Author Topic: 18 Months in Vignettes  (Read 364 times)

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Offline rainshadowck

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18 Months in Vignettes
« on: February 19, 2019, 03:05:02 AM »
[for Saiketsu]


Spring, Afternoon

Delilah howled excitedly at bottom of the stairs, spinning twice in a circle before sitting, tail thumping against the floor.  Rachel hadn't even had the chance to make it down before shushing the dog as quietly as she could.  Damien probably had woken from the noise already, light sleeper that he was.  Hopefully, he'd go back to sleep soon--she always felt so bad making any noise during the day.  Panting, Delilah scrambled across the house to the back door, Rachel--with a yawn--trailing behind. 

No nightmares to speak of this week, so she was surprisingly well-rested.  Except for the fact that she had stayed up talking with Damien last night and well into the early morning at around 5 am.  Well, okay--so they only talked until about 4 am until she finally insisted "No, really, I need to go to sleep now" returned to her room and crawled into her bed.  But she lay awake for about another hour (really--was it that long?) thinking about him and their long conversation, before finally actually drifting off.  Whatever--details.  She found herself wondering what he was doing when she went off into her room, what he was thinking about.  Secretly she hoped he would join her here while she slept and she would find his arms wrapped around her the next morning when she woke up.  It had only been a couple weeks since Pierre nearly walked in on them--and she couldn't stop thinking about the way their bodies felt pressed against each other.  Sleep came easily after thoughts of his lips and wandering fingertips.

Pulling a thin dark grey sweatshirt over her black tank top, Rachel opened the sliding glass door, sending Delilah running into the sunlight.  Rachel followed, shivering slightly and squinting against the light. 

"Don't go into the woods!"  she called after the dog, who, stopping mid-stride, turned with head-tilt to one side before resuming her sniffing at the edge of the back yard.  Goddamnit. What was "come here" in French, again?

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2019, 11:28:07 AM »
Spring, Early Evening.

It was rare that he sat down to watch his own television; it usually couldn't hold his attention comfortably for very long at all. Lately, there were always things to do. Bills to pay, chores, business relationships to build, contracts to sign. The land acquisition for Aquillia Industries Inc. was giving him a supernatural migraine. The land was always just one payment away, just one more inspection, one more contractor, one more, one more...

His fledglings worked tirelessly on securing the property for the newest monolith to vampire research and development and he couldn't have been more proud of them all, especially Jenella and Phineas. The process of purchasing a large plot of land in the North District was proving to be one of the most difficult things he had ever done in this city. Abiding by human rules while maintaining his secrecy as an immortal adolescent was grueling at best, daunting most days. Scheduling, rescheduling meetings due to an illness which kept him less than himself, medication which required him to avoid direct sunlight. Representing himself as his own son who spoke on behalf of a dying old man. Keeping up with the act kept him up days -- not that it mattered in the grand scheme of his unlife. It did, after all, allow him to see Rachel more often, so he supposed it wasn't all bad.

He stretched himself on the couch, going as far as to recline with his feet up on the coffee table, one arm draped over the cushions comfortably, flicking through the channels until he found a mildly interesting animal documentary.

A full day of worrisome, racing thoughts, dealing with contractor calls... it had left him needing a distraction badly. Too many thoughts. Too much to do. Hands too tied. Waiting, waiting... waiting.

He heard his human companion move down the stairs which creaked dutifully under her weight. Delilah rose from her bed in the sunroom and padded towards Rachel with light tapping of her newly cleaned and cut nails. The human moved through the kitchen and his eyes were drawn to her, something more than just the salience of her movement. He followed her as she passed in and out of his field of vision, preparing food for herself. Clinking of porcelain on the granite countertops, closing the refrigerator, opening it, forgetting something and opening it a second time, putting something in a cupboard. She hummed to herself lowly as if she forgot that he was there. He watched. The microwave now, the pressing of buttons, the croon of the motor, the smell of her pasta soup spicy in his nostrils after only a dozen or so seconds. He watched the kitchen as she dipped in and out of his sight.

She walked towards him with her food, eyes down as she fiddled with the food, trying to feed herself. He quickly put his eyes back where they belonged and tried not to seem to notice her too much, to not be too eager for her to sit near him. His human companion sat down next to him, casually, naturally, and that feeling of a blush that would never come filled his face, making his ears tingle. His face expressed this terribly, unnaturally. He was still not used to the feeling of having her so close. But Rachel seemed not to mind, folding her legs up under her, leaning very gently onto his chest and outstretched arm.

That feeling of blood in his face again.

"What are you watching?" Her blood betrayed her just as badly, though she looked at him with nothing but acceptance of her position in his arms.

