Pranzare ed il teatro (attn. Amberelle)

The limousine wasn't out of place as it pulled up to the kerb in front of Enzo's. In face it was the third one in line waiting to discharge it's passengers in front of the well established restaurant. Despite the subtle facade of the unassuming entrance, the immaculately dressed and groomed doorsmen gave Enzo's away as a place of distinction, if not discretion.

Alexander had chosen to trust Amberelle's taste and discretion for both the dining and entertainment portions of tonights social engagement. And he had no reason to doubt her so far.

Even Roger who was driving the limosuine had exclaimed to Alexander what excellent taste and foresight Amberelle had. Alexander had smiled at Roger's wistful sigh, and remembered again that this wasn't the man's full time occupation. But when it came to service, Roger's was second to none and Alexander could not fault Rupert on his choice.

Alexander half expected the flash of lightbulbs and the press of reporters buzzing with excited questions to greet the pair when the doorman finally opened the passenger side door to the limosuine. Alexander adjusted his silver cufflinks one final time as he exited the vehicle and stepped into the crisp night air.

He stood to one side and held out his arm for Amberelle to gently lever herself out of the limosuine with. She had truly outdone herself tonight. A delightful black satin dress and heels to match Alexander's black suit and leather shoes, and a wonderful fragrance that was both elegant and sophisticated.

Alexander took Amberelle's delicate hand and watched in subdued awe as she calmly exited the limousine and smiled at him for his politeness. She placed her hand through his as the pair stepped forward onto the carpet and the doorman greeted them in Italian with a warm and genuine smile that only further widened when Alexander slipped a hundred dollar note into sturdy hand.

Alexander was used to this, generosity tended to be rewarded with polite service and special favour in establishments like this from London to Rome, and Alexander had come approporiately prepared to ensure both would not be lacking tonight. After all this was Amberelle's night as much as his.

"Some things never change," Alexander said softly to himself as he and Amberelle made their way up to the host's podium.

Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
Once Alex had stepped out, Amberelle picked up her small black clutch and scooted closer to the door. Glancing at her reflection in the dark glass, the vampire almost expected to see herself glowing. She certainly felt like she was. But what looked back at her was simply an elegant blonde with upswept hair and eyes that glittered just a little brighter than normal. Twisting slightly, she took a moment to ensure the seams in her stockings were straight then pulled her black velvet wrap tighter around her.

Exiting gracefully with her date's assistance, Amby let her golden eyes meet his clear blue ones and smiled. The Creole felt like a Princess arriving for the ball, her Prince at her side. Had trumpets sounded at that moment it wouldn't have suprised her. Her eyes roamed over him discreetly, almost drinking him in. He looked incredibly handsome in his suit and her pulse seemed to skip a beat.

Smoothing a hand over her dress, the vampire took his hand in hers, relishing the small contact. If they had been alone she might have leaned her head on his shoulder or pressed a kiss to his cheek but here in public she resisted the impulse. Walking with him to the door, Amberelle knew she would be the envy of every woman here tonight.

Pausing inside the dorrway she waited as he moved behind her to take her wrap. His fingertips brushed her shoulders and arms and the blonde shivered. Turning her head to the side she closed her eyes and inhaled his scent. While she wasn't familiar with the cologne, the musky citrus blend mixed with the essence of him was heady enough to send a jolt of electricity down her spine. He checked the coat and she took that moment to calm her erratic heartbeat.

Taking Alex's arm again, they walked to the waiting host who greeted them warmly.
Overhearing Alexander's comment to himself she chuckled quietly. Amberelle shot him a sideways glance with a faintly amused smile. I suppose I'll take your word on that, you would know more than me, she said to him softly.

It pleased the young Anantya that Alex seemed perfectly poised and the epitome of elegant sophistication as he dealt with the man. Knowing her clanmate was also a dangerous, accomplished fighter as well as the charming gentleman he appeared to be had her wanting to know so much more about him and what else he could be hiding behind that deliciously good looking face.

I really should learn Italian, she said quietly as they were led to a waiting table. Amberelle thanked their host quietly as he helped her into her seat then presented her with a menu. Not bothering to open it yet, she took a moment to look around and admire the beautifuly appointed restaurant.
Alex West 17 years ago
The restaurant was more than acceptable, it was comforting, if the truth be told. To many times the American's had tried to import the best of European refinement and elegance and ended up with garish monstrosities like those in Las Vegas. Pale imitations that lacked both substance and soul. Enzo's on the other hand may be an Italian restaurant, but it wasn't afraid to proclaim that it was an Italian American restaurant. Indeed part of the charm was its rustic homage to Italia as well as the roots that been established in the America's.

And while the wine list definitely catered to expensive tastes if one so desired, the menu was an agreeable mixture of European Italian and Italian American favourites and classics. Alexander smiled. He and Amberelle would definitely be spoiled for choice tonight, and while it was highly unlikely that this place would cater to more refined drinking requirements of the pair, Alexander was definitely looking forward to dining with Amberelle and catching up with her.

