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Story of the Century

By Loxi

Replies: 229 / 3 years ago

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Gaius wasn’t sure what he was expecting her to say, or even what he was hoping to hear her say. He was so confused by his own emotions, since the only thing he was certain of: was that she was divine intervention. So when she gave him her answer with that sweet smile, and gentle flush from the alcohol on her cheeks; he was rendered completely taken. It left him enamored by her sweet innocence and unconditional kindness. Still, a part of him pitied her for her naivety. She should have been very afraid of him, and yet it seemed she saw him no differently than a pit-bull. Her naivety made him want to protect her even more. She was precious, and he wouldn’t let her powers or her life be abused.

From where she sat, Vanna watched completely intrigued by their interaction. Her brother truly was taken with the little oracle. Weak little mortal wasn’t even fully awakened yet to her own powers, and she pitied the fool who might bruise her. For if the Maenad clearly didn’t unleash retribution, her brother certainly would. Vanna could tell by the look in Gaius’ eyes that he would conquer the layers of Heaven and Hell if it meant happiness for the brunette beside him. That concerned Vanna as well, for in her mind, no mortal should have that sort of power over a Divine Demon. She would have to make sure the Mortal’s motives were pure, because there was no way Vanna was going to relinquish her brother to anything less.

It was at that moment Eris entered the room. Vanna glanced over mildly curious, and was reminded of Kael’s currently unavailable status. She groaned… they were acting like two fools under the effects of a bad love potion. It was boring when the attention wasn’t on her.

Eris wasn’t expecting Kael to suddenly appear before her. She looked up at him stunned to see he looked genuinely concerned. In her drunken state she couldn’t stop the blush on her face, but she could still maintain her composure to some extent. She almost didn’t hear his question in regards to the benefits of fresh air. She gave the room a wary side glance and forced a smooth smirk.
[#b22222 “It was enough,”] she settled with, and followed him over to the loveseat. This was the closest she’d been to him since L.A., and she was so distracted by being so near to him that she didn’t realize their game was still taking place and it was Kael’s turn.

She looked up at him, unaware she was staring as Dahlia gave him her dare, but as he went to complete his task a notification on his phone derailed everything. She drunkenly tried to process what he was saying. The name… wasn’t that one of his family members? He seemed deeply confused, and maybe disturbed by this news. Eris did the only thing she could think of, she reached out and placed her hand on his shoulder.
[+gold “Kael?”] Gaius asked his gaze now focused on his partner. He could tell this news was shocking for him. What was going on that would cause Rian Neu to agree to be President? It didn’t make sense. [+gold “You going to be okay with this? It’s your father”]
[#b22222 “Your father?”] Eris asked surprised, and glanced back over to Dahlia and Gaius. A horrifying idea crept into her mind, which sobered her up momentarily and she gave a grave expression towards Kael’s phone. [#b22222 “You don’t think the Malumortis got to him, do you?”] Gaius frowned at her question, but made to stand up, his expression hard on Kael.
[+gold “Let’s talk upstairs, and call it a night.”] Eris bristled angrily to have Gaius so coldly shoved both herself and Dahlia away. They were involved now! Why did he keep pushing them out?
[#b22222 “But-“]
[+pink “it’s late!”] Vanna suddenly chimed, breaking up the tension in the room as best she could. [+pink “Gaius is right, it’s late, and we’ve had some shocking news in regards to [I our] government. Why don’t I have my staff show you both to your room? I’ll have brunch prepared in the morning, we all could use some rest.”] Vanna suggested a large smile plastered to her face, while getting up. She made a move to help Dahlia up, but it was Gaius’ hand that reached out for Dahlia first. He looked down at her waiting for her to take his hand, and helped her to stand on her own feet. He guided her straight to Eris and gave the Maenad a look. Eris couldn’t explain it, but she could feel the warning and power from Gaius. It was a strange pressure that peeled off of him in waves. There was a sense of instinct in understanding that Gaius was an Alpha, and one not to fuck with.
[+gold “Head upstairs… we will join you momentarily to say goodnight.”] Gaius settled with, and Eris grit her teeth, but rose to her feet and snatched Dahlia’s hand from Gaius and stormed out of the room towards a butler with Dahlia in tow.

Skulking the whole way to their room, Eris had her arms crossed grumbling under her breath about Gaius being a stuffy asshole. They followed a butler up an opulent flight of stairs lined with fine art, and down a hallway to a set of double doors. The butler silently opened the doors and allowed Eris and Dahlia to enter the room. Eris stopped her skulking to look at the gorgeous bedroom that seemed to be able to cater to them in much the same with their old apartment had. It was a massive room with a large bathroom attached, and equally massive bed they would have to share and open closets full of clothes.
[#b22222 “Damn… I think this room is bigger than our apartment.”]

With the women out of the room Gaius turned towards Kael with a worried looking Vanna. Seemingly pondering their dilemma, Vanna glanced up tapping her chin in thought. [+pink “The new presidential installment happened almost too quickly. Where was the council’s vote? The Parliament’s approval?”] Gaius gave Vanna an irritated look but then gave his partner his attention.
[+gold “What do you think this all means?”]
darien / 13d ago
Kael hadn't expected that to work quite so well. Not that he believed Vanna to have any serious design on him, but he generally just gave her whatever she wanted, as she was accustomed to, so he was thankful things played out as nice as they did... at least for now. Who knew what else this night held. But for the time being she relented. Now she had a new target. Her brother. After some of Pride's prodding, Dahlia ended up sandwiched between the two carnal sins. The couch, originally meant for three, seated the four of them snuggly. It wasn't uncomfortable, but even if it had been he couldn't complain. Kael was partially to blame for the situation, as he [I may] have made an encouraging comment or two to have Gaius join Dahlia. They were supposed to be unwinding, and no one here was as tightly strung as his partner. Kael didn't think the other demon would fully relax, however the strength of Dahlia's effect on Gaius was still very much a wild card in the snake's mind.

The golden-eyed man's hesitance at her offer had Dahlia disappointed. She wanted Gaius to continue with them in their game, though it looked as though he had had his fill. The dissatisfaction hit harder than expected. She wanted to sit next to him, which deep down might have been her true motivation for wanting him to keep playing. Her emotions were very much displayed on her sleeve as , but none of that lasted long as the others convinced him to go along with it. The woman couldn't help the bubbly smile on her face as she watched him take his seat.

Her gaze lingered on his idealistic features. Thankfully it was his turn to come up with a truth or a dare, because it gave half an excuse for her staring, especially since it was her turn to choose. If it was Gaius, she was probably safe to choose dare, but Dahlia kept to her original plan to stick to truth. She wondered if there was anything about her he could possibly want to know. At least, anything she knew herself. But in the end, his question felt like something a little more personal. Body language somewhat awkward beside her, it was almost like he was afraid to hear the answer himself. The woman wondered why.

Dahlia didn't have to put much thought into her answer. She started by shaking her head, but the subtle dizziness it brought caused her to stop. [+mediumvioletred “I mean, at first you were pretty scary... Eris and I didn't know what was going on or what we'd gotten ourselves into. And even after spending sometime with you, you are still kind of intimidating, but I wouldn't say I am afraid of you. You've been nothing but kind to me.] She almost felt bad about how nice he was. Neither he nor Kael had to help them, they just were.

As she spoke, her thoughts did wander to that time at the warehouse and how Gaius had transformed into something else. Fiery and dark, it was the sort of demonic visage that should invoke terror, and it had at the time. Well, at first. That big of a change would scare anyone, but by the end it was clear even in that state he was Gaius through and through. In hindsight she was able to see how comparatively delicate he had been when she and the others were near. [+mediumvioletred “You're sweet... and for some reason I can't imagine you doing anything to hurt me... so nope, I'm not afraid of you.”] She knew it was a naive thought, but her drunkenness allowed it to flow out of her freely, and with a smile no less.

Shortly after finishing that thought, Eris returned from her time outside and for a moment Dahlia was distracted from perpetuating the game. But before she could do much more than turn to face her friend, Kael was already up and at it.