"'Life'," Damien said quietly with an awkward smile before shifting his main focus back to the television over the fireplace. The vampire placed a small, hesitant kiss on the top of the human's head.
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: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 11:34:30 PM »
Late Spring, Sunset

Much to Rachel's delight, they had fallen asleep (fully clothed, of course) together in her room.  Shortly after Damien had just told her how comfortable he was--with her laying there warm on his chest--she (actually!) watched him drift off.  Rachel thought that he looked much more relaxed like this, although his face did slip into an expression that made him look like a sad child.  Which would have made her laugh if she hadn't been trying too hard to be quiet and still.  He was more relaxed than he generally was, and in this moment she was content enough with that.  Though she did wonder what he was dreaming about as his face occasionally twitched in that way that sleeping people did.  She didn't watch him for that much longer before drifting off herself, equally as comfortable and so very secure.  When she woke up they seemed to open their eyes at the same time, and she hurried to press her face against his in a wordless greeting.

"I like feeling you smile against my face."  She said, kissing the corner of his mouth.  Which made him smile more.

"What are you doing?" His voice was still groggy--and she loved it.

Grinning, she planted more kisses again in the upturned corners, in quick succession, alternating sides until they both broke out in a fit of giggles.

Yes, this was her favorite thing.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2019, 07:35:06 AM »
Early Summer, Sunset.

He couldn't remember feeling more nervous about his outfit. Hair, parted and smoothed back with product. Shirt neat, a faded gray, with black buttons. Charcoal wool jacket, soft and semi-formal. Jeans, fitted - were they too fitted? - comfortable - were they too comfortable? No, khakis. No, black denim. No, no.

He had never felt so out of his element, going out on a date, a human date. He had never been on a date at all. Trivial things they had once seemed. Things that couples did, things that people with a relationship did. People with a future together, humans, who had lives to live and lose. He didn't go on dates. Who was there to date?

That same human feeling filled his face, an odd kind of excitement blossomed in his chest. He had a date. The idea was ludicrous.

A date.

That's what he had called it, too. It was his question to her, not the other way around. "Would you like to go on a date, Rachel?" He had said it both for her reaction - an intense blush filling her round cheeks as she looked away smiling from him - and because he meant it. He wanted this date, this silly, ludicrous, evening of food he couldn't digest at a restaurant he didn't know with a beautiful companion. He was craving those smiles, that blush, placing his lips upon those cheeks and feeling the warmth in his lips. After the tension of both of their lives, he wanted the ease that seemed to flood from her when he was near. It was the only easy thing he knew and he wanted more. Much more.

There was a game they were playing and Damien felt like he didn't have the rules, floundering. She went into her room to get ready; he could hear her moving around even now. He stayed in his, undressed and looked at himself in the mirror.

He saw scars from a human life long ago, wounds long since closed but visible and startling to those who have never seen them. He worried here. What would she say when she saw them? The rippled skin of his claiming on his back? The pierced flesh of his hips and inner thighs? Would she ever see his inner thighs? Did he even want that? The idea had made him put his shirt on faster. Best not to think on that thought, after all.

She was human. She enjoyed such things like dates. When was the last time she had been unsupervised outside of the house?  "Rachel," he called with a smirk, a bit of impatience and humor leaking into his voice, "are you ready?"

Was he?
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: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2019, 09:41:29 AM »
Rachel had made him promise not to take her anywhere too fancy for dinner.  She didn't have clothes that were nice enough for that kind of thing--there hadn't really been a need for it before--and she didn't exactly want to explain that to him just yet.  He would've definitely taken her dress shopping on the spot and she was not prepared for that kind of thing tonight.  Besides, she was really looking forward to just a low-key dinner and a movie type of thing.  Yeah.  Low-key.  So why was she so damn nervous?  She was finished dressing just as he had asked if she was ready--just black fitted jeans with an oversized wide-necked sweater and some flats.  Nothing special--but she did look cute and showed off a good portion of her shoulders and neck.  Wait, maybe it was too much?  This was basically their first date.  First date--so they were dating?  Maybe she should wear something a little more special? 

No, best not over think things.

It had been really cute watching him try to eat--mouth open chewing awkwardly with fangs.  They had laughed a lot, mostly at his expense but he didn't seem to mind.  God, she couldn't remember ever seeing him smile this much.  It brought such a flutter to her chest and flush to her cheeks.  They saw some stupid romantic comedy and held hands the whole time--just like some silly cliche.  It was too perfect in its simplicity and her face burned bright with so much blushing.  She held his hand the entire car ride back, staying quiet, making slow circles with her thumb against his skin.

I had a nice time, she wanted to say when they got out of the car.
Lets do this again, she was thinking, walking with him--hand in hand again--to the front door of the house.

