Roleplay City

Infusco => City Businesses => INFUSCO: Enter The Shadows => Salt => Topic started by: Trillian on July 21, 2019, 08:26:22 PM

Title: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 21, 2019, 08:26:22 PM
Ben and Kerr arrived at the restaurant on time but Vincent and Owen were already seated at their table. Vincent had insisted they arrive early so he could chat with Anton and properly thank him for getting them in at short notice. Anton, Owen learnt on the drive over, had been a donor for Vincent over twenty-five years ago when he'd been barely twenty and starting out as an apprentice chef. Vincent had allowed himself to be a referee on Anton's resume and told multiple white lies in order to help him get his first job in a high-class establishment. It had been an amazing opportunity that had set Anton on a successful course in life. Even though after a few years he'd discovered he didn't have a love for cooking, he'd still circled the hospitality industry as a restaurateur and had managed many successful restaurants throughout his time. Echelon being his latest.

Anton had shifted some reservations around in order to wrangle one of the tables beside the large plate glass windows for the best view of the city, holding it specifically for Vincent Lockwood and his party of four. The pair of them hugged like old friends (which they were) and Owen was complimented and fussed over as being the lucky man who'd won Vincent's heart while also being told that Vincent must've been aiming for the stars to land someone so gorgeous. Anton was over-the-top and delighted by them, but had disappeared by the time Kerr and Ben arrived to join Vincent and Owen at their table. They were shown through by the host instead, who was polite and efficient.

Vincent stood when he saw Kerr and Ben approaching, displaying his smart dark grey suit and burgundy tie and he stepped out to hug Ben and did the same for Kerr before reclaiming his seat. Ben was dressed in tan pants, a white shirt, a gold brocade waistcoat and a navy suit jacket over the top. He greeted Vincent and Owen with none of the awkwardness he'd worried about a few nights ago, and took the seat opposite Vincent, beside Kerr.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 21, 2019, 09:39:16 PM
Kerr wasn't surprised but he was disappointed that Vincent and Owen were already at the table before he and Ben got there. He wasn't being deliberately competitive but... it sort of felt like Vincent had scored the first point, by arriving first. It put him on the back foot, though he had no idea what the stakes were. Was he playing to be Ben's number one or something? It sounded pathetic when he thought of it like that, yet the feeling persisted.

It dissipated somewhat when Vincent hugged him; it was a sweet and considerate gesture, humbling Kerr with its graciousness. He was also wearing a dark grey suit but it had a Nehru collar and the material was shinier than Vincent's, the sheen causing it to glint beneath the lights when he moved. It was piped with black edging, large black buttons and black pocket lapels, the collar and cuffs of a black silk shirt showing at his throat and wrists.

He moved from Vincent to Owen, expecting a handshake but surprised by another hug. Yep, they were superior greeters to he and Ben, too. Warm and welcoming, it felt natural to be enveloped in their arms and Kerr resented the lack of awkwardness. He and Ben were uprightly formal by comparison. Another point for the eldest and youngest vampires; Kerr christened them the Extremes Team in his mind.

As Owen removed his long arms from around Kerr's shoulders, Kerr couldn't help but admire his form. He was dressed simply, in a silken shirt that matched Vincent's tie in colour (cute), the top few buttons undone at his throat, revealing a black leather necklace with a silver ornament on it around his throat. His shirt was paired with dark blue jeans, a brown belt and boots. He was the least formally dressed out of the four of them, yet his loose blond hair (tamed in a tidy bun at the back of his head) and flashing blue eyes made him the most eye-catching.

Owen sat down opposite Kerr, his hand casually landing on Vincent's knee beneath the table. "Thank goodness you two finally came," he declared with an exaggerated eye roll, "Vincent made us come ages ago so we could thank Anton for getting us in and I had to sit through a ton of old, boring stories." His grin declared that he was teasing as he glanced pointedly from Vincent to Ben.

Kerr looked at Vincent, frowning as he played the joke forward. "Just how old are you?" he queried guilelessly.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 21, 2019, 10:53:47 PM
Vincent smiled at Owen charmingly, not batting an eye when he was teased.

“I’m an expert at old, boring stories,” he stated proudly, then glanced at Kerr when the question was asked before looking at Ben, who sat without expression. His gaze moved back to Kerr. “I was born in the final year of the of the 14th century,” he stated with pride. “Sired in the 15th of course, at a modest thirty two. You must’ve been much, much older,” he said to Kerr with a growing smile. He could take Kerr's question and raise the ante.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 22, 2019, 04:17:56 AM
Kerr breathed a laugh but winced a pained face like he'd been stung, surprised and impressed that Vincent had parried his barb so deftly. He wasn't nearly as stuffy as Kerr had suspected, then.

"Oooh, ouch," he said to go along with his face pulling, a hand clutching melodramatically at his heart as if that was where he'd been struck. "I was thirty-two also, when I was sired in the seventeenth. Obviously, I'd worked harder in my life than you, to look so very aged," he smirked.

So both of the vampires Ben loved (or could fall in love with) were sired when they were thirty-two. Coincidence? Weirdly so!

Owen's gaze flicked from one to the other, as if he was watching a tennis match. For his part, he liked that Kerr could keep up with Vincent, it raised the younger vampire in his esteem. It also seemed appropriate that both sires were so similar, it fitted their roles and somehow made them more... sirey.

"Wow, look at you two," Owen quipped with false admiration, "comparing measurements already. At the dinner table. That didn't take long." He raised his eyebrows, playing at being scandalised.

Kerr brayed a short laugh, genuinely surprised by the sarcastic remark.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 22, 2019, 09:15:04 AM
Ben and Owen had peculiarly struck up a friendship after the kiss, and he'd not had trouble conversing with him after that, when they were alone. And Ben and Vincent had multiple conversations together about all kinds of things while they'd waited for Owen to come to training. But when Owen and Vincent were together, Ben found himself unable to communicate easily, though he never felt awkward over it - just never able to jump into the type of conversation they were having. Usually joking or flirting. Exactly like this.

He smiled at Kerr, pleased that he could carry the conversation with the couple opposite them. He smiled at Owen because he'd said something funny. He smiled - briefly - at Vincent before his gaze flitted back to Owen and then at the menu in front of him, extremely aware of Kerr's presence at his side and the fact he knew now that Ben loved Vincent. He opened the menu and stared at food choices, turning pages until he got to a special red insert that was titled 'Blood List'. Huh. There were different sized and glasses for different blood types, options of temperature to have them in (hot, warm, tepid) and different species. His gaze instantly sought out the Fae list.

Vincent, meanwhile, turned to Owen. "I thought you'd be pleased your sire has the longer, uh, history."

Ben took air into his lungs quickly, readying himself for something to say, but he pulled it in too quickly and sucked in spit, which his body didn't want anything to do with, forcing him into a coughing fit.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 22, 2019, 06:10:48 PM
Owen only had time to grin before Ben exploded in a barrage of coughs, drawing everyone's attention. His and Kerr's heads swivelled to regard him and Kerr reached over to lay a hand on his shoulder like he was considering patting him on the back but thought better of it. When it began to subside, Kerr withdrew his hand and turned back to regard Vincent. His expression held a mocking reprimand.

"It is long. You made Ben choke from all the way over there," he said, wonder tingeing his voice.

Owen snorted laughter. "Jesus, dude," he chortled before turning to grin at his husband. "And I'm immature?" he chastised, shaking his head.

Kerr chuckled and held up his hands in a gesture of surrender before Vincent could respond. "You're right. I'll behave," he promised, austerely turning his attention to the menu - though a satisfied smirk lurked around his lips as he licked them negligently.

Owen blinked and frowned because he saw something dark flicker near Kerr's mouth. "Do... d'you have a pierced tongue?" he asked, astonishment raising his voice slightly.

Kerr looked up from the blood list he was inspecting and grinned. Instead of saying anything, he dropped his tongue out, glancing around to be sure he wasn't making a spectacle of himself and drawing outside attention to the shiny black ball nestled in the pink flesh of his tongue. Nobody beyond their table was looking but he pulled his tongue in quickly anyway and went back to the menu.

Owen's eyes were wide and alive with interest. His mouth dropped open and he pulled in an audible breath to say something that matched his dancing gaze as he looked first at Vincent and then at Ben. When he caught the way Ben was looking at him, however, he thought better of asking what was on his mind and closed his mouth. He sidled a mischievous glance at Vincent but remained silent as he also turned his attention to his menu.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 22, 2019, 06:36:33 PM
Once the coughing fit subsided, once his ears stopped ringing with the awfully embarrassing innuendo Kerr had made (and wondering if so much of it would've been said if Kerr hadn't known about Ben's desires), he realised that there was a peculiar warmth in his face. He had no idea what was causing it - he'd never felt anything like it before. He put a cool hand to his cheek and had to reassess; his face wasn't that hot but there was definitely a difference in temperature.

Blushing. He'd blushed. He'd downed a blood-bag earlier tonight but it shouldn't have been enough to not only pink his cheeks but make them warm. He was craving blood a bit more too and he supposed that maybe it was a side-effect. He'd thirst after sex, too. Correction; he'd used to.

Frowning at the blood list now, he ignored Owen's question and chose not to look at Kerr, fairly certain he was putting his piercing on display. After a moment he glanced up unhappily and caught Owen's eye before dropping his gaze again.

He wondered if he would be so uptight if he wasn't having trouble with sex. Kerr certainly seemed unaffected by it but the topic, lewd and crude, just made Ben want to curl up and die. He knew he was over-sensitive and he read the same words on the list over and over, not really able to comprehend them.

"Ben," Vincent said softly, drawing his attention. "Did you ever get to try nymph? They have it here."

The question was asked conversationally but Ben was grateful for it. "I met one in Venture but he wouldn't consent to a drink. He was new at it," Ben shrugged, thinking that whats-his-name should've let him, because Ben would've been gentle. "I'll try a glass here."

