Author Topic: An Angel Walks Into A Bar  (Read 7986 times)

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Offline Ehcorn

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An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« on: January 11, 2020, 04:33:37 AM »
Remi had arrived at The White Rabbit as the sun sank beneath the horizon, painting the sky all his favorite shades of red and orange. Unfortunately, he wasn’t in a position to admire the view like he would’ve been if he’d been perched on a western-facing ledge on the Capital Building’s rooftop. His presence in the city had finally been noted by the Central District Leader and a demand veiled as a polite request had been made for him to introduce himself.

Since landing and navigating to the location sans wings, he’d become intimately familiar with the sidewalk that stretched in front of the ivy-covered building. He paced back and forth, only stopping long enough to pull his phone from his pocket, consider messaging Samuel, and then decide against it. He couldn't ask him to come out for something as mundane as a meeting that Remi imagined would be a quick in and out, especially not when they'd parted ways like they had the other night. It'd be fine. He’d say hello to Jake, they’d shake hands, he’d apologize for not announcing himself sooner, and then he’d be on his way.

But when the sky turned dark blue, and finally, black, and after the door unlocked and opened, Remi discovered how wrong he’d been. It wouldn’t be a simple in and out when he was slammed with an inescapable feeling of doom the moment he stepped over the threshold. He should’ve known better than to think he’d manage the space. Even from the outside, he’d been able to tell the windows were painted black and the building itself wasn’t big enough to accommodate the same sort of lofty ceilings that could be found at The Luminary — the ones that allowed him to imagine he wasn’t trapped, that he could escape if he needed to.

Breathing raggedly, Remi pulled at the collar of his light blue dress shirt, dislodging an additional two buttons to splay his collar wide. His sleeves were next. He pushed them up to his elbows in an attempt to catch something resembling a breeze on his arms, but the air was stagnant and atmosphere oppressively dark. It was a cave. Lisa-Joe hadn’t said anything about the District Leader wanting to meet in a cave.

The door shut behind him and it became a cave without an exit.

His heart thudded in his head. His stomach lurched, making him gag. Sweat prickled his skin and the few lights that illuminated the bar area and the bodies propped against the counter began to spin. He closed his eyes and slumped into the corner, but he could still feel the world shifting under his feet. Remi swallowed thickly to keep the contents of his stomach down and shoved his fingers into the pocket of his dark blue jeans to pull out his phone.

He forced himself to focus on the screen.

This time, he didn’t talk himself out of messaging Sam.

Jake sent for me
At white rabbit
Thought it would be fine not fine
Need you
Please


He hit send for the final time and the phone slid from his sweat-slick hand to clatter onto the floor. Remi didn’t try to retrieve it. He shut his eyes again, clutched at his middle, and tried to remember how to breathe. 

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2020, 05:45:26 AM »
Samuel had been getting ready to go to the Academy, pottering around his apartment, curled up on the couch sipping his warmed blood and reading... something. He couldn't concentrate too well, the paragraphs kept sliding back up the page and resetting themselves because his mind was straying - always to the same place: Remi. He hadn't seen him in too long and they'd left things in an awful place; Remi needed time to process uncomfortable truths and Sam wasn’t sure he’d ever see him again.

Samuel couldn't say that they'd agreed it should be that way - in fact, Remi had flown away with his heart so fast, he hadn’t managed to say a word as he was abandoned in the park two nights before - but he'd felt obligated to leave Remi to his own devices, not texting or calling him. Since Remi hadn't contacted him, he'd assumed that was preferred. Sam, however, had been going out of his head wondering what to do and when would be the right time to make contact. The longer they were apart, the more intimidated he felt. Paranoia played a part, too, trying to convince him that he'd imagined their connection, that Remi wanted space from him because he couldn’t forgive what he’d done to Gene and so it was probably for the best... for Remi, anyway.

He frowned when his phone dinged with a text. He lifted his hips and pulled it out of the back pocket of his black trousers, his throat closing up with fear when he read it. And read it. And read it again because it wasn't making sense to him that Remi was at the White Rabbit to see District Leader Jake McCloud and he hadn't told him that. The words that resonated most were the last three, though.

Need you
Please


Samuel tipped the last of his blood into his mouth so fast that some dribbled down his chin and almost dropped onto his maroon dress shirt. He slid his stockinged feet into his shiny leather shoes, grabbed his room key and hurried out of his apartment. The lift couldn't come quickly enough - nothing felt like it was moving quickly enough with Remi needing him - so he ran down the fifteen flights of stairs and out onto the city streets, tapping into his celerity.

