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Paranormal Dilemmas

USA

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a part of Paranormal Dilemmas, by Mela.

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Mela holds sovereignty over USA, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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USA

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Minimap

USA is a part of Paranormal Dilemmas.

1 Places in USA:

17 Characters Here

Alexander II Chartes [58] "I am your king, not your friend."
Simone Parker [49] I'm not afraid to say what I think about you. I'm not putting on a facade for anyone.
Sabine Marx [46] "Let's play a game, mein Bauer"
Sapphire Parker [45] "I am who I am. I'm not perfect, but don't you dare try to change me."
Nebellia de Rozeriem [38] "Ah, you came to play with me? Most excellent~"
Sydney Parker [37] "I'm not much, really, but maybe one day, I'll be enough. That's worth hoping for, right?"
Brigitte Lebelle [36] "If His Highness says it is so, then so it shall be."
Garreth Vilhei Frost [32] "How amusing, I wasn't the least bit intrigued by that nonsense that just escaped your mouth. Doesn't seem like you'll be needing that tongue, now does it?"
Sarai Ozeiel [26] I shall do whatever is asked of me.
Daniel Bowman [26] "Tell me that you love me, mi amor? I won't judge."

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Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker
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Sabine Marx

She was a live-wire, she reacted instantly and deeply to every move he made. She was here and now and nothing else, and she was pulling him with her. It's quite difficult to be properly rational when one is in the moment, even when not intoxicated. There was so much to take in. The way she moaned when he pressed her against the door, the way her body heaved with every breath, so intense was her energy, the slight action of her moving into his hand as he brushed it through her hair. Or the grin that curled her mouth and the way her blue eyes sparked as she closed the small distance between them again, her hand reaching for his chest. That's what he'd wanted from her.

They were playing a funny little game of one step forward and two steps back, he'd move back and bait her and she came forward and melted in to him then pulled him farther than he'd expected to go. Or in this case she was pushing him. It didn't take much, the sensation of her fingers tugging at the buttons of his shirt, fired with desire. He bumped the door all the way open with his elbow as he moved backwards into his room, pausing by the bed as she pushed his shirt away. It dropped to the floor as she hooked the lip of his pants with one hand, setting him alert, the other skating up the planes of his abdomen then his chest. She spoke with the same lilting voice, teasing. She was giving back play for play. No one could say that she wasn't good at playing this strange little game. Even if she wasn't particularly patient. Which made her all the more fun.

When she pushed him back into the bed, shedding her jacket in the same movement he curved his arm around her waist, pulling her down on top of him. "I'm not the only tease in the room, Miss Parker." He retorted, amused, a hand cupping the back of her neck so he could kiss her again, kicking his shoes off at the same time. The hand on her neck found its way under the back of her dress, sliding across to her shoulder brushing the orange cloth away. His other hand slid up her form to do the same to the other shoulder. He broke the kiss to roll her onto the bed next to him, shifting so he was almost but not quite over her. His knee was between hers, and he rested on one elbow by her shoulder. "I have to keep up with the competition, don't I?" He kissed her throat again as he spoke innocently.

He'd forgotten how delicious lust was, his and hers. She was hungry, he could feel it in the way she moved and the faint sounds she made when he took his lips from hers. She wanted. And the less he gave her the more insistent she was. It was easy, in a manner of speaking, but it was so rewarding, even though it wasn't conventionally challenging. It was different than anything he could recall experiencing. Daemons didn't melt with a single touch; they weren't supposed to be able to lose themselves in sensations with such ease. But she was. And she was infecting him with it as well, as if it was a disease spread with kisses and soft gasps and moans. And right now, in this moment, he didn't particularly mind. He didn't particularly mind anything, to be quite honest. He was more interested in following the slackened neckline of Sapphire's dress, which was now only held taut by her breasts, with the lingering fingers of the hand not holding him up. At the same time he was teasing the delicate turn of her neck and the curve of her throat with his lips; he could feel her heart beat under the thin layer of skin, likely spreading the same adrenaline through her veins that he was currently entertaining.

No, this was not a bad thing, how could he have ever thought that humans weren't worth their extremely short while? Now wasn't the time to amend such ways of thinking. He probably couldn't even if he had mind to, which he certainly didn't when he had much better things to be doing. The morning would bring what the morning would bring, be what it may, but he didn't care about any of that now. This was a different moment in time, completely and decadently deviant. Perhaps he'd never reconcile it, it could be the single anomaly in his long life, but that would be alright because it had to be the most pleasurable anomaly he could ever think of engaging in.

"After all," he said, returning to her jaw, her cheek, her lips again, "it's no fun if you don't have to work for it, Darling." He kissed her again, deeply, sending her dress down to the the growing scattering of articles of clothing on the floor at the same time, drawing closer to her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Ozeiel Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle
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#, as written by Spica
Brigitte Lebelle

Brigitte stood with her back pressed firmly against the counter, arms folded over her chest. Her nerves burned slightly and her throat was tight. This was the reaction she always had whenever His Highness addressed her. A slight chill slithered down her spine, though it was impossible to notice due to how well she kept herself composed. When His Highness spoke to her, that was one thing; but when he told her to do something...Brigitte often wondered if this was perhaps the emotion so commonly referred to as ecstasy. When being told what to do, and then accomplishing that order optimally-- now those were the rushes that could cause her to break her otherwise door-like self. Though the latest rush that had run through her after His Highness' newest order was still fading away, Brigitte knew it was important she begin her new task immediately. Sarai and herself were to remain in the kitchen with Simone and aide her in cooking a proper meal.

Although it was such a seemingly simple order the fact that she had no clue as to what constituted as a "proper meal" for a human was throwing a slight curve-ball at her. In the middle of her mulling over this the human woman had opened the fridge that held the mansions most easily accessible blood. And now...there was a clever in the wall. Although Brigitte did not believe that the attitude Sarai was showing was needed in the slightest she figured it would be best to just quell the two down and get everything done. Rolling up the sleeves of her white shirt she moved over towards the two and easily pulled the cleaver out of the cupboard then held it under a sink faucet, running hot water over it to disinfect whatever was on the cupboard doors.

"Cooking?" Brigitte inquired towards Simone, the cleaver now rinsed. This woman wanted to make something with that meat...and this clever seemed to be necessary. "Direct." She lay the clever down by Simone then grabbed an apron from one of the various kitchen draws. The servant couldn't cook but she'd be damned if she didn't know where everything was in this mansion. Making a tight knot around the back of her waist she gave Sarai a chill glare. "Listen. Follow. Done." The mousy servant did not need to be making things worse with her snapping. If her cooking skills were as bad as the woman had said then she was not going to be making any decisions. Although she was still at a loss to what was proper food for a human, if a human was telling one not to cook it then one had better stop.

Brigitte rolled her shoulders back then leaned forward across the counter to Simone. "Cooking. Now." Her words, though noticeably sharp, were as usual said in such a gentle voice that it just about stripped away any feeling of command from it. Thankfully, her face had such a look to it that one could not help but realize how serious she was. It was interesting really, just how many contradictions this ghost of a vampire was full of. Her gaze flickered between the human and the other servant then she pulled herself back into her normal posture and gripped the counter edge slightly. It was time they made this food.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker
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#, as written by Mela
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Just as the leather jacket fell to the floor to join Sabine’s shirt, his arm was around her waist, and as Sapphire looked down at him, he pulled her onto him. She giggled softly, with just a touch of flirtatious, while it was rather labored. Her knees fell to the bed on each side of his thighs as her bottom ended up on his knees. She instantly scooted closer, bringing their upper bodies close enough to touch. When he spoke, she grinned devilishly, “Perhaps not,” she spoke only briefly before his lips were on hers, heated and demanding, the hand he had cupping her neck making sure she stayed in place. Her hands slid under his arms and onto his back, feeling the texture of his taut skin as her fingers finally landed on his shoulders, settling herself against him, her chest pressed against his as she let herself drown in the passion between them once more.

Her eyes fell shut immediately as her body melted, every touch only adding more heat to the fire already blazing in her veins. This level of abandon was almost unreal… almost too much, so intense and glorified, was it, that had Sapphire not been holding onto Sabine to ground herself, she would have thought she was dreaming… would’ve thought this was nothing but a fantasy. And it was… but it was a fantasy come true. How many times had she not thought of him for the past two years? How many times had she not wanted to see his face again? Touch him? And how many times had she not fantasized about this magical attraction between them becoming something more? Countless, that was how many. Countless times. Of course she would never tell him this, not even in her most drunken state, but not even in her wildest thoughts had she ever imagined this to be so… utterly amazing.

Just as Sapphire had settled in properly, however, Sabine’s hands were moving and she automatically helped by moving her own hands, both arms going through the straps of her dress to relieve her shoulders of their burden, before her arms simply came to rest behind his neck, drawing herself as close as possible, her body lifting just a little as she pressed herself impossibly close. She wanted him more than anything she’d ever wanted before, and while it was relatively unnerving, she no longer had the equilibrium to even consider the consequences, nor anything else. The notion that there would be a morning afterward, didn’t even register.

Sapphire barely had time to register the fact that Sabine’s lips had left her, before she was forced onto her back, his body overpowering hers so easily. Her eyelids lifted only slightly to let her blurrily register where he was and what he was doing, yet she could feel his legs in either side of her right one, his chest against her side, his breath against her neck as he spoke before diving in for a teasing kiss against that much too sensitive skin. “Mmmm,” she hummed blissfully, her breathing deep but faster than it ought to be. “Is everything a competition with you?” She then murmured in response, glancing up at him lazily as his fingers teased the neckline of her orange dress, his lips continuing their teasing path. He was such temptation wrapped into one man, it was almost unbearable.

Her one hand rested on the side of his neck, the slender fingers dancing across the skin effortlessly as though not at all connected to the other hand which had found its way into his pale hair as her eyelids went to cover the blue of her eyes once more, as though to hide the thousands of sparks of desire in their depths. Before she knew it, Sabine took her mouth again, his lips ravaging hers, deep with desire and want as his hand unzipped her dress before simply dragging it off of her, their kiss breaking seemingly for no time at all as it went over her head and ended up… somewhere. She didn’t register where, because as soon as it left her body, the kissing was back. Besides… did it really matter?

Endorphins flooded her being, clouding her mind in a way alcohol could not possibly, and control went completely out the window. It seemed her dress had been on that floor for only a brief moment before Sapphire’s hands were opening her companion’s pants, pushing him onto his back as she leaned in over him, her lips leaving his to dance down his torso, leaving a trail of teasing kisses before she pulled off his pants, looking up at him again with every bit of fiery passion setting her eyes alight. She sat there for what, to Sapphire, felt like an eternity, before she grinned and had his underwear take the same route his pants just had.


The Next Morning


Sapphire was curled up in silk sheets, her body intertwined with that of another. She was aching comfortably, her entire body relaxed but alive and every limp felt… almost limb, heavy even. She let out a blissful, idyllic sigh, snuggling in closer to whoever she was with. It didn’t matter. She felt amazing, easily able to ignore the soft pounding in her head. The pleasurable ache in her body overruling everything else. Her eyes were still closed as she felt the beginnings of awareness sneaking up on her, the soft light forcing its way through windows dancing across her eyelids. She couldn’t remember the last time her body had felt so… at ease. So safe did she feel, that she didn’t even think about the fact that she was in a different bed with a… man she couldn’t remember sleeping with. Whom she currently didn’t even know who was.

Well… until now. As that thought hit, her eyes fluttered open and she looked up slowly, her lips falling apart as he body tensed at the sight meeting her. No… no, it couldn’t be. Her sapphire eyes widened just a little as she took in the look of the man she was still curled up against. She’d broken her own rule; she’d gone to a man’s place… and then… of all people… it just had to be him, didn’t it? She drew in a deep breath as she stared at him, still too shocked and mortified to even react physically, so there she was… curled up with him, in his bed… very naked, and incredibly satisfied. She'd slept with Sabine.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nebellia de Rozeriem Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sarai Ozeiel Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Ceana Character Portrait: Lena of Anguaren Character Portrait: Balthazar Cross
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Alexander didn’t miss the brief frown touching Nebellia’s features as he told her that he would not be pleased should she harm the human. He hadn’t expected anything else; he wasn’t usually the picture of a caring man, especially not with humans, so he completely understood the thoughtful surprise. But then, Alexander had a sneaking suspicion that his dear adviser noticed more than she said. He knew she’d been able to smell Simone on him, and he knew she would remember the scent from two years ago. Nebellia didn’t often forget such things, although she may at times pretend to. However, she was also clever enough to know when to let such sides of herself show and when not to.

He watched her as she spoke in reply, having waited to continue until he had finished. Ah, she knew him so very well, didn’t she? He smiled wryly. She hadn’t needed to explain to him why she needed the blood. He trusted her with his life, and knew that she would not ask for his blood unless it served a proper purpose. She wasn’t just going to sell it. Alexander’s blood was old and powerful, and it could potentially provide a drug to enhance strength and speed in a vampire. “I see,” he told her, his eyes sparking with just a touch of amusement at the fact that she’d bothered to explain. Normally such things went unspoken between them. Once you had been with a person for a certain amount of centuries, some things didn’t need words.

Then she assured him that Simone would be safe from her, and he inclined his head slightly while looking at her still, green eyes observant. He smiled wryly and took both vial and needle when she handed it to him. He didn’t give it a single thought as he uncapped the glass container and put the needle to the tip of his index finger. As she curtsied respectfully, Alexander tipped his finger over the rim of the vial, letting a few drops of blood run into it before the small prick healed up and the bloodflow stopped. Then he licked the small remaining trickle off of his finger, put the lid on the glass vial. “What is it?” He then inquired, noticing the sudden frown back on her face.

As she spoke, explaining, he handed her back the vial, which now held three drops of royal blood. If she’d needed more, she would have handed him a knife instead of a needle, so he didn’t bother worrying about the small amount; it would do, or she would come to him at a later time, asking for more. If she could figure out anything about Simone’s blood at all, he would be plenty pleased. He wasn’t sure it could be replicated, since he was not even sure she was fully human, but nonetheless, perhaps Nebellia’s studies could clue him in on what made her so damned special. There had to be something tangible.

“I realize that,” he informed her calmly when she commented on Simone’s state. “She will not eat properly, nor will she sleep enough, which, on top of my taking her blood, has proven to be rather disadvantageous to her health,” he explained to her, a slight sigh escaping him. He was a king; he was supposed to know what to do, yet with this human… things got difficult. She was so different from the humans back home, and Alexander did not often take an interest in caring for the fragile beings. Suppose he’d forgotten to bring servants who were properly educated and trained to keep humans alive. He’d needed caretakers from back home; the vampires who ran the breeding facilities. Most other servants weren’t expected to keep the humans alive for longer periods of time. Perhaps he could not expect Sarai to do much better than she had.

When she offered to hand over her observation papers, Alexander frowned slightly as he thought. “She’s different, Nebby,” he told her, his voice letting out some of the frustration he was feeling with Simone, “normally our humans conform to our daily habits easily enough, but she barely sleeps during the day. Two weeks it’s been, yet she continues to struggle with something so simple. I was hoping her own cooking might help her at least gain some nourishment.” He gestured towards the kitchen, “hence the current situation.”

The thought brought a wry smile to his lips, as he added, with a slightly amused countenance, “apparently we cannot pride ourselves on preparing proper human meals.” Then he rubbed the back of his neck, glancing at the kitchen door before once more watching his adviser. “If your notes can help Sarai deal with Simone, then I am open to it, but I do not feel certain they can apply to her.”





