Oce smiled as she stepped out on to the strip for a late night stroll. She had just arrived from a 'vacation' to France. It had been quite fruitful she had managed to secure the object of her firms desire and get in a bit of touring.
She had not been there for 30 years. The place never changed she thought to herself. Quite comforting to know something doesn't. As she meandered along the street she browsed in to the store windows. They were all still open it had just gotten dark and the bustle of people had not gone down yet. Oce pushed a stray piece of hair back in to her bun and smoothed her lilac purple sun dress out. She had decided not to go 'formal' today. For once she was relaxing. The air was still warm with a slight breeze that ruffled her hair.
The stores finally ended and she crossed the street. On the other side was her favorite little coffee shop. She smiled at the owner and took her regular seat. He came out and took her order, Earl Grey tea as usual. The little shop did not have a deck it was simply a 2 person table in the front of the main window. Inside it was full with a fire place and 5 tables. The owner always kept this one reserved just for her. She had helped him out a number of times with legal matters and pesky trouble makers.
"Thank you my friend." She said as he placed the cup in front of her. As a bonus he had added a croissant. How he knew her so well. Nodding her gratitude he went back inside and Oce ripped off the corner and began to eat.
Dressed in her typical army pants and tight white tank top she sauntered down the street half smiling half glaring at everyone. She liked to keep them guessing of course! As she scared the locals she noticed lights on in most stores. At first Gaia felt like going in an harassing one or two but passed when she noticed her favorite little Vampirette.
Ahh OcÃƒÂ©ane Ãƒâ€°mond, was a constant pain in her side. The tightly wound Evenhet lawyer bitch was seated at a table drinking from a rather pitiful looking tea cup. Gaia felt the pain in her side slightly. Earlier that month OcÃƒÂ©ane had caught her stealing a relic and inflicted an insignificant wound but the memory was still vivid. The girl had a smug look on her face and Gaia had a thought to wipe the floor with it but changed her mind. Evenhet would certainly track her down and she had a dept to settle before she went rogue again. However she could not pass up a bit of fun.
Gaia using her blending ability snuck up to her prey. The strumpet was primly sitting in her purple dress as Gaia's tall muscular frame hovered over her suddenly. Gaia's face fell when she didn't get a reaction instantly appearing as she had. Cursing Oce she remembered her ability vaguely had something to do with Empathy. Leaning in while she still had the closeness Gaia licked the side of OcÃƒÂ©ane's neck. Reaching her hair line she inhaled deeply.
"How I love the scent of prey in the night time air." She whispered in to her ear.
As the white haired woman leaned down and licked her Oce didn't move but her eyes did grow wide. She had really not expected that of all things. Recovering momentarily she was ready to deal with her unexpected behavior more easily.
"My my, the night certainly brings out all kinds Gaiana." She said using the name few knew. Oce had done much research on the Vampire known as Gaia. She had recently stolen a few items her clan had been 'hunting' for some time now. Oce of course had managed to get 1 of the 3 back but that was not enough in her opinion. Gaia had left that encounter with 2 items and 1 nasty knife swipe in the side.
The woman was really over bearing. She did have incredible strength and cunning but Oce was resourceful and cool headed where as Gaia was not.
"I would think our last meeting would cause you to be weary of me." She whispered as she sipped her tea not showing any emotion. She could feel the waves of radiating from Gaia. She poked Gaia slightly in the stomach with her knife. She had moved so fast she was sure the other woman had no idea what was going on.
As the steal poked in to her belly Gaia let out a long guttural laugh, "You think that would stop me?" she asked not really sure where it had come from. The girl was quick she gave her that. She could possibly be an excellent harvester if given the proper training. That thought gave Gaia a deep set pleasure.
"Our last meeting left me with a sour taste in my mouth and I want to make sure I rectify that." She said plucking the blade from her hand.
"I will not ask again." She said clearly standing up. "I believe I came here to enjoy my tea it did not involve a conversation with you. Be gone." She added keeping the blade poised at her neck.
"I did my job at our last meeting and if you can not handle that then you must deal with that. Try to steal from us again and I will make sure it is more then just a cut." Oce was letting too much anger from their past experience enter her voice. Her free hand began to play with the necklace around her neck as she thought.
"Why would anyone in their right mind bight you?" She asked out loud trying to figure it out. She really did not accept an answer of course. Her father had taught her to work out a problem this way.
"I guess only Evenhet thinks of the long term projections when creating a vampire. You are just wasted space." She said rather primly in spite of her feelings towards Gaia.
No, a deep hatred drove Xerxes; something much different then the rage of Ellis Dunban. His anger had been controlled, tempered and in reality, sharpened over thousands of years. Few could hold a grudge more then a decade, but Xerxes didn't consider this a grudge.
Perhaps for the first 300 years it was a thing of revenge. Slowly, however, it had changed, just as everything does, and now it became something different entirely. Xerxes didn't just want to kill the man that had turned his sister all thouse years ago. He had to.
But, he thought as he ran his hand through his dark hair, pushing it out of his face, there was no reason not to live a life. And so, that is why he strolled down Nachton's Strip. The after-work rush was finally slowing down and the area was becoming a refuge to the many teens and young adults of the city.
Xerxes didn't understand the kids of today, it seemed they were drawn to merchandise and consumer locations on instinct, like a moth to flame. Hell, half the stores were closed and the rest would be shortly, and still the kids congregated here.
Xerxes paused in his musing when two women caught his eye. Though attractive, it wasn't for this reason he payed them special mind. For one, he could tell easily they were both vampires, and both of considerable power; secondly, one held the blade of a knife to the other's throat. He recognized the one without the weapon as Gaia, someone he had intended talking too. He had yet to meet her, but had learned enough from his research on the city to be sure he wasn't mistaken of her identity.
Glancing at her attire, the same outfit that was described in his files on her, he noted her predictability. That's good, he thought, easier to read.
Without paying mind to the few cautious onlookers, either looking the womens' direction from a safe distance away, or glancing and quickly moving on, he walked towards the other two with confidence.
Ladies, pleasant evening, I hope I am not interrupting? He spoke to the two, a bit of humor in his voice.
It highly offended her and anger burned in her eyes. "Don't speak of things you know nothing of." Gaia took a step forward so the knife was jabbing in to her throat. The pain intensified her anger and she grabbed Oce's wrist tightly pulling it closer.
As it began to cut deeper she heard a voice. Of course she didn't move her head. From the sound of it she did not recognize where it had come.
"If you call bleeding pleasant it is and you are rudely interrupting." She said clearly and plainly no need for flowery words. Gaia liked to get down to business right away.
'I don't find bleeding particularly entertaining, but I know quite a few people that do, in their own way," he replied. "Regarding my 'rude' interruption, I can't see you killed quite yet, I have a couple questions for you, in particular, Gaia."
Then, as if on queue, his mind lit with sudden recognition. Of course, he had learned of another woman from his research on Gaia. Her rival so to speak, it seemed they shared similar interests but different viewpoints on such things.
The other woman, dressed in a pretty and appealing summer dress, must be...
"Tu est OcÃƒÂ©ane Ãƒâ€°mond? Je m'appell Xerxes Asha," Xerxes spoke to the woman in French, recalling from information gathered on the woman she had been born in France.
Gaia was trying to intimidate her all this blather about what she should and shouldn't speak about. She didn't move her knife as Gaia pushed herself farther on it.
"You are an irrational Child Gaiana." She whispered as Oce grabbed her wrist tightly. It didn't faze the black haired woman though her dagger did not move except as Gaia moved it.
Little trickles of liquid ran down her neck as Oce heard a new arrivals voice. Gaia seemed to be in an offensive mood and told him flat out he was rude. Oce chuckled softly. The male voice seemed to know her. Up until then She had not taken her eyes off the white haired woman in front of her. That was to dangerous but now she was curious at how it was turning she heard him speak French.
"I am OcÃƒÂ©ane Ãƒâ€°mond. Monsieur Asha I am sure. Gaia is intent on causing a scene while I just wish to drink my tea. Good luck asking her a few questions I am sure it will be a 'pleasant' experience for you both." She said turning her eyes back to Gaia.
"Are you finished then?" Oce asked. "I think your little tantrum is getting old now." She said in a condescending manor.
"Pleasure is all mine," he said, genuinely. He liked this woman, her level demeanor, her restrained contempt.
"Now, although this conversation has been, fun, I am going to have to ask that you pay me a little more respect. I am well aware of your history with each other."
