CLOSED The Aftermath [M]

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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322
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Methuselah House Erebos 5th Generation Obtenebration Kindred Lasombra Antitribu
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Male
Apparent Age
30
#1
Hate her. Want her.

For a week, Marcus had kept his distance from Valerie, leaving her with Gabriel for company and ignoring her when they were forced to occupy the same space together for more than a minute.​

Never had he needed her more than now.​

The entire week, he had tracked all the leads pointing to the mysterious and unfortunate invasion of the inaugural gala where Victor LaGuardia was installed the new Lord Magister of Limbus. Still, he garnered very little information on the whole, making him understand (much to his own chagrin) that he would need help along the way - this was not something he would be able to solve alone.​

It turned out, that in addition to Maledictus trying to start their own party in his hotel, there was also a half-immortal berserker recovered from the midst of all the fallen. Marcus had discovered the female warrior to have significant traces of Kindred blood coursing through her body, at least when she was alive, that is. Pity, that. Had she been alive, he would try to get inside the woman's mind, but alas, the wretch failed to survive.​

Marcus could not help but wonder if she were an isolated assassin or if there was an entire army of enforcers out there somewhere - just like her.​

After a week of inspecting the body - including that wonderful (and deadly) weapon that seemed to belong to her - Marcus returned to the Crown, weary but keyed up, lusting for the comforts of the flesh and fresh, young vitae.​

For Valerie.

When last he had seen her, he had sworn off the mortal by the end of the night. Too fragile a material for a mate. What he needed, was another Kindred female - a match for his own passion, lust, and strength. Perhaps now was the time to start looking for his eternal companion, he thought. Two millennia was an awful long time to sleep alone - even for a Kindred. It would be a long and painstaking search, of that Marcus was certain, knowing his peculiarities and eccentric tastes. Still, eventually it would all be worth it, when he'd find his Queen.​

But what to do until then?

The separation from the mortal's body was affecting his own - as well as his sanity. He suffered through nightmares of the Abyss, more rages, and even random blackouts while he had hunted.

Instead of visions concerning the future, he had been dreaming of things he had thought long forgotten, random memories - his own random memories.

A dark-haired infant reaching for someone.
A fair, young Roman matron big with child, her eyes filled with sorrow as she gazed at her husband.
His father, demanding, 'Where is your patience . . . my son?'


And more, Marcus Julius had perceived that mysterious presence again. The Keres. He thought he'd felt them on city streets on a couple of occasions. But none came out to face him. Had they been following him, or had he only imagined their presence? They were a complete mystery to him - and a legend, up until recently - until the recovery of that body. Was the enigmatic female berserker, one of them??

So many developments, so many moves. And I can barely keep my thoughts from Valerie, my lust under control.

Before he finally decided to check on her at the end of the day, he knew he had to ease some of this pressure. Seven days' worth . . .
 

Valerie Modeste

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#2
It had taken days before even got out of bed unless she had to. Small windows only to throw the sheets out of her room for clean ones and eating. The only people she let in were the one bringing her the food or if she had to. Not even Gabriel would she let in. Through the door, she would just with a tired voice tell him she was okay to let her sleep.

On the fourth day, she took a bath, changed and had the energy to sit in her chair and read for a while. Before she crawled back to the bed and continued to sleep. It was never any good sleep. There were no nightmares, no dread to keep her from it. Just dreamless unfulfilling sleep that always left her just wanting more. So she just kept sleeping.

It wasn't until the evening the sixth day that she sat up and just sighed. She couldn't spend her life like this. Locked up in a room that wasn't really her own, hiding from a reality she would at some point have to face. Slowly she moved out of the bed and just started walking around the room, feeling the need to move muscles after so long in bed. That was how she discovered the changes to her room. But somehow all the luxury she found around her just tasted like ashes in her mouth. Even though her hand lingered over the fabrics of the clothes her closet was now filled with.

The morning on the seventh day she forced herself to wake up. She was done laying in bed. So instead she spent the day exploring the new aspects of her room. Pampering herself in the bathroom, trying on the new clothes and walking around her room in the new shoes. Her first laugh in a week came when she almost tripped in her shoes.

But in the evening she started to feel restless. Sitting in her chair she could hear that a powerful wind had picked up outside, making her itch to be outside. She was wearing some flowy comfortable long dress, perfect for the windy weather.

So that's where she was now. Having gotten one of the ones stationed outside her room to take her outside. It was just outside the door. She was standing bare feet in the grass, skirts dancing around her legs with her eyes closed listening to the wind. She knew the bodyguard was standing in the door looking at her, thinking her mad. But she didn't care.