"I've heard it can give vampires a doping effect," Vincent said, then looked at Kerr. "Did you read the article in Nightly News? I don't believe the fae population will be too happy about it," he said.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 22, 2019, 08:42:41 PM
Kerr watched Ben, noticing the colour in his face, which told Kerr... he was blushing? Was he embarrassed? Because he was joking around with Vincent and Owen? Resentment rose, even though it was a mute emotion because he couldn't really get mad at Ben for being ashamed of him (assuming that was what was happening). Still, it felt like he was getting criticism while Vincent remained untainted and the good humour he'd been feeling suddenly vanished.

It must be so nice for him, up on his pedestal, where mistakes could never touch him.

Kerr frowned when Vincent spoke to Ben, recommending blood that would affect his mental state. Alarm washed through him as Ben talked about a nymph he'd wanted to drink from - what the fuck?? - but been refused so he'd try the blood here. He had visions of their plans at Venture being unfairly altered if that happened, considering Ben might make all sorts of uncharacteristic choices (he could later regret, thereby setting his progress back yet again) or be completely dissuaded from their plans altogether if he went ahead with the nymph blood.

He turned his frown towards Vincent as he tried to draw him into the conversation. Kerr recalled the article but was confused by the question - his rampant concerns about Ben weren't helping his focus. "About the article being published or the information about nymph blood making vampires high getting out?" he asked for clarification.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 22, 2019, 09:00:12 PM
"About the misinformation surrounding nymph blood," Vincent clarified. "The Nightly News I find delightfully unbiased and quite reserved in their reporting. Perhaps why they don't do as well as the more flamboyant papers. The journalist was attempting to set the record straight but the article itself had a... peculiar undercurrent to it, as though the reporter in the back of her mind knew that her findings would have no impact on the rush for Nymph blood. Take Echelon as a for instance," Vincent said, gesturing at the menu. "They've always had nymph available, but I notice the price has risen dramatically because demand must be high. According to the article, nymph blood is more like... " Vincent hunted for the word, tapping the menu as though he could get inspiration from it. Perhaps he could, because he lit up. "Like a shot of vodka. It's just that the buzz doesn't immediately depart a vampire's mental and physical state. Or so the article says. I've never had the pleasure." He smiled disarmingly at Kerr. "In any case, word has got out that nymph blood is euphoric, so everyone wants to try it."

Not everyone. Vincent himself didn't.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 22, 2019, 09:41:36 PM
Kerr's frown didn't abate as he listened to Vincent's explanation. He didn't say anything to it, but turned to face Ben instead. "Are you sure you want try something that's going to affect your cognitive abilities? Tonight?" he asked meaningfully.

It was more than just their planned adventure later, he now realised. What if Ben changed during dinner, when he was around Vincent? He wouldn't forgive himself if he got - essentially - drunk and too relaxed to maintain his usual level of decorum. As Ben knew all too well, Kerr had been there. The shame didn't fade quickly.

"Is everybody ready to order?" a cheerful voice asked.

Owen looked up to see a waitress standing between Vincent and Kerr, a tablet and stylus poised in her hands. He smiled at her because his looking up caught her eye and she smiled first. Owen had been intrigued by the conversation about nymph blood (though the lead had kinda been buried beneath information about the news Vincent preferred to read, which didn't interest him) but he wasn't too sure if he wanted to spend money for something like that. It seemed a waste.

Frankly, his palate wasn't that refined anyway and he wasn't sure he wanted to start messing around with different types of blood just for the unique experience of it. His thing was really just blood, and plenty of it. He didn't care how it tasted going down, so long as it came in large amounts and stifled the gnaw of hunger that refused to die completely, inside him. Vincent promised him that this feeling would go but a decade still seemed too long, to him - though he had to admit it was definitely better than it had been when he was young and manic.

"Uh, I'd like an apple-smoked parfait, please. Any blood type," he ordered, closing his menu and handing it to the waitress once she'd pressed the screen on her little device. Having human blood smoked with apple chips sounded exotic enough for Owen - especially since he'd read that there'd be over a litre of it, delivered in a large parfait glass. Quantity trumped quality, at this stage.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 22, 2019, 09:55:44 PM
Ben, who wasn't going to order the nymph blood tonight, especially after finding out that it would affect him, stared at Kerr, not liking the way he'd been spoken to about it. So much for trust.

Ben lowered his eyes back to the list without replying, still unable to focus on the words. He stared at the squiggles and only after a while did some of them make sense. Engineer something something. African American something. Something or other Labourer. Dryad. What was a Dryad? It was in the Fae section.

The cheerful voice annoyed him. He glanced up and nodded before looking down again. Owen gave his order and Ben frowned, wondering where on the menu that had even come from. Everything he was looking at was 'glass of this' or 'glass of that'. Owen was going to eat apple? Were there special fancy throwing up stations or containers for him to throw up the foodstuff in? Ew.

Vincent spoke next. "I'll have the mélange acrobatique," he said with warmth in his voice. "Served hot, large size, thank you."

There was a long pause and Ben gave a few sideways looks before he realised they were waiting on him.

"Same. The acrobatic one," he said, closing the menu. He couldn't think what he wanted after the reprimand from Kerr and he didn't want the apple thing Owen ordered. The only option left was to copy Vincent.

The smart-dressed woman smiled at Ben as he looked her way. "Large size, served hot as well?" she prompted. Ben nodded and then it was Kerr's turn.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 23, 2019, 03:52:20 AM
Apparently his concern for his love was offensive, because the disdain Ben's stare exuded chilled Kerr into recoiling. Vincent could do no wrong, Kerr could do no right. Got it. When Ben went back to examining his menu, so did Kerr. With his lips pressed firmly together, he examined both sides of the Blood List insert, deliberating between the side that listed the exotic types of blood - where nymph was certainly available and expensive - and the side that listed the mundane but with additives like smoking for mild flavour enhancement (which Owen had chosen) or treatments that resulted in different viscosities thanks to pro-coagulant ageing.

He found, with Ben glaring at him like he was, that he didn't have much of a taste for anything but he wasn't going to cause a scene. Heaven forbid he do something else for Ben to be ashamed of.

"I'd like to try the Chilled Blood Mousse, please," he told the waitress when it was his turn to order. According to the description, it was 'a meticulously aerated bowl of B+ coagulant garnished with whimsical, frozen blood bubbles'. It sounded light and, since he was planning to drink later (assuming he got through the dinner with some of Ben's good humour restored, anyway), perfect for now.

The waitress frowned, mildly perturbed by his order. "Would you like that to come out with all the other dishes or would you like a hold on it?" she asked politely.

Of course. His order had come from the dessert section while everybody else's was a hot main dish. "With everyone's, please," Kerr requested, forcing his lips into a tight smile before offering an explanation for his unique meal choice. "I'm not overly parched."

The waitress didn't particularly care about why he was ordering from the dessert section, she just wanted to be sure she wasn't going to get into trouble for incorrect timings when she brought their meals out. Her work completed for the time being, she finished sending their order to the kitchen, took Kerr's menu and informed them their meals would be out shortly before she moved onto her next task.

In her wake, there was a moment of silence that felt awkward to Owen, so he decided to fill it. He looked at Kerr, feeling it was an excellent opportunity to satisfy his curiosity. "So... how is it you're not actually dead, after all?" he asked, folding his arms over his chest and leaning forward so his elbows rested on the table, his body language declaring his interest in the answer. He'd heard rumours of drugging and abduction, escape from a lover's tiff and a portal to another dimension. Although he and Vincent had (privately) discussed the theories at length, they hadn't asked anyone that knew the full truth. That could've offended someone. Nothing like getting it from the horse's mouth, he figured.

Kerr looked across the table at Owen, noting his eagerness. It made his pale blue eyes shine and his lovely lips skew with excitement, enhancing his beauty. He was young and guileless and Kerr couldn't help but respond to it, a more genuine smile twisting his own lips as he inadvertently mirrored the youngling's pose. He clasped his hands together and leant forward with his forearms balanced on the edge of the table, not thinking about how it displayed his subconscious attraction to Owen's open, friendly nature.

"Well," he began warmly, "I was given a gift without much time for an explanation, so when I used it, I was unaware of all the consequences of my actions." He paused, giving a mild chuckle when Owen's eyes widened on cue and then he gave a slightly more detailed explanation, briefly describing the portal in his chest, his harried dissolution of the Oligarchy, his rapid trip to Austria, the ignorant step into the portal and his shock when he returned from another dimension eighteen months later. Owen wanted to know details about what another dimension was like and was disappointed when all Kerr could describe was the room he'd seen.

"I'm sorry I can't tell you any more than that," he apologised when Owen's expression twisted. He'd done his best to keep his story short and pithy but this was something he couldn't have expanded on even if he'd wanted to.

"Eh, it's not your fault you didn't see land or sky or anything else," the blond dismissed with a flick of his hand, still thinking through the truth he'd finally learnt.

Kerr turned to Vincent, wondering what his opinion was and fighting back the urge to thank him again for helping Ben in his absence. He'd said it once and now that he knew more of the story, he certainly wasn't in the mood for thanking the older vampire again; it would be like saying he was grateful for inadvertently attracting Ben's love. He wasn't at all thankful for that.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 23, 2019, 07:04:29 AM
Ben sat quietly throughout the telling, not having any idea of the negative path he'd put Kerr on. After he'd been reminded not to indulge in nymph blood (as though Kerr was a parent, not a lover... although since they currently weren't sexual in any manner, the sire/fledge part of their bond was the most prominent), Ben retreated into himself, the embarrassment lingering because now he felt like a fragile child. He struggled to make eye contact with anyone but was determined not to make himself look any more foolish than he had already. He'd known this dinner was going to be awkward for him - but he'd not expected it to be like this.

Vincent listened with as much interest as Owen, though he sat back in his chair to take it all in while the other two leant forward. Kerr's story was fascinating and only tragic at the end, when he'd come to realise how much time had passed. A few different moments during the story Vincent's gaze flicked to Ben, wondering if Kerr's fledge and partner had heard this enough times for it to no longer evoke emotion or if he was affected by it. Ben could've been a statue and it only took another glance or two to realise he wasn't okay and that the stiffness was his shield. Vincent believed, incorrectly, that it was the recounting of the circumstances surrounding Kerr's 'death' that had him there.

