Beware the Devil Woman.

Continuing on from “Dream Lover”, Nick has found the woman of his dreams.  But just as he thinks he is close…he couldn’t be more further away.

Co-written with SA.

 

SA:  Her fingertips kept moving along his chest gently, caressing his muscles under their feather-like touch, colder than ice, bringing both hands to his chest to only slowly lift them upwards, to his shoulders – Feeling each inch of his body, in her attempt to relax him while asking her question, to which she only got a non verbal response. A gasp escaped her at the rough tug, feeling his hands gripping her ass cheeks only to push her form so bluntly against his, until their bodies impacted together hard, with an audible noise between them. Chest pressed onto his bare torso, her hands clenching into tiny fists only to then loop them securely around his neck and shoulders, one moving even more upwards to clasp some of his raven strands between her long, slender digits. The kiss – That damned kiss of hers, scolding hot in comparison with the coldness of her body, those lips, scarlet and full, plump and sensually shaped now being genuinely molded with his, once more, only to let him know that the night they spent last night was no dream at all. To break apart from such a kiss seemed like an impossible task and yet she managed to, merely an inch away from his lips as they still brushed together ever so slightly as she mused out. “Why did you search for me…?” Sophia was genuinely surprise that he did. It was something new, something she never really experienced before – To be ~chased~. Usually, she would be the Predator chasing her Prey, the Crow chasing her Butterfly. Had the roles switched? Had she become the Butterfly?

 

RB: – The answer lay within her heated kiss.  Right there, he felt that same passion that had been ignited only in what he thought was a dream.  But this was no dream.  The room was not of her making, and there were no illusions.  She…was very real.  Feeling her hands weave their way around his neck to help secure her to him, he was reminded of how well their bodies molded together.  Almost like they were fused into one being – just for the shortest of time.  And so the moth entered the flame, and the rage that had been built over the last half hour started to ebb away, like the waves withdrawing from the sandy shore.  Only when she broke the kiss, and their lips were just touching; did Nick close his eyes and find an inner peace.  He still maintained his grip upon her.  One hand clutching her ass, the other now strumming the back of her neck – a favorite place where he loved to touch her.  Her whispered words begged the question…~Why search for me?~  The answer was so very simple.  That word that they shared, the same one they said to each other when they had fed on each other’s beings, kept playing over and over and over in his head.  It was the reason he left the kingdom behind.  It was the reason he was standing here holding her now.  Nick’s eyes slowly opened as he continued to nuzzle her with his nose and lips.  “You’re mine…”  –

 ~RB~

 

SA:  That was a surprise, even for her, even for the Crow – To hear those so very possessive words muttered out by him even made her freeze in place, incapable of any other movement as she simply stood in front of him, her lips parted slightly as if wanting to speak, though there was no sound to come out, only a short lived inhalation of surprise. Her arms came back down from their coiled state around his neck only to rest at her sides, before her whole body turned around, as she’d eventually escape his grip. “Yours…?” She repeated, as another question rested on the tip of her tongue while pivoting on heels to turn around and walk over to the window. Her arms did something he hadn’t seen her doing so far – They hooked around her own form, embracing herself tightly while her head canted downwards, seemingly staring outside to the snow-topped mountains. There was silence – No light but the moonlight, creating a dim glow which contoured her perfect silhouette, back turned to face him while she faced the outdoors.

 

RB: –  It was not the reaction he was expecting.  He was so sure that when they had been together that she said that same word.  That he was hers.  Nick believed whole heartedly that she was now his.  To feel her almost recoil was like a sharp slap on the face.  At first he didn’t know how to take it.  Watching her as she held herself within her own embrace.  Walking away from him towards the bedsit window as though to contemplate the gravity of his words.  Nick turned so he was now side on, his head turned towards her silhouette that was bathed only in the moon’s rays.   “You changed me.  That night, I have relived over and over in my head.  Sophia, I know I was more than just a meal to you.”  Nick still bore a dark expression.  His emotions now all over the place.  The vampire crossed the room to stand in behind her. As much as he wanted to touch her again, he refrained, as he made his point known.  “I am yours as much as you are mine.”  She was so deeply bound inside him that being this close to her was the closest he ever felt to being whole.  –

 

 

SA:  There were many who fell in love with the Wraith – Many who became entranced with her, after the first encounter – many more who promised her all the world’s jewels or the world itself, only to forget everything the moment the illusion shattered around them, the moment they were free from her embrace. Nobody actually took the effort to chase her down, nobody took the effort to try and relieve the night she gave them – but him. Why did he? Sophia had no answers to her question, even though he spoke the truth, the Wraith was incapable of understanding the meaning which lied behind those words. “This isn’t supposed to happen…” She wasn’t even able to grasp the sentence fully, when a wave of pain shocked through her body, from the inside out, making her yelp out suddenly. It was so odd to see a woman like her in actual pain, such agony that it made her lose balance and fall to one knee, one hand gripping at the middle of her chest while the other gripped the edge of the window, for support. Something went wrong – Like a short-circuit in her functioning system, for she was, indeed, more of a machine than a real woman.

 

RB: – How could she say that it wasn’t supposed to happen?  Surely she knew, since she herself said that the cards never lied.  He never lied.  From the moment that he sat down at that table and accepted her game.  Nick had to have done something that no other man had done before.  Was this so shocking?  The vampire brought nothing with him, but the clothes on his back and the card.  The card of strength, that she herself had given him.  He was not offering her gifts of untold wealth, castles in the sky.  He offered her the one thing he had power over.  Himself.  The will to find her and know the truth had been all encompassing.  “Before I met you, I was only hungry for blood of the living.  Then you…”  his voice trailed off as he watched her suddenly grip her chest and fall to one knee. In an instant he sped to her side, and caught her up in his powerful arms as thought he thought she was going to faint.  Nick held her close to him as he walked her to the bed in the centre of the room, and laid her down upon it – his face etched with concern.  Did he cause this?  The beast in him could be cruel, and deadly in one moment, and then tender and caring the next.  He reached up to brush her hair back from the black blindfold that covered her dazzling eyes.  The ones that stared at him unblinking in his dreams. –

 ~RB~

 

SA:  That was when it all came down to the very moment of her collapsing into his arms, her body now resembling something that could even be categorized as frail, fragile. A fragile China doll, about to shatter in pieces, shaking and shivering in the male’s arms as arms came to loop around his neck in a sudden instinct to hold onto something, anything, those limbs shivering slightly against his flesh. He could feel her, looking at him even beneath that black mask which hid azure hues, he could feel her burning gaze on him, chilling him to the bone – She was pleading. “Don’t go… Please…” It was such an odd sight to see a woman who seemed so strong all throughout their little game since the Reading and until this very moment to appear so frail now, pleading for his company. When she was settled against the mattress, there was an audible sigh which escaped her, a pained sound as she curled up into a ball on her side, until nothing else was to be heard. To recognize whether or not she was asleep or even actually dead was a complex task, given her lack of breath, the way her chest remained still, immobile and without any respiratory function, making her appear fully dead now, that there was no sound coming from her. At all. Intuition was key in order to determine the fact that she was actually asleep, falling into a blackout state of exhaustion as only the digits of one alabaster pale limb moved in the air slightly, as she slept.

 

 

RB:  It was hard to describe the feeling, when this bewitching woman whose power was so great that it had harnessed him – was now begging him not to leave her.  Didn’t she just walk away from him when he said that she was his?  Sending out such messages that it was confusing.  Pushing away, then pulling him back.  What could he do but stand over her as she let fatigue wash over her.  Nick stood there, his lips drawn into a thin line.  The woman looked so frail, so delicate in this state.  Silver eyes swept over her form, and watched as her chest failed to move.  Acting almost as though she was a corpse – devoid of life.  Nick’s head tilted slightly before he let out an exasperated sigh, bringing his hand up to sweep back his wayward locks from his eyes.  He had travelled so far, and finally caught up with her – but so many things were unsaid between them.  So many things he wanted to say, to express.  Now she was out to the count.  Locked within her own being, be it from lethargy or something else.  Surprising since she had just fed.  The change in her was clear when she walked in the door.  Had something he said triggered this reaction?  He kept asking himself, why?  Sophia wanted this…she had to.  The wraith told him that he was hers.  He was only telling her that he felt the same way, yet it was wrong. Spinning on the ball of his right heel, he wandered over to the window and leaned to touch his forehead to the chilled glass.  His nails scratched downward creating an awful sound, that mimicked how he felt inside.  Being ripped apart by this bevy of emotions.  He’d left everything behind for her….was it for nothing? –

 ~RB~

 

SA:  To see a Wraith asleep was such an odd sight to see. There was an odd feeling of peace to her, to the way Sophia slept, when she barely got sleep at all, usually – To her, sleep was not something she truly needed except from moments of full exhaustion, which now made her appear so… alive. Curled up in a ball in a fetal position, like a small child trying to fall asleep, she looked so peaceful – unbothered by anything in the world, when, in her mind, she was going through Hell. Sleep. Most welcome it as a completely natural state of being, a state of being in which mind creates temporary relaxation upon body and ones guard drops, leaving themselves open for a sudden attack – Most of the times, there was no attack – But a perpetual feeling of apparent peace dominating upon body and mind and spirit, in between, like a constant balance between them both. In sleep, people allow their minds to take control, control which installs such things the vast majority categorizes as dreams and yet, dreams were more than just simple, fickle imagery of one’s mind – Oh, no. Dreams were much, much more that just that. Nightmares, now, nightmares were something far different, a very different stage of dreaming – One, foolish enough to do so, would believe that nightmares were nothing but another form of dreams, just a state created by one’s own mind and yet, there was something else to it, in addition. Such an odd visage. Snap. It was an audible snap as if bones cracked, followed by a loud, agonizing scream that could be heard through the entire rundown tavern. A scream which made everything FREEZE, just for a second. The scream of a frightened woman, waking up from a nightmare. Or so, it seemed. Azure eyes burned brightly, deeply as she looked around her surroundings only to recognize the visage of her own room in the castle, recognizing the Tavern she was in. One hand moved up instantly to her black mask, making sure it was perfectly placed over her eyes, hiding them from view of others. Paranoia, going haywire as she shook from each inch of skin.

 

RB:  Those two hours that Sophia slept, the vampire hardly moved from his place by the window.  As though the moon’s view might in some way bring him solace for the way he was feeling.  Every now and again, he turned his head back to the sleeping woman, but she made no sound, nor moved at all.  He made a silent promise that he would not leave her, and he didn’t.  Though when she awoke it was going to be hard to know what to do, or even what to say.  Though she still had this bizarre hold over him, he was starting to feel as though it was something that she did to all men.  Enslaving them in this sinister way.  Her blood pumping through his veins – so vital and addictive.  It was like she had harnessed his very core.  As he continued to stand at the window pane, there came a God awful cracking sound, like the splintering of bone.  It was sharp enough to make Nick snap his head around, since the noise was coming from the bed.  What came next was a blood curdling scream, that was so loud in pitch, that it tore right throughout the entire building.  Anyone with sensitive hearing would need to cover their ears to save themselves from damage.  Nick’s image instantly shifted across the room, like a blur as the very sheer veils around the bed were whipped up and then floated back down as he reached her side.  He wasn’t hovering over her, but he was damn close to it.  Watching as she pushed her hand up to the black bandanna that shielded her azure coloured eyes.  You could see the terror in her facial expression, the sheer agony of whatever it was that had brought about this shocking display.  Nick reached out and with the full size of his hand, placed it over her own to assure her that the bandanna never moved out of place.  “You’re safe.” Nick uttered, keeping his hand over hers. –

 ~RB~

 

SA:  To an extent, she did this to all men, and not only men – It was her way of feeding, the Reading she performed being her way of actually choosing her victims, choosing the manifestation of Sin that she’d feed on. On many, she fed on Greed, Envy or Wrath, being the most common which she encountered towards her, and yet there were the very few she actually was impressed with, to choose Lust. To spend the night with them in a perpetual illusory state of mind, to offer them a night to never forget only to fill her own hunger. There were even fewer which managed to go past that level, their number barely managing to be counted on one hand. Nick was one of them – Impressing her throughout the Reading and to their oh so intimate private meeting to only break all the boundaries of true surprise when he followed her here. It was a shock, such a great shock that it massed up the natural balance of how things usually functioned, the system which she guided her action along with, the Woman who functioned so much like a Machine that it even needed to reboot. It was the only time he’d hear and see her breathing, her chest heaving sporadically and insanely strong with short lived gasps, breaths of air in such despair and agony that she’d almost lose it, soon enough. When she felt the hand onto her own, Sophia craned her head slightly to the side, looking at him beneath the mask to make grasp of his visage, close to her after such a nightmare. Instantly, she rushed into him, her body jumping upwards to bump against his, roughly pressing together, her head burying into his chest. Still shaking, still shivering – Still in such a fragile state.

 

RB:  Nick could feel the turn of her head.  See how it craned ever slightly towards him.  He knew she could see through the bandanna in a way that no one else could.  She could see straight through him.  His facial expression remained unchanged.  Deep concern shown through his black eyes as they narrowed.  To come from an almost breathless coma to this quivering and shaking being that was in a state of panic was alarming.  Nick had acted in a way to protect her in a sense.  Hope that she would not feel so naked without her black eye coverage.  What was surprising however was that she rushed at him – leaping from the bed in such a way that it nearly knocked him off his feet.  Nick staggered about with her now pressed hard against him.  Shaking and shivering as though feeling the death of cold.  But he knew it was fright.  The woman had always been cold to touch.  The vampire’s natural reaction was to envelope her in his arms –bringing her in to the safety of his hold.  Her head was nestled tight to his chest, and his hand instinctively moved to the back of her head, slowly brushing his fingers down over her hair.  Sophia seemed to be so much smaller like this.  Delicate…fragile like a wild flower.  The protective side of the vampire came to the fore, and he released a low grumble like murmur that was a way to try and bring her some comfort.  Nick brought his chin down so it just touched the top of her head, and he closed his eyes, swaying her gently.  Hard to believe he had murdered an entire inn full of men just hours before, and yet was being so gentle with her now.-

 ~RB~

 

SA:  There was genuine fright in her actions, the way her body shivered, the way her flesh trembled against his. Genuine fright in her voice as it started breaking off even before she started to speak. Her hands came to his chest, clenching into small fists and gripping onto pieces of his shirt. “I feel.. so much pain…” Pause. She tried to gulp out gently, pushing down the node stuck along the column of her throat as she continued. “…he hurt me… I don’t remember.. I just feel the pain…” One of her hands slowly moved around to her front, gripping her own shirt in the middle of her chest, where the scar was – That small, vertical scar which was such a clean cut that it looked like an operation slice more than a brutal stab. She remained in his embrace, still shivering lightly yet beginning to slowly calm down after awhile, shivering much like a caged bird in the middle of winter.

 

RB:  Bewilderment soon changed to anger, when Nick heard that someone had hurt her.  A darkness not seen before started to appear in his eyes, and though he would never think to harm her, his grip around her became more intense.  Fingers almost twitching as he tried to absorb what she was saying.  Then she pulled on his shirt, her small hands closing into fists – her voice was shaking, stammering as though the words were too difficult to say.  “Who hurt you?”  His only words were a question that she may not even be able to answer.  Sophia then showed the mark that he had seen before on her chest that lay between her breasts.  So, she had been impaled by an object, possibly a sword of some description.  The swelling of anger was building deep inside him and it was hard to make it stop, till he felt her drawing back into him – continuing to shiver like a frightened bird.  Nick brought his hand around to place his fingers under her chin, in the effort to make her reveal her face to him.  She would be able to feel the sharp rise and fall of his chest, as he swore then and there that he would protect her from all men – regardless of who they were.  “No man will ever lay a hand on you again…so I swear.  They do…they die.”  He meant every word of it. –

 ~RB~

 

SA:  She didn’t answer. To Sophia, it was more than a choice not to answer the man’s question in regards to ‘who’ actually caused the wound at the middle of her chest, but an incapability of knowledge, a lack of it – She didn’t answer because she didn’t have an actual answer for it, the memory of what actually happened years, centuries ago being a faded vision through her mind, one that she could not grasp yet but in small snips which transferred themselves in the shape of nightmares. Her body, so close pressed against him as if desiring his protection and warmth where there was now, her voice breaking off with each syllable and those trembling gasps she let out between her scarlet lips made her all the more fragile to him, a side of her which she hardly put on display for many – Slowly, without even noticing it, Sophia was opening up to him, letting Nick in on a territory he would never step onto again – The territory of the truth, behind this abnormal woman, letting him stand right in front of that scattered puzzle, as if inviting him to try and place the pieces together. A task nobody ever accomplished, so far. There was a sob, the moment his hand went up to place under her chin, a small sniffled breath followed by two solitary tears, rolling along her cheeks, from those masked orbs under the black bandana. How odd to see that her tears were perfectly normal, compared to how abnormal she was – Just two droplets of saltwater trailing down until they reached and caressed the man’s fingertips as they rolled off her chin in its angled position held by him. His words echoed through her mind as she slowly began to make full sense of her surroundings, the last images of her nightmare fading away, seeing him much clearer now. “Nick…” She murmured out, mostly to be certain herself that it was him, standing in front of her, holding her now. The only word she would have been able to whisper now.