When there was powerful wind like it was now, the whole world around her made noise. Making it come more alive to her than it usually did. She could not see the trees or the slamming objects, but she could hear them. Pain pictures in her mind of what they could be. How the world around her looked. It was freezing. She had not taken a jacket to wear and she could her skin get full of goosebumps. She smiled. The cold felt like the first thing she had felt in a week. Shaking her hair she loved the feeling of the wind in it and remained standing despite the cold.
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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Methuselah House Erebos 5th Generation Obtenebration Kindred Lasombra Antitribu
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Male
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30
#3
It was not difficult to find Valerie. The more Marcus dreaded their first exchange since the fateful night they made love, the more intense was her scent in the air as he crossed the hallway toward her rooms and immediately sensed his guest was not anywhere within. He continued to follow the trail of her scent down the stairway, then crossed the foyer with crisp, elongated strides. Every move was effortless, fluid in appearance. Gaze transfixed deftly ahead, the vampire closed in on his target. The first thing that came into view was a glimpse of Gabriel's man, dressed in usual black, standing just inside the main doorway. Hearing Marcus approach, the goon turned, bowed at the waist, then motioned ahead with one gloved hand.​

No words exchanged, merely looks and gestures. In spite of his sorry Toreador upbringing, it seemed that Gabriel had his men well taught.​

He saw her soon enough. All in gossamer white, wispy, ethereal. Where did she get that dress? Did I buy it for her? The thing was almost transparent; thin white gauze as light as a whisper. Marcus' eyes locked on Valerie's frame with that predatory glint but as she was yet unaware of his presence, she would not feel like helpless prey - the object of a merciless vampire's lust. Pity, that. A part of him wanted her to feel that way... her breaths shallow, her skin growing flushed as if to attract him--​

"Ahem," he cleared his throat to alert her to his proximity and break himself out of his current train of thought. "It's almost dinner time. I will be joining you," he announced suddenly, not having planned on it before. Originally, he only came to get a glimpse of her, then vanish without her knowing he was even there. Now he could not bear to leave her. "Come," he stepped up close to her, feeling Valerie's body heat ebb away in gentle waves. It was leaving quickly. Marcus' brows narrowed sharply, eyes registering fresh goosebumps at the base of her neck and shoulders.​

Damn it, mortal... you're freezing. What devil possessed you to walk out here without a sweater or a coat??

Without thinking, he removed his dinner jacket, wrapping its thick wool sheath about her slim column - like a cloak.​

"Unwise," Marcus observed darkly, referencing Valerie's 'foolish' choice to come out here dressed as she was. No warning given, his hands came around her waist, turning her to face him. "You are going to catch your death of cold. Time to go in. Dinner is waiting."​
 

Valerie Modeste

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#4
Valerie was transfixed in her own world. The wind making the world around her come to life, mixing in with faint memories of how everything looked making vivid absurde images in her head. She knew that the world did not look like the image in her head, but she did not mind making her own world.

She did a small jump when hearing the clearing of his throat behind her. Her heart feeling like it fell in to her stomach as arms wrapped closer to her body in a protective move. It was a subconscious move as she heard him come closer and turned halfway towards him. When he mentioned joining her for dinner her brows furrowed.

"Why?"

The question came before she could think and in the next moment she felt his jacket fall over her shoulders. Grabbing the edges she pulled it closer. Not because the cold really bothered her, but more because it felt good to cover up some.

" Merci"

The sudden arm around her caused her to tense up and arms to shoot up and keep them seperated. It was clear on her face that she did not like it. Brows furrowed her voice was cold when she spoke.

"Don't. I can walk perfectly myself."

If he would let her, she would step out of his touch and take a few steps towards the house.
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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VAMPIRE
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322
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Methuselah House Erebos 5th Generation Obtenebration Kindred Lasombra Antitribu
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Male
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#5
It was entirely expected of Valerie to be on the defensive. Hell, Marcus was feeling a bit in that way himself, though he did his best not to let it show. For a vampire, it was often as simple as turning off one's emotions for a time. Lately it was not something he desired - not when around this mortal. In Valerie, the defensiveness manifested in the way she clutched her body just now. You do not trust me. You are right not to. Have I become an enemy now? He thought while pondering her question. If that is the case, then you are better of seeing me as one. We were never meant to be friends, bella. Things are better this way, for everyone concerned.

