Author Topic: A Fangtastic Foursome  (Read 4551 times)

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Offline Trillian

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2019, 05:49:33 PM »
Vincent's expression showed what he thought about a stolen moment in a place where people defecated. Not sexy. Owen's glances around attracted their server.

"How were the meals?" she asked, clearing their table while another server appeared at her side to help her take all the plates and glasses at once.

"Superb, as always."

"Would you like to see the dessert menu?" she asked, glancing at the empty chairs before looking at Vincent and Owen again.

"Please," Vincent replied, smiling.

"One moment," she replied, leaving them to return to the kitchen, dishes in hand.

Vincent turned to Owen. "Unless something phenomenal is written on that menu, I believe I'll indulge in the mousse Kerr had."

Ben didn't pay as much attention to Kerr's question as Kerr had to his statement. He took it at face value, figuring that Kerr must've heard something in the description of Vincent's golden child.

"What's that phrasing from the movies? Women want to be with him and men want to be him?" Ben chuckled. "Except that makes you the woman in this case so maybe I'll find a different saying."

And of course, being Owen would mean he'd be paired up with Vincent. Ben didn't really look at that for very long, figuring that Kerr wouldn't take it that way. He hoped. This was about Owen right now; Ben didn't really see the attraction. Well, the physical attraction, sure. But Owen was like a high-schooler in a lot of ways and he just couldn't relate and couldn't see how others did. Especially Vincent.

And now, Kerr.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2019, 06:16:45 PM »
Kerr chuckled indulgently and kissed Ben’s forehead. “I don’t want to be with him,” he scoffed, noting that their table was being cleared. Owen and Vincent looked cosy. Kerr liked having Ben to himself for a moment and having a socially-acceptable excuse to hold him close was pretty excellent, too.

“Did you dance while I was gone? I think you’ve got better,” he observed, noticing the staff bringing dessert menus back. Before he relented his alone time with Ben, he had one final question. “You don’t want to tell Vincent about Murphy? Wouldn’t he be interested to know about the important events in your life?”

“Me too. And then, when we get home, I’ll indulge in you,” Owen quipped, giving Vincent a quick kiss before reluctantly hopping his chair back to his correct place at the table. “I have to say, I like you a lot when you’re this relaxed and not trying to fill all our spare time with training,” he said conversationally, rolling his eyes playfully. It was only partially light-hearted.

Offline Trillian

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2019, 06:46:30 PM »
Vincent mused on Owen's suggestion and made a mental note to have a little more time off so they could enjoy one another instead of only having their destination holidays as a relaxer. The Academy didn't demand too much from either of them and so there was no harm in having a weekly date night. It was another reason not to have too many people in his sphere - for every friendship made would be an intrusion on his private time with Owen. Selfish, yes. But he believed Owen wouldn't mind.

Vincent accepted the dessert menus when they came, seeing that the small booklet was placed in front of each of the vacant chairs. Ben and Kerr would be back soon.

Ben shook his head. "I'm keeping Vincent

pure

away from a lot of my life for a couple of reasons. One, because I know with more time spent with him that I might, uh, fixate. And two, I have you back now, and I want to share everything with you. I don't like everybody else knowing about what's happening with me or with my friendships or with us. I like that you know me completely. It makes you more... special, to me."

He wanted to say 'dear to me' but he thought Kerr might not like the phrasing.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2019, 03:39:29 AM »
As Ben finished speaking and Kerr’s heart swelled to at least twice its normal size, the song they were dancing to concluded. “Okay,” he agreed simply, holding Ben just a little bit closer and relishing the privilege of being this man’s one and only confidante before he pulled back to clap the band. They started up their next song with a lively cymbal tapping and Kerr snagged Ben’s hand to lead him back to their table. Dessert menus had been delivered and enough time had passed that Ben seemed calmer.

Out of habit, Kerr pulled Ben’s chair out for him and scooted it in as he sat, then seated himself, flicking his napkin and dropping it negligently across he left thigh - mostly so none of the staff felt it was their duty to spread it on his lap for him. He’d already seen a dessert menu (he only considered now that its presence inside his other menu might have been an accident) so he opened up a question to the table while they deliberated.

“Is there any sort of business for supernaturals that you feel the city is missing? I have a beautiful establishment built into the cliffs overlooking the sea - I called it The Overlook - just waiting to become something useful but it hasn’t bloomed yet. I’d planned on it being a gift for Ben when we got back from Europe but, well, it never came to be and now we have the hotel, the politics, the Academy and Lovebite keeping us busy, I’m not sure what do with it.”

