“I love you. Don’t die.”
Thursday morning, 10 March 2016
GM: BREEP BREEP BREEP BREEP BREEP!
Celia’s eyes snap open. It’s day. She can feel the sun weighing her down like a leaden cloak. Roderick’s phone is screaming its alarm off.
Celia: Day. Again.
It’s her first thought. The thought that makes her bolt upright in bed. That makes her shake Roderick by the shoulders until he, too, wakes up.
Mid-City. They’d been targeting Mid-City. Lebeaux had told her it was their plan and she’d come here anyway.
No time to think about it. No time for regrets.
“Get up, get up, get up!”
GM: He sleeps like the dead man he is.
Celia: What the fuck is the point of the alarm on his phone if it doesn’t even wake him.
GM: It woke her.
Celia: Lucky him she was here to fuck him last night.
His ghouls are on the way, at least. That’s the point of this system. Alerts him. Alerts them. How far away, though? She doesn’t know.
Licks wake up when their bodies get hurt.
She doesn’t remember who told her. Mel, maybe. Or Lebeaux. Someone who was supposed to look out for her, inform her of that kind of shit. Until recently she hadn’t had a reason to test it though; she’s not much of a day riser. She recalls the knife in her side from the hunters, how quickly she’d come to then.
Recalls, too, how swift her Beast is to rise to the surface at such an attack. And the Brujah? Twice as bad. How many times has he smashed her face in because he couldn’t control himself? Anything beyond “zero” is too many. The idea of just whacking him across the face to get him out of bed comes with its own set of problems.
Maybe something else, though. Blood brings people out of torpor. What’s a little daysleep compared to that?
She hopes he can forgive her.
Her fangs sink into her wrist. She presses it against his mouth.
Thursday morning, 10 March 2016
GM: Em’s in someone’s bedroom. The ravishingly beautiful vampire he saw in the enfant’s… whatever is naked and frantically shaking at a motionless naked man. His aura lacks the telltale glow Em has encountered around actual people. An alarm shrieks from a nearby phone.
Emmett: Odd. Decidedly not where he meant to end up. He studies the naked vampire, and her apparent…victim? He looks dead, anyways.
GM: She bites her wrist and presses it to his mouth while shaking him with her other hand.
Emmett: As she does, the dead guy’s face clicks into a long-vacant slot in his memory. Stephen Garrison. Celia’s cuck ex.
Well, looks like he’s moved on, albeit also off his mortal coil.
But if the vamp killed him, where’s the caul?
GM: Em sees no caul, but he sees through the walls. A group of people dressed like plumbers or repairmen are busily working on the apartment’s front door as the phone alarm shrieks.
Emmett: Dressed as, but clearly not. It doesn’t take three pricks in coveralls to shimmy a door.
Caroline mentioned hunters. Maybe coveralls are the Van Helsing vogue.
He strolls into their midst, trying to better ascertain their intentions. Not like he can do much to them, though, even if he had a reason.
GM: One of them has a tool belt around his waist and is working on the door. It has an electronic keyless lock. The other two seem to be keeping a lookout. Em sees through the cases they’re carrying like so much smoke. And the clothes on their bodies. Cases and clothes both conceal wooden stakes, nasty-looking long knives, handcuffs, handguns, containers of lighter fluid, and assorted other implements whose purpose looks more like destruction than repair.
Celia: There’s one good thing, at least, from her forcing him into that third drink: his sire might feel it. Even during the day. Maybe it’ll wake her. Maybe she’ll know something is up. Who collars someone during the day, right? Send her own goons to check it out.
Admittedly, Celia doesn’t know if that really is such a good thing. She’d just watched Veronica abuse the fuck out of Coco’s other childe; if the Brujah primogen gets her hands on Celia can she really expect better treatment? Roderick had said once that they weren’t close, but what sort of sire just hands over their childe with no retaliation?
Does it matter, if it saves Roderick’s life?
She’d been willing to sacrifice herself for her mom once. This isn’t any different. There’s a short list of people she’d throw everything away for and he’s one of them.
Maybe it doesn’t even count. Three nights, that’s what it’s supposed to be. Today is day. Not night. They’d just done it hours ago.
Maybe his collar had snapped completely last time and he’s not even at that point.
Maybe it’s a fucking pizza delivery guy at the wrong door.
Desperation makes her take the same calculated risk. If it goes south, if they both get knocked out, if Roderick wakes up raging and takes it out on her, she can’t chance being taken to someone else and being forced into a bond. She can’t have someone else wake her, collar her, claim her.
Maybe it’ll get him out of bed. Like waking up a dude with your mouth.
Fangs sink into his flesh, too. She draws right from the source.
She shoves at him with her free hand. The alarm blares nonstop nearby. Four ways to wake him up. Four things vying for his attention, drawing him forth from his deep slumber.
GM: Her lover abruptly jolts awake. A growl sounds from his throat as his arms lock tight around Celia. Fangs stab into her neck as he drinks deep.
Celia: Who knew that all you need to wake a vampire is the same sort of trick that works on any human male: offer them sex.
Celia’s relief is short-lived. She licks closed the wound on his neck and shoves the phone at him instead.
GM: Celia finds it hard to do both with his arms around hers. The snarling Brujah rolls over, pinning her beneath him as he drinks his fill.
Celia: It should be hot. It should be the exact way she wants to wake up every evening, with Roderick’s arms around her and his lips on her neck.
Now, though, it isn’t hot. It isn’t sexy. It isn’t enjoyable.
Someone is trying to get into his haven and he’s too busy trying to fuck her to notice. They’ll be in any minute and he won’t even notice when the stake slams into him from behind, then his weight will pin her to the bed and she’ll be helpless and they’ll both die.
Their kind are used to the mindless, wanton writhing of vessels. But she doesn’t give him that. She shrieks instead, pleading with him to stop, that they’re here, that there’s danger. Anything to bring his attention to the moment.
“God, is everybody in this fucking city a vampire?”
GM: The three men trying to break in don’t seem to be.
Emmett: But they’re vampire hunters. That’s vamp-adjacent. He’s pretty sure he’d rather be a hunter than a ghost.
Granted, there’s two bloodsuckers inside and three Helsings outside, so… kind of seems like anybody’s game if they’re about to rush in.
