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Loving Thy Enemy

Loving Thy Enemy

A 1x1 between HalliwellSlythin & Serotoninlove

835 readers have visited this universe since HalliwellSlytherin created it.
Topics: #1x1, #original, #romace, and #vampires (Add Tags »)
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Introduction

Setting Los Angeles, 2019

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This is a story of an arranged marriage, between the last two pure-blooded vampyre families in the world. The first of these families “The Tinsley family” hold sway in the hearts and minds of their people, the lesser Vampire of the world. They are large in number and have controlled the council of Vampires for the last thousand years. Naturally, they have made a group of enemies, the rival von Lunkhofen family, whose control is limited, but whose resources and wealth is far greater than theirs. These two families have been killing each other for centuries upon centuries, since the last von Lunkhofen left the High Council, some claim he was forced out but the Tinsley, others say he too week to proceed over the council. Whatever the reason, it left a tear between the two families.

In their heyday, the Vampyre were vast and numerous, unlike their counterparts they were born into a large close-knit family, and not created from a corpse. It is because of this very distinct fact that Vampyres’ have the ability to reproduce. Within the last two hundred years, this ability has played a dark mark on the Vampyre society, with their numbers dwindling they have resorted to inbreeding to maintain their “pure” Vampyre standings, The Tinsley’s were among this group who splintered apart on this ideal and so their numbers grew.

On the other hand, The von Lunkhofens’ were offended by the whole thought and refused to subdue to the Tinsley’s influence. Few Vampyres followed them and as the centuries passed there remained only one family. Because a Vampyre birth is unpredictable and highly dangerous it is unlikely for a couple to produce many children in their union.





Characters




Image Celeste Lianne Tinsley – The youngest of Lord Tinsley's children, and the apple of her father’s eye. (name) is said to be a radiant beauty and highly accomplished, by all standards she is a debutant in her own right and many a man has sought her hand. Alas (Girl name) is celebrating her three hundredth birthday and has yet to know a man’s touch. This is because despite her feminine charms she is shrewish and ill-tempered.







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Nikolai von Lunkhofen – The last of his family, Nikolai watched his whole family be slaughtered by the Tinsley family, most lately his twin brother. He lacks the power his rivals hold, he possesses influential wealth and formidable charm, he is dubbed an extravagant gentleman. Married multiple times, to human and many vampires.



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Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Nemo me impune lacessit
Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley "The heavens frown upon you today."

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Wedding Blues

First Arc: Niko and Celestes' wedding and there first few weeks as a married couple. Can they learn to accept the flaws of the other and become stronger for it?

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Setting

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Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley
  1. First Post YEY!

    2019-02-07 01:42:08 by HalliwellSlytherin

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Niko von Lunkhofen - FC: Aidan Turner - Hex Code = #BF0000


Los Angeles - 6:30 PM - Tinsely Villa

The Tinsley's Villa was all made up, Lord Tinsley spared no expanse for the lavishness of the evening. Everything gleamed with the class and accomplishment of a family of their age and wisdom. works of art, by the old masters, hung nearly to every wall. A wise historian or artist could appreciate having so many of the greats together in one place. Despite living so very long, Niko did not see the true purpose of displaying so many expansive works in the same place, besides simply showing off. As guests poured into the Villa, Niko hung close to the walls trying to keep his mind busy. He was to be married the next day, and his courtship with this young lady wasn't quite usual. In fact, he'd hadn't even met his bride yet, only witnessed her beauty in the portrait her father sent him, enclosed with a letter of his demands for her hand. No doubt the money he paid Groumond went to much of the funding of this party and the festivities tomorrow, which he wasn't privy to the planning off. He wasn't even permitted to add names to the guest list, not that he had anyone to really invite other than Gregoire and Elena. They have been his only true companions these past few decades of isolation and atonement. That's the life, you lead when your family has been killed off over the course of four centuries.

His eyes wondered the party, looking for any familiar faces, he was able to recognize several gazes and glances attached to rather painful memories for him. 'No, I mustn't think of that right now. he thought to himself, 'This is a happy event, they expect you to be the joyous bridegroom not the sullen widower' He parted he left the wall, he'd been so comfortable against and found a window to lean near, his eyes looking at a large ornately decorated portrait. His eyes widened, as he examined what looked like him dressed in traditional garb, holding out his arm for a young woman that he could only presume was he to be the bride. He was told they were having a wedding portrait done but he'd never sat for it. They must have just used an old oil painting from nearly three hundred years ago, for the man in the picture did not properly represent the man he was today. My God, my hair hasn't been that long in two hundred years. "Niko!" he heard a male voice approach him, followed by a female French voice. He flung around to, see Greg with a giant smile from ear to ear. Elena, nestled in Greg's arm spoke coyly. "Ce lot est plutôt flamboyant oui?" Niko nodded at his remark, "More then one can expect of Gregoire's relatives." Niko responded. Greg laughed not bothered by the remarks, "Well, we all must aspire to be greater than our family." he said and kissed Elena on the cheek.

"So Niko," Greg started, "Have you met your blushing bride yet?" Niko shocks his head, in response, he hadn't been introduced to Celeste yet. "Only to depictions of her." he pointed to the painting. Greg looked at nodded, "Aw, you saw your wedding present then, I'm told my father had one of the premiere artists paint it for you both, he spared no expense."