Image

The second Balthazar spoke, Lena expected to at least be admonished. But she wasn’t. She blinked a couple of times when Balthazar instead noted that her curiosity was a testament to her intelligence. Her eyes were still fixed obsessively on the floor beneath her, and her mouth remained very shut, but her shaking subsided along with her fear, quietly dispersed into nothing. Of course she was still wary of Balthazar, and her fear for him in general remained in the truest form, but he didn’t intent to punish her. She wouldn’t have blamed him if he had, though. She knew what she’d done was inacceptable and disrespectful. There was more to Balthazar Cross than one would think, it seemed. She drew in a deep breath, calming her body even more as her mind settled as well.

It was like when he’d asked her if she feared him, and she thought she’d sensed some kind of… irritation that she’d told him that she was. Why? Most demons she encountered rather preferred her to fear them, and it honestly wasn’t all that difficult; she was a fearful creature and she knew it well enough as well. And he called her Miss Anguaren. She didn’t know why, but it held meaning to her, like it somehow made her feel less like a big piece of nothing in the world. She was never Miss Anguaren. She was Lena, or Dove, or Flower, or whatever else someone chose to call her. By addressing her with outward respect, Lena couldn’t help but feel like he was trying to even the playing field a little. But… that was probably just her over analyzing everything.

Suddenly the illumination in the room changed, the sound of Balthazar snapping his fingers reached her ears. Safety? The word seemed to resound in the room with Balthazar’s next question. It was a rhetorical one, yet she felt like it was an odd jab at her. Like he was accusing her of doing exactly that; hiding her own intelligence simply to feel safe, and perhaps he was right. To some degree, she did, yet on the other hand, safety wasn’t something she could ever achieve. “There is no such thing as safety, my lord,” she retorted carefully. It wasn’t a luxury extended to one such as her. Hell, it wasn’t really a luxury extended to anyone, was it? Safety. It was an illusion people chose to don because it helped them move on and think of other things… it helped them feel comfortable. But no one was safe. As such, his phrasing did indeed seem appropriate; “a sense of safety”. That was all it would ever be too.

Wait… had she just said that out loud? She really needed to watch her tongue around Balthazar. He might seem to actually want to converse with her, but she was certain that was only up until a certain point; until she unintentionally offended him. Aaand… then it came. The dismissal. She nodded her head once. Whenever she wished? Why did he have to phrase it in such a way? She shook it off, and left with a soft sigh. Her feet carried her almost soundlessly in her search for the captain, her mind racing, trying to figure out the conundrum that was Balthazar Cross. Life had been simple and easy until he’d decided to make a game of her. Yet she wasn’t sure she wanted to go back.

She found Ceana not long after, in the grand garden of the mansion. She stood in the middle of a huge, green patch, her eyes cold and determined as she watched her men sword fighting, obviously making sure they stayed in shape. Lena carefully made it outside, drawing in a shaky breath. Ceana was the only woman Lena felt as terrified around as she did men. Not because she feared that the woman would rape her, obviously, but because she was the most ruthless person she had ever in her life encountered. And she completely dominated the violent men who had raped and abused Lena so many times over. Anyone who could demand respect or fear from them, demanded even more from Lena. Yet she had a message to deliver.

So she inched closer to the slender captain, keeping her focus on the long braid running down the woman’s back. It was funny, really. For as long as Lena had been alive, Ceana had been the king’s guard’s captain, and she’d often heard of the amount of vampires and lykae she sled, and calculating way she managed to control every battle situation. That was what Lena had heard of her, so when she finally saw her, she’d been shocked to see her looking so… feminine. The long, thick hair, the makeup, the cat-like elegance with which she carried herself. It had been astounding. Except then Lena’d witnessed the captain speaking to nobles, and that female elegance fell away to reveal the savage she really was. In comparison, of course.

Lena knew the king did not approve of his captain’s lack of manners, yet her worth meant he ignored it most of the time. Her thought trail froze up when Ceana glanced her, one eyebrow raised as though to say “what do you want?” Lena drew in a deep breath, trying to quench her fear as she hurried the rest of the way over to the captain, trying not to notice the many looks she got from the guards gathering in her immediate proximity. Lena’s gaze was on the ground now, but she glanced up briefly when she heard Ceana yelling “What the hell are you doing?! Get that sword up, back straight, eyes on your target, and for the love of the Sun, get those fucking feet in position! Is this how you plan to protect your king?!” The captain narrowed her eyes on the two guards in question. One of them had become distracted with Lena’s approach and he’d let down his guard enough for his sparring partner to cut his thigh open, a deep laceration now present.

Lena’s eyes immediately went back to her feet. She couldn’t interrupt this. She didn’t dare. The guard growled under his breath, but he seemingly obeyed, because all Captain Ceana did was murmur “four hundred years old, and he still fights like a baby,” under her breath. Then her eyes once more fell on Lena, not that the little servant could see it, but she could feel it very clearly. “Yes?” She merely said, inferring that Lena was allowed to address her now. The servant had to extend a surprisingly big effort to be able to speak without stuttering through it. “The king wishes to be left alone this evening,” she said carefully, “all matters of urgency have been left in Lord Cross’ hands.” Once spoken, she bit the inside of her cheek, keeping her head down, her hands folded in front of her.

“Yes yes, I realize he’s got some human broad here – been a while, huh?” She spoke, and Lena thought she detected some odd level of amusement, but then… she was almost swimming in her own fear right now. This many guards and the captain. It really wasn’t Lena’s favorite cocktail. When she remained quiet, merely shrugging her shoulders, the captain waved a hand in the air, gesturing for Lena to leave. “Get out of here,” she added brusquely and Lena turned, speedwalking as fast as she could towards the house.

After that, Lena spent most of her evening cleaning up wherever she possibly could, and exhausted by the end of it, her body wiped from the rollercoaster of emotions today, she went to her room, bowing her head and trying to ignore the… sounds… she heard coming from the king’s chambers. They were too much for her to handle on top of everything else, so she didn’t let her mind dwell. As she opened the door, the first thing she noticed was the light. It was surprisingly illuminated, like she’d left the lights on, but different. This was like… like the light in Balthazar’s office. She tentatively made her way inside, her eyes almost immediately detecting the little blue rabbit on her night stand. She let the door slide shut behind her.

Without much thoughts, she walked around her bed and over to the little blue thing. It was almost… more beautiful than it had been in Balthazar’s office. It took her a little while before she thought to read the note, and a vague smile spread on her lips as this odd rush of joy danced through her. She had her own fire rabbit. He’d made her a fire rabbit, and right now she didn’t even want to think of why, or what he’d want in return. Right now, all she could do was feel… happy. Happy, like she did so very rarely. And it took no more than a gesture such as this. A small thing such as this… but to Lena it meant everything.


The Next Morning



Why wasn’t he up yet? Was he waiting for her to wake him? What was she supposed to do? Lena paced the hallway outside Sabine’s chambers, her little feet bringing her up the floor, then back down, her eyes fixed on the door. The sounds had stopped… very late. She’d been able to hear a surprisingly loud amount of sounds through the walls, so she’d only fallen asleep herself a couple of hours ago. She’d kept the rabbit alight, trying to focus on it and the way it worked, but it hadn’t helped. She’d still been kept up. Breaks between the sounds had been few and brief… so she’d hardly gotten to settle in, and now he was torturing her even now, leaving her to this… uncertainty.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Lena of Anguaren
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Sabine Marx

It was incredibly warm. He must have overslept and the sun was urging him out of bed. He didn't usually do that though, did he? Oversleep. He must have had a late night. Maybe he'd had to deal with something. Maybe that's why he still felt so tired. The best option now would be to go back to sleep. Sabine's eyes flicked open for a second before closing again; he was much too groggy. He wasn't usually so sticky with sleep in the morning, but individual days had their individual ways, didn't they. As he began to drift off again without a thought, he felt something move next to him, folding itself closer with a sigh.He welcomed the other form at first, accepting it as part of whatever half dream he was currently in, but it didn't last for long. After a few pensive moments he opened his eyes, blinking against the morning to stare hard at the creature curled next to him. Well, this was new. As he began to place back the events of the prior evening, Sapphire stirred again, looking up at him. He stared at her for a moment, she looked rather shocked, before he recovered.

"Good morning Miss Parker." He said cordially as he began untangling himself from her. There would be time to deal with this situation later, but now he had to deal with her. Out of the moment he was more inclined to put a bit more space between the two of them, though at the moment she still looked pleasantly disheveled and disgruntled. He slid his arm out from underneath her and sat up, stretching. Though there had been things he'd missed about sleeping with women, most of which Sapphire had quite poignantly reminded him of, having a numb arm was not one of them. And probably never would be.

After raking his hand through his hair to keep it out of his face, Sabine leaned back on his hands, turning to observe his bedmate. "Before you ask, Suß, It was your idea, not mine." He said, not without a slight trace of teasing in his still somewhat sleepy voice. Waking up late was never good for his internal clock. And if memory served him correctly, he'd stayed up quite late the night before as well. There wasn't anything wrong with that though. He had no regrets, regrets were for things in the past and what was the point on dwelling on such things anyway? Now, he really did have to seriously think about what sparked this change in behavior, but again, this was not the time for such things.

He turned his eyes from Sapphire to cast them over the room. My, they'd left a bit of a mess, hadn't they. Clothes scattered about, and the door connecting his bedroom to the front room of his quarters was still standing slightly ajar. Well they had been in a bit of a hurry, especially his impatient little blonde, so it was easy to overlook. Not that he could quite warrant being annoyed with Sapphire, especially so early in the day. He'd had his share in their little chaos. But speaking of chaos, how had Lena fared, Sabine wondered. He'd sent her off to inform the other two of his staff who mattered any at all. She was probably now dithering, wondering where he was, since he was so very off schedule. She might even be outside the door, and if he knew her as well as he believed he did she would be there. Sweet, silly little Lena. Well, there was only one way to see if she was doing her customary dithering outside the door or somewhere else.

He held up a hand, tilting his head slightly. "Excuse me for a moment, Miss Parker, I might be a bit too loud for you." He said before pausing for a second to select the proper volume. Not too loud, since he wasn't angry with his little Lena, but loud enough that she would be able to hear him. "I know you are out there, Lena, you'll have to make a decision eventually." He said, angling himself so he could see the main door through the half open door of his inner room. Anticipation was a key part of the job. He could easily play this off if she wasn't actually outside his door, then she'd have obviously run off, startled at being caught. And if she was out there, well, he knew that, obviously, because it was his job to be so perceptive.

He turned back to Sapphire then, arching his back in a lazy stretch. His muscles were complaining quietly, surprised and unused to the kind of work he'd put them through. It was a pleasant ache though. A successful ache, at the very least. He lifted an eyebrow at his companion. "I shall assume that you've got a headache, seeing as you were inebriated enough to hang off my neck for several hours last night. If you need anything for that I'm sure Lena would be most pleased to fetch it for you." he said in a more business-like manner. He wasn't going to just kick her out, that would not be polite. But he wouldn't entertain her foul mood either, especially after her eager impatience of the prior evening. She's wanted him well enough then, she should deal with it now. He was. Perhaps he should urge her to go wash up so he could dress in peace? Or something. He wasn't going to dump her off on Lena if the girl actually had been outside the door and was now sheepishly entering, the personality difference would not work very well, he thought. This was definitely something he needed to handle himself. He had gotten himself into this, after all, he could follow through just fine. Yes. Of course.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarai Ozeiel Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle
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#, as written by Korrye
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The cleaver only graced her fingertips for a split second before Sarai pulled it from her hands. Simone gasped, watching the cleaver fly through the air before it tore through the counter. Sarai shoved the blade into the stainless steel without so much as a flinch, burying the blade up to its handle in a show of power and authority.

"We are vampires Simone. Clean blood is essential. Your food is kept in a separate fridge. Now cooperate and don't be stupid, these halls are crawling with guards who would leap at the chance to bleed you dry if your blood was exposed by something like this knife,” the servant snarled at her. Simone stepped back into the counter, swallowing the growing knots in her stomach. Her fingers twitched and she flinched as Sarai moved to a small bar friend hidden under the island in the middle of the kitchen and chucked a package of chicken at her. She struggled to catch it. Simone was half tempted to let it slam into her chest and then fall onto the floor but she was never one to not defend herself. She ran her thumb over the packages label. None of it seemed real. Looking back at the knife buried into the counter top proved it to her. What struck her hair was the date on the meat. It had been bought after she had been brought here. It was from a grocery store she had been to half a dozen times in the last month. It had been put together and packed by a human of this world.

"Cook woman. I'm sure if the king knows of your threats to stab yourself with that knife you won't be here again," Sarai prodded her. Simone jumped back and nearly dropped the chicken on the floor. Her thought process was interrupted entirely. Simone didn’t know where to look. The redhead’s eyes darted to the doorway Alexander had left through. An awkward silence fell between them. Simone looked back at her servant. Sarai stared at her defiantly, gesturing her hand to the kitchen that surrounded them. The shuffling of the blue haired girl had Simone uncertain of what was to come. She watched the other vampire sign and remove the knife where Sarai had stabbed it, emotionlessly running it under hot water before turning to her. Simone looked the girl up and done, from her flawless pale skin to her strange braided hair. Sarai looked down at the floor, stepping away, shrinking back like she had been stripped of her job. It was odd to her. This new girl, had Alexander called her something? She was so different. Sarai was passionate and fiery, as irrational at times as a human. But this one, she was still as a board when she stopped moving. She seemed like another type of creature entirely and yet she and Sarai were both the same. But maybe they weren’t? Sometime seemed strange.

"Cooking?" the girl asked, holding the knife at her strangely. Simone held her breath until Brigitte set it down on the counter. “Direct,” the girl added, moving to open a drawer and done a frilly 1950s style apron. Setting the chicken down on the counter, Simone moved to wash her hands again. The warm water felt nice. With her back turned to them both she took the time to look out the window in front of her. It was so dark that she couldn’t see anything. She couldn’t hear the crickets the way she could from her apartment or at the zoo. Instead she felt like she was staring out at a brick wall. And she very well could have been but she couldn’t tell. Finishing, Simone moved to the same drawer she had seen the blue haired girl open. She found a tea towel in it to wipe her hands dry.

"Listen. Follow. Done,"
the girl said suddenly. Simone jumped at the authority and snap of her words before realizing they were directed towards Sarai whose shoulders were rapidly engulfing her neck. Simone looked at the girl, so unsure of the dynamic between them. It made so little sense why she changed so much when she spoke to her. It was clear that she saw a hierarchy existing in this setting, no different than Alexander. It was grinding and biting to deal with.

"Cooking. Now," the girl commanded. Simone swallowed and sighed, hesitantly stepping past Sarai to re-open the bar fridge. She was confronted with both a lot and a little. There were no condiments, sauces or spices which explained the overall lack of flavor in her food. There was, however, a pile of vegetables. Simone pulled out two red peppers and an onion. There was also garlic, which surprised her and appeared to debunk one of her questions about them. Then there was the blood in the main fridge. Where on earth did that come from? How many people…?

Silently, she set everything on the counter first before looking at what she had. It was a bit like an iron chef competition only she wasn’t very good at improvising. Simone loved food, but her recipe book was her best friend. For once she was craving her cramped kitchen. It was the only aspect of her apartment that was well furnished and put together.