“Twenty-four hour paintball!” Owen called out, looking up from his menu to give the first idea that came to him when Kerr asked what the city was missing.

Kerr’s mouth twisted regretfully. “It’s definitely more of an indoor, sophisticated place, not designed for loud, filthy skirmishes. The kind with deep pile carpets, huge open rooms with natural stone walls and polished floors, mirrored ceilings and stages. Plus, some spaces jutting out over the water that have glass tiles in the floor.”

“Cool!” Owen enthused. “Karaoke, then!”

“Do you sing?” Kerr asked, thinking he might have stumbled on a talent of the youngling’s.

“No.”

Kerr blinked slowly. “Uhhhokay. Well, I’m pretty sure there are at least two karaoke bars in the city already. Originally, I’d thought to make it a full-time restaurant for supernaturals and mortals to dine together in, plus host dances - classes, competitions, theme nights - in the ballroom and private music concerts or conversation rooms with background music in the smaller spaces,” he explained, instinctively turning from looking at Owen to Vincent, figuring it had to be his turn to comment, now.

“But would we really want to compete with this place? Is there room for both establishments in the city? Does it have a chance at success when Echelon is investing time and money into developing truly extraordinary palate pleasers here in the city, while the Overlook is still closed and digesting its own undiscovered potential?”

Offline Trillian

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2019, 11:01:30 AM »
Vincent enjoyed a good business proposal conversation. He leapt into it with relish once Owen had his small inputs and was shot down with scepticism.

"What you propose sounds like somewhere I want to visit," he remarked after hearing of the Overlook's description. "While I enjoy Echelon, it's the only place of its kind that can offer a night like this, and only on certain nights. If you have multiple smaller spaces to give a sensation of dining in different restaurants at the one location, I imagine Owen and I would visit there multiple nights a week. However, after speaking with Anton tonight, I received the impression that Echelon only offers twice a night bookings for their supernatural members because of the inability to source blood every night. I've always believed they have a clinic squirrelled away somewhere posing as a blood bank, though such a thing would be scandalous." His eyes twinkled at the idea of his uncovering a scandal based on his idea. He fancied he would make a good detective and this was the only part he missed about Owen's time on the streets - bouncing ideas together about the cases he'd taken.

"And wouldn't it compete with Lovebite and Venture more than it would compete with this place? I, personally, would have no need for donors if I could satisfy my cravings by the glass. I don't particularly enjoy the vampire club scene, even though Venture has made it as sophisticated as possible downstairs, but I'm a minority in that. Those who are VIPs at Venture spending their annual half-million dollars on VIP access fees would likely find it more cost-effective to dine with you, even if you mimicked Echelon prices."
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2019, 01:14:43 AM »
A sophisticated, multi-themed restaurant... Vincent's suggestion was highly intriguing. Kerr had been thinking more along the lines of something to do with entertainment - musical performances or dancing - rather than purely sustenance-based facilities but there were potentially many different zones at the Overlook. Sipping a warm blood cocktail on a luxurious seat while looking out at the ocean and a sky filled with stars sounded lovely and peaceful. The ambience created by the lit stone walls was mysterious; combined with creative seating, it could become a lively conversation grotto, an acoustically-enhanced concert hall or private dining niches. The carpeted restaurant area was elegant in its simplicity and could cater to mortals and supernaturals alike.

"Interesting," Kerr mused, his tongue twisting as he tapped the stud buried within it against the roof of his mouth or his teeth. In his mind's eye, he was busy picturing what The Overlook might become, with some tweaking. "We have had some supply issues with Brannigan's - the cafes at The Luminary and the Academy - but the easiest way around it is to supplement with animal blood. Elitists don't love it but they're also happy to pay the greater amount for human blood. The majority of kindred don't seem to mind. Finding chefs - or blood technicians, technically - would be the greatest challenge."

"Tate definitely doesn't care about animal blood being used," Owen snickered to himself.

Kerr nodded. "I survived on it almost exclusively throughout my first half-century and it didn't affect me or my ability growth. Some of the flavour combinations are bound to be a hit, depending on how they're treated."

"Speaking of," Owen said, placing the menu he'd been perusing firmly on the table as he looked up at Vincent. "I'd actually like to try the duck blood gelato garnished with blood curd slivers. But... you are getting the mousse, right? Wanna' share?" he grinned, batting his eyelashes playfully at his husband. Vincent very rarely denied him anything but it wouldn't do to look completely spoilt in front of Ben and Kerr. He had to make a show of trading.

