Author Topic: The Hardest of Hearts  (Read 6926 times)

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Offline Saiketsu

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The Hardest of Hearts
« on: May 21, 2012, 05:58:39 PM »
continued from here.

From the time he entered the Masquerade Ball at the Luminary’s residence, to the moment that Odessa and Nadia left, nothing about the night had gone the way that Damien had been hoping. Thus, it was with a sigh of relief that he watched Nadia’s car pull out of the driveway, closed the door behind them and locked it. He lingered a moment, arming the alarms of the house with the keypad control in the foyer hallway, keeping out all of his unwanted guests – who happened to be just about anyone besides himself and his ward upstairs. He was firstly relieved when Phineas had come – upon prompting from Jenella, whose pride (and heart) would prevent anything good from happening for Nadia tonight – to pick up Pierre and bring him back to another safe house, where better attention could be brought to the injured vampire. With Pierre gone, Nadia seemed to find less reason to remain in Damien’s watchful presence. Odessa, who seemed to be keen on the ever-present tension between Nadia Dominik and Damien Evans, finally put an end to the tension about ten minutes after Pierre had been carted away by his own fledgling. With the queen safely in tow, Damien didn’t bother to hide his weariness over the past few hours, but instead had headed inside for the night and day. It was in fact the best thing that had happened all night when Nadia had pulled out of the driveway and onto Alcott Road, heading towards Awelfor Manor.

He had felt as though he had been walking on eggshells the entire night, dancing a routine that had to be carefully stepped in order to maintain a sort of status quo. When he had realized that he could let his own well-rehearsed and finely tuned performance of perfect intangibility drop for a couple of moments, he felt the stress in his body, an echo of pain lingering within the deep muscles in his back where aches had imbedded themselves when he had been human. Out of habit – for there was no necessity of it – he leaned back a bit and tried to crack his spine, with no luck. He exhaled the breath he hadn’t realized that he had taken and made his round through the house closing, locking, and covering every window and door so that no light could slip in when the morning came. Damien found a bit of enjoyment doing so at what he thought was a human pace. Besides the soft clicking of his own shoes across the flood, there were only the sounds of Delilah climbing the stairs, her claws scraping softly at the wooden steps on her way, the beating of three different hearts of all three living creatures in the house, and the turning of pages on a shifting bed. His mind inadvertently focused on the rhythms of the human girl’s heart – the most regular and calming to him. There was no real thought in his wandering mind that guided him through the house, flicking blinds closed and twisting locks shut, but her heartbeat lingered not unpleasantly in his head.

Since the day that he had accidently – though she wouldn’t have called what he did an accident, as he was well aware of – kissed her, Damien hadn’t really felt it necessary to go out of his way to talk with Rachel. They had made their peace (or so he had thought) and hadn’t fought since the day after he had kissed her, but there was still some lingering tension there which they both knew of. Pierre and Jenella seemed to be more constant companions than they ever had before, and Damien couldn’t say that he minded that much – he was more or less thankful for the pressure not to let him slip up like that again. So the presence of his fledglings and their families was a blessed release from his own repressed desires; after all, he would have never dared even considering expressing any sign of weakness or disillusionment in front of his fledglings. On the nights that he had no fledglings coming over, or nothing to do outside of the house, there always seemed to be a new stack of paper work, bills, and accounts which needed to be dealt with for long hours of the night in the library, well away from the girl whose heartbeat was now filling his thoughts. If he hadn’t been so sick of nothing going his way, he may have cared how aware he was of her life force just a story above him. Now, however, he just wanted to shower and go to bed.

In complete darkness, he made his way up the stairs of the foyer, willing the door open just a crack so that the dog could nose herself in. Delilah, he could hear, was settling down on the foot of his bed as she did every night. As he climbed up the stairs, Damien knew that her head would be resting on her paws, her big eyes staring at him honestly, waiting for him to go to bed with her. At the top of the stairs he saw Rachel’s light still on, felt her recognize him coming and she returned back to her book he assumed. Delilah’s eyes glittered in the mirror’s reflection of her, those big lonesome eyes and a low whine for him to follow his normal routine. Instead, he stopped off at Rachel’s doorway, knocked on her door and entered when she had said so.

