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Clear and Present Danger.


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Cirilla Renarde

How to explain how Ciri felt about Ella's gratitude? Ecstatic. Over time she had gotten good at scrounging for a place to sleep. There was a point where she no longer needed to find a park bench, or a bus station. On the outskirts of most cities she could find an inn owned by an old couple. Even a young couple. Someone who would take pity on such a young girl having no place to sleep. It was true that she used her age to her advantage, but it was exhausting. With the tables turned, it was nice to have a place to sleep that she didn't have to beg for.

Miss Ella allowed her to pick any empty room that she could find. Choosing was easy. All of the rooms were bigger than any room she'd ever had. Her collection of personal items was small, too. Inside her tan colored cross-body was a change of clothes and a few trinkets that reminded her of the family she once had. The smallest of dolls called Sally, belonging to her little sister. A framed photo which featured a very young Cirilla surrounded by an older boy, and what looked like adult versions of the two.

A touching story for another time.

The days were passing slowly for Ciri. New Orleans had almost always been her home, but this house and this environment were both new things for her. The home was more of a plantation, really. Large and beautiful, and once well kept. The girl found no sign of servants or landscapers, but she hadn't been here long. She hadn't even met the rest of the home's occupants, though not for lack of trying. It would seem that the rest of them were as come as go as she found herself. None of them could be blamed for that. People have lives.

Now that she had a place to store things, Cirilla had made it her top priority to acquire new volumes on her most recent obsession: The Occult. More specifically, vampires and witches. She was careful about breaching the subject with people she didn't know. It was tiring being made fun of constantly, and it had began to take a toll on her psychologically. She couldn't pretend like parts of her weren't beginning to feel like maybe she was losing her mind. At times Ciri had started to doubt what she was sure she had seen with her own two eyes.

Here she could make herself comfortable. Large, heavy volumes littered the hardwood floors around her bed [which had become thick with books that she hadn't even cracked yet]. Hours of the day were spent behind a locked door, where she read book after book about the things that other people had seen. So much of it sounded like the retelling of a story straight out of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

But she saw it. Cirilla had nearly become a victim. The man with razor sharp teeth tried to rip out her throat. She had never felt more helpless or weak than she did in that moment.

Ciri would take great lengths in order to insure that she never felt that way again.

As you can imagine though, it was difficult to know what to believe [if anything] when reading through these books. Some of them were just novels written by an imaginative author. But there had to be a little truth in at least some of them. Garlic? Salt? Ciri was going to secure all of it in time. Her bag was just big enough for a few sharpened stakes. The tiny water pistol she had could hold exactly two ounces of holy water. Just enough to find out in a pinch whether or not that rumor was true.

Probably just enough to be the difference between life and death.

What Cirilla really needed was someone with some insight. Maybe not an expert on the matter, but who really knew what she was talking about. A person who wouldn't make fun of her, or patronize her. Or attribute her curiosity to her young age, or an over active imagination.

The trouble with that was...

Where was she going to find such a person?
April 10, 2018 04:50 pm

Jameson Orlav

To say that restraining himself was sometimes difficult was a life threatening understatement. The truth of the matter, was that Jameson was himself a victim of circumstance. While he was no stranger to the violent and vile facade that was his life, there was a large part of the new vampire that still operated on instinct and impulse. This part of him was incessant. There was no small voice in the back of his head that insisted he stop. No angel on his shoulder. Actually, the majority of his urges screamed at him to feed. With the feeding came the violence, came the bodies, came the mess.

He revelled in it.

The non-vampirous around him... Not so much.

Why should he have to control himself? This is part of who he is. His nature. Is survival of the fittest not the very core of nature itself? Jameson feels no guilt for how he feels or the way he behaves. Night after night he fished from the ponds of New Orleans back alleys. From bars and night clubs filled with bodies that no one would miss.

Or, at the very least, no one would notice was missing... For now.

But after a while, the novelty of the kill began to wear off. In the beginning, the first bite set him aflame with total euphoria. The way the blood blossomed against his tongue was like a firework, it made his head spin and set and his blood lust ablaze.

That's changed.

Feeding has become just that. A chore. A necessity in order to stay alive. Or un-alive... However you choose to look at it. The fact of the matter, is that Jameson is bored. With each day that passes he grows restless, and his restlessness grows insatiable. Each meal is less and less satisfying. His appetite grows by entire bodies. Two, sometimes three different women in one day. It's possible that the local authorities have started to become suspicious with the disappearances.

The possibility of this doesn't deter Jameson. Instead, he begins to make plans for travel. Moscow. London. Korea. So many places with different ways to feed. China had a population so bulbous that it was possible no one would ever notice.

But Ella has gone and surprised him. Although he suspects it was unintentional.

The new girl was a wonderful specimen. Jameson can practically smell her youth; her young blood hot and fresh beneath her supple skin. Her hair dark and thick. Amber eyes that matched his own. And she was curious and thirsty for information about him and his kind. The cursed members of a supernatural society who'd long earned a bad name.

All of the things that Jameson yearned to do to this girl could easily explain away every purpose for their banishment.

The man can't help but consider them all as he stood silently against the door frame that allowed entrance into her room. It had been closed when he got there. Locked from the inside. We'll skimp on the details but what you need to know is that it's opened now. The girl doesn't notice that he's standing there. She wouldn't. Not until he'd announced his own presence.

First... He takes a moment to really savor just how delicious this entire interaction is going to be.

Jameson Orlav - Chapter Two: A Predator and His Prey.

The books splayed every which way were both ironic and amusing. Nothing the girl read in any of these "instruction manuals" was going to give her any insight on vampires or witches. But that didn't mean he wasn't going to play along.

"A little after dinner delight?" Jameson quipped, one brow raised over his accusatory stare. A soft grin played coyly on his lips while his arms dropped from their crossed position over his chest. He took a step forward, the space between and her bed closing while his fingers found the binding of a cream colored book.

"'Vampyrs of Eastern Europe'," He recited, snickering involuntarily when the words slipped his lips. "Are you serious?"
April 10, 2018 09:29 pm

Cirilla Renarde

Ciri sat dead centre in the middle of her bed. The room itself was mostly bare, with paper on the walls that reminded her of something out of Gone with the Wind. She tried to ignore how aged the room felt, and it helped that she kept her face buried inside these books. Her hair was braided tight against her head, each of the two pig tails trailing down her back and over her shoulder blades. Her hair hardly ever came out of them because braids were easy. Less brushing and fussing. Two things she absolutely hated. Ciri rarely wore makeup, either. The radiance in her skin was simply layers of youthful glow. Freckles peppered over her cheeks and nose. A natural flush, rosy against the hollows of her cheeks.

Having hardly thought anything of it, she regularly grew quite furious when people treated her like some young girl. She was tough and independent, and would clobber anyone who tried to tell her different.

Her mind is aflutter with words that leapt off of the page and into her brain. The book in her hands was a sorry excuse for a manual. It read more like an encyclopedia of terminology where the Eastern parts of the world were involved. There were hundreds of different words for vampire, and each of them seemed to have their own meaning. Sometimes it made her head spin and she'd need to put the book down for a moment, giving herself the proper amount of time to digest the material. It was exhausting, but it excited her.

A dhampir (dhampyre, dhamphir, dhampyr) is the child of a vampire and human, as told in Balkan folklore. It was believed that male vampires returned to have intercourse with his living wife or with another woman that he had an attraction to when he was living. In some legions, male vampires would deflower virgin girls. […]

Of all of the lore she had read through, hardly anything mentioned the physical appearance of these so called beasts. Ciri assumed that meant people were supposed to make their own deductions. Pointy fangs and black eyes. Pointy ears, maybe. Anything that society in general had been taught about through fictional and fantasy re-tellings on cable television, or Netflix.

She huffed, unamused.

Just as the sporadic burst of air had left her lungs, an unfamiliar voice trespassed through her room. A disengaged stare fluttered from the pages of her book to the doorway of her room, where a foreign body had appeared and observed her while she read. The man seemed to be much older than her, though elderly was not the term she'd used to describe him. His hair was dark [and from this angle almost seemed to be greying at the temples], and matched the barely-beard on his face. The dark clothes that he wore clashed heavily with the old wallpaper and light colored wood in the room. He stuck out like a sore thumb, and Ciri scolds herself for not noticing his presence sooner.

He was just so quiet.

"Yes I am serious." Cirilla responded, defensively. Unaware of who this strange man was and what he was doing in her room. "Not that it's any of your business."

Ciri closed the book in her lap and tossed it on to the bed, kicking her feet out from their cross-legged position and slinging them over the side. She stood, the warn wood beneath her feet creaking with a sigh. Her and Ella hadn't discussed the other people living in the house, so she can't be sure whether or not she's supposed to be nice or worried.

Her arms folded over her chest defensively, "Did you need something?"
April 23, 2018 05:49 pm

Jameson Orlav

“Or maybe it is.” His business, that is. Anything that happened under the roof of the estate was, in some manner or another, his business. Not that he had been explicitly invited to it... but he didn’t need to be. Ella Donovan was as much his concern now as she had been the day he had given her life. Since then he’d dipped his fingertips into virtually all of her affairs... if only for the sake of protecting his assets.

The girl had nearly vaulted across the room as soon as she slammed her book shut. It felt like a personal rebuff at Jameson for having the audacity for disrupting her. It didn’t bother him. As she walked around the bed to present herself in an assertive manner, the vampire retorted by taking a full step of his own into the room. He stood at least a head taller than she, but there were many other features of hers that seemed fleetingly familiar. Her dark eyes and hair, warm skin and golden undertones. She could have been a long lost sibling to Noura and himself.

Although her smell was way off.

“Ella didn’t mention a new arrival.” He professed, fingers finding the spine of a dusty leather bound book on the bed. He’d pivoted his way to the edge as he continued to inch forward. “Kind of popped up out of nowhere, didn’t you?”

There was a reason that suspicion had suddenly become laced throughout his tone. Jameson wanted to be sure that she felt like a suspect. Apprehensive and on display for his own inspection.

