Author Topic: Of Phantoms  (Read 1717 times)

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Offline Satyr

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #45 on: April 24, 2019, 05:46:52 PM »
Decker found his feet and adjusted the discomfort of a throbbing erection in his jeans. He also adjusted his holster, shifting it back into place where it had bumped away from its usual position at his side. He move out of the shell room after her and reached for her hand so he could take it again, wending his fingers into hers. If she resisted, he would obey, but be disappointed.

He checked the walls and corners for security cameras but there were only a few. No motion sensors to speak of. The gallery was so small and out of the way that they didn't even have a night guard on the premises. No, wait, he could hear footsteps around a corner. Not the immediate corner, but definitely off somewhere on his left.

He knew Anna would know - he was the slow one now, with the slow perceptions and reactions. It made him giddy to think that he was with someone who could beat him at perception.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #46 on: April 24, 2019, 10:38:51 PM »
With the distraction contained within the shell now gone, she did notice the other presence in the building.  Her fingers found Decker's again as she took his reaching hand without hesitation.  She did not immediately lead them away from the sculpture, listening to footsteps and thinking.  On the one hand, this meant they would have to find a better hiding spot if they wished to continue what they were doing--and they would have to be quiet.  Anna did not want to be interrupted. 

On the other hand, dodging the patrol would be exciting; ducking around corners just in time to avoid discovery, purposely following and tucking away when they turned around to see.  This made her smile childishly.  Would Decker be skilled enough to keep up?  Or would he make too much noise?  Of course, the guard could likely go and check the camera footage to figure out what was going on, bringing a stop to the game.  But not before they had a little fun first.

She turned toward Decker and held a single finger up to her lips with a devious look and smile.  Releasing his hand she soundlessly darted behind another sculpture--a standing female figure cast in bronze with teardrops of gold seeping from everywhere on the body.  Anna watched the opening to this room for the guard to round the corner.  She could hear the subtle tap of fingers on the touchscreen of a phone--so they weren't even paying attention.  This would be fun.

Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Satyr

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2019, 08:34:09 AM »
Other than the shell which they'd moved away from, there were paintings on the walls, some small sculptures on podiums, a large abstract art instalment in the corner with colourful mannequins in various poses and the bronze statue. Anna made her gesture of silence and ran towards the latter. Decker followed her on the balls of his feet so his heels wouldn't make sound, but there was still the sough of leather on tiles. He would have to take his shoes off. Not right now, there wasn't time.

There was no room for him behind the statue so he kept going, moving to the mannequins and getting onto their low stage. They couldn't quite hide him so when he went around the back he took off his shirt and dropped it behind himself, sunk to his knees and reached up to the ceiling with both hands, freezing in an artistically ambiguous position. If the guard was walking around and not paying much attention, they wouldn't notice the skin-coloured 'mannequin' behind the colour blocked rainbow ones, but if they were the type to admire the artwork while on the job, Decker would be thrown out. His punishment might be that Anna wouldn't come out after him, if she kept up her game.

The guard rounded the corner and entered their room.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2019, 11:46:24 AM »
Anna watched Decker move to the mannequins and remove his shirt with delight.  She flashed a fanged-smile in the dark and stifled a laugh at his chosen pose.  How long would he be able to keep his hands up like that?  Her gaze wandered his chest for a brief moment before turning away.

Her attention went back to the guard, face glowing from his cellphone.  She remained perfectly still as he passed, and soundlessly she slipped out from behind the statue to stalk him.  Though she wore heels, there were no sounds on her steps as she used the slightest bit of levitation to cushion her footfalls.  She grinned widely as they passed the spot Decker was hiding, coming to a stop just after.  The guard looked up from his phone and peered around before taking another step forward. 

Anna closed in, just a footfall away, elegantly following like a shadow.  She had forgotten how quick she could be, how sluggish and predictable human movements were when you were trying to be fast.  Just as he approached a square column, she breathed a puff of air at the back of his neck and lightly stepped out of view behind the support.  He whirled around wildly, clicking on a flashlight that he had been holding in his other hand. 