Simone bit down on her lower lip before swallowing and looking at Sarai. “Can you get things for me? This isn’t enough,” she asked lowly. The blond looked at the things before her, seeming to assess whether Simone was trying to get rid of her. Turning to the blue haired girl she passed over the vegetables she had picked. “Wash?” she asked lowly, her voice sweet but visibly intimidated.

“What do you need?” Sarai asked.
“Can I write things down?” Simone replied.

Again Sarai shifted, thinking, before she moved through the kitchen to open another small drawer, pulling out a pen and notepad. Setting them in front of Simone hesitantly, she withdrew.

“What else is there?” Sarai asked suddenly. Simone leaned into the counter on her elbows, beginning to list out the essentials that were absent. “What do you mean?” she asked, only flitting her eyes up at her momentarily before she continued on with her elegant cursive. “Earth has a lot of human food that we don’t,” Sarai whispered lowly. She was hesitant, her voice fading entirely by the end of it. Simone’s lips parted to speak but she didn’t know what to say. That sentence said so much. In fact it was more than anything Sarai had said to her so far.

She didn’t know what to say. But she did know something. She wanted Alexander there.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nebellia de Rozeriem Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sarai Ozeiel Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Sydney Parker Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle
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He remained silent as Sydney continued her line of questioning, her expression portraying skepticism and doubt as the bartender answered her inquiries. He crossed his arms faintly as the conversation strayed to mention of two years ago but did not see a need to interfere. They had called something of a silent, temporary truce and he was certain she would not take kindly to him taking control of the situation. As the bartender began to describe an encounter the "Simone" sister had a time back, he froze delicately as he listened to the description. It matched closely with... a bit too closely to... no, there was no denying it. He went to grit his teeth but forced himself to keep his composure. It was bad enough she had seen him lose a modicum of his carefully handled calm earlier.

Sydney turned back towards him, sighing. “Don’t suppose that helps, does it?” Her gestures indicated she did not think much of this information nor attributed it to any credible nature. But he knew otherwise. That description couldn't belong to any other except the king of parasites himself. Even the mere thought was enough to make him grimace. Garreth had never enjoyed reflecting on the other leaders of the other races except when strictly necessary. But there was no other way to piece the puzzle together.

They had arrived at the scene a few weeks prior and there had been that undeniable stench marring the atmosphere. Now at this mention that that parasite had settled his eyes on Sydney's sister... Garreth released a breath he had known he had been holding as a bit of sympathy flitted into his gaze. There was no need for personal experience, it was well known what Alexander did with the humans that he brought with him. There was absolutely no way the Simone girl could've survived a feeding like that and if his suspicions were correct, then she had been taken by him and sucked dry.

His mouth set into a thin as he glanced down at Sydney and shook his head vaguely. "Not exactly the end result I had anticipated..." He murmured before raising his volume so that she could hear him. "Not by much but perhaps it would be best to discuss this outside of such a barbaric atmosphere?" He offered as he looked over towards the exit. One would think that a club like this wouldn't be so occupied given that it was a Sunday... Admittedly it wasn't nearly as wild as it could be, like in the hours, but still.

Syd wasn't exactly sure what he'd found worthwhile in the information, yet it had clearly been something of significance. Still, she wouldn't press, not here and now. The suggestion was a welcome one, and she nodded simply in reply, more than eager to be gone from the location herself. Maybe this was the kind of place that others could enjoy, but she was not among them.

He was more gentle this time with his direction, lightly pressing a few fingers to the small of her back as they made their way through the crowd. Perhaps he was getting a little soft, feeling sympathy for a human. But this had always been a touchy subject with him, so maybe this was only a natural reaction.

They were nearing the exit as a few jeers from over his shoulder caused him to pause, just momentarily. He glanced back with a frown, catching sight of a group of humans in the far corner of the club. They were all clearly drunk, a slur of words leaving their mouths in the form of crude yells and half-thought sentences. One of the men was clearly more far gone than the others and pushed one of the others on to the ground.

Garreth narrowed his eyes in disgust; that kind of behavior had always reviled him. As he turned to lead them outside, a jostle from the far corner caused his reflexes to kick in. He pushed his hand more firmly against her, jolting her out of the way as he raised his other hand to catch a beer bottle that had been thrown in their direction. He ground his teeth as he felt a bit of glass dig into his palm but ignored it, loosening his grip so that the remnants of the now crushed bottle fell to the ground. He ignored the stares from the onlookers and just focused on grabbing Sydney's arm and pulling her out of the club behind him.

As soon as they got outside, he looked down at his palm to get a better gauge of the injury in better lighting. It wasn't as bad as it looked, though it still stung like all hell. The glass had pierced through the fabric of his gloves and he went to take out a few shards casually, halting as he felt Sydney's stare. He released a short laugh and shrugged, making to move his hand into his pocket. "It's nothing, just a flesh wound." He remarked, walking over towards the driver's side of the car. In truth, it really was nothing--it was bound to heal pretty quickly anyway. The injury was just proof of just how lacking of intelligence most humans were anyway.



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Nebellia raised her eyebrows ever so slightly, hiding them behind her mildly messy bangs. She took the vial delicately with pursed lips as she listened to Alexander. There was a hitch in his voice, one that she was unaccustomed to hearing. He was and always had been the calm one--easily handling his position of power with ease and comfort. Certainly kingship wasn't a leisurely stroll and it could have its taxing moments but she had yet to see him become troubled by it. Yet, to see him like this... to hear the unfamiliar tone in his voice. Frustration, yes, that is what that tone of voice indicated. To be displaying this to her... It was a rare state indeed.

She was quick to cast glances around the hallways to ensure there were no one around before raising a few fingers and cautiously brushing them against his cheek. Just as her touch upon his hand, this fleeting moment was precisely that. She kept it brief and lowered her fingers almost instantly afterwards as a wry smile worked itself on to his lips. "Perhaps," She began as she caught him looking towards the kitchen doors. "A different approach is in order," She said lightly, dropping the vial she had been holding into her lab coat pocket.

"If she is indeed different as you say, then all that needs be done is an alteration of tactic." She let a warm smile flit across her face as she regarded him fondly. Alexander had more of a heart than others would credit him for but then again, to be King, one was not necessarily known for how tender they could feel. "If she does not conform, I would surmise it is because she has yet to feel comfortable in her atmosphere. She does not seem to be one you want to rule by fear, if you'll forgive the forwardness of my statement," She paused, bowing her head slightly before continuing.

"I assured you she would come to no harm under my watch so you need only request it and I will offer assistance if needs be. Besides," She let a devious tint into her smile as she winked playfully at him. "I do ever so enjoy new observational notes." She mused, a bit of her melodic pitches returning to her voice. Nebellia could never resist the excitement that research provided her and this was going to be a most riviting point of interest. She would keep her promise to him--she would not lay a finger on the human girl. But this was a curious case and she wasn't about to miss out on a chance to discover new information.

Admittedly, she had never had a chance to observe a human... naturally. The test subjects that she was privy to she had either taken herself or were given to her. And those humans were almost always broken or had given up fighting back, at the very least. So to see someone that was still so energetic... Ohh, it sent chills up her spine. The things she could learn! And possibly apply to later experiments...

She reigned her thoughts in--now wasn't the time to let herself wander to her laboratory hours...~ She curtsied once more before gesturing towards the kitchen with a bit of a dramatic flare. She didn't like to see Alexander troubled but was usually good at increasing his mood, even by a little bit. "Shall we check on her? By the sounds of things, Bree Bear and that other servant girl appear to be fumbling around... and not in a productive manner~"

She took a few steps back over towards the door, pushing it open just slightly with a few petite digits. She knew better than to enter before him and merely kept the option open for him if he chose to take it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Ion
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Syd was not the type of woman that generally appreciated being taken anywhere, but she also fancied herself pretty good at discerning the difference between such an act being undertaken for good reasons or poor ones, and for the moment, she was just glad that she wasn't alone here at the moment, as the crowd seemed to be growing dense and raucous by the second. It smelled like alcohol and sweat mostly, with a faint lace of strong, feminine perfume floating over the rest, which was naturally just making things that much worse. She'd always felt a bit unclean in clubs, but then, that was probably half the reason to be in one, wasn't it? Probably a line of reasoning she'd never quite understand.

She was far too surprised to resist as she was suddenly shoved to one side, slightly behind Garreth, who moved one arm in some gesture she could not see. Whatever it was, it clearly prompted a swifter exit from the building, and she went along with his momentum, inhaling a blessedly-clean lungful of air upon emerging outside. It was also then, however, that she noticed a few drops of something dark and reflective fall onto the pavement. Blood?

Tracing the trajectory of the stuff with her eyes, she was surprised to notice that it was issuing from her companion's hand, though he hardly seemed to care about this fact. Surely he had to know, but she wondered what he'd done in there, that he was now bleeding from a cut in his hand? He appeared indeed very cavalier about the situation, simply pulling off his glove and laughing off the insignificance of it. She frowned, though, somewhat unconvinced. Not really pausing to think about it, she stepped around the car so that she was in front of him and wrapped her fingers about his wrist, turning the palm up and lifting it, laying the opposite of her own hands against the back of the injured one. Peering at the injury, she bit her lip and shook her head. "We should get you to the ER. This could get infected." It wasn't that she thought the wound itself was all that awful, but it looked jagged, and she didn't even want to consider how many possibly-infectious bacteria were in that place. "Either way, you shouldn't be driving with this."

He tensed as he felt her fingers against his wrist and quickly pulled his hand out of her grip. He had never liked uninvited touch and that wasn't about to change, even if he felt sympathetic towards her circumstances. He still managed a casual smile as he rolled his eyes at her, brushing off her words. "It's menial and it'll heal soon enough. I'm well enough to drive."

Syd huffed softly in frustration, but it was of an entirely different kind than that of earlier in the evening. She felt a little responsible for whatever had caused this cut, as she wasn't stupid and had deduced fairly quickly that it was connected to her suddenly not being in the same place she'd been before back in the bar. What was more, it really could get infected, and it didn't matter how strong or healthy you were, that was just bad news.

Even so, it wasn't like she was mad at him, not for this anyway, and though she felt she really had to protest, she did go about it much more gently this time. "I'm sure it will," she said honestly, "but if it heals over without being properly cleaned, that would be far from the worst of it." Surely he knew that. ...Maybe she'd been overreacting when she suggested the emergency room, but it wasn't like there were any doctor's offices open on a Sunday night, for goodness's sake. Right, maybe she should try something else.

"Look, if nothing else, at least let me clean and dress it for you? It would be at least inconvenient to bleed all over the place, considering..." she eyed the expensive car. "And driving with one hand is dangerous. If you really need to get somewhere, just let me drive to my apartment and grab the bandages so you aren't staining your leather." She managed a small smile, attempting for what she assumed was the sake of their cooperation to keep things as lighthearted as possible, even though she felt anything but.

The way she was smiling put him ill at ease. He couldn't quite place it but there was something almost disarming in seeing her lips upturned for once. He couldn't quite recall a time when she had actually smiled in his presence, to be frank. He pinched the bridge of his nose with his uninjured hand before shaking his head in the most mild form of agreement. "Since you seem to be so set on the idea of taking care of the wound, Miss Parker, who am I to deny a woman her wishes?" He shrugged and walked over to the passenger side of the car, letting himself in and dropping the keys on to the driver's seat. He wasn't quite in the mood to argue with her right now so he'd concede... for the moment.

Well, that was... odd. She hadn't expected agreement at this early stage in the argument, such as it was, but that didn't mean she was going to waste the opportunity. That said... she was kind of nervous about driving a car that probably cost more than a year's salary for her. Gingerly clambering into the drivers' seat, she refrained from adjusting anything on the rationale that some people became incredibly irritated by that, and she didn't want to take the risk that he was one of them. Still, he was almost half a foot taller than even her considerable height, which meant she really had to stretch her legs to hit the gas and brake pedals. Also, it was a manual transmission, and suddenly, she was glad for those lessons she'd gotten from a friend in college on how to drive one of those, else she would have looked quite the fool indeed.

Concentrating on the road (she really didn't want him to have reason to think she was one of those women drivers), she didn't say much if anything as she directed the too-expensive vehicle to her apartment, which just so happened to be lodged above a small independent bookstore. Where else would she live, really? Parking behind the building to keep the car off the street and away from more potential scratches and fender-benders, she killed the ignition and got out, leading her slightly-grudging passenger up the narrow staircase.

The apartment itself was tastefully if not expensively furnished, the red brick walls without modification save the occasional piece of art here or there, to say nothing of the enormous bookshelves on the far wall, flanking either side of the fireplace at a safe distance. She owned no television, though the living room did contain a small desk with a single chair, at which was placed a sleek laptop computer. "Make yourself at home," she offered, with just a smidge of unease. Garreth Frost was a smart man; he'd probably learn a lot about her just from seeing this room. Maybe a little too much. She wasn't sure she was entirely comfortable with that. Also, given the car, he was probably also a wealthy one, and while not exactly poor, she was still working off some student loans, which likely showed. Undergrad had come with scholarships, but law school rarely did, and Harvard wasn't cheap.

"I'll be right back." Passing through her bedroom, she entered the adjoining bathroom and grabbed the first-aid kit from her medicine cabinet, carrying it back out and taking a seat on the tan sofa. Tennyson, fluffy thing that he was, was draped lazily over an armchair, watching her houseguest with wary green cat-eyes. Flipping the lid of the first-aid it open, she moved a couple items aside until she located the gauze and disinfectant. "If I could please have your hand?" She hadn't missed the way he jerked it away last time; perhaps he didn't like to be touched? This was awkward enough without making things even more uncomfortable.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nebellia de Rozeriem Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sarai Ozeiel Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Ceana Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle Character Portrait: Lena of Anguaren
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#, as written by Mela
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He was staring at her. Green eyes were on her, seeming as surprised as she felt, but only for a brief moment before they lit with realization, like memories of the night before came back to him just then. Gods, right now she really wished that would happen to her as well, but she was realistic enough to know that all she would get was a few flashes of memory, most likely the most embarrassing ones. But she didn’t care about that. She knew the night before had been good for her; it had helped her forget mostly about Simone, and now here she was, and her redheaded sister was among the very first things on her mind, even though she was lying naked in a man’s bed.

The second Sabine spoke, it dawned on Sapphire that she was still nuzzled against his chest, her one leg nestled in between his, skin touching skin. Everything suddenly felt very, very real. Especially as he then moved. That was exactly the push Sapphire needed to actually react, and she scooted as far away from him as possible as she stared, still not entirely sure what to think about the fact that she’d just slept with a man who’d previously told her he disliked being touched. He sat up, stretching casually, but as the sheets fell off of his entire upper body, she couldn’t help letting her eyes wander. It was strange; from the looks of him with clothes on, you wouldn’t imagine him to be this muscular. He had a slight, although tall, frame, but he was all muscles. It was oddly appealing to her. Even as he stretched, there was a certain elegant, powerful touch to his movements.

“Hi…” she trailed dumbly, inwardly cursing her own lack of articulation as she soon realized she was still way too focused on his chest, and her eyes shot up almost instantly, almost too suddenly, trying to hide the fact that she was completely fascinated with him. She almost breathed a sigh of relief when he merely turned and informed her it had been her own idea… this entire thing. She raised an eyebrow, the statement a little funny to her. She finally managed to sit up herself, dragging the sheets up with her to cover her more womanly parts, regaining the cool indifference she usually displayed after drunken one-night stands. A wry smile flittered across her face.

