Author Topic: Boys Night  (Read 287 times)

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Offline Satyr

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #45 on: February 08, 2019, 01:45:10 PM »
Was he okay now?

"Absolutely, yeah," Ben said, giving Zeph as charming a smile as he could to show he liked where he was now. Okay, yes, life wasn't perfect but whose was? And he was sitting pretty at the moment. He didn't have anywhere near the problems or confusion he used to have. He was still a baby vampire in terms of those around him, but he wasn't a useless fledgeling anymore. He'd surrounded himself with people who were invested in protecting him. And one who loved him. He really should find a donor and go back home.

At Zeph's statement, it was easy to see that the nymph wanted the night to be over. Ben had no idea what was going to happen to him but his night was far from over. Who knew what Charon's interest in him was? The ancient knew he was fae and considered him pretty. Ben had seen Charon at the club more often than not lately - perhaps something to do with him, perhaps not. Maybe Charon was looking for someone to replace Ben's role? Maybe he should warn Zeph.

Maybe he should keep his nose out of it.

He sensed the ancient's arrival before he saw it. He was surprised the hearing was over so quickly. Perhaps everyone had been berated and that was it? Somehow he doubted it. Ben turned to look over his shoulder, seeing that one of the wall panels in the VIP area had opened outward, like a door. He made eye contact with Charon, who gestured for him to leave.

"Good luck," Ben bade Zeph, shifting along the cushioned booth and leaving far more hastily than he should've, if he'd wanted to make Zeph feel better.

Charon joined Zeph in the booth a mere second after Ben left it. He didn't look like a graceful, beautiful man, but he moved with the ethereal quality that all ancient beings possessed. His body blocked Zeph's exit, unless he climbed over the table to get away.

Zephyrus, Charon spoke into his mind. Unlike his real voice, his mind-voice was deep, masculine and booming. Rich in tone and warm in residue. It would feel pleasant in Zeph's head - except for the shock of it being there, perhaps. I admired your honesty, and your resilience.

Offline suneater

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2019, 12:39:38 PM »
Ben's confirmation that he was alright buoyed Zeph's spirits a bit. It didn't seem like the casual, nothing sort of response that questions like are you alright? or how are you? usual resulted in. Most people didn't register them as actual inquiries into their state of mind or emotion, rendering a litany of non-answers like okay or fine or the dreads same old, same old, because most people asking didn't actually care. Zeph did, though, and found it incredibly frustrating to have to pry and prod to actually get past that odd social barrier.

No, Ben seemed to be earnestly declaring that he'd made it through the set-backs he'd described alright. Zeph returned his smile, but watched in puzzlement as the vampire seemed to react to nothing. His gaze tracked in the direction Ben had turned, and he saw the wall panel open and the vampire king move through. That same sense of gravity enshrouded him even here, with the music straining to infiltrate the VIP area. Zeph blinked, clearly surprised by the ancient's appearance. He had expected to be summoned back to the hall for some kind of final verdict, not visited in the champagne room.

Good luck. Why did Zeph feel an odd sense of betrayal at Ben's departure? He knew that Ben had already done more than enough for him, but for some reason, it still stung in a strange way. The way he hustled out wasn't very encouraging, and it also precluded Zeph getting his number, or his Facebook, or some way to stay in touch provided that he actually left Venture alive.

There was nothing to do now but regard Charon just a little warily. Without Ben at his side, it seemed that the nymph was far uneasier than he had been during the trial. Respectful. Keep it respectful. Hand shakes. Classical music. Funeral directors. Err. Maybe not the last one. He bought some time with a sip of water, but then Charon's voice was in his head. The difference between his sedimentary real voice was stark, and confusion flitted across the nymph's features. It wasn't as jarring as he would have expected. It was warmer than he would have thought, gentler, but still steeped in power.

"Umm. Thank you, sir." He worried his lower lip with his teeth. "I hope that 'sir' is okay?" He was neither fawning nor cowering with the question; he earnestly had no idea how to address the being before him, and that uncertainty would occupy the forefront of his mind.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #47 on: February 09, 2019, 01:05:29 PM »
Perhaps too formal, the baritone in his head informed with a smiling tone. Charon also smiled, though it did nothing for his countenance other than to make his features look less like he was disgusted by everything. Normally pretty young things recoiled in horror from being so close to him, or their thoughts would betray their true feelings even though they outwardly fawned over him. A few - the ones Charon liked the best - were the ones who didn't see his physical appearance as much as his power.

Zeph's thoughts were amusing. He'd taken Ben's warning (that Charon had heard) quite literally and the result was entertaining and delightful.

I would prefer to hear my name on your beautiful lips. Call me Charon.

And so the courting began.

Offline suneater

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #48 on: February 09, 2019, 01:48:19 PM »
Zeph certainly didn't recoil, but there was some tension in his posture - his body reacting physically to the way that his mind interpreted the ancient's power. He didn't find Charon particularly physically appealing, or even pleasant, but he evinced no disgust. He also didn't seem consciously aware of his power. Zeph's neutrality was rooted deeply in his belief that people were people. Their actions were what mattered, not their appearances, at least when sex wasn't on the table. Then their appearances sort of mattered.

