowed him his positions of control, not insisting she have her way. Just as he now stood before her, simply because he was willing, she also remained sitting, simply because she was willing. Still, his question waited to be answered.
“Perhaps,” she offered her steely jade gaze in answer, “however I am but only one woman.” Falesyia lifted her glass effortlessly with her right hand as she continued, “One cannot sharpen their skills on dull blades. I thought you would enjoy the opportunity to find out how good your skills actually are. However if I’m wrong…” she looked towards him once again expectantly. Though he would not allow her to read his thoughts, she held no such guard. She was not about to be forced into some belittling game of words. She was not a misguided amateur, disillusioned as to what she had to offer. He would see it clearly in her eyes, her offer was genuine and would not be repeated.
|16th Feb 2008, 5:05 PM||Valerian & Moira - Moira's hotel suite at the Ritz #91|
A sudden flash of an animal of prey, a starved predator, behind a veil of lavendar velvet. A hunger, a thirst for blood, the Beast building and raging inside of that slender frame, behind the bars of that gentle mind. It too was a look Valerian had seen before, in the eyes of many, when he had offered them only part of what he offered Moira now. But never, never had he seen it so raw and so pure.
He felt the shiver that ran through her, the apprehension in the fingertips that just barely retreated from the touch of his milky white skin, almost as though she was fighting back the urge to clutch his neck and sink her fangs deep into him, hungrily and violently, intent on draining him of every last drop he had to give, willingly or no. What he was instigating could be a dangerous thing, if the reciever lacked restraint, or the will thereof. In Moira's case he, a mere Neonate, would be no match, no match at all, should she want to devour him, or even just loose control to that inner Beast of hers, which was now making her eyes glow with craving for the crimson elixir flowing in his veins.
Yet he felt no fear, no sudden internal pang of panic or distress rushed through his mind, no survival instinct pulled him away from her. In his eyes, there was only calm anticipation and devotion, as his gaze beckoned her to grant him the Kiss he so yearned for.
Then, just as quickly as the predatory twinkle in her eyes had appeared, it vanished, and she was once again looking at him with her usual gentility, and ancient wisdom. She was now ready to accept his invitation, his desire for her to know him and for him to feel the addictive bliss of her bite, of the intimacy between their bodies and their souls. Fluid movements brought them closer, fingertips reunited with his pale skin and traced their way into his charcoal tresses, finding him more than willing to tilt his head slightly at their command, to allow her lips access to the very spot where they had just rested. A gentle, irresistible tug brought him to melt fully into her embrace, while his own arms found their way around her waist, and one hand slid up her back, coming to rest in the beautifully sculpted valley between her shoulderblades. There it lingered, as the soft purr from her lips vibrated in his ear and brought the quiverings of a faint smile to his own. He had done this so many times before, with other people, and yet this was unlike any of those times. The way their souls had already connected effortlessly brought a new electrifying intensity to the air, so strong it seemed to almost materialize into a soft hum.
For a moment, Valerian closed his eyes, revelling in the sensation of Moira's lips against his skin, in the anticipation of the last few seconds before he would feel her fangs pierce right through it, and his very essence would be shared with her. He had longed for it ever since they first met, and even though it had been barely twentyfour hours since then, it felt as though his desire had been building for an eternity, for eons of time, each and every minute passed having toyed with his imagination, enticed and awakened his senses, woven whispy thin threads that wound themselves around his mind, binding his wishes to his every thought. Sometimes so tightly the thought itself was ruled by his desire, sometimes so loosely it seemed to barely be there.
Now, the gates were about to open.
As her sharp fangs sank into his cool flesh, he couldn't withhold the softest of low, guttural moans, and for a moment, his already closed eyes squeezed shut. Not because of the initial stab of pain soon carried away on swift wings, but because of the first wave of pleasure that crashed down on him, so intense and strong it seemed to almost pain him physically, sending his mind tumbling until there was no clear thought in his head at all; his every expectation of the deed being met tenfold.
To him, each night offered passion, especially when in the company of another who took pleasure in his touch, his kiss or in his blood. But this, this was something else, something that went far beyond passion. Surpassing even anything that could be described as profound, it was something that reached not just into his unbeating heart, but into his very soul.
Though while the feeling never faded, never faltered, Valerian did slowly adjust to it. His eyes drifted open once again, and he awakened to the tingling closeness between his lips and Moira's own lily white neck. She had pulled him so close that there wasn't any longer even an inch seperating her jugular from the fangs that had emerged without him even realizing it. It was as though his mind and body had succumbed fully to the experience, and left his will power in the mere periphery of his own awareness.
Yet he registered the invitation she was giving him in return. Like him, she allowed a mere gesture to speak, to suggest that if he wanted it, it was within his reach and for the taking.
He couldn't refuse it, nor did he want to. Even though it was something he had never done before - he had always been the giver, and only in Claudia's case the reciever, never both at once - there was not one part of him that protested what he was about to do. It was as though there was no other option, it was the only right thing. Something had begun to stir within him, a yearning, a hunger known to every Kindred ever in existence. The softness of her skin as his lips brushed against it, nibbled at it, awakened the predator in him, just like it had in Moira, and his body trembled with its silent but powerful roar. Though he knew it would remain restrained within his mind, the chains would not break. It was a thought that only dwelled in the many folds of his unconscious, hidden but not lost in the waves of pleasure that raged through him. Waves that, no matter how forceful, would seem nothing more than ripplings on a calm surface when next his teeth pierced carefully through her skin, and the sweet, crimson liquid of her very essence filled his throat. The very moment it did, he felt his body twitch in her arms, as though violently lashed, only not by an instrument of torture, but with a thousand threads of the purest ecstacy he had ever known. It was searing light, so bright it would burn your eyes, materialized in the rich scarlet gush flowing into him. It was a warm, comforting embrace shielding him from the deepest, darkest burning pit of Hell, the soft, caressing breath of a lovers adoring whisper in his ear as he slept, the very epitome of everything that had ever inspired even the most minute feeling of rapture in his being.
And underneath it all, there was something else. A pitch-black darkness, so threatening and overwhelming his senses instinctively turned from it, and left him with only a faint, most intangible hint of a feeling that he had come close to brushing against something sinister, and all-consuming. Danger, in its purest form.
It was all the jumbled enterity of a life not his own, yet in this moment so vivid and real to him that it might've just as well been, even though it was so tangled he could make no logical sense of it. It was the essence of times long gone, a gathering of feelings felt and experiences learned, woven together with impressions of the present.