Niko looked at Greg in shock,"And yet didn't think to have me sit for it." he shook his head. 'Or he just wanted to show how merciful he is, depicting me as a peasent, and his daughter as a Goddess.' She did look stunning in the portrait thou, and it did excite him a little to finally meet this girl.

"Come Niko," Greg said pointing to the crowd, "They are gathering at the table for dinner, you will meet my sister there," he said as the three of them walked into the dining room.


Greg and Elena took their seats, far from Niko, he had been placed towards the head of the table to the left of Groumond himself. The man hadn't arrived yet, but the place settings indicated Groumond's place at the head, his wife Narissa's place at his right, Niko to his left, and Celeste Lianne Tinsley was seated to Niko's left. He would meet his bride soon, and they would have an entire dinner to talk before their marriage, not Ideal but what can you expect from Pureblood vampires?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Los Angeles - 6:45 PM - Tinsely Villa

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"This is...." Celeste took one step, her rage building as her deep blue gown fluttered around her feet, "Absolutely...." And another, closing the gap between herself and the third poor soul sent to fetch her that evening, "ABSURD." Finally, she begins to shriek. With no shame or care for the guests two stories below, Celeste was hellbent on letting the poor innocent maid know just how much she resented this arrangement. She had kept quiet and submissive on the matter for far too long, but finally, the seal had broken.

"I thought this was a JOKE. A rouse, something Daddy schemed up to make me play nice for a night or two, but to send me off, truly, to a stranger?!" Celeste shrieked again, causing the nameless maid to tremble in fear. Fangs barred, Celeste Tinsley was quite a vision in this state. Her ballgown was made of the finest materials, imported from Italy, her hair had taken 5 hours to finish, each curl delicately adorned with black pearls. She was a vision, and she was furious. Ignoring that she had months to prepare for this evening, it all seemed to hit the woman at once. She stomped across her bedroom, her brute strength causing the floors to creak, likely causing flakes of painted drywall to break and fall into the room below.

"Do they not acknowledge my freedoms? My artistic whims that cannot be confined by a MAN!" Celeste spoke passionately, gloved arms thrown about with each syllable. Her hair was everywhere, creating a manic halo around her head. The perfect vision was beginning to break. This was the perfect example of Celeste's notorious fits, and the impossible wrath held inside the vampyre woman.

"Mam, I just... I'm sorry but I'm just here to tell you that drinks are being served." The maid cowered in the corner, as close to the door as possible. Celeste did not bother to recall her name, at this point her emotions were pushed past their point of no return.

"DRINKS?!" With impressive speed, Celeste hurls herself across the room to her four post bed, rips down one of the posts, and uses it as a stake; launched from the far end of the room, the maid had just enough time to dive out of the way, slipping through the door and out into safety. The makeshift weapon lodged itself into the wall, and stuck out rather comically. "Argh!!" Celeste yells again, unsure if it's in triumph or agony.

Moments later, another knock falls upon her door. "I swear, the next weapon I throw will strike true!" Celeste growls, turning away from the door to throw herself onto her now destroyed bed. She hears the door creak open, but does not move to investigate. Alternatively, she curls into a ball of despair, regressing in age to about 100. Small, moody, vulnerable.

"My daughter.... what has gotten you into such a state?" A soft yet powerful voice called into the room. It was her father, Lord Groumond Tinsley. The only man that could tame her. She looked up, to see him in his finest suit. She shook her head, a nonverbal signifier between the two that she was too emotional to speak.

"Our guests are arriving, and your future husband is here, he's quite handsome, so the maids are saying. Join me downstairs." He coaxes her out of the bed, fixing her curled hair and straightening her dress. As the youngest daughter, Groumond always babied Celeste, even at 300 years old. "You know, I could hear you from my quarters, your wrath is not unlike your mother's..."

"Why must you make me do this?" She finally asks, putting on a childish pout, ignoring the commentary about her late mother. It was still too painful to address, their relationship had never been strong and her death came long before they were able to fix their relationship.

"You'll understand after the first 100 years or so, you'll even grow to love each other, I'm sure." Lord Groumond said with a knowing smile, eyes flashing as if he remembered something he could never mention.

"You can make me marry him, but you can't stop me from loathing him." She said defiantly, obviously defeated. Celeste finally stood, throwing a look into the mirror of her vanity nearby. Together they left, arm-in-arm, and made their way towards the dining room.

Setting Changes... 51469 => 51470

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Niko von Lunkhofen - FC: Aidan Turner - Hex Code = #BF0000


Los Angeles - 7:00 PM - Tinsely Villa

Niko, sat in silence as the table bubbled with chatter, and whispers. The voiced seemed to all say the same thing in different ways. "Oh he looks just like Werner." there mutters and gossip of his appearance made him clench his teeth. he never knew his grandfather only heard stories of the man. His accomplishments on the Vampire High Council. Typical high-class gossip, honestly he wanted to shove something up each of their ass, but no... he had to play nice. He was in a room filled with people who as of two weeks ago would have killed him on the spot, many of which have killed a number of his relatives. His eyes darted back observing the room, looking for faces he knew. In his head, he kept reciting their names and places of death. So much death and such little justice were given. In truth, he was only really given one thing of value to him at all, and that was his title and family lands restored to him.