Feeling somewhat frivolous, Alexander ordered a bottle of Lambrusco, a light, fruity red that was not too strong or heavy on the palate. While some considered it an inferior wine, the very lighthearted nature of Lambrusco seemed to suit the Alexander's mood and the upbeat rhythm of the band that played in the background.

While he waited for the waiter to return with a bottle and glasses, Alexander smoothed down his jacket and watched Amberelle as she continued to soak up the ambiance of the place.

"Penny for your thoughts?" Alexander asked.
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
Not saying a word as he ordered their wine, Amby mearly smiled slightly, pleased. He'd picked one of her favorite wines without even asking. That certainly was a good sign.

Opening her menu, Amberelle looked up at Alex and gave him a teasing smile.
You know, a penny doesn't buy much anymore.. But I'll take it. I was just thinking that this is a nice place. I've never been here before.. I have to remember to put in a good review on the website I found it on. She pursed her lips and glanced around a second. Actually It kind of reminds me of this little Italian place in the Quarter I used to go to a lot. They're nothing alike really... it just has the same kind of.. warm.. feel. You know what I mean?

The couple looked over their menus a moment, and Amby thought about the choices. There was a suprisingly wide variety. She wanted nothing too heavy, too spicy or too garlic laden, even though she loved that kind of thing normally. However it didn't exactly work as date food, especially since she was hoping to get some dancing in while they were here. 'Not to mention the good night kiss, later.' A warm smile curled the corners of her lips at that thought. The Anantya found what she was looking for and nodded. Setting aside the menu she said, The lobster ravioli sounds good, I think with the.. asparagus.

Their waiter returned with the wine, and Amby was quiet, glancing around and watching the dance floor while he poured them each a glass of the sweet red wine. Lifting her glass for a silent toast, the vampire watched her clanmate over the rim of her glass as she took a sip. His mannerisms were elegant and refined, either the result of a great deal of time spent cultivating them or they came naturally to him. Suddenly she was feeling out of sorts as she tried to balance the normal facade of socialite she wore when out with who she truely was. There was no reason to pretend around him, she just had to remind herself.

Smiling over at her date, the blonde gave him an appraising look.
So.. do you want to get all the customary first date, "20 questions" out of the way? It occured to her that Alex might have different views on dates and what to do during them than she did. After all she had no idea how old he was. Since they'd been seated in a nice quiet spot without anyone too close to overhear their conversation, especially over the music softly playing, Amberelle didn't think it would hurt to speak candidly.

I'll go first? At his nod, she smiled. So you know where I'm from.. how about you? Where, and when?
Alex West 17 years ago
Alexander swirled the light red wine around in his glass and sniffed deeply. He took a gentle sip and savoured the fruity, tangy flavour of the chilled Lambrusco before placing the glass before him and staring at Amberelle.

His pale blue eyes seemed to flicker with an inner light as he spoke softly to her.

"Where shall I begin?

I was born in Calcutta, India in the year of our Lord 1763. It was a time of progress, and of change. France had been forced to ceede Canada to the British in the Treaty of Paris, thus ending the Seven Year's War on the American continent. In Europe the Prussian's and Austrian's and their allies sued for peace by way of the Treaty of Hubertusburg. There was a great earthquake in Komarom, Hungary and a terrible fire in the ancient Greek city of Smyrma. King George III reigned over an ascendant British Empire, although the unrest simmering in the British American Colonies began to surface in the following year during the War of Regulation and eventually lead to open Revolution against the British Crown.

And before the decade was out, Madame de Pompadour would pass away quietly, Josef II would become the Holy Roman Emperor, Montreal would burn, Bonnie Prince Charlie would lay claim to the English throne, Jean Chastel would kill the infamous Beast of Gevaudan and Captain James Cook would make his first voyage."

I grew up away from the troubles and pressing concerns of Europe and the America's. I was born and raised in India, my father was a diplomat and senior member of the British East India Company. I never knew my mother, and I had no brothers and sisters. I come from a long line of bankers, traders, diplomats and soliders."

Alexander paused for a second as he considered.

"No I take that back. I had brothers and sisters, but most of them weren't white colonials but native Indians and peoples from the other trading houses and diplomatic outposts. My father was somewhat indulgent."

"And you Amby, It must be time for a question of my own before I continue to get to the answer of 'when?' What is your own history?"
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
Amberelle listened attentively, nodding at times. It was still amazing to her the things her clanmates had seen and been a part of. That connection to history was the one thing about being a vampire that had always seemed appealing. To be able to see the rise and fall of nations, be a part of the shaping of societies.. Alex had seen the events that led to, well, everything she had ever known. It fascinated her, and in a way she envied him the experience. And yet she felt so young and inexperienced in comparison.