When he burst through the doors of the White Rabbit, Samuel attracted some glances but none of them were Remi's. Looking around, he noted that the majority of the lighting in the place was around the eclectic bar, the rest of the room seemed dark and dangerous, the music being piped through the sound system alternative rock. Sam's elevated senses were challenged, so he could only imagine... he spied Remi crumpled in the corner and Sam's heart lodged itself in his throat. The angel looked far worse than he had in the elevator, clutching at his stomach and leaning against the wall with his eyes closed like he was fighting off continual waves of nausea.

Sam stepped over and grasped his biceps firmly, his body blocking out the view entirely. "Remi!" he said urgently but didn't get a response. He slid his hands down to his warm hands, having to pry them off his arms to hold them but they lay clenched in his grip, trembling wildly. Everything about Remi seemed to be trembling. Biting back the unhelpful urge to fearfully demand what the ridiculous idiot angel thought he'd been doing, coming here alone, Sam decided he'd need to act more firmly than he previously had. It might offend Remi permanently and possibly wreck their relationship but it was a risk he was determined to take; he'd need to enter Remi's mind.

Without giving himself time to doubt his action, Samuel pressed his consciousness inside Remi’s. He wasn't highly adept at mind control - he practised too infrequently, having devoted most of his life to more academic pursuits - but he knew enough to access thoughts and memories. The first thing he did was speak, however, his mental voice always smooth and a little deeper than his actual voice, still accented with his Southern twang and authoritative as it echoed in Remi's mind, hopefully grabbing his attention.

Remi? I'm here. You're alright. Well, you're going to be fine, anyway. This place is dark and tight but you can leave it at any time. Remember that. You're free to go, if you want. Breathe for me, darlin', take a deeeeeep breath now and you need to put yourself out of here. Let's go where it's calm, he insisted, cutting off his mental voice and moving into Remi's memories. Luckily, he had a wide selection to choose from and Remi's happy place was easy to pinpoint: the sky.

Sam slackened his mental fingers and allowed the emotional centre of his own mind to follow Remi's, seeking the image that had as much joy attached to it as he could find. Once he chose it, he re-focussed on his more demanding mental fingers again and triggered the memory. His hands rubbed Remi's agitatedly as they took off on a virtual flight, trying to bring the angel around and into the physical present as well as back from the dark place of panic he'd become trapped in. Sam watched mentally with Remi, experiencing the unbridled happiness that was roused by him flying through a vibrant sunset sky, floating and falling on warm air currents, as free as the wind itself.

It was a beautiful memory. He hoped it was enough to bring Remi out of the darkness.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2020, 06:13:29 AM »
Lisa-Joe Hampton wasn't planning on staying long tonight. How could she? Sam had been gone a few nights, and neither the ward, not their own people, had anything. Jake was sure she wasn't dead. He hadn't felt it. That gave their little family hope. The bar mistress looked out upon her Queendom with fatigue, and observed that it had crept out of her and into the hearts of the patrons. Sam was the Rabbit's first daughter. The meanest of the bikers couldn't help but spare a smile when she was near. The strippers upstairs all had stories for Sam had personally helped them over the years. Even the music had suffered, and tonight a PA played generic alt rock.

However, the district had to keep running, and with the election so close they couldn't afford to look weak right now. Luckily, Ben hadn't capitalized on the moment, either because he had his own stuff going on, or had decided not to be a bastard. Either way, the harpy was thankful for it. Part of keeping things running meant holding court, and so Jake sat upstairs, miserable and grim, while she got the bar running for the night. Lisa-Joe had plans to go out looking for Sam again, this time braving Zeus's wrath and moving into the west. She'd forced Jake to take a few nights off from searching. He would lose himself if he kept it up, and needed to get his mind off of Sam for a little while. Working tended to sooth him, and so she'd told him to work.

The Brujah's attire was toned down, for her. Skin tight jeans and heavy boots were complimented by a black sports bra, forest green crop top, and a few bracelets. She wore no earrings, and her makeup was minimal. The vampire came out from the main bar, greeted a few regulars, and then caught site of someone she'd forgotten all about.

