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Waxing And Waning [Closed] Read 10950 times

Krystal Itzume

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Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« on: September 21, 2013, 06:06:25 am »
‘Son of a—!’ The shackles bit into flesh as the burgundy haired woman contorted her body to try and escape from them. She was bruised, but not bloody—that wouldn’t be acceptable. It was one of her goals, though. If she could get her wrists wet with blood, she could slip her hands out of the binds that held.

There was no thought of what would happen after that. She was not thinking far ahead, only on the immediate need to escape before worse could happen to her. She couldn’t convince herself that death would be a better option, although one of her friends had. She heard the talk outside the holding cell. Eric had managed to kill himself, depriving the slavers of one body. Not that the vampires had even used his name. They were all numbers.


‘While there is life, there is hope.’


And humans had such short lives.

Footsteps put an end to the struggles. The metal settled and the woman relaxed against the wall as the guard walked into sight. Her pale green eyes never left the guard as the key was put into the lock, and the vampire walked into the cell.
“No funny business like your friend,” the vampire ordered.

She gave no indication of agreeing to the idea. Her mind was on whether or not she’d be able to run, or what vampire blood tasted like.
“Huh, still defiant. That’ll be gone soon,” he said. The shackles were unlocked from the wall, but not removed from her. “Today we’ll see what your fate is.” A hand to her back, and she was pushed forward, hardly able to take steps. The chains around her ankles made running out of the question. She had hoped those would be removed.

She was led out into the night, stars hardly visible underneath the light of the city.
‘We were close, weren’t we?’ An attempt to assassinate one of the leaders of the community had gone awry. Their plan was revealed by one of the human guards supposedly paid off, and they were ambushed by the slavers. Most escaped, though that was through the efforts of herself and Eric.

‘At least I’m in the city now.’


The pathetic optimism of her own thought caused her to laugh aloud, earning an irritated glance from the vampire leading her along.
“What’s so funny?”

She didn’t answer. She just laughed harder, and that earned another hard shove. The laughter turned into quiet chuckles soon enough, until it stopped completely at the sight of the auction house and those milling about around. She was taken in through a back entrance, and ordered to sit and wait among the other humans, to the left of the stage.

The woman looked over the others in the room. Heads bowed, some in tears, others with dead eyes. Those tended to have the tell-tale wounds on their neck that suggested they had been in this life for a while now. She swallowed down the feeling of sudden terror and lifted her head higher.
‘No.’ She would not become one of them.

Trickling in from outside, she heard the auctioneer listing off the capabilities of the human on display,
“…lived with Grace Marquis until her untimely death by the rebels only a week ago.”

Always ‘the rebels’, as if they were a large group of highly organized humans and not small groups of disorganized humans who hardly knew how to contact others. Still, she had to smile. On went the facts, blood type, the sorts of services he was known to perform, and then the bidding. Female voices were the ones ringing out for the ex-servant.
‘Why didn’t you go with the rebels?’ It would have spared him the fate of being sold. Certainly he had that option, didn’t he?

Those thoughts were dismissed as yet another was brought up, this one being sold by their master for not getting along with a more favored servant. On and on, until she heard those numbers that had been assigned to her,
“19542.”

She didn’t move. The number was called again, and the vampire who had brought her in entered into the room once more, came to her side and placed a hand on her shoulder, covered by the strap of her tank top,
“That’s you.”

‘And?’ Her look said it all. She wasn’t going to behave and let him get a good price. She’d be difficult. She’d sink her own worth. If she wasn’t worth money, no doubt the time wouldn’t have been wasted, but she was. She was fit from her time outside the vampire society and clearly in good health. As such, the vampire grabbed the shackles and pulled her from the spot she stood. ‘Really do hate your strength.’ She made a half-hearted effort to slip the chain out of his grip, and failed. It ended with her stumbling onto the stage, nearly falling to her knees as the shackles were released. On stage in tennis shoes, torn jeans, and a tank top, she imagined she wasn't appealing compared to the others paired with the behavioral issues.

The auctioneer looked a bit nervous when she had to be pulled up onto the stage and she flashed him an overly pleasant smile. She was turned then to face the bidders and the smile soured at the sight of them.
“A…recent capture who has not yet been domesticated.”

‘Don’t laugh, don’t laugh.’
Domesticated like a dog? Like a cat?

“But has promise as a guard, certainly, and is in excellent health….”
On droned the vampire to try to encourage others that she was worth their money. Blood type presently unknown. Talents besides being a murderer also unknown. Plenty of potential. Estimated age early twenties.

She twisted her wrist once more to try and get the shackle off. Didn’t work. She stamped her foot in irritation, letting the chain jingle and earning a harsh look from the guard who stood off to the side.
‘Oh yes, I am totally a threat right now.’ Her eyes went back to the bidders. A few stood out, prominent vampires who had been discussed as being targets. None of those who ruled the society were there, at least, not that she recognized.

“Shall we open bidding at $5,000?”


And the woman shut her eyes so she wouldn’t see the beginnings of this new-life.
‘It won’t last.’ She comforted herself with that thought.

“Two dead already,” said his human to him that day. This was bad news, the worse in a week that had already been a waste. The vampire, with whom the human traveled, sighed in disappointment. Relations had always been rocky between them, but surely his kin was catching on to what the humans were doing. The tensions were now even more severe, and public avoidance would only warrant a greater uprising. His last ‘servant’ had proven a coward at the last minute, throwing off years’ worth of plans,  and he could not have another like that. No, he would have to be more careful in choosing his next weapon. “Sir?”

There went the human again.

“I heard you boy,” responded the vampire, not aggressive, but every bit annoyed. The human was taller than its master, but not nearly as strong. Even then, he was young, and he knew his place, never questioning and never talking back. He still flinched at the master’s response, even if no harm was at all intended. Some people were permanently afraid of vampires, it couldn’t be helped. “Is it a good group today?” The human then went off with all the information he had gathered, stuttering in nerves. Apparently the human children would be auctioned first. He needed one of those, to learn the way of his staff.

“Gaston Pianette,” A greeter dressed in black and red called to the arriving vampire with a nod, “it is great to see you again so soon. Will you be purchasing from us again today, monsieur?” Such formalities were common among the oldest of vampires, and so Gaston tilted his head in acknowledgement, while his human companion bowed respectfully. The chatter of business was clear to Gaston’s ears, but he had wealth, and would outbid with a large sum if that was necessary.

Something told him that he would need to.

“I am looking for a few additions to my staff,” confirmed Gaston to a suddenly ecstatic greeter, “a child servant and a guard, I think. You’ve saved my seat I trust?”

“Of course,” replied the man, “right this way, sir.”

Gaston followed the greeter and found his seat easily enough. This auction was looking to be a big one, for hundreds of chairs had been set up behind the regular auctioning area. Microphones were stationed at every buyer seat, and two large screens had been installed throughout the arena for greater view. This was not necessary, for Gaston was very near the front. He was one of two important people on the floor currently; the seats in the farther sections were far more filled than those in the front. The front seats would fill later, when the more valuable items were presented.

The auction began, and the kids were presented one by one. Gaston looked at each of them carefully, how healthy they looked, the length of their limbs and their potential physical development. One after the other, he remained disappointed.

Then, a girl who could be no older than five years old, stepped out into the area, shackled and scared to death. She had golden hair, pushed back, messy and tangled – her skin was tanned, and her skin rough with dirt. She, however, had a perfectly ovular face, with long arms and legs. She would do beautifully.

“Shall we open bidding at $1000?” Said the auctioneer.

There was a bidder who accepted, and the bid escalated. Gaston took the following offer, and this went on for several minutes. With only about three participants, it was clear that not everybody saw the potential in the girl. The more the bid rose, the more Gaston wanted to buy her. She would be perfect.  The bid finally settled at a little over $3000.

“Fetch her, Kuno,” Said Gaston from his seat, and his human companion finalized the purchase and took the little girl by the arm. They exchanged a few intimate words between each other before finally reaching Gaston. The poor little girl could not have been more frightened of him. Gaston was slim, and his face was mostly serious – but it was his red eyes that unnerved most of who traveled with him. His hair was black, pushed back where it curled to the side, and his skin was marble white. Gaston looked to be physically in his mid-twenties, but was far older than that. Handsome, if you could get past those eerily piercing eyes.

“Do not be afraid, child.” Gaston looked at her, and a crooked smile formed on his lips. This seemed to have scared the girl even more. It didn’t matter, eventually she would warm up to him, if he could hide his fangs. “What is your name?”

“A-Abby.” The kid squeaked.

“You can call me Mr. Pianette, Abby.”

The girl was still trembling with fear. Poor thing. Not all vampires were monsters to be killed on sight.

Then what felt like hours transpired; a bore and a nuisance. He knew what he had come for, why did he have to wait so long to obtain it? He didn’t like waiting, but it was necessary. The items grew in age and in price equally. He was looking for something specific, a rebel. A diamond among coal. Gaston was very close to bidding on a chocolate skinned human who had potential to mirror his latest servant – his instinct told him otherwise.

“19542,” called the auctioneer.

Almost as soon as the girl stumbled upon the ground, he knew she was the one he needed. He let a smile escape his cold lips, and as the bidding started, he expressed his interest. By this time, the front section of the auction floor was nearly full, and bids were settling at alarming amounts. The sections towards the back were now packed, with vampires bidding their life’s saving for the humans. This girl, unlike the child, attracted more suitors. She was competitive.

This bid would have been settled had it not been for another noble, who seemed to want her just as much as he did. This certain vampire was scum, purchasing humans for more than just servitude. He got a sick pleasure from playing with them, and it was common knowledge that his purchases nearly always died within the year. Why had he taken such a fancy to 19542? Gaston, amicably, continued to challenge the counter offers said noble offered.

Finally, Gaston made an offer that the noble could not counter – the bid finalized at $25000, a whole $5000 higher than the last bid. Silence followed the purchase, and even the auctioneer did not believe how much money he had just made. Gaston stood, adjusted his black layered suit, and walked from the auction to the floor, to pick up his purchase. Kuno, hand in hand with Abby, followed him closely and silently.

“Let us go, it is a long walk.” Said he to his newest servant. From the back of the room, two vampires made their way towards Gaston. They were carrying weapons to use just in case the merchandise refused to follow orders, a precaution that Gaston never needed. Still, it was business protocol. “That won’t be necessary gentlemen. I’m sure this young lady wouldn’t dare to try and escape in dominantly Vampire territory.” The guards nodded, and walked off. “Here, let me unshackle you, girl. I don’t want you hurting yourself.”

Even with the civility he treated his humans with, no one dared question Gaston in his motives. He manipulated the populace easily, and he always carried a human like Kuno, who seemed to convey fear almost constantly. With someone like him, no one would ever suspect his sympathy for the humans.


How high were these bids going to get? The woman didn’t dare open her eyes to look back at the guard’s satisfaction. ‘Some people like a challenge.’ And it came down to a bidding war between two. She waited for the silence, the ‘victor’ who would win nothing but an early grave. It was a shame she’d been stripped of her weapons, but no matter, she’d figure this new situation out.

Finally, the bidder was silenced. Another had moved the bid up to $25,000 in an instant. The auctioneer asked if any would add more, but none did. Green eyes opened as he announced she was sold. She didn’t flinch, but her insides seemed to twist in pain at the mere thought. She could understand Eric’s suicide too easily.


“C’mon.”
Hand to her back again.

‘Getting real sick of this.’
At least anger at the indignation was enough for her to keep her head up as she was led off the stage so the next poor soul could be auctioned off.

It did not take long for the one who bought her to be before her eyes. His appearance would have made her cautious under normal circumstances. He held himself with confidence only one of many years would have, and he acted it, too, immediately giving directions. ‘Girl’ was used, too, a term that she'd heard from other vampires. Even adults were mere children to vampires at best, inferiors always. Already she disliked him, and her dislike was solidified when her eyes moved lazily over to the humans that followed him. They were both frightened.
‘Perfect.’ Of course only a sadist would dare to spend so much on her. ‘Just perfect.’ He spoke so well, too, deceptively so. He even tried to appear dignified in his suit.

Assumptions were made immediately about her character. It was true, she wouldn’t try to escape, but she felt a strong urge to prove him wrong. If it wouldn’t lead to death or harm, she might have. The vampire who had led her over laughed,
“Wouldn’t be too sure about that one,” he said, before a key flicked into sight seemingly from no where. “I’ll get those off,” he said to her buyer.

The shackles were undone, hands and feet. The woman was very tempted to knee him in the face the moment the shackles were off, but refrained. He rose, and the moment was lost.
“I hope you are…satisfied with your purchases, Sir Pianette.”

The look on his face said it all. It was Gaston’s problem now. He left shortly after,
‘Good riddance.’ Unconsciously, she had started to rub her right wrist, metal shavings left on both, evidence of the fruitless attempts to escape.

Attention returned to the one who ‘bought’ her. The overly pleasant smile returned.
“Let us go then, My Lord. I would not wish to keep you waiting,” smile moved into tone, but never moved into her eyes. She had no intention of being subtle in her dislike, and overplaying a role was easier than spitting true venom right then. She forced herself to stop rubbing the bruises as she recognized the action, brushed her hair over her shoulder instead, before settling on crossing her arms to avoid the distraction of having free hands that itched to do something about this abhorrent situation.

Even so, she would follow the vampire. Escape would come later, when it was safer.



Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 05:31:53 pm »
Gaston looked over at the seller, and simply smiled. He knew that he had paid well for the girl, and he was indeed satisfied with his purchase; whether he would remain satisfied given time, was another issue. He was almost never truly satisfied. A perfectionist at his core, Gaston wanted his plans to work seamlessly all the time, and the last human disappointments had really tested his patience. There wasn’t much he could’ve done for them without ruining the whole plan.

He looked at the girl and her seemingly sarcastic remark, doing nothing more than slightly raising an eyebrow – perhaps she was the one he had been waiting for. 19542 had the right feel to her, the appropriate aptitude, and, apparently, the right connections. She looked determined and stubborn, neither used to nor frightened of him, unusual. He was glad for this, at long  last he had found someone without that constant look of fear. He could work with her.

“Pray tell, girl, what is your name?” Said he with an air of politeness as he led the way from the auction floor to the busy streets of the town – Kuno and Abby followed closely behind him in silence. Something that they didn’t know about the current situation was that Gaston had several members of his staff stationed throughout the town, keeping a secretive eye upon the new merchandise. If any one of them tried to escape, they wouldn’t get far. After all, public trust was importance, but one could not ignore insurance.

Despite her being new, Gaston wasn’t fearful of 19542 escaping, it was Kuno who was unpredictable, and it was he who seemed like trying to escape. Gaston would not give him the opportunity. Kuno had been working for Gaston for a while, but he had never really come to terms with his new life. He remained fearful and wary, but he did the work as best as he could, which proved conflicting. Unpredictable.

“This here is Kuno,” said Gaston as he signaled his eldest human companion, who gave her a weak smile “he will show you around once we get to the house. If you have any questions, be sure to ask him. This here,” he signaled at the little girl, “is Abby, a new addition, just like you. Be sure you are all acquainted, for you will be spending a lot of time together from now on.”

Abby looked over at the girl, the first sight of relief finally showing in her eyes. Something about 19542’s presence calmed the girl, and Gaston’s keen perception caught it. Did they know each other? Or was she simply glad to be around another girl?

Whatever relations they developed with each other, his plan was in motion, and there was no stopping it. He could only hope to shape it as it progressed, and for that, he needed each of his companions. A distinct purpose for each of them, but a singular goal. There would be a time in the near future where he could talk to them openly, find the common ground in their goals. That, however, would have to wait. They need first arrive at the house safely, and from there, choose their next course of action.

A good act indeed.

The vampire simply raised an eyebrow to her words. No smirk. No dare. The woman had hoped for more of a reaction than that, but wasn’t displeased with it, either. She couldn’t explain the rush as the thought of a challenge came to mind. She felt as if she should know the vampire, if only by reputation, for his confidence. No name came to match the face, though. Pianette rang no bells. Perhaps he was the quiet sort, and not one of the outgoing, annoying elders. Her group didn’t usually focus on the quiet ones; they weren’t an immediate issue.

It didn’t matter in the end. He wanted a name.
‘Alexia Niven.’ Her mind said, reminding her she had one. Her lips said otherwise, “You may call me Livia.” The fact she could hide the name gave it power, a reminder. He would not come to call her Alexia. Then he could call her Alex one day, and that was reserved. She would keep her identity close.

But she wouldn’t lie and say Livia was her name. It was just what he could use, on top of ‘girl’ and likely other irksome terms.

The staff was introduced as they walked along. Kuno’s smile was weak, flighty, as he appeared. She didn’t return the smile, but did incline her head in greeting. He was the long-term staff member. His fright told the story well enough.

The other, Abby, was introduced as new. Alexia let her hands fall to her side upon meeting the girl’s eyes, flexed her fingers out to suggest she could switch walking partners if she wished. Alexia did not know Abby, or else she did not recall her from her travels, but she was new, and she was young. Instinct had always told her to protect the younger ones from the harsh reality of the world they lived in.
‘Might be difficult.’ Worth a shot anyway.

Gaze returned forward, took in the buildings.
“Am I to call you anything besides My Lord, My Lord?” Although she might get used to how that rolled off the tongue, the taste of the poison lacing it. Sir Pianette didn’t have the same ring. The ‘r’ was misplaced.

The girl was clever, more so than Gaston had anticipated. He would not bother her for her real name just yet, but he understood why she would want to keep it hidden, and that was fine. If he could only convince her to help him out, she could use her wit to accomplish what many others couldn’t. He took some time to think about it, but reached no immediate way in which to tempt her.

“Very well, Livia,” Gaston’s voice played along, “and I would prefer it if you could just address me as just sir, or if you prefer a more formal title, Mr. Pianette is just fine.”

Gaston did not like such formalities, even if they were the norm. He only felt superior to humans because it had long since been implanted into his mind that he was. He didn’t truly believe it, and he didn’t want a reminder of it every chance he got. He looked over at Kuno, and the human immediately sped up to walk alongside Gaston.

“Anything else for today, Kuno?”

The human, once more, fetched some sort of planner from within his pockets, and feverishly looked therein. “Not today, sir, just the one auction. Though you did send some of your friends to inspect the other auctions around town. They said they’d send word if anything.”

At this point, Abby looked curiously at Livia before finally joining her side. Livia was more agreeable in the little girl’s eyes than Kuno. Gaston, who was listening to Kuno mumble about his appointments, and schedules. He was not a busy man, but it helped to be reminded of his usual engagements when his mind so used to thinking of other things.

“Alright, then. Make sure that they do.” He then turned his attention to Livia. “I hear you can make quite the guard, Livia,” said he with an air of conversation, “what other things are of your fancy, if you don’t mind my asking? I wouldn't want to give you a job you are unfit to assume.”

Abby squeezed at Livia’s hand a little upon seeing Gaston look at the pair.


The name was acceptable, for now. Alexia felt small fingers find hers, and she held them. A tight squeeze, reassurance, before she relaxed the grip. “As you say, Sir.” The ‘r’ was in the right place if it was just ‘Sir’. It could roll off the tongue the way she wanted it to, with all the chipper malice she desired.

Idly, she listened to Kuno and Gaston speak. She looked down at Abby, smiled,
“Hello,” she greeted her. She felt the need to speak to her, though the environment was not comfortable for too much idle chatter. She didn’t reassure her aloud that nothing bad was going to happen. It would taste like a lie on her tongue. 

She heard ‘Livia’ and averted her attention. The girl’s fingers wrapped more tightly around her own.
‘Define ‘guard’.’ She could be a guard, but she didn’t serve vampires as a guard. Dare she warn him it would not be wise to give her any weapons? No. He’d figure it out or die. 

There was the question of what else she did, though.
‘I used to be good at stealth.’ Clearly not as good as she thought, or else she had slipped that day. ‘Decent knowledge of poisons that can harm your kind. Good with electronics. I can read….’ Though that wasn’t much of a talent here, outside the vampiric society such things as a normal school where one could read and write were not the norm. Besides, that might be better to hide as well. Notes in the vampire’s house could come in handy, and if he didn’t know she could read, all the better.

“I can cook,”
not that such a talent mattered to him, but he had humans under his charge. She considered mentioning being up to date with the technology, but decided that paired too closely with her being ‘intelligent’—knowing to read and the like. “Talented in medicine craft from experimentation,” too much experimentations for the liking of some, but that was another story. “I can probably figure out cleaning a house,” though the thought made her want to roll her eyes. Maid was not high on her list of things she strove to be.

She’d not lived in a house. Been in them, slept in them from time to time, but never got to stay for long. There was no physical ‘home’ to return to.
“Physical chores shouldn’t be too difficult.” She wasn’t horribly strong, but unless he needed things that weighed over 100lbs moved, it shouldn’t be much of an issue. “Besides learning to kill your kind and ensuring I didn’t end up in my present situation, there wasn’t much time for anything else, but I can learn,” sweet smile followed those words as she looked up at his red eyes, “Sir.”

Upon seeing Livia smile, Abby relaxed even more so – she felt like she wasn’t completely alone anymore, and she returned the smile silently. She was not yet ready for words, the trauma she had experienced the last couple of months had impaired her in many ways, particularly speech, but she felt better. Perhaps even Kuno could bring some comfort to her in the future, for in her eyes, he didn’t seem too bad either. Kuno, as obvious as he was in his actions, proved to be harder to read than most.

Perhaps he was someone they could trust.

“You can cook?” This amused Gaston, for he let out a chuckle. “Well, I’m not surprised to hear that. I’m afraid you and I don’t share the same dietary habits, and since I expect you and I will be working closely together, I don’t mark you as a cook.” Her experience in medicine, however, would prove useful in the future. “I also don’t need you to do housework, or physical chores. I have others of my kin for that, they are far more able for that sort of work.”

Then came the comments about her talents on killing vampires and avoiding capture, however ironic they were. He turned to her, pleasantly surprised, with a wide smile countering her acidic tone of voice. Gaston liked this girl, she was just as dangerous as she was smart. He was certain there were many things she had not told him, but he knew how to take care of himself. But could he take care of her?

He had to, she was now an asset – and one increasing in value at that.

He noticed Livia holding Abby’s hand, or Abby holding hers rather and thought how very human of them it was. They felt responsibilities much too easily, their kind. That would have to be dealt with if his plan was to succeed.

“You are well trained in that area, are you?” He said, amused more than anything. “Well, as a rebel I would hope so, but the marks upon your skin, the light scars, your bruises, and your general demeanor had already told me that. That you admit it, however, is even more refreshing, considering how exhausted you must be.” He paused turning one last corner before finally arriving at the gates that would lead him to his house.

The actual house was not very large, but the land was – it was vast and overspread for what seemed like acres. Pillars were built throughout to protect against the sunlight, but in the dark they were only just visible. The gates open and closed behind them as they approached the doorway. The house was very old, but well kept. Beautiful if people could avoid the fact the owner was a vampire.

“Kuno, show them to their chamber – the one we spoke of before. It is almost sunrise, so be quick. Livia, I’m sure you won’t mind if dear little Abby stays with your for a while, I’m afraid her room is not yet ready. When you are done freshening up, find Kuno and meet me in my study. There, we may speak freely.”

The doorway opened, and two guards stepped out from within.

“Of course, sir,” said Kuno with a slight nod, “please, follow me.”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 06:16:15 pm »
It seemed she was going to amuse the vampire. How delightful. She wanted to scowl at the chuckle, and even at his wide smile and evident surprise in his eyes. Why did she have to be amusing? ‘Because you’re little more than a pest trying to fluff up and look intimidating.’ Her own mind seemed to be against her. The image of a cat with its hair standing on ends was not appreciated.

It seemed every wound was noticed even under the night sky. Scars, bruises, the host of injuries she’d endured in an effort to kill vampires. She had survived. She was still surviving, though the situation was unfamiliar.
‘Keep smiling, jerk.’ He had to mention exhaustion. He had to mention what she’d been ignoring, along with the nagging itch of her right wrist, and the stomach that longed to growl out its protest about not being fed nearly enough. She knew her own state wasn’t at peak condition, but she’d been trying to mask it.

Power assumed was power gained.

She resisted the yawn, but her stomach still sought to betray her. It growled its demand, and went unacknowledged by her. Her eyes were more captivated by the home than the embarrassment of human needs. It was impressive, and she couldn’t hide the awe that came into her eyes as she examined what she could see. The darkness hindered some of her ability to see it all. She wondered briefly if there were flowers, or if it was a simple expanse of land.

No time to wonder, and she certainly wouldn’t ask. On they moved, into the house where guards allowed them entrance.
‘Traitors.’

Abby would be staying with her. Livia didn’t protest, shook her head so it was known she didn’t mind. Abby could stay forever. At least then she’d be able to keep an eye on her, somewhat.
‘What do vampires even want with children?’ Train them young, perhaps. She hoped they didn’t drink from children, though knew the hope to be in vain.

Still, she canted her head at his statement about ‘speaking freely’. What could he possibly have to say to her that needed no extra ears? Obviously she couldn’t ask here, went with the default,
“As you say, Sir,” and allowed Kuno to lead them to the room.

The land had been impressive, and while the house was small, it was still rather intimidating in its general atmosphere and décor. She took it in, committing the layout to memory. It would be necessary for an escape, to know the place she was escaping from inside and out. She spoke to Abby as her eyes took in the information,
“You can sleep when we get to the room,” she said, “Nothing’s going to happen to you there.” She hoped it wasn’t a lie then. Abby would need her rest, though Alexia worried it might be full of nightmares.

The room came into sight, and Alexia decided to ask Kuno,
“I don’t suppose there is a shower somewhere nearby, is there?” Freshening up had better include a shower. She didn't believe there was extra clothes, the vampire couldn't have been that prepared, but a shower would do to wash off the feeling of the cell. Not that such convenience was the norm for her, but her group liked to stay close to a water supply. Cold water, but it worked, and she liked the feeling of ‘clean’. Hot springs were a fond memory her tired limbs longed for with the thought of such luxury.

Gaston disappeared into one of the darkened rooms before retiring into his study, his thirst, though controllable, was increasingly nagging at him. From a container, he poured some blood into a goblet to drink. It was not nearly as good as fresh blood, but it had to do, for now at least.

As Kuno led them to the room, he relaxed, dropping his shoulders and slowing his hastened pace. In fact, Kuno had relaxed just as soon as he had entered the house. He led the pair to the upper level of the house and towards their room.  As soon as he heard Livia comfort Abby with protection, Kuno felt the need to speak.

“You don’t have to worry about any harm,” he said, looking at them both, “as long as you’re within Lord Pianette’s land. He sends chills down my spine easily enough, but it’s not so bad here. It’s out there that we should be scared.” He opened the door to their room and signaled them in. Two medium beds were arranged against the walls, and it was fully furnished with a bathroom. “You can find a bathroom through those doors, and there is some food in the kitchen, though I wouldn’t keep Pianette waiting for long.”

Abby walked towards the beds just as soon as Kuno left the room. With her small hand, she touched the fabric and pushed down on the mattress; she looked at it as if she hadn’t seen one in a long time. Maybe it was so, living a human life was not easy, and if she was captured it was because her family was on the run or part of the rebellion. She turned to Livia and grinned, showing for the very first time her white marble teeth.
Kuno went back downstairs and into Gaston’s study, where the vampire was sitting with his goblet in hand, tensing his muscles once more.

“Done, sir,” said he with a nod. “do you want me to do something else for you?”

Gaston did not move, but his eyes shot from the goblet to meet his human servant’s. “Make sure that they are fed, especially the little one. Livia, I fear, may be too old to trust me. She doesn’t need to trust me to agree with me, though. In time, we may reach some sort of agreement. After you do that, you can have supper and retire for the morning. Whenever you awaken , find me for tomorrow’s appointment.”

Kuno nodded in agreement before leaving the study and finding the kitchen. Gaston remained in the darkened study, his thirst only partly quenched.


Alexia did not believe what Kuno had to say, despite how he relaxed. Well, she did believe him about the outside being dangerous, but she didn’t believe him about no harm occurring here. The room had a bathroom connected, and apparently a kitchen. She was thrilled about the bathroom, more than the comfy beds. ‘Don’t be so excited.’

She didn’t need to be comfortable. This would not be the norm in her lifetime.
“Thank you for the advice,” she was curious enough about the request not to want to keep Pianette waiting long. Kuno departed. Abby approached one of the beds, and Alexia watched the curious behavior. ‘Not in my lifetime, but perhaps….’ It depended on how long this war dragged out. The little girl turned back and smiled brightly.

It was contagious, and Alexia almost laughed, happy with the sight of the girl’s own joy.
“It should be comfortable,” she said, but didn’t want to encourage too much. Abby shouldn’t learn to trust these luxuries, nor get comfortable. Vampires were still the enemy, and humans at best, glorified pets. ‘Speaking of.’ She needed to clean up before finding Sir. “I’m going to take a quick shower, Abby. If you need me, just knock on the door. I won’t close it all the way.” If only for her own sake. It’d be difficult to hear over the water, but the delusion of possibility always helped.

With that, she stepped into the bathroom and moved the door closer to being shut, but didn’t do so. She approached the tub, noted it did have a shower fixture, and gave a relieved sigh. Best not to indulge with a bath. Even so, she turned the water to warm, enough to steam the mirrors when she was done. A little indulgence.
'Taking advantage.'She lied to herself.

She let her clothes fall unceremoniously to the floor before stepping in. She recoiled at first brush with the heat, but soon stood right under the stream and just let it wash over her.

Eyes shut, she imagined rain instead.

It didn’t last. She had to get the cell’s filth off her, and opening her eyes soon revealed the soaps she could use to do just that. She frowned at the options, not because they smelled bad. When she brought them up to inspect, she rather liked the citrus-y one, enough to use it, hair and body washed clean. Someone must have used this area before.
‘Of course, he’s old, probably had many servants.’ Stupid thought, but she kept thinking it was recent, the passing of whoever it was unexpected. She scrubbed at her wrists, but the tint of the bruises wouldn’t wash off, nor would the scrapped knees come clean. She had to leave the shower in defeat. 

Cleaned up, she was disappointed when she stepped out to find it was her old clothes she had to change into. It was going to taint the clean. The disappointment didn’t last. She slipped the clothing on, pushed her hair back behind her shoulders after giving a quick look for a brush. She didn’t bother opening up any of the cupboards, but left after not finding one in plain sight.
‘Now to find Kuno and report to Sir.’ She walked into the bedroom with those intentions, attentive for any sound of footsteps that might give her a clue to the location of one or the other.

Abby remained in the bedroom as Livia took a shower. She jumped on the bed nearest to the bathroom, and simply laid down, letting her head rest on the soft pillow and her matted hair press against it. She heard the shower go off, and decided to silently wait, staring at the clean ceiling. It was so clean, everything was. She liked it, but she wasn’t happy. She missed her family, and she wondered where they were. When Livia came out, she smiled.

Kuno strolled by a bit after Livia showered.

“Good, you’re ready. Why don’t you both come with me? I can lead you to Lord Pianette right now so you can speak with him, and I can take Abby to the kitchen so she can have something to eat. You can meet us there afterwards,” he began to lead the way back downstairs, “I don’t think it’ll be a particularly long conversation, at least, mine wasn't.”  

They turned the corner, and Kuno pointed at the way that led towards the study – its mighty mahogany double doors closed. “Right through there.” He offered his hand for Abby to take, and she hesitantly took it. Kuno then took Abby to the kitchen, where other human servants were already cleaning up. They each greeted Abby with kindness.

“Please, come in.” Said Gaston as soon as he heard Livia approach the door. He remained in his seat, his long pale fingers only barely touching the goblet as it rested on the desk before him. “If you wouldn’t mind, close the door behind you, and take a seat.” He stood, out of formality, and with his hand he gestured for her to sit.

He took a moment, sat back down, and looked at Livia; his expression was more serious than before, but he remained civil. “I know that your despise for my kind goes a long way, Livia, but you should not underestimate us – just how I don’t underestimate yours. If we are to...work together, you must put that aside. I know that you are no a fool, you are strong, I like that. I don’t want you to tell me every detail of your past life, so I understand why you hide things from me.  I cannot hope but assume, since you are part of the rebellion, that you know exactly how severe relations between your kin and mine are.”

Gaston took a sip from his goblet.

“Is there anything you want to add on that matter? Speak freely, please. There will be no repercussions, no matter what you say. I am a man of my word. What do you think of the rebellion, about our rule?”


Alexia allowed her gaze to follow Abby as the girl was taken away from her. She knew they’d separate for this meeting, but she still worried. The voice of Sir broke through the worry, and she approached the doors. He didn’t need to tell her to shut them, she did that just as he started to give the instruction. Force of habit. She understood his words of invitation from before well enough to know what was said here was not even for the ears of others in the house.

She paused by the seat across from him, glanced down at it. She really did not enjoy taking orders, and so she remained standing for a few seconds longer as he related to her his knowledge. Her eyes shifted to the goblet before she sat, looking down into it. It was a queer sight. She’d not seen vampires with cups before, although she knew of it. There was a reason for those human farms.

A smirk touched her lips at the mention of how ‘severe’ relations were.
‘Well, when you start enslaving humans and take away their freedoms, relations are bound to be severe.’ She was one of the ‘lucky’ humans. Several others existed on farms of a sort, their blood drained to supply vampires with a supply when live humans either weren’t available, or weren’t preferred.

No doubt, the blood the vampire sipped on came from such a place. Or else one of his servants was drained for it now and then.

He promised no repercussions if she spoke her mind. Now was as good a time to test whether or not he was a man of his word. So far, she’d failed to upset him.
“I hate your rule with every fiber of my being. I despise seeing humans corralled and collared, fed a diet meant to satisfy your needs, and bred like cattle. I cannot stand seeing my own doing menial chores to provide goods for your kind, with the only promise being they won't be drained of their blood if they perform such labor.” No humor. No pleasant tone. Nothing could ever mask her loathing. “I hate how many settle for being servants, like Kuno, and develop something akin to Stockholm syndrome, loving their captors. You have stolen everything from us.” At least, that was what she understood from books and stories. Once upon a time, humans had run this world, and though it wasn’t peaceful, it was fulfilling. Humans had jobs that weren’t always about hunting or healing. They raised families, they taught history, traveled, learned multiple languages, and made art out of food. The ridiculous things she had seen in a book on sushi.

Queer treasures she’d left behind. She wanted to try those things, one day.
“There is nothing I like about the rule of vampires. If humans are not cattle or glorified pets, then they are on the run because we are an inferior species only useful for food or entertainment.” She wrinkled her nose, “Despite how all of you were once us.” A reminder all vampires needed.

She purposefully made no comment on the rebellion. He could see through some of her lies, and she’d not risk lying to intimidate. The rebellion was unorganized, and made up of small groups who did not interact. She preferred vampires think otherwise, though. And so she let her expression relax,
“I do not know what happened to start this,” she wasn’t there, “but I know that with so many elder vampires alive today, you all must have found ways to live without this…this human farming nonsense, or this enslaving business.” And there seemed to be so many vampires now. She didn’t know if many of them were new, but it was enough to make her wonder, now and then, how things had been before. To her knowledge, vampires hadn’t been thought to exist prior to their takeover. She found that hard to believe.

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 06:24:27 pm »
Gaston’s expression remained unchanged as Livia spoke. If he at one point thought he understood the extend of her hatred, he didn’t. Her despise was so strong, so heartfelt, that he knew it would be nearly impossible for her to live with any other vampire. Even a vampire like Gaston was risky, but he had the best chance. Only a handful of his other vampiric contacts truly saw things the way he did, only they sympathized with the humans, hoped for a better future for vampire and human alike.

Sadly, out of his contacts, Gaston was the last one alive. The elders had ways of finding such sympathetic vampires, and they were executed because of it. The elders were as corrupt as they could come, thinking in only one way, killing anything that could potentially disturb their way of life. Even though he was well acquainted with the elders, that would not stop them from accusing him of wanting a different future. He needed to play it safe, and only go public when absolutely necessary.

“I have no real arguments to oppose your accusations, Livia,” began he, with his voice calm and collected,“but I have been around much longer than you have. When vampires rose, they were savage because humans were abundant. My kind has been forced to evolve and adapt. Some of us, myself included, consider ourselves civilized.”

Yes, civilized was probably the best word to use. It was true, to this day some vampires remained savage, but the majority had been tamed, taught to live a life of unnecessary elitism. “Some vampires do not choose this way of life, some people are turned, forced to live a life of bloodlust and murder. I did not want this life, but I can’t abandon it – the thirst won’t let me.” The power that the thirst possessed was not something Gaston could put into words. “You must believe me when I tell you, that I don’t oppose you. I don't particularly agree with your methods, but I believe we have a similar goal.”

This needed some explaining. It would have been counterproductive to hide his intention from her, but he still knew in his motionless heart that she would not immediately believe him. He would be disappointed if she did.

“There are ways for vampires to get blood without the atrocities my kind is used to. I feed my thirst with donated blood, given to me by those whose trust I have earned. Before vampires took over, blood banks were kept to store blood in case of emergencies. Is that not a feasible future for you? We can't reproduce, we can only change. But why would we condemn anybody to this curse we all live?”

Gaston doubted that this conversation would prove immediately productive, but all of this had to be said. Gaston had waited many more years than he cared to remember, trying to stop this way of life. He had lived to see each of his plans fail, and his patience had run out. He was desperate for the change, and maybe it was the desperation that he needed. Given time, surely other humans would see things like him. There was a way to resolve the rebellion, however unlikely. If the rebellion erupted into war, however, he knew which side he would take.


Alexia blinked.

It was the only reaction she could have when he claimed no opposition to what she said. Her guards rose shortly after, and her posture took on a more guarded note. She crossed her arms over her chest again.

It would be difficult to call vampires savages. They were too cunning for that. Civilized was still not a term that she agreed with, and it showed. She understood well that people had been turned against her will—it had happened before her eyes, a vampire’s desperate act of revenge.

She had been killed shortly afterward, so she would not have to suffer such a fate.
“A similar goal….” She echoed the words, not believing them. ‘What have you ever done to achieve it?’ He disagreed with the methods. Perhaps she should be asking him what methods would be better. She was quite a fan of the methods used, though. Violent though they were, they were slowly getting rid of the problem and bringing more humans to the cause, those that were freed. 

This was a game, some trick.

She’d figured this Sir for a sadist earlier. He was getting her hopes up to crush them.
“I can think of reasons why others would be condemned,” seen it, knew it, heard it. Some humans craved this ‘curse’. For others, it had been done out of spite. Revenge. “I’m sure you don’t need me to answer that rhetorical question,” at least, she assumed it was rhetorical.

He made valid points, but she didn’t want to agree with him. There was nothing wrong if people willingly donated blood to vampires. Nothing wrong with blood banks. Some of those who saw the vampires as having value, being ages old, had considered ways to compromise with the vampires to avoid genocide of the entire species. She couldn’t help but ask,
“Is frightened Kuno one of those you take blood from?” She couldn’t imagine that was donated willingly, if so. Kuno was likely too afraid to say otherwise. Hard to imagine any human really had a say in the matter.

He had been right, she remained unchanged even after all he had said. He wondered if anything he had said had caused an impact on her, but that remained to be seen. He would need to do better than that, prove his intention with actions somehow. Was that even possible? Was there any action he could do that could change her opinion of him? He would have to see. At least try. He couldn’t finalize his plan without a willing human, that was essential.

“Your people, humans I should say, those who choose this life style, are bloody fools. There is no way in which this life is better. Can you picture an immortal life for yourself, for anybody? A life where you feed off the blood of humans? That is no life worth pursuing. Vampires who turn humans as a means of punishment, there is no greater crime.” There was shame in his voice, embarrassment upon the realization the he knew people who did that. People who he pretended to like. They were repulsive.

He paused, looking at Livia curiously for her question concerning Kuno.

“How keenly you describe that boy,” he said finally, his expression softening with a chuckle. “No, I do not take his blood. He does not volunteer it, and I would not force it from him. Even if he did, I would question whether his motive is generosity or fear.” He turned to look at her, an unclear expression painted across his cold face. “Alas, I did not call you hear to convince you to believe and trust me. I just needed to tell you what I think, and I needed to see what you think.”

He took one last sip from his goblet before standing up, closing his chair on the desk, and walking towards the door. His strides were long, but slow, elegant – like those of a man of age and respect. He caught her gaze, his expression now more relaxed than before. It was almost as if he was relieved to get such thoughts off of his chest. “You should go to the kitchen now, put some food on that empty belly of yours, and then get some rest.” He opened the door for her. “Think about what I said, Livia. You and I are more similar than you care to admit, even if you don’t think so now. For the sake of the future, I pray that you do. Maybe one day you'll tell me your real name.”

Abby was in the kitchen with Kuno at the time, having some bread and butter with a glass of milk. Who knew the last time she had quality food products. Every bite was a blessing to her. Even Kuno, who was usually scared, was having a nice dinner. She warmed up to the kitchen staff easily enough, for they were nice to her from the beginning. They were mostly women, the men worked as messengers for other nearby estates.


Emotion was something that Alexia could understand. Silently, she shook her head at the question about whether or not she could picture such a life for herself. The vampire was vehemently against the idea of anyone wanting to be a vampire. She kept her face as neutral as she could, though that started to bring up questions about his character, his morality. ‘Do you hate it as much as you say?’ She could not imagine continuing life if she was ever turned. It seemed simple to her—walk out into the sunlight, and die.

