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Elvis Johnson

A mischievous kid with a serpent's tongue.

0 · 747 views · located in The Isle

a character in “Bloodlines”, as played by Averagebear

Description

Elvis Johnson
The Omarain Bloodline


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At A Glance
Full Name: Elvis Johnson
Age: 18
Birthdate: July 22nd
Gender: Male
Bloodline: Omarain

Personality
Likes: poetry - athleticism - the moment when someone is uncertain of whether they were right about their initial perceptions of him - underground music - haircuts - prose - conversing - big ears - the beat era - art history - husky voices - "it's so bad that it's good" - rocking chairs - the smell of cigarettes - arguments - anticlimaticism - giving compliments - foreign films - sleeping (a rarity he appreciates) - when he doesn't get what he wants for once - allegorical references - popculture references
Dislikes: eating - warm weather - peanut butter - soggy socks - shaving - overtly agreeable people - lipstick - reptiles - gluttunous people - hesitance - his lack of patience - pumping gas - sitcoms - children - whispering in his ear - receiving compliments - consumptionism - dairy products (lacktose-intolerant)
Fears: He's terrified of snakes, just like Indiana Jones. Morever, he's quite petrified of himself, but moreso the fact that it's pretty much inevitable for him to die alone. The thought of an afterlife scares him a lot, too.
Goals: Get the hell out of this island and back to the real world where he can apply himself. He can see himself becoming a pretty sharp lawyer or politician. Regardless, he's sure that vanishing off of the face of the earth for an entire year (or, god forbid, longer) immediately after high school won't look good on a college resume and this downright pisses him off. This "education" is merely a hindrance in Elvis' eyes, call him unappreciative all you want.

To put it frankly, Elvis has lived nothing more than a continous stream of thoughtful lies. It's genuinely hard to get the truth out of the kid, for better or for worse. He's spent most of his life using his silver tongue for the forces of manipulation, absolutely delighting in the act of pushing another person's buttons. He's sported all too many shiners because of his fat mouth, enraging a bloke to the point of physical violence even before he'd awakened. Imagine his potency for evoking emotion now that he has. He's mischievous and meddlesome and extremely manipulative, but not maliciously so. It's pretty clear that Elvis doesn't pull his wordy shenanigans with the intention of hurting other people, but rather to entertain himself and perhaps fuel his impish ego. He's more selfish than sinister. When it comes down to it, everything is a ploy to Elvis, a calculated move in one big game of chess, despite what his "easy going" grin may claim. He toys with others like they're pawns in his game, and uses them to get a good laugh.

Knowing this upfront, it might surprise you that most people aren't aware of the motives behind Elvis' actions. He's quite good at what he does, after all. He's mastered subtly, and is actually a rather subdued person despite how flamboyant other fae folk are. He's a very charming lad and he knows flattery like the back of his hand, able to project himself as the most trustworthy person on this side of the planet without it seeming forced. He knows by now that most of the act comes into play when you feign indifference. It's not rare that people spill their guts out to him after only a few conversations because he seems so trustworthy.

On his behalf, it's not as if he's particularly untrustworthy. Sure, he may occasionally laugh at your misfortune, but he's not running around blabbering about someone's most private secrets that they told him with confidence. Really, the only thing puts a halt on the "Elvis is a great guy!" train is the fact that, more often than not, he simply doesn't care about other people's feelings. He is rather egocentric in that sense. Sometimes it's a wonder he wasn't born from some goblin or something equally as rude. He's rather judgmental and quite sarcastic to others when he isn't lying his ass off or snickering under his breath. Don't get me wrong; he doesn't go to great extents to hide this side to him- especially if he's in a bad mood - and he lives no double life. He simply understands that it's more beneficial to suck it up and play nice. It's to be expected of a faker and fraud such as himself. How could one so drawn to illusions be unable to pretend that he isn't an aloof bastard?

For what it's worth, he isn't exactly an empty carcass, either. He's got his feisty moods from time to time and you'll probably notice that Elvis is quite gossipy if you spend enough time around him. Or, rather, he's very, very nosy. He can't help but to dig his paws into the lives of others, partially because he likes to know everything. Yet you'll find that he rarely speaks about himself. While he might give an image of vanity, he's actually less self-absorbed than you might think. In fact, it's almost impossible to get him to gab about his life, feelings, or opinions at all. He's much more interested in what you have to say, and seeing that dopey look on your face once he's successfully spun you around in circles. It's this weird, self-aware, narcissistic yet somehow self-deprecatory, elusive persona he's adopted that makes him so likable.

People are surprised when Elvis bites back because his bark is so sweet, but when he does, he can positively tear a person apart. He primarily makes use of silly trickery and white lies, but if he's exceptionally cross, he'll dig down deep into his pockets to pull out something that actually comes a bit easier to him- psychological tyranny, fueled by observed insecurities, fears, goals, etc. Now, Elvis rarely feels the need to expend that kind of energy on another human being, so his attacks are usually more of jesting nips (again, he usually does't care enough to go for the jugular) but there are times when he's woken up on the wrong side of the bed. He's got a lot of control over most of his peers, whether they acknowledge it or not, and this power annoys him to an extent. If he were to be honest, more than anything, he just wants another capable player to oppose him- a good partner that could make his mundane routine of manipulation exciting - another person to keep him on his toes, or so to speak. He's yet to find one to date, though he's still accepting applications. Is that the stench of elitist permeating this paragraph? Why, yes, I believe it is.

So what makes the most dispassionate, irksome boy in the world swell with emotion? Wordplay, of course. He's expressive and articulate, and his only real passion in this world lies solely in the art form of wielding words. He writes quite a bit, and reads even more. He practically gets a hard-on for irony, and dry satire tends to be his favorite. If someone can connect to him on this level, they might actual see a real side to Elvis- spurts of sincerity among the gushing bullshit that otherwise spews from his mouth. His love for fiction might explain why he's so disconnected from reality. Isn't it funny how the boy with the ability to pull forth such strong emotions from those around him doesn't feel lickity split himself? He sometimes sees himself as a little wooden puppet on a quest to become a real boy, but that's just between you and me.

Appearance Notes: As an Omarain, he's got striking silver eyes. Furthermore, he's almost freakishly tall. His hair is more brown than it is blond, most of the time.

Capabilities
Bloodline Gift: Glamour: Elvis is extremely persuasive, though that word doesn't quite imply the full extent his propagation holds. He can be a downright terror with the way he manipulates others, but on a lighter note, he's a spectacularly good orator and story teller. He's always been rather adept at this side of the glamour. The illusions are what really hold his interests, though he hasn't quite gotten the hang of them yet. He's more afluent in illusions that deal with touch rather than sound, sight, taste, or scent, from what he can tell so far.
Bloodline Weakness: Bane of Iron: He's never really stumbled into a real problem with it so far, but it's not like he's looking to go bathe in a pool of molten metal, either. He's kept his distance. Caution does him well.
Other Skills: Lying, writing, story-telling. You get the point.

Biography
Elvis spent the better of his life waging wars against feelings of alienation and existential crises. Consider him a case of the dangers of being too smart. Perhaps it was egotistical thinking, but he'd never met a person who hadn't disappointed him by proving to be spectacularly dull, even if they appeared to be grand and complex and interesting to begin with. He'd like to say he knew exactly how his heritage mapped out, but he was adopted by a humble couple who didn't have the means to create children themselves. He harbors no mental ailments from this passing, accepting them as his parents without hesitation. His childhood was a subdued one. Everyone loved him, though he didn't quite love himself, so their adoration only frustrated him. He did a lot of reading, preferring to live in fantastical realms than the bland one he was perpetually stuck in.

His parents were older, so it wasn't a surprise when his pops passed away his eigth grade year. Elvis didn't cry. He'd managed to spin logic ontop of trauma- a defense mechanism to prevent himself from falling into a fit of woe. The doctor's all called it repression, but Elvis knew he was simply being smart about the whole thing. What would his sadness do to change the circumstances? Nothing. Of course, it didn't stop him from being inexplicably sad all the time. Depression (dysthymia specifically) was a thing that he suffered with- medication and all - seasoned with a good dosage of irregular eating and insomnia for most of his adolescence. None of his peers were aware of this fact, because he's always been a very secretive guy, but the whole ordeal did nothing to sate his hunger for loathing.

High school was alright. He was very, very popular- had a number of girlfriends, a couple of closeted flings with boys because he knew flamboyant homoeroticism would get him no higher on the foodchain. He was good at high school, busy with clubs and friends and sports. He majored in creative writing and was lead in the journalism club. He graduated valedictorian.

His awakening wasn't particularly horrible. In fact, he laughs about it now. When he was giving his valedictorian speech, suddenly the entire stadium grew deathly quiet, all eyes on him. He had a good speech, this he knew, but certainly not enough to silence hundreds of people like that. At one point he said, "And so, I dare you to raise your hands-" and literally every hand in room shot up. Perplexed but very interested, he kept going with his influences until he had this wild game of simon says going in between his speech- nothing too wild spare for the end when the whole crowd roared - literally, like a tiger - their applause. When he looked back at the tapes later that night that recorded them, he saw that his eyes had become silver.

When he got to school the next day, he was half pleased half peeved to find that mostly everybody did exactly as he told them. No one objected to his demands, and certainly no one disagreed with him. He was stuck inside his worst nightmare- a world where there was nothing to play with any longer. Of course, he found a way around it, challenging himself with more complex manipulations, but he didn't have much time to experiment.

It was about a week after he'd Awakened that he realized the harm his powers could cause. A classmate of his, a girl named Samantha Greene (he only knew her name after the ordeal), had stormed up to him the day after graduation. He'd just broken up with his girlfriend- no big deal - and was about to go home to try and get some sleep. He hadn't been able to get any for the past three days because he'd been so busy, so he was exceedingly grumpy. The girl stormed up to him and slapped him in the face, which came as a surprise to him, seeing as how he had no idea who she was. She'd was his ex's best friend who was unhappy with the way Elvis had treated the girl. She ranted and raved about how terrible he was, and he, aggravated, told her, "This is pathetic. Why don't you jump off a bridge already?"

Apparently the girl was going through problems in her life at that time, and his words- with the effect of the glamour- really got to her. He found out the next day that Samantha Greene had heeded his "advice". Words can't express the guilt he feels over her death. He spent the last day of highschool sobbing in his bedroom, concerned mother pounding on his door and wondering what was wrong. He had caused this- it was his fault that another living being was dead. He never considered himself to be very empathetic. There were so many people who died everyday. But the fact that this rested entirely on his shoulders disturbed him more than he could ever admit. Suddenly, a woman with beautiful eyes just like his had appeared in front of him and asked him if he wanted to go away to a place where he could learn to control his powers- to prevent something like this from happenening again.

Elvis agreed in that moment, weak and emotional, and only stayed in town long enough to go to the funeral. When he got there, he realized that he had colleges and a future all mapped out- a full ride to Yale that he'd tossed in the garbage because he'd first been so careless with his words and then too weak to deal with his mistakes by himself. He hasn't hated himself more in his life than he currently does now, and because of this, he's rather volatile.

If anyone brings up the Samantha Greene incident (that's to say if they ever found out about it) there is a 100% likelihood that he'll lose his shit.

He's only been around for about three months and in this time has learned a lot about harnessing his powers. He goes back and forth between being enamored by magic and feeling self conscious about how foolish he must look when he is. Mostly he's working on self control, but he's extrmemely interested in casting illusions. Unfortunately, he's absolutely bollocks at it right now.

Equipment

*

So begins...

Elvis Johnson's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Nila Loriette Pearce Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Ferne Baumiller Character Portrait: Omar Maria Media Character Portrait: Wynston Watson Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Drusa Deszled Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Tabitha Ezerath
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#, as written by throne
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Chapter 1 - Convocation


When the call went out , the sun had just begun its final descent for the evening, dipping partway under the horizon and splashing bands of red, orange and then finally violet across the sky. It had been a warm day, though not uncomfortably so, the first untouched by a series of careless thunderstorms that had darkened The Isle for days. To their chagrin, the charges who had largely been trapped indoors for days had been instructed that morning to remain close to The Compound that had become their home. There had been no lessons today, nothing formal, at least.

Arietta had secluded herself away in the library, taking over an entire table with a score of books. Anyone passing through wouldn’t even draw her attention as she flipped through pages, referencing and cross-referencing several tomes at once. She was making notes in a mixture of Greek and Hebrew, the characters so small that they were barely legible, and still she’d managed to fill three pages by midafternoon.

Simon was not his eminently approachable self. He’d apparently traded out his usual easy jocularity for surliness to rival Matthew’s, and spent most of the day hiding out in the small office where he held his confidential sessions. The Balaren Guardian was as solemn as ever, and shortly after dinner (which none of the Guardians had been present for), he enlisted Fleet and any charges willing to assist him in transporting quite a bit of firewood from the stores to the center of the courtyard, where he proceeded to build what looked to be the beginnings of a massive bonfire, neatly stacking the wood like Lincoln Logs until the resulting cube-like structure was nearly as tall as he was. He was characteristically laconic, only speaking to explain the need for proper draft if the fire was to burn all night, and other such survivalist tidbits.

Only Michaela was unaccounted for. Normally, she popped up periodically throughout the day, but she’d presumably consigned herself to the former officer’s quarters that the Guardians used for their more-and-more frequent, at least of late, meetings.

It had been a strange year by The Isle’s standards, though precious few of the current charges would understand that completely. In the past month alone, more than a half-dozen young men and women who had Awakened to their Bloodline had appeared. Most of them would have at least an idea of the fact that a half-dozen was a large number of charges for The Compound. All told, they numbered more than a score now, a fact which the Evincal would likely feel resonant with portent.

The instant that work on the tower of wood was complete, Fleet whipped his head about to regard Matthew with wide eyes. ”Is it time?!” he asked, his excitement even more vibrant than his usual insane baseline. Matthew merely nodded, and anyone in the immediate vicinity would be buffeted by a blast of breeze as the Wind-Born Navarene seemingly vanished. Most would be by now aware of his ability to become wind, rather than merely affect or create it, and in the form of a zephyr, Fleet raced throughout the grounds to give the call.

”Meeting in the courtyard!” He manifested physically for only just long enough to deliver his message before zipping off to find another young man or woman to inform. He scoured The Compound and the area surrounding it, stirring up leaves and dust in his wake as he flitted about, appearing before groups who had come together to talk, in dorm rooms, in the common area, even in the library and everywhere in between. ”Meeting in the courtyard! Meeting in the courtyard! Meeting in the courtyard!” He didn’t stop until every last soul on the island was aware of the convocation that would soon take place.

By the time the charges had begun filtering into the courtyard, the Guardians had all assembled save for Michaela. Arietta, looking as weary as ever, was seated in the lotus position with her eyes closed, not far from the pyre that Matthew had constructed. Fleet reappeared, frowning when he realized that he’d somehow lost his favored white fedora in his rapid fit of transformation and exclamation. Matthew was leaning to the left of The Compound’s main entrance, his arms crossed over his chest and his features blank. Simon had emerged from his office, and was currently pacing back and forth in front of the officer’s quarters, his agitation more than evident in the form of some low-toned self-muttering.

It was only after each and every one of the young men and women had gathered about the courtyard that Michaela emerged from the officers’ quarters. A simple white cotton dress draped her form, and her bright smile was a beacon of reassurance. She maintained it even when Simon bee-lined for her, and stopped to engage in a terse conversation with him. Their words would go unheard, but there was no mistaking that the exchange was anything but pleasant, if only for the fact that the air around them began to show ripples, reflecting the Omarain Guardian’s agitation in visual form. It was concluded quickly enough. Simon’s expression was even bleaker as he stalked off to lean beside Matthew, who was carefully avoiding making eye contact with the Mori.

Michaela drew a single breath, and in that span regained her composure utterly. The distortions surrounding her ironed themselves out, replaced by a warm aura of soft white light. As she walked directly toward the pyre, illusory flowers, poppies in white and crème and egg-shell sprung up in her wake, creating a path behind her. The trail of flowers followed her, then pooled out around her when she came to a stop, as if she had simply come to stand in the center of a thick patch of them.

”Everyone, gather ‘round please.” She was too dignified to shout, but her voice carried remarkably, reaching every ear and tugging at every mind. It was little more than a simple request, but it was difficult to deny. Arietta tried to catch her eye, and when she did, Michaela shook her head succinctly. The Evincal Guardian just nodded a tired nod and closed her eyes, remaining completely still upon the ground.

”This won’t take very long at all,” she explained, panning her gaze to draw in each of them, address each of them. ”I know you’re all probably wondering why you’re here, in this courtyard, but more than that, why you’re here. On The Isle. With everyone finally settled in, it’s high time that you learn the purpose of this place, one of the world’s last bastions of magic, and your purpose in this place.” She was a perfect admixture of solemnity and wisdom as she began her speech, but she dazzled them with a vibrant grin. ”I also have a surprise for all of you, but that will have to wait till after the end of the story.”



* * *


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The faerie prince was uncharacteristically alone when the messenger arrived.

Aaron did not normally seek out solitude. Generally, he fled it. He was seldom in his room, save to sleep, change his clothes, and shower, but when he was simply there, he tended to leave his door open, a standing invitation to all the courtiers who had reason to petition him (there had never been an actual petition, of course, but he eagerly awaited the day that the first of many came). Tonight, though, the door stood closed and even locked. His endeavor was a private one, and distractions were the mortal foes of such work- foes that the faerie prince had no defense against save for seclusion.

He’d been at it since just after dinner, though not to great success. The idea, like most of his, had sprung fully formed but elusive from his mind, and he was having difficulty getting his mental hands upon it now that it was free. He already had pen and paper, used for sending missives to his family, which was all he truly needed for the task at hand: to begin to commit to ink on paper the story of the faerie prince. His story.