Having his lips mentally described as beautiful by a vampire that other vampires were scared of... well, it was definitely weird. Zeph wasn't sure what to do with that. Unexpected, unwanted compliments were difficult territory. Usually the best course was simply to ignore them, but that might not be true here. Even if Charon weren't privy to his thoughts, he'd have no trouble observing Zeph work this out since his expression concealed nothing.

"Um. Thanks." His voice was flat there. "Umm. Charon? Is it okay if I asked what happened? Like, the trial, I mean."

Offline Satyr

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #49 on: February 09, 2019, 03:09:51 PM »
At your suggestion, I was lenient. Charon's smile remained fixed, assessing the young nymph, drinking in every action. I hope you are appreciative and that it pleases you.

The words, whilst aggressive, were spoken in a hopeful tone. Charon's social skills had suffered in the decades he'd spent with only his family around him.

Charon wore a well-tailored suit though the cut was slightly old-fashioned and the colour - which had looked black in the golden room - presented more as a dark purple. He didn't have many outfits to show off and this was his favourite one. He placed a hand on the table, near the glass Zeph held. His hand was gnarled and misshapen, but his nails were perfectly manicured.

Offline suneater

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2019, 03:37:24 PM »
Some of the tension ebbed out of Zeph at the result of the trial. A lot of it, actually. His easy smile made a reappearance, and he reached up to run a hand through his ash-blond hair. "Oh, yeah, definitely, um, appreciative." He nodded a touch egregiously. His misgivings about Rodrigo were temporarily outweighed by his happiness that he was probably okay.

Charon's time-ravaged hand, so close to his water and to him, drew a bit of a stare from Zeph. He looked up from it, tracking up Charon's jacket-clad arm to his distorted features. It wasn't easy to simply face him like that, but Zeph managed it.

Awkward silence followed. He had no idea what to say now. Honestly, he just wanted to go home, but he also didn't want to be rude. The full implications, political and otherwise, escaped him completely, but he had some awareness that it wasn't every day that vampire royalty met privately with art students. Nothing Charon had done so far had caused enough unease for Zeph to question his interest.

His thoughts strayed to his vape pen, but then Ben came to mind. He could picture the vampire's look of disdain and his cold words. You're an idiot. A vampire lord has you alone, and you want to dull your wits? Hmmph. He scratched at his neck and then returned his hand to the water glass. He'd lost his focus on Charon briefly, but then reinforced his smile slightly.

"I'm not really sure what to say," he admitted sheepishly, once again bringing his thoughts and words into alignment.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2019, 03:41:28 PM »
What do you think is the most interesting thing about you? Charon prompted, unsure how to continue in this seduction ritual. He just wanted to look at Zeph, mostly. Look at him, sit with him, not have him showing or thinking in terms of repulsion... it was nice. Not such a small ask, because Charon knew he was hideous, but still, that was enough. He wanted to let Zeph know he could smoke his pipe, he wasn't as prudish as Ben, but he didn't want to betray the touch he had on Zeph's mind.

Offline suneater

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2019, 03:59:08 PM »
"Oh, wow..."

The question disarmed Zeph (not a particularly difficult task), and his attention drifted from Charon to the glass of water. His features creased in thought. What was the most interesting thing about him? He began sifting through his identity. It was an interesting query, one that he was happy to answer for its own sake, not simply to please Charon. Pleasing Charon didn't overtly seem to be a goal of his, so much as being respectful.

The obvious answer was his heritage. There were fewer nymphs in the world than dancers, and air nymphs were only a fraction of that population. That was too easy though, and that fact alone meant it wasn't his most interesting trait. It was what he was, but it wasn't who he was.

Still, he couldn't think of anything else about him that was more interesting than that. Maybe he should narrow it down? Ooooooh.

"Well, umm, probably my name. Or I guess, why I have my name. My family says we're, you know, directly descended from my namesake." It was a word that would probably sound strange coming from the nymph, whose vocabulary was somewhat limited, but it was one he had learned early on. "Zephyrus," he explained, "One of the Anemoi. The west wind. He had like a ton of wives, but umm, supposedly one of them was Iris, the rainbow goddess, which I honestly think is kind of cool and I hope she's like.... my great great great great great great grandma or whatever." A boyish grin had crept onto his lips as he spoke, and it was in full bloom by the time he finished. He looked self-conscious because he was. He knew it was a little silly, and probably not even true, but to him it was interesting.

His attention had returned to Charon, but now he really watched the ancient, trying to mark some kind of reaction.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2019, 04:09:37 PM »
Zeph might not have set out to please Charon, but please Charon he did. Speaking of the myths of today was tapping into the beliefs of Charon's time. He was familiar with Zephyrus, Iris and the rest of them. It was something they both shared. The smile was also one of champions, and Charon's hand quivered, desperately wanting to roam them over Zeph's body. Slow, he had to take things slowly. He knew this much.