Still, fuck all he can do to affect the outcome, drained and deathly as he is.
GM: Sounds like someone could use some juice.
Emmett: Not sure why I should give a fuck about some random vampire bitch, though, even if she is all up in Celia’s shit. Might be better if they got her, to be honest.
GM: She’d owe us. Him, too.
If they kill these wannabe Van Helsings that’s three souls we get.
Emmett: If you’re offering, I’m listening. What’s the price?
GM: I’ll just get a little stronger.
Emmett: All right. Hit me.
GM: It surges through him in a hot, toxic rush. It’s the vicious satisfaction he felt at seeing the ‘oh shit’ click in Sami’s head when she realized why Em brought her to Dino’s dad’s place. It’s way she screamed when the cigarette burned into her skin. It’s the way Cash Money howled when the knife sank into his hair beanpole leg. He was strong, then. He’s strong again now.
Emmett: Not a lot of time to waste. He broadcasts through the phone’s screeching alarm in an inter-dimensional PSA, a staticky but distinctly clear voice like a newsman from the fifties:
“INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT! WOLVES WEARING COVERALLS!”
Okay, maybe a little on the nose. But it gets the point across.
GM: Celia’s screams don’t take long to get through to him. He pulls back, concern writ across his face even as her blood stains his lips.
“What’s wrong? Am I hurting you?”
GM: “INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT! WOLVES WEARING COVERALLS!” screams Roderick’s phone. The voice is staticky but distinctly clear, like a newsman from the fifties.
Celia: The phone chimes in before she can. She shoves it at him once more.
GM: “What the fuck!?” he frowns.
He taps in the code to unlock it.
“Shit! Three guys out there!”
He springs off the bed. “Fuck! The middle of the fucking day!”
He pulls her outside the bedroom, grabs the bookshelf against a nearby wall, and pulls it across the carpet. Celia sees a door in the space where it used to be.
“Get in, hurry!”
Celia: Three. She’d taken two on her own. Maybe they can take three. And his backup has to be coming, right?
She’s already thinking of how they can best ambush the men when he moves the bookshelf. She doesn’t stop to consider it, just nods, snatches her phone, grabs his hand, and hauls him in with her.
He’s delusional if he thinks she’s going to let him close her in some secret hiding place and leave him behind.
GM: He shakes his head. “I’ll hold them off. Even if they get me, they won’t think to look for a second lick behind the wall.”
Celia: “I’m not leaving you,” she hisses at him, “get in or we’re both fighting.”
GM: “No time to argue.”
He pulls open the door, grabs her, and tries to shove her in.
Emmett: It’d be sweet if it wasn’t utterly pointless and stupid.
GM: Describes you pretty well too, when you’re trying to be the white knight.
Emmett: I’m never a white knight. At whitest, I’m beige.
GM: Yeah, true.
But I said ‘try.’
Celia: He tries. He fails.
Celia is quicker than she looks. Whatever she’d said to him about not focusing on speed years ago has clearly changed. All that time in a dance studio finally pays off when she executes a quick spin around him, just out of reach of his grasping hands.
“You’re not the only one who knows how to fight. Close it. We can jump them. They only expect one.”
GM: “Goddamnit!” he yells, making another grab at her as the Toreador all-too literally dances away. “I’m not letting more hunters rape you!”
Emmett: Is that a thing hunters do? Definitely makes them seem less… white knight-y.
GM: Why wouldn’t it be?
We’d have been happy to stick our dick in her.
Emmett: Necrophilia, though.
Celia: “Roderick, please, you’re wasting time—they’re going to be in here any minute, we can easily dispatch three of them between us. Close it. Close it or get in with me. I’m not losing you because of some misplaced sense of chivalry.”
GM: He makes a frustrated snarl, and then he’s gone in a blur. Celia’s suddenly shoved through the door. A baseball bat, phone, and family pictures fall over the floor or against her bare chest as Roderick pulls the bookshelf closed behind them.
He closes the door against the shelf. Locks it.
“Okay. Fine. We’ll hope they don’t find this place.”
Celia: “Silence your phone,” Celia whispers to him. “Turn off your alarm.” She’s already done the same.
GM: Celia looks around. There’s a bed on the other side, along with a laptop, phone, some guns, handcuffs, a mini-fridge and microwave, and assorted other survival supplies.
Roderick frowns as he does exactly that.
“It shouldn’t have said that,” he whispers.
“The alarm is just a beeping noise.”
GM: He thinks for a moment, then tugs it between his hands, and finally snaps it.
He walks up to the wall and taps a monitor. “We can still see what’s going on.”
Indeed, Celia sees three men dressed like plumbers or repairmen working on Roderick’s keyless front door.
Celia: “You said it alerts your people? How long?”
She really needs to step up her haven game.
GM: “Depends where they are. But they’re on their way.”
He shakes his head.
“I need to get better at this.”
Celia: “At… what? You, uh, seem prepared.”
GM: “All of this,” he says with the faintest hint of scorn. “They’d have caught me with my pants down if you hadn’t been here. Just lying in bed, all by myself, waiting for them to drive the stake in.”
Celia: “Could call building manager, tell them you’re away from home and see someone trying to get in. Unless you think they’ve been compromised.”
GM: He thinks. “Good idea. I might as well call the cops, too.”
Celia: “No cops.”
GM: He bends and picks up an old-fashioned flip phone from among the supplies and taps into the keypad.
“Why not? They’re in the prince’s pocket.”
“I’d rather capture some hunters ourselves, but better to have them locked up than out on the streets.”
Celia: “Prince isn’t the only one with people in the department,” she says, thinking of Lebeaux. “Not worth the risk.”
GM: “Sure, there’s Lebeaux, but he only gets away with it as long as he hides in the Quarter. Mid-City cops belong to Vidal.”
“Bess is just going to call 911 herself anyway, if I call her.”
Celia: Celia shakes her head. She pulls out her phone and unlocks it to dial Mel.
GM: He shakes his own again. “God, I’ve been so sloppy. Coco’d be right to chew me out.”
Celia: “First time. You didn’t get picked up, that’s what matters. We’ll get through this.”
GM: “I’ll kill them, if they try to do that to you again,” he says grimly.
