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Topics - Gypsy Lore

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1
Elsewhere / Nothing Moments
« on: November 15, 2018, 02:59:06 PM »
[ Rated M for language ]

If she tried to remember it would flee and hide, circling ‘round and ‘round until finally finding a new place in her mind to sliver and disappear. It was all smoke and mirrors, her memory, elusive and ethereal. If she didn’t know any better, Vera would swear she was suffering an onset of early Alzheimer’s disease but no, nothing like that.

It was just moments like this! Where she found herself sitting outside a cafe with an untouched cup of coffee on the table in front of her no longer steaming, and suddenly she had no recollection on how she found herself there in the first place.

In the sun.
And a cup of coffee.

Sitting alone and feeling very much as though she had been as equally forgotten along the way. No one spoke until a waiter, some concerned man peering down at her through the artful cut of his bangs, gently asking if she needed anything.

Bright eyes rolled and circled until finding his face, the Gypsy staring rudely before remembering it is human to blink and breathe. The air suddenly rushing in to soothe the burning in her lungs, exhaled abruptly on the smallest of gasps.

"No, I’m fine luv, thanks." A smile, one that curled her lips but never reached her eyes, once more blankly staring until she forced herself into the act of normalcy. Clearing her throat as though embarrassed she rummaged in her purse – thinking she didn’t remember bringing it but then again, she didn’t remember anything about last night – murmuring, "I’ll take the check now."  

He straightened, pausing to lay a hand on her shoulder. "Miss, are you sure?"

Vera stiffened noticeably, she couldn’t help it, her eyes flickering and bleeding into a feral gold, blunt human teeth sinking into her bottom lip. "I’m fine, really luv. I just need the check, I’ll be late for work."

She hasn’t worked for what? The last three years? Not since …
…well. She brushed that thought away as easily as she brushed the young man’s hand off her.

"I could … I could walk with you, my shift is almost ove—"

"No, thanks! And really? It’s what, only ten o’clock? How is your shift already over?" she teased him, throwing money carelessly now on the table, her purse curled tightly to her side.

"Actually, it’s almost three now."

"Oh." She had nothing more to say, not when reality seemed to shrink and warp around her, fear making her heart skip a beat. Missing Time again.

"You work for the library, right? I’ve seen you before." Cue that shy-school-boy-smile, the one he thinks will make a most memorable impression.

"I did, I mean, I do. But I’ve not been in town for a long time," a pause, a new fear taking root in her brain, married to suspicion, "how strange you remember me."

"Is it strange to remember someone who is," he moved closer, just enough to invade her personal space, "rather compelling?"

Would it be rude if she laughed in his face? But he got kudos for the use of 'compelling' when he could’ve used any number of banal adjectives. And he smelled good. Whatever cologne he wore, well! Points again, she thought, her lips twitching in more than a little amusement.

"Considering there are any great number of rather compelling individuals populating our fair city, actually, yes. A little."

Despite being flattered the Gypsy took a step back, tapping the notes on the table with a red fingernail. "Keep the change luv."

"I will see you later." He murmured, tipping his head and leaning forward as though making some grand gesture, a courtier performing a bow.

Paranoia is a b*tch to deal with and Vera was no stranger to it. Immediately her chin rose and her eyes flashed, every instinct screaming at her to shut this sh*t down before she had trouble on her hands.

Again.
Because, why not?

"Don’t count on it."

2
Elsewhere / Litany of the Lost
« on: June 19, 2018, 09:43:23 AM »
Winter by Tori Amos
 
Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens
Wipe my nose, get my new boots on
I get a little warm in my heart when I think of winter
I put my hand in my father's glove

I run off where the drifts get deeper
Sleeping beauty trips me with a frown
I hear a voice: "You must learn to stand up
For yourself, cause I can't always be around"
He says:

"When you gonna make up your mind?
When you gonna love you as much as I do?
When you gonna make up your mind?
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed"
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change, my dear

Boys get discovered as winter melts
Flowers competing for the sun
Years go by and I'm here still waiting
Withering where some snowman was

"Mirror mirror, where's the crystal palace?"
But I only can see myself
Skating around the truth who I am
But I know that the ice is getting thin

"When you gonna make up your mind?
When you gonna love you as much as I do?
When you gonna make up your mind?
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed"
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change, my dear

Hair is grey and the fires are burning
So many dreams on the shelf
You say "I wanted you to be proud of me"
I always wanted that myself

"When you gonna make up your mind?
When you gonna love you as much as I do?
When you gonna make up your mind?
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses have gone ahead"
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change, my dear

Never change
All the white horses, ah
Hmm

3
Elsewhere / OOC: Look, a wild Mar appears
« on: April 05, 2015, 06:31:08 PM »
Hey guys!!!

So, I gotta tell Thorn-bird a thousand thankyou's! for keeping my board alive. I mean it, if it wasn't for her last posting on here, I believe my folder would be in the Catacombs.

My update is basically this: I'm employed again but now I'm a daywalker! YAY! No more third shift for me. I'm still new so, I kinda feel like it's touch-n-go there but hell, we'll see.

Sorry I've been gone yet again but I've been on that job hunt grind and Life in general.

I'm going to try and get some postings out, either tonight or tomorrow-ish. I have a few things I still need to take care of but once again, I want to say thank you to those still keeping tabs with me. You guys rock. <3

-Mar

P.S. Oops, meant for this to go into my OOC folder but hell, I'll make it an announcement.

4
Elsewhere / Letterbox
« on: January 09, 2015, 07:10:59 PM »
For those who wish to drop a line or two, for those who prefer paper and pen over keystrokes and emoticons.

5
Elsewhere / Of Emperors, Beasts, and Pharaohs
« on: March 20, 2014, 07:53:31 PM »
[ Disclaimer! This will be an 18+ story ]




How did it all begin?


If she were to sit and start, what words would she use?

How could she ever explain that first night?


The recollection of it should be a simple process but Vera found herself struggling, head in her hands, pulling at her hair. She was sitting on her couch, the same couch she had spent a lot of time with a certain blonde.

Of course it had felt odd having him there ? looking so out of place in the modern style apartment. He looked like he belonged in a throne room, not an apartment that was depressingly close to the West End.

Dimly she remembered how tender he had been -- sitting down with her like he had already been there a thousand times before, pulling her into his lap. The rake of his fingers, claws scraping her scalp, tangling in her hair and pulling until her head arched back, displaying her throat submissively in a way that left silent, incoherent whimpers trembling on her lips.


This she can remember.

She can clearly recall the hot slid of his mouth, the stern shape of his lips, seeking and finding hers in a kiss that seared her to bone and left her heart thundering in her chest. Oh, she can clearly recall the innumerable times Mateus stayed in her apartment, looking out-of-place and yet perfectly at home.

It wasn?t as though she had been far from inviting.

This she can remember.

What she can?t remember was that night ? a night that left her shocked and shaken to her marrow. A night where she tangled with a force of nature that did leave her whimpering on the floor, hot tears coursing down her face, and her friends gathered around. There was nothing they could do for her and she remembered the silent rage they felt. An impotent fury that hurt more than helped.

 And Mateus.

There he was suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, his hands grasping and pulling her close. His concern a palatable flavor on her tongue, washed back with the scotch he favored and shared with her. He took her away from the rest of them and settled her like a small girl on his knee, a hand rubbing in slow, soothing circles down her back.

Gently he questioned and brokenly she answered to the best of her ability.

What does she remember of that night ? the First night?

Vera remembers a swirling darkness, seeking to consume her in a way no lover ever could. She remembers a puff of air on her ear, a slithering whisper that stole into her conscious thought and raped her sanity.

Mostly she remembers screaming.

It had all been hers.

6
Elsewhere / Paint Splashed on Canvas (the delineations)
« on: March 20, 2014, 07:31:38 PM »
[ Everything here has been drawn/created for *me* -- so I respectively place this disclaimer here: Please no copying or altering these images. Thank you <3 ]



created by khallix

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Elsewhere / For Those Out of Character
« on: March 17, 2014, 05:44:11 PM »
I've finally done it -- I has a folder!!! :D

Huzzah!

8
Elsewhere / Vagabonda
« on: April 18, 2013, 10:52:13 AM »
[ This is going to be a series of vignettes ? apologies for the slight vagueness! ]

She has been away, for a long time, she knows.

Sitting beneath a flowering tree, the pink petals drifting, a lone woman languorously props herself against the trunk with her legs sprawled inelegantly beneath the fall of gaudy red skirts. Hours, hours spent beneath this tree, she has spent hours gazing over a crystalline lake, watching the wind make ripples in the water.

The location isn?t exactly remote but if anyone stopped to ask, she wouldn?t have been able to tell where exactly she was. Oh, but it is so pretty here, was the one thought that kept repeating over and over in her mind. Vaguely, she could easily recall a dream she had, once. Once when she was a child, in a forest, listening to the melodious whisper of the wind through ever-green leaves, stubby legs dirt stained, and her hair wild as ever, maybe ? she quirked a brow ? wilder than it is now.

?I miss it,? that forest, mind you, not this place. She doesn?t know this place, only that it is pretty.

Funny how simple things can be, could be, should be, that is ? if one lived an uncomplicated life. A boring, sedate life, the kind of life that surprisingly many dream of but once having find themselves bored and restless, full of complaints.

?It?s always the same thing, day-in-and-day-out. Nothing changes.?

Softly to herself, the woman mouths these words and tastes the lie ? like bitter almonds that fill her mouth.

?Nothing changes.?

Vera only wishes.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

And everything, forever and always, changes.

9
Elsewhere / The price of prying
« on: March 03, 2012, 11:00:35 AM »
The rumble of Colt's old, battered trunk could be heard some distance away, the Gypsy leaning close to press a warm kiss to someone's cheek. But it wasn't the former star football player she kissed, only his pilot love-interest, Tenacity.

?Thank you luv, I had to get away.? She said with a fond smile, pulling away.

Murmurs were exchanged, hugs, and promises to see one another soon. Climbing out of the truck, she slammed the door shut, walked around, and patted the hood, soon raising her hand in a wave of good-bye. It was cold out, the Gypsy being foolish enough to leave her coat behind at the Inn.

Ten had scolded her and in her carefree fashion, Vera had waved off the concern. She was hoping to catch a water maiden, turning away and strolling down the broken, brittle sidewalks. Heading for the pier where Kai liked to watch the ships and boats, hands moving to shove into the warmth of her skirts. And it was silent save for the scrape of her shoes and the rustling whisper of her thick, black linen skirts.

Rolling her eyes up to the sky, she considered the stars and allowed for a smile to curl her lips but a name caught and held her attention, making her falter, her feet tripping up, the thud and scrawl of her boots coming to a halt.

Tilting her head, the wind and spray from the sea blowing wild strands of hair across her face, Vera wondered if she had heard right - catching only snippets of conversation. Other names, more words, a hum that floated over to her on that cold wind, which was bone chilling that night.

She knew better, knew she should turn back, and go the way she came. There could be another night when she hunted for Kai ? who was probably at Sanctuary or her room at the Inn. But that name. Frowning, the Gypsy tipped her head down, letting her hair fall like a curtain, blanketing her face. Hiding her features and identity, while she struggled in her indecision.

It was wrong ?

...and smacked of intrusion.

Bright eyes caught the pair on the pier and she lingered back in the shadows, thick enough to hide her - to eclipse what little moonlight might shine on the fairness of her hair. She hardly dared to breathe too loud, catching it along with the cold, in the back of her throat. Sharp, crisp, and holding that scent of fresh and decay that prevailed the sea.

She held her breath, waited, and listened.

A lop-sided smile tugged at Thorn?s lips then, nostalgia's grip loosening its hold on her throat abruptly. At least for the moment.

"I'm just, talkin' baby doll. Don't expect you to take what I'm sharin' to heart."

The shrug that lifted her shoulders was a smooth movement, something reminiscent of no pressure and no worries. She knew he'd brawled, and who he'd brawled with. Expecting either of them to walk out without damage would've been a fairytale even Thorn couldn't put faith in. And considering what she'd built on the back of fairytales, dreams and wishes, well yeah. "And you don't because, in the end, you don't want to wind up with him blaming you if neither one of you actually takes that fall?"

Quirk of an auburn brow with the slightest touch of humor there. She wasn't mocking him, not in the slightest. A shiver along her skin, the barest prickle at the nape of her neck was rubbed away when she took another drag from her cigarette.

"The aftermath, gods that sh*t. Tears a hole inside that nothin' fills, feels like nothin' ever will. C'n try, but no matter whatcha do, nothin' touches it. Been there. Loved a man, fell hard and fast too, damn hard and damn fast. Then, he wound up doin' something noble and kinda stupid.

And, I tried to hold it together after he'd gone. Then I got.." killed, and raised, "really screwed up for a really long time. Haven't seen him in, gods I don't have the slightest clue. Five, six, maybe seven years now? Let it screw me up for so long that I tore myself to hell and back. Because I couldn't deal with the aftermath." Wry, oh yes indeed.

"But, when I fell again, once I realized I'd fallen, I couldn't stop myself from ridin' it 'til he, well died." Not a play for sympathy, she didn't employ that sort of tactic. Simply, an illustrative point, perhaps several if he heard them. "Sometimes, what's supposed to be, stomps a mud hole in what you think it should be like."

Again the thought - This is wrong -  to eavesdrop on this. It was a subtle outpouring of a man's emotions, a man who didn't typically like sharing more than a quip, a smile, and a good drink. The Gypsy hadn't meant to walk into a conversation that was clearly marked private and yet, had no way of leaving without drawing attention to the fact she had been there. Vera had a true moment of panic, silently catching her breath again and letting her eyes dart furiously around her.

Thorn caught her attention anew, brows pulling together and forming a wrinkle. A man. Oh, the Gypsy remembered and shivered, pressing back deeper into the shadows.

But the same man from that porch, the Medieval Tavern, all those years ago?