 

RB:  The vampire towered over the diminutive wraith, his head bowed as he swore his undying oath to protect her from harm.  The most bizarre thing then occurred.  A great set of wings tore through his back and he had to suppress a roar of pain, though this was a natural part of his being.  Large leathery wings flapped out proudly, nearly touching the roof and the floor, before they started to enclose around them both.  It was his way of showing his true self – the real beast behind the man she knew.  His hot breath could be felt as he let his head lower and he began to kiss away the tears that were falling from her cheeks.  He was a such a contradiction.  This beast was being so protective of her, a clear sign that he was of a greater power than he truly let on before.  When Sophia whispered his name, he took this as acceptance of his oath.  He brought his forehead to touch hers once more, his arms tightening around her form as he brought her hard up against his bare torso.  His scent would be heady to her, if she remembered it from their last encounter.  Nick’s sharpened nails drew along her back, but not so much to scratch her – he’d never want to hurt her, especially now.  That word that he had said before and again was repeated.  “Mine.” 

 ~RB~

 

SA:  The wings were a nice added touch. It brought a surprise from her as her eyes roamed over the extra appendages, letting one arm extend out, brushing those soft fingertips of alabaster digits along its edges, feeling the feathers out ever so carefully. When they looped around the both of them so protectively, it only forced her body to press closer to his, her arms soon coming to wrap around his neck, in a possessive hold which only matched his. That word was muttered out, soon after, bringing a small murr out of her, a rumbled purring noise as her head moved in, only to allow their lips to press against each other. A deep, yet gentle kiss, lip on lip contact, mumbling into it gently. “Mine.”

 

RB:  There it was.  The word he had been waiting for, the one that he had heard her say in his mind over and over like it was a dream.  He knew now it was so very real.  She was his.  The kiss only sealed it .  Those soft lips that he had come to think of;  and cherish were now his once more.  “Sophia..” the word whispered as he broke the kiss, to look at her face one more time, before practically lifting her off her feet.  Nick started to kiss her again, only this time it was fueled by pride, and passion.  There was a rumbling sound from the pit of his stomach as it swelled up through him till reaching his throat.  Animal like and fierce.  The dominant nature now on display.  He was marking his territory by the way that he kissed her, so that she may never forget what had transpired between them.  No matter where she went, no matter what she did, Nick would be ever present.  She was his….and she knew full well by now, that he was hers.-

 ~RB~

 

Dream Lover.

 

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. –

 ~RB~

 

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. –

~RB~ 

 

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. –

 ~RB~

 

 

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. –

 ~RB~

 

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?”  –

 

~RB~

 

 

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. –

 ~RB~

Checkmate.

The final act, continued from Predator or Prey.  As we have learnt, the cards never lie, and so the two are now destined to share the same fate.

Co-written with SA.

 

RB:  -Feeling Sophia loosen her grip upon him, Nick actually started to smile.  He had uncovered her for what she was.  Figured out the truth behind the mask, and that this whole thing was directed at procuring him to be her meal.  It was not that she lusted him – no, she fed from the lust that he had felt for her.  Nick, fed on others via drinking their blood, their life force.  Sophia, on the other hand fed upon his sins.  Now that he had caught the act, right before the curtain was about to fall, she was more than annoyed, she was clearly irritated.  Going as far to push herself off the timber door that she had been leaning against since he entered her inner sanctum.  Sophia never wanted an easy meal, and that was what Nick was about to become.  Hearing the coolness in her voice now, Nick focused his attentions on her.  What she had to say now, was truly a moment of great importance between them.  The gloves were off.  She continued to display that arrogant sense of dominance, that she had done so from the beginning.  The smile never leaving her face, though it could be said to be a cruel one at that.  Watching her now prowling over towards the bed, she tossed freely that neither of them wanted an easy meal.  Both loved the thrill of the challenge, the desire to be the one on top at the end of the game.  Both seasoned hunters, and now they were practically matched.  Everything she said, from the fact that he knew what he wanted from the outset, only made Nick feel all more empowered.   A man that knew what he wanted, but was prepared to go the long, hard route to get it.  “Touche’.”  Nick made a sweeping bow before her.  Ever the gentleman, even after he had gone as far to taste her delicious nectar.   Watching her now sit upon the bed and pat it gingerly brought a small chuckle from the vampire.  He started to slowly stroll towards her, his hands pressing together with the index fingers pointed together just under his chin.  “I have to admire you for your tenacity.”  Nick’s tongue was now prominently balling the inside of his right cheek after speaking so boldly.   “But you’re right about one thing…”  He placed both palms flat down on the bed, either side of her hips.  “I did seek you out, well before this day.”  His voice having a sharp rumble to it as his eyes were drilling into hers.   “The cards never lie.” –

~RB~

 

SA: Two Predators now stood face to face in a beautiful game of Chess, meeting each other in the most frightful coincidence one might make up. A game of Destiny, in which they both sought Victory, dominance over the other, a game in which each small, little move was thoroughly calculated, each motion, each tiny detail took into consideration. Tables turned now as the cards were all flipped face up with no escape in sight, for either of them. He made that clear for her the moment he approached, the moment his arms slithered and extended out, each hand placing itself at her sides only to lock her in, making sure there was no way out for the little Wraith. Not anymore. This man was no easy meal, but neither was she. ‘The cards never lie’ – Indeed. The cards never lied to him and neither did the woman – She was incapable of grasping the concept of a lie, altogether. From the beginning until this very second, she was nothing but honest with him, even if honesty entailed the cold hearted truth, even if it meant being blunt about having him for Dinner tonight. But soon, she realized this man would be as much of a challenge as she, herself was – Which brought a Cheshire like grin to make its way over those plump, scarlet lips once more. Oh… Those lips. How they aimed to tease him, entice him more and more as they kept the little gap between them, partly opened. How her body moved, the moment he thought he locked her in – Truthfully, there was no way out of the bed, but there was a way to slither more into it – Which is what she did. Slowly, her body crawled backwards, pushing herself along the bed to eventually have her legs on the soft sheets, as well as her upper body; All the while, her hands found their way trailing along his form once more, until they traced the lines of his hipbones so softly caressing along the thin layer of flesh before they ~gripped~ at the edge of his pants, fingers slithering beneath the belt to tug at it, instantly pulling his form more into her. “Then let me give you what you seek.” As she spoke, one of her hands moved up while the other remained tugging at his belt, following the line of leather until reaching the buckle. Her free one ran upwards, along his arm until reaching the shoulder and the side of his cheek. So gently caressing him, in a way that would almost appear loving, caring. Tender. Fingers laced through his raven strands, pushing his head closer and closer while her head craned and arched backwards. Soon, he’d be resting his head at the top of her chest. Soon, he’d be able to take in her scent once again, fully. Soon, he’d feed.

 

RB: – The masks that the pair had worn into the game, now lay in waste upon the floor.  True to their natures, each continued to keep pace with the other as the final act was now in play.  Oh but the crowd would be on the edge of their seats in sweet anticipation for how this would end.  One cannot deny what they were, and Nick had placed his best foot forward – keeping the creature within him penned.  But now it no longer mattered.  What the hunter found, was the prize that he sought.  Nick’s eyes gazed down again to those same ripe lips that had haunted him from the very outset of their dance.  The way that they parted;  and beckoned him to come even closer.  The richness that lay in behind them .  As he watched her face, Sophia’s hands were quickly at work.  Skilled and weaving her fingers so that the belt would become loose, and allow the pants to slip to the floor, once she had drawn him further up the bed.  Nick kicked them off and crawled up so that he was now hovering over her.  Nick as he was in his true form.  The sleek yet muscular predator atop of the greatest prize.  He was finally to be rewarded for his efforts, and with her scent luring him in he would feed.  Oh yes.  His lips just brushed those plump lips of hers.  His tongue winding out and licking just shy of the wetness inside.  Nick rolled his shoulders as he now took a dominant position.  His sexuality fusing in with his growing hunger.  The pent up feeling now unleashed as the monster came to the fore.  No more games….no more chess moves.  CHECK MATE!  Nick bit down upon her neck, while at the same time, he entered her – pinning her to the bed.  His lust was ripe and ready for the taking, as he began to feed of her….and she was to feed on him. –

~RB~

 

SA:  Checkmate. It all seemed to go down in that very moment, the moment when the feeding truly began – No more games, no more tricks, no more hiding behind the veiled curtain. The Predators were at loose, naked, stripped of both their clothes and ever so subtle hiding tricks, only to drown in each other. And he was the first to do it. She pulled him in, all the while he came closer, all the while her arms would latch under his shoulders to drag him to her, once his pants were loose and kicked to the side, taking in the sight of ~him~, fully stripped. To be naked in front of somebody went beyond the material presence of fabric upon one’s body – To be naked truly meant to stand in front of the other bare, with just your instincts to guide you. Instinct, that beastly feature which made everything collides in That. Very. Moment. Instinct, which made this man approach the Wraith so much that he would soon find himself pushed through her tight fitting walls, stretching to accommodate to his length only to contract against it once fully in. Instinct which made his mouth search for his prize, his reward for such a great effort as to unmask and strip her of both clothes and pride – Canines sunk under the thin layer of alabaster skin, piercing through it like through a piece of fabric only to tear it around them. And that’s when it happened – The sound. A sound most would mistake for pleasure – A gasped, loud breath, a moan as her neck was fully arched to allow his head the perfect fit to her carotid artery as he’d feed, a moan as he penetrated her. Her arms instantly tightened their grip around his form, latching and coiling around his shoulders to drag fingernails along the top of his back. All the while, he felt her ~blood~ soon gushing out into his open maw, so abnormal, so unique – Pitch black and burning hot, like molten lava, thick and rich. Bittersweet aroma filling his nostrils as the dark stains would soon cover his lips, trailing down her chest. It burned. It seared. And it was what she wanted – She wanted him. To burn with her.

 

RB: –  Sophia was unique, exquisite and worth the fight.  Every inch of the Vampire felt like he was on fire.  Raging – and now beyond saving.  The way that she made that sound, the low moan that was unlike anything he had heard before spurred him on like a well oiled machine.  Her tightening walls pressing all around his throbbing shaft, that delving deep within her with each powered thrust.  The blood….unlike anything he had ever experienced.  His own eyes flashed the colour of fire, as he took mouthful after mouthful.  It was burning, searing his insides and to any lesser creature, they would recoil in horror and shock.  Not Nick.  The more he fed from her the more he wanted.  Feeling her latching onto his shoulders – drawing her nails into his back, had him shiver with further sexual excitement.  Large and powerful over her diminutive frame, Nick bucked and forced the wraith deep into the mattress.  The bed groaning and protesting beneath them.  The vampire soon took his fill, licking the wounds that he had made with his dog teeth, his chin dripping with black blood.  Now he raised his head enough that he could see the expression on her face.  He had never wanted a woman now as much as her.  Those lips…he wanted them so badly.  Nick was still rolling his hips, and taking her hard as he could, but to seal this with a kiss would bring them both to the climax.  His lips were now crushing hers with a severity that was shocking. Fueled by her black blood.  She was now inside of him, and he…was inside of her.  It was her turn to feed upon him.-

~RB~

 

SA:  Each powerful, hard thrust of his was met with her hips following his, pushing closer and closer each time his moved away. Wanting, longing more and more of him. Her slender figure writhed under his massive figure, lust filling her – His lust, only bringing her a certain pleasure, yet so different from the usual meaning of it all. She held onto him as if holding for dear life, nails drawing blood along his back, pressing their bodies together, torsos rubbing against each other – feather-like skin against his hard, marble chest – as her legs soon trailed their way upwards to coil around his hips and waist; Sophia was locking him in so there’d surely be no escape left for him to take as her moans became more frequent now – loud, deep rumbled noises rolling along the column of her throat each time he bucked her hips more and more into her. She was feeding, the moment it all started, the moment he did. And now, they were burning together and enjoying every last second of the burn. Her tongue slowly slithered out, licking the trails of blood off his and his chin, carefully cleaning him before those scarlet plump petals pressed against his lips in a deep, burning kiss. Her lips, just like her blood, a kiss that could melt trough the flesh, only intensifying the burn. She fed on his lust, with each thrust inside of her, pushing through and stretching those tight walls only to bring out small, muffled screams from her, right into his mouth. Burning together in passion.

 

 

RB:  Nick was lost.  Drowning in the sea of pleasure and rocking upon the waves that came crashing down with every time that he thrust his hips forward, then drew himself back out again.  The harder that he took her, the more he wanted.  He was now addicted to the woman.  Everything about her had him caught up in this moment.  From the softness of her breasts, forced hard against his chest – to the way that she coiled her legs around him to hold him firmly in place so that she might never let him go.  They were now performing a carnal ritual as old as time itself.  Though the feeding of each other brought with it its own rewards, this awakening of desire that was beyond just lust was all new to Nick.  The fire of her blood raged through his veins.  Empowering him to take her to further heights of delirium.  Her body releasing the pent up delicious moans, that were music to his ears.  He wanted to be the only one, to hear this siren’s song.  As she did not want to let him go, he didn’t want to stop.  Everything around them was on fire in his mind.  Getting so close to the peak of fulfilment.  How could it be, that the harder her forced himself into her, the tighter she became.  Nick’s eyes rolled back as he practically lost his mind.  Feeling her lick his lips made him groan and growl all at the same time.  As much as he was hers, she was now his.  Nick growled and broke the kiss, his face right in hers.  His breath pouring over her.  “Mine!” He roared, going into the final thrusts that could tear any normal woman apart.  Nick started to stiffen, as he reached it…the peak…and then he cried out her name in triumph as he started to fill her waiting womb.-

 

~RB~

 

SA:  It was all a blur – Everything around them started to collide, as the walls started to ruin themselves into nothingness, slowly but surely, the illusion starting to shake as the Wraith herself was reaching her climax, her grasp over the bending of reality becoming harder and harder to maintain. It was then, when she moaned out once more, loud and even a little more high pitched than her usual deep rumbles as if she reached her own pleasure. It was something so interesting to hear – her, moaning almost like a regular woman being taken by a man. Which, in appearance, was what this was. Each thrust managed to make her body shake and writhe under his as her arms went up to coil around his neck now, pulling him as close to her as she could, refusing to let any inch between them. He was hers and she? He made sure to let her know – Forehead to forehead, she heard the deep, beastly roar of possessiveness over her, that loud moaned groan he let out. ‘Mine’. That was new – Somebody was utterly ~claiming~ her while reaching her climax – It was enough to drive her over the edge of her own pleasure, enough to make those arms clasp and tighten around him, enough to make those walls contract around his large shaft as her head jolted upwards to press their lips together into one last kiss. Burning hot, scolding against his flesh as the walls around them started to shake as the earth beneath them roared. The illusion, starting to shatter as they both reached their climax, as those last powerful thrusts managed to bring her pleasure out, finishing the feeding session, for both. With a whispered gasp, right against his lips, she mused out softly, almost in an exhausted sigh. “Mine.”

 

RB: – To feel her reach her climax was in itself a greater gift than that of her blood.  Watching her face ignite as the pleasure gave them both what they so sorely needed.  Sophia’s hunger was to be sated, but not only that.  Nick claimed her as his.  And surprisingly, she claimed him right back.  The final kiss that sealed this new found togetherness was sizzling white hot.  Their bodies brought together as though they were meant to be united.  They were both prey and predator alike.  Worthy of each other’s lust and blood.  Feeling the pulsating waves of her inner walls pressing hard and milking him dry, the Vampire quaked and shook, much like the whole room had.  They were filled from each other.  Blood and semen soaking the sheets beneath them.  A hot wet mess.  Bodies slick and stuck to each other.  Fused by their new found love – if one could call it that.  Propping himself up on one arm, he curled his fingers to caress her cheek, and take in a lock of her hair.  If this was what it took to feed her, than she would never go hungry again.  To Nick, she was his.  From this moment on, he would be her protector, her dominant lover and her source of food.  What he had put her through, had exhausted her.  Nick rolled off her and then scooped her into his arms, so he may lay her head upon his chest.  Stroking her back as though he was strumming a guitar.  Nick had been her dinner…just as had been promised, and yet he never had felt so alive.  He kissed the top of her head, over and over.  Whispering her name as though it was now sacred to him.-

~RB~

 

SA:  The room began to be demolished, all around them. The pillars supporting the walls beginning to crash down as the floor began to sink within the earth. All the while, the two remained in bed as if it all were normal to them, or too exhausted to notice that they were caught in a landslide. Everything began to tremble in an earthquake which shook the floor beneath them and yet, they were in each other’s arms. Sophia complied to his motion of dragging her to flip her around, having those snow white tresses create a mess around his chest as she rested her head on his flesh. One single breath was taken by her, a small inhalation which to her, was more than enough to recover, slithering one arm upwards to coil around his neck as slender digits ran soft fingertips to follow the line of his chest. Soon, she hovered on top of him, hips on hips leaning down to let those white tresses cascade over her features to his, as if imprisoning him from viewing anything else but her. There was a wide, pleased grin on those scarlet lips, followed by a playful giggle, as if mocking him ever so slightly in irony, before it all went dark – Those dark tendrils he noticed the first time they met now coiled around their bed, enslaving them in complete, utter darkness, leaving nothing to normal view. A snap was heard – as if somebody snapping their fingers, or switching the lights back on as Nick would wake up back in his chambers, back in the Queendom. There was no trace of the room in ruins, or the woods surrounding it – There was no trace of ~her~ whatsoever, but a lost Tarot card on the table next to him. His card, the only trace of their encounter. Strength.

