Author Topic: Stranger Danger  (Read 5773 times)

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Offline Satyr

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Stranger Danger
« on: January 23, 2012, 01:49:16 PM »
HE WAS STANDING BESIDE THE pool, though it had no water in it.  The gate had been locked shut with a padlock but he'd ripped that off in order to get inside.  The sunloungers hadn't beckoned him with invitations of comfort - the looked torturous and therefore he'd ignored them.  Standing like a modern statue, with his arms hanging loosely at his sides, he watched the hotel.  He'd noticed that in some of the rooms they had shutters, not curtains.  He liked this fact.  Shutters were better at keeping out the sunlight - not that he was going to sleep here during the day.  He was considering hiring a room here, in order to have a place for rendezvous.  He'd never actively sought one before, though he'd always had places available.  It was different, seeking out a location in order to have sordid meetings.  Sex had always been a dalliance for him, something to quench when the desire rose every now and then, not something he wished to glutton himself on.  This city made things a little more difficult along that respect.  There were multiple energies here; supernatural energy through the leylines, sexual energy thrumming in everyone.  He didn't know if the former was causing the latter, or if it was merely coincidence.  Coincidences such as this were rare, and he thought there must be something to the leylines because they were affecting him, personally, compelling him to change his behaviour.

Curtains twitched at a window on the second floor.  His eyes found their target in the form of a young human male, who stared at him without realising he was being watched himself, and then left the window to do something else.  More movement, here and there, as people moved around inside their rooms.  There weren't many within the hotel's rooms, regardless of their limited vacancy.  It wasn't like a hotel room was something a lot of people wished to hang around in.

Time passed and he noticed movement here and there on all of the floors from the ground floor to the very top, the fourth.  The detour wasn't an overly large building, nor a pretty one, but he liked it for the anonymous face it presented him.  He liked it even more for the fact that he, a stranger, could stand here for hours on end, and nobody would question him.  That was the best kind of sign.

Until, of course, he was finally approached.

Online Harlequin

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 02:15:07 PM »
There was a certain amount of creative energy here too, stemming from the row of 5 ground-floor rooms which housed the local riot folk band surrounding the pool area. Only one of them was at home now, though, and her room was oddly silent. But she'd been watching Cicero through a sliver in the blinds for about twenty minutes (and 2 cigs smoked to the filter) now.

Because seriously, who the fuck left a mannequin just sitting around like that? Especially one that nice-looking.   Normally Ami was a live-and-let-live sort of person, but seriously.  It was just begging to be stolen. And who was she to deny such a request?

Not that she needed a mannequin. Right now, anyway. But one never knew when a mannequin might come in handy.

Moving away from the window with a rustling of blinds, she pulled a pair of jeans on (tight and black, to go with her T-shirt). It was a bit chilly by the looks of the clouds, so she pulled her motorcycle jacket on too and slunk out the door. The slinking continued all the way around the perimeter of the pool until she came within about five feet of the statuesque creature. She turned her head from side to side to check that no one was watching. Ami didn't know much about mannequins, but  Goddamn, that was a nice-looking –

Nope not a mannequin. It just moved to look at her.

Well, this was awkward.

"Sup." She straightened out of her sneaky pose and stuck her hands in her pockets, looking for all the world as if she had never had any intention of picking up and absconding with the man in front of her.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 04:58:14 PM »
He'd listened to her thoughts when she'd approached, intent on stealing him away.  He was somewhat amused at her mistaken idea that he was a mannequin, though the assumption had been made before.  Admittedly it was usually made whenever he was in a clothing store, rather than standing around elsewhere.

I should've let you steal me away, he said into her mind, and she would be able to sense his amusement with his words.  I'm sure I could've held up the pretence for a few months.

He'd doubted she would've been able to lift him.  His choice to reveal that he wasn't an inanimate object was simply for that reason.  He wanted to see what the rooms were like in the Detour, after all.

He stared at her, watching as she came to terms with his speaking into her mind and also sending emotion along with it.

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 08:56:04 PM »
It was only through sheer force of will that Ami managed not to bring her hands up to her head as it was infiltrated so rudely. In fact, her only outward reaction was a faint muscle twitch under her left eye.

Inside her brain, however, was another story. Much like her speech, Ami's mind worked fast, in flashes of movement and emotion rather than fully-formed words. Sparks of indignation and anger (and no small amount of fear – instinctual and otherwise) sparked bright under a blanket of caution – she knew enough about vampires to know that when they looked this absurdly perfect they were old enough not to give one single fuck about her. Amongst the turmoil, an image stood out as well:  the last time she'd been spoken to telepathically was when she'd confronted Archer, and the look on his face was what flashed into the forefront of her mind when Cicero finished his statement. Her teeth grit behind her tight lips, willing that away. She hadn't thought about him in weeks. Fuck.