To one such as young and perhaps more importantly as sensitive as Valerian, it all was too much. He simply could not bear it, and so as his jaws released her, just as carefully as they had seized her, the shimmer of two tiny droplets caught in the gentle candle light, trickling their way slowly down his white marble cheek, streaking them with a rich contrast of ruby red.
(((Oooc: Yeah, yeah, it's cheesy, but I blame Valerian. He's such a softy. )))
|17th Feb 2008, 10:56 PM||#92|
Moira and Valerian - Moira's Suite at the Ritz
It felt like a stab delivered by an ice cold blade, tearing a gash into the blissful delirium which raged through every fiber of Moira's being, an unexpected cry of anguish and a sense of loss so deep it momentarily drowned all else. Moira's closed eyes flicked open and her lips all but severed their link with Valerian's neck, mind reeling with two powerful, opposite feelings that tugged at it from both ends, creating an avalanche of clashing sensations that pained her by sheer force.
Despite this sharp turn of events, Moira felt her own self awareness and the level of control she retained over herself and the devouring monster which swelled in her grow, as did her desire to peel away, layer by layer, the many barriers built around this hidden part of Valerian, to draw out its tale through the blood like poison from a wound, and surround it with her comforting presence, to let it heal.
That was until Valerian buried is ivory fangs into her neck and the whole world tumbled away in a whirlpool of euphoria once again, obliterating the fragile link with that hidden dark place deep within Valerian's psyche. Moira did not register the actual instant it happened, but its effects were felt instantly: she felt herself drop into a bottomless abyss of sensory insanity; time itself seemed to have crawled to a halt, the world around speeding by at blinding velocities while Moira and Valerian remained completely still, arms pressed tightly around eachother's bodies, locked together into a circuit of flowing vitae.
As her own essence passed into Valerian's veins, Moira felt something immensely powerful and altogether extraordinary awaken deep into her core: it was no longer just the ravages of pure, raw pleasure and alien feelings experienced as though they were her own, although they never waned. It was an old foe stirred awake by the fact that another's deadly fangs were buried into the pearly whiteness of her skin.
With this new change, Moira's motions became more frantic; she clung to Valerian's body like a drowning man to the thin rope that lead to safety, drinking in every crimson drop oozing from the two tiny wounds on his jugular with unprecedented relish, using lips as well as tongue to retrieve the sweet crimson liquid as efficiently as possible. Deep grunts rumbled in the base of her throat, not unlike that of a large animal of prey devouring a tender kill, mingled with the velvety softness of a lover's tone. In the meantime, her mind raced down the endless roads of times itself, omnipresent and omniscient, in the blink of an eye encompassing what felt like countless eons, watching the genesis of the world and all history flash by like one spectacular projection film. Moira felt exalted, truly awake for the first time in her life: she felt godlike, a being made of pure light, more powerful than the foundations of the Earth, ruthless, detached, indiscriminating.
The Beast was slowly forcing its way into Moira's mind, taking advantage of her current state of rapture to deceive her mind and widen the noose around its neck until it could break free of it and wreck havoc. To do so, it appealed to one of Moira's weaknesses: her lust for power and control, which she usually tempered with cool rationality, never allowing herself to cross certain boundaries, realistic in what true ambitions and expectations could deliver.
But not then. The act of sharing her own blood with Valerian pried open the gates to a dark and dangerous place, threatening to unleash an unstoppable, blood thirsty and soulless monster lurking beyond, poised to strike once the opportunity was ripe, and that moment presented itself when Valerian retracted his fangs from her jugular.
A low, rippling moan spilled off Moira's crimson smeared lips, her eyes narrowing to slits beneath a deeply creased brow, her features contorted into a vicious grimace. It resembled a perverse mockery of the delicate being that was Moira Sushill, a beastly menace that had crawled inside her and drove her to an unspeakable act for the second time. She was peripherally aware that if she continued much longer, Valerian's life would be put in danger, and that thought fed the Beast's growing thirst, seizing Moira with an irresistible desire to drain every last drop of blood he had to offer, to not stop until she could feel her lips sucking on a dry vein.
The pressure was enormous, so powerful that Moira's body spasmed several times as what remained of her own will battled with that awesome enemy she had unleashed upon herself and Valerian alike. Her own urges frightened her and at the same time drove her on: “Yes! Yes! Yes!” roared the Beast in delight, echoed by Moira's feeble “No”. She could feel her grip slipping until a very fine thread was all that connected her mind and body; she recognized that feeling, it was the beginning of Frenzy, the instant before the link was severed and all one could do is coil back into a dark recess of the mind while the Beast possessed them and slaughtered all those that crossed their path. It had happened once with Matthias, and although disgusted with the outcome, Moira felt her revenge had been warranted.
Valerian, however...what a different matter he was. He was an innocent, a remarkable young Toreador who had shared himself with her willingly, and who was growing dear to her, someone whom she did not wish to harm in any way. It was a split second's retaliation, the decisive manner in which Moira grabbed the Beast by its horns and pushed it back into its cage, battling the temptation it offered, distancing herself from its growls, all the while knowing she had little precious time to succeed before she was overcome. It required every last drop of her strength to tear her lips away from Valerian's neck; uttering a sharp, pained scream, Moira jerked her head back, lurching away from him and landing on the couch on her back, eyes round and full of horror. Blood smeared her lips and trickled down her chin, a couple of drops staining the soft fabric of her dress.
Although disheveled and stained with blood, she was Moira once more, the realization of what she had almost done beginning to seep back into her consciousness: the Beast was silenced, and Valerian unharmed. Her will had prevailed, even in that most vulnerable of moments, and that brought her an immense feeling of relief following such a disturbing mixture of ecstasy, pain, ravenous hunger and ultimately the turbulent battle for her soul and Valerian's life. She felt so exhausted, that for a few moments she failed to notice the crimson tears streaking silently down Valerian's face, which was even whiter than usual.
He, too, looked deeply perturbed which caused Moira to wonder whether he was aware how close she had come to devouring him utterly. A sudden pang of fear rippled through her at the thought, half expecting him to scramble away from her, fearful she might leap out and destroy him. As the seconds ticked by and that did not happen, Moira slowly pulled herself on her knees, inching closer to Valerian's sprawled frame, examining his face cautiously with her ancient eyes. Lifting one slender hand, she brought the tips of her fingers to his cheeks, gently wiping the crimson tears, leaving a faint reddish trace behind.
