Roleplay City

Infusco => INFUSCO: Enter The Shadows => † OUT OF THE CITY † => Topic started by: Trillian on June 01, 2009, 02:38:11 PM

Title: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 01, 2009, 02:38:11 PM
AFTER THAT FATEFUL NIGHT in Risk, where Kerr had kissed him and they\'d had a falling out, events had happened very quickly. After hearing a speech he\'d tried his best not to hear (but how does a fledgling keep their sire out of their head when they had superior talent) and could only resent as he escaped into the night, a long walk home had been the only time he\'d taken to think things through. With a decision made at the end of it, arriving at the beachhouse several hours later, he\'d stayed in the daylight hours asleep in his bed until dawn, when he\'d risen earlier than usual. He packed one large and one small suitcase with necessary clothes, leaving behind a lot more than he could take, keeping his journals but not the computer, throwing whatever else he thought would be useful into his car, and saying as little to Kerr as possible, avoiding him as much as his sire would let him. He wouldn\'t have said anything other than \'bye\' and ignored anything else that was shot his way. Short of being Dominated by Kerr, there was nothing the other could do to change his mind. He was leaving, and that was that.
 
It had taken him weeks, hopping from motel to motel during the day, sleeping in the bathtub if the room\'s windows had shifty light-letting curtains. He\'d not really planned his destination, but he was conscious that he was still using Kerr\'s money every time he swiped his bank card. Eventually he ended up in the most anonymous city of all, New York.
 
His car earned him appreciative stares and that\'s when he realised what he had to do to really escape everything that had tied him to a past he didn\'t remember. The car had always been his, yes, but it had been a bomb, not the luxury he had now, and if he wanted to live here, in this congested city full of lonely souls living together, it was more so a liability. He would have to garage it and it would only end up costing him money that he didn\'t have. Selling it put a pang of hurt in his heart but it was a bittersweet decision, for it would truly make him free, it would give him the ultimate fresh start. An eternal future without a past.
 
Selling it turned out to be a great deal easier once he found a caryard he could park in front of. The caryard itself was closed, but housed similar cars - though the newer version. Those who came and looked mostly had the money to buy, and he turned down the first offer that came to him for his car, settling on the second because it sounded ridiculously overpriced. He\'d shown the papers for his car, he\'d shown his I.D., everything was in order, though he knew his buyer was suspicious but didn\'t really care, considering they\'d just scored a bona fide 1969 Dodge Charger in mint condition. He\'d walked away with a pile of cash and they drove away with his car. The only thing he\'d kept was one of the keyrings - the bat an old schoolfriend had given him, knowing his love for all things vampire. So much for letting go of the past.
 
He found a building that had apartments out to let that was tolerable. He didn\'t care how his place looked, but the smells assaulting his nose had told him when to move on and when to investigate further. It was early morning but New York truly was the city that never slept. He walked into a place where he was asked if he wanted a room for the week, night or hour. After a moment\'s silence as he processed the meanings behind such a question, he answered with the longest timeframe and handed over some of the money he\'d received from the sale of the car. Paying in cash didn\'t have the landlord batting an eyelid - something else Ben processed a variety of possible meanings behind - and he was given a key and some vague directions about the number of flights to travel up and which door to take that would be his room.
 
When he got up there (six flights of stairs and without a working elevator) and dumped his stuff by the door, closing it behind him, he was surprised that the furniture was of a much better quality than he\'d imagined, as well as the walls and carpets. It was clean, and though he could smell the lingering odour of fried food permeating the walls, it was something he could put up with.  The most interesting thing about the apartment he\'d received, was whoever had this apartment before him had blacked out the windows.  He considered what such a thing might mean, and was busy walking around the single bedroom apartment familiarising himself with everything when there was a knock at the door.
 
He hesitated before going to it, already tense on the thought that maybe someone wanted to help themselves to some of the cash they might have noticed he\'d paid with downstairs.
 
"Yeah?" Ben asked through the door, without opening it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 02, 2009, 10:09:46 PM
Ben would hear nothing but silence for a few moments, followed by the restless shifting of shuffling feet, like the person outside his door wasn\'t sure he wanted to be there any more - and he wasn\'t.  Frowning and gnawing on his lower lip, Daniel looked down the hallway towards his own little apartment and then back at the door before him again, debating.

"Aziz?" he eventually asked, knowing that that voice had not belonged to Abd-Al-Aziz but needing it confirmed anyway.  Even if they had not been the gruff, barking tones of the vampire that lived in this apartment (as far as Danny knew), he might just have a visitor over... not that the bastard had had a lot of friends.  Not with his asshole of a personality.

Daniel certainly couldn\'t even be counted amongst the \'friendly\' number, such as it may have been, but he and Aziz had had an arrangement and disappointment was trickling through him at the idea that that was about to be reneged on.  Right when he was close to completing the bridge in his latest work, too; it was so bitter, the mortal could taste in and hear it in his own deep voice.

"It\'s Daniel!" he called out then, raising his voice slightly, thinking that it needed to carry past whoever the person at the door was and into the apartment to the one he wanted to see.  The one he needed to see.  The old lady in the apartment behind him started screeching obscenities simply because she\'d heard him identify himself and she believed he was there to bother her - but she didn\'t care and didn\'t want anything to do with him, according to her.  The number of colourful ways she told him to fuck off made that abundantly clear.  He ignored her though, frowning instead at the door in front of him.

Please be there.  Please... God I need it, PLEASE be there! he thought as he stood there, his sneaker-clad toes tapping quietly now, in time with the fingers drumming on his thighs.

He wore extra-baggy, rather ragged-looking blue jeans that pooled around his ankles fashionably.  There were three belts criss-crossing his hips at different degrees (one of them was inside the belt loops of his pants) but the jeans still looked precariously positioned so that his boxer shorts were displayed, because his thumbs were tucked into the front pockets and a couple of chains and a lanyard also dangled down his legs.  He wore four layers of clothing on his upper body, beginning with a black T-shirt at the base and ending with an unzipped hoodie on the top, the whole ensemble looking slightly askew due to the bulging messenger bag crossing his chest from his right shoulder to his left hip.  He had a silver earring in his left ear and a fuzz of dirty blonde curls sitting atop the right half of his forehead - they were peeking out from beneath the black beanie he was wearing but no other hair was visible at the back or sides.

It was the set of headphones resting about his throat that set Daniel apart.  They weren\'t modern earbuds set discreetly into his ears, connected t a high-priced ipod tucked into a pocket somewhere, but heavy-duty headphones with a cord that snaked down into that messenger bag (another anonymous black cord dangled in a short loop from the bag itself but only the musically learned would recognise it to be a microphone cord).

Other than the very serious sound system he appeared to be wearing though, Daniel looked to be a fairly usual twenty-five year old man.  He was prettier than most with his very pouty lips and long, thick eyelashes surrounding his bright blue eyes but he attempted to disguise that by not shaving and keeping a rash of stubble upon his youthful face.  The way he was biting his lower lip and frowning now also helped relieve his burden of attractiveness, but should the portal of his desire open before him any time soon, that expression would melt away into one of reserved hopefulness instead.

Until he got some sort of answer one way or another, however, he would stand there tapping nervously - a habit he no longer even tried to deny.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 02, 2009, 10:37:38 PM
Daniel?  Ben had a name and so it suddenly felt alright to open the door.  Really, was he expecting to be attacked?  He\'d just walked the streets of New York with thousands of dollars shoved into his jeans and hauling two suitcases and the most anybody had said to him was \'sup?\' as he\'d passed them by.  Mind, it would be ironic to be attacked now.

Ben reached for the doorknob and turned it, thumbing open the lock and realising as he opened the door that he hadn\'t bothered to put the chain across the doorway which was attached there for such a purpose.  It didn\'t matter until daytime anyway, for that was when he was the most vulnerable.  As the door swung open he was faced with Daniel before him, and it was about this point that he was very aware of the thirst gnawing at him.  It proved well enough that he wasn\'t a fledgling anymore - that three years really had passed - because he hadn\'t drunk anything tonight.  The craving was mostly apparent due to the proximity of excited blood being pumped around in the body before him.  Ben\'s gaze dropped to take in the appearance of Daniel in front of him, seeing the clothes and the headphones before anything else.

Because he was listening for music, he heard it, the tinny sounds of a fairly heavy beat and Marilyn Manson croaking his way through a different version of a well-known pop song.  Ben knew it wasn\'t coming from the mortal carrying the sound equipment in front of him but from a few floors downstairs, playing at a fairly reasonable level - though his hearing easily picked it up.  It was an interesting backdrop of sound adding to the noise of traffic below and the high pitched swearing across the corridor which was moving away at a slow pace, lowering in volume and tone even as the doppler effect carried it away.

The youth in front of him looked like he\'d come straight out some ultra-modern cinematic hip-hop feature, about a rising star.  Someone like Eminem perhaps.  Ben was immediately intimidated by the other\'s appearance and added intensity.  Obviously he was here to visit

Aziz?

the person who\'d rented the apartment before him.  The one who\'d blacked out the windows and apparently left without telling his friends (or neighbours?) that he was going.  Perhaps something worse had happened to him, considering Ben could now hear sirens warbling in the distance that took priority over Manson, but then they faded away.

He realised belatedly that he\'d just opened the door and started checking out the guy before him, looking at his clothes and carried equipment before staring at his face questioningly.  He was being rude - and though New York had a reputation for having rude locals living within it, he didn\'t want to add to that particular atmosphere.

"Hello?" he asked finally, his hand still resting on the doorknob on his side of the apartment and he was mostly leaning on the door\'s edge, feeling the jamb pressing into his side.  It leant a gritty reality to the scene before him, to which he couldn\'t yet make sense of.  He hoped the fellow before him would help make sense of it, but he couldn\'t shake the feeling that he was going to be asked for drugs - or if he wanted to buy them.  He must be wrong about the junkie aspect though (even though he was getting junkie vibes), because he doubted many junkies would be carrying serious sound equipment around with them.  Wouldn\'t they sell it for more drugs?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 03, 2009, 06:30:23 AM
Daniel\'s face had fallen as soon as he\'d sighted what he\'d expected to see - not Aziz.  Immediately, his gaze had slid brazenly past Ben and he\'d even leaned up onto his toes and craned his head to look around the stranger presented to him.  He needed to see a little farther into the apartment beyond, not caring about the guy in front of him at this stage - even though he was aware he was being checked out.  Being checked out was nothing unusual in New York, and not a worry when folks\' hands were visible; he\'d figured that out within two weeks of arriving in the big city - from a very nothing town in the midwest where nobody ever became somebody, no matter how talented they were, because the place was just too damn disconnected.

The suitcases sitting harmlessly in the middle of the floor (well, the corners he could spy, anyway) gave away the fact that some changes had definitely occurred with regard to ownership of this apartment but until he spied the empty wall beyond Ben\'s shoulder - where Aziz had kept a massive Levha wall hanging that had had something to do with God being the knower of everything (though that had been Aziz, in Danny\'s experience, for he\'d read his mind without blinking) - he wasn\'t convinced.  That wall hanging had been the most important thing Aziz had owned though, a beautiful tapestry of delicate weaving, gold threads combining to depict script from the Qur\'an.

With an exhalation of disappointment, he pulled back and settled into his spread-legged slouching stance again - he had a habit of hunching simply because he was always bent over the recording equipment in his messenger bag, listening to his samples, not because he was especially long.  Daniel was three inches shy of six feet and the clothes he wore disguised his body well enough to mean he could never be intimidating in that sense, either.  For now, however, his shoulders were rolled forward and his fists pressed into his jeans pockets because he was unhappy.  Seriously unhappy that he wasn\'t going to get the fix he needed.

His gaze travelled reluctantly from the ground upward but when it got to the stranger\'s eyes he did a comical and very obvious double take.  His heart flipped over and he blinked like he didn\'t quite believe what he was seeing.  He didn\'t.

His eyes.

Though your average schlum on the street would\'ve believed those eyes were contacts, Danny knew better.  He spent a great deal of his time at Liquid Empire for one thing, a club/haven for vampires.  That supernatural quality was common in such a place and he\'d have been able to pick a vamp out of a lineup at fifty paces, with eyes like those.

Thing was, Aziz had left the apartment and it had immediately been taken over by another vampire?  What the hell were the odds of that being a coincidence?  Daniel believed them to be impossible, quite frankly, and suspected that this guy - whoever he was - had to be an acquaintance of Aziz\'s somehow.  This meant one of two things; either he could get Daniel back in contact with Aziz or he might be open to performing the same favour the dark, broody vampire had.  Danny didn\'t care either way, as long as he got bit sometime soon.

Urgently, he took a step forward and stared intently into the strange vampire\'s eyes, like he might find the answers to his questions written in their silvery depths.  Damn, but they had to be one of the coolest pairs of optics he\'d ever seen - it was an idle thought running through his multi-string mind but the eyes were impressive enough for the thought to surface quite strongly before sinking back down into the depths again.

"Hi.  Can you help me?" he asked conspiratorially, his voice extremely low so as not to carry beyond the vampire\'s hearing - it was obvious in these few words that he had a great deal of experience in speaking quietly so that only a vampire could hear him.  "I need to find Aziz, do you know where he went?" he asked, his tone implying that Ben\'s answer was a foregone conclusion to him; of course he knew where Aziz was, because he was a vampire now inside another vampire\'s apartment.  They had to be part of the same network.  Daniel\'s blue eyes blazed with renewed confidence, only inches away from Ben\'s own.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 03, 2009, 09:03:54 AM
What neither of them knew, as they stared at each other - one with the impression that the other was part of a serious network of supernatural beings and one simply wanting the other to go away and leave him alone - was that Ben had been assigned to the apartment by the landlord below, based on two factors, both concreted in first impressions.  Ben was dressed nicely, (though casually) in bluejeans and a crisp cream coloured button-up shirt.  His polite manner and well-kept hair leant a hand towards him being associated with being well-raised, and less likely to trash an apartment that was furnished with quite nice things - thanks to the tenant that had done a runner before him.  The second thing that had the landlord handing over the keys to that particular apartment, was that Ben had shown his driver\'s licence as an I.D. and signed in under his own name after requesting to pay by the week.  In this building, the landlord didn\'t ask for I.D., didn\'t care who stayed, as long as they paid in advance and didn\'t break anything.  He\'d figured this honest looking kid would take care of a room that deserved someone a little better.  So Ben had been given the better apartment based on two minutes worth of conversation.

It hadn\'t exactly been a coincidence that he\'d landed that apartment, but the fact he was a vampire taking over another vampire\'s apartment was certainly of slightly higher odds.  Obviously it was possible, for it happened.

Now, as Daniel asked Ben for help - which had the blonde raising his eyebrows slightly and wondering what to say without promising anything (and finding he didn\'t need to, because the actual request came a short moment later) - he frowned and wondered why the other would think he knew Aziz at all, never mind where he was.  It wasn\'t usual for the next person to live in a house or apartment and know what had happened to the previous owner.

"Um, no, I don\'t know Aziz," he said, stepping back a little so he could reclaim some personal space.  "You can check with the landlord if he left a forwarding address," Ben suggested helpfully, but doubted that this was the kind of place anybody left a forwarding address from.  He shifted weight from one foot to another, figuring that Daniel would probably leave now, and Ben was getting ready to close the door.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 03, 2009, 04:26:06 PM
Sensing that he was about to be shut out - and away from what he craved - Daniel\'s hand left his pocket at a rapid rate and the fingertips pressed to the panelling of the door, holding it open.
 
"No, but wait!" he said hurriedly, his voice taking on an edge of desperation, his expression pleading.  "You have to know him, you\'re one as well!  And you\'re here!  In his apartment!"
 
Although the mortal was obviously agitated and highly concerned he wouldn\'t get his fix, he still had the presence of mind to keep his volume at little more than a hoarse whisper, so that only the vampire would hear him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 03, 2009, 05:10:23 PM
"I don\'t know him," Ben disagreed, taken aback by Daniel\'s insistence.  He didn\'t really know what being \'one as well\' meant, though there was a niggling doubt at the back of his mind that told him he really did know what Daniel meant, thanks to some blacked out windows lending him a clue.

He knows
He knows what you are
That Aziz guy was a vampire
And he knows you\'re one as well
But how


Ben looked from Daniel\'s hand on the door to the young man himself, wondering if he was going to be let off the hook anytime soon.  It was interesting, that Daniel wasn\'t raising his voice in the slightest even though he was obviously getting upset.

"Look, I\'m sorry.  I\'ve only just got here, about five minutes ago.  Your friend\'s already left.  Ask the landlord if you don\'t believe me," he said, attempting to shunt the problem of Daniel\'s hunt for information onto the building owner (or manager) or whatever he was, for the second time.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 03, 2009, 08:23:45 PM
The more they talked, the more Daniel got the feeling that he was holding a handful of sand that was drying quickly and slipping out between his fingers no matter how hard he squeezed.  He\'d had a plan in mind and he was borderline compulsive in following through on what he\'d made up his mind to do; change threw him completely off track and the foul mood that resulted would ruin his whole night and completely screw over his schedule if it happened.

He couldn\'t afford that.  A guy had promised to get his demo to a guy who knew a recording company guy and even though these things were longshots, he followed through on all of them because something had to pan out eventually.  He also had to keep it fresh because he was constantly evolving but he hadn\'t finished the final track of the three he wanted to present and time was of the essence... he couldn\'t bear the thought of going to Liquid Empire when he\'d had such a simple plan in mind - get home from work, go visit Aziz and go back to his apartment buzzed and ready to create.  Except the asshole had apparently decided to skip town.

Sand through his fingers and a burning, spinning wildness caused by loss of control in his chest... he had to do something.  "Well... are you hungry then?" he pleaded, need shining from his eyes.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 03, 2009, 10:47:14 PM
The question was so upfront that it had Ben mentally reeling.

"Wh-what?"

Fuck, he hated stammering, and it was even worse that he\'d stammered on the answer of that particular question.  If he\'d tried to portray himself as human to ensure that this mortal - in case he really had guessed correctly that Ben was a vampire - think that he was mistaken.  Perhaps if he\'d suavely said something like \'are you trying to ask me out to dinner?\' or even something simple like \'I\'ve already eaten\', it would\'ve been enough to send Daniel on his way.

The problem was, he was hungry, and the thirst was quite apparent the more attention it received.  The instant he\'d opened the door to find Daniel thrumming energetically on the other side of it, he\'d been aware of the fact he hadn\'t yet slaked his thirst tonight, and it was starting to distract him.  Focussing on selling his car and then finding a place to stay had been enough to keep his mind off his hunger, but now it was in his face, literally on his doorstep, and he was entertaining the idea of allowing Daniel to offer himself up like the eager morsal he was.

Such a thing was dangerous though, to allow someone to know what he was and where he lived.

Damage is already done, you might as well take advantage of a free meal

And if Daniel lived in this building, like Ben suspected he did, then drinking from his neighbours was a bad habit to start a new place with.

But it could also be terribly convenient.  A convenience that the vampire who lived here before you obviously took advantage of.


It was guesswork, though.  It was all guesswork, and Ben toyed with the idea of exploring his budding talent and scanning Daniel\'s mind to confirm if he really did know if Ben was a vampire

what else would such a question mean, dickhead?


or if Ben was being paranoid.

Still, enough time had passed between them now, that the single stammered question/answer he\'d given Daniel was now being reacted to.  The moment had passed to fix it up, to offer something neater, and all he had left was what Daniel said to him in return.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 04, 2009, 06:53:02 AM
The notion that a guy with eyes like those would feign innocence was amusing on some level, but Daniel\'s only focus was that his glaring uncertainty was a chink in his armour, a way to weasel in.  He obviously wasn\'t advertising his immortality - who would? - when he\'d apparently just moved in to a new apartment complex, so he was thrown by Danny figuring out what he was.  That was cool, he believed it worked in his favour, rather than the vampire\'s (for once).

His expression became less pained, his pressure on the door less firm, the distance between them a little closer as Daniel sidled forward, wetting his lips as he thought hastily.

"Look, you don\'t know Aziz - that\'s fine.  I guess it\'s just weird luck that you\'re here, in his place, and he\'s booked.  He was a prick and I won\'t miss him but he and I used to have an arrangement, see, he\'d feed from me every week or so.  He\'d get a meal and I\'d get an open invitation to The Buzz," the mortal grinned, believing that all vampires knew that their bite was a sensual and chocolate thing (because he\'d never had any experience with brand new fledglings or badly-raised ones that had no understanding of their powers), sharing his secret name for it just to present himself as more friendly.

"I need it, man," Daniel said more soberly (though he was sounding more like an addict by the second, even performing a little bob to punctuate that his whole body was craving).  "It clears my mind, it gets me to the place... a... a place where, where, where I can hear myself!" he exclaimed, his words slickening as his tongue moved faster in order to convince the vampire that he should take pity on him.

He clicked his thumb and third finger together on the word \'hear\' and it sounded very loud to even his ears, considering how quietly they were talking, but it didn\'t stop him.  He was just getting into the groove of his appeal, shaking his head like all modern day youths do - to communicate sublime agreement, for he was thinkinga bout all the wonderful feelings the bite gave him and it was like music in his mind already, his head swinging in time to an unheard beat.

"Please," he beseeched Ben through desperate cornflower blue eyes.  "I know you don\'t know me and I\'m all up in your face and whatever, but I just live down the hall and I\'ve been going to your club since I was sixteen - I\'ve even played there a couple of times," he said proudly, lifting his hands as he spoke and pulling back the sleeves covering his left arm.  He turned his hand over and flashed a beautiful curling, intricately entwined (but shapeless as far as form went) purple tattoo on the inside of his wrist, like it would mean something to the vampire.

"See?  I\'m safe.  I know what you fellas are all about, you can trust I won\'t go mouthing off if you do this for me.  I won\'t hang off you or nothin\', I know you gotta\' be settling in and all, I just... just take me in, have a taste and then I\'ll go.  I\'m totally clean," he vowed, making a ridiculously young two-fingered boy scout salute with his right hand as he released his left and it dropped back to his side, thumb curling back into his jeans habitually.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 04, 2009, 07:10:16 AM
Ben, faced with the blurted knowledge that poured out of Daniel like a local vampire encyclopedia, had a decision to make, and he made it fairly quickly.  Reaching forward, he grabbed Daniel by his arm and pulled him into the apartment; not gently but it was also far removed from throwing him around.  Once Daniel was past the doorway and Ben could close it, he locked it - both locks this time, the deadbolt and the chain - and turned around so he could face the mortal in his apartment.

A groupie
one of those guys you didn\'t like at Risk
and now you have him in your new home
he\'d throw himself at anyone


It wasn\'t the offer of a drink that had Ben acting on impulse, but rather the knowledge of a club - a club that operated much like Risk, though likely it was called something else.  He had to know what it was called and where it was, it would make things a lot easier on him here, if he had a place to go that was safe like Risk was - full of willing bodies that already knew, or he could even buy it over the counter in a glass at the bar, and find out where to get baggies of it.  Oh God, it would make things so easy.

"I\'ve only just arrived in New York," Ben admitted, staring at Daniel and not bothering to deny anything.  The realisation had finally come to him that his eyes had given him away, to someone who already knew about vampires such a thing was screamingly obvious.  In a population where contacts could come in the form of smiley faces, Ben\'s iridescent gaze didn\'t make too many people look twice, but to a groupie - there was no sense trying to fool him when he already knew.  "The club I used to go to was called Risk.  What\'s the name of the one here?"

Forget about The Buzz, forget about the fact Ben\'s senses were screaming at him to attach himself to a willing neck and feeeeeed.  He wanted Daniel wanting, and eager to please him in order to offer up the information he needed.  It was easier than rooting around in his brain.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 04, 2009, 07:16:54 AM
Daniel blinked as he was pulled in rapidly - more rapidly than he\'d been prepared for, but it impressed him rather than scared him.  Once he was inside and freed, he felt nothing but relief, watching the vampire as he pulled his headphones off his neck and then set about removing his messenger bag with all the care a loving mother would use to remove her firstborn from her hip.  He spoke as he removed his gear.

"Liquid Empire," he responded immediately, taking all this in stride and not considering lying, since he believed his mind would be read anyway.  He hadn\'t had any weirdly errant thoughts that made him realise he was being scanned yet, but he supposed that would come - unless this guy was way older than Aziz had been.  "Welcome to New York.  What\'s your name?" the mortal grinned, hands going to his hips as he straightened, his worldly possessions now carefully on the floor behind him, leaning against the wall.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 04, 2009, 07:29:45 AM
"Ben," he informed Daniel, automatically providing his name to the question.  It wasn\'t in him to use false names or change his name when changing cities, though he didn\'t provide his surname to Daniel like he had to the landlord downstairs.  He\'d unconsciously figured that Daniel wouldn\'t care about his full name, he just needed a name to put to Ben so he could rap on his door in the future.  The thought of this set Ben\'s lips in a grim line but he could establish boundaries straight away, and hopefully that Aziz vampire that Daniel had known had trained him somehow.  Daniel hadn\'t a high opinion of him, considering he\'d called him a prick, and Ben figured that might be an option - to not be nice or kind to Daniel and maybe he\'d stay away more often than not.  Though, it was unfair to think the mortal would do otherwise, as he\'d already promised that he wouldn\'t be clingy.  It was hard to know where he stood at this present moment.  He was staring at Daniel now, free of his equipment and standing expectantly.  "What street\'s it on?" he asked, unsure if the club would advertise itself in the Yellow Pages.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 04, 2009, 07:42:42 PM
A slight, contemplative twist at the corner of his mouth was all that gave away Daniel\'s impatience at Ben not making a move on him already, and then he answered the question posed calmly.  The new New Yorker would likely not know the exact whereabouts of the street he named, so he gave an exact description of how to get there as well, informing the immigrant that he now lived only ten blocks from a club he was sure to love - it was partly the reason Aziz had lived here, he believed.

While he was talking, he removed his unzipped hoodie jacket to reveal a form-fitting black woollen jumper (another, mustard yellow layer showed through on his chest, resting between it and the black shirt) with sleeves that he fiddled with as he spoke, because they were slightly too long.  When he was done, he gave an affable shrug and looked pointedly around the apartment.  "So... where do you want me?" he asked, his gaze coming back to rest eagerly on Ben.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 04, 2009, 10:03:26 PM
Ben was surprised to receive the detail he did, and was impressed despite himself of Daniel\'s foresight, to explain how to get to the club.  Ben had lucked out, choosing the place he had, in more ways than one.  He wasn\'t sure what Liquid Empire would be like, seeing it was situated in a cheap part of town, but then, Risk had been in the Industrial area of the city, among warehouses and out of the way of the general public.  Perhaps the poorer areas kept their information to themselves.

When Daniel\'s announcement came next, about being placed, Ben could only stare at him incomprehensibly for a moment.  It dawned on him, belatedly, that he\'d more or less accepted Daniel\'s offer to drink from him.  This made him feel on the back foot suddenly, like Daniel had the upper hand instead of him.

Take charge, Ben
You\'re the vampire
You\'re the one who takes the lead


Easier thought than done, but Ben pressed on with confidence that seemed to spring from nowhere.  He felt ridiculous and out of place, but he was acting and speaking in a manner that seemed a lot cooller than he really was.  Sometimes, he was lucky enough to run on auto-pilot.  It was the same way he\'d had the courage to talk to Kerr and offer himself up as a donor - it would be that way now, with Daniel.

"The sofa will be easiest," he said, moving to it before waiting to see what Daniel would do or if he would reply.  He stood for a longer moment than necessary before plopping himself down on the surprisingly comfy two seater and waiting for Daniel to join him.  Being on the sofa meant that Ben would have to hover over the mortal to feed from him, but that was okay because it meant he would be in the controlling position.

Sitting down in a strange apartment filled with strange furniture and smelling strange smells about to drink from someone he didn\'t know certainly wasn\'t settling him down.  The uneasiness persisted, though he did his best to ignore it in favour of presenting the calm and collected vampire that he was trying to be.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 04, 2009, 10:18:22 PM
Daniel followed at a slightly slower pace, doing his best to subtly touch his neck and work out whether or not he was giving open access to his jugular.  He\'d never been in much of a position to take notice of how high or low he got bitten but he supposed it was okay if the collar of his shirts touched the very base of his neck - they didn\'t feel to be covering much at all.

Happy that he was suitably (enough) attired, the mortal tucked one leg under him and lowered himself to the couch, very close to the vampire he was offering himself to.  It only occurred to him in that moment (which was pretty stupid, really) that he was trusting his life to a perfect stranger, who had no understanding of or deference for the tattoo on his wrist, so there was nothing at all stopping him from just drinking until Daniel died.

Although it cast a brief shadow of uncertainty over him - causing him to frown slightly as he bent forward so that he was hovering over Ben\'s lap, looking sightlessly down at thighs he didn\'t known and certainly hadn\'t caressed - it didn\'t stop him.  His heart beating wildly with excitement, he was in position in a few moments, his hands tucked in between his knees and his eyes closed as he waited for Ben to simply lean forward and begin drinking.  Aziz had been very big on him presenting himself; it wasn\'t in him to question that training now, not when he was so close to what thrilled him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 04, 2009, 11:40:17 PM
Daniel slipped into position so quickly and easily that Ben found himself faced with the easiest task in the world.  There was a hung moment, one that could barely be measured in time, where all the obvious meanings behind Daniel\'s simple but telltale gesture hit Ben directly and had him shocked.  He was more or less about to feed on someone else\'s unofficial pet.  It wasn\'t so much that Daniel was a groupie, or that he\'d had some kind of understanding with Aziz that basically meant the vampire could leave without a word to him and not feel guilty, but the fact that Daniel had been trained to concede.

The conscious intelligence and logic in Ben had him analysing the situation with cool indifference, but the emotional side of him had him horrified with the fact that he was about to take advantage of someone\'s needy addiction.  Yet another part of him - and this was the dominant part at this present moment - was predatory.  He was salivating at the thought of biting into the tender flesh just in front of his face, he could see and feel the racing pulse of blood just beneath the surface that called out to him.  Oh, he really needed to feed, and the knowledge of this hit him hardest when food was on the plate (to use the most callous description).

The moment gone in the instant that it was, so that Daniel wouldn\'t think that there was any pause at all, Ben indeed leant forward and pressed his cool lips to Daniel\'s warm neck.  The heated flesh and rush of blood beneath the skin had Ben sighing against him, while his hand raised up to cup the other side of Daniel\'s head, half of his face and his fingers sliding up beneath the beanie into curls.  He held Daniel in place then, though he really had no need to, and sought with his tongue for the right place, dabbing lightly until the tip found just the right spot and he nibbled tentatively against the flesh to let Daniel know the bite would come soon, before he bit in gently but deeply, allowing the blood to be drawn out of the mortal at a fairly steady - but not gushing - pace.  He wasn\'t interested in extending the moment, in making a shallow bite in order to prolong the intensity.  He wanted to feed, Daniel wanted to be fed from, and that would be that.

Though that was not just that, for Ben\'s eyes closed and he lost himself in the sensation of drinking, much like he usually did, listening to the strong and rhythmic pounding of Daniel\'s heart, the metronome of life.  His other hand came up of its own accord, settling on Daniel\'s shoulder and squeezing gently, almost soothingly, as he drank.  The act wasn\'t a conscious one, but born of empathy.  He wanted to console his victim as he took their blood, an unspoken promise that he wouldn\'t hurt them.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 05, 2009, 06:04:45 AM
The gentleness of it all stunned him.  From the moment lips had been pressed to his throat instead of fangs simply sliding in, hard and fast, as he\'d got used to, his eyelashes were fluttering their delicate surprise and he was overtaken by shivers.  Awareness continued to roll up and down his body as a tongue followed those beautifully soft lips and then he was nibbled before the fangs were finally inserted - by which time his skin was so hard with goosebumps and his shoulders shaking so lightly with the shivers that he didn\'t even feel them go in.

It was a seduction he\'d never experienced and he was, entirely, seduced by this vampire.  The bite part had always been a grin-and-bear-it moment up until now, something he held his breath through, only letting it out once the blood began to flow and then all was sweetness and beauty.  Now, he had no breath for an entirely different reason and by the time his blood was leaving his body he was sexually charged, physically aroused (he was aware that he had a semi but didn\'t think it would become obvious in his kneeling position, so he wasn\'t worried) and dizzy as the bliss rose up to engulf him.

Danny yanked his hands from between his knees and grabbed instead for the legs below him, ending up gripping one of Ben\'s thighs in each of his hands as he wobbled in a way he\'d never done.  When his face and shoulder were gripped, it only increased the surreal sensation of this being an act of lovemaking and he instinctively curled towards Ben, shifting his weight onto the vampire like a happy cat who approves of the stroking it is receiving and wants more, more, more.  The fact that this submissive fawning was nothing like him didn\'t have time to occur, he was too busy enjoying the loveliness of it.

In the early days, when he\'d first begun going to Liquid Empire just to watch and wonder, he\'d seen acts like these and sneered at them, at the mortals crawling - literally - all over the vampires like animals in heat.  He\'d had a few experiences in his very late teens (when he\'d first tried the bite) that had led him to one man\'s bed or other but he couldn\'t recall any of them being this sensual and for the last three years there\'d just been Aziz.  He hadn\'t had to lurk around the clubs to get his fix, he got the essence of it right at his doorstep - and that harsh vampire had not cared two whits for making the experience anything beautiful.  Daniel had always appreciated the primal savageness of it - enough to, stupidly, once or twice offer himself to the asshole who bit him - but now he saw his folly.

This was far and away a more pleasant way to fly and even though it was only once, he wasn\'t sure he could ever go back.  He\'d not even planned to knock on Ben\'s door again after tonight, figuring he could simply go to the club for his fix (if he was prepared to do that, there would be no change-of-plan issues in his head), but now... right now he couldn\'t imagine this even stopping.  He could hear and see the bridge he needed for his last song, the notes floating towards him like psychadelic angels, carried on the sound waves of swelling violins (not an instrument he generally incorporated into his music but now he could see exactly where and how he\'d fit it).  He tasted words that suddenly wanted to be written down and, without being aware of it, he started to sing them quietly to himself (though if any human ears were nearby to hear it, they would have thought only that he was moaning rhythmically in time with the feline arching of his body).

Yes, he was definitely seduced and completely absorbed in the moment of feeding, living his music in a far more pure sense than he ever had when he\'d tried drugs and possibly even moreso than even when he was on stage, performing it (that one was a tough call, though, as he\'d had far more bites than stage experiences and couldn\'t accurately compare the thrills).  He squeezed Ben\'s thighs and hung on, feeling like it was the ride of his life.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 05, 2009, 07:29:00 AM
Eventually, it had to end, as Ben was aware of how much he was taking even through the haze of his feeding.  He didn\'t want Daniel stumbling around though he figured the mortal might be dizzy.  He didn\'t have anything to eat in his apartment (unless the vampire who lived here had left that, too, but he doubted it) so was grateful Daniel said he lived in the building, so he could go to his home and eat and drink something sweet to get his energy back up.

Ben bit at his lip, as was his customary method when ending his feeding foray, and bled his healing blood into Daniel\'s wound, lapping at the spillage while Daniel\'s skin closed up.  The first hand to leave was the one holding Daniel\'s face, it dropped onto the sofa cushion at his side, and Ben pulled back a little so he could see where the wound no longer was, checking it was properly healed before he pushed lightly on Daniel\'s shoulder, urging him to move back for it was over now.  There was more than a hint of embarrassment at the intimacy they\'d shared, for he knew what it was like on the other side of that bite, but was grateful that Daniel had far from draped himself over him - or tried to touch him - like many of the Risk goers had when Ben chose to feed from them.  Usually a soft rejection was enough to keep them at bay, and he would often pick those that were a little more shy to not be offered anything he would only refuse.

"If you feel lightheaded you should eat or drink something," he suggested quietly, still thinking about how easily he\'d fed from Daniel and the fact the other had been singing some kind of song towards the end.  That was different, and he thought it pretty cool in fact, that Daniel was musical.  "Do you need me to help you to your place?" he offered, even though he\'d never meant to.  There was obligation in him, to make sure the person he\'d drunk from was alright.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 05, 2009, 06:46:38 PM
When the intensity dropped and left him bobbing in an ocean of bliss like so much flotsam and jetsam, Daniel sighed contentedly and slowly arched his back, rolling into a languid upright stretch that was also so complete, a few bones popped.  The sigh he released when he released that tension was loud and replete.  He opened his eyes - they were an even brighter, sparkly blue than before - and grinned dopily at Ben.

"No way, man," he drawled, falling back into a kneeling position, his butt resting upon the heels of his feet and his hands now resting calmly upon his own thighs.  He was dizzy, but there was no way he was going to skip out and push himself out of this state - it was exactly what he needed, to be so relaxed that he could tap into the deep, dark river that was his creative unconscious.  He sounded drugged or sleepy (or post-coitally satiated) and had quite the bedroom expression to go with it, but his mind was whirring a million miles an hour.

Apparently he could also only process small amounts of information in this state of mind also, because there was a lull of conversation in between his denial and his next, almost sudden answer.  "Nah, I can make it," he chuckled, his deep, thick voice raising evidence to the contrary.  He turned his head to look over his shoulder at his gear, his lips pursing contemplatively, and appeared for all the world as if he might be listening to the thing talk to him.  He certainly seemed not to have anything more for Ben for the time being... not while he was content to kneel on his couch and stare dreamily off into the distance.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 05, 2009, 08:55:50 PM
Ben watched Daniel for a little bit, mulling on his answer, and figured Daniel would likely be sitting on the sofa for a little bit longer until his head cleared.  Ben left him to it, getting up and wiping his palms on his jeans even though they weren\'t sweaty, for it was moreso a nervous habit.  He moved around the sofa, announcing that he was going to go unpack, feeling a bit odd about telling Daniel but he would\'ve felt rude if he hadn\'t said anything at all.

He moved to his suitcases and picked up one in each hand, taking them into the bedroom and moving about from the built-in wardrobe to the dresser in order to put away button-up shirts or t-shirts, pants or shorts.  The bottom most drawer held his journals while his shoes - two pairs of them - were set tidily on the wardrobe floor.  A pair of sandals, a pair of lace up colorados and sneakers on his feet were enough to see him through, he thought.  He was a master of living sparsely, considering how many times he\'d moved house throughout his life since leaving home at sixteen.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 06, 2009, 12:36:17 AM
Eventually, the mortal got up off the couch, stumbling a little more than he would have liked (and a lot more than he was used to, since Aziz had been far older than Ben was and hadn\'t drunk because he\'d needed the sustenance) and making a lot more of a racket than intended.  He laughed through his nose at such antics, aware that he vampire would liken him to a herd of stampeding elephants and finding that uproariously funny.

"Oops," he giggled to himself as he got his feet onto the ground but swayed wildly back towards the couch, having to put a hand out to brace himself on its arm.  Once everything stopped spinning (oh but it was a lovely show) and he felt fairly confident about getting across the room again (he really didn\'t recall the wall where he\'d left his gear being that far away and for it to have moved really seemed rude), he began a steady shuffle towards his gear, hoping he wasn\'t disturbing Ben with his scratchings and scrapings.

He fully intended to pick up his bag, sling it over his shoulder and get out of the apartment as quickly and quietly as possible.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 06, 2009, 06:36:11 AM
Ben heard Daniel moving around as he placed the now empty suitcases on the high shelf in the wardrobe.  At first he wasn\'t alarmed, but after the strange steps continued (along with the thump sound, which was Daniel\'s hand on the sofa arm), Ben went out to investigate.

He saw immediately that Daniel needed his assistance, whether he wanted it or not.  He also felt guilty that he\'d drunk from the mortal and then run off into the bedroom so he wouldn\'t have to feel awkward sitting with him.  Instead of asking Daniel if he wanted help, Ben was going to just help him even if there were protests.  It was only fair, for now he felt warm and content, and that was Daniel\'s doing.

Beating Daniel to the equipment, even without celerity, Ben began to pick up the bag by the strap so he could place it over his own shoulders, reaching out a steadying hand to a wobbling Daniel, who looked ready to say something.

"Your stuff won\'t like being smacked against the walls if you lose your balance for a moment, right?" Ben prompted, then placed the headphones around Daniel\'s neck, while an arm went around the human\'s waist, connecting the two young men at the hip.  "C\'mon," he said, which was more a request to be allowed to help Daniel than an urging to get him moving.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 12, 2009, 05:46:33 PM
Daniel raised his eyebrows at Ben, blinking like the vampire had just appeared very suddenly beside him and it was the niftiest magic trick he\'d seen in years.  He opened his mouth and closed his eyes like he was about to lecture on the merits of walking alone - but he words seemed to die and he then simply smiled and looked googly-eyed at the blonde instead.

"Okay," he agreed airily, not minding at all that he was being cuddle-walked back to his place by a pretty vampire.  Why should he?  The vampire was doing all the concentrating on the walking and all he had to do was make sure his feet were moving a little bit to keep him happy.  The music in his head was swelling so much the tips of his fingers were beginning to itch - all eight of them.  He needed to get to his keyboard or his guitar to play this out or he\'d forget it, he was pretty certain... but still, all his body seemed able to do was shuffle.

By the time the pair were out of the apartment, the urge to remember and to produce was like a fever in him - it was all he could concentrate on, and lyrics kept flying at him, in a few possible melodies and he simply couldn\'t hold it in any longer.  Quietly but in a slightly husky and beautifully pitched voice that was an octave higher than his speaking voice, he began to sing to himself as Ben walked him home, lost in his own world.

"And I don\'t know
if it\'s me or it\'s you
but the problem is that
there\'s both of us too -
andthat\'sjust iiiiit.
All we may ever know.
Let the two of us
and fade as we go-o-o-o-ooooo."


He tried it different ways, emphasising different lines with different inflections and didn\'t really register when he got to his door, unaware that he\'d led Ben there by the nuances of his body.  He fumbled at his hip for a moment, searching to get his keys out of his bag before he realised he wasn\'t wearing his bag, panicked and then gave a breathy laugh at himself as he realised he wasn\'t alone and his bag was right there.

Still singing quietly to himself, he disentangled himself from Ben and attempted to lean around him to lift the flap and get into his bag to fish his keys out.  His bleary lack of focus on what he was doing, the amount of stuff jammed into his bag and his lagging movements meant that this act was going to take quite a long while - unless Ben decided he didn\'t like a mumble-singing human pawing all over him like he didn\'t exist and decided to do something about it, of course.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 12, 2009, 10:36:09 PM
Once again, Ben was intrigued with the singing and he found himself paying attention to the tune and what was being said.  He\'d figured that the song was new - not because he hadn\'t heard it before, for there were many current songs he had no idea about - but because it sounded like a work in progress with all the different ways Daniel sang it.

The pawing was rather intrusive, though he understood why it was so.  Ben was caught between amusement and exasperation, concentrating more on letting the former win over the latter, for it felt selfish to him to be impatient with a complete stranger who\'d helped him out.  Yes, it was true that the blood-drinking had been a mutual benefit (considering Daniel had almost-but-not-quite-begged Ben to drink from him), but Ben still felt like he\'d got more out of it anyway.

He let Daniel fumble long enough so he could see where his hand was mostly targeting before he gently pushed Daniel\'s hand away and sought out the apartment key himself, finding it fairly easy in the depths of the bag because he saw it glinting in the dark shadows of the bag itself - thanks to his superior vision.

Pulling out the key, he offered Daniel a smile as he held it up between them, not saying anything because he didn\'t want to interrupt the constant humming of a nifty tune.  It felt rude to interfere with an artistic process.  Whenever someone walked in on him writing (and here he thought passingly of Jack), it irritated him, and he figured it would be the same for Daniel when the human was trying to get his music right in his head.

With the key sliding home in the lock and turning easily, Ben nudged the door open and let it swing inward, hesitating only for a moment before going in with Daniel, still helping the mortal.  He didn\'t want to barge into Daniel\'s residence, but he figured the sofa - that he\'d seen from the door - was the safest place to let the mortal go.  Once the pair reached it, he dropped Daniel carefully onto the cushion, feeling awkward once more after guessing what they must\'ve looked like, and then removing the bag from around his shoulder and placing it gently on the floor at Daniel\'s feet.

"Um.  If you\'re okay, I\'ll just go now," he said, not realising his subconscious desire to escape this peculiar scenario was causing him to phrase his exit as a statement instead of a question as to how Daniel was doing (which had been his intention).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 13, 2009, 12:09:46 AM
It was true that the sofa was the safest place to let Daniel go because his apartment - which seemed generous in Ben\'s instance, when sparsely furnished - was pokey and cluttered.  Thankfully, it wasn\'t mess that cluttered the room, it was musical instruments; against the left wall stood a bruised and battered upright piano that had seen better days (but still looked loved, with a towel spread across the top and some fish swimming around in a lighted tank atop that), on the opposite side of the room was an equally-used drum kit with every cymbal and attachment a full stage-performing rock group might require, against the wall beside the door was another wall - this one black and kind of furry, since it was constructed of about ten amplifiers - and gathered around the couch was an army of string instruments.

Any bit of exposed wall (there was a four-level book case piled with various stacks of books and papers alike against the one that had the bathroom and bedroom doors leading off it) had egg cartons taped to it, giving the impression of dead air.  Well, that was what one of his visitors had described it as and it was one of the many reasons that he rarely had people inside his studio/home/bubble.  Never mind, though, it suited him well enough.

None of these things held Danny\'s focus, of course - nor did Ben speaking, for that matter.  The mortal had fallen onto the couch and reached to retrieve a new-looking-glinting-with-varnish acoustic guitar he\'d left leaning against the back of it, in what had to be a familiar position, considering the way his hand fell upon it without him even looking for its pegs to be peeking over the couch back.  As soon as it was in his hands, he scooted his butt forward so that he was hovering over the coffee table (quite a skinny and rickety affair it was, too) before him, picking up the pencil left sitting on a long stretch of paper (in amongst numerous other piles of the stuff, plus a stack of published sheet music and an open music book) with one hand, and making chords with the other.

"Sure," he eventually told Ben, scribbling for all that he was worth on the paper before he abruptly dropped the pencil, flicked the paper back and started picking out his song on the guitar.  His fingers danced nimbly over the strings, drawing from them a poignant yet harried sound that bespoke things not going right.  The words he sang went with the discordant-sounding music, proving that this was a story of people being together who shouldn\'t be together because they were bad for each other... but nor could they walk away and let the other be, instead they would fade into pale representations of themselves instead of sacrificing a rotten egg for sanity (that line didn\'t quite work yet, but now that he\'d been drained into enlightenment, Danny was sure he could find the right lyrics for there).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 13, 2009, 06:09:00 PM
Ben was about to rapidly depart, except the sounds of the strumming had him dawdling on his way to the door and the lyrics that went with it had him pausing at the doorway, his hand on the knob.  He looked back at the form he could no longer properly see on the couch, though his hearing allowed him to pick up more than Daniel was likely expecting him to hear.  He suspected that Daniel wasn\'t even aware Ben was still in his house, so lost was he in his music.  The process fascinated Ben, who\'d always been able to write entire journals without pause (and in turn this fascinated others), but had never been able to imagine music, like he\'d been able to imagine his words structured on a page.  It was like a hardcopy of his constant thoughts, and it was one thing that always seemed to get his thoughts in order - for he was constantly barraged by them.  He guessed Daniel might be the same way - that the music was linear, hypnotic, and he was his most himself.

It felt like spying, after a few minutes passed, and Ben let himself out without another word, quietly closing the door behind himself, but not forgetting the strange but lovely melody that Daniel was working on.  He went to his apartment to unpack, and was a lot more hopeful about facing a new city, now that he was armed with knowledge about an easier existence, thanks to a place called Liquid Empire, and thanks to Daniel for telling him about it.


* * * * *

BEN FOUND HIMSELF SITTING IN a booth at the Liquid Empire club.  He\'d imagined it to be much like Risk, but the club was more like a nightclub with a hotel attached, if the signs and information notices were correct.

After he\'d entered the club, feeling the pulse of music before he heard it, and before he could smell the blood that seemed to pour out the door on the scent of sweat.  The smell of sex wasn\'t anywhere near the levels it had been in Risk, and for this Ben was grateful.  After going inside and immediately up some stairs, he turned left to find himself near a bar that extended along the left wall beside him and then did a ninety degree turn right to follow along the next wall, and all the way (surprisingly) into what was obviously the dancefloor.  A DJ booth could be seen suspended above the dancefloor, and the music was mostly electronica, though there were multiple melodies interjected into it that made it interesting to listen to.  Ben wasn\'t usually a fan of techno, but this was like a few levels above and beyond techno - like it followed that style but wouldn\'t be enslaved by it.

His gaze found two sets of metal stairs (on wire suspension) which made everything feel modern and minimilstic.  The mezzanine level followed around the dancefloor, so that people above could look down on the dancers.  Another bar was upstairs too, but Ben was more interested in the booths he could see - much better than the stools bolted around small modern bartables designed to hold a couple of drinks and nothing else, which he had scattered on the floor level where he was at.

He moved further in, not wishing to risk a comment from any clubgoers behind him, and on impulse went upstairs.  He immediately saw booth tables and smelled meals, obviously there was a kitchen as well as a bar up here.  He could see a few booths (which sat six comfortably, due to the horseshoe shape) were filled with vampires, or mortals, mostly segregated.  He found that unusual, but upon reading the notice that was pinned up on a board very close to the stairs, he realised there were \'drinking rooms\' on two floors above them, and access could be achieved via the elevator down the short corridor on his right.  Blinking at that information for a moment, Ben found a smaller booth (which would sit four instead of six), tucked away in a place that was not designed to hold anyone that wanted to be \'seen on the scene\', and found himself being questioned by a waitress if he wanted anything to drink.  She recommended the AB+ because it was fresh.  Stunned, he agreed to a glass of it, and she scribbled it down before making her way to the next booth.

He sat where he was for about five minutes, undisturbed until the waitress returned with his drink - served in a warmed tall glass - and was surprised once again when she said it was complimentary for newcomers, declining even a tip.  He wondered how regular the regulars were and contemplated this even as he began to sip the blood out of the glass.  He was only halfway through his drink when he caught someone else\'s attention.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 14, 2009, 01:01:25 AM
His name was Sotiris and the truth of the matter was that the fair newcomer had caught his attention the moment he mounted the steps to the mezzanine level and tucked himself away in a nowhere booth, long before his drink had arrived. One flare of his broad nostrils had sucked in a scent that seemed... purer somehow, than the usual clientele in this place.  The blonde seemed fresh but thing was... he wasn\'t, because Sotiris could tell that, too.  Young, but not a fledgling; yet he was acting like the last virgin left standing in the middle of a bacchanalia.  Intriguing.

Extricating himself from his obligatory horde of fawners and followers - for he was touted as the owner of Liquid Empire, wasn\'t he?  And so everybody wanted him to know their name - he slunk away from his booth (mostly opposite) and over to the new boy\'s instead.  He moved with a liquid grace that only a man who has existed two thousand years on the planet could own and he came to a stop in front of the boy\'s booth, posing a moment before he sat, so that the newcomer could take him in.

He wasn\'t overly tall but he was stocky with muscle, his countenance that of a Greek God.  He had been born in Greece a couple of millenia ago, but had been turned at eighteen and had travelled so much since that time that there was no heavy accent still staining his tongue.  His brown eyes - so dark they were almost black - looked broody beneath heavy brows, set deeply around his long, broad column of a nose (truly, the thing that dominated his face at first glance, until those twinkling black eyes got the attention they deserved).  His eyelashes were impossibly thick and curly, matching the rakish mop of dark brown curls that floated willfully about his head, brushing the lobes of his ears, the back of his neck... his eyelashes when they fell forward from their extremity atop his cranium.  His lips were swollen and pouty - like he\'d just awalked away from an hour-long session of passionate kisses - emphasising the pointed tip of his flattish nose with their slight upturn and extravagant curvature.

Gathering the edges of his suit jacket, he slid into the booth smoothly, coming to a stop very close to Ben\'s left side and then curling his hands together atop the table.  He wasn\'t entirely dressed in a business suit, of course - the faded black jacket was artfully torn or picked at a few seams, patched at the elbows and didn\'t quite match the tailored black slacks.  It covered a white shirt unbuttoned to his chest, but he wore a fat black tie mostly around the collar (parts of it were underneath), the knot of it resting atop alabaster skin and some tight brown chest hairs just peeking through the deliberate slit in the shirt\'s top.  For no real reason, there was a deep red silk vest buttoned underneath the loose jacket, flashing colour and reflecting light every time he moved - though he made a show of holding the jacket closed as he sat (not going to the trouble of actually buttoning it, of course), like he didn\'t want to lose his dark and broody aura.  The theme of his clothing was... ruffled, if anything, for nothing exactly matched, the fabrics were somehow opposed to one another and nothing was straight... yet it somehow worked, on him.  Because he was Sotiris, and by attitude alone would he carry off anything he set his mind to (if he had to).

"Good evening," he bade the newcomer, his rich voice not accented exactly, but there was a melodic flow to his words that enchanted - and he knew it.  He smiled intimately, leaning over his hands clasped on the table and towards Ben, like he had a special secret he wanted to share and the youngling\'s ear was exactly where his beautiful mouth wished to deposit it.  "What brings you to my club?" he asked softly, not pulling away once his private little message was delivered, but, rather, tilting his head so that it remained in close proximity with Ben\'s and he could look straight into his silvery eyes.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 14, 2009, 07:20:15 AM
Ben was intimidated by Sotiris\' visit almost from the very start, when the older vampire paused by his booth.  He\'d known then, that he would be joined, but he was unsettled that he was sat beside instead of across from.  Even though he found the other attractive, he still didn\'t like it when strangers insisted on taking up his personal space.  It made him feel awkward and want to flee, or at the very least to shuffle away.  Fidgeting while Sotiris got himself settled (although it had been a rather graceful maneouvre, like he\'d dripped into the booth instead of plopped himself down to sit in it - like Ben had) and only slightly turning his head so he could see the other from the corner of his eye, Ben was overwhelmed quite suddenly by the sensation of age.  His sire would recognise the feeling, but to Ben it didn\'t inspire awe, rather he felt swamped in it, lending him to feel self-conscious and insignificant.

He swallowed nothing, and that was when he was greeted, and asked about the club.  His club, he\'d said, and Ben\'s curiosity overpowered his flightyness in order to finally turn his head properly to gaze at the other, making eye contact.  Ben\'s expression felt unreadable to himself, but he was showing a questioning look to Sotiris.

"Recommendation," he managed to spit out, sounding more together than he felt.  He wanted to quite suddenly lick his lips, but held back from the gesture, not wishing to imply anything.  Instead, he turned back to look at the glass held gently in his right hand in front of him, and took another sip.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 14, 2009, 08:55:10 AM
If anything, his eyes twinkled more brightly and he blinked once as he looked at the childe, waiting to be told who had done the recommending.  The way he looked down and had a sip of his blood instead of elaborating, however, was a surprise.  He was trying to be nonchalant but Sotiris knew he couldn\'t be, with the restraint he was showing and the attention Sotiris was giving.  It was hard to resist attention given by the ancient one, and the fact that this snippet was attempting to do so simply made him burn to dishevel his pretty, collected facade.

And it was a pretty facade, too; that made Sotiris want to dishevel him in all sorts of other ways.  "Who told you?" he drawled, his gaze roving the newcomer\'s features curiously.  He resisted the urge to peek into the boy\'s mind because he always enjoyed little games of intrigue.  They were few and far between, for everybody around here was usually very eager to please, very eager to roll over and bare the white of their belly at the first sign of his interest.  The more he peered at this one, the more he seemed to be getting stonewalled... it was very exciting!
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 14, 2009, 09:08:26 AM
The question made him look over at the vampire at his side once more, and the glass slowly lowered back onto the table, most of the blood within already gone.  This time he did lick his lips, though he pulled them in first to do so, running his tongue across them to clean up any blood that might be staining them, out of sight of Sotiris (whose name he did not yet know).  When Ben released his lips he spoke again; another one word response to a question put to him.

"Daniel," he said, unsure whether he was breaking some sort of taboo by mentioning who\'d referred him, and if the mortal was going to be in trouble for talking about it.  Daniel had seemed rather free and easy with his information however, and it wasn\'t like Ben was a groupie here - he needed a place like this club, and with the free glass of blood, it seemed they liked to welcome newcomers.

Ben continued to look at the club owner now, expecting more questions, or maybe an invitation to leave the club right now and never come back again.  Ben couldn\'t properly read the other\'s signals.  He\'d never been able to deduce what confident men would want with him, until they came right out and said it.  His expression belied his thoughts - he was wary.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 14, 2009, 09:19:57 AM
"Ah," the ancient breathed, getting his answer (and slightly disappointed by it).  He thought he knew the person of whom the newcomer spoke - he knew enough to pinpoint the name as belonging to a mortal, not a vampire, anyway, and that was all he\'d really been after.  If the new boy was already known to another club vampire... well, Sotiris was interested in having first dip into the well, so to speak, and seconds weren\'t his thing.

He unclasped his hands and unfurled himself around Ben, laying his right arm along the back of the booth and lifting his left hand in a position to be shaken, in front of the youngling.  His chest was pressed lightly against Ben\'s upper left arm, pointedly making contact before their hands touched.  "I am Sotiris," he announced, his tongue rolling prettily around his boldly-spoken name, looking expectantly down his Grecian nose at the other.  "I run this club.  And you are?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 14, 2009, 11:06:26 AM
Being that he was offered a left hand for the shaking, he had to reciprocate in kind.  Moving away slightly so he could retrieve his arm from being pressed between himself and Sotiris, Ben grasped as confidently and firmly as he could, though it wasn\'t in him to squeeze hard in some kind of power struggle.  He was conscious of not wanting to shake hands limply, not wanting his feeling of inferiority to translate to the elder vampire.
 
"Ben," he said, self-conscious about his common name for the first time.  He\'d met so many vampires and heard of others with ethnic or interesting names; Kerr, Declan, Lazarus, Arles.  Now there was Sotiris.  Here he was, Ben, modern vampire, boring youngling.  Why was he even being spoken to?  Was it normal for the owner to meet all the potential vampiric regulars in this club?  Perhaps so.  He couldn\'t think of any other reason why.  He smiled a nervous smile after shaking Sotiris\' hand and then attempted to be released, so he could hold his almost-empty glass with both hands, to get what little warmth from it there was left.  "I\'m... new to New York."

New to New York? God, sometimes he felt like such a dick.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 14, 2009, 09:07:27 PM
Sotiris smirked - because he\'d deliberately positioned them so that Ben would have to wriggle against him to get his hand out for the shaking and also because of that quaint little comment.

"Of course you\'re new," he murmured, not releasing the hand once it was shaken; instead, he turned it over and flattened his own hand so that Ben\'s was atop his, palm to palm, and he could look contemplatively down at it.

"Otherwise, you wouldn\'t have that vaguely stage-struck look about you that all immigrants to the nest have and I wouldn\'t find you half as interesting as I do.  And I do... find you interesting... Ben," he admitted jiltedly, lifting his gaze on the speaking of that final, personal word to look into the youngling\'s beautiful eyes.

As he spoke, his hand was not dormant beneath Ben\'s; rather, it stroked gently, the ancient\'s fingers testing the dips pressing between rigid, nervous fingers in attempt to sidle in and clasp playfully.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 14, 2009, 09:13:15 PM
Ben stared at the way his hand was handled, before his gaze eventually drifted back to look at Sotiris directly, making eye contant once more when the other spoke in a way that sounded quite flirty.  But no, he couldn\'t possibly be interested in some insignificant newcomer, could he?

"Interesting because I\'m agog with wonder?" Ben asked, not intending for the comment to be sarcastic, but it ended up sounding a bit that way even though it was softly spoken.  He immediately wanted to apologise, and he shook his head ever so slightly but stopped more words from coming out, lest he look like a bumbling idiot to go with his star-struck noob-ness.

He found himself staring at Sotiris in a way that befit his words.  Yes, he was star-struck alright, but he didn\'t want to be, and he was very conscious of every nuance his expression gave.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 14, 2009, 09:22:03 PM
Sotiris tilted his head as he gave the question serious consideration, his hand sneaking up so that his fingertips could play lightly across the inside of Ben\'s wrist in between his strokes of the rest of his hand.

"Yeeeees," the Greek agreed, dragging the word out simply because he was tasting the phrasing for his amendments to the agreement, and he wanted to say it in just the right way.  He got the impression that if he was flippant with Ben, he would lose ground - and, possibly, his quarry altogether - rapidly.

"But you are not, I think, nervous for the usual reasons that others might be.  Not - for instance - because I run the club and because I have connections that would make your head spin, but... for other reasons.  Purer reasons, I think, yes?" he hinted, wanting Ben to tell him that he was agog because Sotiris was ancient and beautiful, not because of what he did.  Everyone was awed by what he was, he believed that Ben was different... and he was enervated by the hint of this change.

Certainly, he recognised that it was arrogant to have a discussion about him and his interest in someone, but it was a means to a very appealing end and he only hoped the youngling would overlook his ego, rather than be swamped by it.  He seemed the level-headed type.  Sotiris trusted that feeling already.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 14, 2009, 09:35:09 PM
Ben thought about his answer, while trying to recover from the dry-mouth feeling he was getting from being touched so intimately by Sotiris.  It was just his hand, just his wrist, it wasn\'t anything that he could pull away from (or anything that he wanted to pull away from, considering the nice tingles he was getting up and down his spine from it) without looking overly prudish.

Purer reasons, he\'d said.  What was purer than owning the club and having a wide network?  The blood connection of course - even though they weren\'t connected in that sense, there was always a vampiric sense between their species.  He could feel the other\'s presence, not because of who he knew but because of who he was.  Age, wisdom and experience, rolled up in a beautiful and youthful package.  Yes, Ben was stage-struck, but he also wondered if he was being caught up in some lovely play where his part was usually filled by someone new every night.

He frowned and opposed Sotiris\' viewpoint, because he wasn\'t nervous because he was being talked to by an Ancient.  Well, not entirely so.

"I\'m nervous because it\'s smart to be nervous," he said, his words coming out a great deal smoother than his thoughts, which were jagged and disassembled in his head.  Still, he knew the gist of what he intended to say, and finished his intention.  "I\'m new, I\'m young and so I\'m prone."

I can get into a lot of trouble, he thought, but didn\'t send.  You look like trouble.  Nice trouble, but trouble all the same.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 14, 2009, 09:46:30 PM
Sotiris tilted his head back and laughed, his Adam\'s apple bobbing merrily in his throat as the rich, appreciative sound welled out of him.  He released Ben\'s hand in the process, letting his own drop to the table directly beneath so that it would be a natural move for Ben to let his fall down also - or an unnatural move, where he moved his hand elsewhere.

When he looked at the blonde again, his eyes were twinkling his appreciation and his smile revealed slight dimples in his beautifully-sculpted cheeks.  "I don\'t believe you\'re prone, Ben," he grinned, his tongue poking out to slide along his lower lip - stopping along the way to prod thoughtfully while he cast a quick and obvious glance downwards at the youngling\'s seated position, "not yet, anyway."  His tongue disappeared and his smile became charmingly lopsided as he stared frankly at the fair vampire.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 14, 2009, 09:54:27 PM
The laugh caught him by surprise, to the point that his eyes widened a little when Sotiris released his amusement and he withdrew his hand into his lap.  He waited it out, not feeling the polite urge to smile as he usually did when others laughed around him.  Perhaps it was because he felt like he was the butt of the joke, but then when Sotiris continued by telling him he didn\'t think he was prone, a small smile began to form at the compliment before it dropped completely at a line that could only be considered a pick up line to the n\'th degree.

Embarrassed at something so forthright, his lips parted slightly and his gaze fixed on the glass in front of him with now cooling blood.  He wanted to say something witty, or blase, but didn\'t have it in him.  There was a part of him that was thrilled and flattered, and another part of him that was horrified.  After a long pause, when he believed that Sotiris wasn\'t going to say something immediately, he found his voice, though it was soft and shy.

"I\'d like to think I\'m the first one to hear such a thing, but I\'d guess I\'d be wrong."

It was a double-edge comment, revealing his positive reaction to the flattery (without meaning to), while implying Sotiris wasn\'t after anything special in him.  Just something new.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 14, 2009, 10:12:40 PM
The ancient\'s firm, pale hand raised off the table once more and cupped Ben\'s chin with surprising gentleness, turning his face so that it was obvious he wished the youngling\'s gaze to follow.  His cheerful grin had faded now, replaced by a more sombre one, the corners of his pouty mouth only slightly upturned and his expression serious.

"And I credit you with enough intelligence to realise that I\'m too old to pretend I haven\'t said every word in the language many times over - especially the ones that get beautiful boys like you to my bed - and also too old to care that you might be horrified by such honesty.  If you are... so be it.  But, in the spirit of honesty, I can say that you are the first one to hear such a thing in many months because you are the first who seems capable of having a real conversation - one where you say things that interest and educate me.  And I am as interested in what you have to say as I am in what you would look like prone... on my sheets, I promise you."

The former twinkle was restored as he ended his little speech, Sotiris unable to keep the flirtation from his voice as he hinted at only the tamest image of Ben he was testing in his head.  He released Ben\'s chin in order to skim his cheek with the back of his knuckles, looking secretively desirous as his arm then fell to the flat of the table, his hand dangling over the edge and his fingers lightly brushing Ben\'s sleeve.  It seemed he could not resist having some contact with the boy, even if he was about to be sent packing for his arrogance (there was a first time for everything and if anyone could do such a thing, he believed it of Ben).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 14, 2009, 10:43:53 PM
His face turned, and not fighting the motion, Ben\'s gaze went to where Sotiris was wanting it.  More tingles travelled along his spine as the other vampire spoke to him so flatly.  Blunt it was, but it was seductive in its own right.  Ben was charmed not only by Sotiris\' charisma, but because he could be seduced by a beautiful face and an attractive body much like the rest of the young men in this club.  Most of the time he didn\'t act on his impulses, and he was proud of this fact, but this time he was wanting the attention.  This wasn\'t about a groupie after a high, or about a sire who had a history with him that he didn\'t remember.  This was about him and the most shallow of compliments - his looks.  Let\'s face it, Sotiris didn\'t know him, not really, though perhaps Ben had intrigued him more than the rest - there was still the fact that Sotiris had joined him not just because he was new, but because he wanted to have him in bed.  Crass, but flattering all the same.

"I don\'t normally..." he began, but didn\'t know where to take the rest of that sentence because he didn\'t want Sotiris to think he was being dismissive.  It was enough on its own, really, that short sentence.  He didn\'t normally.  He didn\'t normally allow himself to be seduced with a few pretty words.  He didn\'t normally feel the urge to have a one night stand with a complete stranger.  He didn\'t normally find himself attracted immediately to others.  He didn\'t normally let himself loosen up and act like he was free.  But that was what he was now, right?  Free.  What did such a thing mean anyway?

"Is this how you spend eternity?" he asked curiously, not realising that such a thing could be interpreted as rude.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 15, 2009, 07:06:04 AM
Taking Ben\'s response in a positive way (for he wasn\'t ignorant to the growing tension between them, the contemplative light that had entered the youngling\'s eyes as the flattery was well received and he took that next step... the one where he actually began to think about he and Sotiris together), the ancient sat back to answer this question. It wasn\'t that he didn\'t enjoy being curled around Ben - he left his arm along the back of the curved booth behind him anyway - it was just that he felt it was time for a little reciprocation.
 
Carefully, he folded his left leg over his right beneath the table (it came to rest against Ben\'s, naturally) and toyed with the crease in his pants with his left hand, watching the action as he waited to see if the fairer vampire would shift comfortably back against him as he hoped, or would take the opportunity to slide around the booth so that he could get a better look at him. He rather liked the dangerous feeling the thought was arousing in him; knowing the boy could go either way was deliciously agonising and he was already thinking of his next move for both alternatives.
 
"Well, it\'s one of the ways, I suppose," he told his left thigh ruminatively, "though I haven\'t got through eternity yet, and have given up hope of even calculating my way to it." He lifted his gaze and smiled up at Ben, his head still slightly dipped as he looked up through his thick, curly eyelashes, his demeanour somewhat melancholy as this line of conversation was pursued. Not many ever bothered to ask him about his existence and the events in it, let alone ponder the nature of it, and he found it a refreshing change (also, a nice ego boost) to have the topic focussed on him.
 
"So far, I\'ve had quite an eventful ride and have found that the human condition of \'just getting by\' is closely related to the vampire condition of \'living in the moment\', with one vast difference; one who is wont to live forever does not become the sum total of their parts nor of their deeds, when they have the Godlike ability to reinvent themselves at the end of every cycle. Mortals die at such a point; kindred will absorb what has been and look for what is possibly next. Like history, we only recognise the greatest of times by looking back and comparing them to other \'great\' times; so what of the notion that enjoying oneself fully in any time is the way to do it? You may fnd yourself a pivot or at a turning point that you will, only in the future, recognise for its wondrousness."
 
He blinked while he waited for that to be absorbed by Ben, and then the left corner of his mouth lifted again, his smile gentle and seductive (as was the very deliberate manouevre of him not looking at Ben\'s eyes while he spoke now, but his lips). "Take you, here, tonight, for instance," he murmured. "You intrigue me, I\'m attracted to you and so I sit with you to make a connection. Who is to say where that connection will take us in the future, whether it will affect the role I play now - as proprietor of this club - or not? Since it is an offshoot moment, I doubt very much if it will have any great effect on the magnitude of what I am, but you never really know... and so that is how I spend eternity. Seeking the greatness of every moment, enjoying it while it happens and hoping it might at least give me cause to smile when I am able to look back upon it, even if it is not to be a great or revolutionary thing that will make a substantial ripple in the pool of time. So few things are new and great anymore," he finished wistfully.
 
His gaze had lifted occasionally to Ben\'s eyes during his speech, but it ended as it began; on his lips.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 15, 2009, 07:29:41 AM
Ben had moved away slightly, turning in the booth so that he could face Sotiris directly.  The movement was the most natural to him, for tucking himself against a stranger (no matter how attractive) was far too bold a motion for him to make, regardless of the invitation - unspoken or not.

Ben listened intently, fascinated with the words that Sotiris used and the vast meaning behind it.  Without the history of his own siring and existence in his memory (save for the very odd vision of his siring through Kerr\'s eyes, who\'d shared that memory with him, making it bittersweet because it hadn\'t been his own experience),  he was still fascinated with every vampiric tale because he didn\'t have anything of his own to draw from.  By all rights, he was still a fledgling, but with advanced age and powers (if three years could be considered advanced).

He was smiling, he could feel it on his face and the excitement in his tummy.  When Sotiris finished speaking and it was obvious where his gaze had settled, Ben began to feel self-conscious about his smile and so it gradually dropped.  This time, in his nervousness, he forgot to contain the wetting of his lips and so he did this, only aware of it afterward and lifted a hand to touch them, half hiding them beneath his fingertips.

At his core, he was brave enough to let Sotiris do as he wanted, though above that, in layers, he wanted to shelter himself from such overwhelming attention mingled with insecurity.  One like Sotiris would have had many lovers, much experience, and Ben didn\'t want to pitch himself against that.  He didn\'t want to worry about feeling inadequate.  Or worse, be considered in that way.  He was intimidated, yes, but he knew himself well enough that should he start something up with Sotiris, usually he could lose himself in the moment and not worry while in the middle of things.

Damn, he was imagining it.  It was getting harder to say no.  It was getting harder to say anything at all, actually.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 16, 2009, 05:56:39 PM
"Why do you do that?" Sotiris enquired innocently, tilting his head as he reached forward and plucked Ben\'s hand away from his lips, so that his vision was no longer shielded.  He held the inadvertent prize gently in his own, lowering it to the booth seat between them, where his fingers and thumb stroked it curiously, while his gaze burned into the younger vampire\'s.
 
"You have a beautiful mouth, such... pink... enticing lips.  Kissable, if I were in a position to say so," he grinned, almost breaking in upon his former, rather dreamy-sounding words with the cheeky revelation.
 
He was in a position to say so, of course - and to do something about it, in fact... except that he had a personal hatred for public kissing and never found himself so caught up in the heat of the moment that he would indulge.  The sight of two people groping one another and madly trying to ram their tongue down the other\'s throat in plain view generally turned his stomach; no, talking about it was fine, the action part could be saved for the privacy of his suite upstairs.
 
"Why hide them from me?  Do you not like that I enjoy looking at you?"  His words were frank and designed to turn up the thermostat on Ben\'s awkwardness, focussing attention on it so that it hopefully went away altogether.  He was betting that the youngling was a fighter when cornered in such a way (and the stakes of such a bet were quite high, admittedly).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 16, 2009, 07:11:46 PM
Ben allowed his hand to be taken, and his stomach flip-flopped at the touch, this time a great deal more powerful than the first, which had come after a hand-shake and mostly expected.  Sotiris was very hands on, yet not as intrusive as Ben might\'ve guessed, from the way he was talking and coming onto him so strongly.  Groping touches would\'ve given Ben both the courage and desire to pull away, but the way Sotiris was doing it was both teasing and confronting without being overbearing.

He liked the attention, he knew, for who wouldn\'t like attention from a beautiful man such as Sotiris?  He could have anyone he wanted in this club and he was pursuing Ben, so it was flattering.  At the same time, Ben couldn\'t properly trust the other\'s motives, feeling almost like he was the next prize in line, and so what if he was... he was obviously worthy of being regarded a trophy.

Mixed reactions to Sotiris\' words flitted throughout him, but he didn\'t recover his hand.  To a direct question, he gave a direct answer.

"I like it," he said, a hint of a smile playing at the corners of his lips, "I..." he hesitated, not wanting to say anything overly naive, and struggled to finish his sentence.  It was a long pause before he finished.  "I don\'t expect to be looked at that way."

I\'m nobody special, he thought, perhaps loudly enough for Sotiris to pick up beneath his mental barrier.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 16, 2009, 11:03:27 PM
Sotiris\' own pretty lips pouted contemplatively and his large, dark eyes narrowed as if he was debating whether to believe Ben or not.  The tone, the emotions emanating towards him- and then there was a thought, tiny but honest.  Ben actually believed himself to be nothing special to be looked at or appreciated.  It was almost laughable!

The ancient\'s expression smoothed back into an ironic smile and he shook his head slightly as he gave a little laugh.  He believed it... but he didn\'t believe such a thing of a kindred man who not only had the charisma of intellect and supernatural power on his side, but a nicely put together face and eyes that shone very distinctly from it.  A man like Ben ought to not only be used to such attention, but expect it as his due.

"Oh, my," the Greek chuckled, "you must spend a lot of time locked up in a very limited environment, if that is your expectation.  You must tell me, then, how do you spend eternity, so that you emerge so rarely it surprises you to be regarded in a manner I know is deserving of you?"  The question wasn\'t asked rhetorically or airily; Sotiris really wanted to know what Ben did with his time.  What kept him caged to the point that he never got looked at desirously until he boldly arrived in New York?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 17, 2009, 12:37:18 AM
Ben pressed his lips together, contemplating the truth he\'d told.  It was ammunition to be used against him, of a sort, and Sotiris did just that, tossing his own question back at him.

Locked up, indeed.  He really hadn\'t socialised in his life, and most pursuits of a romantic nature had been few and far, not lasting very long even when they did reach fruition.  His obsession about vampirism had kept most away, but he\'d also kept others at arm\'s length as well, preferring to spend time on his own researching, reading and writing, rather than meeting people, laughing and talking with them.  Connections were hard to make, and apparently he\'d made a very strong one with Kerr - but not strong enough for Kerr to focus on him alone, so how strong had it really been?

"I learn."  The statement was simple and he felt obliged to embellish.  "It\'s kept me isolated, researching history and geography, reading old and dusty tomes in library environments.  When I did get out, to drink - my home city has a club much like this one only," he screwed his nose up slightly without realising, betraying his disapproval of the place, "it\'s not as classy.  There were people I met that I didn\'t want to get to know."

Great Ben, now you sound like a snob.

"This is the first time I\'ve left my home city.  I mean to travel to other countries, but I figured New York might be a good landing place as any until I get myself established."

Established.  He meant wealthy, in all honesty, and he had the feeling he might need eternity to manage it.

He watched Sotiris now, for his reaction to an ignorant youth.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 17, 2009, 07:19:30 AM
"Well, at least you recognise quality when you see it," Sotiris quipped, flicking the fingers of his free hand in a small gesture that indicated the club beyond their booth.  He said it seriously, genuinely feeling pride in the establishment he ran and not feeling that Ben\'s reaction was in any way inappropriate; snobbery was second nature to a man who had grown up dressed only in the finest togas and always managed to outfit himself appropriately in every era afterwards.

After a glance towards the club, the ancient turned ack towards Ben, doing a slight shuffle that didn\'t actually change his body position overly but made it obvious that he was now back to looking intently at his new friend.

"History and geography, hmm?  That seems an unusual appreciation from someone who is not - forgive me - old enough to be considered anything but \'modern youth\'.  In fact, I\'d have said there\'s been a distinct decline in the interest in learning altogether!" he postulated, relishing his current role of ranting old man with no appreciation for the young of the current time.  Really, he did understand and was very intrigued by the modern shift towards independence that the world had taken... but he was still damn impressed that Ben valued traditions enough to learn about them - at the cost of a deserved social life, it seemed.

It occurred to Sotiris then - and he had to bite back an inappropriate smile - that this young vampire had such high standards that he, Sotiris, was not likely to meet them all.  How darling!  And challenging, of course.  The twinkle in his eye was all that might have given away his thoughts as he looked the youngling over with an entirely different perspective.  It would be obvious, in such a gaze, that the more he heard, the more his desire for Ben grew and once he was looking into the fascinating silvery eyes once more, his own were filling with lust.

"Would you like to come up to my place to tell me all you\'ve learned?" he asked with very sudden intensity.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 17, 2009, 09:03:01 AM
The smile grew more when Sotiris showed pride in his club, the compliment having gone well instead of falling flat based on snobbery.  When the ancient turned back to him, Ben\'s eyebrows lifted in question before he listened to a comment made he felt was accurate enough.  He\'d felt disconnected from the other kids at school, and then when he\'d left in order to get a job because he needed rent money, those he\'d bumped into thought he was clever and cool, while he considered stupid for not realising school was a better place to be and lucky they had parents that accepted them.

He still didn\'t like sharing his vampire-obsessession with others.  Even now, when he was one and when they were one, and his journals had tons of research about their own bloodlines.

Then the invitation came, and Ben was surprised it had come before Sotiris had tried anything with him here.  He was looking at him like he wanted to, but was holding himself back.  Did he think Ben was going to reject kisses from him?  Did he not try because he didn\'t want others seeing him being pushed away?  Or did he perhaps think Ben was less likely to reject him at his place?

The invitation hung between them for a moment as Ben considered going with Sotiris to his private quarters (which he guessed was upstairs, because hadn\'t the Risk owner lived upstairs?  He wasn\'t really sure).  Once there, it was possible that Sotiris wouldn\'t make a move on him (unlikely), and if that happened, would Ben be disappointed?  Did he want to have a fling with this guy?  He was charismatic, beautiful, intelligent, educated and seductive.  He was also a really fast mover, despite the lack of physical advancement beyond a few touches.

If he\'d been mortal, his heart would\'ve been pounding, but as it was he gave Sotiris an even stare and said: "Sure."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 17, 2009, 05:51:49 PM
The very certain answer gave Sotiris pause and he blinked once while his eyebrows climbed to show that he was startled to have received such a definite affirmation so quickly.  The expression melted into a warm and secretive smile almost instantly and he threaded his fingers in between Ben\'s in order to give his hand a squeeze.
 
He released it moments later, knowing that they would have to travel through part of the club to get to his place (there was a private access elevator out the back of the kitchens on the mezzanine level) and wanting to be as discreet about it as possible.  There was also the matter of his delicate tolerance for public affection to consider, and he wasn\'t the type to wander about holding hands with someone - not even if he\'d been fiddling with his fingers for the past twenty minutes.
 
"Alright, then," he said huskily, moving out of the booth liquidly and waiting at the end of the seat for Ben to do the same.  Once he was joined, he made a gesture with his hand that indicated the general direction in which they would travel before he set off, leading Ben.  They wove in between tables with Sotiris nodding and smiling a little at people, murmuring greetings or giving a wave but never stopping their progress.
 
As they moved, Ben might notice that Sotiris got a great deal more attention than he did and it was due to one very simple thing - Ben got no attention because the ancient made sure to block his presence from everyone\'s mind.  It was slightly taxing even for one of his grand talent, but there were only about fifty people in the areas between Ben\'s booth and the service elevator - including kitchen staff - and only about half of them even paid attention enough to Sotiris to warrant his intervention in their minds.
 
He hadn\'t been kidding when he\'d told Ben he hadn\'t taken someone upstairs in months.  Had the youngling known the lengths to which he went to conceal his identity and avoid settng a precedent, Ben might have been greatly relieved, but Liquid Empire\'s proprietor gave him no chance in that respect.  Discretion was probably the most important tool he\'d had at his disposal through all his two thousand years and he was not about to surrender it for the sake of a possibly-insignificant dalliance.
 
Once they\'d swept through the kitchens and Sotiris had swiped a card against the panel on the external viewer of the lift, they stepped in and he pressed the topmost button on the fairly impressive stack.  The little room moved swiftly upwards and it was only then, with all the doors closed and them heading upstairs to an apartment that could only be accessed by this elevator shaft, that Sotiris relaxed his gaurd enough to sidle up to Ben, cup his face between his hands and lean up to kiss him (for he was shorter than the youngling by a few centimetres).
 
"Such enticing lips," he repeated dreamily as he pulled away, having allowed only the most simple taste of that pretty pink bud - so short that Ben barely had a chance to react.  The lift stopped at that moment and he released Ben as the doors slid silently open.  "Come," he beckoned, stepping out of the elevator and into his luxurious apartment.
 
It perfectly befit what a penthouse suite in such an expensive hotel should look like, the foyer tiled in black marble with deep red and black features on the part-walls that surrounded the small area.  Sotiris led his guest to the left to a sunken lounge with a massive u-shaped settee arranged to face a blank wall.  There was a data projector mounted in the ceiling above, in amongst a sea of small, differently shaded white lights set into the plaster - everything in here was white, in fact.  As he walked, the ancient took off his jacket and threw it nonchalantly down upon the white leather sofa before he tucked his left leg under himself and fell into an artful sprawl upon it.
 
He made a beautiful, vibrant splash of colour in a pristine setting and he looked pointedly at Ben as he patted the bit of couch right near the thigh of his tucked-in leg.  He obviously wanted the youngling to join him and to be nice and close in the doing of it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 17, 2009, 08:53:33 PM
He was glad nobody had made eye-contact with him on the walk to the lifts, even though he\'d furtively looked at all those who\'d voiced a greeting at Sotiris.  At first he\'d just been grateful, but once they moved further in and there were more people not looking at him, Ben started to think it unusual.  Perhaps Sotiris got mad at those people who stared at him, and so they were wary of his temper.  Thing was, they were looking at Sotiris okay.  He didn\'t figure it out, though he had noticed something was up.

In the elevator, when Sotiris stepped to him, he\'d known that there would be a kiss.  Even when knowing, he\'d not had much of a chance to do anything other than feel the soft press against his mouth.  A flutter of eyelashes later and Sotiris was away from him.

When they arrived Ben was struck by how stark everything looked, and how crisp.  Once again he found himself intimidated by wealth.  He remembered how he\'d felt parked on the street in front of Kerr\'s house, and this was much like that, walking in here, on marble.  He was uncomfortably conscious of how dirty the soles of his shoes might be, and glanced down at the steps he\'d left behind himself to make sure he wasn\'t tracking dirt.  There was nothing, for the club had long since taken care of anything that there might\'ve been left over from New York streets.

He stared at Sotiris indecisively, his gaze flicking from the gorgeous half-laying male to the tapping hand, and then back to his face.  Ben sat as close as he comfortably felt, which wasn\'t anywhere near as close as Sotiris had invited.  He could sit up and reach over to Ben, if he wanted to touch, but the young vampire wasn\'t ready to hand himself over just yet - even if he had decided on a spontaneous course of action (by accepting to come up here in the first place).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 17, 2009, 09:12:23 PM
Sotiris pouted when his silent direction was not followed but there was a twist to his lips that declared he also rather enjoyed it... for it was a challenge and he did not intend to buckle.

Instead of pursuing his line of invitation to have Ben tell him what he\'d learned from all his life research, he came up onto all fours atop the couch and began creeping towards Ben, his eyes narrowed in a rather predatory manner.  "You\'re not very comfortable here, are you?" he purred, fully intending to crawl up over Ben - hopefully the youngling would attempt to lean back so that Sotiris could climb atop him in this manner.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 17, 2009, 09:22:08 PM
"I don\'t usually accept invitations from strangers to visit their homes on the first night," Ben said quietly, feeling stupid and young for not having anything wittier to say.  He did lean back, almost dropping to one elbow sideways when Sotiris got closer, making it perfect for the other vampire to succeed in his goal of crawling over him.

Ben found himself in a slightly awkward lying position, twisted on the couch with both his legs slanted off to the side while Sotiris sprawled his way along him.  Ben automatically shifted to get more comfortable, belatedly horrified that he\'d accomodated to the intimacy.  He was gazing up at Sotiris over him, and a quick analysis had him realising he didn\'t much mind.

This wasn\'t what he was usually like, and this guy was talking about being intrigued by him because he was different to the rest.  Who got the last laugh in this situation then?  He was breathing fairly heavily, and it was noticeable, with Sotiris this close.  Ben was breathing off and on again - never while he slept, and sometimes out of habit when awake, he\'d started while in the elevator after the kiss; shallow breaths like he\'d been holding it all night.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 17, 2009, 09:50:31 PM
The ancient grinned, liking the indignation Ben genuinely seemed to feel about becoming prone - like it was a shock.  "I don\'t usually make such invitations," he murmured, holding himself more or less suspended above Ben but leaning down to nuzzle the right side of his throat.  He pressed soft kisses to the (still relatively) soft flesh there, feeling the lingering warmth from his cocktail not too long ago.

"But here we are and I enjoy having you here.  Tell me about where all that learning about the past - and the land - is going to take you in the future," he invited magnanimously, still holding himself above Ben and acting like it was the most natural thing in the world for him to carry on a conversation with a man while he was gently kissing his throat.  Every now and then he made the effort to lift his head, shake a lock of curly brown hair out of his dark eyes with a tiny flick and look into Ben\'s eyes before returning to his dogged, pleasurable task.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 17, 2009, 09:58:33 PM
Ben\'s hands naturally went to Sotiris\' sides, his fingers digging a little now and then as a pleasurable shiver travelled along his spine at the attention his neck was getting.  Oh, he could\'ve said stop, he could\'ve protested some more but who was he kidding?  They both knew he wanted to be here, so why fight it?  Still, he couldn\'t feel free and easy just yet, and there was still tension between them (mostly breaking away, thanks to what Sotiris was doing).

He struggled to continue the conversation, but did his best.

"Europe," he managed to gasp, in between nibbles.  "Because it\'s... uh," his fingers squeezed into Sotiris\' sides again and he couldn\'t stop a light tremble throughout his body, causing one knee to lift slightly (and likely his upper leg putting a bit of pressure on Sotiris\' groin considering it was between his legs).  "Got history," he finished, turning his head a little so Sotiris could have better access and then pressing his lips together subconsciously, feeling rather bold and forward.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 17, 2009, 10:29:34 PM
Sotiris chuckled, the air coming out of his nostrils no doubt running over the slight moisture his lips and tongue were leaving on Ben\'s flesh and adding to those lovely little shivers.

"Mmm," he agreed, lured by that nudging knee to lower his hips down onto Ben\'s - he was slightly to the side to accommodate the youngling\'s position but it was a nice excuse to slot one of his legs between Ben\'s.  "History it does have.  In wagonsful.  You don\'t tend to find they draw many conclusions about it, though, they just covet it and gloat.  America is where the connections get made.  Do you think you\'ll spend long over there?"

