Author Topic: Finding a Nest  (Read 11767 times)

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Offline pinkroses

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Finding a Nest
« on: June 16, 2019, 09:46:24 PM »
Continued from Hot Tip

It didn’t take long before they pulled up at Penbrook. Murphy had spent most of it staring blankly out the window, not really seeing where they were going. He could have been appreciating the new detail he could see; if he’d opened the window all of the new scents would have been a good distraction. But he just sat quietly, lost in his own thoughts, fiddling with the clasp on his bag.

He was running over what he thought Ben would think, what he’d say. Maybe he’d feel guilty because he hadn’t sired Murphy like he’d agreed, but Murphy hoped not. That was mainly for selfish reasons – with what he’d just been through he didn’t want to feel Ben’s guilt on top of that.

And Jake… would he smell like Lazarus now? Would Jake look at him and see the blonde who had tormented him? Their relationship was still so new, Murphy had a bad feeling it wouldn’t last this, but maybe it could.

He didn’t noticed the car had stopped until the door was opened and Murphy blinked in surprise, glancing across to see Jeanne was already out of the car. He slid out, giving the driver a small smile and a word of thanks before he followed Jeanne’s lead to head up the stairs, following any instructions she gave. His hunger was growing again in a frustrating manner, but he tried to ignore that, knowing there would be nourishment inside.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2019, 10:25:07 PM »
The door opened as they approached and they were greeted in the foyer of the Estate by one of the house staff bearing a tray. It held a wine glass and two very large steel travel mugs, the thermos kind designed to hold coffee. All of the beverage containers held warm blood. Jeanne had texted the house in time to have the blood heated and ready for their arrival, though she didn't think Murphy, lost in his thoughts, had noticed.

By now, she was feeling quite fatigued and knew Murphy's hunger would be unrelenting. She took the two mugs and held them out towards the youngling with a smile. "Both are for you," she murmured. "It's quicker and easier than donors and will allow you to drink and speak freely. Try to savour them," she advised, aware that he would likely gulp the first and nurse the second - that's why there were two, after all - but curious about his self control.

Once he took his containers, she lifted the wine glass off the tray, pausing long enough to take a deep, restorative swallow for herself. Her eyes fell closed as the warm, rich liquid ran down her throat, rejuvenating her from within. Opening her eyes, she inclined her head at the staff member with the tray. "My thanks, I deeply appreciate your promptness," she told the man, who dipped his head in return and left.

As Jeanne turned to face Murphy, she sought her grand-sire mentally, able to tell from where she met his mind where in the house he was - but that was no indication of where he'd wish to meet.

I have a surprise visitor; a visitor with a surprise. Murphy is here. Where would you like to receive him? she queried playfully, even as she spoke to Murphy.

"Please. Come with me," she bade, walking beside the youngling as she led him in the direction Charon dictated.

Offline pinkroses

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2019, 10:48:47 PM »
Murphy’s tense shoulders relaxed a touch once they were inside and the scent of blood hit him. Warm blood, but without the stress of having to drink from another human right now.

“Thank you,” he said as Jeanne passed him both mugs, and giving a small, distracted smile to the man who had been waiting for them to include him in the thanks, whilst his mind went to the contents of the mugs.

He was about to down the first one, but her advice to savour them made him hesitate. Murphy waited half a second before drinking from the one in his left hand. A large part of him wanted to chug it like a student at a frat party, but he forced himself to go more slowly. It was so difficult, but he could feel her eyes on him and after Jeanne had come to his rescue Murphy wanted to do anything he could to please her right now. He settled on large mouthfuls, but with pauses to lower the mug in between, making sure he drank tidy and didn’t waste a drop. Before long, the mug was empty, and as though summoned from nowhere, a member of staff appeared to take it from him, avoiding Murphy the awkwardness of needing to carry two mugs.