It was proving a challenge that might ironically be termed princely. Words came easily to him, when speaking, but catching them with the nib of a pen and then sticking them fast to paper was proving an entirely different matter. Thus far, he’d managed after three attempts to arrive at a working title (the appropriate but not particularly inspired Tales of The Faerie Prince), and nothing else worth keeping. He’d tried speaking aloud, saying words and then writing them down afterwards in effort hopes of fooling the fickle Muses into helping him. They were apparently cannier than he’d suspected. He’d tried making lists with bullet points to organize his thoughts, but his thoughts were not made for such a static, rigid template. From the small graveyard of balled up sheets that were now scattered about the floor around and beneath his desk, an observer might have thought him in the midst of penning a novel full, but fortunately, there were no observers to bear witness to the fitful process.

At least, there weren’t until Fleet arrived. His gusty entrance sent the crumpled pages skittering, and Aaron had to lunge, using his forearm to trap the almost-empty expanse of white paper that he’d been staring at intently for the past ten minutes while thinking instead of what Graham might be up to, or if Renn was busy with Erin, or if Milo would like the title he’d come up with, or… well, of anything but the task at hand, really, in order to keep it from flying away from him. Startled and embarrassed (though he’d never admit the latter), he wheeled around in his seat (literally, it had wheels) to face the intruder.

”Meeting in the courtyard!” He heard the call before he saw the speaker.

His wroth fled when he noted it was Fleet. The Navarene Guardian never failed to bring a bright grin to Aaron’s full lips. Lifting a hand to brush down a bit of fitfulness that his spun-gold hair seemed to have engaged in thanks to the miniature localized windstorm that was Fleet, he relaxed in his seat and regarded the man. ”How now, spirit? Whither wander you?” His voice rang out like music, the first part of an exchange that he never failed to encourage. The words had come to mind immediately when he’d first met Fleet, and like most of the words that came into his mind, they had exited soon thereafter through his mouth. Fleet had been confused, but after a few encounters, had begun to respond, creating something of an inside joke between the two that the elemental didn’t quite comprehend but enjoyed nevertheless.

”Sorry Aaron, very busy. Something about a girdle! Gotta go!” With that he was gone, and this time, a somewhat dejected Aaron was unable to stop the first page of his great work from sailing from his desk to under his bed. A meeting, in the courtyard? Only in the messenger’s absence did he process the message. Such an event wasn’t unprecedented, but neither then was it ordinary. Aaron’s affinity for all things out of ordinary abolished his frustrations with the Muses from his mind. He hopped to his feet, arching his back in feline fashion to stretch. He glimpsed himself in the glass (he’d read a story that had referred to mirrors as glasses, which had initially confused him, but now he’d adopted the terminology into his increasingly archaic vocabulary) to ascertain that he was ready for a public appearance.

He was already wearing his favorite shirt, one that he’d found in the cache of spare clothing (a simple white linen peasant’s shirt with billowing sleeves and a plunging neckline that showed off a great deal of his pale chest), along with a pair of breeches (really, they were simple dark khakis, but he rolled the legs up to his mid-calves and insisted they were breeches). He waxed and waned on wearing shoes and decided that he’d prefer his feet bare. The sound of them slapping the concrete floor of the hallway that led out of the dorm area in a rapid rhythm would announce the faerie prince’s timely departure. It wasn’t quite a run, or a skip, or a dance, but something that sat fixed squarely between the three, as playful, impatient, and amusing to watch as Aaron himself.

He was among the last to arrive, which only meant that he didn’t have time to sort out who he meant to stand with around the bonfire. His violet eyes flitted about, evaluating the prospects, and he started towards Renn, eager to see if the Earth-Born might know what was going on.

”Everyone, gather ‘round, please.”

Michaela’s voice drew his attention to her immediately, in a way that her mastery of illusion never could. The boy was as susceptible to Glamour as anyone, maybe even moreso, and a smile scrawled itself across his features as he simply stopped moving, standing in place to listen. His eyes lit up and did a rather remarkable saucer impression at the revelation that followed her introduction: a story AND a surprise. There were few things that Aaron enjoyed more than either, and he was hard-pressed to decide which he preferred (never mind that he had no idea what the surprise was). Fortunately, he needn’t decide at all; he was getting both!

With story-time looming, he assumed his favorite position for tale-telling; he lowered himself with aplomb into an “Indian” style of sitting, his legs folded up above and beneath one another, and then balanced his elbows on his knees and his chin in his palms, leaning forward in a show of eagerness for what was to come.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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the fool

Milo had been sleeping quite happily under a tree all day. He'd meant to come out here to read up on his powers, learn more about Restoration, all that other mumbo jumbo. He'd gotten about three pages in before flopping the book aside and "resting his eyes for just a moment". In fact, he had no idea there was a meeting going on at all. Fleet had of course come to get him, telling him all about the meeting in the courtyard. Milo had sat up, nodded to him, told him he'd be there, and promptly dozed off again. If you asked him if the exchange had ever happened, Milo would tell you no. He could never remember the things that happened when someone attempted to wake him up. Luckily, only a few minutes later, he awoke to a sudden gust of wind and had sleepily plucked himself off the ground, rubbing the corners of his eyes and yawning. "Mmm," he'd hummed as he patted his skinny little butt. It had fallen asleep.

Without purpose or aim, he began to wandering around until he'd only kind of stumbled upon the meeting by chance. He was a lucky kid. He got out of most of his trouble by subtle accidents like these. Seeing the huge congregation of people, he assumed something must have been happening, so he approached in his slow, steady, lackadaisical pace. His eyes flashed around everyone there, deciding who to affront, before he saw Aaron and Seph sitting down already. "Sweet," he mumured, happy that he had friends he could sit next to, though he didn't even note all the other people who crowded around them, too. Smacking his lips and still trying to rid the sleepiness from his being, he slowly crouched down next to them on his haunches, nodding in their direction as a friendly greeting. He began to contemplate moths. Were they the same as butterflies, only uglier? Did they start as catepillars? Did they go into coccoons? Could they bite-

Then Michaela's beautiful voice was ringing in his ear, and his attention was, for once, directed towards one specific thing. ”I know you’re all probably wondering why you’re here, in this courtyard," that much he could say he agreed with for certain, seeing as how he had just sort of found this congregation, "but more than that, why you’re here. On The Isle. With everyone finally settled in, it’s high time that you learn the purpose of this place, one of the world’s last bastions of magic, and your purpose in this place.” she had said. Milo looked around at the other people gingerly, looking lost and confused. Is that something people were worried about? Did anyone actually care about that kind of stuff? Based on the intense gazes and curt nods, he guessed that was, in fact, a thing. Huh. He plopped down onto his butt and curled his arms around his legs, placing his chin atop his knees.



THE PRINCE UNCROWNED

Elvis was writing, cooped up in his top bunk bed and scribbling furiously onto paper, hunched over, hair messy, one sock off. Elvis did this a lot, but no one was aware of this fact. Not a single soul on the Isle had seen this side of the fae blooded boy - the side that had vanquished mostly all of his well-tuned control. If someone were around, certainly he'd be poised and refined, and his sock would still very much so be on. He did this routine everyday, going out and acting as Elvis did, telling tall tales and spouting out erroneous compliments, before he'd eventurally have to go back to his room and recharge. The only time he told the truth was when he wrote. Metaphors spilled from his pen onto parchment, and he felt a little piece of him go back normal. He wrote almost as a way to prove that he existed- to show that despite all his pretending, he was still his own being.

Elvis wasn't shy about publishing his work. He had no qualms about sharing it once it'd been edited and presentable. But he didn't think he could ever trust another person enough to let them watch him as he wrote. That said, when Fleet appeared before him, hollering about a meeting in the courtyard, he practically spit venom at him. He didn't even dignify the man with an answer, only scowling and curtly nodding his response. After stashing his journal under his pillow, in one move, he swung from the top of the bed and landed the several feet below with ease. He pawed through his hair, spritzed on some deodarant, rolled on a sock and put on his shoes. Then he was out the door and on his way to the courtyard.

He got there relatively early, and sighed a deep, heavy, unamused sigh. This had better be worth it. He coudln't think of a single thing they could say to him that they hadn't said time and time again in the past three months. His gaze pricked through the crowd, searching for anything remotely interesting to toy with, and was left empty handed. No one seemed, at this particular interest, to catch his attention. "How boring," he thought to himself with another heavy sigh, pocketing his hands and glancing at his peers with distaste. Normally he would have had a field day with these people, but when he was just out of writing mode, he had a hard time getting out of it. Then Markus appeared, looking damp and uninterested. The smallest of smirks trailed its way onto his face, glad that in the moment he had arrived, so had someone interesting. He slunk over to where the other man stood, and said nothing - no hello, or "how are you?" - merely co-existing next to him during the presentation. When Michaela began to talk, her charms blasting at the students, Elvis turned to Markus and murmured wryly "Damn faeries and their glitter." referring to all the pizzazz Michaela was currently shoveling down her student's throats. The flowers were a nice touch. He found himself scoffing at the show, though somewhat amused by Michaela's way of manipulating those around her while still seeming like the sugar plum princess. Still, he was interested and listening to what she had to say. His intrigue had been especially piqued by the promise of a surprise. He loved a good surprise. Hopefully it was something catastrophic.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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Something Seraphine: The Avant-Garde


"Boop doop de boopen boopy doopers," Something sang to herself softly while she ate. A bowl, really more of a serving bowl than something meant for someone to eat from, was guarded between her crossed legs on the ground, filled with noodles. She was eating generously using chopsticks--a method she had picked up in middle school as a desperate attempt to seem cultured at the time.

She was using little to no grace at all as she shoveled the food into her already full mouth, slurping sounds bordering on obscene. Appearance overall...unkempt, Something's short hair stuck up every which way, and her oversized shirt (not to mention bad manners) made her look like a little naughty boy.

But there was no one in the room with her, why should she care? And she didn't. The continued to eat, mouth moving enthusiastically, while her eyes drooped, half-lidded boredom or sleepiness or both dominating her fac--a burst of sudden air that sent Something's already unkempt hair straight back (perhaps if she washed it more it wouldn't act like this--) and Fleet was in her room. Something's face had transformed, from a face of gluttonous apathy to a face where the roundness of her eyes competed with the roundness of her full cheeks.

"Meeting in the courtyard!" Fleet had shouted, eyes wide, boring into Something's own in a vivid and intense moment that was sure to burst at any moment into wild excitement or horror on both parts. Something's mouth was unattractively full, so a real response would have been difficult, but she managed a muffled "Hmmm!" and a grin which caused a few less-secured noodles to fall onto her chin.

And with that truly unsatisfactory answer, no way at all appropriate for addressing her Guardian, Fleet was gone. And Something's face fell into something of teenaged despair, falling onto her back, arms outstretched as far as they could go (as if she were saying 'THIS IS THE SIZE OF MY ANGST. THIS RIGHT HERE. IT IS THIS BIG.), chewing much like an angry cow might.

"So embawassing," she mumbled through the noodles.

BUT! She did not dwell on her mistakes of the past! No, she inhaled her mouthful of noodles, without even a chew, her digestive system would thank her later, and whirlwinded around her room. She pulled on a more acceptable shirt and zipup hoodie, and she traded the sweatpants for jeans that were just a bit too big on her, giving her mom-butt, though no one had ever stopped to tell her so. Brushing her teeth (because she hadn't all day yet) in two or three swift and vigorous motions across their surface which was more like self-mutilation than hygiene, she rushed to the mirror. She patted her hair down a bit. It still stuck out a bit like straw, but at least she didn't look wind-swept anymore. She pulled on a pair of hiking boots that she never truly understood why she had since she had never been hiking anndd she was off: she took off out of her room, making sure to snatch up her backpack on the way out, and sprinted down the hallway at full speed, unzipped jacket streaming behind her, the closest feeling she'd ever get to having the flowing hair she'd never have. She reached the end of the hall before she heard her door properly slam itself close from it's own weight.

She was just about there when a horrifying though struck her, causing her to stop so suddenly she had to hop skid a few steps to keep from toppling over. She hadn't seen anybody else making as much haste as she...she was acting weird. Making tiny fists of fury and cursing her enthusiasm, not bothering to hide her attempts to check who had seen and instead wildly careening her head every which way for people, before she then continued on at a very leisurely pace.

Cautiously entering the courtyard, she took note of everybody present, lip clenched tightly between her teeth. Anxiety. She could potentially just stand alone. There was no shame in that, was there? And just when she resolved to do just that, she saw two people that she was almost certain were her friends. Internally writhing in joy but externally 100% cool and casual, she padded her way over.

It wasn't that she had extensive interaction with Markus and Elvis. But it was enough in Something's mind to justify standing next to them for the meeting. Or between them, as she was at that exact moment. She just plunge right into that little nook between them.

Keeping up her cool-cat demeanor, she nodded to each of them. "Hey Presley," indicating Elvis, "Hey Marky Mark," indicating Markus. She was sure they loved the nicknames. It showed she cared. She attempted to imitate their nonchalant way of standing, because there was no doubt, they were coo-oo-ool. She crossed her arms over her chest, slung her weight onto one hip. Slightly. Just slightly.

As the ever-so-lovely Miss Michaela appeared, she couldn't help but immediately get wrapped up in the glamour of it all. The flowers. It was all so perfect.

"Damn faeries and their glitter" she heard Presley growl. She gave an immediate twittering laugh, just in case it was a joke. Taking a few seconds to think it over, she was sure it was a joke. Elvis, himself, was a Omarain, a faerie. He would never mock another for using the same power he more-likely-than-not utilized himself. Sarcasm. Something's mind relaxed.

"She's lovely, isn't she? Like a wonderful, beautiful fairy godmother," she sighed, awaiting the surprise.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Nila Loriette Pearce Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Omar Maria Media Character Portrait: Wynston Watson Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Drusa Deszled Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Tabitha Ezerath Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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#, as written by throne
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Michaela’s grin abated, and she let her eyes slipped closed. As serenity settled into place on her features, dusk truly descended. It was no illusion, no trick of glamour, but it hardly seemed a coincidence that the shadowy terminator was just now creeping over the westernmost of the tumbled-down fort’s walls. Twilight was upon them, and gravely, as the Omarain prepared herself, Matthew pushed himself away from his perch and stalked toward the wood he’d earlier stacked, choosing a path that steered him clear of clumped charges. He used a plain Zippo lighter to ignite a torch, and then thrust it into the tinder and kindling that had been arranged at the base of the soon-to-be-bonfire. Flames caught quickly, streaming smoke into the sky, and hungry fire began to taste the sturdier plinths of wood with flickering tongues. Matthew retreated, his duty discharged, but continued along in a circular path around the courtyard, using his captive flame to light braziers and standing torches that were used to light the fort by night.

As the last of daylight died, Michaela, eyes hidden away as if in repose, began to breathe deeply, rhythmically. Her chest swelled, making her breasts all the more obvious beneath the thin white cotton that veiled them. The fire crackled as it climbed the scaffold made for just that purpose, and then the luminous corona of white light that ensconced her began to spread out in every direction. At first it crept inches, and then feet, until every soul attendant was seemingly bathed in that light as well. Before their eyes, the light would seem to congeal, separating into motes that left impenetrable blackness between them, so dark all that would be visible aside from the pricks of white were their fellow charges and Guardians- each other, and the fire, which continued to burn. So potent was her gift that it might be a moment before some realized they were under the sway of an Omarain illusion, each and every one.

The walls of the erstwhile fortress were drowned in black. The library faded away as well, then the officer’s quarters, then The Compound itself, leaving nothing but endless darkness punctuated with little bits of light. It might be dizzying, or even frightful, to have the entire world as they knew it slip away from them, replaced with what might be the night sky, or the endless depths of space, or something else. Whatever it was or soon would be, the Omarain among them would know better than most how exacting the illusion must have been on Michaela. The other charges too; none of them, not even Renn, would ever have seen her display her power on such a scale before. Even the other Guardians seemed awed to behold it, all save for Simon, who simply folded his arms across his chest and made his face a still mask.

Adrift in blackness, they would hear her voice, but not from her lips. It seemed to come from all around them like the music of the stars that her motes of light were no doubt meant to represent.

”You have learned of your bloodlines, sweet ones, but most of you have been taught little of the ancestors from whom that blood flows. Most of what you have heard you learned away from this sacred place; lies, perversions, bastardizations meant to pollute what was once real magic, to reduce it to simple, commercial entertainment, to sanitize and slay it. Tonight you will learn more.”

The “stars” began to re-order themselves once more. They were legion now, great swarms of light particles in a silent dance with one another. They separated into five distinct-yet-shapeless clouds, leaving vast tracks of void beneath them, and then took their places behind the rough circles that the charges and Guardians described around the growing bonfire.

The largest free-wheeling constellation came to a stop between Michaela and Arietta, nearly between them but set lightyears back. Another settled into place 72 degrees to the first’s left, and another 72 degrees to the left of that, and so on until the five points of a star, or perhaps a pentagram, had been defined in the space around them. Some might have to crane their necks or turn about to see them all, and if they did, they’d note that the specks of light had begun a new dance, one that only lasted until they had taken on a new shape. The largest spread out, thrice as tall as Michaela (for in the illusion, sizes could really only be compared in a relative sense), and then grew even more massive as it unfurled its starry wings. The next separated into the three distinct forms, tall and slender. The next dance around the pentagram yielded two large shapes, one that seemed to walk on four legs and one that walked on two. After that, another large shape, but it was escorted by many smaller ones, and finally, to the right of the first, four distinct shapes of vaguely human size.

Michaela’s voice hummed like a leyline again, and as it did, the masses of stars, the tiny galaxies, would continue their dances, taking more distinct and recognizable shapes.

”The mighty dragons were fire and magic made flesh. They were old when the world was young. Their claws dug rivers, their breath stirred storms, and their battles raised the mountains and scorched the land into deserts. Their ways are mostly lost to us, but we know that they began primordial and will not end until the last Evincal is ended. The last true dragon was named Snowscale; she fled to the deepest reaches of the icy parts of the Earth after men had slain her brothers and sons. When the envoys came she agreed that it was the only way and shed a single frozen tear, the only component needed for the ritual that would make the blood of one strong mortal line draconic evermore.”

The largest shape was fully formed by the time she took a pause. The star-dragon was not a static thing. Its tail stirred through the deep blackness, its wings buffeted cosmic currents, and its head lowered, as if in a courtly bow, toward the circle.