"Oh look you must be Nikolai." a voice broke Niko from his train of thought. Looking up he noticed a rather pretty woman staring at him from across the table. "I don't suppose you know who I do you, but I know you, you're the groom." It was Groumond's wife, Nerissa or something.

"No, I know who you are Lady Tinsley."

The woman smiled, in a seductive grin. "Please call me Nerissa." she said twirling her hair around her finger.

He tried hard to ignore the woman, as some kind of recuse was going on above their heads. Her remarks merely implied that Celeste was not having it this evening. honestly, he couldn't blame her, he surely didn't want to be here sitting nicely like a good little boy in church. he cocked his head out looking to a servant, motioned for them to come and whispered to them. "There is a present in my car, for Lady Celeste, please make sure it is placed with her things for tomorrow." the servant nodded and parted. It was a small token for his blushing bride as Greg called her. A multitude of things he inherited from his grandmother when she left this world. The truth little to Niko's knowledge was that the smallish chest was his grandmother's hope chest and its contents of which included one wedding dress of the finest linen, jewels, and jewelry adorned with her own royal seal, and A Diamond Tiara with a red garnet encrusted in the middle. Niko had found the box, in a closet and felt he had no use for such things, but his bride would surely enjoy them. He did pull one thing out of it though, a small box that contained his grandmother's engagement ring, he felt like it was prudent that he give Celeste such a thing in person, even if their enganment was a little abnormal.

The table stood, as a servant introduced "His Lordship Groumond Demitri Urien Auberon Tinsley and Lady Celeste Lianne Tinsley." Niko stood with the table and his eyes widen. She was truly a sight, her blue gown perfectly fixated around her body. All in all, if he had too wed someone at least she was pleasant enough to look at.

"Oh poor thing must've been fighting the staff again." Nerissa tested.

"She's Beautiful." Niko spoke, his eyes never leaving her. He wasn't alone in his comment as a multitude of others seemed to agree, one even commented under his breath that she was far too good to be saddled with von Lunkhofen for a surname. normally he would have socked that man for speaking ill of him, but not today he was far too entranced at the moment.

"aww look at that Puppy Love." Nerissa teased, "Honey, she's gonna tear your heart out."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Los Angeles - 7:05 PM - Tinsely Villa

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Despite throwing a massive tantrum earlier, Celeste was completely changed by the time she entered the first floor, and was a shining and radiant vision when they finally entered the dining hall. Although she was a talented raging monster, she possessed the uncanny ability to be the perfect lady when the occasion called for it. And hell, did she love being announced before entering a room.

Celeste quickly scanned the room, hunting for her husband to be, hunting for an unfamiliar face, hunting for him when she found Nikolai. She was pleased to see that he looked taken back by her pure radiant beauty, and this caused her to shake her head, flipping her hair about in an overly confident fashion. She shot a look over to her much hated step-mother, Nerissa, who was visibly jealous that so much attention was on the young bride.

Celeste was eating it up, she loved the attention, and was already planning ways to piss off Nerissa. She sauntered over to the front of the table, diligently following her father with her hands held together lightly just under her breasts. As she passed Nikolai, she threw him a look that teetered between hatred and amusement. He's probably just as uncomfortable as I am.... She threw him a wink for good measure, which drew a few chuckles from nearby patrons.

"Many thanks to all for being here tonight to celebrate the union of two great houses." Groumond started, taking his spot at the head of the table. "My pride and joy, Celeste, and my soon to be son, Nikolai, will create a joining that will go down in vampyre history!" A look of triumph spread across his face, mixed with a mysterious unrecognizable emotion. "Let the evening begin!"

As everyone sat, Celeste found herself eager to speak with Nikolai, but she figured she shouldn't come across as too easy. What's come over me? I hate this... and yet.....

As the courses were served, she continually found herself leaning in towards him, only to immediately sit up straight again. She found herself feeling nervous for what was possibly the first time in her entire undead life. Oh... fuck it.

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you," She said to him quietly, knowing that all eyes and ears were on them. "I hope you travelled well, and that nobody was much of a nuisance." Celeste shot another look at her step mother, who was absent-mindedly twirling her fried blonde hair whilst flirting with anyone nearby.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley
  1. Oh Footnotes this is NEW!

    2019-02-07 01:41:44 by HalliwellSlytherin

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Niko von Lunkhofen - FC: Aidan Turner - Hex Code = #BF0000


Los Angeles - 7:20 PM - Tinsely Villa

Niko's gaze never left Celeste as she walked towards him, revealing a small distinguished smile. She was young, much younger than he was, that really wasn't a problem but he wondered if they would have anything to talk about. Did they enjoy the same things, although he doubted her favorite passions including scaling The Louvre, combatting a security force and the police before making it home for breakfast, yet she may enjoy the trinkets he's come across in his adventures.

Clearly, the portraits didn't do her justice she was far more than a mere goddess. she was, really everything he could have hoped she would be, in appearance anyway. He'd have to dig in her mind, to understand her mental capabilities later, it would be a long marriage indeed if she was a dimwitted as some, his mind thought her Nerissa who currently flirting to the man seated to her left. 'Such an interesting relationship' Niko thought.