“I am...so sorry.” was all she could find appropriate to say. “I should have never...only the thought of what I almost did...”
Moira Sushill, a being older than five centuries, was lost for words. Valerian had come face to face with the darkest side of her and lived, and although he might not have realized his helping hand in overcoming her Beast, Moira did, a look of overpowering, all encompassing tenderness and gratitude emerging on her face.
"It was you that kept me from doing it."
((Ooc: Told you, long winded and wordy :P))
If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
|18th Feb 2008, 4:36 AM||Archon DeWinter & The Prince - the Prince's office #93|
#29 [Eighth Night]
Even the nights were tricky, far more tricky than the days when they had to protect themselves from sunshine and mankind. It was ironic, how fragile they really were, and still called themselves immortals. A simple ray of the sun, an otherwise life-giving energy much needed by the earth, could burn them alive without effort. Their skin, flesh and bones would evaporate by its mere touch. Archon remembered when he, as a kine, would stand on a balcony of his home and feel the warmth of the sun on his face. He would close his eyes and imagine he was nothing less than a god, the owner of everything he had ever seen and felt and everything he had not. In some ways, he was more of a Ventrue back then, than he was now. Starting out, learning about Kindred ways and traditions, Archon had the aim locked on being Prince. He even saw beyond that, somehow longing for the Metuselah age to come upon him. The thought alone, of walking this earth for over a thousand years, was wondrous to say the least. And to know that it was not enough, that the Kindred had no end, was more than anyone could grasp.
Yet, Archon found himself as a Primogen, and quite content as such. There was no pressing need for him to aim higher, to leave and for a city of his choice, a city where he would become Prince. He could not explain why, but he choose to accept in a way that was a bit unorthodox for a Ventrue. His heart was not in it, therefore he deemed it to be the right choice. In a few situations, Archon followed his hunch, his collected feelings - especially when they all aimed in a certain direction. There was a good reason why he was not aspiring to become Prince, and had not since before he met Damian. And although he could not point it out yet, he could not ignore it. All was not revealed, every turn of the tables of Kindred society - in the open and in the hidden - had not been disclosed. Just like the tables within Archon.
Growing up without a father had permanently scarred Archon's human soul, and some of the damage had been transfered into his eternal nights, with what was left of his soul. This entity, this invinsible kine creation, probably more incomprehensible than their notion of god. It had started at an early age, sitting in the pew and watching the people around him rather than the priest seated high above them. Archon wanted to excel the rank of the 'holy men', he wanted to command people without showing them the flames of hell. This became true, already before he became Kindred he had achieved a seat of power, that prepared him for walking the earth with more might than he could have anticipated. Back then, he became a man long before a kine was considered one by his peers in these modern times.
He never lost his way, he rarely got thrown off. Perhaps his broken mortal past had been the ideal constellation, a beautiful boulder of stone chiseled into perfection by the transformation. The first time he beheld the world, with his vampire eyes, he had been so in awe he imagined that this was the closest thing to falling in love and still remain sane. Archon and the Kindred world, it was a match made in a place somewhere dark and foreboding.
Losing the human touch; the breath of air, the aging and the weakness, was easy. It was a faded memory at best, an Achille's heel he was better off without. As were they all. And if he could take it back, he would pass it on to one vampire in particular; de la Cour.
"Ah, yes", Damian replied with the faintest of smirks stealing across his face. "The infamous Monsieur de la Cour. Indeed, I was aware of his presence in my city. He had the courtesy to present himself to me the night prior to the event, believe it or not. And by appearing here in my office, no less."
Although the hunter indeed had courage, Archon was not ready to rest at that conclusion in this case. He did not view it as much as him paying his respect, rather than being scared of the consequences of roaming the streets of L.A. without first asking for Damian's permission. If de la Cour really knew the Kindred, he would know that to be poor judgement. The real puzzlement was his appearance at the Ball, since it was really not wise for him to be a familiar face for every Kindred present, and then have them tell all the absent ones about his features. de la Cour could vanish from their world of darkness like he had never entered it. Even if he knew more than he should have even when he was now a vampire, Archon was sure he did not knew about everything that lurked in the acheronian side of the moon. He bet they could still scare him sensless.
"However," the Prince continued, as if he knew the question in his friend's mind. "As far as his reasons to attend the Ball are concerned, I can only speculate. From what I saw of him during our brief meeting, he is prone to wear his defiance and his contempt of us on his sleeve. He makes it no secret that he stil harbours no feelings towards us, except those of malice, hatred, and ill-will. Perhaps his presence at the Ball was nothing more than a mockery, a blatant provokation to test the waters. To test me, and my patience."
For Archon, it was easy to read the amusement on Damian's face. The growing smirk, taking over and ensuring that who ever thought they had the advantage would soon be thaught otherwise. None the less, Archon knew both himself and Damian never underestimated their foes. It was not how things were done, and it was not how the august clan had survived and held on to so many seats of power for so long. And it was not how they held anarchy at bay.
"I, however, Damian concluded, "have decided that for the time being, I will go along with whatever plans the Tremere may have in store for him. As long as they keep him on a tight leash, and see to it that he refrains from killing. While I do not particularly trust the Tremere of San Fransisco, I do like to think I'm on fairly good terms with the ones within my own city, and so I will bestow it upon them to keep him in line."
No Kindred should be surprised that most quirks of their existance, provided by vampires, was contributed by the Tremere. And wholeheartedly so. Archon guessed they would simply burst if they could not dabble a tad here and there, set energies in motion and put their mark on the Kindred society.
"If that is your wish", he said with a slight nod. "I will indeed support it."
This was a delicate matter, something that concerned them all. And even if de la Cour himself was the center of attention, when it came to this situation, he was not the eye of the storm. Their Prince was, and he was the one who had to handle this affair and take responsibility for the outcome of his stance of choice. Therefore, Archon saw it as his duty to stand by him. And with him came their mutual lineage. There was no doubt in his mind, that even if the members had crimson dreams of de la Cour's demise, the majority, if not all, would in the end see the importance of holding back for the time being. It was politics, and no one understood it better than a Ventrue. Killing de la Cour may very well prove to be more dangerous than keeping him just as close as enemies should be kept. Another Ventrue reality.