He was still dressed in most of the tailed-tuxedo he had chosen for the Masquerade, though he had taken less care to keep himself polished after the other immortals had left him. He had abandoned the jacket in the downstairs closet as soon as Odessa had spoken about leaving. The white button up was rolled at the sleeve, the cuffs loose now that he had given up all hope for the night to end the way he wanted it to. The black tie at his neck reminded him of how much he actually hated his part in the political dance of immortal rule. It took everything that was left of his composure to keep the damn thing on. His hair, once slicked back with product, now lay unkempt on his head. A few loose strands of dark brown hair, darker and slicker with the oil, hung about his face and out of place with the rest. It wouldn’t be long before the product gave way to the natural pattern of his hair.  When Rachel had told him to enter, he felt a bit jealous by how comfortable she looked in comparison.

The human was sitting in the center of her bed reading; her back was slumped in a very human way as she looked up from the book and from petting the sleeping cat on her lap. This was how he usually found her most days and had just accepted this as part of her existence within the house.  Damien stood in her doorway, leaning against the frame and he gave a very human sigh at her, one that inspired a pitiful smile from both of their mouths.

Ah, mon Dieu, what a night that was,” he said running a hand through his hair to slick his hair back again. If she had blushed – which was a very normal thing for the girl to do lately (Damien just figured it was an awkward reflexive thing for her now) – he was blissfully unaware of it as he spoke. His tone was honest, weary. Nothing about it hinted at sarcasm or a want of distance – if anything, it sounded like a genuine desire of pity or reassurance that he had done the right thing. “I’m not sure how many Masquerades I’m going to be going to from this point on. I’m not sure I could handle another disaster liked this one was.”

Rachel had had the fortune of staying at home with Jenella while he danced with Odessa, Kerr and the rest of the immortal mighty within the city. Damien had preferred it that way, especially in a room full of immortals where anything could have happened. Both Rachel and Damien would have been mortified – if not terrified – that if it had been Rachel that Kerr had tackled to the floor instead of Pierre. For that reason alone he was glad that Rachel had not been in his company. That didn’t mean, however, that she was immune to the ever-judgmental eye of Odessa Turkevich – and now her fledgling as well. Yet Rachel had presented herself downstairs with as much grace as she could muster and Damien had been content. After she had left to go upstairs – after they were all talking around her as if the human wasn’t even there – all that stood between him and Odessa’s presumptions was his cold exterior which not even Odessa could penetrate when Damien didn’t want her to. Rachel was also not immune to what had happened at the Masquerade, and at the moment, she was the only person he had found who could handle his own stresses without being entangled by them or judge him by them. It was something that he really valued about her company in the house, despite the awkwardness that he had created between them.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 12:33:38 PM »
Since she had climbed the stairs to her room and away from the scrutinizing gazes of Sonya and Nadia, Rachel saw no need to remain dressed as she was.  After all, it wasn't like she had anyone to impress since she went up to her room.  She grabbed a plain shirt from her closet and closed the door while she switched clothes.  What a waste of time that was.  She hadn't been down there longer than what, fifteen minutes?  Twenty minutes tops?  Sonya and Nadia had barely said two words to her, though they saw it fit to talk quite a bit about her.  If it wasn't for the fact that she cared about how Damien felt about her appearance as a reflection of his reputation - in front of Sonya anyway - Rachel would have stayed in her room to begin with.  But it didn't matter now.  It was over for her, even if he was left to entertain the two women.

Lestat mewed persistently at the closed door, putting his paws against the wood grain and looking forlornly at the human.  Discarding her dress shirt on the back of a chair, Rachel moved toward the door and pulled it open for the cat--who in turn rubbed his face against the door frame before trotting back in the room and curling up on her bed.  The human sighed, smiling.  If it wasn't for the humorous antics of Lestat and Delilah, she didn't know what she would do sometimes.  If all other conversation fell into awkward silence with Damien or some tension threatened to break out in some kind of argument, at least one of the animals were there to interrupt or at least provide comic relief.  The girl found herself needing that more and more lately.  Especially when both Pierre and Janella were too busy to take her somewhere and Rachel was left to deal with Damien by herself. 

