Author Topic: The Moon in Her Eyes  (Read 2899 times)


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The Moon in Her Eyes
« on: November 02, 2010, 06:44:41 PM »
Karine sat in the uncomfortable salesman chair and sighed, spinning lazily. The chairs were designed to be sat in for a few minutes while helping customers to find the perfect (and slightly over budget) ring or watch, and they were purposely designed to be uncomfortable so that the employees would wander around and clean things when not doing their commission-based work.

She was doodling on the back of some receipt tape, making nonsense patterns while she waited for the big clock on the wall to chime that it was finally time to close. Sunday nights weren't profitable, and she wondered why this mini mall was open until 10 on Sundays, but it was their loss in wages, not hers. She sighed as she filled the back of the scrap of paper, and flipped it over to see that she had filled that side of the page, as well.

Blowing her hair out of her eyes, she frowned at the clock that telling her she still had a half an hour to go. Karine had cased out 78 jewelry stores in her life, and it was easier every time. Wipe down the glass, empty the displays, memorize the number for the alarm, write the wrong number on a piece of paper in case another thief decides to take over the job you cased out, untangle the necklaces, vacuum, it was all second nature to her by now.

She frowned as the minute hand on the clock ticked back a minute before ticking forward on the next and she grabbed her purse, "To hell with it," she muttered, grabbing the small bag of papers that were all of the store's trash, and sweeping out the door and setting the alarm with clean, practiced movements. The manager of the store thought she was a transfer from a store two states over, maybe she could convince him that they let their employees step out if they haven't made any money in the last 6 hours. It wasn't as though the man had had any real interaction with the manager of the other store, every email sent out was carefully intercepted and replied to by her technological backup (in the form of an annoyingly smug cousin named Cherie who had a room in their apartment set up with more gear than a small town electronics store). Cherie had also neutered the phones in the other store to not accept calls from the manager's cell or home phones, or the store (it's amazing what the phone company can do for a poor girl getting stalked... or Cherie pretending to be a poor girl getting stalked... or for enough money and a convincing recording of a stalker victim).

The night air was cool, it was early November, and the moon was hanging nearly full just above the buildings. Karine smiled as she basked in the faint light it gave off and took in the scent of city life. Car exhaust, carefully tended plants, the distant scent of wood fire and the faint scent of rain in the cool air surrounded her, making her feel safe. The front parking lot for the mini mall that the jewelry store was in was forbidden to employees, and they had to park their cars in a back lot that sat a block away. Most of the stores had rear-facing employee entrances to allow garbage to go our and employees to go in. The jewelry store had no such entrance, it had been seen as a weakness of defensibility when the employees kept forgetting to lock one of the doors, and they had blocked it off in a rash move that was probably illegal.

Most of the stores in the mini mall had glass fronts, but many had displays that blocked the view into them from the outside, making it a fair mark, as it also blocked view from the inside to the outside. As the storefronts opened to the parking lot, there were also not many cameras, instead large signs hung saying that the owners of neither the stores nor the mall had any power if something happened to your car or any personal effects contained therein. Rounding the corner to the dark, unlit side of the mall she thought she caught sight of a second person in the shadow of the building, but when her eyes adjusted the imagined person was gone. She narrowed her eyes and carried the small bag of paper waste that she'd grabbed before locking the door over to the big dumpster, wrinkling her nose in distaste at the day-old foodstuffs that the small deli had contributed to the shared receptacle. She slammed the door down and sauntered away, the cloying scent of rot almost killing sense of smell. Almost.

She caught wind of chewing tobacco, old coffee and leather just moments before she heard the soft scrape on the concrete that betrayed the shadow person. She dodged as a pair of hands tried to close around her waist, and dropped her purse to crouch in a defensive position, cursing her pencil skirt's lack of a slit as she did ripped a seam.

Someone clapped softly, "Good show, love," A voice said from the shadows as she looked over her assailant. He hadn't followed her forward, instead stepping back into an easy ready position, shoulders relaxed but posture tight. He was a very big man, taller than her by nearly a foot and heavily muscled. He was in dirty clothes and his hair hung lanky and dirty in his face. As she scanned the darkness where the voice had come from, he cracked a startlingly white smile at her, the motion pulling scars on his face into sharp relief under the dark stubble covering his jaw.

"It's been a long time since I've seen Brutus here get caught in the act, as it were, hasn't it been, old boy?" The voice said again, an assumed British accent lilting in the night. Finally he slid from the shadows, a thin man with sharp, angular facial features who looked like he had missed a few too many meals recently. He was dressed similarly to Brutus, torn jeans, dirty flannel, long unkempt hair hanging free and oily, scarred leather jacket, it was like they went shopping together in dumpsters behind thrift stores.

"That it has," Brutus replied in a shockingly high tenor, "This one's gonna give us a run, I imagine," He ran his hand through his hair, only making the oily mess worse.

"I almost wish she would, she was hard enough to find, after all," The smaller man replied with a startling white smile. Karine's eyes narrowed, what kind of street thugs wore dirty clothes with dirty hair and got their teeth bleached?

She felt the blood flow out of her face when the smaller man pulled out a gleaming knife, big enough to be a military survival knife. Something was off about the knife, it was brighter than it ought to be, the faint moonlight seeming to glow in it. She had only a moment to worry over that when Brutus launched himself at her. She darted to the side, landing a fist in the back of his head as she slipped past his dive. He yelped, catching himself with his outstretched hands before his face hit the pavement, then reached out and grabbed one of her ankles before she could react, pulling her off balance and she landed hard on her butt. She slammed her free foot into his face, the pointed heel drawing blood on his cheek, then tried to hit him with it again, fighting to wiggle her other foot free when he moved faster than she could follow and ended up with a hand on either of her ankles, pushing her calves to the ground. She wiggled until her knees bent, grabbed her purse off the ground where it had landed before and swung that into his face as well, screaming bloody murder in the hopes that someone in the mall or one of the nearby apartments could hear her.

Brutus got both her ankles into one of his huge hands, and caught the wrist that had been swinging the bag into his face, squeezing until she gasped and dropped the bag. She slammed her fist into his eye, his forehead, anywhere she could reach, clawing biting and kicking, but he ended up on top of her, sitting on her hips and holding her wrists. She snarled at him in defiance, hooking her foot around one of his she pushed her hips in the air and pulled him to the side, using his grip on her wrists to manipulate his arms. She ended up on her knees with his legs wrapped around her and her arms still caught. She skinned her knee when he tried to use the momentum to keep them rolling and end with her on the ground again, but she managed to get firmly into his guard. She shrieked as the smaller man grabbed her hair, he had been out of the fight until now, and Brutus smiled again, his ultra white teeth jarring her as the moon caught his strange, light eyes. She pondered his eyes for a moment, hadn't they been dark? The smaller man pulled her head back, and she saw his smiling face upside down, as alien as his partner's with the matching teeth and the eyes that were too light to be natural, then her contemplation was ruined as she saw a flash of the big knife he'd pulled out before the attack.

"Sorry love," His fake accent seemed mocking and she fought, trying to free herself of the two men, "It's just a paycheck," He finished, pushing the blade between her ribs and releasing her hair. She looked down at the tip of the blade sticking out of her shirt by nearly an inch, dark red blossoming around it. Her last conscious thought was 'That was my favorite shirt,' Then she didn't think anything at all.

1673 words total
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 01:25:12 AM by Gwenivive »


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 12:30:50 AM »

2 Nov NaNo (2931 today, 4604 total)
Karine woke screaming.

When her screams had her coughing up hacking, railing coughs that tasted of copper and blood, she curled into the fetal position and whimpered. Terror forced her eyes to travel over the area she was in, checking for assailants.

She was surrounded by nothing.

Confusion broke her blind terror as she stared at her surroundings. No walls, no ceiling, just whiteness surrounding her totally and completely. The bright whiteness hurt her eyes as she stood and slowly spun, taking in the vastness of the nothing around her.

"What the hell is this?" She mused aloud, jumping at the sound of her own voice with another, guilty look around to see if anyone had seen it. She gasped as she remembered the reason for her terror, and tore her suit jacket open to check her chest. No blood coated her jacket or her white button down dress shirt, but a small hole was neatly cut into each, covering a small pink bubble of scar tissue, an inch wide and barely tall enough to be seen.

"Well I'll be damned..." She swore again, rubbing the new scar gently, then she looked around the white again, "Really, what the hell is this?" she mused, taking a step forward.

"This is the Prelife," A smooth, male voice answered from behind her. Karine gave an undignified shriek, then nearly fell into a fighting stance, facing her would-be attacker, then froze, confusion clear in her features, though her stance didn't waver.

She was facing a miniature living room set, a large, predominantly red Persian rug with two expensive antique-looking leather chairs set up on either side, framing a coffee table with claw legs that matched the chairs. The colors were bright and rich, making her eyes water in the nothingness of the white space.

Her vision cleared more and she stared as a man stood, reaching over to a phonograph that was partly hidden behind his chair to engage the needle, then settled back into the chair on the right, with a gesture to the other that she do the same. Still crouched she looked him over warily. He was young, maybe in his mid to late twenties she guessed, and he was wearing a three-piece pinstripe suit. The style seemed oddly outdated (much like the phonograph) with lapels a bit too wide, and the vest was cut oddly. It was almost a zoot suit, he even had a pinstripe fedora shoved over what looked to be a mess of black curls, but something was off about the whole thing. He was clean-shaven, and he had straight, white teeth whose canines were slightly too pointed for his smile. She shuddered as she remembered Brutus's all too similar smile and glared at the man with a renewed fervor.

"Oh stop the scowling, you'll get... crow's-feet," The man said, seeming to pause before using the appropriate slang. Karine straightened slightly, then sidled closer to the empty chair. He smiled wider and gestured that she should sit, and, feeling a sudden wave of exhaustion, she settled into the firm (but comfortable) chair to resume her scrutiny. The scent of old leather filled her nose, musty with the shared scent of books and pipe smoke.

"Have a personal library?" She asked, able to clearly imagine the set in a manor house.

"Aren't you perceptive?" The man smiled wider, his teeth as white as the nothingness around them. She looked around again, peeking behind the high-backed chair to try to discern a detail of where they were. "Tea?" The man asked, and she jumped, whipping back around to face him. He hadn't moved, but a fancy bone china tea service was sitting on the coffee table, the pot was steaming and the scent of black tea filled the small area.

"How did..." she began, then cut off as he laughed, a sharp barking sound.

"Maybe not so perceptive," he grinned, chuckling softly to himself, "This is the Prelife, things are made and unmade here in less time than it takes to think of them, if you know how to do it right, sometimes you can make them stick around," his Cheshire grin never left her as he poured himself a cup of tea and added some cubes of sugar. He leaned back and gestured with his hand that she should help herself.

"What are you?" She asked guardedly, glaring at him.

"Now, now, you shouldn't have big conversations on an empty stomach, you drink and we'll talk," the reply was as jovial as it was chiding and she scowled more as she poured herself a cup, leaning back in her own chair. "Well?" He prompted, taking a sip of his tea. She frowned and took a swallow, the warmth making a path to her stomach and blossoming through her. She pondered that, was she cold? The white place didn't seem to have a temperature, or a scent, instead taking on the aspects of the things in it.

"I am Arkadas," he told her, as though it were a heavily guarded secret that he was bestowing on her.

"I asked what, not who," she replied sharply, taking another small sip of her drink.

"I guess your culture would call me... fae? Fairy?" He tested the words, enunciating carefully as though checking the taste for the meaning's accuracy.

Karine froze, the liquid in her stomach running cold, "Is this pond water?" She asked, scrutinizing the dark liquid.

His laugh earned him another glare and he stifled it to a chuckle, "No, it really is tea," he assured her, draining his first cup in evidence, "I guess the more accurate term would be demon."

"I'm not sure which I preferred, that you'd feed me stagnant water or that you want to take my soul and enslave me," she thought hard, why wasn't she panicking? She took another sip of tea, unbidden. Maybe it really was a fairy brew, she thought with a grimace.

"Neither term is completely accurate, though I do offer you a trade," he said with an innocent grin, setting his empty cup on the table.

"Does it involve my soul?" She asked.

"No, no, even if you had one I think I would be hard pressed to find a use for it, incorporeal entities are rather hard to pin down," his reply was the same, carefully amused tone.

"So I don't have a soul. Am I dead?" She asked, the thought setting her stomach churning and sending her hand to the hole in her jacket.

"In a matter of speaking, yes you are. Don't worry about the whole soul issue, though, you can't lose what you never had, your society invented souls to reassure them about life after death,"

"What does 'in a manner of speaking' mean, anyhow? Is there? Life after death, that is," she drained her dainty tea-cup and placed it on the table as well.

"Well you're alive, and you most certainly died, that speaks volumes for life after death, don't you think?" He spread his hands in a shrug, then interlaced them over his stomach, elbows on the chair arms.

"But in a matter of speaking I'm dead, what does that mean?" She insisted.

"You died, knife through some lung and some heart, un-fixable, you bled out over the pavement and some pimple-faced kid from the deli is going to find your body by the dumpster around dawn," Arkadas began, "yet here you are in the Prelife, having a spot of tea with a demon and listening to the cool sounds of jazz on his shnazzy phonograph," his haunting grin returned.

"Who says shnazzy anymore?" She griped, only then even hearing the music. It was a florid little piano intro, and she grinned as the pianist did the same turn that her accompanist did, imagining his face as he bit his lip and prayed it came out right. The piano part mellowed out, and when the singer started in, Karine's world turned upside down. "Where did you get a recording of me singing?" She demanded, pointing accusingly at the phonograph, "Where did you get a recording of me singing on a record?" She continued, paling as she heard the familiar noises of her great-uncle's bar, "I would understand a digital recorder, or if you're old school a tape recorder maybe, but a record? Who even makes records anymore?" Her voice was raising in anger and she flushed at the sound of it in the silent nothing.