“Yeah, it usually is.” She noted drily, before continuing, “I’m just surprised you went along with it. Aren’t you supposed to dislike being touched?” Her question held a trace of the same teasing amusement his had just before. “To my knowledge, sex sort of involves touching. A lot of it.” While Sabine turned to inspect the room with his gaze, Sapphire took a moment to look around as well, and as she did, bits of memory began invading her previously blissfully vacant mind. His jealousy, them kissing, him carrying her home, then mere flashes of glistening skin and moans of pleasure. The feelings then followed. Those were the worst. There were no pictures connected to them, but she had memories of feeling particular things. Intense pleasure for one, heat… attraction. She remembered her own feelings of urgency, and she practically heard him teasing her.

She wanted to remember all of it. She wanted to remember every little bit of pleasure and passion shared between them, but she didn’t, and she couldn’t. That was the thing about getting drunk out of her mind, she supposed, but she’d never actually wanted to remember as much as she did right now. Her headache had been almost forgotten, forced into the back of her mind while it was much too busy doing other things. But it came back as soon as he spoke up once more. “Hmm?” She hummed. He’d said something about being loud. She stared at him for a moment before she shook her head only a little, wincing at the pain racing through it by even this slight movement, and she sighed, right hand coming up to rub her one temple, closing her eyes.

Then he raised his voice, apparently addressing someone not in the room, and the second the volume of it hit her, she took one of the pillows and folded it behind her head, covering her ears enough to dull the sound as she glared at him. What the hell was the point of that? “That was entirely unnecessary,” she grumbled tetchily once he was done, dropping the pillow. He’d just made her list. Sapphire hated waking up. She hated waking up with a headache even more. And he’d just made it worse. Bastard.

When he spoke to her, Sapphire raised an eyebrow, irritated with him for no reason she could really discern. Well, save for the fact that he’d raised his voice much too close to her. The rest of her body was still aching so very pleasantly, and the passion from last night still played memory puzzle inside her mind. But that didn’t keep her from wanting to rip his head off, so she ended up narrowing her eye at him. “I’m fine,” she almost sneered as she got up in all her naked glory, not caring one bit as she stalked through the door connecting bedroom and bathroom. Well, she assumed it was the bathroom. Fortunately she was right. It would’ve been really awkward if it was the closet. She slammed the wooden hindrance behind her and took a deep breath, leaning against it as her eyes closed.

She heard someone else in the bedroom, but she couldn’t make herself care. Maybe she just needed coffee. Yes, she needed coffee. She’d get some on her way the hell out of there. She just… needed to wash some of the… not too sanitary remnants from the previous night, off of her. She spotted a grand shower stall quickly enough and slipped in there. She put her hand under the water, waiting for it to heat, and as she stepped into the warm, cascading drops of heaven, her eyelids fell shut and she leaned her head back, drowning out everything else.





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Voices. She heard voices. Actual voices speaking. Not moaning, not groaning, not panting. Just talking. Lena breathed a soft sigh of relief. She’d feared they’d pick up right where they’d left off this morning, but fortunately things seemed to have calmed down quite a bit. She merely hoped she’d be able to sleep today, because it was not even the middle of the day, and she was so tired. She worked all day every day, and by the time she usually went to bed, she was nearing fatigue, so she needed that recharge she got from her seven hours of sleep every night. She’d never gone without it. Until today. But she supposed she was merely lucky that she was this young.

She remembered some of the others talking of times when the king would take women to his bed quite often. Perhaps his dry streak was over and she’d better get used to noises at night. If that was the case, she felt she might have to move to another room, no matter how unsafe it was for her to dare outside the king’s wing, especially to do something as vulnerable as sleep. She might as well step into the guards’ wing and shout “hey boys, I’m right here, come and get me!” Lena stepped closer to the door connecting the king’s more private quarters to the hallway of his personal wing. She put one dainty hand on the wooden door, sighing.

She wasn’t sure whether she dared simply enter. This situation was entirely too unusual and she didn’t like it. Then, however, blessedly, Sabine’s voice cut through clearly. Granted, Lena jumped in shock at the king’s words, but it was a lovely thing nevertheless. He might as well have told her she was allowed to enter. She smiled softly, carefully and quietly opening the door. He knew her quite well, didn’t he? It was funny, she hadn’t thought much of it, but he really did notice things about her. She was so very fortunate to have him for a master. Many demons were not quite as attentive.

Lena slowly shut the door behind her, glancing towards the door to Sabine’s bedroom, which was standing slightly ajar. The blonde female from the night before was in his bed with him. Lena blinked a couple of times, taking in the messy look of them both, and the fact that they both appeared to be naked beneath the covers. The mere thought brought a soft pink to her cheeks as she began chewing on the inside of her right one, inching closer to them. She didn’t feel comfortable with this blonde human. Not even a little. Lena didn’t go out a lot, which meant she hardly ever even interacted with humans. She had no honest idea how to carry herself. She was just… going off of what she read in books, but that would only get her so far.

When she heard the king mention her name, Lena straightened and looked at the both of them immediately. However, the human sneered at his majesty and then got up naked, and slammed the bathroom door shut behind her. Lena stared, wide-eyed. No one talked to the king that way. Not even the captain, and that was saying something. The small Asian Halfling found herself frozen in shock. How could she talk to Sabine like that? Why did he allow her to? She shut her mouth the second she realized she’d been gaping. Instead, she shook her head and skipped quickly into the king’s bedroom, curtsying respectfully, her eyes on the floor. Then the water turned on in the bathroom. She was really glad she could address Sabine appropriately right now.

Water running would make the human unable to hear the conversation in the bedroom. “Your majesty,” she murmured in greeting, completely and utterly flustered at the situation. The pink in her cheeks only intensified as she looked around the room. Such a terrible mess. Lena’s fingers were practically itching to clean up the room. Of course, she had no honest clue how to deal with the human’s clothes. Should she wash it? Or merely fold it properly and leave it for her when she returned from what Lena assumed to be a bath? She could only hope Sabine would give her some order or another. That, or she’d simply ask him.





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When Nebellia’s fingers daintily brushed across his cheek, Alexander sighed, looking down at her. She was among the few people he would ever let himself seem even a little vulnerable around. Actually, she was the only person. To everyone else he was a leader; a king, or a father. To everyone else, he was supposed to have everything figured out, and he usually did, but Simone was in a category all to herself. Which meant he was left with a bit of frustration. He could tell his dear friend and adviser did not particularly like seeing him this way, mostly because he knew she cared for him. He was grateful of her presence. Sometimes he wondered to himself how he had fared before she had come to work for him. It was rather nice to have someone to talk to at times.

She was also the only person he would allow to touch him this way. When the contact ended, he glanced at the kitchen, but she drew back his attention when she began speaking of a different approach. He frowned slightly in thought as he listened to her suggestions. Make her feel comfortable? A human? Had he not been plenty kind to her already? Granted, he still made it very clear that she had reason to fear him, but… it seemed as though she wanted his company sometimes. And then she didn’t. Such a confusing human. Nebby was right of course. Simone did not respond well to fear, but even when he treated her nicely, she had this tendency to throw every kindness back in his face. He gave her a nice room; she trashed it, he allowed her into the kitchen; she started playing with knives (yes, he’d heard that), he let her out into the garden; she searched for ways to escape.

And he couldn’t remove the guards, nor the supervising servant, because he didn’t trust her not to run. He didn’t know what to do differently. When she paused, bowing her head, Alexander let a soft sigh escape him. “I know,” he told her calmly, surprisingly not hostile. It was merely an admission, laced with just a sliver of despondence. When she then offered her assistance, Alexander cast a dry smile in her direction. “You may observe her, but do not make her feel like one of your lab humans. I do not expect she would take kindly to such, and she is plenty difficult as it is.” He told her, only a slight tint of amusement escaping with his words.

At Nebbs’ suggestions of checking in on Simone and the servant girls, Alexander nodded only once. Before she entered however, he stopped beside her. When she displeased him, he punished her, but likewise, when she pleased him, he would reward her. It wasn’t unlike how you would deal with a child… or a dog. But it worked. The system. Not only on Nebby, but everyone else as well. It set clear boundaries. As such, Alexander inclined his head slight in her direction before he quietly added. “Ah, we’ve had a few additions to the human wing of the house, my dear. You may choose one.” With that, he was of course giving her a new test subject. He knew that during her punishment, all of the ones she had gotten without allowance had, well, started rotting a bit too much, so she had nothing to play with. He was also telling her that he did not need her assistance right now. He would call for her when he did. For now, he would like to be alone with Simone.

Then Alexander pushed the door the rest of the way open and entered the kitchen, keen eyes scanning the place only briefly before he approached Simone She was writing on a notepad. A shopping list, it seemed. He gently placed a hand on the small of her back as he stationed himself beside her, on the opposite side from Sarai as he looked at the list of groceries over her shoulder. Nebbs thought kindness would work better than fear, then he would be on his best behavior. Hell, in the end maybe she’d even stop trying to escape. That would certainly make things easily. He tilted his head slightly, watching the writing. “This should be procured easily enough,” he told her gently, before he glanced at Sarai. “You may bring one of the earth humans. A female, preferably. That should help you find everything.” Mostly he just didn’t want her to take forever to get it. A human would know what all of these things were. Alexander sure didn’t.

He then directed a brief nod in Brigitte’s direction, telling her quietly that she was to leave him. She had some cleaning to do anyways.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nebellia de Rozeriem Character Portrait: Sarai Ozeiel Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle
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#, as written by Korrye
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The fact that the door opened slightly immediately caught Simone’s attention. She looked away from Sarai who stared blankly at her, unsure of why her comments had suddenly shut up the red head. Nebellia’s fingers were in view and she heard the hushed hum of her voice and Alexander’s. For a moment she tried to pay attention to it. Sarai didn’t let her, however, as the servant tapped her hand on the counter towards the list. Simone gripped the pen in her hand tighter, inhaling deeply as she continued to write from memory the things she wanted to make or would need. She didn’t know how long she would be here. Or alive. But she was starving and now that her stomach was awake to the possibility of eating her own cooking, she was keen to have as much accessible to her as possible. If only he would let her go to the store herself.

Chicken. Beef. Veal. Tomatoes. Broccoli. Cauliflower. Red bell peppers. Yellow ones too. Enough spices to buy a mansion in the 16th century. The list went on. Simone drew her hand down the names, tossing a few snacks on at the bottom. She was engrossed in it when she suddenly felt him behind her. Simone tensed, dropping her pen when Alexander slid a hand over her lower back. A chill ran up her spine and she edge away from him initially, leaning closer into the counter, her cheeks flushing violently. Biting on her lower lip, she glanced back up at Sarai and Brigitte.

“This should be procured easily enough,” Alexander announced. Well duh, she wanted to counter. Everything she wanted could be found in any grocery store. She looked over her shoulder at him, trying to figure out what had changed because something was telling her that his demeanor was different. To a degree he seemed to have calmed down a bit. The weight of his arm on her was not lost on her. It was comforting. She had wanted him back in the room hadn’t she? And here he was. And his presence was soothing. In that moment Simone couldn’t help but not want to want him.

“You may bring one of the earth humans. A female, preferably. That should help you find everything,” Alexander told Sarai. Simone raised an eyebrow, watching as the blond servant nodded, taking the list from Simone and glancing at it, her lips silently mouthing the words like they were entirely foreign to her. Seriously. Who hasn’t heard of broccoli? But it was increasingly clear. Sarai’s words. And now Alexander’s. They weren’t from here and by here she meant her planet. Earth human… She felt her heart seize in her chest at the clear recognition of what that meant. The fact that he was blatantly sexist she ignored. A question for another time maybe...

Sarai glanced at the list again in her hand before taking her leave after Nebellia, not so much as looking back. When the girl hit the door she tore away with vampiric speed to the human wing of the mansion, the air snapping with her departure.

Simone watched Alexander nod away at the blue haired servant. She pursed her lips, knitting her hands together as she continued to lean into the island, propped up on her elbows. It wasn’t until they were alone that she glanced at him directly. “You’re not from here,” she whispered lowly, the conclusion still startling to her. “Your blood slaves aren’t from here. Why is Sarai different than the other girl? Why does she have a temper? How do you even become what you are?” The questions suddenly spewed forth, and she didn’t know why she was finally asking them. It wasn’t that she hadn’t tried to understand from Sarai, but the girl had never been forthcoming. It was scaring her more to realize that he was alien to her world. “Where then?” she wondered aloud. “Where are you from?” Her concern was visible on her face. This was not pure curiosity. It was worry. It was from another planet, or something…he would undeniably leave here at some point wouldn’t he?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker
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Sabine Marx

For a few moments she was struck dumb, it seemed. She moved herself backwards, away, but still she stared. She made a mumbled response to his greeting, likely still internally collecting herself. As she sat up, holding the edge of the sheets to her chest, he could see her buzz to life. Just took her a few minutes, did it? That little smile told him she was back to regular spirits, no matter how surprised she was. He made a faint sound in agreement. "You didn't give me much choice in the matter," He said, the teasing bite of his words lost as his mind drifted off to other things as the state of the room.

She apparently hadn't been paying much attention to him, if that glare said anything at all. Other wise she would have been more prepared. Ah, it was her fault though. He had warned her after all. And he did have to deal with Lena. The longer he kept the little servant the more she'd work herself up, and that wasn't good for her, the little bird. It seemed that he'd set her off though, as she rose with a snark and stalked off and slammed the bathroom door behind her. Sabine smirked slightly as he watched her go. Oh, someone was in a downright nasty mood this morning. At least they were back to normal dynamics. He didn't have to worry about arguing with her, that was harmless. But really, he couldn't have this other...misconduct. It was a problem.

He heard Sapphire open the tap,and he turned his gaze to Lena, who was standing, a full flush smeared across her face, Her eyes were a bit wide as well. Her mouth wasn't hanging open this time though; a good thing. That really was a bad habit of hers, wasn't it. They'd correct that problem later. He examined her as her eyes roved the room. She seemed near as flustered as Sapphire had been in the moments after she woke up. For different reasons though. There were tinges of distress in the servant as well. Huh. Had those always been there, or was she just working herself up into a right state now? No matter.

He made a vague gesture towards the extent of the mess of discarded articles of clothing as he decided just what to do with Sapphire's orange dress and the rest of her things. Might as well clean them up. He doubted that he'd receive any gratitude from her, but then again, that really was an unrealistic thought. "You may wash Miss Parker's clothing as well, Lena." He said, not elaborating. Honestly, that wasn't one of his larger problems to deal with at the moment, it would be best just to get the mess off the floor. And if she found it absolutely necessary to dress after she emerged from the bathroom, Lena could just go fetch something of her size for her to wear temporarily. No big deal.

Sabine wasn't in the best state, but there was no current opportunity to wash up. He could push it off until later anyway. It wasn't like he was entertaining guests or anything. He just needed some air. Try to salvage some of his morning routine. It had already been shattered to pieces, but it was worth the effort, wasn't it? He dressed loosely, not even bothering to button the shirt up past the third button, and pushed the drapes away from the balcony door so he could stand outside. The sun was mid-morning warm and inviting. Calming. Sabine wrapped his fingers around the railing of the little alcove-like balcony and closed his eyes, tilting his chin up slightly.

