Author Topic: Something New  (Read 146 times)

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Offline Existentially Odd

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Something New
« on: January 14, 2020, 08:12:20 PM »
(Continued from Something Old)

OPEN IF DATE CRASHING IS YOUR THING  :smile:

They drove north from the beach house and into the next city. Kerr parked at the top of some cliffs beside the river. They were highlighted with lights from the base of them shining up the craggy rock but their full effect wasn't visible from the top. The city twinkled at Ben and Kerr from across the dark ribbon of water, the city's largest bridge - a huge, steel tied arch construction - also lit in various colours off to their right.

Again, they got out of the car and locked it, linking hands as they walked to the stone wall running along the top of the cliff to have a look down at the view. There was a breeze, which worried Kerr, but he couldn't say anything about it to Ben because his plans remained a surprise.

After some quiet contemplation of the view, Kerr tugged on Ben's hand and began leading him along the clifftop walk, heading towards the bridge. It would only be a five minute walk at a fast pace but they were dawdling. There was time left. "So. We're now going to do something new that I don't believe either of us have done before. It's new for me, anyway," he chuckled mischievously.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Something New
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 08:36:34 PM »
This particular city was more industrial than theirs and Ben didn't find it as pretty as their own though there was a kind of abstract art to the town planning. From up on high he could see where there was a curve of factories and a marching ant line of warehouses, and across the river was the city skyline that held commercial offices in stoic, unfashionable buildings. It was still attractive in an urban, concentric way. There were fewer people that lived and worked here and the river was its primary focus.

At Kerr's tease, Ben was intrigued and in his belly he felt a tendril of fear to go along with his excitement. They made their way towards the bridge and Ben couldn't keep his silence.

"Is this crazy? Are we doing something crazy?" he asked, even though he didn't want to spoil the surprise for himself. A shiver worked its way up his spine that had nothing to do with the biting cold of the wind.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something New
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 09:05:49 PM »
Kerr chuckled, enjoying that he was unsettling Ben. He shouldn't, he knew, but his young love was usually so unflappable that it made a nice change for a simple surprise to have him questioning Kerr's motivation. "It's not crazy," he reassured, allowing a few steps to flow under their feet before he added a caveat. "But it's unusual," he conceded, still grinning.

The path they were walking was broad, exposed concrete under their feet and the stone wall protecting them from the cliffs solid beside them. The path widened to include sheltered picnic tables and barbecues when it didn't narrow to allow for cars to park. The way was quite pretty, especially considering there was a road running on their other side. They passed some freestanding buildings; toilets, a well-populated cafe and a darkened shed.

As they continued, the path sloped slightly downwards, dipping a metre or so below the road level and following a descending trail along the cliffs. There were no more buildings around them but there was one ahead of them that they were definitely walking towards. It stood between them and the footing of the bridge - which seemed quite massive now that they were closer to it - and was lit up with a sign Ben wouldn't be able to miss.

'BRIDGE CLIMB HERE!' it said in bright red letters.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Something New
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 10:02:08 AM »
Ben, who'd been imagining leaping off the bridge with Kerr using a bungee cord, was relieved by the sign. His insides unknotted and he laughed outright. He squeezed Kerr's hand and shook his head, but his pleasure reverberated along their bloodbond. Ben's excitement grew as the fear slipped away.

"This is so cool," he announced a little too loudly. He wanted Kerr to know that he'd chosen wisely. Maybe bungee jumping could be something they tried later. The idea of stepping off a high place such as a bridge and falling to the world with just an elastic to keep him from squishing into a blood puddle at the bottom, did not appeal.

Like Kerr, he became conscious of the push and pull of the breeze. It wasn't much at the moment but he knew anything light down here would be escalated once they were climbing the bridge over the river.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something New
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 11:06:53 AM »
“I hope so,” Kerr agreed, his enthusiasm trebled by Ben’s surge of relief. His grin broadened, the details he’d been keeping to himself spilling out as they got closer to their adventure’s starting point.

“So there’s usually fourteen in a group and it’ll take us an hour and a half to get to the top. We’re not allowed to take anything with us in case it drops but they have photographers that will keep snapping as we go. At the top, we get to spend a while and have more photos and the descent usually takes about an hour. This is a night climb and there’s a light display of some sort that we watch at the top, too.”

Kerr’s cheeks were beginning to ache from smiling, which didn’t bode well, considering how happy he anticipated becoming as their adventure progressed. They entered the building and were faced with a spacious waiting room an a reception desk. They’d arrived slightly early but there were already two couples spaced around the many chairs scribbling on paperwork and giggling excitedly to each other.

