“Just look at what you’ve done to us."
Wednesday evening, 16 March 2016
GM: Celia wakes up in her lover’s arms. Her phone, like so often, has a number of text messages.
The oldest, from Logan, reads Robby is a cuck.
Celia: Celia exhales sharply through her nose at the message. Quietly, though. She thinks maybe she woke up before Roderick for once. Not that her half-laugh would wake him.
GM: Her brother does not immediately reply.
A later one, from Emily, reads Oh man. Story for you later tonight.
Celia: Oh boy.
Are you bringing Robby to dinner?
GM: A third, from her mom, reads Would you like to swing by later tonight, sweetie? Maybe I can have a better dinner for you then :)
nah just us + mom + Lucy + Dani, Emily texts back.
Celia: oh okay. i wanted u 2 meet someone but can do another day
GM: can do tonight if you want, it’s just a casual dinner
Celia: “You up?” Celia asks over her shoulder.
GM: There’s another text from Randy.
Reggie’s been fucking Mabel, do u care?
GM: “Mmm. Yeah,” Rod answers, giving her a kiss.
Celia: find out.
“Oh. I was going to shave your head.”
“Ah, but I’m a dude, that’d actually look good on me,” he smirks, pulling her against him.
Celia: “I dunno, I bet you have a pointy dome under there.”
She snuggles closer anyway, peering up at his head as if she can see beneath his hairline.
GM: “We can find out, if you like. It’ll just grow back.”
Celia: “Mm. Maybe tonight, then.” She can replace Blossom’s beau’s hair with Roderick’s, if she wants. She’d cut and colored her own, but if he’s offering…
“Mom is having Dani over for dinner tonight.”
“I was going to ask if you wanted to join us, but then I thought maybe not a good idea..?”
GM: He thinks. “Maybe ask Dani?”
“Actually, she’ll probably be pissed after you tell her she’s not emotionally blackmailing me for rent money.”
Celia: “Maybe you two can work it out tonight so Friday isn’t awkward as fuck.”
GM: “Ah, that’s a really good point. I don’t want to get into anything around Dad.”
“I also don’t want to around your family, frankly. Maybe we should just meet somewhere privately?”
“This isn’t their drama.”
Celia: “Oh. Yeah, for sure. She said she’s relatively free tonight.”
Celia fires off a quick text to Dani.
He wants to talk to you. Can we meet after dinner?
GM: There isn’t an immediate response.
Celia: “Mostly,” she says, “I want you to meet my mom with your new face.”
“So that when you inevitably ask me to marry you it’s not going to be weird.”
It won’t be anyway, she knows, since Diana knows.
But it’s better for her cover.
“And Emily,” she adds.
GM: “Okay,” he says. “Let’s just resolve our drama away from them. It’s really bad manners to drag uninvolved people into it.”
Celia: “Nah,” Celia disagrees, “Emily and Mom would love to play mediator, and I’d make a big batch of popcorn for all of us.”
“And we’d throw it at you when you say the wrong thing.”
GM: He cracks a smile. “Ha. Maybe that would lighten the mood.”
Celia: “And Lucy would tell you you’re both being silly and to hug and make up.”
GM: “Six-year-olds can be smarter than grown-ups a surprising number of times.”
Celia: “I am a genius,” she tells him, setting her phone aside to flip the pair so that she straddles his hips.
“More that they lack a filter.”
GM: “Who says that isn’t smarter?” he asks, pulling her in for a deep kiss.
“God, you’re so hot.”
“It’s such a privilege to wake up next to you, you know that? So many licks don’t have that.”
Celia: “That’s why they’re all miserable old cunts.”
GM: “Whereas we have your happy sexy cunt.”
Celia: “Wet, too. You should do something about that.”
GM: “I still owe you.”
So he does.
Wednesday evening, 16 March 2016
Celia: When they’re done, Celia tells Roderick that she’ll let him know what Dani says. They can meet up at the place they met before, if he wants (“Celia’s house”), and then she’s on her way to Flawless to meet Alana and have a quick bite before dinner.
The routine for a quick snack is pretty simple: Alana brings the client back to work on them, flips a switch that lets Celia know they’re ready (whether this means they have a mask on or are laying face down with their eyes closed varies from service to service), and Alana makes some excuse to open the door. Hot towels. Hot stones. Glass of water. Need more product. Whatever it is, she lets Celia slip inside to feed.
Alana, still wearing Celia’s face, is with a local EMT that hates how she looks and still lives with her mom. Celia has been able to help suggest style and makeup changes, removed a lot of the old acne scars that had plagued the girl since childhood, and over the past few months has really let the inner glow shine through. Celia snacks on her while she’s masking, eyes closed beneath the damp cloth stretched across them that “reduces puffiness and delivers hyaluronic acid to the area to minimize fine lines and wrinkles.”
It’s a convenient excuse.
GM: It’s a convenient feeding routine.
Alana looks just like Celia. Can do the same things to a client that Celia does. The hapless kine likely wouldn’t even notice the switch, even if she had the open eyes to see.
Abby White looks better under Celia’s capable hands. She’s still overweight, but that’s nothing Celia couldn’t fix either, if she wanted to. Alana looks at the plump girl with the same withering contempt she regards all overweight people.
But fat or thin, her blood is just as hot and vital over Celia’s tongue. Her Beast was a hungry thing, after all that sex with Roderick.
After all that sex the previous night, too.
Celia: And tonight, with as much as she has going on and all the flesh she has to sculpt, Celia takes more than she needs. She doesn’t have time to see more clients and take little sips from them all as she normally would; she bleeds herself instead while she works, making an excuse about a new product and microneedling that’s going to make Abby feel tired for a few days and to take it easy while her body recovers.
Her Beast, at least, is content with the knowledge that she has banked as much as she has, and looks forward to imbibing it later. Celia pointedly does not think about the other people the blood is for; she only plans to drink it if something crazy happens.
Celia slips back out the door once she’s done with Abby, moving into Jade’s suite to get ready for Alana. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for her to finish with Abby; she’d been on the second mask and all that’s left is to remove it and moisturize.
GM: Alana is back promptly.
“It was good for everyone to see you around during the day, mistress,” she says as she lays down.
“I had Louise fill in again during the audition.”
Celia: “How did it go?”
GM: “It went very well, mistress! Ron said it was mostly a formality, we’d have the part ‘as long as we didn’t vomit over the camera.’ But I still think that it did.”
“I asked if he could schedule any night roles or shoots, too, just in case you wanted to do some acting yourself.”
“He said he’d get back to me.”
Celia: “Perfect.” Celia smiles down at herself, syringe of anesthetic in hand. “I’m very proud of you, ‘Lana. I’m excited to see where this goes. I don’t know that we’ll be an actress forever, but it will be fun for a while.”
“Little pinch, darling.” The needle pierces her flesh.
GM: Celia’s face beams at her mistress’ praise.
“I loved being you, mistress. I spent soooo much time in front of the mirror, after you gave me permission…”
Celia: “I don’t doubt that,” Celia says with a grin. “Maybe I’ll keep you like this for a while when we go to LA and turn myself into your boyfriend instead of Jade.”
GM: “I’ll suck your cock all night long, mistress,” Alana purrs. “I’ll go to sleep with it in my mouth.”
Celia: “We’d never leave the haven.”
GM: “I’ll snuggle up to you during the day, when you’re asleep, fit your dick in my mouth, and lie there until you wake up. For hours. Sucking your cock is such an honor, mistress.”
Celia: Celia leans down to press a kiss against the lips that look like hers.
“You’re insatiable, pet. I love it.”
GM: Alana kisses her hungrily back.
“I had another dirty thought, mistress… there are cock gags, I’m sure you know. Gags shaped like cocks, with these big thick panels in front. Very sexy. But they’re made of plastic, of course.”
“You could make a real cock gag, with a real cock, for us. You could lock it on me so I’m stuck with a real dick in my mouth until you decide I can use it for something else.”
“You could take me out in public, somewhere with lots of people. And I’ll have a real dick in my mouth the entire time, and not be able to say anything.”
Celia: “Like a sex club?” Celia muses, unsurprisingly aroused at the thought.
GM: “Yes, mistress. Where they all could know.”
“Or even somewhere boring, like a church. Somewhere you’re not supposed to do sexy things. I could stare at a priest with a real dick in my mouth.”
Celia: “Pretty sure we’d be chased out of a church.”
“I’ll consider it.”
GM: “A sex club would be very sexy too, mistress. The only thing more sexy than a gag in my mouth is a gag that’s also a real cock.”
Celia: “Tempting. What if we made it hollow so that anyone could put their cock inside of it? I could walk you around on a leash and let people use you like they want to.”
GM: “A cock in a cock, mistress,” Alana beams. “That’s perfect! Then they could all cum in my mouth too, and you’d never even have to take the gag out.”
“I’d have to swallow all of their cum. Or just let it all sit in my mouth.”
Celia: “Good girls swallow.”
GM: “Yes, mistress. I’d swallow it all.”
“It’s just very sexy to know I wouldn’t have a choice.”
“If I were bad and didn’t swallow, you could say you wouldn’t remove the gag until I did.”
“I might have this big, big load of cum in my mouth, from god knows how many guys, that I’d have thought I could get away with spitting out, once the gag was out, and then you’d punish me for being bad by making me swallow all of it at once.”
“It would be like drinking cum, there’d be so much.”
“Drinking, not just swallowing.”
Celia: “I’ll work on something for you, then.”
GM: “Thank you, mistress,” Alana beams.
Celia: Then the work begins, the sculpting and twisting to turn Celia back into Alana: lighter hair, darker skin, eyes that gently lift in the corners, lips a little more full than Celia’s own. Less padding in the breasts and butt—Celia has always enjoyed a tiny bit of extra there, whereas Alana does not like any reminders that she used to be fat. She scrubs away Celia from her ghoul until just Alana remains, working quickly but not impossibly fast.
GM: Alana’s voice slurs as the anesthesia kicks in. She remains still as Celia works on her, then thanks her mistress for giving her her body back. And for her use of Celia’s oh-so-sexy body.
Celia: When it’s done, Celia asks Alana if she was able to get ahold of Lucia for her.
GM: “Yeth, mithreth. The thaid the could mee’ you a’ the Thangio’anni manthe in thoo thayths, a’ 3 AM.”
Celia: “Friday at 3?” Celia repeats.
GM: Alana nods her head.
Celia tells her to enjoy her evening and that she’ll be wrapped up with family stuff for a while.
Once Alana is gone, Celia turns to the next mask that she needs to make. She has no immediate plans to put Diana around any Kindred, but Roderick will need a disguise for this evening. Her fingers form the second of his masks, smoothing it out into a face that looks nothing like him but is still attractive enough to be seen with Jade. It doesn’t take long.
Once it’s done she slides both masks and the wig into her bag to distribute to the Garrisons tonight and heads out to meet her mother.
Wednesday night, 16 March 2016, PM
GM: Dani still hasn’t gotten back to Celia. Roderick texts that he supposes Celia can ask in person, then. He’ll come over when his sister gives the thumbs up.
Celia: She says she’ll let him know.
GM: Celia arrives, meanwhile, at her family’s house. Emily and Diana both greet her with her hugs. Lucy is asleep in bed. Dinner is already eaten. Diana makes a show of offering Celia food, “If you haven’t already eaten, sweetie,” but doesn’t press as hard this time. The question mainly seems asked for Emily’s benefit.
“All right, I gotta tell you this,” Emily grins, plopping down on the living room couch.
“So, between Mom and I wanting to learn how to stab properly, and then Logan too, Robby decided it might be best to just practice on our own, outside of HEMA.”
“And we were able to fit in some time to do it today, at Mom’s classroom. Which was pretty convenient.”
“Wide open space we wouldn’t be bothered and all.”
“We wanted you to come-”
“-but you had an important client,” Diana nods.
“So hope you don’t feel bad we didn’t invite you, sweetie.”
“Also, Emi, do we really need to tell this stor-”
“-are you kidding, Mom? It’s a fucking awesome story!”
Diana hems and wrings her hands.
“So, Logan was a total butthead,” says Emily, turning back to Celia.
“He went on about a bunch of machismo bullshit, some real he-man stuff, about having a ‘hunger to win’ and how you had to enjoy hurting people to be good at fencing.”
“He gave Robby a ton of pointers. Robby, who’s been practicing swordfighting for years, unlike Logan, who’s only just picked up a sword.”