She felt guilty about all of this avoidance—it hurt more than she expected it to.  The human didn’t know what else to do in light of the situation.  The kiss was an accident.  He was calling it that even if it didn’t make any sense, and that should have been enough to deter her from thinking about the situation any deeper.  Deter her from recalling the faint feeling of security she had being that close to him, from wondering what would have happened if she didn’t pull away from him when she did.  No.  She had to steer herself away from daydreaming about a repeat of the situation.  It wasn’t going to happen.  Accidents didn’t happen twice to the same people.  Besides, it wasn’t like there was any feeling behind the “accident” anyway, right?

Right.

Rachel flopped down on her stomach in the direct middle of the bed, her face near where the cat had decided to curl up.  As usual, she settled her attention into the same book she had been reading when Janella first received the phone call from Damien about the after-party he had planned last minute.  The human was thrilled to not have to deal with the company now.  Even with the door slightly open, she could barely hear what was going on downstairs.  They all spoke so quietly and hardly made a noise when they moved, so there was no real way for Rachel to know when anyone was leaving until a car pulled away.  If it wasn’t for the book in her hands, she would have sat silently on her bed, straining to catch pieces of conversation and willing with all of her being that these women would get bored and leave.

By the time Rachel finally did hear a car pull out of the driveway, she was sitting in the direct center of the bed with Lestat curled into a tight ball in her lap.  She was almost finished with this book—something she would have taken pride in if it wasn’t for the fact that it—along with several other books—served as a record of how long she had been trying to avoid dealing with her housemate.  The girl sighed deeply, scratching the cat’s head with one hand and loosely holding the book with the other.  Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Delilah scoot past the door and nearly dash into Damien’s room.  By knowing their routine, she figured that the vampire was right behind the dog.  So it did not startle her when he knocked at her door.

“Come in.”

Though, it did surprise her.  She assumed that they were going to continue avoiding each other—but maybe he had gotten over it faster than she expected him to.  Faster than she did.  Whatever the case, she felt instantly more comfortable at his sigh and in anticipation of one of the first more normal conversations that they had engaged in for quite some time.  She mirrored his smile easily, though not without a slight tint of red creeping into her cheeks.  He appeared more relaxed than earlier, no doubt because the company had finally left.  Even without the tailcoat and with hair falling out of place, she couldn’t help but still find him attractive.  The human pushed the thought aside as he continued to speak.

“What happened when I left?”  She was honestly curious, encouraged by the casual tone in his voice and very human expression in his face.  Rachel had missed their gossip.  She hated seeing him so uptight.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 03:29:30 PM »
He gave a snort of ironic laughter and looked at her with a weary smirk. "Don't even get me started," he said in response, loosening the tie at his neck that was making the golden chain that held Lucretia's pendent rub and tangle beneath his shirt. Despite how young the night was, he felt as though he had been awake for a couple days instead of several hours. His mind had transferred his anxiety and annoyance into his muscles and even though they were in capable of knowing ache for very long, the continual dragging feeling in his head was echoed throughout his body, making him feel very human indeed.

"Between the melodramatic love story of Pierre and Nadia, the blunt, interferring comments of Odessa, and the idiocracy that is the government in this city," Damien said as he untied himself, "I feel as though I won't be attending any more Masquerades for a while, let alone be inviting those three into the same environment again. Now I remember clearly why I don't attend Odessa's - it's all a giant act of who has more power and popularity in this city." He pulled the tie out from beneath his collar and wrapped it around his knuckles to hold onto it tighter. He watched her from across the room, waiting for a pitying response that he was admitting - if only to himself - that he wanted. Damien had meant what he had said though. There had been good reason for him to leave Sonya and Nadia when they all lived in Paris together. Had Nadia never shown up at the Masquerade, he assumed that he could have dealt with the night better than he had, and wouldn't have had to watch his back while he was watching Pierre's as well. Instead she slithered in and started up a fire in fledge that Pierre had been working so hard to extinguish - a fire that should have been put out when she refused his proposal in the seventeenth century. The entire situation had always made him feel like not only a mediator - because of course Odessa needed to have her fingers in every situation - but also as a sort of babysitter. It was something that he couldn't have expected Rachel to understand just yet. But Damien wasn't looking for understanding, after all. Just sympathy and someone to let him complain.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 03:44:27 PM »
The girl rolled her eyes.  Damien had told her briefly--and vaguely--of Nadia and Pierre's past, but that was enough for Rachel to pity Pierre.  As much of a flirt as he was, he didn't deserve what Nadia evidently put him through.  However, Rachel was more concerned with the position that it put Damien into, having them all together in the same room.  Honestly, she didn't understand why he insisted on putting himself into uncomfortable situations.  Really.