"A remarkable tale, and serves as a warning for Owen and I not to holiday in alternate dimensions lest we don't recognise the world when we return," he said, studiously keeping his gaze on Kerr and Owen for the time being. He didn't want to put Ben on the spot. "Have you caught up on all the popular culture yet? I understand you're an avid cinema buff."

Topic changed. Check.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 24, 2019, 04:04:32 AM
Kerr gave a polite laugh at Vincent's joke about not holidaying in alternate dimensions but it didn't reach his eyes. He glanced at Ben and was dismayed by his disapproving expression. Seriously, what more did he have to prove? Vincent and Owen had listened raptly to his story and sympathised. Vincent had even made a lame joke about it! Why couldn't Ben recognise that Kerr was being accepted and stop punishing him for embarrassing him in front of his fucking hero?

Well, because he's Ben.
Your jokes were sexual... dumb move even pre-rape.
You asked if he thought it was a really good idea to drink nymph blood
 - either treating him like a baby
or you're just a fucking idiot for not realising he wasn't going to try it, duhhh...
and also ALL < Vincent, so don't even try

Feeling defeated, Kerr turned his attention to Vincent's question, forcing a smile. "Oh, no, sadly, I haven't had time to catch up with much," he admitted, thinking this was just a variant answer to the one he'd given the other day, regarding his cello. Surely Vincent understood that Ben's campaign and Lovebite ate up most of their time? He wasn't going to bring them up, though. Ben had already hinted that Vincent didn't approve of his ambition to be district leader (at least, that was how Kerr had interpreted the offhanded comment) so drawing attention to that would be relationship suicide.

Ben would probably just get up and walk out of the restaurant.

The thought of it caused a wave of sadness to wash through him, which he didn't stop travelling through their blood bond. He was loathe to communicate mentally, assuming Vincent would detect that in such proximity (and think it rude), but his emotions didn't have to be kept to himself. He wanted Ben to know he was sorry and sad. And that he loved him, even if there were many other emotions he wasn't sharing.

"Hopefully soon. Especially now that our latest project has wrapped up," he turned to smile at Ben (it was much more genuine than the expression he'd given Vincent) so that he felt included in the conversation, instinctively reaching over to gently brush the backs of his fingers against Ben's shirt sleeve as well. "We've finally got all the Oligarchy's books into the library at the Academy. We finished checking them over and I took them in the other night - that's when I ran into you, when I was dropping them off," he told Owen, so that he was also including him.

Owen's face brightened and he nodded his recognition but then he snickered, remembering the trick he'd played on Sam, making him worry that he was offended. "Sam is so easy to mess with," he snorted. "That was funny!"

Kerr frowned, uncertain how that statement fit into his discussion about books or even what to say about it but, thankfully, their meals arrived at that moment, two wait staff appearing carrying two dishes each. They were announced and laid on the table before the recipient that had nominated for them and then the waitress wished them enjoyment and left again. Kerr looked at the delicate little dish in front of him, six frozen blood bubbles with a diameter no larger than his thumbnail's sat in a whimsical mound atop an extraordinarily dark red mousse shaped like a round little crème caramel. It was the size of one of his fists. Surprisingly, the mousse also sat in a sticky blood sauce, which was a delightful addition to what was advertised on the menu.

Firstly, Kerr used a spoon to deposit a blood bubble onto his tongue. The instant he closed his mouth it popped, the sensation delightfully ethereal and causing him to giggle to himself. Next, he scooped some of the mousse into his mouth and was further enchanted by the feel of the light, fluffy mousse condensing like fairy floss into blood platelets and fibrin in his mouth, giving him an entirely different texture to savour. Last of all, he collected some mousse and sauce (which was just thickened blood) and tasted them in combination. Smiling his pleasure at the wonderful contradictions of the dish, he turned to Ben and pushed the plate towards him.

"You have to try this!" he enthused through his grin, his mood shifting to something much more positive thanks to his meal. "It's amazing! Get a bubble on its own, it feels so odd when it pops!" he laughed.

Owen watched the exchange intently, suddenly burning with diner's remorse. His apple-smoked blood was delicious and he really did enjoy the ambient flavour of apple infused through the blood but it was a simple experience compared to what Kerr had. He tried to sip it chastely, to make it last, wondering if Kerr would offer he and Vincent a taste. He waited to see what Ben thought of it before he turned his attention to what Vincent and Ben had chosen.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 24, 2019, 03:38:04 PM
With talk of the Academy, Ben lifted his gaze and looked at Kerr. The embarrassment of his not being witty enough, social enough or smart enough still clung to him but this was a topic he understood. Funny how he could make speeches to strangers yet in an intimate social setting he was absolute shit. The more he cared about people, the dumber he became. He felt better when Kerr gently brushed against his sleeve and he responded with a smile, pleased he hadn't been so obvious (he thought). At Owen's outburst he looked over, frowning as well, wondering why Owen was 'messing with' the Academy librarian and what had been so funny about it.

Drinks arrived. Overly-tall and wide hi-ball glasses were placed in front of him and Vincent, smelling delicious. As far as looks, it was the plainest of the lot but it hit the right note for Ben's cravings. Being so young the thirst was constant, but having the hot blood placed in front of him was testing his manners. He barely registered Kerr's dessert, taking large gulps of blood the perfect temperature but an unusual taste. What was this? Something acrobatic? He had no idea and didn't really care.

Ben's wide-eyed gaze went to Kerr when he was told to try the dessert. He complied dubiously but not wanting to be negative, and made sure to follow Kerr's advice and try the bubble on its own. His expression changed to delight. "Oh wow, that's... such a weird sensation."

He shook his head and smiled broadly at the desserts peculiar sensation but still returned to his hot drink. It satisfied him in a way that the dessert couldn't.

"Well," Vincent stated, staring at Kerr's dish. "I know what I'm having for dessert." He sipped from his glass, eyes dancing merrily as he watched Kerr enjoy his meal.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 24, 2019, 05:34:59 PM
"I know!" Kerr agreed, giggling at his love. Ben's smiles went a long way towards soothing Kerr's rampant emotions. The fact that Ben seemed less stiff and had tried his meal filled him with such relief that he immediately felt lighter. The feeling would most certainly travel through their blood bond, too. He smiled genuinely as he withdrew his dish from Ben's part of the table and turned back to face Vincent.

"Wise choice," he commended. "Then I don't look like an ass for not sharing," he winked.

"I'll have one, too!" Owen chimed in eagerly. The dessert looked weird but it didn't thrill him as much as the thought of having more blood did. Who cared if it came in little bubbles, fancy glasses or gushing rivers (he wished)? Just so long as it went in his belly. He was suddenly a big fan of going out for dinner, the indulgence of the blood all around him had his senses singing and his thirst in overdrive. His dilated pupils indicated just how excited he was.

Kerr looked more closely at the youngling, noting the effect the blood was having on him. As grateful as he was for Ben moving beyond such susceptibilities, Kerr also partly missed his dependence on him, as his sire, for finding him regular sustenance. It had been nice, being the most important man in his life, playing such a pivotal role... startled out of his surprising longing for another childe (which he didn't want, really - the thought of having to care for Murphy had appalled him, he reminded himself), he addressed a related query to Vincent.

"How often do you need to drink?" he asked curiously. "Was your sire ancient?"
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 24, 2019, 06:00:51 PM
Vincent paused in the lift of his glass for another drink and lowered it. "I can comfortably last a little over a week if I'm not pressed, but I find that training heavily with Owen will bring that time closer. I tend to drink a little every few days, so I'm not taking much from my donors and I don't feel too much of..." he glanced at Owen, having felt the intensity in his bond, "...that." He gave Owen a cheeky wink, quite liking the peculiarly primal look in his young husband's eyes. "It's a shame Echelon only caters to our kind on specific nights and that their prices are so extortionate. I don't imagine many of our modern counterparts without an aged sire could afford this place without some decades of investment at least."

Of course talking about aged sires led perfectly into Kerr's second question. "My sire, she wasn't yet fifty when we met, but alone. She never spoke of her sire but I got the impression of... someone both aged and disturbed. I cannot tell you her story as she never shared it with me in all our time together. I lost her halfway through the nineteenth century," he divulged, admitting that he had been with her over four hundred years. The loss was still tangible and it could be heard in his voice and twanging along his bloodline to Owen.

Ben sipped his drink, fascinated by Vincent's tale but also horrified when he did the math. How was Owen supposed to live up to that kind of love? No wonder Vincent had moulded his own companion. Anything less wouldn't have met standard.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 25, 2019, 02:59:34 AM
Kerr laughed at Vincent's reference to Owen's worked up state as 'that', appreciating his comedic timing. He was distracted from comments about Echelon's highway robbery by thinking about his own establishment and what he hoped to accomplish with it... one day soon, hopefully. Perhaps Vincent would be interested in hearing about the Overlook? He pushed the thought aside for later consideration as Vincent discussed his four hundred years with his sire. Fifty was respectable but it would have afforded Vincent no additional assistance like Lazarus had bequeathed Murphy.

Like Angus had given him, once upon a time.

"I'm sorry to hear that. And impressed you two lasted as long as you did - I was with my one of my sires and our fledgelings almost four hundred years but they weren't pleasant," he intoned dryly, rolling his eyes for emphasis. "I was devastated when they were killed, don't get me wrong, but our time together was... tumultuous, at best. Pure Hell at worst. It's good you have better memories, though so odd she wouldn't share her past with you. That must've stung," he sympathised.

All of the warm and tingly feelings Owen was getting from being around so much blood and having Vincent wink at him was dampened by Kerr bringing Lorica up. He sipped his blood and smiled at Vincent, trying not to get uptight and also decipher what Kerr was talking about. One of his sires... he had more than one?? And how many fledgelings did Ben make? He knew there was a guy named Ichabod, too. How did he fit into all this?
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 25, 2019, 09:43:35 AM
"Mmn," Vincent said, making a disagreeable noise to Kerr's suggestion that Lorica's secrecy had hurt. "I grew to share her opinion that looking forward is more useful than looking back. Don't get me wrong, I did pick up small clues here and there about him because of remarks she might make, but it was painful for her so I never pressed. I learnt he was destroyed before I was made and that was enough for me."

