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Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: Today at 05:24:36 PM »
Murphy felt the tingling pleasure of the bite from his head to his toes and he gave a quiet groan of enjoyment as Jake held him close. Dazed, his fingers drifted upwards from Jake’s shoulder to brush through his chestnut coloured hair.

“Mmm.” The sound came from deep in his throat as Jake closed up the bite in his neck and as he felt Jake begin to pull away Murphy tightened his grip on the back of Jake’s head to keep him close, savouring this moment of bliss.

“That was…”

Murphy blinked in surprise at the sudden sound of his phone breaking his thoughts. ding It was on the lowest setting, but in the quiet of their privacy ding it was intrusive.


“Sorry,” Murphy mumbled with a frown as he drew back slightly. He hadn’t had this many texts in a row since his dad had been alive and that ding thought made his heart rate pick up again from the peace he’d reached with Jake. The memories were jarring, of those harassing texts and calls, his dad panicking over the slightest thing, then the guilty relief at that last call when he'd finally died.

ding Hell, he hadn’t had this many texts in the past week. ding

Murphy pulled out his phone and glanced down at it, hoping he could just dismiss it, but then he saw it was Ben. ding There were so many notifications that Murphy only read the last few before starting to respond (otherwise they’d just ding keep coming).

I’m fine, I’m safe. Thanks x

He’d read the rest of the texts later. Murphy flicked the phone to silent and slipped it back into an inside pocket of his jacket, before focusing on Jake again with an apologetic smile, pressing a hand gently against the vampire’s firm chest.

“It was just Ben, think he got worried when he didn’t spot me,” he explained, no hint of a lie of omission in his thoughts since he’d not read the texts expressing Ben’s concerns about Jake. “He shouldn’t leave me alone with gorgeous vampires then, should he?” he added with a teasing grin.

“Maybe we could do this again sometime?” he suggested, suddenly feeling nervous in case Jake turned him down. But if it was just a one-time thing, so be it.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: Yesterday at 10:26:37 PM »
Definitely, Murphy responded, but he moved as well in case Jake didn’t pick up on the thought. He liked hearing Jake’s voice in his mind. It was soothing, warm and comfortable. He didn’t see any of the side Ben had taken a dislike to.

Murphy stepped closer, his heart pounding with nerves, or excitement, he wasn’t sure which. He’d been drunk from plenty of times and it always gave him that rush. His cheeks felt flushed, and he was looking forward to the feel of Jake’s cool lips on his skin.

As his body pressed against Jake’s, Murphy tilted his head, lifting a hand to move his collar a little wider apart before resting his fingers on Jake’s firm shoulder.

When the bite came Murphy took a sharp intake of breath before his body relaxed into Jake’s hold, his fingers tightening on the cloth of the vampire’s jacket. His eyes slid shut, savouring that bliss.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: Yesterday at 05:29:18 PM »
“Perfect,” Seb said, bouncing slightly on his toes in a pleased manner as he won Lisa-Joe around. As she texted he vaguely considered stretching an invitation to a couple of the mortals in the tent outside so they could feed before, during, or after the first round (for he had no doubt there would be more than one) but he didn’t need to feed and if Lisa-Joe did there was plenty of blood stored in his home. He didn’t want any distraction from her.

“Let’s go,” Seb said, offering her his arm once she was ready and then escorting her away, skirting around the groups (and using some mental tricky to stave off anyone who did consider getting in there way).

It felt weird, having someone like Jake admit something like that to him. It wasn’t fitting with the all-powerful Leader persona Jake had been fostering. Murphy gingerly reached out to put a reassuring hand on Jake’s back, resting it there for a few seconds before it dropped again. “At least you have your family around you, they’d do anything for you, that’s obvious.”

Murphy’s cheeks flushed slightly as Jake pointed out Luke had great hearing – the explanation confirmed what Murphy had come to realise, but that didn’t make it feel less awkward. Ben had asked him to stay a few nights a couple of weeks ago when he was worried about Lazarus for some reason, but Murphy hadn’t felt comfortable there. It had been like being guarded, but with the tension between Kerr and Ben, and Kerr never having really liked him, it hadn’t lasted long before Murphy had gone home again.

There was no doubt in what he was hearing and feeling this time as Jake’s voice smoothly caressed his mind and the breath caught in his throat.

You don’t have to just look, he thought, responding in kind although he wasn’t sure whether Jake would pick up on it – hopefully since he’d sent a mental message he’d be expecting a response in kind.