Remi, the angel she'd been sent to meet, was tucked into a corner, looking like he was in the middle of a proper panic attack. Lisa-Joe worked her way over slowly, and knelt down to his level. She smelt his sweat, could hear his heartbeat, and could sense his anxiety. It practically rolled off of him.

"Remi, Sugah," she called out, her musical and lazy dialect coming through like honey. "Is there something I can do for you? Water maybe?"

She wasn't sure what was going on, but guessed offering to be helpful was a good start. She couldn't take him to Jake like this, and she didn't understand how it might be for an angel to be in such an enclosed space. To her, it was just a bar she saw everyday. She sat with him, but didn't seem to be getting anywhere.

Lisa-Joe decided to fetch the angel that water, unsure if it would help but not being able to think of anything else at this point. She also texted Jake that the angel had arrived, but that there was an issue. She would bring him up when he was ready. As she returned with a water glass she saw a vampire she knew from the census only. If she remembered the file on him correctly, he worked for Ben somehow. However, Sam seemed to be trying to comfort Remi somehow, although she wasn't an expert on mind powers. Brujah worked with their hands. She placed the water glass next to Remi, and said softly to Samuel, "assume you're a friend?" Her tone conveyed her worry for the angel. There was nothing else in 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.


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

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 07:30:08 AM »
Remi’s first instinct — even while floundering through heavy darkness that threatened to shove all air from his lungs and crush his heart — was to push back at the presence in his mind. It was an ineffectual, bumbling attempt, though, like a child pushing at an adult’s legs to make them move. Unlike the previous efforts that’d been made to communicate with him verbally, Sam’s mental voice pierced through multiple layers of dread that, stacked together, had convinced Remi his every breath might be his last.

To appease the forces that governed the city, he’d dematerialized his wings when he'd landed earlier, leaving them somewhere between here and there, but Sam lead him to the sky and he soared. The higher he went, the easier it became to breathe, and though his heart continued to pound, it was from exhilaration, not fear.

In his newly calmed state, he could finally hear Lisa-Joe, as near as if she was… right next to him. Remi opened his eyes to not one, but two vampires looking at him worriedly. When had Sam gotten there? Remi blinked hard, scrunching his eyelids tightly together, and rubbed at his face with the heels of his palms. When he lowered his hands, they hit the cold ground next to him and he looked down, confusion marching across his forehead. And when had he ended up on the floor? With water? The glass had the perplexing effect of triggering his thirst, and after confirming with a glance at Lisa-Joe that it was meant for him, he chugged it. Each gulp pushed his heart farther down his throat until it plopped in his chest where it should’ve been in the first place.

Remi could finally speak.

"You both sing when you talk," he said, smiling faintly as he mentioned their accents. "’S nice."

Then he began the process of standing upright again, pushing off the ground with his hands and leaning his shoulder heavily into the wall to leverage himself to his feet. He didn’t fight Sam when he reached out to help steady him. He’d already shown up and made a scene. Falling over again wouldn’t do him any favors.

Once he’d triumphed against gravity, he searched out Sam’s hand, knowing his touch would be enough to keep him grounded now that he’d stopped spiraling. With his free hand, he tugged and pulled and smoothed his clothes until the only sign he’d had an episode was the thin line of sweat on his brow and his wan expression.

He heaved a sigh. "Sorry about that. I’m still getting used to your buildings."

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2020, 08:46:07 AM »
Samuel was aware of the older vampiress' approach - she was a pressure on his skin, an itch at the back of his neck that he couldn't shake - but he didn't pull his focus from Remi, even though his every polite instinct told him to answer her. The best he could do was give a nod to her question, mind intent on Remi's (though he registered her accent and was immediately interested in her). When he sensed the angel turn from the darkness and embrace the joy of his memory, Sam knew he'd won. He released his hold on Remi's mind, dissolving his influence like the cotton candy that had once disappeared on his tongue.

Watching Remi rub his eyes and blink at the two of them struck Sam in a quiet, soft place in his heart, the gesture so innocent it could draw nothing but tenderness in its wake. Of course, his own fear about why Remi was even here still lurked at the back of his mind and it helped obliterate the soft feelings for the time being. He was guarded and nervous, his protective instincts roused by Remi's vulnerability and the potential threat of powerful vampires. Being in their territory gave them an advantage he could fool himself into thinking they didn't have when he remained at The Luminary or the Academy, under Ben's influence, but not here, now.