"Why am I joining you? Because I am thirsty for company," Marcus lied smoothly. "Did you not miss mine?"​

Good show; now you are goading her, the Beast sneered. Do we really have to play these pathetic mind games with your newest toy?

Marcus growled under his breath, forcing the Beast deep down within. His advice was neither desired or required. He knew perfectly well how to best handle Miss Modeste. Right now, for instance - she was wary of his touch and found it unwelcome - judging by the motion of her arms attempting to distance herself from his impending proximity. Marcus released his grip, hands drifting upward in a defensive 'hands off' motion. Best not to bait an angry bull, he thought.​

"As you wish. And I have no doubt that you do."​

Stepping aside, Marcus waited for Valerie to pass. She walked past him with her usual grace, moving toward the house.​

At least she didn't throw the jacket back in my face.

A dark cloud seemed to descend and hang over Marcus as he followed in silence, heading for the formal dining room.​
 

Valerie Modeste

Psychic Vampire
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#6
Had she missed his company?

It was a loaded question with multiple facets that she had spent a week trying to get to the bottom of. And was still none the wiser. In a way, she never wanted to be near him again. Didn't want him to touch her or breathe near him. Embarrassed, shameful and feeling worthless she didn't want to be near the source of making her feel like that.

Then there was the dreams.No matter how angry she was at him, she had to deal with the fact that he had awakened something in her. Something that had resulted in small breaks from her dreamless sleep, where brushes of his hands and lips haunted her. Holding back a blush she shaked her head to him.

Before a clear ringing lie came from her.

"No."

She was glad he made no move to force his hold on her. Walking towards the house she assumed she was heading for the dining room. Usually, she would just eat her food in her room or maybe down in the kitchen from time to time. But since he was joining she was sure it would be different.

The silence between them was awful. Heavy and poisonous it clung to her making her wish she could be angry instead just to break the tension.

It didn't take long to come inside and to the formal dining room. Walking into the room she took a few steps before stopping and taking off his jacket. Turning she held it out to him with an expressionless face.

"Thank you."
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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322
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Methuselah House Erebos 5th Generation Obtenebration Kindred Lasombra Antitribu
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Male
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#7
Hmm. Valerie seemed to grow more displeased with every passing moment. Just now, she had rebuked him again; a single word from her mouth shutting down Marcus' hopes for an amicable evening. Well, two can play at that game, bella, he observed darkly. It had never occurred to him that she would be lying. It was not in Valerie's nature to do so.​
At least she was walking in the right direction, Marcus thought, watching the girl make for the large dining room - one of the two he had re-modeled. The official one featured a long, mahogany table which sat twenty-four, with matching chairs upholstered in rich dark green velvet. Ornate carvings of cherubs clinging to, and picking from grapevines ornamented the legs and armrests of this splendid furniture which breathed an authentic 18th century feel.​
Just as every inch of Marcus was ancient aristocrat, so did every inch of this large chamber compliment his taste in splendid decor.​
The walls were lined with window-sized paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Rubens and Botticelli. The ceiling boasted a replica of a chandelier (albeit smaller) that figured in the world-famous Paris Opera House.​
Stopping just an arm's length shy of her as they had both arrived in the ostentatious chamber, Marcus took hold of the profferred jacket and slipped it over his frame, bowing to the lady but saying nothing in response to her forced words of gratitude.​
"Lester will show you to your chair."​
Subtle gesture of his hand, called out to the butler waiting in the wings. In a blink of an eye, the man named Lester appeared at Valerie's side, presenting his arm to her. Though clearly past middle-age and already balding, Lester still presented a splendid image of a man proud of serving a 'family' of ancient lineage as he believed Marcus to be. Dressed in black livery ornamented with gold buttons and a crisp white shirt providing the only contrast to his otherwise somber attire, he considered it a great privilege to be able to escort his master's honored guest to her seat.​

"This way, mademoiselle," he offered helpfully.

If Valerie acquiesced to his request, Lester would carefully take her to the seat at one end of the table. Marcus was already at his, merely waiting for Valerie to take her place. He stood erect and quiet, his gaze embedded in the plate setting before him. How nice of the staff to keep up the appearances, he thought grimly, wondering if he would force himself to do the unthinkable tonight and try some of the filet mignon, the scent of which was already permeating his nostrils and making him nauseous.​
Still, he did not like being a gentleman half way, not when hosting someone in the formal dining room.​
Suppose he could make the sacrifice of himself for one night, even if it did not really matter . . . to anyone.​
 

Valerie Modeste

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#8
The tension between them was so thick that you could cut it with a knife. It was hanging around them worse than even the first night they met. At least there she had been scared, something that didn't make for awkward silence. But now she didn't even know what to say. It felt like she had a million questions to ask him, and like there was no answers he would give that she wanted to hear.