Once his talking was done, he went back to kissing in earnest, timing it with a gentle rubbing of his pelvis against Ben\'s.  The feel of the taller youngling - timid and reluctantly eager as he was - pressed beneath him made his mouth water and there was a yearning in his loins that was getting stirred into a frenzy because of what his actions were promising.  He loved that Ben was being contradictory and he adored the feeling of him... the clothes between them were the only problem he could see looming.

To that end, while he kissed and rubbed, his right hand was left supporting him on the couch and his left snuck down to begin unbuttoning his vest and then his shirts.  He could see no point in wasting time on such frivolities.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 17, 2009, 10:47:29 PM
Sotiris speaking and nuzzling and rubbing was getting rather overwhelming.

"Um.  Dunno."

It wasn\'t like he could carry much of a conversation.

It\'s a bit fast


Oh, he ached to say it and yet there was a fear in him that he would actually voice those words out loud and lose what he had right now.

A bit too fast, for me
I don\'t want
you to get the wrong
idea


But what kind of idea would he get, other than the fact Ben was enjoying this?  It wasn\'t a lie, after all.  His body was responding, he could feel it, and he liked it.  He liked the attention, he liked Sotiris, he liked being here and not having to care about repurcussions right now.  It could be just a night (day) of passion, and maybe even turn out to be something more.

It\'s just too fast...

He could feel himself thinking it, sending the signal to Sotiris.  Quite suddenly, he thought perhaps ancient blood would feel that thought beyond his barrier, and he knew he had to do something about it, to negate it.

One of Ben\'s hands moved up to drift fingers into Sotiris\' hair, and he turned his head, intending to capture the other\'s lips in his own, and give a powerful kiss.  One that would knock sense into himself, he hoped.  Or out of him.  The kind of kiss that would stop him thinking altogether.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 17, 2009, 11:42:25 PM
Ben's thoughts were a distant buzz at the base of Sotiris' subconscious - which was impressive, considering their ages and the grand chasm that ought to lie between their abilities - but he was too preoccupied to worry about the nature of such an intrusion.  The turning of his head caused a flare that was part triumph and part red hot desire to shoot through him and then he was being kissed and it was all he could do to simply luxuriate in it.

The luxuriating didn't last long, really - just long enough for him to finish unbuttoning his garments and then he gave up on them and lay more fully on Ben, chest to chest but still raised up slightly so that he could take control of the kiss.  It was the type of man he was.

Briefly, his eyes were open, watching Ben, but they fluttered closed as he took a more active role.  His tongue slid inside the youngling's mouth, probing and tasting while his lips gulped up as much of his taste as he could, head tilting slowly this way and that to get a better angle or find a new sensation.  His own hand quested towards Ben's face, stroking his cheek and then sliding up into his short hair, feathering the soft strands with curious touches and reverent pats.  The rest of his body was rubbing with slowly increasing friction and there was a definite shift away from being interetsed in Ben's intellect to his body, now.

He began to wonder (ironically) if it was too soon to invite Ben to change locations with him, to his bed.  The fairer boy had been timid, made nervous by his own desires, keen to be seduced but afraid of letting go of precious control - Sotiris could understand that.  Was it too soon, with too little lead-up, to invite him to bed?  With anyone except this perplexing package he would've argued now was a perfect time, but with Ben he simply didn't know.  He seemed to have quite the firm spine in him.

Deciding that he might need to sweeten the pot just a little more, the Greek broke the kiss rather suddenly, and then moved just as swiftly upwards, straddling Ben.  The intense pressure of his engorged crotch pressing against its counterpart was delicious and cause a shudder to run through him.  With a sensual smile, he removed his waistcoat and shirt, flinging them carelessly over his shoulder while the other hand scooped his tie over his head and sent it on its way in the other direction.  He ran his fingers through his hair like it was getting in his eyes - knowing that the movement strained his perfectly-sculpted frame and made his prominent muscles shift and bulge beautifully - then dropped his hands to Ben\'s chest.

"I think I'd like to do a little learning myself," he teased, beginning to unbutton Ben\'s shirt, "starting with what's under here."  If there was a moment that was likely to be so confronting the youngling would put a stop to their fun, Sotiris supposed this was it... and he was getting to the stage where the challenge was not nearly as appealing as a little compliance and a lot of reciprocation was going to be.  He needed to know where he stood before the pressure pounding through him became too much to bear.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 18, 2009, 12:05:37 AM
It was a pose but passed for something a great deal more natural, and earned an appreciative look from Ben, who found his gaze wandering, not yet daring to touch though wanting to.  It was surreal, to be in this position after what seemed like a few minutes chat downstairs, with a half-naked man atop him that he otherwise wouldn\'t have thought he\'d have half a chance with any other night of the week.

Sotiris\' desire to see beneath Ben\'s clothes drew a response, though it wasn\'t one of rejection.

"Nothing as good as what\'s in front of me," Ben mumbled, still unable to stop his gaze from drifting down Sotiris\' sculpted body.

Ben was too humble to appreciate his own muscles, for he did have them due to the physical nature of his work at the factory when he was mortal, but his chest was nothing like what the ancient sported.  It could\'ve been a warrior\'s body, except it had no scarring.  It was more like an ancient greek statue, like the discus thrower.  A sportsman\'s physique.  Ben had a modern body, a young body, a lesser build.  Even if he\'d been a bodybuilder, he doubted he\'d achieve the same build as Sotiris, for he had a much lighter frame.

Buttons were being plucked out of their fastenings down his shirt, and he gazed down himself to see his skin being bared.  He knew his hands would only get in the way if he helped, so he consoled himself with stroking Sotiris\' thighs and stomach, once he had to hold himself a bit more upright to get at the lowest buttons.  Ben propped himself up onto his elbows once the shirt was undone, and soon enough with some awkwardness the clothing was off his shoulders and the shirt lay on the floor beside them.

Ben\'s gaze did now as Sotiris\' had before they\'d come up here.  His gaze drifted continuously from his eyes to his lips, as he desired being kissed some more.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 18, 2009, 07:04:57 AM
Sotiris beamed - not only because he was being complimented verbally and with that longing silvery gaze, but also because Ben hadn\'t fought, hadn\'t stopped him, hadn\'t even protested.  He\'d helped him remove his shirt, by Zeus!  It was almost time and flutters of anticipation were quivering their way through his belly as his hands roamed Ben\'s stomach and chest, sculpting the toned muscle that was there.

"We will fit together nicely," he predicted, his accent curlier because he was speaking softly and everything about him felt like it was thickening.  It had been too long since he\'d felt this primal stirring and he couldn\'t think why he hadn\'t pursued it more often, in the heat of it.

Ignoring the longing in Ben\'s gaze, the ancient shuffled back a little (and wasn\'t that delightful friction?) and leaned down to press his lips to the slightly-warm flesh laid bare before him. Cheekily, he began just above Ben\'s belt buckle, where the hairs snaked downward mysteriously and the skin was quite sensitive about attention, simply because of what stood directly south of it.  His hands - extended above his head - continued to caress without him watching and, slowly, he worked his way upward.

Sotiris took his time, following his instincts and repeating any action that drew a gasp from the lovely man beneath him.  The fact that he kept breathing was unusual but quaint, to ears that were used to complete silence.  Ben was loud by comparison, but it gave the ancient incentive to add his own noises into the mix, some murmurs of appreciation and whispers of encouragement when he really liked what he was getting back.

Eventually he lay atop Ben and was back at that delectable pink mouth - as predicted, they fit together nicely but even Sotiris was surprised by the passion and enthusiasm with which he was met when their mouths finally connected again.  Ben obviously didn\'t mind being teased but he was also bold enough to enjoy his reward when it came; Sotiris approved of that.  He liked it, a lot.  It was difficult to disengage his mouth for another purpose, even if it was a practical one, and so he didn\'t bother, he simply pressed his question into the youngling\'s mind.

Shall we go to the bedroom?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 18, 2009, 07:56:53 AM
Ben responded to Sotiris\' expert touch with his usual whispery sighs and soft moans whenever a sensitive spot was being attended to.  It seemed that all of him was sensitive, thanks to what he was anticipating further along this timetrack.

The kissing was nice, and it was another of the times Ben forgot to breathe because he was focussed on the battle of their tongues.  Once the suggestion was made inside his head, he sent one back fairly soon.  There was no need for consideration now, when they were already starting down the path of passion and Ben rather liked the sensations.

Sounds a great idea, he replied in the same way, for he hadn\'t wanted to break the kiss either.  Eventually they would work their way into the bedroom and be rid of all their clothing, Ben not self-conscious by the time they got there because he had Sotiris\' to focus on instead.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on June 19, 2009, 07:00:43 AM
They were very active and completely focussed on one another for the rest of the night and even a short time into the dawn (which impressed the ancient, for he knew very few vampires who could - or bothered to - stay awake into the hours of daylight) before they succumbed to the pressure of their exertions and the power of the daylight and slept.

Sotiris woke first and smiled when his eyes opened and he was looking at quite a lovely boy sprawled beside him.  He looked so good that he stirred the ancient\'s libido anew - even after they\'d drained it so ardently the night before - and he smiled, a sneaky idea working its way into his head.  He extricated himself from the bed with unconscious grace and left the room silently, scooping up his pants as he went.

Once he got his shirt off the lounge, he headed for the elevator, which only needed buttons pressed from this end, and no identification from him.  There were not many staff on, so instead of dallying in the kitchens, he went to his office (down the corridor from the kitchen) to do a bit of work.  He estimated it would only take hm ten minutes before someone would arrive that could fill his particular order of blood; one that would invigorate he and Ben to start the night properly.

Unfortunately, he got somewhat swept up in what he was doing, took a surprisingly early phone call from Charon and didn\'t make it out to the kitchen until twenty minutes had passed.  By the time he was headed back to his bedroom, thirty minutes had elapsed and he didn\'t have a good feeling about what Ben would think of him, for leaving him to wake up alone.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on June 19, 2009, 08:04:57 AM
When the elevator arrived to take Sotiris downstairs, Ben\'s eyes opened. He found himself stuggling to remember where he was, for every night he\'d woken up in a different motel on the way to New York and even though his brain was telling him he\'d already arrived, he knew this wasn\'t the apartment he\'d rented. It didn\'t take him long to remember, for a single turn of the head had him looking across the King sized bed he was nestled in to find himself alone instead of with Sotiris - who he\'d had rather a pleasurable time with last night. Right now, though, looking at the dent in the pillow and a folded back sheet where Sotiris had risen and then left him, his heart sank. Of course this had just been a casual thing, what did he expect? Everything had just been lines to feed him, and Sotiris hadn\'t even denied the fact he\'d been picking Ben up. He was just another one night stand.
 
Unhappily, Ben rose and moved to where the bathroom was, taking a shower and while soaping himself imagined Sotiris arriving and then joining him. When he shut off the water there was still no Sotiris and he felt even more foolish for thinking the Ancient would return. Leaving before your guest woke up in your bed was a pretty big sign for telling them to fuck off before you came back. Ben sighed and dried himself as efficiently as possible, not wanting to waste any more time getting out. He picked up his discarded clothes and put them on, not liking their wrinkly, used feeling but he hardly had much choice.
 
He pressed the button for the elevator and was anxious when it arrived. He was in conflict, wanting to both be caught by Sotiris while leaving and not wanting to, in case there was a confrontation (or none at all). He didn\'t have to worry, for the lift was empty and he didn\'t pass anyone on his way out, though he did see a few people cleaning in preparation for the new night\'s worth of entertainment. He had to open the front door to get out, relieved it wasn\'t locked on the inside, and let it drift shut behind him.
 
The walk back to his apartment was lonely, but there was hardly anything he could do about it. What he didn\'t realise, was that he\'d been in so much of a hurry to leave the club, he\'d missed Sotiris by a full eight minutes, and had he stayed, all his doubts would\'ve been wiped away by Sotiris\' presence.
 
* * *
 
MANY NIGHTS PASSED AND blended together, as Ben did his best to avoid the club known as Liquid Empire.  He\'d figuratively shit where he ate, making it difficult for him to return to the convenient feeding ground for fear of bumping into Sotiris and forced to watch the club owner take some other young thing upstairs to seduce.  Worse still, if the Ancient decided to pursue him some more for a second round of entertainment.  Ben didn\'t particularly want to face Sotiris again, either way.
 
He\'d pursued his feeding in the form of hunting instead, creeping about in alleyways and lightly dominating the minds of those that decided to take a shortcut past him.  He didn\'t have the strength to pull people from off the street, nor could he make the more paranoid pause before him, but there were many who were comfortable enough in the New York neighbourhood to cut through alleys and investigate the soft voice that called out to them.  Ben would strike up a polite conversation involving his request for the time and then if he could have a moment of it, willing them to comply.  They did, he closed in, he drank, they left him with the impression that all that had happened had been an extended polite conversation about nothing in particular.  He wasn\'t talented enough to plant more detailed seeds of conversation in their minds, so was using what little he had to as great an extent as possible.
 
He\'d wondered about Daniel and had almost visited the mortal a week after his foray with Sotiris, but had held back in case he was faced with a rejection.  After all, Daniel had expected a different vampire when he\'d knocked on Ben\'s door, and there was no guarantee that the mortal would wish to visit again.  He\'d decided not to approach Daniel, in case he gave the other the wrong impression with a visit, (and the last thing he wanted to do was give someone else another wrong impression, especially considering Daniel lived in the same building - there was no sense figuratively shitting where he slept too).
 
He was on his next expedition out, to slake a thirst that had been growing since getting up at dusk.  He\'d drunk very early the previous night and not gone out again to feed before sleeping.  He had to find a butcher or somewhere that would sell him blood, no questions asked, but so far he\'d been chased out of two places and wasn\'t looking forward to trying at a third.
 
After leaving his apartment and shutting and locking the door behind him, he headed for the stairs.  Dressed in jeans and sneakers, wearing a light blue t-shirt and a dark red hoodie over it, he was barely down the first set of stairs heading towards the foyer when he heard someone heading after him, causing him to pause and look back.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 03, 2009, 07:53:24 PM
Daniel faltered when he was looked at, startled because even though he was chasing Ben, he didn\'t want it to appear he was chasing Ben.  As a result, he overstepped the next stair riser and lost his balance, tumbling forward another three before his desperate grip on the railing halted his fall and he managed to come to a complete stop - crouched just near Ben\'s legs.

"Oh, God, that was suave," he muttered, pulling himself up into a standing position with his right arm and running his left hand compulsively through his hair.  He found that the hood of his jacket had been bounced forward in his fabulous flight and flicked that back at the same time.  Clearing his throat, he then set about straightening his maroon plaid jacket - which was zipped to his navel height - and the two shirts and the vest he had on underneath it.  His ripped black denim jeans and sneakers were no worse for wear, since they were just regular ones (and not carefully clinging to his pelvis, thankfully).

"Hi, Ben," he mumbled, finding it very difficult to meet the vampire\'s eyes all of a sudden.  Well, not all of a sudden, really; he\'d been intimidated by the guy for nights now, trying to work up the courage to go see him and offer himself for drinking from and not managing to figure out exactly how to do it.  If he hadn\'t been desperate and ignorant to the fact that it wasn\'t the vampire he was expecting the first time, he would never have had the guts to go through with what he did - to this night, it amazed him that he did it.

That was the power of the passion, though; his love and enslavement to music drove him to weird and wonderful lengths all the time.  Now that the desperation to complete his last demo was done and it had been submitted to his friend - to be passed on to his friend\'s friend - he\'d come back to some semblance of normalcy and was no longer driven by the beast to create and produce.

Of course, the music was always there, always his mistress, and he didn\'t stop playing gigs for cash or composing in the daytime when he was allowed to (he had an agreement with the neighbours that he would keep all drum/guitar/piano/saxophone/violin playing to the \'decent\' hours where \'normal\' people were awake - unless absolutely desperate, hence the egg carton padding in his apartment), but the burn to make an album had been snuffed for the time being.  New songs were circling and he\'d been doing a lot of singing and plucking of his guitar lately, trying to nail down lyrics, but he figured only Ben would be able to hear him.  Aziz always had.  He\'d never heard his instrument playing through the daytime though, so he assumed he was safe from disturbing the newest vampire resident in that respect as well.

Just because he didn\'t need to reach the nirvana of pleasure that being drunk from catapulted him into for creative purposes didn\'t mean he didn\'t want to do it because he liked it, though.  He\'d been hankering for the rush for the past few nights and had taken to peering through the fisheye lens in his doorway, to see what Ben was up to, trying to psych himself up into propositioning the blonde.  The younger vampire was way hotter and together than the last resident of that apartment had been, unfortunately - Daniel saw him come and go with fair regularity and had begun to rather like spying on him, daydreaming about what he was doing.  He was very intimidated by him, but wanted him to drink from him again, so that he might get to know him a bit better.

Likely, that was a very stupid plan, but it was one he couldn\'t stop his mind turning back to - and every time he thought he had, there he was, at his door, to see if the door he\'d heard opening was Ben\'s or Mrs Komansky\'s (usually it was the latter\'s), getting a little thrill if it was, indeed, Ben.  He was enigma-struck and this was the result; hurrying out of his apartment on a whim and trying to look sophisticated as he swept down the stairs after Ben, hoping to exchange a casual greeting with him at the bottom before they went their separate ways.  Conversation building, not all-out initiating.  Oh well, the best laid plans...

He cleared his throat.  "How\'ve you been?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 03, 2009, 08:06:13 PM
Ben had held out a steadying hand when Daniel had fallen towards him, the instinct in the young vampire to stop the mortal from hurting himself was quick and natural, but unnecessary, as the other came to a stop mostly at his feet.  It seemed he was there but a moment before he was quickly standing and sweeping a casual hand through his hair, which under the circumstances should\'ve been hilarious but Ben was too shocked by what had happened to do much more than stare wide-eyed at Daniel until it occurred to him that the musician had caught himself.
 
The muttered comment about being suave hadn\'t been lost on Ben, and a belated smile found its way on his face even as he looked the other up and down, as though he would be able to see bruises through the many layers of clothing.  He was relieved (and a little guilty for it) that Daniel was the one who\'d been put in an embarrassing situation, because if it had been the other way around, Ben would\'ve wanted the stairs to swallow him up.  As it was, he was very forgiving of the other\'s clumsiness and hoped Daniel didn\'t feel too awkward.  As it turned out, the other handled himself pretty well and struck up the conversation with a calmness that earned Ben\'s respect.  He didn\'t think he\'d have been able to play it so cool.
 
"Well enough," he said, and considered for half a second to mention that he\'d gone to Liquid Empire before deciding not to route things in that direction.  "How\'s your music coming along?" he asked, for he\'d indeed heard Daniel\'s soft plucking of strings and humming and singing of distracted and unfinished tunes every now and then.  Other than going out to feed or finding shops, Ben had mostly stayed at home, writing in his journals - not quite ready to read the ones that were labelled with the last three years.
 
He leant against the opposite rail, facing Daniel and offering a politely interested smile, genuinely hoping to hear about Daniel\'s creative progress.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 03, 2009, 08:28:22 PM
The blush that had heated his cheeks to a brilliant flame came back as Ben settled himself into conversation and made a polite enquiry about his music.  It didn\'t embarrass him so much as having the handsome vampire\'s undivided attention made him go all weak and self-conscious.  Did they have to be having this conversation here, on the stairs?

"Um... it\'s alright.  I got my demo finished, so I\'m just waiting to hear about it," he shrugged, his gaze flicking from Ben\'s silvery eyes to his chest and back again.  "How\'s... are you settling in to the city?" he asked, changing tacks at the last second.  He couldn\'t very well ask about how a vampire was doing in the middle of the stairwell, could he?

A glance towards his apartment door gave away the fact that he wanted to ask Ben inside, but didn\'t really know how. The conversation would likely slip between his fingers at this rate, but he didn\'t have the guts to shift it from polite pleasantries.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 03, 2009, 08:38:39 PM
Ben nodded when Daniel informed him that his music had progressed to the \'waiting to hear back\' stage.  He supposed waiting for an answer was tough.
 
"Mostly," he said, not wishing to elaborate because he wasn\'t settled at all, mostly or otherwise.  The nights were a blur of drinking from mortals in alleys and seeking out blood of a different kind from butchers who weren\'t keen on selling blood to pale teenagers.  He couldn\'t even recall what day of the week it was, and the only two nights that stood out in his memory since coming to New York was the night he\'d arrived at his apartment building and drunk from Daniel, and the night he\'d spent with Sotiris that had ended in a real downer after he\'d woken up alone.
 
Ben didn\'t miss the look Daniel threw upstairs, noticing the tetchy way the mortal wasn\'t making eye contact with him.  Had he meant to chase after him downstairs or was he on his rapid way somewhere?
 
"Um, I was just on my way out for a... a drink," he explained, though didn\'t know why he was sharing this information with Daniel.  It sounded casual enough though, two neighbours bumping into each other on the stairs on their ways out somewhere.  If Daniel was in a hurry, he could say something vague about what he was doing and then make an excuse to go.  Or...
 
or he can invite you to his place
drink from him instead
and how convenient that would be
to have your own pet just a few doors down
 
Ben blinked at the surge of thoughts that invaded his mind about what Daniel might\'ve been planning.  Oh, he could hope for such convenience, but at the same time he was a little wary of it - seeing as how things had flopped so magnificantly at Liquid Empire.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 04, 2009, 12:11:19 AM
Danny\'s heartrate picked up noticeably when Ben mentioned he was heading out for a drink.  It was the perfect opening!  Once again, his eagerness to get what he wanted overrode his inhibitions and, before he knew it, he\'d said exactly what he wanted to say - exactly what he hadn\'t dared to, at the beginning.

"Why don\'t you come to my place for a drink?" he offered (it sounded like a blurt, to him, but that was just because of the blood rushing through his ears at that moment - everything was slightly distorted to him, but he managed to sound fairly calm in reality).  His ears turned pink from the pressure of the situation but he otherwise gave no indication of just how much he wanted Ben to agree.

It suddenly occurred to him - as his hands fidgetted towards his jeans pocket - that he didn\'t have his keys, and he didn\'t have his keys because he hadn\'t locked his door.  He hadn\'t intended to go very far, just as far as Ben was, and if (when?) they headed back to his place, the vampire would likely notice him just open his door and figure it out.  Why would he just wander out of his apartment and leave it unlocked?  God, think!  He had to think!  Nobody in their right mind walked out of an unlocked apartment in New York and expected everything to be as it was when they left... Mail! Unless maybe he\'d been going to get the mail - that\'s what he\'d say if Ben asked.

His body relaxed imperceptibly and he breathed easier as the story occurred to him.  Collecting mail could wait, in the face of giving Ben a drink, too, so it was a brilliant idea.  He swallowed and attempted a smile, his expression hopeful.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 04, 2009, 12:21:12 PM
[ooc] This morning I had the entire post typed out and the effing browser closed about one sentence away from me submitting, causing me to lose four paragraphs of writing - so in a huff I shut it all down.  Sorry to make you wait for this post, but I was annoyed.  Stupid laptop. [/ooc]
 
When the invitation came out of Daniel\'s mouth, Ben felt a bolt of surrealism steal over him due to his prediction coming true.  Was it possible to accidentally dominate a human with will alone?  He thought so, but he also thought it would take many centuries for such a thing to happen.  Right now he had to focus and concentrate on planting the seed, and just because he\'d expected Daniel to offer himself up for a drink didn\'t mean that he\'d made it happen.
 
"Sure, thanks," he said, feeling like an idiot.  Was it appropriate to thank Daniel for the offer?  The mortal didn\'t seem to notice, for he\'d already turned to lead Ben back up the stairs, saying something about the mail that Ben didn\'t really catch because he was trying to figure out if this was a good idea or not.
 
At Daniel\'s door Ben gestured for Daniel to step through and lead the way, because he wasn\'t terribly comfortable about entering into someone else\'s apartment.  Once inside he remembered the basic layout from the door, from when he\'d helped Daniel back home after drinking too much from him the first time.  This had him feeling uneasy about taking advantage of the other.
 
Funny thing though, Daniel didn\'t have the expected \'groupie\' persona that he\'d had the first time they\'d met.  Ben had wondered what had kept Daniel away and had thought their interaction obviously hadn\'t been so good - otherwise Daniel would\'ve sought him out again, right?
 
His silvery blue gaze found Daniel\'s now, instead of peering around the room, wondering how Daniel wanted to do this.  He wasn\'t going to take the lead this time (if he could help it) because he figured Daniel already had an expectation of how things were going to go.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 04, 2009, 04:07:10 PM
"Uh... on the couch again?" Danny offered, unzipping his outermost jacket and making an odd sidestep motion as he removed it and carried it towards his bedroom - odd, because he was ensuring that he could still see Ben with every move he made.  He didn\'t want to miss any nuance in the vampire\'s expression, wanting to read him as well as he could, so as not to displease him (this was also a habit he\'d learned from Aziz, who had clipped him around the ear for impertinence a time or two as well).

Standing in his open bedroom doorway (a neatly-made double bed was visible before he stepped in the way), Daniel shucked off a couple of layers, until he was only wearing a white T-shirt and an unbuttoned black vest, tossing the rest of it hastily onto his bed before heading back towards his guest.  The weather was fairly warm but the skin of his arms prickled as it adjusted from hot to cool very quickly; his right hand rubbed up and down his left arm rapidly.

Remembering the delicious experience that being fed from by Ben the last time had been, he wanted to offer the bed as a possible drinking spot as well, but wasn\'t that bold.  He would certainly have loved to follow through on the wonderful tingles he\'d got from Ben\'s lips in a manner totally different to last time as well - he had nothing planned for his night and spending it in bed with a vampire like Ben certainly rated as a dream come true by comparison.  "Or there\'s the bed?" he said, his mouth getting away from him.  His eyes widened slightly then and he froze, holding his breath as he realised he\'d just said that out loud.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 04, 2009, 04:20:10 PM
Ben stood in the middle of the room, feeling a great deal more awkward than he looked - but he didn\'t realise this.  His gaze followed Daniel as the mortal began stripping until Ben shifted his gaze away to stare at the couch where he\'d dumped Daniel\'s form last time, listening to newly-forming strains of music upon exiting.  The guitar was in the same place, he saw, and he suddenly felt like he was intruding.
 
Daniel\'s next suggestion - after the couch - pulled him quite distinctly out of the intrusive feeling and slightly widened eyes found Daniel\'s form.
 
"Um, the couch is fine," he said, turning away from Daniel to look at the object in question, for he didn\'t really want the other to feel rejected.  It was just too intimate for Ben to explore right now - especially when he\'d been considering visiting Liquid Empire again (and hoping not to bump into Sotiris, his one night stand).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 04, 2009, 04:30:19 PM
"Sure! Okay, that\'s fine," Daniel agreed rapidly, striding over to the couch purposefully, his hands bunching into fists and then unbunching like he was warming them up for a marathon gig - it was just a nervous habit, really, as he processed his own stupidity, coupled with Ben\'s absolute rejection.

He didn\'t blame the vampire - it was his own stupid fault for offering so much, so quickly.  It was only the second time they\'d hooked up, for goodness\' sake!  He had a bad habit of rushing things and scaring people off - take his last three relationships, in point of fact.

Deciding he should focus on the present, he toed his shoes off and knelt at the right end of the couch, sitting on his sock-covered heels and looking submissively up at Ben as he waited for the vampire to move into a position where he could crawl in front of him, as he\'d been trained to do.  He didn\'t dare open his mouth again, for fear of what would come tumbling out and settled for silence instead, a placid expression on his pretty, cleanly-shaven face.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 04, 2009, 04:39:56 PM
The positioning that Daniel reverted to made Ben wonder at him.  Was it comfortable, to sit that way?  It didn\'t seem so, but if Daniel was going to do that leaning forward thing in front of him again, he was going to have to say something.  He didn\'t want Daniel pandering to him to the point where the other was uncomfortable.  Okay, there was nothing between them except for the feeding, but it should be for both of them, right?  He remembered how wonderful it had been when drunk from by Kerr.  He didn\'t want to cheat Daniel from that, when it seemed the other wasn\'t as much of a groupie as Ben had originally figured - otherwise he\'d have been knocking on his door.
 
Instead of chasing you down the stairs
 
It wasn\'t fair to think Daniel had come after him alone.  What had he said about getting the mail?  He really had to get a rein on his ego, it was running away from him.
 
Ben sat down, rather than standing and staring for any longer than he already was, and gestured to Daniel.
 
"Don\'t you, uh, want to lie back?" he offered, expecting Daniel to take a more standard position on the sofa so Ben could hover over him instead of the other way around.  So much for waiting to see if Daniel was going to offer himself.  That would just have been awkward anyway.  Better this way, he thought.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 04, 2009, 05:01:56 PM
Daniel\'s bright blue eyes clouded beneath his frown and he glanced down along the small amount of couch between Ben\'s body and his, trying to figure out what Ben meant; he\'d been kneeling before Aziz for three years now and had never experimented (beyond him opening up Aziz\'s fly on odd occasions, but that was the only ever change).

"Lay back?" he queried, shuffling his feet out from under him so that he was sitting on the couch side-saddle.  He glanced behind himself, at the arm of the chair and experimentally leaned back into the corner.  His frown hadn\'t disappeared.  "Like this, you mean?  Are you sure you\'ll be able to... to reach me?"

At the last second, looking down along his own curled body, he saw exactly how Ben would reach his throat and it made his heart pick up once more.  He was going to lay along him and drink?  Really?  Oh, God.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 04, 2009, 05:19:34 PM
Ben hadn\'t realised his faux pas until Daniel moved himself into a brand new position, at which point Ben could only stare at him blankly, wondering how best to rephrase.
 
Not lie back
I meant sit back
Sit sit sit back
I can\'t say that now
Too much time has passed
Stop staring at him
 
Ben cleared his throat and considered how best to answer Daniel\'s question, which potentially could bring them back from close intimacy to something more familiar and friendly.
 
Yeh, I\'ll have trouble getting to you there
How about you sit up instead
Oh God I can\'t say that
 
And now Daniel was giving him an expectant look.  Ben did the only thing he dared, which was to nod his approval of Daniel\'s position, and changed his own instead.
 
"Stay there," he said, worried that Daniel would protest.  He slipped off the sofa and knelt on the floor, moving towards Daniel with a few small motions and lining himself up with the mortal, who was laying back on the cushions of the sofa and a lot more comfortable than last time, which was only fair.  For a moment, he paused, looking down at the mortal on the sofa beneath his own kneeling position, and feeling like he\'d just had one of the dumbest ideas ever.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 04, 2009, 05:31:12 PM
Daniel looked up at Ben hovering over him - having regarded the vampire\'s previous manoeuvres with something very akin to shock, for it didn\'t seem right for the vampire to do the kneeling - and blinked.  The blonde didn\'t look all that pleased with his interpretation of how he should position himself, and didn\'t seem very certain about going ahead with the bite, now.  That was the last thing he wanted!

"This... isn\'t right, is it?" he said, a nervous laugh escaping through his words.  He sat up, with his legs over the sofa properly, feet on the floor and looked at Ben.  "Why don\'t you just put me where you want me?  I\'m fine with taking directions, you know, it\'s all good," he encouraged, smiling winningly at his companion.  "Just tell me what you want, and I\'ll do it."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 04, 2009, 05:49:14 PM
Because of their respective positions, Ben was now on the floor kneeling between Daniel\'s legs, but he wasn\'t analysing his current situation any longer.  He was both grateful and chagrined to find himself facing a more sensible request from the other male.
 
"It\'s easiest when sitting down," he confirmed, "but I don\'t think it\'s fair to have you hovering over me when it\'s supposed to be... you know, nice."  He was suddenly embarrassed about desribing it in such a way.  He shrugged, continuing on despite the awkward feeling that had settled over him.  "If we\'re sitting together, we can sort of, lean into each other."
 
He gave Daniel a querying look, wondering if that sounded plausible to the other.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 04, 2009, 05:54:32 PM
Daniel flushed, pleased with the vampire\'s words and consideration despite himself.  "You\'re the only one it\'s ever been nice with," he admitted shyly.  "It wouldn\'t matter what position I was in - I really don\'t care - it\'s you that makes it different.  So, yeah, okay, let\'s try it your way," he agreed eagerly, making a rolling gesture with his hands that encouraged the vampire to get up off the floor and join him on the couch once more.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 04, 2009, 06:17:35 PM
Ben was a great deal more embarrassed by Daniel\'s admission, but it was less of a feeling foolish embarrassment and more like a wash of modesty at the compliment.
 
He moved onto the sofa in one clean movement and true to form, Daniel accomodated him in much the same way he\'d described, so that they were more or less leaning into one another.
 
Ben\'s hand lifted and he touched Daniel\'s neck with icy fingers, moving the collar of his shirt somewhat even as he shifted upon the two seater and got himself into a position that would be comfortable for the pair of them.
 
It wasn\'t long before his mouth was upon the same spot, though he wasn\'t going to press his fangs in too early, wanting to numb the spot a little first and ease Daniel into it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 04, 2009, 06:49:48 PM
At first, Daniel was stiff and felt awkward about having the vampire pander to him - his hands hovered, unsure where they should land and what he should touch.  He pressed himself back into the couch more than Ben did, simply because he wanted to give the blonde room to move, without interference, and when his beautiful face loomed and then pressed against his neck, his breath caught.

As always (for one time was not going to break the habit of three years), he braced for the penetration of fangs and when his flesh was kissed, his eyelids fluttered his confusion.  None but the wall was there to witness, however, and soon enough they fell closed completely as he released his pent-up breath and relaxed.

Even though he knew he wasn\'t supposed to think such things, it was very difficult not to view Ben as a lover in such a situation.  The way he set about calming Daniel was as good an attempt at foreplay as he\'d ever experienced and he embraced the cool hardness of the vampire in front of him with both arms, purely by instinct.  He heard himself moan and started rubbing his hands up and down Ben\'s back, encouraging his attentions.

When the bite finally came and Daniel was admitted into The Buzz, the music in him swelled to an even greater degree than it ever had before.  This time, there was the added bonus of him being sexually aroused by the feel of Ben pressing against him - by knowing it was Ben, who was gentler, handsomer, sweeter and kinder than any vampire he\'d ever met.  He felt so strong yet considerate as he drew blood from his neck that Daniel felt  complete trust and utter supplication; he squirmed beneath the vampire, gripping him more tightly in his arms, sighing and moaning as his hips shifted, his crotch became a fire of want and his body sang with a sweetness he\'d never known.

It was the most erotic experience he\'d ever had, yet he was fully clothed and no part of him - except his chest and neck - had been touched (if they were, it was very likely he\'d cum in his jeans).  Like last time, he began singing, a deep husky tune about want and craving, but Ben\'s name made an appearance a time or two as well; it should become quickly obvious to the vampire that this was a mortal who willingly surrendered complete control and every inhibition when he was being drunk from.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 04, 2009, 07:01:57 PM
Ben was lost himself, though not as much as Daniel and certainly not losing control.  He was aware of the mortal\'s heartbeat, of the gently sighing and singing form beneath him.  His own eyes were closed as he drank, and he drank shallowly, for now that he\'d entered Daniel\'s space and been permitted to linger, he wanted to remain in this comforting place.  It was a place he could drink and not worry about being spied by a pedestrian wandering past or bumping into someone who would interrupt him, like at a club.  The moment lingered, but before Daniel\'s heart began skipping beats or his body would start missing the blood that it was donating in order to feed Ben\'s immortality, he closed the wound and licked the last of the red ambrosia away.  He was hugging Daniel, he found, and was being embraced in return, and remained that way, listening to the soft notes being hummed and his name being sung in a way that made him feel more at home than anywhere else he\'d known.  There was a gratitude he felt towards Daniel, for making everything easy.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 04, 2009, 07:09:55 PM
As the intensity ebbed and he came down, Daniel stopped singing and merely concentrated on the rhythms of his body.  It was sort of sweet, the way Ben kept on hugging him, but also odd, considering he was sitting there with a thudding heart and a raging erection beneath him, wanting his hands to travel over him and make his skin tingle the way his soul was.

It seemed a natural thing, when the pose was held for a while, for him to nuzzle his face in against Ben\'s neck and press his hot lips against the relief of cool flesh.  He wasn\'t certain he should start things along those lines - he\'d had varied reactions from Aziz, depending on how horny and good his mood was, so he half expected to be slapped away as much as have his head shoved downwards - but he couldn\'t help it.  He was a creative person, a creature of feeling and pleasure, and it was natural for him to want it to continue as long as possible.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 04, 2009, 07:27:22 PM
At the sensation of kisses upon him, he shied away.  Though not a flinching retreat it was still a fairly hasty one, and he was very aware that Daniel\'s response to him had gone beyond the usual - though very similar to what he\'d felt with Kerr that first time in Risk.
 
"Sorry," he mumbled, though he doubted Daniel\'s hearing would pick up the very soft word.  He didn\'t have it in him to apologise again so lowered his gaze instead, finding himself staring at the evidence of arousal in Daniel\'s lap and pulling his gaze away once more, looking at nothing in particular this time, seeing an array of colours instead.
 
He was sitting beside Daniel but no longer touching him, and a light frown marred his forehead.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 04, 2009, 07:39:19 PM
Again feeling like a deep-sea diver surfacing from an absorbing and exhilarating dive, Daniel lifted his head off the back of the couch and blinked slowly at Ben, his arms dropping limply to his sides, like they were filled with heavy jelly.  His overriding emotion was disappointment, closely followed by longing.

Of course Ben was not the type to slap him away, but moving away was as good as.  He obviously didn\'t want any part of what Daniel had been hinting towards and, as strongly emotive as he was right then, the mortal felt like he could either rant and rave or cry.  he chose to d neither though, and resolve this as civilly as possible.

"Sorry," he whispered, not having heard the same word come from Ben\'s mouth just a short time before.  "I didn\'t... I thought it\'d be nice to... you\'re not into guys, huh?" he asked sadly.  Aziz hadn\'t been - it was against his moral and religious code - but there\'d been some very early mornings and desperate nights where he\'d let Danny blow him or slid his immortal cock into his warm and willing ass.  None of that made him gay, though, and he would have slit Danny\'s throat if the mortal had ever breathed a word of what they\'d done to anyone.

He\'d thought Ben was like him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 05, 2009, 05:35:53 PM
The rejection on the other\'s face was obvious and made him feel lousy.  It hadn\'t been a personal thing, and he didn\'t want Daniel thinking he wasn\'t good enough - or something stupid like that.  He had to set the record straight.

"I am, actually," Ben pointed out, then thought to better explain himself.   "I\'m just... not into quick relationships," he said, then felt like a hypocrite.  He\'d jumped into bed readily enough with the owner of Liquid Empire, yet here he was holding Daniel at bay like he was above all that sort of thing.  Still, it was a bit too much for him to bounce from bed to bed like some playboy.  He knew a lot of guys didn\'t care, or kept score, or tried to get as many different partners as possible for a better tally, but that kind of lifestyle had never appealed.  Funny thing though, when he wasn\'t looking for it, it seemed to come out of the woodwork at him.  "You know," he said with a shrug, looking at Daniel to see if the mortal did indeed know.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 05, 2009, 06:47:38 PM
Daniel was looking at him with a frown now, trying to sort a few things out in his head before he spoke.  He wasn\'t game to move because if nothing rubbed anything, he had a better chance of his body calming down - as soon as the... adrenalin or whatever it was that the bite released into his system faded, anyway.  Until then, he was a victim of The Buzz - and a willing one.

"Are you into long term ones, then?" he asked carefully, wondering if he had a chance with Ben.  Primarily, he was thinking along the lines of being drunk from regularly but... he wouldn\'t fight it if more eventually came from it, when enough time had gone by for them to get to know each other properly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 05, 2009, 07:26:58 PM
When asked about long term relationships, Ben\'s head tilted in confusion and he answered with a tone that hinted Daniel should\'ve been able to figure the answer out for himself. "Well, yeh," he said, not knowing what the mortal was getting at other than to clarify the fact Ben wasn\'t willing to jump into something quick.  The young vampire certainly hadn\'t realised Daniel had long-term designs on him, other than to reach the same conclusion of a more-than-casual drinking relationship.

"I can\'t drink from you so often though," he said, going a step further than Daniel might have intended, but Ben was seeing their conversation innocently enough, even as he turned his head to finally face the mortal, now that they were discussing a different element.  "I don\'t want you getting sick, or anything," he added, remembering how anaemic some of the Risk-goers had looked, and how unattractive the thought was of drinking from them.

"Was that what you were thinking?" he asked, though he was fairly sure that was the hint Daniel was getting to.  The kiss had just been an extension of the drinking, he was sure.  Like when Kerr had touched him and he\'d got the wrong idea from it (though he\'d been wary not to lead Daniel on that way, he thought it natural enough that the impression might have been made, so he wasn\'t really all that surprised to feel Daniel\'s lips on his neck even though it had been a shock initially - it wasn\'t anything personal though, he figured - just an extension of the bite).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 05, 2009, 08:29:55 PM
Daniel licked his lips and looked briefly away from Ben, finding his eyes hypnotic and altogether too alluring for him to focus on the conversation just then.  "Um... yeah, that, too," he agreed slowly, watching Ben\'s nose when he looked back at him, so that he was a step closer to lucidity.  "You wouldn\'t be interested in drinking from me every fortnight?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 05, 2009, 09:17:54 PM
"Is that the setup you had with, uh...?"

He couldn\'t remember the name of the vampire Daniel had confused him for, the first night he\'d moved in.  Something foreign; something that sounded Egyptian or Middle Eastern.  When Daniel supplied the name

Aziz, that\'s right

Ben nodded and gestured it as the finality of his question.  Had Daniel visited Aziz every fortnight?  It hadn\'t sounded so constant, judging by the first time Daniel had turned up at his doorstep.  Either that or the pair had a falling out or something.

I have to stop making so many assumptions
I\'m making up my own version
Not listening to the reality and putting in my own bias instead


He was getting a very different impression of Daniel tonight than he had the first night.  The singing was the only constant, and it was nice to listen to when he was drinking, and he didn\'t think Daniel was the kind of groupie he\'d dismissed him as initially.

"I don\'t want you to feel obliged to offer your... uh, blood," Ben said, and noticed the expression on Daniel\'s face, reading it as negative but not knowing exactly how to interpret it.  "I mean, it\'s convenient for me and you\'re quite um... " he shrugged, not knowing how to finish his sentence, "but I don\'t want to take advantage, you know?"

He clasped his hands together and gave Daniel an intent look.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 06, 2009, 12:25:46 AM
"Yeah, every fortnight, more or less," Daniel agreed after Ben gestured at him when he said Aziz\'s name, "for the past three years."  He fell quiet as Ben continued speaking, listening intently.  He didn\'t like the way it sounded as if Ben was fobbing him off, so his expression likely reflected that - he desperately wanted the vampire to finish the comment \'and you\'re quite um...\' but it seemed he was going to be completely out of luck in more ways than one tonight.

He shook his head even as the words died on Ben\'s lips.  "It wouldn\'t be like that, I wouldn\'t be obliged - I need it, man.  It helps me focus, helps me get clear so I can hear the music properly, you dig?" he urged, his hands finally lifting from his sides to describe small circles around his ears, imitating the imagined workings of his mind in its confused state.

He shifted slightly in his seat so that he could pull up the knee closest to Ben and face him more squarely (not to mention hide the fading bulge in his jeans - which Ben had seemed surprisingly cool about and that had made it a lot easier on him) but there wasn\'t a whole lot of room on he small two seater couch and it was a fairly awkward manoeuvre that he gave up on quickly.

"Yo, you wouldn\'t be taking advantage," he asserted forcefully, looking into Ben\'s eyes.  "You\'d just be saving me the trip to the Empire to find someone else to do it, aight?  I figure it\'d be... a mutual advantage, yeah?" he prompted, raising his eyebrows hopefully at Ben.  "You get to drink, I get The Buzz to help me connect the dots, y\'see?"  He really prayed that ben did, because he very badly wanted just this vampire drinking from him from now on... this vampire who\'d more or less told him that there was a chance between the two of them for more between them, once they got to know each other better.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 06, 2009, 06:54:48 AM
There was that phrase again, The Buzz, which lended a hand to regain Daniel some of his groupie status.  Ben stared at him for a moment, trying to decide what would be simpler for him.  Sleeping with the owner of the Liquid Empire hadn\'t been a bright move, now that he was forced to slink around alleys.  Daniel, on the other hand, wasn\'t asking to be slept with (though Ben thought he might go so far as to secure Ben\'s desire to drink from him), and as long as Ben didn\'t invite confusion between them, their setup could be terrific.

"Okay, it sounds like it\'ll work," Ben replied, liking the more formal idea of a set time between drinking from Daniel, which would give the mortal apt time to recover.  If he\'d been doing it for three years, and he looked as healthy as he did, then there was no need to refuse or change the timing.  "What happens if your music gets picked up? Will you be carting around your own personal vampire?" he joked, a smile creeping on his face.  He was relaxing, now that he\'d had a drink and was feeling warm and settled.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 06, 2009, 07:22:38 AM
Daniel\'s smile - when Ben told him he thought such an arrangement between them would work - was huge.  When the question came afterwards, the mortal laughed huskily and reached for his guitar to answer.  The first thing that came to mind was an Everclear song and he went with it, wriggling to certainly accommodate himself and the acoustic instrument on the couch, half sitting off it as he strummed nimbly and sang in a high, perfectly pitched voice.

"Here is the money that I owe you
Yeah, so you can pay the bills
I will give you more
When I get paid again.
I hate those people who love to tell you
Money is the root of all that kills,
They have never been poor
They have never had the joy of a welfare Christmas.
Yeah, oh, I know we will never look back... yeah.
You say you wake up crying
Yes and you don\'t know why,
You get up and you go lay down
Inside my baby\'s room.
Yeah, I guess I\'m doing okay
I moved in with the strangest guy
Can you believe he actually thinks
That I am really alive?
I will buy you a garden
Where your flowers can bloom
I will buy you a new car
Perfect, shiny and new!
I will buy you that big house,
Way up in the west hills,
I will buy you a new life.
Yes I will."


The fact that they weren\'t his lyrics meant that he didn\'t sing them with his heart in the cords and his smile didn\'t fade, so it looked a little cheesy but that was the intended effect.  When he finished, his strumming hand landed on his knee once more but his left stayed holding the neck, so the guitar remained comfortably in place.  "If my music gets picked up, yeah, I\'ll pay you to be my personal vampire," he chuckled.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 06, 2009, 07:47:42 AM
He was surprised when Daniel reached for his guitar and started strumming and singing.  He felt surreal and a little uncomfortable to be serenaded, but shifted on the sofa and thought it polite to at least pay attention.  Ben listened to the song with a fixed smile, thinking it sounded vaguely familiar but he didn\'t recognise the song nor the artist.  When the second half of the song was sung, he\'d lost most of his smile and was giving Daniel a puzzled look before he lowered his gaze to his lap, thinking of Kerr and the same promises he\'d left behind.  Daniel couldn\'t know such a thing though, he couldn\'t hold it against the mortal for picking something like that.

He could, however, hold what Daniel said against him once the song had finished and the other promised to drag him around in case he hit the big time.

"I didn\'t mean me," he said, his tone coming out icier than he\'d meant and he pressed his lips together in the desire to take it back.  It had come out sounded much worse than he\'d intented, for he\'d meant to say it lightly (but firmly).  He tried to cover it up by saying more.  "That song sounds familiar.  It\'s not original, is it?" he asked, hoping it wasn\'t or else he\'d have insulted Daniel in more than one way.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 06, 2009, 08:12:21 AM
The mortal blinked owlishly - looking somewhat like a crestfallen puppy - at the fact that his joke had fallen flat.  At this early stage of their relationship, he didn\'t mean any of the stuff he\'d said about employing Ben as his personal vampire either (and now he\'d be damn sure he didn\'t, considering how nasty he became at the thought of it).

"Nah, that\'s an old Everclear song," he mumbled, reflexively strumming his guitar again and lightly picking out another tune because he was feeling defensive and whenever he had any sort of emotion at all to deal with, music helped him do it.  "\'I Will Buy You A New Life\'.  D\'you want me to play you something of mine?" he offered, uncertain about revealing himself in this way, considering Ben was pretty... harsh, when he wanted to be.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 06, 2009, 11:18:01 AM
Ben\'s sense of humour was lacking when it came to his self-inflicted isolation, borne of his inability to accept the financial aid of others, including (and perhaps especially from) his sire, Kerr. He\'d made a promise to himself a long time ago, upon leaving home, that he would make it through the world without the helping hand of others. Pride, that ugly word, and considered a sin, was what caused him to be cruel to Daniel without meaning to. It was deep within him, a flaw in his character that he considered a strength, because he couldn\'t be flexible with it.
 
At least he wasn\'t blind to the way his cold words had pierced the other, nor was he so callous as not to care how Daniel had taken it. His expression changed minutely - though enough that someone who knew him well would identify his guilt - and he watched quietly as Daniel plucked at the strings some more, his eyebrows raising when he was offered an original song. Damn, he was being an asshole to a guy who was turning out to be quite nice.
 
"Wow, yeh," he said, his voice not raised in excited pitch, though there was sincerity behind them. "I\'d like that," he added.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 06, 2009, 09:24:34 PM
Daniel picked at the strings briefly, belatedly listening to them twang and tightening a peg as he mentally sorted through something that would sound good performed by him and a guitar alone - although a lot of his composing was done this way, he mixed in so many layers of instruments afterwards (all played by him) that songs didn\'t always sound good to him with a solo instrument.

After a few moments, a nice, gentle ballad he\'d composed when he was seventeen came to him - one he\'d written after a particularly nasty breakup with his first serious boyfriend - and he began plucking the introduction soon after.  It was a song of love being ruined, desecrated, destroyed when the other partner changed; his lover had taken something he\'d thought perfect and shat on it when he\'d cheated on him.  It was written in far prettier and angstier prose but that was the essence of the song.

Daniel\'s voice reflected the pain and myriad of confusion he\'d experienced at the time - such feelings were long behind him now but his voice had matured and he enjoyed the way he could wring a break from it in the crescendo.  His volume was likely excessive for vampiric hearing but it filled the relatively dead air of his apartment warmly and emotively; his eyes fell closed, so deeply did he get into the song and only when he was playing the closing cords did he open them again.  When the last was wrought from the strings, his strumming hand once again fell to his knee and he simply looked at Ben for his reaction.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 07, 2009, 09:17:18 AM
Ben listened with rapt attention, his cool gaze fixed first on Daniel\'s face and then drifting to watch the mortal\'s fingers.  He\'d never learnt how to play a musical instrument, other than having a go at a few things in music class at high school.  He\'d never shown as much promise as he\'d liked, and he\'d needed a lot of time to dedicate (as well as money for lessons).  It had been put on the back burner behind his obsession about vampirism, behind travel and reading, and now he saw an opportunity in Daniel.

When the song finished, he could still hear the melody in his head, and the quality of Daniel\'s voice had somehow been richer singing this song than the other.  He didn\'t know why or how there was a difference, but his hearing had picked it up, and it had made this particular song a whole lot better than the other.

"That\'s amazing," he said after the final note dissipated, long after Daniel had been able to hear it.  Such a sad song, with lingering effect; he hadn\'t paid so much attention to the words than to the overall feeling of the song, and so had missed an historical event in Daniel\'s world, though he caught the emotion.  "You\'re very talented."  After a longer pause, where he looked from Daniel to the guitar and back to Daniel again, he blurted out his desire to learn.  "Do you think you could teach me to play?"

Ugh.

"I mean, if I bought my own guitar, could you show me a few things?"

Double ugh.

"If it\'s no trouble.  You have your own music to work on, I expect."

Okay Ben, shut up now.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 07, 2009, 09:40:59 AM
Daniel\'s eyebrows lifted in surprise and a smile spread slowly over his face as he thought about teaching Ben to play the guitar; he\'d never actually taught anyone to do anything of the sort, so that part was a bit daunting, but having an excuse to get together with the vampire for reasons other than drinking... that was awesome!

"Sick," he answered, nodding his agreement.  "I got plenty of time to work on my stuff during the day, it\'s cool," he demurred, unable to stop smiling at Ben.  "You want I should go with you to buy one, or you know what\'s up?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 07, 2009, 09:56:07 AM
"I have no idea about guitars," Ben said with a grin, excited now at the prospect of learning how to play one.  He wondered, after a moment, if he should offer to pay for lessons.  "I don\'t have much money to spend on one.  I don\'t have much money to pay you either, but if you keep a tab on how many hours, I could sort it out later once I\'m... uh...

not living off Kerr\'s money still
working for money again, that\'ll be fun
what the hell can I do at night?
what kind of job is fit for a vampire?


"...um, established," he finished lamely.

Liquid Empire would be a good fit

And at this last thought, he blinked twice and gave Daniel a blank stare, trying to recover from the not-so-bright idea he\'d just thought of.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 07, 2009, 10:04:15 AM
The mortal waved the offer away with one hand even while he leaned up to replace his guitar in the position it always faithfully sat, within easy reach.  "Nah, man, I\'ve never taught anybody before, so I don\'t reckon you\'ll need to pay me - might be the other way \'round, though," he laughed, rubbing his hands on his thighs as he pondered the situation.

"And hey, if it works out alright, you might just teach me some skills that I could use and maybe make some decent money off teaching peeps."  He smiled in a final sort of way, indicating that that line of conversation was finished, for him, and he had other thoughts on his mind now.  A thumb extended towards the door was the precedent.  "You want to go look at guitars right now?  I know a place stays open real late on weekends," and he slid his ass a bit forward on the couch, as if he already had his answer.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 07, 2009, 10:19:16 AM
Ben tilted his head at Daniel, understanding that the other didn\'t want to be paid but not sure about how to take the rest of the comments.  He figured it was easier just to let them pass, especially when Daniel offered to take him to a store right away.  Grinning broadly, and his excitement growing at the thought of achieving one of his many goals much sooner than expected, he agreed with Daniel\'s suggestion that they should go and was happy enough to let the mortal take him wherever.


IT WAS THE NEXT night that Ben found himself at the Liquid Empire.  It was already nine at night and a line had formed outside the doors.  Unsure about the policy and not knowing if it was like Risk where supernaturals could just walk in, he lined up.  The queue wasn\'t so bad, for fifteen minutes later he found himself at the front.  He paid the cover charge and would\'ve picked the same booth as he had last time, except all of the tables and booths were full.  The place was a lot busier than it had been the first time he\'d come, because he\'d come a lot later at night.  It still wasn\'t Friday or Saturday, but that didn\'t seem to make a difference to the crowd, who were packed within.  The dancefloor below was thrumming with bodies, and as Ben watched them from the railing above, he started thinking that maybe he wouldn\'t bump into Sotiris after all.  He wasn\'t sure whether to be relieved or disappointed, considering he\'d planned on asking about work.  Still, how to drop such a thing into normal conversation, especially when he\'d already slept with the owner.

As he was pondering the intelligence and likeliness of success of his expected request, he felt a presence of age nearby and turned his head as discreetly as possible to see if it was who he thought it was.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 07, 2009, 02:49:43 PM
Sotiris walked up to stand at the railing with Ben, coming to a statuesque pause at the blonde\'s left with his hands pressed to the railing, fingers together and palms flat so that they described a stiff right angle at the wrists.  He deliberately didn\'t look at Ben - for he was still smarting over the fact that the childe had left his bed so callously - but he did address him, in his regal manner, as he surveyed the club.

"I see you found your way back," he announced austerely, looking down his nose at the myriad of patrons below.  His cool tone would no doubt tell Ben he was displeased with him, but he held himself with perfect poise, his muscular body clothed tonight in a white frock shirt with extravagant ruffles at the neck and wrists, black leather pants and a bright red scarf tied in a knot below the frills on his chest.  He looked like a dashing rockstar who\'d just jumped off stage, with his dishevelled brunette locks and prettily pursed mouth.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 07, 2009, 03:33:19 PM
Ben was silent for a moment, expecting more to come from the Ancient.  He picked up on the disapproval but didn\'t properly understand it, for Sotiris had used him and left him to wake up and get out.  When he realised that the other wasn\'t going to expand on his short sentence, Ben realised that coming back was obviously not the best idea, and perhaps that was why Sotiris was annoyed with him.  Wasn\'t the club big enough, though, that he could come here and drink?

"Yes," he said, more as an acknowledgement than anything else, because he thought it would only make things worse if Sotiris thought he was being insulted or ignored.  "I didn\'t see the harm.  I mean," he flicked his gaze at Sotiris\' profile before it lowered back to the dancers, "I hoped it would be okay to."

He frowned, wondering if Sotiris was now going to demand that he left.  He wasn\'t really sure about how people were supposed to behave after having a one-night-stand with someone, but with thought he\'d come up with the opinion that most continued as though it hadn\'t happened, or were even invited for a repeat.  He didn\'t want the latter, but he also didn\'t want Sotiris to request him to leave.  That would prove humiliating, and extra hurtful, on top of waking up alone.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 07, 2009, 03:45:35 PM
In a fluid and rather beautiful movement, Sotiris spun in a little circle and faced Ben, his arms folded across his broad chest defensively.  "It would have been preferable if it was done sooner, rather than however many nights it\'s been since you skulked away," he said, affecting flippancy by flicking his hand in a dismissive manner, but then tucking it back in beneath his other arm as he stared levelly at Ben.  "But of course it is fine."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 07, 2009, 03:57:53 PM
Ben was caught in a strange place between confusion and relief that Sotiris was huffy at him for not coming back sooner.  Wasn\'t leaving someone to wake up in your bed alone and make their own way out an international gesture of \'you can fuck off now\'?  He was surprised that Sotiris expected him to come running back for more.  Perhaps it was what he was used to though; Ben had no way of knowing how many people were invited into his personal quarters, nor how they behaved afterward, and he wasn\'t going to ask for further clarification.  He didn\'t argue or point out the fact Sotiris hadn\'t exactly invited Ben to stick around.  That was a debate he could live without.

He met Sotiris\' stare for the most part, but then it skittered away when the intensity got too much.  He found himself looking at the bar now, and wondering how many bartenders Sotiris would need at a place like this.  Pulling his gaze back, he found Sotiris looking imposingly at him, and wilted under the stare.

"I expected you\'re very busy," he mumbled.  It was a poor excuse for not coming back sooner, almost cheating himself of the real answer - that he\'d felt cheap and used and wasn\'t ready to return to that feeling, regardless of how brilliant the night had been before it.  His gaze was back to the dancers now.  He was unable to meet Sotiris\' stare now that he was thinking about that night, coupled with the pending desire to request work.

It all suddenly seemed so very naive and stupid.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 07, 2009, 04:26:59 PM
Sotiris raised his eyebrows haughtily.  "Of course I am, but I would have thought I made it abundantly clear that I was not too busy for you," he chastised, holding his pious pose for a few moments longer, until he was certain the brevity of his words had sunk in.

Then, all of a sudden, he relaxed and became his usual charming self, unfolding his arms and sidling closer to Ben, toying sweetly with the fingers of one hand.  "Ah well, you\'ve come back now, all is well.  Would you like a drink?" he murmured, his dark eyes glinting playfully and telling Ben that the offer extended beyond the club area and to his quarters once more.  He seemed keen to make up for lost time.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 07, 2009, 04:33:39 PM
Ben was confused once again when Sotiris repeated his earlier sentiment that Ben should\'ve showed up at the club sooner.  Did he really have lovers that ran back to him readily after something casual?  Ben supposed so.  He\'d been pretty terrific in bed, he recalled (with mild embarrassment and some stirring) but he wasn\'t wired to have casual affairs, and he supposed he\'d have to point this out to Sotiris, if the hints kept coming at him.

The noticeable change in Sotiris was unsettling.  Ben was struck dumb for a moment and mutely nodded his agreement to a drink.  He wasn\'t feeling particularly flirty at the moment but figured if Sotiris wanted to whisk him away somewhere quieter and more private, it could mean an opportunity to ask about employment.  He would ensure, however, that when he asked, he had to make it abundantly clear that their prior meeting was to have nothing to do with their potential future arrangement.

Play it by ear, Ben
Don\'t plan everything
Take it all as it comes and say what you need to say
When it\'s best to say it


Sage advice.  He just had to be cool enough to follow it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 07, 2009, 05:34:28 PM
Again, Sotiris blocked the minds of those who would be too curious about who he was taking to his quarters to bear their questions afterwards, and he snuck Ben very efficiently up to his place.  Since they walked through the kitchens, he left an order for two specially-brewed blood drinks to be sent up after him and then they were in the elevator going up once more.

The ancient looked frankly at Ben as he did, still insanely curious about what he was thinking and how he was so composed, to walk back in here as brave as you please - like he\'d had no impact.  Well, it was obvious he\'d thought there was none, but it was the Greek\'s idea that he would show him the falseness of that assumption.  The young blonde had made quite the impact, actually, especially with his hard-to-get-afterwards routine.  That was just infuriating... but intriguingly so.

They were about to sit on the couch when their drinks arrived, so Sotiris gestured for Ben to make himself comfortable while he answered the elevator - the service was obviously very prompt for the owner.  As he walked back towards Ben, holding the two parfait style glasses (they even had umbrellas in them) , he explained what was in them as he handed on over then positioned himself with his right leg tucked under him and his knee pointing directly at his guest.

"This is a cheeky little cocktail I like from time to time - a mix of all the human bloods with a dash of Australian kangaroo - that\'s what the tang is - and a thimble full of rattlesnake blood for sweetness.  Snake\'s blood is surprisingly sweet, I find it quite invigorating," he shared, witholding the part where he told Ben that exactly such a cocktail would have met him upon waking after their night together - had he stuck around long enough.  That was in the past and he was ready to move on to the future already.

After taking a hearty few mouthsful of his drink (he drank over half of it in one go), he placed it on the nearby coffee table and sidled forward, both his hands sliding up and along Ben\'s thigh - the one closest to him, anyway.  He wasn\'t shy about brushing the boy\'s crotch and staring meaningfully at him, merely waiting until Ben put his drink down so that he could kiss him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 07, 2009, 06:16:01 PM
In the elevator Ben could feel Sotiris\' gaze on him.  It was like a physical thing, a weight and heat pressing on him from the side.  Peripherally he could see the Ancient staring at him and he dared not meet that gaze.  Instead, he fascinated himself with how shiny the lift doors were on that side.  How did they get them so shiny?  How often were they cleaned to see that much reflection?  It wasn\'t quite mirrored glass, but-

The lift doors opened and interrupted his rambling thoughts.  Thankfully, they also interrupted Sotiris\' stare and Ben felt the pressure of it leave.  A glance at the Ancient confirmed that he was no longer looking Ben\'s way and so he allowed himself to be directed to the couch

oh this couch I remember
this couch was before the bed
didn\'t spend long on it

spent loads of time in bed though

and vainly tried to fend off the memories that hit him as soon as he was seated.  Sotiris had already excused himself to fetch whatever had followed them up here, and Ben\'s brows lifted slightly at the sight of the drinks.

Taking his one and sipping it, he was doubly glad for the presence.  For one, it was a very nice tasting cocktail of blood that was helping him clear his head and get himself together.  Secondly, it served as a nice barrier between him and Sotiris, much like the first glass of blood had when they\'d initially met downstairs - before Ben had allowed himself to get picked up.

The problem was Sotiris\' eagerness to get things underway, however, and very quickly after the Greek put his glass down, Ben had to hold up a staying hand, to hold the other at bay.  His other hand remained clasping the drink, which was still two-thirds full, and tipping dangerously to the side, threatening to spill as Ben paid more attention to the Ancient\'s move on him than what he was holding.

"Wait," he said, his fingertips touching Sotiris\' chest, and feeling an electrical tingle as the memory of brushing his hands over the other\'s flesh came up to say hello.  "Wait," he said again, temporarily lost for further words and needing to stall so he could think of something to say.  "I can\'t do this again."

Well, that was to the point, though far from playing it cool.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 07, 2009, 08:37:57 PM
Far from looking dismayed, Sotiris only looked mildly intrigued and perhaps a little wary at being told Ben couldn\'t do \'this\' again.  His hands weren\'t dissuaded from petting the young vampire\'s leg and his face loomed closer, his gaze intent on Ben\'s lips.

"Why not?" he asked huskily, negligently, like he wasn\'t really listening to what was being said anyway.  He was busy undressing his lover with his eyes - itching to do it with his hands - and feeling the usually-dormant stirring of lust that had inspired him when he\'d first laid eyes on the curious package that was Ben.

He could think of no good reason why they shouldn\'t repeat what they\'d already done (with a few new manoeuvres he\'d come up with in his idle time since that night, that were guaranteed to get him Ben\'s adulation, he thought).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 07, 2009, 10:42:34 PM
"Because I\'m not into casual flings," he said after a short expulsion of air, indignant that Sotiris should question him without backing off.  He brought the glass back to being in front of him, so it could be more of a physical barrier, and that was when he saw that blood had spilled over the edge.

He stopped pushing at Sotiris\' chest so he could slide his finger along the outside of the glass and swipe the blood away from there, shifting in his seat to try and get a bit more room away from the Ancient touching him, and glanced down at the floor where he could see an angry splotch of blood, which would likely stain where it sat.

"Oh shit, sorry," he said while looking at it, sucking the blood off his finger and expecting Sotiris now to fly into a rage over his floor once he saw it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 07, 2009, 11:39:09 PM
Instead of looking at the blood and Ben\'s hysterical response to spilling it (well, hysterical in Tiri\'s terms), he was busy looking at the childe with an expression of indignation marring his features.

"Casual flings?" he responded crisply, practically spitting the words out.  The last thing he was was casual and it offended him to be thusly labelled.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 07, 2009, 11:45:25 PM
When he realised he still had all of Sotiris\' attention and that the other wouldn\'t go off the wall about the spill, Ben\'s gaze found the Ancient\'s once more and was neatly intimidated by the look he received.  Embarrassed, he lowered his gaze to his glass and fidgeted with it instead, cleaning as much of the rim and outer edge with his finger as possible, even as he shyly clarified his statement, now that he\'d been called up on it.

"I don\'t... I\'m not judging or anything, I mean, I guess it works for a lot of people, and works well, but... I\'m not... it\'s not something I want," he said awkwardly, then glanced up at Sotiris again, meeting the heavy stare for a short moment before his gaze fell to his glass again and he mumbled the rest.  "I can see coming up here was a bad idea.  I can take myelf out."

Like I did last time, he thought resentfully, and hoped that Sotiris hadn\'t caught that little gem.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 07, 2009, 11:58:41 PM
"Bullshit you\'re not judging," Sotiris snapped, making no move to appease Ben or talk him out of leaving, but merely focussing on the part of the conversation he wished to continue with - and clarify.  His rigid posture gave away the fact that he was not impressed with what he\'d heard.

"You as good as accused me of being a slut, after I made it very clear to you that I was upset because you so rudely snuck off the other night!  You are judging me - and by skulking out now, condemning our interlude as casual!  Ben, you are a hypocrite!" he declared grandly, with all the conviction and eloquence being one of the old world could lend him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 12:10:14 AM
He was putting the glass down on the table nearby, next to Sotiris\' own when he discovered what the Ancient really thought of him.  Ben was aghast at the indignation coming his way when Sotiris had no right.  Staring at the other with wide eyes and his lips parting in a gape, now that he was accused of sneaking out, he finally found his voice in protest after a moment to recover from the blast he\'d just received.

"What are you talking about?" he asked, not yet standing up but he was perched on the edge of the couch, ready to.  "I woke up alone."

I had time to shower, dress and take myself out
It\'s not like you were sending me signals to stay
you weren\'t even there


He wasn\'t brave enough to say the second part of what he thought.  It wasn\'t in him to argue, to be confronting or to throw it back in Sotiris\' face like he\'d had done to him just now.  Because of the small amount of blood he\'d drunk, he didn\'t have enough in him to colour his cheeks, though he felt awfully self-conscious.  He wasn\'t ready to storm out however, or to feel Sotiris\' eyes on his back (or worse yet, to leave with another accusation on his heels).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 12:16:42 AM
Sotiris\' reaction was damning, even though it was thoroughly calm - he raised his eyebrows haughtily and pursed his lips in something akin to a sneer.  "Yes, because I went to get us a drink to begin our evening properly," he said offhandedly, gesturing to the pair of glasses now on the coffee table - he spared them a cursory glance.  "And none of the staff were there yet, so I went to my office and did some work.  I was gone no more than half an hour and you were not here when I returned."

He wasn\'t arguing his point emotively, his voice was as smooth, rich and eloquent as always, but seemingly unruffled.  He merely wanted to state his case and expected Ben to accept it as fact; no arguing or shrewish screaming would ever cross this man\'s lips.  Still, he was very annoyed and the ramrod stiffness of his spine and the tight line of his shoulders showed it, should Ben care to look.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 12:23:12 AM
He stared at Sotiris with slowly dawning horror.  The realisation that if he\'d lingered a little, he would\'ve had Sotiris return, and then a completely different path might\'ve been taken.  He couldn\'t be sure that things would\'ve worked out, but at least he wouldn\'t have felt like shit afterwards.

"Oh," he said stupidly. "I thought you wanted me gone."

And there it was, his Big Fuck Up.  It seemed he was able to complete a Big Fuck Up no matter which city he was in.  His whole life, in fact, was a Big Fuck Up.  The only thing he did right - managing to become a vampire - wasn\'t even something he could recall.

He wanted to cover his face, to hide himself away, but figured that would only make him look dumb in front of the Ancient.  He felt stupid enough already, he didn\'t want to go ahead and look it as well.  Instead of hiding behind his hands, he turned and stared at the glass of blood instead.

Asking for work now was out of the question.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 12:38:28 AM
Although he'd made his point and could see the effect it had on Ben, Sotiris was not of the soft generation; he would not cuddle upon learning of a victory.  He would secure it and ensure it never happened again by landing the killing blow.

"You made those assumptions because you had condemned our night as unworthy of anything other than a pitiable label - and you condemned me along with it.  I am not in the habit of broaching relationships casually, Ben, nor is it my custom to approach those whom I believe to be indifferent to me after such an event... but I like you, even though you insult me and bruise my ego, and I wished to know more of you.  For a man who has eternity to survive, you still have monstrously narrow understandings of people and a petty, shortsighted view of the world, though.  Not everything is black or white, you know."

Again, Sotiris cocked an eyebrow, but it was just one, as he waited for Ben's reaction to his own condemnation of the young vampire.  Truthfully, he was intrigued by the piousness but if it was ruled by absolute rigidity - as it seemed to be - he'd grow bored very quickly and it was best Ben took himself away as quickly as possible.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 12:51:48 AM
He was thoroughly humiliated after hearing Sotiris\' view on everything.  Here he was, thinking he\'d been used and dumped, and it was really his own view of what he\'d expected to happen, rather than what was really going on.  He had slept with Sotiris thinking that the other made such an event commonplace, even after being told that he was the first to visit Sotiris\' place after a long time.  Had the Ancient said months or years?  He couldn\'t recall and it didn\'t matter now anyway.  He\'d ruined what might\'ve been something sweet and nice, and not because of anything Sotiris had said and done, but because he\'d already judged the other before anything might\'ve progressed.  He\'d woken up alone and assumed the worst.  Sotiris was right to be angry, he figured.

"I\'m sorry," he said after a moment taken to realise his folly.  He glanced over at Sotiris but couldn\'t maintain eye contact.  Not now, not after this.  "I guess I\'ve blown it."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 12:58:43 AM
The eyebrow remained arched as Sotiris observed Ben thoughtfully.  He was no longer certain that he would dig beneath the surface of what he saw and find the gold he\'d predicted - and truthfully, it would have to be a miracle, in one fledged so young and aged barely at all - but he wasn\'t ready to write Ben off completely.  He was still an intriguing package, righteous quirks and all.

"What do you think you have blown?" he mused, the ice leaking out of his voice even as the stiffness bled from his posture - it was a slight change, noticeable more in the climate of the room than in his physique.  "What do you expect, now?" the ancient hinted softly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 01:07:38 AM
Ben managed to find a way to look at Sotiris, perhaps because the expression had softened, but likely because of the tone in the question.  Using the word \'expect\' had made Ben feel like a heel, but it was obvious to both of them now that Ben had his judgements, regardless of how correct or appropriate they were, and so he used the word in return, figuring honesty was the only way he could deal with this situation to hopefully be allowed to leave without too much more humiliation.

"I expect you\'ve lost interest in me," he said quietly, looking at the top button of Sotiris\' shirt before he made himself meet the other\'s eyes again, "I expect that you\'ll show me out with class."  He shrugged.  "I told you I didn\'t have much to offer."

Ugh, he felt like a loser.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 01:12:40 AM
Sotiris frowned, wondering at the defeat he saw in the other - had he no alternate plan?  "Have you never had to fight for what you want then?  You merely throw your seeds to the wind and hope they fall on fallow land and bring forth shoots?" he challenged, hoping the other would rise to it and recognise his pathetic attitude.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 01:19:17 AM
Ben looked at Sotiris now, frowning at him.  The words were strong and he didn\'t like the way they made him sound.  He\'d never rolled over and played dead, he just hadn\'t had the opportunity to see his plans out, meagre as they were.  He did have goals though, and he was steadily working towards them.

"No," he said defensively, but didn\'t want to justify himself to Sotiris.  The conversation was going in a direction he hadn\'t intended.  "It\' just that... if our positions were reversed, I wouldn\'t bother listening to anything you had to say."  He shrugged.  "What\'s done is done."  He fixed his silvery gaze on Sotiris now, wondering if the other would argue.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 01:35:10 AM
Sotiris shrugged, his generous mouth bowing down in a graceful arch as he considered Ben\'s words.  He was relaxed enough to lean over and reclaim his glass of blood, taking a sip before cradling it and looking at the young vampire.

"I am not so absolute; I see no reason to rule out possibilities simply because of my insecurities and nor should you.  If you have an idea of what you want, ask for it - what can be the harm of it?" he asked airily, beginning to talk and gesture more openly with his free hand - right before it landed right back on Ben\'s thigh once more, the fingers brushing.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 01:42:10 AM
Ben reached forward and took his own glass when Sotiris took his, mirroring the man he was attracted to without realising, and opening himself up to the possibility of staying.  It was only when he sipped from it, looking over the rim at the Ancient before he realised he had his drink once more in his hand.  He didn\'t mind Sotiris\' touch on his thigh, either.  It seemed the conversation was destined to continue - and not as sourly as Ben had expected.

His expectations had to be put up for serious review, he saw this now.

"I don\'t want to go through this world like I own it.  When I became a vampire, there was nobody to miss me, or wonder where I went."  It was guesswork, really, but by what he\'d understood from Kerr, there\'d only been him and Arles, and eventually only him, and then Kerr had moved on to Jack anyway, which left Ben with nothing, which was what he\'d started with.  "Maybe later, when I\'ve had time to do something worthwhile, I might see things your way," he conceded.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 01:49:34 AM
Sotiris\' eyes narrowed marginally, his interest sparked once more by that contradictory streak in Ben.  When the piousness wasn\'t highlighted, he revealed layers of depth that the ancient wanted to understand.

"What do you class as \'worthwhile\'?" he challenged slyly, wondering if the boy classed saved lives, averted tragedies or curing pestilences among the things he intended to do, to earn his immortality.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 01:57:40 AM
He took the time to think about it, though his answer was near at hand.  Education was worthwhile, for what was the point of eternity if he was going to waste it learning nothing?  Travel was worthwhile, because there was an entire world out there awaiting discovery, and he\'d seen so little of it.  Advancements were worthwhile, as the human race as a whole pursued its love affair with technology.  The only thing that could teach him that was to stick around and see it happen.

"The pursuit of knowledge," he answered finally, for it summed everything up.  He wanted to be a walking encyclopedia of the world.  He wanted to know things, to have been there and done that, to be a fountain of information and understanding, to be able to appreciate the world beyond a surface level.  He suspected that Sotiris had figured out now that he was all surface level, that there was nothing deep about him, because he hadn\'t had time to layer himself with interesting things.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 02:02:46 AM
"And so if you learn... things," Sotiris stressed consideringly, his mouth bowing downward a few times as he appeared to taste his words, his shoulders lifting in further thought, "you will be worthy of immortality, yes?  You will be deemed \'worthwhile\' and have your knowledge to offer the world?" he queried.

Ben agreed, but the expression on his face showed that he wasn\'t happy with the way the questions had been phrased - it was a means to an end to Sotiris though, and he believed that that expression would only get worse when he\'d finished his thought.

"Right, so what if the world doesn\'t want it?  Because as much as I\'ve seen and as much as I\'ve done, I can tell you that one thing remains pretty constant; the world does not give a fuck.  It continues to evolve, to change, to rebel, to surrender - at random, at will, at times least convenient.  The world will give you nothing, so why do you feel you owe the world?  It will not pay you back, it will not acknowledge your effort; people look at vampires in fear or in desire, there\'s nothing in between.  How much knowledge you have to offer will influence no-one, when by merely being immortal, you\'ve earned your badge of esteem, to any mortal you meet - a.k.a. the world."

He paused momentarily, to see if what he was saying was having any affect at all.

"You won\'t go through the world like it owes you, you will only reap what is your due, by species.  We are the next step up on the food chain and the simple fact of the matter is, supremacy is our dominant weapon.  You owe no-one but yourself anything - yet you\'ve hoisted yourself up onto this high, high pedestal of righteousness, from which you look down and see the ills of the world and feel guilty for your perspective.  Whether by right, luck or trickery, you are in that position and there is no \'worthwhile\' to be done to justify it.  It\'s yours.  Own your supremacy and stop letting your mortal sensibilities flog you into guilt!" he encouraged.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 02:35:54 AM
After such a speech Ben felt like there was very little left to say afterward.  He could see Sotiris\' point, but he didn\'t agree with it, but he could hardly say so without sounding like a young know-it-all.  Sotiris was Ancient, he\'d survived so many years and had evolved into this being that was superbly confidant and coolly collected.  Perhaps that was why Ben had considered him unattainable when they\'d first met, surprised that Sotiris had liked him enough to bed him.

"Even if you\'re right," he said, hoping that Sotiris wouldn\'t be too incensed by the \'if\' in that sentence, "I can\'t.  It\'s not who I am.  Maybe in a thousand years I\'ll be what you want me to be, but... you tell me that I have mortal sensibilities and mortal guilt.  You\'ve pegged it, you really have, because I still feel mortal.  I still feel vulnerable."  He set the glass down, now half drunk, back on the coffee table and gave Sotiris\' a steady look.  "I still interact with mortal lives and I still have mortal needs.  I\'ve been looking for work," he said, and now he felt absurdly self-conscious, like Sotiris would be able to peer into his mind and know it was this reason he\'d come back to Liquid Empire and not to see him again.  Thankfully, it hadn\'t come up, "because I need the money, because I want to make it on my own.  Even though I am what I am, top of the food chain or whatever, I\'m still limited to living in this world like it wants me to."  He shrugged, not feeling half as eloquent as Sotiris had been, but figuring his point had been made, regardless.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 01:57:24 PM
Sotiris respected the fact that, even if Ben couldn\'t see his viewpoint, he recognised that it was because he was too young and he didn\'t close himself off to the potential of understanding one day.  There was something to be said for that.

As for the mortal desire to work... well, even though it was a predominantly useful way of making contacts and finding himself excitement, the club was his haven in such a way, and kept him in the lifestyle he was most comfortable with.  He\'d always worked, in every incarnation he\'d adopted, he\'d always found it best to have something to do with his time, otherwise time stretched like a blank and onerous road before him and it seemed nothing would relieve the tedium of existence (he\'d tried it... it hadn\'t worked).

"I understand," he said simply, looking frankly at Ben.  He didn\'t wish to harp on his understandings of life any more, not when they\'d reached a congenial impasse.  He only needed to wait for Ben to realise now that \'what\'s done\' was not necessarily what was done at all - that was still within his grasp and Sotiris\' hope.  He made idle conversation while he thought of how to bring things back to that.  "And what sort of work are you skilled at doing?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 02:15:47 PM
It felt like his heart had leapt in his throat, his mouth was suddenly so full that he found himself unable to speak.  The silence after the question stretched, and stretched some more, until Ben could stand it no longer and filled it with the first thing that came into his head.  The time that had elapsed was perhaps a minute, but he would\'ve been surprised to realise how short it actually was, for it had felt like forever.

"I\'m not skilled, but I can do math well enough, if I was given a job at a register, and I\'m not fussy about dirty jobs either, I\'ll do most anything."

He had to make himself stop before he started identifying specific jobs at Liquid Empire, for he was well aware that Sotiris hadn\'t made an offer, but it had certainly sounded like it was heading that way.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 10:10:56 PM
Sotiris made a face - briefly - that showed he didn\'t think much of dirty work, but he didn\'t remain focussed on that part of the conversation.  He was only busy thinking about himself, and how \'work\' would affect his ability to see Ben with any regularity... and that was when his thoughts suddenly aligned themselves with Ben\'s.

"How much work are you looking for?" he mused, calculating his staff, their rosters and if he could accommodate another body.  A few vampires were employed at Liquid Empire, so Ben wouldn\'t be the only one... Sotiris wasn\'t interested in having him do a \'dirty\' job, though... perhaps a bar tender?  An alcoholic one, not the blood bar (not with Ben being so young).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 10:32:50 PM
"Whatever pays the rent with something extra," he replied, figuring it would likely be a fixed roster much like his mortal life.  Five nights a week, if that was going.  He didn\'t want to work more than that if he could help it, but he would have to consider more potentially, at the start, in order to make enough money that he could start seriously saving for a better existence.  "Is there... something available at the club?" he asked, trying to sound nonchalent and failing.  He didn\'t have the guts to look Sotiris in the eye just yet, so was staring at the half-filled glass of blood and nervously licked his lips awaiting the answer.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 08, 2009, 10:55:47 PM
"I was just thinking about that," Sotiris agreed, genuinely surprised by the suggestion but not displaying it in any way other than lifting his eyebrows briefly.  "Would you be interested in bar work?  We have an opening for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday nights.  Do you know any good cocktail recipes?" he murmured, not missing the opportunity to rub Ben\'s leg a little more obviously, now that he seemed to be distracted by their conversation.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 08, 2009, 11:13:05 PM
"Bar work sounds great," he said, a grin slowly spreading across his lips, very pleased with the direction Sotiris was thinking.  He\'d expected to be lumped with vaccuuming, or something.  "I know the basics," Ben bluffed, knowing nothing of the sort but he was determined to purchase a book and learn at least the basic drinks, like how much gin there was in a standard martini, and what the hell exactly went into a long island iced tea.  He\'d start with that, learn the rest at the bar, and prove himself worthy of a very cool position of bartender, which he was pretty sure he would need a degree or diploma or certificate or some sort of qualification if he\'d wanted to work at a bar anywhere else.

Ben was aware of the touch on his leg, but it was welcome and nice on the heels of a very sour start to his night.  Funny how he\'d come in here with one idea and had completely been turned around on it.  He\'d been angry and upset with Sotiris for using him, and now felt guilty that he was the one that had skipped out!  It seemed he might have a second chance here, with his new job and his new life.  He had a place, someone nearby to drink from, guitar lessons on the go and now a potential romance (in its infant stage, despite the fact that they\'d already leapt into bed).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 09, 2009, 01:23:56 AM
Sotiris drained his blood, put the empty glass back on the coffee table and shuffled a little closer to Ben (it was possible, since some space had magically appeared between them), placing his other (now empty) hand on the young blonde\'s thigh as well.  He\'d moved from simple caresses to more insistent squeezes and rubs now.

"You will need to be here, tomorrow night, to speak with Chris about training on the job.  Thursdays are good nights to learn, it\'s not as busy.  How convenient if you were already in the building, say," he murmured airily, leaning in to press his face against Ben\'s nape.  He kissed his flesh amorously, sucking lightly, scraping his teeth across the resilient surface in a manner intended to arouse.  "Here.  With me."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 09, 2009, 02:15:24 PM
It had been a mistake the first time, he\'d thought, but the mistake had been on his part in leaving, otherwise, sleeping with Sotiris hadn\'t been a mistake at all!  He breathed out a sigh that told the Ancient he was enjoying the attention paid him, even though there was conflict within him.  The side that wanted to agree with Sotiris was stronger, regardless of the cruel streak in the other.  He was justifying it, justifying everything under the umbrella of a misunderstanding the first time around.  Both of them had been upset that the other had left them in the \'morning\', and it was almost funny now, because he was right where he wanted to be (and right where Sotiris wanted him).
 
"Very convenient," he murmured, moving into those kisses so he could return with some of his own.  Once again he wasn\'t thinking about the consequences of his actions, though he would later, when faced with them.
 
 
THE NEXT WEEK WAS mostly spent in a good mood, like he had a bubble around him protecting him from anything negative - a barrier where anything bad just bounced right off.  He was lost in a haze of adoration for Sotiris (who he\'d learned by now could be nicknamed Tiri, which was just cute), who\'d seduced him so completely that he almost lost himself, and would\'ve, if Tiri hadn\'t wanted to know so much about him and his opinions.
 
It was the in-depth conversations that Ben enjoyed for the most part, though he hadn\'t had as many of them as he\'d expected - much like he hadn\'t had as many nights with Tiri, as expected.  He wasn\'t around when Ben was being trained up (and had received a few frowns for his lack of knowledge but nothing had been said, but at least he was learning things quickly) and if he made an appearance, Ben would be whisked away upstairs shortly after.  With the bartending, he found that he really sucked at the showmanship part, probably because he was too clumsy, but he was precise and had a good eye for measures, he\'d been told (much to his delight).
 
He hadn\'t intended to land himself a job at Liquid Empire by sleeping with the managing owner, and had expected to hear a few derogatory comments about it, but nothing had been said to his face and he hadn\'t overheard anything either.  Perhaps they didn\'t care, or maybe they didn\'t know, either way suited Ben just fine (presently).
 
It was one of his nights off, and he didn\'t want Sotiris to think he was desperate for attention (even though he felt much like he was), so was avoiding the Liquid Empire altogether, in order to show Sotiris he could be as independant as he was claiming to be.  Tonight was Daniel\'s night anyway, with a guitar lesson likely before Ben drank from him.  Since buying an acoustic guitar and being shown a few things right away, he hadn\'t touched the instrument and felt absurdly guilty for it.
 
He heard Daniel\'s footsteps outside of his door just before the knock came, and he moved to open it.  There was a big smile on his face even as the door swung open, a smile that seemed permanently fixed now that he was figuratively floating on air.  He was dressed in a summery manner with board shorts and t-shirt, even though it was a bit cooller tonight.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 09, 2009, 05:17:43 PM
Daniel was frowning initially, because he\'d stepped out of his apartment carrying his guitar and keys and hadn\'t realised how cool a night it actually was.  In his own place, he\'d been busy cooking himself some toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner (a common occurrence, since they were cheap and quite filling) and hadn\'t noticed the chill while hanging over the toaster, willing it to hurry up so he could get to Ben\'s place sooner.

Now that he was out, though, he regretted only walking out wearing a black T-shirt, a V-necked woollen jumper beneath and a grey and white hoodie over it.  another layer would have made things more comfortable... but he expected The Buzz to take care of it.  At least his cream coloured cargo pants were warm enough.

When faced with a beaming vampire, however, his frown over being a bit cold and having burned the roof of his mouth on hot cheese melted into a look of mild shock and a mirroring grin; Ben certainly looked happier.  Perhaps he was settling into the city after all.  Daniel\'s spirits immediately lifted and his heart started thudding faster.  Every time he saw Ben, he seemed to get better looking and even though he knew it was stupid, Daniel was fairly certain he was falling for him.  He was definitely dreaming about him and counting the seconds until he saw him again.

"You look pleased with yourself," he commented mildly, following Ben\'s instructions and walking into the apartment.  His guitar was on its strap, over his shoulder and basically slung behind him so that it bobbed companionably against his ass as he walked.  His hands were fisted in his pockets and his gaze was stuck squarely to Ben, looking for a cue that would tell him whether drinking pr practising would come first.  "What do you know that I don\'t?" he joked.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 09, 2009, 09:17:08 PM
"Can\'t I just be happy?" Ben asked good naturedly, not wishing to reply that he did in fact know something Daniel didn\'t know because he wasn\'t ready to share such intimate information (let alone with someone he barely knew).  He moved aside to let Daniel through, then closed and the door after him, thumbing the lock out of habit.

There was a new item in the apartment, though Ben wasn\'t sure that Daniel would notice.  He\'d used some of the cash from his car to purchase a large potted fern, which sat smartly at one end of the sofa.  He\'d read somewhere that a plant was the best way to break in a new home, and had shouted himself something with his first paycheck - and a second was still in the works.

"Have a seat," he invited, still smiling, even as he reached for the neck of the guitar which leant idly in one corner of the room, intending to bring it and himself to one corner of the sofa, in order to watch and learn from Daniel\'s instruction, mimicking his finger positionings like he had last time.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 10, 2009, 01:13:55 AM
"Ah, so playing first then, huh?" Daniel enquired jovially, pulling his guitar around and under his arm so that he could then hold it while he pulled the strap over his head and play freely.  He walked to the couch and sat, getting himself settled with one leg up on the seat so that he could rest his guitar on it and face Ben squarely.

He was slightly disappointed that drinking hadn\'t been identified as the night\'s first activity, but that was just because he was hungry to feel Ben hovering over him and sucking at his throat again.  In reality, he knew it was a wise move on the man\'s behalf, because he didn\'t focus very well on teaching after he was wrapped in The Buzz and just wanting to get laid (which was a fairly new experience, because he\'d rarely felt such a thing in the past, it had generally been about getting to his music, rather than the vampire behind the fangs).

"Alrighty; let\'s see how much you\'ve practised and what you remember from last time.  Take me through the chords, man," he instructed, gesturing with his strumming hand towards Ben\'s guitar, inviting his \'pupil\' to entertain him.  It shouldn\'t be a difficult instruction at all; once Daniel had heard them, they\'d been like a key opening a locked door and the beginning of his gift of hearing songs and parts of songs where normal people only heard notes and no connection.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 10, 2009, 01:42:06 AM
Ben struggled to recall what he\'d done last time, save two chords.  He\'d managed to identify and strum at least five easily enough last time, with interest in picking in notes, but everything evaded him now, and other than the most basic pair everything else was noise.

"I haven\'t managed to practise much," he admitted sheepishly, though such a thing was obvious.  "Can you show me again?" he asked, giving Daniel a hopeful expression, wanting his teacher to exhibit mercy at this unfortunate display.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 11, 2009, 12:20:09 AM
Daniel\'s expression showed that he was surprised by Ben\'s sudden lack of interest - and it was on the tip of his tongue to ask why there hadn\'t been time for a vampire new to the city and seemingly pretty quiet to practise, but something very nervous within him told him that he probably didn\'t want to know, so he shouldn\'t ask.  Instead, he masked the uncertainty and slipped into teaching mode.

Since tonight wasn\'t just a tacked-on starter night, but a proper tutoring session, he\'d come with a little game plan to keep Ben interested and show him that he was capable of music, even if he couldn\'t read sheet music straight away or could only play chords.  Unfortunately, he had to take a little step back and re-teach the chords but he took it more carefully this time, to be sure they got into Ben\'s head (plus, reaching over and physically adjusting the vampire\'s fingers so that they straddled the correct string gave him a subtle little thrill).

When he was certain that Ben knew what he was doing and he could confidently switch chords mid-strum, Danny introduced his novelty element with which to wind up the session.  He instructed Ben to play a repeated set of four chords on his designated timing and then switch to another three slowly-played ones as a bridge, before going back to the original four.  After that, there was a brief octave rise that could easily be identified as an ending, except he told Ben he wanted him to play the whole lot through three times.

It took a few runs through to make Ben confident with the arrangement, but when he said he was, Daniel\'s musical and creative genius started to really show.  He had roughly designed the melody to overlay on top of Ben\'s backing rhythm - though he changed it slightly at the last minute - and now, as he cued Ben in with a skipping introduction, he started playing it.  After about the first bar, he started singing (spontaneously, because he hadn\'t planned that part) whatever came into his head, adding a third layer to what they were creating, because it was often in opposing octaves and was woven of a different texture to what he was playing on his guitar entirely.

Honestly, Danny thought they made great music together, and he was skilled enough to be able to focus on his two parts and watch what Ben was doing in case he needed correction.  Their song spoke of depths and shadows to him and so he sang of a black night, a decision gone bad and a time never to be reclaimed because whomever he was singing to had made a bad, bad choice.  The lyrics were, of course, the final layer in his composition, but he didn\'t pay too much attention to what he was singing, soliloquising about twisted roads, overgrown paths through forests, fateful nights and days that could never be turned back to.

As prescribed by him, Ben eventually brought the song to a resounding end; Danny let everything else fall away gradually until it was just him and it was he who got the honour of being the final note hanging in the air.  When it had faded (to him), he clapped and cheered in a sedate and genuine manner.  "Heyyyyy!  Well done!" he called, letting his hands fall back to holding his guitar as he looked frankly at Ben.  "What did you think of that?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 11, 2009, 07:24:00 AM
Ben had struggled with a few of the changeovers initially, but during the song, as it had come together thanks to Daniel\'s rhythm and melody, Ben had relaxed and begun finding the chords a lot more quickly because he wasn\'t over-thinking it.  By the time the last note faded in the air (and he was very conscious of not stumbling on the very last few chords), he looked up at Daniel with glee, very pleased at his tutor\'s congratulations.

"That was great!" Ben enthused, unable to contain himself from laughing.  If he\'d thought he\'d had a good smile going when answering the door, it had nothing on the one on his face after playing the guitar.  It might not be of the same importance to him as it was to Daniel, but after this session he was determined to find time to practise, so that next week, when Daniel asked him to show him something, he would have something grand instead of a pitiful excuse.  He was beaming a smile at the mortal, still holding his guitar, moreso hugging it than ready to play again - but if Daniel was willing, he would continue.  It was already a lot learned in one night though, he realised.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 11, 2009, 06:31:50 PM
Daniel was dazzled by that smile, by the enthusiasm, by the positivity.  It was all he could do to sit there and simply soak up the other\'s presence, his aura, his beauty.  Eventually, he became conscious of the fact that he wasn\'t doing anything, though, and blinked as he came to his senses, a blush rising up his neck until it reached his cheeks.  Looking down was his first instinct and when he spied his guitar on his lap, moving it seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do.

As he straightened back from placing his instrument against the couch behind him, he noticed that Ben was doing the same and, again, it was another little chance to peek and observe, this time without being directly seen.  When the blonde was facing him again, though, the first thing that entered his head was what he blurted out.  "How do you want me?"  As the words settled, that blush came back, because he felt ridiculous and obvious, suddenly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 11, 2009, 11:07:40 PM
Ben, in very high spirits and a great deal more confident in himself now that he had a new love interest, chuckled at the question as it was put to him and knew what Daniel had meant, phrasing himself in a manner that could have entirely hilarious results.  Not too long ago and Ben would\'ve scowled at the floor at that question, feeling just as self-conscious and awkward as Daniel looked now.  Ben didn\'t realise this fact.

"That could be a very dangerous question," Ben warned with a smirk, though he didn\'t mean anything of it.  Yes, it was a flirtatious joke, but it was said innocently enough, regardless of the innuendo.  In this case, Ben was naive.  He thought to himself that it was a very Sotiris thing to say, and he thrilled at the idea of being a little bit like his new lover, a man who he wanted to absorb all knowledge and confidence from.  Tiri oozed sex appeal, just by being himself.  If only Ben himself was that lucky.

"How about you sit here?" Ben suggested, shifting his bent knee upward and then moving his foot to rest in the seam between the sofa cushions and the back of the sofa itself.  With his other foot on the floor, his legs were spread to accomodate Daniel to come between them.  From what he\'d seen at Risk, sitting at the booth or on a sofa, a mortal on the vampire\'s lap with head back looked the most comfortable position for both of them.  Ben wasn\'t very broad or tall however, so it wouldn\'t have felt right to have Daniel on his lap, so sitting between his legs with his back to him was the most obvious compromise.  "You can lean back on me this way," he explained.  He\'d have to remain rigidly upright, because the sofa arm didn\'t give him anything to lean on with his upper body, but he was okay with that.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 13, 2009, 09:21:21 PM
Daniel blinked and swallowed as Ben commented on his stupidly-phrased question and the blush only increased (to the point where he was no longer noticing the cool at all).  The description about how and where he should lay, as well as that nonchalant opening of the vampire\'s thighs had the mortal\'s gaze going in places it shouldn\'t, his mind reeling with the intoxication of what he knew was coming - before it even hit, stupidly.

Numbly, he nodded, not trusting himself to speak, and shuffled along the couch in what felt like awkwardly exaggerated moves.  It didn\'t look half as bad as he thought it did, but it would be obvious to Ben from his thudding heart alone that his senses were tingling at the prospect of laying his body along Ben\'s and literally supplicating himself.  He unzipped his hoodie and got rid of that (dropped on the floor) during his journey and then there was simply nothing else for it but to go ahead with his instructions.

He swivelled and shuffled back as far as he dared, only to find - when he leaned back - that he was nowhere near enough to Ben to make this comfortable.  They were the same height and, technically, he would have to ride a little higher up the other\'s body for him to get a comfortable angle on his throat... there was no way he was going to escape intimate contact tonight.

With this thought in mind, Danny mumbled an apology, shot a bashful look over his shoulder and wriggled back on the seat even more - when his ass was pressed against Ben\'s crotch, he knew he\'d moved close enough, but he was still uncertain about his neck height.  He put his hands down to lift and press a little more, only to find his hands on Ben\'s thighs, where he\'d been expecting to find couch (stupid thought!).  After a moment\'s hesitation, he pressed down and lifted himself up and back more strongly upon Ben\'s crotch before laying back.  His T-shirt and jumper felt thin and insignificant, the body beneath him hard and cool and even though he was staring sightlessly at the ceiling, freaking out, something inside him stirred preemptively and sighed with happiness.

"Is... this okay?" he asked quietly, his head not resting on the vampire\'s shoulder for fear of being told to move, his body stiff with tension.  Even his hands were clenched - still around Ben\'s thighs, but he wasn\'t paying them too much attention just then, in amongst his stimulus overload.  Inanely, he hoped his hair - freshly washed this evening with a musky men\'s shampoo/conditioner - smelled good up that close.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 13, 2009, 09:38:50 PM
Ben heard the way Daniel\'s heart thudded, even before he got as close as he did.  He attributed it to the excitement and anticipation of being drunk from, which he knew Daniel really liked - so much that he\'d offered himself up to a vampire he didn\'t know simply because he\'d been lucky enough to find one in the same apartment as one he used to know.  That told Ben a lot about how Daniel felt about the bite, or The Buzz, as it had been labelled to him.

When Daniel first tried to get into position, Ben was about to tell him it was awkward but didn\'t need to, for the mortal shifted twice, and finally had himself close enough so that by tipping his head back and/or to the side would give Ben access to him while he could relax.  It really was a good position.

With Daniel\'s hands on Ben\'s thighs, it was only natural for Ben to sneak his hand around the other\'s chest, holding him in place and liking the warmth that he could feel through Daniel\'s shirt.  He knew that making it intimate like this would intimidate the mortal, and a part of him secretly thrilled at that.  He was the big, bad vampire, he was no longer worried about looking and feeling dumb because Daniel was now only concerned that he didn\'t.  That was comforting, and because he\'d been on the other side just recently, he wanted to reassure the other with a few positive touches and a firm hold.

"It\'s good," he confirmed.  "Rest your head back," Ben said, his own head tipping to the side so he could access Daniel\'s neck and throat once it was bared to him.  Daniel did as he was ordered, as Ben expected, and soon enough he was pressing his lips along hot flesh to find the pulsing, sensitive part best to drink from.  He also wanted to thank Daniel for the lesson and the song, and so he met Daniel\'s desperate need with a long drawn out and intimate bite and drink.  He planned to bite shallow, to make it last, and to be firm but gentle, so that Daniel could ride The Buzz for as long as it was safe for him to.

Ben dallied a little, kissing and licking to get goosebumps, nibbling at the place where he intended to bite, delaying the moment before sinking in his fangs and withdrawing before going too deep, so he could suckle on what came out, feeling Daniel gradually relax into the daze that ensnared all of his victims, and Ben closed his eyes, not realising he was caressing Daniel\'s chest with one hand, and his inner thigh with the other.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 13, 2009, 09:53:14 PM
It wasn\'t the first time Daniel was seduced by Ben and that irresistible bite, but it was the first time he went into it feeling like they were connected in more ways than; the first time he felt like there really was more beneath the surface than just convenience meeting need.  For one thing, there was this crazy-sweet positioning, and for another there was the way his throat was kissed and courted before he was bitten - and there was that heavenly dragging on him, where it felt like the blood being pulled from his neck came all the way from his toes.

There was also the touching.  He was embraced and he felt safe, coddled, cared about.  He also felt tempted, sexy and aroused.  Admittedly, he\'d been halfway there just from laying on the vampire, it hadn\'t taken him much to harden fully and that hand stroking his inner thigh just had him wanting with a need so hot he felt like he could burn Ben.  Would burn him, cause him to burst into flames just from laying in his lap, writhing with lust.

As usual, he sang, his eyes closed and his body reaching a peak of desire he hadn\'t been at in years - if ever... he certainly couldn\'t remember wanting someone to touch him, to slide inside him this badly before.  The singing was deep, dark and husky, interspersed with moans and his entire body was shuddering gently whenever a particularly sweet pull or lick was executed at his throat.  So lost and dazed was he, that his left hand snuck off Ben\'s thigh and cupped and squeezed his rock-hard crotch while his right threaded its way into the nonexistent gap between his ass and the vampire\'s crotch to squeeze in an identical, needy rhythm.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 13, 2009, 10:11:58 PM
When Daniel\'s hand moved past his where it rested and petted at his inner thigh, in order to cup and massage himself, Ben oddly hadn\'t minded.  He\'d always thought that if someone he drank from did that, he\'d be offended enough to stop drinking or to stop them.  It seemed okay for Daniel to though, for in his haze it was likely he wasn\'t aware of it.  Ben only knew it was happening because his hand was close enough to feel what was going on.

When Daniel\'s other hand moved back and around to touch and squeeze him, (as much as it could) however, he froze.  It lasted an instant, as he felt the warm hand upon him, touching him in a way only Tiri had.  Kerr and he might\'ve had a long relationship with a lot of sex, but he didn\'t know any of it, couldn\'t remember any of it, so it good as hadn\'t happened.  Tiri, however, had claimed him (again) the night before last, and it was wrong to let Daniel touch him when he was discovering his relationship with Sotiris.  There was a peculiar feeling about all of it though, like it was all unreal and not really important.  Had he gotten off on manipulating Daniel into feeling sexually intimidated though?  Hadn\'t he known that Daniel would focus on him if he drank from him like this, the same way he\'d focussed on Kerr?  It was just a hand, over clothing, it was part of the bite, not part of lovemaking, and so Ben settled into the drink once more (though somewhat distracted by the way he was hardening under Daniel\'s touch - his hand squashed between them but still able to make some very nice gestures).

He didn\'t wait for Daniel\'s heart to slow, for he knew he\'d taken quite a lot from him and didn\'t want it to get to a stage where the other was addled and unable to walk under his own steam (like the first time he\'d drunk from him).  Staunching the flow by biting his lip and pressing more kisses to the wound, he licked off the blood that had seeped out before healing.

"You can stop now," he said quietly near Daniel\'s ear, even while his right hand sought to remove Daniel\'s from between them.  He didn\'t bother going for the left.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 13, 2009, 10:30:44 PM
Daniel turned his head towards Ben, kissing the vampire\'s throat, his jaw, his lips if he could get them, his eyes still closed.  In was in a world of burning now, yearning to explode and lost in Ben\'s magic, his tenderness, his beauty.  "No, I don\'t want to stop, not now," he panted, dragging breath in and out of his tingling body like he\'d run a marathon, unable to pin down any one particular good thing when it all seemed wonderful now that the bite had injected him with its grace and light.

When Ben pulled his squeezing hand out - it had become less of the protagonist and more of a victim itself as he\'d begun rubbing his pert ass wantonly against Ben, sandwiching the hand between - he allowed it to guide his whole body.  He spun that way, flipping neatly (in a surprisingly deft manoeuvre) onto his front and wrapping his arms about Ben\'s shoulders desperately.  His eyes opened briefly, their brilliant blue boring into Ben\'s as he leaned forward and kissed and licked the other side of the vampire\'s neck, occasionally sucking on his earlobe too.  "Let me... pleasure you," he begged, grinding his hard crotch against the vampire\'s, his body undulating as he implored the other from his lust daze.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 13, 2009, 10:52:19 PM
Daniel flipping over took him by surprise, and the position he was in had him vulnerable to the rubbing.  He was moreso shocked at the fact he could feel Daniel\'s raging hard-on quite easily next to his own, and that was what inspired him to act.

"No," Ben said firmly, though he wasn\'t quite yelling - he was too shocked to.  "Jesus," he added, overwhelmed by how quickly this had blown up in his face.  It seemed his first instinct about Daniel had been right.  The mortal was just another groupie, ready to fuck or suck, whatever did it for the vampire that drank from them.  He was shoving at Daniel\'s shoulders, to get him away, turning his head aside in order to not receive the kisses aimed towards him.  "Get off me!" he ordered, his voice starting to raise now that he was flustered.  A proper hard push with his reserve strength and Daniel was flung off him and past the other arm of the couch as well, his ankles hooking on the couch arm and causing him to land roughly on the floor on his back.  Ben winced at it, but didn\'t want to ease up, feeling as though the other had taken advantage of something really nice and turned it into shit with his groupie-ness.

Slut
Fucking groupie slut
Fucking needy piece of shit
Slut whore
But didn\'t you want that to happen Ben?
Why else would you let him touch you that way?


The last two thoughts tumbled into his mind, even as he got up off the couch and wiped his palms on his jeans, as though he\'d touched something dirty.  They gave him pause, and he frowned at where Daniel was, watching the mortal recover from being thrown.  Ben felt a very large spike of guilt but tried his best to squash it.  It wouldn\'t entirely go, but he managed to keep a stern expression just the same.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 13, 2009, 11:09:03 PM
For a few moments, Daniel simply lay where he\'d landed, in pain and too stunned to react.  Then his brain caught up with events and a tsunami of humiliation washed through him so intensely that all he could do was curl into a ball with his arms flung over his eyes and sob.  He did it as quietly and with as much dignity as he could muster, but when it became apparent that it was only going to intensify before it got better, he acted.

Blindly, he rolled over onto his hands and knees - his previously engorged crotch had taken a painful whack from his own crunching thighs when he\'d landed and his movements were ginger but determined - and crawled to where he believed his guitar was.  Once he had it, he crawled a little farther and reached for his jacket, too upset to look clearly and sobbing too loudly to speak (even if he\'d wanted to).

After he had the jacket, he pressed his face into its softness, leaning briefly against the couch as he gathered his wits, his willpower and any shreds of dignity left to him - there weren\'t many.  Once he had it all under as much control as he was going to, he then got to his feet and stumbled towards the vampire\'s front door, giving him a wide berth before he opened it and fled.  He held his breath the entire way down the corridor (so the neighbours didn\'t hear him crying and come out to see what the commotion was) and it took him three goes to get his door unlocked, but eventually he was inside his haven, where he locked it up tightly before going to his bed to curl up and die... or at least to cry himself to sleep and try to forget everything that had happened.

One thing was for damn sure; he\'d never knock on that vampire\'s door again.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 13, 2009, 11:35:17 PM
Ben watched him, listening to the emotional damage he\'d caused as Daniel crawled and then slunk out.  Those sobs reminded him of how awful he\'d felt when he\'d come onto Kerr in bed and he\'d been refused - and much more politely.  Still, he\'d tried to leave, though Kerr hadn\'t let him.  He figured trying to stop Daniel now would only make things worse, because he sounded like he was all but choking on those sobs, and crying had always made Ben uncomfotable - whether it was him or someone else.

What could he say to make it better though?  He\'d literally shoved Daniel off him in a way that could only have been embarrassing.  Groupie or not, Ben had led him on by letting him touch him.  He\'d justified it as part of the bite, but it had been a bad decision not to stop him right away.  He\'d sent the wrong signal.

But who throws themselves at someone like that?
A slut, right?  A groupie.
Just let him go
Let him cry it out and leave you alone
Teach yourself guitar and forget him
Otherwise things will just be confusing


He had to admit it was probably better for Daniel to let things end this way, no matter how hurtful it was.



HE WAS WORKING AT LIQUID Empire behind the bar when next he saw Daniel.  It was three weeks later and he\'d come very close to going to the mortal\'s door twice in order to apologise, and made himself stop both times before going through with it.  Once he\'d been standing at Daniel\'s door, ready to knock, the other time he\'d just left his apartment and then turned and gone straight back in.  Best to leave it alone, he thought, though whenever he thought he could hear singing or music playing from Daniel\'s apartment, he paid attention to it and felt guilty pangs again.

He had his back turned to the people at the bar, chipping ice, and when Brett called out that he had to serve, he left his task and turned around in order to ask the patron what drink would they like.  The question died on his lips when he was faced with Daniel though, and he did a goldfish impersonation for about five seconds before he collected himself.

"Um.  What can I get you?" he asked, feeling absurd.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 14, 2009, 07:13:16 AM
As soon as Daniel saw who was serving him, his instinct was to flee immediately and he half turned, looking away when he did - but that was when sense had prevailed.  He\'d waited ten minutes to get to place his damn order as it was, he wasn\'t about to give up on that sort of patience just to give Ben the satisfaction of seeing him turn tail and run.  Again.

So he turned back and said, in as cool a voice as he could muster, "Two Jack Daniels and Cokes."  It wasn\'t that he was there with anybody or trying to give the impression that he was; he simply didn\'t want to face the crush of the bar again any time soon and he could skull one drink then nurse the other while he got up the courage to approach a vampire.  Or let himself be approached.

It really fucking sucked that the night he\'d finally got up the nerve to go out and have his need met was the night he had to run in to the bastard who was the cause for both his insecurity and his being here in the first place.  The Gods obviously hated him or were trying to give him a message.  Well, he didn\'t give a shit; he set his jaw and looked everywhere else but at Ben while he waited for his drinks to be delivered, trying not to wonder what the fuck a vampire even needed to work for, let alone here.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 14, 2009, 10:44:17 AM
After watching Daniel almost turn away, he was surprised to see the mortal turn back and supply his order in a tone that was bordering between icy and hostile.  Ben, who still felt immensely guilty about what had happened between them (and was already missing the tutoring even though he\'d only had two lessons), felt that gaze and was fixed by it - until he realised he had an order to fill and nodded before moving away.  He found the Jack Daniels easily enough, then stood in the middle of the bar wondering what to do with the bottle he was holding.

Brett growled at him to either do something or get out of the way - because the club was insanely busy tonight and the bar was three people deep - and this got Ben\'s brain working again - and turned so smartly that he smacked into Chris, who chuckled and told him to be careful.  Mumbling an apology to the floor that the senior bartender probably didn\'t hear, Ben went about getting out some glasses and poured in a proper nip with a splash extra into each glass, then put the whiskey back in its place before coming back with coke and filling it to the top.  All the while he thought he felt Daniel\'s eyes on him, but he wasn\'t looking at him.  Once the drinks were finished he handed them before the mortal, putting them down on the counter.

He should\'ve charged twenty dollars - ten each - for the mixed drinks, but he figured Daniel deserved something from him so he shrugged and shook his head as Daniel went to pay him, and said: "Don\'t worry about it," before moving to the next person, standing beside Daniel, to take her order.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 14, 2009, 07:53:58 PM
For some unknown reason, Daniel was incensed to receive this gesture from Ben, whom he still bore nothing but ill will for.  It was like a kick when he  was down.  He flung his twenty dollars towards Ben\'s chest anyway, not caring if it was caught and too blinded by rage to even pay it any attention.

"Don\'t do me any favours," he snarled and picked up his drinks before spinning on his heel and walking away from the bar (with a lot more dignity than he\'d left Ben last time, that was for sure).  Once he was free of the crush of barflies, he stopped only long enough to skull the first of his drinks (further angered by the slightly stronger than normal taste of whiskey) before moving on, placing his empty glass smoothly on the tray of a passing waitress.

Determined then to have a good time, he forced all thoughts of Ben out of his mind and moved deeper into the club... a lasting scowl on his face.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 14, 2009, 09:27:37 PM
Ben was both surprised and not to have the twenty flung his way.  The note whisped upward before it reached the counter and he watched it tumble down, threatening to land past the counter and onto the floor.  Even as the girl he was serving launched into a series of drinks that there was no possible way she could carry all of them herself, he reached out and caught the money.

It was standard practise to offer more than a regular nip per mixed drink in the first three hours of the club opening, to keep the early patrons happy, but Ben had done it well into the busy period for Daniel.  He\'d always considered it to be a bonus, and hadn\'t consciously thought about what he\'d done for the mortal.

He kept an eye on Daniel - as much as he could - for the rest of the night, intending to see what happened with him.  He felt responsible for the mortal being here, in a place he seemed happier not to have to frequent, and thanks to Ben\'s inability to keep things simple between them (as well as Daniel\'s extreme reaction to mixed signals), he was here now, mixing with vampires he didn\'t know.

There was a hint of jealousy about it as well, that Ben didn\'t acknowledge in himself.  After all, he shouldn\'t be jealous of another when he had Tiri for himself.  Sotiris, however, had been busy for the past four nights, causing Ben to be anxious about the amount of time he hadn\'t seen his new lover and wondering if everything was okay.  It only took a single night with Tiri to alleviate those fears.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 14, 2009, 10:53:40 PM
Daniel wasn\'t a huge drinker so, even though he had eaten dinner before he came to the club - knowing he\'d need a bit of dutch courage in order to approach someone about drinking from him - the first quick drink went straight to his head.  It lubricated his anger until it mostly slipped away while he prowled around, sipping his second drink in order to get drunker and looking for someone thirsty.  He\'d got the tattoo before he became a monogamous pet, so he felt very out of his depth right then - the first supernatural to look his way had him trotting over willingly.

At first, he tried making conversation with the guy - asking his name and politely trying to make contact on a personal level (because the bite was certainly going to be) - but all he got was that his name was Simon and he was keen to taste drunk blood.  When Daniel merely nodded and smiled, the vampire\'s pointed look melted into one of exasperation and he ordered the mortal to drink, further querying how many he\'d had and what he was drinking.

Before he knew it, another two Jack Daniels and Cokes were sitting on the booth table before Danny and all his attempts at conversation were met with monosyllabic answers, distant stares or very obvious suggestions that he should keep drinking.  In the end, he did drink the other two drinks and it didn\'t matter to Daniel if Simon was talking or not, for he was doing enough for the both of them.

Of course all that blabbering right about the time the vampire had decided Danny was pickled enough to drink from caused some agitation in the undead; he warned Daniel to be quiet twice, and then, when the now-relaxed and blathering-on-about-music man didn\'t stop, he slapped him - hard and fast, across the face.  It did nothing to affect the alcohol in his system but it did sober him up enough to shut up and look at the vampire with large doe eyes, cradling a hand to his cheek.

"I want to drink from you now," Simon repeated imperiously (and he hated repeating himself), glaring at the mortal.  It was exactly the attitude and even the actions his old master, Aziz, had used on him, so it didn\'t really surprise Daniel.  Instead, he meekly shut his mouth, dropped his hand from his face and set about crawling onto the booth seat on his hands and knees, so that Simon could indulge.  It wasn\'t in him to question the treatment, for Ben was an anomaly as far as Daniel was concerned and no-one would be as nice, gentle or arousing as the handsome younger vampire had been.

That point was rammed home when he awkwardly climbed onto the booth seat and accidentally pressed the heel of his hand into Simon\'s crotch as he made his first wobbly attempt at crawling closer to him.  The vampire reacted instantly and angrily, shoving him off the seat in surprise so hard and fast that he knocked his head as he tumbled against and then down under the table and to the floor.  The stranger\'s abusive yelling about what a fucking hopeless retard-moron he was barely registered as Daniel clutched at his rapidly-swelling head, whispering repeated apologies and being a lot more careful as he attempted to take a second pass at getting onto the seat and before Simon.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 15, 2009, 01:05:20 AM
Ben\'s attention had been broken here and there by his bar tasks, though he knew that Daniel had approached someone and was sitting in the booth with them.  A few looks over as he served customers here or went to fetch a tray of glasses there had him realising that the pair of them were getting on well (or so it seemed, with Daniel sipping and talking animatedly enough).  The bar was never quiet, but Ben found the time to stop and stare when the body language of the vampire Daniel was with was getting hostile.  Brett\'s calling of his name registered vaguely and he glanced at his co-worker to see what was going on, to find him gesturing at a puddle on the floor.  Thinking that the puddle could wait a moment, he looked back to see Daniel holding his face like he\'d just been slapped.

Ben blinked and frowned darkly, not liking the way this was looking.  He\'d been shitty enough to Daniel for the mortal to not need any more crap from vampires, and by the sound of the vampire that used to rent the apartment before Ben, the mortal truly had a run-in with some nasty ones.  He felt guilty that he should contribute to that.

His thoughts screeched to a halt when he saw the next movement, of Daniel being shoved under the table.  It was so similar of Ben shoving him off him that he felt compelled to act this time, instead of letting it go like he had last time.  Obviously that decision had been the wrong one, no matter how much he\'d justified how much better it would be for Daniel.  The other had deserved an apology from Ben, and never got it, and now he was facing yet another asshole.  This time Ben was going to do something about it.

Ignoring Brett\'s second call for his attention, Ben moved around the bar and left it behind, tossing the towel he\'d been holding in his hands back towards the bar and not seeing where it landed.  He was pissed off that Daniel was being treated badly, because all the other wanted to do was please vampires and play music, surely that wasn\'t such a bad thing.  Groupie or not, nobody deserved to be treated that way.

He approached with a single-minded purpose, and he reached the table about the same time that Daniel finished climbing onto the booth\'s cushioned seat.  He placed both his palms down on the table, and got the vampire\'s attention in doing so, and he was fairly sure the dark look on his face would tell this guy that he wasn\'t happy with him.  If he was mortal, his heartbeat would\'ve been going a mile a minute, but because nothing was giving away the fact he was nervous as hell, he delivered his statement as coolly as possible.

"I don\'t like the way you\'re treating Daniel," he said, with the confidence of his relationship with Sotiris helping to drive him as much as seeing Daniel being abused.  "So how about you start with an apology and finish by finding the exit?"

Oh God what if he starts something?
Not here not in the open not here
Sotiris will be around
The bouncers will have your back
You should\'ve just gone and got them
Never mind this bravado bullshit


He continued to stare as icily as possible at the vampire seated before him, looking braver than he felt.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 15, 2009, 05:04:54 PM
"What the fuck is it to you?" Simon demanded of Ben, looking him over with a very obvious expression of disgust dominating his face.  He wasn\'t impressed that his fuckwit donor had just smashed him in the balls and he was similarly unimpressed that now there was some barman all up in his face about some insignificant cocksucker.
 
His night - which had started with him walking in on his lover in bed with a complete stranger - was just going from bad to worse and he was in no mood to alter its progress.  The fact that he\'d only been a vampire a few months only added to the urgency of the situation; he needed to drink, he wanted to be drunk to forget (even if it was just for a little while) and he wouldn\'t be held up from his goal.  Especially since he\'d sat her for an hour enduring the moron prattling on with bullshit while he got suitably tanked.
 
Daniel, meanwhile, had sat back on his heels to watch what was happening and could only stare owlishly at Ben, too drunk to say anything intelligible and simply hoping his neighbour would take Simon\'s innuendo and fuck off.  He just wanted to be left alone and he couldn\'t figure out why Ben seemed to be everywhere tonight; he felt cursed.  He also felt that if he could just be drunk from, everything would be alright (which only added to his belief that Ben was the source of all angst for him), so he only waited another few moments before he began studiously crawling towards Simon again..
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 15, 2009, 06:16:57 PM
Ben, in his inexperience at facing off against hostility, glanced over to where he knew the bouncers were, to check that someone had his back in case he needed it.  Both of them were talking to each other and hadn\'t noticed him looking their way.  There was nothing to notice, however, because Ben was just talking to someone in a booth, ultimately.  When his gaze returned to the other vampire, he saw he lost a lot of ground by not holding his stare, because the contempt in the other\'s face was so thick he could feel it stifling the air.

The answer was up to him; he could respond in kind, with a swearword, and give back what he got, or he could play it cool and just ask Daniel to come along with him instead.  Problem was, he didn\'t think Daniel would come with him.  No, he knew Daniel wouldn\'t.  The mortal would plainly refuse judging by the way he seemed to be edging towards his new drinking buddy, unless Ben pointed out what a nasty person he\'d hooked up with.

"Daniel has a bad habit of finding assholes to drink from him," he said, lumping himself into the same category and hoping the mortal would understand this fact.  He didn\'t realise how drunk Daniel actually was, though, so it was likely the layer of indirect apology would be lost on him.  "And I don\'t think smacking him around is going to make you welcome at the Empire again," he said, adding the threat of getting the vampire kicked out from a popular and easy drinking establishment would carry some weight.  After all, Ben worked here, so why couldn\'t he have some influence about who came in through the doors?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 15, 2009, 10:51:02 PM
Simon looked from Ben to Daniel and then back at Ben again, obviously attempting to calculate how well connected the mortal was, if a barman was sticking up for him - one that seemed ready to call the bouncers into it.  The young vampire decided it was time to halt his slide into disaster then and there.

"Fine.  I\'ll apologise.  And not hit him again - long as he keeps his hands away from my nuts," he told Ben sullenly, keeping an eye on the mortal now crossing his lap and figuring that promising to be nice (and actually doing it) would get scrutiny off him long enough for him to have the drink he deserved.

As Daniel got himself into position - becoming a bridge across Simon\'s lap - the word \'assholes\' reverberated madly around his mind and he squeezed his eyes shut, wanting to not think about it or all the parts of him that were throbbing with sore or the fact that Ben was still right there.  He just wanted him to go away, so he could find The Buzz and everything would be better again (even if his eye and hip were bruised black in the morning).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 16, 2009, 07:31:12 AM
After being told by Simon that he would behave and apologise, it was the condition it came with that had Ben blinking in shock.  Hands away from his...?  What did that mean?  Was Daniel going for broke on every vampire that drank from him?  If that was the case, and he was all touchy-feely, then Ben was being the biggest hypocrite of all, because he\'d reacted in exactly the same way.  Still, that didn\'t mean Daniel had to go through it every time.  He remembered Kerr

and wished he hadn\'t because his sire was popping up in his thoughts far too often

and how nicely he\'d let Ben down, even through the shock, how he\'d talked him through it instead of shoving him away.  Gah.

Now Daniel was positioning himself for drinking, and that was the biggest clue that he didn\'t really want Ben there sticking up for him.  He\'d run off when Ben had done it, but took it when someone else did.  What the hell?

"Fine," he said, pushing himself backward from the table and turning away, heading back to the bar to continue his work and not realising that Sotiris had been watching the entire thing fold out.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 16, 2009, 09:51:28 PM
Sotiris was unobtrusively positioned by the bar, so that when Ben headed back to his post, the ancient had a good view of his lover\'s face; his head tilted curiously at the expression he saw there.

"Problem?" he enquired simply, once the younger vampire was within earshot.  His hands were linked together, held by his right hip because he was leaning back on the bar on his right elbow, the heel of his boot hooked on the rail behind him.  He was wearing tight black jeans, a crisp white shirt, a black vest buttoned up over his muscular torso and a skinny black tie - thoroughly modern and even a little \'Jonas brother\' with his youthful face and mop of lustrous brown curls.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 16, 2009, 10:31:35 PM
Ben got a little thrill as soon as he laid eyes on his lover.  Keeping their relationship secret was getting harder for him, because he just wanted to burst out with the news.  He wanted to talk about Sotiris when he wasn\'t with him, to whoever would listen, but he couldn\'t because everyone at work worked for him.  It would make things difficult, he was sure.  This time it was easier to contain himself, because he\'d been in the middle of scowling on his way back to the bar (though in all honesty upon seeing Tiri positioned like a model in front of him his angry face melted away).

"Just trying to help someone who doesn\'t want it," he said, more stiffly than he\'d intended.  He didn\'t want to take out his frustration on Tiri but there was obviously a lot more going on with his emotions over Daniel than he\'d let himself realise.  It was spilling over; his guilt, his concern, and his jealousy.

Odd one, that last one.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 16, 2009, 10:51:10 PM
Sotiris\' dark gaze drifted beyond Ben momentarily, making the point that he\'d seen who this person who didn\'t want to be helped was, and had taken note for future reference.  He very rarely forgot a face, even in a club where thousands visited weekly; he could always pick the new ones right away.  He\'d seen that particular mortal before and had had conversations with him about him working at the club - recalled paying him for a gig at least once, in fact - but his name wasn\'t forthcoming.

He chose not to pluck it from Ben\'s head for he didn\'t know how much he mattered (the mortal).  From the young vampire\'s demeanour, he did matter and Sotiris was intrigued enough to not find out immediately why.  Ben\'s mystery was fading fast but the prospect of there being some depth to him was exactly what the ancient was hungry for; this little incident neatly reinvigorated his interest in the stubborn and very mortal-focussed supernatural he\'d begun to only enjoy his time in bed with.

Will I see you tonight? he enquired mentally, looking steadily at Ben once more.  At the rate the blonde was going, he\'d be fired from his job at the club and although he was loathe to interfere in that department again, he did wonder what was encouraging him to tempt Brett\'s ire so.  Tonight would be a good night to find out.  He straightened away from the bar, unlinking his hands so that they fell by his side, ready to walk away with a brief nod once he had Ben\'s answer.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 16, 2009, 11:25:42 PM
His annoyance at Daniel\'s refusal to be helped, coupled with the grudgingly kept secret of their relationship leaked out when Sotiris asked him about going upstairs without saying so out loud.  It irked Ben that he wanted them to remain quiet when he wanted to shout it to the world.

"Sure," he said stonily, it too coming out a lot harsher than he\'d intended.  He\'d purposefully not sent his response back silently, though it was unlikely Sotiris would understand his reason for doing so.  He didn\'t meet Sotiris\' gaze, his own eyes downcast.  That little thrill he\'d felt was well and truly gone as he made to move past his lover and employer, on his way back to the bar, wanting to ignore Brett as much as possible (without getting into trouble) as well.

He thought he could live with the smarmy comments that would likely be made if everyone knew, but he didn\'t think he could continue being Sotiris\' little secret.  It was less like protecting him and more like being ashamed of him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 17, 2009, 06:24:17 AM
~*~

Four hours later, the club was a vastly different place.  The house lights had come up, the music had turned off and bleary-eyed club-goers were being shuffled out in droves as soon as the three a.m. curfew came.  Sotiris returned to the bar to collect Ben personally (so that he could block the other\'s presence from anyone watching and secret him up to his apartment).

Before he got there - and he\'d watched Ben as he approached, a small smile playing around his lips as he observed his lover nodding and listening intently to Chris tell him something (probably a gentle warning that Brett, as a senior barman, complaining at him constantly about Ben\'s lack of work ethic was not something he wanted to put up with every night, if he knew Chris\' smart leadership methods at all) - he was distracted by the bouncers.

When he saw two of them frowning and leaning down then bobbing up with repulsed looks on their faces, he changed course and veered towards them to find out what the fuss was about.  He came up behind them silently and even when he stopped beside them, where his view was unhindered, they didn\'t stop talking between themselves about what they were going to do about the mess before them.

Once Daniel had been left with Simon, the angry vampire had immediately taken his fill of the mortal - and then some, sucking his alcohol-soaked blood from his neck greedily.  He had, in fact, drunk too much from his pliant victim in an effort to get maximum value from his outlaid money but had been mercifully intoxicated at the time and thought nothing of the fact that he left Daniel groping blindly along the seat when he walked away.  He\'d got his money\'s worth and staggered off into the night satisfied.

Daniel, on the other hand, had found his Buzz and was completely disoriented by it.  A severe lack of blood and far more alcohol than he was used to consuming combined to knock him out he collapsed harmlessly face-down on the booth\'s seat moments later.  Thankfully he had fallen on his stomach, for at some point in the next four hours, his body had decided to purge the vast amount of toxins stewing in his gut and he was currently laying, his head slightly turned and face off the edge of the seat, above a vast puddle of relatively dry (by now) but chunky vomit.

The smell assaulted Tiri\'s senses as he stopped nearby and he was thankful that he didn\'t have to breathe, so that he didn\'t have to draw the stench in.  He asked what the problem was and the bouncers (firstly) jumped a foot off the ground in surprise to find him right there and then proceeded to explain that the drunk was still well and truly passed out, but lacking blood (they\'d seen it hundreds of times before, his pallor was unmistakable) and they couldn\'t send him to a hospital for a transfusion because too many questions would be asked.  He also wasn\'t going to wake up any time soon so they could feed him and raise his blood sugar level - plus, he might just throw it up.

Sotiris nodded, told them he was fairly sure he had a solution.  Looking over and seeing Ben now talking to Chris, he mentally told his Bar Manager that he required Ben to come to him immediately.  To his credit, Chris only looked mildly surprised as he made eye contact with Sotiris, then he politely interrupted Ben\'s speech in order to nod in his direction and tell him the boss wanted to see him.  The young vampire also looked mildly startled but he followed instructions and was soon at Tiri\'s side, giving him a questioning look.

"I\'m wondering if you could shed a little light on this situation," he told Ben quietly, looking pointedly at the slumbering form of Daniel - who, apart from the stinking pool of vomit below him, looked rather angelic sleeping on the vinyl seat.  "Do you happen to know this young man?  Or have an idea about where he lives?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 17, 2009, 12:50:17 PM
Sotiris was right; Ben had been getting an earful about how he could manage his tasks better so that they were all done in the required timeframe, and to also prioritise correctly so that people weren\'t standing at the bar looking for someone to serve them while he was cleaning things which could wait.  At first he\'d defended himself, saying he was doing things as asked of him, but after Chris tenderly (but firmly) pointed out that tasks were given to him for him to sort out himself and if he couldn\'t understand that customers came before cleaning, he likely wasn\'t going to do very well at the Empire, he stopped arguing.  Sleeping with the boss might\'ve got him the job, so to speak, but it wasn\'t going to help him keep it.  Ben had gone along with everything without really thinking about what he was doing, just mindlessly doing as told, and he could see it wasn\'t going to keep working that way.  Who knew there was so much ongoing management serving drinks?  He began apologising and promising that he would do better, that he could improve, and then Chris interrupted him.  At first it was with a sinking heart that he stopped talking, thinking that he\'d said something wrong, but then he was informed Sotiris wanted to speak to him.
 
Blinking at Chris for a moment, wondering how he knew, it took him a moment to realise Chris must\'ve received a mental order.  He\'d never requested Ben\'s presence in such a way before - so something else was up.  He glanced over to see Sotiris looking at him expectantly from near the same booth Daniel had been in earlier tonight, and there were two of the bouncers huddled over someone.
 
Oh.  Oh God.
 
He felt shock run through his body like ice water, chilling him to the bone.  Had Daniel been killed by that asshole?  Ben should\'ve tried harder to help him.  He went over to Sotiris - not rushing because he really didn\'t want to get such bad news - on legs that felt like stilts.  He swallowed and held his breath (which didn\'t have any impact on him, except to remove his breathing habit) as he approached.
 
The smell hit him first, even though he wasn\'t breathing, and it was pungent enough to have him falter in his step.  He came up alongside Sotiris, his nose slightly wrinkled in disgust at the smell, and staring at his lover for fear of what he might see what had become of Daniel.  The questions asked of him were asked in the present tense, which had him looking over at Daniel, seeing that he didn\'t look particularly healthy in pallour, but most certainly breathing and alive.
 
"He lives with me," he said without thinking, then corrected.  "In my building, I mean."  He gave Sotiris a cautious look, to see how he\'d react to this news.  He didn\'t really want to show Sotiris where he lived (even though his apartment was quite nice though somewhat small) because the building was old and needed obvious repairs to the facade.  "I can take him home," Ben offered, not thinking how difficult such a task would be with a sleeping Daniel and no car to speak of.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 17, 2009, 04:38:49 PM
Sotiris stared thoughtfully at Ben for a few moments, registering the bouncers\' combined relief and further discussion of how that solved their problem - one of them even congratulated Tiri on knowing about this, but he didn\'t acknowledge it. He simply watched Ben, calculating.
 
He\'d been looking forward to some company tonight, deliberately beginning to space out the time he spent with Ben so that he didn\'t get bored with him too quickly. Tonight, he was feeling playful. Now, it suddenly seemed that his plaything was volunteering to spend their playtime returning a worse-for-wear mortal to his home when it was obvious that such an adventure would not see him return before dawn, ergo they would miss out on their playtime.
 
Ergo, this pathetic mortal was more important to Ben than Tiri, and the ancient simply couldn\'t fathom why. He wanted to, though, oh yes he certainly did, for such a notion was highly offensive and roused his territorial instinct (the adrenalin rush was rather lovely).
 
"So you\'d rather take the time to lug him home than come upstairs with me?" he asked curiously, aware that his words had instantly quietened - and then raised the eyebrows of - the bouncers beside him. Sotiris didn\'t particularly care, for he knew they wouldn\'t leave before this was resolved and he would be able to wipe this conversation from their memories and insert what he wanted them to hear without too much effort at all.
 
First things first. He needed to test Ben\'s loyalty by laying out exactly what he saw happening for the younger vampire. "You wouldn\'t... rather give your address to these boys and have them drive the - whatever his name is - this boy, home?" he enquired, his accented voice rolling smoothly over his words until they peaked at the end, his own eyebrows lifting to convey his surprise at the choice Ben was making.
 
He fully expected his young lover to retract the statement imminently and surrender his address, but couldn\'t help being disappointed (yet oddly pleased... in a rather smug way) he\'d had to spell things out in the first place.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 17, 2009, 06:22:30 PM
The question was unexpected and had Ben floundering for a response.  The only available reaction he had was to keep looking at Daniel for a moment longer before letting his stare travel over to where Sotiris at his side, in order to read the expression on his lover\'s face.

At first he\'d thought Sotiris was being selfish - putting his entertainment time in front of someone who obviously needed looking after - before he realised that the Ancient was actually being practical thanks to the statement given him next.

Well, duh.  Of course it was easier for the bouncers to take Daniel home, and they\'d likely get him into his own apartment because Daniel would be carrying his key with him somewhere.  Thing was, they were also likely to dump him on a sofa or on his bed and then just leave.  Oh, they\'d make sure he was alright, but they wouldn\'t hang around to look after him.  They didn\'t feel obliged, like Ben did, because Ben (unbeknownst to his lover and the bouncers) felt responsible.

Had that vampire drained Daniel to this point in order to spite Ben and his empty threats?  Had he done it because he\'d been more pissed off?  If Ben hadn\'t retreated and hung around to make sure that vampire left, Daniel might be a much better off for it now.  Either way, he\'d half-assed the job.  It would\'ve been better to either stay away or go over and see it through.  Ben had done neither.  He\'d stirred the pot and left it to boil over.

"Someone should look after him," he said, and knew he\'d likely be pissing off Sotiris.  What the hell was he doing?  Spurning his lover?

You\'re being a friend
To someone who needs one right now


He gave Sotiris a pleading look, willing him not to be angry, wanting him not to hold his decision against him.  He half-suspected Sotiris might still yet have his way, if he instructed one of the pair to remain with Daniel until he woke up.  If that was the case, it would have Ben going upstairs with Sotiris (though in all likelihood his thoughts and emotions would be mixed).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 17, 2009, 07:43:38 PM
Again, Tiri was staring at Ben and this time he was genuinely surprised by what he was hearing; he really hadn\'t backed down... how intriguing!  This mortal was obviously more than met the eye - and more to Ben than he was letting on.  The ancient sensed that he would likely get more flies with honey right now, though, so he decided to be magnanimous.

The look he gave his lover was disappointed but not condemning and he reached up to cup his cheek gently, looking into his gorgeous silver eyes.  "Do what you need to do, then.  Go with Sean and Armaan, they can drive you to make it easier.  Help you carry him, too, if necessary.  I\'ll see you tomorrow night," he said, his head tilting forward so that he could look meaningfully into Ben\'s eyes.  The message that he would not be deferred again was clear.

Once that was done, he turned to face the bouncers he\'d named.  They were trying to look anywhere but at him and Ben (while staring, in actuality) but it took him barely a minute to wipe out any unnecessary information they\'d garnered and replace it with the instruction to take Sotiris\' car from its place in the underground carpark and deliver Ben and the mortal back to wherever Ben directed them to go.  He\'d turned away to leave before he spied the mortal once more and remembered another very important message; this one he stated out loud.

"Oh, and use the plastic dropsheet from the rear compartment," he said delicately, screwing his nose up at the vomit puddle once more.  The boy had likely upchucked it all over the floor and was therefore spotless, but Tiri didn\'t want to take the chance.  After that, he actually did move gracefully away, not looking back at all.

Once their boss was absent, the two bulky men set about squeezing themselves into the space behind the booth table in order to extricate Daniel.  Their demeanours had completely changed during the time Sotiris had altered their memories and they were completely focussed and enthusiastic workers now, throwing Ben no peculiar looks any more.  Once they got Daniel up - suspended between them like a floppy, pale bridge - they looked at Ben and the dark-skinned one (Armaan) asked him if he was ready to go.

As soon as he was, they would lead the way down to the carpark (inside yet another secluded elevator) and position Daniel on the plastic sheet they withdrew from the boot and laid along the backseat.  The two of them took the front seats so it was up to Ben to sort out how he managed to fit in the back with Daniel, and also his job to direct from back there.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 17, 2009, 08:42:59 PM
It was easier just to give them the address than direct them, and after Ben had awkwardly maneouvred himself into the backseat of the car with Daniel, (sitting twisted to not disturb the sleeping mortal while also keeping a hand on his shoulder to ensure he didn\'t roll around anywhere), they were off.

The drive would\'ve been a mere two minutes, if not for traffic and red lights at almost every intersection or crossing.  It was a lot of stop start driving, and Ben gave basic information.  Right at ninth, left on sixty second, keep going until you see a pink drugstore because we\'re opposite.

With little more instruction the burly fellows had Daniel out and upstairs, thankfully without meeting any of Ben\'s and Daniel\'s neighbours.  Things were relatively quiet at this time of the morning.  Instead of getting them to search the mortal, he led them to his door and opened it, directing them to the bedroom where they could dump their quarry.

"Thanks," he said to both bouncers, giving the second one - Sean - a tight smile before he closed the door after them.  Neither had asked him if he\'d wanted more help or if Daniel would be okay.  They didn\'t care, and it made no sense for them to care.  They\'d just as happily bounce Daniel out of the Empire as let him in.  It made no difference to them what happened to him after that.

"What are you doing?" he asked himself, rubbing tense fingers along his scalp and through his hair.  He\'d managed to land Daniel drunk, in his bed, after getting him in trouble, because he\'d acted like a shit to him in the first place.

And there was only one bed.

After much struggling, and retaining Daniel\'s modesty by keeping him in basic clothing (of a t-shirt, underwear and socks), he had the heavily dozing mortal undressed and under the covers, after folding his other clothes and stacking them on a chair.  After little debate, he stripped to much the same getup (except he had no socks) and climbed into the small double bed with him.

If Daniel woke up first (and it was likely he would, because Ben didn\'t think he\'d sleep through the whole day), then he supposed he would have a lot of explaining to do.  If he woke first, well, he\'d play that one by ear.  Right now he was too exhausted to figure things out any further, because it had been a long night and he didn\'t want to analyse anything anymore.

Except that lying in bed, for the last hour before sunup, he remained awake and thinking about Sotiris, and how much ground he might\'ve lost with him tonight.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 18, 2009, 02:50:36 AM
Daniel did, indeed, wake up earlier than Ben but his first thought was that he hadn\'t.  It was so pitch black that he was, initially, unsure his eyes were even open (until he poked himself in one vulnerable eyeball, checking).  He gave off a cry of alarm that quickly became a cry of agony when he flinched away from his own finger and his head moved for the first time.

He\'d never known such pain in all his life and the shock of it had him quickly passing out again.

When he woke an hour later, he was aware of the pain that had sent him into his last bout of blackness and so he made no sudden movements and simply lay there, attempting to become aware of his surroundings without turning his head or moving very much.

It wasn\'t his bed, that much was clear.  He also wasn\'t alone in this stranger\'s bed but since he couldn\'t hear any breathing in the darkness beside him - and when he reached out a tentative hand he felt the unmistakable cool of dead thigh flesh - he could only assume he was with a vampire.  He\'d gone home with Simon?  He could remember two things clearly about his night before; Ben serving him drinks at the bar and wanting him to not pay, and accidentally leaning on Simon\'s crotch, earning himself a fucking horrid beat down.  Beyond that... there was nothing.

Strange... he was not the type to go home with strangers, if there were sleepovers, he was generally the host.  This time, he obviously wasn\'t and... well, none of it seemed likely, but he couldn\'t deny the presence of the body beside him.  He\'d figured out the two of them were wearing clothes (which he was relieved about, because he hadn\'t even liked that vampire from last night and thinking he\'d fucked him only made him long harder for Ben) but he wasn\'t game to suppose anything else.  For a start, it hurt his head and he was in no state to do so.

He moved a little, tentatively, but every time he did, a knifeblade of agony sliced through his head and he felt the pain of it so intensely he saw white and felt like he was going to throw up (his mouth tasted like a sewer so he could only assume he had thrown up at some stage but that didn\'t mean he wished a repeat performance).  In the end, he just lay there wondering why he felt so absolutely shit; he\'d never had a hangover like this before... could he have hit his head somewhere along the way?

Only one things was clear; he hoped Simon woke up soon because he was getting pretty desperate to go to the toilet, but he wouldn\'t dare move until he\'d been given some water and a small mountain of aspirin.  He closed his eyes and dozed until that happened.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 18, 2009, 06:25:10 PM
Ben\'s eyes opened as soon as the sun was fully down and the few last tendrils of dusk coloured the sky.  With his vision, the darkness of the room wasn\'t encompassing; he could still make out details in the furniture around him, though not as clearly as if the room was flooded with light.  Unlike Daniel, upon waking he fully recalled how the night had ended, and turned his head on the pillow to look at the softly breathing mortal beside him.

He\'d grown used to Daniel\'s clinging sick smell last night, not really noticing it by the time he\'d crawled into bed with him, but upon sleeping his breathing had stopped because his body didn\'t require it and it was only his conscious habit making him do so.  Upon waking, he took in breath again and could smell Daniel before he saw him - to put it bluntly.  Not only was there the sick smell, which came from Daniel\'s breath, but a smell of life - undeniable mortality, of sweat and vibrance.

He looked peaceful, in his sleep, and Ben figured that his sleeping neighbour would wake up soon.  He was surprised to find Daniel asleep, in fact, and figured it was the combination of drinking and blood loss that had leant a hand to it.  Upon waking, it would be better for Daniel to eat something, and likely to have some painkillers.  Ben had food in the house in the form of biscuits and crisps - things that were supposed to be offered Daniel while giving him guitar lessons (and had remained in the cupboard, unopened, because of the way things had gone last time), but he didn\'t have anything in his medicine cabinet except for toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Figuring that Daniel would be disoriented upon waking (especially to find himself in Ben\'s room), he got up and got dressed, and went about searching for a pen and paper to write a short note to say where he\'d gone.  This was something he\'d felt Sotiris should\'ve done, in the same situation of leaving a sleeping being in his bed.  He made a point to scribble down \'Gone to drugstore, be 10 mins - Ben\' on a post-it note and stuck it to the lampshade on Daniel\'s side of the double bed.  Pleased with his effort, he shoved his bare feet into sneakers and headed out the door after grabbing his wallet.

He bought a twelve pack of some strong codiene capsules and went next door to the chinese takeaway to purchase some bottled water out of their drinks fridge before heading back over the road to his building.  He headed into the bedroom, where if Daniel was awake he could offer the painkillers and a quick explanation of what happened, otherwise if the mortal still slept, he would leave the box and bottle of water on the bedside table nearby and go out and practise some more of his guitar before he had to get ready for work.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 18, 2009, 07:48:52 PM
Daniel\'s rise to consciousness started about the time Ben turned the bedside light on, after attaching his note to it.  His eyes opened as the front door closed and locked and he squinted against the light, finding it hurt his brain in all sorts of new and exciting ways.

Thing was, by now, he was desperate to go to the toilet and he knew he\'d have to move soon or mess himself in the bed.  It took a few deep breaths (which he then held as he sat up) and a bit of outer-body willpower, but he was eventually sitting up on the side of the bed.  The world spun a little and he found that slow movements were best; on one of his head turns he spied the note on the lamp and everything in him seemed to stop.  After a moment, his heart flipped over and picked up double pace, as he realised he was in Ben\'s bed, had been in bed with Ben.

That just seemed like all sorts of wrong - but the one good thing about it was that he now knew where the toilet was and he could head there without looking around too much.  Again, he focussed on moving slowly and steadily, getting to his feet and shuffling there.  Once he was in motion, things were easier, though he was still woozy.  He\'d never felt such relief as he did when he managed to drop his underwear and empty his bladder; the stream comingf rom his body seemed to go on for five minutes.

When he was done, he flushed, shuffled to the basin and washed his hands, scooping some of the liquid into his mouth as best he could (though most of it dripped out and because he was afraid to tilt his head, very little got to his lips).  He was in the doorway of the bathroom heading for the couch when Ben came back and although he looked at him, he wasn\'t game to speak while he was still attempting to walk - he would do that once he was sitting.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 18, 2009, 08:32:38 PM
Ben was carrying a small non-descript white paper bag containing the Nurofen, with the bottle of water in his other hand.  He shut and thumbed the lock of the door behind him after seeing Daniel, in an attempt to stall for something to say.  When he turned around again, he saw that Daniel was still moving, heading for the couch, his steps and the way he was carrying himself informed Ben that he\'d had the right idea going to the drugstore in the first place.

"Hey," he said, just loudly enough for Daniel to hear but not so that it would jangle the other\'s obvious hangover.  He moved to the couch also, beating Daniel there, but didn\'t sit.  He stood over the coffee table in front of it, setting down the water bottle and then reaching into the bag to get the medicine out.  Deftly, he removed the small box and then undid the tapeseal, opening it up to take a blister pack out.  Popping two of them into his left hand (after putting the bag and box down on the coffee table near the water), he turned to Daniel - who was now sitting down on the sofa - and held out two of the white capsules along with the bottle of water in his other hand.  "How are you feeling?" he asked, although he already knew.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 18, 2009, 08:56:51 PM
Daniel took the capsules and lay them on his tongue before he reached for the bottle of water.  When he responded, he spoke around the pills and just before he tipped the water down his throat.

"Fine... as long as I don\'t move, think or breathe," he joked in a garbled monotone, concentrating on drinking the water then.  It was difficult to do it without moving his head and there came a point where the bottle was nearly empty that he had to tip it slightly, but he was so thirsty that it had to be endured.

Once the bottle was empty, he held it towards Ben, rather wishing the vampire had more - or some food to follow it up with.  He wasn\'t going to ask for it, however.  he wasn\'t sure he was ready to ask about any of this, in fact... but he needed to.  Funny, but he\'d had lots of daydreams about ending up back in this apartment, but none of them had been under these circumstances.

"Thanks," he said quietly, looking humbly at Ben through dark blue eyes.  "Care to tell me how I ended up here in my underwear?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 18, 2009, 09:47:49 PM
Ben delicately sat down on the coffee table opposite Daniel so he could look at him, knowing by the mortal\'s tender movements that he was obviously unwell.  Taking the now empty drink bottle from him and putting it down beside himself, he looked back at Daniel at the question for a moment, figuring out the best way to explain it.  

"That vampire took too much from you and then left you to pass out at the club.  I got you home and put you in my bed because uh... I guess I wanted to look out for you.  I owed you that."  His gaze dropped before he said the rest to his lap.  "I figured you\'d be more comfortable in one layer of clothing."  He shrugged, then looked up at Daniel to see if his explanation would go down well.

He was careful not to let any emotions drip into his tone, because the last thing he wanted was for Daniel to think he was patronising or judging him.  He\'d been accused of being judgemental by Sotiris, and it had affected him greatly enough to try and change that part of himself.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 18, 2009, 10:39:04 PM
"Ah," he said, processing this story as well as his aching mind would allow him to.  The fact that Ben mentioned owing him registered and wanted to dominate his thinking but he'd refused the vampire's gesture to that effect the night before and he wasn't sure he dared acknowledge it now.  It was hardly an actual apology, even though it alluded to being one.  He wasn't sure how he felt about that, beyond conflicted.

"Figures.  He insisted I drink more than I'm used to drinking and then thumped the shit out of me when I accidentally leaned on his nuts - that's all I remember.  Too much blood gone plus too much alcohol... makes sense why I feel like this," he said, musing out loud and attempting humour at his own pathetic situation.  It wasn't well carried when he was afraid to put any more inflection into his voice than a robot would have.

"Mind getting my pants for me?  Think I need some food and a few gallons more water, so I need to get out of your hair and home," he said serenely, not liking the feeling of asking Ben for help but knowing it was necessary.  He daren't walk down the hall to his place in his underwear... he also didn't want to think about actually getting dressed and cooking himself some food, but he knew he had to.  He wished suddenly (and for one of the few times in his life) that he had enough money to simply buy himself some takeaway; he was generally very conscious of how little he had to spend on necessities like food and was very good at being frugal.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 18, 2009, 11:10:15 PM
Ben pressed his lips together as a new wave of guilt washed over him when Daniel said about how he\'d been thumped (though for an entirely different reason as Ben\'s shoving, it was still uncalled for) and he failed to keep eye contact with Daniel thanks to the way he was feeling.  It wouldn\'t go away, no matter how many favours he did for the mortal.  He knew he hadn\'t actually come around and said sorry to him, in order to be properly forgiven.  He\'d shown he was sorry, but he needed Daniel\'s forgiveness to move past it, he thought.

"Yeh, I can do that," he said at Daniel\'s request for his clothing, then bit the bullet.  "Look, I\'m really sorry about... last time you were here.  I shouldn\'t have shoved you like that.  I... was really surprised, but that\'s not an excuse."

It all came out of his mouth really fast, but at least this time he could hold Daniel\'s stare.  If the mortal didn\'t say anything immediately, Ben would make a quick exit for the bedroom, to get the clothing he\'d folded up on Daniel\'s behalf, and would return with it like a store-bought purchase.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 18, 2009, 11:22:44 PM
"Oh.  Yeah," Daniel said quietly, feeling better about hearing the apology but suddenly unable to maintain eye contact himself.  He felt his cheeks redden as the humiliation of that night (something he\'d tried in vain to block from his memory) washed over him anew.

"I... shouldn\'t have... I just... thought it was going someplace else, y\'know?  I just... uh... read your signals wrong, I guess," he mumbled self-consciously, knowing in his heart that he\'d felt Ben responding to his touch and still baffled as to why it\'d been such a surprise for him to roll over and kiss him and want to continue the moment.

"Won\'t happen again," he promised, for he\'d vowed he wouldn\'t put himself in that position again; no more being fed from by Ben.  Liquid Empire for him only.  "About those clothes... ?" he hinted, looking pleadingly at Ben.  Suddenly, he was desperate to get out of there, and not just because he was starving.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 19, 2009, 12:27:32 AM
Ben took Daniel\'s embarrassed reply as forgiveness (even though it wasn\'t what he\'d hoped for - but he didn\'t really know what he was hoping for) and nodded quickly at Daniel\'s second request for his clothes, this time leaving without a word.

He came back with them soon after and presented them to the mortal, smartly folded though abundant with creases.  After stepping back to give Daniel room to dress and looking out of place in the middle of his own living room, he tried to bridge the gap between him and Daniel one last time.

"Do you think we could, uh... still have the lessons?" he asked, then immediately worried about how Daniel would take his request.  "Don\'t feel obliged or anything.  I won\'t take it personally if you... um, don\'t have time," he provided, wanting to give Daniel the excuse he might need to refuse.  "Have you heard back about your music?" he asked, tagging it on the end as he remembered that Daniel had sent a sample CD off via a friend of a friend who knew someone in the industry, or some such thing.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 19, 2009, 11:52:29 AM
"Yeah, I have a meeting... " he trailed off, trying to place himself in the week and then looked mildly panicked - well, as much as one could with a splitting headache and in the middle of carefully pulling on one\'s pants so as not to move too quickly or topple over completely - when he realised he\'d slept through an entire day and lost all the time he\'d meant to spend working.  "Shit, it\'s tomorrow.  I was going to bring a few more new samples - because they want to hear what I\'ve got - so I went to Liquid Empire for some help but... shit," he finished, looking as crestfallen as he felt.

It wasn\'t that he didn\'t have anything to present - Hell, he had music filling all his cupboards at home - it was just that he felt he was always evolving and was never satisfied with anything he put down, unless it was fresh.  The people he was meeting at ten o\'clock in the morning were from an independent label and they specialised in fresh; he\'d wanted to present them with something that literally was, because he\'d only just recorded it.  He wasn\'t sure he would be able to work tonight, either, considering how difficult it was to move still, but he hoped the drugs Ben had given him would kick in soon.

Nothing had worked to plan and he was feeling less in control than ever before, which was not how he coped well.  The first thing he needed to do was address Ben\'s request for their lessons to continue; then he wouldn\'t spend all night stressing about that.  He got his pants done up, picked up his jacket and jumper and asked Ben if he could take the rest of the codeine pills.  He was relieved when they were offered over enthusiastically, and he pocketed them, realising he had nothing else to delay him but still standing there and fidgetting as he tried to work out what he was going to say.

In the end, his head hurt too much and he just went with gut instinct.  "Look," he began reluctantly, looking sorrowfully into Ben\'s eyes, "I dunno how old you are but I\'m only twenty-five," he admitted, believing Ben had to be much older than him simply because he was a vampire.  "Maybe that\'s not too old to you, but it\'s old enough for me to know myself, and know how I am with guys."  He paused to swallow, dropping eye contact momentarily before picking up the courage to look up again.

"I like you," he confessed sincerely.  "I really like you.  You\'re like... not just the most beautiful feeding experience I\'ve ever had, but you\'re a great guy and I... " he wet his lips, growing nervous as he got to the meat of his admission, "it hurt when you kicked me away but maybe it was for the best, because it made me realise... you and me, we don\'t want the same thing here.  You just wanna\' learn guitar and drink every now and then but I wanna\' be with you.  I think... well, I know it\'s stupid but I kinda\'... fell for you and... since... y\'know, I know how things are now, I think it\'d be best if we didn\'t do any lessons or anything and I can just... get over you," he finished softly.  "Thanks for looking after me last night, I appreciate it but... I better go now."

His eye contact dropped from Ben then and he stared at the floor, feeling like an idiot as the silence rose around them.  He felt better for having said it, for having come clean, but he knew that it would just make things awkward between them.  That was how it was supposed to be, though, because it was what would keep him away from Ben.  If the vampire was nice to him, if he made overtures of things possibly changing in the future, then he knew himself well enough to know that that was all it would take to keep him hanging around.  And that was pathetic.  He began shuffling towards the door, his belongings held to his chest, before anything could be said to stop him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 22, 2009, 10:21:57 PM
The confession stunned him.  His mind raced as he thought of something to say, but nothing immediately came.  When Daniel mentioned that he should go, Ben thought about rejecting the idea and inviting him to talk it over.  But what was there to talk over when he couldn\'t even say a single word now?

He said nothing when Daniel shut the door behind himself and Ben listened to his footsteps retreat down the corridor.  Letting the mortal go was hard, but not as hard as he suspected it was for Daniel to walk away.  Why did everything have to revolve around sex?  Couldn\'t they just be friends and have lessons?  Why did it have to be so hard?  He should\'ve told the musician that he was seeing someone, but Sotiris had been quiet about it and he\'d followed suit.  If he\'d said it earlier, maybe Daniel wouldn\'t have fallen for him.  He\'d spent quite a bit of time with him that first night, buying the guitar and fooling around on the city streets, making a scene out of themselves and having fun.  It had just been two friends hanging out, he\'d thought.

Daniel was right.  He had to let the mortal go, otherwise things would just be too awkward and painful.  Ben had Sotiris, and the sooner Daniel realised he and Ben couldn\'t be together then the sooner he could focus on more important things like his music.  It was sounding like he was getting a break.

"Wish you luck," he whispered, before heading to his room.  He was going to write in his journal all the things he\'d learned about vampires and their history that he\'d gleaned from Sotiris and hadn\'t yet got around to writing down.  So far he hadn\'t read back what he\'d written over the course of three years, though he meant to.  It was like he did and didn\'t want to know.

* * *

The next time he woke up, it was in Sotiris\' bed.  He smiled and stretched, feeling the sheet sliding further down his torso as he did so.  Tiri hadn\'t been very talkative last night, heading straight for the sex, and Ben had been both amused and flattered that the Ancient seemingly couldn\'t keep his hands off him.

He was beginning to get quite comfortable here (regardless of the fact he was still Tiri\'s secret).  Looking around he saw that he was alone, and figured he could lounge around in bed until Tiri came back for him.  No ducking out like last time.  He breathed a soft laugh at himself and his foolishness.  At least things had worked out in the end.

When Sotiris returned to the room, Ben sat up with a grin, about to bid his lover a greeting, and saw that Tiri wasn\'t so ecstatic upon seeing him.  The grin faded to a smile, but the smile remained.

"Anything wrong?" he asked, hugging his knees and hoping Sotiris would say it was just work and then climb into bed with him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 22, 2009, 10:50:57 PM
"Wrong?" he queried distractedly, as if the concept was foreign.  "No."  He pursed his lips thoughtfully and shook his head as he did, indeed, climb back into bed with Ben - but he was wrapped in a black bathrobe and he reclined atop the covers, making no attempt to return to naked.  His right arm was bent at the elbow, on his pillow, his hand supporting his head as he looked at his lover.

"Tell me, how did everything work out with your drunk friend the other night?" Sotiris asked, his tone airy and the index finger of his left hand trailing casual whorls and loops across Ben\'s chest to suggest he didn\'t care one way or the other about the answer he was about to receive... but he did.  He watched the blonde with glittering and interested black eyes, waiting to hear if his theory about Ben being so close to mortality he could only sympathise with it was correct.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 23, 2009, 07:32:46 AM
Ben\'s smile faded to nothing when Sotiris brought up Daniel.  He licked his lips as he thought about how to explain it, looked down at Tiri\'s finger on his chest and then back at the older vampire.

"Not so good.  He was um," Ben seesawed between wanting to tell his lover what Daniel had told him and keeping it to himself.  "Dizzy and sick still, next night.  He wanted to be alone," Ben said with a shrug, getting as close to Daniel\'s confession as he dared.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 23, 2009, 09:41:39 PM
Tiri\'s hand stilled and lay flat upon Ben\'s chest as he looked curiously at him.  His gaze rested on the younger vampire\'s lips, but not because he desired further interaction with them; they simply appeared to be giving away the fact that Ben was... nervous?  How curious.

"So you left him alone then?" the ancient enquired, still using the same carefree tone.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 23, 2009, 10:46:02 PM
"Yes," Ben said, not wanting to say anymore because it was a topic he didn\'t want to talk about.  His lips pressed together slightly, hiding away the secret - and it wasn\'t like it was going to affect his relationship with Sotiris anyway.  Daniel had confessed, then walked, and Ben had let him.  Case closed.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 23, 2009, 11:03:03 PM
Sotiris tilted his head slightly (as much as he was able, leaning on his hand anyway) and frowned rather obviously at Ben.  "Why are you upset with him?  What is he to you?" he queried.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 23, 2009, 11:13:42 PM
"He\'s just a friend," Ben said honestly, because that\'s what he wanted Daniel to be.  He was beginning to grow very uncomfortable with Sotiris\' sudden interest in him.  "What\'s it matter?" he asked additionally, twisting around and putting on a smile, trying to cast the topic aside and distracting Tiri with himself.  He mirrored Tiri\'s position, though his free hand kept the Ancient\'s on his chest, for fear it would move away while Ben got into position.  "Jealous?" he asked, because it seemed to suit the moment.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 23, 2009, 11:20:31 PM
Sotiris chuckled, his eyes twinkling.  "Of course not, you are free to do what you wish with whomever you wish, there\'s nothing for me to be jealous of, I\'m merely curious about why you\'re acting as if you have something to hide when I don\'t believe you do!" he teased, genuinely amused by Ben\'s antics.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 23, 2009, 11:26:54 PM
The smile faded, though gradually as Tiri\'s words sunk in.  His hand dropped from holding Tiri\'s hand upon his chest and it sat upon the bedsheet instead while he searched Sotiris\' face for a different meaning to what he\'d heard.

Had he interpreted incorrectly?  Surely his ears had heard something different to what had really been said.  He still had to make sure, though, even while he told himself that it wasn\'t true.

"Free to do... whatever, with whomever?" he repeated, like a student who\'d failed to hear their teacher\'s question and wanted to know what it was before responding.  The tone in his voice was unmistakeable.  It was disbelief.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 23, 2009, 11:38:11 PM
It was Tiri\'s turn to look mildly perplexed.  He was smart enough to realise that Ben seemed to believe there was some serious aspect to their relationship that he didn\'t, but he wasn\'t cluey enough to figure out how the young vampire viewed their pairing as anything more than a whirlwind romance, a passing fancy.

Because it had always been his outlook, he wasn\'t quite sure how to backtrack and travel the path that Ben obviously had, to reach the point he\'d somehow reached.

"Well, yes," he answered slowly, as if he was still thinking it through even as he said it - or as if he suspected Ben wasn\'t especially intelligent and he had to speak at a monotonous pace so nothing escaped him.  "You and I... we\'re not... uh, I\'ve never put any restrictions on you," he amended, altering course mid-stride and beginning to feel rather awkward for it.  Why should he be uncomfortable with stating the truth, though?

Because you don\'t want to hurt his feelings.  And you\'re about to.  About to burn a bridge right to the ground, by the looks.  Burn, burn.

"This is just... well... nothing serious... right?" he asked hesitantly, lifting the hand that had formerly been on Ben\'s chest to describe a circle of inclusion between the two of them.  His head lifted off his hand and it dropped to the mattress so that he was simply leaning back on his elbow, his head raised to look at Ben more squarely.  His expression was troubled and sincere.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 23, 2009, 11:53:37 PM
The expression on Tiri\'s face didn\'t worry him, because confusion could mean anything - especially when they could be talking on two different levels.  Sotiris had meant something else, and Ben\'s desire for him to clarify had him confused because Ben had gone in an entirely different direction.  There was no--

His thoughts stopped the instant Tiri confirmed that Ben\'s wording was true.

Well... yes?
Well... yes?


The two words revolved around his brain and didn\'t change his own expression whatsoever.  A blank stare found him even as Tiri struggled to say more.  Deep down inside of him though, it felt like he was already crying.

Talking about restrictions didn\'t really finish him off; he could hold that blank stare quite strongly at Sotiris, watching, waiting, delaying the inevitable.  He thought perhaps they were not quite meeting at the same point in the relationship, that Ben had travelled a lot further down the path (and he was oddly reminded of Daniel at this point and how he\'d said \'how I am around guys\' because Ben had known exactly what he was talking about hadn\'t he, because he was exactly the same, running headfirst into relationships and seeing more than there was), but he\'d still believed that Sotiris and he were on the same path - even if Ben had run down it a little further.

When Sotiris confirmed his last question - which was more a statement, though it sounded like a question - that was when Ben could stand it no longer.  He couldn\'t fool himself now into thinking that they were seeing things the same way.  He\'d let himself get picked up the first night, yes, and he\'d thought then that he was just a one-night-stand, a fling, nothing and nobody important, but they\'d got together again, spent time together, were talking about heaps of stuff with Ben trying not to ask a million questions and asking them anyway.  It had become serious to him while Sotiris saw it the same as that first night.  Nothing serious, just entertainment.

As he felt his eyes growing glossy he broke eye-contact, knowing that Sotiris would likely have seen the tears already but not wanting to cry and feel ever more like the dumb-ass he was.  What a fucking loser.  He was still just a fling and too stupid to know it.  It would\'ve been better if he\'d stayed away from the club in the first place and thought he was a one night stand.  It would\'ve hurt a lot fucking less.

He could feel his throat closing up with the force of the sobs he was holding in.

I will not cry I will not cry I WILL NOT

He couldn\'t cover his face with both his hands because one of them was holding him up and he was too self-conscious to do a huge move so he covered his eyes with his spare hand instead.  A few seconds later he could feel his lower lip trembling, along with his jaw, and he knew he had to get the fuck out of there before he burst into tears in front of a guy who\'d thought he was just a bit of fun.

He\'d been falling in love, too.

Loser.  Fucking loser.

Angry at himself and feeling his chest heaving with the force of unshed tears and held in sobs, he made a hasty exit for the edge of the bed, aware that he was naked but hopeful that he could contain himself at least until he got his pants on, then he could go into the next room - or finish dressing in the elevator.  Whatever was the quickest way out.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 24, 2009, 07:26:29 AM
Even though he'd been prepared for the reaction, it didn't make Sotiris any less disappointed - in himself as much as Ben.  He'd decided that Ben wasn't as different from every young buck swaggering his way blindly through the undead world as he'd hoped, so why in Zeus' name had he decided Ben would be different when it came to this?

He'd had it thousands of times before, so most didn't surprise him.  Some he even took sadistic pleasure in enlightening - think you're special to me?  You're just a carbon copy braggart with nothing special to offer, think again! - but with most it was a solemn occasion during which he hoped to salvage something useable on the other side.  It was the reason he'd taken to masking anyone he took to his private chambers and he should've been more conscious of it.

Ben, quite simply, surprised him.  With his proximity to mortality still having such a strong hold on him, Tiri hadn't expected an ancient workaholic to hold all that much appeal for him; their situation was a recipe for disaster should they try to 'make it work', as the saying went.  Obviously Ben was too young to see that, to realise how it would only take weeks before Sotiris' work demands (and his willing yielding to them) would have the younger vampire shrieking shrewishly for more attention, how Ben's determination to enslave himself in the mortal realm of work for the fickle reward of money (over the necessary one of distraction for the ancient) would only cause their schedules - and romance - increasing conflict.

He'd believed Ben more independent, had fancied that the mortal he'd taken home was what meant something to him (for he was still so close to living that Tiri didn't believe the youth was ready for an eternal relationship), had thought that the other understood from their contrasting viewpoints (uncovered in numerous discussions right from the outset) that they were not able to travel in the same direction, with the same focus.  Sotiris believed marginally in the edict that opposites attract, but knew after thousands of sojourns with lovers through thousands of years that it wasn't enough, that there had to be fundamental beliefs underpinning those differences for there to be fusion.

Ben should've known, because it had been obvious to him, that every word they spoke only highlighted their differences and set them apart from one another; he resented the fact that the blonde hadn't figured it out sooner, was, instead, crawling from his bed like a kicked pup who'd had nothing but blind faith and absolute loyalty.  With no discussion about their relationship, why would he throw himself into something that didn't gel like that?  It was stupid and a lesson best learned young, because Tiri bore the childe no malice but he was scornful of his ignorance (especially when Ben put so much emphasis on his knowledge of vampire lore and on learning... none of that was going to get him by in his existence and the sooner he figured it out and toughened up, the better!).

"Ben... I'm sorry," he said regretfully, sitting up and watching the younger vampire scuttle away.  Although his words were sincere, he would make no overtures to retract what he'd said, nor to stop the other from leaving his bed to lick his wounds.  He wouldn't delay him merely to have him break down and thereby strip him entirely of his dignity.  "I meant you no malice, I simply thought... but it doesn't matter.  I'm sorry," he finished, his words final.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 24, 2009, 07:40:45 AM
He barely heard the apology as he pulled on his underwear and then his jeans.  Grabbing his shirt from its location, folded on the seat of a nearby chair, he made his hasty exit, a sob escaping him in the next room after the door was shut behind him (and knowing that Tiri would likely hear it only made him feel worse and even more stupid).  He practically ran to the elevator on stiff legs, feeling a hundred times worse than the night he\'d snuck out, thinking that Sotiris had used him for one night.  He couldn\'t help but think it a few more times; that things would\'ve been better if he\'d never come back.  Then his heart wouldn\'t feel as though it had been ripped out of his chest.

The lift doors opened quickly after his pushing the button, and he put his shirt on.  For once he was grateful that Sotiris had kept him a secret, because now he could leave with his head down and other people wouldn\'t realise his humiliation.  He spoke to nobody, staring at the carpet and hurrying out.

He went back to his apartment to lick his wounds and only came out to feed, the way he had initially - to wait in an alley with quiet foot-traffic, ask them for the time and then hold them in a light daze so he could bite, leaving them with the impression that they\'d only had a nice chat.  All skills he had thanks to Kerr.  He managed this for three weeks before he was craving proper social contact, and he got it the only way he could.

He visited Daniel.

After knocking on the mortal\'s door, he wondered if the mortal was going to open it if he used the spyhole, or questioned who\'d come to see him and found out it was Ben.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 24, 2009, 08:07:29 PM
Ben would sense no movement immediately on the other side of the door, but he would hear urgent whispers coming from the general vicinity of where he knew the couch to be, and the groaning of springs beneath double the usual bodyweight it supported.  He would recognise Daniel\'s voice, urging someone to ignore the knock, pleading with them not to stop, telling them not to worry about it, it was probably just some door to door salesman.

A great deal of rustling and an unknown male\'s voice would then be heard, louder than Daniel\'s and obvious to the vampire as it changed position, lifting from approximately seat height on the couch to standing as it said, "No, look, I... really should go, this isn\'t right."

"Rick, please," Daniel begged, "you can\'t leave it like this."

The voice of Rick sounded regretful but determined after a brief hesitation, during which only the sound of clothes being readjusted and a zip being raised would reach the ultra-sensitive hearing of the vampire.  "No, Danny, I can\'t.  It\'s cheating, man-

"No, it\'s not!  Not with me!"

"Danny!  It is!  Look... I\'m getting Lisa and then... it\'s been a great night, I just... we\'d better go."

Footsteps would be heard, quiet and walking towards the back of the apartment, where Daniel\'s bedroom was.  Closer to the door, muffled due to (what would sound like) a head being held between hands and a face being directed at the floor, came a short string of curses and a deep, heavy sigh.  A second breath sounded after a moment, lifting upward as Daniel also stood, then came the telltale shifting of clothing, a zipper raised and he walked to the door, opening it in a very swift movement.

"What?" he demanded, scowling because it was Ben, but also because he was generally in a foul mood.  The hand not holding the door was run through his hair and he glanced back over his shoulder, as if he expected someone to be there, but when they weren\'t, he looked back at Ben through the bloodshot eyes of one who has smoked a fair bit of pot over the last eight hours.  The smell of it, of cigarettes and alcohol lingered in the air of the apartment, stale and nasty even though it wasn\'t overly late in the evening.

Musicians never needed the dark to jam, however, and the occupants within the apartment (of which there were currently four, though one - Gee - was passed out behind the couch and the other - Rick\'s girlfriend, Lisa - was in his bed) had been at it since the early afternoon.  They ran into less opposition to them playing music that way, and it never bothered them if they were burning daylight or moonlight when a serious session was undertaken.

With an impatient sigh - as if Ben had said something vexing - Daniel then ordered his visitor to come in before he flounced away from the door and over to the space in front of the couch, hands on the hips of his faded jeans but hidden beneath the folds of his sky blue Nirvana T-shirt.  He arrived just as a sandy-haired man with an elegantly shaped goatee, round-lensed spectacles and an eclectic dress sense walked into the room, half supporting, half dragging a bleary-eyed woman who only reached his shoulders, his right arm about her waist and his other holding her left hand - as if that would help her walk.

Their height difference made their progress difficult, as did the fact that she was not stick thin but voluptuous, heavier set than him and blessed with all the curves and features a natural goddess would have.  Her floor-length skirts didn\'t help much, either.  Her head lolled on her shoulders and she was giggling happily as she tried to focus, tried to look up at Rick and tried to see through the thick, shiny curtain of brunette hair that reached her waist level and generally obscured her vision entirely.

Daniel watched their progress momentarily, a sour expression on his face, before he turned back to see whether Ben had followed his direction and walked in after him or not.  He made it obvious he wasn\'t pissed off with the vampire, but he was also not happy all the same and he wouldn\'t have blamed the vampire for walking away quickly during the brief respite he\'d got between Daniel walking away from the door and looking back at him.  Still, there was something fascinating about watching the two visitors stagger their way towards the door, so perhaps the show would be entertainment enough in itself.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 24, 2009, 09:31:17 PM
When Daniel looked back he would see nothing except an open doorway and the space beyond.  Ben had already moved away, embarrassed to find the other in the middle of something with people that he obviously knew well and Ben didn\'t know at all.  He might\'ve been having a social craving, but he was hardly a social creature.  He\'d shied away from drugs in his mortal life, having smoked a couple of joints, once, at a party, and not caring for the way it had made him feel (for his normal anxiousness had grown exponentially under the influence).  Being faced with it again, while in the presence of a moody Daniel (who he\'d expected to tell him to get lost), with two other people he didn\'t know in the room was too much for him to face - especially on his first \'outing\' of a sort, after Tiri.

He waited until a better opportunity presented itself - if getting Daniel\'s attention in the corridor before he was about to go downstairs and head out was a better opportunity - and opened his door halfway, standing against the doorframe and calling out the mortal\'s name to get his attention.

"Daniel?" he asked, waiting until the other youth paused and looked his way.  "Got a minute?"

He didn\'t think he could try again if the other was in a hurry to be somewhere.  Two attempts and he was out.  This city was harder to exist in than he\'d expected.  If Daniel didn\'t stop now, he figured he\'d pick up and go somewhere else.  A nice little town, maybe, where the neighbours were nosy enough to make friends with you instead of giving you funny looks when you said hello.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 24, 2009, 09:36:43 PM
Daniel cocked an eyebrow at Ben, curious about the summons but glancing down the stairs before he looked back up and raised a finger.  "Yep, just a sec, I forgot to check the mail," he said and didn\'t wait before he skipped downwards.  He came back not a minute later, empty handed and looking somewhat thoughtful as he headed casually back to Ben\'s apartment.  "\'Sup?" he enquired in a friendly manner.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 24, 2009, 10:34:24 PM
Daniel announcing he was going to check the mail had Ben waiting where he was at the door, unmoving.  He patiently listened to Daniel skipping down the stairs, and when concentrating, he could just make out the sound of the metal hinges of the mailbox opening and then locking shut once more.  He knew Daniel wouldn\'t have anything in his hands before he saw him again.  He was getting better at listening for certain sounds - blocking others out in the meantime.  He was working on his talents still, determined to prove himself as a vampire and do well in it, because he hadn\'t done so well in his human years.

He\'d already shown himself he was just as shitty at relationships as he\'d been when alive.

Ben moved back from the doorway, not blocking it for Daniel to enter, and closing it behind him after the other came in.  He didn\'t immediately respond to the \'sup\' question, mostly because he never knew what to say when someone asked him it.  He knew it meant \'what\'s up\' as in, \'what\'s going on\', but usually he had nothing \'going on\' to answer with.  It was the same as \'how goes it\' as far as Ben was concerned.  Nonsensical questions that sought evasive responses.

"I want to talk to you," he said finally, gesturing for Daniel to join him as he headed for the sofa, sitting down on one corner at an angle that suggested Daniel should sit on the other cushioned seat of the same furniture.  He didn\'t ask, he\'d just assumed.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 24, 2009, 11:19:23 PM
The wording and the seriousness of the situation had Daniel feeling even more nervous than he had the instant Ben had called his name.  He'd been doing alright at getting over the vampire but he was worried that it was too soon to allow himself access (but he just couldn't say no, could he?  That made him nervous); hearing such sombre words come from his pretty pink lips didn't help him at all.

"Okay...?" he drawled, taking his position and curling a leg up on the sofa so he could face Ben squarely, he hands gripping his calf in an automatically defensive posture (that was not conscious).  His heart was beating faster and he tried to swallow his anxiety but it remained, fluttering at the top of his throat like a trapped butterfly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 25, 2009, 07:20:17 AM
The sadness and the loneliness was affecting Ben like a sickness, making him feel tired and depressed.  He\'d tried having fuller conversations with the people he\'d drunk from, strangers, but the smalltalk hadn\'t fulfilled him and whenever he held them too long with him he couldn\'t drink from them and they were usually in a hurry to get somewhere - leaving him both without a feed (and unable to get one until he could rest a little to get his mental energy to recharge) and the social contact he was craving.

Daniel really was the only way.  He stared at the mortal for a moment, trying to think of how to start (for he\'d practised but now the beginning seemed trite), he bit the bullet and said what he\'d mostly rehearsed in his mind, with some of it off the cuff.

"After you said what you said last time you were here, I let you walk out.  I only did it because I was involved with someone.  I thought it was a serious thing, or getting to be a serious thing, and I didn\'t want to be caught up in another triangle, so I let you go, even though I liked spending time with you.  I agreed with your reasoning - it would\'ve been complicated.  I didn\'t tell you what was going on with me because he wanted to keep things on the down low because he\'s... too important to be seen fraternising with me, I guess."  He\'d analysed everything to death, and made himself feel even more foolish because of all the clues he\'d identified in hindsight that he\'d really meant nothing to Sotiris.  "So I let you go, even though you\'re my only friend in this shitty place, and I found out from him I didn\'t matter, about a month ago now," he could feel himself getting all sad and teary, and hated himself for it, so he rushed what he wanted to say before he started blubbing - wanting to hold it at bay and control it, looking down at the sofa between him and Daniel in order to get his emotions in order.  God, he\'d cried enough tears over that prick.  His words started speeding up.  "But now I have no job, and have no friends, and every time I try and practise the guitar I feel like shit, so I just stay here and read and wish I hadn\'t let you walk out.  I knew what you meant when you said that you fell for guys that want different things, because I do it too, but-I-can\'t-get-into-a-relationship-right-now-because-I\'m-still-hurting-over-the-other-one-but-I-want-to-be-friends-with-you-but-if-you-want-more-you\'re-going-to-have-to-wait-a-bit-before-I-can-feel-any-"

He covered his face, taking deep and shaky breaths.  He\'d beaten the tears but they were so very close and his voice had started to get that odd wobble in it (always heard before he started crying), and he knew Daniel had heard it also.

He thought Daniel would understand though.  He hoped the other would be a friend.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 25, 2009, 08:17:06 PM
Wordlessly, Daniel shuffled closer and embraced Ben as best he could, wanting to comfort him, needing a little comfort himself after hearing the tale and witnessing the strength of the emotions the vampire was experiencing.  It disconcerted him that Ben would cry... he\'d had the illusion that vampires were above such things as emotion (well, except for anger of course).  Now he saw how wrong he\'d been and it affected him deeply - not least because it set his heart to thumping with excitement that Ben had more or less confessed that the two of them might one day have something together.

"It\'s okay," he murmured, resting his head against the vampire\'s, "we can be friends.  I\'d love that."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 25, 2009, 08:43:02 PM
Ben, who might\'ve had close to three years as a vampire, was closer to mortality now than he\'d ever been.  He choked a sob off when Daniel embraced him, and that was as close to crying as he got.  Comfort was what the other youth gave, and comfort was what he took - not only in arms that belonged to a person that he believed was a great deal more genuine (than those who\'d been around him at Liquid Empire), but also in the heartbeat that pounded strongly in Daniel\'s chest.  That heartbeat was life, and something he\'d been missing in spite of himself.  He hadn\'t realised how much being undead would affect him until it was close to him.

He moved his hands away and buried his face in Daniel\'s neck instead, his arms moving around the other\'s sides in order to wrap around in a hug, bringing Daniel closer.  He could breathe in mortal smells and those that also made Daniel himself - such as the scent of his soap and shampoo, of the shaving cream he\'d used, the strangely lingering aroma of grilled cheese and then Daniel\'s own personal scent beneath all that - the smell of his human self, which could be as intoxicating as the richest perfumes.

He wanted to say sorry, he wanted to say thank you, but he ended up saying nothing and just staying as he was, hugging Daniel and being hugged in return.  It was so good to be held that he didn\'t want it to end, and he hoped the other wouldn\'t think he was weird for letting the embrace stretch out for as long as it did.

"I was hoping for that," he finally said, shifting his head slightly so that his words wouldn\'t be muffled against Daniel\'s skin, though the breath his words came out on cooled the skin of the mortal\'s neck.  There was a very freaky part of him that wanted to plant a kiss there while the rest of him screamed out that such a thing was confusing and wrong.  The screaming part of him won that argument, but the curious part wouldn\'t entirely go.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 25, 2009, 11:21:31 PM
Feeling like it was his turn to confess, Daniel broke the embrace in order to look at Ben, his cheeks tingeing pink with embarrassment as he thought about the last time he\'d seen the vampire - really, after that, it was a wonder that Ben was still interested.

Glancing from his hands in his lap - which kept twisting and fretting at each other - up to Ben\'s beautiful silvery eyes and back, he apologised.  "And hey, I\'m sorry about... what happened when you last came to see me, too.  I... uh, had my ex and his bandmate and girlfriend over and... well, I was kind of lonely too.  I did something I shouldn\'t have - he\'s a great guy, though.  You know how some women say they turn men gay?  I turned one straight," he joked, laughing awkwardly at his own humour before sobering and looking sincerely at the vampire across from him.

"I feel like... if I hadn\'t snapped at you then... maybe... we\'d have got this resolved sooner."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2009, 11:45:39 AM
Ben listened to Daniel\'s confession, unsure how to react to what was said for he\'d known that something or other had happened between Daniel and some guy - but drugs had been involved so he\'d dismissed it all as part of that scene.
 
Ben laughed with him at the joke, the release of their anxiousness a relief.  It cleared the air a little, he felt, that hint of lightheartedness, and he was grateful with Daniel for it.
 
"Don\'t worry about it."  Ben rubbed at one of his eyes, clearing away what he felt was the hint of unshed tears, then half-smiled at Daniel.  "We\'re both as bad as each other," he informed him, kind of liking that they were both making the same kind of dumb mistakes.  "Do you want to hang out?  Watch a movie or something?" he offered, hoping Daniel didn\'t have to be anywhere.  Was it a weekday or a weekend?  He\'d lost track in the time he\'d spent mourning a relationship that had never really been.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2009, 12:29:15 PM
"Uh... sure.  I just have to go lock my place up, though," he said, his sentence starting off awkwardly but then running more smoothly as he got into the lie properly.  "I know, I should always lock it up, but I was only going to check the mail!" he laughed and was up and out of Ben\'s apartment as soon as the words died.

The whole way along the hallway, his heart pounded with the question of what the hell he thought he was doing.  His apartment actually was unlocked - that bit was true - but he had a date in an hour, with a D.J. from a nearby club, a guy he\'d been hooking up with off and on over the past few weeks.  They\'d never got any farther than some intense petting and kissing, though, so the idea of an actual date had thrilled him and he\'d been looking forward to it for days now.

Yet, suddenly, he got the offer of a movie and nothing else from a vampire, and he agreed?  He had to be insane.  Clearly, clinically insane, to be about to do this - but he did it.  Instead of seeking his keys before he locked his door, he sought his mobile phone, swiftly texting Dare that he\'d eaten something horrid and come down with a nasty case of food poisoning (he didn\'t want something that would prevent him rescheduling for the next night, after all, and food poisoning would pass in twenty-four hours).  He requested that they do it tomorrow night, when the vomiting had passed and, by the time he\'d raced around shutting off lights, blowing out candles and finding his keys, he had his answer; Dare had a gig the next night but if Danny didn\'t mind hanging out til three a.m., he\'d be happy to do something then.

Smiling, he replied that that was awesome and he\'d see him tomorrow night, before he pocketed the phone and locked up.  A large part of him was still ranting that he was an absolute fool to have passed up a potentially awesome night - and some definite sex, of all things! - in order to just sit beside some guy he was supposed to be getting over (yep, he\'d been right to be nervous about coming anywhere near Ben).  He knew he was nuts, but the problem was... he swiftly accommodated the fact that he wasn\'t nearly as much over Ben as he\'d tried to pretend he was, and that he was happy to accept crumbs from the one he wanted over the entire cake from someone who was the substitute.  Yeah, he was crazy - in a stupid, endlessly, romantically hopeful sort of way.

He announced his presence by knocking on Ben\'s door when he got back, and turning the knob to see if he could just let himself in.  He hadn\'t put any extra clothes on for his visit, feeling that jeans, sneakers and a black NeYo T-shirt beneath a white hoodie (unzipped) would suffice, but he had brought a blanket for snuggling beneath on the couch.  It showed that he was ready to embrace the activity, for watching a movie always meant lights off, snacks and cuddles beneath a blanket to him, as it had been when he was growing up.  The blanket he carried was one his mother had crocheted for his double bed, in fact, but he couldn\'t imagine Ben being interested in climbing under it with him (though his opinion of the vampire was shifting rapidly ever since he\'d seen that intense display of emotions).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2009, 03:10:05 PM
Ben in the meantime had gone into the cabinet beneath the TV to sort through the small range of DVDs he had available. He\'d gone to the rental store up the road some time ago and got out some weeklys (which were already a few days overdue but he didn\'t really care), and was now considering if Daniel would like them. Ben quite liked the kind of movies that were usually considered \'chick flicks\', but he wouldn\'t admit such a thing to many people, though it was obvious to him now that Daniel would find out if he was selecting the movies. It was safer just to choose one and ask if the mortal had seen it. He went for something called Reign of Fire, because it had dragons in it (as well as Matthew McConaughy, who in Ben\'s opinion was the hottest man around) and opened the case. He was taking the DVD out when Daniel came back in, holding a blanket.
 
"Hey, you got a snuggle-rug," he said, then his face fell as he realised how sad that sounded. Such language had come from his female roommate - who he\'d lived with before with Kerr, after discovering three years had passed that he couldn\'t recall. It was confusing, to think of her now and feeling like he\'d lived with her not six months ago, and it was really beyond three years. "Um, have you seen Reign of Fire?" he asked fairly quickly after, holding up the DVD case so Daniel could see the cover and hoping the snuggle-rug comment could be put behind them.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2009, 04:04:45 PM
Daniel laughed at Ben\'s expression more than the words \'snuggle-rug\' - he looked like he\'d let a swearword out in front of the ladies at high tea and didn\'t quite know where to look.  It was very cute.

"No," he chuckled, coming in and closing the door behind him before stepping over to get a closer look at the cover.  "\'My Fair Lady\' is more my style of movie - or anything starring Sandra Bullock - but you can\'t walk past Matthew McConaughy without a smile and a wish," he grinned, lifting up from his bent forward position - which he\'d adopted, in order to peer at the cover while Ben held it - and heading for the couch.

He approved of the DVD choice and he thought Ben approved of him bringing a blanket to snuggle under - and that just got him all shades of happy that he shouldn\'t really be leaping into just yet, but that careful part of him was well and truly muted now that he\'d committed himself to this night.

He sat down and toed his sneakers off so that he could lift his legs onto the couch in front of him, taking his jacket off and dropping it on the carpet before spreading the blanket over himself.  He folded the large item mostly over himself but a fair portion was across the rest of the couch as well - it wasn\'t that he was restricting it because there wasn\'t enough or even that he wanted Ben to get in and up against him (though that would be nice), it was just that he wasn\'t sure the vampire would want to get under the blanket with him.  This way, there was a choice.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2009, 04:15:25 PM
Ben grinned at Daniel at what was said - the part of him happy that he, too, liked the tall actor.  There was a lot of common that he shared with Daniel, and being with him was easy.  It was also easy to forget that just a short time ago he\'d been heaving emotional bucketloads of his crashed relationship (and friendship) at the mortal.  It was like they\'d never had that awkward moment when Daniel had wanted more and Ben hadn\'t been able to give it.
 
He was still aware that Daniel was interested, but he\'d asked to take it really slow and the other was willing to be friends until something occurred more naturally.  Snuggling under a blanket and watching a movie could be friendly without being more, providing it stayed just friendly and not touchy-feely.  He was so grateful for the friendship that he\'d been promised that he didn\'t pursue the potential consequences of his behaviour or what it might mean to Daniel.
 
Grabbing the remote after sliding the disc in place and hearing the machine whir and take them into the titles, he pointed the remote at the player and pressed the play button before climbing under the blanket beside Daniel and curling up, their arms, legs and hips touching.
 
"I\'ve watched almost everything with him in it," he said after a moment, talking about McConaughy.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2009, 06:32:27 PM
"I have an ex named Matthew - had the body, but not the face," he giggled, wrinkling his nose to show his distaste at the memory.  Since the DVD was still going through its startup propaganda, Daniel took the opportunity to make a bit of quick conversation, comforted by Ben\'s proximity.

"So you\'ve not practised your guitar much, huh?" he queried, watching the vampire\'s profile and mildly distracted by the way it appeared to flicker in reflected light from the television screen.  "I always found painful breakups sent me straight to mine," he smiled, wanting to know lots more about who Ben had broken up with and why it had ended, but knowing he shouldn\'t ask.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2009, 07:04:51 PM
"It made me think about how shitty I\'d treated you," he said after a moment, looking at the screen and unable to look at Daniel initially.  He summoned up the courage and turned his head to peer at the young man beside him.  "I still practiced though, just couldn\'t do it for long before..." he shrugged, his shoulders above the line of the blanket and the movement easy for Daniel to see.  "I\'m more a writer than a musician," he admitted.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2009, 07:31:02 PM
"Yeah?" Danny queried, his eyebrows raising in surprise.  His tone of voice suggested he was impressed, rather than disbelieving.  "What sort of stuff do you write?  Anything I could read?"  He knew some writers were precious about their work, as he was about some of his music, so he would not insist.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2009, 08:45:52 PM
"Um, well the earlier stuff is mostly notes and recreation of vampire stories, before I was sired.  There\'s a whole bunch of journals about my siring and what I learned and... stuff," he explained, unable to go into detail because he didn\'t know any of it.  "It\'s not any... good, I mean, it\'s not art or anything," he said, casting Daniel a sideways glance, hoping he wouldn\'t request to read it.  Thankfully, the movie began to play and his attention was drawn to the screen.  "Movie\'s starting," he said, pointing out the obvious.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2009, 09:12:21 PM
Danny took the hint and closed his mouth about the writing, knowing that it wouldn\'t be okay to read any of Ben\'s stuff.  That was cool.  He did his best to lose himself in the movie instead, and forget about the writing - he was pretty successful with the latter part but not so great with the former, however.

Ben barely moved but that didn\'t make Daniel any less conscious of him being there.  The fact that their bodies were in contact had his mind wandering down tracks it shouldn\'t, even if the movie was interesting and the eye candy in it luscious.  None of it compared to what was sitting right beside him and he was excruciatingly aware of every time he needed to move - because his circulation required it regularly - and what he ended up touching once he was done.

By the time the movie was finished, he was more or less curled towards Ben, his feet tucked behind him and his knees on Ben\'s thigh, his shoulder and arm in full contact with the vampire\'s.  He hadn\'t been game to lay his head on Ben\'s shoulder, though he\'d wanted to.  When he turned his head to smile at his companion, he found his face was still very close... he clamped down on his thoughts determinedly.

"I liked that, it was cool!" he told Ben quietly, unable to stop staring at the vampire\'s lips.  "Did you want to drink from me?" he offered spontaneously, both wanting Ben to agree and disagree.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2009, 09:18:22 PM
Ben was aware of the movements, but not in the same vein that Daniel noticed them, or their touching.  He wouldn\'t have thought twice about the other laying his head on his shoulder either, so certainly didn\'t think twice about being semi-curled up against.  He liked being warm, using Daniel\'s mortality and hearing and feeling his heartbeat because it was so near, was comforting.

"Yeh," he agreed with a smile, and then he stared at Daniel for a shocked moment as the question hit home.

"Is it okay to?" he asked, wanting to because he was always feeling under-nourished and living with a constant thirst, but aware that Daniel might not be ready for being drunk from in more ways than one.  Ben noticed the way the mortal was looking at his mouth, but he compartmentalised that as being a part of the drinking thing - that he wanted to see Ben\'s fangs, that he wanted to be drunk from.  "Maybe we should wait... a week, or something," he said, not wanting to have Daniel think that he was being rejected when Ben didn\'t want to reject him.  He wanted Daniel to insist that it would be fine, in fact.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2009, 09:36:49 PM
Danny grinned, but it was poignant.  "Waiting a week is not going to stop the way you make me feel, or the way I react, Ben," he said seriously.  "So if that\'s what you\'re trying to avoid... then I guess never is the way to go," he said sadly, wishing it could be different, wishing he was different, but knowing that staying away from Ben for another week wouldn\'t change his feelings - and why else would the vampire request a week\'s delay?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2009, 10:16:21 PM
Ben found himself hesitant.  He\'d thought that Daniel would talk about the last time he\'d been fed from, and that he didn\'t need another week to replenish his strength, or for his body to make enough blood.

What he got was the blatent truth and he found himself staring at Daniel, facing down the potential future of hurting him emotionally if he couldn\'t give what Daniel wanted.  What if they didn\'t ever travel down that path and the other was expecting it?

"I can\'t make you promises," he admitted, wanting to be clear from the get go.  "I... that\'s why I said what I said when I asked to be friends.  I\'m, not in the right head space right now.  I don\'t want to lead you on like-"

Like I wasn\'t

He started again.  "My sire said he loved me while he was fucking someone else, and because of a lot of different things," he said, his hand pulling out from under the blanket to waggle in the air to dismiss the \'different things\' which was too much detail to go into, "I wasn\'t really with him, that way.  He made a move on me while still being with that other guy, and so I left because it was too confusing.  I shouldn\'t have... well, I got caught up in a relationship with someone else that turned out to really be an extended one-night-stand, so I\'m feeling pretty fucked up emotionally right now.  I don\'t want to start anything with you because I feel all messed up.  But I don\'t want to shy away from you either."

Speech time, it seemed like.  He\'d blabbed a bit about his situation so Daniel could understand why he was being held at bay.

"I want to drink from you," he admitted, shifting position so that he was facing Daniel a little more directly.  "But I can\'t give you promises."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2009, 10:26:59 PM
"Shit, Ben, I don\'t need promises," he blushed, lowering his gaze as he learned a little more about the vampire than he\'d expected.  He liked it, but it would rattle around in his head for quite a while longer before he figured out what to do with it.  Somehow, it embarrassed him majorly that a vampire was explaining himself to him, a mortal - yet that was exactly what made Ben so special.

"I just don\'t want you to freak out if I get... uh... turned on.  I\'ll keep my hands to myself, promise," he asserted, crossing his heart melodramatically and lifting his gaze back up to Ben\'s eyes once more, "but I... well, I know it\'ll affect me, because that\'s what you do to me.  You make it about more than just the music, you make it about vitality and life and, well, it makes me horny to be that connected to it all, I guess," he laughed deprecatingly, shrugging and blushing again as he allowed his passion to show.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2009, 10:46:52 PM
"Oh!  Well.  Yeh.  Um... I used to, when I was drunk from," he said, "it won\'t surprise me."

He felt dumb for blurting out everything the way he had.  He really wasn\'t very good at socialising - not knowing when the line should be drawn.  He\'d felt like Daniel would know him, though, enough had been said that he could see many similarities between himself and the mortal.

Yeh, losers, the pair of you

He blinked at the force of this nasty thought, and frowned and shook his head, looking down at the crocheted blanket that lay upon the both of them.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 26, 2009, 11:20:02 PM
Daniel tilted his head, intrigued by this admission.  Logically, he knew that Ben had been a mortal at some stage (though he was still under the impression it was many years ago) but the thought of him enjoying being fed from was a foreign concept; it was like he believed Ben had gone from mortal to vampire in one fell swoop.  Could that even happen?  He wasn\'t sure, but he figured Ben was his chance to find out.

"You... used to get turned on when you were fed from?  Did you... get drunk from a lot?" he queried hesitantly, thrumming with curiosity but afraid to make any sudden moves (or ask impertinent questions) in case he spooked Ben.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 26, 2009, 11:29:19 PM
"Three times," he said, rethought about changing his answer because of all the missing time, but figured it was closer to the truth to just talk about what he remembered.  "Uh... the vampire who sired me would drink from me initially."

He couldn\'t say Kerr\'s name.  That had been another failed romance right there.  He\'d begun to feel really strongly about Kerr; had been scared about losing him when the Oligarchy had interfered, and then wham! he found out he\'d been sired and they\'d been in a relationship that Kerr hadn\'t even started out wanting.

"I liked it more than I was willing to admit," he said, sneaking a glance at Daniel and holding most of a smile back but it sneaked out at the corners of his mouth.  "Drinking\'s not quite the same on the other side."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 27, 2009, 06:55:24 AM
"You liked it but... you wanted to be a vampire more?  Or was that... not something planned?" Danny queried, speaking of Ben\'s turning like an unwanted pregnancy and finding it somewhat amusing; that could also just have been the good feelings that having Ben look at him like that were rousing, too.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 27, 2009, 07:52:46 AM
"I set out trying to find someone to sire me," Ben said, thinking of those first two nights in Risk, the first one with him leaving before having talked to anyone because it had been so confronting, the second one with him picking Kerr out of a club full of vampires because he\'d looked... well, more polite, drinking blood out of a glass.  "I offered a vampire to drink from me and then asked if he would turn me.  He wouldn\'t, so I offered to have him drink from me on a more regular basis for us to get to know each other.  I thought... and I guess I was right - that once we\'d connected on a friendship level, if I pestered him enough he would sire me.  And he did."

A shortened version of the summary he\'d got from Kerr, and he\'d bypassed a lot of his human years (but in his memory there was plenty of bypassing anyway), and a few of his vampire ones, but that was essentially what had happened - at the most basic level.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 27, 2009, 04:29:41 PM
"And your... sire?" he hesitated over the word, to be sure that the word performed the task of verb and noun, for he wasn\'t too familiar with such terminology.  When Ben nodded, he gave a brief, grateful smile.
 
"Well, your sire, he didn\'t get freaked out by you liking the drinking a whole lot?" he enquired meaningfully, loving the fact that he and Ben were so alike in this respect and wanting more information that would bind him to the vampire he so admired - he was voracious for it.
 
"Oh!" he then exclaimed, as he thought of something else.  "When he drank from you, was he gentle, like you are?  Is that where you learned your... technique from?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 27, 2009, 04:55:51 PM
Ben thought of the way Kerr had first drunk from him, in the back rooms of Risk, and how warm and sultry it had felt, how erotic and aroused he\'d been.  He thought of the way Kerr had touched him, leading him to think many things which were supposedly inaccurate (but apparently they\'d turned out to be accurate enough, given time).
 
"Yeh," he said, the simplest answer being the best.  Kerr had been gentle every time, even when Ben had felt cheap and used after being drunk from a second time, but he\'d gone back for a third, hadn\'t he?  "I liked him a lot, pretty quick, after he drank from me a few times.  He had a girlfriend, though."  Ben shrugged, wondering what had become of Mandy, but she wasn\'t high on his priority of thoughts, and so she faded when he faced Daniel again.  "I know what it\'s like, to be where you are now.  It wasn\'t all that long ago for me."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 27, 2009, 04:58:57 PM
Danny blinked in surprise, finding the opportunity to ask what he\'d wondered about presented to him rather more neatly than he\'d anticipated it would be.  "Not all that long ago?" he asked, expression a little befuddled.  There was still the possibility that \'not all that long\' to him was far different in meaning than it was to Ben.  "How long have you been a vampire?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 27, 2009, 07:06:36 PM
Technically it was three - or was it two?  He wasn\'t sure on that.  There was only the vampire training with Kerr for about a month, and that was it.  All he remembered was that, but he\'d tapped into his powers very quickly because of his real age.  What had Kerr told him?  That he was really twenty-two years old, but he didn\'t know what time exactly had passed before he\'d been sired.  Had he seen his twentieth birthday?

"Three years," he said, being technically correct, but he wanted to explain.  "There\'s a problem though.  I\'ve been mind-wiped, so I don\'t remember any of it except one month of it, before coming here."  He shook his head at Daniel, who was goggling at him.  "Please don\'t ask, it\'s a really long story.  I consider myself a fledgling."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 27, 2009, 09:09:00 PM
In accordance with Ben\'s wishes, Daniel said nothing... but his eyebrows were just about through his hairline and his eyes were open so wide that his expression said it all for him.  "Three years," he repeated, his lips barely moving as he tried to speak but found his face was more or less frozen in place.  "And you were how old when you were... um, made one?"

He looked Ben over, the movement feeling staggered and surreal because it was like only his eyeballs moved.  It was the first time he\'d ever contemplated being older than a vampire and he wasn\'t sure how comfortable with that he was... but it seemed news he was about to hear, regardless of his preparedness to hear it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 27, 2009, 11:07:50 PM
"Nineteen."

Ben was looking at Daniel with a wariness creeping over him.  The other didn\'t seem... well, as respectful as Ben would\'ve been if a vampire had shared all this information with him.  Nervousness began to wash over him, anxiety seeping into him like muddy water through cracks.  He didn\'t know what Daniel was thinking and feeling about all this, apart from surprise.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 28, 2009, 05:15:29 PM
"Wow," Daniel uttered numbly.  "You\'re younger than me."  And that was about as far as he got, while that notion swarmed all over his thought processes and did its best to alter his thinking about the natural order he\'d assumed, of old vampires and young mortals.  It seemed it wasn\'t always that way but he\'d never given any consideration to what being a fledgling vampire would be like, or that they might come younger than him.  It was quite a stultifying thought.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 28, 2009, 06:43:04 PM
After that statement, there weren\'t a greal deal of places that the conversation could go.  Ben stared at Daniel intently, watching him absorb the information and was reminded much of himself when he\'d first discovered vampires were real and had a ton of questions.  It seemed the vampire Daniel was first with hadn\'t been forthcoming with the information.  What was his name again?  Something foreign and Middle Eastern sounding, he\'d thought.  He thought he could see disappointment in the other, for he was looking for it.  Wouldn\'t he have been disappointed if he\'d learned Kerr was a year old vampire instead of four hundred?  He didn\'t think he would\'ve been quite so low, but he wouldn\'t have been anywhere near as impressed as he\'d first been.

"Sounds like I\'m better at the bite than those who are older than me, though," he supplied, bringing the conversation back to the offer made.  Daniel had wanted Ben to drink from him, and after this short interlude of questions which had the young vampire relaxing, he found he wanted to take Daniel up on that offer.  Still not breaking his stare, he leaned towards and pressed his lips onto Daniel\'s neck, expecting that he\'d accomodate him.  His hand stole around to hold Daniel\'s shoulder.  Even though where he was pressing and kissing was a lot higher, he could still feel the vein that pulsed blood around his body, and knew that even if he bit here, higher than he usually did, he would still be successful drinking, and giving Daniel the buzz.  Funny how he could feel an artery and simply know how it would behave.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 28, 2009, 06:53:42 PM
"Uh, oh yes, the best," Daniel said, hearing that he was already breathy and his heart was pounding as Ben moved towards him - his words were entirely sincere but he allowed a little laugh to exit after them, because he suddenly realised it didn\'t matter how old Ben was, he still wanted him in all the same ways, to do more than they\'d agreed he would, and he knew it was time to control himself.  Through the giddiness.

He tilted his head and closed his eyes, his hands coming to rest at Ben\'s waist even as he told himself to keep control, to not be turned on, to think of cold showers and ugly women and dank, musty cellars.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 28, 2009, 07:05:03 PM
It was more than Ben was expecting, thanks to his craving for social contact.  Daniel had supplied the filling for a hole in Ben\'s life, left in him from leaving the city he\'d grown up in and the vampire who\'d sired him (even if he didn\'t know Kerr as well as he should\'ve, it was still a big step to leave him), from losing his job and a false lover, from having only passing moments with unknowing victims on the streets and unable to make any kind of friendship.  Daniel was a lot of things to Ben, except for what the mortal really wanted, and so Ben allowed himself to relish the moment between them, where they could be intimate and it was allowed and alright and didn\'t have to progress any further into a zone of awkwardness.  He bit, as gently as he could, and drank as shallowly as possible, in order to prolong this moment.  He could feel Daniel\'s warm arms around him and shifted so that they could be closer; he mostly ended up looming over the young adult, his eyes closed like he was enjoying a kiss.

He was very aware of the arousal in Daniel\'s body and how he was reacting.  With all the sex he\'d had and lost, his response was much the same - with a fattening erection beginning to press against his clothing and making his groin throb in a way that wasn\'t entirely uncomfortable but would be soon enough, seeing as there wouldn\'t be release any time soon.  Still, he drank and hugged until he was aware he didn\'t want Daniel to end up so drained he couldn\'t think straight.  Ben had already drunk so much that the other would have to eat something in order to not feel wobbly when standing.  At least Ben had something in his pantry now.

He closed the wound off and licked all the blood away that had crept out from Daniel\'s skin before the wound closed properly, then he pulled away - though not too much to entirely break the embrace - and smiled shyly at the one who\'d warmed him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 28, 2009, 09:24:53 PM
Daniel\'s lids were heavy and there was a dopey smile curling his pouty lips; both his mouth and eyelids lifted and drooped, lifted and drooped as he fought the instinct to wrap his arms around Ben, yank him down and kiss him wantonly.  His expression was as wanton as he was allowed to get, he knew that, but still his hands moved up and down Ben\'s sides slowly and he sighed with repletion.

"You\'re too... good to resist," he giggled, meaning the fact that he\'d become aroused despite his best efforts not to, but a little too blurry to define it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 28, 2009, 09:57:04 PM
Ben smiled at him and waited a short while longer before pulling back and away.

"I\'ll get something for you to eat and drink," he said, shifting away from beneath the blanket and going to the kitchen in spite of any protests he may or may not hear.

He returned with some juice (that was still good from when he\'d bought it a while back, for it was still sealed and apparently could survive like that until early next year) and a bag of crisps, handing them to Daniel without ceremony and then plopped himself down beside the mortal.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 28, 2009, 11:13:14 PM
"Wow, thank you," Danny enthused sincerely as he took the juice and chips, overwhelmed by Ben\'s generosity from an I\'m-eating-treats-I-don\'t-normally-buy point of view, as well as from a mortal being looked after by a vampire, view.  Ben was certainly not doing much to dissuade Daniel from falling in love with him, with generosity like this.

The mortal then sat, snuggled beneath a blanket that adequately hid his horniness, eating deliciously bad treats while he looked at a television such as he didn\'t own with arguably the hottest guy on the planet sharing the sofa with him.  If he died right then, he doubted that Heaven could be much sweeter.

"So," he eventually opened, deciding it would be polite to make conversation around mouthsful of food - and munching didn\'t constitute conversation.  "How\'d you lose your job?  What happened?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 29, 2009, 01:12:39 AM
Ben pressed his lips together, debating whether or not he wanted to share this information, and decided there was no point keeping it to himself because he\'d already divulged most of the details anyway.

"The guy who I thought was more than a fling... he\'s the guy who runs the club.  Sotiris.  I... he gave me a job, so, uh, when we were over the job was gone as well."

He didn\'t look at Daniel during this short and blunt answer, choosing to pick at a loosened bit of wool that was sticking out of the crocheted blanket.  His fingernails worried at it while he worried about what Daniel would say to that.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 29, 2009, 08:07:03 AM
Daniel blinked, surprised to hear that name on Ben\'s lips.  He\'d had a bit to do with Sotiris, when he was officially hired to try DJing at the Liquid Empire a couple of times (to no rave reviews, so it hadn\'t happened a lot), and he was also aware of the man\'s reputation.

"The Ice King?" he queried, his tone indicating that he was impressed.  "I heard nobody melts him!  He\'d damn hot, though, no wonder you were a goner - those eyes and those lips," Danny grinned, more or less moaning the words he emphasised.  God, thinking about Ben with Sotiris was going to finish him off way faster than he\'d expected when he got into bed tonight.

He sat up a little straighter, shuffling around in his corner of the couch as the rest of what Ben said sank in, and he frowned.  "Still... just because he broke up with you doesn\'t mean he had the right to fire you - I mean, I don\'t know how vampires work, but in the mortal world, that\'s grounds for unfair dismissal, you could have him up on charges!"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 29, 2009, 02:27:03 PM
Ben stared at Daniel for a brief moment, and then snorted laughter, though he didn\'t laugh beyond one snort the smile remained on his face from his amusement at the concerned mortal.  Funny how something that had been so devastating at the start was now funny when Daniel had put it that way.

"Um, no, my choice.  It\'d be too embarrassing going back there after... uh, how it all happened."  The smile eventually left him and he shrugged, sitting further back on the couch and looking down at the coffee table in front of them.  "I kind of walked out after I found out he wasn\'t serious about me."

Walked out was a bit lenient.  He\'d practically run his ass out the door.  But so what, when it was over either way?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 29, 2009, 04:18:29 PM
The mortal stared ruminatively at his companion, understanding the headspace he would\'ve been in - he\'d been there a time or two himself, after all - but also experienced (and old - let\'s not forget that little cherry) enough to realise that sometimes pride was worth sacrificing if it stood in the way of you getting what you really wanted.  Or deserved.
 
"So... I guess you didn\'t really need the money, then?" he hinted, not really caring about Ben\'s finances one way or the other (though assuming they weren\'t a big deal), but using them as a springboard to get to his point.  "The job wasn\'t as important as the guy?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 29, 2009, 05:51:12 PM
"I still need money for rent," Ben said after a brief pause, regarding the musician warily.  "I\'ll have to look for something else on the night shift."

He\'d go back to seeking out cleaning jobs.  Hardly glamorous, and hardly paying as much as Liquid Empire had per hour as well, but he wasn\'t a snob when it came to employment (considering the numerous shitty jobs he\'d had since leaving home at sixteen) and he figured one day he\'d have enough to start investing and over time his money would start working for him.

He wasn\'t game to start using the credit card Kerr had given him, though he hadn\'t cut it up like he\'d meant to when it wasn\'t needed either.  The possibility existed that should he ever pull it out in case of a real emergency, it would decline him funds anyway.

He didn\'t comment on how important Sotiris had been to him.  It was better left unsaid.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 29, 2009, 09:43:28 PM
"You should become a professional fish tank or pool cleaner, I reckon," Daniel joked, deciding it was time to lighten the topic of conversation somewhat and inadvertently touching on Ben\'s thoughts - though with a twist that was uniquely Danny.  He grinned at the vampire.

"You don\'t need any gear, you can work in poorly lit conditions and, as an added bonus, you don\'t need to breathe so you can work nonstop without needing a break.  Maybe you should\'ve tried San Diego instead of New York; Sea World would have plenty of work of that sort," he chuckled, hoping Ben saw the lighter side of his advice.

He wasn\'t being malicious in advising that Ben would make an extra water container cleaner; it was just the part about vampires that had always fascinated him the most and he\'d daydreamed often of what it would be like to be able to live underwater.  Like a mermaid (another fantasy of his).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 29, 2009, 09:59:56 PM
Ben was smiling at Daniel whilst he was in the middle of telling the joke, listening to the amusing suggestion.  His smile broadened to a point where it could go no longer and he started giggling before reaching over to tackle (or mostly attempt to grip Daniel in a headlock) the mortal.

"You idiot," he said, not unkindly in the midst of his tackling, though what he would do once Daniel was pinned in his grip wasn\'t really known.  A knuckling of the head perhaps?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 29, 2009, 10:09:46 PM
"What?!" Daniel exclaimed indignantly as he attempted to fight the vampire off.  "You can\'t say it\'s not true!" he said adamantly, doing his best to place the remains of his drink and crisps on the ground to little success - he more or less dropped them when he ducked under one of Ben\'s reaching arms - and was promptly hauled back into the fray for his efforts.  "I reckon you should go to the Central Park zoo, though - they have that filthy penguin enclosure!" he giggled, attempting to get his legs under him so he\'d have more leverage to fight Ben off.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 29, 2009, 10:32:10 PM
Ben was a mess of giggles and was rather eager to physically make Daniel as uncomfortable as possible.

After they\'d calmed down and both males were panting, though one a great deal more shallowly than the other, for his panting was mostly compassion-based, Ben felt a great deal better about how his life in general.  They\'d ended up on the floor, well mostly, for Ben was on his back on the carpet though his legs were on the sofa and he had Daniel\'s head on his chest, finally taken out of the headlock he\'d had it in.

It was a comfortable silence, he thought, and it remained that way, with him playing with Daniel\'s hair and smiling up at the ceiling, thinking of nothing in particular until the mortal spoke.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 07:22:31 AM
For his part, Daniel had been feeling happy and warm.  It was very difficult not to completely succumb to the sensation of love and approval he was getting from Ben; very difficult not to just reach up and kiss him and beg him to take him to bed right now.

Instead, he lay there focussing on the contentment and telling himself that if he made any bold moves now, it would just wreck everything and he\'d not get anything in future.  Ben was like him, a monogamist.  Once his heart was ready to accept someone new, Daniel believed it would be him and they\'d have their happy ever after.

He just had to show restraint now, and console himself with thoughts of the future.

Before long, however, his long day and the draining had the mortal drowsing on Ben\'s chest.  He woke himself up with one giant sleep twitch where his hand danced across Ben\'s stomach and his head bobbed at the same time, and his bleary blue eyes opened.  He lifted his head and looked up at Ben, laughing breathily, his lips bowing upward in an innocent and sleepy manner.  "I really should be getting home to bed before I start drooling on you," he murmured, pulling back slowly then and arching his back, stretching with his left arm while he rubbed his right eye with a cherubic fist.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2009, 07:43:56 AM
Ben was already smiling from the obvious twitch when Daniel said what he said and made the smile disappear into something like a pout.  Of course Daniel had to go to bed at a time when Ben felt it was most like morning.  He wondered if the other had a day job that he had to get to and figured that he did, otherwise how was he paying his rent?

"Sure," he said, getting up onto his elbows and watching the display of sleep deprivation in front of him.  "I\'ll see you tomo- uh, next time, then," he said, the stopper in his words at saying \'tomorrow\' was already too obvious to be denied.  Likely Daniel would know which word had been about to come out, but he didn\'t want to pressure him into coming around so soon and hanging out with him, just because he was a little lonely.  He couldn\'t drink from him too often, but they could still hang out - though he figured Daniel would likely have other things to do at night anyway.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 09:39:47 AM
It was enough of a hint for Daniel to pick it up and suddenly he was fidgetty, picking up the remains of the chip packet and drink from the floor beside him (a few crumbs had spread across the carpet, he saw to his chagrin) and staring at them as he gathered his courage to say what he had to say.
 
"I, uh, have a date tomorrow night.  But yeah, next time," he finished, attempting to sound brighter and offer a shy smile towards Ben.  Why did it feel like he was cheating and having to admit it already?  It was just stupid.  If he didn't get laid tomorrow night he'd never be able to handle his 'friend' time with Ben - it was an essential thing!
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2009, 10:11:06 AM
Ben smiled at Daniel, twisting around so he could get up as well, though he made the task doubly difficult because he\'d rolled mostly into the coffee table.
 
"Hey, hope it goes well," he said, wanting to give Daniel a playful shove to recapture the wrestling match they\'d had (which had been really good friendly fun) but not quite daring to. He wiped his hands on his hips instead, nervously, a mortal habit he\'d lost in three years and then immediately got back upon memory loss. There were many more idle things he had to relearn, apart from the training of his powers. "I\'ll make sure I practise some," he said, his gaze finding the guitar resting against the wall before reverting back to Daniel.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 03:19:51 PM
Agreeing with a chuckle and a nod, Daniel picked up his hoodie and blanket and carried them and the rubbish (because he figured Ben wouldn\'t want to be bothered putting two things out in the trash, whereas he had to put it out regularly) out of the apartment with a few fond waves and a final cheeky bit of advice to call the zoo.
 
~*~
 
The next night was not as wonderful as Daniel had anticipated it would be, now that he and Ben had resolved their friendship issues.  He spent the whole night comparing Dare to Ben and finding the mortal D.J. was quite short in most areas - except for his artistry, of course.  He suspected nothing about Danny\'s calling off their date the night before - which pleased the blonde - and although he was slightly artificial and showy in front of his fans, when Danny got him back to his apartment around four in the morning, things were different.
 
They mellowed out with a few wines and by playing some music - Danny sang for Dare, which impressed him greatly - before retiring to bed.  Dare made comments about Daniel\'s eagerness and stamina which the blonde merely laughed off, but it didn\'t stop him pressing Dare for repeat performances the younger man was, surprisingly, unable to perform.
 
Still, the night must have left an impression on Dare, for when he left Danny\'s place around three the next afternoon, he was keen to see him again that night.  He was told apologetically that Daniel was busy with tutoring, but arranged to see him the night after.  Danny thought that if he adopted this sort of schedule of Ben one night and Dare the next, he could just about keep himself sane and satiated.
 
The sun had barely gone down when he fronted up to Ben\'s place that night, dressed in his usual loose jeans, a pair of socks, a T-shirt and a knitted, V-neck woollen jumper with too-long sleeves on.  There was a little hickie on the back of his neck that he wasn\'t aware of, so he hadn\'t applied toothpaste to or worn clothing that would hide it.  He was hardly thinking about Dare, though, he was more intent on Ben.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2009, 04:13:18 PM
Ben had been pouring over the Want Ads last night, circling those jobs that he figured he could get and could easily do.  Most of them were for cleaning, of which he didn\'t mind, but a few of them were for data entry, which he figured was just typing, and even though he wasn\'t terribly fast with typing skills, he was accurate, and since accuracy was a big deal (according to the companies who were wanting their information typed into a big database - or whatever it was that data entry was all about) he hoped that they would see his clean-cut appearance and consider him as reliable and accurate.
 
He\'d handwritten a few letters and gone down to the library to type them up and print them out, going to the post office next and neatly writing the different addresses on each (trying to make a good impression before the envelope was even open, though in his heart he figured a receptionist would just open them up for the relevant person anyway), before buying stamps and handing them over to the girl behind the counter, who told him in her drawling Brooklyn accent that she really liked his contacts.  He quietly thanked her and left the building, feeling vulnerable of his obvious supernatural status.  At least she didn\'t know and had assumed something normal.
 
He wandered around after that, ducking into an alley and finding a young woman with a lot of shopping to feed from.  He left her with the impression that he\'d simply been helping her juggle all her purchases while she got the attention of a taxi - and he did it too, to influence the memory further.  It wasn\'t long after that he was thirsting again while in the middle of a large department store (though why he was wandering around looking at things he couldn\'t afford was beyond him), and followed a guy into a changing room to drink from him, leaving him with the memory that he\'d just walked in on him for half a second, thinking the booth was empty.
 
Feeling mentally exhausted from pressing in detailed thoughts (even if they were just simple ones) but at least sated with what he\'d drank, he headed back home after purchasing a cheap CD of acoustic guitar songs and played it while trying to pick out the tunes on his guitar strings, putting the easiest song on repeat until he at least had the intro riff down pat.  Soemthing to show Daniel for tomorrow night.  It was when he was trying to find a new, safer place for his guitar that he noticed he\'d forgotten to bring back the overdue DVDs.  Well.  They could go back the next night then.
 
It was very early in the night when Daniel showed up, and Ben hadn\'t yet showered and dressed.  He was pretty sure it was Daniel when he answered the door though, and had a sleepy-eyed smile for him.  Dressed in his old frog-covered boxers and a plain grey t-shirt with his hair going every which way, he looked like he\'d only just got out of bed... and he had.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 07:06:54 PM
"Cute," Daniel commented mildly, raising his eyebrows at the boxers before lifting his gaze to smile cheekily at Ben.  "Kermit would be proud.  So did you want to hang out tonight?  Obviously it\'s a bit early for you to have got through your full beauty routine - not that I\'m complaining, or anything," he amended, tongue-in-cheek, "but I thought I\'d come over and check before I got caught up doing something else."

He gave Ben an expectant look, his entire speech delivered rather more quickly than necessary because he was a) excited to see Ben and b) quadruply excited to see Ben in what he\'d obviously worn to bed, looking rumpled, adorable and sexy enough to eat.  The pressure of referring to it in a joke while keeping his eyes determinedly focussed on the vampire\'s gorgeous eyes was having an effect on him; he hoped his casual reference to having other things to do (when he didn\'t) came off smoothly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2009, 09:33:06 PM
He breathed soft laughter at the Kermit comment, then raised his eyebrows at what followed it, before eventually shrugging.

"There\'s this midnight market thing on tonight at Lilydale\'s," he said, remembering the notice he\'d seen pinned up at the post office for local events.  "I was going to go to that.  You want to come with?" he asked, stepping back away from the door so Daniel could enter.  It was a natural thing, to invite the mortal in, though he\'d end up having to amuse himself while Ben showered and dressed.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 09:44:33 PM
Although disappointed that Ben didn\'t seem overtly happy to see him, Daniel was going to take what he could get and he stepped inside the vampire\'s apartment happily, nodding his agreement that midnight markets sounded exciting (not that he had any money to spare on actually buying anything, of course).

When Ben said that he was going to shower and dress, Daniel made himself comfortable on the couch, picking up Ben\'s guitar on the way and plucking at it.  He amused himself with singing and playing nonsense tunes until he found one he might be able to do something with.  He was engrossed in repeating and expanding upon it when Ben came back out (looking rather different), so it took him a moment to register he wasn\'t alone - mainly because he was composing with his eyes closed.

He sensed movement and opened them, blushing a little as he tried to get rid of the instrument.  "Sorry.  I was just keeping myself entertained."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2009, 10:31:54 PM
"You came by pretty early," he said, by way of explanation of the reason why Daniel had to entertain himself.  "Otherwise I would\'ve had some animal crackers out for you.  You know, from the zoo," he said, adding this last bit with a heavily sarcastic tone.

He was wearing nothing special; white and grey sneakers, light blue jeans with scruff marks on the legs, a button-up short sleeved white shirt with brown and yellow pinstripes, undone and open over a long sleeved faded orange t-shirt.  He looked rather casual and baseball-ish, though a little too pale for outdoor sports.

"Is that something you\'ve written?" he asked with interest, gesturing at the guitar and approaching the sofa in order to plop himself down on the seat beside Daniel.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 10:34:41 PM
Daniel laughed at the animal cracker joke and then a bit more shyly at the reference to his composing.  "Well... if you can call sitting here making things up on the spot three minutes ago \'written\'," he smiled, looking Ben over appreciatively.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2009, 10:38:29 PM
"Shit," Ben said with awe, grinning at Daniel and noticing the look he was getting but ignoring it

though aren\'t you thrilled by it?
liking the attention?
leading him on?
I\'m not leading him on


and turning his attention to the guitar in Daniel\'s hands.

"Poor thing is getting a hard life with me."  He turned his smile back to Daniel.  "I\'m torturing it on a more regular basis now.  Want to hear?"

He was very excited about showing Daniel what he\'d learned.  Like any pupil wanting to impress his teacher.  Or vying for more attention.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 10:45:12 PM
"Definitely!" Danny enthused and handed the instrument over willingly, sitting back on the couch and looking expectantly at his star pupil.  His expression declared that it didn\'t really matter what Ben played, he was simply pleased with the effort.  He lifted his left ankle up onto his right knee and held his calf with both hands, his foot waggling in anticipation.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2009, 10:48:56 PM
Ben slowly plucked at the strings until he found the correct starting point, announcing he was \'warming up\', and then bent over the guitar studiously as he picked out the introduction riff of a song he didn\'t really know before playing the CD over and over again.  It was a nice light melody, relatively simple, but moved a lot about the strings, with both high and very low notes.  After a few wrong notes he got into the rhythm of it and picked out all the way through the intro into the point where it started to strum and speed up, leaving Daniel right at the point where it should\'ve built up.

"Um, that\'s all I know.  Just that start."  He was embarrassed yet enthusiastic at the same time, hoping for praise.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 10:54:35 PM
Danny lifted his hands off his leg to applaud, grinning broadly.  "Wow!  Where\'d you learn it?  How\'d you learn it?" he asked, making a show of being impressed because he was.  He wriggled around on the seat, now leaning eagerly forward so that his forearms were resting on his leg, his dangling hands rubbing excitedly at one another like chittering birds who\'d discovered a worm farm, gaze glued to Ben\'s.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2009, 10:57:56 PM
"It\'s actually a lot faster," Ben admitted, though his early skills didn\'t allow him to be so nimble in spite of his supernatural reflexes.  Guitar playing, much like typing, took practise.  "I played it on the CD a few thousand times last night until I got it," he said, gesturing over Daniel\'s shoulder at the small stereo sitting on an end table positioned against the wall, pretending to be bigger than it was.  "All I got is time," he admitted with a shallow smile.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 11:05:28 PM
The mortal raised his eyebrows.  "So you learned to play it by ear?  Just through repetition?" he queried, genuinely impressed now.  He\'d thought that Ben might have read sheet music... though it did seem unlikely.  He deliberately ignored the time comment, instead giving another compliment.  "You are a man of many talents, Ben," he said in awe.  "Not many can do that."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 30, 2009, 11:11:05 PM
"You\'re kidding," Ben said, doubting Daniel\'s word on the last thing, but from the genuine look he was getting he pulled a face to show his surprise at it.  Huh.  He\'d thought most people learned by ear, or by mimicry.

He put the guitar off to one side and checked his watch, a small plastic number strappy number because his digital watch had run out of batteries on the way to New York.

"The market\'s not for ages yet.  Want to find something else to do in the meantime?" he asked.  "I\'m open to suggestions."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 30, 2009, 11:18:45 PM
He couldn\'t help it.  One minute he was having a very civilised conversation and the next there was Ben sitting there looking suave and sexy, saying he was open to suggestions on what they could do to fill in time and the first thing he thought of was his previous night with Dare and how it would be s much better with Ben and his heartrate kicked up and his mouth first went dry and then flooded with saliva and he suddenly felt all giddy.

Hopeless.  He was hopeless.

"Uh... I could get us into a cub free?  We could do some dancing on the way?" he suggested, for all he knew was music and if he wasn\'t composing and making it, he was appreciating it.  He had a lot of D.J. friends that let him into the less popular clubs for free, because he helped them mix and he was a good critic to try new stuff out on - he also didn\'t cause a fuss.  The thought of dancing with Ben didn\'t lessen his excitement any, but he was pretty sure he could cope with it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 31, 2009, 12:05:15 AM
"Uh," Ben heard the pick up in the heartbeat and though he suspected he knew it had to do with Daniel\'s attraction to him, he didn\'t connect as to why it picked up then and there.  As the mortal went on to offer free entertainment, Ben felt like he was about to disappoint him.  "I don\'t dance.  I shouldn\'t, rather.  I suck at it, so I don\'t."

Three negatives, all in one breath.  If that didn\'t tell Daniel that Ben didn\'t want to go somewhere just to dance, he didn\'t know what would.  Not to put him off entirely, he made a conciliatory gesture.

"I don\'t mind going to a club, though," he said.  He wondered if Daniel knew of any other vampire clubs besides Liquid Empire, but didn\'t want to ask.  Not yet, anyway.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 31, 2009, 05:49:52 AM
"How can you suck at dancing?" Daniel frowned, thinking that Ben was letting down the side by being suckful - gay men were notorious for knowing how to dance, what was he thinking?  "You obviously have rhythm," he pointed out, gesturing at the guitar as proof that Ben had a feel for a beat and tempo, "and it\'s nothing more than moving your body in time.  Maybe I should be giving you dance lessons as well?" he hinted with a grin.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on July 31, 2009, 07:47:10 AM
Ben\'s eyes widened slightly at the desire to teach him.

"Uh, no, I\'m not really comfortable getting up to dance, so it\'d be lost on me," he declined, the true reason behind his desire not to dance coming out.  He felt self-conscious on the dancefloor, and would do little more than sway (if there was a throng of bodies on the dancefloor he could be talked into it, provided he could push his way into the middle first).  He shrugged and desperately wanted the topic changed, so he looked around the room, seeking inspiration.  "Um... we can still go to a club, though," he offered again, looking back at Daniel after being uninspired by what he\'d seen.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on July 31, 2009, 05:18:17 PM
Daniel watched him through narrowed eyes, obviously contemplating pushing the point, but decided against it. "Alright then. I\'ll take you somewhere a bit quieter. Let me just go get my stuff."
 
They left Ben\'s apartment once the vampire was sure he had everything he needed, and called in to Danny\'s on the way by. He pulled on a heavy khaki parka and his messenger bag carrying his equipment (just the recorder and mic tonight, though, no mixer, and he left the headphones in the bag) then locked his door and got himself comfortable as he and Ben descended the steps.
 
On the street, their conversation flowed easily as Daniel revealed some of his New York city living tips or told Ben about the times he\'d been mugged, and listened to Ben talk when he had something to say. It seemed he did the most talking, to him.
 
They walked for almost half an hour in total - avoiding some streets Daniel knew to be trouble, taking alleyways he knew to be safe - even though there were bus stops along the way, with buses keeping pace with them a few times. Daniel was used to walking everywhere to save money, though, and it didn\'t occur to him to worry about speediness when they were out to waste time (and the longer he spent with Ben, the calmer yet more excited he felt).
 
"This is it," Daniel suddenly said when they came to an innocuous stairwell that descended into relative darkness below street level.  There was a Subway store on one side and closed clothes shop with a lot of hippy-style fashion in its window and crammed in the doorway (obviously the footpath displays packed away for the night) on the other.  A slowly flashing pink neon sign above the stairwell humbly labelled it \'Scatters\' and Daniel spared Ben an encouraging smile before he led the way down.
 
The club was an intimate jazz club with a very standard layout; bar running the length of the back wall, bar stools and tables in front of that, a step down into the lounge-type audience area (booths at the back and round tables scattered beyond) that led up to the semi-circular stage.  There were two sets of steps on either side of the stage for people to walk up, and a small dance area slotted in between the stage front and the first few tables.  The right side of the stage (as they looked up at it) was squared off and a D.J. booth was set up there.  A dark-skinned man with dreadlocks and sunglasses (worn even though the lighting was dim) was visible behind the clear pane of glass, watching his turntables play the unique sound of jazzed-up trip-hop (or was it trip-hopped up jazz?) he seemed to be interested in sharing with the world.  Two enthusiastic couples were dancing but the rest of the club was generally sitting down, chatting and laughing at their tables, ignoring the music.
 
As they walked in, the D.J. looked up and waved, a gesture returned by Daniel, who then turned to whisper to Ben: "Welcome to my Tuesday nights," with a laugh.  He kept leading the vampire along the front of the bar and was first greeted by the elderly woman serving drinks (she was forty-five but looked to be in her sixties) and then, far more loudly and with a raised arm of salute, by the much younger and cuter barman.  "Heyyyy, Danny!" he called and Daniel moved towards him.
 
"Hey Carl," he greeted warmly.
 
"What brings you here?  It\'s not Tuesday!" Carl blustered, flashing a dimpled grin as he looked from Danny to the person beside him.  The mortal save him the trouble of wondering by introducing Ben, then.
 
"Carl, this is Ben.  Ben, this is Carl.  Believe it or not, he owns the place."
 
Carl snorted dismissively at Danny and tossed his wet rag upon his shoulder in a practiced manoeuvre before he leaned over the bar to shake Ben\'s hand.  "Hey there, Ben," he greeted, shaking hard and fast before he retreated back to where he was most comfortable, "welcome to Scatters.  Get either of you two anything?" he enquired with raised eyebrows, looking from one blonde to another.
 
"Nah, we\'re right thanks, Carl," Daniel declined graciously, which left the barman shaking his head and mopping at something invisible on the bar\'s work area.
 
"Jesus fucking Christ, Danny, spare me the visit with more starving fucking artists, I could do with the revenue!" he announced with mock harshness, beseeching the ceiling to the amusement of a few of the barflies nearby.
 
Daniel took it as his cue to leave, waving off the admonishment with a laugh and turning away to find he and Ben somewhere to sit.  "See you later, Carl," he called over his shoulder, like this was a common routine they went through - and it was.  It was a very rare night when Daniel had enough money to splurge on alcohol from this place.
 
"Later, Danny," the owner called, already distracted by making up another drink and chatting to another customer - enough to have forgotten to farewell Ben, anyway.
 
Daniel led them to one of the open booths in the middle of the room; it was just two bench seats facing each other with a table between and a balustrade on one side the designated the single step up to the bar area.  The bench seats had wooden panels behind them that served as a boundary between their booth and the next, but the panels were not very high and could be seen over by anyone over six feet tall that leaned up and put some effort into it.
 
Expecting Ben would sit opposite him, Danny slid into one side messenger bag first, pulling the strap over his head as he went.  He smiled ruefully at his companion.  "Sorry about that," he grinned, then nodded at the D.J., whom he could see from his poistion.  "What do you think of Steve?  He plays some wild shit," he laughed, using wording that the Jamaican tossed around frequently and freely.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on August 03, 2009, 07:03:30 AM
It was exactly the kind of place Ben would never have gone into on his own.  He was glad that Daniel had brought him here though, for he would never have discovered it by himself.  He didn\'t think he\'d come here on his own though, for it was the kind of place you hung out with friends, or so he felt.

Upon meeting Carl, Ben had smiled politely with the kind of smile he reserved only for strangers or when speaking to small children.  He listened to the short conversation, mostly looked at Daniel or at whatever caught his eye at the bar (and quite a bit did, for the bar had a collection of liquor in unusually shaped bottles and the different coloured glass kept drawing his interest.  He\'d never seen a bar stocked so colourfully.

After Daniel chose a seat, Ben slid into the seat opposite like Daniel expected, and placed his arms and elbows on the table, linking his fingers together in front of him and leaning forward as Daniel prompted for his opinion about the music, by way of mentioning the rasta playing it.

"It\'s different," Ben said, not minding the music but also unsure whether he liked it or not.  "Is he blind?" he asked, remembering that the DJ had dark glasses on and thinking perhaps that he might be another kind of Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on August 03, 2009, 05:08:03 PM
Danny laughed appreciatively.  "Nah, he\'s just way cool, mon," he answered, mimicking Steve\'s accent and adopting a bit of attitude as he responded, his hands flailing a little and striking a pose before he folded his arms and rested his elbows on the table, leaning towards Ben instinctively.
 
"This place is basically a jazz club - which I incorporate a fair bit of, in my stuff - hence the name.  Carl up there plays the meanest jazz trumpet you have ever heard in your life!" Daniel enthused, gesturing at the bar with one hand before making a sliding motion that implied the goodness of Carl\'s playing was something that resonated into forever.
 
"Tuesday nights I have my only permanent gig here, playing my stuff a little, in breaks, but mainly singing backup and playing harmonica with Carl\'s band - they say my scat\'s not too shabby but they teach me something new every week and I have nothing on Lady Delilah, who fronts the band.  Man, I swear she channels Billie Holiday, to hear her is to know Heaven," he enthused respectfully, shaking his head as he thought of the sweet, dark-timbred voice of the person who did jazz proud whenever she appeared.
 
He looked back at Ben, then, wishing he had the guts to invite his friend to come and see them play some Tuesday night, but unsure he\'d cope with the pressure of it.  Ben\'s opinion of him mattered more than anyone else\'s, unfortunately.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on August 05, 2009, 03:42:06 PM
Ben listened, nodded and smiled, falling back into the familiar habit of becoming the sounding board.  Most of his friends in high school had considered him quiet, and very surprised when he\'d left.  It had been difficult for him to keep in touch with them, feeling much on the outskirts, so other than a few outings and a couple of phone calls, they\'d drifted apart.  Ben wasn\'t very good at maintaining friendships thanks to his inability to chatter about any subject under the sun.

"How long have you been coming here?" he asked, for lack of anything more interesting to say.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on August 05, 2009, 04:35:32 PM
"Hrmm, about three years, I guess," Daniel mused, his lips twisting as he gave it some thought.  "Maybe a bit more.  When I first got to New York I familiarised myself with all the clubs and the recording companies, trying to figure out the scene and where I fit in it," he laughed, glancing around at the people moving around the club behind Ben as he spoke, recognising some and exchanging a little smile or nod with them.

"But then I started to move away from what I\'d been interested in and what was mainstream when I was eighteen.  I grew up a bit, had some relationships, got my heart broken, grew up some more," he laughed, his words dragged out and sounding a bit like a car engine starting reluctantly on a cold morning; up and down as he described in tone the way his life had gone up and down - and how inevitable it all was.  He was far enough away from it now that he could laugh about it but at the time, his world had crumpled.

"I come from this tiny little town in the middle of nowhere and I haven\'t discovered my dream yet - but I have faith I will," he chuckled, his tone growing more sombre as he was forced to admit that his star had not broken over the horizon and he had doubts that it ever would - but that was his secret torture and something he worked actively against happening, by never passing over an opportunity and always pushing himself.

A voice came from behind him then, cutting over his final words and moving at speed past him - a young black woman with a tight afro hairstyle, white T-shirt and black pants and apron whose job it seemed to be to collect glasses into her basket and take them back to the bar.  She didn\'t stop to speak with them, her gaze only alighting briefly on their table, searching for empty glasses as she hustled past, delivering a whispery touch and her greeting.

"Heya Danny, good seeing you here!  Nice hickie!  Can tell what you two\'ve been up tooooo!" she sang, her fingers alighting ever so lightly on the love bite at the back of his neck before they - and she - were gone, letting him in on the secret Dare hadn\'t the night before.

Daniel\'s eyes widened and he clutched at the back of his neck, staring wide-eyed at Ben once he\'d finished frowning at the back of Demi, the barmaid.  "Why didn\'t you tell me?" he squeaked, blushing a furious red.  On second thought, he couldn\'t recall having turned his back on Ben so far tonight, so the vampire likely hadn\'t seen it.  That both relieved him and filled him with an agony of embarrassment.  Ideally, he\'d have wanted to know it was there so he could hide it from Ben - a love bite on the back of a gay man\'s neck was hardly subtle and he was infuriated with Dare that he\'d done it without his knowledge - but now that it had been blatantly announced, he felt humiliated.

His hand stayed on top of it, like that would stop Ben from looking and, again, he felt like he was cheating without cause.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on August 05, 2009, 10:00:31 PM
Ben hadn\'t known; he both hadn\'t looked that closely, nor had the opportunity to.  Seeing Daniel\'s reaction (and knowing that Daniel was attracted to him) had him feeling bad for the mortal, knowing that he would\'ve felt embarrassed in his place - and Danny certainly looked embarrassed.  He tried to make light of it, while at the same time wondering about who Daniel was seeing.

"You must\'ve had a nice time," he said, then considered that such a statement might not be appropriate.  He shrugged then, trying to let the other blonde know it didn\'t really matter.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on August 05, 2009, 10:07:06 PM
Daniel\'s jaw dropped so that his mouth made a petite little \'o\' as he boggled at Ben, blown away by the fact that he\'d not only remarked casually about his night of sex, but almost enquired about it.  There wasn\'t a name for the colour of red his cheeks turned but he dropped his hand from his neck and his gaze to the table in an effort to find something else to talk about.

"Yeah, was fun," he muttered.  "So did you find any work last night?"  His voice sounded strained to his ears - was it high and squeaky to Ben?  God, he hoped not.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on August 06, 2009, 12:01:02 AM
"I sent off letters," Ben said, hearing the tone in Daniel\'s voice but not thinking anything of it other than the fact the mortal was likely still feeling awkward.  It was a pretty awkward topic, really, but then, Ben had shared a few intimate things with him as well, because he\'d been the only one around.  He supposed this evened things up a bit (except he was curious about whether Daniel would still be interested in him if he had this other guy).  "I\'m waiting to hear back, but I might have to invest in an answering machine.  Seeing as I can\'t answer the phone in the day."  He shrugged, hoping that working on the night shift meant he\'d be called during it too.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on August 22, 2009, 01:04:25 AM
"I know what the waiting game\'s like," Daniel laughed breathily, hoping Ben would have more success than him.  Of course, his last round of hopeful submissions had at least wrought him some potential composition work with the indie company he\'d met up with but it had been haphazard at best and not what he was looking for.  He didn\'t want to be collaborating with other people on their work; he wanted to record his own stuff and be famous in his own right, be the entire performing package.  It was difficult not to become disillusioned, though.

He opened up a little more to Ben, then, sharing with him a few stories of his own past failures and almost-triumphs and it was a topic that generally dominated their conversation once they decided they\'d spent enough time chilling out at Scatters and walked to the markets.  Once they were there, plenty of other situational things cropped up to talk about and Daniel found himself only feeling more comfortable as they wound their way up and down the slightly crooked aisles of stalls, inspecting what was for sale.  He imparted his opinion on just about everything laughing with Ben at the truly tacky and falling quiet and bending close to inspect truly beautiful when it came up as well.

Many times he wished he had enough money to spare on frivolous things - especially when they reached the music stall and found boxes of old vinyl records - but all he did was finger things longingly and keep such wishes to himself.  He didn\'t want pity, he was happy living as he did in the dawn of his big break, but sometimes he wished the sun would crest the horizon sooner rather than later.  He made enough money to pay his rent and buy food (and the occasional instrument, sheet music or bit of recording equipment), what more did he need?  The rest was greed, pure and simple.

Eventually, they\'d seen enough and headed for home, with Danny munching on the popcorn he and Ben had been given as free samples in order to tempt them to buy.  The mortal was smug in his ownership of two cups\' worth and had finished his own quickly, so was now savouring the one Ben had been gracious enough to pretend he wanted, just for him.  The topic he chose for discussion on their walk home had a simple question at the head of it but potentially a great deal of information to be revealed afterward - he hoped, anyway.  He really wanted to get to know Ben a lot better, considering the stupidly strong feelings he was developing for him.

"So... why\'d you come to New York, of all places?" he asked without preamble, popping a few kernels of fluffy, caramelised popcorn into his mouth as he turned to contemplate his beautiful blonde companion.  "To get away from your sire I know but... what is it about New York that brought you here?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on August 24, 2009, 04:27:06 PM
Ben had loosened up as much as Daniel had, mostly thanks to the mortal\'s ability to talk.  Ben had always been more of a listener than a talker, but by the time they were walking around the markets, the conversation drew to an even balance.  Ben, too, kept thoughts about the desire for spending money to himself whenever he saw something - like a hand-crafted leather-bound journal with fresh, clean pages, and some jewel-encrusted pens that enchanted his vampire senses due to the myriad of colours that flashed and caught his eye.
 
The smell of popcorn overpowered the smell of the city, which was fine by Ben, as the pair strolled amiably together on the streets.  There was no real hurry to get home, the night was theirs, nothing urgent was on.  People hurried past them on the main streets, and were oddly absent down the narrow alleyways.  The question was a simple one, for Ben had given it a little bit of thought after ending up at New York.  The answer had always been with him; he didn\'t need much time to think about it.
 
"It\'s an iconic city.  Like L.A., but I was headed in this direction to start with, so I ended up here instead of on the other coast."  He paused, but not for long.  "I want to see them all, live in them all.  Iconic cities, like Venice or Paris, Moscow or Casablanca.  The places I\'ve heard of but never been.  I want the world to feel small."
 
He\'d figured once he\'d travelled the world a few times over it would feel small to him in the end, and maybe he wouldn\'t feel so insignificant in contrast.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on August 26, 2009, 07:09:12 AM
Daniel didn\'t give a flippant response to such a grand statement, sensing the brevity behind it and wanting to give it its due in terms of consideration before he replied.  He didn\'t have the money to move out of this city, let alone around the world on a whim, and he doubted Ben did yet, either, but he also thought that didn\'t matter as much for a vampire.  As long as they had somewhere to hide from the sun, they\'d always have plenty of food and not need money for it - though skulking around and not having anywhere permanent was no way to really enjoy a city, even for the undead, he bet.

"Why would you want the world to feel small?" he asked, genuinely curious and giving a frown of interest as he looked Ben\'s way.  Did the mystery of life and of the world scare him so much that he needed to feel like he owned it, or had it under his control?  "You think you\'ll be able to get a handle on the whole world, just from moving around a lot?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on August 26, 2009, 03:40:54 PM
"I think so.  I hope so, anyway."  He knew Daniel might not share his opinion, but it made sense to him.  If he\'d spent time in all the known cities of the world, and lived there long enough to settle in and understand each culture, to learn about the people who lived there and what each location had to offer - surely this would give him the kind of knowledge he sought?  To have been aorund long enough, to have seen it all personally, to know his own opinions because he\'d made his mind up rather than sitting on the fence because he felt he didn\'t have all the facts, this was a seductive state of being.  "It feels impossible right now," he said, softly.  "It feels... scary.  I have to have a goal, and though it seems kind of... um... mammoth at this point, even being here, in this city, is a start."

There was more, there was always more, like learning different languages, or how to play music, or how to dance, or draw and paint, how to build furniture or fix radios.  There were many things he wanted to know, that seemed like tiny projects but put them all together and it was a huge task, to accomplish them all.  A huge task that would take time, and now he had time.  Time to grow and change, to educate himself, to better himself, to learn how to be the person he wanted to be rather than the one he was.  To not be afraid of being alone, of facing new things.

He\'d asked Kerr how many languages he\'d known once, and been told that Kerr knew five.  Gaelic, English, Italian, German and French, if he recalled correctly.  It didn\'t seem like much, for Kerr\'s age.  Roughly one language around every one hundred years.  Kerr was right, he didn\'t need to know the language if he could read minds and gather intentions from people, to know what they were expecting in return, but he didn\'t want to do it that way.  It was like revelling in ignorance.  It was cheating.

He realised Daniel was speaking again and paid attention.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on August 26, 2009, 11:46:21 PM
"You have big dreams, for a young vampire," Daniel mused, a twinkle in his eye showing that he was teasing good-naturedly as he looked the vampire over.  The smile dancing around his lips also demonstrated his approval and adoration for anything Ben decided was the right thing... he was still older, though, and he could make the most of that.

"My goals are simpler," he announced with a melodramatic sigh that had him contemplating the stars above and swinging an arm (the one holding his next mouthful of popcorn in his fingers) wide as if he were about to hug the city.  As chance had it, he whacked an innocent passerby and got an indignant, "Hey!" for which he had to pause momentarily and apologise - then move on hastily.

By the time he was done blushing and scurrying quietly along towards their destination of home, he\'d quite forgotten that he\'d been about to announce his humbler goals.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on August 27, 2009, 09:35:33 AM
Ben smirked at Daniel\'s wayward gesture and picked up the pace with him, so that they could put the angry New Yorker behind them (who was rude enough to not appreciate the apology and had continued to stop and glare at them - at least there hadn\'t been any curses hurled after them).  After a while, as they continued in silence, Ben prompted Daniel.
 
"Well?  What are these simple goals?  Don\'t keep me in suspense," he said, his elbow reaching out to nudge Daniel but missing.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on August 31, 2009, 09:54:25 AM
"Oh!" he cried, now remembering that he\'d forgotten and laughing at himself.  He pressed his hand (now free of popcorn, since he\'d dropped it when he encountered the stranger) briefly to his forehead, as if to stimulate his memory.
 
He looked at Ben with a broad grin.  "To become exceedingly famous for my music, filthy rich because of it and have a relationship with the man of my dreams until we grow too old to remember our own names!" he declared loftily, a note of humour in his voice that belied how honest he was being at that moment.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on August 31, 2009, 10:14:40 AM
Ben listened with a wide smile at the whole \'rich and famous\' scenario, but the last bit of Daniel\'s \'simple goal\' had his smile growing more thoughtful.
 
"You want to grow old?" Ben asked him. Of all the things he\'d declared to anyone who would listen, that he wished to educate himself, that he wished to have the time to explore and adventure and learn about the world, to learn about everything he could and investigate whatever took his fancy, it was all true, yes, but it hid a very deep, very dark and hidden secret. He\'d feared aging. He\'d feared getting frail as time went on and having health problems and a failing body. He\'d feared being afflicted with the things the aged seemed to be - deteriorating vision, hearing, memory.
 
His question to Daniel was about as close to acknowledging this fear as he would ever get.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on August 31, 2009, 11:38:00 PM
Danny frowned and tilted his head thoughtfully as he walked, tossing popcorn into his mouth and watching where he was going.  "Well... I\'ve never really thought about it but... yeah, I guess I do," he conceded, obviously still weighing the pros and cons of such a thing, judging by his tone.

"I mean, I don\'t want to be old - and the thought of doing it alone and having to rely on complete strangers to, like, wipe my ass when I\'m ninety-three freaks the bejesus outta\' me! - but yeah... I\'m up for it.  I mean, I know you guys exist and therefore immortality does and all that, but that\'s not part of God\'s natural plan.  I think living forever would drive me barmy within a century," he confessed with a laugh that began large but sobered down to a bit of uncertainty as he spoke again, hi gaze flickering to Ben and then away, showing his nervousness.

"I believe we only get a certain amount of time on this earth to work hard, love wildly and burn bright enough to leave a spark in peoples\' memories and that\'s all you get.  Asking for more is cheating, needing more is failure and that\'s not what I plan to be.  So yeah, come what may, I\'m in it to light up the sky while I\'m here - enough to leave a glow - then I\'ll go happily when I\'ve run my course and done all that I can.  Eternity\'d just... well, it\'d be limiting to me, no offense," he added the last apologetically, figuring he might well be shunned if he didn\'t make it clear he was talking about himself and his opinion of life for himself, not judging Ben\'s choices or state of being in the slightest.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on September 01, 2009, 09:49:38 AM
There was a phrase Daniel used halfway through his explanation that had Ben mulling over.  God\'s natural plan.  He didn\'t call Daniel on it, even though he was wanting to know - well, hoping - if it was merely a turn of phrase, or if Daniel was religious.  He didn\'t seem to be the church-going type, but a lot of Americans were, and it wasn\'t like Ben would ever know what Daniel did with his Sunday mornings.

When Daniel then moved on to talk about cheating and needing more, Ben was insulted, though quietly so.  He kept his thoughts to himself as Daniel rabbited on and finished with how he would find eternity limiting.  Ben, on the other hand, thought cruelly that Daniel must be limited, to find it so, before he let his thoughts wander away from the topic.  He wasn\'t going to confront Daniel about any of his opinions, and dwelling on it now was only going to make him obvious to the mortal, so it was better just to shift the topic to something else, and he would think about everything later, when he was alone.

"Light up the sky with your fame and mountains of gold," Ben pointed out, his smile returning naturally as he teased Daniel about his desire to be rich and famous.  An ordinary dream.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on September 01, 2009, 10:48:57 PM
"Hey!" the mortal cried with a grin, playfully holding up his hands, palms towards Ben in an \'I surrender!\' gesture.  "I\'m not hating on your dreams to make the world small and get control of shit, you don\'t hate on mine!" he grinned, teasing the vampire right back.

"I\'m a simple man, with simple pleasures!" he crowed, dropping his arms in order to eat more popcorn.  "My time\'s too limited for negativity to be embraced, I tell you."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on September 26, 2009, 03:02:10 PM
Ben made a pfft sound but the effect was ruined by his laughter soon after.
 
The pair of them hung out when they arrived at Ben\'s apartment, and some jamming followed after Ben was shown how to strum three chords to a particular rhythm and Daniel picked out the melody.
 
Nights passed into weeks and weeks passed into months with Ben and Daniel becoming close friends - though Ben didn\'t take advantage of the obvious cues Daniel gave him.  Drinking from his mortal friend began to heat up however, and it was looking like something would progress along those lines.
 
Ben had gained employment as a cleaner in the city, then lost it fairly quickly after.  He wasn\'t terribly upset to see it go, though it concerned him that he\'d never been able to hold down a steady job.  His savings (what he\'d earned from the sale of his car) had dwindled down to a point where he was now unable to pay the rent with the remainder of it.  He\'d dug up the credit card Kerr had given him and had a staring contest with it for a couple of hours one night before shoving it into his underwear drawer once again, as far back as it would go.
 
He wanted to make his own way - he\'d made that promise to himself a long while ago, when leaving his folks.  He would make his own way, and he\'d even accomplished the main part of his goal; vampirism.  He had the time to build up a fortune, he just had to be patient... and clever.
 
He\'d found a new hunting spot, further east closer to the docks but still in the business district, where there were more white collar well-dressed businessmen than blue-collar uniformed workers.  The first time he\'d taken money from one of his victims, the guy had been an asshole until Ben had planted suggestions to him to be docile.  Initially it had been a justification to teach the guy a lesson - but the payoff had been in the hundreds as Ben had checked his victim\'s wallet and it was enough to make Ben rethink his strategy.  Why not take more than just blood from his victims?  Only from those who looked like they could afford it, of course, but if someone was walking around with over five hundred dollars in their wallet, they could certainly afford it.
 
He\'d change his hunting spot but the general location was the same.  It had been a couple of weeks since he\'d started, but already had enough money for his rent for months and then some.  Now, after letting his latest victim go - a more senior gent carrying almost a hundred in cash and with a suit that likely cost five times that - he was shouldering the wall further down from the mouth of the alley he\'d used, and was counting out his prize.  There was a prickly sensation of being watched and he looked up, then around.  Seeing nothing, but feeling something, he intended to make his hasty exit.
 
Except his watcher had no intention of letting him get away.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 01, 2009, 11:37:13 PM
The newling had taken but one step when a petite Asian woman materialised before him.  She looked like a doll, with her flawless makeup, her long black hair in two braids bent back and pinned creatively to the sides of her head and her pretty dance clothes on.

She might have just tottered out of a very classy eighties movie on her black stilettoes (extravagant straps wound up her bare calves to her knees), dressed as she was in a pink satin bubble dress with its mismatched, embroidered black bolero jacket, but she didn\'t look dated, somehow.

She was dated, of course, thirteen hundred years\' worth of dated, but she looked vibrant, curious and very young as she clasped her hands together at the small of her back and leaned forward to peer up at Ben.  Her features were classically Asian, but when she spoke it was in English, with no hint of any sort of accent.

"Hello," she bade in a cheerful, melodic voice.  Her tone was feminine and... sweet, but not childlike.  "What are you doing down here at this hour?" she mused, glancing at Ben\'s hands and then mildly back up into his eyes.  Her head tilted and she looked for all the world like a fragile bird hearing potential danger and ready to take flight if she got too nervous - but she was poised and obviously interested in his answer.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 02, 2009, 08:09:50 AM
Age.  God he could feel it, standing this close to her.  It was enough to have him freeze, let alone the fact she\'d come out of nowhere, silently and effectively.  Wide pale-blue eyes stared at her as she addressed him and then looked down at the ninety dollars he held in his hands, which he was now worrying at by twisting and rolling.  It gave away his nervousness at being caught.

He licked his lips, preparing himself to answer her question, blinked once, wanted to look away but was unable to draw his gaze from her.

Is she mesmerising me?
I don\'t think so
I\'m in trouble, I am so in
danger
trouble with her
Say something don\'t keep her waiting
don\'t lie don\'t try and fool her
she already knows the truth


He didn\'t dismiss her, didn\'t think she was fragile, delicate or innocent.  He was wary and cautious, though his caution was beginning to get the best of him.  As per usual, his mouth took over while his brain struggled to assemble his thoughts into an order that he could use.

"I\'m up to no good, but I can take myself elsewhere," he offered politely and seriously.  He had every intention of hauling ass out of this place, because even through her happy exterior, she couldn\'t be too happy that he was stealing from people in what was likely her territory.  Why else would she approach him?  That glance down at the cash in his hands had helped him realise that it was probably the reason for her questioning him.

He dry-swallowed and tucked the cash into his front jeans pocket, in order to get it out of sight, and waited for her to either make another comment or perhaps to run him out of the area.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 03, 2009, 11:08:10 AM
Her lips pursed as she gave Ben\'s offer some thought, monitoring his jumbled thoughts without intruding too much on his awareness.  He was not likely to notice the very slight pressure she placed on his young mind, given his excited state and her great skill, but she was being careful anyway, not digging too far just yet and letting him play out all his insecurities for her entertainment.

"Yes, you are up to no good," she agreed pertly, smiling sweetly at him, "but I will take you elsewhere.  You\'ve been a very naughty boy, and my family would like to speak to you," she pouted momentarily, then the winning smile was back.  Without further ado, she stepped forward, pivoted and linked her left arm through his right, beginning to walk him down the alley and towards her family\'s warehouse.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 03, 2009, 11:56:50 AM
His mental shield was up naturally, thanks to Kerr\'s training, but his fledgling talents made it as powerful as invisible tissue paper.  Compared to her great age and practised scanning, he didn\'t have a clue that she was scanning his thoughts.
 
He tensed when she linked her arm in his, and there was a light denial of movement before he awkwardly and hurriedly stepped forward to meet her starting pace.  There was no point struggling, though the survival instinct in him was strong to not simply go somewhere with an ancient stranger back to a place where there were more of them and he didn\'t know what would happen to him.  Being outnumbered would make his chance for escape incredibly thin - but hell, he was outnumbered just being one on one with her.
 
"My name\'s Ben," he said, hoping to work up as much of a rapport with her as possible.  He didn\'t know how far it would be going back to her home.  "I haven\'t lived in New York long.  Trying to establish myself, you know?"
 
Fuck me, I sound like an idiot
she probably thinks I\'m some petty thief
it\'s not like I even need the money any more
I have my rent sorted
why did I keep stealing?
 
"Nothing bad\'s going to happen with me, right?" he asked, hearing the hope in his voice mingling with the frustration and anger at himself for sounding so weak.
 
you are weak, Benny-boy
you\'re a fledgling
you\'re in a lot of trouble
more than that, you\'re in danger
 
He kept walking.  There was little else he could do.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 03, 2009, 03:10:11 PM
She watched him as he spoke, cocking her head and looking up into his eyes as they walked, her very high heels only bringing her to his nose level.  Their steel tips made an antagonised clack on the hard ground as they walked, announcing their presence to all and sundry - yet if Ben thought about it, he\'d realise he had heard no such noise as she\'d approached him.

She didn\'t respond with her name and only laughed nastily and looked ahead of herself when he asked if anything bad was going to happen to him.  She enjoyed his nervousness, tasting it in the air around him like a snake smelling its way to prey.  His thoughts were a tumble of self-recrimination that she felt nothing but disdain for (though she kept watching them).  He\'d brought it all upon himself, by choosing to hunt where he had, by opting to take more than he needed.  The consequences would be what they were.

It only took a few long strides of walking before they came to the place where she was leading him - signalling to him, if he\'d paid attention, that he had been either near or right up against her family\'s warehouse on more than one occasion.  They were at one end of the long building and she ignored the enormous double doors designed for trucks to enter, in order to lead Ben through the small person-sized door before them.  Her fingers flew over the coded key pad, eliciting an affirmative-sounding beep before she pressed downward on the handle and pushed the door inwards.  A nudge with their linked arms encouraged Ben into the cavernous space before she entered behind him and made sure the door closed.

"Upstairs," she told him simply, choosing not to lead him merrily now, but simply to give him a shove between the shoulder blades that would compel him forward, while she followed along behind, monitoring his progress.  The warehouse before them was huge and dark but their supernatural vision had no problem picking out the fact that it was filled with row upon row of plastic-covered garments hanging on clothing racks.  There was a big space down the middle that had tables and packing things, as well as some parked forklifts and room for small trucks to drive or reverse in to be loaded up, but all of it was silent tonight.

Ben\'s push propelled him to the left, along the wall they\'d just entered through, where a corner staircase led to an upper floor.  Despite being cavernous from the outside, the warehouse was only airy on the inside because it had been split into two levels - there were some windows on this lower floor but none at all upstairs, where the vampires made their home.  The woman didn\'t speak as she trailed gracefully after the fledge, making her way noisily up the clunky metal staircase so that he knew she was still with him, still watching, still in control.

They got to another locked door at the top that required her to squeeze forward and lean past Ben to input another code, which she did with a polite, "Excuse me."  The door had a wood look to it but was actually reinforced steel with a wooden veneer, so she gave this one a generous push to open it.  Once it was done, another unceremonious jab to his buttocks indicated that she wanted Ben to step up and walk in.

The room beyond the door looked nothing like a warehouse should look - not even an office in a warehouse, in fact.  It looked like a foyer to a very expensive home, complete with softly muttering water feature and gentle lighting.  A company name was highlighted by the lights at the top of the water feature, though, proving that this was a place of business, not a palatial home.  There was also a reception desk to the right, inhabited, surprisingly, by a beautiful blonde whose face stood out starkly because she was bathed by the light of a computer screen.  She\'d stopped typing and turned to stare at Ben the moment he entered, followed by his Asian captor.

The blonde\'s eyes widened considerably as her friend closed the door and strolled in, and she abandoned her keyboard altogether, in order to stand up and lean on the reception counter to peer at the stranger.  Oddly, she was dressed in a workout leotard, complete with a sweat band about her perfectly-coiffed head, but seemed unworried about her appearance as she looked Ben up and down.

"Well, well, well, what \'ave we \'ere?" she chirruped in an Engliah accent (not a very well-bred one, at that), glancing towards the other dark-haired woman.

The Asian slunk over to lean her elbows back on the reception counter, smiling smugly at Ben.  "This is Ben," she announced sweetly, then looked slyly over her shoulder at her blonde friend.  "Pretty sure he\'s our rat."

This phrase obviously meant something to the blonde, whose beautiful blue eyes seemed to widen even more (if that was possible) as she gaped at Ben.  "Oh, Li," she breathed reverently, "it\'s him?  You really think so?"

"I do.  He knows he\'s in the shit, he\'s been crapping himself the whole way up here," Li answered, the smirk matching her very sudden and surprisingly-ugly language, "thinking how young he is and how he shouldn\'t have kept stealing when he didn\'t need it."

The blonde\'s face crumpled into an expression of indignant recrimination and she even lifted a finger to scold him.  "No, you shouldn\'t have!" she announced loudly, like he was a naughty dog who\'d peed on the carpet.  "Do you know how much trouble you\'ve caused us?  Security\'s been mad for us ever since you started your shenanigans, why we-"

"Holly," the Asian had straightened from her slouch and turned to frown at the blonde, who obediently fell silent and simply stared at her friend.  "It\'s not for us to talk about," Li hinted, with a very subtle tilt of her head.  She was indicating the lushly carpeted hallway that led away from the foyer, seemingly to some opulent offices... or perhaps a family home, it was hard to tell.

Holly looked truly crestfallen at the gesture.  "Oh, she\'s not here, remember?" she almost whimpered, as if this might be a disastrous turn of events. "She had that meeting with the Gaultier reps tonight."  Big blue eyes blinked as if tears might well and the beautiful rosebud of a mouth became a sad pout that caused a distinctive \'V\' frownline to appear between the Asian girl\'s perfectly styled eyebrows - until Holly suddenly thought of something that had her smiling like the sun shining through a fleeting cloud after a spring shower.  "Themba is, though!  I\'m sure he\'d love to deal with the rat!"  She bounced a little on her unseen toes, giving the impression that it would not be against her nature to clap when she was truly excited and happy.

Li grinned and looked back at Ben calculatingly, not saying anything because she was busy making contact with the only male of their tight little quartet.  He was having a lazy night tonight, he told Li, and wasn\'t interested in getting dressed for something that might just as likely end in blood being shed - and he woudn\'t want to ruin any decent clothes, was the sentiment that travelled with the order for Li to bring Ben down to the drawing room.  "Come on, little rodent," she instructed, straightening fully away from the counter and heading for her prisoner.  She laughed when he proved he\'d learned enough to dance out of her way and began moving down the hall of his own accord.

There was something to be said for a fast learner, in her opinion.

The hallway led past eight office-type spaces with frosted glass walls and exquisitely-molded glass doors (but there were no name plaques on them) to another boring wooden door with a security pad beside it.  Again, Li\'s fingers danced across the alpha-numeric pad and the door beeped and clicked as the lock mechanism was released, allowing her to open it for Ben.  She wondered if he was annoyed by the fact that she kept pushing him through doorways - he was busy trying to protect his thoughts from her at all costs, now that she\'d announced them to Holly, which she found quaint enough to let go.

The room beyond the door didn\'t look much different to a work space either.  It was large and lit with flourescent lights, filled with an ecclectic array of furniture that ranged from beautiful suede couches with chaises to day beds to drafting tables to expansive material cutting benches (with bolts of cloth standing in a collection basket at each end of them) to dressmaker\'s mannequins.  Once they entered, Ben would notice that the walls either side of the door he\'d just walked through were covered with nine mounted flat screens - one side was using all nine screens to show the one stock market channel, the other had five different displays happening.

In front of the mixed screens sprawled a very beautiful man with chocolate coloured skin.  He was slouched into a corner of the couch, his feet along the chase before him and his arms lifted onto the back and arm of the beige-coloured furniture.  He was wearing blue denim jeans and a white business shirt that was completely unbuttoned and untucked, showing off his smooth brown skin and extremely muscular physique.  When they entered, he turned to look at Ben, dark eyes narrowed assessingly and expression neutral; the light bounced off the sleek dome that was his completely bald head when he moved, drawing attention to him (even though his regally reclined pose and beauty did that for him).

Again, the door snicked closed behind Li but this time she chose not to jab Ben in any particular direction, choosing to stroll past him and position herself daintily at the other end of the enormous couch the man was occupying.  "Ben, this is Themba," she introduced warmly, as if the fledgling was one of her closest friends and she was delighted to at last be introducing him to her other good friend.  She crossed her legs prettily and arranged herself statuesquely in her corner, leaving plenty of room for the newling to walk over and sit between the two of them... if he chose.  No other seats were nearby, unless he wanted to perch atop a drafting stool.

"Come," the African gestured with his left hand, while his right lifted the remote he was holding and pointed at the screens he\'d been watching.  Four of the five showed fashion parades while the fifth was displaying a news channel; after a click, no noise came from any of them and no noise arose from either of the two ancient vampires before him.  Their mental communications didn\'t leave so much as an echoing vibration in the fledgling the two were staring at, but Li had already detailed her meeting and all of Ben\'s thoughts to her elder counterpart.  He was watching the youngster intently now, waiting for him to approach as he\'d been instructed, coiled to spring if he didn\'t.

Of course, choosing to disobey a direct order and forcing Themba to chase him, would also lead to dire things, but at least all this would be resolved quickly.  He was curious to see how the rat reacted, now that he\'d been caught red-handed by the cats...
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 03, 2009, 04:43:37 PM
When Ben arrived at the warehouse he did recall that this area had been one of the first places he\'d hung around in order to capture a well-dressed businessman to empty out his wallet after taking some of his blood.  It had been the first place it had happened, in fact, where the asshole had approached him and spat out some insulting comment or other, he couldn\'t even remember now what had made him indignant enough to start stealing in the first place.  It certainly didn\'t feel so important now.
 
He tried to watch the numbers she typed in but missed most of them - only catching that it ended in a six.  He frowned when he was shoved inside and then ushered indelicately towards the stairs, though he made no noise of protest.  His thoughts stilled a great deal as he took in his surroundings, his eyes widening as though this would help his already enhanced vision.  Such human habits were hard to break.  His nostrils flared at the smells that assaulted him - very different smells to the norm.  He thought he could tell that there was more than one aged vampire here, though he hoped he was mistaken.
 
After being shown into the foyer of the office/home and meeting Holly, he remained quiet, not wishing to upset anyone more than they already were.  He\'d thought he\'d caught most of the passcode when Li had entered it, and his mind drew a panicked blank after it was revealed to him that Li had read everything in him until this point.
 
Fuck! Does she know I
don\'t think about it don\'t think about it
the num-
don\'t think about it DON\'T THINK ABOUT IT
I\'m going to forget I\'m never going to get out of here
 
He pulled away when she approached, trying to avoid another of her hurtful jabs, and willingly
 
is it willing though?
more like passively
 
and passively walked down the corridors she wished him to walk down, before letting her code in yet another passcode which he tried to watch discreetly while blocking his thoughts and memorising the numbers that he caught (only a few) at the same time.  It wasn\'t an easy feat.
 
Upon entering what Ben considered a media room, and meeting Themba, another human instinct in him rose and he nodded acknowledgement of greeting when he was introduced to Themba.
 
why are all vampires beautiful?
aren\'t there any ugly ones around?
they all seem to be siring the pretty ones
are ugly people unworthy?
 
An inane run of thoughts at Themba\'s appearance while Li and Themba both looked at him speculatively.  He guessed, correctly, that they were likely conversing mentally.
 
At the command, Ben obeyed instinctively.  He felt sick.  He wondered what could make him feel like he had an upset stomach.  Could vampires throw up from nerves alone?  What would he throw up?  Would he throw up blood?  He had no doubt that he\'d piss off Themba if the first thing he did was coat the other\'s carpet (or feet) with his vomit - whatever his vomit turned out to be.
 
When he was very close, he felt that same overwhelming response to age again.  Themba was ancient as well, and he could barely bring himself to look the tall African in the eye, but he forced himself to, and once his face was upturned and looking into the handsome face looking back at him (and making Ben feel like he was some kind of bug under a microscope), he blurted out what he could - though there was no strength to his voice there certainly was conviction to his words.
 
"I\'m sorry."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 03, 2009, 10:34:48 PM
Themba watched him, biting back a scornful laugh and lazily sliding his left foot back towards him, propping his wrist atop his raised knee as it swung lightly back and forth.  It was as much the action of a sprawled lion flicking his tail while his cubs pounce and crawl over him, disturbing his afternoon nap as it was the thoughtful motion of an ancient one regarding an annoying youngling.

"Good.  You should be," he announced, his ridiculously deep voice now obviously accented with the unusual rhythms of a far-away Zulu tribe.  Far away and long dead, as it happened, but very much living when Themba spoke.  "Your petty thefts and indelicate attacks have caused quite the stir in the district, drawing attention we do not need.  Did you never think of the consequences of your actions?" he queried, his voluptuous lips pursing as he tilted his head to regard Ben through narrowed, angry eyes.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 03, 2009, 10:47:00 PM
"I... uh," Ben struggled with what to say when looking at the fury staring down at him.  He felt more like a bug than ever, about to be squashed.  "I didn\'t think I was doing harm beyond taking a few dollars from a few rich guys.  I... didn\'t know you were here, otherwise I wouldn\'t have come here."  He tried to make an appeal by offering a tiny smile, though the light didn\'t enter his eyes thanks to the nervous fear he felt being in the presence of ancients.  "I\'m happy to move off and never come back.  I mean, I\'ll even leave the city, if you want."

Coward! his mind screamed at him

You freaking, spineless coward
no, not a coward
a
survivor
you survived a lookalike demon
(with Kerr\'s help you moron)
you can survive this


He breathed out a soft nasal huff, disappointed with how it had sounded.  Did he have no tact?  No courage, no heart?  He was every bit the insignificant rat that they kept referring to him as.

A rat leaving a sinking ship
Fucking hell, Ben, how\'d you even get here?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 03, 2009, 11:03:11 PM
Something flickered in Themba\'s eyes but his gaze was unwavering as he communicated with his beta lioness.  Her responses were quick and their entire mental conversation took seconds.

Are his thoughts always so...

Intrusive? Yes.

He has a strong mind.  Trained?

I haven\'t dug but it can\'t
all be natural, surely?

What is this lookalike demon he thinks of?

Fuck, Themba, how should
I know?  I thought you might want to do the probing!

Be at ease, I was merely asking.  His mind runs away without the least provocation, I thought perhaps his mouth had followed suit.

No... very strange, that.  But no.  He thinks dominantly, endlessly, but he knows how and when to keep his yap shut, I\'ll give him that.

I thought he\'d... be ignorant.  Irreverant.  Immune.  To us - considering.

Considering he poached our territory and never sensed us nearby?

Exactly.  But it\'s not like that.  He\'s fully aware of how old we are, of how easily we could snap him, he\'s... respectful.  Odd.

Irrelevant, too, considering it\'s too late.  He should\'ve been more wary, should\'ve known better from the start.

Well... he
is young.

Oh yes.  I\'ve taken baths older than him.  But does he deserve to get old enough to know better next time?

Does not everyone deserve a chance to amend the mistakes of their youth?

In a perfect world, certainly, but you and I both know that the world is far from it-

Amen to that

-and did
we ever get our second chances handed to us on a platter?

No.  I suppose you\'re right...

He\'s lucky you\'re in an indulgent mood.


A smile flickered briefly across Themba\'s lips and then it was gone, fleeting enough that Ben would question whether he\'d even seen it - especially since the African was still staring at him.  And what had young Ben given him to smile about?

"Take a moment now, childe, and explain to me, if you will, the full extent of the consequences of your actions," Themba invited.  His accent caused his voice to undulate amongst his words like a little boat atop an ocean but at no point did he ever sound happy.  The invitation he issued was not as polite as it appeared on the surface, it was a command. "What harm do you \'tink you could have done to the district - and to us, who live and work here, in happy anonymity - when you took your \'few dollars from rich guys\'?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 03, 2009, 11:18:27 PM
He was really worried now, understanding very clearly and suddenly that he was on trial.  Sure, this place didn\'t look like the Oligarchy, and there\'d been no posted rules for him to easily follow, but he was on trial, and Themba in front of him reminded him of Halen.  They both had the same commanding tone, the same arrogant yet righteous viewpoint, and he\'d been spared the first time around.

except you weren\'t spared
you were given to a vampire as a pet
and Kerr said it was horrible for you there
and it\'s the reason you got possessed
and this whole fucking mess began


Take a moment, Themba said, and Ben did exactly that.  He took a moment and thought about the consequences of his actions.  Here he was, facing them, in more ways than one.

"I put you in danger of being discovered.  I made it difficult for you to live here, when you\'re already set up.  You\'ve spent time constructing all this and I almost wrecked it by... " he shrugged, not knowing how to verbalise it but forcing himself to try anyway.  "By being... greedy and selfish, I..."

guess
don\'t say that word
you\'ll sound like you\'re uncertain
you know what you did
they know what you did
and even though you feel sorry for affecting them
you\'re still not sorry for stealing


Huh.

He fell silent, considering his thoughts and the gravity of them - beyond the obvious weight of his spoken words.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 03, 2009, 11:30:24 PM
"EXACTLY!" Themba thundered, sitting forward and driving his index finger into the cushion before him to emphasise his point.  He then went still again, and lifted his gaze slowly upward, taking in Ben\'s appearance from toe to head as he met the youngling\'s startled gaze from beneath his heavy brows.

"Increased security patrols.  Increased questions.  Insistence on residents carrying identification.  Questions asked.  New guards shuffled into the rotation - guards who have not got open minds, who have itchy trigger fingers and who would rather believe that a black man emerging from a warehouse in the middle of the night could not possibly be its owner, no matter how well he dresses.  Guards who stupidly shoot first, and act later," he hissed, looking somewhat manic as he stared up at Ben from beneath his lashes, the whites of his eyes highlighted at this angle, making him look satanic.

"Guards who didn\'t live long to regret their actions, though," Li interjected suddenly, following her statement with a delighted giggle that seemed directed only at the television screen she was watching, mounted high up on the wall ahead of her.  Their group had not taken kindly to Themba being shot on sight - even if it hadn\'t slowed the ancient down longer than ten minutes.  The guard\'s blood had helped speed the healing process, too, but it was the principle of it all.  It had all happened because of Ben, in the end, and for that he had to pay.  Understand and pay.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 03, 2009, 11:38:05 PM
He felt sick again, after hearing what had happened.  Someone had died because they\'d been told about a string of thefts and accused the wrong guy.  Someone had died because of him.  Now Ben was facing a thundering Ancient who seemed intent on him understanding his crime before punishment was doled out.  Yet, like the guard, would he be unable to learn from such actions?  What was he to these Ancients anyway?  Just a rat.  They\'d already been gunning for him, for however long he\'d been in their territory.

I just wanted to
keep my area clean
and not attack so many people there
I can\'t go back to the Empire
this was all I had left


"Am I... are you going to..."  He felt lightheadedness steal over him, much like it had when he\'d faced the Oligarchy on trial and thought he was going to be judged unfit to continue living his life considering what he knew.  He wasn\'t going to faint this time, nor was he in danger of even swaying, but there was certainly a dizzying effect of a reality check smashing into him, making the room surreal and him feeling dangerously detached from his physical form.  "You\'re going to kill me," he said through numb lips, and very suddenly, like a flare going off in his mind and burning up every potential thought he was likely to have, his thoughts stilled.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 03, 2009, 11:55:06 PM
Ben\'s thoughts had Li\'s gaze swivelling towards him again, the movement so rapid it almost blurred.

Not spoil his area?!  The dirty little fuck!

Come now, it may not be-

And the EMPIRE?  What\'s he done to Sotiris if he\'s no longer welcome there?

We can\'t know-

Oh yes we
can, Li insisted and set about finding out for herself.  Fuelled by indignation and anger, she tore through Ben\'s memories like a hot knife through butter, searching specifically for an image of the Greek vampire she\'d had some business dealings with - a gentleman, if ever there was one.

She\'d intended to let Themba do this, in deference to his superior age, but the truth was that she was better at it.  Whether it was because she\'d had to master the skill of mental domination faster because she was small and couldn\'t rely on her superior strength like a muscular, six-feet-two-inches-tall black man could, or whether it was because she was naturally gifted, or whether it was just... one of those things... she was better than him at mind-reading and she found what she wanted to know quickly.  Themba knew she would and so he simply waited, watching Ben\'s reaction to the dredging of his recent memory.

Well?

Very strange.  He and Sotiris were lovers, he fell in love with him, that\'s why he feels he can\'t go back there.  Not because of any trouble, but because he was humiliated when Tiri told him their relationship wasn\'t working beyond the sex.


A bright light of intrigue suddenly entered Themba\'s eyes and he almost smirked as he spoke, responding to Ben\'s spoken words, rather than addressing the fact that Li had just sundered the boy\'s mind.  "Are we?  And why do you feel that that is a fitting punishment for your crimes?" he queried curiously, the smile finally breaking through and cementing the image of him as a cat toying with a rat.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 04, 2009, 08:39:21 AM
The next thing after admitting he knew they were going to dispose of him, he was thinking of the Liquid Empire, of the speedy affair he\'d had with Sotiris and then rekindled hurt from being let down.  To think of such things now meant one (or both) of them were fingering through his mind.  With a frown, he looked first at Themba and then at Li, guessing correctly who\'d indelicately gone in for more information.  He hadn\'t felt her when he\'d thought of the Empire, but she\'d obviously heard enough in his head to go digging without caring that he would know.  He wasn\'t sure how he knew it was her, it had just... felt like her.

With the frown and dismay still etched on his face, he looked at Themba when the questions were asked of him.

"I don\'t think it\'s fair, and I don\'t want to die," he said with more strength to his voice than he\'d thought he\'d get.  A normal speaking voice, in fact, rather than a croaky whisper like he\'d expected.

But you don\'t get as old as you are
by taking risks on fledglings like me
even though your forgiveness
wouldn\'t be taken for granted


"Whatever you want."  He looked from Themba, to Li, and back again.  "Just give me a chance?"

There was guilt.  There was a lot of guilt.  The guilt he experienced intially had been residue from the guilt he\'d intially sorted through when he\'d begun stealing, but was now taken over by the guilt of the crime they were accusing him of - of putting them in danger, of causing a security guard to be killed, of fucking things up royally just because he\'d been too proud to lean on his sire for help.  Kerr hadn\'t made things easy though, and it could\'ve been easy.

Ben couldn\'t seem to get things right.  He\'d thought vampirism would end his trouble; give him time to get settled, give him time to travel and research and hone his talents.  He\'d been... impatient.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 04, 2009, 01:13:12 PM
"A chance," Themba repeated, tasting the words as if he wondered what language they came from - the concept seemed foreign.  His smooth forehead knitted together in a perplexed frown and he stared into Ben\'s eyes.  "What would you do with \'a chance\'?" he queried.  "And don\'t give me any rubbish about never darkening our door again, I want compensation."

He watched the young one from glittering, disturbingly-eager dark eyes, his hopes rising despite his every instinct screaming that they shouldn\'t.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 04, 2009, 02:38:40 PM
Compensation.  Confusion flickered in Ben\'s eyes as that word spun around in his head.  Compensation.
 
what do I have that they could possibly want?
vow never to steal again
but they killed a guard
why would they care about my stealing?
offer them all your ill-gotten funds
but look at this place
why would they care about your piddly amount?
 
He couldn\'t think of what compensation he could give Themba, but because it hadn\'t been the question asked of him, he decided it would be best to let it go.
 
"I wouldn\'t take it for granted," he said, echoing thoughts that they\'d already listened to, but he didn\'t remember thinking it specifically amongst a jumble of thoughts.  "I would hope to use it and become as
 
aged
 
cultured as you all are."  He\'d stumbled over what he\'d intended to say with what had really come out, but they\'d likely heard the contradiction in his head and the hesitation in his voice.  What he\'d thought was what he\'d really meant.  He wanted to live a long and glorious existence.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 04, 2009, 03:14:59 PM
Li\'s head swivelled to face the mewling boy again and she gave him a baffled look, even as she spoke to her compatriot.  "He honestly believes that - he really thinks like that," she announced incredulously, her tone implying she was floored by the concept that anyone could retain such a grandiose amount of naiveté in today\'s society.

"Mmm, for all the good that it will do him," Themba growled in his rumbling bass, wriggling on the couch so that he was slouched farther down, his shining bald head now lolling against the voluptuous rear of the couch, knee still swinging but his hand withdrawn, resting mutely atop his thigh instead.

"If I let you go, you would walk out the door and fall into your habits of ignorance wit\'in mont\'s," the African man scoffed accusingly, flicking an elegantly-fingered hand in Ben\'s direction.  "You might t\'ink you going to appreciate the gift of your existence if we give it to you, but you have made it our responsibility to educate you in the ways of duty, since you chose to walk away from Kerr and shun what he wanted to give you," Themba preached, dropping the vampire\'s sire\'s name flippantly, as if it had already been a conversation between them.

In fact, it had been a conversation between he and Li, as she\'d continued to press through Ben\'s mind - gently now, simply looking at events in a way that would not alert him to her presence, not while Themba kept him so neatly distracted with threats and promises - and relate what she learned.  The more she saw, the greater the intrigue for her, because the solid removal of three years\' worth of memories was not something she\'d come across before.  Ever.  And the part where they kicked in anew... well, that was something entirely different, too.

Themba had been told all this by Li in very little time and she had assured him that although the boy\'s promises and regret were nothing new, he actually was.  Because of his beginnings.  Because of what he didn\'t know.  Because of all he\'d experienced.  She\'d recommended that he was worth a closer look - though the reactions and accusations currently being flung at him suggested no such thing.

"You would owe us.  But what could you possibly bring to the table to convince us that you are worth the effort?" Themba challenged, wording himself so that Ben couldn\'t skip around his obligations this time.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 04, 2009, 06:01:03 PM
They talked about him to each other, then Themba talked to him about Kerr, and Ben was struggling for assemblance of his thoughts.  Emotions hit him like bricks as he realised with a sinking finality that nothing in his memory would be spared.  He felt cheated, violated, angry, and those feelings poured out of him regardless of his desire to contain them, in order to show these Ancients the proper amount of respect.  It was just that he\'d first had his memories stolen, and now what was left was being plundered.  Nothing was his anymore, from material things like his one and only possession (his car) to his own thoughts.  He belonged to everyone else.  He was Kerr\'s, he was theirs, he was Jack\'s body and the tattered fledgling remains of a blank past.

And now, after making him feel worthless and insignificant, they wanted him to argue his worth?  He\'d never felt worth anything.  Wasn\'t that the point of being a vampire?  So he could make something of himself?  He wanted to cry, he wanted to scream, but he let numb coldness steal over him instead with little effort - as though he\'d switched himself off a thousand times before.  When he spoke, it was deadpan.

"Do what you want.  It doesn\'t matter what I do or say.  You\'re pulling everything out of my head anyway and you\'re going to judge me on that.  What the fuck can any nineteen year old offer you?"

The fear stole out of him, as did the rage.  It seeped out of him like the tide while he stood his ground and stared at Themba, figuring this room was going to be the last thing he ever saw.  There was some emotion in him at that thought.  Regret, that he hadn\'t done more with the little time he\'d had.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 04, 2009, 07:43:38 PM
Mostly, Themba respected that Ben didn\'t grovel or plead or humiliate himself in pleading for his life but it did lessen the entertainment factor.  Apparently there was more the youngling had to offer, however, so he could let that slide for now.

"Boy, you could at least try!" the African cried reproachfully, his drama queen (or was that just plain queen?) side finally showing as he made a snap gesture and sat up straight, pursing his lips thoughtfully as he looked Ben up and down.  "You ever done any modelling?" he queried, thinking of at least one way the little rat could pay them back in the immediate future.

Li, as if picking up on some private joke that hadn\'t been voiced, suddenly burst out laughing, uncrossed her legs, got up and sauntered away, stripping off her little black jacket in a very professional manner as she went.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 04, 2009, 08:11:43 PM
He flinched from the outburst, and understood the validity of the statement, but he was at a loss as to knowing what he could say to have them spare his life.  If they asked him to get on his knees and beg, he likely would, but such a thing didn\'t come naturally.  Asking to be spared was all he could manage with sincerity.

Ben was so taken aback by the latest question that he blinked and answered in a fashion that was in danger of being considered rude - though he wasn\'t attempting to be that way.

"No."  His tone suggested that it should be obvious to the tall African before him that modelling wasn\'t something that Ben was suited for.  Li\'s reaction to the question made more sense to him than the question itself.  Laughable.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 04, 2009, 09:53:19 PM
"Well that\'s where you gonna\' start compensating us," Themba announced and he was off the couch in an instant, prowling around Ben and looking him over as if he were a piece of meat hanging in a butcher\'s window.  His large brown hands trailed across the young vampire\'s shoulders, testing his musculature unashamedly, feathering across his chest.

"You have good shape, good bone structure," the ancient mused, coming to a stop before the blonde and gripping his chin in order to tilt his head this way and that.  "You\'re not very tall, though - more a cover boy than runway, but it\'s our fall line that needs showing and I\'m a model short, so we\'ll have to put that pretty face to use some other time," Themba smirked, speaking mainly to himself as he released Ben\'s face in order to stand before him with his hands on his sculpted hips.

His posture was pulling the open halves of his shirt back, revealing the full expanse of his beautiful chest and abdomen, knotted with muscle and shiny with the patina of age.  "You have questions?" he purred, looking at Ben much like he was going to eat him, now that he\'d had a good look and dcided he liked what he saw.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 04, 2009, 10:01:04 PM
He was placid when being touched, though an icy shiver ran up his spine as his chest was brushed.  It went away at the grip on his chin and he half-closed his eyes as his head was turned about and commented on.

Questions?

yeh, Ben, start with
are you
serious?
don\'t think that he\'ll see it in your head
he\'ll be offended
but man,
is he serious?
i\'m no model


"I... I\'ve never modelled," Ben stammered.  So, for putting them in danger, for causing them grief, for making them angry, they were going to make him... model?  This had to be the weirdest scenario ever.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 04, 2009, 10:05:57 PM
Themba leaned forward to whisper huskily in Ben\'s ear as he responded, amused by the young vampire\'s reaction on many levels.  "You\'ve never piloted an aeroplane either but I bet if your life depended on it, you would give it a red hot go, wouldn\'t you?" he cooed, brushing his cold, hard cheek against the fledgling\'s like an affectionate kitten might nudge its mother.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 04, 2009, 10:15:20 PM
As Sotiris had intimidated him with his closeness and initial touching, so too did Themba, though there was a distant relation between the two.  Sotiris\' attention had made him feel flattered and exhilerated while Themba\'s attention made him feel nervous and fearful.

"Yes," he said, the word spoken on a breath of exhaled air.  At this proximity, he could mouth it and Themba would hear - though he\'d likely see the affirmation in Ben\'s mind.  He felt eerily compassioned to a deer in headlights, or to the rabbit that senses the eye of a hawk overhead.  This was no joke, this modelling thing, but he suspected it was more of a stall on their part while they decided what to do with him.

Would they allow him to go home in the meantime or would they keep him here?  Daniel would think he\'d left like Aziz.  Other than the mortal wondering why he\'d left, he doubted he\'d be missed.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 04, 2009, 10:20:53 PM
"Good!  Then we are agreed," Themba announced with false cheer, falling away from Ben as suddenly as he had appeared beside him and flopping (if falling into an elegant and attractive pose could be called flopping) down onto the chaise once more, his long legs still on the floor and tangled towards Ben\'s.

"You will do as we say until we feel that you have fulfilled your debt to us," he summarised.  "Now.  Take off your shirt."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 04, 2009, 10:27:47 PM
He stood, looking and feeling awkward as Themba took himself to his seat.  He shifted his weight on his leg a little as he heard the announcement that he belonged to the group of Ancients until they said otherwise.

guess that answers your question about
home


Take off my... shirt?

He frowned some more as the order sunk in, and he wondered at it, staring at Themba to see if this was a joke.  It had to be, right?

modelling
he wants you for modelling
all it is


Without arguement, though Ben wanted to voice a protest, he began plucking at his shirt buttons starting with the topmost one, with shaking fingers.  It took some buttons a few goes before they would adhere to his fussing and soon the shirt was peeled away from his chest.  He\'d started off by looking at Themba, but was embarrassed by the idea of revealing himself half-naked to a stranger - especially with the whole stripping stigma attached to it - so studied Themba\'s feet instead.  The shirt was folded in front of him by the sleeves, then folded over to make a neater square, and then held in his hands awkwardly, like half a shield as he stood looking as awkward and as uncomfortable as he felt.

He didn\'t have the courage to make eye contact.  It was too much for his usually prudish behaviour.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 04, 2009, 10:42:08 PM
Themba hummed thoughtfully to himself as he looked Ben over, instructing him to turn on the spot and almost laughing when it was done awkwardly.  "Now your pants," the African instructed once Ben was facing him again, understanding that he was torturing the boy and finding it delicious.

Truthfully, this exercise hadn\'t started out as sexual, he\'d really just wanted a look at the body he\'d felt to be sure what he was getting, to see how pale the youngling was - Nemesis didn\'t employ vampire models, though they were about.  In the company\'s experience, they were always more trouble than they were worth, but this one was closer to mortal than most he had anything to do with and so he was curious about his paleness, and whether it would be a pain to have him on show - the runway gig was the next night, of course, and they\'d exhausted all their contacts already, so nothing would be able to be done about it, but he still wanted to know.

The more excruciating Ben found it, the happier Themba felt and the more intrigued he became.  Now, there was a sexual element to it, for the ancient found himself aroused by the coyness he was seeing, by the pained subservience, by the simmering rebellion bubbling in the boy\'s mind - which he was determined not to give vent to, because he still seemed to believe his captor would tear his head from his shoulders without the least provocation.  Really, he should\'ve figured it out by now; Themba was a lover, not a fighter, and he\'d been granted his life already.

"I bet you\'re a briefs guy," he added, chuckling as he watched Ben\'s waist eagerly, waiting for the rest of the package to be revealed.  Really, he believed Ben to be wearing boxers under there - anyone as awkward about undressing as the fledge was would have to do his utmost to cover up his goods.  Themba was keen to be proven wrong, however; Hell, the longer this went on and the more agonising it got, he found he was just plain keen.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 04, 2009, 10:49:44 PM
He understood, he thought, that this was a kind of punishment.  He didn\'t know, though.  Perhaps it was hope, that this was all it was - a punishment.  Maybe Ben was looking too hard at this, analysing it too much.  In the modelling world backstage clothes were flung off, nudity wasn\'t a big deal, and it was so anti-everything-Ben that he was surprised Themba wanted to continue with it.

He\'d lost his tan, for it\'d been some years since his body had seen the sun, and being fair meant he\'d never been entirely golden to begin with, but the pallour of vampirism hadn\'t stolen over him to the point where it was obvious.  His eyes were enough to give him away as supernatural, his skin simply made him look like someone who preferred indoor activity to the outdoor kind.

Unbuttoning and then unzipping his jeans, he found the floor interesting once again as he shoved the denim down his legs and stepped out of it, forced to toe his sneakers off in the process.  Standing in front of Themba with his head lowered and his hands linked together in front of his groin, unable to entirely hide the dark green briefs he was wearing (proving Themba\'s vocal guess correct), and wearing white ankle-high socks, Ben struggled for confidence and lost.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 04, 2009, 11:04:30 PM
"Now... walk for me," Themba urged.  "Around the room.  And sell it, I want to believe it!" he urged, knowing Ben could likely do nothing of the sort but giddy with the thought he would try.  He slid up onto his knees on the chaise, giving a sharp click with his fingers that demonstrated his enthusiasm for seeing Ben stroll around his drawing room in his underwear and socks.

From what the African could tell, the youngling didn\'t have a bad package, but would he keep his hands clasped in front of it the whole way around?  He wanted to see movement!  The rest of the body was sweet (though short) and he had to admit, he was getting interested...  It wouldn\'t worry any of the rest of his clique if he played with the rat until his little brain turned to mush from embarrassment - in fact, he would\'ve bet money on Anu advocating it - and the more reluctance he felt from Ben, the more he wanted to pounce.  He\'d been funny like that for the last few years, really; eagerness didn\'t turn him on half as much as rejection did.

As he pivotted onto his knees, the ancient spied the abandoned remote and picked it up, fiddling with it.  Very suddenly, pounding dance music began blaring through the room to encourage Ben on his way, and Themba began moving automatically, dancing on his knees.  He dropped the remote and removed his shirt then, watching Ben eagerly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 04, 2009, 11:14:56 PM
Sell it?  He wants to believe it?  What?

Ben\'s confusion was mirrored on his face as he stared at Themba in disbelief.  He had the courage to look when he was searching for clarity.  The frown had met with incredulity and was warring for dominance.  The finger click sent Ben on his way, turning on his heel (with his hands still clasped in front of his crotch) and then walking away from Themba, feeling a bit idiotic walking in such a way and thinking maybe he\'d annoy the Ancient with his eccentric shyness.  His hands fell limply to his sides as he moved to a point where he couldn\'t go any further, turned, glanced at Themba and hesitated when the sound of music filled the room.

He walked again, across in front of Themba, trying to act normally instead of awkwardly, running a nervous hand through his hair when he stopped again and turned, almost shrugging before he stopped himself, glanced up at the ceiling in order to gather himself and then walked back to where Themba was kneeling (though stopping a fair distance away, not quite to where his jeans had landed and where his folded shirt had been dropped atop of).  Upon arriving at his destination, he once again clasped his hands in front of himself, the movement unconscious.

"Don\'t runway models wear clothes?" he asked, hoping that he wouldn\'t be ordered to do an encore.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 05, 2009, 07:24:20 AM
Themba turned the music down a little as Ben finished his sweep of the room.  He was fairly sure that the little movements of running his hand through his hair and looking up had been nerves, but they\'d given the ancient a glimpse of something a little more creative than just covering up his crotch.  He thought nothing of it when the fledge didn\'t come all the way to him, for he got to his feet and strolled over, pressing himself to Ben\'s back.

"In a manner of speaking - but there is swimwear modelling you know, where you would not be wearing any more than this," he murmured, his deep voice rumbling in his chest as it rested against Ben\'s shoulder blades.  He reached around and plucked the young vampire\'s hands apart, peering over his shoulder and down his body as he held them gently at Ben\'s sides. The show they were running the next night had no swimwear in it whatsoever, but he wasn\'t about to tell his new little toy that - he might find a chance to relax, if that were the case.

"Mmm, we need to relax you in your own skin.  You have a lovely body, good posture, a tasty package, an intriguing walk - what is it that has you so uncomfortable?" he enquired in a business like manner, releasing Ben\'s hands in order to run his own enormous brown ones over the youngling\'s body.  He wasn\'t shy about his caressing, starting with Ben\'s chest then running lower over his stomach until he was cupping him - outside the underwear for the time being, still (delightedly) anticipating a rigid reaction.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 05, 2009, 07:32:24 AM
A rigid reaction was what he got.  Ben was tense to begin with as soon as Themba was nearby.  Tension continued at the strokes and almost every muscle in his body jumped when he was cupped.  There was nothing sexual in it for him, and he made himself believe that it was the same for Themba - that the Ancient vampire was trying to make him feel more self-conscious than he already was.  It was working.  His hands twitched, wanting to remove Themba\'s hands away.  If the other vampire did anything more than cupping him, he was resolved that he would act.

"I\'m not..." Ben began, but his voice broke on the second word and he cleared his throat to start again.  "I\'m modest.  That\'s all."

It came out in a defensive tone, because he saw nothing wrong with being modest.  He didn\'t get why others loved flaunting themselves so much.  Weren\'t there better ways to get attention and recognition rather than via a body alone?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 06, 2009, 08:18:56 AM
A breathy chuckle reverberated in Ben\'s ear; it was not an approving sound, but rather a mocking one, despite its lack of real substance.  "Oh my precious one," the African breathed, rocking against Ben now and swaying him in something akin to in time with the music.  The word \'precious\' was not used in the manner of something covetted and revered, but rather in the sense of something obnoxious, precocious.

"Modesty is warranted in the face of a fabulous achievement, childe.  You have not achieved anyt\'ing in your existence yet - though not from want of opportunity," he hissed, another growling laugh reverberating around his cavernous chest as he thought of all the unusual things that had happened in this one\'s life and how he seemed to have systematically rejected or escaped it all.  "You are not modest.  You are repressed.  And in denial," he added as an afterthought, for this was Li\'s summation, not his own.  He hadn\'t explored enough to make a decision for himself yet.

"I think we should change that!" he declared grandly, grabbing Ben\'s hand and spinning him away from him in a very fancy dance move that likely wouldn\'t come off because Ben was not open to co-operating.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 07, 2009, 09:35:29 AM
The accusations burned in Ben\'s ear and anger rose in him from them.  He pressed his lips firmly together, attempting to quell the rising emotion in him, which he knew would only be to his detriment.

The move was indeed awkward, because Ben was tense and rigid.  He was manipulated into the correct space, though the steps were fumbling at best and at the end of the failed dance maneouvre, Themba received a resentful glare for his trouble before Ben lowered his gaze.  He attempted to pull his hand away from the Ancient, to escape his touch.  He still felt violated from the touch on his groin and wanted nothing more than to clothe himself and steal himself away from here.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 07, 2009, 07:10:34 PM
Themba still had some more neat manoeuvres in him; he allowed Ben to withdraw his hand, only to slap it sharply long before it was anywhere out of his reach (fledglings moved so lethargically, compared to his grace and speed), while he stepped in close and grabbed the young blonde by the throat, squeezing it with an entirely unwarranted amount of strength (considering squeezing a throat didn\'t actually do anything to someone who didn\'t breathe).

His grip forced Ben\'s gaze upward, to take in his thoroughly unimpressed expression - a feral snarl.  "Make no mistake, childe; you do not have the luxury of refusing me, or pulling away from me, or even looking at me like you are unhappy, not when you\'ve inconvenienced my life like you have these past weeks... is that... clear?" he snarled, every word he\'d emphasised punctuated by a sharp shake and a slightly closer drawing of his nose down towards Ben\'s.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 07, 2009, 09:33:53 PM
The slap earned surprise, for Ben had seen the slightest blur before the sting (which wasn\'t so painful but more of a shock).  Any resentment that had worked its way onto his face left completely in order to be replaced by fear.  Once again he felt helpless, scared for his life.  They\'d taken a strange tangent with the modelling discussion and also with the caresses.  He\'d thought Themba had merely been playing with him in order to punish him, but he realised now his initial guess had been right.  He was in danger of his life.

Yes

Ben thought the answer at the Ancient who held him, not trusting his voice to make it past the grip on his throat.

It\'s clear

There was nothing else that came with those messages; none of Ben\'s usual convoluted signals and mingling thoughts.  This was about survival, and he wanted to survive.

He realised his hands were floating near Themba\'s at his neck, not quite daring to touch or to attempt pulling them off his throat.  He made himself lower them, which was a difficult task considering how vulnerable he felt.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 08, 2009, 07:17:04 AM
Themba\'s attention was caught by the lowering digits and he watched them go, a bemused expression replacing the angry one he\'d worn.  Looking back into Ben\'s eyes, he then nodded approval.

"Good.  Now.  Since we understand each other so well, let me say that I do not want to kill you.  I have no intention of killing you.  But we have all been very angry with what you\'ve done and so I certainly do want to punish you.  I believe you are interesting and that we can help you grow in even more ways, but this will require you trusting my nineteen hundred years of experience, as opposed to your own nineteen - do you see what I ask of you?"

His dark gaze burned into Ben\'s expectantly, wide and staring, waiting for the young one to answer as he wished him to answer; he was asking for complete trust, for surrender, for faith.  In Themba\'s opinion, he had much to give the childe, for he was starting out in his life all wrong - anyone that repressed and unable to embrace what came to them (such as a rich, loving sire or an extraordinary piece of history in the form of some weird ritual carbon copy) this early wasn\'t going to be open to the good things for hundreds of years.

And that would just be a waste.  His grip loosened and his hand slipped down so that it was resting on the flat of Ben\'s chest, long brown fingers caressing his collar bone as he waited.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 08, 2009, 07:29:24 AM
He knew.  Themba\'s question was straight-forward enough, didn\'t imply anything beyond \'trust me\', but he knew what it meant and all the deeper connotations that went with it.  He was trapped here, under the guise of guidance, not free to make up his own mind or to find his own path until Themba declared that he could.  Why the Ancient would bother with him for a lengthy period of time was beyond Ben\'s understanding.  Punishment could\'ve been in the form of physical blows, mental blows, something that Ben would\'ve been weak from and had to take many nights to recover from, along with a warning to never disgrace their territory again.  It would\'ve been enough to send the message.  This, though, was some kind of convoluted scenario that would not only punish Ben but be a great deal of bother for Themba as well.  Unless he was bored and wanted Ben around for entertainment.  Playing \'teach the fledgling some manners\' perhaps seemed like a good idea to him.

"I understand," he said, because there was no real choice.  If he said anything else, implied anything else, or even pulled a face, Themba would likely say there was no hope for him and kill him in spite of not intending to.  There was a question dancing around in his head that hadn\'t yet come into the light because Ben didn\'t want Themba catching it and thinking he was refusing him in any way, though the question refused to die because Ben was aching to ask it.  He kept it away from his main consciousness and focussed intently on Themba, staring at the Ancient for his next words, move or order.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 08, 2009, 08:15:55 PM
"Fine, fine," Themba said lightly, as if he\'d been asked how his trip in from the alley had been.  He waved a negligent hand in Ben\'s direction, releasing him and spinning away - almost as an afterthought, he snagged the young vampire\'s closest hand and towed him along with him, taking him to the couch where he flopped down prettily once more (one of his jean-clad legs now tucked under the other).  The insinuation was that Ben would sit by him, this communicated by a yank on the other\'s hand as well as some verbal cues.

"Sit down and tell me about these odd things you have been through," the ancient invited, uncaring that Ben was barely clothed.  In fact, if he had his way (and he would), every time they spoke from now on, underwear was the best he would do for Ben, who needed to learn to position himself nicely as well as be more relaxed in his skin.  "This... earth... copy?"  From his baffled expression, the African didn\'t really know what he was talking about, but he was obviously sincerely interested.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 08, 2009, 09:28:24 PM
Ben wasn\'t as aware of his nudity as he\'d been when forced to strip initially, but he was a long way from being comfortable.

Sitting down beside Themba thanks to the tugging hint on his hand, he was lowering himself onto the couch even as the African invited him to.

Odd things

Ben frowned, his hand twitching instinctively, wanting to pull away from the hold because it was strange and awkward, but it did no more than twitch and he was afraid for himself even for that slight movement - enough to blurt out an answer to Themba\'s question.

"I don\'t understand it much myself.  I got a rune cut into my body three years ago and that caused me to be possessed by an earth demon.  A ritual my sire did pulled it out of the earth in my form, and I think I was supposed to die in exchange."

He said it all blandly, emotionlessly, reciting what he knew from what Kerr had told him and getting the earth demon identification wrong but not realising that he had because he hadn\'t cared enough to get it right at the time.

"My sire pulled me out of the ground and then there were two."

He\'d noticed that he didn\'t say Kerr out loud as often as he thought of his sire\'s name.  That was just one painful memory anyway.  He only knew six days before the freakiness and then not much longer after.  Kerr hadn\'t been devoted to him like Ben had expected a lover would be - like Kerr had professed to be.  Jack had been his lover.

Funny, he hadn\'t expected to feel or sound bitter about it, but that last sentence he\'d uttered had certainly held a resentful tone.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 09, 2009, 07:06:12 AM
Themba observed Ben\'s thoughts and caught glimpses of a few of the things he was talking about with a little extra pressure on certain parts of his mind as he spoke - this helped clarify the simple sentences the boy was using, but it also raised the question of why he was phrasing himself in such a way.

It was obvious that the whole situation wasn\'t very clear to Ben, so the ancient didn\'t expect to gain clarity from pursuing any questions on the matter - he was simply interested in gaining greater insight to the boy.

"So... you and your sire.  There is tension there, yes?  You are not happy he chose the other you instead of you?" he probed, wanting to provoke a reaction of some sort.  "So you came to New York?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 09, 2009, 07:24:05 AM
"I don\'t love him," Ben said, disliking the fact Themba was making him talk about a past he didn\'t have.  "I don\'t really know him.  He said I was his lover but my lookalike was better suited for him."  Ben shrugged, unhappy that he was being made to talk about something he didn\'t fully understand why he was upset by.  If he didn\'t know or love Kerr, why did it bother him that his sire had chosen Jack instead?

Because that creature looks like you
Because it stole your memories
Because it did all these bad things to you
And Kerr took it to his bed while telling you he loved you


He didn\'t have a very high opinion of his sire.

"So I came to New York," he repeated Themba\'s phrasing with agreement.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 09, 2009, 11:24:37 AM
"Why was he better suited?" the ancient pressed, feigning innocent interest in the matter.  He could see and feel that it bothered Ben greatly, but he enjoyed the agony of it, it... satisfied him somehow, to feel the other\'s anxiety, when he and his had had to feel much the same thing because of the stealing and the ruckus caused by it.
 
"Why did he even choose him, if you were his fledgling and the one he claimed to love?  That makes no sense to me... "
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 09, 2009, 11:37:07 AM
"I don\'t know," Ben said softly to the first question, then repeated it more firmly at the next (while trying to also sound polite, for he didn\'t know and didn\'t want Themba to be angry at him for not knowing). "I don\'t know, only Kerr knows. He died anyhow, so it doesn\'t matter."
 
Wow. He hadn\'t meant to share that information with Themba, that Kerr had left a message on Ben\'s cellphone that Jack was dead. Ben hadn\'t bothered to recharge his mobile since, in case he got another message that he didn\'t really want to hear. There was no way Kerr had of reaching him now, without their sire/fledgling bond, that was.
 
He was surprised at how callous sounding he\'d been while sharing the information also.  He\'d tried to summon up emotions about it, but hadn\'t been able to care less.  He wasn\'t happy that Jack was dead, but he wasn\'t really sad either.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 09, 2009, 04:30:19 PM
Themba blinked, having not managed to unearth that little nugget in the process of skimming  the youngling\'s thoughts.  At first, there was a moment where he thought Ben meant his sire had died, simply because he said \'he\', but then the ancient realised that it was the earth anomaly that had perished.
 
"So the imposter died but you have chosen not to return to your sire for training?  For protection?  For the chance at having what you lost?" Themba prompted, his tone a mixture of mockery and condescension.  He had respect for genuine emotion, for lasting loyalty, for consideration from others... for relationships, as they pertained to him.  he held them all in high regard and valued them limitlessly.
 
For Ben\'s past... well, he held it in cynical regard because the childe was but nineteen going on twenty-three, mixed up, adrift and confused.  Why should he respect a non-existent relationship when Ben himself was callous and running from it?  That was what his tone implied.  Had he met the Ben who\'d loved Kerr, who\'d travelled with him and weathered betraying him, his attitude would be far different.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 09, 2009, 05:43:59 PM
"Why should I return to a sire who proclaims to love me but beds my twin?" Ben said before pressing his lips together and wondering if Themba would go angry at him.  When he wasn\'t immediately chastised or threatened, he took it as a sign to continue.  "I don\'t remember being with him, but he said we had a rich history.  How do I believe him and his intentions when a copy of me is good enough to replace me?  I\'m better off not getting mixed up in his... baggage."

Ben frowned, for a lot more had been said than he\'d intended.  Strange, how he hadn\'t been able to share such things with Daniel who was a great deal more caring and compassionate (and likely would\'ve taken his side) but it was easier with Themba.  Maybe it was because the Ancient already had half the story.  The wrong half, in Ben\'s opinion.

"Not like he\'s coming for me, either," he mumbled at his lap.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 09, 2009, 10:26:06 PM
In Themba\'s opinion, a bond was a bond and a bond was what carried a body through when the world began to dip and spin and follow the same patterns century after century in a dizzying swirl of monotony that would take a being\'s mind... if they let it.  The bonds and the variances in the nuances were what had saved him from disconnecting; connecting was the only way to go about living.

The bitterness with which Ben spoke declared that he was heavily in need of meaningful connections (an interesting predicament at such an early age to be sure, but he was ready to believe that this boy was more unique than the usual and that seemed... appropriate) and ideas blossomed and spread in the African\'s mind.

He could help, he was pretty sure - though the childe didn\'t realise he even needed help, but that was part of the fun.  Part of the challenge; walking the tightrope between revelation and destruction and knowing exactly which way to lean at every moment.  Truthfully, he didn\'t believe even he had perfected it in all his years, but he was a damn sight closer to achieving it than this kindred so new he was practically a mosquito.

"Tell me why you didn\'t offer to suck my cock to save your skin," Themba ordered airily, lifting his arms so that he was posed with his arms resting along the arm and the back of the couch, pretty as a picture.  The look he gave Ben was serious and interested, eyebrows raised mildly - like he\'d just asked Ben\'s opinion on a ruling monarchy versus a democracy.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 10, 2009, 06:36:32 AM
After speaking about rejecting a loving sire who hadn\'t seemed to love him, the question threw Ben so completely that for almost a minute he was speechless - though because he didn\'t want Themba thinking he was ignoring or avoiding him, he made a repetitive delaying noise every ten or so seconds.

"Ah... um... ah..."  He frowned and shook his head before looking sideways at the Ancient, struggling a little more.  "Ah..." a slightly longer pause, and then he finally spoke.  "I don\'t think offering to whore myself makes me worthy of saving."

But you
did offer didn\'t you Ben?
You said \'whatever you want\'
That wasn\'t what I meant!
At the back of your mind you knew though
That he could take it that way
And you said it anyway


He waited for Themba to react to what he\'d said, first.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 11, 2009, 02:29:08 AM
The light of intrigue flared in Themba\'s eyes and he tilted his head, adopting an obviously confused look.

"Whoring?  Who said anything about whoring?  I was simply asking why you said I should do anything to you, yet you didn\'t bother to pleasure me, in order to save yourself, as so many before you have.  What does that say about you?" he queried, lifting the arm resting across the back of the lounge to in front of himself and prodding the boy\'s chest with his index finger.

His gaze burned into Ben\'s, for he was intensely interested in what Ben perceived that did mean to him - was he better than anyone else?  Simply believed he was?  Did he not mean what he said in any given situation?  All were possibilities at this age.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 11, 2009, 06:46:16 AM
As so many have before me?

Ben chewed on that information for a short moment, because a short moment was all he had to spare.  Did Themba make a habit of finding those who owed him, in order to intimidate them enough for them to offer themselves in exchange for mercy?  What did that make him?

The question was still there, and Themba was expecting an answer.

"I\'m not a slut?" he offered with a shrug.  He didn\'t really believe those who\'d offered to blow Themba in exchange for their lives were sluts, he could be more forgiving considering he was in their place and knew exactly how intimidating the Ancient could be.  He\'d just not gone down that path.  Maybe he would\'ve if Li hadn\'t been standing right next to him for most of their conversation.

Not a slut, oh yeh
He\'s going to love that answer
Would you rather get beat up, Benny-boy?
Would you rather suffer for days or weeks
Instead of getting on your knees once?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 11, 2009, 02:24:43 PM
Themba gave him a scornful look, eyebrows askew and lip curled in disgust at such a definitive answer.  "So, in your opinion, anyone who values their life enough to do anything to keep it should be labelled according to the act they perform?"

The fact that Ben had such an absolute opinion of sex and sexual acts was also intriguing - as much as it was horrifying, really - but he would get to that part soon enough.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 11, 2009, 02:48:46 PM
Ben shrugged, the shoulder closest to Themba lifting higher than the other while he gave the Ancient a wary look.  After a short moment of watching the expression aimed at him, he thought it best to elaborate on his otherwise unanswering response.
 
"No-o-o," he said, extending the word so it didn\'t sound very confident.  "It\'s just not the first thing I think of.  It\'s not like I needed to, either."
 
Right?
 
... Right?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 11, 2009, 05:16:55 PM
Themba laughed and the sound was nasty in its glee.  He looked at Ben with twinkling eyes, his lips twitching as if he was trying not to look so pleased but was failing miserably.

"I am far from finished with you yet, boy," he said ominously, but then switched the conversation to follow the track he\'d intended on.  "You must tell me, though; someone who sees someone they like, that they are attracted to... if they pursue them and have sex with them... that is... a slut?" he proposed, tasting the word.

The notion was preposterous... and highly amusing.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 11, 2009, 07:09:03 PM
"No-o-o," Ben said again, identical to the first.  He thought fleetingly of Sotiris, and the fact he\'d accepted an offer of what he\'d thought was a one-night-stand.  "The, uh, amount of different partners and... and settling for something less just to get... laid."

This wasn\'t a comfortable topic for him, and this was obvious in his speech patterns, his expression and his body language.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 11, 2009, 07:25:00 PM
"Tell me," Themba invited, shuffling around slightly on the couch so that he was facing Ben a little more squarely, his left leg arched and swinging once more, "do you like sex?"  His expression was mild now.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 11, 2009, 07:38:39 PM
The conversation was getting more lewd by the minute, and Ben was imagining Themba would next ask which were his favourite sexual positions.  Shifting slightly away from the Ancient (without realising and certainly not meaning to, but it was an instinctive thing) so he could angle his shoulder a little deeper into the back of the sofa and look at the dark vampire uncomfortably, he answered.

"Yes, but that doesn\'t mean I\'m going to... go to bed with everyone I meet," he said, his words hurried until they hit the pause for the right phrasing.  "Why..."

The sentence froze on his lips at the first word and he feared causing Themba\'s wrath at daring to question him, so he lowered his gaze in order to be subserviant and shook his head slightly.

It doesn\'t matter
nothing
not questioning you
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 11, 2009, 10:32:53 PM
"Why do I want to know?" the ancient queried in a much higher voice than was usual for him, mainly because he was mocking Ben\'s almost-question, an indignant hand pressed to his chest.

"Because it is now my business - because you are now my business and I plan to make a great deal of money off you, because of the hardship you caused me," he answered in a deep, silken whisper as he rolled sideways and onto the floor at Ben\'s feet.  He crawled as close as he could on his knees, working his way between the youngster\'s legs and sliding his hands up his bare legs in order to cup his ass.

"And I plan to do it in an industry where sex sells everything and everything is sex, so if you\'re not comfortable with that, we will just have to practise until you are," he hissed, his sibilant tone strengthening markedly on his last word.  At precisely the same moment, he grabbed and very neatly tore Ben\'s underwear in half, pulling the tattered remains away from his body and tossing them aside.

He gazed down at Ben\'s flaccid penis, finding it appealing enough, cocking his head to assess it even as his large hands slid around the youngling\'s body and began petting and stroking gently at it.  He glanced upward into the blonde\'s eyes as he did, his manner almost coy because he was looking up from beneath his lashes.

"Tell me; what happened to you when you were young that made you feel so ashamed to experience pleasure whenever you wanted to?" the African crooned, his voice slipping to an unimaginably low bass tone.  "Did your parents discover you were bad and make you feel ashamed to indulge yourself?"  His enormous brown hands never stopped their milking, soothing action as he spoke, no matter how much the other squirmed.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 12, 2009, 07:25:10 AM
Themba got the why question wrong, but Ben wasn\'t about to correct him, and it wouldn\'t have made too much of a difference to his answer Ben thought, because \'I own you\' could\'ve been Themba\'s response either way.

The Ancient moving to the floor had Ben even more intimidated and fearful.  He\'d expected the other to demand Ben move to his knees before him, instead of crawling into that space himself.  Frowning and then fighting the frown off his face (for fear of upsetting the Ancient again with a look he didn\'t approve of) turned his expression into one of worry.

He was lectured on the manner of the fashion industry that he was about to enter (and initially had a panicked thought Themba had meant he\'d wanted to sell him into the sex industry as well before he connected the dots - the stress was dumbing him down, he realised) and lightly cried out when his underwear was torn from his body.  He closed his eyes momentarily, gathering his courage to look at the Ancient again, even though he was sitting here naked before him.  Logically, he knew Themba had seen many naked bodies in his existence - especially now he was in fashion - and Ben\'s was just one more, but emotionally it bothered him to be naked in the presence of a man who he didn\'t love or trust.

It was hard to concentrate with Themba\'s hands on him, when he was trying so hard to not give a reaction.  No reaction at all was impossible, so he settled on minimal reactions instead, a few extra blinks, a few fleeting expression changes and a pressing tightly of his lips (which made it difficult to speak).  Initially he\'d squirmed a little but then relaxed his body in order to not give Themba the satisfaction of seeing Ben\'s awkwardness.

He shook his head, and said quickly; "Nothing," in response to Themba\'s question about something happening in his past.  If he\'d been concerned about his parents\' opinions at all, he\'d have pretended to like girls and stayed at home.  He was brave enough, at least, to not hide from himself about who he was, even though that had left him unwelcome from the family home.

The reason why he didn\'t have sex with everyone he met?  Because he wasn\'t attracted to everyone he met.  Very rarely, in fact, did someone\'s physical appearance drive him to the point where he had to bed them regardless of their personalities.  High standards, he thought, were what prevented him from sleeping around.  This opinion implied that most others had lower standards than him - or were easier to please.

Sluts.  Groupies.  Guys like Daniel.

Thinking of Daniel made him think of home, and even though he was thinking meanly about the other, he missed his placid and subservient nature, where Ben was in control of what did and didn\'t happen between them.

Right now Themba was in control, and Ben knew he\'d do whatever the Ancient ordered.  He wouldn\'t like it, he wouldn\'t want to give in, but he would anyway, because doing that in order to save his own life wouldn\'t make him a slut - just like he\'d said.  He hoped that Themba wasn\'t the kind to rape.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 12, 2009, 08:24:15 PM
Themba gave a succinct snort through his nose and looked Ben over derisively.  "Child, then why the hell you so scared to be in your own skin?" he demanded, pointedly looking at all the places where anxiety (very obviously, to him) was gathering on Ben\'s body - the corners of his mouth, his tense stomach, his squared shoulders, his straining neck, his bunched thighs.

"You like sex, you got no hangups in your past, but you hold yourself aloof.  What... are you too good for desire?  For want?  For lust?" he demanded, guessing because he hadn\'t been watching Ben\'s mind religiously, he\'d been too intent on the physical stuff, but he\'d guessed all the same.  This willful little fledge was uppity?  That\'s what all this was about?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 12, 2009, 10:58:15 PM
"I guess," Ben said, because it was easier than trying to think of a better reason when Themba was touching him that way, making his body respond in spite of his desire not to.  He could feel himself hardening beneath Themba\'s attentive hand, could feel the chills of pleasure working their way up his spine and down to his toes, and he hated the way his body was betraying him, even though it wasn\'t his fault.

Maybe Themba was right; Ben thought sex was primal and basic, and he\'d evolved beyond succumbing to such instincts.  But it was more than that - he didn\'t crave it like others his age did, he knew.  He\'d craved it with Sotiris though, wanting to spend as much time in his Ancient lover\'s bed as possible, and there\'d been a brief time when he\'d wanted it from Kerr, before things had turned upside down and there was a gap in his memory.  He wasn\'t frigid, he just... didn\'t want sex wherever he could find it.  He had standards, how else could he describe it?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 12, 2009, 11:19:26 PM
"Well, now," Themba breathed, releasing Ben\'s firming member, balling his fists and pressing them into the couch either side of the younger vampire\'s thighs.  "Look at that," he cooed, glancing from the boy\'s lap up to his pretty eyes, his voice effused with mock wonder.  He shot a glance back down at it for effect, letting the silence hang while they both worked out what \'that\' was supposed to mean, and then he grinned at Ben.

"Guess you like me.  Does that make you a slut?" he queried, unable to stop the nasty bite that emerged on the distasteful final word, but smiling sweetly anyway.  Honestly, if the childe was that rigid, he wasn\'t sure what hope there was for him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 12, 2009, 11:23:34 PM
He couldn\'t contain himself.  The questions Themba was throwing at him made him falter for an apporpriate response.  What did the Ancient want to hear from him?  Was he supposed to announce himself as a slut?  Was he supposed to offer himself in exchange for his freedom?  Was a fuck all the Ancient wanted?  He wasn\'t so naive as to think that was all the African wanted, but he was hard-pressed to understand the full extent of the other vampire\'s motivation.

"What do you want from me?  I\'m not very good at playing games."

He wondered if this was going to be the last thing he uttered, but if it was going to be that easy to get himself killed, he doubted he\'d last a week under Themba\'s aggressive rule anyway.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 12, 2009, 11:26:42 PM
"Answer the question," the ancient instructed mildly, ignoring the bluster because that\'s all he saw it as - huff and nonsense to dissuade him from getting the accurate picture of Ben\'s beliefs that he wanted.  It was all amusing, anyway, making the boy squirm...
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 12, 2009, 11:29:00 PM
Ben\'s resentful glare returned though he lowered it as quickly as he could, blanking his expression as best he could before looking back at Themba, though his lips were still tightly pressed together in a manner that couldn\'t escape his dislike of the situation and the Ancient before him.

"No," he said firmly.  "I\'m not a slut."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 12, 2009, 11:34:26 PM
A slow grin split the African\'s face.  "Because it\'s my fault, right?  Because I made it happen to you, so you are no slut... you\'re a victim... right?" he asked silkily, changing tactics in his effort to explore his little rat\'s psyche.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 12, 2009, 11:37:47 PM
Ben\'s resentment began to turn into concern, wondering if he was being cornered into saying something that he would be punished for.  Was Themba trying to trip him up or was he really curious about Ben\'s opinion?  Surely anyone in this situation would consider themselves in trouble rather than thinking of it as an opportunity?

"Right," he said, figuring he may as well be honest because Themba was probably reading his mind anyway, and already knew that Ben was considering him as a potential rapist.

His hands twitched at his sides, wanting to cover himself as his member lost its vitality and became more flaccid in his confusion and fear.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 12, 2009, 11:49:13 PM
Themba merely gave a thoughtful nod, smirking as he stood fluidly, then rolled back into his slouched position on the couch, looking unseeingly at the many screens before him while he assembled all this information.  Ben really was a victim, a slave to external opinions, to restraint, to modesty for the sake of appearances.  He was also highly judgmental and absolute... yet he made allowances for circumstances of domination, excusing those manipulated into doing things because they had no other choice.

Clearly, he needed to force the boy to realise that sometimes doing the wrong thing and making the wrong choice could be entirely good, and only those who chose to crawl into a niche could be labelled.  Was he as easily manoeuvred as all that, though?  It was his role to find out.

"Right, so," he began a little more briskly, now turning his gaze back to his companion, "you\'re a victim.  You crave control and you value restraint and modesty above all else, classifying those who indulge their base instincts as uncontrolled and unworthy of your attention and everything good that might happen in the world, am I right?" he hazarded, narrowing his dark eyes pointedly.  Certainly, he expected Ben to object to the words but could he really object to the sentiment?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 12, 2009, 11:57:58 PM
"Right," Ben said again, because it was easier than arguing.  He didn\'t consider himself a victim in generaly, though in this circumstance he certainly was one.  Craving control was something everyone wanted, so there was nothing to argue against there.  Who wanted to be uncontrolled?  Valuing restraint and modesty above all else was a stretch though, for there were many things he valued.  He did view them as character strengths, and was proud of himself for having them, but they weren\'t the most important strengths to be found in someone.  The rest of the sentence that Themba spoke was mostly dismissed as a put-down for Ben, like a harsh judgement on him.  So be it, there were worse things for people to think about him.  Hopefully Themba would think he was too restrained to bother with and focus only on the modelling.  Ben thought he could deal with nudity, if there wasn\'t touching.

Without thinking about it, he lifted up his knees and placed his heels on the front of the cushion, hugging his legs and resting his head on his knees, his face turned to the Ancient.  It was a retreat, both physically and emotionally, but it was done subconsciously.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 13, 2009, 06:34:40 AM
The ancient glowered at him, simply because he\'d agreed rather than correcting or elaborating, and the idiocy annoyed him greatly.  Here he was, trying to give the imposter an avenue for impressing him, for proving that he was worth more than just his pretty face, but he sat there being so vapid he was practically a vacuum - and all because he was walking a tightrope but trying to play it safe.

He needed to realise that there was no \'safe\' option here.  "Feet off my couch, you spineless little rat!" he sneered and promptly slapped Ben\'s legs down, a fire kindled in his dark gaze as he glared at the youngling.  "Don\'t feed me bullshit and expect I\'ll lap it up, give me answers or put your mouth to some better use."  There was nothing hysterical or overly dramatic about the instruction, it was said matter-of-factly, not even a slight thrust of his hips to emphasise what he meant.

Ben would know and if he tried to play dumb on that one, he\'d be educated in all sorts of new and painful ways.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 13, 2009, 07:05:07 AM
He\'d flinched when Themba slapped at him, and he had his feet back on the floor quickly.  He felt vulnerable and uncomfortable sitting on the couch, naked, while receiving threats from a vampire he was learning very quickly to hate.  The implication to his words wasn\'t lost on Ben, who couldn\'t quite properly bring his gaze sideways now to look the Ancient in the eye, so he looked at the space between their legs instead.

"Not everyone in the world is the same as you," he began quietly.  "I\'ll never want to parade myself naked or almost naked in front of strangers, regardless of whether you get me comfortable enough to do it or not.  I like only showing my body to those who I\'m willing to be intimate with.  I like having standards.  I don\'t think I\'m better than everyone, but I do think I\'m better than some.  It\'s... who I am."

His chest had a weight on it, like he\'d used to have as a mortal when tears were threatening, but no such thing was happening now.  He didn\'t feel like crying, but he was feeling suffocated by the being beside him.  He didn\'t like feeling this way, like someone\'s prisoner.

He still couldn\'t bring himself to look at Themba, and figured he\'d be smacked down for it.  Maybe a direct order would give him the ability to, he didn\'t know, but all he could focus on was blanking his mind so he wouldn\'t mentally send any signals of hatred and resentment to Themba.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 13, 2009, 05:11:48 PM
Themba was getting bored with the debate about right and wrong, morally just and unjust; he really wasn\'t the type to care about any of it any more, didn\'t judge it, just accepted what he liked and rejected the rest.  Ben, of course, was too young to have such a perspective and as quaint as it was to indulge him for a while, the entertainment value was wearing thin.

"The only time I would ever feel the need to judge someone would be if their actions slight me or mine in some way," he intoned, rising his eyebrows pointedly at Ben.  "You seem to spend far too much time congratulating yourself on your standards and your purity... ironic, really, considering the fact that you\'re here because you were amorally dominating docile mortals and robbing them blind because you judged yourself more worthy of taking what they\'d earned... simply because... you\'re immortal?" he guessed, condemnation flirting in his heightened tone and condescending expression.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 13, 2009, 05:16:16 PM
He bit his lower lip, demonstrating that there was some shame to be had in him about the thievery, but only because he\'d been caught out by Themba.  Yes, he\'d been stealing, yes, it was wrong, but he hadn\'t hurt anyone and he\'d intended to stop when he\'d got enough money for his rent.  It was about survival, right?  He hadn\'t stopped when he\'d got enough, but maybe the Ancient didn\'t know that part.

"I didn\'t want to be kicked out of my building and onto the street," he said, trying to defend himself.  There were other ways to get money of course, but he\'d lost his cleaning job and he was hardly going to sell himself, was he?

Though this was what he was facing now - though modelling was a long, long way from whoring.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 13, 2009, 05:31:49 PM
"So tell me why you think of Kerr and money he wants to give you and why you feel it was a better choice to take from those who were unwilling to offer, rather than one who was willing?" Themba challenged, having caught a few images that Ben automatically flashed to when he thought about money and wondering what stopped him from taking where he should.

Standards again, perhaps?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 13, 2009, 05:34:48 PM
"Because I\'d rather steal than be a charity case."

It was said promptly, without much thought behind it.  He\'d been asked a question and he\'d supplied an answer, and even though he\'d initially believed it was just any old thing to throw out there so Themba wouldn\'t be on his case about not having a proper answer, there was a ring of truth to it that made Ben frown afterward.

He\'d said what he\'d really thought - the first thing to enter his mind.  It sounded bad, phrased that way, but was there another way to say it?  He looked at Themba now, wondering if he\'d be laughed at, sneered at, or something else.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 13, 2009, 05:48:09 PM
Themba gave a slow nod, understanding lighting his eyes.  "Aaaand... your relationship with your sire was such that anything he gave you felt tainted and false, so you could not see your way clear to taking what is your due," he summarised, having concocted this theory from what he\'d already learned (mostly from Li).

He looked Ben over, pondering the fact that the youngling had grown accustomed to sitting there and conversing with him without wearing clothes.  "I think you will enjoy the fashion industry," he announced suddenly, thinking about clothes and money and naturally ending up at that junction.  "You can keep the money you earn and congratulate yourself on not being a thief or a charity case.  We should go."

The ancient\'s smug (and rather nasty) tone changed to a brisk one as he got to his feet and looked expectantly at Ben, waiting for him to do the same.  "We have to see if Byron\'s wardrobe needs altering before tomorrow night - luckily, you\'re about the same frame, just shorter, I think," he said airily, wandering away from the couch and heading for a door that was set in the back corner of the vast room.

He expected Ben would get up and look to put his pants on, so he was sauntering, but he was also looking over his shoulder to see if he really would.  Perhaps he would be too intimidated to act without consent?  Now that would be delicious.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 13, 2009, 05:52:48 PM
Ben\'s desire to cover up his nudity was stronger than the intimidation he faced with Themba when the Ancient was walking away from him.  Sitting directly beside him would\'ve kept him obedient and naked, but because the other vampire seemed to want to wind things up and take him to someone or other\'s wardrobe, then that was his timing to clothe himself.  His underwear was lost, but at least his jeans could hide him appropriately.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 13, 2009, 06:28:57 PM
Themba tsked mildly to himself but made no other comment as he led Ben through the doorway and down a set of far more functional and less showy stairs than the ones he\'d been brought in through.  These were metal and led straight to close to the middle of the warehouse floor, to a work area set up with tables and dressmaker\'s dummies and sewing machines.

Ordered to stand in a particular spot, the ancient trusted his newest project to follow orders as he found his way to the rack labelled \'Byron\'.  A collection of outfits hung on it, all wrapped in plastic, and Themba wheeled it over efficiently, setting it up near to Ben and flicking the brakes on the nearest wheel with his toes.  He then set about systematically pulling outfit after outfit off and insisting Ben try them on - he began with the underwear that Ben would walk out in in the middle of the show, explaining that, for practicality purposes, he should put them on first.

There was a total of fourteen outfits (constructed from ten items of clothing that would be mixed and matched a little), ranging from stylish suits to bathers to weird and wonderful day outfits to oddly assembled jumpers.  As Ben got them on, Themba looked and poked and pulled, having the young vampire walk down the almost-aisle between the work spaces and back again, advising him on turns and jutting his hips and how best to show off each piece.  Once that was done, the ancient hummed and muttered as he crouched down and pinned hems or unpicked seams or cinched lapels.

Ben bore it all graciously and seemed to listen to all he said, which impressed the tall African, and he complimented the boy\'s ability to take instruction.  He also seemed to have a natural flair for striking pouty poses and looking off into the distance moodily, which Themba believed would garner him attention the next night - with eyes like his, it was a given, really.  Once it was all done, Themba wheeled the rack back to its ready position for picking up in the morning and led Ben back up the stairs to his clothes.

Once there, he flopped back onto the couch and picked up his remote, not unmuting it immediately.  "You\'ll need to be here tomorrow night as close to sundown as possible," he told Ben offhandedly.  "You\'ll drive with me."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 13, 2009, 10:23:12 PM
Ben\'s heart seemed to leap when Themba\'s words were spoken, and he looked at the Ancient sharply, to determine whether this was a cruel trick or not.  He\'d wanted to ask earlier but stopped himself from even thinking it, about whether he\'d be allowed to go to his home.

Surprised and not wanting to blow his chance at being released, he nodded and replied quickly, but not hastily.

"Yes.  Thank you."

Wide eyed and finally seeing a real and valid hope that he wasn\'t a captive in the truest sense of the word (he supposed he was obligated now, rather than being a prisoner), he took a moment to bathe in the luxury of feeling relief.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 14, 2009, 06:50:04 AM
The burst of emotions flooding through Ben tickled the ancient\'s great awareness of what was around him and it almost felt as sweet to him as it did to the young vampire.  His gaze slid to the blonde in an unconsciously sultry manner, a predatory smile lifting a corner of his mouth.

"Unless you\'d prefer to just stay the day with me... for convenience," he suggested slyly, using no influence to flavour the words for he wanted only to toy with Ben\'s mind verbally, and freely watch his thoughts and second thoughts about his potent offer.  His dark gaze slid up and down Ben\'s form appreciatively as he waited for his response.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 14, 2009, 07:53:58 AM
The suggestion took away Ben\'s relief in an instant, and he was nervous about what Themba was implying.  He considered the words being used; it had sounded like Ben had a choice.  How could he refuse without being considered impolite, however?  No matter how nicely he rejected the Ancient, it would still be a rejection.

He was on edge and confused, his thoughts scattered as he struggled with a reasonable response.  The way Themba was looking at him, made him think he wouldn\'t be left alone merely to sleep the day through.

"I\'d rather go home."

It was the honest truth.  He had no excuses that sounded reasonable in his head.  Everything he\'d thought of would sound insincere on his lips, and it was likely Themba would know the truth by plucking it out of his head anyway.

He studied the other vampire\'s expression, to see how his statement had gone down.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 14, 2009, 09:37:24 AM
"Go, then," the ancient shrugged, wondering if he\'d get another hit of relief before the youngling left.  He was nothing if not emotional - and far more amusing when he was thus, in Themba\'s opinion.  He watched the blonde then, determined to keep his gaze on the other to intimidate a little more - intimidate him enough that he would think twice if the notion of not turning up the next night occurred.
 
That didn\'t bear mentioning and it didn\'t bear thinking on, though, for if it happened, nobody would be very happy and Themba didn\'t want to end the night on that sort of a negative note.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 14, 2009, 12:10:50 PM
Ben felt another wave of relief fill his body before he hurriedly made his escape without another look back.  The idea of not showing up the next night didn\'t even enter his head, for he knew the repurcussions of this action would have dire consequences that even he couldn\'t talk (or offer) his way out of.

Once he was outside he noticed how light the sky was getting.  Dawn was approaching quickly, giving him roughly only half an hour to get home.  Running at full speed (mortal speed, not vampiric, because he still hadn\'t tapped into that ability yet), with his sneakered feet pounding the pavement, he reached his building with five minutes to spare, and quickly went to his room.  He wondered, as he moved past Daniel\'s door, if the mortal had noticed he was missing and thought likely not, since he\'d only been out one night.

Tucked into bed by the time the sun was up, Ben slept, and dreamt of being arrested by police and given a life sentence by a judge.

* * *

He woke up feeling uneasy and ill-rested, though he couldn\'t remember his dream in order to understand why.  Dressing practically, pulling on underwear, socks, jeans then shoes, he slipped on a t-shirt and was about to head out when he tucked his fingers into his front pockets and came up with ninety dollars.  Annoyed at the money, he flung it onto the dresser in his room before making his way out of his apartment, the building, and then the block, heading for the docks.

He found the warehouse again easily enough.  The sun had set an hour ago and he\'d had enough time to think about what he was doing on the walk over.  He could\'ve caught a cab and just left the city, travelled north.  Hell, he could\'ve caught a damn plane and gone to the other coast, hidden somewhere in Los Angeles.  It just seemed that hiding was pointless though, from someone whose network was bound to be so vast that he\'d run into Themba sooner or later.

Knocking on the door, he waited for it to be answered, hugging his arms like he was cold from the chilly air instead of worried about what would happen tonight, and if it would be anything like last night.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 14, 2009, 04:58:32 PM
It was answered by Li, whose frown melted into an expression of relief as soon as she saw who it was.  "You\'re finally here!" she announced, reaching out and grabbing Ben by the arm, snatching him into the warehouse with her and once more shove-walking him along the concrete flooring.  "Where the fuck do you live?" she snapped, but the question was obviously rhetorical because she didn\'t slow down and she didn\'t look at Ben for her answer.
 
There was a mild amount of chaos going on in the warehouse tonight - all the lights were up and Li and Ben dodged neatly between at least two mortals running bolts of streaming cloth from one machine to another before they were through and at the far end of the site.
 
Themba was pacing beside a sleek black car, smoking a cigaro and looking immaculate in a black pin-striped suit with exaggeratedly-large lapels, a white business shirt unbuttoned (he was tie-less) with the collar upturned and a pink and orange carnation pinned above the white kerchief in his breast pocket.  He was also wearing some makeup and shiny, impenetrably black sunglasses, which turned Ben\'s way as he and Li emerged from the chaos.
 
"About time," the tall African muttered, opening the passenger door for Li to nearly throw the fledgling in.  "You should\'ve just stayed," he growled, and slammed the door closed, stopping Ben from speaking to him until he was in the driver\'s seat beside him.  Two women sat in the backseat in almost perfect unity with Themba - one was Li, one was a woman Ben had yet to meet.  She had piercing black eyes, exotically high cheekbones and lots of lustrous, wavy black hair floating about her statuesque frame.  Her dress was black and white, looking almost like it was wrapped around her hourglass frame, with a frothy skirt trailing behind her; Li\'s was simpler, red silk with small flowers in a Chinese design, also fitted but with a swishy fin trailing after her.
 
Ben would notice all this because he was prompted to turn around by Themba, as he drove them out of the warehouse, because he chose to introduce his companion at that moment.  "Ben, this is Anu.  Show your respects, boy," the African ordered, not taking his eyes off the road as he referenced the beautiful ancient in the back seat.  His deferential tone and Li\'s respectful body language toward the woman would tip off an observant being that Anu was no ordinary ancient; even amongst ancients, she was special to them.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 14, 2009, 05:19:41 PM
There was a whirlwind of movement when he was pulled into the warehouse, and he got a strong sense of deja-vu being ushered by Li again.  He had enough time to feel under-dressed when he laid eyes on Themba but that was all he had before he was tossed into the car and got himself as settled as best he could before introductions were made.

Oh God, the age
I feel wrapped up in it
like a blanket made of earth


He fought the claustophobia that threatened to render him mute and nodded his acknowledgement to the woman addressed by Themba as Anu.

"Pleased to meet you," he said, and in his head it finished off with the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger scream-singing;

hope you guess my name

He was also hoping that she wasn\'t peering into his mind right about then, for his thoughts - which ran away from him most of the time - could be interpreted as very rude.  He didn\'t miss the fact this particular lyric was from a song called \'Sympathy For The Devil\'.  Swallowing and forcing a polite smile that didn\'t reach his eyes (though not for lack of trying), he was half expecting to be smacked or yelled at by Themba for not being appropriately respectful.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 14, 2009, 05:45:03 PM
She quirked a perfectly-shaped eyebrow at him, unable to not hear a thought so clear.  "Obnoxious," she announced, the timbre of her voice husky and rich, not masculine but certainly deep and dark, with layers that those with immortal hearing had a bad habit of becoming entranced by.  She looked exotic compared to modern women and she certainly sounded nothing like them as well.
 
Themba - who had, by now, navigated the car out onto the main streets of the city, rather than the narrow byways that took them between warehouses - shot Ben a reproachful look that spoke volumes of how unhappy he was with his idle stupidity.  He said nothing and did nothing, though, for he wouldn\'t dare punish the solution to their crisis (especially with so little time left before the show began) now, it could wait until later.
 
Unbeknownst to Ben - who might feel a fait buzz if anything, a mental conversation was ricocheting around the cabin of the car, moving thick and fast.
 
Sorry Themba apologised to his superior.
He\'s such an upstart, why didn\'t you just smack him down and be done with him last night, Them? Li interjected.
It\'s a matter of clarity; unfortunately, he has it, Anu mused.  Odd, in one so young.
Yes, themba agreed with her, and then addressed Li: And he needs to pay us back for all the trouble he caused.  This will only be the beginning of his labour; I anticipate he will make us a fair amount of money.
And we\'re that hard up? Li cut in quickly, before she was overridden by Anu\'s opinion.
He does need to understand the value of things; he does owe us, she agreed.  He has a pretty face, Themba, but I don\'t know that he\'ll get much attention on the catwalk...?
I\'m hoping he generates some interest for cover work tonight, actually - I\'ll start with talking to GQ and Vogue and work my way down.
 
By the time they arrived at the convention centre where the fashion parade was to take place, a business plan featuring Ben had been devised - Li was skeptical it would work but Anu passed no such judgment - and agreed upon.  They pulled up to the valet area and Themba mentally instructed Ben to open Li\'s door, while he got out, handed his keys to the valet and opened Anu\'s.  As the ladies emerged, cameras popped and clicked from a cordonned off press area (either side of the red carpet leading into the building), recording for posterity their every move as the ladies wrapped their hands around the gentlemens\' arms and they all waltzed in.
 
A few questions were asked as they walked by - not enough to give Ben the impression that they were celebrities, but certainly enough to give the impression that this trio was well known and on familiar terms with the journalists - and they were answered by either Themba or Anu. Once inside the doors, it was a different matter, however; Themba dropped Anu\'s arm, dipped hsi head towards her and rounded Li in order to scoop Ben away.  He steered him via fingertips perfectly circling his elbow.
 
"This is not normally the entrance for the models, but since you took so long to arrive, I had no other choice," he muttered, leading Ben away from the auditorium entrance doors and into a tunnel labelled \'Backstage\' with a sign advising that authorised personnel only were to travel beyond this point.  They were obviously authorised personnel, for the next doorway was blocked by two guards and Themba moved between them like a hot knife through butter.
 
"Do you remember all the moves we discussed last night?" the African asked as they began striding down yet another tunnel - this one populated with more frantic people.  His voice was certainly not the deep and relaxed well it had been the night before, it was tight with anxiety, and crisp in tone.  He was nervous about dropping Ben into this particular pond to swim - even though Holly was modelling tonight and would keep an eye on him - while he went back out to the audience area to network.  It could all fall in a heap around him, if he\'d misjudged Ben\'s reliability and interest in experiencing new and educational things.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 15, 2009, 02:07:47 PM
"Yes," he said promptly, his gaze moving from person to person as they rushed all around him.  Themba gave him one last look that Ben interpreted as a glare and wanted to shrink beneath but kept his stance and held the other\'s gaze until the Ancient turned to leave.  Without prompt, Ben walked forward a little until he was in a pseudo dressing room, full of both male and female models, sitting on chairs and being made up or being quickly dressed by people who flung clothes their way only to be moved about by other people who were getting the models into the outfits before fussing with them.
 
Ben\'s arm was caught by the elbow and he was steered by the woman he\'d met last night called Holly.  He didn\'t get the sensation of great age from her like he\'d got from the others, but he was placid and polite with her regardless.  She was very matter-of-fact with him, telling him that he needed to be prepped before he could get clothes on him.  He nodded and sat on the stool indicated while a couple of men were ordered over to mess with his hair and put make up on him.  Ben had his eyes made up starkly, with thick black eyeliner, while his cheekbones were defined with some kind of powder.  The hair guy bemoaned Ben\'s haircut, saying there was very little he could do with it and ended up gelling and brushing the lot forward.  Ben didn\'t have a mirror to look in so had no idea what the end result was.
 
Once he was out of his stool he was faced with a woman and a different man who ordered him out of his clothing and were passing articles his way to put on.  With a quick glance around him and seeing many models in various states of dress and undress, he figured nobody would really care about his form and quickly shucked his clothing off.  He was still modest enough to put the longish shirt on before taking of his undies in favour of theirs, hiding most of himself behind loose material and pretending it had simply happened that way.
 
He got used to dressing and undressing in the end, for as soon as the first outfit was on him, he was shoved out onto the walk.  Thankfully there was another male model with him for him to pace beside and slightly behind.  There were lights trained on the walk that blasted his vision, so even with his enhanced supernatural ability he couldn\'t see the audience beyond the first row and a few camera pop-flashes.  He did what Themba had taught him to do last night, even though he felt ridiculous, and made it back to the dressroom area without making any awful mistakes.  He was quickly undressed out of what he was wearing and dressed into something else before shown the walk again.  After a dozen times, back and forth, there was very little thinking about it and a lot of doing.  Having people fussing over him once clothes were on had been a lot better than Themba angry at him with his clothes off.  He found out that by the time he was out there with something skimpier on, he wasn\'t too worried, because he\'d realised with a kind of dawning stupidity, that the people looking at him weren\'t seeing him so much as what he was wearing. He found he didn\'t mind it so much after that.
 
The show was over quickly, he thought, though it had lasted almost four hours.  His own clothes were hanging on a rack near his spot, and he undressed out of what he currently wore in order to get into his own stuff.  With another quick glance, he saw models in various stages of nudity - from partial to full.  With a blink and then attending to his own dressing, he undressed and redressed with the same kind of emotion as when he was doing so alone, in his room.  He sat on the stool near the clothing rack where he\'d got his clothes and waited to be collected, though it was almost twenty minutes before anyone did, and most of the models had already dressed, blown goodbye kisses at each other for the night, and gone.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 15, 2009, 08:29:01 PM
It was Holly who collected him, and she wore a dark frown as she did, waggling a finger before his face like he was very naughty.  "Bad, rat!" she chastised, "they\'re waiting for us!"  Without further ado, she hooked her arm through his and yanked him along with her, out an entirely different door, through another set of hallways and emerging into a back alley where the black luxury sedan was idling.

As soon as Ben was seated in the front passenger seat again, the car exploded with enthusiasm and chatter, the three women in the back recapping everything like it had been an exciting horse race and Themba in the front chuckling and adding his observations.  Gossip that Ben wouldn\'t understand about people who Ben wouldn\'t know soon ensued, before excited proposals about who would be \'there\' came.

It turned out that \'there\' was the after party, held at a very popular nightclub (not too far from Liquid Empire), in a cordonned off section upstairs.  Beautiful people sashayed around the place, nibbling from circulating platters and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, which seemed to be flowing like water.  As time wore on, the laughter only became more obnoxious, the people more ugly and the powerplayers behind it all emerged.

Ben was escorted exclusively by Themba, who directed him in a far different manner to any of the women he lived with - he was half embraced, a hand pressed to the small of his back, touched gently, looked at fondly and spoken of almost reverently.  Everyone that the two vampires spoke to seemed to be interested in setting something up with Ben soon, and one gregarious man had the audacity to grab his chin, turn his face this way and that and drop the sacred word - \'cover\'.  Themba was thrilled and yet another time and place was organised, the African having smooth words to dissuade day shoots, agreeing that Ben was exactly like the rest of his corporation; night-exclusive.

The party celebrating the fashion show went on even longer than the show itself and it would seem to Ben that the only reason that the well-aged group decided to depart was that dawn was just under two hours away and they had no choice in the matter.  None of them had an open thought for how their surprising little debutante felt about the ordeal, they all nattered happily about how wonderful it had all been and what success they\'d had with particular lines and what would have to be done to accommodate the changes... the animated conversation didn\'t die off until they\'d parked the car and walked upstairs to the large workroom Ben had been in the night before.

At this point, they all seemed to go their separate ways and Themba took Ben\'s hand, leading him after Anu and Holly, who put the code into a door at the back of the room that allowed them access to yet another hallway.  This one led to their private chambers (for \'bedroom\' hardly covered the sprawling suites that they all were) and Ben was taken to Themba\'s without any choice - it was through the first door on the right and, predictably, had a code pad beside it that the Ancient\'s fingers whizzed over before he entered, pulling Ben in after him.

Before the young vampire got much of a look at the room, however, Themba had neatly closed the door and was pressing him back into it, laughing and smiling as he grasped his pretty face between both hands and moved in for a lingering kiss.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 15, 2009, 08:47:50 PM
Ben was surprised, to say the least.  He\'d become so used to going along with the flow and tagging along with Themba that he hadn\'t realised he\'d been led into the Ancient\'s bedroom, and he certainly hadn\'t expected the other vampire to move in on him as he did.

The reaction the African received from Ben was the most instinctive; Ben tensed and tried to pull away, though the door stopped him and the large hands on his face kept him from turning his head - though his reaction would likely be felt and hard to miss.  If Themba ignored it and kept on going though, he would find a non-existant response.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 15, 2009, 08:52:03 PM
The lack of response once he pressed his lips to Ben\'s drew a frown from the ancient, as he pulled back to gaze at the youngling.  The smile faded slowly from his lips, like water soaking into a paper towel, and then he was merely staring into the other\'s silvery eyes.

"What?" he eventually demanded, as if he was being accused of something.  He didn\'t move, remained holding Ben\'s head firmly between his strong hands, waiting for the boy to mewl out a reason as to why he wasn\'t kissing him back.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 15, 2009, 08:56:37 PM
He watched the smile melt away and figured he was going to face the same angry vampire he\'d faced last night, demanding that he never refuse him.  Would it really come to this?  Would he be requested for more than modelling?  Was he going to have to pay back his crime with his body rather than work?

"Can\'t I just go home?" he asked

and sleep in my own bed?
alone?


with thoughts tumbling into his head, unspoken, unbidden, and knowing that Themba likely heard them.

He could still feel and taste the sensation of Themba\'s lips on his own, and it made him feel childish and small, intimidated and helpless.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 15, 2009, 09:15:52 PM
"No," Themba answered without elaboration, his expression shuttered.  "You\'ll stay the day with me."  With a snort of disgust, the ancient then pushed away from his prisoner and took a few steps back, beginning to undress with harsh, angry movements.

"You will sleep in my bed or on one of the couches, but you will stay in this room," he ordered, hurling his jacket a metre or so away from himself, towards the item of furniture in question.  It was exactly like the one in the main room except covered in black suede; it would be perfectly comfortable to sleep on, but thinking about it only made the African angrier.

"What is your problem?" he demanded, wrenching at his belt to unbuckle it and then reef it free of his pants - it followed the same arc as his jacket had, landing on the couch.  "You should be happy!  Buoyant!" he shouted, raisin both arms and his gaze skyward, as if rejoicing in the presence of a divine power.  When he looked back at Ben, thunderclouds scudded across his face and he yanked his shirt free of his pants so harshly the garment threatened to rip.

"You were the toast of the party!" he yelled, undoing buttons in between a few angry flicks of his hand at Ben.  "You were asked about, spoken to, asked to model in a magazine!  Do you know how rare that is on a first night?" he boomed, snapping his shirt away from his shoulders and off his arms in one fell swoop, flinging it carelessly while he glared at Ben.  His pants would be undone next.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 15, 2009, 10:00:42 PM
The way his face changed caused Ben\'s heart to sink.  He hadn\'t minded the happy Themba that had led him here, the one that had introduced him around at the party even though Ben had felt more like an accessory.  He realised he was only doing himself more harm by not pandering to Themba\'s ego a little more.  He seemed not to be forcing him to do anything, if the sofa was a viable option, and so Ben took a risk and attempted to explain his demeanor.

"I\'m hungry," he said to the floor, then lifted his gaze to the Ancient.  "I need to feed once a night, or I get... " he shrugged.  He was surprised, actually, how well he\'d been coping without blood, and he supposed it was because he actually had a few years under his belt - regardless of what he remembered.  "Before I join you in bed, can I have a drink?"

It was his attempt at apologising, at pacifying the furious Ancient.  Hopefully Themba would allow him his excuse, would forgive his earlier rejection in the face of his present willing acceptance.  To further his attempt at placating Themba, he began unbuttoning his shirt.  He was still standing at the door and hadn\'t thought to move forward, to allow Themba to get him the drink he\'d requested - if it was coming at all.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 16, 2009, 06:30:10 AM
The only external sign that Themba was appeased came in the way he stepped from his pants, rather than shoving them off.  He stared fiercely at Ben the whole time he did it, his movements exaggeratedly slow now (by comparison to his former ones), as he communicated with Holly mentally.

Holly?  Can I have one of the animals for Ben to drink from? he requested, receiving the distracted answer (for Holly had followed Anu into her chambers) that of course he could and to pick the dog because he hadn\'t been walked in ages.  That was Holly code for \'drunk from\', Themba knew.

"Fine," the African announced pompously, tossing his pants onto the couch and striding towards the door in his speckled grey boxer briefs.  He expected Ben would move out of his way as soon as he moved in his direction, but the impulse to move materialised in the youngling\'s mind anyway as he opened the door and headed to the bed chamber next to his (he left his room door open just to see whether Ben would disobey his order and leave the room - he deliberately hadn\'t said he\'d be back just to tilt the cards in his favour).

Punching in the code, Themba opened Holly\'s door and shook his head, a disapproving expression on his face as he stood in the doorway.  Where everyone else had perfectly normal and opulent living areas preceding their resting chambers, Holly had a paddock.  The area was fenced off to look somewhat like a farm, with individual pens for each of her \'animals\' - when the door opened, they all perked up and either looked through the spaces between their fence or leaned up and over the top, depending on how tall they were.

They weren\'t real animals of course, but mortals playing the part of whatever they chose to be.  Inside their pen, each had luxurious fittings, as much food, entertainment and indulgence as they wanted and they were able to go to the bathroom freely (though some chose to take their role to extremes in that sense).  They were all there voluntarily, convinced by Holly that they possessed the spirit of the animal they embodied at some point or other, waiting for her to come home and lather attention on them like all pets did, ecstatic when she chose to drink from them.

Themba had no taste for such games, he thought it childish and a little whacky, but Holly got what Holly wanted and if Holly\'s latest craze was a farm filled with people animals in thematic dress, that was what she got.  It was still better than her toy soldier era, with damn living toys marching about the place sticking bayonets into things.

As was required, Themba cued which pet he would be taking by whistling and calling, "Here boy!" (it made him roll his eyes but the grief he\'d copped from Holly and Anu the last time he didn\'t play with the pets properly and they told their mistress on him was not worth reliving).  The dog - a strapping young blonde in a creamy-gold coloured velour tracksuit (like a golden retriever) - began barking excitedly and turning circles in his pen.  Themba walked over, unlatched the gate and scooped his leash off the fence. The dog decided he was so excited to be getting out, he would la his pen, which forced the African to growl an order to come back to him.  The dog came, subdued and whimpering.

With the leash attached, Themba then walked the dog out - he insisted on panting and bounding along on his hands and feet - latched the gate, left Holly\'s room and re-entered his own, expecting his own pet to still be there.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 16, 2009, 07:17:22 AM
Ben didn\'t follow Themba out because he hadn\'t been invited (ordered) to.  After moving aside, he made his way to the couch and sat in the centre of it, finishing the unbuttoning of his shirt and pulling it off his shoulders just because that was what his fingers had promised when Themba had left.

His mind was racing as to what exactly Themba might think Ben was agreeing to before a final thought quietened the battering of his brain.

Everything, Ben, you agreed to everything

He had, indeed.  He\'d told Themba only that he would sleep in the bed with him, but if the Ancient tried something with him, Ben knew he\'d go along with it.  He was only prolonging the inevitable by denying him anyway, and making life difficult for himself.  Hopefully, if he gave in, then the Ancient would soon grow bored with him and leave him alone to his modelling alone.  In spite of his unemotional display, he was rather excited about how successful he might be while modelling.  Maybe this was the kind of job he could keep.

When Themba came in holding a leash and a young man at the end of it, dressed in some weird tan outfit (and Ben got the whole golden retriever thing by the sight of it) and pretending to be a dog, Ben could only stare, dumbstruck.  Was this how they punished those who upset them?  Was this the kind of punishment Ben had escaped?  Was that the \'rat\' reference everyone spoke of, that he should\'ve been mind-controlled to believe he was a rat?

"What\'s wrong with him?" he asked, finally finding his voice.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 16, 2009, 11:15:17 AM
Frowning slightly, Themba looked at the dog in surprise, thinking Ben had detected something awry.  All he saw was the pup\'s face, perked up and alight, tongue lolling as it looked at Ben with the eager eyes of an animal about to have its belly scratched.  It only took him a second longer to realise that he\'d become so accustomed to Holly\'s menagerie that he hadn\'t anticipated the newcomer not understanding.
 
"Oh," he said, handing Ben the leash and flopping onto the couch beside him, lounging with his arm along the back and angled towards what he realised now was likely to be an entertaining feeding, "nothing.  He\'s a dog, that\'s all.  He\'s Holly\'s pet - one of them, anyway.  He\'s got a name but I have no recollection of what it is - he\'ll respond to \'boy\' or \'dog\', though.  Pat your lap and drink at will."
 
Themba invited gregariously, doing his best to suppress a smirk.  His tone had definitely switched from surly and angry now; watching the youngling with the dog had already cheered him up.  As if to reinforce the instruction, the panting dog\'s tongue was retracted into his head and he whine, placing his chin on Ben\'s knee and doing a good job of looking like a hopeful puppy as he gazed up at him.  Themba was glad Ben had sat in the middle of the couch; if he did decide to pull the dog up with him, he\'d need room for it to stretch out.  The man himself was bigger than Ben.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 18, 2009, 06:49:06 AM
The look on Ben\'s face was very close to disgust as the man pretending to be a dog made puppy-eyes at him from the floor with his head on his knee.  If it wasn\'t for the pressing need to drink, Ben would\'ve refused the offer, whether it upset Themba or not.  This all seemed wrong to him.

The next question was directed at the \'dog\' himself.

"Can\'t you just pretend to be normal for a minute?" he asked, feeling angry about this whole situation and hearing it come out in his tone.  Couldn\'t any of this be normal?  Couldn\'t Themba just have offered him blood in a glass?  Ben wouldn\'t even have cared if it was cold, it would\'ve been better than going through this.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 18, 2009, 02:23:41 PM
Sensing the impatience in Ben\'s tone, the dog cowered from him with a pained whimper, slinking along the front of the couch towards Themba, who was watching Ben from beneath hooded eyes.  "This is normal," the African rumbled in his deep bass voice, nudging the dog with his foot when it tried to crawl behind his leg.

The fact that the youngling couldn\'t cope with where his food was coming from was interesting; Themba himself wasn\'t particularly excited by playing with literal pets, but Holly loved it and Anu thought it was quaint, so he\'d never thought to question it.  It seemed their little ingenue was a lot more precious about his food.

"He\'s here of his own free will, doing what he wants to do," Themba drawled, still pushing the dog back towards Ben.  "For him to break character would be very abnormal - the pets are all extremely pampered and happy, they\'re rarely drunk from.  He\'s happy to get the attention; don\'t be sure."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 18, 2009, 03:29:38 PM
Ben licked his lips anxiously at the thought of having to drink from the pretender, but knew that he would have to put up with it or have nothing at all.
 
"Fine," he breathed, then patted his legs like he would for a real dog to jump up on, as Themba had previously instructed.  He wasn\'t sure the guy was going to do it now, though, by the way he was acting.
 
Damn, this place was strange.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 19, 2009, 07:07:36 AM
With a forlorn look at Themba, the dog crept back towards Ben, not bounding onto his lap as he might\'ve previously, but crawling onto the spare part of the couch and nuzzling his way forward slowly.  He just about looked like a turtle, crouched down and hugging his knees but once he was almost in position, he looked up at Ben with hopeful eyes and whined, then lifted himself up suddenly and licked Ben\'s cheek, obviously trying to make friends.

Themba suppressed a laugh at the look on Ben\'s face and then decided to take pity on the youngling.  "Bad dog," he chastised quickly, drawing the dog\'s interested gaze.  He waggled a finger for effect.  "No licking!  Now present yourself properly and be a good boy."

The dog seemed right at home getting comments such as these, for he gave a small yip of acknowledgment before he inched forward slightly - resting his hands on Ben\'s lap - and arching his back so that his neck was practically on Ben\'s mouth.  The pose was very much like the one Daniel had first presented himself to the young vampire in.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 19, 2009, 07:12:12 AM
The similarity of the pose wasn\'t lost on Ben, but he didn\'t think about it for long.  After wiping his cheek with his fingers, he moved forward to the dog-man\'s neck, nuzzling around to try and find the right place to bite, and taking the least amount of time possible to do it, not caring if he was at ease or not (like he\'d cared with Daniel).  He bit, he drank, and after taking a little over a pint it was enough for him to close up the wound, sated.  He flopped back on the couch, and much like he would do to a big dog on his lap, he pushed at the man\'s side in order to get him the hell off.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 19, 2009, 11:44:38 AM
The dog was aroused by the feeding and even though it had been succinct and he\'d been pushed away, he was still intent on doing what any dog does in such a state; he conceded to the shove off the couch but was quickly back before Ben, pressing his face towards the vampire\'s crocth, grasping his calf in his hands and humping his crotch against Ben\'s shin.  There was a look of sublime pleasure growing on his face, even though his eyes were closed.
 
Themba stifled a giggle behind his hand, enjoying the show but trying not to be too obvious about it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 19, 2009, 01:45:40 PM
All the training Ben had done with Kerr, as well as the practise he\'d done away from Kerr in his apartment, trying to levitate things with no success, or move quickly with no success, paid off with instinct.
 
Horrified by what the dog-man was doing and feeling increasingly uncomfortable with everything, knowing he was likely facing sleeping with Themba and offering himself in order to pacify the Ancient, forced to drink from this stupid man who got off being something what he wasn\'t (and therefore worse than the groupies Ben had nothing but disdain for), he shoved.
 
He shoved with his hands, but mostly with his mind.
 
With barely a touch to the dog-man\'s shoulder, the brute in question went flying backward as though something of great force had propelled him.  He skidded on the carpet and would keep going for five metres, depending on whether there was a wall to halt him or not.
 
Ben stared at what he\'d done, wide-eyed, feeling a weird sense of deja-vu steal across him, though it was more the similarity of feeding from someone in Daniel\'s position and then shoving him away at the end of it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 19, 2009, 03:59:00 PM
The action killed Themba\'s good humour instantly and he looked at Ben expressionlessly, blinking his surprise.  Oddly, it was exactly the reaction the youngling was giving, which told the ancient that he hadn\'t exactly meant to do what he had... but it was done anyway.

Without a word he got up then, because the dog had decided he didn\'t like being flung across the open room (he\'d almost ended up outside the door and had clipped an armchair as he went) and had begun growling as he regathered himself.  It seemed as good a time as any to return him to his pen, and so the tall black man did exactly that, ending up yanking out the now-ferociously-barking dog by the lead.  He was calm by the time he was locked inside Holly\'s room and Themba was thoughtful as he got back to his own and closed the door.

Even though every door in the residence had a security code pad beside it, and they all worked both ways, most only prevented people from entering without permission.  On his way back in, Themba set his door to be locked both ways, which meant that any of his clan members would also be locked out if they tried to enter without the override code (it was just the way the doors worked).  He triggered the alarm for that purpose as much as for ensuring Ben kept his word and stayed in.

He strolled over to Ben and held his hand out, waiting for the youngling to take it before he began walking towards his bedchamber.  "That was rather... dramatic," he observed mildly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 19, 2009, 04:19:45 PM
When Themba left, Ben felt a sense of panic closing in on him.  He was going to be punished for abusing the pet, he was sure.  Along with the panic there was a large sense of guilt also, though not as overwhelming as it would\'ve been had he hurt the guy in the golden tracksuit.  He didn\'t like him, thought he was stupid, but it didn\'t mean he deserved that.
 
He fidgeted, first hugging his legs and then putting his feet back down on the floor as soon as he remembered Themba\'s reaction to his feet on the couch last time.  Shifting position several times, he was alert when Themba entered, though quiet, unsure whether he should apologise up front or just wait and see what happened.
 
He didn\'t expect a hand to be offered him, with a mildly spoken declaration about drama.  Ben was so relieved that he wasn\'t going to be yelled at or punished (not immediately anyway, and he thought if he\'d pissed Themba off he\'d know right away), that he took the hand without pause and breathed a soft puff of air that came out sounding like a humourless laugh.
 
"Yeh," he said shortly, walking with Themba and not saying anything more, the apology he\'d intended was forgotten as he was led into a room with a bed.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 19, 2009, 10:06:15 PM
"Have you... been able to deliver such force... for very long?" the African queried solemnly as they passed through a set of open double doors and into a truly exhorbitant bedchamber.

The bed was an exercise in decadence, set against the right wall upon a half-circle dias that required two steps be taken to mount it.  It was a king-sized, four-posted, canopied extravaganza, swathed in rich reds, burnt oranges and earthy browns, with animal prints to highlight.  Two of Themba\'s childhood spears were crossed on the wall above the bed, looking powerful and sophisticated despite their odd placement, all the autumnal-hued curtains tied to the posts for the time being.

The rest of the room held a smattering of dressers and drawers with two more armchairs and a small end table between them in the centre of the rather cosy space, a data projector suspended unobtrusively from the ceiling, above them.  Normally, he watched television or movies on the wall opposite his bed, so it was necessarily stark white and blank - apart from the doorway on the very left side that led to his bathroom.

For now, the ancient took Ben to the thick carpet surrounding his bed and released his hand, continuing with his disrobing.  "Strip," he added, as an offhanded remark, letting Ben know that he expected him to be naked when they climbed into bed, as he almost was; it wasn\'t his focus, though.  That was held by the remarkable (for a fledgling, anyway) feat he\'d just witnessed in his lounge area.  It only reinforced the notion that he\'d already drawn; Ben was full of good secrets and well worth the trouble he\'d initially been.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 19, 2009, 10:25:51 PM
Ben barely saw the bedroom, but noted the extravagance and wasn\'t surprised by it.  He would\'ve been surprised by a small, modest room.  He was grateful for the size of the bed, for he could get lost within it, and if possible, sleep without contacting the other sleeper with him.

"No."  He wanted to expand on his answer, to tell Themba it was an accident, but he didn\'t want to talk more than necessary, in case it brought up more questions.  Had he had the talent for long?  No.  He hadn\'t even realised he had it at all, until now.

Even after being naked in front of Themba last night, and changing alongside other models before parading about on the catwalk, Ben still felt uncomfortable about removing his clothes.  He swallowed his discomfort though, and shed the rest of his clothing, taking the time to fold everything and place it on the floor in a neat pile, one above the other so it took up less space.  Socks folded and put inside their respective shoes, shoes tucked neatly beside his clothing, the last thing to take off was his underwear, which he did.  With the blood he\'d just drank, it was possible to see a light blush on his cheeks, and he kept his eyes mostly downcast before moving to the side of the bed he supposed was for him, for Themba was monopolising more of the space on the other.

"Can I get in?" he asked, reaching for the covers but still seeking permission.  He lifted his gaze though not his chin, looking up at the Ancient through his lashes and his body tilted slightly in order to subconsciously hide what little of himself he could (which was no hiding at all).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 20, 2009, 06:58:05 AM
"Certainly," the African agreed magnanimously, having already pulled the covers back and reclined statuesquely upon the pile of pillows himself, one arm above his head and the other crooked towards his face.  His left leg was angled so that his knee was towards Ben (for he was laying on the right side of the bed, leaving the left for Ben) and his foot was against his right leg, every bit of his body visible.

He didn\'t doubt that Ben would attempt to crawl in under the covers - and he\'d deliberately not flicked just his side back, to test this theory - but his gaze was watchful in the completely dark room (though there was enough ambient light floating about, from the various electrical appliances he had in his suite, for both vampires to see clearly by).

The fact that Ben was noncommittal about the force he\'d used on the dog had had Themba surveilling his mind, and realising that the ingenue really had no idea about what he\'d done, though there must have been training with Kerr for it to have been so instinctively effective.  There was no point pursuing that line of questioning, however, for the boy knew nothing.  The ancient\'s mind turned to more pressing matters instead.

"Lay with me, boy," he instructed, figuring Ben would understand that he wanted to feel his body against his.  "And tell me what you thought about your first runway show."  Themba was feeling tired now, and melancholy; he just wanted to hear Ben talk for a bit.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 20, 2009, 07:29:42 AM
He got into bed, and as Themba predicted, used the covers to shield himself with.  At the Ancient\'s order, he hesitated, looked over, then shuffled closer.  He would\'ve stopped at not-touching, except Themba shifted to put an arm around him when he was close enough, which prompted Ben to continue shifting so that he was snuggled against the older vampire.  His hand naturally resting atop Themba\'s chest.  He wasn\'t as uncomfortable as he\'d thought he would be, in this position with his captor.  He didn\'t know whether it was because he was now resigned to his fate or because he could adapt well.

"It was over very quickly," Ben said, and elaborated under his own steam.  "It wasn\'t so bad after the first walk down.  I don\'t even remember much except for changing and walking."  He didn\'t comment on the party afterward, for even though getting dragged around on Themba\'s arm was simpler than the catwalk, it had been boring to listen to the conversation about fashion - which he didn\'t care about.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 20, 2009, 04:31:30 PM
He chuckled, deep and low in his chest, making it vibrate slightly beneath Ben\'s hand. His eyes closed and his head lolled towards the blonde\'s, his nose buried in his short hair.
 
"You smell like success," he observed cryptically, though literally he could only smell hair product and makeup. "I think you will be. We may have begun under unfortunate circumstances, but you are going to be very glad you met me," he murmured, wriggling a little lower down and becoming heavier against Ben.
 
It might have seemed odd to the younger vampire that Themba was so tired, but if he\'d known how very hard the ancient had worked that night, monitoring the thoughts and emotions of hundreds of people - sometimes tens of them simultaneously - to know what lines caused the greatest stir, the biggest interest so that his company could approach that dealer to import that line exclusively... well, it wouldn\'t be so surprising. He\'d also done a great deal of mental work at the after party, sashaying about and checking what was making people happy, where their interests lay, gauging their reaction to Ben.
 
Had he known all this, it would likely not have surprised the youngling when the ancient finally succumbed to exhaustion and fell asleep against him.
 
~*~

Themba awoke before the sun had set, his large and ancient body already recuperated from its dizzying workload of the night before. It was something different for him to have someone in bed with him - he very rarely bothered with trysts any more and when he did, it tended to be frantic and momentary, satisfying an errant and unexpected need, so there were never any ramifications like sleepovers. Not for a few centuries, anyway.
 
He was also not the type to want to keep anyone close to him beyond Anu and Li (and Holly to a lesser degree, though she was young and annoying with her silly games and Anu\'s coddling of her often irked him), but he found as he lay there, gazing at Ben, that that was not the case this time. It was odd, but he put it down to the fact that Ben was quite the contrary package. Young but talented, beautiful but distant, defensive yet meek... he was all these things and more, always surprising and never dull.
 
Themba quickly became irritated with most people (except his clan), and kept expecting it to happen with Ben, but so far he was deliciously intriguing, with just the right amount of rebelliousness to cause a spark. The more they flared, the happier felt, in fact, so tonight he was keen to encourage a few more, to see where some of Ben\'s boundaries lay... and if they could be shifted through brute force. He\'d been nothing but nice, so far (which was, frankly, more than the little rat deserved), so it made sense to him to see how Ben reacted if he wasn\'t. If he became a whiner, Themba knew he would definitely lose interest, but he predicted that wouldn\'t be the case.
 
Sensing that the fledge was far from waking, the ancient snuck out of bed and showered, enjoying the hot spray from his shower that removed the last vestiges of his makeup and the cloying scents of so many mortals from the night before. Clean, dry and naked, he then returned to his bed chamber, where he sat upon a mat on the floor near his large blank wall (staring at its whiteness, in fact), striking a meditative pose and closing his eyes to the world. Feeling the sun begin to sink beyond the walls of his protective cocoon, the ancient then concentrated on untethering his mind from the mortal coil of his body, allowing it up, out and away from it.
 
He travelled into the hastening dusk, watching the last glints of light strike the salty waters nearby, hearing the cries of gulls screeching at late-afternoon trawlers returning to port with their daytime catches, and the cries of wharfies waiting to haul the catch in and separate it to be iced for the markets on the morrow. He wheeled like a bird himself, up into the sky to admire the skyline gathering its secrets of shadows and embracing the dying glow of the sun, glinting like a child made fresh by a bath before bed. He skimmed across roads heavily inhabited at this hour, noisy and impatient as the new night hovered, waiting for the rushing businessmen and women to emerge from their work pods and fight their way home to roost in their nests.
 
Ben would find him in his silent, stony position when he awoke, eyeballs flickering behind his closed lids like a sleeper in deep R.E.M. his only movement. Should Ben approach to see what he was doing or get up to walk through the doorway to Themba\'s left, to get into the bathroom, the ancient would begin re-tethering his consciousness to his body, reeling it in slowly so that he could participate in the here and now, with Ben.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 20, 2009, 04:42:17 PM
When Ben awoke and found himself alone in bed, he lay still for a moment before checking around himself, as though Themba might\'ve tried to fool him by climbing into bed on the other side.  A quick look later and he knew he was alone in the king sized bed.  He sat up next, and immediately saw Themba\'s still form.  He could smell the scent of lingering steam from the bathroom, as though a shower had been taken some time ago and it had trailed after Themba (for who else would\'ve showered in this room?) upon returning to the bedroom.

Naked but feeling quite good about the fact the night before hadn\'t led to any unwanted discoveries, Ben shuffled to the edge and then stepped out of bed.  He really wanted a shower, but staring at Themba\'s inert form made him rethink asking for permission.  He tossed the idea of not showering around and figured he might get into trouble either way, so he might as well shower.

Ben headed for the bathroom, finding a still damp towel and the shower spattered with moisture within, not yet dry.  He got the water going to a very warm temperature and stepped into the shower himself, standing in the wonderful pressure of water as it cascaded around him.  With the soap available, he tried to make fast work of his time in here.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 20, 2009, 04:57:58 PM
By the time Ben was under the water, Themba had properly abandoned his spiritual journey and was back to himself.  Lithely, he got to his feet and strolled into the bathroom to greet Ben, slouching against the green marble counter with his arms folded across his chest while he waited.
 
When Ben stepped out of the shower, he would find a dark blue bath sheet levitating before him, still folded, waiting for him to pluck it out of thin air and use it.  "Good morning," the ancient greeted with a smile that only highlighted the devious glint in his dark eyes.  "I hope you slept well, would you like to begin your evening with someone to drink?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 20, 2009, 05:04:07 PM
He was taken aback by the towel hovering in front of him, but he still was sensible enough to take it and dry himself with it before wrapping it around his hips and rolling it in place.

"Morning, thank you," he said quietly in return, in reference to the Ancient having a towel ready for him.  When the suggestion came for someone to drink from, Ben thought of the dog-man from before and thought he\'d go mad if he had to drink from another person like that.  "No, thank you," he refused, then thought he\'d explain his answer while putting in a request for himself all in one (hopefully smooth) go.  "I drink from my next door neighbour once every couple of weeks.  He\'ll probably be knocking on my door in about an hour."  He tried to offer a natural smile to go with his forcedly-casual comment, but it failed and he could feel it fail, so he dropped it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 20, 2009, 05:20:20 PM
Themba raised his eyebrows.  "And you think you\'ll be there to greet him?" he enquired, his light tone implying fascination with such a concept, for he didn\'t see how Ben would be returning to his place for quite some time, not now that he\'d decided he rather liked having him here.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 20, 2009, 06:41:38 PM
Ben considered the tone Themba used, unable to read anything into it and so he plunged forward with his request.

"You let me go home yesterday," he pointed out, "and I came back like I promised."  He wouldn\'t even care if Themba denied him tonight, if only he would promise him tomorrow.  Ben\'s look had changed from his vague subterfuge to one of open hopefulness.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 20, 2009, 09:58:39 PM
"Agreed," Themba nodded slowly, eyes narrowing ruminatively on Ben\'s face.  "So you plan to simply feed from your neighbour and return?  What does it matter if you\'re not there to feed from him, though?" the African pondered, desiring Ben outline what the stakes were (not that he had any intention of relenting, but he was enjoying the animation on the youngling\'s hopeful face.  This neighbour held some importance).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 20, 2009, 10:23:09 PM
"Well, I..." Ben breathed a puff of air that then started him on his mortal breathing habit afterward, without realising.  "He was my first friend here, I don\'t want him to think I skipped on him," Ben said, shrugging.  In reality, it didn\'t matter whether he fed from Daniel or not, but he at least wanted to explain that he might be away for a while (though he wouldn\'t outline the whole truth, he would mention he\'d got a modelling job).

He leant against the corner of the shower, feeling the cold material between his shoulder blades and feigning apathy as he looked at Themba, hoping that the Ancient wouldn\'t push it (or look around in his head at the increasingly heated feeding sessions between him and Daniel).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 21, 2009, 06:26:21 AM
"So call him," the ancient said simply, his broad shoulders lifting in a shrug that caused his arm muscles to bunch attractively.  "Let him know that you\'ll be staying here and not to worry about you."

He deliberately didn\'t give any indication of a time frame he believed Ben would be staying, but another instruction to that end occurred to him as he spoke.  He held his tongue until he got Ben\'s next response though, figuring it would be used soon.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 21, 2009, 06:30:28 AM
Themba\'s plan, unfortunately, had a hole in it, and Ben was embarrassed to have to point it out - though not so much that he kept the information to himself.

"I, uh, don\'t know his number."  He\'d been given it, on a slip of paper, but he\'d never bothered to look at it because he\'d never had to call Daniel.  The mortal was either showing up at his door, or Ben could simply knock on his.

He was worried Themba would think he was lying.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 21, 2009, 06:39:09 AM
Soon... or immediately

"Hrmmm," he murmured, pretending to give this matter some brief thought.  "Well, alright then.  How about I drive you to your apartment, we collect all your things and you explain to your neighbour that you\'re pursuing a new career and the best position for you to be in is with... your manager?"

He smiled winningly, uncertain about whether or not he actually did want Ben here indefinitely - he\'d likely get sick of him soon - but not letting that show.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 21, 2009, 06:52:03 AM
"Collect all my things?" Ben asked, for it hadn\'t ever sounded permanent until just now, with Themba declaring that Ben was to take his personal items back here.  It was supposed to be just a job, right?  He was supposed to pay their inconvenience back by working for them and earning them a lot of money, right?  "I thought I was just working here," he said, frowning.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 21, 2009, 06:56:41 AM
"You\'ve got a lot of appointments coming up - people to meet as well as photo shoots.  Since you\'ll be meeting with mortals, they will only allow the eccentricity of meeting exclusively at night for a short time, with a newcomer, so we will need to arrive as close to sundown as possible, every time.  I won\'t have time to drive across town to pick you up, we\'ll constantly be late or be forced to schedule appointments far later than industry people generally allow.  Once you build up a name and a reputation for being good, you can dictate your session times... but that won\'t happen quickly," Themba pointed out smoothly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 21, 2009, 07:00:56 AM
"I only live a half hour\'s walk away," he said, though it was an hour\'s walk and a half hour run, he knew it would only be a short drive either way.  From the warehouses to his place, it wasn\'t exactly full of traffic.  "It\'ll only take you five or ten minutes to pick me up in a car."

He knew arguing with Themba was the wrong way to go, but this was a topic he didn\'t want to let drop.  Working for the Ancients was very different to living with them.  Now that he knew his life was worth a little something to Themba, he was getting enough courage to talk back (though not with a whine, and certainly not in a tone that would be regarded as hostile).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 21, 2009, 07:10:58 AM
A muscle in Themba\'s cheek twitched as he set his jaw.

"Five or ten minutes to pick you up - except for the fact that peak hour traffic is always in effect, in New York but especially at sundown, when people are wanting to get home.  So let\'s not pussyfoot around the fact that it would actually take me twenty minutes to get to your place on a good run and then we need to account for all the traffic between your place and where our appointment is - and those are always in stupid, trendy, out-of-the-way studios that barely have vehicle access, across bridges and into burroughs that aren\'t listed on a map."

He paused to let the images he was describing sink in to Ben\'s psyche.  "Do you think, therefore, it\'s a good idea for us to schedule every one of your appointments for the next couple of months at eight o\'clock?  You think we\'ll get many people interested when we tell them we should be there by then?" he demanded, his voice twisting with the sarcasm dripping from it.  He was annoyed that he\'d given Ben the opportunity to see things his way graciously, only to have to punch him in the head with logic anyway; the fledgling was too nearsighted for his own good.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 21, 2009, 07:15:34 AM
Another resentful look was earned from the young vampire before Ben dropped his gaze.  He didn\'t argue anymore, figuring what Themba had said was the final word and that there was no answer to give because the question had really been rhetorical.

Daniel hadn\'t really been the issue at hand however.  He\'d just been handy to bring up the subject of going home.  Yesterday, he should\'ve written a note and slipped it under the mortal\'s door before leaving to meet with the Ancients.

There was silence for a long moment and Ben figured - belatedly - that maybe he better fill it.

"Okay.  Whatever."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 21, 2009, 07:20:35 AM
Themba moved so fast it was likely the crack of the flat of his hand slapping Ben\'s face would register in the air before the youngling even noticed he was being approached.  It was not a polite or stage slap, either, it was an angry, powerful blow that might\'ve swung a mortal\'s head so fast it snapped.  He didn\'t stop to think whether Ben would be more resilient, though, he was too angry for that.

"Don\'t you ever use that disrespectful, flippant word with me," he snarled through gritted teeth, looming over Ben and waiting for him to continue making mistakes he would be punished for, or realise that it was wisest to capitulate.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 21, 2009, 07:24:43 AM
"Owwww!" Ben said, though it was more a statement than a cry, cupping his own cheek where the blow had landed and ignoring the fact his head had thumped painfully against the shower door.  Frowning up at Themba and wanting to explain himself, he continued.  "Whatever you want, whatever you want, that\'s all it means," he said quickly, then shrank a little in case Themba was unhappy with the explanation as well.  He hadn\'t meant to be dismissive, and he certainly wouldn\'t use that word again on Themba.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 21, 2009, 07:27:45 AM
The African\'s eyes narrowed.  "Whatever I want, indeed," he sneered.  "Now get dressed, we\'re going to your apartment," he announced and strode out of the bathroom to do exactly that, himself.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 22, 2009, 06:19:01 AM
He unlocked the door to his apartment and let himself in, leaving it open for Themba to follow.  Casting a quick glance over his shoulder to watch the Ancient move inside, he set about getting the things that were the most personal.  His journals, though since they carried years of memories that he felt disconnected to, he\'d begun to resent their existence.  He took them regardless, not wanting to be separated from them or risking them getting into someone else\'s hands.  Some of his clothing was shoved into a suitcase but he didn\'t take too much of it, figuring he\'d be wearing other people\'s clothes more often than not.  When he came across the credit card that he\'d hidden in his underwear drawer, he took it, for even though he couldn\'t see himself using Kerr\'s card voluntarily, he did see it as a means of escaping from Themba and his crew in case the opportunity (and necessity) arose.

The apartment still looked like the personality of the vampire before him - Aziz - though Ben hadn\'t cared enough to change things around.  With two cardboard boxes filled with journals and one medium sized suitcase half-filled with clothing, Ben knew that this was all he had worth to his name.  He didn\'t even have his car anymore, which sent a pang of loss through him.  Moving into the lounge he spied the acoustic guitar that was leaning against a corner, and that would come with him too, if permitted.

He faced Themba now, to ask if he could go tell Daniel he\'d be away for a while, when he heard a knock at his door and knew it was likely the mortal he\'d just been about to mention.  He moved to the door and opened it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 22, 2009, 07:10:33 AM
When he saw Ben, Danny\'s face lit up into a brilliant smile and he moved instinctively closer, a hand reaching out to brush against his chest.  As usual, his heart was going a million miles an hour and excitement was zinging through him, making him a little giddy.  He was wearing loose jeans slung low on his hips, with a few lanyards and a chain dangling from them, battered sneakers (mostly covered by the flared and frayed jeans leg bottoms) and a white T-shirt beneath an orange hoodie, the jacket zipped as far as his sternum.

Tonight just might be the night.  Ben had been letting down his guard increasingly, and Danny was confident that he\'d at least fallen out of love with Tiri, meaning he was more open to something else.  More open to being loved as he deserved to be... by Daniel, who was simply crazy for the vampire (and he figured Ben knew that, because he could read his mind, but he hadn\'t formally stated it out loud yet).  Tonight might be the night they at least slept together.

"Hey," he said huskily, his hand retreating as his body closed the distance between them, figuring Ben would step back after he\'d pressed against him, and they\'d move to the couch together, as they always did.  "Where\'ve you been?  I came by to see you last night to see if you wanted to jam but you must\'ve been up and out real quick!" he chuckled.  He and Ben still had the \'you don\'t ask, I won\'t tell\' thing about how they spent their time apart from one another - because the supernatural side of the couple insisted on that - but he didn\'t figure it was overstepping those bounds when he had this reasoning to give: "I\'ve missed you."

On the couch behind Ben, Themba merely raised his eyebrows.  He was sprawled in the corner as he always did, arms slung along the back and the arm, casually dominating the room in his white business shirt, black slacks and shiny black shoes.  The outpouring of emotion and energy from the mortal at the door was palpable even to him where he sat, so he began to see exactly why this mortal was important to the boy; he was sucking up his devotion as surely as he was drinking up his blood.  Perhaps Ben might insist on access to this mortal after all... that would be interesting indeed.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 22, 2009, 07:45:48 AM
Upon seeing Daniel and feeling that outpouring much like Themba was (though Ben\'s powers were weaker and more muted, his proximity to Daniel as well as being the object of the mortal\'s desire kept no secrets) and listening to the excited pounding of Daniel\'s heart, Ben couldn\'t help but grin back.  The smile faded as he thought about the news he had to tell Daniel (as well as having to introduce Themba) around the same time as the mortal declared he missed him.

"Yeh, well," he said, moving backward naturally to let Daniel in, and not pulling the mortal in after him like he normally did to lead him to the sofa.  Instead, he half turned away while he continued the rest of his sentence, "I\'m not going to be around much \'cause I found myself another job."  He shot Daniel the kind of look that meant he wasn\'t too happy about this new job, but with his \'boss\' in the room, he could hardly mention it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 22, 2009, 11:30:01 AM
Daniel\'s tripping heart faltered and quailed at those horrible words, his expression blatantly shocked and panicked.  "Wh-what?  Why?  I don\'t-" he broke off when he caught sight of Themba and looked dumbly from the imposing African back to Ben.  His immediate thought was that Ben was in trouble with the mafia or something because the huge black man certainly looked the ruthless type.  And it seemed he was squatting there keeping watch over Ben, like somebody\'s heavy ensuring a rabbit wouldn\'t run.
 
Themba smirked, deciding he would quickly interject a bubble into the broth.  "Well, Ben," he said in a jovial manner, smiling handsomely at the youngling, "it\'s not like you won\'t be allowed visitors."  He blinked unassumingly at the blonde, waiting for his introduction and aware that the mortal had looked at him once more, before staring at his beloved, hope rising with every pound of his living heart.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 22, 2009, 01:45:31 PM
Ben was in conflict.  The idea of seeing someone who was truly his friend while being surrounded by those who were truly not, was tempting.  The idea of bringing Daniel\'s pure heart into the den with these lions gave him second thoughts.  Daniel was the kind who had nothing to hide, no secrets to keep, he was himself up front and unashamedly.  People like that didn\'t last long with Themba and crew, he believed.  The best thing to do with that suggestion was to stall it.

"Um, Daniel, this is my manager... Themba,"  He didn\'t stall on the manager part, but he did realise he had no other name to call Themba by instead of his first name.  "He\'s... I\'m, he thinks I\'m going to be good at modelling."  After this sentence, Ben considered that maybe he should\'ve called Themba his agent - but that would\'ve sounded like Themba worked for him instead of the other way around, and that wouldn\'t have been the right impression.  He turned to Themba now, and gave him information he really didn\'t need, just to finish the introduction.  "Daniel\'s my next-door neighbour," he said quickly, then his gaze floated to the mortal in question, feeling a little bit better with him in the room.  Surprising.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 22, 2009, 05:23:43 PM
"Mmm, the one you drink from," Themba agreed, his velvety voice a purr.  His grin widened when the mortal\'s step faltered as he was moving towards the ancient to shake his hand, a blush instantly heating Daniel\'s cheeks as he glanced at Ben and then continued on his way.
 
Themba chose to stand to shake the mortal\'s hand, peering down at him as if he was a newfound curiosity.
 
"Pleased to meet you," Danny mumbled, his throat going suddenly dry as the tall African loomed above him.  Their hands connecting told him that the other was also a vampire, for he was cold... in so many more ways than one.  Daniel was thoroughly intimidated, blushing anew as the black man held onto his hand for a lot longer than was necessary.
 
"Ditto," he agreed in his bass voice, and there might have been a hint of satisfaction or mockery in it as he squeezed the mortal\'s hand before he finally let it go.  Themba laughed out loud as Daniel folded his hands into his armpits and stumbled back to Ben\'s sid, flushing and looking totally disconcerted.  "Why, he\'s delightful!" the ancient announced, glancing at Ben to confirm that this comment was addressed to him, before he looked back at Daniel.  "You really must come and visit us," he insisted grandly, and promptly gave out the address of their warehouse home, leaving the choice of future contact in Daniel\'s hands, rather than Ben\'s.
 
"Er... okay," Danny mumbled, his desperate brain latching onto the address and mapping out how far away it was (an hour\'s walk - easy!  Ben wouldn\'t be too far away after all!) even as he gazed sheepishly at Ben.  It felt... illicit to be invited to go and see Ben by someone other than Ben - especially when Daniel knew him to be so particular and rigid about their relationship - but he was awfully glad he knew the address all the same.
 
The way he looked at the vampire he was in love with, though, bespoke a hesitation.  He was still waitingf or permission from his master.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 22, 2009, 08:36:21 PM
Ben watched the pair of them shake hands and had nothing to say when he was addressed by Themba and then joined by Daniel.  Ben picked up Daniel\'s cue immediately and answered to it with a short nod, while also prompting for more.  "I should have your phone number too, do you mind writing it down again?"  He moved to the topmost cardboard box he\'d brought through and lifted the flap to pull out the journal that sat on top - a 200 page exercise book with a soft cover that he flipped back so he could write on the inside of the cover itself, once he searched for and found a pen.

He still felt conflicted about having Daniel coming over to the warehouse and maybe seeing and interacting with the pet-animal-people, or being shoved and poked at by Li, or being manipulated by Themba.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 22, 2009, 10:30:36 PM
"That\'s fine," Daniel agreed, lowering his hands from his defensive position and following after Ben instinctively.

"I\'ll wait downstairs while you... finalise everything," Themba murmured, deciding it would be interesting to see what would happen if he now removed himself from the situation... a long lost hug?  Weeping confessions from Ben?  Tearful clinging from Daniel?  All was possible, he decided, watching the young vampire\'s mind as he picked up the suitcase and headed out of the apartment.

"It was nice meeting you," Daniel called after the dark vampire, receiving only a flick of his hand as acknowledgment.  The mortal then turned to Ben wide-eyed.  "Wow, he seems tough," he said, sounding awed.  "How\'d you hook up with him?" he breathed, lifting his hand to write in Ben\'s journal but realising he had no pen and looking from the book (with a frown) to Ben for some help in that department.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 23, 2009, 06:41:42 AM
Ben had said nothing when Themba left, but was relieved when he did.  The relief was soon gone when Daniel asked him a question he didn\'t know how to answer.  He handed Daniel the pen he\'d found while his mind hunted for something to say.  He settled on a half-truth.

"I, uh, I changed my feeding spot to be further away from here, and found myself near these warehouse offices where the streets are quieter but there\'s still people going home late from work.  I didn\'t realise Themba and his... um, family, lived near there.  They\'re really territorial."

He skipped the whole money thing, because it didn\'t matter if Daniel didn\'t know that part.  He watched as Daniel\'s phone number was written down and then lifted his gaze to stare at the mortal, struggling to determine how he felt about him.  It was hard to focus on one emotion that seemed right.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 23, 2009, 06:55:51 AM
"So now you\'re going to be a model?" Daniel asked, his voice undulating with uncertainty as he held the pen back out towards Ben.  He was almost smiling, because he was happy for the vampire - and he certainly believed he was beautiful enough to be a model - but also feeling bereft and panicked at the thought that Ben was leaving (the packing box was hateful and he didn\'t want to acknowledge it).  There was an element of skepticism in his voice because he was finding it hard to accept everything when it felt like it was moving so quickly... out of his control.

"And you won\'t be coming back here to live... at all?" he finished softly, looking at Ben with soft, heartbroken eyes that didn\'t hide the pain he was feeling.  It was bad enough that he\'d been living a stupid lie, dating and seeing other people just so he wouldn\'t go insane from sitting and thinking constantly about Ben, writing songs of love and longing that he daren\'t sing to anyone, waiting for the night when he\'d be told he didn\'t have to pursue distractions any more, they could trial being together.  He\'d thought tonight would be that night but, instead, everything was just slipping farther away from him and Ben was going to live with an insanely hot black vampire that seemed to have Superman\'s laser vision for all the energy coming from the way he looked at people.  Dangerous.

He felt like crying but was doing his best to hold it in check while Ben was still here.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 23, 2009, 07:03:24 AM
"I don\'t know," Ben said, frowning now that he was thinking about it.  Why would Themba let him keep this place, if he wasn\'t allowed to come back to it?  Rent was paid up all the way to the end of next month, which seemed a waste.  "I\'d prefer to live here and just go to work, but because of this modelling thing, I have to go to photo shoots and meet people as close to sundown as I can, and Themba says living here would make it impossible."

He could hear the annoyance in his own voice, and feel the helplessness in his heart.  He offered Daniel more information, wanting to keep their connection as stong as he could, because Daniel was his only tie to being free.

"I\'d rather stay here, live here, not do that stupid job and keep doing what I want, but I pissed Themba off and he says I owe him and I can\'t fucking argue with him."  The more Ben thought about it, the angrier he got, so he shook his head and looked at Daniel again, to see if he would receive the compassion he was looking for.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 23, 2009, 07:13:31 AM
"I don\'t want you to go," Daniel confessed in a voice that was barely above a whisper.  The emotions inside him were choking him as he looked at Ben, his eyes clouding with unshed tears, his head shaking as if it could negate that this was happening.

In an effort not to bawl and embarrass himself, he stepped forward and embraced Ben, squeezing his eyes shut to force the most prominent tears out and onto Ben\'s shoulder as he rested his forehead upon it.  "I wish I was enough for you," he added thickly, thinking that if the vampire were older or he was able to eat better, his blood would come back faster and Ben would be able to sustain himself on his blood alone.

Then he never would\'ve gone into someone\'s stupid territory and pissed them off to the point where he now had to leave.

The thought had him lifting his head, the crests of his cheeks a little damp but no tears falling.  "Will you drink from me?  Before you go?"  It was hardly going to be the foreplay he\'d rather been hoping tonight\'s feeding would be- and maybe it would be better if Ben told him no, because he wanted him to visit him at his new place, where they would have more time for such things - but it would be a decent way to say goodbye.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 23, 2009, 07:23:22 AM
Ben held Daniel tightly.  He\'d wanted to be missed, he\'d wanted to be needed, and here was Daniel giving him all of that.  He didn\'t know what he felt for the mortal, beyond friendship, there was certainly something more there, but he wasn\'t in love with him, he knew that much.  Daniel filled a hole in him, made him feel like he meant something to someone, and that was worthy of something extra from Ben\'s heart, right?  There was no doubt Daniel had strong feelings for him, and Ben felt like he should be ashamed for not returning them, but he also didn\'t want to give Daniel up.

"Yes," he said, because drinking from Daniel seemed like a great idea.  "I\'d like to."  He pulled away just enough so he could turn, keeping an arm around Daniel\'s waist and walking with him to the sofa.  Now that it felt more like a goodbye than a see you later (even though he knew Daniel would visit because he had the address), once he sat, pulling Daniel beside him, he turned and did something he\'d not planned on, and hadn\'t yet done with his mortal neighbour.  He kissed him, properly, passionately, as though he\'d wanted to do it all along.  Once he got going into the kiss, he stopped analysing why, and simply enjoyed it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 23, 2009, 07:32:50 AM
The amount of times Daniel had dragged himself back to his apartment, tormented by the absolutely infinitesimal distance between his lips and Ben\'s... the times he\'d imagined overstepping his bounds and closing the distance himself... the amount of times he\'d thought about how fucking easy it would be to just turn his head with Ben at his throat and they would connect... all clamoured in his head quite suddenly.

Then he realised that he needed to shove denial away quick-smart and focus on the fact that he was getting what he\'d always wanted; a kiss, a cue, a sign, an encouragement!  Breathlessly, he returned it, doing his best to not be too sloppy or enthusiastic, but molding himself to Ben as best he could, attempting to work himself into a position where he was beneath the vampire, and laying along the couch, signalling his complete submission.  His hands travelled beyond Ben\'s shoulders but he only dared caress his sides, for he\'d not received any other encouragement and he didn\'t want it to stop here.

He thought he just might implode and die if it stopped here.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 23, 2009, 10:29:48 AM
Ben followed Daniel\'s position, accomodating him enough so that he was beneath him with Ben laying atop, their legs mingled.  His elbow was propped between the couch\'s back and Daniel\'s head, allowing his hand to rest atop Daniel\'s head, fingers gripping and teasing in his hair, while his other hand tugged at Daniel\'s jacket.
 
He continued kissing him, knowing it wouldn\'t go any further, what with Themba waiting for him downstairs (or nearby) and likely mentally checking on what the pair of them were up to.  Ben had mentioned before they\'d got here that he intended to drink from Daniel (not in so many words perhaps, but it had been implied by his comment that he did drink from him on a regular basis), so that was what he was going to do and that would be all.  Why he was carrying on with Daniel now was beyond him, but a voice in his head
 
because you want him pining for you
you don\'t want to be forgotten
you like that he\'s hot for you
even if you don\'t feel that way for him
 
was pestering him.  Making a soft noise into the kiss and then shifting his head in a direction where Daniel\'s lips couldn\'t follow, he then made his way for Daniel\'s neck, only vaguely conscious that he was grinding his hips against Daniel\'s.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 23, 2009, 04:31:50 PM
When Ben\'s mouth moved away from his, Daniel finally decided that breathing was necessary and gasped a groan as the vampire moved towards his throat.  He tilted his head to allow Ben all the access he wanted, closing his eyes and trying his damndest to get himself under control - to no avail, of course.

The moment his neck was pierced, he was well and truly lost.  His panting attained the substance it always did at these times, and he began singing wantonly to the back of the couch.  His hands - formerly so timid - roamed over Ben\'s back, squeezing and kneading, attempting to sneak beneath his clothes and touch the cool, smooth flesh of the vampire (which was about as far as he\'d previously got with Ben, during a feeding).

Had he been able to think just then, he\'d have been surprised at his own ability to ignore the external factors that should\'ve been influencing his decisions; there was an enormous and imposing black man waiting for Ben to heel to him and he didn\'t seem the type that would like being kept waiting, for a start.  He would never opt to rush this, for a second.  Yet there he lay, relishing the feeling of Ben grinding against him, pressing his own eager hardness back in unstable little thrusts, panting and moaning like a whore and wanting nothing more than to be fucked immediately.

It was terrible.  It was glorious.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 23, 2009, 04:40:18 PM
Ben drank, more than he should\'ve perhaps, for he took over a pint from Daniel.  It was harder to tell when Daniel was this worked up how much he should take because his beating heart was strong and pumping blood into Ben\'s mouth so quickly that all he could to make it last longer was to cover the wound with his mouth and let it seep in of its own accord, though his tongue would press forward and swipe.
 
Daniel\'s worked up groans were highlighting a more primal instinct in Ben, as a predator; perhaps this was another reason why he drank more than usual.  Not so much that the mortal wouldn\'t be able to walk, but once he closed off the wound, he kept pushing his hips forward and back, ignoring the fact the beast within him was slaked.  He knew he\'d have to call it off, because Daniel wouldn\'t, but he figured it would be unfair to cut it short just after he\'d drunk.  Daniel had been patient, he\'d known, and it was easy to take small steps towards a goal the mortal had been hanging out for and Ben had to work up to, because there was just no... magnetism.
 
"I should really take off, he won\'t wait much longer," Ben said, but contradicted himself by kissing Daniel some more, if only to stave off any protests.  It was a very planned move, but it worked well.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 23, 2009, 04:48:59 PM
Daniel groaned a protesting, "Noooo, please!" but it was swallowed by Ben\'s kiss and he was fine with that, settling for whimpering into his mouth instead.  Eventually, when he needed to breathe once more (an annoying habit, he\'d decided), he broke the kiss reluctantly, gulping in some air and speaking in between pressing smaller kisses to Ben\'s lips.

"Can\'t you go down and tell him you\'ll be back later?" he begged, his eyes pleading with Ben to see reason even as his body did its best to signal that it had absolutely capitulated to the vampire\'s whim.  "Just... stay the night with me, just one night!" he said hurriedly, sounding like a drug addict attempting to explain away his habit, clinging to Ben like he would be able to stop him from leaving by sheer force.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 23, 2009, 04:52:33 PM
"He\'s not someone I can negotiate with," Ben said wryly, both annoyed with and pleased by the reaction he was getting from Daniel.  "You\'ll visit though, right?" he prompted, almost ensuring that the mortal would come running whenever Ben wanted, whenever he was allowed to have Daniel over, and hopefully the fact Ben wasn\'t leaving the warehouse would appease Themba enough into allowing him his single visitor.  It wasn\'t like Ben was going to have any other friends visit, seeing as he had none.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 23, 2009, 05:02:18 PM
It began to sink in to Daniel\'s mind that it didn\'t really matter how desperately he wanted and needed Ben, it wasn\'t going to happen - but he believed that the vampire had gone beyond the call of obligation and given him far more attention than was warranted, simply because he also wanted them to advance.  The very fact that he asked Daniel to visit him in such a way was confirmation of that.  He would just have to be happy with these beautiful, heartstopping moments of frenzied lust and drinking for a while longer... it seemed that the time for them to consummate their passion was looming closer every night.

"Yes," he answered quickly, knowing he would go there every night, if he could (yet understanding that that wasn\'t practical).  "In... two weeks?" he queried, horrified by the thought that he wouldn\'t even get to spend time with Ben, just hanging out and playing their guitars and watching movies and laughing and wrestling.  His best friend was moving away.  "Or sooner?" he cut in hopefully, silently begging Ben (with a very obvious \'Please say sooner, please say sooner\' rattling around in his head that he wasn\'t focussing on) to say that he wouldn\'t be able to wait another two weeks to see him, that the drinking wasn\'t everything, to him - seeing Danny was!
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 23, 2009, 06:09:01 PM
"If I\'m allowed to call you sooner, I will," Ben grinned, at the back of his mind knowing that not only was he keeping Daniel for whatever night he wanted him, but in case he didn\'t feel like hanging out he could always blame Themba.  Right now, at this moment, he knew he\'d miss his friend, that he would love to have Daniel with him instead of the dark, brooding Ancient.

Talking about having Daniel over to visit seemed to end this make-out session tidily, and he crawled off the mortal, sideways so he could place his feet on the floor beside the couch to stand and then straighten his clothing.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 23, 2009, 10:57:04 PM
Daniel gazed adoringly at Ben, feeling dazed because of their close encounter as much as the blood loss - though when he realised Ben intended to leave imminently and he hastened to get up and follow, it was the blood loss that had him sitting back down because his head had spun, from trying to stand up too quickly.

After a few moments of sitting there (and taking this attempt a lot more slowly), he managed to gain his feet, tugging halfheartedly at his clothes because he didn\'t care who saw a crooked jumper and a tent in his pants on the short walk back to his apartment; all that mattered was that Ben was going and he was going to have to adjust to life without him.

He watched the vampire\'s smile as he sent it his way, before moving about and finalising all his stuff.  When he picked up his guitar, Daniel began to softly cry, knowing it was final, feeling it like murder.  He rushed up to Ben and gave him one more lingering kiss (which was rather difficult, beyond the box), telling him again that he would miss him while his eyes said so much more.  He walked the vampire as far as the top of the stairs before it was too much - he didn\'t want to walk down and hear him say he was going and surrender his apartment - then he rushed into his place and threw himself onto his bed to cry.

Themba was waiting in the car, one arm extended over the steering wheel, with his elbow locked.  The machine was idling as he waited for his young protegé to exit the building, not needing to keep tabs on the heartfelt scene to know what had happened.  When Ben deposited his gear onto the back seat and then slid into the passenger seat, he pulled away smoothly from the kerb, glancing in his mirrors as he went.

"You reek of him," the ancient rumbled flippantly, not making eye contact with the fledge.  "Did you fuck?"  He asked the question as mildly as if he\'d just asked the time.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 23, 2009, 11:29:47 PM
The question caught Ben off guard and he shot an angry stare at Themba before he reeled it in, staring back out front while he answered.

"No," he said, the finality of the tone sincere yet defensive.  "I drank from him."

He didn\'t want Themba talking to him about Daniel, tainting the mortal somehow.  Daniel\'s idolising of Ben had become purer to the young vampire the more time had gone on; less like a groupie who\'d fuck any vampire and more emotionally attached to Ben himself.  It had become personal, and something Ben had got used to, eventually finding he wanted it to continue (learning such a thing tonight, for instance).

"What am I supposed to be doing tonight?" he asked, wanting the topic to move away from Daniel (and how he smelled of him) and to something that could remain professionally distant.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 24, 2009, 12:33:18 AM
"Tonight?" Themba queried lightly, as if he was having trouble focussing on such an insignificant thing.  "Tonight... you are supposed to be getting to know me better - especially since you are obviously bereft without your friend.  I will fill the void for you... at least until he acquires the courage to come to us.  Oh, and we\'ll find places for all your things," he added nonchalantly.  He anticipated that tonight really would be the last night they had some free time that wasn\'t taken up with an agent or a photographer or a journalist.

There was a dismissive flick of the ancient\'s hand as he said all this, as if it were the least of his worries.  It was.  He was far more intrigued by Ben and his attachment to a mortal - well, if \'attached\' was the correct word for the calculating and dominant regard in which Themba had witnessed Ben holding Daniel.  He had waited most of the couples\' time together out in the stairwell, freely watching Ben\'s thoughts (he projected so well, and he was so caught up in the moment that Themba hadn\'t had to work very hard at all to mask his interference).

It was a layer of the very prudish Ben he hadn\'t anticipated; one of sexual manipulation.  He didn\'t really care for Daniel as such, but he cared how much the mortal cared for him; Themba wondered how it would be if the shoe was on the other foot and although he wasn\'t necessarily a fan of sex, he\'d just confirmed that it was a huge lever in Ben\'s life.  He would see how far he could get without triggering the young vampire\'s understanding that he was toying with him as surely as Ben had toyed with Daniel (not that he was, by any means, interested in championing the mortal\'s cause).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 24, 2009, 07:21:03 AM
Getting to know Themba better wasn\'t something that Ben particularly wanted to do.  He knew what the Ancient really meant; that he would be spending the entire night with him, forced to talk about whatever Themba wanted to talk about, and likely getting into trouble if the answers weren\'t as clear or as extensive as what Themba was looking for.

Because the Ancient had answered Ben\'s question without any of his own in return, he saw fit to stare quietly out of the window, taking advantage of whatever time to his own thoughts that he had.

He wondered what \'places\' Themba would find for all his things - perhaps shoved in the back of some closet.  He wouldn\'t care if that was what happened to his journals (after putting Daniel\'s number somewhere), but he wanted his guitar out and accessible.  With all the time he\'d spent with Daniel before meeting Themba, the lessons he\'d received from the mortal, as well as all the practise he\'d had, he was getting to be quite good.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 24, 2009, 10:03:08 PM
Themba didn\'t press the conversation as he drove them back to his home, and he was silent as he helped Ben carry his things upstairs and into his living quarters.  As it turned out, the two doors set discreetly into the wall either side of Themba\'s bed dais led to an enormous walk-through closet such as those commonly seen in movies - where the person is so rich they have backlit, glass-lidded cases standing freely down the centre aisle to hold their jewellery, mirrors everywhere to admire themselves in and automated clothing racks that rotated when a button was pressed.

Ben was given an entire section and told that more clothes would be purchased for him - plus, he\'d possibly get to keep some of the things he modelled, if he was a good boy - as the ancient overlooked the meagre offerings Ben was hanging amongst his exquisite wardrobe.  While Ben was attending to his clothes, Themba also chose to meticulously replace his and pull on a simple pair of jeans over his sapphire blue briefs.  They hung low on him, his hipbones and the muscles leading to his groin prominent as he walked Ben out to the living area to address the matter of his journals.

Against the wall between his bedchamber and living room, there was a library set up.  It consisted of three enormous floor to ceiling bookcases that spanned the length of the wall, with a huge roll-top desk against the side wall.  An expansive Persian rug delineated the rectangular area, the floor space it covered mostly taken up by a long table that could have straight from the city\'s main library.  It had three desk lamps - all extinguished at this time - set into its centre, all able to swung to face either side of the desk.  What differentiated this private study area from its public brethren, however, were the six very plush high-back armchairs set along its length.  There were three on each side, all upholstered in red velvet with ornately carved, clawed arms and legs (though most of the arms were padded and covered, so only the very end was dark wood).  They could have doubled as some long-forgotten regent\'s thrones.

Themba led Ben to this table, which was quite close behind the sprawling lounge they\'d sat upon the night before (that was closer to the door than the centre of the generous space, and the library was at the rear of it).  "There is room on the shelves for your journals," he told Ben, gesturing before he bent low and pointed beneath the study table.  "Or there are cupboards built in under this table, or in the base of the desk - wherever you prefer."  He listened to Ben\'s answer about where he\'d put them and began to help him unpack them.

"Have you read these since you woke up in the sand, with your memory missing?" he enquired, fairly certain Ben hadn\'t but asking as a prelude to what he really wanted to know.  He wanted to know if he would be permitted to read them, and that would likely be the next question out of his mouth, depending on Ben\'s response.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 25, 2009, 06:42:10 AM
Ben chose to put his journals in the cupboard beneath the table, and when the question about whether he\'d read them was asked, he chose not to go for a straightforward yes or no, but rather one that was closer to the truth.

"A little of it, but Kerr summarised everything that happened one night."  He\'d been typing his journals into the computer, and had got through the one where most of it had been about Declan.  Judging by what he\'d written, the vampire that had cut into him had half-tortured half-promised him for four months that at the end he\'d be sired.  There were many, many paragraphs about wishing Kerr would come to save him, knowing the other vampire couldn\'t fight against the Oligarch, and pining for him anyway.  It seemed the promise of Kerr and the promise of siring had been the two things giving him hope.  The situation with Declan sounded far worse than his situation now with Themba, but because he couldn\'t remember Declan, so far Themba was his true captor and master manipulator.

When Themba asked if he could read Ben\'s journals, a frown appeared on Ben\'s face and he said the first (and only) answer that came to mind, not thinking forward enough that he might anger the Ancient with his response.

"No," he said firmly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 25, 2009, 12:45:26 PM
Themba\'s eyes narrowed and he folded his arms across his chest.  His lips twisted to the side as he gnawed on the inside of his cheek, pondering Ben\'s flat refusal.  When he spoke, his voice was sibilant; drawn out and mocking, like a cat might talk while it was propositioning a mouse.

"Why not?  If you haven\'t read them yet, you\'re obviously not interested in what\'s in them, so what harm could there be in me reading them?  I won\'t tell you what I read, if you prefer it that way, I just... " he trailed off with a shrug, "want to know the parts of you that aren\'t here anymore."

The part that lived with a sire and how that went... that\'s the part I need to know about.  Let me see, little rat... show me the whole so that I might better understand the shadow.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 25, 2009, 04:20:30 PM
"I\'m not a different person," Ben said, angry at Themba because he was angry at Kerr for expecting him to be someone he wasn\'t - especially when he hadn\'t changed.  "There\'s nothing missing, it\'s all here," he said, gesturing at himself with both hands sweeping from his shoulder down to his thighs and hands fanning out to represent all the way down to the floor at his feet.  "If you want to read my journals, I can\'t stop you, but you asked, and I\'m saying no."

He glared back at Themba, his arms crossed, testing his boundaries  over a point that mattered to him.  Why should Themba know secrets about him that he\'d kept from himself?  Why should Themba know his private thoughts of the past when he couldn\'t even respect the private thoughts of the present?  He didn\'t deserve to know Ben\'s memory gap.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 25, 2009, 10:05:27 PM
"But you haven\'t told me why," Themba pressed, his voice still a worm undulating between them, his gaze riveted on Ben\'s eyes and the anger that had flared in them.  Something about the rawness of the fledgling\'s emotions was exciting to the ancient; it was like... the more he needled and the more indignant Ben got, the more interesting he found the whole situation.

This was just another instance of him prodding at what seemed to be something festering and oh, it was delicious.  "What harm could there be in me reading them?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 26, 2009, 01:26:23 AM
Ben stared at the Ancient, hating him for pushing it, for not merely accepting Ben\'s response as final, for being like the child that perpetually asks why from their parents about the colour of the sky, or the reason behind using money.  Such things simply was.

"Fine.  You can read my journals, except for the past three years," Ben said, knowing that the journals contained nothing except research on vampires, his thoughts and theories about vampires, his first interaction with Kerr regarding the story told to him and what it had been like being drunk from.  For some reason, since Declan, Ben had started using his journals like a diary, writing down things that had happened to him, his thoughts and fears, and it wasn\'t the kind of thing Ben had ever expected himself to do.  What had been really strange was reading journals that he couldn\'t remember writing but sounded like him.  It had detached him from them.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 26, 2009, 05:39:36 AM
Themba pouted slightly as he approached Ben then, reaching up to cup the youngling\'s face in his large, dark hand.  He paused momentarily, admiring the way his flesh looked upon the pale skin of the other, gazing at the contours and shadows created between his hand and Ben\'s cheek.  It was... shadow on light, evil on goodness, experience on purity and his pout disappeared in a sensual smile as he looked back into Ben\'s eyes.

"But those three years are when I want to know you.  I want to know you in love... and devoted," he whispered, his eyes telling a more expansive story of wanting to know Ben without his defenses, his silly, prudish rules - wanting to know him when his spirit was free and so was his mind.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 26, 2009, 06:53:43 AM
With his face lifted and staring at Themba, sad that he would have to hear another argument, he waited before the next statement came, and was surprised by Themba\'s reasoning.

"I\'ve been in love before," he said quietly, though each time had been a disaster for he\'d loved and the other had drifted away or cheated or never felt the same.  He\'d not mentioned them in the journals however, so his argument was moot, but it wasn\'t unnecessary.  He\'d been in love before, he would be in love again, he just had to wait it out.

He was getting to the stage of giving up.  He could feel Themba wearing him down.  Just a few choice words here and there, not a full blown argument (or he would\'ve dug his heels in harder), and he would tell Themba that the journals were his to read.  He was getting tired of saying no over something he didn\'t even know what he was hiding.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 26, 2009, 07:15:51 AM
The ancient feigned innocence, lifting his eyebrows and fluttering his eyelashes.  "Oh?  But you are so young!" he exclaimed, wondering what \'in love\' felt like and wondering if it was anything like what he felt for Anu.

"Are you in love with your pet, Daniel?" he asked silkily, knowing the truth and wondering if Ben\'s lagging emotions would flare again simply because he would know the game Themba was playing at.  "He loves you."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 26, 2009, 07:30:06 AM
Themba landed on the right topic to get a rise out of Ben, who jerked his face out of the Ancient\'s grip (or at least he attempted to), and glared at him.

"Leave him alone," he said, not answering the question but knowing the truth behind it and guessing that Themba had figured it out.  "I don\'t want him to be a part of this... setup," he said, struggling to find the appropriate word.  Daniel hadn\'t stolen any money, he hadn\'t invaded their space, and he\'d done nothing wrong to deserve the attention Themba had given him - inviting him here by supplying him the address in order to confront him with the freakshow that was this place.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 26, 2009, 06:44:48 PM
Themba allowed the youngling to pull away and narrowed his eyes at him, lips pursed thoughtfully.  "I think that is a lie," he said after a few moments of staring.  "You want him to be close, you want to have some comfort nearby, because you still fear us.  It is not difficult to understand your motives... " he mused, his gaze running down Ben\'s length before he looked back again.

His tone was lighter yet somehow more sinister as he continued.  "But I think you need to learn to find comfort where you are, without relying on anyone but me.  I think we could comfort one another, don\'t you?" he hinted, laying a hand upon Ben\'s shoulder, his thumb unerringly stroking his collar bone softly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 26, 2009, 09:12:59 PM
Being told what he really wanted (and knowing it was more honest than what he\'d said), irked Ben a great deal.  He wanted to pout, to glare, to argue or fight back somehow without feeling like a tantruming child.  There was no way he could think how to, so he simply stared back instead, blanking his expression.  Blanked until Themba reached forward and touched him, the meaning of his words not lost on Ben, who was still feeling rebellious.

"No," he said steadily, "I don\'t believe I can be comforted by you."

He resisted the urge to pull away, to flinch or to react in any way other than what he\'d said.  He wondered if Themba would disregard his words and insist they progress their negotiation to include sex.  He knew he\'d give in, he hated himself for it, and every time he argued the point he could gain a little more self-respect.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 26, 2009, 10:47:30 PM
The ancient made a little noise deep down in his throat - a grunt of acknowledgment, perhaps, or one of dismissal.  He then stepped around Ben (the side not bordered by the reading table, naturally), to stand close behind him with his body directly touching the youngling\'s.  His hand switched to the opposite shoulder, where he squeezed lightly in a massage, his thumb now scraping the nape that he leaned forward and kissed - on the way to pressing his lips to the back of Ben\'s ear.

"And what about me, hmm?  What if I am comforted by you... and I feel you should be happy to oblige me?  What then... Ben?" he hissed into the blonde\'s ear.  He thought that the little rat would likely count himself lucky if he was pressured into servicing Themba; not to mention righteous in his superiority.  But how elevated would he feel if it became an act that was demanded of him every night?  Would he find himself so smug always being the benefactor and never the \'comforted\'?

Themba bet he would, and he intended to find exactly that out.  Also, to be continually amused by the pun \'Ben-e-factor\' (but to keep it to himself).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 27, 2009, 05:25:38 AM
A chill travelled along his spine at the touch upon his nape, and his eyelids fluttered closed while Themba delivered his message.  When he opened them again, he was staring, unseeing, at the floor.

He was too scared to say no.  God, he hated himself for his cowardly streak, that he was even relieved that Themba would prefer to use him this way than to be violent.  He knew he would heal, but he hated pain, and sex was preferable to being smacked around.  He still remembered the argument Themba had used on him the first night they\'d talked - when Ben had challenged not being a whore because he hadn\'t offered himself by way of apology first up, and Themba had asked him if offering sex in return for survival was whoring and Ben had to admit it wasn\'t.  Would Themba take his life?  He didn\'t think so anymore, but would the Ancient pummel him for being rejected?  Ben didn\'t want to find out, but he thought it was in the African to do so.  There was something in his eyes that Ben couldn\'t trust - a kind of detachment in the way he looked at Ben, like he was an experiment, or a new toy.

"You think I can be happy about it?" he asked quietly.  His words were still challenging but he was losing his passion in the argument, knowing Themba would press him and press him, and he was walking the fine line between keeping his self-respect and angering the Ancient with his refusals.  This wasn\'t a refusal of the act so much as the emotion that was asked to go with it.  Even Ben knew he was halfway to agreeing.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 27, 2009, 06:32:19 AM
Themba chuckled nastily, his mood switching from cool to simmering as the young vampire challenged him.  He wasn\'t provoked like this in his regular life, everything was smooth business deals they all worked hard to secure, or mild bumps of annoyance at Holly or Li for something, but never this antagonism and ready mood swing.  In some ways, it was invigorating having the rat around to spark off, for it made him feel when he wasn\'t used to it.

"Oh, I doubt it," he murmured, his hands dropping to Ben\'s hips so that he could swivel him to face him - it wasn\'t done gently, but with a snatching motion that likely caused Ben\'s head to spin a little.  "You don\'t allow yourself much pleasure in your life, no fun, no experimentation... but you do love to wallow in what is right and care about how the invisible people in the world will perceive you," he sneered, obviously not approving of Ben\'s high moral standards.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 27, 2009, 06:39:35 AM
When he was spun, he found himself looking at Themba with shock registering on his face.  How easily he\'d been maneouvred, like a rag doll.  He hadn\'t even had time to think about resisting, let alone doing so.  Themba was superior in all ways, this was obvious in the way he\'d been manhandled.  There was a flare of hatred he felt at that - at being controlled like a puppet, at being manipulated with both words and touch.  He squashed it as best he could, but it didn\'t go entirely.

Facing Themba\'s words, he wanted to argue, to spit and fight, to pull away and contradict the other\'s words.  What was this shit about invisible people?  He hated his personality being boxed and packaged into a tidy little sum.  He was more complicated than that, most people were, but here was Themba telling him about the person he was after three fucking nights.

screw you fuck you hate you want to leave want to run want to

"Invisible people?" he asked calmly, shushing his thoughts for fear of being heard.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 27, 2009, 06:54:20 AM
The anger now moved from simmering to bubbling as he was battered by the young one\'s emotions (they travelled via his thoughts, but there was intonation and such passion behind them that the ancient easily felt more - he\'d been open to reading people for almost two millenia now, a childe up in his face and burning was not a challenge to read).

He smiled.  "Well, who else is it that judges you, for you to worry so much about your actions?  It cannot simply be you, for your own sake, surely?  Would it not be invisible people, then, who you worry about impressing so much that you ignore your sire\'s money in order to travel to my home and poach from it instead?"  the question was mild, his eyebrows raised as if the prompts were sprung from elemental reasoning, but his eyes were darkening with every passing moment, knowing he was antagonising the young vampire back, and relishing it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 27, 2009, 07:26:03 AM
Waving Kerr in his face was waving a red flag to a bull and he reacted in much the same way - charging ahead without any thought, his eyes narrowing at the implication that he was out to impress nobody in particular.

"It is for me.  I want to get by my own way, even if it means making bad decisions.  It\'s my life, my choice, my own standards for me."  After fuming at Themba during this outburst he caught himself, knowing that he\'d been pushed into giving this reaction but unsure as to why Themba had wanted it.  To create a situation where punishment was the obvious path to travel?  What kind of punishment then?  So that Ben would be willing to please him?  To pacify his anger with a blowjob?  What did Themba want from making him angry?  Why had he fallen for it so quickly and easily?  Was he so uncontrolled that he couldn\'t remain calm?  He\'d been going quite well until now.  He\'d ruined his stoic facade.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 27, 2009, 10:40:47 PM
"Your standards are only good as far as you need them to be, and then they can be justified away," Themba argued, lifting his right hand before Ben\'s face, cupped towards the floor until he made flicking motions with his fingers, so that they gave the impression of a butterfly flittering away whimsically.

"Fly, fly!  Off they will go when you can concoct a reason for your ludicrous actions," the ancient taunted, in a voice that was too high and strained with emotion to sound as light and airy as he wanted it to (and that annoyed him).  As soon as his mockery had registered however, he lowered his hand and pouted thoughtfully at Ben, his voice back to its usual deep, rich tones as he dropped what was likely to be the grandest prod yet.

"I do not approve of your standards.  I find them to be weak-willed, if not outright hypocritical," he declared condescendingly, his nose lifting a little into the air.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 27, 2009, 10:46:24 PM
Themba touched on another word that grated on Ben\'s nerves, though this time he held his emotions in check and waited until the anger passed before repeating the word back at him.

"Hypocritical?"

He said it in a way that almost made him sound bored with the argument, but he wasn\'t bored, rather he was intensely interested in how he could be a hypocrite for not wanting to sleep around.

He watched Themba closely, paying more mind to his words than perhaps he should\'ve.  Regardless of how Ben felt about the Ancient on a personal level, he did respect his opinion (much like he respected the opinion of any stranger - in the \'invisible people\' way that Themba had described and Ben had hotly denied, lying to himself).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 27, 2009, 10:54:40 PM
"Yes!" Themba agreed ostentatiously, his head tilting back and moving side to side consideringly.  "You are your own man, your own source of pure modesty until you decide you need money, or you\'re hedged into a corner that you don\'t wish to escape from morally - for that all goes out the window, depending on the extenuating circumstances, doesn\'t it, Ben?" he demanded, peering at the blonde much like a giant looking at a bug might.

"As long as there is no easier choice, you will turn from your beliefs and do things you normally never would, because you have the safety of simply following orders, don\'t you?  And that magically makes everything alright!  But you... (in my opinion) hypocritical," he said in a stage whisper, the drama of his performance showing that he was used to such gregarious conversations.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 27, 2009, 11:00:49 PM
Ben glared back at him, surprised that Themba\'s argument had gone in this direction, as well as insulted.

"So if I sleep with you, it\'ll  prove you right, that I\'m a hypocrite," Ben pointed out, "but you told me if I didn\'t please you or argued with you, I\'d be in a much greater danger.  Either way I\'m a whore, or a hypocrite, or both."

Ben licked his lips, thrumming with anxiety of showing his courage now, at a point where Themba sounded the most dangerous, the most sinster (and that was saying a lot, because he\'d intimidated Ben from the start, and hadn\'t stopped doing so).

"Do you want me to do as I\'m told, or not?" he demanded finally, not liking the way things weren\'t straight forward.  Either Themba would make him sleep with him or he wouldn\'t.  Either he would work as a model, or he wouldn\'t.  Either he would escape this mad house, or he wouldn\'t.  He wanted to know where his place was.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 28, 2009, 06:31:47 AM
At his primary outburst, Themba\'s upper lip lifted in a sneer of derision and disdain.  "Labels," he spat, "truthfully, I have no time for them - everyone, even you, is a chameleon and although actions may be labelled, beings should not be.  Worry not about such trivialities," he said firmly, resisting the urge to wrap his hand around Ben\'s throat while he spoke to him.  It was an odd notion, but still it lingered and the ancient could only marvel at the fact that he would feel so much more comfortable talking with Ben in such a pose.

When Ben responded to him with a puling question, Themba added a snort to his sneer.  "What a stupid question, childe!" he exploded, his hands moving to press flat upon the younger vampire\'s chest - it might have been a lover\'s move, caressing pectoral muscles, were it not for the fiery glint in his eye and the urge he had to slide his hands up... and around... the boy\'s neck.  "Do as you will, there will be consequences either way, but have the strength of your convictions," he pressed in his urgent, hissing voice, only to pause suddenly and watch, as if fascinated, as his right hand led the way upward and curled around the side of Ben\'s neck, getting a good, firm hold on it.

His gaze lifted slowly to the striking youngling\'s then and he sounded almost dizzy as he spoke.  "And know... that when you compromise one of your standards, it is not because you were forced to, but because you chose to... because you chose the consequence you preferred and that there is power in that, too."  Without warning, the ancient\'s head then tilted and thrust forward.  His lips latched onto Ben\'s throat and his fangs sank into a vein; he started to draw on him, intending to drink Daniel\'s contribution - his comfort and the bloodlust in Ben satiated - out of the youngling, to bring him closer to the ravening beast all young, underfed vampires could be.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 28, 2009, 06:50:43 AM
Again, that hold around his neck, remembered from the first night they\'d met and just as uncomfortable as it had been then.  He knew he\'d piss Themba off, and he half suspected the Ancient had wanted it that way, but to be chastised for what little he\'d said?  It seemed no matter his opinion, it was unworthy or disappointing, so why did Themba want to suffer him?  It made more sense to be sent on his way and only to come in to work.  He knew that wouldn\'t be happening.

He was about to ask a question, something along the lines of \'what do you want from me then?\' when the Ancient made his move.  It shocked Ben at first so that he didn\'t struggle when the bite pierced his neck, but afterwards, as he felt his blood being taken from him (and it was nothing like being drunk from as a mortal) he struggled against the Ancient - futily, of course, but he didn\'t stop fighting.  He was locked neatly in place, so that the most he could do was beat at or shove with his hands, kick with his legs and feet, but his torso and head couldn\'t change position at all, and that was all Themba needed to take from him.

He could feel himself entering panic, fearful of being drained.  The African\'s temper was difficult to guage because he quietly got angry, but there was no mistaking the actions of one who had lost it.  Ben struggled as violently as he could, though he might as well be a moth batting against a glass cage for all the progress he was making.  Themba would drink as much as he wanted, and no less.

He could feel his entire body crying out in loss, reaching out for whatever strength and energy there was around him, not realising he was actually calling his sire with their blood-bond, a survival instinct in all fledglings who expect they were facing imminent death.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 28, 2009, 07:14:25 AM
Themba pulled away once he sensed Ben\'s panic levels had risen to the point where he was sending out unconscious signals, understanding from past experience that they would go directly to the youngling\'s sire.  Anger burst through him (even though it was his own fault for not informing Ben what he was doing) and he shook the boy by the neck, aware that a small amount of blood had trickled from his neck before it healed.

"You stupid idiot!" he hissed, his nose  pressing onto Ben\'s as he shoved their faces together angrily.  "What did you go and do that for?!  I\'m not going to kill you - I can\'t kill you by draining you when you\'re not mortal, you imbecile!  I was merely taking Daniel\'s blood so that you might take it from me!" he roared, which was the truth... but he avoided saying that he hadn\'t intended there to be a return of the blood immediately, he\'d wanted to see how Ben would react when he was reduced to base instinct and if he\'d accept one of Holly\'s pets again - to prove his point.

None of that mattered now, it was all  blown out of the water!  As much as Themba was curious to meet the boy\'s sire and see the two of them interacting, he didn\'t want someone older (and who knew how old he would be?) than Ben coming to New York to intrude on his and the rat\'s arrangement.  He\'d underestimated the fledge\'s idiocy and strength, perhaps, but he was also angry at himself for being somewhat shortsighted.  He flung Ben away from him with an exclamation of disgust and pivotted on the spot, pacing away to make a decision.  It only took him a few steps, for the blood helped, even when he hadn\'t needed it.

He spun back to face Ben, folding his arms imposingly across his naked chest.  "Unless you want Kerr coming here to rescue you, I suggest you call him," he said icily, looking pointedly at the phone sitting on the end table near the lounge suite.  Another handset was on his bedside set of drawers in the bedroom.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 28, 2009, 07:25:57 AM
He was relieved when Themba removed his mouth from around his neck, but his brain wasn\'t catching up with the Ancient\'s words, for he hadn\'t actively called his sire so he didn\'t know why Themba was so angry (and thought it was connected to the anger that had caused the darker vampire to drink from him).

Being told that he\'d been intended to drink blood back from Themba had him fearful once more.  He didn\'t want to be connected to the Ancient that way, and he figured drinking from him - even a little - would be an overpowering bond because of Themba\'s sheer age.  He would\'ve been excited as a mortal, to be given the opportunity to drink from an Ancient, but he was already a vampire, and he didn\'t want anything to do with the one in front of him.

When he was thrown backward he stumbled, finding purchase in the closest item of furniture to stop himself from landing on the carpet and being further humiliated.  He\'d only just righted himself when Themba spun on him and provided the clue to his previous words.  Kerr.

Instead of asking what Themba meant about being rescued, he figured it out himself, taking only a short moment to do so.  Why would Kerr come to rescue him?  How could he even know?  Ben must\'ve called for his sire through their bond while he\'d been drunk from, there was no other reason for Themba to think Kerr would come here.  He didn\'t remember doing it, but he\'d been scared, so he might\'ve just done it.  Obviously this was what had pissed the Ancient off enough to stop drinking from him.  Good, then.

"Yeh, I\'ll call him," he said, his emotions numb while he recovered from the incident that had just occurred between them.  He turned his head this way and that to spot a phone because he didn\'t have one on him, and felt the blood trickle on his neck.  He reached up to touch it and then looked at it on his fingers.  Without thought, he put them into his mouth to clean them.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 28, 2009, 04:28:14 PM
The ancient hastened to retrieve the handset when the dazed blonde stood there doing nothing - the way he looked around so vaguely only enraged Themba, for he knew Ben was not that stupid, so he must have been playing at it!  In a blink, he was before the youngling, holding the telephone out to him.
 
"Take it, fool," he seethed, every word its own melodious utterance of fury.  When Ben did take the handset, he would quickly find himself moving across the room, backhanded by the angry giant into the empty space that was the walkway from the lounge area, past the library and towards his bedroom doors.  If Ben held his feet, he might well travel all the way into the corner, where a complicated (and vaguely reminiscent of two human bodies enterwtined in lovemaking) copper statue stood, but the blow was significant and he would more likely be sent sprawling.
 
Either way, Themba\'s instruction would be the same.  "Call him now, childe, before he begins arranging flights!" he would bark, before marching himself to the lounge suite to sit and fume, expecting to listen in on the whole conversation.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 28, 2009, 05:12:02 PM
Ben was slow to take the handset, still in shock from being drunk from while his thoughts were still trying to assemble themselves into an order he could understand.  Themba might have been furious at him for playing dumb, but Ben\'s vagueness was very real, until he could recover.  Recovery would be slow, if not for the smack upon his face, sending him flying backwards and landing roughly on his back and elbows on the floor.  Somehow the phone remained on his hand, but the hit was like a cold splash of water to his senses, bringing him around immediately and assessing his situation with the kind of speedy logic he always reserved.

Themba\'s obvious desire to not have Kerr involved was mentally filed away by Ben for future reference.  He didn\'t want his sire here as much as Themba didn\'t want him here, but it could be handy to have Kerr up his sleeve like an ace card hidden in plain sight.  With his cheek still feeling like it was on fire, he dialled the number from memory while he found his feet, and then put it up to his ear in order to listen to it ring.  He shouldered the wall near the statue, his gaze finding Themba in order to see where his threat lay.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 28, 2009, 05:28:02 PM
When it seemed Ben was going to stay put in the corner, Themba swivelled against the appropriate end of the couch and watched him coldly over its back, saying nothing more and hearing the tinny sound of the phone line vibrating.
 
Kerr answered his mobile on the fourth ring, having stared at the word \'Private\' written on the screen and trying to process everything that was happening for the first three.  All he could think about was Ben; he was alone in his office, getting ready to go down for work when the distress call had trembled through him.  At first, he hadn\'t known what was happening to him, but instinct had kicked in and a vision of Ben had come to him.  He\'d been debating calling Jenna, pondering how fast his jet could be fuelled for a cross-country flight, whether it would be too late, why he felt like he was being killed all over again... when the intensity of the moment passed and he was left in the deadness of a silent room.
 
Then came the ringing phone, not two minutes later.  "Hello, Kerr speaking," he answered, his tone brusque in its business-like manner.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 28, 2009, 05:38:11 PM
The sound of his voice over the phone was different, but it gave Ben pause anyway.  He\'d had very strong feelings for Kerr at the start, when they\'d talked and he\'d allowed the vampire to drink from him, when they\'d started meeting up, the roller coaster of emotions when he\'d heard all about Mandy, then the trial and then... that weird out-of-body experience when looking at Jack, and Kerr acting very differently around him, telling him that they were lovers and Ben had been running around for three years, and in that time he\'d been sired.

"Um, hi.  It\'s Ben."  He\'d expected to say this casually, like he was just ringing up to say hello, everything was fine, but his voice was shaking, betraying his emotions.  Themba had affected him deeply, and it was obvious in his actions, reactions and words.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 28, 2009, 05:52:30 PM
Kerr gripped the wrist holding the mobile phone with his free hand, his dead heart leaping up to lodge in his throat as the fear welled in him anew.  "Ben!  My God!  Are you alright?  I was just... God, do you need me? I\'m on my way!" he babbled, his words tumbling over one another in his eagerness to get them out.
 
He wasn\'t thinking very straight, the desire to get to his fledgling tantamount, his emotions raw and bleeding even though they\'d been so tidy up until now.  He stood even as he spoke, moving as promised, to get to Ben.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 28, 2009, 06:17:55 PM
Listening to the raw emotion in Kerr\'s voice wrenched his emotions, for it was both wonderful and horrifying.  Was it ridiculous to think that he could feel what Kerr was feeling through the blood bond?  Surely such a thing was ridiculous at these distances.  Perhaps it was more so because he remembered the way they\'d begun; with his meeting the vampire at Risk and allowing him to drink from him, the stories Kerr shared about his life and revealing what vampires could and couldn\'t do, the disheartened way he\'d felt when hearing about Mandy, the trial and then... the strange out of body experience he\'d felt every time he\'d lain eyes on Jack, being told that he\'d been running around for three years and had become Kerr\'s lover, who in that time had sired him.  All that hadn\'t felt as real as the first six days they\'d met.

His gaze found Themba, looking ready to pounce on him in case the wrong thing came out of his mouth.  With his stare fixed on the Ancient, Ben answered.

"No, you don\'t have to.  I\'m fine, I just... I thought I was in danger, but... I\'m okay now.  I thought I better call you and um, let you know you don\'t need to come."

don\'t need to
save me
see me


He swallowed dryly, feeling a lump of fear still in his throat, hearing his voice still shaky, obviously letting Kerr know that whatever he\'d experienced, it was still affecting him.  Likely it was because he was still staring at Themba, who looked every part like the predator he was.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 28, 2009, 06:55:43 PM
Kerr frowned, making a thoughtful, hesitant noise as Ben\'s words registered... but the emotions between them were still inexplicably strong.  And wrong.  He sat down slowly in his office chair, thinking and wondering if Ben was under some kind of duress (part of his mind was also yabbering at him that he shouldn\'t be caring this much) and couldn\'t speak.

"Okay," he said, hearing how skeptical he sounded.  It was cautious inasmuch as he was willing to be convinced but he didn\'t seem to think it would come easily.  "What happened?  I\'ve... I\'ve never felt anything like that before.  I... " he gave a sheepish and intimate laugh, "it scared the shit out of me.  I worry about you enough as it is without... that happening."

He still wasn\'t sure what it had been, only that it had been terrifying.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 28, 2009, 07:37:03 PM
"I, um, I panicked."  He shook his head, though of course Kerr wouldn\'t see it over the phone.  He lowered his eyes to the floor, so he wouldn\'t have to look at Themba anymore, and could feel himself calming a little more already.

He hadn\'t had time to think up a likely story, so left it at that for a moment, listening to the silence on the other end that belonged to Kerr, and spoke just as he heard Kerr take in breath to say (or ask) something else.

"I guess I must\'ve sent out a help call, without knowing.  I thought I was going to, uh, die.  You know, mortal worries."  He forced a chuckle.  "I\'m still not used to the whole vampire thing," he said, lying at the end, though his sentences were coming out smoother and a great deal less shakier.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 28, 2009, 09:22:54 PM
Kerr was also conscious of the silence stretching between them, in the wake of Ben speaking and the lee of him thinking.  He found it comforting, though he hadn\'t expected to... hadn\'t suspected that any contact with his progeny, no matter how incidental or minor, would be so... reassuring.

"Why would you think you were going to die?" the Irishman asked softly and, hearing the words in the otherwise silent room (or perhaps through his monitoring of Ben\'s thoughts), Themba stiffened perceptibly, sitting up a little straighter, knowing it would register in Ben\'s peripheral vision.

The last thing he wanted was some sort of confession that would have the cavalry travelling into town (even if it a sedate pace, rather than a storming one).  At the very least, he had financial committments looming that Ben would honour; who knew how this Kerr would react to those?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 28, 2009, 09:31:16 PM
"Because-" he paused when he caught the movement from Themba, even though he\'d started to respond right away.  He continued without the silence extending, however, speaking without putting too much thought into what he was saying - dancing in half-truths and lying outright in order to protect himself (and possibly Kerr) from the Ancient who was watching him now, with the interest of a panther.  "I was bleeding.  I cut myself really badly and lost a lot of blood really fast, and it didn\'t look like I was healing.  I felt like... I was being drained, and I... I got scared.  It\'s dumb, it was a stupid reaction, I... sorry.  I\'m fine now, all healed."

He stared at Themba, watching him for his approval, hoping Kerr would accept his words, even if he didn\'t believe him.

Please, he mentally begged, please believe me, I\'m okay now, please don\'t interfere.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 28, 2009, 09:47:14 PM
Ben was fairly convincing - and Kerr certainly detected distance returning to his voice as if, as he realised who he was on the phone to, he began to regret calling.  It was enough to tell him that there wasn\'t anything deceptive going on, that Ben really had done something stupid (something he seemed embarrassed by, and really didn\'t want to talk about) and was calming down.

It seemed that he only deserved a call from his fledgling when the moment was desperate and potentially fatal.  That was not reassuring.

"Okay," he eventually said, hoping he didn\'t sound hurt, or pathetic - though he couldn\'t resist one little plea.  "I\'ll leave it tonight but... it would be nice to hear from you every now and then.  To know you\'re okay.  Charge your phone once in a while, would you?  I miss you."

Fuck

He hadn\'t meant to get sentimental - Ben didn\'t want that from him, never had, unless it was on his own terms.  He\'d meant to say \'I miss talking to you\', not... that.  "G\'night," he murmured, not wanting to hear Ben lecture him on how he needed space and independence.  He\'d been stupid enough to allow his feelings through (feelings he hadn\'t really known were there, admittedly - not until this highly unusual situation had reared its head) without having salt rubbed into the wound.  He closed his phone with a muted snap and sat in his quiet office, suddenly fighting back tears.

Back in New York, Themba was watching Ben closely, trying to interpret his reactions through narrowed eyes.  When he hung up on this end, the ancient would pounce - with words.  "How old is your sire?" he demanded.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 05:37:15 AM
Ben listened to Kerr accept his words and then to tell him he missed him.  He was still thinking about how to answer the phone charging statement when Kerr hung up on his end.  Obviously the question had been more of a statement, considering his sire hadn\'t waited for an answer, even after he\'d said good night to him.

Ben hung up the phone and then looked up at Themba when the question of Kerr\'s age came up.  That question wasn\'t rhetorical, and Ben answered Themba as quickly as possible.

"About four hundred," he said.  He\'d always thought that was old, until now, in Themba\'s presence, feeling age like a physical oppression.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 06:00:15 AM
Themba visibly relaxed at this news, smiling contentedly.  Four hundred?  He could eat four hundred for breakfast and look for seconds (and this thought amused him no end).  He tilted his head and observed Ben, his expression shifting from smug to thoughtful again.

"Come over here and tell me how you feel about lying to your sire," he ordered, nodding at the lounge beside him because his head was the most visible part of his body, from across the room.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 06:06:14 AM
Instead of arguing, Ben walked over to where Themba was, sitting beside him as instructed, and had an answer on his lips the minute he sat.

"I don\'t like lying at all.  I don\'t like liars," he said, letting the Ancient beside him know that it wasn\'t just because he\'d lied to his sire that he felt badly about, but the fact he\'d spoken untruths in general.  Themba had forced him to lie, however, because in order to not have Kerr come to New York and save him, he could hardly tell him that another, much older vampire, had drunk from him without warning, leading him to believe he\'d be drained and weakened.  He hadn\'t known it wouldn\'t kill him, but it was logical he supposed.  He didn\'t know what would happen if Themba drained him entirely, but he knew he didn\'t want to drink a single drop from the Ancient.  Hopefully that idea had been put aside and out of the way by now.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 06:18:52 AM
"Well, you won\'t have to do it again," Themba promised in his dark, rich voice, knowing it to be the truth.  Even if there was another mishap, he would be content to let Kerr come to New York to rescue his sweetheart; he was only four centuries old.  Even Holly was older than him, and Themba considered her a child.

"Now, come here," he ordered, patting his chest and laying back a little more.  Because he was sideways on the couch, he had his right leg curled; now he stretched it out behind Ben and slouched against the cushions behind him, so that the youngling could move himself into the lee of his legs and rest upon his torso.  "You and I need to finish what we started."

It amazed him how the anger had leaked out of him when everything unfurled in a frenzy of panic; he\'d found pleasure in hitting before, but usually when he\'d been wronged somehow.  Ben hadn\'t wronged him, per se, he\'d just been an obstinate child who angered him, but the result had been the same.  Hearing him lie to his sire - especially now that he knew the boy hated it - had been the icing on the proverbial, making him want to lick his lips.

He was beginning to see that it was the passion of it all that was getting him excited; he\'d not run into opposition like Ben in... shit, maybe ever?  As a mortal he\'d been a giant among men, a king\'s son, never challenged and always accommodated.  As a vampire, he\'d begun his existence travelling everywhere and intimidating with his sheer size, his colour, his animal magnetism.  No-one had ever gone against him, and Ben\'s very presence here had begun as a slight against his living area, his business and his family.  From before they\'d even met, he and Ben were at odds and the fact that the boy kept standing up to him and up to him was thrilling in its foreignness.  Perhaps he was baiting Ben, but Themba was relishing every reaction.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 06:32:43 AM
Ben looked over at Themba when he patted his chest.  Wounded pride in his gaze as his thoughts initially moved down the path of refusal.

don\'t want to
not to drink from you
not to be connected with you
don\'t want to


He shifted position, scooting closer to Themba\'s groin and between his legs, twisting so that he would be lying chest to chest when he rested atop the Ancient.  There was no sense refusing this, because he couldn\'t stop the older vampire from drinking from him, though he could certainly control who he drank from, however weakened he was (he hoped that he would be mentally together enough to, at least).

He moved forward, sliding up Themba\'s torso because he was shorter than the African, aware of how intimate this was and feeling self-conscious about it, but pressing on anyway.  When his neck was at Themba\'s shoulder level, he stopped, wriggling just the once to get himself comfortable, feeling every part of Themba\'s body.  If he\'d had enough blood in him, he would\'ve blushed, but the Ancient had taken from him already so that there was barely any colour on his cheeks.  With his eyes closed and his chin resting atop Themba\'s shoulder, he invited the Ancient to do what he wanted.

"Go ahead," he whispered, hoping his compliance would pacify Themba enough to not take too much from him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 06:48:58 AM
This time, Themba was far more gentle, getting himself settled before he bit.  He lifted the leg that had been on the floor and curled it over the back of Ben\'s, his other leg arching so that there was the sense of him cradling the youngling in the groove of his hips, clenched lightly between his thighs.  It was lovelier than he\'d expected and his arms wrapped around the boy too, his hands caressing his back as he leaned down and kissed his white throat with soft pecks.

When he sank his fangs in, it was gentle and deliberate (though he still resented that he had to work so hard to draw the blood out of the boy).  He drank until he was certain that he\'d got nearly all of what Daniel had given to Ben, then he pulled back and lapped at the throat he\'d pierced, enjoying the way it closed beneath his tongue.  "Now drink from me," he whispered, tilting his head so that Ben would only have to turn his and he could bite.  His voice was a croon, showing that he was quickly falling into the sensuality of the moment.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 06:59:31 AM
Being drunk from this time wasn\'t anywhere as bad as the first, but it wasn\'t great.  The feeling of it was nothing like when he\'d been mortal.  The bite was painful, but that had disappeared at least, but he could feel Themba drawing blood out of him.  The closest it got to pleasure was a tingling sensation in his fingertips, like pins and needles to a degree, and even that wasn\'t nice enough to counteract the idea of being drunk from.

When Themba stopped and Ben healed, relieved that the Ancient hadn\'t drunk as much as Ben had expected, that relief disappeared at Themba\'s order.

"No," Ben whispered, knowing he was risking another temper flare, but what he was asking was beyond what Ben was willing to do.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 07:08:30 AM
Themba frowned and turned his head back towards Ben; they were practically eye to eye in this position, though the ancient leaned away slightly, so that he could see all of the younger vampire\'s expression.  He didn\'t bother asking a stupid question such as, \'Why?\', he simply looked inside Ben\'s head, seeing that the fledge really didn\'t want to be connected to him.  Fool.

He made an impatient noise that was a mixture of a growl and an exhalation of disgust.  "Don\'t be stupid," he sneered, "for an intelligent boy, you\'re an ignorant little fledgling.  You won\'t be connected to me - not for any great length of time, anyway.  That is not the benefit I\'m aiming for, here.  Hell, you\'re so easy to read, I don\'t need blood to be connected to you," he explained, his tone pompous and dripping with condescension.

"This is for you, you silly little fool - and certainly not something I make a habit of!  Taking your blood back from me will strengthen you, will invigorate you, will energise you.  Your senses will become sharper, your abilities enhanced; it\'ll be like a drug hit for a mortal, making you stronger, better.  Just do it," he snapped, and leaned his head away again.  Unconsciously, his grip on Ben\'s lower back had got firmer.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 07:18:44 AM
Despite what he\'d been told, he still didn\'t want to.  It seemed horribly intimate, to feed from Themba, more than sex would be.  He might be better, faster, stronger, but he preferred the way he was.  He didn\'t think Themba would lie to him about it, his tone certainly sounded like it wouldn\'t be a long term consequence, but Ben was determined not to take the Ancient\'s blood.

Not wanting to anger Themba with another flat refusal, he reached up to gently lay his hand on the Ancient\'s face (on the side he couldn\'t see), his palm on Themba\'s chin with fingers gently brushing his cheek, and tried to have the other face him.  He half expected to be resisted against, but Themba complied and he found himself looking into the other\'s dark and predatory eyes.

He leaned in, not to bite, but to lay his lips upon Themba\'s.  Kissing him was a preferred interaction to drinking from him.  He\'d felt the hold on him tighten just before, and he used it to shift a little more heavily against the vampire below him, rubbing his groin not so accidently against Themba\'s.  He realised that this could lead him into another kind of request, but he was prepared to give in a little on this avenue to save himself from travelling down the path of another.  Whether Themba began to kiss him back immediately or not, Ben\'s tongue came out to gently lap at the Ancient\'s lips, requesting entry.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 09:19:22 AM
The ancient didn\'t react initially - apart from his eyes narrowing.  Anger over the fact that he was being wilfully disobeyed was rising in him, the build faster now, because it was a path so recently travelled (and because he was enjoying the enlivening sensation of it, frankly).  Yet again, Ben wouldn\'t do as he was instructed... except...
 
Except this time he\'s initiating sex instead of complying
 
The thought halted the surging anger instantly and he blinked at Ben, opening his lips slowly and beginning to kiss the young vampire, his eyes still open and focussed on the blonde with a frown.  He was kissing him - and rubbing against him, as if he sexually desired Themba, when the ancient knew it wasn\'t true.  He was, in fact, subtly propositioning him, using sex to dissuade him from becoming angry and hitting him, because he was staunch in his refusal of feeding from him.
 
Was it because he was determined to maintain a bond with his own sire?  Themba thought so, though he doubted Ben knew that such a thing motivated him.  He would likely believe himself superior, for not yielding to teh temptation of ancient blood, because he wished to remain pure... yet he\'d offer his body as compensation?  The boy who threw around words like \'whore\' and \'slut\' (and teamed them with \'groupie\' in his mind, instinctively, for the flashes of such beings appeared in his thoughts, when he said the words) was justifying his own prostration by valuing it over drinking from an ancient?
 
Interesting.  Very interesting.  Deciding he would see how far the boy would take it (and resisting the urge to say the word that would infuriate the boy - slut - because even though he was interested in seeing how that would go, he could do it afterwards with greater impact), Themba settled into the kiss and closed his eyes, his hands working their way onto Ben\'s ass, before one slid up and tried to make its way under his shirt.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 11:15:42 AM
He felt the non-responsive reaction rather than seeing it, his own eyes closing because he hadn\'t wanted to look at the Ancient he was kissing so passionately.  His attempt to enter Themba\'s mouth made progress, however, and soon enough he was being reacted to.  It seemed Themba was willing to forget the drinking if this was in its place - hopefully the forgetting would hold, and Ben wouldn\'t be asked to drink from him when this ended.
 
He could feel Themba\'s hands on him, moving about his body, on his ass, sliding up the flesh of his back, causing him to softly sigh into the kiss in spite of his not wishing to make such noises.  When he was doing this, it was all or nothing, he couldn\'t practise restraint when he was using his tongue and rolling his hips back and forth - not really grinding so much as brushing, though it wouldn\'t be hard for Themba to press him harder into himself considering where his hand already was, which would have Ben rubbing quite forcefully against him, because he wouldn\'t stop that action.
 
It wasn\'t so bad, he reasoned, kissing Themba.  It was certainly better than being hit by him.  The sensations were pleasant enough, and the Ancient demonstrated he was rather masterful with his tongue when it met Ben\'s in his mouth.  Ben\'s hand had moved further up Themba\'s face to mostly hold his neck, his thumb playing at the lobe of the Ancient\'s ear, flicking it back and forth in time with the kiss itself.  He wasn\'t going to start pulling off clothing, or advancing them beyond this makeout session, and he didn\'t know how he\'d react if Themba started them on that route.  Right now he wasn\'t thinking ahead much at all.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 11:24:38 AM
Advancing sexually with someone who hadn\'t had anything intimate in many years was a game Themba knew Ben didn\'t know he was playing - but that was his own stupid fault, in the ancient\'s opinion - and it was a dangerous one.  Especially when it started him being aroused... but then seemed to plateau into the same actions repeated over and over again.
 
There was only so much kissing he could stand, for he wasn\'t a fan of employing lips for this simple act, and when it continued on and on, he got sick of it and pulled away.  "Just where are you going with this?" he demanded tersely of the youngling, glaring down at him.  The nudging and the soft touches were lovely and had his body tingling pleasantly, but he was damned if he was going to be dissuaded from forcing the boy to drink from him by some drawn-out kiss.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 11:40:48 AM
Pulling away had Ben\'s eyes opening, and he looked at Themba with confusion for a moment before he frowned and realised he had to bite the bullet.  Themba hadn\'t been the only one of the two beginning to feel arousal, and Ben was somewhat horrified at his own body\'s betrayal.
 
"I just don\'t want to drink from you," he said plainly, figuring there was nothing more he could do unless he literally advanced their kissing and groping into full-blown sex, and he wasn\'t so determined to pacify Themba as to do something like that.  Hopefully what he\'d done was enough, because he really didn\'t want to know what lengths he would go to in order to dissuade Themba if he was insistent.  The would enter a negotiation, perhaps.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 01:26:54 PM
"Well what are you willing to do, if you\'re slapping away my offer like it is a burden?" the ancient continued bluntly, wanting Ben to state it, wanting him to begin with words and follow through with actions.  He\'d been generous, damn him, to offer the little rat his own blood - offering him enhancement.  If he was being refused such unwarranted generosity, he wanted to know what he was going to get to compensate for the insult.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 01:37:56 PM
A very strong visual of himself on his knees before Themba on the couch came to him, and he snapped it shut and locked it away, hoping the Ancient hadn\'t got a flash of that visual - for it had been the first thing Ben had thought about offering.
 
"I thought drinking your blood was supposed to be for my benefit," he said, remembering the argument Themba had made, and feeling a little secure now that he was lying on top of the Ancient, hoping his blood had pacified the surly African.  "Why are you so angry I don\'t want it?"
 
He hadn\'t answered Themba\'s question, and he knew it, but he hoped that his own statement and following question would distract the Ancient away from that path.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 03:07:25 PM
Themba pulled a face at him that gave the impression he felt he was communicating with a very daft child.  "You insult me, tell me you want nothing to do with my generosity and then you have the umbrage to argue the point?" he declared, his voice lifting an octave in order to express the full limit of his incredulity.
 
"Childe, you would test the patience of a martyr - and I am no fucking martyr!" he growled, not usually one to swear but finding it was included with delightful impact just now.  "Tell me how you shall appease my offense!"  His voice was far too loud, considering their proximity, but he was definitely moving away from tingling and hopeful to mutinously angry and he couldn\'t curb his volume.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 03:34:06 PM
Themba was getting angry, and Ben was getting scared, but he wasn\'t going to shy away from this. Now, more than ever, he wanted to refuse the Ancient\'s blood, even if that meant a high cost. Because of the imagery beforehand, and knowing that if Themba didn\'t hear something he liked soon, they\'d be going backward rapidly. He\'d mostly placated Themba with his kissing and grinding, he\'d known that, he\'d felt that, and now that was already gone, with one simple argument.
 
"I\'ll put my mouth around you until you cum," he said evenly. It wasn\'t the kind of language he used, finding such things shocking normally, but he wanted the Ancient to understand this was a serious offer, and about as far as he wanted to willingly go.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 05:23:13 PM
Admittedly, it wasn\'t language he\'d expected from Ben and he did blink at the crassness of it but managed to keep his mouth shut before he blurted anything untoward out.  He thought the offer over, wondering if the blonde could see the trap he was laying for himself (and becoming indignant yet again that the idiot would be so opposed to taking him into his system, that he\'d demean himself in a manner he\'d openly declared abhorrent) but deciding it didn\'t matter.
 
It was not his concern to question such an offer, though he would not be lax in coming back at the boy afterwards.  He had some concerns that he might be so unused to the process of fellatio that it would take an extra long time for him to climax but, again, the thought that swiftly followed was that that was not his concern to nurture.
 
"Alright," he agreed and slipped his hands off Ben\'s back, intending to undo his jeans and remove his pants once the youngling moved.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 05:35:46 PM
It was a bitter-sweet victory.  He\'d half-expected Themba to decline his offer, to taunt him with it, to make Ben feel small and unworthy before he start harrassing him to drink again.  When the agreement came, he remained as he was for a moment, letting the short, favourable word sink into his consciousness before he shuffled backwards and off the Ancient, in order to watch him unclasp himself.
 
Looking away momentarily, he figured he should slide off the couch and onto his knees like he\'d envisioned in that short graphic flash that had encapsulated his mind, but it depended greatly on the positioning that Themba took.  If he stayed on the couch, sprawled as he was, Ben would have to lie down between his legs.  It wasn\'t the kind of puzzle he wanted to think about for long, so just watched the Ancient, waiting for him to get settled before he got started.  A sad, dirty feeling stole over him, mingling with numbness that couldn\'t quite reach all of his emotions.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 06:51:23 PM
As it happened, Themba did stay reclining on the couch, lifting his hips to remove his pants in one go and dropping them onto the floor negligently before he settled back into place, watching Ben with glittering eyes.  There was certainly a... blockage about he boy now, a deadness in his gaze and a lack of thought through his usually-buzzing mind that was abnormal.

The ancient had no sympathy.  He relaxed gradually as the youngling\'s mouth worked on him and was surprised at how enjoyable it was - not to mention fast.  He couldn\'t remember having anyone as skilled as Ben (then again, he couldn\'t distinctly remember anyone, so that wasn\'t saying much) and he was quickly drawn into the boy\'s generosity, sucking in breath that he released in slow murmurs of appreciation, wrapping his fingers around his head and relishing the up and down motions of it.

By the time he reached his peak, his hips were thrusting, his own head was thrashing slowly from side to side (thrown back, with his eyes closed) and he had a firm grip on Ben\'s hair.  He uttered a guttural, appreciative, "Yesssss," as he pulsed pleasantly into the young vampire\'s mouth, taking a few moments as the feelings subsided (too quickly, unfortunately) to wallow in it.

Whether Ben decided he wanted to swallow or spit in this time was irrelevant, for his hands didn\'t let go of the boy\'s head.  When he\'d had his time of repletion and the glow was fading, he then lifted his head and looked down at the one who\'d brought him this pleasure, tipping Ben\'s face so that they made eye contact.  Themba smiled smugly.  "And you say you\'re not a slut," he gloated.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 07:23:24 PM
Usually his jaw would ache after doing what he\'d done with Themba, so there was something to be said for vampire healing - apparently they worked on muscles as well as outright injuries.  Bens swallowed instinctively for he had no choice, and once he pulled back, forced to look up Themba\'s body at the Ancient, he expected to be given a compliment, only to be insulted.
 
His gaze shuttered as he fought off revealing the hurt at being told this.  Why the fuck did he care about being accused of being a slut when it was from someone who was holding him prisoner?  Still, the hurt was there and he suppressed it from his expression, looking blankly back at the Ancient as though he hadn\'t heard (though there was a micro-second when all his true feelings had been revealed, if Themba had been perceptive enough to have seen it - and looking at Ben as closely as he was, it was likely).
 
"Seems I was wrong," he said finally, pulling back and away from Themba\'s reach in order to sit up and to wipe his lips with the back of his hand, tasting the Ancient still and wanting to slough away the flavour with something else; blood perhaps, seeing as his body was craving it, thanks to Themba taking from him.  He didn\'t dare ask, however, figuring the bastard would likely offer his own blood again.  He would wait it out, see what happened.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 29, 2009, 07:32:09 PM
Themba raised his eyebrows austerely and snorted, rolling slightly onto his side and looking at Ben through lidded eyes.  "Exactly my point!" he declared ostentatiously, flicking a hand in Ben\'s direction and rolling his eyes before he settled back against the couch arm, hand itching to be holding a remote control.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 29, 2009, 10:14:31 PM
It was all too much.  Ben didn\'t want to be sitting next to him, with his pants off, reminding him of the task he\'d done, with the taste of him in his mouth, feeling every bit like the slut Themba had accused him of being and wanted to walk out the door, knowing he couldn\'t.

He did walk away, though, leaving the sofa and striding towards the bedroom, where he crouched at the foot of the bed, his back to the furniture, covering his face with both of his hands and trying to clear his mind of the act, trying to forget it had ever happened.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2009, 06:15:48 AM
A frown and a curiously cocked head observed Ben\'s departure as the ancient tried to figure out how his supporting comment had gone awry.  He understood after a moment and got up to follow after the boy, doing him the courtesy of pulling on his briefs and jeans first, along the way.

Finding him all sulky was a surprise and the ancient in him scoffed cynically at how juvenile he really was - and how classless a vampire.  All because of his labelling hangup.

"No, no, you misunderstand me," Themba said, standing before Ben with his hands on his hips and a musing expression on his face.  "I don\'t think you are a slut, any more than you should, for that!  It was highly manipulative and cunning, but it was nothing to do with your precious label!"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 30, 2009, 06:21:31 AM
His hands shifted off his face, but only to rise and cover his eyes from his forehead, as though Themba was radiating a bright light that Ben was shielding himself from.

For Themba to follow him here, telling him he wasn\'t a slut for what he\'d done, was surprising.  He didn\'t agree with the Ancient, but he wasn\'t about to contradict him.  Once again, because there was no question, Ben didn\'t acknowledge him with an answer or comment, rather he remained as he was, wishing that he would go away, that everything would just... go away.

Yes, Ben was juvenile, socially backward from not interacting with a lot of people.  In many ways he was independent and mature, but when it came to dealing with other people, he despaired, never really confident in himself.  It was easier to run away and hide.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2009, 06:32:43 AM
Themba watched the youngling for any sort of response, aware of his morose thoughts and childish wishes that everything could just be different, and it angered him.

"Is this how you intend to spend eternity, childe?" he demanded loudly, flinging a hand towards the blonde, indicating his scrunched-up position.  "Cowering from the world because you don\'t deal very well with people?  Handicapped because you are so retarded by your standards that you cannot see beyond them into the reality of a situation?!"

The ancient\'s voice was a rumble of incredulity and disdain.  He was prodding Ben into fighting back, though.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 30, 2009, 06:37:55 AM
Ben was angry, though he was passive right now.  He lowered his hands and ended up looking at Themba\'s legs for a moment before he moved his stare up at the domineering vampire.

"No, just cowering from you," he said, then braced himself for another slap.  He wouldn\'t be so upset if he was hit again.  There was a part of him that wanted to be punished for what he\'d just done, blowing Themba, acting like a slut and a coward, not sticking to his guns and just facing punishment.  He\'d known Themba couldn\'t force him to drink.  He could force a lot of things, but he couldn\'t make him drink.  Well, unless he dominated him mentally, but that wouldn\'t be giving up the way he had.  Why the fuck had he thought offering sex would be a good idea?

The taste of Themba still in his mouth allowed him to work up a bit of spit, which he toyed with the idea of ejecting onto Themba\'s feet, but he didn\'t have the courage to do it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2009, 06:42:26 AM
"WHY?!" the ancient barked, folding his arms across his chest.  He figured Ben meant he was cowering from what he\'d just done to him, rather than understanding the boy\'s fear of physical retribution.  He wanted clarification, anyway.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 30, 2009, 06:51:05 AM
Ben cringed from the explosive question, but answered calmly enough, sounding like he was a lot more together than he really felt.

"Because I\'m going to do everything I don\'t want to do, because you want me to do it.  You\'re going to win in the end.  I can\'t stand up to you.  Fucked if I know why you want to mess with me so much."

There was so much more he wanted to say, but his voice lost its power on the last word, disappearing into a whisper, so he had to stop talking.  He doubted he could\'ve given Themba a speech anyway - the Ancient would likely have hit him to shut him up halfway through it, calling him a stupid childe fool for speaking too much.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2009, 07:06:54 AM
Themba strode over to Ben, slid his hands under the boy\'s armpits and hoisted him up like he was a child, so that they were nose to nose, eye to eye. His expression was still a dark scowl, but there was also exasperation in it, too.

"Apart from the fact that you need to learn the lesson of being careful where you hunt and how, I think it is important that you learn to get along with people in this long life you have ahead of you!" he declared grandly, giving Ben a shake to emphasise his point.

"It\'s not a matter of winning and losing, you little fool, it\'s about learning - something I believed you were interested in doing, which is exactly why I\'m so interested in \'messing with you\' as you so crassly put it!" he challenged, dropping Ben back down onto his feet (quite suddenly, in fact) because he didn\'t think it would be right for him to have to respond while dangling in the air.

The urge to slap was growing, so Themba fisted his hands.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on October 30, 2009, 07:16:09 AM
If there was something Ben hated, it was being manhandled.  Slapped, punched, kicked, shoved, it was all better than being picked up and moved around.  He knew Themba was getting pissed off, and he knew a beating was likely on its way, he knew what he said next would either pacify the Ancient or enrage him.  It would be very easy to send him over the top, Ben thought, just one more thing that Themba could declare was ignorance, or insulting, or stupidity.  To pacify him, Ben only had to agree that he needed to learn, that he realised he didn\'t know how to interact with others, that he would try his best.

Fuck that.

"Making me to do and say everything opposite to who I am now, isn\'t teaching me anything.  People only do what you say because they\'re scared of you, not because you get along with them."

If Ben\'s heart still beat, it would be racing in his chest now.  He wasn\'t sure if what he\'d said would earn him a smack or another verbal argument, but he knew he was skirting the physical.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on October 30, 2009, 11:20:22 AM
Themba gave him a withering glare and snorted, turning away and muttering something beneath his breath that Ben would be able to make out as \'Puling child\'.  He walked around his bed to his side, intending to flop onto it after he\'d picked up his television remote from his bedside drawers.
 
"Rubbish," he declared at the notion that his forcing Ben to expand his repertoire of skills wasn\'t teaching him anything.  Clearly, it was - the fool was actually beginning to express himself instend of simply sulking, for a start.
 
"And I don\'t order people around cruelly, nobody \'does what I say\' through fear.  I work in a collaborative cabal and we have different roles that work with perfect synchronicity, thank you.  Everyone else does what I ask of them because I\'m their employer.  You\'re the only one who fears me," he said blandly as he flopped onto the bed (after fluffing some pillows against the headboard for him to lean on), watching his data projector slowly come to life on the wall opposite - showing four different television channels.
 
His gaze slid to regard Ben, eyelids heavy and head tilted thoughtfully.  "You\'re the only who needs to fear me," he mused.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 05, 2009, 07:13:55 PM
He didn\'t end up getting beaten that night, or the nights following, which were filled with work for him.  The meetings were easy, because nobody wanted to hear him talk, so he didn\'t have to.  The photo shoots were easy as well, because he was on his own and could change behind a privacy screen into whatever clothing was flung at him.  There was a four page spread on jackets for some magazine for men, and there was a centre spread on casual wear that involved a lot of slouching around in a massive mansion, acting like he owned it while everyone took pictures.  He found he was actually beginning to enjoy it, especially when Themba was more involved in the work side and wasn\'t pushing him so hard when they got home.  He slept in Themba\'s bed, but so far nothing further had happened between them, for which Ben was grateful.  He\'d worried the whole \'drink my blood\' thing would crop up again, but it hadn\'t, so as time passed, he worried less.
 
The next interaction between him and Themba that wasn\'t work was when Daniel came to visit.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 05, 2009, 11:01:39 PM
Exactly ten nights had passed between when Ben had drunk from him last and tonight - which was, technically, the eleventh, he supposed (and he was counting).  Daniel feared that Ben would yet turn him away for coming early, because they\'d previously had a routine of two weeks, but that had been with general, friendly interaction in between - for guitar lessons and movie watching or trips to clubs to appreciate different styles of music or see Danny gig.

Zero contact had gouged a chasm of yearning in the young mortal\'s soul and he\'d held on until he felt he was going to go insane or become ill from want.  He needed to see Ben; it was a physical ache in him that had stopped him sleeping properly the last few nights and disrupted his eating patterns (such as they were) to the point where he\'d lost weight.  He knew he didn\'t look his best - not with the bags under his eyes and what little extra fat he\'d amassed from eating grilled cheese sandwiches falling off him - but it couldn\'t be helped.

Tonight, he\'d ventured over the river to see the beautiful, sensitive vampire he\'d given his heart to, and now stood outside a warehouse looking perplexedly left and right.  He wasn\'t sure which door he should knock on, though the camera mounted above them meant that he didn\'t have to wonder for long, a bouncy blonde in black and pink striped stockings and a satin underpants-and-corset outfit reminiscent of Wonder Woman (except all in white, like she\'d decided to get married in superhero attire) emerged and beckoned Daniel in.  He followed her up the stairs she led him to mutely, silently marvelling at the stinking great black clodhopper boots she was wearing below such a sexy outfit.

So preoccupied was he with Holly\'s outfit, in fact, that he didn\'t really register where he was until he was down the hallway between the offices and heading into an enormous work-cum-living room.  An Asian woman working over a draftsman\'s table watched him progress through the space like a Siamese cat peering speculatively at a mouse and the best he could muster for her was a nervous smile as the blonde chick took him through another doorway (the amount of security he was progressing through was finally dawning, by this time) and into a more benign looking hall.

A door to the right opened and there was the sleek black giant looming in the opening, right arm lifted above his head so that his forearm was wedged against the jamb, hand dangling over his own head and a knee bent so that his jeans-clad hips were tilted seductively.  The jeans were the only thing the gorgeous man was wearing and it made Daniel gulp as he came to a stop before him, both hands nervously fidgeting with the strap of his messenger bag upon his chest.  Holly left with a giggle and Daniel thought he managed to thank her but he wasn\'t sure; it was awfully difficult to talk, with Themba looking at him, a knowing smirk lifting the left corner of his mouth.

"Daniel!  How delightful to see you again," the African explained in his melodious accent.  "Ben will be ever-so-happy.  Please, come in.  We don\'t have too long until we have to leave for an appointment, - probably half an hour.  You should have called before you came!"

He stepped back, playing the warm and welcoming host, and Daniel couldn\'t help but watch the swing of the man\'s hips and the alluring way his abdomen muscles rippled.  He swallowed, thinking the sound was terribly loud in the silence (though he could hear music playing not far away, he was just too distracted and fearful to figure out where it was coming from, exactly) and embarrassed by it.

"Uh, I\'m sorry about that," the mortal blushed, dragging his gaze away from Themba long enough to gather the wherewithal to step into the room and glance quickly around before spinning to face Themba once more.  He still clung to his messenger bag, uncommitted to taking it off until he was invited to do so.  "I just... thought you\'d be here, I guess."  His flush deepend as he heard the stupid excuse mumbling out of his mouth and his gaze lowered; well, he could hardly admit that he\'d reached a point of desperation, where he had to see Ben or expire, so he\'d just come, could he?

Themba laughed like he knew anyway and wanted to put the boy at ease.  "Ah well.  Make yourself comfortable," the ancient invited, gesturing at the couch not too far away and taking a step in that direction himself.  Once he was sure Daniel was accompanying him - and removing his safety blanket bag, it seemed - he continued at a faster pace, talking as he went.  "Ben will be right out, I\'m sure, he\'s just in the shower at the moment - we\'re not long up, you see," Themba laughed affably as he plopped onto the couch in his usual regally sprawled manner.

A white-hot poker of pure hatred shot through Daniel at the way Themba used the collective term when referring to the sleeping patterns of the vampire he loved, and it was all he could do not to hit him over the head with his bag as he sat.  He settled for having it sitting on the cushions to his right, a barrier between he and Themba, instead (as were his mutinously folded arms), staring at the space between the two of them unseeingly.  "Mmm, I just started walking as soon as the sun started setting, not knowing how long it would take me to get here, sorry," he said through stiff lips.

Themba found the heightened emotions - which he\'d have deduced even if he were not gifted, simply from the way the mortal blanched at the mention of Ben and getting up - coming from the raw and desperate mortal sumptuous.  Daniel was almost like a fledgling needing its first kill, so badly was he on heat for Ben.  "Oh, it\'s fine," Themba answered airily, swivelling on his seat a little so that he could press his elbow onto the back of the couch and rest his head against his hand.  "We have some time before we have to go, as I said, you and Ben can catch up.  I suppose you want him to drink from you?"

Despite wearing very comfortable corduroy pants that he\'d owned for years, Daniel suddenly developed a maddening urge to scratch at his legs; one hand strayed to his thigh, his mind telling him that it was just a manifestation of discomfort, nerves making him sweat and the itch springing from there.  His body didn\'t care though, and he really just wanted to sink into the couch like a rabbit down its burrow at that moment.  "Uh... well... I guess. If Ben wants to then... sure.  Why, what does it matter to... uh, you?"

At that moment, Ben - who\'d been completely oblivious to Daniel\'s presence thanks to some artful communication between his elder vampires and a pretty strict screen from Themba himself once the mortal was in the apartment (that didn\'t block his physical sense of smell once he was out of the bathroom, so he didn\'t walk into the living area blind) - came in from the bedroom.  Just in time to hear Themba\'s response.

"Oh nothing.  I just thought that you might like to accompany us to Ben\'s shoot tonight and then return here with us afterwards, so that the two of you didn\'t have to... rush things, is all," the African smiled benignly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 06, 2009, 05:27:16 AM
Ben had begun dressing fairly slowly, putting on socks and underpants before he got the tiniest sense of Daniel being nearby.  He didn\'t realise it was the slight tinge of the mortal\'s scent in the air, thinking it was something mental (and not realising there were shields in place), and hurriedly finished his task - pulling on jeans and throwing on a long sleeved t-shirt even while he headed for the doorway that would take him into the sitting area.

The invitation for Daniel to join them at the meet they had lined up had Ben in conflict.  He wouldn\'t mind having Daniel stay for a while, but it would be weird to have him with him around Themba.  He didn\'t want the Ancient to see any interaction between them (even though he knew the other wouldn\'t miss anything, there was a difference between knowing and seeing for himself).

Ignoring Themba and moving around the couch so that he could flop onto the cushioned seat beside Daniel\'s free side, Ben greeted him with an enthusiastic \'hi!\', and a smile, but didn\'t touch him other than sitting so closely that their sides were touching.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 06, 2009, 07:14:04 AM
Daniel was incapable of answering Themba for a couple of reasons.  The first was that he wasn\'t sure he wanted to accompany Ben to a place where he\'d have to watch him model and not be able to touch or talk to him, just stand there watching him look all hot and unapproachable.  The second was the fact that he felt Themba\'s offer to be a manipulative power play, designed to come between he and Ben (not that the asshole hadn\'t already, to be talking of them being \'not long up\' like they were some married vampire couple from a hundred years ago).

The third was the fact that Ben walked into the room and he was all that Daniel could focus on.  Holding his breath, he watched over one shoulder as he detected movement peripherally, his entire body singing as it felt Ben nearby.  When Ben got closer, his head turned so that he was looking over his other shoulder and could watch the fair vampire sit down.  His arms had automatically uncrossed as he\'d observed Ben enter, so when he sat, Daniel\'s hands strayed over to rest worshipfully atop Ben\'s thigh, giving it a squeeze as he smiled his joyful smile.

Themba just about had to shield his eyes from the wattage of that smile and something inside the ancient turned sour, like milk left on a summer\'s day bench to curdle.  His lips pressed together and he frowned minutely as he watched the two boys together, finding he disliked their closeness, though he would simply watch and not put a stop to it.  Yet.

"Hi," Daniel breathed back, eyes only for Ben and completely forgetting Themba was even there - he even shuffled around a little, putting his back to a being he should never turn his back on.

"Danny\'s coming with us to your shoot tonight!" Themba announced with very sudden gusto and a forced smile.  The unexpected noise caused the mortal in question to jump and spin around to face him, a horrified look on his face that somehow made the ancient feel much better about things - especially when he started stammering.

"I... uh, but I hadn\'t... decided if, uh, I, uh..."

"Nonsense!" the African waved the objections aside, getting to his feet and standing with arms akimbo.  "It\'s either that or squeeze all your little reunion time into now, before we go... and I\'m sure neither of you want that," he sneered, his glittering gaze sliding past Daniel and landing on Ben.  There was a challenge in those eyes, one daring Ben to say he would be content to visit with Daniel for twenty minutes, rather than taking him and spending a couple of hours later on.  Daring him to let the mortal know how insignificant he was, in Ben\'s grand scheme of standards and strict moral codes... daring him to show his hand.

Oddly, before anything was said, however - Daniel only had time to follow his gaze and look back at Ben - Themba removed himself from the situation, declaring that he was going to go and get ready.  It wasn\'t as if he needed to be in the room to know what was going on, anyway; he could monitor Daniel\'s untrained brain without any undue effort, even from the next room.

"I... didn\'t say yes," Daniel told Ben stiltedly, his eyes large and lingering on looking at Ben\'s lips for the most part.  "I missed you," he added, his voice little more than a whimper as he leaned in towards Ben.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 06, 2009, 07:29:57 AM
Ben looked past Daniel at Themba, seeing that the Ancient was wanting Daniel along for whatever reason - maybe more so because it didn\'t seem Danny wanted to go.  When an explanation was given him - that there\'d been no agreement thus far - Ben realised he had to give a nudge either one way or the other.  Daniel appeared to not want to come along, maybe because Themba had invited him, maybe because... he didn\'t know why else.

"I\'d like you to come," he said, lowering his head and turning away a little, thinking Daniel was thinking about kissing him.  First the look on his mouth, then closing in like that - he didn\'t want to show anything physically intimate in front of Themba.

He wasn\'t sure if he wanted Daniel to come, it might make him more nervous during the shoot, or on the optimistic side, it might make him feel more comfortable to have a genuine friend there instead of being surrounded by people he either didn\'t know or didn\'t like.

He knew the mortal would do whatever he said, and he was saying what Themba wanted him to say.  It was like a manipulative conga line, with Daniel at the end, Themba a few steps ahead and Ben stuck in the middle.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 06, 2009, 07:19:45 PM
"Then I will," Daniel whispered, yearning for Ben to look back towards him now that they were alone, his hands moving to grasp one of Ben\'s in his.  It didn\'t happen, but that didn\'t stop him wanting it - nor did it stop him being hurt that Ben hadn\'t returned his profession of missing him.

"Do... do you want to drink from me before we go?" he offered, knowing it was ridiculous to keep his voice low because Themba could likely hear him at any volume, but this place was pretty big and he hoped that maybe he\'d get away with it, considering their domineering host was in whatever room was beyond the double doors (he assumed it was the bedroom).  The fact that one of those doors was still ajar made him somewhat nervous, though.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 07, 2009, 05:21:36 AM
Ben did turn back to look at Daniel when the offer to drink was given him, and he slouched further into the sofa as well - as much as it would allow, shaking his head slightly as an answer.

"When we get back," he said, dropping his voice to a low whisper as well.  "Maybe we\'ll have some more privacy then," he said, knowing they likely wouldn\'t but figuring it\'d keep Daniel patient enough now for the spoils later.

As a gesture of closeness, because he\'d turned his head away, he swivelled on the sofa to put his shoulder against it, turning to face Daniel, and moved his leg closest to the mortal up and over Daniel\'s legs to rest upon his lap, effectively keeping him pinned while also keeping him close.

"It might be boring for you," he warned, unsure of where Themba would put Daniel during the shoot.  Hopefully in a place Daniel wouldn\'t protest about, but not in a place where Ben was staring right at him.  He\'d already been told by the photographers who\'d had a session with him that he was better looking cool than smiling.  At first he\'d thought it meant he was a crap smiler for the camera, but then he realised they were playing off his eyes.  Maybe it was both.

Daniel still had his hands on Ben\'s leg (easier now that the leg in question was draped over the mortal\'s lap) and so he reached over to capture one and toy with Daniel\'s fingers and thumb.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 07, 2009, 01:00:35 PM
"I don\'t care," the mortal laughed, wriggling in as close to Ben as he could get, his right hand stretching across the vampire\'s body to grasp his hip and caress his side as he leaned his head against Ben\'s shoulder.  He sighed, content to be close to his love at last, even if another surprising kiss hadn\'t materialised just yet.  He was settled and simply allowed the peace of being this way to ripple through him as he sat quietly for a minute or two.  Eventually, he had to speak, however.

"I\'m glad to be with you again.  I\'m going stir crazy in the apartment without you to visit- and I got word that Laura Garnfield wants me to come into the studio and lay down some tracks with her next week and I couldn\'t tell you about it!" he interrupted himself, lifting his head to give Ben a chastising look.

Ben had been with him the night the singer approached him at a gig and gave him her card; it had been the most exciting thing to happen to Danny professionally - ever - and it had been all the better because Ben had been there.  Laura Garnfield was a star in her own right, signed to a big-name record label, but she had the freedom to collaborate with anyone she wished and she liked what Daniel had to offer.  The fact that she\'d actually followed up and set some session dates was his first real step towards fame, but it was somehow more hollow without Ben to share it with.

This was the focus of him sharing his news, of course.  "When are you coming back?  Things are so not the same without you nearby," he told Ben mournfully, looking up at him in much the same way.

In the bedroom, Themba found himself dressing at an alarmingly quick rate - and not just because he\'d already showered.  Something about needing to get back out to Ben and Daniel had spurred him on and he was dressed in a pair of nice dark blue jeans, Colorado boots, a white business shirt (with no tie) and a black suit jacket in far less time than it usually took him to dress.  He walked back out just as Daniel finished speaking.  "Everyone ready?  We might as well arrive early!" he announced, heading for his car keys, by the door.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 08, 2009, 07:27:52 AM
"That\'s great news," Ben said soberly, staring at Daniel from close up and thinking about what would happen if Daniel actually did get popular with his music.  His career would be on track, he\'d be surrounded by people clamouring to get to him, and he wouldn\'t have time to visit Ben anymore.

Suck.

He knew he was feeling selfish about it, and such a feeling was wrong, but he couldn\'t help himself.  The next question led in smartly to his addressing the issue of Daniel\'s pending fame, but Themba ruined his timing and when the Ancient began speaking, Ben pulled away from the mortal quickly, moving off and standing up, wiping his palms on his thighs anxiously like he was wiping away evidence.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 08, 2009, 11:43:00 AM
Themba slyly watched Ben\'s guilty demeanour with an unexpected amount of satisfaction; it allowed him to smile and be jovial on the walk downstairs, asking Daniel about his career and finding out about his musical aspirations like he hadn\'t combed his way through the boy\'s brain in about five seconds flat.  He was disastrously simply, in Themba\'s opinion; love Ben, love music, life without either was death.  Pathetic.

Conversation focussed on Daniel as they reached the car - the occurrence seeing the ancient opening the passenger\'s door for Ben to ensure he sat up the front, with him, and the rear door for Daniel at the same time.  If Ben attempted to object to sitting away from Daniel, he would gain a severely cloudy expression from the beautiful black man, and an order to sit with him.  Daniel simply got obediently in the back and looked a bit like a small child being driven to a new school after he\'s been orphaned and lost everything he\'s ever known.

The shoot saw the mortal and the ancient spending all their time together, since Ben was whisked away to get ready and quickly became inaccessible.  The pair of them sat together on the perimeter of the lights and Themba was able to find it in himself to be charming to the musician that he\'d been having terrible trouble being civil to, up until that point.  Perhaps it was because Ben was unattainable, but he didn\'t examine his feelings beyond realising that he could talk to the boy without suppressing a sneer.

For his part, Daniel took it as a good sign that he was having things explained to him and he found the process amazing.  Although his escort got up out of his fold-out canvas chair to go to a nearby desk and sign some papers or to take a phone call on his mobile, he spent the majority of the time with Danny, who grew comfortable enough with it all to ask questions.  He learned about Themba\'s business - Nemesis - and how it was responsible for importing and exporting fashion rather than creating it, though they had so many side projects it wasn\'t funny.

"And Ben is a side project?" Daniel asked guilelessly, glancing from Themba out to where Ben was standing and pouting without a shirt, giving him a view he could only delight in.

Themba\'s gaze slid to focus on Daniel and he pursed his lips momentarily as he contemplated this surprisingly complex question.  "He was, yes," he drawled thoughtfully, and Daniel looked at him immediately, expression fearful.

"But he\'s not becoming part of your importing business?"

"Oh, no, no!" Themba assured Daniel, though somehow the tone was not reassuring at all.  It was like he\'d put the idea in the vampire\'s head that Ben could be more and he couldn\'t think of anything he regretted more than that.

"So... you\'re like... his agent?"

"You could say that, yes.  I represent him."

"And when he wants to quit modelling, do you have others to take his place?"

"And return to poverty in that sordid little halfway house he was living in, with no money and no actual life beyond learning the guitar and drinking from you?" Themba sneered and laughed nastily, as if the idea was preposterous.  "Why would he?!"  The mocking laughter continued, as if it was the funniest thing the African had heard in years.

Daniel looked away and it was the end of their friendly conversation; he simply watched Ben, finding him sexy and wonderful and almost good enough to make him forget how nasty and condescending the rich vampire beside him had been.  He\'d insulted Daniel as well as Ben\'s living circumstances and they both knew it, but Danny couldn\'t figure out what the hell he\'d done to deserve such underhanded cruelty.  It wasn\'t like he was a threat to their little arrangement, he had no actual hold on Ben; that was all Themba.

The shoot took four hours to complete because they were doing a series for a campaign that would be released in parts over the next few months.  When it was done, Themba was still in a jovial mood and on the way home, he stopped at the eatery of Daniel\'s choosing (though it took an annoying amount of insistence to force the boy to choose) to buy him some food for the evening.  He insisted he pay (which wasn\'t a challenge, since he went through the drive-through) and ordered some extras that Daniel had thought about but not asked for due to their expense.  It would be enough food for tonight with some leftovers to munch on through the next day.

When they got back to the warehouse, Themba made an unexpected announcement as he let the two boys into his apartments.  Standing with his hands clasped behind his back and leaning on the door jamb, he peered at the two thoughtfully, eyes narrowed in a manner that could be interpreted as suspicious.  "I\'m going to leave you two in here tonight and through the day.  I\'ll sleep elsewhere.  Give you your privacy."  He made a show of smiling that didn\'t reach his eyes and his gaze was solely focussed on Ben as he did it, but they didn\'t get a chance to say anything before he\'d pulled the door closed.  Some affirmative sounding beeps on the other side of the doorway would signal that he\'d locked Ben, Daniel and his food in.

He walked away before he could change his mind, his hands fisted and his mind champing to prod at Daniel\'s... but he was trying to deny himself.  He was testing Ben, he felt that, but he didn\'t know what a pass or a fail was and he hadn\'t the slightest clue why he was leaving them alone in his suite when it was causing him this much anxiety, but he was.  For at least the next sixteen hours.  And he hated it.

Inside the living area, Daniel turned slowly to look at Ben, his mouth open in shock.  "That was unexpected," he said dreamily, still working to comprehend what game Themba was playing.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 08, 2009, 10:30:05 PM
Ben\'s gaze locked with Themba\'s as the silent message communicated between them - how it was supposed to be interpreted was beyond Ben, but it seemed to him that the Ancient wanted him to say or do something specific.  He didn\'t send a mental message Themba\'s way, however, not wanting to involve himself any further in the Ancient\'s games.

When the door closed and Daniel turned to him with his exclamation, Ben agreed with a soft \'yeh\' and then looked at the paper bag packages of food that was held in the mortal\'s hand.

"Go ahead and eat, I\'m going to take a shower," he said, wanting some time away from Daniel so he could think, and the shower was the best place to be alone.  Before Daniel could respond, he quickly moved into the bedroom and then the ensuite beyond, stripping in the bathroom and folding his clothes neatly out of habit, laying them on the sink benchtop.

He stayed in the shower for around fifteen minutes, first cleaning himself with the soap and his hair with shampoo, rinsing off, but mostly he just stood under the spray, letting it wash over him while he thought about what he wanted to do with his time with Daniel.

It was very likely Daniel would want to move their drinking session to something far more intimate and sexual.  He found he didn\'t mind intimate, because being with Danny was comforting and easy, unlike being with Themba where he had to think about everything before he said it, and struggled to know how many meanings were behind the Ancient\'s words.

With his mind mostly made up about what he did and didn\'t want out of tonight (though all of his plans seemed to go up in the air when the real situation unfolded), he stepped out and dried off, drying his hair as much as he could.  He pulled on a pair of dark blue cotton boxers and a light grey t-shirt before going to join Daniel and find out what he was up to.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 11, 2009, 07:26:39 AM
Daniel had found his appetite at last (he figured it was because he\'d found Ben at last, but would keep that happy thought to himself... he hoped) and he had spent most of Ben\'s away time savouring his food.  When he finished, he wrapped everything up tidily and searched for a bin, surprised not to find one.

He found Ben\'s guitar instead and brought it and his rubbish back to the couch, leaving the bag on the coffee table and sitting back with the beautiful instrument to pluck at it.  By the time Ben returned, he was already engrossed in playing and singing softly to himself, trying not to compose (because that would be work) but having to dig into his messenger bag to make one note to himself about a key change already.  The pen and an open notebook were still peeking out of the bag to his right and with the neck of the guitar extended to his left, he hadn\'t left Ben a lot of room to sit close.

When the vampire walked in, Danny looked up and smiled sunnily at him, feeling much better and happier to see him (somehow), now that he had food in his belly and a guitar in his hands.  Then realisation dawned and he scrambled to put the guitar down and clear up his notebook and bag, leaning it all on the floor at the far end of the couch as he apologised.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 11, 2009, 10:24:15 PM
"It\'s okay," Ben said, his hand moving up in a staying gesture.  "It\'s nice.  It\'s like being home again," he said, where Daniel would either hang out with him and they would pluck at strings and talk about all manner of things, or he could listen to Danny composing through the walls (that really weren\'t that thin, but his heightened hearing helped).

Daniel still put the guitar away (because he\'d mostly already done so before Ben had told him all was good), and Ben sat on the edge of the sofa while the mortal did what he needed to do, wondering about how things were supposed to go tonight.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 12, 2009, 06:57:01 AM
"Should I shower?" Daniel asked, crawling onto the sofa and towards Ben, an inquisitive look on his face.  "Do I smell like crap to you or anything?  I mean... I sweat and stuff, does that like... put you off?" he enquired, worried by the notion that he might repulse Ben with his mortal body odours.  Hell, even his breath would be overpowering now he'd just eaten, wouldn't it?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 12, 2009, 10:39:38 AM
"Sure," Ben said at the offer for Daniel to have a shower, glad that the whole subject of showering together hadn\'t come up.  There was a tight feeling in his stomach about what Danny might be expecting tonight, and he both did and didn\'t want to give in to it.  Already feeling cheap and stupid from blowing Themba some nights ago, the last thing he wanted to do was make another sexual mistake with somebody else.
 
"No, you don\'t smell like crap," he said with a laugh, "you just smell like... life."  He shrugged, unsure if Daniel would get what he meant by the whole \'life\' thing.  There was no smell about Ben anymore, no smell about any vampires he met, just the smells of soap or whatever perfumed product used, and the sense of age which was kind of like smell but had more to do with the mind than the nose.  "I\'ll practise for a bit," he said, gesturing to the guitar but unable to reach it because Daniel was between him and it and he was happy to wait until the mortal was out of the way and showering.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 14, 2009, 11:42:36 PM
"Okay," Daniel agreed, his heart picking up speed automatically as he thought of being naked in Ben\'s shower - where he\'d so recently been naked - and what they would do when he got out (he conveniently ignored all thought of it being Themba\'s shower in actuality).  He was relieved, when he got into the bathroom, to find there was a toilet, for he needed to use it badly, though he was dismayed to find there was no toilet paper.  Thankfully, there was a box of tissues on the bench (for makeup application and removal, by the looks) and he tried not to use too many.

Once he got out of the shower, he thought long and hard about what he would wear, rather wishing he\'d had the foresight to bring a change of clothes but knowing it was a futile desire, since he\'d had no idea the night would unfold like this.  None of them did.

With Ben\'s attire in mind, he decided to stay only in his black boxer briefs (he\'d worn his good underwear rather hoping he\'d get to show it off, though this hadn\'t been the way he\'d anticipated it would happen) and the white singlet he\'d had on beneath his good shirt.  The apartment was a little chilly - or the bedroom, he supposed - but he anticipated that Ben would be warming him up very soon.  With his excitement level returned to the heightened state it had been at on his way in to the bathroom, Daniel then walked out with his clothes held before him in a neatly folded pile.  He would have to put them on again in the morning, after all.

He placed them on his messenger bag on the floor and then sat on the couch close to his love, smiling approvingly at Ben\'s musical efforts.  His hair was still damp and he\'d finger combed it so that it stood up a little - and out, since he hadn\'t had a haircut in a while - his body unscented with deodorant (he hadn\'t wanted to smell like Themba and hadn\'t known which was Ben\'s stuff so he\'d decided to play it safe and just hope he didn\'t sweat much), smelling only of the soap from the shower cubicle.

"You\'re sounding wonderful," he gushed enthusiastically.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 25, 2009, 10:22:25 PM
Ben pulled a face that showed his awkwardness at receiving the compliment, knowing he didn\'t sound anything near \'wonderful\' and knowing that Daniel\'s flattery came from his crush rather than any form of musical reality.  Ben hadn\'t been practising beyond plucking at the strings now and then while Themba was off doing this or that and he was alone in the room.

"Thanks," he said, figuring he should at least be civil, and put the guitar down by the chair.  There was a speculative cloud in the air that had Ben wondering what he was supposed to be doing next.  The desire for drinking blood was prominent enough for him not to forget about that, but he didn\'t know what the Ancient wanted from him.  Locking him in this room with Daniel had been odd.  Did he want Ben to let loose and bed his mortal friend, or was this just another test of his morals.  It wasn\'t like Ben would never sleep with Daniel, they\'d been heading in that direction anyway, so what was with that look?

"I want to drink from you in bed," he said, before realising he was going to actually say it.  When the words were out, he pressed his lips together, like something had escaped his mouth that really shouldn\'t have.  Daniel would expect more, he knew, and he would likely push for more, and wouldn\'t it just be easier to go along with it?  Problem was, did he actually want to?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 26, 2009, 06:40:16 PM
The words caused Daniel\'s breath to flutter, and his heart literally skipped a beat.  He had to swallow before he could respond, because speaking wasn\'t all that easy when it seemed he was suddenly about to get everything he\'d wanted for a long time (and that which had certainly haunted his dreams, to much erotic fantasy inspiration).

"O-okay," he stammered, and smiled beatifically.  The next moment he was standing, and Ben was too, and as they walked into the bedroom, he slipped his hand inside the vampire\'s and shivered, feeling cold and hot all at once, and altogether excited.  He would do anything and everything Ben wanted, without question, and request more.  All the vampire had to do was say.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 26, 2009, 06:49:27 PM
He had other things to say, when he saw the expression Daniel gave him.
 
Just because it\'s an easier position to drink from you there
I don\'t want you to expect anything\'s going to happen
I just said that because
... because
I don\'t know if that\'s what Themba wants
 
The thought of the Ancient being the dictator to what Ben was and wasn\'t going to do inspired him to walk with Daniel into the bedroom. He was going to go with the flow, he decided, he was going to do whatever felt right and refuse whatever didn\'t. Yeh. That\'s what he was going to do.
 
He was the first on the giant bed, and because he was holding Daniel\'s hand, he crawled further along so the mortal could get in beside him, and in that time he dropped the hold because it was becoming awkward. He shoved the blankets halfway down his and Daniel\'s body, to allow their torsos freedom, and moved in to try and start the drinking, hoping Daniel would just let him start (and end) with that - though his body twitched arousal even as he closed in, contradicting and betraying his thoughts.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 26, 2009, 07:11:28 PM
Daniel, pressed slightly beneath Ben and in a deliriously lovely world where everything was romantic and gentle and beautiful, misinterpreted the move as Ben moving in for a kiss and lifted his face to press his lips to the blonde\'s.  He wrapped his arms around his back as well, and slid his lower half flush up against the cool, firm flesh of Ben\'s legs.

It registered somewhere that he\'d never been this close to Ben, not in a way where their legs could entwine and their flesh brush up against the other\'s, and he shivered with the sensual secrecy
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 26, 2009, 07:20:28 PM
He\'d half-expected Daniel to misinterpret, it was easy enough to do he supposed, considering he\'d prompted them into bed together.  Still, it annoyed him that he had to sidetrack.  At first he just settled his lips against Daniel\'s own, not really going further with it, just rubbing softly on the outside, but another twitch of awareness ran through him as Daniel shifted beneath him, pressing up into his groin purposefully.  The kiss became an actual kiss, with Ben feeling very emotionally detached but physically into it.  He knew this wasn\'t what Daniel was really after from him - his neighbour
 
ex-neighbour
 
wanted a relationship and all the things that came with it; joy, love, comfort, contentment, satisfaction, happiness.  Ben wasn\'t in a position to give him that, but it wasn\'t like Daniel couldn\'t understand that, considering where Ben was living now.  His new lifestyle was giving him the perfect excuse, in fact, to keep Daniel at a distance.  Well, at an emotional distance.  It wasn\'t like they could really invest in a relationship what with him answering to Themba all the time, right?
 
The kiss deepened and he found himself grinding against Daniel in the kind of rhythmic thrusting that left very little to the imagination as to what he really wanted.  He was fully aroused now, his cock an iron rod in his shorts, and he broke the kiss sensing Daniel needed to breathe, and went for his neck instead.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 26, 2009, 08:19:45 PM
Daniel\'s head tilted automatically to accommodate Ben\'s move to his neck and once the fangs slid into him, all thought surrendered its hold on his body.  The lovely sensation of bliss filled him, this time accompanied by the delicious feeling of a hard, aroused body pressing against him, and his head swam with the intensity of it.

He was far too preoccupied to sing but he sighed and moaned as his hands slid downward, seeking to get inside Ben\'s shorts to his ass, happy to grind his hips back and forth and nudge Ben\'s cock erratically with his own sheathed hardness.  The material between them both was thin but it was growing steadily more constrictive as his body pulsed for skin on skin contact.  He wouldn\'t move at all until Ben was done at his throat, though, oh no; that would kill him in more than one way.

When that finally did happen, however, he didn\'t react straight away.  His hands were sliding up and down Ben\'s back, clutching at his cheeks or squeezing his waist, writhing against the vampire in building frenzy and not able to think coherently enough to do.  He wanted, though... he wanted Ben, inside him, above him... loving him in every sense of the word, and the yearning was in his every move and literally on his every breath, for a word kept escaping him, in amongst the mews of desire and whimpers of arousal; "Please... please... please..."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 27, 2009, 03:40:16 PM
"You know we won\'t be able to get together much, right?" Ben said softly, near Daniel\'s ear, not wanting to lead Danny on the way he\'d been led on by Sotiris, but also wanting Daniel to still want him anyway. It was the perfect insurance for their budding \'relationship\', because Ben could always come back to this question (that was really a statement) and say Daniel had been warned from the start. He knew, oh he knew that Danny would invest his whole heart in this (and he suspected that Danny already had), which was what Ben wanted. Love. He\'d always fallen and not been loved back. There\'d been a chance with Kerr, even with the memory hole happening, if Kerr hadn\'t gone for Jack instead. Nobody had enough time or love for him. It was his turn to have someone want him, need him, love him, even if he didn\'t feel the same way, it was fair that he finally got it.
 
He wasn\'t going to progress them further until Daniel gave him the word to go ahead. What had started out as giving Danny a little attention was turning into something that would satisfy them both. Ben found he really wanted to have sex now, was happy enough to get naked with Daniel and fuck him like he\'d just begged for. It wasn\'t like he was ever going to have this kind of upper hand with anybody else.  There was also the nagging impression that even though the his Ancient \'owner\' had set him up for this, he didn\'t expect Ben to go through with it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 28, 2009, 01:49:20 AM
Daniel stilled, saddened by the reality suddenly interjected between them.  He pulled back so that he could see Ben\'s face, longing etched in his expression.  "I know.  But it won\'t stop me thinking about you however often I feel like it - and coming to see you every week at least!" he vowed sincerely and then moved his lips in to close the vampire\'s once more, needing to continue the kiss and stop this negative talk about them not being together.

He couldn\'t bear thinking about it at the best of times, let alone when he was about to get sex.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 28, 2009, 06:49:48 AM
It was enough said for Ben to know that Daniel knew there wouldn\'t be a normal relationship available for them, and the musician did as predicted; he wanted Ben anyway.  Comforted by this, Ben was eager to reward both of them by returning to the kiss.  Not long after he was shifting around so he could unclothe Daniel and himself, and surrendered himself to every physical pleasure imaginable before dawn came.

*

When Ben woke up, he was entwined with Daniel, though he wasn\'t sure the mortal had slept the whole ten hours through - even if winter was rolling around and shortening the days, by what Daniel had told him in the past, he was used to not getting much sleep.  It didn\'t really change things though, because Ben\'s legs were wrapped with his and Daniel was draped over him, warming him, and using the nook of his shoulder as a pillow.  Ben could also feel something wet and slimy pressing against his thigh, and when he reached down to investigate, he found the lube they\'d used, uncapped.  It was at about this time, with Ben moving slightly beneath him no doubt, that Daniel began to stir.  Once the mortal opened his eyes, Ben greeted him softly.

"Hey, how you feeling?" he asked, thinking that the sex last night had been mostly wild abandon.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 29, 2009, 02:13:57 AM
Seeing Ben\'s face the moment he woke up had to be the most precious gift he\'d received in a long, long time.  Daniel smiled, his insides quivering and sighing blissfully at the mere sight of him (he\'d left the bathroom light on the last time he\'d got up to use it, because it had been too fricking dark in the bedroom to see anything, really), moving his body in a stretch.

"Good," he yawned, arching his back and clenching his fists, before he rubbed them against his eyes and laughed.  "Sore.  Happy.  In love," he grinned, lowering his hands and blinking away the spots caused by rubbing his eyes.  Immediately, he was touching Ben\'s cool, firm flesh again, unable to stop it voluntarily and unwilling to think about a time (which would have to be very soon) when he would no longer be able to just reach out and touch as he wished.

Very suddenly, his face froze in an expression of surprise, as if he hadn\'t realised what he\'d said (and he certainly hadn\'t meant to) until that exact moment.  "Er... "  Daniel gave an awkward laugh, blushing furiously and dropping his gaze from Ben\'s, swallowing nervously.  His heart rate had picked up, as if he was newly thrilled by his daring idiocy.  "I should... probably have stopped at happy, right?"

Out of nowhere, an infuriated, emotion-wracked message came to Ben\'s mind at that precise moment, from somewhere very nearby: Get him the fuck out of my home right now, or I fucking will - and you won\'t like it done my way.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 29, 2009, 07:59:44 AM
The \'in love\' part was both a surprise yet not.  Ben had already guessed Daniel felt that for him, but he hadn\'t expected to hear it.  Judging by the mortal\'s next reaction, he hadn\'t meant to say it either, and likely waking up had his head fuzzed with sleep so that it had slipped out.  Ben was still thinking about how to respond when Themba\'s sharp message rang in his head which inspired him to act quickly.

"It\'s alright," he said, and began separating himself from Daniel, "I\'ve got to hurry and get up though, or um... tonight\'s not going to be pleasant," he said, figuring not only would Daniel have to deal with Themba, but after he was thrown out, it would be Ben\'s turn.  "I just got a," he pointed at his temple, "message," he finished, wondering if Daniel had ever received a mental prod from a vampire at Liquid Empire, or from his original neighbour.  "Come on, get dressed," he prompted, grinning at Daniel even though this was a serious thing, because of what they\'d done the night before.  He\'d forgotten about the good mood thing after sex.  It wasn\'t the same height it had been after Sotiris, but he was happy, and he was going to enjoy it for as long as he could, to treasure it.

He thought about taking a shower, and went for his clothes instead, even though he reeked of sex.  He was going to attempt to show Daniel out so that he wouldn\'t be prodded toward or thrown out the door.  He could always come back and shower, and Daniel would have to shower at home and hopefully he wouldn\'t see Themba until after he\'d cleaned up (but he doubted he\'d be so lucky).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 29, 2009, 03:51:03 PM
Miraculously, Ben\'s way to the street was free and open - he saw none of the Nemesis crew on the way and Daniel\'s crestfallen expression was very quickly ushered out the door.  He didn\'t leave until he\'d embraced Ben twice and kissed and whispered again about his love thrice as many times, but eventually he was gone.

When Ben got inside, he would find Themba standing at the foot of the bed, wearing black pants and a white shirt only, up on the dais, arms folded across his chest and a sneer of pure revulsion on his handsome face.  Sighting Ben, he spoke, voice also conveying his absolute disapproval of the situation.  "I\'ll have to burn the sheets. Probably replace the bed, for that matter," he spat.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 29, 2009, 07:21:37 PM
Ben felt an intense anger at what had been said to him, insulted but knowing that getting angry would do little, he decided to throw a little jeer back at Themba, but without any obvious emotion (and he did this by not even looking Themba\'s way as he spoke, instead turning his gaze to a dresser that he pretended was more interesting).

"I thought you wanted me to fuck him.  Why else would you lock us in together?" he replied, purposefully keeping his voice light.  It came out perfectly, sounding offhanded and as if there\'d been little thought behind it.  After saying what he had, he then turned his gaze to the older vampire and gave a smile that was mostly a smirk.

Any doubts he had about Daniel were now washed away in Themba\'s obvious disapproval.  Contradiction much?  For Themba had told him to stop hanging on to his sexual hangups, and now that he\'d plunged ahead, the Ancient appeared upset with him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 29, 2009, 07:44:28 PM
Themba\'s celerity meant that he was on the dias one moment, across the expansive room the next and delivering a powerful backhanded blow designed to bring Ben to his knees (at his feet, where he belonged) before the fledgling could blink.  Truthfully, he had no understanding of his own feelings on this matter, nor why Ben\'s perfectly logical comment could make him so insane with fury - but there it was.

In that instant, he wanted to maim, and kill, and hurt and make the blonde beauty bleed so much his eyeballs became soaked in it.  And he didn\'t know why, he just did.  He also wanted Ben to shut the fuck up.

"Your insolence... does not... please...me!" he roared at the youngling, angrier than he could ever remember being, thanks to that smirk.  And the stench of mortal combined with sex lingering in the air.  They\'d turned his bed chamber into the den of a slattern and his rutting partner and the foulness was like a tickle at Themba\'s nostrils that ten thousand barrels of bleach couldn\'t burn away.  He couldn\'t think beyond it and he couldn\'t get away from it, so he was dealing with it the best way he could.

"Why is he so different?" he continued to bellow in a ragged voice, towering over Ben and screaming at him so much that spittle flew out of his mouth.  "What - about him - makes you not a slut for fucking him?!" the ancient wanted to know.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 29, 2009, 10:04:05 PM
Ben reeled from a blow he had no idea was coming.  His cheek flared with pain and he ended up with a close up view of the carpet, his hands coming out instinctively to stop his face from landing on it.  He knew Themba was the reason he was sprawled on the floor and instead of getting up, he turned around onto his side in order to look up at the Ancient who was screaming at him so vehemently that spittle had flown from his mouth.

Ben was still glad Themba was angry, but there was only a resentful glee from it now.  Spiteful and bitter, he flinched in spite of not wanting to when certain words were flung at him, and his festering anger gave him enough courage to answer.

"He loves me," Ben said, and knew that Themba would try and use it against him, but he didn\'t think the other would get far.  The ache in the side of his face was already beginning to diminish, but his pride was still hurt at the blow, and the fact he\'d very easily been swatted to the floor.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 29, 2009, 10:15:54 PM
"LOVE?!" the ancient screeched incredulously, and reached down to pick Ben up by the clothes - ideally a handful from his chest and one from his groin, but if two chest handsful were easier, that would be exactly where he grabbed.

With another roar, he threw the young vampire across the room with such force that he was airborne for ten metres - until he slammed into the wall.  It imploded, leaving a Ben-shaped cavity that seemed to spit the blonde out, since he bounced off and landed back on the carpet in a shower of plaster dust.

In an instant, Themba was back, hovering over the vampire once more, now with a pointed index finger extended not too far from Ben\'s nose.  "Don\'t you dare speak to me of love, when you are vampire!" he frothed.  "You are above such mortal frailties, you are immortal, you stupid, idiotic fool!  I\'ve met sheep smarter than you - for sheep know their station, idiot!" he berated hatefully.

Beyond the room, unbeknownst to Ben, the others stirred and were made uneasy by the disruption in their connection.  Only Anu would dare stop this and she began working on Themba from a distance, soothing him - but it was not a quick fix, by any means, for the African didn\'t acknowledge it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 29, 2009, 10:26:39 PM
It was all happening rather quickly, and now his back was aching much more than his face, and this time his arms hadn\'t had the strength in them to save him from landing face down on the carpeted floor.  He shifted, feeling the grittiness of the plaster on his skin and in his clothes, and sensed Themba near him again.  Being likened to a sheep brought another smart-ass comment to his lips.

"I\'ll remember to baa for you when you get around to fucking me," he said, knowing it was a stupid and dangerous thing to say and he was going to pay for it.  He didn\'t know what was driving him to push the Ancient; he didn\'t know what his motivation was.  He didn\'t want to get beaten up, or raped, or killed, but here he was, pushing buttons because he could sense he was getting underneath Themba\'s skin and he was tired of being weak.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 29, 2009, 10:44:55 PM
Themba was so incensed, he was rendered inarticulate.  With a strangled gargle that indicated he would roar and bellow if he could, his hands became fists and the tendons and muscles in his neck bulged as he flexed his upper boy.  He stood above Ben, quivering with lethal intent for a moment, before he unleashed; then he let fly.

He rained blows down upon the fledgling, beginning with his bare feet - he kicked for Ben\'s groin first, then his stomach, and when the blonde curled to protect himself, he lifted his feet into the air and brought them down like juggernauts onto the youngling\'s side.  Bones inside him snapped and pierced unused, fleshy organs maintained by the magic of his vampirism, all of it causing blood to spew out of the smartass in trickles and spurts that highly satisfied the ancient.  Something about squeezing every last drop of Daniel\'s blood from Ben was spurring him on.

Next came his fists, pounding into the back of Ben\'s head (which was all he could get at, by this stage), his shoulders, his back, his buttocks, his legs.  Themba\'s blows were delivered from a strong height and with ancient power; Ben\'s thigh bone was first bruised and then, with the third punch delivered to the same spot, fractured.  The fourth and fifth snapped the femur completely and Themba grinned as he pounded up and down the fledgling\'s body mercilessly, hungering for that deep crunch to occur again.

Without warning, the beating stopped.  Themba was forced to straighten, his eyes bulging as he attempted to fight the imperative, to no avail.  He then turned and walked towards the exit, where Anu stood, staring intently at him.  When he got closer, she embraced him lovingly - well, as much as a petite woman so much shorter than the black giant could - assisting him to walk out of the bedroom and then out of the apartment.  Not a word was said between them and Ben was left with only the silence that travelled in their wake - except for the beep at the suite\'s door, that signalled he\'d been locked in, for the time being... if he was even aware of such a noise at that time.

Twenty minutes later, Holly would walk in - looking like she was going to an eighties costume party as Madonna - leading a burly man in a chocolate brown tracksuit by a lead.  She would instruct the bear to get down as low as he could and encourage Ben to drink in a soft voice, her eyes wide as she stared at the mess he was.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 29, 2009, 11:04:13 PM
He\'d known being immortal meant he couldn\'t age or die, he\'d known being a vampire meant that he could heal, but nobody had told him about the pain.  It didn\'t matter about how supernatural his species was, how skilled, how beneficial his talents were, it didn\'t stop the pain.  He kept wishing consciousness would leave him, wanted to disappear into a tunnel of darkness, safe and away from the pain, but every blow was felt, every bone sent white flares of hurt into his head, he couldn\'t escape it either physically or mentally and he regretted his stupid remark, for nothing he said to get under Themba\'s skin was worth this.

It stopped, but he kept on hurting.  He wasn\'t aware of Themba leaving until a few minutes after he had, when he realised he wasn\'t getting new hurts on top of the old.  Still, his back and his leg were both contending for top spot in the ache stakes.  He didn\'t dare move, but when he sensed someone else near him he managed a whimper/moan in his throat, thinking the beating would start again.  He could taste blood - his own blood, in his mouth and knowing it filled his nostrils and was leaking down his face onto the floor.  He couldn\'t smell the mortal hovering over him but he could feel the warmth of him.

There was enough survival instinct in him to turn his head, though he couldn\'t open one of his eyes - hit before he\'d wisened up enough to curl into the foetal position - and saw the mortal figure hunkering over him.  He couldn\'t sit up without getting more pain, and he could hear someone whimpering, not realising it was him attempting to sit up.  Mercifully, the other came to him, practically laying down to offer his throat, and Ben bit into his flesh, drinking without thought or concern for the one he was drinking from, learned habit making the bite less painful than it had to be, and feeling the pain lessen with every gulp he took.  He could feel the donor\'s heartbeat, strong and rapid, and felt like he was drinking that heart into himself, circulating blood into long dead veins and repairing what had been torn.  There was too much broken for one drink to fix - even if he did drain his donor dry - but he had no sense to pull away.  Holly would have to stop him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 29, 2009, 11:27:11 PM
She was quite prepared for this eventuality and stopped the young vampire drinking using only the influence of her mind.  She pulled her pet to herself and closed his wounds before he was too terribly weakened, sending him to the door to wait for her while she shared a message with Ben.

Crouching down and hugging her knees, she looked at the pretty blonde - who was still pretty, because Themba had generally avoided his face - with large, worried blue eyes.  "Why\'d you \'ave to provoke \'im then, \'eh?" she whispered in her English accent.  "He\'s a warrior.  He could\'ve killed you.  Now... now you\'ll suffer.  It\'s your punishment fer bein\' so cheeky - we all heard you.  No more blood to mend your bones, you\'ll \'ave to get down to yer own resources \'n fix it with what y\'got.  No more blood," she finished, shaking her head fearfully and straightening up, even if Ben said something.

She couldn\'t hear him, of course, for she was paying attention to an inner monologue that wasn\'t hers, but Anu\'s.  She walked out with her bear and left Ben on the floor, not bothering to offer him assistance in getting up because she knew it would hurt and he needed all the blood he had inside him to mend first, move later.  Besides, he deserved the punishment of laying in his own blood a while longer.

For the rest of that night and all the following day, Ben would remain undisturbed.  At the beginning of the next night, however, Themba re-entered his bedding chamber - alone - and sought out the fledgling.  He was completely calm and composed this time, wearing jeans and a white T-shirt untucked, thumbs hooked into the pockets of his pants as he strolled.  He headed for the bedroom first, uncertain if Ben would have been able to move in the last twenty four hours.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 06:49:40 AM
He said nothing to Holly, though he wanted to thank her.  Her and her pets.  He was grateful for them, for her sharing them with him, for her giving him blood and at least numbing some of the pain as his bones mended.  He could feel them knitting together inside him, and worried that they wouldn\'t mend right in the position he was in.  Very slowly and carefully throughout the rest of the night, he changed position to his back, extending his legs straight and his arms by his sides.  It wasn\'t until the end of the night drew near until day that he attempted to move.  His leg was mostly healed but still hurt when he moved but his thigh felt worst.  He dragged himself from the place he\'d been beaten - just a few metres away - and looked back to see his blood on the carpet, evidence of the punishment he\'d been through (and was still undergoing).

He\'d slept on the floor during the day, in the spot he\'d moved to.  While he\'d slept, his bones knitted and healed, so when he awoke there was nothing left except the blood on his clothes.  His face had been the first to heal, for it had just been a bruise, and his thigh last.  Still, he sat up tenderly, expecting a blast of pain, and it was as he was getting his feet beneath himself to try standing that Themba entered the rooms.  Ben froze, hunkered in a crouched position, eyes darting about searching for cover but he was in the same spot by the time the Ancient walked through the doorway and found him.

Ben tensed, his gaze fixed on Themba, to see if there was still a threat from him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 07:17:12 AM
The African looked thoughtfully down at Ben, the usual indifferent pondering lighting his eyes rather than the livid, breathing dragon that had been firing them the night before.  His lips twisted from side to side, as if he was tasting a couple of different things to say and still deciding which it would be.

"It has been decided that I must speak with you.  Now," he declared pompously, and promptly spun on his heel in order to flop onto one of his couches and await Ben\'s company.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 09:29:31 AM
For the first time since the night they\'d met, Ben felt he was in the company of genuine danger.  That instinct had perhaps saved him a beating like this (or worse) first time around.  Being polite, respectful and apologetic had brought him into Themba\'s company without being touched.  Dropping that behaviour had led to the beating, and his gaze found the bloodied carpet once again before he slowly stood up to his full height.  He had no intention of keeping Themba waiting.
 
More fearful of his captor than he\'d ever been, Ben exited the bedroom and approached the couch Themba was on, sitting on whatever seat was furthest from the Ancient\'s reach (unless otherwise instructed where to seat himself).  He was watching Themba warily and quietly, figuring that Themba speaking with him meant he had to shut the hell up and listen.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 06:28:21 PM
"Come here," the ancient ordered, pointing at the space to his right - as per usual, he was arranged in the far left corner of the settee, arms along the back and the arm, right leg crooked on the seat, left leg splayed.  His leonine grace was still potent in this position, for he looked coiled and willing to strike if provoked, but he didn\'t care what affect his pose would have on Ben.  He wanted him within touching distance; preferably pressed as close as his leg would allow.  That was exactly where he pointed and he was pleased that Ben obeyed him (even if he did do it in the manner of one cowering into place).

"Firstly, I must apologise," he began stoically, looking directly into Ben\'s eyes to reinforce his sincerity.  "I\'m not entirely sure what came over me but I suspect it was the fact that I had expected you to respect my home and the bed I share with you enough to remain celibate.  I suppose I also believed you when you told me that you were not a slut - you\'ve resisted my advances well enough and always met me with denial whenever I encouraged you to loosen up."

Aware that his tone was becoming recriminating and bitter, Themba paused, allowing the first part of his speech to sink in as he glanced away to regather himself.  After a moment, he continued - unless Ben said anything - not looking at the young vampire this time.

"I have never beaten anyone so badly before.  Anu has advised that I have somehow formed an unrealistic attachment to you and that I should send you on your way immediately, but I have assured her that I will not let it get the better of me again.  I have invested too much time and energy into developing your portfolio and your name to simply walk away now.  She does not approve," he finished, and his expression blanched for a split second; Ben would see it even in his profile, if he was looking.

It greatly pained Themba to disagree so vociferously with his doyen, but that was how it was.  They\'d argued into the day over his treatment of Ben; it wasn\'t that she entirely approved of the fledgling, of course - which was the reason she\'d sent Holly in with only one animal to bleed.  Ben could\'ve had four more and been healed in an hour had he not so stupidly goaded Themba into attacking him, had he not been so blatantly wrong in the first place for their group.  By the dawn it was clear that Themba had made his choice, however, and the pair had agreed to disagree on the value of keeping Ben around if he was going to continually disrupt their harmony.

Should it happen again, Anu had made it very clear that she would deal with the situation on her own terms and Themba had had no choice but to concede the point; Ben would be his companion and their latest little moneyspinning project whilever things were acceptably calm between he and Themba, but if ever there was cause for that to change again, it would be stopped.  Terminally.

Themba looked at Ben again, doubting the full weight of his final words would carry to the fledgling but resentful enough of the doyen\'s treatment (in this case - and also because he was embarrassed by his actions, in all likelihood) to not elaborate.  "Do you understand all that I am saying to you?" he queried, prompting Ben to respond.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 07:57:50 PM
Ben listened, trying to read everything in the words and studying Themba so intently that he did see Themba\'s reaction to the disapproval of the woman ancient that seemed to head their clan.  He didn\'t know the full extent of what would become of him if there was more trouble, but he didn\'t intend on making any regardless.  He suspected that what Themba was saying was that he wasn\'t going to beat him again, but that point was moot considering Ben was going to do his best to not give him reason to do so.

"Yes."

It was a simple, singular answer, and all that he needed to give, he thought.  There was little need to clarify, considering the question had been straightforward and the answer had mirrored this.  With Themba looking back at him, he didn\'t have the courage to look into his eyes, not when he was this close.  It felt... threatening, somehow.  His gaze dropped to his lap where his fingers were playing with one another.  He also had the strangest impression that Themba was going to try something intimate with him, and the thought worried him (he hoped needlessly).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 08:57:06 PM
Themba watched the fledgling silently, waiting for an elaboration that didn\'t come.  "And how do you feel about... things?" he prompted, consciously stopping his nostrils flaring from the distasteful stench of day-old sex caked onto his companion.

"Are there any... assertions you wish to make?"  He stiffened, as if he was about to be berated and was preparing for the onslaught.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 09:26:21 PM
"I don\'t want to go through that again," Ben admitted quietly, still not daring to look at Themba.  He\'d gotten used to the smell of old sex and dried blood on him, since he\'d been covered in it for so long, so had no idea of how offensive he smelt, though he did want a shower, if only to clean off evidence of the beating.  He also wanted to clean his clothes, and if they wouldn\'t clean, then throw them away.

"No," he said to Themba\'s second question, frowning minutely.  Was this a setup?  He glanced at the Ancient, mistrustfully.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 10:07:52 PM
After a brief frown and some fluttery-eyelashed blinks, Themba cleared his throat and tried again.  "Well, do you have any questions about... how things will be, between us?  What is expected of you?  Anything?" he insisted, growing impatient but telling himself he understood why Ben was reticent to speak out

not that he\'s apologised

after his last experience with it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 10:12:09 PM
He sensed that Themba wanted him to ask, and went along with one of the questions that had been provided to him as an example.

"What\'s expected of me?" he asked quietly, his gaze lowering to his fidgeting fingers again, watching as he toyed with each fingernail on one hand before swapping and doing the same to the other.

He expected a very detailed answer.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 10:20:10 PM
Again, the ancient frowned but it didn\'t disappear from his forehead as he answered.  Ben was being frustrating and it was difficult not to become uptight, despite the fact that the consequences for slipping would be dire.

"You will be respectful," Themba asserted tartly.  "No more goading me when I tell you I find you insolent.  No more saying you\'re not the meaningless sex type and then having sex in our bed with someone just because they love you - no more hypocrisy," he clarified.  "I expect your reliance on emotion to cease altogether, eventually, for it\'s an unnecessary burden that clouds judgment and rules the lives of mortals, not immortals.  Your indulgence in it obviously weakened me," he declared, finding it as convenient an excuse as any for his outburst.

He didn\'t say that there would be no more liaisons with Daniel, for he expected that that would be obvious.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 10:24:04 PM
His reliance on emotion?  Ben expected that meant he had to detach himself from feeling anything.  He had to learn how to numb himself.  He could do that, he supposed, because he felt like he was withdrawing even now.

"Alright," he said, readily agreeing to something that he figured would make his shared existence with Themba bearable anyway.  He still didn\'t want to drink Themba\'s blood, and hoped that the Ancient wouldn\'t try and do it again, because now more than ever he didn\'t want to share a connection with the Ancient; regardless of what his blood could do to enhance his talents.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 10:34:46 PM
Ben\'s compliance - although very likely inspired by fear - was at least soothing to Themba, and he began to relax, feeling it was going well, really.  His right arm moved forward off the back of the couch then, to wrap around the fledgling\'s shoulders in a friendly manner.

"And we will work together, enhancing your standing until you have some decent campaigns beneath your belt and a career that you can be proud of - no more standing in shadows and stealing from mind-numbed mortals for my protégé!" the African stated, his voice growing firmer every second.

"You\'re very lucky I could reschedule last night\'s appointment for tonight - you should go and shower, in fact.  You stink of mortal and sex.  I\'ll work on getting new bedclothes and the wall and carpet fixed while we\'re gone," Themba said briskly, releasing Ben as he started to move forward and off the couch in order to get the night properly underway.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 10:50:02 PM
It was three weeks gone, with Ben wondering at the end of each of those weeks if Daniel had shown up only to be sent away.  He didn\'t dare ask though, in case it seemed too early to inquire after his mortal affair.  At the end of three weeks though, he was curious as to what had been said to Daniel; if he came every week to be sent away or if he\'d been told never to come back.

He was with Themba in the car on the way back from a shoot, where Ben had been praised for his work (which he was trying a lot harder to be good at - who knew models would have so much demanded of them?) and Themba was in a good mood about how it had gone.  He debated asking when they were in the vehicle, but he figured it would be better than asking when they were in Themba\'s chambers, so he bit the bullet and tried for a casual question about what had happened rather than showing concern about Daniel\'s current whereabouts.

"Did you tell Daniel to stay away or does he come by every week?"

The question had been out of the blue, for the radio had been the only noise between them.  Right now the music was secondary to the attention he was paying Themba, looking for warning signs of his temper.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 10:56:12 PM
A sneer curled Themba\'s upper lip and his hands tightened their grip on the wheel.  He glanced at Ben, anger in the gaze and his good mood disappearing like so much fog being hit by sunlight.

"He came by.  Once.  It was made clear to him that he shouldn\'t return again, lest he lose his life," the ancient said pompously, his glare turning condescending, along with his next words.  "Why?  Do you miss him?  Miss the sex?  You know, I would oblige you, if you feel the desire..."

The way he said it, even a rabbit would be turned off procreation.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 11:00:23 PM
He could sense the hostility before he heard it, and understood immediately he\'d made a mistake.  He tried to cover up his query with a bluff, and hoped that Themba would let him have that.

"I thought you\'d have wanted me to end it," he said, keeping his gaze fixed out the windscreen.  "To make a point.  I would\'ve," he said, and this was honest enough.  "I would\'ve got rid of him myself."

He summed up the courage to look at Themba again, even though he was scared by the sudden anger that he could feel like a hot, dry wind in the car, sucking up all the air-conditioning and stifling him.  He wanted the Ancient to look his way and understand that he meant it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 11:03:09 PM
"Really?" Themba mused, assuaged by the statement but unwilling to concede immediately.  "What would you have said?"  His gaze was now shared between the road and Ben, expression curious.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 11:07:00 PM
He hadn\'t expected to be pressed for details, especially when it seemed Themba didn\'t want to talk about Daniel at all.

"I..." he paused for a moment, then had an idea to continue with.  "I would\'ve told him sleeping with him was a mistake.  That I didn\'t love him and wouldn\'t ever.  That all he\'ll ever be to me is just another groupie."

He might\'ve even been that harsh.  He could imagine saying those things to Daniel, watching his crestfallen expression, and then closing the door in his face.  He\'d do it to save his own skin, because what was Daniel to him really except a catalyst for a beating?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 11:10:37 PM
"Groupie?" Themba queried, understanding what the word meant but not the subtle inflection of nuance in Ben\'s voice as he said the word - there was another layer of depth to the way it came out, when the fledgling said it, and the African wondered if he was hearing things or not.  It had almost sounded disapproving.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 11:13:44 PM
"You know, like the kind at Risk.  I mean, Liquid Empire," he said, correcting himself on the name of the club.  "The kind that\'ll fuck anything with fangs just as long as they get drunk from."  He shrugged.  "Groupie," he repeated.  It was easier to shove Daniel back into that category than to deal with the fact someone had loved him and now he had no access to that anymore.  It was better to belittle the memory.  To make the grapes sour, if you will.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 11:25:01 PM
Themba pulled a face, nose wrinkling as the description registered.  It didn\'t sound like Daniel at all and it certainly didn\'t sound like Ben\'s opinion of Daniel - because Ben didn\'t fuck just anyone, did he?

"So you\'d have lied to him, then?" the ancient asked silkily, his deep voice a premeditative rumble.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 11:29:08 PM
"Not really.  I could\'ve had him first night I met him," Ben said, frowning at the memory of opening the door and seeing Daniel bouncing there like a junkie.  "I, um, I think that\'s why I held off sleeping with him for so long.  I think if... if things had gone differently I wouldn\'t have... well, I don\'t know, it\'s hard to guess."  He shook his head and stared out the windscreen.  "I don\'t really want to talk about him anymore."

He wondered if Themba would let it go, because he sensed that the Ancient also would prefer Daniel to sink into history.  It would be easy for Themba to continue the discussion however, by pointing out that he\'d been the one to bring Daniel up in the first place.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 11:33:08 PM
"Ah yes, but you see now I am intrigued, because now I want to know exactly what made you have him, after so long?  After thinking so little of him the whole time you had him living down the hall, what made you change course and fuck him?"

The enquiry was still polite and almost airy, but there was a steel bar beneath it all, like he\'d whip it out and brain Ben with it if he didn\'t like what he heard, driving or not.  "And since you waited so long to taste that particular fruit, why would you lie to send him away - fear?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 11:41:59 PM
"Partially, yes.  And because I don\'t love him, so why bother?" he said, not wanting to tread down the wrong path and knowing he was in a minefield, by the sound of Themba\'s voice.  "Besides, I made a mistake sleeping with him, and I upset you by doing it, and I promised to be respectful of you, so..." he shrugged.  "I would\'ve got rid of him.  Myself.  For you."

He waited, hoping that Themba would just drop it.  Fear had been a huge part of his not wanting to be with Daniel again.  He just wasn\'t worth the pain.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 11:45:57 PM
"But not for you, correct?" Themba asked leadingly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 11:51:35 PM
"We wouldn\'t have been anything serious," Ben said, and got a very sudden, very hurtful reminder of Sotiris prompting him that their affair was nothing serious.  So Daniel to him had been like him to Sotiris.  Fucking hell, that put a whole new twist in his gut about how things had ended there.  At least Themba hadn\'t asked him about that relationship.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on November 30, 2009, 11:55:24 PM
Themba blinked at the picturing and sensory associations that came with Sotiris, not having broached them as much in the months they\'d been together as he had in the past five minutes.

"You didn\'t answer my question," he said tersely.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on November 30, 2009, 11:59:00 PM
"Nobody\'s ever shown that they gave a shit about me before," Ben said, hunkering down further in his seat, subconsciously trying to make himself small in case he received more of Themba\'s ire.  "I liked that he loved me, even if I didn\'t care about him.  So no, I wouldn\'t have ended it so early, but it would\'ve ended."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 01, 2009, 12:04:34 AM
"Not that you remember," Themba argued smugly, "but there\'s plenty about it in your journals," he pointed out, making it clear that he\'d gone against Ben\'s wishes (even if he\'d eventually agreed that he could look, the fledge still wished no-one would look into his private thoughts).  "With Kerr.  And, of course, you loved Sotiris, even if he didn\'t love you - is that what your stakes are, then?  Your legs will open wide if you are loved?  But not so when you are not?" he demanded nastily.  The concept of human emotions still addled the ancient\'s mind.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 01, 2009, 12:17:04 AM
It was a strange way to phrase being slutty - to refer to him in a position more appropriate for a woman.  It still held a particular power over him though, giving him a jab where it hurt the most.  Ben had never thought of himself as promiscuous, yet upon landing in New York he\'d slept with two different guys and given one he didn\'t even like a blowjob.

He was hurt by Themba\'s remark, and he wondered why the Ancient saw fit to hurt him.  Maybe he was upset that Ben hadn\'t done more for him; not that Themba had really hinted that he wanted anything sexual (until five minutes ago near the beginning of this conversation, and Ben doubted that was serious).  So what did he want then?

"I don\'t know.  I never actively look for sex.  Most of the time I don\'t end up in someone else\'s bed, but sometimes I do.  Sotiris was smooth and I ended up doing something spontaneous.  Daniel was just convenient and I never intended to have sex with him.  What I did for you was... I don\'t know where that came from.  Are you upset I haven\'t done it again or are you only pissed off that I said I wasn\'t a slut and then did everything opposite?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 01, 2009, 07:20:18 AM
"I\'m pissed off that you brought up that mortal again," Themba snapped, his hands rotating on the wheel as the grip he was keeping registered and he deliberately loosened it - lest he break the wheel.  He watched the road, not wanting to look at Ben now.

"I thought we were getting along fine, then you go and ask about him.  It should be enough to know that I haven\'t ripped his head off, then you can concentrate on your career and... " he trailed off

us
concentrate on US


because he wasn\'t sure he wanted to state what he was thinking.  He wasn\'t comfortable with it; it wasn\'t rational... but there it was, nevertheless.

"Everything else," he finished vaguely, turning into the warehouse and appreciative of the fact that he could fall quiet like he needed to concentrate on parking.  When he was done, he got out and strolled away, locking the car over his shoulder once he knew Ben was out and trying to clear his mind.

It was a good thing Ben had never drunk from him, or he\'d understand this desire he had to be closer to him, yet he still craved a connection... desired Ben wishing capitulation to the point where he offered, where he instigated.  It was his due, after all, for helping the fledgling get his life on track; it annoyed him that he wanted it but it annoyed him more that Ben would give to others and yet not see the mistake he made in ignoring Themba, who deserved more.

More of his human style emotion, if he wasn\'t interested in giving of his thoughts or body more freely.

Scowling, the ancient made his way upstairs without looking to see if the fledgling followed (wishing he would) him as he went into his office to deal with the business he\'d just created at the shoot - noting future appointments and needs before them, that sort of thing.  He sat at his desk and tried not to be hypersensitively aware of the youngling walking down the hallway towards the living quarters and certainly wiping his mind of all desire for the blonde to stop and attend to him (though his emotions on this matter radiated somewhat anyway).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 01, 2009, 08:37:52 AM
It was another couple of weeks that passed, with Ben noticing pointed looks Themba was giving him but unable to interpret them correctly.  He\'d initially thought they were warning looks and had stopped what he was doing (whether it was watching television or getting dressed into that shirt or if he was talking he would stop (rare) and if he was quiet he would start by asking a question about something trivial and trying to prompt a conversation), but after a few days of it, he realised they weren\'t warning looks and ended up having to acknowledge them with a brief smile back before pulling his gaze away and trying his best to not make eye contact again without being obvious about it.

It was after one such look, just as he was climbing into bed beside Themba, for dawn was approaching though there was still an hour yet before full sunrise, that Ben began to suspect what they might mean.  He didn\'t think the Ancient wanted anything sexual with him, otherwise he would\'ve said or done something before now, but now that Ben\'s mind was going in that direction, it was hard to see anything else in the expression thrown him apart from lust.

He moved close to Themba, as he was supposed to do every night, but as soon as he was touching his side to the Ancient\'s, he closed his eyes and willed sleep to claim him quickly.  He\'d learned to sleep on his back when sleeping with Themba, for turning onto his side either facing the other vampire or away from him wasn\'t something he wanted to do.

Unfortunately, his attempt at sleep was interrupted by the Ancient close to him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 01, 2009, 08:50:31 PM
"You realise you\'re going to be recognised on the street now, don\'t you?" Themba asked, his deep voice rumbling quietly through the darkness between his mouth and Ben\'s ear.  He was laying on his left side, resting his head on his raised arm as he stared at Ben.  His words held a level of intent that might be interpreted as warning, rather than the jealousy it was.

The fact that Ben\'s first national campaign had been finalised for launch that night - they\'d seen the final shots and been told exactly which magazines they\'d appear in at an executive meeting that had resulted in a lot of clapping and compliments for the final three models who would carry the line of fragrances and underwear to the public eye - meant a lot to the ancient.  Meant a lot to Ben, too, he hoped.

His only problem with it all was the idea that Ben would now achieve a certain amount of celebrity due to the beautiful black and white shots he featured in.  Themba didn\'t like that idea at all.  He also hadn\'t been particularly fond of the manner in which Ben had been fawned over at the launch, nor the admiring eyes he\'d been getting from one of the other models.  He was polite to them all, of course, but Themba constantly scanned the youngling\'s mind, watching for a lustful thought or a spark of interest that would distract him or redirect his interest.

Ben\'s interests weren\'t always where they should be - not yet, anyway - but the last thing the African would stand for would be them wandering away completely.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 01, 2009, 10:21:04 PM
At the parties, other than the congratulations he received, and being aware of the flirting, he hadn\'t taken it seriously, nor encouraged it.  He thought it was all part of the whole \'modelling\' thing, where everybody was everybody\'s friend until they had cause to scratch your eyes out or dump you for the next hot thing.  It struck him as a fickle industry, and he was surprised that Themba was enchanted enough with it to so deeply insert himself into it.  Perhaps he shouldn\'t be surprised, after all, Themba appeared to be single-minded when it came to how Ben should view himself.

He was actually pretty happy at his successs, but he was still overwhelmed and shy at parties like the one Themba had taken him to.  People he didn\'t know had come to him, using his name, congratulating him like they\'d known him since he\'d first started out, and then moving onto someone else.  He didn\'t remember most of them, only the other two models who\'d won the contracts with him, and even then he didn\'t feel as though he had anything in common with them as they\'d gossiped about fashion lables and who was sleeping with who.  He\'d been outright asked if he shared Themba\'s bed, and he was thankful for his pale pallour, for his failure to blush revealed nothing.  He\'d simply stared until he\'d been saved by someone else cutting into the conversation and changing it completely.

"Maybe," he said, not particularly impressed with the idea that people would be coming up to him just because his face was plastered on some billboard.  The public had been good at ignoring him all his life, so why was it so different now?  If he\'d seen a guy on the street that looked like a model in the magazine, he\'d just take a mental note of interest on it, but he wouldn\'t run up to them and talk to them because... well, that would be weird, wouldn\'t it?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 01, 2009, 10:26:09 PM
"Definitely," Themba corrected in a growl, scowling at the thought of it.  "They may not speak with you, but they will stare at you, and point.  And lust after you.  Love your image, if not convince themselves they love you.  How does that make you feel?" he prompted, eyes narrowed on Ben.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 01, 2009, 10:29:55 PM
"That I\'m going to inherit a bunch of stalkers and starers?" Ben asked, knowing Themba was treading the \'love\' topic, because Ben had told him his feelings on it regarding Daniel.  "I hope it won\'t be like what you say.  It sounds creepy."

He didn\'t value love if it came from a stranger.  Creepy was by far the best definition he had for something like that.  Daniel had fallen in love with him, and he thought that was reasonable, but people who\'d never met him?  That was just wrong.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 01, 2009, 10:35:05 PM
"You won\'t be intrigued by their adoration?" Themba queried suspiciously.  "You won\'t... wonder just how far they will go to be close to someone who has achieved fame?  Even if it is not as grand a thing as a movie star, it is still fame," he pointed out, imagining the mortals fawning over Ben, tempting him with their warmth and the lure of doing anything he wanted them to.

Images of supplication, worship and capitulation - all with a flavour of sexual promiscuity marbled through it - were sent to Ben from the ancient, making it clear where his preoccupation lay.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 01, 2009, 10:38:05 PM
Even though he\'d made this point before and even though he felt like he\'d lost his credibility and the words would lose his potency, he still had to say it.

"I\'m not interested in sleeping around," he said quietly, shamefully in fact, for he\'d made the claim before and hadn\'t held to it.  It would take time before it was proved to Themba however, and he was hoping that the Ancient would lose interest in him before that.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 01, 2009, 10:45:42 PM
Themba grunted, chagrined on the one hand that it was so - for he had no physical closeness from Ben - but pleased about it on the other.  "Still," he persisted, giving in to temptation and reaching across to run the pads of his fingers down Ben\'s face before cupping his cheek (it was warmer than his hand, for Ben had fed during the night), guiding the youngling to look at him, "you are beautiful and you will inspire their fantasies.  You will succumb," he predicted, his tone accusatory, wanting Ben to argue and prove that his loyalty stood in one place only.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 01, 2009, 10:48:47 PM
Ben didn\'t say anything while his face was held, taking Themba\'s insistence to mean he didn\'t want argument.  He looked at the African in the darkness, able to make out his features and seeing the intensity in his eyes, even without the light to assist his vision.  He didn\'t know what to say to that, thinking that \'thank you\' to the first bit wouldn\'t sit right at the end bit, so he said nothing, but his expression betrayed his confusion as to what the Ancient wanted from him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 01, 2009, 10:53:37 PM
"Won\'t you?" he prodded, squeezing Ben\'s face a little as he chased the reassurance he needed more aggressively.  "You\'ll give to them... to someone... eventually... won\'t you?"  The innuendo that \'someone\' was not him and it displeased him came through in his emphasis on the word, his full lips falling into a pout when the words finished marching past them.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 01, 2009, 10:56:44 PM
The warning hold made Ben blink a few times.  He was scared now, of upsetting the Ancient with the wrong thing.  Obviously silence had been the wrong thing, for Themba was seeking an answer.  It seemed a loaded question though.

"Not if it makes you angry," he said, hoping it would be enough to calm Themba down, unsure of which way he was going to go if Themba didn\'t find it an acceptable answer.  The last thing he wanted to say was \'don\'t know\' because that would surely piss the Ancient off, and \'no\' and \'yes\' seemed insane, either way.

His hand rose out of the covers to hold Themba\'s wrist, though he wasn\'t game enough to try and pull the Ancient\'s hold away.  It had been a reflexive move, and once he was holding to Themba\'s cool flesh, he wondered why he\'d risked it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 02, 2009, 07:08:33 AM
The ancient looked at the hand on his wrist, surprised by just how much he enjoyed Ben reaching up and actually touching him - yes, it meant that he was actually wanting to move him away but (and he hated himself for it) something in him didn\'t care.  It was a gesture, an instigation, even if it was a sheathed rejection.  Damn him, damn this boy who should have been doing so much more.

"You have no idea what\'s good for you," Themba jeered, looking back into Ben\'s eyes.  They were lovely eyes but he didn\'t care for them especially, when they were looking at him fearfully.  He had no emotional attachment to the boy that would make him swoon over such things, yet there was this twisted, knotted ball of tension inside his chest every time he thought about Ben reneging on his claim that he didn\'t share himself freely; in a way, he was already sharing through his photographs, and it was hateful.

He hated those eyes for their beauty and he hated them for looking kindly upon others when all he got was fear and loathing.  Why did he deserve such harassment?  He was only trying to teach the fledgling.

"You could try being more generous to those that deserve it, rather than the ones who would willingly get down on their knees before you, for once," he advised blackly and released Ben\'s face, extricating himself from the boy\'s hold with a flick of his wrist and laying his right arm along his side instead.  He was still staring intently at the pale figure before him, his expression petulant.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 02, 2009, 08:11:36 AM
Those that deserve it?

Ben thought that over, even as his hold was shaken off and he put his hand down, now curled beneath his chin, still feeling the shadow-hold of Themba\'s fingers.

He didn\'t know what Themba meant by \'those that deserve it\' for he\'d already dismissed Themba as someone who didn\'t want him sexually.  He\'d bullied Ben into taking the modelling job (which he was only just beginning to enjoy, but it wouldn\'t have been anything he\'d think about trying for), he\'d beaten him, insisted on having him close, slept with him without touching him, and because he hadn\'t bullied, asked or even implied sex, Ben figured he didn\'t want it from him, like Ben wasn\'t worthy.  He was fine with that, but now because of that comment, he wasn\'t so sure his first opinion of Themba was right.

If that was what he was after, then that was something else Ben would be obliged to give him.  Maybe it was better just to misunderstand what he meant.  Maybe it was safer just to acknowledge it and give in.  Did he want to give himself over to Themba so completely?  Maybe the Ancient would bore of him quicker if he didn\'t play hard to get with him (not that he\'d been doing so consciously).  Maybe he was the slut Themba kept accusing him of.  Yes, he\'d fallen in love with Sotiris, but he\'d climbed into bed with him without knowing anything about him and only barely learning his name.  And Daniel, who loved him but he didn\'t love back and doubted he ever would, who he\'d had sex with just because he wanted a bit of freedom and a bit of dominance.  Now here was Themba, who was prompting him to offer himself to those who were deserving.  Who else would Themba think was deserving, if not himself?  Maybe his existence with the Ancient would be a lot easier if he just gave in completely.  He had nothing else to lose.

"Do you...?  Do you want me that way?" he asked, figuring if he was wrong and the Ancient didn\'t (and then got angry with the offer), he could always defend himself by telling Themba he was deserving and hopefully he\'d be complimented.  Ben couldn\'t predict what would and wouldn\'t make him angry at times, he could only say things with something else in his mind to fall back on if it went awry.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 02, 2009, 11:11:37 AM
"What way?" Themba sniped, his attitude condescending, as if what Ben was saying was preposterous - but the glint in his eye hinted differently.  He wouldn\'t say it, that wasn\'t what he wanted his desires to come about being noticed, but it was fitting for Ben to figure out what he owed the ancient, at long last.  Let him say it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 02, 2009, 12:18:07 PM
Now Ben was incredibly confused and stuck in the middle of something he didn\'t know if he wanted to continue with.  If Themba wanted him sexually, then he wouldn\'t ask for clarification, would he?  Or maybe he was waiting for Ben to offer himself up.  Maybe, he was tricking Ben into offering himself just so he could have an excuse to reject and belittle him again.  It was difficult to know which way to go.  He\'d already started down this path though, so he might as well say it and find out.

"Sexually.  I thought you wouldn\'t want me, that I wasn\'t good enough for you.  I mean, I\'m just an ignorant fledgling, right?  And a slut, right?  You wouldn\'t want that, would you?" he asked all in one breath, giving Themba a leading question because he really didn\'t want the Ancient to want him.  At this point, his head was turned on his pillow and he was staring at the Ancient through the darkness, curious as to what would be verbally shot back at him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 02, 2009, 05:29:05 PM
"Well that was a mistake, wasn\'t it?" Themba sneered.  "You thinking, I mean.  You\'re obviously as good at it as you are at telling me what I think," he huffed and made a show of rolling off his side and onto his back to contemplate the canopy above them.  His hands were folded neatly atop each other on his chest, his fingers drumming lightly.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 02, 2009, 06:06:05 PM
So now he knew for certain, and his stomach flip-flopped while his heart wrenched in his chest.  He didn\'t want to be wanted by Themba.  The Ancient was his tormentor, his jailor.  If he didn\'t think Themba would find him and bring him back, he would\'ve taken off by now.  He said nothing, did nothing, willed dawn to come quickly so he could go to sleep and not have to say anything more, because they would both succumb to the sun\'s passing overhead.  He suspected that sleep would come later for Themba, or maybe the Ancient could get away without sleeping at all.  Sotiris had answered his question about that, but he\'d also added that every vampire was different.

Sleep didn\'t come quickly and he was forced to lay the full hour at Themba\'s side, saying and doing nothing and hoping Themba would also do the same.  By the time the sun finally rose, Ben was willingly taken over into his comatose rest.

He woke the same way, only without Themba at his side.  It worried him, that he might\'ve made the Ancient angry by knowing he was desired by him and then not doing anything about it.  It had been a shock, and it wasn\'t like Themba had been entirely seductive about it either.  If the African had gone about things differently, he could see himself giving in.  Right now he just wanted more space than before.

He made his way to the shower and got ready for the night ahead, selecting clothes that Themba approved of, feeling restrictive and stupid in the tight blue t-shirt but at least jeans were jeans and with lace up shoes he could pretend his favourite shirt had just shrunk in the wash.  Or something.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 02, 2009, 07:56:19 PM
Themba was in need of a creative outlet.  Leading Ben to conclusions he knew the fledgling had finally made (since his damn thoughts had been a swirling, torrid mess until he slept the day before) had him on edge and he needed something to do that didn\'t involve thinking or paperwork.

He was out in the recreational living room, the wall showing a variety of channels as per usual - one of them, surprisingly, showed a soccer match, rather than something fashion oriented - but sitting at a draftsman\'s table.  He\'d drawn a quick designed but was mostly turned away from it, fiddling with a large swatch of red cloth before attempting to pin it onto a black length he\'d already pinned onto a dressmaker\'s mannequin.

He glanced up as Ben entered the room, looking him over.  "Evening.  You look nice," he said mildly, before returning to his manual work.  His ignoring of Ben - the only other being in the large room - was a study in awkwardness, though he tried to make out he was concentrating and playing it cool.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 02, 2009, 10:10:19 PM
"Is there anywhere we need to be tonight?" Ben asked, first folding his arms across his chest before realising that could be viewed as hostile, and then linking his fingers together in front of his crotch, before dropping that and keeping his arms at his side.  Eventually his hands patted gently on his thighs before he thumbed his jeans pockets, to keep them still.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 02, 2009, 10:21:32 PM
"I would have woken you if there was," Themba answered, flirting with sarcasm as he continued to play with the material in his hand and not deigning to look back at Ben again.  "You must have slept poorly."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 02, 2009, 10:27:42 PM
Ben didn\'t know what to say to that, so he stood where he was for a minute longer before turning on his heel and seeking out his journals.  He hadn\'t read them, hadn\'t written in them for a long time, and now he sought to do the latter.  He needed to get his head straight, and he figured writing down his theories about this situation was the best thing to do.  Once he got the latest one out and a pen to go with it, as soon as the page was turned to a blank one, he paused before finishing the first sentence, where he was going to write \'Themba\'.  The Ancient had pushed him to read the journals, and he could easily just pull them out and read them without Ben knowing, so... was it wise to write stuff down in them?  He put them away.

Having no outlet for himself, he went back into the bedroom and re-sorted his clothing, organising them seasonally and then into colours.  Once that was done, he stared at his closet for ten minutes, standing and thinking about all the things he would\'ve written down if not scared to.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 02, 2009, 10:39:05 PM
Themba was annoyed to find that, once he\'d seen that Ben was up and he knew he was in the bedroom doing something, his design wasn\'t going nearly as fluidly or as interestingly.  He thought about what the fledge was doing instead, until he pricked his finger with a pin and decided to give up the pretense of concentrating on anything other than Ben\'s thoughts.

He was silent as he walked in to his chambers and stopped beside the daydreaming youngling, staring at the wardrobe full of clothes rather than at him.  "I\'ll know what you think whether you write it down or not," he said mildly.  "It is foolish of us to ignore the fact, now that you understand me a little better, is it not?" he queried, sick of Ben\'s guessing and second-guessing.

It was pointless, considering he was in his head most of the time anyway.  The only reason he\'d ever gone to the journals was to find out what Ben could not possibly tell him, because it had been wiped from his mind.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 02, 2009, 10:57:53 PM
Ben turned to face Themba fully instead of just turning his head.  Being told that his thoughts would never be private angered him, but in a way that made him feel frustrated and helpless, because he couldn\'t do a damn thing about it.  His mental blocking was so much tissue paper in the face of Themba\'s grand age, and the Ancient didn\'t respect him enough to give him his privacy.

"Then you know I\'m thinking about sleeping with you even though I don\'t want to.  You know I\'ll give you whatever you want, even though I won\'t like it and will hate myself for it.  You know I think you want me to make the first move, to touch you or ask you to fuck me, but I\'ve already blown you so the first move is done.  You know you\'ve already broken me, that there\'s only the sex left to go through with, that I\'m holding you off for some fucking shadow of pride, or ego, or whatever.  So go ahead, you have my permission.  I\'ll make sure it\'s good."

He half expected to be refused, and wouldn\'t that be a kick in the teeth?  How else was he supposed to tell Themba he would sleep with him.  Seduce him?  What a fucking laugh, especially if he knew Ben\'s thoughts.  It would never be a better offer than this.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 03, 2009, 07:14:04 AM
Themba\'s nostrils flared as he turned his head and looked down at Ben, hating hearing all these things out of his mouth but finally finding a shred of respect for him for saying them.  It was about time he addressed his true feelings and stopped shying away from pretense and what he thought was the \'right\' thing to do (according to his moral code).  Still, the actual sentiments caused the ancient to sneer.

"That is nothing even close to what I want," he assured the fledgling honestly, his glittering gaze boring into Ben\'s pretty one and telling him he would prefer to own his soul - not just be told he owned it.  He reached over and grasped Ben\'s throat, his long digits curled up and around the fledgling\'s jaw to caress him.  "But I suppose... it might be a place to start," he mused, looking at Ben\'s lips a moment before he moved in to kiss him.

~*~

When it was over, they lay on the bed, naked and entwined, with Themba trying to decide when the last time he\'d felt so content had been.  Possibly when Ben had capitulated last, but before that... a long time.  It hadn\'t been part of his sphere, really - but he wasn\'t against it due to some imagined moral code, as Ben was, and that was the difference, to him.

"You put too much stock in emotions," he commented mildly, then smiled to show that he wasn\'t being cruel (though he was staring up at the canopy, rather than at Ben, an arm and a leg wrapped possessively over the youngling), "but I\'m beginning to see that there may be some enjoyment to indulging every now and then."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 03, 2009, 07:43:27 AM
"I\'m closer to my mortal side than my vampirism side," Ben responded, for he didn\'t remember even being sired.  He was human one day, seeking out someone to sire him, and a vampire the next, skipping everything in between.  He\'d learned much very quickly, thanks to Kerr\'s willingness to teach him all over again, but even though he didn\'t have his heartbeat, he still felt mortal.  There was no transition he could recall.  "I suppose how I see things will change in time," he added, figuring all things changed with enough time, and he had time now.  The problem was, he liked being the kind of person who had emotions and was ruled by them.  Themba kept telling him it was wrong, and foolish, and to remove himself from them, but he still wasn\'t convinced.

Funnily enough, he wasn\'t feeling any kind of emotion right now, wrapped up in bed with Themba.  They\'d done the deed and it hadn\'t been so bad.  It had been a pleasant act, in fact, and he imagined the second time, or third, or however many times Themba wanted him, it would be easier.  He wondered if their dynamic would change - if Themba would treat him differently, or if only Ben\'s own perception changed.  Either way, it would be a difference.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 03, 2009, 07:32:49 PM
"Mmm," Themba agreed, turning his head and looking at Ben.  "So who do you hate more now?  Me or you?" he asked slyly, recalling that Ben had said something about hating himself after succumbing to sex and not wanting to do it - ergo, he\'d hate being with Themba.  So much passion for such a meaningless act; the ancient wished he\'d just get over it and see it for what it was.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 03, 2009, 07:46:00 PM
"I don\'t hate anyone," Ben replied softly, not moving from his position wrapped in Themba\'s arms.  He was tired of fighting, tired of not conforming with what the Ancient wanted.  Really, was it so bad?  Themba had given him a cushy job instead of punishing him for stealing in his territory.  It had been Ben who\'d started this whole mess, and it could\'ve been a lot worse.  He felt bad for Daniel, but it wasn\'t guilt in the respect that it wasn\'t really his fault.  Themba seemed to be jealous, and now with Ben in his bed he didn\'t have to be jealous because Ben was hardly going to sleep around on him.
 
Funny how life worked out.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 03, 2009, 08:18:26 PM
"Well, good," Themba commented, sounding genuinely surprised as he looked at Ben.  "Because you shouldn\'t - which is my overarching message, by the way.  Not that you\'re a slut but that you shouldn\'t worry about labels or being anything, if it brings you pleasure.  Obviously it doesn\'t, and that is fine, but you spend so much of your existence worrying about how you will be perceived and received by others, that you don\'t dare seek pleasure.  Perhaps now you will be... a little more open to giving and taking as you see fit, yes?" he prompted, raising his eyebrows at Ben.

Of course, there was always the danger of Ben getting addicted to freedom and the indulgence of his immortal rights of dominance, but Themba would deal with that as it came up.  Wallowing in post-coital bliss as he was just then, nothing seemed unsolvable.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 03, 2009, 09:28:23 PM
"Sure," Ben replied, because Themba had prompted for one, but there was little else that needed saying, and little else he wanted to say.  It was easier just to shut his mouth and obey, he found, and eventually Themba would tire of him and he\'d be on his way.  Right now, still feeling the ghost sensation of the African inside him, and curled up in his arms, he didn\'t want to dwell on it in case it came too close to his surface thoughts and feelings.  Numb.  That was what he was right now, and he\'d go with it, until the end.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 04, 2009, 07:07:32 AM
It sounded offhanded and genuine and Themba shifted his head slightly so that he could see Ben better.  The youngling obviously wasn\'t convinced... and he was saying anything to appease him.  Was he actually laying there depressed and just feeding him any old bullshit?  His mind seemed very closed just then...

"I beg your pardon?" he queried challengingly, wanting something more than flippant rubbish.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 04, 2009, 07:27:44 AM
"Yes, maybe.  We\'ll see," he expanded.  Was Themba really asking him to divine the future about how he was going to act and react thanks to one sexual spree in bed with him?  He did feel different, but he didn\'t know what it meant.  Was he changing into the kind of person Themba wanted, or was he just changing?  He didn\'t know how experienced the Ancient was at shaping people, but if Ben wasn\'t the first, then the vampire certainly must have had a lot of practise and there was no sense fighting it.

Now he moved, though he didn\'t move away, merely shifted in Themba\'s hold to get a little more comfortable and to reclaim his spot because the Ancient had moved from him to look at him.  The sex had happened at the start of the night, so they had many more hours together tonight, and he wondered if they were going to leave this bed at all or if Themba was the kind to pursue sex again soon after once he was ready to go.  For now Ben simply lay against and on him, thinking of nothing in particular.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 04, 2009, 05:31:35 PM
Themba frowned at the boy settling against him, finding this new placidity unnerving.  Certainly, he\'d wanted attention and had enjoyed what Ben gave, but did the giving have to stop there?  With sex and that was it?  He wouldn\'t enter into any conversations regarding his future or the possible improvement of his being?  Wouldn\'t agree to reflect inwardly about where he might have gone wrong in the past and what he could do to fix things in the future?

It was just... nothing?

"Are you always this boring after sex?" he snapped and extricated himself from around Ben.  He wanted more, expected more now that they\'d shared an intimate act but all he was getting was... blankness.  It made him impatient and want to do something, so he headed for the shower.  His nude body glinted with leonine grace as he walked casually to the bathroom, adored by any light that struck it so that it molded to his darkness, rather than reflecting.  He announced his intentions carelessly when he was not far from the bed, doubting Ben would join him but liking the notion that he would.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 04, 2009, 11:07:28 PM
He was surprised to be snapped at, and tensed as Themba left the bed in order to shower.  He\'d thought sharing himself physically would be enough to finally pacify the Ancient, to at least get a night\'s peace.  It seemed he was wrong, and as he listened to the shower start up and then the sound of the water changing as it splashed against Themba\'s body instead of on the tiled floor, he wondered if their dynamic would get better or worse.

Getting up out of bed mutely, he tugged halfheartedly on the sheet to raise it but didn\'t bother going through with tidying the bed properly like he normally would\'ve.  Leaving it in a mess, he stepped over clothes that had been tossed on the floor in their frenzy of getting undressed and getting on with it, and approached the bathroom.

His motives were lost even to himself, but like he\'d told himself while laying in bed in Themba\'s arms, there was no sense fighting it.  He approached the shower and joined the African, quietly doting on him in the cubicle with the soap and then the washcloth.  He would say very little, nothing at all if Themba would let him get away with it.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 04, 2009, 11:56:24 PM
Appeased when Ben joined him in the shower and touched him tenderly, Themba was persuaded into a positive mood that lasted through the rest of the night and even into the three after that.  They were busy with modelling jobs after the first night, but Ben made a special effort to seduce Themba when they got home and into bed.  He didn\'t say much, which was a concern for the ancient as the nights passed them by, but he told himself that Ben was still coming to terms with it all and he enjoyed the attention from the youngling (who was a skilled and exciting lover, despite his hangups about sex).

By the fourth night when they got home from a short casting shoot and Ben simply latched onto Themba without any word of warning, however, the ancient became annoyed. He realised that they had had even less conversation than they usually did, ever since he began allowing Ben to speak with his body, and exactly how long it had been since he\'d heard the fledgling say anything that wasn\'t a moan.  His voice felt like a memory, in fact, the longer he thought about it.

Grumpily, he grabbed Ben\'s wrists and lifted them off his bare chest, frowning down at the blonde in consternation.  "Do you actually want sex this often or is it merely the only way your limited creativity can come up with as a method of ensuring my happiness?  Because I can assure you, as heartening as it is to see you willfully fucking and not finishing by curling up in a corner to flagellate yourself stupid, this silent-supplicant treatment of yours is getting boring," he announced, wrinkling his nose as he thrust Ben\'s hands away from himself - like someone who\'d found a homeless person crawling up his chest in the middle of the day, looking for shelter and to share a bit of warmth.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 05, 2009, 08:45:58 PM
The words spoken were harsh and had him blinking with the impact of them.  His hands slowly lowered, dropping to his sides and he stood before Themba with very little to say for himself.  It had been so easy the past few nights, he\'d been pleased with the good mood Themba was in, not being belittled or snapped at had reassured him that the decision he\'d made was the right one.  The problem was, now even sex wasn\'t enough and he felt both confused and rejected.

"Sorry," Ben said finally, his voice hoarse with disuse, proving to Themba that he really hadn\'t been talking much.  Ben had said very little since deciding to share his body with the Ancient, withdrawing in a different way.  He hadn\'t purposefully set out to do so, it was more of a mental retreat, to stop himself from feeling like crap - to stop himself from feeling at all.  It was easier to block emotions when he didn\'t have to talk.

Apart from the apology, nothing else was said.  He never knew what to say when it came to the Ancient.  Anything that did come out of his mouth was something that either disappointed or angered.  It was safer just to react, to wait until a question was posed to him and then to answer it as simply as possible.  He felt he was letting Themba down, letting himself down, and it was like freefalling.

He had trouble looking at the expression Themba was throwing him.  It did more to make him feel small and worthless than his words had, so his gaze dropped to look at Themba\'s chest instead, looking at the shirt buttons he\'d intended to undo before the African had stopped him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 06, 2009, 12:57:23 AM
"Answer the question," Themba ordered, crossing his arms and staring intently down at Ben.  "Your mind is... very blank, I get no clues about your thoughts unless I dig - and I can\'t be bothered with that - so tell me: do you want that much sex?  Is it wonderful or is it just easy?  Answer me honestly now, because you should realise that I am just as happy having a conversation with you, as long as you are a participant, rather than just a... a... a pot plant!" he declared, pulling his hand out of the crook of his arm in order to wave it around vaguely (like it would help him locate an accurate description somehow).

Truthfully, he was also a little intimidated by the amount of sex being demanded of him - four nights in a row!  He was no longer very skilled at the act, after so many years of celibacy, and he also had no interest in reclaiming his former glory through practice.  Keeping it efficient and functionally accurate was as good as he needed.  He would never divulge the secret that he could take or leave it, but it was true; he could lay everything on Ben\'s shoulders, though, and look magnanimous by refusing sex if the boy said he didn\'t want to have it as frequently.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 06, 2009, 07:26:33 AM
Answer the question?  He\'d thought it rhetorical, seeing as there\'d been an insult thrown in after it.  When Themba continued by elaborating, he was relieved, and once it was his turn to answer, he took a short moment to think it over.  Did he want that much sex?  Well, it was easier than trying to have a talk with Themba, that was for sure - the sex hadn\'t led to arguments or insults, and Themba seemed content afterwards.

"Both.  It\'s easy and it\'s wonderful.  I mean, there\'s pleasure in it... don\'t you think?" he was worried that Themba would tell him he\'d had better, especially when Ben had tried to please the Ancient with everything he\'d learned so far.  He\'d set up each submissive position for himself, figuring sex would be another way Themba wanted to dominate over him, and he\'d not complained to Ben, and had orgasmed in him each time so... did he think Ben was boring in bed?  That a pot-plant would be as interesting a recipient for Themba\'s seed?  He was confused.  "I\'ll do whatever you ask for.  I thought you liked what I\'ve done so far."  Internally, his ego cringed and hid itself away, but he could look at Themba again, curious about what he hadn\'t yet done that the African wanted.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 06, 2009, 01:50:16 PM
Relenting, Themba uncrossed his arms and grasped Ben\'s face gently in both his hands, his thumbs stroking the boy\'s jawline reassuringly.  "I have," he asserted seriously.  "You\'re an excellent lover; generous, accommodating, intuitive - I like being with you very much.  It\'s just that... well, the whole point to it all is simply to realise that it\'s just... just a tool for pleasure," he explained, his hands shifting slightly on Ben\'s face as he shrugged.

He was frowning as he looked into the youngling\'s face; not because he was upset but simply because he was trying to explain himself in a manner that would be clearly understood.  Obviously letting Ben figure it out for himself was too much, because he was already being stretched beyond his usual capabilities.  That was fine, the ancient had decided; and an explanation would be his reward.

"You need to not be so enslaved by your inhibitions, that\'s all.  And to stop being so judgmental.  You judge yourself when there\'s no-one else around who you deem necessary to be judged and I think that\'s what you\'re doing and why you\'ve been so damn quiet; you\'ve taken the plunge into sex, as it were, but now you\'re so busy punishing yourself for it, you\'re barely thinking, barely communicating.  And if that\'s the price... well, I\'d rather the sex go so that you\'re not... like this all the time," he said sincerely, his thumbs lifting simultaneously as he looked down Ben\'s body, as if him gesturing to his standing there would indicate the zombie-like behaviour he\'d been receiving recently.

"I\'m disappointed that you\'re not making these connections, that you\'re not growing up, but I also understand that I am pushing you to do it all quickly and perhaps... well, perhaps eighteen hundred years of wisdom cannot be achieved in a matter of months," he smirked, his fingers sliding up and into Ben\'s hair to caress his head as he gave his backhanded compliment.  It was as close as he\'d ever come to admitting he was fallible in some way, but, strangely, he was comfortable enough with Ben to do it, at that exact moment.  He really was feeling magnanimous.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 09, 2009, 05:14:21 AM
Ben, with his head still in Themba\'s hands and shivers travelling down his spine from the light touches in his hair, was caught in conflict.  With sex, Themba hadn\'t punished him, hadn\'t insulted him, hadn\'t been angered unnecessarily and had treated him well afterwards.  With conversation (which was what Themba was asking for), all the opposite had been true, but this was what the Ancient sought.  Did he like having an excuse to punish Ben?

One of the comments made to him struck him more deeply than the others, and so it was this he responded to.

"Growing up means separating sex from love?"

As soon as it was out of his mouth, his expression changed from curious to one expecting a negative repurcussion for his question.  Themba had bullied him to the point where he felt nothing he said was innocent in the older vampire\'s eyes, that everything meant something, and that he could only ever say the wrong thing - even if it was a question.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 10, 2009, 05:58:04 PM
Themba\'s lips pooched to the side as he gave the proposition some thought.  It was odd, this phrasing, and it gave away Ben\'s thoughts but that was exactly the reason Themba was keeping him around (apart from punishing him, which he was well beyond needing to work off, now); he didn\'t think like him and as frustrating as it could sometimes be, right then he found it... merely intriguing.

"Yes, I suppose it does," he announced at last.  "Sex is something to be enjoyed whimsically," he continued, lowering his hands from Ben\'s head to rest lightly upon his chest.  "Or merely as it\'s necessary.  Love is nothing of the sort and the two are very often mutually exclusive - just ask the henpecked man who\'s been married forty years.  He\'ll have an entirely different opinion to a nineteen year old experiencing his first relationship - as will the housewife so bored by her twenty year marriage she seeks an affair to keep her sanity.  Youth tends to see everything as interconnected and meaningful; with age comes cynicism and the ability to differentiate between what matters, what doesn\'t and what\'s necessary to keep one\'s focus and continue on with life."

The ancient fell quiet momentarily, a gentle smile upon his lips as he gazed rather more fondly than he ever had down upon the fledgling before him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 10, 2009, 07:47:37 PM
Ben thought over what Themba was trying to tell him and came to a conclusion that seemed bizarre, but it appeared to be exactly what the Ancient was saying.  He had to clarify though, and with his first question for clarification he hadn\'t been punished or insulted, therefore he should be okay to request clarification again.
 
"So... if you love someone,  you shouldn\'t sleep with them?" he asked doubtfully, positive he\'d got it wrong, but Themba had said mutually exclusive.  He could see how the argument made sense, but it was a harsh way to live an existence.  Maybe it was easier, he wasn\'t sure.  If that was the case, then Kerr loving Ben and sleeping with Jack was the right thing to do?  Kerr was in his fourth century, so had he come to the same conclusions as Themba?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 10, 2009, 09:29:44 PM
The African chuckled, delighted by Ben\'s imbecilic reasoning to the point where he leaned forward and kissed him squarely on the lips.  "Ohhh, you are a treasure," he murmured condescendingly, shaking his head at Ben in an \'I have no idea where you get these ideas or what I\'m going to do with you\' sort of way.

"That\'s not what I\'m saying at all.  By all means, share every aspect with the one you love, but know that the physical side will fade in significance as the years pass.  For a vampire, love will also alter and not be as deep or rich as that of a mortal, for we are an exalted species and we evolve into a higher state of being as a natural course of living so long; mortals get quality, we get quantity, if you will," he smiled benignly, stroking Ben\'s chest with feathery touches of affection - he did enjoy it when the fledgling listened so attentively.

"Of course, there are willful, hedonistic kindred who insist on indulging their carnal desires to the exclusion of all else, often maintaining a symbiotic relationship with mortal emotions at the same time - your sire is one, I believe - but you should aim to be better than the masses.  You are better than that; in a sense, you\'ve trained yourself to be highly critical, you\'re just focussing on the wrong subject matter.  It\'s a waste of time to pour so much energy into denying yourself or judging others and yourself when you only have a short amount of time when you\'ll enjoy these things before you evolve into whatever destiny has in store for you!"

The final statement was a grand announcement, made with lifting arms and a head tilted back, as if Themba was ready to embrace this change on Ben\'s behalf; immediately.  Truthfully, he did look forward to the time when Ben and he were equals, but he\'d come to realise he was rushing things on that front.  The best he could hope for now was Ben relaxing, being less judgmental, more communicative and feeding his natural curiosity about the world around him (and his journals were just brimming with that vivaciousness).  In short, Themba couldn\'t wait for Ben to grow up, but he was also beginning to enjoy the ride on the way there.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 11, 2009, 09:16:43 AM
"I should just do what I want," Ben said finally, beginning to understand that Themba was elevating himself as well as Ben because they were... vampires? He didn\'t know why robbing from the Ancient meant he was now becoming his protege of sorts. He felt less like Themba wanted him to be a captive and more like a student, or his adopted fledge. Was that why he\'d wanted Ben to drink from him? He was beginning to see things differently.
 
"I don\'t think sex is everything," he confessed, now wanting to explain himself and not have Themba look upon him like he hadn\'t understood a word. "I don\'t want to share myself with everyone. I guess it\'s... I see sex as an honour, like something that shouldn\'t be given everyone. I don\'t see it just as a release. I mean, if I needed that, I have my hand." He would\'ve blushed after saying such a thing, except he hadn\'t drunk recently and there was no extra blood to pink his cheeks. "I don\'t see it as denying myself. I see it as.... denying them."
 
Whoever they were. Those who weren\'t worthy of sleeping with him, by the sound of his argument.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 11, 2009, 07:38:45 PM
Themba\'s expression was thoughtful, his lips pursed again and eyes narrowed as he contemplated that slant on things.

"Hrmm... I suppose... well, I\'d only considered you as being unrealistically restrictive, but I do see your point there.  As long as you\'re not denying yourself, then I suppose it\'s fine to abstain - you just need to do it for the right reasons."

He gave Ben a further quiet, considering look, uncertain whether this point was completely accurate, but so happy to be spoken to in a respectful manner that he could overlook it if he decided later that it had been a bad idea to endorse such a poor choice.

"See how beneficial communication can be?" he asked in an unusually high tone, his voice alone suggesting that it had been Ben who\'d instigated the breakdown of their lines of conversation after he\'d beaten him within an inch of long term handicaps

It was such an elementary understanding, really.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 12, 2009, 07:17:52 AM
"Yes," Ben said quietly, offering Themba a small smile because he was relieved that his words hadn\'t angered him.  He stepped forward and placed his arms around Themba for an embrace, not making any other overt moves with it to imply he wanted sex, but simply wanting to be held.  With his head on Themba\'s shoulder and his gaze unfocussed while his mind cleared, it was an easy habit to simply slip back into his numbness until Themba demanded more answers from him.

*

The nights drifted by without further incident, for whenever Themba asked him questions or whenever Ben began to notice he wasn\'t pleased, he\'d either offer him conversation or sex, the latter less often but usually when he didn\'t know what to say.

Late one night when Ben had selected one of the books from Themba\'s library to read, he\'d noticed the inside cover was curling up at the corner.  He told Themba his desire to fix it and after a short conversation where Ben obviously said all the right things, he was told to collect a pottle of glue from the front desk.  On his way back with the item in his hands, he felt rather than saw a hostile presence before him, because he\'d kept his head down on eyes on the carpet mostly as he\'d walked.  Lifting his gaze he found Anu in front of him, a few metres away, and she was staring at him in a manner that made him feel small and scared.  He stopped, because he didn\'t think she\'d give him the chance to move around her, and addressed her formally but quietly.

"Good evening," he said, then all he could do was stare and wait her out.  If she didn\'t say or do anything for half a minute, he would attempt to move around and past her back to Themba\'s rooms.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 13, 2009, 03:05:05 AM
She stood like a model being photographed - or like one who\'d just stepped out of the pages of a high-brow magazine.  Wearing a red satin dress with a flared skirt to her ankles, no sleeves and a scooped neckline that plunged to her belly button (there was a strap at breast level holding the two halves together, for the back was equally as  lacking in covering), she was dressed for a cocktail party.  The red stilettos on her feet accented the curves of her body, as did the material that clung to her like a second skin, proving that she couldn\'t have been wearing any underwear beneath a dress like that.

Anu\'s arms were folded very precisely across her stomach; her right hand was wrapped around her thin bicep, her left was bent at a perfect right angle in the crook of her right elbow, fingers looking elegant against that bicep.  Her makeup was flawless and highlighted her large, dark eyes with equally large and dramatic smokey eyeliner and shadow, her black hair floating about her head and flowing down her back obediently, falling from a central part.  She was beautiful, in a sinister and shadowy way, her right leg angled away from her body as if she was blocking off the hallway Ben wanted to travel down, all her weight supported on her left leg.

"So.  The little rat can leave its bubble unaccompanied," she said in a deep, heavily accented voice.  Her accent was quite a lot like Themba\'s, except the emphasis and rhythm of it was slightly different.  Her expression was haughty and quite still; she looked like a queen trained to give nothing away with her face or any sort of inflection put into her speech.  Despite this, she also didn\'t seem particularly pleased to see Ben and she still managed to give off an antagonised air.  "Its training must have begun to take effect, for I see that it is unharmed," she mused, looking Ben over.  Even though she referred to him as an \'it\', it was clear she spoke about him.  "Does this mean it will be leaving my nest, soon?" she queried blandly (even though there was much hope inside her that this would be the case).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 13, 2009, 03:29:02 AM
He was appropriately intimidated, like he\'d been with Themba in the beginning.  The African still intimidated him, but in a far different manner now than before.  Once again, he didn\'t really know what to say, or how to behave, but figured it was better to give a response than none.  He didn\'t want to mumble, but still spoke softly when he answered her.

"It\'s up to Themba," he said, not realising the number of arguments he\'d caused between Themba and Anu about his staying with them.  He might\'ve innocently antagonised her by saying something like this.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 13, 2009, 03:33:06 AM
"Really?" she drawled, stepping closer to him as a scientist might close in on an antagonised snake to get a closer look at it.  Her arms didn\'t unfold as she strolled, her hips describing a neat sashay as she moved in a circle around Ben.  "And it doesn\'t wish to be free of us?  Out of the nest and living its life in the city... now that its debt is well paid?" she enquired, the barest of inflections creeping into her monotone voice to imply that she was asking a leading question.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 13, 2009, 03:40:05 AM
His debt was paid?  Themba hadn\'t told him so, and he didn\'t really feel like he was staying for that anymore anyway.  He\'d considered what he had now to be his new life, because he didn\'t feel like his training was over.  Themba wasn\'t focussed on his powers like Kerr had been, but training was training, and he was learning how to survive a long time.  Themba was certainly a prime leader in that field, considering his age.

"I\'m... I still have a job here... I mean, I work for you, still."

He was rattled by her proximity and her accusing tone, asking him questions he didn\'t know how to answer.  He no longer considered himself a captive, so being \'free\' of them was a mistake in the question.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 13, 2009, 03:48:38 AM
She came to a stop directly in font of him, peering at him with her uniquely fixed expression, eyebrows now slightly lifted.  Annoyance danced in her black eyes, but her posture and tone didn\'t give it away.

"Not for me.  For Themba.  Blind, stupid Themba, believing its motives pure when they were always naught but selfish," she said, a tinge of disdain colouring her tone as her gaze flicked down the length of Ben\'s body and then almost instantly back again, boring into his.  "Themba no longer knows what is best for himself but I do; the drifting fledge should go, and leave us to our peace.  Soon," she told Ben meaningfully.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 13, 2009, 03:57:37 AM
He doubted he\'d have his apartment to return to, and he didn\'t think he could face Daniel again after what had happened, so leaving here meant he\'d be drifting again - exactly as she\'d said.

Her words made him feel bad, twisting in his gut and displacing him.  Themba insisted he stay, she insisted he leave, and even though he didn\'t know her, she was Ancient as well and so her words carried weight.  He couldn\'t hold her gaze after saying what she had, so his stare found the carpet between their feet and he waited wordlessly for her to allow him to leave.  He wasn\'t going to walk away from her without being dismissed, and he certainly wasn\'t going to push past her in any way.

Both of his hands held the pottle of glue and now he wished Themba hadn\'t trusted him enough to let him out.  He hoped the dark Ancient would wonder what was taking him so long and poke his head out of the room.  Right now he felt like he needed saving.

He could feel himself withdrawing from the scene, mentally retreating into that place he\'d been when he\'d been mindlessly offering his body to Themba.  He thought she wasn\'t going to let him go with just a threat, there seemed to be something else missing, and because she wasn\'t Themba, she was a great deal more unpredictable to him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 13, 2009, 12:58:23 PM
"It is the mortal\'s way, the path of addiction.  It is a weakening and beneath Themba," Anu elaborated, tilting her head as she looked all of Ben\'s parts over analytically.  When she said Themba, she left the \'h\' out of it and pronounced it \'Temba\'.  "It should be chastened by its part in such a tragedy; addiction brings unrealistic expectations upon the bearer and it is always a poison, no matter how good it feels.  Poison... needs an antidote."

She looked at him as if she was searching for one in that very second, to eradicate Ben\'s poisonous presence within her harmonious nest and then, without prevarication, she spun on her heel and walked slowly back towards her own suite, the heavy click of her heels the only sound permeating the air around them.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 14, 2009, 05:29:51 AM
Ben lifted his gaze to follow her feet as they left him, and was relieved that all she\'d used on him were words.  He knew now not to leave Themba\'s presence again, for he\'d been protecting Ben from her.  He debated whether or not to tell Themba and figured he probably already knew.  Once the corridor was empty, Ben returned hurriedly to Themba\'s suites and slipped inside.

He smiled at the Ancient on the way past, back to the book he\'d intended to fix, and carefully set the page by using only a small amount of glue, not wanting it to look like a cheap, quick fix.  Setting it to dry, he moved away from the table and to where Themba was lounging, crawling beside him (and half on top of him) in a cuddle, feeling safer to be near him after what had happened in the corridor.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2009, 07:00:16 AM
"Ignore her," Themba advised darkly, kissing Ben\'s temple but not lifting his gaze from the television he was watching, projected on the main room wall.  Then he added the classic addict\'s line: "She doesn\'t know what she\'s talking about, I\'m fine.  She\'s just upset that we\'re close, yet I haven\'t offered you for the approval of the group.  For an ancient, she can be awfully impatient," he chuckled, curling an arm about Ben in a negligent effort to reassure him.

Over the next few weeks, however, with the perspective of being an addiction in mind, Ben might possibly notice that Themba\'s treatment of him indicated that he was exactly that.

The African was always protective whenever they went to a shoot, though it had previously only been in terms of protecting Ben as an asset, ensuring the contracts he signed were lucrative and highly beneficial for Nemesis.  With the national campaign launched, however, the company had already made three hundred times what Ben stole from their dock area when he was drinking and thieving, so an account in Ben\'s name had been set up that all future monies were to flow to.  Since he had his own money and independent access to it, Themba had left the money and negotiating side of things up to the fledgling.

What became apparent after their relationship had reached a status quo (of sorts) and Ben continued to model, was that Themba\'s interest in him was a lot more personal.  His first assignment - the night after meeting up with Anu in the hallway - involved him wearing only his underwear and entwining himself around a girl wearing the same and looking like her lover.  Ben put the girl at ease by admitting he was gay and when they made a joke out of their sensual foreplay for the camera (laughing between takes), Themba scowled heavily.  As they left the shoot, the ancient made a snappy comment about being free and easy that had Ben on his toes for the rest of the evening, but nothing came of it.

His next assignment (another two nights later) involved Ben being clothed, which was a good thing since he was teamed with another man that was posing as his buddy at all sorts of sporting events (the clothing line was very preppy).  Ben was very professional by now and had learned to adopt a role but his partner - though a year older than Ben - was new to the game and needed a bit of coaching.  He also had stars in his eyes and was gazing at Ben raptly - something the fledgling didn\'t seem to notice, but his manager certainly did.

Because this assignment went for the next four nights in a row, Ben and Doug got to know each other quite well.  Their conversation went from awkward - with the swarthy-looking blue-eyed brunette nodding a lot at Ben\'s tips but not saying much - to Doug managing to string words together so that they were conversing and laughing by the final night.  At the wrap party, there was a great deal of alcohol on hand, so Doug was emboldened enough to seek out Ben the moment Themba left him alone to sign some essential paperwork.

When the African came back and found the two of them chatting quietly in a dark corner, Doug\'s leg nudging against Ben and his big, blue calf eyes sending obvious messages to the blonde, Themba told Ben in clipped tones that they had to be going and stormed out, leaving Ben no option but to follow.  The ride home was filled with accusations and Themba snarling bitchy comments about Ben being a hypocrite who would expose his genitals whenever he sniffed someone on heat for him.  It left the fledgling speechless and Themba stewing to the point where he ordered Ben to sleep out on the couch - which he did, with a convincingly bewildered act - so that he didn\'t hurt him (not that he told Ben that that was the reason why).

Ben managed to appease Themba the following night with conversation, but it led (to Ben\'s great surprise) to a night of lovemaking instigated and dominated by the African\'s sudden and passionate whim.  He was more demanding and domineering that night than he\'d ever been, working on Ben until he got exactly the results and reactions he wanted and then he fell asleep at dawn, thoroughly exhausted.

Since \'they\' had the next two nights off, things between them more or less returned to normal, though Themba was more tactile than he\'d ever been and more interested in sex both nights.  Ben had to work the night after, though, and Themba found himself on edge as he watched Ben become part of a laughing foursome, made out to be two couples advertising cars.  The night finished quickly, however, and they were able to go back to the warehouse without incident.

The next few nights contained similar work with random people and situations that all wrapped up quickly and allowed Themba to take Ben home, where the ancient insisted they stay close together, even if one of them was reading while the other watched television.  Themba generally brought one of Holly\'s pets in for the fledge to drink from but he\'d got the impression recently that the animals were becoming a little too fond of Ben\'s fangs in them, so he\'d sourced some human and some pig\'s blood for the fledge to drink at his leisure.  Whenever he went away to heat one up, Themba\'s gaze followed him closely, pondering if he was getting enough sustenance, whether he\'d be happy to have more, and if he was mentally adept enough (since his thoughts were generally so placid).

Sifting forcefully through the blonde\'s few contemplations sparked some objections from him, but the ancient - knowing better, ultimately - turned it into a mental training exercise that would benefit his little friend.  They spent the night working at blocking and telekinesis on a level that even Kerr wasn\'t capable of, and Themba was extremely pleased with the positive mood this created in Ben.  He was sad that he could no longer offer Ben his blood, for that would have strengthened his skills greatly, but the African could no longer afford the connection this would give Anu, Holly and Li to Ben; they would manipulate it and ruin his relationship with the fledgling, he knew.

Things came to a head a week later when Ben was recalled to do another shoot with Doug because the clients had enjoyed the first series so much.  This time the two of them were lounging about in the indoors line of clothing, watching movies, playing chess and generally cadding it up in a beautiful mansion in upstate New York.  Themba watched them with hatred, grinding his teeth the entire time and making comments in the shoot manager and the photographer\'s ears until he was asked to leave the set.  It blew up into an ugly scene, with Themba telling them that if he left, he would take Ben with him and they didn\'t care what it cost or even if the contract objections went to court; the production team was forced to concede that he could stay on set but he was asked to refrain from bothering the photographer (meaning the shoot manager copped all his snide comment about how Doug was leering pathetically at Ben and how they should ask him to roll his tongue up if he couldn\'t be so professional as to keep from drooling all over his client).

After the shoot, Themba burst into the living room that the crew had been using to house all the outfits and which Doug and Ben were using as a dressing room, to be sure that nothing went on while they changed.  To his chagrin (but it was no great surprise), he found Doug just leaning in to kiss Ben and the blonde looking ready to meet him halfway.  Furious, he shoved Doug away from Ben so hard that the mortal flew against the wall and was winded.  When Ben moved to check if he was alright, Themba backhanded him away, his teeth gritted and spittle flying as he warned the blonde to stay the hell away from him and get to the car immediately.

Doug\'s manager entered the room then, and started hurling startled questions at Themba as he helped his client stagger to his feet, the African sneering at the small man and telling him how he\'d been warning the crew (who were now pouring into the room because of all the raised voices) what a slut Doug was and when he got proof, he punished accordingly, to keep his client untainted by filth.  After spitting in Doug\'s general direction, Themba then grabbed Ben by the arm - even though he was only half dresses, he had his shirts in hand, ready to put them on - and wrenched him out of the room, just about hurling him into the front seat when he opened the door and getting in by banging his own.

They pulled out of the finely-maintained driveway in a hailstorm of white stones (thanks to the powerful wheels not finding tread because Themba stepped on the accelerator too hard), fishtailing their way onto the quiet suburban streets in the early hours of the morning, headed for home (but it was over an hour\'s drive away).  "So!" Themba yelled at Ben after about five minutes - during which time the fledge was doing his best to dress in the confines of the speeding vehicle.  "I see you think that Doug is worthy of you!"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 14, 2009, 12:16:39 PM
He\'d dressed quickly around his seatbelt, not game to unclick it because of the way Themba was driving, and had felt more vulnerable until the clothing covered him up.  Just as he was tucking the shirt under the lap belt, Themba\'s voice exploded in the car and he flinched, knowing he was in deep trouble.
 
In truth, he\'d not expected Doug to lean in for a kiss, and had frozen on the spot while watching the other model\'s face close in.  Without interruption, Doug\'s lips might have met Ben\'s, but would\'ve received no response other than a belated pulling away.  He\'d liked having a friend to talk to, had liked Doug\'s easy manner, had known Doug had the hots for him (which was flattering but inappropriate considering Ben was in a relationship already), but he stupidly hadn\'t expected Doug to make a move on him, thinking he was too shy to try anything.  It wasn\'t like he could tell Themba all that, admitting that he\'d known about the attraction would only make it worse for him, but he knew the Ancient would want an answer about what happened.
 
"I don\'t think that," he said, not wanting to directly oppose Themba but there was no other way.  "Not when I\'m with you."  He didn\'t think it\'d be enough to appease Themba, but he could only play it by ear.  His cheek still hurt from where he\'d been struck, but he didn\'t think that was a physical hurt anymore so much as the memory of his hand striking him there.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2009, 12:37:06 PM
"Yes, but you don\'t turn him away, do you?" Themba seethed, growing impatient and veering around a truck making its laden way onto the expressway.  "You like the attention, now that I\'ve encouraged you to loosen up!"  It was said in such a way that declared the ancient was lamenting his encouragement of Ben opening up, and it was true.

Why had he been so blind?  Why had he ever scoffed at Ben\'s prudish ways and told him that his existence was merely about pleasing himself?  They\'d proved recently that there were more noble pursuits in perfecting their vampiric talents, why hadn\'t he just stressed those from the start instead?  He couldn\'t remember what had made him speak so freely all those months ago... only that he hadn\'t understood back then how great Ben\'s potential truly was.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 14, 2009, 01:22:24 PM
"I didn\'t think he\'d try and kiss me," Ben admitted truthfully and exhaled sharply in a frustrated sigh.  "I would\'ve told him I was with you, if you\'d given me a chance," he said, not responding to the accusation that he liked when someone was attracted to him, because it was true enough.  He\'d liked it certainly, had even encouraged it by being friendlier and more helpful than usual, though he hadn\'t outright flirted (as far as he\'d known).  "I don\'t need anyone else."
 
He realised he\'d said \'need\' instead of \'want\', but the words were already out and he couldn\'t correct himself, or add something else on without being obvious.  He could only hope Themba wouldn\'t pick up on his phrasing (though it was exactly the sort of thing that the Ancient would zoom in on).
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2009, 01:45:23 PM
"Oho!" Themba jeered loudly, swerving around another driver that insisted (annoyingly) on following the speed limit.  "You don\'t need it, but you won\'t say no, all the same!  Exactly when would you have told him you were with me, hrmm?" he demanded highly, not bothering to watch the slick road as he glared at Ben instead.  "Before or after he got your cock in his mouth?!"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 14, 2009, 01:54:21 PM
"It wouldn\'t have got that far," Ben said quietly, looking away from Themba in order to watch the road for the both of them.  Thankfully the road was straight and all cars were in the far right lane, allowing them to travel freely in the overtaking lane.  "I don\'t want Doug," he said finally, hoping this statement would be enough to calm the Ancient down before he inserted the car into the back of a truck.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 14, 2009, 06:14:26 PM
They were magic words and it surprised Themba to feel so suddenly reassured by hearing them; still, he couldn\'t help having another dig, for it would take a while for his petulance to completely disappear.  His driving - though still fast - became less erratic as well.

"You could\'ve fooled me, with the way you were encouraging him with those eyes and those lips of yours," he accused, glancing at the offending objects of beauty standing prominently in Ben\'s face.  If he wasn\'t so pretty, he\'d not have made so much money already, but because he was thus, Themba had to worry doubly so; a catch-twenty-two if ever there was one.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 15, 2009, 04:21:02 PM
"I\'m sorry," he said, admitting fault because he had nowhere else to go.  Themba\'s accusations were unfounded and unreasonable, and had been that way for a while now.  Ben was beginning to understand that he had to be strictly professional with the other models and not to make friends.  He hadn\'t made the full connection yet, thinking that Themba couldn\'t be so possessive that he couldn\'t even make friends with others, but the niggle was there and he figured it would be better not to talk with anyone that Themba obviously didn\'t approve of.  Doug had rubbed him the wrong way, perhaps because the Ancient had seen the kiss coming while Ben (naively) hadn\'t.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 15, 2009, 11:46:01 PM
Themba was even further appeased by the formal apology but he said nothing about it, choosing to spend the rest of the trip stoically silent in order that Ben would understand the full extent of his crime (and be sorrier).

When they got back to their home, he was dominant and callous with Ben, demanding that he get on his knees and show him what his mouth should only be used for, lifting the fledge by the throat when he\'d spilled his seed and demanding those ruby lips open so he could see it resting on his tongue.  Ben obliged him, holding still while Themba jeered and squeezed his lips together, slapping his cheeks and frothing that he should swallow and know what was good to have inside him and invite nothing more, to trust his instincts.  Ben swallowed and Themba went to bed happy.

In their next few weeks\' worth of appointments, Themba was very pleased to note a far more business-like attitude coming from Ben.  Also, he\'d made a bit of a name for himself as a psychotic manager (unfortunately... he supposed) and most teams were now very interested in running interference between their clients and Ben\'s management.  Not only was Ben not left with any models, neither was Themba, which suited the African perfectly.  He arrived at and departed all shoots with a smile from then on, only noticing a few conversations occurring between Ben and the photographers, or with the suits, but none of those gave him pause.

Since Ben was now in charge of negotiating his own contract/payment terms and the only thing he\'d ever encountered (as the business side of things himself) in such cases was inane drivel about clauses, appendices and terms of agreement, Themba was more than happy to sit in the car and work on his own business whenever the young vampire had any meetings.  Since Calvin Klein had started taking notice of Ben\'s other current campaigns, there were quite a few such meet-and-greets over the next couple of weeks but Themba didn\'t think anything of them, leaving it all up to Ben to deal with... until he had specific cause to ponder exactly what sort of behind-closed-doors dealings his charge had had with a certain CK representative by the name of Brett.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 16, 2009, 06:06:18 AM
He\'d kept warning the guy not to keep touching him, because he had an over protective manager.  Brett\'s touches on his shoulder, his hip, his hands were nothing but a sign that the guy was just one of those touchy-feely kind of people, because he did it with whoever talked with him, including the female personal assistant that kept the phone calls rolling while Brett talked with Ben.  She would come in with coffee, or news about other deals that couldn\'t wait until later for a decision, and he would leave Ben with an apology and lightly groom her while he spoke with her.  The guy had no concept of personal space or keeping his hands to himself, but Ben didn\'t mind (anymore, he would\'ve before his time as a model), he was just worried about Themba\'s potential reaction to it all, relieved that the Ancient wasn\'t sitting in during these meetings.

The constant interruptions - and Brett\'s ability to waffle off topic during the negotiations - usually extended their time together.  Finally, Brett pulled out an A2 sheet draft detailing the work Ben was wanted for.  Half of it went onto the coffee table that had been pulled forward directly in front of Ben\'s legs, trapping him in place, and the other half on Ben\'s lap.  He was lifting the paper up a  little and looking at it with Brett sitting on the sofa beside him with an eager grin and his arm across the back of the two seater behind Ben\'s shoulders, though his other hand had managed to find Ben\'s leg halfway up from his knee while he leant in close to try and look at what Ben was looking at.  The young vampire was so used to the small touches and constant closeness by now that he thought nothing of it, except this was when Themba entered the office, obviously impatient from waiting so long, and seeing the pair of them huddled together.

Ben\'s heart sank, he knew what this looked like, with Brett\'s fingers clamped on his inner thigh and leaning in close, like he was coming onto him and with Ben just sitting there accepting it all.  He doubted he\'d be able to talk himself out of this one like he had with Doug, and escape with just a humiliating blowjob to give.  Themba would think (was already thinking) the worst, judging by the look on his face, and in the tiny moment of silence as the scenario was processed by the pair of them (and Brett not having a clue, merely looking over at Themba and likely ready to give him a friendly greeting), Ben expected violence.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 17, 2009, 12:46:36 PM
Without a word coming from his pressed-together lips, Themba strode forward and snatched the shielding piece of paper away; it seemed to him that Ben let it go bonelessly, like he knew exactly what wrong he\'d been doing and it was an admission of guilt.

To his surprise, however, it was Brett\'s hand on Ben\'s leg and although his fledge had not been fighting the man off, his legs were angled so as to indicated that he\'d tried to pull away - and his hands had been on the paper.  Wanting to believe the best of the one he cared about, Themba glared at the executive currently feeling Ben up.

"You should keep your filthy hands to yourself," he sneered hatefully, which only caused the CK executive to bristle.  He pulled his hand back, thankfully and looked like he was about to get up.

"Now hang on a minute there, my hands are not filthy!" he protested in a tone that indicated his temper was being prodded.  "I think you should rethink what you\'re do-"

"And I think you should re-think your strategy here!" Themba roared, cutting off a man who was not used to being interrupted.  As expected, he got to his feet (though he stayed on his side of the coffee table) and the African swooped forward so that he was directly opposite him, on the other side.  The little table would not stop his powerful hands from detaching the mortal\'s head from his neck if he so wished it, however.

"There is no strategy!" Brett blustered, more angry because he had no idea what was going on than anything else.  "How dare you walk into my office and accuse me of doing something inappropriate!  Are you insane?"

Themba\'s upper lip curled, as if he was watching a dog vomit up the contents of its stomach - and they were writhing with worms when they splashed down.  "Oh no.  Perfectly lucid, thank you," the vampire articulated succinctly, his accent flavouring the words in a most attractive manner - though they were thoroughly unsavoury in meaning.

Brett\'s gaze dropped and his eyes widened as he saw the enormous black man\'s right fist curling, readying to hit him.  Hit him!  For nothing!
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 17, 2009, 01:29:02 PM
Ben watched with horror as things escalated quickly.  He\'d expected Themba to yank him out of the meeting and then lay into him on the way to the car before driving them home in the same insane way as last time in order to give Ben the beating he
 
deserved
 
expected.  When Themba went after Brett instead, he\'d initially been flooded with relief, but it didn\'t take long (it took until watching the fist curl and reel back, in fact) before he realised suddenly that this could have a terrible ending... so terrible that Brett might even die.  Ben could heal, with time, with blood, but there was no way Brett was going to recover.
 
"Stop!" he said, thinking it was too late to stop the punch from being thrown, but Themba took a moment to look Ben\'s way and Ben took advantage of that subtle pause to send Themba a mental communication.
 
Don\'t beat on him, you\'ll kill him.  It\'s my fault anyway.
 
He hadn\'t pulled away, he hadn\'t explained to Brett he had an overprotective (jealous) manager, hadn\'t insisted that he didn\'t like being touched, hadn\'t sat somewhere Brett wouldn\'t be able to draw close to him.  There had been a million opportunities he\'d faced to put them on a different path.  Brett might\'ve thought he was a bit eccentric with the whole no-touching thing, but he was positive the agent would\'ve respected it, and they wouldn\'t be here now, with Ben asking to be punished in his stead.
 
He figured Themba would know Ben was only running interference to save Brett from being punished.  He thought Themba would even guess that nothing had happened, but he didn\'t think it mattered.  Ben had admitted fault and shown guilt, and it was enough of a reason to beat on him for it.  If he was presenting himself as having done wrong, he knew he was leaving Themba no choice but to punish him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 17, 2009, 02:47:18 PM
Brett took the opportunity of Themba looking at Ben to fall back onto the seat behind him, his mouth hanging open in shock as he processed quickly that he was about to be hit and that he needed to do everything in his power to avoid being hurt.  It didn\'t matter that he saw no sane reason behind it, frankly, he needed to focus on the fact that a punch was coming his way any second, and worry about why later.

For his part, the African looked genuinely perplexed upon hearing Ben\'s admission.  He frowned back at the mortal, as if he didn\'t recognise him any longer, and then back at his charge.  It was a very precise movement, the air around them tense as even Brett held his breath.  "Get in the car," he ground out at Ben and once he moved, he looked back at Brett.  "This meeting is adjourned," he snarled in the same choked manner, before turning on his heel and striding after Ben.

He said nothing once he started driving, doing his best to understand what had just been said and decide what he could do about it.  Ben had said it was his fault... what else had occurred?  What had gone on in meetings before now?  Was there nowhere he could trust Ben?  His chest felt light and panicked as he realised that everywhere Ben went, he was a siren for attention, a disaster for affection; he couldn\'t seem to get enough.  He knew how it upset Themba for him to be close to anyone else, yet he\'d just admitted that the cosy situation with Brett had been his fault - because he\'d instigated it?

It was despair more than anger that tainted Themba\'s heart this time around.  What more could he do?  What else could he say?  It didn\'t seem to get through Ben\'s head that he was precious to him, that his ancient heart had softened and made a place of affection for him.  He seemed too busy selectively listening to the wisdom Themba endowed him with, deciding to follow the edict that sex was meaningless even though Themba was giving him more of it than he\'d given anyone for centuries.  Did it take some sort of overload to force Ben to not crave it, was that it?

"Why are you doing this to me?" he asked suddenly, sounding anguished as he drove carefully towards their home.  "Why do you encourage them?"
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 17, 2009, 03:02:49 PM
Ben was surprised that he hadn\'t been hit or screamed at.  The two questions that were asked of him were hardly verbal abuse, though they implied that Ben had set out to ask Brett to touch him.  Admitting fault was good enough for Themba to think that, so he couldn\'t deny anything now.  After a moment\'s pause as he thought how to tackle those questions, he finally addressed them indirectly.
 
"When I was first put in front of you, after stealing from people in your area, did you want me then?  Did you want to undress me and have me in your bed?"
 
He had undressed in Themba\'s office in fact, under the impression of becoming a model to pay them back, made to walk around and feeling very self-conscious.  Had Themba plans for him even then?  He\'d thought they\'d gradually moved to sex in a natural way, but if the African had manipulated everything to go down this path, did that mean this was the reason he thought everyone wanted Ben at first sight?  Because he had?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 17, 2009, 03:17:57 PM
"Of course not!" the ancient burst out indignantly.  "It\'s nothing I\'d ever even thought of - until now, thanks to you and your promiscuous ways!  You lured me in with your proclaimed innocence and once I believed you, you\'ve proved yourself a liar at every turn!" he postulated, flicking his hand towards the car\'s roof in a dismissive gesture.  "GOD!  You make me so angry!" He shifted in his seat, gripping the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles looked strained.

His hands were burning to punish Ben, the more he goaded him by making him talk about it.  It got him so angry he felt as if he was boiling and the only thing that would stop it was hitting Ben until there was blood - but he couldn\'t do that.  Anu would interfere for sure, if he showed himself to be losing control of either his temper or of Ben again.  She was just waiting to take him away, claiming the youngling was some sort of poison that had tainted his reason and clouded his mind - an utter load of nonsense, of course.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 17, 2009, 05:57:24 PM
He had an idea about how to deal with Themba\'s anger but it was a risk he wasn\'t sure he wanted to take.  Themba\'s accusations were leaning enormously on the sex side, as though Ben was dropping his pants and bending over for anyone that would have him.  He could play up to that, use it to avert any physical blows he might\'ve earned from saving Brett
 
why did you
why bother saving him
he wasn\'t your responsibility
it wouldn\'t have been your fault
 
He thought otherwise.  He felt at fault because he\'d known of Themba\'s jealousy and thought it wouldn\'t come into play because he was on his own and had been throughout every meeting.  He doubted he\'d be left alone now.  He could push Themba\'s buttons in a different way, take things to a different result than a beating.
 
say it
say it say it

 
Working up the courage to say such a thing wasn\'t easy, knowing he might be flirting with disaster.  He might end up worsening the situation instead of manipulating Themba into not hitting him.
 
say it anyway
say it say it SAY IT SAY IT!

 
While staring out the windscreen (because there was no way in hell the words would come out if he actually looked at the Ancient), he said it.
 
"Maybe you should fuck me hard enough so I won\'t go looking."
 
It was a challenge that wasn\'t aimed to contain Themba\'s anger so much as channel it into another area.  He could cope with rough sex, even sex so violent he got no pleasure out of it, but he didn\'t want to go through another beating.  It was a just punishment also, fitting the accusations.  If Themba thought he was fooling around on him, wasn\'t it bittersweet to punish him by hurting him that way?
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 18, 2009, 02:09:31 AM
Themba glanced at Ben, wondering with startlement if he\'d picked up on his passing thought that that might be the only way he could change things and avoid detection by Anu; it seemed too convenient.  Maybe that\'s what the fledge wanted, though.  Maybe he was sorry - he\'d already admitted fault - and knew that he deserved punishment.  It was a step in the right direction.

"Fine.  I will," Themba growled and accelerated without any further speech.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 18, 2009, 07:50:06 AM
It was no longer a matter of whether Themba believed anything had happened or not.  It was a matter of Ben behaving like he\'d done something wrong and deserved the consequences of it.  He both felt guilty and didn\'t, for he hadn\'t encouraged anything, wasn\'t going to do anything, but he hadn\'t stopped the touching either (even though it had been friendly and not sexual in any way).  

When they arrived back at the studios, Ben wordlessly went to Themba\'s rooms with the Ancient following behind (though he didn\'t look back to check).  The door was unlocked for him to enter freely, though he knew it would be locked after he passed through it - like it had been at the start (and then again more recently, as Themba\'s jealousy began to creep into paranoia).  As he walked towards the middle of the room, he pulled his long-sleeve t-shirt off and tossed it carelessly to the side over a chair arm before turning around to face the Ancient.

He felt stupidly like he was drifting through a dream.  Nothing seemed real, and even his own voice sounded hollow in his ears.

"Where do you want me?"

His detachment had never been so powerful, but then he supposed it was because he knew what was coming.  He doubted Themba would be satisfied until he made him bleed, and he assumed it would be nothing but painful.  Watching the Ancient move towards him (like a slow charge, he thought), he expected to be backhanded again.  He stood his ground though, fighting the urge to shrink away, not dropping eye contact and waiting for the inevitable.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 19, 2009, 12:32:23 AM
"What is it you seek, huh?" the ancient asked instead, not answering the question asked of him as he tossed aside his keys and grabbed hold of Ben\'s face in his right hand.  He used this firm grip to propel the fledgling backwards, driving him into the bedroom while his left hand did the job of loosening his tie and unbuttoning his shirt.

"I just don\'t understand you!  You start off telling me how you don\'t believe anyone else is worthy of you, yet lately all I ever see is you getting yourself into compromising situations with men who will degrade and disrespect you!  Is that what you want?  What I should do for you, to show you what it\'s like?" he demanded, his voice raised and sounding anguished as he backed Ben all the way up to the bed and shoved him harshly down onto it.  He landed on his back and Themba crawled on after him, straddling him as he continued to take his clothes off.

At first, he had not been sexually aroused by this prospective encounter, but the power of channelling his anger internally, so as not to alert Anu to his predicament, was funnelling it straight to his groin.  It was amazing, he\'d never felt this furious and this powerful all at the same time, and when he finally shoved his pants down, he sprang out like a spring-loaded spear, bursting to pierce.  It made him impatient.  He reached down and flipped Ben over, grabbing his arms and holding them in his left hand, pinned in the small of his back as he tore carelessly at the fledgling\'s pants.  He was hard enough that he didn\'t need lube, and he didn\'t intend to waste any more time.

"Let\'s see how much you want it after this," he growled, wrenching material aside like so much tissue paper (except it wouldn\'t feel so light and innocuous to Ben, whose waist it was being torn off).  "My horny little sex magnet."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 19, 2009, 07:19:38 AM
With his face down on the blankets, unable to move because of how Themba was holding him.  With his pants out of the way, he imagined correctly that the Ancient wouldn\'t use lube with him, and figured the first thrust would hurt the most.  He was wrong, though when Themba pushed his rigid cock into him all the way to the hilt without preamble, the burning pain that came from it certainly felt like it couldn\'t get any worse.  With each hard thrust in and out though, it became more like sandpaper, making him feel raw and eliminating any potential pleasure he might\'ve got out of it.  It was like someone was ramming an inanimate object into him, like a metal pipe.  He wondered if it felt good to Themba and figured it must\'ve, because he stayed improbably hard, fucking him so forcefully that he was grunting with the effort.

Ben was making his own noises, though he was trying to hold them back.  His face was pressed against the blankets in such a way that if he\'d needed to breathe he would\'ve suffocated, but it managed to stifle his cries.  He couldn\'t remain quiet during this abuse, and it seemed to take forever.  He didn\'t want Themba to be satisfied that he was hurting him though, and so he turned those noises of pain into a word that he could shout out into the bed.  A word that might urge Themba on, or piss him off, but he did it to spite him anyway.  He yelled out \'yes!\' through clenched teeth, like it was good even though the complete opposite was true, and they both knew it.

He willed Themba to get his fill of it and cum, but as time passed and the rough ramming continued, he didn\'t know that the Ancient even could, and he would be at his mercy for when Themba decided to stop.  Eventually it did end, and he couldn\'t feel anything in his ass except for a raw, throbbing pain, and didn\'t know if Themba had finally orgasmed or if he\'d just stopped (meaning more might happen, if his cock was still rock hard).  He also wasn\'t aware that the blankets he\'d buried his face into were wet with his tears.

His hands were released and he moved them to his sides, realising his shoulders were aching from the position of being held there.  He brought his hands to a position that he could lift himself up and then over, resting on his back, supported by his elbows.  He saw Themba directly in front of him, still erect like he hadn\'t just fucked Ben raw, and sat up properly so that the African\'s hard-on was right in front of his face.  He didn\'t want to look up at Themba\'s face, to see what kind of expression was on there, and while still looking at Themba\'s impossibly straining cock, his hand floated up to hold it and point it down a little so that he could bring his mouth to it.

His backside hurt like hell, but he figured Themba might be appeased by his obvious move to give him a blowjob.  He would try and get him to cum, so that at least he would be satisfied physically as well as emotionally. Depending on whether Themba would let him work his tongue around him, or if he\'d move away.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 20, 2009, 04:01:44 PM
The martyrdom had kept him rigid but he\'d not enjoyed being so rough with Ben - he was satisfied that the fledgling understood how greatly displeased he was with him, however, for they were both raw from the rutting.  Still, it was a lesson taught and he\'d had the willpower to do it, so that was marginally satisfying.
 
Seeing his pretty face changed it, though.  The sense of power faded and his heart softened to see that lovely countenance coming closer.  For some reason, the thought of Ben taking him in his mouth horrified him and he grabbed a fistful of blonde from atop the youngling\'s head, holding his face back and looking silently at him.
 
The moment stretched, thoughts racing through the ancient\'s mind as he stared at the young vampire looking back at him.  He believed he saw apology and regret in those beautiful silvery eyes and it caused his heart to swell.  "No," he said, pride and something very close to love filling him up as he took hold of his own erection in the hand not holding Ben\'s head, beginning to milk it.  "You\'ve done enough," he said quietly, letting go of the fledge\'s hair in order to slide his hand down his cheek and get a gentle grip on his jaw.
 
Holding Ben like this, staring into his repentant eyes, it took only a couple of minutes for his over-stimulated erection to burst and spray semen all over Ben\'s face.  His eyes closed briefly as his body bucked with the power of the ejaculation but they opened quickly enough.  He gazed over the mess he\'d made, feeling possessive and pleased with himself, his thumb sneaking over to the smear the pungent cream across Ben\'s lips and cheek.
 
"If only this would stay and my scent would identify you as mine.  We wouldn\'t have nearly as much trouble then," he sighed, regretful that his aroma would be washed off and fade.  The urge to mark Ben, as some animals marked their mate, was strong in him.  Deciding he would embrace defeat before it ambushed him, he then reached down and took Ben\'s hand, crawling backwards off the bed and intending to draw the blonde with him.  "Come.  Let us shower.  I will wash you."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 20, 2009, 06:23:24 PM
At first he\'d thought Themba was angry with him, the way his hair was grabbed and his head pulled back, forced to look at the Ancient\'s face.  When he was spoken to so gently though, and seeing peripherally that Themba was taking care of himself with his own hand, he\'d thought the worst was over.  It was, but to feel Themba\'s sperm splash on his face and then rubbed into him leant to yet another sense of degradation.

Themba\'s announcement that Ben was his sparked a strange feeling in Ben\'s heart and gut.  He wanted to deny it, to argue it, but he wasn\'t courageous (or stupid) enough to do it.  He could taste Themba on his lips and kept them closed, not wanting to taste him (which was odd considering he\'d been prepared to blow him not a minute ago).

Ben followed Themba\'s lead, relieved that he could wash off, glad that the Ancient didn\'t want to keep his scent on him as long as possible - like he\'d said he\'d wanted to.  Walking turned out to be painful, he took small quick steps to not amplify the raw throbbing in his backside (though he thought it had already lessened from when it had begun, thanks to vampiric healing).  He was mostly passive in the shower but was careful to be clingy with Themba, enough so that the African wouldn\'t realise the conflict that was in his heart.  He wanted it to be over, he wanted to be released, and it was the first time in a while he\'d wanted it so badly.  He\'d become used to being Themba\'s little plaything, and was shocked at his own acceptance of it.  No more, though, he wouldn\'t accept it any longer.

*

The first chance he got was three weeks from the ownership-fucking (which was how Ben mentally referred to it).  Themba had become a great deal more relaxed, for Ben\'s constant closeness was a reassurance and finally a minor irritation.  Themba had left him during a shoot to make a number of phone calls, and Ben continued to pose with the other male model who was so professional he barely had two words to say.  In the changeroom things were a different story however, as Ben offered quite blatently to get on his knees and the other model (Franc, his name was) stared at him for a long moment before standing up straight with his pants around his ankles.  Ben did as promised, dropping to his knees and being as efficient as possible to get the guy off.  He managed fairly quickly too, swallowing as Franc shuddered and thrust erratically.  Ben borrowed his mouth wash and gargled the evidence away.  Later on, he earned a few more looks from Franc during the shoot, but no smiles and no extra words, like it hadn\'t really happened.  Themba returned towards the end of the shoot and even though Ben felt a little off, his calm exterior managed to let him get away with it.  It was a win for him - a minor one, and somewhat double-edged, but a win all the same.  He didn\'t belong to Themba, and blowing a stranger had proved it.

He got his next opportunity very soon after that, with Themba having to run an errand in his car.  Ben figured the drive would take half an hour there and back, which allowed an hour.  His first offer to a model was refused, but the photographer was a lot keener to sample what Ben had.  First his mouth, then his ass was claimed, and the rest of the shoot favoured Ben a great deal.  It turned out to be one of his better results yet.  Feeling cheap wasn\'t as prominent as feeling like he\'d trumped Themba, and after the shoot and a shower back home, he made sure Themba felt like he still owned him.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 20, 2009, 10:37:51 PM
Lying in his bed, cuddling with Ben after the fledgling had fed and they\'d made love, the ancient made a confession as he toyed with his companion\'s hair.
 
"Sometimes I wish it were just you and me.  That you could drink of my blood and be connected to me without any ramifications from the women... I wonder what it would be like to even live away from them, after all this time.  Tell me, how much money do you want to make out of modelling?" he queried, tilting his head so that he could peer more closely at Ben.
 
As far as he was concerned, he\'d bullied Ben into the job in the first place and now the youngling was looking to make his fortune.  Once that was done, perhaps the two of them could pick a new city to move to and just be together.
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Trillian on December 21, 2009, 07:32:19 AM
Ben was stunned.  So much so he couldn\'t immediately speak.  Themba was talking like they were going to be together for a very long time and that hadn\'t been the deal.

When he was asked the question about money, he couldn\'t stop an errant thought from surfacing.

Enough so that I can live on my own

He couldn\'t say that, but he thought it clearly enough that it was possible Themba heard it regardless.  He didn\'t wait too long before expanding on this thought, hoping Themba wouldn\'t get angry by it, especially after making his confession that he wanted to be with Ben and not with those he\'d been with since... forever.

"I want to be independent," Ben told him, which ran along the lines of his stray thought, and would hopefully put doubt in the Ancient\'s mind as to what his initial desire had really meant.  "I want to have enough so that I don\'t have to rely on anyone else to look after me."
Title: Re: New York, New York
Post by: Existentially Odd on December 21, 2009, 09:59:03 AM
Themba chuckled condescendingly.  "You make it sound like you feel you are a burden.  Truly, you are no trouble to look after - and you do need protecting,