Celia: “Or… we let them, and you pick them off while they’re trying to fuck me.”
GM: “You either know just who you’ve reached, or you’ve dialed a very lucky wrong number,” purrs the ghoul’s voice. “Leave a message, and I’ll give you a ring back first thing.”
“Absolutely not,” Roderick says flatly.
Meanwhile, on the screen, the hunters have gotten through. They can’t be anything else, because they have stakes, guns, and knives out. They close the door behind them after slipping under the barrier, then fan out to search the apartment.
They’ve pulled masks over their faces, for all the good it does them now.
Celia: Celia leaves a quick message, sends an SOS to Randy that includes a series of emojis and a pin with the location, and assesses this new room for any spot they can use to make a stand.
GM: Celia’s phone buzzes with a text. It comes from a number that glitches and changes and whose presence on the phone makes the air chiller.
KILL THEM FOR ME AND WE’LL BE FRIENDS, it reads.
Celia: What. The. Fuck.
GM: There’s also, she notices, a panoply of missed calls and text messages whose senders are marked Mom and Emily.
Another one pops up from Emily:
WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?
Celia: A problem for later, once her life isn’t in danger.
GM: Huh. That ain’t good, Em’s Shadow remarks at the talk of capturing the hunters.
They need to kill these guys for us.
Emmett: He sends a text to the phone. It comes from a number that glitches and changes and whose presence on the phone makes the air chiller.
KILL THEM FOR ME AND WE’LL BE FRIENDS, it reads.
GM: Roderick snarls at the screen.
“That’s why I took the family pictures, by the way.”
Celia: “Smart,” she tells him.
“Listen to me,” she whispers, “I’m going to hit them with star mode, and we’re going to take them out.”
GM: “I’m pretty confident I could take three breathers with surprise.”
“Know why I’m not?”
He looks at her.
“I stand a hell of a lot more to lose than to gain from that fight.”
GM: Oh, cute, Romeo wants to play hero.
Celia: He also thought he could take Caroline, so she’s not sure she trusts his judgment. But the words warm her, and she takes his hand in hers.
They’ll get through this.
They have to.
GM: He squeezes her hand back.
Looks down at their naked bodies. Chuckles.
“This would almost be sexy.”
Celia: “Hush, you, we’ve already got a track record for fucking at inopportune times.”
GM: “Pretty sure ‘while hunters commit a home invasion’ would be a new record even for us.”
He glances across the room. “I’ve got weapons in here, do you want one?”
GM: “Yeah. Why I asked.”
“I’ve got guns.”
Celia: “I can’t shoot,” she admits. She never learned.
GM: “I really have to teach you. Hunters take a bullet like any other breather.”
Celia: She’d asked him to four years ago, but she doesn’t bring it up now. Just nods.
GM: He looks at his phone.
“I’ve texted my renfields. One rents the unit next to mine. They’ll be here soon.”
Celia: “Don’t hesitate. If they get in. If they see us. Trust me to take care of me. Just take them out.”
GM: Roderick frowns at the monitor.
“What are they doing…?”
They’re looking into the mirror in the kitchen. Shining a light over it.
Celia: “What’s in there?”
GM: “Nothing. It’s a totally ordinary mirror.”
Celia: “You don’t keep secret documents in there?”
GM: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
“Though if you’re curious as to its history, it used to belong to my grandma and she kept it in the kitchen, so that’s why I have it there.”
Celia: “Was your grandma a witch?”
GM: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” he repeats.
The hunters are still looking it over.
“What the fuck is with them…?”
They finally turn away.
GM: We need to give these Van Helsing wannabes a tip-off.
Emmett: It does look that way, sadly.
He uses his text-sending prowess again. This time, he catches one of the hunter’s eyes in the mirror, standing behind him in what’s empty air when the coverall-wrapped killer turns in shock.
“Behind the bookshelf,” says the man in the mirror when the hunter turns back. Then he’s gone. Maybe he was never there at all.
GM: The masked man’s eyes narrow.
“Hey,” he whispers.
His companions make their way over.
“Guy in the mirror. Said behind the bookshelf.”
They look around.
“Ghost he killed?” one whispers back.
“Might be,” whispers another. “Or trap.”
Emmett: What is he, a magic 8-ball?
GM: They inspect the kitchen mirror more closely. One shines a tiny light over it.
“Ectoplasm,” he whispers.
“Thanks, spook, if you’re for real.”
“Check the shelves,” whispers another. “Extra careful.”
Emmett: He appreciates it. He still hopes they die. But he appreciates a little gratitude.
Celia: “We need to kill them.”
GM: He shakes his head. “Rather not risk you.”
Celia: “The closer they get to the door the less opportunity we have to ambush them.”
GM: “And rather take them alive, if we have to fight.”
Celia: She’ll kill them on her own if need be.
She doesn’t say it.
GM: “Even beyond the morals, I want to know how the hell they found me here. What other hunters they may know. Which other licks may be in danger.”
Celia: Celia would rather have a friend.
GM: Roderick takes up the bat and positions himself to the left of the door, though keeps his eyes on the monitor.
“Fewer surprises in a fight, the better. What do you want to do if they get in?”
Celia: “My strength is charming them. Not fighting. Make them underestimate me, get close. Star mode. You come in from behind. Bite them and they usually stop resisting.”
GM: “I’d do that if it was one, but there’s three. First one through gets a bat to the skull.”
Celia: Makes sense. She nods.
“I can hide then. Surprise attack.”
“You got any stone skin?”
GM: He shakes his head. “Classic Brujah, sorry. Star mode, super-speed, super-strength.”
“Okay. First one comes in and goes down. You’re a hunter following from behind, what do you do?”
Celia: “Pull back. Fire from afar. Or duck, assume they’ll swing again, face level. Fire though.”
GM: “Let’s assume they know guns are useless.”
Celia: “Literal fire, maybe. Grenade?”
“Would they risk that? They expected to find you sleeping. Guns are probably for your renfields.”
GM: Roderick shakes his head. “Grenades are a whole ‘nother league of messy than gunshots, in several senses of the word. Legal sale of explosives is limited to pretty much the construction business. Large booms are the sort of thing that can bring the ATF or FBI running and get flagged as domestic terrorism. If I were a hunter I’d probably consider grenades more trouble than they’re worth, in a populated building like this.”