Feeling the other man come up beside her she let him take her to her seat. Giving him a small smile she got placed in her chair and felt him give her seat a push as she settled.

Laying her hands in her lap she felt her heart beat a little harder. She was feeling anxious, like she was just waiting for something to shift in his mood again. She also didn't buy that he just wanted company. After how worthless he had let her know she was the last time they met it was hard to believe he would seek her out for anything unless he wanted something.

Her fingers twitched in her lap as she waited for something to happen. She didn't have anything to say to him. Everything felt "polite" and fake in her mind, making her instead just choose to stay silent. Bowing her head she felt how soft curls hid parts of her face as she tried to hide a sorrowful look in her eyes from him.

This would not do. She couldn't live with things being so poisonous between them.

Clearing her throat she stroked her curls out of her face and straightened her back. She would still have to be able to have a working relationship with him if she were to continue down the same road. And pray the dreams would stop...

"Thank you for the upgrades you did to my suite."

Her voice was soft and a bit distant as she spoke, holding next to nothing of her usual smile to it.
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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Messages
322
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Methuselah House Erebos 5th Generation Obtenebration Kindred Lasombra Antitribu
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Male
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#9
Having fulfilled his duty, Lester shuffled his feet back to the doorway adjacent to the kitchen, awaiting further orders.​

Marcus stood upright and waited until Valerie sank into her chair, then followed suit. Both of them seemed to have little to say to each other at present, making the whole scenario terribly awkward. At least dinner would be served soon. A gentle sound of a familiar bell announced the appetizers being brought and Lester's booming voice resounded just afterwards:​

"Dinner...is served!"​

The first course would feature appetizers, consisting of Artichoke & Goat Cheese Bruschetta followed by Crostini with White Truffle Oil and Olive Paste. The artichoke puree was mounded onto toasted baguette slices and sprinkled with crumbled goat cheese. The Crostini were served with crackers or bread. According to the Chef de Cuisine, the latter was so good that guests would find themselves licking their fingers to catch every essence of the truffle.​

The second course consisted of seafood - namely a Shrimp Cocktail. It was swiftly followed by the third course of a Caesar Salad (the irony of the name not lost on Marcus) as he pulled a napkin off the table and spread it generously across his lap. Last but not least, the Sous Chef himself brought out the fourth course and a lovely palate cleanser - the Grapefruit Star Anise Granita - an ice with a hint of spice, bold and refreshing to the senses.​

Marcus sat silent as the grave, contemplating an answer to the only comment Valerie had offered since assuming her seat. But her voice sounded hollow and forced - not at all inspiring the Lasombra to pick up the conversation. Still he forced himself to reply at long last, knowing that silence was not golden in this particular case.​

"You are welcome. They were somewhat overdue."​

In truth, Marcus wished they were anywhere but here - in this stiff, aged room, surrounded by food and drink he could not possibly enjoy. He would rather have her naked - and in his bed with him, cradled in his arms. He envisioned himself pressing her against his bared chest, his fingertips stroking the silk of her hair--​

Well, that had a chance of happening - never. The one and only night they shared true intimacy together, Valerie had gone from the most sublime pleasure to the rawest pain - both given to her by one male.​

Now Marcus was obviously in the grip of nightmares. Was he reliving some hideous memory?​

Even after everything he had done to hurt her - and would likely do in the future - she was still talking to him. Barely, sure, and without a twinge of sympathy - but she was still here. Did not run. Did not hide. A brave soul, Marcus had to admit in reverence of her courage and in spite of himself.​

What do I do? Should I keep talking?

With one or two courses left, Marcus felt enough time had been wasted on silence and looking to his guest, made a small-talk inquiry that would (hopefully) help break the ice.​

"You are not eating. Is the food not to your liking? Shall I have something else brought?"​
 

Valerie Modeste

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#10
Oh, how she wished she had never followed him. That she had never offered herself up to him and never fallen into bed with him. His subsiding anger the next day would have been easier to deal with than this looming feeling.

She would have been able to appreciate the nice gesture of filling her room with luxury. This dinner would have felt much easier to get through and it wouldn't have felt like she was sitting with a stranger. Moments later the dinner was announced and she could do nothing but sit back and listen to the courses being explained to her.

