Author Topic: Southern Congeniality  (Read 9122 times)

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Offline Existentially Odd

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Southern Congeniality
« on: June 06, 2011, 06:32:54 PM »
Samuel wasn\'t feeling like himself tonight.  He\'d woken up restless, wanting nothing in particular - besides desiring a change.  He was pleased with how things were progressing with his work life, his and Vomas\' project was underway, his team assembled and everything going according to plan but still he felt... empty.

Mainly, he thought it was because he wanted to go to Vomas, to share every little detail about every little decision he\'d made, to bathe in the man\'s presence and simply gaze at him while he approved of each of those insignificant moves, before asking insightful questions then dismissing him summarily.  It got his lifeless heart going just to think about being in the man\'s presence, let alone having him speak to him - even if it was only perfunctory and business-oriented.

It was pathetic, really.  He knew that was how it would go, but that didn\'t stop him wanting it; aching for recognition... and maybe something more.  Gah, but that was the killer, he knew.  His crush on his Oligarch had overtaken his rational persona and made him start dreaming about impossible connections, meaningful glances, touches... kisses.  It didn\'t stop there, of course, but he was trying to convince himself that it should.

Hence, the restlessness.  When he awoke as the sun\'s last rays drained from the city\'s skyline, it overtook him and made him change his mind about work tonight.  His team could proceed unsupervised for a while, he needed a change of scene, something to distract him from the heat in his loins, the fire in his blood.  Blood, yes.  That was it, he needed to go out, into the city and explore it a little, taste someone new and perhaps do something bold - converse with them.

His mind made up, Samuel left his bed with a smile and hastily showered, putting on a little spice cologne afterwards and dressing to go out.  Of course, not a fancy going out, just something casual, where he could talk to some people and not have to yell over loud music to be heard, or whisper in prim surroundings so as not to draw attention.  He wore some loose dark blue jeans, tucked in a chocolate coloured button up shirt, pulled a light brown suede jacket on over it and some dark brown boots on his feet and left his suite in the Chambers looking for just such a place of opportunity.

When he happened to stroll past the pool hall sign, he grinned and backed up, heading inside with his fingers tucked into the front pockets of his jeans, liking the smell of the place immediately.  He\'d been here a few times, but seemed to always forget its comforting familiarity until he returned, promising himself he wouldn\'t do it again (until he did).

Momentarily coming to a stop at the top of the stairs, Samuel then sidled in as he looked around for a bit, trying to gauge the place.  It seemed that the manual labour crew had knocked off from work and were in residence, having a few beers and games before they headed home to their spouses.  A few tables held some rowdy groups obviously intent on playing seriously - well, serious about playing each other and psyching their buddies out enough to score a winning pocket, anyway.  There were a few barflies scattered about, some quieter couples playing on other tables and a few randoms.

One of the randoms caught his eye, a blonde guy with a friendly face and kind eyes, staring forlornly at the pool table beside the barstool on which he was perched, nursing a beer on the table he was leaning against.  He was positioned in the corner, alone and with only one of the quieter couples - a man and a woman - nearby, each caught up in their own troubles.  The blonde\'s main trouble seemed to be that the arm not curled around his beer was broken, rather ruining his chances of getting a game tonight.

Settling on invading the pretty-looking mortal\'s evening for a little while, Samuel smiled to himself and went to the counter to get a set of balls and a cue, hiring the table near the guy.  With his treasures tucked under one arm and a cue in the other hand, the vampire then sauntered casually over to the appropriate table, a pleasant and open expression on his face.

As he went, he was focussing on his breathing so that nerves wouldn\'t get the better of him and steal his ability to talk when he tried it.  He feared that the guy wouldn\'t be as kind as he looked, that he would find being approached odd, that he would give him one of those funny looks that told him to back away quickly before he responded kindly... but he just had to bite that down and think instead about the alternative to trying.  Being cooped up in the Oligarchy, drooling mentally about Vomas\' mouth.  Now, wouldn\'t this be better?

Casually, Samuel approached the table near the broken-armed mortal and rested his cue against the edge before he started unpacking his balls.  Accidentally (not) as he did, his cue fell over in the direction of the mortal and as he straightened up, he made eye contact with the guy, looking pointedly at his arm as he did.

"Evening," he greeted congenially, his southern accent highlighted by the drawling manner in which he spoke.  "Pretty sure there\'s a joke just begging to be told about a one-armed man in a pool hall, but dang if I c\'n be that unkind, right now," he grinned playfully, relieved that he\'d managed to spit all that out with charm and not one stammer.

