Author Topic: In The Harpy's Talons  (Read 299 times)

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Offline Black Philip

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In The Harpy's Talons
« on: September 29, 2019, 03:56:04 PM »
The beauty industry says when a woman wishes to make her mood known, that color is often the solution. Why, according to Cosmopolitan pink means happiness, trust, and openness. Black is for mourning and to make a serious impression. Yellows and blues, according to the article, make a fantastic sign for pregnancy! The Harpy clicked her nails on the pages, disgusted by the amount of polyester within the glossy paper. However, when she found the color red, she knew it was the one for her. According to the source, red meant anger. The Harpy went to her closet, her own room in the Rabbit Warrens being near Jake's. After throwing a dozen good outfits on the floor, she found the one. A red, silk blazer had been cut to fit her shoulders perfectly, and a single button held back a white dress shirt. Her trousers were a part of the same suit as the blazer, and ended just above her ankles. Lisa-Joe found a sensible three inch heel that would elongate her leg and give her some needed height.

Her hair was in a tight bun, and a fake pair of black framed glasses were atop her nose to complete her executive realness look. "It'll do," she said, mostly pleased with her ensemble. She added a few more details: a pair of red earrings, makeup and nails. She took one last look in the mirror. She looked equal parts beautiful and terrifying. Perfect. Lisa-Joe grabbed her handbag, phone, wallet and keys, and then headed up the lift and into the bar. It was her night off, and instead of doing something enjoyable she was going to see Kerr. She'd kept her planned visit a secret from everyone since Kerr's visit to the White Rabbit, not even telling Jake or Sam what she had planned to say. She had a bone to kick with Ex-Luminary Galvin, and she wasn't going to wait until he showed up to give Jake some half-ass apology that wouldn't mean shit in the long run. No. She would go to him.

The Harpy arranged a car service for herself, refusing to bring any staff despite Maria's objections. She didn't need staff. She needed Kerr, and she needed him alone. If Jake and Kerr were to be friends then it was high time Jake's best friend got better acquainted with Jake's old boss. It was overdue. Once inside the car, she called the Luminary building and informed the front desk staff, in a polite and diplomatic tone, that the Harpy was on her way to see Mr. Galvin for official district business. She hung up before she could be told he wasn't in, or in some kind of a meeting. He would see her, or she'd go wait in his bar. She was sure she could make friends up there.

She arrived in only a short time, and whisked her way towards the front desk. In a tone sweeter than lemon pie, she said, "Good evening. Is Mr. Galvin ready for me?"

She didn't bother introducing herself. They knew who she was. Her nails were the same crimson she'd painted the night Kerr came, and she'd sharpened them so much they could cut a throat with a single flick of her wrist, not that she was planning anything like that of course. She just thought you could never be too prepared.
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.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2019, 03:06:37 AM »
Kerr stepped out of the lift and into the lobby just as Lisa-Joe headed for the front desk. He applied a burst of celerity to reach her side just as she spoke to Gregory, who was looking at her with a frosty expression more befitting a polar bear than the grizzly shifter he was. He hadn't appreciated being hung up on and had communicated that fact very clearly when he'd called Kerr to inform him of his surprise visitor's imminent arrival. Kerr thought it best to intercept before Jake's Harpy got the wrong impression of The Luminary staff.

"I am, yes," Kerr declared from his position by her elbow, smiling a cautious greeting. "Welcome, Ms. Hampton. Please accompany me to my office so we can talk in private," he invited, turning his body slightly and performing a small, flourishing gesture with his hand that directed her gaze towards the bank of elevators. He was pleased when she chose to accede to his wishes and walked beside him in the direction he'd indicated. He offered his arm just because he was a gentleman and the lady was older than he, so she might appreciate such a custom. He fully expected his offer to be spurned but he tried anyway.

He'd heard the phrase 'coming like thunder' but Central District's Harpy looked more like fire tonight. Her killer heels clicked menacingly as she sashayed towards the lifts and Kerr was appropriately intimidated. He was in a perfectly respectable black suit, a white button up shirt beneath, but he'd somehow received a memo he wasn't aware of and chosen a wine red tie this evening. He hoped she wasn't offended by the notion that his outfit coordinated with hers - to the point where they could stand side by side atop a wedding cake and not look out of place. Coincidence was a bitch and she was cackling somewhere at him.