She watched him loosen his tie, her thoughts flickering to curiosities that she had forbidden herself for a moment before the heat in her cheeks pulled back the reins.  Rachel sighed through her nose, closing the book in her hands and placing it beside her on the bed.  Lestat, disturbed by first the intruder in the human's bedroom and then the girl's movement, leaped off the bed and skittered through the still-open door. 

"Why did you invite everyone back here anyway?"  She asked smiling and shaking her head.  "You have enough on your plate."  Which was very accurate.  Between having to deal with a drunk Luminary knocking down and hurting Pierre, not to mention whatever bitchiness Sonya decided to dish out to whoever was within her proximity, and on top of it all romantic drama between Sonya's fledgling and Pierre...  Even thinking about it gave Rachel a headache--she could only guess what Damien feeling.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2012, 12:27:27 PM »
He ran his fingers through his hair, brushing it all back into one convenient style, which of course decided to fall slowly apart and out of formation. He didn't really know where to begin.

A few years ago, he had remade contact with Odessa in an attempt to secure her political opinion with him. At the time, he was still under the Oligarchy’s radar and his political presence was little more than rumor. Securing the opinions of powerful vampires and immortals in the city was simply the first step of his master plan, and Odessa was his oldest friend – a logical place to start. When Sonya had agreed to at the very least remain out of the fight, Damien had celebrated this as a small victory and one that he had secured easily enough. Since Rachel had entered his life, however, that task had been more troublesome to him, more time consuming than he could afford. Looking over his shoulder for these past few years had more or less prevented him from making much progress towards his goals – which was why it was imperative to put an end to his little rodent problem before continuing on in the city. With Pierre severally injured and Jack and Elias out of the country for nearly two years – setting up their own small branches out in Greece and Switzerland – it remained difficult to accomplish much that he had intended. This was a large part of the reason they had all been invited back.

Damien had been very good at knowing his part in this dance. Inviting Pierre back to the house was obvious and necessary – his son was injured and he needed attention immediately so that the pain would leave Damien’s own mind. Inviting Nadia and Odessa, however, had been different. Part of it was out of politeness, for that is what one did after large parties, especially among this particular group. But it was much more complex than simply respect and cordiality.

Bringing them both back to the house – the large, stately house – had brought them into his realm, had allowed for their trust. It was a political gain because now Nadia as well as Odessa would see the reality of his beliefs backed up along their own opinions of the Oligarchy. Coupled with the cordiality that Damien offered, his invitation had worked – Kerr’s drunken behavior had been analyzed and they had all come to the same conclusion as was necessary. Unfortunately, the tiff between Pierre and Odessa’s spawn was more than he wanted to deal with and Odessa’s constant badgering about the smallest of things was too much to handle for too long.

As he explained all of this to Rachel – something he didn’t often do – he noticed how openly he was expressing his thoughts and how emotionally he had done so. In the moments that he became aware of himself explaining, a self-conscious feeling crept up inside of him and suggested that he stop talking about it. When he ignored it, it faded slowly and found itself popping up at random times in his discussion. Never had spoken so much, so openly with her and he found it not altogether stressful.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2012, 12:49:31 PM »
Rachel shook her head from time to time during his explanation.  He was juggling too many things.  Even for a vampire.  Granted, she couldn't understand what it was like to be an immortal and to multitask--and quite frankly, she was never really that great with multitasking to begin with--but he didn't seem to be enjoying himself.  She knew him long enough to recognize when things were beginning to wear down on him. 

"So why didn't you just talk about it in the car ride home?"  Personally, she didn't understand what the difference was between bringing everyone back here and just discussing it with Sonya on the ride home.  Or talk about it at Sonya's house so that Pierre didn't have to be there and Damien had an escape if conversation went on for too long. 