Doing his best to look casual beneath lights that highlighted his supernatural pallor, Kerr released Ben’s hand to approach the desk. Ben’s eyes always drew comments and the more attention Kerr could deflect, the better. They were just average people here to do an average people thing. The reception lady looked up and smiled as he approached. “Hi there. Uh, my name’s Kerr Galvin,” he began awkwardly, leaning on the desk.

The girl smiled. “For the eight o’clock climb?” she queried unnecessarily, tapping on her computer to signal they were present (he assumed) with one hand and picking up two clipboards with paperwork and pens already attached with the other. “Here are your indemnity agreements to sign. Make sure you read through everything clearly, it’ll tell you what to expect before you sign.” Kerr took the clipboards off her, drawn to lean closer to her because she glanced past him at where he’d left Ben and then up at him.

“Did you want the proposal package at the summit?” she whispered in a voice that would never have carried to mortal ears, looking at him like she was double checking.

Kerr stiffened, aware that Ben would’ve heard clearly. “No,” he said carefully and she pulled away looking satisfied.

“Okay, no problem,” she announced in her normal voice, glancing at the clipboards. “Bring those back once you’ve filled them out and then we’ll take you through to the staging room to get suited up,” she announced brightly.

“Thanks,” Kerr agreed, turning and heading back to Ben, holding out a clipboard towards him.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Something New
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 11:42:15 AM »
He was surprised that Kerr hadn't booked out the experience so they could enjoy it without other people. It seemed to him like a Kerr thing to do that when he'd mentioned there were 'usually fourteen', he'd expected Kerr to follow it up with 'but we have a special private session'. Even though the words didn't come, when they entered and saw people sitting in there, Ben stared at them, wondering who they were and what they would be doing instead of the bridge climb.

It took a moment for his brain to catch up. By this stage Kerr was already at the reception counter and Ben busied himself looking at the gallery of photos pinned up on a nearby corkboard. He wasn't as pale as Kerr but his eyes drew stares. Thank goodness people nowadays knew about and sometimes wore freaky contacts when doing ordinary things.

Ben's eyes widened when he heard the dropped voice about a proposal package and disappointment ebbed in him if that was what was happening tonight. Ben wanted the date to be special without the requirement of a question forced upon him at the end. If that was all this was, it would take away all the wonder of this experience. It wouldn't be about love and reconnection anymore but about forcing a promise of commitment from him. Reflief flooded through him once again when Kerr replied with a no.

When Kerr joined him and handed over the clipboard, Ben didn't address the question or response that had occurred at the counter. He simply started to fill in the form after reading the legal speak at the top.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something New
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 06:26:49 PM »
Kerr read the forms with some surprise, wondering why mortals would sign up for an activity that listed so many things that could go wrong and potentially kill them. They paid well for the opportunity, too. Once he'd satisfied the company's demand that he legally declare them not liable for any injury or death he sustained during the bridge climb by signing his name, Kerr and Ben took their clipboards back.

They were ushered into the next room with a bunch of other people, handed jumpsuits and locker keys and shown to a place they could change. They were told by an instructor that the conditions were windy on the bridge so the suits they were given were warm, the torso crossed with high-vis reflectors on the back. They were given the option of keeping their clothes on underneath - for warmth - but Kerr stripped down to his boxer briefs and pulled on the grey and blue onesie. If any of the general public touched them, flimsy clothing would be a good excuse as to why they were cold (if he could be bothered letting them think about it).

When he came out and caught Ben dressed in his identical coveralls, he couldn't resist grinning at him. It was probably the most unattractive outfit his lover had ever worn and, because of that, Kerr thought he looked absolutely adorable. Somehow, the suit managed to enhance the captivating aspect of his eyes, which was as amusing as it was exasperating. Nothing looked bad on him. Kerr shook his head wryly as he was headed off from talking with Ben by staff members that wanted to get his belt and gloves fitted. He was encouraged to lock all his belongings away in his locker - which was only his keys and his phone - before he headed to the harness section.

More and more people came in but there seemed to be staff to cater for the influx because, in no time, everyone was suited up and being sat down for their final preparation talk. A clinical psychologist was sitting with two pale-looking climbers; Kerr heard her identify herself and her role and start discussing what the two should be preparing themselves for in order to overcome their acrophobia. They seemed largely unconvinced but watched her face avidly, nodding along as she discussed fear centres in the brain and overcoming instinctive responses. She sounded very caring and committed to getting the terrified pair to the summit, assuring them they could do it and when they did, they'd feel amazing.