Really, everything would turn out fine. This was merely a little hiccup. A nice hiccup,there was nothing wrong with it, but it disturbed the household. Or at least, it made Lena exceedingly flustered, and that was really the only piece of the servant sector he really paid much attention to. Sapphire was just a bit of fun, that was all. A little game. Just a tiny bit of time among the years and years of his life. He just needed to retain his balance. He could think everything over later, he just needed to remain balanced for now. Not that he could become truly angry at Sapphire, but anger in general wasn't a good attribute to even entertain, much less harbor in such quantities. especially where there was no evident direction to the anger. He'd dealt with these things for a long time now, he could handle them now. For now he could put them out of his mind. Everything but the current moment. Then everything would be fine, yes.

Standing completely still, the sun on his face, helped Sabine organize his thoughts immensely. And it was pleasant; familiar. He was a creature of habit, after all. And the warmth was crisp, not sticky. It was cleansing of its own right.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nebellia de Rozeriem Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes Character Portrait: Brigitte Lebelle
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#, as written by Spica
Brigitte Lebelle

No words of thanks or scolding. No words at all. Just a simple nod of the head and then His Highness was back to talking with his human. These things did not bother Brigitte however. All it meant was that she had done a sufficient enough job and was now dismissed to work on her other duties. The duties that had been piling up while she had been babysitting Nebellia.
The thought made her almost cringe...almost.

Brigitte turned around on her heel and left the kitchen, the door swinging shut soundlessly. She moved along the hallway, her steps being quieted by the the plush carpet beneath her feet. Turning this way then that she finally reached her destination. It was a plain oak wood door. Said door was slightly taller than her with a shining brass knob. Further down the hall were similar doors. This was the servants quarters, with Brigitte's door being the closest to the main part of the mansion, enabling her to respond to His Highness's beckons faster. She turned the knob and pushed the door in gently. Normally she would have just pushed it in and given no thought to whether she was gentle or not but after spending so much time in only the company of a door...her respect for the inanimate object was effecting her more than one would think. Inside the room was as clean and cold cut as it's owner. Every surface was polished and devoid of personality. Brigitte leaned over the small desk that sat next to the single window of the room and reached inside its top drawer to pull out a black leather bound book. Opening it she skimmed her thin finger down the crisp pages, her lips moving as she read.

In the past two weeks she had missed out on a quite a few things she was supposed to do. Granted those tasks had probably already been carried out by the other servants who would have known of the situation however it was important she go and check over them. Brigitte tapped her nail against the first thing on the list.

Disposal of leftovers.

Before placing the book back in the desk Brigitte committed her other chores to mind, that way she would not have to return and waste time. Although she wanted to get to checking on these immediately there was one other pressing matter.
She hadn't showered in two weeks. As a vampire sweat wasn't a problem for her and she had not been involved in any sort of activity that could have made her dirty however it was still an issue.

Quickly she stripped down, showered, and dressed. Satisfied with herself Brigitte left her room, again gently handling the door. As she walked her hands effortlessly pulled her blue locks into a french braid. It was a bit of a habit of hers, to braid her hair while walking. She had no need for a mirror and her hair rarely tangled. It just made more sense to fix her hair while walking instead of wasting time in her room doing it. Wrapping a hair tie around the flawless braid she let it fall against her back and picked up her pace.

Down this hall. To the left. Left again. Down two flights of stairs. Unlock this door.

The smell was the first thing that hit her. There were perhaps only two other smells which Brigitte could identify as easily as this one. The first was His Highness's and the second, Nebellia's. Unlike those two scents however, Brigitte did not find any pleasure in this one. Rotting meat. Burnt hair. Urine. Blood. This was where the humans who had no more use were thrown. None of them were alive when placed in here but the fact remained that it was a room full of corpses. Each week the bodies were to be shoved down the large hole in the back of the room where they would then be incinerated. Although there were only a few corpses in the room right now, the stench of it's previous occupants forever haunted the air in the room. It was a displeasing smell yet Brigitte did not scrunch up her nose nor turn away from it and gag. She grabbed the shovel like tool that lay by the door and began moving the few bodies towards the hole. This weeks disposal had already happened, so the most she could do for now was move the bodies closer so things stayed slightly more organized.

After a few more shoves here and there Brigitte was done. She put the shovel back in it's original place and left the room.
Lock the door. Up two flights of stairs. To the right.....

Setting

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

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A large part of him didn't wish to comply. The brush of her fingers against his had caused him more than enough discomfort earlier. But the way she was holding out those items--was she waiting for him to make some gesture of agreement? He slowly raised one eyebrow at her but this woman once again was demonstrating that needless stubbornness. He grew bored of their staring match after a few more seconds passed and shrugged his shoulders in unwilling consent. Sometimes, it was even too late for Garreth to want to intentionally... wait no, what was he thinking. It was never too late for anything--he was just being lazy.

He held out his hand for her, raising his eyebrow just a bit more. "Well go on, we haven't got all night to awkwardly stare into one another's eyes and comment about how we can see the stars reflected in them."

"You often spend nights that way, do you?" she replied with false curiosity, not really sure where that particular phrase had come from. It sounded like something out of a really tawdry romance novel. Not that she read those. Right.

Shaking her head to herself, she dampened the gauze with alcohol and took his wrist. "This might sting a li--" she cut herself off mid-sentence when she got a good look at his palm. Had she seen that wrong the first time? There was a line there, a bit jagged, but apparently mostly closed over. Syd's brows drew together in confusion. The length of the wound at least indicated that it should be bleeding far more than it apparently was, and she could have sworn that it was deep enough to drip onto the pavement.

She thought about inquiring, but realized she'd probably sound like an idiot, so she shrugged internally and cleaned up what remained of the crusted blood, wrapping the hand with a couple layers of bandages just to be sure. "There," she pronounced, letting go immediately, "all finished."

Garreth flashed her a quick (albeit devious) smile as he tucked his hand back into his pocket. He could feel the bloodied glove he had put in there earlier--well, at least she wasn't that type of girl who felt the need to explore over every inch. She may be over-analytical but sometimes... she came across as a dumb bimbo. At least her hair wasn't an annoying color. Although, he should give her a small amount of credit. She had managed to catch on to something that the human authorities hadn't.

"Why thank you madame. The love from your touch has clearly healed me and," He paused, nope, this was just too difficult to carry on with. Even for him. He chuckled under his breath as he caught sight of her expression--always so amusing, this one. He leaned back slightly into the back of the couch, allowing himself to relax.

Syd rolled her eyes, but a trickle of amusement managed to filter through all the same. "Well, I'm hardly surprised. I am quite magical," she deadpanned. Stowing the supplies she'd used back in the kit, she closed and latched it, shooting him a glance over her shoulder. "Have you eaten, or...?" She wasn't the world's best cook, but there was probably something edible in the fridge.

Probably.

He tilted his head before leaning forwards, straightening up automatically as soon as the words left her lips. "Now that you mention it..." He casually looked around the apartment, disregarding the prototypical respect given to someone in their own home as he located her fridge. Without waiting for her to prompt him or make any offers, he walked over to the fridge.

... Why was the handle so low? She couldn't have been that short, could she? Come to think of it, he hadn't been paying that much attention to their height difference--maybe she was a midget and he just had no clue. Hm.... something to think about later after he officially "raided her fridge".

He opened the door, expecting to be greeted by the same sight he was back at his own kitchen, but what met his eyes was just... .... were those pickles? He leaned in little closer, getting more confused by the second. Why was the top shelf just littered with jars of pickles? She had all these weird varieties too... He looked on the shelf below that, a white container catching his eye. He reached in to grab it, propping open the lid and finding a half-finished portion of noodles. Plain. Noodles. What was wrong with this woman?

He shot a look over his shoulder to the kitchen counter--nope, no pill bottle. He returned his attentions back to the sad contents of her fridge. The bottom shelf looked a little more promising but he was soon disappointed upon closer observation. That pizza didn't look right... Was that... broccoli? On a pizza?! And... asparagus? What?! Was that even a topping? To the right of that was a side helping of... Help him higher deities, eggplant and salad. This girl was a vegetarian. Sick.

He looked back at her with an expression of disgust. "What the hell do you call this?" He said, gesturing to the fridge.

"What?" she asked curiously, padding over to the appliance and glancing in over his shoulder. Well, there was the pizza from last night, and the salad she'd made this afternoon... she was pretty sure those noodles were leftover from a week ago... maybe she should throw them away. But hang on... what on earth were all these jars on her top shelf?

"...I don't even like pickles," she protested faintly. She must have accidentally grabbed a bunch when she went grocery shopping a while ago. With everything that had been going on, the more mundane details of her life were conducted pretty much entirely on autopilot. Evidently, that wasn't working out too well for her.

"Um," she replied to the question, "I suppose... I call it takeout night?"

He stared at her blankly, seriously questioning her mental capacity. Who didn't put meat in their fridge? She was missing at least five main food groups: beef, chicken, pork, fish... and marinade.

"And pray tell, what restaurants are open at one in the morning?" And if she said something like McDonald's, he would have to give up on her having any sembalance of intelligence whatsoever.

"Well, there is the Szechuan place around the corner... most of it's pretty good. About as authentic as you get in California?" It sounded more like a question than an answer, but how was she supposed to know that she'd ever be entertaining a guest after midnight? It wasn't exactly a normal occurrence for her. In fact, the number of times this had happened was until now exactly zero. It was like she'd been unceremoniously tossed into the Twilight Zone or something.

Tch, at least she was offering him spicy food. It was far less offensive than what she had presented to him in the fridge. That wasn't even a fridge and he would be disregarding it from this moment onwards. "Fine," He said as he rolled his eyes, flopping down on to the couch in an almost childish manner. How did humans do things like this? If he didn't like something, there would always be several other options for him to indulge in. Granted, things hadn't always been like that but he had gotten used to pretty much being waited on. This woman was a horrible hostess. And her couch smelled like a cat. Yick.

Somehow, she'd missed the fact that he was capable of acting like a very large child. Well, no longer would she be spared the knowledge, apparently, and at the needlessly-sullen tone he adopted, she forced herself to swallow her laughter. Seriously? The situation was too surreal for logic; she might as well just go along with it. But really, what was so offensive about her fridge? She opened it back up and glanced inside, wrinkling her nose faintly at the pickle-shelf, and then it dawned on her.

Oh, right. She was a vegetarian, and that wasn't exactly the norm. But was it really as simple as that? He was this whiny because he wanted meat? What was he, a dog?

Sighing and shutting the door, she reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone, hitting the speed dial (in her defense, it was only number 9), waiting a few seconds until the owner picked up at the other end. "Hi, Chen. It's Syd, from down the street. Could I have one of my usuals? Oh, and um... whatever you have with lots of, erm... meat, I guess. I'd appreciate it." Negotiating the details, she hung up a few seconds later, pocketing the cell.

"Fifteen minutes," she offered mildly. "In the meantime, I'm afraid you'll have to put up with books or my odious company."
He stared up at her from his position on the couch, a boyishly pouty expression on his face. He sighed loudly and pinched the bridge of his nose casually, though he still didn't bother to sit up. Despite his urge to ask for some literature, mostly just so he could pretend this entire conversation hadn't happened, he gave her the smallest amount of respect possible as he chose the latter. "Perhaps you can make your company less odious. At least do something else with your hair instead of leaving it in that messy bun."

"And why would I ever wish to make my company less odious?" she replied with a saccharin sarcasm. "In fact, I think I'll leave my hair and everything else about me just as it is, thank you." She shrugged, and chose this particular opportunity to make a point of examining her shelves herself. She wasn't in any particular mood to read at the moment, but he certainly didn't need to know that.

He watched her for only a minute longer, progressively becoming bored by her actions. How could she be so involved in looking at book titles? Books she owned, nonetheless. He reached over, taking one of the pillows that was lying on the couch and, with as little strength as he could manage, threw the pillow at the back of her head. With any luck, she might knock against the bookcase and hopefully, that would rearrange her clearly scrambled brain.

As it happened, the thrown pillow hit Sydney square in the head, tilting her forward somewhat and knocking her glasses from her face to clatter against the shelf and onto the floor. Well, it was probably fortunate that she didn't actually need those to see, wasn't it?

That was her first thought. Her second was that the last time anyone had thrown a pillow at her had been at a slumber party she and her sisters and their friends had had... about six years ago. When they were all still children. Well, this was mature. Unfortunately, his well-placed shot had left her no option with the hair, and she was forced to readjust it into a ponytail instead, something she did quite deliberately, mostly because it was buying her time to decide of she was really going to respond to this as she was inclined.

And... yes. Yes she was.

Crouching to retrieve the pillow, she shot Garreth a glare. "You know," she said offhandedly, tossing the stuffed square into the air and caching it again, "I never lost a pillow fight as a child." To punctuate the point, she lobbed the projectile straight for his face-- considerably more forcefully than he had.

He hadn't been expecting that. The pillow hit him squarely in the face, the man blinking several times before a wide grin worked its way onto his features. Now she was putting that fiestiness to use. He grabbed another one of the pillows lying on the couch, throwing the other at her to even them out. "Funny, neither have I." This comment carried with it a lot more weight than normally would be implied (it had been a long time, after all). He swung the pillow at her, aiming to pap her arm lightly. Unlike her, it wouldn't be advisable for him to use any of his natural strength.

"A duel then, sir," she challenged, ducking to the side of the incoming swing and countering with her own, aiming low for the back of his left knee. "Wins by forfeit or three in a row!"

This only caused him to chuckle again--he was like that too. Setting rules to games that other people didn't seem to think needed them to begin with. Ridiculous, all games had rules. He didn't move, even as he caught sight of her incoming blow, aiming at her shoulder. Their antics continued, before he knew it, the two of them were both laughing like children. He was about to try swatting at her side when the doorbell rang, jolting him out of his attack. Sydney used the opportunity to land her final hit, papping him on the nose.

That sneaky little....

She grinned broadly at the look on his face and tossed the pillow back onto the couch, padding to the door and cracking it open to receive the late-night meal. Admittedly, the delivery driver, a teenage kid with an unfortunate number of freckles, was probably used to seeing her less-than-put-together, but this probably had to be a new one. Regardless, she returned to the living room and kitchen area with several cartons of hot food and some wooden chopsticks.

"There's forks in the drawer if you prefer," she offered blithely, sniffing out which of the cartons contained not-vegetables and setting that one down. "Sorry I don't have a dining room or a table or anything..." Mostly, she just ate at her food at the couch.

He shrugged, pushing aside her obviously underhanded move as he took his carton. "It's alright, I know how to use chopsticks." He said as he took the other pair and put a piece of chicken into his mouth. Mmm... Not quite what he was used to, but not bad. "Don't apologize for what you don't have," He said between bites, glancing up at her every now and again.

She blinked, a bit surprised to hear him say such a thing, then shrugged. "Sor- er. That is... okay." She'd been told she apologized too often before, but it never did manage to stop her from continuing to do so.

He shook his head with a half-smile at her awkwardness. She was tensing up slightly again. "Thanks for the food," He abruptly altered the topic as he put another piece of chicken in his mouth. How this girl could live and be a vegetarian was beyond him. At least she understood how to have a decent pillow fight.

Even if she cheated.

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Ion
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Dinner passed without significant catastrophe, perhaps a small miracle, all things considered. In the few minutes since then, they'd sat mostly in surprisingly-comfortable silence, or at least she found it so. It was odd, she thought, that they could have been at each others' throats mere hours ago, and now here they were, just sitting in her house and not talking about anything in particular. She didn't know what to make of it, but there it was. It wasn't like she felt the need to pick a fight again or anything, so she'd leave it be.

