Extended Family (invite only)
Ran headed into Shades' via the back door, where all of Shades' family generally entered the club. It was providence that the first person he (almost literally) bumped into was his ancestor, whose mouth split into a wide grin, mirrored by Ran's own.
Ran took two big strides and jumped into Shades' arms, hugging him and wrapping his legs around Shades' waist in an exuberant display that most would have found daunting if not entirely impossible. Ran, however, had never truly known the meaning of restraint. He kissed Shades soundly on each cheek with a wet smacking noise while the Ancient laughed his deep, booming laugh. A few of his family walked by and raised their eyebrows but didn't comment.
"I was wondering when you'd stop in, Peacock," Shades said, untangling Ran from him and setting him back down on the floor.
Ran bounced on his toes. "I've been busy."
Ran's eyes were wide and innocent. "Flirting, mostly."
Shades laughed again.
"With Bao's daughter."
He had the pleasure of seeing Shades almost choke on his own laugh. "You're going to get yourself in a shit load of trouble, child."
Ran shrugged. "Why should he care? We're both consenting adults. And then some. He can suck it."
He'd seen Pak a handful of times, and while their relationship was still in the 'maybe' stage, he wasn't going to deny an attraction. He was going slowly out of respect for Pak but as soon as she gave him the green light he would be all over her like white on rice. And Bao could take his tender sensibilities and stuff them.
Shades stopped laughing with some difficulty. "Are you seeing her because you like her, or because she's Bao's?"
He wouldn't lie; Pak was great and he enjoyed hanging out with her but he also wasn't going to resist the opportunity to dig at Bao. So why not accomplish two goals at once?
"That aside," he said, brushing the matter off easily, "has Amir come in yet?"
"He's out in the club with his partners," Shades said, nodding toward the common area.
"Okay. Thanks Grandpa."
Ran found Amir, Mara, and Jin easily enough. They stood out; Jin first, obviously, with his striking hair, and then Amir and Mara with their exotic appearances. They sat at a table together, laughing, smiling, looking happy. It made Ran happy.
Mara saw him first; she waved at him. He waved back and smiled, holding his finger up in a 'just a moment' gesture. For as he did so, he felt, heard, and saw Mina's approach. She pressed up to him and he turned toward her as she did, sliding her fingers into his hair, tilting her face toward him expectantly.
Ran kissed her because not to do so would have been cruel. He'd done this to her, and he wasn't going to play hurtful games to her. Oh, she had been plenty forward from the start but he had asked her if she wanted an arrangement like this and she'd accepted it and now... well, her libido was in overdrive when he was around, and he was fine with that. Particularly when he didn't know how things would be with Pak... well, it was nice to have someone to spend the day with.
"Come with me, Mina. It's time for you to meet the rest of my family."
"Okay," she said softly, releasing him and slipping her hand into his. She had met Shades and his immediate family already, and that was a great deal of protection for a human entering their world. Here was even more, and better protection she could not have in the form of Jin, Amir, and Mara.
"You too, Jacob," Ran said, casting a smile at the young man, still unattached but desperately wanting to belong to someone, who lingered quietly behind Mina.
Jacob was the other reason Ran was here. He knew more about the young man now, and he saw the potential in him as well as the fact that he was truly starved for attention. His single mother had been ridiculously strict with him, always pushing pushing pushing and never loving Jake the way he wanted to be loved. He wanted what Mina had and Ran would have been happy to give it to him if he were old enough to maintain two familiars, but he wasn't.
So he wanted to find an owner for Jacob, because it would please Jacob and it would also please Mina. Amir had come to mind first, but Ran wasn't sure Amir would be just right. Oh, he would treat his familiars quite well. He always did. But they were tools, and Jacob would be better off as someone's pet.
He brought the two humans over to the table. He took one chair and slid the other out. Mina took it while Jacob dragged another chair over and set it beside Mina's. He looked nervous, but eager.
"Evening," Ran said with a cheerful smile. "I wanted to intriduce you to Mina and Jacob. This is Amir, Jin, and Mara."
