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THE NEXT CHAPTER BEGINS

More than 10 years after the Resonance Event.... our fractured world has found its new "normal" stride.
Survival is no longer the name of the game - now its all about power - who has it - who can keep it.
WELCOME TO RESONANCE: RESURGENCE

WINTER MASQUERADE

You are cordially invited to the event of the season. Bakkhos is hosting a winter masquerade.
Did you get your exclusive invite? or are you fighting for the few seats left open to the public?
WINTER MASQUERADE EVENT
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  1. Earlier
  2. Pale fingers ran down the silk collar of the coat and then the dress a last time to ensure there was no way it would move and expose painted secrets, aware that dark disapproving eyes were fixed on her from the doorway. Hayato: Suki janai. (I do not like it) Wakatteru. Shikashi, watashitachiha shōtai sa remashitaga, konomu to konomazaru to ni kakawarazu, Bakkhos wa koko de kazoku o kizuite kimashita (I know. But we were invited and like it or not, Bakkhos has been a good ally as we have built our family here.) Her Wakagashira had never liked the alliance but from the very beginning, the Oyabun and Gaspari, the head of the Bakkhos syndicate, had found a mutual benefit in their alliance. They each had different territories in the city and they respected those boundaries. They also did business with eachother now that the small Kaminari clan had grown a foothold in this new world, particularly with the expansion into tech her family had done two years prior. They were working on technology that didnt self destruct around magic and that was something Bakkhos had great interest in. Green eyes flicked to her second in command, appraising a moment before the faint quirk tugged her lips upward. Even now he believed that the gaijin had no honor. For all your protesting, you do look good. His silk hakama brushed the floor with a whisper, the matching top and haori all such a dark green that in most light they seemed black. Only the narrow keko obi at his waist picked up the lighter green of her own attire. The faint exhale of air from his nostrils almost drew laughter from the head of the Kaminari clan. He never changed. Her unmovable mountain. Turning from the mirror, the small steps glided over the floor as though she floated, Hayato stepping aside to let her pass and following just behind her shoulder as they headed for the car that waited for them below. Silence lingered between them as they sat together in the back of the ebony sedan. It was she that finally broke it. Nagaku haira remasen. (We will not stay long.) Hazel pulled from the window to look at him. Shōtai o jitai suru no wa shitsureidesu. Tadashi, Gaspari to no tetsudzuki o koeru hitsuyō mo arimasen. (It would be disrespectful to decline the invitation. But we also do not need to linger beyond formalities with Gaspari.) Hayato: Suzaku-ue. Watashitachiha busō shite imasen. Kare wa watashitachi o uragiranai kamo shiremasenga, kare ga shōtai shita mono wa nanidesu ka? Karera wa shinrai sa rerubekidesu ka? (Suzaku-ue We go in there unarmed. Gaspari may not betray us, but what of those he has invited. Are they all to be trusted?) She was quiet a moment, hazel meeting his dark scowl of concern without wavering. The answer leaving no doubt where she stood. No… they are not. Car drew to a halt at the back entrance of the hotel. Gaspari had long ago permitted her access to the more secluded doors of the building to ensure their dealings were kept a bit more private. Hayato gracefully slid out of his side before extending his hand for her. The Asian beauty slipped out of the vehicle as though she walked on air, rustle of silk soft as the coat fell back into place. A bodyguard at the door instantly recognized the woman and inclined his head slightly as he held the door open and let them pass inside to the elevator. When it was picked up from this floor, it didn’t stop on any others until it reached the club at the top. The rest of the world would have to wait its turn. Emerald eyes moved around the club with a casual gaze that didn’t betray she was marking every exit, every hidden corner while secretly studying each patron. She knew her second in command was doing the same. Jaw beneath a wolven mask was marked instantly as one of Gaspari's seconds, she didn’t miss him glancing to the bartender and inclining his head towards her to ensure appropriate drinks were started before he began to walk over. Her head inclined with a smile of her own as she noted the glimmer in the dark eyes behind the silver mask. Ms Kagami, you look stunning. She had become accustomed to the western formality of names. It still felt odd but it no longer made her cringe the way it did her second in command. She could almost feel him bristle beside her. Before any comment could be made she returned the greeting. Matteo-kun, it is good to see you again. The junior honorific used to denote his lower station to herself. She reserved the formal honorific for Gaspari only, though in truth likely none of them understood the differences. He grinned before looking to Hayato and nodding a greeting. The Bakkhos inner circle got used to not addressing her second in command who rarely deemed it necessary to speak to them directly. A smartly dressed female came by with three drinks on a tray. Matteo picked up the Matcha Hai for herself and Hayato holding them out, for himself there was from the smell of it a simple congnac. Taking the glass she politely sipped it. Truth was it was not half bad, though hardly what would be served in her own establishments. Thank you. It is unfortunate that we will not be able to stay very long due to another personal engagement, but I did not wish to decline such a wonderful invitation. The stiff mountain just behind her shoulder accepted his glass but chose not to honor it with a sip as she hooked an arm into Matteo's offered elbow. Well then best we see to it that Gaspari gets to say hello. With that the Capo began to escort her through the crowd towards the balcony doors. She intended to keep her word to Hayato. They were not staying long.
  3. Home - Advertise - Plot - Rules The Chosen is an original supernatural concept type site. It takes place in the modern day, within a fictional city and neighboring town in the state of Massachusetts. It offers a handful of different character types to be made and allows members to create their own super powers for their characters to possess. The Chosen's lore is a mixture of original ideas and inspirations from other supernatural series. The Chosen are the focal point of the site as they are gifted humans that the Gods have deemed worthy to be their warriors. However there are multiple other character types to play such as psychics, vampires, werewolves, witches, and those who are half demon. An organization known as the SIA within the government are hunting supernaturals, working to keep them under control or eliminating them. Some people are born with gifts. Some people have to work for it. And some, are chosen.... What are you?
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  6. Eris’s reaction to the bottle was telling. Tom could almost detect the scent of a storm pouring from her eyes. When she took his arm, a small spark of static electricity passed between them in the dry air. Fitting. “He knows more than you think, which is why he’s going after all of you.” All of us. Bakkhos. A low growl escaped Tom’s mouth before he caught himself. Eris had seen multiple sides of Tom in the time they’ve known one another. The frustratingly patient, methodical thinker…and the impulsive rage-beast. Tom could still feel the axe in his hand from when he drove the blunt end of it against Trevor's skull that night in the warehouse. It brought conflicting feelings of satisfaction and disappointment. Eris had also seen shades of his paternal, protector-side after the Blood Moon. It was out in full force now. “Then it is fortunate that you are joining me this evening. Gaspari will be very interested in whatever insight you can provide.” After Tom spoke, he heard…or perhaps sensed a very familiar growl from Eris. Tom was rambling. He was painfully aware of the effect he had on others when he wasn’t deliberately tempering his rage. He would compensate with humor, where he felt his inherent anger wasn’t beneficial. He had forgotten, momentarily, that this wasn’t needed here. He didn’t need to worry about accidentally scaring her. She was a warrior, a peer. If anything, feigned levity would offend her more than comfort her. Although, if he was being honest…not all of the levity was feigned. He truly enjoyed her company. “They know the version of me I want them to know. My world before this was cruel, and merciless. I still prevailed. Faced with evil and insurmountable obstacles, I survived. Even when my body tried to kill me… filled my brain with cancer and made my bones feel like broken glass. I fought, and I’m here.” Tom nodded as she spoke. He knew some of her history, but she only revealed small bits at a time. Little by little, Eris was opening up to Tom. He knew how significant this was. “Don’t ever doubt that I can be as brutal and unforgiving as you…” Tom turned so Eris could see his face. He locked eyes with the other predator with a grim look. He knew the war that was coming. He had no doubt about her capability for brutality. That will be necessary in the coming days. “I am counting on that.” It was a truthful admission. He owed her a debt. They were square with the Thyrsus damages. That was ancient history. But he pulled her into this situation with the poison. She put herself, and those she cares about in grave danger because of it. Eris and her family have stepped up in major ways to assist The Family. It was time for The Family to repay the debt. Because of this, Eris was not getting out of attending the Masquerade unless she had laid him out herself. Tom insisted. “He’s checking to see if I’ll still bring a shotgun to a knife fight. He doesn’t realize I’m bringing the apocalypse instead.” Tom was relieved to see Eris’s countenance cool a bit during the flight. Tom was slightly apprehensive about this evening. He was taking a gamble. The Bosses clearly knew who she was and about the Sheut. Tom had already been told by Victor how he felt about the situation. Tom had yet to receive any feedback from the other three. Gaspari had invited her directly…through Tom. This was certainly going to be a feeling out and, with any luck, mutual agreement and understanding. Sensing the return of some levity, Tom raised an eyebrow and looked at her with a hint of a smile. “I’ve been called worse.” "I don't want to do this..." Without thought, he instinctively reached out and grabbed her hand in a comforting gesture. “I know.” He quickly released it before she had a chance to recoil. His concern was genuine. As the helicopter touched down, he looked over to her and offered a warm smile. “Don’t worry. We won’t be spending any time on the dance floor.” He offered a small, playful grin. “Unless you want to.” He knew she didn’t. While waiting for the blades to stop spinning, Tom pulled out his phone and sent a couple quick text messages. One to Roderick to let him know they had arrived, although, from the gaggle of people looking at the helicopter curiously to see who chartered a flight to the Masquerade likely gave it away. He sent another message to Matteo and Gaspari -- We’re here. Find Cavalli and Strollo if able. Much to discuss. He sent one more to Matteo directly -- We brought two others with us. Take care of them. Once the blades stopped, Tom slid on the silver wolf-mask and stepped out to offer his hand to help Eris down. She needed as much help as a cat would, but this was a show now. Whether Eris liked it or not, they were performing now. As she descended from the chopper, Tom allowed himself a moment to take her in completely…sight, smell…wow. As she slid the viper mask over her face, it only seemed to exaggerate her eyes. They really were a striking pair. One doubt crept into his mind that he wasn’t ready to deal with yet…What if the bosses felt threatened? Tom had no megalomaniacal ambition for ‘climbing the ranks’ in the Family. His ascension had been rather organic, although marrying Jacqueline had certainly accelerated it, he had to admit. Tom’s loyalty to The Family had never been questioned by anyone more than once. Victor had warned Tom to expect a healthy level of skepticism from Strollo and Cavalli. That was fair, and frankly expected. Tom might very well be disappointed if the bosses didn’t offer at least one rebuttal to Tom’s plans and actions. But seeing the aura of power and presence coming from Eris as she descended from the helicopter, Tom couldn’t fathom anyone who didn’t feel at least slightly defensive. And that was before she gracefully took the arm of Thomas Gallo, caporegime of Thyrsus and reigning Satyr Stadium Champion. The crowd outside the club was gawking openly now. This whole plan was designed to subvert Calloway’s expectations. Tom suspected, from his short time by comparison, time with Eris…that if he had wronged her in the way that Calloway had…he’d expect a receipt in short order. Calloway was likely wondering right this moment why on earth she hadn’t attacked him yet. Eris’s presence with Tom, together, was intended to be a bold middle finger to Calloway and a loud statement for all of their combined enemies to fear. Tom was just hoping that this signal wasn’t also, unintentionally, sent to the other bosses. He’d have to step carefully around them for a time to ensure that they were cooperating with one another instead of scheming against each other. Tom paused a moment to allow Eris a moment to collect herself properly before strolling past the crowd outside the door to the club. Tom was reminded of crowds before the Nevus event that would wait outside stadiums when their favorite stars were exiting, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite star. Tom hated this just a bit less than Eris did. He had just become resigned to it since Satyr prevented him from being unnoticed. It became a new tool to leverage. And leverage it they shall. Three Soldiers walked out of the crowd. Tex was leading the group out. Good. Tom had grown to like Tex over the years. Tom and Tex exchanged nods and wordlessly, two of the soldiers flanked the helicopter as guards. Tex approached Toby and Mouse and was instructing them to follow him into the club. Toby and Mouse would have likely remembered Tex from the warehouse raid. Glancing down at Eris, he said, “If it helps, think of this as intel and supply acquisition for an upcoming battle instead of a Masquerade Ball. Both are true.” Adjusting his mask one last time, he stood up straighter, shoulders back, and allowed himself to scowl honestly finally. The mask would obscure part of it, and it seemed that crowds gave him a wider birth when he was visibly upset. As he took his first step, leading the pair of them to the door, he said in an even, business-like deadpan, “It’s showtime.”