But when she opened her mouth to speak it was met in a rush with his lips, and her eyes fluttered shut.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 01:46:28 AM »
He remembered in that exact moment how much he enjoyed kissing, the feeling of lips on his. But the human's blush as he pressed against her was always something he craved. Before Rachel, there had never been warmth, never been soft, tender flesh that took to the pressure of his fingertips so willingly. Before Rachel, there was resistance, coldness, a cruel kind of kiss based in pleasure, lust, not enjoyment, not intimacy. Was that what he wanted when he kissed her? It seemed too silly to crave such things now after so long.

Damien had pressed Rachel into the wall in the foyer, the door still standing ajar. The warmth of her skin, so near now, began to warm him despite their clothes. That familiar stir that he had once been ashamed of feeling in her presence took root in his core, in his groin and Damien did nothing to stop it. Despite the habitual warnings - disrespect, power dynamic, Lucretia, memory, habit - that played in his head, he kissed Rachel more passionately, shifting his hips into hers. Her willingness to allow him access to her warm body was almost overwhelming, her hands running through his hair.

Why had he denied himself the feeling of love?

He lifted her then and held her against the wall and her legs wrapped around his body, embracing him. His hips took on their own motion and he could hear the human's breath change. And now he was breathing heavily as well, traces of warmth in his chest, his cheeks. He craved her skin, her hands on his back, on his hips, holding him close.

He hadn't meant to lay her out on his bed, her human scent marking her as just as willing as he was. He was laying on her before he had noticed that he had even moved out of the foyer. She looked at him with a caution that he couldn't read. He paused, becoming self-aware of his hardness and her eyes on him. "Are you okay?"

She took his mouth into hers again with such vehemence that it took his breath away and made the blood stir in his groin. It was his turn to look at her with caution. He pulled away gently, stumbling in his own discomfort and unfamiliarity. "Rachel, I... I haven't... I've never been with... a human before." That awkward feeling of a blush that would never come again. She looked at him then with seriousness and that same caution. Her hand brushed the side of his face tenderly, it made him smile despite his awkwardness.

"Okay," she said, moving that hand through his hair now slowly, caringly. "Do you want to stop?" Her voice was small and patient with him.

He reached up to her and kissed her deeply. "No," he said sheepishly between kisses. "But I don't want to hurt you."

She smiled again through their kiss, lips turning up in a way that just made him want to kiss her more, press into her. Her hands were at the buttons on his shirt, twisting them apart and finally pushing the fabric away from his chest. "I trust you," was all she said.

Through those kisses, she removed his shirt and he removed hers, removed her jeans and she removed his. Wicked blushes and hands roving like teenagers with their new bodies, they removed everything - except for his undershirt that hid those awful scars on his back. He had to move her hands wordlessly, failing to find the courage to tell her not to. But they lay together, flushed and ready but nervous on the procedure. How long had it been since he had been with a woman? Well before Lucretia had died, and never one so warm, so soft and tender skinned, skin that would rip and bleed under the pressure of his teeth or fingernails.

He was nervous about it all. Should he be doing this? He was her protector. He was her bodyguard against the Shadow Demon who hunted her. He was a vampire, too old for such things like sex, love, pleasure. He had lived too long without these things. Would he even still know how to do it, to perform? Would he feel okay about it afterwards? Would she? How could they tell? How could he not hurt her? Was he thinking about only what he wanted? Was he using her? Was he being just another John to her?

"Hey." She pulled his quivering attention back to her, her nipples hard against his chest, her breathing heavy, her body hot and ready, wanting. His eyes found hers and there was a moment of passage where he felt like he transferred all these thoughts to her. She kissed him again, softly, without urgency, calling him back to his present moment where it was just them and their flesh, laying warm together naked on his bed. He could kiss her like that for eternity. "I trust you."

Damien adjusted himself on top of her, pressing his weight onto her while he found himself hard in his own hand, knuckles rubbing against the soft pillow of hair that marked her as a woman. He let his hands wander there, his erection pressed against her leg, Rachel's breath in his ear while he explored her lips with his fingers, delving into a wetness he never knew. He gasped with her when those lips finally parted under his fingers and allowed her to embrace the cool fingers against her clitoris. He had not forgotten this. Smooth, slick, silken flesh that parted in ripples that coaxed him into depths filled with more wetness. Rachel gasped and moaned as his fingers gave her simple pleasure, hands grappling at his back in uncontrolled need. Her scent was intoxicating and made him throb with want. Damien moved his hands back to his erection - something he hadn't done in a very long time - and adjusted himself for entry. His heart would have been pounding, blood filling his cheeks, but for once he didn't care. She was warm and just being near that warmth wasn't enough. He groaned, trying to contain his arousal, his want. Caution flickered through his head again and was only chased away when Rachel moved her hips up into him, trying to press him farther into her. And he couldn't help himself. His lips connected with hers in a moan and he slid himself into her for the first time.