Perhaps it was not so simple when it occurred. Life was dear. Even now, she’d chosen life over dignity.


‘I’ll ask Kuno myself.’ Though something told her she’d get the same answer. He verbally recognized the difficulty in knowing if Kuno gave willingly. A half-smile twisted her lips as he rose, words dismissive, not there to convince her. If he wasn’t lying, they might be of similar mind. ‘If.’ She reiterated. She rose after him, the change in the room almost tangible. He was relaxed, and now she was confused.

He kept his grace and confidence about him as the door opened. She averted her gaze when food was mentioned, for some reason finding that still embarrassing. Needs were irksome. Exhaustion and hunger were the bane of all.

She stepped out of the room, paused once beyond the threshold and tilted her head up to look at him again, sizing him up, letting the thousands of possibilities have a chance to voice themselves. Eyes were supposed to be the window to the soul, but she wondered if it applied to beings rumored to be soulless. She couldn't be certain.
“I will think on it.” She wouldn’t be able to help that. Was it worth a shot? If it was a game, it could still pay off well if she played better than anticipated. He seemed to be seeking an ally against his own. She need not give up any information about others who were part of her group. He wasn’t asking for that—not yet. He had her. Perhaps his ideas would be things she could follow through with on her own. ‘And why wouldn’t I just turn it on him and run?’ Curiosity. She was the only one at risk.

She stepped back, didn’t look down or away,
“But don’t hold your breath on the name.” It would take more than words to get that to leave her lips. “Good night, Sir.” She left him on that note, going to find the kitchen to make sure her stomach didn’t stay empty. It was not difficult to locate, though she wasn’t yet familiar with the layout. That would be fixed soon enough.

A soft smile settled on her lips as she saw Abby eating. Kuno was there, too, and there was other staff milling about. She debate asking for assistance, but decided against it. She didn’t fetch anything extravagant, found fresh ingredients for a salad, cut them up, and put them together. She took a seat at the table,
“Good?” She asked Abby about her food.

When she received an indication of an answer, she glanced to Kuno,
“Kuno, does the Lord ever drink from you?” She needed to settle her curiosity on that one, perhaps quiz others on the staff about this Lord Pianette.

Gaston returned to his study, contemplating what had just happened. He had a good feeling about her, about what she was capable of. The reminder of how he thought similarly of others came like an illness, a doubt in his plan. It had been many, many years, and even times when he thought he had it, the solution slipped away from him. All of this planning, plotting, and seeking was maddening. It put his mood on edge, and made him grumpy. Then again, he couldn’t convince himself to let it go. He couldn’t comfortably leave the world knowing that he could have done more to help it.

He sat upon his desk, looking at several unsealed letters from his spies. Another auction would take place tomorrow, right after sunset. There was something about that auction that spoke to him, warned him. What exactly the warning pertained to was still to be seen. He sighed, feeling better than the day before, but he could only vaguely remember the last day where he truly felt comfort. How he longed for it again.

In the kitchen, Abby was still eating, and at the sight of Livia coming in, she literally shook with excitement. Continuously seeing familiar faces was something she thoroughly enjoyed. He nodded her head vigorously after she was asked whether the bread and butter was good.

“She didn’t want anything else, the sweetheart,” said one of the women working in the kitchen. She was a kind faced skinny woman, probably in her forties, with peachy skin and chocolate curly hair tied in a bun. “You must be Livia, nice to have a new face around here. My, you are still a young lady. I’m Minerva, but you can just call me Eva.” She gave her a warm smile and a nod. “That there is Deidre, she works here in the kitchen with me.”

Deirdre, who was clearly more the silent type, gave an equally warm smile. Deirdre was a plump woman, several years younger than Eva, but her skin was dark, and her hair curly and black.

“Do you want us to make you something, dear?” Said Eva to Livia as she tended to some meat, “something a little more solid, perhaps?” She then noticed Livia’s clothes. “Oh and dear, I’ll put out some clean clothes for you to sleep in.”

Kuno was just finishing up his meal. Inside of the kitchen, he was a completely different person. He was perfectly at ease, but no matter how many times Eva and Deirdre told him that Gaston was not bad at all, he remained frightful of him. Only time could heal to innate scars. His face stunned a little at the question directed at him.

“Did he mention asking me for my blood?” a tone of uncertainty came upon him, and at the same time, Abby seemed to have frozen in her place. “No, he has never asked for it. Though I don’t like needle work. He wants my blood doesn’t he? I knew it.” Already the boys mind was full of scenarios that involved his blood in Pianette’s goblet.

“Don’t hold your breath, child,” interrupted Eva, “Lord Gaston would never ask for blood. He’s too considerate for that.”

“Is considerate the right word?” Questioned Deirdre, speaking in her sweet voice for the first time.

“I don’t know.” Responded Eva, throwing her hands in the air in comfortable gestures. "Maybe unusual?" They laughed in unison.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 06:31:39 pm »
It was unusual, to say the least. This was not the scene that Alexia expected, and she hardly knew how to respond to the questions that were asked, at least at first. Clean clothes, more food, and smiling, pleasant faces on women who certainly didn’t want for food given what she saw around her. It was overwhelming in its own way, and just as frightening. They were…happy.

At least Kuno had the grace to be paranoid.
'At least you're relatively sane.' The thought came unbidden. He had defended Pianette earlier, but the fear ran deep all the same. She no longer considered Pianette the one who gave him reason to fear. Whoever had done it, she considered it a favor done, compared to Minerva and Deirdre, who were quick to defend the Lord.

A look to Abby made her feel immediately guilty for not thinking before asking the question, but the scene unfolded before her. She couldn’t let Kuno go on being paranoid, so she corrected his assumption as the laughter died down,
“He didn’t ask for your blood, Kuno,” she said, “He didn’t ask for anyone’s blood. I asked about it,” she filled her mouth with a large bite of salad, tried to ignore the sight of meat. All the meat she’d had of late was so gamy. ‘Didn’t believe him.’ Seemed he hadn’t lied.

Well, there was one point to him. The women seemed to think he was a ‘considerate’ individual. Salad swallowed, she remembered the offers made,
“I don’t need any more food. Nor…night clothes.” The idea itself was bizarre. She always slept in the clothes she wore that day. Of course, she didn’t have many changes of clothes, let alone the luxury of pajamas. It was going to be strange enough sleeping in a bed. It was already strange to be eating a salad. She tried to think of a time when a salad had consisted of more than lettuce and dressing.

The taste died on her tongue as she bit into a tomato.
‘They aren’t eating like this.’ Guilt followed on the heels of imagined bitterness. ‘I need to eat to survive.’ She needed to survive, needed to figure out the next steps. “I’m not that hungry.”

Her appetite was gone as quickly as it came. The fork stabbed into a few more bits of crunchy lettuce, and she ate them, but she didn’t taste it, didn’t relish it. She was half-tempted to leave, but didn’t wish to exit without Abby. She was already attached to the mute child.
“Just clothes for the…day, perhaps, Minerva,” she wasn’t comfortable enough to use Eva, though it lingered on her tongue. It was halted by the same worry that killed her appetite. She didn’t want to smile like them in such a place as this. She didn’t want to grow so accepting of this environment. “Thank you,” she forced a smile to her lips with the words of gratitude.

“No, Gaston, he only takes what we can give him. I’m afraid that sometimes he has to resort to all that farm blood crap to keep his thirst controlled, but we can tell he doesn’t like it. He tries to lie to us about it, but we knows him better than he thinks.” the tone was more conversational than anything, but it did carry a more serious characteristic to it. “We can only give him so much, you know. We make do, though. Things aren’t always so easy, but we manage.”

Eva simply nodded with a smile on her face before returning to her usual work. Deirdre stayed relatively silent in her own work. Kuno felt immediately relieved after learning that Gaston was not really after his blood. He had been with Lord Gaston for a while now, but he had never really gotten used to it; he was only as comfortable as he was because Eva made it so easy. Kuno had to dwell on the outside often, however, and he had seen how other humans lived in other vampiric estates.
It was horrible. Alas, he remained foolish about the whole thing, thinking all vampires the same, even after being shown otherwise.

Something must have happened to him to change him so. It could have been the other humans.

Some weren’t fed for days. Others were whipped if they didn’t perform what they ought, and some of them even died from malnutrition, a sick game where they fed them atrocities. Even Gaston had to treat his staff differently when he had visitors to avoid suspicion. They were, of course, used to it already.

‘You’re welcome, dear.” Said Eva to Livia, now switching her attention to Abby. “You, you need to go and get some sleep, little Abby. We all have a long day tomorrow. Go on, take another piece of bread if you want to the room. We’ll be hitting the beds soon, too, now.”

Abby slipped out of the chair in which she was sitting, and took a small piece of bread in her hand before turning to Livia and taking her hold of her fingers. It looked like she almost expected to be showed the way back to the room, which was probable since she knew not her way around yet. She looked up at her new friend with the warmest smile yet.

“Give us a holler if you need anything, our rooms are just down the hall from yours, Livia.” Eva turned away and went back to tending to the meat. “You should get some rest, too, child. We don’t want you getting sick, or nothing.”

“I will fetch you when it is time,” finalized Kuno. 


‘You are going to be the death of me.’ A thought more funny than it should have been, as the little Abby took Alexia’s hand. A final bite of the salad, and she rose as she was called ‘child’. A once over Eva, and she decided to accept that terminology. She was noticeably younger than the woman, and it didn’t seem to come with any intent to demean. “Thank you for filling me in a bit,” she hadn’t asked, but more information on the lord had been provided all the same. His drinking habits were not what she expected. He did not fit the stereotype. “And, everything else. Good night,” an inclination of her head.

She would keep it in mind that these women weren’t far off. Another day, she might come to appreciate their warmth, but at the moment she craved something cold, something expected.

Abby was not that, but she liked Abby all the same.
‘When it is time.’ Well, she’d have to have another meeting with the Lord of the house. She would have to come to a decision. In silence, she led Abby back to the room they had been given. Abby would have her own room in time, but right now, Alexia had no problem’s with sharing.

Once in, Alexia used her free hand to shut the door.
“I want to tell you a secret,” she told Abby. Secrets created bonds. Secrets could make friends. Alexia realized as she shut the warmth of the rest of the house out she might need someone to remind her, now and then, that she wasn’t Livia. She kept the little girl’s hand in hers as she crouched down in front of her, whispered, “My name is Alexia,” she informed, placed her index finger to the girl’s lips, “but don’t tell anyone, ok?” She winked. The girl wasn’t speaking much as it was, but it could always come out.

Finger lowered, she squeezed Abby’s hand before letting it go, so the girl could go to her bed as she liked and rest. Alexia knew she’d try to sleep, imagined an hour or two might be won. After sleeping on the ground most of her life, the comfort of a bed registered as ‘foreign’. Sleeping on them was difficult, as some humans used to complain about hotel beds—they weren’t the same as their own beds.

~***~

‘How does it feel to be forsaken by your God?’

Now and then, those words came back to Adrian’s mind. He had only just started being Lord Edom back when he spoke them to the would-be pharaoh who was devoted to the sun god. Somewhere, that pharaoh was still alive. Somewhere, Adrian imagined, he had not forgiven him despite words to the contrary.

They came to mind now as he stared out at the dawn and felt his skin burn, saw it smoke. His hair was almost as pale as his skin, a platinum blond that fell to his shoulders. His eyes matched the pale complexion. At times, it seemed like there was no color around the pupil. No matter how many days he spent like this, it seemed to fix nothing. He was not getting any stronger when it came to the sun. It burned, and his enemies were learning faster than he’d like.
‘I should not be so surprised.’ Oral traditions were powerful. He should know. Where he came from, the myth of the vampire became the myth of the wendigo.

It was cold up there. He missed the way the lights would play on the sky, now and then. The days of absolute night had been enjoyable, as well.

And yet….


“Lord Edom.”


A sigh parted his lips. He turned his head to the door, partially opened. He had servants both vampiric and human. This one didn’t dare enter, which told him vampiric. He didn’t commit much to memory if it didn’t serve him.

He left his chaise lounge after pulling the curtains close, thick enough to turn the room to darkness. He opened the door, stepped out of the room, and looked down at the inferior, a few inches taller.
“What?” Clipped and annoyed.

A letter was held out to him. The handwriting was familiar. These were never addressed to him as an individual, but he was the one who usually ended up with him. Of the council members, few could boast a network as expansive as his own.
“Eventide was attacked last night.” A town not far from there, small, devoted to farming both humans and what was needed to feed them. There was a mine not far from there, where most of that human food went.

“Was it?” He spoke in a bored tone. “How is Vale….” Before he could get the name of the centurion out, the man’s wedding band fell to the ground.

Silence was enough of an answer. The words on the paper said the rest.
“Most of the humans were gone from Eventide, Lord Edom,” the vampire filled in, “Stadium lights with UV bulbs and explosions seemed the…the main causes.”

‘How did they set up stadium lights?’
The question that had always plagued him was more, how were they still able to make UV lights. He was quite certain all of those had been destroyed.

But it was there in print, the help of those humans, who hid the supplies that were slowly brought into the town. The vampires were negligent, killed by the lights when the buildings were destroyed, or else taken care of by other means during the chaos. A mass uprising. He wondered if Valerius recalled Spartacus in his final moments, or perhaps Toussaint L'Ouverture.
“Lord Edom?” The paper crumpled in his fist with its signature of ‘Alex’. The handwriting was always slightly different, the signatures with their subtle differences. He understood this ‘Alex’ might be a phantom, but there was a group bound under this phantom leader all the same.

And they had attacked at night, and been successful, against a centurion, a southern plantation owner, someone who knew the battle of Hastings.
“Two rebels were captured the other day, no?”

“Yes,”
a nod.

“Find out what became of them.”
He did not know if they followed this group in particular, but it was worth looking in to. Humans were caught now and then on the outside, but it was rarely obvious if they were rebels or not. These two had been clear from the start. “Seems I will need to contact the council again.” How bothersome. That meant he had to use that infernal computer. He still hated the things, but they made communication quick. “Go.” He ordered when the fool stood there to listen to him think aloud.

He scurried away, and Adrian scowled. He turned to find his computer room.


Abby gave Alexia a small smile, having some sort of fascination with secrets. She threw her arms around her friend in a quick embrace. She tried to sleep in her own bed, but sometime throughout the day she stumbled from her bed and laid down on the floor, right next to Alexia’s own bed. She slept more comfortably there, not because she was used to it, but because she was closer to someone she liked. She was never really used to being alone, she didn’t like it.

She was in the middle of her sleep in the dark room, when Kuno knocked thrice on the door. It wasn’t very loud, but noticeable enough to wake the pair up. “Good day, it is at most a couple of hours before sunset, you two. Get dressed, there are some clothes in this basket outside, meet me in the kitchen downstairs when you are ready.” He then walked off.

Abby stirred slightly before getting up; she rubbed her eyes and yawned groggily.

Gaston, who naturally did not sleep, had been exchanging information with some of his contacts throughout the day. More rebels had been caught, some had been killed for being problematic, and they were to be sold at an auction that same evening. “Kuno,” he had called his personal servant a bit before he woke the staff up. “I want you to take Abby and Livia to the kitchen – make sure they have something to eat, and then report back to me with Livia only. We will be attending another auction tonight.” He didn't have to tell him anything else, he knew that they wouldn't question him - at least not verbally.

Kuno nodded his head, signaling that he understood, and left Lord Pianette in his study. He headed back to the kitchen where Eva was making breakfast, which was weird since sunset was upon them. Members of the staff in vampiric homes tended to have their schedules reversed depending on the master’s preferences. When it came to Gaston, he preferred his staff to be available for his activities, which largely took place during the night.

“D’you wake up the girls already, Kuno?” Eva said, with the pan steaming and the meat cackling. “Does Lord Gaston want Abby for the kitchen?”

“I did, and yes, I believe so.”

“Good, I’m glad he listens to our little suggestions. We’ve needed extra hands around here, and she seems able.”

“He sure knows how to pick us.”

Eva served Kuno some breakfast and then returned to her work. Kuno ate in silence, he didn’t know what to expect from Livia. She seemed to not want to be there at all, but he didn’t want to either – so it wasn’t that. It was just the way she was so quiet about everything. He couldn’t figure her out. There would be time for getting to know each other later. For now, he just needed to wait for them to have something to eat. He had a bad feeling about the whole thing, but he couldn't get out of it. He just had to endure.


The hug was returned, appreciated, before Alexia picked the bed Abby hadn’t earlier been fascinated with. She laid there most of the day. Exhaustion caused her to drift off several times; paranoia woke her often. ‘Too soft.’ She didn’t like the pillows, though they had been perfect for covering her head with. Blankets made things too warm, but without them, it was too cold. She’d never had such difficulties sleeping in the day before.

When Kuno came to get them, she’d been staring at the ceiling in defeat. She had plenty of time to think, at least.

She groaned at the sound of the knocks.
‘Already?’ The day had felt like an eternity of waiting, yet somehow this was too soon. She rolled over onto her stomach in protest all the same. She heard Abby’s yawn. ‘Go get the clothes, go get dressed, go get breakfast, hope for coffee.’

She rolled out of the bed, quite literally, catching herself with her hands. She found Abby on the floor.
‘Oh yes.’ Memory returned of the girl’s walk over. “G’evening,” she greeted her as she sat up, grateful she hadn’t fallen on top of her. “You know, you can share my bed if you want,” she offered. She didn’t know how well the girl slept on the floor. Perhaps she’d try that.

Clothes needed to be obtained. Alexia went to the door and opened it, noticing the basket of clean clothing. She brought it in, sorted it out by what appeared to be hers, and what appeared to be Abby’s. At least her preference for pants was understood without asking, or perhaps that was assumed—if she was to be in a guard role, movement was necessary.
“I’ll be back,” she muttered groggily as she slipped into the bathroom. Briefly, she wondered if she ought to help Abby get clean one of these days or if the child knew how to do that. Either way, it wouldn’t be now, she was much too tired to consider helping another.

Cold water did the trick to wake her up. She was shivering when she put on her new clothes. A black shirt with long, bell sleeves, and dark jeans with a bit of a flair were the attire set out, besides the socks and underwear. She wore the same tennis shoes she’d arrived in, though. It took ages to work shoes in, and these were a good pair. Her hair was tied back, mostly because it was wet and annoying, before she returned to the bedroom and offered her hand out for Abby.
“Let’s see what breakfast has in store,” she’d take her back to the kitchen, and try this eating thing again. Given the painful emptiness, she had a feeling it would work out better this time.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 11:04:49 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 06:39:53 pm »
Abby took Alexia’s hand with a giggle and followed her down the stairs and into the kitchen. Her little belly, barely getting used to the solid food, was still quite empty – it growled slightly and she turned a brilliant shade of pink. When she walked into the kitchen, however, and she saw Kuno there, already eating, she slipped away from Alexia and sought the same stool she sat on yesterday.

“Good evening, girls,” said Eva with her gaze fixated still on the frying pan, “why don’t you all take a seat, the food is almost ready.”

Kuno moved to the opposite side of the table, so Alexia and Abby could sit together. Deirdre was getting some glasses ready for the juice. Kuno had already finished, so he was just remaining with them until they were ready. He grinned at the little girl with a wink, something she returned as she sat. The aroma of food was more present that evening than the morning, where only fresh vegetables had been cut. It was intoxicatingly inviting, for the smell of actual cooking food was rare outside.

Eva took the food and served it on two plates, one portion slightly larger than the other. She carried the plates and placed them on the table – some small strips of bacon, chopped and cooked potatoes, and what looked like eggs. It was hot, for steam was still coming from the plates. Deirdre gave them each a couple of mismatched utensils.

“You’ll have to forgive me about the eggs, darling,” she said going back to the counter, “they’re boxed – real ones are very hard to come by, nowadays. The last time we got supplied we only got very limited amounts of everything.”

“We’ll be fine.” Deirdre said as she served the drinks.

“Of course we will,” said Eva, pushing away the problematic thoughts. “Eat your food, then. I hear you all have a busy day today.” She wasn't being authoritative, just encouraging. She gave off a very maternal vibe from all around, it was hard for even Kuno not to relax around her. His fears were stubborn, however, they would not go away easily.

“Oh yeah,” added Kuno, “Lord Pianette wants you and I to go to an auction tonight. I don’t really know why, but it must be important. I hate it, going out…being amongst them all the time. Why couldn’t I be part of the kitchen staff?”

Only Eva gave a soft chuckle.


It wasn’t fair how good it all smelled. Abby’s stomach protested, and Alexia couldn’t help the small laugh that escaped at the sound. An apologetic expression quickly followed, and she added, “I’m hungry, too,” in a whisper before they entered the kitchen, where all those smells were coming from.

“Good evening,”
Alexia greeted in turn, taking the seat besides Abby. An inclination of her head was given to Kuno, acknowledging his move. She folded her arms over her stomach if only because it decided to ache at all the smells. ‘No eating too fast.’ She was bound to make herself sick if she did that, though it was tempting as the food was laid before her. The potatoes in particular looked appetizing, but the smell of hot, fresh bacon couldn’t be denied. That had to be eaten while still too hot to touch, and so it was, her finger tips cursing her for it, much as her tongue did.

Eva apologized for the eggs and Alexia shook her head. It was unnecessary.
‘Though eggs are something we don’t worry much about outside.’ Nests could be plundered. So far they hadn’t encountered poisonous bird eggs, nor poisonous birds, for that matter. “I am grateful, no matter where the food comes from.” The bacon could have been intimation, and the potatoes old. Food was food. She wasn’t apt to complain, even though it wasn’t coffee that greeted her, but juice.

Juice was new. She was wary of the substance, sniffed it as Eva mentioned a ‘busy day’.
‘What now?’ Kuno filled her in as she took a sip. It was hard to swallow with the news, though it was tasty. “Back to the auction house?” She wasn’t pleased with that idea. She didn’t enjoy the auction house, or witnessing humans being sold.

She sighed, both amused and frustrated with Kuno’s complaints. There was a reason he wasn’t kitchen staff.
“Can you cook, Kuno?She inquired, wondering if that was the reason, or if he simply performed better as a…well, she wasn’t sure what Kuno did besides accompany Lord Pianette and run around the manor. He didn’t seem like guard material. ‘And if I’m to be a guard I suppose that’s the reason I have to go.’ Did that mean she was going to have to go to several of these auctions? Alexia wasn’t sure she could bear that burden. It wasn’t the vampires that bothered her, it was the fact she shouldn’t act to hinder the auctioning off of humans. 

Somehow, she finished the plate of food, to her own surprise.


Kuno shook his head, a curse word escaping his lips in a whisper – Abby remained unaware of it, thankfully. He realized his mistake shortly afterwards, mouthing an apology. Eva shook her head in disapproval, but there was a hint of a smile upon her face. “No, I can’t cook a single thing. I just don’t want to go out there, where I am always afraid, where I can’t speak my mind. It sucks.” He chuckled to himself, almost as if he pitied himself. “Ignore me, I need to take my venting outs where I can find them.” He needed to get such things out in the open, or he'd go insane.

“Don’t you worry about that, Kuno,” Eva said, picking up both empty plates. “Just be more careful when you are in Lord Gaston’s presence. As reasonable as he is, you don’t want to go upsetting him; and you also don't want to go on and say things you'll regret.” She hinted towards Abby. Officially, he had been warned, even if only half serious.

Kuno nodded his head in understanding; of course he would be more careful around the vampire. He had already spent most of last year on his tippy toes around him. It came naturally now. As for Abby, he'd have to get used to the cute little thing, but something told him that wouldn't be very hard. Several minutes passed in silence. Eventually, Kuno stood up from his stool, taking out that same little notebook where he wrote everything down and flipped through the pages slowly. He looked at it for a second before exchanging a look with Alexia and checking the time.

“We should get going, Livia.”

“Yes, yes we should.”

A knock at the door announced the presence of another; Gaston had just appeared from the other room, and he was lingering by the door. His expression was relaxed, his arms crossed and his eyes looking around the kitchen, as if he hadn’t been in there in a long time. As he looked about the room, only Kuno and Abby at his sight. In reality, he didn’t frequent the kitchen because he knew it was sort of a place of sanctuary for his human servants. He felt like he caused unnecessary tension, which was never a good thing when what he wanted to do was ease tension between the two races.

Of course, he had a reason to impose on their comfort.

“Good evening, sir.” Said Eva, just a nicely as she would if speaking to a human.

“Sir.” Deidre mirrored, equally as comfortable.

“Good evening Eva, Deirdre, all of you. I hope you all had a pleasant rest,” they confirmed that they did, “I need to speak with Livia for a quick minute,” he spoke to Kuno, who nodded stiffly, “come find me in five minutes, and then we’ll be off. Livia, if you could please come with me?”


Alexia made a mental note that cursing in front of the child was not appreciated. Such worries were not common. It was fortunate she was not one to curse much as it was, though the words had been thought several times. “I see,” she spoke, more to herself, at Kuno’s concerns.

‘Let’s test that speaking thing.’


Alexia shouldn’t be thinking of upsetting vampires, but it did amuse her. The idea that Sir might be the one to get in trouble for it didn’t cross her mind. She was a only a day here, after all. They couldn’t expect her to be ‘domesticated’ so quickly, could they?
‘Might be worth it.’ Kuno interrupted the train of thoughts with the announcement that they should be leaving, which was followed by an echo.

Her eyes turned to the pale man in the doorway. ‘Sir’ was the name used by Deirdre and Eva, as well. She was singled out again, and she rose, stretched her arms up, and then nodded,
“As you say, Sir.” The overly pleasant tone again. It was not as if she had a real option here, there was no point in him using 'please' or phrasing it as a question. She did wonder what he would do if she refused the request, but decided that would be discovered another day, when she was more secure that it wouldn't result in a killing.

She followed him out of the kitchen, and when she assumed they were out of earshot, she asked,
“What is it that could possibly require my sole attendance again?” Though they hadn’t stopped walking when she asked, and she half-expected he wouldn’t answer until they were at his study again, or some other room, shut away from the rest of the household. It would be safest if he suspected other ears, or worried that his own staff might be against him.

Perhaps he just wanted her to tell him whether or not she was going to work with him or not.
“And why do I have to come to the bloody auction?” Bloody was one of her favorite non-curse words. She still didn’t want to go to the auction.

Gaston found it very interesting that Alexia did not wait until they were in the study to speak, she was so different than all of his other subjects. He hadn’t thought of how she would react, and how similar they both were (considering), but he was not disappointed. In fact, he was pleased with how she had reacted about the whole thing – suspicious, challenging even. These characteristics are exactly what he wanted with a person like her, someone who, given the reason, would cooperate. He smiled as he turned to her, keeping his strides continuous and constant.

“Unlike you, Livia,” his voice was soft, but polite and equally pleasant, “I do not have the blessing that is sleep, and several things have transpired since we last met. Just a word of information, meetings between you and I will be regular. Others will be included in time.”

They arrived at the study, and he asked her in, closing the door behind him. The curtains were not set on the window, instead they were pushed to the sides, exposing a large window and the grounds behind the house – which were extensive. “I cannot, and will not, force you to come with me to the auction. I know that you are less than willing to voluntarily cooperate with me, but I have some information that may spark your interest.” He asked her to sit as he moved towards his desk, therefrom retrieving several letters of information.

“I have received information that another group of rebels were caught recently,” he placed the letters on the desk for her to take if she so chose. He didn’t expect her to, this was certainly a touchy subject for her. “Those who survived the capture will be sold at tonight’s auction. Several of my new contacts will be at the auction, all of who respect my opinion. They aren’t like me, but I know them to be good vampires.”

He looked over at her, locking his gaze with hers.

“I would prefer it if you could accompany me to this auction so I can know which humans to send where. If you choose to accompany me, we can attempt to save any contacts of yours. If you choose to stay here, I will have to work blindly – follow my instinct.” He really didn’t want to go alone, but he wouldn’t force it out of Alexia. “Of course, my instinct has worked well with me recently. Just know, that if you choose to come with me, I will have to treat you differently in public to avoid suspicious eyes.” He picked the letters back up, threw them into the garbage can, and burned them. “What do you say?”

His tone remained calm, but his expression asked her to try and understand. He wouldn't force her, but the night would move along smoothly if she did.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 07:49:54 pm »
Sir did not say anything relevant until they were in the study, but he did speak before they arrived. He called sleep a blessing, and a laugh was stifled quickly. Alexia did not consider it so; sleep left her vulnerable.

She walked in to the study, the door shut by him this time. He promised information, and revealed it.
‘I swear to god if any of you were a part of some rash move….’ If any from her group were caught, she knew why they would be. Although she and Eric were caught for an assassination, there had been other plans in the works. The vampire Valerius was high priority, since several human slaves had promised to commit themselves to the cause if freed. Other assassinations were considered, as well, but none quite as old as the BC-era Roman. He would be a first.

Letters were placed on the desk, mocking her. She stared at them, but didn’t reach. She hadn’t revealed she could read, and she wouldn’t do so. Instead, she looked up, dull expression on. The letters would be no help. Not presently. There would be no revealing that not all rebel groups were connected, either.

Either way, they were rebels. That meant they could be useful to her, if she could connect with them.
‘Could be sending them to their death.’ When their eyes locked, she did wonder. What she had seen so far suggested he was not the sort to condemn humans to death or torture. Deirdre, Eva, and Kuno didn’t strike her as particularly good actors, least of all Kuno.

The letters were removed. Opportunity to glance later was denied.
“What should I expect from you, when I come?” Her answer was in the phrasing. She was concerned about who might be among the rebels, and hoped none of her contacts did show up.

“Excellent.”

Gaston smiled upon Alexia’s answer, things were going the way they ought for now. He could not really contain how pleased he was at her answer. She didn’t say much throughout his monologue, but he could see her mind racing as she took in everything he said. He could understand her concern for the other rebels, that was the primary reason why he wanted her to come with him. If a contact was extremely important, he would even considering placing a bid himself. He would have to see her reaction for it, though. As much as he agreed with the girl, he would not be taken advantage of.

“I will try not to even speak to you unless absolutely necessary; if I do, I must do so coldly, with scorn, and treat you as if you are inferior to me. In the case that I do, I expect at least some retaliation, which may come easy for you. Hopefully, that won’t be necessary. I expect that Kuno’s fear will go a long way, which is essential.”

He stood up, looking spiffy with his black suit, ready to go back into the kitchen and fetch Kuno before heading back out in the night. With Kuno coming along, nobody would doubt Gaston’s command as a vampire, he was a stuttering fool when he was around other vampires. If somehow Kuno got used to his life, he would have to think of another way to safeguard his reputation. Gaston was well respected, his age exceeded the norm by far, and his connections with the council had regarded notoriety.

“I will share a look with you with every passing human, and if they are part of the rebellion make sure you give me some sort of sign, a nod maybe," he nodded in example, "I will then give my approval to other bidders so they can finalize their purchases. If there is a personal contact of yours among them, make the sign distinct, perhaps even say something to me. You can be creative in your word play, I'm sure I can follow your lead.”

He opened the door and asked Alexia to step out, following and closing the door shut.

“I will try to do what I can, but I cannot guarantee the life you will have here for them. I can only suggest them to other vampires who I know treat their humans with similar consideration.” He frowned slightly.


Lips curved up in a smirk. Yes, she could retaliate, if necessary. ‘You’re going to have to work tonight.’ If he was already expecting her to act defiant, that just gave her freedom to upset some other vampire. There was some disappointment that Sir Pianette might not be too opposed to the idea. She would have liked to see if she could get under his skin with any such antics, figure out his buttons and spark the emotion she’d seen yesterday. However, in these circumstances she wasn’t certain if she’d be able to tell real from false.

Well, that would just be another challenge, learning to read him, and see how well he could act.
‘And hope this is an act.’ That would be the question, or rather, how much of it was an act. She'd have to get a feel for when the acting stopped.

Alexia followed him out without a word on what was spoken once out of the room. She would think of ways to reveal to him anyone significant.
“I hope you are very familiar with this act. I'd hate to find the weaknesses,” as much warning as he would get that she might abuse her role as a recently enslaved, and hardly broken, human. She would have to get a feel for the environment, and those in attendance.

It was going to be an interesting night, at least.

Alexia followed, asked,
“Will I get to meet these…friends of yours?” In time, she imagined that was possible, but she meant that night. She did not know if there would even be time before the auction or during the auction. Did these things have intermissions?


Gaston let out a soft laugh at Alexia’s question about meeting his vampiric friends; she seemed eager, yet her intention remained unclear. This didn’t bother him, he lived a life of speculation, and clarity was not something he often worried over. Still, he appreciated her interest in them, whether positively or negatively pursued. She was involving herself, even if just a little. A little was all he needed, though; once the steps of his plan unfolded, he predicted her involvement to be heartfelt.

If he succeeded, there would be no stopping it. It was the goal. If he didn't succeed, war would break out.

“In time you may meet most of them, I dare say.” He confirmed and checked his pocket watch to make sure he was still on schedule. “I can’t be sure you’ll meet some tonight, we need to keep our communications relatively spread out. I’m certain that you will meet some of my other contacts, those that are not necessarily my friends. Be warned, they are the scum of the earth.” Gaston spoke the word with a hatred he could not hide in his home - he proved a much, much better actor outside of his walls. He reached the door to the kitchen and he peeked in.

Only Kuno was inside, the other three girls were nowhere to be seen. He, at the sight of Gaston, stood from his stool and made his way through the door. He checked the agenda once more before nodding slightly.

“I’m ready, sir.”

“Glad to hear it, we will spare no time, I suspect this auction to be busier than the last. You have the notes, I trust?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And the other paperwork? The lists?”

“All in here, sir.”

“What about the letters?”

“Burned as you requested, sir.”

“Excellent, let us go then.” He led them through the house to the large double doors leading outside. The guards opened them up, with pleasant wishes and unmoving stances. Sunset had just fallen upon them, so some light was still visible. The pillars the stretched across the gardens were still deflecting the harmful sun rays. He sped up his strides, greeting the opening gates with a nod.

The walk to the auction gallery was one done in mostly silence. Vampires were only just coming out of their homes, and scattered humans followed their owners. Each of them had a look of complete seriousness, and some had a look of utter fear – even more so than Kuno’s.

Even among the vampire world, society had its different thresholds, its ladder that divided the wealthy from the poor; the respected from the shunned. They traveled in groups, usually of the same rank. Gaston, however, preferred to walk alone. On occasion, vampires bowed to him in respect, others gave him looks of utter hatred. The world was a complicated place, relations between vampires also had tensions. A civil war was not probable currently, but if things continued to happen as they did, it could very well be a possibility. 

“We’re here.”

Announced Gaston, having lead them to an auction house that was different than the one they had attended last. Just as he had predicted, it was arranged for a larger audience, and most of the sections had already been filled.


Alexia let it all sink in, looking around in the dim light. Without the shackles around her wrists, she felt more comfortable observing the environment. There were humans that moved about, often with another vampire. Their looks spoke numbers, and she felt a similar revulsion. They resembled some of those she’d seen in the auction too well—defeated.

At the announcement, her eyes turned to the auction house, and those who were already there. It was different than the one she’d been bought in, larger.
‘Are people so interested in rebels?’ She wrinkled her nose, wondering if that was the allure.

Whatever the case, it was enough to bring out two familiar faces. Even Alexia recognized them on sight—Adrian, and the supposed “Sun God”. Their reputations preceded them, Adrian a mystery, and Amon's likely exaggerated. She wasn't sure how she kept her feet moving to walk. Her hand reached for a weapon that wasn’t there, and clenched the air into a fist.
‘Damn it.’ So close, and yet she could do nothing.

Adrian was a thorn in her side. Whenever humans betrayed their own, it often went back to him. The humans that were near him had their heads bowed, arms straight at their sides, but even so, one spoke to him. Alexia couldn’t read the lips that moved, but the blond turned away from the would-be pharaoh.

White eyes fell upon Gaston Pianette. Actions revealed what words he must have spoken to his companion, for the man in black left his side and went in to the auction house. Adrian approached them, the pair of humans following two steps behind their master. Alexia glared at them for the cowardice, but doubted they even saw with their eyes on the ground.


“Lord Pianette,”
Adrian called for his attention. It had not been difficult to track down where the surviving rebel had gone. One of his humans managed the footwork during the day. He had a feeling he would find Gaston at the auction today. Instinct had led him correctly, even if it had also led him to his annoying childe. “I had hoped to find you here, ah,” a glance to those accompanying him. Kuno he knew, a well-behaved human who knew his place in society.

The new one, he suspected, was the rebel he’d been informed was bought by Gaston. He didn’t question the motive of Gaston for bringing this untrained wretch out in public. He used the auctions to remind his own slaves of their place, with sweet promises that it could get worse—they could be given as a gift to vampires who would make sure their death was a drawn out and torturous show of how much the human could endure.
“Lower your eyes, girl.”

Alexia’s smile only broadened at the command.
‘Oh, you are going to be easy to bother.’ That should not amuse her so much. “No, thank you.”

The scene changed, to some eyes only slightly, to others, quite radically. It all depended on how much you knew about Lord Edom, and his relations to other vampires. Kuno, who was still relatively loyal to Gaston, did not know much of Edom, but his stare was one he avoided at all cost. Gaston did not boast on his knowledge of others, but he did know that his knowledge on Edom’s dealings could be more informed. This, however, was too risky. It would be best if Gaston just reformed to his previous plan, to seek out those in the rebellion  and continue his unspoken friendship with the, currently, unmentioned vampires.

“Lord Edom,” Gaston inclined his head respectfully in greeting. “I was wondering whether you would purchase again. It is good to see you again.” A sort of whimper escaped Kuno’s lips; they were now surrounded by lordly looking vampires, all waiting to get into the auction. This was perfect, a public setting for what was about to transpire. “Is there something I can do for you?” This was only polite, since Lord Edom was apparently hoping to see him. Gaston wondered if pending business remained between the two.

Something expected, but all the while foolish, parted his mind from its current choice of topic. Livia had defied Edom’s command, and she grinned at his disturbance. Gaston was used to these acts of defiance, especially in the young rebels he had occasionally bought for guards over the years. A low, but widely noticeable, snarl formed from deep within his throat, as he turned to face Livia – fangs bared. The crowd shuffled at this development; some's eyes lingered on the setting, while others avoided confrontation. The humans, though few in numbers, particularly scurried away in fear.

“Be silent, girl, and do as you are told.” Kuno by this point was livid with fear, his eyes broad, his chest breathing hard, and his body trembling slightly. Gaston moved with his whole body, and his tone of voice turned ice cold, threatening, and intimidating. At the same time, those guards that Gaston always kept hidden from his companions’ view were making their way towards them. “I’ll cut off that tongue of yours if you persist in tempting me.” 

The guards, who were really more like bodyguards (for  they were vampiric in nature), arrived an instant later.

“Be gone, everything is settled here.”

Gaston waved them, cooling off in tone and in anger. The bodyguards were temporarily confused, but they did not show it. They stayed silent, nodded, and moved away as they were instructed. Gaston was very good at something in particular, and that was striking fear into whomever he pleased. Even the bodyguards, who were equally as strong as he was, did not dare speak or defy him. Their stares were bored, but they had a hint of fear in them nonetheless - a vampire who struck fear unto other vampires was a force to be wary of. Gaston then turned to Lord Edom, apologetic for his wild human.

"I apologize for such behavior, Lord Edom. She knows not yet her place, but she will." He said so not as a guarantee to comply with the vampire's standards; his voice as he said gave a hint of a deep desire to see her punished, something he had practiced and mastered over his long life. After all, appearance was everything in this game. 


Alexia was not inclined to listen. Bared fangs were a familiar sight. She had expected some reaction. One foot moved back as her body instinctively fell into a defensive pose, weight balancing, knees bending. The sound of that snarl still rang in her head, under the low voice that spoke its threats. Fear was present, though she’d learned long ago that the only way to deal with vampires was to learn to stay calm under fear. Too many panicked.

Even so, her heart raced. Her own breath came quicker, and the blood ran cold.

Her hand was still empty of weapon, and Kuno was trembling. That sight out of the corner of her eye advised caution more than anything else. Her posture relaxed, though her expression didn’t lose any of its malice,
“We’ll see,” was spat before she turned her head to the side rather than lower it like Adrian’s humans.

Those vampires who had approached were soon dismissed from the scene, and she recalled again this was not the place.
‘Out here you don’t stand a chance.’ Not that such would matter if she could just end Adrian. The council would scramble—not for long, but it would be a blow nonetheless. Her life was worth ending his. ‘You don’t have the means.’ Not yet. Perhaps these human rebels would have connections that could reach them here.

Adrian watched all of this quietly. Gaston could take care of his humans, even those with fire. So, he waited for the man to do just that. He did not overstep his bounds when it came to another’s property unless it was necessary. He couldn’t expect the laws to be followed if he himself broke them…publicly.
“I do trust you will take care of that when you depart the auction.” Out here, it was simply uncouth, even if it was obvious by the girl’s remark that she was not truly resigned to her place yet. “I do intend to purchase today, though I can’t claim it is to add any to the staff. I have enough of them running about as it is.”

A motion, to suggest they walk into the auction house lest it start without them. He continued,
“Strange news from Eventide arrived in the morning.”

Alexia tried to hide a smile at what she hoped that news was, distractedly brushed her hair forward. Adrian’s attention was not on her now that she wasn’t looking at him.
“I’ve come to see what I can find out from the new batch, but I had heard your purchase was a recent capture with certain…ties.” ‘Alex’ was the tie that linked those who plotted the assassination and those who targeted Eventide. “To speak plainly, I think your newest purchase may be aware of rebel plots, and it is in all our interests to stay ahead of them. I trust you will find out?” Adrian would take matters into his own hand if need be, “The council will be arriving here in a few days to decide how best to deal with the increasing attacks. I hope to have more information to put before them.”

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 09:50:37 pm »
Livia had behaved just as Gaston thought she would, especially around a vampire like Edom, and he was not disappointed. She turned away spitefully, and he returned his attention to his new companion. He said he was planning on purchasing more human, but not to add to the staff. He'd have to keep an eye on those he purchase, and whether they caused any sort of reaction in Livia, if she was still willing to cooperate.

Gaston suspected that perhaps he was looking for information, just as he was; he saw no other reason to purchase a human for. His hypocrisy was delicious, he had purchased Livia to save the rebellion, and stop the corrupt from continuing their rule. He was doing the same but to save his way of life, to promote everything that Gaston opposed.

As both vampires started making their way to the auction floor, their humans followed. Kuno looked at Livia in disbelief, wondering what could have warranted her actions. He walked  closely behind Gaston, never had he experienced such anger from the vampire. He had always seemed so tame, but now his fear was justified, and his suspicions confirmed.

“That was my initial suspicion, too,” said Gaston conversationally, “considering that she was caught in a capture by our suppliers, and they informed us of her engagement in the rebellion. The plots she knew of the rebel forces, they were those we already knew about. Targets, locations.” Gaston turned back to look at Kuno. “The paperwork, boy.”

Kuno took out the papers that had been requested of him earlier the night, and with a shaky hand he handed them over to Gaston, who took them and offered them for Lord Edom to see. In the off chance that he’d show up at the auction, Gaston was prepared, as he always was. “I brought these along in case we met today. Fortune smiles upon us, I dare say. They’re just words and names to ignorant eyes, we need not worry.”

He looked about the auction floor, and he confirmed that it was much busier than the last one. “I have reason to believe that in the last capture attempt, there were several deaths, on both accounts, not pretty. If the council is to arrive soon, then we both have our work cut out for us. I don’t think the survivors will be of much use.” He looked over at Edom. "Any recent news on your end, aside than that from Eventide?"


Alexia noted the look from Kuno. It was tempting to tilt her head higher in her defiant arrogance, but the surrounding became heavy with other vampires. Her defiance didn’t die, but her instinct to survive did kick in. Her mind cursed where her mouth wouldn’t, and ran off with ideas of its own, each more ridiculous than the last, of how she could get out of this mess.

Then passed paper. Alexia had heard what Gaston said, but she still eyed the passage warily as Adrian accepted it. Of course, she hadn’t told Gaston anything, and had no intention of telling him anything. Adrian glanced over the information, disappointment crossing his features. He knew his informants were good, but he had expected this rebel knew more. Instinct still suggested this wasn’t all.

He caught her glance and she averted her eyes quickly, to his satisfaction. He did smile a little at the deductions of Gaston regarding this new batch,
“That is to be seen,” he noted. He saw opportunity in those here, something he’d told Amon when the would-be pharaoh had approached, the suggestion clear as day so far as where Amon should be spending his own money. “So far as news, only tedious things,” nothing that he needed to tell others, important or otherwise. His business with Gaston was done, for now. “I must take my seat. I hope this auction is not a waste of either of our time.”

With that, Adrian moved away, folding up the paper and placing it in his jacket pocket as he left, taking a seat in front of Amon. Alexia did glare at him when his back was to her, before folding her arms over her chest and tilting her head back up.
‘Another day.’ It would be a wonderful day. She wanted to inquire how Gaston even stood him, but such questions were not for this environment. Nor could she ask what was written on that paper.

Truly infuriating, but she had to fume in silence and see how this auction would go. It seemed Adrian planned to buy other rebels…and not for his staff.
‘When their usefulness is gone…’ She didn’t dare think what would become of those he bought when he had gotten the information out of them.

After that, Gaston nodded in farewell to his vampire contact and a small wave, looking over to Alexia with an ever slight smile, a signal that things had gone well despite the complication. As he looked around for his seat, he called for Kuno to hasten as he lagged behind. He stumbled on ahead without looking at any of the nearing vampires. Many of the vampires that attended that auction were of old age, maybe not quite as old as Gaston and the others, but old regardless.

Gaston found his seat several rows behind Lord Edom’s, and far off to the right. The stage was clearly visible from there, and the section was still conservatively marked in the front. He took a seat, and instructed both of his human servants to stand on the side with the other humans. The line of humans was curved and pushed, but since Gaston’s seat was on the edge, he could see Alexia clearly enough, to see her signal.

The auction as usual started with the children, some even younger than little Abby. He waited patiently, occasionally bidding here and there when he knew he would lose the bid. Whenever the humans got older, things hot more interesting. He kept eyesight with Alexia and his contacts equally, signaling to them when Alexia gave him her own. There were a lot of adult humans, a vast majority being sold to farms and as staff for landowners.

“132526.”

To usual eyes, this number would go unnoticed. The auctioneers said nothing more than “sturdy” and “fit”, having nothing on his background of affiliations. They called his number, and the poor, weakly, boy stumbled upon the stage. He had no immediate scars, and his clothing and general demeanor did not acutely reflect that of a rebel. His appearance did cause a shift in Alexia, and among among some of his contacts. He paid close attention to the boy; he looked like he was in his early twenties, with bright red hair and pale skin. His expression was that of pure exhaustion, and there was no sign that he had been caught in a capture.

“Shall we start the bid at $3000?”

There was only a slight alteration in the bidders, no real interest sparked at his mentioning. Then slowly, and by small amounts, the bid progressed. Towards the end, when the bid was settling, he countered the last one. He noticed a slight nod from a vampire contact on the end. He was right in his assumption. Only a couple of more bids were offered, but Gaston finalized it. It closed at a little over $6000. Gaston gave a look to Kuno, who met the auctioneer as he came down to the auction floor to finalize the purchase.

As soon as Kuno handed over the note, the auctioneer unshackled the human and took off. Gaston left remained in his seat, having still business there. The human would have to wait with Kuno and Alexia. The bodyguards would safeguard Gaston from his escape.

The boy had been through hell the last couple of weeks, escaping the gaze of the vampires around him. He had been part of a rebel attack on a particular vampire that had gone wrong, and he only barely escaped in time. To the vampires, there had been no survivors He hid, starving, and weaponless. He dyed his hair and his eyebrows a different color, and pretended to be a human that had escaped from the farms. He was caught be slavers only that last day.

He cursed under his breath at his own pathetic capture. There was no one to go back to, they had all died. Now, he had just been purchased by a vampire to be a guard or something. Why else would anybody want him? He hated the life that he was about to join. He had wanted to fight off his captors, but that would have only worsened things. He needed to find a way to escape once more, but by the looks of it, he would have to wait.

The auction proceeded, and Gaston made sure that he could still see Alexia, for her sign would make sure that any rebels find a relatively safe home. 


‘Bloody line up.’

Alexia was none too pleased to have to remain standing while all the vampires sat pleasantly. There was an empty seat nearby. Thoughts of taking it as her own crossed her mind, until the humans began to be shown.
‘Right….’ She had a job, one she had to hope wasn’t sending other humans to their demise. The children held little interest for her. She wouldn’t have recognized children of rebels anyway.

The teenagers and adults kept her attention.
‘Numbers.’ She hated the numbers. When recognizable faces crossed her path, she would nod as she caught Gaston’s eye. Then, she looked to see who bid on them, watching to try and pick out the contacts of Gaston in the crowd.

If the numbered human was announced as a rebel, Amon bid, and raised the stakes with little care for how high they got. His posture was relaxed behind Adrian, one arm on the chair besides him, empty. His feet pushed his chair back on two legs, while pressing into the back of the chair to Adrian’s left, no doubt annoying the vampire there. Amon was secure in his own standing, to say the least.

Adrian never once spoke to bid himself.

Fortunately, the one that caused a true stir in Alexia’s mind was not announced as a rebel. Her eyes widened at the sight of the ginger man.
‘Not the same color, but….’ And so she had to give a signal. The face was not forgotten. The attitude was there, despite his malnourished appearance. A nod wasn’t given this time. Hair was brushed back by a hand that shifted to a thumbs up signal. This one was different.

Gaston bought him on his own, which Alexia had not expected. He sold for cheap.
‘Apparently one shouldn’t struggle.’ She just had to make those slavers wealthier. She wasn’t sure she’d remember this rule of thumb if she were ever taken up to be sold again.

Kuno was the one who moved to pay for the man, and Alexia didn’t follow. She still had to watch the other humans. As a couple passed, and one gained attention, she found it safe enough to move through those humans made to stand, to where the ‘new staff’ was. She touched his shoulder for attention, pretended not to know him to the others around, and introduced herself,
“I’m Livia,” if only because she couldn’t have him calling her Alexia, if he recalled. Her eyes said what her lips didn’t, confidence still in tact as if they weren't in a room full of vampires. She was still a rebel despite the position she was in.

‘Hello, old friend.’


The boy, whose real name was Dean, felt someone touch at his shoulder. He turned around only to see a familiar face. Yes, he remembered her; she was part of another group of the rebellion. What was she doing here? He couldn’t hide his surprise, or his joy for that matter. She introduced herself as Livia, which immediately answered his questions. He understood what she meant by it, and he admired her defiance. She was hiding her real name, which meant she had been captured, too.

He gave her a slight nod, and a look that told her that he remembered her. He knew her as Alexia, though, and he hoped, deep in his heart, that at least some members of her group had survived. He had not been so lucky. He could not express just how happy he was to see another rebel. He would tell her in time, when he found something to eat.

If he could find something to eat, that is. He could very well be dead within a day.

The man who had fetched Dean from the auctioneer seemed better fed than he did, but somehow still  more fragile. Already, he disliked the fool in his complacency. He was too weak to do anything about it. Dean hadn’t eaten for days, and at this rate, he felt like he was going to pass out.

The auction ended in time, and the vampires soon began leaving the auction floor. Gaston, who had been sitting this whole time to save every possible rebel, was just now getting up. He fixed the wrinkles on his suit and began to approach Kuno, Alexia, and 132526. Alexia’s move from the human side to the staff side had not gone unnoticed, but she did well to keep a position where he could still see her.

“Come now,” he said to the three, “we must not linger here, and we have a long way to go.”

Dean was sickened by the sight of him. If only he still had his weapons, he would tear the beast to pieces; it wasn’t the time, regrettably, and he had to stumble in whichever direction he desired. For now. He didn’t have to like it. His eyes were ignited in utter loathe, his lips tightened, but his body remained wizened.

“Tell me boy, what is your name?” Said Gaston, who was curious to know what relation exactly he and Alexia had.

Dean did not drop his glare from him, he didn’t know him, and already he despised him. “Dante.” He spat through gritted teeth.

Gaston was not at all threatened, nor did he change his appearance. A lot like how he felt about Alexia, Gaston felt slightly amused by Dean. He wondered why his other contact had also suggested he purchase him. Did he have information on the boy? He would know soon enough. The boy looked exhausted, he noted, more so than even Alexia when he purchased her.

“Dante,” began the vampire, “this is Kuno, and this is Livia.” Gaston knew very well, however, that Alexia had already introduced herself. “I am Gaston Pianette, you may address me as Sir or Mr. Pianette. If you have any questions anytime, be sure to ask Kuno.”

He switched his gaze from Dean to Alexia. “We’ll talk more when we arrive back at the estate. For now, let us walk.”   


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2013, 10:27:30 pm »
Although Dean was quieter, his hatred was apparent. Alexia couldn’t help the rush of feeling that she wasn’t alone here any longer. Abby was pleasant company, but she was not a rebel. She didn’t know what it was to live in the fight against the vampires, even if her parents may have known. Dean took her cue, offered a false name as well. ‘Dante?’ Intriguing choice. ‘Least it wasn’t Virgil.’ The Divine Comedy had made little sense to her when she read it. She didn’t get beyond the Inferno, though. It had been in a vampire's collection. The title had deceived her.

‘We prefer ‘sir’.’
She did not inform Dean of this, however. He would decide if he even called the man ‘sir’. He appeared like he was going to be rather tight-lipped, moreso than she was. Perhaps that was a better strategy.

“As you say, Sir,”
she answered Gaston’s words about meeting when they arrived. Now was not the place to ask if it was to be another solo meeting, no matter how much derision she put into the words.

For that matter, there was no way to talk with Dean right then, either. She couldn’t ask how he ended up here. She was rather curious, especially given his state. It could be difficult to obtain food, but it wasn’t usually so difficult that one arrived at the state Dean was in. His appearance was part of the reason she kept her pace with him, rather than Gaston or Kuno. He looked like he might stumble or fall, and she wouldn’t allow him to crack his head open on the ground.

That was the last thing he needed to do around vampires. Draw blood. She didn’t think these were savage fiends, but it was never worth the risk.


Gaston slowed his pace, even if just a little bit. He noticed that Dean was lagging behind; he was far weaker than he had anticipated. He also noticed that Alexia was keeping a directly similar pace with him, perhaps they knew each other more than was apparent. Whatever their relation was, he would know soon enough, and work from there. He had only anticipated having a single rebel in his home, and the thought that two might be problematic did not concern him.

Alexia was aware that Gaston claimed to be on the same side, whether she believed it or not. Could he ask the same of him? Would he be less inclined to listen to him? That much was for certain, given his response to him earlier that day. The boy was starving, but he managed to show his hatred towards him easily enough. If he was to meet with Lord Edom again, he would have Dean steer clear from him. That would prove interesting, but too risky to handle.

The arrived back at the gates to the estate, and Dean seemed to persist in stumbling on. He had stamina, but he was an even greater will. The large pillars surrounding the grounds sparked Dean’s interest. He had seen them before in the more wealthy houses, but he could never figure out what they were there for. He fell upon one knee as they all reached the gates, his chest palpitating rather slowly. Kuno reached out to help him up, but Dean knocked his hand away from reach. The latter hands were more familiar.

“Careful there,” said Gaston as the gates opened and the guards greeted them.

Dean looked at the vampire as he stood. What was he playing at, pretending to be concerned for him? Was this some sort of sick joke? Without thinking, Dean let his mouth fill and forcefully, and literally, spat at the vampire. It took him a second to realize what he had done, and what a terrible idea it was. He didn’t let it show upon his face, he still had some pride – dignity for his own race.

Gaston sidestepped with impressive agility. He didn’t look startled or surprised at the act, he simply wanted to avoid the fluids from reaching him. He turned his head towards the weak human, his brows quizzical and focused. Dean half expected retaliation from the vampire, but it never came. The vampire just looked at him with a questioning look, wondering how on earth he kept fighting. He answered himself almost immediately – it was the same reason why he had not yet given up on his plan.

“Lord Pianette – !” Kuno exclaimed, not knowing what else to say.

“It’s quite alright.” Said the vampire. “Make sure you get him something to eat. I fear he may already be ill.”

Kuno nodded his head, naturally. Dean wanted to throw up from disgust. The action, which he now regretted, had not phased the vampire. He had not tempted him, and it looked like he hadn’t even bothered him. There was still lots that Dean had to learn about Gaston. He was a very unusual vampire.

Turning back around, Gaston led them through the walkway, double-doors, and into the house. It was lit up a bit more than usual, which was fine. Artificial light was harmless to vampires. He unbuttoned his blazer, took it off, and hanged it as the guards closed the doors.

“Go on, now, Kuno take  him to the kitchen. I’m sure Eva has something lying around. Bring him up to the study to meet Livia and I, as well as any correspondence that’s arrived in my absence. Unless,” he turned to Livia, “you wish to accompany our new friend, Dante?”
 


Alexia also reached out to help Dean up, after Kuno was immediately slapped away. What Dean did next did surprise her, and she tried not to smile at it. Such vulgar actions hadn’t crossed her mind, though it was certainly fitting. ‘You don’t know what you’ve done, do you?’ She wondered at Gaston’s lack of reaction.

He had evaded. Dean should have known how quick vampires were. Even surprise assaults could go wrong simply because of their speed and reflexes. She had learned that the hard way a couple of times, one scar on the back of her knee a permanent reminder. The vampire did not react with retaliation, which she had feared, tensing as if she might actually be able to move and prevent it.

Simple, sane commands. Get Dean in, and get him fed, before having him meet with Pianette. No doubt, he’d have a similar question for Dean, and Dean would have a similar answer. Alexia glanced between the two, vampire and human, when the option was given to her.
‘Even around them I can’t speak plainly to Dean.’ She could be there to endure the torture with him, stand in solidarity, and see Abby. She could acquire food.

Or, she could find out what, exactly, had been given to Adrian. Or at least ask about it, and ask how connected Gaston was to him. Perhaps he could give her a password to his security system.
‘That’s all I’d need.’ Overconfident. ‘Well, maybe a few items to make a couple poisons and a blade.’ A distraction to deal with vampiric guards, and certainly she could handle it.

“We’ll talk after,”
either while Dean was present, or after he had been dismissed. She understood well Dean might question her own motives either way. Right now, she needed to stick with him partially to avoid that. She would question his, if she was in his position. In fact, she'd be questioning them now for going along with all of this, were positions switched. She’d be able to explain later, or try. He would understand survival and vain hopes. Escape odds had at least increased. “I’ll accompany Dante for now.” He wouldn’t have to be around the compliant alone.

Kuno, as was instructed, tried to once again help Dean get to the kitchen, and once more Dean defied him. The second time the retaliation was slower, weaker. “I’m not the enemy,” the words slipped out like word vomit, and he feared what Lord Pianette would do to him. “Come on, let me help.” He continued, desperately trying to avoid eye contact with the vampire. Gaston had heard very well what he had said, but he did not do anything about it. At least now Kuno’s impression of him was clear. Kuno made a motion to reach for Dean’s arm once more, and finally the other did not resist – though his expression remained hard, embarrassed almost.

‘Did the vampire just give her a choice?’ Dean wondered if he had heard correctly. What kind of place was this? He shook his head, pushing the thoughts aside, and determining that it didn’t matter. He would try to escape anyway. He could make a weapon out of almost anything, he just needed some privacy. ‘I wonder when that’ll be…’ Even his thoughts were weak, he felt his consciousness slipping away. The closer he was to food, the more he desired it. And the thirst – yes, the thirst was grave, too, perhaps even more than the hunger.

His throat was dry, he could only barely speak his name. Fake name, rather.

What if the food was poisoned? Or drugged to make him sleep? He could never trust these vampires, he knew them all too well. With the extra help, Dean made his way across the house, ignoring all of the luxuries that adorned the place. He just wanted some time alone with Alexia, to ask her how this had happened, and what they could do to escape. Yes, the odds were no longer so bad. Escaping a house all by himself seemed feasible, and escaping a house with another person even more so.

They entered the kitchen, and only Deirdre and Abby were there; the stove was off, and the only food available was a ration of fruits. Abby looked curiously at the new man, and Deirdre immediately left the table to help Kuno and Livia get Dean into a chair. The first thing she did was inspect him; she lifted his drooping face with her chocolate covered hands and looked into his eyes. Dean looked back at her, for some reason choosing not to fight her off. She was a human, and she was a woman.

“Look at his lips,” she said, frowning, “he’s dehydrated, and probably starving, too.” She fetched quickly stepped to the room adjacent to the kitchen and came back with a glass of water and a small loaf of bread. “Where did y'all find this boy?”

Kuno backed off immediately, clearly Dean didn’t want him close by if he had the choice. “Lord Pianette just bought him, though I don’t know why. He’d told me he wasn’t purchasing tonight.” His tone was even more alarmed than usual, but there was also a hint of concern. Humans were rare around here, and any human life was treasured, even by him.

Deirdre handed the glass of water to Alexia. “Help him drink that, Livia, please.” She asked with a slight smile. She then put the loaf of bread on the table and began to pinch small pieces of bread from it. This progressed for a little over a  minute, to the point where Deirdre had a plenty of small pieces of bread on a plat. “If he’s starving, we’re going to have to feed him small pieces over a long period of time. He’s not going to like it, but he’ll live.”

Abby, throughout this whole time, just stood next to Alexia in case she needed help. Eva came in a little while later. “So this is Dante, then? Don't worry, boy, you'll be alright.”

Apparently she had already talked to Gaston, and he had filled her in on his most recent purchase. “Kuno, the kitchen is too crowded, go and do something useful somewhere else. Go on now.” Kuno trued protesting, but there was no point in it. Eva shot him a disapproving look and he was out of there.

The water felt amazing as Dean drank it, and after each gulp, he had to take a breath – each breath stronger than the last. Deirdre began to alternate with Alexiaa in giving him the small pieces of bread, and he willingly took them. He knew that his stomach needed to get used to food again, and eating a large amount would only freak his stomach out.

“Is he another one of you rebel kids?” Asked Eva in her usual motherly tone. It was clear that she was not asking on behalf of Gaston, but that she was genuinely curious in her concern. “Lord Gaston seemed happy enough about him.”

'Happy? The vampire is happy?' Dean could not believe it. What kind of vampire would be happy to take in a person like him? Then the answer came to him. What that blood sucking monster wanted from  him was information. Yes. Somehow he had recognized him and he wanted something from him. Well, Dean was certain that he would not give it up. The information he knew about the rebellion activities was limited, but it was worth dying for. 


Dignity and survival rarely went hand in hand in this world. Alexia did not speak as he tried to fight off Kuno, eventually relenting and allowing himself to go to the kitchen. There was Abby, who Alexia immediately greeted with a smile, though already it was tired. Just watching Dean in his efforts made her tired.

Deirdre immediately checked him out, and came to a conclusion about his health. Alexia accepted the water without question, said,
“You will need your strength,” to Dean. That was true regardless. When Abby came near, she offered an introduction while assisting Dean with drinking, “Abby, this is Dante. Dante, the girl is Abby.” She did not introduce Deirdre, nor Minerva when that woman arrived, already aware of who Dante was.

‘What happened to you?’
Alexia desperately wanted to know that as he gulped air like he gulped water. ‘To the others?’ Alexia was certain her own group, sans Eric, was ok. Word of Eventide had furthered that suspicion. They were still able to move forward with their plans.

Alexia did not answer Eva’s question. If Gaston had not revealed what Dean was, then she would not do so. Silence suited her better than a lie. The light in Dean’s eye suggested suspicions she had earlier held, and still worried about. They were not gone. She did wonder if she wasn’t setting others up for an elaborate scheme, but right now she had no evidence either way. What evidence she had suggested the contrary.
‘Another one of you rebel kids….’ Something about the phrase struck a chord, as her mind heard it as an insult. As if they all shouldn’t be rebels, as if Minerva herself was not a rebel. Did Minerva not wish for her own liberation, or did she truly wish to serve in this way for the rest of her life?

When the cup of water was emptied, Alexia moved to fill it, in case more was desired by Dean. It might not be good to fill his stomach too full with water, but unless Deirdre said otherwise it would be available for him to have.
“When you want to,” if he didn’t want to, then Alexia could always show him to a room despite what protests Kuno might make. If Gaston was a vampire who wasn’t inclined to force others, then he would just have to wait until Dean wanted to see him. “We can go see what the vampire wants,” no names, no titles. He would be a creature between them. Dean would get his chance to size him up and decide if he was anything but a bloodsucker.

Alexia would decide how much she wanted to challenge that opinion, as well.


Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2013, 10:40:15 pm »
Gaston, eyes squinted and legs crossed, was waiting in his study, while Kuno, after being kicked out of the kitchen, took all of the new correspondence to him. Perched on top of his mahogany desk was a small portable computer lit up, and he was typing away at it. He only looked over at the open doors when Kuno came strolling in, clearing his throat as an announcement. Gaston pushed the computer to the side of the desk, and with his free hand invited Kuno in. The poor boy did not know how to relax.

“Sir,” he was still clearly afraid of Gaston. “I bring with me the most recent letters.” Kuno offered them over the desk, where Gaston took them and placed them down silently. “I’m very sorry about what I said.” He blurted, looking down in shame. It was obvious that since he had said it, he had not stopped thinking about it. It was had been bothering him and he wondered for a long while how to best approach the situation. Even now he avoided eye contact.

“Kuno,” said Gaston with a smile. “Do not be sorry for sharing your opinion. You are entitled to it, and there is nothing I can do about it.” He took a pause, gave him a nod, and returned to reading his letters. “Go to the kitchen and fetch Livia and Dante for me, will you? Be quick about it, I have matters that need discussing with them.”

“Yes, sir.”

Meanwhile in the kitchen, Dean felt his strength coming back as soon as he finished the first glass of water. He was still hungry, but it was only after he drank the water that he realized that he might have been thirstier. His senses sharped, and all that was out of focus came into focus as if he had just woken up from a dream. Under his own power, he sat straighter and looked around.

‘Why are there so many humans around?’ The question came quite suddenly, as if he had not noticed them before. Dean also noticed that they already knew who he was, but he didn’t know who they were. The older one with lighter skin looked at him curiously, but she seemed harmless. Why did she seem so calm? Did she not realize just how dangerous a vampire could be?

Before he could ask anything, she spoke. “The name is Minerva, but you can call me Eva, son. Now don’t you go on worrying about Lord Gaston,” she particularly made sure to call him that, for she noticed how Alexia referred to him, “he won’t harm you. I’m sure all he wants to do is talk.” Deirdre introduced herself shortly after; it could have been because she predicted an altercation coming on.

She probably did so because as soon as Dean regained his strength, his expression of complete despise returned as well. He looked at Eva incredulously, before shifting his gaze to Alexia, and back. “Lord Gaston? Does he make you call him that?” His voice was like acid, aggressive and low. “Of course he is dangerous he is one of them, there is no point in trying to convince me otherwise, lady.”

“Dante, he is not like the other vampires you know of.” Deirdre interjected.

“I’m sure he’s convinced you of that, hasn’t he? I’ve heard of his kind, vampires pretending to be kind to us just to deceive us, to play with us. They toy with us like we're nothing, a sick pleasure of theirs. Vampires are not kind like that. They need our blood to survive, we’re just an item for them to drink. They need us.” His words came out like a hiss, one that he had been holding in for a long time. He enjoyed saying those things, speaking his mind, and damning the monster to hell where they belonged.

Abby stirred next to Alexia, and out of discomfort she took her hand. Deirdre looked at him, saddened by his hatred. Eva, on the other hand, looked at him with a look that was nothing but sympathetic. She understood why he thought the way that he did. She could only imagine the things that he had seen, the cruelties that were often done on other humans. She saw no point in arguing with him. He would have to meet and make his own opinion of Gaston.

Dean turned to Abby, who he had earlier given a weak smile to. He was too ignited to do the same again; instead, he looked over at Alexia. It would be safer to speak his mind with her when they were alone. The thought that might never happen tormented him right away. “Let’s go see him, I have a couple of things I need to say.”

Kuno had arrived to the door leading out of the kitchen in the middle of Dean’s rant. It made him uncomfortable about the whole thing, even if he suddenly thought that Lord Gaston was not as bad as he seemed. “Lord Pianette insists on seeing you, now. Follow me.”

Dean was glad that he was leading the way from the front. He needed some time to speak to Alexia, and he would take any chance that he could get. As soon as they left the kitchen, Dean looked over to her, his brows raised in wonder. “We need to escape this place. I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, we just need to get out.” His voice was only just louder than a whisper, a pled for help. He didn’t know the house very much, but he assumed that she did. How long had she been in here anyway? Had she already tried to escape?

All he knew was that he hated the place. Pianette needed to die.   


The thought came to mind, ‘If they’re convinced, they’ve been convinced for a long time.’ Alexia didn’t voice it, however. It was more likely the staff pretended, if Gaston held any of the sadism she’d first suspected. His earlier false-threat returned to mind, and her tongue brushed along the roof of her mouth simply so she could be certain it wasn’t there. Then, of course, she couldn’t forget about the thing, to her irritation. There was never a really comfortable spot in the mouth to let the tongue rest.

The hand was accepted without a thought.

Dean was ready, though.
‘This should be amusing.’ If only because Dean was likely to be more colorful than her in how he spoke. Kuno spoke, and she arched a brow. ‘Insists?’ Word choice could be better. Her fingers released Abby, “I’ll be back later,” she said, before she followed Dean out.

She kept Dean on the path to the study, didn’t glance back to see if Kuno followed or not. She kept that idea in mind. Anyone could be following, or simply eavesdropping. She didn’t know this entire house yet, and she doubted she knew the entire household. Expression wasn’t hidden, and she smirked at his deduction.
‘Really?’ That was obvious. Information needed to be exchanged, preparedness—or lack—noted. “I have been here a day,” she answered the unasked. It would help explain why she was here. She didn’t know what she was dealing with just yet. “I don’t yet know the best route.” It was something she did need to figure out.

The door to the study was reached, and Alexia knocked once. Before she even heard an invitation to come in, she opened the door and motioned for Dean to go on in before her. Once he was through, she shut the door behind them. This time, she didn’t take a seat. She stood off to the side instead. She'd observe how well Gaston dealt with the rebel who was a bit more emotional about this mess than she was.


Dean went in first, only to see Gaston sitting comfortably at his desk, the computer he was previously typing in neatly tucked away – body leaned back and relaxed. He looked at the vampire, wondering why he remained so calm, even now. Usually vampires, just as humans, were on edge around the other race, prepared for the unexpected. This one remained so still, as if he already knew what was going to happen. Dean could kill him. If the Alexia joined in on the fight, they could both take him down. However large his wishes of killing Gaston were, they were not enough to spark an action. He was still weakened, and it was clear that the vampire was not without skill.

“I’m glad to see you are feeling better.” Gaston motioned with his hand for the pair to sit, his voice smooth and pleasant. Dean scoffed, almost completely ignoring the request as he shared a quick glance with Alexia. “Or stand, if you prefer, that is fine, too.” Dean remained silent, unmoving for now. “I find myself in a very pressing situation at present, Livia, Dante.”

There were plenty of things Dean wanted to say, he just couldn’t say them. As much as he would have liked for the vampire to attack him, the odds of him surviving were low; the odds of him getting Alexia killed in the process were quite high. Whatever his urges desired, they would have to be exercised later. All he could do presently was defy everything that came out of his mouth nonverbally. He scoffed here, shook his head in disbelief there.

“I was not planning on buying you at the auction today.” This came out matter-of-factly.

“I’m sure you didn’t. Why did you then?” The other spat.

“Well, firstly because I knew you were part of the rebellion, with a little help from some friends of mine.” He took out a letter, one of the ones he had only now received. “Lord Benjamin Porter had some information on you and your squad, names, pictures.” As always, he put the papers in the desk for him to take if he wished. There was no sense in keeping things hidden. “Tell me, Dante, or Dean, I should say, how did you escape the bombing? How were you the only survivor?”

Dean’s expression of pure hatred was quickly replaced by one of surprise and disbelief. Without thinking the boy walked over to the desk, picked up the papers and looked at them. They had some sort of special coding, a secret language only Gaston could decipher. Underneath each line the translation was written in calligraphy. All the information was accurate, his friends,  the places they had bombed, as well as their latest target. Pictures of him and the others were scattered, and each had a name. There was no mistaking his; underneath ‘Dean’, Gaston had written ‘Dante’. His hair was blond then. How did he know all this? It was impossible. He didn't need a reminder that all of his friends had died for nothing.

“How did you get this?” He hissed.

“Don’t you worry about how I got my information, just be glad that it was I who did. If this information had fallen into the wrong hands, you’d be dead by now.” Gaston told it very casually, there was no poison behind his words.

“What sort of twisted game are you playing, vampire? You couldn't have known all of that. Why don’t you just kill me know then, knowing that I'm a rebel?” His fists were beginning to tighten, and the papers he was holding were crumbling.

Gaston neither looked at his hand, nor acknowledged the now ruined paper. Instead, he only shifted  his weight from one leg to another. “It is not a game,” said he. “We are nearing an all-out war at this point, and the rebels are outnumbered, overpowered, and mostly figured out.” Every day, after new captures and attacks, more information about the rebellion was uncovered. They were all playing a game of time. “I don’t need to ask you how you feel about vampires, or how you feel about our rule. I suspect your answer will be similar to Livia’s over there.”

“You disgust me.”

“I know,” Gaston admitted. “I need you to help me, anyways.”

“Like hell.” Dean dropped his shoulders and lowered his head, his knees bent and he took a step back. He was almost expecting a confrontation. Gaston remained the same, his eyes shifting from Dean’s to Alexia’s. “I’d rather die than help your kind.”

“Listen to reason, boy,” Gaston persisted. “There is absolutely no chance for you to escape, even with Livia’s help. The pillars outside protect my land from the sun, and I have guards positioned around the perimeter gates. If I wished you dead, I would have killed you already. I have all of the information you can give me, so I wouldn’t keep you alive because of that.” Dean stirred, breathing hard, ready to pounce. “I am like you–”

“You are not like me, scum.”

“I am on your side. I have told Livia so already – and  I was hoping to have more time to convince you, but Lord Edom has caught on to what is happening. Surely he has informed the others. He is purchasing rebels and torturing them for information. Livia helped me save as many rebels as I could today, including yourself, but it will not be enough.”

Dean turned to look at Livia, suspecting that she had more of a part than that. He didn’t blame her for anything, but he hoped that she knew what she was doing. Why was she being so cooperative to him? Did she actually believe him? He spoke logically, but things were never that simple. “You expect me to believe that you are on the human’s side? Do you take me for a fool? Do you take her for a fool?”

Gaston kept his cool, but time was running out. “Livia, have you anything to add? Do you know how grave our situation is? I know Edom has been a target of yours for a while, did you expect him to be so informed? I know you have endless doubts about me, but what else can you do?” Whatever they wished to say, he'd have them say it. Questions, accusations, everything.



Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2013, 10:42:42 pm »
Alexia tensed when the name ‘Dean’ came out of the vampire’s mouth. ‘And have you been humoring me?’ A step back found the wall. ‘Damn it.’ She couldn’t add to the distance she wanted. The mere thought that he might know and was pretending not to was, in its own way, infuriating. A game indeed. ‘He admitted to knowing Dean right off the bat.’ Close enough to it, in the safety of his house. If he knew her name, surely he’d confess it as well.

Right?

She had little hope of such.


‘Benjamin Porter.’
A name to commit to memory. Her mind repeated it as she witnessed the exchange. Pianette eventually turned to address her, rather than Dean. Unlike Dean, she would not react with emotion. Logic had been what kept her ahead of the game for many years now, and she wouldn’t abandon it. It may have been part of the reason that her group and Dean’s never joined together, as well. Their ways were different.

“I cannot say I am fully aware of how grave the situation is, Sir,”
she answered with some honesty. “I do wonder if it is guess work of yours that leads you to think Adrian has been a target of mine for many years, or if you, too, know more about me than you’re letting on.” And implied heavily was the fact she would hold such knowledge against him. Adrian was an obvious target, of course, but there were others that other groups had focused on. Her own group had never gone directly after Adrian. Not yet.

Did she expect him to be so informed? She wasn’t certain. Adrian was not well understood by those outside, and so she did not know what to expect. He was well-known, but “quiet”, as he had even showed in the auction by not bidding. Amon did it all. Amon would likely be the one known for the torture, as well. Even so, Adrian was still considered the face of the council. Whether or not that meant he was the main power was yet to be seen, but Alexia didn’t doubt he had substantial influence.
“You say we cannot escape, but that has yet to be determined.”

‘You can’t kill vampires at night, let alone an entire town. That’s madness, Alex!’


Unexpected madness that seemed to have worked. She’d been told things were impossible before and still managed.
“That could be done. We could find our way back to others, and move forward in our own way.” Alexia approached the desk. “You say you are on our side. You haven’t told me the plan or given much of an idea regarding your methods.” She still liked her methods, cold violence, but she was willing to humor whatever his might be. “I’ve helped you single out rebels." Her betrayal of her own kind. There was no point in hiding it, and she phrased it just so the Lord would have it an idea of how it seemed. "I want to know what you’re planning.”

Dean looked at Alexia and then back at Gaston. It was obvious that he had confided in her already, and he wondered whether she truly had reason to listen to him. She spoke more calmly than he, and she was willing to hear him out. Dean on the other hand did not want anything to do with the vampire, he wanted to escape or be given his death. Gaston looked at Alexia as she spoke and approach his desk. This was what he was waiting for, he to come up, hear him out, and ask questions. Gaston knew not if he was going to give out his plan right away, but he knew that he would have to at some point.

“I do not believe you are being completely honest with me, Livia. You know the severity of the relations between vampires and humans, save the details.” Said he, not aggressive, but merely opinionated. “Guesswork has played a large part in my actions, for instinct told me to buy you at that auction. Furthermore, the fact that your refer to Edom as ‘Adrian’ tells me how much he has been topic of conversation amongst the rebels.” He paused looking now towards Dean, his silence confirming his assumption. “And as to how much I know about you, Livia, I cannot rightly say that I know as much as young Dean over here.”

“You son of a bitch.” Hissed the human, taking offense to everything the vampire was saying.

Gaston looked at it. “Don’t you see, Dean? The vampires are far more informed that you think. I believe that I know a bit more than our enemies, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t figure it out sooner or later. In fact, we must assume that they already do. It is not hard.” Dean looked at him, lips tight, and his stance unchanged from defensive. “We have been mapping rebel attacks for years. We’ve found erratic locations, people, names, and even similar targets – methods of attacks, patterns. There is no unison to the rebellion, which leads me to firmly believe that there is no real leader to the rebellion.”

Dean’s face hardened immediately, and he could not help it. “Your guesswork is just that, guesswork. You can’t do anything without hardened facts, vampire. You may think you know things about the rebellion, but you could very likely be wrong.”

“Are you telling me that I am mistaken, then? That my guess of the absence of structure in the rebellion is misguided? I am sure that there are at least several different groups, and no real order. That would explain why I know your name Dean, and not hers – why I have your pictures and not hers.” He used his hands to point, and to emphasize his topics of conversation. “There have been ties between groups, but never the same one. I am sure there are ties between yours,” he looked at Dean, “and yours,” he finished with Alexia. “Like the name Alex. There are ties between other groups you seem to not have any contact with.”

How significant Alex was still remained to be seen. The links to that name were still unknown, clouded and hidden. Dean tried his hardest not to show any change in his expression, but Gaston was a very perceptive vampire; it had served him well over the years, and any slight change would not go unnoticed.

“You can certainly try to escape,” said Gaston. “I do not see any logical reason why you would. I can assure you, however, that if you escape, it will be with my sympathy. If you refuse to help me, I cannot keep you here.” Gaston was beginning to realize this more and more. “I cannot reveal to you my plan in its entirety because I don’t know what you are willing to do for the greater good.”

“The greater good?” Fumed Dean, taking a step towards the desk. “What exactly is the greater good to you?”

“The greater good is the destruction of the council. It is because of them that vampires like me don’t survive. I have covered my tracks very well, but eventually they will find out my true nature, and they will try to kill me. Your lives are not the only ones at risk. I want a world where vampires and humans can co-exist. I want to avoid war – call me selfish, but in a war, my death is eminent. Humans will not accept my help, and I will not aid the council.” He took a pause, before looking at Alexia. “I am willing to die for the right reasons, but war is not the answer. We will lose.”


The guesswork of Gaston was quite good, actually. ‘That’s to be expected.’ Anyone who had lived so long had to become perceptive. It was one of the reasons she did not take Adrian lightly, one of the reasons she had put him on a pedestal. He was perceptive, that had been figured out quickly when plans were ruined. It all ran back to him, as she’d discovered through methods not that different from what the vampires were likely using on the humans.

‘And what will they know?’

None were a part of her group, nor were they a part of Dean’s. None had caused her great panic when Amon bought those he was able to. Alex came up, but her face remained expressionless. The vampires who found her knew she was connected to the ‘Alex’ group. She’d given up nothing then, and wouldn’t now. Alex was both phantom and real. Attacks would continue in that name, without her.
“If we acted solely on logic, Sir, we would not have made any progress.” Emotion had its place, instinct as well. Logic would have dictated humans just accept their lot and hope compliance earned them a life like, perhaps, Minerva’s.

However, she was beyond that point of reasoning. Logic dictated instead that she should protect the rebellion, and the rebels. A chance to usurp the council was too good to pass up, even if it might result in a monarchy. One man was easier dealt with than many who could replace the fallen. Could Dean see an advantage to that, if she reasoned it that way? Let Gaston be selfish, let him want only to rule and be lying—removing the council was still a very high priority.
“I have known war is undesirable.” At least, open war. The humans already considered themselves at war, it was just not open combat. They would win with guerrilla tactics. Lack of leader could be an advantage. “But how do you expect us to help if you won’t give something?”

Here, Gaston was going to have to learn to take a risk.
“You can guess I won’t go running to Adrian to reveal you,” he was good at his guessing, after all. “But you can also guess I’m not going to remain helpful without more information. Against the council is a good direction,” the question was how, or what those first steps were. “Removing the council has always been one of our priorities,” a glance to Dean. She wouldn’t speak for him if he felt opposed to that, he could counter if he liked, oppose the idea of working with a vampire all together.

She went on,
“It isn’t my place to discuss the end results right now, and how to refashion the world. That is for when the council is removed and humans have some claim to authority.” Moderate voices would temper ones such as herself and Dean, those who may oppose an equal footing for all. “I still have concerns that you are working to gain the trust of rebels only to turn that information into the council for your own gain. You do feed Adrian information, after all.” Honey captured more flies than vinegar, as the saying went. “You don’t need to give us the full plan, but you should consider giving us something more than what you have. Contacts, the first steps, something to show work is being done against the council.” Trust was gained in secrets and risks. Alexia would make good on the promise to be more difficult if she didn’t receive something of the sort soon. She needed proof besides his good behavior.