Vincent heard the 'one of my sires' comment as well, but true to form he didn't question Kerr about it for he'd only just been told that Kerr had experienced emotional pain over them as well. Because he didn't know the extent of Kerr's emotions on the matter, it was better to leave it alone. If Kerr volunteered or if he learnt that Kerr no longer had strong feelings either way, he would bring it up. He turned to Ben, wanting to get the topic away from death and destruction.

"I haven't really said this yet, but I commend you on your foresight to include classes for fledgelings without sires at the Academy. I know that Kerr and I both share a class with my theory and his practical, and while it seems a small class with only twenty-three of them, it also seems far too many fledglings to be on their own. I'm so pleased they have somewhere to learn, or stay if you have them in dorms."

"Some of them are in the dorms," Ben said, nodding. A lot of them hadn't wanted to give up their apartments or houses, which made no sense to him. It made him think of Murphy, living and training with the Sacramentum but talking about going back to his home in Chinatown. "Not all fledglings without sires are training at the Academy either," he said sourly.

"Oh?" Vincent prompted, wondering what information Ben had. Why would fledglings not use the Academy when it was free for them for the first five years of their vampiric existence?

Ben shook his head, not wanting to talk about Murphy, and took a large gulp of his drink. It was still very warm but not as hot as before. He was three-quarters of the way through it. Vincent had barely drunk a quarter of his.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 25, 2019, 04:27:33 PM
Kerr nodded along as Vincent complimented Ben's foresight, proud of his fledgeling for the choices he'd made regarding the Academy. The fact that his disappearance had inspired the idea was nothing when compared to Ben's ability to turn his personal tragedy into pure hope and education for twenty-three sire-less vampires. And Murphy. He was intrigued by Ben's unwillingness to elaborate on Murphy's circumstances, even though Vincent obviously wondered what he was alluding to; it piqued Kerr's curiosity.

Was his silence regarding Murphy because he'd never talked about his friend with Vincent before or because of the bitterness he felt over Murphy's siring and consequent training by the Sacramentum? Would Vincent not approve of Ben's strong emotions on the subject and that's why he was avoiding it? Perhaps Vincent didn't know how Ben could fall prey to his own insecurities and passions... or, rather, Ben didn't think he knew, so he politely refused to expand on the topic. Kerr bet Vincent understood far more than Ben gave him credit for (mostly because it suited Ben's view of their relationship to see it that way, he supposed).

Personally, he'd have been very interested to hear Vincent's take on the Murphy situation... but there was no way he was going to discuss it when Ben avoided it. He'd be left to walk home if he did that. Plus, there was a secret part of him that exulted in the knowledge that Vincent only got to see the nicer sides of Ben's personality. It meant that only he was privy to the whole of Ben and he was both enamoured and humbled by that privilege.

Owen was very pleased the topic shifted from dead sires to work. Vincent's history was long and filled with numerous instances of love - lost or otherwise - and although he'd made his peace with it, it didn't stop him feeling bitter, jealous, inadequate or angry if he thought on it too long. Mostly, it just brought back his ire over being a designed puppet from the start of his own life and it wasn't pleasant to think about. Work, however? That was a topic he could get behind (especially since he'd finished his meal rather quickly and had begun eyeing Vincent's largely-untouched one hopefully).

"They're so cute, the way they all hurry out of the dorm when they finally rise and line up for their blood, all jiggly and big-eyed, like cranky baby birds," he snickered, too superior in his observation of the fledgelings to be aware he'd had much the same look when all the blood had hit the table not that long ago. He used his hands for emphasis as he described the orphans. "You know," he chuckled, turning his grin from Vincent to Ben, "Tate is really obsessed with porcine blood. It's reaching a whole new level - Sean and Mack keep giving him shit about it and they totally embarrassed him in front of Sora and Jenny the other night!" he laughed. He talked to Tate a lot - mainly because he had his middle name and that of the man he'd been named for, but never known. Well, he talked to all of them a fair bit, really.

Once started, Kerr noticed Owen embraced his topic with enthusiasm. He wasn't perturbed by Ben's blank stare or Vincent's mildly concerned looks (like he wasn't sure Owen should be gushing about all the topics he was, in front of his boss). Kerr only understood that look as Owen progressed from talking about the freshman class of fledgelings in a very familiar manner to dropping comments about other students and then the lecturers. It became clear, as he talked, that he'd sat in on every class at the Academy, more than once.

"You saw that?" Kerr asked with surprise, when Owen mentioned how cool it was when of the students in his telekinesis class had succeeded in lifting a pencil and moving it partway around the room. Kerr had obviously been so busy celebrating with the class that he'd not even noticed Owen's presence.

"Are you kidding? It was awesome! Yours and Astrid's classes are the best!" the young blond enthused, then widened his eyes before he looked back at his husband, smirking because he was about to tease him. "I mean, yours are great too, Honey, but there's nothing in there I don't need to know so others are just... better," he shrugged, wrinkling his nose cutely as he reached over to pat the back of Vincent's hand. With a cheeky giggle he made a show of drawing in a breath as he turned to face Ben. "So, do you like the new librarians Sam hired?" he enquired brightly.

Owen was Head of Security but it was clear that he was all over every aspect of every occurrence across the entire campus - if asked, he'd even be able to tell Ben who'd been absent and missed lectures in the last couple of weeks. It was also clear that Owen's job was not demanding enough.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 25, 2019, 04:40:22 PM
"He's picked some already?" Ben asked, only barely noticing that Sam had been hosting interviews in his office and showing some new faces around the library. He'd thought the process had only just started but it was finishing. And still, no Dean to take over campus management. Ichabod wasn't going to last long if he kept working the Academy every day. Ben had helped mostly with paperwork and keeping Digital on track. Digital... wanderered off now and then. He'd already missed two of his question times on Friday and Ben was starting to think that he should put in yet another condition. "Have you met them?"

It made sense that Owen should, since he was security. It sounded like he was doing a good job keeping an eye on everything. Digital had been nattering about the rhythm of someone's name and Ben hadn't recognised it, but that was expected now. So many more people had signed up. The Academy was a success, but it was still losing money. He'd done the sums. Every class had to be three quarters full before the Academy made any cash. He'd been too quick to pay lecturers so much, but since offering the crazy salary, a tonne of people had come forward to offer classes. Almost all of them said they didn't need the money, but Ben had noticed that none of them were refusing it.

Vincent, during Ben's two short questions, gestured at his glass for Owen to try some (and knew that probably half the glass would end up in Owen's stomach).
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 25, 2019, 06:38:53 PM
"Yeah," Owen agreed, though he was somewhat distracted by being offered Vincent's meal - which he took eagerly and gulped a mouthful of before he answered Ben (wow it was delicious! It tasted like a mix of bloods that was probably called acrobatic due to the fact that it danced so delightfully in his mouth).

"One of them I recommended, as a favour for Xiamara. She's her friend. She's an imp, too. She'll do days, alternating with the shifter dude - oh my god, he is so cool! His name's Darwin and he's a supple shifter and he squashed his hand down to show me and it was amazing!" Owen gushed, holding out his hand like it would help everyone imagine how it would look flattened. "The other nights guy is a vampire and there's also a demon for rotating shifts. Background checks were lots of fun."

The grin on his face was genuine because they'd been the highlight of Owen's week - something out of the ordinary to do besides the usual routine stuff. "They all came in to collect their security badges yesterday and Sam's starting a new roster full time from Monday. There'll be new people!" he enthused, clapping his hands together and rubbing them as he anticipated learning more about the Academy's new employees. And messing with them whenever possible. Anything to make his shifts pass faster and keep them interesting. He missed patrolling the city streets badly... but Vincent was so happy that he was safe, he didn't dare complain.

Plus, the occasions he got to see his husband while at work were really special and he loved being able to do that. It counteracted the boredom and the fact that they worked together and knew all the same people (okay, Vincent knew some of the same people) gave them a shared understanding that made it easy to talk about. He loved laying in bed in Vincent's arms just talking.

"Interesting," Kerr intoned, smiling indulgently as he observed the excitement on Owen's lovely face.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 25, 2019, 07:52:37 PM
Ben looked over at Kerr when he said 'interesting' and glanced away before looking back again to recapture what he thought he'd just seen. The classic double-take. Kerr was really invested in Owen's detailed social rundown. Too invested considering it was just 'this name is that species' stuff. Ben thought it was interesting, Kerr looked as though he found it fascinating.

Ben snorted delicately, the sound soft as he turned back to his drink and mumbled into it before he took a large swallow, finishing it off; "Maybe we should all swing together."

Of course with everyone being a vampire at the table, his comment was heard quite clearly. When Ben lifted his gaze he found everyone looking at him. He made a weird muffled sound into his now empty glass; "mmph." Then he set it down and gave a peculiar laugh. "Ahh-haaa."

Okay. He was not making this any better.

"Could we at least try for a second date?" Vincent asked smoothly, shifting his gaze away from Ben to Kerr. It had obviously been a remark from a conversation the two of them had about this night.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 25, 2019, 09:41:56 PM
Kerr's eyes widened at Ben, though he did his very best not to allow the burst of laughter that bubbled up inside him to come out, lest he cause offense again. His lips squeezed together to help hold it in. He couldn't put together why Ben had said that, exactly (apart from the fact it was connected to the lame joke he'd made the other night), but it was funny because it was such an uncharacteristic statement. It was also kind of hot. His ensuing embarrassment was adorable... and then Vincent said that and Kerr did laugh.  He glanced at Owen reflexively.

Owen wasn't seeing the humour in the situation the others were, though he attempted a smile. He knew it wouldn't reach his eyes because he was too busy looking warily between all his dinner partners, trying to figure out whether Ben was serious. His track record with Vincent suggested he was. He'd put lips on Vincent once already and he'd always been kind of weird whenever all three of them had got together to train, like he still had his thing for Vincent but was too polite to talk about it in front of Owen.