“Yay for my boyfriend getting to experience some mansplaining.”
“He really was just trying to help, sweetie,” says Diana.
“Well, he wasn’t. He had this really arrogant, confrontational body language too. Implied Robby was a ‘nice guy’ and a wimp. And a nerd.”
“And, you know, Robby can be a little shy. And he’s pretty modest. He’s not as much of a bitch as me.”
“So he didn’t make too big a deal with Logan, though I was starting to get pissed.”
“So, they’ve got all their equipment on, got the swords, Logan boasts about his ‘hunger to win’… and Robby completely hands him his ass.”
“Like, it’s not even close. Robby just knocks the sword out his hand, twice, and has his sword at Logan’s throat. Like Logan’s got butterfingers.”
“Then when they go again, and Robby lets Logan take the offense—lets him—he just blocks and dodges everything Logan throws at him when he’s nothing, and when he makes these big stupid charges, Robby taps his chest with the sword. Where he coulda slashed him open.”
“It goes on like that. Logan just completely fucking loses it, screaming all sorts of shit, and then Robby literally knocks him on his ass. Like, trips him. The whole thing’s just laughably one-sided.”
“So much for Mr. Nice Guy Cuck.”
Emily’s smiling widely. Diana just makes a fretful expression and clears her throat.
Celia: “Jeeze,” Celia laughs when the story is over, “I was wondering why he sent me that text. That puts everything into perspective.” Celia shakes her head. “He said similar to me yesterday, about needing a killer instinct.”
GM: “Shows what that counts for.”
Celia: “How’d it go otherwise?”
GM: “Well, I was really turned on. Seeing my boyfriend kick ass. I gave him a blowjob in the car at the McGehee parking lot.”
Diana looks scandalized. “Oh! Emi!”
Celia: “Hell yeah.” Celia high fives her.
GM: Emily high-fives her back. “I mean it was strategic, doing it in the car meant he was ready to go again by the time we got back to his apartment. Because I was still really horny.”
“Sweetie, that’s—someone could have seen you!” exclaims Diana.
“And—the car, you might have… gotten it dirty!”
“Relax, Mom, I swallowed so we didn’t have to clean up the car seat,” Emily grins. “Whole thing was very efficient.”
Celia: “That’s the best way to do it,” Celia nods.
GM: Diana looks like she’s about to pass out.
Celia: “Stephen and I used to fuck in the car. Windows got all foggy.”
GM: “Aw, that’s sweet,” says Emily. “In semi-public?”
Celia: “Think someone took a photo.”
GM: Diana’s hands fly to her mouth.
“Relax, that would’ve been… seven years ago,” says Emily. “Doubt anything’s going to come of it after this long.”
Celia: She can’t share that she just did it last night, too, but with someone else.
So she doesn’t.
GM: “I didn’t know windows actually fogged, though. Robby and I’ll have to try that.”
“Oh! Sweetie, you could get caught! Please don’t!” their mother exclaims.
Celia: “Tell them to join in, if you are.”
GM: “Bingo. They’ll be co-conspirators in the… crime?”
“Please tell me you’re pullin’ my leg,” murmurs Diana.
“I dunno, depends how hot the photographer is,” says Emily.
Celia: “Bingo,” Celia says, “no uglies. No uggos in your threesome.”
GM: Diana clears her throat and says, “The practice went very well, otherwise, sweetie. After, ah, Logan quit. I kissed his boo-boos all better-”
“-which he was a jerk about too, but I guess at least he let you,” says Emily. “I’m glad you stayed, though.”
Celia: “Glad you had fun with it. Learn a lot?”
“Did Dani already head out? I thought I was on time.”
GM: “Dani’s asleep, sweetie,” says her mom. “She came back from school and-”
“-wait, Mom, you’re not finished. Tell Celia how great you did,” smiles Emily.
“Oh, well, I was a lil’ nervous at first, but Robby told me how Jean-Claude Van Damme did karate and ballet, and thought ballet was way harder. So that made me feel better.”
“But it was interesting! I knew from an academic standpoint that ballet had its roots in fencing, but it was pretty neat to give that the ol’ college try!”
“She did great,” says Emily. “Robby complimented her technique way more times than mine. His girlfriend,” she emphasizes with a mock-severe look towards their mom. “Kept saying how graceful and flexible she was, and how she made every move look like a dance.”
“Oh, he had plenty to compliment you about, sweetie, for one thing you were-”
“Nah, you earned it, Mom. You beat me fair and square,” says Emily. “You did great. Be proud of that.”
Celia: “That’s awesome, Mom. I’m real proud of you. Gonna stick with it?”
GM: Diana blushes a little. “Thanks, you two. And I think so! Robby said my bum leg would probably give me a hard time, at some point, but there was no reason we couldn’t take things a lil’ slower.”
Celia: “Awesome. I’m glad you had fun and learned a lot. That’s great! And I’m glad you are gonna take it slow when your leg hurts.”
“When do you want me to set up dinner with Maxen?”
GM: “Oh, we actually did set up a dinner date this Sunday, sweetie, through Logan. Does that work for you, or should we reschedule?”
Celia: “Oh. Yeah, that’ll work. What time?”
“Are Logan and David coming?”
GM: “7 PM. We thought we’d do it after Lucy’s in bed. I don’t… quite want to have them together, just yet.”
Emily gives a firm nod.
Celia: Celia nods as well.
“For the best.”
GM: “And no, it’ll be just us three and your father.”
Celia: “Sounds like a plan. What happened with Viv, Em?”
GM: “I thought we’d invite the others, after… after we’ve eased back into things some more.”
Celia: “For sure. I feel like I haven’t seen David in ages. Maybe I’ll call him, see if he wants to go out.”
GM: “I know he’s been busy with law school. He and Dani are actually classmates! Maybe somethin’ with them both?”
Celia: “That could be fun.”
Double date with two sets of siblings, that’s not weird at all.
GM: “So with Viv, she said if I wasn’t arrested or anything, there was little legal question here,” answers Emily. “She said Maxen could come forward later, but that it’d mostly be a ‘he said, she said’ and she doubts Mom would sell me out.”
Diana gives a firm nod.
“So 2 v 1 witness and no claim at the time. She said that’s pretty open and shut.”
Celia: “Sounds like it worked out pretty well then. That’s great.”
“Stab him again on Sunday if he gets lippy.”
GM: “I’ll be sure to.”
Emily sounds mostly kidding.
“Viv ran through with me how that might play out. Maxen comes forward this morning and says, ‘Emily stabbed me.’ Police ask why he didn’t call them at the time. Mom and I deny it. And now the story is ‘big former football player claims he is stabbed by smaller woman. She and his ex deny it.’”
“Viv said he could pursue a civic tort, but hard to win that one for the same reason. Big strong guy claims girl stabbed him, how do you break as a juror? She said he could mostly make headaches, make our life annoying, file a police report and get me brought in for questioning, bothered by cops, etc. But unless Mom breaks against me, hard to sell.”
“And that’s happenin’ when hell freezes over,” declares Diana.
Emily smiles. “Plus, that isn’t a police report he wants to file as a legislator, let alone a prospective governor. ‘Majority leader’s ex-wife’s adopted daughter stabs him when he visits ex-wife with restraining order.’”
“Viv did say this would be a different story if I was Emile, though. Yay for having a hole between my legs.”
“But she said without evidence, like a knife with my prints and his blood, or a recording, this whole thing is just a domestic squabble.”
“And even then, his whole tough guy reputation as a big strong physical dude gets undermined if he files a report about a girl stabbing him.”
“Plus, finally, she said you and Mom have the resources to help me through anything that’d really fuck a lower income person. Days off from work, going to court, talking to cops, etc.”
“So, yeah,” Emily finishes. “I’m just really relieved not to have this hanging over us.”
Diana nods. “Viv does good work! I made her a batch of cookies to say thanks.”
“You do pay her, Mom.”
“I know, but still. She’s done a lot for us.”
“You’re right, she has.”
Celia: Celia listens to it all, looking for any holes in the story, anything that Maxen could use against them. It sounds, though, like the biggest threat to them right now isn’t the mortal world at all.
It’s her world.
And she’s not really concerned about that, either.
She’s glad of that, at least, and she says as much—though not in so many words—slinging an arm around Emily and announcing that “I guess we’re stuck with you, which is great ‘cause listen I don’t think Robby wants to fight me for conjugal visitation rights.”
GM: Emily grins and squeezes her shoulder back. “Then don’t. Maybe you could both… visit. At once. Do they allow that?”
Celia: “I’d blow your mind, sweetheart, Robby would never hold a candle to what I can show you.”
Celia wiggles her brows.
“But also no, I think you’re limited to one.”
GM: “We’ll smuggle you in then. In a cake you can burst out of.”
GM: “Like with a file. But a bigger cake. Mom can bake it.”
Celia: “Mom, get crackin’.”
“Emi said she’d lick the frosting off my… nose.”
GM: “I’d lick you in lots of places, to be extra sure I got it all. And you’d wonder if we were still in prison, ‘cuz you’d be seeing stars.”
Celia: “Oh damn, girl, maybe I should introduce you to my new friend-boy, we can tag team ’im.”
GM: "Dangerous. Both of us together might leave him in a coma. But isn’t the love that burns brightest that which burns briefest, or something poetic?’
“Yes, let’s talk about your new beau!” Diana agrees emphatically.
Celia: Celia giggles at the mortified look on her mother’s face.
“I think we broke her brain,” she loudly whispers to Emily.
“Technically, Ma, we’re not sisters. Technically. So it’s not weird.”
GM: “And if I shove you off a cliff, it’s gravity or the ground which kills you, not me,” Diana huffs.
Emily whistles. “Love the new attitude. Seriously.”
Celia: “Y’think it bothers her more that we’re two ladies or that she considers us both her babies?”
GM: “Mom, which is it? Inquiring minds want to know.”
“Not-dirty minds wouldn’t think to know!” Diana declares with another huff.
Her attempt at a glare still looks a kitten trying to mimic a roaring lion.
Celia: “Uh oh. Now we’ve done it.”
GM: Emily grins. “Maybe practice in front of the mirror a few more times.”
Celia: “Maybe get a sword, I bet you’d look more intimidating with a sword.”
GM: “I don’t have a sword,” Diana hmphs. “You two have such dirty minds, you really know that!”
“Do we? That’s news to me,” says Emily.
Celia: “I had no idea.”
GM: “Because I thought we had really squeaky-clean minds and needed to visit some, uh, ‘places of ill repute’ to get some experience. Stop being so sheltered.”
Celia: “We should go make it rain on some strippers. See how flustered Robby gets. Let some other girl tease him for an hour or two. Then take him home and blow his mind.”
GM: “Er, rain?” asks Diana.
“Pee on them,” says Emily. “That’s what you do at strip clubs, you pee on the girls. Make it rain.”
“What!” exclaims Diana.
Celia: “Yeah, golden shower, Ma. Real messy. That’s why the floors are so sticky.”
GM: “How do you know they’re stick… oh, lord, sweetie, have you been to one?! You could get… you could get…!” Diana waves her hand, fumbling for words.
Celia: “Danced on a pole once and everything.”
GM: “It’s true, I was the pole,” says Emily.
Celia: Celia shifts onto Emi’s lap, moving her hips in a suggestive way.
“All those dance lessons made me real flexible.”
GM: Emily smirks and runs her hands up and down Celia’s torso.
“You could get more flexible with, with ballet lessons! Which take a lot of time, so no time for strip clubs!” says their mom.
Celia: Celia purrs at Emily.
“Twenty dollars and my shirt comes off.”
GM: “Forty dollars for the shirt to stay on!” declares Diana.
“Oh, bidding war,” says Emily.
Celia: “How much am I worth to you, Emi?”
GM: “Sixty, at least,” says Emily.
“Eighty!” counter-bids Diana.
Celia: “Sorry, Emi, looks like the ballerina has you beat.”
“Private show later,” she stage whispers behind her hand. “Don’t tell Mom.”
GM: “The ballerina is goin’ to ask her lawyer to write an airtight contract so the eighty is binding ’til Kingdom Come,” huffs Diana.
Celia: “Speaking of lawyers.”
Celia finally slides off of Emily’s lap to take the seat next to her instead.
“Watcha makin’ for Friday?”
GM: Diana looks relieved.
Emily gives her a look of exaggerated longing.