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  8. The surprise that displayed itself on the woman’s face was easily noticeable. At first, she wondered if it was a nervous response to her being part of ARMA though it wasn’t followed by any outward fear. Instead the other woman seemed relatively agreeable concerning the information. That a scene didn’t follow brought some relief considering some still associated ARMA with the Order though they’d been trying to change those views. “Dangerous job.” “Dangerous times.” Little time passed between the back-to-back statements. The smile slid from her face. A hum of agreement being her only acknowledgement. All too well the dangers of this job, and this world, were evidenced in her own personal life. Even now it wasn’t a secret that her own brother, Alistair, a high-ranking ARMA official and its founder, was missing. This job brought with it losses and injuries that had previously been unimaginable. Not in the sense of the form the loss or injury took, but in the circumstances surrounding it. Prior to this world Cassandra wouldn’t have imagined that she’d have her heart broken by an assassin sent to kill her or that her brother would disappear while investigating a murderous magic cult. Neither would it have been imagined that she’d have to protect New York from an attack of amped up Lycanthropes as well as many other experiences. It would’ve been highly unlikely for their lives to deal with these things in the world before. “Me? I’m just here for the coffee. I don’t sleep much so I like to beat the crowds when I can. If you haven’t noticed I tend to make people slightly uncomfortable, and people tend to make me not so slightly irritated. Especially before I've had coffee. If I get it early I can at least pretend I don’t want to throttle everyone who stumbles all over a simple conversation with me.” Now that brought a smile back to her face as she could relate to the need for coffee. There were enough jokes about how much of the Greene family blood was actually made up of the beverage. “I’m Maya by the way.” “Cassandra Greene, fellow coffee addict.” She offered by way of introduction as she shook Maya's hand, amusement in her own voice. “I probably drink more than a couple pots a day of the stuff with the early and late hours of my job. Honestly, it’s the only way I survive early mornings especially during winter.” A pause followed as she took another sip of her coffee. Giving herself a minute to consider how to ask the next question before she spoke again. “If you don’t mind my asking. . . What makes them stumble more: the missing arm or the white cane?” The question was asked cautiously with a touch of levity mingled with warmth before she also added, “If you don’t want to answer that’s fine. There’s plenty of other topics for conversation.” Asking what made them stumble through a conversation with her would’ve been inconsiderate. It also would be obvious that Cassandra was playing dumb and could offend Maya in the process. Neither of which she wanted to do. And she wasn’t going to pretend that she understood what Maya experienced either. People being uneasy about her being ARMA was not the same thing. Instead she’d just drink her coffee while letting Maya decide how to proceed.
  9. "In my experience, I've found lady-like to be a state of perpetual self proclamation." The humor in his tone was matched by a smirk of her own. She tended not to get along with the few incredibly "ladylike" of the family. They tended to be a bit too fixated on their own importance, which at the end of it all… was not as important as they liked to believe, or at least the guard dog didn’t feel such. Head shook as the smirk lingered. You know what I mean… "The line between vulgar and lady-like is how subtly you can comment under your breath," This time the chuckle bubbled up warm to harmonize with his own. Face it… we're a perfect pair….. I mean… you know… for this....thing. The discomfort was short lived as he walked right over the awkward moment. "Agreed... don't think Gaspari is ready for us. I can charm a room, but by the end of it my partner is always trying to keep from laughing... Everyone ends up with a nickname... and the private jokes just roll. 'Is how ya keep yourself sane in the insanity of pomp and circumstance..." Just don’t expect me t' fawn over ya while ya work the room. You forget, been shot fer yer ass before. I don’t swoon when ya lay on the charm. The chuckle again bubbled up warmly. It had been a couple years ago and the two had barely known eachother when they had ended up in a shoot out at his place. Even in the middle of a god damn gun fight where they both had ended up on the receiving end of a bullet, they had been exchanging sardonic quips at eachother. There had always been something… comfortable… about being with the cajun. Comfortable…. perhaps that was why the words had slipped from her lips so unexpectedly. They're not tattoos…. "They never are…...can feel 'em. Not sure anyone else can... my particular brand of mojo sees a lot most of the world can't." Smirk tipped her lips a bit as she nodded. Well.... you already know it flares with emotions..... Its also drawn to you… Nice way to drop a bombshell on a guy, assuming the implications sunk in. Hand ran under the long hair to rub the back of her neck slowly, gaze fixated still on her glass as something sugary made its way to the table. "Question is... does anyone else know that?" The rub paused before the hand slid from her neck to wait for the footsteps to disappear again before answering. Other than you?.......one… other two that did….. There was a pregnant pause, she was skirting around scars on her emotions that she didn’t share with people. ….they gone MIA on me. With that she downed the remainder of the second Yorsh… the glass held up over her shoulder for a moment as she assumed the bartender saw. Wasn’t like there was anyone else in the place and Boone's crew was usually pretty johnny on the spot. Empty glass set down in front of her as she rested both arms on the back of the chair. Third drink was set in front of her and it was the first she didn’t immediately reach for. "And do you want them to?" It was a valid question. One she never asked herself since, for the most part, it never came up. On a stage under lights they were just…. tattoos. And up close people were more concerned about avoiding getting decked by her than inspecting the markings, not to mention they had grown far more docile the more time had passed since the event. That was until he had touched her like that and a tendril had sought to inspect the heated "brand" he had left behind. Odd that she had so casually told him about them and yet the family was still in the dark. Them…?.......... no…. Lower lip pulled a bit under her upper teeth before she reached for the glass, holding it loosely as her arm dangled off the back of the chair. Gaspari had never even really asked about them, he knew how she got it and then had left it at that… it was not brought up again after that first night. Never seemed like it would be a welcomed topic with the family. Shrug tried to push off the awkward moment. They all be looking at yer pretty ass anyway… noone's likely to pay it much attention. Smirk was a bit forced as the glass came to her lips…paused… then finally tipped back in a sip that proved she was slowing her roll a bit. In less than thirty minutes she was at least eight shots of vodka and two stouts deep the way the bartender was pouring them. She didn’t really get drunk, her ridiculously built up tolerance and high metabolic burn tended to ensure that, but she could become pretty brash when it ran thick through her veins. This didn’t feel like a good time to get that…. brash. Just dont go mojo'ing the entire place 'kay? Smile was a bit more relaxed as the vodka heated her gut finally. Go touchin' some of the girls there like that and they'll forget they came with someone else...
