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A Gathering Of Hunters: Vampires // Chapter 1

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Not open for further replies.
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Location
USA
Character: Norne Irae
Player/Group: Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow (@Kassia ), Aratone (@BennyQ ), Nebuchadnezzar (@Kosmik_Khaos )
Location: Bridge Apartments -> The Widow's Peak
Time: Night

The feeling of burning in the eyes was a testament to spending far too much time staring into a microscope. Norne gave a small yawn as she reluctantly pulled away and rubbed at her bleary eyes. It was a miracle in of itself that she hasn't reduced her eyesight to the point of needing glasses at this point. Pushing back in her wheeled chair in her room at the Bridge Apartments, she stretched her arms over her head to loosen the tension in her shoulders. Her usual "lair" was the First Aid room, but she had quietly made her way out to finish her observations to give Fiona and Maxine some privacy. Normally, Norne would have taken over in patching people up, but her determination-fueled frustrations in not discovering anything new had propelled her to keep looking. Regardless, after the day and relocation, she didn't get closer to making any sort of discovery regarding the mutation of vampire tissue. Maybe she needed a day away from the samples to clear her mind a little before looking back at it with a fresh set of eyes. "Time to be social for once," She murmured to herself with a small smile as she got up. Norne turned off the microscope and carefully took off the plate with the tissue sample she had been peering at. She put each one away with delicate care. She had to ensure her samples wouldn't be contaminated, after all. With her things put away, Norne scribbled a few words into her notebook to document her unsuccessful day. She decided to keep her equipment in her room for the time being and return it to the First Aid room later. The last thing she wanted to do was barge in on the two women already there (talk about potentially awkward).

Where did they say they were going again? Norne thought to herself as she stepped outside her room and closed the door behind her. Ah, right! The Widow's Peak. How long has it been since she went to a bar? The sad reality Norne came to was that it was far too long given her jobs. Looking at dead people and tissue samples wasn't exactly the top producers of serotonin in the brain. Her main source of destressing came in the form of reading, whereas she tended to feel fulfillment in volunteer work. These small truths seemed insignificant to the weight of the ring around her neck, the SIG pistol hidden at her waist, and the sword strapped to the other side of her waist - a testament to her life as a Hunter of the damned.

As Norne quietly made her way out of the Bridge Apartments, she set out on her way to The Widow's Peak. It wasn't exactly the safest time to be wandering out in Arcadia. At least, it wouldn't be for a normal human. Those who were wary would be more likely to consider Norne the predator in this circumstance given her past reputation. Fledgelings and Ferals were perhaps the only groups of vampires arrogant and mindless enough to attack Norne Irae without a game plan, and doing that would almost certainly lead to their untimely demise. Norne was the kind of person that didn't look like a threat until it was too late. Her personality mixed with her appearance and lack of visual augmentation made her an unassuming predator in the shadows of Arcadia. For this time, it seemed she either got lucky in not running into anything or anyone hostile, or her reputation gave her a shield. It didn't take long to get to The Widow's Peak. She stepped into the bar, the scent of booze hitting her nose just after the buzz of the bar's inhabitants filled her ears. The hue of blue and purple washed over Norne as she walked in, skimming her eyes around for any sign of Kade, Aratone, and the new girl Naomi. It had been a little while since she was last at The Widow's Peak - both for trading in fangs and a drink. It was hard not to admire the glistening of the neon lights outside the large windows looking out at Arcadia. The shimmering, attractive lights of the deadly city made Naomi think of how poisonous creatures in nature are often adorned by bright colors.

Things like poisonous frogs and Arcadia at night were better admired and feared from afar.

Catching the eye of Rolf, Norne cast him a light smile and gave a small wave of acknowledgement and greeting before heading off to a curtained booth. It was just a mere guess...god it would be awkward if she was wrong though. Giving a deep breath to calm some of her social nerves, she approached the curtained booth. On the way there, she caught her reflection and flushed ever so faintly. She certainly wasn't dressed to fit the atmosphere (not that it mattered, but anxiety's a bitch). Norne had on a simple gray sweater, skinny jeans, and tossed on her black leather jacket before she headed out. The engagement ring dangled from its chain around her neck and rested just at her collarbone. Norne looked like a regular citizen at best, not a renowned Hunter OR a woman looking to have fun at a bar. I look square as hell, She thought to herself as she pulled the curtain back just enough to make herself known.

"I hope I'm not intruding. I heard you all came here and figured now was as good a time as any to grab a drink," Norne smiled warmly at the Hunters as she slipped in. She slipped into a seat next to Kaden, offering him a warm smile in greeting. Before she said more of a greeting to the others, her eyes rested upon the drunken Naomi. Having been so caught up in her research, she hadn't really gotten the chance to officially meet the girl. A vampiric Hunter. It was certainly something. Norne was apprehensive about it...but also a tinge excited. It was possible to gather more samples from Naomi rather than trying to harvest them from, well, dead vampires. It would perhaps be far easier to get meaningful results from living tissue and fresh vampiric blood. That is, if Naomi was happy to help her in trying to uncover such discoveries. Norne figured it could be rather disturbing for her to be helping make chemical weapons against her new kind.

"You're the new girl, Naomi, right? I'm Norne. Norne Irae. It's nice to meet you," Norne said to her kindly, figuring there wasn't any point in being unfriendly. At the moment, she was with them. Hunters. Even if she had her reservations about how successful the girl would be going forwards, she wanted her to succeed. "Sorry I didn't introduce myself earlier! I was deep in my research. If you are ever injured, don't hesitate to seek me out. I'm similar to that of the group's doctor and researcher when I'm not helping out on a job," She added to give Naomi insight into her role within the group. Her eyes scanned over the others, landing last on Kaden.

"How did the events of the night go?"
 
Last edited:

BennyQ

αὐτοκράτωρ
Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Character: Aratone Palladino.
Player/Group: Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow (@Kassia), Nebuchadnezzar (@Kosmik_Khaos), Norne Irae (@ThatGeckoGirl).
Location: Widow’s Peak Bar.
Time: Monday, Night-time/Tuesday, Early-morning.

Kaden and Nebuchadnezzar loaned their support to Aratone’s lecture and Naomi seemed to deeply chew on it, in a way he knew it was causing the gears in her head to turn. Though not quite as literally as some these days. As Kaden said, this was Arcadia, and that statement could be very true. But he saw in the younger vampire’s eyes- no, the younger Hunter’s eyes, a sense of value for what was said and offered to her. A chance. A choice. That was all everyone wanted in life right? Not to be pre-judged, but given the opportunity to create a standard for which they could be truly measured. Naomi would have her shot, same as everyone else.

A cup of wine had been consumed along with the talk and the waitress came by with the bottle for a refill, while Nebuchadnezzar was fast proving himself an able companion with his offer of more drinks. Whiskey this time. If only Aratone could get this damn lighter to spark. He was about to throw his pride to the wind and ask Kaden for his lighter when Naomi seemed to lose her patience with the flicking. Any attempt to stop her was too slow as she snatched out and seized the damn thing, only to yelp and drop the item like it stabbed her. Or worse, burned her. Despite the grievious hurt, Aratone couldn’t help but laugh and share a rueful smile with the others. ”See? Should think and observe before rushing into things.” Aratone chided her, reaching over to prod his finger into the side of her brow as if to drill the message directly. The lighter had silver trim up it’s side, while the front and back end was stainless steel. She could only touch it in certain places, the loon.

But she had no need of lighters, as she became immediately focused in a such a sudden way that Aratone was taken aback by the look of serious determination that overcame her features. Holding out her hand, a small puff and spark erupted, before a small candle-sized flame erupted. Aratone piqued his eyebrows in surprise and astonishment, but didn’t hesitant any longer in admiring the roses, as he leaned forward with cigar between his lips and puffed quickly, sparking the tip. He dragged heavily and soon the air wafted with Cuban leaves.

You’re going to reduce me to a lighter, aren’t you? ”We all serve at what we’re best at.” Aratone said jokingly, as if he meant that he might. He puffed on the cigar again and the smoke was thick and milky as he blew it upwards to the ceiling, so as not blow directly in anyone’s face. I feel that might be what you want, though. Aratone pursed his lips but didn’t say anything to this quip. Yeah, maybe he did. Not because she was inexperienced. If he could get by in life igniting cigars for people, why not? It was much safer and easier than hunting vampires. There were other paths in life where one didn’t have to be a lion all the time, and live peacefully like a proper lamb. Such was not for them though.

He bristled when she grabbed at him. ”Are you hurt?” He asked her, wondering if producing even that little flame or being stung by the silver had weakened her. Her state was already precarious and fragile when coming here. How quick they were to forget that when drinking and letting loose. He chuckled at Kaden’s remark. ”Like it was yesterday. Slept it off in the back of a car.” He pointed out. That had been almost ten years ago. More. ”I put a silver trim or lining into all my things. If I’m going to die by vampires, fuck ‘em, they can’t have my things.” He said, but did take Kaden’s warning right to the head. Fiona was going to be pissed indeed if they brought Naomi back to her in a worse state.

Naomi insisted she was alright and Kaden moved to address Nebuchadnezzar, but Aratone reached over to Naomi’s hand on his forearm with his other hand, grasping her hand lightly to check if it was hurt. She was clearly drunk, stumbling over her words. She was so slender, no doubt it hit her instantly. ”You’re supposed to sip it. Try it next time.” He told her, as he took her hand to check the burn. But she was already ahead of him, holding her hand out and showcasing more of her vampiric powers, something the most of them only saw from people trying to kill them. Never enough time to observe its intricacies close up. But here, they were afforded a most rare and glorious thing in the world. Naomi’s burned hand healed itself, the skin repairing it’s destroyed cells, smoothing it out, like the healthy, vibrant hand of a person in their prime and youth. All before their eyes. All within seconds. First the fire, and now this.

Aratone had no words. There was just too much to consider all at once, with new developments arising every second, displacing old theories, creating new riddles. No, there was no finding purchase in this torrent of discovery. Just go limp and go with the current. The whiskies arrived, and Nebuchadnezzar had words that Aratone didn’t. Erra had blessed Naomi, and in turn they were blessed to know her and have her apart of the family. She was young and a precedence for something beyond and greater than them. Aratone was silent, but he smiled, as he agreed with nothing to add that could be more satisfying or conclusive than what Nebuchadnezzar said. ”There’s no worse crime than wasting good whiskey. What you said Nebuchadnezzar,” he pronounced perfectly again, giving Kaden a quick side-eye just to be coy, ”certainly matches its splendor.” He raised up his cup and slung it down in toast and praise. That was good stuff. Now he had consumed wine and whiskey, mixing the two, and needed to watch his step.

He puffed on his cigar, mingling all the tastes together, each distinctive and varied. ”It is the mission of every teacher to ensure their students outgrow them. That’s what the old hands used to say to me, years ago. Here’s hoping.” Aratone said assuredly and solemnly. Naomi would be a responsibility like no others. And the accountability though…? Another hurdle that seemed insurmountable. Taking the lighter back from Kaden now, he gazed at it in his palm, before turning and presenting it to Naomi. ”Here, have it. I think it’ll be a wonderful reminder of your dual nature…and how to learn to deal and control with it.” Not to mention, teaching her hand dexterity in how to handle it without burning herself.

From his position, he soon noticed another familiar face approaching their group and Aratone set his hand on the table as he stood up. ”Norme.” He greeted as the woman approached, waving off any implication she might be intruding. She was one of them too. ”You’re just in time, mostly because you can never be late to have a drink with your friends, unless you arrive at paying time. Have a seat.” He ushered her in. ”Some of us you know. That man there,” he gestured to Nebuchadnezzar, ”is Nebuchadnezzar, some veteran help sent our way. This is…” he turned to gesture to Naomi but Norme was already making her introductions. Aratone sat down.

”You listen to her, Naomi. She’s just as smart as Doc Fiona about this stuff. Don’t listen to us old cogs.” Aratone grinned and leaned back, letting Kaden give his recollection of events from his adventures, before Aratone would brief Norme about their misadventures in the shipyards. Evidently, all of them being here, it must have been good right? Yet the triumph didn’t seem as…gratifying, as it should have been. Maybe he was just getting old. More worries, more problems.
 
OP
OP
Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Naomi, NPC Fiona, Kaden
Player/Group: Aratone ( @BennyQ ) Nebuchadnezzar ( @Kosmik_Khaos ) Maxine ( @Fish is yum ) Norne ( @ThatGeckoGirl )
Location: The Widows Peak



"Tough love is the best kind of love you can get in this field. These boys seem to have your back, so don't let them down."