“That’s definitely less stressful,” Murphy said, glancing towards Jeanne with a small smile. He was still nervous and scared of everything that was to come, how his life had changed, but he was back in familiar territory with people he trusted, who were experienced enough to know what to do and guide him. His initial instinct was to be positive and whilst it was tricky, he’d had a lifetime of practise at it.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 09:28:12 AM »
Charon had bid Jeanne to take Murphy to the Autumnal drawing room, for they had two drawing rooms, but he considered Murphy would want to feel comfortable and that room tended to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort.

The Autumnal drawing room had a fireplace and no windows - smoke escaped up the chimney for it had nowhere else to go. The crackle of the fire blasted heat into a room decorated just as warmly, with rich reds, golds and browns. The room was central within the house and the only light came from the fireplace and a few strategically lit table-lamps around the large room. The furniture here was heavy and stately, the wooden coffee and end tables stained a very darker brown to better enhance the golden and red leathers of the armchairs and three seater sofas, creating an open-sided square with the fireplace as its central focus.

If Jeanne thought Charon would be surprised by Murphy's state upon seeing him, she was wrong. He knew what Murphy was the instant the two of them crossed the threshhold into the property, coming up the driveway. He didn't know who Murphy's sire was until he sought out with his mind when sending grandchild to the drawing room with the newly-created fledge - but as soon as he brushed against Murphy's mind, he knew. Really, he shouldn't, because he'd never had a chance to savour the blonde's mind... but Murphy was a powerful fledge - he could sense this much - and only an ancient could create such a thing, and only one ancient would care enough about Murphy to.

Vengeance. Such a petty, useless move. Still, it made Murphy's presence a fascinating one and he was glad the journalist had come to them seeking help. They were in a position to offer it without judgement.

Charon took his time moving to the drawing room, wanting Jeanne and Murphy to enter it and get comfortable first. Murphy would be familiar with this room - though Charon didn't know how much time the mortal had spent in it. It would look, feel and smell different to his supernatural eyes.

When he arrived through the door, the first thing he noticed were those supernatural eyes - golden and quite lovely. They were shining coins that shifted in his direction as he entered. Charon almost wanted to congratulate him on his siring and had to stop himself, for he'd deduced the experience would've been harrowing. Jeanne had gone on a rescue mission (though he wasn't sure what exactly had occurred), and he didn't know if she'd chased off Lazarus or if the blonde ancient had already moved on.

He only had eyes for Murphy, though. His first words shouldn't be spoken, he felt.

I am pleased you came to us. You have a home, here.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2019, 04:31:26 PM »
Murphy knew the room they ended up in, but it looked different now, brighter, more vibrant colours and the sound of the fire was extraordinary, with logs popping and the flames crackling. He hadn’t been able to enjoy the changes on the journey over here – but now he was safe, fed (with another mug in his hands) and despite his worries, physically he was feeling pretty good.

In the time it took Charon to join them Murphy had managed to do a lap of the room, examining things he hadn’t seen before, before taking a seat near Jeanne, perching on the edge of a sofa. He wanted to put down the mug, but as he moved to he got that urge again and he cradled it close to take another mouthful.

As soon as Charon entered, Murphy stood up respectfully, meeting the ancient’s gaze. The lack of surprise in his face didn’t shock him – he still assumed Jeanne had told him on the way and Charon often seemed to know things that he’d have no real way of knowing, but he would have found out.

At Charon’s words in his mind Murphy felt tears prick behind his eyes. He didn’t realise how worried he’d been that Charon might decide to turn him away because of his sire.

Thank you. I know we talked about it, but I didn’t tell Lazarus I was thinking about being sired, he just did it, I couldn’t stop him, Murphy responded mentally with a desperate hint to his comments. He hoped Charon wouldn’t have thought he would be so mercenary as to just go to any vampire who might have considered it – Lazarus would have been at the very bottom of the list if Murphy had been inclined to do that. He’d felt like he should match Charon’s method of communication, but he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to. Murphy glanced between the two family members, ready to speak the same words outloud if they hadn’t got through.