”The envoys were the true fae, creatures either born of dreams or responsible for them. The truth will never be known, for they are all gone now, all sealed away in their own kingdoms to save themselves from the iron and church bells and saucers of cream that men learned were their banes. They were the architects of the Bloodlines, and stole away young men and women from a noble family for the turn of a single moon. They returned with lighter step and faerie blood and Omarain children in their wombs. The fae did not return, though. They locked the gate and melted down the key, consigning themselves forever more to dreams, until men are gone and their dreams with them.”

The three slender shapes resolved themselves into three fae, tall and willowy, with features that resembled those of humans, but too perfect to be anything but alien. They wore swords and finery of stars, and they too bowed, deep and courtly, toward the charges.

”The children of the moon had lost more and most to humankind. Their domains were the wyld places, untouched until civilization began its inevitable spread. They fought back with tooth and claw, but the advantage of men has always been numbers. The war of attrition dwindled them to almost nothing, but it made them remember that they were half-man themselves. Repentant rather than wroth, they chose a dozen humans and a dozen wolves, calling them The First Pack, and thus the Balaren were born.”

One part of the next set of stars became a dire-wolf so large that a grown man standing would barely reach its shoulders while all four of its paws touched earth. The other became a thing of nightmare, muscle and fur and claws and teeth. Both of the stellar apparitions lifted their head in an eerie, silent howl. The one on two legs declined its head toward the charges, and the one on four bent the knees of its forelegs, a lupine bow. The tale continued.

”The lords of the pit regarded humanity as little more than sustenance, things to be played with. They were the terror born of the darkness, the evil things that stalked the night, but they too were offered the chance to bind their fate more meaningfully to the races of men. Most balked or laughed, but one wise pit-lord agreed, abandoning the council of his enemy-brethren and infusing the most cunning and dangerous mortals he could find with his hellfire blood. The Mori would need his strength and their own as the centuries stretched into millennia, for there are cracks in the prison that was forged for demonkind.”

The demon lord that resulted of the dancing stars was nearly as tall as the dragon, powerfully muscled, with cloven hooves and a supple tail. In one hand he held a whip, and in the other a sword that glowed with starfire. He did not bow, but instead regarded the charges coldly with eyes made black by lack of stars.

”The spirits of nature only revealed themselves truly for the first time in the course of a single evening. They had always been there, perhaps for even longer than dragonkind, though it is not for me to say which came first, fire or dragon. They had sought harmony with men and beast alike, but men were too clever by far. Rather than being content with the gifts of the elementals, they found ways to trap them and bend them to their will without ever knowing the pain they caused. Still the elemental ones sought harmony, and bonded with a people who had never once enslaved them willingly that the Navarene might one day bring about the balance that was lost.”

The final four became fire, water, wind, and earth. Their shapes were vaguely human at best. Fire was the brightest, a burning crucible of stars. Water’s shape ebbed and flowed. The stars that formed Wind raced ‘round one another in vortices. Earth was more solid, compact and strong. As one, the joined what might pass for hands and bowed deeply.

In silence save for the crackling of the bonfire, the darkness receded, returning control of their senses to those assembled. The constellations remained, though, like an afterimage, and in the last light of dusk could be seen briefly in all their glory before they too faded. Snowscale’s armoring was gleaming alabaster, her eyes brimming with sorrow and intellect. The finery of the fae stole every color of the rainbow, and their skin was pale and far too smooth. The standing wolf had fur that was black as coal and eyes like slivers of the moon; its companion on all fours had fur of mottled gray and brown, and it was laying with its belly against the grass. The demon stood tall still, its skin burnished and rough looking, its features sinister but proud, its whip and sword forged of hellfire. The nature spirits were all the colors that they should have been, flickering or flowing or blowing or standing stalwart.

And then, they were all simply gone. The courtyard was restored to reality, and anyone who chanced to look upon Michaela would see her looking very tired, and very, very old. She drew a single breath, and in that span was young and beautiful again. She managed a smile, the weariness of which would match Arietta on her worst day. The Omarain spoke again, only just audible above the feast of flames gnawing at the wood.

”Humans are forgetting their magic.” She opened her vibrant eyes again, and let her gaze pan once more along the circle of charges and Guardians alike, Omarain and Evincal and Mori and Balaren and Navarene. ”It is the natural state of all things, even men. Remember childhood, when all the world seemed new and bright and exciting? When imagination weaved spells all its own upon you? Man has been squandering his magic, though. It is not enough for him to lift a stick from the ground and make it, just by thought, into a cane, or shelter, or a pretend-sword. Now he must cut the tree open and count the rings, must abolish every secret of nature in the name of Progress.”

Her survey of them all was done. She brought her hands together, clasping them in front of her with a gentle clap. ”There is hope for magic though. It is here, not around you, but in you. It is you. History cannot reveal a time when so many have Awakened to their blood at once, been found and brought together. Such things happened once; they were called Convocations, and the Bloodlines would meet and squabble and boast and the world continued to suffer for their arrogance. They had forgotten, but we must not forget.”

She spread her hands, as if to gather all of them in her arms. ”We must come together, not ignoring each other’s differences but embracing them. The days ahead will be different than the days behind. We have lapsed, in order to bring you all here safe and whole, but on the morrow, we begin in earnest to help you become what you must. I know to some of you, this sounds fanciful, but think of what you have learned to do already, what you have seen your fellows do. On the morrow, we begin in earnest…”

With a flick of her wrist, she sent something that glittered as it flew through the air catching firelight toward Renn: a set of keys. Where she’d hidden them on her pocketless person was anyone’s guess, as was how she’d managed to produce them, but they were there. ”Tonight, though, we revel.” Her warm smile became a grin. ”Or, I should say, you revel. It would hardly be a party with a bunch of stodgy grown-ups about, would it? Enjoy yourselves. Learn of one another. Relax for one final evening and make merry together…” One of her eyebrows lifted to form a perfect arch, as she continued. ”But try not to overdo it. I meant what I said about the morrow. You won’t want to still be feeling tonight when you awaken.”

Her fellow Guardians were not unaffected by the display; like many charges, most of them were still recovering from both the power of the vision and the strangeness of being made to see what had been so long ago. Simon had already slipped off, possibly in the midst of the presentation. Arietta was smiling softly, her expression cast thoughtful, as she rose to her feet and dusted herself off, preparing to return to the library. Matthew was frowning, but shook his head and stretched out, nodding curtly to anyone who met his eye before he took his wolf shape without a single cry of pain and raced off beyond the walls.

Poor Fleet looked positively a mess, his lower lip jutting out as he directed his attention, eyes wide, toward Michaela. She laughed, and the sound was the tinkling of bells more than it was laughter. ”Sweet Fleet, you are less a stodgy grown-up than many of our charges. Of course you may stay.” The Navarene Guardian let loose a cheer, jumping several feet into the air and then floating back down, as if gravity showed him favor just as the Omarain had. ”I need to find my hat!” he exclaimed before taking off at a run and then dissipating into wind once more.

”Good night,” Michaela called, her smile sweet as she turned to make her way back toward the officers’ quarters. No poppies followed her now; indeed, it seemed that she might have strained herself with the display. With her gone, none but the charges were left around the fire, which was now a roaring blaze.

The night was theirs.



* * *



Image


Faerie princes were used to being attended, and so it bothered Aaron not at all when so many valued friends joined him prior to the presentation. Seph was gifted with a warm smile, and absently, his hand. He reached out, taking hers in his in simple, friendly fashion. When Renn’s shadow fell over him, he craned his neck to look up at his most beloved advisor, craning his neck back so far that his smile for the Navarene would essentially be upside-down.

Daniel and Hazel came to sit beside them as well, and Aaron lifted his free hand in a wave to the two, slight and courtly. He said no words, for it seemed a time for silence, though delight danced on his features, almost moving him to an excited greeting when Milo came to crouch at his other side. He grinned at the boy’s bafflement, before his attention was again stolen, this time by the advent of the Western Wind, bringing spring with her as always.

He heard a question, and only then noted that Darcy was among them as well. His brow creased and his eyes hardened just a little when he gleaned distress from her demeanor, but there was no time to find the cause with Michaela drawing them all in. Then Graham was there, so close at hand, and the hand that wasn’t linked with the wolf-born maid came forward to comb fingers through the demon prince’s hair, affectionately and absently, as one might stroke a cat. The realization of who was near cast light on who was not, and he glanced about quickly, finding the others in their small clumps or solitude. He had no hands to wave with, so instead, he fought back the falling dusk with a dazzling grin.

When Michaela began in earnest, he was still and silent (save for his hand teasing through Graham’s soft locks and the slight rise and fall of his chest), captivated. Snakes might be immune to their own venom, but the fae-blooded were far from immune to Glamour. Aaron in particular was more inclined to fall under its sway than most, his resistances stripped bare in the course of embracing what he could of the fae so eagerly. As her words and phantasms enfolded them, even his hand grew restive, to slowly slide from the Mori and into his lap; his hold on Seph remained, but slackened. It was eerie, that darkness. Unreal. Even though there was still earth as firm and sturdy as Renn beneath him, he could almost feel himself floating through it, the persistent whisper of vertigo in his ear.

The swarms of stars brought movement, his head whipping this way and that to mark them and track their progress while their leader described to them their forebears, codified the images that had been dancing through his head. The fae he knew of well, but he knew little of the dragons, the demons, the spirit-folk, the wolves. They all had their secrets, that was the way of it, but Michaela had elected to lay some of them bare in a fantastic showing.

He wanted to weep when it was done, when the shadows of the fae had faded, when stark reality reigned once more. Not so stark, though. Nothing seemed entirely real when limned only by firelight, and he drew comfort from that even as he struggled not to shed a tear. The impact of the presentation on Aaron was obvious; his despair might well have been written on his face in glowing ink. They’re all gone, but we remain, he told himself. A faerie prince must only cry for love.

Fortunately, there was more. In his consternation he had forgotten the surprise! His mind was practically tripping over Michaela’s songbird words until it came at last: a revel. The eldest Omarain was retreating, leaving them to their own devices. He had known parties in his time, everything ranging from the boring but beautiful galas of his parents’ world to the crowded teenage affairs that happened behind closed doors in boarding schools, but never had he enjoyed a party on The Isle, before…

… and the faerie prince hardly needed a pretext to dance. He already had Seph by the hand, and his grip strengthened even as he lashed out with his other for one of Milo’s. ”M’lord,” he spoke, looking left, and then ”M’lady,”, looking right. It was courtesy, plain and simple, but in a show of absurd dexterity he untangled his legs and rose in one fluid bit of worship to the god of movement, drawing them up to stand with him. As he did, the music began. Organ music, oddly enough, to compete with the crackling flames and the murmurs that would no doubt follow Michaela’s departure. It was the only remotely impressive trick of illusion that Aaron had mastered as of yet, to bring music with him wherever he went. Female voices in harmony broke in over the electronic organ, making known the unspoken command of the faerie prince: let the beat control you, let the beat control you…

His Gift was only so strong, though. Artemis, alone across the courtyard after Simon’s departure, would be the only one outside the range of the song, but he might still know what the youth was up to (Aaron often provided soundtracks for their fencing practice to join the clash of foil on foil). Everyone else would hear the song, growing more and more cheerful, infectious as a pox one caught from overeating sweets.

Tethered to Seph and Milo, he kept things simple at the onset, shoulders swaying, head bobbing to the rhythm, arms swinging so that his friends’ would swing as well. He was well aware that neither were dancers, not like him (but then, who was?), but he was content to simply drag them however clumsily they might along with him into the embrace of music and motion. He turned to glance at Graham, his eyebrows providing gesture that his busy hands could not. Up, up, slugabed! they exclaimed, bouncing up toward his hairline. Just you and me, let’s break it down!

Even as simple as he was keeping it for now, there was undeniable Glamour in the performance. His grin, broad and goofy, beckoned any who beheld it to give in to the joyous imperative that the song professed. He just looked to be having so much fun that only an enemy of fun wouldn’t wish to join in. He let loose delighted, musical laughter as he began to sing along, leaning in close to Milo, to Seph, to anyone who came near enough, as if his words were meant only to serenade them.

With song and dance, the revelry was begun. Leave it to a faerie prince to conjure a celebration from the very air.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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The Duke of Sighs


The day had been long over for Harvey when he seemed to make his way across the Isle. He had seemed to float about the entirety of the place until he found himself at his usual spot at the outer limits of the courtyard, lighting a cigarette to calm his nerves. He had been here most of the day scanning each person that seemed to come too close to him. He didn't bother trying to make friends because to him friends weren't worth having. Al though, there were a couple that he would be kinder to due to reasons he would never reveal. It seemed like hours had gone by when his pack seemed to have emptied. The life of a chain smoker. He gave the slightest cough, throwing his hair from his eyes. He probably should cut back, but the habit was too far gone to try to conquer with the simple steps. He felt that he'd be in therapy due to the withdrawal from the nicotine.

Deciding the head back to his dorm room as the sun began it's departure down, he heard the sound of Fleet that felt as though it had went straight through him with the sound of words that came together as an invitation more than a command to meet in the courtyard. Realizing it would only take him a couple of steps to me more visible to other's, he decided to take the longer route to head to his dorm to get another pack. He knew that the guardians were all about talking, so he didn't know long it would take for the meeting to come to a stop. He had made his way through the thick of the woods that came out right near the dormitories. Seeing several others heading to the court yard, he took this as the opportunity to make his way in. He had just made it to the first floor when he heard a far door shut. He stepped into the hallway as he watched the Navarene make her way to the courtyard. Sexy as fuck. He bit his lip as he thought about running up behind her and giving that ass a squeeze, but he wasn't that big of a dick.. Or was he?

When he finally went into his room, Harvey grabbed two packs because he knew he'd probably end up spotting Something with some of his own. She was one of the few that he actually had an open relationship with. She had a few friends on her own that always seemed to come up in conversation, but the second the two of them became a group of three or more he split. He couldn't handle the way Something changed into someone else with her other friends. He usually found himself trying to find Markus or Elvis to talk to. Mostly because Elvis was a fellow Omarain and Markus had the backbone to hold a steady conversation. As he had a slight hop in his step, he made sure to grab his leather jacket that he quickly put on to complete the look of a greaser. He thought about applying some gel in his hair to make the look official, but the sarcastic side didn't win over this time. The actually chance of him being late made him a little on edge, so he stuffed the two packs into his pocket and ran towards the courtyard.

Seeing that everybody was in the general area, Harvey found himself right on time as Michaela began speaking. Her words filled the courtyard as if an angel were speaking, and Harvey knew that her powers were on full tilt to hold the attention of everyone in the area. He wanted off the Isle so bad, but listening to the chance of him to master the gift made him think of the option of staying. When she finally stopped and gave them the option to continue the night, Harvey went straight to the small group of the four people he liked most; Something, Markus, and Elvis. He had already lit a fresh cigarette from his newly opened pack when he made it to the three. "Anything interesting happen while I was gone?" He joked as if anything really happened on the Isle. The words had barely been out a second when the music filled the courtyard. "Fucking Aaron." He let his words linger as he watched the fellow Omarain twirl Seph and Milo around. Harvey's gaze had rested on Seph as a smile filled her face.

Shaking his head, Harvey turned his attention back to the group. "Need a cig?" He held out the pack to Something as he took in a long hit from the cigarette. Even though Harvey was a complete ass at times, he respected those who didn't smoke and didn't like smoke being blown in their face. He would always take a step away from the group he was with to let the smoke carry off into the direction away from the others.

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Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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The Smiling Fiend

Markus was just eying Erin concocting a plan of action, when Elvis joined him. Foiled. But hey, Elvis usually proved to be as interesting as Erin was, and required less work. He'd poke Erin later, perhaps. He'd not forget, because she looked particularly sullen today, which was always great fun. There were a few moments of pure co-existing, and then another entity joined them. Something. Markus stopped his rocking slightly back and forth on his feet, his face dropping into a frown for a moment. It melted back into a genial smile as he turned to look at the lass. She'd installed herself right between the two. Marky-mark. Lovely. "'lo, sweetheart." He replied with an empty term of endearment. It was a mandatory element for the charming young man, of course. He made no effort to sound any less Scottish, anyone who knew him well, which was no one on this forsaken island, would know that he only did that when he was annoyed. His accent usually hovered between American and English, mostly because he despised his Scottish family.

Elvis's words brought a smirk to Markus's face. His staccato sound of amusement was lost under the trill of feminine laughter that emerged from their third companion. He had enough control to tolerate her for a short while, but he'd have to make some kind of escape soon if he wanted to keep his sanity. "'ey, don't talk that way," He said to the man, this grin on his face two parts amusements and one part the dangerous madness that hovered in Mark's countenance, usually below notice. " If she catches you, she might charm you ta death."

As he got the words out, the large stack of wood was set alight. Were they going to set things on fire? Markus's interest was piqued at that more than at the thought of whatever surprise Michaela had promised them. But ah, no, no setting things on fire, apparently, the man discovered as the halo of light spread from the fire to the students surrounding it, creeping up and bathing him as well. Markus was of two minds about this. On one hand, he was utterly enthralled by this feat, but on the other, he didn't want to fall to the Omarain's powers. Everything around him faded away but his companions, and the rest of the group, and His eyes swept the darkness, which was peppered by little spots of light. Her voice reverberated around them, and Markus forced himself to be apathetic.

He focused his eyes into the darkness, but he couldn't help but listen, entrapped by interest. When it came to the Mori, he grinned to himself. He looked up at the star-daemon. That was what he wanted to be. That powerful creature, who instilled fear and respect into the hearts of everyone. But for now he was still Marky-mark. Woo-hoo.

Markus paid half attention to the rest of the Guardian's words because he was busy thinking about how someday he'd be a kich-arse daemon. The darkness of the illusion faded, but the imprint of the stars seemingly hovered in his retinas for a few moments before disappearing suddenly. The dark haired man shut his icy eyes for a moment, trying to reorient his vision. The man was quite eager to begin more intensive training, to rise to his full potential.

As the woman finished up her presentation, informing them that they could participate in 'revelry', A word that made him think of Aaron. Harvey trotted over and joined them then, smelling pleasantly of cigarette smoke. Of course. And most every thought of trotting over to mess with Erin had to be stifled. The sounds of music followed Harvey's sardonic words, and Markus looked over. Aaron? Harvey confirmed that idea with a mumbled sentence.