"Although, with all due respect, I can not help but wonder what de la Cour has in store for us. Is he willing to be lead by vampires, to obey our laws and live out his new life in peace? It would go against everything he stands for, and I gather it would be just as easy for him to let go of his need to hunt us, as it would be for me to join the Nosferatu. However. I could be wrong."
Voicing ones concern was also a sign of respect, and it was a door that was always open to Archon. It was his obligation to the Prince, to speak his mind if it was of any relevance, to let Damian know what his most prominent Primogen was thinking.
"Regardless, the Ventrue clan will stand behind you."
((( ooc: Atropa - I am so tired I can't see straight... But I hope it's all logical and nice. )))
|18th Feb 2008, 7:50 AM||Sorén Alessandra Varvatos #94|
Her eyes, dull and obscure, twitched their vision inches to the left of the man’s face, lying upon the worn tar road outside. It was a ghost’s playground with summoned moonlight illumining an enigmatic path stretching further than the eye could perceive. Tracing over the avenue, she could hear the cadence of the piano, a melodic tune flowing into her mind. Sorén softly dropped her lids so her lashes would touch the tender skin beneath her eye and block out the invading light, musing on the sounds until everything else faded, everything else disappeared and only the music subsisted. She let her surge of innovative thoughts stain her paper brain then carried her gaze back to the vacant street. The pattern struck at numerous times, one of those arbitrary occurrences of imagination. Once she returned to her apartment, she’d remove the marked page from her mind and rewrite it into the form of music.
Not able to resist the temptation swirling before her, she procured a glimpse of the stranger for another second more. Her lips shaped a silent word prior to his string of speech, foretelling the action rather than his motive. It was an inevitable nature unleashed before god’s eye, compelled like the affable cat she had since she was five. House trained as much as one could be, though, one evening upon entering the house so did the limp body of a mouse, crushed in between the cat’s jaws. Nature would always take part. "I'm sorry I do not seem to know why I am here."
Sorén narrowed her maple hued spheres, barely furrowing her smooth brows. Was that a normal greeting? She ruminated of his intentions briefly, swaying to the side of his question of judgment from her previous glance. “If you were to stand over there, would you’re thoughts differ?” Her voice was raw in the midst of each of her words, visibly embellished in her rich French accent.
Pulling at a corner of her lips, offering him the blithe side of a smirk, she bowed her head indistinctly to the side, only for a moment to bequeath her respect. Once she was certain he’d taken notice of this, her eyes shot over to a person behind the bar. “A drink perhaps?”
[[ooc: So very sorry for the delay, I hope it isn't too vague.]]
|18th Feb 2008, 4:41 PM||Adrien & Faleysia - The Dive #95|
(((ooc: Ghanima - .... Just... I'm in complete awe of that post.)))
There were multiple possible ways the woman, the redhead, could have reacted to Adrien's comment. If she was guilty of what he thought she was, she could've been embarrassed or even scared that he had obviously figured her out. Or she could be pleased that he had noticed her, for two very different reasons; either because she had been sent there to ruffle his feathers, or because she had a far more... carnal interest in him.
Not that it would do her any good. The last woman to enjoy a gentle touch by Adrien's hand was Mina, almost a century ago. Since then, his 'romantic' encounters with women had been few and far apart. Brief, and hardly romantic. Why bother?
Continuing down the list of possible reactions, there was also offense. Genuine, of false, depending on if she was guilty, or - not likely - innocent. Because, not only had Adrien's statement been arrogant, it had also been presumptuous enough to get most women riled up. Especially if they really had been after getting his attention.
And last but not least, she could've simply been surprised.
Whichever of the above, Adrien didn't care. He had left before she had gotten a chance to reply, because frankly, he wasn't interested.
That was, until his perceptive eyes landed on a man dressed in a dark suit, who just joined the blackjack table towards which Adrien was heading. Or rather, the man wasn't joining it as much as he was waiting by it, for Adrien arrive there. The way his gaze first roamed the people milling about, only to come to a perfect halt once it found Adrien, was a dead give-away, and the way he kept looking without his eyes diverting for more than a rare moment here and there confirmed it. However, even though he apparently wanted Adrien to know that he was the man's intended target, he seemed like he didn't want Adrien to feel too uncomfortable by staring him down completely. As if that would've been possible. Adrien had most likely participated in more stare-downs in the past three years than the man would in his entire life.
But the man didn't know that. Nor would he ever.
So... She wasn't somehow related to the world of Kindred then. Had she been, this guy wouldn't have been awaiting Adrien with such a fairly relaxed and casual look on his face. He would've been on his guard, and the look in his eyes would have been nothing like what it was. There would've been a fire burning, and he wouldn't have allowed them to stray even once.
Casino security then. That was Adrien's next bet. Though he wasn't sure why. He was hardly blacklisted, and he hadn't made a big enough stir to risk getting even close to changing that fact. He hadn't even won enough money to make them nervous. A small fortune, yes, but to a casino like this, it was still a fairly modest sum, not nearly enough for them to see a reason for asking him to leave.
The closer he got to the blackjack table, the more his stride slowed. But not from insecurity or hesitation. His calm, determined stride was still laced with his usual confidence, even when he halted, a mere couple of feet from the table.
Forcing the other man to move towards him to close the gap; a way of showing that no matter what 'they' had thought, he was still in control, and he would not let go. If they wanted something from him, they would have to come to him, literally. And spit it out, instead of playing the eyes' equivalence of cat and mouse.
Chin slightly raised, lids equally lowered in the process, Adrien stood and simply watched the man, his eyes now conveying more than they had during the entire evening; a challenge, a silent command. If the man wanted to follow the instructions he had been given by his superior, he would first have to submit to Adrien. Seeming somewhat uneasy, by clearing his throat with a muffled "Hmr", he took a few steps forward until he was what he deemed close enough for Adrien to hear, without anyone around doing it as well.
"Sir", he said, and handed Adrien a colorful slip of semi-glossy paper with writing on it. "Why don't you go get a drink?"
However, that being said, he didn't leave, but instead remained standing infront of Adrien, as though he was waiting for Adrien to look at the slip in his presence.
Adrien simply kept his eyes fixed on the man, making it painfully evident that he was waiting for the man to take a hint, and leave. Apparently not one of the sharpest tools in the shed, it took him a couple of seconds, and once the realization hit him, it took him yet another couple of seconds to decide if he should abide by Adrien's wishes, or make sure that he understood the opportunity he had been given.