“Jeanne was magnificent,” he added, gesturing to her and trying to give her a smile despite his concern over what Charon thought of him. If she hadn’t picked up that phone there would probably be a few bodies in that motel and Murphy would still be there.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2019, 07:09:07 PM »
Jeanne sat in one of the sofas gathered around the fire, her left elbow on the arm of the chair, fingers ruminatively stroking the leather as she gazed into the fire. She let Murphy prowl about the room as he would, grateful for a moment to just be, drinking her blood, her legs crossed elegantly. Taking stock of the situation caused an unexpected pang within her. Acting as Murphy's sire-by-proxy made her nostalgic for her years with Leo... and summoned bitterness and anxiety when she thought of Taylor.

She was contemplating the unwelcome taint of her feelings when the buzz of mental communication drew her attention to Charon's presence, and her gaze away from the fire. She gave her grand-sire a half-smile of acknowledgement then blinked at Murphy's statements regarding Lazarus. He had no idea how to modulate his mental voice and he was trying hard to be heard, so he was. Clearly. When she was complimented, she made a noise of humility along the lines of, "Pish!" but raised her glass to the newling sitting by her and smiled her thanks at him.

Her actions were no less than Charon would've expected and therefore not worth discussing.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2019, 06:30:50 AM »
Charon was surprised by Murphy's immediate denial of having asked Lazarus to sire him. Of course he wouldn't have. Charon was mildly incensed that Murphy even entertained the idea, that Charon would think he was pimping himself out to whoever was available. He would've believed it of Ben, whose ambition sometimes blinded his common sense, but not Murphy, who would think about a scenario from all angles. His occupation helped that along.

No, I anticipated that you didn't. He glanced at Jeanne and nodded; she was right in her assumption that he would expect no less. His gaze fell on the stein that Murphy seemed loathe to put down. You will have to deal with a constant itch, now. One that you can't spend all night scratching. Your willpower will be tested every time you drink, so I will assign someone to be with you each time you feed. Perhaps Hugh or Royce. Being made from old blood means you won't experience the craving as badly as other fledges, but... you will have nothing to compare it to.

When Charon spoke of Hugh, a brief image of his face entered Murphy's mind. Murphy had met Hugh a few times though hadn't spent a lot of time with him. Royce, he wouldn't have met at all, and the face that flashed up when Charon said his name was that of a stranger's.

INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2019, 06:50:54 AM »
Murphy nodded in relief as Charon confirmed he didn’t need convincing that Murphy hadn’t gone to Lazarus. He wasn’t sure why he’d suddenly been worried about it, but the last time he’d been here that had been what they’d been discussing so seeing Charon again had brought it to mind.

He listened quietly as Charon explained what would happen with his feeding, a bit surprised by the faces appearing in his mind, but trying to commit them to memory, despite not recognising the second one. Hugh he knew though, so that was reassuring.

He frowned slightly as Charon mentioned ‘old blood’ and tilted his head to one side curiously.

That… makes a difference? Him being an ancient? Is that why I could control Andy a bit? I didn’t think I’d be able to do that, he said, glancing towards Jeanne questioningly. She’d been so confident in his abilities but hadn’t said why.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2019, 07:01:35 AM »
Right now you're doing something fledges need practise with; you're projecting your conversation into my mind. You would not feel the difference, I suppose, but I do. I do not have to scan, to work for your side of the conversation. It comes to me. I assume Andy was your first feeding? Charon's gaze flicked to Jeanne even though he didn't need confirmation from her - he could feel the positive response emanating from Murphy already so he reconnected his gaze to Murphy's golden eyes. Yes, it would be why. I would not have believed it possible, if I heard this story from another source. A fledgling not a day old able to control their thirst enough to express their will over a mortal? You've always been a man with high self-control. I would guess that is assisting you as well as your sire's age.

Charon hesitated for a brief moment before pressing on with a question he knew Murphy wouldn't like.

When will you inform Ben that this has happened? And Jake?