“And yeah. The guns are probably for my renfields. God, they’re better-prepared than I am.”
Celia: “Now you know how to fix it. It’s fine. We’ve got this. I took on two on my own after they cuffed me. It’s fine.”
“I’m not afraid. You’re here.”
GM: He smiles and squeezes her shoulder.
“Hmm. What if, to get them all in the room, I lie ‘asleep’ on the bed? You turn into a cat. They try to stake me, I get one with the bat, you transform back and get your fangs in another. I take out the third, same way.”
Celia: She looks around to see if there’s anywhere he can hide.
GM: There’s the mini-fridge, though not much vision there. She could also move around the various survival supplies and the cases they come in.
Celia’s phone gets a text.
Emmett: He scowls at the conversation in the safe room. Great, pacifist vampires.
GM: Ugh, I know. Sami wouldn’t have a problem wasting these assholes.
Emmett: The girl’s phone gets a text.
Kill two. The third can wait til u talk to him.
Celia: Celia gives a nod. There’s not much he can hide behind; her getting smaller is their best bet, even if she thinks she’d be better bait. She leans in, touches a hand to his cheek. She doesn’t have time to tell him everything she’s feeling, but…
“I love you,” she whispers to him. “Don’t die.”
GM: He pulls her close and kisses her head, closing his eyes for a moment as he runs a hand through her hair.
“I love you too. Don’t either.”
In the monitor, the hunters are carefully inspecting the apartment’s bookshelves.
Celia: It’s enough to make her dead heart skip. All it took is a handful of near-death experiences.
GM: Roderick pulls away and hefts up the bat. His expression turns grim as he looks at the monitor.
“The shelf might not fool them.”
Another text buzzes up from Emily. There’s one from Alana, too.
Mistress, your family’s trying to find you!
Celia: Little busy, she sends back to Alana. Stall them.
“It probably won’t. We can always ambush them out there.”
GM: I’m telling them you’re taking an off day.
Then Alana gets the text.
Mistress, you’re awake?!
Celia: She should know better than that.
Ran into an old friend.
GM: “Here’s pretty much the same setup as the bedroom,” Roderick shrugs. “If we run into the common area, harder to surprise them.”
Emily is going crazy, mistress. She was yelling and screaming and being very unreasonable. I don’t know why you put up with her.
Celia: What’s wrong?
GM: Just breather things. It was very hard not to tell her how presumptuous she was actually being. I’d never dare talk to you like she was.
Celia: Watch how you talk about my family. That’s about as clear as she can make it. Tell me.
GM: I’m sorry, mistress. There was just so much yelling and screaming I couldn’t make sense of it. You don’t deserve that kind of treatment in your life.
“Who’re you texting? Renfields?” Roderick asks.
Celia: She’s got a bad feeling. A really bad feeling.
“Something is up with my family.”
GM: Of course, mistress. I’ll text her right now.
“Shit, right now?” says Roderick. “How bad?”
The hunters approach the bookshelf in front of the safe room.
Celia: Celia shakes her head. Her life is in danger. One crisis at a time. She motions toward the bed.
GM: They methodically sweep the bedroom, too. They check the closet and under the bed. They come back out and carefully go over the bookshelf.
Roderick lies down on the bed back-first, bat nearby, and closes his eyes.
Celia: She locks her phone. Her form blurs, shifts. The world grows around her and a moment later a cat is slinking into position.
GM: Time passes.
But not that much time.
Celia hears a heavy object shifting across the carpet.
Clicking noises against the lock. Those go on for a little while.
The doorknob slowly turns.
The door swings open.
Three man creep in. They’re big men. Grim men. Masked men. Their stakes are already out.
They look at Roderick’s sleeping form.
Celia: Ventrue always think that their powers of command are somehow the best. But there’s an inherent flaw in those powers they do possess: they need eye contact and they need their vocal cords. Celia has already learned that the ability to shift people’s emotions doesn’t usually need either.
Which means, as she crouches low to the ground and waits for the right moment, she can hit them with what she wants to as soon as she wants to do it.
If Celia or Roderick make a mistake, they lose everything.
It’s a subtle thing, the power that she wields. The combination of attention and invisibility. Smoke and mirrors, she calls it: making someone focus on something that isn’t her. Like throwing one’s voice, maybe.
She taps into that now. Sends it toward Roderick. He’s just a silly sleeping vampire, secure in the fact that he’s gone through all this trouble with his secret room. Look at him, passed out there on the bed. Useless. Like a lump. They’ve heard some licks are stupid, aren’t they? This is probably one of them. All this time they’ve been in his home and he hasn’t even stirred. Hell, they could probably take him one on one.
Silly, silly vampire.
GM: Maybe they could.
But the cat draws their gazes.
She can’t see any looks on their masked faces.
Just the way they all silently turn to look at her.
Celia: She stares back at them.
She’s just a cat, after all. Even licks have pets.
GM: One of the men looks at the other two.
He doesn’t speak.
Wouldn’t want to wake the sleeping lick.
At last, he shakes his head.
The others look at the cat for another moment.
Then they turn away.
They approach the bed.
They ready the stake over Roderick’s chest.
He doesn’t once move. Doesn’t once breathe or blink. He sleeps like the dead.
The man positions a mallet over the stake.
Three hissed words escape his lips:
“No food bowl-!”
That’s when Roderick strikes.
The baseball bat streaks through the air, smashing into the man’s skull with a grisly, bone-shattering crack. The man doesn’t scream. He just hits the floor in a heap and doesn’t get up. Blood pools across the carpet.
GM: Suh-wiiiiiiing, batter-batter-batter!
Emmett: I miss movies. Let’s find a way to watch movies sometime.
GM: They’re the movie.
Celia: Celia strikes from behind.
Powerful hind quarters propel her through the air to launch herself at one of the men, her form blurring and shifting as she dives. Her claws are the only part of her that do not change, that do not sink back into her body. She is not some housecat whose belly they can rub when she flops over for them, not some pet they will collar with a little bell that goes ding-a-ling with each step.
She is a monster. A predator.
