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|[A Dangerous Sanctuary]|

By DanceMyDear

Replies: 46 / 1 years ago

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  1. [Allowed] Tweedy

[pic http://i.imgur.com/NY4fcpV.png]
[font "Georgia" [i We know what we're doing.]]


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[font "Georgia" [size14 [tab ] Troi found herself taking a brief moment to sort of take a better look at the man she had come into this strange agreement with; allowing herself to actually see him unlike their last interaction, where it felt like she couldn't allow herself to really examine him, as she noted he was doing the same, approaching her until they both reached a somewhat protective distance from each other, glancing down at her hands briefly. [b [#144661 "Just a few, basic sort of things..."]] she said before looking back up.

[tab ] [b [#144661 "For a prime example, what would you like me to refer to you by? I introduced myself but am left without any proper idea of what to call you."]] She said, hoping that he wouldn't somehow find wanting an introduction somehow.... offensive?
[font "Times" [size15 The creature watched her as he came closer, hands folding behind his back.

"[B Questions,]" he repeated, looking her over. He could smell her now. The scent of exertion just salting her skin, flushing her face. The man's head tipped a bit as he came toward her, to stop a very short distance away.

"[B My, whatever for?]"

He could only wonder at that. The way she worded it made it sound like she had discovered a great secret, which made his shoulders tighten. He wondered what she could have found out in such a short time... how smart was she, really? Or how dumbly lucky?
Thomas Fletcher / Tweedy / 131d ago
[font "Georgia" [size14 [tab ] The sudden voice from behind her made Troi jump in alarm, not prepared for the sudden noise after having become used to the strange calm of the quiet manor. She had been gradually making her way through for the past few days, assessing the state of each room as she found it, and trying to take notes of what all she would need to do to take care of it, to clean it in a way that would be effective. Some rooms were worse than others-- needing far more tender loving care-- scrubbing down the walls or stains that had come about, shooing pests that had managed to make their way inside; while others were a bit simpler; some heavy dusting, cleaning the windows perhaps- but with a few pieces of furniture that had been more protected than others from the years. It was on this gradual route through, spending the first part of the day getting started on cleaning, and the latter part of the day doing more exploring, that she had started to allow herself to fall into a form of a routine, something she could rely upon with the uncertainty of her situation.

[tab ] [b [#144661 "I-- I'm sorry to disturb you- I was simply trying to get my bearings."]] She said aloud, sort of to the room itself, turning around slowly again to face towards him, watch him come closer, slowly. Trying to see his expression more clearly, if she can manage it, to speak with him rather than at him. [b [#144661 "I have questions..."]]

[font "Times" [size15 The creature's pace took him across the front of the large fireplace in the study, in the basement. Back, and forth. Pausing one direction, turning back.

He had finally looked at himself, earlier; and the face he saw startled him. He looked like himself. But not like himself. Thomas wondered if this was what it was to grow up, for most people. Realizing, so many years later, that you've changed. Seeing the differences you remembered when you were younger... not understanding wholly how much time had passed...

Presently, as he paced now, he felt his sense move over himself. Aware of his corporeality. His hands pressed against one another, fingers moving over skin that felt alien somehow.

It was peculiar to him, this condition. How feeding had brought him back to this semblance of humanity. Unblemished skin, soft hair, living nerves that thrummed and trembled with the energy he felt beneath his skin. It was almost as if he could [i feel] the muscle moving beneath with every motion. Eyes in his skull. It was all very strange. And now that he had a grip on himself, he could begin to work towards understanding the limits of this body... He hadn't been lucid like this in a long time. Time, as much as he was shepherd to it with his maintenance, didn't feel real any longer. Every day the same. Except for the few times he had to make a correspondence. That was the only thing that kept him rising, he realized. That and this strange entrance into the membrance that had become of this existence. Punctured by the post, carried by the bird... and this woman.

There was a sound in the hall. The pacing slowed, stopping. The creature listened to the noise of descending steps, quieted the closer they came to the door. He drew to a stop, listening. Swiveling around slowly as he heard someone else listen.

A tap at the door, before it opened just so. The vampire vanished into nothing. And the door opened to an empty chamber. The darkness from yon crypt reaching out into the slanted fingers of the light from the fire in the lower chamber seemed cold. The room was cold. Silent.

“[B What are you doing here?]” came a voice from behind her.