"Don't think that would end well." Needing something to do with her hands, she took a pack of cigarettes from her coat pocket and flipped up the lid, extracting cigarette and lighter from within, and went through the practiced motions of lighting up.

"Feels so weird when you guys do that," she said, referring to the telepathic speech, her eyes lowered to her hands. She'd never liked it when Archer did it, but she'd tolerate it when she had to, even from strangers.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 09:08:47 PM »
Cicero's eyes narrowed when the image of a vampire came to him.  Not just any vampire, either, but the one who'd had no survival instincts and insulted him, an Ancient.  So she knew of their kind intimately enough to know the name of one.

He liked the flash of energy and emotion in her mind.  It reminded him of artists.  She must be one, but he couldn't smell any media on her.  Not a painter or sculptor of clay then, for that stuff got into their pores and stayed there.  She looked as much an artist as she thought.  He'd learned to appreciate such culture.  It was the only thing that had real staying power.  The older paintings and sculptures were familiar to him.  Like friends.

He wasn't sure what she meant about things not ending well.  For her, or him?  If she knew about vampires, then she would know that the idea of her threatening a vampire was laughable.  She hadn't said it aggressively, and he'd felt the caution in her mind.  He decided to accept her comment as a wise one, and moved on to assess the next comment.  He chewed on it for a while, investigating the idea of what might be 'weird' to her, as an artist.  He watched as she smoked her cigarette, thinking about her as he studied her, and it occurred to him - as she began to fidget - that she hadn't felt the need to fill up the silence with nervous conversation.

He liked that very much.

I like you, he told her.

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 09:20:19 PM »
As his voice infiltrated her thoughts again, Ami looked up from her cigarette – which she'd been idly flicking with her thumbnail, though any ash was long gone – into his face. She cocked a brow. "You don't know me," she asserted, then snorted. Of course he knew her. Her mind was like an open book to him.

The thought raised goosebumps on her arms, and she was glad that her jacket covered them. Not that that mattered to him, either. Ami realized that she had never felt more naked.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 10:35:27 PM »
Immediately after her argument he felt her mind shift into agreement.  Clever girl.  He scared her, but she was smart to be scared.  He liked her casual manner, her disregard for social authority (for who else would wish to steal a wayward mannequin?), and her wariness.  He liked her bursts of fear and insecurity, and the quick connections she made, and the emotional starbursts of colour that they created for her.  Typical artist, but one of the gifted ones.  Only the truly gifted thought like that, and though he'd come across it before, he was appreciative enough of the rarity of such a thing to like that he'd found another.

I won't hurt you, he informed her.  Of course that might change, but she'd earned herself at least a warning if it did.  I want to keep a room here.

Perhaps she would help him organise it.  It didn't matter if she knew what room he arranged for himself, considering it was only going to be a rendezvous point for sexual release.  He wondered if she would help him with that, too.  He looked her over, properly, taking his time as he always did.

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2012, 05:39:17 AM »
The vampire's assertion earned him another quirked eyebrow. He'd have to forgive her for not believing him just yet. But he hadn't been aggressive toward her yet, so she gave him that. Surprisingly, she was also starting to get used to their method of conversing -- though the constant reminder of her powerlessness was never not going to chafe.

She took another deep inhale from her cigarette and then tossed it on the ground. If he cared to notice, he'd see that she'd smoked it to about a milimeter above the filter. Even as she crushed the butt with her heel, though, she was taking another out of the pack. "I've been here awhile. 'S alright. Cheap and the cops don't come around." She spoke around the cigarette as she lit it.

She didn't ask him why he -- an ostensibly old and powerful being of the night -- wanted to rent a room in a scabby, inner-city motel. If he wanted to share his motives with her, he would. Even then, there were some things she didn't want to know. 

Unnerved by his stare, she shoved her hands in her pockets, shoulders hunched against the cold.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2012, 07:07:16 AM »
He liked her description of the hotel even more.  He was fairly sure if there was a dead body on the premises, the cops would come around, but he wasn't about to leave dead bodies in places that he was renting.  He took his time again, watching her smoke her second cigarette, noticing that her fingers and teeth were already beginning to go that putrid yellow colour that came with cigarettes - the kind of colour that didn't wash or scrub off.  The smell of her was of old cigarettes beneath the scent of new, and her blood would have that strange petrol-like flavour.  He wondered if she got bad headaches, chain-smoking the way she did.

Artists.  He mentally sighed.

He turned his body towards her and walked.  His movements were liquid and graceful, his steps soft - though he didn't look like he was walking in a particularly light-footed way.  Over the years he'd had to ensure his walk didn't change too much from what was considered normal.  He was fairly sure people would notice if he started gliding down the city streets.

Ami, he reached out mentally to her again, his voice warm in her head now, the emotions he was sending with it were calming and soft.  I don't want you smoking in my presence.  He reached up to take the cigarette out of her mouth, but did it at a regular speed so that she could pull away and remove it herself if she wished to.