Groumond spoke with comfort and ease all was well now as if hundreds of years of history just vanished. He had what he wanted, the last van Lunkhofen safely under his thumb. Where they can't cause any trouble, Niko would be family and that meant he could be trusted. throughout the evening he tried to talk to Groumond, after his little opening speech he felt there were still things unanswered. But alas, he seemed more interested in watching his wife flirt now, 'getting stranger relationship'.

Despite wanting to he tried despicably hard not to look to his betrothed too much. pure business transaction' he thought to himself regarding the match. but his eyes did wander and, he saw her drifting to him ever so slightly. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and let her lean against his body. There would be plenty of time for that later though, no need to cause a stir at dinner. He tried to speak to her, at this time but his voice rang silent. Everything he wanted to say to her could be summed up in a single glance. "You will not want for anything, I will protect you, and love you every morning, and every evening you will be my shining star in a sea of the night when I am lost you will bring me home again."

Alas, all his words could muster at that moment were, "The Pleasure is mine, and it was far not too far to travel" he smiled, trying to sound genuine. "I just don't like very much being on show." he leaned in to whisper to her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Los Angeles - 7:37 PM - Tinsely Villa

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Celeste smiled coyly, My whole family lives for putting on a show, welcome to it, love. She leaned back over her plate, and looked at her father, who looked rather pleased with himself. Groumond was not one to brag, but he certainly wasn't below physically showing when he was proud of how his schemes effortlessly worked out. Groumond held up his drink to her, nonverbally saluting their marriage. She raised her's in response, and took a deep drink from her wine glass filles with o-neg. Celeste's gaze drifted around the table, bouncing between guests, and admiring the ornate decor scattered about the table. She licked her lips, clearing the last of the blood from her palette.

Her eyes locked with her favorite sister, Keira, and the young woman smiled brightly. Keira always understood Celeste, even when she was at her worst. Celeste always found a friend in Keira- unlike the rest of her sisters who were highly competitive. Keira was put into an arranged marriage 50 years prior, and was rather happy with her husband. As an older sister, Keira took the liberty of giving Celeste a plethora of advice about this arrangement. The majority of the advice revolved around Celeste's need to stop being such a "control freak."

Celeste brought her attention back to Niko, ready to break the silence again. Crossing and uncrossing her legs, she found herself deliciously nervous again. Her undead heart nearly stopped when he looked at her, and she felt a strange fuzzy feeling developing at the base of her neck. She shook this off in an attempt to gain control over herself, but it was futile. Originally, she wanted to hate this man. She still despised the concept of being sent off to a stranger like livestock, but now... she was intoxicated by his energy.

She flipped her hair off of her shoulders, and looked at him intently. "Tell me, Nikolai, how would you spend your days if you were mortal?" This was, of course, a loaded question. If he showed too much interest in the human world, he would be seen as inferior, but if he showed none at all he would be considered egoic and self-absorbed. There was a fine line between being refined, and righteous.

"Personally, outside of enjoying a day in the sun, I would love to visit one of those children's theme parks. They seem so.... is wholesome the right word?" She grinned, knowing how surreal it would be for a specimen like herself to be seen in Disneyland.

"Could you see me somewhere like that?" Another loaded question, he knew nothing about her outside of her looks. She was testing him, but on what she was unsure.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Niko von Lunkhofen - FC: Aidan Turner - Hex Code = #BF0000


Los Angeles - 7:20 PM - Tinsely Villa

"Oh, that is an interesting question." He pondered her words for a few moments, he'd never really thought about something so trivial before. It was refreshing to talk to someone that made him think, "I think," Choosing his words carefully, he had to tread lightly on the subject he didn't want to seem overly interested in the affairs of humans after all. "I wouldn't really spend it all that differently, just being with good friends and enjoying the world is all I really need in this life." he grimaced, "I suppose feeling the sun would be nice though, but whose to say Porphyria isn't a genetic condition, not indicative of our species?" he looked at her gently and realized her may have over thought his answer a bit, but that was just something that he'd have to live with now because he always stood by what he said.

A passage did come to mind from a book he'd read recently, that seemed to fit the mood well he'd never really understood it too well but he supposed it was because he wasn't mortal and never would understand such things.

He spoke, he didn't mean to speak but the words just came out and before long he was saying an entire monologue. [i]"Oh, listen to that band! They're going away from us; one has gone altogether, gone forever. We're left alone to begin our life over again, . . . We've got to live . . . we've got to live, . . .

A time will come when everyone will know what all this is for, why there is this misery; there will be no mysteries and, meanwhile, we have got to live . . . we have got to work, only to work! Tomorrow I'll go alone; I'll teach in the school, and I'll give all my life to those who may need me. Now it's autumn; soon winter will come and cover us with snow, and I will work, I will work.

The music is so happy, so confident, and you long for life! O my God! Time will pass, and we shall go away for ever, and we shall be forgotten, our faces will be forgotten, our voices, and how many there were of us; but our sufferings will pass into joy for those who will live after us, happiness and peace will be established upon earth, and they will remember kindly and bless those who have lived before. Oh, dear sisters, our life is not ended yet. We shall live! The music is so happy, so joyful, and it seems as though in a little while we shall know what we are living for, why we are suffering. . . . If we only knew -- if we only knew!"