  10. His inner ear tickled as they walked, the small pop and crackle much like static. He'd been annoyed the first couple times, but had quickly come to realize over time that it was her. He was sensitive to others like him, she was a bit different but still the same flavor... it was something about her that triggered his radar. He doubted anyone else could feel it, only if they were tuned into the world like he was. He'd never come across anyone else like himself, so he could've very well been the only one. "The leprechaun's place?" His brow quirked, a true laugh as he opened the door. "The leprechaun's place," he confirmed, amusement in his tone. Why was he not surprised she'd been here? It was a great place to find a good drink. Boone was not the kind of person he would have expected her to get along with, however. Then again, she got along with the Cajun... but his sense of humor was a bit more reserved, and a bit darker. Boone, was just a complete unapologetic jackass. A fun jackass, but a jackass nonetheless. He breached the tattoo subject, not surprised at her answer. "Not very "ladylike" is all…" He almost laughed outright, the most lady-like of women he'd known in his lifetime had been the utter worst people he'd ever met. "In my experience, I've found lady-like to be a state of perpetual self proclamation." Humor had been brought back into the conversation, able to pick up on her subtle discomfort. "Sure you wanna go with a vulgar woman? Might lay out the first person who says hi……" "The line between vulgar and lady-like is how subtly you can comment under your breath," he chuckled and signalled for some food. He was a grazer... talked too much to actually eat a meal unless he was alone. "Face it… we're a perfect pair….. I mean… you know… for this....thing." "Agreed... don't think Gaspari is ready for us. I can charm a room, but by the end of it my partner is always trying to keep from laughing... Everyone ends up with a nickname... and the private jokes just roll. 'Is how ya keep yourself sane in the insanity of pomp and circumstance..." He watched her fiddle with her glass a moment. "They're not tattoos…." "They never are..." he finished his glass and set it down, fingers flicking slightly as his arm stayed perched on his knee. It was a statement that understood the world was seldom as simple as just a tattoo. He watched her a moment from his comfy corner, head leaning back on the wall. "...can feel 'em. Not sure anyone else can... my particular brand of mojo sees a lot most of the world can't." Beignets were slid on the table in front of them. He'd talked to Boone a while back, getting the place to make a few things out of the ordinary. These were smaller than they were usually made, bite-sized. His family's cook made them that way. It was a small piece of home. "Question is... does anyone else know that?" Another bourbon slid on the table several moments later, he paused before he picked it up. Drink was slow. "And do you want them to?"
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  12. Leaving was an immediate expectation. She needed to get this fucking disaster over with so she could prep the Cessna and land her ass on Calloway’s doorstep. No surprises, no traps. She would rip him apart with her bare hands and end this pissing contest. Countenance was as graceful and fitting to the event at hand as was appropriate, but the vengeance under her skin still held in the darkness of her eyes. She was out for blood as soon as the night was over. Sooner rather than later. “I presume that this isn’t one of yours?” Eyes snapped to him, the bottle suspicious. “You know I love Macallan Sherry Oak…” Finely manicured brow cocked slightly, getting a first scent of the room with heightened senses. “…but it could do with less of the Venom and silver.” Lips pressed together, anger like a brewing storm. The compression of lightening in a bottle radiated beyond her. Lightening that was ready to strike down the world with every revelation of how deep this feud was ripping through her territory. “Clearly, your dear friend was aware of my tastes.” She said nothing. He was aware of much more. She took his arm wordlessly, the grace and agility she could move in the intricate ballgown down a flight of stairs from her personal apartments to the hangar floor was enviable. “Calloway knows about me. Clearly a lot about me. Not as much as he knows about you, however.” She stopped when he did, expression impersonal. “He knows more than you think,” the response was quick and concise. It was clear there was more to it, though unclear the depth it went. “Which is why he’s going after all of you.” “Eris, everyone who knows you, or even knows of you, sees you as a viper.” Eyes narrowed, she said nothing, able to keep up with his longer strides. “You are. Cunning. Precise. Stealthy. The only way your enemies see your face is if they have you backed into a corner and you must face them head on.” Nobody backed her into a corner, the glance cast his way wondering if he really knew her at all. The weight of her steps was minuscule, but the air around her held force as she moved. All her enemies knew it was her. Every time. When she sought retribution, it was fierce and head on. “Calloway is counting on the Viper being a viper. Shelter in place, ensure the den is safe, and then hunt. Alone. He knew I’d be around, thus his little message in a bottle. Do you know what vipers never do? Saunter in the open. Warn others of their presence. Inform their prey that they are coming. When they are coming. Those are things that wolves do.” Even the warmth of his chuckle couldn’t pierce the armor that she’d wrapped around herself. Even before tonight, the budding friction with Calloway had been a battle. Now, it was all out war. The wind tickled the wisps of curls that had escaped across the back of her neck as they made their way to the helicopter, snapping her thoughts back to their current state. They were undeniably striking as a pair. “He is counting on you being quiet, subtle, innocuous…and then launching an attack.” His pause this time brought an impatient wrinkle to her brow. “It is time for you to subvert expectations.” As he turned her, a snap in her throat reminiscent of a growl was almost audible. Dark eyes watched him as she listened to what he thought he knew. She hated that he was smiling at her, hated that she was in a dress, hated that she was going to a party instead of racing through the sky in her Cessna to rip Calloway to pieces. She didn’t want to go to a party, ever, but he was making it hard now to not want to go with him. She hated that she felt that way too. Eyes narrowed. She’d always crushed everyone’s expectations, fought when she was bullied, lived when everyone else died, survived when the world came to an end. He was just one more person telling her she wasn’t good enough. As bitter as her thoughts may have been, they were absolute at that moment. He was not the making of her. She had won that battle on her own. “Eris London doesn’t need to be on anyone’s arm,” it was clear and concise, devoid of absolutely any emotion before she continued to her aircraft and climbed in with little effort. Hands folded demurely in her lap, gaze cast out into the white as she drew an invisible wall around her. She didn't want to look at him, to acknowledge she actually might have wanted to dress to the nines and go somewhere with him. There was a battle to be won, and going to a party wouldn't make that happen. The two in front spoke to each other quietly, clicks and switches preparing the rather difficult lift. The crosswind was sharp, but she’d taught Toby everything he knew. He could handle it. Her compound also knew their orders. If Calloway returned, or any of his shenanigans ensued, they had details how to proceed. Thumb drew over the mask slightly as they rose up into the darkness, the texture of the scales keeping her focus on something else other than the present. Instead unfortunately, thoughts lingered on the past. She’d saved Calloway’s life once, along with other members of the Nation. Fearlessly, because they had been her pack when introduced to the world of vampire. She’d stood in solidarity with them because they welcomed her into their fold. Her strength. Her will to survive when it was so much easier to die. They’d praised her obstinacy, determination, and rewarded her for her unwavering loyalty. Now, Calloway was breaking that blood bond and was feeding her to the Nation like a dog. “They know the version of me I want them to know,” she said quietly. Through the noise of the aircraft, she knew he could still hear her. “My world before this was cruel, and merciless. I still prevailed. Faced with evil and insurmountable obstacles, I survived. Even when my body tried to kill me… filled my brain with cancer and made my bones feel like broken glass. I fought, and I’m here. Don’t ever doubt that I can be as brutal and unforgiving as you. Deep down, he knows it. He’s seen it, and he’s terrified of it. I saved his life when others were too afraid to go in to pull him out.” Eyes watched the lights below, she knew exactly where they were. Anger had cooled. Flight always did it. It was cathartic. “He’s checking to see if I’ll still bring a shotgun to a knife fight.” Toby was already descending from the quick flight. She looked over to him, the gold highlights on her skin catching the light. “He doesn’t realize I’m bringing the apocalypse instead.” The smirk was dark as she looked back out the window as the helicopter was touching down. Eyes narrowed a bit at all the pageantry, and lights… there were so many… people. Why the hell was she doing this again? Hand stopped absently caressing the mask and tightened her grip on it. She hated people, because people had hated her. She didn't touch people, because every touch she'd ever received with rare exception was to hurt her, or had hurt the sicker she became. Now seen as someone that everyone wanted to be with, she preferred to be alone. This... was hell. "I don't want to do this..." it was so quiet it was a toss up if he'd heard, the tone one he'd never uttered in his presence. If there was anything she was truly terrified of, it was this. When she stepped off the aircraft, her poise, bravado, grace and enviable decorum would be all a facade... Eris London's facade. That much was now clear.
  13. "Oh I think I could have you fix up some things. My sink has been acting up lately. I will just have to put you to work." “I can do that,” he said without hesitation. He did know if she knew exactly how handy he was. Their encounters had been mostly based on him doing something to get his ass injured, and then the healing chit chat that came afterward. Other than that…. his bar. He loved his bar, wait… that sounded like a bad country singer’s attempt at a failed side gig... moving along…. "Up two flights. I would offer to carry you, but that might look weird.” “Careful, I’m heavier than I look…” he grinned. He knew she was aware of his abilities, but wasn’t sure if she understood exactly what he was. He trotted up behind her, already sliding his leather coat off. "So how bad is it?" “Mother foooo…” he grumbled as he shrugged off his leather. His right arm was bound tight at the bicep in a swath of tee shirt he’d torn from the bottom of the one he was wearing under his Henley. Knife was pulled from his hip, the make-shift bandage cut off with a swipe and a hiss. Not much blood until now. The arm of his tee shirt underneath was starting to soak quickly and he yanked that off too, winding the bandage higher on his bicep above the wound to stave it off like a tourniquet. The grunt when bare skin hit air was annoyed. JEEEEEBUS it was fucking cold, every muscle tensing for a moment as he wiped the blood off his arm with his now decimated tee shirt to prevent it from getting everywhere in her rather clean place. The tourniquet wasn’t doing much anymore. He needed stitches. “Colder than a witch’s ti…” he stopped himself. “It’s just a clip, but it hit all the wrong spots.” Half dressed, bleeding, covered with goosebumps, and with nipples so hard they could cut diamonds in front of a pretty girl was NOT where he’d imagined he’d be when he got up that morning!