"So... how'd you find the art?" she asked, referring to the pieces on display at the opening. It wasn't the smoothest conversation starter in the world, but it was something that she could talk about, anyway.

Garreth shook his head with a gentle laugh. "Really now, there are better transitions." But his words didn't carry with them any of their usual sting. For now. "I found it relaxing," He had never been one to completely divulge his thoughts and even if they were being casual, that really wouldn't change his nature. Still, he found it pleasant to keep up this conversation of theirs. At least she wasn't flaunting any stupidity in his face.

"Oh, I'm sure there are," she admitted with a shake of her own head, "but people skills were never my forte. My sisters always had a better handle on that sort of thing than I did." She'd since found her glasses and replaced them on her face, and she reflexively adjusted them, leaning into the corner formed by the back and arm of the couch, as she usually did when reading or suchlike.

Relaxing... it was a bit of an odd adjective for art, she thought, but then maybe he just meant that the experience of walking around a gallery was such, and that she could understand. Little noise, generally few people, and your own thoughts... that sounded about right to her, anyway. "Is art a pasttime of yours then? You seemed to know a fair bit about it." She left out the fact that the most demonstrable instance of this knowledge had been leveled as an insult to her-- it wasn't something she was eager to think about, really.

"You could say that," He responded quietly, yawning vaguely. What time was it? Then again, what did it matter? He hadn't been able to be at this much ease in awhile. After confirming it had indeed been that... particular parasite, his mind had been attempting to contemplate how best to deal with this situation. Avoidance would be in his best interests--he'd prefer not to deal with them unless absolutely necessary. And, to that extent, it also meant keeping Sydney away from all of that. She wasn't a part of their feud, if one could call it that, and humans had the uncanny habit of dying when involved in such matters.

He pushed those thoughts from his mind. Later, he would worry about that later. For now, he could just...

Was he falling asleep? Sydney stifled a chuckle at the thought, since it would probably be better not to interrupt him if he was. Come to think of it, it was really late, and maybe sleeping was something she should be doing as well. How long had it been since she'd slept an entire night through? That she couldn't remember was probably evidence enough, and the reason for that soon made itself known amidst her surface-level thought again.

The young woman sighed softly, standing carefully and making her way to the briefcase that she'd set down on her floor upon entering the apartment. Cracking it open, she retrieved the manila folder which held all of Simone's case documents inside it. These, she took with her back to the chair, vacated by Tennyson a few minutes ago as he left for greener pastures (namely, her bed), curling her legs underneath her and getting to work. At this point, she was still looking through a few new documents, taking notes here and there but mostly just trying to figure out where to go from here. It seemed like everything came up in a dead end... maybe she should look into the cases of some of these other people, the ones whose DNA profiles were found on the walls and ground outside the club...

Always the worker that woman... Garreth rolled his eyes slightly, getting off the couch very slowly. He stretched, walking over to her quietly. "You know," He began, a slightly different undertone to his voice as his fingers grasped her chin gently. He tilted her head up slightly so that they were looking at each other once more. He bent down delicately to bring them to nearly even eye-level.

"It's a little late to be doing that sort of thing, don't you think?" He kept his voice light and unjudgemental.

"It'd be later if I was doing it tomorrow," she replied, intentionally oblique. She was not going to deny (well, not to herself, anyway), that being touched was still not something she was used to and quite unnerving, but then she was better than most at masking discomfort, a talent she put to use liberally just then.

"Mmmm..." He leaned forwards just a few inches closer so that his breath hit her cheek, his eyes still firmly staring into hers. "While it's somewhat admirable you wish to continue, perhaps it would be best to resume in the morning?"

Oh, for the love of-- that man was doing this on purpose! It was on one level infuriating, because surely he knew, surely he had some inkling of the effect of proximity on her concentration... which was to say he was effectively obliterating it. Perhaps, if she was less stubborn, she would have been okay with this. But she wasn't any less stubborn, and she frowned faintly at him. "And here I thought you were falling asleep," she replied, with a hint of irritation, though it was far from caustic. "Alas, my covert nocturnal investigations have not gone unnoticed." The direct question, she did not answer.

He didn't remove his fingers, acting as if her irritation did not even effect him. Actually, it was kind of cute. "Sorry to disappoint you, Sydney," He said her name softly, casually using his other hand to brush his fingers atop hers. "Relax--didn't you show you could do so earlier? There will be time in the morning," His tone was gentle as he regarded her. The slightly angry blush upon her cheeks was a tad endearing.

Sydney huffed a sigh. "Perhaps, but it's not as if I have anything else to do at the moment."

He smirked at her comment. "Of course you don't," He drew a few inches closer, barely a whisper away from her lips. His free hand had, since then, moved from over her hand and, quick as a flash, reached into her pocket and pulled out her wallet. He drew back just as fast, a devious light in his eyes. As he opened it, a look of faint surprise came on his features before he broke out laughing, loudly at that.

"What, you didn't come prepared for male company?" He said as he put her wallet down on the table behind them.

Sydney's expression morphed to one of mild, and then considerable, confusion. Her eyebrows knit together, and she tilted her head to one side. "What do you mean?" she asked, a little floored by the sudden shift in demeanor. He just didn't make much sense, this one.

"Coy little minx," He said with a playful roll of his eyes. "Well, where are they?" He didn't really expect a decent response and was more poking fun at her at this point than anything else.

Sydney's eyes narrowed in Garreth's direction, her frown deepening. "Seriously, what are you talking about? What could I possibly need to keep in my wallet for men? Breath mints?" She took a shot in the dark, mostly because she had no idea what he was so amused about. This happened sometimes--people telling jokes that she didn't understand. Usually, they contained pop-culture references, but she somehow doubted that was the case here.

He leaned in quickly and before she could think about voicing another snarky response, he pressed his lips to her cheek before promptly pulling back and walking over to the couch. "Well, it's late--and I want to sleep." He settled back on to the couch, laying back as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Which was well enough, because she was quite certain that faces were not supposed to come in whatever shade of red hers now was. "You..." she started, flustered and perhaps halfway to angry again, though it was more diffuse than it perhaps should have been. "Hmph." She couldn't really think of any more articulate ways to complete that thought, so this was going to have to be it.

He flashed her a wicked grin as he propped his hands behind his head. "I what?" He knew he wasn't going to get a response and continued on.. "Angry that I didn't kiss you like when we met?" Thus confirming the unspoken question as to whether or not he even remembered. Yes he did, Miss Parker, yes he did.

A muscle ticked in Sydney's jaw. So much for diffuse anger-- it was quite pointed now. "I most certainly am not," she replied, though unfortunately, it was more of a hiss than anything, and she stood quickly, removing herself from the room with the remaining shreds of her dignity wrapped around her like a cloak. How on earth had she managed to forget, even for a few hours, just how absolutely infuriating he was?

Falling onto her bed with unnecessary violence, she fell asleep with surprising ease, all things considered.




Now that was some loud snoring. Well, not really. His acute senses just made her breathing sound louder than it actually was. It wasn't going to stop him from exaggerating this fact later to make it seem as if she made the most offenseive noises ever when she slept. He had fallen asleep on the couch but had always been something of an early riser. So it came as no surprise to him that he was up before her.

He had forgotten about the whole fridge incident overnight but had been reminded when he had attempted to go find something in the morning. Why wasn't there any milk?! They needed to go shopping, very soon at that. And he'd have to show her how to really cook a decent meal... It'd been awhile since he had deigned to. Well, that was neither here nor there. He was hungry and she apparently knew this area.

Garreth walked over towards her room door, cracking it open and disregarding yet another house rule of not entering a girl's room without permission. Particularly when the girl in question was asleep. He entered the room, immediately greeted by a hiss from the other furry occupant on the bed. He really didn't like cats. He growled in an undertone, the cat hissing louder at him. He rolled his eyes, growling with more force. The cat mewled and darted off the bed, evidently intimidated. Hopefully it would accidentally dive out the window in fear. And die.

He wandered a bit closer, sitting down right on the edge of her bed. He prodded her cheek with one of his fingers. Did her snoring just get louder? Oh no, that was just him.

... too bad, he was going to definitely blow that out of proportion when he retold this whole thing to her later.

Sydney was usually a very light sleeper, but given that she hadn't slept properly in weeks, it was perhaps understandable that the standoff between her cat and her houseguest went unnoticed by her unconscious self. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the irritation of her face, and she clenched her jaw, scrunching her nose in half-aware protest. Five more minutes, mom... she thought blearily.

Wait.

Her mother wasn't here, nobody should be here-- she lived alone! Reflexively, her hand, presently under her pillow, tightened around a familiar object, and, snapping her eyes open, she rolled onto her back, depressing the trigger on her can of pepper spray.

His reflexes might've been fast but for once, he damned his sharp senses. He was able to draw back enough to avoid the worst of it--seriously, who kept mace underneath their pillow? However, the mist left behind by her attack wrecked more havoc than it probably would've had these been completely normal conditions. He instantly buried his face in her covers, not caring that the scent of that stupid cat was there. Agh, this crazy woman right here...

Unfortunately, tired Sydney was not Sydney at her sharpest, and it took her about two seconds to realize exactly who she was aiming this caustic chemical at, at which point her eyes widened to saucers and she yelped, tossing the can aside as though it were suddenly too hot to hold, or something of that nature. It clanged off the far wall, but she didn't really notice.

"Oh my god-- Garreth?" To her credit, she managed to avoid shrieking, scrambling upright on her mattress, she hovered uncertainly for a moment, before deciding that no, asking him if he was okay was not the rational thing to do, and instead she climbed out from under the covers with what limited dexterity she was granted in such a state, retrieving a clean washcloth from her bathroom and dampening it with water.

"You didn't get any in your eyes, did you?" she asked anxiously, returning to the bedroom with haste. "Sorry, I'm sorry."

He took the cloth blindly, lifting his face from her covers to press it against his face. He didn't even want to answer her or ask why her first instinct upon waking up was to spray at someone. "Yeah yeah..." It was muffled into the cloth as he tried to wave it off. Agh, that stung. This was somehow all that stupid cat's fault.

Sydney chewed her lip, contemplating adding more profuse apologies or something like that, but in the end she was struck by an entirely different thought: what was he doing in here, anyway? Who just walked into someone else's room while they were sleeping and poked them in the face? Sure, she was sorry she'd hurt him, but it still didn't seem totally unjustified.

"So, um... did you need something?"

Garreth frowned, rolling his eyes internally "There's still nothing in the fridge." He said as if that somehow reasoned out the whole entire situation. He dabbed at his face in an attempt to wash off the remnants of the spray and winced at the stinging.

"Oh. Well. In that case, let me have another half hour and I can run to the grocery store or something." It was probably the least she could do, all things considered, but first she needed to do normal human things like shower and change and brush her teeth. Perhaps that would return the sense of ordinariness that she'd lost somewhere between her sister's not-phone-call and waking up to pepper spray the weirdest houseguest she'd ever had.

Okay, so probably not.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nebellia de Rozeriem Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes
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#, as written by Igari

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Her eyes lit up at his wonderful words. Ah, new toys~? For her~? Her golden eyes alit at the mere prospect of being able to pick a new sample. A fresh sample. Her mind was thrown into a bit of a happy tizzy at the idea and she did not repress the smile that fluttered on to her face.

"Ohhh, you really are a sweetie!" She said almost girlishly before bowing hurriedly, the woman turning on her heel. She knew how to take Alexander's indications by now--this was not the moment to involve herself with that human girl he was so interested in. No, now was the time to go pick out one of the new humans and have herself an afternoon of fun! She was absolutely breathless at the prospect and spread out her arms. She let out airplane noises as she darted down the corridor, pretend flying herself towards the human quarters.

The guards that saw her go by cowered a bit but she, for once, did not stop to torment them and continued along her merry way. There were better things to do--and who knows, perhaps this one would be pregnant~ Ahhh, that would just be too good to be true but it made her heart speed to think about it! She almost drooled actually. It had been a bit too long since she had been able to lay her hands on new test subjects. Yes yes yes... soon one of those pretties would be all hers... And then it would just be the two of them in her lab... along with her beautiful tools...~

She shook her head--best not to get too excited or she would lose control of herself and possibly hurt her to-be-sample. And that would make her a very sad Nebellia indeed. The scientist turned the corner, coming to a sliding finish outside the door. Laying her petite digits on the handle, she thrust the door open with much bravado, alarming the servants who were stationed inside. One of the females located in the center of the room promptly fainted upon seeing her, the male standing next to her trembling.

"M-M-Miss Nebellia...! W-We... uh, y-y-you...!" She skipped past him, casually brushing him to the side on her way to the back end of the room.

"Don't worry a-b-o-u-t it~" She practically sang as she opened the back door that led to the main room. The humans inside were kept in moderately better condition than the disposables, okay, a lot better than those pieces of trash. These humans were kept in quarters similar to servants and "fed", if one could call it that... She looked around with a growing uneven grin on her features. She saw a few of them cower back from her but she paid it no heed. Too bad they weren't all hers!

She peered at each of them with wide eyes--no, that one was too tall, that one too skinny... She observed each one before settling her eyes on what seemed to be an older teen. Hmmm, this one looked just about ri.... Wait a minute, that one! That one! The large man in the back! His belly looked PERFECT for what she had in mind! She instantly took out one of the many collars she kept on her person, binding it around his neck. He looked absolutely frightened of her but she didn't care, he was wonderful!

She always wanted to try out that liposuction... she'd have to be careful when removing his organs though~~

She shot a look over towards one of the servants. "Oil! Bring me a looooot of oil~" She declared in a singsong voice. The male looked confused but didn't dare speak back as he nodded, running out of the room to fetch what she requested. Nebellia hummed as she waited, prodding the overweight man's belly ever few seconds to see how far her fingers would sink in. The servant returned in moments, holding a large container filled with oil.

"Excellent!" She screamed, scaring everyone in her current vicinity yet again. The woman grabbed the oil, uncapped it and splashed it all over the front of the man. He protested and she wrinkled her nose, not liking his stupid sounds. She pulled out a gag from one of her pockets and stuffed it in his mouth to make him be quiet. Now his protests were just weak, little moans.

Mmmm, now that was a lot better~

She walked around him, pressing her heel to his back and giving him a forceful kick. The man tumbled to the ground, the scientist lathering more oil on to the floor in front of him. Spreading out her arms, she jumped on to his back and raised her leg behind her, propping it against the wall and giving them a firm push. If the man could've yelled, he probably would have. As it was, his moans were soft as he suddenly went skidding on the floor at speeds that were surely burning his skin.

She didn't care much--hell, she had always wanted to try body surfing in the hallways! Gods this was fun, maybe she could...
The woman proceeded to flap her arms and made loud airplane noises like before... Until she realized there were no breaks on this thing. Or, for that matter, a steering wheel.... Oh well! That made things more fun anyway! Nebellia laughed as if she didn't have a care in the world with the human man probably trying to scream for his torment to end. Oh, it was just beginning, dear pet~~

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: Brigitte Lebelle Character Portrait: Lena of Anguaren
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#, as written by Mela
Lena of Anguaren

Her king was watching her, likely taking in her reaction to this entire mess. How did he expect her to react, she wondered. Indifferent? Accepting? None of that. He probably hadn’t even paid her any mind before now. He usually didn’t. She was just there, quiet in the shadows, the little servant ready to do his bidding at any time. It was a place she was content enough to be, but in instances such as this one, she really wished he would take her into consideration… at least a little, because right now she was basically going out of her mind. This mess was just… overwhelming. Her king was usually a very orderly man, but this human, however she was, clearly had some effect on him.