Kerr fell quiet, staring at nothing in particular (in the middle of the table) as he pondered a future where he might become a supernatural-based restauranteur, rather than a musical director. His tongue stud tapped thoughtfully again. Would it help if Vincent saw The Overlook? Having an open discussion with someone who obviously had ideas on the matter would certainly help Kerr. He wondered if Vincent would be interested but before he could ask, the waitress returned.

"Is everyone ready to order?" she enquired politely, her order tablet at the ready once more.

"Nothing for me," Kerr intoned with a distracted smile, falling into his thoughts again.

Offline Trillian

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2019, 11:24:21 AM »
Vincent nodded, having drunk from wildlife on several occassions. He'd tasted a whole host of African animals during his time there (except for the armoured ones like rhinos and exceptionally hostile ones such as hippos) and thought it would be nice if Kerr could manage to import some exotic bloods.

"Of course," he said to Owen, smiling agreement at sharing and knowing that Owen was more keen for his dessert than Vincent was for the other (but he would take a spoonful to try it). He leant over to plant a kiss on Owen's lips to seal the deal.

Ben watched this exchange between his mentor and peer. He couldn't think of them as employees, not really, when his relationship with them had developed before he'd put them on the payroll. It was hard to separate from that. After the kiss, Vincent left his arm resting on the back of Owen's chair and smiled from Ben to Kerr and then at the server as she returned to take their orders.

Vincent asked for the Chilled Blood Mousse, Owen the duck gelato which was titled Iced Red Mandrake, and Ben shifted from his initial idea of getting the same dessert as Kerr and Vincent to picking one of his own.

"Uh, the Scarlett Crown thanks." He hadn't read the description, changing his mind on the spur of the moment as he handed the menu over.

The server left.

"We'd need to fit two kitchens at the Overlook," Ben suggested. "Separate the blood from the food. And I was thinking that the tables should step down to the windows, so that the people dining farthest can look over the heads of those below them and still enjoy the view."

He wasn't sold on multi-themed restaurants because they'd have to create nooks and cut off the openness of the building. He'd seen the plans and investigated it while it had been built after Kerr was away in the other dimension. He hadn't known what its plans were after being built so it had been left a hollow shell of a building.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2019, 12:01:03 PM »
Once the orders were given, Kerr responded. "That's doable, if we decide to go that way," he agreed to Ben's suggestion of separate kitchens and tiered seating, "though there'll be some renovation required. Perhaps... it would help to have a walk through the building to see if what we're discussing will fit the space?" he suggested airily, following through on his impulse to include Vincent.

"Tonight?" Owen asked warily, unsure about the idea of a building inspection to finish off their night. He was more interested in capitalising on Vincent's flirting and good mood than in ending the night talking about a business he had no real interest in.

"No," Kerr answered quickly - and possibly a little too firmly - then cleared his throat. "Uh, it would have to be another night. I-if you're even interested," he gestured towards Owen and Vincent. "There's no rush," he shrugged.

Owen did his best not to look at Vincent or make any particular expression that would give away his feelings on the fact that Kerr had asked them out again - to a deadly boring potential business discussion and exploration. Yay.

Offline Trillian

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2019, 12:09:02 PM »
Vincent was enamoured with the idea and also extremely flattered to be asked his opinion. He was aware that it wasn't the kind of thing that Owen would want to help envision, so he'd accept for himself and give his love the option of staying away from it - though once they had a chat about it, he might enthuse his husband on the benefits of shaping a location into something they would want to spend some time in.

"I am most certainly interested. My schedule is more open than Owen's so we'll discuss if he'll let me have the first look without him," he said, grinning at Owen. "I'll send you a text. Next month we're heading for Japan so we'll figure out if it'll be before or after that."

Ben nodded, remembering that he'd have to sweet-talk Kerr into taking over Vincent's classes during that three-week break.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2019, 04:34:07 PM »
"Sounds great," Kerr enthused, hoping they could manage to fit the tour in before Vincent and Owen's trip, rather than after. Now that he was thinking about the Overlook, he was excited by its possibilities - and by colluding with Vincent, truthfully. The thought of making decisions with him that could be acted on (and possibly completed) while he was away - and the potential excitement on Vincent's face when he saw their visions turned into reality upon his return - gave Kerr a secret thrill. "So, Japan, huh? How long are you away for?"

How much time - hypothetically - would I have to impress you?

"Three weeks," Owen answered Kerr but grinned at Vincent, snuggling into the crook of his arm and rubbing his thigh lovingly. He leant over to give him another kiss, lingering over the feel of his lips long enough to slip his tongue briefly between them. Vincent's excuse for keeping him out of the potential restaurant tour filled him with gratitude and he was keen to show it. His tongue was a good envoy.