It was habit for the vampire to vanish and enshroud himself in shadow. Watch from afar. He wasn’t used to someone simply [i living] nearby. And so he had moved quickly enough, along the edges of the mouldings on the walls as but a breath. And when he saw her, heard her little voice call for him he approached. She didn’t know what to call him.
Thomas Fletcher / Tweedy / 142d ago
[font "Georgia" [size14 [tab ] Troi found herself struggling to find the right words to speak to him-- still reeling slightly from the way that their discussion had swiftly turned from slow and uncertain to... her being given a task. She could see him pause as she thanked him, almost as though he were waiting for her to say something further but... she could think of nothing.

[tab ] She allowed herself a moment to take in the sudden calmness of the room, and to sort of... allow the past few moments to sink in. She was alive-- that was an important note. She would clean this house until... he tired of her, she supposed. And in the meantime, maybe she would figure out more about this all, about why he was the way he had become, how to keep herself alive... Straightening, she thought of the horses she was meant to take care of, and approached the door, fully intending to find her way to the pasture to take care of them.

[tab ] [i Now hold on.] Her hand hovered over the door handle briefly. [i I introduced myself... and explained...] He hadn't. She didn't even know his name. Opening the door, she peered out of the hallway, uncertain if he would still be there, or if he had disappeared as quickly as he had appeared before. Maybe she would get to ask that question... but perhaps it was best to go take care of those horses before she tried to do so.

[hr ]
[tab ] The horses took some soft coaxing, but it wasn't entirely difficult to get them to work with her, despite the anxiety she seemed certain they had experienced to end up here. They were clearly trained, used to being used for work, for travel without much fuss-- she had managed to find the stables on the property and lead them in that direction, heaving off packs and saddles and gently taking off tack, before brushing each of them thoroughly. She was uncertain if she should let them back out in the pasture again, but also wasn't in a position to make sure that any stalls would be up to snuff for them-- and recognized that until she could look at the task with fresh eyes in the daylight it was best to put them back where they at least had grazing access.

[tab ] She allowed her curiosity to take over her as she found a place to stow the tack and saddles, taking a look through the saddle bags. They were full of rations and gear, as though in preparation for a long hunting trip... Glancing back to the horses briefly, she realized where she recognized them from. Taking advantage of the food there, Troi did her best to combine some of the food into a bag she could carry, heading back toward the main house and the room she had accidentally made hers for the night.

[tab ] They certainly had things to discuss.]]
[font "Times" [size15 The vampire paused, growing still again mid-motion, as if suddenly unreal while Troi processed it.

He studied her, watching the grapple on her face before his head tilted, finishing with his cuff. "[B Yes,]" he continued. "[B Or, if you're inclined you may begin taking the tack off of the horses in the pasture out back...]" He murmured, tilting his head.

It was interesting the amount of things that she was handling. Thomas found himself wondering if she would have it all hit her at a later point, after he left her company. Company. A living soul in the house... but he was saving her for later. It wouldn't be a long disturbance. Just until he felt like finally dispatching her, drinking up the rest of that soul, her delicate veins trembling and bursting.

He turned, swiveling slowly on his heel with a low hum in his throat, lids low, languid.

The creature paused by the door, a hand alighting on the frame, head turning back toward her as she thanked him. He considered her a moment before continuing out, the door closing itself behind him (if she does not stop him or call him back). And there the woman was left, the crackle of the fire quiet but near. As if back in focus. The room warm, empty, quiet. And the house silent once again.
Thomas Fletcher / Tweedy / 170d ago
[font "Georgia" [size14 [tab ] It felt so strange, the way that his gaze met hers, holding onto it as they interacted. Consistently keeping her aware of the terribly delicate truce that seemed to have come between them, at least as long as they spoke, as long as she could keep him from deciding on a whim that he was tired of this, of her. It brought a weight to the way they interacted, it seemed, and she found herself keeping a distinct watch in the way his eyes would lighten or darken as his interest was captured.

[tab ] She felt quite certain that her own curiosity was breaking through as she realized this.

[tab ] And then, almost suddenly, they seemed to have come into an agreement, and his eyes were torn away from hers once more. It felt terribly abrupt, considering that they were discussing her life-- and it took her a moment to determine if she should respond, feeling almost... baffled by it. [b [#144661 "Enjoy my fire..."]] She echoed, taking a moment to gather herself, trying not to look confused and more... appreciative. [b [#144661 "I- I will try. And I'll do my best to get started, first thing tomorrow, on cleaning, presuming..."]] What [i was] she presuming?

[tab ] Presuming she was still alive. Presuming he wouldn't change his mind on another whim, as it seemed he had in deciding to leave her be, it seemed. Her eyes were drawn to the fire, glancing away from him for just a moment-- it seemed too dangerous to not keep an eye on him.