"Hello?  Who's there?"  The flashlight beam cut through the darkness but missed her.  She suppressed a laugh and waited for him to turn it off again.
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Satyr

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #49 on: April 26, 2019, 02:07:06 PM »
Decker's arms remained in their reaching position, but he tilted his head so he could see what Anna was up to. She was playing a game of cat and mouse. He wondered if it would be like the real thing, if he would watch her end this man's life in front of him. It would certainly make his connection with her more special - that she would spare him and not others.

They were a little way past now and Decker lowered his hands because the guard's back was to him. He saw Anna get intensely close and then the guard spun with the flashlight, throwing a beam across Decker's chest and swinging beyond that. Anna was already out of the open but Decker wasn't. He held his breath and froze, even though his position was different. If he moved, he'd just be catching the guard's eye.

The flashlight started sweeping back towards him.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #50 on: April 26, 2019, 11:12:39 PM »
The guard had doubled back, slowly scanning the room with the light.  At this rate, poor Decker would be caught on his knees amongst the colorful mannequins.  This thought made her giggle--and the guard whipped around again.  She could hear the heartbeat increase as he stepped toward her cautiously, training the light to either side of where she had hidden.  Anna waited for him to approach and investigate closer, taking to the left side of the column to look around it.  With a smile she moved out of his sight just in time, darting around the column and coming up behind him again while he made a complete circle--finding no one behind it, of course.  She could practically hear him thinking that he must've been hearing things.  With a wicked grin, she resumed being his shadow.  Perhaps she would lead him a little farther, whisper something into his ear and keep close to his back while he turned to see if someone was there.  Maybe she would look into his mind for his name, dart off into a corner and call to him.  Yes, this was her favorite kind of game.

Anna stopped suddenly, leaving herself open to discovery.  The guard walked on ahead, scanning the room before him.

There was a memory here.  Stalking human prey in almost-empty city streets this same way.  The silent approach from behind, playing chase and feasting ravenously on the terror-stricken blood.  Senses sharp, mind blank, animal-like.  Ending the night slick with gore. 

"You got blood all over my fucking seats."

She reeled in the fragments.  Push it away or reach to remember?  Always caught in between.  Indecisive.  The movement of the guard turning caught her attention an instant before he saw her in the corner of his eye.  Like a shadow in the dark, she moved with inhuman speed to the hiding spot by the column.  Not quickly enough to go unnoticed, and the guard cursed and started back toward her again with the light.

Was she a trespasser or a ghost?
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Satyr

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #51 on: April 27, 2019, 09:36:09 AM »
Decker's lips were curved in a smile, his arms lowered now because the guard wasn't even trying to look his way - Anna was leading him around in circles. He kept his laughter in even though at times it wanted to bubble to the surface. He hadn't laughed out loud since... huh, he couldn't remember. His hands on his thighs he watched the game play out before him.

Almost heard, yet not. Almost seen, yet not. Almost caught... and she blinked out of existence. What the hell? His gaze darted around the room even as the guard moved towards where he'd thought she'd gone.

The guard's senses were on high alert. Something, it could've been Decker's breathing from halfway across the room, or a sense of being watched, or the heat of another body... whatever it was, the guard's torchlight swivelled Decker's way and caught him in the beam of light. Of course, with his shirt off, his weapon in his holster was now obvious. The guard already had a hand on his gun, but Decker was smoother, faster, more willing to draw.

He had his pistol trained on the light and a little to one side of it, because he knew the guard was carrying it in his left hand and was facing him. Decker was blinded but he could still figure out where and what to shoot.

"On your knees," he commanded, as he got up off his. "And point your light down."

