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Sydney Parker

"I'm not much, really, but maybe one day, I'll be enough. That's worth hoping for, right?"

0 · 372 views · located in USA

a character in “Paranormal Dilemmas”, originally authored by Ion, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

The Raven-haired Sister
Image




Name
Sydney Giselle Parker

Nickname
She answers to Syd more often than Sydney, actually.

Age
21- though if we’re being truthful, she sometimes looks a little younger than even that. Syd has a serious babyface going on, if she doesn’t hide it behind glasses and well-tailored suits.

Gender
Female

Appearance
Sydney Parker generally thinks that there was a limited amount of good-looking to go around in the Parker family, and her sisters took the lion’s share of it. Not that she minds—she’s inclined to think that being pretty is more trouble than it’s worth, and every time Saph brings home another story about a guy being a jerk or something of that nature, she’s almost certain she’s right. That said, she’s aware that she’s not ugly by any means, just… not them.

Her hair’s a sometimes-wavy, sometimes-curly mass of raven-colored locks that fall to around the middle of her back, with blunt bangs cut to hang over her forehead. The color is dark as pitch (unlike the pictures, in which it is brown). As a child, she used to keep them even longer, so she could hide her face, but now that she’s emerged into the adult world, she knows she can’t afford to be that shy anymore. There are good things to be done, and she can’t do them if she only knows how to hide. While naturally on the tousled side of things, Syd usually forces her hair into a demure bun at the base of her neck when at work, or else a ponytail otherwise. She thinks she looks like a child if it’s allowed to go unrestrained, so it’s kept under careful, precise control whenever she has to appear in public.

Easily her most striking feature is her eyes: large, bright, and green-blue, she most often surrounds them with a pair of square-framed glasses. She doesn’t really need the prescription, but as with her hair, she thinks they make her look a little more like an adult, and are thus well worth any inconvenience they might hold for her. Sydney is actually somewhat tall for a woman, though not as tall as Simone, having inherited her father’s disposition towards height, but none of his sturdiness. At a willowy 5’8”, she nevertheless can look like the smallest of her siblings should they walk into a room together, because her body language is unassuming and reserved, without any of the natural vitality and forcefulness of her sisters, at least not most of the time. Proportioned to be long in limb and elegant of stature, it’s nevertheless hard to tell on occasion. Her shape is neat and trim, though not without curvature. The proportions of her are such that her bust is a bit wider than her hips, and her waist quite small, giving her a subtle but not always-obvious hourglass.

Possessed of a pale, smooth complexion and dewy skin, she is almost never seen with any but the most basic of makeup products on, mostly because she can’t be bothered to waste the time. You can dress up a gosling all you want, but it’s still not a swan. Her face has a slight dusting of freckles across the bridge of her nose, but this she does conceal, with a clever application of just a little foundation and powder.

At work, Syd’s dressed sharply, in well-tailored women’s suits and crisply-pressed shirts, usually white, and heels. The click on wood, tile, or cement reminds her of who she’s supposed to be, and she appreciates that. On concert nights, she wears the black gown typical of a member of the orchestra, usually without much jewelry. It’s clear that she’s modeled her appearance after other people without really learning how to put personal touches on anything. When at home and absolutely certain that nobody but her cat will see her, she actually favors really loose, plaid shirts (normally bought in the men’s section of cheap department stores), acid-wash jeans, and tank tops, with mismatched socks, no less.

She usually smells of vanilla and honey, for whatever reason.


ImageOccupation
Syd makes money as a lawyer, but what she really loves are the nights when the orchestra plays. Not a professional musician, she nevertheless has a position with a relatively well-known symphony that operates in her area. She plays violin, a talent she has been honing since childhood.

Skills/Equipment
Syd has never had any martial arts training or anything of the kind, but she’s not an idiot, so she carries a taser on her person at all times, and knows how to use it. She can also fire a gun, if need be, but she doesn’t own one of those, generally not believing in them.

Personality
She’d tell you there isn’t much to know. Syd is, on the surface, very businesslike, solemn, and serious. She looks like the kind of person you could just bowl over at will, be that physically or in a conversation, but for all that, there’s a surprising amount of strength to her. Personality-wise, that is, as she is rather physically weak. She has something of a complex about her appearance, which is why she goes to such great lengths to appear to be somewhat sterner and older than she actually is. The disguise is fairly good, but the astute observer may be able to pick out that she has something to hide. To get anywhere in a male-dominated profession like hers, it’s not enough to be intelligent and good-hearted. You have to make people believe that you mean business, that you’re worth listening to, and you can’t do that if they’re too busy looking at you and thinking you resemble their teenaged daughter.

You also can’t do it by being a shy, mousy wet blanket, which is exactly the kind of person Syd used to be. Back when she was just Sydney, the baby of her insular little family, and the one that was always sick. She was a withdrawn, introverted soul who had trouble making friends outside of a very small circle of them. She was never bullied in school; her sisters were far too protective and careful for that to happen, but all the same she never really made much of an impression on anybody either. She was the quiet girl at the back of her class, and that was it.

Since those days, she’s toughened considerably. Going to college two years before most people do forced her to more or less grow a spine, and learn to let harsh words go without absorbing them. She was always intelligent, and found that academic work was to her liking. It was a political science professor that convinced her to go to law school: but he also warned her that it wouldn’t be easy. So Sydney learned to stand straight, talk clearly, and dress like she knew what she was doing. The rest was easy, and nowadays, she works full time at a public defender’s office even at the tender age of 21.

Syd is ruled by her logic and her knowledge; she does not like the idea of relying upon her feelings to make even the most minor decisions. That works well enough for some people, but she fears that if she opened her heart up again even a little, she’d revert to that helpless little child she used to be, and that’s the last thing she wants. An extensive education has made her very aware of the goings-on in the world, and she’s an avowed feminist, advocate, and champion of the downtrodden, or at least she’s trying to be. Nothing about getting up in front of people and talking comes easily to her, but she’s doing the best she can, and a strain of her sisters’ stubbornness (admittedly mostly Saph's, though she knows Simone can get that way when she needs to) must have survived in her after all, because when she really cares about something, she’ll never give up. She thanks them for that, viewing it as something they gave her by example, and to this day, she sometimes refer to her odd moment of stubbornness as "borrowing a little Saph."

Underneath the façade of professional distance she puts up, part of Syd is still very tender and vulnerable. Somewhere, all the disparaging remarks she earns, the occasional losses in court, and all the people telling her she’ll never succeed do hurt her, but in the times when that’s at its worst, she always has family to rely upon, and she thinks that’s important. Deeply devoted to the people she loves, she’ll never hesitate to help one of her sisters, even if there isn’t much she can do.

Despite herself, Syd still believes in love, though mostly as something that happens to other people. She’s never had a serious boyfriend or even a one-night stand, and mostly doesn’t think she’s suited for that kind of thing.


ImageHistory
The third and final Parker child, Sydney’s was a mostly-happy childhood punctuated with bouts of illness. She was a colicky baby, and even now her immune system isn’t that great. She never had leukemia or anything so horrible, but she was prone to episodes of bronchitis that would last an entire winter, and for some reason even when she exercised, she’d never gain much muscle mass or anything like that. It was worse as a young girl than it is now, and it led her parents to worry for her, to the extent that they coddled her quite a bit.

Though she just found it bothersome at the time, she now realizes that it was hurting Saph especially, and still feels kind of guilty about it. At the time, she coped with everything by retreating inward, not really socializing with anyone and instead devoting herself to her violin and schoolwork, both of which she proved to be exemplary at. Then and now, she was not one given to smiling, laughter, or really anything that looked like happiness, so her family learned to gauge her moods by the timbre of the tune she was playing. Naturally, she was mostly overlooked at school, but that didn’t much bother her.

Sydney has always looked up to her vibrant, lovely older sisters, and at times been jealous of their ability to express themselves and really be the people they want to be. Even so, she loves them dearly, and would never wish even the faintest harm upon them. She thinks that Simone's job is simply amazing, and likes to visit the zoo whenever she has free time on a weekend. This comes partially from her interest in gaining new knowledge, and also partly because part of her really wants to expand on what little common ground sha and Simone really have with one another. She loves going to the theater with Sapphire, and they tend to alternate who gets to pick the play.

With no friends or major social obligations in high school and having already skipped a grade in elementary, Syd graduated a full year early and went to college in the Northeast, graduating another year ahead of schedule and attending law school at Harvard. She turned down a few offers from prestigious firms to pursue her ideal of getting justice for those who otherwise couldn’t afford it, and has now been employed at the Public Defender’s office for a few months. She’s gradually discovering that it’s nothing like she’d planned, but holds out hope for it even now.


Other
Sydney lives in a loft-style apartment in the city, by herself save for a very fluffy grey cat named Tennyson, after the poet. The place is packed with bookshelves and cozy furniture, though she doesn’t actually own a television. Syd has a fondness for both cooking and ice cream. Actually, she loves all sweets, but swears that Saph’s are much better than hers and refuses to eat basically any confection that wasn’t made by her sister.

Post
(This is how Syd met her only male friend, a guy named Jack.)

If Syd were being honest with herself, she didn’t want to be here. The voices burned her ears and the smoke seared her eyes and nose; the patrons were at various stages of inebriation, writhing about on the dance floor as though they were but foam on the ocean, tossed about by waves they could feel but not see. It wasn’t something she knew or understood; so many such instinctual things were beyond her. She’d given them up for a mind of tempered steel, a sharp, bladelike wit that cut through obfuscations so automatically she knew not how to leave the mystery be anymore. She could feel the thrum of the bass seeping up through the legs of her chair, and reminded herself that it would not be very fearless, professional woman for her to grab her legs and tuck her knees to her chest in hopes that the smell of vomit wafting from the restroom wouldn’t make her sick as well.

Yet, here she was, and here she would remain. Because her friend Elizabeth was performing tonight, and Syd had made it a point to attend every single one of her concerts or gigs that she could, minus those that work prevented her from seeing. In her mind, Liz was an incredibly-talented singer and stageperson, and it was any day now that some person with a record company was going to happen to be at one of these shows and then boom, her friend would be as famous and loved as she deserved to be. The thought alone nearly teased a smile from Syd’s pale lips, but not quite. She didn’t smile often, and less-often naturally, so her happiness with the idea was expressed only by a slight softening of her eyes and the happy strains of some Vivaldi piece that struck up in her head. Simone was the force and vibrancy and melancholy of autumn, Sapphire the energy and freshness of spring. Sydney was the chill and quietude of winter. Sometimes, she wondered if they might have had a fourth sister, who was something more like summer. But it didn’t matter. As three, they were complementary in different ways, and that was nice.

She was brought from her musings by the ebbing away of the bass, signaling the end of the act before Liz. Straightening in her seat, Sydney pushed her glasses up on her nose and glanced eagerly towards the stage. Logically, she knew that this one show was unlikely to make a difference. It was so hard to get a career in music, was what everyone said and most tacitly knew… and yet. Yet for once, as with all things involving the people she loved, Syd couldn’t quite bring herself to think with her head alone. Her heart, that pitiful, fluttering organ in her chest, knew differently.

If only she remembered how to speak its language.

Somewhere to her left, something moved, and she turned slightly to see what the disturbance was, nearly jumping out of her chair when she realized a stranger had taken the seat next to her at her table. “Sorry,” he said, though there wasn’t really much apology to it. “There’s nowhere else left.” He smiled disarmingly, holding up his hands as if to show that he was no threat. He had very much the classic look of a Californian about him- all suntanned skin and sandy hair. It reminded her of some people she'd known in school, always complaining about the snow in Cambridge.

Sydney glanced around, realizing that he was right, and her mouth turned down a bit. She wasn’t very good with things like this, to say the least. “Oh, no problem.” She blinked, then turned back to the stage, resolved to ignore his presence as much as she could without being downright rude. Curling a loose strand of hair around her finger, she tucked it neatly into place behind her ear, chewing absently on a lip.

“So,” he continued, “what’s your name?” He was close enough that she could see the dilation in his pupils, and knew that he was probably drunk, though he didn't seem belligerent. Inwardly, Syd sighed, but she tried to remain polite.

“I’m Syd,” she said simply, debating for a split second before she went ahead and stuck out her hand for him to shake. The man looked at it as if dumbfounded for a second, then threw back his hand and laughed, causing her eyebrows to furrow and a thin line to appear between them. Just what was so funny, anyway?

He took the hand and shook it firmly, shaking his head. “You’re a strange girl, Syd. I’m Jack.”

So begins...

Sydney Parker's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Daniel Bowman Character Portrait: A Princess, a Noblewoman, and a Captain
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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#, as written by Mela
Image

Fuck. Late. Soooo… fucking late. Sapphire groaned. Her head was still hurting from Friday night, and if she had to be perfectly honest, she could probably dig herself a hole and be content just staying there all day and night. She and Simone had been out. It had ended up rather crazy like it often did with the two oldest sisters. Syd was a more quiet kind, that was for sure. She would’ve probably sunk into a couch trying to look invisible during the whole ordeal. Saph smiled, for a moment forgetting that she was in a hurry. She was late. As the words slithered through her clouded mind, Sapphire snapped her fingers, exclaiming a frustrated "Damn it!"

And soon she was running through her apartment, picking out her outfit, her long legs carrying her speedily around the place. Clothes were quickly thrown on and as such Sapphire was soon in her bathroom. There, she donned a light make up of mascara and brown eyeshadow, along with just a little splash of gloss to her lips. Her hair was brushed through loosely before she lifted it into a messy but fashionable bun, leaving a few strands of blonde hair to frame her pretty features. She then put on a long gold necklace and a pair of matching earrings before checking the time on her phone once more. She had... about minus two minutes to get to the cafe.

Well, her sisters knew her. She shrugged it off and pushed her feet into the brown boots she loved, and grabbed her bag on the way out, already on her way down the stairs when she remembered she'd completely forgotten to lock her door. Sapphire let out a string of curses under her breath and ran back up, quickly showing in the key to lock the door. Only once that was done did she run back down, speedwalking to the location. It was no more than a ten minute walk from her place, so she didn't have far, but seeing as she was late when she left, she ended up arriving fifteen minutes after the agreed time anyway. Spotting her sisters by a table she made her way over, plopping her petite form into one of the chairs on a relieved sigh. "I'm late, I know. Don't shoot me. Hangovers are a bitch. I blame Simone." She shot her older sister a grin at that. Especially since they all knew Saph was more than able to get herself drunk without any help.

----


The three sisters spent the evening eating, talking and joking about like they usually did, easily falling into that same, familiar pattern, and Sapphire loved it. She missed her sisters when she wasn't with them. They were exceptionally tight, all of them, and though she didn't tell them everything (she didn't do that with anyone), they were definitely her best friends. They always would be. Sapphire's gaze vigilantly searched her surroundings once in a while, subconsciously looking for someone perhaps, but she herself did not notice the actual frequency. Until she spotted... something. Her gaze seemed to brush the outlines of a figure. Of pale, long hair and a tall, lean body. She blinked a couple of times and it was gone... like a ghost almost.

Maybe she hadn't seen anything? But it seemed familiar, somehow. Like something she'd seen before. Like... like Sabine. She shook her head almost as an unwilling reaction, a chill running down her spine. There were things she did not like to admit to, there were things she did not even want to recognize herself. He was one of them. The mysterious male who she'd met just about two years ago. He wasn't... classically handsome, but there was something about the way he held himself. The power in his body, the intensity and intelligence his eyes had seemed to contain. Like he'd lived for thousands of years and seen it all. They were wise eyes, and his countenance had been that of a powerful business man. Someone secure and powerful in position.

Even his voice had gotten to her. The blonde had never tried that before. She'd never had a man affect her that way. There'd just been... something there. Strangely so, because she really didn't particularly like the guy. In fact, he pissed her off like no one else could. He was just so... arrogantly infuriating! And so stubborn. Not that Sapphire really had the right to complain about others being stubborn, all things considered, but he'd.... been a challenge. Maybe that was what had her wanting more of him. The thrill of a challenge. Sapphire was a clever girls and her words had a tendency to cut people much like a knife, but this man had thrown every little jab right back in her face.

Which was also new. She was used to dominating. There, she'd admitted it. She was a dominant. She was always the powerful one in a relationship. Not because she was physically strong or powerful, but because she was just that type. Well, that, and she simply had always cared less. She wasn't the type to fall head over heels, men didn't get to play with her emotions that way. Not as of yet. She was a strong girl and she'd always been picky about who she truly let into her heart, so she supposed it bothered her a little that even after two years... she still had Sabine's handkerchief and jacket... and she still thought about him every once in a while. Today was one of those times. And now she was even imagining things. What was happening to her?

Dragging herself out of her little reverie, she turned to look at her sisters, only catching half of a sentence, so trying to come back into the conversation she asked ”wait… what? Who?”






Image

Alexander’s green, piercing eyes were scanning the dancefloor populated by a large variety of scantily dressed human females and males who were no more than boys. Eagerly they did that… grinding thing humans seemed to have taken to for some reason. Alexander found it tasteless. It demanded no skill, and to him it appeared clothed, public foreplay. Now, he was not the kind to discourage public affections, but there were limits and these… humpings and grindings… well, it would be a shame to call them any form of dance, but perhaps movements would suffice, made him wonder why they would ever even claim to be above animals.

He casually swirled the amber liquid in his glass, waiting for something, although he had no clue what. Really, no clue at all… except maybe he sort of did recognize that one human in particular was in his hopes. He had to find her. He could no longer accept this constant hunger, nor could he ignore the tantalizing memory that was the taste of her blood. At times he could even taste it on his tongue. Vaguely, but it was enough to rouse a furious hunger. Tonight was no exception. This place, the place in which they had met, called those memories fourth in vivid images. So the vampire king was indeed feeling the need to grab a snack, but he was not too fond of leaving this spot. Not that he couldn’t have it back from anyone who took over, because that would be easy enough, but what if she showed up and then left again while he was out?

No, it simply would not do. So he sat, quietly, eyes intense, leaned back against the cushions of the sofa he was in. It was situated a little off to the side, but not entirely in shadows. After all, he wanted her to be able to see him as soon as she entered, if she did. He had left things on good terms two years ago. Of course he’d then left never to be heard from again, but that was beside the point. He had taken her home after some idiotic subject had thought to make a meal of her. Her home naturally. A move he had reprimanded himself for many times over the last two years. He should have just taken her home to his own mansion. He would have had her blood available at all times if he’d thought to do so. But no, he had been too busy leaving

Hmm, but his plans tonight sought to fix that little issue. He was not leaving this time, and neither was she. He wasn’t going to let go of her again. Not if it meant the memory of her blood would taunt him for the rest of his days, which to him could be a very, very long time. Alexander was an exceptionally patient man, but there were limits. Even with Alanya he could snap. But then, his daughter was a handful. He was more than simply aware of that. He also knew of her current infatuation with the Captain and he didn’t particularly like it.

Not because he didn’t like Alanya with a man, because honestly he’d gotten used to that centuries ago, but Daniel Bowman was no upstanding male, and if his daughter was not careful, Alexander feared she would fall prey to the man’s games. Which would undeniably result in Alexander losing his calm, and then he would have to choose a new captain. He was snapped out of this line of thought when the scent of a much too strong (and cheap) perfume decided to flood his senses. He looked up to find a blond in a much too tight dress looking him up and down. Alexander raised an eyebrow. “Can I help you?” He asked coolly, not the least bit interested. He was here for one reason and one reason alone. He would not be strayed from this path. His tone apparently had the desired effect because she looked rather insulted, but she soon disregarded that and smiled something Alexander assumed was supposed to be seductive.

“Actually, sweetpea,” she began, a Texas drawl to her voice, “I was going to ask you the same thing.” All the king did was raise an eyebrow at her and take a sip of his drink, before his gaze made its way back in the direction of the door. After a while of her pining for his attention, she finally huffed something about him being an arrogant asshole and left. He promptly ignored her. She was beneath his notice really.






Image

”Out?” The voice rang out, smooth, yet with so much deadly promise. The person speaking did sound pleased, nor did she sound very patient. There was no uttered threat, no outright hostility, yet the servant it was directed at, took half a step back before replying weakly “I believe so, your majesty.” Alanya raised a single eyebrow – a habit she had inherited from her father – and tapped her lower lip thoughtfully with the tip of her index finger, her cream-colour painted nail perfectly long and shaped to perfection soon resting upon that lip as her finger stilled. “Am I to assume you are unaware of the whereabouts of your king?” She inquired, the question leading, like the answer to it would decide the very fate of this servant.

Really Alanya had no actual desire to know where her father was. Or, rather, it would not matter to her. She couldn’t go anywhere just yet anyway. Her father was a lot older, so the remaining few rays of sunshine didn’t bother him at all. Her, however… oh, she was a lot more sensitive. Not even 700 years of age, Alanya had a lot of aging to do before she could walk in the evening sun like the King. So her point here might be redundant, except… it wasn’t. She was entertaining herself, you see; toying with the servant. She was a newly changed one and had only lived for a couple of decades. Easy prey, but ah, the things you did when you were bored. The servant before her seemed to almost sink a lump of fear and Alanya smiled sweetly, kindly even, but her eyes were anything but.

“I… I,” she began, but when Alanya merely look at her, she lowered her gaze to the floor and kept her head down. The princess sighed in frustration, turning her eyes upwards for a second before walking forwards, placing a slightly bent index finger under the girl’s chin. She guided the servant’s face back up, amber eyes boring into those of her current victim. “Answer me,” she then ordered, again ever so controlled, and kind. The servant drew in a deep breath, trembling slightly. “Yes, your majesty,” she then stuttered out. Alanya smiled at her, letting go instantly. “Hmm,” she only added as she turned and walked away. That servant would be walking on nails for the next very long time, wondering what that “hmm” meant for her, and that was exactly Alanya’s intentions. That alone.

It wasn’t like she expected her servants to know where her father went; he wasn’t really the type to tell. But that was the end of it. It seemed this would be a rather tedious night. She sighed theatrically, her golden heels carrying her methodically through the great mansion her father had chosen to stay in during this time on earth. She had been in it many, many times before, so she knew her way about. As such, it didn’t take her long to reach a much more interesting room… because it held a much more interesting game. A mischievous, almost mysterious smile played at her lips as she elegantly strode across the wooden floors to reach the Captain of the Vampire King’s Guard. Daniel Bowman. Or, as she knew him; Danny.