To be truthful, Kael was only half listening to what was going on around him. The rest of his mind was filled with their missing party member. Eris had been slurring her words something fierce before she went out. And while he didn't want to be the one to question a maenad's ability to drink, he was a bit worried for her. Thus explaining why he was quick to be out of his seat and at her side when he noticed her coming their way. [+forestgreen “Fresh air do you some good?”] Or what she got of it between breaths of cigarette smoke.

As he waited for her answer, his shining-red eyes looked over her. There was a tiredness there, but it was the same one she had been carrying since they left the island. Besides that her features remained just as charming as always, albeit framed differently by her dark, newly long hair. He was still getting used to the change, as he was sure she was as well.

Kael moved along with Eris, sort of attempting to lead her over to the nearby loveseat. Perhaps he was being a nuisance, overbearing, but his intent, given she wasn't on her way to bed, was to keep them out of the snowballing game Dahlia had started. Though to be honest, the smaller couch was probably not far enough from the action to prevent them from being dragged in. A coffee table away was no great distance, after all. It was only a matter of time before they were pulled into something as... riveting... as Disney Karaoke. In fact at that moment, Dahlia was calling the game back to Vanna who in her lively and artful way deflected the question onto him.

Finding himself in his new seat, just as comfortable as the last, Kael accepted his face. [+forestgreen “Dare, I suppose.”] There was a pause, as Dahlia wore a look of thought. He wasn't too worried about what her mind could produce.

[+mediumvioletred “Hmmm, I want you to call the nearest pizza place and order kung pao. Extra points if you get them to agree.”]

The dark haired man wasn't sure what good points were to him at this point, but he didn't ask. Instead to fished his phone out of his pocket and unlocked the screen, ready to pull up a map of pizza joints. However, the notification at the top stopped him. It was about the announcement they previously pushed to the side.

The look on his face must have told the others something was up, because their eyes lingered on him as if to ask what was wrong. [+forestgreen “A new president has been announced...”] The best way to sum it up was to read the headline directly. [+forestgreen “Canterbury's job complete, makes way for new president Rian Neu.”] It struck Kael so hard for two reasons. One, he had been so certain Lysander had a hand in Atlas' demise and his immediate step up in the wake of tragedy was an attempt at a more permanent power grab. Two, Rian Neu was his father, and while he worked very close with Atlas, enough so to be considered his right hand, it was incredibly out of character for him to take a position so wholly in the spotlight.
A coy and devious smirk dawned across Vanna’s face at Kael’s warning. She did like it when he got direct and bossy. It also seemed her brother wasn’t the only one in over their head with a mortal. Then again, she supposed the chaotic namesake wasn’t entirely mortal, and neither was Gaius’ little distraction. Slowly her smirk turned into a playful pout. [+pink “I mourn for the loss of another bachelor,”] she chided teasingly to him, her tone almost sarcastic as she sipped her drink. She smacked her lips in satisfaction of her drink and glanced to the windows that showed the darkened figure of Eris pacing outside. The faint gleam of orange from the flame of her cigarette glowed with life at every drag. [+pink “I shall do as you ask, but only because I could never deny you a thing, my sweet.”] She reached out and caressed his jaw line with a sensual finger. She pouted with a final look at him and made her way over to the couch to sit back down.

Gaius wasn’t the only one walking away from the karaoke mics that were now sitting on the glass coffee table. Under his skin he was burning with embarrassment, but no blush stained his cheeks. He’d murder his sister if it wasn’t for the fact she was immortal. He shouldn’t have told her about Dahlia, no doubt his sister would find a way to make this about her. She looked rather put out by something Kael said, but she was over it quickly as they both heard Dahlia suggest Gaius coming to have a seat beside her. Gaius stared at Dahlia surprised by the subtle request.
[+gold “I would crowd the couch-“] he tried, but Kael even chimed in his own recommendation while Vanna grinned with a waggle of her brows. Gaius might have been the embodiment of Wrath, but he was still a gentleman, and Dahlia was clearly intoxicated.

Still... there was no harm in taking a seat at her side. He gave them both cold looks, but at Dahlia he offered a shadow of what might be considered a grin. He shrugged, given permission by the room, and made his way to take a seat beside Dahlia. Vanna sat on the opposite side of Dahlia, and grinned wickedly from behind her glass. Gaius did his best to ignore her, and focused on Dahlia. He felt awkward. Should he say something?
[+pink “It’s your turn now, Gaius. Ask Dahlia...”] Gaius blinked, caught off guard by his sister. Blanking for a moment on why he had even taken the seat beside Dahlia in the first place.
[+gold “Ask her what?”] He asked confused, but his gaze still on Dahlia. From where she sat, Vanna rolled her eyes.
[+pink “Truth or Dare, duh!”]
[+gold “Oh...”] Gaius glanced at his sister and then to the drunken flushed cheeks of Dahlia. That’s right, Vanna and Dahlia had started this juvenile mortals’ game, and he somehow found himself dragged into it. Part of him didn’t want to get involved in this stupid game, but it was too late now. He couldn’t deny Dahlia even if he wanted too. The way she was staring up at him, eyes sparkling with something unspoken. It pulled at something deep inside him. It made him uncomfortable, but a greater part of him longed to give her that key -to let it out and suffer the consequences. He was so close he could smell her... he could touch her. But he dare not do it. [+gold “Dahlia, Truth or Dare?”] He asked in a somber but interested manner, as Dahlia’s response was the only thing he was interested in.

Outside Eris paced in the crisp night air, her lips wrapped about the paper of her cigarette, as she inhaled deeply the acrid smoke that brought her a small sense of comfort. Despite all that had happened, it was a beautiful night. The sky was clear, the stars were out, and the moon was waning among the glitter of the cosmos. Definitely didn’t see night skies like this in New York City. Vanity’s Italian Villa was surprisingly... calm. Their host was certainly obnoxious, and her taste was a bit ‘old world opulence’ but in its own way was timeless. Most of all it was quiet, and that was the thing Eris needed the most. A quiet moment. She needed to process what had happened in the last few days.

She was so foolish to think her family might help. Now she would no doubt have to spend the rest of her life in hiding from them. In hiding from crazy Vampires that would want her blood, and facing the realization she was not human... she wasn’t the same Eris anymore. She was changed. The presence and voice of the goddess inside her was a constant stream of cringe-worthy commentary. Eris didn’t physically feel any different, aside from her now long hair, and oddly sharp nails. She might never have to get a set at the nail salon ever again. On a deeper more introspective level, Eris couldn’t deny that she felt different. One thing that hadn’t changed was her loyalty to Dahlia.

Looking through the window, Eris could see Gaius seated on the sofa with Dahlia and the others. They were all talking, and Eris couldn’t help but let her gaze wander over towards Kael and Vanna. Eris could see clearly that there was nothing between either of them, and before she knew it she was staring at Kael. When first meeting him she thought his red eyes were eerie and haunting, these days she was finding them warm and captivating. She shook that drunken thought from her head and took another drag from her cigarette, burning it down the to filter before she flicked it away and made her way back inside. She arrived just in time for Dahlia to finish up her turn of Truth or Dare.
darien / 78d ago
Vanna's initial answer was surprising to say the least. Dahlia wouldn't in a million years have guessed the ancient demon of pride and vanity would have thought her interesting in the slightest, it was actually kind of embarrassing. In fact, she didn't quite believe it. The mortal woman wouldn't have gone so far as to call her a liar, but as she was about to pipe up to voice her disbelief when the second choice came. Now that was something that made more sense. The explanation that came along with picking Mother Theresa was fascinating as well. Dahlia couldn't say she knew a lot about the woman, but this was news to her since she had only heard of this saintly side of her. But who would know better than Vanna if she had a streak of pride in her? There was no reason to lie about it and no one was perfect, still it was interesting to see beyond the veil of common knowledge.

From there the question of truth or dare came quickly back into the dark eyed woman's court. Dahlia was about to answer truth, as she had planned, but there wasn't time before Gaius interjected. The siblings took off from there and somehow or another the game she started to be a means of distraction morphed into karaoke. She was only half paying attention to the how, as her mind got caught on something else. Maybe it was her drunken brain fixating on something that didn't matter, but his timing seemed a little too perfect. Like he was purposefully drawing the attention off her. It was sweet of him, if that was in fact what he was doing. She thought it a little presumptuous to assume so, but he did offer to keep her safe the last time they talked together. There was a chance the two went hand and hand. And that chance made her stomach flutter. Her inebriated state allowed the woman to dwell on the indulgent thought and as she did her face warmed up ever so slightly. It took a moment for her to shake herself back to the here and now. By then the pair were already singing their duet. It was a song she knew of course, as the movie had taken he world by storm, so it was extra fun to see Gaius struggling along and she had a front row seat.