Niko looked up, realizing what he had just spoken, "I'm sorry this is a joyous occasion and I've gone and quoted Chekhov." he laughed a little bit, in the past things never went well when he started quoting some of the various books he's read, at least he hadn't thought up one of Poe's works although that may have fit the other guests more admirably. "I do enjoy Chekhov, but you were talking about theme parks, weren't you? I am sorry, yes I suppose I could see you at one they tend to bring a multitude of people of all backgrounds anyone and everyone can be found at one of those, I don't know you well at all Celeste, true but yes I think you would find something you'd enjoy quite well there." He hadn't noticed the guests looking at him, watching him speak such passionate and sullen words, his eyes were fixed on Celeste where they would remain glued for an eternity.

"Now. he smiled, having to talk quite a lot by now. "Now I think it's my turn to ask you something, right? Well quite simply answer me this, what do you hope for in this marriage?" Eyes from across the room zoomed in on their conversation Nerissa, Garamond, Kiera, even Greg and Elena watched the new couple talk.

Setting

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Los Angeles - 7:37 PM - Tinsely Villa

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Celeste smiled widely until her gums showed. Dinner just got much more interesting, she thought, leaning forward to take in his words. He began to quote something she did not recognize, but Celeste found the words beautiful. She closed her eyes as she listened, imagining what she would paint to match this monologue. Swirls of pastel yellows and vibrant oranges first came to mind, contrasted with a deep blue that never seemed to end. Punctuated with shining-starlike dots, the painting in her imagination was one she wished she had in real life.

"That was lovely, don't apologize. I'll admit I'm not familiar with the works, but perhaps over our time together you can show me more. I've always found myself on the other end of the arts, I'm typically too covered in paints to even consider picking up a book." Celeste blushed deeply, realized what she just said. "What I mean..." She began to lose control again, her nerves were on fire in fear she ruined everything. "What I mean, is in all these years literature is yet to gain my interest. I look forward to you helping that change."

What is wrong with you?? He's going to think you're an illiterate cow! Get yourself together, woman! Never before had she struggled to find the right thing to say; it was always an easy performance, being the perfect daughter. But now, things were changing. Playing the role of a perfect daughter might not be the same as the role of a perfect bride. She found this realization daunting, and she feared her inability to step up to meet the standards expected of her.

She was lost in thought when he spoke again, asking what she hoped for in the marriage. An explosion of emotions waved through her. Anger, hope, loss. Celeste was entirely unsure how she felt in this moment. Part of her wanted to scream, and her face showed it. What am I supposed to to want from a marriage I never asked for!? Realistically, she knew this was not Niko's fault, but she wanted to blame him for partaking in it. This was a scheme, set up by the men who had controlled her entire life.

"I want... to still feel free." She said, choosing her words wisely, knowing all eyes were on them. "I do not wish to live a life that feels like a plan my dear father came up with. I do not want to be a political pawn." Her eyes began to water, but she didn't dare let a tear fall. She looked around the table, and recognized looks of pity directed at the young vampire.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Niko von Lunkhofen - FC: Aidan Turner - Hex Code = #BF0000


Los Angeles - 7:55 PM - Tinsely Villa

Niko felt a sudden rush of excitement at the prospect of sharing some of the literature he's collected over the many decades of self-isolation. The idea that she had interest at all in some of the things that brought him joy was enough for him to think there might be a sliver of happiness in this marriage after all. That is to say before her melodrama, he could empathize with Celeste she was still so young and he was so much her senior it was probably an unsightly thought. But Niko still thought of himself as some old man cradle robbing a young and vibrant soul, he forgets that to the normal population Niko and Celeste would look about the same age.

His eyes glared up at the table, that spoke volumes go back to your meal. many obliged him, a few curious souls remained. Without taking note, he looked to Garamond and whispered. "and you treat your own flesh and blood this way, do you see now why your beliefs are dangerous?"

Garamond passed it off and whispered back, "She knows her place, Nikolai that is the difference between myself and your late father. My children know their place in this world is to serve and honor the family above all."

" at what cost though?" Niko muttered under his breath but he could tell Garamond heard him.

Garamond frowned, "It hardly concerns you, Nikolai. Remember the alternative if you and Celeste do not wed is still on the table until after the wedding."

Niko winced, turning his attention back to his meal he remembered the deal he made with the old man all too well. He had two choices marry Celeste and live a long immortal life with her or be executed as a traitor and rebel of the vampire cause. Although Niko didn't fear death, he disliked giving Garamond the pleasure of killing the last of the von Lunkhofens'.

Taking a handkerchief from his pocket he gently handed it to Celeste and whispered to her, "We are both prisoners in this arrangement, be it different ways. But I hope you will find some hope and happiness with me, Celeste. After all even the caged bird sings."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Los Angeles - 8:00 PM - Tinsely Villa

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Celeste entirely missed what was said between Niko and her father, but she didn't care. She was unbelievably moved by his gesture. What a gentle man.... She thought, as she wiped at her eyes with his handkerchief. She was thankful that dinner was nearly over, Celeste had grown quite anxious to steal a moment alone with Nikolai. She looked around the table once again, and was pleased to see that most everyone was minding their own business and enjoying their desserts and wine. Delicate chocolates were plated before her, but she found she fancied something else. Sticking to blood for the evening, Celeste took another large sip from her blood-infused wine.