Naomi didn't want to let anyone down. Couldn't they see the sheer weight this was on her? She didn't ask to be born a hunter, and she didn't ask to be bitten while on the job; it just... happened. Something in her told her to seek out the Hunters Guild that dark night; her feet had moved on their own that night she was bitten. Naomi wished she knew why her line had been chosen to do this work, but she couldn't find the answers in the few weeks she had stayed with them.

"Fire and healing? Erra must really favor you kid. Forget what I said about letting them down. Guys, we can't let this girl down. Do you see how fucking awesome she is?

Naomi didn't feel awesome. She felt like she was about to float away and then crash. She worried that if she drank too much, she would burst into mist, bats, or whatever else the vampires would turn into. She didn't know if she could control this.

As the shot slid over to Naomi, she leaned forward, pressing her shoulders into the table as she hunched. Her eyes fell to the golden liquid for a moment in thought. It would be rude to turn down a kind gesture. Pausing to look over, she lifted her head slightly in response to Aratone's words.

" Here, have it. I think it'll be a wonderful reminder of your dual nature…and how to learn to deal and control with it."

He slid the lighter over to her, and she blinked; it was silver... well, most of it was, anyway. Staring down at it for a moment, Naomi blinked tiredly. Maybe it was the alcohol, but she looked to Nebuchadnezzar for a moment, then Aratone, and then back at the lighter, pulling her lips into a straight line while her brows furrowed in thought. She had felt so many emotions tonight.

Kaden laughed, put his cigar in an ashtray, and blew out the last puff of smoke before looking over at Nebuchadnezzar. "Listen, If you prefer your full name, I won't insult you by not calling you that, but for tonight it's a different story." He had caught Aratone's perfect pronunciation of it; this didn't surprise him. Lifting a hand from the back of the seat and waved to Norne as she made her way over to the team and then moved his arms to give her space." Finally got away from work, huh? I thought Fi would be the only one we had to go to. I wasn't sure how she would handle all of us."

Earlier in the day, Naomi had positioned herself in a situation that made her appear rebellious.

In the car, as the vampires swarmed them, she had lost herself in the chaos and nearly melted under pressure.

At the shipyard, she channeled the adrenaline and bit the creator to weaken him.

Her body had been put through so much, and she felt every ache and pain. But this lighter and shot of alcohol were the nicest things she had ever received. None of them had an easy life. They all wished for a glimmer of hope that someday Arcadia wouldn't have been run over with vampires and their days weren't as short. And she felt she had been born into the thick of it just as they were getting off the ground, training, excelling. Naomi hadn't had to fight these creatures as a child, she lived in the Ouroboros Orphanage up until the age of 18, and everything she had was borrowed or handmade. All she had now were the clothes on her back and the knowledge she had gained in a short amount of time. Here they all were, making plans to make her stronger and more powerful in a way that helped. Slowly her fingertips crept up into the table, and she touched the lighter with her nail.

"Ara--" Naomi began, then looked to see Norne walk into The Widow's Peak. Everyone greeted Norne warmly and explained her position in the hunters. Like the others, Naomi smiled, then sat back against the circular booth so she didn't give off the impression that she couldn't hold herself together.

" You listen to her, Naomi. She's just as smart as Doc Fiona about this stuff. Don't listen to us old cogs."

She had realized that she was, in fact, new. That this... all of this.... had happened in a very short amount of time. Her transformation has been uncomfortable. She couldn't hunt with the rest of them. She was too much of a liability. So in Norne's defense, she didn't see Naomi much or at all during her stay there.

Then as Naomi waited to speak, she listened into the debriefing again. Once she felt the conversation had enough lull, she turned back to look at Aratone. Fidgeting with the hem of her skort and looking out at the bar patrons wandering around them to their destination, the alcohol was doing something strange by making them look blurry and technicolored.

"I apologize for my attitude earlier. I'm not saying that because you gave me this... but because I acted out from a place of irritation and fear." leaving the sentence where it was, she listened to the quiet conversation around the table, simply enjoying their presence.

Glancing back at the table, she realized the shot sat untouched.

Hesitantly she took it into her fingers delicately and shot it back. This was definitely not like the wine. This burned, and she did everything she could not to hiss, but that didn't stop her fangs from growing in protest as she felt the brief pain. Immediately she placed the back of her hands on her lips, coughed, and laughed. "This is definitely not as smooth." Naomi tapped the Zippo again and tried to find the places which didn't burn her fingertips, then paused. This seemed like a lost cause; everything burned and irritated her senses.

Clearing her throat of the burning, she spoke, "I... I want to visit my old apartment. Tomorrow. I haven't been back since the incident, and I want to get a few things aside from the stuff I wear around now. This is all I have, and I'm wearing it now. I...I think I'm ready." She nodded as if trying to convince herself, then looked down at her hands, her eyes tracing over her tattoos while she smoothed out one of the plates of her skort again. "It's the panderosa apartments. So it's not too far, but I don't think I should go alone." Naomi didn't speak to anyone in particular, and her voice was quiet now that she was speaking in a group of more than Kaden and Aratone."I'll go either way if no one wants to volunteer. But I don't think I should go alone."



Fiona could have pulled away from Max; there was a lot to clean and do before the others returned, and Fiona wanted to ensure she was settled into her room and that everyone was safe. But when Max squeezed her hand, she paused and set her own hand on the metal fingers. Fiona could tell that recounting the details of Nicole was painful to her, and she was there to listen. She had heard about Nicole through the grapevine. She also knew that Nicole was the one who had turned Naomi. She had recalled the vampires a buzz-- whispers in the dark that they had bitten a hunter. After reading through the history, she found this to be a remarkable feat. She had seen how Max's eyes held fear from the new development in Naomi's power and squeezed Max's hand tighter as if this would help damper the pain.

"Maxine. Hunter or not. This is a dangerous world we live in. We will all die. If you're turned, You'll never be like Nicole, never. You're too strong." Fiona set her hand on Maxine's cheek, determination in her dark brown eyes swirled. "I'll be here every step of the way. Don't you worry about that, honey." Fiona was quiet for a moment as she smiled at Max and then pulled her hand away; she had respected max for being scared. At times she had seen her act in the most brutal of ways, a shield for the team, trying her best not to break under pressure. Fiona couldn't imagine what she had seen that night while Nicole killed her family. "Let's get ready for the bar; maybe seeing the others will lighten your spirits, hm?" Fiona smiled and patted Max's hand before pushing back on the stool and standing.

Fiona moved around the room cleaning, setting instruments aside to place into the sterilizer, and then washing her arms of any blood. She was cautious. Not a single drop had fallen on her clothing. All she had to do was run her fingertips through her hair to move it back to perfection. Lastly, she ran her fingertip over her lips, removing the gold tint that max had left with a smile. Adjust her dress and smooth out the wrinkles, and she would be ready to go." We'll take my car... You are in no condition to ride that bike of yours."
 

Fish is yum

Super-Earth
Joined
May 3, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
Character: Maxine "Max" Conners
Player/Group: Fiona/Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow (@Kassia ), Aratone (@BennyQ ), Nebuchadnezzar ( @Kosmik_Khaos ) Norne ( @ThatGeckoGirl )
Location: Bridge Appartments --> Widows Peak Bar
Time: Night
Vernacular source: Streetslang




R8S1AAf.gif

"Maxine. Hunter or not. This is a dangerous world we live in. We will all die. If you're turned, You'll never be like Nicole, never. You're too strong."
Max seemed to return from whatever lost place she had drifted into in telling her story as Fiona squeezed her hand, and as the mod doc placed her hand to the ex-mercs face she leaned into it slightly, her face flushing a little as she did so, meeting Fiona's eyes. Maxine had been craving more physical contact, tenderness, and understanding for ages now, and now that she had it she felt… better, despite it not being a full reciprocation. She smiled at the compliment, but in spite of all the support it was still a broken sort of smile. "I don't know… Maybe I wouldn't…" She had never thought Nicole could ever become such a monster, but she had. Her hopes rested with Naomi. If the newbie could continue to be herself, then that at least would show it was possible.
"I'll be here every step of the way. Don't you worry about that, honey."

"Let's get ready for the bar; maybe seeing the others will lighten your spirits, hm?"
Max's smile became a bit more whole, and, again on impulse she leaned in and kissed Fiona, though this time it was just a quick peck, and on the cheek rather than the other woman's lips. "Thanks for that babe…" She was still blushing as she did so. It didn't seem like she had completely struck out, and that did wonders for her ego. Max watched Fiona pull away, digital eyes watching her start to clean for a moment before grunting in pain and getting up off of the table. She looked over to the corner where her ruined jacket sat, then down at her ruined t-shirt. "You want to go shopping together sometime? Like with the others?" she asked, adding the second question in smoothly, but not smoothly enough that it didn't come off as a nervous addition. It was clear that Max still wanted to pursue the mod doc, though she had slowed her roll.

She looked over just in time to spot the smile as Fiona wiped away the two spots of lipstick and felt that dumb chrome grin return to her face. Oh yes, she was in, just had to take her time about it. That and make sure she was reading Fi right. Didn't need to run away with an assumption for sure.
" We'll take my car... You are in no condition to ride that bike of yours."
Feeling every wound, she couldn't help but pout, it had been so long since she last rode her bike, but Fi was right, a fact that was reinforced the second after she agreed with it. Max jerked, wincing as Dave scrambled up her leg, then back, tweeking her ribs, and then settled on her shoulders, looking over at the mod doc before giving Max the side eye. "You fucking lummox." Max chuckled, wincing again at the weight of the sweatered lizard. "I'll feed this idiot then throw something on." She said to the doc before leaving.

Making her way to the kitchen, she opened the fridge and grabbed a couple boiled eggs, and a container of cubed fruits. "Come on gettoff" she said in faux grumpiness to her tegu, getting him onto the counter and prepping a meal which she put in his food bowl. This in turn lead to her having to give treats out to Pepper and Luxx, the ladder of which was so enthusiastic that it made it difficult to get back to her room. She also left a small piles of catnip on the several scratching posts they had for Loki and Gigabyte, which quickly were being enjoyed by the three felines.

Pet wrangling done, she went into her room and began the arduous task of picking an outfit. Not wanting to deal with her ribs, she chose an outfit that would leave them for the most part bare after she asked Fiona for some input as she walked by to get her keys. Lacing up the pastel green shoes with gold laces and pulling on the high collared vest, she looked at herself in the mirror, making sure this was a look she wanted. Dave slunk into her room, heading for his heated bed on the armchair as she grabbed a pair of gold rimmed aviators and also large gold hoop earrings that almost touched her shoulders. Reapplying some gold lipstick and re-gelling her 'hawk, she smiled at Dave, who had curled up and closed his eyes. She looked back at her closet, black and red eyes resting on an ornate wooden box. The birthday card was still taped to it, reading 'Happy Birthday Max. Mickey.'. She thought about the unkind words she and Ara had shared. She did find him frustrating, but they were friends… She reached into the box, taking out two chrome cylinders out of a set of many, some already missing, and pocketing them. Lastly, she put on a single spritz of cologne, a light flowery scent, just enough to be in the background, putting on only a pair of pistols this time, a single mag extra each. Rolf wouldn't want her fully tooled up with iron, but knew her well enough to not mind a pair of pistols. Well and truly ready, she smiled at Dave and said "Hold down the fort bud, be back later." And closed up her room, leaving the lizard in there.


Max whistled as she saw Fiona's car, admiring the lines and not feeling quite so skunked out of riding her bike. "Nova." She said softly, leaning down to admire the lines of the vehicles construction before getting in. It wasn't long before they were at the bar, and Max adopted a swagger that was almost stereotypical, staying close to Fiona to make it clear the mod doc was with her. Her shoulders bare, mark of the hunter clearly visible, nobody questioned if she was welcome in the bar. Walking up to Rolf, she smiled, pulling out the fangs. "Hey choom, got some preem chompers here for ya." She said grinning as he placed an already filled glass in front of her. He probably had spotted her coming in. Glad to finally have a drink in her hand she looked around for the others. With Rolf's help she headed over in the direction of the VIP room.