Celia: Celia winks and blows a kiss.
GM: “Ah, let’s see, I was thinkin’ some oven-fried chicken, or maybe crock pot chicken and dumplings,” says Diana.
“With some kind of salad or green side, and shoofly pie for dessert.”
Celia: “Sounds delicious.”
They both know it doesn’t.
GM: “Maybe a second side too, since we’ll have lots of people. I’m goin’ to go grocery shopping tomorrow.”
But they pretend.
Celia: “I, ah, was gonna clear it with Dani first, get her opinion on it, but I ran into a guy who used to know Stephen. Went to school with him. Was thinking about bringing him.”
GM: “Oh, he your new guy?” asks Emily, wiggling her eyebrows.
Celia: “Actually… yes.”
GM: “Good. Randy wasn’t going anywhere. Not with you, anyway.”
Celia: “At least you and Logan agree on something.”
GM: “A stopped clock is right twice a day.”
Celia: “I think you’ll both like him. Might bring him by before Friday so it’s not your first time meeting him.”
“Probably not tell Henry he’s my new guy, focus on the friend angle.”
GM: “Be happy to,” nods Emily.
“Just give advance notice, so I can cook up somethin’ to woo you his heart,” her mom winks.
“Huh. He’s got the same name as Stephen’s dad,” says Emily.
Celia: “Oh. No. I meant Henry as in Stephen’s dad.”
“Don’t tell Stephen’s dad about my love life.”
GM: “Oh. Yeah. That makes total sense.”
Celia: “Awesome. I’m excited for you two to meet him. I told him about Robby,” she says to Emily, “and his HEMA stuff. He said it sounds cool and that he might want to play some World of Shadow games with us.”
GM: “Yeah, you mentioned earlier. Robby said he’d be happy to run a session for us all.”
“It’s good nerdy fun with lots of banter between dice rolls and unhealthy snacks.”
“Oh, I’ll make y’all healthier snacks, if you want,” says Diana.
Celia: “I think it’s the point of the gaming,” Celia says to her mom. “To eat junk food.”
GM: “But don’t you want to eat healthy food, if it’s still tasty?”
“Well it’s sort of like you could give a blowjob in the privacy of your own bedroom, or on your knees in a school parking lot,” says Emily.
Celia: Celia snorts into her hand, dissolving into laughter.
GM: “I don’t know what the appeal is there,” Diana mutters.
Celia: “The thrill of someone wanking while they watch from afar and knowing you got two dudes off at once?”
GM: “It’s—it’s a girl’s school! The only men are responsible adults, thank you!”
Celia: “Show the girls what waits for them in their future, then.”
GM: “Or their parents. Yell, ‘This is your daughter pursuing her dreams of higher education!’ at them.”
Celia: “You know what they say about successful women.”
GM: “What, that they suck cock too?”
Celia: “Somethin’ somethin’ makin’ bank on their back.”
GM: “Er?” asks Diana.
“Never mind, I don’t want to know!”
“She’s so innocent,” says Emily. “Part of me wants to croon and preserve it, and the other part of me wants to totally despoil it.”
Celia: “We can bring her clubbing with us.”
GM: “Fuck, it’s been forever since I went out. School and all.”
Celia: “You’ve been real boring lately,” Celia agrees. “Blow it off, let’s go out soon.”
GM: “We’ll make it a girl’s night and pick up lots of hot guys.”
“You two have boyfriends!” says Diana.
“And we still will, if no one’s a blabbermouth,” smiles Emily.
Celia: “Variety, et cetera. Plus half of them are for you.”
GM: “Blugh! No thank you! We’ll do an arts and crafts night with Lucy instead, how’s that?”
Celia: “Hmm… hot sex, drugs, dancing, and loud music… or coloring with a six-year-old…”
GM: “That is a very easy decision!” declares Diana. “We can take turns sitting her on our laps and coloring over her shoulder.”
Celia: “Uh huh. We could do both.”
GM: “Read my mind,” says Emily. “We can draw sex positions with them. Sort of a ‘pick in advance’ thing.”
GM: “You are not drawin’ sex positions around my baby,” hmphs Diana.
Celia: “She’s gotta learn sometime.”
GM: “Start ‘em young. Plus we’re all your babies, aren’t we?”
“Yes, you are. And speakin’ of, Emi, don’t you have school to study for?”
“Ah, yeah. I kinda do.”
Celia: “Go, go,” Celia shoos her, “so we can play Doctor later.”
GM: “I’ll know that many more spots to touch you.” She gives Celia a hug. “This is fun, though, having someone else in the house with some adult humor.”
Celia: Celia slings an arm around her. “I’m always gonna be here for you. We’ll get the boys together soon. I’ll text you.”
GM: “Rad. Count on it.” Emily gives Celia another squeeze, then she’s off to her room.
Wednesday night, 16 March 2016, PM
GM: “You two drive me bonkers, sometimes, but I’m glad you have each other,” smiles Diana.
Celia: “Me too. Minus the bonkers.”
GM: “I don’t mind, sweetie. I really don’t. Sisters tease.”
Celia: “That might be something you need to come to terms with, though.” Celia glances down the hall to make sure Emily’s door is shut. “There’s a lot of that kind of stuff with my kind.”
GM: Emily sleeps in the attached carriage house (more like carriage room), so there’s that much extra distance.
“Oh, like how?” Diana looks worried.
Celia: “Just if you’re ever around it, there’s a lot of… sex, I guess.”
GM: “Ah. Well, I’d appreciate you not takin’ me to that, sweetie. It just isn’t my scene.”
“But if it happens, I suppose I’ll just try and pretend I’m in a rose garden, or somethin’.”
Celia: “I’ll, ah, try to avoid taking you to anything like that.”
“Your leg okay after the fencing?”
GM: “Thanks,” her mom nods. “We took things slow, and Emi gave me a massage after we were done. But I wouldn’t say no to another,” she smiles.
Celia: “A quick one, if that’s all right. I have a few meetings tonight.”
GM: “Of course, sweetie. My leg doesn’t really hurt right now, anyways.”
“I wanted to talk to you about Dani, unless you had anything to bring up first?”
Celia: “No, go ahead.”
GM: “She… told me about Stephen,” Celia’s mom says quietly.
“Is it true that he’s… Celia, is he hitting you…?” she whispers, her eyes wide with a mother’s concern.
“She… told you about Stephen?”
GM: Diana nods.
It’s probably no surprise, with the amount of time the two have been spending together.
Celia: Celia runs a hand through her hair. She hadn’t decided yet if she wanted to tell her mom who her boyfriend really is.
Maybe it’s better this way.
“He’s… it’s… he’s not abusive, Mom.”
GM: “But is he hitting you?” she asks.
Celia: “He just… it’s different, with his clan, they just have this anger about them. And… he did, yes, but it’s… he… I don’t want to say that I deserved it, but the situation was… complicated.”
“I had to break up with him. When I was turned into this. I had to tell him something that would make him not want to see me ever again. So I told him I cheated on him.”
“And then I saw him later, and he was like me, and he… we started talking, a little, and I told him who I was, and he was… he blamed me for being turned, too. Said that I tore out his heart and that he wouldn’t have accepted it if not for me, that when his sire asked if he wanted it he said he had nothing else to live for.”
GM: “Oh, Celia, baby…” her mom whispers, her face pained as she squeezes her daughter’s hands.
Celia: “I guess he’d been kind of stalking me online. And Lucy. He thought she was his. And he asked if that’s why we needed the pill the one night, if she was someone else’s kid.”
GM: “Oh. What did… you tell him about her?”
Diana’s face is wary.
Celia: “That she’s not mine. He knew the dates didn’t add up anyway. And then he said I was lying and he lost control of his Beast and attacked me.”
“We didn’t talk for a few years.”
“And then I… asked him out.”
“And things were good for a few weeks.”
“…and then they weren’t.”
GM: Diana listens, holding Celia’s hands in hers but not judging yet. There’s an odd tinge of apprehension and hope to her face.
Celia: “He wanted to know the truth about the cheating. Said that… that our past dictates our present. So I… I told him. I told him the truth.”
Celia looks away from her mom.
GM: “Oh, Celia…” Her mom murmurs, embracing her tight and stroking her hair.
“It’s okay, sweetie… we all make mistakes, we all fall short… I don’t blame you…”
Celia: “So he… he hit me for it,” Celia whispers into her mom’s shoulder. “He got angry and lost control.”
GM: Her mom just hugs her close and runs a hand up and down her back.
“I’m sorry, baby… that must have been very, very painful…”
If nothing else, she knows what she’s talking about there.
Celia: “We’re hard to keep down.”
GM: “We… vampires?”
Celia: “Yeah. Your type, too.”
GM: “We are?”
Celia: “Yeah. You heal with blood. I could stab you and you’d heal it. Only a few things can really kill me. The rest of it just knocks me out.”
GM: “Oh. That’s… handy, but here’s hopin’ we won’t need it much.”
There’s a hungry look in Diana’s eyes at the words ‘heal with blood.’ Perhaps Celia would then have to replace it.
But she quickly asks, “But you got back together?”
Celia: “Yeah. Recently. But it’s… it’s hard to date like this. People just… they suck. I’ve had a handful of flings—” more than a handful “—but no one I love.”
GM: “I’m sorry, sweetie. A mom’s love might not be the same, but you’ll always have it,” her mom smiles in answer to her initial words, rubbing her arm.
Celia: “Can’t take you to bed with me, though,” Celia tells her, echoing the words she’d said to her and Emily nights ago.
GM: “Well, hence not the same,” her mom says with a wry half-smile.
Celia: “But I love him. I can talk to him. I can be Celia around him.”
GM: “So you have to be Jade around other vampires. But Stephen brings out Celia?”
Celia: Celia nods.
GM: “That sounds like something very precious and special.”
Celia: Her sire brings out Celia as well, but that’s too complicated to get into with her mother.
“It is. He loves me, too, even though he… even though he hurt me. It’s not like it was with Dad. It’s not.”
GM: “Is he sorry he did?”
GM: “He’s said so?”
Celia: Had he? She thought so.
GM: “Then that’s somethin’ your father never did,” Celia’s mom nods. “Until now, anyway. He never once said sorry before, even when we made up.”
Celia: “He’s not like Dad. It’s different. It was just twice, and… I’ve gotten faster since then, so if he’s about to lose it I know to get away.”
GM: “It sounds like you both messed up… but wanted to make up.”
Celia: “We did.”
GM: “That happens.”
“You think he might… lose it again, ever?”
Celia: “…honestly? Yes. But not at me. Not like that.”
“It’s like… okay, the other night when I was in the tub.”
GM: “I remember that. It was very scary…”
Celia: “I lost control. But it wasn’t at you, it was just… I was hungry, and you were there.”
“That’s when the Beast comes out. And that’s what happens with him. He loses control.”
GM: “That wasn’t you I saw in your eyes, baby. A mom knows her kids.”
Celia: “It’s not me. It’s this other part of me. We all have one. I mean, Dani doesn’t, but it’s different.”
GM: “Oh, why not?”
Celia: “Thin-blood. Their physiology is different. They’re too far removed from the original vampire to manifest a lot of the same things we do.”
GM: “Oh. Dani explained that. She said she wasn’t a real vampire.”
Celia: “Some people think she isn’t. They’d call her a half-breed.”
GM: “She said you said she had fangs and drank blood.”
Diana is quiet for a moment. “Jade called me a half-breed. Or… you did, as Jade, rather.”
Celia: “It just means ghoul, in that case. In Dani’s it’s… like a slur.”
GM: “Dani doesn’t deserve slurs. She’s a sweet girl.”
Celia: “True-blooded vampires think they’re better than everyone else. Ghouls, thin-bloods, kine. They’re the white supremacists of our world, basically.”
Celia shakes her head.
“It doesn’t matter how sweet she is if no one accepts her. They killed someone at a party on Saturday just for being like her.”
GM: “I accept her.”
Celia: “You’re not a vampire.”
GM: “Well, I thought that didn’t really matter?”
Celia: “I mean it doesn’t matter if you accept her.”
GM: “I think it matters a lot to h-” Diana starts.
Celia: “Not to my society.”
GM: “Oh, I see.”
Celia: “It’s like the Mexican kid telling the black kid that he accepts him. None of us care. You’re not white, so that’s all they see.”
GM: Diana frowns faintly at that comparison.
Celia: “There are people, like me, who aren’t bothered by it, but most people… most people consider them abominations.”
“Even her brother…” Celia shakes her head. “He lost it when he found out.”
GM: “His Beast, you mean? Or really him?”
Celia: “He lost it and his Beast came out.”
GM: “Okay. Dani is… blaming him, rather than the Beast.”
Celia: “She hasn’t seen it. She doesn’t understand. He almost lost it when they met but I… I got in the middle of it. Calmed him down. I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t.”
“I didn’t warn her well enough about him,” Celia says with a sigh, “and now they’re mad at each other.”
GM: “I think we can both try to calm the waters,” says Diana. “If we explain what the Beast is, maybe.”
Celia: “I don’t think explaining is going to work. Maybe if we show her.”
GM: “Dani is very, very lonely. She might be mad at her brother, but I think she really wants to have someone else she can talk to and confide in. She needs more people than just us.”
“A big brother’s love would be a wonderful thing for her to have right now. Especially Stephen’s! He was such a nice boy, it kills me that she doesn’t want to see him.”
Celia: “I’m trying to get them together tonight so they can talk.”
GM: “Sooner they make up, the better,” Diana nods.
“Showin’ her the Beast might be a good idea too, if she doesn’t get hurt. Show versus tell, and all.”
Celia: “I could have Stephen, ah, cuff me or something.”
GM: Her mother gives a worried frown. “Would that hurt you? I know you said you don’t as easily, but…”
Celia: “He’d have to bring it out. It comes out when we’re hurt, hungry, angry.”
GM: “I don’t want to hurt you, sweetie…” her mom murmurs. “Maybe I can just explain what happened with us, to Dani.”
Celia: “You can try.”
GM: “And you could too. Two trusted voices and all.”
Celia: “Worth a shot. Being stabbed isn’t my idea of a good time.”
GM: Her mom squeezes her hands. “I won’t let someone stab you, sweetie. I’ll fight ’em off, if they try.”
Celia: Celia smiles at that. “One fencing lesson and you’re ready to take on the world.”
GM: “When my baby’s on the line, you bet,” her mom chuckles. “If it keeps you safer, my heart’s all in it.”
Celia: “I’m glad to hear it.”
“I didn’t tell Stephen about you.”
GM: “Oh, yes, we got distracted! I just want to say, sweetie, he’s an absolutely wonderful boy and I’m overjoyed he’s still alive and that you two can still be together. He did so much for our family. For you. He was really… I could just tell, he held your heart in a way Randy simply didn’t. I am beyond happy for both of you. I wish you many long and happy years together.” Her mom smiles and rests her hands on Celia’s shoulders as she talks.
Celia: Celia tries to smile. She does. But the thought of the future that’s waiting for her, the idea of turning him into something like that…
The smile takes longer than normal to lift her lips, and it doesn’t quite meet her eyes.
“Me too, Mom. I just hope one night it’ll be easier than it is right now.”
GM: “Can I help make it easier?” Diana asks, glancing long into her daughter’s eyes.
“I want you to be happy with your beau.”
Celia: “It’s just… politics. Bit of a Romeo and Juliet situation.”
GM: “Well, if it means somethin’, your family approves. Theirs didn’t.”
Celia: Celia laughs at that.
“That’s true. Now we just need the vampire family to approve.”
GM: “We’ll work on that, then. But what matters is you two have each other, and you have something very precious. Anything that can drive back Jade and let you be Celia is worth its weight in gold.”
“Anyway, sweetie, we got a lil’ side-tracked. I wanted to talk about Dani.”
Celia: “Right. Go ahead.”
GM: “All right, so, here’s the situation with her. She’s told me just about everything I think she’s told you. I’ve helped her move her things over here, temporarily. I woke her up early today, to go to law school, and she came back and passed out. I want to get her on a schedule where she’s up early, stays awake, and goes to bed early, ‘cause it’s not healthy to break up your sleep.”
“For, ah, non-vampires, anyway. I don’t know if that’s the same with vampires.”
“She’s sleeping in my bedroom right now, by the way. I’ve been sleeping with Lucy. Fun lil’ slumber party for us.”
Celia: “We normally sleep all day and don’t sleep otherwise.”
GM: “Ah, well, sounds like the rules are different for her. She’s asleep in my room now, like I said.”
“I’ve talked to her about school, and she’s been… sweetie, she was raped and turned into a vampire. She’s fallen behind. In her coursework, job, you name it. I’ve talked with her boss and professors, to help straighten things out without saying too much about her situation, just letting them know she’s goin’ through a hard time and still wants to do her best. Emily and I have also helped her with her phone bill, laundry, car maintenance, basically all the lil’ life things she was letting slide."
“Emily has also been very good to her. Even if they can’t talk about quite as much. But she knows Dani was raped, and thinks that’s why she’s spending a lot of time in bed.”
Celia: Celia listens quietly. She hadn’t realized that Dani had fallen so behind.
GM: “She says she spent a lot of her time at that bar, trying to track down who did this to her. And just stay fed.”
“I’m very glad you found her. I think her life would have spiraled apart if you hadn’t.”
“She’s a smart and brave girl. She is able to talk about what happened to her and call it what it is. But… I think she is in a very vulnerable place, still. I really don’t think she should live alone. After your father… after your father raped me, I was so thankful to have Emily living in the same house. Because she knew and believed me and did so much to support me and help out. Especially pregnant. I really think Dani needs that kind of 24/7 support in her life right now.”
“I’d be happy to be that for her, and I think she’d be if I was, too. But she talks about you all the time. She talks about how much she’d have loved to be your roommate, and she was really sad you couldn’t be. Can I get you to reconsider?”
“She thinks just the world of you.”
The bond has come back to bite her in the ass.
“I… I’m never home, Mom. My house is literally a closet and a bed. I barely even sleep there most nights, and there’s a lot of… I mean, I have a very private life, it’s hard to just invite someone in to that. I could get, like, a communal place with her, but I’m not going to be there all the time. Like tonight I have a handful of meetings, and tomorrow I’ve got two more, and Friday is… well Fridays are usually pretty full, Saturdays I’m gone most of the night…”
Celia exhales heavily.
“And Stephen and I are supposed to get a place together. There’s a lot of, uh, sex.”
GM: “Hm. I don’t think she’d be offended, but bein’ a third wheel isn’t much fun.”
“I don’t think Dani wants to spend all of her time at home, anyways. I don’t think that’s good for her either. She needs to keep livin’ her life.”
Celia: “I told her the same thing.”
GM: “I just want her to have support when she is home. I don’t want her to live by herself right now.”
Celia: “I’ll think about it, see if I can figure something out. I just don’t know how supportive I’m going to be if I’m never home.”
GM: “Well, that could be here, if you can’t figure out something else. We have room to do this for a while. I’m just worried how we’ll explain her hours to Emily. Maybe we can get her accustomed to bein’ up during the day.”
Celia: “I’m supposed to meet with someone tomorrow night who knows more about the thin-bloods. I’ll see if she has any suggestions there.”
GM: “Okay. For now, I’d postpone the apartment idea, until she’s in a better place mentally. Right now I think she would benefit a lot from some live-in support.”
Celia: Maybe she can give her Mabel and they can… support each other.
GM: “Also, sweetie, I think she feels very helpless.”
GM: Her mom nods. “She didn’t find out who did this to her. She’s heard from you about how bad duskborn have it, what second-class citizens they are. She’s had to hide from and tiptoe around other vampires, get a special tattoo, jump through hoops with her job and work, not even pick up her own things from her apartment, that whole incident with her brother…” Diana pauses. “To be clear, sweetie, I believe you’re doin’ what’s best for her and her safety. I think she would be in a vastly worse place if she hadn’t met you. But I don’t think she feels like she has very much control in her life, or is able to do things that build confidence. I think that’s why she’s lashing out at her brother, because it lets her be in control of something. That’s my read, anyway.”
Celia: “Ah…” She hadn’t considered that. But she’s been acting like a mother bear, hasn’t she, to keep Dani safe.
“What do you think I should do?”
GM: Her mom thinks. “Is there anywhere you can let her make many choices? Or, color outside the lines? Help you out in some way? I think she’d feel better if she felt needed and useful. Like she was earnin’ her keep. You remember how important that was to Emily, when she moved in with me.”
Celia: “Maybe?” Celia hedges. “I’ve gotten so used to doing things on my own, I didn’t really think about asking her for help. I didn’t want to burden her after everything she’s been through, thought she could just focus on school…”
GM: “I think if she’s at all like her brother, she feels best when she feels needed. Like she’s making a difference.”
“And I think she is a lot like her brother, despite how… how low an opinion, I guess, she has of herself.”
Celia: “All right. Yeah. I can think of something.”
GM: Diana beams. “Wonderful, sweetie! Do you want to wake her up and tell her about it?”
Celia: Celia checks the time.
GM: The ladybug clock reads half past 8.
“Or I could pass it on, whatever works,” Diana says at her glance up.
Celia: “Ah, I can’t right now, actually. I need to be across the city in thirty minutes.”
“Can you tell her I’ll call her later? I have a meeting, but I’ll swing by after.”
GM: “Okay. I’ll probably be asleep, if that’ll take you a while, so you can let yourself in.” Celia still has a house key.
“Or, actually, you could give her a call first, so she can clear out the cats. They don’t seem to mind her at all.”
Celia: “Thanks for putting them away. I was wondering why no one hissed at me tonight.”
GM: “Yes, they’re in Emi’s bedroom. I’ll do that whenever you come over now.”
Celia: “I have to get going, though. I didn’t realize the time.”
GM: “Oh! One last thing, sweetie. Are you hungry?”
GM: Her mom nods. “Would you like my wrist or neck?”
Celia: Is this weird?
This is weird.
Pete would be so mad at her.
But the woman just tastes so good.
“Whatever you’re comfortable with.” Her fangs are already out; she runs her tongue across the sharp edges. “You’ll be woozy tomorrow. Nothing important going on?”
GM: “How woozy? I have work, but I could call in sick if you need a lot.”
Celia: “No, no. Just… a little more tired, maybe. I only need a little.”
GM: “Okay. I can manage that for you, sweetie.”
Diana leans forward, baring her neck.
Celia: She’s just never going to tell Pete.
Already close enough to touch, Celia closes the distance between them. It’s like going in for a hug and resting her cheek against her shoulder, only now… now she opens her mouth and pierces her mother’s flesh with her fangs, sinking into the embrace and closing her eyes as the rich, warm blood spills across her tongue.
GM: It tastes like love.
Just like last time.
A mother’s love. Endlessly, willingly, happily giving. Like warm chicken soup, homemade just for her. There’s a stronger, purer flavor to it, this time. There’s none of the fear, shock, and disorientation that spiked her last libation from the woman. That bitter undercurrent is all gone. This is rich and warm and full. For a moment, Celia can forget her Beast’s pangs, and glow under the taste of that liquid love, that she could cultivate from no other vessel.
And Celia knows. She can taste it. Her mother wants this. Not just the pleasure of Celia’s kiss. She may not even want that at all. She wants to give of herself, to help her daughter. There’s joy in her blood, at being able to give of herself for Celia. At being able to feed her baby.
Celia: Her kind will never know this taste. She can’t imagine there’s anyone else in the world who will ever know what love this pure tastes like.
So incredibly lucky.
She savors every mouthful that she swallows, letting it fill her with the emotion that everyone like her thinks is dead to them, lost forever when their mortal coils slough away. Is this what Celia tastes like when Roderick drinks from her? When her sire drinks from her?
Love. Pure, raw, unfiltered. Someone she’d do anything for.
She sips at the divine nectar offered to her and for a moment lets her troubles fade away. She wraps herself in love, a warm blanket on a cold night.
When she finally pulls back, licking closed the holes, she swears that she can see stars.
GM: Her mother’s breath comes heavier in her ears. A blush has crept across the woman’s paler cheeks. Her eyes shine as she touches Celia’s cheek.
“You’ve had enough, baby?” she smiles. “I could give you more in a thermos, where it’ll stay warm, if you want some to save for later…”
Celia: Tempting. So very, very tempting.
But Celia shakes her head at the offer.
“You’ll hurt yourself if you give too much. I need you healthy. Once or twice a week, no more than that. Small amounts like this, right from the vein. That’s when it’s best. Something I can look forward to.”
GM: “Okay, sweetie. Just know that I’m always, always here if you need me, and if you need more, okay?”