I'm afraid mine is far less interesting.. Amby gave him a wry smile and took a sip of wine. Swirling the glass a moment, the Creole thought about just what to say. She leaned back in her chair and looked up, watching him as she spoke. I was born in nineteen seventy six, the American Bicentennial. Not really the most exciting of times.. I was born and raised in New Orleans. I never knew my parents.. I was only a couple of months old when they were killed in an accident with my aunts and uncles. Her tone was neutral, it had been a fact practicvally her entire life so she had come to terms with it long ago. The details of that night had never been very clearly given to any of the children, and despite their efforts none of them had been able to find out much. Part of her was glad not to know, it really did make it easier she felt. Well, I come from a long line of thieves, assassins and spys. Holding up a finger to ask for patience before he could judge, she blonde went on to try and help him understand that statement. Let me explain some about my family. For generations.. I'm not even sure how many.. the De'Espionnes have served the Clan and my Sire. Her jaw clenched and a hint of the bitterness she felt seeped into her next words. Property I guess you would say. Familiars and the like, the lucky few of us chosen to serve for eternity.

Amberelle took a long sip of her wine, trying to wash away the anger that thinking about that always brought out in her. Looking over at Alex helped to calm her and her face softened again. Shaking her head slightly, she continued. He and his wife took in my cousins and my brother and I, and raised us publicly as their grandchildren. We were brought up with their more.. old fashioned.. views. Trained to function in high society, to be proper ladies and gentlemen. A slight smile curled her lips. Well, according to an Ancient how to be. Also, we learned how to serve Anantya. Martial arts, weapons, subterfuge.. My Sire, Gustav, is a Nightsman and also has a rather.. expansive.. organization beyond the Clan. Kindred mafia I guess you'd say. So there was always a call for pretty girls to loosen lips or lure the unsuspecting. Plus, those of us who did well in our physical training were taught even more ways to be of use. Lucky me, try as I might not to, I excelled.

Something sad passed through her golden eyes and she gave Alex a lopsided half smile. So yeah.. nothing nearly so interesting as you. Finishing the last of her wine, she set down her glass and cocked her head at him slightly. So, how did you come to be Anantya?
Alex West 17 years ago
Alexander smiled slyly.

"I died, or rather I didn't die exactly the way my creator intended me to."

He swirled the glass of wine and took a deep draught before sitting it back down and patting his lips clean with the napkin.

"One of my father's closest friends, and one of my tutors from childhood had been an Oriental gentleman and trader by the name of Chao. I never knew his first name, and he never bothered to tell me. His was the other hand that guided my path during my years in India, and like my father, was none too pleased with my decision to become an officier."

"My father's worry and Chao's disdain would later prove them right when I was wounded in battle. Not mortally, as the English Doctor's would have me believe at the time, but enough that I was sent home to recuperate. It was Chao who tipped the odds against me regaining my place in the sun, and for that I curse him and venerate his name. Chao chose my father because he knew he was useful for business, and he chose the son because I was useful for his other business. That of Anantya.

"I developed a fever, a common enough occurence amongst Europeans living in India and gradually deteriorated. I died and was to be sent back home to England to be buried. Chao graciously took upon himself the task of making sure that I made it to England. Of course it was a lie.

"His knowledge of medicines was far greater than any English Doctor's and he faked my death with ease, only to take my life when we were far from the shore and headed towards the America's, not England. The crew were all his retainers, and there was nowhere for me to run to or from.

"The wretched little vampire and I would remain bound to each other for many years and he proved a difficult taskmaster. But it was worth it in the end. Each sharp blow, and each stinging insult levied against me was for a reason, a purpose. And there was one maxim he drove into me night after night. Honour, loyalty, and obedience to Anantya beyond death.

"I have no idea how old Chao was, but he claimed to have been young when my ancestors were rutting in the forests of Saxony and hunting wild boar."

Alexander laughed quietly and placed his hands on the table.

"Sometimes I miss him, and sometimes I swear I can almost feel his eyes upon me with the half critical and appraising gaze of his. He taught me that without a sharp mind, quick hands were nothing. And that without strong hands, a great mind was useless."

Alexander winked at Amberelle. "And now my dear, I believe you owe me a story."
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
Amberelle leaned forward and caressed one of Alex's hands gently before squeezing his fingers. With her eyes she tried to convey her understanding, and offer comfort. If he sensed it or not she wasn't sure, but she hoped he would. The vampire knew better than to try and say anything, words were so hollow when it came to wounds like those.

While she knew she should withdraw her hand, the contact was comforting and she wasn't ready to give it up until she had to. The blonde glanced at her empty goblet and wished she had a little more to calm her nerves before she began her unpleasant tale. As if on cue the waiter materialized and refilled the couple's glasses, earning a brilliant, grateful smile from Amby. She barely paid attention as Alex ordered for the two of them, still thinking over what he had said as she took several long sips.

