Hanging at Shades' (Open)

Ysabel sat at a table in the corner of the club, the same one she'd sat at a few nights ago when she'd first come here. This would be the second time this week she would get to see Ambrose play. He didn't much like live gigs, by his own admission, but he had some friends in the business (everyone has friends in the business!). They were a band called the Moochers, and Ambrose had told her he often filled in for them if their guitarist wasn't able to play. That individual been sick all week, so Ambrose was covering.

Although still dubious about rock in general, Ysabel had definitely taken to jazz and blues. Moreso the first time she had come here. The club was named Shades', after its owner. When they'd entered a few days back, Ysabel had at first been put out by the slightly smoky air but the darkness of the club, brightened here and there by a few dim blue lights, appealed to her sensitive eyes. Tables were set fairly close together without being crowded, around a moderately sized dance floor. Against the far wall, just behind the dance floor, was a slightly raised stage. On the left as you entered was the bar, and behind that a set of doors Ysabel assumed led to a kitchen, for the club provided snack-like foods... nothing substantial really, but appetizers and things to nibble on while listening to your favorite local band.

Shades himself might have intimidated Ysabel if she hadn't had so much experience in dealing with people. Even as a man in his apparent 60's, Shades was an imposing figure. He was at least 6'5", muscular in spite of his age, and he moved with a spring and an energy that belied his tightly-curled, greying hair. He was of African-American descent but anyone would have been hard-pressed to know exactly where he came from. His voice held no discernable accent. He was never seen without his trademark sunglasses, and it was no secret among the vampire community that Shades was one of them - although no one seemed to know when he'd been turned or who had turned him. The club's name was not just a reference to its owner, but a small tribute to their race as well.

Shades, Ambrose had told her, almost never forgot a face or a name. Ysabel found that to be true. When she'd entered the club for the second time, without Ambrose who'd gone around the back to meet the Moochers there, Shades had greeted her himself and brought her to the same table she'd been at before. He treated her like a good friend and Ysabel couldn't help but imagine that if she'd been in a bad mood when she'd walked in, Shades' attitude would have dispelled it immediately.

The quiet popularity of the club was a tribute to its owner. Ysabel liked it here. She had heard Shades play last time she was here, and although she couldn't have said before that she was particularly fond of the saxophone, she was willing to rethink her position on the subject. She was hoping to hear him play again tonight, perhaps between sets.

She sat quietly, as she had done before. The waitress seemed nervous; perhaps she was new. Ysabel politely ordered a glass of white wine, doing her best to put the poor girl at ease. She probably had no clue that she was standing in the middle of a vampire-run club, but in truth there couldn't have been any safer place. Shades' rules on the subject were clear: humans on the premises were off-limits, whether working or patronizing. The club may be dimly-lit and smoky, but the discreet bouncers missed nothing, and kept a sharp eye out for any sort of trouble.

((ooc: Ambrose's views with permission.))

Pakpao 17 years ago
God she –hated- the parking here. The club itself held a fair number of people, more than the small parking lot could handle on a busy night. On nights like that, you had to resort to parking in the tiny alley behind the place. There was no on street parking, it was a dead end street and the other businesses were quite clear about non-patrons monopolizing their real estate.

Tonight it appeared to be busy but not a killer night as Pak was able to slide her little red T-Bird into a corner spot in the poorly lit lot. God help anyone who scratched her precious car, she’d take them out. It was a classic after all.

Sliding through the lot she stopped at the bar to order, it was as good of an excuse as any to see if Shades was in. He was. Having wandered into the club off an on for years she wasn’t a regular but he knew who she was and they could even banter back and forth a bit. Tonight though, there was enough of a line that they both cut it short and she ordered Trois Pistoles and headed for a secluded table.

She was in the process of shooing off on of the servers and sitting down when she caught sight of one hell of a dress. Now granted Pak had dressed for the club but this gal she didn’t even know what to think of. Finally, she mentally shrugged it off, in Shades, it wasn’t that out of the ordinary, so Pak just kicked back and light a clove waiting for her beer and enjoying the music.
Ysabel 17 years ago
The young waitress finally returned, gracefully placing a glass on the table in front of Ysabel and then turning to place one in front of the woman who'd just come in and sat next to her. Ysabel paid no mind to the glass immediately; she was enjoying the current song and hoping to see Ambrose soon. He didn't spend much time backstage that she could tell... perhaps because she was there. Although he professed to be more at home in the studio and preferred to be in the audience rather than on the stage at live events, Ysabel certainly couldn't tell that he'd have preferred to be somewhere else except for the fact that aside from a few minutes backstage, he'd spent the entire night at the table with her last time they'd been here.

Ysabel wasn't about to complain.

Absently she reached for the glass in front of her, her eyes on the... rather energetic young singer onstage. Fortunately her sensitive nose caught a fairly strong odor that shouldn't have been there. Suddenly far more attentive to te liquid in the glass, Ysabel wrinkled her nose and looked down. Instead of a nice white wine, there was a dark liquid in her glass that smelled strongly of yeast and maybe a bit of fruit. Ugh. Maybe something Ambrose would have liked (although she didn't think so), but as near as she could tell he wasn't anywhere in the room, and she couldn't see that he'd have ordered ahead.

Peering over to the next table, she saw what looked like a wineglass. Perhaps the nervous waitress had mixed up the orders? She hesitated a moment, torn between the possibility that Ambrose had had this sent and the idea that maybe the orders were crossed.

Finally, she reached over and very gently placed her hand on the woman's arm to get her attention.

"Excuse me, I don't mean to bother you... but might it be possible that the waitress mixed up our orders?"

Ysabel held up the glass as evidence and waited.
Pakpao 17 years ago
Holy shit! Pak half lurched out of her seat and spun around to see who and/or what the voice was. She’d been lost in thought, although she couldn’t tell you what she’d been thinking about, the only reason she was aware any time had past was she was half way through her clove.

Physically shaking her head to clear it and try and refocus on the world around her she wasn’t really surprised to see the er well dressed woman leaning twoards her. She was polite but Pak wasn’t quite sure what she was talking about. It wasn’t until Pak lifted the glass and was thinking about taking a sip that she caught a sent that was very much not the beer she’d ordered that Pak under stood.

She goggled slightly at the wine before smiling and nodding agreeably.

“I think you might be right.”

She casually regarded the dark beer the other had with her and then became certain the orders had been swapped.

“Trade you?”

She said with a polite smile while offering the glass of wine to the other.
Ysabel 17 years ago
The woman jumped when Ysabel touched her so she quickly removed her hand, gentle though the pressure had been. She accepted the wine glass from her and handed back the beer... if that's what it was. Not exactly a ladylike drink, a little part of her more snobbish side insisted, but she was used to Dayle drinking it so she supposed she'd grown used to the idea.

"What exactly is that, if you don't mind my asking?" Ysabel wondered if her sister might like it. She could at least find out what it was, and if Dayle seemed interested perhaps Ysabel could get some for her. She certainly hadn't smelled its like before.
Yuu 17 years ago
Yuu slowly emerged from the opened door of the yellow cab. Standing straight, she put her hand on the door, looking up at the dimly lit sign of the new club she had heard about. Shades...or The Shades, it was definitely different. One of the interns at the office had told her to take a cab since the parking was ridiculous at this hidden little nook of the city. They were right, it was crowded beyond all get out.

Unconsciously she smoothed her tight, gathered skirt that had risen from climbing out of the cab. Yuu was wearing pvc vinyl and it hugged every curve. Her corset was cinched tightly but she was used to the discomfort. It was layered red and black vinyl that looked like a V shaped weave and it pushed up her breasts to gigantic proportions. The weave extended down the back in an elongated V. Her hair was straight and parted down the middle. She was vamp all the way and she had no idea how well she blended into the dark little club.