Celia: “I know, Mom. I love you.”
GM: Her mother hugs her. “I love you too, Celia.”
“Carpe noctem, is that what the phrase is? Go seize the night,” she smiles.
Celia: So she does. Celia melds into Jade when she turns away from her mother, fingers blurring across her face to transform the girl into the lick. Even in this face, Celia’s smile briefly shines through at her mother. She’s Jade, yes, but the daughter remains beneath the surface of the domitor. Her form blurs, first into a familiar gray cat to rub up against the woman’s legs with a purr and a meow, letting her know that something good still resides within her, and then the cat takes a running leap and shifts again. Fur becomes feathers, limbs become wings, and the nightjar takes off into the sky.
Wednesday night, 16 March 2016, PM
Celia: From this vantage point, high above the city, the girl and the bird both find peace. Even the Beast, hungry though it is, cannot help but be silent within her while she soars across the sky. Perhaps it, too, is thinking of another night, another flight; how many of them now has she spent with her sire?
She understands the yearning he has to travel as he does above the heads of the kine that scurry like ants beneath his booted feet. This is my city, she imagines him saying, though words do not frequently pass his lips. He had once told her it would all be his. Years ago, on the highest building in the city where he had collected her from her cousin’s apartment, he had said those words to her. It had pained her then. She had thought of how easily his plans could be stolen from her; she had not understood the words that followed, the place that he intended for her. Now, as the years have passed, she does. She is his tool.
Something within her, something made of steel rather than flesh, rebels at the thought.
She does not want to be a tool.
But that is the way of things, is it not? The elders among them turn the younger into pawns and tools until those younger prove themselves to be capable, to be worthy, and ascend further. So many her age are content to live their nightly existence; they never hunger for more, never seek to rise above what is handed to them. She and Roderick had spoken of it once, the neonates that pay lip service to their patron of choice and offer to be “ears on the ground,” as if there are not dozens like them who do the same thing. Selling hot air.
Jade, Celia, the Beast—they do not want to sell hot air. They wear the masks and say the words, but inside they scheme.
And tonight… tonight they prove to themselves, to their friends, to their sire and their grandsire why the Blood is not wasted on them.
Tonight they turn a boy into a girl, indifference into passion, acquaintance into ally.
Tonight they push the first of the dominoes that will spiral through the city.
The nightjar flaps its wings and soars, reveling in the freedom of the night sky and the thoughts that flit through its mind. One night, perhaps, it will fly beside the sire who blooded it.
Tonight, though, its mission is solitary.
The lights from below beckon the bird to begin its descent, spiraling slowly through the clouds to find the glow of the riverboat. Her playmate waits within.
She glides toward the window left open for her and drops into the painter’s cabin. She shifts from bird to lick.
Jade has arrived.
GM: Jade has arrived, and not a moment too soon.
Perhaps a few moments too early.
As the nightjar swoops by, it see Josua in bed with another vampire. She’s a short, slim, and black-haired Asian-American vampire who isn’t wearing anything. Josua isn’t either. The two Kindred are locked in one another’s embrace—or at least locked under the female one’s. She’s pushed him face-down into the bed and is straddling him from behind, raking fangs and nails down his skin as she laps up the cooling blood. Josua writhes underneath and whispers sweet, submissive words, the kind that are an endless roll of velvet against one’s ears.
There’s a precise perfection to her appearance, the esthetician behind the nightjar can tell. Neatly trimmed hair, long unbroken nails, plucked eyebrows, smooth shaved skin—care was taken prior to her Embrace, care that speaks to her sire’s attention to detail and calculated intentions. Details invisible to the kine, invisible to the trash at the edge of society, but all-too clear to those in the halls of power—or someone who runs a spa. It speaks to legacy and affection. The same care is evident in her manicured and painted nails, carefully styled hair, and a carefully styled, conservative-looking dark blouse and skirt currently lying on the ground.
Alana, at least, has also come through. The nightjar sees the expected makeup case and two suitcases likely filled with folded clothes sitting in the corner of the room.
Celia: What’s this? Another tasty little morsel for her to top?
Someone else might be jealous, but Jade sees the offer for what it is: two for the price of one. Isn’t there a saying about early birds and worms?
Jade shifts, fangs already long in her mouth at the sight and scent of blood.
“Naughty naughty fledglings, starting without me.” Velveteen words drip from her tongue like thunder poured over ice, arousal and hunger in her eyes.
She doesn’t ask for permission. She doesn’t say that she’s going to join them. She just does, stalking forward on heeled shoes without bothering to remove the rest of her clothes. She slides in behind the Tremere—archon’s childe, she remembers from the club, and some part of her purrs at the delectable little treat he’s taken for himself, though she would expect nothing less than perfection from a fellow surgeon—and sinks the points of her fangs into her neck.
GM: “You showed up early,” laughs Josua. “I have a very full schedule…”
Kyrstin gives a low growl and turns around just as Jade’s fangs pierce her neck. The Tremere’s blood and her mother’s are like night and day. Yes, it isn’t brimming with love. But it’s stronger, headier, and with such a darker, sharper taste, all grim determination and jagged glass. It’s the difference between a loved one’s home-cooked soup and a highly-rated restaurant’s. It might not have the same love, the service with a smile. But it’s made by more technically proficient hands, from costlier ingredients, in a dedicated and likewise costlier setting. It’s a good contrast to go from day to night, rather than day to shoddier day like if she’d supped from another ghoul who didn’t love her.
Kyrstin’s hands, meanwhile, already work to tug off Jade’s shirt, then her fangs sink into the Toreador’s neck. The archon wouldn’t choose someone weak for his childe. Josua, beneath them both, pulls down Jade’s panties and teasingly traces his fangs across her lower lips. His painter’s hands appreciatively squeeze her posterior.
“A body built for bedrooms…” he murmurs, then sinks his fangs into her pubic mound.
Celia: Everything she takes the girl takes right back from her. Pity; she hadn’t wanted to need to break into the supply she has built up. But she will. After she enjoys these two.
Her clothing comes off with little regard to its structure, shirt shredded when the Tremere takes too long with the buttons down her front, skirt hiked up around her hips to give Josua the access he needs. A shift of her lower body positions her shins across his forearms, pressure applied to keep him pinned beneath her.
“Hush, pet,” she growls, lifting her mouth from Kyrstin just long enough to get the words out. Another shift of her hips and she’s put the best part of herself over him, pressing down to smother his lips with hers and present him with the feast he so clearly desires. Jade leans in again, claws and fangs tearing across Kyrstin’s chest. Her tongue follows.
GM: Josua likely couldn’t be happier to have any speech muffled beneath Jade’s best part. He struggles with his arms and makes little gasps and squeals in a very sexy way. His tongue expertly goes about its work, lapping and stroking and teasing her in all the right places even as bliss shudders up her loins from the kiss of her clanmate’s fangs. She’s sitting on a volt of electricity. She wants to scream and leap off, but not really, she actually wants to grind down, wants to shove her cunt against his face like she shoved her cock down Alana’s mouth, to make two holes become as one. He’s a fire smoldering beneath her, lending fuel to the lovemaking machine she is up top. Kyristin mirrors her motions. She bites and kisses, but mostly bites, across Jade’s lips, neck, shoulders, breasts. She rakes skin with her nails. She waits those tortuously long seconds for the blood to cool, then laps it up. The Tremere neonate doesn’t have passion so much as she has determination, relentlessly seizing what she wants. She isn’t a virtuoso like Josua. Her touch doesn’t please so much as take. She is, Jade assesses, his junior in the arts of love.
But then, she isn’t a Toreador.
Celia: She takes after her sire in that manner. Or at least that’s what Jade had always imagined when she fantasized about the archon: taking what he wants. Seizing it like he seizes everything else in his Requiem. Controlling her pleasure like he had controlled her body so effortlessly on the floor of the club; a hand here, a touch there, she had bent to his will. Restrained strength. Even his mind in hers had been delicate and precise, never venturing beyond what she had offered to show him.
Pity, too, as she’d had such wicked visions she could have shared that all involved his taught, toned body intertwined with hers.
She contents herself with the childe, some small part of her wondering if Grey and North have ever fucked, another part wondering at his response if she takes the fledgling for a lover to show her how it’s done.
Like this, her touch says, fangs trailing shallow scratches from clavicle to nipple in slow, prolonged movements. She goes the other way to lick it clean, down to up rather than up to down. Down, though, her hips over Josua’s mouth, riding the tongue he uses to tease her with as assuredly as she would ride another part.
GM: Maybe if she fucks Kyrstin hard enough her sire will feel it. Through the Blood.
What a compliment that would be.
Does Donovan feel it, when she gets fucked really hard and really well? Does he sense her pleasure? What feelings does it stir in his cold breast? She fucks so often, and so expertly, surely he’s felt it at least a few times.
It’s enough to think about him while she’s with them.
Jade shows the Tremere how it’s done. Like this. Like that. Slow. Savoring. Compatible with taking. Just do it right. She shows them both how it’s done. She reminds Josua it’s his place to lick, from the bottom, to worship her cunt and be thankful for it. He is. He so clearly is. The three lie spent on his silky sheets (of course he has good sheets) when they’re done, slick with one another’s vitae.
“Always a pleasure to be fucked by an expert…” the other Toreador purrs, stroking a hand along Jade’s vitae-smeared flank.
Celia: Does he feel it when she has a particularly strong release? Does it strike him in the middle of important meetings, a vision of her topping or being topped by someone else, the echo of her pleasure arcing through the space between them?
It’s a decidedly delicious thought, made all the better by the way the Tremere responds to her instruction.
When they’re both spent—she did that—and collapse onto the bed, Jade curls up behind Josua and nuzzles the back of his neck with her lips.
“Happy to assist,” she murmurs against his skin. Her tongue flicks along his flesh, wiping it clean of blood. She itches to sink her fangs into him again.
“I’m Jade,” she says to Kyrstin.
GM: Josua clearly has that same thought. He grins and starts to clean her up with his tongue too. They won’t let a droplet go to waste.
“Kyrstin,” replies Jon’s childe, propping her head up with her fist.
Celia: “I know your sire,” Jade says to her as Josua busies himself once more with his tongue. Her eyes flick down the naked girl’s body, appraising, then back up. “He has good taste.”
GM: “Then I am sure you are unsurprised. He is meticulous.”
Celia: “Excellent word choice for him.” Jade finally smiles, running a hand through Josua’s hair. “Are you being released upon his return?”
GM: Josua grins and continues to lip the bottom-most portions of her breasts. They’re clean of vitae.
“I am being released this Sunday,” Kyrstin answers.
Celia: “Congratulations,” Jade tells her, only momentarily distracted when Josua’s lip closes around a nipple. “I’ll be sure to attend. Is he back, then?”
“Perhaps a party afterward,” she muses, clearly already planning something.
GM: “Thanks,” says Kyrstin. “Archon North has pressing business elsewhere, but I’d still enjoy a party.”
“That must suck he won’t be there,” says Josua between sucks.
Kyrstin shrugs her slim shoulders. “He knows. He’s proud of me. It’s enough that I’m here because of him.”
Celia: It was enough for Jade that Donovan and Lord Savoy had been present at her release despite being introduced to their society as Veronica’s childe.
She asks after Kyrstin’s schedule and what night would work best, already wondering where she can throw a party for the girl. The one Veronica had hosted for her had been a night to remember; Jade will step in for North, if he’s busy with his archon things.
GM: The harpy’s childe got a party just for her, after all.
Kyrstin is free the Wednesday and Thursday after her release.
A buzz goes up from the phone amidst Jade’s clothes.
Celia: Jade lets her know she’ll be in touch.
“Hold that thought, pet,” she says to Josua, rolling off the bed to pluck the phone from where it sits beneath her clothing. She gets Kyrstin’s number and checks the message. Efficient.
GM: It’s from Randy, on her question about whether Reggie was fucking Mabel with her consent.
Mabel maybe thought it was Evan fucking her so kind of?
Celia: Thanks. I’ll handle.
Reggie is going to be the sort of rapist-vampire that nightmares are made of.
GM: He said it himself. He takes what he wants.
On the other hand, Jade’s heard a few licks say they’re all rapists, in their own way.
Celia: “I’m excited for the party now,” Jade says, dropping her phone back onto the pile of clothing and sliding into bed with the two. “I don’t suppose your lover will let you come to the Quarter if I host it there, hm?”