Smiling and keeping time with the beat of the song, her dark eyes stayed on Gaius for the most part. The faces and comments he made along with the lyrics were sending her. Dahlia could not help but laugh. One, because of the contrast in personality and song, and two, because she was finally witnessing him out of his element. Seeing him this way made him seem more... human wasn't the word, relatable maybe? Gaius always seemed to far off to her, but right now it actually felt like she could reach out and touch him. A prospect that made her a little happier than she expected.

As for Kael, he listened carefully to Eris. The noise in the background was distracting, but he was able to dial in to her voice fairly well. It seemed she wanted to avoid talk of days previous. Truth be told he was worried about her, and that didn't help, but if she didn't want to delve into it, he wasn't going to make her. [+forestgreen “Alright, we don't have to.”] He watched as she took her declared final shot and could tell she was feeling it. Then again, he was too, but not to that extent. [+forestgreen “All better.”] The snake echoed back at her as he brought his hand up to pat her atop the head. He was sure to be light with his touch so that it wouldn't shake her. Normally he might have tussled her hair some, but he wasn't so sure that wouldn't make her dizzy. So that was it for now. He was about to add something about taking care of herself when Eris cut back in mentioning Vanna. [+forestgreen “Oh joy.”] He spoke with a thick coat of sarcasm. And sure enough, her bell of a voice came ringing for him shortly thereafter. He was being called on and worried delaying any further would be a slight at this point.

Eyes on Eris still, he wanted to invite her over with them, but he could already tell she would turn him down. So their conversation ended with a short goodbye and he was back over with the others. Vanna was particularly happy, she was generally clingy, something he was certain was to bother her brother, but this was more than usual and he wasn't sure why. However during their chatting he caught her looking back over to where Eris was, a derisive glean in her eye. There was his answer. The maenad was throwing her off. No doubt she was set on edge by the divine energy housed inside her. It was understandable, seeing as Vanna was who she was, but Kael didn't like it. Not one bit. Eris was caught in a situation beyond her control. She was a scape goat of her family's problems. He could relate. And so, he found himself particularly irritated.

Leaning in a little closer the bubbly demon, [+forestgreen “Vanna,”] Kael spoke with a charming smile. He didn't have enough charisma, demonic or otherwise, inside of him to completely enamor someone as powerful as Vanna, but he hoped it might at least take some of the edge off what he had to say. [+forestgreen “Lay off her.”] This was certainly the most direct he'd ever been with the woman. [+forestgreen “I am more than happy to sit here with you and give you all the attention you want, but let Eris be.”] He didn't know for certain she would try and continue to push at the other woman's buttons, especially now that she had moved out, but he hoped it might stop by the time she came back... if she came back. Kael wanted her to return to the group. It was better if they had an eye on her, even if this place was likely safe. Not to mention it was probably better not to separate the two mortal women for too long. They were each other's main support systems at this point. And with everything they were currently going through they needed something to hold them up, something a little more stable than booze.

Though, truth be told, Dahlia didn't look to be the pinnacle of sobriety right now either. She was better off than the sentence slurring Eris, but the dark-eyed woman was currently trying to coax Gaius to come sit next to her and not return to his far of chair of solitude. Kael was not entirely certain what he would do, the snake was surprised enough to see that he had stepped into their game earlier. His partner was turning into more of a wild card these days. It was entertaining. Especially now, seeing him falter with this sort of thing, so Kael joined in. [+forestgreen “Oh come on, sit with her. It's your turn anyway.”] The distraction Dahlia started was a little too effective, but Kael wouldn't hold it against her.
Loxi / 111d ago
Gaius sipped his drink quietly in observation. His golden eyes bored a warning into his sister as she tapped her chin in thought to Dahlia’s question.
[+pink “Mhm, most interesting you say? Well, let’s see…”] Vanna glanced about the room looking for inspiration and noticed Gaius watching from his place. Kael was still in the corner with the Maenad of Chaos, and chatting quietly with her. Her eerie eyes settled on the oracle before her and a sly grin spread across her face. [+pink “I’ve met kings, queens, saints, scholars… ugh… so boring, but I’ve never met an Oracle before. I’d say that makes you the most interesting person I’ve ever met, and I do intend to get to know you.”] Vanna played to Dahlia’s own vanity, but was a little shocked to sense that Dahlia did not respond with prideful emotion. Very interesting indeed. [+pink “Though if I have to pick someone other than yourself. Mother Theresa… oh she was a wicked one, and yet humans worship her, call her a saint. You know she kept many of her [i ill] patients continuously sick to make herself look good? Denied them medical treatments in lieu of prayer, all for vanity and pride… Oh a true testament to my sin.”] Vanna smiled wistfully at the late woman’s memory, before finishing off her drink and settling her next question.

[+pink “Okay Dahlia, your turn. Truth or dare-“]
[+gold “Are you two seriously going to play this game?”] Gaius asked from his seat, but his ire was more or less directed at his sister, and his general distrust for her antics. If she had a chance to embarrass him, she’d take it. She’d never betray him, but she would certainly make him look like an ass for a few good laughs. Vanna stuck her tongue out at him.
[+pink “We are. Why? Do you want to play?”] she teased. Gaius looked away with a glare to the far wall.
[+gold “No.”]
[+pink “Liar. Truth or Dare? Don’t be a coward.”] She grinned victoriously to see Gaius’ eyes widen for the slightest second as he gave in and turned a glare on her.
[+gold “Dare,”] he challenged. Vanna giggled with wicked delight. Gaius shot down the last of his drink and set the glass with a heavy clink on the coffee table.
[+pink “I dare you to sing for us.”] Gaius raised a brow
[+gold “Sing?”] Gaius felt his stomach drop. He hadn’t expected that.
[+Pink “uh-huh,”] She was smiling too brightly, and Gaius cringed at what he might have just walked into. [+pink “Nothing you’d want to sing of course… so I’ll make it easier, sing a duet with me. Oh, I just know you’re going to hate it,”] Vanna was beside herself as she jumped off of the couch and went to the TV in the room and from a drawer showed a karaoke mic. [+pink “It’s from Dinsey’s Frozen.”] She put a mic in his hand and set the TV to a Karaoke video.
[+gold “You’re right… I do hate you. How do you always trap me like this?”] Gaius murmured looking at the mic in his hand. This was going to be so embarrassing.

Vanna jumped over to his side as the music started over the speakers and the lyrics were brought up on the screen. He sighed heavily, regretting this moment, and trying desperately to avoid Dahlia’s gaze.
[+pink “Because you’re gullible, and I’m your favorite. Besides, I dared you to do it. You thought I was going to have you show your demon face, didn’t you?”] Gaius looked away bashfully and Vanna smirked. [+pink “Don’t forget who knows you best, brother. Now let’s sing, my little canary!”]
[+gold “Only you would find a way to turn a game of Truth or Dare into Karaoke.”]
[+pink “I have my ways…”]

[center ~*~*~*~]

Eris was glad to see that Kael liked the drink. He would be feeling them if he drank them too quickly, not that Eris had any room to talk. She was holding another shot, and knew she’d regret it herself soon enough. Too much alcohol had led Eris to do too many questionable things. She could go from wanting to start a fight to be being DTF. She wondered if Maenads could get hangovers or blackout drunk. In the name of Science… she planned to test that. He suddenly asked her how she was doing after everything that had happened in the past few days. She frowned and was about to answer when Vanna jumped from the couch to reveal microphones for Karaoke.
[#b22222 “Huh, didn’t have her pegged for the Karaoke type…”] Eris was slightly happy for the distraction as it meant she didn’t have to discuss the past few days and how she was handling it all. She was drinking to forget that, not dwell on it.