Sauntering in she said "Ain't late are we chooms?" with a chrome grin, taking a seat with a groan before patting her knee and smiling at Fi. She downed the rest of her drink then reached into her pocket under the table. Pulling out the two chromed cigar cases she placed them on the table and slid them towards Ara gently, borged out eyes looking at the man. They had known eachother long enough for him to know this was the closest to an apology he was likely to get from Max, and it wasn't even that. They were Cuban, and prohibitively expensive, and represented a peace offering from the ex-merc. A single one would fetch a couple thousand creds resale alone, and were known to be literally the finest cigars money could buy. "What I miss?" she asked, waiting on Ara to take the peace offering and for Fi to take a seat, preferably in her lap. She took note of Naomi's inebriation, smiled and nodded at Norne and Kade, and paused at Neb. "Who are you choomba?" she asked flatly, practiced eye spotting a borg after she examined him for a moment.
 

Kosmik_Khaos

Chaotic Wholesome
Supporter
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Location
Stuck sometime between here and there
Nebby waved Kaden's apology away. "I was a teen when I broke my name down to Nebby K. Nezzar to make it easier for my friends. Don't give it a second thought." He poured himself another shot and left the bottle on the table open for anyone to grab. He turned his attention to the person entering through the privacy curtain and quickly scanned her over. She was pretty, plainly dressed and seemed to know everyone with how comfortably she joined them.

He offered Norne a nod of greeting when he was introduced. "You can call me Nebby. I think Aratone is going to lord my name over those with less nimble tongues tonight." He shot both Ara and Kaden a grin letting them know he was playing around with them both. Sliding the shot he had just poured across the table to Norne he gave her a warm smile and wink. "He's right, you're not late unless come at payin' time."

Turning his attention to Naomi he just observed for a bit. She was getting wasted fast and he wanted to be able to act fast if needed. Nebby half paid attention to the rehash of the night, his focus mainly on the young vamp. Once Kaden had filled the doc in Naomi started to fidget more, which only locked his attention on the girl. She had something on her chest that she was struggling to get off. He couldn't help but smile at her apology, then wince at the way shot hit her. He could tell that was most likely her first shot. "Yeah, not quite as smooth as wine but it burns deliciously." He replied shooting her quick smile. "I need to go by my place as well to get some things and make sure I'm covered at work, so I can roll with you and we can make a day of it." He offered up his company to Naomi.

Seeing how the drinks were hitting he glanced past the curtain and with a mental flick he added a glass of water and more empty shot glasses to the tables order. When they arrived he placed the water near Naomi, giving her the option to sip on it or not. Pouring himself a shot he was about to take it when another pair walked into the room.

His eyes ran over the two women and he smiled and nodded in approval giving the heavily modded one extra attention in his once over. When she turned to eye him down he instantly knew she was the first to click on what he was. Now looking her face to face he realized he knew her. She used to be one of his patrons. "Aww chombatta, don't you recognize your King? You used to be the preem Gato on my floors."

Normally he hated doing things like this, it could easily be taken to far and cause irreparable harm. Especially with someone like him. But her mods were all but open doors. This was something that needed to be addressed later. With a thought he hacked into her eyes and suppressed any defensive measures she had. Once inside he played her a simple video. It was from his point of view. He was looking down into the crowd from a stage and Max was on the dance floor. Then the view changed to an overhead one that caught the crowd and the stage. A man was on the stage long hair flying about as he danced and sang to the blaring music. It was King Kanezzar, the owner of The Hanging Garden. The video cut out as he released his hold on Max's eyes.

"Makes sense that you don't come by anymore. Job has got you busy. You can call me Nebby, if you want my full name ask twinkle tongue, he seems to enjoy saying it." He said jerking his head in Ara's direction. Looking at the shot he still hadn't taken he slid it to Fi, who was now the only one who did have or hadn't had a drink and poured himself yet another. "Third time's the charm they say." He thought to himself and before he could be distracted again he took the shot.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Location
USA
Character: Norne Irae
Player/Group: Fiona/Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow (@Kassia ), Aratone (@BennyQ ), Nebuchadnezzar ( @Kosmik_Khaos ) Max ( @Fish is yum )
Location: Widows Peak Bar
Time: Monday Night, Tuesday Early Morning

Aratone introducing the one man she wasn't familiar with drew Norne's attention quickly. She gave a small blink at his long and complex name, churning the syllables over in her head. Expertise in the medical field gave her decent practice with complex words and pronunciations. A light smile curved on her lips in response to Nebby's own smile and wink as he slid the shot over to her. "Thank you for the shot, Nebuchadnezzar. It's nice to meet you," She said genuinely as she drew the shot closer to her. Her pronunciation was good, though she spoke his name a little slower than Aratone's confident display. "I think I will be more than happy to refer to you as Nebby, since you don't mind," She said in a friendly tone, open to getting to know this new individual and making a new friend. She looked to Aratone with a teasing light shimmering in her eyes, "I'm honored to not qualify as an 'old cog.' I'll do my best to live up to your kind words."

Once more, Norne returned her attention to Kaden. Her face flushed a soft pink at his words. "Ah, yes, I apologize. I've run into a bit of a block with my research. The tissue and blood samples haven't been showing any new discoveries lately, so I've been putting most of my attention towards..." She trailed off with a sigh as she pushed her fingers through her long dark brown hair, "I decided that I need to step away for a little while, and possibly accumulate uh...new samples. Look at everything with fresh eyes." She averted her eyes to peer down at the shot before quickly tilting it back. The whiskey burned down and warmed her stomach, though her face remained unfazed by the strong alcoholic taste that overwhelmed her mouth. If there was anything Norne gained mastery in having grown up in the Irae family, it was suppressing her true emotions and feelings. This was true even regarding showing physical discomfort, such as unpleasant tastes and pain. Those of the Irae family were expected not to display any kind of weakness, and she had been groomed from childhood to be the perfect heir to the family name. Over the years of distancing herself from her family, she's attempted at trying to be more open. Benjamin had broken through all of her defenses. She placed all her trust in him, and then he died because of who she was. What she was. For a while, she had been very closed off and distant after his murder. She was currently trying to open up again. When it came to people she was comfortable around, it was easier to do so. However, old habits die hard even around these people she viewed as her friends.

"I'll need to thank Fi," She noted before quickly looking over at Kaden, "Do you still have any injuries, Kade? I'd be more than happy to attend to them." Norne's eyes scanned down him quickly to assess for any possible visible injuries he may have. There was an apologetic look on her face as well as genuine concern as that expressionless look dissipated.

The private curtain opened again, this time showing Maxine and Fiona entering. Norne looked to them and nodded back to Max in welcome. A gentle smile curved on her lips as she took in Max and Fiona. They were cute together even if they may not be officially a couple. The affection between the two of them was more than apparent. She hoped that the interaction between them back in the First Aid room had gone well after she very quickly slipped away to give them privacy. Subconsciously, she fingered the engagement ring settling at her collarbone. "Thank you for taking care of everyone earlier, Fi. I promise I'll be more help next time," She commented apologetically. Norne had a lot of respect for Fiona. While Norne was great in healing biological aspects, she wasn't very useful when it came to modification repair. That's where Fiona really shined above Norne. Together, they were able to take care of all sorts of injuries as they combined such specialties.

Norne poured another shot of whiskey for herself as the alcohol came around. She did come here to drink after all! She was a bit of a lightweight since she didn't drink all that much. Additionally, she didn't smoke either, though it was mostly because she knew the medical repercussions and thus strayed from the behavior. She was quiet as Naomi spoke about returning to her old apartment, eyeing the vampiric girl with some uncertainty. Was this the best idea? Could she handle being at such a place of tragedy? Returning to the apartment where she found Benjamin dead on the blood soaked carpet beneath him had been extremely hard for her. So much so that she terminated the lease as quickly as she could before moving into the Bridge Apartments to throw herself into work and Hunter life to try and cope with her loss. She doubted any of the others knew about it as Norne never explained what occurred. That said, if Naomi felt she was ready, then there wasn't any reason to speak out against it. She had to take things in stride at her own pace. That was important in the arduous cycle of grief. Given that she had only really just met Naomi, Norne didn't offer her services. She felt it would likely be best if the younger girl went to such a place of tragedy with other that she was closer to in order to have a better support system should she need it. Mostly, she hoped Naomi wasn't saying this under the false sense of confidence that could be delivered through the consumption of alcohol - that she was sure this was something she wanted to do. It was clear the girl was new to alcohol, which wasn't surprising given her age.

Talk of asking Naomi for potential samples could take place at a later time, on a later night.
 
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Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Kaden// Fiona
Player/Group: Aratone ( @BennyQ ) Norne ( @ThatGeckoGirl ) Maxine ( @Fish is yum )
Location: Widows Peak Bar
Time: Monday Night, Tuesday Early Morning



Could everyone pronounce Nebuchadnezzar's name?

Private school was lost on Kaden, and he leaned forward to take another sip of his drink, refill the glass with the whiskey that had been left out, and rolled it lazily in the glass.

Do you still have any injuries, Kade? I'd be more than happy to attend to them.

Kaden looked up from the amber liquid and to Norne. He had received a replacement part on his arm from Spark and the new skin graph, but he didn't think Spark had helped in other regards. Clearing his throat, he adjusted his place in his seat, crossing his ankle over his thigh.

"Uh, no... Nothing I can't work on." He thought. Estella would have raised a fuss; Kaden had been known to slap a bandaid on any wound he received even before he joined the Hunters Guild, even if it required stitches. He scratched at his eyebrow slightly. A gash rested over it, trying desperately to heal. And his arm, which hadn't been augmented, also has a deep gash over the bicep--However, the t-shirt sleeve had covered that up from view. Well..." He paused, the others had received care from Fiona, and she did a decent enough job for a Mod Doc. But he had come home, showered, and had thrown on new clothing. Desperate to apologize to Eden for how he acted on the field. But after that had been resolved, he headed to the bar. Kaden hadn't considered getting anything stitched or patched up.

" I have a few things. Still, I think it might be too late, right? They look like they are trying to heal." He lifted up the sleeve of the shirt, looked at the deep wound on his bicep, then shrugged, took another drink, and looked up to see Max and Fiona enter the bar. He had been here getting an estimate on the fangs he and Eden had collected and had no idea what had happened between Max and Fiona, and he raised a brow. Fiona flirted with everyone, but this looked different. He suddenly felt lost in all the new developments. Max got comfortable, offering a cigar to Ara-- had something happened? Then Fiona, in all her gracefulness, took a seat on Max's lap, cautiously-- he could tell-- leaned into her, laughing and talking with the others as if this were perfectly normal.

Leaning back into his seat, Kaden pulled his hand away from the glass and looked to Norne, who seemed pleasant and involved in the happens. Ara and Naomi talked about her training while she demonstrated that she clearly could not hold her liquor. He also reviewed her statement about needing to go to the apartment the next day. This girl needed training first-- she would simply have to wait until she was ready. With the new drug sinking its teeth into the streets and ferals taking their chances in the daylight, he knew this would only spell disaster if she ventured out too soon and untrained. "I think you need to give it a few days. Train up, then go to the apartment," he stated, glancing at Ara and then back to the rest of the group.

"Thank you for taking care of everyone earlier, Fi. I promise I'll be more help next time"

Fiona smiles and sets a delicate hand on Norne's shoulder. "oh, sweetie, please don't worry. I am always happy to help! You're doing important work for all of us and for this city. If I can help in any way, you just let me know." Fiona turned to Kaden then and pressed her lips into a thin line.

"You let her fix you up! You didn't let me, but I sware to all that remains that you will let us help you!" Fiona was serious; her eyes were dark and concerned. She saw the cut above his brow--she had been eyeing it when he had walked back into the apartment. Clearly, after his shower, he hadn't patched himself up.

"I don't need anyone fussing over me, " he said, waving her words away, which made her even more upset, but then her expression softened, and she smiled.

"Kaden! I'll reach across this table and slap some sense into you." Fiona giggled and took a sip of her drink. She couldn't be serious for too long in the company of her friends, which Kaden was grateful for. After a moment, he turned his attention back to the conversations trying to piece together the night.

"Hey..." Kaden leaned over to Norne, watching her twist her ring that hung on a chain around her neck; he was doing the same subconsciously with the wedding band on his ring finger, anxious and looking for relief. "What... What is going on here?" He looked between Ara and Max and then Max and Fiona. "I feel like I missed an entire chapter." He chuckled cautiously.