The lift doors opened as soon as he hit the up button (because he'd just arrived in it) so they stepped in and Kerr pressed the button for the thirteenth floor. He resisted the urge for small talk, figuring they didn't have a lot to say to each other - besides whatever message she was here to deliver, of course - and it could wait until they were comfortably situated. He would respond politely if she broached anything, however.

Once they were in his office, he pulled one of the two wheeled visitor's chairs away from his large mahogany desk (they were surrounded by the heavy furniture that had featured in his original Luminary office) and held it while she sat before tucking it back in and circling hurriedly to his own chair. Her regal bearing somehow made him feel like it should be she on the business side of his desk but he squashed that feeling as he sat, rested his forearms atop it and loosely linked his fingers. He was uncomfortably aware of the photo of Ben smiling at him from its silver frame, not very far from his hands.

The four large floor-to-ceiling bookcases guarding the side walls beyond his desk seemed to glimmer with a red-brown life of their own.  Their progress along the walls was halted by the glass wall that formed the distant border of the room - and the outside of the building. The cases were filled with some strategically-placed sets of books and a slew of intricate statuette-style artworks, a couple of encased daggers, a miniature globe, four ornate lamps, pictures of he and Ben, he and Ichabod and the three of them together and some delicate antique clocks.

The lamps on the bookcases connected electrically to the two floor lamps sitting either end of the three seater couch a few metres away. It was positioned on a thick Turkish rug that covered the entire sitting area. The couch was bordered by an armchair at each end and all of the seats were situated so that they faced the view of the city, rather than the office itself. The elliptical mahogany coffee table in between held his statue of Themis, as it always had.

Kerr had deliberately chosen not to lead Lisa-Joe to the sitting area. It was a comfortable, informal space for relaxing in; whatever she was here for, Kerr doubted it was going to be at all relaxing. He looked her straight in the eye (secretly wondering what the glasses were in aid of but supposing they were merely a fashion statement), keeping his mouth shut and allowing her the first word. It was only polite.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2019, 08:20:37 AM »
The Harpy received Kerr's smile, and returned one of her own. It was a silent, cruel look, like Kerr was dinner and cooked to perfection. Lisa-Joe was happy to not have to deal with the front desk staff. Neither of them had time for anything but a quick meeting. She even let him walk arm in arm with her, in a way she was sure Jake would look at with a slacked jaw. He was good at playing the part of a gentlemen, but she'd always known that about him. Everyone she spoke to reflected sentiments of Kerr's politeness, graciousness, and kindness. As they made their way into the lift, she reflected on a few of them.

Kerr is a gentle soul, one ex Oligarchy employee had said.

Kerr was the best leader this city ever had, uttered a long-term resident who'd lived under Halen and Lazarus.

Kerr is a good man, Jake had said, smiling his foolish boyish smirk.

Lisa-Joe had no doubt Kerr believed in his own sanctimonious press, and she wondered why on earth someone who was really good would ever latch themselves onto the cancer that was Ben Samson. Discovering the truth of this was one of her goals tonight, but far from her main one.

"Your tie is lovely," she cooed, running one of her sharp nails down it affectionately. He cordially responded to her compliment, but otherwise they rode in silence. Her face was a practiced mask of southern refinement, her time among the aristocracy showcasing in her pleasant, but blank face. How many times did she have to listen to men talk, and smile and nod as she was expected? She'd learned to turn that survival technique into a power of her own, and while her rage simmered from beneath her skin, it was only visible to a searching mind.

She sat slowly, and with purpose, never taking her eyes off Kerr as he took his own seat. Should they small talk first? No. They both likely didn't have the time or patience for it.

"Are you a friend to District Leader McCloud?" she finally asked, the silence having been deafening before this point. "Oh, and what a charming office. Your design?"