Murphy didn't have to tell anybody he didn't want to, but Charon assumed that Murphy would want to stay here in this city - potentially at Penbrook. Ben would visit, though irregularly. They might see each other even if Murphy wished to keep it a secret.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2019, 07:28:27 AM »
Murphy couldn’t help but smile as Charon explained how his mental skills were already beyond what they would have expected. Yes, he would never have picked Lazarus, but at least there was one small sliver of good to come out of the blonde turning him. And Charon mentioning it could be assisted by his personality, not just the blood in his veins, helped him feel better about it.

His smile disappeared at Charon’s question though and he glanced down at the mug of blood in his hands.

I can’t keep it secret from them. But I can’t see them just yet. He did this to get at them and I know they’ll both take it… badly. He turned the mug slowly in his hands. Lazarus took my keys, Ben has the spares, he added, biting on his lower lip. He had the main things he needed in his bag and his apartment would need work before it would be suitable for a vampire to stay the day, but just simple things like clothes, post, then silly things, like the book he’d been reading flickered through his mind. Nothing urgent. It would definitely be easier to stay here for now – especially with needing Hugh or Royce there whenever he fed.

He imagined Ben beating himself up over this, blaming himself, and he had plenty on his mind already. Ben might feel like he should try to take care of Murphy himself, but Murphy didn’t want to be that burden on his friend.

And Jake? He would get angry, he’d want to go after Lazarus, or he would crumble. God, Jake hadn’t even wanted to go back into the bedroom where Lazarus had attacked him, being able to feel the blonde in the blood of his lover…

Murphy felt a swell of guilt and distracted himself by draining his mug before laying it down on a side-table. They’d probably both be offended he hadn’t gone to them for help initially as well.

I need to get my head around it all first, before I try to explain it to them. A few days, maybe a week? Perhaps he was being optimistic. He was supposed to be seeing Jake tonight, just about now in fact.

I needed calm tonight, I need calm, they won’t be calm.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2019, 07:35:35 AM »
Jake had just finished his meeting with Damien, and was looking forward to seeing Murphy. Truly, he couldn't do much of anything without wondering what Murphy's opinion would be these days. Jake had also decided that he wanted them to move beyond just seeing each other at the White Rabbit, and official things like the Academy opening. He decided a proper date was needed, and that he would plan to take Murphy all around town if the human let him. His mind began swimming with options, and his enthusiasm over future nights together made him feel the need to reach out to Murphy now. He reached for his phone and fired off a text.

On your way? Want me to have some food or drinks for you?
Send.

It was a simple message, and with that Jake went back to planning a future date, even though he was happy he'd be seeing Murphy in just a few minutes.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Trillian

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2019, 09:17:54 AM »
Charon agreed with Murphy's estimation that both young vampires in Murphy's social circle would take the news badly. Charon was impressed by Murphy's ability to reason even after a traumatic siring (he still didn't have details but being sired without one's permission was bound to be traumatic).

Immediately after the statement was made by Murphy that he wanted to wait and be surrounded by calm as he processed what had happened to him and what he wanted from it - a notably good idea - the journalist's phone chirped a message, as though whoever texted him had sensed he'd wanted to be left alone, separated from the world in this pocket of safety.

Don't look at the text, just give me your phone.

Murphy had been in the process of pulling it out and was obviously surprised by Charon's command. His brief hesitation prompted another instruction. Murphy would find it hard to stay calm with the world coming at him. As he'd just said, he needed separation and distance.

If you really want to be calm, let me make appropriate excuses on your behalf. I will ensure you keep your job, your place to live, and that your friends and family will wait for you without concern.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline pinkroses

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2019, 04:11:32 PM »
Murphy’s eyes widened with panic as his phone beeped and he glanced at his watch to check the time before bending down to pull him phone from his bag with an apologetic look towards Charon, not wanting to be rude, but knowing it would be Jake. Hell, what was he supposed to tell Jake to give himself that time he needed?