The mannequins made good cover - he had a clear shot and the guard didn't, Even though he couldn't see, he would be able to hear a gun pulled out of a holster. If he heard the guard drawing, then he would fire. He didn't particularly want to kill anyone but he would and could if it came to it. He wasn't at risk, there was a vampire here somewhere who liked him, even if she had disappeared into the ether. He had a strange feeling that even if she could see this all unfolding, she might not come out.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #52 on: April 27, 2019, 11:38:02 PM »
When the guard stormed past her and discovered her new companion, she edged silently from her hiding place.  Not enough to draw the guard's attention, of course.  She watched the scene unfold with great interest.  What an evening this was turning out to be!  That velvet voice with an air of command made her mouth water.  As the guard obeyed the order and sank to his knees, Anna reached into Decker's mind, a liquid silk caress, to establish a link.

"Oh, darling, he's seen your face now.  Whatever shall we do?"  Nevermind the issue of cameras--well, she could compel the guard to erase the footage.  That was a simple matter.
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Satyr

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #53 on: April 30, 2019, 08:32:39 AM »
Decker shrugged about his face being seen by the guard, but he thought of cameras as well. It wouldn't be hard to find the security office, though sometimes there was more than one guard.

"Are you the only one here?" he asked, moving around the mannequins and stepping down to stand over the guard. His shirt was still on the platform of the artwork. He'd have to come back for that. When the guard nodded, Decker looked towards Anna where she'd come out from her hiding place. "Do you want me to kill him or do you...?"

Of course the guard started babbling for them not to. He didn't know if Anna needed to drink from people several times a night or not. She'd spared him. Maybe she wouldn't spare this guy. It would be interesting to watch.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #54 on: April 30, 2019, 11:29:53 AM »
The Queen stirred behind the fangs again as she stepped forward.  She had given Damien her word that she would not kill again, but the blubbering fool before her made it very tempting.  She was wordless for a moment as she thought, approaching the guard from behind with silent steps.  Just to the edge of death, maybe?  His unconscious body would make for a delightful addition to the mannequin sculpture for the opening staff to find in the morning.  There was an unsettling smile on her face as she stood behind the trembling guard. 

"Stand,"  The guard complied, begging.  "Shut up."  Contempt edged into the command, and with a whimper he obeyed.  She moved forward and snaked an arm across the front of his chest, holding him against her.  There was tension, confusion, and the beginnings of a struggle.  Taking a fistful of his hair in her other hand, she angled his head sharply to the right and locked eyes with Decker before burying her teeth into the exposed neck.  Time seemed to stop with her eager intake of blood, the sharp tang of adrenaline providing that difference of flavor that she so loved to taste.  Her eyes fluttered shut to savor it fully.  The guard struggled valiantly at first but froze in fear in the face of her iron grip. 

Only enough to pass out--he would survive, he must.  Damien would know if she had broken her promise.  Surely he would be checking in with her soon.

When the body felt slack in her arms, she closed the wound and pulled him past Decker and between a few of the mannequins.  His body was twisted in an unpleasant way.  He would be quite sore waking up.  She hummed pleasurably to herself, running her tongue across the front of her teeth.

"Now,"  she turned to her new friend, eyes holding a fierce light.  "Let's cover our tracks."  Cameras.  Then out the back door and into the night.
Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Sonya/Anna/Odessa || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Satyr

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Re: Of Phantoms
« Reply #55 on: April 30, 2019, 05:20:56 PM »
Decker put his gun away when she had a hold of the guard, then watched her drink from him with an intensity that shivered throughout his entire body, like an electric current. The memory of her feeding from him was still fresh. This guard wasn't behaving like he liked it; perhaps there was a difference between giving in and giving up.

He followed her to see the body being dumped - it was only after he stared at it that he detected breathing. He was torn between relief and disappointment. Decker grabbed his shirt and turned it on, nodding at Anna and finding the security room where there was a small bank of monitors but only one PC and a few hard disk storage units.

He knew computers but he didn't know this system, so he muddled his way through until he discovered that all of tonight's recording was going to the disk plugged into the USB port. He yanked it out. The cameras were still working but they were recording nothing. Holding onto it, he joined Anna outside. He should be dismayed at how easily he'd slipped into his criminal ways - but it was exhilerating. And harmless. Nobody had died. He decided he liked that she'd spared the guard.

Decker wouldn't be able to come back to the art gallery for a long time, though.