News: 
Paragraphite

Walking on the Sun (closed) Read 4526 times

Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Walking on the Sun (closed)
« on: April 19, 2015, 06:41:15 am »

“You haven’t touched your food.”

Neil looked up at the woman across the table.  She wasn’t his mother, but she’d been acting a bit like it since they arrived in Vale.  In truth the trip to the ski resort was her idea, the art agent worried the artist was working too hard.  Now Neil was pushing the lovely grilled salmon around on the china plate.  Surely something was wrong.

“I’m not really hungry.” Neil purred.  The seductive smile on the handsome face might cause the bottle blond to think he had something other than food on his mind, but he wasn’t as attracted to Dalia as he let her think.  He ‘managed’ her, almost as much as she managed him.  To that end he reached a hand across the table and captured hers in his.  He gave the tanned flesh a squeeze.  “Maybe it’s the time change.”

They’d flown in from San Francisco earlier today.  Snow had delayed the flight, but the sun set hours ago.  Normal people didn’t eat dinner at 9 pm.

Dalia blushed and tucked a wave of hair behind her ear.  Her hand turned up, fingers laced with his.  “I’ve known you about a year now and this is the first restaurant you’ve taken me to. You never seem to eat.”

Neil tipped his head to the side.  He was slender, but not overly so.  His tall frame complimented his regal build.  His Italian coloring meant olive colored skin that glowed with health.  “Do you really want to have a conversation about eating disorders?”

She pulled her hand away.  One sensitive topic down without having to fire a shot.  Neil carefully banked the smile.  He took a bite of the fish and forced himself to swallow.  Almost immediately he wanted to gag but he took a sip of water instead.  There, happy? He didn’t plan to be cruel but he wasn’t about to argue with the size zero waif across the table. 

He turned his head toward the window.  The lights from the ski-lift illuminated the snow to a burnished gold.  The view was pretty and the air clear.  He took a breath and let it out.  “I’m sorry, Cara.  You must have been right that I needed a break.  I’m sure my mood will be better in the morning.”

Without thinking more about it he pushed back his chair.  “I’m going to take a walk. Why don’t you get some sleep?”

The waiter instantly appeared at his side.  Neil didn’t think anything of the hurried, “Will there be anything else Mr. Desmond?”  The artist had commanded attention most of his life.  He tried to avoid it, but there was something about the way he walked and talked that drew people to him naturally.  He had the aura of a leader.  Add a touch of fame and the limelight became harsher and harsher each year.

How about a little peace and quiet?

He didn’t voice his thoughts.  A few bills were placed on the table.  Neil took his wine glass and moved off towards the lounge. The fire there might have drawn his attention any other day. Neil liked warm things.  Typically he favored long sleeves and sweaters, almost unnaturally cold, but today he felt a need to move out into the snow, like a storm was coming and he should breathe the air before being trapped inside.  He wore boots for the occasion.  He had his wool coat and scarf rescued from the restaurant coat check.  All he needed was the door.

The hotel catered to skiers, but it wanted you to stay inside.  The lobby was plush, and felt like a cross between a Vegas palace and a rat’s maze.  Leave it to Dalia to choose glitz over practicality.  Neil shook his head and took a final sip of his wine before finding a counter to place it on.  He spied the exit, finally, and turned, only to run into someone in the process.

Of course he hadn’t exactly knocked her over but he felt a need to apologize, arms reaching out to steady the poor woman.  “Do forgive my clumsiness."

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 07:53:17 am »
“I sent you the picture! I even did the stupid selfie thing.”

The complaint arose from the chocolate-haired woman in the lobby of the wonderfully cozy ski resort as she paced the wooden floor.
“Besides, shouldn’t you be sleeping?” She drew closer to the fireplace and leaned against the stone structure.

“I saw a stake,”
came the unamused voice on the other end, “in your stupid selfie.”

“That obvious, really?” The woman glanced down at her coat and tried to console herself that it wasn’t that obvious beneath the white coat. It might have been so when it was zipped up, but it wasn’t now. It hung loosely around her, which somehow obscured the wooden object more. When it was zipped, she could imagine there was a slight bulge to the left. That could easily be mistaken as gloves pushed into one of the pockets.

In fact, her gloves were in that coat pocket—not that the stake was in her pocket. It was in a holster on her belt. The coat was long enough to cover it completely. It was a rule of all coats she had. Since it was wood, it never set off any alarms. Chestnut. The wood didn’t matter, she just liked chestnut. There was another hunter who preferred willow since its bark was used in aspirin.


"Relieves neck aches."

Of all the things she would never forget about this life, it would be the jokes that probably sent her to hell. No divinity could endure how terrible they were for long.
“I always have it with me.” She consoled, choosing not to deny it, “Just in case.”

Hunters weren’t unknown. Some were as well-known as the vampires they hunted, and the woman wasn’t about to get caught off guard.

That, and she was actually hunting someone. She wasn’t about to tell that to the injured man on the line, though. He’d storm out of the hospital in his gown, bare to all the world, and steal someone’s car to get to the mountain. It’d be an absolutely hilarious story on the news that evening, but she wasn’t in any mood to provoke such an action.


“Miss Matherson!”


“Gotta go, I’ll get some pictures from the hot tub for you,”
with that, she hung up on him and pocketed the phone. She approached the counter, and the woman smiled at her.

“I’m terribly sorry for the delay, here’s the key to your room.”


“Thank you,”
she accepted it, “I told you I had a reservation.” Hacked reservation. As if she could ever afford this lux. Her job did not pay that well. It didn’t pay at all, really.

“Again, I’m terribly sorry, Miss Matherson,”
that wasn’t even her real last name. Her blue eyes drifted from the woman as she noticed a familiar-looking face. The colorless picture really didn’t do him justice, but she could still figure out he was the one she was looking for. “If there’s anything—”

“How about a bottle of some dessert wine in my room before I head that way, yeah?”
She had intended to head there immediately, but plans changed.