"Max!" Naomi barked while setting her glass down. Kaden watched curiously, but then his body tensed--Naomi had been quiet most of the night. What was she up to? "Let me heal you... you look so... so.." She thought for a moment. "rough, no offense to Fiona, but I know you need those ribs fixed." The vampire stood slowly, just as cautiously as Kaden's laugh had been, and moved to the end of the table where Max and Fiona sat. "I have this power, right? I might as well use it." She knelt down and waited for max's approval before leaning in.

"Well..." Kaden started and swallowed. "This night has been interesting..." He rubbed the cut above his brow slightly. Stinging pain made his eyes close, and he looked at the table and tried to figure out what was happening.
 
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BennyQ

αὐτοκράτωρ
Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Character: Aratone Palladino.
Player/Group: Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow/Doc Fiona (@Kassia), Nebuchadnezzar (@Kosmik_Khaos), Norne Irae (@ThatGeckoGirl), Maxine Connors (@Fish is yum).
Location: Widow’s Peak Bar.
Time: Monday, Night-time/Tuesday, Early-morning.

As the private area occupied by the Hunters grew with numbers, the dim of bustle and conversation swelled to a higher degree. Newcomers arrived and were courteously greeted. Nebuchadnezzar seemed well taken to and there seemed little further issue when Norme arrived, one of the resident researchers and studious types attached to their humble little group. It was times like these, so often lost to the thrill of the moment, that could be considered the good times. He laughed off Norne’s remarks about not being old…yet. ”But still a cog. You’ll get there, a little dust in your hair…” he teased her back. Thankfully, none of them were greying yet, which was extraordinary given the pressures and stress of their profession.

Good wine and the cool puff of cigar smoke from his lips was enough to content Aratone for the moment. The job went well, they had all made it without much hiccup or damage, and any anxieties or worries could simply be laughed at and discarded. Naomi seemed to be clinging to some, as she kept on glancing towards him in a fugitive manner, something he could see through the corner of his eye but did not broach. No, the little woman had to learn to become assertive on her own. She wanted something, she had to take it. And eventually, she did shift to broach him, offering up apologies for earlier actions and attitudes. Aratone grinned inwardly as he puffed on his cigar, not turning his gaze to meet her as she spoke, and concluded. How very mature, self-reflecting and self-aware.

After a thoughtful puff, he turned towards her and just reached out with a hand, clasping her shoulder and giving her a silent, reassuring squeeze of approval and acceptance. She was good. He watched her down her shot and chuckled at her cringing expression. He quirked his eyebrow at her want to visit her old apartments and turned to look at Kaden. ”You will definitely need a fireteam to go with you. Kaden and I have to figure out some next steps so maybe one of these chooms will take you.” He opened that offer up to the table, Nebuchadnezzar offering up and hey it would be good for a youngster like Naomi to help out a proper elder of the group with his moving. A good way to learn was to just shadow more experienced members, see how they did things. Just in time too, it seemed for likely volunteers, as Fiona and Maxine entered the room at that time.

Maxine curiously slipped a pair of packaged cigars, their quality already notable by the musk they put out. Fresh and authentic. ”Oh, for me? Smart. Don’t want her catching these on you.” He chuckled, making a gesture at Fiona. Nebuchadnezzar introduced himself to the pair, seemingly already knowing Maxine, which was a curiosity. Seemed she used to attend his establishment. ”What floors would that be, Nebuchadnezzar?” Aratone grinned, giving Kaden a pointed, haughty look, at another expert pronunciation of the name. ”Maxine here is heroine of the hour. Got herself a special set of fangs that she earned, with distinction.” He pointed out, for those who might not know what went on today. The gist of it was, they killed the Creator. That legend he would leave for Maxine to regale. For now, he raised his cup of wine to her in a toast to her efforts and drank it.

But no more, he had to drive later, though his vehicle was equipped with automated navigation.

Talk picked up between Norne and Fiona, their resident specialists when it came to, well, the body. Human or vampire. And Kaden with his obstinance, refused any indepth check up. Aratone just chuckled, looking into his cup. Oh, he remembered being in that position. There was no escaping it, especially Fiona, who enjoyed putting herself in other people’s business. And how sweetly she sits on Maxine’s lap, what happened there? ”Jesus, Fiona.” Aratone chided lightly when she threatened to slap Kaden, even if playfully. ”I guess the Doctor title is just for kicks, huh. Or slaps in this case.” He chuckled, before lifting the bottle of wine, what remained of it anyways, and offering her a drink.

That is, until Naomi all but shouted in his ear. All their ears. Max! ”Polite girls say excuse me.” He sassed at Naomi but she was already around the table and egging Maxine into some sort of demonstration. She could heal others? ”You missed it, Doc.” Aratone said quietly across to Fiona as Naomi fussed over Maxine. ”The girl burned herself on a bit of silver, you know on my lighter? Then she healed her own burn wounds up right in front of us. Now she about to do it to others.” He quietly instructed her, referencing that this is something she ought to see. A glance in Norne’s direction included her as well. Both women understood how this worked a lot better than he did.

Hearing Kaden’s remark, he turned back to the other man with a morbid grin. ”We can get a shot of brandy, pour that right on the ole cut there, the good old fashion way.” He joked with the other Hunter, as they prepared to observe this display of Naomi’s skills. Boy was she drunk…
 

Fish is yum

Super-Earth
Joined
May 3, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
Character: Maxine "Max" Conners
Player/Group: Fiona/Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow (@Kassia ), Aratone (@BennyQ ), Nebuchadnezzar ( @Kosmik_Khaos ) Norne ( @ThatGeckoGirl )
Location: Widows Peak Bar
Time: Night
Vernacular source: Streetslang




R8S1AAf.gif

Max spotted Norne smiling at her and Fi and gave the medical doc a wink, though she blushed faintly doing so. She thought she had heard Norne scurry out around the time she had kissed Fi. “Casual Monday at the office?” Max teased lightly, noting that Norne hadn’t dressed up to go out. Max’s grin widened a little as Fiona sat in her lap, fighting back a grimace as the other woman leaned back a little, though she did shift slightly so that her ribs weren’t getting twinged by the mod doc. She leaned forward, pressing against Fi a little as she spun the Lazy Susan in the center of the table. As she did that, the other plated hand slid around Fi’s back, resting gently on the other woman’s knee under the table even as she grabbed a mostly full bottle of Zacapa rum. The faintest of blushes started to color Max’s cheeks, but she left her hand there, aware that Fi might want to move it and ready to if she gave any sign that this wasn’t kosher. She used her thumb to pop the cork out and gave herself a generous pour, recorking the bottle and taking the first slow sip, savoring the preem drink. She planned to get blasted, but she wanted the parts she remembered to be decadent in a different way. She should have grabbed a third cigar for herself, she positively ached for a smoke. It was easier to hold back with Fi in her lap though. “Wanna try some babe?” Max asked Fiona, offering the glass.

At Nebby’s words, Max’s eyes narrowed a little then widened as the world vanished, and the others would see the red rings in her eyes suddenly turn a neon purple as they were hacked. “Fuckin… twice in one night…” She grumbled but before she reached for her weapons she got the vision from the other man, and the chrome smile returned, wide and full of amusement. As the lights returned to red she laughed and grinned at the man. “Shit, King gonk himself!” Max said, her tone making it plain she was ribbing Neb a little, “Chomba lookin Boga! How you doing Nebuchadnezzar?” The way she said his name had a cadence to it, a rhythm and flow that was particular to people who had spent their whole lives on the street. “Good to see you again man.” At Ara’s question about what floors she said simply “Dance floors, Choomba here runs The Hanging Garden, preem dayclub just south of central.”
She gently pulled Fi a little closer, not so much so that she was pressing hard into her. Just enough to better enjoy the warmth of the other woman and their closeness. “Yeah no, been edgerunnin with this crew slagging leaches for a while now.” She continued. At the comment on the nickname she smiled and lounged back, taking another sip of her drink, her hand moving to Fi’s waist, maintaining the contact while trying not to come off as possessive. “What, these gonks run around and trash leaches and they haven’t read the old testament?” she asked. Her digital eyes slid over to Naomi, then back to the others in turn, one eyebrow lifting as an amused smile quirked the one side of her mouth. “Good to see everyone is enjoying themselves.” She said, a bit of a giggle entering her words as she finished her own drink, savoring the notes and the burn of the alcohol. She was right in the zone, buzzing and feeling a bit warm in a cozy way. She shifted again, snuggling up to Fiona, though she did wince a little doing so.

Her black and red eyes slid slowly over to Kaden and her expression hardened as he tried to pull that macho crap about getting stitched up. He mentioned getting Naomi some more training under her belt before going back to her apartment, and Max nodded agreeing to that. At Fiona’s words to the man though, specifically telling him to let them help, and then his own continued reluctance to take it, she added in her own two creds as well. “Kade, get soldered back up by the docs choomba, or I’ll do it with superglue and staples.” She grinned, making it clear that, while she did mean it, it was only a half threat at best, “And I’ll tell you, superglue burns like hell.” She poured herself another hefty measure of the rum. “Only a gonk doesn’t take help from people offering it.” She didn’t realize just how quick she would regret saying that.

Aratone clearly gave Max the floor to tell the tale, and so she did, with quite a flare for the dramatic, though those that had been there would have noticed that she built up the story in places, specifically the parts that centered around the others, like Ollie figuring out how to use the UV lights against the leaches, or Ara’s driving, or Naomi going toe to toe with the creator as a rookie before Max got there. One thing she did add in though, dropping the flamboyance and getting serious “I think Mickey’s got leaks though, we were ambushed on our way there. Need to look into that.” She continued the story from there, but eventually Max was interrupted by Naomi practically shouting her name in that belligerent tone common to drunks the world over, and she winced.

At the offer Max hesitated, the drink making it hard for her to hide her trepidation at letting Naomi use vamp powers on her. Only a gonk doesn’t take help from people offering it. She sighed, gently scooting Fiona to one side and reaching forward to grab some vodka. “Alright hang on…” she said, sounding resigned. She drank heavily from the bottle, not wanting to chug any of the premium stuff, but knowing she’d need it. With a soft gasp and a shiver at taking that much in at once she waited until her head started to swim a bit then sighed. “Right… do your worsht…” She said bracing herself.

It certainly felt like her worst. Naomi moved forward and pressed hard against Max’s chest, physically having to push the ribs back in place as she used her powers. The pain was as sharp as a razer and as hot as a blowtorch. Max ground her teeth so hard that the metal squealed slightly. Luckily though it wasn’t overly long, though in the moment it felt like it was taking forever, and with each rib healed it made it easier to wait for the process to finish. She was very glad for the alcohol though.

Max wouldn’t have noticed Naomi stumble from exaustion, but since the girl had decided to not only fall on top of the merc, but also use one of her breasts as a convenient pillow, it was a bit hard to ignore. Max just quirked an eyebrow. “Well shit… didn't even buy me dinner kid…” She said with a lazy grin. “Thanks choombatta, feeling preem right now." She looked down at her again, adding "Probably should go home and sleep it off, eh?” She looked around at the others a bit blearily. “And maybe get me some food…” Her head was spinning a little. She pulled Fi close again on the other side, what little inhibitions she had mostly gone as she let her hand rest on the other woman’s hip, very much enjoying not having pain in her ribs anymore. Sure she was still cut up and bruised up, but at least she could breathe without pain again. And snuggle up with Fi with no issue. “Dumplings would be preem right now…” she said only half to herself. She rested her head on the mod doc’s shoulder, closing her eyes and letting the world spin. “And a smoke… Sorry Fi but I just need one…” She opened one eye, clearly having a hard time focusing on Kade. “Get the fuckin shtitches…” She said, having to activate her targeting protocols to focus on him, and even then he seemed to be swaying a little. Or was that her? She looked at the bottle of vodka and grimaced, noticing that it was 150 proof, not 80 or 100. “Ahhh fuck…” she grumped. She’d need water and food for a bit. This was too drunk too soon. "What we eatin..." she said, unconsciously patting Naomi on the back while she simultaneously patted Fiona on her hip.
 