The food sounded delicious but every smell was making her stomach turn. In the past few days, most of what she had eaten had been crackers with peanut butter. But still, she didn't want to be rude. So she tasted every course, small bites as not to upset her stomach. The rich and brilliant flavours not really registering with her. When he commented on her room she lifted her head and flashed him a quick smile before shuffling her food around some more.

She had no idea what to say to him.

Soon he beat her to it though. Arching a brow she huffed amused before shaking her head.

"The food is fine. I just don't really have an appetite."

Is that why you came? Because you have an appetite for the only thing I am useful for?

It was a cold and cynical voice that was whispering in her mind, making her pause just as she was about to swallow. As always when she was reminded of the pleasure she had experienced she could feel her heart do a skip and her skin grow a bit warmer.

Over my dead body.

If that had been why he had come to see her he was going to be very disappointed.

"And you? Are you having some sort of dinner?"

What's next? Ask him about the weather? From fire to ash in the flash of an evening.
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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#11
Lifting his hand to Lester, Marcus indicated his wishes for holding off on the main course for the moment. He could sense the turmoil building up inside of Valerie but he could not read the plethora of emotions within her unless he relied on his Kindred abilities. And that could make things much worse, especially if somehow, she had gotten wind of him doing so.​

No, Auspex would have to take a back seat for the time being. Marcus was unwilling to gain an advantage over Valerie through unfair means even if the Beast was pressing to bellow through his lungs and have him scream something truly obscene in the middle of a rather formal dinner.​

I will take that risk. And you will sit silent, foul demon.

Seething, the Beast obeyed for now. Marcus stared ahead at his guest, absently piling some salad onto his plate. He even nodded as one of the servers brought over a carafe of red wine, and not his usual vitae. His hand extended the crystal goblet and waited for it to be filled before taking a generous sip. Far more than he ever intended.​

His larynx constricting, Marcus cleared his throat once. Twice. The liquid finally passed through his esophagus but he did not like the way it felt. Hopefully it would be some time before he felt the need to purge it from his system.​

"I had the chef prepare filet mignon. Hopefully you can try at least one bite?"​

His eyes clouded over, the affection in them dimming before fading completely. I will not force you to do anything. Fuck it. You are probably thinking I am sitting here, undressing you with my eyes, desperate to plunge my cock into your sweet sex and pump until you faint from it.... Nope! Wrong, Valerie. On all counts. Sadly, I cannot be bothered to prove it to you, not because I do not want to, but because you are far too stubborn to understand anyone but yourself. You claim to understand, but it is all....pretense.

So said king douchebag, the Beast chimed in. Keep going, maybe voice some of that vitriol. It will do wonders for your self image. If you want her, just fucking take her. What's with the elaborate dance? She is nothing to you...

"Yes. I'm having a little. I would be a poor host indeed if I merely sat here watching my guests eat."​

The look he cast across the table at her, was awful. You are too far from me, bella. You should be sitting at my side, my hand in yours. The future forever ours to create...
 

Valerie Modeste

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#12
What are you thinking?

So much of communication was lost on Valerie. She could not read facial expressions. Nor see tensing of shoulders of shifting hands. So unless voiced, what someone else would be feeling would remain a mystery to her.

It was why she hated silences like these. She would rather have fights and things out in the open then sitting nervously wondering. Or at least some form of conversation, no matter how fake, just to give her a chance at reading someone's voice. Her hand had reached for her water glass and lifted it to her lips. The food was still giving her a bad aftertaste and she was sure wine would just upset her stomach more.

"Of course. Even though I am not hungry it still tastes amazing."

She was trying to keep her voice as calm and polite as possible. Even though ire was causing her heart to do sudden hard beats in her chest.

"Thank you. You don't have to do that on my account. Don't let my habits disrupt your usual routine."

This is ridiculous.

The dinner, the conversation, even them right now were ridiculous. Why were they sitting down like this? Acting like everything were friendly and okey, when either of them so obviously was not. Her hand twitched slightly.

I wanna go back to my room. Away from this absurd charade.

No. You can do this. If this is what he wants, to act like everything is okay. Then that's what you will do, you will stay for dinner.
 

Marcus Valerian

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#13
Not hungry. The statement provoked a deep frown. You must eat something, bella. I do not want you ill. There is much use I still have for you; we have barely begun--

That calm and polite voice of hers was quite fake, Marcus was certain of it. Still, he opted not to call her on it; last thing he wanted was to provoke her into a bout of anger. They were being civil right now and that was a good start. Problem was, it wasn't going anywhere. They were barely tolerating one another and it was driving him insane.​

"You are welcome." How he wished, in spite of himself, that she would actually give him an inch! Take a damn bite. Murmur your delight, however subtle... Give some sign that you don't want me to die in a large fire!?

