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Mackenzie

September, 2011

Sine Metu had been up and running for just over a year, and Mackenzie spent the better part of it miserable. Her rules clearly stated the one thing that brought this one: zero fraternization. There would be no romances with the enemy, nor heavy handed friendships. Jasper Brodie had just come back into the picture when she was about to open.

She'd been relieved, until she realized what that meant.

So, in July of 2010, just before opening and just after getting him back, she left him. Mackenzie cleaned her presence of the cabin in the woods that they shared, and left him with naught but a note.

She was sorry. She loved him. She had to do this.

The result had been catastrophic, as she fought to keep her sanity. Over the year, Mackenzie had decided to try anyway. She'd returned to the cabin more than once, bringing on altercation after altercation that nearly always ended up with someone getting hurt. It had usually been her. She'd made him so angry, and that wolf had been restless.

So Mackenzie took what wasn't hers. A wolf from the reserve, left for dead after the last fight Jasper and Mackenzie would ever have. Something dangerous was decided, a test that resulted in a sickly, undead wolf and her seeking out one of the only other mutts she knew.

Jasper Brodie showed up, and it was like things were just as they had been. But he disappeared that night, and she returned to her tunnels beneath New York, toiling away and gaining her strength amidst the sound of subway trains and cars overhead.

And then, in the fall, a new Jasper was brought to her attention.

Enter, Jasper Thompson.

He's handsome, and she can definitely sense a danger to his presence. This one seems like a wild card; she likes that. There is something about his way that has her intrigued. His manner of speaking, how he carries himself. He shows promise, and if there is one thing she absolutely adores - it is that.

Sat on the stoop of a random apartment building not far from the hub of Sine Metu, she would smoke her cigarette and discuss his joining.

There is no amount of comfort since the towers had fallen. Even though she had nothing to do with it, Mackenzie had become blunt and scrutinized everyone that wanted to join her ranks. One could never be too careful. One attack often led to another, and she couldn't put it past others in the Realm not to get any ideas.

"I don't f-ck around," she warned him. "My rules are clear, and strict as hell. You grow to survive, and there is no bullsh-t." A dull set of blue eyes set upon him, and Mackenzie had been far from discreet as she sized him up one more time.

"This is a commitment, Jasper... no one leaves unless they open their own crew, or Sine Metu falls. It is not to be taken lightly."
January 07, 2019 12:35 pm

Jasper Thompson

Jasper had sired Sarah Kensington a couple centuries prior. It was in the middle of a cliche masquerade ball, a way for Elias Thompson to rub elbows with the Elite, as he called them. Jasper hated the frivolity of it all and, against his father's demands, had undermined him constantly by staging wild distractions. This time would be to create a newborn to run amuk through the masses. It had worked, and he lost her that night to his own careless indifference.

Fast forward to 2011, when they reunited. It was an instant connection, and he fell carelessly and hard. He should've recognized the trend, but love is blind, as they say. For a while, it was good; they were inseparable, and they laughed often and easily. But they were both restless in their own right, and idle hands are the devil's minions. They drifted apart, and Jasper rarely saw hide or tail of her. They spoke every now and then, but about nothing, and not in the good way.

He felt lost.

Sarah told Jasper of a diminutive, fiery leader, down to earth and approachable. She would give him a roof, and a place to rest his head at night. The idea had been appealing, if only because he was tired of flitting from place to place all the time. Little had he known, that would never die in him, but it would be nice to have somewhere to come back to. A homebase, if you will.

Maybe she just wanted him off her back for a while, and that was enough to set him on edge toward the idea at all. He could feel her slipping from his grasp, even as they spoke then. "Fine," he'd said, if only to appease her.

So he'd met with Mackenzie, heart on his sleeve, as it ever was, and asked her for a home. She'd been harsh, gruff even, but Jasper liked her for it. She didn't beat around the bush, and he could appreciate that. "You want me to be perfectly honest?" he'd asked, all winning smiles and wry eyebrow gestures. "I don't have anywhere else to go."

Commitment had never been his problem, not to people anyway. So Mackenzie had taken him in, for one reason or another, and he'd made a home in Sine Metu.

And Sarah had left.
January 07, 2019 01:09 pm

Mackenzie

January 2012

It’s been months. The wolf, Aodh, follows Mackenzie constantly. Often, it is as if he can read her mind. In reality, he likely can. Her will is his, and the great, black mutt would do whatever she saw fit.

Except leave.

He wouldn’t never leave.

Mackenzie had done her time. She’d tried everything she could to entice Jasper Brodie to return, going so far as to change her ways as if he might be watching and waiting for her to understand what she had done wrong to cause him to leave. She blames herself for his disappearance, wearing the loss like cinderblocks upon her slender shoulders.

She had done it all. Mackenzie had tried staying away from her crew for a time, instead spending her time in upstate with the wolves. She attempted to domesticate herself. She even went so far as to change her eating habits entirely, and adopt a more humane outlook. Feeding time was sparse, and the girl practically starved herself between attacks on those defined as ‘bad’ by the societal standards of the living.

None of it worked. She returned to the tunnels, Aodh at her heel, and remained.

Finally, she simply couldn’t do it. Not anymore. What happened next had never been part of the plan. There had been no rhyme nor reason, no intent, no method to her decision making. She simply did it, without a thought.

Walking the tunnels, she saw him. Mackenzie locked eyes with Jasper Thompson, a man she barely spoke to outside of necessity until now. The decision was snap, and before they could pass each other by as they had a thousand times over, she stepped into his path. Speaking his name stung, a stark reminder of what she has lost and what would never be again. But she powers through.

“I need your help, Jasper.”

Looking at him, she can see a kindred spirit. A melancholy that goes unanswered, a lack of lust for life. Pressing her lips together for a moment, she makes her request. Unusual, dark, and unexpected.

But necessary.

“...Could you... I need you to kill the wolf.”

It’s not what she wants. It is what she needs.

“Please.”
January 07, 2019 03:37 pm

Jasper Thompson

Alone in the walls of Sine Metu, Jasper wandered without a destination most days. Sarah had gone off with her latest to open their own, and he'd been left behind without a thought. It stung, deeply; perhaps their attraction had been nothing more than the natural draw borne by creation. He spiraled deeper and deeper inside himself.

When he saw Mackenzie in the hall for the first time in a while - maybe he just hadn't paid attention? - he thought it oddly funny. When she stopped him, even funnier. Her expression mirrored his own, telling of loss and betrayal and the harshness of reality. But her request procured a raised eyebrow, and he leaned around her to gaze at the large black beast that followed her everywhere.

"You want me to kill it," he repeated, for the sake of clarity.

"Please," she'd responded softly, and he could see the desperation in her eyes. It wasn't desire to be rid of the wolf, but what it signified. Not surprisingly, he could sympathize.

All the same, he wasn't sure this was something he could fulfill for her. Truthfully, aside from their entryway conversation, he hadn't spoken to her much. What were the implications of performing such an act? Would he set off a chain of events that shouldn't have anything to do with him, but he'd be unwittingly dragged into?

Then, he realized he didn't care. She'd asked him for loyalty, and despite recent events, he owed this place, and this woman, something.

"I can't do it here."

They'd reconvened at an abandoned warehouse, empty, save for the current three occupants. No words passed between them, and Jasper didn't bother asking if she was certain. She'd shown up, wolf in tow, so no sense in questioning her resolve now.

Facing the large beast, Jasper breathed a deep sigh. It made no move to attack him, which stirred some feelings of guilt within him. He wasn't sure what the creature meant to Mackenzie, but if she needed to be rid of it...

Reaching out, he hesitated before laying a hand, almost comfortingly, on its head, just between the ears. It shut its eyes at the gesture, and Jasper seized the opportunity. Willfully, he felt the heat instantly rise between their connection and just before he caught himself alight, he pulled back as the beast was set ablaze. It let out a mournful howl, but Hellfire is fierce; it didn't take long to succumb.
January 07, 2019 04:02 pm

Mackenzie

I can't do it here.

She'd nodded, assuming Jasper merely wanted to give her a chance to back out. People doing crazy things in times of desperation, and surely she looks the part. Strong as she is, she is also weak. Mackenzie had denied her nature for too long, and it has taken it's toll.

Mackenzie thanked him.

It was the most heartfelt thanks she has ever given to date, and still likely is. He was owed an explanation, though she gave none. But what Jasper Thompson failed to understand was that he was saving her.

This impossible act of kindness, barbaric as it may be, would forever score him upon her heart.

She had asked for his loyalty and trust.

He'd now earned hers.

Aodh's calm is her own resolve. It is as if the animal knows through the sickly bond that is shared between vampire and wolf, Alpha, and Beta. Their arrival at the proposed location is silent, and despite how unsure she is, Mackenzie sticks to her decision with confidence. This is the right thing to do. It is necessary. She would never move on with her life, if not for this.

She watches as Jasper steps up, placing a hand atop the wolf's head as if he belongs. What he would not see is her own eyes slide closed just as Aodh's does. Mackenzie would not watch as the flame is ignited, not realizing what had happened until the smell permeates the area and her eyes fly open.

"Holy f-ck," she mutters, immediately moving forward. This wasn't expected. "Jasper, what the f-ck?"

There is little thought put into her movements. Mackenzie had assumed that this would be quick, and painless. All had seen her with this wolf, and it was apparent he is important. But that howl.. it would stay with her for years to come.

This isn't fast enough.

He doesn't deserve to suffer.

If she could just get her hands on him, she could fix this. If Mackenzie could just get two seconds, she could snap his neck and he'd feel nothing of the rest. She could fix this.
January 07, 2019 04:58 pm

Jasper Thompson

He stood mesmerized, the fire calling to essence of his being. Chaotic and all-consuming, he was powerless to tear his his gaze away.

Jasper, what the f-ck?

Her movement caught his eye, and without thought or warning, he wrapped her around the middle and pulled her back. She fought him, and he’d have the cuts of her digging her nails into him and the bruises from her fists for a while afterward. Still, he dutifully drug her down, collapsing onto the ground with her encased securely in his embrace. He didn’t speak, but merely held her while she mourned. It didn’t occur to him that he might lose his home for this; he’d merely done what she asked of him.

The fire died when there was nothing left but ash and dust. Without fuel, it sputtered out unceremoniously, as if it hadn’t just consumed a meaningful relationship in its entirety. “I had no other means to kill an undead wolf,” he finally explained softly, perhaps as a way of apology. It’s a gruesome feat to watch someone burn to death; he’d overcome it many times. “He suffered very little.” It was as much as he could offer.

He realized then that he still held her, and it was such an odd embrace. As much as he was comforting her, he drew a camaraderie from her mourning as well. Carefully, but not too quickly, he let his arms fall and pushed away, rising from the floor with a certain sense of sadness that went deeper than the events of that night. Clearing his throat, he moved to leave, not wanting to impart on her emotional release.

“I’m... so sorry, for your loss.”

Storm-filled eyes rested on her, everything he could say written clearly on his face. But he wasn’t the person for this. They hardly knew each other, and the discomfort he felt at having killed something so significant to her left him drained and unsure. So, as much as he felt inclined to stay, he left Mackenzie to her due process.
January 07, 2019 05:22 pm

Mackenzie

His arms hit her like a ton of bricks, and Mackenzie felt the full force of his grip immediately. As much as she fought, he was relentless. She tried everything. She clawed at his arms, scraped her heel down his shin, threw her fists at him. But he wouldn't stop. He wrangled her to the ground, and Jasper held her there until there was nothing left to do but stare on as Aodh turned to naught by ash.

She didn't even realize that she had been clutching at him, holding to him tightly as her deadened stare remained fixed on the dying remains. Not until the fire was out, and he let go.

He was gone quickly after that, and she had remained mute. Her only acknowledgment to any of his words was a nod of her head. She heard him. She understood. It still hurt like hell.

And thus, she was alone.

Sine Metu had become awkward for her, then. It felt as if everywhere she went, she would see him, and she actively avoided him as she was sure he was, her. Mackenzie is patient when it suits her, and now it did. It would be a week before she finally caved to the whims of the universe, though it would be last minute.

Passing by, as she has been apt to do, a sudden change of heart overtakes her. She'd stepped by him, and yet as if it had a will of it's own, her hand reached back to grasp his. What an odd solidarity she feels, where this man is concerned.

She doesn't let go. Instead, she remains still, too ashamed of herself to look at him. Her head remains bowed, and Mackenzie stays silent for perhaps just too long before finally speaking.

"Do you want to get a drink?"

Finally, she lifts her head, turning slightly as she looks over her shoulder. Mackenzie becomes acutely aware of her grip upon his hand in that moment, and she releases him from it, letting her own fall to her side once more. Still, that small contact had made her feel whole, even if only for a moment. Misery would always love company.
January 07, 2019 05:41 pm

Jasper Thompson

Surprisingly, he hadn’t been kicked out of the tunnels underneath New York, but it didn’t stop him from dodging in and out of hallways whenever he saw Mackenzie stalking his way. That was, of course, whenever he was around.

He’d found comfort in the arms of anyone who would have him. It wasn’t the proudest time of his life, and more often than not, they wouldn’t survive the night. The need for validation was a heavy weight to carry, but the guilt afterward? A massive shame, and one he could hardly ever face.

Speaking of shames that were hard to face...

It was completely and utterly by accident that he crossed paths with Mackenzie that day. Jasper has been lost in his own mind, and may or not have been high, when he noticed her just as she passed. His heart leapt into his throat, but stopped altogether when she grabbed his hand. For a moment, they were locked in the connection, and all his concerns were to put to rest. To this day, he still doesn’t know why.

“I don’t think I’ve ever needed one more, honestly.” Truer words had never been spoken. Yet.

Off they went to Mackenzie’s local haunt, making awkward small talk here and there until Jasper grew unsettled with the elephant in the room.

“Why me?” It had been plaguing him since the night that she asked such a strenuous act of him. Not because of the act itself, but because of the intimacy of it. He wouldn’t ask why she wanted it dead; it wasn’t truly his to know.

Why was he chosen for the undertaking.
January 07, 2019 06:05 pm

Mackenzie

Small talk has never been her finest skill. Mackenzie is terrible at it, and it showed as they awkwardly navigated their way to the bar. Even more awkward were the short conversations they had between even more uncomfortable silences. But she was grateful for this. It felt unnatural to be alone, and his presence alone was enough to put her at ease.

In the end, it is Jasper who would man up and ask the hard questions.

Pressing her lips together, she looked at him, unsure of how or if to answer his call. She drank, if only to save herself time, as she pondered how exactly to go about explaining to him what had brought her to that point.

They barely knew each other. He'd lived in her tunnels for mere months before she landed him with such a personal task. He deserved an explanation.

Swallowing, her expression turned apologetic.

"You're alone."

It really is as simple, and profound, as that. Mackenzie had chosen Jasper not for some grand reason. There wouldn't be talk about the look in his eyes, or some thing about him. There was no magic about it. When she had asked him to do that task, it had been merely because they were both desperately alone.

As little as she did know of him, she was observant enough. And as she grew to know him better, she became more dependent upon him. For whatever reason, she understood him from the get.

"Why did you do it?"
January 07, 2019 06:50 pm

Jasper Thompson

It was a loaded moment before she could put her thoughts to words, and Jasper downed quite a bit of his drink in the meantime. And, as her assessment landed, he finished the rest. “That obvious, huh.” His tone held a flat note, but it wasn’t aimed at her. His current thought process hovered around the idea that he needed to be a little less readable.

Mackenzie drove the conversation forward and he locked his melancholy into a box to be dealt with later. Leaning back in the chair he occupied, he studied her face, wondering what she wanted to hear. The truth was that he’d never thought about why. Something had forced his hand, be it his own will or something more powerful. Whatever the case may have been, he’d done it, and now came the time to address the motives behind it.

He’d always been ruled by Chaos, and that was an easy, cop-out answer. But there was a telltale sign when he was acting outside of his volition, an annoyingly loud ringing in his ears. That not having been present when he’d made the decision, he couldn’t explain it away so easily.

Something about Mackenzie undeniably garnered his respect. It was more than her prowess as a leader, though. It was some sense of deeper loyalty, a companionship that wasn’t inherently romantic, but a base level of mutual care and understanding.

He shrugged.

“You needed to heal,” came the infuriatingly simple reason, but he amended it quickly. “And so did I.”

He came forward once more, waving for another round and setting his gaze to her icy hues. A smirk followed. “Should I thank you, or is that too soon?”

Tact was always his least favorite thing.
January 07, 2019 07:15 pm

Mackenzie

September 2012

Mackenzie crept through the strange house like the predator she always has been. A smile was present upon her lips constantly, rarely finding a moment of unrest or unhappiness since that night. Things had moved fast from thereon. Mackenzie made Jasper part of management - the third in command. When that decision had been made over those drinks, she hadn't thought things would be like this.

But they are.

And now, they hunt their meal within the confines of a brownstone. Rather, Jasper does.

Mackenzie was hunting him.

Back pressed to a wall, she edged her way along, stilling as she neared a doorway. Slowly, carefully, she peered around the corner. And there he is. Jasper f-cking Thompson, in all his glory. And she is his fool.

She had come to terms with the fact that some things are better left unsaid, and so she spent her time in silence. Better to keep his friendship, than ruin everything. She needed him then, and she needs him now.

He was so damn concentrated on their meal, he barely seemed to be paying attention to the fact that she had been creeping up behind him. Mackenzie was practically breathing down his neck when she lifted her arms, silent as the grave. And without warning, her hands clamped over his eyes as she leaned forward to whisper.

"...You f-cking let me do that."
January 07, 2019 07:51 pm

Jasper Thompson

“Aw, c’mon, don’t sell yourself short. You were doing so good at being so quiet.” A cheeky grin stretched his lips as he turned to her, holding out the dead woman in offering. “Don’t worry, I did all the hard work.”

And so it went.

It was easy to be around Mackenzie and she quickly became one of his closest friends. An air of extreme comfort settled around them, rendering all potential awkwardness null and void. They were open and honest, always, first and foremost, and there was an unspoken bond that didn’t need acknowledgment to make it real. They simply were.

Quickly, his heartbreak melted away, at least from the forefront. It’s true, he was probably using their friendship as a means to bury all hard feelings away. He didn’t process losing Sarah, and therefore, doomed himself to repeat a painful cycle.

Then, came the night.

He awoke to travesty, and an odd ringing in his ears. It seemed as though the place was crumbling and panic was abound as members of Sine Metu fled. He heard shouts that Mackenzie had fallen and, heart in his throat, Jasper lurched into action. Stone and debris fell around him, but it didn’t deter him from his goal. Whatever happened to her, whatever he was going to meet, he couldn’t leave her alone down here.

When he found her, the life - or whatever it is their kind possess - had almost completely gone from her. “Mack,” the sound that came from his throat was barely audible, and a shaky hand moved to get the flyaways from her face. “No, Mackenzie, no... you... you have to wake up and tell me what to do... Now, c’mon, wake up and- and... tell me...”

It was the second time he would hold her, and that sense of camaraderie was stronger than ever as he wept over her form. He’d failed her, and it would sit with him always.
January 07, 2019 08:45 pm

Mackenzie

He'd gotten her out, that much is for sure. It took time for Mackenzie to come to her senses after that blow, and she was left confused and betrayed. Had it not been for Jasper, she likely never would have without him. The woman had been broken, but she lived to tell the tale.

Three corpses and a lot of profanity laced b-tching later, and Mackenzie found herself without a will. She became nearly catatonic, staring ahead despite the comfort her company provided.

"It's not your fault, Jasp," she'd finally pipe up after who knew how long she'd remained in silent thoughtlessness. A pair of icy eyes set upon him, and she silently demands his direct attention. She'd reach out, take his hand, and ensure he heard her. Swallowing, it takes every last bit of her resolve to give him instruction.

"You go ahead to London, alright?"

Sending him away had been the single hardest thing she ever could have done, and Mackenzie hated herself in that moment. There had been a million things she could have done. She could have been honest with him. About everything. She should have told him her intentions, and she should have told him what he meant to her. But she didn't, because she honestly thought he knew.

Early 2013

Mackenzie had laid low. She hadn't joined Jasper in London. She didn't go anywhere. She simply remained, turning away from the rest of the Realm. There had only been one person aside from Jasper that had her back, and that was Mordent. What had been respect, because an unlikely friendship of sorts. And after she was laid low once more just a month after the fall of Sine Metu, she went to Moscow and got an audience with the notorious Slayer.

Mackenzie became a traitor to her race, and Jasper Thompson her fondest memory.

Why ruin the life he surely was creating for himself?
January 07, 2019 09:15 pm

Jasper Thompson

He'd wanted to protest leaving her in such a fragile state, and he did. But, ultimately, she won out, and even now, he wondered how different things would've been if he'd followed his guy and stayed. As it was, he went on to London as she asked, seeking out a home with Dannica in After Dark.

It was short-lived, however. Mackenzie never came to join him, and he was certain she must blame him for what happened. Not without reason; he should've been there, by her side, to face that battle. As his thoughts grew darker, he began spiraling again. Instead of reaching out to clear things up, he let it fester, falling into old habits and routines.

He left After Dark, only to join up with Pheenyx and her crew. It was entirely self-sabotage, as he wanted to see the one she picked over him. That only made his inward hatred worse, and he could feel himself losing grasp on everything. Not to mention, he'd been saddled with an infant sister that was just like him; volatile and unstable, and without the age or experience to control it.

His life became hell.

Enter Ransom Porter.

They'd been friends for a while by then, and it turned to something more. As they grew closer, he used her as a crutch, and it worked to build him back up. Eventually, he was never anywhere without her; she helped with Claire, he taught her Russian, and they made plans for the future. It was enough.

Soon, he found himself in some fancy black convertible that he no longer could recall the make of, going impossible speeds down the highway. She sat in his passenger seat, long dark hair blowing through the air in wild abandon. "Let's get married," he'd yelled over the roar of the wind, and she'd agreed.

A few weeks later, he toyed with the pen in his hand. It'd been a while since they'd talked, but Jasper couldn't picture himself getting hitched without her at least there to witness it. She was free to say no, and he wouldn't hold it against her. Finally, he decided that short and simple was best, so he attached the note to the invitation and sent it on its way.

Miss you being by my side.
-J
January 07, 2019 09:45 pm

Mackenzie

Mail. Mackenzie almost never got mail anymore, so it came as a surprise when the heavy, ornate envelope arrived with her name on it. She practically groaned at the possibilities, but silenced quickly when the invitation is revealed within her grasp. She turned it over in her hands before opening it, already feeling unrest begin to fester at her very core. The note is what does her in. Confusion doesn’t even begin to explain what she felt that day.

Jasp
Miss you, too.

Just like that, she sealed the deal. Mackenzie would haul off to see her best friend get married - no matter how much she hated the thought of it. She had no idea who this woman was. Not really. She had no clue what his note meant. All she really knew was that she should have f-cking gone to London.

The wedding was beautiful, as it should be. She barely had to travel at all, making the commute easy and any excuse she might make null. Moscow.

Mackenzie had dressed for the occasion. Dresses and heels were never part of her repertoire, but for this? Jeans and t-shirts would hardly be passable. Worse yet, people. So many people present, and so many she had no desire to see. She made it a point to keep her distance, not sensing immediate danger but not willing herself to be thrust into a blast from the past.

She was alone.

But he’s not.

Laying eyes on Jasper that day had been torture, but when she caught his attention she would gift him a soft smirk just like she has so many times. How could she not? He’s her person, and has been since day one. All she ever wants is his happiness, and she would support him even if it kills her.

It had only been a few months, though.

Maybe she should have pulled him aside.

No. She knew she needed to get a grip.

Later, she would regret that. She would blame herself for things outside her control, if only because she had the power to stop everything if only she had acted. But she didn’t, and she would forever shoulder that weight. She didn’t even say hello.
January 08, 2019 10:57 am
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