The climb staff herded them into seats and introduced themselves, discussing what their roles would be and giving more detailed information about the climb. There would be pauses along the way as the guides stopped to relay information about the bridge, its construction and facts about the city. There would also be some path changes as they moved up ladders, along gantries and ascended curved stairways, exploring the different features of the bridge itself along the way. Some stops would be purely for photographs (which they had the option of purchasing later). Kerr hadn't realised they'd be getting a history and architectural lesson as well - he'd thought it would be a matter of just climbing to the top, looking around and climbing back down - so he perked up at the thought they'd be learning as well as experiencing.

At the head guide's instruction, the climbers began to form up into a single file arrangement with guides interspersed between them. The jingle and clink of everyone's harness and guide cables (still disconnected at this stage) being caught and held became muffled by nervous giggles and excited comments. There was a sense of impending wonder hovering over everyone, the enthusiasm palpable and contagious, intensified by the group dynamic. Kerr grasped Ben from behind, wrapping his arms about his waist and giving him a squeeze as he leant down to place a kiss on the side of his neck. "Love you," he murmured, feeling too full of anticipation to express anything more, despite the fact that they hadn't had a chance to speak to each other through the whole preparation.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Something New
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 09:12:16 AM »
"Love you, too," Ben said. His own excitement had remained constant but curiosity had caught up with it. He wondered why Kerr had taken them to do things the mortal way, the human way. As supernatural beings, they could've run up themselves, couldn't they? They had the strength and their stamina didn't fade through exertion like mortals did. At the same time there was a kind of 'keeping in touch with humanity' feel about it, because doing this activity alongside others gave him a connection to a life he could've led, one that was frail but could still offer a number of grand experiences. He'd wanted to be a vampire so bad because he knew he would've had an insular life... but it hadn't had to be.

Since they were all lined up and marked off, they headed for the bridge. Ben kept his eyes on the guide in front of him but as they neared the structure, Ben looked up at it, feeling small in its grand design. They were going to climb that until they were at the top. He looked at the arched beams, the ones he'd imagined 'running up' to the top. Was that even viable? Would he ever still do such a thing in the future after doing this presently?

He could hear excited and nervous chatter from the other climbers and considered their comments inane and removing from the experience. He didn't have anything to say to anyone. There was nothing to say. He was too full of sensation. It was a vastly different feeling from the first part of the date, when he'd struggled to stop the words tumbling out of his mouth.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something New
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 04:35:58 PM »
Kerr remained focussed intently on the guides, mostly oblivious to the mortals around him. The history of the bridge was fascinating enough to hold his attention, though he was aware there was always some extra discussion with the acrophobic climbers as they wound their way higher. The view of the cars passing beneath them gave Kerr pause, as the flashes of light and the brief glimpses into the cabins caught his attention. They were unexpected snapshots of legs and hands that somehow represented life in a peculiarly abstract yet oddly familiar way.

When they finally got to the top, the view was rewarding because it was unique. Kerr recognised that it didn't compare to what they could see every night from their penthouse but it was pretty. The light show included an array of colours throwing different effects along the cliff faces, lighting up the bridge at their feet and the city on the opposite side of the river (generally as a reflection of what was happening on the cliff faces). Many oohs and ahhs erupted from the climbers as it unfolded but Kerr, with his arm around Ben's waist was busy manoeuvring them a little away from the group.

One of the women approached them on his signal, walking up on the narrow platform to stand in front of Ben. She was almost as tall as him, of solid build with a pretty face and straight brown hair pulled back into a smooth ponytail. "Would you care for a drink while you enjoy the view?" she smiled at Ben, tilting her head to expose her neck and make it clear what she was offering. The rest of the group were too fascinated by the light show to notice.

"She's zen, it'll be quiet," Kerr murmured in Ben's ear, letting him know he'd organised the mid-point snack for him.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Something New
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 09:54:00 PM »
Ben worked his way up the bridge methodically, paying attention to handholds and where he was stepping enough so that on each look around he was constantly surprised by how high up he was. The wind tugged on his jumpsuit but otherwise it didn't make itself a menace.

Once at the top he hugged Kerr from the side, cosying up to him as the light show unfolded. He was unaware that they were a little way off from the group until the woman was standing before him with the most absurd request.

Ben blinked first at her and then at Kerr as he was told she would be a quiet donor. His first thought was that it was weird to arrange for a donor to approach them at the summit. His next thought was that it would be dangerous for her to continue the climb once she was fed from. He didn't want to be responsible for her falling. A refusal sat at the edge of his lips, about to be spoken when he reconsidered.