"Lovely," Kerr nodded, waiting until their kiss ended before asking another question. "Is it cherry blossom season?" he frowned, trying to work out if the couple was timing their holiday with the brief-but-spectacular floral phenomenon.

Just as Kerr finished speaking, the waitress returned with their desserts and placed them on the table in front of the correct orderers, momentarily delaying Vincent's answer.

Offline Trillian

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2019, 09:05:42 PM »
"Oh no, that happened a couple of months ago. We're there at the end of Japan's summer. Hot summer nights filled with the hanabi taikai - all summer long there are multiple fireworks displays. A lot of the spiritual ceremonies and rituals are held in various shrines during summer It's nothing I've witnessed before so that'll be a mystical and sobering experience to share with Owen. I'm most looking forward to the Nakafurano Lavender Festival. I love the smell of lavender and I've heard the entire city of Hokkaido is filled with it."

There was a lot to look forward to. The nights were shorter during summer but he thought it was worth it to experience those things - and Japan was a country that had a lot of night festivities and a very strong nightlife, so they would be able to experience everything they wanted to.

"Owen and I have visited the cherry blossoms at Washington D.C., though, some years ago. I can't compare them to the Japanese sight because I haven't seen those yet, but they are still a marvel to behold. The street lights show them off beautifully along the avenues towards some amazing buildings." Vincent turned to Ben. "You've seen the cherry blossoms, haven't you? I remember a discussion with you about them."

Ben, who'd been flown the short trip from New York to Washington for a modelling job, had only seen them from the limo taking him and Themba to the location. He had marvelled at them through the car window but there'd been no time for him to walk the avenue.

"I barely saw them," Ben replied swiftly, and picked up one of the triangular red meringue pieces that made up the body of the 'crown' upon his plate, and popped it into his mouth. In the middle of the crown was a small wobbling deep red pannacotta that didn't look all that appetising.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2019, 09:42:24 PM »
"I love lavender, too!" Kerr interjected when Vincent mentioned the festival - it was one of the few words in the sentence he understood and could comment comfortably on. That and 'fireworks'. Otherwise, he was just nodding and smiling politely.

When Vincent tried to draw Ben into the conversation by mentioning he'd seen cherry blossoms in Washington, Kerr knew it had to have happened when he was in New York, since it was so close to where he'd been living. Ben had never travelled to Washington while they'd been together, either.

The last thing they needed tonight was a reference to Themba, when Lazarus was already haunting them. He cast around for a new, less controversial topic of conversation. His gaze fell on Vincent's mousse. "Does it taste as good as you thought it would?" he grinned playfully.

Offline Trillian

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #42 on: July 29, 2019, 05:53:43 AM »
Vincent didn't know what he'd said wrong but Ben's quick rebuttal made it obvious he'd spoken out of turn. Conversation with Ben had always been simple, but now in his partner's presence it had become a minefield. Vincent's gaze flicked back to Kerr, wondering why his relationship with Ben was coiled with such tension, ready to have Ben leap up and bite at the most inane comments.

He hoped, when he toured the Overlook, that it would be just Kerr showing him through it and that Ben would be busy or not wish to come. His first meeting with Kerr had been tense and full of accusations and inappropriate sharing, but  here and now he was relaxed and happy. It could be a social experiment, to see if Kerr on his own was the same, now that he must've talked things through with Ben about 'the Ben thing' as Owen had so eloquently put it.

Kerr's question gave Vincent an easy out. "Oh, I'm enjoying it. What it lacks in substance it makes up for in sensation," he grinned.

Ben spooned into his pannacotta, which didn't yield as easily as he'd expected given the wobble. He cautiously put it into his mouth and it tasted like regular blood, though slightly jellified. The texture was weird, but reminded him of a chocolate bar he used to enjoy in his mortal years.

"This reminds me so much of Turkish Delight," he said, looking over at Kerr with a grin, pleased that his dessert hadn't been a misfire after all. He gave Vincent a confused look when he burst out laughing, and Ben's stare next went to Owen for potential clarification.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #43 on: July 29, 2019, 03:50:06 PM »
Kerr looked from Vincent to Owen also, noting the young blond's fierce blush.

"Fuck," Owen muttered beneath his breath - though of course it was heard by all of them - shooting Vincent an embarrassed glare for laughing at him. The bastard knew how much Digital had freaked him out! He felt the weight of the other two vampires' stares and was compelled to explain, directing it at Ben because he was the one who'd made the comment.