Cordial and serene, Valerie stood her ground - or rather sat...in it - like a statue wrought in hardest stone. The possibility of Arctic ice caps melting seemed more probable than ever.​

Fuck me to hell and back. She just isn't going to budge. But this isn't some damn contest, and so I... will.

"You are welcome but rest assured that I am doing this for my own amusement...of sorts."​

Your habits disrupting my usual routine? Coming from a mortal whelp that gave me my first hard-on in several centuries, that is rather funny.

Dismayed with things not going anywhere anytime soon, Marcus gestured for Lester to bring in the main course. The man disappeared briefly, dispensing orders to the kitchen staff. At least the hired help was still obliging. Glancing to his lap, the vampire noted with gross displeasure that the napkin rose quite significantly compared to where it had been at the start of dinner. Shaking his head discreetly, Marcus frowned and bit his lower lip, drawing blood. The little minx was giving him a huge erection in the middle of a six course meal and she was doing it with her grumpy presence, alone!​

...Jesus, help me. And I'm not even Catholic--

Leaning one elbow on the table, Marcus rubbed his forehead in disgust with himself. If this was the Beast's idea of mocking him, he had better cut this shit out, right the hell now.​

"Wine?" Marcus offered, his voice hoarse, hoping she would be amicable to a glass - this way, he would have an excuse to actually walk this damn tent pole off. Hopefully.
 

Valerie Modeste

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#14
"You are welcome but rest assured that I am doing this for my own amusement...of sorts."

She had to work to hold back a frown. What was that supposed to mean? Was he finding this situation funny? Taking a long subtle inhale she calmed herself. There was no point in exploding over ifs and maybes. Her throat was feeling dry and constricted, making her try to clear it as she reached for the water.

Taking small sips she closed her eyes momentarily and tried to find her calm place again.

Putting her glass away she felt a bit better. Resting back in her seat she could hear him shift his position. When he spoke his voice was more strained, making her face turn briefly worried. Taking a moment she thought about his offer before nodding. Maybe it would help her relax, and in turn, help this awful situation.

"Yes please."

Moments later she could hear the sound of his chair sliding over the floor and her heart skipped a beat.

The sound of his footsteps coming closer soon following making the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Memories of skin brushing against skin, needy moans filling her world...

Stop that. You are supposed to be angry at him not getting all hot and bothered because of proximity. Stop being weak.

Swallowing she shifted a bit in her seat and straightened her back. Trying to grab hold of herself again and deny the blush that was threatening to creep up her chest.
 

Marcus Valerian

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30
#15
Well, shit. She did not find his reply at all amusing. Maybe that's because it wasn't, the Beast scoffed. Whatever happened to the Autarch of Erebos? Have I been absent while you got castrated, you sad, pathetic fuck?
Stow it, came a low rumble from Marcus. His gaze deeply invested in Valerie, he awaited her answer with anticipation of being turned down.​
"Yes please."​
Well, bloody Mary, hallelujah!!
Marcus pushed away from the table, the chair squeaking lightly against the lacquered floor. Slow, measured steps guided him alongside the table, one hand clutching the wine bottle and another fiddling with something in his pants, via a very deep pocket. Please, go down; please.... subside...
If Valerie was nervous, there was no hint of it visible. Suppressing his Auspex, Marcus vowed not to lean upon his Kindred powers to sway fate to his side of things. He would not want to win on basis of some hefty advantage. It was dishonorable. The Lasombra, however dark they were, adhered to their own code of honor. Marcus was no different.​
Coming up to her now, the vampire felt light and heavy at the same time. His heart was soaring at the proximity. His soul - or essence - whatever one would call it, was heavy with feelings unflattering to most humans. Hate? Maybe. It was damn close. A part of him wanted to snap her neck and toss her away like a rag doll for the havoc she was wreaking with his emotions.​
You have come into my life the way no female ever should. The way no mortal... ever could.
Leaning over her glass, Marcus reached out and brushed her fingers with his, before filling the goblet and reaching over to set the bottle in front of her.​
Something in his chest constricted painfully as he released the vessel, causing it to wobble a bit before it settled without spilling a drop.​
"Valerie?" He straightened and stood unnaturally tall, taking a step back as the main course was brought in and served. The interruption both hated and welcome. He remembered the first thought he had when she spent the night in his penthouse at The Raven... so innocent and pure and unaware of his vile designs on her.​
I feel for you... Valerie.
The thought echoed repeatedly, in tandem with a sharply sounding bell that rang three times, registering loud and clear.​
Visitors? ....now? WHO DARES.... I haven't invited anyone....!
His face flushed with bleak contempt as Marcus gestured to Lester. "See to the door," he spat with a noticeable frown to sculpted features. This better be important, the Lasombra thought grimly, eyes turning black. Or there'd be hell to pay...
 