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Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Location
USA
Character: Norne Irae
Player/Group: Fiona/Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow (@Kassia ), Aratone (@BennyQ ), Nebuchadnezzar ( @Kosmik_Khaos ) Max ( @Fish is yum )
Location: Widows Peak Bar
Time: Monday Night, Tuesday Early Morning

Norne glanced down at herself from Max's comment and gave a light laugh in seeing her plain sweater. It was a nice sweater, but it certainly didn't match the vibe of Widows Peak. Her thumb ran against the smooth silver of the engagement ring settled by her collarbone. "Yeah, you bet," She responded. If anything, it was a casual day at the office - the office being the first aid room. Fiona and Max were clearly established as a pair with Fi sitting on her lap. They were adorable. Seeing them together made her happy for them while simultaneously feeling wistful. However, she moved away from her mind at the wound on Kaden's bicep. The one above his eye had been easy for her to take notice of when she had assessed him herself. It was small enough that it could use steri-strips, but stitches wouldn't be necessary. That bicep wound though? Yeah, it needed stitches. That, or a shot of her tissue regenerative solution and a bandage with steri-strips. Already, she was three shots of whiskey deep. Norne could feel the elating effects of alcohol with the slight airy sensation in her head. That said, she wasn't all that bad. It certainly wasn't enough to significantly affect her judgement or coordination. At least, not her coordination in stitching or fighting. She has done those things so much that doing it was second nature.

Max and Fi beat Norne to telling Kaden that his wound had to be patched up. However, Norne looked to Aratone with wide eyes at his statement. "Ara, don't encourage him!" She scolded him as she peered at the deep wound with concern. In looking over at him though, she noticed that he was twisting a ring on his finger similarly to how she fiddled with her own ring. Did they have the same habit? Immediately, she wondered if Kaden was married. It seemed like a wedding ring? Norne wasn't the kind of person that liked to make assumptions without direct evidence or facts. She supposed having her own ring around her neck potentially gave off that impression too. His question to her made her return her gaze towards Max, Fi and Ara. She couldn't stop the small laugh that slipped from her lips as she looked back over at him. "This might be the first time someone has asked me for a social update," She said with a light yet almost pleased demeanor, "Okay! I'll catch you up!" She cast a cute wink in his direction as she leaned towards Kaden as though about to share a secret. A little intoxicated, Norne was more sociable and let some of that serious and contained composure down.

"Alright, so. Ara and Max had a bit of a uh...disagreement in First Aid about how the mission went. It sounded like a clash of personality and outlook more than anything, but I have to admit I was staring into a microscope with it happening in the background. He offered her a cigar, and she tossed it out to avoid Fi's wrath. So, I think that's why Max used cigars as a peace offering to settle the tension between them," Norne explained, sounding rather thoughtful as she recalled what occurred in First Aid. A cheeky smile spread over her lips as she went on to part two, "Near the discussion end, Max mentioned she'd likely have to strip down and wanted her audience limited to the "lovely" medical professional. Given I was hiding in the back, I assumed it wasn't me and quickly started packing up my stuff to continue working in my room. By the time I slipped out, it looked like they were going in for a kiss soooo...I guess they might be a bit more official?" Norne's voice was a little more hushed in mentioning it seemed that Max and Fi were going in to kiss.

As Naomi went to heal Max, Norne watched with interest. Initially, she didn't think anything was really going to come of it. She knew vampires had rapid healing and possessed powers. Naomi was still a newly turned vampire though. She doubted the girl would be able to heal anything past bruises and minor injuries until she became more powerful. From what she knew, Max had broken ribs. Regardless, she observed with interest, only to widen her eyes in surprise as it seemed the girl had been able to heal the ribs. To think Naomi could also reset and heal the complexity of bones so early into her transformation...it was rather impressive to Norne, even if Naomi was really drained afterwards. Naomi might take her place! An amused smile tilted in her lips at the thought. She was excited to see what the future held for her as much as she was wary. Hopefully, Naomi would continue to remain on the side of the Hunters.

For just a moment, Norne eyed the wine before remembering that drinking was a no-go. She needed to stitch up Kade! "Speaking of healing, I'm going to patch you up whether you want me to or not," She huffed to Kade before standing up from her seat, "Come on, the faster it's done, the better. Infection is a real threat to life, you know. Even if you say you don't need anyone to fuss over you, it's my responsibility to fuss over everyone in this group. I'm not going to let you put me out of my job." Norne cast Kade a light smile at her last statement with an expectant gaze.
 
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Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Naomi//Kaden// Fiona
Player/Group: Aratone ( @BennyQ ) Norne ( @ThatGeckoGirl ) Maxine ( @Fish is yum ) Nebuchadnezzar ( @Kosmik_Khaos )
Location: Widows Peak Bar
Time: Monday Night, Tuesday Early Morning-->The cab back to The Bridge Apartments



" Polite girls say excuse me."

While Naomi crouched down, she looked over her shoulder, rolled her eyes at Aratone, then turned back to Maxine. "Excuse me, Maxine, hunter of Arcadia. May I please heal your tired and weary bones?" She giggled softly and then glanced back at Aratone. "There. Was that better?" somewhat flustered by the comment, she turned around and then pressed her hands into Maxine's ribs when given permission. Everyone seemed to have worn long sleeve shirts or jackets at the Widows Peak, so Maxine was the first to feel the vampiric chill of Naomi's hands. The realization that this young woman was indeed a vampire now, the warmth drained from her body thanks to Erra. Feeling reasonably confident, she looked to Fiona, who had slid off of Max's lap.

"Right… do your worsht…"

"Thats right, honey, The placement is fine," Fiona cooed, as Naomi was clearly worried about not hitting the correct spot on Max's side. Then she breathed in and pushed forward with all of her weight. The ordeal lasted 30 seconds; however, it felt like minutes, hours, and eternity to Naomi. Max's bones cracked and found fusion in her body; the pain dissipated as Naomi pulled back, and soon she would see the healing results.

"Fascinating!" Fiona exclaimed as she leaned over to look at the little vampire's work. She gently pressed her hand into Max's side to ensure the bones were healed and gave Naomi a reassuring nod. With that, Naomi stood, but she grabbed hold of the table quickly. She felt dizzy more than before. Cautiously making her way back over to her seat, she slumped in her spot and stared blankly ahead at the tabletop. She couldn't tell what was happening. Was she going to become feral now that she had over-exerted herself? Her body felt heavy; she liked her friends--she didn't want to become a monster!

"Ara, don't encourage him!"

Norne's voice broke the quietness, and Naomi looked over briefly before looking back down at her hands, her nails growing longer and glass-like in the table's shadows.

"I knew you were my friend, Ara." Kaden laughed and nudged Aratone's shoulder. "See, easy fix. I don't need some fancy stitches." He decided to leave it at that. While he had talked to Norne in passing, he wasn't sure she would be able to handle his joking for long, so he settled back into his spot and glanced back at her. "Sorry." His smile stayed as he watched her lean in to tell him what had happened at the apartments when he left. She was sweet and curious, and he could sense she was trying to piece together some things that had been absent from her own sight.

"Hm." He nodded, rubbing his chin slightly, and looked between Aratone and Max. He knew they were bound to fight. They were two very strong-minded individuals. He had known Aratone for years, and they connected on the woes this life led. Aside from Eden, he had told Ara almost everything. He trusted him in missions, so he knew that this man wouldn't back down from his place. "Ara does enjoy a cigar or two," he commented, noting the case that had been slid across the table. Norne then provided context on Fiona and Max. Kaden's expression was blank, and then he looked to Aratone, Maxine, and finally, Fiona. "Well, thats a strange combination." While Kaden wasn't one to gossip, the whiskey in his system made that possible.

"Fiona used to date Ara. Isn't that going to be weird with her dating Max?" He was thoroughly puzzled, and then he watched as Naomi worked up the courage to heal Max, Max doing a shot of vodka and the inevitable chaos that would soon follow. Suddenly he grew tired, but he didn't understand why. With a yawn, he thought for a moment. "And I thought that max was hung up on Nicole? I hope Fiona isn't playing her heart. She runs to Ara for everything-- can't do that when you're dating someone else."

Both of them watched as Naomi healed max. It was a curious situation that Kaden knew he hadn't seen before. But he noticed a shift in Naomi that caused him to worry. Norne's voice broke his concentration.

"Come on, the faster it's done, the better. Infection is a real threat to life, you know. Even if you say you don't need anyone to fuss over you, it's my responsibility to fuss over everyone in this group. I'm not going to let you put me out of my job."

Kaden looked up then and saw Norne standing, and then with a sigh, he did the same. He stood up on his seat, sat back down on the back of it, and turned to drop down from the circular seating arrangement.

"I appreciate your dedication, Norne."

"Thanks choombatta, feeling preem right now."

"Mm." Naomi nodded blankly, looking at the table and periodically switching her gaze to her nails. Finally, after a few moments, she glanced at Aratone and then looked back down. She had adverted her eyes because she knew they were blood red.

"I.." She started and felt her fang slide against her bottom lip. "I think I should head home. Will you drive me... Please?" She was quiet so that her small voice couldn't be heard by the others that talked and then looked up at him, hoping he understood why she needed to leave now. It was then... Norne stood up and tugged on Kaden's arm to have him follow her back to the apartment for stitches.Perfect "I'll wait in the car." Naomi said; she gave a closed mouth smile so the others couldn't see her losing her grip on this situation and slid out from her spot at the end of the table.

Back in the car, Naomi curled up in the front seat. She held her legs close and rested her chin on her knee, hoping this would keep her contained. Having nearly floated to the cab as Kaden and Norne walked ahead, she knew that this was only a taste of her issues. In her drunken state, she pondered her place in the Hunters Guild, and that thought continued as she curled up in her seat, watching the window for Aratone.
 

Kosmik_Khaos

Chaotic Wholesome
Supporter
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Location
Stuck sometime between here and there
Character: Naomi//Kaden// Fiona
Player/Group: Aratone ( @BennyQ ) Norne ( @ThatGeckoGirl ) Maxine ( @Fish is yum ) Namoi/Kaden ( @Kassia )
Location: Widows Peak Bar
Time: Monday Night, Tuesday Early Morning--> Bridge Apartments


Neb leaned back carefully in his chair, even if it looked to the others he was doing so casually. He learned quickly in the beginning to moderate his movements, he was a lot heavier and stronger than he looked. His unblinking stare flitted from person to person as the group spoke, an easy smile on his face. These were good people he was placed with, he could see it, they cared for each other, a fucked up little family unit.

"Preesh choombatta, you're looking fly enough to be walking around with a parachute." He shot back the compliment. "Just been tending to my Garden mostly. It's been at least 3 years since my last assignment so I was enjoying the high life while I could." Turning to Aratone he nodded in agreement with Max. "Yeah I operate the Hanging Garden, a touch of everything for everyone." Pouring himself another shot he took it with ease, his thoughts running off towards his club. With a little mental effort he was in the club's security system giving everything a quick once over. As he mentally flicked through each of the cameras he paused for a moment on on in particular. It was a hallway shot, and in the middle of the hallway was a huge black cat sprawled out on its back, forepaws straight up, hind paws slightly spread. "You're so fucking weird Mister." He commented to himself and resumed his quick scan.

He was brought his attention back to the table just in time to hear Kaden getting harangued by the whole table to get himself looked after. "Take care of your body while you can Kaden or you'll end up like me." Neb tossed in his piece on Kaden being stubborn about getting his stitches. It did seem that the others were going to get him to cave, especially Norne. She seem downright relentless in her duties. "Yeah Kaden. Don't put the pretty doctor out of a job."

Nebuchadnezzar froze. Uncanny valley still when Naomi started to heal Maxine. He had seen Vamps heal themselves, but hadn't seen them heal others. Then her eyes began to change and he saw it. The fear she had of loosing control, how she had started to open her shell just a bit with the drinks just to slam it back shut. This was hard for her and she was doing her best. That was clear to him. Breaking the unnatural stillness he glanced from Naomi to Ara, having heard her plea to be taken back, but not saying anything. He would talk with her when they went to her apartment. He was pretty sure he had the closest perspective of waking up to a whole new body.

Getting to his feet Neb watch Naomi leave first. Turning to Max he spoke up. "17th and Prospect. Little place with a garish green and pink awning, Ma Xian will hook you up with some of the best dumplings you'll find. If Pa is there instead, go for the spare ribs and fried rice." He offered the suggestion and looked at the others. "I'll be walking back. Got some things to clear up in my head." With a casual wave he turned and left Whiskey Peak, before he left he mentally paid the tab and being a club operator himself, tipped the entire staff knowing tips where how they made it.

Once outside Nebby walked to Ara's car. Stopping outside of the passenger door he didn't face the curled up girl inside, he just spoke. Loud enough that he knew she would hear him through the glass. "It might not mean fuck all, but here it is all the same. I'm proud of you kid, you did good in there. Helped your friends and kept your cool. There is no shame in having to walk away from a situation to collect yourself. I'll catch ya back at the apartment."