Gaius was standing up, looking defeated, incredibly shy, and clearly looking as if he wished to disappear and regretting his decisions. Eris couldn’t help but watch as Vanna sang with lively vibrato to the children’s song, and Gaius did his best to sing a song he’d never heard. His facial reactions to the lyrics were the best part. He wrinkled his nose, wore looks of absolute concussion.
[+gold “Sandwiches? That doesn’t make any sense Vanna…. Children today enjoy this garbage?”] Vanna just kept singing, torturing Gaius, but her motives were her own, and while Gaius thought she might have been sabotaging him… she was trying to help him… while having a little fun torturing him.

Near the end of the song, Eris finally chuckled and looked away from the scene to Kael once again. [#b22222 “Gaius must really love his sister… hey, look, let’s not talk about all that craziness from Cult Island. I’m going to be okay… just one more shot.”] She tipped a glass back and swallowed it down. This time with a bit of a struggle. Too much too quickly. Her head was starting to spin, the music was irritating. Gaius wasn’t the only one being tortured by it. Her head dropped for a moment as she caught her breath, and finally inhaled deeply, snapping up with a smile. [#b22222 “See? Aw-bet’er,”] Her speech was already getting a little slurred and she leaned in to whisper with Kael, and catching Vanna looking back at them -mostly at Kael. [#b22222 “I don’t want to scare you, but Hungry Eyes over there looks pretty serious.”] Eris waggled her brows and giggled drunkenly at Kael, but her laughter sobered up as Vanna was suddenly calling for Kael at the end of the song.
[+pink “Kael, rejoin us! I want you to play the game with me too. Sit by my side,”] She had returned the the couch and was patting the space beside her, her look clearly demanding his presence. Eris glanced over at Kael and watched him return to their hostess’ side.

Vanna had commandeered them all, and Eris sat back to watch for only a moment. While the others were in conversation around her Vanna lifted her gaze towards Eris and smirked. Eris felt she was being taunted, especially as Vanna touched and flirted with a rather receptive Kael. Eris questioned if he liked it or not, and why it bothered her so much before she slipped out to a patio to have a smoke.
darien / 154d ago
Kael watched the thin woman intently as she went to work. [+forestgreen “I've heard of it, but I can't say I've ever tried one.”] He knew they were somewhat comparable to a long island ice tea, though it seemed Eris was determined to make it twice as dangerous with how she was pouring. That was fine by him, in fact, he would go so far as to say it was perfect, especially regarding the current situation. She toasted the drinks completion with a shot of her own. Holding his brimming cup out to her the ringing of glass sounded and they drank. Not to be completely outdone by the nymph he gulped down a couple mouthfuls of the bright blue concoction. It was definitely strong, but not unbearable so. The taste was still fine by his standards, though he could definitely tell he was going to be on the floor if he had too many of these. [+forestgreen “Perfect, I'll be having a merry time before I know it.”] He flashed a white smile her way before glancing back at Vanna and Dahlia. [+forestgreen “But it looks as though they are in the middle of something. I wouldn't want to interrupt.”] Still smirking a bit he feigned dejectedness at being temporarily tossed to the side.

Shuffling on his feet a bit, he made himself comfortable there with her. Kael was thankful for the reprieve and doubly so for the company. There was no telling how long it would last, but that was fine. He was prepared to spend an evening with Vanna so she could get it out of her system early on in their stay. She would likely be quickly bored with him anyway. But for now he had the pleasure of being able to focus on Eris who was in full drinking mode. No doubt that would be hitting him shortly as well. So for now, while he still had his head about him. Kael would hit a heavier topic before they inevitably fell into silliness. [+forestgreen “These last few days have been... a lot. How are you doing?”] His tone was different before as he inquired after her. A clear and sincere sense of concern present in his voice.

Dahlia was excited to see Vanna perk up at her presence. It made her feel like she wasn't being a complete bother, even though that was her intention in a way. Somehow, the human woman hadn't expected the demon to chose truth. She took a moment to thoughtfully mull over all the questions she could ask with a long humming sound that indicated what she was up to. [+mediumvioletred “Discluding yourself,”] she chose to throw that in there for good measure. [+mediumvioletred “Who is the most interesting person you've ever met?”] The oracle was genuinely curious to know. Vanna, Gaius, and Kael were all probably older than she could imagine, so they must have met lots of interesting people, or supernatural beings.

It was also a relatively PG question to start out with. Drunk as she was, it was not likely that would last long though. Truth and dare was made for digging up raunchy secrets and embarrassing the crap out of your friends. That would come quickly too with just the two of them. Her dark eyes flashed over to Gaius, should she invite him too to make it more interesting? Dahlia hadn't realized how intently he was watching them, nor did she really pick up on it now. She just smiled over at him before deciding against pulling him over. He looked comfortable and having a larger audience for her inevitable sloppy doom was maybe not the smartest thing ever, even if it did delay it a skosh. So, looking back to his sister she waited for an answer.
Eris was glad to hear that Dahlia would be sharing a room with her. This place was massive, and if Eris was being honest, she missed their small apartment. Dahlia and Eris spent the next few shots discussing what unsavory favor Gaius might have agreed to, and reflecting back on the start of their story and how they spiraled down to this point. Eris still couldn’t shake that regardless of how far off track they felt they had gone, they were still tied to the original events that started this. The missing people in Hell’s Kitchen, the discovery of Kara Clyatt’s ties to Hades, and that the portal token was more than a key to the underworld... it [i housed] Hades himself. Something was moving in the shadows, and Eris would wager Gaius and Kael knew more than they had so far revealed... Gaius more than Kael.

Eris was struck from going deeper into her own thoughts when Dahlia proclaimed they have fun this night. Eris smirked and raised another shot in agreement and threw it down the hatch.
[+green “Sorry to interrupt.”] Kael arrived, startling Eris for a moment and quickly tried to steady herself. She had done several shots back to back, and it was about to crash over her like a tidal wave. Kael asked for a stronger drink, and his eyes drifted back over towards Vanna who sat tonguing the top of her straw. Eris wrinkled her nose, her facial expression clearly conveying how grossed out by Vanna’s antics she was. Dahlia chimed in quickly, offering Eris’ services, and took off to keep the demoness occupied.

Eris watched Dahlia run off, slightly mortified for herself and her friend. The sound of Kael’s chuckle and his subsequent smile had Eris feeling suddenly very flush. She quickly looked down at the bar before her when he asked her suggestion. She thought for a moment looking at what was available and eventually picked up a bottle of clear rum. She gave him a look and reached for a glass.
[#b22222 “Ever heard of an Adios Motherfucker?”] She reached for several other bottles of liquor. Rum, Tequila, vodka, gin, sour mix, and blue curaçao... she mixed it all together and gave it a quick shake in the shaker. [#b22222 “It’s been nice knowing you,”] Eris teased pouring the drink in a highball glass and set it before him, topping it off with sprite. After he took his first drink, Eris couldn’t stop the grin that spread across her face. [#b22222 “I can’t promise it will make her more appealing when you finish it, but that should break down your demonic tolerance. I am a shots girl myself,”] Eris said plainly and reached for her shot glass, and poured herself another shot of Patron. She lifted her glass, but before she took her shot, she clinked glasses with Kael.

GAIUS hadn’t moved from his spot, but did continue to drink from the bottle. He was content to sit and listen to everyone else, he wasn’t interested in stopping his sister from pawing at Kael. It would be a minor inconvenience for Kael in the long run, and she was respectful enough to comply if he said ‘No’.

As it was Gaius watched Kael moved across the room towards Eris and Dahlia. Seeing the way Kael smiled at Eris and how she seemed to be reacting, Gaius had to steel a glance at his sister. She had seen it too and her lips were pursed in thought. It all melted away, however, when Dahlia offered herself as a replacement to Kael. Vanna was no longer so displeased. Gaius tensed, his hearing poised to eavesdrop as best he could. In a show to quell his tension he swigged more of the decadent whiskey and delighted in its familiar burn.

VANNA was mildly displeased to see Kael leave her, and it was only mild because she also wasn’t surprised. What did surprise Vanna was the blush on the Maenad’s cheeks. The couch suddenly moved beside her and she looked over to see that Dahlia had come to sit with her instead. Unexpected but delightfully welcomed. Dahlia was seated to face her, so Vanna turned to match and tilted her head at Dahlia’s question.
[+pink “Oh you want to play a game!”] Vanna chimed, and spared a quick cunning glance to her brother. She chuckled to herself, he was practically sweating already!