The boy, who was on the receiving end of a fantastic kiss from the little vixen in the purple skirt and top. Amir raised his eyebrows and exchanged an amused glance with Mara and Jin. This really wasn't all that shocking, for Ran. There was a small, slight Asian man with the petite blond girl and Ran turned to bring them both over.
Amir nodded as introductions were made. The girl was introduced as Mina, the boy as Jake. Mina was little, almost pixie-like, with tousled blond curls and pretty grey eyes. Jacob was clearly part Asian, even though his hair was dyed light brown, almost blond, and he was nearly as slight as Mina. Amir wondered what Ran was up to with them, although to him it seemed as if Mina were attached to Ran... in that way that only their kind could manage.
"Mina, why don't you and Jake go get a couple of drinks?" Ran said gently. He was clearly fond of the girl, and the boy too. Not that Ran would have treated any human badly. Some of their Clan did, but Ran would never.
"All right," Mina said, her tone bordering on adoration. She and Jake moved away and Ran smiled after them, then turned back.
"I found them at the House of Pain a couple weeks ago," he explained. "They were too good for it."
The HoP wasn't a place that would have gone easy on either of the two. Apparently they'd gotten to Ran's tender heart. What did he want, though? Fortunately they didn't have to wait long, because Ran cut to the chase.
"I'd have taken them both if I could but," he lifted one shoulder in a helpless shrug. Ran was too young to control two familiars. Obviously he had chosen Mina, which was no surprise. He preferred women over men.
"Jake needs someone though. I think he would be really well-suited to this kind of life, but he needs... well, an owner."
Ran's brow furrowed, and he looked at Amir. "He could really use a soft touch. He had a rough upbringing. Maybe a little spoiling. I know that's not really your bag, but I couldn't think of anyone else. He's a smart guy, working on getting his degree in accounting. And he's pretty open-minded. He wants to learn. About everything."
Amir gave a small 'ah' of understanding. At the same time, he felt his mouth quirk up. How funny that Ran would come to him for this. Most of the people Amir knew would not select him as the go-to guy for 'warm and fuzzy' and, truth be told, while Amir didn't treat his familiars poorly, he didn't spoil them either. He expected them to be useful.
Mara was right out; she had never had a familiar and didn't appear even a little bit interested in Jacob. Maybe a hundred years from now, but Amir suspected she was far too content in their current relationship, and she had no need for a daytime assistant when Amir could provide her with help when she needed it. He looked past Mara to Jin with a little frown. Would Jin want the young man as a familiar for himself? He would certainly treat him kindly.
"He looks... shy," Amir said.
Ran nodded. "Like I said, a soft touch would be good. Do you know anyone? I don't want to see him out at the HoP unprotected."
Not that he would be; Ran would watch over the guy for sure. But there was protection and there was protection. There couldn't be much better protection than that which Ran had already extended to Mina.
When Ran finished he brought both the girl and the young man with him to the table. Then they were quickly sent to get drinks.
He did raise his eyebrows when Ran explained that Jake needed a vampire to take care of him and seemed to point that request toward Amir. Jin reached out and gave Amir's leg a light squeeze of solace and amusement under the table; children brought the damnedest things home, didn't they?
Jin looked at his partner that was being addressed and then Mara to see if perhaps she was interested in the little boy who had just left. No, she seemed quite happy with their tiny family of three and he currently felt the same way. He would probably need a familiar or two soon to help with work load and day time errands but he was forestalling that for as long as possible because he didn't have the time or interest in giving a new familiar the attention they deserved.
He would almost suggest his mother; Mai would certainly take care of the young man but being the ancient's familiar was a daunting task and one that the man might not be up for. Besides what would Mai do with an accountant?
"I might have a solution for you.â€ Jin turned to Ran. "I am sure you remember my sister...â€ Akahana did tend to leave an impression, much like Ran himself . "She has a few businesses and might have need of an accountant...and she can have a soft touch, when she feels like it.â€ Akahana had an uncanny way of treating people the way they needed to be treated. Some people craved a harsh mistress, some wanted a distant unobtainable beauty, a meek humble woman or a loving mother figure. She could play all those roles and more. Jin knew that she saw the many forms of love and sex as a healthy important part of life and herself as a healer, guide and leader of those who needed help in that most personal aspect of living.
