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Benny Lafitte

As you might recall, patience isn't one of my virtues. Well, I don't have any virtues, but if I did, I'm sure patience wouldn't be one of them...You're trying my non-patience.

0 · 1,258 views · located in Bellingstone, Pennsylvania

a character in “Welcome to Bellingstone”, originally authored by Caged Bird, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

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"What I loved, it ain't here anymore. It was snuffed out long ago by monsters like me. Like what I have become....I think we're all damned."






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Race: Vampire

Gender: Male

Age:Looks 33 as thats how old he was when he was turned. Is actually 94

Nicknames: Ben, Benny, or Louisiana

Occupation: cook

Pack/Coven Name: Former of The Vampirates. Not a part of dubois as he doesn't usually get along with other vampires.

Rank in Pack/Coven:'First mate'







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Height: 5'11

Weight: 200lbs

Build: thick, strong but not overly muscular

Hair Color: Sandy blonde/ashey brown

Eye Color: icy blue

Scars?: Is checked with scars from years of living as a predator but none that stand out.

Brief Written Description: His thick accent from growing up in the swamps of Louisiana is charming to most and his bright blue and seemingly innocent eyes just draw people in like a fly to honey. He isn't overly tall but makes up for it in width and never keeps a clean shaven face, he loves his scruff.


Clothing Preference: He usually wears his old fashioned clothes from the 1930's, but they are simple lower class pieces of apparel so they aren't flashy and blend in well enough with modern style. But one thing he is never without is his his Wool Blend Pea Coat in the color Navy and his sailors cap.



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Skills:
  • Is a skilled sailor,(And everything that entails)
  • a wonderful cook(Especially cajun)
  • obviously super strong, fast, has superhuman senses and immortality...because he is a vampire.
  • Benny's special vampire powers:-Addictive contentment-the ability to make others feel content and happy, though it has a side effect that renders his victims ill shortly after he stops using it. Lie detection-he can tell if he is being lied to.

Quirks:
Even though he does not eat human food anymore, he loves the way it smells and the memories those smells bring back, So he is a cook.

Likes:
  • Blues and jazz music
  • cooking
  • blood(Duh)
  • his beloved hat and peacoat
  • boats
  • alligators
  • fishing

Dislikes:
  • Vampires
  • werewolves(Not as much as vampires though)
  • uncomfortable silences
  • 'tasteless people' (AKA people with no appreciation for life and all it has to offer)
  • hunters(Only for the fear they will treat him as they do all vampires, and not realize he trys to be different.)

Fears:
  • Becoming a killer again
  • losing his great grandson Harrison

Written description:
Benny is kind, sensitive, and loyal, but at times dark. His focus is on finding a way to survive in a world he no longer understands, and dealing with the issue of re-assimilating back into society. Benny struggles with his hunger and has conflict about not being human but also not fitting into the vampire world. He’s in a mental Purgatory; he’s lost. Benny’s at battle with himself, and it’s the hardest one yet because he just doesn’t fit anywhere.


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Relationship Status: Single

Brief History: Benny Lafitte was turned into a vampire by his maker, a centuries old vampire who held incredible power over and devotion from his nest. Benny and his nest were Vampirates who would find private yachts heading for far away destinations, feed on the owners and then sink the boat to cover up their crimes. Benny found a yacht owned by Andrea Kormos who he fell in love with and abandoned his nest for. Benny never lied to her about what he was and having found something he liked in humanity, started feeding on blood transfusions rather than people.

However, Benny's maker and his nest caught up with him in Clayton, Louisiana and killed his lover Andrea for his desertion. Benny then slaughtered every member of his old coven including his maker in revenge. He still clings to the idea that he can be a man and not a monster though it sure doesnt always feel that way and it is the furthest thing from easy. Now Benny has moved from Louisiana to Bellingstone for a fresh start, and to be closer to his only living relative, a sixteen year old, hyperactive teen Harrison, his great grandson who doesn't know he is related to the vampire at all and thinks they are just good friends. Benny also hopes that being in 'monster' territory will be a constant reminder of why he bothers trying to be a man instead of a vampire. He has got a job at a little dinner in town called Ragin' Cajun as the cook, and is quite content.




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“I’m a 147 pounds of pale skin and fragile bones. sarcasm is my only defense.”






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He is very intelligent, if not somewhat impractical about things, and caring with a sarcastic nature. Harrison has an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder not well managed with Adderall use, which lends to his fidgeting gestures and frequent flailing. He is a tall, lanky seventeen year old with chocolate hair and big, brown eyes. His skin is dotted with moles. He tends to wear layers, including a red hoodie, and a plaid button down with a graphic tee underneath.




✔ Friendly - Joker - Loyal

✗ Sarcastic - Hyperactive - Erratic

So begins...

Benny Lafitte's Story

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Benny was used to life as a war of attrition, a struggle for survival. The nature of Lafitte's particular beast was instinctive, swift, vicious, and beguiling. It was his advantage. But here? Here he was supposed to be just another hapless man. A man with no memory of the wide, terrified and desperate gaze of a girl he loved, her face ashen under grime and blood streaks; frozen in her final moments. A man with no memory of the blood that permeated the flesh of his very own two hands from the whirlpool of his victims. No, he was just supposed to be a man. A human...and It was dangerous to linger on such thoughts...

He turned his attention back to his Gumbo, wincing only slightly when he spotted a whole bay leaf floating amoungst all the other herbs and spices, and moved toward fishing it out as covertly as he could. Benny worked in a small, darkly lit little diner on the edge of town called the Ragin' Cajun. It was as close to Louisiana as this New Orelean's native was going to get out here. The snow fall alone was enough to have him prepared to pack his things up, and retreat back south, but he knew it was better this way. Better to be far from home.

"Another." Benny heard a voice call from a stool at the end of the bar/counter. The waitress' seemed to have their hands full at the moment, bustling about the room, refilling empty cups and scooping up empty plates, so he took it upon himself to pour this man another cup of coffee, black as sin, even if it wasn't in his job description. "Comin' right up." Benny responded in a voice that broke like dry wood, his usual warm southern lilt hollow with heart ache.
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Benjamin Lafitte, or affectionately Benny, was the only staff member remaining in the small diner. The vampire had been left in charge of closing up shop for the night and seeing the last of the straggling patrons out the door. After scrubbing his stove top until it was impeccably clean, that not even a single smudge marred it's surface, he meandered around the bar to the main floor where a gangly sixteen year old boy sat atop a lonely bar stool, sipping on a free strawberry milkshake he had been awarded by Benny. See, even though Benjamin had only been in this small town for a few weeks, he had come to look at this boy, Harrison Morgan, with a strange fondness. Well it wasn't all that strange actually, he was after all the boy's great-grandfather. This teen was one of the only ties Benny had to his human life, and one of the very reasons Lafitte had come to Bellingstone, of course this was all unbeknownst to Harrison. His mother worked doubles at the local hospital, leaving him alone more often than not. He spent nearly all of his time after school in the diner playing on the Gator Country arcade machine that rested in the back corner.

"Time for closing son." The vampire said, his voice rich with a musical southern timbre. Harrison jumped up in surprise from the rickety stool so fast that he overbalanced and nearly went straight over onto his face, but Benny caught him out of nowhere and hoisted him up by the back of his worn and faded tee shirt. “I’m good, I’m good!” Harrison tugged the hem of his tee down and found his footing. Benny just chuckled and shook his head in amusement. "Benny, please stop looking at me like I am the most adorable cat video you have ever seen.” Harrison groaned. "I am not." Benny lied, eyes crinkling up with his smile as Harrison heaved himself back on his stool, bobbing his straw idly in the remnants of his melted milkshake. "Any luck finding a room mate yet?" The boy quickly asked, hoping to distract his friend so he could stay for a fraction of a second longer. "Naw, not yet. I put the ad in the paper, but I suppose folks aren't all that eager to shack up in my tiny ramshackle old two bedroom apartment, and split the rent." Benny replied, tone light and jovial, but underlying with secret venom. In truth, the vampire feared that a creature of supernatural means would answer said ad. He vehemently wished in vain that he could have written the ad out with an additional sentence. "Humans need only apply."

After about fifteen extra minutes of friendly chit chat, Benny finally shooed the boy out the door and turned the lock, grateful to be away from the taunting heartbeat of his great-grandson. He swallowed hard, realizing it will be infinitely more difficult to resist his thirst with a room mate, but what other options did he have? If he wanted to afford to stay in town, to be near his only surviving family, then he'd have to take this on. He buried his hand deep in his navy blue peacoat pocket, retrieving his cell phone to check it for messages from any applicants for the apartment.

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Livius Vibi
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On his way to the diner he picked up a newspaper from a paper vendor on the street. He flipped through pages to find things that seemed new. Mortal news were always the same, simply repeating events. He did, however, find a ad for someone who needed a roomate for a small apartment. This could actually be a good place to hide if a war breaks out. After all Livius' home was large and extravagant with many windows so it was a poorly fortified position. He was to meet the man at that cajun diner outside of town.

The vampire walked to the edge of town to begin to stretch before running there. After the stretch he began to run through various hills and parts of the woods as to not be seen. He was fast indeed as that was a physical trait that he was very proud of. Soon he arrived at the diner, which seemed to be about ready to close, and he quickly entered the building. "Hello." He yelled through the building. "I am here for the rent of the apartment in the ad in the paper."

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Livius Vibi
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When you entered the Ragin' Cajun, dimmed lights illuminated the small, warm, and cozy establishment. The low rumble of chattering customers travelled thickly in the ambient of the diner, giving the room a contented feel. The smell of Creole, inexpensive liquor, stove grease, and wood varnish among other pleasant odours filled the air. The head waitress and cashier, Paulette, steered the other staff members to their posts whilst greeting the age old vampire Livius. She seemed already exasperated with the disorder in the small space and winced as she watched one of the newer waitress' drop an armload of plates. They came clattering to the ground, porcelain scattering across the floor like a hundred razor sharp daggers, and glinted violently in the muted light.