She didn't know and had no way of asking, turning her head to look back over her shoulder. God, if they caught her, she was in for a tongue lashing, Vera felt sure of that.

He was a reticent bastard, wasn't he? But sometimes, for some people they had the opportunity to see the other side, even if it wasn't knight-in-shining-armor and old honour, and this was that. As he listened, a match torn out from the dog-eared book clipped to the other side of the case and that slip of antique gold sitting in his palm ending up back in his pants, he lit the red-tipped end by running it, smoothly one-handed, up and under the crescent of a hard, thick thumbnail that just barely, barely peeked out beyond the flesh of the thumb pad.

Breathed in deep, deeper, as his eyes swung sideways on her contemplatively, pain-tinged (much as he'd damn well swear he didn't 'hurt' in that kind of way), and his wrist flicked the flame dance out before the dead sliver ended up on the pier floorboards, boot grinding over it to make sure it went cold and fast. It didn't matter that she didn't say what she said for sympathy, or that she didn't even need it, because Bjorn had empathy.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out he'd had his heart blasted every which way until Sunday because men didn't fight it that hard if it hadn't hurt once that bad, and his free hand reached, impossibly gentle for such a savage, to touch her hair light, try to coax her forward as he took a step inward, persuasively attempting to guide her to rest her cheek where his heart beat, that sinew-stricken, lean forearm under the wool hard but careful, careful and close, around her where the elbow dropped low at her back.

Thorn's life in Rhy'din had held two actual relationships. One, the first, the Gypsy knew, the other, very few knew. If she'd been paying better attention, she'd have offered the Lion the use of her lighter. No, it didn't take a genius at all. No one fought that hard if they hadn't been utterly wrecked at least once before. Easily guided, she tipped her head into that so light tough to her hair, and again to rest her cheek against the heartbeat he offered. Arms slipped around his waist to return the comfort he offered. "Would he accept a gift, one laced heavily with healing magic? And would he be allowed to use it?"

There was a reason she offered, just like there was a reason she was still alive after all the things she'd done since coming to this Plane.

"I'll help if y' want." Yes, she'd offered to help him screw a hole in this town. And he could take that as he would, interpret it as he chose to. At the mention of the witch, her lips twisted into a grimace that, well it was a good thing that he likely couldn't see her face. But, she made no comment.

At least not the sort she'd dearly like to make, though she was loathe to be nice. "Maybe it was meant for the fighting? An' not as som'thin' t' tell the world y'all're gonna be tyin' the knot with glitter an' sparkles?"

She really was trying to break the cycle of his insulted, indignant ranting, just a little. Just enough to break the tension that was riding the Lion's shoulders and bending his back. A soft thrum, nearly a purr in response to the kiss atop her head, hands shifting to rub small circles. A gesture, chaste as it could be, to offer comfort and support in any way possible.

A hand snapped up and closed tightly over her mouth, muffling the surprised laugh threatening to escape.

It wasn't funny and yet, completely hilarious. The matching necklaces, oh, that nearly did her in, making her eyes roll in their sockets as she tried to contain herself.

Ella - God bless the crazy witch. Vera was still feeling heart-sore from her earlier ruminations that Katt was still living and the memory of that alone was enough to steal away the mirth.

Dropping her hand away, she made to leave, a subtle turn and twisting on her feet, kitten-quiet. Yes, time to go, before she was caught and had to pull a signature scene.

"Well, that friggin' blows." Delicate, she wasn't, honest, she tended to go overboard with that. Especially when certain balances were tipped.

"Who you send flowers to is your business, no matter where they get picked up at, or sent to. And who you decide to screw brainless isn't anyone's business but your own. Especially if they wanna know if you like to be choked right on back."

Okay, so that was a little convoluted, and her phrasing might be a bit surprising, but the underlying truth was still there. Might need to be sifted through later to be have a thumb put on it solid, but it was there.

"And, okay yeah, I get the whole who-wants-a-negative-atmosphere-where-they-relax-a nd-drink thing, but you know what?" Tipped a frosted amethyst look up at the Lion's face then. Maybe his jaw if he was more than six foot in height and didn't happen to be looking down at her right about then, but she tried.

"When people really are adults, they can f*ck the dog sh*t outta each other, and still be all friendly like an' cool an' have nothin' change when they're hangin' out at the bar later on if there's no promises between 'em from the jump."

Thorn, rather enjoyed sex as well, and didn't think there had to be anything pretty or 'special' about it either. Ahem, mini-rant over, sort of. She'd probably kick things at home later.

"Yes, he's a man. But, have you noticed that he thinks things have to be one way, you think things have to be another way, you're neither one talking to each other about those ways, or trying to find another way for them to be? Hells, if I get to know him well enough, and no I'm not asking for a test ride on your man."

Being clear, and her brain to mouth filter stopped working, again. "But, if either of you would allow it, if he does have to go, and if you thought you'd be okay with the shift, there might be a way you could go see him after he leaves. On his ground." And she might wind up regretting sharing that.

"With no strings attached either."

It came in a sputter, surprising her more than anything, eyes flaring wide when Vera realized the traitorous sound was sneaking past her lips. The sputter grew into of all the most god-awful things - a giggle.

Vera didn't giggle!

From the giggle, a real, silence shattering laugh, leaving her frozen mid-step. F*ck.

What to do, what to do!

Quick, she grabbed her cell phone from a pocket of her skirts and suddenly, began talking to herself. They didn't know this though, the Gypsy strolling out from the shadows, bold as brass. Like she had just arrived and not been there for - too much of the conversation.

"She did what?"

Another loud laugh, grinning insanely from ear-to-ear. She kept up the one sided chatter, sauntering along the pier and past the couple, seemingly to have forgotten that there was ? an end to it.

"And what did he - oh, hallo Thorn, hallo Bjorn -" she gave them a tiny wave, "say after all of that!?"

Keep walking Gypsy and they won't see you....

...oh. There's water there. "Umm..." She teetered on the edge, blinking, realizing - this is not a place you go strolling off of ? blink! Arms flailed and Vera gasped out, tipping forward and backward, like one of those clown dolls children enjoy taking punches at. "Sh*t." So eloquent.

Did admit: ?You sure as hell aren't wrong,??about her policies, and, ?Doubt that'd work either. I offered to go with him, and he don't want me anywhere near it because???

But someone had giggled, and now there was profuse talking, and Bjorn eyes slitted contemplatively as if he were suspicious of being eavesdropped on.

Gently moving hand from cradling Thorn's head to over her mouth as if to keep her quiet, he strained his ears (a focused ability, and not an automatic one), listening between the pauses of Vera's oh-*** since she was pretty much right next to them at the pier-edge.

With a brief, devilishly sidewise look down to Thorn, he outstretched his smoking arm and didn't burn her - but yeah, he poked her firmly with not enough pressure to place a bruise, but enough to help her forward if she was properly teetering! Forward, that is, into the cold ocean waters. Nice night for a dip!

?Good evening, Vera,??pleasantly.

Of course, Vera couldn't break out laughing before Thorn put her foot in her mouth. In a not-so-very-clear way. At least, well at least she'd only said that much and had managed to keep enough back. Her temper, which handily enough hadn't broken completely free, was yanked back sharply. She'd definitely be kicking things later, for more than one reason now.

"Yeah, I get that." Some wishes, were nothing more than that. And handily enough, there was a hand over her mouth to keep her from swallowing anymore of her foot than she already had.

Probably up to the hip by now, at least that was the way she felt. Imp's humor battled with the first hinted edge of what might be a thread of oh-f*ck for having crossed a line she'd set for herself without so much as a thought. Temper, it always did her in. And a snicker for the nudge the Lion gave the Gypsy.

...splash.

Vera had time enough for a tiny, plaintive cry before she went tumbling into the water, gasping and swallowing the sea in shock. It was ... cold. To the point, she thought she might die of it, arms and legs kicking out through the salty water. Of course, layered skirts weren't very conductive for swimming, tangling around her long limbs and effectively, dragging her back down.

But what really made her upset?

Not the possibility of drowning, oddly.

No.

Her cell phone.

Gone! Ruined beyond any imagining!

Whimpering, she glared up at the pier and at the two of them, teeth chattering. "Yes, a fine f*cking evening ..." Sigh.

If she ever once hit the surface, Bjorn ever the gentleman gave her a chance to redeem herself, while transferring hand to Thorn's mouth to her shoulder.

?Were you, by chance, eavesdropping? Hm, Vera???Shoulder, in case she tried to help her. There is a rescue plan in place, should the Gypsy cooperate.

In the meantime, he was smoking his cigarette and letting her marinate long enough to possibly catch a proper cold.

The redneck, couldn't help it, full throated laughter broke free. Flicked a sideward glance at the Lion, silently query made. A nearly silent, "I c'n get 'er out, she jus' ain' likely t' like the side effects of it."

There were shadows down there most likely. Then again, she'd rather like to hear the Gypsy's answer to that question herself. Thorn just wasn't worried about her own words, his more than anything.

Subtle headshake: nope, not yet.

Barely there, easily felt though, shift of a shoulder in a shrug. From two to one, single arm around his waist, companionable and warm.

....Bjorn was evil!

She ruthlessly sunk her teeth into her lower lip, to keep it from trembling, strong legs kicking, fighting the pull of the water swirling and making her skirts feel as if they had gained twenty extra pounds. With the way they soaked up the sea and salt, they more then likely have!

Looking up at him, one hand sliced through the water logged mane of her hair, shoving it out of her face. That lovely white peasant blouse? Gods, she almost didn't want help out of the water.

"I wasn't trying to!"

The Truth, in part.

"I was looking for someone else."

Again, like some told the Gypsy her name represented, more Truth.

?How does one eavesdrop without trying to???

A brow-raised question, dubious, but he took another drag while slithering from Thorn to kneel at the pier's edge, elbows over his knees, contemplating hero even if the woman had supplied her own technique. She was quite free to join him in this endeavor!

?You'll forget every word you heard and never repeat it to another soul, vishya???

Stage: Bargaining.

Thorn, rather liked his style truth be told. A shift in her stance, eyes going half lidded and unfocused. For those that could feel it, there was a gathering. Chaos and the purest, unadulterated lust building outward from two pinpricks of bright blue within the redneck's own shadow.

Waiting, oh yes indeed.

"Yes, done and done!" She said quickly, her hands reaching out like a starving child might to one offering food. Eager, hopeful. Please.

Teeth snapped and clattered together, her skin turning pale though not yet the faint blue tinge that spoke of danger. Still, she needed to get home and warm. Dry!

...and shivered, the bright of her eyes turning feral, looking over her shoulder, Vera rolling those eyes down to the dark ocean surrounding her.

"Okay, yes, I remember nothing, nothing!"

The Jaws theme really should be playing right about now.

Sadly, the redneck did not know where Vera's home was. She did however, know where the Inn was, and that there was a nice, warm fire in the hearth. Waiting still, she looked to Bjorn for permission.

Two more, and this was one:

?And you'd never, ever eavesdrop on me, or Thorn for that matter, again, vishya???

And two: ?Because you are sorry, vishya???

A headshake for Thorn, one smoky finger up. He'd give the signal. Let that cold water creep deeper in first!

Well, bone chilling cold, often did counteract, certain urges. Showers, ice packs, and the like. This could be a good thing. Lips twitching, dangerously close to what could only be considered a feral grin.

...he might as well have asked her to stop breathing.

Still.

"Yes, I am sorry!" Nod-nod from the Gypsy, sinking and bobbing in the water, shuddering now.

"I will not eavesdrop on you or Thorn, ever again. I'll leave you alone forever, if you wish it!" Gasp.

?This is not necessary, Vera,??chided Bjorn, tilting that wildly thick-maned head of his frankly. ?I like you thus far. You are pleasant company. So long as a lesson has been... learned...?? Glancing over shoulder at Thorn, he kicked up both brows.

?What do you think? Should we help her???A--.

Yes, Vera thought the same thing! A--!

"Don' want you t' leave me alone, 's all good Vera." Cheerfully said, apparently she was as much of an *** as Bjorn tonight. "She did promise, an' you did strike the deal." Sort of had to help her now.

Then again, Thorn would have anyway, and a lot sooner.

?Should I help her, or do you want the honors???

As if they had time to discuss this.

"Well, not that I doubt you. But, my way'll get her to the Inn really damn quick. Y'rs'll just get her up here, in the cold air."

?Then you may have the honour,? Bjorn relented graciously.

She glared at him from beneath the thick screen of her lashes. But, it wouldn't be done to cuss out her would-be hero. Still, it was tempting. Gritting her teeth, she smacked at the water with her hands. God bless it! She turned pleading eyes to her friend Thorn.

"Look, guys, I'm wearing a white blouse. Just, do something!" This was embarrassing enough without anyone getting a good look at what Mesteno had called her great tits. Gods.

The shadows under Vera's skirt, the little bit of it that were likely to still be floating free, spiraled wide. Snapped open as that building surge of Power reached out. A conduit opened, like the maw of some great, gentled beast. The edges, that zone where the source of that Power raged the worse, were smoothed, the majority of its touch taken, somewhere else.

Bjorn had a thought. ?Wait...??

?Maybe I should.??White blouse and all.

"Turn right an' head upstairs soon's y' feel the ground under y'r feet again."

Fair warning, though it was brief, and the shadows took hold of the Gypsy, spiriting her away. Eyed Bjorn, with a snort of laughter.

Damn, too late!

..."Huh?"

Vera looked down into the water, missing what Bjorn had said before - gone!

And what had crept up her skirts!?

Her screams truly did echo back, released just before she vanished.

Panting, Vera found herself sprawled out on the Inn?s floor, alone. Shivering, her whole body shaking, she pushed herself up on hands and knees, looking around wildly.

Alone.

There was a God.