“Right away,”
and the flighty little woman at the counter vanished to see that the order was fulfilled, leaving the area wonderfully vacant before the entrance and exit to the lobby. The man didn’t appear to be paying much attention.

The familiar face was no one she’d met, but she’d started on his trail a little while ago when a picture came into her hands. He matched it too well to be a mere relative of the person in the picture. A bit of digging, and she came up with a name. He wasn’t hiding too well—she’d been able to figure out that he would be coming to this lodge and that led to her decision to come here.

It wasn’t exactly how she’d planned it. Under normal circumstances, Thomas would be here, too.

The situation wasn’t normal, though, and there was no waiting for Thomas.

She had intended to walk by him, but plans didn’t work out. His turn led him right into her, and she took a quick step back, checking her weight when she planted her one combat boot on the ground behind her. He reached out to steady her, and she lifted one hand to bat away the gesture,
“I’m all right, thanks,” tone meant to imply he was quite rude for not looking where he was going. Her eyes purposefully avoided his.

Certain of her balance, she stepped forward and to the left of him.

Another step, and she’d pass him. Her hand reached for the stake under the coat. Her intention wasn’t to let him get far, but rather to ensure he’d never take another step by plunging that stake into his back. She could reach the heart from that route as easily as she could from the front.

Well, not as easily, but it could be done.


Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2015, 05:54:51 pm »
What struck him first was the smell.  Women typically didn’t embrace a hint of sandlewood.  In his experience they preferred floral or musk in their perfume.  His heightened senses detected something different and that alone deserved a second look. 

She didn’t look back.  The woman was pretty of course.  Like most artists his eyes tended to favor beauty.  He could create the dark with his brushes, knew what it was, but preferred to find what he could that pleased him in the light.  Here was no exception as his hands touched the soft fabric of her coat before feeling the rejection in her tone.

Her voice was the third contradiction to reach him.  In a world that tended to move a bit slower than his brain desired, he found the distain easy to detect and unwarranted.  It’s not like he’d slipped and spoke in Italian.  His natural arrogance began to show as his hand skidded off the coat and swung to cover his flank before he executed the turn again to face her.

“Messy choice.”  The pivot would be sharp quick and perhaps unexpected.  A step out of range.  “Considering that I’m on your side.”

She could take the words for geography, or the hint that she was making a grave mistake.  His eyes were nearly black, but he offered a normal toothy grin as he took another step defiantly back towards his original destination of the doors.  She could follow if she wished.  He wouldn't be adverse to conversation with the mass of inconsistencies.  However, he left his hands out of his pockets, fingers loose like gunfighter, just in case she preferred to die here.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 05:58:12 pm by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2015, 06:13:22 pm »
The turn was quick, but a vampire’s speed was not something to play with. The stake was pulled before the words were out of his mouth, but the attack wasn’t executed before then. He had stepped back just enough to make himself safe for an instant. That bought him enough time to say those six words that a vampire near the end had never said before.

His posture spoke the promise of a fight if she persisted, but she hesitated too long to make that feasible indoors. The clack of heels on wood signaled the return of the woman, and that meant an end to hostilities. She looked up to his face enough to see the fangs, and the hint of his eyes, now nearly black, but not directly.

Bothered by the words, she held her left up and open, and shoved the stake back into its sheathe at her hip. The coat covered it nicely before the woman returned.

The woman must have felt the tension, but still she said,
“Miss Matherson, the wine has been brought to your room and is chilling.”

Left hand fell back to her side and she averted her gaze from the vampire. Normally, a stupid move—such a thing was what put Thomas in the hospital, after all.
“Thank you,” she didn’t sound grateful. Room temperature was how she preferred wine. Well, she’d fix it later.

She didn’t turn to head towards her room, but turned and opted to follow the vampire. He looked to be going outside. She wasn’t sure if that would be more or less public at this hour, but she did know it was the only way she could go to figure out more about the artist and if she had just made a fatal mistake in not acting then and there.

Witnesses be damned. 


Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2015, 07:24:42 pm »
Arrogance was his own fatal flaw.  It was easy to see the same, and the overconfidence in the woman.  And yet she paused rather than kill him outright.  In her shoes he would have disposed of her and the witness without hesitation, wrapped an arm around both and carted them to his room  like he planned to party.  Maybe she didn’t have the stomach for collateral damage?  In which case she wouldn’t last long in this business.

The cool air of outdoors slapped him out of his reverie.  As the glass doors swooshed open, Neil made good his escape and sprinted to the  shadow of a distant tree.  Hunters rarely worked alone.  He wasn’t about to be flushed into a trap, preferring his back against something.  The tree bark smell reminded him of the stake in her hand.  His first thought was to wonder who trained her – the technique archaic.  The second was to consider who sent her.

Habits die hard – just like his urge to return home every fifty or sixty years.  Already he longed to leave San Francisco and return to Florence and take up residence again where his ‘grandfather’ once lived. Nigel Desdemona also had art in his blood, but Neil’s fingers no longer touched marble.  He’d thought emigration to the states and a change of media enough, but maybe he’d underestimated his enemies.  He curbed the blood lust.  No trail of bodies would have lead her here.  He watched the door and considered what to say when she came out, for surely she would.  Everyone was a creature of habit and he suspected this one wouldn’t back down from a challenge.

The wind ruffled his dark wavy hair.  He didn’t push it aside, preferring the still stance of a hunter awaiting his own prey.  He listened for the approach of any other person who might be waiting, but the side entrance was far enough away from the main parking lot.  The hour was late enough that prospective skier were already nuzzled under down comforters.