With that Nebby took off in a dead run, easily going from standing still to moving near 18mph in a few seconds. He could push himself and go faster but he hadn't lied about having somethings to work out in his head. While he sped through the city his mind reached out to the Net and he started to make multiple calls and texts at the same time. He had some favors to call in and possibly even a couple to ask for.

By the time he made it to the outside of the building Nebby had several things lined up for the near future. Looking at the apartment building and actually paying it attention the place wasn't all that bad. With a quick sweep he found the security to be really nice too. Going inside he made his way to the kitchen and common area and let out a low appreciative whistle. Nice. Better than anywhere they've put me up before. Looking around the kitchen he was impressed with the setup, he could see himself spending a fair amount of time in here if given the change.

Turning to go to his room Nebby ran into a major problem. He never asked which was his. With a shrug he left the kitchen and laid out on the common room floor letting the animals in the apartment approach him at their discretion. He was a new thing in their home so it was only fair to give them the chance to introduce themselves.
 
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BennyQ

αὐτοκράτωρ
Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Character: Aratone Palladino.
Player/Group: Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow/Doc Fiona (@Kassia), Nebuchadnezzar (@Kosmik_Khaos), Norne Irae (@ThatGeckoGirl), Maxine Connors (@Fish is yum).
Location: Widow’s Peak Bar-> Bridge Apartments.
Time: Monday, Night-time/Tuesday, Early-morning.

”Much better.” Aratone answered Naomi’s sassy retort at having to be more polite. Should respect one’s elders! Then, when Naomi as an immortal vampire got up in the years and had to look after a sprat of bratty Hunters in her time, she would understand what respect and deference to one’s elders should look like.

Again, another smirk flashed at Norne as she chided him not to encourage Kaden’s stubbornness in getting checked up. Been there. The two men were only digging their hole deeper, but it was all in good fun. At least for Aratone. Norne regaled Kaden about what had been going on and Aratone pretended not to listen, though she mostly told the truth and he didn’t need to color it with his own input and opinion. Yes, he and Max had a disagreement. And yes Kaden, Aratone used to date Fiona years ago, when they were young twenty-somethings full of passion. But it was not personal. Except the part about Fiona running to Aratone, and sometimes he ran to her, but that was beside the point. They were all adults now. After Naomi healed Maxine up and stumbled back to her seat, Aratone did slide over one of the cigars at Maxine’s request. Yeah good luck smoking that around Fiona, but that was Maxine’s own grave to dig. Hilarious.

Naomi, feeling intoxicated, and sufficiently exhausted after showcasing her new powers, expressed a desire to go home. And Norne as well, wanting to look over Kaden. At least Naomi said please, to which Aratone smiled at. ”Of course, little princess. Let me pay the bill, you go on ahead.” He said, as Naomi, Kaden, and Norne went off. ”You too?” Aratone stood and asked Nebuchadnezzar, who expressed his desire to walk back instead. Walk back? At night? His funeral. Though it would be dawn in a short while, maybe the night roaming vampires had already beat their own retreats back to their haunts. No matter. Aratone withdrew a few bills from his pocket, paying for the wine bottle and a bit off of Maxine and Fiona’s vodka. ”You kids don’t stay up too long, now.” He playfully chided the two women, before donning his long coat and heading on outside.

Nebuchadnezzar had just taken off. Naomi, Kaden, and Norne were already in the cab, dented and scratched up from the job but still operable. Aratone got into the driver’s seat and started up the engine, inputting the address into the navigation screen. ”Autopilot engaged.” Said a smooth robotic voice and the car began to drive itself, allowing Aratone’s intoxicated self to rest and relax a little. He adjusted the rearview mirror to look at Norne and Kaden in the back, make sure they weren’t needling each other too much, before giving a glance at Naomi tucked in the seat beside him.

At the start of the night, he had made her sit in the back, behind the passenger side, because he thought she might turn feral and try to attack them or something. Now, he fully believed…she was one of them.

”You doin’ alright?” He asked Naomi quietly, looking at her since he didn’t have to watch the road with the autopilot. Well, they could still very much get jumped by vampires but the night sky seemed to be brightening with the oncoming dawn, so they would have to be some very desperate vampires to attempt that. In any case, best get Naomi out of the sun before it rose. ”It’ll be dawn soon. Plenty of time to sleep. You’ll feel like shit in the morning. I didn’t see you eat anything but you drank. A lot. You’re supposed to sip wine, you know.” Aratone chided her, though he was being light, his voice came off as grim given his own exhaustion.
 
OP
OP
Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Naomi// Kaden
Player/Group: Aratone ( @BennyQ ), Nebuchadnezzar (@Kosmik_Khaos), Norne Irae (@ThatGeckoGirl).
Location: Widow's Peak Bar-> Bridge Apartments.
Time: Monday, Night-time/Tuesday, Early-morning.



"It might not mean fuck all, but here it is all the same. I'm proud of you kid, you did good in there. Helped your friends and kept your cool. There is no shame in having to walk away from a situation to collect yourself. I'll catch ya back at the apartment."

Naomi looked up at the window to see Nebuchadnezzar, who then spoke loud enough for her to hear with her window closed. She gave a soft smile and nodded to his words, but she wasn't sure how to take it. She didn't feel [/i]proud[/i] of herself at the moment; she felt like a monster-- lighting cigars with fire from her own body, healing ribs, and draining energy it wasn't normal. She watched as he headed off into the flickering neon lights and Arcadia city mist and bit at her bottom lip in thought. Sure, she had helped Maxine, but was it enough to hold her place with them? Was she better off with the vampires?

Suddenly she saw Aratone and watched as he made his way around the cab, settled into his place, and pressed the autopilot. The cab started without issues, and she looked forward while her chin rested back on her knee.

"It'll be dawn soon—plenty of time to sleep. You'll feel like shit in the morning. I didn't see you eat anything, but you drank. A lot. You're supposed to sip wine, you know."

Naomi lifted her chin from her knee, looked over at Aratone blankly, blinked, and then looked forward. "I don't eat like you guys, remember?" She gave another closed-mouth smile to hide her fangs. "Besides, you aren't my dad. You don't need to chastise me about my alcoholic intake." Keeping her smile, Naomi rolled her eyes before her foot slid down from the seat, and she sat neatly, smoothing out the skort like she had done several times that night. She glanced back at the review mirror to see Kaden leaning up against the side she had sat on once and appeared to be half asleep. She figured that might happen; he had also had a few drinks, and so did Norne, so she was quiet and didn't disturb them.

"You don't have to put this front up that you like me. I know both you and Kaden--" She glanced back to ensure he wasn't staring at her after mentioning his name. "--Don't trust me. So why put all this effort in?" Naomi looked down then at her hands and the glass-like nails, which didn't seem to retract even though she had exited the bar and wasn't using this new ability. However, she figured it was because she was hungry, but she would never let Aratone know that he was right at this moment. " I don't even know what I'm capable of. What if no human me is left to make rational decisions when I let these powers take over? It's inevitable, right? You've been doing this for longer than I have. " Naomi let her head rest against the headrest, then turned to look back at him, dark blood-red eyes scanning his features, looking for some explanation.

"Ara...I've tried to stay out of everyone's way for the last few weeks, but I still have to do this," her hands made a small circle as if gesturing to the Hunters Guild as a whole." ... That's the agreement. And unlike you, I won't ever be able to retire. How do I live with that? How do I go through this knowing I'll never be able to stop?" She paused. It took all of her being not to cry, and then she looked away; this terrified her. She felt so underprepared. Taking a deep breath, which seemed obsolete given her current vampire status, she tried to recompose herself quietly so she didn't draw attention to herself. Then her voice broke, and she clamped her mouth shut, glanced back at the others, and in a whisper, continued.

"What if... What if you're training me, and I do serious damage? I don't know what Im capable of. You show how much force I had to put on Maxine's ribs to heal her." Naomi waved her hand slightly and rushed her words as if trying to dodge the painful feeling in her throat caused by phantom tears. She had felt so excited to train; she had felt ready... now she felt dread. Naomi felt sick again, pulled her knees back up to her chest, she stared blankly at the cab floor.

Fortunately for Naomi, Kaden was out cold. He had crossed his arms over his chest and enjoyed the smooth ride without fear. It wasn't every day that could happen, so he took advantage of it. When the cab stopped in front of The Bridge apartment, he woke quickly and stretched to the best of his abilities while in the back seat.

"Thanks for the ride," Kaden said as she yawned and pushed open the cab door with a little force, given the dents. However, Kaden didn't think anything of it and stepped onto the sidewalk while holding the door open for Norne.

Naomi didn't jump when the back door closed; instead, she watched the two make their way into the lobby. Kaden stopped at the front desk to talk with Jessa, who seemed to lean in to provide him with additional intel and small cartage-- then leaned back to continue her landlord duties. After a moment, Naomi spoke in her usual, even voice.

"Also, how do I know that if I hurt you, you won't turn this around and say I attacked you?" While she knew that might have been reaching in this situation, she was still worried about how she had entered the hunters. Kaden still didn't feel warm toward her. She was curious to know if the others were putting up a front to be kind or if they truly enjoyed her presence. Naomi then paused and looked over at Aratone with wide eyes, realizing she had talked the entire car ride over, and the embarrassment welled inside her.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Location
USA
Character: Norne Irae
Player/Group: Aratone ( @BennyQ ), Naomi//Kaden (@Kassia )
Location: Bridge Apartments -> First Aid
Time: Monday, Night-time/Tuesday, Early-morning

The ride to the Bridge Apartments was rather nice. Being in the car was by far better than walking back during the night. Norne doubted she would get lucky a second time in one night. Getting blood on her sweater would be unfortunate...she liked this sweater. Her eyes shifted towards Kaden quietly as she sat on the other side of him in the back of the vehicle. It seemed he was resting against the side of the door for their ride. She didn't blame him. There was an odd sense of comfort in the car despite that she knew it would be more than easy for a vampire to tackle the car and tear open the door to gain access to them. This compact area gave a sense of security. It was a dangerous thing to indulge in rather than constantly being on edge. At least, that's what Norne's extensive training had ingrained into her. For this evening, however, she ignored those bells in her mind as she allowed herself to relax her head against the side of the door. She was intoxicated and felt comfortable - sue her.

Norne was quiet as she listened to Naomi speak. She didn't necessarily mean to eavesdrop, but it wasn't exactly easy to ignore comments made only a few feet away when it wasn't being conversed in secret. The words were meant for Ara. Her fears were real ones, and even Norne herself would be lying if she said she wasn't wary of the girl. She tried to put aside her biases against vampires for Naomi's benefit. As they reached their destination, Norne pulled from her thoughts of what the young vampiress was saying as Kaden awoke, stretched and got out of the car. She slid down the seat to where Kaden was holding the door open for her, but paused for a moment as she was just behind Naomi's chair. "You're a good person, Naomi - vampire or not. If you want to learn control, then you will. It just comes with time, as any training does. I'll help you train sometime. Trust me...you won't end up hurting me. I'm sure Ara can back me up on that," She said quietly, offering a light smile and small wink, "A lot has changed in your life in a short amount of time. Don't push yourself too hard. You're one of us, and we'll help you out. Until then, sleep well tonight."

With those parting words, Norne slipped out of the door. "How gentlemanly of you," She smiled at Kaden, "Thank you. Now, let's go! Time to stitch you up."

Norne didn't waste a moment. Intoxicated or not, she moved with sure-footed confidence and determination as she walked with Kaden to the apartment lobby. She paused as Kaden spoke with Jessa before continuing on with him to the First Aid. Upon entering the medical facility, Norne quickly went to the blue non-latex gloves and pulled them on. It was second nature at this point. She allowed Kaden to choose where he wanted to be as she began to pull out the medical supplies she would need. Steri-strips for the cut above his eye, alcohol swabs to clean both wounds, a sewing needle, thread, and the tweezers to pull the needle through. Norne paused at the Lidocaine, nearly grabbing the numbing solution before remembering Kaden was one of the few who didn't want numbing medicine used during the application of sutures. "You're positive you don't want to be numbed? I feel like I ask you this every time," She said with a small chuckle as she tugged the small cart that had her utensils over to Kaden, "I'm just going to clean the cut above your eye then close it with steri-strips. This will sting a little."