No one else lingered in the common room. Climbing slowly to her feet and grasping her sodden skirts tightly in her hands, to pull them away from where they plastered against her legs, she hiked the wet and heavy linen up to her knees. Feet clamoring on the stairs, the Gypsy ascending rapidly, her teeth still making a noisy chatter.

?I had no idea he could be such a right, bloody bastard,? muttering, nearing her room and throwing the door open, darting inside and slamming it (very firmly) shut. Sighing, she fell back against it and ?

Laughed.

Laughed and laughed, sinking down to the floor, that pealing laughter loud in the quiet of the night, booming in her room. No doubt, she woke a few people up - lovers and loners - tucked in their respective beds, who had been lost in the dreamscape.

Didn?t matter.

Vera curled her legs up, knees folding to her chest, letting her head loll back against the door.

No, her laughter right now didn?t matter.

(Many "thank you's" to Bjorn and Thorn for this!)

10
Elsewhere / La revedere prietenul meu draga
« on: February 16, 2012, 04:48:40 AM »
Goodbye my dear friend.



January 28, 2012
5:03 am

She belongs to fairy tales that I could never be
The future haunts with memories that I could never have
And hope is just a stranger wondering how it got so bad


Mass had ended hours ago, the church doors closing and those of the faithful walking or driving to their homes. It was a cold, cold night and very dark, with a little wind to send the chill deeper into one?s bones. Snow was still spread out over the park and what light the moon gave, made the snow sparkle, like a field of diamonds. The trees were cloaked in it and dripping spirals of ice, bare branches reaching like spindly fingers up to the sky.

Quiet, serene, and peaceful ? all things that she was not.

And she had been out for hours after saying what prayers she stored up inside, mourning deep for Katt, and she still felt the remnants of her tears, salty tracks which burned on her face from the wind.

Every step felt like a jarring vibration, starting from the sole of her foot up to her heart, pounding like a small drum, erratic and out of rhythm. Huddling into her long, gray trench coat Vera hurried on, not bothering to glance behind her, not giving a thought to the shadows and what might be lingering around with the twilight.

It?s late or very early ? a point of view eschewed by Vera. It?s both late for her and also, very early.

 Common sense would tell anyone that it was never safe to be out at five in the morning in a park, alone, but when she had paid much mind to common sense?

She felt a compulsion to leave, to fly away, to run like she had done many times in the past when the pressure built up and she, on the verge of boiling over, had to find an escape. The throbbing in her head and the tremors in her limbs, and the thick, dry tongue laying laden in her mouth.

She wanted to fly away and there was a problem with that.

She had no happy thoughts.
 Isn?t that what children used to fly?

Wendy you have been firmly grounded.
You?ve grown up and become dreary in this world.


Taking in shallow breaths, she watched as they steamed away from her, dispassionately.
God, it still hurt so much, hurt so goddamn much, to think that she was gone.

 Forever.

It just couldn?t be true, couldn?t be real, it had to be a dream, a cruel nightmare spawned from her restlessness. But the hurt, the pain, wouldn?t leave her, seething like a storm, forming a vice around her heart and constricting it until it was all she felt before the prevailing numb of being lost and weary settled like a blanket on her shoulders. It was a heavy sense of loss and confusion, dimming her eyes and allowing her to see nothing, a vacancy taking up ? there was no home right now.

And she remembered...

11
The Scathachian Sanctuary / To Whom This May Concern
« on: January 01, 2012, 08:10:07 AM »
It came in a letter, addressed to one Isuelt DeRomiano.

Sealed in an envelope, plain white was this letter. There was no return address but there would be no need for it. If Isuelt wished she knew where to find the sender. She was no enemy, merely a new friend.

A friend who planned to stay out of the war brewing. But all the same the letter came -- not containing the best of news or even news that was necessary. But the letter came, written by a feminine hand in black ink, scrawled out on plain white paper.


Isuelt,

I?ve encountered a mutual acquaintance of ours.

I had gone down to the docks looking for a friend to make good on a promise I made to her. Instead I found a living corpse, Renna, lurking around and apparently feeding on the flesh of the living. I?m not sure you are aware of her current state but I felt it necessary to inform you that she is on the verge of dying.

It looked to be the case anyway to my eyes.

I had actually seen her prior to this exchange but at the time I figured you would have already heard something. But that is not the reason for this missive.

She spoke of your sister and I know, that is painful to read even here. But she spoke of Lexia  ?ascending?  to a higher power and that she had brought justice down on her head (
down on Renna). I don?t know what that means, if it truly means anything at all, since Renna was being her usual cryptic self. There is a lot I don?t understand and you don?t need to explain anything to me.

I plan on staying out of whatever is going on.

But I was worried by something else and it is that Renna said:

"They have something far greater to fear now than me."  

Something else out for the Scathachians to fear? Again, no idea if she was talking about the figure masquerading as your sister. I just thought you should know. I wish you and everyone there the best of luck.

Yes, I already know I?m lucky to be alive.
If you?re gawking at this, please close your mouth.

Yours Truly,

[size=18]Vera Deya [/size]
[/i]

12
Elsewhere / Every Day You Play
« on: December 24, 2011, 09:15:02 PM »
After a rather hectic morning and a long discussion with Amelyn, the Gypsy crept up the stairs of the Red Dragon Inn silently, moving slowly to the door she had always seen him come out of. Gently she placed the palm of her hand into the wood structure, her brow falling down to kiss the smooth, cool panel. It had been only a few days but after her scare, who could blame Vera for this sudden outpouring of emotion?

The good news is no one was around to see it, or the fingertip that slipped up to the corner of her eye, catching at the moisture gathering. No, no one would see this and know. Vera had a strict rule about crying. She never cried, never, well ?

Never in front of anyone.

Crouching down she placed a silver bag, the kind you buy from a Hallmark store at the foot of the door. There was tissue paper sticking out from it, a light baby blue, soft and easy to tear away. From the bag she withdrew a letter and slipped it beneath the door. Standing back she took in a breath, thought about knocking, but instead turned on her heel and went the way she came, descending those same stairs.

The Letter:

Mateus,

I hope this finds you well. I am going off for the holidays to Romania, to be with my family and meu fiica. I should be back no later than Monday morning. I was trying to catch you since I still have your diadem that you?ve left in my hands. I find that terribly lax in a ruler when he leaves behind his crown. And in a peasant?s hands no less!

And that had better bring a smile to that serious, stoic face, you know I am joking.

I have missed you dearly.

I?ve bought you two books, they?re wrapped in the bag, waiting for your eager hands. From what you told me I believe you will like them. I miss you. I know, I?ve said that already but I do. I miss you.

I could drag this out longer but I know what a busy man you are.

Your Nerishtal

I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.

13
Elsewhere / Mistletoe & Holly
« on: December 24, 2011, 10:22:27 AM »
It was another fine morning at the Red Dragon Inn.

In Rhydin there still isn't snow on the ground but this didn't stop her from visiting, whistling and softly singing an old Christmas carol.

Oh, by gosh, by golly
It's time for mistletoe and holly
Tasty pheasants, Christmas presents
Countrysides covered with snow

Oh, by gosh, by jingle
It's time for carols and Kris Kringle
Overeating, merry greetings
From relatives you don't know

Then comes that big night
Giving the tree the trim
You'll hear voices by starlight
Singing a Yuletide hymn



The Gypsy walked in without much fanfare, dressed in black tights with a sleek pair of knee-high boots; she had always considered these boots special, of the ass-kicking variety. She had on a bright red, baby-tee style dress that flared out just before hitting mid-thing, a fuzzy trim of white lining the bottom but also matching the trim encircling her shoulders. The sleeves were long, close fitting around her wrists, with that same fuzzy trim. The whole outfit was complete with a Santa hat, perched on her head. She had even braided her hair into two plaits, left to dangle over each shoulder. What could Vera say, she was feeling festive.

"Merry Christmas!" She sang out, her smile already fixed in place. She carried a few bags in her hand.

Amelyn moved from rafter to rafter, mocking a high-pitched and dramatic voice, "Oh no! It is Kyuur, Thane of ... Winter places and murderous kitten-eater of Sky-rim," her pronunciation was a little off, "Save me, save me from such a hideous fate!" And yes, she was watching him lest her were modern enough to be carrying a firearm. She wasn't getting shot, not tonight.

"Oh hells! Ame itss you, not funny! I was denied a hunt." He grumbled, his grip hard on his deadly double-axe. He put the double-axe back onto his back in its sling. He glared at Vera, not in festive mood. Headed to the bar and poured a two pint mug of nord mead.

Well. Vera shrugged, blinking at the dragon born.
Apparently not everyone enjoyed Christmas.

Amelyn snickered merrily and bounded from beam to beat, finally coming to rest above the bar, "Who is Mary Chrismus?" Just a little sheltered, perhaps.

Argonians didn't celebrate Yuletide, that was a Human and Mer festival. Not that anyone would know that, but all the same. He huffed and drank a full quarter of a pint in one go.

The Gypsy cleared her throat, stubbornly refusing to give up her smile. "It's a holiday luv, one I celebrate. In fact, I'll be in Romania later on, with meu fiica and my family." She walked to the bar and placed her bags there. "I bought you something too, you can give the rest out if I don't see the rest of the Darkstar company."

Kyuur looked at Vera, that word, that place, Romania, clicked with him. Settled now he spoke, politely to Vera. "Rom..an..niah? I know thiss place, I know someone from there yess."

Vera turned her bright smile towards him, "Oh? That's wonderful! I don't find many around here, unless they are from that side of things, that have even heard of my home. I hope they had many good things to say about it."
 
Amelyn looked curious, "What'd you bring?" The concept was foreign, but she was a sucker for any kind of presents. Xun had a nasty habit of bribing her to do her lessons.

"Yess, a woman named Lydia Tolmay, she iss from there. She did not say anything about that place, except that she was from there."

"Oh, I have a nice collection of perfumes for you girls; you, Rayva, and Faer. I have two jugs of Romanian spice rum for Xav and Cael. I thought about Rayva's mother but I was afraid she'd be affronted if I bought her any perfume..." The Gypsy looked back at the dragon born, even as she began to sort out the bags. "Tolmay, Tolmay," she murmured, rolling the name on her tongue. "Sounds familiar but I don't believe I know her."

"Yess, she and her sister Leta run a guild compound outside the city. And I am ssorry for my anger, it was not to you human. I was denied a hunt, I was tracking a werebeast, a cat one. Thiss iss new to me. It has vanished, but I will find it again. My appologiess."

"Oh no," Vera waved off his apology. "It's all right. Nothing to be sorry about, I can understand one's disappointment." Thinking she set out three bags, one containing the before mentioned perfumes and the other two holding the jugs of rum. "I have heard about a castle or some such, run by twin sisters. I haven't the chance to meet them yet sadly. I hope I do get the chance, it's nice to be able to speak in my language. So few here know it."


Amelyn murmured, "Ooh... Yeah, not so sure about Talis. She's weird about strangers bearing gifts." Then she paused, "The Tolmay sisters of Bristol Crios, you mean?"

"Yes," she gave Ame a nod. "That is the one!"

"Yess that iss the name, Bristol Crioss, a very nice place. A number of large manor housess. I am a member of one of the guildss there, it iss my new home here."

Amelyn said, "Velociraptors..." and that was all of her cryptic response on it.

Vera nodded. "Sounds marvelous. Maybe you can," She paused and gave Amelyn a look, her brow arched, "pass on a message for me. Let them know a sister of Romania is also hanging about the Inn."

He wasn't even going to try and say that word. His common was difficult enough to speak. That was a word beyond him. He nodded to Vera. "Yess I shall, but I will need your name to give them the message, yess?"

"Vera, Vera Deya." She said, grabbing a fourth bag and moving behind the bar. This one was labeled for Katt. She thought about leaving it at her shop but the Gypsy wasn't sure she'd find it.

Amelyn?s nose twitched and lip curled into a ghost of a sneer after that word and she eyed Kyuur carefully.

"Veraa Deyaa, yess I will tell them you are native to Ro..ma..niya too. And that you are here at timess." He nodded and drank his mead. He looked back at Ame.

"Yess Ame, iss there something you need?"

The Gypsy gave Amelyn a concerned glance. "All right, luv?"

Amelyn shook her head and managed a small smirk for both of them. "Velociraptors are nasty beasts..." This was stated matter-of-factly, but not explained.

"I ssee, you are very sstrange at timess Ame." He shook his head.

Vera raised both her brows now, tilting her head. "Umm, well. Where I am from, they're all dead. The dinosaurs." She shook her head, chuckling softly. "You mean to say, dinosaurs are roaming here?"

Kyuur looked intrigued, asking, "Dinosaurss? What are these?"

Vera replied, "They were huge creatures from where I use to live. Some considered them reptilian until it was later discovered that a lot of them are related in some way to birds. I can't fully describe them but I'll do you one better, I'll dig up a book for you and let you see for yourself."

"Huge reptiles related to birdss?" That perplexed him alot. "Are these Dinosaurss like dragonss? Do they fly?"

Amelyn glanced to Vera, then nodded. V is for Velociraptor, but there are other words that could start out the same, and she wasn't a fan of those. She wouldn't explain further than a simple nod. The topic was changed, "Is there coffee made?" The dark elf turned towards the coffee maker.

Kyuur perked up, the word coffee was mentioned.

Vera tapped her chin, suddenly frowning. "I suppose it is possible that a few have found their way here but I haven't encountered any. Thankfully. Xenomorphs are enough for me.? She looked at Kyuur, ?Some did, yes, the ones called pterodactyls.??

Vera shook her head at Amelyn. "I haven't made any yet, just got here."

?I ssee, yess I would like to ssee thiss book of yourss about these dinosaurss, interesting to me yess." Kyuur said.

Amelyn dropped from the rafters behind the bar and sniffed the carafe, dumping and rinsing it at the sink. "Well, if you would, please, I'll try to find some of Katt's leftovers. I only drink the stuff. No idea of how to make a decent pot." She slid the carafe back into place and grinned.

