Author Topic: Questions?  (Read 13300 times)

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Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2019, 11:29:29 PM »
"My son, Pierre, is unable to receive or send telepathic messages. It has been this way his entire immortal life and we have no idea why." Damien shrugged, usually content with the fact that he couldn't be read. In the case of rehabilitating Odessa, it had actually saved him and Damien both. "My sire believed him to be a thin-blood because he was my first successful fledge, yet lacked the clear skills of our bloodline." Mental seduction and dominance, telepathic communications, accelerated speed. Pierre lacked them all, though he had always been almost as strong as Damien was, even as a fledgling. He offered Kerr none of these passing thoughts, save for the memory of Pierre asking what Charon had declared at his most recent gathering the night that Sabrina was named District Leader.

"He alone has knowledge of what Laurent fights like, what actually transpired between them, and what was done. Everything that we know has been translated verbally from Pierre or from skimming Rachel's thoughts on Laurent."

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2019, 12:05:34 AM »
Quel horreur, Kerr breathed. It wasn't sarcasm. It truly was a horrifying thought to have a fledgeling that he couldn't be completely open with, Kerr was abashed by yet another difficult facet of Damien's life. And they couldn't figure out why he was limited? How frustrating!

The image of Pierre being told of Charon's mental announcement stirred Kerr's memory of seeing him at the party. He'd held a cursory appreciation for the man's physical appearance rather than having a memorable interaction with him. He was hot, but Kerr had been somewhat distracted that night.

I think you have the shittiest luck of anyone I've ever met, Kerr told Damien bluntly, waves of sympathy washing over his companion with the sentiment. And if you tell me you think it's just the price of living a long life, I may feel the need to end mine sooner rather than get to that, because I thought I had it bad with Ben but you, sir, have been dealt multiple shitty hands and I admire your tenacity at working to overcome them!

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2019, 02:26:04 AM »
Damien chuckled, Kerr's bluntness overwhelming his typically cold exterior pushing forth a wide grin, teeth and all. He rarely saw Pierre's impenetrable mind as an issue; they had always had their own ways of communicating and had become so good at understanding what the other was thinking or predicting their behavior that it hardly seemed necessary anymore. In fact as the years went on, he was glad that he had been able to provide his fledge with the ability to shield himself, even if it meant that Damien could only reach out to him through their blood bond in the most dire of circumstances. Lucretia had thought nothing of delving into his own deep thoughts - his hatred of her, the dark desires of his heart that he neither understood nor processed, his vengefulness, his bitterness, his spite. She had made it a game with him at the beginning, repeating his thoughts back to him aloud. When he first decided he would create another, he promised to never do such things.

"It's not as terrible as you may think," Damien thought graciously. "We speak many of the same languages, many of them old enough for the younger ones to have forgotten. If we wish to communicate around others, we simply switch our languages around. And I still have our blood bond, though his has always been different than my others were." He supplied Kerr his imagining of the bond he shared with Pierre. The younger vampire had always felt like a small fish on the end of a long line - difficult to find unless he searched for it (which of course Damien was more used to doing). Their emotions were not easily transmitted through their blood either, intensity of emotion being the most salient of factors in whether Damien could feel him. Or pain. "It is what we have always had. He and I know no different way to be. I have had other fledges, none of whom had these same differences. He has fledglings now who cannot connect to him, but can communicate with me as easily and freely as you and I are now."

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2019, 05:56:29 PM »
Kerr shook his head in wonder, soaking up all that Damien offered him and communicating fascination in return. That feeling - of Pierre being so far away that he couldn't be felt without determined seeking - was akin to hopelessness for Kerr. How did Damien endure that and then sit there telling him it wasn't as terrible as he may think? Because they could switch languages?? They couldn't feel each other without effort, they couldn't communicate without forethought, they couldn't share on a fundamental level.

He sat back in his chair, deliberately repressing an urge to get up and hug Damien out of sheer respect for what he'd endured. That would be weird... but his admiration was strong. It was a damn shame no-one could be of more assistance to him.