GM: “I don’t suppose so,” Josua says with an effected sigh.
“Perhaps Marigny,” says Kyrstin.
Celia: “Might as well.”
GM: Kyrstin doesn’t look disappointed, at least.
Celia: She would if she knew what sort of parties the Evergreen sees.
But Jade won’t burst her bubble.
Something Roderick had said to her about Tremere comes to mind. The demon thing. Is there a casual way to link demons, sex, and parties?
If anyone can do it, Jade can.
She makes idle chitchat for a moment, asking after the Tremere’s studies, and finally slips it into the conversation. Grunewald was the ghost expert; who’s the demonologist of New Orleans?
GM: Apparently, Jade can.
Kyrstin answers little about her thaumaturgic studies, directing conversation back to the party, but looks amused by Jade’s “joking” question. While the chantry doesn’t have a dedicated demonologist, Erwin Bornemann and Elsbeth von Steinhäuser likely know the most about demons, by dint of being the chantry’s senior-most Tremere.
Celia: Jade tucks that information away for later and lets Kyrstin steer them back toward party talk. She wants to know what Kyrstin wants to do to cut loose now that she’s “her own Kindred.”
GM: Kyrstin wants to indeed cut loose. Dancing. Partying. Music. Attractive vessels. “Like in college.”
She’s not interested, though, in “the kinkier shit.” Like vitae-gorged ghouls raping each other to death for the promise of more in front of laughing crowds.
It would be a lie to say Jade has never seen that.
Kyrstin, meanwhile, allows herself a faint smile.
“Lucky me to have a Toreador volunteering.”
Celia: Lucky indeed.
“I have a handful of clubs in the Quarter if you ever feel the need to cut loose after this party. Let me know; I’d be happy to take you out again.”
GM: Kyrstin nods. “I also enjoy piano music.”
Celia: “You should hear my grandsire play sometime.”
GM: “I fucked someone on a piano once,” Josua mentions idly.
Celia: “Did you play a tune?” Jade asks, one brow arched.
GM: “Sort of. I tried to hit the keys with my feet, but the positioning was awkward.”
Celia: “We should try again sometime.”
GM: “Yes, we should.”
Celia: “Or set a canvas on the ground and roll around in paint.”
GM: “Mmm. I’d want to paint every last inch of you…” Josua murmurs, suckling her other nipple.
Kyrstin looks faintly amused again.
Toreador never stop thinking about sex.
Celia: Josua might have more sex than she does.
Is it possible?
Hadn’t she had three threesomes in one night last week?
She’s happy to go again, though, or to let Kyrstin get on her way so she and Josua can get down to business. Sex business. Very serious stuff.
GM: Kyrstin’s libido seems satisfied. The blood disappears from her body with a murmured invocation and wave of her hand as she dresses. She says they have her number, then heads off.
Not everyone can be as much of a champ as the two Toreador.
Wednesday night, 16 March 2016, PM
GM: Josua doesn’t seem satisfied at all. He goes again with Jade. It’s everything and more that it was last time. It leaves her shivering with satisfaction and her Beast howling for more. They’re insatiable.
She’s not even sure how many times she had sex last night. There was Roderick, Reggie, Alana, the two breathers she picked up… and when was Vinny? That was also with Alana. It’s all blurring together.
“Mmm, good warm-up,” Josua purrs.
“But this is just practice for us with Marcel, me as a girl…”
Celia: They end up sprawled across the floor when they’re done the second time; at some point they had shifted and fallen and kept going, neither one of them bothered by the abrupt shift in position. Jade rests now with her head on his chest, tips of her claws running across his stomach.
“Mm,” she agrees, “just practice for Marcel.” Her eyes find the suitcases. “I see my delivery made it on time. Did you get a look at the girl who brought it?”
GM: “Yes, she was great in bed.”
Celia: Jade lifts a brow.
“You fucked Celia?”
GM: The other Toreador laughs and strokes her backside.
“You couldn’t have expected me not to help myself, sending in a treat like that.”
Celia: She’d left that out of the report.
GM: “I follow her on social media, so that was even better. There was lots of anticipation.”
Celia: “Wait a minute, so you got it up for her or you fangbanged her?”
GM: “Fangbanged. I’m happy to get you off the breather way, but it doesn’t do anything for me.”
“I did get her off that way too, though.”
Celia: “How chivalrous,” Jade says dryly. She’s both amused and aroused by the thought of Josua following Celia online and finally getting a chance to bang her. “Measure up to your expectations?”
GM: “Oh, yes,” he purrs. “I’d jerked off to her photos when I was alive. She was more submissive than I expected, but that might’ve been the renfield in her talking.”
“I gave her some of my blood, too, to balance what I took away. Since I’m so chivalrous.”
Celia: “Pity,” Jade says, nails tapping against his chest, “I was going to take it from you.”
GM: “She took it from me. I had her suck it from my dick.”
“There’s really nothing like the sight of a famous breather on their knees for you.”
Celia: Jade shifts, sliding down Josua’s body until she’s kneeling between his legs.
“Was she better than me?” Jade asks, fangs trailing down the inside of his thigh. “Should we compare?” She laps at the blood her teeth bring forth, not bothering to wait for it to cool; she wants to give him the full effect of the pleasure she can bring him.
GM: “Oh, there’s no comparison…” Josua grins. He sits up and wraps his legs around her torso, pulling her in close against him. His painter’s hands close around one of her breasts, not directly kneading it, but rubbing his palms against one another with the nipple caught between.
It’s tricky positioning, with her head so close to his cock.
Celia: It doesn’t stop her from taking what she wants from him. Last time he had put a tiny little prick at the head of his cock for her; now she creates the same sort of hole with the point of one fang, eagerly sucking the blood from him. Her mouth vibrates around him when he begins to touch her breast, growl or purr or breather-like moan muffled by the flesh in her mouth.
GM: He leans down, fangs piercing her neck as her own pierce his stiffened manhood. Bliss shudders through her as he wraps his arms around her, holding her close against him with all four limbs.
Celia: She doesn’t let it devolve into another full round of sex; they need to meet Marcel, after all, and Josua needs to be transformed first. She gives him enough of a taste to put her assuredly ahead of her ghoul before releasing him, pushing him back down onto the floor and settling herself above him.
“We should shower before we meet him, no? Come in fresh?”
GM: “Mistress knows best,” he smiles, his fingers idly finding their way towards her womanhood.
Celia: Her fingers close around his wrist, preventing him from touching her.
“I assume the breather way does nothing for him, either. I’d prefer if you not tell him, if that’s the case.”
GM: “Yes, I was going to say. Don’t cum. He’ll be really grossed out.”
Celia: “Old licks are so…” Jade just shakes her head.
GM: “I wish I could still fuck that way,” Josua sighs.
Celia: “Honestly, it’s pretty much the best of both worlds.”
GM: “I’m so jealous. I can still make myself hard, but it does nothing. Seeing Celia Flores suck me off is satisfying on a purely psychological level.”
“Don’t get… wet, either, or let your nipples get hard. Can you turn that off?”
Celia: “Ah. Right. Yeah. Kind of like how you turn it on. Just blood control.”
GM: “Okay, good. But don’t worry. It’ll still be a fantastic time. He’s amazing in bed.”
Celia: “Maybe I’ll join his harem and move in with you here,” Jade muses, “we’ll never leave the boat.”
GM: “He’d like that,” smiles Josua. “He’s always looking to build his harem.”
“Well. Since before Matheson, anyway.”
Celia: Jade winces. “Yeah, I imagine that put a damper on things.”
GM: “Yes, it’s an ugly look now.”
Celia: “I mean, it’s not like he’s doing the same thing.”
GM: “Oh, he isn’t, at all. But he figured the optics would be too hard to explain, and licks looking to sling mud might seize on it.”
“So with Marie in torpor and Evan gone, I’m the only one of his regular harem left.”
Celia: “Evan was his?”
GM: “Well, used to be. Roxanne was really jealous, so Evan left. He was really apologetic about the whole thing, tried to offer Marcel a boon, but he said no.”
“He’s pretty casual about it all, he knows flings don’t last forever.”
Celia: “Oh. Huh. I didn’t know that. I mean, I knew Roxanne was jealous about him being with other people, but… huh. Did Marcel ever look into what became of him?”
GM: “Oh, Rocco talked to him about it. But not really. Licks go missing sometimes and he figured the other Storyvilles would try to find Evan.”
“After this long he’s probably ash, which sucks. He was good in bed.”
Celia: “Always a loss.”
“Also, not to sound ignorant, but isn’t Marie relatively young? Why’s she torped?”
GM: “Marie got torped by Setites. Marcel’s fed her his blood, but she hasn’t woken up.”
GM: “We dunno what’s wrong with her.”
“Marcel thinks maybe the Setites put a curse on her or something.”
Celia: “That’s awful.”
GM: “Yeah, she was great in bed too.”
“She and Marcel had amazing chemistry. Even outside of bed.”
“Which was interesting, because he usually likes boys. Like, it’s not a hard preference, but I’ve seen him go for a lot more guy licks than girl licks.”
Celia: “Why does he make you dress like a girl, then?”
GM: Josua smiles. “Variety is nice, isn’t it?”
Celia: “Would he like me more if I were a boy?”
GM: “Hmm, maybe? Like I said, girls can do it for him. He was really into Marie. He just tends to prefer boys.”
“I guess it depends how sexy a boy you make.”
“He likes his boys sort of feminine, too. Hates facial hair on them. So I think that’s why the idea of me being a boy in girl’s clothes does it for him.”
Celia: “Well, considering the base I’d have to work with…” Jade gestures down at her flawless self.
GM: Josua laughs.
“It’s a perfect base. Don’t worry. He’ll be all over you.”
Celia: “Mm. Good. I hate feeling rejected. I’d have to bring you back here for round… seven, or something, to make me feel better.”
GM: “He’ll love you. Just fuck him the way he likes, and it won’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl.”
“He likes being on top. Ventrue, prince, and all.”
“But he doesn’t like it if you just submit and simper, he likes lovers with spirit. Who push back.”
“But he wants to win, because Ventrue prince and all.”
“And when he does win he doesn’t want to just beat you into submission, he wants you to surrender.”
“And he wants you to be happy surrendering. Because you realize his way is the best way. You know?”
Celia: “Surrender to the prince,” Jade says, nodding. If she weren’t busy practicing not getting wet in front of Marcel Josua might notice her arousal at the thought. Or maybe that was there from earlier. Who can tell with her.
Jade takes a moment to look around his room, searching for a microwave.
GM: There is none in the small cabin.
“He loves it when people call him ‘my prince,’ too. Or ‘Your Majesty.’”
“He’s a great prince, I think he should still be one.”
“I think it’s so awful what those sewer rats did. It’d have been so much fun to live in Baton Rouge under him.”
Celia: Well fuck.
“If and when he takes back the city, are you going back with him?”
GM: “Oh, yes! I’ll be a real prince’s boytoy, won’t I?” Josua grins.
“And he can do whatever he wants to me…”
Celia: “Does that make you a princess?” Jade asks idly.
GM: “I’d love to be his princess.”
“His princess bitch.”
Celia: “Mmm. Now that sounds delightful.”
GM: “He says he ran a lot of the city out of his bedroom, too, so that’s fun.”
“If you had sex with him and he liked it he’d give you better hunting grounds.”
Celia: Jade arches a brow.
“Marcel for prince,” she declares.
GM: “And if you lived with him in his haven, as part of his harem, then you’d really have it made.”
“He says neonates all competed with each other to impress him so they’d get to live with him.”
Celia: Jade can’t think of anyone who would offer her real competition.
GM: She’s flawless, after all.
Celia: “Are we sure he’s Ventrue? Sounds like the sort of Toreador prince I could get behind.”
GM: “Oh, so, that’s the thing.”
“He actually is Ventrue, and really Ventrue. He’s just really subtle about it.”
“He still, I guess you could say, thinks with his head. All of that with his harem, and the fucking him for better feeding grounds, is calculated. He has this whole rational explanation for why he does it.”
“I mean, he also likes it, but he does it because he thinks it works best.”
Celia: “Approachable, blood bonds, good time, doesn’t look like a stiff, instills competition to stay in his good graces. Probably more I’m missing.”
GM: “Yes, that’s basically it.”
Celia: “Makes sense.”
“If I’m ever prince maybe I’ll keep a harem, too.”