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2012, 01:40:13 PM »
He sighed to himself. Of course he had thought about this, but his reasoning would have seemed silly to her, he knew. Between friends of hundreds of years, something so meaningful shouldn't have been discovered for the duration of a simple car ride. This was something that Damien had wanted to take his time discussing, feeling out with the two women. It was not something that he wanted either of them to take lightly. While they hadn't always seen eye-to-eye on every subject, when it came to power and immortal rights there was always discussion and agreement. This is what he wanted - their agreement and loyalty when the time came, not their sympathy or even their friendship. This was never something he had discussed with either of the two women, but something he hoped they would come to understand when it came to that. Their high opinion of him as a leader mattered if he was to - eventually - try to convince Kerr to leave his place as Oligarch and Luminary. So besides his polite nature in caring about their well-being after the Masquerade, his own self-interests were too important to let Nadia and Odessa escape with a fifteen minute discussion on the road back home, where neither eye-contact nor body language was being used by either party.

As he explained this to Rachel, he found humor in yet another thought. The night had gone more hideously wrong than he had been expecting because of the appearance of Nadia. Originally, he had been expecting it to just be himself, Odessa, and possibly Pierre – Nadia had shown up almost out of the blue and turned the night on its head. Pierre acted like a fool, and the drama that he had been hoping to avoid had begun. He then went onto briefly describe the on-going battle between the two ex-lovers – or at least what Damien knew of it. Damien explained to Rachel their history together in little more detail than Rachel had already known – they had both met in Paris with their sires, had a long fling and Pierre had fallen in love with her. In secret, Pierre had asked Nadia to marry him and he was refused, to the great amusement of Odessa. After they parted, Pierre’s broken heart remained a taboo subject, though Damien heard – or at least came to understand – much about it. Yet over the last four hundred or so years, the two had been casual lovers more than a couple dozen times. Now, after almost a century or so of not seeing her and a few centuries of not being over her, Damien understood Pierre’s desires to finally get a yea or nay on the subject. So Damien had left them alone together – what they had wanted, regardless of their glaring eyes when he had asked Odessa to join him outside only a half hour earlier in the house. It was only when they were in the same area when they would figure themselves out. While that didn’t seem to be entirely the case by the time he reentered the house, Pierre had at least gotten out of her how to contact her and where she was living. Progressive enough.

“I could tell that there was an honest desire for Pierre to see her again," he said. "At the ball, I asked him if he wanted to go home and he had said that he was trying to talk to Nadia. I wasn't about to deny him that, if only to sooth part of that aching soul that he has.

"And besides, " he continued, rerolling a cuff sleeve up and folding the cloth over so it could stay, "I wanted to make sure he got the medical attention he needed from here. I usually have one of the biggest caches of blood and bandages here."
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2012, 02:59:57 PM »
Rachel watched him fix his sleeve, suddenly becoming self conscious.  It was becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore his appearance.  The last thing she wanted at this exact moment was for him to be alerted to whatever internal thoughts she may or may not have been having because of her blushing.  She fidgeted on the bed.

"But still," she uncrossed her legs, stretching them in front of her.  "Janella could have taken him here and you could have dropped Sonya off and talked to her on the way or even at her house."  That way he could have avoided the headache of having to deal with Pierre and Nadia and whatever instigating Sonya was doing behind the scenes.  The more she heard about the ancient, the less she wanted to have anything to do with her.  It was hard enough being polite when she had to deal with her for not even twenty minutes, she couldn't imagine living with her (and Nadia) for any length of time.  Even still, she found it hard to believe that Damien, being as kind as he was, could consider himself her friend.  The human just didn't get it.  Sonya seemed to grate against him more often than not--at least from what the human heard from him of her.  Political ally or not--that wasn't the kind of person she could see him calling a friend.

"I still don't see why you decided to bring everything back here." 

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 01:41:59 PM »
He sighed wearily again at her words, though no frustration was expressed to her. Had he not spent hundreds of years dealing with Sonya's mannerisms and sensibilities Damien would have seen her point. He couldn’t make his point any clearer, as Rachel was only human and used to things in human terms. He wasn’t in any way upset with her or her questions, just too annoyed with the situation and the years of stepping around things to continue arguing the point over. So it remained a rhetorical question and suggestion that he might feel inclined to address at a later point, just not right now.