"I am here for the rent of the apartment in the ad in the paper!" The man called out to no one in particular. "I'm sorry sir, an ad you said?" she asked knitting her brows together as she kept her gaze on the odd looking man. His skin was as pale as freshly fallen snow and his hair fell in platinum waves, like the threads of gold, brighter than any halo; and almost too perfectly curled to be natural. He possessed a terrible beauty. Paulette just blinked a couple of times, as if trying to awaken herself...maybe she had fallen asleep in the back room? "You must be looking for Benny!" She said, clasping her hands together. "He has been grumbling about his rent as of late...just give me one second and he will be right with you." She trilled before shuffling quickly behind the counter top to tap on the cook's shoulder. Benny was lost in his work as always and had not noticed the other Vampire enter, his scent masked by the spices and herbs attacking Lafitte's senses. He wiped his bloody hands on his green apron, and whisked around with a warm and genuine smile. That was before he laid eyes on Livius that is.

What was it about other vampires that was so utterly repellant to Benny? One could argue that it was merely their status as a monster that had made people like Livius anathema to Ben. But the true reason for his hatred was deeper than that; it was rooted in the fact that he was a mirror for Benny. He feared that vampires like Livius were his dark reflection, one that would betray his humanity and fall back into monstrous behaviour. It was this that was the basis of his detestation and loathing. His abhorrence of his kind was not sourced solely in vampirism or status as a monster, but that Benny saw, in Livius, everything that he feared and hated about himself.

As blissfully ignorant Paulette left the pair to talk, Benny's lip unwittingly twitched, curling back over his sharp canine. "Hello." He said pleasantly enough, in a heavy southern lilt, but his stomach was in knots. Benny's ice pick eyes flitted over to the wirey teen swinging his legs childishly as he sipped on a glass of pepsi at the end of the bar. Harrison. "Can I help you with something friend?" He asked, swallowing hard, concerned for everything he loved in an instant. This vampire showing up here was not a good thing.

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Livius Vibi
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Livius smiled at the man. "Well I came to see about being a roommate for an apartment. I have a job so I can pay a steady rent. I am clean as well as quiet. Also, I hope you will not mind, but I would like to hang a few of my family crosses in the apartment." He told Benny. Although crosses were harmful for vampires, Livius was born a devoted Catholic and his religious views had changed little over his long life. "Also I have guns but I hope it would be alright to have in the apartment."

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Livius Vibi
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Benny flashed the elder vampire an affable smile, coming around the counter now to join him, but there was an odd cast to his face that looked uncomfortably like dismay. "Why don't we talk about it outside brother, I've got a minute." He said, his voice warm and rumbling like honey poured over thunder. Benny guided the Livius to a side door, away from the sounds of bawdy, raucous laughter of the diner patrons. Out of doors, Fat sausages sizzled and spit over a firepit, spicing the air with the scents of garlic and pepper. This was where he smoked the meat for his stews.

Benny spun on heel to meet Livius' eyes. "Look. I've got no quarrel with the local coven. I ain't here to start no problems." He started, hoping for quick resolution. In Benny's mind, the only motive this vampire could have for showing up here was one of conflict. To not see it as so would be an act of sheer folly on Lafitte's part. It wasn't unlikely that Livius was of an old age and a sharp wit, that much he could tell. Benny was a only a mere ninety years, but he had learnt much in that time, like the fact his southern drawl, and easy unassuming manner led most to believe him slower of intellect than he truely was. 'The sharpest needle is often the one you unknowingly sit upon.' His Sire had once told him.

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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Demetria Shailene Hawke



Demetria sighed when she and the crowd were asked to disperse. While she was grateful that someone could actually move this process along and proceed in identifying the poor girl, her curiosity had also been piqued. She wanted to know more, research this herself. Without much of a fight against it on her part, the hunter in her wanted to dive in to this case. No, she told herself and shook her head. It's none of your business. Glancing back one more time at the crime scene, Demetria plugged in her earphones and jogged all the way home.

After showering and changing back into her outfit from earlier, Demetria brewed herself a cup of green tea. She only drank loose-leaf green tea. She trusted it much more than the packaged ones that you simply dipped into a cup of hot water. It was fresher and the taste was pure. As she drizzled honey into her favorite Japanese tea cup, Demetria snatched up the local newspaper she had brought in. She stirred her tea gently and flipped through the pages. No doubt, the murder would be in the news tomorrow. It would probably be the headline, she mused. Shaking her head, Demetria's eyes fell on an ad for a roommate. Benny...Benny Laffite was his name. He apparently needed someone to split the rent with him for his two bedroom apartment, which wouldn't have been a problem had she known about this some time ago. She'd been here for a few weeks and had already found her townhouse when she made the decision to leave home. Leaving when she had already unpacked so much would be foolish, Demetria decided and sipped some of her tea. She placed the newspaper down.

For the next two hours, she unpacked three boxes. Two of them were filled with paintings, some her own works and others by various artists that she admired such as Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Michelangelo. She hung several in the living room and dining area. She only hung a still-life one in the kitchen just because she didn't want the area to seem too busy. After hanging a few in her room, she placed the others in the basement as a work space for herself. Satisfied, Demi went upstairs to check on her cell, which was charging in her bedroom. As she made it there, she glanced across the hall to the extra bedroom and frowned.

There was no real purpose of her having a two-bedroom townhouse if she didn't have a roommate. Sure, she could chalk it up to it being a spare bedroom in case a family member visited. But the probability was very slim. Her brother, as much as she loved him, was not the type to visit unless it was important and she knew for a fact her father was not invited. Cousins had been more of fellow hunters in her squad and she hadn't exactly been close to them as a child. So, she relatively was alone. The ad in the newspaper flashed behind her eyes and without thinking, Demi found herself downstairs beside the house phone, dialing the number for Benny. It rang a few times before a voicemail came on. She didn't expect much. The man might have already found someone and she was wasting her time.

"Hi," she said into the phone. As if that didn't sound lame, she mentally chastised before continuing. "I...um, I saw your ad in the paper and I was wondering if you were still looking for a roommate." Demi played with the phone cord for a second, biting her lower lip as she tried to find the words to say. When did she have a lack of words? She was so talkative as a child and words usually poured out of her mouth. She shook the feeling away. "Look, I won't be able to move in with you. I got this townhouse some weeks ago and I've unpacked a lot. I understand if you're not willing, but I'm in this big townhouse by myself with room enough for two. I don't live too far from your restaurant and if you call me back, I can easily come out there and meet you. You can even come see the place tonight if you want. Just...call me back and we can set the time...or day. No rush." She hung up and exhaled loosely.

Now, to clean up that room.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Derek Hale Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay Character Portrait: Ariana Kaye Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Jeremy Donovan Character Portrait: Leighton Harding Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen Character Portrait: Lassiter Declan Character Portrait: Livius Vibi Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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"A mother fucker." she replied unabashed, her cheeks dimpling with a wry smile. Profanity sounded so alien coming from the mouth of the small cherub faced girl, in a voice so tiny and melodious. Leighton giggled and bobbed her head along to the song playing over the radio waves, it was one she enjoyed. Whatever reaction Annelise would have to Leighton cursing would prove only to please the seven year old. She had such a playful disposition which delighted in anything mischievous.

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Derek's small black ears folded back against his skull. She wanted him to come over to her house? Her home? It was one thing for them to be playing, wolves in the wild; well, as wild as the woods outside of town could be, but it was another matter completely for human interaction. Derek wasn't so great at that. He could handle the mundane everyday conversations well enough, but it had been a few years since he had actually spent any time with people in a social setting. "I uh...I don't have any clothes." Brilliant.

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Jeremy was gripped by that strange novel emotion of indignation. Any stray feelings of guilt he had in coming over there to check on the EMT's progress melted from his body, pooling at his feet, streaming and fizzing as they evaporated away. Jeremy was an all around nice guy most days, and it wasn't as if he had even been rude to the man, only thought about it. Where had that come from? The light he had seen in the man's eyes, Lassiter's eyes, contrasted sharply with his response. His body was like a sadistic mockery of the man Jeremy thought he saw within. "You too Sir." He said politely, his tone short and clipped, but before he could turn to leave, some raven haired woman was glued to his side, asking questions about the scene.


"What's with all the commotion?" She pushed curiously, brushing against him as she seemingly leaned in to get a better view from behind the tape. "Miss, as I said earlier, the law enforcement has everything under control. You have nothing to worry about. If you want details, read the paper tomorrow morning. We will have issued an offical statement by then." He said with a gentle smile, his voice warm and kind. However, now that he was looking at her, really looking, he realized she was something worth looking at. She had dark obsidian tresses and bright icy eyes of an incandescent blue. Falling back into a typical teenage fashion, a doopey grin crawled up his face and latched on there, his insipidly boring ken doll features turning positively smitten. He wanted to say more, it was his first day on a scene and he was so proud he could gush just to impress her, but too many voices in his head screamed repercussions.

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Livius smiled superciliously and tilted his head, it oscillating in an almost reptilian manner as Benny folded his arms over his broad chest and left him to his own devices. Outwardly, Benny seemed quite relaxed, even cordial, the small smile on his face more suited to one talking about the weather than someone wordlessly being threatened by an older vampire, but if any of the diner patrons would look upon his face closely enough, they might be inevitably drawn into his bright blue eyes, flickering with undisguised fury.

When he re-entered the Ragin' Cajun, his keen senses were engulfed in the smell newspaper and crawfish, of warm beignets dashed with powdered sugar and in his ears rang the rich sounds of zydeco. Benny's lips made a grim twist that was like the joyless cousin of a smile. This was as close to his home as he was going to get in Bellingstone. His gaze flickered to his great grandson Harrison, rabbiting around the diner, pestering waitresses much to old for him, and well out of his league. To Benny's horror, venom pooled in his mouth, his canines lengthen and sharpening, biting into the inside of his lower lip in his closed mouth. The fresh outside air had only done him diservice in the way that the copper flavor of pulsating blood in the air beguiled him until he decided to turn tail and head back outside. "Oi Benny!" Harrison called, noticing his entrance. "Where you going now?" Benny groaned mentally. "Outside! Gotta check my voicemail, sorry!" He yelled in reply, his warm and strong accent strained.

As soon as he walked out the door from which he came, he was elated to see Livis had left via the woods and wasn't still waiting on him. Benny pulled his green blood soaked apron over his head and slung it in the grass, wiping his hands down his tired face covered in three day old scruff bordering on a beard. This wasn't getting easier.His hunger was like a fire; flames licking the line of his pulse, making it race. He could feel something in his chest, something volatile, a live thing that stirred, dizzying him with an appetency that made him shudder, turning logic to madness. He needed a distraction. He swiftly retrieved his cellular phone from the abyss of his jean pocket with a shaky hand, and proceeded to actually check for messages he didn't expect to be there.