Suddenly, seemingly without provation, Xerxes' hands moved in a blur. His right dropped to his lower back, drawing the 9mm pistol concealed there. He brought it to the head of the more chaotic of the two, pressing it against Gaia's temple.
The other arm flicked slightly, a dull black blade appearing from the depths of his jacket, to materialize in his left hand. He held this with it's tip pointed at the French womans chin. He blade was situated so that it could slit the woman's throat as well, if need be.
He watched the two women closely, considering their expressions. No doubt they wouldn't be caught off guard from the action itself, however, the speed at which it was executed far surpassed that which he knew either could match. He waited to see how well each hid their surprise.
He was taking a considerable risk, considering the temperment of the two,and their positions within their respective clans.
He spoke without any change in emotion, voice still silky smooth and not without a bit of amusement.
"Now, it could get complicated if either were to try something rash, and complications are something I like to avoid. You must understand, I can't have you two killing each other, not when I have questions for the both of you."
He paused then, telepathically sending a message to each.
[Gaia, I understand your contempt of this woman, but you must be aware your actions reflect on your clan. As trainer you can't have your younglings seeing this rash behavior as acceptable, it could very well cripple Tacharan before it has a chance to shine]
[OcÃƒÂ©ane, if it would please you to remove your blade from her throat, perhaps we could have a civil discussion here, something I know you are adept at.]
"Now that I have your attention," Xerxes said, making it partially a question, and partially a statement.
((OOC: Physical actions used with permission))
Although this little 'show' did give her a clue... so he was an Ancient of some sort? Clanless of course he would be known to her if he was with one of the other clans.
What did disturb her was he knew her but that was a matter to be worked out at a much later date. "This 'could' get complicated?" She asked flicking her eyes toward him. "I believe you just escalated the problem because as long as she is here I am not moving. You go right ahead and use that pretty butter knife of yours." She said serenely, she had stared down much bigger men then him in her days during WWI. Besides that Megan would never let him get away with his skin if anything were to happen to her at his hands.
"As for question, contact my lawyer." She said sarcastically, if he really knew anything at all about her other then what he had revealed he would understand her joke.
She could sense his arrogance and not through her abilities. It was that blatant. Men, even as vampires they never changed she thought to herself. His quickness had not surprised her but his sending ability did. The message appeared in her mind and she quickly retaliated with her own.
[I don't believe that is in my best interest. One thing I do understand is survival. You back off Sir and I may consider your suggestion, until then good day.]
For once she agreed with Gaia he was rude, arrogant, and in an irritating way charming.
He had questions for her did he? Well that would be interesting endeavor. Gaia's laughter was now a cackle. "Oh the big strong man, knows about us Oce I am so scared what shall we do." Her eyes were clear and she caught the movement he made. Now two weapons were poised on her.
The thrill of excitement shot through her body. How she wished Ellis was here to participate. "If you think we will be killing each other today you mistake a bit of girl play. Oce my little pet here and I would be desperately bored with out our game of cat and mouse. Your job Mister is to step back and leave us be. You do not want an enemy of me." It was not a warning it was a fact. Every now and then Gaia poked fun at OcÃƒÂ©ane. There was not a whole lot to do with her off time and the girl was a magnificent partner.
He had not noticed she had not pulled out a weapon or made a move upon her. She wasn't a threat.
Gaia's anger flared brightly as the message was passed to her head.
"You arrogant bastard. I did not invite you in to my head I would suggest never doing that again. You go ahead and cripple Tacharan little man. My training and my troops are none of your business." Breathing deeply the gun barrel rubbed her temple and the knife cut farther in to her throat. This game was no longer fun. Ducking backwards she flipped herself over kicking Oce's knife in to the air and catching it.
"My prize." She said holding two knives with jeweled handles.
"Boy's and girls not that this little threesome hasn't been fun, but I believe you both are boring." She took two steps back. "Shoot I dare you. By the way your little question period is never going to happen." Gaia taunted as she walked away.
"Bang!" he called after her, before she dissappeared into the crowd, "Have a nice evening, send my regards to Ellis."
He returned his gun to the small of his back, silently chuckling that the safety was still on. Oh well, she hadn't noticed, and he doubted the subtly of the point would have meant much to the woman. He shrugged, removed the dagger from the calmer woman's throat and sighed.