“So, what’s your motivation?” he said as his quarry came into view.  His voice was deadly soft but it carried across the snow.  He wasn’t as interested in her story (expecting that it might be the typically parents murdered, or the family tradition gig he’d seen ad nauseum.  Motivation, however was hard to teach.  She didn’t seem like a church going saint, although he suspected there was cross dangling from her neck.

“And why me?”


Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2015, 08:43:34 pm »
Habits did indeed die hard. It was difficult not to pursue a vampire, even without the guarantee of back-up, and so out the door the hunter went, the cold air slapping her hard. She exhaled warm air and watched it freeze before her face, hearing the vampire not far off.

“Tradition.”


It wasn’t the only motivation, but when one was involved in the family business, it didn’t take long to get motivation. She’d seen enough people killed and injured by vampires, as well as her fair share of those turned to become such creatures. Usually, she did follow the trail of bodies to vampires, those too old to care, or those too young to know better.

They were always this arrogant, though. That never changed. Hunters and vampires had that much in common.
“You can come out of the shade,” she lifted her right hand, and gestured with her fingers for him to do so, “the sun isn’t out. You won’t sparkle and give it all away.”

Oh Twilight.

At least it got one thing right about vampires. They could exist beneath the sun.
“As for why you, you’re a vampire,” guilty before innocent. She wasn’t ignorant—there were the good vampires, but they were rare. Some of those even turned to evil, in the end, after the centuries ate away their humanity.

She moved her arms to fold over her chest, eying him with some curiosity.
“But what did you mean by ‘on my side’?”

Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 02:54:48 am »
His lips twitched, but he wouldn’t allow the smile.  Twilight was a bane to every self respecting vampire.  Once he even wore a ‘team Jason’ button for amusement.  About the only thing the book got right was that most women found vampire’s irresistible (present company excluded of course).

Tradition? He would prefer something more pure, like hate. 

“So, you kill for sport?”  His tone implied that was somehow beneath him.  “Did someone teach you to do more than wield a stick?”

Neil took her advice and moved out of the shadow. This allowed him to get closer, and offer her an appraising look which started at the tips of her boots and worked its way slowly upwards.  “Your sire name is Mattherson?”  A lucky guess perhaps.  “I knew a Bridget Mattherson once. Not biblically of course, she was married at the time.”  He tipped his head, peering at her from another angle. He considered mirroring her posture, but preferred to keep his arms at his side.

“You look a bit like her, except for the eyes.”  True in more ways than one.  “Bridget saw things beyond the skin.”

As for who’s side he was on he hesitated to make light of it as their current conversation suggested he could.  He left the question unanswered.  “Did you come here alone?” 

He’d been uneasy since his arrival.  Perhaps this was the cause? Some ingrained intuition of danger?  But even as he opened his mouth to say more he closed it again.  The one vampire who might hunt him wouldn’t use a human as bait.  No, no reason to ask who sent her. He had only himself to blame, along with the media.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 02:56:09 am by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2015, 03:07:34 am »
The chocolate haired woman just nodded to his question about whether or not she knew more than how to wield a stick. She knew many arts. Most hunters favored the crossbow-stake nowadays, and silver bullets for other irksome creatures of the night. She preferred the stake and silver dagger, among other tactics.

Admittedly, it was because of the challenge involved—it gave her prey more of a sporting chance, if one would. It also made her a better hunter, by her own twisted logic. Those hunters who preferred ranged weaponry were very often caught off guard when they came toe-to-toe with one of those beasts. She could hold her own.

So, she wasn’t intimidated when he stepped closer, although she did take in a breath to hold herself up a bit straighter. She felt his eyes, but didn’t look up to meet them. It was the one infuriating thing about dealing with vampires—the taboo against looking them in the eye. She didn’t know if it was true or not, but she’d rather avoid being hypnotized then find out it wasn’t true.

Matherson was no lucky guess, considering it’d been in use, but she laughed aloud at the comparisons he was drawing,
“I suspect we all look alike to you,” food, and according to comedians, Asians all looked alike.

Matherson wasn’t her real surname, though it was inspired by the Matherson clan. They were all dead now, of course.
“Matherson isn’t my sire’s name. Good guess, though. I do hope you weren't apart of the vampires who saw to that genocide,” she applauded it, pleased in that moment that she knew more about him, then he knew about her.

She wasn’t one of the famous hunters. Those tended to lose family fast.
“I’m alone,” she could have lied, but he’d figure it out soon enough that there weren’t any other hunters here. At least, none that she knew. “So, you wanna answer my question, or am I going to have to drug you first?” A hint that she did know much more than working with a stake.

Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2015, 07:49:39 am »


“Heaven forbid that we should end this lovely conversation with me drooling on a pillow.”

But there was no smile in the joke. 

Neil thought she would be entertaining, this vision in combat boots, but she spoke in a way that made him less enthusiastic. Like a cat toying with a mouse he was losing interest in the one note narrow minded.  She didn’t answer his question over a name, but rather marginalized someone important to him. The world was black and white, so he explained it in terms she would understand.

“You kill vampires.  I kill vampires.”

Enough said.

“And now that we have that out of the way. May I suggest that you return to your room and enjoy the view from your window.  There is no point remaining in the snow, unless you want to show me what else you can do besides talk.”

To show he was done, and unafraid as well, he began to walk back into the hotel.  He’d have to pass her, and turn his back if she didn’t move to join him, but all that to him was a manageable risk.


« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 04:37:05 pm by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2015, 06:48:00 pm »
The vampire had a really dry sense of humor. The woman almost appreciated it. He might not find it amusing, but she found the image he painted amusing. ‘Probably no pillow. Just snow.’ As if she’d make him so comfortable.