[+pink “I’ll bite!”] her tinkling high pitched voice played the field of excitement. [+pink “I do love a good game. Alright, I choose Truth. Ask me anything!”] Truth now, but eventually it would be time for a Dare.
darien / 254d ago
Hearing the clinking of glass and the shaking of ice, Kael opened an eye to peek over at the others through the side of his glasses. He heard they got ahold of some liquor, he just hadn’t been expecting a whole bar. It made him smile, though perhaps it wasn’t the wisest of ideas to be drinking when they were all waiting for the next step of their plan. Still, when Eris offered him a drink, he couldn’t help but accept. [+forestgreen “Sure, I’ll take one.”] Her second question brought an airy laugh out of him. [+forestgreen “We can, it just takes a little more to take effect.”] He placed emphasis on little, to make it clear he was understating it. [+forestgreen “We’ve got our own brand of stronger stuff that get’s us there quicker, but this will work just as well.”] He gave the explanation as he stood and came over to join the others. However, Kael was not the only one to join. Vanna came swooping on in to crash the christening of the night. It was her house, so that was probably just as well, but he could tell that Eris was not thrilled at her sudden entrance.

On the announcement that they would be staying, Kael was glad to hear that some sort of agreement was made, though he wasn’t so sure about staying here. Objectively, it was a good place to be. A thoroughly fortified stronghold set up by one of the deadly sins. There was every luxury a prideful being could ever want, and she just happened to be so enamored by her brother that they needn’t worry about being betrayed… however the snake was still iffy. There were too many strong personalities in this house. They were bound to butt heads. But what did he know, maybe they would all fall into line and everything would be just peachy? He was probably just worrying too much.

Trying to shake the uneasiness, the red-eyed man lifted his glass to the others and took his shot as they did. It was a show of solidarity that he decided not to repeat. He was going to plop himself right back where he had been sitting before, but unlike his friend he did so without a bottle. Perhaps he would have felt better to loosen up and enjoy the atmosphere, but for now he was content to sit back and watch the others have fun, which was more entertaining than it sounded. Eris was throwing back shots like they were juice and Dahlia was right behind her valiantly trying to keep up, but eventually found a more manageable pace for herself.

In all this observing, he was glad to see the maenad start to perk up some. She seemed more herself. And while it might have just been temporary with all the booze in her system, it was good to know she was still in there somewhere. He’d had his doubts at first, and he felt somewhat guilty about it. But now he was able to feel a touch more at ease. His bright gaze followed her, he was definitely staring, and he even had a bit of a smile on his face. No one seemed to be paying him any mind though, so it was fine. That was, until Vanna called to him and sort of brought him back from his reverie.

Holding up his hand in an apologetic way, his smile turned to the demoness, but it wasn’t quite the same. [+forestgreen “I’m afraid I’m boring over here, I haven’t been keeping up with all of you.”] He thought that might dissuade her without actually saying he didn’t want to be her company for the night, but it seemed she was unshakable as she snatched up some drinks and headed his way. What Kael didn’t expect was her to plant herself firmly in his lap. Vanna was usually playfully flirty with him, however this was to a different degree entirely.

Managing to keep a strained smile, he took the drink. [+forestgreen “…I guess that fixes the problem. Thank you.”] It took a second for him to relax, though saying he was relaxed was a stretch. He went along with her conversation, as it turned this way and that. She really had a lot to say, but Kael wasn’t mad about it. It stopped him from having to actually entertain her, which he had little doubt he would fail to do without ample flattery. Plus, even if he was sort of being forced into this situation he could still try and make the best of it. And therefore he was going through his drink relatively quickly. Letting the remainder mingle with the ice for a little bit, he finally put it all down and decided it was time for another.

Standing, the demon took Vanna right with him. [+forestgreen “Excuse me…”] He had her about the waist so she was secure as he spun her playfully around and placed her in gently the spot he just vacated. [+forestgreen “I’m off to get another drink.”] Kael shook the glass to indicate it was empty. [+forestgreen “I’m behind after all. I’ll be right back.”] And with that he had managed to escape for a short break.

Dahlia knew when Eris wanted a drink it usually meant they were in for a night. And just as she expected they were taking the second shot before she could even feel the first one. This was gonna be a doozy. She knew she wasn’t exactly expected to keep pace with her friend, but she did like to try. An attempt at solidarity, however, while she still had a clear mind she backed off from that endeavor. That didn’t last long though. The vodka hit her like a ton of bricks. Like Eris, her mood was lifted. They were chatty and the taller of the two was even corrigible with their hostess. Well, until she split off from them to spend some time with Kael. She didn’t seem too pleased about that, but that was to be expected. Dahlia was more than happy to help distract her for now.

[+mediumvioletred “Agreed. I don’t want to be alone.”] Not if they could help it. Being split up on the island, despite being mad at the time, was a bad time. And now, after so many strange and traumatic things happened, they needed to be there to support one another.

Dahlia hadn’t noticed Gaius’ staring, but she leaned in when her friend began whispering. Nodding, she was also curious what kind of deal the siblings had struck up, probably something basically unfathomable to her mortal mind. She felt bad to be the cause of it as well, but Dahlia didn’t see any way out of it. [+mediumvioletred “It’s still a story, just not one we can share…”] Her eyes fell to the floor. It was disappointing, but she felt worse for Eris. This was her passion. [+mediumvioletred “It got out of hand so fast, I don’t think there was anything we could have done to stop it.”] Or anything now that could untangle them from it. [+mediumvioletred “I feel bad too… but I don’t know what choice we have.”] While she wouldn’t say it aloud, they wouldn’t make it on their own. It was too dangerous with how things were. The dark eyed woman could only hope that things would change and they would be able to stand on their own again. And that they could find someway to repay Kael and Gaius for everything they’d done.

She was kinda starting to get in her own head when the maenad called back to the shots she poured. Looking back up, Dahlia smiled. [+mediumvioletred “Yeah, at least there’s that.”] Taking the one meant for her, she threw it back with a shiver. [+mediumvioletred “Besides, we have forever to be down about all this. We should have fun tonight.”] While they were someplace safe enough to do it, not to mention all the alcohol was free.

[+forestgreen “Sorry to interrupt.”] Kael cut into their whispering with an empty glass in hand. He didn’t seem all that sorry though. [+forestgreen “I was hoping to get another drink. Preferably something strong and… convoluted.”] With a flick of his red eyes back to where Vanna sat, it was a clear cry for an excuse to get away from her for any meaningful length of time. His voice was low enough to where he wouldn’t be overheard outside of their small circle, but his tone was not subtle. Even the fairly drunken Dahlia caught on. And she was kind of excited at the idea. This is exactly what Eris needed. Some quality flirt time. There was just one big problem. Glancing over at Vanna it looked like she was already antsy. No doubt she would follow soon behind Kael if he was gone too long. They needed a distraction for her, which is where Dahlia wing-woman extraordinaire came in. At least, that was what she was gonna try for. Seemed like Vanity was looking for a different kind of attention, but it was worth a shot.

[+mediumvioletred “Eris can do that! She can make just about anything. You know a bunch of those crazy mixed drinks, don’t you?”] Her smile turned encouraging as she looked up at her friend. They could talk later, like they said, they’d be bunking together. There would be plenty of time. [+mediumvioletred “I’m gonna go keep Vanna company, she got left over there by herself.”] Was it a flawlessly smooth transition? No. Did drunk Dahlia think she was clever for putting together this little plan? Yes.

Seeing the wheels turn in Dahlia’s head, Kael could have laughed, but he let her go about her thinking in peace, nodding her a goodbye as she left. Looking back to Eris he smiled, humored. [+forestgreen “Alright, maestro. What would you recommend?”]