  14. “It is a good idea. I say so,” It was her turn to huff softly. The whole affair really hadn't taken that long, which meant she didn’t have a lot of room to complain about it either. “’bout two hours if I pay you overtime?” Brow perched high over the left eye as she glanced at him. Two hours? So they were coming back today? Well… now perhaps she had something more to complain about. This whole ordeal had her annoyed before, but now she was annoyed and unsettled. She didn’t understand the boundaries here and he wasn’t working to make them any clearer either. And if he did make them clear… would that make it better? She wasn’t sure. "We’ll be back in two shakes then… There’s a great pub down on the corner, let’s go grab a bite and a drink or two. Is quiet there this time a day. Quick walk.” Come to think of it…. Where the fuck were they? Normally she paced the car and mapped every turn, it was rare she didn’t know where she was in the city within a block of accuracy. But she had gotten in his car and paid absolutely no attention. Cage would kill her if he knew that she ran off with the arms dealer without her phone and didn’t pay a damn lick of attention to where he took her. Rookie mistake and yet she didn’t feel there was any reason at all to be concerned. The Cajun did that to her. She made her escape with him and took a beat to lift her face into the bite of cold wind, letting it wash away the last signs of flush she still felt from the whole awkward affair. She liked the cold… it helped numb…. everything. A half pace behind him the radar hearing listened for the change in his steps that betrayed curbs and streets until he opened a door that made her head tilt. The creek of it was familiar but she couldn’t put her finger on it until she stepped inside and the smell wafted over her senses… a smirk lopsiding her lips as amusement bubbled up into her tone. The leprechaun's place? She liked the bar. While she could fit in anywhere, if she were to naturally select a bar based on her own comfort, it would be this place over Bakkhos. She had been there opening night, drinking hard with Boone… the leprechaun in question… passing relaxed quips between them. It had been to "look the competition over" for Bakkhos but this place was no threat to the establishments Bakkhos ran. Which meant the same clientele rarely frequented the two, leaving her a bar she could come to from time to time and be ignored. When the bartender asked for the "usual" she almost responded before tilting her head slightly at Josef's response. So he was regular enough to have a usual too? Odd they had never crossed paths here. Then again… not so odd, she didn’t come that often. Life… got in the way. "Yorsh?" the bartender asked betraying this wasn’t the guard dogs first trip there either. Hand ran over her head to push the straight locks back behind her shoulders, internally swearing about forgetting a tie, there was usually one on her wrist. Yea..thanks… His steps and the slide onto the bench along the wall as he sat resonated on the furniture around him telling her approximately where the free standing seat was across from the L shaped bench along the walls. Her hand pushed forward to grab the back and clasp around it once bumped, spinning the chair and straddling the back, arms resting on top. Oddly enough the act was something she had learned long ago kept her from fumbling into a seat. Too often the grab was off to the sides and awkwardly balanced to pull the chair back to sit on. But grabbing it anywhere on the back, tipping it onto a single leg to spin around and straddle always looked intentional as the moment it tipped she knew exactly where her hand held it and could adjust in the pivot. So many tricks…. now just habits…. “….can cover your tattoos if you want to.” The comment caught her off guard as their drinks arrived. A shrug given to cover up her surprise that he latched onto her comment in the shop. Not very "ladylike" is all… Air quotes were used to aid in showing her contempt of the concept before she picked up the drink, hint of a smile as she could actually smell the faint linger of vodka on the beer, the bartender had doubled down on the stuff as though she was here to hard core drink. First draw was a deep one, tongue snaking to capture the faint foam on her upper lip. “Sorry about the touch thing, by the way. Forget sometimes that you can feel my mojo,” There was a soft clearing in her throat as she again was caught off guard, that damn chuckle working on her tension to soften the position of her shoulders. Drink lifted and lingering in front of her lips as she tried to figure out the response. Not a big thing… just caught me off guard's all…. Glass tipped back but it was the delicate shade of warmth that ghosted over her cheeks that said it might have been a bit more than that…. of course the warmth could also be attributed to a healthy quadruple shot of vodka in a very strong beer. She listened to the shift in position, the soft chimes that reminded her of something that hung in the window of that old jazz lovers place in California when she was barely sixteen. Breath filled her chest and exhaled slowly, expression behind the shades softening to something much more relaxed. She had been comfortable there too. “Sure you wanna go with an old man? Could be the scruffiest guy there…” Snort was dismissive as a creep of a grin tugged hard at her lips. Sure you wanna go with a vulgar woman? Might lay out the first person who says hi…… It was her turn to chuckle, the sound natural and warm as the Yorsh came to her lips again. Face it… we're a perfect pair….. I mean… you know… for this....thing. Good bit of the glass was emptied in the next swig. The words had come out of her mouth and instantly she tried to back peddle out of it because it wasn’t meant to imply what it seemed to… at least what it seemed to in her own ears. Fuck that touch had her messed up. The scowl was back, lingering deep crevices over her forehead as she stared into the nearly empty glass. The last of the glass was downed as she listened for the bartenders position before glancing over her shoulder and raising the glass to the woman for another. Setting it down when she heard the "sure". Left arm laid over the top of the chair as the right hand played with the new glass of Yorsh, turning it left then right in small quarter turns. Something soft and vulnerable in the expression that hid behind the nighttime shades. They're not tattoos…. Well that came out of nowhere.... why the fuck had she said that. Two years it had been since the damn things had been discussed with anyone. Only three people had an idea what they were. One had abandoned her and left a lasting scar she still hid from. The second had vanished never having gotten to the "experiments" he wanted to conduct to see what more he could learn about them. The third was Gaspari, who after the Spire events had locked her in his office to hug the crap out of her that she was still alive and then proceeded to yell at her like she was the teen that had stolen her parents car, proceeded to wreck it, stayed out passed curfew, got drunk and had unprotected sex in her parents bed all on the same night. She had to tell him. And to his credit, he never told another family member a thing that she was aware of. So why spill to the damn arms dealer? Because she had stopped thinking of him as just an arms dealer long ago. The scowl had drifted away again, the second glass getting a healthy swig of its own as she waited in the silence unsure what to say next.
  15. Tom noticed her jaw clench slightly when he initiated contact. She didn’t drop him on the floor where he stood…so she was still in control of herself. Unless that meant she wasn’t. It was impossible to tell. Regardless, she had become increasingly comfortable in his presence. So that was progress. He knew that, despite his motives, he was challenging Eris’s autonomy by offering to protect her charges like his own. Tom chose his words in spite of this. Eris had put herself in mortal danger in an effort to protect him. Were Tom a damsel in distress, that would be where the story died. Tom was not so helpless. He saw the world from a different angle than Eris did. He could notice things in her blind spots, like she had already noticed in his own. They were a team now. Tom didn’t care how uncomfortable that made Eris. Well, he did…but one concern was greater than the other, and so it won the day. Egos be damned. Vipers don’t naturally ‘pack’ well. That is something wolves do. Eris was clearly trapped in her own head, as she visibly flinched when he slid the mask over her face. He fully expected a backhand, or at least a pronounced recoil away from the mask. The killer remained, however. Tom could almost hear the muscles in her legs and arms tightening in preparation to attack. Her smile as she removed the mask brought a small feeling of relief to Tom. She was able to be distracted after all. Perhaps this Masquerade would be therapeutic. “Mouse hates flying…The helicopter is in the hangar being swept for sabotage.” That further explains the mood of the place. Seems Calloway was the type to make you distrust everything around you by virtue of his presence. When Eris’s demeanor slid back into defensive ‘business-mode’, Tom knew that fun would wait a bit. “Calloway was here. In that chair, playing diplomat to congratulate me on helping Bakkhos clean up their problem. Then he ordered Toby to return him to his transportation point home. Toby is a Hesek, and he is under my protection. Calloway’s request was a dominant threat for ferreting out whatever his plan was with you.” Tom felt his mood begin to mirror Eris’s. A long, seething exhale poured from his flared nostrils. Toby being a Hesek meant nothing to Tom personally. The Sheut’s methods of policing vampires was their business. As far as Tom knew, there wasn’t a secret society of weres trying to hide their presence from the world. Calloway was behaving like a mob boss. Knowingly speaking out of both sides of his mouth while calmly flexing his muscles to remind others of his power. Cavalli would have liked him…were he not making himself a deliberate enemy. Tom found himself thinking about where Calloway would fit in Bakkhos, were he a member of the Family. Calloway was cunning, but even the cleverest predator can be blinded by their hubris. “Thomas... he threatened my Toby.” There it was. The Beast. A large, black wolf reared back on its haunches, growling at a threat that must be destroyed. Tom felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise in mirrored fury. Seeing her canines bare, her pupils open…Tom felt he was staring into a mirror. “Calloway is going to die... because I’m going to kill him. I need to find proof of his treason to the Nation before that happens because when this night is over, I'm going after him.” We are going after him. Tom thought silently. This was a trap. No. This was bait for the real trap. The way Calloway had been described by Eris made this clear to him. Calloway was provoking her. Goading her to attack. Alone. The gears were turning...blocks falling into place. Calloway seemed like the type to fancied himself playing chess while others played checkers. Tom preferred Go. The best chess players knew nearly every track a person could take and attempt to account for that when making their