They had a lot more in common than she had imagined and it made her heart ache for him. The Creole knew that pain and anger very well, she still harbored her own. And it occured to her, he was someone who could finally understand her and someone she could speak to honestly. That was worth more to her than her weight in gold.

Once they were alone again, she squeezed his hand one last time for support and began to speak quietly. Oui, I do owe you one. She took a deep breath and began to tell him what she had never told anyone else. You weren't the only one brought into this against your wishes.. It was four days after my nineteenth birthday. It was about five and a half weeks before I was supposed to move to New York and get ready to start attending Julliard in the fall. A sad smile crossed her face briefly. I was so excited, I was going to finally be free.. far away from the family and the Clan and on my own.

It seemed like a floodgate opened and Amberelle found her story just poured out. It didn't require thought, she'd been over it a thousand times in her mind and it was still as clear as the day it happened. There's this pizza shop on Bourbon Street I used to go to all the time, they're part of the uhh.. 'family organization' you could say, so I could always get a beer, even being underage. Funny the priorities of youth.

It was Friday night but it was still kind of early so the place wasn't too crowded yet. Just a few couples, a Mom with her little girl, and me. I was up at the counter facing away from the door so I didn't see these punks when they came in, but one of them was almost right beside me when he pulled a gun on Frank at the register. The other one was pacing up and down the aisle, swinging his gun around pretty wildly. I had absolutely no intention of trying to stop them, even though I should have. After all that was kind of part of the family's arrangement but I really didn't care, you know? I was getting out and to hell with them.There was a slightly guilty look on her face, but she made no appologies.

But the kid... Amby sighed. She started screaming and the robbers were screaming and yelling for her to shut the hell up. The second one was pointing his revolver at her, and I could just sense it. He was going to do it, he was too wired. So, I decided I couldn't let that happen. I mean it was a little kid! Mind you, I was unarmed. But I was so cocky.. Her eyes closed briefly and she shrugged. It wasn't too hard, I may have been human but I was well trained and these were your typical street thugs. It only took a few seconds and I had the one disarmed and on the ground, and two shots made sure the other kid wouldn't be pointing a gun at anyone again.

Glancing up at him, she smiled faintly. I did say I was cocky, non? Well, I hadn't seen them come in, so I didn't even realize there was a third one sitting at the booth beside the door. I saw him about a split second before the slugs hit me in the gut. Swallowing hard, Amberelle took another sip of wine. It was a couple of 22s and they pretty much made a slurry out of my insides. I hit the ground and the next thing I knew I was home, and there was my Sire's smug face looking down at me, congratulating me on becoming a true member of the family.

It took a few seconds but when what he meant sank in.. I lost it. A dry chuckle escaped her lips and she smiled faintly. Yeah, I went pretty crazy and said some things... Her jaw clenched and she ground her teeth as some flashes from that time came back to mind. Let's just say the first few weeks afterwards are a blur, I'd insulted him pretty bad so he had to make me pay. But Grandmere interveined and made peace between us, as best as could be done I guess.

After that.. well it took me ten years but I planned and saved, and eventually found a good time to get away and I came here. The Elder Morrigan allowed me to stay and she assured me my Sire didn't own me despite his claims. Amberelle felt a little drained, having gotten all of that out in a fairly quick rush. Even after more than a decade the wounds were pretty raw she realized. Taking a deep breath, she finally met Alex's eyes and smiled slightly. That was umm.. the first time I've ever really told anyone what happened.
Alex West 17 years ago
Alexander held her delicate fingers in his hands and listened quietly as Amberelle spoke of troubled things and dark times. Part of him wanted to reach across the table and hug her, as if to reassure Amberelle that he was more than capable of protecting her. And that would have been a lie. As skilled as Alexander was, Amberelle was moreso, and there would always be one would be superior to her. And Darwinism amongst vampires was a very nasty thing indeed.

All Alexander could do was hold Amberelle's hand and squeeze softly, reassuring her that she had his undivided attention. Here, and now as he looked into her eyes.

Alexander detested vampires like Amberelle's sire. Creatures that acted like monsters because they could. He detested Gustav with as much mixed loathing and respect that Alexander held for his own sire, who justified every action with a reason. Alexander smiled at Amberelle. At least he could show this one vampire that their kind had every capacity for honour, loyalty and compassion as they did brutish arrogance and cruelty.

Alexander was no hypocrite. He was no saint and he had done morally questionable things in his past and would probably be condemned to carry out equally questionable things in the future. All he could offer Amberelle would be himself, as he was. Not tainted by the rose coloured glow of attraction or scarred by naked lust and wanton greed. He could not be a man. He had not been a man for nearly two hundred years.

But he could be the vampire that she believed did not exist, did not allow herself to hope did exist. He hoped that it would suffice. That she would accept him for what he was as he accepted her for who she was, irrespective of their pasts and circumstances.

Alexander maintained his smile as he quietly drew up her hand and ever so gently pressed his lips to her fingers.