They gasped together and fell into a routine they both knew so well, mouths connecting.
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: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2019, 06:38:28 AM »
That was right, she liked sex.  She had always liked sex.  Before everything bad—this was something she truly enjoyed.  Sex was great when it was something that you wanted, enthusiastically wanted.  She hadn’t realized how much she had missed it, missed kissing, touching, and masturbating—god it had been so long.  All the hunger that had built of came rushing in, desire clicking into place as she came into remembering parts of that person she used to be.  Before Laurent.  Before having to escape, to hide. 

She knew when they had started on this journey of a relationship together that having sex would be an eventuality.  Well, at least that it was very likely.  Especially as things progressed, and the feeling of chemistry that surprisingly lingered like static occupying the small places between them as they pressed against one another—on the couch, in the doorway, against the wall.  Rachel knew that it would eventually progress to this moment, that it was only a matter of time. 

When she stopped to think about it, she was nervous.  How would she react?  How would the trauma of what had happened come into play?  Would she start to cry?  Would she freeze up?  Would she have flashbacks?  Would that scare him?  Would they have to stop?  Would they be able to try again after?

Before anything had even happened, she was so sure that something would go wrong, so she pushed away any attempts to sort them out.  Somehow she would just have to figure it out in the moment.  No matter what things would be okay.  This wasn’t four years ago, back in those small hotel rooms with paper thin walls.

This was Damien.  This was her.  This was—us.  And most importantly, “us” felt safe.  No, he wouldn’t ever hurt her.  She was sure of that.  It was okay just be herself—who she was before.  There was space for that now.  They would be okay.  Regardless of what happened when they finally progressed to that point. 

They hadn’t had a real detailed conversation about what he had gone through, but she at least knew that this wouldn’t be an easy step for him either.  There was a kind of unspoken solidarity there between them.  While she couldn’t have any clue the extent of what he went through—and what he lost—she couldn’t help but feel a kind of kinship with him.  Something about knowing what it was like to have a reluctance to be vulnerable after suffering so much pain.  He deserved having the good feelings that intimacy brought—they both did.  And she was filled with an almost zealous determination to make sure he felt as safe with her as she felt with him. 

“We can slow down if you need to.”

God, right there—a sheepish smile against her skin that she couldn’t help but mirror.  This made her heart flutter anew—that absence of pre-determined actions--composure, the cute hesitance, asking permission with small touches and gradual advances.  She had lived with him for some time now, but getting to know him, how he acted in moments like this, was giving her a kind of rush that she hadn’t expected.  She was looking forward to getting to know this part of him, how his body moved, what his skin tasted like, what spots she could touch to make him shiver.

“We can always stop at any time—no matter what.”  She whispered against his cheek, planting small kisses of assurance on either closed eyelid.  This simple act of consent, of checking in throughout their exploration, felt so…sacred.  Another thing she hadn’t realized she craved until this point—and a small piece of seriousness crept into her features. 

“Do you want to keep going?”

Slow exhale.  Quick small kisses.  A nod. 

Her body felt hot against and around him.  Hips urgent, movements natural and unafraid—assured, enthusiastic.  Rise and fall.  Want and need. 

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 09:56:03 AM »
Summer, Early Morning.

Her face was warm on his bare chest, a most satisfying feeling. There was a current of exhausted comfort between them now that their tensions had been released with mouths, hands, and bodies. He could feel her hair on his shoulder insulating the warm, her breath on his skin. That heart beating so near his own chest. He preferred to close his eyes and pretend that their two hearts were beating in unison, that the warmth he felt would last now that he was human.

She made him want to be human again.

Her fingers traced the muscles beneath his skin slowly, purposefully but without the build of tension. Her skin was fragrant with sweat and she smelled strongly of him - his musky odor coating all the places he had landed or enjoyed with her - her mouth, her hips, and of course her sex. He was in love with the knowledge that he had brought her to climax while inside of her, had filled her with his seed and they both kept coming back for more. He felt her hands hold onto him in their desperation for fulfillment then, and their need for intimacy, connection now. Damien held Rachel's hand and kissed the top of her head, feeling that there was something on her mind.

"I like this," she said quietly, a smile making itself known against his chest. He could picture it all clearly.

"I do too," he said after a moment, enjoying its simplicity. "I want more of this." Content silence full of peace filled the space between them, filled the room. Fingers tracing muscles until they managed to make him twitch in pleasure. Another smile from the human, this one more mischievous than the last. He grasped her hand, both enjoying the sensation and arriving at a thought that troubled him. Damien kissed that hand softly, a worried look on his face.

"I want you to know that you're more than your body to me." His voice was full of concern, determined to have her understand that she was more than some donor with whom he spent his time. "I never want you to think that I'm only with you to satiate my own needs. You're much more than that to me, you know."

