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Mackenzie

The flight to London felt shorter than it normally is, the hours passing at a painfully quick rate. Mackenzie didn’t want to do this, but felt it prudent to get things done and over with. If she were to wait, it would never get done. This isn’t what she had envisioned when it all started, not by a long shot.

Not only that, but it wouldn’t be fair to Victor. He does not deserve to stare at all her sh-t, after all of this. Still, she doesn’t want to do it.

Maybe she could just learn to accept things.... She could do that, right? Learn to accept the love she is given?

She knows the answer to that.

It would only breed resentment.

Mackenzie would stare out the window from her seat, half praying the plane might dive into the ocean and let this all be over before it could even start. She would rather be anywhere but here, even if it means locked in a tin can underwater.

Customs is distressingly efficient, bringing her to further hate her life. Every time she had ever been in a rush, it took eons to get through this process. Those fitful travels back to London when she had been eager and anxious to lay eyes on her chosen partner had never been so easy. Tonight, it takes mere minutes. There is little self control as she lets her frustrations out on the agent that helps her.

Yet again, she is failed by beautiful weather and clear roads. Mackenzie is almost certain the universe is against her as the car pulls up in front of the posh apartment building far too quickly. Already, she can feel herself getting emotional. She pays her fee, stepping out of the vehicle and attempting to swallow the lump in her throat.

I haven’t broken you, Mackenzie.

But I will.


He has no idea.

It takes every ounce of pride she has to walk in, forcing a smile as the doorman greets her by name. The lobby is a marathon. Her arm is lead as it would push the button in the elevator. The mirrored walls would haunt her, no matter where she might turn her those icy blues. And as she turns the key to the door, there would be no stopping her emotions as they punch her straight in the gut.

Not even her mascara could prevent the delicate meltdown.
October 14, 2018 03:02 pm

Victor Lockheed

It was sundown, and the mid-October evening was cool and crystal clear without being uncomfortably chilly; more than likely, this would be one of the last nice evenings in London before the winter chill would set into the bones of the old city.

Victor was on the balcony of his longtime apartment on the Thames, chain smoking his way through a pack of Sterlings he’d bought on his way here from Seventh Circle. The jacket he’d worn here from the manor lay draped over the back of the couch inside, as he hardly needed the extra layers to keep warm. Dressed in dark, well worn denim and a typically monochromatic, comfortable crew neck t-shirt, he looked ready for the night’s work - packing.

Typically, such a menial task would have been taken care of by a swift set of compulsions, but this place wasn’t just a crash pad. This had been his home base for several decades, and was filled with personal items that he didn’t trust others to handle, even under the influence of compulsion.

There was also the matter of Mackenzie’s belongings, scattered throughout the apartment and mixed seamlessly betwixt and between his own. He could have called her and told her she needed to come and collect her things, but he hadn’t. Instead, he would collect them himself and have them shipped to her.

Somehow it seemed easier than watching her physically remove the last few pieces of their time together.

Throughout the spacious apartment, there were already several boxes that had been filled and sealed, although he clearly was barely halfway through. The kitchen had been packed up, and a moving company had been scheduled for the following morning for the large items (when all the important things had been removed).

He’d made an attempt on his bedroom, and had placed an increasingly sizable, neatly folded pile of Mackenzie’s clothes into a box, although he hadn’t finished. He’d come across a variety of his own shirts that he’d thought were simply gone, stashed in Mackenzie’s drawer.

That was when he’d gone to the balcony for a smoke. Or four.

Burnished copper eyes swept the iconic cityscape from the Thames without really seeing it - his thoughts were elsewhere. Several thousand miles away, in a city of lights much like this one.

The door clicked softly open, and Victor turned to see who had entered. More than likely the movers, although they were several hours early. He must have left the door unlocked.

Quickly finishing off the last of his cigarette, the cherry light burning brightly one last time before it was extinguished, he moved quietly back into the apartment.

Mackenzie.

Slowing to a stop near his half emptied bookcases, he realized too late that he failed to check his expression. Muted surprised showed clearly upon his face, although it was followed quickly by some amount of chagrin.

He would simply tell her it was because he was moving into the manor. That was all.

Were those… tears?

Standing across the room from each other, both clearly not having expected to see the other, there was a pregnant silence as they warily sized the other up.

Upon seeing her tear streaked face, Victor had taken a step toward her, although he faltered a moment later, remembering.

Unprepared, he was at a loss of what to say. It would seem the same could be said for her. A rare occasion, indeed.