Markus ran a hand though his hair and surveyed the groups. Many people seemed to be stirring themselves into dancing or some such activity. There was no way in hell that he was going to do any of that. Mostly because he was a rather graceless creature. He was strong, but not light on his feet at all. Perhaps he could vanish into the forest at some point. He'd stay and watch for now, but it was more than easy to lose interest in these creatures, especially when he had to play at being polite and charming. for a moment he was like a trapped animal, looking longingly out at the darkness out of the reach of the bonfire, where he could do as he pleased for a few peaceful hours. But then he yawned lazily cocking his head back slightly and letting a bored look wash over his features.

"So much for a good surprise." He murmured with a shrug. At least a moderately annoying surprise was better than a nasty surprise. Somewhat.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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#, as written by Mela
The Woman Trapped In Ice


Erin wasn’t much for the idea of Glamour. In fact she hated when people decided to take control of her senses and change her perception of things, which was exactly what was going on right now. Faeries and their intrusive manners. Fact was, that as the world began changing around her, Erin wanted to get out of there even more so than she had before. Only this time, it wasn’t to protect others but to maintain control of her own senses. Her features remained impassive, but inside she was incredibly irritated. She still wasn’t sure what Michaela wanted here, or why they all absolutely had to take part in it. She didn’t want to be part of some grand plan – to have some deeper purpose in life. What was she supposed to do, anyway? She could summon, control and banish demons… not very helpful. If anything, her ‘gift’ was to be used for dark purposes. Honestly she was on this Isle to learn to keep her powers turned off when she slept… or something. She was fairly certain that demons slipped through the cracks with the help of her magic, and she didn’t like the thought. That said, she harboured no illusions of ever being anyone’s hero or saviour. In fact, she didn’t want to be.

She glanced down at Irayah, who was arching her back slightly in a hostile manner, her eyes darkening by the second. The demon hated glamour even more than Erin did, but as oppose to the Mori, Irayah didn’t bother putting a lid on it. Anyone looking in their direction would be able to tell that the black kitten on her shoulder, usually calm and collected, was on edge. Fortunately, by now, most people were staring in wonder at what Michaela had created. Erin too lead her eyes wander when Michaela began her tale. She didn’t want to admit it, but the show was rather impressive, and frankly, if she’d been in a better mood, she would’ve been captivated. As it was, she listened, but she couldn’t find her spark of interest for the story. It just wasn’t there as it would have been on other days. Erin removed the little demon from her shoulder and sat down, placing it in her lap. She leaned against the wall of the building behind her and let her gaze rest on the sky, watching the beautiful illustrations accompanying the informative story.

Erin casually ran her hands through dark fur and felt the kitten unwind in her lap. They were both still slightly on edge, but Erin knew Michaela wasn’t a bad person – she just, like all faeries, had trouble comprehending the concept of others maybe wanting to keep their eyesight the way it was supposed to be. She was attentive, though trying to calm down Irayah. The demon was a trouble maker – go figure, and Erin knew she got much worse when she was agitated and she didn’t want the female creature jumping the next person who got on her nerves. Mostly because she’d probably be thrown to the ground somehow and it’d most likely shock her into her natural form, which wouldn’t be the best idea. Maybe she should be more worried about the person who’d end up without a face, but… eh. She wasn’t in the mood. Once Michaela launched into talking about the Mori, Erin wanted to roll her eyes, but refrained. Ah yes… her evil, vile ancestors. Yay. She noticed a grin on Markus’ face and shook her head a little. Typical.

When Michaela finally stopped blabbering, Erin took a deep, calming breath, closing her eyes as her hand, which had been petting the demon cat, stilled in the black fur. She needed to instil some sort of patience in herself if she was going to get through the night. Especially if everyone was going to… uh, revel. If she’d been more expressive, this would have cued her making a face. As it was, Erin merely opened her eyes, blinking a couple of times to welcome reality, and settled for a telling look in Irayah’s direction. The kitten shrugged, obviously completely back at ease now. Fortunately. Then music reached her and she got this incredible urge to hit something, her eyes landing on the most probable cause. Aaron. She liked him… sometimes, but right now he was annoying the crap out of her.

She was about to stand when the black ball of fur jumped out of her lap. Erin frowned, whispering on a sneer, “what are you doing?” Then demon sent her a mischievous look and ran off. Erin sighed, exasperated and moved into a standing position. She pulled down on her already short dress a little – it’d begun inching its way up of course. Meanwhile, the black kitten had made its way over to Elvis, Markus, Harvey and Something. The blonde gritted her teeth as she watched the damn thing purring as it rubbed itself against Markus’ right leg.

She cocked her head to the side, waiting for his reaction. Everyone knew the cat was particularly fond of Markus and Graham, but she hadn’t ever seen her do that before - acting like an actual cat. It was weird. She glanced from person to person in the group, steeling herself. She’d noticed Markus eyeing her a couple of times and she could tell he was up to no good, which she really wasn’t in the mood for. She glared at the cat, the rest of her face impassive. Of course she could command it, but she’d have to speak to it, which she usually tried to avoid. Commands with power made her voice deep, which was quite the attention-drawer. So she settled for heading over there… to recollect the god damned demon and then make her escape as quickly as possible before Daniel noticed her. She wanted him, more than anyone, very far away from her.

Erin began walking over to the group her pet demon had decided to infiltrate, pondering how to properly scold the damn thing… and then how to punish it. Irayah knew exactly what she was doing – forcing Erin to associate with people who promoted her dark side, and she also knew the Mori’s opinion on the matter… especially on bad days. Markus could be fun, and she didn’t particularly mind Harvey or Elvis either. Actually she quite enjoyed Harvey’s company, but not today… today was supposed to be a day for solitude and a lot of painting. Again she wondered why on earth she kept that bloody demon around.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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Something Seraphine: The Avant-Garde


Something's light greeting was met with a "'Lo sweetheart," from Markus, the irritated tone of which she was completely oblivious to. She gave a affable toothless grin, turning her attention to the Omarain beckoning her mind.

So susceptible to the magic, Something felt completely immersed in the vision. It felt so real; she felt so breathless. Eyes wide in an attempt to take it all in at once, mouth lightly agape, each light felt like it was pulling on individual strings in her heart, creating a beautiful symphony of music. Her heartbeat quickened, and she felt she might cry, but alas, she did not. As true as her emotions were, Something was not expressive enough to actually tip into that territory. Instead, she stood there mildly, while her mind went on a journey, twisting turning and suspended in space. It reminded her of New Mexico in a way. If she had taken acid in New Mexico. Which she hadn't had the chance to. She didn't have enough time to get properly acquainted with the desert with before coming out here.

Once it was all said and done, Something felt suspended in the air. Her body was not quite ready to function yet. She felt she had just lived years, experienced and learned so much, in such a short period of time. So when Harvey strolled up, asking whether or not anything interesting had happened, she simply shrugged. "Hmmm..." was her contemplative response, as if she were about to add something insightful, but she never did.

Not before she was immediately distracted by Aaron's music, that is. It surged and swelled. She grabbed the free hand of Elvis and, though he was no help at all, she spun herself in a tiny albeit clumsy circle, gripping the tips of his fingers. So invested in her inconsequential dancing, she (luckily) did not hear the scoffing. She looked hopefully at the three in her group. "I was joking," she grinned. She was terrible at jokes.

Luckily, Harvey tugged at her attention by offering her a cigarette. "Holy shit, sank you so much, monsieur," her French accent almost passable considering she had studied it...kind of...a long time ago. She gave a small curtsy, though it was so small it could have been a stumble. Putting the slender tobacco between her lips, grasping it with her teeth while she placed a cupped hand over the tip, bowing her head while she lit it effortlessly with a snap of her fingers--they were familiar motions to the girl. As if it were all apart of the process of lighting and smoking a cigarette, Something pulled her colorful Navajo inspired backpack to her front, rummaging around for a moment, puffing the little thing clenched between her teeth until she found what she was looking for.

But as she pulled it out, something small enough to fit easily in her hand, she pulled a face and cringed. She glanced up, eyes watering immensely. "I got smoke in my eye," she mumbled her confession.

And with that, she reached out her arm straight, limp wristed, and placed a blueberry in Harvey's hand. In return for the cigarette. Of course.

Before she could witness Harvey's reaction, she noticed a queer little shadow rubbing away at Markus' leg. She made a sound so small and quiet it was like the busting of a bubble or a drop of water falling into a glass. The reaction began immediately, though it was like the slow deflating of a balloon. Something began sinking, slowly sinking to the ground.

She knelt down, bottom hovering just an inch or two off the courtyard cement, with her chin resting gently atop her boney knees.

"Hi kitty," she whispered gently, wrinkling her nose then burying her mouth into her knees. "Hi Erin," she mumbled through the fabric of her jeans, eyes looking neither at the cat or Erin, but glued to the ground immediately in front of her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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THE PRINCE UNCROWNED

Something had shimmied over to them, trying too hard at nonchallance and just generally being as goofy as her human shell would allow her to be, and Elvis found himself wondering if this... this thing before him was at all manufacuterd, or if this creature could genuinely be as hopelessly oblivious as she was. She lacked all social graces- approaching the least friendly, wedging herself rudely between them without the blink of an eye. But the most peculiar of all was that you could see the cogs turning in her head- Elvis could visually, actually see these absurd thoughts buzz inside her mind. He'd never met a person so painfully open to read, and yet, her ignorance made her almost... almost difficult to manipulate, in a really weird way. She didn't catch onto subtler things.

Presley.

Of fucking course. It's not like he hadn't spent his entire childhood swallowing that name every damn time- every god damn time any hokey adult thought they'd be cute or smart or clever. Oh, fuck Elvis Presley. It was an ongoing joke that had run by his entire life and, needless to say, that shit was old- was old before it could ever have a chance to call itself new. He'd learned to despise even the man himself- Christmas time was torture because for some reason everyone thought holiday cheeriness and the rock legend were synonymous.

"Hey, that's cute. Did you come up with that yourself?"
Elvis said easily, never missing a beat. His smile was natural on his face, his feigned surprise seemingly sincere. There was no falter- no indication of his lie. It was seamless. Naturally, it would be. It was such a simple one to tell.

Elvis merely snorted in response to both Markus and Something's reply to his sarcastic mostly-truthful bashing of fairy gaudiness. Something had commented on Michaela's loveliness- which he noted with a half hearted nod- while Markus had snarked back a warning. A semi-satisfied grin appeared on his face just at the sound of his accent. If he was right, and he was usually right about these sorts of things (he was a person-reading-extraordinaire-genius-fairy-boy, after all) the bearded man didn't usually have the endearing dialect.

As soon as Michaela began speaking, Elvis was gone- completely abducted into the world she weaved. He loved her illusions- or rather, envied them- and spent every passing second absorbing the power of it all. Such a command on glamour left him with both a sour feeling of bitterness and a sweet hope for his future. He was determined to become just as great. His admiration quickly transformed into absolute horror as soon as the festivities had begun, however. "No." he groaned in his own mind. He was transfixed on staring with disdain as Aaron- who he didn't dislike, for the record- began to trot about with his little enthusiastic tagalongs.

He was trapped in a pigeon hole, barely even noticing as Something grabbed his hand and spun her tiny little body underneath his towering one, his eyes still fixed on all the fun before him like it was noxious gas seeping closer and closer. "Oh no. No, no, no. I dont do parties unless hard liquor is involved." he stated while staring into the distance, his english accent peppered thick into his words. He felt the dread seeping into his bones. Suddenly, it was as if he was ripped out of his reverie and had just remembered other people existed. He whipped his head down to stare blankly at Something, then noted that Harvey had joined the group. The smell of cigarette smoke filtered pleasantly into his senses. He automatically breathed the scent in, feeling soothed just by that.

"Fucking Aaron." He'd said, and to this, Elvis barked out a real, genuine laugh- not that stuff that he faked (though it sounded just about the same). That was precisely the incentive he had thought. He offered Something a cigarette and Elvis had to stop himself from face palming so hard that his head would fly into outerspace, because the little ginger pixie had, no shit, given him a single blueberry in exchange.

There wasn't time to dwell because then Erin had practically clomped over like an undead nightmare due to the fact that her little pet had infiltrated their group. He wrinkled his lip at the demon masked as a little cat and clicked his teeth, not nearly as impressed as his counterparts.

"Mmmm, I'm allergic." he stated, eyeing the little fur ball, not too crass but rather precarious in tone nonetheless. This group was becoming a bit of a mess, he noted. Each one of them required a different type of charm to be most effective, so he found himself uncharacteristically quiet and really, really, really wishing he were somewhere else. Or, not exactly that. Just... just perhaps that alcohol comment was a better idea that he'd made it out to be. He wondered if it'd take much persuasion to get a real-life-actual-adult kind of party kicked, one with a little less merriment and a little more disaster. The type that you could remember the next day and regret. Not for him, of course. He just liked getting dirt on others, really.

"I'm going to see if I can get this party started." he stated before, simple as that, leaving the group. He'd spotted Vendicare standing all by his lonesome self, making little puppy dog eyes even when he didn't meant to. Elvis approached him easily, stuffing his hands in the pocket.

"'Ello, Vendi" he said simply, just a hint of mischievousness twinkling in his eyes. "Fancy the show?" He asked, almost sardonically, but he really was genuinely interested in what this cryptic man had to think of the parade.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson
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Vendicare took a step back as Matt began to wander around the pyre they'd created, lighting it. It caught well and blazed forth, causing Vendi to scowl and take another step back. The blackening wood's scent drifted to him and he could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand on end, memories that were just on the outside of his ability to remember tingled at the edges of his mind as he watched the oranges and reds flick against the deep brown, almost black wood. He stood, arms crossed over his chest, eyes boring into the fire, until something pulled him back to Michaela, the beautiful guardian.

From a young age, Vendi had always found the male form in all it's intricacy and power attractive. He'd admired men from afar, finding that a small thrill shot through him whenever one of these men approached him, though he'd never let himself outwardly reciprocate. He'd known that, without a doubt, men were remarkable creatures and he was drawn to them. As Michaela began to breathe slowly, her chest rising and falling, he found this same drawing force pulling him to her. Stepping forward once he felt his stomach form a tight ball as he curled his hands into fists, every molecule of his body seemingly screaming to run to her, grab her, hold her close. The heat of the fire washed against him and he blinked and shook his head, confused by his reaction he let his eyes wander and dropped to a crouch as the surreal feeling of floating struck him. The world as he knew it had disappeared and all that remained was him and Michaela. To say he was jarred would be an understatement. His brain began to fly, trying to understand what had happened, trying to put two and two together, grasping at ideas on how to escape whatever floating fortress he'd been transported to. He clenched his teeth as he prepared to run, when a calm washed warmly over him.

He scowled in confusion as his body slowly un-tensed, each sinewy muscle relaxing and returning to it's natural state. He stood slowly as his eyes found Michaela again and he found he couldn't look away this time. His mind refused to focus on anything but her and the light that radiated about her. Then it came to him, a soft whisper, a loud echo, a chill tidal wave, a snug bubble bath. Her voice. It enveloped him, vibrated within him, it told a story, described and explained as images dominated his vision. When the night around him split into five points, then again into different pictures, he found his eyes drawn to the four-legged and two-legged star patterns. He listened intently, the back of his mind storing away information, but it wasn't until Michaela's story turned to the Balaren that his ears truly perked up and he felt a tingle shiver down his spine as it did whenever his tail had wagged. He watched as the two figures morphed into what might have been terrifying images to some, but simply created a kinship deep in the center of his being. He watched as the two raised sights upwards and, although the howl was silent, could hear it within his soul. The call reached him as it had many nights over the past few years and he felt his larynx tremble at the urge to join in on their song, to lend his voice to the chorus. He withheld, but found himself nodding his head in return to their ethereal bows.

The tale came to a close and Vendicare's full body ached for more, just a tiny bit more, as the starry images dissipated. He turned to the Omarain guardian now, and listened carefully. He wasn't sure how he felt about "starting in earnest" tomorrow, especially having not technically "started" yet at all himself. He'd had so many unanswered questions upon arriving at the isle. Some had been answered by Michaela's lesson, but many more had risen. Had it been a month ago, his ears would have flattened back against his head. Expelling air, he looked to Matt when Michaela basically told the students to party. Matt's eyes caught Vendi's, and he could read them well enough to know that something important was to be learned tonight. He nodded in response to Matt's nod and watched in subtle awe as his mentor swiftly changed form and ran off into the woods. His gut instinct was to change and follow, but his attention was caught by a passing scent, sea water. Turning instinctively, his curious eyes caught a genuine smile from the girl he'd noted was as infantile to the isle as he was. The corner of his lip turned up ever so slightly in response as he nodded to her slowly.

He began to follow her with his eyes when movement to the left caught his attention. Instinctively tensing for the chase he looked over and realized that many of the other blood-children had begun to... dance. It was then that he fully realized a beat and female vocals had begun thumping through his head. He felt a momentary surge of excitement and cheerfulness float up his chest and he frowned. Vendicare tilted his head from one side to the other as he watched the dance in momentary confusion, then caught sight of the blonde Omarain. Whatever it was the fae's did made no sense to Vendi, he just knew that it probably had something to do with the bouncing boy and a tiny urge to dance bubbling in his stomach. Vendi quickly extinguished the urge, he did not dance, ever. Secure in his diagnosis of the situation, he settled; the party had begun then. He stood grounded, unsure what his next step should be, simply watching the group and debating what would be best. What he wanted to do was go and lay down in the grass and think. Or even to go for a good long run.

Footsteps approaching to his right and the faint scent of cigarettes had his attention away from the spectacle before the voice reached his ears, "Ello, Vendi. Fancy the show?" Vendi glanced sidelong at the one person he felt semi-comfortable talking to and smirked. "Piacere, Elvis." He nodded and uncrossed his arms, adopting the same pose of hands in pockets as a habitual "no threat" body language style. His rich Italian accent thick, he cocked an eyebrow, "I think it is... interesting?" He looked to Elvis full on now, "You are planning, non?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan
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#, as written by Attie
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He caught the keys in one swift motion, nodding to Michaela as she left. The keys she'd provided only went to a few select things, things that Renn wasn't sure the charges needed on a night that they'd have to wake up in the morning - early no doubt, but it wasn't his call to make. In addition, Fleet would be staying as well, so he wouldn't be alone in helping maintain the peace between them and ensuring everyone had a pleasant, safe evening.