moves. Go was more…fluid. One had to plan, but not be married to that plan. He was about to caution Eris that it was a clear and obvious trap when her phone buzzed. “I need to see your phone. My brother’s name is Gabriel. If something happens to any of us, call him. Explain to him what’s happened here, he will listen.” As he received his phone back from her, he glanced at the contact information she had entered. Gabriel. This was the first he had heard of him. He bit back the urge to ask if it were a blood brother or a colloquial brother in arms of a sort. Tom nodded as he attempted to add the phone number to his memory. Just in case he lost the device. “I’ll be ready in fifteen minutes.” Tom wasn’t sure why, but this took him by surprise. He half expected her to jump in the chopper and fire-bomb wherever she thought he might be. He wouldn’t be all that surprised if she disappeared while he was waiting there for her to do just that. He smirked when she mentioned Ahanu’s taste. He nodded in agreement, thinking about the shine she had taken to Roderick. “Fifteen minutes, make yourself at home.” Tom smiled warmly. She would never let her guard down fully, but maybe tonight would be an opportunity for her to lift the bandage away and allow her wounds to air out for a bit. As she stalked off towards her rooms, Tom turned towards the elegant bar to which Eris had gestured. He smiled broadly as he recognized all of them. There were a couple he remembered handing to her personally. Mostly rums and wines, one bottle caught his eye. An unopened Macallan Sherry Oak bottle sat amongst the other high-end spirits. Tom quirked an eyebrow…she was not much of a scotch-drinker from what he could recall. Was this bottle for him? No. Get over yourself, he thought to himself. He picked it up and looked it over. This was certainly one of his favorites. Indeed…one of his absolute favorites. Maybe this was a subtle gift she had left for him. She was never particularly direct when it came to kindness. He smirked at that thought as he found a glass. As he cracked the seal, Tom nearly dropped the bottle. A flood of putrid, pungent, terrible scents poured from the crack in the seal. Had Tom opened the bottle fully, he would have surely dropped it…which would have been very bad. Venom…lots of it. Silver. Tom was thankful that Eris was not there to see him. Tom nearly dropped to a knee at the putrid potency of the contents of the bottle. Tightening the seal back on that bottle, Tom grabbed a different bottle, one of the various rums she had and poured himself a glass. This was clean at least, and he slammed it down quickly. Taking a deep breath, while wrinkling his nose as the remnants of the silver-Venom lingered in the air. This bottle was for him after all, it seemed. Tom held the bottle up to the overhead light and looked through the clear glass into the liquid. The color was nearly perfect. There were the faintest visible traces of particles in the liquid. This was the silver, no doubt. Eris knew he could smell this sort of thing, so she clearly didn’t intend for him to drink this. Calloway. Did he not know Tom could detect this by scent? He must know. This was a message. For Tom. Tom’s favorite drink, potently laced with the Venom that plagued his business these last several months…and silver. Tom supposed this was Calloway’s way of introducing himself. The man had done his homework. Tom had been diligently closing the holes in his distribution network. A half-dozen men had been found and ‘conversed with’ concerning their activities in aiding Calloway. This told Tom that there were more. Maybe Calloway liked Go as well. Tom certainly didn’t see this line of play. Time to adapt. One thing was certain. Eris had undersold how dangerous Calloway was. Tom mulled the possibility of seeing what Cassandra had been up to. She had been quiet lately and Tom wasn’t sure she was still looking into the Venom case any longer. Too many balls were in the air at the moment. He had to steady things and control one variable at a time. Tonight, was about the Masquerade. Tom was cognizant of the dangers of everyone being in the open. Sheltering in place was a powerful instinct to fight against when confronted with such danger. Tom knew that this instinct was wrong. Everything about Calloway’s visit was about ensuring things were going as he expected. If he did one thing, then he expected certain other things to follow. He postures with a veiled threat to Toby, knowing Eris would lick Calloway’s boot if that would keep Toby alive one minute longer. Sneaking a bottle of Gallo’s favorite booze amongst Eris’s collection knowing that Tom would find it and the silver and Venom being clear messages that this was far from over. Calloway had to know that Eris and company would be examining anything and everything after his visit. Keeping them home. Ahanu being elsewhere had to be something Calloway hadn’t considered. He likely suspected Eris would call her home right away. Vipers retreating back to their den to shelter in place. A hard instinct to resist. Tom wanted to leave right away back to Thyrsus to ensure the safety of the place. Tom knew that instinct was wrong. The Masquerade was a perfect curve ball to throw the bastard. Calloway knew that Eris was a solitary protector. A predator who shunned attention. Eris wasn’t the rattlesnake who made noise to warn others away. She was the asp who struck from the grass if you happened to come too close. Tom had another glass of rum poured as he sat on one of the stools brooding. Ideas forming. Tom knew all this about Eris, having only known her for a short while. How much more did Calloway know her? He had to know she would retreat to her sanctuary, and then launch a direct assault. Calloway was counting on this. He knew that a wolf sometimes prowled around the snake hole, but he never counted on Eris acting like that wolf. A slow smile spread across Tom’s face as he believed he had deduced Calloway’s play. Not a specific action, he didn’t have nearly enough Sheut-knowledge to get true motivations and actions sorted. But Tom knew what Calloway expected of them. It was time to circumvent expectations. He reached for his phone to send a message to Matteo, telling him that they would be on their way shortly when Eris reentered the room. Tom immediately forgot why he reached for his phone. The ballroom viper was stunning. She really leaned into the aesthetics of the mask with some choice makeup. Tom had nearly forgotten his previous satisfaction of thinking himself at least with some advantage over Calloway. He closed his eyes and took a slow deep breath, as was his custom when calming himself deliberately. This time, he was taking in her scent as much as he could. It was only slightly soured by the remnants of Venom and silver in the air. That was enough to pull him out of the clouds and back to disappointing reality. “Shall we? I assume Mr. Gaspari doesn't like to be kept waiting." Her pure business demeanor didn’t match…everything else. But it was likely to keep them from overlooking things. One of these days, the Law of Large Numbers would have its way and Tom and Eris would both be uncontrolled at the same time. That would go one of two very different ways, Tom was sure. Thankfully, at least one of them appeared to have full control at any given time. Tom’s face returned to its typical business-like hardness. Holding up the discovered bottle for Eris to see. “I presume that this isn’t one of yours?” Tom held the bottle for her to see, but did not offer it for her to take. “You know I love Macallan Sherry Oak…” Tom forced a playful smile. As on edge as she was, he didn’t want her to believe he was accusing her of poisoning him. Especially this sloppily. “…but it could do with less of the Venom and silver.” Despite himself, that last word had a hard edge to it. “Clearly, your dear friend was aware of my tastes.” Tom grasped the bottle tightly in his left hand while offering his right arm to Eris. She would have to fight him for that bottle if she wanted to keep it. Switching gears, Tom spoke in a matter-of-fact way, while keeping his voice light and warm. He still did, truly, have hopes for tonight to have some levity…despite Calloway’s efforts. “Calloway knows about me. Clearly a lot about me. Not as much as he knows about you, however.” He paused to see her reaction. It was a 50/50 shot she’d take that as some sort of accusation or accosting. “Eris, everyone who knows you, or even knows of you, sees you as a viper.” Tom spoke as they strode toward the hangar where the chopper was waiting. “You are. Cunning. Precise. Stealthy. The only way your enemies see your face is if they have you backed into a corner and you must face them head on.” Tom wasn’t, in all honesty, all that comfortable pseudo-psychoanalyzing Eris directly. She was as likely to bristle and run back to her rooms as drop him where he stood. He was counting on Eris’s knowledge of Tom to override that impulse. Tom was one of the few who could come at Eris directly like this. Best to use that while he still could. “Calloway is counting on the Viper being a viper. Shelter in place, ensure the den is safe, and then hunt. Alone. He knew I’d be around, thus his little message in a bottle.” He shook the bottle in his left hand. “Do you know what vipers never do? Saunter in the open. Warn others of their presence. Inform their prey that they are coming. When they are coming.” Tom looked down at Eris with a broad smile reaching his eyes. “Those are things that wolves do.” He chuckled as they stepped outside, the biting wind of the air piercing his tuxedo jacket. “He is counting on you being quiet, subtle, innocuous…and then launching an attack.” He paused a moment, as he was gauging how Eris might be receiving this. “It is time for you to subvert expectations.” Tom chuckled as the wind gusted across his face. The biting cold was a welcome sensation, sharpening his perceptions. The snow was still bright white, untarnished by the earthly grime. The mixed scents of burning fuel coming from the chopper, lubricating oil on a firearm Eris had tucked away somewhere, and Eris herself flooded his nostrils. He could make out faint chatter between Toby and Mouse as they were prepping the chopper. Before they got close enough to the helicopter for Toby and Mouse to overhear, Tom stopped walking and spun Eris to face him. “Eris London does not let the world see her before hunting. Eris London does not attend balls. Eris London does not boldly dare her enemies to attack her. Eris London does not rely on others. Eris London does not boldly rub elbows with Bakkhos elite in plain sight.” Tom stared deep into Eris’s eyes. “Coming with me to this event shines a bright light on you. The beautiful woman on the arms of the Satyr Champion…who arrived by helicopter no less.” A small grin played across Tom’s face. “For Calloway’s plans to work, everyone must be discreet, including him. What happens if you aren’t? That means he can’t be either.” He then resumed leading her to the awaiting chopper. A playful swagger in his step, he added "You need to quit doing what is expected. Who in their right mind would expect the EAA Viceroy of the Sheut Nation to attend a masquerade ball on the arm of a Caporegime and gladiatorial champion?" Tom's grin was obnoxious now. It was time Tom showed Eris how to be a wolf.