"Thank you, you're very generous." Celeste handed him back his handkerchief, but not before taking a quick moment after wiping her tears to deeply inhale his scent from the cloth. Cologne, old paper, and something else.... She envisioned clouds of browns and reds, all clashing together. Once again, he made her wish to paint. The young woman had always been sensitive to scents. It was no specialty of hers by any means, but she found herself intoxicated once again my Nikolai. Usually she could get a knack for someone's intents or their general emotions from a quick whiff, but here she was completely lost outside of a deeper yearning to understand this man further.

"Delicious." She accidentally said aloud, yet she played it off as if she intended to say this single daring word. "I think it's time for us to take a walk, wouldn't you agree?" She said this quietly, knowing her father would want them to stay for the entirety of the meal. "Meet me in the foyer."

She stood slowly, excusing herself with an exclamation of wanting to freshen up. Celeste smiled brightly at every face staring at her. Give them the show they ask for.... She flipped her hair, and strutted confidently out of the room, letting her hips rock back and forth, accentuating every curve. Her blue gown was perfect for the evening, and she was thankful that she had put in the extra effort.

Celeste made her way to the foyer, and sat down on the bench, waiting not so patiently for her husband-to-be. She placed her hands together in her lap and tried to relax, but her undead heart seemed to be pounding visibly. Her chest seemed to be quivering, and she begged her body to calm down.

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Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Niko von Lunkhofen - FC: Aidan Turner - Hex Code = #BF0000


Los Angeles - 8:05 PM - Tinsely Villa

Niko wasn't as hungry as the rest of the party, or thirsty rather he watched as the rest of the party scuffed down their meals and wine. His gaze wandered to Celeste as she invited him for a more private conversation. As the rest of the party faded from the dining room, Niko followed he'd lost sight of Greg and Elena I the crowd of people but he wasn't too worried for them his mind was far too entranced with his bride. He hadn't even noticed the familiar voice singing "La Vie En Rose" in the parlor. If he'd noticed that voice he might have fled, left that house the city, never to be seen from again. Only to really be hunted down by Garamond and slaughtered at a later date. So maybe it was a good thing he hadn't noticed "La Vie En Rose" and his own little princess singing her heart out in the parlor. Perhaps it was best that he wasn't heading for the parlor either, but the Foyer.

Seeing her sit there so calmly, so seductively made Niko's heart flicker for a second her pure radiance, made him truly want to know how those nasty rumors could spread of such an angelic soul. Was any of it true? Was she really as ill-tempered and swish as they said? from what he'd seen with his eyes it didn't seem so, but maybe this was all an act for the peanut gallery.

"Aham" Niko cleared his throat, before sitting beside her. "So, my future wife what do you want to talk about?". His heart beat a little faster, in anticipation for tomorrow he was starting to enjoy the idea more and more every moment.

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Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Los Angeles - 8:10 PM - Tinsely Villa

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Celeste watched Niko enter the foyer with slightly slitted eyes. This was her opportunity to truly study the man, and she was not going to let the opportunity pass her by. As he sauntered over, she felt her stomach drop. She had an innate urge to trust the man, but she couldn't simply forget that they were essentially assigned to one another like some collegiate group project.

Celeste didn't bother to move over as he sat down beside her, allowing her legs to brush against his. She crossed and uncrossed her legs, making her ankle to trail up along his calves. Strong.... She smiled, letting her walls drop once again. It seemed to be happening throughout the night. Her mood was ranging from guarded to enthralled, and she feared her temper and mood was going to drop drastically at any moment. She knew she would need to address the issue of her violent mood swings at some point.

She looked over at him, and was excited to find that he was brave enough to look her directly in the eyes. They did not stray to linger at her chest, or hunt around the features of her face, he simply looked her directly in the eyes- and she loved it. Gently, without looking away from him, she grabbed one of his hands. Being careful to hold it lightly and not intertwine fingers, she brought their hands to her lap.

"Your future wife...." She started with a sigh, "What a concept, isn't it? Now that we are alone we can speak freely about this. Truly, I do not wish to be miserable. If I am forced by my father to be given away, I would like to find some form of happiness in the transaction. That said, I want to know what your expectations are of me." She gave him no time to respond, but simply continued into a monologue.

"I am aware of what people say about me. Not all rumors are true but many are. I question what you may think of me based off of what little you know already. Tonight, you are seeing me as the debutante my father has raised me to be. But it is not reality. None of this is. The feast, the music, the small chatter in the room next to us, none of it is real. I believe you must also understand that. I am not simply a gowned woman with the ability to enchant a room on command; I have.... my fair share of outbursts. It truly is an affliction. To be fair, moments before meeting you I nearly killed a maid for trying to coax me downstairs. My violent tendencies... I wouldn't doubt that you've heard of them. I know the people talk. Is that something you'd even tolerate? I am aware of our age difference, and that you are much more powerful than I am.... I feel myself gravitating towards you, but in truth.... I fear you." At this moment she let go of his hand and looked away, seemingly putting her focus off into the distance, lost in thought.

She took a few breaths before continuing. "Ultimately, I wish to know you. I wish to know why you accept this arrangement, for I know not why you would allow yourself to be put in this position. I want to know how you intend to make marriage work with a stranger, and if you intend to love someone you did not chose. We are no longer being watched, and you don't have to fear the judgement of my fathers court when you're alone with me."