Finally, he decided that Adrien would probably be clever enough to figure it out, and with another uneasy clearing of his throat, he slipped away, leaving Adrien to follow him with his eyes until his line of vision was blocked by a giggling group of tipsy young women. Only then did he lower his gaze to look at the slip he had been handed.
Hardly surprising, it turned out to be a voucher for a free drink at the bar; a token that was surely appreciated by many. Though once again, Adrien seperated himself from the crowd. Unless the bartender intended to moonlight as a blood donor, the slip was been pretty much worthless to Adrien. At least it would have been, had he not sensed there was a bit more to it than just a free drink.
And, even though he had remained in control, 'they' had succeeded with their mission; they had piqued his curiousity.
Folding the paper slip and tucking it away in his back pocket, Adrien turned towards where he knew the bar was located, his dimly smoldering eyes searching for a sign of what he could expect as he started moving towards it. Gradually, the bar appeared more and more the closer he got, the numerous waves of people in his path slowly diminshing, revealing one bar customer after another. With cautious scrutiny, Adrien let his gaze pass over each and every one of them, dismissing one after another as being of no interest to his. Until his eyes came to rest on a lady in black sitting by herself, her back with a familiar flow of cascading red hair towards him. It was a sight that coaxed his lips into a smug smirk, born from the satisfaction of once again having his instincts proven to be right; indeed her presence around him earlier had been neither a coincidence, nor innocent.
Even though she wasn't looking, and thus gave him no reason to show that he was in no hurry to accomodate her, his stride still slowed a bit. He was taking the opportunity to openly study her, without having to control the look in his eyes to prevent her from catching glimpses of what might be stirring in his mind. Despite his apparent lack of interest in her earlier, she was a very beautiful woman. The kind that moved with a grace and a confidence that would've seen her fit right in with the aristocrats of his time as a child, and even the centuries prior to his birth. She was the type of woman that could seem perfectly relaxed, yet doing so without shoulders slouching, without loosing an inch of her proud and regal posture. It would be interesting to see if it was a poise that ran through her whole behaviour, or if it was just limited to her appearance. There were many that could act a part without words, but as soon as they opened their mouths to speak, would shatter the illusion.
When he finally reached her, he continued past her, with his head slightly turned the other way, as though he was watching something among the wide variety of distractions the casino had to offer, and didn't see her. Of course, it was just another part of his strategy; to let her eyes settle on him and fill her with anticipation, before he would even acknowledge her. Once he felt her eyes on him, he stopped and turned in one slow, fluid movement, and looked at her with a gaze once again devoid of anything but calm scrutiny. He watched in silence as she placed her drink back down on the smooth, polished surface of the bar, and he waited, yet again forcing 'them' to come to him. For while he might've gone over here, like requested, it would be up to her to be the first to speak. He even remained standing, as if showing that even though he had been intrigued enough to come over, his interest in whatever it was she had in mind was not so great that he was not ready to turn and leave again in the blink of an eye. Though when she took a few moments to start speaking, he did quirk a brow at her. Not as a gesture of impatience, but rather a silent "Well?".
"I'd like to present you with a proposition", she started calmly, apparently confident enough about the nature of this 'proposition' to consider it his loss if he would turn out to be too impatient or rash to allow her to take her time.
Because of that calm confidence, completely lacking the boastful cockiness of people who thought far too highly of themselves and what they had to offer, Adrien decided not to dismiss her just yet. Instead, he remained silent and allowed her to continue;
"An opportunity to finally play with equals."
At the end of the sentence, her own delicate eyebrows drifted upwards slightly, making her words the inquiry her tone did not. Words that drew a faint smirk from his lips at what their unspoken peers suggested.
"You're not one of them then?" he challenged, clearly amused.
They were both well aware that in the two different games he had played so far, she had been his most worthy opponent in both of them. And now she made it sound as though she hadn't been. An attempt to flatter him perhaps? Or simple carelessness as her mind was focused on what lay ahead of them?
Frankly, he doubted both options. She was most likely just trying to tickle his curiousity. And she was doing it well.
"Perhaps," she replied, the look in her eyes and her dry tone of voice suggesting that she was not equallty amused. "However I am but only one woman. One cannot sharpen their skills on dull blades. I thought you would enjoy the opportunity to find out how good your skills actually are. However if I’m wrong..."
Her voice trailed off, leaving the question, and with it her offer, hanging in the air as she studied him while awaiting his answer. Thus she soon discovered that for whatever reason, he would now allow his eyes and his clean cut features to communicate with the world around him. But only by conveying feelings that seemed to have been approved by him first, and never any that showed signs of something genuinly pleasant. No softness, no joy, no excitement, or even humility, and even when looking satisfied, it would seem to always be with the one kind of smile to ever grace his lips; a smirk.
Adrien had been studying her in return, analyzing her words in the light of the calm and confident firmness in her eyes, the look in them telling him that even if he turned her down, she would consider it no loss of hers, as then it would be evident that he had not been worthy of her offer in the first place.
He had to admit, that kind of conviction left him far more intrigued than the offer itself. Though that didn't in any way mean the offer was of no interest to him. It was, very much, as he welcomed any and every chance to sharpen his skills, and saw the many benefits of doing it in a way that while it may cost him a defeat, would not cost him his life.
"You are mistaken, but you are not wrong", he said cryptically, with that new smirk curving his lips ever so slightly, before he decided to indulge her in something as rare as an actual elaboration; "I know how good my skills are, and thus I would say it is someone else who wishes to find out. But by all means, I see no reason to refuse them the chance of doing so, nor myself the experience."
|20th Feb 2008, 4:54 PM||Falesyia & Adrien - The Dive -> Posh #96|
“However if I’m wrong…” Falesyia’s voice trailed off as she sipped from the glass that lay naturally in her right hand. She was allowing him time to decide if her offer was worth setting his self-sustaining pride aside long enough to see she did indeed have something to offer him. He was, dare she say, cocky to the hilt, yet he carried it in such a way that it was not entirely repulsive. She had seen many a man who thought they were king of the world, God’s greatest gift to women, but this raven haired gentleman was different. There was a fine line between being proud of one’s strengths and simple arrogance, a line which he seemed to be quite skilled in walking.