“You know very well that Jenella couldn’t have taken Pierre anywhere,” he said lightly. “She was here with you the entire time.” When she shrugged at his statement and told him that she would have gone along, Damien’s lips lifted into a slight smile. Since Rachel had come into his life more than two years ago, they all had changed their habits. Because Rachel was hunted by a certain demon, there was never a time she was allowed outside of the property without either Damien’s watchful gaze or that of Jenella and Pierre. It had been tough at first and it had definitely put a wedge between any friendships that could have formed, but it was necessary. Damien had explained several times that he never wanted Laurent to hunt her down, especially since she had become so close to Damien and the events of his lineage. Any attack on Rachel was now an attack on the entire lineage and considering that she was the only human one in his direct contact circle, her vulnerability was too evident. The only safe place for her was inside his almost-impenetrable house, guarded by centuries-old vampires. It was something that was understood, respected, and obeyed throughout his lineage, though it did not come without guilt from Damien himself. The last thing that he wanted to do was to limit the ventures of a young woman like Rachel, especially in any kind of similar way to Laurent. If he had had his way, she would have been living vampire-free in Minneapolis, or some other city where she could prosper as a human girl should. Despite all his civility towards her, he still couldn’t find the words to express how guilty he felt for keeping her safe in this manner. For the time being, however, it couldn’t be helped.

“The best place for you to be on a night like this, where all of the power in the city is distracted, is right where you are,” he said not unkindly. He did feel bad about keeping her locked up and under supervision. The vampire changed the subject quickly enough.

“Besides,” he said changing his tone to one of wry amusement, “Nadia was intent on keeping Pierre within her sights, especially when she saw him knocked down. And Pierre was intent on letting her. I couldn’t simply deny my son the right to talk to his ex-lover when it was so clearly expressed to me that that was what he wanted. I, more or less, presented him with the opportunity away from the eyes of the city. Now, at least, they’ve heard each other and can begin to get over this silly dance that they do. Now Pierre can get himself over that woman and function normally again.”
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death

Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 01:58:33 PM »
She still didn't understand why Damien went out of his way to fix everything, or at the very least nudge things along.  Especially with this kind of thing.  Pierre's love life (or lack thereof) shouldn't have been something that Damien went out of his way to tidy up.  After all, it wasn't like it seemed to do either of them any good.  Pierre was still going to be Pierre and Damien would be left worrying about this and that and nothing would change and he would be all stressed out about all of the things that he couldn't control.  With everything that the vampire was already worrying about, Rachel didn't think that being Cupid should have been on the top of his priorities for the night.   

The human smiled at him and shook her head.

"Yeah, well, he's a big boy and he can deal with it himself.  So it's not your problem."  Not like any of this 'should-have could-have would-have' mattered now, but somewhere she hoped that he would catch on to the fact that not every issue was his to worry about.  One could hope.

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2012, 01:48:07 PM »
"No, I know that," Damien said a touch defensively. His tone, more motivated by expressing his view than powered by defense, remained steady. "It's just that Nadia is Sonya's fledgling after all - the traits that they share are not only their good ones. The less eyes that are on that girl, the less she'll be tempted to perform like she has been trained to. Only then does Pierre have a chance at making her actually hear him. She is a beastly creature, a mildly toned-down version of Sonya when it comes to love."

He had never personally liked the younger woman. Damien had always found her unfeminine, inelegant, and too arrogant. While he knew that Sonya had these same traits and showed them just as often as Nadia had, Nadia had a nasty little habit of displaying her arrogance on her sleeve, without Sonya's ability to control the room she walked into with her presence. Sonya's age and blood required the respect that Damien gave her. In many ways, this was what separated Nadia from her sire.

His opinion of the younger hadn't always been so bleak - when they lived in Paris, Damien became rather indifferent to her. At that time, she served the same function to Sonya as Pierre had to him. When Nadia had invaded Damien's realm and began to know Pierre intimately, it was then that his opinion about the girl began to waver. It changed when she broke his heart the first time.

But it was Pierre who had tried to convince him of what he had called her "true" nature. Apparently she was not as much of a condescending bitch as she seemed to be, but found a softer side with Pierre. Damien simply shrugged this off as blind love. He had always pitied his son for the way he had hung onto the idea of the woman over the long years, something that Damien could never convince him to rid himself of. So while Pierre made room for Nadia to return to his heart, he had rented out the space for hundreds of years until Nadia had decided to find her own way back to him. None but Nadia seemed to be able to maintain the space in Pierre, and Damien hated to see it. Alas, it was Pierre’s decision and he had learned long ago that Pierre was to be supported in every way if they were to remain healthy and alive. The only thing that Damien could do now was to give him the most opportune setting to encourage their union if it was to be so.