"Then my good friend, it will be yours." Vera said, smiling and with that she breezed into the kitchen, leaving Katt's bag in the usual spot where she would normally store her goods from the Bon Bon. Coming back she laughed softly at hearing Amelyn, walking over to the coffee pot.

"Right then, like always, I am the coffee maker. I leave the baking to Katt."

"What iss this coffee pot you speak of, it lookss like a glasss tea pot, very sstrange. Doess it take magick to make it work?" He canted his head peering at the coffee maker.

Amelyn snickered.... pleasepleaseplease let this turn out like it did with Rayva's mate getting the sense shocked out of him.

Kyuur nodded to Vera, his attention on the coffee maker, he was if anything, very curious about new things and devices. He couldn't help but get up and look at it. Poking it with a finger.

"Not varja eh, magic. No. Well, I don't consider it magic at any rate. Electricity runs the pot, allowing hot water to filter through the grounds," and through this explanation the Gypsy was placing said items together, the cradle of coffee with it crushed beans and paper filter, slipped into its holder. "It starts to percolate, which..."

She bit her lip, rapidly thinking. Sometimes she still struggled with English, at least so much when she still thought mostly in Romany. She went with the best definition she could come up with. "Filter gradually through a porous surface or substance. In this case, the substance is the coffee grounds, beans that have been crushed up to allow the water to filter through it better!"

Well, she felt damn right proud of herself now.

Annd he was completely lost when Vera tried to explain this to him. He had no idea what electricity was. Vera might as well be speaking in Greek to him, it would make no difference.

Vera just ...Sigh.

Kyuur?s finger was following along the cord to the wall plug, dangerously close to electrocuting himself.

"No!" gently Vera swatted his hand. "Baaaad idea. Very bad. Yes, don't do that .."

He snarled a bit at Vera. "Why you slap my hand." Glaring at her.

"Are you immortal?" She raised a brow at him, staring head on, not afraid of his snarl.

That got a look from him, head set aback in shock. How to answer that one, it was a whopper.

She crossed her arms over her chest, tapping a foot. Waiting.

Slipping into the inn and looking around, the neko was glad all seemed calm. She was in her normal form and with a happy sigh kept her footfalls silent ones. She was hampered by a limp, a white bandaged wrapped around her right ankle, matching the long white baggy jumper and vest top. She had on a pair of white shorts hidden by the length of the jumper, her tail dragging on the ground her, furry ears sticking out from her bright red hair.

Amelyn decided to intervene. "Ok... Kyuur... water to this line... and about 3 scoops of the dirt looking stuff in one of these paper bowl things go in the top." She chuckled, repeating the motions and showing him. "And don't stick your finger in that. Outlets bite."

He huffed and glanced at Amelyn, sitting down, defeated.

"Fine, I will not touch the cord thing."

Vera beamed. Gypsy wins, always.

The neko moved behind the bar looking for a bottle of cream, her gold eyes darting around. Smiling gently to herself, she found the cream and placed a coin into the till before moving away slowly towards the hearth.

Defeated twice in one night, this was one sad Argonian. Though he remained stoic, snorted though, like a dragon. Then he spotted the girl, glaring. "It?s her! The catbeast! Die!" He jumped at Rose, ready to strike with his very claws.

By the smell, the aroma carrying throughout the whole common room, the coffee was done. Vera set out three mugs, grinning all the while. That is, until the dragon born lost his sh*t. Now she stared, holding the carafe in one hand.

"Uuh ..."

The neko jumped. "Nya!" Curling around the bottle of cream, shaking.

"I didn?t do anything!"

Vera just stood there. "Uuh ... coffee's done .." She said in a small voice.

"Smell, I know the smell of my prey!" Big heavy hand with wicked claws aimed for small neko's face.

?So the coffee, it's done now ..." Vera was now staring at the carafe. Because really, what else did she have to do at this point.

God Bless it.

Neko was terrified, looking at him, her eyes rounding with tears streaking her face. "What prey?" Backing up she winced, using her injured foot to try and move.

The dark elf would, of course, take refuge in the rafters. In a manner very similar to Parkour, she leapt and found footing on the edge of the sideboard, grabbing a rafter and bounding her way upward.

"I'll take mine black, no cat-beast, no cream," she mused as steps carried her towards the kitchen and away from the action.

"There should be at least a beignet somewhere in this place..."

Vera decided it was time to try and be the voice of reason.

"Want coffee? I have coffee!"

Meanwhile the neko was panicking. ?What in the name of BAST! I didn?t do anything! You were nice to me! Then you freak out!"

She closed her eyes, moving at the last minute to get away from the suddenly enraged Kyuur.

Roaring ensued, really loud, loud enough to make the windows rattle. And across her face came the wicked, vicious claws, with all the fury of a Dragonborn.

?HEY! CUT IT OUT AND SIT YOUR DRAGON ASS DOWN!" Bellowed the Gypsy.

Gasping and curling up, the neko was shaking badly and slunk into a corner, still nursing the bottle of cream while sobbing, "All I did was say hi!!"

"Oh, God Bless it!" She was not a fighter and she was not cut out for this sort of thing. "Name, name, Amelyn, what is his damn name! He's going to kill her!"

Amelyn dropped from the rafters and slid through the kitchen door, amidst the roaring and yelling... The young one was on a mission... a mission for yummy, baked goodness. She called towards Vera, "Kyuur..."

Kyuur snorted, snarled. Blood rage...

"You, werebeast, you die!" He bought out his double-axe, enflamed and dripping with acid now.

The Gypsy quickly rounded the corner but she kept a good three feet away from the dragon born. "Hey, hey, Kyuur ... let's calm down now, okay? Just, hold on!" She was frantic, trying to be as soothing as possible, her voice mellowing to a soft coo one might use with a frightened animal.

"She's just a young thing, not a beast for slaughter, your senses must be telling you something wrong..." Placating she held up her hands, "Come, sit with me, have some coffee ... Put the damn axe away ..."

The neko blinked, looking up at him. "W.....w.....werebeast!"

Looking around she exclaimed, "Where!? They don?t like my kind!"

Rose was starting to panic more.

Kyuur spun around, angry, eyes blood red. Snarling, he huffed deep.

"Fine, thiss thing iss not even figthing me, itss not worth to kill." He unsummoned the flame and acid, sat down, but glared at Rose. Then drank some coffee, black.

Amelyn brought a box from the back, untying the strings and happily presenting the last of yesterday's baked goods to the others, "Ta-da!"

Beignets and bearclaws, as usual.

"Kyuur," Vera crooned gently, walking slowly over to him but not within touching range. Oh no. "It's fine, she's not a werebeast, she's just," the Gypsy gave the creature a glance, noting her odd features, cat-like in structure and demeanor. "She's a different sort of species. Its fine, she's not going to morph, er -- change into any sort of monster."

And then upon hearing Amelyn, Vera gave the elf a long, long, long look. "Thank you very much Amelyn, your help is very appreciated."

Sarcasm? Maybe a little.

The neko snapped out of her panic, hissing, "THING! I?m a neko! A Persian neko to be exact! And werewolves scare me! Now you do!" Glaring at him she continued, "Just ?cause I took human form and introduced myself when I could, by the way." Sniffing she turned away, "thanks for the hot milk!" She headed to a dark corner, sitting and drinking the cream quietly with her tail flicking at the tip.

Kyuur gave a low snarl thinking, werebeast or not, he hated shapeshifters. He sipped his coffee, giving a curt nod to Vera. He was not happy right now. He placed the double-axe at his side, leaning it against the bar.

Vera gave a sigh. She now turned towards the neko, thinking, Mateus is going to take a belt to my backside if he hears about this.

"Luv, calm down now, all is well. He's new around here." And winced. Like that was going to make it better somehow.

Looking over her shoulder and then back to the cream, she hissed softly, "Still?its rude to attack someone after you help them."

He glared at Rose. "Keep thiss up shifter, I will not have mercy for you next time." A dire threat he would back up.

"So Amelyn brought out snacks! Have a bearclaw Kyuur."

She didn't want to see someone slaughtered on Christmas...

But Rose had more to say, "Well next time don?t help!" Her back straightened, she was tired of being scared and so sipped at her cream slowly.

"So we have treats with our coffee." Came the voice of the Gypsy, rising once more in volume.

Kyuur huffed, snorted, and shook his head. He took a bearclaw, and in one chomp he ate half of it.

The neko was feeling better! Dipping a finger into the cream she licked it off, purring and playing with the food. It makes her happy, her tail flicking merrily.

For Vera it was a slow walk behind the bar, even her Santa hat seemed to droop a little. This is how her Christmas morning was going.

"Knew I should have gone straight to Romania." She muttered, frowning fiercely at her coffee mug, somehow blaming it for all the morning?s drama.

And somewhere, the song still plays ...

Oh, by gosh, by golly
It's time for mistletoe and holly
Fancy ties an' granny's pies
An' folks stealin' a kiss or two
As they whisper, "Merry Christmas" to you

Then comes that big night
Giving the tree the trim
You'll hear voices by starlight
Singing a Yuletide hymn

Oh, by gosh, by golly
It's time for mistletoe and holly
Fancy ties an' granny's pies
An' folks stealin' a kiss or two
As they whisper, "Merry Christmas" to you


(This was taken from liveplay like with the Conversations thread. Thank you, all the players involved!)

14
Elsewhere / Conversations
« on: December 23, 2011, 09:21:29 AM »
It was just another November morning at the Inn.

The Gypsy was sitting inside at a table, cup of coffee at her side, though the rest of the place was....

Deserted.

But it wasn't technically deserted, he was there sprawled belly bottom atop a rafter with an arm dangling over. He was somewhat sleeping but an ear kept notice of occurrences when need be.

Tilting her head she delicately licked the tip of one finger to better grasp an old and brittle page. Carefully turning it she shifted in her seat, the tick-tock-tick of the clock filling in the silence. She had a lot to learn, Vera mused to herself, one hand reaching blindly for the porcelain mug of cream laced coffee.

Funny, the Gypsy had been here for a while now but she hadn't picked up on anyone else within the Inn. Then again she had all her mental blocks on full, so, there ya go.

"Needs more sugar ...." Mutterings towards her mug, amber eyes narrowed down to cat like slits in contemplation. "Bother."

He let out a groan, easily rotating without falling thanks to his ever cradling abyss. He let out a puffed sigh, golden hues glancing up at the ceiling before they angled down at the woman. He stared for a moment, tousling his onyx locks before rotating without assistance and making a soundless landing upon the floor. He remained close to the hearth, taking a lean against a worn couch while he stood dangerously close to the fire.

Caught up in the old, ancient text on Greek myth and lore Vera slowly stood up, almost without looking from her page. The Gypsy was in utter bookworm mode; her movements slow as her thought process ran rampant. So much so that when she finally turned on her heel with the intentions of doctoring up her coffee she nearly let out an impressive Valkyrie screech.

"Sweet mother of God! Where did you come from!?"

He didn't flinch at her screech; rather he cringed at it almost giving her an unwelcoming snarl before he shook his head. He pointed up towards the rafters, his gaze settling on her.
 
"There."

Deep voice sounded so rich without rasp for being asleep more than a day. A tilt of his head and he examined the woman, head to toe, taking in all of her features before he moved his gaze back toward the fire.

 "Didn't mean to frighten you. My apologies."

The Gypsy wasn't looking like much a real gypsy these days. She was dressed rather simply in jeans and a black sweater that fell nearly to her knees. Tawny hair was left like wild ivy vines to trail down her shoulders and back, a bit darker with the coming cold season. Blinking, amber eyes briefly met the more gold hue of his, still wide and startled.

"Oh ..." she breathed a bit lamely around a laugh, a hand moving to press against the center of her chest. She felt foolish, letting her guard down so easily. "It?s fine! Your fine, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scream your head off ..."

Looking up she blinked for a time. "I forgot about those ..."

Yes, a bit dumbly now.

 "Hmm..."

A blur of black and he was within inches from her left side, golden hues staring intently from their peripherals. He kind of coiled about her, making a full circle before he stopped to face her. He wasn't much for manners, nor did he respect personal space.

Probably because he had no idea what either of the two meant on his bad days.

A shaded tendril withered beneath him, surfacing from his natural shadow and angling itself beside his chin bouncing to and fro like a cobra ready to attack.

"You're rather...beautiful."

It was all he said before he brushed past her, taking in a good whiff of her scent before heading toward the bar in need of something to burn that wicked throat of his.

Swallowing the gasps that threatened to burst from her lips she took a few small steps back, not that it did much, only have to step forward again, back once more with him right in front of her again! Talk about some complicated dance maneuvers. Tilting her head she in turn gave him the same examination, though more politely from beneath the veil of her lashes.

"Thank you ...."

She cleared her throat to hide more of her surprise, feeling a touch out of her depth. "I'm Vera." She didn't ask for his name yet, hoping he would get the hint. Curiosity, her biggest fault to date, had her trail behind him a few steps.

Careful, cautious it was the name of her game. If you wanted to be fastidious.

It was much too hard to swallow the grin that threatened to taint such innocent features, but he managed only allowing one corner to creep its way causing a smug smirk to form. He had poured himself a glass of whiskey, but who could tell with all of the blur and faded grays moving about behind the bar. One could describe movement, but that was it. Everything became much more solid as he moved in front of her again, extending a sweeter coffee her way and taking a swig from his whiskey.-

"You may call me Elis."

He gave a warm smile, too fake for the mood he was in. But he restrained himself from scaring the woman, because have it his way and there would be no talking involved.-

"Lovely to meet you, Elis."

She didn't have to work much on saying names, though her accent still filtered out, drawling more than maybe it should. Vera didn't hesitate on taking the coffee but she didn't exactly start drinking from it either. She wasn't born yesterday though she didn't sense anything ... exactly malicious from him.

Menace yes, he exuded power and danger, no doubt.

Firmly she kept her blocks up, the tip of her tongue peaking to swipe across her bottom lip, eyes darting briefly away while she gathered up her thoughts more.

"It?s been quiet here, huh? I've been stopping in every few days and I haven't seen any of the old gathering ..."

Small talk, irritating for most but it had always proved to be informative for her.

Elis didn?t have small talk on his mind apparently. With that same blur of motion he had displayed earlier Vera found herself in his arms, lips crashing down to seize her mouth. He didn?t do more than that, just pressed himself close, testing the waters, tasting just a part of her.

What the hell?

The Gypsy would have to hand it to him; he had quickly acquired the knack for knocking her off balance and in just a few minutes of them meeting. This had to be a record -- or she was becoming soft. The only problem that soon enough ozone sprung up in her senses, her mental blocks crashing down to read for the first time signs of his aura. Gasping she wrenched her head to the side, the coffee mug he had given her crashing to the ground, spilling everywhere but somehow missing them.

She wanted to scream, she wanted to run far, far away and maybe never return.

What she did do was quickly step back, her hands up and pushing against his chest. "Now, that isn't polite ..." she sneered, amber eyes flashing before she banked the fire. "You usually take a girl out first, a dinner and a dance."

"People spend too much time on courting and not enough having fun."

It amused him that she didn't try to smack him or cause physical damage, it would've been pointless to do so. But he did love how she touched him, his chest rumbling due to the approaching growl that quickly faded when he took those hands and began giving them kisses to her palms.

 "Did you not enjoy it?"

Golden hues as mischievous as ever, but still maintaining an innocent appeal. He only removed his gaze for a minute to look down at the coffee, giving a soft "tsk" before looking back to her.

 "Would you like another?"

He didn't exactly elaborate on what kind of another he meant either.

It was all very once upon a time when Vera once would have acted on the kiss, when she would have demanded more in return.  She had indeed spent far too much time having fun and forgoing all preliminaries. But life was short, mortal life especially. Shaking her head she tried to extract her hands from his but she knew enough to know, he wouldn't release her until he was damn, good, and ready to.

Swallowing she inhaled deeply, giving herself kudos for not trembling. "You are rather beautiful yourself, so, enjoy it? Of course, I am but a woman but alas, I fear I find that there is a certain elegance that can be found in courtship."

She quickly decided to not let on the certain knowledge she had retained from that kiss.

"Coffee?"  She ignored his further innuendo, old hat at this.

"Please, it seems mine has spilled ..."

He did let go of her noting the breath she took to calm herself, well enough only to step back a few feet and perform a breath taking bow without flaw. His head lifted only as those golden hues rested on her once more, the devilish grin concaving into a gentlemen's after introduction.

"My apologies, m'love. I can very well court you, if that's what you fancy."

Still bowed before her, he extended the same hand that played with her locks in a gesture of invitation.

"Will you join me for another cup of coffee, without so much sugar?" Even though he was putting on the show of a gentleman, he still couldn't help his flirtatious joking.

Friend or foe, the Gypsy considered the offered hand before with just a hint of hesitation she slowly placed the long fingers of her own within its grip. The sensible part of her brain told her in no uncertain terms this was a bad bad idea. The other half reasoned it wouldn't help to make a new, powerful enemy.

Besides, he was only flirting, it wouldn't be so bad to flirt and smile in return.

Right?

Smiling and shoving away her misgivings she took a small step forward, "I prefer more cream than sugar but I enjoy the sweet more than the bitter."

The beating of wings disturbed the stillness of the day, trees bending and dust lifting. For a moment, the sun was blotted out, stealing the light from the yard of the Inn, but just for a moment. Looking the picture of elegance and innocence, the small drow made his way up the stairs and into the room, heading towards the bar and a drink.

"Ah...so we have a date!"

He said a bit excited, curling his slender fingers over her soft hand and leading her toward the bar. He gestured for her to take a seat while he let go of her, making way toward the bar break and rummaging up two cups of coffee the way she preferred it once more. So as not to make her feel uncomfortable again, he moved behind the bar to take lean in front of her. He set the coffee mug before her, adding a stick of cinnamon to his and stirring.

"So Vera, tell me about yourself? Children? Husband?"

Well, he was taking this a bit more serious, thought the Gypsy with much amusement. Picking up the coffee mug she blew softly across the surface, taking a cautious sip while she considered her own response. Foolish to hand out information so easily but doubly so to lie to someone like him.

"Never married despite a few offers, I have one child, meu fiica. Ah, a daughter," she clarified for him.

"Yourself?" Bracing her elbows on the counter she mirrored him, eyes darting to the ..  Drow? My, my, what company she had this fine chilly day. Slowly she gave the Elf a nod before her attention went once more to Elis.

"You look young to have any children though ..." trailing off she smirked, "...looks are soooo deceiving."

He began to nibble on the cinnamon stick, a habit as a child which made him appear very boyish. He laughed at her comment of deceiving looks, nodding his head. He was well over a thousand years, but that he kept to himself.

"No children, nor wife. I have a bondmate, but that is all."

He said the word so casually, adding an equally mundane shrug to go with it. He took a sip from his coffee as well, headed nodding toward the drow before his attention drew back to Vera.

"A daughter, you say? She must have the looks of her mother, indeed. And I am quite...young, in certain
aspects."

Feeling eyes on him, the Drow shivered slightly and turned, lips twisting into a smile. Brilliantly white teeth were seen, every other one filed to a razor edge. Standing, he dipped into a formal bow before taking his seat again, slender fingers wrapping around a bottle of wine.

"Bondmate?"

Now this was information! Vera had a slight problem -- she was the proverbial Eve and everyday she did her best to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Excitement flashed in her eyes, her lips finally curling into a true smile.

"I have heard of such things but never have I had the chance to speak to someone about that aspect of relationships. Where is your bond?" She didn't immediately call him out on his flirtatiousness, especially since she didn't yet know any details.

He blinked at her excitement, eyes widening at what seemed to be a mistake that he let those words out. A soft sigh as he continued to nibble on the cinnamon stick, occasionally dipping it for coffee flavoring.

 "Ah...she is probably in the woods wandering, she can't be without guard at any time. But her breed can only mate with one and I was that one."

He shifted his weight, angling up and letting his hip lean into the bar as he took a sip of coffee.

"I bound myself to her for her protection, so in a sense it is a mutual relationship. But she knows of my "tendencies" and accepts them."

He figured he would explain the flirt without her asking, but summing his relationship into two sentences did no justice to their actual situation.

This brought a brief halt to her thought process, her head canting as she took in his explanation. Words like breed and protection were filed away for later. Drinking more of her coffee, she narrowed her eyes, already cataloging what books she would need to search through.

"Mmm, so, your together for both protection and procreation? But no children ...?"

She felt a bit cold suddenly and shivered, her mind flashing to Alyssa. Maybe she would need to talk to him more, careful to keep that track of thought from her face.

"Eh...children."

He shivered, shaking his head of the thought and setting down his mug. Lips thinned as those golden hues lost a bit of their chroma from that word, it wasn't one he was too fond of.

 He had yet to digest the fact he would need to sire children eventually.

"I bonded to her, at first, for emotional reasons. It worked in our favor that we are of somewhat same race which needs to be carried on. She is also being hunted by a man that seeks her womb for procreation as well, so I bonded myself for her protection when she needs it. The man that seeks her does not have good intentions, so Arya will remain within my care until he is dead."

Stifling a large yawn, the Drow blew a long sigh, willing smoke to roll from his mouth. With a flip of his hand, the smoke formed into a glass and a small fruit, the glass poured full of wine and the fruit nibbled at. Closing his eyes, he leaned back against the bar and murmured to himself.

"L' ust d'lil vaen..."

"Oh, I am sorry to hear that for your bond ..." Strangely, it reminded her of a scary time in her past. Again she thought of Alyssa and cleared her throat, information filed away and stored in all the necessary places.

Pointing she asked, "Is that good with coffee?"

The Gypsy could be compassionate enough to change the subject. And did the Drow just say ... Lust? Blinking she peaked at him again, waiting for Elis to respond.

Words fell out of his mouth, heavily accented and sounding like rain drops in a pine forest, a haunting, threatening melody, "The first of the last is what I said." Again, he had felt the eyes on him.

"My native tongue. A thousand apologies."

He greatly appreciated the change of subject, the recent happenings all to fresh and hardly digested. He knew well what the Drow said, but did not know the exact purpose for saying it. So he continued the conversation casually, breaking the cinnamon stick and handing her a piece.

"Very well actually, almost like sugar but with a twist. And no apologies toward...my bond. I did what was necessary."

He looked toward the Drow, asking for more clarification.- "Would you mind explaining?"

Shrugging, the Drow said "Explanation. This is not a word that I fully grasp, and it would be pointless to try. Suffice to say that I spoke for another set of ears. There are ears that hear the whispers in the dark, more so when they are spoken by a rogue drow."

Dipping his head to the man, he lifted the glass and tasted his wine again.

"Oh no, its fine! I tend to do the same myself."

Small smile for the Drow, taking the cinnamon with a dubious air. Sniffing it, Vera stuck it gingerly into her coffee, swirling the darkly colored liquid, only lightened by the cream. Pulling it out and watching the drip drip drip of her coffee she took an experimental nibble, her tongue caressing before her teeth took a bigger bite.

"Mmm, very good!" Approved the Gypsy, once more repeating the whole affair. "He is right you know?" Vera had some past dealings with the Drow and sometimes, she could still understand a phrase or two. But considering it had been a Drow female ... well. It wasn't a pretty story.

"Yes, I know. My sister is half drow, she was kind enough to teach me the language."

He nodded agreeably with Vera, smiling at her approval of the cinnamon. He looked toward the door for a moment, looking beyond it into his void where he could clearly see the color changes of nights
approach.

"I should be leaving, Vera. I need to find Arya."

"Right. Also another word I do not fully understand." Another shrug, the bottle rising again, the Drow?s lips mimicking the smile. Another sigh, and another puff of smoke fell from his lips, a dainty finger drawing the picture of a small book. With a snap of said finger, the book became real and floated down, settling on the bar.

"I understand Elis." He wasn't a bad sort at all! Nothing like Andor, who was closer to him than she would ever let him know. Then again if he ever met Alyssa ... well. Delicately she stuck her hand out to him, meaning to shake his. "Pity are date has to be cut short." She joked with a brilliant smile.

"Such a pity, indeed. I'll be sure next time around to be more prepared for your questions, perhaps I shall bring Arya and you may witness our bond in person??

He guessed she would probably like this idea, remembering how excited she was to hear of it in the first place. He took her hand and gave her a tender kiss, finishing the goodbye with another wonderfully done bow. He gave another nod toward the drow, hopping over the bar and heading toward the door.

"Oh yes! I would love to hear more."

Much, much more for a variety of reasons.

Watching him leave for a time before turning the full force of her amber gaze on the Drow. The males were so much more tame then the females. Like a child she asked, "What are you reading ...?"

Rolling his shoulders back, he stood and paced towards her, dropping the book on the table. A single red hand was emblazoned on the front, the same as the one he wore on his chest.

"It is a list of guests. I own a shop and I was curious to see who had signed the register. And before you say much more, there are preconceived ideas about my race. I am only half a drow, and only a drow when I prefer to be. In honesty, I am a fully mature shadow dragon."

Stupidly she gaped up at him, wondering if he was a mind reader. No matter! If so, she tweaked her mental blocks a bit, wrinkling her nose with a teasing grin.

"Oh, I didn't mean anything ...rude."

Not completely anyway. Pulling the book towards her she looked through it with some interest,

"What sort of shop?" One day she herself wanted an Apothecary and was training for it in fact ... by herself.

"It is new and in the docks. It is my house and it is a..gathering place. Information is bought and sold and given. Along with odds and ends I have collected on my travels and items from my homeland."

Flashing another smile, he tipped his head and brushed his hair aside, removing a circlet with a large black gem set in the middle.

"I am in my war gear today and it gives me a rather unfair advantage. Again, a thousand apologies."

The gem that could catch thoughts was dropped into a pocket.

"Funny you would say that. My...mate runs an apothecary. Small world, is it not?"

Eying the circlet with an almost avarice gleam in her eyes she quickly hide in the veil of sooty lashes.

"Really? I should stop by and see what I may learn from an observational view point."

She was still in the minor leagues though when it came to such things, very good with herbs and strong wards, weak on everything else. Indeed, her own bangles and circlets had stones of topaz and amber, great for the protection and luck side of things. She didn't have anything to help her read anyone's' thoughts.

Plenty enough to deal with the buzz and current of life energy.

Lowering her blocks just a bit, she took in the taste of his, her eyes once more flashing to his face. "I'm always on the lookout for information, you can never have too much, eh?"

Shrugging, he said "One learns so much through magical means, but one also learns much from simply observing. In my line of work, observation is key. And this is where I stop confessing for fear of seeming...dangerous."

A thoughtful sigh escaped his lips as he ran a finger over his chin before he spoke, saying "Information is the difference between an animal and a civilized creature. But yes, do stop by. I have collected many things, strange things."

He was a Drow - alright, only half a Drow. Anyone would take one look and say, now that guy might be a bit dangerous.

Thankfully he couldn't catch this thought, her grin flashing, "Do you have a card or can you give me some directions? I work mainly in the Rhydin Library these days ..."

Ironic, no?

He smiled again, that sharks smile, full of razor teeth before he folded his arms over his chest, the armor sliding over itself, rustling slightly before he said, "I do not have a card and it is only found by chance. I can..guide you there. I can give you an....item of sorts that will lead you there if you ever wanted to go. It would not hurt." Here he chuckled, the sound of water bouncing off rocks.

"Depends on how much you trust a drow."

"Male Drow? Oh, about a thimble full."

She joked, her grin saying as much while she took a lean in her seat, eating the rest of her cinnamon stick, followed by a sip of her coffee. Ah, the vampires had it so wrong -- coffee was the Life, not blood.