Norne leaned close to Kaden as she opened one of the alcohol swabs. Her touch was gentle as she swiped the wound of the dried, crusted blood and cleaned the skin around it. She was leaned closer in than she usually was due to her intoxication, but it didn't seem to affect her work. She swiped the length of the wound before setting aside the bloodied swab on the counter. Norne grabbed the steri-strips and, pinching the skin of the wound closed, she taped the strips over it to hold it closed. She eyed it for a moment before giving a small nod of approval at her handiwork.

"Alright, now the hard part," She sighed, leaning down and lifting up the sleeve of his shirt. She eyed the wound for a moment before doing the same - starting by cleaning the wound with the alcohol pad. "So. Why are you always so adverse to being treated? Do you like collecting the scars?" She asked teasingly, though she looked to him in interest with her question, "Why no numbing?" Norne set aside the alcohol and picked up the stitching needle and tweezer. She murmured a soft apology as she made her first stab. Using the tweezers to lift the flesh, she made swift work of her suturing. Her eyes were focused despite the alcohol in her system. Her fingers were nimble as she threaded through the wound with unmatched precision. Every so often, her fingertips just brushed the skin of his arm during her swift work. Norne sat at an intimate distance, again closer than she tended to put herself professionally.

"Finished," Norne breathed out after a few minutes as she finalized it with a small knot, "Don't leave yet. I'm going to apply antibacterial and put a bandage around it as well." She gave her instruction firmly as she got up and retrieved the extra materials. Norne was quiet as she returned and began to apply the salve before wrapping the bicep. "I know you don't want anyone to make a fuss about you, but I'm happy to be able to. Patching you guys up...it's a testament that you're alive, and I can help you remain that way. I'm not too late," She murmured, a sad smile curving on her lips as a melancholy look entered the depths of her eyes. She normally wouldn't say something like that if it wasn't for the intoxication.

"Not too bad for three whiskey shots in, huh?" She beamed as she pulled back to appreciate her work for a moment, meeting Kade's eyes while tugging the soiled gloves off her hands.
 
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OP
OP
Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Kaden
Player/Group: Norne ( @ThatGeckoGirl) Nebuchadnezzar ( @Kosmik_Khaos )
Location: Bridge Apartments -> First Aid
Time: Monday, Night-time/Tuesday, Early-morning



Kaden didn't know what Norne was talking about when she paused to speak to Naomi; he had fallen asleep in the 25 minutes it took to get home. He blinked, looked to the back of Naomi's head, and then felt... uncomfortable. He still couldn't get used to having her in the Guild, and he worried he might never get over that. How was it that Norne was so comfortable talking to her this way? He stared at her for a moment--Had he been so caught up in his misfortune that he had overlooked her? He knew he was too drunk to even consider this thought, but it would haunt him; he knew it would, just like everything else.

"Thank you. Now, let's go! Time to stitch you up."

"Yeah, anytime," Kaden said gruffly, trying to work the sleep out of his system.

While they made their way into the apartment lobby, Jessa called them over and leaned in. "Looking rough, Homie. Hey got that gig for you. Gonna be something fierce. You in?" Kaden stared at her, ice blue eyes trying to make a decision in his current state, he wasn't the leader of this group, but he did know a good mission when he saw one.

"Erra is hosting some fancy party in the Vamp district, and Arch Med is doing something shady. View the chip. Gimme a call if you need a 'runner." Jessa then turned away from Kaden and Norne to return to her work at the front desk.

Kaden stared at the chip in his hand, then pushed off the counter and to the elevator, following Norne back up to the apartment.

Once they had reached the apartment, Kaden spotted Nebuchadnezzar.
"Hey!" He said, giving a slight wave. "You found the place. Did you get your room?" He asked, then paused; no, why would he? Kaden had the map and the keys to his room. "Give me a sec--" He said it primarily to Norne as she was eager to patch him up. Heading into his room, Pepper followed; she watched him rustle around the armoire next to the door and pull out a building map with several loose keys taped to it. He walked out reading the map, once again Pepper following eagerly behind. "I have you in this room here, by Vanessa and adjacent to Naomi." Kaden then pulled the key off the apartment map and set it on the coffee table next to Neb, for which Pepper immediately sniffed it curiously.

"Come on, girl," Kaden said, rolling up the map and setting it on the counter. "Hey, Neb, make yourself comfortable. We have entertainment over there." He pointed to a massive screen attached to the wall. " Fiona bought by food before we took off for the bar. I'm not remarkable with decorating, so your room is pretty sparse, but feel free to add to it. You're one of us now." He set his hand down on peppers head and gently scratched the side of her ear. "Oh, uh, training room upstairs, First Aid and Armory, as well. Just take the elevator up."

Once he felt comfortable giving Neb the rundown of the place, he looked to Norne. "Okay, let's do this."

He felt dread when entering the First Aid station. He hated doctor offices, and this reminded him of one--cold, sterile... He closed his eyes before entering and thought for just the briefest of seconds the night that Estella had died, how he paced hospital halls waiting on word only to be told she hadn't made it. When he opened his eyes, he walked in, sat down on the same table Maxine had when Fiona had repaired her, and then laid back down on the cool metal surface.

"You're positive you don't want to be numbed? I feel like I ask you this every time,"

"yeah, no, I'm fine. I dont need anything numbing."He stared at the ceiling before his blue eyes shifted to an overhead light. He felt the sting of the steri-tip and blinked but didn't flinch. Kaden had realized that in all his years as a hunter, he had never once accepted numbing for any injury. There was something about it; when Estella died, he felt personally responsible. He had been there; he had arrived at Arch Medical to protect her, and he couldn't. He deserved this, she felt pain, and he would as well. While Norne leaned in closer to inspect her work, he watched. She was examining, trying to understand the wound, pinched it closed, and secured it with medical tape.

So. Why are you always so averse to being treated? Do you like collecting the scars?"

"I..." Kaden started and thought about her question. Nornes apology was soft, but he heard it as she stuck him with the needle. " It's alright. Don't apologize for doing your job."

He wondered if he should tell her, tell her how he felt he deserved the pain, how he couldn't protect his wife, how he felt that people fussing over him was unwarranted, and he simply didn't deserve their kindness. But instead, he stared at her and then watched the thread pull his skin close. "It's a waste. Someone else could use it more than I." Once she had finished stitching him up, he sat up instantly, pulled his arm towards himself to inspect her work, then nodded slightly at her expertise.

"Don't leave yet. I will apply antibacterial and put a bandage around it as well."

Kaden watched her return to her space beside him and then flinched at the antiseptic that was applied to his skin. "Shit." He chuckled slightly and gritted his teeth. Now she wrapped it to keep the stinging in, and he sat his elbow on his thigh and then his cheek in the palm of his hand.

"I know you don't want anyone to make a fuss about you, but I'm happy to be able to. Patching you guys up...it's a testament that you're alive, and I can help you remain that way. I'm not too late,"

He flicked his eyes over to her as she spoke, finally allowing his arm to relax at his side. She felt a sense of pride for what she did, just as he had for his line of work, but how was she able to just set aside her dislike for vampires. How could she just talk to Naomi like a human? How could she be this kind in a place like Arcadia?

"Not too bad for three whiskey shots in, huh?"

Kaden chuckled, "no, not bad at all."
 

Fish is yum

Super-Earth
Joined
May 3, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
Character: Maxine "Max" Conners
Player/Group: Fiona/Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow (@Kassia ), Aratone (@BennyQ ), Nebuchadnezzar ( @Kosmik_Khaos ) Norne ( @ThatGeckoGirl )
Location: Widows Peak Bar -------> The Apartments
Time: Night
Vernacular source: Streetslang



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Earlier before Max’s abrupt intoxication:
Max noted the engagement ring that Norne fiddled with, and felt her levity sink a little. Was there nobody who hadn’t lost a loved one to the vampires among the Hunters? She supposed there had to be, but it seemed to be much more common for there to be that kind of loss than not.

She turned to Neb and grinned, her chrome teeth glinting in the neon lights, sending flashing reflection around the VIP room. “Fulla shit but preesh that Choomba.” She said as the borg bounced her complements back at her. She vaguely remembered hearing once that this was how Neb was, trying to build others up, which was in its own way comforting.

After:
Max snarled silently, looking over at Fiona, who seemed more interested in Naomi’s powers than the Merc’s discomfort. At least someone is entertained… She thought to herself, struggling through the pain of her ribs being healed. She had to get tougher dermal armor. That or replace her bones, which would be more expensive by several levels of magnitude. She added that to the laundry list of upgrades she needed, the first of which being a fresh set of hands and probably arms. Fi said she needed to think about a replacement, which meant that they would probably give out again in a week given how hard she was on her equipment at times.

Ara tried to give one of the gifted cigars back and Max instantly pushed it back into his hand. “No Choom, thatsh fer you…” she slurred slightly, forcing him to keep both cigars. She’d find some smokes somewhere, or just smoke one of the others she had back at the apartment. At Nebs comments and directions to the dumpling place she simply gave a thumbs up, head getting more and more dizzy by the moment. She wasn’t sure what she would do with that info, the place most likely would be closed, but maybe she would try them out later during the day.

With the others gone, Max made a point of getting something to eat, settling on two grilled cheese sandwiches and salty fries for herself, and offered to get Fiona whatever she wanted off of the bars menu. She got malt vinegar for the fries, and after eating felt a lot better. Still drunk, but not uncomfortably so. After spending a little longer with Fiona there, they both decided it was getting late, or in this case, early, and decided to head back. Max paid the rest of what was due, though Max did order more fries for the road before leaving. “Dumplings next time…” She said contentedly with a bit of a giggle.

By the time they got back Max was exhausted, and she said “Welp, I’m gonna go to bed. It was an interesting night.” Metal eyes looked at the Mod Doc “Night Fiona.” And with no more ceremony than that, she swaggered her way to her room, shut the door, and went to bed, flopping onto it fully clothed. Dave poked out his head before climbing out of his heated bed, crawling across the floor to join Max by flopping onto her back, snuggling in a bit before closing his eyes as well.
 

BennyQ

αὐτοκράτωρ
Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Character: Aratone Palladino.
Player/Group: Naomi Richardsen/Kaden Harlow (@Kassia), Norne Irae (@ThatGeckoGirl).
Location: Bridge Apartments//Parking lot.
Time: Tuesday, pre-Dawn.

I don’t eat like you guys, remember? ”Yeah, you don’t.” Aratone corrected himself drily. It was a whirlwind of transition with her today, with sharp reminders of her unnatural vampiric self coupled with the fact that she was a Hunter as well. She was family, yet also infected by that murderous disease that their family was sworn to eradicate. But she didn’t like that remark or any remark on her condition. Or critique. Besides, you aren’t my dad. You don’t need to chastise me about my alcoholic intake. ”You still get drunk like us though, so maybe eating like us might help you with that…before you catch a hangover…like us.” Aratone just remarked casually. Didn’t hurt to try right?

I’m not your dad…who paid your bill and is driving you home? But he saw her smile and just shrugged. But then Naomi went on a more serious note, question his and Kaden’s concern for her. That they don’t trust her. And to be honest, Aratone still wasn’t sure he did, despite all her revelations and fighting alongside them. It wasn’t Naomi’s fault to say the least. She happened to be cursed with an affliction that ruined many lives. A disease driven by addiction and consumption of human blood, sometimes without regard or care for how they got it. Naomi may not have shown those signs yet, after all she was still very young, and Aratone didn’t like to make absolute assumptions in his mind. She might not be totally trustworthy, but on the other hand, she wasn’t entirely untrustworthy either. She was just a girl, caught up in a life and curse greater than she was. He knew what that was like. He also knew how easy it was to lose control. It took years for him to temper down and gain some self-awareness.

It was hitting Naomi a lot faster.

She knew all of what was wrong with her. Was it wrong? Maybe it was just different. They certainly didn’t understand it, and uncertainty always bred fear. ”I have.” He just acknowledged when Naomi pointed out his years of veterancy as a Hunter. Even as humans, sometimes they could lose their humanity too. To modifications, to the violence, to the cause. Was it inevitable? Some kept it restrained longer than others. Some broke a lot faster, sometimes in less time than Naomi had been a Hunter, however short that was.