Leaving those two to whatever conversation they ended up having, the human woman made her way over to the couch. She plopped herself on the cushion next to Vanna, sitting so that she faced the demoness. The big bubbly smile from before persisted on her face. [+mediumvioletred “Vanna, truth or dare?”] It was a game, so Dahlia thought it might hold her attention a little longer than a normal conversation, even if it was a little risky… She planned to be playing straight truths on her side. Dahlia didn’t want to learn what a demon considered a dare.
Lemon Drop? Why wasn’t she surprised to hear Dahlia ask for such a shot? It was a pain in the ass to make, and Dahlia knew that, but Eris could never deny her and with a winsome grin she nodded and obliged. The Liquor cart that had been brought over was a fully stocked bar, with cut up fruits, veggies, and even things such as simple syrup, salt, and much needed sugar. Eris would take the distraction, and set to work mixing up a batch of shots for them.

Normally Eris would have moved quickly, but this time she moved slower, taking her time. She sugared the lemons, and the rims of the shot glasses. Filled the shaker with ice and added her needed ingredients.
[#b22222 “Hey Kael, do you want a shot? Can demons even get drunk?”] She asked shaking the shaker over her shoulder and moving to pour the shots.

It was then Gaius and Vanna returned to the room. Gaius looked tired, but Vanna was lively and delighted at the sight of the liquor tray.
[+pink “Oh drinks! Yes! Let’s drink the night away! I think we could all use it. Gaius told me everything about what you’ve been through. Oh, you poor thing,”] Vanna swooned to Dahlia. Eris was thankful she had made a large batch of the shots, as she was able to pour enough for everyone.
[+gold “We’re going to stay here for a while, regroup and plan our next move. So go ahead and drink up…”] Gaius seemed distracted, and instead of reaching for a shot, he simply grabbed a full bottle of Hennessy and moved to sit in a large armchair. Eris frowned over at Gaius and then glanced over at Dahlia.
[#b22222 “Bottoms up, I guess,”] Eris said and raised her glass, Vanna was grinning ear to ear and raised her own glass as well.
[+pinks “Cheers, bitches!”] Eris stilled and watched as Vanna did her shot, and quickly followed suit. It was odd to know that this seemingly bubbly, saccharine sweet individual was a Deadly Sin and Lord of Demons, or rather… Lady of Demons.

One shot quickly became three, then five, and before Eris knew it she was feeling rather good. It numbed the guilt, the uncertainty, it took away the fear, and for a little while at least Eris could be her usual carefree self. She stayed close to the liquor, taking shots, and indulging their new host by making any cocktail she requested.
[+pink Oh I’ve never had a personal Bartender before. This is so nice. Gaius! I’m so glad you brought your friends! I’m going to have to get my own bartender too. Kael, come sit with me and drink with me. You’ve been messing with that silly snake all night. I want some of your attention too!”] She pouted seductively at him. When Kael tried to refuse Vanna simply grinned and took two drinks from Eris and over to Kael where she seated herself right in his lap and handed him a drink. [+pink “I insist, my dear Kael. Don’t be so stingy with your affections. Like Gaius said, you’re going to be here for a while… might as well get comfortable.”]

Eris looked over her shoulder to Vanna and Kael, but seeing those two made her irrationally upset. So she looked away and towards Dahlia, pouring another set of shots for them and sighing. [#b22222 “I don’t know where we’re sleeping, but… I’d feel a lot better if we shared a room.”] Dahlia seemed to agree, and Eris nodded looking about the room again, and spotted Gaius staring at them from across the room. She gave a sideways glance to Dahlia and then leaned in close, her voice dropping to a whisper. [#b22222 “I wonder what Gaius and his sister talked about. What favor he had to agree to… I’ve been wondering if we should keep with them? I feel bad putting them in danger over protecting us. It wasn’t supposed to be like this… it was just supposed to be a story…”] Eris frowned and quickly took another shot, her face twisting into one of frustration. Looking at her shot glass, her eyes were turning glassy with drunkenness, and she shamelessly poured another shot, this time it was simply straight vodka. [#b22222 “At least there’s alcohol to help cope with the bullshit,”]
darien / 274d ago
After Kael became more active to snag a couple bites of food, Eve decided to poke her head out. The animal curiously eyed the world around them. Her surroundings had changed a great deal since she left her tank. But as far as the man who held her could tell; she didn’t seem to mind. His guess was that between himself and Eris, the little ball python was cared for enough to be at ease. And from the way that beady black gaze followed his nigiri, she was obviously comfortable enough to try and beg food off of him. It was probably too late to demand any sort of respect, so he sighed and quietly tried to reason with her. [+forestgreen “No, you can’t have fish.”] The man shook his head, near iridescent hair glinting in the light as he did. [+forestgreen “No, not even a little bit.”] His voice remained a whisper, not wanting to be caught arguing with a juvenile. [+forestgreen “[i I] am not a ball python, I get to eat what I want... Besides, you just ate.”] He recalled feeding her a day or two ago back at the apartment. And that seemed to be the end of it. Well, for the most part. There was a bit of a tantrum being had as Eve wriggled her way up the side of his head. She was persistently nosing her way between his glasses and face, trying to remove them as a sign of protest. Sighing again, he removed them himself. It would be less of a pain than continually trying to fix them. At least until the snake decided she was done. Until then he would have a seat. Though, it was tempting to pawn her off on Eris. There was no way Eve would act up on the maenad like she was doing to him.

Sitting back, the demon closed his eyes. He wasn’t really tired per se, aside from mental exhaustion; this was just comfortable. However, in his stillness he couldn’t really help but overhear Eris’ and Dahlia’s conversation. Their concerns seemed to be on their friends back in the states. His eyes remained closed as he wondered where their conversation would lead. Really, Kael found it silly. They should be more worried about themselves. They were the ones in danger, but he supposed that was the demon in him.

To hear that Eris didn’t think it would do any good was disheartening, but to be honest Dahlia was half expecting that. All this magic and supernatural nonsense made everything confusing. Not to mention life had gotten a lot more stressful ever since they got mixed up in all this. What was one more thing to add to the pile? But as all this sort of swirled around her, the welcome distraction of food came into the picture. She was as gung-ho as the others to dig in. It really had been forever since they had good sushi. Asian cuisine was trendy in New York right now, so that meant it was expensive and they only got it as a treat. So, she savored it.

When the pair had had their fill, Eris turned to Dahlia. It looked as though she had something on her mind, but nothing came out. The short woman smiled at her all the same. The expression acting as a warm, encouraging gesture, and eventually she spoke, though it was not on a pleasant topic. [+mediumvioletred “Me too.”] She wanted to know how the others were getting along and to be able to let them know that they were okay. Or at the very least that they should stay out of it, Ross especially. He was nearly as nosy as Eris sometimes. [+mediumvioletred “My grandma is probably freaking out…”] That was a depressing thought. She was the last person Dahlia wanted to worry, but they were probably long passed that. And suddenly her wine-eyed friend’s idea of a drink didn’t sound all that bad.

Then as if this was the anticipated outcome, a member of the staff came around the doorway pushing a bar cart. How he had been able to do so silently with all that glass and metal atop it was a mystery lost on Dahlia. She just kind of blinked at the unexpectedness of it. [+mediumvioletred “Well, I suppose that takes care of that.”] It was better than getting caught snooping around looking for booze, so at least there was that.

Stepping forward to have a better look at what was there, the oracle didn’t know why she was surprised to see a collection of top shelf options and a stock of things to mix them with. Damn rich people… Still, this was for her benefit, so she couldn’t be too mad about it. Picking up a frosty bottle of vodka, the dark-eyed woman looked to her compatriot. [+mediumvioletred “Could you make me one of your lemon drops? You always get them just perfect.”] In all reality, it was probably because Eris knew her tastes and tailored it appropriately, but that was only a testament to her skill as a bartender.
Eris’s thoughts were interrupted as Dahlia came to sit beside her, the comforting warm aura she exuded helped to ease Eris unease. She gave a halfhearted smile towards her friend, as even this close contact showed a new facet to the situation. Eris could [i feel] Dahlia’s aura… was this what caused Gaius’ proverbial wrath to ease that night at the warehouse? Dahlia offered to cut Eris’ hair or braid it, and in response she let out a little laugh.
[#b22222 “Don’t bother… I think even if I cut it, it’s here to stay. Thank you though,”] Eris told her, and simply let her head rest against the chair until food arrived.