Saccharin

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 08:06:36 PM »
As had been his habit since he\'d discovered the place, he made it a point to stop in the pool hall to have a few beers because he\'d been in the neighborhood. Before his accident, he would\'ve shot some pool as well, but the best he could do with his arm all plastered up was to sit and watch others play. He wasn\'t the best, usually breaking even instead of coming out with any winnings, but it was something to do. Now, without something to do besides drinking, he stood a good chance of having too many too quickly, and then he\'d be making an embarrassing call to Orias to come and pick him up. But hell, that\'s what cell phones were good for.
 
He held the neck of his bottle loosely in his fingers until he lifted it to take a drink. Barely tasting the beer before it passed down his throat, he took two gulps before he lowered it marginally to look at the guy who\'d come to claim the pool table nearest him. Although he felt guilty for it, it was impossible not to let his eyes linger. He was a bit pale, though, and could probably do with some time outside.

  Unless he was a vampire, but why would a vampire play pool? Wouldn\'t it be cheating? He didn\'t think it\'d be very fun to play a game if you knew you\'d win every time. Of course, winning money would be enjoyable in itself. Man, he could do with some winnings right about now.

  He blinked when he was spoken to, unsure whether the voice was actually directed at him, but realizing he was the only \'one armed\' fellow around. Most everyone who\'d passed by had kept going when they saw his arm, more interested in finding someone to play against than in chatting up a cripple. Then again, it stood to reason that there was a possibility he was being confronted because he\'d been caught red-handed staring at the man. He was pathetically out of practice when it came to looking without being spied.

  Gene bought himself some time before responding by placing the brown bottle onto a coaster situated in front of him and then leaning back to wipe his palm on the dark fabric of his jeans. His other hand remained on the table, the sleeves of his navy button-up shirt rolled up to allow room for the cast on that arm. After he finished, he spoke.

"Well, I appreciate you not telling it," he said with a smile, his words trickling from his mouth with all the speed of molasses from a jar. The guy had an accent like him. It wasn\'t identical - the way he pronounced certain words was off - but it was close enough that he could\'ve made it through the town Gene had grown up in without being accused of "not being from \'round these parts".

"If you don\'t mind my asking," he added, "where\'re you from?" Curiosity had made him skip right introducing himself and straight to interrogating a stranger.

His mother would be ashamed.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 08:35:32 PM »
Pleased that he\'d got a nibble from his cast line, Samuel walked his pool cue a little closer, both hands gripping the top end, the butt between his feet.  The question made his grin broaden, for he also recognised a fellow southern accent and there was a surprising sense of warmth sneaking into him from that alone.  They shared a connection already: score one to him.

"Charlotte.  North Carolina," he answered, making the words sound like a personal motto gravely held to his heart, so solemnly said were they.  He was proud of his heritage... mostly.  He didn\'t meet many from \'round his way, though, so he didn\'t have much cause to think about it, beyond times when he was asked about his accent.

"Haven\'t lived there for a good long time, though," he added, seeming a bit brighter.  "And you?"  Again, he took another step towards the man, leaving only a foot of space between them, since he was fixing to shake his good hand sometime soon - and that\'s when he smelled it.  Pungent and rich, emanating from the guy\'s cast, the smell of another vampire.  It made Samuel look at the guy with even greater interest (if that was possible), for the scent of another was deeply embedded.

A gentle scan of the mortal\'s mind revealed thoughts of an Orias setting on the surface, amongst images of the vampire coming to pick him up if he drank too much.  Damn.  They lived together, then, likely eliminating this guy from all the fun he\'d had in mind... and as a potential donor, too.  Samuel\'s disappointment was a sudden lump in his throat but the ease of the conversation so far kept him standing there.  Until things got awkward anyway, he supposed.

Saccharin

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2011, 04:49:24 PM »
"I lived about three hours northwest of Charlotte in Tennessee," he said, excited by the fact that not only had he met someone from the South, but from the same region he was. Given how rare it was for the former to happen, encountering the latter was damned amazing.

"Was a nice place," he offered.

For a city
.

Everything had moved too fast for him; the cars, the people and even the rate at which they altered the skyline with new skyscrapers. It\'d been too overwhelming and he\'d sworn he\'d never leave his farm again, but the thing about cities was that enough people lived in them that no one paid attention to what you were doing. At first the general aloofness of city folk had put him off, but he\'d quickly realized that their disinterest in anyone but themselves meant he could live anonymously.

"Been here two years and some change, now." He smiled and spun his drink around on its bottom, tilting it this way and that. "Can\'t say I want to go back, to be honest. How about you? Do you miss it?"

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 05:04:05 PM »
"Uh... may I?" he enquired, gesturing at the tall stool opposite his companion, his body language asking permission to join the mortal.  When he received an affirmative, he moved the seat so that he was sitting at the mortal\'s elbow more than across from him and he had a good view of the pool hall.  He was looking only at his companion, of course, but a peripheral heads-up never hurt and he was grateful that they were in one corner of the room to afford him that, considering what he was about to say.