Her Beast comes howling to the surface. She doesn’t fight it, not this time. She lets it out. Lets it have its way with these men who thought to take her lover from her, these men who would drag the both of them into some dank basement to pull apart, these men who scamper through someone else’s apartment, tear through someone’s life, like the rats that they are.
It was an animal that left the ground, but a Beast that lands on his back with fangs and claws and murder in her eyes.
GM: Propelled by her once-feline haunches, Celia’s weight smashes into the startled hunter like a cannonball. He goes down in a heap. She goes for the throat. The larger, stronger man grunts flips her halfway off, rolling under her as he drives the stake towards her chest. It goes wide and stabs her collarbone as her fangs pierce his neck. Too slow. Celia drinks ravenously as she straddles him. His blood is sour with his fear and salty with his hate. A delicious change from her usual sweet fare. There’s nothing fake about the emotions in his blood. But there is no ecstasy for him in the Toreador’s embrace. Only terror. And pain. He weakly tries to fling her off, but Celia shreds his triceps with her claws. She grinds against his crotch with hers, tries to guide his cock up her cunt. Too bad he’s not hard. Her Beast still wants to mate, even if that’s not how it reproduces.
Celia: Fight, fuck, feed. That’s all the Beast wants. All the girl wants, too. Kill, rip, shred. Drink. Drink, drink, drink. She drinks it down, mouthful after mouthful of the salty, sour combination of his blood. Drinks until her Beast is sated, until she can’t take any more into her body, until his heartbeat ceases in his chest. All the while she grinds against him, desperately seeking the release that the rest of her wants.
It isn’t enough. Even naked, writhing against him, legs spread around his hips to press herself against the fabric of his jeans, she can’t get to the area she wants. She needs to be filled. Some distant part of her mind registers that he’ll be hard eventually—rigor mortis affects muscles and there aren’t any in the dick, but sometimes during death blood rushes to the genitals—but not soon enough. Not soon enough for the girl or the Beast, who both want to celebrate this victory over their enemies with a good, hard fuck.
There were three, though. And a lick besides.
She sends it out from her in a wave. A powerful, cresting crescendo, a combination of potent charm that would make anyone drop to their knees to worship the dazzling, exquisite, marvelous creature that she has become in death.
Fight, fuck, feed. She’ll do all three.
Emmett: Yeah… they can turn into cats? Didn’t know that. I mean, not that I want to turn into a cat. But it’d be nice to have the option.
He watches in mute appreciation of the unfolding carnage for a while.
…oh, now she’s trying to rape him to death. Great. Really cool. Is it necrophilia when a corpse fucks you?
GM: Is it when two corpses fuck?
GM: Maybe the hunter screams. Maybe he doesn’t. She just shreds his pants with her claws (does she slash his penis too?) and soon there’s a firm cock filling her slit. She rides it up and down as she drinks. She drinks until that overpowering salty sourness feels like the only flavor that’s ever existed in her mouth. She drinks and feels each beat of his heart pumping more of that rapturously genuine taste down her throat. Every beat of his heart exists for her pleasure. His life exists for her pleasure. She drinks until the only part of him still pumping is his cock. She moans wantfully as the flow of blood down her throat ceases. More. She needs more. She rides the corpse like a stallion, burying the dead man’s still-erect penis up her cunny as deep as she can. So close…
Roderick smashes into her, tackling her off the corpse. He’s coated with blood, an irresistible aphrodisiac on his naked body. The Brujah’s furious eyes are as lost to the Beast as Celia’s own. The roar he gives is equal parts rage and bloodlust as his fangs savage her skin, as his red-smeared fist gorily crunches in her nose, as he tries to pin her beneath his weight. He might be trying to kill her. He might be trying to fuck her.
Neither Beast much cares.
Celia: The girl wouldn’t mind being pinned. Not by him. Not like this.
But the girl isn’t the only thing in her head right now. The Beast stares out from behind her eyes, and the Beast knows what the other one is after: blood. Not in a fun way, not in the way it wants; he wants to hurt, to maim, to kill.
She doesn’t want any part in it. Neither of them do. Beaten twice into a bloody smear on the ground, watching him take out two hunters in a matter of seconds… No. No thanks.
She scrambles to her feet and flees.
GM: Roderick blurs after her, his preternaturally fast footfalls slamming against the carpeted floor in an almost constant thud-thud-thud, like a heavy rain. Objects and sundry crash aside in his wake. Celia blurs ahead of him. He catches up. He’s faster. But she’s nimbler. A cat can go all sorts of places a human can’t go. She dives under chairs, under the couch, up inside cabinets. Roderick mindlessly rampages through the house, smashing apart possessions and furniture. There goes his grandmother’s mirror with a shatter. There goes his JD. There goes a lot of things. The cat hides under the sofa.
Eventually, the sounds of destruction cease. She hears a choked sound like someone sobbing. But the thirst in her gut is overpowering. It burns her up from inside. Like another cat inside her stomach clawing to get out.
All she can think about is the three bodies in the secret room.
Celia: If he’s crying it means he’s not feeding. And if he’s not feeding it means she can feed. Three bodies. All hers. She literally licks her chops at the thought of the feast that is waiting for her. Wants it. Needs it. Hers, all hers, every single bit of it while he’s distracted by emotions.
Her tiny gray form blurs out from under the couch and back into the bedroom, through the still open doorway to where the men lie dead. The first man to die was hit by the bat, his head almost exploding from the force of the Brujah’s swing. Bits of brain matter and bone fragments sprayed out behind him when he fell. But she’s not concerned about that. No, her focus is on the pool of blood seeping from the open wound.
She doesn’t even change forms. She just darts toward it, licking up the spilled blood as if she were a cat with a dish of cream.
GM: But a cat can drink less at once.
Celia: She realizes this. Her form shifts abruptly, and it’s Celia on her knees with her mouth on the floor, scooping the pool of blood towards her with her hands.
Literally licking the floor.
It doesn’t last long. Head wounds bleed a lot, but she knows there’s more left inside him. She sinks her teeth into the flesh of the dead man to get the rest of it.
GM: The blood is already starting to cool, but that delectable salty-sour flavor so rich with adrenaline is still strong. Celia can drink as much as she wants. Three. Whole. Bodies. She drinks and drinks until her Beast is fat and gorged and purring quiescently, until she can almost feel the blood oozing through her pores. It’s so rare that her kind gets to overeat.