 

RB:  –  Was it all a dream?  Nick opened his eyes as the trail of her laughter faded away and the sound that replaced it was the light dripping sound of water from an old pipe.  Groaning, Nick pushed himself up to sitting and looked down to see that he was dressed.  That same tux that he had put on at the start of the evening.  Glancing about him he recognised the room.  It was his chambers in the Blood Rose kingdom.  Reaching up, Nick raked his fingers through his hair as he looked around confused by it all.  He had just spent the night of his unlife with a woman that ensnared him in more ways than one.  But now he was starting to question if that was all a dream.  His fingers moved upon the bedding to come across a tarot card.  Looking down, he recognised it.  It was the same card that she had given him at the end of the reading.  ‘Strength.’   He took up the card and then looked around him.  “Sophia?”  Calling out her name, in the hopes that it hadn’t been a dream.  He wanted it to be real.  Only silence met his call.  Pushing himself off the bed, he went to the chamber door and unlocked it.  He pushed the door open and looked out into the corridor.  No sign of anyone.  The place was practically deserted of life.  ~I’ve got to find her.~ He thought to himself.  He felt this connection as though she was inside of him.  Pulling imaginary strings.  The voice, that sweet voice kept repeating….”Mine.”  (Fade out) –

~RB~

Predator or Prey?

 

Continuing on from “Beneath the Silk”, Sophia has created a world within Nick’s mind.  An illusion of a grand estate, with a special surprise behind the red veils.  But is the Vampire knight to be the Predator, or the prey?

Co-written with SA.

 

SA:  ‘Beautiful.’ Now, that was a word she didn’t hear quite often, especially not when that mask came off. There was beauty in the unknown and yet the unknown usually disturbed many when the secret was revealed – Those never-blinking optics, their  oh, so strange, chromatics and the very fact that they were lacking pupils could disturb and horrify many – And they did. It was the main reason for her to hide them, away from vision of others, the main reason why the black mask never left her features for such a long time; It was only when she realized her preys could not escape her anymore, when she took it off, letting it be the last thing they saw as she basked in their horror, at the sight of those abnormal hues. She was called beautiful before; A woman who resembled a Rusalka, a Predator. A Siren, even, knew how to get around – Seduce, entice, all for it to make sure she’d feed – And yet, she was never called Beautiful when her orbs would’ve been released from their black silk prison. It took her by surprise, even widened those striking azures that if they were to have pupils, they’d be dilating by now. But they didn’t. So, instead, it looked like the azure got even brighter, deeper, like the vast depths of an ocean combined with a bright sky, lacking any cloud to block its beauty. The hand placed over her cheek was only met with one of her gloved limbs, gently slithering over his, letting their digits lace together in a grip, as she held onto him, her gaze drifting to the ground. If she was cold before, there was a hint of warmth, just a little bit over her cheeks, over the alabaster skin. “How so…?” She wanted to know – It wasn’t a test, this time. There was curiosity in her own beauty, beauty never seen before by others in a moment like this.

 

RB:  -They say that there is beauty in all things.  What people regard as beautiful is a matter of interpretation.  Nick had seen much over his travels, and found that there were women that considered themselves to be attractive, opening flaunting it and using it for a way to gain power and or a love sick puppy.  What Nick saw, when the black bandanna was removed was something that he could even regard as being sacred.  Why she had hidden her eyes from the world, when they were in fact the most spectacular he had ever seen?  Was she ashamed of them?  Is that why she was so quick to cover them up in his presence?  All that the vampire knew was that she wished to share this with him, and whether or not he was truly worthy to bear witness – he did not know.  His reaction and words had been spontaneous as had been his movement of his hand to cup her cheek.  He did not expect her to touch his hand, or ask as to how he found her to beautiful.  “You have eyes that are deeper in shade then the bluest ocean, or the brightest sapphire.  You are unique, truly.”  As she could see inside of him, he was able to see what others did not.   Nick moved his free hand to her chin, so that he might raise her face up so that he may look upon her again.  “Look at me, Sophia.  I know you can see through me.   You can see I speak the truth.”

~RB~

 

 

SA:  Such an odd moment. In a more than romantic scenery, with the moonlight behind them as the scent of rose petals enveloped them both, carried by the soft breeze. An odd moment in which the appeared more like lovers, than Predator and Prey or even two Predators. A moment in which she, herself, almost forgot what she was here for, taking in the man’s words as if those were words she barely heard, ever in her life. New words, like a small child trying to make sense of them, grasp their true meaning. ‘Unique’. She repeated that one, in a whispered, hushed voice, almost to herself, to make sure she understood. Because, just like a small child, it was new to her. Brows furled inwards, as if frustrated to not grasp its meaning yet, interrupted by the wandering limb which soon found its place against her chin, lifting her azure gaze upwards. That’s when it happened. When she remembered why she was here for, and a muffled grown escaped the depths of her throat, like a deep, deep rumble rolling along the column of her neck on the inside, only to finally meet his gaze once more. What was it?

 

RB:  -Did she not believe what he just said?  Sophia repeated the word ‘unique’ as though she had never heard it before.  Had no one ever payed her a compliment like this?  Nick meant every word.  But if it flattered her, it didn’t.  She made a strange sound as she stared upwards, but not at him.  He could feel the rumble of the release through the skin under her chin.  Perhaps he had overstepped his bounds.  After all, he had touched her, not just on her cheek, but under her chin so that she might raise her gaze.  Was he not meant to see the beauty of her eyes?  Maybe she simply did not expect that from him.  Nick was now in uncharted waters, and…her waters.  He was suddenly reminded that this was all her doing.  The vampire’s lips formed a thin line as he started to draw back his hand.  “If I have offended you, Sophia, I apologize.  I am not normally so…hands on.” –

~RB~

 

SA:  It was then when he could finally see why her eyes were hardly considered beautiful – The gaze she had given him at that moment, that very moment when she lifted her head upwards to meet the male’s hues, was a gaze which only emanated coldness. They stared, so deeply that you’d feel them staring right into your soul and so cold that you’d even feel how a tiny shard of ice made its way to your heart. The most disturbing factor of them was that they never blinked, not once – A continuous stare, a gaze into ones soul, as if scattering through it, searching, rummaging only to find what she wanted. What she needed. A hand moved upwards. And then, the other followed as they both found their place on the male’s cheeks, cupping them lightly as fingers trailed upwards to tug against the raven strands. She moved closer, bumping her body against his, pressing them together, silk on silk, cold on cold as she gripped onto him, so tightly and yet so delicately that he wouldn’t even want to escape – not that he even could. It was then, when she leaned in, as her azure optics continued to stare into his, never blinking, lacking pupils and oh, so very deep. The saying of ‘getting lost in ones eyes’ surely attributed to this woman, for they were ocean deep and sky-high blue. The moment which followed could only gain the attributes of stunning, surprising and yet, so very mesmerizing, when her lips parted only barely, enough to cradle the male’s lower lip between them, pressing them together, while her hands continued their grip around his neck, now. This was the oddity of her being – Despite being ice cold, her lips burned. A searing heat, scolding hot to the touch as if they wanted to burn the flesh they made contact with. Longing into the passion.

 

RB: – Women are such fickle creatures.  One minute they have you thinking you’ve gone and done wrong, and the next, they are kissing you with a burning sensation that is more than just sizzling.  Nick had barely gotten out his apology, when Sophia did the unexpected.  Had Nick misjudged the growl for something entirely different?  All he knew was that she had taken his cheeks in her hands, so that she may bring his face closer to her own.  Her body now pressing up against his, and she actually bumped her frame to his.  The grip she now had was one of strength, like she had no intention of letting him go.  But, did he want to be free from this woman?  Hell no.  He had already been captivated by her eyes, and now she was taking him into an embrace, that had him lose his breath.  Lost in the hypnotic gaze of her azure eyes, Nick seemed to lose all sense of reason and found himself being kissed by her with lips that were in total contradiction to the rest of her.  Burning…like they were on fire.  As if from far away….deep down in the Vampire’s belly, a growl was released that reverberated up through his throat and into her waiting mouth, that had seized him captive.  Nick could feel the tightening grip around his neck from her hands, and this was when he gave in.  Sweet surrender.  The pain and pleasure melded into one powerful force, and the vampire wrapped his own arms around her, so that he could suffer longer.  The predator within him rose up proudly, and he kissed her back savagely…hungrily…as though his unlife depended on it.

~RB~

 

SA:  -Naked. It was the only word that could be attributed to how she felt right now, stripped of the concealment over the secret she kept for so long. She didn’t care for clothing, as for here, there were only means of enticing even further, creating and intensifying the façade she donned upon herself – But to have her mask pulled off really meant standing naked in front of the other, a feeling of almost embarrassment, like a virgin revealing herself for the first time, on her wedding night. It felt odd – Odder was the fact that she actually felt that way, the Predator. Chains rattled within her, the Monster longing for release as the kiss lingered, on and on. Hot on Cold, lingering desire as her hands tugged at the back of his coat, gripping tightly into small fists. To hear her growl only made her grin – A wide, Cheshire-like grin without even breaking the kiss as she offered a small nip to the male’s lower lip only to provoke him further. Provoke his own Predator to come loose. And that’s when another dance happened, one she would lead now, while she took a step backwards, towards the room. And another. And another. Tugging him to follow, leaving the balcony and going back within the room in ruins, while their lips still melted against each other.

 

RB:  -The power of this woman was insane.  The way that she kissed him, and clawed at the back of his jacket, only served to strengthen her hold over him.  Of course his hands had found themselves wandering over and across her back.  Finding their way to the rounded globes of her bottom, that had been so easy to caress through the flimsy fabric of her gown.  The deeper and longer that Nick kissed Sophia and let his tongue snake into her mouth to lick at the insides of her cheek, run across her teeth, did he truly feel that he wanted more than wanton kisses.  The inner growl had been his predator announcing that he was home.  Home – within her eyes.  Those same eyes that did not blink, nor move to follow the light.  But Sophia was ahead of the game, breaking the kiss – only to nip at his lower lip in a bid to bring him out further.  The beauty of his face was now changing to that of his vampiric self.  The sharpness of his features as his bones seemed to lengthen beneath his skin.  Nick’s eyes gave way to a blood red sheen with a small black pupil in its center.  Though she might have been smiling a Cheshire cat like grin at her prize, he wasn’t.  Never more serious had he been before.  She might have been dancing him back into her lair of fine veiled curtains, but he was already eyeing off her neck.  Nick now snorted through his nostrils, as she kept kissing his lips and dragging him back…One step at a time.  As soon as she did stop though, he’d pull away from her plump lips and then start to lick and nip at the base of her neck.  The game was on…

 

~RB~

 

 

SA:  This was it. When two Predators met and the collision happened – Two different worlds, colliding, shaping as one, gathering their common points and clashing against their differences. A collision that could only be considered deadly, fatal, for at least one of the playing parts. This was the game, the hunting game between two Predators about to snap – Her, with the rattling chains within her soul, right at the core as the Monster wanted, longed for release. Sweet, sweet release.  And him, with the Beast boiling inside, the moment she felt his tongue slither out to play with hers. They danced together while they moved across the room, until she actually ~pinned~ him to the wall – Enough force to impact his back against the concrete surface, her hands now falling around his neck and draping along his chest as the tips of her claws slid along his shirt; They didn’t rip it, yet, but applied enough pressure for him to ~feel~ the small scratched right along his skin beneath the fabric. And when he leaned down, and nipped along her jawline and neck, a growl was released – It almost sounded like a murr; Sensual, soft, erotic, a feline getting what she truly wanted. Finally. When he did, she only arched back to bend backwards, lowering her frame in a small arch as their lower bodies pressed against each other, her chest hovering in the air, for his viewing pleasure. She pulled him in, letting his torso reach hers as some stray strands of her snow-white tresses dangled in the air – An almost similar way of holding the pose she did when they danced.

 

 

 

RB: – Nick’s eyes rolled back as he fell deep within the darkness of his own inner beast.  It was clamouring to be released from within, as much as Sophia’s was.  The wicked licks to her neck had brought him a pleasurable release in the form of the rapid beating of a long dead heart.  All through their meetings he had remained the perfect gentleman, the silver tongue, the Knight.  Now, he had forgotten all that he was – only the base creature wanted to be brought out to Sophia’s light.  Being slammed suddenly against the cold concrete surface, stunned him enough to snap his head up and back from her neck.  From this point, his elongated fangs were on full display while his jaw slackened.  The handsome Nick was gone from view.  He let out a guttural growl, almost animal like when Sophia rand her nails down his chest and scratched through cloth to his skin.  The red of his blood now seeping through his silken shirt.  The pain was delicious and he took one hand to rip his shirt apart so she could smell and feel the richness of his blood.  Red to the point of being black.  Sophia then lent back so she could display her ample bosom for his viewing pleasure.  Her back arching just like before when they danced.  Nick’s mouth opened as he was about to lunge at her throat.  It was irresistible, and just as he was about to bite, he said her name….as if the man within…was fighting back.  The one…that cared for her.  “Sophia…”  His fangs stopping as he panted…the tips so close to breaking the skin, till he dragged them across and rested his forehead to her neck. –

~RB~

 

SA:   The game has begun – a game between two Predators, finally being offered release from their cage, the chains which kept them imprisoned rattling loudly, loud enough that one would almost be able to hear them, if they paid close attention to the darkness. Such common features between each other, both sharing a monster which lurked within. It was a serpent’s grip, her arms coiling up around his neck only to secure him in her grasp, pulling and tugging at his form closer and closer to her – His breath, at the base of her neck, rolling along her chest which would’ve sent a shiver through her spine, a quickened pace to her heartbeat – Yet she had none of that. Instead, there was a rumbling sound, like the purr of a satisfied feline, escaping those plump, scarlet lips the moment his would reach her flesh. Feeling just the tip of his fangs trailing, barely hovering above her alabaster skin, hearing her name being called out almost like a whisper, a cry for help, she offered a grin – Sardonic and cruel, the grin of a Cheshire cat as one arm went upwards, tugging at those raven strands of his. Eventually, she’d release him – even ~pushing~ him away from her with enough force to have his body impacting the wall behind him just slightly – as she began walking away. Her head craned to the side, her eyes turned to meet him, offering a gaze over her shoulder, azures burning cold. It was a sensual gaze, one filled with eroticism as her lips slightly parted to allow the sensation to sink in, while she moved forwards, towards the stairs.

 

RB:  -Finger tips slowly dragging at first.  Cold steel to touch, yet their strength was undeniable.  Like quicksilver she was able to wind her way around him.  Serpent like movements and deadly to any who was weak to her charms.  Yes, it was a game of two predators, very much so.  In the depths of her eyes, Nick found himself staring into those mirrors that showed only what she wanted him to see.  Her body writhed as the temptress within her led him into the very center of her web.  An insatiable need by the wraith – to tangle the vampire up into her invisible silken strands of malice.  Sound bubbled up from within the exotic white haired maiden.   Whatever it was that stopped Nick from making an attack upon her had only staved off the inevitable.  The drag of his canines across her flesh caused her to react harshly.  Forcefully pushing him away and into a marble pillar, that shook violently.  Dust lightly falling and speckling the only offered candle light.  Had he just displeased her?  It was so hard to tell, for now she was looking back at him with eyes that burned ice cold – the wicked smile on her face making him want her all the more.  Nick’s reaction was to follow her.  Almost blindly, he walked towards the stairs.  Everything about her was sinful and delicious.  From her scent to her skin, her bewitching eyes, and those hips…God those hips.  Lust rose sharply from within a darkened place.  She had lit the flame and it was going to be hard to extinguish. –

 

~RB~

 

SA:  How was it possible for something which functioned so much like a machine to have such a sway in her movement, almost intoxicant to his view? How was it that a woman which was far from a woman have such femininity and sensuality in her movements, as each step up the stairs was performed with such grace, such flow that each step seemed like a dance in which the hem of her long white dress participated, combined with the soft clicking of her heels, only to enhance the sensation – Like a clock ticking, those heels beat along the floor on her way up, a clock, ticking, for him. Tick-tock, click-click-click all the way up. She never looked back at him again, after that one simple, subtle gaze, allowing him to drown in her movements. The swaying of her hips, the curve her body created when each leg lifted up against the stair. Only to enhance his lust. Lust – One of the many things she fed on, the Wraith, hungry for Sins – So hungry that he could feel her, so close and yet so far from his body and soul – So close to devouring both. There was a sudden click, before the male could have realized what happened, as the door behind them snapped shut, sending them both upstairs, as vision would be graced with the sight of a king sized bed, under a canopy. Scarlet red, silken sheets with crimson reflections. Now, she was pinned – Her back rested neatly against the door, as if letting him ~know~ he had no escape anymore, blocking his only way out. Her eyes burned, sending cold shivers along the male’s already tensed muscles, as those lips remained perpetually parted, only slightly, barely creating a small gap between them. Waiting.  Anticipating. Provoking.  Longing.

 

RB: -The trap had been set long before Nick had set foot upon the stairs.  It had all begun the moment that Sophia had entered the Kingdom of the Blood Rose.  From the beginning, the white haired wraith had one objective, and that was to feed.  The Queen, in her fear had left the Knight to entertain the guest, and he had obliged in the game of cards.  The reading.  He had shown to have strength, and even had been given the card as a reminder of that event.  Now however, was that same strength going to save him, and did he even want to be saved?  The mesmerizing way in which Sophia’s hips swayed, back and forth like a pendulum, or hypnotist’s fob watch – had the Vampire all but lost to the world outside of Sophia’s making.  Nick followed until it was too late to turn back.  Once we accept our fate, we are at the mercy of what lay behind the magician’s curtain.  What awaited Nick however was a room that could best be described as a bedroom.  If he was expecting a dining hall, he was mistaken, but really…he was the main course.  The stage was set.  The players took their positions upon the floor.  The click of the lock turned and with her back resting to that same door, there would be no escape.  But really, did he want to be set free?  A wry smile formed to his lips, through the haze of anticipation and lust.  He tore off his coat and simply let it fall to the floor.  Bold steps cut across the floor back to where she stood.  In this room, of decadence and red satin, blood would be spilt, and it was probably going to be his.  Nick started to undo the buttons of his shirt, as she may well watch him in silence.  “This is what you wanted all along.  There was no dinner…you wanted to feed upon me.”  Nick opened his shirt, and she could see his abs and hairless chest.  “How hungry are you, Sophia?”  His voice hoarse, but riddled with lust.  The very thing she wanted most of all. –

~RB~

 

SA:   “Starving.” It all started with that ~word~. And then, everything would follow in a sudden collision, as everything truly came to be after that one singular, whispered out word was spoken. She always played her Game right – The Blind Reader, this woman with such an abnormal visage, abnormal characteristics and odd behaviour, this puzzle unable to be solved. She always played her Game just like it was supposed to be played, despite the vast majority of her victims never truly reaching this point of it – Truth be told, there were very few she actually fed off from their Lust, very few to invite over Dinner instead of devouring them right at the Tarot table. Very few who actually, truly impressed her? An arm extended upwards, satin gloved long digits playing with the pins which held white tresses in place only to remove them, letting those strands of pure snow cascade over her shoulders like an avalanche, waves and waves crashing against her shoulder blades and over her back, throwing the pins aside. Her azures made sure to burn and roam over each inch of his body, each small movement he made, each button he unhooked from his shirt. Sophia didn’t move from her spot, nor uttered another word. There was nothing else to be said, like a Tarot reading itself, when all the cards are flipped over, facing them. All the cards showing, finally, clear on the table for them to see. The Cards never lie and now, they were telling this man’s Faith, in the hands of the Reader, so skilfully crafting and shaping the thread of his Destiny. But this was a hunt, between two Predators, and she wouldn’t have it any other way – A fair fight, Predator to Predator, a War that was on the verge on starting right there, in the bedroom.

 

RB:  -The truth.  One word answered everything that Nick now believed.  This game she had played so well, was reaching the spectacular conclusion.  One that would see her reap the rewards for her efforts.  For a man that was facing his greatest threat, he showed a face that was actually happy.  There was no more need for words.  No more questions to be answered.  Her movements, like that of a skilled dancer, started them off.  All by the simple letting down of her hair.  A torrent of white tresses that tumbled down her back – the pins only scattering to the floor discarded.  In matching with her movements, he too began to peel away – at first with his shirt that simply fell to the floor, once he had withdrawn his arms from them one at a time.  The silk like black material abandoned.  As her eyes traversed his body, so too did Nick’s on hers.  The vampire reached out and pinched at the white fabric of her dress, the straps on her shoulders – and slowly he slid them down over the roundness of her shoulders….down her arms so that her beautiful breasts would be exposed to the chill of the night’s air.  His fingertips were rough against the soft silkiness of her skin.  Sheer, just as he had imagined it to be.  Nick was still the hunter, but he knew that there was always that one creature that could never be tamed.  His pants now sat low on his hips, the vampire exposed to Sophia’s hunger.   He was so close now, that she could feel his breath upon her skin.  His lips parted enough for her to see those dog teeth of his.  The suffering would end on his call.  “Feast…upon me.”

 

SA:  His shirt, fully removed, allowing his pale skin to be for her viewing pleasure only as one arm reached for him, slender digits trailing lightly along his chest. Those satin white gloved fingertips only moved to caress along each line of perfectly defined muscles of his chest as if tracing the lines of a sculpted masterpiece, creating small patterns along his skin. She felt his wandering him as it slid under the straps of her dress, slowly letting them fall over her shoulders, feeling the softness of her skin – velvet to the touch, feather-like. Head craned to the side only to take notice of this motion before both her hands moved to search for his, lacing digits together as she moved his hands at the back of her dress, up to the top, where the zipper started – It was then when he could actually feel the structure of her body, that almost anorexic physique of this woman as the zipper was strategically placed right in the middle of her body, following the line of her spine. It was straight down, allowing the dress to completely fall, sliding off her body once it would’ve been lowered. She maintained his hands there while hers moved upwards, back along his chest before removing her gloves, having those neatly done nails drag along his flesh. Gentle caress of a feather-like skin combined with sharp, short lived scratches, not enough pressure to draw blood yet enough to leave a small sting. Her lips, perpetually parted only slightly as her body moved almost by instinct against his, leaning in for a kiss, whether or not he would go for unzipping the white fabric which imprisoned her curves. ‘Feast?’ The words echoed through her mind allowing a Cheshire grin to spread over her alabaster features, right in that brief moment, before the kiss. Before the beginning of the end.

 

RB:  -It was truly a dance between two devils.  Each had their own desires and reasons for their behavior, and like a skilled chess player, Nick was not showing his true potential just yet.  Like a fool he could have rushed in madly, and given into her much sooner than he had, but he gave off the illusion that he was completely smitten by her attentions.  It was only when Nick had removed her white dress, and felt the edges of her spine jutting out of her lily white skin, did he truly realize that she was in fact wasting away before him.  Bones sticking out so far as to stretch the skin for all they were worth.  Nick’s fingers curled inwards after the touch as though seizing a small bird in the palm of his hand.  But those same fingers would be prized open by Sophia’s fingers, when brought back around. Interlocked them with her own.  Her free hand was now naked of the white satin glove, and so she started off, by scratching down Nick’s torso – not enough to draw blood, but more so to  arouse the Vampire into a state of being.  The vampire released a pent up growl, that had been building ever since their bodies came together.  Pressed flesh to flesh, and now she went in for the kill, but this was when the game turned slightly.  A twist that was to be unexpected.  As she leaned in for the kiss, his fingers ripped the zipper downward in such a fashion that it may well tear the fabric.  His dog teeth fully extended went to not just nip her bottom lip, but pull it back far enough that it may well cause a tear.  Nick snorted as the male started to show a sign of true dominance.  A fist full of the white fabric caught between his fingers, as he drew her even closer. –

~RB~

 

SA:  Withering away’ was perhaps, indeed, the best term to describe the physical condition of this abnormal woman who truly fell in the cliché category of ‘flesh and bone’ and yet, something already dead cannot still be withering away – She believed that by now he had a couple of hints scattered here and there along their time together to understand the anomaly of her, he reasons why pieces of the puzzle refused to click together – But if he didn’t, she wouldn’t complain much. A meal was a meal, despite having a small disappointment in the outcome of it. For once, though, she was caught off-guard, so sure of her movement to go for the kiss that she did not notice when his hands moved back around her frame. Her body once pressed against the wooden door was now ever so roughly pulled towards his until there was no more room between their chest, torsos rubbing together. No room to breathe – not that she needed to – no room to actually create a distance between them anymore, neither physical nor mental. The board was set and the pawns each had their place on it. There was even a soft sound which escaped her, a sound he wouldn’t have heard before, to actually hear her surprised: A gasp into the rough tug of her form towards his only to feel and hear that zipper being pulled down, sliding along her frame – The dress parting in the middle behind her to reveal skin of alabaster so easily once camouflaged with the fabric of seminal chromatics; The prominent shoulder blades and spine and the natural curve of her body, as white fabric eventually slid all the way down to the floor with a small, barely audible dropping noise, rustling the air around them. It was then, when her bottom lip was tugged into the grasp of his sharp canines, that she reacted with a stifled growl of her own – a longing growl, a hungry growl as her arms went under his shoulders and at his back, pulling ~his~ form to ~hers~ while taking a step backwards to impact her own back against the door, once more, with quite the loud bang to it. Then and there, it happened for a similar motion to be performed, apparently coincidental – But he should know better than to consider this woman’s actions as mere coincidences by now – Meant to install a déjà-vu feeling into the man’s mind; One of her long, slender and now fully bare, beautiful legs came to coil around one of his, trailing the fabric of his trousers against her perfect flesh only to gently loop it around his hips. Provoking, yet inviting him more towards her. The Lion, letting its prey approach willingly.

 

 

RB: –  A meal is a meal that is true.  But who was to dine first?  It was that sound, the shock of surprise by the vampire’s boldness, that caught Sophia off guard and it was at this moment, that the Vampire completely turned the game on its head.  Oh she was quick to use her slender limbs to wrap around his leg to bring him in even closer, but this just served to make it all the more easier for him to do what he was about to.  Wraith or not, she was a woman.  A woman that hungered for the same nocturnal desires that all others did.  Hungry as she may be, there would be a part of her that wanted to be fed upon.  To be tasted, savored…and enjoyed.  When her body slammed hard against the door, with no room to move away, Nick started to slink down.  His nose prodding and his head flicking against her bare skin as he went down on one knee.  A hand moved her leg so that it was now draped over his shoulder.  Oh…she could still do that, it only made it easier for him.  Nick tore the rest of her dress away with his teeth, causing it to rip down the front as well as the back – exposing the sweetness that he searched for.  Her musk was intoxicating, and with one leg up, she was well and truly exposed to his ministrations.  At first, he ran his nose up between her swollen lips, before letting his long snake like tongue delve between her sensitive folds. Already her nectar could be tasted upon his waiting tongue, and he angled his head in a fashion that allowed him to open mouth kiss those same lower lips. His right hand snaked around to capture the ripe bare ass cheek that awaited him, and so this meant she would find it difficult to move without a lot of effort on her part.  If the lip nipping had been shocking, this was bound to bring out a cry of unadulterated pleasure from those sweet lips of hers.  The vampire’s head was now buried between her thighs, his tongue flicking in and out as he lapped at her richness of taste.  A rumble of dark pleasure was felt from his heaving chest. The feeding had begun.-

~RB~

 

SA:  The feeding had begun indeed, seemingly for both of them – different styles, different methods and even completely antithetic connotations for the action or object of feeding. With the last bits of white fabric torn from her figure, Sophia was left completely naked, in front of him, showing yet another almost disturbing abnormality – There was Perfection. The notion which is considered impossible to reach was, at least at first glance, reached by her features – Her breasts, the perfect tear-drop shape, round and perky with a pair of pale pink nipples, erect in the cold air of the room in ruins; her abdomen, completely flat, having those prominent hipbones protruding against a thin layer of flesh; Her legs, long, slender, that small mound of flesh above her flesh neatly bald, smooth skin to the touch. The oddity which made her disturbing was that there was no blemish, no birthmark, nothing but a vast field of perfect alabaster flesh, as if she wasn’t born, bur created. As if her body was a living – but not quite – , breathing – but not really – sculpture or marble. There was one singular sign of a blemish, one that was almost impossible not to notice as it consisted in a scar, right in the middle of her chest, merely a couple of inches below the in-between of her breasts. A perfect, vertical scar which showed the precision of it doing and yet, a scar with a slight blackened edge to it. He didn’t seem to give it much importance, despite it being the only ‘normal’ thing in the perfect anomaly that she was – She felt him, lowering himself only to bring one of her legs upwards as it instinctually draped along his back, his breath trailing over her most sacred area, her very intimate sex and his tongue spreading those soft, smooth folds only to reach the fruit it was after. Another growl, rumbled along her throat as those azures came to jolt to the back of her head instantly while her neck snapped back. There was pleasure. But to her, it had a meaning beyond the Carnal itself – The Lust was what she fed on, the mere feeling of it rushing through your body – it fueled and made her chest heave in anticipation, longing for more. More and more until she would have been ready to ‘Feast’.

 

 

RB : -Our bodies speak in volumes that cannot be heard by the naked ear.  The slightest tremor from a quivering thigh, the sharp jerk of realization that one was being explored and tasted by a skilled lover.  Nick was not only paying attention to the sounds she uttered, but the way she moved.  And it was at this point, that Nick began to realize something.  While most women became a quaking mess at this sort of attention, Sophia was holding back.  Yes, she let the leg stay upon his shoulder, but there was no hand to guide his head further into what would be her sacred jewel.  With his mouth still wet from the lacquer she provided, the Vampire pushed her leg off his shoulder and started to rise slowly as though slinking up her form.  He had caught sight of her almost unnatural beauty on his travels down and up.  He did come to notice the vertical scar that was between those all too perfect breasts.  The only imperfection upon what was a clean slate. As they came face to face once more, she would be able to smell herself upon his nose and those same grey lips.  She was holding back, though reeling him in at the same time.  It was not her own pleasure that she sought.  It was his.  Her body was bait; the whole thing was a trap.  He stared her down as the jigsaw pieces all fell into place.  Nick’s eyes widened at the reality of this moment.  Always the predator, but this wicked girl had stacked the deck long before he sat down at her table.  “You don’t want an easy meal, do you?”  He’d been manipulated beautifully.  Without so much as a word from her.  How incredibly clever of her.  She may be standing before him naked, but she was dressed to kill.  He stared at those lips.  Should he kiss her one last time?  The silence was now deafening.-

~RB~

.

SA:  There was no such thing as an ‘easy meal’ to her – To even utter those 2 words was offensive for her – She never wanted something easy. So, to see the man stop and, moreover, tell her that managed to irritate her yet not enough to move away. Her arms did remove themselves from the grip they had over his form, hands coming to place palms flat on the wooden surface behind her as they stood there, face to face. Her game; unmasked by him.  Her reward; recognized by him. “Of course not.” She mused out lightly, as those azure orbs burned deep within him with such coldness. Never blinking, always staring. “…But you knew that, the moment you stepped in.” And there it was, the Monster revealing itself to the man as a sardonic grin allowed those scarlet lips to curl upwards by their corners. Slowly, she moved her back away from the door, steps followed by that soft clicking of her heels against the floor motioning her across the upstairs, all the way to the edge of the bed. “And you don’t seek an easy meal, either – It’s why you’ve accepted my Dinner invitation which, mind you, was just that – an invitation left to your free will to accept or decline.” With that, her body propped up to sit by the edge of the bed, hands holding onto the sheets as her legs crossed, left over right, offering a gaze his way. “You knew what you were getting to, the moment you asked your question at the table… And furthermore, it’s what ~you~ want. You don’t want an easy task – You seek the thrill. The suspense and the climax. You seek what lies beyond a mortal’s capacity of grasping meaning to certain things. Which is what I am able to offer you.” Pause. One of her hands patting the spot next to her onto the bed. “…you see, Nick. I didn’t seek you out, no – You’ve sought me, from the beginning.”

Beneath the silk.

 

Continuing on from “The Cards Never Lie”, Nick is now requested to have dinner with the Fortune Teller as payment for her services.  But is he to be the main course?  Read on and see.

Scene setting – Nick’s chambers

Written with SA.

 

RB:  -They say the eyes are the windows to our soul.  But with the Fortune teller’s eyes being masked by the black bandanna and her in her own words being told that she was without sight, it was hard to read what the woman was thinking as she lifted the last card.  The card for the reader only; not the Vampire.  For a moment, the woman sat motionless.  If she could stare at the card, she would.  In her mind’s eye she was.  Nick was oblivious to what the importance of this last card was, but for a woman who had been all too eager to explain each card in turn, her body language projected that this card was not one that she wished to divulge about.  The silence between the two became almost deafening.   Nick’s brow creased and he tilted his head slightly as though being on the edge of his seat for what she was about to say.  Then…it happened.  The woman simply snapped out of whatever hold the card had over her and she resumed speaking as though nothing had happened.  Changes occurred to the table however.  The black symbol that had been crafted from what must have been her own blood simply faded away, the timber looking as though it had before.  Nick was unaware of the importance of what this meant.  She had withdrawn the pact.  Again, she reminded Nick that the cards never lie.  “So you keep saying, Ma’am.”  Now, it was time for the price.  Nick had willingly agreed to pay the price that the woman asked, and so he waited in readiness for her word.  He would of course oblige her.  He was a man of honour, regardless of what others thought of him.  His word was his bond.  “Dinner..”  Did he hear her correctly?  “Dinner?” he repeated what she had said, questioningly.  It was unexpected, to say the least.  Pausing for a moment, Nick nodded.  “I can’t imagine what a woman of your standing would have a taste for, but if the price is dinner, than that is what you shall have.”  Nick pushed himself up and swung his leg off the chair, turning it around so that he may place it back normally.  –

~RB~

 

SA:   It was as if it never happened, the entire Reading she previously performed, as each trace of it vanished: The timber regained its natural carvings in the wood, with no trace of black lines from the little droplet of blood as even her palm seemed to be missing the scar created only minutes ago. The cards turned back to being blank as she one-handedly shuffled them once more, in quite the bored manner, the Reader herself taking a more casual stature upon her seating, leaning back in her chair. Though the deck was back to normal, whatever she used as vision kept darting to one card only, each time it popped up from the deck in its shuffle. “You can keep that.” She pointed lightly to the card that was still on his side of the table. Strength, the card which assumingly represented him. “It’s yours. Keep it, even if just as a reminder of this encounter. Or just as a reflection – This card is your mirror, after all.” As she explained, her attention darted once more to her own card, one which she did not reveal to others, before eventually placing it back with the rest. His confusion only brought a bit of her own, snow white brow quirking lightly. “What? I told you my price is something idealistic… There is a lot more you can gain from a dinner invitation than a simple material prize. What did you think it was? Souls?” To that, she couldn’t help but grin – a Cheshire-like spread grin across alabaster features which only created such a heavy contrast, between the delicate features of the femme and the brutality of the sardonic grin. Souls were… a different story for her.

 

RB:  -Nick wasn’t expecting to be given the card that she had dealt him.  The first card in fact; the one of strength.  The vampire reached across and prized it off the desk with a flick of his fingers – holding it and turning it to see that the imagery was still there.  Nick graciously nodded and placed the card safely into his jacket pocket, patting the flap down to seal it in.  “Thank you…uhm, I don’t believe I caught your name, Miss.”  Nick felt that since he had agreed to her terms of payment, that it would be fitting if he knew just how to address her.  Nick had showed intrigue in his expression, rather than some sort of amusement.  He did tend to take things seriously, when it came to payment of a deal.  Nick rested his hands on the back of the chair in which he sat, his fingers strumming the wood almost as though he was placing his fingers on the keyboard of a piano.  Sharp black fingernails, if one was to notice.  Hearing the fortune teller say that there was more to be gained from a simple dinner invitation than an item of value or net worth.  The mention of souls had Nick actually scoff.  Was that a little premature on his part?  Probably.  But with her Cheshire cat like grin, he began to wonder if she was being half serious.  Glancing about, Nick then said. “I don’t think the kitchens in the castle would be operating at this hour.  Did you have a certain place in mind?”  Nick was not actually knowledgeable of the area, and perhaps the Fortune teller had her own secret place to dine. –

 

~RB~

 

 

SA:   “Sophia” She muttered that one single word out, with her own uncertainty, as if it was unclear to her whether or not it was her name. The creature did not remember her real name, amnesia taking its toll upon the femme’s former life as most of it stood under the sigil of memory loss, a perpetual fog dwelling in the depths of her mind. She’d only remember her given name, the one ~he~ gave her, the moment she was reborn, although still unsure if she should consider it a Rebirth. “My name is Sophia.” It had to be repeated, for her own sake, really, to make sure she, herself, grasped it entirely. “I don’t believe I got yours, either.” – Not that she’d really care for one, usually names only overly complicated her doings and yet, he got this far as to gain a Dinner invitation from the Blind Fortune Teller to which, in her mind amounted for the worth of knowing his name. Eventually, she’d rise from her seat making sure there was no fickle of dust on her attire, walking only to circle the table (and him) like the little Predator she was, always playing. She reached up, placing her hands on the back of ~his~ chair, leaning her body in to hover her head just merely an inch from his shoulder. “I have a place… Wear something nice.” In a teasing tone, she whispered out before each trace of ~her~ as well as her doings simply vanished in thin air, like it all would’ve been characteristically to a simple dream. Or, a nightmare, depending how he’d see it.

 

RB: -The fortune teller gave up her name, though for some reason she felt the need to say it twice.  “Sophia…the perfect name for you, it seems.”  Nick knew that the Greek meaning of the name was Wisdom.  The vampire was now ready to formally introduce himself.  “Savage, Nick Savage.”  His name rolled off the tongue, and as he said it, he did a little bow from the waist.  So now they were on a first name basis, and about to embark on a dinner date of sorts.  Though he was unsure of just when or where that would take place.  The woman rounded the table after standing, only to come around behind him.  His head followed her movement till he watched her place her hands on the back of the chair that he had been sitting in.  She had a place all worked out, but she stipulated that he had to wear something nice.  “I think I have something that would fit the bill, Sophia.”  There, he actually used her name.  But as he was about to turn and face her, the woman simply vanished into thin air.  Nick froze and then glanced about him, searching the room for her.  She was gone.  “Right…guess she didn’t need to use the door.”  The vampire shrugged his shoulders lightly, and straightened his stance, before leaving the Queen’s royal court room.  He had a chamber that was down in the bowels of the castle where few dared enter.  Striding down the long hallway, he stopped and pressed his hand to the door to open it, before waltzing in – the door closing behind him by itself  ~What to wear?~ the vampire asked of himself in his mind.  Going to a large chest that was covered in dust and cobwebs, he kicked it open and started to rummage through the clothing he had acquired over the centuries.  He went with something nostalgic.  A Black suit with black shirt, matching tie and scarf.  He already had boots, so why change those.  When he had dressed into the suit for dinner, used his fingers to rake his hair back.  It fell forward again, rebelling against his attempts for it to be what would be called neat.  Now, all he had to do was wait….-

~RB~

 

SA:  And there, there was Darkness. A perpetual state of darkness, where nothing else but it lingered, like somebody instantly flicking the switch over to let all the lights turn off as illusions took the place of everything surrounding him – Molded the earth itself to their own will as if warping his surroundings. A force that was namely otherwordly, one that could almost be able to cast shadows where there were none, but Darkness. And from the Void, everything created itself, like a Big Bang, in which illusions eventually settled into material grasp, tangible once more for the man and yet so, so very intangible. It would’ve been hard to distinguish illusion from reality at this point, a point where there were both existing at the same time and yet, none at all. One could almost call it a dream, a place where nothing was at it seemed to be and yet it created a visage of nature, the miasma of sweet red roses lingering in the air, a place surrounded by water. The Reader’s special hiding spot actually looked like something pulled out from a gothic fairytale, the romantic touch lingering softly around his surroundings; a small breeze carried the echoing words which escaped the woman, soon finding her place behind him, waiting until he’d turn back. “Welcome.” And when he’d turn? He’d be welcomed with a completely new sight, a new glance of the woman he previously encountered. There was white. A contrast between what she wore when they met and what she had on now – A long white dress, fitted to envelop her curves beautifully and to let the prominent bones even stick out a little. She was no beauty by society standards – A tall woman, almost grotesquely anorexic in built, as those snow white tresses were pulled back in a simple bun, away from alabaster features. Skin stark white pale, completing the visage, letting a reverse snake necklace dangle at her back, to complete the look. There was a simple detail, still present. The mask, always hiding her optics from vision of others, as if protecting them from view. There was no smile, but a simple small smirk, awaiting his turn.

 

RB:  You could never say that the following turn of events were expected.  One moment, Nick was standing alone in his chambers – messing about with his wayward hair, the next he was in a place that could be best described as a gothic romantic setting.  Water that was the colour of the night sky, sparkling with the reflection of the stars.  The hint of crushed rose petals – their scent enveloping him as the breezed picked up and made the leaves at his feet dance all about him.  He would need to smack himself twice to see if he was actually awake or not.  So fanciful, that it had to be a dream surely.  For a minute, he believed it was caused by a bad blood batch.  Nick reached for his sleeve cuffs and gave them both a pull slowly, as though he couldn’t simply stand still.  Was he uncomfortable about how this visage came to be?  All he knew was that he didn’t cause it.  Also, this is the last place he could ever dream up in his imagination.  No, this had a woman’s touch.  And that woman welcomed him with just one word.  Nick turned around to find that his hostess had also arrived, or she had been waiting for him.  Dressed in all white, which matched her long tresses, she was a vision to behold.  The dress doing well to embrace her figure – hugging so close that bone were clearly visible.  Her face was adorned with the black bandanna, just as it had been before.  It was more than just a fashion accessory, for he had never seen her without it.  Nick stepped off to walk towards her, only stopping just shy so that he may bow politely.  Forever the gentleman; regardless of the circumstances.  “Sophia.”  Nick straightened to full height, before adding.  “You look radiant this eve.  White is your colour.” –

 

~RB~

 

 

SA:  She bowed, in return. It was elegant, one hand reaching for her dress to lift it up by the hem only to gracefully bend at the waist, following his. It was then, when she bowed, that a glimpse of blue could be caught beneath the black mask, as it slipped just half an inch along her face before a gloved limb came up to fix it back in place, making sure the accident would not happen again. It was almost paranoia, which guided those long, slender digits to the mask, as one could even take her to be surprised, almost angry at the little slip. “Quite the Silver tongue, you are…” She remarked, up to his flattery of her, a grin playing on her lips, those scarlet red petals curling upwards gently. “I am sorry for kidnapping you on such a short notice… I believed you would’ve been done preparing by the time I was..” It would’ve taken him by surprise, then, when she soon turned around, her back coming to face him as the Mandalla tattoo was placed between her shoulder blades, at the top of her back. The ironic symbolization of the Flower of Life. “Could you help me, please…?” She murmured out as both her hands held onto the ends of her mask, which seemed to be unknotted, asking his help to tie it back over her optics. A test of trust – For he could choose to remove it altogether and leave her without it… or choose to help her tie it back. When he’d approach, he’d take in her scent, even more than their previous encounter. An almost intoxicant sweet scent, so very hypnotic, used to mask what lied beyond it. And when he’d touch her? The flesh on flesh contact would’ve been met with cold, like touching dry ice in the middle of winter, despite that alabaster skin being feather soft, velvet to the touch, and the color of marble glowing in the moonlight-

 

RB:  In a world far away from this one and in another time, there was a man known as Nick Savage.  He was always known to be a gentleman, well before he fell to the charms of a woman that saw to end his human existence.  But one thing about him, he never changed the way in which he would treat a woman.  That was very much a part of his makeup, something that you simply could not erase.  Though there would be those that tried his patience, he managed to contain any negative feelings deep down were none could see.  Sophia had his full attention now, and this was when she had a minor mishap with the black bandanna that covered her eyes.  The fabric slipped just slightly, but it was enough to reveal what was the very hint of blue.  Naturally, Nick tried not to show an abject curiosity, but he was more concerned about her by the way her hand was quick to move to put the fabric back to shield her eyes.  The Vampire then beamed when Sophia called him a silver tongue for his compliment about her beauty.  “You should know by now that I speak from the heart.” If there was one thing about her, he admired the way she recovered and held her own.  It was admirable in his eyes.  A chuckle escaped his lips when she apologized for kidnapping him.  “Oh I wouldn’t call it kidnapping, Sophia.  You can’t really say that if it was consensual. “  He wanted to be her guest, actually.  It had given him something to look forward too.  “Not every day I get to bring out the old tux.”  He pulled on the lapels of his coat in a haughty gesture.  His head tipping side to side, with his hair flopping about.  It really was unruly at the worst of times.  You could say it gave him a roguish air.  When Sophia turned and asked if he could help her with the bandanna ties that had become unknotted, Nick stepped up and then reached out to take the ends as they were offered. Indeed it was loose, probably from when she made her bow.  Delicately, with hands moving like he was conducting surgery, he carefully retied the fabric ties into a firm bow, that could still be pulled apart with some effort.  It was however standing this close to her, that he was able to drink in her scent.  Alluring as it was unusual.  Nick could even say it was intoxicating.  His fingers strayed to her hair, and as he lowered his hands, he couldn’t help but let the tips brush gently over her locks, before finally letting his arms fall to his sides.  He whispered in a coarse voice – almost in husky.  “That won’t come off again anytime soon, Sophia.”

 

~RB~

 

 

SA: “You seem to enjoy saying my name now.” It was almost a mockery, a teasing whisper which escaped her lips as she turned around only to let his hands wander and touch the mask which held one of the secrets she kept most greatly hidden. It even brought a small flinch of her form, one nobody could actually predict from a woman like her, when they gripped both ends of the mask, allowing her own paranoia to seep in – In all honesty, she felt like running away, deep within; A weak spot of the woman, one of the many she rarely displayed. Lips parted to allow a small gasp to slither between them as they half opened, almost anticipating the moment he’d grip the mask off her optics – Because if you were confronted with a mystery, your first instinct would be trying to uncover it, no? And yet, it came as a surprise to feel the mask even tightening more against her scalp, secured over her optics as it should have been in the first place. He spoke from the heart… It was the reason why he was still here, indubitably so. Sophia’s outcome for the Readings was only suggested by the three questions she asked, ever changing for each customer, allowing them to make the final decision over their… Fate, one would call it. Destiny. Or maybe Chance. Whatever it was, those three questions brought him here, still breathing. When his fingers trailed through those snow-white tresses, gently caressing some stray hairs which escaped the neatly secured bun on the top of her head, her mind flooded with memories long forgotten – Blind people see beyond sight, their senses deeply provoked to their full potential, bringing a true synesthesia over this being, despite no longer having a living breath: The simple touch brought a wave of memories through her mind, ambushing her like waves crashing against rocks on the shore, nevertheless without considering that his wandering digits reached a sensitive spot on her body – A weak spot, one so powerful that it brought another gasp from her, this time more audible, like a faint echo carried by the wind: The nape of her neck. She didn’t turn to face him, yet – She only allowed her head to slowly rotate along her neck, offering a gaze beyond that black mask his way. “Thank you.”

 

RB:  When you are standing before a woman who is as much a mystery as is what lays beneath the black bandanna, you tend to forget yourself.  This is what happened to Nick as he tightened the binding of her bandanna and reassuring her that it would not come undone again.  He did however let his fingers stray far longer than what was considered polite, but in doing so, Sophia reacted in a way that was unexpected.  He was sure he heard it – that audible gasp.  When was the last time a man had been so close to her and allowed the opportunity to touch her?  Nick’s face showed a mixture of concern, and also a hint of satisfaction that he could even make a woman sound that way.  It had been so long.  He blinked away the thought from his mind when he captured sight of her head turning – just enough that he could see her cheek.  She thanked him.  The vampire’s eyes lowered till he saw the nape of her neck.  As though sculptured by the very gods themselves.  Delicate…and beautifully curved till it met her shoulder.  Nick’s lips parted just slightly, and then remembering himself he closed it again and took a step back to allow her space to turn to face him.  “It was nothing, Sophia.”  There it was again.  He had repeated her name.  “Your name does so easily roll off the tongue.”  Perhaps she would believe that this was all in his plans, to be gracious to a fault – but he knew no other way.  “Should we have a stroll before dinner?  Or would you rather gaze at the stars afterwards?” –

~RB~

 

SA:   “Whatever you prefer.” A blunt statement rolled along her own tongue now, coming as a response to his question, before fully turning to face him. Face to face, as that mask hugged and entrapped her mystery optics fully in black, allowing it to create such a contrast between it and the alabaster skin of those delicate, feminine features. Plump red lips plucking upwards at their corners to offer a small smirk, as if teasing, provoking him to make a decision. She held her ground – After all, if Nick would’ve realized it by now, he was on her territory, a territory created by her own powers, engulfed into a perpetual illusion of being, the mere existence of this place trapped in a lock of dimension. Reality, he never left his chambers and yet he could feel everything – Each small breeze through his raven colored strands, each rose petal falling on his shoulders, each scent carried by the wind, the miasma of the roses mixed with her intoxicant sweet scent, only to intensify the hypnosis. “I’ve invited you to Dinner, no? It’s your choice how you wish to start off… The night is ours.” She punctuated those last 4 words, so beautifully that her words would’ve created a hypnotic trance on their own, almost inquired of seduction. Soon, her body twisted around to walk by his side only to pass him by with a single small signal, letting the tips of her gloved digits slowly caress over the back of his hand as she turned, walking within the ruins of this room, passing the scarlet curtains. As she walked, she almost seemed to be floating, if not for the barely audible clicking of her heels against the concrete floor, her hips swaying in their own little dance with each step she took as her shoulder blades rolled slightly in her motion. He could see it, now – Her spine, somewhat protruding as each vertebra danced along the middle of her back, curving her shape into a flexible S-shape, rolling each time she turned her body to look back and see him – Hopefully following.

 

RB:  Interesting as to the tone of her voice, for it did not match that beautifully yet disarming smile.  Face to face, he was again caught off guard by the way that the mask only accentuated the subtle alabaster sheen of her skin.  No other woman had skin like it, and the fact her lips were so full, so ripe as though they had been stung.  Nick wondered what they would feel like if he were to nip at them – tug that bottom lip enough till he could release it and let it spring back.  Oh she was a wicked one.  The hint of that smile; only drawing him in further into what must be her web.  Though he himself was a hunter of sorts, he had no doubt in his mind that she was an even greater predator.  But who wants to live in the shadows and hide from the delights of what it was like to dance on the edge of sanity.  Nick had no idea that this was all being projected by Sophia, controlled.  From the very air, the rose petals, and the gentle curtains that swayed softly to the breeze that now lifted his own locks and teased them like invisible fingers.  When Sophia finally answered his question, he hung on her every word.  She had invited him to dinner, and it was now his choice as to how they may start this night off.  ~The night is ours.~  Indeed it was.  Nick exhaled a simple breath and watched as she turned to lead him away to another part of the floor that was concealed by sheer red curtains.  As she passed he felt the touch of her fingers dance across the back of his hand.  It was fleeting, but enough to get his attention to move along after her.  But not before he watched her walk.  It was not walking.  She was gliding, though the sounds of her shoes did reach his ears.  Nick started to follow, rolling his own shoulders back and walking with purpose – boldness in his stride and he was quick to catch her up.  He was hungry….very hungry, but he wanted something more than just a meal.  “As we have all night, I would like to ask you for a dance first.”  This might have seemed out of the ordinary, but Nick was from another time.  He held out his hand as though he wished to lead her out to an open space on the balcony.-

~RB~

 

SA:   A Predator. It was probably the most suitable word for her and yet she was after so much more. Spirits were vengeful on their own and her vengeance ran deep within – Boiled deep inside of her, so intense that it would make blood rush through her veins with the power of a tornado, twisting and twirling the depths of her soul until there was nothing left to bend, but the Void. There mere mention of Void, Darkness which enveloped her being over time, clouding whatever reason left and only letting the burning, searing desire of Vengeance seep in like a savage beast rattling its chains, wanting freedom. There were many names for what she was, many mentions of her: The Doll, the Rusalka, the Black Widow, the Siren, all of them correct and all of them wrong – She was more than met the eye, despite being Blind, in the first place. The Monster, disguised into the shape of primordial Sin. She didn’t have to turn to feel him following her and yet the invitation to a dance only made her body gently roll to offer a gaze over her shoulder, a small, seductive grin playing on her lips as she stepped forward to the other side of the room, on the balcony. And there, the beauty of this room actually came to stand tall: The Moonlight, shining over them, offering her alabaster skin a certain radiant glow. Her body leaned against the concrete balcony, bending gently at the waist just a little to let her arms support against the hard surface.

 

 

RB:  There were no words spoken, not a yes or a no.  Instead, Sophia merely glanced back at him over her shoulder as she continued out towards the balcony.  Nick nodded with a hidden smile as he continued on after her, his hands now stuffing into his coat pockets, his shoulders hunching slightly.  Almost like stalking her.  Chasing beauty to the moon and back.  As he made his way upward, only then did the moon’s rays truly illuminate Sophia’s skin.  It was like she was herself a star.  Bright and glowing in wake of the moon.  The waters that were below shimmered in the offered light, and this only added to the magic of the setting that she had created.  Nick was still lost as to what Sophia truly was, but it really didn’t matter to him.  She had invited him to dinner, and though they had yet to feast on sweet morsels, he had already been privy to touch her tresses, granted permission to even tie her bandanna and smell her glorious scent.  Was he now the fly caught in her gossamer threads?  Maybe.  But in a dance, it is the man that always leads.   Nick approached her and with the roll of his wrist, he reached for her, encircling his right arm around her waist, in order to draw her body away from the balcony and up against him.  His left hand moving to capture her left hand –interlocking his fingers within hers.  “Shall we?”  He asked, gazing down at the face that was now tattooed into his mind…-

~RB~

 

SA: The tug on her form was a pleasant surprise, but a surprise, nonetheless, even for her seemingly lost in her own territory, gazing up at the moonlight. Soon, she found her back gently pressed against his chest, dragged away from the cold concrete only to have one of her hands gripped into his, the petite white limb ever so perfectly cradled by his larger one, almost completing each other. Her body turned so elegantly, reaching to face him one more while her right hand moved upwards. Tips of her soft, feather-like fingers trailed and caressed along his arm, before it locked around her waist, feeling his palm settling at her middle back, right where her spine curved so beautifully into that S-shape. Such a perfect fit to welcome his hand in that small little gap of her slender physique. Her digits kept trailing along his arm, from his wrist up to his elbow and his upper arm only to then slowly trace the line of his shoulder blade, dancing digits on their own before settling gracefully on his shoulder. A dance they will start, as the music began to play seemingly out of nowhere only anticipating for his first step, as their bodies barely brushed against each other once in awhile, making brief contact. Her, the woman in white, so cold to the touch that her skin could freeze anything it came in contact with, absorbing the heat from her surroundings, and him, the gentleman, ever so elegantly about to guide her in his dance. It was his turn, to play the Predator. It was his turn, to lead the stage as she positioned herself just right to easily be manoeuvred by him.

 

RB:  Sophia gave no resistance towards the vampire’s attempt to bring her into hold.  In fact, he could tell that she had danced before.  His fingers curled around to lock in place with hers, and he marvelled in the fact her hand was so much smaller than his own.  Delicate.  His right hand now firmly placed to the base of her back, and he stood very much proud  – like a peacock.  His chin rising as the music began on the very first step taken.  A waltz.  A traditional dance that had been taught to him by his mother.  Sophia was so incredibly light, that when the young Vampire spun her around in the dance, it was practically effortless.  Her dress was sweeping the floor as they moved in perfect precision and in harmony with the music.  Nick did feel however, the chill of coldness from the touch of his hands upon her, and though this sent a shiver through him, he carried on as though it didn’t bother him at all.  They glided around the stone floor of the balcony, the backdrop now a blur in behind them as Nick kept up the pace.  Only when the dance was coming to its end, did Nick look down at his dancing partner.  The music slowing to a point, where Nick dipped Sophia back.  In this hold he was hovering over her, and she was in the vulnerable position.  On her back foot, you could say.  Nick brought her up very slowly, and held her still as the music faded to nothing, and the night’s own chorus began again.  The vampire’s breathing had quickened, and his eyes had changed to a very deep red.

 

~RB~

 

.

SA:   She did dance before, although the memory was mostly a blur, just like the vast majority of her former life, only being able to grasp some fickle visions of it. She did remember dancing, under the moonlight like she was now – And what a beautiful dance they carried, right now, one she allowed him to lead. Each step of hers was carefully calculated, though, even if he indeed was leading, her movements were only meant to entrance, engrasp her partner into a constant hypnosis. Her scent carried by the wind with each twirl and spin, the hem of her dress so gently swaying against the concrete as they moved with each other in perfect unison, harmony. There was a point, where she did something on her own, only to let him know it was still her territory to begin with – Removing her form from his grasp, she only came to spin, moving her body into a pirouette as her slender physique twirled in the air, like the start of a tornado, only to let her scent be carried by a sudden breeze, his way. She came back, soon after. In a way that was so sensual, erotic and yet only meant to entice and provoke him even further. She back into his grasp, in reverse, letting her back bump against his chest as her arms reached up, coiled around his neck into a nice soft grip, running fingers through the raven strands only to look up at him, parting her lips in anticipation until he’d twirl her back to face him. As the dance was ending, she allowed herself to move and lower down as he carried her, keeping her inches hovering above the ground as one of her legs came to arch upwards, loop around one of his, for apparent support. Moments passed like that – just a few moments which seemed like an eternity, staring into each other. Not into their eyes, but into each other, until he brought her up. She noticed his panting. The change of chromatics in his hues, which only brought her body to press against his, chest on chest as one hand curled to trail fingertips along that dress shirt of his. Not saying a word, letting the silence fall over them, as the only audible sound was the wind rustling through the rose bushes.

 

RB:  Sophia knew how to dance, and well.  In fact she mastered it in such a way, that before he knew what was happening, he found her spinning back so that she would come to be with her back to his chest, and her arm like that of a serpent – winding its way up his neck to only tussle with his wayward locks.  His head motioned to move to the side, allowing her fingers better access.  Oh he liked this.  Though up till now he led the dance, Sophia had changed the pace and he was now finding himself moving to suit her.  The ending would have her coil her leg around him as he supported her frame and back.  This closeness only served to want more.  It was why his breathing quickened, as the predator within him was now fully awake.  The eyes were the tell tale sign, that she had stirred much more in him, and she had done it almost effortlessly.  Only when the dance was truly at its end, did the pair stand so close that their chests were touching.  Nick’s head bowed down, just inches from the top of hers.  Sophia didn’t speak.  She didn’t have too.  The vampire could feel it…deep down.  The lure was slowly dragging him in.  Whether she meant to do it; or not.  For the first time in a long time, he was lost for words.  Muted by her beauty.  The time for being a silver tongue was passed.  He could write her a thousand sonatas and yet it would not be enough.  She could see through false platitudes.  All he had to offer her…was his smile.  A genuine one.

~RB~

 

SA:  The dance was all it took – A dance where both body and spirit would come together, lacing with each other to create it, to create this perfect unison between them. A perfect collision of thought and feeling, giving emotion where there was none. And when it came to a halt, all that was left was the silence, as they stood there, facing each other. Her hand, still trailing along his chest as hers pressed against his, feeling how it heaved with every quickened breath he took, while, oddly enough, hers did not – For her, there was no breath to take, but only the cold marble pressed against his own flesh, yet delicate and soft, velvet to the touch. Eventually, her arm went around his neck again, as she leaned in – Tall, yet not as tall as him, having to lift her frame up for their cheeks to meet and the very tip of her lips to brush against his earlobe, to create a small whispered breath. “Take off my mask.” She said that, without departing from him, even resting her head so gently onto his shoulder, to the side, as her arms looped around his form, in a true serpent’s grip, waiting for him to undo his own bindings on the black fabric.

 

RB:  There was no heat to Nick’s frame, but there was one thing to be said.  Sophia was far colder than he was.  As though she had taken all the heat out of her surroundings and chilled it within her form.  Nick didn’t know what to do next.  He just stood there, until that moment her hand began to move and press to his chest.  He glanced downward and was almost about to bring his hand up to cover it, when she draped an arm around his neck and leaned in enough to have her head come to his shoulder – cheek to cheek.  The gentle yet seductive whisper of her voice that met his ear.  She wanted him to remove her mask.  Now, Nick had seen the way her hand had moved so quick to move the bandanna back in place when it became loose earlier.  She was bothered by it and she had asked him to tighten it again – which he did.  Now, she wanted him to take it off.   At first Nick’s brow creased as he tried to digest what she had asked.  But something inside him, pushed him forwards.  If this was what she wanted, then so be it.  Regardless of what lay beneath.  She had hidden it from view for a reason.  That to which he did not know.  Almost as though in a trance, he reached up behind her head, and felt for the loose tie that if pulled, would bring the bandanna undone.  The vampire closed his eyes, and pulled the tie slowly till the fabric loosened enough to fall free from her face.  All the while, he was caught in her hold.  If this was all part of her plan for ‘dinner’ then there would be no escape.

 

~RB~

 

 

 

SA:  It felt like an eternity. The moment when her arms were around his form, tugging at the back of his coat as if tightly gripping onto it, to hold onto him for what was to come. The moment when his fingers gently slipped the bandana off her features, only to keep it settled in his hand as the fabric touched his digits – Soft, yet oddly constricting, like the mask itself was a living creature. An eternity, which only amounted for less than a couple of minutes, until she was bare, stripped of her mask and yet she didn’t move. As if hesitantly moving from his shoulder to face him once more, eyes closed, as lids slowly began to part, like awoken from a deep sleep. And there it was – Her eyes. The abnormal optics she hid so much, the optics which were not staring up into his crimsons. And they were brilliant. Bright azure, such an odd chromatic. Deep, like the vast waters which surrounded them and yet, the anomaly was that they lacked pupils, giving them such a full, strikingly blue shade, like crystal glass. She didn’t blink – He’d find that soon. Her eyes never blinked as though they weren’t normal eyes to begin with. The eyes of a Blind woman, so strikingly, brilliant blue now stared up at him.

 

 

RB : What was Nick expecting to be behind the black bandanna?  He had earlier seen the odd sliver of blue, but nothing could prepare him for what she was about to reveal.  Nick felt the fabric give way and slide down.  He never let go of the end of the tie, but slowly drew it back so now her eyes and that part of her face would become exposed to the night…and him.  He even held his breath as he felt her beginning to move back from him and this was when he saw what was Sophia’s true beauty.  Hidden away from all, Sophia had just revealed the most brilliant azure eyes he had ever seen.  These were striking, a shade of blue that was more dazzling than sapphires.  The vampire simply couldn’t look away.  “Sophia…” her name whispered as though he feared others might hear.  Not that there was anyone else there.  Nick reached up to cradle her cheek with his right hand, as though he didn’t want her to move.  Why had she been hiding her eyes from the world?  He could see that she didn’t blink and that the optics didn’t move.  Sophia was blind, but she could see him.  She could see inside of him.  “You’re beautiful.”

~RB~

 

 

 

 

The Cards Never Lie.

 

Within the darkened halls of a Castle far off in the lands of Blood Rose, a Vampire walks – but little does he know that a woman seeks him out.  To find the answers to his past…his present and his future.

Co-written with SA.

 

RB:   

-It was in the wee hours that most of the Castle’s inhabitants were asleep.  This was Savage’s time to wander the hallowed halls on his night watch.  The Queen had stayed up late to attend to urgent business from one of her lesser allies, and so with the rabble having taken their leave, the Knight had the halls to himself once again.  The echoed sound of his footfalls would alert any that happened to enter the castle grounds that not all slumbered.  Eyes of silver narrowed at the slightest sound.  It was of course just the low whistle of the wind through the tower windows.  The odd clanking of metal chains that hung from the walls within the Queen’s chamber.  This was of course music to the ears of Nick.  Pressing his crimson stained lips together, he hummed to himself, as he walked along with a pronounced swagger.  Shoulders hunched forward, since he was conscious of his tall stature and how it appeared to others.  Onyx locks hung down over his eyes – his head bowed and his gloved hands shoved deep into his trench coat pockets.  Turning the corner, his shadow cast along the wall; almost like he was being followed by a ghoul of malice.  Taking his right hand from his pocket, he placed it up towards the weathered oak door to the Queen’s inner sanctum and let himself in.  Banners of the Blood rose ancestry hung from the walls, along with portraits of the former heads of state.  Soulless eyes staring down at the Knight as he passed under them – without care.  Reaching the middle of the floor, the Vampire tilted his head back and inhaled sharply.  The scent of dead roses still lingered within the air.-

~RB

 

SA:

What else could be said, about the creature that walked in the Halls of the most unlikely? She looked female, but most certainly was not one. More akin to a Monster. There was a presence to her. She wore a dark silk coat over her leather dress, the edges frayed, twisting as if alive. The lower half of her face could be seen, pale skin of alabaster, with dark red set lips. Such a heavy contrast between what was worn and what wasn’t. The coat was adorned with a silver chain, black pearls hung from it. As she entered, each sense held a tell. The sight of her, towering over others, despite an average height. The smell of burning incense, floating in thin air around her. The sound of her obsidian beads clanking together in her movement. Even the feel of her near. The air turned cold as she passed. The astute would notice certain aspects of the woman. Each movement lacked the mouth feel that was reality. When she moved, it was a smooth motion, perfectly done with its intention. And as she stood, or sat, it was completely motionless. The astute noticed she held no sway. Nothing that so attributed to the universal fact, that all are bound by Entropy. The way of Order into chaos, which invariably leads to the involuntary motion of cells fading away to death, only to be reborn, ad nauseam, until nothing but chaos is left. This was her, lacking in that fact. Chest did not rise nor fall. Each white strand of hair had its place, even found her lacking a shadow. There was a feeling of wrongness, however sleight. That which couldn’t possibly be, was. Subtle as it was, many would choose, instinctively or not, to ignore it. This was the Fortune Teller, the Blind Reader. “Fortunes told, for Females bold. Males apply, for a different side. The price is set, as can be. Three questions answered, truthfully.” She spoke in a deep rumbling of a voice, yet with a feminine accent, delicate and suave through a sardonic smile, pearly whites. The only polite way to bare fangs in company and as she spoke, her hand trailed long digits along a silver case in which lied a deck of cards. “Good evening~.”

 

RB:  

The slight sound of the crack of bone, caused by the turning of Nick’s head could be heard by those with sensitive hearing.  This was in response to the sudden arrival of another within the grounds.  The Knight glanced upward towards the time piece – a clock of some five hundred years, and he knew it was too early for dignitaries to grace the castle with their presence.  Turning on the ball of his right foot, yet remaining stony faced, Nick faced the entrance to which a woman appeared.  His brow creased slightly on the sight of her.  Remarkable, would be a word to use to describe her.  But the first thing he was aware of was the scent of burning incense.  Like the kind you found in quaint shops within the Asian markets.  In fact, Nick could not remember the last time he had smelt such a thing, though it brought about a hazy recollection of a woman he once knew.  The woman spoke in rhyme, and it piqued Nick’s interest.  From what was said, he assumed, be it wrong or right that she was a Fortune teller by trade.  Her voice could be described as being rich, yet with a dark quality.  This added to her allure, especially when she smiled.  ~Mmmmm~  The sporting of her elongated fangs, that pressed against her plump lips.  Naturally, it awakened the Knight deep within, and he withdrew his gloved hands slowly from the depths of his pockets.  Eyes like quicksilver traced their way down to the deck of cards that she held in her hands.  A reader of fortunes and dreams.  What price would he pay to hear her wisdom this eve?  The vampire made a curt bow, as he felt that formality was first and foremost of importance when meeting someone new.  “Salutations, my Lady.   Is it not a little late to be out on one’s own?”

~RB~

 

SA:

She could be the easiest categorized as a puzzle, the pieces of it scrambled all over the ground as none of the pieces had any connection to each other – They didn’t fit, no matter how much one would try to assemble the puzzle. A black mask placed upon her upper facial features, hiding them from sight as if guarding them away from outside view – Her greatest, darkest secret which laid beneath that mask. The appearance of this ‘woman’ lacking beauty defined by society’s standards, the appearance of a rather anorexic build and an impressive height, making her almost like a walking skeleton, if not for the delicate curves, though very slight contoured. Alabaster skin, porcelain pale, with no blemish on them but a single scar at the middle of her chest, hidden by her dress and a Mandalla tattoo, on her upper back: The Flower of Life. How ironic, for a being who was closer to Death, than to being alive. She made no sense, at all. Her movements, robotic, performed like a true machine, lacking sway and yet feminine at the same time, as if trying her best to enhance and intensify the façade of being an actual living girl. One would almost feel obligated to pity a Blind woman and yet there was something different about this one. A mixture, a synesthesia in all its beautiful meanings, from the scent of incense burning seemingly from her own body, to the coldness which now surrounded the room, most to all of the surrounding’s heat absorbed only to emanate back the cold air. From the mechanical movements of her form to the delicate features to create this beautiful façade to don upon. To his bow, she returned with one of her own, figure bending at the waist like a true machine would, snow-white tresses cascading down over her features, until she rose back up. “You see, I am a Seeker. Many would call me a Stargazer – A Seeker of Knowledge. I travel this realm in search for new discoveries, new ways to push the boundaries which hold life’s limitations. I seek Art, but what is beyond that written on a papyrus or painted on a blank canvas; I seek the Art of being.” She paused. A long pause, as if to take an inhalation of breath, though there was none – There was no breath to take. A hand placed upwards again as index finger pointed, towards her own face. “I wouldn’t feel so threatened. After all, I am Blind.”

 

RB: 

-Nick found himself drawn in by the woman’s charm and candour.  She was so different from the many beauties that had graced these halls in a way that was hard to describe.  Those he had seen before had vitality, and colour to their skins, but he found them shallow and wanting of attention that was never to be gained.  Nick frowned upon such silliness that he had seen and had to endure silently.  This woman was unique and not only intriguing – be it from her scent, but also in the way that she moved.  Call it hypnotic, and in some ways robotic.  A beautiful woman of noble stature who was quite tall, taller than those within the palace walls.   Skin pulled taught over her frame, yet the curves that were shown from the tightness of her bodice and skirt showed she did carry some muscle.  They say that beauty is skin deep, but in the case of this woman, hers was haunting yet refined.  She was…a work of art, and she spoke the words of one that was worldly.  Travelled far, and seen so much.  Yet…that was the catch.  She wore a mask over her eyes, and for reasons that were still unclear, she was by all accounts blind.  A seeker; or a stargazer as she so eloquently put it.  Ever searching the lands to learn more, to drink in what others have to offer and feed her taste for the art of life.  Nick brought his arms up and while his left crossed his chest, he held up his right elbow so he could strum his long fingers along the edge of his chin.  A woman of winter white, pale soft skin that looked to be kissed by the moon’s light.  She did not breathe….her chest did not rise nor fall.  Alive, but not.  Had Nick found her to be a kindred spirit?  She spoke of seeking knowledge within outer realms, but not the kind that are written by scribes, or painted by the masters – but word of mouth.    Lowering his arms without word, Nick took a step towards the woman, regarding her with interest.    “You do not look as though you would be threatened easily, my Lady.  I have no doubt in my mind that you could hold your own.”  This was said with the slight hint of a smile.  He was taken in by her, though he might well wonder why.  “Though, I don’t know if this is the best place to find the kind of art you seek, I know of a tale or two that may interest in you.”

 

~RB~

 

SA: 

They say a certain flame could burn so bright as to steal the heat of its surroundings, giving it the feeling of being no flame at all – but ice. If this was the case, it surely was a characteristic of the woman. The temperature dropped increasingly so, as if her very being there created an upset in the world around her, a state where reality met illusion and tangibility had no grasp on the laws of this earth anymore. An omnipresent feeling of coldness, heat perfectly absorbed by her – She didn’t bring the cold, no – She simply burned so scolding hot for it to emanate from her in waves of cold air, even though her very skin was the touch of ice itself, colliding against flesh, upon contact. That sardonic grin came again to pull up the corners of crimson lips, only to bring a response to the male’s words, a non-verbal communication given by just that simple, yet remarkably complex gesture. And then what? There was no sight for this woman – at least not the certain sight a commoner would be familiar with for she ‘saw’ beyond what others could see and the price for that was her own optics, optics that were kept secret from view. It almost caused a paranoia from her, a tick which soon came into stage as one hand was brought up to scratch along her temples, fixing the mask, keeping it in place. An ordinary tick, performed frequently according to her own paranoia of having the mask somehow slip from her face. Which she could not afford. While he took in her, she took in everything there was about him, like Predators encountering each other on an open field. Each detail, perfectly soon deposited in the depths of her mind, each characteristic of this male simply placed as input, data, stocked like a machine whose sole purpose was to gain…knowledge. As he moved towards her, she moved too, with a step forward and then, one to the side, as if creating a small dance only to soon have them both circle each other. “A tale?” That piqued her interest, slightly and with that, her hand moved to pull and pluck the deck of cards from her silver case, their metal prison, putting it aside to have them in her palm. The back of them, black, with an odd looking sigil cast and painted over the dark backdrop, assumingly the brand of Tarot used – But the front was an oddity. Each card, no matter how many there were, was blank white. “I would love to hear a tale…”

 

RB:

-Walls that had stood the test of time, held within them the stories of the many families that had lived and died.  If only those stone cold walls could speak, they would tell the most amazing of stories, that could captivate the listener into a bright and colourful world that existed long ago.  Over many years, one does acquire a taste for the unusual and macabre.  Nick felt that to tell anything of what had gone on before this woman’s arrival could be the giving away of the secrets to which he had been sworn to keep close to his chest.  However, with all asleep, the Vampire was going to be bold, and tell the tale of the current monarch.  Nick moved his arms back, so as to clasp his hands in behind him, as he straightened his posture.  He did not stare at the girl’s mask, but rather – looked past her to a simple picture that hung upon the wall.  “You would think that a woman of noble birth would want for nothing.  Least that is what some would believe.”  Nick lowered his gaze momentarily, to show a darkening of his irises as he remembered the fateful night.  “Deep divisions within her family had driven her to despair.  War looming, and the constant bickering of children that were old enough to know better drove the Queen to split herself.  One that would feel nothing, the other part of her was to become a simple rose, whose colour changed with that of her mood.”  This may sound fanciful and even farfetched, but truth was often stranger than fiction.  “The children simply did not see the change.  The lack of emotions as the Queen walked among them, while in a special chamber, the petals of the rose were slowly falling.  One by one.”  Nick paused for a moment, before continuing.  “You would expect that the children could see the change…feel no warmth of love from what was once a woman that exuded it so passionately.  They were blind to her sadness, and it was this…recklessness on their part.  The immaturity and selfishness, that was in fact killing her slowly.  Softly.”  The vampire’s voice trailed off….

~RB~

 

SA: 

She listened. It felt like ages since she actually listened to a story that managed to pique her interest and intrigue her, at least, after such a long time when stories were what she lived for, the Seeker – A true Seeker, at heart, yet she had none beating in her chest, despite the pulse that could be heard at a close distance. There was no blood to rush through her veins to create one, but more. A hand came up to make sure the mask was still placed upon her vision, hiding it from sight of others as the story went on. All the while, those wide Cards shuffled in a one-handed almost impossible shuffle given the shape of her petite limb which enwrapped along each card in their dance. As if waiting for something to happen, they obeyed their master, caught in an endless shuffle, anticipating the climax of the story – each card, stark white, with no description at all and yet, there was an aura to them, an energy which only emanated waves of darkness like raging tides crashing against the rocks on the shore. A nearby table was spotted by whatever lied beneath that black bandana as her body soon circled his once more, like a Predator, to make sure its prey would not flee away – and yet, by now, she knew they were both Predators. And the game has begun. With ease, her body shifted to take a seat at the table, as a chair was instantly pulled across from her, with no intervention from the Reader, at all. A chair awaiting him as Cheshire-like grin only came to take its rightful place upon the femme’s alabaster features into a sardonic mockery of sorts as the cards kept shuffling now on the table in front of her. “Poor child…” Was all she could mutter out. Her lack of Empathy made it so she could not resonate with humanly known emotions and yet her intelligence only cast a sense of understanding. She understood emotions, enough to get her way around people in certain socialization situation, despite lacking the skills for them – But she could not resonate in feeling them; Which is why her statement came off rather crude. Mocking, even though it was never her intention.

 

RB:

It was so easy for one to get lost in the telling of a tale.  In a way it revealed a side to Nick that few had ever seen.  While his often cold exterior and being known as a man of few words, he had managed to weave a tale, that was both sad, and romantic even.  Like a fascination with a fairy tale, that may never have a happy ending.  It took the Vampire a moment to compose himself – that was until the woman responded by simply saying “Poor girl..”  It was like a slap in the face, and one that brought Nick around quickly.  Nick had not noticed the appearance of the table that she was now seated at, and it was unusual that something like this would arrive almost unnoticed.  The chair opposite the fortune teller moved outward so that the Vampire might take a seat.  Before making his way towards the table, the Queen does appear.  Nick’s eyes snap open, and he is lost for a moment, till he knows he must show respect.  He had just been telling her story, to the fortune teller, and now she is amongst them.  He changed direction, and came before her so that he may bow politely.  “My Queen.”  Nick notices her take off her mask and that she is wiping something, that he knows right away is blood.  “You have taken ill?”  He is of course, worried for her health.  “My Queen, a teller of fortunes is here.” – He raised his hand to where the girl is sitting at a table with a deck of cards. –

 

SA:

‘Closer…’ She could almost feel him entering her own territory. Her own little game, about to start. She could almost feel how close she was from installing her own grasp as the cards began to shuffle faster now, in an almost hypnotic trance only to drive the man even closer. And closer and closer until he would sit down – But then, the interruption happened, one which only caused the femme to lose focus, stifling a small growl in as the cards fell flat on the table, rearranging themselves back into the deck. “Queen?” She managed to muse out softly, realizing that the odd woman coughing blood was actually the one in the story, slim white brow quirking upward as the male went to greet her in such a respectful matter. She didn’t rise from her seat – but only given a small nod in greeting, those black claws slowly digging into the wood, impatient and displeased by the woman’s verbal approach. “Mi’Lady.” She began, one hand rising up eventually, palm facing them both. “…Reading ones Fortune is far beyond telling ones Future… It’s a far more complex art than just that.. for you see.” Her hand lowered gently, index finger tapping along the now neatly arranged deck. “…The Cards never lie.”

 

RB:

The Queen dismissed Nick’s concern off the bat.  Something she was prone to doing from time to time.  The Knight did not persist to question her further, as she had just fixed a new mask on to replace the one that she had soiled.  The smell of her blood was still faintly wafting in the air, and Nick’s jaw tightened as he showed restraint.  Swallowing hard, he resumed a more regal stance but then remembered that the Fortune teller was waiting.  Silver eyes darted to the table, where the cards were now neatly arranged again in the formation of the deck; her index finger tapping them as she explained that what she did was more than just telling fortunes.  In her words, the cards never lie.  “If you don’t need me, I wish to see what this woman has to say…about my fortune.”  The right hand corner of Nick’s lip twitched, and there was the flash of an elongated fang on display.  He didn’t think that sitting down with the woman, would hurt.  Much.  So, he wandered over and turned the chair around with the quick flick of his wrist, then straddled it, so he could fold his arms across the top.  “Enlighten me.”  He was to the point, and stared at the woman’s bandanna that masked her eyes. –

 

~RB~

 

SA: 

“To Read ones Fortune entails so much more than the Future. The spreads I used, they are based on the questions my clients put. You see, my most common one is using the 3-star fold, in which there is Past, Present and Future as well as one card that represents my client. So, in all honesty, Fortune Telling is an art – The art of truly –Reading- a person in the deepest meaning, down to their core, regardless of their future. It depends on their question.” A hand came up in the air again and this time, her digits folded together, palm facing the strangers a sign that she had more to say. Another faked inhalation, only to primarily carry on the facade of humanity, for her chest did not rise in normal respiration phenomenon. “Fortune Telling is all about helping my client get an answer. The Future is ever changing, indeed, for Fate’s twisted ways change with her ‘current mood’ so to speak, and so I do not read Future, per-se, but the consequences of my client’s answer, which the cards show. Mi’Lady. The Cards never lie.” And they were odd cards, in all honesty. Completely blank, white, null and void of traditional imagery. “Furthermore…” Pause. “I state my price first off depending on gender. Now, I don’t mean to discriminate, of course…You may find this odd, but Fortune Telling has a much higher percentage of Women customers. Simply put… I tailor my advertising to my largest audience. The price point is also much different. As I do not take money, but something far more… idealistic. Men have much different, idealistically, to offer, then a Woman. On top of all that. . . Then there is the fact that most Men do not wish to pay the price for a Reading as refined as my own” She shrugged again. Her head craned to the side. “Let me put it in laymans terms, that you may know. Men do not ‘believe in bullshit psychics’; and the con that they perpetual on their ‘weaker’ Female counterparts.”; She paused, and leaned forward. The grin went from being Sardonic, to being cruel grin. The only polite way of baring ones teeth in Civilized company. “So, that is the first aspect on which I base my price in. As for the other, the price is decided after all Three questions from the Reader were answered. So, of course… Each price is personal. Individually crafted, to match the one who wanted the pact.”

 

RB:

Nick leaned forward whilst using his arms as a way of propping himself on the chair.  Left arm draped across the chair back, with his right fist poised beneath his chin.  The vampire listened intently to what the woman had to say, but also was taking in her mannerisms.  Noting that although she appeared to be taking in breath, her body or chest were not inflating, the way a humans would.  She moved her hands, like a carnie at a state fair.  Digits moving fluidly as though almost dancing, and mesmerizing in a way that was hard to look away from.  It was like she used her hands to do the talking.  Animated, yes that was how she appeared.  The deception of being life like, when in fact she wasn’t.   Nick understood what she was saying, when she was to name a price, that was rated according to the gender of the customer.  From her point of view, Fortune tellers had more women folk as clients.  He could totally get as to why that was.  His reason however was more of curiosity if anything.  That and he had been kind enough to tell the story of the Queen, and now he wished for her to do the same.  Though, he was to pay a price.  But what would that be?  What could he possibly have that she would want?  Silver coins?  No, not material that was for sure.  It was then she showed a change in her facial expression.  This was a woman who was used to get what she wanted.  Nick made up his mind then and there that he was willing to pay that price, since he felt he had nothing to lose.  “Alright.  You have set the deal.  Now, ask away.”  –

 

~RB~

 

SA:

The Queen left. A shame, for she could’ve shot 2 rabbits with a single bullet, at that, yet she didn’t mind as much – Before going for the big prize one must crawl their way step by step, no? Her attention directed itself back to the male who sat down at her table again – The moment he did, the cards began to shuffle once more, in understandment of his statement, which brought out a small chuckle from her. “So impatient… You don’t even want to know the price.” Yet, she knew what he was thinking of being the price, what everyone with a little bit of working grey matter in their brains believe to be the price and yet the reality was much more grim. But, he agreed. And as she spoke, she took her hand. A solitary black claw, that slipped between the pale lines of her palm. From it bubbled dark pitch. A solitary droplet hit the table. It ate away the wood work like acid. It followed a lined path all its own. A circle, with two diagonal lines intersecting it. Her symbol, the one that was present on the back of her cards, as well. “The pact is made.” Her other hand held the deck of large faced cards, oddly blank. “Ask your question.”

