In a new arc, that is continuing on from “Checkmate”, it has been a month since Nick experienced the Wraith’s illusion of dinner. What he thought was a dream had to be real, and he was determined to find her again.
Co-written with SA.
SA: Side effects. Everything has its side effects, consequences one must pay for something they’ve done. Like a bad pill which cures the illness to then cause certain side effects, that was what happened to the male – The taste of her blood still lingering within him, her name still flicking just at the tip of his tongue. The side effects of playing with a Wraith. A month has now passed since the beautiful illusion she cast upon his mind, a month since their feeding session – A month in which she resumed her little game, moving from place to place in search for new victims – An always starving Monster, on the prowl for new meals. The cards guided her wherever she ~needed~ to be, for they truly never lied – They moved in tune with the energies of their surroundings, guiding their owner to a new prey, as the Predator would trap someone else in her web, like a true Black Widow. Where was she now? Far from him, that was certain.. Somewhere it seemed in a different side of the world, somewhere in the mountains topped with thick layers of snow, somewhere to find apparent ~shelter~ reaching a Tavern as vision cast itself beyond the black mask to its patrons, scanning their energy to find something worthy of being her meal – Eventually, she did. There was a man, enjoying his ale alone at a distant table, which made her wonder just why he wasn’t joining the crowd, the first sign that he would’ve been different enough to prove his worth. With slow steps, the Predator moved in, repeating her chant about Fortune Telling as she plucked the deck of Tarot out, sitting across from him. The man was of a massive stature, with muscles bulging out from his chest armor. A warrior, a gladiator of sorts – She was already thinking of what to feed on from him… Maybe Pride. Wrath. Who knew? Perhaps he’d prove himself worthy enough to have her feed on his Lust, if she liked his answers. The table was set. The cards began shuffling. The hunger was slowly rising, once more.
RB: – A month had passed, this is true. The moment that Nick had awoken from what he had thought was a dream, the vampire could not help but feel that the mysterious woman was inside him. Teasing his mind and pulling at was once a dead heart. Taking only his jacket and sword, and the tarot card of strength that was left on the bed, Nick made his way back up to the Queen’s grand royal throne room. Standing in the midst of the images of thousands of years of nobles, he cupped his hands and removed the golden flower from within himself. Groaning loudly as the pain to release him from the Queen’s orders was significant, he placed the rose inside a glass case, and hid it in behind the throne curtain, where nobody would ever bother to look. Knowing that the rose was safer there, than within him, he took his final look at what he was leaving behind. No doubt there would be hell to pay eventually, but for now, he had another quest that he needed to solve. Pulling a hood up over his head, Nick had a grim expression as he turned away from all he had known, and started off out of the castle grounds, in search of the fortune teller.
Out in the stables were many of the Queen’s own horses. Nick walked past each till he spotted a white stallion. It was the purity of white, in complete contrast to the man himself. Saddling it up himself, all he could think of was those astonishing blue eyes of hers. Sophia filled his head each time he closed his eyes, when he should be thinking of other things, like feeding. Mounting the stallion, he took up the reigns in his right hand and kicked it hard in the flank, sending it galloping out of the stables and down the winding track that was to lead him far from the Kingdom. Days turned into weeks, only stopping to feed on unsuspecting farmers, and resting when the horse was feared to become lame. His mission would see him pass through different lands and a change in season. Finally arriving one night at a tavern that was off the beaten track. Snow was now falling heavily, and the white stallion was coughing violently. It needed its rest. Bringing the horse into the barn beside the tavern, he let it into a stall, and took off the saddle. Hearing the hubbub and music that came from within the tavern that would offer warmth and a prospective meal, the fur wearing vampire headed towards the door. Only on opening, would he get the shock of his life. There…up the back was the woman that he had been searching so long for. It was also at that moment, he witnessed she had the tarot cards out. Nick inhaled sharply, as the tavern keeper roared at him to close the door, because he was letting the heat of the room escape. Not bothering to remove his hood, he closed the door with a loud bang, before thudding over to the bar, to order a drink. His grey steel eyes; now watching her from beneath the darkness of his hood. –
SA: The thud was more than audible, and yet she didn’t turn to see who it was – The woman was into the game now, which made her concentration be fully diverted towards the man across from her, her newfound prey. There was a moment though, where she felt something in her chest, like somebody pulling at the string of a bond she created awhile back – She felt a certain bond pulsating, which only installed the feeling of anticipation within her – He was close. Closer than she could ever imagine, craning her head to the side to lightly offer a gaze beyond that black mask towards the man who just entered. That was new. For once, she was actually surprised and knew too much to place it under the sign of Faith or a simple coincidence. There was a small grin across her features, Cheshire-like and almost seductive offered to the male before she returned to her meal. Stabbing her palm lightly, she allowed that solitary black drop of her blood to eat the woodwork of the table like acid, which meant her pact was about to be formed – Her game, beginning. The seductive grin was now offered to her meal as free hand reached towards him, lightly brushing those soft fingertips along the male’s shoulder blade. “My my… I do wonder why someone in such a great physical shape would like a Reading for me…” Flirting now, playing with her prey only to make sure he was gripped and tangled in her web by the end of it. Right while another was watching her doings, almost offering a deja-vu feeling.
RB: It was all coming back to him. Like a foggy memory bursting into colour. Having taken a seat at the bar, the vampire slowly removed his leather gloves as the bartender was wiping down the worn timber surface. Nick tapped the bar top twice, and the bar keep seemed to know what the vampire wanted. Reaching under the counter and bringing out a jug of whiskey. As he went to pour Nick a mug full, Nick kept looking back at the table where the fortune teller was playing her game. From the moment she cut her hand, and the black oozed onto the table top, Nick felt as though he was sitting opposite her again. The sliding of the mug on the bar however, broke his train of thought, and his head turned back to face the bar. Fingers like ice gripped around the mug and he brought it to his lips, only to hear the voice of the fortune teller, now saying flirtatious words to her newest prey. Nick lowered his head, and started to muse this. Was that all he had been to her? A meal? Was this journey to find her going to end in bitter disappointment? As the snow started to fall harder outside, he knew that he wouldn’t be going anywhere in a hurry. So, if this was to be the night’s entertainment, she had better make it a good one. –
SA: This happened to be a lot more of a coincidence. This went beyond Faith or Destiny or whatever else people blame it on when something so unreasonable happens that they cannot find a straight answer – Meeting each other twice was far from coincidence. She realized that, the moment she felt those strings being pulled, the strings of their bond, which she created after the feeding. Sophia glanced over from the corner of her eye towards the man at the bar before redirecting her focus towards her prey, as the cards followed their course of shuffling idly before placing themselves in that 3-Star Fold formation, the same one she used for the Vampire. Her Reading began – The cards were different, each one of them so carefully explained by the Reader while, at the bar, people started to talk. Because of course, people love to gossip especially when they see such an abnormal woman doing such an abnormal thing most people cannot grasp the meaning of. 2 or 3 men talked at the bar about how ‘hot’ she was, while others started placing bets on the woman spending the night with that brute she was facing – All the while, she ignored everything – Human nature only disguised itself by elegance when in reality, it was all the animal instinct. Curiosity, mixed with cockiness. Ignoring it fully, Sophia returned to her ‘guest’ as it was her turn. His question was along the line of Power and how to gain it, which made her roll her eyes beneath the black mask in irony, a question she had heard numerous times again, only adding a black dot to him, so far. And then, the 3 questions she asked… Answers were far from pleasing. Even at a distance, one attentive enough would notice that the white haired woman was beginning to get irritated with that barbarian, tapping her long claws against the acid rotten woodwork, impatient for her meal. This wasn’t a man to waste time with – This was a true, worthless meal.
RB: The voices at the bar grew louder, as the fortune teller and her barbarian guest were now the only thing really worth watching in the establishment. Naturally, there were already lewd suggestions being thrown about, as well as bets being made to see just how far she would go out in the open. The more that the men spoke about her, the tighter Nick’s grip became around the mug he was holding. He went to take a sip of the whiskey to try and dull his feelings, but the very idea that she was going to be taking this man out for “dinner” as he know called her game after the final card fell, made him rage internally from jealousy. His lips drew into a thin line while he drummed his fingernails on the bar top. Even though she was paying him no attention, and not even speaking to him, he could hear her. Feel her. Like the blood that he had consumed from her was now like a siren singing as he was in such close quarters to her. ~Mine.~ That word. Ownership. Both had said it to each other. Oh he had fed in his travels, but none had the sweetness, the fire that Sophia did. Her blood was addictive. Addictive enough to drive a man insane; if he was to go without it. More laughter was heard from the group of drunken men that were deliberating on going over and cheering the barbarian on to take the wench out to the barn and let them all take turns. Silver hues flashed as anger and jealousy was combining into a deadly force. Though still sitting at the bar, he dug his hand into his coat…ready for anything. –
SA: Pink organ slithered out of oral cavity only to slowly drag along those scarlet lips of hers, a gesture that would be easily mistaken for seduction and yet, it was a gesture to produce her hunger now to unimaginable levels, almost uncontrolled, as the last card was close to drawing out. And it did. The voices in the back of the bar would continue, more and more pronounced now of all the obscene things their minds could grasp. ‘Bet she could use that mouth for something better than rambling on nonsense.’ – ‘I’m taking her out when she’s done’ – ‘Leave something for me’ – The banter went on and on as she continued her little game, now drawing to its finale. There it was, the last card, the one meant for the Reader, jolting out of the deck and into her palm as a small gush of smoke went out from it. A grimace of pure irritation on her features at the sight of ~that~ card. The exact one she received with Nick’s Reading, the card that was meant for her and her alone. She would put it back into her deck soon after only to direct her attention back to the man, hearing the brute speak. “So… What’s your price? I don’t have much gold on me… But I bet we can work something out…” That devious, lust filled grin on his face, cracking along his lips as he spoke gave her the confirmation she needed, as tendrils began to loop around the table now, while she sat in her seat with a Cheshire-like sardonic smile on alabaster facial features, musing out one single word. “Dinner.” – She knew he was there, listening. If this was deja-vu, then she just invited the brute for dinner, which was what everyone at the bar thought, starting to hoot and cheer for the barbarian, some even asking to tag along. But in truth, what she mused out wasn’t a question. It wasn’t the invitation she offered Nick – It was a statement.
RB: -The trigger word to the rise of the beast. ~Dinner~ Nick had heard enough, and for what was about to happen in that tavern was to be a blood bath and horrific trail of death to any that had dared to suggest that they would be touching the woman he regarded as his. The hooded snow covered cloak that he wore had barely been ripped off and fallen to the floor, when the vampire moved at insane speed. His body a blur of silver, black and red. Each man would be drinking their own blood, as he tore through the crowd. The quicksilver of his blade slicing the necks open of the first two men. Another would find a dagger thrust into his forehead only to be sticking out the back, as shocked eyes stared out at the enraged killer. The barkeep ducked behind the bar, as the whores that had been circling the room ran for cover. Their screams ringing out as from the outside of the bar, all you could see was the shadows dancing behind the snow filled panes. Bodies were falling all around. All accept the barbarian and the fortune teller. This was all happening so fast that it would have been a bit much for the pair to take in. But she’d know. Oh yes. With the connection that they had now, the irrefutable bond – Nick’s murderous rampage was as much to protect her as it was to show he was seriously pissed. Only when the last male fell, his neck torn open by the vampire’s blood covered maw, would silence again fill the room. Only the odd gurgle of blood that spewed from the mouth of the one that claimed he was going to be next. He was….the next to die. At the end, Nick stared at Sophia and her meal. He strode over and picked up his cloak, before throwing a few coins on the barkeep to pay for the damages. “My room..” The barkeep popped his head up over the bar and tossed Nick a key, which he caught on the fly. One last growl at those that remained, and he trudged upstairs slowly. –
SA: “Oh, my.” Was all she uttered out when the massacre happened. When all hell broke loose and the man went on a rampage seemingly to avenge her dignity on those who have spoiled it with the obscene words, much like a protector. Or maybe a jealousy scorned lover. Right now, she would not interfere as one hand rose up to snap her fingers lightly only to allow those dark tendrils to cocoon both her and the barbarian securely from the damages as blood would splatter against the dark shadows, soon devouring the crimson. All the while, she observed behind those shadows, grinning as the massacre went on, while the barbarian kept trying to escape. There was no escape. A little before he got his key, a little after the massacre stopped, the shadows removed themselves, allowing vision upon the woman and man again – the brute kept struggling in his seat, cowardly pleading the woman to let him go, visibly horrified by what he had just witnessed – But that was nothing, in comparison to what was going to happen to him. Dark tendrils kept him secured to his seat as the woman sighed, almost disappointedly shaking her head. “Truly sorry for the interruption… I’m afraid I’ll have to make this quick, this time. Somebody’s waiting for me, upstairs.” With that, she rose from her seat, pivoting on heels only to turn around, giving the impression of walking away which would have relaxed the man back into his seat. Before it happened. Tendrils reached seemingly from within the woman, morphing his form into that of a disfigured black shadow, resembling an open maw with sharp fangs. Like a shark’s maw, about to devour the man in his seat, which it did. Like a Killer Whale, it enveloped him deep into the shadows, removing him from his seat as only his screams echoed through the darkness of the shark, until there was no trace left of him. Soon, the illusion shattered, leaving the woman to stand, facing the bartender, offering quite the innocent smile. “Sorry for the damages…” An oddly shaped gold coin was tossed over on the counter before she made her way upstairs, her steps only coming to follow his. As he entered the room, she’d stop the door from closing, slithering her physique through the crack as her body leaned up against the side of the door. She wouldn’t speak – She didn’t feel the need to. She wanted him to speak, first.
RB: Tossing down his blood splattered cloak on the back of a chair, the vampire was starting to unbutton his shirt, when he felt that same presence that he had in his dreams. Like a spider she managed to ease herself through the crack of the door and presented herself by leaning against the side of the door. Her silhouette like a dark shadow that cast its spell over him again. Nick kept his back to her as he removed his shirt that was now truly soiled by the blood of the fallen. When he did speak, there was a dark rumble to it. Like the thunder of an approaching storm. “Enjoy dinner?” So now it was him asking the questions. Nick threw his shirt on the table, and rounded to see her standing there, waiting. His chest was rising and falling – riddled with scars from the many battles and fights he had in the time since he had last seen her. The search for her had led him to the darkest parts of the underworld and back. Nick had dark stubble upon his chin that she may not have noticed before. A jagged scar running down his cheek. They were not so much scars, but to him trophies, badges that he wore with pride. The blade that he had used to slay many of the punters downstairs was on the very edge of the table, dripping blood upon the floor. Did she know that he had abandoned everything to search for her, after their last meeting? A lone wolf that hunted day and night for her across many realms. Only to find her about to feast on another in this dilapidated road side inn. Nick slowly walked across the room to stand in front of her. His masculine scent now riddled with that of the blood of fresh kills. Did she feel the same pull inside of her the way that he did? Her beauty was now on full display, having eaten she tended to be softer in appearance, her skin now flawless, and radiant. “Well?” –
SA: “I did.” Her answer was blunt, honest. So blunt that she willingly admitted to have fed when he left, without wondering about the side-effect it had on him, even though she knew. Did she? She was glowing, now. Every time after freshly feeding, she had a certain glow to her skin, as if the alabaster became less pale and obtained a very subtle rose hue to it, almost appearing more human than she was. Her cheeks, a little plumper than usual and her eyes lacking the subtle dark circles under them. Her body even gaining a little bit of a curve to it, from its rather anorexic visage. A hand went up to unhook her own coat, letting it be tossed somewhere against a chair nearby, revealing her corset dress. Strapless, with a sweetheart neckline, and pitch black, knee length only to allow her pale, beautiful long legs to show. Such a tight fit, creating that beautiful curve of her body, revealing her slender figure of an hourglass. Same hand reached up, slowly letting those soft fingertips trail along the scars on his chest, before reaching that on his cheek, cupping it lightly. She looked at him, beyond the black mask as those scarlet lips parted so delicately creating just a small gap between them as she whispered out. “Why are you here…?”
RB: – Nick was angry. No, he was more than that. He was jealous, angry and tormented. Seeing her filled with her latest feed made him wish that it was HIM that she fed on. Did she not guess by the way he tore through every other male in the tavern, that he would kill any that dared speak or attempt to touch her. Though she was still wearing the mask over her eyes, that she kept from letting anyone see, she was sure to ‘see’ him. To feel all that he was as she was already deep inside him. His Adam’s apple rose and fell when she answered him so bluntly. Like it wasn’t important, even though to Nick it was. The vampire watched as she so casually started to disrobe, showing off her new curvaceous form, thanks to the unwilling barbaric brute downstairs – who was now nothing other than a quickly fading memory. Nick’s eyes followed her unblinking, till she approached him and then reached up to trail her fingers along the many scars on his chest. He was unable to help but flinch at her touch, as though for her to touch him was like being hit by an electrical current. The beast was still close to the surface, growling angrily as though pent up behind an invisible wall. Nick’s jaw locked when her hand moved to cup his face. It was like, now he was facing her, the many questions, the long sleepless nights with her hovering over him like a spectre were all filtering into his mind. She affected him like no other, and now she wanted to know…why was he here. He would not answer her with words, but with actions. Swift to pick her up by the cheeks of her ass, and draw her up upon him so they were face to face. His lips crushed to hers as she would have no choice but to wrap those arms around his neck one more time. He wanted her to be real. Nick needed to know that what happened between them was not a dream. –