You will never need to repeat that to me again Amby. Who you are is not what you were. And what you become will be greater than what was once. I only hope that I am worthy enough to walk beside you on your path, no matter how long or short the length of time I may have. And I hope that you consider me worthy enough to share in my own path of destiny."
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
Amberelle had completely forgotten to breathe as she listened to Alex speak. His words brought a jumbled rush of feelings to her breast and tears stung her eyes. Blinking quickly in an attempt to clear them, her hand turned to cup and caress the side of his face as she gave him a tentative and tender smile. The blonde drew in a shaky breath as she simply stared into those intense blue eyes. It took her a moment to be able to respond and when she did her voice was thick with emotion.

Alex.. how could I not think you worthy? Amby shook her head at him with an incredulous look on her face. Now the Creole knew she had made the right decision to open herself up to this man, that Ysabel's advice had been correct and for that Amberelle was immeasurably in her friend's debt. He had shown her more respect, tenderness and understanding than anyone else in her life. And that was in no more than the collectively few hours the pair had spent together. Hell, she thought, Alexander's simply stated belief in her being more than her tainted past had shown her that about him.

It's me who should be so lucky as to deserve someone like you. I.. I'm no angel, and I am sure you're not perfect either. But, I hope you're right and I can really put the past behind me.. that we both can be more than what we were, as you said. Right then all she wanted was to walk around the table, sit in his lap and have him hold her. Amberelle would never do something like that in public but she was sorely tempted.

It's not easy for me to be open with anyone, to let someone be close to me or to trust anyone. A shoulder lifted slightly as she shrugged. It was probably no suprise to him but she wanted to be sure he knew that fact. But, I would be honored if you would let me try. You'll just have to be patient with me..?
Alex West 17 years ago
Alexander returned Amberelle's smile and nodded.

"You're no angel, and I'm no saint. And between the both of us we've probably committed enough misdeeds to have the scales of Heaven tipped against us."

He held her hand tight and looked her firmly in the eyes.

"But I can promise you this Amby, I will be patient. It has been a long time since I have had anyone I could call a boon companion, and you honour me with your words and your presence."

Silence hung in the air as the two vampires regarded each other in a new found light. There was no need to reply. No need at all. It was enough for Alexander that she returned his smile and nodded ever so slightly when he finished speaking.

There would be no star-crossed lovers, no Anne Rice type infatuation between vampires. But Alexander knew there would be romance. As antiquated as that notion seemed in the modern world he still believed in it, no matter how far he tried to distance himself from it. He had no illusions. He wasn't the white knight come to sweep a distressed damsel off her feet. But he would hold Amberelle's hand as an equal, honour what she considered precious, and try to soothe away what she feared most. He would love her unconditionally. There was no greater gift he could give to her.

The moment was brief, however, as the waiter returned, leant forward and softly spoke to Alexander, announcing that their meals had been prepared. He stood back and waited for a response.
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
Taking a moment to compose herself as their plates were set before them, Amberelle took a slow, deep breath. As foreign as these new feelings were that she was dealing with the blonde needed a chance to try and get them under control. One moment she found herself elated the next terrified, a rollercoaster of emotions had run through her wreaking havoc on her mental state. But, Amby knew it was all worth it for the promise he had made, and the one that had passed silently between them. Alexander would give her the time she needed and Amberelle knew without a doubt that if everything she was feeling was able to blossom it would be the kind of love she had never expected to be able to find. It was a momentous realization, to finally be able to admit to herself she could love someone and know it would be returned in kind.

Unfolding her napkin onto her lap, she focused on slowing her erratic pulse and continuing to breathe normally. When she looked up to meet his gaze again she was once again collected and gave him a smile glowing with all the happiness she was filled with. Yes, she would take this chance and she vowed to do everything in her power to make it work.

The food looked and smelled delicious, her plate generously covered with plump pasta filled with cheese and Maine lobster in a delicate butter cream sauce and paired with perfectly cooked stalks of asparagus. His veal marsala looked equally as appetizing. Any other time she would have admired the presentation and savored her delicate dish, maybe even asking for a taste of his, but now she barely noticed what she ate. Her attention was devoted to Alex and all she wanted was to be finished and have him sweep her out onto the dance floor so she could be closer to him. But she didnt want to sit in silence as they ate, so she decided to resume the questions but keep the subject much lighter in tone.

So how many languages do you speak Alex? Personally I know six.
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
Taking a moment to compose herself as their plates were set before them, Amberelle took a slow, deep breath. As foreign as these new feelings were that she was dealing with the blonde needed a chance to try and get them under control. One moment she found herself elated the next terrified, a rollercoaster of emotions had run through her wreaking havoc on her mental state. But, Amby knew it was all worth it for the promise he had made, and the one that had passed silently between them. Alexander would give her the time she needed and Amberelle knew without a doubt that if everything she was feeling was able to blossom it would be the kind of love she had never expected to be able to find. It was a momentous realization, to finally be able to admit to herself she could love someone and know it would be returned in kind.