If she didn’t, Lena doubted she would be in his shower right now. Everyone knew how the king felt about humans and now it seemed as though he was actually condoling sex with them, whereas he’d always been known to regard such an act with, if not disgust, then at least a certain level of distaste. Which of course made all of this even more strange. Lena was fairly certain she would’ve felt calmer if it had been a female demon the king had chosen to bed, instead of a human one. At least then it would only have been one part entirely freaky. This was just all-round confusing and it made her more than a little flustered.

She couldn’t help the flush on her cheeks, no matter how much she wanted to hide it from the king. Lena didn’t usually like showing her emotions, because, well, most times she did everything in her power to dampen them, to seem less like she was a complete and utter anomaly to her race. Not that it did her any good, but she had this idea in her head that everything would be much worse if she didn’t at least do a little to make herself less inconspicuous, because as it was, she seemed to be very attention-drawing.

Her eyes couldn’t quite keep themselves from straying to the discarded clothes, the mess all over the floor, the messy sheets she wanted to change and then wash… thoroughly. Who knew what kind of odd… fluids, had been left from their nightly activities. Lena didn’t even want to think about it too much. Therefore she was thankful when Sabine gestured towards the clothing, telling her that she was to wash the woman’s, Miss Parker’s, dress as well as the king’s clothing. She cast him a faint smile, the red on her cheeks not even fading a little. Hopefully she would stop feeling so awkwardly misplaced when she exited the rooms, or when she cleaned it up. Yes, that was it, she simply needed to clean. Make everything look like it always did and that would help bring them back to normal, surely. Frankly she had no clue what else to do.

She nodded eagerly in response, “right away, your majesty,” she told him with a small smile and hurriedly gathered all of the discarded clothing in her slender arms, hurrying out of the room, feet tapping against the floor as she walked. Her gate was nearly completely soundless, but to her it felt as though every step resounded through the room and reflected off of the painted walls. She winced as the door slid shut with an audible click behind her as she exited. Gods, she was such an idiot. If only she’d been more mature and experienced herself, then maybe this situation wouldn’t have done this to her.

She hurried down the halls to the washing rooms, where she immediately set to washing the clothing, slowly calming herself by keeping busy with work.





Sapphire Parker

The water felt amazing, and it was almost as hot as her temper. Almost. She sighed, closing her eyes as she let the water drape her and wrap around her, washing away all her worries, and all the metaphorical dirk she felt made her skin clammy. Sabine was the last man she’d expected herself to wake up beside, especially feeling this amazing. Her body was still aching in all those private places, whispering of memories she couldn’t yet access properly. It was definitely enough to tell her that the sex had been amazing, if not completely mindblowing, and that assumption was only supported by those short flashes of memory that were sporadically returned to her.

After a while in the warm, relaxing water, Sapphire opened her eyes to look around her, searching for any kind of soap she could use to wash herself properly; he wouldn’t mind. And if he did, well… then too bad for him. He might think this was all her fault, that she’d lured him to this, and that she’d given him no choice, but there was always a choice, and he’d chosen to take her home to fuck in his insanely humungous bed, on his extremely soft sheets. That was that. One might say he’d taken advantage of her alcohol-induced state of mind, since he’d obviously been sober, and some might consider that morally… well, wrong. But then, Sapphire knew herself, and she knew how she got when she was drunk.

But that didn’t mean this was all her fault. Nuh uh. He couldn’t dump the blame from this solely on her. Deciding that he he could just suck it up if he didn’t like her using his soap, she reached out and grabbed a small, expensive-looking bottle of shampoo. She looked at it for a little while before squirting some into her palm. It smelled good. Fresh. Like Sabine. She shrugged, but the bottle down and bean massaging the stuff into her hair, closing her eyes. She let calm wash over her at the familiar act, even if she shampoo was much different than her own. It was obvious that Sabine liked his hair well-groomed, and he took care of it. Because that wasn’t feminine at all. Cough.

Once her hair was well-soaped, she washed the foam off of her hands and gave the shampoo bottle a scorching look. If nothing else, she could be petty. She grabbed the thing, screwed off the tip. Then she turned it upside down and emptied it all into the drain, a satisfied smirk on her lips. Sure, the cost of it was probably nothing to him, but still it gave her some perverse level of satisfaction to know that she’d at least let out her anger some. It had been almost entirely full. Well, now it was empty. She put the bottle back on the shelf and then she washed the foamed-up shampoo out of her blonde hair. After that, she did the exact same thing to his even more expensive looking conditioner. After she’d put some in her hair of course.

Okay, maybe it was childish, but she’d never claimed to be above such things. Well, she… no, wait, she actually hadn’t. He should just be happy she didn’t have anything fun with her to fill in them. Once she’d washed out the conditioner, Sapphire cut off the water, and then wrung her hair slowly, listening as water poured from the golden locks. Then she stepped outside of the bath, looking around. A folded, white, clean towel was more or less right in front of her, and she looked around. No dirty towel of his. Who didn’t use their towels more than once? People who had servants to do their freaking laundry, she supposed, and she did remember something about a smaller girl following them. Was that his servant? Huh. He certainly didn’t strike her as the house-orderly type himself, nor like the type to have wife or children.

She swiped her hand out, grabbed the towel and loosely rubbed it around her locks of hair while she leaned forward, thinking of everything and nothing. Once she’d casually dried her hair, she wrapped the cloth around her body, tugging in the end of it at her chest to keep it there without her holding it up as she straightened with a sigh. Well, she supposed she’d have to emerge at some point. She heard the outer door close, but she figured it was just whoever had entered before her shower, although honestly she hoped Sabine had left as well. He probably hadn’t though. She just… needed to get dressed, go home and then drink tons of coffee while grading papers. In her bed. In her pajamas.

Sapphire drew in a deep breath and then emerged, only to find Sabine with his back to her, and her dress missing from the floor. She frowned, irritated all over again. Her fuse was exceptionally short in the morning if she didn’t get her coffee, and this situation wasn’t making it better. “What the hell did you do to my dress?” She demanded, her tone making it obvious alone that she was not kidding around. “Where is it?” It was a very freaking expensive dress, damn it.





Alexander Chartés

The king watched Sarai scurry off with the list of groceries, followed by his personal servant soon after. She always did obey his every whim flawlessly, didn't she? Whenever something went wrong, it was always because it was out of her hands, usually due to Nebellia, and he knew what a handful she could be. He also knew that her behavior changed quite a bit when he was not in her immediate vicinity. She had a tendency to sober up whenever he was near, which was the only reason she was still his adviser, madness be damned. Of course she was also a friend and perhaps that made him just a touch softer, although he’d never outright admit to such things. He didn’t have a soft side, of course.

He returned his attention back to Simone then, attentive to her every movement, almost intensely so. Brown eyes scoured her face. She seemed perplexed, a bit nervous even, but not from him being near. No, he’d felt her relax at that after the first few seconds. This wasn’t him personally, her knew that much. Her lips were pursed a little, as though she was considering saying something, while her hands knitted together, a nervous gesture, he knew. He said nothing, merely awaiting the questions he knew where coming. They were inevitable, and of course he couldn’t blame her. She probably knew nothing correct of his race, and she wanted to know at least what her captors were. He supposed that much would be understandable, so when she finally looked up at him and spoke, asking her questions, he was prepared for them.

He smiled faintly and inclined his head a touch in a agreement when she stated that he was not from “here”. She seemed almost disbelieving of her own statement, which made his smile just a little but wider and a bit wry. He stayed quiet as she seemed to spew forth all the basic questions she’d likely wondered at for quite some time, and here he was, seemingly forthcoming. Well, wasn’t that just a joy? Why had she not asked these questions of the young servant in her service?

He let her finish talking, before he took a step back, smoothly pulling her with him while he easily spun her around to face him, his arm around her waist loosely, so as to not smother her. He looked down at her, a seductive smirk on his face. He would use this to his advantage, as much as he could. It wasn’t much, but he figured at least a little could always help her feel more comfortable. Knowing what it meant to be a vampire would perhaps be a little helpful, if he could avoid scaring her too much in the process, something he was very unaccustomed to. Alexander usually didn’t pay such trivialities much mind, but it wouldn’t do to find some random vampire to explain everything to her, if he wanted her to want to stay with him. He’d have to show her a “side to him” she’d like. Even if it wasn’t much beyond and act yet.

“Why do humans have different personalities?” He asked her rhetorically, his voice patient and considerate, “some have tempers, and some do not. It is no different for vampires, and Brigitte, well, she was raised to be my servant from the day she was born. She was stripped of everything beyond that by her parents.” He explained further, his free hand wandering along her neck and shoulders deliberately, his fingers brushing against the skin almost casually. Not that he didn’t know exactly what he was doing to her, brushing the sensitive nerves under her thin, soft skin.

“As for how vampires are made…” he trailed then after a short pause. He slowly moved his fingers from the side of her neck to the back of it, trailing fingers down her spine teasingly as he continued, “It can happen in one of two ways. Either a vampire is born, like any other creature, or he is made by another vampire once he has grown into the proper age. These vampires are of course born as humans. Some please a certain vampire and earn the right to his blood, which fuels the transformation. Others are simply changed because a vampire wills it, because it will benefit him or her in some way, I suppose.” He watched her quietly for a bit before he continued, answering her final questions.

“Where we are from, is a more complicated matter. You might refer to it was a parallel world to this one, in a fashion. It is not like we live in outer space, and our world, well; it has adapted to our needs. The sun, for one, doesn’t hurt us. In my native tongue, we call it Cruorem Orbis.” He was certainly trying to dumb all of this down. Mostly because he did not particularly wish to confuse her, and he figured bits of simple information would do.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Sabine Marx Character Portrait: Sapphire Parker
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Sabine Marx

After he'd gathered himself and organized his thoughts, Sabine was in a much calmer mood. Ready to handle the golden whirlwind that was the human in his quarters. Sapphire. That strange, scintillating creature. He heard the bathroom door snick open and move into the room. There was silence for a short second then she spoke. Sharply. Naturally. She had to be annoyed about something. There would be something wrong if she wasn't, as there wasn't any alcohol in the bathroom for her to blur herself with. She followed up her demand with another, equally snappish. He did not move for a moment, eyes still closed, then slowly turned. He took a few steps forward to lean against the door frame that led to his tiny balcony. He observed her face unhurriedly, lifting an eyebrow.

"I told Lena to clean up the mess. She is likely washing your dress now." He said with a lazy yawn. He was still tired, which made sense, considering how late he'd stayed up the previous night with no precedent. He pulled a hand through his hair, pushing it out of his face. "If you'd like something else to wear I'll send for something, otherwise you'll just have to wait." What had she expected? Her clothing had been littering the floor, what else was there to do with it? Most people would take it as a measure of hospitality, but apparently not Miss Parker, unsurprisingly.

He examined her, she looked a little smaller, standing there with wet hair, wrapped in a towel. If not for her air of anger she was quite fetching like that, he couldn't help but think. She was fetching in generally, actually. Down to the way she moved. Her temper, however, was a topic best left unconsidered. He straightened up off the door frame and moved towards the door to the main room of his chambers, eyes still on her as he passed her. "I will descend for breakfast shortly. If you put something else on you may join me. Otherwise I will be most displeased if I return and find this place decimated." He didn't trust that she wouldn't break or destroy something if he left her alone, judging by how she'd previously handled her temper, but he did not keep anything in these rooms that was not easily replaceable. So it really wouldn't bother him much, past the display of malicious intent from her part.

It wasn't like he was purposely antagonizing her or anything. That would be a childish thing to do. At this moment, at least. She was a guest right now, and he had to treat her as such. That distant, business-like tone belonged to that rule. She was likely just in a foul mood in general. And he wasn't the cheeriest person, which meant that it wasn't likely her mood would improve until she left. He would just oust her now, but that would be quite rude. Certain formalities needed to be fulfilled. Or at least offered for her to snappishly refused. He really didn't care if she agreed and complied or not. That wasn't his problem, it was hers. He could really care less. Really. Completely. Obviously. He had more important things on his mind, things that he couldn't properly think about until he was alone. Until Sapphire, the object of these important thoughts which were currently tormenting him, left.

Sabine stretched lazily again and finished buttoning up his shirt. He pulled his hand through his hair again until he was decent, then pushed the door all the way open with his foot, looking through the door frame towards the fully closed door out into the hallway. "So, what will it be, Miss Parker?" He asked, his eyes flicking up to hers for a brief moment. He lifted an eyebrow, which did nothing to make his expression any less bored. This was honestly not the way he liked starting his mornings. Not to say that he hadn't enjoyed the previous evening, but that was an entirely different matter. The two weren't even up for comparison. Now Sapphire's passion was directed less at being madly seductive and more towards being madly...well...mad.

Setting

Characters Present

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

With the recent events Rhaun’s moments of respite have grown heavier with visions. Despite how calm the sleeping Lykae appeared, even now his eyes behind the closed eyelids shifted rapidly. He was seeing dreams and in them sights from both this world and that from which he and the others came blended, some reflecting the recent unrest, others bearing dark forebodings. And from both of them would emerge reasons for new concerns. The advisor made the slight effort to separate shards of visions in his troubling dreams, so as to pay more attention to both and regard both with due focus. And so from this came the glimpses of a recent conversation with his stubborn King.

What had spurred the conversation in the first place was a number of abnormalities that the advisor’s keen senses detected upon Garreth’s return to the manor. While at first Rhaun was inclined to merely greet his King and return to his meditative practices and overlooking of the Lykae resting place, something was strange. Indeed he caught a strange combination of scents coming from the King, all of them familiar and few being at all welcome in this place. Distinguished first was of course the slightest trace of the scent of their enemies, one of the warring sides. But isolated and identified along with it was another – and that one was the scent of a human. Rhaun had felt it before and this unwelcome duet prompted the advisor to make his move.

When he spoke, the King responded only scarcely. He would give his advisor the attention somewhat begrudgingly, but knowing full well where they stood, he heeded his words nonetheless. And so Rhaun was given a clear opening in which to speak, gauging his King’s every reaction. The way his posture, expression, even minute scents shifted throughout the conversation. Though to an extent such a thing would be strange, largely Rhaun’s words were directed at the second smell, and the main reason for him striking that particular conversation in the first place hinged on it as well.

“We are in a world that is not ours, my King…” He would say in a measured tone. “… We limit our interactions with it. I realize the need to go beyond this manor. Else we would be naught but prisoners here. But now you bring with you the familiar scent few of us would want to sense here…” He paused. Much could be derived from what his senses told him, but Rhaun acknowledged the possibility of misjudging the specifics. Especially concerning the scent he’d originally felt two whole years ago. Yet by some twist of fate it had etched itself into his memory. “Understand…” He continued. “…That my main concern is that it seems you have crossed paths with a certain resident of this world. While her initial emergence may have been an… unfortunate necessity, I strongly advise you not to let her become involved systematically.” The end of his phrase was stressed both by his tone and by his calm glance gaining a near-tangible note of force to it. “We are in a world untouched by our ancient war, my King. Do not make steps that might bring them together to any extent...”