Celeste looked back at him expectantly, biting her lip lightly. In this moment, she wished for another drink.

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Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Niko von Lunkhofen - FC: Aidan Turner - Hex Code = #BF0000


Los Angeles - 8:45 PM - Tinsely Villa

Niko waited for her to be finished, unable to hide the smile on his lips fading into a small smirk of discomfort. What are his expectations? Why he accepted this arrangement? these were the questions that made him think the most, for he wasn't really sure himself in the past he had seen marriage as really only for one purpose, not love or carnal pleasure such things didn't need a piece of paper to happen, but the marriage was for the sole purpose of procreation. Although he feared saying that to a woman who in her own words has violent tendencies.

Niko took a deep breath and sighed, "Well, that's the real mystery, isn't it? Why did I ask for your hand?" He could tell her the real reason, that her father forced him to, that he was as much of a prisoner as she was in this, but that didn't sit well with Niko. The idea that she might hate or distrust her father made him warry, to tell the truth. He knew what it felt like to have a daughter who was angry at you, for decades. Unable to talk to her fearing she'll ripe what's left of your soul from your body. For the first time just then he didn't see Garamond as his enemy here but as a Father, A father with a powerful and vengeful daughter. No, he'd lie:

"I.." he struggled to find the words. "I'm sure you've heard rumors of me as well? Or rather how my family, came about there money?" He knew most vampires had heard rumors of the Von Lunkhofen family being Thieves and Assassins for over a thousand years. It didn't matter which one Celeste knew about, he'd leave that to her imagination. "Well my Grandmother had been the most Nobel and Gentle of my family, having been of Royal blood she never approved of, well the rest of ours' behaviors. I loved my Grandmother a great deal before her passing she informed me of a painting depicted in the final days of the Empire. When she was just a girl with Tutors, Governesses, and Maids surrounding her. She told me it had been taken when the Empire fell, but she didn't know where it was. She tasked me with uncovering its location and bringing it back to her. After so many decades of searching for it, I discovered that your father was the last to own it. I don't want to bore you so I'll sum up the rest of what happened, I was caught, and there were only two things I knew to do." Niko paused, trying to sum up his thoughts, in truth Garamond forced him into the marriage on pain of death, using an old Vampire costume seldom used in modern times.

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"Have you heard of 'Mors a Conjugium' before?" He asked. It means Death by Marriage, it's an old costume that was used in the Roman era, at the rise of the old Empire. I would mean a person sware loyalty above all to one person showing it by marrying the person's blood. It was used back in those days as a humiliation tactic, forcing a vampire to have little purpose other than breeding. Niko, continued "When your father caught me, with the painting I spouted off Mors a Conjugium, not thinking he'd hold me to it. But as you know he did, and here I am." He tried to sound as convincing as possible when speaking this lie but it wasn't easy it was one thing to lie to the security officer at the Louver to gain entry to the secret vaults, quite another to start a marriage off in deception. Not ideal at all for Niko.

Niko fiddled with the small box in his pockets, before speaking again. "I do hope in time, you'll find some happiness with me, yes I've heard a few rumors of you but I never put too much thought into them before. Your Brother, Gringoire described those rumors as ridiculous. " Niko grinned swiftly and continued without divination or repetition. "As for who I am, personally and what I expect from this marriage." he spoke in a low, sultry tone as he wiped a loose strand of hair from Celeste's face, looking deep into her eyes as he nuzzled her chin gently. Moving his lips to hers, he kissed her and felt a whirlwind of emotions fly around him. He wanted to rip her dress off, to ravish her and take her as his right there. He'd locked himself away for so long, denying himself primal lust, that at this moment all his mind was able to think about was his wedding night.

He pulled from her gently and whispered to her one last time, "All I desire is a family..." He kissed her once more, before pulling away and apologizing for his forwardness.

In the Parlor, the music stopped for a moment and Garamond spoke loudly "Shall we stop for a moment please and give a moment of silence for those who we've lost in this feud that will soon be over. My Brother, Malik and his wife Angelique" At which Narissa bowed in remembrance for her parents. "As well as, Princess Margarita Teresa, and the rest of the Bridegroom's family." Garamond pointed to a large painting in the middle of the parlor, of a young girl with maids and tutors attending her. No one noticed the singer of the evening sneak out, and head for the servant entrance her steps creeping to Celeste's bedroom as if she was looking for something.

Gringoire and Elene, on the other hand, found their way into the Foyer sometime later with big smiles. "Aw I see the new couple are getting to know eachother that's good!" He exclaimed, Elene mearly nodding in agreement. "Little sister, tell me how do you like this ramp scallion?" Greg asked.

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Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Los Angeles - 9:00 PM - Tinsely Villa
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Celeste was painfully patient as he spoke, waiting eagerly for Niko to find the words that were seemingly lost upon him. As he spoke, she found herself staring at those lips, so soft yet dangerous. Nikolai explained the rumors surrounding his family, and Celeste couldn't help but to smile. She lived for scandal, and ate up everything he said following the admittance of the rumors surrounding his family. For the first time in a solid 50 years, she passed no judgement. She listened, and loved every word she heard.