His chestnut stare popped from the binding to the girls face. The thrumming of her heart grew more rapid when his eyes settled over her. It didn’t matter to him if she was anxious or scared. Either way he ignited a reaction inside of her, and that’s what ultimately pleased him the most. Jameson's gaze lingered over her a tad longer than it should have; like a predator sizing up it's pray. It followed the line from the soft curve of her jaw to the vein that presented itself like a pulsing super-highway. With one swift movement he could snap her neck in half and be dining before she realize what was happening.

Neither was he in such a rush to satiate his hunger, nor clean the mess before Ella came home.

"I think we're getting off on the wrong foot." He finally spoke, his feet having carried him much closer to the young woman. (As) Gently (as he can manage), he extends his hand, offering it as a sort of truce, and sure sign of his proverbial surrender. "I'm Jameson. I'm a friend of Ella's. I live downstairs."

All warfare is based on deception.
April 25, 2018 01:13 pm

Cirilla Renarde

Ciri's eyes settled on the strange man's hand for much longer than it should have. She didn't care that it seemed strange, or that an awkward silence hung in the air between them while he waited for her to shake it. She had to give herself time to adjust to the situation, which she thought was very weird. None of the other occupants had been so bold as to introduce themselves to her, which didn't make him bad or untrustworthy. But she really couldn't shake this deep seeded feeling in the pit of her stomach. One that told her not to shake his hand, or look him directly in the eye.

It said that she should say goodbye and not think twice about it.

She didn't.

Indeed, she extended her own hand and allowed her nimble fingers to slip into the cast of this man, Jamesons, grip. He shook her hand firmly, and his touch lingered longer than it ought've. It makes her uncomfortable, but her displeasure doesn't show on her face. She gives him a firm shake right back in order to stand her ground.

"Cirilla." She stated, formally. Ciri was a nickname reserved for friends. This man was certainly no friend of hers. Not yet. Maybe not at all. He gave her the willies, and that usually wasn't such a great formula for friendship. "Ella invited me to stay here a few days ago. Strangely enough, you're the first resident I've met."

It was probably evident how eager she was to regain possession of her own hand. She pulled it back and tucked it into her side as if to indefinietly deny him future access. Her eyes didn't crawl back up to meet his own again, but she found herself pushing past him and making her way out the exit. This was her personal space, and she'd feel much better if he was out of it.

"Since you're offering," He hadn't, but Ciri took it upon her self to gently push the conversation into a specific direction. Away from the books that she was reading and the research that she was conducting. "Maybe you can give me a quick tour. I'm having a hard time figuring out where a few things are. The upstairs bathroom, for instance. And... Is there a den?"

Ciri does her best to contain a cool edge to her tone, but she's pretty sure that she's failing.
April 26, 2018 01:19 pm

Jameson Orlav

The girl - Cirilla had taken it upon herself to move past Jameson and exit into the hallway. Or, at least, that seemed to be her intention. The vampires rough fingers would find their way to her forearm, wrapping around the skin and bone with ease before he jarred her into his space. She was considerably smaller than him, so if she intended to struggle against his might, he'd simply tug harder and pull higher, until she had nowhere else to look besides his face.

Jameson's eyes cloud over, somehow darker and more hazy than they were naturally. The ferocity of his stare burned with such an intensity that it felt like he were peering straight into her soul; all of it's curves were by far more wholesome and intricately woven than his own. There was a purity behind the her windows that Jameson had lost a long time ago. Even before Moscow. Before New Orleans. Before Mackenzie...

"I'll give you the grand tour, and you'll be delighted by each discovery. Then, you'll tell me what you're really doing in New Orleans before we make our way to the basement. Do you understand?"

He was never a fan of the don't play with your food rule.

Jameson released his harsh grip on her arm, allowing her to fall gracefully from the very tips of her toes back to the flats of her feet. With that, He would commence his tour, cracking his neck first from side to side with two small 'pops'.

"This house is very old." He spoke, matter-of-factly, fingers linking behind his back while he stepped into the hallway. The floor creaked softly beneath his steps, the age of the house apparent in the way it complained with each of their movements. He'd tried to convince Ella to let him help her with the upgrades, but he wasn't sure if she enjoyed it's older than death charm, or if she just couldn't be bothered... Either way, they never got around to it.

"It was quite the hot spot for cult activity back in it's day. During the civil war it was a harbor for slaves eager to escape their wretched lives." They continued their walk down a long hallway peppered with doors, until they came to a patch of paper that was completely barren and seemed to give entrance to nothing but wall. Jameson knocked against the wood, a hollow noise echoing from the inside. "Hidden gems all through the place. Most of them leading to the basement." He glanced sideways at the girl, a knowing look upon his face. "Unfortunately most of the people seeking refuge didn't make it out alive. The coven housed here would later come to be known for their perpetual love for blood sacrifice."

Jameson offered a small shrug.

"I don't know if you believe in all of that, but spirituality is nothing to be messed with. There's a lot of energy in the bones of this house. Just waiting for someone to channel it, no doubt."
May 14, 2018 01:18 pm
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