The Harpy sat with her ankles tucked behind one of the chair's legs, her legs pressed together, shoulders and head high and hands neatly folded on her lap. She was still as a watchful bird of prey.
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.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2019, 04:35:21 PM »
"Thank you," Kerr murmured to her compliment regarding his office. He chose to tackle that little bit of small talk first because it seemed the real discussion was going to be about Jake. Very likely the way he'd hurt Jake. Sure, they'd sorted it out via text afterwards but... it wasn't the same. He intended to go and see him and smooth things over sometime in the near future. When things were more... normal between he and Ben. Whenever the fuck that was going to be.

"There wasn't a lot of design involved, I'm afraid," he smiled. "It's pretty much just all the stuff that was in my Oligarchy office. I inherited it, but I liked it enough to keep it," he shrugged, his pleasant expression fading into one of concern as he looked her in the eye. "And yes, I consider Jake my friend. Why do you ask?" His tone was wary.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2019, 05:21:30 AM »
Hmmmm, so no real sense of style. Telling.

"Well it looks lovely," she said, extending that warmness into her very aura. She took one more look around, before resting her eyes back on Kerr. She'd heard his question, but didn't mind making him wait a few seconds to answer it. Her original plan involved a lot of screaming, but she'd rationalized that wasn't the best way to get through to her audience.

"I promise I'm not trying to be intentionally vague, but what does being a friend mean to you," she asked. "Because to me, and to other important people in Jake's life, you have not been a very good friend lately."

She kept her tone polite, and borderline friendly, but dropped some of the smarminess of her entrance. She didn't come here for a fight, but she wouldn't sugarcoat this shit ether. Kerr was considered a bad actor as of late, and Lisa-Joe was here to figure out the truth of it all.
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.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2019, 01:08:33 PM »
Kerr frowned, his loosely-clasped fingers tightening into a firmer grip around one another. Guilt rose on him; it was like his heart being prodded with a sharp stick. He didn't like the feeling but he was also in an odd limbo place in his life where he was afraid to make too many sudden movements, for fear of tipping things in an unpredictable direction. One wrong word...

He inhaled and held the breath in his lungs, trying to decide how to phrase himself, predicting consequences from potential phrases - but he didn't know Lisa-Joe well enough to be able to predict her reactions. He released the air in a sigh, realising he'd just have to say what he genuinely believed and felt and hope it worked out okay.

"Look, I told him I was sorry, okay? It just didn't feel right! If we'd slept together, it wouldn't have been about us, it would've been about the shit we were avoiding by being together - Ben for me and Murphy for him. It didn't feel... authentic. So I walked out and yeah, I know that upset him but I don't think it would've worked out better if we'd... well, you know," he finished awkwardly, feeling weird about saying anything too graphic in front of a lady. Especially one he didn't know.

He looked her in the eye, his expression matching his determined tone. "In my opinion, walking away was me being a good friend."

Offline Black Philip

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2019, 04:50:27 PM »
Men always liked explaining things, especially things that weren't asked about and were unimportant. She'd asked only if Kerr considered himself Jake's friend, and had somehow ended up with a long winded explanation about a point she wasn't trying to make. If only people were more interested in listening. Well, it's not like the information wasn't interesting; the harpy was always one for the gossip, but she wasn't here to chastise Kerr for not fucking Jake. She'd long ago sworn off trying to control where Jake put his dick.

She changed her posture slightly, rolling back her shoulders and relaxing more into the chair. The glasses came off, revealing her bright blue eyes. "Kerr, I don't care if ya'll screw from here to the election," she said bluntly. "I'm here because you've been using him as an emotional outlet, and while it seems to have been good to you, to him, it's just confusion and emotion."

She leaned forward, searching for the depths of his pupils. "You're leading him on Kerr. You are. He showed me how he felt that night, and the time at brunch. You know how long he's liked you, in that way."

She seemed annoyed at the last part, like Kerr was somehow grossly unworthy of the worship he'd been given. "Tell me how you think he feels about you," she asked, leaning back up and arms now across her chest. 
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.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2019, 06:18:11 PM »
As she leant forward, Kerr's head moved warily back between his shoulders and turned slightly, though he maintained eye contact with her. She had a very demanding gaze. He found himself unable to look away, even though he thought that what she was saying was unbelievable.