Our names connect us, Charon sent. I sense you are tired and need to recover from your experience, and process the knowledge you have learnt tonight. I wish for you to return to me. One week. Seek me out and we will properly speak with one another. I will reward you with whatever you wish.

His eagerness couldn't be suppressed.


Offline suneater

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #54 on: February 10, 2019, 01:14:21 AM »
Zeph nodded slowly. He knew of the ferryman, and a slew of other myths connected to Hades's realm. It was a bit of a coincidence that the Greek tradition connected them. A few questions stirred in his mind on the subject, but Charon was right: he was tired. Hearing someone else acknowledge it only multiplied the effect.

The ancient wanted him to come back. Charon would sense Zeph's immediate reservations. Even though it had ended relatively well, Venture wasn't a place he was eager to come back to, even with the favor of its lord. Pensive, he studied Charon for a few seconds and finally nodded. The ancient had mentioned a reward, but Zeph hadn't any idea what he might ask for. It sounded like something from a video game, and really, he didn't want to be any more tied up with vampires than was necessary. Sure, he was curious to learn about them, but doing so was also dangerous, and the relative comfort of the mortal life he had established seemed pretty appealing.

"Okay. I'll be back. In a week." The words were tentative. For the first time, they didn't precisely match what was going on inside his head. In the end he hadn't really been able to make a good argument to himself either way. There was danger in both paths, so he chose to submit to Charon and maybe get another chance to see Ben and exchange information. That was his preferred way to learn more about vampires.

"Thanks for, umm, having me. And sorry for any trouble I caused." Charon was still very much blocking his way out, so he remained seated.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #55 on: February 10, 2019, 02:14:34 PM »
Once the apology was given, Charon had an immediate answer: I'm sure you'll make it up to me.

Charon appreciated the gracious acceptance after an uneasy moment of indecision. Now that he had his agreement, he slid out of the booth in one smooth movement and stepped back for Zeph to exit as well. He gave the nymph plenty of room without forcing him to brush against him. It would serve him well to have Zeph grow used to his appearance, to be wooed by the man beneath enough to overlook it.

Or, failing that, he could always use the trick he'd adopted for Ben; to appear as someone Zeph loved.


Offline suneater

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Re: Boys Night
« Reply #56 on: February 11, 2019, 10:24:35 AM »
The nymph nodded uncertainly in response to Charon's final mental message - really just a slight dip of his chin, because he wasn't sure what to make of it. He eased out of the booth, performed an odd little bow, and then made his way out of the private area and into the nightclub section of the bar. Normally, Zeph would have found himself hard-pressed to ignore the call of the beat. After the evening he'd had, the prospect of spending even another minute more than he had to in Venture sparked anxiety in his chest.

He did his best to circumvent the writhing mass of bodies dancing. How many were vampires? How many of them were here for the bite? He had the sensation of being the subject of many predatory gazes, but he didn't dare look around to confirm it. No, he just kept pushing through, nimbly slipping his lithe form through the gaps in the crowd until finally he was on his way downstairs.

With Ben leading him around, he hadn't paid much attention to where he was going, which presented some difficulty in escaping. He got a bit turned around, and when an unknown man appeared before him, a querulous eyebrow raised, Zeph actively ducked to the side to slip around him, looking around a bit wildly for the route back into the lounge, and then the exit. As always, the nymph had no control over his features whatsoever. It would be plain to see for anyone who crossed his path that Zeph was distressed.

Finally he was in the lounge, and he bee-lined for the door. There was a bit of a clump at the entrance as a group of men, a few going in, a few going out, stopped to chat. Zeph skirted around the edges but couldn't quite squeeze himself out. One of the men, whom he'd brushed against, raised an inquiring brow at him, flashing a smile that Zeph probably would have found very enticing in other circumstances. He shook his head quickly and pushed through, popping out of the club and into the night. The line was long and deep now, and Zeph hurried past it, keeping his head down.

Rather than making for the bus stop he pulled out his phone and, with shaking hands, summoned a ride share. His dad would get on his case about it, almost certainly, but at the moment Zeph didn't care. He wanted to be home as soon as possible. Now that he was alone, the weight of the evening was pressing down on him from all sides. Vampires are real, Rodrigo wants to be one, the vampire king wants me to come calling next week. He staggered back to lean against the wall of a building and await his car. His hand fumbled for the vape pen, and he took too long, steadying hits of THC-laden oil. His racing mind finally slowed, and he managed to pull himself together just enough to act a bit normally when the driver turned up and offered an innocuous greeting.

He fairly threw himself into the backseat. He could feel tears coming but he closed his eyes and went through a breathing exercise to stem the tide. He was successful, but he still felt emotionally raw, and was completely silent for the entirety of the ride. He tilted to lean into the door of the car, wrapping his arms around himself.

He was away. He was safe. That was what mattered.