That's unique, alright. You might as well be mortals. Your situation just makes me more grateful that my own two sirings went so well. I mean, I co-sired Ben with another, now-absent vampire - mainly because I was an idiot. It's one of the greatest regrets of my life - but even our diluted bond has less issues than yours with Pierre. How old is he? he enquired, predicting that the pair had been together a long time for Damien to be so cavalier about their communication challenges.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2019, 04:07:26 AM »
Damien still didn't understand Kerr's sympathy and found it a bit odd that, despite him telling Kerr that nothing was wrong with Pierre's abilities, the younger vampire insisted that there was something dysfunctional about the relationship and therefore made Damien's patience commendable. The comment roused a touch of old defensiveness he hadn't felt since just after meeting Odessa in Paris, the ancient continually making passing comments about Pierre being silent, aptly renamed, or somehow inferior to her Nadia. And it reminded him of Lucretia and her disdain for Pierre, but Damien kept this all to himself, hopping to a different subject that Kerr himself had brought up.

"He is almost seven hundred now," the elder answered politely. "But you say that Ben has two sires?" He had heard of such things, but never knew anyone who had performed it. He was fascinated by that and allowed Kerr to know it. Damien had always felt a sort of fierce protectiveness over his fledges, even against Lucretia, and he couldn't imagine a situation in which he willingly sired a fledge with another vampire - well, besides out of necessity of imminent death or something equally as unexpected. "If it's not too bold to ask, how did that occur?" He assumed it was a planned event, of course, and he figured he understood the actual process of it well enough - each take blood, each give blood - but what confused him was more how it worked to have one fledge shared between two sires.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2019, 12:18:26 AM »
Kerr simply looked at Damien for a moment, feeling jealous of the other's ignorance. His entire being was a matter of twos, apart from Ichabod. He was the only difference in Kerr's life, though he didn't treasure him above Ben, they were just differently connected to him.

After his moment passed, Kerr shared his memory of the night he'd made Ben, allowing the elder a glimpse of his awkwardness and nerves as he followed Ben into an anonymous house by the beach, discussed the logistics and then climbed onto a bed to sire Ben with a complete stranger. All because Ben had wanted them both. Arles had drunk from Ben first, then Kerr had drunk before Arles had given his blood and then Kerr had finished Ben off by feeding him. There'd been an unusual feedback loop of shared thoughts and emotions that had ensnared all three of them initially and then they'd travelled to Risk to find sustenance.

The first person Ben had ever drunk from had been Kerr's now-fledgeling, Ichabod. Funny, how his cyclical little life worked, really.

That's the basics of how it went down. Arles first, me second. He's an odd soul and hasn't stayed in Ben's life. Unfortunately, I can't go back and change that night, though I would, if possible. I'd give anything to be Ben's only sire. But he's like me, so I guess it was kind of appropriate. I had two sires as well, and also co-sired my sire's mothers with him. My first fledgelings were unique in so many ways, though, he smiled. Kerr didn't share his other experiences with Damien without invitation. Rather, he dangled the offer of sharing them, if he wished, ready to show the elder the horror of his own siring, his murder of his sire, his torturous siring of the twins... if he wanted to see it, Kerr would show him.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2019, 07:28:29 AM »
Damien watched the memory of Ben's siring and felt that tension in his chest at the discomfort of it. The entire situation felt to him awkward indeed and he doubted that he, himself would have been able to go through with such a situation. He watched the movie reel of Kerr's memory pass before him with fascination, never having witnessed the private moments of a fledge from another bloodline coming into being. Two sires was such a strange circumstance to him, especially that this Arles was in no way connected to Kerr to begin with. Very bizarre indeed. He watched a young, human Ben Samson with a feeling akin to love take the blood from another and then from Kerr's own veins.

A wretched feeling, to have a stranger share that intimate feeling within the body of changing another and becoming one. He couldn't help but imagine how disconcerting it would have been to have another vampire he knew sire a fledge with him. The thought made him frown deeply.