And damnit, Ben and he had fucking worked it out, he thought! It'd just been a stupid crush he'd said, because he missed his sire. Owen had even double checked and asked, and Vincent said he'd never made another move. Then Kerr had come back so they'd stopped seeing each other. But now here they were again and Ben was saying they should fucking swing together?? Just so he could get his mitts on Vincent, no doubt. And what, pass Kerr onto him? What the hell!

"With all our clothes on," Owen stated bluntly, his smile disappearing as he took another drink of Vincent's meal.

"Of course," Kerr agreed solemnly, rather wishing he hadn't chosen the tiniest dish so he had something to do with his hands instead of sit there feeling amused... and oddly guilty. He was pleased that Vincent had seen the humour in Ben's comment even if Owen hadn't. To change the subject, he turned to Ben. "Would you like to dance?" he asked with a cheeky grin, figuring he might like an excuse to get up from the table and not have to explain why he'd said what he had. There was a large band playing quiet dining music but a few couples (okay, only two couples, a man with a woman and two women) were inspired by the mostly-strings output to sway together on the dance floor nearby.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 25, 2019, 09:52:31 PM
Ben, who didn't really like dancing because he felt stiff and awkward at it, accepted readily.

"Yes, please," he said, recognising the exit strategy when it was presented to him and grateful to Kerr for supplying it. He wished he hadn't said that comment out loud. It wasn't meant for ears other than his own. Normally he internalised stuff like this but for some reason his mouth had been set to go-mode.

He didn't even look back.

Vincent watched them go with a smile and turned to Owen, eyeing his drink. "I'm not getting that back, am I?" he asked, but he could feel Owen's discomfort thrumming along their shared blood. He would wait for Owen to tell him what the problem was (as if he couldn't guess) and if Owen didn't, he would prompt him.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 25, 2019, 10:16:54 PM
Owen tilted it forward and squinted at the bottom of the glass dubiously, his expression sheepish as he then handed it back. "There's some left," he offered. "If you, uh, lick it. Maybe you should wait 'til Ben gets back so he can watch you do it and get his rocks off," he added sarcastically, folding his arms and flopping against the back of his chair pointedly. He gave Vincent a huffy look - even though it wasn't his fault the other blond still clearly had a thing for him.

Kerr enveloped Ben in a dancing hold but held him close, giggling into the crook of his shoulder so that their dates couldn't see him laughing. "You're adorable, I love you," he said against Ben's shoulder, his voice muffled. When he'd calmed down, he lifted his face so that he was able to look at Ben properly, his feet guiding Ben's with long-practised ability. "Are you still mad at me? I'm sorry if I embarrassed you, at first," he said sincerely, wanting to kiss him but waiting, his gaze shifting between Ben's mouth and his eyes.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 25, 2019, 10:36:06 PM
Ben smiled at Kerr's laughter but was surprised he was that amused.

Ben shook his head. "It's okay. I was just... super sensitive. I wouldn't get myself drunk or high tonight. I didn't even do that kind of thing when mortal," he said, not that Kerr necessarily knew that about him, though his partner could likely have guessed.

Vincent sighed and mirrored Owen by leaning back in his chair. "I'm sure that was a private joke, meant only for Kerr. He wasn't making a suggestion." Vincent smiled to himself, then shared his thought with Owen. "What are the Academy guidelines for sexual harassment? Would it include what I did to you in the storage room? I'd hate to get a mark on my record," he said with false concern.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 25, 2019, 11:44:32 PM
"And I didn't mean to tell you what to do, I was just worried about you," Kerr admitted. "I knew you wouldn't like it if you had some and lost control in front of Vincent - not that I thought you would, really, I just freaked out a bit. It got a bit tense then but I do like them. Vincent's very funny," he grinned and pressed a brief kiss to Ben's lips. When he pulled back, he laughed again. "I can't believe you suggested we do that. Owen wasn't happy," he grinned.

Owen's scowl abated as Vincent gave him a plausible reason behind Ben's comment. It turned into a reluctant smile when Vincent referenced them fooling around at work and then to an outright grin when he talked about the storage room - the most scandalous thing they'd done when they were supposed to be working. Astonishingly, Vincent had been the instigator, pushing past Owen's numerous objections and eventually convincing him to comply.

He shuffled his chair a little closer to Vincent's and put his hand on his thigh, leaning over to nuzzle a kiss on his cheek (or his lips if Vincent turned towards him). He made a show of glancing past Vincent towards Ben and Kerr on the dance floor, before he looked back. "Look, what they don't know won't hurt them. Besides, it's not like I'll press charges," he grinned, moving his hand subtly higher up Vincent's thigh and giving it a squeeze. "Or tell anyone. So you don't have to worry about marks - against your name or otherwise." He gazed lovingly into Vincent's eyes for a moment and then frowned. "Do you really want a second date with them?"
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2019, 03:01:38 PM
Smiling, Vincent pressed the hand firmly upon his thigh and regarded Owen. "I prepared myself for some awkwardness," he said. "If they request another night, I would like to accept." His smile grew at the thought Owen would read between the lines and realise Vincent wouldn't pursue another outing. He was fairly sure the other couple would be more comfortable after more outings, but he wasn't so social that he needed to have more people in his sphere. He could see him and Kerr discussing many things and it would be nice to have a peer closer to him in age. Ben, as insightful as he was, lacked the mellowing quality that age brought with it, as did his love.

Ben focussed more on the dancing as Kerr spoke, until the last part. "Yeah, I didn't mean it. My timing with kissing Vincent came when they were most vulnerable. Not that I'm a threat to Owen. He's hot, he's confident, he's social and everybody like him." With a calculated pause, he added. "Even you."
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2019, 04:40:20 PM
Owen rolled his eyes and sighed but he had to admit that the dinner hadn't been that bad. One weird joke from Ben (that he knew had been sarcastic rather than genuine, really) couldn't ruin how nice it was to not be at work and to be looking at his gorgeous, dressed-up husband while eating some exotically-flavoured blood. He was having fun, despite that one dull spot. He turned his hand over and grasped Vincent's, swiping his thumb across his inner wrist.

"Yeah, alright," he agreed with a sultry smile. The fact that Vincent wouldn't ask them out appeased him. He also doubted Ben would be keen to go out with them again anytime soon, so it probably wouldn't come up. He thought about ordering dessert and glanced around to see if he could catch the eye of any wait staff. He saw the doorway to the restrooms instead. "I wonder how much smaller a toilet cubicle is, compared to a storage room?" he asked airily, sidling his gaze back to Vincent's.

Kerr frowned, tilting his head as he regarded Ben. He opened his mouth to deny having any particular interest in Owen but he closed it before he spoke in haste. Owen was lovely to look at and a lot less annoying than he'd expected him to be but not to a degree that compared in any way to his attraction to Ben. His tone told Kerr his love was thinking otherwise - and he didn't love it, which surprised and intrigued Kerr. Instead of reassuring Ben, he had a question after a few more bars of music had flowed around them. "Are you... jealous?" he asked softly, his voice tinged with wonder.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2019, 05:49:33 PM
Vincent's expression showed what he thought about a stolen moment in a place where people defecated. Not sexy. Owen's glances around attracted their server.

"How were the meals?" she asked, clearing their table while another server appeared at her side to help her take all the plates and glasses at once.

"Superb, as always."

"Would you like to see the dessert menu?" she asked, glancing at the empty chairs before looking at Vincent and Owen again.

"Please," Vincent replied, smiling.

"One moment," she replied, leaving them to return to the kitchen, dishes in hand.

Vincent turned to Owen. "Unless something phenomenal is written on that menu, I believe I'll indulge in the mousse Kerr had."

Ben didn't pay as much attention to Kerr's question as Kerr had to his statement. He took it at face value, figuring that Kerr must've heard something in the description of Vincent's golden child.

"What's that phrasing from the movies? Women want to be with him and men want to be him?" Ben chuckled. "Except that makes you the woman in this case so maybe I'll find a different saying."

And of course, being Owen would mean he'd be paired up with Vincent. Ben didn't really look at that for very long, figuring that Kerr wouldn't take it that way. He hoped. This was about Owen right now; Ben didn't really see the attraction. Well, the physical attraction, sure. But Owen was like a high-schooler in a lot of ways and he just couldn't relate and couldn't see how others did. Especially Vincent.

And now, Kerr.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2019, 06:16:45 PM
Kerr chuckled indulgently and kissed Ben’s forehead. “I don’t want to be with him,” he scoffed, noting that their table was being cleared. Owen and Vincent looked cosy. Kerr liked having Ben to himself for a moment and having a socially-acceptable excuse to hold him close was pretty excellent, too.

“Did you dance while I was gone? I think you’ve got better,” he observed, noticing the staff bringing dessert menus back. Before he relented his alone time with Ben, he had one final question. “You don’t want to tell Vincent about Murphy? Wouldn’t he be interested to know about the important events in your life?”

“Me too. And then, when we get home, I’ll indulge in you,” Owen quipped, giving Vincent a quick kiss before reluctantly hopping his chair back to his correct place at the table. “I have to say, I like you a lot when you’re this relaxed and not trying to fill all our spare time with training,” he said conversationally, rolling his eyes playfully. It was only partially light-hearted.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2019, 06:46:30 PM
Vincent mused on Owen's suggestion and made a mental note to have a little more time off so they could enjoy one another instead of only having their destination holidays as a relaxer. The Academy didn't demand too much from either of them and so there was no harm in having a weekly date night. It was another reason not to have too many people in his sphere - for every friendship made would be an intrusion on his private time with Owen. Selfish, yes. But he believed Owen wouldn't mind.

Vincent accepted the dessert menus when they came, seeing that the small booklet was placed in front of each of the vacant chairs. Ben and Kerr would be back soon.

Ben shook his head. "I'm keeping Vincent


away from a lot of my life for a couple of reasons. One, because I know with more time spent with him that I might, uh, fixate. And two, I have you back now, and I want to share everything with you. I don't like everybody else knowing about what's happening with me or with my friendships or with us. I like that you know me completely. It makes you more... special, to me."