"Ignore him," he began, sounding rather disgusted by Vincent's good humour, "he thinks it's funny that Digital called me that when I left him and stayed in the abandoned Oligarchy Chambers for a while. In your building, downstairs. He called me Turkish Delight because he somehow knew I'd been to Turkey and, uh, fooled around with a Turkish prince. Turkish prince vampire, I guess. He's so freaky - Digital, that is, not Sabri. It gives me the creeps how he just knows stuff," Owen made a show of shuddering and rubbing his arms, as if they were coated in goosebumps.

"I dunno' how you guys work so closely with him. Don't his insane predictions make you nervous?" he asked, well aware what a vital role Digital played in the maintenance of the Academy and Ben and Kerr's Luminary businesses. He knew he couldn't do it, if asked, and he was glad that security and I.T. had managed to stay apart most of the time - or, rather, that he'd managed to delegate other security members to work alongside Digital when it was necessary their departments collude. Sam had always run pretty good interference, too. Owen thought he was sleeping with Digital but that was neither here nor there.

Kerr gave a wry smile and answered, even though Owen had spoken to Ben. "Well, once I got past the fact that he murdered my sire and fledgelings because he predicted that they would cause desperate trouble for Ben and I in the future, working closely with him was pretty easy."

Owen's jaw dropped at the very calm way Kerr had spoken, though he sounded anything but when he replied. "He murdered your sire and fledgelings?" Owen screeched his disbelief.

Kerr nodded.

"How many fledgelings?!"

"Well, that's an interesting question, and not an easy one to answer," Kerr laughed affably. He grinned at Owen's baffled look - mirrored on his sire's face. "You'd say two, though they were conjoined twins so, sort of one as well. They were Sawyl's - my younger sire's - biological mothers. Well, one of them was," Kerr pulled a face, chuckled again and shook his head dismissively. "It doesn't matter. The point is, Digital set fire to my house with the three of them in it and killed them - plus destroyed a lot of my priceless antiques, including the most beautiful royal tapestry. Ugh. All because of a vision he had, that he was never able to fully explain."

"And you forgave him?" Owen asked in wonder.

Kerr shrugged. "It took me a while but, after I lost eighteen months in eighteen minutes, it sort of threw what was important into better perspective. My family was gone, nothing was going to bring them back and Digital was desperately sorry. His voices just got the better of him, he hadn't meant to hurt me. And the world really is a better place without them," Kerr conceded with another chuckle and a shrug, glancing down at his fingers as they traced a smoothing line along his unused napkin compulsively. He looked up at Owen. "Count yourself lucky you got away with a cute nickname," he winked.

Owen blinked owlishly at him as he gave a bewildered nod and then looked at Vincent. What the fuck was he supposed to say to that? It wasn't funny. He felt completely out of his depth that Kerr would trump his discomfort with the world's most awkward death anecdote and turn it into something he should be grateful about.

Offline Trillian

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Re: A Fangtastic Foursome
« Reply #44 on: July 29, 2019, 04:42:15 PM »
Ben was surprised that Kerr had dropped something so heavy into the conversation during a first dinner date. It wasn't really a first dinner date conversation and Ben recognised the look on Owen's face. He would've felt that, too, if he'd been told about some horrible crime afflicting Kerr's family without properly asking. He'd only asked how they could work with Digital. Ben had thought of a flippant answer

we're used to it now
we've known him a long time


but then Kerr revealed what was behind the gritty curtain. For a bonus round, Kerr revealed gritty curtain number two, having conjoined twins as his fledglings, one of which was a mother to Kerr's sire. Let's not forget that sire was a fucking psychotic devil-child, but thankfully that particular jewel remained hidden behind curtain number three.

"He just needs an outlet," Ben said. "Doing all the I.T. stuff keeps him busy and the voices quiet. There's been a lot less predictions out of him lately."

Ben was disappointed about that, mostly. He'd wanted to know about the election but Digital had nothing for him, though he had spouted a lot about black dragons getting tans, whatever that was about.

"He sounds dangerous," Vincent said, sounding calm but Owen would feel the concern drilling along their bloodline. "I admit I'm not terribly comfortable around the Malkavian bloodline. I've met a few and they are each entirely different from the other. But they're never harmless."

Ben fixed Vincent with a steady stare. "Digital is safe. You don't have to be concerned." Digital had proven his loyalty to Kerr's and Ben's situation on multiple occassions. Unlike Kerr, Ben thought Digital's move to kill Kerr's family was the best thing he'd done for them and he wasn't sad at all. But he had compassion for Kerr.

Vincent was surprised enough by Ben's tone that he blinked at the younger vampire before breaking eye contact and then leaning back on his chair. His dessert was half-eaten.

"Did you want to finish this?" he asked Owen with a smile, sure he wouldn't be refused.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :