Splinters

I knew the night would be an important one so I needed to be prepared. I invited Aaron to the warehouse but he was looking rough. It appears that he has no place to go…he is like a ship without a rudder. I offer him a job keeping the place cleaned up and tell him he can live in the warehouse as long as he minds his own business and does his job. Although he offers to work for free, I tell him I will give him a fair wage for a fair day of work.

A bit later Tessa comes to my place and I tell her about Victor. She is hesitate at first, but I assure her that he means her now harm, and we both go inside to speak with him. Victor kneels before her and asks her to relieve him of his duty. Apparently his Reeve ordered her death and he was under obligation to see it through. With but a word she can free him from this task. The dynamics of his situation are mildly interesting, but Tessa quickly frees him after asking a few questions. Still, because of his failure to carry out his task he requests that she mark him in some way. Tessa asks me to carry out the task, so I strike a blow to his chest above where his dead heart resides and tell him, “In the future try and follow that old voice from your dead heart rather than blindly following orders.”

As I walk Tessa out, I can’t help but reflect on Victor’s personality and nature so far. I believe he is somebody I could come to respect. I think we share a few common traits. Tessa and I will soon be heading for The Dark Star and Ivy’s grand opening, but she chooses to head their alone while I have two lovely ladies to meet with.

When I finally join Arianna and Natalie in the limo bound for The Dark Star, the two of them look striking and it feels good to be wedged between them talking and engaging in playful banter. I’m surprised how much I care for them both in just a short time, and I can’t help but wonder if the intimacy of the “kiss” works both ways? The two of them are so very different but I value them both. I finally ask them what they would have me do for them, and both of their responses seem quite fitting.

The more submissive Natalie wants to be confident and powerful. She uses me as an example and we clearly have different natures but I think I understand where she is coming from. I tell her that she needs to hone her mind and body first, but I can help her with that. I also decide at that moment that I will eventually offer her the chance to join Arianna at my side. I will teacher her how to be confident, and then perhaps with a little effort I teach her the ability to captivate a crowd. 

In contrast, the heiress Lady Montoya wants to change her future or destiny. She has a fiancé but she wants to be free of him. She would like me to free her of this arrangement, although she is not implying that she wants him harmed. I am not entirely surprised by her request since it didn’t appear that they were drawn together by love. While there were many ways I could approach this, I wanted to handle her request in a practical and sensitive way if I could. I told her that I was sure that I could address the issue for her, and she was pleased.

Finishing the ride with the ladies was calming and made me feel alive. It’s funny the conversations that people have when they are comfortable around each other. Although I couldn’t deny that they had a sort of hunger or need in their eyes, our time together felt natural and even normal. I felt alive with them and I still couldn’t understand why Kindred would ever treat such close companions with cruelty or disregard.

At the Dark Star, Ivy greeted me at the door with a short embrace and some small talk. It felt like we were both settling into our own in our new world and although we both came from different worlds and maintained different goals, in a strange way she sorta felt like family. Actually, all of my Coterie did lately. I suppose sharing a life and death encounter will do that to people…and even Kindred. The one thing Ivy and I did agree on was our desire for peace with The Lost Ones.

After a little time with the ladies I joined my Coterie for a short discussion and we all seem focused on staying alert for danger and looking for an opportunity to interact or negotiate with the Fae that had infiltrated the club. Ivy was preparing for her big performance and I told her what she already knew…she has a gift. I told her to go out there and show The Lost Ones that we are more than what we seem…we are more than monsters. As she began to walk away I told her that I have never heard anybody play like her.

Ivy’s performance was spectacular, although we all wondered if violence would eventually break-out. As the crowd responded to Ivy’s playing it swayed in an almost unnatural way. After the show, the Coterie made their way up to the VIP lounge and I actually took Lady Montoya with me since Natalie wanted to keep dancing. I figured it was a good time to give Arianna a little glimpse of my world.

In the lounge we all discussed our options for the future. We hoped that The Lost Ones would come to us to negotiate but for the time we were debating whether to help our sires, oppose them, or perhaps even direct The Fae’s anger toward them. Tessa told us a bit about her visions and assuming they were true, it appeared we could help maintain some measure of the status quo and earn the trust and loyalty of our sires, or we could take actions that would shake the foundation of the city as we know it.

Overall, most of my Coterie did not seem opposed to thwarting our Makers in some way, although any clear decisions were interrupted by a visit from the Lost Ones that we were waiting for. When Ivy presented her instrument to Mr. Brightside, in the hopes of making some amends for our role in The Muses’ death, Mr. Brightside said he spoke on behalf of the ruling court. He then stated that they had been told that we were born from their enemies, but giving them a token as we did is not something True Fae would do, thus they were open to discussing peace.

How strange this whole thing is. Just over a year ago I had no idea that some of the world’s myths and stories were true. Yet there I was standing in the midst of Vampires, Faeries, and who knows what else. Still, the one constant was the politics, the power, and the weight of decisions that would soon be made. At one point I thought that I could remain at the fringe of this Nighttime World and just do my own thing. But it was becoming clearer with everypassing night that perhaps the fate of the Coterie was not entirely our own.