He wanted to say 'dear to me' but he thought Kerr might not like the phrasing.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 27, 2019, 03:39:29 AM
As Ben finished speaking and Kerr’s heart swelled to at least twice its normal size, the song they were dancing to concluded. “Okay,” he agreed simply, holding Ben just a little bit closer and relishing the privilege of being this man’s one and only confidante before he pulled back to clap the band. They started up their next song with a lively cymbal tapping and Kerr snagged Ben’s hand to lead him back to their table. Dessert menus had been delivered and enough time had passed that Ben seemed calmer.

Out of habit, Kerr pulled Ben’s chair out for him and scooted it in as he sat, then seated himself, flicking his napkin and dropping it negligently across he left thigh - mostly so none of the staff felt it was their duty to spread it on his lap for him. He’d already seen a dessert menu (he only considered now that its presence inside his other menu might have been an accident) so he opened up a question to the table while they deliberated.

“Is there any sort of business for supernaturals that you feel the city is missing? I have a beautiful establishment built into the cliffs overlooking the sea - I called it The Overlook - just waiting to become something useful but it hasn’t bloomed yet. I’d planned on it being a gift for Ben when we got back from Europe but, well, it never came to be and now we have the hotel, the politics, the Academy and Lovebite keeping us busy, I’m not sure what do with it.”

“Twenty-four hour paintball!” Owen called out, looking up from his menu to give the first idea that came to him when Kerr asked what the city was missing.

Kerr’s mouth twisted regretfully. “It’s definitely more of an indoor, sophisticated place, not designed for loud, filthy skirmishes. The kind with deep pile carpets, huge open rooms with natural stone walls and polished floors, mirrored ceilings and stages. Plus, some spaces jutting out over the water that have glass tiles in the floor.”

“Cool!” Owen enthused. “Karaoke, then!”

“Do you sing?” Kerr asked, thinking he might have stumbled on a talent of the youngling’s.


Kerr blinked slowly. “Uhhhokay. Well, I’m pretty sure there are at least two karaoke bars in the city already. Originally, I’d thought to make it a full-time restaurant for supernaturals and mortals to dine together in, plus host dances - classes, competitions, theme nights - in the ballroom and private music concerts or conversation rooms with background music in the smaller spaces,” he explained, instinctively turning from looking at Owen to Vincent, figuring it had to be his turn to comment, now.

“But would we really want to compete with this place? Is there room for both establishments in the city? Does it have a chance at success when Echelon is investing time and money into developing truly extraordinary palate pleasers here in the city, while the Overlook is still closed and digesting its own undiscovered potential?”
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 27, 2019, 11:01:30 AM
Vincent enjoyed a good business proposal conversation. He leapt into it with relish once Owen had his small inputs and was shot down with scepticism.

"What you propose sounds like somewhere I want to visit," he remarked after hearing of the Overlook's description. "While I enjoy Echelon, it's the only place of its kind that can offer a night like this, and only on certain nights. If you have multiple smaller spaces to give a sensation of dining in different restaurants at the one location, I imagine Owen and I would visit there multiple nights a week. However, after speaking with Anton tonight, I received the impression that Echelon only offers twice a night bookings for their supernatural members because of the inability to source blood every night. I've always believed they have a clinic squirrelled away somewhere posing as a blood bank, though such a thing would be scandalous." His eyes twinkled at the idea of his uncovering a scandal based on his idea. He fancied he would make a good detective and this was the only part he missed about Owen's time on the streets - bouncing ideas together about the cases he'd taken.

"And wouldn't it compete with Lovebite and Venture more than it would compete with this place? I, personally, would have no need for donors if I could satisfy my cravings by the glass. I don't particularly enjoy the vampire club scene, even though Venture has made it as sophisticated as possible downstairs, but I'm a minority in that. Those who are VIPs at Venture spending their annual half-million dollars on VIP access fees would likely find it more cost-effective to dine with you, even if you mimicked Echelon prices."
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 28, 2019, 01:14:43 AM
A sophisticated, multi-themed restaurant... Vincent's suggestion was highly intriguing. Kerr had been thinking more along the lines of something to do with entertainment - musical performances or dancing - rather than purely sustenance-based facilities but there were potentially many different zones at the Overlook. Sipping a warm blood cocktail on a luxurious seat while looking out at the ocean and a sky filled with stars sounded lovely and peaceful. The ambience created by the lit stone walls was mysterious; combined with creative seating, it could become a lively conversation grotto, an acoustically-enhanced concert hall or private dining niches. The carpeted restaurant area was elegant in its simplicity and could cater to mortals and supernaturals alike.

"Interesting," Kerr mused, his tongue twisting as he tapped the stud buried within it against the roof of his mouth or his teeth. In his mind's eye, he was busy picturing what The Overlook might become, with some tweaking. "We have had some supply issues with Brannigan's - the cafes at The Luminary and the Academy - but the easiest way around it is to supplement with animal blood. Elitists don't love it but they're also happy to pay the greater amount for human blood. The majority of kindred don't seem to mind. Finding chefs - or blood technicians, technically - would be the greatest challenge."

"Tate definitely doesn't care about animal blood being used," Owen snickered to himself.

Kerr nodded. "I survived on it almost exclusively throughout my first half-century and it didn't affect me or my ability growth. Some of the flavour combinations are bound to be a hit, depending on how they're treated."

"Speaking of," Owen said, placing the menu he'd been perusing firmly on the table as he looked up at Vincent. "I'd actually like to try the duck blood gelato garnished with blood curd slivers. But... you are getting the mousse, right? Wanna' share?" he grinned, batting his eyelashes playfully at his husband. Vincent very rarely denied him anything but it wouldn't do to look completely spoilt in front of Ben and Kerr. He had to make a show of trading.

Kerr fell quiet, staring at nothing in particular (in the middle of the table) as he pondered a future where he might become a supernatural-based restauranteur, rather than a musical director. His tongue stud tapped thoughtfully again. Would it help if Vincent saw The Overlook? Having an open discussion with someone who obviously had ideas on the matter would certainly help Kerr. He wondered if Vincent would be interested but before he could ask, the waitress returned.

"Is everyone ready to order?" she enquired politely, her order tablet at the ready once more.

"Nothing for me," Kerr intoned with a distracted smile, falling into his thoughts again.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 28, 2019, 11:24:21 AM
Vincent nodded, having drunk from wildlife on several occassions. He'd tasted a whole host of African animals during his time there (except for the armoured ones like rhinos and exceptionally hostile ones such as hippos) and thought it would be nice if Kerr could manage to import some exotic bloods.

"Of course," he said to Owen, smiling agreement at sharing and knowing that Owen was more keen for his dessert than Vincent was for the other (but he would take a spoonful to try it). He leant over to plant a kiss on Owen's lips to seal the deal.

Ben watched this exchange between his mentor and peer. He couldn't think of them as employees, not really, when his relationship with them had developed before he'd put them on the payroll. It was hard to separate from that. After the kiss, Vincent left his arm resting on the back of Owen's chair and smiled from Ben to Kerr and then at the server as she returned to take their orders.

Vincent asked for the Chilled Blood Mousse, Owen the duck gelato which was titled Iced Red Mandrake, and Ben shifted from his initial idea of getting the same dessert as Kerr and Vincent to picking one of his own.

"Uh, the Scarlett Crown thanks." He hadn't read the description, changing his mind on the spur of the moment as he handed the menu over.

The server left.

"We'd need to fit two kitchens at the Overlook," Ben suggested. "Separate the blood from the food. And I was thinking that the tables should step down to the windows, so that the people dining farthest can look over the heads of those below them and still enjoy the view."

He wasn't sold on multi-themed restaurants because they'd have to create nooks and cut off the openness of the building. He'd seen the plans and investigated it while it had been built after Kerr was away in the other dimension. He hadn't known what its plans were after being built so it had been left a hollow shell of a building.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 28, 2019, 12:01:03 PM
Once the orders were given, Kerr responded. "That's doable, if we decide to go that way," he agreed to Ben's suggestion of separate kitchens and tiered seating, "though there'll be some renovation required. Perhaps... it would help to have a walk through the building to see if what we're discussing will fit the space?" he suggested airily, following through on his impulse to include Vincent.

"Tonight?" Owen asked warily, unsure about the idea of a building inspection to finish off their night. He was more interested in capitalising on Vincent's flirting and good mood than in ending the night talking about a business he had no real interest in.

"No," Kerr answered quickly - and possibly a little too firmly - then cleared his throat. "Uh, it would have to be another night. I-if you're even interested," he gestured towards Owen and Vincent. "There's no rush," he shrugged.

Owen did his best not to look at Vincent or make any particular expression that would give away his feelings on the fact that Kerr had asked them out again - to a deadly boring potential business discussion and exploration. Yay.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 28, 2019, 12:09:02 PM
Vincent was enamoured with the idea and also extremely flattered to be asked his opinion. He was aware that it wasn't the kind of thing that Owen would want to help envision, so he'd accept for himself and give his love the option of staying away from it - though once they had a chat about it, he might enthuse his husband on the benefits of shaping a location into something they would want to spend some time in.

"I am most certainly interested. My schedule is more open than Owen's so we'll discuss if he'll let me have the first look without him," he said, grinning at Owen. "I'll send you a text. Next month we're heading for Japan so we'll figure out if it'll be before or after that."

Ben nodded, remembering that he'd have to sweet-talk Kerr into taking over Vincent's classes during that three-week break.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 28, 2019, 04:34:07 PM
"Sounds great," Kerr enthused, hoping they could manage to fit the tour in before Vincent and Owen's trip, rather than after. Now that he was thinking about the Overlook, he was excited by its possibilities - and by colluding with Vincent, truthfully. The thought of making decisions with him that could be acted on (and possibly completed) while he was away - and the potential excitement on Vincent's face when he saw their visions turned into reality upon his return - gave Kerr a secret thrill. "So, Japan, huh? How long are you away for?"

How much time - hypothetically - would I have to impress you?

"Three weeks," Owen answered Kerr but grinned at Vincent, snuggling into the crook of his arm and rubbing his thigh lovingly. He leant over to give him another kiss, lingering over the feel of his lips long enough to slip his tongue briefly between them. Vincent's excuse for keeping him out of the potential restaurant tour filled him with gratitude and he was keen to show it. His tongue was a good envoy.