Turning back to peer into the cab, she waved and smiled.
'We doing this, D?'
Danielle 17 years ago
Dani slipped out the cab with only a little struggle owing to her knee length pencil skirt, grinning up at Yuu.


She’d never been to this particular establishment, but it came highly recommended and she thought it was an ideal place to spend some time with Yuu. If the crowd were any indication, this could be a great little location she’d managed to miss until now.

Walking inside, she saw with some relief that, just like most of Nachton, the dress was diverse enough that her ‘disheveled naughty librarian’ and Yuu’s ‘pvc wonder’ looks both fit in just fine. She had been worried about showing too much cleavage but going out with the always lovely Yuu tended to bring out her own sexy side. Now the problem was finding a place to sit; while their looks might fit in their booties may not. Scanning the room, she ended up turning to Yuu with a shrug.

“Do you see an empty table? If not we can join up with someone else or just sit at the bar…”
Pakpao 17 years ago
She returned the white wine to its rightful owner. The idea of the lighter wine seemed refreshing enough, although she preferred red and wasn’t that sorry to see it go; especially when she got her beer back. The dark rich beer wasn’t stocked by many places in the city and went better with her cloves at any rate. So no, she wasn’t sorry at all.

“Trois Pistoles. It’s a dark ale, I suppose you’d call it a Belgian style ale but they brew it in Canada.”

It was just geography though as the brewery really did go out of their way to keep things traditional. But, appreciative of the beer though she was Pak didn’t see the need to go into detail with her neighbor.

“Its really very good, you should try it.”

That was assuming the other woman liked red wine. Oddly enough, folks who didn’t like reds didn’t like dark beer, at least not in her experience.

Clove going to waste; Pak took a drag but carefully exhaled away from the Elizabethan.
Yuu 17 years ago
Yuu narrowed her eyes and shrugged as she peered around the dimly lit club. 'Well, we could always sit at the bar...'

Just then her eye caught a familiar piece of lace. The victorian dressed girl, from the park the other night. Interlocking arms with Dani, she gently pulled her across the room to the table.

'Hello. It's...Ysabel, correct? We met the other night at the garden?' Yuu hoped she remembered her. She'd rather not sit at a bar with this outfit and being so short. Her feet always dangled embarassingly.

'I'm Yuu and this is my friend Dani Martin.'
Ysabel 17 years ago
Ysabel gratefully accepted her wine from the woman at the next table and smiled as she swirled it gently around the glass and then took a delicate sip. "I'm not sure it would really be to my liking," she admitted, "however, I thought my sister might like to try it some time."

She repeated the name, to cement it in her mind. "Trois Pistoles. Hmm."

Just then she heard her name being spoken, in a voice that definitely did not belong to Ambrose.

'Hello. It's...Ysabel, correct? We met the other night at the garden?'

Ysabel peered through the dim, smoky atmosphere to see Miss Yuu standing there. It had rather been several weeks, instead of a few days, but she took the expression to be meant loosely. She did indeed remember the pretty Asian woman from Vesper.

"Miss Yuu, the lawyer!"

Her smile lit her face and she turned to give the other woman a nod as well, from one equal to another. "Well met, Miss Dani."

Ysabel glanced around and noted how packed the club was tonight. Although she had hoped she and Ambrose would have the table to themselves, there were obviously too many people in the club for each couple to have their own. Yuu was most likely hoping to be invited to join her, and Ysabel had no qualms whatsoever about that. Good manners alone would have had her inviting the two women to join her, but she recalled enjoying Yuu's company in Vesper.

"Please, won't you both sit down? It's so crowded in here. Oh... unless you're already meeting someone?"

Her small handbag was on the chair next to her, proclaiming it taken for when Ambrose appeared, but there were still two empty chairs at the table.
Danielle 17 years ago
Dani let herself be pulled in the direction of Yuu’s choice, uncertain of where they were headed, but they stopped soon enough in front of a lovely blonde and Yuu made introductions.

“Pleased to meet you, Ysabel. And thank you for the invitation, I hope it’s not an imposition? It –is- quite crowded here.”

Smiling, she put her hand on the nearest chair, but a familiar face at the next table caught her eye and she paused to get her attention.

“-Pak-! Oh my god, I didn’t see you there! What a coincidence!” She stepped back a bit to introduce Yuu and Ysabel. “This is my friend Yuu, Yuu this is Pakpao, she heads up the IT department at Meridian. And I see you and Ysabel have already met? Delightful, you would think we had planned this!”
Pakpao 17 years ago
She nodded confirmation of the beer's name. Drinks exchanged and the other woman, Ysabel as Pak picked up on the introductions had company. That was fine by her, she’d be content to blend into the background again, although she did take, a quick look at the new arrivals as names were exchange. The one name meant nothing to her but the other warranted a second look. Yes, it was Dani all right, and yes, she had been half hiding in the shadows.

“And I didn’t expect to see you here. Hi Dani.”

She smiled warmly at Alfarinn’s keeper.

The two tables were close enough and small enough that the group, now of four, could easily share the space. Pak used her foot to nudge on chair out for either of the two new arrivals.

“For a complete coincidence it is working out well. Nice to meet you Yuu. Sit down the place is packed.”
Yuu 17 years ago
Well, well, Yuu thought. Small world.

'Thanks much!' She pulled a chair out for Dani and seated herself next to Ysabel. Yuu nodded over at Pak and cracked a warm smile on her otherwise expressionless face. Her demeanor was usually cold, but being with Dani always made her giggly. Crossing her legs, her vinyl skirt hugged her curves tightly. With a side look she checked out the area, returning looks from acceptable young men who noticed her.

To no one in particular, she leaned forward so she could be heard better. 'So, this is our first time here, but I've heard good things so I dragged Dani along with me here. What's this place like, usually?'
Ysabel 17 years ago
When Dani expressed her hopes that they weren't imposing, Ysabel immediately shook her head. "It's nothing of the sort," she assured the woman. "I'm rather new to Nachton, and looking forward to meeting people." She nodded a bit to Pak as well, to include in her in the sentiment.

An air of mischief colored her voice; Ysabel was quite certain Ambrose wouldn't be inclined to agree with her. He could be fairly covetous at times and was somewhat... reluctant, here and there, to share her company with others. She didn't think he'd be ungracious, but she imagined he might be a bit disgruntled. However, he would surely understand that there was no way she could be so rude as to force Yuu and Dani to stand. He was new to Nachton as well; maybe he wouldn't mind meeting people either.

As Yuu spoke, Ysabel leaned forward as well, so she could respond in kind to her question. "I've only been here one other time before, myself. It was lovely though." With her eyes she indicated the large black man behind the bar and behind the sunglasses. "That's Shades, there. He played a few nights ago, himself. I'm hoping he'll perform again tonight. But beyond that I can't tell you anymore."
Ambrose 17 years ago
Damned Katrina could be long winded wouldn’t it just be easier just to say they’d rushed through the third number and she wanted to do the Cab cover in the second set. But instead, she went on for god only knew how long and he had Belle waiting. Finally, she was done. It was a good thing he liked her and the rest of The Moochers or he wouldn’t have put up with her rambling.

Leaning slightly more heavily than usual on his cane, he searched the crowd for Belle. Fortunately her wardrobe always made her easy to spot, but who was she with, not that it mattered. Flagging down a server he ordered a beer and crossed to the table.

“And I thought I was the reason you liked this joint but his killer on that horn of his isn’t he?”

Ambrose had paused a bit behind Belle, making a halfhearted attempt to sneak up on her. She was apparently happy to see him as she stood to greet him enthusiastically. Because she was wearing a rather imposing dress he only noticed two other women and grinned at both of them, one of whom he recognized.

“Evening Yuu good to see you again.”
Dawn Ratana 17 years ago
Earlier in the evening, she'd received a new communique from her former master.

Dawn -

By now you have likely established yourself within Nachton in the areas that you are most comfortable. Though youth culture and aggressive personalities can be useful at times, they should never be the only tools at one's disposal. The mailed fist is most useful after the velvet glove. On the night that you receive this, perhaps you should look outside of your sphere of comfort and extend yourself further. Stretch, and grow. Experience a new place and explore other aspects of your surroundings. Meet new allies and new tools. Expand your repertoire and thereby your usefulness to your Family.

Practice being native to a different social class and different region. This will aid you through the ages as much as being strong of body. Examine that another way of life may be as valid as your own.


Like a schoolgirl heading to a dreaded class, she'd started on her evening's plans. She'd ridden around awhile on her newly arrived baby, and found a club she'd heard about...supposed to have some badass old timers that played some mean blues and jazz. Jazz was aight, but blues was some good shit when done well...and it almost always had to be an old timer to really know what it meant to be down. Kids just didn't know. We youngins just have too many dreams still intact to be near jaded enough to pour out like that. Just the way of the world.

To more effectively play the part, she'd returned to the manor to dress the part. Starting with the hair, she pulled it all up and put on an all black wig with a modern cut...not traditional, but not edgy at all. Next, she selected an all white women's suit with a Thai cut and detailing. It didn't come out much, but was both comfortable and functional, unlike some of the dresses. Finally, she'd arranged for a driver, and arrived via sedan car - nothing too fancy, but not the bike.

Walking in was quite the mix - everything from the upper crust business folk to some pretty rugged folks who looked like they'd come through some of what the crew'd be singing about later. Wide range of clothing, too...everything from a very nice vinyl bit, to biker leathers, to business attire, to historical reenactment clothes to cowboys...

Waitaminute. Cowboys with canes?

Go fucking figure. The one night she'd banked on NOT being recognized, she'd picked a place with other Anantya in the house. Well, like a good student she'd watch and learn for the time being, then tip her hand at the opportune moment. With any luck Ambrose would play along. If he noticed at all...he was in lovely company, after all, and she DID have totally different hair and way different clothes on. Now that she was looking more closely, one of the ladies he was with looked familiar, too...maybe from around the Manor...yes...Fallon's party, she was there.

Nothing for it but to let it play out. Ordering a glass of white wine, she stayed to the side, casually watching the crowd, sipping her drink. Above the knees she was a picture of poise and grace, all proper. Her right foot, however, was tapping like mad. She'd be better once the music started rolling.
Danielle 17 years ago
Dani grinned at Pak’s seconding of Ysabel’s invitation and joined Yuu in taking a seat, glad to have joined up with neighbors so quickly. Nodding at Ysabel’s expressed desire to meet new people, she added:

“This is splendid all around then.”

She thought the idea of getting all dressed up to hang around with a group of women was just delightful…and apparently a few guys had the same thought, as their table was getting glances. She wondered how long it would stay ‘just us girls’.

Amused at Yuu’s passing comment about dragging her here, she shook her head in adamant denial, though her smile rather contradicted that. Ysabel and Yuu were chatting about the club and she looked in the indicated direction, easily spotting the owner in spite of the crowd; the shades were hard to miss. She turned back in time to spot an invasion to the girl territory, and mentally snickered at the thought. Intruder alert, intruder alert! XY incoming, I repeat, XY –incoming-!.

It was obvious, though, that this particular gentleman was known to Ysabel and Yuu both; another interesting coincidence to be sure. Beyond that it was difficult to say, as Ysabel’s dress was rather blocking her view of the man. She turned to Pak with a good humored half shrug, half questioning look, as though to say ‘you know this guy too?’
Yuu 17 years ago
Yuu glanced up and recognized the man approaching the table. It was the Ambrose fellow she met along with Ysabel at the park. She had been left with an annoyed memory for some reason. Thinking a moment she recalled why. Being the snob that she was, she took great offense to men who did not pay the proper amount of attention. Ambrose had been significantly enamored with Ysabel, not that Yuu was remotely interested...it was the point.