When he mentioned being caught stealing from her father, Celeste laughed loudly. She had heard that something occurred, rumors of the great Garamond catching a thief, but Celeste was always shooed away when the details started to come to light. It was at this moment, a horrific idea came to her mind. I couldn't possibly be the punishment for his theft... The moment she thought those words, she suppressed them, deeply wanting to be wrong. If this marriage was going to work, Celeste knew that the details must stay unspoken. When he spoke again, about Mors a Conjugium this nearly confirmed her fears, but she said nothing, holding hard onto the fake smile upon her face.

As Niko rustled something in his pockets, distracting her from what he was saying. She slowly found her focus again, and brought her eyes up to his. Within moments, he was kissing her in a fashion she had never imagined was possible. She leaned into him, allowing her weight to force their lips against each other even harder. With no hesitation, Celeste reached up to gently put her hand on his chest, sliding it up to rest around his throat. The soon to be newlyweds stayed like this for a moment, enjoying each other's lips- and bodies. All prior concern faded away, as long as he was touching her. Finally, he ended the kiss, leaving her breathless.

"All I desire is a family..." He said, offering her a final kiss and apologizing. She smiled and shook her head, nonverbally communicating that she didn't mind his forwardness whatsoever. In fact, she enjoyed this. Previously, men had thrown themselves to her and she simply tossed them aside in disinterest. She was never interested in men before. Sure, she had dabbled in intimacy, but never felt like she did on this particular evening. Celeste was constantly leaning into Niko's energy, drunk off of his presence.

In the other room, her father was making a speech of some sort, but she couldn't hear a word he was saying. As cliche as it was, Celeste was lost in Niko's eyes, and everything else around the couple had faded away into a blissful nothingness. She was only brought away from her groom when Gringoire and Elena came into the foyer- interrupting Celeste's waking dreams.

Celeste and Greg often went back and forth in a painfully competitive manner. They loved each other greatly, but commonly found themselves trying to one-up the other. As children, it was small games and sports, as adults, it was attention and affection from their peers. Celeste knew there was going to be an unspoken competition on who made the better couple. Funnily enough, Niko and Greg were friends, which likely allowed Niko to feel like he wasn't completely disliked by the Tinsley clan.

"I rather like him, considering you found the poor lad in the streets of Paris so long ago." Celeste smiled coyly, calling attention to her brother's and Niko's history. "He's quite the gentleman, hasn't laid a hand on me yet I swear!" She said sarcastically, bringing a hand up to check if her lipstick had smeared. At this Celeste stood to hug Elana, whom she had grown rather fond of over the years. She embraced her fondly, and as they parted she left one arm hooked around her sister-in-law. Celeste playfully rested her chin Elana's shoulder.

"The real question, dearest brother and sister, is what he thinks of me." Celeste shot a smile at Niko, wanting desperately to hear his praise once again. She was aware of his affection, but the words would never grow old to her. For how confident the young vampire was, she found herself highly needy for Niko's verbal affection. Without waiting for his response, however, she turned to her brother.

"Shall we take our sweethearts to the gardens? It would be a shame if daddy spent all that money getting them redone just for us to not walk through them." Celeste stepped away from Elana, and offtered a hand to Niko, both to help him up and to lead him to her favorite spot on the entire property.

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Character Portrait: Niko von Lunkhofen Character Portrait: Celeste Lianne Tinsley

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Niko von Lunkhofen - FC: Aidan Turner
Hex Code = #BF0000


Los Angeles - 9:20 PM - Tinsely Villa

"Oh so that's what he's been saying?" Niko chucked, "That's funny cause I think I remember the situation quite reversed." he jested with Greg trying to burst his little bubble. "Oh is my English getting muddled, Poor lad means the same in English as it does in German correct?" it's funny how after so many centuries he still sometimes has problems with some English words, mostly just to annoy his friends. Gringore didn't seem too mused, however, and shook his head as if he'd head this joke once too many times, and it was starting to get a little old.

"You know," Greg spoke, "that's not what that means... you've spoken fluent English the past two centuries." Greg shook his head.

Niko, frowned as he stood up, taking Celeste's hand in the prosses. "I'm only kidding, but yes the gardens would be nice to see." he smiled happy that she was showing him some of the places she liked to go. Who knows maybe the gardens would turn out to be a good place to give her that gift he's been trying to find the right moment for. "Lead the way," he said as they started through the house, his eyes glaring at the painting only a few hours ago he had looked at with disdain. He was tempted to as her opinion on their "wedding portrait" but decided not to spoil the moment. Greg and Elene followed, them in a silent hush as they whispered amongst themselves.

The gardens were beautifully lit with lanterns and lights flickering in the moonlight, he smiled gently as he admired his bride once more as the moon bounced off her pale skin, and brighten her eyes. "I..." he trailed off, thinking 'yes this is where I want to give her it.' "I wanted to give you this." he pulled out the small box from his pocket, felling the mood was right. "I Know ours isn't a typical engagement, but I... felt as If I should give you something to signify the event." he said opening the small box, reviling a golden ring with sapphires encrusted in the band, and a large diamond resting in the middle. He thought about kneeling on one knee but decided against it instead he just uttered. "It was my Grandmother's ring, said to have been passed down her family for generations with roots back to The Old Empire."

Loving Thy Enemy: Out Of Character (OOC)

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