The human blushed hard against his skin and he weathered the sensation on his chest as best he could. "Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"So... what are we, then? What is this?" A small voice.

The question caught him, Damien, off guard. Was this just sex? No, certainly not like this. Every moment together felt heavy with chemistry, emotional connection, and something he couldn't quite put his finger on. Damien had never encountered it for himself, but he couldn't imagine that this was what casual sex felt like. The only sex that he could compare this to was that with Lucretia and besides the basic mechanics of the body movements there were nearly no similarities.

"I thought we were... lovers," he said boyishly, feeling foolish.

"Lovers," she giggled at him.

"Yes... like," he hesitated, trying to find a better word and failing, "boyfriend and girlfriend."

A shrill giggle again and her arms wrapped around him in a playful, happy way. It was the bane of his existence messing up these modern terms in front of her. Damien still smirked and allowed her affections as she admonished him with kisses.

"Listen," he said mildly annoyed at his own ignorance with a habitual frown, "I don't have the words for this. The only word that I have is 'courting' and I already know that's not right. That's the old word for it."

"You mean 'dating'?"

"Yes!" He knew that word, why hadn't he thought of it?

"So... we're dating now?" A blush that made her hide her face from him.

"Well you're certainly not my pet," he said smartly, full of humor, only receiving another blush from the human. "So yes, dating. I imagined we were dating. I mean, if that's what you want." Now it was his turn to fill that awkward blushing sensation that never seemed to reach his cheeks.

"Do you want that?"

"Yes," he said quietly with the flavor of his not-blush still on his face and in his words. "I do."

She chuckled shortly, her face still red. "Okay."

"Do you?"

She hid her face more into his chest, the palm of the hand that once traced his chest muscles now wrapped comfortably over his shoulder, pulling him. Rachel nodded and Damien smiled. "Alright then," he decided with that same human feeling in his chest and cheeks. "We're dating, then."
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: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 01:59:07 AM »
Summer, Afternoon

Rachel had woken sometime after two, tangled in his legs and sheets.  She couldn’t remember falling asleep--it was so easy to do now.  Last night was filled with seeking each other's pleasure with gentle exploration; and after collapsing slick with sweat, glistening in the afterglow, she must’ve drifted off while they were talking. 

He murmured an amused and sleepy “Good morning,” as she stirred, working to untangle herself from him. 

“When did I fall asleep?”  She sat up, moving the hair from her face and reaching for the glass of water by the bed.

“Around five-thirty,” his voice carried an edge of laughter, “You were in the middle of telling me about how you were fighting with a woman in the market over the last carton of ice cream.”

“Huh?”  She looked back at him, puzzled.  He must’ve been talking to her while she was half asleep again.  Rachel scowled, crawling back over to him and curling against him. 

They settled into a comfortable silence, lazy affectionate touching with no rush to start the day that made her think of summer.  This time of year made her anxious staying inside.  Taking Delilah out around the yard during the heat of the day didn’t really cut it, but at least it was something.  Rachel wanted to see the city in the daylight, meet up with friends for brunch, do errands, take the dog to the park--or something.  This year had her thinking about these things more than before, the feeling of safety that had settled into her while living with Damien gave her the space to feel restless.  It wasn’t that she felt trapped--it wasn’t like that at all.  She enjoyed her time with him and anything she needed she knew he would give her.  It was just the things that she couldn’t have that she wanted--going out into the city, or anywhere really, during the day. 

They never really talked about it, it was just one of those unspoken things.  He could be lurking around any corner, ready to snatch her, and Damien wouldn’t be able to do a thing about it.  So it wasn’t safe.  Not yet.  Not until He was dead.  But He hadn’t shown up since He burned Pierre.  And it had been so long--by her standards anyway. 

“What are you thinking about?”  His question was soft as he moved his fingers lightly through her hair.  She let the question linger a bit, unsure of how to answer or if she wanted to get into it.

"Do you think it's safe?"  Her voice was small as she traced small circles on the skin of his chest.  She continued slowly.  "It's been over three years.  I just feel like...maybe he’s given up, you know?”  She looked up at him and leaned forward, nuzzling his face. 

“I don’t know, Rachel.”  He paused, running his fingers against her shoulder.  “How likely is it that he has actually given up?” 

She sighed, not wanting to answer this.  Rachel didn’t know how much she believed herself the He had given up, but she wanted to make it true so badly it almost didn’t matter.  At the same time, it was really ridiculous that He would pursue her so incessantly--it just didn’t make sense.

“I don’t know.  I just... miss working--I really liked it."  While waiting tables was hard and usually a thankless job, she loved the pace of a rush and getting to know the regulars who came in.

“I want you to be able to live as normal of a life as you can.  But I won’t put you in harm’s way if he is still out there.” 

“I know.”