"I like records, they have good quality, I don't know why societies always push things to be smaller, if bigger works then why change it?" Arkadas replied, pouring more tea into each of their cups.

"That doesn't answer where you got a record with my voice on it, singing in Lou's Back Alley Speakeasy, how is that even possible?" She refused the proffered cup when he held it out to her, crossing her arms and glaring distrustfully.

"I already told you, this is the Prelife, things are made here, things that could exist, things that couldn't. If you know how to do it right, sometimes you can make the thing you're interested in stick around, for example, I was quite keen on acquiring a Karine Persephone Fiona Bella Cruz without a giant hole in her chest," he raised his eyebrows meaningfully at that, "Now take your tea before it goes cold," he finished. Through his whole speech he had been holding out at arm's length a dainty bone china tea-cup on its little saucer. His grip was firm, and his arm was so steady he easily held it at the end of his reach the entire time without even agitating the surface tension of the liquid.

Karine snatched the tea from his reach, then gulped it down in two large swallows, nearly slamming the little cup back to the table, but catching herself just before it would have hit: it was a gorgeous set, after all. She sighed and leaned back in her chair, "So you have 'acquired' me, now what?" her mistrust was clear on her face, but she kept herself in check to hear the demon's proposal.

"There is a group who would rather you not live long enough to see an event transpire," Arkadas began, setting his tea aside untouched. Karine's eyes narrowed at his refusal to drink another cup, but she was feeling pretty warm and fuzzy from her own downed draught, "I am on the other side of the fence, I'd rather see the four of you make it," The demon grimaced and took his hat off smoothing his hair nervously.

It was the most real mannerism Karine had seen from him yet, and she payed closer attention to him, now, "The four of us?" She asked softly.

"I'm really bungling this up," He said, a hint of an accent playing on the edge of his voice as he spoke, "Doing a right good job of that, too," He continued. The accent wasn't British, though Karine's mind told her that the words were most easily characterized as such. She frowned, it was a throaty accent, like German but with harder R's. He shook his shoulders briefly then his face cleared, "It doesn't matter, I'm going to be dropping you off with some friends, people you can trust, what I need you to do is survive. It should be easy: don't die. It draws attention when I have to pull strings and bring you back, your existence has brought you many enemies," He sighed, "Not a lot of this encounter will stick with you, it's easy to forget when you're an ephemeral being... the tea doesn't help, though it does keep you amenable... just remember to be careful, okay?" She nodded numbly at the man across from her, "I need to get you out of the Prelife, too much attention, but you'll be glad to hear that I managed to get your survival kit out of the trunk of your car," He grinned, pointing at the huge black duffel bag now sitting on the whiteness at the edge of the rug.

"My kit?  Why do I need my kit?  Can't I pack some clothes?  Where am I going?"  She asked, yawning widely as her brain thought things over at the rate of a snail.

"To a friend's house... he doesn't live... near you," Arkadas shifted nervously and Karine grinned at him thinking he was pretty cute, "You'll be confused, but I want you to understand, you won't be in your reality.  It's similar to yours, but several million years older, before the third fall of humanity."

"How many times has humanity fallen for me?" She asked as Arkadas stood, easily lifting her kit's strap over his shoulder.  She frowned: it was hard for her to even lift the thing.

"You're in the sixth age of man, it's similar because we keep leading you all to the same conclusions, but no matter what we try, you still fall..." He grinned as he lifted her easily from the chair, "Asleep." he  whispered, blinking out of the Prelife with Karine unconscious in his arms.

- - -

Jack Jones wandered through the ruins of a small town under the dim, steadily growing light of the rising sun.  The town hadn't been anything special before B-day, but even in the soothing light of dawn the dark buildings became looming, cavernous monument to life before the end of time.

The edges of town had broken windows and shattered doors, but the farther from the steadily encroaching forest one traveled, the more the landscape looked like a wilder, dirtier version of it's previous grandeur.  The windows were intact, though dirty, the doors were still locked (though many of the buildings had fallen walls or caved-in roofs); there were even cars in carports and driveways, though time and plant life had long since made them unusable.  He shuddered to think of the people who had simply died in their homes, cut down by an afflicted family member and left to bleed out and decay.  Saplings were taking over the road, pushing the pavement aside to reach their tentative leaves toward the sun.

"To think we did this to ourselves," he whispered, sitting on a crumbling curb.  Like most people, he had avoided cities since B-day, the day the joined military forces of the most powerful (and rich) countries had 'accidentally' activated the sleeper training in hundreds of thousands of blonde men, women, boys, and girls.

The carnage was amazing, terrible and beautiful in it's single-mindedness and efficiency.

The world power's governments had offered free in-vitro fertilization  to 'qualifying applicants' with the understanding that the parents let the children attend a special group of academies until the age of 16.  The premise was that they were doing an experiment studying children of different backgrounds and social levels and the effect schooling has on them.  Or something of the sort, many reasons were given to get the parents to agree.  What actually happened was the children's DNA was fiddled with, and the mothers were impregnated with children destined to be blond, strong, and smart.  The schools imprinted the children with sleeper training to make them deadly agents that would kill for their country without memory or guilt.  The cover story that the governments gave after B-day (and shortly before anarchy took over) was that one blond was supposed to be activated to neutralize a terrorist threat.

Instead, blond men and women created riots and bedlam across the world, killing anyone they could before their hapless victims fled into the wilderness.  No one was sure why the blondes didn't follow society into the mountains and woods, but it was soon established that the cities belonged to the blondes, and no one should go there.  That had been nearly a hundred years ago.

Jack remembered it like it had been a month ago.  He shuddered in the memory, he had been in his fifties.  A young shifter, he had been turned in his twenties, and he had only just begun to accept his extended life when the world fell and threatened to take everything away.  Jack was blond, but he had been born blond a decade before the pro-bono in vitro initiative.  Unfortunately, as blondes were killed on sight without trial or hesitation, Jack's life was a bit... hectic.

He ran his hand over his black dyed hair and grimaced, the key to life for a blond shifter was the same as the key to life for any shifter, or any farmer for that matter.  Shortly before the fall of society, there had been an agricultural breakthrough discovery, a new fertilizer that occurred naturally in nature.  Easy to harvest and cure, the miracle fertilizer was also found to keep blood fresh, allowing hospitals and blood banks to store blood unrefrigerated for months before storing it using the previously conventional means, and it was completely safe as transplant blood with no prep work.  It also, if mixed with a bit of water, would instantly dye any hair on the human body completely black until the hair grew, or was washed with a lye-based soap, leaving the surrounding skin completely unaffected by the pigments.  The multiple uses of the substance (called Black Blood or 2B) made it easy to explain keeping it handy, though there was always the sinking worry that the person in control of it was blond.  Jack snorted derisively, the blondes that had instigated the attack were all dead, and any children they might have had wouldn't be the same  ruthless killers as their parents.


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 12:05:08 AM »

3 Nov NaNo (1649 today, 6253 total)
Jack sighed and pulled himself upright, 'no need to dwell over the past when you have so many problems to worry about in the present,' he thought glumly, swirling the liquid in his canteen to ascertain its level.  A little over half gone, giving him about a quart of blood to last as his only food source unless he found someone else to travel with.

Shifters fed one of two ways, off the blood of humans, or parasitically off particularly strong empathic emotions.  Most had a preferred or predisposed emotion; lust, joy, anger, sadness, or fear.  In rare cases, physical pain could be used, and in even rarer cases the shifter can't take any of them at all, completely relying on blood to keep the spring in their step and their undeath in check.

Journeying deeper into the depressing town, Jack weighed the pros and cons of undeath, "Pro," he muttered to no one, combating the stillness of the town that even animals were loathe to enter, "shape shifting," all shifters could turn into two animals, a 'shift form' and a 'rage form', the latter usually a bigger, more lethal version of the first, with the pesky side effect of possible madness to the point of final death. "Con," he continued, "silver burns," half of all shifters were violently allergic to silver, unless also touching gold (a little known fact that rarely made it to lore), though the rest were completely the opposite, drawing power from silver and burning in the presence of gold. It was the latter group that propogated the silver myths.

A sound from a cross street caused Jack to stop in his tracks, scenting the air and listening. He heard it again, a shuffling, like many feet moving quietly and in unison. His lip curled as he shimmied up a rusted fire escape ladder to the flat roof of what used to be a gas station convenience store. Carefully he shed his clothes and checked the twin gold studs in the cartilage of his right ear. From one second to the next, accompanied by a cascade of blue sparkling light, a brown traditional house cat stood where Jack had. Ten silver spots lay across the little cat's back in a lower cased 't' where Jack had been branded as a thief, the brand itself set by the very silver coins he had nicked from a vendor (it ruined the coins, making them useless to the vendor, which Jack found very amusing).

Newly less than twenty pounds, Jack the cat dashed across the crumbling roof to the leaning cinderblock wall nearest the sound he'd heard. He looked down and silently swore, five men wearing the colors of the nearby land baron were creeping down the pockmarked road, their boots nearly silent on the pavement. Jack thought about the book he'd stolen from the baron, it was from before B-day, making it very valuable, but seeing how most of the common folk were mostly illiterate, it was very hard to make any money off books. People only learned the reading they needed, foodstuffs, household supply names and basic figurings were more than enough literature and math for the post-apocalyptic world.

The book he had stolen was one of a set, the x,y,z book from an encyclopedia set, the last book needed by the wealthy mayor on the other side of the town. The mayor's village was five days from the barony on foot travelling around the old town ruins, three to go through the ruins (a feat that many were too afraid to try). Both men were trying to get a full pre-blond encyclopedia set, through any means neccesary.

'I'm going to charge him double' Jack thought miserably, leaping from the far side of the building to a tree that had been planted as ambiance when the town was inhabited, and was now pushing branches into walls. He crept to the ground, then, centering himself on the faded white line of the road, he made a slight adjustment to his shift form, making his mouth and throat sparkle blue for a moment, then he sat as neatly as a cat can, feet tucked in and his tail wrapped neatly around himself.

"Hey!" The cat yelled in Jack's voice. The men panicked, fanning out and whipping around, grabbing for swords and knives and bows.

"Who goes?" The obvious leader of the group called. He was met with silence as Jack stared at him distainfully, as only a cat can.

"S'just a cat," one of the men said softly.

"My aunt was killed by a cat," a man holding a knife said, looking longingly at his comrade's bow.

"Maybe it's a devil cat," another replied.

"Real cats are bigger, maybe its a devil kitten?" A third replied. Jack cringed inside, cats had evolved since he had been turned, they'd gotten much bigger and feral and mean. His shift form wasn't a very good disguise any more.

"Really boys?  A devil kitten?  It's just a kitten.  Just ignore it and we won't bring the wrath of it's mother," The leader said with authority.   He turned to walk away, but the men continued to stare at Jack, fear in their eyes.

Jack smiled.  A sharp, cheshire grin spread over the his face, looking alien on his feline features.  The men gasped and whispered amongst each other, shoving and pointing and gesturing wildly.  The leader of the group had moved forward nearly thirty feet before realizing that none of his men were behind him.

"What are you buffoons doing?  It's a damn kitten, if it bothers you so much, shoot it, now let's... Oh," He saw Jack's grin and frowned, "What the hell is that?" he mused, forgetting his initiative to move forward.

Jack stood, still grinning, and with a practiced control, slowly began the shift to his rage form.  He snarled as his shoulders grew, muscle and sinew pouring to fill out his small form.  His legs grew longer and the claws on the end of his expanding feet grew longer and sharper.  His jaws grew to accommodate his growing rows of razor sharp teeth.  His ears extended to hear farther noises more clearly and his eyes were completely gold, the light of it casting his slit black pupils more fiercely than they had been against the dark green of his normal eye color.

"You're disturbing the ruins, are you thieves to loot the dead?" His voice was gravelly and harsh as he spoke.  One of the bowmen shot at him in panic, but the shot wasn't a good one, and the arrow bounced off his coarse brown fur, the same in color but not in texture as the small cat he had once been, "I think you ought to leave my lands," Jack continued, "Unless you want to join the others under my protection," He snarled meaningfully and slowly started forward, still grinning like a mad fool.  The thin line the men had made broke, and they ran screaming through the side streets toward the tall trees surrounding the ruins.

Jack rolled onto his back, laughing as the blue glittering light cascaded over him, leaving him a naked man in the street.  He climbed back up the ladder, retrieving his clothes and his bag, and was out of the decrepit town by dusk, setting up a small camp site in a gully within view of the crumbling buildings.

- - -

Jack had only been asleep a few hours when he heard a rustling nearby.  Safely on the side of the ruins farthest from the land baron's men he ignored it, assuming an animal was rooting around nearby.   As a silver net landed over him he determined that that was not the case.  He flailed out, trying to force his way out of the net before they closed it, but he failed, feeling the edges tighten into a sack.

He was caught in a silver sack.

His earrings kept him from burning at the contact of the foul metal, but it wasn't a comfortable fit either way, what with it being a sack he was tied into and all.  He flailed and kicked and pushed at the material holding him in, but it wouldn't give and he finally lay panting and exhausted, trying to find out who had caught him.

"You sure, Brutus?" A whiny voice asked softly in the dark.  Jack strained to see Brutus or the man who had spoken, but between the bag and the low light, he was completely blind.

"You two were hired to catch him, if you don't want to see what happens to him now, then leave," Another voice said, a terrible and familiar voice.

"James!" Jack shouted, "James you miserable bastard, let me out of this damned bag!" The second voice began to laugh, and the light in the little clearing grew, revealing to Jack the man that had turned him into a shifter over a century ago.

"You know, Jack, I was only a few decades old when I turned you, I thought it would be fun to have a partner, someone who always did what he was told, someone who would always love you.  Humans are so temporary, you only get a few good years out of them before they fade, they're almost always too old or young to be of any use.  You were supposed to do whatever I told you, I'm your MAKER, you damned fool.  They told me to kill you the first time you didn't answer the call, but I let you be, I let you live and you repayed me by running away," The small man sounded almost mourning as he stirred the camp fire and added more fuel.  More fuel than would be needed for cooking.  He was making a bon fire.  Jack panicked and began kicking and clawing the bag.


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 12:15:29 AM »

« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 01:29:12 AM by Gwenivive »


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 12:06:27 AM »

5 Nov NaNo (452 Today, 8540 Total)

« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 01:30:35 AM by Gwenivive »


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2010, 01:49:50 AM »
6 Nov NaNo (1334 today, 9874 total)

"Yes," Arkadas replied with that predatory grin, "You see, it was supposed to be easier to keep you alive, what with the raised life expectancies of... you know, I'll take the jump, what is it that you think you are?"

"Well, though you said it doesn't matter,  I'll tell you, though it's kind of like you, there isn't a really good term for it.  Now we call ourselves shifters, before there were a few names; Vampires, because like the vampire myths involved slight manipulation of humans and blood drinking.  Werewolves, or weres, because we all change into things, all predators, and predominantly large predators," His tone turned a little sour at that concession, "and we golds are pretty convinced that's where their our little allergy came into common knowledge, last is the school of thought that we're minor demons, incubi and succubi specifically, because of our ability to get what we need from people out of their emotions," Jack set the tea cup down and leaned back into the chair.

Arkadas looked contemplative, "We call you de Aurgint, silver de Aurgint, gold de Aurgint, you're...  like us to an extent... lesser demon, I rather like it.  Unlike humanity, we actually made your species, instead of watching you grow.  I was rather fond of the idea of waiting for another species to get sentience, but nooo, the primates were the way to go.  Then we bound to humanity, through you.  Really though, I digress," Arkadas hurried on quickly, before Jack could get out a question, "The job, which you will take because you haven't an option, is to keep someone alive, which should be relatively easy for you, despite your track record of two deaths thus far."

"Who'm I keeping alive?" Jack asked, slurring his words slightly.  His eyes narrowed in suspicion as he noticed how heavy his limbs felt.

"Karine Persephone Fiona Bella Cruz, you'll meet her in two weeks, but we really must be going to the house, I do believe that three cups was the proper limit for a de Aurgint after all!" Arkadas rose with a grin.

"You said three more cups, not three altogether!" Jack demanded, leaning heavily on the arm of the chair.

"Yes, but the first thing you'll remember about demons and fae is that we say we  can't lie.  Just because we say it doesn't mean it isn't so, in fact, it's damning evidence to the contrary!" Arkadas laughed merrily, his smile reminding Jack painfully of the phrase 'grinning like a gator' and he shifted uneasily, the cloying film of sleep beginning to take over his mind, "Remember Jakob, you keep her alive, or I'll be very displeased."

"Usually jobs... pay," Jack prompted, struggling to stay awake.

"Trust me, succeed and you'll get everything you could ever want or need," the looming sharklike grin of Arkadas above him was the last thing Jack remembered before the drugs overtook him and he slipped into unconsciousness.
- - -

Thomas was sitting on his kitchen counter, reading the newspaper and drinking a cup of coffee laced with some preserved hospital blood.  It was still predawn, but the sun was lightening the horizon, stirring the birds and sending the commuters to work.  The sounds of the morning washed in soothingly from the open kitchen windows, facing the back yard that opened into a sprawling city park with carefully manicured gardens that covered the smell of traffic on the nearby highway.  His ears perked slightly at the sound of a car in a driveway, but he shook it off, imagining that his neighbor must have slept at a lady acquaintances's house, and come home early to shower and change for work.  He made a mental note to not get caught at his mailbox by the overly chatty double-divorcee, and tried to re-submerge himself into the news story on the front page.

A heavy knock on the front door made him jump, then glare over his breakfast bar to where the door was.  Unfortunately, though being a goldeye made his senses sharper, it did not let him see through doors, so he carefully stowed his coffee in the cold oven, checking his fridge to make sure his blood supply was still hidden in it's opaque margarine container at the back of the bottom shelf, and strode to the door silently.  He swore softly as he peeked through the peep hole and saw an old acquaintance, grinning like a cat in cream.

"Arkadas," He said as he opened the door, "What a pleasure, do come in," the words were right, but the tone was dry.

"Tisk tisk, I save your life and you seem hardly able to spare a moment for me, i was wondering, do you have a second car in your garage?" Arkadas asked, looking meaningfully at the two car monstrosity that made the house look twice its size.

"No," Thomas said carefully, "Did you need to store something?" his tone was guarded.

"Of a sort, you'll understand better once I pull my car into the garage," Thomas's eyes narrowed as the smaller man's grin spread, if possible, wider.

Thomas stepped in through his living room to the laundry room door, then on to the garage.  He engaged the button, and sent the door up, consternation on his face as a sleek black car purred into the large, open space next to his own truck. "Since when do you drive?" Thomas asked as Arkadas stepped from the driver's seat and stepped back to the trunk.

"Since showing up on your doorstep with an unconscious man is apparently a faux pas?" he retorted, opening the trunk.

"Fo what?" Thomas asked, exasperated already with the little man's strange speech, "Wait, unconscious?  Is he okay?"

"Oh yes, that's right, I forgot that that didn't catch on here, um... it means a breach in etiquette, and he's fine, I just doped him up for the ride, is all.  Most people find travelling to be... uncomfortable," Arkadas replied, his cheeks flushing slightly at the admission.

"How kind of you to let me be your test rat for that one, I could have done without the knowledge of what it feels like to have every cell in your body pulled apart, pushed through holes too small for them, then put together again.  Especially with the cleansing procedure when you're pulled in, that was definitely something I needed to experience," Sarcasm was heavy in Thomas's voice as he let Arkadas pull the sleeping man out of the trunk by himself.  Arkadas may have been shorter than his own heavily muscled six-foot-three, but Thomas never for a second believed that he was stronger than the smaller man, "There's a bed upstairs in the guest room, you can stow him there, how long am I watching the vagrant?" He asked, sullen in the knowledge of the inevitability of the act.

"Um... Arkadas looked slightly nervous, "Indefinitely?" He shrugged as much as one holding an unconscious man as though he were as light as an infant could.

"Indefinitely?" The word was stressed, but not outraged, as it once would have been.

Arkadas's steady grin came back, "You're maturing, you would have thrown a fit over this before!" He seemed to be pleased in an oddly paternal way.

"Will he be unconscious the whole time?" Thomas' voice was sullen.

"No, he's de Aurgint, he'll be awake within the hour," Arkadas replied, maneuvering up the stairs to the spare bedroom.

"You know I don't like silvereyes," The voice was threatening, malice spilling off the large, muscular man.  Thin pink scars marred the perfect brown of his exposed arms and neck, fading to black at a slower rate than they would have if he were human.  Though if he were human the attacks that had caused them would have killed him.

"He's gold, he's a house-cat, I'm sure a tiger can deal with a widdle bwown kitty," Arkadas's voice went high and mocking in the way that people's do when they speak to infants.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 01:31:37 AM by Gwenivive »


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 12:48:15 AM »

Thomas glared at the smaller man and sighed, looking at the thin, unconscious man on the bed.  His hair was black, almost unnaturally so, and it hung long across his forehead.  His stubble was the same dark color, setting his skin into an unnatural pallor, though he seemed weather worn, tan and old beyond the years of his youthful face.

"How old is he?" Thomas asked, hushing in the presence of the sleeping man instinctively.

"Um... twenty four I believe, though I doubt he remembers the exact year," Arkadas said vaguely, looking over the books in the shelf.  The spare bedroom was also an office of sorts, holding a desk and bookshelf as well as a dresser and bed.

"Not how old was he," Thomas clarified, "How old is he now?"

"Hm, let me see... ooh, this book is a good one, I helped inspire it when I was playing muse," Arkadas busied himself rearranging the books in a haphazard looking fashion.

"Arkadas, I'm letting this man into my home for who knows how long, it's only fair that I get to ask a few questions about him," Thomas rubbed his temples in exasperation.

"About one fifty, give or take, though he's been out of society for two thirds of that, so give him a little leeway if he does some odd things, okay?" Arkadas straightened and looked at Thomas, "Here's a few hundred bucks... that didn't stick... a few hundred cred, get him some clothes and a haircut, maybe a collar if he wants to wander as a cat,"   Arkadas extended a tidy stack of bills to the newly bewildered Thomas, "There's a bit extra in there, to cover his room and board," His predator grin firmly in place, he raised ahand and waved goodbye.

"Don't you--" Thomas began, but Arkadas winked out of sight, leaving Thomas alone in the room with an unconscious man and a stack of bills large enough to choke a horse.  He almost checked to see if the car was still in the garage, but Jack began to stir, "Showtime," He sighed, shoving the bills in his back pocket and sitting on the clean desk, his feet on the rolling chair.

"You bastard, how dare you knock me out!" Jack shouted, sitting bolt upright on the bed, then he grabbed his head with both hands and fell back to the pillows, moaning.

"He got you bad, didn't he?" Thomas asked, testing the scent in the air.  Pain and confusion were blotted out quickly by fear, though it quickly came under control.

"I'm sure you'll forgive me if I don't look around, I haven't been drugged for a lifetime, and coming down from it is proving... painful.  Why is there a tiger here?" Jack's voice was calm, though his scent was still panicked.

Thomas chuckled, "This is my house, Arkadas dropped you off with me,  presumably either to keep you out of trouble, or to keep you safe," his tone was light still, but questioning.

"I was recently caught between a silver net and a bon fire, I'm pretty sure he's trying to keep me away from the men who'd rather have me dead.  Either that or he's interested to see if we kill each other when in close quarters, but considering my rage shift can't even compete with your normal shift, I doubt it... unless HE wants me dead," Jack mused, holding his hands over his eyes to keep the light out.

"Well, we could always make a truce," Thomas replied, studying Jack intently.

"I'm all for it, I don't know what he told you about me, but I'm a thief, caught and branded, but my word is fact... Unlike that demon Archie," His voice took on a falsetto, "'Oh, it's fine, you can drink more tea, obviously your metabolism can take it,' fucking demon," He finished in a growl, rolling onto his side to slide his legs off the bed and sit up, his hands still covering his eyes.

"Branded?" Thomas asked, curiously.

"Yeah, giant 't' on my back, looks like a cross.  They branded me with silver, so it even shows in my shift, I'll show you sometime, it'll be great," Jack's voice was dry as he tentatively removed a hand at a time from his eyes, trying to adapt to the dim light steadily pouring into the room.

"So, is this a truce?" Thomas asked, returning to the topic at hand.

"I'm sure I'm stuck here, and I'm just as sure that I don't want to be looking over my shoulder for forever to see if you're there, so yes, absolutely, truce, if you want to set the terms in writing then go ahead," Jack's hands were securely over his eyes again, with his elbows on his knees.

"No, oddly enough I feel I can trust you, with that I'm going to remind you that if you betray that, I will end you," Thomas said, his tone steady and matter of fact, "I'm going downstairs, when you feel better, we'll get some food and blood into you," He finished, rising and sauntering from the room.


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2010, 12:48:22 AM »

Jack sat on the bed, holding his head in his hands and trying to purge the adrenaline from his system while dealing with his drug induced headache.  His body was screaming to flee from the musty scent of tiger in the room, and in his moments of peeking out from around his hands he had clearly seen what appeared to be pre-blond architecture, the squishy bed under him helped enforce that, and it did not help his panicked state much.  Roughly an hour later he stood, steadying himself on the chair in front of him.  Stumbling, he found his way to the bathroom, staring at the basin in front of him.

"Water," He muttered, looking at the familiarly alien knobs in front of him.  He reached out and tenderly turned the H knob, grinning widely as water began to trickle, then gush out of the faucet.  He put the tips of his fingers into the stream, hissing softly as the water heated too quickly and burned his fingertips.  Muscle memory had him temper the hot water by turning the cold knob, and he splashed some of the pleasantly warm water onto his face, relaxing him and setting his mood positively.  He found a clean towel by scent, and rubbed his face dry, basking in the scent of detergent in the soft fabric.  He passed the other rooms by (not wishing to disturb the privacy of his new, potentially lethal roommate) and crept silently down the stairs.

"I recognize that smell..." Jack said, scenting the air in confusion.

"Coffee?" Thomas prompted, pointing at the full carafe, sitting in the coffee maker to stay at the proper drinking temperature.  Jack's throat burned and he fought as his eyes pricked with tears.  Holding his eyes wide and keeping his gaze carefully averted from Thomas, he pulled the clean, empty mug on the counter by the coffee maker closer to him, and pulled the pot out of its dock carefully, pouring some of the bitter liquid into the cup, marveling at the scent.

"Something wrong?" Thomas asked, keeping his newspaper in his hands as a cover as he scrutinized the man at the other end of the counter from him.

Jack laughed, a weepy, bitter little laugh, "Do you know it's been about fifty years since I've had a cup of coffee?  Tea lasted a little longer after the looting started, you could still possibly find tea sachets if you looked hard enough, though unless they were sealed away they taste wretched, but the coffee... it went first," He looked into the cup, trying desperately to ignore the wetness on his face, "I don't even remember how I take it," He felt weak, an emotion that didn't sit well for him.  He dashed the tears away with the back of his hand, and pulled the cup of steaming coffee over to the small dining table at the end of the kitchen.

"Cream and sugar?  I have some O negative in the fridge, it's fresh from the hospital, but it didn't escape getting the preservatives, I can only stand the stuff cut in coffee, but it's between that and getting it fresh, and I don't like the hunt as much as is deemed proper," Thomas suggested, helpfully.

"What's your predisposition?" Jack asked, feeling and sounding sullen as he held his face in the steam coming off his cup.

"Pain," Was the embarrassed reply.

"Can you take it away, or only feed off it?"

"Feed, I wish I could take it, it'd make me feel better about it.  I volunteer once a month to read the newspaper to the burn ward victims.  It's depressing as hell, but it helps for a week, and when I'm there I can get enough blood for a month from my connection in storage," Thomas explained.

"I can take it, but I feed on joy," Jack sighed, "It's hard to keep people happy when they live in third world conditions, terrified of war and disease.  Even eating normal food made me feel guilty, like I was depriving someone who needed it more," He sighed heavily, "Though I knew that wasn't the point, food makes it easier to stave off the other hunger, and people need their souls more than they need food," He was depressing himself, so he shook his shoulders and took a sip of the coffee, now cool enough for drinking.  He made a face, "Sugar for sure, and if you have extra, maybe some of the O?"

Thomas smiled, jumping down from the counter and acquiring both of the requested items, accepting Jack's praise of his blood hiding container with aplomb and gratitude.  They spent a few hours in companionable silence, Jack borrowing pages of the newspaper as Thomas finished them, pleased that the language was the same, and accepting Thomas's explanation that Arkadas and his kin had designed it that way, every time humanity rose.

"I'm apparently not the only one he's bringing to you, by the way," Jack mentioned, as Arkadas's name came into the conversation.

"I can't say I'm pleased, but I'm oddly unsurprised," Thomas sighed, "So who are we to expect?"

"A girl's name... Karen? Karina?  Something like that, she has more names than me, and that's saying something," They both chuckled at that, "She's supposed to be here in two weeks," He added, leaning comfortably in the chair, his energy beginning to wane.

"For Arkadas that could mean an hour, or a year, his accuracy isn't always perfect unless it has to be," Thomas said, mysteriously.

"You know a lot about the crazy old man," Jack tested, prodding but not pushing.

Thomas laughed loudly, a belly shaking laugh that had Jack almost join in, if he hadn't felt it was slightly pointed at him, "I'm sure it seems like that," He began as his laughter died down, "But really I probably know about as much as you do.  He saved me from being a pit fighter, long enough ago that I lost track of the years.  The scars are almost faded," He gestured to the thin lines on his arms, no thicker than cat scratched, "but never gone," He tapped his temple at that, "And the crazy old man helped me get help for it, before I drove myself mad.  I'm still not sure what he wants from me, but I owe him everything... though it doesn't mean I have to like it when he shows up," he conceded, appending a condition at the last moment.

"Understandable, he's something else, that's for sure," Jack said, meaningfully.

"It's the teeth, right?" Thomas's laugh was a dark, throaty sound that made Jack smile.

"Who has a grin like that? Maybe a shark with a good dentist," they both chuckled at that, then fell into a companionable silence.

"Don't take this the wrong way," Thomas said, rising to rinse out his mug, "because I know nothing from the Prelife could possibly need to be cleaner, but when was the last time you had a shower? When I found out about them in the first place Arkadas moved me I would run the heater out of water and wait until it warmed back up to do it again, but this place has a system that instantly heats the water, so you could spend 8 hours just standing in the hot water," he looked proud and embarrased, "and it's not like my water bill could get any worse, they've sent three inspectors to make sure I'm not flooding my basement, and that the park isn't stealing water from me for their sprinklers."

"A shower, wow, yeah, they've been trying to replicate them since b-day..." Jack trailed off. Showering had always seemed so trivial, until the event, then they were one of the first things people missed.

"Want me to show you how the controls work? There's not a lot of soap stuff, but what there is you can feel free to use, I figure you can wash up and take a nap while I grab you some amenities, socks, underwear, things you don't have to try on, then we can try the mall on a... less stressful day," Thomas said, leading a dazed Jack up the stairs.

After Thomas had taught Jack how to control the temperature and the water pressure, he left the room and Jack pushed the door mostly closed and stripped out of his new clothes, reading size tags to Thomas, who promised a selection when he woke up. He locked the door and crept to the gleaming tiled altar to cleanliness. Thomas was serious about his bathing, he determined, gaguing by the size and cleanliness of the tub. Tigers often napped in water in captivity and zoos, he remembered, so it made slightly more sense to him. He shivered in anticipation as he stepped into the tub, just beyond the reach of the spray of water. He hesitated briefly, then stepped into the water with a moan of pleasure, letting the warm water run over his shoulders and back, beating out the worries and stress of the road.

Civilization was good.

- - -

Thomas had waited a few minutes while the water pattered unevenly upstairs, then slipped into the garage to get his truck. The car was gone, but it hadn't left a puddle of fluid so he didn't really mind, wondering if anyone had seen the car pull in that would be worried that they hadn't seen it pull out. 'Maybe Arkadas jumped to the car and drove it away,' he mused as he pulled the truck out to the curb, then pushed the button to close the garage behind him.

Waving at his neighbor, who had waited until lunch to come home and shower (and who looked excited to regale Thomas with the stories of his night spent bar hopping), he lurched the truck into motion toward the store.  His trip was mostly uneventful, he bought a few kinds of underwear and socks, using the cash Arkadas had given him, then picked up some extra food.  Though gold and silvereyes didn't need to eat, it helped them regulate a normal temperature and heart rate longer between feeding on humans.  On a whim he got some ice cream, and started  back home, feeling good about his taking in Jack, and hoping that it wasn't a mistake.

Jack was asleep when he got back to the house, trying not to rustle too loudly as he brought in the bags, easily carrying them all at once.  He crept up the stairs with the clothes, and hearing the even breathing in his guest room, he cracked the door open and placed them just inside.  Jack's breathing didn't hitch as Thomas held the door open for a moment longer, observing the man on the floor with an amused, tender expression.  He'd taken the comforter off the bed and folded it in half to use it as a mattress.  Memories of a long time past came back to Thomas unbidden.  When Arkadas had first saved him, Thomas hadn't been able to sleep in a bed for nearly a year, they were too soft and he simply couldn't fall asleep in them.  He closed the door softly and went back down the stairs to start some pork chops, hoping that Jack liked pork.

12612 total
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 02:51:37 AM by Gwenivive »


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2010, 01:09:58 AM »

A loud thump made Jack jerk into complete awareness, staring at the dark depths of the room as though the walls could tell him what the sound had been.  It had been a week since he'd been dropped off with Thomas, and he was doing rather well in society, he'd gone to some small stores for clothes, and he'd even managed to go grocery shopping yesterday without hyperventilating at the sprawl and population of the big store.

He crept to the door, pulling it open silently and sniffing the air.  Thomas was in the hall, padding silently as a seven-foot long tiger.  His ears swiveled as he heard Jack, and silently he tilted his head to the stairs, a clear indication that Jack should go first and that Thomas would be backup.  Jack slinked sinuously down the stairs, reminding his fight or flight response that the warm breath on the small of his back was friend, not foe, and he sidled into the kitchen, looking over the bar to the living room when he saw that this room was clear.

Green sparkling light behind him was the warning that a sound was coming, "Arkadas?" Thomas the tiger asked, his mouth still softly glowing.  The demon grinned widely, and the lights in the living room flicked on in a dramatic fashion.  Jack sighed, pulling the sweat pants and tank top out of their alloted kitchen drawer and holding them back for Thomas to scramble into when the soft pull of power told him that his roommate was shifting forms.

"What are you doing here?"  Jack asked, looking out at the predawn light and mourning the sleep he could be getting before it was too bright.

"Do I smell a human?" Thomas asked, nearly at the same time.

"To answer both of your questions, I brought you a friend!  Boys, meet Karine!" Arkadas was grinning like a Cheshire shark, merry and terrible as he held out an unconscious girl at arm's length as though she were a rag doll.  One hand was under her thighs, and the other was under her shoulders, her head was lolled back and her arm was flailing as Arkadas moved her forward, as though offering a gift.

"Give me that," Thomas nearly growled, moving closer to the grinning demon fae and tucking the girl against his chest so her head was supported and her arm looked less in danger of dislocating.  She was blond, and she looked especially pale against the dark skin of Thomas's arms.  Her breathing was steady, but she reeked of sedatives.

"Such a pair, I knew you two would get along," Arkadas said, putting a hand on his chest and pressing the back of the other to his forehead in a dramatic pose.  Jack checked her temperature on her forehead, she seemed fine, though completely unresponsive.

"Any more strays we should know about?" Thomas said dryly, setting her on the end of the couch as Jack engaged the recline position.

"Not as of yet, but there are bound to be more than three... remember boys, humans are much more fragile than de Aurgint, keep her safe!"  Arkadas grinned, then vanished out of view with an audible pop.

"No!" They both yelped, stepping forward, but he was gone.

"Now what?" Jack asked, noticing a large duffel bag on the ground by the bar stools, and a tidy stack of bills on the bar.

"Wait for her to wake up?" Thomas suggested, heading toward the stairs to change his clothes.

- - -

Jack sighed, leaning back on the couch with a half empty beer when Karine moved, "Thomas!" he hissed, knowing the man in the kitchen would hear him.  Thomas appeared, staring at Karine intently as she moved, then whimpered and curled in on herself.

"What's she doing?" Jack asked, perplexed, "I thought she was waking up..."

"Use your head, dummy, what's she feeling?" Thomas asked, his tone scathing but his words light.

Jack hadn't been using the filter in his mind that gave him the emotions of those around him since he'd been living with Thomas, shifters couldn't feed off each other and it seemed invasive to always know what your forced roommate felt.  He opened the connection and gasped as absolute terror filtered in.  He reached out instinctively and touched his  fingertips to her forehead, calming her with a single touch of his softly blue glowing hand.  Her face relaxed and she stretched out more on the recliner.

"I don't mind if you pick up on me, but I would feel better if we were both picking up on her," Thomas said, a hint of a question in his voice.

"I don't mind either, and I'll keep watch, too," Jack replied, settling back to watch the sporting event on the television, the familiar feel of other people's emotions settling in to the back of his mind in a relaxing way.

- - -

Karine came to consciousness in a slow, painful drag from her dream scape.  Her head pounded, her tongue was dry, and everything was too loud, though she couldn't actually hear anything over the rushing in her head.

"What did I do last night?" She asked, keeping a hand over her eyes and pushing the recliner she felt down with her feet until it snapped into place.  She rubbed her face and groaned as she ran her hand through her rumpled hair.  She jumped softly, then glared out of the corner of her eyes at the large black man next to her on the couch, nursing a beer and grinning softly, "Nope, I'd remember that," She said wryly, grinning when he coughed on his drink as he laughed.  She stood, grimacing at the bright light coming in through the window as she stretched, noting the presence of another person in the room as she did, "What day is it?  I think I'm late for work," She mumbled, making her way to the kitchen for some water.  She looked down at her crumpled suit in confusion, she'd have never worn it anywhere but work, she mused over that as she  put her face under the tall faucet in the empty sink, running water over her jaw as she drank until her tongue felt normal.  She looked over the kitchen, then the adjoining room in confusion, neither man had moved, watching her like she was a caged animal.  She narrowed her eyes at them, then pulled her jacket straight, noticing a string on her lapel.  Her brow furrowed as she went to pull the string, then felt all the blood run from her face as she noticed that it was a hole.

Disjointed memories came rushing back as she grabbed one of the steak knives from the knife block, backing to the wall, "Where am I?" she asked, holding the knife proficiently as she pressed herself against the wall.

"This is my house," The larger of the two men said, coming into view over the bar.  He sat on one of the stools, no readable emotion on his face, "My name is Thomas, and that is a rather expensive knife you're brandishing," He smiled at that, the effect was good for his face, making him look more nonthreatening.

Karine didn't remember a third attacker, and she knew both of the men who had attacked her were Caucasian, so she pointed the knife at the silent man, a thin man with dark hair and attractive stubble, "And you?" she asked, remembering the thin man's voice all too clearly, though much of the attack was still painfully blurry.

"My name is Jakob del Ray "10-Silver" Jones," The man began formally, but his face broke into an easy smile, almost as calming as the fact that his voice was nothing like her attackers, "But you can call me Jack," He finished, his green eyes amused.  Karine stepped forward slowly, watching the men intently as she slid the knife back into the wooden block.

"I remember a weird man... Arkadas?  He said he was a demon or something?" Karine questioned the men warily.

"Yes, he saved you, then he brought you to us for... safe keeping?" Thomas said, turning to Jack at the last moment.

"Protection is more like it," Jack said, joining Thomas in sitting at the bar.

"Why aren't I more scared?" Karine mused more than asking, pulling herself up onto the counter to sit across from the two men.

"Maybe you trust us," Thomas said, smiling that disarming grin he had.

"Maybe I was raised never to trust," She countered, inspecting her lapel in distaste.

"Would you like to shower and change?  Your bag is here," Jack pointed to the ground on the other side of the bar,  "I was about to cook something, maybe eggs?"

Karine weighed her options, sorting her memories as she did so, "So I died, yes?" she asked, looking up to catch their reactions.

Jack made an apologetic face and nodded, Thomas winced, "Yes," He replied, "You probably did, Arkadas has a way of saving people at the last possible moment, usually well after the optimum time for rescue," He stood again, and Karine was amazed at how tall he was, "Why don't you show Karine where the shower is, and the guest bedroom, I'll start something to eat," He finished, hefting her kit and handing it to the smaller man.  He carried it easily, leading her to the stairs.  Karine felt more exhausted than she had felt in a long time, and the feeling was expounded upon by feeling rumpled in her wrinkled clothes and messy hair.  The house was mostly spartan, more function than form, except for the bathroom.  Jack had set her kit on the bed, then gave her some instruction on how to run the shower, then she was alone, eyeing the altar to cleanliness in an approving way.

She went back to the bedroom and closed the door before opening her kit.  She pulled out the pants first.  There were two pairs, a pair of nice jeans and a pair of ripped up ones.  She pulled out a few shirts, varying styles of tee shirt and buttoned-down, shaking out the white shirt and laying it over the chair in the room.  She also shook out her pencil skirt, laying it with the white shirt.  Of  all the clothes in the bag, these were the most pristine, carefully starched and ironed to stay unrumpled in the kit.  She dug around until she hit payload- in this case her shoes, each pair with their own socks, and the heels with nylons.  There was a pair of running shoes, a pair of knee-high flat boots, and the heels, very similar to the ones that she had lost in her fight.

She scowled in distaste at the ruined hosiery she was wearing, then grabbed the nice jeans, a plain tee shirt, a flannel button-down, and the boots with socks, pausing a moment to dig around in a side pocket for some undergarments and her knife in its calf sheath, shoving everything else (except the unwrinkled skirt and shirt) back into the kit haphazardly, and zipping it shut.

Opening the door to the hall, she crept out and paused at the head of the stairs, holding the bundle of clothes to her chest so it wouldn't rustle.

"So then he backed out of the bag, covered in flour," The men were laughing hysterically, "And he just looks at us like we're so mean for making him go in there, but we told him not to!" Karine was pretty sure it was Jack talking over the sound of cooking.  Bacon, her nose told her.  She crept back into the bathroom, locking the door and checking all the corners for anything suspicious.  Other than a lack of incriminating looking things, the bathroom was clean.  She checked the door lock again, then wedged a towel under the door to make it harder to open, and set her travel hairspray on the counter with the cap off, ready to be used as mace.  Karine then turned on the shower, did a quick run through over the walls to make sure none were hollow, then stripped down and stepped into the steaming water.

It was phenomenal.  She washed her hair with travel shampoo, and sat in the warmth of the shower stall, letting the water run over her as she sorted her memories from the day (or days, she determined) prior.

- - -

Jack and Thomas stood in the kitchen after Karine left to go upstairs, listening to her move around.  Thomas wanted to creep up after her, but Jack had him start cooking some food, as they had discussed.  The larger man inched to the stairs, but Jack held out a staying hand, listening to the door open.  He began to laugh, motioning for Thomas to join him.

"So then he backed out of the bag, covered in flour," Jack said, cutting into a story he'd heard in a bar once about a dog and a cook, "And he just looks at us like we're so mean for making him go in there, but we told him not to!"  They laughed heartily for a few minutes, until the door to the bathroom softly clicked shut.

"I'll be a cat, say you needed me to pick something up...  What do you have that's still sealed?" Jack asked, gesturing toward the cabinets with the food in them.

"There's a bag of frozen shredded potatoes in the garage freezer," Thomas offered.

"Perfect, I'll leave my clothes in the truck, and the door to the garage cracked, so if I need to be a person, I can just pretend I came back from the store," The thief grinned, pulling his shirt off as he walked over to the garage.

"Don't screw up!" was Thomas's last hail of advice as Jack faded into the garage.

They had been keeping Karine calm, though her understandable want to panic had been great, so Jack was going in to make sure that she stayed calm while she was away from them, instead of doing something impulsive like escape out of one of the second story windows.  Jack shifted back just long enough to open the bedroom door, slip in, and close it before shifting back.  The guest bedroom and the bathroom shared a wall, so he slid back into the closet, to gauge Karine's mood through the wall.

- - -

'What a hell of a week,' Karine muttered to herself as the warm water pounded on her shoulders, working out a knot of tension that she didn't even realize that she had had.  She left the water running and got out, wringing her hair out and drying herself before quickly dressing.  She peeked under the door, and seeing no feet or shadows, gathered her ruined clothes and turned off the water just as she left the bathroom.

The room to the bedroom was almost closed when she heard Thomas call up, "Hey Karine, how do you take your eggs?"

"Um... Scrambled with cheese?" She yelled back, her stomach growling at the scent of sausage and bacon.  Thomas made an affirmative noise, and she turned back into the room, clicking the  door locked behind her.  When she looked at the bed she jumped, then looked around guiltily as she saw that it was just a cat.

"Hey there little buddy," She said, shovinng her ruined jacket and shirt on the seat of the chair and inspecting the skirt for rips or scuffs.  The cat jumped down and rubbed against her ankles as she determined that the skirt was probably ruined, and put it in the pile with the rest of the trashed clothes.  She sat on the edge of the bed to brush out her hair using her brush and a compact from her bag to braid it evenly to keep it out of her way. 

Finished with her hair, she looked up to see the cat sitting over by the door, looking at her.  Karine smiled and ticked at it, trying to get it closer to her by lowering her fingers to the ground and rubbing them together, "Here kitty kitty," she called, grinning as the little animal came forward and rubbed its head on her fingers.  She picked the cat (Now obviously male) up and petted him, teasing his  cheeks with her fingertips as she inspected his spots, "You have a cross on your back, little kitty," She said in that nonsense tone that people use with animals.  She found his collar and turned it around to read the name "Tens" on a little tag, devoid of any other information such as an address or phone number.  "Well, Tens," She said with a little grin, pulling herself to her feet and holding him in one arm, "Let's go get some food!"

15427 total


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2010, 11:59:07 PM »
  Karine  paused at the door to check that the handle of her knife wasn't  showing over her boot-tops (her pants were tucked in to allow proper  access) and headed down the stairs, cat in tow.
  At  the foot of the stairs she set the cat down, and it rumbled around  her feet, purring like a motorcycle with a syncopation in the firing  order.  She grinned and walked into the kitchen to see Thomas,  six foot four and muscled like a god, wearing the same jeans and  buttoned-down short sleeve shirt as before, but now with a ruffly  apron that said, "Good Cookin' Good Lookin'" and she nearly  burst out laughing.
  "What?"   He asked as she audibly snerked, trying to hide the sound by  clearing her throat.
  "It's  just a nice apron, is all," She smiled, picking up the cat again  because he was demanding it be done.
  Thomas  ran a hand over his short stubbly black hair, "It was a gift,  and you have to do something to keep from wearing bacon grease,"  He smiled, "I see you found Tens,"
  "Yeah,"  she replied, rubbing the cat's face, "He's rather affectionate,  isn't he?"
  "He  likes getting petted by women better, so a lot of us bachelors on the  block feed him and hope he'll stick around, but he really belongs to  the neighborhood.  I let him in when he asks, and give him some  scraps,"  Thomas grinned, pushing some cheesy eggs off a  frying pan and onto a plate, "I think he likes being a transient  pet... Sausage, bacon, or both?" He pointed with a spatula to  the two plates covered in paper towels to wick up the grease.
  "Sausage,"  she determined, setting the cat down a final time (or so she told  herself) to accept the plate Thomas offered her and head to the  table, "Where's Jack?" she asked, suspiciously.
  "He  went to the store to grab some  shredded potatoes, I think he  was expecting you to take longer than you did," Thomas  half-smiled and set his own plate on the table, "Coffee, or  water?  We don't really have much of a selection, but we do have  creamer and sugar if you take it in your coffee," He motioned to  the coffee pot.
  The  kitchen was similar to most of the house, if it was there for  necessity, it was spartan, but in an expensive way.  If it was  something Thomas enjoyed, it was just rich enough to stick out.  The  coffee maker was a huge black monstrosity of a machine, automatic  timers and a bean grinder all on the sides in a fancy layout.  Karine  smiled, standing, "I'll prep my own cup of coffee, you go ahead  and eat," Thomas replied by smiling and pulling out a black mug  from the counter just over the coffee maker (of doom) and setting a  spoon nearby while he made his way to the table.  Karine noted  that he sat with his back to her, and appeared completely unafraid.   She knew better than to think it was his size that gave him the  assuredness, and it told her a lot about the thin pink scars that she  could barely discern on his arms.
  "So  what state are we in?" Karine asked, sitting down across from  Thomas. She looked around for Tens, but the spotted cat was nowhere  to be seen.
  "State?"  Thomas asked around a mouthful of eggs.
  "My  god these are good," Karine had just tried her own food and  stared at her plate in amazement.
  "I  was a short order cook for awhile," Thomas said with a smile,  then turned as a door slammed shut. Jack stepped in holding a  colorful bag that proclaimed in bold, primary colors that it held  shredded potatoes. Karine tilted her head slightly to look at the  photo on the front of the bag, they were clearly hash browns. She  shook her head softly, 'no telling with off brands,' she thought  wryly.
  "Sorry  I'm late," Jack looked ashamed, holding the potatoes, "I'm  assuming these aren't needed?"  He looked meaningfully at  the freezer.
  "Naw,  I have your plate keeping warm in the oven," Thomas said,  grinning and turning back to his own food.
  "You  never did say where we are," Karine said, holding her coffee mug  with both hands over her empty plate as she sipped from it.
  "The  Unified Realm of Rikroll," Thomas said, moving a newspaper out  of the chair that Jack was about to take.
  "Can  I see that?" Karine asked, pointing to the paper.
  "Sure,"  Thomas said, handing her the rumpled pages.  'The Unified Realm  Mail' was scrawled across the top, and the stories were about minor  elections for positions that didn't exist, in 'townships' that she  didn't recognize.


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2010, 01:46:21 AM »

"Do you happen to have a map?" Karine asked, still staring at the newspaper.

"Archie didn't tell you... did he?" Jack asked softly, his tone the same as people dealing with feral animals and imbalanced people.  Karine thought it fitting, as she felt she was about to burst into laughter or run screaming from the building.

After a few seconds of silence, Thomas replied, "I have one in my truck, want to come look at it?"

"The truck?" She asked, nearly hysterical, though she thought her voice sounded pretty put together.

"The map?" Thomas asked lightly, standing slowly with his hands on the table.  The chair scuffed lightly across the floor and Karine shivered at the sound.  He held out a hand to help her up, and she leaned away to look at his face.

"Might as well," She said, accepting his hand.

She instantly felt better, his hand was rough, broad, and dry, and he seemed to radiate warmth.  As they started to the garage, Jack fell in behind them, Karine knew because he was also warm.  'When did the house get so cold?' She wondered idly as Thomas released her hand and opened the truck door, reaching into the map compartment in the base of the door to pull out a road map.  The same seal that was on the newspaper was on the corner of the map.  Though she was loathe to touch it, she hesitantly put her hand out and accepted the bundle of paper, opening it to see a state outline she didn't recognize.  She looked at the outline of the ocean and tried desperately to place the outline of the coast.

"But where..." She muttered softly.

"I don't have a world map... we could go get one?" Thomas offered as Jack tucked an arm around Karine, wrapping her in more of that damned, blessed warmth that made it easier to think.

"No... Maybe..." She stammered, staring at the coast line of the country, noting that there was only one coast, "Yeah, let's get one," She said, more clearly.  A goal was good, a goal was key.

No matter how many times she repeated it, she wasn't sure of it as she accepted the front seat of the extended cab when Jack offered, and Thomas grabbed his wallet and keys and they were off.

- - -

Jack was working harder than ever  to keep Karine from panicking, he felt it when it rose, and he knew Thomas was keeping her calm too, but it wasn't always much good.

Jack also knew that Thomas's favorite book store (Which he had mentioned sold maps) was in the mall, a place he wasn't terribly keen on going.

"Keep her safe," Arkadas's voice echoed in his head and he grimaced at his nagging subconscious.  It would be fine, there were no assassins in the mall.  He frowned, there weren't supposed to be assassins within view of a ruined town, either.

He had to go.

With that decided he leaned back and studied Karine's emotions more closely.  Tending away from panic now, he found she was mostly determined, and a little apprehensive.


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2010, 12:01:02 AM »

"What're you thinking?" Jack asked aloud, breaking the somewhat tense silence in the truck's cab as they sat at a stop sign.  Karine snorted.  The sign was a yellow triangle that said 'STOP!'
"Honestly? I'm not sure what to think, I'm just absorbing.  The truck looks normal, but the gears are letters instead of numbers, and the radio is switches instead of knobs.  Everything is close, but just... off... It's like I'm in a doppelganger world," Karine counted the next turn in the small map she was building in her head.
"Arkadas says the Driakons led us through the evolution of society every time," Thomas supplied helpfully.
"Driakons?  I think I liked demons better," Karine nearly spat, dry humor in her voice, "I don't see how humanity always has to fall, we seemed to be doing okay when I was there,"  She sighed, "I remember now, Arkadas telling me where we were going.  I don't know why, I just have to know where we are, even if I already know it's the wrong when, does that make sense?" Her tone was almost pleading.
"Every time he moves me I check against a world map to see where I am," Thomas smiled, pulling into a parking spot in front of a normal looking mall.
"How many times has he moved you?" Jack asked, and Karine found she, too, was interested in the answer.
"Seven?" it was more a question than a statement.
"Rough," Karine said softly, she wasn't new to moving.
"It's better than where I was," He said, grinning wryly.
"And that is?" Karine asked, hesitantly.
"A story for another day," Thomas said with a tone implying finality, and he got out of the truck.
- - -
Jack concentrated on breathing easily as they entered the crowded building (in sheer size alone it was larger than most of the active towns that he visited since b-day).  He was contenting himself by checking Karine's emotions periodically.  Since she was still calm- unnervingly so- he looked at his surroundings.  Black panic gripped him for a second as he looked out over the second floor railing to see the deluge of shoppers, all moving around on the first floor like so many insects in a hive.  Thomas stepped closer to him and he felt the bigger man's warm aura and he blushed at his own silliness.
"Thanks," He muttered softly, knowing that Thomas would hear him and seeing more clearly that the mall wasn't really that crowded.  He followed Thomas and Karine to the book store, a large establishment that took up a corner of the mall.  The store was pretty, an open, loft-style second floor looking out over the stacks on the lower level, lit mostly now by the full banks of windows on the two walls that the store didn't share with the mall.
The light made Jack feel better, and he felt Thomas pull his influence from him as they walked into the well-lit atmosphere.  Soft instrumental music was playing over the murmur of contented people.  Thomas led them easily down the stairs next to the elevator and to the area delineated as 'maps and atlases' by the placards on the shelves.  In the center of the area was a large world map under glass, to be used as a table for the other maps.  Thomas took the map currently on the glass (the same that was in his truck) and folded it expertly before tucking it into it's own spot.
Karine was standing at the bottom of the world map, and Jack felt her despair more keenly than he had felt his own panic.  She stayed completely still, her face unchanging  She reached a hand up and ran her fingers over a coast line, then returned to the pensive stare.  At that moment, Jack would have given anything to be telepathic over empathic.  As he met eyes with Thomas over the table, they shared a moment of accord.
- - -
She was in Canada.  She reevaluated the positioning of the map, maybe she was in Washington.  Definitely that part of North America.  A sinking sensation struck Karine as she looked at the familiar land mass.
'Oh stop being so down on yourself,' Her inner voice chided her.
Everyone has an inner voice, Karine's was a sarcastic male voice named Montague, 'Great, now I've gone mad, good to know.  This way I'll keep myself calm while I spiral into insanity,' She thought, angry.
As she ran her fingers over the familiar coastline, marking the bay that marked the separation between the United States and Canada.  Was it a strait?  She shook herself mentally, it didn't really matter.  "Strait of Paraneas" was written in clear white letters over the blue water.  'Question answered,' she thought, glumly.
'Stop sulking, you're the Bella Cruz, what would your father think if he saw you this shaken over something?' Montague replied, chiding.
'He'd think he's dead,' the reply was acerbic.
'Yes, and if you recall, he took things too hard,' the voice replied.
'I hate you,' Her reply was in the tone of one who knew she was defeated and she looked up, "Is there soda in this reality?" she asked.
Thomas replied by grinning, "In the food court," He replied.
"Do you guys think we could split up for a bit?" Jack asked, earning him a look of surprise from Thomas.
"Yeah, s'long as you didn't have anything to do?" Karine asked Thomas.
"Naw, I didn't have any plans for the day, you need that forty cred I borrowed back?"  Thomas asked, reaching for his wallet.
"Yeah, that'll help," Jack said with a grin, accepting the bills from Thomas's outstretched hand.  Karine viewed the transaction with confusion and a bit of suspicion, then followed Thomas to the stairs, waving at Jack when he said he'd meet them at the food court soon.
- - -
Jack stalked through the mall, pointedly ignoring the people around him as he found a directory and directed himself to the type of store he was looking for.
The cloying aroma of citrus assailed him as he entered the store, followed by a kicker of floral scents and alcohol.  He found a person in an apron with the store's name on it and cleared his throat obviously.
"Hi and welcome to Take A Bath! My name is Bethany, how can I help you!?" The girl's voice was so cheerful it was hard to believe the waves of deep-rooted anxiety he felt flowing from her.  She beamed at him for a moment, but it faltered at his lack of response, and she glanced around quickly, bringing a hand to her neck.  There was one other man in the store, his scent barely masked by the heavily perfumed atmosphere.  He was thin and lanky and looked at Jack with a scathing hatred.  Under the perfume Jack could smell his pheremones, and he was emanating lust and anger.
"I need a soap with lye made from ashes, not the normal new-agey stuff," Jack broke the silence, keeping the strange, sexually frustrated man in his view.
"Um?" the girl prompted, sounding unsure of her answer.
"Potassium based," He replied and her brow smoothed.
"I know exactly what you need!  She smiled and led him to a display covered in pictures of smiling children in front of palm trees, to show how fair-trade the soaps in this area were.  "All the potassium-based ones are in bars, they do that to make them look more authentic," She smiled a little self-deprecating smile, "But they're all pretty much made the same way, I think we have a tester if you want?" She pointed to the small steel sink.
"That would be fantastic, actually," Jack said with a smile, following the girl to the sink.  She pointed out the right tiny bar of soap and backed away to her register again to stare with dread at the agitated second customer.  Jack washed his hands, moving his right hand up his left arm to affect the small hairs there.  He smiled as the black washed off.  The new lye at best spread the dye, it probably would have faded off eventually, but lye from ash took the black right off his hair.  He washed his forearms while the other two people in the store paid him no attention, him wanting and her dreading.
Jack was  going to fix that problem next.
He dried his arms with the paper toweling there for customer use, and nabbed a bar of the soap to bring with him.  "Just this," He smiled at Bethany and her customer-face popped back up as she rang him up, despair gripping her heart.  Jack smiled earnestly, because though it had been awhile, he knew exactly how to lure the man out of the store, and the bathrooms were very near.  After Bethany's call to have a great day he wandered back over by the man, sparkling blue light around his eyes for a brief second before he cleared his throat to catch the man's gaze.
"Yes?" The thin man snapped, angrily.
"Aren't you just a delicious little piece of something?" Jack's voice was soft, lulling, and he was emitting just the right amount of the right pheromones to get the man's attention.
"Wha?" The man asked, dazed.  Jack smiled, it was all too easy to snare an already aroused target.
"You should come with me," Jack said, pushing his will through the eye to eye connection.  He may as well have been touching the man, it was so strong.
"I should." He replied, shifting from foot to foot in anticipation.
"Go wait for me by the bathrooms," Jack smiled, them broke eye contact.  The man reeled, obviously dizzy, then walked out of the store in a daze.  "He's not going to bother you again," Jack said to Bethany as he walked by her to leave.
"He's the regional manager's son, if we complain, he'll can us.  We can't do anything about it, and it's a slow corner of the mall, and it's not like he ever got so far as to actually--" She broke off, gesturing weakly.
Jack smiled and put his hand on her cheek, still riding the control high, "You're  fine, you're happy, and you don't have to worry about him any more.  You'll be strong enough to go to the authorities next time something like him comes along," He said, softly.
Two tears dripped out of her filling eyes, "I will, next time, I won't be scared," She promised, and he walked out of the room to drift from her memory in a matter of hours, leaving only the compulsion behind.
- - -
Karine walked along beside Thomas and sighed at another window display of coats and scarves.
"What's up?" Thomas asked, curiosity in his tone.


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2010, 02:41:31 AM »
"It's nothing, my coat wasn't in my kit because it got  stained, so it was getting cleaned when I got nabbed," Karine  explained.

'You could steal enough for another one if you had practiced your  pickpocketing like I told  you to,' Montague chimed in  helpfully.  He'd been more and more annoying since she got in  the truck, oddly enough keeping her sane.

'Shut up and go away, I'm fine now,' She snapped, keeping her face  carefully impassive.

"Well Archie did leave me some money for 'care and feeding,'  so to speak," Thomas grinned, "We could always get you a  new one," He gestured toward another store front covered in  fashionable clothing and jackets.

"Naw, I don't know enough to make an educated decision, I'd  probably end up getting you ripped off," She grumped, veering  away from the store.

Thomas stepped in front of her and Karine skidded to a halt,  looking up at his face in confusion.  He set his hands on her  shoulders and in an amazing show of trust she didn't flinch or lash  out.  "You have been attacked, then pulled into the  prelife, then you had to deal with Archie and his 'drug and go'  system, then you find that you've been dropped into a different time  than the one you left, cutting all ties to your previous existence,"  Thomas said each thought with importance, his tone was neither  chiding nor harsh, letting the words carry all the meaning, "So  I ask, would you like a regular coat, or maybe a leather coat to  match your boots?  Because we're not leaving this mall without  something to show for it," He smiled and dropped one hand from a  shoulder to signal that she could move freely.

She looked down then smiled up at him through her bangs, "Is  there a good coat store here?"
- - -

Jack left the store trying to shove the change from the  transaction in his back pocket.  "Who uses paper money,  seriously?" he snarled softly, finally managing it all back down  into the denim sanctuary.  He turned in the direction of the  bathroom, sauntering lazily as he wove a charm that he hadn't  practiced in longer than it had been since he'd practiced the art of  seduction and control.  Anyone watching the tapes on the cameras  should, assuming the charm worked, ignore him almost entirely, except  to say that they noticed him at all.  It was a useful little  charm, and he smiled as his hand easily remembered the motions,  sparkling with soft blue light as he went.

The bathroom was a mess, wet counters, an over-flowing trash bin  and the smell of mildew and human waste assaulted Jack's eyes and  nose as he entered, setting his bag on the floor in front of the  swinging door as a kind of alarm system.  In the center of the  room, standing with his hands clasped in front of him was the dirty  man from the soap store.

"Some more privacy, perhaps?" Jack prompted in a  commanding tone, and the man hurried to obey, scrambling into the  large stall at the end for handicapped shoppers.  Jack followed  the man in, closing the door with a snick of the lock.  The man  was pathetic, he was shaking in his need, pheromones almost  overpowering his unwashed scent.  Almost.  "What is  your name?" Jack asked, his tone dead and his eyes glowing  again.

"Eustace," The man replied, "I don't usually go  for-" He began, but Jack cut him off with a raised hand.

Jack leaned closer to the man, and some deep self preservation  button hit, making the man lean back until he hit the wall.  He  scrambled against it to keep his feet, never dropping Jack's gaze.   Jack leaned in to him, scenting his fear under his lust.   Eustace was completely against the wall when Jack stopped his  forward motion.

"You've always wanted, haven't you?" Jack asked, his  tone making it clear that no answer was needed, though Eustace's eyes  burned at the accusation.  Jack continued, his tone nearly  sing-song "Always wanted, never got. Isn't that right?  Poor  little Eustace, picked last for the teams, never picked for beds.    So your daddy gets into a position of power, and you see your  opportunity.  You decide to take," Jack snarled softly, an  inhuman sound that brought the trembling man's hands up to his ears  to cover them.

"No," Jack said, and he stopped, keeping his hands where  they were against the wall. Jack carefully placed a forefinger on one  side of the man's wrist, and a thumb on the other. Once he had  trapped both wrists without touching them he leaned in farther, his  nose nearly touching Eustace's. "I have a problem with authority  abuse.  Your father may have made you feel safe.  You might  have never gotten everything you wanted with those girls, for fear of  law enforcement, but I'm going to take that one step farther.  I'm  going to make sure you can never again get what you want,"

Eustace was trembling, and Jack's body temperature had dropped  significantly as his body yearned for the kill.  He shivered,  the lust of the hunt almost taking him; but, he thought soberly, it  could get the girls he was trying to help incarcerated in his name,  which would help no one. "It's a shame that I can't kill you,"  a boyish pout came over Jack's face, "I could make you eat the  flesh that I tore from your body and ripped from your bones and you  would scream in agony and ecstasy until that little flicker of life  went out behind your eyes," Jack moved his head toward the  trembling man's neck.

His breath raised bumps on the man's skin, cold and intimately  close, "Or I could bleed you dry.  I could drink everything  you had and make you feel the terrible, leaping quivers of a heart  trying to beat air instead of blood," He smiled, a terrible  little thing that was quick to show and slow to leave.  He  looked mad, certifiably insane, "Instead, though,  I'll  grant you your greasy little life," Eustace nearly visibly  relaxed, then tensed as Jack moved his face back to lock eyes with  him again, "I'll just add a little something to remember me by,"  His tone was lighter than his words warranted, "I'll give you a  life that makes you burn with the shame and fear of all your victims  whenever you try and get it up," He scrutinized the dirty man,  slightly taller than him, though height was obviously not an  indicator of power in this equation, "If you were any different,  you might make it," He paused again, scenting the fear that was  rising from the frozen man. 

His body heat battered against Jack, making him feel dirty by  being near enough to feel it, He snorted, "You, though?  You'll  be howling in an emergency ward of a mental institution by week's  end, trying to tear off your skin as you wish the nurses would tear  off their clothes.   Oh, and don't even think of trying to end  it all," Jack leaned in impossibly closer and whispered,  "because I'd bring you back," He pulled back, pushing his  palms against Eustace's wrists and smiled as the man opened his mouth  in a silent scream.  Blue glittering light poured from Jack's  hands into the other man's skin, filling him with a grim, dingy  gunmetal light that leaked from the man's nose, mouth, eyes and ears  eerily.

"Just say when," Jack whispered, malice and the thrill  of the hunt heavy in his voice.

- - -

Karine smiled inwardly as she left the third store they had  entered, now carrying a wool coat very similar to a pea coat. Thomas  had been right, it did feel good to shop a little, and she didn't  even feel bad when they reached the food court and she saw Jack  there, looking oddly pleased and chagrined. Thomas paused a little,  noticeably hesitating for a few steps before approaching Jack with  his usual, easygoing gait.

"Hey guys," Jack grinned in greeting, a little smile  that almost didn't reach his eyes "I just realized that the  place across the way cuts hair, any way you guys could wait a tiny  bit longer while I deal with this?" He asked, referencing his  mop of hair that was getting into his eyes even as he spoke.

"Up to you, Karine," Thomas said, standing behind one of  the chairs at the table without pulling it out.

"As long as you're down, I'm fine," Karine replied,  ignoring the two men and their impossible to discern body language.

"Yeah, just don't get into any trouble," Thomas's voice  took an edge, and Karine glanced at Jack as he rose, ears reddening.

"I wouldn't think of it," He said, sounding chastened.   Karine snorted, men were such secretive creatures.
Karine wandered with Thomas to a food court restaurant with an  open fountain drink display, and Thomas bought some 'chips' that were  actually just steak fries, and two drinks, passing her a paper cup as  he paid.  She tested each of the fizzy drinks  and smiled  as she found one that was close, if not exact to soda she recognized.   They wandered back to the table and Thomas put his over-sized  boat of chip fries in the middle of the table, an obvious sign that  he wished to share.

"I just realized that we left all those dishes all out at the  house," She grimaced, grabbing a pair of fries automatically.

"I have a good dishwasher, it'll be fine.  Unless  someone's going to break into the house to give it the 'dirtiest  house on the block' award, I don't really mind," He smiled that  disarming smile and she relaxed again.

"So Arkadas said I was from the sixth age of man or  something?" Karine began, looking at the empty tables near them  as though they were going to miraculously sprout people to look at  her disapprovingly.

"Six, eh?  I was originally from Five.  We're in  Two now," Thomas answered her unasked question with even   curiouser material.  She chewed silently, wondering what to ask  next.  "I've been to Six before," He said, shocking  her into stillness, her cup half raised to her mouth.

"Oh?" she asked intelligently, setting her cup back down  without a drink taken.


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2010, 02:42:54 AM »


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2010, 02:45:51 AM »


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2010, 12:15:42 AM »
Karine noticed the runner pacing behind her almost instantly.  The footsteps were almost exactly the same as hers, and she bit back panic as she kept her pace, the silent cadence in her head keeping her step unflagging.  Near the point she had planned to turn around there was a large bush, nearly large enough to be a tree.  She ran up to the bush and silently crept around it, noticing the second set of footsteps slowing at her sudden silence.  She pulled the knife she had hidden under her running pants out and peered around the bush.

"Thomas?" She asked, half relaxing, but keeping the knife in her hand that was hidden by the bush.

"Yep," The big man agreed with a smile, "You run too?"  He looked good in his running clothes, a tank top and shorts that showed his muscular (though subtly scarred) body.  He smiled and stretched, shaking his feet from the run.  She re-sheathed her knife and came around the bush.

"What're you doing out here?" She asked, squinting in the gray light of dawn before the sun breaks the horizon.

"Running, obviously," He smiled that crooked smile that Karine both loved and hated.

"At my exact pace?  Miraculously at the same time as me?" Her eyebrow was raised and he shuffled his feet slightly  in embarrassment.  It was a good look for him, she thought dryly, it made him look less lethal.  "That's what I thought," She rolled her eyes, "Well I was going to turn back, are you going to keep up your charade and keep going, or run back with me?"

Thomas smiled, "At your lead," He offered, smiling.  Karine rolled her eyes again and slipped back into her steady, ground eating pace, silently singing to herself again as she went, feeling oddly comforted by the presence of Thomas behind her; no one would attack her with that backup.  At the fence they both vaulted over easily, sauntering in together with an ease that Karine found unexpected.  Thomas started a pot of coffee and settled in at the table, so Karine went upstairs to shower, again bringing her clothes in with her and dressing while it still sounded like she was in the water.

This pattern happened for a few weeks, The third day she'd found a gym/dojo nearby where she could practice her mixed martial arts on the hanging bags and lift weights.  She was antsy most of the time, but seeing no cure for that forthcoming, she simply kept working out, preparing for nothing and everything at once.  More often than not she found Jack waiting to walk home with her, offering either silence or discussion as she needed, and every night Tens came to sleep in her room.

Jack and Thomas worried about her, but she carefully made sure that any interpersonal contact they had with her seemed normal, so they mostly let her be, both to her pleasure and chagrin.

About 19 days after her arrival, Karine was folding her clothes into tidy piles from a basket into her kit on the desk and letting her hair dry from her post-run shower when someone knocked on the door.

"Thomas says he's gonna cook food," A tired voice made it's way through her door.  She went and opened it and found a rather bedraggled looking Jack holding a blanket around himself.  "He says I have to wake up and if we want we can eat," He didn't sound happy about this new development.

"Not a morning person?" Karine asked with a smile, she rarely saw Jack before 11 am.

"I lived in a time without clocks.  And I lived alone," Jack frowned, shuffling away from her room toward the bathroom.  Karine laughed, "poor thing," she muttered, closing the door with a chuckle.  Jack rarely talked about his former time, but she had long since determined that she didn't want to see it.

She went downstairs with a little sigh;  Thomas was standing in the kitchen, the door to the refrigerator open and a little frown on his face.

"What's up?" Karine asked, sliding onto one of the counters to watch him.

"I'm hungry but I have no idea what for," Thomas sounded grumpy, rummaging around in the freezer now.  Jack came into the room next, dressed and looking much more awake, his short hair now tame and his garb more conventional than the blanket.

"What's up?" He asked, earning a snerk from Karine.

"He's hungry but he doesn't know what to eat," Karine supplied helpfully as Thomas moved on to the cabinets.

"Weren't you going to volunteer at the hospital today?" Jack asked, hesitantly.

"Yeah, I guess so, I'm just... snacky," He frowned, opening the fridge again.  He pulled out some hamburger, shredded cheese and lettuce before the doorbell rang.

In the kitchen there was no movement, all three of them froze, staring at each other as the chime died into silence.  Karine inhaled and took a shaky laugh, "Don't everyone jump to get it at once," She joked, her voice barely above a whisper.  She slid silently off the counter, and, reminding herself to keep her back straight (doorbells aren't scary), mostly slinked into the living room.

She was relieved to know that Jack and Thomas were behind her, more by feel rather than sound, if Karine was quiet, the men were silence incarnate.  She ran her fingers through her hair to bolster herself, checking her shirt for stains or missed buttons. Finally, with an eye on Thomas behind the door, and Jack  behind the plant just next to the door, she opened it with a smile.

"Well aren't you a tasty little morsel of a girl?" A mockingly light voice on the porch crooned.  The speaker was well dressed, with an expensive looking haircut/manicure combination.  She was a few inches shorter than Karine, and no wider at any given point, but she held herself as though she were Thomas's size.  "Is Tommy in?" She asked, nearly sniffing in disdain at Karine.

Seeing Thomas relax in a barely perceptible way, Karine leaned against the door frame with a grin, "And why would that information interest you?" She asked, hanging her right arm down to put it closer to her boot knife.

"Don't even worry your pretty little head over the why, if he's in, I need to see him, though if not, I'm sure I could find some way to console myself," Her eyes went suggestively over Karine who gave no reaction.  The woman's eyes grew a shade lighter, from brown to nearly caramel, "Well?" The little woman prompted.

The door swung open farther as Thomas grabbed it.  Neither woman broke eye contact in their little dominance play until Thomas cleared his throat in a loud and obvious way.  The little woman swept her eyes up to look at Thomas and Karine straightened, grinning a little.

"Good to finally see you, your housekeeper has terrible manners," The little woman glared daggers at Karine who only smiled more broadly.

"Invited guests needn't have good manners with intrusive people," Thomas's voice was cold, absolutely rife with controlled fury.

"I'm hurt," The little woman pouted sensuously.

"Not in a quantifiable fashion," Thomas threatened vaguely.

"I'm here to extend an invitation," Her voice shifted more officially and she brushed at her overly dyed blonde hair with her perfect red nails, "You're invited to the home of Vincent DiSantiago for a celebration," She said with notable pomp and grandeur.

"An invitation or a summons?" Thomas asked dryly.

"Whatever you wish it to be," She smiled in a way that accentuated her red pouty lips and her mischievously sparkling caramel eyes.

"What is the occasion?" He asked carefully.

"An engagement party," Came the grinning response.

"For whom?" His English got more precise the more angry he got.

"Vincent DiSantiago, of course!" She gave a flirty little wink and started to sashay her way off the porch, raising a small white-gloved hand in farewell as she clicked away in her tailored skirt suit and fashionable pumps, "Bring your little friends, I'm sure he'll be amused," She called back as she got in to a large purring black car, effectively ending any debate on the topic.

"She is unpleasant in a practiced way," Jack said, making a face.

Karine laughed, "I could out sass her," she replied with a grin, returning to the kitchen to pull Thomas away from the obviously emotionally charged doorway. Sure enough he followed her shortly, looking over the spices she'd pulled out of the cabinet with approval.

"I was digging the idea of nachos," she smiled, pointing to the corn chips at the end of the counter, rolled up and leaning next to the bread box.

"I'm going to head to the hospital, you guys want to head into town and find some fancy party clothes?" Thomas asked, shrugging into a coat and laying a stack of bills on the counter.

"I know how to get there..." Jack hesitated, flushing.

"I know what to look for, upper class, house too big for one housekeeper, has a chef on duty all day?" She asked, setting up a frying pan to brown the beef.

"You want  to look like you didn't dress up" Thomas hesitated, "but also like you could care less," he looked around at the crown molding near the cieling.

"How many buttons?" Karine asked, earning a surprised look from Thomas, "I'm assuming a tuxedo would stick out, how many buttons are on suits nowadays? I can't make him look carelessly fashionable in a rich way if he's got last year's fashion on," she chided, pushing the meat around as it sizzled happily.

"I forgot how similar six was... um, three buttons, no vest, a cap for outside would be appropriate, no patent leather, not too pointy in the toe," he looked distinctly uncomfortable as he estimated styles.

"You'll be pleasantly amazed," she promised, shooing him away as she continued cooking.

- - -

"Where do we go first?" Jack asked as  they walked down the road toward the (not so distant) quaint  section of town with all the boutiques.  The sun was barely about to peak for noon, giving them a few hours to get everything done.

"First things first, I need magazines, a notebook, scissors, some glue, a pen, and fancy coffee," She said, gesturing to a corner gas station convenience store and then a fancy looking coffee shop named Unspilled Beans.  Jack followed her silently, eyeing the magazines she grabbed, but saying nothing.  In the coffee shop, Karine ordered for them both after polling his preference of caramel to chocolate, and put him on duty to watch the bar for their drinks.  She sat in an overly rich looking chair and began to flip through the magazines systematically, tearing out pages that interested her and leaving the ads alone (Except to smell the perfumed pages).  She soon had a tidy stack and Jack looked at her inquisitively as he handed her her drink.

"Making a collage?" he asked as she began cutting the pictures that interested her out of the pages and gluing them to the notebook, writing little notes next to each.

"Making a chart of sorts, it's looking like it's red lips, tumbling curls, short gloves, plain bodices and longer, not fuller skirts,"  She said, working systematically to pair off ideas while Jack nursed his drink.

She smiled as she finished the layout (which now looked much like a wedding planner's book), draining her drink and shuddering with a smile as the espresso streamed through her, "I'm also going to need a hair cut, but that works because I'll have them curl it for me," She grinned, a predatory little thing that she was pleased to see had an effect on Jack, causing him to flush and look away, "This will be fun," She mused, standing to leave.

- - -

Jack had never tried on so many suits in his life.  Every one was slightly wrong, the cut, the color, the style of the buttons.  She had made a few pages for him in her evil little book and he was not pleased with the effect.  She found the right dress in the third store, picking shoes in the fourth, and finishing them both off in the sixth, where they finally found the right suit.  He'd gotten a coat, hat and a matching scarf in the third store, and had hoped that it wouldn't take much longer, but he was swept away as Karine found the right touches for them each.  He was now sitting with Thomas in the waiting area of the salon that Karine had chosen to end with.  Being fashionable was miserable, he determined.

"She chose well," Thomas said in a comforting way, he'd seen what she'd picked and had seemed pleased.

"She's a shopping demon, but she'll make us look good," Jack agreed, glumly.

"Sorry I woke you up so early, when we had to dump the... margarine, I forgot how much time it saved between trips," Thomas sounded truly apologetic.

"It's okay, I've woken up earlier, it just threw me is all," Jack said, stumbling to find a phrase locked in his memory, "'Man cannot live on bread alone,' after all," He grinned and Thomas chuckled.

Karine came around the counter to pay, her hair half up in an almost ornate way, held in place with a fancy, though understated clip.  The bulk of it hung in curls, varying in size from ringlets to barrel curls.  She paid and tipped and turned to the men, "Time to go change, I presume?" She asked Thomas who looked at his watch and groaned.

"Yes, I'd leave you at home but I'm sure you're expected," He said in an apologetic way to Jack.

"Might as well get it done," Jack said with a grimace.

"With any luck we can make an appearance, give the 'lucky couple' our best wishes, then make our excuses before it gets too late," Karine consoled him.

"With any luck you're right," Thomas groaned as he stood.

- - -

Jack fidgeted in his long coat, a cream wool monstrosity that was matched with a taupe plaid hat and scarf.

"It's not even this cold out," He pouted, eyeing Thomas as he walked out to the truck.

"Says you, dresses do nothing to stop breezes," Karine retorted, holding the skirt of her dress from blowing around.

 She was wearing a long black cape over her emerald green dress.  Her eyes were green.  Jack had never noticed that before.  He helped her into the front seat of the truck and slid into the back, noticing a smug pleasure from Thomas.

"Looking forward to the soiree?" Jack asked the large man in a similar coat to his, only in a dark blue.  He had refused the hat, but he did have a cream scarf on under the lapel.

Instantly the joy faded from Thomas, replaced with a kind of agitated dread.  "No," He said plainly, starting the truck and backing slowly out of the driveway.

- - -


  • Guest
Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2010, 12:01:43 AM »

The truck was going in a direction that Karine had yet to explore, and so it was only her interest in their surroundings that gave any warning to the attack.  Headlights careening toward the driver's side caused Karine to yelp nonsensical terms and cling to her own door, bracing for impact.
The crash didn't really settle in her mind when it happened.  With a loud screech of steel against steel the other vehicle T-boned the truck, slamming the front axle on her side into a light post.
'Get out of the truck, get out of the truck,' Montague was repeating in the back of her mind as she numbly unclicked her seat belt.  Her door was open before she realized how, and she staggered into the street.
"Jack," She said softly, opening the back seat to find him slouched with a bleeding forehead.
'Person, coming  around the truck, knife knife knife," Montague said, prompting her hand to her thigh where her sheath was.
"Stop," She called out in a surprisingly clear voice.  She was proud of herself for not warbling.  The steps hesitated, then were followed by more, surer footsteps.
"Oh little morsel, I was so hoping that you would make it," A familiar, dry voice crooned around the truck before the perfectly manicured woman stepped around the truck and into the flickering light of the destroyed street lamp.  "It would be a pity if you died before Vincent got a chance to look at you.  Karine's mind was racing as she held the handle of her knife in her fist, hidden by her skirt.
"What are you doing here?" Karine's voice broke as she asked this and she recovered by glaring at the prissy little woman.
"I find it amusing that you've been here all this time and have no idea what you're truly dealing with," The unpleasant woman grinned, shucking her jacket and kicking off her heels.  "Shall we dance?"
Instantly the muffled cloud around Karine's thoughts cleared.  She was being threatened.  She pulled the string to make her cape fall off her shoulders and kicked a heel at the little woman, following it with a tackle as the evil debutante was caught off guard by the shoe to the head.  Karine easily pinned her, holding her arms down with her knees and sitting on the smaller woman's torso.
"Who are you?" Karine's voice was even and cold, her knife pressing into her adversary's throat.
"My name is Esmeralda, a name that you'll savor in your last few moments of life," The captive woman said gleefully.
"Joke's on you, I'm already dead," Karine spat, twisting just in time to take the tackle from the second person knife-first.  She tumbled with her new adversary and came up in a practiced position, blood now staining her knife and arm.  Montague was giving her directions and status reports as she circled the newly freed Esmeralda.
"It's such a shame that you had to choose this over the future I could have offered," The smaller woman said, pouting around the newly blossoming bruise on her cheek.  "Though I will admit, this is more fun!"
"Must you keep driveling on and on?  No one cares about what you have to say, your importance is self imposed.  You're a sad little picture of what happens to young women when they use their time playing mind games instead of marrying up," Karine and Montague found the little woman's weakness after moments of debate.
Esmeralda's face twisted in rage, "How dare you, you insolent little brat," She snarled, anger emanating off of her.
Keeping her opponent on the back foot, Karine laughed, "Oh, did he tell you to gather me up and he'd marry you?  Think about it, he was having you kidnap him a younger, prettier suitor," Karine's voice was harsh and mocking, pushing the little woman to act rashly.
"I will end you," Esmeralda hissed, "I don't care what he says."
"Oh, so it's true? He wanted me alive? Maybe you were too much of an old crone for him," Karine taunted. The smaller woman shrieked and ran at her, but Karine artfully sidestepped, grabbing her arm as she passed and using her momentum to slam the perfectly manicured woman into a wall, then kept her hand as she brought the butt of the knife down on her elbow, grimacing at the crunchy popping of breaking cartilage.
Esmeralda screamed in fury and Karine danced a few steps back, careful to avoid tripping over the corpse as she did; being on her ass would do her no good.
Suddenly the first corpse was taken over by a dull, bronze glow, intermittent flecks of light floating through the light like still-burning ash falling from the sky near a house fire.
"What the hell?" She murmured, then gasped and backed away as a tiger stalked into the flickering light.  "That's a tiger," She whispered, backing across the street to one of the abandoned buildings, "Why is no one here?" she whispered, looking at the desolate store fronts in confusion.  The windows were covered in signs stating that they were out of business or at new locations.  The location was perfect for an attack.
'Leave, Karine, Thomas will take care of everything,' Montague warned in her head.
"Oh my God Thomas and Jack!" She panicked a little mentally, then gathered herself to slip to the truck.
'No Karine!' Montague shouted as she started her way over to where she could dash to the truck.  While she had been panicking, the man she had killed


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Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2010, 01:46:29 AM »

stood up.  The only problem was, he wasn't a man anymore. Standing in the place of the bronze glittering man was what Karine could only interpret as a panther.  His eyes were silver, almost white against the dark of his fur and she shuddered  at the memory of such eyes in another being.
[/size]Sleek black fur made it almost  invisible, but Karine could see the gash in its gut as it sidled around the tiger, trying to circle until it was on her side.  The tiger rushed it, and it skidded back a few steps, slipping on it's own blood.  Karine gagged as the scent of it hit her, bile and the tang of metal assaulted her throat, sticking in her mouth like morning breath on speed.  She gagged softly and gasped as the panther lunged at the tiger, letting his cut open farther (Karine had gotten him all the way through, the knife had no hilt, so when she'd stabbed him it had gone to her wrist, so the front was wider than the back).  When the two big cats contacted, pink intestines started oozing out of the cut, slipping to the floor like skinned snakes. 

[/size]Karine swallowed down her rising sickness and went to move to the truck again, only to see that Jack was out and fighting against his own adversaries.  'Is that a sword?' she pondered numbly, watching Jack fight off three men, none armed with more than a hunting knife.  Karine stared for a moment, then gasped as someone hit her from behind-- where was Montague and why hadn't he warned her-- and bit down into her shoulder.  She screamed in agony and rage as she threw her assailant over her instead of falling herself.  Her shoulder throbbed, no normal human would have a bite that potent, but as she took up a proper fighting stance she saw the explanation.  Esmeralda was in front of her, her face glittering bronze.  Her teeth were long and pointed, and her jaws were extending in a terrible way, elongating like a dog's head. 

[/size]Karine pushed past fear, wonderment and anger and simply attacked, finding a weak point in her opponent's guard and stabbing the smaller woman in the throat.  Esmeralda made a gurgling, hissing sound of fury and swiped at her, but Karine danced back, anticipating it.  She allowed the injured woman to pursue her,the  blood running down her throat looking black in the dim light of the full moon, headlights, and the flickering lamp post.  As Karine danced away from each attack, Esmeralda howled in fury, the glitter moving to her hands as they twisted and mangled, her fingers shortened and she sprouted claws.  Huffing through the hole in her neck, she attacked Karine again.  Karine side stepped and lashed out, scoring another hit on her neck.  'Nothing can live without a head,' she told herself sensibly as she guarded again, circling around the enraged thing that was named Esmeralda.  The smaller woman's light eyes were dull as she attacked again, and Karine easily dodged her, bringing her elbow into her assailant's skull, the spinal cord was going to be the hard part. 

[/size]Howling in anger and rage again, Emeralda's assault strategy changed, as well as her form.  In an instant, sparkling bronze light exploded around the small woman, and she was replaced by a doberman pincer.  Coated in blood and wearing a skirt suit, the effect was rather comical, until she darted forward to attack Karine's flank.

[/size]Karine had never fought a dog.

[/size]Swearing, she jumped, trying to dash out of the way, but her dress hindered her and the dog scored a tiny hit, enough to burn like fire up and down her leg.  She pushed it to the back of her mind like the throbbing ache of her shoulder, and she focused herself back on the dog.

[/size]"You're as tasty as you look," The dog gargled, causing Karine to shriek and leap back out of her ready position.  The dog laughed at that, a grating, wheezing sound that somehow intensified Karine's fear, the scent of the impromptu battlefield assailed her, blood, bile and excrement covered the normal city scents, making the dead street even more otherworldly.  "Your little god left, good, I was bored without being able to play," The dog laughed again as terror took Karine, nearly causing her to drop her knife.  She controlled herself and crouched in her ready position, shaking in fear.

[/size]"I'm not afraid of you," Karine warbled, fighting off passing out from panic.  In the circle of clear vision she had, the gruesome dog shifted again, it was growing bigger.  The fabric of the suit buckled and ripped, and gleaming fur pushed through.  The dog's shoulders now resembled those of the big cats, it was bulkier in the front, but it didn't look ungainly.  It was, however, hideous.  Black fur rippled in the light while the too-large feet flexed, showing long black talon-like claws.  The gashes in its throat only lent to the image of terror that the beast was giving off.  Gold eyes glared at Karine, now slitted.

[/size]"Game time," The beast whispered, its voice like a thawing iceberg, crackly and groaning.  Then it launched at her. 
[/size][/size]Karine shrieked and tried to run, tried to counter, but she was pinned by giant paws pressing daggers into her shoulders.  she stabbed up into the stomach, gagging as blood poured over her.   She shrieked in panic as her legs were pinned at the thigh by yet more daggers.  Karine tried to roll, to think, but everything was pain and terror.
[/size]Then it bit her.

[/size]She had expected it to go for her throat, but instead it shifted its weight and released the arm that wasn't holding a knife.  Arching its body so her knife could no longer reach it's torso (now spilling foul, metallic reeking intestines over most of Karine's legs and torso) it instead bit into her ribs.  Karine shrieked as the doberman beast's teeth pushed into her skin, running along the nerve-rich undersides of her ribs as though trying to find the perfect point of attack.  She brought her elbow into the beast's eye, over and over, but her attack was ignored.  Suddenly she felt the beast that had once been a doberman pincer that had once been a rude little woman close its teeth around some ribs and crunch down.

[/size]The moments after that were hazy for Karine.  She saw a silver eyed man try to push the dog off of her, his head went to her torso then came back up with a bloodied mouth.  Karine was beyond feeling, simply watching as she died.  The next thing she saw was the dog's head rolling away. 
[/size]Something red hit her face and she flinched, then saw the man's head join the dog's.  Someone seemed to be collecting heads.  Karine thought about giggling, but decided against it.  She saw Jack's face, he was worried.  She tried to tell him not to worry-- she had died once before, after all-- but nothing came out.  How frustrating.  She saw Thomas next (was he naked?), he knelt next to Jack and looked up hopefully at a third person.  At great effort, Karine turned her head to glower at the eternally youthful face that was looking over her with worry and regret.  'There you are Monty,' She  thought, then she slipped into blackness with a gurgling sigh.

[/size]- - -

[/size]Jack dispatched the second of his assailants, swearing as he lost the third.  The last man had been more cunning of the attackers, and he had yet to get so much as a scratch on him from Jack's blade.  Jack had noted with some surprise that all the men in the attack had been silver, only the woman was gold.  A mixture like that was unusual.  Suddenly the man slipped around him, running full out toward something in the distance.  It looked like a dog in rage shift.

[/size]And it was pinning Karine.

[/size]Jack swore, pivoted, and ran up behind the panther that Thomas had nearly downed, bringing his sword down on the black cat's neck before racing to Karine.

[/size]If the words 'Bloody Hell' can be a mantra, Jack was chanting it.  He beheaded the dog easily, then had to dance with the male (why was he so slippery?) before Thomas grabbed the little bugger from behind and wrenched his head off, throwing it to the dog's head so they could be burned together.

[/size]"Is she?" Jack collapsed to his knees when he saw her wounds.

[/size]"You're going to have to save her, I couldn't get here in time," A sad voice said as Thomas joined him at her side.
Thomas looked up at the new arrival and Jack jumped as he realized that another person shouldn't have been there.

[/size]"Peace," The new arrival said.  He was a dark haired, pale man, wearing an honest to god toga.  The cream material was gathered around him, nearly glowing in the dingy, bloody area.  A pinnacle of cleanliness.

[/size]"How do we save her?" Jack asked, choking softly at her need for rescue.

[/size]"We change her," Thomas said, pulling the knife from Karine's unmoving hand and slitting his palm along a vein, holding it over her wound to coat the bloodied area in his own blood.

[/size]"But it doesn't always work--" Jack began.

[/size]"If you both do it, it'll make 4 de Aurgint that bled into her wound, I'll make sure one of them works," The newcomer said, crouching by Karine's wounded side to hold out a knife to Jack.  He gulped and cut open his own hand, mimicking Thomas.

[/size]"You're injured," Thomas said almost accusingly as Jack sat back heavily.

[/size]"One of the guys had a knife, it's just a love nip is all," Jack said, waving off  Thomas's attempts to inspect him.

[/size]"One of them got more than a love nip on you," The newcomer said, scenting the air like a shifter might.  Thomas cut the jacket, then the shirt off of Jack.  He was very tired, all of a sudden.

[/size]"Can you get us to the house?" Thomas asked the newcomer, worry in his tone.

[/size]"Consider it done," Was the reply.

[/size]- - -


  • Guest
Re: The Moon in Her Eyes
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2011, 10:54:24 PM »
They were kidnapped at least twice.

The dragons wanted to kill them because that was the only way to end their eternal lives.

When dragons time travel they create alternate timelines that are usually short lived (Ending in terrible apocalypses).

By existing in a certain place at a certain time they created an alternate timeline that extended time.

Gold Eyes and Silver Eyes are pretty much Vampire/Incubi/Werewolf things.

There was going to be another main character, but it never got fleshed out.


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