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2012, 07:38:29 AM »
The bassist's eyes had been centered somewhere over his left shoulder, but when he started closing the distance between them her gaze jerked back to his face, suddenly wary again. He moved like a snake. Or a big cat. Hypnotic and dangerous.

She didn't stop herself from taking a quick step back as he reached toward her, even though she felt that his intentions were harmless.  Something at the back of her mind was snapping like a chained dog at the intrusion; at being urged to feel something she wasn't meant to be feeling, even if she didn't quite understand it.

Despite this, however, she took the cigarette from her lips and tossed it to the concrete, extinguishing it like she had its brother.

Call it a gesture of good faith.

She raked her tattooed fingers through her hair. "What's your name?" she asked. He knew hers; it was only fair she knew his.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2012, 08:20:00 AM »
When she stepped back, he lowered his hand, watching as she hastily completed his intended manouvre.  He'd expected her to be skittish around him.  He still liked her, the vibrancy of her thoughts, the fact she respected his authority even though she didn't respect the institution of authority.  Her respect was more survival-savvy.

Cicero, he informed her, uncaring if she knew his name.  The sound of it was soft and sibilant, and it came with the image of chickpeas.  She would be left with the impression that it had not been his birthname, but it was the only name that mattered to him, and he'd been known by it for longer than she could imagine.

Show me a room, he asked of her.  It was a request, but it came out sounding like an order because that was his nature.

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 08:52:47 AM »
The sound – no, feeling – of his name sent a shiver up her spine. Her breath hitched, slow on the exhale. There as such power there, such age.

She could never, ever hope to comprehend a being like the one before her.

Her face showed none of this, of course – but what did that matter to him. She pushed at one of her lips piercings as he made his request, a show of both contemplation and minor annoyance at being ordered around –  but she shrugged nonetheless.  There was a motel manager for that, but...whatever. It's not like she had anything better to do, really.

Without saying anything further, she loped off toward the room she'd come from as if fully expecting him to follow her – but stopped at the one directly to its left (which she knew to be unoccupied) . She grasped the door's knob and jerked upward, turning to the left. The door stuck for a moment, but the cheap locking mechanism disengaged with a sharp pop. The chain lock on the inside she dispatched with an open safety pin fished from her jacket pocket, hooked into a chain-link and tugged out and up. The door swung inward to admit the pair.

"Standard security's shitty," she informed him as she stepped back to let him enter.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2012, 03:46:37 PM »
He entered after observing her display of practical application.  Yes, security was a slight issue, but while he was here, he could mentally cast an aversion blockade.  It would take some of the enjoyment away from his leisurely activities, however, and Risk's private rooms were better for that.

And there was that smell.  Something had long since died and decayed in the walls - or perhaps in the pipes in the bathroom.  There was a lingering odour of old fur, but he could no longer tell if it had been a rat or some other larger creature.  The room was furnished, as he'd expected, and clean, which had come as a pleasant surprise.  He couldn't fault the hotel for some animal skulking into its walls, not when the smell of its death was likely unnoticeable to human senses by now.

He turned to look at her.

Show me another room, on the top floor.

Once again, it was a request, one that she would be permitted to refuse, but once again it sounded like an order.

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2012, 03:56:19 AM »
As an image of Renfield from an old production of Dracula rose unbidden to the front of her mind, Ami knew she had to draw the line somewhere. She knew the whole spider-eating man-bitch thing was a myth (well, hoped, anyway), but she couldn't spend all night traipsing around the motel at the beck and call of this vampire – no matter how perfect.  If she had to spend much more time following orders – all while not smoking – she was going to lose it. So she decided to test her boundaries.

"Show yourself," she suggested. Her flat tone implied flippancy, but this was also merely a suggestion. Ami's tone was rarely anything other than flat – belying the colorful shimmer of her mind. She unhooked the safety pin from the security chain, closed it, and held it out for Cicero. When it came down to it he probably wouldn't need it, she realized, but it couldn't hurt. "403's open. I gotta shower."

Offline Satyr

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Re: Stranger Danger
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2012, 08:30:49 AM »
He stared at her for a while, liking the parallel she'd drawn in her mind before refusing his offer.  He liked the fact she wasn't refusing for the sake of refusing, that she was trying to establish herself as 'not a man-bitch', and the idea of it had Cicero liking her even more.  She was downright funny.  He wasn't the kind to laugh out loud, but he was feeling a happy warmth filling his chest and head.  Yes, he liked her very much.  Shame about the smoking.

He took the safety pin from her, with another command.

Go have your shower, and waited for her to leave.

Once she was gone, he would follow where she went first with his mind, then with his body, until he found her place.  He wasn't so much a peeping tom as a home invader, for her mentally shifted the tumblers in the lock upon her door until it clicked open and went inside, knowing she was already in the shower.  He took a moment to survey the front room before slipping into the bathroom and then standing in a corner, awaiting her exit, watching her all the while.