Unfolding her napkin onto her lap, she focused on slowing her erratic pulse and continuing to breathe normally. When she looked up to meet his gaze again she was once again collected and gave him a smile glowing with all the happiness she was filled with. Yes, she would take this chance and she vowed to do everything in her power to make it work.

The food looked and smelled delicious, her plate generously covered with plump pasta filled with cheese and Maine lobster in a delicate butter cream sauce and paired with perfectly cooked stalks of asparagus. His veal marsala looked equally as appetizing. Any other time she would have admired the presentation and savored her delicate dish, maybe even asking for a taste of his, but now she barely noticed what she ate. Her attention was devoted to Alex and all she wanted was to be finished and have him sweep her out onto the dance floor so she could be closer to him. But she didnt want to sit in silence as they ate, so she decided to resume the questions but keep the subject much lighter in tone.

So how many languages do you speak Alex? Personally I know six.
Alex West 17 years ago
Alexander put his fork to one side and patted the mouth down with a napkin. Taking the glass of Lambrusco he took a small sip.

He placed the glass back down and smiled broadly at Amberelle.

"When I was young, my father made ensured that I learnt the languages of trade and commerce. You know I speak French and English. Well I also speak Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. All languages of the seafaring and trading powers at the time. Although some were more propserous than others. I had to learn Latin as well and growing up in India I became intimately familiar with the Indian dialects of Hindi, Punjabi and Sanskrit. My business means I deal with contacts and associates from Europe to India itself. So thankfully my linguistic and writing skills are kept relatively up to date."

Alexander thought for a moment, and then continued.

"More reccently I've decided to learn Mandarin. I'm afraid my conversational skills are somewhat poor, but one must adapt and change if one is to continue sailing the economic tides of fortune."

Alexander laughed softly.

"And what of you, Amby. Six languages. You must have a gift for the gab, so to speak. Pray tell."
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
As she'd listened Amby had managed to clear a good portion of her plate so she set aside her fork and delicately dabbed her mouth, being careful not to smudge her makeup. Chuckling, she shook her head no. Gift for gab.. no. I always tried to be quiet and unnoticeable. Chatty Cathy I was not. The vampire looked thoughtful for a moment before elaborating on her answer to Alex's question. I always liked learning them but it was really required because of the family's work.. Besides, I don't like not knowing what people are saying around me. I know English, of course, and learned French since it's commonly spoken around New Orleans plus my Grandmere is from that region. We would travel to Germany a lot since that's Gustav's homeland and he still has an estate near Berlin, so we all learned German.

Lifting her glass she took a sip of wine and twirled the stem slowly. I've traveled to the Orient several times for jobs so I'm pretty fluent in Japanese and Cantonese, and I lived in Madrid for several months for a contract once so I know Spanish as well. Remembering that time brought a faint smile to her face. It had been almost like being on her own, not quite, but it had been a small taste of freedom. My handler was fluent but I had to be able to pass as a local so I picked it up fast. I know enough to get by fairly well. And that's six. The blonde drained the last bit from the goblet and set it aside, licking her lips slightly. The sweet aftertaste lingered, and she was reminded of how much she liked it. Knowing that her companion enjoyed the wine too she made a note to get a bottle for her suite.

So.. Amberelle looked at her date and cocked her head to the side. Her golden eyes twinkled as she teased him, I can kick your butt in a fight but you can insult me in quite a few languages and I'd never know. Hmmm... I win. A grin spread across her face and she giggled some.

He was spared any further abuse when the waiter stepped up and cleared her plate. Catching his attention before he moved away, the Creole ordered a cup of cappucino and a tiramisu. He politely inquired if Alex desired anything as well and waited for the Brit's response.
Alex West 17 years ago
Alexander turned his head to the waiter.

"I'd like the Sicilian Desert Canoli and a triple expresso please."

The waiter nodded.

"Very good, sir."

Alexander waited until the waiter had left before winking at Amberelle.

"We'll have to have a rematch sometime. It would be nice to workout and spar with someone who is my superior. And I promise to keep the insults to a minimum. I'm also somewhat of a sword aficionado and was considered a rather good duelist and swordsman in my time. I have nothing as exotic as the blades you wield Amby. But it would be interesting to compare styles and learn from you."

"And now for some more questions I think? 20 Questions wasn't it. Let's see. Favourite colours, author, movie and style of music."
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
Nodding, Amberelle smiled at the idea of a rematch. I wouldn't call myself your superior, cheri. I don't have any other swords with me.. but I know how to use them all. Rapier, cutlass, longsword.. you name it. I'd bet Rupert can scrounge something up and we could spar a bit with ones you're more familiar with. What about handguns, or rifles? I really should find a range around, I haven't been keeping up with my practice.. Maybe we could go sometime? Smiling hopefully, it occured to Amby that she really liked the idea of making future plans with Alex, even for something so simple. It filled her with a strange kind of excitement thinking about having someone to share these things she enjoyed with.