"I\'m Sam, by the way," he also offered as he got rid of his cue then sat, reaching out the correct hand to have Gene respond in kind, his dark blue eyes crinkling with a pleased smile when his hand was shaken and he learned the other man\'s name.

"And to tell you the truth, I haven\'t been anywhere near North Carolina in over a hundred and fifty-some years, so I can\'t say as I miss it all that much."  He watched carefully as he dropped this little bombshell, his smile altering somewhat so that the tips of his fangs were briefly visible before he pressed his lips together once more and waited for Gene to connect the dots.

Saccharin

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 05:43:50 PM »
Despite all the hints, Gene was a bit slow on the uptake. Several vertical lines took up residence between his eyebrows as he tried to work out why the man\'s statement had sounded off. "A hundred and-" His face brightened like a light bulb had been turned on somewhere behind his eyes. "Oh! Oh. Really?" The hand that held his drink became still and the bottle settled back onto the coaster.

One hundred and fifty years ago. Did that mean- "Hey, were you there for the Civil War?"

Like most Southerners, even if he didn\'t remember anything else from his education, he remembered the four year span in which the South had tried to split from the Union. Unsuccessfully.

Some of them were still kind of bitter about that part.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2011, 06:00:08 PM »
"Naw, I was born in 1820," Samuel responded regretfully, folding his arms upon the table, hands rested lightly on his biceps as he smiled at Gene.  "I was sired and in Europe before I was twenty-two.  Didn\'t come back to the U.S. until 1999," he shrugged, then pulled a face.  "Wasn\'t real sorry to have missed seeing that come about, truth be told.  Woulda\' been heartbreaking."

Wanting to get off the topic of history - when he was far more interested in Gene in the present - Samuel steered the conversation back to more recent events, sensing that his mortal friend would be more interested in talking about his own experience for a little while.  He asked him a couple of technical questions about which part of Tennessee he was from, found out he\'d grown up on a farm and could share a little of his own early life experiences about living rural (though not a lot, since his own family had been politicians, not farmers - it was enough that he could relate, though).

After about ten minutes of casual back and forth, he noticed that Gene was no longer drinking.  "Say, c\'n I buy you another beer?" he asked smoothly, aware that it might break the spell of communal understanding they\'d been nurturing, but he wanted to test if his new friend was committed to staying or going.

Chatting about a home long since left and barely loved was nice and all, but it would only do if it was going to get him some of the companionship he was craving; he doubted things were going to work out for him on that front, though, and felt it would be easier to prod such things along earlier rather than later.  He had a bad habit of ending up sorely disappointed where people came along and was wary of lingering too long if he wasn\'t going to be welcome to advance.

Saccharin

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2011, 07:11:57 PM »
He lifted the bottle and gave it an experimental shake. "Well, seeing as how this one is empty," he said laughingly, "I suppose you could."

Then he remembered that vampires couldn\'t process alcohol, so Sam would be buying him beer only to watch him drink it. Unfortunately, it was too late to object, because the other man had moved off to flag down the bartender and soon returned with a fresh beer, condensation already gathering on the glass in fat beads.

"Thanks, but it\'s not fair for you to buy when you can\'t drink too. Well... Not beer, anyway." The last he added with a sheepish smile, which he covered by plugging his mouth with the beer bottle.

Even though he\'d been with Orias since he\'d moved to the city, he still occasionally forgot the particularities of how vampires, being another species and all, didn\'t survive off the same stuff he did. There wasn\'t any mistaking most of them for mortals if you knew what to look for, but for vampires like Orias (and Sam, he thought), their warm natures made it so they were more human in his eyes than vampire.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2011, 07:17:16 PM »
Sam gave Gene an enigmatic look after that comment, taking a moment to be sure he was properly on his seat again, then leaning forward on his elbows once more.  Some hair fell into his eyes as he did and he ran his hand instinctively through it, leaving his head tilted afterward as he eyed Gene off with an intent, heavy-lidded stare.

"Is that an offer?" he asked huskily, his voice as intimate as his look and a small smile playing around his pouty mouth.

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2011, 07:30:43 PM »
His Adam\'s apple bobbed wildly as he forced his drink down before he spat it all over his companion. He managed, and spluttered instead of spewed. Why had Sam gone and looked at him like that, with his hair tumbling into his face and his tone promising he\'d do more than just drink his blood if given the chance? He hadn\'t meant anything by what he\'d said!

"No, I didn\'t mean- no. Sorry. I just meant that you can\'t have beer, but you can drink bl-" He trailed off, understanding then why Sam had responded the way he had. He\'d misinterpreted his statement because of how it\'d been phrased, surely. "I didn\'t mean mine," he finished weakly.