  16. 'ey… yer more in danger of that than them… yer the one insisting this is a good idea.. they're just doin' their job.. He chuckled again. “It is a good idea. I say so,” he said as he came closer to guide the tailor through his idea. …you sure that shouldn’t be hidden..? He was aware she could sense how close he was, of course she could… but there was something more. To the sensitive, he felt different. Of course she would know. He’d never touched her before that he could remember had he? Noting her flushed skin, it seemed the reaction was slightly more potent than anyone else he’d ever met. Made sense though considering her own gifts. Hmm? No…. no… am good The dark haired assistant, Kelly took the sketch from her and handed it back to the dealer. Glancing over it again, he put it on the table and charmed up the women as they pulled tools to run the patterns for their mock-ups. As soon as Beau said he was finished, his attention turned to him. “’bout two hours if I pay you overtime?” he asked. The man nodded, “Knowing what this is for, we can certainly have it ready.” “We’ll be back in two shakes then,” the Cajun asked, sliding on his coat. “There’s a great pub down on the corner, let’s go grab a bite and a drink or two. Is quiet there this time a day. Quick walk.” He waited a moment for her to get situated, then opened the door. Chest was tight for a split second, the cold had an edge to it. Footsteps determined, he crossed the distance quickly and pushed through the doors of the pub and nodded at the bartender, winding through the near empty tables to a back corner he obviously was very familiar with. Coat shrugged off, the bartender wandered over herself. It was just her and the cook. “Usual?” she asked. He nodded, “whatever she wants as well.” Attention turned back to Mason, “can cover your tattoos if you want to.” Drinks were slid onto the table with practiced ease within moments, he lifted his and took a swallow. Brutal, but good. “Sorry about the touch thing, by the way. Forget sometimes that you can feel my mojo,” again the hum of a chuckle in his chest He settled back into the corner against the wall, absolutely ready to be there for a while and making himself comfortable. Foot came up on the bench, forearm on his knee and tumbler dangling from his fingers. Charms twinkled against it. “Sure you wanna go with an old man? Could be the scruffiest guy there…” He was teasing, but it was nice to look forward to something for once.
  17. Home | Getting Started | Rules | The Story So Far | Advertise Set in the year 2022, the world of Hogwarts: From the Ashes is yours for the making. We have a strong, welcoming community working together to build and expand the wizarding world we know and love. Drawing from canon sources and expanding the lore to create a tapestry woven from mythological threads, our site plot is always evolving and highly depends on the actions taken by characters who choose to seek involvement. » Active student and adult populations » Fully-functional dice-based Quidditch and Dueling systems » 18+
  18. Senses honed, watching the quiet swirl of thoughts that she wasn’t privy to moving across his expression. So many times it could churn in the mind of those that were no longer human. She understood, in part, watching whatever beasts tangling within him come to a staunch conclusion. Resolve seethed from him like iron, and then seemed to soften as she looked up at him. Brow cocked gently when his smile faded. “Then they shall come with us.” A muscle ticked once in her jaw when he placed his hands on her shoulders. First instinct was to stiffen when someone other than herself initiated contact. Hell, first instinct was to be aggressive. She didn’t like being touched unless she knew them well. He got a free pass, but the instinct was still there nonetheless. This whole thing wasn’t a good idea, going to the party, bringing everyone with them, being seen in public at a party with someone, everything. Calloway on her ass made it even more dangerous. It would bring a level of danger to Bakkhos that she wasn’t sure they could handle. With the asshole most likely still in the area, all of them being in the same place at once would be a target. The man was cunning though, if he wanted to infect Bakkhos quietly… blowing up a party where the heads of all the world might be hanging out together was not a good idea. The Nation thrived on secrecy and even Adrian wouldn’t risk it where he couldn’t control the public fallout. Then again, he had threatened her knowing she was a quiet favorite of Ausar, so something might be in his mind further reaching than she knew. Then there was this issue of being on someone’s arm. It bristled her hackles. Eris London didn't go on dates, and she'd never been in public with anyone but herself. This would start more rumors than what was already swirling. “I shall protect them as my own.” Eyes tightened for a split second, thoughts spinning out of control as she looked at him. Distrust was the first emotion that washed over her. Possessiveness. She didn't need help. Did she come across as needing help? Was she losing her edge? Her expression had settled on its default, business-like and skeptical. Slow breath was pulled in, there was something else behind his words. It relaxed her pessimistic countenance, if only for a moment. It was something she'd been ignoring for some time, because she couldn't bring herself to acknowledge it. Her isolation ran deep, dark, sullen. Letting light in was terrifying. “I saw you had the helicopter out. I had the smallest of hopes that Ahanu accepting my invitation on your behalf was genuine, and I thought the chopper outside was evidence that I had been totally wrong.” Flinch was minute, but there as he slid the mask over her features. Instincts in her were feral, hair-triggered. Even before the predator took over in her blood, reacting in the blink of an eye had become so habitual it took effort to turn it off. It was the reality of the career she’d chosen before the world ended. You reacted defensively, immediately, or you died in a hail of gunfire. “A gift from Angelo Gaspari. He looks forward to making your acquaintance.” Lips quirked in an uncharacteristic smile, reaching up to take it off and hold it in both hands. Thumbs slid over it as he spoke. Viper, the smirk almost became a soft laugh. Almost. It was her nickname as a pilot… in another world, and another life. “Mouse and Toby could be our pilot and copilot. As I recall, you still owe me a flight.” “Mouse hates flying…” she said in an uncharacteristic tone, one only her family trio had ever heard. It was quiet, and absently fond. She owed him a flight. She did. This wasn’t fair though, she didn’t owe him a night out to go with it. It would be a catalyst in a thought process that had already been churning. One she wasn’t ready to admit to yet. Unfortunately she was about to rain on his parade. “The helicopter is in the hangar being swept for sabotage.” She took a deep breath, hands falling slowly to her sides, demeanor snapping back to business. “Calloway was here," she looked up at him, then back to the mask. "In that chair, playing diplomat to congratulate me on helping Bakkhos clean up their problem. Then he ordered Toby to return him to his transportation point home,” it was time Gallo knew. “Toby is a Hesek, and he is under my protection. Calloway’s request was a dominant threat for ferreting out whatever his plan was with you.” Her skin buzzed with contempt that could be felt. It was an anger that couldn’t be quantified. “Thomas... he threatened my Toby,” pupils had dilated to almost engulf the already mahogany dark irises. Words were lethal, canines bared and sharp. It was an intense stare from an emotionless expression, suddenly baring the depth of bond she had with her people. “Calloway is going to die... because I’m going to kill him. I need to find proof of his treason to the Nation before that happens because when this night is over, I'm going after him.” Phone in her pocket buzzed softly, the frown deep as she pulled it from her pocket and answered it. Eyes stayed on him as she listened silently. Mouse. “Understood.” It clicked shut, and she lifted the mask to look at it again. The situation had escalated considerably. There wasn’t an airstrip in her territory the Viceroy didn’t know about and was monitoring, and Mouse divulged one had been active. There was no such thing as a coincidence. If she killed Calloway, her life was forfeit until she could convince Ausar otherwise. Her life was already forfeit it seemed. They were all in danger. Bakkhos would survive. Thomas would survive… Toby, Ahanu, and Mouse? Herself? “I need to see your phone,” she said quietly, taking it from him when he offered. She hadn’t expected the implicit trust… that was exactly why she didn’t want to go to this party. “My brother’s name is Gabriel. If something happens to any of us, call him,” she said softly as she loaded his name and number into it. “Explain to him what’s happened here, he will listen.” She gave it back to him. The situation had moved beyond keeping the identity of someone buffered through a scientist’s sister. It still wasn’t crossing the line, and she didn’t intend to. She was too smart for that. She knew ways around it. Either way, Gabriel would know the story. “I’ll be ready in fifteen minutes.” Best if they stayed together, all of them. Business expression gave way to a darkly amused half smirk, “Ahanu has good taste, and apparently it’s already in my closet.” More words stung the back of her throat, begging to be let out. ‘Promise me again you’ll take care of them…’ but she was silent. She would not spill the gravity of the situation; this was something she would weather alone. It was the way she’d always done it. She would kill Calloway herself. “Fifteen minutes, make yourself at home,” she nodded toward her elegant inset bar along the far wall. Not surprisingly, it was stocked with his wares. The long hallway took her to her personal rooms, the whites and grays splashed with pops of jewel toned fresh flowers. Eyes were already striking, but darkened for evening. Unsure of what was in store for her in the closet, she opened the door with her phone in hand again. Holy Hell. Toby picked up the call on one ring. “Mouse and you are coming with us. You’re flying. Turn it out, you have fifteen minutes.” She listened a moment, unhooking the gown and laying it out on her bed. “I’d prefer not to pilot in what I’m going to wear, you can hang out all night in the helicopter if you want to. I want everyone in one place. Mouse needs to be armed,” she was silent, listening to his silence. “Get it done.” Her voice left no room for argument, it never did. The mask portion of the evening would be unpleasant. Incredibly claustrophobic, it would be donned very briefly for the sake of the theme. Make-up would have to be exaggerated, she spent another moment brushing a bit of gold near her eyes, down the sides of her neck and across her shoulders, already moving to retrieve the peridot collar that would be perfect. Ahanu had already set it out on her dresser, Prada shoes on the floor in front. She’d been incredibly optimistic that the Viceroy would agree. Necklace on, no earrings, she finished the last of the necessities for a strapless gown and pulled up all her hair, sleek yet careless with its loose curls. A bit more gold dust at her temples and the nape of her neck and she pulled on the dress, the side zipper and immaculate tailoring to her size appreciated. Hemline dusted the floor, it was perfect. Checking herself in the mirror, she decided against the fur wrap. Her hangar was heated, the chopper was heated, and she could survive the fifty feet to the building from the helipad when they landed. An exquisite shoulder wrap had been hung next to the gown, it would do. Last stop was her mini-fridge disguised as a dresser. Bottle was removed, the cold liquid making her teeth hurt, but it was necessary. Finishing it off, she placed the aluminum bottle back into the fridge and closed the door. Skin flushed slightly from the feed, she gave herself one last look, picking up the mask that matched her gown. Of course it was planned, and they would get hell when this was over. Time to go. Door closed quietly behind her, and she made her way back to her business space, soft slide of embroidered silk smooth. “Shall we?” brow cocked slightly, nodding toward the door. Business. All business. "I assume Mr. Gaspari doesn't like to be kept waiting."