 

RB:

The pact was made.  The two now facing off against each other.  Oh her chuckle showed that she did have the upper hand, as the fortune teller had not revealed a price.  “I’ll take my chances and see what the outcome is.”  Nick’s lips thinned as he gazed down at the droplet that had hit the table, and now created a pattern, that was her symbol, like the backs of the cards.  The vampire drummed his long fingers against his chin, before dragging his fingers downward and finally letting go.  He decided then and there he was going to enjoy this.  Now that the Queen had retired, he had a more relaxed posture and knew he didn’t have to snap to attention anytime soon.  “Right then, my question.   Why didn’t Legion kill me when he had the chance?”  Legion was the one that Rose had chosen to test Nick if he wanted to be a part of her guard.  The creature, that even Nick had a hard time figuring out, had used an attack that was designed as a last resort….a kill shot.  Yet the moment that Nick accepted the strike, and what it entailed….ie, death, Legion offered a vial to counter the effect of his virus.  Nick stared at the woman’s face and awaited her answer.

~RB~

 

SA:

The solitary black droplet of what was supposed to be her blood, if she even had any, soon rearranged all the woodwork on the table and shifted each line carved in the hard surface to mold into her own symbol. It was her Pact, the way to let them know that now? Now they’ve stepped in their territory. “I will read you a 3-Star fold. One card will be drawn first, the card which represents you – That card is ~you~ and each card, later on, will revolve around it. The Past. The Present. The Future.” She didn’t ask if he understood. Whether or not he did, she would still enjoy this game, for she felt this was no ordinary man. His question actually brought back her curiosity. . The Reader heard them all: Questions about Fame, Lust, Power, Love, Eternal Youth or whatever-the-fuck Fortune one might state, believing that Fortune Telling was simply based on the good things. It wasn’t. So, for somebody to ask such a question, so different from the rest, was like a breath of fresh air, finally, after years. Centuries? She almost lost track of time. “I really did hope, my dear, that you do not expect my Reading to be one of those cliches where I tell you that ‘You will meet a tall dark stranger and live happily ever after, right? Because it won’t be – The cards never lie; They always speak the truth, even when honesty is cold heartedly… blunt. So, I thank you. For giving me a change.” Despite such mocking words from the Reader, there was curiosity to it, mainly deduced by the fact that smoke started to come from the card, each time she tried placing them down in a shuffle – The deck itself did not like this man present at the table. The tendrils which looped around her feet, those black cannibals of darkness almost roared, displeased towards the Reader herself, revolting against the one across her. “Hush.” – She bluntly grunted, towards her own shadows of those cards, until they obeyed, stopped fighting against the Teller’s will. “The cards do not like you…”

 

RB:

“What’s to like?”  Nick said with a shrug of his shoulders.  Since his arrival in the Kingdom, there have been those that figured that the vampire wanted something other than just to sit in a chair all day and greet those that entered like a mindless twat.  The truth however was something that no one would expect.  As for resorting to the types of questions like…a romanticized ideal of Miss or Mister Perfect, it was enough to make Nick snort loudly in disgust.  “Please, I am not some hapless fail who is seeking the dream come true. “  Now Nick was being honest.  His face displayed that he thought little of the ones who constantly asked him for a date.  But back to the cards.  He didn’t get an answer to his question.  “My first question was asked, I was not expecting the cards to play profiler.”

~RB~

 

SA: 

“Good.” – She mused out in a sort of chuckle, pleased by his response even though there was still irony in the skeptical way of the Reader’s doings. She understood, so far, that he was not ordinary, quite far from it and yet she did not have the certitude that he would live, by the end of this Reading. After all, it’s why she based her price according to gender, first, taking quite the discrimination towards men. A living dead girl with a perpetual amnesia of her former life except that of her killing – by the one she loved. But what was she? One would simply mistake her for a bloodsucker, of sorts, like the man across her and yet she was nothing, not even close to it. Oh no… This woman was something else, as the first hint would’ve been those dark tendrils rummaging under the table to soon take grasp of her own being, coiling, lacing and dancing around the table, as if forming a circle around it. Their Pact, their own moment of intimacy. Like having a romantic dinner, under the moonlight – Although he might prove to be the Dinner at hand. “I will ask you 3 Questions, throughout the Reading… If you choose not to answer one, another will be asked to replace it. If you choose to lie in your answer… well…” The grin was back, cruel now, as if to show that he had no reason to lie, for his own existence laid like under a constant swinging pendulum. “The Cards will know. And after their little fit, I don’t think I have to explain further why that is such a bad, bad idea…” They submitted, in the end. Allowed the creature to place them into an odd formation, with one vertical and three other cards horizontally placed, below the first one. Two digits hovered above the vertical one, as she spoke. “This is the card which represents you. It is the one all the other 3 will revolve around. This card, is you.” And while she spoke, she lifted it and placed it face up. It wasn’t blank anymore, no – But the image of a Lion and a woman, tugging at the creature’s maw, the image of an Infinity symbol shaped halo hovering above her head. “Strength”.

 

RB:

Nick watched with a raised brow when the first card was shown, and this was the card of strength.  It was not exactly what the vampire was expecting to see, but then again he was new to all of this.  Once again he rested his chin upon an upturned fist with his shoulders turning in slightly almost like he was hunched over.  With his height and the angle of the chair, he just found the need to sit with an almost casual air.  He was informed that she was going to ask him three questions, which was not at all what he thought was expected.  He still didn’t get the answer to the question he asked of her and her cards.  There was that sinister grin again.  Like a cat that just ate a plump canary.  He half expected feathers to be poking out the sides of her mouth.   Nick let out a heavy exhale of breathe when he was told not to lie.  The cards already didn’t like him, so what point was there in lying.  “Three questions?  Alright, ask away.”

~RB~

 

SA:

‘Ah, Strength. Quite the misleading card of the Major Arcana. This card continues the lesson of the Chariot, showing that once we have learned to control emotion. This is a Fire card, and therefore detrimental to all the emotions. The only qualities that abound in Strength are courage and patience. Courage, the antithesis of Fear. There is no emotion here, but determination. The Symbology of the Lion…The image of the woman opening the mouth of the lion shows both courage and patience. It’s a card which, first of all, explains the Duality between them both. So Strength is not a card of compassion and love, but a card of quiet yet unstoppable power. Such power radiates from the soul, and for a consciousness aware of this power, there can be no resistance, and no defeat. But with Strength and Power, comes responsibility. One must be aware of it, at all times. One might fall in the pits of their extremes. Interesting.” She slid it against the woodwork, until it reached the other side of the table, to him. “How did you die?” It was her first question, which quite bluntly stated that she ~knew~.

 

RB:

“How did he die?”  At the asking of this question, Nick automatically pushed himself up so that his back was straight and rigid.  His lips twisted and he reached up to scratch his cheek.  All this movement, so sudden off a direct question.  It was one that he could answer of course, but it also fostered memories that he would rather forget.  “A woman..”  Nick said, almost flatly.  “One that to this day has been able to hold part of me in a vice like grip.”  There was now a coolness to his voice, his eyes also reflecting the somber change in mood.  “Course, you already knew that.”  Nick’s eyes narrowed as he stared at the bandanna covering the woman’s eyes.  “Promised immortality….but she left out one small detail.”  At this there was an almost haunting smile playing upon his lips.  “That I’d die at her hands to get it.” Nick scoffed, and then looked away momentarily.  “Next question?”

~RB~

 

SA:

When he got up, she felt like instantly pointing to the circle which now grew closer to him, as if making sure he would not leave. This was a Pact of life, one he could not escape until the Reading was over. Even if he were to step out of the Circle, he wouldn’t have gotten far. A small reminder. It didn’t faze her, when he reacted that way. There was no compassion to this woman, nothing but the cold which soon travelled along the entire room. Oddly so, it felt cold, but it felt like the warmth of the room was instantly absorbed by her. “Refrain yourself, please.” It was such a cruel, crude statement and yet never sounded as dismissive as thought it would – It was honesty, such cold hearted honesty that it seemed like she wasn’t much different from the Cards she shuffled in her deck. “You’ve wandered off.” It was such an odd, vague statement from the Reader, as it all was with her. No beginning nor end in everything which concerned her being, a statement left to the man’s interpretation. She did not continue it in order to state from what he wandered off, but it became visible that the Darkness –knew- at least something of this man. In many ways, they were alike, despite being so different – They both had creatures lingering within with which they have created bonds, they both found Death by the hands of people they assumingly cared for and yet, the Teller was… much more grim. Two digits hovered once more above the next card – One of the horizontal ones. And it shifted it around, to become vertical, before flipping it over. The first oddity of this card was that it was Upside Down. The second oddity, being that the card was The Wheel of Fortune. And on the wheel, the image of the Lion, hanging upside down onto it. Each Card revolved around the First One. “Huh.” She stated. Almost surprised by the outcome, given the fact that a wheel, placed upside down, is still a wheel as it becomes regular once spun around. “How ironic…” A few seconds passed for the Reader to make grasp of the situation itself, before musing out once more. “Your Past is represented by the Wheel. You’ve never had balance in your past. Your Past was a continuous spinning motion of the Wheel. A constant cycle. You’ve been to the highest point of it. But soon found yourself at its lowest. You’ve never found an equilibrium to it, and yet you’ve always stayed constant…” She did not pass the card along. None of the others were, except for the first one. “Second question… Why this Kingdom? What made you swear Loyalty?”

 

RB:

His movements may have seemed abrupt, but it was a mere change in posture, from a more slouched, or hunched over way of sitting, to actually sitting up straight.  He hadn’t left the table and so her comment left him feeling somewhat confused.  He answered the question in his own way and spoke of it as though trying to detach from it.  Or stay impassive.  “If you mean I wasn’t direct enough in my answer, I didn’t feel that I needed to give you the ins and outs of the actual act or deed.  Just…who did it and why.”  Watching the turning of the next card, Nick stared down at it and surprisingly knew exactly what it meant.  The teller’s reaction though actually was comical.  She didn’t expect it, obviously.  Now Nick folded his arms across his chest on the asking of the next question.  “Why did he swear loyalty to this Kingdom?”  Nick paused for a moment, as he remembered when he first entered.  “Honestly?  Because the moment I walked in the door, I was asked to be tested.  That has never happened before.”  The vampire’s bottom lip jutted out momentarily; before he sucked it back in.  “I was taken to an arena and pitted against a man loyal…deeply loyal to the Queen.”  You could see Nick’s fingers drumming his forearm slowly.  “I was injured in an attack that I refused to run away from.  I’m not a coward, and I don’t run.  The Queen insisted healing me…even after I told her no.  Something about her selflessness in helping me made me think.  If she was willing to suffer herself, then she was worthy of my service.  If that makes sense?”

~RB~

 

SA:

She remained stoic to both his answers, choosing not to respond in any way – It wasn’t her place to disrupt his train of thought, as long as she was given truthful answers to her questions. She’d keep the feedback, for the end. Her index and middle finger now hovered upon the middle card. Shifted it into a vertical position before flipping it over, to reveal the image. The image of the Lion and Maiden, standing in front of Seven Cups, each Cup holding something, either a gem, a necklace, or even creatures like snakes and dragons. “This is the Seven of Cups. The Seven of Cups represents your Present. Who and what you are now. The Card symbolizes a Decision, one you must make at a certain point in your present, one you are currently confronting with. Careful, for not all the choices are real – Some are imaginations, hallucinations. Some are represented by your own delusions. Most of the times, the card symbolizes Temptation, when confronted with so many options, that you need to have the will to choose the right one. You’re confronting yourself with the decision. Which cup to pick.”There was one more card left unturned, on the table now. One horizontal card, which held his Future and 2 questions by the reader. “If you had a choice to change your question right now, at this moment, before the card which holds your Future is lifted, would you change it? Or would it still remain the same?” It was a test, to determine the price of her Reading – All three questions were in fact little tests in order to place an individual price for the woman across the table. It was how she worked – Each reading was personal and each price was molded individually to match her clients.

 

RB:

“I see no reason to change it.”  Nick was quite serious in his delivery. “It would remain the same.”  He felt he had nothing to gain from changing it.  The last card that had been turned over, was supposed to be about temptation.  While he could not see as how that related to him within the Kingdom, it was clear that the Fortune teller believed that he was going to have to make a decision and soon.  To choose one of the offered cups.  Nick had nothing to say about the card, other than he had sworn loyalty to the Queen after the fight with Legion, if that counted for anything.  There was one card left to be turned, and this was of his future.  Did he even have one? Did anyone?  “Ask your last question.”

~RB~

 

SA:

Her digits hovered above the last card. Tapped it a couple of times, as if anxiously anticipating herself the outcome of it. It was soon flipped, after being turned to a vertical position. And to her card, the Reader almost gasped. Froze, before a sardonic grin came across pale nude lower features, a Cheshire-like grin to spread lips apart and bare her sharp pearly whites to the imagery of the card: The Lion, on the ground, stabbed with Ten Swords into its body. “My my my…” She began. “…Your Future is represented by the Ten of Swords.” It was such a morbid visage. It would’ve only taken One sword to kill a man and yet this card had Ten. It wasn’t murder – But annihilation. “This is the Card which bares your Future, regarding to the choice you make in your Present. The ultimate manifestation of the Swords, inevitable result. Those who refused to listen to the Ace of Swords shall, in the end, be impaled by the Tenth. Many take this card for its negative implications and yet…” Index finger tapped along the upper part of the card, against the black night background which held, in the corner, one small ball of yellow. “…The Sun is up, against the black sky. Enlightenment. A new beginning. You will learn from your mistakes. Or you will be impaled by them.” After she was done speaking, she leaned in, forward, having both her elbows on the table and her head resting onto her palms, as if directly looking at him, beyond the bandanna. “Did you figure out the answer?” This wasn’t a question for his prize, just curiosity – With all the cards turned, and the first one closest to him as the other 3 rested to her side of the table, she wanted to see if he would figure it out, before stating her price.

 

RB:

The final card.  Such shocking imagery…macabre, yes, but intriguing and enlightening.  Throughout life, it is all trial and error.  It’s the only way we learn.  Growing in fact through the pain of our mistakes.  This card brought everything back full circle to the question he had asked initially, and that was why did Legion spare him with the vial?  “I believe I did find the answer after all.”  It wasn’t the fact that Legion didn’t kill him, but that he accepted the vial, and thus lived another day.  Or an unlife, if you could call it that.  Legion would have never heard the end of it from the Queen, after she had specifically called the match to be no death.  Nick was prepared to fight to whatever conclusion there was.  It just ended so abruptly.  “I chose my fate.  I agreed to fight…then I accepted his offer of help…eventually.”  After he said this there was nothing but silence.

~RB~

 

SA:

There was one card left, where there were none. The woodwork created by the Pact bond by the Reader seemed to boil down, like acid sinking even deeper into the material. It burned. It boiled and sizzled. It let out smoke, like a furious dragon and made ~one~ card jump from the deck, right in the open palm of the Teller, to which her expression changed drastically into a scowl, deeply infuriated. She knew what it was. “…Blood Tarot is the most consuming system. It always ends with a Card for the Reader.” She wouldn’t show it to her client, but she looked at it, herself, despite already knowing it – The card never changed, despite numerous Readings performed. A perpetual state which leaped beyond tangible grasp only to lay neatly into the creature’s hand. The Card of Death, Upside Down. The Creature who could never find Death. It took her awhile to snap out of it – The trance it created, looking at that card for so long as if desperately trying to force it to change – It never did. One card for the Teller and never a good one. That was the way of Blood Tarot, the price she had to pay in return for the Reading. The card to damn her entire existence, her whole ‘life’ condemned by one simple card around which revolved everything. Darkness itself. Her. With a snap, her body stretched and with it, each joint crackled into a loud noise as if trying to shake off the whole Reading. Detach and cut the strings she placed on the woman in front of her. “As I said…” She began, before leaning forward, against the table which was now slowly turning back to normal. The black engraftments of her blood slowly fading away, letting the woodwork come back to what it originally was. Her pact, written off. The cards slowly went back to being full white, blank, except the one which was left in the man’s hand: Strength which represented her client. “The Cards never lie… Now. For my price.” Pause. A single digit was brought up, to rub against her own chin gently before fixing the mask over her vision once again. “Dinner?”