Strong, dark, and caffeinated to the max.

"Female Drow? Not just no, but hell no! Eh, no offense to your mother or anything ..."

Quick to say, her brow wrinkling a bit.

Pale red eyes shifted, an almost angry flash settling into them. "I killed my mother. And my four sisters. I have no love for the drow. They hunt me and they hate me for those crimes and for my nature. I am an agent within an organization of no minor fame, one bent on the destruction of Lloth and..well that is enough of that."

Again the hand rested on his chin. "I am not sure why I am telling you these things."

She hid her smile behind another sip of coffee, savoring the flavor for a moment. Vera had something unique about her that no spell or charm could provide -- people just opened up to her, of all varieties. She would have made an excellent spy, had she a taste for such things. She always reasoned it had something to do with life energy and how it was attracted to her. It also made her attractive to all types of nightmarish creatures, her lips taking on a wry twist.

Clearing her throat she gave him a nonchalant shrug, "I'm just one of those types, I suppose."

Reigning in her blocks she set them stronger, her fingertips now toying with the edges of his book, her own forgotten tome left on a table a few paces back.

"Would I have a chance on meeting your mate at your shop? And what can you give me, to help lead me there?" Change of subject, her tone light and airy.

"No, her shop is not my shop. Hers is the DarkStar apothecary. She is often here though."

Smiling again, he inhaled sharply and blew out, willing another cloud of smoke to come from him. Patting it, he took a glance down to her feet, then back up to her eyes.

"It can either linger near your feet or it can be inhaled, only coming out when you would like it to. Either way, if you command it to find my house, or myself, it will lead you there, just once though." This time the smile was a little less reckless, a little more genuine.

Now that was a nice bit of varja, magic. Looking down at her own feet, clad only in her socks because she had left her shoes at her table, she wriggled her toes.

"Truly? But once you know the way, do you forget?"

The Gypsy knew the game, her gaze lifting to him, sly and mischievous.

"The house is a rip in many planes. It is linked to my...home. And I do not mean Ched'Nasad."

The smoky glass was raised; the wine emptied as he thought for a moment and added, "That all depends. If I want the person to return, they will remember the way. If I do not, the door will still be there, but it will be sealed. And breaking that seal would result in a highly upset dragon."

Once more she lowered her blocks, her eyes briefly closing while taking in another taste, smelling ozone in her mind, her skin shivering from a burst of electricity, current. She made a stronger note, feeling as though she might need it for later. It was different from Elis' of course -- they were different creatures. Of course only she was aware unless he too had the Talent.

"Fascinating!"

And she meant it, finishing her coffee while she considered another one. "Dragon, you say? You didmention you are mostly dragon. You are of the rare type, I can see, that can assume a humanoid appearance. You prefer to appear as a Drow or is this something you can't control?"

Shrugging, he waved a hand around the room and said, ?I fit in poorly as a Drow, but I would literally not fit well in this setting. When I travel, I either use the smoke or fly. Back to the point though...I was born a Drow, gifted with the ability to shift. And the dragon that chose me was a rather large one. I would stretch the length of a few city blocks. Not fitting for a room. Rare? Yes. Shadow dragons are not common."

Pacing back to the bar, he took up a bottle of whiskey and made his way back to the table. It would appear this Drow also had a drinking problem.

Most did, Vera was not one to judge. She had her problems in the past. Having a daughter did help change that, her whole being set to protect this other half of her. She got up as well, wandering to the carafe still filled with coffee. Pouring herself a new mug she added a stick of cinnamon.

Clever Elis. Not bad at all for ... what he was. She took a seat at his table, feeling more than hearing the tick-tock-tick of the clock.

"I know,? she amended, ?having met a few dragons though most aren't up for socializing.

Though I suppose it would be hard to try, when you are a few city blocks long."

Smiling she played with her cinnamon stick. "Shadow dragon? Truly?"

Nodding again, he smiled and said, "Truly. As black as night, scales the color of darkness, wings the color of nothing, or so the stories say. On Faerun, there was only two."

At this point he laughed, the first real laugh, the sound oddly similar to water running across a reef. "I spent much of my life alone and almost forgot how to talk. I left Ched'Nasad and made my way to the surface at a young age, and 172 years later, I am here."

"Wow! I can't even begin to imagine that..." she murmured, taking another drink of her coffee, tilting her head. Thinking she bounded up and rescued his book from the bars counter. "Here, don't want you to forget this."

Dipping his head, he offered a half grin and murmured 'My items find there way back to me. So long as I draw it in the smoke it will come back to me. A thousand thanks, just the same."

Spreading his hands, he showed her empty palms, a sign of peace, and said "It was...peaceful."

A man outside starts to play an instrument and the sounds of a guitar filtered through even from the outside, making Vera turn her head towards the door. Blinking she rolled her shoulders into another shrug, her body shifting into a relaxing slump.

"I would hope so, though I doubt I could ever really understand." To be frank she wouldn't have the many years he did to even try. "Peace to me exists in only a moment, usually found while I'm reading."

Another shrug, each motion carefully practiced and executed. "A row might see fifteen hundred years. A dragon might see fifteen thousand years. I measure time in centuries, not minutes. And as such, peace is hard to find. But when it is found, it tends to last. I have found a small measure of peace here, but it will be shattered soon."

Now, that statement carried more than its share of misgivings, her brow wrinkling. She may be a Gypsy but she didn't deal in visions or prophecies. She didn't measure out lines in a palm to dish out warnings or good tidings.

Drinking her coffee she finally said, "Why do you think its going to be taken from you, your peace?"

"There is no think. I am hunted and I have been located. I do not care that they are coming, but others might."

The Drow was, oddly enough, a terrible liar and it showed. "My crimes have been so heinous that she would reach her eight legs across the planes to have me back."

Ah, yes. Funny how she could forget that awful lore -- and the Goddess that drove it.

Shifting in her chair again, trying to find a comfortable spot, she shook her head. "You seem very capable to me, you might have to put up a fight but I bet you come out all right. It might shatter your peace but ..." words failed her for a moment, her breath pulling in sharply. "This is about your mother and your sisters, huh? That means ..." Female Drows, descending on the very boardwalks of their city.

"You know, it might not just be your peace that is shattered ..." Mutters.

"Oh no. It will only be my peace. I mentioned before, I am an agent. To a human, each drow is an assassin. For a drow to call another drow assassin is another matter. She can send her minions, they will die. I am worried that she will move on someone else that is less capable. I can not be with her each day." The rand raised, fingers drumming on his chin before he said "For me? I am dragon kind. I will not be harmed."

Both brows rose, her nose twitching, fear slowly uncurling in the pit of her stomach, "From what I remember of most females," meaning the Drow, "they'll be entirely focused on the task of hurting you, or getting to you. But," The Gypsy stressed this word, her face frowning now, "everyone else in the way, or perceived in the way, is fair game."

And how did she know it!

"It won't matter if the person in the way is anything to you, they'll take them, take them or kill them. So, I'm very serious when I ask you this; how many? I do have a daughter and ya know, I would like to take
some precautions."

Raising an eyebrow toward the woman, he whispered, "You are telling me things I know. I have stood in front of the spider queen and laughed. She will be more careful, the Jeazred is more powerful then anyone can ever dream."

Shrugging again, he said "They will not even get there. I will meet them on my plane if I can  But there will be nine."

He stood in front of a dark Fae Goddess and laughed? Man had balls of brass. Looking into her mug, she thought maybe Irish coffee would be better for this conversation. Without asking she reached out and snatched his whiskey, pouring herself a generous drop before giving it back.

"Nine? And you think you can keep them from wandering our streets? I sure hope so, but nine is quite a bit ... I mean..." She took a deep drink, the alcohol a new found burn on her tongue. Lovely.

"Isn't that extreme for a couple of deaths? What else did you do ...?"

This time the laugh was sarcastic, razor teeth shown again. "I have killed nine thousand or so of them. Nine is not an issue. And yes, it is extreme. I laughed at her, this is a crime. Murder, this is a crime. I created the war that destroyed my home city. I am a member of the Jeazred and I wear it openly. There are more, but they are pointless, yes?"

His hand dropped down, resting on the shimmering, dark red hand on his chest.

Oh, sure, for a dragon that must have just been another day at the office. She took another deep swallow of her new Irish coffee, still carrying the hint of cinnamon.

"Glad to see you so confident but you did mention that there is someone you can't be around twenty four hours. I take this to mean your mate?"

"Yes. That is what I meant. And while I normally pretend like I know all of the answers, I do not know this one. She has a powerful family and I assume that she will be fine." The shrug was only really half of the normal one this time and hurt floated over his face, accompanied by an ever rarer emotion.

Confusion.

Calculation flared for a moment in her eyes, quick and assessing of the situation. She rolled her shoulders and neck, easing the new found tension. Vera was not fond of Drow females, her back still sporting a few scars from her last encounter with one. They loved strong females but if they weren't Drow themselves, they enjoyed more in the breaking of them.

"Oh, I don't know, if she's lucky they might decide to keep her!" Caustic and cruel, she really couldn't stop the flow of her words, her lips wanting to turn themselves into a snarl. Memories had the tendency to do that to her.

Sigh, sigh, sigh.

"Eh, look..." She rubbed a hand across her face, "I doubt you need any sort of help from someone like me but I am good with protection charms and wards. Maybe I can offer something up, bit of a trade maybe. I would only ask for reports of what exactly is going on in your little war. Like I said, I have a daughter ..."

"She is drow as well. She would be hard to keep." Still, the thought shook him to the core, and it showed aas he took a step back and rolled his shoulders, fingers dancing on the edge of twin sheathes. "If she was taken, then I would take the war to them. The queen herself would burn, acid is most painful. I will die before she is taken."

Shrugging, he said, "If we speak again, I will tell you. Free of charge. Compassion is one of my weaknesses."

"Ah, good, prepare to have it exploited ..."

Waitaminute!

Blinking she refocused on him, amber eyes sharper than a knife.

"How exactly .... did you end up with a Drow as a mate?"

Million dollar question here.

"I am as much drow as I am dragon. Is it strange for a drow to seek a drow? Truth be told, she sought me. I met her here one night and she could not speak. So we spoke in the signs, and then we did it again. And again. And as I am sure you know, things like that turn into other things." Unfolding his arms, he shot a hand down towards the glass, raising it and drinking.

"I could explain more, but it is incredibly condescending."

She refrained from giving a very unlady like snort. No matter the type or blood, male was male. Go figure.

"Well, I'll take your word for it that she isn't the usual type of female."

She also highly doubted that the Drow would in fact, keep her. No, this lady Drow of his was going to be seen as a traitor to the whole race. Solved that question, since the Drow really only enslaved another Drow when that Drow was a male. She took another deep drink, filing away more information in her mind.

"I still want to greet and meet your mate. Should be interesting."

Also explained on why he had been so hesitant on first mentioning her. Thought she missed that, huh?

Nope.

"She is often here, like I said. I make no effort in hiding our affiliation, so it is quite easy to see. They say that love is hard to hide, yes?" At this he stood and bowed, saying "I find that sitting is not comfortable. My mind does not fit in my body and it often feels cramped."

Looking up at him she shrugged, "Eh, then stand?" Another thought did occur to her.

"Oh! I'm Vera."

She held out her hand finally with a small smile, disregarding his quick defense of his mate. She understood and knew she would probably not be wholly comfortable around her. Memories and all that! Still, if she saw even a semi-friendly female Drow she would make her acquaintance.

"We've had a whole conversation and haven't even tried to introduce ourselves."

Nodding, he slipped back into a formal, curt bow and said "My name is CaelMal DulQue. That or Aec'Mish. Either works just as well."

What a mouthful. Fae were known for that, dragons too, now that she thought about it. Looking at her hand she took it back with a grin and a shrug.

"How about Cael or Mal? Something short and sweet. Oh! I could call you Mish." She had to, throwing in a tease. It was just her, Vera.

"I would most likely answer to any of those. Truth be told, I do not really care how others think of me or view me. It is just easier to fit in. I am arrogant enough to ignore the formalities."

Shrugging, the words held little arrogance, currently. He was just stating facts. 'I have not been called Aec'Mish in quite some time."

"Yeah, I like Mish."

He was newly dubbed in her mind as such, the Gypsy pulling a phone case from her jeans pocket. Tucked inside where little white cards, a fine copper plate type in bold scrawled across the front.

Her new business cards. The former trade of thief didn't allow for advertising but being a consultant did. She handed one to him, curious to see if he'd take it. It was a little modern but they did live in a realm of complexities.

"My card." God, did she love saying that.

Taking a moment to stare at the card, he shrugged and took it, dropping it into a pocket. "I will hang it on the wall of my shop. I do not have cards to give you." Another shrug moved his shoulders before he took another bow and said, "While this has been an?interesting conversation, I have business to attend to."

"Of course, it?s my off day so," she gave another trademark shrug, her smile a friendly thing on her face. "I'll stop by your shop, just to see if you really hang it up." She gave him a wink.

"I do not speak unless the words are true."

Leaving it at that, he stepped back and sighed. His form blurred and wavered before it shifted into a cloud of smoke, which made its way towards a crack in the wall and simply vanished.


It was her first time, really, coming back to the Red Dragon Inn after being away for so long.

Interesting... the people you meet.

15
Elsewhere / A Re-acquaintance: The Game
« on: November 24, 2011, 08:29:46 AM »
WARNING: Some language.

Full moon he had said though it was already shifting with the tide, clouds a mere vapor across its ghostly surface. Cold, chilly Autumn with Winter just around the corner and the wind carrying the bite of her kiss, promising snowfall and ice. It was late, so very late and there was a silent hush that had fallen over the forest, even the nocturnal seeking shelter and sleep.

Still the Gypsy prowled along her porch lost to all sensation, her mind swept up in a whirlwind of turmoil. So she paced and turned, her head tilting from one angle to the next, her movements far from Grace though she strove for some Peace, her eyes all but feverish bright. The glow from the now waning moon still somehow lighting up the fire in the ambers housed in the new pallor of her face. Piercing and feral as any wolfs and with her lips curling back in a voiceless snarl of agitation this didn?t help dispel the image of savagery she presented to her woodland refuge.

How dare he, the short son of a b*tch bastard!

She had long since thrown her jacket off to the porch floor of her cottage home, like some forgotten rag despite its pricy designer label. Sneering she kicked it from her path, stalking around one corner only to sharply turn and start all over again like a windup toy. Toy! It was how the nosferatu saw her,  a pretty doll to play with and discard just like before all those years ago.

Why ? Why now ?

Andor was gone, killed by Lobo, the assassin she had scorn for so long until it was nearly too late. Funny how she had such things still in her life, assasins, vampires, half demons, and witches, oh my! She had done much in her mortal life, dug her way through fire and blood, and had somehow slipped by Death Himself despite her penchant for playing with Monsters.

Finally she came to a stop at the edge of her steps, planting her hands on her hips while glaring out and into nothing.

Jacob.

A dark shade coming back for a visit ?

It was a quiet night but isn?t that how most things that go wrong start? It has to be a quiet night before everything you?ve worked for gets shot all to hell. That?s how it?s played though in every book or movie you come across so why be different for the Gypsy? She was sitting outside despite the chill in the air, going through yet another old dusty tome. Fallen autumn leaves danced at her feet as the wind blew through the trees dotting the street, a few in front of the coffee house she was sitting at.

Minding her own business for once, working with a frown on her face.

Like a specter he appeared as though right on schedule, his cool breath playing across her ear and cheek from behind as he leans down close.  

 ?Little gypsy girls should be careful on the night of the full moon.?

He said with a smirk, his dark suit melting into the shadows that weren't deep enough to conceal him, but did so anyways, only the blood red tie standing out like a warning, danger: deadly, stay away.

Giving a start and sputter Vera whipped her head around, her heart suddenly amping up its speed. Like some old forgotten nightmare stood the man,
the creature rather, she had known for more than ten years. Two of which they had played some strange game of cat and mouse but then inexplicitly he had let her go.

Quickly she looked him over, finding that for the most part despite the suit he now favored, he hadn?t changed. He was a vampire, some part of her screamed in her mind. They never change. She herself hadn?t much for a human, despite being older. They hair was still its same tawny shade, though tamed into a French braid, the ends curling around her face, her eyes still the color of dying ambers, that mixture of hot molten gold. There was still traces of a tan, lingering memories of hot summer days, days long since denied to this creature ....

Pulling in a deep breath she forced herself to relax her sudden still posture, saying only in her lightly accented voice, ?Jacob ??

She didn?t feel compelled to say more.

 His smirked widened for a moment, showing the barest hint of the elongated canine that revealed him for what he truely was.  At the same time, the backs of his fingers began to trail lightly down her opposite jawline; the smooth, cool fingernails sliding her skin.  He stepped out from behind her, following his hand.  And there he stood before her, his fingertips under her chin to lift her gaze up to his own with a gentle, irresistable strength.  

"I'm disappointed, little Gypsy.  Your reactions were always so much more... interesting."

Memory seemed to taut her, playing havoc with her mental state. She was not seventeen anymore, lurking about in places she shouldn?t have, dealing with creatures better left to ?professionals.?

She had been foolish, very young, and had garnered attention for it. Of course, threatening to drive a stake through someone?s heart tended to do that. Licking lips suddenly dry, ire flashed in her eyes as she jerked from him, standing to her feet and knocking her wicker seat over. It tumbled to the ground, catching a few glances but no white knight showed up for her rescue.

How typical.

 ?Why exactly are you here??


 And why now, after all this time?

She left that question unvoiced, not caring for an answer she knew she wouldn?t like. Stupid vampires.

He let his hand drop to his side as she surged to her feet to confront him, his eyes rising to follow her own and the smirk staying firmly planted on his lips.  

"You're making a scene, little Gypsy.  Sit."  

His other hand rose for a moment to indicate a nearby table which had been occupied not long ago, hadn't it?  Two steaming cups of coffee still sat upon it, abandoned.  "Sit."  So casually said, with all the force of a command behind it.  He didn't wait for her to obey before taking his own seat, lounging in that boneless manner of his.


Son of a b*tch bastard.

Wrinkling her nose she took the time to causally look around. Make a scene? Oh, he should remember the scenes she could, and would yet again, create if he didn?t make his point. And leave. Sighing she picked up the chair and set it right before once more engaging with Jacob a staring contest.

Vera wanted to make a snide remark on his height, just for old times sake, but held her peace. Running sweaty palms down her fine linen pants she tugged at the matching jacket. Her outfit was comprised of a soft, baby blue linen with a cream blouse beneath. Being a translator for the library she quickly found they didn?t care for her more traditional mode of attire. So no gaudy red skirts and loose peasant shirts, no silver bangles studded with amber stones. She looked like an everyday business woman but Jacob had a long memory it seemed.

?So polite now are we?? She muttered and to create less of a spectacle she sat down across from him, a fair brow rising up in time to the mockery in her tone.

Jacob was never polite.  

"There is never any excuse for bad manners."  His face didn't register any reaction to her tone of voice.  He continued to watch her as she sat, one hand reaching out to play with the rim of his coffee cup, one finger running slowly along its rim, circling around and around.  

"You look well, yes?  Very professional."

She wanted to laugh at him, she wanted to throw a screaming fit to the whole world that this wasn?t fair. She had finally got rid of Andor for good, and of course him being permanently dead did tend to make that easier. Watching him she could all but feel her lips curl into a sneer but smoothed the expression. He had let her go, despite all the grandeurs she had made up in her mind. He hadn?t hurt her, really.

Still, he always set her own edge, always ?

Just like all the other monsters.  

She had to suppress the urge to squirm in her seat. ?Yeah, got tired of dodging bullets, I had been stealing for a while and decided to go legit.?

Deliberately she controlled her accent, making it light and airy as if it were every day she talked to her former "mentor" of her old life of crime. And she hadn't yet shared her old escapade in Sweet Surrender -- as an "exotic dancer," not one of the more adventurous moonlighters. Of course it wasn't what she put on her application when she interviewed as a consultant on rare tomes. Something had told the Gypsy the stuffy librarians would have frowned on that sort of thing. Pity.

She only causally talked about her former life to irritate Jacob. He had an unexplainable view of what was honorable and what wasn't. Assassin for hire was one thing but a petty thief? Well, add to that sentence a young, Gypsy girl who had been a "petty thief" and it would only get better.    

Vera felt hot and frozen all at once, her senses on alert.


Why was he here? Did he know about Alyssa?

The very thought terrified her to the point when breathing became a chore. She above anyone else knows how territorial vampires could be, to the point they obsessed over it; things, land, or people it made no difference when it came into terms of mine. If they had a claim or felt there was a claim, not even time could take it away, always it would be to the vampire theirs and woe be it to anyone in their way.

He had fancied her a student of his before becoming unmanageable as he had put it. Her supposed loss must have been trying for a time but what if he finally came for ? compensation? Swallowing a bit against her tight throat she picked the coffee cup up, her air was defiant as it had ever been.

?Actually no, books is one thing but
aah, jewels is another. I did have a specialty than as I do now. And you? Still keeping girls locked up?? Sweetly said around a sip of coffee.
 
 Another flash of amusement.  "Hardly ever."

"Truly? I would be surprised." Lifting an eyebrow she looked around again, hoping for an escape of some sort. "Its been a long time, right? You've kept away until now ...."

This brought a grin from him, slouching languidly, "Yes, long time, I felt the need to visit," he trailed off, lips curling anew, "And I'm afraid I'm too busy murdering people to work kidnapping in my busy schedule ..."

Finally noticing the sparse people left and more still leaving, accompanied by sirens in the distant she shot him a hooded look. ?Yes, well, we all have to eat don?t we??

Baring her teeth in a parody of a smile she leaned back in her chair, slouching as she did so to mirror him, appearing comfortable and at ease. She had always been an accomplished actress.

?How is the coffee, by the by? I love this place personally, though I can understand how it might not be much to your taste.?

See? She had grown up, just ignore the poison in her tone.

He returned her smile with one that could have seemed more genuine if the effect wasn't completely ruined by the fangs.  

"Coffee unsettles my stomach, little Gypsy.  I prefer richer fare."
 
The tip of his index finger dips for a moment into the cooled liquid of his cup before raising to let the few drops fall back down to rejoin the rest of the beverage in a slow
drip, drip, drip.  

"The years have instilled only so much caution, it seems."

Bristling at the thin threat she heard, Vera tipped her chin up, her eyes narrowing down to cat like slits.

?The years have been fine and besides, I always found being too cautious boring and in the end, fruitless. You can take all the measures in the world and still, find a monster at your back door.?

Setting the coffee aside she leaned in, the gesture almost intimate if it wasn?t for the tension visible in her body, the quiet menace she couldn't mask.

?Either state what it is your doing here or get bent and leave.?

Okay, so, she was still a bit childish but it was his fault, he always brought this out in her.

"Only too true."  His smirk settled back in.  "Does one need a reason to visit an old friend?  To reminisce about old times?"

"Sure, sure, no reason at all if you had been a friend or even a cell mate with me ..." she all but growled, leaning away from him. Remembering too well the sharpness in his smile.

 "Of course, you weren't a friend and you had been the warden, not the prisoner. What is it that you want to reminisce about?"

.... And thought maybe she should have thought better of asking that particular question.  

"Nothing in particular, you're far too amusing without a topic of discussion for me to interrupt your performance.  Did you have something particular in mind?"

There was a saying, get out while the getting was good. Pushing away from the table she stood up, once more making a pretense of straightening her clothes, tugging at the suit jacket.

"This is no performance Jacob, this is me tolerating your short statured self. Alas though, I fear I must cut short this reunion. I have a real life to live now and can't afford bringing in old ghosts. If you will kindly excuse me ..."

He wasn't there anymore.  Just gone, as if he never was, until he stepped into her from behind, one arm draping over her shoulder as he settled his weight against her.  "Going so soon, little Gypsy?"  His voice a cool, gentle whisper against her ear.

She would need to put a damn bell on him still.

Being a respectable five foot seven didn't seem to deter him when it came in terms of dominating her personal space. The man was only what, five foot five? Yet she was keenly aware of him and the hard strength honed over how many years before joining the ranks of the undead.

Shivering Vera tried to shrug his arm away even when she knew it wouldn't budge. "I have to get back to work, lunch break is over."

Weak as it was, it was also somewhat true. Even now Vera knew the dangers of lying to him. Of course she didn't have to leave right then and there but she didn't say as much.

"I'm sure you have better things to do."

He chuckled softly, and she was right that his arm wasn't going anywhere, it was like a statue had drapped itself across her back.  

"Perhaps, but perhaps not, hmm?"  His tongue snaked out for a moment to flick against her neck and there was a pause... but his teeth did not follow.  Instead, his arm pushed her gently, but firmly, back down into her seat.  

"But don't be in such a hurry, little Gypsy, there is so much to catch up on..."

She felt fear and confusion, finally allowing herself to be resettled in the chair though she knew she had no way of putting up a fight.

Put a struggle, sure, he acted as though he enjoyed it at times and irritated at best. In the early days he had been confused, or so she thought, when she refused to accept her ?new station in life.? Bastard. Sighing she carefully noted that for the most part they were alone, making it ineffective if she did decide to scream fire for help. How nicely orchestrated on his part.
 
?From what I remember the only catching that occurred was you, catching me, you know? When I was able to run screaming into the night.?

And why was he being so ... physical? He hadn't before, not much anyway. He had always been cold and ... cruel. Not so much in terms of physically harming her. But he had been cruel and even know she could see it, the monster beneath all that fine polish.

Seeing her seated, he circled around to his seat to once more lounge upon it.  "You keep bringing up your captivity.  Do you miss it so?"

She gave a bark of a laugh, looking at him as if he had just sprouted horns. "Your mad if you think that," her tone incredulous. "So sorry if that's how I remember you but that's how things were. You're not here to rectify that, are you? I have to say, if that's the case you might really find a kitchen tables leg in your chest."

"Oh?  You have always had spirit.  Would you care to try?"  He extends one hand, revealing a small wooden stiletto.  "A chance to free yourself, perhaps?"

Well. He did offer, right?  

The proverbial angel on her right shoulder screamed to run, run far far away. The devil on the other hand already had the Gypsy leaping across the table, scattering the cups of coffee to crash to the ground, porcelain littering the pavement. Long fingers reaching for that stiletto, all caution forgotten because in this moment it was adrenaline and fear driving the Gypsy. She would never go back to that single room again, kept away like some secret. She didn't trust him and maybe she never would.

How could she? While she had long since cultivated and even maintained some relationships with other vampires Vera never forgot the predators they were. He didn't stop her as she snatched the wooden blade from his hand, made not even a move to try, he only watched with that smirk still firmly in place on his lips.

Quickly she backed away from him, eyes wild as she took in the now deserted street.
Where the hell was everyone? Gasping she put a good five feet between them, placing a wall to her back.

"Just leave, go Jacob, you didn't just release me only to come back and kill me did you?"
   
"Were you not going to kill me with that, little Gypsy?"  He still hadn't moved.
 
Oh, she knew better, already feeling the trap closing in around her. She felt overcome with the urge to laugh insanely, to curse and otherwise make an utter fool of herself. Had she been a weaker woman she might even now be crying, sobbing for release from this lucid nightmare. The shadows grew around them both, writhing tendrils promising safety in the void. Yeah, right. Safety in the dark of night with a creature born from its very womb. Already feeling better, the Gypsy thought to herself, her mental sarcasm on full. He wanted to play another game but she wasn't here for his goddamn amusement. She gave a mental scoff, vampires.

"You haven't done anything as yet so I'm being gracious. Leave me and ... " she stopped short of finishing the sentence. God, she had too much to lose this time around.

"Just go Jacob."
 
"No."
 
Shuddering she shook her head, as much at that creeping helplessness she felt as at him. "Why ...?"

She wouldn't say it, not to him and not ever.
She wouldn't say please ... the one thing he might listen to.

"Because you amuse me, little Gypsy.  Is this the game you want to play, though?  Running and hiding, your back to a wall with a shadow haunting your trail?  Perhaps that would be fun, hmm?"

 She gave a groan and nearly closed her eyes, tilting her head to rest it against the stone of the cold wall behind her. But better the wall then him, her heart picking up again in rhythm, wanting to slam its way out of her ribcage. She could all but hear her own blood roaring in her ears and thought, he could hear it as well, smell it despite the skin that housed it.  

"I am done with playing games or haven't you noticed? Get to the point Jacob!"

"The game is the point."  He voice came from right in front of her, carrying its own hint of mockery.  "So focused on the points, you brief mortals are.  I prefer to enjoy the moment and not worry about how it will end."

This time in spite of the foolishness of it she closed her eyes but held the wooden blade all the tighter, her body trembling, a shiver dancing down her spine. The cold didn?t affect Vera, being born in Eastern Europe and rather use to harsh Romany winters. Still she found herself feeling chilled to the very bone.

 ?Get. To. The. Point.? The Gypsy fairly snarled at him, confusion still at war with good ol? self preservation.

 He chuckled softly.  "Always trying to skip to the end, to see the ending without the beginning or the middle.  Perhaps you need some... perspective?"  

The amusement was thick in his voice and that smirk was probably widening again, as well.  But with her eyes closed Vera couldn't see that, or his hand raising up to rest his fingers on her throat, the pressure making the beating flow of blood beneath the skin stand out like a beating drum.

All coherent thought leaked away from her, eyes flaring open and wide in realization to the fact she had placed herself very neatly in the trap. Cold, immovable stone at her back and now, an apparent hungry vamp in front of her; the whole thing brought new meaning to that hard place quip people were so fond of.

Swallowing nervously she narrowed her eyes, more tendrils falling free of the French braid she had so painstakingly placed her wild mane, curling around her face. ?So what, your hungry? All this trouble for a freaking meal??

Yes, leaping to conclusions, it was business as usual for her, really.

 "Mmm, perhaps.  Dinner and a show?"  He held his fingertips against her throat, cold and immovable.  She wasn't pinned per se, she could get away to the side perhaps, but the impression was still there that he was pinning her to the wall.  

"What is the point of your game, little Gypsy?"

Sidling a bit to the left had Vera at least trying to get away from him, her arm holding the stake winding up to her chest to offer what meager protection it could, even if it was nothing more than an illusion.

?My game is survival Jacob, it always has been. As for your dinner and a show? Try up main street, they cater to ? People of your ilk.?
   
He chuckles softly and shakes his head.  "Survival... but you stay.  And you try to defend yourself with a wooden knife."  He withdraws his hand as she moves along the wall away from him.  "I think you are playing the wrong game, hmm?"

Stay? Like he would allow her to just up and leave. Oh, wait, she tried that and he stopped her. She had the overwhelming desire to scream in his face.

"Truly? And why don't you tell me what game should I be playing, hmm? You always were fond of telling me what to do. I was always fond of not ..."

"...not?"  He completely ignored her demand, settling back on his heels in a relaxed posture that left his chest wide open, that smirk still twisting up the corner of his lips.
 
Unable to stop herself she let her eyes stray down to his chest, knowing he was provoking her. Once again she found herself assaulted by memory. It had been like this that first time so many years ago. Of course he had given her a real knife then, no good against a vampire. But she had been so young then and determine to not be taken away from her new life of freedom.

The knuckles of her hand went white clutching the wannabe stake. Did she dare ...? Gulping her focused again on his dark face, sneering, "Of not listening to you, you son of a b*tch bastard."

So much for that polite mask she had been wearing.
 
"Now now, little Gypsy.  There is no excuse for bad manners."  One hand raises up to waggle a finger back and forth at her in admonishment.  

"But lets talk of me leaving.  Would that relieve you?  Would you be glad to see me go and move on with your life without worry?  I wonder, hmm?"
 
She shook her head again feeling her hair fly away from her, once more slipping along the wall and looking around for any sign of life. It would be like him to tease her, to offer her something like that only to take it away with a laugh.

Cruel. Business as usual for him.

The feelings he roused threatened to choke her. "I know you won't, so stop your games Jacob. You did leave, remember? Well, I left but we both know you just got bored and let me leave. Your back now and there is a reason for it. I only want to stop all this ... nonsense. Get to the point. What made you seek me out? Did you miss me?"

Doubting that she focused on him, wondering how far he would allow her to go.

"I really think you should find someone your ... own size."
 
He ignored her last statement. "A coincidence, though you'll never believe it.  But isn't it more fun to play your game, of stalking and threats?"

Something snapped within her and suddenly Vera felt all the muscles in her legs tense, coiling before she sprang at him like some enraged lion, the wooden stiletto going up in an arc of motion before descending down; taking aim for his chest, her frame colliding with his.

Oh, she knew it was a mistake, she knew it was just like last time but she couldn't stop herself or the attack. It really was the perfect set up. Too bad she fell for it once again.

He didn't make even the slightest move to stop her, the tip of the wooden knife digging through his suit and cutting a scratch into his skin before snapping under the pressure of her strike.  And then she crashed into him like hitting a wall.  But before she could rebound, one of his hands snaked up and wrapped gently around her throat, pushing her back against the wall and pinning her there.  

"Hello, little Gypsy, it has been a while.  Hasn't it?"

Hysterically she couldn't stop herself from musing; this sh*t didn't happen to Buffy, now did it? Too bad this wasn't a famous sitcom show, too bad she wasn't an all powerful Slayer. Cool things like that just didn't seem to happen for her.

Struggling she brought her hands up, pushing, striking, doing anything but achieving nothing. It was like hitting a wall, her hands hurting, the knuckles bruised now. Gasping she stared at him, saying through gritted teeth, "Son of a b*tch bastard, you short evil fanged fiend, monster, let me go!"

"Such language.  This will be the third time I've told you there is no excuse for poor manners."  He sighs theatrically and shakes his head.  

"Children these days, such a hassle to their elders."  
There's that smirk again.
 
Oh, she was through with being nice. "You know what Jacob?" She said sweetly, her smile all but serene. "F*ck you."
 
He chuckles again.  "Wrong game, little Gypsy."

That had her swinging her leg up to try and plant a knee in between his legs even though she would hurt herself more than him. "Let me go!"

It didn't hurt him at all, for a variety of reasons, and he didn't try to stop her, either.  "Manners, little Gypsy, manners."  

He was shorter than her and holding her against the wall on her tip-toes, but still managed to loom, impassive to her blows.

She snarled, twisting her torso, her arms between them now and pushing, "F*ck you, f*ck your manners, go to hell Jacob! You should find yourself a garden gnome to trouble, at least it would be on equal footing!"
   
"Such cruel stabs at my ego.  However shall I weather such injustice?"  He chuckled again.  "Perhaps a punishment of some kind is in order.  How are unruly children disciplined these days?"

"You listen to me, you little dark skinned imp of Satan, you will not be punishing anything! The only thing you?ll be doing is getting the f*ck out of my face and the f*ck out of my life!?

This last part was nearly screamed in his face. True, Vera was a bit vulgar but he asked for it. And this wasn?t anything knew, she had yelled far worse at him before. This was fairly tamed by her standards.

She was more creative in Romany.
 
"Shh."  He said with a finger over his lips and a tightening of his hand on her throat.  Not enough to actually silence her, but enough to make a point.  "If we aren't going to be civil with each other, then the game is going to change."

It was like some other kind of force had taken a hold of the Gypsy because the next thing she knew, before she could even gasp, she found herself slapping him full across the face. For a time, it felt as though the whole world had come. To a crashing. Stop. Not even the wind whispered through the streets, the leaves on the ground were still, and her eyes wide in fear at her own daring.

She had never ...

And this did break her a little, cracking through her mania, piercing the red veil of anger that had clouded her head. Gasping she twisted and twitched anew, all but shouting, "I'm sorry Jacob, I'm sorry, please, please let me go! God, I'm sorry, I didn't ... just let me go!"
 
The smirk was back, full force.  "Well, at least we've improved your language.  Now then, what game will we be playing now, hmm?"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" And she was! Hell, she felt as though she might have shattered her hand. She had forgotten how old a vampire he was. And she knew that while he might be able to smile at her, she was in trouble. Big trouble.

"Let me go, I am sorry, I didn't mean to do that." Of course it was almost hilarous really, she had tried to drive a stake through his heart but there was a difference, it came down to certain aspects of respect. He had offered her the makeshift stake as a test, he had not offered his face up for abuse. And she had just deliver a disrespect she knew his very nature wouldn't allow to go unanswered.
   
"Such games you play, little Gypsy.  Fine then, what should my move be, hmm?"  His hand at her throat shifts slightly, tilting her head to the side and exposing her bare throat beneath the thumb pressed against her jaw.  "Recompense, perhaps?"

"No, nonononono, just let me go Jacob, don't you remember all the trouble I caused you before? I was a nuisance really! This isn't a game you want to play," she rushed out, knowing he could feel the erratic rhythm of her heart beneath his cold fingers.

"An interesting argument, little Gypsy, but what are you struggling against, I wonder?"  His free hand raises to brush a bit of her hair back from her exposed throat, tucking it behind her ear.

?Goddamn you, fine! You want a meal, a bite to go, perhaps? Then take it and go.? She stopped her struggle and let her body fall almost limply to the wall, her arms resting at her side.

He still wanted to play the game but she was becoming tired, closing her eyes in a compliant sign of defeat. Maybe if she made it boring he really would just go. She had always thought it was the struggle that enticed him and with that theory in mind, it equated to terms of; no struggle, no temptation, right?
   
He chuckled as she went limp, his cool breath washing over her throat followed by a long pause...
...and this his hand left her neck, leaving her supported only by the wall.

Triumph filled her at the moment and she had to stop herself from grinning in victory. Keeping her face impassive she opened her eyes to try and look at him from beneath her lashes, trying to remember how she had handled him in the past. Not bothering to examine the brief flash of disappointment she felt when he didn?t partake.

Vera never had any problems in the past with being bitten, playing the
pomme de sang for him and a few others; it was just the possessiveness she had baulked at. Oh, that and you know, being locked up in a room ?for your own good.?

Admittedly she had been a bit reckless as a younger girl.

 ?Are we done here??

Silence.

Blinking she  saw he wasn't anywhere to be seen, only the deserted coffee house cafe and the broken cups and toppled furniture from her leap across the table at him as evidence that he'd been there at all.
 
"Huh ...?"

Well, that worked better than she thought, surprise written across her face. Taking a small step away from the wall she approached the table she had been occupying before Jacob had decided to make his reappearance in her life. Picking up the old tome she had been working on she took the time to look around. Playing dead did work outside the movies, she thought, curling her lips into a smirk at the irony.
   
"A pleasure as always, little Gypsy." The voice was at her ear, but Jacob remained nowhere to be seen.  "We'll have to do it again, some time..."  

Jumping Vera swallowed up the scream threatening to tear its way from her throat. Wildly she looked around, clutching the old book to her chest as though it had transformed into a shield. The voice trailed off to nothing with the last word, leaving her alone in the dark cafe that shouldn't be closed quite yet.

Yes, definitely had to get a bell on him.


Reliving the event that had taken place that night, turning it over and around, upside down in her mind she shied away from shadows. Rubbing her hands down her arms she shook her head, once more going over the wards she kept on her cottage, pacing, smelling the ozone in the air now.

She was secure for the time being, he didn't know of this place, her own private fairy-tale kingdom kept safe in the woods, reinforced by protective layers of the varja she had forced herself to learn. Old ways, old lessons, and spells from women who wore gaudy skirts and carried dark secrets. Wise women with black hair, dusky skin, who smelled of trees and all things wild. She had been such a huge part of that, once upon a time, her feet still calloused from days roaming, an amber eyed nomad Princess. She still had the love of her people, could still seek out their counsel despite no longer indulging in her own restlessness. Pulling in a deep breath and closing her eyes she imagined the spices, the incense, and the hum of an old lullaby to lure the young to sleep in patchwork wagons.

And it brought a calm to her storm.

Turning smoothly on her heel she finally entered her home and closed the door firmly behind her, locks clicking into place. A futile effort but it brought with it some comfort. Collapsing on her couch she fished in her pants pocket, slowly pulling out the string of beads she had lately carried with her.

She had felt this malice, this discord that left bitterness as an after taste in her mouth for a time now. It had been building up but without seeking out one of her own the Gypsy couldn't say for sure, if Jacob was truly it. Trouble came threefold and how the tale would play out she couldn't predict. There were no visions for her, no true telling sign for the Gypsy. Only memories that brought to mind cloak and dagger fears, hidden meanings held within if she could only riddle out the mystery.

Fumbling the rosary she lowered her head, the wild mane of hair falling and forming a curtain, hiding her face and muffling her words. The calm had settled but she knew the Game wasn't over. It was just another futile effort on her part. All the same it did carry some comfort, a throwback to her childhood before monsters came calling. When she could laugh and sing, pray by a camp fire and cuddle into the downy furs of her bed. Vera might have been born in the early nineteen eighties but she had lived a life in the sixteen hundreds. Raised by people who were tied to the land even if it was no longer politically correct to call them serfs.

Now was she surrounded by some very fine things but they were things. She could leave this cottage and go out to seek a new fortune, a new life  and escape Jacob again except ....

Meu fiica. My daughter. Alyssa.  

Her prayers increased though her voice never raised, the words whispering across her lips in a broken litany. It was calm but it was not over.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

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