"Lovely," Kerr nodded, waiting until their kiss ended before asking another question. "Is it cherry blossom season?" he frowned, trying to work out if the couple was timing their holiday with the brief-but-spectacular floral phenomenon.

Just as Kerr finished speaking, the waitress returned with their desserts and placed them on the table in front of the correct orderers, momentarily delaying Vincent's answer.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 28, 2019, 09:05:42 PM
"Oh no, that happened a couple of months ago. We're there at the end of Japan's summer. Hot summer nights filled with the hanabi taikai - all summer long there are multiple fireworks displays. A lot of the spiritual ceremonies and rituals are held in various shrines during summer It's nothing I've witnessed before so that'll be a mystical and sobering experience to share with Owen. I'm most looking forward to the Nakafurano Lavender Festival. I love the smell of lavender and I've heard the entire city of Hokkaido is filled with it."

There was a lot to look forward to. The nights were shorter during summer but he thought it was worth it to experience those things - and Japan was a country that had a lot of night festivities and a very strong nightlife, so they would be able to experience everything they wanted to.

"Owen and I have visited the cherry blossoms at Washington D.C., though, some years ago. I can't compare them to the Japanese sight because I haven't seen those yet, but they are still a marvel to behold. The street lights show them off beautifully along the avenues towards some amazing buildings." Vincent turned to Ben. "You've seen the cherry blossoms, haven't you? I remember a discussion with you about them."

Ben, who'd been flown the short trip from New York to Washington for a modelling job, had only seen them from the limo taking him and Themba to the location. He had marvelled at them through the car window but there'd been no time for him to walk the avenue.

"I barely saw them," Ben replied swiftly, and picked up one of the triangular red meringue pieces that made up the body of the 'crown' upon his plate, and popped it into his mouth. In the middle of the crown was a small wobbling deep red pannacotta that didn't look all that appetising.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 28, 2019, 09:42:24 PM
"I love lavender, too!" Kerr interjected when Vincent mentioned the festival - it was one of the few words in the sentence he understood and could comment comfortably on. That and 'fireworks'. Otherwise, he was just nodding and smiling politely.

When Vincent tried to draw Ben into the conversation by mentioning he'd seen cherry blossoms in Washington, Kerr knew it had to have happened when he was in New York, since it was so close to where he'd been living. Ben had never travelled to Washington while they'd been together, either.

The last thing they needed tonight was a reference to Themba, when Lazarus was already haunting them. He cast around for a new, less controversial topic of conversation. His gaze fell on Vincent's mousse. "Does it taste as good as you thought it would?" he grinned playfully.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 29, 2019, 05:53:43 AM
Vincent didn't know what he'd said wrong but Ben's quick rebuttal made it obvious he'd spoken out of turn. Conversation with Ben had always been simple, but now in his partner's presence it had become a minefield. Vincent's gaze flicked back to Kerr, wondering why his relationship with Ben was coiled with such tension, ready to have Ben leap up and bite at the most inane comments.

He hoped, when he toured the Overlook, that it would be just Kerr showing him through it and that Ben would be busy or not wish to come. His first meeting with Kerr had been tense and full of accusations and inappropriate sharing, but  here and now he was relaxed and happy. It could be a social experiment, to see if Kerr on his own was the same, now that he must've talked things through with Ben about 'the Ben thing' as Owen had so eloquently put it.

Kerr's question gave Vincent an easy out. "Oh, I'm enjoying it. What it lacks in substance it makes up for in sensation," he grinned.

Ben spooned into his pannacotta, which didn't yield as easily as he'd expected given the wobble. He cautiously put it into his mouth and it tasted like regular blood, though slightly jellified. The texture was weird, but reminded him of a chocolate bar he used to enjoy in his mortal years.

"This reminds me so much of Turkish Delight," he said, looking over at Kerr with a grin, pleased that his dessert hadn't been a misfire after all. He gave Vincent a confused look when he burst out laughing, and Ben's stare next went to Owen for potential clarification.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 29, 2019, 03:50:06 PM
Kerr looked from Vincent to Owen also, noting the young blond's fierce blush.

"Fuck," Owen muttered beneath his breath - though of course it was heard by all of them - shooting Vincent an embarrassed glare for laughing at him. The bastard knew how much Digital had freaked him out! He felt the weight of the other two vampires' stares and was compelled to explain, directing it at Ben because he was the one who'd made the comment.

"Ignore him," he began, sounding rather disgusted by Vincent's good humour, "he thinks it's funny that Digital called me that when I left him and stayed in the abandoned Oligarchy Chambers for a while. In your building, downstairs. He called me Turkish Delight because he somehow knew I'd been to Turkey and, uh, fooled around with a Turkish prince. Turkish prince vampire, I guess. He's so freaky - Digital, that is, not Sabri. It gives me the creeps how he just knows stuff," Owen made a show of shuddering and rubbing his arms, as if they were coated in goosebumps.

"I dunno' how you guys work so closely with him. Don't his insane predictions make you nervous?" he asked, well aware what a vital role Digital played in the maintenance of the Academy and Ben and Kerr's Luminary businesses. He knew he couldn't do it, if asked, and he was glad that security and I.T. had managed to stay apart most of the time - or, rather, that he'd managed to delegate other security members to work alongside Digital when it was necessary their departments collude. Sam had always run pretty good interference, too. Owen thought he was sleeping with Digital but that was neither here nor there.

Kerr gave a wry smile and answered, even though Owen had spoken to Ben. "Well, once I got past the fact that he murdered my sire and fledgelings because he predicted that they would cause desperate trouble for Ben and I in the future, working closely with him was pretty easy."

Owen's jaw dropped at the very calm way Kerr had spoken, though he sounded anything but when he replied. "He murdered your sire and fledgelings?" Owen screeched his disbelief.

Kerr nodded.

"How many fledgelings?!"

"Well, that's an interesting question, and not an easy one to answer," Kerr laughed affably. He grinned at Owen's baffled look - mirrored on his sire's face. "You'd say two, though they were conjoined twins so, sort of one as well. They were Sawyl's - my younger sire's - biological mothers. Well, one of them was," Kerr pulled a face, chuckled again and shook his head dismissively. "It doesn't matter. The point is, Digital set fire to my house with the three of them in it and killed them - plus destroyed a lot of my priceless antiques, including the most beautiful royal tapestry. Ugh. All because of a vision he had, that he was never able to fully explain."

"And you forgave him?" Owen asked in wonder.

Kerr shrugged. "It took me a while but, after I lost eighteen months in eighteen minutes, it sort of threw what was important into better perspective. My family was gone, nothing was going to bring them back and Digital was desperately sorry. His voices just got the better of him, he hadn't meant to hurt me. And the world really is a better place without them," Kerr conceded with another chuckle and a shrug, glancing down at his fingers as they traced a smoothing line along his unused napkin compulsively. He looked up at Owen. "Count yourself lucky you got away with a cute nickname," he winked.

Owen blinked owlishly at him as he gave a bewildered nod and then looked at Vincent. What the fuck was he supposed to say to that? It wasn't funny. He felt completely out of his depth that Kerr would trump his discomfort with the world's most awkward death anecdote and turn it into something he should be grateful about.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 29, 2019, 04:42:15 PM
Ben was surprised that Kerr had dropped something so heavy into the conversation during a first dinner date. It wasn't really a first dinner date conversation and Ben recognised the look on Owen's face. He would've felt that, too, if he'd been told about some horrible crime afflicting Kerr's family without properly asking. He'd only asked how they could work with Digital. Ben had thought of a flippant answer

we're used to it now
we've known him a long time

but then Kerr revealed what was behind the gritty curtain. For a bonus round, Kerr revealed gritty curtain number two, having conjoined twins as his fledglings, one of which was a mother to Kerr's sire. Let's not forget that sire was a fucking psychotic devil-child, but thankfully that particular jewel remained hidden behind curtain number three.

"He just needs an outlet," Ben said. "Doing all the I.T. stuff keeps him busy and the voices quiet. There's been a lot less predictions out of him lately."

Ben was disappointed about that, mostly. He'd wanted to know about the election but Digital had nothing for him, though he had spouted a lot about black dragons getting tans, whatever that was about.

"He sounds dangerous," Vincent said, sounding calm but Owen would feel the concern drilling along their bloodline. "I admit I'm not terribly comfortable around the Malkavian bloodline. I've met a few and they are each entirely different from the other. But they're never harmless."

Ben fixed Vincent with a steady stare. "Digital is safe. You don't have to be concerned." Digital had proven his loyalty to Kerr's and Ben's situation on multiple occassions. Unlike Kerr, Ben thought Digital's move to kill Kerr's family was the best thing he'd done for them and he wasn't sad at all. But he had compassion for Kerr.

Vincent was surprised enough by Ben's tone that he blinked at the younger vampire before breaking eye contact and then leaning back on his chair. His dessert was half-eaten.

"Did you want to finish this?" he asked Owen with a smile, sure he wouldn't be refused.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 29, 2019, 09:34:45 PM
"Thanks! Love you," Owen said off-handedly, pleased for the distraction as much as for the unusual blood. His husband's discomfort with Malkavians was pushing at him and making him feel even more jumpy. He pulled the dessert close and scooped a spoonful into his mouth, making a noise upon tasting it that was unintentionally sexy. "Wow. That's good," he told Vincent around his spoon, devoting himself to the enjoyment of the mousse alone. It eased the frantic feeling in his gut - or maybe that was because Ben clapped back at Vincent and he calmed down. Whatever it was, the more he ate, the better he felt.