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2011, 07:38:08 PM »
"Pity," Samuel murmured regretfully, looking straight into Gene\'s hazel eyes with a smile that had turned lopsided.  "I\'d like to taste you."  He let the statement settle between them for a moment, gauging Gene\'s reaction before he slid back slightly, deliberately giving the mortal some room... physically.  He had no such intentions, conversationally.

"The vampire I smell on you... he drink from you regularly?"  Is he important to you, pretty one?  Are you off limits to me?  Those eyes... as intent as he was on sparing the mortal some breathing room, he couldn\'t stop watching those lovely orbs, feeling increasingly warmed by the reactions he was reading there.

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2011, 08:19:29 PM »
Very quickly, things went from being awkward to downright uncomfortable for Gene as he involuntarily pictured what a tasting would entail. Fucking hell. What was he doing? The other stuff hadn\'t been intentional, but the visions dancing their merry way through his head needed to knock it the fuck off.

He shifted in his seat, wanting desperately to leave before things got any worse, but he was pinned in place by Sam\'s gaze and a desire to make things like they were before, when they\'d been chatting amiably about life in the South and farms and other nice, safe topics. He could fix this. He\'d get them back on track.

"He does," Gene finally said, deciding on the path to pursue if he wanted to make it absolutely clear to the vampire that he wasn\'t interested in any funny business. "And he\'s the only one doing any tasting," he added firmly.

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2011, 08:25:31 PM »
Samuel smiled congenially.  "I can respect that," he said honestly, letting his gaze drift slowly over Gene\'s features.  He wasn\'t much of a beer drinker, but he had wondered what it would taste like coming from the very lovely mortal.  "But I\'d like to say... I think he\'s a lucky man.  Tasting you."

Resisting the urge to keep pushing the envelope, Samuel spoke the words with brevity and a shy smile that came off as he\'d hoped - wistful and sweet, not cheesy and desperate.  He was far too reserved a person to ever reach either of the latter, thankfully.  It\'d be pushing towards it though, if he didn\'t change the topic of conversation.

"So how\'d you end up finding out about... us, anyway?"  He hoped it wouldn\'t become a \'How I met Orias\' story, and added another question before Gene even had time to answer his first, just to avoid that likelihood.  "And how does it sit with you?  I can\'t imagine it was easy news for a young southern boy to take?"

The Northern Carolina accent that had become so prominent since the two of them started speaking thickened even more on cheeky words.  His curious smile was also somewhat teasing and his blue eyes danced as he thought of the young mortal, fresh from a farm, not only having to deal with the differences of city living, but of supernatural city living!  He already admired his grit, just for taking it so well in stride that he\'d started living with one.

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2011, 06:28:16 PM »
His next decision was to ignore any commentary that wasn\'t kosher. If he didn\'t react, then it may as well not have even happened. When he shifted around uncomfortably or let his eyes dart away when they were pursued by the other man\'s dark blue ones, he gave something to respond to - something to chase. Like a rabbit, he\'d sit really still and hope the hawk didn\'t swoop down to gobble him up. Because, dear Lord, he had a strong feeling Sam might do exactly that if he even got a hint that he was interested in the prospect.

  "How does it sit with me?" He shrugged. "Fine now." He\'d forgotten about his beer, so remedied the situation by taking a drink before expanding on his answer. "Was a bit weird at first to know you\'re real, but God and angels exist, why wouldn\'t you too?"

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Re: Southern Congeniality
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2011, 06:48:21 PM »
Samuel\'s eyebrows lifted and he was momentarily lost for words, the image of God strolling about the city streets in amongst all the other supernatural riff-raff bemusing him beyond speech.  The innocence of the statement just endeared Gene to him even more.

"Fair enough," was all he said, in comment, interested in the fact that the mortal was so blasé about vampires that he didn\'t even seem to... well, question things.  He\'d just accepted and it was alright?  Odd.  Or perhaps his sugar daddy had some sort of protection on him that Samuel didn\'t understand the strength of; now that would be intriguing!

"I think it\'s awesome that you\'re so open and accepting.  Most mortals - that know - they\'re wary as a fox in a farmyard when you first start talking with \'em, wondering if you\'re gonna\' be okay or not.  They generally settle down after a while - once they realise, y\'know, that I\'m not gonna\' make \'em do things they\'re not comfortable with - but not you.  You\'re just fine with it.  You\'re one brave man," Samuel complimented Gene sincerely, sitting back out of the mortal\'s space a little more as his hands fell down between his knees and he eyed his companion with genuine reverence on his face.

He wanted to know if there was something more to it and it was his roundabout way of digging; relics, wards, protection spells... they were definitely high on his list of interests.  If Samuel had partaken in one or more of them in order to be so calm about beasts that could Dominate him as easily as look at him, he wanted to know the details!  It would really suck if Orias had done it to him without telling him, though... the thought had him scanning the mortal\'s mind again, lightly, until he got an answer one way or the other.