The fact that he was writing a letter, acting all the victim of lost love, didn’t bother her. Hell, she didn’t really know why he bothered putting on a show when he was alone anyway, because lord knew, he had no actual feelings for that… oh, who was it at the moment? Alanya wasn’t entirely sure, and she didn’t really care much. And so, she merely walked straight over and easily, casual, although it was nothing much, sat herself on his lap, legs crossed sophisticatedly. Her movement itself was silky and graceful, since her dress was not quite the formal gowns she wore back home, and she gently placed a hand on his chest, smiling up at him with a mischievous, playful glint in her eyes. “Poor, poor little Danny,” she then teased, the hand on his chest dancing up to rest on the side of his neck, “forget something back home, did you?”

The setting changes from San Diego, California to USA

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Korrye
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Simone couldn’t believe that she had agreed to meet her sisters at this café of all places. It was a…hipster hangout. The redhead found herself seated at a table closer to the windows and far wall of the buzzing coffee shop, the first to arrive. Allan at the zoo had forced her to cut her day early. There was no such thing as a shift for her, though her start time was always the same: 5:00am every morning. How long she stayed varied depending on the season, the issue, the animals. She had intended to leave on time for once, before 4 o’clock so that she could get to the café on time. That said she had been forced off just after one, leaving her to mull in her bare bones apartment. She had done laundry and made her bed. Hungry she had found herself without anything to eat. So she’d left early, not really knowing why, toting a messenger bag with her with her computer and overdue paperwork and order forms for animal feed for the next month that needed to get done. The other reason Simone found herself strapped with such mundane tasks was the fact that her division’s primary secretary had run off to elope and get married in Vegas last week short notice. The only office workers were trying to pick it up but they kept running into perilous mistakes like the fact that one of their senior tigers’ arthritis medication hadn’t been ordered on time or properly. Thankfully the vet had been smart enough to correct the order himself.

So there she was. At the café ridiculously early. To avoid being accused of loitering she had ordered an early grey tea with four sugars – ridiculously sweet and yet slightly bitter and just hot enough to warm her. The table was spacious, large enough for four people to sit at. Simone wasn’t afraid to hog the space, pulling out her laptop and spreading out half a dozen file folders of order forms and paperwork across the table top. When she plugged in her headphones and began to zone out, she tried to slip into the ease of office work in a public venue. Every so often her eyes would glance up from her screen to scan the moving crowd, wondering when her sisters would arrive. She could hear Sapphire complaining that she had brought work to their first get together in the longest time while Syd would cast her some sort of quiet knowing, after all she had her own office work to do. But Sapphire could easily bring some sort of marking or progress report job. They all had paperwork to do, though Sydney probably had it the worst given that she worked in a legal office.

As she reclined in her seat and sipped at her tea, Simone clicked open her iTunes and began to sort through her playlists. There was almost everything there, a combination of movie soundtracks from the Lion King to The Dark Knight. James Powell. James Newton Howard. Hans Zimmer. Then there was the classical music. Debussy. Pachelbel. Yanni. There was hoards of it before you hit the top 40s list of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga. But at the top of it all were her true favorites, beyond her favorite instrumental pieces, a little indie rock – The Black Keys – and then the likes of The Lumineers and Florence + the Machine and Metric. She could listen to anything and a song could change her mood in a heartbeat. Music made the mundane work at the zoo pass quicker and paperwork was no exception. As she clicked onto Imagine Dragons and hit play, she tried to tune into an email to their local salmon provider for the bears. They were spoiling them this month with a new budgetary increase and donation. The Grizzlies were going to be ecstatic. To anyone else her email would have been absurdly strange, requesting five thousand pounds of fish. That would get them through the month. They would probably spread it across half a dozen species who liked fish.

When Simone turned to the actual paperwork in front of her though, she found herself rapidly unable to focus. The guy next to her was surrounded by textbooks and appeared to be cramming for some final exam. University student, she thought. I used to be one of those.

Would she go back to that though? The men were certainly easier to come by and she hadn’t been looking for anything serious at the time. Now she was twenty four and a phone call to her mom last night had her head spinning. When were they going to get grandchildren? When would she stop going out every night? Simone hadn’t exactly been the one to leave the state or go on a whirlwind tour of the world. She had settled into her own place and her own job and she was perfectly happy. But then again she was surrounded by much older married couples and co-workers. Hell, even Stephanie was able to get off to Vegas and get married! And what did she have, Simone wondered? A sour date three weeks ago that had been set up for her. She’d had such high expectations. The pictures had been so good, the discussions about him and with him on the phone had been so good. And then in person there had been absolutely nothing in terms of chemistry. Add to that the fact that he had been an absolute douche about her being a redhead, possessed a sardonic sense of humor and a terrible sense of irony and she had been out the door before an hour had passed.

As Simone pushed her mind through the drudgery of her love life, she found herself spiraling back to two years ago. That night. No man had ever looked at her the same way. No man had given her the same spark. When she dreamed those dirty dreams of desperation, it wasn’t the likes of Ryan Gosling or Matt Damon with her, it was that guy. I don’t even know his name. But she knew his face and the sound of his voice. She could remember the electric touch of his hands on her skin, the aggressive way he’d gone after her. It made her shiver as she sat there. Simone grabbed her tea and held her mug in her hands, resting her chin on the edge of it as she fell back into the second time she had seen him, how he had saved her from that asshole who wouldn’t take no for an answer. She’d gone to drive home and he’d rushed after her and wrapped his arms around her and walked her from beyond to his car. And he had had a sexy car. Leather seats. Expensive. I don’t know anything about cars but his had been beyond luxury.

She was in a daze when a crash from the table next to her had her jump and her tea splashed up into her face and down her chin. Another dollop went straight onto her keyboard. Simone set her cup aside and immediately pulled her sweater to her computer, titled it sideways and let it was little had spilled on it run down the side. I do this too often. Last time her laptop had had half a glass of juice spilled on it and the keyboard replacement had been two hundred bucks. Shit.

Simone sighed, wiping the tea off her face with the back of her hand and looking over at the young man beside her who flicked his eyes at her in a once over with a subtle smirk before returning to his studies. Yeah, enjoy it. Whatever. Pursing her lips, she shifted and grabbed a fistful of napkins to dab at what papers had also been sprayed. The air smelt of sugar and earl grey tea. Normally she wouldn’t have cared but her jumpiness, her daze…everything was now a public escapade. She couldn’t help but think. If he was there he would have helped her. He would have…thrown money at her laptop. She didn’t have any conception of what he would do really, only that she would be fighting to get her way and he would never take no for an answer. Only, unlike the other asshole, with him it was sexy.

* * *


Paperwork aside, Simone found herself feeling at home. The cafeteria crowd came and went. The obnoxious student left the moment Sapphire finally arrived, voice booming, excuses spilling everywhere. Hangovers. Busy nights. Simone had learned to filter it and while she personally trusted that her sister was still clean, still on a good track, the mother in her found herself looking over her for the sights. Track marks? None. Bloodshot eyes? None. Nothing more than dark eyes hidden by makeup and the occasional yawn and her hangover food of choice.

The redhead reclined into her seat, glancing down at her bag to double check that all of her things were still in place for some reason. Simone found herself listening to Sydney talk about her latest case. She couldn’t help but sit and admire that the three of them were doing more than a group Skype session. That said, they all looked…preoccupied. Simone turned and looked at Sapphire, seeing the glazed look in her eyes.

“Saph! Who’s the guy. Seriously,” she asked suddenly, glancing over at Sydney to make sure that she hadn’t interrupted her at the wrong moment.

”Wait… what? Who?” Sapphire sputtered suddenly, turning to look at the both of them confused as to what they were talking about. “That glazed look in your eyes, the blush might be your hangover but you’re thinking about someone aren’t you? You agree with me Syd don't you?”

The setting changes from USA to San Diego, California

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Ion
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The soft, regular clicks of a metronome in motion filled the central living space of the small apartment, a gentle harbinger of what was to come. By contrast, Sydney’s thoughts moved as they always did—with a quickness that sacrificed nothing of precision, only sometimes of expression. She stood, for the moment barefoot and clad in torn jeans and what appeared to be a man’s shirt, the sleeves rolled up several times until they fell just below her elbows, in the center of the carpeting, kneading her toes unconsciously into the soft pile. One hand, raised and bent, held the body of a delicate violin to her shoulder, while the other loosely clasped the bow of it, hanging limply at her side.

Her mind, as it tended to be now and then, was for the moment elsewhere, and not even the promise of mastering the piece could yet draw it back from where it wandered so far afield, adrift in some lofty current of wind and water and dream. This place—if indeed it could be called a place—was the oft-forsaken corner of her mind where Sydney kept the things that came to her not from logic or practicality or education, but from the heart. Here, she wandered among flowerbeds, plunging her fingers into loamy earth and smelling the birth of new things and life, skirted sheer cliff-faces to peer over the edge of a roaring waterfall that misted her vision and made her feel small, walked beneath great trees with leaves edged in the most uncanny shade of silver. Here, the wind blew over her, caressing her face, at times cold and forsaken, tinged with sorrow, and at others hot and humid, like the breath of one who should not be standing so close.

Of late, the predominantly-blue tones of her hidden world were giving themselves over to argent and dove-grey, a slow claiming that she could not help but view as hostile, and so she avoided this place, avoided contemplating this part of herself, until she needed to. Where once she had been the slayer of dragons, protagonist and heroine of her own childish fancy, running with quickened steps and thrumming heartbeat to where none could follow, now she felt lost in it, adrift and distinct from it, as though estranged from herself. It was uncomfortable, but she needed it yet. There was still one thing she could not do without feeling, and it was the thing she desired to do most of all, deep in her heart of hearts.

Thin fingers tightened on the violin, as if by some inborn reflex, and the strings biting into the gently-callused tips returned her vision to somewhere much closer as she emerged from her reverie. She’d found what she needed, somewhere there, in her starlit, tilting world. A deep breath shifted her entire posture, and the young woman brought bow to string, an old, practiced motion that required no eye to see it happen. With a gentle exhale, the first note rang sweetly into the air, and for just a little while, all else was still in her soul.



The cafe they had chosen was a pretty nice place, though its population was largely students and people wearing lots of plaid and tight jeans. The selection, Sydney attributed entirely to her older sisters, as they only places she really knew in San Diego were libraries, courthouses, theaters, offices, and the occasional park. Anything she recalled about anywhere else was the work of Sapphire, Simone, or both. Not that she minded in the least; her sisters were wonderful people, and if their tastes were all a little different, well, so what? It never stopped them from getting along, at least not anymore. Perhaps things had been a bit different when they were children, but such troubles were behind them now.

As usual, a lifelong habit of being early to nearly everything served Sydney well, and she was the second to arrive. The waitress recognized her and smiled, ushering her to the Parkers’ usual table, where she sat demurely, hands folded in her lap, and greeted Simone, who from the looks of things, had been there for quite some time already. Saph arrived some time after, late as she often was, and her comment produced only a softening of Sydney’s facial features, indicative of her quiet amusement. Syd didn’t smile often, nor frown, and often seemed to be elsewhere during conversations, but her sisters knew her well enough to read her happiness from the smallest of signs like this.

“Don’t worry about it,” she answered quietly, and it wasn’t long before the three of them were seated, enjoying each other’s company as they were so wont to do.



It hadn’t been more than an hour when something changed. Syd was a perceptive woman, generally, though she tried to ignore the slight discomfort she was experiencing, all the while surreptitiously searching for its source. She’d been coaxed into talking about a case, but now she fell more or less silent, noting Sapphire’s distant look and Simone’s temporary preoccupation but commenting on neither. Reaching down to adjust one cuff of the forest-green turtleneck sweater she wore with her dark jeans, she caught something from the periphery of her vision, and glanced up, meeting the eyes of someone she’d never seen before.

She’d surely remember it if she had. The man seemed cut from daylight itself, sketching a tall, but quite lean figure, crowned by an aureate mane to rival Saph’s. And it was at Saph he was most intensely focused. Though his outward appearance suggested sunlight, Syd couldn’t help but feel a slight chill anyway, as though all the warmth had been stolen from her limbs. Dismissing the feeling as silly, she glanced back and forth a few times between them, clearly waiting for the man to direct his gaze elsewhere. When he did not, she broke into the conversation with an apologetic look towards Simone, who was currently trying to secure her agreement regarding Sapphire’s mood.

“Um, Saph… I’m not really sure how to say this, but… there’s a man behind you, and he’s… well, he’s staring. To the left a little, tall, long hair?” The last, she provided in case Saph decided to turn around and figure out who it was. Perhaps it was simply some friend of hers, or maybe Sapphire just resembled someone else from the back. Maybe he was like her and tended to lose himself in thought and wasn’t staring at her sister at all. Somehow, though, that didn’t seem too likely…

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: James Dylor
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Sabine Marx

Sabine had dawdled on his course to his destination, as he was prone to do, he paused every so often in a pool of sunlight to examine something or another. The thin man couldn’t say why, but he was actually experiencing some reservations about his plan, now that it was so close to fruition. Well, the plan would be ripe just as soon as he found the impertinent little female. He didn’t know what the ends to the means were, but here he was. It was rather tiresome, dwelling on the thoughts, but his brain seemed hell bent on torturing him. These roads were all familiar; barely anything had changed significantly in the last two years to his eyes. The humans were all the same, the roads were all the same; even the air around every place was so very similar. He lingered at the park among the dappled warmth, folding his hands behind his back and letting the spotty warmth kiss his face.

Was this a good idea? He felt a twinge in his being and paused briefly. Of course. All his ideas were brilliant. Emboldened, he continued on his path, following the familiar footsteps of thousands of wanderings through the city. He held no love for the human hive, but he was rather partial to the way the air and sun felt on a warm day in this place. The weather in Dothri Regum was very temperamental, sometimes the weather was fair, but it could go to hovering darkness in a few moments. Which is why the sun was a precious creature to his kind.

As late afternoon began to bloom, bleeding across the sky, he finally traced the roads he’d been thinking of for the last two years. He passed the alleyway first, casting it a glance and pausing for a moment. People hurrying past surged around him, splitting for the regal figure like waters parting for a stone. The faint marks of a smile creased his eyes. That had been an invigorating fight. He’d never managed to get the blood off the toe of his shoe though, what a shame. He’d never really liked those boots anyway. His handkerchief and jacket, however, he’d been rather partial to.

Sabine continued on, his hands still folded stiffly behind him. He continued on to the café. He didn’t expect to find her though. Why would he? It was foolish to think….His eyes found the blonde as he passed; she was speaking to two other women who looked similar to her. Perhaps relations. From across the street his eyes flicked across her profile, sliding off the other two females, one of which he could see fully, a dark haired creature, and the other who he could see a profile of, a redhead. He stared at her as he passed, willing her to look up. She did not. No big surprise. If the last conversation they’d had before he’d returned to his people was anything to go by, she was too stubborn to respond to even the most piercing of silent commands. He’d have to be patient. Euch. He continued walking, turning the corner, casting a glance over his shoulder. His eyes caught hers for a moment, but the human didn’t notice him at all, her eyes seemed to pass right over him. He frowned slightly. Perhaps she had not recognized him?

Around the block the daemon went but this time he stopped at the corner, green eyes narrowed slightly, urging the blonde to look. Other people on the opposite street glanced at him, unsettled, but he did not care what humans thought of him. He’d returned the human world for this and he wasn’t going to give up. He wanted his handkerchief back. After all, he’d promised her he’d return for it, and Sabine was not a man to break a promise. And no one would be able to put a price on her expression when she finally did notice him. Internally, the male grinned, though his face was still set and serious. And then the most perfect thing happened. The dark haired human looked at him. He could see the creature stiffen, as he he’d frightened her, and then she quickly leaned over to the blonde. Yes, perfect. He hadn’t had to catch Miss Parker’s attention specifically; one of her companions did that. Almost as if it had been planned. He lifted a hand, anticipating the blonde looking over.

This would be perfect. No worries plagued his mind; he was completely sure of his plan now.




James Dylor

There was a woman in the bed. There was a naked woman in the bed. There was a naked, sleeping woman in the bed. And she was not supposed to be there. Or at least, James did not want her to be there while he was trying to clean, but he didn’t know how to wake her up without getting near her. So for the moment his face was a vivid shade of scarlet and he was on the other side of the room, making sure everything was orderly and clean. Not an easy task, especially since it was apparent that his Majesty had enjoyed quite a romp the night before, if the woman in his bed spoke any volume about the circumstances. No wonder the Lykae king had worn such a look on his face, James realized. He’d done this on purpose! The boy frowned. Well, he had to get rid of her somehow, but how?

“Boy.” The woman had a very light voice, though she was ordering him around it was still softer than a butterfly’s whisper. Or maybe that was just because she’d lost her voice.

“My Lady?” James jumped up from where he was trying to fish a mystery article from under a set of shelving, bowing and trying not to look at the woman.

“Where is your Master?” She asked as James tried to look in her direction without actually looking at her, though she was holding the coverlet to her chest.

“He’s out. He didn’t want to wake you,” James said, his face still violently red.

“Oh.” The woman said. From the sound of her voice, she was extremely disappointed by that. “Well, where is my clothing?”

After more returning words back and forth, James growing more and more uncomfortable by the moment, he managed to convince her to go back to wherever it was the leisure section of the King’s court lived, providing for her an unused bed sheet to wrap around herself, because for all his searching, James had not been able to find more than her brassiere, which had been the mysterious article of clothing under the shelves, much to his embarrassment. The woman didn’t look too pleased as she stalked off, but he hadn’t known what else to do. He knew how to deal with His Majesty, but not his consorts. It seemed to amuse his King to no end to place his servant in such situations though, it seemed to James.

He wasn’t too pleased with that, but there wasn’t anything he could do about it. He merely spent the rest of the morning and afternoon obsessively cleaning the King’s quarters and anything else that looked like it needed to be cleaned. It helped him take his mind off the most unpleasant ordeal of that morning. He still flushed whenever he thought of that situation. Having to move near enough to the woman to hand the lacy article of…clothing to her. That had been so very terrible. Even though she had paid virtually no attention to him, she was more interesting in trying to stand stiffly, and wrapping the sheet around herself in what she deemed an appropriate manner. She’d tried to order him to help her, but he refused. He didn’t care if she whined to his Majesty and he fell into trouble, he was not getting nearer to the woman. Not bloody likely.

Cleaning was always a good way to take his mind off of everything though. He could put himself completely into any task and ignore even his physical self; pain was lost on him, even as he built the calluses on his hands and made them even rougher. Labor always made him feel cleansed, somehow, even if he was exhausted every night (and sometimes in the morning, especially when his Majesty decided to sneak off in the middle of the night). Plain working wasn’t as tiresome as dealing with his Majesty’s tricks. His pranks, as James had come to think of them. He didn’t find them as funny as his Majesty seemed to, however, and they usually left him emotionally drained, which was much more difficult to deal with than just feeling a bit tired. He had to deal with it though, His Majesty was the law and he himself was merely a servant. It was the way things worked; he’d just have to accept it for what it was. What could he do about it anyway? Ask his Majesty to stop? Ha, that would be a very bad idea, to say the least. It was easier just to cope. And pretend like certain things had never happened.

Perhaps that was the reason he often fell for the same tricks more than once.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: A Princess, a Noblewoman, and a Captain
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#, as written by Mela
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Still rather confused, her mind struggling to come back into reality, Sapphire didn’t at first register Simone’s words, even as she repeated herself… or elaborated on what she had said in the first place. To be quite honest, Saph wasn’t sure. She blinked a couple of times, looking at the redheaded of the three young women. Then it hit her and she gaped at her sister for a second before shaking her head instinctively. “Glazed look? What glazed look? There is absolutely no glaze look.” She took a sip of her water to hide her slight discomfort. She hated that her eyes always gave her away. Sometimes it was simply just a ridiculously tedious drag. Especially when she did not in any way want to talk of the person on her mind.

However, Simone obviously wasn’t taking Saph’s bullshit answer because she kept looking at her, so Sapphire merely rolled her eyes, smiling wryly at her older sister. “Seriously, sis. No guy makes my eyes glaze over, so there’s that. It doesn’t happen. Now, should we-“ she was about to say more when Syd interrupted. The blonde’s Sapphire coloured eyes sought out the youngest of the three as she continued speaking. At her words, Sapphire frowned faintly, quirking her head slightly to the side. “Staring?” she repeated, biting down on her lower lip just slightly. Tall, long hair… well that could be just about anyone. But not just about anyone would stand there and creepily stare at her from behind. “That’s odd,” she noted, puzzlement in her voice. After all, if he was behind her, all he would be able to see was her back, her neck, and her puffy bun of blonde hair.

She wasn’t sure she wanted to check though. She didn’t want to check who it was. Because it might be him. Also because it might not be him. She didn’t like any of those possibilities very much, which meant she was screwed in any case. However, in the end she drew in a deep breath and glanced her only to freeze up, lips falling apart just a little as she drew in a sharp breath.

There he stood, holding a hand in the air as if in greeting. As if he hadn’t been completely MIA for the past two years. Ever since he had saved her from a group of young men aiming to rape her senseless. He would’ve been nice to him after that. Hell, she’d actually even force herself to thank him, even if the taste of it on her tongue had been horrid. The only problem with her wanting to be nice, was his own behavior. It completely prevented that from happening. Because he was an arrogant asshole. She had no idea why she even bothered wanting to see him again. Nope. No clue. He was nothing but a pain in her ass. Yes, that was what he was. But by the gods, seeing him again she found herself drawn to him once more. Found herself wanting to speak with him… to continue their little spats.

What the hell was wrong with her? He was standing there, staring at her in the most creepy way, looking at if he expected her to come to him. Would she? Should she? Yes… and no. She would, but she really shouldn’t. She just… wanted to yell at him. Yes, she wanted to yell at him. Why the hell was he back now? It made no sense to her. She cleared her throat, pretending like no time had passed as she’d stared Sabine right in the eye, and turned briefly to her sisters. “I should go check that out. We’ll talk later?” She didn’t wait for an answer as she put money on the table, grabbed her bag and gave both her sisters pecks on their cheeks, adding a hurried “love you” to them both before moving towards the blonde stalker. Her pace was steadfast and decisive, her steps controlled but with a very specific target. Her eyes were set on Sabine, and soon she was in front of him.