"What do you think?â€ He was curious about Ran's opinion of Akahana. He had, of course, queried his sister on Mara's brother.
It was, in fact, Jin who supplied a possible solution. So maybe he didn't entirely disagree with Ran's objective. Or maybe he was just being polite. Ran knew he shouldn't dwell on this sort of thing, but Jin's opinion actually mattered to him. He turned dark dark eyes to his Elder and raised his own eyebrows when Hana was mentioned.
"Oh," he said, perking up noticeably. "Do you think she could use him? That would be fantastic."
Hana was fun, shrewd, intelligent, beautiful... Ran had enjoyed his brief time spent with her. He didn't know how she treated her familiars but he didn't think he was so mistaken in his own impressions - Hana was a good person. He just didn't see her being cruel to Jake, who had had enough of cruelty even if it had been unintentional. Tough love was definitely not going to be good for him.
He nodded his head when Jin asked more directly of his opinion. "I think he'd like to be useful. He's... heh... really into accounting."
Ran rolled his eyes a little bit; Jacob had, during their conversations, shown a definite passion for finance and accounting that surpassed anything Ran had ever felt for any occupation. He continued, his smile growing.
"And if Hana wanted to meet him, I think he might be kind of blown away. In a good way."
Jacob would probably think she was too good for him. He'd find Hana exciting though, he had no doubt.
Fortunately Ran latched onto Jin's idea with enthusiasm. Amir had to agree that it sounded like a good situation. Hana was experienced with all sorts of personality types - and she would actually care enough to be attentive to Jacob's needs. It wasn't that Amir lacked compassion, he just...
...okay, maybe he lacked compassion. He certainly didn't feel like coddling a baby boy of a familiar, no matter how useful his skills. Just the fact that he hadn't rejected the notion out of hand spoke volumes about his personality shift, and how much he liked Ran. Not that he'd admit to the second part. One too many durian fruit in his life for that.
"See, you came to the right place," Amir said, his lips twitching up a bit. He was sure Ran had expected to find a possible master for Jacob here at Shades', and if things didn't work out with Hana that was definitely a possibility.
Best of all, he was off the hook.
He wasn't entirely certain she would love to have a enthusiastic accountant around but he thought she was the most likely candidate for finding the human a good vampire home and could probably find a use for his enthusiastic skills as well.
She also had only recently returned to Nachton and broke deep cover from the mission that she was working which meant that she likely did not currently have familiars and, if she were planning on settling down in the city, that she might be interested in one to help her manage her interests.
Ran's comments did not give him a very good insight on what Ran thought of his sister, except that he seemed willing enough to let her take the human he was worried about into her care. So at the barest minimum his sister had at least appeared humane.
"I can send her a message if you want.â€ Jin held up his phone. "Just give me a time and place and I will let her know.â€
They could set up the details and then get back to the business of drinking and enjoying themselves. He and Mara had some dancing to do before they left. They might have to drag Amir out onto the floor also. He claimed not to enjoy it and to only do it for Mara's sake but Jin wasn't entirely convinced.
"Any time in the evening or night. Let's say, ten o'clock? Maybe here again? It's a good place."
Shades' was as safe as anywhere. Shades did not allow vampires to bite patrons of his club, not even when they had a standing arrangement. He staunchly refused to let his place be turned into a 'vampire joint' and insisted it remain about the music and enjoyment of life.
"Hana can pick whatever day is best for her, I think Jake can make himself available any time."
By the time the two young humans returned Ran was able to give Jake the good news about meeting Hana. He seemed nervous, and excited. Ran was pleased; even if Hana didn't work out for Jake, she was another contact for him and might be able to help him find someone who would suit.
He made sure to thank Jin, grateful the Elder had had a recommendation for him. Once that was done Ran excused himself and took both Jake and Mina with him to let Amir, Jin, and Mara enjoy themselves together without interruption. They were happy enough to go, and they spent a few hours dancing and enjoying the jazz before heading out again.
((ooc: all out))