“Maybe I should start one now.”
GM: “I’ll compete to be in your harem.”
Celia: “You can keep the rest of my bitches in line.”
GM: “I’ll blow all the other entrants out of the water, when I’m not blowing you.”
Celia: “Are you going to blow me? I can find a doc to give me a cock if you’d like.”
GM: “Really? I thought you could use one of those double strap-ons. Where there’s a dick on both ends, so the deeper you peg a guy, the deeper you get fucked too.”
Celia: “Oh. Yes. I like that more. Let’s do that.”
GM: “I don’t know why any girl uses a single strap-on.”
Josua glances at the time. “We should get showered and changed, I want to hit the casino as a girl before we fuck Marcel and my clothes get ruined.”
Celia: “I, ah… you don’t have a microwave in here, darling,” she finally points out after she’s decided the appliance isn’t hiding behind an easel somewhere.
GM: “It’s cramped here. Why do you want a microwave?”
Celia: “Flying gave me the munchies and I brought a snack because I thought it might and cold blood is gross and I don’t want to lose it on your lover.”
GM: “Oh, okay. There’s a microwave in one of the staff rooms, we can use that.”
GM: “Permission to rise, mistress?”
Celia: “I suppose.”
GM: They get up. They shower. They still wind up fucking in the shower.
Josua gets dressed, leads her to the staff break room, gets out everyone but a girl he starts making out with, perhaps to “distract.” Jade is left to microwave her snack.
Jade heats the saved blood in the microwave until it’s a little warmer than most humans run, then tells Josua she’s “riding the edge” and goes back to his room to lock herself in the recently fucked-in bathroom. Just in case.
She drinks all of it, already adjusting her schedule to give herself time to get more for Edith and Pete. Inconvenient. But it gave her wings. The literal sort, and the metaphorical sort; without them she wouldn’t have been able to add Grey to her list of conquests or find the next crumb in the trail that will lead her to finding out more about demons.
Not really a path she ever thought she’d want to go down, but here she is.
GM: Here she is.
It would be so easy, though. To just drain someone completely. To have more than enough blood for her needs.
Josua comes back soon enough. “Ready for my makeover?” he smiles.
Celia: She probably will, anyway. After she leaves here. Call Reggie and give him the task of getting rid of the body, which in this case really just means dragging it back to the spa for her. Still, it’s good practice for when he eventually joins her in undeath.
God, she’s really going to miss fucking him. She can’t imagine he’s going to be able to get it up like she does once he’s dead.
“Ready,” she says, makeup bag already unrolled and brushes on her hip. She gestures for him to take a seat. “Thanks for the assist.”
GM: “My pleasure,” he replies, sitting down. “Don’t we do makeup after I’m dressed up, though?”
“Unless it’s a dress that doesn’t have to go over my head.”
Celia: “Usually,” she agrees, “but we’re not quite the same size, so nothing I brought is something that will need to go over the head. Zippers and whatnot, things you can step into.”
His chest is larger than hers. Not the tits, but the rib cage itself.
GM: “Makes sense,” he agrees, slipping off his shirt. It’s a trim, hairless, and well-proportioned chest.
Celia: “If you’re eager to browse, though, be my guest.” She gestures toward the luggage full of clothing.
GM: “Oh no, we’ll do everything your way, mistress, in just the order you want,” he grins.
Celia: “I hope you know how to walk in heels,” is all she says to that.
GM: “Step down heel first, then toe. Take shorter steps.”
Celia: The work begins.
Josua is hardly the first male client she has ever put makeup on. Aside from Landen—whose face is structurally more masculine than most of her clients even if they aren’t technically a boy—she’s had plenty of them come into the spa over the years. Drag queens, male models, boys who just want to look pretty. Plus the dolls; though less frequent than the female dolls, she and Elyse have still worked on a handful of males.
The application process is similar. Josua has no hair to remove, no scruff on his face that she needs to get rid of, and the gel that she pumps into her fingers and smears across his skin meets no resistance.
“Moisturizer,” she explains, “to help the rest of it go on smoothly. If you like, I can have Celia drop off something for you to use nightly. Our skin takes a special sort of product.”
Her eyes find his again, lips curving into a smile.
“Not that you need much. You’re gorgeous.”
Familiar words; hadn’t she said the same to a blonde Ventrue once?
She dismisses the thought as quickly as it comes, reaching for the primer that will even out any rough patches, fill in any tiny little holes, and help the foundation adhere to his skin.
“Base coat,” she says, pouring a measure of liquid onto the back of her hand and dabbing at it with a brush. That, too, goes across the entirety of his face, blended out with a damp egg-shaped sponge and another brush all the way from his hairline to beyond his jaw. She lets it sit while she reaches for a palette of shadows, beginning with a flesh-toned color to create a base layer along his eyes to help blend everything together. Then white in the corners, applied with a tiny brush that only puts the pigment where she wants it to go. She pauses a moment while she looks into his eyes, debating on color for the lid.
Green can go a handful of ways. The neutrals work best with browns and taupe to make them pop, or any of the other smoky colors. Plum and gold can work as well. Green, too, to give vibrancy to the eyes themselves. He doesn’t have the coloring for plum, she thinks, and neutrals can be boring. But gold… gold might work. Gold and green? Is it too reminiscent of a snake?
No, she thinks, when Marcel sees him he will have no reason to think snake.
A new brush gathers the pigment from the palette, swiping it across his lid. Gold, olive, and pine, the colors bleeding into one another as she blends, blends, blends. Always blending. There will be no unblended lines on this masterpiece, not with Jade wielding the brush. A tiny drop of a green with hints of blue at the outer corner—dare she call it jade?—before the whole thing darkens and dissipates into a smoked out look toward the brow’s tail. Black liner across the top lid, flicked into a wing, and white at the waterline to widen his eyes.
Drama, she thinks. She has given him drama.
He will not be the playful sort of sub this evening; when the pair of them meet with Marcel they will show the faces of two beings that must be conquered by the prince before they will roll over and submit.
Jade works his brows next, plucking the stray hairs that make them too thick to be feminine and filling in the rest with a brown pomade slightly darker than his natural strands. She sculpts them with her tweezers and her pot of color, giving him a fine arch that makes it look like his eyes are constantly smiling.
Another coat of foundation erases any of the fallen pigment from his shadows. She uses another brush to swipe on highlighter that brings attention to his recently decked-out eyes, contour to erase the hard lines of his jaw, and blush to give his face a delicate flush.
She blends it all with brush and finger and sponge.
The boy beneath the makeup disappears as she works, the features becoming less masculine and more feminine with every stroke. A final application of powder locks the liquid in place, and a spritz from a black-capped pink bottle melds it all together.
Then it’s time for the extras: the strip of lashes she applies with a tiny amount of glue, the mascara to meld them together. And lipstick. Green can be hard to match, but Jade has all sorts of colors in her box of goodies, and she finds a liner and liquid lip in a berry that goes well with both the gold and the green.
“One moment,” Jade says before he looks into the mirror. She steps away to pick through the luggage, coming back with a wig and band. She pushes his hair back from his face and secures it with the band, then sets the wig overtop of it and secures it with a brush, a bit of glue, and a handful of tiny little clips that disappear as soon as she places them.
When she’s done, it looks as if she has taken an airbrush to his face.
His skin is smooth. His eyes sparkle. His features have been both softened and hardened, creating the illusion that Jade wants the world to see: Josua Cambridge, female.
When it’s done, Jade spends a long moment looking him over. She searches for flaws, searches for mistakes, searches for any sign that this isn’t what he might want. She tells him to smile, then to scowl, and finally to pout.
Perfection, she thinks. He is not a cherub-faced saint, no, but the drama of the eyes has not turned him into a vicious killer, either. It is not a look she would put on Veronica or Caroline, two licks with steel in their spine, but neither is it a look that she would give to a child, Leilani, or Celia herself. With this he can be what he wants: predator, prey, strong, weak, goddess, acolyte.
He can wear the mask he chooses.
She holds out a mirror.
GM: Jade and Elyse have worked on their share of male dolls. They’re a lot like Gabe was. Being given female bodies and dressed in female clothes is an immediate, humiliating blow to their spirits. Jade could call it sexist. Could remark on the things it says about gender roles and social views. But there’s nothing like being made to a wear a dress, panties, and bra—with real breasts—to emotionally castrate all but the most defiant males.
Humiliation, Elyse always says, goes so much further than physical chastisement. Pain is an undesirable stimulus dolls will try to avoid. But humiliation destroys the capacity for resistance by making the doll see itself as less than it formerly was.
But Jade and Celia have worked on their share of men who enjoyed being prettied up, and Josua is no exception.
“Really, we still benefit from moisturizer?” he asks. “I thought our skin was perfect. Or at least stuck basically the way it was.”
He smiles at her words. “Yes please, though. Whatever makes me more gorgeous.”
They are familiar words.
But how many times has Josua probably described how much he loves women to other women, like he told Jade he did?
And Josua does clearly love women. Love being made up as a woman. He sits still, and with more difficulty, holds his face still as Jade reworks his face from male to female. He has good facial structure. Delicate lines. Not that a hand as masterful as Jade’s needs those, to bring out someone’s inner beauty, but it’s faster when there’s a lot of outside beauty already. He comes out divine. He’s gorgeous. Stunning. Head-turning. Josua holds the mirror to his face, but only high enough to see his lips—“Our clan blessing is going to kick in, if I see myself all dolled up, and then I’ll try to fuck you. We should at least wait until I’m done.”
But he relishes smiling, scowling, pouting in the mirror. He relishes smiling more than scowling, and pouting more than smiling.
They’re pretty lips.
They’re a pretty everything.
Because everything turns pretty around Jade.
“Wow. Just look at those lips,” he exclaims, holding his finger up to just beneath them, careful not to touch the lipstick. “I could suck so much dick with these lips.”
Celia: “You’re going to suck so much dick with those lips,” Jade tells him.
GM: He puckers his newly-red lips and kisses the air twice. “Yes ma’am!”
Celia: “Do you really think our clan’s blessing is going to make you want to fuck if you see yourself?” It’s an amusing thought.
“I can take a picture, if you want, to show you later.”
GM: “Oh, I’ll be completely off my game if I don’t even know how I look. You can just stop me if I try, and drive me crazy with anticipation, crazy enough to make me soaking wet if I was a real girl, until we see Marcel.”
Celia: “I imagine you’re going to be hit on more than me once we hit the floor,” Jade says with a pout.
“Why don’t we make a game of it? Whoever collects the most numbers wins.”
GM: Josua grins. “Oh, I’m amazing at fucking people, and getting people to want to fuck me, but I just know I’m going up against a master, here. I’m going to have to be at the absolute top of my game.”
“Loser owes the winner a boon?”
Celia: “No cheating. You can’t whack someone with star mode.”
“You need a name,” she adds. “And clothes.”
GM: “Hmm. How’s Josina?”
Celia: “Is Josina a real name?”
GM: “Does it sound real?”
GM: “Jessie feels like a tomboy to me. I don’t want to be a tomboy, I want to be pretty girl who sucks so much dick. What about Joy?”
Celia: “Joy could work.”
GM: “Joy it is. Can you do anything for my shoulders? Those can be such a giveaway with transgender girls.”
Celia: “Any practice with a female voice?”
GM: “Hmm.” Josua clears his throat. “How’s this?” he asks in a smooth and velvety, higher-sounding one. It’s on the deeper end for a woman’s voice, but not unusually so.
Celia: “Better,” she nods. “I brought things that will hide the broader shoulders, in any case. With draping and such. And a bra. Unless you want me to cut you open and remove some parts. Just grab me a butcher’s knife, yeah?”
GM: Josua laughs. “Maybe if we had more time. I heard there are licks who cut out parts of themselves.”
“I’m not sure why they do it. So they weigh less?”
Celia: “Convenient carrying case.”
“I heard about a lick who pulled out his intestines and used them to strangle people. He didn’t want to lose any blood so he thought that was the best way.”
GM: “Seems easier just to carry rope.”
Celia: “I mean, I’m pretty sure he was fucked in the head before his Embrace, and it just brought out something even worse inside of him.”
Conscious of the time, though, Jade crosses the room to open the rest of the luggage. Inside is a pretty hefty selection of dresses, skirts, and lingerie in all sorts of colors and lengths.