[tab ] [b [#144661 "Thank you."]] She added, softly, uncertain if she should really be offering her thanks to him. She had, by far, not received the better end of their unspoken agreement.]]
[font "Times" [size15 She pushed his hand away from the wound on her throat. The vampire's eyes were then pulled from it back to hers. Watching her as she held herself together. It only made him want to invade that space more. Spiteful.

Interest lit in the backs of those eyes as she spoke. She wanted control. And she was ready to look at her options realistically. Or at least she made it out to seem so before him. It was... impressive. And all of it in the same tone- if hesitant, it was that firmness she reached for- that she had held the night prior, when he held her just before he indulged in her living veins. Now here it was again.

It was as he said, ultimately. His eyes seemed to fade back a bit into that neutrality as she reached that part of her speech. She wasn't going to leave here. It was a small life. She was a few years younger than him, possibly. Based on her manner and her general appearance. But she had lasted longer than the others.

"[B Such a strange irony,]" he mused, holding her gaze right back.

"[B You've no refuge,]" the vampire murmured, confirming. "[B Save here, in this hollow hell.]" There was a bitter smile that pulled up on his face there that didn't reach his eyes. The same ones that hadn't left hers.

The creature straightened, tugging at his cuffs as he drew himself up and glanced to the mantle. "[B Enjoy your fire.]"
Thomas Fletcher / Tweedy / 179d ago
[font "Georgia" [size14 [tab ] Troi found herself casting her eyes to the floor, thinking over the questions he asked her as he continued to speak, musing on the choices she had already made, and interrupted by his hand returning to her chin to tilt her head back up to meet his eye again. She tried to think over the paths laid out before her, thinking about the bets she was placing here with her life.

[tab ] If she could manage to convince him to allow her to stay, her destiny would feel much more so held in her own hands, even if for only a short while. The other options-- running, hiding, praying that she would make it out of this forest again and then away from the accusations of her village following her the way that thunder followed behind lightning- even if she could manage to survive that, what were her options, really? Try to find work in a new town, with no one to vouch for her-- maybe if she was lucky she could find some work taking care of somebody else's home. Even then, she would never truly know if she had escaped the fate laid out before her the night before- she would always be looking over her shoulder, desperately hoping that no one recognized her. And she may not even be able to find work-- what then?

[tab ] [b [#144661 "You want to know what you might give me, what I might ask for from you?"]] Hand shaking, she lifted it slowly, trying to will herself to steady it as she brought it to the man's hand on her chin, gently yet firmly pushing it away as she spoke. [b [#144661 "Certainty of a swifter death. One in which I will know exactly what's coming, because as you've said-- you've already tasted the peach. And I know that it is painful. But it will be so much quicker."]]

[tab ] [b [#144661 "I understand my body's limits- if I were somehow able to escape here, from you, I am not foolish enough to think that I wouldn't either lose my way in this woods or be captured by my pursuers. Even if you are lying about there being something in these woods, if I get lost, I will likely slowly starve to death or die from exposure."]] She took a breath, and brought her arms to herself, trying to provide some small comfort as she spoke, for what felt like far too long. But so long as she had managed to capture his attention- as long as this might be some of the last words she spoke- she was going to take advantage of her final monologue. [b [#144661 "If I come across my pursuers again, there is no reasonable way for me to expect to escape them as they are on horseback and I am already very weakened. They will return me to my village where I know I will either be burned, hanged, or forced into a marriage to a man who I know full well will make every last day of my life a living hell, much more so than spending the remainder of my life working within this manor would ever be."]]

[tab ] She kept her eyes on his, keeping eye contact. She wasn't certain that she really believed that the eyes were windows into the soul- but the eye contact did help her pretend that she was getting her point across to him.]]
[font "Times" [size15 The vampire drew back further with a quiet, tired scoff. She had said it herself. It looked like no one had lived there in years. The only thing he did was wind the clock. Wander the woods. The cemeteries. Watch from afar. Meagerly manage the remnants of the estate... by mercy alone, he was certain. It didn't matter. They reflected one another, he and this place. It kept people away.

But those eyes slid back to her when she spoke again, the only motion on him again. He seemed to move in pieces at times, shifting in and out of full, living motion and something unnatural. Like he forgot to breathe. The living always had noise about themselves. Breathing, of course. A shift of clothing, a tic of motion somewhere. But he faded in and out of silence. His head turned toward her.

Now, he drew a breath; slow, deliberate as he considered her. Such a change in tone. "[B Convenient, yes...]" he repeated, suspicion tinging his voice. Once again it wasn't what he was expecting, per se. He was used to more begging. And here she was turning his attention to other men. Yes, they had been searching for her. Calling her name, beckoning that they wouldn't hurt her, saying she couldn't hide forever. He could only imagine she was trying to garner something from him with this offer, trying to avoid them still. Thinking they were still alive perhaps, seeking her. Or had she believed him when he said the woods were particularly haunted? What made him a lesser evil, if that was what was happening.

"[B Strange,]" His eyes narrowed a little, head turning down. "[B generally people don't wish to spend their last hours [i working], and certainly not without pay...]" His tone bled a little more with suspicion, bridging on sarcasm, but low. Quiet as he drew nearer once more. "[B What is it you are trying to get from me, I wonder? What do you honestly think I will [i give] you that your pursuers won't?]"

A long-fingered hand reached out toward her, fingers warmer than they had been. Human. Yet still that same uncalloused, smooth touch as before. The hands of wealth. He tipped her chin up again, touch moving across and down to the delicate, barely sealed, swollen wound on the side of her neck. Finger stroking over ridges of tender, once-bloody scabbing. "[B I've already taken a bite of the peach.]" His eyes lingered there as he spoke, switching back to hers. "[B Why not take chance with them? I could easily be lying about the forest, and I've promised I will kill you.]" And yet she was trying to appeal to him.
Thomas Fletcher / Tweedy / 185d ago
[font "Georgia" [size14 [tab ] Any doubts that had remained within Etroian's mind of whether this man before her was the very same who had nearly killed her the night before had been erased as he spoke of the [i hunger], or the lack of it in this moment, being that which kept her alive, mouthing the word to herself as well, silently, reflecting on it. And it was so foolish to feel so, but Troi felt... Disappointed to not be furthering that particular train of thought. Even watching that brief tense of his features as she mentioned it, she could see that it would be a fight. Perhaps mostly so due to the fact that if he was had only been peaked by her ability to become a meal, rather than by the way she spoke or the puzzlement of how she had reached the manor- denial took away a powerful potential bargaining chip she had hoped to once have. But the mention of the house, of its state seemed to reach this stranger, in at least some small way.

[tab ] [b [#144661 "...But you will see it."]] Troi said, voice soft as she saw his eyes briefly be cast somewhere faraway, like he was seeing a place that she knew she had never been, trying to steady her intonation, make herself someone who could be soothing. [b [#144661 "And if it's a matter of not being hungry... If you plan on not letting me leave here... wouldn't it be convenient if I could take care of this house for you, until you are?"]] Instinctively, she understood that running would likely not bring her to a happy end. Even if she could manage to get out of the house now, out of his reach, she would more than likely get lost in the forest, lost to the things that supposedly resided within it- or perhaps worse, find herself stranded, exhausted, and slowly starve to death. It seemed for now, that this small extension of her life was the better choice to bargain for. And maybe- if he let her live long enough for that- she could become interesting enough to not kill for even longer- extend that extension even longer.

[tab ] It was worth trying.]]
[font "Times" [size15 The man's head tipped as she made her statements about him, brow raising the softest amount as he listened, and head inclining, watching her as she articulated her thoughts. Shifting her language to him killing her, he noted. Interesting. His eyes nearly strayed to the mirror he knew was over the fireplace to see what had changed. But he resisted. He didn't want to know. Not anymore.

Then, her voice raised a bit, her body shifting forward as her eyes lit up with an energy he hadn’t seen yet and he snapped back to her. Something [i must interest you...] He shifted back, blinking, before he shut his features down, face hardening, cooling to a neutral mask. He had already begun to refer to her as the little negotiator. But her [i noticing] spelled trouble.

The vampire hummed. "[B A lack of hunger, for the time being.]" he responded. His finger unfurled beneath her jaw, brief before it disappeared altogether.

The five other men he had hunted thanks to her alert had sated at least the pain for now. He felt [i fine], which was strange. Always tired, of course. But he hadn't noticed anything chronic for some hours.

But it was her next statement that made the creature before her grow still. A stillness that seemed to make him a painting before her, a cessation of motion, not even a breath. The only shine giving him life was the reflection of the fire on living eyes as they detached from her, following to the corners of the room beyond before they dulled. Something shadowed them, and he drew himself up, movement imperceptible, but the distance between them grew.

His lids fluttered, and ultimately lowered, as something cast over that gaze. Something that envisioned what was once here, now gone. People. Life. The parties, the family. "[B No...]" he murmured. "[B There is no one who will see these halls again. It doesn't matter.]"
Thomas Fletcher / Tweedy / 185d ago
[font "Georgia" [size14 [tab ] Troi felt her back finally hit against the doorframe, trapped halfway in and out of the room and with this stranger coming in so close to her, reaching out and touching her-- it was all very... predatory, causing her heart to race and every inch of her to practically scream [i 'run']. Not in quite the same way it had felt when she was avoiding her suitor in her home, or even quite the same as it had been in that mad dash running away from the mob around her house and into the woods. No-- everything about this interaction made her truly feel [i hunted] in a way that no mortal had been able to. Her eyes widened with terror as he spoke to her, so calmly, yet with an undertone of amusement through it all, bright blue eyes meeting his tawny, examining her features in a strange way, taking her in like she might the pages of a book. [i Of course he would take offense to the my use of Creature...] It made... a strange amount of sense, despite the realization itself being so strange. This was no mortal man, he was the very same being that she had so narrowly escaped- transformed. [i But how...]

[tab ] [i This is a game to him,] She thought to herself thinking over the way that he spoke, he carried himself, how curiosity seemed to pull at him whenever she said something foolish or clever, [i so how do I give myself a better position within it?] Tearing her eyes away from him briefly she tried desperately to scan the room for something, anything she could say that might make killing her less of a priority-- [i how do I make myself valuable?]

[tab ] [b [#144661 “I- I can tell that some part of this must interest you-"]] She started, speaking shakily and not wholly certain of what she would say, [b [#144661 “There is something that keeps you from killing me, something that I don't understand, maybe you do-- but, I- I could be of some use to you perhaps- while you determine what it is that stops you."]] Her eyes rested upon the disorder of the room around her, of the cobwebs and the dust that covered the hallway.

[tab ] [b [#144661 “I have been taking care of my home and property for several years now, by myself. Perhaps I could help to take care of your home-- though quite beautiful, the dust of time past has cast a haze over it-- I could restore it for you."]] She said, casting her her gaze back onto his, still practically having not moved a muscle, and hoping desperately that some part of this plea might catch his attention.]]
[font "Times" [size15 Tawny eyes flickered between the limpid pools of the stranger's, watching her disappointment slack the strings she held herself up with. But she still wished to stay. Somewhere on the premises. Somewhere he could reach her easily.

"[B Do you not fear the thing that came after you?]" he queried before the words could be caught, advancing a step toward the little woman. [i Foolish.] His head turned to the side, sharply, to dismiss the thought. His eyes detached, glinting in the firelight as he seemed to think, to listen a moment.

The man sighed, "[B You'll sleep no better in the stable; cold, at the mercy of the creatures outside.]" There was the unsettled, deep rumble of thunder as he said it. "[B Or the Other.]"

His eyes went to the window, over her head. [i Why not kill her now? Save her the misery. Wouldn't it be a] mercy[i ?] "[B No, you're not leaving here,]" his voice was quiet, factual as he said it, eyes moving now to her features. Memorizing them. "[B Not ever again, I think. Why not at least spend one more night with a fire beside you?]" The man's hand moved, silent, not even the whisper of clothing as he went. She felt the curl of his index beneath her chin, the pad of his thumb at the crest of her jaw, tipping her face up in the firelight.

Pallid. Wide, pale eyes. Dark, tousled hair. Her pulse was underneath his fingers. Thrumming at the back of his thoughts. Ever at the edge of his focus.

And he. Aurelian eyes moving over her, raven hair. The man was tall before her, dressed in his black suit. The satiny fabric of his waistcoat, where it caught the fire, glimmered softly.

It was a technicality that she called him on, the man's brow quirking up a bit in response. She was a very peculiar woman in how she responded, carried herself and her priorities. Her tone had hardly changed from the night before- though quaking, small.

"[B Not someone,]" came a thoughtful murmur, accompanied by a shake of his head. "[B Barely a memory. That [i thing] you encountered will return.]" It was only a matter of time until he needed to feed again. Sink his teeth into soft, yielding flesh. His throat trembled at the idea. Ever hungered, hampered by a lack. It was truly damnation when meals were so few and in between. Five men. And this one just a taste before he could pull himself free, unable to resist her terror, the fearful throb of that heart. For now it was bearable. For now he felt. He [i felt].
Thomas Fletcher / Tweedy / 188d ago