"Hi, I...um, I saw your ad in the paper and I was wondering if you were still looking for a roommate. Look, I won't be able to move in with you. I got this townhouse some weeks ago and I've unpacked a lot. I understand if you're not willing, but I'm in this big townhouse by myself with room enough for two. I don't live too far from your restaurant and if you call me back, I can easily come out there and meet you. You can even come see the place tonight if you want. Just...call me back and we can set the time...or day. No rush."

Some girl prattled on nervously, obviously uncomfortable with leaving a message in the first place. Benny just stood there shocked momentarily, the phone still pressed to his ear long after she had finished speaking and the voicemail had clicked off. Isn't this what he wanted? What he needed? But could he handle the temptation? He wasn't married to his apartment, hell, he would welcome a chance to move out and someone to share the burden of the bills with, but could he handle the call of human blood twenty four seven? He placated himself with the fact he would be at work during the day, and who knew, maybe she wasn't a home body to begin with.

Benny quickly brought the phone back down, punching in the phone number, and put it to his ear once more, letting it ring....

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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Demetria frowned as she decided which two paintings she could hang in the spare bedroom. As she examined both closely, the house phone rang and she jogged lightly downstairs. She picked it up and answered, "Hello?"

When the woman picked up the other end, Benny had to swallow down a bundle of nerves and a pool of venom that had welled in his mouth. She sounded tasty. "Yeah, hi. This is Benny? Benny Lafitte? I got yer message about the big ol' townhouse, and uh if it's really not too far from mah work, I'd like to swing by and check it out..." He drawled in his thick southern accent, a little uncharacteristically shy.

The male that she called from earlier was calling her and Demetria's eyes widened. Her mouth opened and closed a few times as he spoke, surprise and maybe even apprehension in her body language. She hadn't actually expected him to call her back and now she was actually...nervous. And, judging by the tone in his thick southern drawl, he was too. "Umm...sure. That'll be fine," she replied and a smile formed on her face. That could work and a newfound excitement filled her. She didn't even realize that her English accent was coming out. "Do you have a pen and paper with you, sweetheart? I can give you the address."

"Er yeah, give me a sec Darlin'." Benny answered with an expelled breath, his usual deep, vociferous tone returning to him. He rummaged around in the waste bin next to the door outside and retrieved a receipt for ten pounds of cayanne peppers. He held the cell phone next to his ear by way of pressing his shoulder against it, and poised a blue ink pen from his pocket to the crinkled receipt bared against the wall of the building. "Alright I-" Hold the boat, was that an english accent? A purr rumbled in his chest. "Alright I got some paper, address?"

"Sure, take your time," Demi told him, sitting down carefully in a stool at the breakfast bar. Fleetingly, she glanced over to the paper where her address was. It was only a second later when she grabbed it, reminding herself that she wasn't exactly the most familiar with the address. She heard movement on the other end and the sound of fabric rubbing against the phone. He was just about ready to tell her he was ready, she presumed, when he paused for a second. Demi caught the tail end of something indiscernible. It wasn't words, but a sound she'd heard once before. Was that a growl? When Benny was finally ready, she proceeded to give him the address, "3214 Bryarly Lane. It's the white house with the red door. A silver civic is parked directly in front of it. You can't miss it."

"3214 Bryarly Lane." He repeated, ensuring he had heard her correctly as his smile and tone brightened in a suitably gentle way--not like a sudden sunburst, but more like an oil lamp being turned up gradually. Benny was beyond eager, finally feeling like his luck could be taking a turn for the better for the first time in a decade. "I'll be by in a bit if it aint no trouble for yah...I am about to take off work anyways." He finished happily. Perhaps he'd spent too much time with the humans--understatement of the year--their colloquialisms seemed to roll so naturally off his tongue. Benny laughed then, like rain; his sparkling droplets of cachinnation, flinging itself against Demetria's windowpane ears. "See yah soon?"

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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Demetria Shailene Hawke



See you soon?" Benny asked. Demi found herself smiling and nodding before realizing that he obviously would not be able to see her nodding her head.

"Um, yeah. See ya soon. Bye," she replied and hung up.

For a second, there was a genuine smile on her face. There was a flutter of excitement in her belly and she felt like that teenage Demi getting ready to have her first roommate in college. The experience had been uplifting and the new acquaintance was a needed feeling. Spending her entire life around fellow hunters, people who could care less about having a social life, was not the environment for a young girl. Sadly, Demi was feared at a young age. One of her teachers commented that she had a nasty temper and did not play well with others. It affected her to say the least and it took almost a month for her and her roommate to get along.

Live in the present, she had to remind herself and went back upstairs. The spare bedroom still needed the sheets and blanket and she still had to decide what paintings to use. Damn it all to hell! Demi found herself rushing to get everything done. She went over the floors again with the vacuum despite the fact that she cleaned all of the floors a few days ago and hadn't touched this room since. Perhaps she was worrying herself too much. It didn't matter. She needed this done and something about cleaning the room made this deal - this roommate partnership agreement thing - real. Demi ran back and forth between the basement and the bedroom, struggling with her blanket decisions. Whatever she chose had to fit this theme...or maybe this color?

Finally, forty-five minutes later, she found herself staring at the finished product. She was satisfied. This room didn't get hit by the sunlight like hers in the morning, which was fine for her. The sun was always a welcome sight. But this was homely and she hoped he'd be alright with this. Perhaps she had gone overboard with the pillows? Maybe? She faintly remembered that sound on the phone and was beyond curious. Had she honestly heard right? Was that a growl? A chill went down her spine at the thought of a supernatural creature. Yes, she was being civil with them. You might even say she was nice. But was Demetria Hawke - a former hunter who killed viciously in the past - actually ready for a supernatural roommate? Only one way to find out, love, her mind replied. Demi sighed.

She needed a distraction.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Derek Hale Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Isabella Gabrielle Clarke Character Portrait: Nikolai Lannister Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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Nik inwardly cringed at her candidness as she took his wrists; his meager resolve leeching away from him as it balked in the face of Gabby's stare. He had never shared the inner workings of his still heart before. However....now that she saw through his mask, she felt compelled to inform him that she too was lonely. That she had changed her mind, and wanted to know him. It was all a bit over whelming...

Nik smiled with his mask. He rarely took it off any more. Almost never. Or was it never, now? It was long past the point where it chafed. There was only numbness where it rubbed against his skin. Nikolai fancied it had grown into his face, that he couldn't remove it even if he wanted to. The mask was always smiling, always smirking. He chose it for that very reason. People believed what their eyes told them, and a smile of serene confidence mocked those who feared, reassured those who did not.

"Ah, well then...Shall we head back to my place? Best to discuss such future possibilities away from the prying ears of dogs." He replied with a sartorial elegance, in a well rehearsed lambent persona; one that Nikolai had given so many times before. His mannerisms were too pristine, too perfect to be accepted to be truths, his eyes and his games belied and opposed his words and facades.

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There was a long pause on the other end of the line and for some reason, her silence gave Benny some discomfort. He quickly moved to cover it, opening his mouth, hoping for some gathered thought to spew forth but luckily she had finally decided to speak. "Um, yeah. See ya soon. Bye." He huffed out a breath of relief as a soft click resounded from his phone. This was going to work....it had to....

Once back inside, Benny rapidly made his way toward the front exit, hoping to meet Demetria in a timely manner, but he still risked throwing a glance over his shoulder at his great grandson Harrison. The boy and a bleach blonde waitress in her mid to late twenties that went by the name of Laney were stumbling over their words, their smiles lazy, and they seemed to be attempting a cover of an old folk song by slapping the palms of their hands onto the counter. Fortunately, the last of the lunch time stragglers that had staggered in had already been served, so if Benny was away from the restaurant for a little while, it'd probably be fine.

He made it outside not a moment too soon. The cool, pulseless air was a refreshing breathe the vampire fecklessly thought as he slipped in the dented up 1978 Dodge Dakota he was currently in possession of; some of the seat's synthetic leather coming loose. He patted it back down before turning the key over and pulling out of the gravel parking lot. When he had purchased the vehicle, it was already marked with indentations from having hit a deer and two cattle. It was obvious the truck had once been red but the color had long since given way to rust, and it held a single navy blue stripe down one side— yes, only the left side, the other side had no stripe, and he had no idea why that was. Further more, since Benny had owned it, its value had decreased considerably still, even though he had spent more money fixing the truck than he paid for it. If it was worth as much money as it had cost to keep it running, he could have sold it long ago and bought a new car....but he was rather fond of the rusty metal death trap...it had character.


As Benny turned down Westwood drive, nearing his destination of 3214 Bryarly Lane, he rapaciously stretched his arm behind the passenger side seat where an old, beaten up cooler sat, and pulled out a bag of blood he had stolen from a blood drive. He turned up the packet of crimson liquid life to his lips with aplomb, teeth ripping into the plastic stuffed between his jowls. He'd need to be full to manage this.


Only moment's later he whipped his truck into Demetria's driveway, parking next to her silver civic. Benny then frantically tore off his blood stained work apron, and wiped the edges of his mouth clean with it before chucking the fabric cover in behind his seat. With an anticipatory inhalation of unneeded air, he set foot outside the antiquated vehicle, making his way to the door of the austere home. Knock knock, just your friendly neighbor hood vampire hoping you'll let me move in with you. He thought as he rapped on the door.
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"Eggs and Ham huh? Luckily they aren't green or this would be weird." He chuckled, pleased he could keep his word and actually feed her. Sara had quickly offered to cook, which was surprisingly nice and a relief as Derek was a completely rubbish chef. He could burn water....No seriously, burn water. And now, with nothing more to do than wait on lunch, the wolf took to watching Sara. He realized then and there he liked to see her smirking at him from over her shoulder, her thick mahogany hair falling down the exposed marble skin of her shoulders to continue down the plain cotton that wrapped around her slender figure.