More buzzes go up from her phone on the ground.
Celia: Only when she has fully slaked her hunger does Celia begin to pay attention to her surroundings. Three bodies to clean up. Roderick crying in the other room. His first kill; she’d told him just last night that is sure if anyone could make it through their Requiem without killing someone it would be him. She should go to him, offer what comfort she can. Her phone, too, buzzing with news from her family. Something is wrong. She needs to fix it. Her mind spins towards her daughter, her mother’s dreams, Donovan’s chilling words at their last meeting: You will remember this as a nightmare, with your husband’s face in place of mine.
She has to help them both. She reaches for her phone so she can bring it into the other room… and never makes it.
Her Beast purrs in delight at the meal, the killing, the fucking; it’s tired now, it wants a nap. It drags her into unconsciousness. Her body slumps over on the floor, another corpse to add to the pile.
GM: Em watches as it all happens. Stephen swings the bat into the first hunter’s skull with that sickening crack. The female vampire tackles the second hunter from behind, sinking her fangs into his neck. A stake plunges towards her heart, but goes wide and stabs her collarbone as she shreds his arms with her claws.
The third hunter rushes Stephen while he’s left himself open, plunging another stake towards his heart. It punctures the mattress as the vampire rolls aside, lashing out with a lightning-fast kick into the hunter’s kidneys. It sends him crashing into the opposite wall.
He staggers to his feet and rips off the window’s curtain. The female vampire is too occupied in her grisly feast to notice the stream of sunlight that stops only inches away from her feet. Stephen, though, howls and pulls back as smoke wafts from his blistering skin.
The hunter steps forward, full into the sunlight, then pulls for the gun on his belt. Stephen chucks a laptop at his hand, sending the gun flying away. The man curses and clutches his hand.
He looks at his motionless friend on the ground, then the female vampire riding his dying friend’s how-is-it-even hard cock. He pulls open the window and starts climbing out. The drop has to be at least several stories.
Emmett: He follows, unfolding leathery wings as he vaults through the corporeal form of the hunter and flaps over the street.
GM: Em doesn’t have far to follow. Stephen snarls and grabs the man by his pants, yanking him down. The vampire’s blistering arms turn blacker as he pulls the hunter out of the sun. The mortal man kicks at first, futilely, then whips out a long hunting knife and drives it into Stephen’s gut. The vampire howls and smashes a fist into the man’s face with a gory crunch, knocking his head all the way to the floor from the impact. Stephen pounces on the prone hunter, sinks fangs into his neck, and then it’s all over.
Em watches Celia’s boyfriend thirstily drink, his blackened skin gradually turning pink again, until a translucent copy of the man floats up from the body like escaping steam from a kettle.
It joins the two others wrapped in gauzy cauls. Their close-eyed expressions remain calm and placid.
Stephen leaps onto the still-feasting female vampire. Blood paints both of their naked bodies as he roars, tackles her to the floor, and sinks fangs into her skin. She goes along with it, for a little while. Then she kicks him off, scrambles to her feet, and runs out of the room. He chases after her.
Huh. Reminds me of us and Sami.
Emmett: I guess that’s kind of… sweet. Or depressing. Little column A…
He tucks his wings and sets about the somewhat lengthy process of soothing the fresh enfants from their cauls, starting with the one he contacted through the mirror. He needs the juice, and he has a feeling the licks will be engaged for… a while.
GM: Em plunges his hands through the enfant’s caul. Pure nightmares wash over the newly-born wraith’s eyes as he conjures forth the most awful visions he can think of from the depths of his blackened soul. As a finishing touch, Em rips off the enfant’s caul, then kicks him in the balls.
He then does the same thing to other two wraiths.
That’s for what a cunt you were in Sami’s dream.
You should really know, Em. We don’t ever forget a slight.
Don’t worry, though. I’m happy to see us get these three off to Maman’s. And if you want some juice, I’ll give you a fix anytime!
Emmett: Ok. Whatevs.
If Gasper’s going to fuck everything up, it’s clear there’s about fuck all he can do to stop him while also trying to look out for his interests. So it’s useless to care.
How we gonna get them there?
GM: Gosh, what do we call those two things sticking out of our shoulders?
Emmett: And we’re going to… carry them?
With these big. Hunky. Arms?
GM: That should be funny to watch you do.
Emmett: I mean, I could also not. I’m very lazy.
GM: I truly don’t give a shit if you lug along these losers or find some others.
Emmett: Why would I bother to find others if you’re gonna make it harder to transport them every time?
GM: Nah, I’ll only do that when you’re a cunt to me.
Emmett: So, what, we’re even now?
GM: For now.
I’d bet good money you’ll find a way to fuck that up though.
But what do I know about you, I’m only you.
Emmett: Gasper. If you’re me, tell me.
Do I care anymore?
GM: You’re almost there, Em. Almost.
You only pretend you don’t when something has really gotten to you. Has really defeated you. Has really reminded you that everything you do counts for shit, and that you’ll never do better. Because you won’t.
One day you’ll realize that as thoroughly as me.
Emmett: Em doesn’t say anything because he doesn’t need to.
For all his posturing and tired goading, the truth is he’s still the only part of himself that Gasper doesn’t own, yet. The only part of himself that dares to hope that the dreams he’s made of are something more than nightmares, that Emmett Miloud Delacroix makes a better dead man than he did a dying one.
He knows he may be wrong. He knows his road is strewn with atrocities that will make his past crimes pale for their innocence. He knows that soon, his Shadow may consume him. Soon, perhaps, he will not care.
But for now, some maimed, raped part of him does. The part that never learns.
Even, then. Let’s go deliver some souls.
Previous, by Narrative: Story Twelve, Caroline X
Next, by Narrative: Story Twelve, Caroline XI
Previous, by Celia: Story Twelve, Celia XIV
Next, by Celia: Story Twelve, Celia XVI
Previous, by Emmett: Story Twelve, Emmett VIII
Next, by Emmett: Story Twelve, Emmett X
Emily Feedback Repost
“I bet they’re gonna get attacked by something because they both took Injured before going to bed.” “Ah fuck I was right.”