“It’s rude to stare,” she merely snapped at him, her voice slightly irritated already as she raised an eyebrow. “But then, I suppose manners aren’t your strong suit, are they?” The pair was far enough from her sisters to keep them from hearing the exchange, thankfully.






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Captain Daniel Bowman was definitely not the only one enjoying the view presented. He was a handsome man, this one, which, in part, was the cause of her game. That and the fact that he was simply difficult. The fact that he did not fall at her feet, instantly in love with her because she was just “so beautiful”. No, if Daniel told her he loved her, it would merely be in an attempt to play her. Which was another part of it. She found it exciting that he did not simply fall in line when she played – instead, he’d play right back. It was an interesting, unspoken agreement. None of them wanted to lose. None of them did losing. To Alanya, it was simply not an option. She always came out on top. She was a princess. She was a winner. Nothing less would do.

When he spoke of having more time for work, however, her eyes sparkled and she let out a short, feminine, almost flirtatious laugh. Alanya leaned over gracefully and took his letter, waving it in the air. “Work, you say? Why, my dear captain, I feel rather certain this is not ‘work’ related.” She smiled playfully at that and leaned forwards, lips by his ear in the next instant. “Do you not have better things to do?” She quirked an eyebrow, that mischievous glint in her eyes ever so present as she let the piece of paper fall onto the cushion next to the one Daniel was seated on.

However, she soon stilled as his hand caressed the smooth, creamy skin of her face and her amber eyes moved to look straight into his, intense and thoughtful. Not a lot of people dared touch her without permission. Mostly because she’d been known to kill men for stepping over her boundaries. She always set the pace, but he didn’t particularly mind with Daniel. Because she wanted him. Because she liked his touch. But still, it was a little odd. It was not the first time he had touched her such, but she had yet to grow accustomed. His words, however, dragged her from her line of thought and she laughed softly, feigned innocence to the sound. “Me? Ravishing the town? Oh no, sweetness, I would much rather entertain our most honored captain this evening.”

She let the hand on his neck teasingly slide down his neck to his chest and just below that taut muscle, her slim and delicate fingers brushing his skin most tauntingly, all the while looking into his eyes, the amber depths of hers glittering with intensity and heated promises. Once there, her voice became alluringly promiscuous, a bedroom kind of purr to it. “Darling Daniel, if you would like me to move myself elsewhere, all you need to do is say the word.” This was a reply both to his words of Evelyn and the letter, but also to him acting the victim to her “whims”. She would not let him have that one. Mostly because she was perfectly aware of the fact that he enjoyed her current position as much as she did. He wouldn’t ask her to move. Her sweet captain was much too eager a player in this game. He was much too attached to the female sex.

And he was far too interested. So she wasn’t worried. In fact, she let her soft lips quirk into a tempting, wicked smile. Her body leaned into his slightly, but as always, Alanya was painfully close, all temptation, but no relief would come. Her touches were light and teasing, her voice holding promises she had no intention of keeping, her eyes intensely focused, as though the person she was looking at was the center of her world, the one thing she wanted above anything. Of course all of this was part of the game, but even so, even knowing this about her, if they could guess at the plans behind her mysterious eyes… men could never quite just be casual about it. Because that was what she did.

It was what she had perfected over the centuries, and she had learned from the very best: Her father. What she hadn’t learned from him… she had found by observing the ladies at court. Those in power. The women who had captured the most powerful men. Those were women Alanya enjoyed spending time with and had always let herself learn from. If a woman knew how to manipulate men, if she knew how to give them that sense of power, there was nothing she could not achieve. Men liked to feel wanted and powerful, they needed to feel loved. Really, Daniel was no different than every other man in that regard, but he went about it a little differently. That was what made him interesting to the relatively young vampire princess.

She would be queen one day, but that did not mean she could be careless and assume everyone would just fall in line. Oh no. Even her strong and capable father had fought for his place, and she would have to as well. She did not wish to deceive herself by thinking otherwise.

The setting changes from San Diego, California to USA

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Korrye
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Simone couldn’t help but roll her eyes at her sister, leaning her elbow on the table and allowing her chin to sit in her palm while she snorted her retort and added a chuckle. Someone’s being blond today.

“Glazed look? What glazed look? There is absolutely no glaze look,” Sapphire countered. Simone looked over at Sydney for her expression but her sister looked a little struck by something beyond her and the windows. Simone bit down on her lower lip and shook her head, watching Sapphire drink her water as if that was an answer itself. Simone didn’t let her stare drop, she stayed where she was and it did it’s bit. Sapphire rolled her eyes then and it was no small wonder that their mother always was on their case for that. They all did it too often. “Seriously, sis. No guy makes my eyes glaze over, so there’s that. It doesn’t happen,” Sapphire countered. Simone shrugged and sat back in her chair, taking her third cup of tea in hand to have a drink. I should have asked for a travel mug with a lid, she thought to herself. “Now, should we-“ Sapphire began. Syd spoke up then and Simone let her eyebrows jump at the idea of her youngest sister interrupting someone.

“Um, Saph… I’m not really sure how to say this, but… there’s a man behind you, and he’s… well, he’s staring. To the left a little, tall, long hair?” Syd asked. Simone immediately turned in her chair to look behind her and through the glass but she found herself half blocked by the table next to them and a person outside walking past but low and behold she could see the lower body of a man definitely standing and looking into the shop, whether it was actually at them she wasn’t sure.

“Staring?” Sapphire repeated. “That’s odd.” Simone turned and looked back at her sister, finding her smile spread into a grin before she tapped her finger nails on the tabletop in victory. There Sapphire was, looking almost flustered and surprised and yet…excited? The twinkle in her eyes was there, like she was thinking of something dirty. Simone knew the look from her own eyes. “There it is! Houston, we have Sapphire’s glossy eyed boy look. I know it anywhere, same look you used to give to that guy in gym class on the basketball team before you hooked up behind the bleachers in the tenth grade.”

Sapphire ignored her comment, shifting to look out the window herself. Simone watched as surprise registered on her features. She continued to smile as she finished her tea, setting the empty cup on the corner of the table to be collected by the café staff.

“I should go check that out. We’ll talk later?” Sapphire suddenly asked. Simone was startled. “Wait, you’re going to talk to some stalker guy? Hold it!” she was about ready to stand in protest before her cell phone began ringing. What timing. Seriously? she cursed in thought, looking down at her iPhone which remained face up on top of her bag of paperwork and work clothes. The sharp tones of David Guetta’s “Titanium” drew the attention of several other customers. Like she needed more death stares. She hurried to grab it and silence it but not before catching sight of the number. Nathaniel? she wondered. Her bartender friend had long been employee and part owner of Blues Pub. He would only be calling her about one of two things: they had a raccoon problem again or he was there.

Simone scrunched up her nose, feeling a twitch of anticipation run through her body at the idea of seeing him again. When she looked up again, Sapphire was hurried giving her air kisses on either cheek. “Love you!” her sister told her. Simone stumbled with words as she watched Sapphire bounce off in a walk that could only be described as intentionally contained. She could see the strain in her sisters legs and how straight her back was as she fought the urge to run to whoever the guy was outside.

“Weird,” she commented, before looking at Sydney. “I’m sorry but I have to take this.”

She stood then and slid her finger across the accept button, bringing her phone to her ear as she walked off towards the girl’s washroom where it was quieter.

“Nathaniel! Please don’t tell me I have to tell you to again call animal control and not me,” Simone lamented, bringing a hand through her red curly hair and sighing into the phone. She held her breath as the noise of the bar came through on the other end of the line.

“Nah hun. I call because you told me to call if he was ever back. And from what you described, I think he’s here. Been here for awhile too all dark and brooding. Not too kind to the wait staff.”

“Sounds like him,” she replied shortly, feeling her heart jump at the idea of him actually being back and real and there. “Can you get over here? I think he just offended one of the customers,” Nathaniel pleaded before an audible scoff could be heard as a woman snapped something unpleasant to someone and the phone clicked off.

Simone pulled her phone away from her ear, staring at it like she had just dreamed up the call. She checked the time, and then looked back over at Sydney who was now sitting alone at their little table. She exhaled deeply before she went back to reclaim her seat, reaching to pull her bag of work onto her chair. “Syd, I’m sorry. Something’s come up. I hate to pull a fast one like Saph but it’s important. Trust me?” she asked then, before leaning forward to hug her and pull a coat over her shoulders. Tucking the straps of her bag over her shoulder, she said good bye a final time before stepping out of the café through it’s side entrance, not wanting to run into Sapphire and ruin something that her sister potentially cared about. That was too high school.

Climbing into her beat up Jeep Wrangler, Simone slid her bag into the passenger seat and pulled out into traffic. Blues Pub wasn’t that far away but she didn’t feel like walking. The air was brisk but warm and when she hit an intersection she found herself evaluating her attire. She had dressed in better clothes after work that morning but she did have tea spots from her earlier spill on her tank top. That made her zip up her coat and when the light turned green she found herself no more than few blocks away from Blues Pub and wouldn’t you know, parking was a cinch for the first time in ages.

Pulling her bag with her, Simone stepped into the club hesitantly. Music played over the speakers which was pleasant. Most times she was there a live band was playing and if the staff weren’t careful it could be quite deafening from the moment you stepped in the door. Things were low key though there were many tables filled with people. Her eyes scanned the room before they landed on Nathaniel at the bar towards the back. Her friend waved her over and she walked by the hostess with a smile and courteous wave. She kept her eyes forward, not wanting to see him right away. Still, her heart was pounding in her ears and when she got up to the bar and took a stool, she felt the muscles in her calves between to twitch with the tension she carried. Her stomach flipped with butterflies and she did her best to hide it all with a smile as Nate stepped away from a patron to speak with her.

“How are you love?” he asked gently, his voice carrying a slight southern drawl. She had met Nathaniel when she had gone to Berkley. He had been there for business management and he had known all of the best clubs at the time. They had become fast friends of a sibling variety. Moreover, Nate was happily gay and hoping to marry his long time boyfriend. Everyone is with someone these days, she thought to herself. Still, she didn’t hold it against him.

“I am good I guess. You have impeccable timing. Called me right away from seeing my sisters for the first time in a few weeks,” Simone smiled, teasing him slightly. “Well out of the chaos and into fun you are then! What do you want to drink?”

“Dirty martini please, emphasis on the alcohol. I’m going to need it,” she replied, leaning against the bar to run her hands through her hair and scratch the back of her neck before flicking her red curls over her shoulders again.

“Yeah you will, here he comes,” Nate smiled. All she could do was freeze and wonder why she had brought herself back here and to him if she was going to act this way. "He's got fuck me eyes," Nate added with a swish of his eyebrows before he made himself scarce to mix up her drink.

The setting changes from USA to San Diego, California

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Daniel Bowman Character Portrait: A Princess, a Noblewoman, and a Captain
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Sabine Marx


It took her a moment, but finally, finally the blonde looked around. Sabine’s lips curved into a momentary smirk. She stared at him for a moment and he patiently held her gaze. She seemed surprised when she looked over; her mouth had fallen ever so slightly open when she’d met his eyes, but he could see that expression changing until she turned around again. He dropped his hand, tucking it in his pocket, not moving an inch. She would come over; he had no question of that. That look on her face just before she’d turned back around to the other humans at the table had told him that. Indeed, she did not linger, but made her over to where he was waiting on the corner of the street. His eyes tracked her as she made her way over. Her pace reminded him of the first time they’d met, though it bothered him much less now. This situation he had control over. She was coming to him. It didn’t matter how annoyed she was, she was coming to him.

The first words out of her mouth were snappish, but Sabine took them coolly. He had missed speaking with her. No one else spoke with such…irritation towards him. It was rather amusing, and it was enjoyable to return her comments. Not only a mental challenge, but her words in themselves were so very amusing. “I believe the correct way to start a conversation is with a greeting, not an accusation, süß. I suppose I’m not the only impolite party in this conversation. Anyway, I was simply waiting for you.” He inclined his jaw slightly. “It would have been impolite to interrupt you and your companions while you were eating. It is not my fault the small dark haired one noticed me.”

And they were back at it. Sabine felt as if it had merely been the day before when he’d draped his jacket around her shoulders and disappeared back into the darkness. Her anger, it seemed, was everlasting, ready to be turned at whatever was available. It appeared it wasn’t something that came and went, but a permanent personality trait. Or perhaps he was the reason she was so angry when talking to him. Which would be fine. Actually, that would be rather amusing. She didn’t realize that if she just didn’t say anything and just went on her way, he would have never bothered her in the first place, because normal humans were just boring. But then again, if she hadn’t caught his eye then he wouldn’t have beaten up those stupid humans for her, and she’d be in a much worse state. Usually he didn’t bother with humans and their violence, he really didn’t care and he still couldn’t figure out what had possessed him to help her. Perhaps because of her fire. She was too interesting to just become another victim.

“You looked surprised when you turned around, Miss Parker, did you forget that you still have possession of my handkerchief and jacket? I told you I’d be back to retrieve my things. Did you not believe me?” Sabine paused for a moment, the very faintest of smirks still on his face as he lifted his eyebrow inquisitively.

He had told her he would be back, but even he hadn’t known that it would be two years before he would see her again. He hadn’t expected that they’d need to leave on such short notice. And she’d not been such a priority that he leave as they were preparing things to return to the kingdom, though he had wished to, since his last words to her had been a concession, and it was so horribly terrible to leave while the other had the upper foot. And because nothing seemed as entertaining as talking to the curious human, everything else was simply dull in comparison.

He was aware that he was being downright terrible. To humans two years was a terribly long time. She probably didn’t have his things anymore, and that didn’t particularly bother him, but if she’d though he wasn’t going to return, that was a different story. He was the King of the Daemons, he always kept his word, even if sometimes other things complicated his promises. Though, honestly, she had no right to be angry. It wasn’t like he’d promised himself to her or anything, far from it. She was nothing but a human on his much larger expanse of things. Two years for him was tiny as a grain of sand in his nearly four millennia, her entire life would fit comfortably and insignificantly within his own. He didn’t see it that way, but it was true. Silly self absorbed humans.




Daniel Bowman


The woman on his lap reached out and plucked up the letter off the table with a laugh, flourishing it in the air. Daniel smirked. As she leaned closer her lips so close that her breath danced warm against his ear as she spoke. Then she discarded the letter on a chair, where it sat, forgotten. “I’d beg to differ, Princess, tending to my women is quite a bit of work.” He hummed back, the lilt of amusement in his voice blurring the traces of mock hurt also infused in his tone. “But I suppose amusing royalty takes priority in my position?” He smiled slightly, as if he was nobly sacrificing his duty to his lover to serve his princess. She wanted his attention, and she could have it, but not without a bit of pretended grudging. All part of the game. Otherwise she’d think him all too easy. And that would be a shame wouldn’t it? And playing difficult was great fun anyway, he was usually the one taking the woman by the hand, trying to overcome her reservations, and being difficult wouldn’t help him win at all in such a situation. But Alanya reciprocated, and it made the dance much more fun.

She affected the same innocent air that he had, and Daniel couldn’t help but feel that they were dancing dangerously close to some edge, and it bit into his heart, spreading adrenaline into his system. It was almost exhilarating to play his game with the Princess, as if there was some unspoken danger, like he was blindfolded on a high wire, but still somehow managed to walk in a straight line. He watched her mouth as she spoke again, but his eyes flicked up to hers when her hand began traveling down from his neck back to his chest. “What have I done to earn such a gift?” He feigned ignorance, though his silver eyes were still bright on face. He knew very well what she wanted with him, even if her exact intentions were not clear. She was most likely merely bored, perhaps she’d broken another toy. Yes, he remembered hearing a conversation about that. She wanted to wander out to the human world and find a better one there, more like, but the sun wasn’t down yet. Ah, the limitations of being young. He didn’t mind being her plaything for a little while because he was quite confident that there was no way she could ever break him. It simply wasn’t possible, just as he could never catch her in his romantic traps. It didn’t stop him from trying, looking for the weakness in her construction, because that was the fun of the whole matter.

She was tauntingly close, but he could feel her body coiled like a panther preparing to strike. She was a dangerous but beautiful creature. Perhaps that was her allure. She was a predator, deliberate in her actions, and clever. But Daniel could play her game too. Let her hunt her prey but slip away at the last second. The most thrilling part was seeing how close to the edge he could draw his lovely princess. He could see savory seduction in her eyes as she leaned closer, but he was no stranger to such heated mistruths. He was a patron of such delicious promises himself. “Ah, but my love, who am I to displace a princess from her throne?” He returned, his voice equally silky. He blinked lazily at her. “That would be treason, and I am a most loyal subject, you know, Princess. I would never do such a thing.” He was quite sure that they both knew that it wasn’t very likely for him to actually tell her to go away, she was too much fun, and he knew that she probably wouldn’t go if he told her to. In all actuality, even if he did want her gone, he probably won’t tell her so. That was a dangerous option. And Daniel was no fool, even if he did play it sometimes, for one end or another.

Her lips were curved in a deliciously malicious grin; she seemed very pleased with herself, Daniel noted. She was doing to him what he did to so many women, the teasing, remaining just out of reach for all the gentle brushing of her fingers across his skin, and the purred words that really meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. Daniel didn’t mind though, he was a man who enjoyed the moment. Tomorrow would worry about himself, so long as he could have his fun today when it came to love. He was a better strategist than that, but that required a different type of focus that he currently utilized. For now his attentions were focused perfectly on the flawless creature before him, though he played aloofness, a certain disinterest in his eyes as he cast them lazily over her face. That was what it took for some women. Once he’d caught them a little bit, some would do most anything to try and keep his attentions. Jealousy was a beautiful creature, and she’d helped him in his exploits many a time. Such a simple trick wouldn’t work on Alanya, of course, but he knew if he seemed too interested she’d leave, because that was just no fun at all.

“I’m sure Eve will understand why it took me so long to write her, won’t she.” He mused aloud. “After all, my duties to the royal family do come first, don’t they.” Neither sentence was a question, despite the phrasing, nor did either require a response, but Daniel’s eyes wandered up the princess’s face as if he was waiting for one. He would continue mentioning his current lover until the princess did something about it, because he was rather curious to see how much it would bother her.

The setting changes from San Diego, California to USA

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Ion
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Sapphire’s reaction to the man’s presence was at once exactly what Syd would have expected (the angry, indignant part where she stormed off to give him a piece of her mind) and also a bit surprising (the initial reaction, which seemed quite aptly described by Simone’s phrase, the “glossy-eyed boy look”). Sydney, for her part, wasn’t really sure if there was anything she could or should do, so she just gave her sister’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze as Saph pulled away, and settled back in her seat, picking up her cup and saucer and sipping at the tea therein.

“I’m… not sure if that’s normal or something to be worried about,” she admitted to Simone, eyes involuntarily flicking to the scene. Nothing much was happening, though the discussion appeared to be very… heated on Saph’s part, not so much where the man was concerned. But her oldest sister was looking down at her phone, clearly perturbed by something or other, and Syd just nodded politely when she indicated that she had to take the call.

Not really sure what to look at or do, given that staring was rude and she tried to avoid it, Syd just focused on the remainder of her tea while Simone was gone, nibbling at the bread on the table and thinking on the list of things waiting for her in the office tomorrow. That usually served to distract her quite well from anything else. The Martinson case briefs needed to be updated in light of the new witnesses; it looked like she’d be handing that one off to her boss, now. Maybe she should do more research on the statute of limitations for robbery, because she was certain the state was exploiting some kind of loophole, and there had to be something they were missing. A small sigh escaped her, fluttering the edges of her inky bangs, and Syd wondered if she’d ever be given an important case like that one. It seemed that every time something even remotely interesting crossed her desk, she’d do most of the legwork on it: witness interviews, case briefs, legal research, and then just be told to give it to her Mr. Desmond. It was a little frustrating, but she knew this was how things were supposed to start for young lawyers…

Simone reappeared just then, and Syd nodded solemnly, returning her sister’s embrace. “Of course I trust you. I know you wouldn’t leave for something that didn’t matter, either of you.” That said, she had no idea what was going on with either of her sisters at the moment, and as Simone departed, Syd realized that she’d forgotten to leave cash. It must be really urgent, then. Ah, well; the bill itself wasn’t important—she just hoped that whatever had her sister rushing out the door like that turned out okay. She’d hate to hear that one of Simone’s beloved animals had taken sick or had an accident or something.

Waving over their usual waitress, Syd asked for the check, and was reaching into her purse for the requisite money when something caught her attention, and she looked up in just enough time to see Sapphire slap the man she was standing in front of. Blue-green eyes widened, and she bit down on her lower lip. Oh, Saph, that’s assault; he could have you arrested for that… Knowing her sister, it had probably been provoked somehow, but whether the argument was one that would fly in front of a judge was an entirely different matter. On what was by now instinct, Syd’s hand hovered by her phone, ready to call in any number of favors or perhaps just the police. Of course, traffic just had to choose that time to pick up, the passing cars obscuring her view of what was going on, and Syd was left to shake her head. It’s still daylight, if only just. I have to trust her to handle this.

Hesitant for a moment of indecision, Syd gave up on trying to figure things out, and paid for the rest of the bill, standing and gathering her messenger bag to her side, slinging it over her shoulder. From the phone in her hand, she shot off two identical text messages, one to each of her sisters: Call me if you need anything. Deciding that for the moment, that was probably the best she could do, she decided to give Saph as much privacy as she could have in the middle of an open street and turned the opposite direction, striking off for the library.

With a suddenly free evening, Sydney decided that she might as well get a head start on that research, and there weren’t many better places for that than the library. She supposed she could go home and consult the internet instead, but there was something about real books that she absolutely preferred. Maybe it was the smell, or the texture. She tried not to linger too long on whatever was going on with her siblings; goodness knew they were much more adept at handling themselves in all kinds of situations than she would ever be. Taking a deep breath, the youngest Parker child nodded firmly to herself, resolving to enjoy the walk and the weather, which was cool but nowhere near unpleasant. For a while, there was only her thoughts and the rhythmic click of her knee-high heeled boots on pavement, as meditative as the metronome had been, only this time, she was keeping herself well away from her feelings. They were nothing but trouble, most of the time.