“I feel bad for keeping you here, it’s not fair to you.” 

“There’s nothing we can really do right now until we know for sure.”  She touched the side of his face reassuringly “It’s not your fault, you’re not trapping me here, so don’t feel bad.”

“Well I already do,” he said quietly with a dry smirk “I have for a while.”

She scowled and hugged him close.  “We can’t do anything about it.”  Her frustration wasn’t directed at him, and she rubbed her face against his skin as if to say that.  “I’m glad you’ve kept me safe.  If it wasn’t for you he would’ve taken me back and I can’t...I wouldn’t want to risk that.

“Besides,”  Rachel smiled, needing to find some way to lighten the conversation, “It led us here anyway.  And I like where we are.  So you’re not allowed to feel bad.”

“Fine.”  There it was now--that smile, dimple coming though.  If only she could keep it there.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2019, 08:04:07 AM »
Early Fall, Dawn.

With the exception of periodically stroking her hair, Damien remained as still as he could. Tears stained his shirt, slow ones that made his chest constrict first with fear, then anger, then sadness. There was nothing that he could do to change them, so he held her close and continued to stroke her hair. Small comforts with a tale so painful to hear.

Rachel laid with her head on his chest, their bodies fully clothed, tense. The words she told him made no sense to him and he didn't want to hear them - hear the hurt, the suffering, the loneliness, the trauma. He wanted to shush her, to tell her that she would never again be in that place, to quiet her with kisses and never have her speak those words. But neither could he stop her. And for all his want to stop her from diving back into that dark place from before they met, he knew that he needed to hear it as much as she needed to tell him. So he lay there, fighting back his own emotions so Rachel could have the space to tell him hers.

The kidnapping from her home. The travelling. The degradation of her body. The breaking of her spirit. The branding of her thigh. The rapes. The forced sex. The money passing hands. The men, over and over again. The things that she had never told anyone, the things that made her quake with fear and turned her stomach to knots. She cried less than he was expecting her to - she had no tears for herself anymore. Damien couldn't remember her ever crying while she lived with him. The nightmares, yes, she had always had the nightmares - until they had started sharing a bed. Now she lay on his chest, huddled, as if she were drowning and he were the thing keeping her afloat. Her hands were balled into fists, twisting his shirt.

He wanted to kill someone. He wanted to burn down a building with Laurent inside. He wanted to rip the bastard's head from his shoulders. He wanted to do something, anything besides feel the helplessness that grew in his chest as Rachel told him what had happened to her.

Guilt of leaving the others behind. A deep-seated hatred of herself for letting it all happen. A tiredness for bringing it up. An apology for him. She didn't mean to ruin the night. He kissed her deeply, embracing her with his mind as best he could. You're safe here, his embrace seemed to say. She felt raw with the emotional dredging, but small and thankful for his courtesy. After a long moment, she even began to relax again. Damien turned and drew the human up into a full embrace and held her there until she pulled away, needing to breathe.

"I'm sorry that you've gone through this," was all he could figure out how to say. He could remember her smelling so strongly of sweat and sex and seed. Panicked, like small prey. The frightened look on her face when she had first seen Pierre and himself. That was how they first met. There would never be any comforting words that would take away the experience. There would never be any magic that made her forget that she had that brand on her inner thigh. But he could promise that Laurent, wherever he was, would pay for his crimes. Even if Damien had to kill the demon with his bare hands.
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: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2019, 01:19:24 AM »
Fall, Midday

Rachel had gotten into the habit of trying to stay perfectly still as soon as she was aware of being awake, hoping to catch him still asleep next to her.  Now that he had gotten used to her being there, this was happening more easily.

She wrapped herself around him, laid her cheek against his shoulder and planted small kisses there.  He made some small sleepy noises of content and she pulled herself closer, pressing her bare skin against his.  She loved these carefree moments before they finally got up for the day.  It was a little routine that she had grown fond of and looked forward to. 

Rachel couldn't remember the last time she slept in her own bed.  She had left it, unmade, with clean clothes piled on top haphazardly to be put away later.  She had only been going into her room to change or pick out a book to read.  The cat hadn't even been sleeping there anymore, finding his way into Damien's bed with them sometime before the two settled down.  She didn't want to sleep apart from him but would have if he gave any indication that he wanted some time alone.  Which he hadn't.  He obviously enjoyed the warmth in his bed, and she was content enough to keep providing it. 