Derek rapidly shook off thoughts of an 'unfriendly' nature with determination. He had been serious with a girl once before, he'd wanted to know a relationship, to have the curtain of naivety lifted from over his eyes. He'd read the back of the book. If he liked Sara, he knew what would happen eventually--home burned, firmament destroyed, him left broken in ashed dirt and heart encased in stone. He stopped his racing thoughts for a moment, watching Sara's blue eyes as thoughts unreadable to Derek flowed through her consciousness. She wasn't Kate, and Derek had nothing left to lose. He had left his old life behind with his tail tucked between his legs, like a scorned cur who'd been kicked one too many times. He could be someone new with someone new. She was a fait accompli.

Sara turned off the stove eye and slid a plate of her masterpiece toward him shyly. "I ah.. I hope it's alright." She intoned, her voice barely above a whisper. Derek shoveled a large fork full of eggs and ham into his mouth and his eyes immediately rolled back into his head. "Oh my God. That's good." he groaned with his mouth still full.

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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Demetria Shailene Hawke




Her father always found it strange how a seemingly simple task of painting could do anything for her mind. She needed to be focusing on these calculus problems because they were what kept her mind going. Contrary to his beliefs, painting stimulated her. For one, geometry was a part of math and the lines and shapes she drew to decide her plans of attack could all be attributed to painting. But the one thing it did that her father didn't seem to understand she needed was that it calmed her.

Henry Ward Beecher once said, "Every artist dips his brush into his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." And that applied to Demi. She couldn't tell you for the life of her what she was drawing. Was it a painting that she recalled from an art exhibit back in New York? Was it actually one of her own pieces - which was rare? She preserved a lot of art and gave a lot of great copies, some that could go for the real thing. But she rarely drew something from the heart. She was so wrapped up in carefully stroking the canvas with the thin paintbrush that she hadn't even heard the first few knocks. After all, she was in the basement.

Knock! Knock The sound finally reached her and blonde hair whipped around her as she glanced at the stairs. It must've been time for Benny to get here. Demi sighed and quaffed the remainder of her tea, cringing slightly because it had been lukewarm and Demi did not like lukewarm tea. She neatly set down her paintbrush, taking a good second to observe her work. It was a good thing to let this dry. Then she could carefully go over it with another design, forming a new look for...whatever this was. On her way towards the stairs leading out of the basement, she grabbed one of her towels and hurried up the stairs. It didn't matter to her that the first five buttons of her shirt were open and revealed the column of her long neck or her cleavage. It wasn't that big of a deal, right? But she at least should wash her hands.

She stopped by the kitchen and washed her hands off quickly, drying off with the towel. Once down, she attempted to smooth the blouse on the way to the front door. She unlocked it and swung it open, preparing to smile...but she didn't.

"Oh, you're quite beautiful," Demi remarked to him, eyeing him. If it were a normal human being, they probably would've looked at her like she was crazy. It wasn't her fault, however, that she was in an artsy mood. There was a thickness about him that didn't scream fat in anyway, but the muscle mass didn't seem to be overbearing either. It reminded Demi of one of those teddy bears that one of her old boyfriends gave her for Valentine's Day. She hadn't liked it, but she appreciated Benny's hardened yet not too hardened physique. And he had beautiful eyes. Ehemmm, her brain cleared it's throat and Demi's eyes widened in surprise at her own rudeness and a lovely little pink shade covered her cheeks. "I'm an artist...I look for structure and symmetry and that is not how you greet someone." She stuck out her hand to him. "I'm Demetria, sorry about that. Please, come in."

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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Unbidden, a laugh escaped him. "Beautiful? That's definitely one I ain't heard before." He replied with the rumble of his amusement still heavily lacing his words. "If ya ask me, that's how you oughta greet someone. Sets a real nice mood for the rest of the visit don't cha think? I'm Benny." He firmly took ahold of her prim, delicate, long-fingered hand and shook, his calloused grip rough but warm to the touch. Most vampires were disturbingly cold, death having frozen the circulation in their veins that previously made warm bodies; but Benny worked over a hot stove all day, or had his hands in his truck engine to look for problematic parts. Both of those things kept him at a nice human temperature most of the time. "An artist huh? Ever been to The Ogden Museum in Louisiana? That's gotta be my favorite place art wise. Of course...." He chuckled again, hinting at his obvious accent. "I may be a bit partial."

Benny nodded once in a thankful gesture as he overtook the threshold, stepping into the spacious apartment with her permission. "Yah know what? It's nice that someone in this town has an appreciation for beauty." He started, purposefully not mentioning whether or not he meant himself or the arts. Benny then just simply shrugged. "That's a characteristic of todays society though, the unappreciation I mean. The work of great masters are at most employed as ironic references, or in advertising. On the drive o'er here, I saw Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" with a pair of jeans superimposed over the spark." He shook his head despairingly. "The whole point of the picture, at least as I's sees it, is that these two monumental bodies each came to an end in two index fingers that almost, but not quite touch. There is a space between them, about a millimeter or so wide, and in that space: life. The sculptural enormity and richness of detail of this picture is simply a frame, a backdrop, to emphasize the crucial void in it's center. The point of emptyness that contained ev'rything." Benny would have flushed red had he possessed the ability to do so any longer. "I apologize...I'm a rambling. Just a bit nervous I s'pose." He explained as he anxiously adjusted the navy blue sailors cap atop his crown, before giving her a timid, closed mouth smile. "Oh Darlin', you got a little something...." He reached out and rubbed his thumb gently across her right cheek, collecting a spatter of paint that had splashed on her face. Benny then wiped his paint stained hand across the front of his grey sheen thermal tee with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows and two of the four button near the collar undone.

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Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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Demetria Shailene Hawke



Demi was unprepared for Benny's laugh, fighting back whatever impulse she had that said to cock her head slightly and stare at him like he was crazy. What was crazier was her sudden desire not to say what was on her mind Since when did she hesitate anyway? When you're trying to get a roommate and not trying to creep them out, her brain, always present and alert, replied. Besides, Benny appeared unperturbed by her statement.

"Beautiful? That's definitely one I ain't heard before." Demi found herself blushing again, making sure she was not in the way as he entered. "If ya ask me, that's how you oughta greet someone. Sets a real nice mood for the rest of the visit don't cha think? I'm Benny." Demi grinned as they shook hands. She could feel the rough texture of his palm, feel how it contrasted sharply against the softer texture of her own. Plus, he was warm, maybe even warmer than herself at this particular moment. The basement wasn't exactly the warmest place in her home. "An artist huh? Ever been to The Ogden Museum in Louisiana? That's gotta be my favorite place art wise. Of course...." Benny chuckled and Demi found herself smiling in return, obviously catching on to his accent. "I may be a bit partial." Demi giggled demurely.

"Sad to say, but I've never been to Louisiana. My father...he was never exactly a fan of the Southern states," she admitted before shaking her head, ridding herself of thoughts of her father. "Though a friend of mine worked down there for about a year as an intern." She watched Benny observe the place, hoping that everything was alright. It wasn't much in her eyes, not like the three-story house her family owned. But it was hers and that was all that had mattered to her when she bought it.

"Yah know what? It's nice that someone in this town has an appreciation for beauty." Demi raised an interested eyebrow, leaning against the nearest wall as he talked. Surprisingly, she wasn't exactly put off by his musings. Perhaps it was just rambling, but Demi wasn't in the least bit upset by it. Besides, at least she met someone who wouldn't find her weird for being up half of the night painting. "That's a characteristic of todays society though, the unappreciation I mean. The work of great masters are at most employed as ironic references, or in advertising. On the drive o'er here, I saw Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" with a pair of jeans superimposed over the spark. The whole point of the picture, at least as I's sees it, is that these two monumental bodies each came to an end in two index fingers that almost, but not quite touch. There is a space between them, about a millimeter or so wide, and in that space: life. The sculptural enormity and richness of detail of this picture is simply a frame, a backdrop, to emphasize the crucial void in it's center. The point of emptiness that contained ev'rything."

There were two things that Demetria decided as she listened to Benny share his opinions. For one, she liked his voice. While she had never been a country music fan, his voice reminded of her of one of those male country singers. There was this deep, almost seductive sound to it that calmed the nerves and allowed the listener to just relax. That was partially what she had been thinking about the entire time. The second thing she decided was that this thing right here...this could work. She found herself giggling as Benny shuffled almost uncomfortably and grew slightly sheepish.

"I apologize...I'm a rambling. Just a bit nervous I s'pose." She smiled widely at him, amusement dancing in her eyes as she basked in his ability to change from this observant person to someone so adorably shy all of a sudden. It was cute.

"You don't have to apologize, sweetheart," she told him, the ever-appearing accent returning to her voice. "Actually, I know what you mean. Youth today don't seem to understand the true beauty and majesty of art. The only art I think they see is swag, as some kids call it." Demi found herself chuckling at the thought, recounting her last days in her hometown where a kid bragged about his swag. All she saw was a boy who needed a belt for his jeans. "And...at least we can say I'm not the only nervous one," she admitted with a shy, smaller smile. Demi glanced towards the kitchen, faintly wondering if she should offer anything when she noticed Benny lean towards her from her peripheral.

"Oh Darlin', you got a little something...." Demi nearly flinched as his thumb brushed against her skin, swiping away at whatever residual paint splatter that had gotten on her face, and her breath hitched in her throat before she could contain it. Her hand itched with a need to reach her belt hoop, as if she still had a holster there and would pull out a gun. It was an old instinct, but it was etched into the back of her brain. Even in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere as this, it came out and Demi swallowed thickly, lips suddenly dry as she averted her gaze from Benny's.

"Th-thank you," she replied softly, tucking some hair behind her ear idly. Her teeth snatched up her lower lip, tugging on the supple flesh for a moment as she thought of anything in the world to take away the somewhat awkward atmosphere she was feeling. "Ummm...would you like something to drink? I have some beer, I think, and some water...and probably some sweetened ice tea." Demi finally released her lip, her hand rising to run through her hair and gently touching the scar on her throat on its path, as if reminding her why she grew to hate hunting so much. "Or would you rather see the room first?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Derek Hale Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay Character Portrait: Ariana Kaye Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Caterina De Luca Character Portrait: Jeremy Donovan Character Portrait: Leighton Harding Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen Character Portrait: ALARICK MORGENSTERN Character Portrait: Lassiter Declan Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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“You should take a picture… it would last longer,” The woman stated, her lips creeping into a grin until a laugh bubbled forth. It was a warm sound that vibrated pleasantly through Jeremy's vertebrae, leaving his spine tingling. “I’m Ariana. So, I was thinking, we should totally get a drink together tonight...So what do you say? Drinks? Dinner? Something?” Jer flinched under Ariana's near corporeal gaze. She wanted to go out with him? Many girls asked him out, but of course it never really went anywhere...guys like Jeremy were much too nice to hold up against a good old fashioned 'bad boy', but it shouldn't have been a surprize to be asked....but it was, at least by her. She was dark, seductive, mysterious, and beautiful in such a way little girls could only dream of. Why would she be interested in Ken doll, puppy eyed, Jeremy Donovan?[/i] His eyes went wide and his brows climbed high on his forehead. "I'm not old enough to drink." He replied stupidly, voice verging on dreamy, looking to her like a moth drawn to a flame."We could eat though, dinner is important. We should have it at least three times a day."

The clean sunshine of the winter's day vicously stabbed its way through the snow flakes wafting between the two of them, piercing the crime scene with a violent shaft of gold. Screams of cardinals and bluejays floated in on the freezing breeze coming off the snow dunes, and for a moment, the world felt shakingly peaceful even though Jeremy was surrounded by death. First getting to work a scene, now this? Next it'd be the lottery, or perhaps he'd solve the case. Today was perfect. "Oh! I'm Jeremy by the way, Jeremy Donovan." He chimmed, jabbing a thumb at the police badge pinned to his broad chest, feeling slightly moronic for many reasons, but mostly for rudely forgetting to name himself to her. He felt his own breaths grow long, his heartbeat heavy and loud.

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"Trust me when I said, I can understand the appeal to hunting over cooking." Sara replied, something marked in her words that made Derek look up. "Tell me something about you, anything. All I know is your name really...and if you and I, if we were to ban together...." The megalith of 90% muscle mass's replying growl was more like an aggressive purr. "I just mean to say I don't expect you to want to jump into another pack right away, especially when there is only one other member, an Alpha, but if you did...want to...I'd like to get to know you." Oddly listless, Derek half-heartedly finished up the last bite of his brunch and risnsed his plate clean in silence. Why did he have to do this? She had been in his home for all of two seconds and he was begging for her to join him in his lonely. But there was a rough edge to his need, a sharp accent of desperation. Wolves didn't really fair well on their own, it could be maddening....With so much effort it was embarrassing, he drug his eyes to meet Sara's brown ones once more.

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"No, no, it's fine," Axel dismissed, meandering around front of the diner bar and taking a seat on one of the stools bound in sythetic leather. He made a gesture of sorts for her to take the one opposite of him, so she complied. A flap of the alizarin crimson faux material came loose as she sat, and she patted it down demurely before bringing her eyes back up to meet his. "So, have you waited in a restaurant or a diner before?" He asked standardly, obviously begining his interview. Cat couldn't fathom anything worse than failing this test after having come such a long way to get there. She'd have to go back home if she did and that left a horrible choking welp in her throat. “Axel,” She heard someone intone, pulling her from the silent war raging within. “Sorry to bother you especially while you are so obviously working, but there is something I need to talk to you about. It is fairly urgent EMT business- but I should be quick about it.” Caterina raised an obsidian eyebrow delicately, arching it over her shining emerald eye. EMT business? Did this Axel work another job in additon to owning a diner? Her inner reporter, failing to remember she had left her post at Il quotidiano Italia(The daily Italy) when she had left the country, longed to dig for the scoop. “My apologies for the interruption I just need to get a few things clarified before I go home- to bed- which I was supposed to do over an hour ago before this mess reared its’ ugly head. So I’m tired and I’m cranky, and I don’t have the effort to flirt with you- so just go ahead and assume I made the most appealing comments you have ever heard.” He rambled with the glazed over, wide-eyed grin men usually got when confronted with an attractive member of the opposite sex. She simply flashed him that mega-watt smile of hers with all the charm and class she could muster. "Oh, of course. Please, don't let me keep you from your work. I have all day to wait and have had a full night of rest." She replied with a lie in a professional vernacular, her pedantic attention to cordiality showing dispite the vexatious situation. She had to admit though...this damn town smack dab in the middle of BFE was chock full of attractive men.

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"Leighton Harding, we don't use that word in school or to describe people, alright? I don't care where the hell you picked it up from, I don't want you saying that anymore, understand?" Seb chided her in a very adult like manner much to Leighton's displeasure. She had hoped he would get red in the face, it was always bemusing when he did. Leigh looked down at her scuffed up mary janes dejectedly. "Yes sir." She replied with a groan, feigning penance. Sebastian flung himself on the couch while Annelise remained standing for some odd reason. The adults intrepidly spoke of shooting their guns and someone named Nika with an acrimonious tone that concerned Le, but not nearly enough to pay attention beyond that. The affairs of adults were boring at best in her young eyes.

Suddenly a rap at the door pulled them from their mumbled words of a furtive nature. The door was opened, and a dark-haired head popped out. It was Seb's friend Alarick, his mahogany waves curling around his face in a most adorable fashion, and his hands clutching a case of beer. He and Sebastian began speaking but Leighton didn't pay any mind to this either. She toddled quickly over to them both and wrapped her arms around Alarick leg, hugging him close. "RICKY! My favorite pretty guy!" She trilled, happily returning to her old chirpy self, her signature goofy grin spreading across her little face like some frighteningly contagious wildfire. Sebastian told Alarick he could put his beverage in the fridge and moved back to his comfortable spot on the sofa. "You don't have to stay in here if you don't want to, Lay-Lay. Boring grown-up conversations, that's all." Leighton released the hunter from her grip, frowning at her cousin. "If you are bringing all of the fun people over, then I wanna stay. You want me to stay don't you pretty Ricky?" She asked, looking up doe-eyed at the man, and pushing her lower lip out in a pouty expression.

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"You don't have to apologize, sweetheart. Actually, I know what you mean. Youth today don't seem to understand the true beauty and majesty of art. The only art I think they see is swag, as some kids call it...and...at least we can say I'm not the only nervous one." She said with a light smile and sanguine english tint to her voice. Ugh Swag. Benny viperously thought. Things like that made him long for the 1930's again. It was a magical time, with an elegance and style that went unparalleled, and that was under the strain of mass unemployment and the threat of war for christs sake.

After he wiped the paint off of her porcelain cheek, her skin as soft as silk under his touch, Demetria's breathing hitched and he could hear her heart hammering in her chest.Thump-Thump-Thump."Th-thank you," she stammered, curling her stray blonde tresses behind her ear, teeth catching her lower lip, so close to tearing into the sensitive pink flesh....he pictured her biting down just a bit harder so blood would well up and he could catch that lip in his mouth and drink....NO! He screamed mentally, his throat burning with a deep want and hunger. And what was worse was it wrapped itself around him, suffocating him, whispering to him that there was only this feeling, this desire, this itch-in-the-back-of-your-throat-that-won't-go-away. "Ummm...would you like something to drink? I have some beer, I think, and some water...and probably some sweetened ice tea....Or would you rather see the room first?" I know what I'd like to drink....DAMN IT BENNY STOP! He internally shouted, shaking away horrifying thoughts with a struggled swallow. "The room please, if you don't mind Darlin'. I appreciate the offer but I ain't too...thirsty." He awarded her with a strained smile in the hope his face wasn't revealing too much.

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Character Portrait: Ariana Kaye Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Jeremy Donovan Character Portrait: Demetria Hawke
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"Ready?" Ariana rhetorically asked him, her words not aligned in time to the movement of her lips because Jeremy was disoriented by the feel of her fingers interlacing with his own. His mouth curved upwards into a dizzy, crushing grin. "Absolutely." He replied as they entered the restraurant like that, hand in hand, both beaming mega watt smiles.

Once inside, Jer waited patiently at the rear of the crowd that was formed in the foyer, hovering by the door to the tavern so as to be easily percieved by the staff. "Wow, they sure are busy tonight." He idly noted, rocking back and forth on his heels, trying to peer over the heads of the masses. The low rattle of dinerware was to be heard over the dull roar of the crowds voices; the well-omened jostling of plates against one another that promised a good meal. Luckily, and somewhat unexpectedly, they didn't have to wait but a moment before a woman in her mid to late forties had found her way over to them, brow knitted, strands of over processed blonde hair slipping from the pins that held her up do in place. "Hi, hello. Name's Paulette. Welcome to the Rajin' Cajin where you don't have to travel all the way to the bayou for some good ol' Creole cooking." She stated in a rehersed manner, her smile exhausted but genuine as she rotated her armload of dishes from one hand to another, obviously having stopped to assist them though she was supposed to be performing some other menial task.

Image"Table for two?" Jeremy asked, the statement posed like a question. His heart bled for her and her current predicament as it always did for anyone in need of a hand. He was a breath away from offering to carry the platers for her when she spoke up again--effectively cutting off any offers of help he'd of given. "I am sorry for all the commotion and confusion, we are a bit short handed and quite busy as you can see, but no worries, I'll have someone come help us out here." Paulette voiced as she nearly mimicked Jeremy's earlier searchful stance, rocking back on her heels, eyes frantically combing the room for anyone else in a navy blue diner shirt. Finding no one, she opted to call on the one person she knew would drop what he was doing to help out. "Benny, I need a hand!"

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The house showing had gone relatively well in Benny's mind, all and all, and he had hoped to hear back from Demetria soon. He really did need a a place to move into or more suffient funding for his current abode, his cooks salary just not cutting it. Not that's he'd complain...his job was his lifesblood.

Benny threw his unbeating heart and soul--if he even had one--into everything he did and it was his best and his worse quality. He worked with a passion and conviction that most vampires and humans alike lacked and there was something hypnotising about the way he moved when he cooked and the confidence that came when he toiled over the stove, putting his proverbial nose to the grindstone. He operated with the talent of someone more than 33 years old, but then again, that was probably because he was actually 94.

The Novemugenarian bustled around the kitchen, stirring various pots, flipping multiple dishes over on the fryer or in the oven with zeal. Benny had to work in the restaurant kitchen all by himself, the establishment not being able to afford more than one cook at a time, but he supposed it would have been too illustrious an honour to have worked beside someone great. Would have been too difficult for sure at least, he seethingly thought, slowing his pace, reminded of the fact he had limited control over his unholy thirst.