As she lowered her glass again she saw his sharp features soften just a touch, a satisfied smirk on his face. Finally he was going to allow her some satisfaction in this whole ordeal. “You are mistaken, but you are not wrong”, Falesyia replaced her nearly full glass on the bar once again, not allowing her eyes to communicate the puzzlement that lay behind them. “I know how good my skills are,” there he was walking that fine line again, “and thus I would say it is someone else who wishes to find out.” She had to give it to him. Under his stare she allowed her own lips to form in a soft smirk, her eyes admitting that she was indeed curious to see how good his skills were when put up against others well versed in the art. “But by all means, I see no reason to refuse them the chance of doing so, nor myself the experience.”
Falesyia’s lips pursed together, she didn’t allow much satisfaction to come through her eyes, though compared to his usual lack of even admitting life, undoubtedly the faintest amount seemed to be far too much. It wasn't a satisfaction in getting her way that she radiated, it was a pleasure she took in introducing someone new to her world, the anticipation of a gift given, and hopefully well received. As she uncrossed her legs in preparation to stand the words “Very well then.” escaped her lips. As she came to stand, she found herself such a short distance from him, her eyes nearly level with his own, she thought for a split second she saw something in them, something he hadn’t allowed nor intended. It wasn’t something in him as much as it was something in her. His eyes called forth a vision from long ago that he had unintentionally awakened in her. The fraction of a moment passed instantly, leaving a lingering memory just out of her grasp.
But now wasn’t the time to try to chase it down, she had gotten her wish, to see this man in his element. She tilted her head slightly to the side causing her long deep red hair to fall off her shoulder while sliding the thin black strap of her purse onto it. Her eyes spoke the needless words of expecting him to follow her. She turned towards the direction of the stairs to the second floor, not bothering to try to win him over with small talk along the way. If there was one aspect in which they were alike, she ventured to say it was that they each liked to tend to business, having no need to force conversation where none came natural.
Once they came to the second floor she turned towards the right, not keeping a brisk pace, yet not seeming lazy either. It was a pace that was as purposeful as it was leisurely in the dimly lit second floor corridor. As they drew closer to their intended doors one could see the two guards positioned outside of them. Once they neared, the guards did not greet her in any way, they simply remained in their positions, as if to not notice the man that accompanied her. As she placed her hands upon the doors before opening them she finally spoke, her voice was soft, yet her words were proud, “Welcome to Posh.”
No doubt it was easy to see that she took delight in introducing fresh faces to her little haven. If there was a crowning jewel of all her establishments, Posh was it. It was her baby, the one idea that had been born entirely of her own mind, she saw over every little detail of its creation and of its sustainment.
With that she pushed open the doors, closing her eyes and inhaling deeply as she steadily ascended the relatively short staircase. One could feel the cushy plush carpet beneath their feet despite the shoes they wore, the faint smell of a cigar wrapped around her tickling her sense of smell. The atmosphere was the complete opposite of the large sprawling floor they had left with its many lights and unending noise. With its dark mahogany wood and deep burgundy velvet the room nearly invited people all on its own to come sit and enjoy themselves. Coming to the top landing one would quickly ascertain that despite being nearly filled, the room was quiet, as those who sat in it concentrated on the game at hand. Falesyia was adamant that Posh was not a place to profit off of, instead it was her sanctuary from all of the businesses that supported it. An inside den of sorts where its occupants only had to worry about their opponents, not the house.
After giving ample time for her company to survey the room, undoubtedly drawing his own conclusions, she spoke once again. “I believe it was a game of black jack that you wanted?” She handed her purse to the employee that stood to her right, his type dotted the walls of the room, silently watching over the happenings in the room. She walked effortlessly to the Black Jack table, the current hand coming to an end as she approached. “Gentlemen,” she greeted those sitting around it, quite obviously enjoying being in her element. “I do hope you don’t mind a change of pace?” She leaned into the dealer, whispering something into his ear. The middle aged man dressed in a freshly pressed suit gave a swift nod of his head and made his way towards the cash cage, Falesyia now standing in his place. “I bring you fresh blood tonight,” she winked at one of the men around the table. The previous dealer returned handing her a new deck of cards and placing a thousand dollars worth of chips in front of Adrien. “Don’t be offended”, she spoke towards him while unwrapping the deck, “everyone is given a small welcome gift to get them started.”
“Yeah,” one of the men started, “you won’t ever get another dime out of her.” His companions around the table offered low chuckles, Falesyia’s own lips simply turned up in a satisfied smile. With one last look in the raven haired man’s direction she began to deal the cards.
|20th Feb 2008, 6:34 PM||Ada Von Vita & Andre Delucian - The Dive & Algernon #97|
Ada Von Vita - The Dive
Ada strode silently down the street. She was still twisting her mind around that strange and yet oddly interesting Malkavian, Caraltian. His face was that of a naive youth, yet he portrayed such intellectual incite. Not that age had anything to do with it, some of the oldest and most respected kindred looked hardly old enough to drink.
A bright flash caught her eye and Ada turned, the brightly flashing lights of the casino reflecting in her violet eyes. Ah, that must be one of the casino's that redheaded woman worked at. Falesyia, wasn't it?
Ada watched as men in silk suits and women in tight fitting versace dresses strolled through the heavy glass doors. She glanced down at her own dress, black lace over deep crimson silk. Somewhat more gothic then the usually casino patrons, but it would do.
Ada glanced curiously around as she entered, squinting slightly against the bright golds and plush reds of the entrance. It was much brighter then most of the places she frequented but still impressive. Nearby, Ada could hear the loud jingling of slot machines, the calling of table dealers, and the happy shouts of winners.
The person behind her shoved past, nearly knocking her over and Ada let out an angry hiss, digging her high heeled boots into the plush carpet. The woman was tall, with long carmel hair and the waifish form that only comes from not eating. She threw a scornful glance towards Ada, taking in her gothic wardrobe with a snort. Ada bristled, wanting nothing more then to wipe that insolent expression of the pampered princesses face. But no, she would have to live with the thought that she could snap the woman in two. It would shame her to no end to embarrass her kind and ruin the trust she had instilled in Valerian.Smirking to herself she brushed past her into the main casino.
Andre stared in silent contemplation at the glittering sky line, slow jazz music playing quietly in the background. It would be a shame to leave when he found a more permanent domain. He was growing rather fond of the plush hotel room.
Turning from the intoxication view, Andre strode to the closet. He chose a crimson silk shirt, black velvet jacket and a pair of true religion jeans and quickly dressed.