Valerie Modeste

Psychic Vampire
Staff member
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♥ MORTAL ♥
Messages
405
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Norway
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21
#16
It was so hard to remain still as she felt him come to a stop next to her. Her mind rapidly jumping between different emotions. Like it could not make up its mind on whether to remain seated or jump away from him.

There was a part of her that strongly wanted that. To never have to have him this close even hear his voice again. Then there was the part that reacted when his fingers brushed hers. Without moving it twitched, almost like her fingers had wanted to brush his but stopped themselves. It made the hair on her arm stand up and she almost reached out for him.

Hearing her name she was pulled out of her mind before she did anything. Turning her face to give him her attention, but before more could be said she heard the main course being served.

She almost cursed because of the interruption. There had been a clear question mark at the end of her name, making her wonder what had supposed to follow. Her heart beat faster in anticipation as she listened to the meal being served around them. But again before they were even done serving there was a ring of a bell. Who was coming here?

The thought of staying here while Marcus had guests made her stomach knot up. Rising from her seat she turned to where she knew Marcus stood.

"I will leave you to your company."
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
♞ EREBOS ♞
VAMPIRE
Messages
322
Location
New Babylon
Points
8
Methuselah House Erebos 5th Generation Obtenebration Kindred Lasombra Antitribu
Gender
Male
Apparent Age
30
#17
Marcus' hand descended like vice upon Valerie's slender wrist, keeping her nailed to her seat.​

"No... stay."​

Fingertips gently massaged her outer palm, in view of the sudden clamp that kept her from leaving, before. Realizing that his previous statement left a lot to be desired, Marcus repeated his plea, voice soft, almost caressing in nature.​

"I would like you to remain. Please."​

Whoever it was, there was no need for Valerie to leave in the wake of some unexpected guest. Right there and then, Marcus realized that he had nothing to hide from her, as if she were his Bride. His Wife. His Queen.​

You are so broken, Marcus. The Beast cringed. Your cock gets a chance to explode once and your wits are forever scrambled, unlikely to return. Never thought to see you this bloody weak.

The Beast was right, Marcus noted with derision as he glanced to the doorway expectantly. His hold on Valerie's hand did not waver but it did lessen the pressure somewhat. His free hand ached to brush its fingertips along her scalp, intertwine in her hair... Nope, there was no time for that. But maybe after his unwelcome visitors had left, the vampire could get back to the matter at hand - and one that was oddly, closest to his heart.​
 

Divia LaCroix

Duchess
VINDICTA
VAMPIRE
Messages
767
Location
Sunset Boulevard
Points
4
5th Generation Vicissitude Tzimisce House Vindicta Methuselah Kindred
Gender
Female
Apparent Age
25
#18
"Get out of my way," Divia seethed, her leather clad frame pushing past Marcus' bodyguards as she barely flashed her Erebos ID and plowed on through. I am the fucking Duchess of Vindicta and they're treating me like some bloody Jehovah's Witness' missionary, soliciting the Bible and craving to save lost souls. "Take me to the Autarch at once," she snapped at one of the more competent men who wisely seemed to keep his distance.​

The bodyguard bowed at the waist, gesturing with respect. "Please, follow me, Duchess."​

If I must. Just get me there. This cow-hide is chafing my titties.