There were safety harnesses everywhere, on all of them. Nobody was falling. He also hadn't had a drink tonight yet and the idea of having fresh, warm blood provided to him appealed to him. Kerr had gone to the trouble of finding an appropriate donor. It was strange, it was absurd, but it was also thoughtful and enticing. He no longer wanted to reject her.

"Yes, please," he said. She was an experienced enough donor that she stepped into him, laying her head on his shoulder as they embraced, tipping her head to allow him easy access. With a turn of his head his lips were at the base of her throat and with some nuzzling he found the best place to bite. She gasped then sighed as he drank from her, an arm still around Kerr and also locked around her. He felt oddly gluttinous. He didn't drink a lot before he pulled away, sending a mental message to Kerr just before he did: Your turn.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something New
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 09:59:41 PM »
Kerr was quick to respond, content and enjoying his fledgeling's indulgence in the picturesque setting.

No, she's all for you. I don't need any tonight.

He rubbed Ben's back, silently encouraging him to continue and smiling at him.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Something New
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 10:02:35 PM »
Ben returned his mouth to the wound he'd just left and drank a little more before it no longer felt right and he closed the holes off. The woman had a dazed smile on her face and hummed her pleasure at him. Ben continued to hold her, not wanting her to walk off the bridge, distracted.

"Now what?" he asked Kerr.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something New
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 10:38:11 PM »
Kerr monitored the woman - whose name was Sarina - and used a bit of influence to clear away the fog of the feeding. He didn't dispel it completely but her experience was certainly cut short as she blinked and straightened away from Ben. She immediately reached beneath the wristband of her jumpsuit where she'd hidden a plastic-wrapped sweet to boost her blood sugar. Popping it into her mouth and tucking the wrapper back inside her clothes, she smiled and gave Ben a wink. "Thanks.  Enjoy your evening," she bade and wandered off as anonymously as she'd come.

Nuzzling in against Ben's throat, Kerr delighted in the feeling of warmth emanating from Ben onto his chilled nose. "Mmm," he purred, pressing his lips there next, his kisses light and slightly warmer each time he made contact. The wind tugging at them and the sporadic lighting enhanced the ambience and when he inhaled Ben's unique scent along with the exhaust-tinged night air, it helped cement the moment in his memory. The feeling of Ben in his arms was priceless and gratitude for him and his forgiveness suffused him.

"Okay, lovebirds," a voice interrupted from nearby, "time for your summit photo!" At the same time, just beyond the photographer, applause erupted, attracting Kerr's attention. The light show was still going so it took him a moment to realise that there was a gentleman on one knee, holding a ring towards a man so overcome with emotion that he was sobbing into his hands. He'd obviously said yes before the tears started because the kneeler was beaming and all the climbers gathered around were cooing.

Kerr shifted his attention back to the photographer, moving to where she directed them and posing with Ben. Secretly, he was thrilled with the idea of getting a photo of them together - it didn't happen often - and he planned to buy as many memories from the experience as he was able. He was already excited to buy frames to put them in in his office (and probably in the penthouse) but he didn't know what sizes they came in yet, nor if they would have to buy two copies so Ben could have one in his office.

Once the paired photos were taken, a group shot was snapped using a drone - a panorama vista was promised - and then the descent began. It went faster because, even though they took a different route, there were fewer architectural highlights to share. There were a lot of sighs of contentment and cosy kisses shared amongst the group of climbers as their safety lines were disengaged at last and everyone was free to wander back to the base building lost in their own thoughts.

Kerr took Ben's hand, smiling indulgently at him and admiring his moon-kissed beauty as they traversed the shadows. There would be time to change into their clothes and gather their belongings, then nominate photos before they headed back to the car and their final destination. "I enjoyed that," he announced, sounding satisfied.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Something New
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2020, 10:49:42 PM »
"I didn't, it was horrible," Ben said deadpan, but he couldn't hold it for long at all before he was laughing. He hugged Kerr and squeezed him. "Thank you," he said, his words so soft that nobody but Kerr would be able to hear them over the swishing of their climbing suits rubbing together.
INFUSCO : Ben : Charon : Digital : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Vincent : Win : Wren :
HALFLIGHT : Samuel Britton : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Something New
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2020, 05:00:08 AM »
"You're horrible," Kerr teased, smirking because Ben's banter lightened his heart and convinced him that what he was trying for was working. His grin was intimate and approving as he wrapped an arm around Ben's neck and pulled him closer so he could kiss the top of his head. He was feeling happy and free as they walked together, bodies bumping with their uneven gait until he released his stranglehold on his love. He left it at an arm draped across his shoulders instead. "And you're welcome regardless," he finished mischievously, his dark eyes twinkling.