  19. FOUR YEARS STRONG! HOME | GUIDE BOOK | PLOT/SETTING | APPLICATION | ADVERTISE
  20. Naked form stood un-apologetically in front of the expanse of windows of his apartment in the old Mandarin Oriental, hand spread wide against the glass as he stared down into the abyss of the city. Perched on one of the top floors, the entire level was his, including a luxury lap pool and private elevator to the basement parking lot to avoid dealing with any other hotel patrons. It used to be considered the diplomatic accommodations of what was once a five star hotel in New York. The building had been bought by some corporate investors and returned to its former glory, now considered one of the most luxurious, the elf had deemed it adequate for housing his stay in the dreadful concrete prison. Faint growl hummed in his chest as he turned from the glass vision of death. Four years he had been making the trek to New York, to be the face of NARWA and ensure that the company only continued to expand. Four years and he still hated coming, bristling at the amount of dead in this city. Glass, steel, concrete… these barbarians left so little room for nature that he couldn’t breathe when he was here. He also never made the trek in winter for fucks sake. Who the hell wanted to be in this frigid wasteland? Hand ran through the ebony silk, pulling through the strands that were still damp from the hot shower he had taken to chase out the chill. Toes curled on the over-fluffed rug as he glanced down to the gilded invitation laying open on the glass coffee table. It was the reason he was here, if not for that rectangular parchment, he would be nice and warm and surrounded by his estates in Megildur. It could be a trap. But it also could be a genuine recognition of his status in the world. The elf not only knew of Bakkhos, but did big business with the syndicate. He recognized their position of power among those that now began to juxtapose themselves against each other to reach the summit in the new game playing out across the world. He too… was a player in the game. Bare feet padded back to the massive bathroom, the mirrors finally cleared of the fog that had bathed the room. Long fingers played along the shadow that carved his jawline. It was an odd thing. Elves of his world didn’t grow facial hair, even with his minute taint of human blood, there had never been so much as a fuzz on his chin. But in the last year, this world seemed to tug at the taint within him. At first he had been reviled, desperately trying to purge it. However it now was like so many other "costumes" he wore. This world was strange, saw the beautiful buttery smooth skin of male elves to be "effeminate" and evidence they lacked strength or sexual prowess, something he proved wrong time and time again in the bed he often shared.. but outside of it…. in business… It didn’t take long for him to recognize he was treated differently with the mark of Earthborn recognized "masculinity". He might be seen as a traitor to the Outworlders who didn’t understand, but to be welcomed into the folds of the Earthborn only made his position stronger, his company larger, his finances greater…. all of which translated to more protection for his brethren who were washing up on his shores in droves since registration began. He would beat these Earthborn in their own games. He would reach a summit from which he could not fall and drag his kin there with him. The mirror reflected back a haunting vision of himself. It was becoming more familiar, but at times it still seemed a stranger stared back at him. Hair that once tucked over his bare hips, now clung only to his shoulders. Another "masculine" edit, one he had consciously made. Dark azure orbs flicked to the watch laying on the counter. He only had a couple hours before this masquerade. Time to get ready… and see what pieces moved on the chessboard.
  21. The wince she heard through the phone was most certainly a confirmation of what she thought was really going on. He had been hurt again and of course as always Boone was being Boone and had to act all manly and tough. It was times like these when she missed running into him at his bar. In a setting where she didn't have to worry about healing him from injuries that were somewhat life threatening to him. This was her life though. This was who Boone was and even though every single time he got hurt she absolutely hated it; she'd never want to change who he was. “I’m sorry." His apology made her feel slightly guilty for scolding him, but he had gotten hurt again. Then again it would mean that she would get to see him again. I have a problem, she thought silently to herself. The biting cold of the air outside of her nice cozy apartment made her really wonder how Boone could go around riding on his bike. It's freaking cold... shit..., she thought as her arms crossed over her chest and she moved around slightly. Winter had never been one of her favorite seasons. The cold made her always feel like bad things were going to happen. She had always had a really great Christmas with her family. But after everything changed they hadn't really been that great. It was now a season and a holiday that actually made her a little heartbroken. There was a faint sound of a bike and her head lifted up and looked down the street. At first she wondered what he was doing, but then realized he was just being cautious. She'd really hope there was no actual reason and that he was being paranoid, but ya never know these days. Her head tilted to the side, taking in the sight of him as he walked across the street. She was already trying to assess just how bad he was off, but it was hard with his jacket hiding the blood. She smiled back at him and turned, keeping herself somewhat close to him as they moved inside. “Sorry… we'll have to find something else to do.” A soft roll of her eyes at his words, but she smiled at him. "Oh I think I could have you fix up some things. My sink has been acting up lately. I will just have to put you to work," she kept the smile on her face as she stared at him and then shook her head. She turned to the stairs and gave him a nod. "Up two flights. I would offer to carry you, but that might look weird," she said in a teasing voice. After making it up the stairs she lead him to her door and she unlocked it quickly, waited for him to come in then shut and locked the door. She turned back to him and sighed softly at him, "So how bad is it?" She was half scared to even see what he had gotten into, why, or how he had gotten hurt. It was no lie that she was scared for him on an almost daily basis. She knew his job was dangerous, but she also knew that he loved what he did. She moved over to him and stood in front of him ready to get her heal on.
  22. Leather fluttered despite the weight of weapons hidden inside its dark folds as a large circle of movement flipped it over his shoulder and up his arms, bottom billowing down to hit the back of his thick calves as he hit the last metal step leading off the plane. The small hanger of the long forgotten weed infested Chase City strip streamed with speckled light through the rusted roof. Sun still too high to withstand directly without a nasty sunburn he would have to explain to Bo, the small private plane had ducked into the hanger to allow its passenger safe departure. Though the moment his boot hit the dirty floor, the stairs were being hauled up and the craft was already slowly pulling back out. It would be in the air and out of Virginia airspace in less than 20 minutes. It was always like this on sanctioned executions. It was a job he did alone. No witnesses. Phone had been turned off mid-flight, the last connection to the world terminated to ensure nothing could be tracked. Though the chances of anyone doing so was slim, Jacob switched out the Shezmu's phone on a very regular basis, trusting of the big Spaniard more than the nation that held his leash. Truth was if anyone could track him it would be that damn bouncer. Thought lifted the corner of his lips slightly as he walked to the far side of the hanger to watch the sun recede. Jacob would be pissed again that he hadn't known the Spaniard was leaving, left to run the club on his own again. The Honda Blackbird was sitting under a dusty cover in a barn some fifteen miles from his current location. One of eleven bikes he kept stashed around the east coast for just such occasions. Having hidden them alone, they were not in danger of being "watched" locations, even the pilot who had to be coaxed to land here in the middle of overgrown nowhere didn’t know he had transportation waiting. Standing just outside the rays of the setting sun streaming through the open hanger doors, the dark eyes narrowed watching its slow sink into the horizon. Fifteen minutes to get to the bike…. two and a half hours to cover the 490 miles to New York if he laid the Blackbird full out the whole way. 200 mph wipe out was a good way to become hamburger on the rough roads in these unpopulated areas but it wasn’t the first time… or last, he would turn a bike wide open. Another two minutes and he would only get a nice Spanish tan. Time ticked with infinitesimal progress as the dark eyes ached staring at the last edge of the orange orb before the dark figure blurred out of the rusted building. By the time boots skidded to a halt in front of the old barn, it was well into dusk. Tarp snapped up and to his right, two years of dust migrating into the air as he looked the bike over. It had been carefully stored, the fluids entirely drained and fresh put in the day he had locked it up. Tank full of gas with stabilizer in it to ensure it didn’t go bad. And a weighted thermal blanket under the tarp to try and protect it all from the Virginia freezes. He hoped the ice age they had gone through a year ago hadn't irrevocably damaged her. There were faster bikes, but for the climate it was to be stored in, he trusted the Honda over the fancy brands. Straddling the dark gray seat he kicked up her stand and rolled her out of the hay that he had packed around her for storage. Eyes narrowed, weathered age crinkling the corners as she stuttered on the first try. Second wasn’t more successful. But on the third, she showed why she was chosen for the harsh climate she had been abandoned to. Life thundered under him before he slid on a pair of barely tinted shades to protect his eyes from the coming winds. The barn was a distant shadow in seconds as he wasted no time opening her up. Two and a half hours was a long time to think. And these orders….. still bothered him........