High heel boots stamped an echo across the white marble floor. Divia looked around with amusement; it had been a while since she visited The Crown and it seemed that Marcus had been busy. Too busy with renovating; not busy enough with fucking up his enemies. Something was clearly amiss, drawing his attention away from what was most important - and Divia was intent on finding out just what it was.​

Even before she was half-way down to the dining room, she could smell the mortal-stench. Gross... How low you have fallen, my King, Divia thought in silence. You're entertaining mortals; asking for their help - next thing anyone expects, you'll be feeding them truffles and asking for their favorite color--

"My lady." The guard spoke distinctly, bowing again as he gestured toward the Autarch, accosting a female sitting at a very long, expensive table. "One moment, while I announce you."​

Without waiting for Divia's approval, the man bowed low before Marcus and spoke distinctly as soon as Marcus acknowledged him with a subtle nod. "Sire, Her Serene Highness, the Duchess of Vindicta - the esteemed Lady Divia Augusta LeCroix, is here to ask a formal audience with you - at your earliest leisure. I beg your pardon in interrupting your ...dinner." Bowing again, he motioned for Divia to come forth - which she did, with a noticeable 'squeal' to her tight, black leather ensemble.​

"Oh, fuck off," Divia waved the man away as if he was a mere bug to be squashed underneath her five inch heel. "Marcus! My liege..." She bowed low enough to show off the ample cleavage that threatened to spill out of her leather corset at any moment now, "I beg your indulgence but this visit could not wait a moment longer." Marcus may have disagreed, but she was not about to let him get a word in edgewise, at least not until she announced her true purpose for coming here.​

"My lord! You are betrayed! Vindicta is led by the arch-devil, and you are the only one capable of saving it... " At that point, the mesmerizing Tzimisce fell upon the floor, touching her forehead to the elaborate Turkish carpet just before she lifted her blood-stained visage toward Marcus. "I beg you... hear me. The Lord Protector is not your friend. The attack on the Amaranthine was orchestrated by several factions, but somehow, Vindicta was oblivious to all this. How can this be?! I fear for the existence of all our Houses. Something is very wrong, and only you can set it all to rights..." she lifted her head higher, exposing her ample cleavage to his view - not that the mighty Ventrue would ever be susceptible to such a plebeian display.​
 

Valerie Modeste

Psychic Vampire
Staff member
Global Moderator
♥ MORTAL ♥
Messages
405
Location
Norway
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10
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21
#19
The grip on her wrist put her in an instant defensive position. Turning she was ready to fight him to get loose and away, but something in his voice caused her to defuse. Slowly her shoulders lowered, the tenseness of her muscles disappeared. For a moment she just stood there. Feeling his fingers brush her skin. She wanted to beg him to stop, that she wanted to stay angry at him.

Before she could say anything she heard others join them. It felt strange to have him hold her hand like was when there were others around them. But she didn't try to pull loose either.

The name that was called out meant nothing to Valerie. But the sheer title was enough to make her uncomfortable. Had she known there would be people coming she would at least have put on some shoes. A soft pink blush came on her cheek as she corrected the skirts of her dress to try and cover her feet. There wasn't much that the lady was saying that made much sense to Valerie and the longer she stood there the more out of place she started to feel.

Seeking some courage she instinctively turned her hand and gently took hold of Marcus's hand, thumb absent-mindedly stroking his skin.
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
♞ EREBOS ♞
VAMPIRE
Messages
322
Location
New Babylon
Points
8
Methuselah House Erebos 5th Generation Obtenebration Kindred Lasombra Antitribu
Gender
Male
Apparent Age
30
#20
Nothing the feather-light touch to his palm, Marcus calmed down enough not to toss a plate of Crostini at Divia's face, however tempting it might have been at first. Noting the Tzimisce's prostrate form, flawless in figure-hugging leather, he considered her words for a moment, however overblown they might have sounded. The dark haired, black eyed wench appeared particularly fetching when she half-rose, revealing ample cleavage staring back at him in mock defiance of protocol.​

"Come, Divia," Cheerfully, Marcus invited her to rise and gestured toward the table. "Sit and dine with us. It is obvious that you are distraught and I am sure you have good reasons - but I will not have a member of the Triumvirate Council stand accused by you or anyone else - without giving him an opportunity to defend himself. I imagine the events of the Gala had you quite upset but rest assured that the perpetrators will not go unpunished. One of the captives languishes in Vindicta prison as we speak. It is only a matter of time before he is broken. Humans are so fragile, as you know. We had to take special care... in questioning him."​

Lifting his hand with Valerie's intertwined, the Lasombra offered his visitor a cordial smile. "May I present Mademoiselle Valerie Modeste - my house guest - and a psychic extraordinaire. I will be seeking her efforts in due time, to get the information we need from the hunter. How goes the investigation into the murder of former Lord Magister? I think I would be more interested to hear about that."​

It was a clear sign that Marcus was in no mood to entertain any notions of Tristan Krauss' betrayal. Pulling out a chair, he took a seat to Valerie's right, calling for some vintage vitae to be brought in, at once - to respect his guest and to satisfy his own aesthetic taste.​