His lapse in activity, the brief sojourn to muse at the unfairness of it all, must have clearly been disapproved of by the powers above, as the shout of The head waitress and cashier, Paulette and subsequent swell of clattering plates wrenched the chef sharply from his contemplation. "Benny! I need a hand!" She cried out. The vampire checked to make sure none of the food would need his immediate attentions before briskly lopping out of the kitchen to see to what she required of him. As soon as he exited the room though, he instantly regretted it, the overpowering scent of blood, the steady thrum of so many pulses packed together in the tight space, making him salivate. Their-odor-was no longer masked by the heady smell of herbs and spices that circled the cookery. Poor Paulette dejectedly juggled a stack of dinnerware while trying to attend to some customers, the hostest being no where to be found apparently. "Oh thank God," She sighed as Benny came into sight. Not likely, he thought. "Sir, Ma'am, please excuse the fact that we are understaffed tonight, I assure you it won't affect your service. This is Benny and he'll show you to your table."

ImageThe cook offered up a wan smile to the boyish officer and his dark haired date, stomach already churning. "Hi, yes, I'm Benny, as the lovely lady made mention, and if you'll follow me, your table is this way." He said with the practiced skill of a chef who had been forced into this position one too many times before now, his voice warm and rumbling like honey poured over thunder, a southern louisiana lilt scratching the surface. The vampire lead the pair to an open booth and slid two menus he had managed to swipe from the host podium on the trip over there in front of them. "Alright, why don't we start ya'll off with something to drink."

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Character Portrait: Ariana Kaye Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Jeremy Donovan
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Jeremy's smile when she grabbed his hand practically made her heart melt. Ariana interlaced her fingers with his, and they walked into the restaurant just like that... probably looking like fifteen year-olds with their first crush. When they entered the establishment, Ariana was hit with a wall of sound, and a mass of bodies. Apparently everyone had a craving for cajun food that evening. They stayed to the rear of the crowd, and she still clung to his hand while they waited. Eventually they were approached by an eccentric woman who gave them a rehearsed greeting. "Hi, hello. Name's Paulette. Welcome to the Rajin' Cajin where you don't have to travel all the way to the bayou for some good ol' Creole cooking." The woman was nice enough, though, and Ariana just gave her a smile in return. She had a handful of dirty dishes she was juggling, and Ariana figured they were a little understaffed, not used to so many customers.

"Table for two?" Jeremy asked, and her heart skipped a beat at his statement. Just the two of them spending a night together. She couldn't help but smile and tug his body a little closer to hers. "I am sorry for all the commotion and confusion, we are a bit short handed and quite busy as you can see, but no worries, I'll have someone come help us out here." Paulette began to search the establishment, looking for any help, yet apparently finding none. She finally gave up and yelled "Benny, I need a hand!" Apparently whoever Benny was had just gotten picked to help the lovebirds. What a lucky guy. It didn't take long for him to appear, and it was obvious he worked behind the scenes. He seemed to be on edge slightly, but Ariana couldn't figure out why.

Paulette apologized, promising that their service would be outstanding, and then she hustled off to help the fifty customers she most likely had. "Hi, yes, I'm Benny, as the lovely lady made mention, and if you'll follow me, your table is this way." He took off, and the couple followed, still hand in hand. They stopped in front of a booth, and even though Jeremy sat, Ariana stayed standing. "Alright, why don't we start ya'll off with something to drink," the cook said. "I'll just take a water, please," she said quickly before walking to Jeremy's side. She placed a hand on his shoulder affectionately, and leaned down to whisper in his ear. "I'll be just a minute," she said softly before heading to the back of the establishment to hit the ladies room.

ImageIt only took a minute before she emerged back into the main area of the restaurant, and she was about to head back to her booth - and Jeremy - when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned suddenly to find none other than Tommy standing before her. "Shit..." she said, somewhat breathy, after being startled. "You scared the crap out of me." It took her a minute to notice that there was nothing friendly about his face, and he was actually looking at her with hatred in his eyes. "I saw that you're here with another man..." he simply stated, and Ariana raised an eyebrow, confused. Sure, they had slept together the other night, but she had told him plain and simple that she didn't want anything from him. "What, am I not good enough for you? You'd rather have Wonderboy?" Her eyes narrowed, not knowing where he was going with this conversation. All she wanted was to get back to her date. "I'm busy, Tommy. Leave me alone," she said with annoyance seeping through her tone. She turned to leave him, and was grabbed forcefully. A hand was placed over her mouth, and she was pulled forcefully backward.

Somehow, she was dragged backward and out a service entrance into an alley. He shoved her against a wall, and she felt the breath rush out of her lungs. It took a moment, but she finally was able to get words out. "What the hell, Tommy?" she asked, her words full of anger and hatred. "You deserve me. No one else deserves you. Certainly not that young, immature fool." Jeremy was four times the man Tommy was, and she knew he would never lay a hand on her like Tommy just had. "You are mine. He advanced on her quickly, pushing her down to the ground, attempting to force her clothes off. She struggled against him, knowing that with her training she could overpower him in mere seconds. She pushed him off of her, shoving the heel of her pump at his thigh, making contact and feeling it sink into his skin. He let out a roar of anger, pulling the pump from his leg and tossing it aside.

ImageHe advanced on her faster than her eyes could register, and he forcefully slapped her in the face. She saw stars as her head whiplashed back, tears stinging her eyes. "If you don't want me, you will have no one," Tommy said, and she watched with horror as fangs slid out of his mouth. She had no idea he was a vampire. And she had left her weapons at home in the name of fashion and looking beautiful for Jeremy. "I'm going to enjoy killing you slowly..." he said, a cold smile on his lips. "Fuck..." she said to herself, as he advanced on her slowly. In a split second he moved at the speed of light, and he was on top of her again, hand squeezing her neck tightly. She sputtered for air, tears falling down her face. It's like everyone says, your life flashes before your eyes. And when the pictures flashed before her, she was disappointed with what she saw. Sure, she had lived a fun life, but what had she actually gotten out of it? She hadn't developed many meaningful relationships. Would anyone even miss her when she died? The only thing she was proud of was being a hunter. And now she had met a wonderful guy who thought she was beautiful and special, even though she was quirky and sarcastic. Love had been something she avoided at all costs, and yet she had found herself falling for this rookie cop. She thought of Jeremy inside, wondering where she had went. Would he think she had completely bailed on him? Would he even look for her? All she knew was that she was going to die.

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Character Portrait: Ariana Kaye Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Jeremy Donovan
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The boy wonder drummed his fingers tunelessly on the clear-coated table top, heart a flutter, too hopped up on endorphins to sit idle. He had so much he wanted to ask Ariana, so much he wanted to tell her....save a certain childhood trauma. His lips curved down into something resembling a frown. Why was his sister coming to mind just now, her murder? Jeremy sighed balefully. No. He would not let his focus be divided tonight. Ariana was at stake. Thinking on his date, he lifted his head up to scan the room that was packed passed capacity. She ought to have been back by now....luckily though, his grin found itself again just as soon as his eyes caught sight of her traveling his direction, Ariana's expression unwittingly mirroring his own. That infectious smile of his only faltered at the sight of another man grabbing her shoulder. Who the Hell was he? Whoever the stranger was, she didn't seemed all that pleased to see him, and he didn't look too happy either. Whatever their exchange, Jeremy felt he had better intervene, sliding out of the booth to retrieve his date. Goodness, when had he become so possessive? But it was more than that, he didn't like a man intimidating a woman by any means, he would not stand for harassment....especially not of his date.

But as he tried to weave around a rather obnoxious group of people, bawdily laughing as they traversed drunkenly back to their own table, he lost sight of her and the stranger. His brow furrowed, heart slamming up into his throat. “Ariana?” He called out, hoping for an answer, but finding none. He pushed through the crowd a bit rougher this time, not affording any “excuse me”s or “sorry”s, as he found the back of the room, where she had been standing not moments ago. The cop whipped his head around at the sound of whistling wind breezing through an open doorway, catching sight of a streak of jet black hair before it closed shut once more. Got yah.

As soon as he came through the door, his head jerked in the direction of a voice, the voice of a young woman--Ariana--strained, desperate, frightened. “Fuck.” That one word couldn't have been more horrifying had it been howled, and the sight coupled with it was no improvement either. The man hovered over Ariana, pinning her to the ground, hand wrapped around her throat. A hulk like rage filled Jeremy's body, consuming him completely until his mind was only working on a primal level reminiscent of some fevered animal. His knuckles turned bone white as he clenched them into fists, his face falling even paler. “Hey!” He cried out, racing forward, unknowingly hastening toward death, dancing sprightly towards it's outstretched talons. Those knuckled white hands unfurled to grasp at the mans shirt collar and heave him up into a standing position off Ariana before flinging him to the side. The man recovered quicker than Jeremy had thought was possible twisting his body around, landing on his feet like a cat, wrath marring his comely features. Two of his teeth, his canines, protruded sharply from the rest of his pearly white set as a feral snarl escaped his lips. If there had been birds, they would have abandoned their alcoves in the branches of evergreens and taken to the skies, startled by the sound of it.

ImageA real fear gripped Jeremy's insides, twisting his guts into a Gordian knot, but he did not waver. He hoisted Ariana to her feet and stood protectively in front of her, gaze somehow managing to come across as threatening. “You want someone to choke, bring it on Dracula.” He ground out as the vampire stepped toward them both menacingly. “First I am going to eat your boyfriend here, drain him so dry his body will concave on itself like a caprisun pouch. Make you watch, as helplessly as I did when you walked away from me into the arms of this Wonderboy...” His lips stretched into the joyless cousin of a smile, something awful and cruel. “Then you and me will have some real fun-”Tommy's words were cut abruptly short by a long jagged piece of wood jutting through the front of his chest, blood spilling from his mouth. Anyone e'er tell you you talk too much?” A gruff southern voice said from behind him as the assailants body crumpled to the ground. Jeremy's eyes were fixed in horror at the body splayed face-down, its unmoving palms touching the earth left exposed by the melted snow as though bent over in prayer. On its back, around the gaping hole gored in the upper-left portion by a broken chair leg, the corpse’s green tee-shirt was darkening; no longer a shade to rival the evergreens, the material now tainted almost black. That was the last glimpse of butchery Jeremy caught before the body spontaneously imploded, flesh crumbling into blocks of ash, scattering black across the sea of white, like the threat had been nothing more than an ink stain on a rumpled white coverlet. He clutched onto the girl behind him, still protective and he pushed her a step back, eyes rising to meet the icy blue ones of their waiter.