“I brought a little bit of everything so you’d have options. A deeper V will distract from the shoulders. So will a cutout on the shoulders themselves. Probably nothing sleeveless or strapless, though.”
GM: “Let’s go with the v-neck. Really show off my new assets and draw eyes there.”
Celia: “Spoken like a true slut.”
GM: “I’m going to be a complete and total slut. The only reason I’m not already is that guys can’t be sluts.”
Celia: She gives him a look at that.
GM: “I mean, when did you ever hear of a guy getting shamed for having lots of sex?”
Celia: “Only rapists.”
Jade can’t help but think of Reggie again. He’s definitely on the line there. Maybe that’s why she likes him so much.
GM: “I hope someone rapes me, while I’m like this. That would be so sexy.”
“I think I should win if someone tries to do that, even if I get fewer numbers.”
“Same goes for you.”
Celia: Jade considers him for a moment, looking up from the selection of dresses in front of her.
“Does it count as rape if you want it to happen?”
GM: “Probably not, they just have to think we don’t. Or not bother with consent.”
He follows with clear interest, if not pleasure, but lets her pick.
Celia: “If you want to be raped,” Jade says idly, fingering the dress in her hands, “I could ask my friend to turn you into a real girl for a night. Give you a cute little pussy that someone can take advantage of. Really fuck you like a man fucks a woman.”
GM: “Oh really? That’d be so hot.”
Celia: “Win our bet and I’ll call in a favor.”
She finally offers him the first selection, holding it out for his perusal: long and red, deep V in the front, with two slits up the side all the way to the thighs and long sleeves that will hide his shoulders. It’ll allow for a peek of leg without showing off his male physique. She points out these features to him and sets it aside for his perusal.
The second dress is similarly designed, with a deep V, long sleeves, and a longer hem to hide his legs. Black instead of red, though, with a mesh sort of netting that will cover most of him. There’s also some open skin on the shoulders to show some skin, since it lacks the slits of the first.
She offers a shorter one after that that will hit him mid thigh, charcoal with little sparkles on it, a deep V, and long sleeves to hide the shoulders.
GM: “Wow, those are some really slutty necklines. Perfect for me,” Josua grins. “Let’s go with the third. Full-length dresses would be out of place on the casino floor. And I like the sparkles.”
“I’ve already shaved my legs for tonight.”
“And it’s a deal, too. We’ll call in your friend if I win, to give me a real pussy.”
Celia: The full length dresses hide the legs, which are decidedly masculine despite being shaved, but she’d already pointed that out to him. She simply nods and reaches for a bra, slipping it onto him and hooking it in the back. Josua isn’t the first boy she’s turned into a girl for the night; she’d pre-stuffed the bra to give him a set of tits bigger than her own. He’s larger than her, his frame can handle it. A bit of blending and contour with a brush across his chest makes them look as real as hers, too. No hack jobs here.
Jade helps him into the dress—it’s not hard to get into a dress, really, but sometimes zippers in the back can be a little challenging—and adjusts it as needed, finally nodding her head.
“I had to guess on your shoe size,” she says, “so I went with a strappy, open toe. Gives more room.”
GM: “Perfect, I was just about to ask what we had,” he smiles, appreciatively squeezing his new breasts once he’s in the dress.
“God, I’m so fuckable.”
Celia: Jade can’t help but laugh. She tells him to hold still while she coats his nails in a quick-drying polish, fingers and toes both with a pop of color that contrasts nicely against the charcoal dress, and once those are dry helps him into the heels and fastens the buckles.
Finally, she offers him a selection of jewelry: necklaces, bracelets, or rings if he is so inclined in a variety of metals and tastes. She lets him pick his own accessories while she dresses herself.
He might think that floor-length dresses don’t have any business being on the casino floor, but Jade knows that the right body, the right attitude, the right woman can pull off a gown even in a place like this. She slips into it, a black number with just as many sparkles as Josua’s chosen number, with a plunging neckline and cutouts across her mid-drift. A slit up either side rise almost to her waist. The dress dances around her legs while she walks, showing off her toned and shapely thighs.
Some dresses wear the women, obscuring them from sight as it steals the stage, but even this dress can’t compete with the body it clings to. She pairs it with nude heels and pulls her hair into a twisting, half up style that leaves a handful of strands free to curl about and frame her face, the rest of it falling in a cascade of dark color down her back. No jewelry save the ever-present sun ring on her left hand.
Formal, but dressed down with the amount of skin it shows. Something that she can wear both on the casino floor and to meet the prince later. Adaptable to any situation. Like her.
“Ready?” she asks.
GM: Josua smiles as she does his nails and fastens his shoes. He spends some time selecting jewelry and goes with a double chain pendant that hangs low down his exposed neck, drawing further attention to his breasts, and some hoop earrings that also detract from the prominence of his shoulders—“Plus hoops have a kind of slutty vibe, don’t you think?” The long sleeves don’t leave much room for bracelets, but he goes with a simple gold wedding ring and attached diamond engagement ring, “So I can make jokes about that, and maybe it’ll make guys want to fuck me more, because who doesn’t love stealing something that isn’t theirs?”
But when Jade finishes with herself, he falls silent.
Celia: Josua’s chatter becomes the noisy backdrop to the cabin she has turned into a dressing suite. She laughs along with him, agreeing that hoops are slutty and that stolen things taste better, and becomes accustomed to his voice filling the space. It’s only when he stops that she looks up, catching his eye.
What does it for him? Is it the dress, the heels, the makeup? The exposed skin? Or is it Jade herself, the body she has spent countless hours turning into a living embodiment of art?
She aches to know what makes him stop and stare.
“Your future admirers are waiting.” Low, sultry tones, suggesting that she doesn’t care one whit who waits for them.
GM: Perhaps it’s some or all of those things about her. Perhaps it’s himself, as he stares into the wall-length mirror behind her. Perhaps it’s both.
His next words are a whisper.
Josua sinks to his knees, managing a graceful descent despite the heels.
“God creates. That’s the first thing he does, in the Bible. He makes the world. God is the supreme creator.”
The palms of his nailed hands stroke her exposed thighs caressingly, lovingly.
“The goddess creates.”
“Look at us. Just look at us. Just look at what you’ve done to us.”
Josua shivers and wraps his arms around Jade’s leg as though seeking assurance, a pillar to cling to amidst a raging storm. His new breasts press against her smooth skin as he breathes out, his voice at once choked and velvet,
“Long dress on the casino floor. You don’t follow the rules. You define them. You make them. You rise above them, like Aphrodite from the sea, and they all try to mimic you, they all want to capture your spark, your your brilliance, your glory, some mote of your divine light, but they’ll all fail, because you’d never try to be more perfect by being like someone else. The goddess does not mimic her worshipers. They are your worshipers. Everyone out there. That’s so perfect. That’s so fitting. I wear the short dress, the little dress, because that’s what everyone else does, and it really makes me the little bitch, next to you. That’s so fitting. Your dress is your cock and yours is longer than mine, so that double makes me your bitch. It’s such an honor to be your bitch, mistress. Man is less than the goddess. It is natural. It is right.”
He runs his cheek along her leg. He clings her leg like a lifeline as he slowly lowers his head until it rests almost at the floor. He kisses her feet. He kisses her toes. He kisses the nail of her big toe, then laps at the gaps between her toes with his tongue.
“The goddess creates. That’s what she does. You’ve created Joy. You took male and made it female, and just as sexy as before. You made your own world. I am your child, your creation, your heavenly breath. There can be no competition. Every number I get is a number you get. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see me, I see Jade. I see her touch on me. I see her touch on every part of me. I see her care, her knowledge, her taste, her style, her vision. Her presence.”
He works his way up, head still bowed before her in supplication. He kisses the strap of her shoes. He kisses her ankles. He kisses his way up her ankles. Up her legs.
“I feel your presence in the wig on my end. I feel your presence in the silky bra and panties teasing my skin. I feel your presence in the breasts I can’t stop squeezing. I feel your presence in the dress wrapped around me, enveloping me, oh god, mistress, you’re everywhere, you’re everything, I can’t escape you, I owe all I am to you, and I want to just hug myself and scream, it feels so good to have you in me. I can’t walk. I can’t think. I can’t talk, about anything except you. You’ve subsumed me. Oh, I just want to roll around on the floor, hugging myself, hugging you, screaming in ecstasy, in joy, because I am Joy, your creation, your extension, your avatar, and the only reason I’m not, the only reason I’m not rolling around on the floor like I’m possessed, which I am, possessed by Jade, is because I know it would displease you if I mussed up your work and to defy the goddess is unthinkable. I’ve got this beast inside of me, this sublime wellspring of energy. I’ve got you inside of me, all over me, all around me, I don’t think there even is a Josua now, there’s just Joy, there’s just Jade. I want a big strong man to bend me over and fuck me silly. I want him to use me completely while I bow down and worship you, and when he cums I want us both to scream your name as the goddess comes forth, because it’s not me he’s fucking, it’s you, your creation, your Joy.”
He kisses her thigh. He leaves a trail of kisses up her thigh. Adoring kisses. Worshipful kisses. He tastes her flesh as though it is divine mana. He clings to leg like he would cling to a pillar of pure light that could carry him into heaven. He peels back her gown’s slit skirt like a divine revelation lies beneath, and falls upon the flawless skin in rapture, trailing it with worshipful kisses.
“Joy, mistress. Your Joy.”
Celia: Aphrodite from the sea. It’s the second time someone has said that to her, that she is Aphrodite from the sea. That she has risen up and taken the sea with her. That she cannot be defined by the ideals of beauty because she, her, she creates them. She defines them. She is them. She is them and they are her, the bar that has been set, the level that others strive for. She is not the dress on the woman; she is not the gown on the rack; she is not even the regalia hanging from the stick-thin frames of the women in Paris and Milan and New York with their slightly stooped posture and their stage makeup.
She is the creator. The divine inspiration.
And, oh, how he worships her.
On his knees, his touch reverent, his words melodious. She basks in it. Revels in it. Rejoices in it. The praise that he lavishes upon her swells the heart within her chest, the head upon her shoulders, every word of it true, true, true.
She did this. Created him. Created her. Created Celia, created Jade, created others—so many others, all of them eye-catching beauties. Elyse has dolls, little bits of porcelain and glass and wood chippings that she glues together and arranges in their fancy little dresses. She has human dolls she molds into chaste beings: perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect woman.
But she—Jade, Celia, whoever she is, whoever she once was—she creates personas. Bodies are naught but clay beneath the tips of her fingers. She molds. Sculpts. Paints. The dolls sit pretty on their little shelves with their vacant eyes; hers walk, talk, breathe, love.
That’s the true art, there.
Inside her chest, her dead heart beats. A flush spreads through her body at his touch and words and adoration. She is an artist. She has created Joy. Created this moment, this passion.
She did this.
The goddess touches the tips of her pristine fingers to Joy’s cheek. Her nails stroke the delicate flesh, a tender gesture that ends at her chin. She lifts, tilting the eyes up to look at her. Green eyes framed in green and gold and black—smoky, nebulous eyes, eyes that shine in ardent desire.
“You are mine.”
Steel wrapped in velvet. Liquid fire. It pours from her lips, acceptance of his place beneath her. No, not acceptance; insistence. This is where he belongs: on his knees in front of her, grateful that she has allowed him even this much.
Her skirt parts for him. She welcomes his touch, the whisper of his breath across her skin as he rises higher, as his tongue teases the delicate folds beneath the fabric of her skirt. She asks for more; she pulls aside the material covering her chest and pierces herself with the point of one nail just above her nipple. Blood wells within the cut, then drips down the exposed flesh of her breast. Ambrosia, the divine nectar of the gods, and she offers him a taste for his steadfast devotion.
Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, tells him to drink from her earthbound sheath.
GM: Josua, Joy, whomever, rises so that he might fall upon the goddess, rapturously licking up the flowing blood. His mouth leaves lipstick prints across the pale breast. He rises further arms encircling her, his breasts pressing against hers. He seems to especially enjoy that sensation of their breasts touching, because he spends several moments doing nothing but rubbing his chest against hers, giggling with delight at the feeling. Then his mouth plants more of those worshipful kisses across her lower neck, stopping shy of her mouth, for he is not worthy to kiss her there. That is where a man kisses a woman, and where a woman kisses a woman.
He may be a woman.
But Jade is so much more.
So he does what all men and women do in the presence of the divine.
He sinks to his knees.
He worships her.