He didn’t say anything as the vehicle robotically drove them back. He let Naomi speak. These were thoughts no doubt kept close to her heart and mind. Bottled up, raging and bubbling beneath a pressurized surface. She was drunk too, and the old adage always proved true, to let drunk people talk, and show what was really in their thoughts and feelings. Just saying it should surely be therapeutic, even if he didn’t have the answers for her. And those might not even exist. Who had ever been in a situation like this, like Naomi? She was afraid. Afraid of herself, of her powers, of her future, all deep and dark questions that a teenager like her shouldn’t have to deal with for a while yet. But this was the life.

How could he assure her? For him, this life started in childhood. He never had a chance to know what else could be out there. For Naomi, this came to her after she had a taste of normalcy in life. A home and a boyfriend and everything, from what he heard. And all that was ripped from her, suddenly and without warning.

They arrived back at the apartments and Aratone was still mulling over everything she had just said, not realizing Kaden had passed out, until Norne spoke up wishing Naomi well. ”Is he asleep? Do we need to carry him inside?” He instead joked about Kaden’s sleepiness, acting like he was overly drunk. But the man made it in alright, under Norne’s care. He would be alright. More than what he could say for…Naomi. And himself? Well, he stopped worrying a while ago.

Naomi was still afraid. Afraid of what she might do to him. He had endeavored to take up her training and education as a Hunter. There was no precedence for this. No stories or records of Hunter-vampire hybrids. No vampire was ever brought into their service. Those Hunters who were turned into vampiric nightmares usually went out taking as many of those night-stalkers as they could. All this was new. In the vehicle, parked in the barely illuminated lot of the Bridge Apartments, in the dead of night, in the silence of the darkness, they sat together. Aratone blew out a long breath of air. He felt so very tired and exhausted, more so than coming off the mission. It exhausted all his mental capacities to think of this, on how to reply to this, on what it might mean…for all Hunters. And maybe even all vampires.

”I think I made my choice. Whatever happens to me, happens. And I have no one to blame for it except myself. Because, Naomi, I can back out of this myself. And let someone else have the trouble.” Aratone began by saying. ”And…I don’t think I will. So you’re stuck with me, little princess.” He flashed her a smile, leaning back against his chair with his head turned to face her, fully and attentively now.

”You’re already asking yourself the questions that plague every teacher, I think. We just have to find out – together. There’ll be mistakes, that I have no doubt about. It’s how we learn and improve on those lessons, is it not? I guess we won’t know until we find out. I’m ready to find out. Are you, Naomi?” He asked her seriously, reaching over to grab her arm firmly, giving it an assuring, encouraging shake, to let her know he was just as invested in her future as she might be. He didn’t have the answers for her though. He didn’t want to give her false promises or hopes. Just an agreement. They’ll go through the good, and the bad, together. Like a family, right?

”As for retirement, living with all of…this.” Aratone leaned back in his seat and looked forward into the darkness, with all the illumination of Arcadia shining up behind the shadowy structures that were the Bridge Apartments. ”Life is still full of possibilities. You might find another hobby you enjoy more. Or you might make this your life’s work, until you have no more breath to give. I guess you’ll just have to be content, like me, in that you made the world a better place. So some nineteen year old girl somewhere else might be able to live her life and not have to go through what you went through.” Aratone concluded, feeling as if that might be reward enough. ”It will be thankless, but not joyless, at least not all the time. You’ll find your pleasures where you can. Just like you’ll find your successes.”
 
OP
OP
Kassia

Kassia

𝕷𝖎𝖙𝖙𝖑𝖊 𝕭𝖆𝖙 🦇
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Character: Naomi
Player/Group: Aratone ( @BennyQ ) Norne ( @ThatGeckoGirl ) Maxine ( @Fish is yum ) Nebuchadnezzar ( @Kosmik_Khaos )
Location: Bridge Apartments//Parking lot.
Time: Tuesday, pre-Dawn.


As the others left the bar, Fiona waved to them and took a sip of her drink. She commented on some of the outfits the women wore at The Widow's peak and then ordered from the menu. While the two ate, she watched Max and then snuck a few fries off of her plate.

"Dumplings next time…."

Fiona agreed, "yes, dumplings would be wonderful." She giggled, nodding to the suggestion, and set her hand on Max's. While the night had been full of conversation, meeting new and old Guild members, and watching an astonishing miracle. Fiona was tired." Come on, baby, let's head home." Slide out from the Circular seating area, she led Max back to the car.

The drive was short and quiet, with the absence of the electronic music that Fiona usually pumped through the speakers. Instead, she hummed to herself something of a lullaby, then parked the car in The Bridge Parking garage when they had arrived home. Fiona had spent a considerable amount of time working on herself as a person-- discovering who she was in this world, and it was nice to know that someone out there had found her new reinvented self...pleasant. She didn't know where this would go with Max, but she enjoyed her company.

Max bid Fiona good night, and she did the same, then took off down the hall closest to the apartment's front door. It was dangerous to start relationships in the Guild. Still, Fiona knew that sometimes this was needed in the wake of tragedy. She hoped Max would come to terms with Nicole and hoped it would strengthen her.

Fiona had several hobbies outside of being a Mod Doc, one of them being a tattoo artist for those interested. As she pulled out her small kit at the desk she had in her room, she set out a few colors in small silicone tattoo ink cups and began practicing a few images on synthetic skin. It was then she heard a knock at her bedroom door.



"You're a good person, Naomi - vampire or not. If you want to learn control, then you will. It just comes with time, as any training does. I'll help you train sometimes. Trust me...you won't end up hurting me. I'm sure Ara can back me up on that," She said quietly, offering a light smile and a small wink, "A lot has changed in your life in a short time. Don't push yourself too hard. You're one of us, and we'll help you out. Until then, sleep well tonight."

Naomi didn't turn to face Norne; she was still too far gone in her mind to comprehend the kind words the woman spoke. Norne was a gentle woman, one that Naomi admired-- How could someone so gentle and kind live in a place like this?

"Thank you," Naomi spoke into her knee as she held her legs close to her, she could feel Kaden's eyes burning into the back of her head, but she wouldn't give him the satisfaction of turning to glare.

Once the door closed, she sat in silence for a moment, though it didn't feel awkward. She had made her peace with her place in everyone's eyes.

"I think I made my choice. Whatever happens to me, happens. And I have no one to blame for it except myself. Because, Naomi, I can back out of this myself. And let someone else have the trouble." Aratone began by saying." And…I don't think I will. So you're stuck with me, little princess."

Naomi didn't interrupt Aratone as he spoke. If there was something she was good at, it was listening. She was eager to learn and anxious to discover herself in all of this. Then, she grinned. This was the second time he had called her a princess, and she found it entertaining. "So glad you noticed, Ara." Then playfully, she pushed his arm and returned to her position, her knees to her chest and listening to him work through her concerns with her.

He spoke confidently even though he didn't have the answers she was looking for, and she knew he wouldn't; it would be impossible to ask him to unpack all of her worries in one night or at all.

"You're already asking yourself the questions that plague every teacher, I think. We just have to find out – together. There'll be mistakes that I have no doubt about. It's how we learn and improve on those lessons, is it not? I guess we won't know until we find out. I'm ready to find out. Are you Naomi?"

He shook her arm, making her smile, and she nodded her understanding. Maybe that was the encouragement she needed. Everyone was so closed off to her; there she was, a ghost ship in the night that no one could get closer to for fear of lore and legends, and here he was trying to figure it out with her. She hoped that others would follow the same course, even if they were weary of her. But if he was willing to put aside his differences to talk to her, was she even ready to find out if others could do the same?

It seemed easier to run to the vampires and eliminate the issue. But then she looked to the side of him in thought at a flickering neon light in an alleyway--like that was her beacon of reason. "I... I guess I am." Her voice was smaller; she wasn't too sure of it herself, but then swallowed, the pain in her throat from her nerves subsided, and she closed her eyes. "No, I am. I have to be. I didn't have a choice in becoming this, but I have to roll with what I've been dealt."

" Life is still full of possibilities. You might find another hobby you enjoy more. Or you might make this your life's work, until you have no more breath to give. I guess you'll just have to be content, like me, in that you made the world a better place. So some nineteen year old girl somewhere else might be able to live her life and not have to go through what you went through." Aratone concluded, feeling as if that might be reward enough." It will be thankless, but not joyless, at least not all the time. You'll find your pleasures where you can. Just like you'll find your successes."

The idea that he could see her as a role model of sorts to someone her own age made her tilt her head curiously. She had been so wound up in her own frustration and pitying her own situation that she hadn't thought about how she could be helping them, how she could help them take these vampires down with some training so that no one else had to suffer how she did. She still had her doubts, but she knew in her current state she couldn't truly work on those right now. Naomi needed a few packs of A-300 to sober her up so she could sleep and think clearly in the morning.

With a heavy sigh, she stretched. "Thanks, Ara." Naomi knew she would have a proper appreciation for him going forward; he had stayed in the car with her despite his own judgment and history with her in the Guild. Reaching over, she patted his arm and giggled softly. "Better get out of the car before people think we're a couple or something."

With that, Naomi pushed open the door and closed it behind her. Naomi made her way into the apartment, waving to Jessa, who was half asleep at her desk. The night had taken a strange turn, but she had made the appointment with Fiona to finish out the tattoos she had received before her change. Knocking gently and the bedroom door and was met by Fiona with a smile.

"I thought you may have forgotten." She said, looking at the shy vampire in her doorway. "Come in." Naomi inspected Fiona's room and smiled; it was just as glamorous as she was. Taking a seat on a leather-bound stool. Naomi lifted her shirt slightly and stood looking into the vanity mirror where Fiona had set up her equipment. "Here?" Fiona asked as she pulled out a pre-planned lettering she had been working on for the girl a few days prior. Naomi nodded and watched as Fiona applied the stencil to her side. Checked the placement and then nodded. " I think this is a very accurate representation of how you should view yourself. " Fiona smiled and started to work on the lines of the lettering. Looking down, Naomi viewed the word "Shame" as though a sword had sliced in half. It was true that Naomi could no longer harbor the shame she felt for who she was; she was a Hunter and would carry that mark for as long as she lived.


 
Last edited:

BennyQ

αὐτοκράτωρ
Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Character: Aratone Palladino.
Player/Group: Naomi Richardsen (@Kassia).
Location: Bridge Apartments//Parking lot.
Time: Tuesday, pre-Dawn.

No, I am. I have to be. I didn’t have a choice in becoming this…

Same for all of them. All of them inside, whether they were kind and fatherly like Nebuchadnezzar, or fierce and fearless like Maxine, or collected and stubborn like Kaden, none of them got to pick if this was the life for them. They were born of Hunter lineages. They had the mark on their arm, same as Naomi. Coming to this conclusion was all apart of the Hunter’s path of education. This is what they were chosen to do. They had to sacrifice all, to build and craft a better world, for millions of people who might never hear their names, tales, or songs. Not that many who were uninvolved with Hunters or Vampires to begin with were ever truly known either. But at least they had all the possibilities of life before them. And them, the Hunters? This was all there was.

He watched her mull over the words. It was a lot to swallow. He wouldn’t blame her if she chose to spit instead. But she held on to it, holding it down like she held her wine down. She was a strong girl. Guilt wrecked him for his hasty judgements but their life wasn’t an easy one. Surprises were often coupled with fatalism in their line of work. It was easy to trust the familiar and the certain. This would be new for all of them.

She sighed. A decision had been made, unseen and unheard, but it had been made. If she wanted out, she could walk away right now, into the shadows of the night, and find her own future. At least it would be entirely of her making right? But no, she chose to stay. She thanked him, she patted his arm, and laughed even. …before people think we’re a couple or something. ”Heh.” Aratone just rolled his eyes. ”True or false, you tell them to mind their own damn business. Go on inside. I’m going to get some air before I head on in. Goodnight, Naomi.” He beckoned her, watching her get out of the vehicle and walk on it. Only when the doors shut behind her did he let out his own, exhaustive sigh, pulling the recliner and leaning his seat back to lay down a little.

Fuck, what a day. He closed his eyes and folded his hands on his abdomen. And tomorrow would be a host of new challenges and worries. He was glad though that everyone seemed to be on the same page. Him and Maxine, him and Naomi, they may have different paces at which they read, but it was all the same book, and they all came to the same conclusion. They were family. And Aratone wouldn’t have it any other way.

It would be too late before he realized it, but there, in his vehicle, he drifted off to the realm of sleep, until the first rays of the sun would gleam through the mirror and stab at his eyes. A new dawn, a new sense of hope.
 
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