Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Oldest Devillers daughter & "responsible one" in the family
His first instinct says bullshit. Everybody’s unhappy. All people are missing something. That’s the only thing that makes sense. But [she says she’s not, and] she’s not lying—at least, if she is, she’s way the hell beyond him. He’s good at reading people when he wants to be. The look of doubt, then utter surprise as he realizes she’s telling the truth, all pass over his face quickly.
Cécilia is a beautiful and willowy-figured woman in her mid-twenties who shares the same strikingly similar features as her six siblings: pale skin, high cheekbones, clear blue eyes, and light blonde hair. She likes to dress in blues and sea greens that complement her eyes, and prefers understated silver and pearl jewelry. Although she spent more of her formative years in France than any of her sisters, she speaks with the least noticeable accent.
Abelia’s oldest daughter Cécilia was fifteen years old when she came to New Orleans with her mother and five sisters. She adapted better than any of her siblings to life in the United States, or at least was known to make the fewest comments regarding their home country’s cultural superiority. She spent the next three years finishing high school at the McGehee School for Girls while volunteering for many of the same charitable causes her mother was making a name for herself supporting. She left the city in 2008 to attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts before earning an MBA at France’s École normale supérieure. She moved back to New Orleans in 2014, though flew home regularly during summers and holidays to remain a part of her family’s lives.
Cécilia works for the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans as the division director in charge of Disaster Services, Education Services, Children and Family Services, and Domestic Violence Legal Services. She’s young for the position—young enough, in fact, that she and her mother (who sits on the board of directors) have faced allegations of nepotism. Abélia insists that her daughter holds the position as a result of her own merits. True or not, few can deny that Cécilia’s family has opened many doors for her. She is currently the only one of Abélia’s children finished with her academic education, and her mother has steadily been entrusting her with more social and organizational responsibilities since her return to New Orleans.
Cécilia has also found time for romance. Her beauty, Ivy League education, social graces, and charming wit combine to make her a choice prize for the city’s wealthy young heirs. She dated frequently but discretely in high school, and now appears to date less frequently but more discretely. Rumors have linked her to Luke Malveaux since her return to the United States, though she’s demurred when asked about it, insisting in a charming French fashion that “youth is a time for love and lust, not romance.”
She is much more open, however, regarding her familial affections. Like many older siblings in large families, Cécilia was pushed into a secondary caregiver role that was further compounded by the lack of father figure in her sisters’ lives (although the worst burdens of that were considerably softened by her family’s privilege). She usually comes over to her mother’s house multiple evenings a week for dinner and to help her sisters with homework. Though she lives on her own, she still maintains a room in her family’s home for those nights when she stays over late. She also remains a frequent sight at McGehee attending her sisters’ concerts, recitals, sports matches, and even PTO meetings. As she also likes to quote, “Other things may change us, but we start and end as family.”
Amelie Savard saw Cécilia in passing when she drove her sister Yvette to the LaLaurie House, where she was apparently in on the teenager’s plan to bring over Yvonne and Simmone for the slumber party.
It remains uncertain how much Cécilia knew regarding her sisters’ malicious intentions towards Amelie or their family’s agreement with the Whitneys, which did not allow for additional guests. Most people aware of the full story imagine that Cécilia regretted not putting a stop to things earlier after the ‘accidents’ Amelie and Emil Kane suffered that led to the girls’ arrests. Cécilia’s sisters subsequently called her and their mother from the Eighth District police station to bail them out of trouble. Cécilia was unable to reach Abélia or their family lawyer at the late hour and did the next-best thing by calling Luke, who brought in his almost-lawyer sister Caroline.
Cécilia still could not do much more than watch as her sisters were formally booked and strip-searched by NOPD, but offered them what comfort she could. She was coldly furious at the treatment they endured and promised that the responsible officers would be held to account for their actions later. She was exceedingly grateful for Caroline’s damage control efforts, who got the girls lawyers and had her uncle Carson (a criminal judge) get the warrants pulled. When her mother and Superintendent Bernard Drouillard arrived to finish sweeping the matter swept under the rug, she did not raise any objection to Drouillard blaming the recovered LSD (which Yvette had intended to drug Amelie with) on Amelie.
Caroline next saw Cécilia at Tulane Medical Center following Yvonne’s and Sarah’s shooting by Richard Gettis. The two conferred over how events had played out and should proceed from there. Cécilia believed all parties shared some degree of responsibility, but that that the majority of it lay with Gettis and Amelie. Cécilia was lukewarm at the thought of not pressing legal authorities (now eager to stay on the aggrieved Devillers and Whitney families’ good sides) to throw the book at Amelie. She relented when Caroline raised how the girl’s aunt Christina Roberts could drag the matter to a public trial, and agreed that a reduced sentence for Amelie would be preferable to putting her sisters through another ordeal—even if, she’d added, Yvette might actually relish a trial. She agreed to sell Caroline’s idea to her mother was apparently successful in doing so, as Abélia did not contest the deal Caroline negotiated with Roberts.