But then Kerr's explanation of his own life was even worse, and now Damien was the one leaking sympathy for Kerr into the connection. Had they not had the connection, Damien probably wouldn't have been able to make sense of Kerr's words. Kerr had sired his sire's mother? Cautiously, and only because the other offered it willingly, Damien extended a mental invitation, watching the younger vampire closely with a curious expression. What he saw would take him a while to accept and fully understand.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2019, 07:02:57 AM »
Kerr took Damien's consciousness - the small part that the Frenchman had offered and used to connect - and pulled it in nice and close to himself as he dug far back in his memories to share the experience of his siring. Held as close as a second skin, Damien experienced with Kerr the horror of being ambushed by a tiny, doll-like child with hungry fangs and wild eyes. His life ebbed out of him as a hideous vampire with bat-like features took over the violent drinking of his life force and then a small wrist was drawn on until it offered no more of his own blood back (a paltry amount, really). It was replaced by a dry, skeletal appendage from which he imbibed not just blood but power.

As his body began to convulse with the agony of a brutal, terrifying, assault of a death, he took Damien with him away from that moment. He was shown flashes of Kerr feeding from sheep, feeling fear and revulsion when refusing to feed from humans, gut-wrenching terror as he watched Angus' hideous face at his mother's throat. Damien swung the axe with Kerr as he separated Angus from his head, trying unsuccessfully to stop his sire killing his mother. There were more flashes of travelling with Sawyl, feeding from animals, tenderly protecting the pretty child vampire from curious stares, ripping him off the open throat of a dying farmer.

The image of two women - slightly older, female-doll versions of his first sire - appeared before them next, their skulls joined together near the tops of their heads (somewhere inside their tumble of ringleted curls) but their bodies weirdly ambulatory. The sensation of hunger pervaded the image and Damien would know Kerr and Sawyl had deliberately starving themselves for this moment. The sire and fledge could work together, each nuzzled a throat, each found a vein, each could feed a mouth but Sawyl's body was small and his capacity for blood was, too. He drank and recycled the blood as fast as he could but he let as much as he drank.

Towards the end, Kerr had to take the greater responsibility for ushering the twins out of their first life and into their second. As they had once been born, they died in a pool of blood, convulsing and contorting as their bodies ceased their prior functions and surrendered to unlife. Almost the minute after they died and re-opened their eyes, tentative feelers were pressed into Kerr's mind, the sensation like wires inserted into soft tissue, strangely electric and severely uncomfortable. They remained gifted at mental communication and Kerr shared a few scenes of the twins feeding or pressing at his brain, controlling his actions to force him to feed on humans when he didn't want to. Fighting them had been futile, in the early days.

Kerr ended the sharing and peeled himself off Damien's consciousness, in such a manner that he could step back and look at the man with a crooked smile both physically and mentally. I've done a lot of things in twos. I've never really thought of it that way, until tonight. As far as Ben and Ichabod are concerned, your restrictions with communicating with Pierre would be most unwelcome. Had that happened with Meinwen and Dei, however, I'd have welcomed it! But, alas, I was never so lucky with my first family. A wry sense of amusement travelled with the thought and then he simply withdrew, allowing Damien a chance to process the inundation that was his origin story.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2019, 08:53:23 AM »
He felt himself bind with Kerr, a familiar but radically uncomfortable feeling, and watched the younger's life and death replay in high definition before him. The terror of the attack, the pain of death, the death of his mother, the child...

The child gave him chills.

The mothers made him flinch, and Damien almost lost the connection. He had known of conjoined twins before, seen them advertised on flyers of old and plastered on eye-catching ads at the bottom of websites. They had always been beyond his understanding. Their presence was almost too much for him, the suddenness of being faced with these two strange women so unexpectedly. He fledged them with Kerr, the mental connections anchor and grow. As he passed through Kerr's history with the strangelings, Damien could remember that old, familiar pressure on his own mind from another to act against his will, something he had grown unaccustomed to in his long years without Lucretia.

It took him a long time to realize that Kerr was talking to him and that he was his own entity again, the image of Kerr becoming solid in front of his physical eyes. Astounded by the ride he had gone on, he found his fingers gripping the arms of the chair in which he sat and forced them to release.