Gaston listened as Alexia spoke, exchanging his eyes from her to Dean and back. Dean had been listening to her too, and he decided that she was more willing to listen than he was. He wouldn’t want to help out the vampire if he could help it, but if it meant following a separate plan, Alexia’s perhaps, he’d find a reason to endure. Alexia’s response to his guesses, as well as her own assumptions, were intriguing on their own. Some of them were even shared by him; they were similar indeed.

“I think it is quite wise of you to keep such a defensive mind,” began he with a nod of approval. “The information I feed Adrian is information he already knows, it would look more suspicious if I remained silent, without information. No matter, your trust, both of yours,” there was a noise of discomfort from Dean, “I hope to earn given time. If not trust, then at least your belief in my honesty.”

It was that point in time; the time where it would be hard for him to reveal nothing to his human servants. He knew this time would come soon, and he was prepared for it. Now was the time where he would find out if he had picked well, if they would prove helpful for this plan of his – however vague. “I have a couple of vampire friends who may be interested in coexisting. We will need more vampire support than just myself. I believe there are several vampires inside of the council who can be persuaded. This is the first step in bringing down the council.”

“That’s unlikely.” Dean said, turning away and crossing his arms. He had at least left his offensive stance in exchange for listening. He looked over to Alexia; he would still not believe anything the vampire said, but if it kept him alive. “The council kills anyone who steps out of line.” He spoke a truth that was widely known but hardly ever spoken.

“Yes,” agreed Gaston. “I am the only one remaining from my previous allies. Slowly, but certainly, they have all been killed. There are no leads linking them to me, for now. I suspect that if we begin our attempt to coerce the others, that will quickly change. The council has eyes everywhere, and Adrian, I am sure, will be keeping a close eye on me. I would, were I him.”

“So that’s it,” questioned Dean, aggressive in his icy tone, “you’ve got nothing else? No information that could help us? No actual targets?”

Gaston shook his head. “I know where I think the next attack will be, but those are other assumptions. As for the targets, I have none I plan to physically assault. I am by no means violent, though I do have some people who I plan to meet soon. Benjamin Porter is one of them, as I know you’ve noted Livia. The other major one is Lady Catherine Blanc. They all suspect my intentions well enough, and I know they are willing to listen.” He paused, giving them some time to take everything in. “Other than that, Dean you are correct. I play a game of coercion, and as unlikely as my success is, I cannot approach this problem any other way.”

Dean cursed under his breath; clearly, he was not all that happy with the plan.

“Though,” added Gaston after a moment of silence, “I am more than glad to listen to any plans you may have.”


The council did indeed kill others who stepped out of line. The moderates had a difficult time suggesting that not all vampires were evil as that happened more and more frequently. Imaginings of a ‘good’ vampire were cast as ignored; they were either dead, or unwilling to act. At least Dean did acknowledge that. It meant there were possibilities.

Gaston seemed to want to take a peaceful route in removing the council, though. There were other names to take in, a Catherine this time.
“So, do you want us to help you convince Elizabeth and Benjamin to offer you full support?” That seemed to be the gist of it, but she wanted to make sure. “I’m not sure how prominent either of these individuals are….” Which wasn’t a good sign in her book. Catherine kept wanting to insist that it was a name she knew, but the name refused to place itself.

She shook her head to dismiss that idea, added another,
“As coercion is your thing,” and not hers, “have you considered speaking to Amon or some of the other council members that have…issues with Adrian?” Amon was prominent in mind solely because he had been present, but he was no less interesting. He was vocal, not about his dislike of Adrian, but about his own self-importance. It was rumored he had issues with Adrian, or at least, with the council as a whole. His desire for a monarchy was well-known, with himself at the top. “You wouldn’t need to mention your particular opposition or reasoning. You’d just need to get them united against that cause, and then see where the pieces fall,” she was still under the impression it was Adrian who kept them all toeing the party line. “Unless someone else holds power and sway, they may be more reasonable without their figurehead.” It was a vain hope, of course, but one that had been humored before.

Of course, there had been on way to contact such vampires ‘safely’ before. Even now, it wasn’t safe, but it was more feasible.
“Otherwise, I do think I’ll have to wait to suggest anything else. My methods are violent. That is what I know,” she wouldn’t lie about that. “Acquiring things I would need may draw suspicion, and I am willing to see how far coercion can get us first.”

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2013, 10:50:51 pm »
“I want you to help me coerce, yes.” said Gaston, settling comfortably in his seat. “That is not all; I want you to firstly realize that our goals are similar. Catherine and Benjamin, though not as…adept to the sympathies of humans, are far kinder than others. Amon and Adrian, for example.” He hated the pair of them, each for their own unique set of reasons. There was nothing he could do right now, one because he might be of use later, and one because the risk would be too great.

“I have a hard time believing that,” said Dean, more calmly but still hesitant. “I have heard of that vampire, Catherine. She doesn’t seem to be the kind that would do that, sympathize and root for the other side. I hardly even know you, vampire. How can you expect me to believe you?”

Gaston was used to such allegations, and he didn’t bother himself with them unnecessarily. Instead, he smiled, joining his hands together and resting them on his legs. Catherine was a topic of conversation that he enjoyed, but did not frequent. “I believe that we can all take a leap of faith concerning this particular issue. I am not lying, and – although logical – choosing not to believe me will only waste our time.”

Dean did not respond to this, but this did not mean that he had nothing to say. He wanted to say plenty, but the time wasn’t right. The vampire would surely not listen, and he couldn’t risk saying something that he would regret later. Gaston didn’t want to waste any more time, apparently, but Dean could not bring himself to believe him. This all sounded fishy. He gave Alexia an uncomfortable look and remained silent. Gaston then turned to Alexia, who had spoken last.

“I have considered such a plan,” confessed he, “but I find that attempting to persuade someone as wicked as he, without having any allies for support, may prove more a hinder than a help. Though it does merit some further thought, I daresay.” The thought had indeed crossed his mind, and by the looks of it Dean had thought of the same thing. It was too risky this early in the game, and Gaston would have to resort to manipulation to earn Amon’s help. He could do it. “I’m glad to see that you are willing to listen. If you have no more to add to this conversation, you may take your leave and have the rest of the evening to yourselves. Dean, if you need any help around the house, fetch Kuno – he’ll help you sort everything out.”

Dean rolled his eyes and turned, leaving the room without a second thought. He just wanted the opportunity to be away from the vampire. He regretted that he didn’t say much to him, but was glad that he could find some support with Alexia. Abby remained in the kitchen, bathed, clean and fed. Her golden hair was pulled into a ponytail – it fell in cascades of large curls. Eva and Deidre were there, too. They were conversing more than anything, for they had finished their work well before the late ours of the night.   


Alexia was actually surprised that Gaston had already thought to use Amon, and discarded it—at least for now. Perhaps he was right in thinking more allies were required before even attempting to manipulate the wicked. There was power in numbers. Adrian had that, and so by default, his allies had it. It was on that note that they were dismissed, and Dean left immediately.

“I’ll want to hear more about Catherine and Benjamin later.”
Particulars, the reason the name Catherine stood out. She might be able to ask Dean that, since he seemed right. The name was not one she connected with sympathies. Perhaps that’s why she was having difficulties placing it. “But, have a good night.” She said before turning to depart.

She caught up with Dean quickly. For a few moments, anyway, they would be alone again.
“Don’t trust him,” she advised, if only for his own sake, “but consider he is useful to use right now,” if he was working against them, then he was serving as spy to root out other sympathizers. They could follow along with the steps for now, while they seemed beneficial, without necessarily trusting Gaston. Dean’s own look back in the room had suggested he considered using vampires as well, though they all seemed to focus on one. Funny how Amon had become so popular as a potential tool. It should be suspicious. There remained the question of why Amon hadn’t been dealt with by Adrian.

Alexia could only hope a shift in Dean’s thought process would help matters. The destination ended up being the kitchen, perhaps because that was the route Dean knew. Abby looked much cleaner when they returned, and Alexia was quietly relieved for that.
“Hello Abby,” she’d at least keep to a habit of greeting her in some way. She wasn’t hungry, perhaps the breakfast still tiding her over, but she was thirsty. She moved to fetch her own drink, juice as before, rather than interrupt Deirdre and Eva. 

Gaston greeted her demand with a smile. “Then come back when you wish it, I don’t mind.” Then she was off. He rose from his seat, turning and staring out into the dark of the night from his window. Time was going by quickly, and steps were already being taken from both sides. He really hoped that he could find a way to end this madness peacefully, but a voice inside of his head continuously discouraged him. It told him that he was being foolish for thinking that such an outcome was feasible.

But it was, wasn’t it? If he played his cards correctly, surely he could convince the greater of the council to back down.

Dean slowed his pace once he was outside, and waited for Alexia to catch up with him. She did not disappoint. The first words out of her mouth advised him not to trust the vampire. A smile came upon his lips after realization. That much he already knew. He couldn’t trust the vampire even if he wished it. The hatred and the pain was burned too deeply inside of him that he could not ignore it, even if the vampire spoke logically and honestly. Trust would never be given.

“I don’t trust him,” he assured her, “and I don’t entirely believe him. He has more information than I thought he did, damn, he even knew I was lying about my name. He’s clever.” A curse brushed under his breath, unnoticeable to any but the pair of them. “Not clever enough, though. I’m sure that if we can get a good look around the place, we can escape. Dodge his lying games altogether and get back to safe ground.”

As he entered the kitchen, he saw the golden haired little girl and the two women sitting at the table. The annoying human was nowhere to be seen at the moment, which momentarily pleased the man. Abby leaped from her seat to greet Alexia, an attachment between them had been made.

“You still hungry, young man?” Said Eva, rising from her seat. “I’m sure we have something lying around for you to nibble on.”

“I’m fine.” Answered Dean coldly. “Where is the other…boy?”

Eva returned to her seat, not at all minding Dean’s rudeness. Deirdre remained silent. “I think he is making sure that there is another room ready for you to sleep in. Lord Gaston wants you three to be as comfortable as possible.” Eva then turned Alexia, as if she had just now remembered something. Dean was having a hard time believing that the vampire wanted them to be comfortable. There was something he was not telling them, and he had half a mind to figure it out. “Livia, I forgot to tell you. Since we now have an extra body in the house, would you mind sharing a room with little Abby here? Unless you wish to share a room with your friend there?”

Dean groaned. “Just tell me where I’m supposed to be.”

Abby clearly did not want to leave Alexia’s side, and Dean caught on to this easily enough.


Alexia could only nod about Gaston being clever. It was quite true. He had known immediately when she lied, but he had chosen then not to press the matter. He still did not, and at least her identity seemed hidden. “There are other rebels,” she spoke quietly, before the kitchen was entered. “It need not be just us two that escape.” There were others to reach out to, others that had been placed with Gaston’s allies. Although she was concerned about their lives, the truth was she was more curious about Gaston’s plan.

However, telling Dean about the other rebels might persuade him. A network of humans working together in vampiric society was enticing in its own way. The connections just had to be made.
‘Soon.’

Juice in hand, she smiled as Abby came to her and took the little girl’s hand. She just caught that she was being spoken to, not recognizing Minerva’s use of the name ‘Livia’, when Abby was brought up,
“Hm?” She looked to her, before understanding dawned. Dean seemed to have made the decision, but she agreed with it. “I do not mind sharing with Abby.” Would Dean understand if she wanted to bring Abby along when and if they opted for escape rather than building a network? Children and parents were often considered liabilities in Alexia’s own group. She understood the importance of continuing the species in freedom, but her group was not focused on that. Protecting families and setting up hidden, semi-permanent residences was not what they did.

That was far too dangerous for her liking.


“I just want to know where my friend is staying,”
it would be good to have an idea of how far he was. She did hope Abby would also take a liking to him, in time. Then if she ever needed to know, she would be able to run to where he was staying at.

Dean gave a curious look to Alexia, with a nod understanding that they could escape with the help of others. Were there others? He couldn’t help but hope that there were. The idea was attractive enough, and the already present temptation did not make things easier. They could escape and continue their previous work; now they knew a bit more about their captor, and it could play well in future endeavors. Whichever way he looked at it, however, he would have to wait.

“Yes, can I be directed to my room?” Dean was really trying hard not to be so rude, but he could just not help it. He was in a situation he hated, in a place he hated, with people who seemed to be supportive of everything he had been fighting against. He wanted to be rid of the place, and quickly.

Eva stirred from her seat, giving Dean one clear, quick, nod. “Of course,” began she with her unfailing smile, “I’ll show you to it. Kuno is speaking with Lord Gaston right now, but he won’t be long, I reckon. Those conversations never do last a long time.” The woman stood, followed quickly by Deirdre – who resumed her own duties – and led the way out of the kitchen. “Your room will be just farther down the hall than Livia’s – a bit smaller, only one bed. There’s a bathroom, so take joy in that, boy.”

A warm chuckle.

Up the stairs they went, and Eva opened the door to the room farthest down. It was a lot like Alexia’s, adorned to the same tastes and expenses. Apparently even the room where the staff slept was well represented by Gaston. “You can stay here for the rest of the day, I would think. If you are needed, Kuno will come and get you. I’ll give you two some privacy. I can imagine how much you all need to talk. I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me.” With that Eva left the room, Abby slipping away from Alexia and joining her other friend back to the kitchen. The little girl understood privacy, and although she wanted to remain with Alexia, she caught on easily enough.

“I guess we are not so separated after all.” Dean said, his mind having been wondering the same thing as Alexia’s. He wasn’t very humorous, but he felt much more comfortable with only Alexia in the room. She was the only person who truly understood what he was going through. “Are we really going to go with him to meet the others?”

Questions began to flood his mind – the same questions that had only presented themselves to him a couple of times before, questions that surely she had been wondering, too. It was stuck upon his throat, biding its time in coming out. Would there ever be an appropriate time to ask her such things? What if she asked him, too? Dean didn’t know if he was ready to talk about it just yet. The sight of his comrades lying lifeless and burned on the floor was still too clear on his head.

“What happened?”

He could not keep it in. He had to know how she ended up with Gaston, and what had happened to the other rebels.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2013, 10:53:26 pm »
Alexia followed Dean and the others to the room he would be using. It was close enough to satisfy her, though she did wish it closer. Fortunately, they were left alone to talk. A weight lifted, and she found herself walking to the bed to sit down as he spoke. His first question earned a nod. “We are. Human rebels are there.” That was the temptation, and the organizing. Somehow, Alexia would figure out how to get messages across from afar. Somehow, she would organize things, and decide if it was better to escape, to strike from within, or follow along with Gaston’s plan.

Then came the inevitable question. She lifted her head to observe his expression. There was a horror on his face that she knew well, masked though it was. His group must have ended violently.
“We were ambushed. Our plans were revealed,” she’d bet anything another had gone to report to Adrian. “Eric and I made it possible for the others to escape.” She had seen none when she was sold, and none of her group were among those gathered this time. A faint smile crossed her lips at the remembered ‘victory’.

It faded and she bowed her head,
“Eric committed suicide shortly after our capture.” Still difficult to imagine. At least she hadn’t witnessed it. The smile briefly returned as she looked up, wanting to shake it off quickly, “They’re still out there. Eventide was attacked. It must have been a success from Adrian’s reaction,” she shut her eyes at the thought. “Valerius must be dead.” They would go forward with the other plots, as well. They were left in capable hands.

Although she knew her success and pride in her own group wouldn’t transfer to his, she had to ask,
“Why are you here?” He had seemed starved, which implied he hadn’t been captured immediately. Still, the haunted look suggested violence. The two didn’t go together well. 

Dean was glad to see that Alexia had some survivors on her side still. The organization of the rebellion was weak to say the least, but the thought that some rebel groups still existed brought comfort to him. Perhaps not all hope was lost; surely other humans would join in when they saw what good would come from the losses. He listened to her as she explained, inevitably frowning at the news of Eric’s death. It was a heavy loss, but his sacrifice had not been for nothing.

“I’m sorry.” He meant it, for no one should endure the pain of losing somebody. He knew the feeling well, and would not wish it on anybody. He noticed her previous smile waver at the thought, even if only slightly. It returned as she spoke of brighter news, Eventide’s attack and Valerius’ murder. “At least that son of a bitch got what he deserved.” 

His joy was short lived, for she asked him the question that he had only asked her. It was fair. It sent an ugly feeling down his gut, and chills fluttered upon his back. Just thinking about it was excruciating. He wanted to forget all that had happened. If he could have only foreseen the trap, none of them would have died. Still, Alexia had also faced abominations in her past, and she pressed through them to speak to him. It was only fair that he did the same.

“We were scouting for supplies, Jessica and I. We’d just been in Grenoire, and we thought that we had dealt with that leech Simon at last. We covered our tracks on our way back, we did everything right.” That distant memory became clear on his mind once more. “He must have done something, nobody could have survived the damage we dealt to him.” He spoke in nothing more than a slight whisper.

Something must have happened. Simon was dead when Jessica and Dean had left his tomb, but it had been him who they spotted across the way. There was no mistaking his face, his leering eyes and his fanged grin.

“He followed us back to the safe house, and he brought others with him. They got there before us, and when we tried to save the younger kids, they attacked. An explosion went off, and all burned except from me, Jessica, and him. We took him down, but she didn’t make it. I saw him burn.” The hard part was over, and hatred tinted his last words. “I hid as more and more vampires swarmed the remains. Looking for information, I suspect, but the fire had killed everything. That was weeks before my capture.”


Dean’s words was accepted with a weak smile and a nod of acknowledgement. Alexia didn’t wish to dwell on the sorrow. She’d gotten good at pushing it back. In the world they lived in, there were too many reasons to be sad. The loss of a friend was one of many. ‘Valerius did get what he deserved.’ That much was true. She and Eric had saved the group, and thus allowed victory.

Dean’s story was not the same. It also explained why she didn’t recognize anyone from his group. They had all been killed. He had hidden, but apparently hadn’t been able to manage a good escape. It still took a while for his capture from the sounds of it.

She shook her head as her mind imagined the event.
‘And this is why we don’t bring children along.’ Her heart ached at that reminder. Could she truly bring Abby along if she escaped? If she did, it was her own ruling that suggested kids could not travel as part of the group. The group was attack-oriented, offensive, and children were a hindrance.

An ‘I told you so’ was not in order.
“Thank goodness Simon was put down,” she focused on that for a moment as she rose, and crossed the distance to where Dean still stood. She took one of his hands in two of hers. “You have my sympathies for the losses, Dean.” It was hard for her to believe the entire group was wiped out, but it did happen. A single vampire could cause much damage. “They will all be avenged one day soon.” Simon might be dead, but the fact vampires still had the run of things meant that they had died in vain.

Until that day was reached, all the deaths would be for nothing. Alexia had to make sure they weren’t, whether it was through genocide, or listening to more moderate voices.
“Get your strength up again.” She let go of his hand. “I need to check on a few things.”

Alexia would leave him then to rest, and examine the house. She had been needing to do that for a while as it was, and she was far from tired despite how little sleep she had gotten. The environment was still too unfamiliar for her to be at ease.


Words continued to be exchanged, but Dean could not help but feel an immense gratitude towards Alexia at her comforting words and gestures – even more so he was pleased that she did not dwell on the subject. He was quite over talking about it and wished to do something else while time was still useful.

Dean’s fatigue overcame him as the conversation faded and Alexia announced she had some other things to do. He did not wish her to go so soon, but he also did not want to impose on the many other things that were on her mind. He gave her the warmest smile he could muster before she left, letting himself collapse on the clean bed soon afterwards. He let his body stretch on the clean sheets, daring to let his body relax after having spent weeks upon weeks in hell.

He knew he shouldn’t. Letting himself be comfortable in such a place was always the first step into succumbing to complacency, into letting himself seek some other sort of comfort aside from the rebellion. Still, he let himself lie there. His hatred for the vampires was too great, and his horrors too cruel, for him to really sway from the rebellion. Alexia’s words of revenge echoed on his memory, giving him just the push he needed.

They would be avenged, and Dean would celebrate the day when humans once more claimed their rightful place in the world. Gaston’s wishes now seemed clearer, they were absurd, and they did not warrant his support. He’d follow him, but not with the right intentions. He was valuable, but that was it. Dean was so sure that there was not an honest bone in his body; he probably moved throughout society in his deceitful ways, biding his time just as Simon did.

‘Well…you won’t fool me…’

These last thoughts wavered as his consciousness began to leave him. That single idea, however, remained with him. Eventually, with his body unmoving, he let himself finally fall asleep.

In the other room, Gaston was quietly contemplating whether or not to give Lady Catherine a call. She was the closest thing he had to an ally, and a meeting with her would be the most logical thing to do. Even then, he did not like to venture into a home without notice. From across the desk he fetched his phone, and dialed the memory that had been lingering in his mind for quite some time.

“Lady Catherine, please.” Said Gaston in his usual calm and collected voice. A voice on the other end inquired who wished for such an audience. “Lord Gaston Pianette.” More feedback came from the phone, followed closely by several instances of silence. Gaston waited patiently on the other end, his posture still and his chest unmoving.

“Lord Gaston,” said a voice from the other end suddenly, soft and elegant, “what a wonderful surprise to hear from you so soon.”

It had been several days since they had last talked, a conversation which had been productive enough in multiple ways. A meeting between them had been implied, but never confirmed. There was something in her voice that hinted that she knew where this conversation was going, and she made no attempts to stop it. This was invitation enough for Gaston to continue.

“It is a pleasure, as always. Might I be bold enough to assume you are in good health?”

“As good as can be,” she chuckled softly, “I live, and my thirst has not been a bother for many, many years. I’m glad to say, though, that business has been going quite well since you last visited, and I thank you for that. Of course, such wellness has brought upon a falling rate of situations – things are a bit boring here, I fear.” There was a dreary tone in her voice, almost as if she wished for something exciting to happen. Rumors stated that Riverpasse had been seeing quite a bit of rebel activity recently, so this drop was so far unheard of.

“I will render my aid to you whenever you wish it, but I dare not think such changes are ill to you. Surely the lack of rebellion appearances have left your estate with some peace?”

“Perhaps, but that is a conversation I would rather not have on the phone, dear.”

Gaston stirred with a smile. He knew better than to expect Lady Catherine to speak of such things through the phone. It was worth a try still, and he appropriate assertion only made her a more desirable ally.

“You are quite right,” said Gaston, giving in, “though I admit I had another motive to contact you so, aside from merely inquiring after your good health.”

“I would wish it so.”

More chuckles on both ends.

“I was wondering whether we could meet once more to discuss further business. I am eager to tell you some recent developments on my land that should be relevant to you. I will not press the matter with an urgent label, but it would be best if we met sometime soon. You are welcomed to come to the estate at your earliest convenience.”

“It seems that I have some information for you, as well, my friend. I think it is safe for us to meet at the next sunset. I appreciate your invitation, but I would very much prefer it if you came and visited me here in Riverpasse. There are some things you must see.”

The conversation continued for a while more, choosing out the finer details of their upcoming meeting. Pleasantries were further exchanged, and flirtations went back and forth – as they usually did. Gaston confided only a little in Lady Catherine, and she returned the favor with such grace. They were both excellent at retaining valuable information while at the same time making sure to press its importance upon the other.

“I await your arrival, then.”

“Farewell, Lady Catherine.”

“And you.”


Alexia took her time examining the parts of the house that she was able to gain entrance to. She was actually surprised with how much she was able to explore, and her mind crafted escape routes with each step. It wouldn't be impossible, simply difficult. It was large by her standards, but then, she knew little of actually living in a house. ‘Once upon a time….’ Fairy tales of humans who lived in three bedroom houses with a white picket fence, and had a dog, and two kids, and only argued about money. Now, money was all but worthless to humankind. Arguments could still be quite petty, though.

She thought that once she had a feel for the place, she would find it easier to sleep. Indeed, she felt tired when she returned to the room she was given, and laid down. She shut her eyes, and tried to sleep. Unlike Dean, however, it would not take her. At least, not in any significant bursts. Perhaps she slept for fifteen minutes at a time, a couple of times, before giving up, rolling out of bed, and trudging to the kitchen.


‘No, there is no coffee.’
Perhaps Gaston didn’t like how caffeine flavored blood, when he did take from his own. Perhaps no one in the house liked coffee.

Alexia sighed and opted for a cup of juice instead. She left the kitchen, and decided to find out where Gaston was. She had told him she wanted to find out more about those vampires he mentioned. Now was as good a time as any, while Dean was asleep and she couldn’t fall asleep. Better to make use of the time than stare at the ceiling and wait for it to become night.

The first place to check was the office, as she wondered if he ever left it much. She knocked on the door,
“Sir?” She called, and then took a step back. Another drink of the apple juice followed, as she waited for a response or the sound of movement from within, anything to confirm that he hadn’t left the office. She wasn’t sure she’d have much luck finding him if such were the case.

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2013, 07:16:47 pm »
Gaston was getting everything he needed to see Lady Catherine ready, papers, letters. He couldn’t just drop all the information he had on her, though; he needed to speak to her first, gently introduce the subject. Although he liked her very much, he couldn’t be sure that she’d be on board with his idealistic future. For all he knew, she would turn down his ideas with the excuse that everything was alright the way it was. But things were not alright; he had felt her discomfort through the phone call they had just had. She put up a brave face, but her voice was still slightly tinted with something else. Something hidden.

He couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

There was no reason to make enemies out of nothing; he’d just torment himself that way. Gaston would only need to speak to her logically. She was a smart vampire, and he believed that she would see reason too. He took a seat, gazing at his phone. How he wanted to use it to call all his other friends, let them know of his plan in bringing down the council. It was tempting, but absurd. His thought still lingered on her, but it was interrupted by a knock at the door. Alexia’s voice followed.

“Please, come in,” said he from his chair.

He wondered why she’d willingly come to talk to him. His memory answered his question almost immediately. She had stated that she wanted to know more information on his contacts, and he had in return openly invited her back in. Perhaps this is what she wanted to talk about right now; maybe she was thirsty for information. Then another thought came to him. Shouldn’t she be asleep? She couldn’t have slept well the first night here, and if she was still not sleeping he could not imagine how she found the strength to keep going.

“What can I do for you, Livia?”


Gaston did not presume to know what Alexia came there for, and she took a seat before she answered his question. Her eyes looked around the room once more. There were more papers about on the desk, but her eyes did not linger over them long. She was still pretending she couldn’t read, even if Gaston may have already deduced she could.

Once satisfied that the room held nothing too strange to it, she met his gaze. Those red eyes were truly inhuman, but she did remember all vampires had once been human. Someone once told her she was more logical when she was tired. Emotion didn’t translate well. The recollection of all vampires once being human started to make sense of why some vampires would, indeed, seek to help humankind in a way that it hadn’t before.


“I want to know three things,”
she was outlining it for herself, to keep her to task. “First, I want to know about the Catherine you mentioned earlier. Who she is, why her name seems to ring a bell,” that could mean she’d been active in some way against the rebellion, or perhaps she was a high ranking member of society, “and what connection she has to you…and anything else relevant. I want to know the same information about Benjamin.” His name didn’t ring a bell, but if he was noteworthy for some reason, Gaston would likely think of it.

Alexia did not outline the third thing she wanted to know. It didn’t fit the mold of the other two, and had just come to mind. She was curious about ‘Sir’ and how he became a vampire, for it seemed it was not a happy story. There was much to learn about this ‘Sir’ before she began to trust him. She might as well start at the point when he became what he was today. It might even give her a better idea of how old he was. She only had rough ideas of very few vampires, and those were the ones who clung to their old life in some way.

Adrian she only knew was older than Amon. Little more.


Gaston saw Alexia shield herself once more; it seemed she was always careful in his presence. He presumed that the girl was careful all the time, as exhausting as it might be. It saddened him a little, how she didn’t let herself breathe comfortably, but he understood why she did it completely. She would never be comfortable around him if he remained silent, no matter how hard he tried. He met her eyes after she had taken a seat and sensed thoughtfulness behind her.

He wanted to know what she was thinking, but knew better than to ask.

She wanted to know three things, and Gaston was more than willing to speak about them. The first two, it seemed, were about his two major contacts – Lady Catherine and Benjamin. He need not keep anything from her regarding either of them. He waited for the third thing she wanted to know, but she did not deliver it. He deduced it was therefore not connected with the first two.

“Well, Lady Catherine is a very popular vampire,” he admitted, leaning back in his chair and crossing his legs, “so it is only natural that you have heard of her before. She’s the youngest sister of the House of Blanc, and the last one, too. Simon Blanc was the only other living member, and he was killed several weeks ago.” He did not need to know whether or not she knew about him, Dean would surely let her know of what happened sooner or later. “She has been a longtime friend, something that I did not share with her brother.”

Another pause – a motion for interjection. He then continued.

“She lives in Riverpasse, not too far from here. She is more wealthy than I, but not quite as old. It is not close enough for me to walk, however. I am to visit her this sunset, and I was hoping you and Dean could come with me, if you are willing.”

On to the next.

“Benjamin Porter, very much unlike Lady Catherine, is not a notable vampire. He is far younger than Catherine and I are, but he is the only one who has openly been willing to help me. His life as a vampire has been a curse. It was he who purchased all the humans you signaled to me at the auction. Other than his incredible talent for gathering information, and his apparent allegiance to me, there is nothing much more to say about him.” Benjamin Porter was a very interesting vampire, and the information that Gaston had divulged was appropriate enough. His life was in greater danger, but Gaston was willing to protect him as long as he was able.

“Do you need ask more of the two? If not, you mentioned a tertiary inquiry?”


Alexia listened, not interrupting his description of Catherine. Her mind instead tried to put details together. ‘Does he know about Dean?’ It did not seem sane to bring Dean along to meet Catherine, if Simon had been her brother. However, Alexia would not share that information lest it provoke Gaston. It seemed Gaston might have had his own issues with Simon, though. ‘Perhaps the two were more than friends.’ Brothers today were still overprotective. She imagined the same might be true in vampire families.

The fact that they were a family was interesting. Was it a once human relation, or a vampiric kinship?
"I am willing to come," she did speak there, before he moved on.

Then came the description of Benjamin. Not notable. Open. No mention of age. He was the one with the other human rebels, the one she needed to see, but Catherine was first on the list. She nodded as he finished and asked if she had further questions,
“One further,” she answered. “Was the Blanc family related as humans, or was it a fictive kinship?” Perhaps that wasn’t the appropriate term, but it was the only one that came to mind.

“As for the third,”
no hesitation, just a thought of how to phrase it. She bit the inside of her cheek before deciding, “I want to know how you became a vampire. I mean, besides the obvious,” the short answer was that he was bitten by another vampire. The longer answer was the one she was looking for—if he knew his sire, if there was reason for it, anything that might add to the explanation of why he was willing to help humans, and why he didn’t seem to think vampirism was a gift.

Gaston could not note any material change in Alexia’s behavior, but he somehow knew what her concern was.

“Perhaps we should let Dean sit this one out, then.”

Alexia was not hesitant in her questioning, and that pleased the vampire. He had not expected her to be so assertive, but was glad that she was on her toes. Not many others would ask whether the Blancs were actually related, yet he could see the benefit from having that information. He let a soft chuckle escape him as she asked, and when he turned to her to answer, his eyes locked on hers.

“The Blancs would have you believe that they were related since their human times, brothers and sister.” Gaston needed to be careful how he worded his next comments. “Lady Catherine still claims that Simon, as well as the other Blancs, were her brothers in blood. The validity of such claims, however, is questionable. There is no real – guaranteed – method of proving one’s relation to another vampire, despite popular belief. I choose to believe as she says, but who am I to deny the possibility of fraud? Very few things in this life are for certain.”

Gaston had been waiting to hear what her third question was, and he was very surprised by it. Gaston often prided himself in the difficulty others had in truly surprising him, and he found Alexia’s sincerity and straight-forwardness truly refreshing. She had accomplished something that many before her had not. He was not sure what exactly she wanted to know about it. Was it his human life that sparked her interest? Or was it merely the pursuit for a rational reason for his real allegiance to the humans?

It didn’t matter. He had told her he’d be honest, and although it was not the easiest question to answer, he would.

“I do not expect you to believe what I am about to tell you, for I am a very, very old man.” He could not stress this enough. Times were different when he was turned. “I see no point in hiding my age, so I mind not to inform you that I am well over 5000 years old, short of 6000 by only a couple centuries. Only a handful of vampires over the world are older than I. The reason why neither you nor Dean have heard very much of me until now is a conversation for another time, I daresay.”

The memories were very old, but vividly remembered. Gaston refused to let them go, for they shaped who he was. “When I was a human, I worked for the governing body of power. Poverty rates were really low, and it was my job to help those at the bottom get back up on their feet. I didn’t particularly like it, but it paid well enough. Europe was doing a very good job at keeping the vampires at bay, preventing them from truly changing the humans’ way of life.” Gaston let his gaze fall slightly, staring at nothing but the wood markings upon his desk.

“I had made a name for myself, and when the invasion began, I was a wealthy man. France was my playground. It was just a fake happiness – blissfully ignorant of the atrocities that happened all around me. I was married, with a beautiful daughter, and a loving wife. My money bought us time, but it ran out. I was turned, while my family was killed. Apparently only I was a human worthy of a vampiric life. I had potential. My little dove Marjorie was only 11.”

Throughout all of his attempts at aiding the rebellion, not once had he shared his story. There was no need, for nobody had asked it from him. The words carried sorrow, and his voice was very much unlike his normal self. It wasn’t pain that signaled that he had not moved on from the terrors of his past. The pain was just part of the memory. Gaston had spent a long time mourning his family, and had moved on. Their memories didn’t bother him, but their death brought on a sadness he could never not experience. There were still plenty of things that were left unsaid.

“I was turned by a Jean Conrad. He died many years ago,” he looked back over at Alexia. “That is really all there is to know about how I turned. I was a wealthy government worker, whose luck ran out when the invasion took over most of Europe. If you wish to find some sort of rationalization for my…unusual beliefs, I admit to you that they developed after that. I never really liked my life as a vampire, nor did I choose it. The hatred that soon began to eat at me was not triggered until much later.”

His body had remained completely still throughout.

"I admit I do not know how much specificity you were expecting. If my answer was sufficient, I am glad. If not - I do not mind, take your time and ask."


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2013, 07:23:18 pm »
‘Revealing too much.’ Mentally, Alexia cursed herself before taking another sip of the juice. He had recognized her concern far too easily.

Gaston continued to speak of Catherine and her brothers. She wondered why someone would lie, unless they truly felt such a connection. Perhaps those questions would be answered upon meeting Catherine. She was sounding more and more like an eccentric.
‘We consider Amon eccentric.’ The reminder was enough to prevent her from getting her hopes up.

Amon was considered a bit more than eccentric. Insane might be a better word.

Gaston spoke of his age the way someone might speak of being near thirty when twenty eight.
‘Does it really fly by that quickly?’ It was difficult for Alexia to imagine how two centuries could be brushed aside as if they were nothing. Chances were, she wouldn’t even survive one century.

Once upon a time, Gaston had a family. One child, a wealthy government job. In one day, it had all been taken from him. There was still pain, despite all the years. It was clear, and it was almost tangible. Were Alexia more awake, she might have felt sympathy, but the emotional side of her mind was still not functioning quite as well. She recognized his pain, she thought it horrible, but she did not feel that horror in the moment.

There were questions left to be asked, such as what caused Gaston to finally turn to the human cause. However, she had asked her three questions and follow-ups related to them. Her mind wouldn’t connect his turn to vampirism and his turn to help humans as linked.
‘Sufficient?’ Interesting curiosity. She had no goals regarding specificity. She might wonder what he did, exactly, as a human, but that didn’t matter. He had told her what mattered. He had told her of loss. He had showed pain. “It is sufficient,” best not to leave him wondering. Ought she to thank him? The words seemed queer right then, wouldn’t escape her lips.

So, they did not leave.
“That is all I had to ask,” she acknowledged and rose, “I should try to sleep again.” Before she got the second wind. Before it then became impossible until it was time to leave for Catherine’s. She would be in no mood to humor Gaston’s games at that point.

Alexia turned to leave.


For a moment there was silence. Nothing was said immediately, and Gaston could tell how Alexia was processing everything he had just said. Although he had not said everything, he had still given her a lot of information to deal with. It could not be easy trying to somehow relate to your captor. Would these revelations make him appear different in her eyes? It was unlikely. If anything, Gaston guessed that it would only spark her interest into discovering more of his plans. He couldn’t know for sure. Such developments were not part of the plan; he was merely being open about his past life.

Gaston felt that it was too soon for him to ask about her life. She would never speak of it, and the vampire would never force her.

There was nothing more that Alexia wanted to know presently. She mentioned her plan to attempt to get some rest, and Gaston sincerely smiled to himself at this information. He was glad for it. He didn’t know the girl very much, but he understood how exhausted she must be after everything that happened. It was in his nature to wish her a good rest, to keep her mind fresh and her body away from illness.

“Very well,” he said as she rose to leave, rising with her in an appropriate farewell. “You can meet me back here at sunset, if you wish. We’ll let Dean get some rest tonight, so it may be just us two.”

He had still not decided whether his change of heart regarding Dean was a good idea. Gaston could not see into the future, but perhaps leaving the young rebel remain in the estate would be best for all. Gaston wanted him to be comfortable and gain back his strength. Taking him into an estate so connected with Simon was not something he had considered to be a problem until now. Dean would surely inspect the house and the lands more closely, knowing that the vampire would be gone. It would be the perfect chance to escape, but Gaston knew that he would not escape and leave Alexia here. They needed each other.

“Please,” he added before she left the room. “Do try and get some rest, Livia.”

He let himself sit back down, turning his chair to face the outside and hoping that his concern was not too apparent. It was still bright out, and quite a while before sundown. All of his affairs were taken care of, and the rest of the house was silent. Dean was sleeping silently in his chambers, while Abby had once more found the ground by Alexia’s bed the perfect place to sleep. All that was left to do was wait for sunset. Gaston found himself hoping that his meeting with Lady Catherine would prove fruitful.


He rose when she did. Old timey manners? Alexia wouldn’t know. It was uncomfortable and endearing at once. ‘Endearing?’ She questioned her own response. She was being sucked into this trap, wasn’t she? Not completely, but enough to worry. Her goal wouldn’t be altered, that of putting vampires out of power, but genocide might be negotiable. ‘Always considered it that.’ Moderate voices had grown stronger in the hopeless situation.

She did not respond to his comment about meeting him there later, simply made a mental note of it. Door opened, and she heard a ‘please’. She looked over her shoulder to catch the rest of his words. Paranoia and confusion—was that concern? Too many questions, and she was too tired to try and figure out another’s emotions right then. Instead, she nodded and then left, closing the door behind her.

She found Abby on the floor. With a sigh, she picked the girl up, trying to be gentle and subtle so as not to wake her, and placed her on the bed before climbing into it herself. She shut her eyes. It still felt like an eternity, but at some point she did drift off, and did not wake again until the sound of activity in the house disturbed her. As before, she wanted to pull the pillow over her head and block it all out.

Instead, she rolled out of the bed like last time. The surge of adrenaline that came when she caught herself before hitting the floor helped to wake her up.
“Good morning,” she spoke to Abby without looking to see if the girl was anywhere near.

Alexia went about the morning routine of pulling herself into new clothes and trying to look presentable.
‘Breakfast time?’ She wasn’t certain if she wasn’t already running late and she’d have to hurry to meet up with Gaston to leave for Catherine’s place. Not knowing Catherine well, Alexia opted for a skirt today, dark in hue, with a purple top. The tennis shoes were still non-negotiable, and they peeked out from under the long skirt.

Sunset came just as it should, with minimal movement and interaction in the estate. Gaston had remained in his study, quenching his thirst and awaiting the time for his departure. Dean had been one of the first ones to wake up, and in his attempt to better study the house, he found himself realizing just how difficult an escape would be. The house was vacant enough, but on the outside the tall pillars made it possible for vampires to move about freely without concern for the sun, which would prove difficult for those attempting to escape.

The gardens were beautiful and vast, but they were fenced – a brick wall towering in its perimeter. Stationed around the gates were vampires, who patrolled seemingly around the clock. Dean took a moment to wonder why Gaston bothered with so much security around his home, it did not seem necessary. Was he really that afraid of his humans finding a way to escape? Or was he just paranoid about an attack being placed on him? He wasn’t very popular amongst the rebellion, so it seemed unlikely. So much movement outside unnerved him, it made him feel like he was not as informed as he thought.

“Come on in to the kitchen, boy,” said Eva when she caught sight of Dean wandering around the house.  Despite the fact that she knew very well that the boy did not particularly like anybody, she kept her voice pleasant and inviting. “We have more than enough to go around for everyone.”

Dean did not want to succumb into truly becoming comfortable in the house, but his stomach growled in protest. His hunger was not something he could control, and it angered him to know just how little control he had. The man reluctantly entered the kitchen, greeting Eva and Kuno with only a slight nod. Kuno was eating an assortment of fresh fruits with a glass of water, while Eva tended to the steaming pan. There was no sight of the other woman he remembered, Alexia, or of the child.

“That’s fine.” Said Dean when Eva served him some food.

“You just don’t hesitate to ask me for more if you want. I know Deirdre would not want me serving you so much since you’ve been starving, but a little food never hurt anybody, boy.” Eva went back to the pan, and continued to work there – her dexterous hands mixing the heated contents. “And I wouldn’t worry about that, Kuno. It would be real dumb of you to think that Lord Gaston would do something like that. I’m sure that he has his own reasons for only taking Livia tonight.”

There had been plenty of talk concerning this topic, apparently. It sounded as if the pair had already been talking about this for a while; something was bothering the other man. Kuno was easily bothered, and this ironically bothered Dean. Where exactly was the vampire going that he only needed to take Alexia? Why had he not been informed? Did he not need to go, too?

“What are you two yapping on about?”

Dean had not yet touched his food, for he was deeply curious as to what was to happen. That was when Alexia came into the kitchen, closely followed by a still groggy little girl. Dean gave her a silent smile in greeting. He could not recall ever seeing his fellow rebel wearing a skirt, and he did not quite know why he noticed this right away. Abby took Alexia’s hand in her own, and led her to the kitchen table, where Kuno and Dean were already sitting.

“Good morning, Livia, Abby. We’ve got some breakfast ready for you, I’ll get y’all a plate.”

Kuno turned to look at Dean in response to his question.

“It seems Lord Pianette will go out of town tonight with only Livia.” Kuno felt it appropriate to inform Dean of what the vampire had told him. “I was just a bit concerned as to why he didn’t ask me to go with him, since I’ve gone to each of his other appointments. I feared that maybe he would dispose of me.”

“And I was telling him he was being a fool for such thoughts.”

Eva moved from the stove to the table, placing yet another two plates on top of it – one with large rations, and one with small. Abby took a seat and pulled the smaller plate closer to her. The little girl knew, however, that something was amiss. She turned to look at Eva, cocking her head to the side in wonder.

“Deirdre is still asleep, dear girl,” informed Eva with a smile. “I’m afraid she’s a little under the weather tonight, though I expect she’ll be up any minute now.” 

Kuno continued to frown, not entirely convinced that the vampire would leave him be. It was still unclear for him why he wasn’t to accompany his master. It did not occur to him that Gaston still had some business that did not include him.

“Did he say why I wasn’t going?” Asked Dean before finally starting to eat his food. Kuno said that he didn’t.


Alexia took her seat, smiling briefly at Dean upon recognizing him. She accepted the food when it was presented before her, and didn’t pick at it as much as she considered. “Thank you, Minerva,” she still preferred the full name.

Haste was the order of the day in her mind, particularly given the conversation swirling around her. It seemed Kuno was not coming along, which struck her as odd. She had expected he would come along regardless of Dean’s absence.
‘Yes, Kuno, we’re leaving to plot your demise.’ Alexia barely resisted the urge to frighten the man further. It wouldn’t be nice—he’d actually believe her. “You are a fool to think such things,” she said instead, before stuffing her mouth with food again to prevent words.

Dean asked a follow-up. Alexia tried to repeat the conversation in her mind. He had not given her a reason, either, merely picked up on her own concern over the idea. It had never been vocalized.
“I didn’t get a reason, either,” she confirmed for Dean. That would leave Dean with the options of asking Gaston himself, or letting it slide, “I do not think this is cause for concern, for either of you.” Nor for her, but she didn’t voice that, didn’t want Dean’s mind to go down that train of thought.

The food was finished quickly and Alexia rose from her seat. Lingering would only lead to further conversation on the matter of Dean and Kuno not being invited along. It did bother her that Kuno was not coming along, that she would be the only human, but it was something to deal with.
‘And still no weapons.’ She was going to be a very poor guard if anything ever happened. “I’ll be back.” That much, she was certain of.

She placed a hand on Dean’s shoulder before leaving the kitchen, leaned over a bit and whispered,
“If you haven’t yet, explore this place, top to bottom.” She was unaware of his earlier adventures. Perhaps he would think to get a count of the vampires who guarded the place. She had not managed that, not getting close enough to them to recognize any discernable features. She didn’t know how many there were in total, how familiar they were with Gaston’s plans, or even what ties they had to Gaston. She didn’t imagine they were loyal childes. "Bye, Abby!"

‘Next on the list—find out about his vampire guards.’
A mental note as she straightened headed for the exit of the kitchen. She was a focused woman, and this was a task she needed to stick to.

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2013, 07:27:05 pm »
Kuno seemed to relax a little more as Alexia spoke that he was being foolish, agreeing with Eva. For some reason, hearing those same words from the one person accompanying the vampire made them sound more believable. He had often wondered why Eva spoke with such confidence regarding Gaston, if she hardly ever talked to him – or even engaged him in any way. The same thing went for Deirdre, whose support was a little more silent, but equally present. What had the vampire done to them to earn their trust?

Was it all a fallacy?

Dean looked over to Alexia as she spoke. He trusted her completely, as he had in the past. If she said that there was no cause for concern, then he would not worry about that immediately. The feeling of danger, especially around Alexia if she remained with the vampire alone, would not subside. Around him, danger would follow her. Apparently he was safe, for the moment, but she did not mention anything regarding her. He got some comfort in the thought that his friend could take care of herself very well, and if need be, she’d take down the leech without thinking.

Gaston was clever, but he had not once giving the impression that he was dangerous. He had dodged his vulgar attack, but any vampire could do that. What Dean didn’t know was that Gaston kept his talents and skills to himself, so it was unwise for Dean to think him defenseless when the truth was the exact opposite.

The rebel shot a look at Alexia before she left the room. ‘Take care of yourself.’ He wanted to say, but often those wishes remain unspoken, conveyed through the look he had just given her.

Once Alexia had left, business was resumed in the kitchen. Kuno left to do his own affairs, and Eva took Abby to the other room for their own duties. Dean waited a bit before retiring to his own room. He was looking around the house to see if there were other places he might have missed. Then a thought came to him. With the vampire gone, he could search his study freely, look for information. Something told him that it would not be as easy as he thought.

Deirdre was still nowhere to be found.

Two blades rested on the desk inside of Gaston’s study, and the vampire held a third one up in the air, looking at its make and the markings carved all around it. They were fine blades, used in the olden days when the vampires were at each other’s throats and civil war was the murmur around town. He had not used these blades in a very long time, and he didn’t want to. But time was passing so quickly, and his patience was fading. Gaston could no longer bide his time as easily as in the past.

The time to use these blades was quickly approaching him. He enjoyed Lady Catherine’s friendship, but if things did not go as they ought, terror could soon follow. And he would not leave himself, or Alexia, defenseless. Certain precautions had to be taken. It was risky business entrusting a rebel with blades like these, but he believed in his unmoving heart that she could be trusted with them, for now.

He awaited her arrival, and when it was time, he asked her in. 


Alexia knocked, as she always did. The habit of calling, “Sir?” seemed to be one that was going to be stuck in this routine of entering the study. When she entered, what she saw on the desk surprised her. They were blades, beautifully crafted, with markings that likely signified how unique they were. Perhaps the crafter’s name was somewhere.

There was no hesitation in the step forward and movement of her hand. She lifted one of those blades from the table as quickly as she could and drew it back, drew it close. She could have easily followed it up with a move to attack, but it didn’t go so far. Instead, she drew a step away and began to examine the slender metal, letting a finger trace up one sharp edge.
“Beautiful make,” she commented.

She did not know if they were intended for her, or if Gaston was bringing them along as his own precautionary tools. Either way, she could admire the fine handiwork. It was difficult to pick up such tools. Alexia had stolen a pair of good blades after dealing with one vampire, but those had been removed from her on her arrest. No doubt, her captors kept them.

There was one reason, besides obvious successes, the ‘Alex’ group was known. As she and Eric had demonstrated, many of them were capable of fighting against vampires at close range. The two humans had kept their captors busy to allow the others to escape.

She held it flat in her palm. She never made a weapon, had no training in the art, but there was a 'feel' that she liked. This held that feeling,
“Good balance,” and then she calmly returned the blade to the table. Somehow, she doubted her brief ownership of the weapon made Gaston paranoid, but she didn’t need to try her luck with a few practice swings at the air. “Is this necessary?” She did not think such tools would be required for going to see Catherine, at least, not from the way Gaston had spoken earlier.

Gaston placed the third blade back down to the desk by its sheath as Alexia approached. “Good evening,” said he in greeting. He took notice of the look painted on Alexia’s face as she saw the blades, and without hesitation she took one of them in her hand.  The vampire looked at the blade in her hand, then at her expression as she examined it. Her comments on it only confirmed his belief that she had used these sort of blades before, as the best of a particular group of the rebellion did.

“Yes, they are something, aren’t they?” He crossed his arms comfortably before continuing. “I carry a sort of fascination with blades; they are undoubtedly more practical than firearms – in my opinion at least. A bullet will never do as much damage to a vampire as a blade, but one must risk being close to a vampire to excel at it. A certain closeness with my opponent brings me comfort. I’d rather have them nearer to me than otherwise.”

The vampire moved from behind the desk towards its from side, standing alongside Alexia and picking up the larger of the three blades. The markings of this blade were similar to the others, but the making was different – more grotesque. This blade was made to work without a partner, with a longer,  slightly hooked, blade.  The other two were designed to work together, identical makes with only minimal variations in the markings.

“We will be going to Riverpasse tonight, Livia, as you already know,” said he with a more serious tone. “Not even I can predict what will transpire therein. I am comfortable enough to say that once we are at Lady Catherine’s estate, we will be safer, but I cannot assure that our journey there will be uneventful. There have been reports of rebellion activity, and an equally forceful retaliation from my kind. It is possible, though improbable, that we may get stuck in the mayhem. Vampires may think you part of the rebellion…” All sorts of possible scenarios began to appear on his mind. Many things could happen in Riverpasse, and a weapon would not be unwelcome. “Let’s just assume that we will all be more comfortable carrying some sort of insurance with us, necessary or not.”

He placed the larger weapon back on the desk, moving swiftly from the desk to what appeared to be a dresser. The dresser was purposefully placed alongside bookshelves, and was often overlooked by glancing eyes. “Riverpasse, I hear, is chilly at this time of year.” Gaston opened the dresser and took out two light jackets, both black in fabric. He handed the smaller one to Alexia, while hanging the larger one over his arm. His was very elegant, slimming but long, with the buttons finely sown and the pockets stylishly placed.

“Go ahead and pick your poison,” referred he to the blades upon the desk. “You need some sort of protection as a last resort if I, for whatever reason, cannot protect you. You can strap the sheath of whichever weapon, or weapons, you choose, I will take the other.” He closed the dresser back up, deftly locking it before putting the key back into one of his pockets. “We must leave soon, sunset is upon us, and it is not a short drive over.”

Others may think that giving a blade to a rebel may be a bad idea, but even so, Gaston would not leave her unprotected. That was not something he would even consider. He believed that she wouldn't act against him, but even if she did - he'd take comfort in knowing that he had not left her defenseless. They would soon be leaving to another town, where the unknown could happen, but hopefully he'd have a new ally by sunrise.


It was exactly why blades were her preference. They were better at killing vampires. Explosions, UV flashlights, bullets, all of these offered vampires too much time and freedom to move. Up close and personal, a vampire might be faster, but a human with good reflexes could still manage. ‘We think alike.’ There was more control in closeness, in her opinion. It was more difficult for them to get completely out of her sight, which many vampires relied on in their dealings with humans. Get out of sight quickly, and strike from behind was a common method.

She observed him pick up the larger of the blades. Quality, but not for her. She had always worked with pairs. There were possibilities of hardship on the road.
“Lest you forget, Gaston, I am a part of the rebellion.” Perhaps he didn’t need the reminder, but he was trusting her with weapons. If they did come upon a group of rebels, he couldn’t truly be certain she wouldn’t take the opportunity presented.

She wasn’t certain.

She wouldn’t argue about comfort, though. She much preferred to have weapons than not. She slipped on the jacket, adjusted it a bit. Like the clothing, it fit well.
‘You don’t want to ask.’ She decided not to, buttoned up the front so it appeared she was dressed in monotone. The fabric was light, which she appreciated. Once that was on, she took the pair of blades and strapped them at her hips, easier to grab than if she’d put them on her back.

Once certain they were secured, she walked to the door. She opened, and held it open as she gave a mock-bow, and an,
“After you, Sir.” She was curious if by ‘drive’ he meant car, but didn’t want to ask. She had seen cars, though they were few and far between. They had become targets simply because they were denied to humans. Sabotage always played a role in the war. Needless to say, humans did not make the roads easy to drive down, either.

‘Why was Rome successful?’
Their roads, and it was a lesson she read in a book that she had taken to heart. Roads had to be destroyed. Passage between towns could not be easy.

The vampire’s hand found the larger blade just as soon as Alexia’s found the twins; he strapped it on his side and the pulled his jacket on. “I have not forgotten,” said the vampire with a hidden smile. The fact that she was a rebel was a constant reminder on his mind. Gaston moved quickly back to the desk, opening a drawer and retrieving papers before putting them inside a messenger bag. He pulled the strap over his shoulder and moved towards the door. Alexia was there, and with a mocking bow she opened it and offered him out.

“Funny,” Gaston noted with a small chuckle, leading the way from the study.

With a quickened pace, he moved from the study and stopped at the kitchen. Kuno immediately stiffened at his sight, but Gaston paid him no mind. A part of him still hoped that the foolish boy would just relax, but another decided to worry not over it. Dean was not there, and the vampire chose not to inquire after it. Abby stayed in her seat, still uncomfortable but not nearly as much as the man. Eva and Deirdre had previously talked to the little girl, assuring her that she had nothing to fear from Lord Gaston. Eva looked at the vampire with a smile and a polite nod.

“Good evening, Lord Gaston.”

“Eva, I hope you are well this evening. Where is Deirdre?” He inquired, his voice polite, but rushed. It was clear that he was pressed for time.

“She is not feeling well today, but she should be up soon.” Gaston’s questions did not make her uncomfortable in any way, and she answered with the same tone she would with the others. The same concern that had tinted her voice earlier that day still lingered with her as she spoke.

“Alright, well tell her to take it easy tonight. I’ll be going now, you know how to reach me.” A pause. “Take care.”

With a smile and a nod he left the kitchen, his business there settled. Gaston took a left turn down one of the main corridors. The hall was quite narrow, with the walls high, maroon in color with patterned wallpaper. Frames were hung on them, pictures and paintings of similar tastes. To the right, two mahogany doors stood. Those doors, which were locked, led to Gaston’s room. To the left, a singular door rested – it was through the second door that Gaston went through.

The room was large, a garage of some sorts, with a gated door leading them to the gardens outside, a brick road leading them to a multitude of trees behind. It was well lit, with three different cars all parked inside. One of them was not covered, but the others were, dusty.  From the opposite side, a second door opened and a vampire stepped from it – tall and in uniform. The chauffer had probably already been informed about the trip. The vampires exchanged a quick look, after which the chauffer opened up the car closest to the gate, shiny in black.

“We will ride in the back together, Livia. That way, if you wish to speak privately, we can.” He walked across the garage and opened the door for his rebel companion. “After you,” he mirrored her earlier words. 


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2013, 07:30:41 pm »
Alexia followed after Gaston. It seemed that Deirdre was still out of sorts when they arrived at the kitchen. Dean had already wondered off, perhaps for the best. She wondered if he would truly be happy to see Alexia with her weapons of choice, only to not use them on the vampire. Business did not take long in the kitchen, and she again felt ill at ease that she was the only one going.

Through the doors and out onto a brick road, Alexia was soon looking around at the garden and paying attention only to the shadow in front of her. When she finally turned her eyes away from the garden, she saw the three cars. She wouldn’t have recognized what the two under their coverings were, but she was surprised to see he had three of the things.

There was a sense of giddiness that came with the thought she’d get to ride in a car.
‘Maybe I can learn to drive it….’ Her mind ran with possibilities such a thing could provide. Vampires wouldn’t check cars. Only vampires had them, at least presently. Supplies could be moved so quickly.

It was, however, a vampire that seemed to be the driver, not a human. She eyed the other vampire, again reminded of her own mental note. Well, now she had as good an opening as any. Gaston mimicked her earlier behavior, and she did let a short laugh part her lips as she stepped into the vehicle through the opened door.
‘Plush.’ Perhaps it wasn’t the proper word for the leather seats, but it was the one that came to mind.

The seat buckle contraption drew a look, but she didn’t even reach for it, certain it wasn’t important. Once Gaston was in and the door shut, she took advantage of the so-called ‘private’ space with another query,
“Tell me about your vampiric guards,” she invited. “Names, motivations, how many,” she was curious how many served Gaston with knowledge of what he was plotting, and how many were more mercenary. “They’re all one faceless mass right now.” And she certainly hoped they were not that to Gaston. That could be dangerous.

Gaston settled himself inside the car shortly after Alexia, prompting the driver to lead them to Riverpasse – a route the driver knew well. After his very brief conversation with the chauffer, he closed the partition for a little more privacy with his companion; the driving vampire knew that this was customary, and Gaston trusted that he’d only interrupt them if needed. He turned to Alexia when she began to ask after his guard, raising an eyebrow in curiosity.

She didn’t hesitate to ask the forward questions. He admired that.

“My – you’re certainly not holding back your curiosity,” Gaston muffled a chuckle with a smile. The gates opened and the car dashed forward. They passed the gardens, but the view was soon shielded by the many trees leading the way out of the Pianette estate. “I could not hope to mention all of the guards, I am afraid. There are too many of them. Sure, I have those majority in my guard that are family to me, but the council has made it a habit to send their own pool of guards to patrol every once in a while. They alternate patrols for all the notable vampire lords. For now, we are clear of them.”

He took a second to think of his guards, how many were currently in the estate, and how many were sent away to stalk auctions. “I believe I only have a handful of guards at the estate presently, somewhere around twenty, perhaps a bit more. I’m sure Dean will confirm that for you once we get back.” He spoke of them casually, as if they weren’t just guardsmen. “I employ most of them, old friends who’ve sadly fallen into poverty. You may not know this, but the vampiric society is highly elitist amongst each other.”

They passed the gates that led them out of the estate, but trees continued to engulf them. It looked like this road had not yet been discovered by the humans, detached so much from any other. Gaston crossed his legs, as he usually did to make himself more comfortable. “The guard captain is Veronique, you can easily identify her by small alterations in her uniform. She has auburn hair and a permanently angry expression.” The guard captain was one of Gaston's closest friends, though their friendship would be better beneficial if it remained hidden. There was history there, and the bond that they shared with each other could not be broken. The rest of the guard, throughout hundreds and hundreds of years, began to respect Gaston. He had no worry that they could ever turn on him.

Gaston felt it appropriate to return the inquiries to her. Perhaps now she’d be more open to answer him.

“Why do ask?” Said he, locking eyes with her and squinting in relaxation. “I know you are still considering attempting to escape, Livia, but I did not assure against it to scare you. It really is highly improbable for either of you to escape. Even if you manage your way out of the estate, you will only be surrounded by patrols of other kinds. The night guard for the city, other travelling vampires. Daylight is not enough help.” He didn’t speak at all to pressure her, and he wouldn’t stop her from trying to escape. His words were merely informative, calm. 

“If my plan to bring down the council fails, I will help you return to the rebellion.”

His life may be forfeit, but if he could keep the rebellion alive somehow, he would. His life was but a small price to pay for the future of the humans.


Only one name was given, but it was the important one. Mentally, Alexia repeated it, over and over, so she’d remember. Another with red-hair wouldn’t be too difficult to spot. She hadn’t crossed paths with this Veronique yet. It seemed his guards were a mixture, those that were loyal to him, and friends who might be more in it for the money if they had fallen on hard times.

He asked his own question, but seemed to answer it for himself. She shook her head,
“Many things have been said to be improbable. Your existence is improbable. These improbable things become less so the more one knows about it. Since you are willing to be open about this information, I may as well take advantage of what I can find out and see just how improbable it is. As it stands, I have little interest in testing those odds.” She might have considered it if she could acquire the ingredients to create her beloved ‘corpse’ poison.

It could be fatal. Alexia had come upon the idea thanks to Romeo and Juliet, and she worked to modify it. It was difficult to stay awake when under its influence, for it did nearly kill the body. However, that made it difficult for some of the vampire’s senses to detect humans. Heartbeats were quieter. They weren’t as warm.


“If your plan fails, I’m not certain your guarantee will be good.”
He’d be dead. “Besides, I was curious what sort of people you employed, and how filled in they were.” It didn’t sound like they were too aware of who they were protecting. That could prove interesting, if any did have wavering loyalties. He guarded his secret well. “The fact you have so many guards, and this hasn’t raised alarms among others, is interesting.” Gaston had to know he wasn’t much of a target. No doubt, Adrian was aware of such information. Gaston’s name wouldn’t have come up as a target. It seemed odd for a vampire such as him, who lived within a town densely populated with vampires, to have so many guards. Then again, Alexia didn't understand vampire society well. Perhaps this was the norm for someone high up there.

Gaston turned and gazed outside the window, and attempt to hide his smile at her response. He had given her information, and apparently guessed right. She was taking in information to see just how impossible escaping was, and he didn’t blame her. Alexia was a very smart girl, and she spoke her mind very decidedly. The other rebel, Dean, would not be so easy to engage in conversation, but as long as she’d be willing to listen, the other did not worry him much.

“You lack faith in me,” he said at her assumption of his death. “Which is quite alright, considering you despise my kind and know very little of me.” The vampire was not at all wounded by her doubts of his promise; it only made him want to make sure it happened. “The rebellion must survive one way or another, but I assure you I will try my hardest not to die.”

The vampire was further pleased when Alexia admitted that she wanted to know how informed the guardsmen were about his plan. They knew that he wasn’t the cruelest of vampires, but they did not know just how far his sympathies for the humans went. Gaston could not stop such information from ever spreading out; his concern was that his plans remain hidden. A vampire could not simply oppose the council and get away with it. He played a dangerous game.

“I don’t think people will stress their minds overlong when it comes to my guardsmen. An estate like mine must be protected, and not just from the rebellion.” He had not spoken about why his estate had so many guards. His estate is what earned his revenue, his wealth, and his status. The guards were a precaution taken to protect the estate, which coincidentally made escaping from therein incredibly hard.

Gaston wanted to see if Alexia was willing to release more information to him.

“If all goes well tonight, we might pay my friend Benjamin a visit by the end of the week.” He was anxious to see that man as well. The conversation would not be as strained as the one with Lady Catherine, and his alliance would be an easier one to obtain. This was a vampire that Alexia might not so readily despise. “Were any rebels you know purchased by him at that auction? I’m sure we could arrange some sort trade if need be.”


Well it seemed like Alexia was finally getting used to his presence, for she called him by his name for the second time now. He didn’t bring such a subject up, nor did he continue his previous one. Ridiculous as it may have been, he needed to know just how familiar she was with those rebels – just like she needed to know how familiar he was with his guardsmen. Her answer gave him everything he needed to know, and if no trades were in order, then he’d not press the matter with his friend.

There was another subject that needed touching, one of delicacy and concern alike. It was one that he did not know if Alexia knew about, but one that she should be aware of if affiliations with his kind were to continue. Being surprised by such a thing could be dangerous.

“Tell me, Livia,” said he, hinting that this was a more serious topic of conversation. “What do you know about a vampire’s capabilities in combat? I assume that you’ve dealt with them in close range, but I wonder how much you actually know about the race?”

Gaston had this conversation only once before, but even then the warning was not enough to save the human. It was…not so common knowledge that a vampire of age could develop a sort of supernatural skill, often based on their personalities and or beliefs. Most humans remained ignorant to such truths, which often led to their downfall. He knew that Dean did not know of such things, for he couldn’t explain just how Simon found his hideout, or how he rose from the dead. His latest allies were taken down by surprise, and he would not have it happen again.

Gaston was sure that something had helped Simon into discovering the rebels – whether it was his own doing, or by a friend, he could not be sure. All he knew was that he got the same feeling from Lady Catherine, and it would be best for Alexia to be prepared in case something in said nature happened. The vampire could still remember the first time he had heard of such things. It was the vampire who turned Gaston that showed him these skills.

He later admitted that he turned Gaston because he had a high probability of developing said skills, and he needed talented vampires to support his cause. Needless to say that Gaston’s talents proved elsewhere, and nowhere near the supernatural kind.


For some reason, Alexia expected to be called on the fact she was being so casual. It was surprising to her that she wasn’t. He was a vampire, after all, in an elitist society. It was his turn for questions, though, and Alexia allowed it.

Combat skills were pragmatic.
“Most of the vampires I have encountered have preferred to utilize their agility and keen senses. They have tried to evade and strike when we humans are unaware. They have not cared for outright confrontation, nor close combat,” Alexia answered, hand moving to one of the blades. She drew it out, looking down at it.

‘No, I’m not your father.’


Inhale.

Her parents had supposedly been killed by one of those ‘overpowered’ mutant vampires. Something about lightning, according to the hunter who took her under his wing. She didn’t have much faith in his story. He was a drunkard who exaggerated quite a bit, but he lived for a long while.
“I have heard tell of vampires who are better at dealing with confrontation. Amon has a…reputation. Sun God.” She shook her head. The nickname was one even humans used. “Pharaoh. Antichrist is used by some who cling to the old religion. Most groups have considered it hype, but reputations are earned. They say he can control fire.” Alexia turned the blade over. “There are tales of vampires who could hypnotize, of those who read minds, saw the future—plenty think Adrian can read minds. Most on the council are associated with some skill, something extra, as if we humans weren’t screwed enough. The stories usually contradict.” Yet another reason she didn't take them to heart. Amon was the only consistent. She liked to imagine they were stories made up by pessimists.

Alexia looked up from the blade,
“To my knowledge, I have never encountered a vampire that was more than super fast, super strong, and super sensitive, but I have heard of them. I do not know if it is true. I would not know how to expect such a thing,” she learned by experience, though, but the talents didn’t seem to follow any obvious line. Adrian the mind reader created Amon the pyromancer? No logic to it in her head. “Is it true, though? Are some vampires…more talented?”

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2013, 07:43:27 pm »
Gaston took notice of the way she looked at her drawn blade, her inhale letting him know that it sparked a memory and a story. He wouldn’t want to intrude upon something that could be entirely personal, and he was skeptical that she would even choose to share such a thing. Instead he paid closer attention to what she knew about vampire combat. At first, it sounded as if she only noticed the physical traits all vampires shared.

But then she spoke of Amon’s reputation, and how some believed him to be the Sun God. Such nicknames were often heard, and the vampire knew the term very well, but he knew it was a bit too much. He had often considered that Amon had something underneath his sleeve, and the rebellion shared such beliefs. That was a topic of conversation that he wanted to have with Lady Catherine, she knew almost anything about anyone – vampires anyway.

When the subject changed to Adrian, a peculiar expression appeared on Gaston’s face, one of deep thought. Someone with such high regard in the vampiric world definitely had special talents, but mind reading was not one he had considered. It was unlikely that his talent was mind reading, he’d know everything about everyone. It’d be possible that he’d even figured Gaston’s plan out if it were true, and yet, here he was. No, Gaston was certain that Adrian’s power was more complex than that.

“I’m afraid that it is true,” confirmed the vampire. “On both of your accounts, I share your suspicions. Amon’s pyromancy is something that I would not treat lightly, but I am fairly certain of it, as for Adrian’s mind reading – I’m not sure it is quite like that. From what I have seen, these talents derive from something reflective of their nature, or some deeply strong desire. It may not always be so, but more often than not it seems that way.”

Not all talents, however, were supernatural. Gaston knew that very well.


Alexia watched his expressions. It seemed the rebellion might be on to something with the present theory on Adrian. It was discarded before words were spoken. ‘You don’t know.’ That worried her. If Adrian had a talent, it wasn’t obvious.

The rumor of pyromancy was, apparently, true. Gaston reflected that it was not something derived from blood or sires, but something personal, within the individual turned.
‘What else would Adrian want?’ It seemed like mind reading would be right up the man’s alley, from what little Alexia knew. He wanted to know what was going on around him. He wanted to control it.

“What is your talent, then?”
He seemed to know enough to guess it involved reflection, or a person’s nature. Perhaps he had a talent that could justify that theory. “And what is Catherine’s, for that matter?” For all she knew, Catherine had no talent, but it might be good to know ahead of time. Alexia didn’t want to walk in completely blind, regardless of what the outcome turned out to be.

Alexia slowly sheathed the blade once more.
“And do you know of anyone who had electromancy?” The hunter was pretty certain the vampire was dead. Perhaps there were multiple people with electromancy. Perhaps there were even multiple ones with pyromancy. Alexia had no idea.

~***~

Adrian did like control, but he had found it was not thoughts that always dictated actions. Emotions were powerful. Emotions could make people go against what they thought. Emotions revealed more truth than thoughts.

The burned and terrified human had given him something he desired as he lounged in his chair. Discarded bodies were in front of the man's eyes, more than enough to make him consider being 'useful'. He had been useful. Amon spun around on his heel, a gleeful smile on his lips.
“I told you,” sing-song. Adrian simply rolled his eyes. Amon was one of the very few people who knew what Adrian’s talent was.

He abused that knowledge, overpowered Adrian’s senses with clearly false emotions.
“You wouldn’t listen.”

“You know nothing,”
Adrian said quietly. The vampire approached. Both hands moved to either side of Adrian, resting upon the chair arms. Amon leaned over, leaned close. “He may have no idea.”

Amon’s smile was devilish. His orange eyes were practically alight with a fire all their own.
“Oh, won’t you let me find out?” He acted like a leashed dog. Adrian knew it for what it was. If Amon weren't afraid of the council, Amon would have burned him to a crisp long ago.

But Amon was afraid, and he was not foolish enough to assume power over Adrian while he had such allies. Amon was a wonderful tool against vampires who stepped out of line. His fire was a natural weapon against them, developed by his obsession with the sun he had lost. In his delusion that he truly was Son of Amun-Ra, he let his vampirism transform him, corrupting his already deluded mind. Rather than change with the times so far as beliefs went, he made his beliefs fit him.


“Go,”
Adrian breathed the word, and Amon pushed away from the chair. He walked out the door without another word, on to look into the matter of Gaston’s new rebels. Adrian directed his attention to the human still tied to the metal cross. How much his burning flesh reeked. “Alex, you said?” Someone the human had recognized from the stage. Little more information was given, but it was enough. Only one from that infamous group had been bought recently. He imagined Gaston truly ignorant, though. The man had shown enough venom when the foolish rebel stepped out of line.

“Yes,” the rebel squirmed, “Please, just please, let me down.”

Adrian rose. A sense of calm followed the action as he approached the human. Hope. He sucked it up, before his teeth tore a hole in the man’s throat, and he drank deeply.


Gaston wondered whether or not Alexia would push the subject further, and was not surprised when she did. The first thing inquired was his talent; shortly after that she asked about Lady Catherine’s. This was not an easy question to answer, mainly because his information was flawed. There had never been any studies regarding the talents developed by vampires given time, so he could only convey unto the rebel his own guesses. Usually, though, Gaston’s guesses were correct.

“I’m afraid that I must once more disappoint you,” began he with a frown, “for I cannot give you a straight answer. The abilities that are often developed by vampires are garnered given age, and from my experience they have all been, in one way or another, supernatural. I pride myself in the knowledge I have on such subject, but if my research has proven anything, it is that I do not possess one of those rare abilities.”

He took a pause, so as to not overwhelm the girl. “So no, I do not have a talent – at least not a supernatural one. Despite all the research I have done, I have no real foundation to back up what I am about to tell you. I may have a more physical talent, which I have never heard of. When a human turns into a vampire, as I’m sure you know, they experience an increase in their sensory skills, speed, strength, and stamina. I believe that with age, my senses have further improved, my reflexes are far more advanced than what they should be.”

The vampire took a moment to listen to how ridiculous he sounded. He could not at all have any additional talent, but he felt superior to other vampires in his physical capabilities. In his latest years of combat, he even felt like he could see things move more slowly – which originally made him believe that his ability was developed by the mind. When he tried to slow time without being in combat, it wouldn’t work. He was faster than when he was a young vampire, and considerably, but not immensely, stronger.

“Again, I cannot be sure of it,” he concluded before moving on to Lady Catherine. “Let it be known that these abilities that vampires develop are extremely rare. It may not seem so at the moment, but it is the truth. Lady Catherine, I am quite sure, possesses a talent – but I couldn’t accurately guess it at the moment. Give me a couple of days; I’ll have a better idea then.”

Gaston lastly touched on the subject of electromancy, which sparked his curiosity. In that moment he further wondered if this inquiry was somehow connected with that moment of thought she had only a little while earlier. Could it be that she knew something that he didn’t, for he only knew a single person who possessed such a talent. The thought of a second electromancer was frightening enough.

“Electromancy you say?” His eyes locked on hers once more, trying to figure out why she had asked about it. “I only know of a few vampires who possessed talents over the years, and only one with that specific ability. That vampire died years ago.”

Gaston had no talent outside the ‘norm’. She wondered if many vampires perhaps developed in that way, if they did not develop supernatural talents. She hadn’t gone toe-to-toe with someone old enough to know, but upon seeing Gaston’s reflexes, she wasn’t surprised. It was still a slight disappointment that such was all there was too Gaston. ‘Then again, perhaps that is why he stays under the radar.’ She did not truly consider how dangerous his talent could be, since she hadn't yet seen evidence his speed and skills were above the norm.

She was not overwhelmed as he continued, spoke of Catherine. Again, he was ignorant.
‘Do vampires hide these talents?’ Perhaps Amon had given her a false idea. He flaunted his. Perhaps it was better, even among vampiric society, to hide what one was capable of. She nodded, to accept that she would give Gaston time to figure out what Catherine’s talent was.

He confirmed what the hunter had told her ages ago. The vampire with the lightning was dead.
“Good,” she couldn’t help the slip, and refused to explain it once it was realized. She didn’t need the specific number of years ago. The fact the vampire was dead was enough. It wasn't as if she had ever personally seen the vampire...well, not in any memories that stuck. Much like her parents, the vampire was someone she had never known.

Alexia shifted the topic before he could ask,
“Why is your estate so important that it requires all those guards?” Gaston was allowed some knowledge of her, but nothing personal, not yet. An outright denial wasn’t in her, though. It was easier to simply redirect, focus on other curiosities. To her, the estate was overly protected, but apparently he did not think so. That meant there was a reason.

Her answer confirmed Gaston’s previous beliefs that Alexia had some serious affiliation with that vampire. She must have been only a child, though, if they were talking about the same one. What business could a child have with that vampire? Gaston’s question almost answered itself, and the thought of it did not bother him much further. He knew of loss well enough to know that it was not an easy thing to talk about, and her wounds were much more recent than his. Unless she wanted to talk about it, he wouldn’t press the matter further, and it seemed like she was unwilling to talk since she changed the subject so quickly.

Perhaps another time.

The vampire once more had to admire how sharp the rebel was when she asked her next question. Her curiosity was quite deep, and the more Gaston responded to her inquiries, the more inquiries she had. She hadn’t missed his lack of explanation before, and it seemed unlikely for her to miss anything important.

He remained still as he looked at her, several seconds passed without any words.

“I would tell you, but I fear you may not like my answer.” His concern was genuine, for the revenues of his estate were earned through centuries of work. His estate was home to something that a person like Alexia may not understand. Gaston had been keepings his responses honest, and he had responded to every question that had been asked of him. This one, though not as crucial to the task at hand, would be one of the most tricky to answer. Was it worth losing what little trust he had earned from her? He couldn’t say.

“I will assure you, though, that people won’t suspect me of anything for having so many guards in my estate. Others that are similar to mine, in size and nature, employ just as many vampires as guards, perhaps even more.” He let his eyes shift to the outside; the trees were becoming less frequent in their appearance and less dense in their depth. “No, if people are to suspect anything, it would have to originate from some other source. Whatever suspicions others may throw at me, I am well prepared for them, and so is my staff.”

He didn’t know whether Alexia would pursue the matter further, and he wouldn’t necessarily mind if she did. Gaston would not deny her the answer if she insisted, but such an answer could jeopardize their currently stable situation. He wasn’t ashamed of the business he carried on, for it was necessary in the end. It had made it possible for him to know the intimate business of others, to purchase loyal humans, and it had, more importantly, enabled him enough wealth to purchase Alexia. Such a rebel, he felt, would lead him to the turning point of his life.   


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2013, 07:58:04 pm »
Gaston hesitated to speak on this one, and in the end, he gave no answer. Alexia was disappointed that he didn’t share this bit of business. She had wondered when she wound find the question he would not answer, though. It had to exist. Somehow, she had thought it would be the one about the day he changed, but that was not the case. ‘It isn’t something he is emotionally attached to.’ It was something that she would not like, and that was why he didn’t share.

It threatened what little progress was being made between them, in the way his personal stories did not.

Alexia understood revealing those secrets at a later date. He respected the fact she was using a fake name, and had revealed little. In this case,
“I suppose we all get our secrets,” she said.

In this case, she would just have to trust him, and wait. Or at least respect him in the way he respected her.
“Another time,” she would let that subject drop for now, though. Thoughts of other, personal questions, floated through her mind, but the trees were vanishing outside the window. Perhaps they were getting close to this Catherine’s place. “How do you know Catherine?” It came without much thought, as she realized she hardly knew how he and Catherine were acquainted. He said Catherine was popular, but that didn't quite explain why she would be one to approach. Eccentric, but that sounded like Amon to her, now. Perhaps the details were in the relationship, for clearly the two knew each other well enough that secrets had to be kept from a brother. “How long?” Though what time even meant to a vampire eluded her understanding. He had brushed off centuries as if they were nothing, when to her that was a lifetime.

‘Two very different world views.’
Perhaps why he had been quiet so long, so unknown. He could afford to be patient, when centuries were so meaningless.

Gaston conveyed onto Alexia an appreciative smile, silently praising her willingness to not get an answer right away. This was not something that he would have expected from her, and was glad to hear her response. She’d know the operations of his estate sooner or later, but for now she didn’t press him further – well, not about that, anyway. She continued with her inquiries, returning once more to Lady Catherine and her relationship with Gaston. It  made sense to the vampire to hear so many questions about Lady Catherine, especially since it was she whom they were about to meet.

“I met her many years ago when I moved to Riverpasse, our estates were quite close to each other. We were both perfectly kind to one another, so what was merely a simple acquaintance between neighbors eventually evolved into an actual friendship.” This took many years, and Gaston found it best to leave that part out of his explanation. “We worked closely together, and the wealthier we became, the more the vampiric society depended on us to deliver. Revenues increased, and goodwill remained unimpaired. We each, among a few others, became important to the council in a way we had not before; they marked us as nobility.”

He took a pause.

“Of course, my business had long since been keeping things moving – so my reputation was much more notable than Lady Catherine’s when I met her. I was already recognized by the council, though since then things have calmed down. Lady Catherine and I continue to do business together.” It was unfortunate that the reason he knew Catherine so well seemed to be his professional business. This was not entirely the case; their friendship was one of multiple dimensions. Complex, but strong.

“I think it is important for you to know that Lady Catherine cannot truly be tamed by the council. They do not know this because she has never given them any trouble, but I know better. She takes what she wants, and she doesn’t like to lose. I believe that she’d be willing to help us because she knows that we cannot live like this forever, and she isn’t comfortable with the life that she has. She is civil enough to her human staff, which led me to believe she is more similar to me than she is to other vampires.” The reason she was so popular with the rebellion was probably her appearances at certain questionable events. She publicly supported the council, and spoke out against treason. Gaston knew very well, however, that this was but a mere mask of her true self.

It was a dangerous task still, trying to convince her to help him oppose the council and bring them down from power. She was a smart vampire, but she wouldn’t risk her wellbeing if the goal was infeasible. That’s what the coming conversation would come down to. Is the plan to bring down the council possible? Can it be done without much impact on her life?

That was the goal. Coexistence.

“I believe we’ve known each other close to a thousand years,” he turned to look out the window once more. “We are close, Livia. She will not be so easy to tolerate, but she is harmless if I am there with you.”


It seemed the relationship with Catherine was more than he could say, but Alexia put the pieces together. He had mentioned hiding the friendship from the brother, Simon. If the friendship had started, or seemed based on business, that would make it easier for both sides. Excuses came easily when two people had business interests together. They, and others, were granted nobility. Alexia had only a faint idea of what that meant.

“An eccentric opportunist,”
she deduced, giving Catherine merely two descriptive words to cement an idea of her before they arrived. ‘Not the most trustworthy.’ But not untrustworthy. If Catherine understood the present system could not last, if only for her own sake, she would help so long as it didn’t come at a great risk to her. “That may work out yet.” If he was wrong, things were going to get dicey quickly. It almost seemed like it would have been more rational to check in with others who were more obviously inclined towards Gaston’s cause.

A thousand years of knowledge, though, could speak for a lot. Alexia thought she knew people after a few years.
‘And I know this vampire better than I know Dean.’ Or other human rebels, for that matter. It caused a twisted smile to cross her lips, though she didn’t explain it. She shook her head as the car seemed to slow. “I’ll try to behave.” It was the most she could offer. If Lady Catherine got on her nerves too much, she might resume her actual character rather than the role she felt was required.

~***~

Amon was not worried when one of the guards informed him that Gaston was not present at his manor.
“I shall wait for him inside,” he answered as the other tried to direct him away. “Perhaps have a bit to drink,” one shoulder lifted in a shrug as he walked to the door, and there knocked to gain entrance. Certainly that fool Kuno would come to answer the door. He’d convince the whelp to let him in, even if the guards wanted to protest further.

After all, he had little worry that if he fried all of the guards alive he’d be punished. Adrian did send him, and the council rarely executed one of their own…particularly one with such useful talents for eliminating their actual enemies. Humans were mere annoyances. Vampires that disagreed were the true issues, and Amon could dispense of them with a flick of his wrist, and a fiery ball of death.


‘Mostly that.’
Sun God indeed. Perhaps one day he’d exterminate them all. They were foolish for thinking they were his equals while he held a weapon fatal to humans and vampires alike.

Adrian kept him afraid, though. He wasn’t certain if it was the empathy, or true fear. It didn’t matter. It worked.


The vampire lord nodded his head appreciatively at Alexia ‘behaving’ in front of Lady Catherine. It was not his place to make sure of it, but the fact that she was willing to try was more than he could have asked for. If Alexia was civil enough, there would be no logical reason for the evening not to go well. Gaston believed that Lady Catherine would herself behave, but there was always that bit of doubt – perhaps Lady Catherine would say something that Alexia could interpret offensive.

The car began to slow down as the estate came into view, the clear starry night giving a comfortable welcoming feel. It was much larger than Gaston’s, with the gates taller and the gardens broader. The car came to a complete stop when it reached the gates; Gaston’s window lowered and the intercom spoke, asking what the reason for the visit was.

“Lord Gaston Pianette, I am expected.”

Without response, the gates opened and the car moved forward, taking a left into the parking area. This was a route that was familiar for the chauffer, having been driven many times before. A tree archway, much like the one back at the Pianette estate, greeted them and led them in. The soft rumble of the engine faded once the car was successfully parked and turned off. By the chauffer’s hand the car was opened, and Gaston slipped out effortlessly; he held the door open for Alexia to follow him, closing it once she had.

“Gaston,” said a familiar voice.

A smile quickly formed on Gaston’s face.

From the shadows of the large estate emerged a beautiful vampire, with pale skin that seemed to shine in the moonlight. The vampire’s slim figure was casted as a shadow. Her platinum hair was pushed back in a curvy bob, with her bangs falling in cascades on the side – the scarlet-like gown she wore matching her red pillowy lips and her crimson hooded eyes. She opened her arms in greeting as she walked, strutting in a way that was equally provocative as it was elegant – perfected.

“Catherine,” he responded, meeting up with her in a familiar embrace. “It is good to see you, my friend.”

“You as well,” mirrored she. “I trust that you had an uneventful drive here?” Gaston confirmed that he did. The vampire then turned to look at Alexia, who was still several inches smaller than her. “So this is who I hear you purchased that evening numbered nights ago? I heard from some friends of mine, did you bring your most recent purchase?” Lady Catherine did not particularly look at Alexia the same way that Gaston did, with the same respect, but with a slight hint of her elitist nature.

“I did not, it is just me and Livia,” he introduced them with a slight nod.

“Good to meet you, Livia.” She said in a slightly stiff manner when compared to her greeting with Gaston. “Why don’t we head to the salon? I daresay that the night will get colder by sunrise”

Lady Catherine invited them in, and led them inside.

***

An unexpected guest had presented himself on the gates of the Pianette estate, and it was Kuno who was accustomed to welcome the visitors. Visitors always made him nervous, primarily because other vampires frightened him more than Gaston did. The gates opened, and although unsure of what to do in such a situation, the guardsmen escorted Lord Amon to the front doors. The very scared human made his way to the doors and opened them, catching sight of the vampire and the guards behind him.

“Err,” muttered Kuno when he was not immediately able to speak. “Lord Amon, I’m afraid that Lord Pianette is not home at present.”

Kuno found himself praying that Lord Gaston would come home sooner than anticipated.

Something told Kuno that Amon could not be persuaded to return at a later time. It was a feeling deep in his gut, one that would not easily go away. Having other vampires as guests in the Pianette estate was never a comfortable situation, and he got the impression that this specific vampire would not be entirely civil. [/COLOR][/FONT]

Alexia stepped out of the car as the door remained opened, stepped away so it could be closed. The female vampire soon made her presence known, and Alexia looked her over calmly as she was distracted with Gaston. ‘Exactly what one would imagine.’ Gorgeous in scarlet, the color always associated with the fiends. Plenty of men, vampire and human alike, had probably fallen for her charms.

Alexia had promised to behave, but she soon realized it might be difficult to keep her tongue in check. The vampire was probably too well versed in language to get away with any back-handed compliments. Then again, Catherine was not unkind. Evidence of a superiority complex was there, but she did not mock her, nor did she simply turn away and ignore her. Alexia certainly didn’t expect the same warmth that Catherine greeted Gaston with.


‘Perhaps this will do.’ “A pleasure to meet you, Lady Catherine,”
she returned, not stiff, but not warm.

She accepted the invitation in, followed behind the pair rather than at Gaston’s side. Her eyes sought out other humans, and for a moment, she was almost certain she saw one before entering. The thought was brief, flitting, before her head turned away and she was inside. It would have been impossible to truly recognize who, if anyone, from that distance anyway.
‘Deluding yourself.’ Though Gaston had mentioned rebel activity out this way. She folded her arms over her chest, examined the decorations to get her mind off the thought. The vampires lived in absolute luxury, and this place was even bigger than Gaston’s.


The corpse poison did wonders for not being detected. After the move against Valerius, Willow moved the group to join the rebels in Riverpasse. The sound of a car intrigued. Willow was not within the gated area, but she could see the parking lot from where she positioned herself.

She had not expected to see Alex.


‘She’s alive….’
Willow hadn’t truly hoped such would be the case. A slow breath. Nothing could be done too quickly at this stage in the poison’s effect. She had to return with the news, though. Alex was alive, and in the hands of some vampire that Willow didn’t recognize. ‘We’ll fix that.’ Dressed darkly, never pure black, the woman made her path away. The cold night was going to be cruel while she was under the effects of the poison, anyway.

~***~

Kuno’s reaction was expected, perfectly flustered, and clearly afraid.
“That is quite all right, boy,” Amon answered, stepping across the threshold to make it clear he wasn’t leaving, “I intend to wait right here for him,” he answered, and then walked further into the house, stretching his hands up. “It is a nice place. I could stay for a few months if need be.” What was time to him anyway? Though, the place was not nice. Horribly small. He wasn’t a fan of the decorations, either, though he still preferred things of Egyptian design, or at least from the Orient.

His arms fell back to his side and he looked over his shoulder at Kuno,
“Come,” he motioned with a finger, “Show me around,” he invited. “Introduce me to the servants of this estate.”

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2013, 08:14:27 pm »
Lady Catherine led them inside the house, which was more like a mansion of sorts. The ceilings were high with chandeliers and columns that resembled that of olden Greek architecture. The very many decorations were of similar taste to Gaston’s, but of greater value and rarity. Gaston was wealthier than her, but his money was invested elsewhere.

They came into a larger room, which was the welcoming room and main entrance, for it was the center to the entire estate, having a single centered staircase leading in every direction. The biggest chandelier was in that room, and it was a luxury that was not often seen by humans. The floor was made of precious shiny stone, and the ceiling had elegant patterns painted upon them.

“The salon is just this way,” Lady Catherine chimed as she continued to walk. Several members of her staff were already in heavy movement, preparing the salon for the vampire’s guests. They entered into a smaller room, furnished for lounging and comfort. It was decorated much like the rest of the house, but in the center of the room a small circular table had been set up. Two cups rested on the table, and two chairs had been prepared. “Here we may speak comfortably.”

She closed the doors.

Lady Catherine took notice that Gaston insisted on Alexia to remain with him, and even if she didn’t expect this from the beginning, she didn’t let it show. She allowed it. If Gaston wanted the human to hear his business with her, that would be his doing, not hers. Whatever risks he wanted to take with her, she need not share. She glided from the doors to her seat, and sat down.

Gaston took the liberty of adding a tertiary chair by his, so that Alexia could sit by his side. The table was certainly big enough to sit three people. Lady Catherine did not stop him, which was a good sign. Gaston sat, crossing his legs once more. The time for conversation had arrived; he need now only find a subtle way to get what he wanted.

“How is Riverpasse these days?” Gaston took the cup as he spoke, taking in the scent of the blood before taking a calm, short sip. His need for thirst had finally, after thousands of years, been controlled. “We didn’t see much activity on our way here.”

Lady Catherine also took a sip, and as her close friend spoke, she smiled. “Well just because you saw no activity, darling, it does not mean that it was not there.” Gaston agreed with a nod. “Things have been quite boring, despite all the rebels lurking about – and I know they have been lurking. I just wish that they did something, this stalemate has gone on far too long.”

“That it has,” echoed Gaston softly.

“I hear that things on your side of town are far more silent than on mine,” she continued the conversation.

“They have been for quite some time; I don’t think there is any rebel activity anywhere near the town. It seems that they have all moved here to Riverpasse, for obvious reasons. The council is after all closer to Riverpasse,” he shared a quick look with Alexia, one that did not go unnoticed by Lady Catherine. “I fear we had our last conversation in such brevity,” Lady Catherine once more smiled in agreement. “I got the impression that this fall in rebel activity, despite their rising numbers, had left you with some peace?”

Their conversation had only barely touched on such subjects.

“Hardly, my dear Gaston. Hardly. You are a clever man; surely you know that rising numbers of rebels in Riverpasse without any activity can only be an ill sign. They are probably gathering their numbers to strike with unprecedented force.” She spoke the fear of having something happen to her estate, but her voice had not an ounce of worry. It was instead tinted with some sort of temptation, as if she wanted something to happen soon. And she did.

She looked at Alexia in wonder. The thought of revealing too much information in front of this rebel was a concern that had been frequently with her since they arrived. Gaston, however, seemed determined on keeping her by his side. She did not know why, but he trusted her in a way that alien to her. Trusting humans was one of the things she had never allowed herself to do. She pitied them. She did, however, trust Gaston.

“Yet you sound bored,” reminded Gaston.

“Quite bored, yes.”

***

Amon let himself in, and the panic did not go away. Kuno could not stop the vampire from doing whatever it wanted, especially since Gaston was nowhere near any of them. He could not call him and ask for help. Kuno needed to handle the situation. He looked at him, at the same time trying to avoid his red eyes. He had never been in such a situation, but he couldn’t just leave the vampire alone either. Amon had said that he could stay there for months if he needed. Months? What reason would he have on intruding upon someone else’s land for months?

“S-servants?” He couldn’t stop himself from asking what he had very well understood. Quickly, he realized his mistake and nodded his head. What else could he do? “Of course, Lord Amon.” Kuno agreed, bowed, and turned. The only thing worse of being in the presence of a vampire was being in the presence of a vampire and not being able to look at him constantly. The fear of being struck at any time from behind was maddening.

“The Pianette estate is small, so most of our staff works in the kitchen, my lord.”

He led the vampire there, only a short way ahead. Once there, Kuno took note of all the people therein. Everyone except Abby was there. Eva, Deirdre, Dean, even Rufus and Ronny, who worked in the gardens, were there. Eva kept her cool as the uninvited vampire made his way towards them.

“This here is the staff, my lord,” he mentioned them each by name, except Dean, who he introduced as Dante.

The rebel could not stand Kuno, but was appreciative at his introduction of him. He had often wondered why Gaston had kept such a fool around, and now it was becoming more apparent. Still, the sight of Amon was not something he could put into words. The man was a demon, capable of bending fire at his will. Dean had seen many pictures of him, and was the last person he was expecting to see. His sight struck a slight fear in even him.

“It is an honor to meet you at last, Lord Amon,” said Eva, in her usual polite tone. She knew that this was not a kind vampire, but that did not affect her ability to convey respect when it was expected. It would be a danger if anyone defied him. This was why she had ordered Abby to leave the kitchen and hide in her room just as soon as she heard the door open. The alien voice was a further hint to prepare herself.

The rest, even Dean, had to agree with her – even if stiffly.


‘And yet you are doing nothing.’

It was all Alexia could think as the bored and apathetic vampire complained of the rebels being near, understood that the gathering was dangerous, and yet did nothing. She was either afraid, or truly looking forward to the destruction. Overconfident, Alexia thought. It had been the downfall of others.

Was she meant to speak? She was ignored and allowed to look around from her seat. There were no other humans in the room. There were no other vampires in the room they settled in to, overly luxurious as expected. No drink for her, but she didn’t expect such a courtesy. She pretended Gaston had wine.

The woman’s eyes came to her as she spoke of that activity, or lack of it. Alexia held the gaze, the wonder, with no expression. Gaston commented. Catherine evaded.
‘Only boring people are bored.’ Alexia heard that somewhere before, or perhaps she had read it. She was pretty sure she hadn’t heard many complaints of boredom before. “Why don’t you do anything, then, Lady? Sounds like you have an easy way to alleviate your boredom if you’d just get up and do something about the rebels.” Alexia couldn’t help but ask. Perhaps she wasn’t meant to speak, but she wasn’t going to be bored. If it all blew up in their face because she wasn’t quiet enough, then the woman clearly wasn’t worth their alliance.

She wanted to leave the chair and explore the room, but managed not to do so. She did swing her legs underneath the table, though.


~***~

Amon followed Kuno to where the ‘servants’ were. He wondered how the poor boy would have responded if he had said ‘food’. They were in this ‘kitchen’, a thing Amon had to learn more about as time moved forward since humans did need to eat, and he preferred to drink from the vein. The farms were for the poor vampires who couldn’t afford ample food.

The farms were also for those conspirators who had the money but were ‘soft’ on humanity.
“Dante and Minerva?” Quite the selection. A Catholic writer, Italian activist, and a Roman goddess. He liked words, etymologies. The one named Dante seemed a touch more resistant, “I remember you,” he said to him, “You still look weak.” Hadn't caught either Amon or Adrian's eye, but up close Amon could see a defiance that didn't come from those at farms.

He’d met Kuno, but never the others. A glance to Deirdre revealed she was ill.
‘Good.’ It was starting to set in, then. Slowly. She was the first he had seen with symptoms, and such a shame. Of them all, she looked the most delicious, but he rather liked her darker skin tone best. “Well,” he moved to the table, sat upon it, and looked over them all. “One of you is missing. I take it Gaston left with her to…where did they go?” No one had told him where Gaston went.

Lady Catherine spoke softly, in a teasing voice that wasn’t unpleasant, but one that carried a secret that was charming and inviting. She looked over at Alexia when she spoke, her expression unchanging even after she had finished her comment. Had Gaston allowed such freedom in a human? Apparently so, for he did not motion for her to be silent – instead, they both looked at her as if she was expected to answer. Was she?

She wasn’t sure she liked how freely the human spoke, but she didn’t mention anything of it.

“Something about the rebels?” The vampire mirrored what the human had said. It was an interesting thought, though risky. “What would you have me do, if I may reply to your question with one of my own?” She couldn’t outright go against the rebels and become a specific target for them. It wasn’t that she was afraid of them, that was not the case at all. Quite the opposite. It was that they were such a trifle to her that she just hadn’t considered it, it wasn’t worth her time.

“How exactly does one do something about the rebels?”

In that moment her own mind contradicted her excuse – she could do something if she was bored enough. Everybody knew just how much Lady Catherine liked to be entertained. Why was she just sitting and waiting for someone else to stir the bunch? She could do it herself and end the damned rebellion once and for all. But was this what she wanted? She couldn’t think of a reason why not. She lived comfortably, but was she happy about it?

Gaston turned to look at Alexia, not at all worried that she had decided to speak out against Catherine. This was the sort of thing that the vampire encouraged, a topic of conversation to guide them in the direction the vampire needed. The vampire gave Alexia an encouraging, but slight, nod. If she had something on her mind, it was not up to him to stop her from sharing it.

It was, however, up to him to make sure that Lady Catherine understood what he wanted her allegiance for.

An allegiance that, even now, was at best blurry.

***

Dean didn’t let himself react when being addressed by Amon. The man was a monster, and even if he had the power of burning him in a single instant, he would not bend. His will was far greater than most. As the vampire spoke to him, he remained still. He didn’t answer and he didn’t glare, he merely silently acknowledged his presence. What did he want? He wouldn’t remain if he didn’t really need to. There was something that he was expecting of them, and Dean was afraid for it.

Eva took notice of Amon’s slightly lingering gaze on Dean. Whatever such look meant, she did not know. She did, however, know how to handle these situations. Eva had worked with Lord Gaston for many, many years. This was not a vampire to treat lightly, and his interest in Dean was something that she would have to convey to Gaston. These little things that she picked up on could very well be useful to the vampire that had so kindly treated her.

“Yes, Lord Amon,” responded Eva to the vampire’s question. “The other human, Livia, has gone with Lord Gaston. He didn’t tell us where, though. Lord Gaston does not feel it appropriate to convey to us anything more than just orders about the house.”

Eva’s voice was perfect in conveying the fear one might expect from a human. She was believable. Deirdre, upon seeing the sight of the vampire, perked up and followed Eva’s lead. She didn’t speak, but silently nodded her head at whatever Eva was saying. She knew best.

“Is there anything we can do for you?”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2013, 08:22:22 pm »
No, Gaston did not speak or contradict. No apologies this time, no threats as when he’d reacted before Adrian. Alexia felt a bit empowered by the lack of any vocal response from him. Even his body language hinted that he was not displeased with her speaking, even if Catherine seemed uncomfortable.

Catherine asked her own set of questions, and Alexia nodded to encourage her to speak and ask.
“How does one deal with rebels?” She repeated, finding the question amusing. “Forgive me, I’m not versed at communicating with vampires, and I will not mean to offend you. We humans do not take too much time speaking about pleasantries and letting time slip us by as we do not have as much as you, so I will be...blunt,” they were practically another species. Perhaps Catherine would take it as a compliment, acknowledging the differences, “I thought vampires had only two ways of dealing with rebels—killing them or capturing them. Certainly you could muster the forces necessary to do either of those things. Unless, your idea of entertainment is to allow them to do to Riverpasse what they did to Eventide.”

Alexia shrugged, didn’t look to see if Gaston would react as she spoke with knowledge he had not given her, nor of knowledge that Adrian shared,
“But you don’t strike me as foolish as Valerius.” She did not give the details, but her voice suggested she was more than aware of the incident, knew that Valerius had died even if Adrian didn’t say as much. “You can deal with the rebel situation before it becomes something overwhelming, either with violence or….” And there she trailed off, frowned, then spoke, “Well, if that is not your way, I suppose there are other methods. You’ll ignore this advice, but you could talk to them.” There were moderates in every group. A friendly vampire tended to throw humans off guard. “Might be entertaining. Certainly one way to get the adrenaline flowing…if vampires have adrenaline?” She didn’t know, phrased it as a question with a glance to Gaston. How different was the vampire make-up now that it shed its humanity?

~***~

‘Livia?’
His lips quirked to a smile, before Amon laughed aloud as Eva asked if there was anything that could be done. He did not explain himself as he lifted a hand to his lips, trying to stifle his own amusement. ‘Livia?’ They did pick such interesting names, but Amon didn’t believe that was her name for a second. No, it was one she gave to Gaston, a lie.

The smile didn’t fade as he shifted off the table. He pointed to Deirdre, the quiet beauty,
“She can take me to Gaston’s study, or office, or whatever room will keep me entertained with secrets of the lord of the house,” and then he pointed to ‘Dante’, “and he, as the newest here, can come along and tell me what he does know about this household and how much he loathes it, and all about this,” he couldn’t help the snicker, “‘Livia’ that Gaston has brought into the fold.”

Livia. Honestly. Well, he supposed that was a point to Adrian’s theory of Gaston being ignorant, but Amon wasn’t buying it.


Gaston tried hard not to smile when Alexia continued the conversation with Lady Catherine. She spoke without fear, marking the relevant differences between humans and vampires. Lady Catherine leaned back on her chair as Alexia spoke, her expression altering from serious to amused. Her crimson lips curled slightly at the tips, and her blood-colored eyes squinted a little. Alexia certainly spoke her mind decidedly and without hesitation.

Before she could reply, Alexia continued – speaking about something that Gaston had not heard her say before. He stirred slightly in his interest, but not enough to draw Lady Catherine’s attention from her. He took note of all that she said, for he would ask her of such things later. Eventide, Valerius, and all that it entailed. The vampire moved his eyes from Alexia to Lady Catherine, waiting for her response to what Alexia had said.

The human had brought out already several scenarios to deal with the rebels, one of which he wanted to enforce. Gaston wanted to convince Lady Catherine precisely that talking to the rebellion was not entirely a bad thing, and the way that Alexia introduced it … well, he couldn’t have said it better himself. A smile shone through him, a pride that he could not possibly be put into words.

“We do have adrenaline,”
confirmed Gaston in a soft whisper – that he could say just fine.

At long last, Lady Catherine moved, drawing in closer to Alexia as if they were long-time friends, and confiding in such intimacy was normal. “You do not offend me,” said she softly. “It is perhaps your mortality that makes humans like you so impatient, but I welcome your quickness. If vampires only have one way of dealing with rebels, then our society is far less educated than I thought.” A hint of disappointment dripped in her words, similar to the hatred that painted Gaston’s when he spoke of the council.

“Valerius was a damned fool,” she agreed, leaning back in her chair, but keeping her eyes locked on Alexia’s. “The idiot had it coming, and I wasn’t entirely sad to see him go. As for Riverpasse, I assure you it’ll be much more difficult for it to succumb to the rebellion, it is larger, and closer to the council. People are aware of your kind and their presence here in Riverpasse, they are just choosing to wait. Choosing to believe us ignorant is foolish and a mistake.”

She shook her head. “But that is beside the point,” she looked over at Gaston, admiring just how quiet he was being. “I see that Gaston’s kindness has rubbed off on someone like you, Livia. I daresay that I assumed that a person like you would kill a vampire who was willing to talk on sight, without hesitation or mercy. Or is that not the way humans deal with vampires? Not two ways, as you say we do, but just one? Murder?”

Gaston felt it necessary to speak at this point.

“Humans are more than willing to speak to vampires, I think Livia here is the perfect example.”

“You own her.” Lady Catherine hissed softly, his smile present still. “She has to listen to you – to us.”

It looked Gaston was prepared to counter her once more, but she raised her hand, and with a smile asked for him to let her continue. He did so. “I am not unwilling to talk, if they aren’t either. I enjoy conversation and debate just as much as any other vampire. For the sake of…entertainment, let us suppose that I chose to talk to them. What then? Tell me, how would you fix this, Livia?”

***

Eva did not like the idea of Deirdre leading Lord Amon to the study. She wondered why on earth he had chosen her to guide him. She felt like she was more than capable of doing it herself, but she was not in a position to even question his request. It could mean the death of them all. Then, her previous suspicions that the vampire had a special interest in Dean were confirmed when he also suggested his presence. Did he know more about him than he led on?

“Of course, my lord,” said Eva finally, stepping back and sharing a look with the weakened Deirdre.

The chocolate skinned girl was not frightened, or she at least didn’t seem to be. She moved from behind the table and approached the vampire. Her steps were quick, something that the others had not expected. Dean remained still, just as serious as he was before. Kuno wanted to volunteer himself to lead him, but he could tell that he was not wanted.

‘What the hell does he want with her?’ Dean flamed in his own mind.

“This way, my lord,” said Deirdre, whose voice was weak, but not as weak as one might think. “I will take you to Lord Gaston’s study, you may wait for him there if you wish.” She spoke politely enough, with her hand motioning for Dean to come with her. The truth was that she was scared of the vampire, but the situation had not offered her any other alternatives. She could tell that he wanted something with her – he had eyed her as soon as he’d seen her.

Dean did not have to be told twice, for he felt like he needed to protect Deirdre from Amon. He was used to being in the presence of a vampire, but he would never get used to the sight of a human walking into a trap. He may be walking into a trap himself, but he at least knew how to defend himself. His heart began to pace a little more quickly, and he knew that the vampire would notice.

Deirdre’s heart had not changed. [/COLOR][/FONT]

Mortality was exactly the reason humans acted faster. She’d half-expected adrenaline might be tied to that, but then, vampires could die. It made sense.

Catherine took her time to think, to speak, but when she did it was clear. Her disappointment caught Alexia’s attention, but she hid the smile that wanted to come at the revelation that Gaston might be right. She did not suggest that Riverpasse wouldn’t be dealt with exactly the same way—that’d be as foolish as Catherine herself realized. This overconfidence, this waiting game, though, was what would make humans the victors in this area even if the humans were unaware that they were known in the area.

Giving humans time was always a fatal mistake. They used it. Gaston interrupted a good point Catherine was making. Alexia waited until her point was finished and she asked further.
“Catherine is right, Gaston. Our way, in general, is to kill on sight when we are not in bondage. Had you come upon me outside of that auction, there is a decent chance one of us would be dead,” she did not look over at Gaston as she answered but kept her gaze steady on Catherine. “However, we are not as centrally organized as you vampires, and there are plenty of moderate voices out there. In groups, there are a variety of opinions, and we happen to value individual lives too highly for our own good at times,” meaning they wouldn’t execute a human for having a different opinion. It would be grudgingly heard, and sometimes even acted upon. “I imagine you have your own human servants, Catherine. The best way to begin would be to use one of them. Our kind always tries to take in our own, liberate them, or use them as spies. If there is one you can trust with a message, then send that one out.”

Lips quirked in a smirk,
“Ask to meet just one or two. If you ask for a group, they will be paranoid about a trap, but if you ask for one, it will be different. The fact that you have come to them with knowledge of their presence will be interesting enough. So far as what I’d do to fix this?” The smirk remained, “Well, speaking as a human who is no fan of bondage, I’d overthrow the council and figure out how humans and vampires can co-exist without this slavery nonsense, in broad terms, but again…I’m sure that’s advice to ignore.” It was just coming from a silly human, after all.

Alexia really wasn’t a fan of beating around the bush, but at least these were her words. If Catherine didn’t like them, Gaston could speak out against them, play his act up as necessary to ensure his own safety.


~***~

Amon did notice Dean’s heart rate speed up as he followed behind Deirdre. The general feeling in the house was expected—fear—but there was more to it than that.
‘This is why you should do your own investigating, Adrian.’ But no, Adrian so rarely did his own dirty work. He had minions upon minions, fed by his emotional manipulations, his wealth, his genius—he had helped start this overthrow in the first place, after all. He’d been on the councils when the vampires were in secret, back when there was more than one council, he’d been in all of them.

Amon didn’t truly envy his empathy, though. Burning things was useful.

He still couldn’t resist playing with the boy. He’d get a reaction, figure out his true colors. When they came to the door, Amon reached out and placed a hand on Dean’s shoulder. He leaned forward to whisper,
“Pretty, isn’t she?” He didn’t care if Deirdre heard as he eyed her, door opening, study revealed. He smiled to Dean before walking ahead and into the study.

“Beautiful,”
he commented. There was likely a wealth of information here. Most of it would be dull. He was betting all the good stuff would be in some sort of code, “You, boy,” he snapped his fingers, “find things that would interest Adrian, or at least amuse me.” Tanned fingers graced over the top of the desk as he walked around it, and then let himself fall into the seat, “You, my dear,” he lifted his hand and simply crooked a finger to tell Deirdre to come closer.

Amon wasn’t known for being sensible. Adrian wouldn’t even question why he drank from someone sick. Amon simply knew he needed to contract the illness, show the signs when the others became sick, and then ‘naturally’ recover.
‘A weeding out of the inferiors, my dear.’ And poor Adrian would think be on that inferior list. ‘Vampires need a plague.’
 

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2013, 08:26:55 pm »
Gaston’s spirits were high despite even the fact that if he had met Alexia under different circumstances an alliance might have never been formed. If what they had now could even be called that. He chose to believe that he would have found some way to talk to her, and took comfort in the small possibility. Alexia did not look at him when she spoke, but kept her eyes on Lady Catherine. The gorgeous vampire looked amused at what the human was saying, and that same smile that appeared moments before, remained with her throughout.

“What an interesting human you’ve found for yourself, my dear Gaston,”
said Lady Catherine once Alexia had finished speaking. “After all this, I cannot help but wonder, is there any reason why I am expected to follow along with you in this? To listen, above all, to a human? I am curious as to why she felt it alright to even speak without permission, enlighten me, for I know not.”

Gaston looked over at Alexia, sharing with her a briefly apologetic expression. “They are not so different from us,” began Gaston gently. “You know this, Catherine.” The vampire looked over at Gaston, not at all convinced by what he was saying, but very well ready to listen. “I know this may be a bit forward for us, but we need to put an end to this life we have grown so accustomed to. As the very wise Livia has said, we need to strive for coexistence. She speaks her mind because I cannot refuse her the rights she is entitled to.”

Lady Catherine scoffed slightly, leering at Gaston. “We are already coexisting, Gaston.” Catherine’s voice was harsh, but upon seeing an unbending Gaston, it softened once more. She knew that he could not be convinced, and although they didn’t necessarily agree with him, she could never oppose him. She cared for him too much. “What are planning to do?” She gave in only slightly.

“We overthrow the council,” answered he simply, mirroring Alexia’s previous voice.

“That is much easier said than done,” she leaned back on her chair, her eyes once more finding Alexia’s. “I will not pretend to believe that this can work, in any way, but you know that I…” she looked back at Gaston, “can’t not support you. If you want to throw your life, all of your progress, down the drain for these humans and their cause, then I will help you as best as I can. It will be hard to keep from the council’s many spies.”

Gaston smiled. “It is not just best for the humans, Catherine. It is what is best for us, too.”

“It’ll at least be entertaining.”


***

Once they were at the vampire’s study, Dean felt a cold, hard, hand on his shoulder. Immediately he fought the instinct to shove it off, but he was instead greeted by the sound of Amon’s voice – some sick attraction and fascination he had with Deirdre suddenly becoming apparent in Dean’s mind. A mad twisted smile followed the awkward encounter, and the vampire stepped into a room that wasn’t his to intrude upon.

Dean didn’t answer him, but his gaze hardened, and his lips tightened, by just looking at him.

Deirdre looked about the study, only having actually entered a small number of times before. She stood by the door, planning to let Amon do all the searching he wanted. When he snapped his fingers in command towards Dean, however, she felt something foreign. It was a horrid feeling, one to make a grown man cringe in fear. The rebel did not readily obey what was ordered of him, but he couldn’t just ignore it.

Without an ounce of hesitation, Dean made his way to the desk, catching from his peripheral vision how Amon invited Deirdre closer to him. What did he want with her? He looked at the desk, the drawers, trying to look for the information that Amon wanted from him. There was nothing. The drawers were not locked, but all the papers inside mentioned only financial positions and balances. There were no notes, no letters from other vampires.

They were business related. Nothing of the rebellion jumped out at him. Gaston covered his tracks well.

The dark skinned human approached the vampire – her mind afraid of what was to happen, but her face perfectly controlled.

“Yes, Lord Amon?”


There was the moment where Gaston could have back tracked. Alexia expected to be ignored as she was, for the woman wouldn’t listen only to a human. Something in her reaction still must have told Gaston to press the matter rather than backtrack. ‘Very wise my foot.’ She was more a creature of instinct and adaptation. She accepted the flattery if only because in this situation, he hadn’t seemed to know how to broach the subject.

Perhaps it counted as wisdom. She had to smile when he said so bluntly that the plan was to overthrow the council. Catherine’s gaze returned to her. She gave no reaction to the comment but a simple shrug.
‘If you don’t believe….’ But now was no time to lecture a vampire on how important being mentally engaged was. How important belief was. Right now, the point was that Catherine was swayed—if only by emotion, she was swayed. ‘When’s the wedding?’ She bit the inside of her cheek. She would not ask Gaston that. She would not insist on being flower girl. She would not taunt the man with the fangs.

She would not taunt the woman about dying for entertainment, either. Instead, she let out a breath in a sigh, relief and exasperation,
“Was that so difficult, Gaston?” She had to ask, giving him a wry smile. Ok, a little taunting of the man with the fangs. “Now you two can catch up, I’m sure. I can…find something to do.” Somewhere. She didn't wish to intrude. She wasn’t sure where, as she did expect Gaston planned to stay to make some idle chat with the woman. She had moved to the edge of her seat to leave in some direction, but wouldn’t dare do so without Catherine’s approval or suggestion.

Her house, her rules.


~***~

Deirdre was truly a good servant. She answered the summons as Dean went about digging through the drawers and papers. Amon felt no pang of guilt over his intentions because of her good behavior, though. This was all humans were truly meant for, after all. This was their purpose—to be the cattle of the superior.

He lifted his hand to her cheek. Unlike most vampires, he was not cold. He meant to persuade her to draw closer and lean down with the touch, the slight movement.
“You have never been bitten before,” that much was clear to see. He spoke low so Dean wouldn’t hear. The boy would just get to see. “I do not drink any other way,” with how pricey humans could be, it meant he did have to keep his humans alive so he could feed upon them. It was an art, really. Young vampires often killed their food, not developing the finesse to keep the throat in-tact. “And Adrian did not let me feed, so you will have to do.”

He allowed a moment for it to sink in.
“Now, I’d not upset Gaston by killing one of his staff, so I suggest you do not move or you will end up killing yourself on the fangs. All right?” He approval wasn’t really necessary, only the understanding. With that, he’d proceed to have his meal.

It would certainly make things interesting when Gaston returned.
‘You are keeping me waiting.’ Not that Gaston was even aware of that.


Just as soon as Alexia let herself feel relieved, that same feeling made Gaston smile. He had not expected things to happen as they just had, but was pleased to see that everything, for the most part, had turned out well. He looked at one of his oldest friends, and although his smile was quick and sincere, hers was only returned slightly. The vampire did not expect for Lady Catherine to be at all thrilled by what he had just proposed, and although she had stated where her allegiance would lie, there were still many things that needed to be talked about.

Alexia made a motion towards leaving them with some privacy, which was probably the best thing to do. His appreciation was not apparent, but present. Lady Catherine had not been intimidated by Alexia, but she surely wouldn’t have spoken so formally without her presence. A little of her true self had still been held back, but Gaston was happy to assume that they could further converse once Alexia found herself busy with something else.

A thought came to him then. Perhaps it would be a good idea for Alexia to visit the welcoming gardens – perhaps their unusual welcoming guests would once more make an appearance. Without direct vampiric supervision, such a circumstance may have even been possible.

With a look and a nod, Lady Catherine passed on her will and permission unto Gaston. He had privileges to treat her estate as his own, and therefore could direct his human to whichever part of the estate he pleased. She hid nothing from him, so no fear was sparked – and if her allegiance to him had not right expressed her trust, this most certainly did.

“Why don’t you go out to the gardens?”
Said Gaston with a look that motioned for something a little more than a stroll to his human companion. Surely she hadn’t missed the slight disturbance that had found them in their arrival.  “By where we parked the car? If not, I’m sure you’ll find Lady Catherine’s home more interesting than mine, I daresay.”

Lady Catherine was not so quick to agree, but she said nothing to argue otherwise. Instead, she merely turned to Gaston as if the human had already left. “I didn’t know you were capable of such, recklessness, my dear Gaston,” began she softly. “Out of all the things that I had expected from your visit, this was not among them. Are you certain you want to do this?”

Gaston understood where she was coming from, with her concern and her hesitation. They mattered to him, but they would not change his mind as to what to do in this situation. “I cannot stand idly by and see this madness progress, Catherine. I have already been trying to do something about it, but one cannot suggest such radical changes to the council without the dangers it entails.”

A soft laugh escaped Lady Catherine’s lips, and she fetched his hand in hers. “I have already pledge my allegiance to the council, but I think it foolish that they’ll blindly trust me. They still may suspect me if we are not careful. I just wish that you weren’t so certain and severe in changing our lifestyle.” She raised her other hand to prevent him from countering her. “I know, I know how you feel about this now, as I had scarcely suspected before. We need this change, as hard as it is for me to admit it.”

“You knew?”

“I didn’t necessarily, but I had my deepest suspicions. The council was never a subject you were comfortable speaking of in my company – however gracious you are around those close to it. I’ll follow you no matter what you choose, Gaston. Pain such as the one you’ve experienced cannot go unpaid.”

“I appreciate that,” said he before a moment of silence. “You mentioned you wanted to show me something over the phone? I suspect it is of a delicate nature?”

Lady Catherine frowned slightly.

“Yes,” she rose slowly, letting her fingers entwine with his as long as she was able. “Yes, I did.”

***

The vampire whispered to Deirdre, and as the words reached her, her fears were confirmed. He wanted to drink from her, and there was nothing she could do about it. An even greater fear, other than the fear for her own life, overcame her. Dean, the newly purchased rebel who hardened at even merely speaking of vampires, would not handle this situation well. He could put his life at risk, and she couldn’t have that on her conscience, too.

“Lord Amon?”
Her voice broke as she spoke, but she found herself being moved by the cold hands. His practiced movements, although slow, were chilling to the bone. Deirdre felt her neck crane, moved and adjusted to the preferences of the vampire.

Dean turned to look at the vampire at the wrong moment. He was midway between leaning in and actually biting at the girl’s neck. His heart raced, fear and anger mixing into a solution of emotion that he had felt too many times before. Deirdre’s eyes and his locked for an instant, and with a slight head shake, and a wave, she pleaded. It was a hopeless plea, but one with such muffled ferocity.

He stood still, his gaze flamed with utter rage and disbelief – yet, he couldn’t move. He wanted to move, and he was able to move, but he couldn’t make himself do it. He’d kill her in his retaliation. Dean would find himself giving the perfect excuse to the vampire to act against them both.

Then he heard Deirdre’s soft, pained, struggle. His fangs felt like blades on her delicate skin, the pain burning unto her like nothing she had experienced before. She tried not to struggle, but she couldn’t contain her agony. Her vocal complaints were not verbal or loud, just as controlled as they could be. There was nothing more to do than just wait.

She would welcome death if need be. At least that did not frighten her.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2013, 08:29:06 pm »
Alexia rose from the seat as Gaston told her to go to the garden. His look said more than his words. Had he noticed something strange? Perhaps she was not deluding herself. “Very well, I will be outside,” she answered him, inclined her head to Catherine, and walked out as the woman began to address to Gaston. She was out just as Gaston began his answer, and outside not long after.

She stretched up, walked on by the car, further away from the building. She didn’t dare glance back at the vampiric driver, or anyone else, either. Best not to appear anxious, or make it seem like she was doing anything 'wrong' by having doubts.

The sound of an early bird caught her attention. It was a bit too early for that bird to be singing, of course.
“Robin,” she greeted.

Robin was a teenager, fifteen, and an explosives genius. He dropped from the tree, skin pale, showing the signs of the poison he’d inflicted upon himself. He didn’t land well, either.
“Will said she saw you. She said you were….” He saw the blades, how one hand rested on them, and he looked back towards the home. A flash of hope, “You must have seen!”

Alexia shook her head, knowing what the hope was for.
“The vampire I am with is Gaston Pianette,” they needed the information, a head's up as well. “And I have a chance to get close to Adrian, so tell Will I shall be staying a bit longer.” Robin slowly straightened from his crouch, all in black. He was visibly confused. Alexia wondered then if the poison slowed his mind as well—not a side effect for her, but Robin was usually quicker. “Go. It still isn’t safe here.”

He hesitated,
“Come with me.” He offered his hand to out her. “You’ll have other chances. This is too risky.” Eyes darted to see if any might approach, now that he knew the vampires hadn’t been killed.

Alexia didn’t take his hand.
“Go,” she said again. “Oh, and tell Will she might hear from Catherine.” An eyebrow arched, questions and curiosity. Robin was a moderate voice, and his youth was blamed for that. Idealistic.

He didn’t ask. He let his hand fall back to his side, not sure how to respond to that. He was told to go twice now, and he decided to take that with the words of who Alexia was with. Willow had wanted that information. He turned away to escape into the trees again.


~***~

Amon saw Dean’s look. This was more a test for Dean than it was Deirdre, she was the obedient one, after all. Although Dean stopped looking for what Amon wanted, he did not move.
‘Pity.’ Amon had hoped he wouldn’t be such a coward, but perhaps he shouldn’t have expected anything different.

The boy had not been considered a rebel, after all. There was reason for that.

He was nothing.

Amon’s interest faded at the taste of blood. Sweet, tainted. If he didn’t have a reputation for rash actions, Adrian would have raised an eyebrow at him drinking from someone sick. Fortunately, his reputation was too well-known for there to be any doubt. The tainted nature didn’t take away from the delicious taste, though. He never would have guessed blood could taste so good when he was human. The sounds she made were cute, rather like the mewling of a kitten in his mind. He still liked cats. There was nothing half as amusing as throwing a cat at someone’s face.

He wouldn’t end the song on a high note by killing her, though. He drank enough to sate his appetite and leave her quite weak. If she fell unconscious, he wouldn’t be surprised. Fangs removed, he gently pushed her away from him. He wiped the back of his hand by his lips. He was pleased to see no trace of blood. His eyes flickered back up to Dean.
“I didn’t tell you to stop.”

Gaston rose with Lady Catherine, a quizzical brow raised in curiosity as to what was so severe in importance. The vampire woman did not look troubled, but her expression had turned serious when the subject came up. In their phone conversation she had said she needed to show him some things. These were it. She offered her hand to Gaston, and the latter took it, allowing himself to be led into one of the many corridors in her mansion. Her hand felt warm at his touch, with their fast and long strides taking them to the other side of the land.

“Should I be concerned?” Gaston found himself asking. Perhaps what he was looking for was some sort of comfort. Was there even such a thing?

“I don’t think so – not yet, anyway.” Her words did not calm Gaston, but peaked his curiosity. They came into a large room – her personal chambers, adorned to perfection. Placed neatly on one of her dressers was a little chest – the lock to keep it safe opened on its side. “I suppose we could call it a gift, from me to you.”

Gaston approached the dresser and took the black chest into his pale hands. The pattern of the cloth around the box felt worn, and it was light – as if it were empty. Slowly, he propped the chest open. Laying on its long end, a crystalline vial with a clear liquid was resting inside. He picked the vial with his free hand and placed the chest back down. It shone with the light of the room, the liquid swaying from side to side as it moved.

“What is it?” He asked, examining the bottle with squinting eyes. As if that made his sight better. It didn’t.

“I cannot say that I know exactly what it is,”
she admitted, crossing her arms comfortably. “I was given that small vial by some of the guards, taken by a lurking rebel. This is your area of expertise, so I wanted you to tell me what it was. As far as I know, it’s some sort of poison – not fatal, I suspect. Just be thankful it wasn’t one of the council guards that found it.”

“Why do you say that?”
He inquired after the poison, not the guards.

“Well, the rebel who drank it did not die. She simply…seemed dead.” She caught on easily enough.

Gaston smiled slightly at the vial. He would have plenty of time to decipher the contents and purposes of the concoction. “I’ll take a look at it,” he knew that Lady Catherine wouldn’t have bothered herself with it unless she thought it useful. Whatever the vial had, he’d find out. It was a curious thing, chemistry. “Was there anything else?”

Lady Catherine was about to answer when a noise came from Gaston. It surprised them both. In one of his many pockets, a small phone had made three fast and even beeps. Gaston’s expression turned into one of wonder as he fetched his phone, opened it and answered. It was from his estate, which led him to believe that something was amiss therein.

“Hello,” he voiced. The voice on the other end was familiar, calm but vaguely severe. “Yes, good evening Eva.” He was not without manners. The conversation was brief, but important all the same. Lady Catherine did not have to ask Gaston anything to know that something was wrong. While he was still on the phone, Gaston put the vial back into the chest and the chest into one of the folds of his suit. With a slight wave, he exited Lady Catherine’s chambers. She followed him.

“What is it?” Concern.

Gaston cursed under his breath without realizing it. “It’s Amon,” he said, cross. “He’s back in town - at my estate.” He moved swiftly through the estate, the car his destination. Surely Alexia was still there, not a lot of time had elapsed since their separation. Lady Catherine did not seem to take the news as bad.

“That’s hardly alarming news,” responded Catherine.

“I have a stubborn rebel back there, with a vampire who drinks directly from his prey. I have enough reason to be concerned.”

Gaston found himself outside soon, and he instructed his driver to get the car ready. His eyes soon found Alexia, and with relief he called her to him. The vampire found himself hoping that she had found what he had intended for her to find. Things were progressing more quickly than he thought – what other reason did Amon have for dropping by unexpected.

“Come now, Livia,” he said gravely, however, polite. “We must go.”

“I’ll come with you,” said Lady Catherine. There was no time to argue.

***

Deirdre whimpered as the vampire drank, her flesh burning at his touch. She couldn’t move, and she wished that Luke didn’t move either. All she wanted was for Gaston to return; Eva would make sure to contact him with something as important as Amon’s visit. Her thoughts didn’t linger for long, for her sight soon became glazed and blurry.

Eventually she succumbed to her loss of blood. When Amon was done drinking from her, she fell to the floor with a soft thud.

He did not know much about what had kept Deirdre ill, but Dean knew enough to know that she was at least still alive. He was concerned that this loss of blood, along with her already complicated health, would put a greater toll on Deirdre than she could handle. He couldn’t think of this for a long time, however, for he was addressed by the vampire. Dean had not been instructed to stop.

“I didn’t find anything,” he said icily, stiff. [/COLOR][/FONT]

Robin did not go far. A part of him hoped that she would reconsider and run into the woods, so he could direct her to the base of operations. However, he heard the vampire call. ‘Livia?’ So, the man did not know who it was he had in his possession.

An interesting situation indeed.

Alexia turned and followed his command, sprinting back to the vehicle from where she’d been. She did not ask what was wrong. The fact Lady Catherine was coming was unnerving enough at first, though nerves and emotions were hidden behind a mask. A longing to run away struck suddenly, but she banked it as her hand touched the door and she opened it for herself rather than let the vampires open it.
‘I can’t. Not yet.’ Dean was still there, and Gaston did not appear to be lying.

He was willing to out himself to another vampire, after all.

Once inside the vehicle, she did speak.
“What’s happened?” For something must have happened for the visit to be cut so short, and for Catherine to be coming along. There was too much urgency in his words that she come along for her to think otherwise.

~***~

Amon looked disappointed.
“You barely looked,” he commented, decided the human useless. He stepped over Deirdre as he walked around the desk. “Well then, put her to bed. Orange juice, water, these things would be good for her. Perhaps that soup,” there used to be books upon books recommending some soup for all human ailments. He couldn’t remember what it was, though.

He dismissed the memory. It didn’t matter to him, really. He planned to continue on searching the home when another thought struck him. He paused just outside the room, glanced back at Dante,
“Where is it Livia is staying?” He did not know if there would be anything of note there, but he supposed it was worth a glance. If nothing else, it was bound to make this human more anxious, and perhaps finally make him emotive. Amon wasn’t sure, but it was his own challenge to see how to make this Dante snap.

Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2013, 08:49:48 pm »
Gaston considered letting Lady Catherine enter the car before himself but quickly decided that separating himself from Alexia, and having Lady Catherine in the middle, would not be a good idea. He, therefore, stepped in after Alexia and sat in the middle. The vampire would have brought a bigger car if he knew that he would be returning with Lady Catherine. Gaston did not want to make Alexia uncomfortable by enduring a drive with three vampires in a small confined space.

If she was at all uncomfortable, she didn’t let it show. Alexia seemed to know that something had happened, for he wasn’t necessarily trying to act otherwise. He tried to hide his concern, but Gaston wouldn’t worry either Alexia or Catherine knew what he was really thinking. Fearing. Still, he further appreciation how sharp Alexia was – more so than any human he had met recently. Certainly more than Dean.

“Back to the estate,” he said to the driver. “With haste, please.” He closed the partition and then looked back towards Alexia. “Eva called,” he didn’t want to sound alarm, or alarm anybody. “Amon is waiting for me at the estate. He’s in my study with Dean and Deirdre.”

“That other rebel of yours, I suspect?”
Asked Lady Catherine sounding irritated.

“Yes,” confirmed Gaston, his tone still completely pleasant. “I don’t want to keep him waiting, but we mustn’t be anything other than natural around him. Lady Catherine, you can say that you’ve come because we have further business to settle on the farms.” This was usually what merited a visit from her, surely Amon would know that.

Lady Catherine let out a small laugh. “Fine.”

The car darted forward as Lady Catherine instructed the gates to be opened. Gaston was concerned, yes, but he wouldn’t make a war out of something that may only be a social visit – however unlikely. There were still some things to be said. He would have preferred to be alone with Alexia, but he couldn’t wait to hear what she had found out, if anything.

“Did you see anything interesting in the gardens, Livia?”


***

Amon was toying with Dean, and the rebel really could not stand it. Every word that came from the rotting leech was tempting him into retaliation. As hard as he tried not to say anything, the more time he spent with the vampire, the harder it was to stay silent. In his mind he began to think of ways he could kill him. If he could kill him, perhaps it would be easier to escape. He knew that Amon struck fear into even vampires – it could work.

As soon as the vampire stood, he moved towards Deirdre, not even waiting for him to express his approval. He moved his arm around her and picked lifted her – she was unconscious. As he carried her out of the room, he heard Amon speak once more. His mouth tightened and his brow furrowed in anger. As soon as he opened the door, Kuno and Eva moved forward from the corridor – the man taking Deirdre from Dean, for he knew where her chambers were.

"I'll take her,"
said Kuno gently. Eva remained silent.

Dean turned to the vampire as the others left.

“Why do you need to know that?” He challenged.


Alexia felt a tremor of panic herself at the news of Amon being at Gaston's home. ‘What does he want?’ She had reason to worry, as Gaston did. It seemed they were expected to act natural. She wasn’t even sure what natural would be in that situation. ‘We know what natural is.’

Her natural wouldn’t work. As Gaston asked if she found anything interesting, she adjusted her position, lifting herself a bit from the seat despite the seatbelt.
“Mm,” she answered, removing the two blades. She knew herself too well. She was liable to slit the vampire’s throat with these on hand, or certainly try. It might not be blamed on Gaston for having such a rebellious human, but it would certainly mean her life. “A pretty robin,” she finished the answer as she then offered the weapons to him.

She wouldn’t say any more on the matter. Catherine had earned no more information from her, even if she was on Gaston’s side.
“I wouldn’t trust me with these,” she explained the offered weapons. Gaston, in his role, should do no such thing. It’d be foolish given her behavior before Adrian yesterday.

~***~

The woman was taken by Kuno. Amon bared fangs at the human when he appeared, but did nothing else.

Dean finally showed a bit of a backbone, a bit of fire. Answer or not? Amon shifted his weight as he deliberated what might be more amusing, what sort of thing might make the human respond.
“You do not get to question my motives, but,” he’d give a little. Just a little, “I know more about ‘Livia’,” he did the air quotes. They annoyed Adrian. The human couldn’t miss the obvious this way, “Then I think your master does, and if I am correct….” He trailed off.

If he was right, Dante could fill in the blanks. A rebel such as Alex, a symbol, rather, was powerful if in their grasp, alive, dead, it mattered little so long as such news spread to other rebels. Morale would fall. Things would move about easier, smoother, after that.


Gaston did not quite know what she meant by the bird, but he made a mental note of it. He knew that the word had a deeper meaning than the obvious, and it was perhaps Lady Catherine’s presence that prevented them from truly speaking comfortably. He let the subject rest, choosing to speak to her later – if that such time existed for either of them. He merely nodded in faked amusement before turning to Lady Catherine.

“You gave her weapons?” Lady Catherine had immediately noticed the weapons, but had decided not to voice her concern until now. The idea had always been ridiculous to her, but she trusted in the fact that Gaston was clever. She also didn’t know why Alexia would give them back. If Gaston trusted her so much, what was the problem?

Gaston turned to Alexia and, with a slight frown, took the blades from her. He placed them on his lap, but Lady Catherine took them into her own hands. She admired them silently. “I felt like Livia would feel better protected if she had weapons of her own,” explained Gaston. “Though you are right, perhaps you should be without them around Amon. The temptation to pounce is high even for me; I dare not imagine what it is for you.”

Catherine scoffed. Why was Gaston so inclined to assure the human's comfort? Catherine had now known that Gaston was a human sympathizer, but she couldn't fathom where all his consideration to them came from. “I didn’t know you hated vampires so much,” she sounded a little offended, but she dealt with these discoveries gracefully.

“I don’t hate vampires,” he corrected with a slight smile. “I hate scum.”

Another laugh resonated. “Well, we all know Amon is insane, but I never thought of him as scum.”

To this, Gaston remained silent. Amon was scum, and he was surrounded by scum. It would be unwise for Gaston to trust him. He’d tread carefully around him, and hopefully avoid the altercation that was surely approaching. He turned to Alexia, trying to comfort the nerves that had surely been present in her, too. The vampire did not know her well enough yet, but he would be more comfortable if she knew that he’d stand by her if things didn’t go well.

***

Dean listened in to what the vampire had to say. If he was being truthful, then he clearly didn’t know just how much Gaston knew about them. He could make life hell for both of them. He could turn the leech that had bought him to a vampire more powerful than him. Dean could tell him everything that Gaston had so foolishly told him.

A wicked smile formed on Dean’s lips, but the realization of helping Amon soon came after that. The smile remained, but it was now a smile of pity – pity to himself. How had he ended up in this situation? Forced to deal with vampires; forced to deal with situations like these; forced to lie to a vampire to help another. This was not the life he had pictured for himself. He had dreamt of ended the rebellion, standing victorious in the end.

Not being a lowly staff member for a human sympathizer.

“I don’t see how that gives you permission to delve into a home that is not yours,” his voice came out short of a hiss, and with a slight mocking bow, he continued. “Lord Amon.”


The weapons moved on to Catherine’s hands, and Alexia watched as she examined them, seeming to recognize quality as well—or at least beauty. Then again, the woman’s home had not been overly gaudy, perhaps she should have expected this much. Catherine just did not strike her as someone who even knew how to wield a blade. At least, not well.

Terminology caused her to smile. Pounce made her think of cats, and the image stuck. No doubt, vampires fought their own with fangs—those things could rip out throats, after all. She’d seen it enough times. Catherine wasn’t pleased though. She voiced it openly enough.


“What do you think of Amon as, then?”
Alexia asked. Another insight might be useful, though the man had plenty of nicknames. Still, perhaps there was reason why Catherine didn’t consider him scum, as Alexia thought. Of course, she still thought the vast majority of vampires were that, true or not. They did participate in this business of human slavery, and stood idly by.

‘Or they are like Gaston and working quietly.’
She did wonder if there were those unknown to Gaston who were considering similar rebellion.

~***~

Dean’s face revealed emotions. A change came over him, and Amon nearly laughed at the words that came. What was he playing at now? At least it was interesting. Amon didn’t need permission, but for once he had it.
“Better,” he complimented the bow, “You’ll have to learn to fake sincerity better though, boy.” He commented, walked closer to Dean.

“Adrian gave me permission,”
Amon answered, uncertain about this ‘Lord Amon’ business so suddenly. None defied Adrian, though he doubted Dean understood that. If Adrian wanted something, he got it. Those who hindered investigations were marked enemies. He paused before the mocking human, “Now, are you going to show me, or am I going to have to find that wretched Kuno again?” Kuno would show him the places he wanted to be, permission or not.

The car sped into a speed that could no longer be ignored, the trees outside were now just blurs of brown and green. When Alexia further continued the conversation regarding Amon, Gaston looked over at Lady Catherine. What could she see him as if not scum? There was no denying that the man was a monster. Lady Catherine merely shook her head slightly, her platinum bangs falling to the side of her face.

“I think he is nothing more than insane, twisted beyond either of our understanding,” she spoke slowly, in something resembling a whisper – but clear and audible. “I do not see him as scum. I know people who are scum – filthy, merciless, bent killers. I never got that vibe from him.”

This time it was Gaston who shook his head. “I think that given some time you will change your mind, my dear friend.” He felt the possibility of that happening, but part of him was just hoping that she would in time hate that vampire.

After that, there was some silence in the car. Catherine did not want to vocally disagree with Gaston’s hypothesis about her. She couldn’t really admit to it either. Amon was a vampire who she knew a lot about, and one whom had never treated her with anything less than the respect and attention she deserved. In her book, Amon was simply crazy, but she did not, at all, mind him. Whatever he had done to Gaston, she couldn’t imagine it to be all that bad. 

“I know what you expect me to say when I am with Amon,”
began Catherine after the pause. “I wonder, however, what you plan to do with her?” A slender pale finger pointed at Alexia from across the car. “I don’t think she’ll do well in his presence.”

Gaston nodded his head slightly, his expression still as serious as before. “I don’t want Livia to be anywhere near Amon. I regret that Dean had to already put up with him, who knows what he has done to them already. If I can help it,” he now turned to Alexia, disliking speaking about her as if she weren’t there. “I will have you away from him.”

Catherine looked over at Alexia and then back at Gaston. Surely such a strategy would just make Amon suspicious, not to mention the fact that it might make the encounter boring. At the rate the car was moving, they would reach the estate much sooner than expected.

***

Anger filled his stomach, and he felt his chest tighten. The fact that Amon was so unwilling to see him as other than a trifle was more upsetting than Dean thought. The vampire merely praised him for his bow, mocking him right back with acknowledgement of fake sincerity. The human rebel still didn’t want to show Amon the way to Alexia’s room.

The permission he so paraded upon him was not Adrian’s to give. What liberties did Adrian have in the Pianette estate? It didn’t presently matter. Dean had to act quickly, buy the others some time before the leech decided to do something else to entertain himself.

“I will show you,” said Dean stiffly.

He led him out of the study, and down the corridor. The others seemed to have remained with Deirdre, for they weren’t in the kitchen. As he made his way up the stairs, he saw Alexia’s door, with his own door a little ways down the hall. He approached it, grabbed the doorknob, turned it, and opened it. The door hit the wall with a soft thump.

A small squeal came from inside, for little Abby was sitting frightened on Alexia’s bed.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2013, 08:51:47 pm »
‘Crazy, yes.’ Alexia could agree with that. If even half the things she’d heard were true, the man might be beyond crazy. If he truly thought himself a god, a sun god of all things, then he would be crazy. However, she didn’t voice any agreement. Perhaps he was something beyond scum. She would agree with that, but knew that wasn’t what Catherine was getting at. She, apparently, did not hate him.

They spoke around her. She pretended to tune it out, to act as if she weren’t listening, if only to drive home the obvious point that she was.
‘Are we that low to you?’ Catherine showed disdain, but it wasn’t grating until right then.

Alexia frowned at Gaston’s idea,
“Do I get a say?” she wondered, but offered her say anyway, “I don’t want to be removed from this. I’ll behave. Might need an idea of a script, but I won’t…give him reason to cause more trouble.” Tempting as it would be. She’d given Gaston the weapons for that reason, after all. She wasn’t about to avoid the scene now.

Alexia didn’t want to look outside. She’d glanced a few times to see how fast they were going. She didn’t want to look and consider the car crashing again. They’d all be dead if that were to happen…well, maybe not the vampires, but she certainly would. Her heart raced despite herself. She did not like the speed of the car, but wouldn’t tell him to slow down. She was pretty sure whoever was driving knew what they were doing.


~***~

“That’s a good boy,”
Amon cooed as Dean finally gave in to the demand. Truly, Amon didn’t expect to find anything, but the fact it caused stubbornness did intrigue. He followed after the rebel and to the room that apparently was given to the other rebel to use. “Oh?”

There was a child on a bed. He wondered, briefly, if this was what Dean had truly been protecting.
“Hello,” children were interesting, and very, very good tools against humans. After all, they were the future. The overprotective nature of humans when it came to their children had helped their downfall. Vampires were rarely so attached to their own childes or to other fledglings.

He walked further into the room, noted the other bed, but he did not pay it much mind. He approached the little girl and knelt besides the bed,
“Be calm,” he suggested, speaking in a voice he usually reserved for his cats, “I want to help your friend,” they were sharing a room. Something told him there was more that was shared. “I need to know if she’s left anything personal here. Any…secrets?” The smile was gentle.

Upon hearing Alexia’s words, Gaston could not help but frown. He couldn’t deny her the rights that she so deserved, but he didn’t want to take any risks when Amon was concerned. That vampire was the one closest thing to the council that could give him any trouble presently. He looked at Alexia, locking eyes with her, his gaze clearly conflicted. Lady Catherine did not speak while this transpired; she merely observed how everything developed between the two.

“Of course you get a say,” said Gaston, if a bit strained. “You may remain with me if you wish, I cannot deny you that, but I must once more treat you as if you were less than you are.” The brief memory of that encounter with Adrian outside the auction house came spiraling back. He had not thought twice about it, but if he could avoid treating humans as such, he would. He didn’t even want to think about it.

“You’re going soft,” noted Lady Catherine from the side.

Gaston turned to look at her, truly curious as to what he meant.

“I’ve seen the way you treat humans in the public eye,” she began. “I had noticed before how you treat humans with a kindness in the privacy of our homes, and how cold you are to them in the public. It makes sense now, but it is taking a toll on you, dear Gaston.” She knew him more than she let on. She cared for him in a way she didn't for anyone else. If only he could see that.

He had not thought about it. Gaston had never had any trouble scolding humans, but lately he wanted to avoid the endeavor altogether. She had a point, but he wouldn’t let that affect how he performed. If the council needed convincing of where his loyalties should be, he would excel. He always did, even when others failed. Conversation and manipulation, along with deception, were areas in which he was proficient.

But…

Did he want to? Did he really want to keep pretending just to keep the rebellion at peace? His efforts had not once worked before. His fixation on peace was beginning to look like the one obstacle between the life he had now and the life he wanted in the future.

“Even so,” he said, serious once more. “They will not notice.”

He felt Alexia’s heart race, and in that moment he lost all previous thought. It was as if he had known all along what was presently bothering her – almost as if he could read her mind. As if he could visually see what it was that she feared.

“Don’t you worry about a wreck, Livia. With us here, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

How far his attempt at comfort went, he couldn’t know. What he did know was that the car was still speeding up.

***

Dean tensed at the sight of the girl. Abby had smiled upon seeing him, but it went away as soon as Amon let himself in the room. She looked at him, shaking with complete and utter fear. The locks of golden hair were unbraided and curly, but her bright eyes showed clear caution. Dean wanted to make her brave for him, but he couldn’t. If he could take back the foolish mistake of showing Amon to the room, he would. Now he had exposed an innocent child to the insanity that the vampire so effortlessly conveyed.

“Please,” he found himself pleading to the monster, “leave her.”

Abby further shuddered at the sight of even Dean pleasing at the scary man. She looked at him and expected him to sound horrible. But he didn’t. He sounded charming to her, nice – if that was possible. No matter how nice he sounded, though, he would always be the thing that scared her the most. She stopped shaking, but she did not smile, nor did she speak.

After Amon asked the little girl what he wanted to hear, Dean approached her, wary of the vampire. “She hasn’t talked since the vampire bought her,” he said finally.
[/COLOR][/FONT]

Alexia nodded at his words, “I know.” She understood the role that Gaston had to play around Amon, around those vampires who were the enemy. So long as it kept her involved, she’d endure it.

Catherine commented, and Alexia tried to focus on the conversation, even as the car moved ever faster.
‘Are we there yet?’ She wondered, didn’t dare look. ‘Can we be there now?’ This car was going to drive her insane. She reconsidered her own wish about learning to drive. This was ridiculous. They were all going to die in a fiery crash.

Gaston was certain that his ability to shift between personas wouldn’t be noticed. He wouldn’t falter. Then, he seemed to read her own thoughts. Alexia shot him a wary look at the words, before recognizing her own heart rate. A curse escaped her, just under her breath, before she took a deep one and held it. It was her heart, not her thoughts, that gave her away.
‘Get it together.’ She could manually slow her heart rate through controlling her breathing. The ‘dead’ act had been a slight obsession, once upon a time.

The quieter, the less warm, the better when traversing this world. Thirty seconds passed before she allowed herself another breath. She had to trick her body in to thinking it was at rest, and everything was fine.
“I’m not riding in another car if we have to go this fast again,” she muttered. Another breath. Slowly, control was regained, heart rate slowing with her breathing. She didn’t quite believe Gaston about not crashing. She wasn’t even sure how the car could slow down at this speed, wouldn’t have believed humans truly used these death traps once upon a time.

~***~

Amon didn’t reveal that he liked the tone of Dean’s voice. Pleading was good, useful. He had feelings for this girl, protective, apparently. Perhaps he'd take initiative? So many possibilities, but desperation was always interesting. Amon reached out to touch her hair as he mentioned she hadn’t spoken,
“That is a shame,” Amon ‘tsk’ed. Soft hair. He stroked it, imagined her as a Persian cat. She’d be cuter like that with her bright eyes.

He moved to sit on the bed, hand falling to rest near Abby. He leaned back on that hand and looked to Dean,
“I wonder what she knows. I can be rather good at helping people find their voice,” there was the question of whether or not he should ‘help’, but he didn’t make his tone menacing. He kept it at that same calming tone, eyes on Dean, before they looked about the room. A sigh escaped him, “I don’t think this room has anything.” Exactly as he expected, honestly.

He looked back to Abby,
“I’m afraid I can’t quite leave empty-handed, but I am getting…tired.” Bored. Amon was difficult to keep amused, and Gaston was taking ever so long. Eyes shifted back to Dean, “I do think I can help her speak again,” he shifted, turning a bit to face Abby, and he offered his other hand to her, “Come with me. I promise you will return here once you've found your voice.” He wasn’t sure if he was lying or not. Adrian would decide that, but he did consider it’d be better to have her return, if only for the reactions. 

Gaston nodded his head, understanding that a car ride would not please everyone. He would ask the driver to slow down to ease Alexia’s concern, but he needed to get back to the estate as soon as he could. The situation demanded the speed, but he would remember her fear of the speed in the future. It was making him uncomfortable to see Alexia so unnerved.

“Hopefully, we won’t have to,”
said the vampire.

After a short while, the car began to slow down, and with it Alexia’s heartbeat. They were nearing the estate, and Gaston felt a bit of relief. He would see Amon soon, and hopefully he would find his estate undisturbed. Lady Catherine once more took Gaston’s hands in hers. Whatever their differences were, she would gladly put them aside. Even if she didn’t see everything Gaston saw in Amon, she would not little the possibility that things could easily go wrong if the rebel were provoked.

Which is something that Amon would do simply for entertainment, she admitted.

“I’ll help you settle things down if the situation gets out of hand,” the idea seemed farfetched, but she didn’t want Gaston to feel hopeless. Amon had a very powerful ability at his command, but so did she. If necessary, she could extinguish his fire. The idea of openly opposing Amon, however, could only bring trouble in the long run.

The car slowed down even further, the trees were becoming scarce. The gates were near.

Gaston turned to Alexia, suddenly grave. “I know you know how to be careful, but no matter how tempting or how seemingly appropriate, do not engage Amon.”

“Not until I’m done with him, anyway.” Catherine muttered in an amusing whisper.

***

A small whimper escaped Abby as the vampire pressed his cold hand against her head, stroking at her hair as if she was a pet. When Amon moved on to sit on the bed, she moved away only slightly – unsure as to what it was she was supposed to do. The vampire spoke kindly to her; he didn’t seem mean like the others. Still, the little hairs on the back of her neck stood when he approached, a chill going down her spine.

When he offered his hand to her, she remained still. Her bright eyes open and large, like a deer caught in headlights – or a cat. Dean, who had been still for most of this, abruptly approached the pair of them. He looked directly at Abby, who gave him a questioning look. It was almost as if she were asking him what to do.

“You cannot take her,” his voice was agitated, but firm. “She is not yours to take. Kid,” he turned his gaze to Abby only for a little bit, still wary of the vampire by his side, “go find Minerva, and stay with her.”

Abby looked like she was going to do as she was told, but at the sight of the vampire, she moved slowly. Her legs first finding the floor, but her eyes remained locked on Amon’s. She wondered what he would do if she listened to Dean and not him. [/COLOR][/FONT]

The vehicle began to slow, which meant they were close to the estate. Alexia chanced a glance outside and noted the sights were now more familiar. Catherine promised Gaston her aid. ‘He’ll burn everyone alive.’ He had a queer power for a vampire, fire, considering it was a natural enemy of them. He must have really missed the sun, or perhaps his desire for revenge went deep.

Could he be reasoned with? Alexia had doubted it once, at least when that reasoning came from humans.
‘No, he can’t.’ She decided when Gaston spoke to her. “I won’t. I’m not suicidal.” Pretty sure that’s all engaging Amon would lead to without the weapons. Perhaps she shouldn’t have given them back after all. Then she might stand a chance against the crazy pyromaniac.

She arched an eyebrow at Catherine’s words, before allowing a brief smile to cross her lips, eyes returning to the window. It would be a surprise if Catherine showed herself as adapt at fighting.
‘As you say, Catherine.’

~***~

‘I take what I want.’
Dean apparently did not get the memo, or realize that. He thought biting Deirdre might help him understand, or the Adrian’s permission bit, but it didn’t. It seemed the spine he’d left behind earlier was found in this room.

Amon watched the girl move. Dean might notice the subtle shifts in his posture, his own movements. He had no intention of letting the girl go, but he waited for her to move off the bed, and a few steps away before he moved himself, utilizing his natural agility. The plan was very simple. He’d only lift the girl into his arms and stop some steps away from Dean, if he was successful in the capture, rather than run out of the room. There was no fun if he ‘won’ his prize too easily. He wanted to see what Dean would do when thwarted.

He could easily carry her against his chest in one arm if Dean felt like antagonizing him further. The other hand would remind Dean exactly why he got what he wanted.

He was a god, after all. He had no plans to harm the girl here, and wondered if Adrian would play just as nice and just manipulate the girl’s emotion until he tuned her just right to get her to talk.


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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2013, 08:59:50 pm »
The car continued to slow down, with the trees finally dispersing and the gate opening at their approach. The air inside of the car was tense, but Gaston had managed to calm himself. Whether he would remain calm in the presence of a man he despised – that remained to be seen. Gaston did not vocally thank Alexia, but he was still grateful that she would refrain from engaging Amon. Hopefully things wouldn’t get to that point. Still, in whatever limited endeavors he had with the vampire he had noticed the potential for disaster right off the bat. The only thing that had prevented such altercation was cause – temptation really.

There would be none if he could help it. Gaston was excellent at keeping his cool in difficult situations. Although he couldn’t be sure, history had made it clear – his previous concerns shrinking. Hopefully the same could be said about Alexia and Catherine, neither of which he had been with in similar situations.

“Catherine, are you sure that you are prepared to engage someone who you used to consider your friend?” Asked Gaston after the car entered the estate. There was no real doubt behind his belief that Catherine would side with him, but he didn’t want to pressure her into doing something she was not ready to do.

“I wouldn’t say Amon is a friend,”
she picked up the blades that Alexia had handed Gaston. “You know I’m partial to longer blades than these, but they’ll suffice.”

“Alright, then,”
responded Gaston simply.

When the car finally stopped, Catherine let herself out and Gaston followed. Everything, for the moment, looked as it ought. Gaston, trusting that the others would follow, darted towards the doors.

***

Dean did not know what, but he knew something changed inside of Amon. It was almost as if he had seen the change in him when he had defied his wishes. If it meant his life, he would not let him take the little girl. Abby had great resemblance to one of the children that had died in the explosion weeks ago. Someone who he had grown close to. He couldn’t control himself when the memory came up. Dean knew it was reckless; he knew that he needed to get past that, to be become a better fighter.

He just couldn’t.

When Abby stepped down from the bed, Dean moved his gaze from her to the vampire. He’d do something. She cautiously took a couple of steps forward, towards the door, when Amon made his move. He was so quick that his movement looked like a blur, but Dean was practiced in engaging vampires. Of course, every time he had engaged a vampire before he had done so with some sort of weapon.

There was no such thing now. He only had his hands, his human strength which could not measure to Amon’s. When the vampire grabbed on to poor little Abby, something inside of Dean raged. There was no stopping it.

“Let her go!”

Although his attack meant certain death, he could not be persuaded otherwise. Without thinking further, Dean lunged at Amon, intent on taking little Abby from him.


Amon had expected the reaction, and was disappointed that his expectations were met. He preferred being surprised. He held Abby up in one arm as he extended the other hand out towards Dean.

It was unnecessary for Amon to announce his intentions, but he liked the feel of the language as it rolled off his tongue. Very few knew the Ancient Egyptian language. Humans, certainly, had no idea how it was spoken. All they ever saw were the writings, but Amon remembered like it was yesterday. He tended to only speak the language before his cats, though, or his guards who were expected to learn the language. Not even Adrian remembered it any more, though once upon a time he had. Too much had passed through the man’s mind for him to care to remember such a dead language.

He spoke the command that Dean should ‘burn’ and the flames moved from his palm in a stream of fire. He wouldn’t move from where he stood. He expected the fire would quickly put an end to Dean’s attempt to harm him, and if not—well, he’d burn Abby in the process of falling upon the pharaoh.


~***~

Alexia was quick to escape the car once it finally stopped, opening the door and stepping out. Gaston was out right after Catherine, and moved quickly. Alexia sprinted after him to get to the door, and into the home.
‘At least it is still standing and not on fire.’ Though that could change in an instant.

Upon entering the house, Dean’s outcry could be heard. Alexia cursed under her breath, and didn’t look to Gaston to find out what to do. Instinct had taken over and she ran towards the sound, realizing quite quickly that it was in the direction of the room she’d been given to use.
‘Abby!’ Could Amon be so cruel? What other purpose did he have for being there? Her mind didn’t jump to other, obvious reasons.

She had to skid to a stop at the feeling of intense heat, though no flames touched her. The sight within also forced a pause, as Alexia had to fight against the urge to go against her word and try to engage Amon, who made it very clear that he could use fire, and apparently did not care that this place was not his own.
‘Would Adrian…?’ The thought came and vanished.

She had little doubt that Adrian had sanctioned this. Amon was known as volatile, but he toed the line.
‘Shit.’ Either Gaston was discovered, or he had fallen under suspicion. Neither were good options. Gaston needed to avoid suspicion if they were ever to build up an alliance of vampires that could remove the council, and would work with humans.

Suddenly, there was fire.

He had seen it coming, but he could never have understood it. The flames erupted in streams from Amon's hand, and as Dean lunged they engulfed his chest. Quickly the rebel learned that pursuing the vampire through the fire would kill him. He’d burn to a crisp, fall before he even truly begun. He tried to sway to the side, but the flames seemed to follow him wherever it was he chose to move. A deep burning pain seeped deep into his skin. It was beyond anything he could have imagined.

He let out a piercing shriek that bellowed throughout the estate as he fell to the floor. His clothes had caught on fire, and his entire left arm had been deeply burned. He squirmed in the midst of his panic, cursing incoherently. The rebel wanted more than anything to stop the monster from taking Abby, but he could not get up. The physical pain that he felt was almost as painful as what he felt when Abby screamed. 'Why are they stronger than us!' He pleaded in exasperation.

He looked at the fire that had consumed the room, but he could make out the sight of the little girl. She struggled in the vampire’s arms, her eyes crying at his sight.

“Let her go – !” He insisted, but the fire kept burning. It was alive.

Gaston moved through the doors into the home, and several things seemed to be happening at once. The first was Eva, who approached him with an expression that made him feel like he was the most important person in the world. The one person, the only person, she wanted to see. She spoke calmly, but the vampire knew that she was on the verge of losing what little control she clung to. “Lord Gaston,” she said “He’s bitten Deirdre, she’s not doing so good.”

The second was a pair of screams that came from Alexia’s room. The vampire did not have any time to waste, he couldn’t. He looked at Eva, filled with regret. “Tend to her, Eva. I will join you as soon as I am able.” He did not need to ask where Amon was, the screams had disclosed that information to him. Lady Catherine, who had kept up with the whole time, turned to look at a sprinting Alexia. The look Catherine gave Gaston alarmed him.

In a blur, Gaston caught up to Alexia – feeling the flames coming from inside the room. He placed a hand on her shoulder, it wasn’t to forcefully refrain her, but to gently ask her to stay back. He entered the room, followed closely and quickly by Catherine, who moved in impressive swiftness, despite her attire.

“Amon,” said Gaston firmly as he swayed through the flames, stopping at Amon’s side. “Stop torturing my staff.” Gaston's voice did not carry that fear that all the other had when speaking to him - it was angered, defiant almost.

It was only then that Gaston noticed that Amon had little Abby in his arms. He had gone too far.


A hand touched her shoulder before she could rush to Dean’s side, or attack Amon. She was certainly torn between the two options. Gaston walked ahead to where the psychopath stood, Abby in his arms. Alexia’s fists clenched at her side, and she grit her teeth to keep from talking, insulting, taunting.

Amon was not at all unhappy to see Gaston. In fact, a bright smile came to his lips. With a wave of his free hand, all the fires died away, his control extinguishing them—even the ones that still clung to Dean. He set Abby on the ground just as Gaston’s eyes seemed to notice her in his arms, and he turned so he was facing Gaston,
“I did not think you’d come back tonight. Ah, and with Catherine. Good Morning, Lady Blanc,” he greeted her, smile pleasant, but then paid her little mind. “Your staff is quite uncouth—he attacked me,” he pointed to Dean.

He didn’t consider any of his actions ‘torture’, but he didn’t contradict Gaston’s statement. Certainly to him it looked like it, he who didn’t drink from the vein or keep his humans in line. He didn’t care how new that male was.
“Adrian sent me,” he said that softer, noting the way the female with the red hair inched into the room, ginger steps. No doubt, the floor was hot enough to register through the soles of her shoes. He wondered if it bothered Gaston, too. “I couldn’t go back empty handed. You know how he can get,” Gaston probably didn’t know. If Amon was a god, Adrian was something beyond that, as his creator.

One foot crossed in front of the other as he made a move towards the door, not to run, but to be closer to the reason he was here.
“One of those rebels I bought pointed to her as…important,” and Amon did the same in turn, freezing Alexia where she stood, a step from Dean’s side. She glared along the finger as his orange eyes turned to her. “Adrian wants her." Look to her said more. 'This is what you get for acting up.' But he didn't say as much, "Wants further…confirmation. I thought this little one might know more,” finger moved, a wave towards Abby, “But now that you’ve returned, I have no need of the little one.”

Hand lowered back to his side, twisted smile graced his lips,
“Adrian will, of course, pay you back with a fitting human, or monetarily.” Alexia glanced around the room. Suddenly, she did feel suicidal, but there didn’t appear to be anything glass she could break to slit her own throat with. “He believes you ignorant.”

And Amon’s voice suggested that he and Adrian differed in that regard.
‘Prove him wrong.’ It dared.

The fire had gone as quickly as it had come.

Gaston ignored the heated floor and kept his eyes on Amon. His anger, though warranted, would not be tolerated by someone as wicked as his guest. The pyromancer released Abby from his grasp and addressed him and his companion pleasantly, as if he had done nothing wrong. His excuse was that Dean had attacked him. Gaston did not get the impression that he was lying, but he also knew that Amon had certainly gone out of the way to tempt a rebel into attacking him.

“Amon,” greeted the blonde, as equally pleasant.

With a look of complete disgust, he turned to Dean, who was still squirming on the floor, the left side of his chest and arm burning still. Lady Catherine stood there, with a hand casually on her hip. She had not even noticed the burning man on the floor, and as the little girl approached Alexia, she did not turn her head. If she was good at something, it was ignoring the humans.

“He will be further punished by it,” spat Gaston icily. “I wonder what excuse you have for drinking from an ill woman.”

Gaston did not expect him to answer, but his tone was angered all the same.

Amon then went on to say how Adrian had sent him to collect Alexia on the basis that a rebel had confessed her to be important. That much he already knew, but he had hoped that it would stay low. Such wasn’t the case, for Adrian suspected her of activity, and apparently thought him ignorant. At least he had done that right. It didn’t matter to him, he wouldn’t let him take her. The damage that he had done to his staff, and the disrespect he had shown to him and his estate were not excusable by even Adrian.

“Livia tend to Dante, now.” spat Gaston suddenly, turning to Catherine, who chuckled, and then back at Amon. Abby made her way to Alexia for comfort. Dean remained on the floor, unmoving, his clothes burnt of from his skin. “I know Adrian, and I am not a commoner to whom he can send another vampire to do his bidding. Almost half of the income that the council earns, comes from me, lest you forget that.”  Gaston might not have been as important as Adrian, but he was of importance to the lifestyle vampires were so accustomed to.

“I am afraid you must go back empty handed. You cannot just assume I will let you take my staff simply because you say so, and I will not. If Adrian seeks her, let him come to me. I do not do business through affiliates.”

Lady Catherine used what little attention Amon was paying to her to find exactly what she needed. A precaution, but a necessary one. Gaston was visibly upset, and she knew that Amon was unpredictable to say the least.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2013, 09:05:25 pm »
Amon didn’t give an excuse for Deirdre, and wouldn’t. There wasn’t one. He was thirsty, and he liked her. That’s usually how it went. Anything more would draw suspicion, not just from Gaston, but Adrian.

An order was spat to ‘Livia’, and Amon chuckled despite himself. The woman walked with less hesitance, knelt besides Dean. She knew he had lost weight, and imagined she could lift him. Clearly, Gaston wanted her out of the room, but when she moved her arms to try and pick him up, fire leapt up. It didn’t touch Dean or herself, flashed in the air for a second, but it was enough to startle and keep her from attempting it again. She instead touched Abby and drew her closer, while remaining near Dean.


“Adrian does not think so highly of you, apparently. Not enough to come himself,”
Amon retorted. Adrian went to very few himself. He could summon the entire council here, after all, on a whim. People went to him. “And I answer to no one but Adrian.” The rest of the council could go to hell. They were Adrian’s power, Adrian’s fist—in the end, it was all Adrian’s. “He can find money anywhere he likes. I think he’s considered proscriptions? Was that the word?” He looked at Catherine as if she might know what the word was. “Something some idiot did years ago to get money and get rid of enemies. I don't know why he can't just say 'murder everyone I don't like and take their stuff'--but he likes eloquence.” A shrug. Another foot crossed in front of one, the movement more to circle Gaston now then to approach ‘Livia’.

A smile played at his lips, not leaving,
“Why don’t you come with me? I can only assume you don’t believe what I say, for if you did….” He trailed off. That didn’t need to be said. If Gaston believed him, then he ought to know Amon would have no problem torching the entire estate to get what he wanted, and he’d be forgiven his ‘crime’ because he was acting to protect vampire interests. This rebel could not be sheltered and allowed to live as a mere servant. No, she was much too dangerous for that. “You can then bitch and moan all you like to him about what I’ve done—maybe he’ll listen to you.” The laughing smile suggested otherwise.

Despite their differences, Adrian usually backed Amon.


The fire was the perfect thing Lady Catherine needed to find the source of Amon’s power. She looked at him with a smile, for he had made things so much simpler for her. With her mind, she plugged the fire, like a patch on a leak. She kept her it in place, frozen and unmoved. If Amon wanted his precious little fire back, he’d have to leave – either that or kill her. If the latter, he’d have to fight on even ground. Fight with a person who was not only armed, but was deadly with the mastery of weaponry.

“I assure you, one cannot simply find money,” disagreed Gaston with a crooked smile. Amon might know everything there was to know about such obsessions he had, like Egyptian lore, but Gaston had control of the economy. The economy alone could not defeat the council, but cripple them. That had been his plan all along. Once he’d found a way to bring them down, his defiance would devastate.

“Don’t I know it,” said Catherine, strolling about the room and stopping behind Gaston. He kept her concentration on Amon though, for she could not afford to lose the tight grip she now had on fire. The only way she could lose was if she made a mistake herself. No matter how great the desire, or the struggle, there was nothing Amon could do now.

“It is not whether I believe you or not,” said Gaston simply, his arms hanging loosely on his sides. “It is as I told you; I will only do business with Adrian himself. No matter how subtly you threaten me and my well living, I cannot and will not be controlled.  You can burn my estate down,”

“You can try,” corrected Catherine.

“You can try to burn my estate down,” mirrored he with a mimicking laugh, “but I will not simply stand idly by just because Adrian wants it so. Rebel or not, Livia stays here. Now,” he turned to Alexia, “tend to Dante, and take the child.” Gaston moved his gaze, more like a glare now, to Amon. “You can go now, for I have no further business with you, Amon. If he so wishes, let Adrian come.”

Adrian could choose to back Amon up, but he could not act blindly. He was not a vampire without reason, scum or no. Surely he knew that if Amon showed up, defiling Gaston’s home and torturing his staff, that Gaston would be less than inclined to let him leave with his desires. Gaston was never a person who let himself be taken advantage of, and if this was the deciding moment in his loyalty, he’d know what to do.

He’d know what to choose.


Amon met Catherine’s eyes as his fire was frozen. He couldn’t manipulate it, couldn’t call on other flames. ‘A mistake.’ She would realize it later. “You truly do not understand, do you?” Amon wasn’t sure if he should laugh, or if he should pity Gaston. Money did not worry Adrian. It wasn’t money that bought him servants, wasn’t money that let him keep his place, or even kept him comfortable. Adrian used currency only to keep others in line, for a semblance of worth and order. Gaston could be replaced. Adrian would never let anyone gain more influence than he could control, or recover from.

He did not stop Livia this time as she moved to pick up Dean, struggling a bit under the weight but managing to get to her feet and step out of the room with the man over a shoulder like a sack of potatoes, apologies slipping from her lips for any perceived harm she might be causing him.

Amon waited until they were gone. Smile never faltered, his steps continuing their circle around the vampire,
“But you know, I think I’ll enjoy it more if Adrian has such proof of your insolence in my empty hands. Yours and Lady Blanc’s—quite a companion you’ve chosen, my dear.” Wrong choice. Very wrong choice. Many who had been close to Gaston would quickly become suspect. “He hates being wrong, and he hates having to dirty his own hands.” It'd make for an interesting encounter, and Amon would make sure he was in attendance. “So, you have the rest of this night, and the day—I suggest you run.” It was no light warning. Amon would be able to spin the tale however he liked since Gaston had no interest in coming along, and it would not paint a pretty picture of Gaston.

It had been much too long since Adrian had been forced to take care of anything himself, and Amon was actually thinking of how annoyed Adrian was going to be when he returned empty handed. He would be quite offended to be summoned by someone such as Gaston. The audacity and insolence alone would be an offense, that it was to protect a human Gaston hadn’t had long would make it worse. Such an act wouldn’t be overlooked.

He stepped lightly over the charred floor to the doorway, and waved without looking over his shoulder.
“Toodles.” He laughed, walked to the exit without a second thought. In his mind, Gaston’s fate was already sealed. Adrian would have to admit that Amon was right. That was worth all of this.

~***~

When Alexia had escaped the room, she walked to Dean’s room, using her foot to push it open. She was lucky it hadn’t been completely shut. She staggered under the weight, but never fell. She made it to the bed and was able to lay him down across it,
“Sorry,” the word came again as she imagined the cloth of the bedding didn’t feel good on his tender and burned skin. “I’ll find bandages and some things to treat the wounds,” she promised, stepping away. She didn’t know where to look, but she knew Minerva would.

She reached to take Abby’s hand. She would not leave the girl, and she quietly hoped Gaston did have things under control.

She remembered where to find Minerva’s room without asking Abby, and there found her with Deirdre.
“Minerva, I need something for burns, and some bandages.” She didn’t explain why. Certainly the scream from earlier would explain all of that.

Her eyes strayed to Deirdre, taking in her condition and cursing the fact she’d given the weapons up. She really should have kept them. It’d be well worth the consequences to have taken Amon’s life.


Gaston stood firm, his eyes and expression unchanging. The anger that had been eating at him was present in his glare, in his very body. He wasn’t scared of Amon as all the others were, and as soon as Catherine stopped his fire from further spreading in his estate, he smiled at him. Amon still didn’t understand that Gaston was not after Adrian specifically. If the council fell, Adrian would stand alone, and alone he would not succeed.

The council was the foundation in his lifestyle. Without them, coexistence would overcome.

Catherine met Amon’s eyes, she merely squinted them and winked to him. She knew the type of danger she would be in from that moment on, but she was also sure that Amon had never met a person who could render his gift useless.

“Let him come,” said Gaston, unworried. It sounded like a challenge, in fact.

When Amon turned to leave, Gaston did not relax. He followed him through the door and out of his estate. Catherine waved her hand pleasantly to the vampire, as if they were still old friends. Whatever friendship they had, it was now completely irrelevant. She had deprived him of the very thing that made him feel like a god. He wasn’t a god. With her in the room, he was just another vampire – one who believed he was of Egyptian lore. Foolish.

“That went well,” said Catherine, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

Gaston said nothing.

Back inside the house Dean was losing consciousness over time. Most of his body had been burned, but it was his left arm that resisted the most damage. He chanced a look at it, and winced at the sight of his red oozing flesh. He had tried to speak when Alexia came to his aid the second time, trying to help her by walking himself. It was impossible for him. He had been starving only a day ago, weak, and now above all he was burned. He didn’t care about that.

“Deirdre…?” He muttered as Alexia laid him down on the bed. It was even short of a whisper, nearly inaudible. “Abby...?”

In Eva’s room, the worried cook was holding Deirdre’s hand while Kuno sulked in the corner, his hands going through his hair while his head rested between his knees. When Alexia came in, Eva rose from her sitting position and placed Deirdre’s hand on her side. She was still unconscious and unbelievably pale. Eva did not look much better – physically she was fine, but her concern was almost tangible in its severity.

“What is it Livia?” Her question was answered immediately. A horrified expression painted Eva’s face as she hurried to a large dressed on the wall by the bathroom, she didn’t need an answer. She knew. “How badly is he burned?” She asked, picking from the cabinet a very small amount of bandages but several bottles of all kinds of ointments and remedies. “I’ll find more bandages.”

Gaston stepped into Eva’s room that very moment. Catherine was not with him, for she went to see how the burnt human was doing.

“How is she?” He inquired after Deirdre, approaching her. Kuno didn’t move from his current position. He had now realized how good he had it with Gaston.

“Not good,” said Eva, her voice breaking at the end. “I’ll go with you,” she told Alexia.


“Badly,” Alexia answered the question, accepting the items that were dug out, the bandages. She balanced them in her arms as Gaston came in to see how the situation here was. Kuno remained where he was. Alexia did not address Gaston. What he had done was foolish, and she felt like saying as much, but she was too grateful to do so. He might have fallen off the radar if he simply handed her over, but he hadn't done that. Now, the eyes would be on him.

Deirdre’s position was bad.
“Hang on,” Alexia said quietly. Deirdre probably wouldn’t even hear it, but she couldn’t get her voice to speak any louder after Minerva’s broke. She nodded as the woman said she’d come along. “If you can…you can help me with treating him.” There was plenty of burned flesh that needed to be coated in the ointment, plenty of flesh to wrap up.

She led Minerva back to Dean’s room, and took a seat on the bed besides him, letting the ointments and bandages come to rest on the bed as well. She took one, opened it, and squirted some of the ointment into her own hand,
“This should help, Dean,” she said, using two fingers of her other hand to take some of the ointment out of her palm, and then begin spreading it over his left arm. That seemed to be the part of him that had been affected most by the fire.

~***~

Amon had been upset by the fact his fire had been stopped. He made a note to bring his scimitar next time. He wouldn’t be hindered.

Adrian’s guards opened the door for him without question. The stench of blood was in the air, but he found Adrian perfectly cleaned up, typing away on a computer. The rebel had his throat ripped out in a corner, and apparently hadn’t been moved. Amon didn’t waste his breath to ask why.
“Where is she?”

“Gaston refused us,”
he would make Adrian feel like a true part of it. The typing ceased. Eyes lifted from the screen to Amon, the suggestion he talk fast there. Talking fast was one thing Amon could do. “I caused a bit of havoc while I was there, and as it got later I encountered a young human that I believed could confirm our suspicions. A male human resisted, I burned him. Oh, I drank from someone,” all of these incidents meant little to him. They shouldn’t have meant anything to Gaston. “That man took offense at my actions and claimed he wouldn’t answer to me,” a smile, “He demands you handle the situation yourself, go yourself. Why, that Catherine Blanc even stopped my fire.”

“Ah,” Adrian turned his gaze back to the computer, typing resuming, “That explains why you’re here with nothing.” Usually, there would be explosions, fire, chaos—and Adrian would still get what he wanted.

“You’re not upset?”

Adrian was livid. He was hiding it. No one commanded him, and vampires should know by now that refusing Amon often meant refusing him.
“Not at all,” he lied, “You misbehaved. His reaction is expected. I shall simply see him tomorrow.”

“With guards?”


Amon did see through him. Adrian’s smile was all teeth.
“With guards.”

Amon clapped his hands together,
“Oh, may I come? Pretty please?”

“Yes.”
Adrian consented. “Now, tell me about Alex.”

“I can’t say much,”
he shrugged, walked to the desk and sat on it, near the computer. He rested an arm over the top of the monitor, and laid his chin down on it. He was, for all the world, like the cats he adored—attracted to warmth. “She didn’t speak. She heeded Gaston’s command.” The typing paused again. “Say it.”

Adrian's nose wrinkled.


“Say it.”


Adrian shook his head,
“He may yet be ignorant.” He really hated to admit Amon was right, about anything.

“Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Say it.”


Pale eyes lifted up. Amon grinned into his face.
“You are not a god. Your fire was stopped.”

The monitor burst into flames. A curse in Egyptian followed Adrian's declaration, but all the man did was lean back in his leather chair and smirk at the angry 'god'.


Bleu

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2013, 09:15:54 pm »
Gaston remained in Eva’s room for a while longer, even after Eva and Alexia departed to treat Dean. This fallacy had gone on long enough. He had defied Amon, which he knew was a mistake, but he just couldn’t let him take Alexia. That would mean certain death for her, and his plans would once more restart. Not to mention the fact that his previous plans were beginning to be of little care for him. The more time progressed, the more Gaston engaged vampires like Amon and Adrian, the more he realized his patience was running out. He couldn’t let him take Alexia, for she was of importance to him, in more than one way.

He cared for her in a way.

“I’m sorry, Lord Gaston.”

His thoughts were interrupted by Kuno, who remained in the corner of the room, his eyes red and his heart racing. Gaston turned to look at him, aware that it must have been him who let Amon in. Why wouldn’t he? All he was told was to run the daily runs of the estate. He didn’t know any better, and he was therefore not blamed. Still, Gaston pitied the boy. He was truly sorry for what he thought he had done. He blamed himself for what happened to Deirdre, for what happened to Dean.

“Do not be sorry,” said Gaston. “This is not your fault.”

Kuno said nothing, but Gaston knew that he still blamed himself.

“Amon is a monster that cannot be controlled by anyone other than Adrian. He is unpredictable and reckless,” there was a pause. “Kuno,” Gaston spoke to him directly now, and the boy looked up at him once more. “I need you to call Benjamin Porter, tell him that it has happened, and to get ready – the others too if he’s able. After you do that, gather the staff, humans and vampires – make sure Veronique is present, for the guards have an essential role to play. Come find me when you are finished.”

“W-what?”

Gaston sighed, truly saddened by the fact the he could not wait for him to gather himself. “I need you to do this, Kuno. It is of an importance you do not yet realize, more important than anything else I’ve asked of you. Do it now, and do it quickly.”

Kuno rose, nodding his head. He didn’t know why he needed to do all this, but he had never seen Gaston so severe before. He knew that he needed to do everything that was told of him. There would be no excuses if he didn’t. He darted from the room in an instant, leaving Gaston alone with Deirdre.

The vampire approached the bed, his strides slow but long. He looked down at her, her eyes close and her lips only slightly pillowed. He let himself sit on the edge of the bed, close enough to hear her barely beating heart. Without hesitation, Gaston placed his pale, cold, hand on her forehead, and pushed the hair out of her face.

Gaston’s own forehead found his other hand, resting on it as he leaned forward. He knew the moment was coming, and he found himself praying against it, pleading for Deirdre to recover. She did not, for in the midst of his wishes her heart slowed and eventually stopped completely. The vampire cursed under his breath, truly mourning like he hadn’t done in many, many years. There was nothing to do.

‘I’m sorry I could not protect you, darling girl.’

The memory of when he first met Deirdre came to him. It was over thirty years ago, she was barely a child when he’d bought her off an auction. She grew up in his estate, learned everything from him and the other staff members. She learned from Eva, took after her, and loved her like a mother. He had grown attached to the girl, that much was inevitable for him. He cared for her.

Deirdre began to turn cold. He shook his head, reached for her cool hands and gave them one last squeeze. The vampire then rose from the bed and walked on towards Dean’s room. His thoughts tormented him, wanting to blame him for what had happened. But what else could he have done? He’d told Eva to call him in case of anything, and she did. He just hadn’t been quick enough. Gaston promised himself, however, that this act would not go unpunished.

If there was ever a doubt about what needed to be done next, it was now gone.

Dean had been struggling in the bed; the few minutes that Alexia had been parted from him felt like hours. When she came back, he looked at her, not quite being able to read the expression on her face. Eva came with her, and soon they both began to rub his skin with all kinds of ointments and creams. Most of them burned when they met his skin, but the cooling sensation soon became relief. They were scaring his skin, stopping the bleeding, and alleviating the pain.

He breathed out in relief, closing his eyes.

Abby lingered in the room, keeping her distance from the very pretty vampire who had been sitting there silently all along.

When Gaston came in, Eva turned to look at him. His expression was trying to be serious, but his eyes confirmed just how wounded he was. Eva didn’t need to ask him anything for him to know what she wanted. He shook his head, confirming her worst fears, before looking down at the floor. It was then that Eva’s own heart began to race, and tears trickled down her cheeks. She was trying her hardest to muffle her pain, her sobbing. She closed her eyes and kept applying medicine on Dean’s chest.

Gaston could hear her soft cries, and to comfort her he moved towards her, gently placing his hand on her back. No words needed to be said, but actions needed to be taken. If all he could offer was a comforting hand, then that’s what he would give her. 

Catherine stood from where she was sitting and approached Gaston after noticing just how much he cared for his staff. She couldn’t say the same for herself.

“We cannot wait,” said she in a gentle whisper, locking her arm in his. “Adrian will come, and it’ll be a massacre.”

Gaston knew that they could not wait, but the wounds were still too near. He raised a hand to his dear friend, asking her to wait just a little while longer. Eva should not be alone in a time such as this. She needed to be with Deirdre.

“Go Eva,” said Gaston. “I will take over for you, go with her. Say your goodbyes.”


Alexia was careful with her expression before Dean. She did not want to reveal how severe his wounds were. The ointments did their work, and Dean did not struggle too much under the pain that came with them. Eventually, they stopped all together and he shut his eyes. Alexia swallowed down the worry that they wouldn’t open again.

Gaston’s steps were met by both human women looking to him, the same question on both their faces. It was answered without words, and Alexia averted her gaze and resumed work.
‘So much skin.’ Amon had certainly not held back when he decided to burn Dean.

Alexia did not feel the same grief that Eva did. She had not known Deirdre long, and she had grown accustom to a certain amount of violent death. Her heart was clenched by grief’s hand, a pressure rather than a pain. No tears came. No tears would. She did not offer comfort, for Gaston soon managed that as the thought was crossing her mind. She continued in her duty without raising her eyes to Eva.


‘What will we do now?’
Too soon to ask. Catherine received no answer to her statement. Eva was dismissed and Gaston took over.

It would be a massacre. If Alexia did not care for her own life too much, she might have offered to go willingly with Adrian. She knew what that meant, though. Amon didn’t need to offer a replacement or money for her to know she wouldn’t be returning here. She wouldn’t have a chance to harm Adrian. The most she might be able to do would be misdirect him, but Alexia did not trust herself.

Adrian broke everyone.

In silence, Dean was treated, ointment applied before Alexia pulled the bandages out. She split the amount of cloth bandages between her and Gaston before beginning to wrap his left arm.
‘Next time.’ It’d be nice payback if Dean could harm Amon next time, be the one to kill him, but she wondered how feasible that would be. For all she knew, the burns had affected his nerves. He might have difficulties in the future even throwing a ball.

Her face betrayed none of these concerns, though. That future was still to be seen. She sincerely hoped that Dean would at least be able to walk of his own accord soon.

The future had grown bleaker, too.
“Thank you,” ‘Would have been better to have them kill me.’ For his interests, not her own. He might think she was thanking him for the assistance with Dean. She wouldn’t clarify if such was his belief, for that was certainly no lie.

Dean could feel cold hands spreading medicine over him, but he had not the strength to fight him. If he thought that just because he had saved his life, he would give him some sort of respect, he’d be wrong. Nothing had changed in his beliefs concerning vampires – if anything he hated the lot of them even more than before. He struggled when he felt the pair of cold hands turn him on his side to treat the back of his shoulders.

His naked back was mostly untouched, but the area on his sides and on his shoulder blades had been burned.

“Don’t struggle,” Gaston whispered to the young rebel.

Gaston turned to look at Alexia when she thanked him – it was the first time that she’d spoken to him since they’d arrived home. What exactly was she thanking him for? He couldn’t be sure, and he knew better than to ask. It didn’t matter, his eyes warmed and a weak, small, smile adorned his face.  Lady Catherine, upon seeing this small exchange between the two, broke her short embrace with the vampire, her expression unreadable.

“I need to make a few calls,” said she, serious. “If I know Amon even a little, I need to make sure some things get taken care of. I have a couple of friends who may be willing to help us. I’ll be in your study.” She gave a comforting hug to Gaston before she turned, weakly smiled to Alexia, and left. Gaston knew that she had business to take care of, so did he, but he was certain that the reason she had left was to give Alexia and himself a few moments of privacy.

“You’re welcome,” said he softly, “and thank you, too.”

He meant his thanks, and they escaped his lips with ease.

“Peace can go to hell.”

***
“Ey, Benji – you’ve got a call, man,” said a boy who could not have been older than fifteen years old, his red eyes reflecting the dimly lit candles around the room. He had dark blue hair, shaved on one side. In his small hands, a small silver phone rested. The light from the phone’s screen was by far the brightest light in the room – if it could even be called a room.

From the shadows emerged a very tall vampire, with light brown skin, broad shoulders, and short curly black hair. His large hand took the phone and pulled it close to his ear, a single circular earing piercing his lower lip. The young boy moved closer to the larger vampire, as if hoping to listen in on the conversation. The massive vampire did nothing to push the boy away, instead he welcomed him into the conversation.

“This is Benjamin,” muttered a low voice.

A male voice on the other end of the phone began to yap away – Kuno with his voice indicating certain urgency. Benjamin’s expression turned serious for only a second, for a wicked, crooked and large, grin contorted his already brutish face. The younger vampire behind him also smiled, his was more controlled, but his eyes had a malicious squint behind them. Whatever the news was, it had been seemingly bad in the beginning, but welcome given time.

“Alright,” said Benjamin his fangs showing in his smile, “tell the old man to expect us within the hour.” He flipped the phone shut, turning to the younger vampire who craned his neck to meet Benjamin’s eyes. The boy looked at Benjamin as if he was going to give him candy.

“Are my adolescent ears fooling me, or – ?”

“Get our brothers and sisters ready, Cal. I’m going into town for a bit, but when I come back, we’re going to war.”

Benjamin let out a loud chortle before turning and getting lost in the shadows.


‘Relax, Dean.’

Not that there would be any convincing him. He had just been attacked by a vampire. A woman had been killed by one. Dean did not see them as individuals, much as a person with arachnophobia saw no difference between a daddy-long legs and a brown recluse. It would be much the same with other rebels.

Alexia never thought she’d think in any moderate way.
‘Perhaps I should have.’ Even once thinking of using vampires against each other had suggested she recognized some individuality, however small. Catherine soon dismissed herself, Alexia looking up in time to catch the smile. She returned it, weak though it was.

Gaston spoke to her then, and Alexia shook her head at his words, a sigh parting her lips.
“If there is a way to maintain peace, it should be considered.” He knew Amon and Adrian better, though. Even Alexia doubted there was a way to maintain it, but she knew this was not going according to Gaston's plan. This situation had not been planned.

Dean was well-wrapped. Though, of course, he wasn’t so wrapped to look like a mummy, Alexia couldn’t resist,
“Next time you see Amon you should convince him he’s been cursed by one of his ancestors, Dean.” Alexia had never seen a mummy. Only pictures in books she’d picked up, flipped through. Cats and mummies, curses and pharaohs. Books on Egypt were prized because of Amon.

No one knew what to look for when it came to Adrian.

With Dean properly bandaged up, she rose and offered her hand to Gaston. He may have figured her out now, given Amon's words, but a proper introduction seemed appropriate. He'd risked perhaps everything to keep her out of Adrian's hands. If it was an elaborate trick, she'd have to give him credit for it,
“I’m Alexia. Alex,” she introduced. Adrian must have figured it out. Whichever rebel he’d bought that revealed it was one she must not have recognized, not surprising. It was hard to keep track of all the faces, but she was often remembered once people realized who she was. Most had imagined Alex as male—and she didn’t mind.

It didn’t matter who Alex was. The symbol had been created. Even if she died, it would never be acknowledged. Letters of Alex would continue to appear. Alex would live for thousands of years if it was necessary, human will embodied.
“Nice to meet you.”

‘There isn’t one.’

He did not say it, but Gaston could no longer see an end where his goal was achieved through peaceful means. He’d protected a human from a vampire, and not just any vampire, Amon – who was insane and merciless. That action would trigger a chain of events, all of which pointed to Gaston and his affiliates for treason. He couldn’t just take back what he’d done, and he wouldn’t if he could. He didn’t regret a single action he’d taken. Amon did not deserve such respect, and Gaston did not deserve such disrespect.

“I think it is a little late for that, I’m afraid.”

No chuckle escaped Gaston in Alexia’s comment towards Dean, but a small smile sparked. The ointments would work well on his burned skin, and he’d heal soon. Aside from his left arm, Gaston expected him to recover fully. The tissue on his arm would never be the same, however, and scars would form all around it. As he thought further of the rebel, he realized just how much he wanted him to have a chance to return the favor to Amon. If Gaston could give him that much, he would.

When Alexia rose, he rose with her appropriately – manners above all. His red eyes followed her stretched hand, he shook it with his, smiling. Gaston imagined his hand would be cold compared to hers, and it was. He’d known all along whom she was, but it was safest to keep her real name hidden – such a restriction he had not allowed himself with Dean. It may still be safe for her to remain as Livia, but he was pleased, honored in a way, that she had at last let him know her true name. 

“Nice to meet you,” returned he with a slight nod. “I’m glad you decided to tell me your real name.” Once he’d let go of her hand, he crossed his arms. “Seeing as how I have failed at keeping my plans in peace with the others, I believe I have a promise to keep for you. I told you that I would help you get back to the rebellion, and if that’s what you still want, that’s what I will do for you. Dean as well.”

He didn’t want her to leave, for he felt like they could work well together, but he wouldn’t burden her with unnecessary danger. Adrian would be furious at being denied his wishes, and his retaliation would be swift. Benjamin would join him, as would Catherine, but he wouldn’t place innocent people in danger. A plan had already been planned in his head to get his staff out of the estate, to an undisclosed, safe, location.

If death was calling, it would only be on him and those who’d willingly follow him.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2013, 09:22:54 pm »
Cold indeed, as expected. Gaston’s mental makeup might be different than most of the vampires she’d met, but he was as they all were—cold as death. They shook and released. She mimicked his posture, also crossing her arms over her chest. Here they stood, both leaders in their own right with a group of common enemies, united by misfortune that could turn fortunate.

When history wrote of the human victory, Alexia wondered if they would write that the tide turned here.


“I do believe I am standing with the rebellion now,” Alexia noted. She understood what Gaston meant, but was surprised he was excluding himself and his group. They were rebels, and they were certainly going to have a more difficult time fighting the threat. Vampires would be directly targeted and hunted like deer for a treachery of the species. ‘Might take the heat off us for a while.’ Might be a useful distraction, too. Splitting up would have advantages, but not until she knew Gaston’s own thoughts and plans. “I won’t be going anywhere until I know where I can find you, and how I can reach you. I want to know your plans. We can work together, still.” The arrangement was obviously going to have to be different. Gaston didn’t seem to be planning to stay here. She wondered what his plans for Eva and the rest of his human staff would be.

For that matter, what were his plans for the vampiric ones? She was quite curious about his own actions now that he’d been pushed into something of a corner where he didn’t see a way to make peace.
‘At least he seems to have a plan.’ That much was good. He wasn’t taken completely off guard. His composure was still here. He must have made back-up plans before. ‘At least he isn’t as deluded as Amon.’ That much had been clear earlier, but it was good to see further confirmation of it.

Gaston smiled. It seemed that officially they were now on the same team. ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ He thought to himself – though it did not necessarily apply to his relationship with Alexia. He liked to believe that in other circumstances he and she would have become friends anyway. Hopefully the other rebellion groups would think similarly, for they would have no other inclination than to mistrust him.

“We stand together, then,” he noted. “I knew, as soon as Amon left, that I could not remain here. There are several possible places where I can stay underground, hidden from Adrian’s many eyes. I am more concerned for my staff, for they cannot come with me. Dean, especially, needs to be moved from here, since I expect Adrian and Amon will both arrive sometime in the next sunset.”

A knock came from just outside the room, it was Kuno who let himself in. He still looked shocked, but he was by far more collected than before. It seemed like he was a different person, no longer shaking at the fact that Gaston was in the same room. Instead, he walked as if Gaston was a human, a person he could trust. Hell, the boy even smiled at his vampire overseer. He opened up the notebook in which he wrote everything down and read it a little before speaking.

“I’ve done as you asked,” he said. “They’re all waiting in the study, except, of course – um, never mind.”

Deirdre. Kuno did not need to say anything more. Gaston understood.

“Benjamin asked me to tell you to expect him within the hour.”

“Excellent,” said the vampire. “Alexia, come with me. Several things must happen at once, and I think it best if you were with me for the moment.”

Lady Catherine had just hung up the phone when others began to arrive. A guardswoman with auburn hair was the first; she was followed by three other guardsmen. Then the humans began to arrive, the kitchen staff first, and the laborers afterwards. In total, there were about fifteen vampires in the room, as opposed to the five humans. Gaston arrived with Alexia shortly after that, followed closely by Kuno.

“Good morning, everyone,” Gaston moved forward to his desk and faced them all. “There’s no point in delaying the news. As you all know, Amon recently visited the estate, and in his stay he bit one of my staff members, killing her. He burned another, and after I denied him a wish of his, he threatened me. It is safe to say that if we remain here, we are not safe. His retaliation will come quick and without warning.”

The guardswoman, Veronique, stepped forward.

“I can escort the humans out of the estate,” she said with a thick French accent. “Reports from your guards in the town say that activity is low. No spies as of yet.”

She was well informed, as always. As guard captain, she needed to be.

“Thank you, Veronique,” responded Gaston as he raised his hand, signaling that things were not so simple. “I know of a place where my human staff can hide. I’ll send with you some of my kind so that you won’t run out of food. I will firstly take your questions, but we must move quick. They will come in less than a day, which means that some of us may need to risk travel in the day. If you would prefer me to send you to a specific place, I will listen, but will only attempt it if reasonably feasible. I will not take unnecessary risks.”

It was his garden and gate staff that he knew the least, but they trusted him anyway. Eva had a lot of influence in that.

Lady Catherine remained silent, but several of her friends would arrive in the night. Riverpasse was no longer safe.


‘Dean can return to the rebels.’ Alexia imagined he would be more at peace among them, though she wondered if it would truly be the best place for the others—Kuno, Abby, Minerva were not what she’d call rebels. Her group was no place for children, or the untrained, either. There was another group in Riverpasse, though. They might be more welcoming. Kuno arrived before she could suggest as much, at least for Dean.

There was a gathering, and she was invited. She would get to meet Benjamin soon enough. She nodded, followed along, and found the study rather crowded this time around. She recognized the one who must be Veronique, and found that she liked the accent despite herself. It was a touch difficult to make out what she was trying to say at first. Mentally, Alexia went over the words again until they made sense.

Veronique seemed loyal enough. Gaston had an idea of where he could hide his human staff.
“Let me take Dean somewhere else,” Alexia spoke up. She didn’t say where, had a feeling Gaston could guess. Catherine had mentioned the rebel activity, after all. She might need to speak plainly eventually, but she still found herself hesitant with the other vampires around. She did not know them, hardly knew Catherine. “I know a place he will be more comfortable.” Certainly he’d be happy to be around his own kind again, and not humans such as Kuno or Minerva. It might not be safer, certainly not if Lady Blanc was now viewed as an enemy to Adrian, but she imagined her group would know what to do, and how to move. They had lasted quite a while so far with few incidents.

‘Vampire escort or not?’
Something to consider, she imagined she would not be allowed to move too freely, even in the day. There were always humans who worked loyally for vampires such as Amon and Adrian, but leading any of these vampires to where the rebels were did not seem like a good idea. She could only vouch for one of them, and he likely had places to be. She’d figure out where those places were in the course of this meeting, no doubt.

No, she’d manage better with weapons and perhaps some letter to get by the humans in the day. If the letter didn’t work, she could slit their throats just as easily, and vampires were much simpler prey in the light if one dared to step out.

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Re: Waxing And Waning [Closed]
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2013, 09:40:53 pm »
“The humans are not all going to the same place?” asked Veronique, slightly confused.

“No, they are not,” answered Gaston while exchanging a quick glance with Alexia and Eva. “The first group of humans that will leave will be Rufus, Ronny, Eva, Abby, and Kuno. Alexia and Dean will remain with me for a while longer.”

Abby seemed to whimper at the sound of being away from Alexia.

Veronique nodded that she understood, figuring that the two names she didn’t recognize were the rebels she had heard so much of. It made sense for the other humans to be taken to another place, a place safer than a rebellion encampment. “As you say,” she said. The three guards behind her nodded their heads, they would follow her anywhere.

“Now, on to what must happen with the guards,” said Gaston, going through his plans in his head. “Veronique, I will need you to keep in touch with the guards, find out where the council guards are scheduled and which days. After Adrian tells them of what I did they’ll increase their numbers. Follow their schedule, but keep tabs with my spies, the way we always do. Some of my other guardsmen stationed away will surely be sent here. Rendezvous with them and send word. By that time you would have heard from me.”

The web of guards he had created over the years was the biggest source of his information, and the reason why he knew which days were safe to travel. His guards were employed by him, but they wore the city armor. No one would question guards that looked like council guards, and he had made sure that all of his guards were well informed and spread out. He took extreme care, so if more guards were sent here to look for him, he didn’t worry too much. The small secret civilization that he had created would give him the necessary information.

“Understood,” said she firmly.

“I’ll send notice of my whereabouts as soon as I decide, but for now, go.”

She nodded her head, saluted, and then departed the room. Gaston then turned to the other group of vampires that remained in the room. They were scouts, who often dressed as guards or workers. In reality, they were hired ears and eyes that had grown loyal to him over time. These were the vampires that strolled in the town to hear the gossip, see the auctions, and make the impressions. The one’s that could orchestrate scenarios to make an escape possible.

“You all need to do exactly what I’d told you the last time we talked. Do not gather anything of mine that you have collected until I ask for it. I will take what I have in the estate with me. You should act as you always do, as if you don’t even know me. Follow the gossip – if I am the enemy, agree.”

None of them spoke at all, they just looked at Gaston before they, too, left. Now only the humans remained – those that actually lived in the estate.

“What will we do with Deirdre’s body?” Asked Eva after some silence.

“We can bury her, if you wish it, Eva,” his tone was careful, but he couldn’t waste any more time. “I must first ask you to gather your things, belongings, treasures, everything. It is unlikely that you will return here. I suspect it will be burned down when they don’t find us. Take little Abby. Kuno, Ronny, Rufus, you too. With haste, your ride will be here any second.”

Abby didn’t want to go, but Eva picked her up and marched from the room.

Now only Gaston, Catherine, and Alexia remained in the study.

“Come with me,” he told them as he approached one of the many bookshelves. His slender hand found the right trigger book and pulled it as if he were going to take it out. A small noise popped, as if a lock had just gotten unlocked. The whole bookshelf moved backwards and then slid to the side, exposing a staircase leading them downstairs. It was dark, but it was not a room that he didn’t visit. The stairs were worn, and it didn’t smell any different than the rest of the house.

“Typical,” said Catherine, not amused.

“It gets better,” Gaston assured. He approached the stairs and with his slender fingers turned on the lights from below. It wasn’t a long way day, and the stairs spiraled down. The walls seemed to have been made from stone. This room was old.

The hidden room was a decently sized, with a bed nearly made facing the closest wall, though the majority remained in darkness. Besides the bed was a dresser, and on top of the dresser was a single framed picture. A younger, human, Gaston was sitting Indian style on a garden smiling, his hand outstretched as if he had taken the picture himself. His shirt had muddy handprints on it, smudges by small hands. A golden haired child around Abby’s age, with magnificent green eyes, hugged him from behind. Next to him was a woman with similarly golden hair, her expression upset, at being muddy and in the ground. Her eyes were blue,  and she held a small gardening spade in one hand.

Gaston’s gaze lingered there for only a second. That was the only picture that survived the attack, and thankfully it had remained in perfect condition all these years. He approached the bed and from below it fetched three large suitcases, placing them on top and opening them. They were the kind that could stretch into bigger sizes, flexible, but sturdy. After that the vampire moved to the wall and turned on the light to illuminate the other half of the room.

In the center of it was a dark blue rubber mat, like those used to train in gyms, but it spread all across the floor. Stripes and circles were painted on it to resemble the setting for some sort of sport. It looked like it had been recently cleaned.

That was nothing.

Hung on all of the three walls were all kinds of weapons, of excellent make and taste.

There were bows, scimitars, swords, daggers, maces. Everything that could be considered a weapon, he had it. It looked as if they were each made by the same person who had made the weapons that Alexia had already seen. They all had similar carvings, and they all looked like they were made from the same type of material. This was Gaston’s fascination, and his obsession had warranted quite the collection over the years.

“This is my room, take what you want for yourself. I will save what I can, and destroy the rest. These are powerful weapons.”


Commands were issued all around. People left. Alexia waved to Abby, but imagined she would never see the little girl again. ‘Goodbye.’ Hopefully, Abby would grow up and find her voice. Hopefully, the world would be different by then.

There was no place for Abby amongst the rebels. Alexia was grateful she did not have to be the one to dismiss the girl. Once the number was down to three, Gaston revealed another secret. Somehow, Alexia considered this should have been obvious.
‘You never did seem to leave this area much.’ Not that she had enough experience to know.

Catherine didn’t seem impressed. Down the stairs they went, into the private chambers of Gaston. There was a photograph.
‘I thought you were older.’ A girl in a picture that looked like Abby, and another woman, from a time Alexia would never know—a time when humans could spend on gardening. The tool in the woman’s hand was foreign to Alexia.

Her attention did not remain there. As lights lit up the area, she saw the weapons. Her eyes lit up, much like a child in a candy store. There were plenty of options, and she fully intended to take more than one. If she did reunite with the rebels, they’d be pleased with the extra weapons in such good condition. She didn’t need further encouraging.

A longsword was slung over her back by its strap, and then a quiver of arrows followed. She made sure the quiver had something of a cover, so she would not need to worry about arrows spilling. It would make it annoying if she had to take an arrow quickly, but she’d deal with that. Bows weren’t her area, anyway. A short bow also found its way over her shoulder, before she looked to the sets of blades. She was a fan of pairs, and soon found a set that fit her needs quite well. The blades were slender, perhaps only an inch wide, and only about a foot long. Thin, as well, but clearly sharp. The two came to rest at her hip before she snatched up a few throwing daggers to keep on hand. Hidden in socks, pockets, and between cleavage were useful places. She began to place a few of them, though the outfit had no pockets, the eight daggers were soon hidden well enough that clothing didn’t bulge or give them away.


“I don’t suppose you have material to make explosives, do you?”
Her group was always running short of it. Though explosives rarely killed vampires, they were bothersome. They could put holes in places to allow the sun in, and with enough gasoline, the fire produced could kill them. “Or explosives themselves. Guns, bullets.” Useful in slowing a vampire more than killing, but sometimes that second was all that was necessary. These things she didn’t see immediately.  Of course, those sorts of weapons didn't quite fit with the aesthetics. She’d accept that she was blind and looked over them. ‘Wouldn’t be the first time.’

One of the bags could certainly be filled with those things. Alexia didn’t have the room on her person for much else.


Catherine looked at all the weapons and smiled. She fancied such cute little things. “You have a bed?” She asked as she looked over the weapons, taking a suitcase in her hand to fill up with her favorites. The first was a small hand axe that curled elegantly on the blade. She then moved on to the daggers, and finally stopped on the swords. She looked at a particularly magnificent one, broad and massive. She picked it up, it didn’t feel heavy on her hand, even though it looked like it should.

“Don’t you?” Retorted Gaston simply and seriously.

“We don’t sleep, darling. I hope you haven’t been fooling yourself all these years,” she chuckled, joking. “Is this one yours?” The way that she asked made it obvious that she respected such a large blade, she wanted it.

“No, I prefer quicker blades. I don’t suppose you’re going to carry that thing around town, are you? And I like to lay down sometimes, helps me think.” Gaston didn't feel like he needed to further explain himself.

“No, but I will take it with me. Have you decided where we are staying?”

Gaston frowned, beginning to pick out weapons for himself. “I’m working on that.” The vampire moved to the wall closest to the bed, where all of the more complicated weapons were. He started with the throwing needles, which were incredibly hard to master. A long bow and quiver followed shortly after that, and after them a double-edged pike. Gaston always fancied ranged weapons, to keep his enemies at bay. He was, however, much better at close ranged combat. One of his many talents. 

“That doesn’t sound very encouraging,” she admitted, but she did not complain. She’d told him that she would follow him wherever he went – and she meant it.

Gaston turned to Alexia once she spoke. “I don’t have anything like that, sadly, but I can help you get some to wherever you are staying. Needless to say that you won’t struggle for supplies and food anymore, for if you can coerce some of your contacts to be reasonable open minded, I can send you whatever you need.” He made a U-turn, placing down the now elongated, and full, suitcase on the floor. “I don’t have as many guns as I have blades,but,” he reached once more under his bed and pulled out a heavy looking case, and a fourth suitcase, “everything fire-arm is in there. Feel free to take what you want.”

Steps were heard coming down the stairs, and in a flash, Gaston moved through the room, picked up the bow, and a single arrow pointed at the opening. The steps were of a weight and speed he had not immediately recognized. Catherine looked at him in disbelief. She knew that Gaston had a fascination for weapons, but she would have never imagined he could move so smoothly - so quickly. She’d never even seen such a thing in guards. Her reactions were quick for she moved and hid by the wall. It wasn't really hiding, but she could at least catch him by surprise if she was careful.

“Calm your ass,” said a gruff voice, arms raised. “It’s just me.”

Gaston scoffed, lowering his arrow. He put them away and approached his friend, giving him an embrace - a lot like a hug he would give a brother. Benjamin towered over Gaston, even though Gaston was pretty tall himself. The differences were quite noticeable, for Gaston was a thing, young, face and a slender elegant body. Benjamin was tall, muscular, wild.

“I didn’t know you had a pet,” he said as soon as he spotted Alexia. “I’m kidding.” He really was, and his laugh confirmed it. Benjamin had always had a twisted self of humor, despite all the tragedies that made him hate his kind.

“Who might this be?” Asked Catherine as she stepped out to greet him.

“Oh, hello,” a goofy grin formed on his sandy skin.

“This is Benjamin Porter,” said Gaston with a crooked smile. “Benji, this is Alexia, and that is Catherine.”

“Hello ladies,” said he before taking a look around. “Packing up? That kid must have been serious, then. Good, I was beginning to doubt him. I’ve brought some of my friends, they’ll help you with the rest.”

“Perfect,” said Gaston, who was not aware that Benjamin had come with others. At least now he didn't have to lose all of his treasures - they'd all be put to good use. He didn’t question him, for he could honestly say that Benjamin was the person he trusted the most in the world. “Are you thirsty?”

“Parched,” he said.

“Come now, let us catch up upstairs.”

The last thing he put in his suitcase was the picture on the dresser. That picture would accompany him anywhere and always.