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“I'll just take a water, please.” The dark haired girl replied, not bothering to take a seat, leaning in to whisper into the boys ear before scampering off toward the ladies room. “And for you?” He asked the rookie police officer that everyone around town could recognize from the happy go lucky-if not some what perpetually dopey-grin plastered on his face. “Sweet tea please sir, thank you very much.” He replied, offering the vampire up a warm and genuine smile. Benny couldn't help but return the gesture in earnest, Jeremy's unabashed kindness reminding him so much of his grandson Harrison's. “I'll be back in just a minute then with your drinks and to take your orders.” He informed him before milling back around the room to retreat into the safety of kitchen.

The smell of boiling crawfish and warm beignets drowned his senses, dulling the smell of pumping blood rushing through tender veins, and allowed him to clear his mind, to shake that ravenous hunger that has seized him not moments before. He sighed heavily as he leaned against the wall, his eyes settling with determined calm on the deeply varnished heart pine floor. The light made pools of yellow on the boards that if he focused on, reminded him of all the textures and elements softened by the simmering summers of New Orleans and her clammy crawling winters—green winters, Benny called them because the trees there were never bare. God, he missed home. The closest reminder he had to it were some kitchen lights and the smell of Creole. Benny shook off his self pity and set about to checking on all of his cooking dishes once more before filling two glasses with their respective drink of choice, thanking whoever would listen that he only had two customers to serve, and hadn't been demoted to full on waiter status yet.

With another sigh and one drawn out pause to steady himself, hand hovering over the knob, he trepidatiously decided upon going through the kitchen door back into the fray, his unwavering dedication to living a human life winning out. His steely blue eyes settled on his customers table across the room only to find no one occupying it. This wasn't all that odd, perhaps the boy had excused himself to the restroom as well, what with humans and their persistent bladders and all, but what was out of place was the irony tang of blood permeating the air. This wasn't the smell of blood beneath skin, but the smell of freshly split crimson life being wasted. Benny's eyes lolled back in his head, jaw dropping open just slightly as venom pooled in his mouth. He set the drinks on the nearest empty table, instincts kicking into drive, and wound his way through the patrons to the exit, following the scent trail, face as calm as a predator on the prowl.

Luckily for all parties involved, as soon as Benny set foot into the deep Pennsylvania snow, and felt the whip of the bitter biting wind that tore across the parking lot, he seemed to come to, despite the fact he was closer to the bleeding source. The winter breathed a harsh exhalation of cold fronts that was just what the vampire needed to focus as he continued around the venue to peak around the corner. This was more for the sake of a visual as his vampiric hearing afforded him every word of the exchange between the dark hair girl and her new not so welcome companion; a companion, that not unlike him, was of the undead variety.

Vampires were by their very nature perverse and did wicked and terrible things simply for the sport of it. To kill a mortal pet for her deemed betrayal would be a worthy entertainment for some grim and alien creature, their lives growing so easily stale after so many years. Benny's lip curled over his dull canines, his fangs, thankfully, remaining sheathed. Like hell he was just going to stand by and let this fanger come onto his territory and shed blood at his back door. He doubled back around the building to retrieve a chair he knew from experience was posted just outside another exit, for employee's that part timed in chain smoking, and snapped it over his thigh, breaking off one of the legs with a sickening crack. Stake in hand he felt bolder, braver, more sure in his resolve as he slank with all the stealth of a panther into the woods, taking a round about route to catch the stranger off guard.

ImageAs fate would deliciously have it, the poor girls date had stumbled outside and joined the party, exercising a bravery that not many possessed in the face of the devil. This provided Benny the perfect distraction as he moved in even closer, stake poised to strike. The vampire Tommy took his last step, a step toward the quaking human beings when Benny made his move, thrusting the wood upward into his heart so hard that the vampire's feet rose off of the ground. “Any one e'er tell you you talk too much?” He said smugly, tossing the dying corpse onto the ground with a loud thud, and as the body withered away into ash, he caught a glimpse of the looks on the human's faces; one of horror, one of understanding. Not only had he revealed himself to two mortals, effectively ruining his cover here, one of them had to be a hunter. “Shit.” Nice move Laffite, way to use your brain.

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Character Portrait: Ariana Kaye Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Jeremy Donovan
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Everything was fading slowly for Ariana. The darkness was welcoming her, calling her name. She reached for it hungrily, tired of all the pain. She just wanted it to end, to be at peace. It was close, she could feel it. She closed her eyes for the last time, not wanting Tommy's face to be the last thing she saw. The fuzziness enveloped her, and she was ready to let go. At the last second, a voice shot through the fog, clear as day. "Hey!" it shouted, and she recognized it immediately. Jeremy. She was thinking of Jeremy in her last moments. That was how she wanted it, she realized. She smiled at the thought of his voice.

ImageSuddenly, the hand was ripped off of her throat, and she gasped for air, taking extremely large breaths. Her eyes darted around rapidly, but her vision was foggy. She heard rustling, but couldn't figure out what was going on. She was grabbed and hoisted to her feet, the action making her brain focus. Jeremy's face came into focus, and he looked truly shaken. But then he turned around, facing Tommy. Well shit... she thought frantically. Jeremy had come to rescue her, not knowing exactly what he was getting himself into. Now, instead of just her dying, he was going to be killed as well. All because of her. "Jeremy, no..." she croaked, her voice extremely raspy. She clung to him, trying to get him to listen to her, but he wouldn't. “You want someone to choke, bring it on Dracula.” Jeremy's voice was clear and strong, not intimidated in the slightest. He was so brave and noble, he didn't deserve to die. Tommy kept advancing toward the pair, and she gripped Jeremy's arm even harder. She pulled, attempting to put herself in front of him instead, but he still refused to budge. "No, please!" she begged him, but she could have been talking to a wall for all the good it did.

“First I am going to eat your boyfriend here, drain him so dry his body will concave on itself like a caprisun pouch. Make you watch, as helplessly as I did when you walked away from me into the arms of this Wonderboy...” Tommy spoke, his mouth curling up into a grimace so evil and cruel, he could have been in a horror movie. Ariana's eyes narrowed at his words. "No." She whispered it to herself more than anyone else. She would not let him hurt Jeremy, she would do anything she could to prevent that from happening. She started to move herself in front of Jeremy, putting herself in danger. Maybe he would have time to get away while Tommy was draining her dry. “Then you and me will have some real fun-”

ImageHis voice was cut off by a choke, and Tommy's eyes widened. A piece of wood protruded through his chest, covered in his own blood. "Anyone e'er tell you you talk too much?” A voice asked, seemingly coming from nowhere. But then the body crumpled to the ground, and she got a look at the attacker. The cook-turned-waiter stood there, staring at the both of them. A chair leg crudely ripped off a chair stuck out of Tommy's back, and she watched with no remorse as his body dissolved away, the ashes beginning to blow away with the wind. She began to loosen her grip on Jeremy, no longer frightened. Whoever this man was, he was a friend. He knew of the secret world she had been a part of for years. And know Jeremy knew too. She wouldn't have to lie to him about her past. She felt relieved. Relieved that Tommy was gone, the threat eradicated. She was relieved Jeremy was alive. And she was relieved that she wouldn't have to lie to him.

Without thinking, she ran in front of him, cupped his face in her hands, and kissed him. She put all of her emotions into it: fear, anger, relief. She didn't want to pull away, but she knew they had an audience. She pulled back, hoping he could read all of her feelings in her eyes, that he knew how much she cared about him. She turned to face the third person in the alley, backing up behind Jeremy just in case. She knew he would want to be protective, and this once she would let him. She held onto his arm, liking the reassuring feeling of him next to her. "You know," she said simply, watching him with extreme curiosity, and yet also with wariness. "How do you know?" she asked, wondering how he had found them in the alley, and also how he had known to kill the vampire.

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Character Portrait: Ariana Kaye Character Portrait: Benny Lafitte Character Portrait: Jeremy Donovan
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ImageThe empty alley beneath an immense black sky, with only the cook and his date in his company, seemed all the more ghastly to Jeremy; the one flickering porch lamp hanging above the back door casting a feeble and gloomy light over the three compatriots. Silently he considered all the things that could have just transpired and I've gone mad was the only logical conclusion he could come to, the possibility of vampires actually existing too staggering to contemplate. A breath hitched in his throat as the last of the ashes formerly known as Tommy melded into snow and Ariana's grip lessened. His mind spun out of control, tilting off it's axis until she let go of his arm altogether to cup his face and pull him into a passionate kiss. Her lips were salty, tasting of the tears streaming down her cheeks and Jeremy found himself returning the kiss in earnest; so grateful she was alive and safe at his side. In fact, it was the only thing in that moment he could have been sure of so he clung to it like ivy would a trellis.

ImageWhen she broke off the embrace, it seemed her blue eyes faltered momentarily, but then her face so subtly transformed itself back to relief that he actually smiled down at her. He thought the cook had made some chagrined sound, but he was too engaged with Ariana and the softness of her touch to pay too much attention. Too soon for his liking, she peeled her hands away from his face and snaked her arm back around his bicep, cleaving to his side once more before turning to address their savior. "You know, how do you know?" She asked, understanding passing over Jeremy like a ton of bricks as she spoke. She knows what's going on? What just happened here?

Benny took a tentative step forward, the backlight glimmering in his steely blue eyes. He found his words had dried up in his throat, his lagging brain still clawing for a suitable answer so he ultimately he decided the safest route was to speak in half truths, better than accidentally forgetting a lie. "I-" His gaze dropped to his bloodied hands, his mouth pooling with saliva at the scent of Ariana's injuries. "My girlfriend...she was murdered by...by vampires." He paused, eyes catching Jeremy's as they lifted back up to meet the pair of accusing mortals. And in Jeremy he saw for the first time that night a glimmer of terrible understanding, the first glimmer of real fear. He hoped that the huntress would have her hands full with her civilian lover that she wouldn't see through the immortal face that masked Benny's true soul. "I had to hunt them down, to avenge her and ever since...I've been hunting their kind." He mustered up the best sad smile he could and prayed to no one in particular that she believed him-it was after all true enough until the ending.