"I have no words," Damien breathed quietly aloud, his breath drawn and separate in his own ears to confirm that he was still within his own skin. "What a strange journey you have been on."

Like Kerr had done, Damien extended his hand to the Irishman and embraced him mentally in the history of Pierre's creation.

He contemplated starting with the memories of his own siring, like a chiral reaction to Kerr's own telling, but decided against showing him anything but the beauty that was Lucretia Aquillia. He jumped away from her once the full sensation of her power, authority, and regality had been felt. Damien kept his own siring private, the domination and rape of his body, mind, and eventually spirit too personal for him to offer any but the closest friends.

Instead he showed Kerr the sequence of events which led to Pierre - Lucretia's complete command of the small army of vampires just outside of Constantinople, a much younger Damien fleeing and heading as far west as he could ride by night, hiding in mountains during the day. His aim had been to return to Toulouse and see what he could find of his relatives. But there had been no family there, his siblings moved on and eventually dead in acts of war, or by natural selection.

He jumped several years, the city of Calais looming. Stalking, alone for the first time in more than 250 years, Damien came upon first Phillippe, who died in his arms gasping for air through a destroyed throat, then Clement, who's heart couldn't handle the change. When he had set his focus on the blacksmith, a healthy specimen of a human with charm to rival any of Lucretia's fledges, Lucretia appeared at his side. Damien watched and Lucretia coached.

Teeth in Pierre's neck, Lucretia's hand on his shoulder. Arm-in-arm with his bride and sire, hopeful and expectant, they watched Pierre die together, awakening with a dragging breath. Instinctually, he placed himself against the young one, whose large arms grappled around Damien's neck in a desperate attempt to understand his new life, teeth aching for blood. Despite criticisms of his method, Lucretia allowed him their space together as the young one adjusted.

His first fledge, those eyes a luminous blue looking at him. It was the only kind of offspring his body could create now.

There was an angry discussion between himself and his sire; Lucretia had thought to take the new one out and leave him in the sun, to detach his head from his shoulders once she became aware of the muteness. Thin Blood, she had hissed at him. Abomination. Damien fought his sire, refusing to submit to her will and standing between them as she tried to end his life, stopping only once he had threatened to make more fledges on his own away from her. At last, she backed away from them, accepting the mute one.

Damien pulled himself back out of the memory, placing himself back in his own seat across from Kerr. "When her entire lineage  was burned by hunters in Hesse, 1649, Pierre and I were the only ones strong enough to escape. It was the one and only time that I have been able to penetrate his mind and speak to him. I suspect it is only because I am his sire, and we were both about to die."

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2019, 01:45:10 AM »
Kerr smiled when told he'd been on a strange journey. It was true and yet it hadn't seemed quite as bizarre when it was all he knew; absence and hindsight distorted his backward view exorbitantly, and it was validating that Damien acknowledged it in his own polite way. Kerr had felt his stumbles, his shock at what he'd seen and it made him appreciate even more that his elder hung on for the entirety of the revelations.

When it was his turn to watch, Kerr was eager, following Damien as closely as he was able. There was... a hovering feeling, like a held breath and then the scent of war afforded by an army of vampires came to him. It was thrilling in its ferocity, leaving Kerr spellbound to be touching a history far older than his own, to know and see beings likely gone, to live a life he didn't understand.

The two deaths - of fledges never realised, stillborn in their making - were brutal and heartbreaking, leaving Kerr with a sensation of crippling fear in his chest. The third caused him to go still with hope, the devastation of imperfection thwarted by the overwhelming presence of a beastly woman

sire
she's his
sire


trying to destroy Damien's pride and love. Kerr felt it now, the love and appreciation for one so hard-won. He understood partially why there was gratitude and confusion when Kerr was horrified that he was less; how insulting he'd been, how callous. He felt shame wash through him as he recalled his own hurtful offences. Instead of rejoicing that Pierre existed, he'd essentially scorned him, judged he and Damien, without considering how much more there could be.