As if trying to wake him from his thoughts, or just his own way of a friendly gesture, Artemis had made his way behind him, waking him with his touch. Renn laughed a bit, looking over his shoulder at his friend as passed because it had tickled in a sense - and now his hair was shocked and ready for a party. Perhaps it was that reason he'd done it. Had he messed it up back there on the beach with Darcy? Darcy... There would no doubt be a point in the evening in which Renn would get Artemis back - maybe he'd raise a piece of the ground just to trip him or something. Nothing dangerous. He wasn't sure, but the game was on.

As he turned on his heel, Renn had apparently been oblivious to the people who'd sprung in to dance. While he understood the notion as an entertaining passtime, it wasn't in his ... Well, he certainly wouldn't be joining without some alcohol. -- Speaking of, Elvis seemed to be on the same page as he overheard, "Oh no. No, no, no. I dont do parties unless hard liquor is involved.". Watching Elvis move, he found himself next to Vendicare. Renn had no problem with either of them, as he knew the pair just about as much as he bothered to get to know anyone, but there was a first for everything, and with someone with two solid feet on the ground, it wasn't as if he lived off of their approval. He headed in their direction, nodding up at the pair to get their attention with a jingle of the keys in his hand.

"I don't do parties without the alcohol either." He'd heard the thick Italian accent respond to whatever Elvis had spoken to him, but he shook the thought to intervene from his mind. It didn't matter. "Come help me lift all of it out here, yeah?"

With that, he breezed past the bunch with (hopefully) the pair behind him for additional heavy lifting. They'd passed Darcy on the way, and Renn offered her a smile only to be matched with... Well, whatever it was, he hadn't expected it. Was everything okay? Was he supposed to be reading in to this? Was it nothing? Fuck this social barrier.. It wouldn't matter anyway. After a few drinks in him, he could loosen up and.. Well, he'd never been drinking after his power's awakening. Who knew what could happened?

They found their way through the darkened kitchen and Renn flipped on the lights so they could make their way to the walk-in fridge. Upon entrance, there was a metal door that led to a cellar of sorts. You could see everything on the inside from the fridge, as it was barred like a jail. One could see exactly what they wanted before the lock clicked open and allowed passage, and once it did, Renn found himself at least three different kinds of tequila, whiskey, and a box to fit it all in. Once that box was filled, he pointed over to a keg so that one of the other two could grab it. Behind it was a rack of bottles - various wines, maybe some more liquor, he wasn't sure but with their addition, there was certainly more than enough to entertain the party tonight.

After the three men juggled who would carry what, they brought it out, locked the door behind them, and made their way back to the party. Renn's voice called out like the announcement of an earthquake, the ground hardening beneath them to grab their attention after a few staggered here and there. "Listen up! You heard what Michaela said... Tomorrow we'll all be training more intensely than those of us who have been here for a while will have ever performed. What you do tonight sets the tone for the new lives we lead tomorrow. Handle this information with care.- With that in mind... Have a great evening! We are the Bloodlines!"

His moment of attention came and went as quickly as he'd demanded it. He set up the keg for the easiest dispersement for others, scattered the bottles and various drinks on a nearby table barrel or two, and then left it sitting there. Thanking the pair who'd helped him before taking his leave, he made his way from the others beginning to gather at the alcohol to a corner across the way. Isolated, watching, and calm. That's what he wanted, but as he watched the others enjoying themselves and the others that would head for the alcohol, he couldn't help but wonder:

Will we even wake up tomorrow?

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Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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The Smiling Fiend

Markus stared at Something for a moment as she, a light hanging from her lips, dropped a blueberry into Harvey's hand. Okay, he was out of here. As he moved to dart away, to disappear into the forest before he lost his sanity to these people, a dark shape rubbed itself against his leg. Irayah. Something sank to the ground to say hello to the cat while Markus shot a look over at Erin, who was making his way towards him to fetch her kitty. He grinned, but it fell off his face as Danny-boy intercepted her. Well, she'd still have to come get her cat, he could be patient.

Markus reached down to scratch the little black creature behind the ear. Elvis made his leave, announcing that he was allergic to cats. Another statement followed the first, about getting the party started. Which most likely meant that alcohol would be procured. "Have fun." Markus called after him, his voice lazy. He shot another glance at Erin, who was still talking to Daniel. He seemed amused. Markus frowned with annoyance, and lifted the black cat up off the ground, holding her carefully as he scratched under her chin. "Hello there," He said in the voice he affected while talking to things that couldn't respond. "Did I ever tell you that you're my favorite being on the island?" He told the cat as he watched Erin conclude her talk with Danny-boy and continue over. He had guesses about what the little feline was, but he wasn't entirely sure. He liked to think that Irayah had lured her master over on purpose though.

The blue eyed Mori grinned as he helped close the gap, setting the cat down so she could go back to Erin if she wished. "Lo, love." He looked her up and down, pushing his hands back in his pockets and adopting a lazy stance as he teased her. "I was just telling your kitty here how lovely her owner looks while she's sulking." He withdrew a hand from the warmth of his pocket for a moment to run it through his hair, which was still quite damp. It had just began to draw back up into it's normal mess of haphazard waves and slight curls which bothered Markus a bit. especially because the back of his neck was growing cold. Perhaps he should have stood nearer to the fire.

"What did Danny-boy have to say?" Markus adopted a sneer as his eyes pinpointed the other man for a moment. He adopted a stupid sounding voice that was supposed to be Daniel's, despite the fact that it sounded nothing like him. "'Look out, Markus is stealing your cat so he can turn you evil.'" It was no hidden fact that Markus despised Daniel. Perhaps part of his hatred was due to paranoia, he really did see the other Mori as a threat to himself, and to Erin as well. A distraction to pull him from his destiny of fully realizing his bloodline. He smirked, rolling his eyes and scanning the group again.

Markus seemed to discard thoughts about Daniel quickly, as he usually did, no need to get all fired up and mad, losing control at the moment wouldn't help him with anything, and he returned to lighthearted poking. "But if you came to ask for a dance, I'm afraid your out of luck. No prancing around like a pansy for me tonight."

His attention was pulled away for a moment by Renn; it really did look as if Elvis had managed to procure some booze. He smirked. He wasn't a drinker himself, but it was quite funny to watch others get smashed. And it made them easier to manipulate and play with. But he didn't want to hang around. he had more interesting things to do, more interesting places to haunt.

"I do think that is my cue to bail this sorry party." He said with an annoyed sigh. Then his face grew into a devilish grin. "Would you like to join me." He pulled his hand from his pocket again and offered it to the young woman before him. Then he shot another longing look into the forest. He didn't often have accompaniment into the forest, but it wasn't unwelcome, especially not Erin's company. Perhaps he could give her another little push in the right direction. Or at least, the right direction in his opinion.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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#, as written by throne
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We always have the rhythm here, in our blood and in our souls.

It was an uncomplicated song. Nothing in it called for elaboration, and so the faerie prince needed not do anything more than give in to it. In terms of blazing, his grin rivaled the bonfire as he cavorted with his friends, more and more of them as each bar of catchy, synthesized music went by. He was silly. Even faerie princes could afford to be silly, from time to time. His hips swung to bump up against Milo; releasing him, he lifted his arm and Seph’s up over head and led her through an unrehearsed walk around one another, every footfall conforming to the beat, the beat, the beat, the beat. That brought him near enough to Tally. He’s spotted her running off, and welcomed her back by shimmying towards her, his spine arching backward more and more with each tiny step until he was nearly doubled over. He looped himself underneath his and Seph’s arms before springing upright once more, only to find that his wolf-born dance partner was being stolen away. He didn’t mind at all, not so long as it meant another dancing body, another soul given over to the rhythm.

He busted some moves. That was really the only way to describe it. He was dancing with anyone and everyone within range, now, or really, more likely, not really dancing with anyone at all. For a while, he did the running man, knees coming up high, legs forming right angles, arms pushing out and then pulling in. Then it was The Twist, his feet pivoting back and forth as his arms swung at his side. He grape-vined his way past Milo when the boy wandered off, a smile of jubilous encouragement bowing his lips, rolling his arms in truly ABBA fashion as he went. There was some cabbage patch, some shuffling. Xylea’s encouragement nearly had him blushing (it was hard to tell, since his blood was pumping hard as a matter of course), and he slowed, never quite stopping, watching as she summoned a flurry of leaves about her and exalted in dance. He spun his way around Tally, hands in the air, and then brought them down again in order to vogue with Artemis and Xylea for a span before he was off again…

Seph was returned to him, and he embraced her in a hug, likely surprising her as he lifted her clear off the ground and twirled twice around before setting her on the ground again, just in time for the first song of the evening to abruptly end. He’d gotten so lost in the music that he’d hardly spared a thought toward choosing the next one.

The faerie prince was gleaming by firelight. The roaring fire warming the air and physical exertion conspired to soak his shirt and skin in sweat. With a flourish, he reached up to wipe his brow and catch his breath, sending a volley of glistening droplets off to splash against the earth.

”My Liege, might I request of thee a dance?”

Was it true or calculated, the way he seemed to have forgotten that Graham was there at all? He whirled to face him, grinning like sin with lips. He could hardly blame the demon prince for botching the style… My Prince or even Your Grace would have been preferable, but being his liege for the span of the next song would suit well enough. He half-bowed in courtly fashion as the slower intro proceeded, letting that be his reply. He slowly extended a hand toward Graham, letting it rise… but just as the beat picked up and the Mori reached for him, he snatched it away, smirking impudently and clasping his hands at the small of his back. Rising to the balls of his feet, he danced forward, using the four bars of energetic beats to circle around poor Graham twice, rising up nearly on point to pirouette perfectly, his right leg kicking out, on every down beat. He came to an abrupt stop directly in front of him, very close, facing him, and then took a single sliding step backwards as the vocals came in.

In what followed, Graham would be less a partner than a prop. The Mori was transformed into the anonymous “you” that the song spoke of, but in truth, Aaron would have been served equally well had his friend been born a sturdy pole on a raised stage instead of infernal royalty. This display was a far cry from his earlier enjoyment. Aaron’s eyes were half-lidded, his mouth a sultry curl. Every movement was enticing or enticed, as if lust itself had been clad in sweat-kissed flesh and set to prance about.

You cast a spell on me, spell on me
His hands came up as his knees bent and unbent to the beat, fingers splayed and dancing on their own as he wove his arms quickly in front of his fellow prince’s face. He grabbed hold of Graham’s hands, drawing his arms to full extension.

You hit me like the sky fell on me, fell on me
On each fell on me, he released alternating hands, right and then left, and dropped down until his rear nearly brushed the ground before springing back up, looking up at Graham all the while, with desire joining firelight to dance in his eyes.

And I decided you look well on me, well on me
He’d come to stand again, still holding Graham’s right hand with his left, and twirled with it above his head, backing up until Graham could feel Aaron’s warmth against his chest. The first well on me accompanied him bringing the captured hand to cross his own chest and alight on his left hip, and the second did the same in mirrored fashion, left on right.

So let’s go somewhere nowhere else can see, you and me
He slid down Graham’s body, never breaking contact, and on the word see, tilted his head back quickly, staring up at the Mori yet again. He disengaged and rose on the following words, pivoting about to face him once more.

Turn the lights down now, now I’ll take you by the hand
He started to sing as he danced, maintaining eye-contact all the while. His right leg swung out for a side kick before he drew it back in, dragging his heel along the ground and splaying his arms to either side.

Hand you another drink, drink it if you can
His arms came back in, dragging down his own chest to finally rest, provocatively, just inside either of his hips.

Can you spare a little time, time is slipping away
He snapped his hands away from his groin, forming fists, which he splayed open mere centimeters from Graham’s eyes, which had no doubt been turned downward until then, and then slipped off to the left, shuffling on the word away and letting his head and body curve in that direction.

Away from us so stay, stay with me I can make, make you glad you came
He kept putting on distance, then pivoted again and all-but-marched back to the beat, arriving on the first instance of the word make. He twirled again, and by the word came, his bum was very snuggly pressed into Graham’s crotch, regardless of the state it was currently in.


He twined their arms around himself, cutting out his singing as the chorus began. For its duration of, he was doing little more than swaying and grinding against his counterpart, eyes closed serenely but his lips still set in sexy bit of pout. His form undulated, sinuously rubbing against the taller boy’s. This Glamour was… different. Probably more uncomfortable to experience than the bubbly cheer he’d been strewing about before. It might not have made the other charges want him (though it certainly could), but it would very definitely make them feel the acute sting of want. Flushed and still sweating, he let himself be enfolded in Graham’s arms, forced them to enfold him, luxuriated in the almost obscene heat of their bodies pressed together, back to front, not a stone’s throw from the bonfire.

He’d somehow turned them around in the process, though, so that they were facing the cadre of hold-outs and booze-fetchers. His eyes snapped open, and a devious grin took his lips. Expressive as always, Aaron’s features communicated something very clearly: there’s still half a song left; give in to it, or you’ll leave me no choice.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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Seph couldn't help but laugh a little at Milo. Any traces of self consciousness she had at her own dancing were wiped far away once she was dancing alongside Milo. Of course, Seph was no expert critic of dancing technique, but she couldn't help but feel that Milo lacked to a much more severe degree than her the required grace needed for dancing of any kind. Whereas Aaron's dancing could take her breath away, Milo's seemed to just make her smile broadly and feel better about herself.

Maybe that was the point? She'd never thought about it that way.

Daniel came in for a dance, and Seph was smoothly transitioned from partner to partner. He was no Aaron, of course, but that wasn't entirely a bad thing. Trying to keep up with the Omarain boy was pretty taxing, to tell the truth, and Seph was glad for a dance with Daniel, as she hadn't seen him yet today. Or rather, hadn't talked with him. She was quite certain Daniel was keeping an eye on her whenever he could. Because of his desire to look out for her, of course. Daniel was so kind like that. And while she hoped that soon enough she wouldn't need the Mori watching out for her, Seph understood that there were still a great deal of things she didn't understand, and a great deal of ways she could unknowingly get herself into trouble. So he was her safety net, she supposed. Always there to catch her if she tripped.

"My day... was wonderful!" she said in between breaths. "For the most part. I did... accidentally make Sinry fall down a flight of stairs, but she was alright! And... I guess I helped her find something, so it worked out!" Thinking of Sinry, Seph tried to get a few looks at the people who hadn't joined in on the dancing, for reasons she couldn't fathom. She did not see Sinry among them, but she could have missed her or something. But then, Sinry didn't seem as comfortable around other people as she did Seph, so maybe it made sense that she didn't want to dance with all of them.

As the dance just about ended, Seph stopped rather suddenly at hearing Renn's voice. She didn't really understand what he meant, about setting the tone tonight, for tomorrow. For one, she didn't think she grasped the phrase as well as she should have. Setting the tone... and she had thought tonight wouldn't have affected tomorrow. They were going to have fun tonight, and work tomorrow. They were two totally separate things, as far as she knew. Unless they kept dancing all they way into tomorrow, but Seph didn't think she could dance for that long.

But there were drinks over there, that Renn and Elvis and Vendicare had brought out. That was worth checking out, as all the dancing had made her somewhat thirsty. Maybe she would go get something soon.

Their dance ended, Daniel led Seph back over to Aaron. She heard him say something about her having fun before Aaron swooped in on her. She gasped in surprise as he lifted her small form into the air in a hug, feeling that same little flutter in her stomach as he spun her in two complete circles before letting her feet touch the ground again. Her stay with Aaron this time was short-lived, however, as Graham had come forward and requested a dance of him.

"Go for it," Seph said, wiping away a bit of sweat from her brow, "I think I'll get something to drink." As Aaron began his dance with Graham, Seph took her temporary leave of the impromptu dance floor, taking a moment admire the beauty of Xylea's dance with a smile before heading off towards the drinks that had been brought forward.

Reaching the drinks that Renn and the other guys had brought out, Seph found that she didn't recognize even a few of the names. Tequila. Whiskey. Wine. She'd had some wine a few times at Sonja's place in Anchorage, but it hadn't tasted all that great to her. Maybe these were other kinds? There sure seemed to be a big variety of them. One thing was certain... there was no water.

She looked up towards Renn, who would probably see the uncertainty on her face. The two of them were on pretty good terms now, especially since Renn had stopped asking about her being a wolf so much. She found him to be very kind once she'd gotten to know him a little better. Maybe he was a little awkward at times, but hey, so was she.

"So... which one is the best?" she asked, shifting her weight onto one foot, her eyes passing back and forth over the display of drinks. "If there is a best, I mean. Is there something you prefer?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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the fool

Milo watched as Xylea's cheer transformed into wild confusion, and his own brow twitched downward as if to match her. "Whassa matter? Do I got somethin' on my face?" he wondered idly. The girl went on to explain to him the mechanics of fun, and an amused albeit still befuddled smile found its way onto his face. "Hahaha, no, no!" he began, trying to wave away her worries. "You aren't sick are you?" she continued, one of her smooth hands reaching up to brush against his forehead. The quietest of snickers, held in by him biting his knuckle, trickled from his mouth at the silly gesture, but a warmness had begun to bubble in the pit of his stomach at the gesture as well. Really, who didn't like to be doted on- cared for?

He didn't get a chance to explain to her that he was, in fact, not ill at all because he was quickly distracted by her suggestion to enjoy themselves. Peculiarly, her hand just... stayed there. He wasn't particularly weirded out by the gesture personally. Her hands were really soft, actually.

"Hmmmm, okay." he agreed, a suddenly serious face coming about as he wracked his brain for things that could be fun. What did he find fun...? He liked video games. His eyes flashed upwards to Xylea. "No, no, too simple. Have a little imagination, Milo." he thought to himself, dismissing the idea entirely. Napping? He was a sucker for a good nap. That was fun, right? He squinted as he stared into the depths of her blue eyes while he contemplated. The exchange must have looked intense from an outsiders point of view, like something very grave was being discussed between the two of them, what with his scrutiny and her concern.