His statement was unusual. She knew of vampires that disliked their own, but they still killed humans. So, they still had to die. A vampire that claimed to hate his own and be progressive towards killing them was different, and she let the doubt show when she narrowed her eyes.
‘I would have heard of you.’ This was the kind of thing that spread like wildfire in the groups she ran with.

It was the kind of thing that gave them all hope.


“I’ll go in when I like,”
but she didn’t move to threaten him. Rather, she brought her phone out once again and started to type a text. Someone had to know whether or not this vampire was telling the truth. She’d just send out a mass text to find out if there was anything circulating in the rumor mill about him. ‘Goddamn cold.’ It bit at her fingers as she started to type.

Sensing the vampire pass, she continued typing but did turn around to follow him in, as if the suggestion were only offensive if she were the one going first—if she were the one showing her back to some predator. As if the phone wasn’t already the perfect distraction. 


Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2015, 01:23:17 am »
Human’s all seemed to tick the same way.  Free will reigned.  They would do what they liked, when they liked.  Neil reflected on this as he tempted fate and turned his back on the threat.  Was it the final shreds of humanity that made him arrogant?  Or was it self-loathing that prompted the death wish?

He suspected her perky nose was pointed straight up in the air over his frank advice to get out of the cold.  In his mind’s eye he imagined the self-righteous smirk and her hand reaching for her phone rather than the stake.  Pity.  He was sort of in the mood for a fight. 

Neil shook his head as the door hissed and the warm air slapped his cheeks.  The lobby was no different than before, but he looked from side to side.  Maybe he didn’t believe the woman was alone.  He didn’t dwell on why his thumbs pricked and the hair on the back of his neck stood on end.  Instead, he went to the elevator, and rode the steel box up to his room.

When he stepped into the hall on the fourth floor he recognized the smell before his brain could process the implications.  It was fortunate he was alone, or the tensing of every muscle in his body and the flare of his nostrils would have raised more than a curious look.  He ran down the hall and placed his hand on the door to room 402.  Again, he could smell it: blood, fresh.

Key in hand he slid the card into the lock.  The room was in his name, like most things Dalia insisted on his money rather than her own.  He turned the door handle and stepped across the threshold.  Of course the light would not come on with the flick of the switch.

Do you think I’m stupid?

He’d play along.  “Dalia?” he called out.  Then he pivoted slightly so that his back would be to the wall, and he let the door swing shut.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 01:25:56 am by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2015, 04:25:14 am »
She was only a few steps behind him when he entered, but he was kind enough not to wait in the doorway. She followed his exit from the lobby with her blue eyes before her attention was caught by the suddenly vibrating phone in her hand. Not a text message. A call. She picked it up, “Hello?”

“What’s this nonsense about Neil, Di?”
The angry voice demanded immediately, and she smiled, started to walk towards her own room as she waved at the woman at the lobby who tried to get her attention.

“I just wanted more information. Do you know something?”

There was a huff,
“You’re hunting, aren’t you?” She reached the elevator after Neil, so when she pressed the button there was an irksomely long wait. “What about your partner? Are you alone?”

“Yes, I am,”
she answered, stepping into the elevator when it finally returned and pressing the ‘4’ button.

The cellphone didn’t like the confined space of the elevator, or perhaps the metal. The huntress couldn’t make out the words that were being said.
“Ben? Hold on, you’re breaking up, let me get out of the elevator,” she said, hoping he would be able to hear what she was saying. However, when the elevator dinged on the 4th floor and let her out, she paused.

‘Really…really should go to another floor.’


There was a metallic tang in the air that wasn’t just blood.
“Hold on, Ben.” She hung up on him, turned the phone off and stepped out of the elevator. Something was wrong here, and hearing Neil call out for someone didn’t make matters any better. ‘Of course we’re on the same floor.’ That hadn’t been planned, just a lucky coincidence. 

Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2015, 06:15:37 am »
He expected the laugh, just like he expected the flicker of light as a series of candles were lit around the bedroom.  Neil remained near the door and didn’t move forward like a moth to the flame.  He took the few precious seconds to allow his eyes to adjust to the change, even though he’d been fine in the dark and assessed the situation and the likely outcome. 

He was an artist – an actor when the occasion called.  Such was the case now as the laughter echoed.  Neil put a hand to his heart and appeared distraught over the death of his agent.  A nervous twitch of his eye and a gasp as his vision caught on the murderer.  “You didn’t have to kill her, Remus.”

The blond man licked his lips.  He was tall like Neil, but wasn’t encumbered by a winter coat as he prowled around the room.  He held a cat-like air as his voice purred, “This way we won’t be disturbed.  Besides, I was hungry.”

“Considering the mess.” Blood was splattered on the walls and sheets indiscriminately, “I’m surprised your appetite is satisfied.”

“I didn’t say I was done for the night.  Lilian wanted me to ensure you had nowhere to run.  They will hunt you and you will have to slink away into the dark. Of course, I could simply dispense with you – save you the trouble.”

In his experience all villains monologue.  Vampires were no different; Remus was known to Neil.  He let the words flow over him but didn’t pay much attention to the answers as he looked at the room angles and plotted his next move.

“How very k—“ Midsentence he sprang, rushing towards the candles and the man in the shadows.  His nails were long and his strength high.  Neil had fought his turning with every ounce of his being.  He wasn’t the willing slave Remus was to a master, and thus he had the advantage of physical force and speed. 

The two men grappled.  An end table over turned.  There was a shout, a smash and a small miscalculation.  Neil pushed too hard, and the window cracked, sending both men crashing down to the patio tables and heat lamps below.   

Nothing like crashing a wedding…

« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 06:45:21 am by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2015, 06:10:27 pm »
Villains monologued, and villains didn’t pay attention to their surroundings. Neither did Neil, but that was more understandable in his case, considering he had a vampire in the room that wanted to kill him. Or just ruin him. Diana Hartley listened to it all with her back to the wall, outside the room.