What a way to wake up, though. Roderick is all, “ha yes I have this super awesome security thing oh look they got through it.” Damnit, Roderick. What’s the point in having a giant steel door and alarm system if they get through it anyway. Honestly the whole thing is super fishy. I can’t imagine a lot of people know where he lives, so I’m pretty convinced he was sold out by someone who has been there and knew what to expect. Also like why did his ghouls take so long to respond, what were they doing? Damn. I immediately thought that Lebeaux had lied to her about Roderick not being a target, but then I was like “Why would he ruin Savoy’s plans?” and then I went down this rabbit hole of Lebeaux being a traitor. I don’t think that’s the case, but maybe.
So on the subject of this being Em: I legitimately had no idea. It is super cool to read this from his perspective / find out that everything was going on in another room at the same time and then the big reveal. Obviously Celia still doesn’t know, but it was cool for me. Also let me focus more in the moment / play Celia as I normally would without worrying about a ghost. Like I’m not trying to metagame, you know, but the scene with Ron & Alana/Randy afterward, knowing Em was there, it kind of threw me off a little bit. Part of it was because I didn’t want to hog the scene, I’ll admit, felt a little one-sided. Which I’m fine with if everyone else is fine with, I guess.
“Maybe it doesn’t even count. Three nights, that’s what it’s supposed to be. Today is day. Not night. They’d just done it hours ago.” I literally still have no idea what his bond level is at with her. You made it sound like because she fed him blood he was more into the idea of saving her, as we see later, but there was no sheet update with a +1 bond to him since this scene happened. He’s written down at 1, but I think he’s actually at 2. I don’t think his collar snapped completely when he took it out on her back in Chapter 3 when she admitted to cheating on him, and they’ve shared blood since then, and if it didn’t work on her (bond her 3 stages) then I don’t think it worked on him, so my guess is he’s at a 2. Provided he’s not bonded to someone else, which would kind of suck to find out. I mean I know other vampires have relationships, but he’s certainly acting like he’s bonded, and then their whole relationship would feel a little flat to me if it comes to be that the entire time he was Stage 3 with Coco or someone.
I think his hiding spot is cool. I should get one of those for Celia’s places. Also just better security in general. She mostly relies on people not having any idea where she is, and I think I tried to put a little bit of security on Jade’s haven (which, again, also relies on people not knowing where it is), but after seeing how easily they got into Roderick’s apartment I think I’d like to beef it up. He mentions in a log (next one I think?) the changes that he would make, so I’d like to see those implemented.
I don’t remember why I was dead-set on not having him call the cops. I think I was worried about a Masquerade breach / being arrested or something. It made sense at the time.
So. Celia gets the text. I legitimately had no idea who it was. I think Navy suggested it might be the Nosferatu, which made me think it was Emil lol. And I was like, “that’s cool he’s lookin’ out for me in the future, what a guy,” but of course that’s not actually possible since he’s still in 2007. Celia seems to think it, too, as we see from her conversation later with Roderick about the phones.
Celia: “I can’t shoot,” she admits. She never learned.
GM: “I really have to teach you. Hunters take a bullet like any other breather.”
Celia: She’d asked him to four years ago, but she doesn’t bring it up now. Just nods.
Remember that, Roderick, when you were all “blah blah blah you don’t need to shoot because we’re vampires and bullets don’t harm us.” Fuck you dude, you could have taught Celia how to shoot a gun.
Good thing these hunters were busy talking to each other and checking everything really well, gave Rod & Celia time to plan. I like “stone skin” for Fortitude. Man, too bad Celia didn’t eat Roxanne, she could have had it.
GM: I’m telling them you’re taking an off day.
Mistress, you’re awake?!
Just breather things.
This, and later things, actually kind of annoyed me IRL. I think you said something in the ooc about “You can punish her for it,” but like… I shouldn’t have to? Alana has been Celia’s ghoul for at least 6 years, she knows about the Masquerade, she knows better than to send texts like that. It’s actually really annoying that she’d do something so blatant when she’s supposed to be more coy than that. We know Alana isn’t stupid, just plays stupid sometimes like Celia does, so I honestly have no idea why she would text something like this in the first place. It’s super out of character for her to fuck up like this when she’s normally pretty composed about this kind of thing. Like a huge red flag / liability.
I thought the Impression use was pretty clever. I think I rolled 4 or 5 successes there and was pretty thrown off when that did not work on them and they looked over at Celia instead. That, uh, that was not a good sign. Supernatural tolerance, I assume. The guy saying the thing “no food bowl” is actually something I was thinking already, and while I can’t imagine that Celia would have a litter box for a pretend cat, I could definitely see her having a fake food/water bowl if she ever does decide to live as someone’s cat.
I was also super worried that Roderick actually fell asleep. That would have sucked. I do not think that Celia could have taken on three people by herself. Maybe if she rolled well enough? But her combat pool is pretty small, plus the middle of the day. I think it’s cool that she just let her Beast take over rather than trying not to. “Ride the wave” is a really awesome function with Frenzy. Narratively it is very satisfying to just say “fuck it” and let the Beast do its thing. Can you frenzy on purpose? Like if you just want to?
I think I was a little thrown off by her Beast wanting to mate with the dude she killed, but since it’s Celia I can definitely see it. Now that he’s dead, anyway, she’d hardly try to fuck a guy that’s trying to kill her. That last paragraph of hers after she kills him, though, that was meant to mean that she uses Green Eyes: Lust / Awe / Easy Lay on the third hunter and, if he’s down, then Roderick. There was some miscommunication between you and I about that, since I can’t imagine Celia would waste that sort of thing on someone who is dead and flaccid, but it didn’t really matter in the end I guess.
Em and his Shadow have a real good point though: is it necrophilia when a corpse fucks you?
I didn’t realize how much damage Roderick did to his own apartment. He broke his grandmother’s mirror. That’s sad.
I did want to have Celia comfort Roderick here, but she was also starving. Like 8 or 9 Hunger I think. Made more sense to go for the bodies.
Again, super cool to read this from Em’s perspective to see Rod fighting the third hunter. Even though I knew the hunter was dead, I got to the point where he tries to go out the window and I gasped and was like “oh my god did he escape?!” when I read it the first time. Lol.