And I'd love to teach you anything you want to know. The last sentance was said softer, with a slightly flirtatious smile.

My favorite color is blue.. As for author, umm.. Pursing her lips, the Anantya thought for a second then answered. I'm ashamed to admit I have every book ever written by Jude Devereaux. She writes those historical romance type novels. Her cheeks were slightly pink from admitting she read the racy books. But other than that I really like Shakespeare, and hometown great Anne Rice. Well, her older pre Christian crazy stuff. Amberelle made a sour face thinking of the lst few pieces of drivel that had been released. My music tastes are just as eclectic, pretty much anything other than rap. But I'm partial to good jazz and blues. Comes from growing up around so much of it I think.

What else did you ask... oh, umm, movie. I like action and I like musicals. So either something intense like Crank, or Fearless. Those were awesome. Thinking out loud she continued to rattle off movies. Grease, Streets of Fire.. cheesy things like that. Wrinkling her nose at him, she grinned. Your turn.
Alex West 17 years ago
Alexander grinned.

"Well for starters, despite my current attire, I have always liked the colour green. I find the colour highly relaxing and tranquil. My sire ruined the colour red for me, but that is another story. My favourite author would have to be Bernard Cornell. While he doesn't exactly write bodice rippers, I truly enjoy his historical based adventures that revolve around the fictional Richard Sharpe. My favourite book however would be Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, a compilation of quotations on Stoic philosophy."

"I prefer quieter, reflective styles of music from the Classical masterpieces to contemporary jazz. However, I am no fan of modern Rock or the so-called 'Gangsta Rap.'"

Alexander shuddered in mock horror at the memory of having to endure a clanmate in London's fixation with Rap songs about urban decay, drug abuse, lawlessness and prostitution.

I have alway's been fond of the silver screen. Rita Hayworth continues to remain my favourite actress and Richard Burton my favourite actor. Robert Redford would be a close second. I enjoy many types of cinema, although the horror genre is somewhat bland for my taste."

"I'm trained to use a pistol, so if you ever want to practise on the firing range at the manor I would welcome the company. I haven't had much experience with rifles or other small arms. I am an avid horseman however and I believe Ambrose's partner Ysabel is going to assist me in that respect."

"And now your turn, Amby. What other questions would you like to ask me?"
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
It was strange, she reflected as she listened to him speak. Amby felt completely at ease now, as if she could just talk to Alex about anything. All of her earlier nervousness and jitters had faded away and she wasn't even sure exactly when. All of her normal social artifice was gone now and she was just herself. And, it didn't make her anxious or feel as if she had to be on guard at all.

I'd love to practice with you.. so we should plan on it for sure. I'll show you some rifles too, and I have some automatics you can use.. Giggling, Amberelle confessed quietly. I love shooting things. Her exuberance faded slightly as she added, I just don't like when they shoot back.

Visibly perking up when her friend was mentioned, Amberelle smiled and leaned into the table some. It was curious that apparently she and Alex had met, yet Ysabel hadn't indicated as much during their conversation in the stables a few nights back. 'Then again I never used his full name, so perhaps she wasn't sure. Still... curious.'

You know Ysabel? She and I are friends.. I could see you two getting along well. I've found her incredibly easy to talk to. And her horses are beautiful. Have you been by the stables yet? Maybe the two of you could re-teach me to ride, it's been so many years I'm not sure I remember how. Then again I guess it can't be too hard.. Catching herself before she had a chance to start running off on the subject, Amby shook her head and laughed softly. Giving Alexander an appologetic look she shrugged. Sorry, didn't mean to start babbling.

Ahhhh! The Creole leaned back as a waiter appeared with their drinks and desserts. Closing her eyes and taking a long slow whiff of the cappucino's steam she savored the rich aroma. Amberelle stirred in quite a few scoops of sugar and took a sip, smiling in approval. Still cradling the cup in her hands, she chewed her bottom lip a minute trying to decide what she wanted to ask next.

Do you have any hobbies? Like for example, I dance.. I've even started taking some classes again. That had her beaming happily. And what kind of business is it you do, exactly? You know, she said with a sly grin, You do owe me some investment advice. You'll have to come over to help me manage all the accounts I stashed my money away in.

Oh! I can't believe I didn't ask before... Hunt, Night or Rose? Peering at him, she couldn't decide what he seemed to fit best. You're hard to read, I would say Hunt from seeing you fight but.. you could be Night. I know not to judge by appearances. The blonde winked at him with a slight smile. While you might think I'm Night simply because of my Sire I haven't actually chosen anything yet. She shrugged lightly. The Elders have been most kind in letting me take the time to decide where I want to be, not letting someone dictate it to me.