Lilian. Now that was a name about as infamous in hunter talk as Lilith herself. She was one of those influential figures that hunters wanted to kill for the glory of it, not to mention the bounties.
‘So Remus is trying to frame Neil for the murder of someone inside the room. Lovely.’ Vampires had their ways.

Hunters had many ways, too, to clear away murders.

At the sounds of a scuffle, Di opened the door and turned quickly into the room. She watched the two fall.
‘Nope.’ There had been an instinct to jump after them, but four floors was likely to cripple her. Instead, she walked forward to the window and looked down at the two. Even if she ran down the stairs, it’d be over. One would have fled, or one would be dead.

Her hand moved to the stake again, but this time, she just dropped it those four floors.
“Hurry up, Neil, I’m going to look through your things!” There, give the vampire some incentive, and then do research on the enemy by going through his own things. Genius. Hopefully he’d grab that stake and use it. Vampires had the strength and speed to kill their own with their bare hands, but Di was 99% certain a stake still made things much easier.

Then again, Remus might get the stake. She’d deal with that if she had to. 


Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2015, 10:24:28 pm »
Neil hadn’t expected the cheering section.  Looking up as his name was called was nearly his undoing.  The pair of vampires had fallen through the window, and Neil’s coat, billowing like a cap had slowed their descent slightly.  He’d managed to stay ‘on top’ as it were, using gravity and forward momentum to avoid a turn in the air.  Remus’s body cushioned his fall with an odd sort of thunking sound, but Neil’s hands weren’t positioned where he could smash the others head further into the concrete and end the fight.  He’d kept hold with fists to the other’s sweater, but didn’t grapple, his legs straight like planks.  Only now on the ground did he glance over his shoulder.  That shift of weight allowed Remus opportunity to push and sit up. 

The wedding guests around them skidded away.  Chairs were abandoned and a shrimp tray was tossed in the air by a waiter. Shouts, other than the pretty voice could be heard, but Neil’s brain had focused on what he’d seen in that glance upward.  He pulled Remus on top of him, and used his body as a shield a second time.  The light of victory in the other’s eye faded as the wooden stake fell on his back, point side down.  Neil used his free arm to push the wood in further, and to twist and pull it out.  Something told him the woman would want it back.  She’d seemed rather attached to it.

Cardinal rule of vampires was to stay out of the light when possible.  Visible fights like this were condemned, but Neil wasn’t all that worried about repercussions of exposing the supernatural to the general population.  He pushed Remus’s body away and stood.  He took the time to brush some dirt from the front of his shirt and to adjust the collar of his coat.  Nearby someone was using their I-phone to take a picture.  Neil had no doubt the whole thing would be on YouTube within the hour. 

He looked up at the broken window.  He could act normal and use the elevator but experience held that security was in route and the police only minutes behind.  He offered a polite, ‘excuse me’, to the bride who stood only a few feet away.  And then he vaporized into a puff of dark smoke, only to rematerialize in his room a moment later.

“Your stick.” Neil let the bloody stake fall on the floor near the woman’s feet.  Without a thank you he peeled off his coat and exchanged his shirt with another that hung in the closet.  Soiled garments left on the floor. “If you wanted to riffle my underwear you could have asked.”  The Italian accent slurred his speech into a purr, as it often did when he was under stress.

He kept one eye on her, for no telling what she might do.  In the meantime, Neil opened the small safe in the closet and took his passport and a small leather pouch which he placed in his pants pocket before gathering another coat, this one without blood.  But the thought of why he was exchanging one for the other must have caused him to pause at the minifridge and gather a plastic bottle.  He drained the red fluid like an athlete after Gatorade.  The bottle was tossed into the trash, and the dark light in his eyes faded as he took a deep cleansing breath.

"Was that fast enough for you?"

« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 10:33:01 pm by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2015, 09:13:05 pm »
The chaos below was going to require dealing with. As Diana turned away from the window, she pulled out her phone again and sent a call right back to Ben.

He was not happy.
“What the hell was tha—”

“Hey, so, I need a cover for a murder here at…two, actually,”
she just noted the body of the woman then, tiny thing, it was amazing all this blood was hers. “I didn’t commit either, the vampire did. Or two vampires. I don’t have the full story just cover it up.”

“At where?”


“Oh. Pinecrest Ski Resort. I think a wedding was disturbed. I’ll call you back in a bit.”
She did want some time to look through things, and talking on the phone was distracting.

Of course, right as she got off of it, Neil materialized in the room. She let out a groan,
“You couldn’t have used the stairs?” She’d gotten no time at all to search. She walked to where the stake was dropped, picked it up, and returned it to its holster as he began to strip. Modesty would have normally had her turn her back, but she still hadn’t forgotten what he was, so she kept him in sight. “Your underwear was boring,” she hadn’t gotten a look. She assumed it was. She couldn’t imagine him in fun boxers, and the Italian accent didn’t help with that. He was probably into plain black things. Maybe silky.

He gathered the important things. She didn’t answer his query about his speed.
“Got somewhere to go?” It wasn’t so much a question as she walked towards the door, “I hope it can wait a night.” She pulled the door open once more, “It’d be in your interest to come along with me,” the resort would soon be crowded. Stepping out would be good for the both of them. Benny ought to get things cleared up so she could return for her things and perhaps a night, as well.

She’d thrown him a stick. Someone probably saw the murder implement when she tossed it, which would pin her as accomplice.

Either way, she still wasn't done with him. She was more curious about his connections, particularly to Lilian.


Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2015, 08:08:59 pm »
She could watch him undress, but she couldn't look him in the eye. Any other day Neil might have found this amusing.  Instead, he looked around the room at the carnage and didn't smile.  Had their been more time he might have knelt near Dalia's body and paid his respects, but lingering was unwise as he'd just been reminded. 