They would lay like this for a good half hour, seeing how either of them slept, if they had any interesting dreams, and talking about pleasant things.  It was a lovely way to set the mood for the day, and she saw an instant effect that it had on his general disposition.  Rachel felt a sense of pride for this, getting him to loosen up brought her great satisfaction.  He needed this--well, they both needed this.  Their relationship so far had felt like a really long, good dream.  Yes, they still got on each other's nerves and had little spats about things that didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.  But they had gotten pretty good at working things out, especially now since they had been technically living together for years.  This was good--too good, maybe.  In the back of her mind, she was terrified that it would all be ripped from her somehow--that it was somehow too good to be true and something would inevitably destroy it.  But she didn't want to spend any more time in that space of terror.  And she had gotten pretty used to compartmentalizing that kind of shit.  Just don't think about it.  Somewhere she knew it was trauma talking.  Life wasn't all shitty moments.

Her stomach started grumbling and the need to pee was too much to ignore. 

"Okay, I'm going to get dressed for the day."  She gave him a swift kiss on the forehead and swung her legs over the side of the bed, directly on top of his shirt that had been hastily discarded in a flurry of passion the night before.  Smiling, she picked it up and pulled it over her head.  She didn't really like walking through the house without anything on--well, that was only half the reason.  Rachel loved stealing his clothes.

"Why do you keep going back to your room," He asked, propping himself up on one elbow as he watched her, "just move in here."

Rachel blushed deeply and looked over her shoulder at him with a smirk.  "You want me to move into your room."  Truthfully she had thought about it, but never wanted to bring it up.  She was too afraid of the answer not being a yes, deciding it was safer to just go with the flow and let him control the pace of that kind of thing.

"I mean we have been kind of sharing it for a while now,"  he paused and smiled sheepishly "so I don't know, yes?"

"You gonna make room for me in your closet then?"  Rachel stood, pulling her hair out from under the shirt. 

"There's plenty of room for you in the closet."  He scoffed, getting out of bed and stepping into a pair of sweatpants.

"Okay then, when do you want me to--"  she was interrupted by a kiss on the top of her head as he walked past her--when did he walk around the bed?  Fucking vampire speed.--and out the bedroom door.

"Hey!"  she called after him and following as quickly as she could, watching as he walked a little too excitedly over to her room "What are you--ugh."  Still blushing and scowling, she joined him beside her bed, now self-conscious about the mess she had left it.  He had already folded a couple of her shirts that had been wrinkling on her bed.  Rachel snatched the shirt that he was working on away from him.

"I can fuckin' do that myself."

"I know, but I want to."

"You just go make some room for me in our--"  she caught herself, blushing furiously.

"Our room."  He smiled, touching the small of her back gently as he moved around her and out the door.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2019, 05:15:13 AM »
Early Winter.

There had been hints, surely, throughout their history together. She knew certain things, simple things. She knew he was nobility, that he died young, his Sire was a woman named Lucretia and that she had been killed somehow. But he was quite surprised at the things she didn't know, things that would have long ago explained his melancholy, his resistance to modern things, his bureaucratic structures and tendencies.

"Tell me something about you," she would ask, and he would comply, certain times grudgingly. What was there to say? There was a very long, somber life behind him and, for once, he had finally started to carve out a bit of peace with her. Why recap what had brought him to her?

He always hesitated, not knowing what words to say, what tales to discuss. His siblings first, his noble blood. Recanting stories of childhood follies like chasing geese or falling from horses was easy enough, things he had never discussed or bothered to remember in English. They felt strange on his tongue, as if he were half-remembering someone else's life. Yet they felt more pleasant to recall, even if faces blurred and blended into each other from time to time. It was sad for him to not remember his sister's face or his uncle's  drunken laugh. After living for so long he shouldn't have expected to be able to remember them clearly. He told her of his brothers Michel and Julien, Raymond and Vincent, his sisters Charlotte and Armelle, their names now as unfamiliar on his tongue as their faces were in his mind. Had they really existed at some point?

He told her of Julien's death, drowned in a river nearby when young Guillaume was only six, of Raymond and Armelle's feverish passing at four, before he could actually know them. He told her of his mother's sorrow of losing her children, all that he could remember of it, his father's drunken outbursts. And he said it all lightly, as if it had all happened to someone else, in someone else's story.

Damien told Rachel about his love for God, his righteousness and need for salvation. His fervor at age twelve which allowed him to go study God, become a holy man, a monk. That was until the war was declared and he was sent to the Holy Lands. The beauty of Italy, his love for language, his travels through Toulouse, Lyon, Switzerland, Milan, Bari, Durres, Tirana, Resen, Serrai, Corlu, to Constantinople, and on and on, down into Turkey, Damascus, Jordan, Antioch, Jerusalem. The victories, the places in passing. He was seventeen, more than old enough to be treated as a man in those days.

He showed her his old wounds - from weapons, from impact, from his own childish stupidity in war. They were part of him, long faded and many of them barely visible on his pale skin, healed well before his Claiming. He showed her the wound that should have killed him had fate been kind, a deep, pinkish jagged stab wound in the basin of his shoulder. These he felt no shame in now that she was his lover.