The realisation that he was about to voluntarily go before his District Leader - because he didn't feel right about leaving Remi's side - struck him then. Was it necessary? Why was Remi even here? 'Jake sent for me' he'd said. This wasn't an accident. Why the hell hadn't he warned Sam he was coming, in that case? Why not bring him too, so things didn't get out of hand? Did he hate him that much? He hoped it would be a short and polite meeting that involved Remi managing to do most of the talking. Sam didn't like drawing attention to himself, it wasn't in his nature. For Remi, though, he would stay and help.

Need you
Please


Remi's observation about his and the vampiress' accent was cute and drew a reluctant smile out of Samuel. It faded as the angel fought to get vertical. Sam helped him to his feet, scooping up Remi's abandoned phone from the ground as they rose, unsurprised when his hand was taken. If there'd been a chance he was going to get out of this, it evaporated the instant he felt Remi's warm fingers wind around his. The grip wasn't was a little too tight still, lacking the easy confidence they achieved when they were alone. When Remi was done fussing with his clothes, Sam moved in to slide his phone into his back jeans pocket, the gesture bringing his body deliberately close in a pseudo hug, his handrip squeezing as he exchanged a look with Remi from just near his face.

You okay? I got you, he said into Remi's mind.

It was a less than ideal situation for the reunion he'd spent nights waiting for but here they were. There was no time to stop and lament (or rant about) the semantics. That all would have to wait. He stepped back so that he was at Remi's side, lifting the hand that wasn't attached to the angel to be shaken by the Southern belle watching them intently. "I apologise too, ma'am," he said politely, "I didn't mean to ignore y'all. Remi here has a dislike for small spaces so, uh, I guess I'll be tagging along to keep him calm if that's alright? I'm Samuel Taylor. Sam," he smiled pleasantly, his North Carolinan accent thickening simply because he knew hers would be similar.

At least his concern/anger for Remi and the bewildering rapidity of the unfolding situation was keeping his speech steady. That was one small mercy.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2020, 09:25:40 AM »
Once the poor boy stood up and was braced by his obvious lover, Lisa-Joe relaxed into something more normal. She'd originally been put off by Sam's initial rebuff of her question, but his apology was appreciated and polite. She also considered the circumstances, and that she shouldn't prejudge Samuel because of his association with Ben. His North Carolina drawl was a welcome sound, and she thought, finally, someone who speaks normally in this city.

"That's quite alright gentlemen," she said to both, smiling with ease now that the worst of Remi's reaction seemed behind him. "If there is anything I can do to make you more comfortable please let me know. And Mr. Taylor, it's a pleasure to meet another resident of our fine district. If it will help Remi feel more at ease, I'm sure Jake will be thankful you're here. If you would both follow me upstairs, please."

Remi indicated he would follow, and so Lisa-Joe turned on her heel and worked the pair towards the stairs. "She feared the narrowness of the stairwell would cause Remi more discomfort, but figured getting him up and through them was the best way to avert it. The upstairs was even darker than the first, the stage brightly lit and a drag show going to a small crowd of mostly happy hour drinkers. The erotic parts of the night were still a few hours away. Jake sat in a private booth tucked near the stage. He was alone, but a laptop was open and he was obviously working. He wore a black sweater and black jeans. The jumper was too large for him, eating his slim frame. His hair was washed, but not styled in any way. An empty glass that smelled of freshly drunk blood rested at his side.

Once he saw the trio approaching, he closed the laptop and rose. He extended a hand first to Remi, but then to Sam as well, nodding to each as he introduced himself. A pair of mean looking guards stood off to the side. They eyed Remi and Sam, but made no moves to speak to them.

"Jacob McCloud," he said evenly. "But please call me Jake. Thank you for coming Remi." Jake had gotten the name from Lisa-Joe before the meeting. He turned back to Sam. "And you are..."

"Samuel Taylor," Lisa-Joe answered quickly, Jake looking like he might've forgotten an appointment. "He is here for support."

"Support,"Jake said, searching for exactly why Remi would need support for such a meeting. "You're not in any trouble, if that's it," he assured, motioning for the pair to sit with him. Lisa-Joe looked unsure if she should stay or go, but Jake mentally sent her the answer.

Go look for Sam. I know you want to, and at least one of us should.

"Was there anything I could do for either of you," Lisa-Joe said to the pair. "Because otherwise I will leave you all to it." She waited for an answer before leaving.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2020, 04:11:29 PM »
With Sam’s hand in his, Remi followed Lisa-Joe. The stairwell she thought he might have trouble with did give him pause, but Sam was quick to share a reassuring look and mental reminder that everything would be fine, encouraging him to put one foot in front of the other. One step at a time. He made it up without incident. Even if he had fallen victim to another episode, though, Remi believed that they would’ve treated him just as kindly as they had when he’d crumpled downstairs in the bar area.

According to his mentor, Vretil, vampires were driven by base instincts, incapable of higher thought and emotion. But at this point, he knew Sam was better than that, and now he’d encountered a second vampire, Lisa-Joe, who had shown him genuine concern and kindness when she could’ve easily taken advantage of his vulnerable state.

They were different.

He was interested to see if Jake McCloud would be different, too, and he didn’t have to wait long to begin his assessment. Lisa-Joe wasted no time leading them to him, giving him little opportunity to process the space they were in. His eyebrows went up when he took in Jake's youthful appearance, but Lisa-Joe’s respectful tone, the guards situated at his side, and the confident way he introduced himself made it easy to disregard. There was no mistaking that they stood in front of the District Leader.

"It's not that, exactly," Remi said. "I haven’t been on the earthly plane long. Sam’s been helping me navigate it."

After he'd given his explanation, Remi released Sam’s hand long enough that he could slide into the booth first. Once he was situated, Remi slid in after him and went to work reconnecting with him. He edged his foot over until it hit Sam’s, and then he moved his hand underneath the table to link their fingers again. Above it, where he'd rested his other forearm on the table's surface, he pushed at the golden ring adorning his free hand with his thumb, twisting and turning it until Lisa-Joe asked if they needed anything else. He shook his head, but Sam turned towards her and mentioned that he'd really appreciate a glass of blood if it were possible and smiled hopefully.

Remi tried his best to contain his frown. He knew vampires consumed blood — it was one of the main things his mentor had warned him about — but he’d never watched it happen. He wondered if it’d make him feel nauseous like it did when he watched humans consume animals.

To distract himself from the thought, Remi focused again on Jake. "You said I wasn't in any trouble," he said, looking at him curiously. "Did you really just want to meet me, then?"

Offline Black Philip

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2020, 06:04:02 PM »
Jake noticed the ring right away. Rings were currently his newest fascination, and he too wore one; the stone amethyst in color. While it's true power wasn't activated, the blood ring still worked to shield his mind. Right now the young district leader needed that kind of shielding. His eyes rested on Remi's ring for half a second, before meeting the angel's eyes instead. They were beautiful to look at, as was the entire angel attached. It was an observation absent of Jake's normal desires. Jake noticed the soft, subtle movements between the two men, and strangely pained for Arik.

In the time since Sam had been taken, he hadn't seen his favorite cat-man. Jake didn't wish to show Arik his weakness. So far, the shifter had only seen a dominant, confident Jake. Arik had made it clear what attracted him, and their wasn't a mention of frayed nerves, or deep sadness. Jake pained for him anyway, and couldn't resist sending him a short message as Remi asked his question.

Can you come over tonight? I'd really like to see you.

Originally, he'd written more, statement's like I need you, I'm going through a lot, etc. He'd erased all but the most essential parts of the message. Luckily, Lisa-Joe had made good on Samuel's request; two mugs of hot, freshly donated blood were brought within seconds. One glass was presented to Sam, the other to Jake. He was hungry, and nothing so far tonight had quenched his thirst. Jake felt the temptation for his mind to wander, and returned his attention to the pair in front of him.

"Pardon me. Work text," he lied with a half convincing grin. "Now, to answer your question, while it's a bit more complicated than just hello, effectively yes. I just wanted to meet you, and welcome you to the district, go over a few things and discuss your living situation. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes. We don't get many angels in this city, and the ones we do..." He didn't want to be offensive by mentioning the dark bastards. "Aren't like you."

He leaned back in his chair slightly, studying the pair of them again. "How did you come to be a resident of the central district," Jake asked diplomatically, not asking specifically when he came to this plane of existence, but wondering about it all the same.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2020, 08:53:13 PM »
Samuel looked around curiously as he and Remi followed Lisa-Joe upstairs, his attention captured by the drag show going on. He was mildly offended on Remi's behalf, the gregarious presentation lots of fun (from what he could see and hear) but raucous enough to potentially overload his already-strained senses. Jake couldn't know about Remi's particular sensibilities, of course, but Sam didn't understand why they weren't in an office somewhere.

Thankfully, the booth allowed them to focus on the youthful leader sitting inside it and block out most of the noise of the rest of the room. Samuel followed Remi's silent command to precede him into the seat, also feeling better when they physically reconnected. He gripped the angel's fingers as gently as possible but it was difficult to fight off his nerves enough to keep it that way. He didn't want to break Remi's hand, though. Jake was less imposing than Samuel had expected him to be. He seemed distracted, too, texting on his phone and then giving a half-hearted smile as he explained it was a work contact. It struck Sam as odd that he would give such a justification; why explain anything to them?

He watched the verbal exchanges between Jake and Remi furtively, keeping his back straight and his expression polite. That changed when the blood was delivered, when he smiled gratefully at Lisa-Joe, nodding and thanking her. The blood was warm and fresh and he savoured a large mouthful initially, letting it fill the cavity of his mouth before he swallowed it. He licked his lips to be sure none had been left behind, feeling infinitely less frazzled once the coppery nectar seeped through his body, calming his overworked mind. He didn't practise his skills enough and that was more than apparent tonight, when he'd had to use them quickly.

That would need to change, if he was going to continue to be Remi's 'support', he supposed. If he was allowed to stay near him, that was. He hid a wince of anguish as he turned to gaze longingly at Remi and listen to his answer about how he came to be a Central District resident. Now that was a long story. Sam anticipated that Jake wouldn't be prepared for Remi's total inability to understand the passage of time.

~*~

Arik was enduring his usual commute home from work when Jake's text popped up on his phone. He'd been getting worried, having not heard from his potential sire in so long and the sight of his name brought an instant smile to the shifter's face.

Sure. omw home from work. Will shower then head to yours.  Dante's?

He was instantly energised by the prospect of seeing Jake, impatient to get to him.

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2020, 10:54:34 PM »
While the vampire used his phone, Remi watched on, fascinated by how fast he was able to type out his messages. His fingers were a hard-to-track blur flying over his screen. It always took Remi an excruciating amount of time to hunt and peck all the letters he needed. If he’d been able to work the keyboard as fast as Jake, then maybe he would’ve gotten through to Sam quicker and he could’ve avoided becoming a puddle on the first floor.

When Jake apologized for using his phone in the first place, Remi looked up from the device and smiled. It hadn’t bothered him any, but he appreciated the sentiment, regardless.

His expression remained pleasant as Jake explained what he’d wanted to see him for, only slipping once when the District Leader reminded him of the argument he’d had some nights ago with his mentor regarding dark angels. Remi hadn’t heard from Vretil since he’d refused to accept that he should move to another country in order to avoid them.

“Well,” he began, pushing aside the all too fresh memories of Vretil's venomous attacks in favor of answering Jake’s question, “the Central District has all the skyscrapers, and I like being up high. The tallest one had a rooftop garden that no one was taking care of, so I’ve been there since, tending to the plants.” He looked sidelong at Sam and lifted his ringed hand to rub the back of his neck. “Sam was worried that someone might make me move, but since no one lives on the floor below, no one has—“

Remi broke off, realizing too late that he’d done exactly what Sam had warned him about: he’d let someone know where he’d been squatting, someone who’d specifically said they wanted to discuss his living situation. What if Jake said he needed to move? Would he be able to refuse him like he had his mentor and stay in the city?

He looked askance at Jake, his brows low and his mouth twisted into a miserable line.

Offline Black Philip

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2020, 03:43:33 AM »
Jake was able to see a little humor in an angel tending a garden. Had Sam not been missing, he might've attempted some pun about it, but instead his eyes lit up a bit, and his youth showed for a moment before being shoved back down behind his shadowy mask. He drained his second glass, feeling a rush of warmth and fullness. It helped steady his nerves, and he placed the empty glass back on the table. The blood got his mind going, and Jake considered having a friendly neighborhood angel was not a bad idea. He hoped the knowledge would act as a deterrent for his two favorite dark angels, and keep them out of Central. Also, Jake assumed now that their kind led two districts, that more dark angels might end up in the city. Having an angel a top the tallest tower would hopefully keep them out of his hair, and provide him an ally for dealing with them should they become bold.

He'd need to snap a picture with Remi before this was all over. He needed to send Zoheret a thank you card for her fruit basket stunt. Jake considered the best way to earn Remi's respect early. Respect could lead to loyalty.

"Would you like to registrar the gardens as your official haven? That way if another tries to take them the district will support your claim over them. Also, would you like help getting the penthouse that connects with them? If nobody is living there, why not you?"

Jake turned to Sam. "Do you plan on living together?" His tone was fairly business like, friendly but reserved.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2020, 08:23:11 PM »
Jake began speaking and Remi sucked in a steadying breath, anticipating that he’d be given a date to have his things together and off the property, but the declaration never came. The District Leader delivered a series of questions that had the angel blinking rapidly and shaking his head. His haven? The term wasn’t familiar to him, though given Jake’s suggestion he’d back his claim of it, he meant for Remi to be able to officially call the rooftop garden his home.

His mouth opened and closed wordlessly — something that worked to his advantage since Jake wasn’t finished. The penthouse that he’d walked over hundreds of times and never dreamed of entering? That could be his, too.

"I—" he began, but Jake’s final question, this one directed at Sam, stole his words from him again. Live together? Why would they live together? Remi glanced at Sam, his brow furrowed. As far as living arrangements went, things weren’t much different on the heavenly plane than they were on the earthly one. Committed couples cohabitated; it was a final step, not a first one. And certainly not a step to be taken when everything was up in the air like it was. Did Sam even want to hold his hand right now?

"I'm not... We're not..." Remi stammered. He dragged his gaze from the District Leader to Sam. "Right?"

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2020, 04:13:49 AM »
Samuel scowled as Remi confirmed for Jake - as easy as you please - that he was squatting on the roof of the Capital Building! Though he supposed quickly enough that it wasn't news to Jake McCloud, Sam was still annoyed that Remi didn't answer tactically. There was no teasing for information, no playing coy, it was just 'yessir, I've been tending a garden I don't own on a building I have no right to'. This naive angel had zero sense of self preservation (but he'd known that the second he'd received a panicked text tonight)!

He willed himself to calm down by telling himself it didn't matter. Jake had to know most of it. He'd contacted Remi in the first place (somehow), so he already had information on the angel. The way he talked about Remi registering the garden he had no financial or legal right to as his haven confirmed Sam's thoughts but surprised him, too. Could any part of the city be claimed by a supernatural as their haven and, just because it was identified thus to the District Leader, it was protected? He hadn't known tha--

His thoughts stuttered to a halt as Jake calmly asked if they'd be living together. WHAT?

Startled, his gaze flew to Remi as he began answering... but then he deflected it back on Sam, leaving him wide-eyed. Remi asking him the same thing only made an extremely difficult question more complicated. The simple answer was no, of course they weren't planning to live together! Not yet. But even as he thought it, Sam wanted to say they would. It was what he hoped for, eventually, what he'd essentially been thinking about over the past few nights apart. Having no immediate access to Remi was frustrating, not being able to see his smile or feel his arms around him whenever he wished was suffocatingly inconvenient.

The thrill that travelled through him when he contemplated being in a position where he might wake of an evening and be able to walk upstairs and see Remi was undeniable. Thinking of waking up beside him simply choked him with joy.

But the biggest problem was that he had no idea if they were even going to remain friends, let alone become a couple. Living together was a distant dream when he didn’t even know what sort of conversation they were going to have when they walked out of this bar. So much was still unsaid between them. He wished he could just read Remi’s mind to know what he was thinking but his list of crimes against this man was long enough already.

Sam stopped himself fretting and nodded at Remi. "No. Not at the moment," he admitted, turning to face DL McCloud and deliberately not looking at Remi. "And neither of us has the kind of money needed to purchase the penthouse of the Capital Building, anyway," he began, blushing because there was fresh blood in his system and he felt like he was admitting he'd thought about it and looked into it.

Because he had - last night, when he was worrying about Remi. He'd called just to make innocent enquiries and found out the penthouse was on the market and that it had been ever since an old movie star named Ash Rivers had lived in it (they'd told him the previous owner's name like hearing he was a celebrity would make Sam want the property more, somehow). The price - though it had dropped steadily through the years - was still too exorbitant for him to afford, much to his chagrin.

But suddenly it was being offered to Remi? Did Jake have any idea of the magnitude (and expense) of that offer? Security for Remi was priceless and worth fighting for, if their District Leader thought it was feasible. It occurred to him to wonder what the man could possibly consider demanding in exchange for such generosity, the sceptic in Sam far more experienced than Remi's was, but that didn't make the offer any less amazing. Just something to be wary about. He was bribing Remi with something he desperately needed. It was clever but Sam thought Remi would still benefit.

"If I did have the money, I'd buy it for Remi. He doesn't cope well with enclosed spaces so the garden is the perfect residence for him but it's not his, because it belongs exclusively to the penthouse. Remi could be displaced at any time. Purchasing the penthouse is the ideal solution but it's not feasible for us. What - exactly - do you mean when you say 'would you like help' getting it? Are you offering financial assistance? To buy it for him? What sort of turnabout would you expect for doing something like that?" Sam demanded, frowning at Jake in concern.

Generosity was something Sam had constantly witnessed from Remi but he doubted it of his District Leader. He was a politician. They didn't give anything without expecting something in return. How high would the price truly be for Remi?

Offline Black Philip

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2020, 07:27:03 AM »
Jake had expected a simple yes or no from Samuel, and so when the vampire barked all kinds of questions at him, Jake was less than pleased. There was a perceptive quality about Samuel Jake liked though. He wasn't wrong in his estimation that Jake wanted some kind of turnaround for his generosity, but he wasn't about to share exactly what that was here. No need to discuss dark angels, unless they did something to piss him off. He allowed a pause to fill the space left by Samuel's rapid speech, and replied slow and controlled. His eyes were sharper than before, but his tone was still businesslike.

"The market value has decreased in recent years," Jake began. "I'm also about to have some money freed up once the campaign is over. I can buy it outright, leaving you only with certain mortal taxes and occasional fees from the building for cleaning and such. I can also make the down payment and pay the mortgage for you until you can take it over, if you'd prefer less of my money. Some do."

"As to what I want," Jake continued before Samuel could interject. "I want to stop getting informed by the ward that they've given you tickets for masquerade violations and catching said violations on camera. You're not in trouble as I said, but I'm asking you to be more careful about your flights. Thee laws are meant to protect you and all of us, not discourage you from being yourself. If I help you buy the penthouse, will you promise I wont receive any more citations?"

Jake opened his computer and turned it to face the pair. A grainy video from a local security camera showed Remi landing in the spot where Lisa-Joe found him. "The mortal press would likely play it off as an optical illusion of some sort, but there are those who if they saw this footage might try and harm you. I would like to prevent that from happening."

Jake also wondered if Remi would consider working for the district, but assumed that conversation should take place after he'd gotten him the penthouse. One good deed breeds another, and Jake's new mantra of diversifying his circle of allies would look nice and neat with an angel at it's center.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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

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Re: An Angel Walks Into A Bar
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2020, 09:12:30 PM »
The conversation progressed but Remi’s expression of confusion didn’t fade — it grew. Joining his furrowed brow were pursed lips and a tilted head that swiveled from Sam to Jake and back again, all depending on whose reaction and response drew his attention. It was mostly Sam. His gaze always lingered longest on the vampire’s face when he spoke.

By what he could tell, Sam was first and foremost concerned about his wellbeing. He’d wanted to ensure that Remi had the home that suited him best, but hadn’t been able to arrange it on his own. Now that Jake offered what Sam hadn’t been able to provide — monetary funds — Sam was making an effort to determine what Jake wanted in return.

He pushed his fingers farther between Sam’s and squeezed them, wanting him to know that he appreciated what he was doing but not knowing how else to show it. Things weren't as uncomplicated as they had been the last time they'd been alone on the rooftop, protected from prying eyes by a veritable wall of plants and at ease with one another. They were seated in front of the District Leader of the Central District. And Jake didn’t seem like he had time for anything except business. That didn’t mean Remi was willing to let him rush things along, though, not when he needed time to process.

To understand.

He looked up from the screen that displayed him landing in a park that Sam would be familiar with; it was the same one that Remi had taken him to because it’d had a field long enough to accommodate taking off with a passenger. "I could promise that, yes," Remi said, running his thumb over the smooth band of the golden ring his father had gifted him. "I was given the ability to remain undetected when I fly." He lifted his hand to display the artifact to Jake briefly. "But before I agree to anything, I need to ask something first."

He shifted to rest his forearm on the table and leaned forward to stare at Jake intently.

"What is a mortgage?"