Their meal was a dazzling platter of assorted sushi. All of it smelling and looking so delicious that Eris realized how hungry she was. Hoping to improve her own mood, she tried to adopt Dahlia’s optimism and allowed herself to excited over the food.
[#b22222 “Oh wow! It’s been so long since we’ve had good sushi. I wonder if it’s as yummy as it looks…”] Eris reached for a roll drizzled in eel sauce and took a bite, only to grin and nod her head. Even Kael reached in for a bite to eat, and Eris looked over towards him as they ate in silence. She suddenly felt guilty for the burden she had caused him, and the mess they had all found themselves in due to that stupid medallion, and the story Eris had been so adamant they expose. So much for that… how on earth would she tell this story? Dahlia didn’t even have her camera. How did Kael truly feel about this situation? He'd been nothing but kind and had shown more compassion than most people she knew. She was at least glad to see that the sweet Eve was still with them, wrapped around Kael warmly under his shirt, her head laying gently on his shoulder. It brought a fleeting smile to her face.

His phone suddenly went off and Eris arched a brow at him, hoping for an explanation, but he said nothing and put it away. Eris tried not to dwell on it and focused instead on her sushi. She looked over to Dahlia and tried to make conversation about anything other than what happened to them, but there was one thing she knew for certain... she wanted a drink. a Strong one too. [#b22222 “I wonder how everyone back home is doing. Ross is probably freaking out, and I miss Mahlik’s weed…Who wants a drink? I need one after this mess. Gaius’ sister has to have alcohol around here somewhere.”]

[center ~*~*~*~*~]

[+pink “So what’s the real favor?”] Vanna asked as she and Gaius stepped outside onto the stone balcony that led down to a Venitian-styled garden, with towering spiraled trees, rose like swords from the ground. The garden was dimly lit by the moon and the lights of the house, but it made for a peaceful backdrop, and they were alone. Gaius frowned at nothing in particular, but snatched out a cigarette and snapped his fingers together to produce flame. He inhaled deeply before he finally spoke.
[+gold “Protection, for the women. We’ve found a big problem… have you ever heard of the Malumortis?”]
[+pink “Of course I have. They’re our version of if the KKK, and The Third Riech had a baby, and that baby was raised by all modern terrorist organizations from The Taliban to Westborro Baptist, and all the others in-between… They’re quite ambitious, you have to admire that.”] Gaius frowned at her, but made no comment towards his disapproval.
[+gold “Yeah, well were you aware they’ve been abducting humans under the guise of a Human Trafficking operation? That they intend to overthrow our government and enslave all humans?”]

It was Vanna’s turn to sigh, and she did so dramatically with a large roll of her eyes, and wave of her hands.
[+pink “Would that really be so bad? Truly? Think back to the dark days… you were a [i king], brother!”] She said suddenly turning on him and grabbing the lapels of his very worn old grey coat. He merely blew his cigarette smoke in her face, and she remained undeterred. Her face was actually awash in dreamy nostalgia. She sighed, [+pink “Demons and monsters of all kinds feared you, revered you, respected you! Even the Angels left you with a wide berth. All of Hell could have been yours, why do you want to protect the humans so much?”] Gaius frowned at his sister even as she tried to beg and plead with him. He knew he’d taken a chance coming here, and he wasn’t sure what he was hoping for… but he was also not surprised by the words she spoke.

Gaius took his sister’s hands in his own and placed a gentle kiss to her knuckles. She watched him with concern on her face, and maybe a touch of horror. Gaius simply looked sad.
[+gold “I need to know I can trust you, Vanna. That I can still depend on you as I did in those old days.”] Vanna nodded her head, and reached up to hold his face in her hands and pinned him with a look. That look was one he had seen many a time, one he knew meant she'd keep her word, she'd keep her Vow, and Gaius no longer doubted her loyalty. [+gold “It’s more than just the Malumortis, that up until now haven’t been a threat, but they’re numbers have grown, they’ve gained power, and I think they’re tied to the death of Atlas, if they overthrow the Ministry, there’s no protection for you either… all the Cardinal sins will be rounded up.”]
[+pink “How do you know that?”]
[+gold “Our brother, Greed has teamed up with them, but he’s not pulling the strings someone else is, I just don’t know who. I don't doubt he won't be here soon to try and recruit you. If he gets his hands on either Dahlia or Eris, it's game over."]
[+pink "What is it about those two that makes them so special?"] Vanna dared to ask.
[+gold “I’ve found my Femme Fatal, the short one with the pretty eyes... She’s an oracle, Vanna. The first in millennia… I can’t let her befall some ill fate like so many before her have.”]

Vanna turned away from him to hide the shock on her face and to try and think. Part of her was suddenly insanely jealous of a woman that might dare come between her and her brother. Who was she kidding though? These last two hundred years, Gaius had grown further and further away from her. She was beyond happy to have him here, asking her for favors, and divulging secrets. She knew her brother would not tell her this information lightly, and she was inherently aware of the risk in taking them in and what it meant to know these things. Her life too could now be in danger.
[+pink “What about the other? What is she? She’s is not human at all.”]
[+gold “We discovered she's a Maenad…"]
[+pink "What?"] Even Vanna had believed them to be extinct.
[+gold "I wish that's all she was. She’s the vessel of Chaos, of the Goddess Eris, whom she was named for."]
[+pink "You've got to be fucking kidding me..."]
[+gold "I believe she’s becoming a demi-god. It is not coincidence the two humans came together I believe there is something more at work, and I know I have to do what I can to help those two succeed at whatever it is needs done. Please, sister of mine, help me?”]
[+pink “Does Kael know about your clandestine beliefs?”] Gaius went quiet then and Vanna held her glare…
[+gold "He thinks we are simply doing our job. Look, I’ve got an angel wanting one of the humans, a tribe of Maenads and a Vampire after the other, and I know I have to do this because... I also know how to find Hades…”]

That last part seemed to capture Vanna’s attention, and she stepped back from him and looked him over. [+pink “That’s not possible… When Lucifer was cast to Hell, he raised his own army and conquered the Underworld. He destroyed Hades."]
[+gold “I think he tried… I don’t think he was successful. Hades is the only one who can quell the uprising of underworld creatures… and he’s probably the only one that can truly protect her…”] Vanna glared at him, seemingly angry that he was wanting to protect all of humanity over one woman.
[+pink “Your little human will be the death of you."] Vanna warned... but ultimately assured Gaius she would help him -favor or not.
darien / 311d ago
The reaction to her offer was… intense. Dahlia didn’t know why. It wasn’t like she had offered up anything and everything to the demoness. Just a night of nail painting and dress up, and she for one thought that that was worth keeping Eris around. Though her face reddened when Gaius said that she didn’t understand. It sort of felt like she was a child and her guardian had rushed in to apologize for some misstep on her part.

Vanna clung to her as long as she could, which was impressive since her brother seemed hell bent on separating the two. The taller woman was able to admit she would let Eris stay before she detached entirely. And while Dahlia was happy to know they wouldn’t be separated, she was still fighting back the bit of shame gnawing at her stomach. [+mediumvioletred “I am glad to hear that... Thank you.”] Well, maybe she wasn’t too glad to hear that Gaius was basically indebted to her, but the part about Eris being able to stay was great.

The cardinal demons left shortly after that with the promise that food would come soon. Dahlia was ready to eat, so overall she was happy. Though, from the corner of her eye she noticed Eris look somewhat uneasily at her hair. Hungry or not, that commanded her attention first. And as her friend looked up at her, she smiled. She was already on her way to the sofa to take the seat next to her, however instead of sitting normally she faced her newly longhaired friend. [+mediumvioletred “If that is getting in your way, I could braid it back for you. Or we could always find someone to cut it again. I bet with all this staff Vanna has one hand, at least one of them must know how to cut hair.”] The human woman wasn’t entirely sure what her friend would want, but she didn’t want her to suffer in silence if this sudden change was bothering her. And thankfully enough, hair was one of those things you had some control over. At least in most cases, she wasn’t entirely ready to rule out the possibility that there might be some weird magic tied to her hair. There might have been a reason it grew after that ceremony.

They had been there for less than twenty minutes and Kael was already full ready to leave. Dahlia had put him on edge, maybe not quite so much as she had Gaius, but he damn near had a heart attack. So needless to say, he was tense. Even after his partner managed to defuse the situation with his sister and direct her elsewhere. It wasn’t until she was completely out of the room that he felt he could breath again. One of them was going to have to sit down to have a chat with Dahlia about the dangers of making deals with demons. Terms and conditions be damned, they would always find a way to get more than you bargained for. Doubly so if you were mortal, and that wasn’t even considering the fact that she was an oracle. Just thinking about it was tedious, so he let it be for now. Besides, she was busy with Eris. He didn’t want to bug them. The maenad had gone through a lot, and it was clear her friend was going to be able to sooth her a lot better than he could. He wasn’t going to get in the way of that. Plus, he it turned out he didn’t have the time to interrupt, even if he wanted to. The food was arriving. The fact that it came so soon told him whomever Vanna kept as her personal kitchen staff was probably on call 24/7, which was unsurprising after what he had seen with the rest of her help.

Several plates of varying types of sushi were served to them. It was of outstanding quality, not that the snake was expecting anything less. And while he probably could have gone without eating, it was tempting enough for him to snap up a couple pieces of salmon nigiri himself. Plus, there was a sense of solidarity in eating together, especially in a foreign place. He was confident enough that they were safe here to do that much.

As Kael popped another piece of sushi in his mouth, he felt his pocket begin to vibrate. That was odd… this was a new burner phone, no one should have this number. Quickly taking it out, his red eyed scanned over the screen. There was a message, instructions to meet at the nearest communal gathering place for another announcement. No doubt it was an update on this trouble with Atlas. There was no way he or Gaius were going to be able to attend. Staying below radar was the number one priority right now, so they would have to get an update from elsewhere. But this was good news in one way; his phone hadn’t been compromised. These sorts of things get blanket signaled out to any device close enough to a demon aura. No doubt Gaius and Vanna were seeing the same exact thing right now.
At Dahlia’s words, both Kale and Gaius tensed. Eris had finally seemed to gain control over her emotions and though she still looked ready to hit the Demoness, she resigned to crossing her arms and staring at Dahlia. Her arm of comfort had been a tremendous help in Eris regaining her composure, but with the Demoness having the oracle tucked possessively against her, Eris was left alone to grappling with the new sensations of her “Demi-god-hood” It was infuriating watching the Demoness snuggle Dahlia as if she was some pet to coddle. At least that was better than outright refusal. Eris knew she needed to get her shit together, but something worse was now at hand and it was obvious as Gaius suddenly stepped in and peeled his sister away from Dahlia.
[+gold “Dahlia doesn’t understand what she’s saying. I’m here to ask for the favor -you deal with me.”] Gaius warned, but even he seemed a bit tense for a moment, especially as Vanna wore a sly smirk. They stared each other down for a terse moment, but something seemed to flash between their eyes and Vanna relented a moment later with an exaggerated sigh.
[+pink “Calm down, brother. I deal with you, and only you.”] She turned to Dahlia then, and took a closer look at the little oracle. [+pink “And don’t you worry your pretty little head. I won’t kick your friend out. My brother has asked me a favor, I am honor bound to fulfill it. Just as he is honor bound to repay it in the future.”] This last part she said in an underhanded tone towards Gaius, but her inquisitive eyes never left Dahlia. Satisfied she let go of Dahlia and gave Gaius a glance of something like approval, and turned her gaze to Eris.

[+pink “Why don’t I like you?”] She asked herself and Eris. Eris only glared at her in silence. [+pink “Oh well, it matters not,”] Vanna said with a toss of her hair and turned to grasp her brother’s arm. [+pink “You all must be starving, I’ll have the staff bring you something to eat while you settle into your rooms.”] With that both Gaius and Vanna left the room to a private room.

Eris sighed in the absence of the prideful Demoness and fell into the sofa to sit for a moment before staff came for them to show them where to go. Were all immortals ridiculously wealthy? She was agitated and she couldn’t pin down why. She’d save deeper thoughts for the privacy of her own room, or in the council of Dahlia. Eris stared at her lap when the sight of her hair caught her attention. She absentmindedly picked up a lock of the dark raven strands and frowned. It was so long now. She worn her hair short since she had left the island the first time. Now it was going to serve as a constant reminder she wasn’t the same. She was something else... and who was she? Was she Eris... or was she... [i Eris, The Goddess of Discord and Chaos]? This was trippy, and Eris wasn’t sure how she was going to handle this. As it was, her emotions were a torrential cyclone of rage, guilt, frustration, remorse, elation; all constantly going round and round inside her. She kept herself calm, dropping her hair and looking over at Dahlia to see how she was dealing with this.
darien / 344d ago
The shriek that preceded a smear of color that was just about too fast for Dahlia’s eyes to catch threw her into alarm. But she soon realized it was a sound of joy and not terror. In fact, the woman pasting herself to Gaius’ side seemed absolutely delighted to have her brother around. She watched as he was attempting to peel her from his person. It was funny, that was for sure, but it did not work. Vanna was stuck to him. It made the human woman smile. She thought it was sweet, even if everyone else seemed more on edge.

Then as quick as she came, she was gone. Vanity bounced from her brother over to his friend. Kael was pretty much prepared for it. That was how these rare visits went, but for once it did not bother him so much. At least so much as he could ignore it knowing that the plan to distract her from the girls for the time being was working. So, he reciprocated her banter while keeping his hands firmly to himself. [+forestgreen “Of course, would I miss a chance to see the gem of the cardinal sins?”] Flattery could get you anywhere, especially with pride herself. But thankfully, it was not so out of character for him. Kael was never looking to piss anyone with this much sway off, he went along with her shenanigans to assuage her. However, that task was a little bit more difficult with Eris seething in the background. Why she was reacting this strongly was a mystery, though that was nothing different for her. She was full of mysteries, but for now his attention had to stay on the woman curling into him. [+forestgreen “I think we both know there isn’t a force in this world, or any other, that can keep your brother in line, but I am trying my best.”] He smiled back at her, even as she blew kisses his way. She really was a lot. Definitely too much of a handful for him, though no one could argue that she wasn’t beautiful.

It didn’t take being an expert aura reader to see that Eris was upset. No sooner than she tensed, Dahlia could tell something was wrong. She knew her friend had something or other building up with the snake demon across the way, but she was also not the type to get all in a twist over a boy. There was more to it, even if she could not put her finger on it for now. That was fine though. Dahlia did not have to know what was upsetting Eris to care. So, she moved in a little closer and placed an arm around one of her friend’s. There she squeezed lightly before running her thumb slowly back and forth over her skin in as soothing a manner as possible. Whether it was actually any degree of helpful or not was up for debate, but the petite woman wanted her friend to know she was there with her, so she kept at it. At least, she did until Vanna came over to them, pointedly announced she did not care for Eris and snatched Dahlia up into a hug that ripped the two apart. She was not ecstatic about that, but the unexpected gushing over her cuteness coming from the beauty caused her to flush. Normally she wouldn’t mind too much, but in this case, it almost felt like she was being adopted as a pet to toy with rather than being offered shelter as a person. It was a little humiliating, but there was nothing to be done about it. Not if they wanted Vanna’s help. Still, Dahlia was willing to press just a little for her friend.

[+mediumvioletred “Um, Miss Vanna.”] Her voice was on the quiet side, not wanting to sound too imposing or demanding, not that she usually carried such tones. [+mediumvioletred “I know Eris looks a little rough around the edges, especially since we have been on the run without much of a break, but she is my very best friend and I am not sure I can do without her... I don’t mean to be rude, it is just we have been through a lot and we really need one another right now, so could you please allow her to stay as well...”] It was tempting to propose that she would do whatever Vanity wanted in exchange, but that was a trifling too dangerous to offer to a demon, so she settled with a smaller suggestion. [+mediumvioletred “If you do, maybe we could have a girls’ night or something. You know with makeovers and that sort of stuff.”] Dahlia hoped it might be tempting enough since she said she wanted to play dress up.

Kael on the other hand was panicking a touch. Gaius, being the favorite, got to ask favors, he was worried Dahlia was seriously overstepping. His eyes flickered from the trio back to Wrath, hoping he might step in before things took a bad turn, though maybe he was being overly sensitive. After the week they had had, he was really turning into a pessimist.