Several minutes later the elevator chimed and Andre climbed out, the noise of the casino striking his ears like a slap after the alluring quiet of his suite. He pushed his way past the clusters of well dressed, over perfumed kine, ushering a mumbled apology to those he neglected to dodge quickly enough.
With much weaving and ducking of elbows he managed to make his way to the heavy glass doors and slide quickly past the dark haired woman in the gothic dress, out onto the street.
The cool air was like the caress of a lover after the slalom course of the casino, and he smiled contentedly to himself as he walked briskly down the busy sidewalk.
The walk was not as long as he thought it would be and Andre soon found himself standing at in front of Algernon, the modern bookstore and haven of Ventrue primogen Archon DeWinters.
The bell dinged cheerily as he entered, a few tired eyed patrons glancing halfheartedly up at him as he strode to the counter. Although was fond of the clubs and bars of the area, Andre reserved a special place of affection for the bookstore. He loved the musty smells and smooth feeling of the books, the relaxing quiet that seemed to stop time itself, and comfort of the overstuffed reading chairs.
"May I help you?" a man at the counter asked. Andre turned back. "Yes, who would I speak to about acquiring some rare books?" He asked.
|20th Feb 2008, 8:54 PM||Valerian & Moira - Moira's suite at The Ritz #98|
Too much. She was taking too much. His blood, the savory stream of deep scarlet that at one point had been flowing into her mouth with what had almost seemed like a will of it's own, was now being drawn from him with a ravaging greed that tightened his veins, strained them as though every drop was to be drained from him. He had felt it shortly after his own fangs had released her from their gentle grip, when the feelings and impressions that had overwhelmed him and left him unable to withstand the force of it all any longer, had started to subside. Though still strong and breathtaking, they had begun to slowly fade, no longer causing him near pain with their intensity, and in their wake of slight shivers rippling through his body, there had grown a faint echo of a voice in his mind.
He heard the words, but struggled to grasp their meaning. They were elusive, like dancing fairies in dawn's early light, playfully teasing his mind to reach for them. Every time he thought he was just about to catch them, they slipped away, evaporated, only to appear in their mistlike state somewhere else nearby, and yet each time a little bit further away from him.
His mind was still swirling helplessly in the vortex of pure, unbridled sensation of her bite, urging him on to remain her captive just a little bit longer, each passing second in her embrace begging him for another. Only for a moment did the thought flicker in his mind; what if he had misjudged her, and she had lured him to her with the only purpose of devouring him and everything he was? What if the sweet, gentle Moira Sushill was just a facade hiding a cold, twisted heart that yearned for the blood of her own kind?
But, even as that thought passed across the surface of his mind, there were stronger forces in motion deeper within it's walls. There was a part of him that simply didn't care, a part that longed for nothing more than to stay right where he was. Even if it did mean Final Death. But there was also another part of him, a larger part, where his trust in her remained deeply rooted. Even though it had been made a tiny, delicate seedling by his all-consuming daze, it was still the kind of strong and tenacious one only Valerian had in him. When everyone else in their right mind would've started fighting for their life, Valerian still trusted in the predator whose fangs clung hungrily to his jugular, buried deep in his flesh with a grip so strong it felt as though she might just tear him apart.
Then, suddenly, a sharp cry, much like that of an animal in agonizing pain, grew from Moira's lips, right by his ear, shattering the silence into a million pieces, and every single one of them piercing him to the very core with their raw, unrestrained anguish. It was as though an act of sheer will-power thrust him away from her, and sent her collapsing in the opposite direction - stained, smeared, and above all filled with his blood. A flawless embodiement of the Beauty and the Beast, all in one delicate woman's body. A vivid imagery of a goddess thrown from her piedestal, of perfection violated and soiled by her own deeds of depravity.
On the other end of the sofa, slumping back a bit himself, almost like rag doll tossed to the side and forgotten, Valerian simply stared at her, eyes wide. With amazement. Not anger, contempt, or even fear. Amazement, genuine and pure, intermingled with worry, and a growing portion of anxiety and... heart-rending guilt.
He hadn't meant to cause her such turmoil, such obvious distress. He hadn't even known that he could. His only wish when guiding her hand to touch his neck, had been to share himself with her, to open the door to his past and his present, and invite her in, to a part of him that had yet to be exposed to anyone but himself. In this world, there was only one other person that knew of the story behind it, but not the consequences, and not the pain. But by opening up to her in such a way, it seemed he had also awakened her Beast. He may not have seen it, he may not have seen the way it had twisted her features into something only vaguely resembling a person. But he had had felt it. In her firm grip, in her hunger, and in the battle that had raged inside of her with such force that it had seemed like the very air around her was vibrating, he had felt it.
But even though he understood the what, he didn't understand the why. Had his blood, thought by others to be sweet as nectar, had that effect on her? Or was it his bite? Had he somehow been more ruthless when drinking from her than he had been aware of, and drawn out her inner Beast?
What had he done wrong?
He wanted to apologize, to tell her he hadn't meant to do this to her... But since he didn't know what exactly it was that he had done, what he should apologize for, he remained silent, his lips only parting slightly, a movement so small it seemed nothing more than a way to let the air from his lungs filter through. Had there been any.
Instead he merely watched as Moira pulled herself to her knees, and carefully reached out to touch him, almost like one would with a skittish deer, fearing that even the tiniest hint of a wrong movement would scare it away. Finally, her fingertips brushed gently against his cheek, and it was only then that he felt the wet streaks on his face.
"I am... so sorry", she said slowly, seeming to struggle with the words, and yet voicing the very ones that longed to spill forth from his lips. "I should have never... only the thought of what I almost did..."
Her voice trailed off, leaving the mental visuals of what could've happened hanging in the air like tales untold yet known to everyone. In the silence, their gazes locked with one another, finding that the bond between them was still there, and so much stronger than before. Not just because of the their blood running in the veins of the other, but because of the experience itself, no matter how frigtening, and what it had entailed. As they studied one another, they saw something new in the other Kindred's eyes; a newfound knowledge of the dark side to them both. Valerian had felt the full force of the predator within Moira, and she had been shown the way through the gates to his psyche, past the thick and sturdy walls that shielded it from others. He could see in her eyes that despite the horrifying turn of his innocent gesture, and underneath the dwindling waves left in it's wake, there sprung the insight into his soul that he had wanted to offer her.