"You wish to use the stairs now?"  Deliberately he was being obtuse.  A hint of irritation in his tone.  The woman had holstered the stake without caring to remove the blood.  Somehow this seemed callus to him. "I'm not sure our relationship is ready for such a dramatic...step.  I don't even know your name."

He thought he'd rid himself of her downstairs.  Now she was following him?  And asking to spend time with him?  Surely she knew what he was - and she killed things like him - so what did she want?

He wanted to be left alone but he wasn't about to argue with her here.  Dalia would disapprove of that sort of thing.  Why he found that random thought remotely funny he couldn't be sure.  Neil put a hand to the bridge of his nose and pinched.  She was already at the door so he simply sighed and followed in silence.

My best interest?  Really?

Was there any point in talking in the hall?  He didn't know if she was staying here, or had simply come for dinner and had the misfortune to cross his path.  He decided stairs were better than the elevator and the exit was closer in any case.  His booted feet echoed on the cement.

He didn't carry a cell phone.  Something about the florescent screen and the modern technology simply didn't suit him.  "Do you have a car?" He asked.  "I have a plane waiting at the airport.  Unless you were more in the mood for dinner and a movie?"
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 06:31:12 am by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2015, 02:54:21 am »
Di’s lip quirked in a half-smile as he protested, but not enough. She wondered if it was curiosity or if he actually believed she meant to help him out of this mess. “Diana Hartley,” she offered her real name, rather than a lie. He’d picked up one of her pseudonyms already, he didn’t need to know all of them, too. Briefly, she did wonder if he knew of the Hartley family like he'd known of the Mathersons.

Besides, her real name was harder to track and follow than her pseudonyms. It was a problem that she’d made her real self invisible.
“I have a truck,” she answered as they started to walk. Truck was more efficient. The beast had plowed down enough iron gates to earn its keep, although Di wasn’t sure it could be called the same truck anymore considering how many parts of it had been replaced, and how much body work it had gone through. “Not really looking to leave.” Her partner was still in the hospital nearby. Timing and place had been convenient. “So dinner and a movie sounds perfect.”

Well, she was hungry. She had to waste time anyway, and dinner would allow her to talk to the vampire. A movie theater was a place they’d likely just go unnoticed for a while. It all worked out.

She held out her hand to him before they reached the first floor,
“We have to play a game of FBI and criminal downstairs,” she had the badge, somewhere, “Be cooperative. I don’t have my handcuffs with me.” It was the only way she was going to get him out of here. Act superior, yell at the cops for stalling her, and inform them her superiors would be there soon enough to explain the situation.

The clean-up hunters would arrive, vouch for her, and it would all be cleared away soon enough.
"We'll be back before dawn and you can get your things, and never see me again."

Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2015, 01:16:24 am »
A truck?  Neil shook his head over the American obsession with gas guzzling tanks.  She didn't seem to think the airplane appropriate, instead taking his joking suggestion on face value.  He opened his mouth to share that he didn't 'eat' in restaurants, only to close it again.  He'd said the same thing to Dalia.  It seemed inappropriate to repeat the same so soon.

As they got to the base of the stairs.  Diana again confused him with talk of handcuffs.  His brow would be forever furrowed with deep lines at this rate.  "Why?"  He'd taken the time to change.  Surely he didn't look conspicuous. 

His hand went to open the door - ladies first after all.  And he stepped out to a larger crowd in the lobby than he anticipated.  Still, he moved to place a hand in the center of her back and guide her through the opening.  "Don't make eye contact," he said.  "That's my job."

He could just snatch her into the ether and reappear in the parking lot, but he didn't like to do that without consent.  Besides, he was tired.  He stepped onto the carpet and the waves of people seemed to part away from them.  He'd walk right through to the front door with people turning out and away as he moved past.  No one screamed or raised a finger.  Neil's stride didn't faulter. 

The front door didn't require a push.  It opened automatically as he stepped on the mat.  He liked that feature.  Made him feel powerful even though he knew it was a small thing.  For someone who had lived as long as he did there was little magic left in the world.  The cold air, however wasn't quite as welcome.  He turned up the collar of his coat.

"I hope you don't like those sappy romantic comedies."  He grumbled, as though selecting a movie with her was the next order of business.  "Love is over rated.  I'd prefer an action film if you don't mind."  He was quick to inform her, "As for dinner, you're buying.  But I promise I'm a very cheap date."

The truck could be anywhere.  He spotted a Hummer parked at the curb, and wondered who was compensating.  "I hope that's not yours."

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2015, 01:39:54 am »
Diana should have argued with him about his plan, but opted not to. ‘Makes things easier.’ Though she never quite forgot the talent that vampires had, she never considered the practical uses—like moving around security. So, Diana didn’t make eye contact.

No one approached to bother them, fortunately. No explanations were going to be necessary. The cold was still welcome to her, and she took in a deep breath once they were outside, letting the chill fill her.
‘This is insane.’ Diana didn’t make a habit of actually spending time with vampires. Then again, she didn’t make a habit of sparing them, either.

However, this one was hunted by his own. It seemed he might not be lying about the fact they were on the same side.
“I was thinking Selma, actually,” Diana said as he mentioned movies, “But maybe we could go see Exodus: Gods and Kings—are you old enough to comment on its accuracy?” A smirk twisted her lips.

She was certain this Neil, if that was his birth name, was not old enough to have known the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
“I could be convinced to see the new Taken movie if you want to pay.” She had seen the first one without caring much for it, but she figured it was pointlessly action packed enough to satisfy the vampire’s wish, and she doubted plot was anything she actually needed to know.

She made no comment about dinner, no argument about paying for that. She glanced in the direction of the hummer and wrinkled her nose,
“I said truck.” And she meant truck. She made a motion to the silver vehicle in the lot, clearly a 90s vehicle, Dodge Ram. Despite its age, the bodywork showed little rust and the tires were hardly worn in. It was two doors only, not one of the silly four door ones.

She unlocked the vehicle with the key, and then clicked the button to unlock the passenger side. 


Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2015, 02:01:03 am »

”Mmm,”  Neil blinked a few times, clearing his head of all the thoughts and images he’d glommed onto in the lobby. “Rest assured I’ve never caused someone to go insane, and yes, it is easier.”

He considered letting it go at that, having read her thoughts among the others.  Neil didn’t routinely eavesdrop.  The cold helped him to center himself.  And yet, as he observed Diana’s expression, he felt it wise to assert some control over the fledgling relationship.  She seemed to think she was in charge.  Humility and perhaps some discomfort or fear would ultimately serve him better.  So, as they walked to the car and she played with the keys, he supplied the other information she’d not fully formulated into a clear question, if only to show that he could get to her if he chose.  “Nigel Desdemona was a promising young artist in Florence about 250 years ago.  One day he went off on his horse and never returned.  Rumor has it he left after brutally murdering his model girlfriend, but the truth about that night is lost.  As, likely is the truth about your God.”

Reflecting now, Neil realized the scene in the room he’d just witnessed was deliberately staged.  Hand on the door of the truck his nostrils flared as he banked the anger.  Lillian was making this dramatically personal.  Did she come out of her hole every fifty years or so and hunt for him?  And had Lillian expected he’d kill her henchman so he could see the art of her handiwork?

He swore softly and then pulled open the door.  Climbing into the seat he glanced around to acquaint himself with the space.  The truck was older, but well cared for.  He filed away some additional conclusions about her.  He sniffed and ran his hand along the dash, finding a parking stub for Memorial Hospital.  Such likely explained why she was traveling alone.  Neil put it back without comment.

An ambulance sped into the parking lot.  The wail of the siren caused him to cringe. “Near the highway there are a few more popular restaurants.  They will likely be open this late if you’d like to head that way.”


Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2015, 12:49:20 am »
Ah, the mind-reading trick. Not one Diana had forgotten about, but one she didn’t often encounter. Vampires didn’t live long enough to start throwing her sins in her face. Though she had to lie to preserve herself, she made a point not to lie to herself. Those were the hunters who faltered under the mind games vampires could play.

At his explanation, Diana looked at him across the truck and asked, point-blank,
“Did she cheat on you?”

Apparently, she wasn’t even going to consider the possibility that Neil was not responsible. There was the chance he killed her out of bloodlust. Even the most composed vampires fell prey to it now and then, but Diana wasn’t feeling charitable after having her mind invaded.

Then, she pulled open the door to her truck and stepped up and into the driver’s seat. The vampire followed suit, taking in the small space and the little adornments, like the hospital parking lot receipt. A comment was on her lips, but it was unnecessary.
‘Partner.’ Injured by their most recent target. Not dead. Alive and conscious, but not well enough to be traveling, so Diana wasn’t going far. No planes for her.

He talked of restaurants and she turned the key in the ignition,
“Movie first,” she stated as she backed up, looking from mirror to mirror, “IHOP is always open. Movie theaters aren’t.” And IHOP was cheap, for an even cheaper date. She didn’t need the wining and dining when there were omelets and bacon.

She pulled out of the parking lot and got quickly onto the road to escape the scene. She’d be dealing with phone calls later.
“So, are you going to bring Lilian down to this area?” That was the important thing, the reason to spare him—Lilian. The infamous Lilian.

Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2015, 01:35:35 am »
He had to chuckle.  Diana wanted to play her own mind-games and toy with his ego.  He had far too much practice to take offense at her game.  “Women don’t cheat on me, Cara.”  The endearment came out with a purr and a promise, even though he had not plans to pursue her as a woman.  He wasn’t even sure why he was here really.

Should he explain more?  She didn’t seem terribly interested since the question was closed, rather than open ended.  It seemed the movie was more important than food.  He shrugged, finding either course neutral.  IHOP sounded rather odd as far as venue goes, and he wondered briefly what sort of food it served and if he was attired appropriately since he didn’t recognize the name.  It hardly mattered, but the car was moving now, so he couldn’t get out, trapped by his own malaise.

The flashing lights purred past. Neil turned his face to the side to shield it from view, although he doubted anyone could see through the windshield at this speed.   As the siren faded in the distance he opened the glove compartment and riffled the contents.  He wasn’t really looking, although he figured he might find the registration and verify her name and address if nothing else.  Governments were particular about those sorts of things.  He kept his hands moving, wanted to annoy her and see what she would do.

“Hmmm, no one ‘brings’ Lilian any place.  Chances are good that she isn’t far though.  I’m…how do you say…’the one that got away’?  Every once in a while she likes to remind me about how much that bothers her.”

A suspicion started to grow in his mind.  “I do my best to avoid her, and I have far more reason than you to kill her.  Your puny stake is not meant for such things.”  Perhaps she planned to tell some story to her missing partner about the great fish she’d reeled in.  Lilian wasn’t one to allow survivors; she ate her prey whole.  “She is quite beautiful.  Long golden hair.  Tall.  Forever youthful, much like your Barbie doll?”  And just as artificial.  “Her voice is like liquid velvet.  It is not her eyes that you need to beware of.”  A small shiver betrayed the weakness.  “Perhaps it best if you take me to airport.  I cannot be responsible for you.”

Nor will I be bait in some trap.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 01:36:51 am by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2015, 02:44:08 am »
‘Sure they don’t.’ Perhaps not as a vampire, but before then? Well, it didn’t matter in the long run. It was centuries ago, and she already knew the vampire was a killer. How or why the girlfriend died was mostly irrelevant.

