Roleplay City

Infusco => INFUSCO: Enter The Shadows => Bojangles Cineplex => Topic started by: The Cedar Witch on November 05, 2019, 01:41:28 PM

Title: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on November 05, 2019, 01:41:28 PM
For Billy

It was weird being out at night without Damien, especially for recreational activities.  Nowhere near as weird as being out with a District Leader for a movie night, but that was beside the point.   At first when she’d impulsively gotten his number out of Damien’s phone to text him, Rachel didn’t expect a reply, much less for Jake to agree.  Sure, the markedly more formal text he gave in response wasn’t quite the feel she was going for, but it wasn’t enough to be a deterrent.  Jake was much better in person, especially one-on-one, and she knew it was going to be a blast.

She had read a critique for an artsy foreign horror-thriller film being screened at the Bojangles Cineplex that initially she wanted to see with Damien but hadn’t gotten around to telling him about just yet.  When she told Damien what she’d planned and asked for a ride to the Rabbit, she took a bit of pleasure in his surprised reaction.

They both knew she needed to get out of the house, do something with someone besides Damien, especially with the bodyguard thing still unresolved.  To say she’d been a bit stir-crazy was an understatement.

An ominous soundtrack played as the credits rolled, and Rachel squinted against the slowly lifting house lights. 

Grinning, she turned to Jake.  “I fucking loved that, I can’t believe they left it open like that with her just leaving.”
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on November 06, 2019, 10:08:16 AM
The request for some time from Rachel had come as a surprise to the leader formally known as the Black Prince, but it was a welcome address, and one he accepted almost instantly. Between the campaign, running the district, and his many other duties, Jake hadn't had a proper night off in weeks. His dates with Lan Bao (because it had honestly felt like a date by the end) and Arik hadn't counted, as both of them had some big goal in mind. This suggested hangout seemed like just fun, and Jake reflected he didn't have any human friends. All the humans he knew were clients of the White Rabbit or worked for him in some way. Rachel had been such a joy when they first met, and so Jake was eager to flesh out their relationship. Damien hadn't called to object, and so Jake figured he was alright with Rachel being out of the house without a proper body guard. Jake could, and would, serve as that function tonight.

He'd sworn off wearing black, but couldn't resist a new cashmere sweater that Lisa-Joe had bought him. It felt too big, and certainty ate up his small frame. However, he liked how tight his white jeans were in contrast to the loose black sweater. He'd felt awkward upon first seeing Rach again, her exuberance and lust for adventure dwarfing his own. He wondered if she'd regret wanting to spend time with him, like he wasn't cool enough for her, but the more he seemed to trip over his words or pause in silence, the more she seemed to be enjoying herself. Humans were perplexing, but forgiving creatures, much more so than Kindred.

By the time the movie let out, Jake had forgotten all about his anxiety, and had relaxed into something far more social.

"I know," he said, sounding like the intense District Leader he was reported to be. "I think she was the killer all along personally. I think they dropped hints."

Jake had enjoyed the film, finding humans take on horror to be a pallet cleanser for the very real monsters of the night. He didn't get up right away. The crowd of loud movie goers began to shuffle out, their voices bugging the Anarch in a way the loud movie sounds hadn't.

"Let's wait so we don't get herded like cattle," he suggested, ranting off a few more theories about the flick. Once most people had risen, Jake turned to Rachel and said, "what do you want to do now? The night is young!"

He smiled mischievously. He wasn't ready to see Rachel go. They'd barley gotten to talk during the actual movie. Jake hoped to change that.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on November 06, 2019, 10:56:45 AM
Somehow during the course of their conversation, Rachel had perched on the back of the chair just in front of Jake.  As she spoke with enthusiasm about possible alternate endings and complex takes on ambiguous plot points, her feet kicked gently back and forth.  The ease that she found herself in was surprising, but she didn't question it.

"Well," she mirrored his mischevious grin with ease, "You know I don't get out much-" she huffed a cynical laugh.  House arrest.  She really didn't want to get caught up in moping about it, but it was a real fuckin' drag.  "So, like, I don't really know what's around, not like you do anyway."  Blood colored her cheeks slightly.

"Lobby seemed a bit boring,"  not that this was a proper movie theater with all the games and photo-booths and stuff you'd expect, but that would have been cute as fuck.  She couldn't help but grin wider at the thought of going home with a strip of goofy photos to show Damien.  Maybe next time.  Or!  Maybe she would convince him to take a selfie with her by the end of the night. 

Alright, new goal.  Besides Operation: Defrost the Prince.

"There a mall or something nearby?  I'd love to grab a bite sometime tonight before I have to go back home."  She paused, then added hurriedly "If you don't mind, I mean."
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on November 07, 2019, 05:24:17 PM
She wanted to keep hanging out. Jake was strangely relieved. It was proof his awkward behavior hadn't put her off. He smiled in thanks, and wrapped an arm around her shoulder, in a brotherly fashion, and led her out towards the waiting car service; he even opened the door for her. Jake found himself also enjoying the bodyguard part of the hangout, eyes darting into blind spots, and mental abilities searching for the auras of others. He didn't have the sight like some vampires did, but he could sense powerful minds. If any came near, Jake would likely know.

He wasn't that concerned though. He was beginning to think this Laurent had left town, and that Damien's protective nature wasn't as needed. He hated the idea that Rachel had to spend more time at home than was strictly needed, and so when she asked if could hang out longer, he quickly replied, "I'd love to. It's a choice between more fun and the work at home."

Once they were inside, Jake instructed that the driver should head for the mall located in the east district. Jake didn't go to malls. His shopping was mostly online, or he had people to do that for him. A combination of being rich and busy seldom left time for errands, and Jake had never really considered the mall was a place for pleasure. He was intrigued. The pair of them continued dissecting the film, Jake finding an intelligence within Rachel he hadn't noticed before. It wasn't that he thought she lacked it before, he'd just never seen her in a intellectual situation. He disagreed with almost all her theories, but liked how she constructed the various arguments.

After about ten minutes, that topic ran out of steam. Jake looked out his tinted window, the darkened glass obscuring nothing to his vampire eyes. "Okay, can I ask you a question about the election? I know that must seem weird, you not living in my district, but I want a human in the know's opinion."

He looked sheepish again, the last time he'd been this nervous around her being the day he'd gone to Damien and her house.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on November 08, 2019, 03:34:04 AM
Accustomed to how reserved Damien typically was, she continued to delight in the ease of friendly affection between them.  As she hooked her arm behind him to return the gesture, her mind wandered to Quinn with a pang of regret for not inviting him along.  But that wasn't the point of this outing, and she suspected it would be a bit weird for the three of them to hang out.  With Quinn working at the White Rabbit and all. 

Besides, she'd see him Thursday when he came over.

Rachel grinned at Jake's choice of fun over work, a much easier battle than convincing Damien to play hooky when there were things to be done.  She noted the direction given to the driver, filing the location away for later in case she wanted to return.  It was frustrating not having a working mental-map of the place she lived in, knowing only the parts that Damien took her.  That wasn't something she wanted to think about now, and turned back to chatting about the film.

It wasn't until the conversation ran dry that uncertainty crept into her mind.  God, how long was I rambling?  Hopefully she hadn't been a complete bore.  It was hard to tell with new people - she wasn't as familiar with Jake's facial expressions and body language but that would change over time the longer they were friends. 

Friends.  Maybe she was getting ahead of herself.

His question elicited a playful eye roll.  "I guess so," but her smile plainly read Of course.  "Whaddya' wanna know?"  While she was used to Damien bouncing things off of her, it was weird for some reason that Jake would be interested in her thoughts about the election.  That wasn't to say that it didn't pique her interest.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on November 12, 2019, 07:39:00 AM
Jake was pleased Rachel was willing to talk a little politics, although he'd promised Lisa-Joe he would relax tonight and not think about the election. However, Rachel had a perspective that was crucial, and important, and so Jake was willing to break the rule for a bit of the car ride over. They could gossip at the mall plenty.

"Humans. Humans in the know, I'm unsure what to do about them in the modern era. On the one hand, I feel far too many people already know about us, vampires and the lot. I really do think the world's of mortal people and supernaturals are meant to be separate. When things get too meshed, historically I mean, it goes bad. Either we try and rule your lot, or your lot tries to kill us all in the name of god and survival. It's... difficult."

He felt he was rambling, but wasn't sure how much Damien had ever told her about vampire history.

"But this is also the age of social media, and I'm starting to feel like I'm going against the tide. My question is, as a human in the know, how would you want to be included in governments like mine, and should we risk telling more people about us, or go with history and try to keep ourselves secret? I'm asking you because you're a human who deals with us on an everyday basis. How do you want to be counted?"

He'd thought about how to ask this earlier, and really hoped he hadn't offended Rachel by pointing out she was a mere mortal. On the contrary to offending, it was exactly why he wanted her two cents.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on November 13, 2019, 08:31:45 AM
Her face wrinkled as a thoughtful expression quickly replaced her playful demeanor.  "Oh," it was an unexpected question (well questions) with a lot more weight than she had anticipated.  And he was interested in her opinion?  She exhaled slowly through her nose and crossed her arms over her chest.

It was intimidating.  "Huh.  Let me think for a sec."  As much as she hated not being able to just fire back an answer, she wanted to take her time and be thoughtful.  She didn't know much outside of the world of vampires, and demons but to a much lesser extent.  Supernaturals with human pasts were easier to understand, their motives informed by their human lives.  Some people are assholes, and jacked up with power just made them bigger assholes.  Her introduction into the realm of the supernatural was unquestionably the worst thing that happened to her, and if she had the choice to avoid it she would've.  Well, no, that was a complicated issue.  Had she not been captured, she never would've met Damien - she definitely didn't regret that.  But it was needless suffering at the core of it, at the hands of a monster, and it forever changed her life for the worse. 

Then there were the human hunters who wiped out Damien's entire bloodline, almost very nearly including Pierre and himself.  She didn't have many details about that - it wasn't exactly a pleasant topic of conversation for them - but what she did know was more than enough.  Humans could be just as cruel toward what they didn't understand. 

Did knowing make much of a difference?  It looked like mess no matter what.

A frown on her face, she inhaled slowly.

"I don't think I can decide what is best, there's just too much out there that I don't even understand."  Like fae, and magic and stuff.  "On the one hand, if you try to keep shit secret, that limits your exposure to horrible people that want to exterminate you.  The internet isn't a beacon of truth shining into the shadows - people manipulate photos all the time, and like, technology is getting better and better for that kind of thing.  People say whatever the fuck they want to say online, pretending to be completely different people, saying shit that's completely false with absolutely nothing to back it up.  Super easy for hive-mind to develop and like, a bunch of people blindly following what some popular blogger says just because they've got a million subscribers-"  She stopped, suddenly becoming aware of the fact that she'd been speaking for a solid chunk of time.

"Uh, sorry, I guess what I'm trying to say is, Social Media doesn't necessarily make it any harder to keep shit on the down-low.  Not if you know your way around how people are using it.  Someone posts a video of something happening, all you need are a dozen commenters pointing out supposed-details that "prove" how the thing is fake."  She paused, eyes glancing toward the ceiling of the car, "Or, like, you just have to plant staff into the popular platforms to control censoring.  Oh - or like, hacking their systems, obviously."

Fuck, I'm doing it again.  She gnawed on her lower lip and glanced at Jake before continuing. 

"On the other hand,"  Okay, wrap this up.  Stop fucking rambling.  "Integrating the two worlds is better for the long term if you wanna live peacefully, 'cuz a secret is safe only so long as its kept.  But that's hard as fuck because not everyone's gonna get along, people don't like change, and making sure everyone is safe during the transition would take a fuck ton of resources."  She huffed a laugh through her nose, "But then again, so doesn't damage control when you're trying to keep it secret." 

Another sigh.

"I'm not sure if that answered your question - how do I want to be counted?  I don't know."  Rachel offered him an apologetic smile, cheeks burning and heart hammering.  Need to stop acting like an excited fucking puppy every time I leave the house.  She fidgeted in her seat and glanced out the window.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 05, 2019, 03:47:48 AM
Jake listened intently as Rachel thoughtfully - and thoroughly - answered his question. It wasn't a clear cut answer, one that he could devise a direct action from, and the politician found that frustrating. It was not frustration at Rachel, for she was highlighting the complexity of the issue. Even as a human with only choice exposure to the supernatural, she'd touched on a few important points. Damien clearly saw more in her than just beauty and kindness. Jake did not approve of the meekness she showed, or the second guessing she engaged in. She had good answers, and yet seemed to cower from them. Was this the result of Laurent? Had he made her weaker?

Like Lazarus made me weaker...

Jake silenced the unhelpful thought as Rachel finished speaking, leaning forward and reaching for her hand.

"You've given me a lot to think about," he explained. "I think, perhaps, I should strive for a more middle ground. I just don't know what that is. I refuse to embrace the mayor, as my opponent has done publicly, but I think you're right that keeping the secret will eventually equal the resources needed to transition."

Jake seemed like he could easily get lost in these thoughts, contemplating this serious work matter. However, he'd engaged this night for fun, frivolity, and freedom from his political career. Now was not the time to go too deep.

"Thank you Rachel," he said, squeezing her hand gently. It would still feel like cold steel. "Now, and please don't laugh at me, what does one do at the mall for fun? Most of my fun involves... dancing, sex, drugs, nudity , blood, violence, and risk ... "extremes."

Jake tried to remember movies of kids going to the mall. "Are we going to take pictures in a photo booth?"

Smooth Jake, real smooth.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 05, 2019, 04:12:40 AM
If one thing was for certain, it was that she did not envy his position - having to make decisions like that, with that much weight, just sounded stressful.  Was he the sort of person to handle that sort of pressure?  She glanced inquisitively at him as he spoke as though she'd somehow find the answer in his face. 

Who would want to submit themselves to that sort of stress?

Somebody had to, yeah.  The fact that he'd taken it upon himself to be one of those people was admirable.  He didn't seem like the ambition-for-ambition's-sake type, no matter what the tabloids said.

She liked being right about some things, and appropriately basked in his praise, but her lack of knowledge - what mayor? - and the inability to give him a conclusive answer was frustrating.  Maybe a little embarrassing if she thought about it for too long.  Instead, she enjoyed the affectionate hand-holding, returning the squeeze with one of her own, completely unphased by the temperature difference and the lack of "give" in his flesh.  She was used to that now.

Rachel beamed wildly at the photobooth suggestion, taking extra care not to laugh because he'd asked her not to.  "Uh hell yes we are - it's a requirement, in fact."  Her heart rate noticeably rose with her excitement. 

"But uh, yeah, there's food - but you can't do that - uh, shopping, trying on clothes, sometimes there's arcades... Oh - people-watching,"  her mind raced with nostalgic feelings, high-school memories and her time with Quinn before the Bad Shit happened.  Memories that Jake wouldn't have since he didn't grow up human in America in this time period.  Would he be bored?  "When, uh, Quinn and I were living together when we were younger, we used to make up these people-watching games.  Like Bingo, kinda."  Did he know what Bingo was?  "Or try to spot the weirdest outfit.  Extra points for catching someone making a scene."  She giggled.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 05, 2019, 06:32:29 AM
Jake listened as Rachel explained the available choices. Most of them sounded like fun. He almost asked if there was a bar, but he was always in bars, and knew it was his comfort zone. He needed to be outside of his comfort zone, and so letting Rachel pick the order of activities seemed the best course of action. The  ride didn't take long, traffic not too bad at this time of night. Jake ended up not giving up Rachel's hand, unless she tugged it away. It wasn't meant to imply anything more than he didn't mind her touching him. His thoughts drifted briefly to his day job, the rigors of campaigning becoming all consuming. He decided he'd turn off this particular spout when they reached the mall, putting his worries into a box and placed them upon a mental shelf.

Their driver went to park, and after briefly scanning the perimeter, Jake led them towards the mall's entrance. Jake could already smell the food court, that mix of sausage, fries, and other forms of sugar and grease being all consuming to vampire senses. It almost made him gag. He stopped short of entering and pulled out a pack of red apple cigarettes.

"Mind if I smoke one," he asked, keeping the lighter in his pocket for the moment. "I need to dull my sense of smell a little." Then Jake had an idea he knew Damien would not approve of. It made him need to ask it.

"If you want to bum one, I promise I won't tell. Just say you stood around me as I did. He'll never know."

Jake tempted her cutely, leaning in to his boyish looks and youthful demeanor. They looked like kids sneaking a cig behind the gym, and not at all like the complex figures they actually were. Those people had been left in the car. His mischievous grin, and twinkling eyes made him an angelic little devil, and he waved the cigarette around his fingers as he waited for her reply.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 05, 2019, 06:52:37 AM
"Yeah, that's totally fine.  Sorry, I didn't even think of it -"  She was going to say that they could head somewhere else if he preferred, but cut her own sentence short.  If Jake didn't want to be exposed to all the smells of the mall, he wouldn't have agreed to go.  Not that deep. 

Rachel scoffed and with an eye-roll she extended her hand for one.  "He's not my dad," her own mischevious smile pulled the corners of her mouth up, cheeks reddening despite her best attempts to stop them.  Not the time to think about kink jokes, Rache.  She cleared her throat. 

"Not like he forbids me from doing anything - he's not such a hardass."  She stuck out her tongue to curb the defensiveness reflexively filtering into her answer.  "I used to smoke socially, ya know."  And with coffee.  And after really good sex.  She let out a quick whistful sigh at the thought. 
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 05, 2019, 06:59:25 AM
Jake's mind wandered, his focus diffuse and his physical goals mechanical. As he searched his pockets for a lighter, he overheard the loud thoughts of his human companion, as if she'd spoken them aloud!

"Post sex smoking is the best smoking," Jake confirmed, pulling out a gold zippo and igniting the cancerous stick. He lit Rachel's too, using his hand to shield the flame from a crisp wind. Once both cherries were ignited, the pair puffed away. Jake liked that Rachel had said yes. It was always better to smoke as a pair. He returned the lighter to his pocket, and  reflected on Rachel's statement that Damien wasn't a hard ass. He disagreed, while at the same time hoping that he'd been wrong about Damien up to this point. What side of Damien did Rachel know that Jake didn't, and more importantly would Damien ever let him see it? Why did he want that? The thoughts began a spiral, but he blinked hard and turned his attention back to the world.

"He's got my best interests at heart. I know that," Jake said quietly. "I think he needs you, ya know, to chill out sometimes. Am I wrong?"

Jake looked nervous talking about Damien, but strangely just as young as the more tricky boy before.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 05, 2019, 07:27:23 AM
When Jake replied to her thought, Rachel started, then scowled playfully.  Another thing she'd gotten used to happening around Damien, but she always assumed it was because he was old as fuck.  Apparently it was just a vampire thing.

It had been a long time since her last cigarette, so her first puff gave her a coughing spell that she quickly acclimated too.  Her face reddened in embarrassment - she wasn't supposed to look like an amateur here, damnit!  When her lungs finally settled into the feeling, she relaxed her shoulders and closed her eyes.  They cracked open again when Jake brought Damien up. 

Rachel chuckled.  "Yeah, I'm working on that," she took another drag before continuing, countenance growing noticeably more serious.  "He's really protective, been through a lot of shit."  She exhaled through her nose, watching the smoke rise into the air above their heads.  How much did Jake know?  It wasn't really her place to disclose anything, so she wasn't about to offer any specific information.

"I know he can be a little..."  she paused and laughed, shaking her head, "Uh, stiff, I guess you could say."  Bad turn of phrase.  "But I swear he's not always like that."  She turned to Jake and offered a smile, pulling a delicate drag from the cigarette and flicking the ashes.

"He's actually really sweet, and funny."  A memory of a more recent giggle-session in bed brought a smile to her face.  "Just has a hard time lowering the super-serious walls for half a second." 
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 05, 2019, 08:12:10 AM
Jake turned his head to hide a smile as Rachel coughed through her first puff. It was so human. He never coughed anymore. The smoke was weaker than the steel, still lungs that it filtered through. He envied the buzz she might get. Cigarettes served other purposes for vampires; warmth, something to do with the hands, a way to look cool.

He flicked the butt, causing a healthy amount of ash to hit the concrete. Damien having a sweet side was something Jake was happy to hear. "I think I'm growing on him, like a rash."

He smiled playfully to reveal his joke. "Once we finish these where are we going first Ms. cruise director?"

He took another drag as he waited for her reply.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 05, 2019, 09:01:23 AM
Jake's comment caught her mid-drag and she sputtered ridiculously as she laughed.  It was only supposed to be a small laugh but the coughing made her seem as though she thought it was hilarious.  When she'd regained her composure she adjusted her hair with her free hand.

"Yeah, uh, he takes a minute to warm up to people I'd say."  She cleared her throat and took another quick drag. 

Ugh, that was right, she'd be leading this.  Where to go?  Rachel glanced around, debating, eyes following folks wandering in and out of the entrance.  "Alright," she whispered, half to herself, and straightened her posture.  "We're going to have a little contest,"  grinning, she turned to Jake.  "Whoever finds the kookiest person or thing happening here wins,"  there was a pause as she took another drag.

"I think we should see if there's an arcade," she assessed the tip of her cigarette and looked back at her companion.  "I wanna see if you can play pinball."  She flashed him a playful smile.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 05, 2019, 09:10:32 AM
Jake placed a supportive hand on Rachel's shoulder as she coughed out her laugh. He felt a little guilty for making her cough that much, but she seemed fine ultimately. He agreed to her game, and wondered what would constitute kooky. He'd keep an eye out, and figured vampire senses might help him.

Jake liked video games, even though he rarely played them. There was just always something to do, and even when he had time off it was mostly feeding, fucking, dancing, partying, or more practical things like reading, or training. His limited time in the sun had given him a few extra hours, but he didn't waste them with games. Rachel's suggestion to go to the arcade was welcome.

"Sure, but can we also look for Mortal Kombat? I hear that's the one to play in an arcade!"

He gave her his arm, and with one more final look at the night, he led them inside. It wasn't difficult to find the arcade, Jake bobbing and weaving through the various moving people. They took an escalator to the second floor and found a huge, flashing neon sign.


"This seems the place, Jake said, hearing a million beeps, bops and whooshes coming from the other side of the glass doors. He opened it for her, bowing in mock chivalry, "ladies first."
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 05, 2019, 10:16:25 AM
Oh, okay, so he knew arcade games - probably better than she did.  For whatever reason, that surprised her.  Probably because Damien didn't know much - well, did she even know that was true?  Not like they talked about that kind of thing since it wasn't relevant to their day-to-day lives.  Huh.  A little thoughtful pout edged into her expression as she finished the cigarette and crushed it under her shoe. 

"Yeah, let's play that one first," pout quickly chased away by a bright smile, she enthusiastically linked her arm through his. 

While they went through the mall, she gazed about as though she'd never been in one before.  It had been too long, and never this one obviously.  Would she ever be able to come to a place like this with Quinn?  The passing thought darkened her expression for a second before she shoved it out of her mind.

She was supposed to be having fun, after all.

When he opened the door for her she giggled cutely and headed inside.  It was noisier than she'd anticipated and she took a minute to get her bearings.  Being home-bound made these experiences more intense, which felt a little foolish and she did her best to appear unaffected.  The Arcade was surprisingly crowded - which maybe shouldn't have been a surprise for her.  As she drifted forward, her eyes moved around the room, scanning the machine titles until she found what they were looking for. 

"Ooh!"  Grabbing Jake's hand she pulled him toward one of the newly-vacated Mortal Kombat machines.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 05, 2019, 01:11:32 PM
Jake stifled Rachel's enthusiasm a tad, pointing to the machine that gave tokens for money. Jake slipped in a ten, and a pile of gold spewed forth from the machine. He counted roughly, and handed Rachel what looked like half of the loot. The Mortal Kombat machine was still vacant, and Jake and Rachel each slid a token into the slot and pressed start. The old motion capture acting made the game feel real, despite it's surreal premise. Jake picked Kano, the Aussie guy with the knives. Rachel picked Raiden, saying something about bringing the thunder. Jake giggled and waited for the match to load.

Once they were fighting, Jake focused in on crushing his date. Rachel seemed to favor all the low kicks and uppercuts, ignoring regular combos and basically fighting defensively. Jake approached the match like a real attack, attempting to land a reasonable series of blows. He was frustrated how effective Rachel's strategy was, and found it as annoying as it was practical. Eventually, he figured out how to break her traps, and finished her off.

"Ughhhh thank god," he said, looking like he'd just finished an orgasm, the release of tension being comparable. "What did you think?"
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 06, 2019, 02:02:37 AM
"Uh, I dunno.  You seemed like you knew what you were doing, I was just mashing buttons."  She laughed, eyes twinkling, "It was fun though!"  Her hand went into her pocket to jingle the satisfying amount of coin there as she glanced around.  A large group of loud teens entering drew her attention to the front.  Shit, this was a really busy night here.  Deliberately she broke away from watching them congregate at the token machine and looked to see what else would catch her eye. 

She hadn't seen it before, but there was a photo booth at the front of the arcade just off to the side of the entrance.  Stepping away from Mortal Kombat for the next pair waiting, she nudged Jake and pointed it out to him.  "Before we leave," she said solemnly to let him know that she wasn't about to forget.  Photo booth pictures with Jake McCloud were absolutely going on her refrigerator. 

Her attention was pulled again to some particularly loud sounds in the opposite direction.  Music and rhythmic stomping.

"Okay," she grinned, whirling back to her vampire date.  "DDR?"  There was a small gathering around what seemed to be a pair of skilled players, and there was no telling when the machine would be free.  "Unless you wanna pick the next thing?"  Rachel was giddy and bouncy, riding off the energy from their video-game fight.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 06, 2019, 02:11:12 AM
Jake also saw the entrance of the loud group of teens, some of them being old enough for Jake to have a little snack. The hunger was never far, and while he wouldn't dare leave Rachel alone, he couldn't help but hungrily stare at one boy, the sweet look of his pale flesh calling to the hunter. Thankfully, Rachel drew his attention to the photo booth. She was recommending something called DDR, and Jake was inclined to try it. However, he figured he might get called back to work at any time. Such was the life of a district leader.

"Let's get our photos now," he suggested, tone calm and easy. "That way we won't have to rush later and can leave the arcade whenever we're bored."

Jake helped move them through the crowd, the sweet smells of human blood mixed in with popcorn, sweat, wires and soda pop. It was overwhelming still, although he could now sort  out small differences and origins. They reached the booth in short order, and Jake pulled back the purple, glossy curtain and moved them inside. It was cramped, even for two people. Jake could only imagine a whole group trying to squeeze in.

"So... what do we do," Jake asked, inserting a five dollar bill into the machine. "Just pose, or should we be funny?"
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 06, 2019, 02:38:42 AM
"Good idea," she breathed, nodding.  As they went through the crowd she felt a rustling at the back of her head like someone had blown some air into her hair.  But when she whipped around to give whoever it was a talking to - fuckin' teenagers - there was no one there that was in the right position that could've done it.  Weird, but there were more exciting things to pay attention to.

Once they were in the booth, she cozied right up to the District Leader. 

"Hm,"  She paused throughfully, zoning out as she stared at the screen.  "Well, there's four on the strip so maybe two nice, two silly?"  she glanced at him for agreeance and smiled when he nodded.  "Okay, these have a tendency to go really fast so - shit."  The countdown that had been going since they inserted the money had a couple of seconds left - which meant there was no time to pick a frame so they were stuck with whatever it automatically selected. 

"Nice first - ready?"  Hurridly, she straightened her posture to give a professional cute smile directly at where she thought the camera would be.  The countdown for each photo was five seconds, thankfully, so she had a minute to figure out where to stare so that she was looking the right way.  The next shot they gave their best sultry stares that Rachel only barely held for the camera to capture before she dissolved into a fit of giggles.  That only lent itself nicely for their third photo, where Jake made a face so unexpected and wildly different than anything she'd ever seen him make before - his silliness increasing her laughing fit so much that she couldn't focus on posing.  Who knows what would print out for that one.  The last shot she put her every last effort into making the silliest face, which earned her A Look from Jake just before the camera flashed. 

It was going to be perfect, and she leaned her head against his shoulder as the photos printed, heart thudding as she regained her composure.  "I can't fukin' breathe," she grinned.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 06, 2019, 03:33:19 AM
Jake felt himself let go, and the anger, suspicion and glumness which followed him normally was replaced by something care free, easy, and silly, as Rachel observed. He felt like a kid, and while he'd never admit it to the likes of Zoheret, Zeus or Ben, he liked feeling like a kid sometimes. He wondered what it would be like to grow up in this era, and to have a normal mortal life. It had a certain appeal, or at least Rachel in this current moment made it seem so. Her powerlessness at the hands of Laurent was not present in this booth. It was as if they both left their baggage at the door.

Jake would likely hate mortality in reality, but it was fun to play the part in the meantime. He leaned in to the four positions, really mastering the smoldering look, and making the silliest face he'd made in... well possibly ever! He supposed as a baby he might have contorted his features in an uglier, funnier way, but there wasn't one he could remember. Rachel seemed to enjoy it, her giggling forcing a ridiculous sounding laugh out of him. Rachel's own silly face was a far stretch from her normal beauty, and so Jake looked at her with shock and a slacked jaw in the last. It was perfect.

They each got a printing of the pictures. Jake was most pleased with the second, but was sure Rachel would vote for the third or forth. He decided to put them up near his computer. It would be a reminder of better times when he'd likely be dealing with worse ones soon. They exited the booth, and as Rachel stated she couldn't breath, Jake replied, "And I don't breath. Hard to relate."

He saw the DDR thing was free, and so led Rachel over. A group of pros hogged one next to the pair. Jake understood the basic premise, and as Kerr had recently experienced, Jake had excellent rhythm. "Looks like we can dance together," Jake said, pointing to the pair of pads. He guessed they'd dance till the song was over or they made enough mistakes. The "pros" watched them with mild interest.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 06, 2019, 04:45:34 AM
His inability to relate earned him an eye roll and a playful punch in the upper arm.  She was having way too much fun, any hints of apprehension that she had in the beginning of the night completely vanished now.  It was nice to be out with someone that wasn't Damien, doing something that wasn't errands.  Somewhere in the back of her mind it registered that she hadn't had many normal nights out with friends in a long time.  The last time was with Quinn, while she had the shitty bodyguard, but there was no more of that now.  Who knew when that would change.

Rachel's smile widened when they reached the machine - and it was free.  She ignored the pros, and stepped onto one of the pads. 

"DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION!"  The voice boomed from the speakers, much louder than was really necessary.  She was just thankful it didn't make her jump.  Once the coins were inserted, the screen flashed DON'T FALL OFF!

"I'll try," Rachel giggled as she went through the menu, selecting VERSUS so they could play against each other.  Once the difficulty options popped up, she paused.  "Haven't played this in so damn long," she muttered, cycling first to LIGHT MODE, then deciding to go with STANDARD as Jake selected whatever he wanted on his side of the screen. 

When the music selection popped up next, she collected her hair into a ponytail and tied it up with the hair tie around her wrist.   "I'll pick this one," she moved the cursor to 99 RED BALLOONS, "It'll be our warm-up."  She flashed a cheeky grin and pressed start. 

The song started quicker than she expected it to, but once it did she focused sharply on it.  She missed half the notes in the beginning, but by the end of the two-minute song she nailed every one of them.  It was clear that she'd played this game before in the past.

"Okay you pick," she was slightly winded, thankful for the fact that she'd chosen sneakers instead of a cuter shoe, and hoping that she'd be able to make it through the next couple of songs without water.  Leaning back against the bright red balance bar she watched to see what Jake would pick.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 06, 2019, 05:02:11 AM
Jake selected HARD, always needing to be the best, and also because he thought of himself as a great dancer. He was not prepared for the exact style of dancing required, or to watch the arrows and flashing lights. He missed many of the early steps, the game even yelling out, "YOU SUCK." Jake's face crossed in petty anger, and he improved within moments. He made up for his earlier performance in much the same way as Rachel. Unlike Rachel, Jake wasn't tired at all, and eagerly awaited the next song. He picked one that he knew, and had danced to at the White Rabbit before. He could match the steps now, while also throwing in some flair.

It was also a song about a guy and a girl dancing together, and so it seemed appropriate. Satisfied, he told Rachel to get ready.  Dance to This  ( played through the crude sound system, and soon they were off in a fast footed jostle through the song. Despite it's slow beat, they were required to double the beat, while still looking suave and cool. Jake looked to Rachel, watching her gracefully nail most of the steps. She was feeding off Jake's own fun energy, which included lip syncing the chorus, plenty of hand motions, and regular rotations of his hips.

He wanted to run through the aracde this way, forgetting that the reason they were dancing was the game. He lost himself to it. When the song ended, he noticed a group of girls was waiting patiently. "Ready for something else?"
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 06, 2019, 05:26:04 AM
It was a harder song - cute, and she really liked it - but hard to keep up with.  Somehow she managed, though secretly she blamed her struggle on the cigarette she indulged in before they went inside.  That wasn't to say that she lacked any finesse - it was all about having fun, after all.  And she wasn't one to shy away from lip-syncing and hand motions.  To say that she was glad that Jake was dedicated to the art of Fun would be an understatement - he was noticeably more relaxed to her, and that was probably her favorite thing about the entire night so far.

Besides the photo booth.

Sweaty and practically gasping she finished the song, missing fewer notes than last time but otherwise feeling pretty good about her performance.  Now that there was a bit of a crowd gathering around the machine, a bit of self-consciousness began to creep in. 

"Uh, probably some water and a bathroom break."  With a big stretch, she stepped off the pad and gave a friendly smile to the next group up.  She'd spotted a water fountain by some bathrooms earlier, and headed in their direction. 

The water was cold coming out of the tap and she drank enthusiastically as Jake waited off to the side.  She couldn't help the small moan of relief in response to her thirst being quenched.  Water tasted so damn good when you needed it.  "I'll be back in a sec," she called to Jake just before heading through the bathroom door.

The bathroom was empty, surprisingly.  After speedily relieving herself, she made a beeline right for the sink.  Methodically she washed her hands and splashed a little water on her face before pulling the elastic from her hair.  When the flow of water from the automatic sink stopped, something seemed to shift in the air, causing her to freeze.  It felt like someone was right behind her, in one of the stalls, but she knew there was no one there.  Exhaling slowly she trained her ears on the silence, unable to detect anything but the muffled thudding of music and arcade sounds outside. 

It's nothing.  Empty bathrooms are just creepy, especially after watching horror movies. 

Hesitantly she ran her damp fingers through her hair, glancing back up at the mirror.  She jumped - for a split second she thought there was a shadowy figure just off her shoulder, but when she whirled around there was nothing there.  White-hot fear coursed through her for that small moment, and she scolded herself for being so ridiculous.  Why did she have to pick a horror film?  Was she trying to impress Jake or something?  She turned back toward the mirror to give her hair a proper fix and ran her hands under cool water so she could press them against her still-burning cheeks.  The small hairs on the back of her neck prickled as she shuffled over to the air-dryer, and her breath caught in her throat as she rubbed her hands together.  There was a sound beneath the howling of the hand dryer that sounded distinctly like someone taking a slow inhale. 

It's NOTHING.  Stop being such a fucking baby. 

Definity just her creepy imagination combined with the overlapping sounds in the bathroom and outside.  With barely-dried hands and a determination to not turn around to check again (because there wasn't anything there), she pushed the door open in front of her.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 06, 2019, 06:08:47 AM
Jake had been patiently waiting by the bathroom, feeling like he'd be taking the bodyguard part of the night too seriously if he followed her in. Besides, she wasn't a baby, and since he stood guard near the water fountain it wasn't like anyone was going to go in. He found the seductive looking neck from earlier. Jake debated implanting an idea for him to go to the White Rabbit one night, but that was the old Jake. This new Jake didn't just take what he wanted, whenever he wanted it. Such was the price of growth.

Rachel opened the door with more force than she likely intended, and it caused Jake to turn his head quickly in response to the sound. At first he saw only Rachel, and she looked like she was trying to force a smile at him. He looked behind her, wondering what caused her to leave the bathroom with such speed. The black prince saw a dark shadow, black as anything he'd ever seen. He'd only seen this kind of shadow once before, and it was when Zeus invaded his fucking home like some kind of peeping tom.

Was this him now? No, it was way too fucking sloppy for the master of keeping his shit private. Also, it occurred to Jake that it was unlikely that Zeus would be waiting for Rachel in a woman's bathroom. No, this shadow was something else. Rachel saw fangs as Jake flashed them and dreadful eyes in the shadow's direction. It seemed to vanish as soon as Jake met to engage it. Curious.

It was also disturbing, and Jake remembered that Damien theorized Laurent was also a shadow demon. Perhaps he hadn't given up the chase after all. Jake put away his teeth and supernatural eyes and looked at Rachel with a worried pout.

"Did you see something in there," he whispered. "I think it's time we left."

His tone indicated this was not a request.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 06, 2019, 06:21:22 AM
Something in Jake's expression the second she left the bathroom steered her sharply back toward that white-hot panicked adrenaline she had moments earlier.  Had she not imagined it?  Fuck!  It wasn't enough to stop her stride, and she could tell that he was looking over her shoulder.  Maybe he was just trying to freak her out, like in a silly sort of "Ha-ha we saw a horror movie" kind of way?

At a stiff fast walk she went to him, a stony scowl set in her face.  When he whispered his question she looked at him with wide-eyes.  "What do you mean?" she answered hoarsely.  Maybe he heard her heart rate pick up in there or something?  "I..I think uh, I think I was just freaking myself out in there."  she stuttered, grabbing for his hand, making a move to walk away from the bathrooms. 

"Did you see something?  Just now?"  Her voice strained into a squeak and every bit inside of her hoped that this was just some elaborate joke.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 06, 2019, 06:26:46 AM
Jake contemplated lying to her, and only telling Damien what really happened. It was the protective choice, the kind one. It was also wrong. Rachel deserved to know what Jake had really seen. She deserved the truth. He nodded at her question, letting the newfound seriousness of his face erase any doubt she might have that this was a joke. The loud sounds, allotted smells, and situational darkness was now all terrain hazards.

"We need to move slowly into the more lit areas and then calmly walk out the door," Jake said in a relaxed but serious tone. "I'm going to give you my phone. Text my driver to meet us out front. I want to keep my eyes pealed."

Jake unlocked the phone and placed it in Rachel's hands. He figured it might also help distract her as they moved their way out. Jake was unsure if this was a kidnap attempt, a prank, or some other nonsense, but he decided to treat it as a worst case scenario just in case. He led them to the center of the arcade, and began walking towards the doors.
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 06, 2019, 06:38:09 AM
All the color drained from her face as he confirmed her worst fears.  The sound of her pulse thudding against her eardrums threatened to drown out everything else.  Panic clawed at her throat, squeezing at her lungs.

He was going to take her again.  That's what it was. 
That was the thing in the bathroom. 
The breathing down her neck. 
The split-second shadow in the mirror. 

The arcade was busier now, as though they'd just entered the peak hours.  In a daze she held Jake's phone in her trembling hands, nodding at his instruction that registered only peripherally in her mind.  Text the driver.  Text the driver.  Text the driver.  She kept her eyes glued to the phone but her fingers felt sluggish as she moved them across the screen. 


Those were all she could manage, clutching the phone in her sweat-slicked hand.  "Okay," she whispered to indicate that she'd done it.  She looked up now, wildly around at the crowd as if she'd be able to pick Him out in it.  It only made her racing heart quicken.  There was no way she'd be let out of the house now.  Not without Damien, never out of sight.  A large group - what seemed to be a birthday party - came pouring through the doorway just as they were about to leave.  She was aware of people behind them who were also trying to exit, and it took all of her strength not to look around back at them.  Someone pressed against her a bit too close and she flinched away, clambering anxiously to Jake.

It wouldn't be Him.  He wouldn't be so daring, so out in the open...

But she wasn't with Damien now.  Jake was younger, maybe this was the opening that He was waiting for this whole time. 

They made it out the door to the arcade without further incident, but there was still navigating through the mall left to do. 
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 06, 2019, 05:15:03 PM
Jake placed his phone back in his pants pocket, eyes never looking at the device during. They were searching for something, or for nothing at all. He had no idea if Laurent was behind them, or had given up already. The uncertainty was unnerving, as was seeing Rachel in distress. When an innocent man bumped up against her, she leaped into Jake's embrace. He angered at the revolting nature of this Laurent, and used the mental image of killing him over and over again to sooth his temper.

Once it was clear that Rachel was done with all people who weren't Jake, the vampire decided to drop all pretense on their exit. He moved her quickly, and made his aura daunting to any humans who might consider approaching. Rachel was made immune to it. She'd had enough fucking with her mind in the arcade. They got out with further incident, a few concerned stares being the worst. Jake assumed people thought he was some controlling boyfriend, and supposed that was as good an explanation as any for his repulsing energy. Once in the car, Jake dropped the power all together, and turned to Rachel. The driver began pulling away as Jake said, "what's going through your head right now?"
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 06, 2019, 11:59:05 PM
Rachel, a trembling leaf in a gale, drew her arms tightly around her body while they sat in the car.  Had she been holding her breath while they left the mall?  The almost painful tightness in her chest was an answer, even if she couldn't remember their exit clearly enough.  She should have felt comforted by reaching the car, but her breathing was still shallow, heart still hammering.  She was lightheaded, and the car felt too small.  Can't roll down the window for air - He would get inside.  A wave of nausea swept through her at the realization, worsened by the fact that she hadn't gotten the chance to eat while they were at the mall.  Later she'd remember that, but for now, she had no appetite. 

Need to calm down.

Deliberately she took a deep inhale and a slow exhale.  When Jake spoke she turned to him.  "Huh?"  she squeaked, taking another gulp of air while trying to be mindful of it.  What was going through her head?  She swallowed against the urge to cry, squeezing her arms around her a little tighter.  Lots of things were going through her head, and it wasn't until the driver pulled onto the main road that her thoughts began to unravel.

Damien was going to be livid.  She was going to be on lockdown like in the beginning.  Was he going to quit the campaign to go after Him again?  The irrational part of her wanted to keep it from him - as if that were even possible - so that she might have a little bit of freedom while she was still fucking alive. 

"I-I'm glad we g-got to spend t-time together," she shrunk deeper into the car seat.  "Cuz' I d-don't think I'll be able to go out like this again."  Defeat felt heavy on her tongue but anger set firmly in her gaze as she stared at the back of the car seat in front of her.  Remembering to breathe again she took another measured breath. 

Fear.  Anger.  Was He going to follow them back?

No falling apart in the car.

"I'm fucking tired of this shit," her jaw clenched, tears pricking the corners of her eyes.  They went years without sign of Him, fucking years. Was it really Him?  Ruining her fucking night out?  Why didn't He just nab her then while she was in the bathroom?  What was the point in letting Jake see Him?  Was it even Him?  Maybe it was some demon punk trying to get a rise out of Jake with the election coming up.  But it was about her.  Smelling her hair in the bathroom.  Why her, anyway? 

Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: Black Philip on December 08, 2019, 01:55:08 AM
"Or I'll chop off Laurent's head, and you'll get your life back."

Rachel heard an older voice, one that carried weight, weary and anger. Jake had transformed into the Black Prince. The playful boy was replaced by something harder, less empathetic and he felt significantly older. He pulled out his phone and sent a fury of messages, all to his own staff. He demanded Benny and Eva give him an update. If they had nothing to show on Laurent, then Jake was going to have a word with his rat. This couldn't continue. Rachel couldn't live like this. Now he understood Damien's frustration more clearly, and he shared it. He hated that Rachel was being made to feel this way, that some monster was clearly stalking her. It reminded Jake of Lazarus, although at least he had the balls to be cruel, and terrible to people's faces. Lazarus was a bully, but a predictable one. He could always be counted to look out for himself. Laurent was more insidious, careful, although probably less powerful.

However clever this demon might be, Jake had fought worse. He would revel in the bastard's demise. "You might have to go back into lock down for now, but I promise you I will find this bastard, and remove him from this world. You deserve to live. It's the joy of being human."
Title: Re: Movie Night
Post by: The Cedar Witch on December 08, 2019, 08:04:17 AM
Rachel snorted contemptuously at his declaration, but all the bitterness was for her own situation.  "Get in line," she muttered darkly, wiping the tears pricking at her eyes with the back of her hand.  In her darkest moments while in His clutches, she'd fantasized about stabbing Him repeatedly in the chest, feeling His blood ooze darkly over her fingertips as the life drained from His body.  Survival mechanisms, sprouting from the violence her environment impressed upon her without her consent.  The image came vividly back to her, stirring the rage.  She spent too long in the dregs of sorrow - there was scarcely anything left but anger, a startling force pooling at her emotional depths. 

The joy of being human.  A heavy sigh acted as her response to that, and she ran an anxious hand through her hair.  She'd had enough of her humanity if this was what it was filled with.  How she envied her vampire friends with their invulnerabilities. 

She reached across the seat for Jake's hand, reaching for the comforts of their newly budding friendship to steady the torrent in her mind.  This car ride should have been a continuation of their joys, not a decompression chamber for their ambush at the arcade.

In the darkness of the car, her wide eyes searched Jake's.  "Help me tell Damien?"  Her voice wavered, filled to the brim with tension, and she squeezed his hand. 

continued here (