  23. Guest

    santa verda

    This is a city of faith and filth. PLOT // RULES // CANONS // NEW MEMBER GUIDE // DISCORD
  24. She could hear the chuckle in the huff. She was clearly entertaining him with her annoyed discomfort about the entire event. “Lots of excuses just keep rolling out… just refuse to be muscle for a night and have fun.” ….lots of people aint my idea of fun. The words were almost inaudible, a pained confession made to no one. On a stage surrounded by thousands, was one thing. Thrown into the throngs of a party crowd….. people didn’t understand just how overwhelming that could be to someone with absurdly heightened senses like hers. Every accidental touch soon becomes an attack, the sounds mingling too violently together, thundering and disorienting in her ears, and the scents… too damn many people thinking they should smell like Chanel Number whatever the fuck. Having a "job" kept her focused, kept the ambient at bay. Without one….. she was going to be lucky to get through the night without hurling in a potted Christmas tree. She was getting lost in the "feel" of the place. The oppressive quiet that wrapped her senses like a blanket, the smells of fabrics she wished were not there, the smell of those she wished there were more of. When she protested about hoop skirt torture devices his chuckle drew the faintest upturn of her own lips as behind the dark shades the pale gray eyes relaxed, closing and enjoying the Cajun tinted sound. When was it last that he chuckled so often and so easily? It took her a minute to remember. It was the cemetery. God that had been… what…. two years ago?...no… almost three now. They barely knew eachother then. She could still remember the scent of the winter cold on the stone that reminded him of his Metairie Angels… of that nasty swill he was drinking wafting hot off his breath… of the thick scent of her own very expensive liquor bathing over both their breaths. Her haunting rendition of Odetta's House of the Rising Sun vibrating against the dead. It was an odd memory to come through so clearly now. She hadn't touched that sort of blues and New Orleans flair since then. He had done his first vanishing act not long after that. “Yah, no… that ain’t it. There are costumes, and then there are costumes. Loud isn’t always good. The biggest, the brightest, the most expensive… none of it matters. You can say your wrappin’ has a thousand crystals on it, but they can be the ugliest thing in the world. Old world is a feeling, a way you carry yourself when everything you’re wearing makes you feel incredible. The power doesn’t come ‘cause it’s expensive, the power comes from them knowing it don’t have to be with you in it.” It was a feeling…… was that why the memory ghosted though her limbs now? The hum was barely audible, the first several notes of that night's serenade unconsciously coming to her chest, the rum dripping sound, dark, sultry and old school. Abruptly the throat cleared with a soft throttle and the sound died with it as she became aware she was doing it. Attention moving instead to the perch she was expected to take for her turn at the measuring game, the soft sweater slid off her head as he piped up. "Careful, she bites…" Frown descended over the dark shades as she "glanced" over a bare shoulder in his direction. 'ey… yer more in danger of that than them… yer the one insisting this is a good idea.. they're just doin' their job.. Honey lingered on her senses as the heat of the tea wafted the sweet scent through the room, she returned to "looking" at herself in the mirror, pondering what it was about this whole dressing up thing that some people got off on. Hands near her had muscles through her entire form a bit too stiff and ready to flinch. She was actually proud of herself, thus far she hadn't made any attempt to wrap her fingers around anyone's throat for being too close. Warmth billowed near her and instantly the muscle through her cheek tensed harder. When had he moved? “Was thinkin’ modified one piece in that color silk she was looking at, sleek leg down to here.” Even through her socks she could feel the motion he was using to emphasize his point. Always that warmth, like that night in the cemetery when he flared it through the stone they shared a seat upon. It smelled of wet outdoors and spice. “An avant-garde, asymmetrical collar off a v-neckline that matches the style of her tattoo…"… you sure that shouldn’t be hidden..? " almost a continuation of it." Apparently not as her murmured words were ignored. They made many uncomfortable which actually wasn’t a bad thing, it meant they never usually stared long enough at them to figure out what they were, or that they were not always in the same pattern. "..Off her back, a robe à la française style train, fitted at first and seamed at the sides to the hip about here, then loose to the floor.” Small of her back arched slightly as the muscles down the side of the spine constricted at the brush of heated fingers on her skin. It wasn’t like the cool fingers of the tailor… not at all. The vibration of radiant heat was felt through down to her toes causing a very uncharacteristic hint of color to rise on her cheeks, lungs somehow having forgotten to breathe as the sketch was held out to her. It wasn’t until the corner of the paper brushed the back of her hand that she even realized he was holding it out to her. Fuck! What the hell had just happened!? She took the sketch quickly as the tailor joked that Josef might seek employment with him as a designer. Shades "glanced" down at it quickly to hide the disoriented confusion that fluttered in her gut for the briefest moment. As the awkward stumble moved further away, fingertips ran over the sketch "appreciatively", it was immediately apparent that he had ensured she could "see" the sketch. Heat from her cheeks dissipated as she studied it a moment. It was an interesting design. No skirt and yet something feminine about it. "Need anything, cher?" It took a beat to pull her out of her appreciation of the sketch. Hmm? Head finally lifted from the drawing to glance over the bare shoulder once more at him before shaking her head. No…. no… am good Paper was gently held out to the side, knowing one of the assistants would take it from her before she again waited for the tailor to finish his measurements. Breath pulled long and slow into her lungs as she forced relaxation to seep into some of the corded muscles. It helped that the musical language behind her chattered on, his warm tone heard over the tinny sound of the others. Just above the band of her jeans, the small of her back still flared like a brand had torched her skin there, a creep of inky reach that had curiously extended from her left hip several inches finally grew still once more as she felt the lengthening grip surrender while the man perched on something to take the final measurements for her shoulder and under her bust. The "all done" from the man was met with a silent exhale of relief. The gray sweater brushing her arm as it was held up for her, nodding thanks her fingers quickly found the neck and slid around it. The quick motion letting her note the placement of the tag so she didn’t accidentally put it on inside out or backwards. Fluffed armor once again restored over her bare skin she hopped down from the perch to slide hands in her jeans pockets and wait out what she had to assume was the Cajun giving further instructions. Brain churned over the last half hour in a feverish attempt to understand what the hell had just happened, instead it was left spinning and her gut wanting nothing more than a stiff drink. She had a real craving for the liquor from that night. It didn’t exist anymore. Damn shame.
  25. Every huff and frown was cherished for the time being. She really didn’t trust him… or just didn’t trust people in general. Reckon a little of both, questioning whether or not she really knew him that well at all. He wasn’t the easiest to put a finger on. Obviously “well bred” but could be rough around the edges in a way that screamed he wasn’t just a trust fund baby. The Cajun was complicated, and not in a ‘lost the love of his life in a great disaster’ and 'everything he knew' kind of way. This adventure was one of those predicaments that only added to the complications… I know… She wasn’t happy, what a surprise… Don’t see why….. gonna be more muscle there than can shake a stick at…. what would one less be…. The smirked eye roll was most likely unseen, a huff through his nose that was almost a chuckle. “Lots of excuses just keep rolling out… just refuse to be muscle for a night and have fun.” Ya… I know the drilll…. been forever ago… but not my first time. Side eye glanced over at her a moment, noting as he got out she slammed the door. Dun see why I'ma ninny for not wantin' to get strutted around like some castrated peacock… “There’s castrated peacocks, and then there’s this…” he said quietly as he opened the door. He loved this place, loved the smells and the textures. Everything had its own unique imprint on his senses, but they were aligned most with the scent of silk. Nobody he’d met had ever been able to detect it like he did, it was unique… and reminded him of pale rosewater or magnolia that had been windswept by a misted rain. It immediately could take him back to another place and time. Eyes had already watched her reach for something as he conversed with his tailor and friend, he knew she would find that and noted it for later, nodding to let Beau and one of his assistants know to pull it from the shelf. Christmas was coming up, and well… just. Well. Everything she touched was caught by the keen attention of a man that could sense a twinkle of discontent in party full of people from across the room. 'ey… no dresses or skirts includes those torture device hoop things ya know. He chuckled quietly. “Yah, no… that ain’t it,” he lifted his arm as they pulled the tape around his chest. It was obvious he’d done this so often he didn’t even have to think. “There are costumes, and then there are costumes. Loud isn’t always good. The biggest, the brightest, the most expensive… none of it matters. You can say your wrappin’ has a thousand crystals on it, but they can be the ugliest thing in the world. Old world is a feeling, a way you carry yourself when everything you’re wearing makes you feel incredible. The power doesn’t come ‘cause it’s expensive, the power comes from them knowing it don’t have to be with you in it.” He paused for a moment as they measured his neck. Elegant doesn’t need to be stuffy and constricting is all am sayin'. “...laissez les...” The arms dealer was aware of the two floor clerks that were talking about him. It was his scruff this time. They liked his scruff. They always chattered about him, moving quietly as they transferred bolts of fabric back and forth from shelves and storage for him to either nod or shake his head at as the tailor started the mock-up notes. The man knew his tastes so well he knew exactly where to start. The dealer moved to a table near the counter as she stepped up to be fitted, the pile of cloth next to him starting to resemble something of a theme as he sketched out a few ideas on the paper his tailor had provided. Yea yea… “Carefull, she bites…” he said absently, sipping a bit of the hot honey tea they’d brought him as he focused on the paper a moment. I don’t like zippers… they scratch on the inside….. Beau nodded, then glanced at Josef as he got up with his delicate tea cup. It seemed so, normal for him. Hard and soft at the same time. Refined and rugged. “Was thinkin’ modified one piece in that color silk she was looking at, sleek leg down to here.” He didn’t touch her, but two fingertips hovered right at the top of her foot where it angled off her shin. “An avant-garde, asymmetrical collar off a v-neckline that matches the style of her tattoo… almost a continuation of it. Off her back, a robe à la française style train, fitted at first and seamed at the sides to the hip about here, then loose to the floor.” He didn’t mean to, but fingertips brushed her back, the warm radiant heat unusual; a soft, penetrating sensation almost like a gentle vibration came with it. It’s what pulsed in his blood. To most, he was just warm. To the sensitive, it was an odd little breeze. He showed Beau his sketch, then handed it to Mason. Outlying lines were dark so she could feel them and “see” what he was thinking. Beau nodded slightly, smirk light, “…lemme know if you ever need a job designing here.” The Cajun laughed slightly, “…in all my spare time.” He finished what he was drinking. “Need anything, cher?” he asked her quietly before he retreated to his seat to let the man finish taking measurements. He already apparently had a captive audience waiting for his presence. Stories. They were waiting for his stories... his bastardized french gave them instructions for the wool first. It seemed to blow the wind out of their sails for a moment, but they returned after securing the entire bolt with a renewed and even more aggressive candor to start writing everything up.
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