Kerr was mightily impressed with Ben's firm response to Vincent; it made his heart sing. Not only was Ben arguing in a situation where Kerr would have expected he'd defer to his god's summation of the mad-clan vampires, he was defending Digital, who was a dear friend. Yes, a Malkavian and unpredictably insane but well-meaning and loyal. He deserved the same in return. Kerr smiled adoringly at Ben, then turned to Vincent. "Have you sat in on many of the other classes at the Academy? I signed up for Astrid's magic class but was pondering attending Sam's clan one because I know very little about them."
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2019, 12:06:09 AM
Vincent clasped his hands together and nodded. "Yes, I've sat in many of Sam's classes when the Academy was starting out at Haven Crest. She has a lot more sign-ups now. Her class is one of the most popular?" Vincent glanced at Ben, who nodded. "Yes, that explains her move out of the classroom and into the lecture hall. It's wonderful for her, and she does a very thorough job. I've only learnt a haphazard amount. She has a lot more detail on the Ventrue than anyone else. That's her clan, I discovered. It surprised me to find she wasn't the other one... the, uh, the..."

"Thugs. The Brujah," Ben said, for he'd taken Sam's class all year in the time Kerr had been away and learnt the lot. He'd also done more research on his own with the books he'd had in boxes. They were all in the Academy library now. "Jake pretends to be one of them but he's really from the ruling class." Ben made a smile that was more a sneer.

"Yes, well," Vincent said, not wanting to get into a political discussion, which he could see this turning into. "I imagine the two of us," he glanced at Owen, "if we had a clan, we'd be Toreadors. They're the ones who appreciate art and beauty and culture, right?"

"The hedonists?" Ben said with a smirk.

"In different ways," Vincent replied with a wink. Ben chuckled and looked at Kerr.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2019, 10:52:00 PM
Kerr's eyebrows arched as he looked from Vincent to Owen thoughtfully and then turned to meet Ben's amused gaze. Perhaps Vincent could focus on the more polite aspects of the Toreador clan but he and Ben had personal experience with the hedonistic side mentioned. And oh what a side it was. Lurid memories of Ash Rivers washed through Kerr, igniting a heat that was inspired by the attractive company and the rest of the night's itinerary as much as it was by his lustful recollections of Ash's body. Looking at Ben lifted the corner of his mouth in a slow, sensual smile.

Quite suddenly, he couldn't wait to get away from here. He was over the pressure of minding every word he said lest he upset Ben, confuse Owen or offend Vincent. He longed to be with just Ben; well, Ben with somebody between them, preferably. They'd sought a shared meal before - at Risk, it was how he'd met Cain, if he recalled correctly - but not explicitly a plaything. God, how ironic would it be if Cain was there tonight, even after he'd ignored him in the Lovebite menu? Another dose of lust pulsed through Kerr and he shifted in his seat, willing himself to calm down. First, to finish this engagement.

"Sounds good," he chuckled mildly, uncertain about what to say next or how to begin extricating them from the dinner table.

Owen had, by now, polished off his dessert and Vincent's and was also filling in time as politely as he could, swiping the pad of his finger across the mousse plate and lifting it to his mouth to suck all remaining blood off it. He didn't want any of it to go to waste.

He caught Vincent looking at what he was (not so) subtly doing and froze with approximately two swipes left until the plate would be sparklingly clean. After a brief hesitation and weighing of the consequences, he continued swiping, eyeing his husband pointedly as his tongue came out to meet the bloodied tip of his finger and guide it deliberately into his open mouth. He also raised his eyebrows, as if challenging Vincent to say something, yet he was the one who spoke next.

"I'm finished," he said, extracting his finger with a little pop.

Kerr leapt upon the comment like a drowning person grabs a thrown rope. "I'll get the bill!" he announced, sitting up straighter and looking around in order to attract the attention of someone other than their waiter. He finally made eye contact with the host, who nodded at him. Kerr took it as a good sign and relaxed back into his seat, adjusting his jacket as he did. "I want this to be my treat. As a thank you for training Ben and caring for him while I was gone. He couldn't have found a better mentor if he'd searched," Kerr smiled, speaking genuinely from his heart as he looked into Vincent's spectacular eyes.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2019, 11:03:34 PM
“Thank you very much, that’s a fine thing for you to say,” Vincent said, looking thoroughly abashed. “We have to get home and brush up on some much needed skills,” Vincent said, looking at Owen and remembering how he felt when that finger had gone into Owen's mouth.

“Like table manners?” Ben suggested with a growing smile and then a laugh at Owen's reaction. It was so much easier to relax now that dinner was drawing to a close.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 31, 2019, 12:39:21 AM
At Ben's table manners comment, Owen swiped up the last of the blood with his middle finger, sucked on it then popped it out of his mouth in Ben's direction, pulling a face at him to go with it. Yeah, like Ben didn't want to lick every plate clean as well. He grinned when Ben laughed, realising belatedly that it probably wasn't a good idea to flip your boss off to end the night - especially when he was picking up the tab. He didn't feel like his boss right now, though, he felt more like the Ben he'd hung out with and confessed his past confusion about Vincent to. His friend.

And friends definitely did flip each other off when they were being smartasses.

"Thanks so much for dinner," he said obediently, flashing a smile at Kerr as a billfold was placed on the table at his elbow and he suavely pulled a card from his pocket and dealt with the tip and the signing of it. "It was... enlightening. And delicious."

Kerr smiled back at him and Owen fought the urge to frown into his brown eyes. He was a confusing dude, with his weird jokes one minute and his horrifying overshares the next. He wasn't what he'd expected, though Owen couldn't say what that was, exactly. Maybe someone more sophisticated and mature, like Vincent? That would've been the most legit explanation for why Ben fell for his husband but... Owen didn't see a huge amount of similarities. Kerr was more like him; inappropriate and occasionally over the top.

"Indeed it was," Kerr agreed. "And you're most welcome. Shall we head down?" He stood gracefully and tucked his chair in to the table, gravitating towards Ben while Owen also stood and headed for Vincent, eager to wrap his arms about one of Vincent's and walk out clinging to him. Kerr figured they were parked downstairs like he and Ben and that he could snag his card easily enough on the way out. Then they only had an elevator ride down before the night's next adventure began. He was looking forward to it, but he'd also enjoyed Vincent's company enough that he wasn't going to rush them out of the restaurant. A sedate but deliberate pace would do.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 31, 2019, 09:37:39 AM
The four of them rose from the table. Ben's plate wasn't quite as clean as Owen's, but he'd managed quite well with a spoon instead of his fingers. He wasn't too worried about waste considering he and Kerr were going to find someone to drink from at Venture. Unlike his mortal self, he never felt full and the cravings were never gone.

On the way past the host's podium Kerr was handed his card and they assembled at the lift. Nobody else was waiting with them so they had it to themselves when they went inside and travelled down.

"My dessert was fifty dollars," Ben said to break the silence. "I would never have paid that in a million years before meeting Kerr."

It wasn't just the fact of the price being exhorbitant... it was the fact Ben didn't even think that was expensive when he thought about the effort that had gone into that dessert, and what Echelon had to pay their staff. And even with the supernatural nights of crazy prices on the blood meals, it still wasn't enough for Echelon to do it week round. Were they going in the wrong direction doing something with this place? Brannigan's was a lot easier for most of it was animal blood. The free cups were small and always animal blood, easy and cheap to get from various butchers around the city and from the abattoir that operated on the city's northern suburbs.

"Our main meal was eighty," Vincent pointed out.

"Eighty nine," Ben replied quickly. "But it had a lot more blood than the dessert."

"Less technical ability," Vincent said, but he thought to himself that the mix had been incredible and worthy of such a price.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 31, 2019, 08:13:16 PM
Kerr listened to Ben and Vincent debate food costs with skewed eyebrows, wondering why they were nitpicking over the prices. Possibly because he'd talked about turning the Overlook into restaurants? They might need to thresh the consumer side of things out in order to better appreciate the production costs and demands.

Or they were just both skinflints that seemed to have forgotten he'd paid.

His gaze shifted to Owen instead of getting involved in the prices debate, struck again by his loveliness. His height was right between his and Vincent's yet he seemed bigger somehow, his broad shoulders taking up even more space in the lift than Kerr's. Had the youngling been a swimmer in his mortal life? Had he modelled? That would've given Ben something to discuss with him. He obviously felt the weight of Kerr's stare because Owen turned to look at him. Kerr smiled amiably. "So what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?" he asked, as if Owen's extra-curricular interests were all that he'd been thinking about. In a way, they were.

Owen snorted. "What spare time?"

When Kerr realised that was all he was going to get, he made a sympathetic noise.

Owen felt bad about cutting Kerr off so abruptly when his reply didn't come off nearly as amusingly as he'd expected it to. "I s'pose it's not quite as bad as all that. Between work, training and Vincent, I don't get a lot of spare time but it's not none," he relented. He frowned, having to think about it - and surprised to realise that he didn't do much with his spare time beyond hang out with his husband. "I've lost contact with most of my friends because they're all mortal, but I see my mum, hang out with her. I surf, research places we're going to travel to... I read."

"Surfing, eh? Are you any good?"

"Better since I was turned," Owen laughed, "though I really miss the sun."

Kerr was deterred from mentioning getting a lesson from Owen sometime (not that he'd thought it was a great idea anyway) by the youngling's mention of the sun. What could he say to that? You get over it? You forget what it was ever like, don't worry? That probably wouldn't make him feel any better. Thankfully, the lift arrived in the underground carpark and the doors swishing open stopped him from having to say anything about the sun.

"Thank you for this evening," Kerr said, smiling from Owen to Vincent as the valet came over to take their tickets. "I look forward to hearing when you're free to see The Overlook, Vincent. And perhaps I'll see you at the Academy, Owen."

Owen smiled and nodded politely.
Title: Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
Post by: Trillian on July 31, 2019, 08:33:19 PM
Ben smiled politely as the conversation continued through the small talk. He'd been thinking too much about the second part of their night (which could potentially lead to a third) to worry about whatever small chatter they were making.

The valet, thankfully, had parked at least one of their cars close enough that he came driving back quickly. Ben recognised Owen's sportscar and was surprised that the couple had come in it.

"Bye!" he called out as Owen accepted the keys from the valet. Ben beamed at Vincent and Owen as they drove away at a sedate pace. Ben fixed Kerr with a cool stare. "Time to move on to stage two," he said.

He watched as a slow smile crept across Kerr's face and he answered that sexy smile with one of his own.

continued here (