After Emmett Delacroix lost his legs in the Dungeon, he remembered back to better times during a charity gala hosted by Cécilia that he’d talked his way into. He convinced Mercurial “Mouse” Fernandez to seek out Cécilia for assistance in raising the funds necessary to pay off his considerable legal bills.
Mouselooked up Cécilia’s landline number and called her for advice on hosting a charity event in Em’s name. Cécilia was somewhat off-put by the young man’s enthusiastic demeanor, but advised him that hosting events can be expensive and recommended starting a GoFundMe page and hosting a donation drive among friends and family.
Giving that advice would also be to Cécilia’s regret: Mouse thought it was such good advice that he followed her back to her apartment and began singing a love song outside her door. An alarmed Cécilia promptly called the building’s security, who beat Mouse senseless and turned him over to NOPD for trespassing, setting the musician on a collision course of events that would ultimately claim his life. Cécilia filed a temporary restraining order with Carson Malveaux (Caroline’s judge uncle) and spent the following nights at Luke’s apartment, as she no longer felt safe at her own. The couple remained uncertain how Mouse had managed to get inside her building in the first place.
Caroline ran into Cécilia and Luke at the Orpheum Theater. Her brother’s girlfriend coyly deduced that Caroline appeared to be in love, declaring that “a woman without love wilts like a flower without sun—and yet your flower would seem in full bloom. Who is your sun, I must wonder?” Luke wryly added that he’d learned there is “no fooling a Frenchwoman when it comes to romance”. Caroline refrained from confirming Cécilia’s suspicion, but enjoyed a pleasant conversation with the two that was marred by news of Mouse’s harassment. Cécilia feared for her safety and hired ex-SEAL Daniel Hayes as a bodyguard at Caroline’s recommendation.
Cécilia was staying over at Luke’s when they received a phone call from Carson that Mouse was dead,, having stabbed his cellmate in Orleans Parish Prison to death before expiring from his own injuries. Cécilia took no pleasure in the news, but admitted she was relieved she wouldn’t have to see Mouse at the required court hearing to get a restraining order. Luke proposed she accompany him on a business trip to Saudi Arabia to take her mind off things, which she happily accepted.
Cécilia attended Westley Malveaux’s funeral alongside Luke, who found comfort in her arms as he grieved for his brother. Cécilia and Caroline spoke in passing, but the Ventrue was in little mood for conversation.
Caroline saw Cécilia again at the considerably happier Commander’s Palace dinner to celebrate the recoveries of Yvonne Devillers and Sarah Whitney, who were finally both able to resume school. Luke and Cécilia had grown quite close by this time, buoyed by the many hardships and tragedies their families had faced together. They mentioned they’d still taken that trip to Riyadh together, and had pretended to be husband and wife when checking in at their hotel—Roger Ferris had advised them that cohabiting unmarried couples could draw unwelcome attention in the Middle East. Luke surprised everyone by proposing to Cécilia at the end of the evening, though she surprised no one by answering yes. Their families immediately began making plans for a lavish wedding.
Cécilia attended Caroline’s 26th birthday party along with four of her siblings. Yvette mentioned that Cécilia was hurt over how their youngest sister Simmone had developed separation anxiety in the aftermath of the Eighth District station shooting and no longer felt safe around her. The Ventrue’s efforts made Simmone’s first social outing without her mother a success, which Cécilia was deeply grateful for. Yvette and Yvonne also confided in Caroline that Abélia had entrusted many of her darkest secrets to her eldest daughter, including the fact of her rape. The sisters bore no ill will over the fact their mother had not told them this (they’d eavesdropped), citing that Cécilia was the “oldest and smartest”.
When Yvette Devillers subsequently visited Emmett Delacroix on death throw, he taunted her with the revelation of a high school relationship he’d had with Cécilia. The condemned grifter had arranged for Westley Malveaux to sexually harass their sister Adeline at a school dance, which he won Cécilia’s gratitude by “saving” Adeline from. Emmett used that window to insert himself into Cécilia’s life with the goal of seducing her before inexplicably disappearing. He has yet to relay the sordid tale’s conclusion to Yvette.
Caroline heard occasional bits of news from Cécilia and her mother about how the planned wedding was coming along. Everyone seemed to expect that Luke and Cécilia were going to have children soon, which Cécilia admitted she could understand their eagerness over—both families had seen so much tragedy.
Cécilia invited Caroline over to the Devillers family home for Christmas after she was disowned by her family. The Ventrue discovered during an audience with Abélia that Cécilia knew the truth about the world, which she explained thusly: “Maman told me about your Embrace in September. I’d wanted to reach out to you, what with saving my sisters’ lives before you seemed to fall off the map. But Maman believed you needed… time. Time to deal with things in your own way. Time to learn how the Camarilla’s Masquerade worked, before you saw the… exceptions.”
Caroline remained deeply unnerved by Cécilia’s mother and confounded as to what manner of entity she even was beyond something terribly, terribly dark. Caroline felt she had let the Devillers matriarch taint her mind and poison her soul—yet, at the knowledge that she could finally stop lying around her future sister-in-law, the weary Ventrue could not help but feel relieved.