"Uhh, like a friend?" he guessed. He'd never thought at length about how Jake felt about him. Sure, he'd kissed him once upon a time but that had been a spontaneous bit of infatuation. Some mixed signals. And they'd flirted a lot at brunch, which, yes, led to some mutual attraction but it wasn't real. Lisa-Joe was talking like it was. She obviously had it wrong.

"You're right that I used him as an emotional outlet - I'll give you that - and I'm sorry but it's... it was just... we're just friends!" he exclaimed in disbelief, as if him saying it could convince her, too. "Friends that care about each other. That's all you're seeing. Friendship love. That's how he likes me. He knows I'm in love with Ben, not with him. I'm not leading him on. That's a ridiculous accusation," Kerr finished gruffly, completely baffled by how she could sit there looking so convinced about something so preposterous.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2019, 06:57:35 AM »
Well, Kerr was spinning some very smelly shit. Friendship love? She held back the scoff that threatened to escape her throat, only betraying her dissatisfaction with a knowing raise of her right brow. She looked around for some kind of on tap blood and seeing none turned back to Kerr.

"Could we perhaps share a drink, please," she asked, not trying to dismiss Kerr's statements, but buying herself some time to think about how to address them. Once Kerr fulfilled her request, or not, she crossed her legs over her ankles in a more masculine fashion than her previous one.

"It sounds like you're splitting hairs with me Kerr," she related. "I would like to share something with you, if you care to let me."

Kerr would feel the tendril of mental communication graze the outside of his psyche, an invitation to communicate in this way. She and Kerr had never been mind to mind, so she decided to ask instead of just flooding him with Jake's emotions. 
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.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2019, 10:51:38 PM »
When Lisa-Joe asked for a drink, Kerr was more than happy to oblige her. It got him out of his office and allowed him some respite from uncomfortable insinuations that made him feel bewildered and vaguely helpless. "I'll be right back," he promised and then strode out the door. The way she looked at him also made him feel extra small and quite stupid for not knowing what she was going to say - or not believing her? He wasn't sure which.

There was a kitchen/dining area with some emergency refreshments for all manner of guests beside their offices. Kerr knew Ben had some blood in the fridge to save him going upstairs or bothering room service while he was working. He put two bags in the microwave and splayed his hands on the bench either side of the little machine, leaning down and staring into its brightly-lit, whirring innards like it would reveal everything he didn't understand. Right now, that was a lot of things, so he emptied his mind and just waited instead.

Finding some mugs with The Luminary's name and logo on them, he squeezed the blood into them, dumped the bags and carried the steaming cups back into his office. Stepping up beside Lisa-Joe, he placed it on the desk before her, noting her change of position as he walked back around to his side of the desk. He'd barely got settled before she was accusing him of arguing semantics. Perhaps he was, but the devil was in the details and he expected them to exonerate him.

He nodded but didn't reply verbally. Instead, he hurriedly swept aside his most anxious thoughts - most of which centred around Ben, rather than her visit but her presence was certainly rattling around in there - like a maid preparing one of the hotel rooms for a new occupant. Once that was done and he was certain he was ready to receive her mental touch in an ordered, calm manner, he opened up his mind to hers, intrigued by her request despite himself. From all he'd heard about her, politeness wasn't one of her strong suits and he appreciated the lengths she was going to to make her point.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2019, 05:21:50 PM »
The harpy could sense an uncomfortable energy in the room, the equivalent to a low, but constant ringing in her ears. Who owned that uncomfortable feeling? Was it Kerr's? That was most likely. She had just basically called him a dog. Granted she'd been civil about it, but they could both read between the lines of this particular exchange. She wondered, as Kerr went to some off location to retrieve blood, if she was the one who was uncomfortable. Her bravado getting here was normal for her in many ways, and yet even the mistress of entertainment herself knew this was all a bit much. More importantly, she wasn't one to doubt herself. It was a personality trait of the weak. Learning happened in retrospect. She often thought, I shan't do that again. This was different, and she recognized the moment for it what it was, self consciousness.

Lisa-Joe took off the fake glasses, but sat taller than she'd been before. Her posture helped her alleviate the mental space she'd just been occupying. Lisa-Joe wasn't ancient, but she'd already begun to feel the weight of an aged mind. While she and Lazarus disagreed on almost everything, there was one trait they shared that was linked to their sanity; focus on the good times. Kerr returned, and as if nothing at all had happened, she accepted the warm mug with a smile, waiting until Kerr was properly seated before continuing.