'Good lord I am going on and on..' Amby did the only thing she could think of to get herself to stop chattering away and set her cup down and took a bite of her creamy chocolate and coffee flavored dessert. Her mouth finally occupied she looked at him and waited for him to answer all of her questions.
Alex West 17 years ago
Alexander accepted his desert and coffee, thanking the waiter and waiting till he had left again before speaking to Amberelle in French. Ordinarily he wouldn't discuss Clan business in the open, but if he wanted her to trust him, he would have to be honest and upfront about everything.

I'm honoured that you would judge me worthy of the Hunt, but my skills have mandated by membership into the Night. It was my choice though, and for good or ill, I stand by it."

Alexander smiled at Amberelle as he recalled meeting Ysabel. Although his smile faded somewhat as he remembered her sister Dayle's insulting behavior.

I met Miss Yolgrave at Cyrus and Fallon's soiree. I've worked together with Ambrose and he introduced me to Ysabel. She's a very charming and polite individual. And her interest in horses was a pleasant surprise. I'm sure she can accomodate us both if you'd like to come riding some time and take some lessons."

"It also might interest you to know that it was your friend Dawn who subtlely persuaded me to approach you at the soiree. And for that I am eternally grateful."

Alexander took Amberelle's hand in his and softly stroked her fingers.

As to my hobbies. Dare I be so bold as to say I think you will be taking up most of my time?"

He laughed and winked at Amberelle.

"Actually investment banking and the sharemarket are both my business and passion. I have a gift for riding the economic winds of fortune. It's a long family tradition. You can drag me along to the theatre anytime, or to a museum or art gallery. I enjoy dancing, although I rarely get the chance to do so these nights. And I'm somewhat of a computer geek, I think the term is. I naturally play military strategy games."

"And of course working out. One must maintain one's dashing figure after all."

Alexander delicately sipped from his cup of coffee and took a very small bite from his desert, all in mocking jest.

My turn, Amby. If you could vacation anywhere in the world where would it be? What would you do? And while this might sound a bit forward, what is it that you find annoying in a potential vampire suitor?"
Amberelle DeEspionne 17 years ago
Arching an eyebrow skeptically, Amberelle couldn't help but think she'd heard Alex incorrectly. Dawn did something subtlely? Surely he was mistaken, what could she have done? Before she could ask him to elaborate on that statement, he took her hand in his and every thought flew out of her mind when his fingers caressed hers. Her heart skipped a beat and she grinned like a schoolgirl at the thought of being the thing that monopolized his nights. A voice in her head whispered 'And hopefully soon his days too,' which had her trying not to blush.

Nodding and still smiling blissfully the Anantya was excited to hear the list of things he enjoyed so in line with her own. She found herself having to press a hand to her mouth to keep from laughing loudly at his antics and resisted the urge to swat him, instead giving him a playful glare. The thought occured to her that there was indeed something special about him, with how he kept her smiling and laughing when she was around him.

Her brow furrowed as she considered the answer to Alexander's questions. Anywhere? Wow.. I've always wanted to visit so many places.. now, I never thought I'd get to, she said with a slight chuckle, but if I had to pick one place umm.. Sighing wistfully, Amberelle frowned. Well I have always wanted to go to someplace for the whole tropical island and scuba diving thing. See the crystal waters, laze in a cabana on a white sand beach, swim the coral reefs and such.. But it wouldn't be very practical or fun now, having to do everything at night. She shrugged, there was no point in dwelling on what she couldn't have anymore, at least not right now. I guess I'd go with some in Europe, maybe do a tour of the old cities. Oh, or take a trip on the Oriental Express. Shaking her head she gave him an appologetic look. I told you there were a lot of places I wanted to go. I can't pick just one.

Ahh and as for that last question.. chewing on the corner of her lip a minute she squeezed his hand with hers. I think what would be most annoying is someone who, how do I put this.. Someone who wasn't open to letting me be me. Who wanted to change me or tell me how to be. Oh and I hate being commanded to do anything, she muttered as an after thought. Dismissing that unpleasant line of thinking, Amberelle smiled at Alex and let her eyes roam his face for a moment, appraising him Slowly nodding she said quietly Which is something I seriously don't see being a problem with you. Letting me be me, I mean.

Oh! Another thing.. Someone who isn't open to new things. So many of our clan get caught up in the past.. Shuddering slightly, she confessed one of her own fears. I just don't want to become one of those ones who clings to their old ways.. keeping some of them are good but change is nice too, you know? Well like you.. you have all of the charm and manners of a classic gentleman, but you like things like.. waving a hand in the air she searched for an apt example, computer games. Could you really see some of our Clanmates surfing the net? The mental image that brought up had her chuckling.

So.. your turn! Where would you travel, or have you been where you most wanted to go? And.. she dipped her gaze a moment before gazing into his blue eyes intently. This one was quite important. There were still aspects of her he had no idea existed and that made her nervous. And what would most annoy you?