But he made the mistake of explaining that this last one hadn't been allowed to fully heal because... he grew silent, thoughtful. It felt disrespectful to speak ill of his Sire. It felt even worse to explain this to his lover, who would never understand the relationship that he had with Lucretia. She was violent, greedy, and self-centered, of course. But she was also his Sire and she was dead now. He couldn't bring himself to say what he wanted to.

Instead he let the image slip to her of the day he had awoken to see her caring for the wound, with a feeling of human fright that he could remember clearly even now. Damien's lips stayed locked as he showed Lucretia pinning a naked Guillaume down, taking her pleasure from him as she ripped through the flesh on his back, bleeding onto the cushions beneath them. Her weight on his hips. Blond hair dangling on his chest with the rhythm of her pleasure. Paralyzed with anger that peeked through his forced arousal, her seductive magic infiltrating his bones. Orgasm came for him before she sank her mouth forcefully into the side of his neck. His paralysis lifted and the blood leaked out of him as he fought hard against her, unable to throw her off. Drifting off into blackness only to reawaken again and again to the same event...

"Hey," he heard and snapped back. "Come back to me," she said, stroking the side of his face, his hair, searching his eyes for his attention.

"Sorry," he said with a hollow smirk that Rachel caught immediately.

"Don't be sorry, it's ok. You just don't have to go back to that place; it's ok." Concern in her voice.

Damien smirked again in the same way, feeling guilt nonetheless. He turned over to put his shirt on, no longer feeling comfortable laying on the bed without it. His progress with being shirtless around her was spotty; his occasional self-consciousness getting the better of him more often than not. It was just something that he had begun to accept about himself, that being shirtless would be difficult, if not impossible. He could live with that, seeing as how he had never expected himself to have an opportunity to be topless around anyone ever again since Lucretia had died.

He pulled his shirt off the floor and rolled it up in his hands, putting it over his head quickly, as casually as he could. As soon as the cotton touched his skin, he felt okay again. Rachel, sensing this, slipped her arms around him and held onto him from behind, securing his place in her arms. The human placed her face against his back and made him feel warm again for a few brief moments. Damien smiled, sadly but at the very least, more genuinely.
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: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2019, 05:30:37 AM »
Damien would have found a letter, stuffed in some paperwork in his office.

Guillaume deToulouse,

Or do you actually prefer I refer to you as Damien? (You don't actually have to answer this, obviously)  It just feels more like you now—you know?  I’ve been tempted to call you Guillaume every now and then, especially moments when you feel most human, like when you’re laughing—really laughing.  Sometimes when we’re in bed together.  I want to know what it would do to you.  Would it make you sad?  I don't want to make you sad. 

Anyway, that’s not why I’m writing this haha. 

I just wanted to say that you make me so damn happy—do you know that?  I look forward to talking to you the very second I wake up and it makes me feel so full to know that I get to wake up next to you every day.  I feel so safe with you.  Not just because you keep me safe—I mean I feel safe to be me, I guess, and it feels like I can finally breathe again.  So, thanks for that—really and truly.  I can’t tell you what it means to me to know that I can rely on you like this—that you are my best friend.

Especially since those hard talks we’ve had I just…I feel like we really click well together in a way that I can’t explain.  I want to make you feel the way you make me feel.  I think I might—I mean I don’t want to make assumptions but I hope I do.  It makes me feel so special when I make you smile—that cute dimple that I always want to kiss—and I just want to keep you there in that space.  We’ve had too much pain and I think it’s okay to be in a better space.  I want to be in a better space—with you.

I like this and I like you a lot.  Like a fucking lot, okay? 

I hope you find this when you most need a smile.
<3 Rachel

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2019, 11:07:16 AM »
Damien sat down in his office chair with the intention of finally getting something accomplished. He was falling behind in many of his contract writings and receipt organizing with the new factory building going up. Not usually disorganized - having a relationship again was proving to keep him very occupied outside of his paperwork life - he found himself searching through a pile of bills and notes that he didn't remember leaving. The vampire scowled at the pile, leafing through it, one by one. An unfamiliar paper caught his eye about half way through the stack, the handwriting new, feminine. He smiled as he read, leaning back in his chair.

By the time he finished the letter, the vampire, usually melancholy and emotionally reserved, enjoyed himself a private smile at her flirty letter. It checked all the boxes he hoped it would - cute, thoughtful, embarrassing, and precious to him. He re-read the letter several times, eyes flickering over his favorite parts. His smile didn't fade, even as he finally set the letter down and dove back into his work.
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: 18 Months in Vignettes
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2019, 11:21:15 AM »
Midwinter, Evening

Gasp and sigh.  Fangs grazing her neck and collar bone with a trembling jaw.

Yes.  Yes, oh please, yes.  I want this.