At his nod, the harpy relaxed her face and breathed out nervously. She was exposing a vulnerability to Kerr, and she hoped he would not use it against her later. Such a thing wouldn't be gentlemanly. Her mind touched his, and he would notice that her mental abilities were vastly underdeveloped for her age. The images came in choppy at first, and she was clearly exerting a lot of effort to show Kerr these memories with accuracy. After a few stilted moments, she achieved what she wanted, and the series of short moments played out in Kerr's mind.

The first one was years ago, the day Kerr had hired Jake to be an Oligarch. He saw Jake tell his good friend, her enthusiastic and over the top reaction, Jake's brand of cockiness coming through strong. But then, the Ventrue frowned and sat in a booth at the White Rabbit.

"I kissed Kerr," he told her, sounding grave.

"Well, was he any good," Lisa-Joe asked, sounding supportive but suspicious.

"No," Jake admitted, laughing a bit. "But I don't think I saw the real thing. He... didn't like it, me. He didn't like me like that."

Kerr would feel Lisa-Joe's concern and, more strongly than that, Jake's disappointment. "Well, probably not a good idea to screw the boss. Jake, this is really big for you."

"I know," he said, sounding a bit more cheery. "It's just, I really liked this one."

The next memory was much darker, incomplete, laced in discomfort and pain. Jake had just learned that Kerr died, or so everyone thought at the time. She played with the young vampire's hair as he cried for his friend, his mentor, his brother in arms. Jake had truly mourned Kerr. They played faster now, mostly Jake's feelings that he shared with Lisa-Joe during the war. There were several feelings about Kerr, mostly missing him. In what looked like an unrelated memory, Lisa-Joe kept encouraging Jake to try dating again, but Jake kept making excuses why he couldn't. This cycle played out many times in the memory series, a punchline.

She took a long gulp of her blood, using the essence of life to fuel her mental projection. The next memory was after Lazarus, and had nothing to do with Kerr at all. She showed it to Kerr so he'd remember how much pain Jake had been through. Ben was not the only one who suffered. The exact image was Jake having an anxiety attack, Lisa-Joe and Sam by his side as he looked into the bedroom where it had happened.

"I can't go in there," Jake said, sounding horse and shaking his head side to side.

Things moved up to almost present time. Jake was returning from his brunch with Kerr. He'd never looked happier, and was practically skipping into the White Rabbit near last call. Jake told Lisa-Joe everything, including how incredible the dancing had been. There were stars in his eyes, as he related every small detail.

"You never talk about Murphy like this," she observed. Jake suddenly frowned. "After being with Kerr tonight, I've realized Murphy and I aren't going to work. I need somebody like Kerr, but ya know, without the massive Ben baggage."

They'd laughed at that, but she'd been worried, concerned about where Jake's feelings were, and Kerr would sense his friend's boundless affection, and his desire for something greater. She'd felt it that night too. Now, they were at the night of the fight, and Kerr watched himself walk out of the White Rabbit as Jake walked up to Lisa-Joe.

I'm an idiot, he said to her, looking up with two red, blotchy eyes.

Yeah, you are, she said, making Jake laugh a bit. "But you're my idiot."

She could feel Jake's heartbreak, his hope that Kerr had finally seen that he was the better choice. She shared that feeling with him, Jake's love and his despair about it. He could never have Kerr, and yet he still wanted him. She shared her love for Jake, her personal feelings of love for him. Only Sam knew the depths of her caring for Jake. She wished he'd been made by her, and that he'd never spent a day with the Camarilla or the Ventrue clan. She was his mother, his sister, his best friend, and everything but a lover. Why she'd formed this bond with him, she didn't show, but she wanted Kerr to have no doubts that this was about Jake's welfare and she hoped to gain nothing personally or politically form this meeting.

She finished the blood, looking mentally exhausted, and perhaps slightly embarrassed. "So I hope you see what I mean now," she said calmly. "As long as he has secret hope for you, he wont give himself to another. I'm sure you've noticed he's a bit stubborn."
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.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2019, 08:45:26 PM »
Kerr did his best to boost their mental connection, realising quickly that Lisa-Joe needed a little assistance. He didn't judge her for having lesser mental abilities; it warned him to be wary of her physically.

Once she found her rhythm with sharing, Kerr was captivated. It was surreal, to experience opinions and version of himself from an outside outside perspective. Watching Jake's feelings be filtered through Lisa-Joe (and being influenced by her opinions and feelings at the time) was disorienting but Kerr certainly got the gist. It pressed down upon him with increasing density as her revelations continued, getting heavier and heavier.

Jake loved him.

Kerr refused to believe Jake was irreparably in love with him but Lisa-Joe's presentation was thorough enough to convince him he'd completely underestimated Jake's feelings by categorising them as the byproducts of friendship. Jake had genuinely hoped when he'd come to him in despair that it was because he was choosing him. Long term. In a big, meaningful way. He was appalled to have led his friend on like that and so grateful that he hadn't slept with him that night.

He doubted he ever could, after seeing the tapestry of Jake's feelings that Lisa-Joe wove for him. He could see that if they ever did sleep together, it would be borne of mere curiosity and lust for Kerr, but it would signal choices that weren't true, to Jake. He couldn't toy with him like that. He didn't want to toy with him at all.

It occurred to Kerr then that Ben had seen it. He'd realised, when he'd seen their brunch date and marvelled that Kerr could completely manipulate Jake. Ben hadn't seen it as a show of love, just power, but they had the same result. Jake was smitten and at Kerr's mercy.

Fuck. Jake had real feelings for him. Fuck. It was a burden his heart didn't need right now, when he was having difficulty looking at the man he'd committed his life to and was unable to even stomach touching, with that taint of impurity and evil upon him. Kerr was obviously feeling a little hysterical after finding out this news because he briefly indulged in a daydream where he broke up with Ben after all and went to Jake to see how things would go.

But that was just the bitter side effect of his own unstable relationship, not his true wishes. If he and Ben were over - truly over - Kerr couldn't see himself staying in the city, let alone inflicting himself on Jake. Would Jake be prepared to leave this place and travel with him? He shook his head, dismissing the ridiculous thought. It was only there because his instinct was to fix this somehow, to make Jake feel better, to make everyone happy.

It wasn't in his power to do so and that really, really hurt.

"I see it," he sighed, resting his elbows on the desk and clasping his head in his hands, rubbing his fingers back and forth over the shortish hair on top ruminatively. "I think it's unfounded and I honestly have never actively tried to seduce him, but-" he broke off with another groaning sigh, his eyes falling closed for emphasis and his hands sliding down to cover his face. After a moment of contemplative silence, he inhaled, opened his eyes and dropped his hands onto his desk, clasping them together.

"I'm just sorry. What do you suggest I do to fix this?" he asked bluntly, looking at her expectantly. She was clearly the closest person to Jake in the world and she was an ice cold bitch at the best of times. She wasn't the type to have come here without a solution in mind and he was completely open to suggestion, considering how out of his depth he was.

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2019, 09:30:11 AM »
Lisa-Joe was wracked with ambivalence about Kerr's reaction. On the one hand, it was more supportive than she'd anticipated, and there was even ownership. She truly had not expected that one. She empathized with the man's apparent guilt, Lisa-Joe learning this from his body language and the sincerity of his tone. She was a perceptive woman, her time in the deep south calling for high social skills. Everything was communicated in micro communications, each gesture or inflection holding a separate truth waiting to be sussed out. Being able to read those cues is how good bartenders earn their tips, or so Lisa-Joe had always thought. There was nothing false in anything that she could see, not even false modesty. It was... aggravating.

The other side of the ambivalence was the belief she held that Kerr was not worthy of Jake's love. Most of the people from Jake's life weren't, a certain blonde entering her mind. However, there was something endearing and toxic about Kerr. It was like a shield of moral purity that he used to lure in his victims. Others belief in his goodness made them blind to his incompetence. That was it. She wished the flaws were more visible on the outside. At least she knew why she didn't like Ben. Kerr made her work for it. Jake needed someone kind yes, but also strong, dominant, and fun. He didn't need the world's most likable man. He needed the world's best man, and Lisa-Joe was determined that it not be Kerr.

All of this complication circled around in her mind, a vortex of emotion and cognition, choice memories or small interactions almost flickering like an old movie camera. She wasn't broadcasting anymore, but their minds had worked together, and she lacked the defenses of someone like Jake. If Kerr was looking, he'd sense the distaste, and if he dove in he'd see all she felt and thought; if he could make sense of it. Ironically, her body remained still, and once her thoughts were in order, she realized that several seconds had passed.

"My suggestion," she cooed, her southern charm returning now that Kerr and she were on the same page, "Is that you stay away from Jake. I'm not suggesting you avoid him, or stop all correspondence, but you can't show up like you did the other night. You can't sweep him off his feat and then trade heavy breaths in the elevator. Let him find someone who will want him first and only, not second and when convenient."

Kerr knew she was a bitch. Everyone did, and so she would be shocked if he wasn't ready to be at least mildly insulted. She'd thrown a few barbs, but a bit of her hatred peaked through her crystal colored eyes. It was like snake venom via ocular injection. "He won't be the one to cut things off. He thinks he's making progress with you. You either have to tell him it will never happen, or ghost him until he moves on. I know he will move on Sugah. He's a strong man."

She waited for his agreement or rebuttal. She couldn't force Kerr to do anything, and she had a feeling Jake would be livid when he found out about this. She knew a huge fight was coming her way. She only hoped that if Kerr agreed with her, that perhaps Jake would understand.
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.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Online Existentially Odd

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2019, 11:16:43 AM »
Kerr was expecting her demands to be far more... well, demanding. Telling him to do nothing was easy. Telling him to do nothing was giving him permission to do exactly all his frail heart had the energy to do at this exact point in time. Guilt swirled, telling him he knew better, that if Jake truly was his friend, he'd approach him and deal with this mess but what was he supposed to say?

Sorry you love me. I didn't mean for that to happen. I'm really grateful to be able to use you as a convenient source of relief when shit gets real with Ben but I'll stop that now. And hey, as an added bonus, I'll never fuck you just so you don't get carried away, 'kay?

Yeah, right. Staying away from Jake was a prison release by comparison. A stay of sentence. He could do that, easily. "Done," Kerr agreed with a perfunctory nod.

He chose not to elaborate, to tell her that he couldn't say for certain that nothing would ever happen between he and Jake, so he'd just give Jake some space. He'd contact him after a while had passed, to check in. Maybe he'd know more about himself by that stage, too. Everything felt like a tentative work in progress right now. He wasn't ready to pile any unnecessary shit on the heap.

Kerr assumed her business was done and that she'd begin making noises about leaving now so he waited for her to instigate her exit.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: In The Harpy's Talons
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2019, 07:25:32 AM »
Kerr had instantly agreed, which surprised the Harpy. She'd assumed he'd protest, say that he needed to make things right. She had mentally seen an indignant and self righteous Kerr, telling her to back off and that his relationship with Jake was his relationship with Jake. He hadn't fought for Jake in his life at all. It confirmed her general theory. Kerr was just as unfeeling and cruel as Ben. He just hid it a great deal better than his love. She supposed she should be happy. After all, getting Kerr out of Jake's life had been her goal, but the ease he'd shown in using Jake, and then discarding him only added to her perception  that Kerr was never good enough for Jake, and never would be. Maybe he deserved Ben. Maybe they deserved each other. As she rose, nothing but a pleased smile on her increasingly diplomatic face, she hoped that Ben and Kerr would be one another's doom. That would be sweet indeed.

"Well thank you for making this so easy," she said out the other side of her face. "Jake deserves to find the kind of love you obviously have for Mr. Sampson," she said, intentionally mispronouncing Ben's last name. "I'm sure we'll all be better off the less we have to interact."

She stuck out her hand, but wasn't expecting him to take it. If he chose not to, she'd just smile harder. "Do you have anything else you'd like to discuss while I'm here? Otherwise, I must be getting on. I have official district business waiting for me back at the Rabbit, and I'm sure we can forgo pleasantries. Tell Benjamin good look with the election. He's going to need it."
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.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras