Author Topic: Back Again  (Read 3745 times)

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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Back Again
« on: December 08, 2019, 08:28:14 AM »
Reserved For Billy and Jacki

continued from here



Since the mall was in the East District, it was only a short ride back home.  Rachel's eyes sought desperately to pierce the darkness of the wood that lined the edges of the road as if she'd find something there.  The need to remain vigilant, accelerated by her fear, kept her consistently on the edge of panic.  If it weren't for the fact that she wanted - no, needed to not have a full-blown panic attack in front of Jake, she would've been an absolute mess. 

She didn't text Damien to let him know anything happened.  Let him have his last few minutes free from the crushing weight of worry that would undoubtedly be painting the rest of their existence from now until whenever the nightmare ended.

Or she was dead.

Lungs screaming, her breath was still shallow as it had been since they left the building.  The few quiet moments she attempted deeper breathing she could feel the pull toward hyperventilation, so she kept the tension coiled in her gut.  It was all she could do to keep herself from coming apart at the seams, but hysteria lingered at the fringes of her mind, beckoning.  Later, after Jake was gone, when she could collapse in bed and bury herself in blankets and pillows and will the floor to swallow her up.

Any conversation her friend prompted was met with minimal answers - a handful of words, nodding or shaking of her head.  The tremor in her hand did not leave, nor did the low background throb of nausea that she tried her best to ignore.  They couldn't stop the car, not yet. 

When they finally started down Alcott Road, her heart soared with longing.  She wanted nothing but to rush into Damien's embrace and forget about the bad parts of the night - pretend like they never happened and she'd just gotten back from one of the best nights out that she had in a long time.  It was irresponsible and foolish, but every inch of her ached to deny everything, to keep it from him, to stay in this fantasy that her life was normal and good and she was happy and safe.

The desire pushed a lump into her throat, a welling in her eyes again, and the urge to gag. 

Once the car came to a stop in the driveway, she burst from the back seat and slammed the door, leaning against it as she heaved out choking sobs and bile onto the pavement. 

So much for waiting.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2019, 03:54:53 AM »
Jake sat in the car pensively. He'd texted Benny for an update, and got back cross references to a guy named Adam, and possible properties he might own. It seems Benny had narrowed down the hideout for this Laurent to one of a few places. Jake decided to begin sweeping them tomorrow. He'd start in the Central District, and work his way out towards the edge of the city. This guy couldn't hide forever. He supposed he should call Zeus and tell him of this manhunt. What would the demon do? Would he see it as all the reason he needed to attack Jake outright? Were these two demons working together? A disadvantage to Zeus's opaque and obscure nature was that even your better qualities remained burred. Jake wanted to believe Zeus was better than to work with Laurent, but the fact remained he didn't know, because he couldn't ever know Zeus. He was also happy for the momentary silence. Heightened emotions, screaming, and while Jake didn't know this ahead of time, bile were all in his future.

He debated soothing Rachel with his aura. He could easily calm her down that way, but he decided against it. She didn't need to be blunted tonight. Her fear and anger were more than justified. When the car pulled into Damien's driveway, Jake exited as quickly as Rachel. Her release was saddening. Jake forgot to get her food. He wondered if that would've helped to settle her stomach. He wrapped a protective arm around her shoulder.

"Not here. Inside. Come along."

It was simple, but calm and caring and he led her to the door. He assumed she had keys and would wait till she let them in, or Damien opened the door.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2019, 06:37:26 AM »
Damien had been looking over the same report for hours, staring at the computer screen well into the night, trying to get something done before Rachel came home. He constantly found himself distracted by her - the way she moved, the way she smelled after a shower, that shrill giggle that drove him mad when she was being devilish. With all the... distractions... he had fallen behind in his monitoring and approving of the buildings Aquillia Industries owned and the advancements that had been made.

The report in front of him was a complicated one. Fifty four pages of scientific language and thirteen pages of appendix notes made his brain hurt. The laboratories had recently taken a piece of Damien's flesh - willingly donated, of course - and tested it against younger flesh - donated willingly by Finny - in a trial of exposure to certain infrared sources. What they were looking for was whether the flesh reacted and combusted with the heat, or whether, as expected, remained undisturbed. What it seemed as if they found - if Damien was reading the report properly - was that exposure to infrared light caused a desiccation of the flesh proportional to the amount of exposure, regardless of age. It was a fascinating study, one that would need to be researched further, of course.

Damien was just about to look in the appendix notes when he heard Jake's car pull up and looked towards the window, then back down at his watch. He frowned, but stood and stretched anyway. When Rachel had told him about her date with Jake, he practically shooed her out of the house, thankful that she was making friends - albeit vampire friends - and getting out to see the world on (almost) her own terms. But he had expected them to be out for much longer than this, at least another few hours. Damien thought little of it, trying to ignore that nagging feeling in the back of his head like something was wrong.

Overly protective. That's all it was.

It wasn't until he heard Rachel's sobs that he moved out of the office with preternatural speed and threw open the door to the house, expecting to see Laurent and Rachel both.

Thankfully he saw no Laurent, but only a weakened looking Rachel who was clearly upset and a concerned Jake holding her up. His first thought was that she was drunk, but he smelled nothing but the putrid acid smell of a stomach overturned. He was in front of Rachel And Jake and wasted no time in wrapping his arms around her shoulders, pulling her into an embrace that was meant to shield her from everything - including Jake.

Fury and concern lit his face as he looked at Jake, gripping Rachel close. "What happened?" He eyed Jake steadily and his paranoia began to overtake him. Had Jake done something to Rachel? No, he told himself, though he didn't fully believe it. He sniffed the air and sensed no part of Jake on her, just stuffy air, the light fragrance of her shampoo, and cigarette smoke. He expected an answer, but he began to suspect who had actually gotten Rachel to this state.

The hunt was beginning.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2019, 07:34:41 AM »
Shame colored her as Jake wrapped an arm around her shoulder.  Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she allowed herself to be guided to the door.  Each step led to increased difficulty in keeping her breathing under control.  She wasn’t used to this feeling of fear anymore.  Back in the beginning, she’d grown a thicker skin for it, the horror of recovery with constant nightmares a daily reality.  Happiness and comfort softened the callous, coaxed the exposure of vulnerability out of her. 

Before Rachel could even make a move to open the door, she was taken into a familiar embrace with a speed she should have expected, but it startled a yelp from her.  Tension kept her muscles from melting at his touch, her own arms wrapped tightly around herself with the stubborn refusal for comfort clashing with the need to keep seams in her mind from ripping.  She shook in Damien's arms, mind an incomprehensible whirlwind.

Not Jake
    He's back-
everythings ruined now I
                  can't breathe
back - He's back He found us I almost
          wasn't supposed to happen
He's going to take me He knows where
right behind me
       in the shadows
breath through my
       in the bathroom
smelling my hair
     shouldn't have bothered
must've followed us here
      right behind
nothings safe nowhere's safe I need
want
I'm going to
    cry
    scream
    kill
He's
    going to get me
I want to just
   curl up
         kill Him


She could feel the vice-like grip squeezing her and all she could do was whimper in protest, hoping Damien would remember to give her lungs the space to breathe. 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2019, 02:57:52 PM »
Jake let Rachel go instantly, not wanting to get caught up in some awkward devil's three way hug. Things were awkward enough as it was, without Jake feeling Damien and Rachel pressed to him at the same moment. He pulled out a vicious cigarette, and lit it, puffing away as Damien's eyes bore into him. The younger vampire tried his best not to meet Damien's gaze with one of his own, and so instead gave big, open eyes, and a somber looking lip. Rachel's thoughts came through like pieces of shattered glass, and his desire to sooth her mind grew. He assumed Damien might as least help her sleep for the moment, but figured he'd want to hear from both of them before that point.

As Damien demanded an explanation, Jake raised his hands slowly. "I suggest we have this conversation inside and away from any potentially prying ears."

To Damien alone he added mentally, I assume we were followed, and am not sure Rachel is yet out of danger. Inside.

He went to the driver's seat and instructed his escort to remain outside the front door. He then began walking towards Damien and Rachel's home. He wasn't going to suggest going inside again.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2019, 07:22:05 AM »
The hairs on the back of his neck prickled as Rachel's panic washed over him, dread blackening his thoughts. An anxiety of his own quickened in his chest and he tried not to react so outwardly to the gathering storm in his chest. Her thoughts were loud enough for him to hear without trying - though unconsciously he was - and provoked his own well-hidden fears.

His first concern, however, was Rachel. Damien pulled her gently out of his grasp and put his hands on either side of her face, searching her avoidant eyes for a brief moment. The connection helped him throw a tether into her mind and from it he issued a cool breeze of calm, just enough to keep her panic from bubbling over into a manic episode he knew she didn't want to have in front of anyone - especially Jake. It was rare for Damien to witness such things, despite all this time together.

At Jake's suggestion, Damien nodded stiffly, his attention still on Rachel. He had moved his hands now to her hair and kissed her forehead tenderly, holding her close as they turned to go inside the house. But it was Jake's words slipped through the mental ether that made Damien look at him and quickly search the surrounding yard before hurrying Rachel along into the foyer. He waited until Jake was safely in the house and the front door closed before he released Rachel from both the mental tether and his physical hold.

He cupped her face in his hands and looked down at her exhausted face with an intense worry. "Are you hurt otherwise?" He felt her hesitation and inability to speak as she shook her head and tried her best not to look away from him. He kissed her forehead again, thankful that there was at least that much. "Would you like to stay in the panic room for a while with Delilah?" It was one of their habits when the Bad thoughts came upon her - fewer lately, though Damien sensed that that was about to change. With her head lowered and her shaking body pressed against his frame, she nodded. He kissed the top of her head again.

With a whistle, Delilah came padding into the room, her eyes sharp and her tail up. It had been an unintentional thing that Delilah came to respond so readily and easily to Rachel's panic, but Damien was nevertheless thankful for it. Her eyes fell on Jake and gave him a tentative glance before returning to Damien, sniffing Rachel's pant leg.

"Va t'asseoir avec Rachel," he told Delilah in an even tone, gesturing up the stairs with a nod of his head, holding her gaze all the while. Delilah trotted immediately over to the foot of the stairs, paused and looked back at Damien, before ascending the stairs with chittering nails and a quick whine.

"Do you need me to come with you?" He asked Rachel silently, who shook her head and began to pull away from him. Her anxiety was returning, and something dark was building inside her as it was building inside them all. Hers, however, would be the all-consuming blight. He worried, of course, but released her after a last kiss to her forehead, feeling otherwise powerless to protect her from her own past. He wanted to reassure her that she was safe and that nothing would happen to her, and he wanted to hold her longer and keep her protected in his arms, and tell her that he... but there was no room for that now.

Now there was only getting through it all again the best they knew how.

Rachel followed Delilah and he only turned his attention to Jake when he heard first the bathroom door shut, then the heavy vault door open and click shut behind her. "Thank you for... helping... with everything." He said evenly, grappling with remaining cool while still agitated and anxious to put the house on shutdown. "Please tell me what happened."

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2019, 06:29:54 AM »
Jake pouted as Rachel retreated - both out of sadness for her but also because now he got the singular job of talking to Damien about it alone - and muttered a "goodnight Rach," as she moved up the stairs. Once she was gone, Jake looked over Damien. The poor man was filled with more emotion than Jake had seen from him. He institutionally wanted to hug the other, but quickly realized that was the wrong action. When Damien asked him what happened, Jake moved deeper into the house.

"It's better if I show you exactly what I saw," he informed, looking for a seat. "We had a good time up until the incident. We saw a movie, played in the arcade, and even took pictures together."

Jake submitted his copy of the fun photos to Damien for review. The Rachel in them was so different than the one he'd just looked upon. The weight of the day was currently crushing her.

"But she needed to use a bathroom. I walked her to it and stood guard outside. I wasn't about to poke my head into a ladies room and sweep the stalls."

Jake wondered if that's exactly what he should have done. It would've looked odd, but it might've avoided Rachel this fresh trauma. "When she came out. I saw it. A shadow as black as night, moving and living. I've only seen one like it once before, Zeus's. That leads me to believe Laurent is in fact a shadow demon. My guess was this was a test run. He didn't seem eager to engage me. The shadow was gone as quick as it came. My guess is... he wanted me to see that, to confirm Rachel's suspicions. I can't see any other reason why he would let me see that form."

Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2019, 12:55:20 PM »
Damien listened somberly with stiff, appropriate nods while staring down into the beautiful, smiling face of his human companion - who seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself with the younger vampire. He wanted to smile back at their faces, to feel the mirth and excitement portrayed so expretly in the little strip of photos but none of it rose in him. Instead there were thoughts of fearful things, deaths he didn't want to think about, half understood memories that were not his own, and a wellspring of gut-rotting emotion to match the horror.

"No, I wouldn't expect you to," Damien murmured towards Jake's comment and subsequent questioning about sweeping the women's room stalls, though his thoughts barely lingered on that topic before descending into a hopeless frustration he couldn't  remove from his features. He took an inhale through his nose and held it uselessly before speaking again. "This is what he does," Damien continued, his fury seething out into his words until they were spoken rhetorically, with no expectation that Jake would respond. "He plays with his prey. He persists because he can, because he knows that one day I will be sloppy in my guard of her, and that he will win."

"And what about you, my young friend?" He lifted his intense gaze onto Jake, making no premise at being human or approachable. "Are you hurt at all? I am sorry to put you in the middle of all this." Unconsciously he raised his own mental defenses and began the process of walling off his emotion for the sake of his logic, a ritual he had become unfamiliar with since Rachel had become part of his intimate life. But he needed to stay calm for her, and to find the right course of action.

All that mattered now was that Rachel and Jake were safe again.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2019, 01:05:37 PM »
Snagging a pillow from the bed on the way to the panic room with Delilah hot on her heels, Rachel nearly slammed the door closed behind them.  Flinging herself on the chaise, she buried her face into the pillow and muffled a scream of frustration.  Peripherally she could feel Delilah's hot tongue against her arms while she squeezed the pillow tight against her face.

Fuck this.  Fuckthisfuckthisfuckthis.

She envisioned her arms with the strength to tear the pillow to pieces, feathers flung into the air and scattered around the room.  Her hands trembled as if with the effort of performing the action, but she knew it was a futile attempt.  It wasn't until Delilah let out a long sad whine that she removed the pillow from her face and allowed wet kisses instead.

This wasn't how she wanted the night to end.  Heat rose in the back of her throat like bile as she stared at the closed-circuit surveillance of the property.  There was no movement - no suspicious shadows or obvious looming threats.

What if He just gave her a scare only to disappear for another couple of years?  Then reappear again just to torment her?  What if that was the rest of her life?

Delilah wedged herself between her knees, nose pushing against her arms until she gave in and ran her fingers through the dog's fur.  Part of her resisted the comforting warmth of the animal, clinging desperately to the helpless rage pooling in her gut.  Drawing her arms around the dog, she pulled her in for a hug, burying her face in Delilah's fur and inhaling slowly.

Inhale - one two three four
Hold - one two three four
Exhale - one two three four


Each breath burned until after enough repetition the panic began to recede.  It would never truly leave, she knew that, but it faded enough for the rage to take center.  Better than the crying mess she was in the beginning.  Not that it mattered in the grand scheme of things.

A whimper from the dog caused Rachel to lose her grip.  Giving Delilah an apologetic scratch around the ears, her eyes scanned the screen for one last time before she stood.

"Fuck this," she whispered, dropping the pillow to the floor and angrily unlocking and flinging open the door.  No more fucking hiding or cowering.  Storming down the stairs with a face set in a hard grimace, Rachel went directly for them with Delilah padding softly after.

"I'm fucking done," her nails bit angrily into the palms of her hands.  "I'm not fucking living like this anymore." 
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2019, 01:11:23 PM »
Jake felt Damien's emotional walls coming up, but sent out a tendril of connection despite him. Damien needed to see what Jake had seen. He guessed Laurent's message was really for Damien after all. There was something more though, a desire to connect with a vampire on a mental level. He'd walled himself off to it for so long, and Damien had recently unlocked his desire for that kind of communication. If Damien sent sizble resistance, Jake would withdraw his tendril. If Damien accepted, Jake would show him the shadow. He felt Jake's fear and rage, and saw his fangs and aura respond. If Damien didn't allow this kind of connection, Jake would simply explain these things, less content perhaps.

"I'm not hurt, no," Jake confirmed. "I was furious at the move, and concerned of course for Rachel. I've narrowed the Adam name you gave me to one of a few addresses. My people will start sweeping them tomorrow. It shouldn't be long now till he'd cornered."

It helped Jake to plan, to plot the next move. It was safer than his fear for Rachel's safety, his desire for Damien's approval, his bestial reaction at the shadow. He wanted to make this right for them. They didn't deserve this phantom specter, always in the periphery of their life. Jake wasn't being careful, and so if Damien had accepted the mental communication he'd feel all of this. It was strangely open for the Black Prince.

Before Damien could respond, he heard Rachel's proclamation. He turned his face to Damien as if waiting for the proper response. He knew her better than Jake did after all.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2019, 01:54:35 PM »
Damien was more than skilled enough to receive Jake's tentative tendril and receive the images of the night that relayed the information Damien wanted without allowing any of his own emotion to slip through their shared tether. Jake's concern, however, was relieving and appreciated. Had it happened at any other time, it may have actually reached Damien. As it were, Damien kept his distance from the sensation.

He opened his mouth to respond when he heard the door upstairs thrown open after only a few minutes. Surprise drew his eyes upwards to the banister as Rachel made her descent with a heavy thud on the ceramic tile. Her anger was palpable and Damien felt conflicted in his reaction to it. There was an impulse to soothe her, to calm her again and try to make everything better. he wanted nothing more than to take all of this concern away from her and handle it himself with his unlimited resources and millions of American dollars. He wanted to relieve her of all guilt, shame, and anguish stemming from her time captured by the demon.

The other part of him wanted to remain detached from both of them to favor his logical execution of a plan that would surely bring about Laurent's death. He wanted her anger present so that he didn't have to remember his own. He knew cognitively that she still grieved for a life lost and a young-adulthood ruined and that her path through her grief was one that she would ultimately trek alone. She had every right to her anger, frustration, and sadness, and that any attempt to quell it would (and should) be met with resistance.

Damien was torn as Rachel rejoined their discussion, a frown pressed deeply into his features. "What do you suggest we do, Rache?"

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2019, 02:24:01 PM »
"I wanna fucking live my life while I still have it," came her sudden shout of desperation, "not hide forever like this!" Taking off past them with trajectory straight for the back door, Rachel had every intention to throw open the door and scream

come and get me, mother fucker
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2019, 11:51:30 PM »
Jake's phone rang, and on the other end was a frantic member of Sam's security detail. Damien would hear everything, and even Rachel's human hearing would let get her the gist of it.

"Wait, slow down. Sam's what?"

Jake's face moved quickly into concern, a new anxiety present in a quivering lip. "I'm on my way," Jake said somberly, hanged up quickly and turned to Damien.

"My fledge has been taken," he said, voice fighting between control and panic. "I-. I need to go."

There was a fight between Jake the leader, and Jake the sire, and in this moment he was mostly scared.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2019, 07:34:44 AM »
Like a burst of air on his face he felt Rachel's intentions as she strode by him. Instinctively, he reached out to her and grabbed ahold of her wrist as she went, following her a few steps into the hallway while he matched her pace. When he said her name, she didn't respond, the emotion too much for her to stop in the heat of the moment. Tears welled in the corners of her angry brown eyes and it pained him somewhere deeply again that there was nothing that he could do to stop her from feeling all of this all over again.

With a firm (but not unkind) hand, he reached around her waist quickly and took her by the flat of her stomach, stopping her journey and pulling her instead close to him. Her skin was warm, her pulse high, and her thoughts darting so fast that he got the impression of a hummingbird when he came into contact with them accidentally. He was no longer used to walling her off, not when she was like this, and the frantic effort of her emotions threatened dislodge her from his arms. He hoped she wouldn't spurn him; his own need to keep her safe was too strong in the surface of his chest that the thought of Laurent outside his house taking Rachel in the most idiotic of ways possible was simply too realistic for him to determine the actual likelihood of such a dangerous move. When she was safely within his grasp, his hands latched around her middle with his fingertips touching, Damien pressed the human against his chest, her hair falling into his mouth. As long as he had her like this, she was safe. He cooed at her, barely registering that Jake had received a phone call at all until it was brought to his attention by another pulse of strong emotion.

With his hands still around her, Damien looked towards Jake with confusion, horror, and anger. "What?! What do you mean she's been taken? Taken by whom?"

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Back Again
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2019, 03:49:56 AM »
Jake went completely deadpan, emotion draining from his face in favor of stoicism. He looked with regret at Rachel. She'd just made a major breakthrough about fighting back against her tormentor, and Jake felt like he'd stolen her thunder. He turned to Damien to reply, his mouth feeling strangely dry for some reason.

"One of the agents I assigned to follow and protect her just told me that Sam was taken, and that they might be targeting others from the academy."

Here he paused, unsure if he should verbalize the next part. "Sam's friend Alena told my agent that the person who took her was... Zoheret."

Jake knew that "Lady" Zoheret was capable of a lot of nasty things, and as he'd thought at the Oligarch meeting, he continued to suspect some sort of plan to fuck him over his treatment of her at the museum and trial. It was also true Zoheret lacked subtly, despite what she likely thought, and was more obvious and superficial than Zeus, or even Charon. He wondered how much of her hyper femininity and observable shallowness was an act to hide a cunning mind, and how much of it was just her.

However, this was too obvious, and dangerous. If it was true, this could pull the whole city into war. The central district's only blood family member stolen at the event of his competitor didn't look good for Ben, or for him. It took place in Charon's section of the city, threatening to pull the Sacament into it. Would he retaliate against the offense committed in his domain? Would Zoheret finally call an ancient's bluff and end up dead?

"I-. I struggle to accept she would do something like this. She's petty and cruel, but she's not stupid. She would attack me more subtly than risking an armed response."

He now looked at Damien with the eyes of a boy. "Please, help me find her. She's all I have in this world."
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


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