“Pierre’s continual attempts at making some kind of peace with Nadia are his own business,” he said to her with an edgy coldness. “Far be it for me to deny my son the space he wants to do so.” And with a minute bit of warmth in his voice that he wondered if Rachel had caught, Damien added, “I do have a heart, after all.”
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

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Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2012, 02:02:04 PM »
So he was playing matchmaker.  Rachel still thought it was silly that he was going out of his way to make sure that the two vampires had the correct atmosphere to talk--especially after going out of his way to make sure that the human knew that she shouldn't have feelings for Pierre.  Funny how that worked out.  She sighed silently to herself. 

The girl understood, to an extent, Damien's desire to see that his 'son' had the best.  What she didn't understand was why he insisted on trying to control every aspect of someone else's love life.  But that was Damien--the very epitome of a control freak.  A heart?  No, more like OCD.  Besides, he was always so cold and stiff when it came to this kind of thing.  Just look at how he acted the other night when he...

Ugh, stop thinking about it.


"Could've fooled me." she quipped, almost unthinking.  Her face instantly flushed with guilt and she bit her tongue.  She hadn't intended on insinuating anything, at least not on a conscious level.  Not out loud.  She hoped he would brush it off.  After all, it was just a sarcastic reflex-response.  They went back and fourth like that all the time.  Well, they used to anyway.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2012, 02:12:27 PM »
For some reason her comment struck deep. Maybe it was that he was tired of dealing with everyone. Maybe it was the drama that had filled the house earlier. Maybe it was the drama that had happened at the Masquerade to put him at odds. Whatever it was, nothing really fit rationally. His slight smile turned into a poorly hidden frown as he stood in her doorway, looking at her. Damien couldn't figure out why it made him stagger so much, why he wasn't able to just brush it off like usual. Then again, he wasn't really thinking about brushing anything off. Instead, his thoughts lingered on the internal pull of her meaning.

There were long moments between them where neither of them moved or made a sound. It was awkward and despite his attempts at getting over it, he struggled silently, his cold silver eyes suddenly soft and questioning, like those of a slightly younger, more human man that he pretended wasn't there.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Damien whispered barely loud enough for the human to hear as he gazed quizzically at her.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

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Offline rainshadowck

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2012, 02:29:29 PM »
She held her breath through the length of the silence and she could feel it burning in her throat.  What a stupid, stupid thing to say.  When he finally spoke, she felt jittery.  More than she should have.  More than she wanted to.  This was what got them into stupid arguments.  One of them would say something wrong, would upset the other because they took it the wrong way, and eventually they would get over it.  But that wasn't without talking.

Say something!

"Well," she laughed nervously, desperately trying to cover up the blunder she had just made "You're dead."  She felt the heat on her face increase as he stared blankly at her before responding.

"So, I still have my organs." 

"Non functioning." she spoke quickly again, trying to keep things light, trying to smile.  Fuck.  Well, if he wasn't going to be changing the subject any time soon, she wasn't going to wait for him to.  "Anyway, next time you get knocked over by the Luminary, you know not to invite everyone back for an after party."  There.  That sounded like a polite end to a conversation, right?  So he would leave and she would go back to her book and they would continue as usual.  No more mention of hearts and feelings and certainly no more thinking about kissing.

Not that she was thinking about that now.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Hardest of Hearts
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2012, 02:50:25 PM »
The vampire nodded with difficulty. He stared at her for a while longer as she spoke with one of the worst attempts at ease he had ever seen her do. The twinge of her comment was still lingering in his chest when she settled the conversation in her round-about way. More moments passed which he spent trying not to pry deeper. He was tired. He was sick of dealing with people. They were at odds. It wasn't until he determined that no good would come from prying the girl's meaning open that he changed the subject officially. By that time, nearly a human minute had passed awkwardly, one more animal in the room between them.

"So, uh," he began, hating the way his voice sounded and the way that human feeling tried to fill him, "you are going to sleep tonight?" He was too distracted to realize his bad grammar.
Oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart.

The HermitThe Devil | Justice | Temperance | The Empress | The Star | Death