Trying not to rush, wanting it to look casual, Murphy loosened then pulled off his tie, shoving it into his jacket pocket. He hadn’t been fed from in a while – Ben had been distracted with the Academy and then Kerr returning. He was suddenly regretting having had that drink earlier – it had been a weak one, but Murphy knew after drinking alcohol he became a lot more... excitable… during feeding that when he hadn’t. Maybe it hadn’t been enough to make a difference.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: Yesterday at 08:44:56 AM »
Ichabod returned Sabrina’s warm smile, missing Kerr’s look of surprise at his passing comment. As she straightened up Ichabod met all of the sudden influx of introductions, starting to feel a little overwhelmed and he wasn’t anywhere near the centre of attention. Usually at events like this he stayed near the edges, disliking large crowds. He’d expected they’d come here, get Ben and then go home, but now they were right in the middle of everything.

He took in a deep breath, focusing on what those around him were saying rather than trying to start anything himself when he was surrounded by people with so many years on him.

Seb let a growl rumble in the back of his throat as Lisa-Joe bit at his lip and he gave back as good as he got until he gave her time to consider his offer.

“You think Jake can’t look after himself?” he asked with a smirk, interesting. “I would be willing to wait for you, for a while,” Seb added, pressing his hips closer against hers. His fingers curled against her hip, digging into the latex of her dress. “I wouldn’t want to distract you from your… duties,” he added, dropping his head to run his cold lips against her throat, his other hand dropping from above her shoulder to brush her volumous hair away from her smooth neck.

As Jake reached out his hand, Murphy glanced down. He didn’t feel quite comfortable enough to take it, but he let the back of his fingers brush against the back of Jake’s, acknowledging the offer without leaping in completely.

“Lucky for me you had to wait a while to meet me then, I guess,” he said, giving a small smile at Jake’s explanation. “I’m glad it’s not all been shit. It was kind of scary at first when it happened. Obviously it’s calmed down now, but the ripples are still there.”

As Murphy glanced towards the young looking vampire a movement behind them caught his eye and he spotted Luke lurking.

“You sure he’s ok? He doesn’t seem to want to let you out of his sight,” he said, before realising what he’d said and remembering how Luke had been hovering before. “Oh, he’s not going to let you out of his sight. Is that always, or just here?” he asked. Jake was handsome, cute, charming, and it wasn’t like Murphy hadn’t been fed from in Risk where it wasn’t exactly private. But that was a crowded room, this was one person staring at them whilst they… whatever this was.

Or maybe he was being presumptuous. Maybe Jake didn’t have anything planned for this stroll other than just a walk through the flowers.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 19, 2019, 06:14:58 PM »
Ichabod took the blood Ben suggested and drank it down quickly, immediately feeling somewhat better. The blood and hearing Kerr’s summoning were reassuring. With how Kerr acted at the last one, his foul mood for the past week, the general oddness of him coming back from the dead... it all made for a general feeling of unease.

That faded a little more as they approached Sabrina and she warmly greeted them. He imagined that in a different creature, or Sabrina in a different mood, her stature and those gorgeous unusual eyes would be intimidating, but he got only a feeling of comfort from her. She looked like she would give a good hug, but Ichabod wasn’t about to request one of those, tempting as it was! In those few seconds he could see why Kerr was drawn to her. 

“Yes, it’s a pleasure to meet you finally,” Ichabod said with a grin. He would have liked to follow Ben’s lead and step up higher, but the steps were starting to feel crowded so he stayed put. “Congratulations on your new position, we were just talking about whether we should start house hunting in the South after that,” he added.

“It seems odd that if Jake likes Kerr so much he would arrive with Kerr’s fledge on his arm?” Seb said questioningly. He wouldn’t have brought it up had Lisa-Joe not referenced their such close relationship. Seb didn’t know them very well, so maybe it was all a perfectly normal arrangement, but Ben’s demeanour and greeting with Kerr hadn’t given that impression. Seb had also never had a fledgling, so knew he may be missing something in the relationship, and that put him out slightly.

He was distracted from those thoughts as Lisa-Joe ran her hands over his chest and he turned slightly to open a door which lead them into a surprisingly empty room before forcefully pressing her against a wall, his left hand resting against the wall above her shoulder and the other running down her side to rest against her hip.

“That sounds like a suggestion which could take all night if there’s no end in sight,” he said with a teasing grin, before leaning down to kiss her roughly if she let him. “Do you need to wait for Jake to finish up here or are you free to leave with me?” He asked, keen to start that search but aware of where they were and not wanting to disrespect their hosts.