Though she still only knew it as a feeling, and not a complete story.
But she would, soon. When time was right.
For now, there was something else that imposed itself on his thoughts, and demanded his attention. Before his very eyes, Moira's anxiety slowly drained from her features, and made way for the purest look of affection, so warm it reached right into his cold, anemic body, and silenced the menacing purr of his own inner Beast; it's way of telling him that he would soon need to feed to make up for the loss of vitae he had brought upon himself.
"It was you that kept me from doing it."
At first, he simply looked at her, as though he was still dazed (which, in all honesty, he was) and had to struggle to make sense of her words, to understand their meaning. One after another they entered his mind, kissing awake his awareness with their tender tone, their soft melody comforting him much like a loving mother's softly hummed lullaby would a small child.
Slowly, slowly, the devastating guilt that had perched itself in his mind and clung to his pale features, had it's ice cold fingers pried away from his soul.
But, even though she claimed it was him that had kept her from going too far, he didn't know what that really meant; something he had done, or simply the thought of him? His thoughts and emotions were still in a tangle, keeping him from reaching through to his natural born instincts. It didn't matter, the way unlife had sharpened them. In this instant, they didn't manage to cut through that chaos in his young mind. And so, still unsure of what part his own actions had played in what had transpired, he lowered his gaze.
"I didn't know...", he started in a slightly hushed voice. "I didn't mean to push you so far... I didn't mean to push you at all."
(((ooc: Really sorry if this is incoherent and crappy. Brain went on vacation. Even though I know you're prone to working miracles, Ghanima, let me know if you can't work with it, 'k? And I promise I'll stop excusing my posts all the time.)))
|20th Feb 2008, 9:15 PM||#99|
((ooc: Good! Because there's nothing to excuse, the post is as per your usual standards and now I'm really curious about Valerian's story. I have plenty to work with!))
If wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets
|21st Feb 2008, 9:54 PM||Damian & Archon - Damian's penthouse office #100|
"If that is your wish, I will indeed support it."
The Ventrue Primogen, as he replied to Damian's view on the matter of Adrien de la Cour, gave a slight bow to his head in acknowledgement. And really, Damian had expected no less from him, as Archon had been one of his most avid and loyal supporters since the two had first met, decades ago. Back then, Damian had already had his mind set on achieving the title as Prince of Los Angeles. In fact, he'd had his mind set on it even before relocating from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. While he had been the Ventrue Primogen in Philadelphia, he had sifted through the various large cities in the world, in his mind, deciding which one he wanted for his own. He had conducted careful research, examined facts, political waves and history - both human and Kindred - of the cities in which he found himself interested, as well as travelled to most of them, to experience them first hand. Information regarding facts, recieved from others, was all good and well, but when it came to atmosphere, feel and impressions, one could only rely on one's own senses and judgement.
Los Angeles, although a bit too noisy, in more ways than one, had eventually ended up appealing to him the most. It was a large and colorful city, one of the most influential in the world, and it held in it's womb so many different possibilities, on every level imaginable.
Tactical man that he was, he had established connections with the Los Angeles Ventrue, made himself known and respected among them, and then when the time came for another Primogen to take the place of the last one, he had been offered the position. With it safely in his pocket, he had re-adjusted his aim to his next goal; Princedom.
It was during the early preparations of his advancement that he had met Archon, and it wasn't long before they both saw the potential in one another. Even before Damian had been made Prince, Archon had, inofficially, been made his successor as Primogen.
Now, the two of them knowing and supporting eachother so well, also meant that they weren't afraid to voice their opinions and concerns to one another, and so Damian needed little more than to hear the somewhat pensive tone in Archon's voice, to gather that there was a "but" coming on - or, as most commonly expressed in the case of a Ventrue; "however".
And, sure enough, when Archon continued speaking, it was indeed to express his concern;
"Although, with all due respect, I can not help but wonder what de la Cour has in store for us. Is he willing to be lead by vampires, to obey our laws and live out his new life in peace? It would go against everything he stands for, and I gather it would be just as easy for him to let go of his need to hunt us, as it would be for me to join the Nosferatu."
At that, Damian couldn't help but to chuckle a bit. To him, who had seen Adrien not only at the Ball, but here in his office as well, standing tall and proud, refusing to cower or show any sign of submission whatsoever, it was clear as day that peace was the last thing on the former hunter's mind. He was currently nurturing his hatred, feeding it with every experience of his new life, everything he saw and heard, every Kindred encounter he had. Just waiting for the right moment to strike, no matter how long it would take it to present itself.
And while that in itself was little reason for comfort, Damian was pleased to see that Archon now seemed to have given his Prince's view on the matter some more thought. He, who at the Ball had claimed that he was not concerned and would loose no sleep, now seemed to realize that if there was one thing to currently loose sleep over, none would be more appropriate than Adrien de la Cour.
"However", Archon concluded. "I could be wrong. Regardless, the Ventrue clan will stand behind you."
In reply to such an evident show of support, Damian inclined his head ever so slightly in what looked like a gesture of humble recognition of what was offered, even though, again, he had expected no less. While the two may not always agree with one another, Damian knew he would always have the support of his clan, at least as long as Archon was their Primogen, and not some power-hungry young Ventrue. That, and as long as his duties as Prince didn't put him in a position where he had to favor the greater good of all Kindred, over whatever interest the Ventrue clan may have.
Though in all fairness, he had the ability and the wits to manuever things skillfully enough for that to never be made a reality.
"Monsieur de la Cour's tendencies, his efforts if you will, to show his contempt of us on any given opportunity, speaks not of a will to conform and live in peace, my friend. It is my understanding that he's obeying our laws simply because the Tremere still have a hold on him. And if that should turn out to not be the case, then I'll venture a guess and say that he's not obeying our laws, per se, but rather playing the game. Do not forget, in this case, he knows his enemy far better than we know ours."
Having said that, Damian made a short pause, as if to show that what he had felt needed to be said on the matter, already had been, and that he now had something else on his mind.
"I do hope you forgive me for changing the subject", he said, "but I have another matter I would like to discuss with you. Miss Moira Sushill. You've met her. Tell me, what are your thoughts?"
(((ooc: Ending is rushed (as is the whole post actually. *lol*), but it will have to do, as I have to go to bed. And for the record, this is not an excuse. It's a "this is fact, deal with it" comment. )))