Kerr nodded as the feelings lessened and the warm, deep voice of Damien filled his mind once more, expelling him from the Frenchman's addictive rawness and the muted brutality that was his past, settling him in the present. It all seemed so... tame, by comparison, their modern lives built around trivial power plays and the mind bending possibilities of potential lost love. The fragility and complexity of emotions was a weighted curse and a soul-mending blessing and it seemed, in that moment, that they were all that was worth fighting for now.

I'm so sorry that I judged you and your childe so harshly. Forgive my ignorance; I see now why you revere him, how precious he is to you. It was ignorant of me to focus on only part of the man and your relationship, when there is obviously so much more between you. Kerr lowered his eyes and his head, silently inviting a reprimand for insensitivity. He'd insulted Damien far more than Ben might have, surely?

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2019, 09:00:55 AM »
His apology brought a toothy grin to Damien's face. It had been a very long time since he was truly offended by such things. "Kerr Galvin, you are not the first person to have made such passing assumptions about my relationship with my son, and you will certainly not be the last. All is forgiven, I assure you."

"I see Pierre's silence as a great gift. He is rare among vampire kind, as he can neither hear nor speak psychically. He wasn't fond of Lucretia, who constantly used mental domination to control her legion - including myself. Upon his waking, I was devastated at first, of course. But as time went on, it became evident how lucky he was - he never had to worry about Lucretia's will in the same way as the rest of us. For the first few months," Damien chuckled, remembering the humour and frustration of his sire and fledge, "they couldn't even communicate. They needed me to translate." He offered Kerr the image of an angry Lucretia storming away from them with her hair streaming behind her, a beautiful long-haired, week-old Pierre withholding his laughter behind pinched lips as he hoisted a tent. As the image faded with both Damien and Pierre sharing their first laugh together at Lucretia's expense, Damien continued. "We have always been able to communicate, just not in the ways that others expect. It is amazing the things that we become accustomed to in this strange life." He thought specifically of Kerr's history and hid nothing of his thoughts, reflecting on the twins, the savagery of Sawyl, the uncomfortable feeling of sharing a fledge.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2019, 01:32:36 AM »
Kerr smiled and inclined his head when told he was forgiven, relief settling his shoulders. He enjoyed the glimpse into Damien's past, intrigued by the unique experience of being torn between a sire and a fledgeling, forced to mediate for the two. In his own family, he should've been in the middle - having been the dominant sire of the twins and directly descended from Sawyl - but he'd generally felt like he was on the outer most of the time. Neither he nor Damien had had optimal familial situations and he enjoyed that common connection.

He found the image of the blazing icon that was Lucretia fascinating, wondering about her and her purported 'legion'. What did that even mean? Did it have anything to do with the biological vampirism he and Ben had been pondering last night? Muffling that thought as quickly as it rose, Kerr focussed on Damien's final comment, sending him a wave of wholehearted agreement along with his response.

Indeed it is, he echoed, thinking of a mute fledge, a domineering siress and the hovering misery of a demon still cloaked in shadows, threatening the happiness eked out against the odds. He didn't mask his thinking, either. It was amusing how they were both appalled by their counterpart's circumstances to a greater degree than their own, though Kerr could understand Damien's horror regarding Sawyl, Meinwen and Dei. They'd been quite the freak show, even in vampiric circles of strangeness.

After a moment of satisfied appreciation, Kerr recalled the image of Damien's sire, pressing it at the Frenchman with a silent-but-obvious query about her. What had been her fate? Had she perished with her lineage in 1649 or was she still around to torment Damien? Would he sire Rachel, his mortal love and would his sire object to that as well?

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2019, 02:18:48 AM »
Kerr's nudge towards Lucretia didn't surprise him, but Damien had hoped nonetheless to avoid much of the history altogether. Wishful thinking, he supposed wistfully. Still thinking about her with another person present was less intimidating now that he shared much of his life with Rachel.

To Kerr Damien would offer the memories of the feeling of her kiss on his cheek, and then the sight of her robes catching fire as she was chained to a pyre for her fledglings to watch. He even offered Kerr a taste of the pain of their blood bond finally severing before pulling away from the past entirely.