A few miles later, Sydney had reached the library, the last remaining troubled furrow in her brow smoothing out upon the sight of it. Now, here was something she could do, in a place she most certainly belonged. Librarian had once been on her list of possible future occupations, though she’d wanted to be an archivist at the Library of Congress. The thought was a little silly now, maybe, but not as much as her aspirations to be a scuba instructor or a superhero. She’d really, really wanted to be a superhero, and even after she’d concluded that she had no superpowers, she’d lived in hope for a good number of years that Batman would find her somehow and make her the next Robin or something.

Pushing open the grand doors at the entrance, Sydney lifted a hand in greeting to the elderly man working the desk (his name was Stan, and he was a perfectly lovely fellow who very much enjoyed books), and made a beeline for the legal reference and public documents section, which was on the third floor of the massive library, in a lonely, ill-used corner. Sometimes, Syd was pretty sure she was the only person that ever came here, and something about that made it special. Taking a few moments to seek out the right volumes, she carefully piled them at the corner of a desk and settled down to work, though not before pulling out her mobile and setting it gingerly down beside the books.

If one of her sisters needed her, she’d be there, no questions asked.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Igari
Garreth Vilhei Frost

As had long since become the usual, the lykae king had departed from the comforts of his secondary home without so much as a word to anyone else. It would be inaccurate to claim he did not know the frustration this caused--on the contrary, he was more than aware of it. And he did relish it, no doubt of it. A devious grin was playing on his lips as he contemplated the vague tasks he had assigned before slipping out. In fact, vague would be a rather generous statement, since he had left no such orders at all. He'd simply left a female laying in his bed and strategically hidden all of her clothes in the most ludicrous of places before leaving the room. Hmm, perhaps the chandelier hadn't been the best spot for her stockings. Oh well, it was a bit too late to lament on that now. He enjoyed this game of hide and seek that he played with his servant boy, though James seemed to be catching on so he had tried all the harder this time to make the task of cleaning up that much more impossible.

Though privately, he would have to commend the small boy who had risen the ranks to become his private servant. Very few lykae were ever up to the task and none had lasted as long as the halfling. Indeed, many had given up after a mere week, claiming he was far too difficult to please. Oh no no, it wasn't that. It was just that they didn't play well enough and he became bored of the pranks when the recipient of them wasn't smart enough to figure them out in an entertaining manner. James was quite good at that, to a fault he might add, and he was certain that the boy hated it. Still, this did not stop the king from finding ever-new ways to torment the boy--many of which were perhaps deplorable but quite amusing. If the mental image of finding that consort in his bed sheets was anything to go by, he was going to have a nice laugh when he finally arrived home.

Garreth made his way down a city street, his wanderings having brought him to a modest city within a place the humans called "California". Honestly, how un-creative and un-majestic sounding. They really needed to learn a thing or two about imagination--well, when it came to naming things. Sex-wise, these human creatures were always coming up with new things, many of which were downright ridiculous. He would have to mention the story of the ballet dancers involved in some weird prancing effect of sex to James some time. Yes, that was going on his to-do list. He paused in his musings, his acute senses picking up the faint familiar tinge of like-kin. Though he used "like" lightly--whatever the case, he could make out the presences of the other kings and their private courts. This may have been one of the few times they did not war with one another, for Earth was something of a neutral ground. Still, it would be wise not to test his luck. His previous escapades to Earth had been taken alone, now he had other kingdoms to content with. Though he could be brutal if he had o be, even the King of Lykae enjoyed a break every once in awhile. (A break from brutality, you think he'd take a break from pranking? As if.)

It was a bit too early to entertain the idea of a drink, instead, he walked past an odd-looking restaurant and decided to enter the library that was just across the street. As he walked across the road, he couldn't help but faintly recall the events of two years' previous that had taken place at the busy intersection. Admittedly, not much of the encounter was resh in his mind, only bits and pieces remained. Even so, Garreth could just about remember the color of her hair, and the scent that she carried. That scent... It was difficult to forget yet it was the only detail that had truly imprinted upon him. The king shook his head as if to rid his mind of such thoughts. He had never been one to linger on a female, particularly a human.

Garreth pushed open the doors to the library, the person behind the reception desk looking up and giving him a questioning stare. Observing that the man was elderly and more than likely wiser than most of the younger humans, he only nodded. No need to waste his efforts on a cold stare when there wasn't a reasoning. Despite the perception most had of him, the lykae king did enjoy a well-written story in his free time. It did not take him long to locate the classic literature section, gloved fingers expertly perusing through the books upon the shelves. He selected one with a navy blue binding, ah, Franz Kafka, always a good choice. Adjusting the weight comfortably in his hands, he went to prop open the book in full when an mildly annoying detail flashed in his mind.

Ah, that was right. That female, she had mentioned something of a legal standing during their last encounter. What types of books would fall under that field? Human law had never interested him, for it had never played any sort of effect in his life. He shrugged it off--he might as well pretend it did, for the sake of curing his boredom. That seemed to come at him a lot, this sense of having nothing to do. Heading back towards the main lobby, Garreth yawned as he walked up the stairs, eyes glazing over the according signs and shelves. Hmm, legal documents, legal documents... It took him a few minutes to make it up to the third floor (not because he was that slow, you dim-witted twat, there can be something said for someone that pays attention to where they are walking), the book falling comfortably underneath his arm.

The section was small, barely a whisper of anyone at all. A pile of books was ungraciously sitting upon a table in the far back, a small hand reaching out for the one at the very top of the pile and dragging it into the center of the mess. Curious, he could've sworn that the female from his previous encounter had hands like that. This was becoming annoying, why was he recalling details like this? Garreth had never been one to wait around for answers and there were very few that could intimidate him enough where he did not want to approach them. His adviser was... one of them. He got shivers just thinking about it. He shook it off, Rhaun was another case entirely. He wrinkled his nose as a familiar scent caught his attention, quietly, unobtrusively. Yes, it was her, as he had suspected. He sighed, shrugging his shoulders--must've been a divine prank of sorts to get back at him for all the antics he put James through. Might as well live with it. Adjusting his features so that a comfortable smile fell upon his lips, he took the chair at the opposite end of the desk. Just his presence alone should've been enough to garner her attention but to play his part perfectly, he took one of the books off of a nearby stack and held it at arm's length.

"I see your interests haven't changed," He spoke smoothly, though kept his voice at a light level so as not to cause her alarm. "I'm curious, do you expect to get through all these books in the course of a single night?" There was a bite of sarcasm in his voice, a barely tangible playful note. He flipped through the pages with mild intrigue, regarding her out of the corner of his eye. Still the same--amazing how little humans changed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Lena of Anguaren Character Portrait: Balthazar Cross
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#, as written by Ion
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Sydney sighed, frowning when the upward exhale blew a few strands of hair loose from her impeccable bun. They were a smidge too short to fit behind her ear, and part of her immediately wanted to reach into her bag for a bobby pin, but she shook her head to herself. She was in the library. It wasn’t like anybody important was going to walk up and see her in this state, was it? Shaking her head at herself, she went back to her transcriptions, pen scratching furiously across paper, both of which had also been magicked from the messenger-style tote that often seemed to contain all the most important nonhuman elements of her entire life, minus the violin. Pens, notebooks, whatever fiction she happened to be reading then, sheet music, cell phone, business cards, a comb, hairpins, her purse and keys, a taser (and the license she had to carry it), and usually a spare pair of stockings, in case hers wound up with a run in them.

Okay, maybe she was a little overprepared, but it had to be better than needing something and not having it, right?

Perhaps thirty minutes later, all thought of keeping herself in proper order had rather vanished, and she was crosslegged on the chair, at least two pens stuck in her bun and another four or so marking various places in the references she was working on. She was chewing rather ardently at her lip, a habit she’d picked up who knew how long ago, but aside from the occasional thump as a book was shoved aside or taken from atop the stack at the corner of the desk, she was also completely silent.

Distantly, Syd registered the sound of someone moving, which wasn’t hard in the library, but she paid it no mind. Granted, there were hardly ever other people around here, and perhaps had she been thinking about it, she would have remembered her present state and tried frantically to straighten… something (no amount of time under ten minutes would see everything here set to rights), but she didn’t, and remained blissfully unconcerned about any of it, reaching to the side automatically to retrieve another book, one she’d already marked. It needed to be cross-referenced with…

Someone slid into the chair opposite her, and Syd’s eyebrows furrowed just slightly. There was no shortage of seating around here, who would be so obnoxious as to choose the only chair that would inconvenience her at all? That was rather rude, wasn’t it? She ignored the person, however, having no desire to make awkward eye contact with a stranger, and reached for another book, only for her hand to meet empty air. Startled, Syd blinked and glanced at the stack, to find that it was indeed one book short.

A masculine voice solved the mystery, however, and her field of vision snapped to encompass a very well-dressed, devastatingly-handsome person that, frankly, she wished she’d never met. Clearing her throat lightly, Syd held out a hand for the book, fixing him with a look of mild disapproval, though it was only evident from the slight downturn to the curve of her mouth.

“They are reference materials, Mr. Frost, not novels. I need not read the whole of them all,” she replied flatly, very deliberately steering her mind away from the last time she’d been in his company. Her business face was a façade with much strength, indeed, and much worse people than Garreth Frost had tried to get under it before.

They definitely didn’t try the same way, though, did they? That was an unwelcome intrusion on her mental serenity, and she batted it violently to the side. The book was, predictably, not immediately forthcoming, but she did not lower her hand, nor remove her eyes from his, merely raising one eyebrow, just slightly, as if to ask if he really wished to play more games with her. The answer was kind of obvious, if her previous encounters with the man were anything to go by, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t hope.

“The legal section would not be the place I’d have expected to find you,” she observed dryly. If it had been, they’d probably have never met at all, actually. “If you require another consultation or wish to retain the services of a public defender for some reason,” she paused here, and the eyebrow reached just a little higher, as if she would not at all be surprised to find out that he needed a lawyer, ”then regular office hours are from nine to five on weekdays.”

It struck her that his eyes were too familiar a color, though she could not place the reason for the thought. Actually, they could have last seen each other yesterday, for all he’d changed in two years. Then again, given the kind of person he was, she was rather glad she had not seen him yesterday. Honestly, the sooner he went away today, the better. Syd didn’t hate people, and she didn’t hate him. It was just that he was incredibly irritating and offensive to her more politically forward sensitivities, if you could even call gender equality politically forward anymore.

And his face was too pretty. It wasn’t fair. Other people (like her) had to work to even look somewhat presentable. He looked like he’d just rolled out of bed, and it still worked. Jerk.



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After perhaps an hour spent in the library, shifting restlessly through the shelves and looking for something new, Balthazar had left as soon as he’d felt the distant temptation to set one on fire, just to see if anyone ever noticed it missing. He had been eyeballing a genealogical history of the second age of the realm at the time, and the thought had been so unlike him (burn a book? What was he, some kind of human cretin?) that it had immediately informed him that he’d best be elsewhere.

With nothing else to occupy himself, he’d wandered the mansion like a ghost thereafter, and his treads were only just now taking him towards the kitchen, a place which he usually left alone due to a modicum of respect for the servants who worked therein. It took more ingenuity than the average noble fop possessed to rotate a menu such that immortal beings did not tire of it. How a vampire could live on one substance forever was entirely beyond him. How pedestrian their palates must be, refined for only a single thing. He wondered if there might be a way to ensorcell a mortal so that the stuff tasted like chili powder. That would be entertaining.

An idea for later, perhaps, when he had access to proper materials.

For now, his cat’s-paw tread carried him into the expansive kitchen, presently empty save for Lena, who appeared to be searching for something… slowly. She appeared not to have yet noticed his presence, which was normal enough. He hadn’t made any noise, after all, and it looked like whatever she sought was of some importance to her. For a few moments, Balthazar simply observed, concluding that the lack of celerity in her movement was probably due to discomfort of some kind. His eyes narrowed slightly; now what could cause a daemon enough pain for it to linger so? He was curious.

”Miss Anguaren. Do you require some form of assistance?” The question was cool, detached, sliding off his lips and tongue like dark silk. His hands, he folded neatly behind his back, his face a perfect mask of inscrutability. Nevertheless, his form of address was polite, and there seemed to be nothing outright hostile in his demeanor, just the same faint hint of menace that was always there. That, by now, was something he would have had to exert effort to remove; it had served him well in the past, so well that it had become unconscious habit, almost.

Mayhap it was a little irregular, for the king’s advisor to be offering a servant some form of assistance, but Balthazar was nothing if not logical, and though he played the orders of birth and status to his advantage when the occasion called for it, he had no real regard for them. The situation, plainly, was that she was below her usual threshold of efficiency, and he was without anything productive to do. It only made sense that he lend his efforts to whatever she was hoping to obtain (which, if she were behaving logically, would be something to recover her normal range of movement). In doing so, they would both be making the greatest use of themselves. He was not above his own utilitarian calculi, after all. In this sense, the offer was entirely genuine, though whether she would interpret it as such was another matter all together.

The setting changes from USA to San Diego, California

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle Character Portrait: Lena of Anguaren Character Portrait: Daniel Bowman Character Portrait: A Princess, a Noblewoman, and a Captain Character Portrait: Balthazar Cross
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#, as written by Mela
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Ah, yes, she was definitely playing to his tune. Alexander enjoyed the way she gazed up at him, her eyes shining with the attraction she was feeling, especially as she grew flustered at his nearness. When he spoke she even arched her back, her delicate lips parted just a little as she stared back into his eyes, seemingly lost in them. But then, Alexander didn’t blame her. He was a practiced man in the art of seduction. Although, quite honestly he didn’t try all that hard; he usually didn’t have to with humans… or vampires, really, since they didn’t often dare defy their king. She, like most women, was a puppet in his hands, and…

Wait, ”no”? Alexander blinked only once before the surprise was wiped from his face once more. Well, that was rather surprising. When she didn’t move from him, however, the vampire king merely chuckled lightheartedly. “No?” he repeated, almost playfully, although his patience was waning. He wanted her home and he wanted his teeth in her. Now. And if she was going to be difficult about it, that was that, but really he was aiming not to terrorize her too much. After all, she was human, and her mind was fragile. And he certainly did not wish to rid her of that fire she seemed so fond of. No, that would indeed be a shame. After all, maybe that was what made her blood so delicious.

He knew the slightest disturbance would help her pull away from him, and ah, he could see the wish to. He could see the inner battle in her eyes, her mind fighting her body. Part of her, being a human, knew he was not good for her, yet her body was drawn to him. It was curious, was it not? So he continued, “well, Simone, I’m not leaving you again, so what we do is entirely up to you.” Then, however, before he could move to bring her closer, to manipulate her body just a little more, the human male returned, towel whipping onto the bar counter, and Alexander, feeling Simone starting to flee, let her, and instead looked after the male, his eyes narrowed ever so slightly.

The human would regret that disturbance. Alexander would make sure of it. No one, human or vampire, interrupted the vampire king. He would not accept it, in spite of this person not knowing who he was. It mattered not to the king. His pride demanded that he take the life of the insolent human, and he would. Soon. But right now, though he’d allowed the human woman a head start, he had to handle her and this situation with the utmost care. Of course the bartender would be dealt with accordingly in Alexander’s own time.

So he left, soon spotting Simone almost being run down by a semi truck, and he shook his head at her, smirking. Well, that slowed her at least. Not that she was fast by his standards, but if he started running he’d freak her out and make her literally run from him, and he couldn’t use his vampire speed here in the open. That was the only downside to earth really, safe for the lack of luxury compared to home. But that was to be expected.

He glances at Brigitte who had apparently decided to stay very in sight. He tucked a curved middle finger under her chin and looked down at her. “I do not require your presence, my sweet. Do transport yourself home.” He said no more to her, didn’t offer a smile or a glint in his eye. He was too busy with finding Simone and taking her home, and as such, as she grabbled to handle her shock, a curse emitting from her, Alexander was by her, taking one hand to gracefully swing her around before letting go of her, quickly settling his strong arm around her waist. He smiled wryly down at her, a primal intensity, yet still rather playful look in his eyes. “I very rarely take no for an answer, Simone.” He informed her quietly, as his eyes captured her knowingly, his allure locking her in her own body, and this time it was dirty play, considering he was using his abilities.

The human was stunned on the outside, unable to move herself, yet she could see, hear and feel everything. Then he brushed a stray lock of hair behind her ear and raised an eyebrow looking down at her. “And I didn’t want to play dirty,” he then added, lifting her into his arms bridal style and began carrying her towards his car. He continued murmuring in her ear, trying to ignore the pulse in her neck, and the fact that he could hear and feel every little beat of her heart. “But you just had to run,” he explained, shaking his head almost as if he felt sorry for doing this to her, when really… who was he kidding? Alexander was quite satisfied.

Not waiting for a reply, since she could give none, he placed her in the passenger’s side in his care, adding a seat belt, just in case. He adjusted her body into a balanced position and then moved to get in himself. As he sat, starting up the car and pulling out of the lot casually, he glanced at her. Hm, perhaps he should start explaining some things already, since she would soon find out for herself exactly what he was anyway. So as he drove, having made a decision, the king began speaking.

“I am not some insane creep who wants to kidnap you,” he started, thinking that was probably where her mind was at. “In fact, only the kidnapping part is correct, though you may think my insane once I tell you this.” He paused briefly, as if waiting for her to say something, well knowing that she could not. “My full name is Alexander II Gabriel Kaiseren Chartés, my title is that of King. I am a vampire, and contrary to popular belief, I cannot survive on animal blood.” He glanced at her, smiling wryly. “So once in a while I will procure food for myself in this world. Although, I have to admit my food is usually brought to me. Not the other way around.”

His eyes fell briefly on her neck then before going back to the road. “You certainly gave me a run for my money, dear Simone. I applaud that, but do not deceive yourself to think you will ever get to leave me in such a way ever again. You are now my property, and you are to do as I command.” With those last words, Alexander pulled into the driveway in front of the grand mansion. He really didn’t live far from the club. The car doors locked with only him able to unlock them in his side before he turned her head gently, letting go of the mesmerizing effect, freeing her to control her body… somewhat, since she was not technically free. For now she was merely prisoner in his car.

And he was curious to witness her reaction. A couple of servants came running out, ready to serve him, but he merely shook his head once and they all scurried back inside.





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"What gave you that impression?" was promptly ignored, except there was something to his voice… something different. Sapphire couldn’t figure it out, and honestly, right now she was too upset to care. If she wasn’t careful, this Sabine might even become more than a fleeting interest. She got this odd feeling in her gut when she was around him. That disturbed her quite a bit. Except it was so… ugh, intriguing. He was different from all other men she had ever met, and not only for the effect he had on her, but the way he would retort and throw her snide remarks back at her, sometimes even biting harder. It was an alluring game of ping-pong and it made her so attracted to him.

She had always liked intelligent, powerful men, and by the gods, Sabine was a symbol of both these traits. Couldn’t he at least have been a little easier to deal with though? No? Well, that was just her luck, was it not? And he was following her again. Okay, so maybe he hadn’t only come for his handkerchief and jacket. If he had, he wouldn’t still be following her, would he? Hm, maybe she had slapped him unjustly. That didn’t make the memory any less sweet, however.

"What if I wanted to make sure you were alright? The last time I saw you you weren't exactly in top shape, liebchen, standing at your doorstep alone in the middle of the night, fumbling for your keys with my coat draped over you." It then came, and Sapphire’s lips fell apart as her pace slowly decreased in speed and she finally turned around to face him, her heels bringing her just about tall enough to properly look him in the eyes. Had he seriously just said what she thought he had? He’d been there? He’d followed her in spite of her wish for him not to? In spite of his promise not to? He had… followed her quietly. Not because he wanted to taunt her, not because he’d wanted to irk her, but simply because he had cared enough to. Her features softened only slightly as she looked up at him, the thoughts passing through her mind.

She didn’t know what to do here. Suddenly a new side to him had been shown, and Sapphire found herself liking it. She couldn’t believe he’d actually followed her home. She knew she should probably be offended that he had not respected her wishes, and that her pride should be wounded. Syd would be so disappointed with her if she knew this, because instead Sapphire was warmed by it. A little. Only slightly. After all, she was not the easiest of women to warm, safe for when she was with her sisters, but it was there. Just… a touch of something that wasn’t pure and utter irritation or anger with him.

“You actually followed me home?” She asked him, her voice still hard, but somehow softer with the worst of her irritation more or less gone. She tilted her head a little to the side and slightly back to be able to look at him much easier, her eyes fiery as always, passion shining in them, but it was slightly different, considering her stopping and turning had brought the pair rather close. Her attraction towards this male had her wanting to reach out, but no, she stood her ground. Not that Sapphire was ever afraid of taking the first step, or tread on people’s boundaries, but ah, not with him… not just yet.

His last sentence made her pause as she pursed her lips slightly, curious as to what he meant, and what he thought he could have, but still a little weary of his cryptic way of phrasing everything. “What do you want from me, Sabine?” She asked on the slightest of sighs. Some inner part of her was hoping for something specific. She did not know what it was, nor could she make herself search deeper to find out, so instead she merely waited for his reply.





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Daniel’s response to her words of him not being able to keep up his act for much longer, made her raise an eyebrow ever so slightly, the rest of her face remaining in the same mien as before. “’Pretty’?” She repeated the word he’d used to categorize her. “Is that what I am, Danny? Hm? ‘Pretty’?” Her lips seemed to move into a slightly disapproving mien as she let him know that was in no way a good way to speak of her. Alanya had never thought of herself as merely ‘pretty’. ‘Pretty’ were the humans they bred for her father, ‘pretty’ was the servant who seemed to stare lovingly every time Daniel passed her, and ‘pretty’ was a little girl. Alanya was not a human, she was not a little girl, and she was most certainly not a plain, lovesick servant. She was a princess, and she was most gorgeous. She knew that, he knew that. Everyone knew that. So why would he insult her so?

His tone may have been teasing, but that was no excuse. Hmpfh, ‘pretty’. How dare he. Her attention was drawn from that, however, as Daniel shifted to move closer to her. Oh, that was right, she’d teased his limit, hadn’t she? She hadn’t missed the way he’d stiffened once she’d flexed her hips, and she’d felt that sense of accomplishment, although she knew he would have given in much sooner if he had not been so set on playing hard to get, on making her work for it, and on keeping her interested. They were playing the same game, that much was obvious, but still they differed just a little. She knew that, but she wasn’t quite sure how much just yet. She would figure it out eventually, however.

Then he spoke, and she smiled wryly, letting her amber eyes scrutinize his face. She had won as it was; he was giving up. Slowly, granted, but it was there, and it would not take much more work on her side of things, which was good for him, because she really was quite offended at his previous words, and ah, Alanya was not a creature you wanted upset with you in any way. In fact, she was the last vampire you would ever want on your list of enemies. She was only still there because she did want him. Because he looked like a god of a vampire, and because the game was interesting. Otherwise she would have left by now.

She couldn’t quite stop herself from giving in to his kiss when his lips claimed hers, however. The urgency, and the passion he let out only briefly almost made her dizzy, but that was what she had wanted. Even if Daniel had not played back, she would not have let him have it until he was in this state. She liked her men desperate and hungry, and gods did he not give her what she wanted? Why did he do that when she was this upset with him?

She said nothing as he drew back. Instead, the dark princess moved her lower body closer to him, her arms dancing up and around his neck as she leaned back in for more, letting him know he was allowed to keep going. It was a thing he always did. Drew back before breaching any boundaries, clever man, making sure he did not displease her. After all, as much as Alanya behaved nothing like it with him, she was a princess, and she was not the most forgiving of types, just like his previous insult would not be forgotten. Never. It would remain with her for a very long time, until she decided what exactly to do with it. For now, however, she was a little more interested in his lips and his body. He felt good and she intended to enjoy it for a while… before she’d draw back.





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Lena was tired, she was hurting, and she was slightly scared. Sabine could be home any moment now, and in her current state, he would notice. Could they not at least beat her up earlier in the day? They’d save themselves a lot of trouble too. She sighed softly, trying to ignore the pain as she made her way slowly to the kitchen where she knew she’d stored enough remedies for herself. Salves, herbs, bandages and the like were things she had acquired and intended to use. For now, however, she needed to sort of get there first. Her brown eyes flickered back and forth from behind to in front of her as she walked, paranoid to the point of obsession.

The girl wasn’t stupid you see. Merely very weak, being only a half demon, and a soft one at that. And ah, she never wanted to tell. He beatings only got worse every time his majesty got involved, and as much as she appreciated his own odd form of caring for her, it was simply not effective. Demons were not the types to be easily swayed. Her king should know that. He probably did too, but that did not keep him from reprimanding his guards whenever they harmed her and he heard of it. Much like that guard two years ago. He had been a very uncomfortable fellow, eager to cause her as much pain as possible. She had been torn. Down there. She did not know who would ever make a condom especially with spikes on the outside. Demons were indeed a twisted, sadistic race.

Sabine meant everything to her, and she would never lie, but she often hid things she did not find it necessary for him to know. That category was restricted to her abuse. Nothing more. She did not assume herself to have the expertise to otherwise know what Sabine would and would not need to know, in spite of her being by his side most of the time when he was home. When he was out, which he was most of the time, Lena was left to her own devices. She had her duties to do, but that was about it. Oh, god, she had not finished entirely yet today. She needed to wipe off the surfaces of his majesty’s tables. That would not please him.

She flinched at the thought as she made it into the kitchen. The lack of duties done would tell him everything she was trying so very hard to hide. She bit her lower lip as she began her search for the remedies she had stored. In that cupboard. She stretched, being the small individual that she was, and she finally managed to open it, and her wide eyes scanned the shelves. Wait… where was it? Hadn’t she put it on that second shelf? She blinked several times. Lena did not often forget, much to her regret, so this was highly unusual. She shook her head, searching to clear it at least a little. Then she sighed suddenly, closing the door of the cupboard once more. Now, where could they have put it?

The servant girl, blue on her skin in every place covered by her knee-length dress and cardigan, moved slowly, irritatingly so, considering she did not have the time to be slow. She really needed to finish up in Sabine’s quarters. She was worried she would not make it, never knowing when her king would return. But then, she had a feeling his walk today had had a purpose. There had just been something in his stride, so perhaps there was no need to fret and panic. She would make it. Yes, she would. Or not. She groaned quietly in frustration, thinking herself alone when the voice of a certain Balthazar Cross danced by her ears.

Oh no. No more people today. Only the king. She could not handle more people today. Lena took a deep breath turning carefully, facing him only as a sign of respect, although she kept her eyes on the ground, ever the perfect servant girl. She would only ever look Sabine in the eyes if he forced her to as well. It just felt wrong to her. Like she was claiming equal position, which she would never even dare to. Never. For once, Lena did not give the shape or form of Balthazar’s words or tone much thought. Whether he was genuine or taunting mattered not, because she could not have him here. She could not have the king’s adviser searching for ointment for her bruised skin.

No. Because that required a longer conversation during which she would have to explain to him what had happened, and he would probably tell Sabine, and then she’d be beat up once more tomorrow. So instead, Lena curtsied gracefully and respectfully, trying to keep the pain out of face and movement, but she did not quite succeed, as her body seemed bent on trying to kill her. Her face, however, remained inexpressive. “Although your lordship’s offer is much appreciated, I must decline, sir. I am in no need of such noble assistance.” Her voice and toe remained respectful, but quiet, and almost a little fearful. She never felt quite right around Balthazar.

The setting changes from San Diego, California to USA

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Korrye
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“How could he say something like that?” Simone thought to herself. The redhead tried to usher herself off the sidewalk a second time only to find traffic cutting across the road. Not one vehicle was willing to slow and let her cross to her jeep. She found herself stuck, teetering between being on and off the road, her knees weak from the shock of nearly being run over by the truck. How could I have not seen that coming? Is this guy driving me mental? And how could he say that, that he’s not leaving me again?” Simone heard his voice then, the vibrato of his tone carrying her. While she didn’t catch his words, knowing he was there was all the incentive she needed to step onto the road. Screw traffic. Too late.

His hands gripped her, his left talking hold of her shoulder while his right puled at her left hand. She immediately turned towards him with the force of his grip, her eyes landing on his hands vehemently. Her fingers laced through his and tried to push him off, the motion violent as she tried to throw everything she had into getting him off her. Still, she turned to face him, wanting to make eye contact with him, wanting to give him the Parker stare that sent all men running. Simone looked up into his eyes then, frustrated, angry and slightly terrified. “Get off!” she ordered. The force of her words became drained and as she tried to utter the latter part of her threat her lips fluttered before freezing, slightly parted. Her eyes looked down at her hands then as she tried to move her fingers, to pull away from him. Her thoughts and desires were not reciprocated by her body. Simone couldn’t move at all. She looked back up at him, her eyes panicked while he merely looked down at her amused. “What the fuck did he do to me?” she wanted to scream. She tried to look behind her and at anyone who was walking by. Simone wanted to scream, to plead with them. She looked up at the security cameras she knew were mounted on top of the door and then back at him again.

“I very rarely take no for an answer, Simone,” He told her. Simone breathed rapidly through her nose, her heart racing beyond anything she had ever experienced. Panic would have had her shaking violently in front of him were it not for whatever he had done to her. Instead, she was forced to stay where she was, in his arms, half on the road and half off of it, looking up at him with a stoned expression that could easily be mistaken for adoration – wide eyed, flushed, breathing rapidly. Simone closed her eyes, feeling like she was suddenly at war with her own body, screaming at herself to move away from him, to punch him, to kick him, to do anything to get him away from her. As his hand brushed her cheek, tucking a stray lock of her hair behind her ear she felt revulsion boil up in her stomach…paired with a sudden flare of desire between her thighs. It was the strangest combination of feelings she had ever experienced and it made her suck in all the more air. Breathing and blinking appeared to be the only thing she could do.

”Stop. Don’t touch me. Don’t hurt me. Please just let me go. Please,” Simone pleaded with him in her mind.

“And I didn’t want to play dirty,” he added then and Simone held her breath as he suddenly bent and took her in his arms like a bride, shifting her arms around his neck to look perfectly natural while she had absolutely no control of herself. Put me down! Put me down right now! Drop me in the road to be hit by a car, whatever you want, but don’t do this. Don’t.

“But you just had to run,” he murmured in her ear and Simone felt another rush of goose flesh erupt down her neck, a strong twist of her stomach telling her that the breath of his words tickled her but her muscles couldn’t flinch or twitch the way they normally would. Simone continued to nearly hyperventilate, feeling him move so elegantly across the road – and oh yes, fucking traffic stopped for him now! – to his car, the same luxury vehicle he had driven her home in two years ago. Where is he taking me? Is he going to kill me? Sell me? Rape me?

Simone’s desire to scream at him did not fade as he opened the passenger door to his vehicle, holding her at one point with one hand – how the hell could he manage that? – before sliding her onto the seat, bending her knees and planting her feet on the floor. His touch always seemed to linger longer than she would have wandered. If she could cry she would have at that point. Instead she closed her eyes, refusing to watch him move to pull a seat belt over her. Put me in your trunk next time bastard.

For the few moments that she was by herself, she could barely think. He closed the door and Simone watched him walk around the car. It felt like slow motion and she had no freedom to move even as he had his eyes off her. Sapphire. Sydney. Oh my God. Mum and Dad. I’m going to be one of those statistics, those people who just disappear for years and then gets found at the bottom of a river in parts, a foot washing up on a beach, my head eaten by wolves…no. I can’t let that happen. No. No.

Simone couldn’t turn to watch him as he got in. The redhead was relegated to staring forward, a prisoner in her own skin, hearing him slide his keys into the ignition of his vehicle to start it. The vibrations of the engine moved through the floor of the car and up her legs. A seat warmer turned on underneath her. The air began to circulate through the vents. Low music began to play and it was unlike what she had been listening to to the past few days. No detail was lost on her. When he locked the doors, her eyes shot to begin to analyze the details of her passenger door. She tried desperately to look out of the corner of her eye at him, at the center console, at the model of the vehicle. When they pulled away from the curb, Simone found herself taking in everything she could and she didn’t know why. He’s stronger than me. He’s fucking huge. And he’s drugged me. He has to have… But the more she thought, the more her resolve kicked in.

“I am not some insane creep who wants to kidnap you,” he started. Dear lord. This isn’t CSI or Law and Order. Don’t tell me you’re not psycho. I know you’re freaking insane. You have to be to be doing this, to be taking me and you will never live it down you fucking bastard. I will not be chopped up and murdered without a fight. Of course, her monologue continued and Simone was still silent, still unable to speak no matter how much she thought about screaming, trying to yell at him, trying to move her hand to where she knew her phone was in her pocket. If she could just connect a phone call with someone it could be traced.

“In fact, only the kidnapping part is correct, though you may think my insane once I tell you this,” he continued. Quit telling me you’re not crazy you fucking sociopath,” Simone retorted in her mind. “My full name is Alexander II Gabriel Kaiseren Chartés, my title is that of King. I am a vampire, and contrary to popular belief, I cannot survive on animal blood.”

What the fuck? A vampire? Is he for real?

She was stunned and Simone saw him shift, establishing eye contact briefly. As he smiled she wanted to throw up. She closed her eyes then, beginning to try and think back to her self defense class in university…only they had never told you what to do if the guy actually got you in his car.

“So once in a while I will procure food for myself in this world. Although, I have to admit my food is usually brought to me. Not the other way around,” he mused. He’s actually serious about this? He believes he’s a vampire? Jesus Christ.

“You certainly gave me a run for my money, dear Simone. I applaud that, but do not deceive yourself to think you will ever get to leave me in such a way ever again. You are now my property, and you are to do as I command,” Alexander concluded. Simone hated how proud of himself he sounded. You have no idea how much of a run for your money I’m going to give you, you sick fuck.

Normally she didn’t curse this much. Perhaps he brought this out of her. Still, Simone flared her nostrils at his comments. She looked forward out of the car, counting the streets, remembering their names, watching as he turned into an affluent neighborhood. Within a turn and a short drive off of the main road he pulled into the driveway of a large modern mansion. She continued to look forward, her eyes tracing the lines of the consul in front of her, where the airbags were. Simone watched him park his car across the drive on an angle and when he stopped, he suddenly sat back and looked at her. She heaved a breath and suddenly she could move her shoulders.

Simone could move again.

What the?

Simone shifted then, to turn and look at him, her face like stone for all the tears and screaming she had wanted to do along the drive. However short it had proved to be, the time was enough for her to push away the panic, to think through a thought process. If you fight what will he do? If you go along with him, what will he do? Alexander had always been witty with her, biting her remarks two years ago with his own jabbing retorts. He had always been aggressive. Now she was face to face with the same man who had now taken her to some mansion against her will and declared himself a vampire. Not to mention that he had somehow drugged her long enough to get her there with something strong enough to paralyze her while leaving her free to feel and hear everything he said and did to her.

Simone knew that her iPhone was in her pocket and she had butt dialed her sister Sydney so many times in her life that it seemed like some sort of option. The redhead knew exactly how to turn and face him and nudge the thing against the seat, hitting speed dial 1. Sydney had always been her emergency contact – she tended to be the more reliable sister when it came to answering the phone, and her legal office had never been far from the zoo. Swallowing, she shifted again, feeling her phone vibrate in her back pocket with an incoming text. Before she knocked it, she knew she had to say something - he seemed like the type to be preoccupied by the sound of his own voice now didn't he?

“You think I can be owned? That I will listen to whatever you tell me to do just because you ask me to?”Simone demanded lowly. Her hands shifting to his thighs then as she moved toward him. As she began to move towards him, allowing herself to give into her body’s desire to touch him, Simone thought through the alternatives. She could see it in her head so clearly.

* * *

Her hand would dive out to rip at the car handle only for her fingers to fly back. She would shove her shoulder into it, finding it locked. She would pry at it with her fingers to try and force it up but it seemed like it was glued down. He didn’t seem like the type to dumbly leave the doors unlocked. That was idiotic. Trying the door wasn’t worth it. It was stupid and he would likely be amused by that.

Then she recalled that her the dial tone would suddenly resonate throughout the car. How could she distract him from that? She would have screamed something, but then she could be paralyzed again or he might jab her with some hypodermic needle she couldn’t feel a second time. She would swing her nails poised for his face. Thumb his eyes. Scratch him. Anything to get at the control panel on his side of the car. But he was strong and so muscled and it was that fake steroid muscle. He was probably strong enough to catch her hands and stop her. So attacking him wouldn’t do anything either. He’d probably laugh too, pin her hands, do something she didn’t want him to do against her will right there in his car.

Then Simone could see herself trying to attack him in another way, to distract him. She wanted it to sound like a scuffle was going on for the phone call. She would swing her hands at him, not sure that she would get anywhere near him. Then she would shift her legs before throwing herself over the center console. But knowing her luck her knee would connect with his gear shift painfully – that always happened even when she had make out sessions in some guy’s car. Still, if she could get over it, she would throw herself over his knees and someone turn the car back on, throw it into drive and jam his foot on the gas and send the car into the front of the house to deploy the air bags. Then, she might not be low enough to avoid them – in fact they would hit her first and knock her out for him.

None of her violent ideas seemed viable. So she didn’t choose any of them. Right away at least. Violence was always how she had dealt with things. Hell hath no fury like a woman with fire for hair.
* * *


Simone let her hands grip his shoulders tightly, not caring if her nails dug in through the fabric of his collared shirt. Slowly she lifted her legs, elegantly sweeping them over the console until she was straddling him, folding her knees on either side of his.

“All you had to do was ask nicely,” she scoffed, forcing herself to believe what she was trying to sell him. Her body’s reaction to his proximity certainly made that easy. Internally she cringed as she moved, re-adjusting herself. Her hip shifted and her phone pressed against her side and the steering wheel. It suddenly dialed and she knew it was quick to connect, it always was. I don’t have an eighty dollar a month plan for nothing.

She moved fast then, or at least she tried to, bringing her fingers to his face in a violent swing of her nails across his eyes. “You think I can be owned you sick bastard?!” she screamed then, feeling her lusty façade fade away as she did everything she could to lay a hand on him, to let the phone call get through. Dear God, Sydney pick up, go through, just long enough. I don’t care if he breaks my wrists it has to connect. Simone threw her shoulder away from him and into the window as hard as she could, hearing the glass crack, wanting nothing but to get away from him, to hurt him and to above all let someone know where he intended to take her.

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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Garreth Vilhei Frost

He could not help but allow amusement to flow into the smile that was gradually widening on his features. There it was, that controlled spark in her eyes, the level tone in her voice. The arch her eyebrow made when it was raised just slightly and the way she pitched her voice accordingly with her words. Indeed, he had nearly forgotten the fight this woman possessed, though it was all formulated, much like her words. Careful, planned. He did not allow her words to faze him in the slightest, however--why should they? She still did not grasp that he had chosen to be arrested due to sheer boredom, he had not needed her assistance and most certainly would not require the attentions of a lawyer. An idea that she seemed to think to hold on to. He would have to be careful, she wasn't dim-witted and their previous interactions told him she had a mind for details.

Garreth chuckled lightly, oh, he would play with her alright. And she'd be foolish to hope otherwise. "Expectations are a liberty, Miss Parker," He put emphasis on her name, just as she had stated his--he could pretend they were on a level playing field, for now. "Does it come as such a surprise for me to have diverse interests?" She held his stare well, he would have to give her credit for that. Most shied away from the intensity of his gaze, perhaps because it made them feel like less than nothing. Regardless, this particular female wasn't backing down that easily. Adorable. Her saw her jaw tighten ever so slightly as she looked at him, as if holding back a thought.

He leaned forwards barely an inch, a whisper of a motion, but he knew that her keen sense would take it in immediately. "It is touching you would be concerned enough to bring such details to my attention." He narrowed his eyes in a quick flash on the word "concerned", she was stepping on thin ice here. To think he would require assistance from any sort of human was an appalling thought, and he did not put in an effort to hide the tint of annoyance on his face. He had been playing this game quite some time, and it always produced the best results to make the other party think they were gaining some sort of ground. So he would grant her the notion that she was winning this little battle of wits. Females were such easy little creatures without much complexity to them whatsoever. He finally regarded the hand that she had outstretched for her book, the one still held loosely in his grip

"I will not keep you from your reading for long, I imagine you are eager to get back to it. Though answer me this, are you still just as desperate for knowledge to hide behind as you were two years ago?" He smirked at his words, knowing full well this was a sensitive question. What she didn't know was that he was perfectly aware that this whole distant act was just a front she was putting up. He had seen the warmth in her eyes right before they had parted, the rosiness that had coated her cheeks in a rare moment of femininity. She was an amusing little thing, trying so hard to pretend as if men, people in general, did not effect her and she was strong enough to brush them off. Oh, but she had faltered in that little charade the instant she had not drawn back immediately from him. A childish mistake.

Garreth had been about to lay the book in her hand anyway, for he was not entirely all bad and the sight of displeasure upon a woman's face in his presence for overly long wasn't the preferred route. However, he was interrupted by an odd sound--one that was being emitted from the device near the girl. He did not need to pause to evaluate this one, his unwilling companion would surely make a grab for her phone to halt their interactions. And he could not have that, now could he? Before she could reach for her cell, he swiped it off the table. A name flashed on the screen, Simone, though it meant little to him. Yet as soon as he had the device in his hand, the ringing stopped, leaving them once again in the silence of the library. All these interruptions.

He slid the phone into his pocket, disregarding the probable objection that would follow this action. He doubted knowing who the caller was would provide him much ground, but humans seemed to place great importance on these objects for some reason. He shrugged it off, he always had other tactics to deploy. He adjusted his features into a calming smile, a smile he knew was going to anger her. She wasn't going to slip away that easily not without answering. She was enjoyable to rile, and it was laughable that she actually believed she could hold a candle to him. He would be shattering that little thought very shortly. Might as well let her have her fun, just a bit longer.

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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The gods must be insane. Sydney had no idea just what she’d done to earn the ire of whatever force or principle ran the universe, but apparently it had been pretty awful, because there was really no other way to explain the sudden reappearance of her thesis project in her life, apparently since he was also of the opinion that he could just mock her for absolutely no reason. Okay, if she was being completely fair (and she did try), she might have actually started the mocking, but she was finding it hard to blame herself for her defense mechanisms when it was becoming increasingly clear by the moment that she definitely needed them.

His laughter was light, quiet, but it pricked the hairs on the back of her neck, her subconscious informing her that she was to be careful here, like she were walking through a room covered in shards of broken glass. The feeling was only further intensified when he drew closer—still not so close that she had a real excuse to draw back without looking like a mouse, of course. Oh no, everything this man did right now was just within the bounds of the socially acceptable, if only barely. It didn’t stop her from brushing the memory of a time when they most decidedly had not been, and that was probably the point, wasn’t it? There was something in his careful emphasis, a veiled threat, maybe, or simply something dangerous.

Her eyes narrowed in reply, and she matched his forward motion (just an inch, just a little!), mostly to prove that she could. There was a retort in there, definitely, but she wasn’t sure she presently trusted herself to give voice to it. If she was yet afraid of anything, it was only looking the fool, and she knew from experience that if she was not very careful, this man could easily push her to it, insufferable as he was. In fact, for a moment, she’d almost been sure that he was going to, though thankfully, that now seemed not to be the case.

The taunt, though, that deserved recompense, and he would have it. The comment had struck home, and she knew it was quite true, but she was surprised to find that he did, too. “I prefer to think of it as arming myself,” she replied with false levity. “Not all of us have the luxury of knights in shining armor to run off the nasty bar patrons. Some of us have to win our own battles.” It was a reference, naturally, and he’d understand it: that, she did not doubt. It appeared to amuse her, if the slightest softening to her hard stare was anything to go by. It wasn’t actually intended as an insult, not really, but a riposte all the same. Not everyone could be toyed with without repercussions, and Sydney fell firmly into the category of those that would scoff at the very idea of needing someone else to rescue them. And look where those so-called knightly inclinations had landed him, after all—she’d helped him avoid prison time, and it was her knowledge that did it.

At that very moment, her phone buzzed on the desk, and she broke eye contact with him to look down at it, only to spot his hand withdrawing from the spot, her phone in a firm grasp. “What-” she started, but by then he had looked at the device, apparently unimpressed by whatever he saw, and slipped it into his pocket. Sydney sighed. There was a bad sign. It would not be a simple matter of asking for him to give it back, of that she was certain. Maybe, on some other day, her patience would have been able to handle that with equanimity, but she was aware of two very pressing facts at present: one, it looked like the caller had hung up or been disconnected before the thing even rang a second time, and two, she had sent a text to her sisters explicitly requesting that they call her if they needed anything. Those facts, coupled with the bizarre happenings earlier in the day, left her very concerned, and she forgot to hide that much, biting her lip nervously and shaking her head slightly to herself. It was probably nothing; she had a tendency to worry far too much.

But what if it wasn’t?

The thought was enough to move her. Carefully, Sydney began to place her things back in her bag, rearranging the stack of books so that she could put them on one of the library carts in the proper order. Normally, she’d take the time to reshelf them herself, but… “Would you please at least tell me who called?” she inquired coolly, unflappable façade back neatly in place. If he didn’t, she was just going to have to go use the library phone and try both Simone and Saph, and see if they picked up. At this point, she was fairly certain she wasn’t going to be getting any more work done until she heard from them anyway.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nebellia de Rozeriem Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle
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Nebellia de Rozeriem

Pale, something pale and thin was speaking to her. What a pallid color arrangement, so lifeless, so dull. Nebellia currently had her fangs nestled comfortably into a human male's neck, testing the blood flow, if one would. The man was already long lost in the throes of her bite, a dazed look on his features and his mouth gaping open slightly. Blegh! She relinquished her bite, the man sliding on to the floor with blood still flowing openly from her neck. A few droplets coated her lips and she licked them slowly. Tart, this one had a tart after-taste. She'd have to look into that. Always prepared, the scientist pulled out a test-tube that had been stowed away in the folds of her dress and she raised the tip against her fang-point. A bit of the remnant blood she had drank trickled down into the glass and she corked it, satisfied. Oh! That was right, there was that little interference to deal with.

She blinked, her wide eyes on the girl that had spoken to her. The rather dull hair color and drained appearance it gave the girl who had it--such a palette could only belong to little Bree-Bear. That cute thing had spoken in the softest of tones, yet had put such cool firmness in her words. Nebellia released a squeal, laughing at a higher pitch. How cute! The servant girl really thought she was in a position to give orders? Leave? Now? She hadn't gotten her samples yet--she had planned it all so perfectly. No matter how insane she acted, everything was always under control, her predictions were not wrong. And this pale wisp was sorely out of line to try her hand at directing the scientist. A girl who was not even aware of her own identity, to say the least.

Nebellia straightened oddly, the grin that had unfurled on her face splashed with droplets of blood, the substance dripping down her chin slightly. There was an odd sort of beauty in the visage, a feat she always seemed to accomplish, no matter the circumstances. "Did you come here to play~?" She purred, a dangerous lilt in her voice. She had gone off the deep-end, officially. And yet was in the utmost control of herself, how wonderful. She easily jumped over the bartender who was on the ground and pounced the servant girl, pushing the other to the floor. The humans around them continued to dance, a few gave some silly cheers at the motion. Oh they wanted a show, did they? She would give them a show. With a sneaky, devious edge to her golden eyes, she grabbed a handful of Bree-Bear's hair and pulled the girl's head up roughly with delicate fingers.

"Aren't you the cutest... little... thing~" She spoke with a lilting edge to her vocals. "Sadly, I don't have the time to indulge your fickle whims of returning right now... But we will! Just as soon as I procure my samples, huhuhu... So stay right h-e-r-e~" She enunciated the last word very clearly before releasing Bree-Bear from her grip and promptly stepping up off her. Now! Where was she? Tapping her blood-stained chin with a single digit, the woman turned to regard the humans intoxicated off their own vibes. Mmm, perfect, so ripe for the picking... She couldn't pick just one, she wanted them all! Sadly, there wasn't enough room in the car for all of the test subjects here... She lightly stepped on her feet, much akin to a ballerina, as she flounced over towards the dance floor. Her chin was tilted upwards as she sniffed the air, she had trained her senses to be able to detect the best blood to experiment on. She was able to pick out precisely four targets, ah, perfect! Just as she had anticipated, there would be enough room for this exact number. A sly glint in her eye flashed as the woman bent over, easily balancing on her hands and propelling herself off of them to jump into the crowd.

Exactly nine and a half minutes later, the floor was littered with unconscious bodies, those that had gotten in her way had to be dealt with of course. At her feet were the four she had chosen, all knocked out for the moment. Nebellia hummed, quite content with her catch this evening. The little servant girl had done precisely as she asked, still laying on the floor. The scientist skipped over, happily bending down slightly and winking down at Bree-Bear.

"Now we can leave~ Oh and don't worry about erasing their memories, I already took care of that~" If the girl could express surprise on her facial features, Nebellia was certain it would've been there. She was always many steps ahead, hadn't it been clear by now? "Those bodies aren't going to drag themselves and besides, I've gotten what I came for. No reason to linger, heh!" She giggled and straightened up. Yes, she was satisfied with her work tonight, though it had turned . Now, time to see if her next deduction was going to come true~

===============================================================================

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Garreth Vilhei Frost

This human girl, she appeared to have an endless supply of that inner-fire. It was intriguing, really, how she still fought back despite his statements. She was not an easy one to crack, then again, he did not have any intentions of playing this game so harshly as to shatter the image she had built up. Not immediately; that was a process best taken with care and precise planning. He did not move to stop her, merely watching the shuffle of objects into her bag, the stacking of books upon the table in numerical order. She seemed to be almost too conscious of being in control of things, the meticulous way in which she was organizing her things a sure sign. Sadly for her, with him, there wouldn't be much of a modicum of control that would work in her favor.

The pattern they had fallen into so easily was mimicry of what had happened two years ago. Oh, certainly, she had been friendly at first, when she was under her misconception of 'equality'. He had been quick to dispel it, much to her chagrin, and thus had thrown up these ridiculous barriers. The same ones she was relying on in the present. It could be regarded as almost comical to someone like Garreth, the way she hid behind her facts and practiced distant behavior. Yet, as with all performances, there was a flaw--a chink in the armor she had tried so hard to build up. And he was going to have fun exploiting it, even if she didn't realize he was aware of it quite yet. He was a bit more dangerous than she was giving him credit for being.

She regarded him coolly, mouth set in a firm line as she quietly asked after who had contacted her. He merely chuckled again at her question, moving his hand back towards his pocket almost as if he was going to give the phone back to her. "No one important," He said, halting his motions and instead settling his hand on the desk. Did she think it was going to be that easy? Not when he was this entertained. She would be allowed her phone back when he saw fit, and now was not the proper time for interruptions.

He would not admit it to her out loud, but perhaps a part of him (a very small part, mind) had wanted to have these interactions once more. Everything in the lykae society was settled so nicely into place, and no one dared to challenge his authority if they did not have the bite to go behind the words. Quite literally speaking, of course. Yet, it wasn't really the banter that interested him as much as it was the way in which she controlled her actions and chose her words. She was a thinker and that in itself was an intriguing concept, for lykae women barely if ever had words worth listening to. This human, who was so thoroughly entranced by this idea that males and females were equals, heartily believed her opinion was worth it and this fact fascinated him. How misguided could she be to have such flawed perceptions? It really would be fun to strip her of those notions.

He leaned back in his chair, crossing his legs and simply giving her an intent silver-eyed stare. An effective player did not always antagonize. Just as he would let her have a bit of fun, he would let her choose her own actions, for a time. There was no way she was going to slip out of his grasp so easily and he was aware of all her movements. There was no way she would be able to move fast enough to elude him so he had no reason to worry. He could take the time out to relax and observe, besides, she always seemed to get unsettled when he sent her a piecing stare. He kept his casual smirk on his face, raising his eyebrows, not deigning to issue any further dialogue for the time being.

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Lena of Anguaren Character Portrait: Balthazar Cross
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#, as written by Ion
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Balthazar waited with the utmost patience and careful attention while the girl spoke, and it would seem that it was, in fact, entirely undivided. Such was never truly the case for a wary daemon, of course, but one did endeavor to observe whilst still keeping the requisite danger-sense active and roaming the surroundings. Indeed, he was most interested as to what she would do with the nettle-brush pile of words he’d strewn about her. Everything he said was said with purpose, but it was not always only the purpose it appeared to have. In this case, for example, he really had no intention of giving anything she told him away to anyone else, but nevertheless it was a promise she was going to have to earn.

He seemed rather amused when she pointed out his discrepancy, and even more so when she attempted to extract terms from him (terms, how charming! As though he were not the one who held all the cards in this arrangement; as though there were no other problems over which he might work his considerable intellect if this one did not pan out!) but held his tongue until she had fallen silent. He felt like indulging this whimsy of his, and so he did. That was really the long and short of what was happening here. Everything else was ripples on the surface of a pond: perhaps of some cursory interest, but ultimately meaningless.

“Mistake not a description of my character for a qualification on my word,” he said, though it was hardly an admonishment. In fact, his tone was rather light. “But, if you wish my idioms cut away from your bargain, I do not disapprove in the slightest. Here, then, a rephrasing: barring direct inquiry or order from the king himself, your answers, whatever they may be, will be divulged from myself to no one. You’ll have to forgive the escape clause there; I am ever his majesty’s loyal vassal. I think, however, that the likelihood of his inquiring is quite slim.”

And that was simple fact. While Sabine was himself a very astute man, he tended to be rather… oblivious to certain facets of the world around him, and were Balthazar a betting man (he was not), he would be willing to bet that this generally included the well-being of his young servant. Of course, when he did notice something awry, the results had been most… unpleasant for a certain member of the guard, and though Balthazar did not know the exact details of the situation, rumors did tend to circulate.

Now, there was the matter of his question. The wording was explicitly designed to be absolutely horrible, the kind of thing he would never ask if he actually wanted an answer. However, he was interested as to what exactly he’d get for it. There were a number of conceivable ways to get around it, some more astute than others, and of course to come out optimally advantaged in this scenario, she would want to give him as little information as possible, possibly under the hypothesis that boring him was the best way to get rid of him (it was). Sadly for her, Balthazar, though easily bored, was also capable of finding interest in what others considered mundane. It was how he’d earned his position, actually.

So the question was a trap, of sorts, or at the very least, a test. He was more interested in what variety of nonanswer he’d be receiving than in what she’d say if he’d pinned her a little more closely into saying anything at all. Already, his schemer’s psyche was running itself in mad little circles, eddies and ripples of thought that did run deeply, but invisibly, for that was the mark of a master of the craft: may no one ever know just how much you do.




Image



Sydney’s lips pursed, an outward sign of her growing displeasure with the situation. To anyone else, the tiniest of little things. To her, to them, really, evidence that the upper hand was his. Clearly, it was time to change the rules. “That’s impossible,” she replied shortly, “because nobody is unimportant.” She was pretty sure that chauvinism of his bled right into elitism simpliciter, and she was not fond of the trait in anyone. It seemed most annoying in him, whatever the reason. Still, she knew when she was staring down a stubbornness immovable, and for once, she opted not to try and hit it with a force unstoppable, but to opt instead for the path of least resistance.

She smiled then, but it was cool and far from genuine, and that stare still unnerved her so, when the full force of it was directed at her. It was not a fear so much as an awareness, one that she did not usually have. A knowledge of her location, her orientation in space, and presently, of the sorry state of her hair, among other things. It was like… he looked at you, and you almost believed him when he said those ridiculous things, like that whoever had called was “no one important.” You didn’t even have to know who they were, because just right then, everyone seemed much less important than him, yourself especially.

She reviled it. More than that, she was afraid of it. So no, he didn’t inspire fear, but what did happen was something to be feared. Of course, that didn’t stop her from meeting it, at least until the motion of standing and walking past him made that impossible, in which case, she was honestly glad to be rid of it, however temporarily. Best case scenario, she’d get that phone back sometime this evening. Worst case, well… she’d file a report with the police on Monday morning. It wasn’t like she had no idea who took it, after all, and maybe she’d add a no-contact order, just because she certainly didn’t have time to be dealing with more of this.

Syd reached the library’s phone shortly thereafter, dialing Simone first. There was no particular reason for it, other than perhaps that the redhead was her oldest sister. What she heard was most unsettling, the mechanical operator’s voice chirping at her over the line: “We’re sorry, but the number you are calling has been disconnected or is out of service. Please hang up and try again, or press pound for more options.”

Well, she certainly wasn’t doing that. Sydney knew most of the numbers in her contact list by heart, part of the same paranoia that had her memorizing bus routes and so on in her area. Never be without another option. Her fingers picked up a frenetic rhythm on the side of her leg, and she thought over it for just a second before dialing her sister’s work number. If she’d had to leave for an emergency, there were only so many things it could have been, and work was usually the best guess.

Nobody there had heard from her since she left to go meet her sisters, and Syd hung up the phone with an air of palpable dejection. She knew of one other thing to try, but no buses ran that way for an hour, at least. Simone had once told a funny anecdote about a friend of hers, who ran a bar in the city, who’d called her in to remove a raccoon. She remembered it mostly because she’d been confused over the name of the establishment. Blues Pub. Was it called that because they played the blues or because the owner was named Blue, for some odd reason? That had gotten her a laugh, but apparently the answer was neither. She still didn’t know why it was called that, but she did have the address, and maybe the owner would know the contact information for some of Simone’s other friends, which Sydney was without.

It was a place to start, anyway.

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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Garreth Vilhei Frost

He watched her with that same casual expression, the two once again locked in the same staring match that they seemed to fall into quite often. There was a flash of annoyance upon her features, as if internally she seemed to be reprimanding his actions. Even when her value was so flippantly disregarded, she still fought against the statement--as if her menial views would rise to some purpose if she did so. Faintly he wondered if this was a trait specific to her, as most of the humans he came in contact with were weak and passive creatures. Garreth did not relinquish his stare as he merely widened his smile at her silently, the woman returning it, albeit with a tinge of dishonesty and irritation. She stood up with care, turning her back on him and wandering to the back corner to access the library phone.

He took the time to observe her closer, the pace of her breathing and the way her frame shifted slightly with each intake. Why was he so intrigued by her? Ordinarily, he would not have permitted such insolence in his presence and would've silenced her far long ago. Preferably by removing her tongue, he did not favor taking a life unless it was necessary and killing a woman rarely was. Yet somehow, he did not feel the overwhelming need to overpower her. There was something to be said for doing it subtly, and judging by her reactions, this seemed to be doing the trick. Perhaps that would be the route to go... He would make a note of it for now, never for a moment ever portraying his thoughts. The smile did not twitch, in fact, it just seemed to widen as she turned from the phone with furrowed eyebrows. The frown upon her lips and the worried glint to her eyes--whoever that Simone girl was must've been important enough to distract her from her anger towards him.

Perhaps he would entertain this little notion just a bit longer. Staying out so late had a tendency to cause James worry anyway.

He adjusted himself in his seat, straightening himself with almost uncanny grace. He ran a few gloved fingers through his hair, regarding her through silver eyes. Yes, she was quite nervous, wasn't she? He could see her pondering over the issue, probably trying to find a solution to the problem. This was much the same look she had two years ago when confronted with his case, an expression that usually produced results. So focused was she that he was sure she was not aware of his approach as he sauntered over to her. Faintly, he wondered how she would react to close proximity. The last time had left her quite speechless... He smirked a bit, that was an amusing behavior compared to her usual, cool facade.

With nonchalance, he placed a single digit underneath her chin to tilt her gaze back to him. Perhaps there was a glimmer of surprise, for despite the harshness of his words at times, his movements were always with practiced gentleness. He was a proper gentleman first and foremost, after all. "Perhaps," He began in a lilting tone. "You may try not to take this on by yourself, Sydney." Her name was said softly. To his recall, this was the first time he actually said her name. But it seemed to be the proper choice of words, for it was sure to make her pause and consider his next ones. "If you need any help, you need only ask. Perhaps I'm in a generous mood," Mischievous was more like it. "And I'll entertain your point of view of having assisted me two years ago." He kept his tone even, far practiced in adding that smooth tint to his words.

Garreth allowed his eyes to search hers, as if genuinely interested in her thoughts on the matter. This whole situation was shaping up to be a rather sound remedy for his boredom and he did intend to make use of it properly.

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Lena of Anguaren Character Portrait: Balthazar Cross
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Balthazar smiled a catlike smile, the glint in his eyes pure mischief. ”Oh, good. I’d thought you were intelligent. This will be fun.” He certainly had no qualms about revealing that much of his purpose to her; it was a little unfair if he didn’t. Not that fairness was particularly important to him, but he was ever a logical fellow, and he knew that, in certain circumstances, leveling the field a bit could make things much more interesting in the long run. Give a little, gain much; it was practically the guiding principle of politics.

”Ah, but I have kept you for much too long, haven’t I? You should feel free to mention such things, Miss Anguaren—logic and practicality are never the kinds of things that can offend me, and I care not from whence they issue.” Her status was, to him anyway, entirely irrelevant for the purposes of this exercise: being born a certain way was no merit, but a sharp mind certainly was, and he rather looked forward to testing the edge of hers. Actually… a ghost of a thought flitted over his mind, but for the moment, he let it be. That, he would chase down later.

“The supplies you require are in my office, the cabinet to the left. You are free to enter and use whatever happens to be necessary. Please do not remove them, however, as we would not want them to disappear as yours seem to have done, hm?” He didn’t bother with the usual warnings about touching nothing else in the place, as he was both quite certain that at this point she wouldn’t dare and also in possession of a number of little magical warding tricks that would inform him if she or anyone else did. Next to that, a mere verbal entreaty was paltry and unnecessary both.

He inclined his head then, just slightly, a measure of politeness that served as his farewell, for he ducked back out the door to the kitchen immediately afterward, allowing her to proceed as she pleased. The pieces had been set, the game was afoot, and Balthazar was quite pleased with himself, actually.

He was in such a good mood that, when he made good on his earlier intentions to rearrange the furniture in the guards’ rooms, he spelled the walls a bright, sunshine yellow, and set the furniture on the ceiling to return to its proper place after only an hour of useless attempts by the soldiers to move it, rather than the five he’d originally been thinking.

As usual, he didn’t stay to watch the aftermath of his work, returning instead to his personal quarters to answer a few of the more boring missives he tended to receive—presently mostly offers for advantageous marriages. Advantageous to whom was what he always found himself inclined to ask. He had all the status he’d ever want, and it hadn’t taken him imposing a lifetime’s worth of dull coexistence on anyone. He was… disinclined to allow anyone to similarly inconvenience him. He found, for the most part, that spousal relations seemed to impose a tedium of obligation upon both parties, and furthermore he seldom found persistent company all that worthwhile. He was, as a rule, largely uninterested in the other benefits of domestic arrangements (though not always), and the idea of children was somewhat repugnant to say the least.



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Anyone who knew Sydney could say with certainty that while among the most intelligent of people they knew, she was incredibly prone to becoming lost in thought, and during such occasions, relinquished much of her perceptiveness and tended to stare into the middle distance or down at whatever was immediately in front of her. Such was the case then, and she was no more aware of Garreth’s presence than she was of the weather outside or the present state of the stock market.

At least, not until she was made aware of it, and she jerked slightly, realizing what was going on in enough time to prevent her from jumping away from him, if only just. She found the nature of the contact a little pedantic and paternalistic of him, which honestly didn’t explain why she swallowed thickly, throat suddenly dry. Of course, anyone who knew Sydney could also say that she was first and foremost a logical, goal-directed woman with little time for frivolities such as emotion, and as such, she was able to shove her discomfort away and pretend quite effectively that it was not there.

She was expecting amusement on his part, and the kind of callus disregard for others that she’d come to associate with him, as though the world around him should just hurry up and kiss the ground he tread on already. She was still seeing shades of that, but then perhaps this was her own natural suspicion setting in, for the words themselves were not at all as she’d thought they’d be.

Oh. His use of her given name was not lost on her, and in fact, she dwelled on it for longer than she should have or would have liked to. Sydney was not exactly certain if she should be mildly offended at his unlicensed breach of their formality (not the first one, and definitely not the worst), or… well, she wasn’t precisely sure what the other options were, but somehow she wasn’t offended. So.

She regained some of her balance at the word generous—that was most certainly laying it on a little thick. Still, whatever ridiculous humor he found in yanking her around like this might play to her advantage, and there was very little if anything she wasn’t willing to do for the sake of family. She had no doubt Simone would indulge some bigot for exactly as long as it took to find her in a similar situation, and though stubbornness and pride had their place, this was not it. This was the place to be logical and do what was necessary to achieve her end. If he was going to use her for… whatever he got out of this, then she wasn’t going to say no to the opportunity to reciprocate.

A muted exhale relaxed her shoulders a little; the tiniest of sighs, the smallest of concessions. She didn’t like using people, but, well… there wouldn’t be another choice for an hour at least, and if the worst were to be the real, Simone might not have that long. ”My sister, Simone, carries a phone in an otterbox, which means it should be protected from just about anything. It’s always with her. Except apparently right now, because it’s disconnected, which means that either she forgot to pay her bill—which she wouldn’t-- or it was intentionally broken, say run over by a car or something. She left for some sort of emergency earlier today, so… I need to find her.” A pause. She didn’t really know why she was telling him all this; maybe she just wanted to make the methodical nature of her thoughts obvious, though whether to her audience or just herself, she didn’t know.

”The only place I can think to look is on Ninth and Lex, which is too far to walk in any reasonable amount of time. The next bus going that way doesn’t come for at least an hour. I… you…” she fumbled over the sentence a bit, before shaking her head and forcing it to come out right. ”I need to get there, somehow. If you can help me, I would appreciate it very much.” She was more than capable of politeness when it was called for, and she was quite aware that the request was an imposition of sorts. She’d have just called and asked one of her friends, but she had exactly five: Simone, Saph, Jack, Liz, and Norman, the elderly gentleman who played first chair violin in the symphony. Simone was the issue, Saph was probably still busy, Jack and Liz were on vacation, and she wouldn’t feel any more comfortable asking Norman for a favor of that sort, leaving her options sorely limited.

Sydney hoped she wouldn’t regret this, but she couldn’t believe that it was possible to regret something done for her present reasons.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nebellia de Rozeriem Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle Character Portrait: Daniel Bowman
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Nebellia de Rozeriem

So firm, so utterly firm and commanding! Just as she'd expect from Danny Pants~ He was being curt with her tonight as he led her to the car, not relinquishing his iron grip upon her as he pulled her there. Nebellia didn't put up much of a fight, there was little point to her lingering around in some alleyway when she already had what she came for! The little Bree Bear was already sliding into the backseat, the reddish hue of her cheeks indicating some irritation. The scientist was pushed into the front seat and he went around, sliding into his. He spoke in a flatter tone than before as he offhandedly told her how honored she should feel. Oh! He was so cute when he was annoyed, wasn't he? She chuckled lightly into her fingers but didn't comment much as she turned her attentions out the window.

There was a scream from behind them and several more yells as the car reared into a few humans on their humming scooter bike things. Danny Pants wasn't paying much heed as he just shifted gears, raising the speed to what she would perceive to be a mildly unsafe level. (To normal people, this exceeded speed limits to very dangerous degrees) The car swerved a lot, nearly hitting many pedestrians and coming very close to hitting other vehicles. He knew how to give her a thrill, that was for sure! Nebellia lowered the window, poking her head out and grinning wildly in the night, violet hair ruffling in the wind. Ahhhh, this feeling, it was so refreshing! She leaned out of the window more, propping her hands against the bottom edges of the window frame. Some passerby in the cars looked shocked to see her and she only waved at them, energetically. Okay, maybe she also let her fangs show a bit, only to scare them!

This only worked to terrify them so much that one of the cars veered off the road and collided with another in a deafening screech of metal. Nebellia laughed happily, ohhh, this night was just so wonderful! Ah, but she didn't want to get on Danny Pants' super bad side since he'd be reporting back to Lexi-Pop. Dearest Sweetie Pea was probably all tense and worried and being overall silly. And probably being all "cooooool"" about it and "smoooooth". She giggled at her mental image of the man (which will not be included to spare us from potentially mind-scarring images with puffy shorts and overly dramatic capes) and drew herself back inside of the vehicle as she caught sight of the familiar mansion. There were a few more guards stationed on the outside than usual, all of whom tensed as the car drew to a halt. Was this her greeting party? Excellent~

Without waiting for Danny Pants to get out of the car or even for Bree Bear to unload her experiments, Nebellia was already jumping out the window to land on top of a screaming guard. She bounced a bit on top of him, the man making funny wheezing noises each time her weight descended on his chest before she cartwheeled off of him. The other guards were a little too scared to make moves at her and she pushed open the doors without much hindrance at all. She heard a terrified gasp and a squeak as nearby servants fled from the vicinity. That was no fun! She had already gotten her toys... for the night... Ahem~ Ah, wasn't she supposed to be going to the King or something? She was pretty sure he had summoned her.

Twirling a little with childish joy, she lightly made her way down the hall, rounding the corner. Her gold eyes spotted one of the maids from the kitchen and in a flourish of lace, Nebellia had the woman in a choke hold. "Why hello there~" She murmured faintly, the maid nearly fainting on the spot. "I heard the king summoned me~?" The maid trembled, trying to breathe but failing partially at the act.

"Y... y... yes, Mi..ss... Nebel... lia...!" She gasped out, fighting against the hold. Nebellia paid her no heed and shrugged her shoulders.

"Well, what are you waiting for? You don't see him meandering the halls like a dolt, do you?" The maid nodded tensely and the scientist let the woman go. She sputtered and fell to the floor gasping and panting, taking a few minutes to catch her breath. The maid knew better than to try to run from the infamous insane vampire and resigned herself to the task of leading the woman towards the faint commotion. The poor maid already knew that she was going to get in trouble for even involving herself in such matters but she couldn't disobey a direct order. Sometimes, life in the vampiric mansion was very difficult indeed for the working staff.







Garreth Vilhei Frost

There were rare moments when even Garreth could be surprised, and this moment just happened to be one of them. Slowly his eyebrows raised just a fraction of an inch as the woman before him gave a concession to his words. The tiniest concession she could possibly bear, mind, but the way in which her body relented it's offensive stance spoke volumes to him. Her voice was just a tad smaller than it had been as she explained to him precisely who this Simone girl was to her. She rambled a little as she spoke of her sister, voice hitching just slightly with that touch of nervousness. There was a pause, ah, questioning herself. He only smiled perhaps a little more warmly at her as he waited for her to finish. Whether she took some sort of comfort from this or not, she continued on.

Ninth and Lex, yes, he knew the place. Blue's Pub, he believed it was called. He had never specifically gone in, per se, but he knew the area. Her eyebrows knitted together, there was a short fumble before she forced out a request. ”I need to get there, somehow. If you can help me, I would appreciate it very much.””I need to get there, somehow. If you can help me, I would appreciate it very much.” She eyed him warily as she finished, as if expecting him to laugh at her or merely walk out on her. But Garreth was a man of his word and he did have every intention of providing assistance. It wasn't like him to leave a lady in a plight after all.

Very carefully, he reached over and delicately took her hand in his. Before there could be any objection, he lifted her hand to his lips and gently kissed the back of her palm. He held her gaze throughout, silver eyes piercing into hers before lowering her hand from his grip. "As you wish, Miss Parker." This was an interesting mood he was in but he was the type to merely flow with it instead of trying to fight against it. Giving her a once over to make sure she had all her belongings, he proceeded down the stairs at a relaxed pace to give her time to follow him properly. He couldn't help but wonder, however, if she truly did not have any other options besides him. She had always struck him as so proud and someone who didn't exactly enjoy asking for help in the first place, let alone from someone she barely knew. Still, circumstances had allowed just that and he wasn't about to question them.

They reached the bottom floor and he walked ahead of her a bit, opening the library doors for her. "After you," He said, a kind glint in his eyes for once. He was a gentleman first and there was not a soul who could say he did not know how to treat a lady when he was inclined to do so. Making sure she was through the door safely, he shut it behind him and gestured to her. "This way, I parked down the street." He said smoothly as he walked down the sidewalk. They reached his car within a minute or so, Garreth sliding his hand into his pocket to retrieve the keys to his Ferrari. He unlocked the doors, walking first over to the passenger side to open her door for her. It wasn't as if he thought her incapable, this was just his way of showing chivalry. After helping her into the car, he went around, sliding into the driver's side.

He flashed her one of his warmer smiles and without a word, shifted gears and headed towards the club.

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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Syd’s breath hitched uncomfortably in the back of her throat, an unwelcome staccato interruption in the mellifluous flow of the labor of her lungs. She was not accustomed to touch, having always been the private sort of person that avoided or discouraged contact with anyone outside the range of her family and two best friends. Even then, she was always the reserved one, the withdrawn one, the studious dweller of secret, untouched places who walked usually with only her own company for what might as well have been miles, so distant was she when she found it her wish.

But as before—frustratingly, she reminded herself, and most unwelcome—he saw fit to remind her that she moved not through smooth waters leagues from anyone else, but at a pace too slow in a world too fast, and too obsessed with proximity, closeness. She was not as distant physically as she was mentally, and that sometimes annoyed her.

A strange kind of annoyance, that manifested as a rose-tinted paintbrush swiped across porcelain complexion, two spots of color rising high on her cheeks with the feather-light brush of his lips over her hand. It was nothing, a trifle, something that might have made a more savvy woman chuckle or shake her head or roll her eyes, even. But Sydney was not jaded, not in this way, and if any traces of her awkward adolescence remained, it was still in that: people did not touch her, and certainly not in ways like this.

But he had broken the rule before, hadn’t he? She was more the fool for allowing herself to forget that.

And in denial if she was still pretending she had forgotten. How pathetic. She trailed after him, quite nonplussed but hardly the type to withdraw even still. This was something they had agreed on, now, in whatever strange way they had of ever agreeing on anything. Mostly, she suspected it was her setting up the terms, crisp and clear and simple, and he ostensibly agreeing, only to exact whatever price he actually saw fit, or play her like she moved a bow over string. Her victory in this was that he had, as yet, drawn only notes of protest from herself, or else stifling silence.

She was not an instrument one could simply pick up and master so easily, and deft a musician as he might have been (could one wring chords from heartstrings), Sydney, for all her inexperience in games like this, was not going to make it an easy one to win. It was not that her heart was stubborn, really; she was certain that if it was all she had to stake in this nonsensical wager, she’d have long lost herself to the swooning folly of women who didn’t know their worth. But she was much more than that, and she knew her vulnerability, as well or better than he did. That silly, emotional, fluttering part of herself was to be locked up, hidden, and ignored for as long as absolutely possible. Her battles were fought with the razor’s edge of wit, sharpened on the whetstone of lesser intellects until of such keen point that even she had to be careful with it. ‘Twas sword and shield both, and she a battle-maiden in her own right for having learned its use.

She’d never admit the futility of it, nor stand down when it mattered. And right now, it mattered, because Simone mattered, and keeping her wits about her was necessary. She could not be drawn in by something that wouldn’t even have fazed one of her indomitable siblings in the slightest, oh no. She slid past him and into the vehicle, leaving as much space as possible between their bodies when she passed, and suppressed the mixture of incredulity and minor irritation that flared up when her suspicions about him were confirmed: the man had money. Likely old money; she found it difficult to imagine him being responsible enough to earn it himself, though she’d grant him the cunning, certainly. Why on earth would someone with that much to spend need or want a public defender? She might have guessed he’d simply desired to waste her time, only he’d known nothing about her, back then. He still knew little, though maybe more than she wanted him to.

She also suppressed the thanks. That was for when she got there as she’d requested—she had to admit that part of her didn’t trust him to make good on his word in the slightest. If that part was humbled today, then all the better, but she wasn’t going to assume it would be. She was almost too absorbed in her own thoughts to notice the smile he shot her, but she did, and turned from it, staring out the window and reflecting on the veritable Molotov cocktail of anxieties she was experiencing. For Simone first, obviously, but Sapphire was yet on her mind as well. And then, of course, there was her own minor predicament to consider. She really needed that phone back, and she wasn’t naïve enough to suppose that being in a near-stranger’s car was the best of ideas, especially not when said stranger had a history of disregarding her thoughts on certain matters whenever it suited his whimsy to do so.

She sighed, barely resisting the urge to lean to the side and press her forehead against the cool glass to suppress the migraine that was threatening. Just what had she managed to get herself into?

The sleek vehicle pulled up at the bar a few minutes later, and this time, Syd opened her own door and stepped out, closing it gently behind her. She did, however, do him the courtesy of waiting for him to join her before she strode into the building, head high and the click of her heels reassuring. Confidence. She had to have confidence. It was the only way she could rightly deal with such places as these.

There was nothing extraordinary in the bar at all, and Syd grimaced as she spied the patrons on the floor, doing… whatever it was that passed for dancing. She’d never understood it, honestly. What was so wrong with waltzes? Tangoes, even? She could do that sort of thing, but this… well, it was beyond her ken, anyway. A few of the more wallflower-like customers kept to the bar, nursing their drinks or half-shouted conversations with one another. Presently, the man she knew as the owner was nowhere to be found. ”I think he might be in the back,” she said, then wondered if maybe she should have added more volume to be heard. It was so loud in here…

There was no way that migraine wasn’t happening. She just hoped she’d be able to locate Simone-- then it would all be worth it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nebellia de Rozeriem Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle Character Portrait: Daniel Bowman
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Nebellia de Rozeriem

The maid was so very eager to drop Nebellia off in the presence of the King before literally running away as fast as she could do so while still being polite. Whatever was about to go down, the maid did not want to be one of the casualties. The scientist watched her scamper off blankly, for once not giving way to her whims of pursuit. And scalpels. Those were very very nice too. Brigitte had already dropped to her knee, not daring to look into the eyes of the man they called their King. Her whisper of Master reminded Nebellia of another instance that word had been used in... But now was not the time for musings. She could sense the displeasure of Alexander very clearly. It was a difficult aura to miss and he had the tendency to radiate it outwards. Sadly, she would have to do away with her fun for the night. He was a man who disliked rules being broken, and she had taken many liberties and broken quite a few tonight. It was going to be a bit of work talking her way out of this one...

Still, she followed suit, knowing better than to push her luck and curtsied quite elegantly. Even with her blood stained dress and mild tears in her stockings, it was obvious she was a proper lady... at least when she took out the time to show it. She lowered her lashes over her golden eyes, not risking direct eye contact for a full minute or so in order to show her proper respect to him. She released her breath out slowly and the woman that came to regard Alexander was dramatically different from the woman that had been terrorizing the humans just an hour earlier. She kept her stare very even and spoke in an unfaltering voice, devoid of the musical, whimsical nature she usually portrayed.

"Allow me this small imposition to take the time to apologize to you, my King," She began, pursing her lips slightly and wrinkling her nose. He carried a very strong scent with him, one that most certainly belonged to a human. Obviously not one that she had brought with her tonight, no, it was older than that and possessed a feminine tang. Alexander wasn't the type to just flat out reveal things right off the bat so she'd have to dance around this one carefully. "As you are no doubt aware, I've acted... a tad out of term," She managed a light chuckle. They both knew there was no such thing as a "tad" with her. She either went the whole way or didn't go at all but Nebellia wasn't a woman to stop halfway through anything. In some circles, perhaps this could be regarded as going too "far" but she had long since disregarded such statements.

"I assure you none of the staff has been harmed beyond repair, though perhaps I could've gone about it in a less zealous manner to retrieve test subjects." It may be a bit safer, in this situation, to admit she had been in slight wrong than to try to find reasons for it. Alexander hated excuses. "If you feel that I was out of term for leaving without your behest, you are welcome to do as you will. I will draw to your attention, however," She took a brief pause as she heard approaching footsteps, no doubt the Captain coming to make his presence known as well. Best to wrap this up quickly. "Your Majesty, that I did not have any samples about and that is a tricky situation to be in with a mansion full of vampires. Unless you have found a way to satiate your hunger, then can I be faulted for naturally thinking to restock?" She curtsied again but did not remove her stare from his this time. Nebellia could never be marked as one afraid of Alexander's decisions and she was always prepared to meet them head-on if necessary.




Garreth Vilhei Frost

Hmm, the blush that coated her cheeks was a very welcome sight indeed. Even while she sat in stubborn silence in the seat next to him, lost in her own thoughts. Well, almost. She had noticed his smile, for she turned from it with a sigh, forehead nearly leaning against the window. She was evidently growing strained from her this nightly escapade, a faint realization that could only make him chuckle. The night was still so young and already she was this tired? A shame but nothing he couldn't take care of in the manner he did most things. He pulled up slowly in front of the club, the music already audible even from inside of the car. The young woman stepped out of the vehicle quickly, making it clear that she did not want or acquire assistance. He had to stifle another light laugh at her behavior, so proud, such a need to prove she was independent. He noticed she did, however, choose to wait until he had walked over to her side of the car before proceeding into the club.

However, he paused at the entrance briefly, immediately tensing as a very... familiar type of scent washed over his senses. His jaw tightened and the amusement faded just a portion. Perhaps it was a bit too early to be making such snap judgements, perhaps they had only wandered nearby... Garreth knew this was a bit of a long shot and this suspicion was only proved true the instant he entered into the building. Agh, that stench. He pinched the bridge of his nose with two of his fingers as a glimmer of disgust flitted across his face for an instant. His eyebrow furrowed a bit as he watched her make her way through the crowd, oblivious to what had been here just moments ago. The mere smell was going to leave a sour taste in his mouth, ugh. The human woman called faintly over her shoulder, though at such a volume that would've normally been audible, given the atmosphere. However, his keen hearing picked up right on it and he did not hesitate in moving closer to her, grabbing her arm somewhat firmly.

"Then let's not waste time out here in the middle of this... primal mating," He said curtly as he led her through the throng of people. He wrinkled his nose, how was it that everyone here had that scent with them? Leave it to the parasites to lay their fingers on everything. Was their anything they wouldn't sink their fangs into? Still, if he was picking up this irritating scent and Sydney had told him something of her sister being in this very vicinity... Still, assuming was not always the smartest choice and it was never a good idea to merely throw ideas together to feed his own personal bias. (Though privately, he was apt to do just that) The humans continued to dance, oblivious to what was transpiring and, more importantly, what had transpired. If the vampires really had been here earlier, then it would be lucky to find one human that remembered the events that had occurred. That stupid thralling ability really grated on his nerves at intervals.

As they approached the back, he let go of her gently, though he did not make any efforts to hide how tense he felt in this atmosphere. As far as he could tell, they were here no longer so she would be safe enough going to see the owner by herself. "Go on," He said somewhat distantly. He slid his hands into his pockets as he observed the mindless humans in the club closely, no longer paying her any attention. He stared out at them, mind circulating with faint deductions. He glanced at the dance floor, noticing a few flecks of blood here and there. Well covered up, for the most part, and no one was paying it any mind. But the scuff marks indicated that there had been some sort of rowdy activity that took place, and the odd lighting he had witnessed with the sign on the outside brought up another line of thinking. The way it was positioned was almost as if pointing to the alleyway on the outside...

He looked behind him--she didn't seem as if she'd be coming out anytime soon. There should be enough time. He turned on his heel, walking around the crowded areas, this time headed towards the side door. As soon as he stepped out, the smell only increased and he narrowed his eyes in distaste. It didn't matter how many years went by, the smell of vampires was still utterly revolting. He slid his silver eyes first to the ground, which was streaked with now dried blood, not much, but it was evident something had been dragged along roughly. There wasn't a lot of detail to go by, the parasites had a tendency to clean up after themselves well enough. He sighed out. He had been looking for entertainment, true, and he'd be misleading if he said he was bored by all of this. But by no means had Garreth expected... hm. It wouldn't do good to linger out here for long, Sydney would wonder where he had gone off to.

He edged back inside, shutting the door behind him but choosing instead to walk out to the entrance. If anything, it would make sense to greet her there instead of trying to find her in that club. Besides, the fresh air would do his sinuses some good. That bloody stench wouldn't be going away any time soon.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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On an ordinary day, perhaps, the viselike grip that closed around her arm would have been enough to earn a strenuous protest from Sydney, but honestly, she seemed to be agreeing with the sentiment he expressed, and she wasn’t terribly good with crowd navigation herself, so she backed off, recognizing that for the moment at least, he was only trying to help. The journey through the writhing mass of people was easier for his presence; he parted the crowd in a way she was envious of, though she admittedly still found herself notably uncomfortable a few times, as a hand from the crowd brushed somewhere it shouldn’t. It was surely just an accident anyway, no need to be bothered about it.

Emerging on the other side of the throng, she nodded, not really trusting her voice to reach the necessary volume. He seemed… uncomfortable, as though something problematic were happening that she couldn’t see. Whether it was truly bad or just unpleasant, she couldn’t tell, but he’d lost the easy smiles and the lilt to his tone, becoming at once more somber and more… something. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

Shrugging to herself, she decided that no matter what it was, it was less important than finding Simone, so she advanced to the bar, waving down the current attendant, a female. “I’m looking for Nate,” she said, leaning over the wooden bar to be heard. ”It’s about Simone Parker.” The young woman, maybe just a few years Sydney’s senior, looked a bit confused for a moment, but seemed to disregard whatever thought she’d had and jerked her thumb back over her shoulder.

“Should be in the breakroom.” Sydney thanked her and turned down the hallway the woman had indicated. She’d not often known bars to have breakrooms, but then if it was this busy all the time, she suspected that it was entirely necessary. Poking her head through the doorway, she knocked tentatively on the wooden doorjamb, provoking a movement from the man seated at the table, apparently reading something. He took a second to place her, but he must have remembered the few occasions they’d met, like when Syd had done a college visit to Berkeley, where he and Simone had both studied.

“Well, look who it is! Long time, no see, Syd. You know, I was just thinking of calling your sister earlier today.” He grinned, propping an elbow on the table and his chin in his hand. If he was at all confused by her presence here, he hid it well, but she suspected it probably just didn’t seem that weird. Stranger things had certainly happened in bars.

Syd’s face fell, and his eyebrows puckered in confusion as though in response. ”Actually,” the youngest Parker confessed, “I’m looking for Simone right now. I thought she might have come by…”

Nate shook his head. “Nope, not recently. Poor thing’s working herself way too hard, if you ask me. She needs to come by more often.” He quirked a brow at Sydney, doubtless taking in her slightly disheveled appearance, and the fact that she wasn’t really dressed for an establishment like his. “Looks like you do, too.”

Syd grimaced. “Um. Well, maybe. Look, I know this probably sounds weird, but can I ask you for some phone numbers? I’d like to call around to some of her other friends if possible.” She wasn’t really sure she wanted to worry him unnecessarily or go into details, so she added something else. “I’m planning on throwing her a surprise party, but I can’t get that stuff from her without it looking suspicious.” True, technically, though Simone’s birthday was a while off, yet, and she’d only started considering the idea a few days ago.

He fixed her with a speculative look, like he wasn’t quite buying it, but in the end he shrugged. “As long as I get an invitation, sure.” Syd flashed a smile, more relieved than anything, but agreed and tried not to make it obvious how worried she was. Honestly, all this running around was probably making it worse than it would have been if she’d had a moment to think about this rationally, but right now it was all she could do to keep herself from looking half as concerned as she was feeling. Sometimes, all that effort was almost more than she could take, but at least she’d had practice.

Reaching behind him, Nate scrawled a few numbers on a piece of paper and handed it to her. Scanning it quickly, Syd tucked it away into a pocket. Good, this was good. It gave her a real place to start. Now, there was only one thing she had left to do. “Thanks a lot, Nate. Can I ask one last thing? I need to borrow a phone…”

The bar owner obligingly pointed her in the direction of a landline, and she made her awkward goodbyes, which had him chuckling at her more than anything else, and headed for the right spot, tucked away behind the kitchen. Dialing Sapphire’s number, Sydney bit her lip for the first two rings and nearly slumped in relief when her sister picked up on the third.

“Hello? Saph? It's Syd. Hey listen, sorry if I'm interrupting something, but have you seen Simone at all since she left?"

The music on the other end of the line was almost deafening, and she suspected that her sibling had found her way into another club. Apparently, things with that odd blonde fellow hadn’t gone irrevocably badly, as she sounded unhurt. “What? Syd? Simone? Oh no... nope, haven't seen her. Was just about to call her, actually. Why're you asking?"

Well, that was the hard question, wasn’t it? Sydney knew she was the worrywart of the family, but she also knew that she tended to be right when it counted… though maybe not now. Shoving the reservation to the side for a moment, she tried to think of how to phrase it. “ Shoot, um... okay. Don't freak out or anything, but I think something might have happened to her. I'm inside Blue's, you know, that place her friend works, and her car's parked outside, but she's not here and nobody remembers seeing her at all. Plus, she called me a little while ago but then it disconnected. I tried calling her back, but it won't work. I think her phone is broken or out of range or something."

The noise on the other end grew quieter, as apparently Saph moved to get somewhere she could hear properly. Her tone was about as incredulous as her younger sister had been expecting, and Sydney flinched slightly. "Syd, really?" There was an audible sigh. "Are you certain you're not just overreacting? I'm sure Simone's perfectly fine; she's a big girl." Sapphire paused there, but the interval was too brief for Sydney to fill it. "Okay, fine, since you're so worried, baby sis - probably needlessly, I should add - what do you want me to do?"

Syd took a deep breath, letting her worry ease out of her tone a bit as she attempted the transition to businesslike and in-control. It worked… sort of. “ "The owner gave me a few names and places she might be. I'm going to try checking them out, but if you could call the police, I think that would be great. Give them my name if they try some bureaucratic crap about her not being gone long enough or something. I have a bad feeling about this, Saph." Okay, she was definitely still rambling, but that sounded reasonable, right?

Or maybe not. “Jesus, you’re blowing things way out of proportion.”

It was Sydney’s turn to sigh. Honestly? Sapphire was probably right, but… she couldn’t ignore this uncomfortable feeling in her gut, and so she switched tactics instead. “ I know. But what if I'm right? I swear, if we find her and she's fine you can laugh at me as much as you want, but if we don't, I don't want to be the person that just assumed everything was okay when it wasn't, you know?"

“ "I'm not going to call the cops and make a fool of myself, Syd. Because she's fine. But I will call around a bit. Just... don't do anything drastic, please?" Syd found herself nodding. Right. Obviously Sapphire was right. There was no need to panic. Calling the police was probably premature right now, no matter how she felt about the whole thing. Still, part of her wasn’t so sure.

Just in case, she decided to leave her plans with Saph. “ Okay. Uh, also. Saph, I'm with a former client of mine right now. He's driving me around and helping, but... he also took my phone, so... I'm just going to give you everything I know... in case. Don't worry, I'm probably just freaking out because of Simone. Anyway, his name is Garreth Frost. Drives a really nice Ferrari, license plate 842 PQX. Tall, late twenties or early thirties, dark hair, grey eyes. I think I’m going to ask him to drive me home, and then make some calls myself. Um... so yeah. I gotta go. But Saph? Be safe, okay? Love you." Syd drew the receiver away from her ear, the noise in the area ensuring that Sapphire’s reply never made it to her ears.

“Whoa, whoa, girly! Where are you? Blue’s, right? I'll be right there. No sister of mine is going to be driving around alone with some guy who steals her phone for whatever creepy reason, if I can help it… Even if he does drive a nice car."

The phone clicked back into its cradle, and Syd’s shoulders sagged just a little. Maybe it really was time to call it a night. Shaking her head at herself, though she wasn’t precisely sure why, the young woman headed back outside, taking a blessed lungful of fresh air in an attempt to drive the migraine into submission. Predictably, it failed. Still, she had a plan, and a place to start, and an assurance that things would be much less horrible than she was imagining them. Surely, she was only paranoid. Probably her job speaking, since she dealt with so much crime every day.

She found Garreth already waiting, and figured now was as good a time as any do the right thing. “Hey. Thanks for all that; I know there are much more exciting ways to spend a weekend evening.” Of course, maybe not for him if he was bothering her in the library, but she was trying to be nice, so she wouldn’t mention that little bit. “I think I’m just going to head home now, make some calls-” Oh, right. He still had her cell and she had never bothered with a landline. She was going to ignore that for now. “And hope this whole thing blows over tomorrow morning, so everyone can laugh at me and get on with things. So.” She stopped, quite unsure as to where she was supposed to go with that.

Seriously. She could write and deliver the best legal arguments of anyone she knew, but tended to talk herself into a corner in ordinary conversation. She must be some kind of freak. Of course, she knew as well as anyone that she really didn’t say much until she was nervous, and then, well, her mouth was off to all kinds of places, whether her brain liked it or not.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Mela
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Sapphire more so sensed Sabine nearing again than she heard him. Yes, the sound of his steps, controlled and surprisingly light, alarmed her, but what most of her made an impression, was the feeling that he was close. It sent a delicious tingle down her spine, her entire body feeling his proximity even if he never touched her as his hand came to hover over her waist, like some ghost hand, taunting her and her way too responsive body. She unwillingly automatically slowed down as she felt his warm breath on her neck, dancing upon skin much too sensitive for… Sapphire’s own good.

Her upper teeth came down to nibble on her lower lip as the tiny pinpricks of electric attraction coursed through her body, hitting right at her core. Shit, why did he have to ignite such reactions from her? Of all people, he just had to be the only guy who could do these things to her, and which such ease as well. It wasn’t natural, she knew that much. It couldn’t possibly be… it was simply too intense. Too heated. Sapphire hardly knew what foot to lean on when her body decided to dance to whatever song he decided to play. She suspected he knew exactly what he was doing to her though, and that, more than anything, pissed her off.

She said nothing, having stopped in her tracks to take in all of the fire scorching her very being, so when he left her with a slight chuckle, Sapphire had no idea what to do or say, or, hell, even how to get her body moving once more. Curse him. He wasn’t even that attractive! She had been with models for Christ’s sake and none of them, in spite of their good looks, had ever been able to set her on fire with nothing but fleeting touches and entirely non-sexual words, so how did he do it, and why was she so bloody receptive? It took a few moments for her to regain her equilibrium, but as she did, Sapphire turned to see Sabine several meters away.

“I don’t wait for anyone, you arrogant asshole!” She shouted at him on instinct before stalking off furiously, her hands practically shaking with her anger. And she was still turned on! Really that was the main reason she was so angry; his ability to control her body. She hated it. Sapphire was so used to always being the teaser, not the teased, the dominant, not the submissive, that she had no idea how to deal with a man who so enjoyed turning her entire world upside down. He teased, he taunted, he challenged, he bit back every time, and he was clearly used to being in charge. Sapphire felt like she’d been thrown into a whole other dimension. After so much time spent dating, perhaps subconsciously searching for a man who could actually give her some level of challenge, without luck, Sapphire had given up.

Then he just had to come around, didn’t he? She grunted in frustration before stepping into one of her favorite clubs, suddenly feeling much more at ease. She knew this. This was her turf and people she certainly understood. Music met her eagerly and the blonde strode straight to the bar, sliding into one of the empty seats, flashing a smile at Milas, one of the bartenders. “Baby, I need something strong and I need it fast,” she told him. He grinned, replying “coming right up, gorgeous,” before pouring up whatever it was he was making her. She didn’t particularly care; it was strong and she needed it. Once he set it down in front of her, he leaned in over the counter, raising an eyebrow. “Rough day, Saph?” He inquired and she laughed at him, taking a mouthful of the strong alcohol, sinking it without second thought. “What can I say? Men suck.”

Milas drew back, a look of mock-hurt on his face as he gripped his shirt over his heart. “Ouch,” he chuckled, “you wound.” She rolled her eyes at him, smiling as she let the mood of the club wash over her, downing her drink then. As she drank, he continued, more serious. “And here I thought the beautiful blonde was the love ‘em and leave ‘em kinda type.” She smiled wryly, setting down the glass as she motioned for a refill. “Yeah, so did I,” she murmured, suddenly thoughtful. Maybe she should call Simone; she could use someone to talk to, and as much as she loved Syd, Sapphire simply didn't feel comfortable talking about guys with her. C'mon, you hardly found a less experienced, attractive 21 year old. No, Syd wasn't the one to talk to when it came to Sabine Marx.

Her brief moment of silence was interrupted by the buzzing of her phone and as she picked up, not bothering to check the caller, she didn’t even get to say a word in greeting, because her younger sister’s voice was there immediately, snuffing out any doubt of who it could be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: James Dylor
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#, as written by Igari


Garreth Vilhei Frost




He hadn't quite been able to get rid of the scent that still lingered around, wrinkling his nose at the strong scent of chemicals. It overpowered any other scent that possibly could've been traced and was wrecking havoc with his sense of smell. Garreth was more than eager to return home at this point, at least to be rid of this smell once and for all. He shifted only slightly, looking up as he heard approaching footsteps. His timing couldn't have been better, for it was only several or so minutes after he had begun waiting that Sydney came out of the club. She wore an interesting expression, but what drew his attentions the most was the delicate way in which she now spoke to him. It was obvious that she was a bit tired, more than likely worn out by the night's escapades. To be fair, Garreth wasn't the easiest man to converse with by any means, but he supposed that compounding this fact with her worry for her sister would be legitimate reason for her exhaustion.

She came to an abnormal halt in her sentence, Garreth raising an eyebrow as she abruptly stopped talking on an awkward note. There was a silence that passed between them for a few seconds or so before he lightly shrugged, taking out his keys to unlock the doors. "Blows over, hm?" He didn't bother to expand his question as he opened the door politely for her once more, waiting for her to get inside before he walked around to the other side. This trip to the club had bothered him slightly and he did not bother to say anything to feed his own amusement as he slid into the driver's seat. He started up the car and pulled out of his parking spot, not uttering a word. The silence of their drive was only pierced by directions from Sydney as she gave him directions to her home. The ride didn't seem overly long, maybe because he wasn't paying attention as closely as he would've?

He turned the car onto her block, bringing the vehicle to a halt. This silence between them felt almost unnatural. Normally, he would've pursued playful banter, a sarcastic statement or two, and left her on a frustrating note before she departed. But it seemed like neither was in the mood to pick up where they had left off in the library. Admittedly, there was a little too much on his mind to play the game as properly as he normally did. Well, that didn't mean he couldn't do a small gesture or two. He managed a grin as he looked over at her, choosing to break the silence by addressing something she had sad back at the club.

"You mentioned the need to make some calls, didn't you, Miss Parker?" The question was rhetorical, of course he didn't expect a response. "You can't do that without a phone, now can you?" He slid his hand into his pocket, retrieving the device and holding it out for her to take. It didn't take much perception to see that she was wary to accept the item, as it also didn't take long for one to figure out Garreth was a bit of a prankster. He didn't retract his offer, however, and after a few minutes, she did take the device--albeit with some hesitation. He reached out just an inch more, very slowly so that she would not start away from him as she was prone to do. His fingers brushed against her cheek carefully and for the briefest of moments, his smile turned just a tad warmer.

"I'm sure we'll be in touch," And with that statement, the moment was over and Garreth resumed his usual assumptive nature. His grin widened as he gestured to the door. "Try not to miss me too much, Sydney." He waited until she had gotten out of the car and he could see her approach her own door before starting up the car again and pulling away. Hm, that was odd. He hadn't realized it until she left but the scent of those parasites was gone. The only scent that lingered now was... hers. He didn't allow his mind to remain on the realization for overly long--he had other things to be preoccupied with. The human woman wasn't someone he needed to be pondering over. Something was evidently out of place. She had mentioned that she believed her sister to be at that very club, a place that just so happened to carry the scent of parasites? It didn't sit well with him at all and if they had been there, that also meant... He narrowed his eyes vaguely; he was going to get a headache at this rate.

Garreth was a bit lost in his thoughts as he, at last, arrived on more familiar turf. Instead of parking in the front, which would've been the polite thing to do, he decided to position his car in the most lazily, obnoxious place that would be a pain to re-park later. (That side of him really wasn't going away any time soon) Stepping out of the vehicle, he closed the door very quietly, not wanting to alert others to his presence. It was still quite late and he doubted that any of the staff knew he had snuck out. As usual. He partially wondered if all the articles of clothing he had hidden had been located yet. (He had put more effort into it this time) The prospect of seeing James' expression was always enough to push troubling thoughts to the back of his mind, if but for awhile. He debated walking in the front entrance, ah, that wouldn't be very smart, considering he was trying to remain under-the-radar about his escapades.

He decided to go in through the back entrance that led through the servants' quarters, knowing full well most would be asleep at this hour. There was nothing to prepare in the kitchens and most of the cleaning had already been completed. He quietly walked through the halls, sliding his hands into his pockets comfortably. As he approached his chambers, he noticed the door slightly ajar. That could only mean one very amusing thing. A smirk slid on to his face as he let himself into his private quarters, automatically spotting James trying to finish up last-minute cleaning, it seemed. Before the boy could step away from the bed, Garreth was already pulling at the corner of the sheets, undoing all the work that had been done just moments before.

"Well, this certainly isn't the set that I had here earlier this morning." He said before discarding the sheets on the ground. "So tell me, did you enjoy the treasure hunt?" He quipped. Yes, this would keep his mind off the issues at hand... for now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sarai Ozeiel Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Mela




Timeskip!!
We're jumping two weeks forward in time - Go write, you crazy bastards =D
- I should add that it's evening





Image

Heels clicked melodically, the pace of the well-poised, confident, blonde woman purposeful. She was clad in an eye-catching sunset-orange dress, the cut of it teasing but not improper. The length was just perfect as it stopped right above her knees, showing off bare, long and toned legs, and while the cut on the front was not matronly, it was not meant to show a ton of cleavage either. She seemed determined, as if she was on a hunt and had her sights set on something specific she could not live without. Her sapphire-coloured eyes were dark with shadows, as though her mind had been haunted for weeks.

And indeed, it had. No sound had come from Simone, no word of her location, no nothing. The police search had turned up empty so far, and they said odds were Sydney and Sapphire would never see their older sister alive again. They said that after two weeks, it was best not to hope too much. Yet Sapphire refused to believe it. She had a feeling Simone was okay. Or… at least alive. She didn’t know why or how, and regardless of instincts, she still worried. A lot. She’d barely been able to work, and lately she’d gone out every night, drinking herself to the point of oblivion. It was all she could do to remain standing.

She was scared. Plain and simple. Scared for her sister, more than anything. Sapphire wasn’t used to such things. She was always the fearless one, the sister who would try anything once and never ignore a dare. Yet with Simone’s disappearance, fear was suddenly ruling Sapphire’s life, and at the same time she had to stay strong for Sydney. Around her younger sister, Sapphire was as calm and collected as ever, never letting slip that she was just as worried… just as horribly frightened. Where ever Simone was, Sapphire really hoped she would soon be able to get to a phone. Or… something. Any sign of life would do by now.

Shaking off her worries, Sapphire stepped into the night club she had been headed towards, glancing at her outfit in the window for a brief second as she did. The shadows refused to disappear, but alcohol would certainly get rid of them. It usually did. As such, the blonde moved to the bar instantly, opening her leather jacket. Mere minutes later, the young blonde was smashed, strong alcohol coursing through her veins and in her intoxicated state, for once throughout that entirely too horrid day, she felt like she could breathe. She ran a hand through her loose, blonde locks, leaning back in on the barstool.

Suddenly balance left her and she felt the stool disappear beneath her as she scrambled but as soon as she’d realized she was falling, someone had placed a hand on her waist, the other swiping in to move her feet away from the knocked over piece of furniture. He said nothing as she looked up into brown eyes. Brown. That was so wrong. They were supposed to be green. He was handsome. Well, not Jensen Ackles handsome, but he had a messy Johnny Depp look about him, and he smiled at her as she finally regained some kind of drunked equilibrium and giggled as she stumbled into a standing position. “Woops,” she exclaimed, and he chuckled. “You should be more careful with these things,” he said, gesturing towards the chair before moving it into an upright position.

“Yeaaahh,” she agreed, a little dizzy, “probably a good idea.” Then she turned on her heel, about to sashay her way onto the dancefloor when he gently wrapped his fingers around her wrist. “Hey,” his voice interrupted, oddly gentle but flat to her. “Are you sure you’re alright? I’d be happy to take you somewhere.” Sapphire stopped, staring at the man for a second. Then suddenly she laughed. “Oh no, no! No need. I am fine just like this. More than fine. No worries.” Then she leaned in, moving her lips to his ear as she whispered conspiratorially “I’m just…” she giggled, “really drunk.” He snorted. “I see that.”

As if ignoring what he had just said, Sapphire continued, “Anyways! I’m Sapphire, it’s nice to meet me, pleasure’s all yours. Wanna dance?” As the word ‘dance’ left her mouth, she grinned, her body already starting to go with the beat of the music. He looked at her, dubious for a moment, but no words escaped him before Saph had him by the wrist, dragging him onto the dancefloor. “Come on!” she shouted over the music. He laughed, choosing wisely to merely let her lead the way. “Do you always just drag guys along?” He asked, clearly amused as she put one hand behind his neck, the other placed on his chest. She giggled, almost stumbling in her heels when she tried to take a step towards him, but she managed to regain balance. “Puuurrtty much,” she told him in reply.

It didn’t take long for the guy, whatever his name was, to forget talking as Sapphire began moving. Soon his hands were on her waist, on her hips, on her stomach or back – wherever he saw fit as the blonde’s movements grew more heated, her dancing oddly elegant in spite of the sexual nature of it. The rest of the world was lost to her in her little bubble of alcoholised bliss.

Unfortunately, however, that didn’t last forever, and after only a few minutes, something drew Sapphire out of the mindless dancing. Something tall, pale and alluring. As she looked over to find him looking at her and the man she was with, her breath caught in her throat for but a second, sapphire eyes widening slightly, but fortunately she was able to keep up her dancing, or the reaction would have been much to obvious. He was practically glaring at the two of them, a brooding character to his usually so impassive features. Didn’t like her dancing with others, eh? Oh, she had definitely been right! Which meant she was milking this for all of its worth.

And so, Sapphire sent a flirtatious but challenging smirk his way, lifting her hand from the man’s neck to send Sabine a little wave before she picked up the dancing, hips swaying sensually, moving just a little closer to the one she was dancing with, all the while keeping eye contact with Sabine, her blue depths gleaming with mischief as she grinned. She barely noticed how the guy she was with took small liberties, like moving his hands a little too low, or how he moved to trace his lips up her neck.





Image

Elbow placed on the armrest of a grand chair, chin rested on the pad of his thumb as his index finger thoughtfully curled around the strong feature, the sole king to an entire race sat perfectly still, the control he implemented almost breathtaking in its own beauty. His brows were furrowed ever so slightly as his mind raced, the only part of him truly moving at this moment. No one could guess what hid behind the green, piercing gaze of Alexander Chartés, and few wanted to truly try. Fewer still dared ask. The man was dressed in a pair of black pants paired with a dark grey, formfitting long-sleeved tee. It was simple, nothing flashy about it, yet he had so very clearly been born to take the throne. He needed nothing; no words, no servants and no expensive materials, to let the world know that he were in fact a king.

Two weeks it had been. Two weeks since he had brought her home to spend the rest of her days as his blood slave. Two weeks were nothing. Two weeks were a barely even a blip in the lifespan of a human, so to him it was laughable to even consider it an amount of time. And yet… so much seemed to have happened. How was that possible? The first week with the redhead had been trying. He wasn’t sure why, because honestly he’d had slaves fighting it before and he’d merely restrained them without second though, yet the mere idea of doing that to Simone, was just… wrong. He’d fed on her every day, however. Not because he needed it, as he felt oddly full even after just a bit of her blood, but because the taste was addicting.

He’d found himself wanting to taste her on a real orgasm. He’d found it made the blood sweeter, and the idea of her blood getting even better was almost too much for him to resist. Regardless, he knew the odds of her surviving a trip to his bedroom were close to zero, so he stuck with the hands-off approach. On the second day, however, when he’d come to feed on her, she’d put up quite the struggle. In fact, she’d thrashed so violently that she’d made his feeding on her all kinds of messy, so on the third day, he’d enthralled her to remain still, yet once he let her out of it, she’d actually run from him.

Now, normally Alexander had no problem with fear. In fact, he considered it a decent substitute for respect, but watching her run from him, that horrified look in her pretty eyes… it had struck something in him. He didn’t know what, and he didn’t want to delve into it too deeply, but he’d promised himself never to scare her that way again. Then he’d wondered why the hell he gave a fuck, and wondered whether he was going soft. He hadn’t come to a conclusion yet.

As a result of the incident, Alexander’s treatment of Simone had become much gentler, perhaps with the realization that no matter her bravado, she would eventually break if he was not careful. Of course everything seemed to be backwards with her, because usually his goal was exactly that; to break the humans. And he did so carelessly, because he did not regard their mentality nor their emotions as things of importance. With Simone, however, part of him couldn’t quite deal with the thought of her losing that inner fire of hers.

Then, however, the first week had passed, and something in her had changed. Something had put out the fire. In spite of his considerate treatment, Simone had broken, and he didn’t have a clue what to do about it. After all, he had never really wanted to bring back the fight in his slaves. He didn’t know how to go about it. He knew giving her freedom would be the ultimate solution for her, but he wasn’t about to do that. After all, she still was only a human, and he still had not found a way to live without her blood, so what? He could give her some level of freedom, right? He had already given her a room to herself once more, a proper bed instead of the sofa in his livingroom, but it hadn’t helped much. She remained unnervingly quiet.

“Your majesty”, the sound of a male servant brought the king out of his musings. He glanced at the young vampire, raising an eyebrow, as if to say “what is it?” The servant cleared his throat before continuing. “I was sent to inform you, that the human is ready for you, your highness.”
Alexander responded with a curt nod as he elegantly moved into a standing position, ignoring the people around him. After all, he was not done thinking and he had not moved for any of them. He had moved because dinner was ready; because he had wanted the taste of Simone’s blood on his tongue for hours.

The king was completely soundless as his legs carried him towards the room in which Simone was kept. Normally his food would be brought to him, but as he’d already found, everything was different with this human. The door to her room was opened by one of the guards stationed outside and the king took a single step inside, hearing the door close behind him. Green eyes took in the room briefly before falling on Simone.

“Good evening, love,” he began smoothly as he strode towards her, eyes intensely on hers, steps purposeful. They both knew what was coming next.