"Ah... I have... some cheetos in my room. I can go get 'em and be right back." he finally offered, the entire build up brough down gracefully by his casual suggestion. This... this was Milo's definition of fun. "I mean, I could bring a frisbee, too, if you're up for it... A couple of yo-yos...?" he added as an after thought. Was it safe to play frisbee at night? Hmmmm...

Milo was completely oblivious to any speak of alcohol or similar debauchery, completely enthralled in the excessively oblivious exchange going on between the two of them.




THE PRINCE UNCROWNED

Vendicare's stoicism had broken under the pretension of semi-tolerable company, a smirk winding up on his face, and the younger Omarain found that simple fact quite conciliatory. A sense of satisfaction settled down into his gut, curling up there and snuggling into his chest. The only evidence that spoke for this feeling was a dim twinkle that appeared in his eye, but no more could attest to how bloody great he was starting to feel. "Piacere, Elvis."he'd said, and Elvis wondered to himself whether that accent would ever be anything other than incredibly endearing. So, Vendicare thought the ceremony was "interesting", and hesitantly so. He denied himself the pleasure of prodding Vendicare's brain, resisting the urge to dive in and figure out what, precisely, interesting implied. There was time later. As tempting as it was to race to the good stuff, you had to ease into those sort of things or they'd never end up happening at all, he'd learned.

"You are planning, non?" Vendi had said and, to this, Elvis quirked his head to the side. "When am I not?" he'd barely had the chance to slyly reply before, strangely enough, Renn had approached them. Elvis let his eyes roam over the other inspectingly, curious as to why he'd come to them of all people. Surely, the man had better friends. Not to say that either of the two weren't fond of him, but he seemed popular enough to not ask mere acquaintances for help. Perhaps, again, such abandon was the key to this aforementioned popularity.

Regardless, Elvis wasn't upset in the slightest when Renn, key bearer of sorts, led them to the house and through the incredibly dark kitchen. Unlike his counterparts, Elvis wasn't part wolf, nor atuned to nature's oh-so bountiful gloriousness, so he was completely fucking blind in the black veil nighttime had cast over them. Thankfully, light soon poured in and illuminated what might have been the most beautiful thing Elvis had ever seen- rows and rows of all kinds of alcohol lined up, just waiting to be taken. He might've cried if he weren't such an emotionless, robotic bastard.

Elvis carried a fair amount over, though admittedly not as much as either of the others. Certainly not as much as Vendi- dear god, was it even healthy to be able to lift that much? He digressed, and trailed his way back to the party behind them.

Overall, the trip to the wine cellar had proven to be a somewhat awkward, completely silent, and testosterone filled encounter that Elvis looked back on fondly if not for the comedic value of the situation. A wolf, a rock, and a fairy walk into a bar and... Ren's speech was short lived and to the point, which was respectable enough.

And then, they were free to do as they wished. Elvis still found himself at Vendicare's side, and he snatched up the tequila he'd carried, unscrewing it, lifting the mouth of the bottle up in the air as if giving a toast, and downing enough to loosen up his thoughts a bit- get himself more comfortable in his own mind. He'd always thought he functinoed a good deal better when he was a bit less sober. His tactics seemed more natural and his insufferable self loathing died down a tad. Of course, these assessments could be inaccurate, due to the fact that they were made while he was, indeed, inebriated. He liked to think he knew better than that, though.

He passed the bottle over to Vendi without even thinking to ask if he partaked in the sport of underaged drinking. He was Italian, right? That's just what they did. The entire concept of abstinence- of any sort- was one that Elvis often forgot all about.

"So, Vendi, I was wondering... are you allergic to chocolate? You know, with the whole... dog-wolf thing in mind." he inquired, actually curious yet still managing to spice up sincerity with a bit of snark.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Drusa Deszled Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen
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The Lady in Waiting


Hazel watched as her guardian Micheala used her powers to create brilliant spectacles of dragons, wolfs, fairies, and all the ancestors of the bloodlines. She explained what made each and every one unique and astounding in their own way. She was amazed at how well she was able to control the illusions. She was struck by all the dazzling colors and movements that made the creatures look so real that if you wanted to you could touch them and she was just that skilled in her abilities that she could actually make you touch and feel their heart beats and body heat. 'I wanna be that good! Now I'm going to try extra hard.' Hazel thought to herself in her head.

She was sitting on the grass between Daniel and Seph when Micheala, closed the show and then after a minute of thinking of how Hazel was to go about the rest of her days on the Isle, to progress in her Glamour, was she interrupted by the sound of music. Hazel looked up and saw no radio, stereo, or phone. It was odd and then the thought came to her and her eyes met the face of her fellow Omarain, Aaron. 'He's probably using his Glamour or something to start a little party with some music. Typical trick.' She smirked as she watched people start to get up and dance.

Hazel being a bit caught off guard by the sudden sounds of music decided to walk over to a small stone wall. She brushed off the dirt with her hands and watched as many people started dancing with each other. She looked over and saw Elvis and Harvey over to one side then saw Daniel go over and dance with Drusa. She did not like Drusa at all. Drusa was mean to her and just seemed to not like anything about Hazel. Hazel did not like her doing that, it wasn't like she had done anything to Drusa, but Hazel being the good person, always avoided her, afraid she might want to cause a fight. Hazel looked around at everyone dancing together and lifted up her legs to put on the wall as well. She hugged them close to her chest and smiled at everyone having a fun time. 'At least they all are having fun.' She thought to reassure herself. 'I might just go soon, perhaps the pond again.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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Darcy Lilith Ratri
The Twilit Princess


The turn of events caught Darcy of guard as a majority of the group around her had now dispersed into dancing. She knew that this would only lead to further Glamour control from Aaron, so she knew that she needed to get out of range from his powers. The sooner she stood up, the sooner she spotted Renn walking past her. Her face seemed to form into the darkest of expressions as the flash of Renn walking away from her came across her face. She was too late on changing the expression she saw that he had given her a smile of all things, so when she had mustered up a small lift of her lips into what one might consider a smile, Renn's back was to her.

She felt herself walking towards him until she saw the two boys that were close behind him, so she retreated to a distance that she felt was far enough from Aaron's grasp. She looked around the group of students, knowing that their destinies were all about to change. She knew that somewhere deep down that this time next year they wouldn't be standing around a campfire dancing. The quick site of death in her mind made her push back against the tree as the moon provided her with the shadows she needed to build up the wall to hide herself. She enjoyed being able to watch people without them being able to watch her back. She liked the way her power supplied her with it's own power in meaning. She played with the hem of her shirt as she bit her lip hard seeing how happy everyone seemed to be in their little group of friends.

It seemed that this was how Darcy was suppose to be the rest of her life; alone. Even Renn had walked away from her in a moment that she felt was so much more, but his lack of realization that walking off was a big mistake made her clench her fist into the grass as her back slid down the tree. "Fuck feelings." She said as the shadows grew to most intense shade of black, no longer letting her see outside of the wall she had formed. She didn't like having her feelings out in the open, so the chance of it happening again was slim to none. Hearing the clanking of glass, she let the wall fade as she spotted what the boys had been after. Alcohol. The smirk across her face was something to behold, but luckily for her only Renn had the pleasure to know she was able to. He had just finished setting up the keg that he all too soon disappeared himself into the outskirts of the forest, like herself.

She knew that if she wanted him to want her as much as she wanted him to want her that she would need to change the distance between them. Walking through the wall that had formed, she walked straight towards the refreshments. She eyed over the lot of alcohol, settling for two beers. She needed Renn to loosen up, but the idea of throwing liquor into his system scared even her. She knew that many of the people standing in the courtyard had probably never drank with their power, but the second her eyes hit Harvey she knew her statement needed to be revised. She hated all that Harvey stood for, but even she couldn't completely hate him. He had so much to offer to the world, but something in his past held him back. The thoughts of Harvey stopped as Darcy turned back to her present task. Talk to Renn.

With the cold beer against her palms, Darcy knew that her powers would be at ease with the sensation of the cool sweat from the bottles. She found herself in front of Renn faster than expected, but even she could admit she had been drawn to him. With no hands available, she pushed the nearest bottle towards Renn. "Drink." The word came out to be filled with so much more than the actually meaning, but only Renn would catch the cramming of emotion in the single verb. She wanted to yell and scream at him, but she knew that would get them no where. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear as she felt herself trying to come up with the right words. She had now managed to open her beer bottle, down half of it, and feel the need to go get another. "What happened on the beach?"

As soon as the question was out of her mouth, Darcy wanted to bring it back in. She closed her hands hard as she felt her powers building a wall between herself and Renn. She didn't want this to happen. The wall was growing darker as she stepped through it, making her only inches from Renn's body as she looked up at him. "I don't want to run from you, but when you just left me.." Her voice drowns off as the wall falls, allowing her to take back her original distance. "You just left me."





Harvey Mak Chinnen
The Duke of Sighs


Fuck me now. The thought sprawled across Harvey's mind as his gaze fell across the fire, begging it to consume his being. He closed his eyes for what seemed like hours, trying to fathom why the fellow Omarain insisted on doing shit like this. "I swear. Sometimes I want to beat the shit out of him." He felt her was bringing blood to his lips as he bit down hard before returning the cigarette to his mouth. He inhaled for the longest time, holding it deep within his lungs before releasing the smoke out into the forest. He tugged at his jacket, pulling out another cigarette because the way the evening was going he would need to entire pack.

Seeing Erin's cat welcome Markus kindly, he didn't dare test the cats limit by offering out his hand. He had the idea of kicking it, but for some reason he liked it. Of course that was mostly due to it's owner, who soon followed behind. "Erin." He nodded seeing the look in her eyes. He could tell that tonight was not the kind of night she would intentionally find herself in, so he kept his words minimal as he remembered Something's attempt at a joke. A thought crossed his mind that made him put the second cigarette back into his jacket. He smirked as his mind worked wonders on what could possibly happen if he successfully achieves what he has in mind. He tossed the blueberry into his mouth that he had forgotten was there, tasting it's sweetness almost immediately. He smirked at Something who was still remaining on the ground with smoke in her eyes. He had guessed that the presence of Erin was also having to do with her remaining low.

It seemed within minutes that Something and Harvey were on their own, so he placed a hand around her wrist bringing her back up to his level. "More blueberries." He said as he placed his arm around her shoulders, seeing his plan unravel in front of him. He leaned close to her ear, pushing back the hair so she would clearly hear his words. "Ever watched Dirty Dancing? I'm about to make you dance a little dirtier than that. Don't resist. It's all for fun." He smirked against her ear before pulling back a normal distance. He was just about to walk away when he felt the slightest movement where their shouldn't have been. With a quick pat down, he looked over his shoulder to see Soren with his lighter. She wants to play this kind of game. The smirk was replaced with the thoughts of how he could get back at her, but at the moment he was too busy shocking the majority of people in the circle.

He led Something to the middle of the students, pulling her against him as he let his glamour take control. Their hips began to grind as Harvey let himself darken the music, giving Aaron a look before he continued to grind against Something. "Let the music take over." He said through almost a whisper that only she would be able to hear. The movements matched what would look like a scene from Dirty Dancing, so he was pleased by the awe most people now gave them at their willingness to openly grind against each other in the most inappropriate way. Catching the eyes of Seph, the most devilish smirk came across his face as he licked his lips as he grinded with Something. The poor girl would never know what she meant to him, but in this moment he knew that it would be fun to play the game with her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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Something Seraphine: The Avant-Garde


Though she had been crouching, and her greeting whispered, Something could not say she hadn’t noticed the way Erin and Markus had completely ignored her. I mean, WOWZA. Not even a nod in her direction. Definitely not a goodbye. Simultaneously, she could not say she was surprised, or that it made her sad. She had been crouching and whispering like a strange wild child. Perhaps Erin hadn’t heard her quiet greeting. Or perhaps they had forgotten about her since she was so near the ground. Or perhaps it was a joke of theirs. Maybe a joke... Yet while she was crouching on the ground, she saw from her peripheral Harvey plopping her blueberry gift into his mouth, and the corners of her small mouth turned up ever so slightly. A smile so faint it was mostly seen by the crinkling of her eyes.

Something was huffing and puffing on her gifted cigarette when unexpectedly, she was being pulled up from the ground. Her eyes grew wide as she drew her brows together, face concerned, mouth forming a little "o" as Harvey's arm slid comfortably around bony shoulders.

"Oh blueberries! Of course!" Why hadn’t she thought of that? Of course Harvey wanted more blueberries. They were particularly delicious this time. She reached around to her backpack, but Harvey had her already moving forward before she could get adjusted properly. She was having difficulty rummaging around while walking but she was certain they were right ther-...and then his hand. It pushed her hair, the tips of which caressing her shoulder, tickling her. Instinctively she shuddered and shied away, backpack slipping to the ground as her hands moved to swat his hand, the trembles down her spine uncontrollable. But he was persistent, and she was uncertain. His lips, she felt them against her ear. Her eyes grew as wide as they ever had been.

"Ever watched Dirty Dancing? I'm about to make you dance a little dirtier than that. Don't resist. It's all for fun." Harvey had cooed.

"Whaaa--?" her voice high and tiny, as her face blushed a bright unattractive red as his mouth moved in a smile against her sensitive ear. Her ears had taken their cue from her face, also adopting a flaming hue at this point. She didn't quite understand...there were plenty of scenes in Dirty Dancing, lots of dancing oddly enough. How was he expecting her too...did he really think...she couldn't dance like that. She simply didn't know how; she felt bothered by his closeness, ashamed even; and she wasn't sure if he was making fun of her. Her confusion added to the embarrassment, and it negatively fed into each other into a continually amplified loop.

Yet he pulled and pushed, albeit gently, and she clomped after him, resisting like a weak shell-shocked child, "I-..." she attempted.

As Harvey began to dance with her, she tried to scoot away from him, like a dog tucking its tail between its legs and leaping at an unfamiliar touch. She felt so unsure. This was a joke, right? She chirped nervously, wooden hips moving stiffly as her eyes fluttered from Harvey to those around her back to Harvey, searching his eyes for a reason.

Why? her eyes pleaded.

"I-..."
she tried again, but she didn't know what she would say, she was so flustered by the entire thing. She felt so strange. What was this feeling in her gut? In her chest? She didn't understand how she felt. A strange warmth, a pressure, a breathlessness. She couldn't fathom that two of the Omarains were using their magic to plant these seeds, these desires in her heart, neurons firing foreign messages that she had never felt before. Everything was incredibly conflicted. She didn't know where to put her hands, so she placed her slender arms gingerly around his neck, as if this was the prom she was not yet old enough to have attended. Was this what it would have been like? She was unsure of his own hands. Were they helping and guiding? Selfishly exploring? What? There was a war within her ribcage where two entities were ripping each other savagely apart. One that viciously sought the unfamiliar warmth his body had to offer, hungrily. The other wanted to crumble, to run, to hide. They both shrieked and raged at each other's throats, snarling with the flashing of gnashing teeth. Something was blinking excessively as she attempted to sort it all out.

They were grinding. "Let the music take over." His voice was so soft. He was speaking to her, not anyone else. This new part of her wanted to listen. Her body was thrumming and vibrating with this…But she couldn't completely. She knew she moved so awkwardly; she was not sensual by nature. She was not graceful. She was not one who was envied. She was not one who danced. And she was especially not one who danced like this. Even more especially not one who got to dance with someone of Harvey’s status. Every glance they got, she was sure was disapproving. Mocking. Judging. She bit her lip to fight away tears.

There was something that was wrong. She wouldn't act like this. It was so totally out of her character. Why did she feel like this? The chaos in her mind, this perpetual blush, it was making her hot. Or something else was. But she was sweating. Face sheening with this unnatural sweat. This feeling...a swelling feeling in her chest was a growing hive of increasingly agitated bees. Her heart was thumping as anxiety threatened to burst from her chest like an alien baby forcefully birthing itself from her ribcage. It pounded. She was afraid she might be breathing too heavily.

"I-.." she repeated unsure.

He moved so well; his movements felt so erotic to Something. He could be sensual. Like a well-oiled, experienced sexy bot machine boy. She felt like an ugly wooden puppet in his arms, grotesque in his strong hands. She felt so defeated that she almost gave in, eyes slowly dropping. And all at once she realized something. A horrifying something. A terrible awful monstrous something. His penis was centimeters from her leg, separated by layers of fabric. From her own private parts. It was there. She could feel it now that she concentrated on it. There. It was right there. It was right there!

Her eyes grew increasingly wide and then welled up with tears. In the middle of her dance, (which probably wasn't even good given how gawkily she moved, something she was self-conscious about in itself) her eyes began brimming uncontrollably with tears so hot they felt like her skin blistered as they fell. She believed they must have been boiling. She knew in her head she was fine. She supposed everything was fine. Her face was fine. But her heart felt like it had imploded from the building pressure. She covered her burning scarlet face with both of her hands and she tried to hold in the sobs, standing stiff and straight.

"I'm sorry!" she blurted.

She did the best she could to hold it in, to fight it back, holding her breath, yet she ended up sipping in little bits of air as she stood rail straight. Her knees felt weak so she just sank to the ground. Let it happen. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry Harvey." she repeated. But she was making it worse, she knew. Harvey would be angry. Not only did she not dance well for him, now she was a quitter. He would be so mad.

"I just don't know how, and I'm not making excuses or anything I'm just so sorry," voice thin and muffled behind her hands. "I need a drink," she finished balefully, sniffing and looking up, doleful defeated eyes. "Let's get drinks." She clumsily gathered herself up and tentatively grabbed Harvey’s hand tenderly to pull him along with her, releasing her grip as they grew an arm’s length apart, darting to where the alcohol was.

"I need whiskey," she breathed towards no person in particular but rather anyone near the alcohol, wiping her face roughly, angrily even, with her forearm. Her voice was a bit lower than usual. Perhaps it was the determination. Perhaps the desperation. Renn, Vendicare, and Elvis technically had claims to the drinks, as they're the ones who invested their time and energy into getting them. She felt strange just swooping in and taking things that weren't hers. Hesitantly, she eyed a particularly attractive bottle of Jameson, fingertip scratching at the crevice where the bottle met the table. But a new thought brought a new worry to her a face. A worry that temporarily distracted her from her self-loathing; her face almost appeared to brighten for a moment.
"Oh, do you have any teacups?" She hated drinking whiskey from anything else.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson
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"When am I not?" Elvis replied to Vendicare's inquiry charismatically, which would have granted a quick, low, rumbly "ha" in the form of a non-surprised laugh from Vendi, had the scent of a pine tree not alerted him to another entity walking up quickly after. Vendi let his face drop back into it's usual neutral expression as he turned to the demi-alpha respectfully. Renn was definitely making his way into Vendi's good graces, but he still didn't feel as comfortable around him as with Elvis. As Renn requested his and Elvis' help in retreiving something, Vendi nodded sharply once. He understood that when work needed to be done, it needed to be done. And when you're alpha asks, you hop to.

As they entered the room where all the boxes were stored, Vendi didn't pause for the lights to turn on. His pupils had grown extremely wide, dialating to let in as much light as possible, which made it easy for him to move about the room with dexterity. He allowed Renn to load his arms with boxes and boxes of clinking bottles until he carried much more than any normal man could take. He let his muscles flex, luxuriated in the feel of his sinews' movement, relished the weight on his biceps and trapezius as he exited the room. Once outside, he waited patiently through Renn's small speech, then only set the boxes down once Renn gave the word. He moved a few paces away and was comforted in a small way when he realized Elvis was still with him. He noted that he was growing quite comfortable with the younger man, which caused him to scowl in the smallest of fashions. Non è sicuro.

He blinked at Elvis as he brought the bottle of tequila over and swigged it on his own, passing it to Vendi, who grabbed it out of reflex. "So, Vendi, I was wondering... are you allergic to chocolate? You know, with the whole... dog-wolf thing in mind." Vendi paused and cocked his head to the side in thought. He'd never really been a fan of chocolate to begin with, it wasn't something he'd tried to eat even before the changing, so he'd never really given the idea much consideration. Deciding this was a good enough answer, he replied on a semi-shrug, "I don't like cioccolato." and left it at that.

As for the bottle in his hand, he'd had plenty of alcohol before, wine and such, growing up, then sticking mainly to beer once he'd turned. Simply because the scent of beer was less offensive than some more potent beverages. He'd never had this... 'tequila'... before though, so Vendi raised it to his mouth out of curiosity, keeping one eye on Elvis out of respect to the conversation. Before he even had a chance to sip the clear liquid he wrinkled his nose and quickly pushed it away again, stifling a gag. The strong scent had stung, causing his eyes to water momentarily. Raising one eyebrow he looked at Elvis, his deep voice grumbling, "Poison? Lupo veleno, is this?" He handed the bottle back as he rubbed the bridge of his nose, still scowling.

He turned toward the fire in surprise then as a veritable onslaught of pheromones hit him, causing a dizzying sensation to course through him. He'd never been able to notice pheromones before, but this was something other-worldly. He wiggled his nose to try and dispel the intoxicating smells but it was impossible. It was as though the hormone-inducers were seeping in through his skin. His blood began to race through his veins and he felt a heat begin in the pit of his stomach. Sicuramente non sicura! He knew this feeling, he knew this rush. He needed to move, needed to run until his head stopped throbbing. His face and body were calm, even as his muscles tightened in his fight to hold onto his control. He briefly wondered what had happened to the squirrel, a good chase and this would all be over. Then he saw Aaron, looking in the direction of the group he was near. Or was it right at him? He wasn't sure, but he suddenly felt as though it was time. The heat began to radiate out through his body from his core when he realized that something wasn't right, something wasn't normal. Taking a step back, he shook his head and looked to the ground. The ground was safe.

He breathed, in and out, arms crossed over his chest, until his body stopped raging. Then, suddenly, the feeling was gone. Looking up slowly he realized how many people were now gathered around the boxes of distilled liquid and made up his mind. What had only been a minute had seemed like an eternity and his palms were sweaty. Which, truth be told, kind of grossed him out. Vend turned to Elvis and stated, "Birra." then moved over, deftly grabbed a Guinness, and moved back to Elvis. Popping the cap off without any help, he took a swig, then let his body relax again as the cold alcohol descended down his esophagus.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Wynston Watson Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen
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#, as written by throne
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”That’s great! That you don’t mind, I mean. And my power isn’t like an air thingy, it is an air thingy! He dropped himself down into a crouch beside her, not actually sitting. He didn’t like sitting, especially not against a wall. He liked to have open space all around him, so he was just to her side, maybe six inches from the wall, but angled to face her. He bounced a bit on his heels and rested his arms across his thighs. ”I can do all kinds of stuff with air.” Her question had utterly derailed the story he’d been about to tell about the last party on the Isle. His mind only had room for so many topics at once- well, one topic at once, really. He was smiling though, quite enthused. ”I’m not sure what would be like an air thingy. Maybe a water thingy? That’s kind of like an air thingy, because liquid is more like gas than solid. I guess fire is kind of like air too, except it EATS air, and I don’t like that.” His eyes narrowed, and he gave the bonfire a dirty look, as if it might have offended him somehow. If any actual person had ever managed to offend Fleet, it had gone unmentioned and undocumented.

He saw her wave, and followed her eyes to Tally. He waved at her as well, lifting his right arm from his thigh and flapping it dramatically at the Evincal girl. Quite suddenly, his cheery grin wilted, turning into a heart-breaking frown. ”The Navarene Guardian was a Water-Touched. Her ability was like an air thingy, because it was a water thingy. I miss her all the time, when I remember to.” Despite it having been explained to him several dozen times that he was, in fact, the current Navarene Guardian, the Wind-Touched still didn’t quite seem to grasp it. His gaze dropped to the dirt in front of him, but then he lifted his head and tilted it, regarding Hazel. ”Wasn’t it sad when all those things Michaela made went away? I don’t like being sad.”

Just like that, he wasn’t. As if someone had flicked a switch connected to his mouth, he was smiling again. ”I’m glad we’re having a party. We had a party here once before, you know. It was nothing like this though. It was when Matt and Arietta got engaged. There was a lot of yelling, I hope there isn’t a lot of yelling tonight.” He shook his head. ”Yelling is just being sad except louder, s’far as I can tell.” He reached down with his left hand and extended his finger, drawing a frowny-face in the dirt.


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He’d forgotten about the chocolate bar entirely while the Omarain Guardian made her presentation. By the time it was over, what remained of it was half-melted all over his hand, done in by his own body heat and that of the bonfire roaring nearby. A scowl had developed on his lips, washing away any traces of awe that would otherwise have been left over from the illusions she’d conjured. He’d become preoccupied with the standing wolf-creature, the one that towered over everything else but the sorrowful dragon. If he could become something like that…

But he couldn’t. His lycanthrope blood was thin. His war-shape was a paltry imitation of the monster that the faerie woman had showed them. That was the stuff of nightmares. No wonder humans were so afraid of werewolves, even after how ridiculously they’d been portrayed for years in the media.


All of that, and then the announcement, like it was some kind of gift or something, that they were going to have a party. Can we just skip to the training? he wanted to ask. He was sick of laziness. Running around the forest was fun and all, but he wanted to see what he could really do with his gifts. He’d sized up all of the other charges and found them wanting, save for very few.

He lifted his hand to his mouth and began to lap it clean of chocolate. An involuntary twinge went through him when Aaron’s music began. He quickly looked anywhere but at the Omarain. He’d learned before that it was easier to not feel anything he didn’t want to if he wasn’t actually looking at him, especially when he was dancing. The catchy little tune cut right into his brain, and he nearly growled as he quickly chomped down the rest of his chocolate bar and shot to his feet. The movement of shadows and his peripheral vision told him that a group was forming up to dance, but apparently he wasn’t the only one who didn’t intend to get his groove on.

Where had Matthew gone? He’d missed him taking off, whenever that had been. Matthew was about the only person around who he actually had any respect for. He looked around for his next favorites. Elvis was being taken by Renn somewhere, the only Balaren competition he had was going with them… His looking around meant glancing Aaron’s way, and for the brief instant that his eyes skimmed over that blond, dancing form, he felt his pulse trying to conform to the beat of the song, felt his fingers begin to tap away on his thigh to the rhythm. No, he told himself, his voice in his mind a guttural growl. His body and mind were his own. He wasn’t going to submit to the charms of Glamour unless he wanted to, and he decidedly did not want to.

By the time he was through wrestling for control and imagining Aaron with a pair of wolfish jaws clamped around his neck (not killing him or anything, just forcing him to be still and silent for once in his life), Elvis was back. Wynston turned and headed toward where they were setting up the alcohol. His features were practically blank as he approached in his dirt-and-grass stained clothing. He nodded to Elvis, and then nodded even more slightly to Renn, and then finally initiated a stare-down with Vendicare. He wasn’t going to break it, so it would be up to the Italian Balaren to do so… or to move the challenge up to the next level, the level where someone ended up on their back or their belly. Wynston was fine with either result.

Seph didn't even warrant a glance. She might as well not have been nearby, for all the attention he seemed to pay her. He was vaguely aware that she was talking, that she moved off to speak to the asshole Omarain, but he didn't need to acknowledge her existence to know that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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The faerie prince hardly needed to be dragged, having been the one to propose that they journey together to the nest of containers of alcohol that had been assembled. His steps were light and sure as he gallivanted along with Graham in his usual spritely fashion. If anything, the Mori might find himself the one being tugged, bringing to mind the image of a particularly energetic puppy using the tether of its leash to enthusiastically drag its owner about. Of course, the idea of anyone leashing Aaron, much less owning him, was dubious at best.

He had not responded to the older boy’s replies. That he’s agreed to accompany him was all that truly mattered. He had no urge to dignify the obvious insinuation of Graham’s teaching him of certain crimes with his attention, or to agree to any sort of promise regarding his potential regrets. In his admittedly haphazard study of the supernatural beings which had made a legacy of their blood, he’d learned well enough that making promises to either fae or demon was a fool-hardy thing to do. He fully reserved the right to regret every second of the experience, if he chose, but it would have been in poor taste to make that so explicit audibly.

When Graham released him to survey their drinking options, Aaron let his attention wander away from his companion toward the others who had assembled in proximity of the social lubricants. Many of them were the same lot who’d dared not to join the festivities in earnest, but it seemed that almost everyone who hadn’t wandered off was being drawn inexorably toward the makeshift beverage center. He saw Artemis move off toward the compound for some purpose, saw Fleet and Hazel in conversation. He smiled to Tally, letting his chin dip in a nod her way. She was drinking beer, one of the only sorts of liquid intoxicant that he did have some experience with, none of it good. The only positive thing he could think to say of it was that, when cold, it could be fairly refreshing… but that was true of almost any liquid intended for cold consumption. He could say quite a few negative things about it as well, but didn’t, merely noting what she was drinking instead.

Elvis, Harvey, Something, Vendicare. Seph as well, and Wynston. He spared a glance Graham’s way to see what progress he was making and found him staring at a wine bottle contemplatively, but he was more interested in what the others were up to. He’d seen Harvey dancing with Something and actually been surprised that the usually caustic Harvey, the last one he would have expected to give in to the celebration, was actually having a bit of fun. He waggled his fingers Seph’s way, smiling brightly, and then frowning when she didn’t seem to notice that she had his attention. He couldn’t quite make out what was being said from his vantage point, but he certainly saw what followed the exchange of words between the Balaren girl and surly Omarain boy. Artemis had returned with food, he noted.

His laughter was just as musical as any other sound he made. As the beer dripped down Harvey’s face, though, there was a subtle note of scorn laced through it. Firelight and mirth danced in his eyes as he watched for a few more seconds, bringing his hands together in polite applause even as Seph took her leave. Smirking Harvey’s way, he let his eyebrows lift a bit on his brow, then shook his head. The electrical Navarene got his shots in first, but the faerie prince was quick to follow. ”You certainly have a way with the gentler sex, cousin. They hardly seem so gentle when you’re around.” he remarked, lifting his voice to be heard above any competing sounds without actually stooping to the indignity of shouting.

His gaze trailed away from Harvey, toward the towering Elvis, the roughly-hewn Vendicare, and the authoritative Wynston. He pursed his lips as he tried to sort out exactly why that arrangement seemed a bit tense, but was unable to reach any meaningful verdict. Instead, when he formed his mouth into a sultry curve and tried to catch the eyes of Elvis and Vendi, since Wynston was facing away from him. That was all he offered, a flirtatious little smirk, before he rounded to check on Graham’s progress.

The prior song ended, and without teenage lust to distract him, Aaron seamlessly transitioned to the next song in his impromptu play-list. He verged a bit closer, laying his hand on the small of Graham’s back thoughtlessly as he poured. The way that the teacup was thrust at him was nearly alarming, enough so that he felt a tiny thrill build up and die. It was the same feeling one had when almost anything was quickly coming at their face, but he neither shied away nor threw his hands up to block. Instead, he brought both hands up, touching them to the somewhat absurd vessel that Graham had chosen for the cabernet. He didn’t take it though, not immediately. The Mori would be forced to either let it fall, or to continue holding it at Aaron’s full lips while he loomed so close.

He arched a blond eyebrow as the characteristics of the wine were laid out for him. ”Olive and oak, coconut and chocolate? You smell all of that? I can’t imagine how it tastes.” His nose wrinkled, and his voice bore a hint of derision that was just as noticeable as the olive top note of the deep red wine in the teacup. He did sniff, though… and tried to smell all of the things Graham was describing. He didn’t, of course. To him it smelled just slightly like acetone and berries. There was a certain sharpness to the scent that was almost oily in nature; not that it smelled like oil, but that it smelled like it might feel oily on his tongue. He finally accepted the teacup by its pert handle, frowning into the liquid as if he expected to see his fortune in the dregs at the bottom. ”How long must I wait? he asked, glancing up again.

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The Wind-Touched Guardian’s spine straightened slightly as Hazel came closer, and his eyes grew just a bit wider when she embraced him. When her lips brushed his cheek, they grew wider still. An instant later, Hazel would find herself in a bit of disarray as the wind-formerly-known-as-Fleet swirled and gusted about her, surely wreaking havoc on her hairstyle before it slipped out of her arms and skirted a few yards away.

He became flesh and blood once more staring at the ground. His cheeks were very red, though they’d only seem dark in the lack of light. He let out a very loud, awkward laugh, hahaha, then reached up to rub at the back of his neck. ”Oh I’m not sad, I’m not, don’t you worry, not at all.” He laughed again, the same awkward, bleating sound. ”Oh look, Artemis brought finger sandwiches. I bet they don’t have any fingers or sand or witches in them!” With that, he adjusted his hat and took off at an ungainly, loping pace for the little snack area that his fellow Navarene had set up.

His head bobbed as ungainly as anything else he did to Aaron’s music, and then he remembered to snatch up a plate before loading it up with goodies. He was still blushing, and his lips were moving, but if he was saying anything at all he was sub-vocalizing it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Wynston Watson Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen
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No sooner had Vendicare allowed his body to relax when he was hit with an onslaught of different occurances causing him to tense once again. Was this isle always going to be like this? Calm one minute, on edge the next? The last thing Vendi wanted was to deal with the back-and-forth pull of emotions that had been raging inside of him since day one here. He was already beginning to miss the days of his wolf-dom, running and barking and playing. His only cares then had been whether or not he'd catch the next meal or another entity in his pack was. It was as though he was a different person whenever he was in his lupine form and he craved it as much a flower craved the sunlight. Being stuck in his human form was bothersome and tiring, however natural it was meant to be. Perhaps it was because he let go and allowed himself to be true to his inner nature whenever he was prowling on all fours?

The first of the distractions came in the form of the wolf-born Balaren and an Omarain getting into a tiff. Some heated words reached their ways to Vendi's sensitive ears and caused him to clench his fists. Harvey had said things to the tiny woman that Vendi hadn't even heard men say to women they'd bought on the streets of Italy. Tense, he waited as the fight crescendoed. If he needed to, he'd step in, regardless of whether or not Seph liked him. He'd always been aware of what 'polite conversation' meant, and Harvey was crossing a line, speaking of things that were meant to be sacred, no matter the sex. It made Vendi's blood boil to hear the Fae belittle the tiny woman. No one, and he meant no one had the right to treat another person that way. His protective nature was bubbling up, and memories of Davide unexpectedly pierced through his heart. The added pain of his past intensified his anger over the situation but also reminded him that it wasn't his place to protect anyone anymore. In all reality, it never had been, obviously, seeing as he'd done such a horrid job of it. He unclenched his fists and watched apathetically now, having successfully pushed aside his need to intervene. As Seph wasted a perfectly full glass of beer on humiliating Harvey, Vendicare's right eyebrow twitched upward slightly. His thought's were confirmed: no need for him here. He took another swig of his Guinness, finishing it, as he watched Seph transform and charge towards the wood his bones ached once again to change and wander the isle. As it was he was held in place by a new attack of his senses: A smell

The scent of blood, hot and fresh, hit his nose, jarring him. His teeth clenched as he involuntarily took a step toward the scent. It was his natural reaction to the inevitable kill he'd grown accustomed to associating with the smell. Vendicare saw that his body's reaction was completely unwarranted, though, as the metallic taste was only triggered by a mere droplet of blood on the oh-so-narcisstic Graham's finger from an almost failed attempt to open a wine bottle. An ironic smirk hit Vendi's face with a swiftness that was only matched by it's retreat. Closing his eyes he breathed in through his nose and out through his mouth, then grabbed another beer and returned to Elvis. He desperately wanted to go inside and be away from all the noise and smells and what was most likely going to turn into drunken debauchery. Some part of him told him to stay, create bonds. He was aware that he had to be on the isle for quite some time, and these were the people he'd be living with, learning with. He'd have to get to know them eventually, right? It wasn't as though he wanted to be a loner, he just knew that life was easier when you weren't emotionally attached to anyone. Had he not thought of Davide as a younger brother it never would have debilitated him when Davide had been stolen from the streets. Feelings brought pain, plain and simple. As it was, this was where he needed to be, and these were the people he needed to learn to get along with, even trust. He'd make an effort.

Having made his decision, he was about make another attempt at the hard liquor Elvis was holding when the scent of chocolate hit him and made him bunch his nose up in disgust. The sugary scent reminded him of the first time he'd tried the dark hershey's bar and gagged. Looking to it's source, he noticed Wynston walking up. The hair on the back of Vendi's neck stood up and he scowled, unsure why his body was trying to warn him of something. He momentarily considered the weather, (perhaps a storm was coming?), but dismissed the thought almost as quickly as it had come. His body had known before he would what was coming: a different kind of storm. His fellow Balaren had nodded greetings to the men around him, but locked eyes with Vendi. To anyone else, it would have simply been eyes meeting, a polite way of saying hello possibly, but Vendi knew better. He matched the stare, letting his muscles bunch if the need for a fight arose. He'd been in his fair share of these alpha-battles, some he'd won, some he'd chose to step away from, some he'd lost. Mostly the one's he'd left as an 'alpha' of sorts had been as a human, when egos were involved instead of the pure survival of the fittest. Had he been in his wolf form, the question of whether or not to attack or be attacked wouldn't have been in existence. He would have simply bowed his head and stepped aside, fully aware that he wasn't meant to alpha a pack, he would never be able to further the pack's lineage, his attractions being what they were. Besides, who would want all the responsibility? He just wanted to have fun. He held the gaze, knowing better than to break it.

As a human... his thoughts seemed to process differently. He realized that, not only was this a show of strength but also an ego-game, a "my dick is bigger than yours" contest. It was not as though Vendi felt he was better than Wynston, but he was also not one to back down. And in the back of his mind he was aware of the people around, the people he needed to get to know. The last thing he wanted was to be considered weak in front of these people. It was better to be a formidable force than someone they bypassed in loyalties because of insecurities over that person's usefulness. His eye contact still maintained, he worked through his thoughts quickly. Tilting his head down slightly, he stared into Wynston's blue orbs from under his eyebrows, a scowl on his face. He'd let the smaller man decide: Would he attack or call a truce? The muscles in Vendicare's full lips tightened as they parted just enough for his long canines to show. "Pensa prima di agire, amico" The word's came out in a deep grumble that rattled in his chest. It was not menacing, but cautioning. Vendi wasn't one to make enemies, in fact he detested having people he had to worry about in a 'danger' way, and so would rather dispel things before they started. He wished he'd listened to his instincts and gone inside when he had the chance. As it was, he let his muscles grow taut once again as he prepared for the worst while hoping for the best.

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It was impossible for Wynston to shut the rest of the world out like he would have liked to. Even with his focus on Vendicare, layers of sensory data just kept piling on. The uneven light and uncomfortable heat of the bonfire. The scents of sweat, of half a dozen types of alcohol, some more aromatic than others, the burning wood, voices nearby, voices in the distance, Aaron’s damnable faerie music. It made him think of home, that brief period that he’d spent in Detroit before Matthew had rescued him. He wondered if Vendicare had ever been in such a city after Awakening. If he’d ever had to deal with a stinking cesspit like that, the belching smoke, the light pollution. Exhaust, human and animal excrement, rotting garbage. Even the cleanest city street was unspeakably foul to someone with werewolf blood.

The other Balaren said something in a language Wynston didn’t know. Italian, he realized, remembering that he’d heard that somewhere. Maybe from Aaron? He’d appointed himself their social director, the ambassador of the Isle, so it would make sense that he’d been the one to talk up Vendicare.

Was it a threat? An insult? Vendicare was obviously tensing himself for a fight, but if he actually wanted a fight, he’d have taken the offensive. He was bigger. He had the longer reach. Giving Wynston the opportunity to get close would have been an incredible blunder. Amico probably meant the same thing as amigo. Wynston had enough Spanish under his belt to understand that. If Vendicare was addressing him as a friend… well, it could have been sarcasm. For a split second, Wynston thought it was, and his blood began to boil. His eyes narrowed and his nostrils flared; his lower jaw jutted out just slightly. It was only a split second, though. With that anger came the realization that he was angry. Some sort of internal sensor went off in Wynston’s brain, alerting him to that fact, and he immediately began to second guess himself.

Vendicare knew what the stare-down meant. How could any Balaren not? He’d chosen not to break it. He’d acknowledged the challenge and not pressed it, but he had said something involving the word friend. If it was some kind of snide remark, then Vendicare was only showing weakness by hiding it behind a tongue that Wynston couldn’t understand. If it wasn’t… then perhaps Vendicare really did think of him as a friend. No, not a friend, but an ally, in a more specific sense than the rest of the pack of misfits that the Guardians had brought together. Why not? They were both Balaren. They were both solitary, compared to their peers. Oddly enough, Elvis served as something of a link between them. Apparently outsiders of any stripe could stand him. If it hadn’t meant ending the stare-down, he would have tried to catch the Omarain’s eye, tried to see what he made of the situation.

With only Vendi’s eyes to look into, he couldn’t help but notice the details of the of the older lycanthrope’s features. The stubble lining his cheeks, his strong jaw line, his sloping brow. He certainly looked more rugged than Wynston knew himself to. He had to shave infrequently, and he’d always had a certain boyishness that no degree of facial hair or snarling could mask. That didn’t mean that he was more fit to lead, though.

Neither does winning a staring contest. The thought came to him unbidden, and he realized instantly that it was true. The wolf in him railed against the notion, but the human recognized that there was much, much more to leadership than winning every challenge. He drew in a deep breath through his mouth. The taste of smoke made his stomach turn. It reminded him too much of the city. Here, in this untouched place, they were more than wolves, more than boys. He may not have liked how it tasted, but it was fact all the same.

Another thought followed, organically: Vendicare doesn’t need to submit in order to follow. If he did… this wasn’t the time or the place to find out. He didn’t particularly care about disrupting the good time that the others were having. They wouldn’t understand. Seph would. Omar would. Matthew would. A few of them might. Maybe Elvis, he’d spent enough time around both Balaren. Renn, only because he’d been around for such a long time. The others, though? They might get in the way, and if they did, they’d get hurt. Both of their standings would be diminished. There’d probably be repercussions, too. Most of the Guardians wouldn’t care, but Michaela obviously expected them all to break out banjos and sing Cumbaya. She was the worst of the faerie-folk. Aaron might have been a spectacle, but he didn’t seem to be doing it on purpose. She was outright manipulative. He’d experienced it first-hand not long after arriving on The Isle.

That begged an interesting question: if she was the leader here, and that was what she brought to the table, would he need those qualities as well? Wordplay and niceties would never come easy to him. He was too blunt for that sort of thing. But playing nice… if he had to, he could. He’d proven that already. He’d probably have to do it a lot more as the weeks wore on.

Slowly, without breaking eye-contact, he extended his right hand. There was nothing threatening about the action. It actually seemed to be engineered to appear anything but. The intention behind the gesture was obvious- a handshake. For however long it took, he’d stand frozen in place, arm hanging in the air, waiting for Vendicare to accept his offered hand. If he didn’t, then it would be on his head if things got rough. Wynston’s gaze never shied away all the while, though. It wouldn’t until they’d shaken hands, and even then, Vendicare would still have his attention.

He spoke. "We were never really introduced." It was true enough. He couldn't recall exchanging more than a nod with the other Balaren, prior to this moment. If he had, none of this would really have been necessary. "Wynston. And you're..." He paused. He really wasn't 100% sure how to pronounce the other's name, and as much as he didn't want to go with the nickname then, he wanted even less to look a fool mispronouncing the full version. "Vendi." It wasn't a question. Wynston didn't ask unnecessary questions. He never spoke with uncertainty. Even as he gave his terse introduction, he never once dropped his eyes from Vendi's. He just kept right on staring with those intense glacial blues of his.

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Vendi could feel the prickling of his skin as tension between the younger Balaren man and himself rose. He watched as Wynston didn't particularly take kindly to his warning and felt slightly chagrined, only just realizing he must have spoken in Italian again. Somewhere in the recesses of his mind a rudimentary ability in English floated, but not when his concentration was elsewhere, like the bright blue eyes of his peer. He focused even more on those eyes as he watched as thoughts registered quickly behind Wynston's eyes, then took off into his mind. He was seemingly cool-headed and calculating the situation, which Vendicare appreciated deeply. Not only because on some sensory level his skin had stopped prickling, but also because it meant there was an intelligent brain at work. Vendi hadn't begun to fight, though he'd had ample chance to, and had done what he could to show that he'd rather not fight. If Wynston were an idiot or brute of any kind, regardless of his stature, he'd have taken the bait and attacked. Vendicare's opinion of the man had grown quite a bit already thanks to Wynston's lack of idiocy.

Vendi's breathing steadied as it drew into his lungs slowly while he waited for Wynston to make the decision of the evening. He could feel his palms beginning to sweat and extremely subtly clenched his fists, banking on the fact that Wynston's gaze was held by his own dark green one and thus his hands would be out of the periphery. Luckily, Wynston didn't take it as a signal to advance and continued his thoughts. Vendi's pulse slammed through him as the adrenaline began to kick in full-force with the anticipation of what would come next. It felt as though there was an electricity in the air, a spark that ping-ponged between both sets of focused eyes. He ticked his head to the side almost imperceptibly as if to say, "Yes, continue thinking this through. We can come to an agreement, I'm sure." Another risk, but one worth taking. He'd seen the way Wynston acted around others, it had reminded him of many an alpha he'd come across. It didn't bother him, but he knew what it meant: Wynston wanted to lead, to be in charge, perhaps even looked up to on some level. A fight wouldn't help this situation. Vendicare waited as the metallic taste of the adrenaline finally reaching it's peak washed through his mouth. He hoped Wynston would make a choice quickly, while he was strong and fit, it would be more helpful if he had the adrenaline to fight with, if the need arose.

Luckily, Wynston's gaze lightened in a way that no one other than another Balaren would truly understand. He'd made his decision and was about to make it. Lightning struck in Vendi's stomach as he let his body tighten for a quick response, no matter what the decision. He breathed in through his mouth, not wanting to fully smell the chocolate on Wynston's breath, the grass beneath him, the hard alcohol Elvis continued to nurse. He kept his stare on Wynston's as peripherally noticed the muscles in the younger man's neck tighten with a slow, deliberate movement. Slow was good. Slow meant he wasn't attacking. Attacks happened quickly, to engage the element of surprise. Vendicare allowed his minuscule snarl to drop and licked his full lips. A handshake. The man was smarter than Vendi had originally ascertained, he also hadn't given fully to the wolf in himself. A truce was still a viable option for Wynston, it wasn't about alpha or beta, or survival of the fittest. Vendi let his lips curl into a small but present smirk of a smile as he decided that, if anything, he respected the other Balaren. Regardless, the last thing he wanted was for this alpha-minded male to think he'd won in any way. Vendi wasn't necessarily a leader, but he wasn't one to follow or be controlled. He would maintain his dignity and his independence.

"We were never really introduced. Wynston. And you're..." Even his pause was methodical. Vendicare's right eyebrow popped ever so slightly as the other lycanthrope chose his nickname "Vendi."

His body still tense, his focus unwavering, he calmly and smoothly extended his own hand to grasp Wynston's. He gripped it firmly, then shook it once, making sure to be the first to lift up. A very slight, but obvious show of his alpha-esque tendencies, he knew that the up-shake was a way businessmen sized up the push-overs from the strong. Whoever shook up first was strong, sure, and self-willed. He finally allowed himself to blink. The simultaneous dominance and subordinance his way of returning the offered truce. Vendicare knew that a fight might simply be postponed, but for now, the men stood on equal ground.

He kept his attention on Wynston as his senses calmed themselves. The different smells of the people aroun hitting his nose, the sounds of laughter and chatting, the feel of the air. The electricity had passed, and the stare-down had ceased, but he and Wynston would still be keeping an eye on each other, it was how things were done. He responded with a new, warmer but still quite small smile, "Sì. Vero." His baritone voice rumbled smoothly as he stood straighter, relaxing his shoulders. Then he grimaced, Italiano!. "Ah... scusa I mean to say..." He paused as he searched for the correct word in English, telling himself he'd get back to studying later in the evening. Perhaps as soon as he could slip away and settle into a nice bath. "Accurate." The rich Italian accent coloring his words with an exoticism, he shrugged in an apology of sorts. He'd only been speaking English the past few weeks. "Birra?" He gave a languid one-handed gesture to the beers sitting off a little ways.

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Wynston was not an idiot. He could be overbearing, blunt, and assumptive, but he didn’t lack for intelligence. His education was spotty, but that had stopped mattering to him. It might bring the hot sting of shame to his cheeks to encounter a word he didn’t know, or some tidbit of knowledge that almost everyone else seemed to regard as commonplace, but he accepted that. He never needed to ask twice, in occasions like that, but he always asked. The idea of feeling the that shame a second time, that he couldn’t justify at all. He hadn’t needed to know things like history, literature, or lofty mathematics in order to survive on the streets of Detroit. That had been his place of learning, and the lessons he’d endured there would serve him better on The Isle than any book or dead president’s name or logarithm.

Wynston’s intelligence had been shaped by his surroundings. He’d been a city scavenger at first, too young and inexperienced to do much more than get himself in trouble and rely on friends to see him through. He’d evolved though, faster than Darwin would ever have thought possible, into a city predator. He’d learned both the value and limitations of intimidations. He’d learned how to throw a punch, how to kick, when to run. He’d learned how to find shelter in almost any urban area, and how to get precious calories worth of nourishment when cash-flow from petty crimes fell through. It was best classified as a combination of cunning and impressive analytical capabilities, which had only grown more potent with the Awakening of his Balaren heritage and senses.

So it was, as Vendicare took Wynston’s hand, that the younger wolf realized several more things. The first was that none of this exchange, not a mote of it, was lost on Vendi. He understood all the significances of each gesture, facial movement, and word. It was almost like they were, in a way, communicating without words. With their eyes locked, he felt a stupid, childish thought bubble up: that somehow, they actually were engaging in some sort of low level telepathy. Like most children hoping to escape terrible home lives, Wynston had, in his youth, devoted a somewhat embarrassing amount of time staring very hard at things or even people in the hopes of spontaneously developing advanced mental powers. Logic asserted itself quickly, clamping down on the throat of that foolishness and wrestling it to the ground. It was because they were both Balaren, both versed in wolf-speech, which needed to be seen as much as heard to be understood completely. Human interaction was paltry and thin compared to what a human mind with wolfish body and instinct could accomplish.

The second was that he had underestimated Vendi. He didn’t know much about the man, but he’d heard that he’d spent quite a long time only in wolf-skin. He’d been expecting, when his hand wound up in Vendi’s (that hot sting came, when he realized this) stronger one, that the other Balaren would assert himself in whatever way he could. If he was going to submit, he would have already, when they were merely staring. He’d been ready to enter into a contest of strength that he would certainly have lost, the usual sort of squeezing match that jarred the bones of the hand together. What he wasn’t expecting all was the blink. It was, in essence, an echo of his own actions. Offer his hand, but maintain eye contact. Take the initiative, but disrupt eye contact. The elegance of it would certainly have been lost on almost anyone else, but Wynston found himself in a very strange combination of shock and admiration. It showed on his features for a split second in the form of eyes that had widened and lips that had parted just slightly, but Wynston wiped that away, taking part in the very human ritual of the handshake. He didn’t try to hurt Vendi, but his grip was as firm as he could make it without moving things back into the realm of challenge. It was exactly as firm as Vendi’s, or close enough that the difference would be infinitesimal.

The handshake wound up being held for a full second to long, and that was Wynston’s fault. When he realized that he hadn’t simply released, he retracted his hand very quickly, just shy of wrenching it away, and then hid the offending appendage behind his back, as if doing so might somehow undo the extra instant of contact. That was odd was all he could afford to think before Vendi said something, again in Italian. His ever-present anger bubbled a bit, but the older boy was quick to correct and seemed genuinely upset with himself for the slip. That was the third thing that Wynston realized: that even though they were from very different places, they shared a certain innate lack of experience with most of the other charges. Vendi had his language difficulties, the thousand day swath of his life that had been spent completely detached from human society. Wynston had his drop-out status to contend with, and had been similarly detached from the conventional family-friends-school model. They both struggled with their respective issues, as proven when it took an almost embarrassing amount of time for Vendi to summon the English cognate for the word he’d used.

Wynston shrugged in reply. As long as the language barrier wasn’t being used to discretely insult him, it was just a reality that had to be faced. He was back to simmering. His eyes moved quickly to the beers that Vendi had indicated so lazily, then back to the indicator. "Beer,” he supplied, without any intentional condescension. He shook his head. "But, no. I’d rather be in control of my senses all the same.” His gaze tracked to the mixers that had been provided. Sugary drinks. He would have preferred something that would provide more of a contrast to the candy he’d just eaten, but he didn’t want to break away yet, either. Something about Vendicare was intriguing him more than he really understood, and it would have been a little absurd to walk up, introduce himself, refuse a drink, then wander off.

There was some cranberry juice. That would have a hint of tart. He glanced back to Vendi as he poured himself a cup of the stuff, sniffed it with mild approval, and then held the drink forward; offering it to the other Balaren, if he wanted it. If he took it, Wynston would pour another, then keep it for himself. He didn’t need to bother asking Elvis in his silent way; he was sure the Omarain would be hitting the booze before long. He just seemed like the sort. This was a point of the dominance game that might have wound up confusing to those unskilled in it. Pouring a drink for someone seemed submissive, but by choosing the beverage and not asking Vendi’s preference, he was the one in control of the drink arena. However the situation sorted itself out, he’d soon be taking a sip of the juice. It splashed his tongue in a torrent of flavor, and his lips wound up slightly puckered as a result. Once he’d swallowed and the taste had time to linger on his palette, it was actually quite good, for all the sugar that had been dumped into it for no reason by the manufacturers.

"We should go running, sometime,” he suggested nonchalantly. Running, of course, had nothing to do with gym shorts an iPods. He meant in wolf-form, in the wild, and Vendi would know as much from the slight significance he gave the word.