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"You can't be serious?!" Jeremy cried, voice cracking under the strain of rising panic. "Vampires aren't real-those are just stupid old stories...they-" His level gaze dropped to the ashen heap in the snow as he ran his free hand through his ruffled hair, teeth catching his lower lip. "Sam..." he intoned after a moment offering no explanation to the other two left to stew in their confusion. The cook Benny, Jeremy now recalling his name, ducked his head to catch his eyes again, concern written all over his scruffy face. "Who's Sam?" he inquired, knotting his blood stained hands in one another. "My sister. She was my sister." Jeremy ground out with a set jaw, turning to face Ariana. "How is it you know about Vampires? That one was trying to-to" He stuttered, unable to say kill, the word being too real for what had just almost happened. "That he attacked you? Do others know about this? Do they cover it up?" The boy's voice had taken on an edge of anger, rising imperceptibly as he pressed on. "Did they cover up my sister's murder? Her throat was torn out, blood drained from her body-they had said it was an animal attack." His jaw clenched once more along with his fists but he didn't pull Ariana off of his arm, not being able to bear her not at his side even in his rage. He was so relieved she was okay but he needed answers.

Benny shuffled his feet nervously, not liking the way Jeremy's voice was rising. It reminded him of the way an animal acted when injured on cornered.

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Jeremy's presence next to her was reassuring as she stood there watching Benny, wondering exactly what kind of person this cook actually was. She was over the death of Tommy. She was more shaken by the fact that she had almost died, and Jeremy almost paid the same price. She hadn't come so close to death since the night her previous boyfriend's killer had attacked her. The werewolf. That time she had been able to overcome the supernatural creature before her. This time, she had frozen. She was angry with herself, for in her weakness Jeremy was almost sacrificed. She wasn't sure what had caused her to hesitate. Perhaps the fact that someone she had known turned into a monster before her eyes. It had always been a stranger, someone she wasn't connected to. She vowed silently that she would never make that mistake again. Regardless of the face, she would strike without hesitation.

ImageA voice brought her out of her own mind, and she looked up at Benny as he spoke in his southern drawl. "I-" he paused, looking down at his hands, which were covered in Tommy's blood. After a moment, he continued. "My girlfriend...she was murdered by...by vampires." So he had been in the same situation as Ariana. A supernatural creature had coome into his life and ripped away someone he had truly loved. She could relate more than she cared to admit. Of course, that had been many years ago, and she had since accepted his passing. She had never let go of her desire to rid the earth of any non-human being. She felt it almost constantly, always burning in her core. A flame of hatred that could never be snuffed out. "I had to hunt them down, to avenge her and ever since...I've been hunting their kind." Their stories were similar enough. Still, she stared at him through narrowed eyes. For some reason, she still found him extremely different from her, and she couldn't put her finger on it. Of course, after Tommy turned out to be a vampire, she was going to be more wary of everyone. No more rookie mistakes.

"You can't be serious?!" Jeremy suddenly cried out, and she turned to him in surprise. In her curiosity about Benny, and worrying about her own skin, she had forgotten that Jeremy had no clue about the supernatural. His brain was most likely having a hard time comprehending what was going on. She felt a pang of sympathy for him, remembering how crazy she had felt when the werewolf transformed before her eyes. "It's true, Jer..." she said softly, squeezing his arm gently for reassurance. "Vampires aren't real-those are just stupid old stories...they-" she couldn't look in his eyes anymore as he spoke. The hurt and shock were plain in his voice. "Sam..." he said softly, and Ariana arched a brow in confusion. Not that her and Jeremy had had many chanced to talk, but he had never mentioned a Sam. And by the tone of his voice, she was someone extremely important.

Before she could speak, Benny asked the question that was running through her mind. Who is this Sam? "My sister. She was my sister." Was. He had said was. She averted her eyes, sadness coursing through her veins. He had lost someone special too. It dawned on her that this just couldn't be a coincidence. Here were three people who had just met, and they all had a similar event in their past that linked them together. Somehow, it was meant to be. And Jeremy, her Jeremy, they had something big in common. Somehow, hopefully, it would help him understand her situation. It could bring them closer together. Hell, he could become a Hunter just like her. However, his next words took that fantasy and threw it out of a window.

"How is it you know about Vampires? That one was trying to-to" Her crystalline eyes met his, and the usual softness had a bit of hardness mixed in. "Kill me." she said simply, not afraid to say the words Jeremy couldn't find. Or rip her face off, tear her throat out, drain her dry. Any of the phrases would have applied to the situation. She had never really been afraid of death until tonight. She had no idea what had changed about her, but something was different. She could feel it inside.

Jeremy's words didn't stop there however. He kept plowing forward. "That he attacked you? Do others know about this? Do they cover it up?" She sighed, not exactly knowing what to say. How do you explain something like the Hunters easily? It was impossible. And honestly, she preferred not to talk about her personal life in front of this stranger. She hated talking about herself period. She would for Jeremy, but only for him. He deserved the right to know. She truly wished he would have waited until they got home. And then, his words went from questioning to accusatory. "Did they cover up my sister's murder? Her throat was torn out, blood drained from her body-they had said it was an animal attack." Why would she know what had happened to his sister? It sounded like a werewolf attack to her, but that would include a whole extra explanation. She was tired of his tone, and even though he kept her next to him, she didn't like the tone of his voice.

ImageAriana was fed up with this conversation. While she wanted to interrogate Benny about his knowledge, instead Jeremy was the one interrogating her. She pulled away from him, releasing his grip from her. She instantly became cold, his body heat now missing from her side. Her body sagged, exhaustion seemingly tugging at her limbs. "I need to go home," she said stubbornly, an agitated tone seeping into her words. She took a few steps away from Jeremy, walking past the spot that Tommy had died, and past Benny as well. Without any further words, she stepped out of the alley and onto the sidewalk. She didn't even turn to look back. She couldn't remember which way she needed to go, so she randomly decided and turned the right. Her steps were sluggish and uneven, seemingly barely dragging along. As she went to cross a side street, she stumbled, and almost fell. Thankfully she caught herself and made it to the other side. She realized that she hadn't eaten a bite in hours, and the stress had drained her body of energy. And then there was Jeremy, who was interrogating her like she was an enemy. What did he expect? How could she have possibly told him. 'Oh, by the way, I hunt vampires and werewolves.' He would have that she was absolutely insane. Why couldn't he understand her point of view? She wanted to cry, but she was too angry. "I need a damn strong drink..." she said to herself, looking forward to pulling out her bottles of liquor when getting home. Perhaps getting trashed would stop her from feeling so hurt by his accusatory language.

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Image"I need to go home." Was all she had said; the only reply she could form to all of Jeremy's distraught questioning. Now granted, the kid had bombarded her with quite a few queries, overwhelmingly so even, but to not reply at all? When he was at that level of hysteria; on the precipice of discovering the true shady inner workings of the entire world around him? It was unfathomable to Benny. He shifted on the balls of his heels, ready to dig in and bolt at a moments notice. This was really no concern of his and if the lovely couple were having some bipolar sort of tiff and bought his story hook line and sinker for no other reason than they had their own problems to attend to, then that was fine by him...but who was he fooling? Even with his life in the balance, he was a bleeding heart through and through, and to see anyone hurt-that didn't deserve it, that was-left the still pit in his chest dubbed a heart aching.

The boy ran a hand frantically through his dark hair, leaving it standing on end at all sorts of disheveled and odd angles. His brown eyes trailed after her, mouth hanging slack, breath hitching as if he were on the brink of panic attack. Benny sighed heavily and cleared his throat, drawing Jer's attention back to him. "Look...it ain't no concern of mine...you got a truck ton of things you need to be sorting out, this is a lot to suddenly come to terms with, but..." He paused, pulling his sailors cap off of his head to run his hand over his salt and pepper short cut before fitting it back on snuggly. "She almost died tonight, that's the truth of it. She don't know me and she don't know how to go about sharing all of this with you with her brain still a reelin' from that. My advice?" He placed two of his calloused, broad hands on Jeremy's muscular shoulders. "Be there for her and she will be there fer you."

Jeremy locked eyes with him, chocolate meeting ice, and nodded resolutely. "Thank you, for this and for saving us. We owe you our lives." Benny shrugged, releasing Jeremy from his grip to thump him lightly on the back. "Don't mention it...seriously kid, don't. People will think you've up and gone nuts if you do." He laughed heartily, stomach rumbling with the jolly sound. "I gotta go." Jeremy replied with haste, turning to tear after the huntress. "I know." Benny responded, eyes crinkling at the edges fondly as he watched Jeremy race away. "Ahhh shit. I'm so screwed." He told no one in particular.




ImageJeremy didn't think about what he would do or say, or how he might make her understand. He knew only he had to see her and be with her, had to make it right. He couldn't truly consider what any of this meant, or the repercussions behind what he had just been exposed to, though the repercussions would be immense.

He could hear his heart thud in his chest-hammering against his rib cage and his feet pound against the pavement as he ran, the sounds of his own body making his head spin. "Ariana?" He called out tentatively and breathlessly, feeling more than a bit lost. He wouldn't forgive himself if he couldn't find her. Thankfully though, it was then, suddenly all the little sounds he was making became a hum because his eyes had found what he was tirelessly searching for.

In the pale violet light of the moon she stalked, her thick black hair gathered behind her ears so that the waves wouldn't spill messily around her face. There was the faintest bit of rouge on her cheeks from the chill in the air, and her eyes looked up at him from flesh that was almost bruised, but the sight of her was radiant to Jeremy. He trotted up to his date and pulled her into an embrace, sighing with relief. "Ariana...I'm sorry. I'm so so very sorry. I shouldn't have yelled at you...this is just...a lot." He pulled back, finally taking in her unreadable expression. "I am still worked up after watching you almost die like that." He swallowed, adams apple bobbing nervously. "I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't have protected you." Well that sounds just perfect, Jeremy sarcastically thought. First date and you are already a level five clinger, nevermind what they say about couples that go through life and death situations being closer. UGH! We aren't even a couple!He tried to focus his thoughts. Vampires are real, my date almost died. Focus. Jeremy...on the important things!