"She died in 1649," Damien stated aloud, retracting his own connection to Kerr at last. He stood up, putting unconscious distance between himself and Kerr and he began to gather his things on the desk. "She had been my lover and essentially my wife for all of my years as an immortal. Hunters found us in Hesse. Of thirty-one fledges, Pierre and I were the only ones to escape." He looked up at Kerr and gave him an almost apologetic smile.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2019, 04:34:59 AM »
"That's terrible. I'm sorry for your loss," Kerr murmured, experiencing a sensation much like someone surfacing from the cold, dark depths of the ocean into the sunlight above as Damien peeled himself away from their connection. He was surprisingly forlorn in the loss of it, having enjoyed the intensity of their bond greatly. "I've never had any experience with hunters, which I'm immensely thankful for. Even more, now that I've seen the horror of your experience. What a devastating way to lose a sire." His sire had died in fire but he hadn't had to stand there and observe it happen, as Damien had.

Watching Damien gather his things afforded Kerr the realisation that their time together was ending. The man had a home to go to and he'd been very generous with his time as it was. Kerr stood and made sure the chair he'd been sitting in was appropriately placed for the next class of students before he approached Damien humbly.

"Thank you so much for indulging my curiosity tonight. I want you to know how much I appreciate the magnitude of your openness," he said, holding out his hand to be shaken, intending to grasp Damien's hand in both of his and kiss each of his cheeks. It was a European-style of address more than an American one but felt appropriate after the vibrancy of their conversation. "When next we meet, let us speak of happier things - such as your company, I'd love to know more about that, too," he smiled. Both he and Ben were keen to know about 'biological vampirism' but he sensed that he'd outstayed his welcome. He didn't want to push so hard he became an unwelcome presence.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Questions?
« Reply #44 on: September 08, 2019, 06:25:59 AM »
"Thank you," he murmured with a nod of his head, looking back down at the collected items as he sorted them methodically into specific pockets and folds of his briefcase. He kept his hands busy and built back the walls he needed to properly keep his awakening grief inside. He didn't close himself off completely, but returned the mask of politeness and professionalism, though the friendliness which lingered was significantly more genuine than it had been before their conversation. "And to you as well," Damien passed back, thinking of Sawyl, Meinwen, and Dei, and all of his own lost ones as well. "Regardless of how imperfect they are, they are still our sires and our fledges. It is never easy to lose them, whether we like them or not."

As the topic changed to the wrapping up of the conversation, Damien watched the former Luminary approach him with a hand out. "Well, I was honored to have such a responsive and receptive audience." Damien turned to give him a shake, expecting the typical, formal American farewell. He slipped his hand into Kerr's, admiring the physical age and coolness of the skin passingly. When Kerr leaned in, he immediately fell into the rhythm of the younger's action and leaned his cheek first to one side of the younger's face, then the other. It had been several years since he had performed such a farewell; the Americans always seemed to look down on such so-called effeminate behaviors as touching during business. After sharing mental tethers and experiences of death, both their own and of others, the meaning and acceptance of the gesture came natural to him. It felt odd only from his lack of recent practice, like being out of place. Nonetheless he was pleased to accept and offer the trust of proximity to Kerr Galvin.

"I wouldn't exactly call that particular subject 'happy'," Damien chuckled, newly tempered by the closeness of his companion. He always forgot how being alone with his thoughts turned him cold. Rachel, with her wonderful ability to keep him out of his own melancholy thoughts with little more than a smile, briefly crossed his mind and he realized that he missed her terribly. Usually he would have been home by now, settling safely down in their bed together.

It then occurred to him that perhaps she was wondering what was taking him so long to come home. Guilt took him briefly and Damien pulled his hand away from the younger vampire. "Though certainly more pleasant than the topics discussed tonight, without a doubt." He grinned at the Irishman and nabbed his phone from his pocket, thumbing a quick text to his lover -

Safe. Chatting with Kerr Galvin.

- before slipping it back into his pocket. "Forgive me. Rachel was undoubtedly wondering where I am, all things considered." He gave Kerr a knowing look, wary eyebrows and all. "I'd be happy to tell you more whenever you'd like. I'd offer you a business card, but I assume that you already have one. Or at least know where to find me two days of the week."