Benefit of the doubt would hold, for the moment, though. Bloodlust.

She heard him rifling through her things. Diana had to take a deep breath. Her registration was in there, of course. It wouldn’t be her name, nor would it be her address—though the address was a place she went. It was Ben’s. The name was the Matherson one, her current, working lie. It would have to change eventually. It always did.

Diana had to bite the inside of her cheek and remember that crashing his side of the car would have detrimental effects. It also wouldn’t do anything to him.

So, she focused on his words about Lilian and the road ahead. Beautiful, of course. Diana heard the rumors, learned that one’s preferences rarely mattered around a vampire such as she.
“I don’t do dibs, vampire.” She said to his words about how her stake wasn’t meant for Lilian. It was meant for whoever Diana saw fit to turn it towards. Dibs was another reason so many hunters died. Dibs, grudges, revenge—anger drove many to become hunters, but it also killed the most. “I’ll wear headphones.”

Lilian wasn’t a beast Diana would talk to. Neil was lucky not to have a reputation like Lilian or he wouldn’t have been a beast to talk to, either.
“You’re not responsible for me. I just need to know if I can expect her and see about setting a trap. It isn’t often we hunters know where Lilian goes.” She was good at staying under the radar, Diana would give her credit for that. Despite her reputation, she could remain hidden from their sights. “Anything you know about her is useful in destroying her. I don’t care if you partake in her death or not.”

Though it seemed he might jump on the option if his anger towards her was so extreme.


Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2015, 12:54:15 am »
Surprisingly she didn’t swat at his hand or swerve as he riffled her things.  He’d half expected it, and admired the retraint.  She wouldn’t be alive if petty things annoyed her. 

Neil leaned back in this seat and half turned to watch the street lights play off the planes of her face.  His fingers itched to grab charcoal and paper and do a sketch.  He’d said before he liked beautiful things.  Diana wasn’t traditionally beautiful. In his opinion her eyes were too wide, her nose too long and her lips too thin, but put together the face seemed to balance.  If he were to compliment her he’d probably start with her ears.  They were perfectly shaped, but he said no such thing.

“So noted,” he said in acknowledgement of his level of responsibility.  Whether he believed it or not would not be shared.

The car lurched, as though it went over a speed bump too fast.  A thumping sound followed and then faded.  His body tensed and he glanced out the window, but he couldn’t see the what jostled the truck in the rear view mirror.

“Lilian rarely works alone.  Your trap would need to be large.  Maybe you tell me what you’ve heard? And I’ll correct you when you are wrong.”

The bright light of a marquee illuminated the side street.  Twenty theaters were available for your viewing pleasure.  Neil drummed his fingers on the arm rest and glanced in the rear view mirror again.  “Speaking of traps…” he mumbled to himself, but didn’t further voice his reservation. Thick concrete walls, dark, music and lots of human fodder.  Lilian would like this place, and it wouldn’t be for the popcorn.


Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2856
  • Don't Leave Me In This Heaven Alone.
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2015, 01:07:11 am »
The vehicle was well known to the woman. The feel of lurch and the thump had her glancing at the mirrors. Nothing was in them, of course, but she knew she’d have to periodically check, and look in the back before going anywhere. That wasn’t the standard feel for this vehicle, and she’d had enough things fall in the back of the truck to be suspicious.

Diana pretended it was nothing, though.
“All the Lilian stories get mixed with Lilith stories, so she’s a bit difficult to pin down, so far as lore goes. She has good PR,” Diana couldn’t help but smirk at the idea of a vampire with PR running about, but it seemed close enough to true. Any hunter with a brain would know better than to associate Lilian with Lilith, and yet, the whispers pervaded the community. “What we understand is that Lilian is a leader among the vampire community, and not one of those who’s all about working alongside humans.”

Not one of the good ones, in other words.
“So if she’s hunting you, that’s a mark in your favor. We know that she’s beautiful, but then, aren’t you all?” A laughing smile came to her lips as she pulled into the parking lot of the theater. “Didn’t know she was a blonde, but it doesn’t surprise me. Blondes have more fun,” or so the story went, and Lilian had fun. “I believe most of us hunters aspire to the idea that she’s only around 500-600 years old, but with Lilith legends….” Well, that complicated knowing for sure.

The few hunters that had attempted genealogies were pretty certain Lilian couldn’t be older than 700, which, vampirically-speaking, wasn’t all that old. It was amazing the influence Lilian had.
“So, what movie?” Diana asked, opening the door on her side and unlocking his side once they were parked. She would step out, and then use the tire on the side of the truck to hoist herself up to look into the back of it. 

Beau

  • Posts: 809
  • I see you...
    • View Profile
Re: Walking on the Sun (closed)
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2015, 12:37:46 am »
"Age is relative, but she adapts to time and place."  Better than him in any case.  He didn't like the changes in technology that were constantly thrust upon him. "Ancestry is Parisian, but I've noticed she has an ability to blend well with modern culture."  It was more than a strong fashion sense, she seemed to hunger for knowledge and absorb atmosphere.  An artist's eye wasn't quite as  savvy.  He preferred tradition and what lasted.

The car came to a stop.  Neil looked in the mirror once more, but nothing stirred or appeared 'closer than it appeared.'

Diana moved out.  "You choose." He reiterated.  But as she opened the door he thought again that this might be a poor decision.  Sometimes, dark places meant trouble.

He could smell the blood.  His muscles tensed in response.  "Someone has left us a gift."

Two steps and he could see into the truck bed.  Body of man.  Not moving.  The blood wasn't as dramatic as with Dalia which made him wonder if he might not be moving again soon. 

"Friend of yours?"  Neil asked.