The King, of course, was not pleased by their rather one-sided exchange, yet was forced to accept his advisor’s authority, if only in his presence. Rhaun knew not what the King did as soon as the older Lykae was gone, nor did it matter. He only spoke the truth and while he sensed that his words alone were unlikely to sway the developments, it was, if anything, his responsibility to expose the issue. The last that Garreth heard of his advisor that day was the occasional tapping of the bottom of his staff against the floor of the manor.

With the conversation with his King taking up one half of his visions that night, the other half was instead occupied by images from further beyond. The features he could see were still familiar. They were those of their kind left in their world. He saw the priestesses, providing support and aid in his absence, the Lykae coming to them for advice. He could see more and more worry in the eyes of those coming to them. The priestesses, particularly the oldest, would respond diligently, but their reassurances put less and less faith in the hearts troubled by conflict. The absence of both the King and the Advisor was never a condition that could last for too long. But this time in particular there was danger and it was coming not from outside, but brewing among the Lykae’s very own ranks. A strong hand was needed to guide them. One had to wonder how much longer tradition that demanded respect to the priestesses would keep their kind from showing its more feral side.

Despite the troubling sights in his dream, when Rhaun awakened, it was a calm transition. His eyes opened and but a few breaths later he sat up in his bed. Soon he was already up and alert with no visible effort exerted for a single motion, a single step and not a thing betraying the troubling nature of his visions experienced through the dream. The same remained true even as he exited towards the courtyard and began a round of exercises with his staff. To an onlooker it would appear to be akin to the training of a martial artist, but to Rhaun it was more a dynamic form of meditation. Following an hour or so of the practice he would return to the mansion and there – encounter a servant, whom he asked of the King’s whereabouts.

“The King has yet to return, Master Rhaun.” Came the servant’s response, voice displaying uncertainty and a tang of worry. It has been well over a full day and it was the first time such a thing occurred, at least for the duration of this visit. Rhaun closed his eyes, as though pausing with the realization of the unfolding of events indeed refusing to sway from but a single conversation.

“I shall require transportation to the city. The King’s presence is required…”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Simone Parker Character Portrait: Alexander II Chartes
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#, as written by Korrye
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Alexander was disquieting. Simone felt her lip twitch as she ran through her questions, her heart racing faster when he smiled wryly in response. The redhead watched him closely, gulping as he pulled her with him as he stepped back from the counter. She had no other option but to oblige. If she didn’t walk with him, she would have been pulled along anyways. And she didn’t feel like falling to his feet or into his chest yet another time. Still, she went hesitantly, unsure of what he was playing. When he glanced down at her she felt herself inhale sharply. Everything about Alexander’s face seemed to have…changed. It was back to…a look she hadn’t seen in his eyes since he had abducted her from the club. The fuck me stare.

Simone swallowed and felt her body tense, even more so as he turned her to look at him directly. She spun on her heel, her curls falling on her shoulders. The motion wasn’t something she expected and as a result Simone was somewhat out of sorts when she shifted her feet and looked from her hip where his hand sat heavily to his face, which continued to look down at her with a smoldering stare. She half wondered if he was looking at her the way a starving dog would a steak or if there was something else there, but that wasn’t something she asked him. Simone knew she had asked enough questions already. Her shoulders tensed and to a degree she took a page out of Sarai’s book, shrinking as if to make herself smaller but given that they were the only two in the kitchen, and his hands were right on her, she doubted it might do anything but annoy him. But annoying him was good. Might make his eyes change. God she wanted those eyes off her. No she didn’t. But yes she did! He had kidnapped her from everything and everyone she knew and loved. But she knew then that if he kissed her, she would give in, that she would enjoy it and enjoy hating herself for it later. The conflict remained. He had kidnapped her. Going along with it all might help. But there was something else in her that genuinely wanted it, that remained curious about the man himself, the complexities of his personality. Much had been seen and heard, but she had experienced little of him all things considered.

“Why do humans have different personalities?” he retorted. Okay so the smoldering moment ended. Simone rolled her eyes and turned her cheek to him immediately. If he didn’t intend to answer seriously then… “Some have tempers, and some do not. It is no different for vampires, and Brigitte, well, she was raised to be my servant from the day she was born. She was stripped of everything beyond that by her parents,” Alexander added. That comment seemed almost…barbaric. Raising children to serve others. Like slavery. The thought drew a chill up her spine. Whether it was him, and sensual, or the cold or simply the discomforting fact she couldn’t say. But it made her want out of his mansion more. Not only were there human slaves, but vampires born and raised to serve like them.

“As for how vampires are made…” he began. She turned to look at him out of the corner of her eye, her lips taught and unsmiling as he drew a hand along her neck and down her back. Reluctantly she arched her back to his hand, the trailing of his fingers so delicately along her spine tickling her. She rolled her shoulders and tried to get away from him, practically squirming on the spot, her eyes locked on his, a slight flush taking to her cheeks. “It can happen in one of two ways. Either a vampire is born, like any other creature, or he is made by another vampire once he has grown into the proper age. These vampires are of course born as humans. Some please a certain vampire and earn the right to his blood, which fuels the transformation. Others are simply changed because a vampire wills it, because it will benefit him or her in some way, I suppose.”

Simone’s lips parted at that revelation, her eyes widening to a degree before she looked down at the floor, her hands bracing herself on the counter, thought she doubted she needed to. One hand rested on the ledge to her right, the only on his hand on his hip, her fingers ever more so pulling as his as if to get him off her like always. Her lip twitched and she felt her eyes burn, her cheek pulling with agitation. And slight fear. He could take away her humanity. The made her shoulders tense more than they were. Why had she asked these questions if she was afraid of the answers? He seemed sincere as well. As she flicked her eyes at him, Simone continually saw him staring right at her. She was beginning to feel like an ant under a microscope.

“Where we are from, is a more complicated matter. You might refer to it was a parallel world to this one, in a fashion. It is not like we live in outer space, and our world, well; it has adapted to our needs. The sun, for one, doesn’t hurt us. In my native tongue, we call it Cruorem Orbis.”

That thought made her breath hitch. So he wasn’t from here. It wasn’t another planet, per se. No. What he described was practically a dimension. And this world was hers and he had his and undoubtedly he would want to go back to his. That made her start to twist in his arms, the subtle complacent nature to her dissipating entirely as she turned away from him, wanting to do anything she could to get away from him. He had taken away so much. He had taken away everything. And now he stared at her like that. And to a degree it seemed he expected her to just take all of this and deal with it. She couldn’t. No. Simone gulped for air, feeling her lungs constrict as the walls in the room seemed so much closer. This place was a prison. And it seemed if anything to be…temporary. Everything could be dropped at a moment’s notice. The smoldering stare, the teasing, the taunting, the toying with what she felt, it all disappeared. He was from another world and he would undeniably take her there and that was one thing she would never accept. Simone reached out for whatever she could, her eyes taking in the room so quickly. Where was the nice. Where was anything in this god forsaken place?

“I can’t stay here!” she cried, her voice hitching in her throat. “I’m not one of you. I’m not going to just drop everything and kiss your shoes. I want out! I want to see my sisters, my parents. I. Want. My. Life. Back.” If he took her away from Earth, there was no chance of her ever getting her back her true freedom. "I don't want to know. I don't want to know any of it. I-I...shouldn't have asked. No."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Garreth Vilhei Frost Character Portrait: Sydney Parker
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#, as written by Ion
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It was a simple, unmistakable fact that human beings did some of their best thinking in the shower. Maybe it was the relaxing effects of hot water, releasing dopamine into her system or something. Maybe it was the scalp massage or the smell of soap and shampoo. Maybe it was just the fact that there were minimal environmental distractions. Whatever the case, it was during her shower that morning that she came to a few realizations about her peculiar situation.

  • One: Simone had now been missing more than two weeks. According to statistics, her chances of still being alive were almost impossibly small. Sydney, with no real choice otherwise, resolved not to think about this one too hard. Almost would just have to be the most important word in that sentence for the conceivable future.

  • Two: Whatever Mr. Frost knew about the situation, he wasn't planning on telling her. That was more a guess than a proper deduction, but she was pretty sure of it all the same. Ordinarily, this would have upset her, maybe, but at the moment she was more concerned with figuring out why than anything. Sure, he was a difficult type of person to deal with, but it took much more than "difficult" to withhold information about a person's missing sister. Short of being a sociopath, she figured he had to have a reason. Maybe it was better to leave that one alone for a while as well.

  • Three: She really had no good reason to go to the grocery store. Considerably less important than the other two, but in her defense, she was conditioning, and that wasn't as important as the rest, and not something she did every day either. It was also the only thing on which she could immediately act. Or, well, not act, maybe. Why should she go buy groceries she wouldn't use for someone who'd be gone in a few hours, tops? She was being ridiculous, and she didn't have the funds to do that.

Shutting off the water, she made haste getting dressed and swiping a comb through her hair, twisting it up atop her head deftly and pinning it there. She was just passing into her bedroom when her cell phone rang from its place on the charger, and she detached it swiftly, placing it to her ear as she made her way out into the living area. "Hello? Oh, Keith, how are you?" There was a long pause, during which Sydney rummaged around in her cupboards and at last managed to procure a bagel and some nutella. It was a nutella kind of morning, as in: she would need the endorphin boost of minor happiness to get through the day, she could sense it already.

"What, really? Oh, wow. Um... when should I...? Now?" She shot a glance at her houseguest. "Give me a little while to get down there. I'll be in as soon as I can, I promise." Another few moments, and then she hung up, sliding the phone into the pocket of her jeans. Taking a second (well, a few seconds), to take and chew over her first bite of breakfast, Syd filled him in on the conversation.

"That was Keith Davis, a forensic technician with the SDPD. I asked him to run some DNA profiles on all that blood behind the club. None of it was Simone's, I know, but it was weird that it all just happened to be there on the same night she went missing and a bunch of people lost their memories." She paused. "So he did workups on all the not-matches, and he tells me the results were interesting. He wants me-- us, now, I suppose-- to come in and see them as soon as we can." The tension of excitement was clearly visible in Sydney; she was obviously struggling not to fidget too much and keep her cool, but the fact that she was smiling at all-- a small one, but still-- would have given her away.

He had been lounging on her couch trying to read one of her papers while the woman had been showering. A frown had found its way on to his lips almost immediately after he began this process. How obsessed was this woman with gender equality anyway? Did she not realize there was no equality? Women needed to be protected, not throwing themselves out there like--

Her voice brought his attentions away from his musings. There was a noticeable hitch yet not one with a negative connotation. Hm, was that a faint smile on her face? She looked more awake than she had when they had had their earlier conversation (which he was still inwardly sore about). He rolled his eyes faintly. She just couldn't follow orders, could she? She always had to have a response or some sort ready for him, there was always something that prevented her from ever listening to his directives. Not without the proper push.

"Interesting data on the DNA samples, hm? How--" He cut himself off. Wait. What if the parasites hadn't been as cautious as usual? The mess waiting at the club was credible enough, not completely careless but not the cleanest job. And if that were the case, there could be the chance that maybe one of those blood samples wasn't exactly....

Even if he didn't like the blood suckers at all, keeping that part of the world hidden from those on the outside was more of a priority. Appetite forgotten, he straightened up on the couch. "Fine, whatever. Where exactly are we headed? You have the address, I assume?"

"Of course. I'm down at the station all the time. You should be familiar with it, too." She raised a brow just slightly, a reminder that they'd dragged him down there after his 'incident' at the bar two years ago. And she, determined, slightly foolhardy defense-attorney-in-training, had gone after him to make sure he was properly read his rights and given his due process. Definitely a bit silly in retrospect: she had since learned that he could probably afford a small army of high-price lawyers with decades more experience than one silly law student, but whatever the reason, he'd consented to her 'help' anyway.




"Hm." Sydney's lips were pursed as she examined the files. "It looks like some of these DNA profiles match recent missing persons cases, more than one of them last known to have been at the club beforehand, all reported around the same time. How has nobody noticed this before now? I mean, DNA or not, that's a pretty huge coincidence." She took another bite of her yogurt and granola. They'd made their way here, to a moderately-upscale restaurant cafe, largely because Garreth had been hungry and it served meat products. Honestly, how carnivorous could you be? Two meals without meat was hardly unusual, even for people who ate it regularly. Well, she didn't mind, so fine.

Of course, something else puzzled her. They'd run analysis on hairs found at the scene, mostly because they were such an odd silvery color, and found in close proximity to the blood. The first time, the analysis had failed. Just... failed. "And what would fail a DNA test, anyway?" The notes Keith had left her indicated that it wasn't dog or cat or horse hair, but it wasn't human, either. Maybe it came from one of the exotic animals Simone worked with? Certainly a possibility.

Setting

Characters Present

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

Humans, to some extent, were quite the ingenious beings. For all their losses in terms of connection with nature they came up with many appliances with rather impressive capabilities. Where they would lead he did not know, but for now one such appliance in the form of a wheeled vehicle was taking him from the Lykae manor to the city. Compliant with the laws of this world, Rhaun sat next to the half-lykae driver charged with his transportation, his seatbelt fastened, constraining as it felt. He would mostly observe the passing scenery through the window, the trees soon changed to a forest of concrete. Some elements of the manmade habitat seemed to challenge the very skies themselves. He could state with certainty that no castle back home would reach this high upwards. But then again, was there much need for it?

The driver and the passenger spoke scarcely, the advisor merely giving a single direction – to be taken to the city to see Garreth. Taking the size of the city in consideration, it was, at first glance, not a particularly easy task. In fact one might wonder where exactly the driver would even go, to which road he’d turn or where he would wait for the Lykae King and his Advisor’s return. Still, Rhaun seemed calm as collected as always and quite certain about the direction they were going, only occasionally asking to take a turn here or there. It was worth noting that he’d opened the window, the air from outside freely coursing through the interior as they advanced.

“Here would be good enough.” He spoke finally and the car came to a halt by the pavement, Rhaun stepping out and looking back to the driver. “You may return without me. We shall find our way back once I find Him.”

Though seeming hesitant to obey, the young half-lykae did not question and nodded, departing as soon as the Lykae advisor closed the door. When he began walking down the pavement, there was determination of sorts in his motion, like there was little question as to where to go. All around him, unbeknownst to the passersby, spirits, scarce yet starved for contact with one able to perceive them, whispered. He mouthed wordless responses to them when fewer eyes were on him, perhaps making the impression of humming the lyrics to a song or something of the sort. His activities were easy enough to dismiss as mundane even as the Lykae was in fact gradually tracking his King. His typically ascetic appearance, albeit this time adding a pair of sandals rather than walking barefoot, contributed to him attracting little attention.

Traces of the Lykae King and the human girl still existed on the streets, weak as they were. They ranged from the whispers of the spirits stirred by the passing of supernatural beings amongst them to an assortment of faint scents. Enough to follow even if they didn’t much shorten the time needed to come across the one he was looking for. It gave him plenty of time for thought, comprehension, and time to take in his surroundings and acknowledge the city around him. He wasn’t a particularly frequent visitor here. But exceptions had to be made in line of his duty to his King and his people.

So now Rhaun was walking the streets of a residential area, following the trace of his liege, gradually getting to where his presence was most recent. He would not barge into a building or go so far as to disturb the peace here. But chances were high, that as soon as Garreth went out into the streets, he would be noticed. And then Rhaun would bring to his attention the need to tend to their true home…