“You sure know how to flatter a guy,” Murphy said, raising an eyebrow with a smile at Jake’s sudden gushing speech. He wasn’t sure he believed that it was the whole truth, but it was plenty to be going on. “Not many people who were a part of the Oligarchy would be so pleased to see me. Not in pleasant situations anyway,”

Murphy glanced back towards the area of the garden where everyone else was gathered as Jake said he could return. He could only see a couple of outliers now and in a few metres they would disappear too. The part of his brain concerned with survival nudged at him, telling him to go back, but then Jake went on, expressing how he wanted to keep walking. Jake was charming, friendly (so far), gorgeous and potentially could turn nasty if antagonised. Murphy had liked what he’d seen so far, and despite Ben’s derogatory comment about Jake, his friend obviously trusted him enough to have left Murphy with him.

“Let’s go on,” he said, one hand gently toying with the end of his tie as Jake disposed of his bow tie, then he dropped his hands when he realised what he was doing and turned to continue strolling along the path, tilting his head as a gesture for Jake to join him.

“So why were you so keen to meet me before, if it wasn’t to berate me for what happened? And what was wrong with your... friend? Was it the announcement?” he added, asking about Luke, remembering Jake’s concern for him. Plus, that conversation topic was a good distracting from Jake’s compliments which Murphy was never great at taking.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 18, 2019, 05:36:30 PM »
“A move would probably be good for all of us. Like a re-set. It might make Kerr feel less disjointed,” Ichabod said, although he hoped Ben and Kerr wouldn’t live too close. They worked better not on top of each other. And speaking of working together…

“I had a look through the Academy paperwork you sent over, and went along to check everything was ok. It looks like it is, but if you’ve got anything you want me to look in on whilst you’re… away, let me know.” He’d asked a few teachers how things were going and no one seemed to have any issues, but he’d never run anything like this before so was a bit concerned he might miss something important.

“It was definitely impressive though, a show of strength which definitely had an effect,” Seb said with a small shrug. He had been surprised by the voice, but not offended or upset by it. After all, Charon had been delivering a message, not prying into their thoughts to find out information.

“She sounds like something out of a movie,” Seb said with a chuckle as Lisa-Joe described the witch’s house. No doubt a little magic had turned into more with rumours, but it was an entertaining picture.

“I don’t know enough about her and her dancing house to be able to comment, but being friends with the ex-Luminary can’t be a bad recommendation,” he said, referring to Kerr’s attachment to the witch.

“Have you got any magical tattoos I might have the opportunity to hunt out at some point?” he asked, letting his fingers drift over her smooth skin as they walked.

Murphy met Ari’s gaze and gave him a slight nod, recognising him as a member of the Sacramentum, even though they hadn’t talked before. He suddenly felt very awkward about where he was stood, and about being whisked away by Jake. That didn’t make him stop it from happening though and he let Jake steer him away.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 18, 2019, 06:48:54 AM »
Murphy didn’t flinch at the sound of Charon’s voice inside his head – he was used to the odd bit of conversation from Ben via his mind, but hearing a different voice was a little disconcerting. He joined in the applause with the others, but cast a sly glace towards Jake, as he knew the District Leader had just taken over a new area – how would he feel about someone being just given one?

He opened his mouth to speak to Jake, but Jake was distracted by his… bodyguard? Murphy had spotted the blonde earlier, but wasn’t sure if he was a vampire or a human or… something else.

Murphy followed Jake like an obedient puppy as Jake queried whether his companion was alright. It didn’t feel right to ask his question until they were alone again, but then they were interrupted again.

He took a small step backwards as Damien and Pierre approached, aware that Jake held status in this city so obviously people would want to talk to him. When he was offered a handshake Murphy reciprocate with a polite smile and offering up his name to the newcomer, before taking his place (which felt oddly right) again slightly behind Jake. Even though he was used to being around vampires, it still felt odd looking like the oldest in the group when he was really surrounded by those who had decades, centuries longer on this earth than him. Plus, they had that whole ‘gorgeous vampire’ look about them which was always intimidating.

Why am I here? What do you want? Why did you ask to meet me? Murphy ran the questions over in his mind, not knowing if Jake was paying attention to his thoughts or not, but planning what he would ask when he got the chance – if he did before the party was over.

Seb took Lisa-Joe’s arm in his and once they had both reacted to the announcement he began to guide her towards the house. He spotted another vampire giving her a playful gesture or sticking his tongue out and gave a grin at the sight. “You’re making friends all over the place,” he said with a grin, nodding in the direction of Pierre.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had someone intrude on my thoughts without any warning like that. I don’t know much about this Saint Sabrina, do you?” he asked Lisa-Joe, resting a hand over hers which was linked in his arm. 

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 17, 2019, 07:35:42 PM »
 Ichabod let his gaze wander as Ben’s did and he waited for the response. He knew Ben had to be pretty stressed right now and could see from the look on Ben’s face he was holding something back. It was frustrating. Ichabod wanted to help, to have Kerr be happy again, to have Ben safe, but no one wanted to include him or tell him everything so what was he supposed to do?

He gave a small nod at Ben’s short reply. Time. That must be infuriating as there was nothing could be done to change the march of time, but it meant there wasn’t some impossible task Ben or Kerr had to carry out before it would be over. So… that had to be good, right?

He glanced sideways at Ben at the question about James, feeling a wave of guilt.

“James isn’t a pet. It’s not anything overly serious though, I mean, we haven’t talked about living together or anything. It’ll probably fizzle out when he finishes studying,” Ichabod said with a small shrug. Or before then if Ichabod kept cancelling because Kerr needed him. James said he understood, his sire had come back from the dead, of course Ichabod wanted to be with him. But no doubt there would be a limit. Maybe if they’d met when Kerr had been “alive” their relationship would have moved on faster, but that couldn’t be changed.

“He’s probably pissed at me. I’ve been kind of neglecting him since…” Ichabod gestured vaguely towards Kerr.

Seb accepted the card which was slid across the table to him with a nod and deposited it into an inside pocket of his jacket.

“I’ll make sure I do,” he said with a smile at the District Leader, who then turned his attentions to Murphy, who was listening to Sam.

She looked so young to have done so much, but with vampires that meant nothing. Look at Jake, he looked like he was only just an adult, but he was obviously much older and that age showed behind his eyes. Until he gave that endearing youthful grin that Murphy couldn’t help but return. Ben may not like Jake a huge amount, but he wouldn’t have left him in danger, so what could be the harm in going for a walk alone with him?

“Sure, that sounds good,” Murphy said, giving Sam an apologetic touch on the arm before he stood up to let Jake lead him away.

Well, I couldn’t turn down a lady in distress,” Seb agreed to Lisa-Joe’s request, maybe he wasn’t mingling as much as he should do, but she would definitely be an entertaining companion from what he knew of her. He could imagine her holding her own in any situation, be that in the bar she worked at, in political circles by Jake’s side, or in the bedroom.

He knew it would be polite to invite Sam as well, rather than leave her alone, but he wasn’t sure whether Lisa-Joe would be put out by that or not, so he would let her offer the invitation if it were to come.

As he stood however, his mind was drawn to the announcement and he’s gaze moved from Lisa-Joe to the source of the declaration. So, that was why they had all been brought here. Seb knew little of Sabrina, but as he took in her great stature and twinkling eyes he found himself deciding her would probably like her. That was a little to do with her close proximity to Kerr, whose judgement he trusted from previous encounters. She definitely was an imposing figure, but looked like a warm one, and Seb joined in the applause which filled the room. After their previous discussion he found himself wondering what Jake would think of this, but resisted the urge to glace towards the other District Leader.

Ichabod’s eyes also turned to the group where Sabrina stood and gave a small smile as saw how relaxed Kerr looked around the witch. After all then tension of the past few weeks, it was nice to see him actually enjoying himself – despite his sudden departure from their sides.

“Maybe I need to look at the homes in the South if I move,” he said quietly to Ben. It was the other side of the city to his sire and brother, but it would probably be for the best not to be too close to Ben, although they were getting along a bit better than they had been for quite some time.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 16, 2019, 09:57:17 PM »
Murphy felt the flirting tingle of Jake’s thoughts, but able to identify whether it was a feeling pressed his way or his own inklings. As much as those flutterings were making themselves known, Murphy was still wary of why Jake had summoned him over though, and Ben’s dislike of him, so he was quite relieved when Lisa-Joe slid up to them as it gave a distraction from Jake.

For a couple of seconds at least.

He gaze flickered to Sam, feeling her sympathetic eyes on him and his cheeks flushed slightly, as he straightened his shoulders, even though it made him want to curl up in a ball. He and Ben had caused so much damage, so much change, but obviously that had to have been good for some people. He recognised that she was teasing him though and tried not to take it personally. He didn’t want to embarrass himself in front of this crowd by sulking.

“Thanks,” he said sarcastically, raising an eyebrow at her and giving a small smile. “Don’t think I’ll be making it a habit though,” he added with a shrug. He was relieved when Sam offered up a different topic of conversation.

“Well, I just kind of picked it up at college and enjoyed it. I was pretty lucky when I got home and manage to fall into it. Reviewing Risk when it was still Risk, opened up a few doors, then I managed to get them slammed shut again with my… anarchy,” Murphy added with a sideways glance at Lisa-Joe at the use of her word.

“How are you enjoying working at the Academy, I saw you were teaching a few classes. Did you teach before that?” Murphy asked Sam with interest.

“I have only heard of those over a thousand doing it before, but I suppose it depends on the strength and resilience of the specific being,” Seb said with a small shrug. He didn’t know exactly how old Jake was, but he was still a child really. “I’ve heard it referred to a few ways, but torpor isn’t one I would usually use.” Seb had interacted with different clans, but never really joined any properly. It was interesting to witness, but sometimes they went a little… extreme in their methods and desires.

A thoughtful look same over Seb’s face at the question of his future. To be honest, in the past he’d made plans, followed them through, or moved around trying to find new missions in life. But since rising he’d been floating along, enjoying his life and not really going out of his way to carry out any of the fleeting plans he’d made.

“I was considering offering my services at the Academy. It’s been a while since I’ve given back to society, maybe teaching a class or two will ease me into it. I’ve definitely been slacking on my good deeds recently.”

Ichabod stood nearby awkwardly as his sire and brother reunited, casting his gaze around the room, wary in case Jake or Charon headed their way – or Lazarus appearing. He was listening to Ben as well though; another week? Kerr was going to go mental.

Or… perhaps not. Ichabod had been about to reciprocate and take the hand his sire offered, when suddenly Kerr disappeared from their sides. He pressed his lips tightly together as he watched Kerr greet Sabrina, then shook his head slightly as he turned back to Ben, letting his eyes drift over his brother, looking for any sign of injury or mistreatment but seeing none.

“You’re probably right,” Ichabod said quietly, giving a sideways glance towards Jake and frowning slightly at the sight of Murphy sitting there. “I told you Lazarus was asking about Murphy too. Why did you take him over there? You’re my brother, but we’re… he’s… you’re closer to Murphy, he could use him too.” Ichabod struggled to get the words out – but it was true. Ben and he may be blood and they would protect each other, but Ichabod thought the loss of Murphy would hit Ben harder.

“Kerr needs you to come home. Is there something you need to do before they’ll let you go, or is it just time?” he asked softly.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 16, 2019, 05:00:03 AM »
“It was almost two years ago now, but it’s flown by,” Seb said, feeling a small pang of pain as he thought about why he’d gone to ground. “My sire passed away and although I hadn’t seen her for centuries, I didn’t take it well,” he explained, waving away words of sympathy offered his way, if any. “I had woken a few times after going to ground, but finally it felt like time to wake properly.

”It was about thirty years.”

“Thirty years?” Murphy repeated in shock, his eyes wide. Fuck, this vampire had been asleep longer than he’d been alive. “Sorry,” he added quickly, knowing he’d interrupted and feeling like that was the wrong thing to do in a group where the hierarchy seemed very important. Jake and Seb were doing all the talking, so he pressed his lips together and shuffled himself back into his chair, closer to Sam.

“Yes, thirty years. I had dirt in places I barely knew existed,” Seb said with a grin. “Fortunately I have very loyal staff.” He had paid them incredibly well to keep the house and grounds ready for his return at any moment and they had earned their pay.

Jake clearly had a very loyal following as well as Seb noticed his bodyguard moving closer and Lisa-Joe, with a new slit in her dress, appeared before them. She was alert, a dangerous glint in her eyes, and in Seb’s opinion, a little too highly strung. She clearly cared a lot for Jake. But then as quickly as the perceived danger appeared, it was whisked away and Lisa-Joe looked like nothing had happened.

Seb didn’t smoke, but, always prepared, pulled out a lighter for the newcomer and held it lit for her to use.

“We have indeed, and I believe I let you win, just so you’d let me keep coming to visit,” he said with a charming smile. “How are you enjoying your evening? Feeling better now you’ve got some freedom?” he asked with a slight gesture to the new slit in her dress.

Murphy felt Jake’s gaze on him every now and again and cast his own glances towards the vampire, whist trying not to stare in curiosity. Why had Jake wanted to meet him? And now basically ignore him? Was this some kind of game? A test for Ben in his “diplomatic” mission? He found himself watching Jake as he removed his jacket, then followed his fingers to Jake’s throat as it brought his mind to feeding – it had been a while since he’d been drunk from. Shit, he shouldn’t be thinking about that in a room full of vampires, whilst looking at one which Ben clearly wasn’t enthusiastic about.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 15, 2019, 05:54:38 PM »
Murphy hesitated slightly at the invitation to sit down, but shook it off before (he felt) if was noticeable. He was slightly put out that Ben had just abandoned him, and Ben hadn’t exactly given him enough of an explanation about what was going on for him to realise the importance of his friend seeing his sire again.

So Murphy took the opportunity to maybe find out more about the District Leader and took a seat as prompted. Jake’s hand had been cool and Murphy had appreciated the vampire not showing his dominance by squeezing too hard on the handshake like some might have done. He glanced towards the ancient, recognising the pallor and smoothness of his skin for what he was as Seb let the mental block he’d had up fall. They greeted each other politely before Seb turned back to Jake.

Well, at least the youngster had realised he should return the questions, but that one was pretty vague. Seb thought there was a lot interesting about himself which the youngster would be lucky to know, but wasn’t about to point that out.

“Well, that’s a matter of opinion,” Seb said with a grin. “Are you asking about historically, or currently? I think I’ve just about settled back in to modern life after sleeping for a few decades, but again, that might just be what I think, not what those around me do. And I’m not currently all that interested in taking part in politics, but I am thoroughly enjoying watching those around me making their marks.”

He glanced around at the entrance of Digital and gave a laugh at the titles they were granted. He saw no harm in the Malkavian, and hoped the others would see no malice or threat as that would quickly put an end to the entertainment. Fortunately Digital found a protector swiftly and Seb turned his gaze back to Jake, wondering how the Prince would take to his new titles. Murphy meanwhile was itching to whip out his phone to make some notes about the outspoken declarations, but was sensible enough to keep his urges to himself in this company.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 15, 2019, 09:08:15 AM »
Ichabod was terrified. He’d answered Jeanne’s questions politely, but shortly, wishing he and his family were anywhere but here. The last few days had been so tense, not knowing what was going on with Ben, not knowing if he was safe. And Kerr had been an absolute nightmare, but Ichabod couldn’t hold it against him. He’d been there for his sire, missing his classes and cancelling visits with James, staying at Kerr’s side as much as possible. It was exhausting.

His cheeks flushed as Jeanne embraced him and he felt a wash of relief as they were finally released. She was stunning, but her age was overwhelming and they needed to find Ben.

“Thank you,” he murmured quietly, before hurrying after Kerr. He hadn’t put too much thought into what he was wearing, but it was well made and he didn’t feel out of place – apart from the fact he was definitely not in a party mood. He had the feeling they weren’t going to be following Jeanne’s final instruction.

You need to calm down, they’re all so old, he tried to press into Kerr’s mind, but they’d just spotted Ben across the room so Ichabod knew his urging was likely the last thing on Kerr’s mind.

Seb listened to the responses from Jake and Sam with interest. On loan? He knew there were a lot of layers in place in the politics of the city, but this was sounded too much like slavery for Seb’s liking. He fell silent, watching Jake with interest. He definitely had one trait which made him perfect for being a District Leader, he enjoyed talking about himself and clearly had little interest in other people. He answered questions but showed no interest in finding out anything about his companion, a characteristic which Seb was a little put out by.

He would have been prepared to wait for Jake to try to continue the conversation himself, or leave, but there wasn’t long to wait before a human was suddenly thrust into their midst by Ben.

Murphy had raised an eyebrow at Ben’s description of why he had arrived with Jake, then gave a laugh at the poorly covered insult.

“The diplomacy is clearly going well then?” he said with a smile, but still watching his friend carefully. Ben wouldn’t have left Kerr so soon after he’d come back, not by choice.

“What? Why?” he exclaimed hastily, shooting a glance towards the District Leader before moving swiftly to keep up with Ben. The beaming smiles Ben suddenly gave him did nothing to quell the sudden churning in the pit of his stomach. There was something wrong here, but Ben wasn’t telling him what, just urging him forwards.

Still, this wasn’t the first time he’d been in the middle of strangers and he turned his gaze to each of the circle as they were introduced, giving a smile to each, although he wanted to be more wary – Ben hadn’t given him much of a choice. He recognised Sam from visits to the university and wanted to gravitate to her, feeling she was the safest option out of those he was suddenly surrounded by and his smile to her truly was warm, more relaxed. He knew Jake was the one who had summoned him through, so he had to focus on him firstly.

“Mr McCloud, I’m pleased to meet you, I’ve heard a lot about you,” Murphy said, stepping forwards and offering his hand to shake. He was amazed at how young the Leader looked – he didn’t know exactly how old Jake was and doubted it would be polite to ask. He was handsome though and no doubt he had the charm that so many vampires did to bring people around to his way of thinking. Or the force behind him.

Seb didn’t move from his spot and with little effort pressed the impression onto Murphy that he wasn’t there, unless someone were to directly bring the human’s attention to him. He was curious to see how Jake would treat someone of a lesser status who didn’t have the age of Seb to keep him mostly respectful. Whilst they spoke Seb cast his gaze towards the ‘loaned’ youngster about to meet his sire. With the speed Ben was moving this loan was definitely not one he had wanted to agree to.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 14, 2019, 05:45:26 PM »
At the last event like this he had been invited to, Murphy had worn the best suit he owned – which had not been an expensive one and had been several years old. But this was a whole different ball game. The Sacramentum were hosting this one and Murphy knew they’d expect more of him. He’d enjoyed working for the Sacramentum at first, but after everything that had happened, sometimes he wished it would just fade away. He couldn’t tell them that though.

Over the past couple of years things hadn’t been easy money-wise, given the position his father had left him in when he’d died, but Murphy had been saving for emergencies and getting the invitation to this event felt like a good reason to break into those funds. 

So he had actually got himself a nice suit in black with a dark green silk lining (no one could see it so what was the point?!) and had it tailored to fit properly. He’d teamed it with a simple white shirt and a dark green tie (so that it wouldn’t clash if anyone did happen to see the lining). Now that he could see himself in the mirror, Murphy didn’t think he’d ever worn anything which made him look so good. Hell, it wasn’t designer and at an event like this there would no doubt be plenty of people who knew that, but Murphy felt good in it. His shoes weren’t new, but they were comfy, not too worn and he had polished them carefully earlier in the day.

There was a sun-kissed tinge to the skin on his face as he’d spent a lot of the afternoon pacing around the city in the heat of the day, stealing himself up for the event. The sun had brought out the blonde highlights in his brown hair, which he’d used a little hairspray to spike up.

Murphy had made it into the event a little before the rush, not wanting to make a grand entrance like some. He’d ordered a drink, in a rare move choosing something with alcohol in it, but asked for his rum and coke to be a weak one. After being greeted by one of his touch points with the Sacramentum Murphy had found a discrete spot to watch those arriving, leaning slightly against a column (and forgetting that he suit he was wearing probably shouldn’t be one that you leaned against things in). He stood up straighter when he spotted Ben’s arrival though, a frown of concern crossing his face. What the fuck was Ben doing with Jake? Before he could make a move Ben was whisked away by Charon and Murphy lost sight of him.

He spent the next few minutes nervously rearranging his cufflinks (simple silver squares, found in the back of a drawer in his father’s house), and finishing off his drink.

With the increased crowd Murphy didn’t spot Ben reappearing, but he heard his name being called and managed (in a moment of unusual grace) to deposit his empty glass before Ben’s arms were around him and Murphy returned the hug with a warm squeeze.

“What are you doing with Jake McCloud? Where’s Kerr?” Murphy said quickly and quietly, aware there may be ears around, before they separated. “You smell weird,” he added with a teasing grin at the new scent Ben was wearing, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes as he waited for the explanation. He was completely focused on Ben, oblivious to the gazes of Jake and his entourage


“An Elysium? A heaven within this city? An interesting plan. I suppose events such as this give you an idea of how that sort of thing may work with the mingling of species. And with the Academy bringing different beings together as well, it would be good for them to have a place to socialise.”

In truth Seb was more impressed by Jake than he had expected to be. He’d wanted to show his face to the District Leader and congratulate him, but hearing his plans made it seem like this hadn’t just been a spur of the moment decision to take over. Although Jake may well have just prepared his script after the take-over to make it seem less of an act of violence.

He had noticed the careful wording of Jake’s reply – and heard the implied ‘for now’ at the end of the statement.

“It’s fortunate you have such a large support network. It’s a lot to take on. Ben is a new addition to your group, isn’t he? Will you be playing a role in the creation of this Elysium?” he asked, directing his last question towards Sam so as to not exclude her from the conversation.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 14, 2019, 04:44:27 AM »
“Seb seems more fitting these days,” the ancient said with a gracious nod and smile at the question. He took the seat gestured to and placed his order to the server who appeared so efficiently.

He glanced to follow Jake’s gaze and spotted Ben and again wondered why the blonde had shown up with the District Leader. He’d last spoken to Ben over a year ago, maybe a year and a half, but remembered how Ben had been going through mourning then. Since then the youngster had set up his Academy, but Seb found it difficult to picture him becoming a part of Jake’s entourage. And now there were rumours of Kerr’s reappearance – considering how Ben had been dealing with mourning (not terribly well if Seb remembered correctly), shouldn’t they be together? Still he hardly knew the blonde, so what did he know?

Those thoughts flickered past in the blink of an eye before Seb’s blue eyes were back on Jake’s. He acknowledged the information about the fledgling’s name, Sam and he gave his own in return to her in a warm tone, despite Jake already referring to him.

He could feel the flickers of mental communication enough to know he didn’t have Jake’s full attention, but didn’t pry to find out where else it lay, since Jake was courteous enough to keep the majority of his attention on him.

“And to yours,” Seb responded, lifting his glass to toast and taking a sip of the warm blood.

“Leading definitely seems good for your health,” he added, cradling his glass as he crossed his legs in a relaxed fashion. “Do you have many plans for your new area? It’s not one I frequent often I must admit.” He had no interest in leading himself, not any more. Seb had dabbled in politics many centuries ago and enjoyed it at the time, but it was all so frustrating – trying to help improve lives when there was always something else which would crop up so it was a never-ending and mostly thankless task. Fortunately there were still those who wanted to take control and as long as they weren’t overly corrupt, Seb didn’t intend to disrupt.

“I don’t envy you if you crave more of the city, you’d be up against some strong contenders,” he added with a grin and sending a mental touch of warmth to the Leader to let him know for definite he was only joking with a rhetorical comment, not really prying into whatever plans Jake had, if any, for taking over more. Seb had been through enough battles to know he didn’t want to live in a city tearing itself apart, and with so many powerhouses here it would definitely be a big fight. He didn't know Jake at all, so was taking a gentle risk in seeing how he might react to such a comment.

That thought reminded him of one of the other District Leaders who he’d been decidedly rude to at their last meeting. He hadn’t seen the Dark Angel since, but vaguely wondered whether she would appear tonight.

Penbrook Church & Estate / Re: A Grand Entrance
« on: February 12, 2019, 05:55:22 PM »
More people were arriving at the party, trickling in now but there would soon be a flood that would fill the available spaces. It had been a while since Seb had been to a large party like this, but he did find them enjoyable.

Unfortunately this time he didn’t have a beautiful fire-demon on his arm, in fact he’d come alone. This wasn’t a ‘date night’ event, although he had considered calling Jenna and asking her to attend. It had been too many months for an invitation to something like this out of the blue though.

Seb was wearing a well fitted black suit, teamed with a dark blue waistcoat which was just visible when his jacket was shut. A matching pocket square peeked out, highlighting his blue eyes. His dark hair was fashionably tousled and he wore no make-up which would have hidden his pale skin, smooth as marble from his centuries of existence.

The ancient had watched with interest as Jake arrived, surrounded by his entourage and clasping the hand of a youngster Seb recognised as definitely not belonging to him. What a strange combination. Even with Kerr gone Seb didn’t thin Jake would be the one Ben would have gone to – not that he really knew much about him at all.

As Ben was left alone Seb began to move towards him, curious as to how circumstances had changed (and having another topic of the Academy to bring up as well), but before he got close Ben was swept away by a higher presence.  Seb wasn’t about to interrupt that discussion.

Without hesitation his direction shifted slightly and instead he headed towards Jake and his companions.

“Good evening, I understand congratulations are in order,” he said with a respectful nod of his head and a smile to Jake, referring to the doubling of the size of his district. His gaze flickered over his companions as well, smiling at the young blonde girl and his eyes took in her dress, without his gaze being a letcherous one.

“My lady, you look beautiful tonight, a shining diamond,” he said to Sam with a warm smile before turning his gaze back to Jake. He’d been to The White Rabbit enough and had enough years behind him that he expected Jake should know who he was, so didn’t think it was necessary to offer his own name up to the District Leader, despite then not having officially been introduced.

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