"I apologize, Madamemoisselle. I did not mean to cause you or her," he nodded towards their recently departed company, "any offense."
Taking a step back he extended his hand.
"Let's try this a second time; I am Xerxes Asha."
He looked skeptically at the woman, granted, he was unhappy with how things went, but he didn't regret it. He had intended to help, but knew the consequences of his actions. He had noted the woman seemed unimpressed with his speed, that meant, either she was close to someone older or more powerful than himself. That wasn't impossible, but his respect for the woman increased nonetheless.
"I believe you mistook my actions as arrogant or stand-off-ish. They were neither, I assure you. I just didn't want either of you to get hurt. I am sure you can understand my conundrum when faced with an example such as I was."
He straightened his jacket, offered the woman his hankerchief and indicated the woman's tea.
"Earl Gray, I like your choice, may I buy you another? If you don't carre for my company, I understand, but I feel obligated to at least compensate for my unusually rash actions."
"Much appreciated." She said eyeing him with her violet gaze. He was a paradox she noticed as he apologized. "Trust me if I had taken offense I would not be standing here still." OcÃƒÂ©ane accepted his hand as she stepped back.
"OcÃƒÂ©ane Ãƒâ€°mond of Evenhet," She added her clan to make it clear she was being official. "It takes a strong man to even step in her path." She said refering to Gaia, "Probably an even stronger one to try and control her as you did. She is unpredictable one day it will kill her." The little jabs Gaia got in before she walked away had ached a moment before disappearing.
OcÃƒÂ©ane was not impenetrable but she did not let it get to her either. Dwelling was a human trait she did not need in her line of work. Her hand immediately went to her pendant as she stroked it. "What ever brings you to me I may never know." She said to herself not really expecting an answer.
"Being arrogant is not a sin Sir, I know many who carry themselves thus. Controlling it is key. I didn't need my empathy to know you feel highly of yourself." She smiled at him now. It was not totally free but much more relaxed.
"Gaia wouldn't kill me. Not here at least. We have business to take care of at another time though." She said hoping the note of 'stay clear' had entered her voice just enough. He indicated her tea and she waved for the clerk inside. "I believe mine is cold." She said pushing it aside and taking a seat.
"The table is built for two so don't just stand there." She indicated the other chair as a man walked out and placed two cups and saucers on the table. He ran back in and brought back a Lazy 'Suzie'. On it was every type of condiment meant for tea.
She accepted his handkerchief and dabbed at her neck gently. It was neither painful nor bad in anyway she guessed it had stopped bleeding. Placing it on the table beside her she looked at him.
"You shall owe me a rain check. Here we do not pay."
He took a seat at the small table and opened a pack of sugar, stirring it in his tea.
"You know? I love that."
The woman on the other end of the table seemed confused.
"That sound. The particular type of clinking a spoon makes when stirring tea," he smiled at the woman warmly.
The foottraffic had died down somewhat, but there were still plenty of people about, especially at many of the restaurants with patios. Although he would have loved a glass of wine and a steak right now, he also knew his present company could be a valueable ally or dangerous adversary.
"As I said, my name is Xerxes. I am not a new kid on the block, and I understand the complexities of our culture. That is why, until recently, I have remained removed from it," he began, explaining a bit of his history to her. "However, I have come to several dead ends regarding a," he paused slightly then continued, "nagging issue; I fear that I can't get any further in resolving it unless I get myself invovled with that very culture."
He lifted his glass to his lips, savored the smell, and took a sip. Good tea, he thought, and outwardly his eyes narrowed a bit in pleasure.
"That is where you come in; at least, part of where you come in. I know you are close with Megan, although I don't know how close, to be honest." He grinned again, playfully, "See? I am not so arrogant to not know my faults. I am confident in my strengths and honest with my flaws."
As if to accentuate the point, he brushed a bit of stray sugar from the table in front of him.
"Megan, well, she and I have a friendly competition, and she has already sent me a welcoming present," he thought briefly to his first night back in town and the mercenaries waiting for him at his home. "However, I haven't had the pleasure of speaking with her directly. As a lawyer, I am sure you can appreciate security. I can offer you and your clan just that, both electronic and physical, if you need it. Again, I must be honest, and mention I have already asked Tacharan and will most likely speak with someone in Anantya. But, I can also tell you Tacharan seemed uninterested," he whispered mockingly, "now they are some arrogant vampires," then continued normally, "and that I have more interest in Evenhet than any other clan."