“...want a smoke?”
October 14, 2018 05:57 pm

Mackenzie

Mackenzie has been distinctly aware of Victor’s presence the moment she closed the door behind her. It is too late at this point to turn tail and run, but she isn’t ready for this, and she finds herself paralyzed. There is no telling what this meeting might bring, and given how all interactions had gone since she began the process of ending things, it is easy to tell that she doesn’t expect it to go well.

Still, she does her best to reel it in, but it is far too late when he enters the space to find her with a suitcase in tow. A hand clutches the handle while the other is caught in the act of moving to dry her cheeks. It would drop the moment she lays her wary sights on him.

Despite recognizing a distinct lack of aggression in him, there is no stopping the change in her demeanor as he takes his step forward. He halts, and she stills.

There is no helping the way she stares at him.

Opening her mouth to speak after a length of silence, he beats her to the punch. There are a million things she wants to say to him, and none would be uttered just yet. A small nod would be her response, and she releases the case from her grip.

Slow steps would bring her forward, glancing up at him as she moves out onto the balcony.

Mackenzie eyes the pack that rests precariously atop the small table. Sterlings. She’s always hated the taste of them, but honestly, what does it matter when they are all satisfyingly disgusting? So, bringing a hand up to wipe are her cheeks, she glances between him and the pack once more before stepping toward it and extracting two. The lighter is lifted, both lit as they rest between her lips, and Mackenzie would take one to hold out to Victor.

“Should probably buy my own,” she mutters.

This is nothing short of a tragedy. Victor held every bit of her heart that she had to give, and she never once thought things might turn out quite like this. The wrench had been thrown into the gears, and she had been left with little choice.

She doesn’t know what to say.

Slow steps are taken to the edge of the balcony, and she looks out over the view it provides. So much has happened here, and this would be the last she ever saw of it. It certainly would not be the last she saw of Victor, as he has made sure of that. A deep breath is taken, and she looks over her shoulder toward the man.

“I really f-cking loved this apartment.”
October 14, 2018 06:43 pm

Victor Lockheed

This was uncharted territory.

Victor and Mackenzie had been nigh inseparable almost since the day they met. He’d been instantly drawn to her unquenchable fire, even as she’d struggled to retain the last shreds of humanity she had left. He’d always believed that she’d likewise been drawn to him by his knack for ruffling her feathers - at least at first.

There had never once been a day where he’d been at a loss for words with her. This day had them both lost.

Victor trailed after her as she moved to the balcony, dark eyes trained upon her smaller form as she reached for his cigarettes and lighter.

Should probably buy my own.

A quiet huff of melancholy amusement left his lips, and he reached for the cigarette she offered, fingertips briefly brushing hers. “Have you ever bought your own?”

Honestly. He’d probably tripled the amount of money he’d spent on cigarettes since he met her, and it wasn’t because of his habit. At least, not until recently.

He watches as she moves to the edge of the balcony, the burning tip of her cigarette casting her delicate profile into soft relief. How many evenings had they spent out on this balcony, talking about everything and nothing?

Victor brought his own cigarette to his lips as a sharp pang of despair cut at him.

I really f-cking loved this apartment.

Even in the muted light of the city, he could still see the remnants of tears and smudged mascara below her cerulean gaze.

This place doesn’t feel like home without you.

The memory of their conversation almost three months past came to his mind.

One day, I am going to say yes, and I don't want this to be your home. Or mine. I want it to be ours.

Her words passed unbidden through his mind, and it was a long moment before he could answer her.

“Me too.”

F-ck him. F-ck him and his pride for having given her even one second of doubt as to her place.

“I’m moving to Seventh Circle, and I couldn’t see myself spending any time here anymore so…” A halfhearted, vague gesture of the hand holding his cigarette. His words lacked the confidence and conviction he thought he’d injected into the statement. Lying wasn’t his strong suit when it came to Mackenzie.
October 20, 2018 05:02 pm

Mackenzie

"No," she muses quietly, though his question is rhetorical. Mackenzie had let him provide it all, and she simply existed in his space, using up him and his resources. It was selfish, and she knows it.

The silence that stands between them is deafening, and she would let her gaze fall with heavy lids as she peers at nothing. Chin held high, she continues to exist, holding her breath and staying still.

And finally, he answers. She knows, deep down, that they had been thinking on the same things, though their perspectives are vastly different.

She felt like an object.

She felt like something to be had.

And when the truth came out, she ran. It had been too little too late, and it tore her in two.

It was too much, and her heart pangs angrily within her chest.

He lies.

"I get it, Tan," she murmurs, brushing beneath her eyes before turning to face him. Mackenzie would lean back into the barrier between herself and a great fall, playing with fire as she always has. She has always wondered if she would land on her feet, or if she would simply go splat.

Cool pools flicker over him, and she cannot help but wish things had gone differently. Mackenzie set them up for failure from the very start. She knew her needs, and his, and she still allowed for things to progress.

This is her fault.

It's not that I don't love you, she wants to tell him. But that would just reopen a wound that has barely begun to heal, and take them down a road better left vacant.

"You'll be a great Leader," she nods gently before taking a drag from her square. Despite her words upon his opening, she does believe it is very much within his right to be in the position he now has taken. It suits him.

Pushing away from the edge, she steps back toward the table, taking the same seat she always has. Old habits would forever be hard to shake. A sigh, and she pats the seat beside her. His. Always his. "Under the couch, there's a scorch mark on the floor. I dropped a cigarette and almost burnt the place down. That's why I moved some furniture."

She chews at her lip, shrugging at her confession as she considers everything. "Now is your chance, Feb."

I haven't broken you, Mackenzie.

But I will.
October 20, 2018 05:39 pm

Victor Lockheed

Despite the nasty exchange between them when he’d opened his coven, mere days after their split, Victor had never really had any doubt that Mackenzie had confidence in his ability to lead a crew. However, hearing her say it out loud after everything… it meant something to him.

What that something was would not be spoken aloud by the dark Vampire, hobbled as he was by their new set of circumstances. It was as though he didn’t know how to speak to her with this freshly torn rift between them. There was a part of him - the vicious, venomous part that sought to eliminate any trace of weakness, any crack in his armor - that wanted to say and do the things that he knew would ruin her, whether or not they were true.

However, there was also the part of him that she’d uncovered - buried for decades beneath the mountain of bodies, the detachment, the blood, the alcohol and debauchery - that was still gasping for air.

Victor took the seat beside her, drawing the ashtray closer to them before ashing his cigarette with a quick flick of his thumb. He seemed nonplussed by her sudden confession, and fixed a dark gaze upon her.

“I’ve known about that for a while, Mick. I moved the couch back to where I had it and saw the mark.” A small smirk. “I thought it was funny as hell.”

There was a short silence - not a comfortable one, as they had so often shared - before the other shoe dropped.

Now is your chance, Feb.

Their eyes met, and Victor’s guilt rose up like acid in his mouth. His parting words to Mackenzie that night had played over and over in his mind, at first because he wanted to find the worst way to make her suffer, to live up to his promise, but as the days passed, his fury had melted away to leave him entirely alone.

“I shouldn’t have said that to you.”

The words were quiet, but insistent. He meant it.

“I was angry, and when I get like that I just say awful sh-t, even if I don’t mean it. I’m just so-” He paused, feeling the floodgates opening. Feeling the gasps of that long-buried man.

The cigarette came to his lips once. Twice.

“I’m just a f-cked up person, Mick. I’m sorry. For everything.”

Victor snuffed out the stub of the little white stick, realizing that he’d been basically sucking on the filter. He didn’t reach for another one, as he’d been doing all night long, but instead fixed his dark gaze upon the woman in front of him.

It’d taken a long time - too long - for him to come to terms with the depth of his attachment to her. Two years was a drop in the ocean for a creature as long lived as Victor, but it had been centuries since he’d felt as alive as he did when he was with Mackenzie.

His pride be damned. He would lay it all on the table for her.

Shifting in his chair to face her more fully, he set the monster aside, and let the man speak.

“I love you, Mackenzie. I’m sorry it took so long for me to tell you, and I can’t apologize enough for the way it came out the first time. You deserved better than that. You deserved better than what I’ve given you these past two years.” The man before her looked suddenly weary. Tired, and old. He sighed, looking down at the floor between his feet.

“I’ve lived for a long time. A few lifetimes of losing everything and everyone that ever mattered will f-ck a person up, and I have more than a few lifetimes under my belt. After a while, to survive, I just stopped giving a sh-t.”

Here, he looked up at her. “Then, I found you. Well over a century younger, and still living. I thought that’s what I’d been doing, but I was wrong. You showed me that. You showed me what I could still be, reminded me of who I am, and I don’t want to be without you.”

“I know I’m not exactly the poster child for second chances… but I’m asking you. Is it too late?”
October 20, 2018 06:56 pm

Mackenzie

I shouldn't have said that to you.

She bristles, eyes narrowing as she stares at him. Mackenzie desires nothing more than for him to lash out at her, and throw all his pain upon her until she is complete buried in his grief. She needs to take that on. This is her fight, and no one else's.

And here he is, refusing her.

Her head turns left and then right, a physical show of disappointment. This isn't the Victor she knows. This man before her is entirely different from the man she has known for years.

And yet, as he turns to fully face her, she would do just the same. Mackenzie leans back in her chair, legs crossed and sights trained upon his eyes. They speak more than any words he could utter, and she needs to see the truth within them.

She has to.

Is it too late?

Mackenzie looks away, blinking back upset that is persistent in it's need to escape. A quiet huff would escape her, her cigarette dropped to the stone floor of the balcony. "Victor... I don't know who you are..."

It is painful. All of it. Everything they have been through together, all the time spent together, and here they are. He is a stranger to her, by all rights. "I thought I could be more like you, guard myself and just carry on. But I couldn't. And I kept it to myself for as long as I could, because I knew-" she stops herself, clearly her throat before she begins to completely lose herself.

"I'd hoped you'd let me see you, over time. Two years is a long time. It is. For me. And now you are telling me that you love me, and I believe you. I love you too, Tan. I do."

A deep, shuddering breath is inhaled, and she leans forward to rest her head in her hands. A great weight upon her shoulders, Mackenzie considers everything. She is overwhelmed, and stretched far too thin, by her emotions. Her fingers rake her hair back from her face as she bends to cradle her head in her arms. She wants to hide. There is no part of her that wants Victor to see her like this.

Several seconds of silence would be had before she forces herself to sit up and face him once more, tears and all.

"It's too late, Victor," she sighs, bringing a hand up to rub at her cheek with the heel of her palm in an attempt to dry it. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Vic." Her hand falls, and she mumbles her apologies once more.

"Please forgive me, Vic."
October 20, 2018 07:33 pm

Victor Lockheed

It’s too late, Victor.

It wasn’t as though there had been any real, tangible hope left that he would find the right words to have her reconsider. Nonetheless, it felt as though the breath had been knocked from his body yet again. However, this time he’d been prepared for it - the shock and fury that had come hand in hand with being blindsided last time didn’t make an appearance.

Please forgive me, Vic.

The dusky Vampire only shook his head, dark eyes watching the anguish upon her face as she asked for his forgiveness.

What exactly had she done to him, in the end? Not a damn thing, except treat him the exact way she wanted to be treated. Openly. Honestly. Did it make her a naive fool to believe that he could have been capable of such a thing all this time? Of course it did. But she wasn’t the only one at fault, here. He knew who he was, and he’d known since the start that he probably would never be capable of entirely fulfilling her needs. And yet, he’d allowed it to continue. That's who he was. He was selfish, and all he'd wanted was her.

In the end, her naive hope had been the very thing to break through to him. It had just been too little, too late.

He just felt that there was so much more that could have been shared between them. They had only scratched the surface.

“Don’t apologize, Mackenzie. You just do what you need to do.” His deep, accented tones were quiet. After a moment, he rose from the table and moved back to the balcony, taking a deep, unneeded breath of the crisp night air. “That’s all I’ve ever done. I should probably let you do the same for once.”

He felt that incessant itch for yet another cigarette beginning to nag at his mind, the foreign feeling of emotional stress driving his habit hard.

“I really did always want what was best for you, you know. Even when we didn’t agree on what that was. I still think that it’s me.” Turning slightly, he watched her, a small smirk turning up the corner of his lips. “You’ve got a long time to come to that conclusion, too.”
November 08, 2018 11:40 am

Mackenzie

Mackenzie doesn't find it very funny. Instead, she finds herself poised where she sits, shoulders squaring defensively despite the easier air between them. Facing him this early on hadn't been what she planned, but it went significantly better than their previous meeting. That much, she is grateful for.

Still...

He is speaking to a piece of their past that she picks up on easily. Victor had proclaimed shortly after they had been introduced that he would follow wherever she lead, and several times over had made it clear that he is a patient man. Softly, she shakes her head, brow raising and gaze shifting downward.

"Don't," the word would escape her. Her mind is made up, and she would do what is best for herself. After all that had transpired, Mackenzie fails to agree with his feelings on the matter.

Sighing, she pushes herself to stand.

"I'm just... going to grab some of my clothes. I'll hire to get the rest of my things out." Most of her things, as it would turn out, are here.

A step sideways, two steps back, and she is retreating into the apartment and toward the bedroom that they had shared. Rather, he shared with her. As much as she called this place home, she had never quite felt completely at home. It was and is his home.

The empty suitcase is grabbed along the way.

A deep breath is taken as she enters the bedroom, finding her things folded and neatly stacked. A crystalline gaze roams the space, and she begins to take stock of where she has been dwelling. This place was so far out of her scope from the very start.

Mackenzie never had need for opulence. She never once desired to live by her wallet, or outside of her actual needs. The preference has always been to be real, and live a purposeful life full of true experience. Wealth does not mean happiness, and it certainly does not beget substance. She would take her dingy apartments and underground dwellings over a high rise apartment building any day.

And yet, here she is. Perhaps she had loved this place only because she loves the man it had belonged to. And now, as things stand, neither are her own. Those rose colored glasses are lifted, and she rolls her eyes at her own falsehoods.

She begins to pack, placing her things into the suitcase with no real care for them as she inventories what she has. Mackenzie takes notice to the missing articles that had never really been her own, annoyance striking at her.

A glance is made over her shoulder, and she moves to the closet, fingers grazing the monochromatic selection before wrapping around a black thermal shirt. Plucked from it's hanger, she makes her way back to her suitcase.

This would do.
November 10, 2018 09:46 am

Victor Lockheed

Victor doesn’t verbally respond to her quiet demand to stop, remaining silent as she stands and quietly assures him that she won’t be there long. He doesn’t look at her as she backs away into the apartment, instead keeping his gaze upon the churning lights of the city along the Thames.

He remained on the balcony for a few minutes as she did what she had to do, preferring not to be a witness to her physically removing herself from his space. One cigarette was smoked to the hilt, then another, after which he realized that he was completely out. Frustration rose, and he merely tossed the empty carton over the side of the balcony, turning to move back inside the apartment.

As much as he had hoped to avoid the scene, Victor found himself standing in the open doorway to their - his - bedroom. She was bent over her suitcase, tucking her shirts neatly into order.

“You don’t need to hire anyone out for the rest of your things, I’m already taking care of it. This should all be gone tomorrow morning.” He paused. “Where do you want the rest sent?”
December 06, 2018 06:51 pm

Mackenzie

Mackenzie glances toward him, having only half expected him to enter. She hadn't wanted to see this place so very packed away, and surely, he wouldn't want to see her this way. It truly is an end, and she is bitter.

It's for the best, she tells herself.

Swallowing, Kenz zips the bag up, taking great care to keep his shirt out of sight until it is completely encased and concealed. Stepping around the side of the bed, she pulls open the drawer of the side table and extracts a book and pen.

There is little regard as she etches the address to her New York City apartment, a complete dive compared to his grandeur, on the inside of the jacket.

Mackenzie grabs the handle of her small suitcase, carrying it and the book toward Victor before stopping before him. A miserable look in her eye, she meets his gaze before gently pressing the copy of Dracula into his hand. She would hesitate, still as a deer in winter snowfall, before rising up to press a single, lingering kiss upon his cheek.

"Take care of that heart, Tan."
December 06, 2018 07:31 pm

Victor Lockheed

Dark eyes followed her diminutive form as she crossed the space to the bed and extracted a book and a pen, writing down what he could only assume was the answer to his question. His crossed arms dropped slowly from their position as she approached him with her belongings and pressed the book into his hand, which he took without a word. He didn’t glance down to see which novel it was, for she had stilled into a statue beside him.

Their eyes met, and he consciously ceased breathing as she leaned towards him, pressing her lips to his cheek in what felt painfully like goodbye. He dared not breathe in her familiar scent, too afraid of doing something he would regret.

The moment of contact was over nearly as soon as it began, although he could feel the touch of her lips upon his skin long after she’d gone.

Take care of that heart, Tan.

Victor didn’t watch as she walked to the front door, opened it, and exited his life with a soft but resounding click as the door closed.

He wasn’t entirely sure how long he stared silently at nothing, but slowly, he became aware of the weight of the book in hands again. Coming back to himself, he looked down at the black jacketed book and turned it over in his hands, the gold embossed title coming into view.

Dracula.

He immediately remembered the significance of the book, and his fingers tightened around the binding without realizing it.

Take care of his heart, she’d said.

That wasn’t possible.

It had gone with her, right out his front door.
December 06, 2018 08:02 pm
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