Also, man, Gasper is a dick. I guess it’s proof that he is there in the dreams (since he didn’t pop up I wasn’t sure if he would remember them), but man he’s fucked. What a cockmongler.
Overall, had fun with the hunters a second time. Some frustration OOC throughout for a few things—I believe this is when you changed how Celerity 1 works—but the scene came together nicely. I guess Celia isn’t as useless in a fight as she/others think she is. Thought the licking blood from the floor thing was kind of a nice/gross touch. Curious to find out who it was that sent them after Roderick. Sucks that we couldn’t take one alive, but oh well. Got their phones, at least.
Calder Feedback Repost
Calder Today at 11:34 AM
“What’s the point in having a giant steel door and alarm system if they get through it anyway.”
Roderick didn’t have a giant steel door
Emily Today at 11:34 AM
The point stands
Calder Today at 11:35 AM
He had a steel bar he placed against his wooden door
Emily Today at 11:35 AM
You described the door as very heavy / steel lined
Pete Today at 11:36 AM
Your mom is very heavy / steel lined!
Calder Today at 11:36 AM
nope, ordinary door. The bar just would’ve made kicking it in harder
Emily Today at 11:36 AM
Calder Today at 11:37 AM
As Roderick himself observed in the last log, lot of home security isn’t good for keeping people out period so much as altering you and/or slowing them down
And by that metric, his security did succeed
The alarm woke up Celia
Emily Today at 11:37 AM
But what if she hadn’t been there
Calder Today at 11:38 AM
Then he’d have gotten a Perception roll only once they were right in the bedroom with stakes brandished. Same outcome, incidentally, for Celia if he hadn’t installed an alarm
Emily Today at 11:38 AM
They’d have both got got
Calder Today at 11:39 AM
You might’ve passed your roll and woken up, but you’d have been caught right in bed with no time to plan
Emily Today at 11:39 AM
Rod would have disappeared and I’d never know why
Calder Today at 11:40 AM
“Also like why did his ghouls take so long to respond, what were they doing?”
One pretty consistent thing I find with many players is that they expect NPCs to show up really fast/always have open schedules to see PCs
Emily Today at 11:42 AM
That was more tongue in cheek than it reads.
Calder Today at 11:42 AM
I remember you were disappointed when Donovan didn’t come running/sending help when Celia got captured
Emily Today at 11:42 AM
I didn’t actually expect him to in the middle of the day
He just mentioned his ghoul lived next door so I thought it might be faster
Calder Today at 11:43 AM
Likely key thing is whether his ghoul was home at the time
Emily Today at 11:43 AM
But they were there to help clean up / transport elsewhere so that was good
Like I’m not bitching about them not being there, I’m just amused
They’d have possibly gotten in the way / gotten killed
Calder Today at 11:44 AM
Fun fact, they also would have shown up if Em hadn’t told the hunters where Roderick and Celia hiding
Emily Today at 11:45 AM
Em you crazy coot.
Calder Today at 11:45 AM
But that whole “hey check the bookcases” cut down on how long searching Rod’s place take
Emily Today at 11:45 AM
If Celia got captured because of that she’d have been real salty with Em
Calder Today at 11:45 AM
Ah, but she would never know
Emily Today at 11:46 AM
He’d have dream visited and she’d ask for help and he’d look like a hero
Calder Today at 11:46 AM
By and large Rod’s security measures were pretty successful, but he didn’t plan around a ghost
I definitely like how the log went with keeping you in the dark about Em’s activities
Might also have been better to keep it that way and keep you guessing who sent Celia those texts
She’s seemed rather less curious about them since the OOC reveal
Emily Today at 11:48 AM
Ah… you are correct
That is my bad
She got busy
She’ll work on it
Calder Today at 11:51 AM
I’ll keep stuff like that secret next time though, since that also makes uncovering the mystery an actively fun IC process rather than “thing I have to do to not metagame”
Emily Today at 11:51 AM
Sometimes, I admit, things do get kind of lost with how much I’d like to do
Calder Today at 11:51 AM
Yes, I could see this getting lost amidst Celia’s other activities
“I think his hiding spot is cool. I should get one of those for Celia’s places. Also just better security in general.”
Rod would probably agree with you
Emily Today at 11:52 AM
He’s gonna help her make it better
They got distracted
But he will
Calder Today at 11:52 AM
Actually, did agree, in your earlier talk about security/a hot war
“Remember that, Roderick, when you were all “blah blah blah you don’t need to shoot because we’re vampires and bullets don’t harm us.” Fuck you dude, you could have taught Celia how to shoot a gun.”
He probably could have. Roderick is as susceptible to biases as any other person
And likely didn’t see hunters as such a serious threat until they were breaking into his haven
And yes, you could have had stone skin if you’d diablerized Roxanne
GM went to such lengths to ensure you wouldn’t have to pick up Dominate, too…
Calder Today at 6:30 PM
“It’s super out of character for her to fuck up like this when she’s normally pretty composed about this kind of thing. Like a huge red flag / liability.”
Celia’s certainly free to look into that with Alana if she finds her ghoul’s behavior strange
I agree the use of Impression there was pretty good
I don’t remember if I added Awareness to the game’s rules before or after played out this scene, but probably a reasonable assumption the DC wasn’t solely Composure-based
Good question if Celia could have taken the hunters in a solo fight. Three on one is ugly odds, and like you say, combat isn’t her strength
But maybe she’d have seduced her way out of that problem too, like she did with the earlier hunters
I also agree, Ride the Wave is pretty cool. Think this is one of the first times we’ve seen it since Cletus and (don’t remember) Caroline vs. Bishop M
“Can you frenzy on purpose? Like if you just want to?”
nope, something has to trigger you
although there’s an Animalism 5 Devotion to enter frenzy at will
since the ability to do so is quite powerful, between immunity to coercion/mind control, no Injured penalties, and Advantage on combat rolls
Calder Today at 9:41 PM
And yeah, Roderick seems to have a habit of destroying people’s apartments
At least this time it wasn’t Celia’s
Emily Today at 9:41 PM
What a douche
Calder Today at 9:42 PM
Pleased you enjoyed the fight with the third hunter. It was fun to fill in that particular blank through Em’s eyes