He glanced up from the table, and looked into the woman's eyes.
"There, that was the business speal, I am done. There is more I would like to know about you, and I think you may be able to help me, but that can wait."
He sipped again from his drink and leaned back in his chair, relaxing visably.
"If the tea is free, do you have a suggestion on how I may repay you? Perhaps a dinner some time?" Xerxes wasn't quite sure why he had asked that question and quickly added, "to talk about Evenhet clan administration and membership."
Very adaptable she suspected. "Call me Oce or OcÃƒÂ©ane unless of course we are in the office of course." She nodded putting up a boundary of sorts.
She watched as he made the sound of the spoon inside the cup. "You must be an ancient. Your speed, peculiar traits and manor ooze it Monsieur Asha." She said nodding. "It is my job to be an observer so correct me if I am wrong."
[Be careful it may be hot.] She sent him looking over her cup as she took a sip. Just a reminder that she too knew a thing or two. He was talking and she took a few more sips of her tea. So that is what he was after. Information.
Well Oce had plenty buts he was not particular on 'giving' it out. "You are a man with many motivations," She said watching him enjoy the tea. "Just don't forget I may have an agenda of my own."
She said realizing what he wanted. So he didn't know everything about her yet. Oce would definitely have to meet with Megan and explain all this. She all together didn't trust him but it was workable she assumed.
"Such modesty," She joked with him smiling as he named a flaw or two. "I bet I could find a few more you never knew existed." Oce grinned that was her job after all. Finding flaws and exploiting them.
"Arrogance or not they are a force. I believe much of that is also stupidity." She said earnestly thinking of Gaia. The woman was scary at times and to think she was their Trainer. She only wondered what the supposed leader was like.
"If you wish to gain certain knowledge from me Megan would not deem appropriate I caution you she is my 'mother'." Oce said stating the obvious. That information could be found easily enough. "Who you could say I love dearly." Of course she wasn't her real mother but that is what vampires tended to call their creator. "I am sure she would be interested in what I have to tell her at least, leaving out Gaia of course." She nodded not willing to rehash that whole 'thing'.
"A help to you?" Oce asked returning his gaze. "I can only imagine." She smiled and finished the last bit of tea.
"Dinner now that sounds intriguing. I will consider it." She said coyly, "Under a condition." She stated then, "All weapons must stay at home."
"Please, speak with Megan, tell her I would like to make an appointment, to talk business," Xerxes made sure to qualify the kind of meeting he wanted with this woman's creator. "She knows how to get ahold of me," he chuckled at that.
"And about dinner," he pulled out a pen and began writing on a clean napkin, his handwriting was strong, legible and stylized. Xerxes had thousands of years to perfect it, and he felt it characterized him as a person well. "This is my cell number, if you can't reach me there, leave a message. I haven't been around here in years, so you will have to pick the locale, but I trust your taste."
He flagged down the older man who had given him tea before. To him he said, "I am sorry about the disturbance earlier, I hope that it hasn't affected your reputation. You run a good shop here, sir, something rare these days." Xerxes slipped the man a $50 bill as he shook his hand, hoping nobody would notice. The old man's eyes went wide and Xerxes knew the Evenhet lawyer would be able to detect the surge of excitement.
So much for honest appreciation, he thought, and guessed his actions might be taken as a boast of his wealth. He hoped not.
"About the weapons, I won't bring any of mine, but I am afriad I will be eating alone, for I fear your mind is yours."
He turned to the woman, smiled, and stepped into the crowd, throwing his suit coat over his shoulder.
He reiterated his invitation and put the 'ball' in to her court. Generally something gentlemen would do in the modern days. If she was 16 again that would of been unheard of, thank god the 40's were gone she smiled.
"I will be sure to contact you soon as I have the perfect location." Oce merely observed him go speak with the owner and not sure why but the man became ecstatic? Interesting emotional change but she put it aside. He must have been complimenting him.
"My my a flatter," She said under her breath as he left just as mysteriously as he had come. Oce stood brought her cup in to the cafe exchanging a few words with the owned in thanks and left for home.
That was certainly enough excitement for today.