He hand was still in his bag, seeking the phone as Charon told him to hand it over and his hand stilled. He was surprised by Charon’s suggestion…

command?

…but as Charon went on, it made sense. If he had it then it would be so tempting to tell them what had happened, even if right now he knew it was a terrible idea. A part of him knew the longer he put it off, the more upset they would be that he had kept it from them, but, to be honest, they were the reason this had happened, so they could wait.

He pulled his phone from his bag, keeping the screen faced down and he rested it on his knee for a moment. In the spur of the moment Murphy had chosen to call Jeanne, not Ben, not Jake. This felt like his last chance to make a decision on who would train him. Obviously it wasn’t forever, this wasn’t never seeing Jake and Ben again, but it was definitely picking the Sacramentum over them. That hadn’t been his original decision when he was human, but Murphy could see it was now and he stood up to pass the phone over to Charon’s waiting hand.

Thank you. No family to worry about at least, he said mentally, before running a hand over his eyes, suddenly tired. It hadn’t felt like much effort to communicate mentally with Charon, but it suddenly felt like it was catching up with him. Maybe the relief of knowing he wouldn’t need to deal with Jake and Ben right now gave him the chance to let it catch up with him. He didn’t know what Charon would tell them, but he did trust the ancient.

The thought of family took his mind back to Lazarus as Murphy took his seat again – his sire felt like he was roughly the same distance away as last time, maybe he’d stopped to find somewhere for the day.

“Will I feel him less as he gets further away? I think he’s stopped,” Murphy asked outloud, wanting to give his mental voice a bit of a break. He got the feeling that they would be pushing him, and he wanted to be pushed, but it was going to be tiring.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2019, 05:17:11 PM »
Charon hadn't forgotten that Murphy had no family, but it was a subtle reminder that his siring wouldn't upset anyone who was expecting him to remain mortal. Human families tended to get nosy when a family member isolated themselves. The more solitary someone lived their life, the easier it was for them to enter a whole new one. The mortal part of Murphy had died, and he'd been reborn a supernatural. Transformations like that tended not to go unnoticed. Thankfully, he worked for a supernatural newspaper. That was one problem solved without even trying.

Without checking the phone himself, Charon pocketed it away inside his clothes. He asked for the unlock code and got it. He would've plucked it out of Murphy's head if he'd been resistant but really didn't want to start their new relationship that way. They were starting over, a fresh slate. Ben's Academy would've suited Murphy, but he didn't need it. Murphy Hilton had them, and they were the better choice.

Yes. The more distance he puts between you, the less you will sense him or know where he is. He wanted to know what exactly had transpired, but he didn't want to put Murphy through it again. Looking into the memory would summon it into Murphy's head. You passed a small, private gallery of ours to get to this room, Charon said, projecting the image of the spacious white room with dividing walls that many artworks hung on. How about you test your enhanced vision on the paintings while Jeanne and I exchange some brief words. I will collect you from there in a moment and will personally show you your temporary quarters - for however long you wish.

With Murphy dismissed, Charon would wait until the youngling was gone before he faced Jeanne and prompted her to share with him everything she knew. He also wanted to keep his reaction away from Murphy's gaze, and wasn't sure that he would be able to mask it. It was quite a personal experience, he felt, and his own siring had been without permission or even understanding of what was going to happen. It had been traumatic for him as well - his sire had also not stayed. He felt even more of a connection with the journalist because of it.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Finding a Nest
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2019, 05:57:34 PM »
Jeanne smiled speculatively at Murphy as he gathered his bag and obediently left the room. She didn't think it was a fantastic idea for him to cut himself off from his friendship support network for too long but that conversation could wait. Once he was gone, she turned her attention to Charon.

After sending a polite greeting of warmth and acknowledgement to establish a connection, she showed Charon everything from Murphy's memory. Once she got to the part when she arrived, she shared from her own vantage point. All things considered, he did well, she summarised with a soft smile.