So with a rather bland look and her eyebrows raising just a smidge, Yuu gave him a half hearted smile and then continued to look around the room at the other propects. Snobbery...at its finest.

With present company temporarily ignored, her eyes scanned the room and much to her surprise, a rather tall drink of water caught her attention.
Simon Huntington 17 years ago
Simon crossed the street with a confident stride, not bothering to watch for cars. Wearing dark slacks that were tailored perfectly to his 6'4 frame, he pulled the cuffs of his dark red, silk shirt out from under the matching dark suit jacket. He had forgone a tie, hoping to relax a bit before Carol met him at Shades. He glanced at the bodyguard by the door as the 6'7 beast stepped aside to let Simon in front of the other patrons outside.

The club was dark and pleasantly smokey. Pushing his hands through his hair, he scanned the room and found his target behind the bar. Walking up he gave Shades the smallest of smiles and with a nod, a waiter came up and escorted Simon to a dark corner table. Slipping the waiter a $50, he whispered into his ear to give the couple he was boosting a round of drinks on him.

As he sat his drink, a dark ale, was brought to his table. Wrapping his long fingers around the handle, he looked up directly into the face of an asian woman who was making it her business to have him notice her. The woman gave him a small, half smile and nodded. Not one to ignore a compliment, especially from someone wrapped that tightly in vinyl, he took a healthy swallow from his beer and as he set the glass down, lifted a finger in response.

She looked...familiar. His mind reeled trying to recall her face. Looking off next to her, he immediately recognized Danielle Martin, Alafrinn's assistant. He was now curious and took the opportunity to say hello to Dani and meet the asian woman who had yet to break his stare. Reeling in the predator in him, he remembered Carol would be arriving soon and he didn't need to have his new companion seething jealous, so planning on behaving himself, he stood and approached Dani's table.
Pakpao 17 years ago
When the Elizabethan stood it cut off Pak’s line of sight. She had no idea who the new arrival was. All she could tell from the voice and the greeting was it also a guy that Ysabel knew, rather well at that.

She shrugged and half shook her head at Dani’s unspoken question while glancing mean fully at the fabric wall that was Ysabel.

“Haven’t got a clue.”

Politely, but grudgingly, stubbing out the remains of her clove (at least for now) she concluded she didn’t know what to make of Yuu. However, she wasn’t too worried about it either.

Letting greetings be exchanged she simply continued on without interrupting the couple.

“What drug you two out tonight?”
Ysabel 17 years ago
Ambrose's arrival on the scene was met with an enthusiastic hug. What Ysabel would have liked to have been a deep kiss was a chaste 'we're in public' brush on the cheek. She did, however, slip her hsmall soft hand into his larger, rougher one.

Turning to make introductions, Ysabel bristled inwardly at Yuu's dismissal of Ambrose. She didn't really care what the woman thought of him personally... but... manners! Still, she did remember hers, so it was with an open smile that she focused instead on the other two women as Yuu appeared distracted.

"Ambrose, these are friends of Yuu's." Well, a friend of Yuu's and a friend of Yuu's friend. "Dani, and Pakpao." She left off any honorifics she might have been tempted to use, as the evening was growing more and more informal.

"Pakpao, Dani, this is Ambrose Townsend. He'll be playing a bit later."

Rearranging her skirts she sat once more, pushing the empty chair next to her out a bit so Ambrose could take his seat as well. She heard him greet Yuu and Dani, but when he greeted Pakpao she turned to look at him questioningly (manners?). Her glance was forestalled by the odd smile on his face.

Keeping her back to their company she pulled subtly on his hand, hoping he would sit, since it looked like Shades was getting ready to play after all.