Blood Ties

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by Elflady, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. The shadows slowly grew longer as the sun was edging ever closer to the horizon, colouring the sky with fire, red and orange mixed with a darker blue further up in the sky. It was still too soon for stars to shine, and while the moon was on the rise it still were just a faint shape against the pale sky. Tall grass bowed and danced in a cool breeze that blew in from the west, carrying with it the clear, fresh scent of evening.

    The forest rustled behind Imre, a dark shape already losing focus with the waning light and he already missed it’s sheltering boughs. The sun, however weak it had become, still irked him however, his charm may shield him from the worst of it but he still preferred the night and the cool moon to the sun.

    Shielding his eyes Imre scanned the area up ahead, sticking up from behind some smooth, rolling hills he noticed rooftops. A small smile escaped him in triumph, glad that his memory had served him well Imre lengthened his steps, his sights set on the town. After some good twenty minutes of walking, and the crossing of a field he reached a dirt road leading into town.

    In a town this size it was not hard to find lodgings, on a large, wooden building a worn sign hung above the door, dangling slightly in the breeze, announced that this was the Hazelwood Tavern & Inn. Imre pushed the door open and stepped inside, walking to the counter as all eyes fell on him. He guessed it was a mix of curiosity and suspicion, but nobody bothered him as he sat down by an empty table.

    People soon forgot about him, maybe judging the tall stranger clad in slightly worn travellers clothes as non threatening, especially since his build was all else but imposing. Scanning the crowd with dark eyes, a look of indifference on his face. He was more interested in finding some non expecting human so he could get an evening meal, not overly fond of the thought of silencing his stomach with meat. He knew what he wanted but he couldn’t just order a pint of blood.

    He also knew he had to be careful, he may be stronger than most, if not all people here but he was just a single person, or vampire rather, and that was not a favourable equation for him. Especially not if there were hunters nearby. So he settled on waiting until it was night and most humans had turned in for the night, maybe he’d find a straggler somewhere on the small streets or perhaps even someone from the tavern.

    As a sat there waiting for time to pass his eyes fell on a woman, thick black hair framing an attractive face. He wasn’t sure if she had been there all along or if she had entered later, but she certainly caught his eye now. The woman didn’t quite look like she belonged in this town either, she looked more like a traveller which was a good thing since she would most likely not be missed as quickly if he went too far.

    When she looked over his way he turned on his charm and flashed a smile at her, as always careful of not showing his fangs too much even if normal people rarely noticed them at once. Luring away her to a quiet spot would maybe be a safe choice. Hopefully it would be easy as well, he did not want a struggle that would lead to a mob coming for him, or worse hunters being sent after him, he’d had enough problems for awhile now.
  2. Pana was the first town Sorcha had seen in nearly a week. She had been wandering along the edge of human settled territory, hopping from hamlet to hamlet and surviving off the meager food she could forage from the forest. While her intentions had been to snoop on a vampire settlement or two, several days of foul weather had driven her from homestead to homestead, working hard just to buy herself a bed for the night. She’d arrived in Pana earlier that day hungry, covered in mud, and exhausted. She wasted no time renting a room, taking the time to eat the remainder of her road rations and take a cold bath to rinse off the filth from the road.

    She’d sat alone at a table in the tavern for most of the night, eating a small dinner and taking a count of her remaining funds. The situation was not promising.

    She ran through the numbers again, confirming what she already knew. Her purse had nearly dried up. She cursed her own foolishness. “A fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into,” she muttered under her breath, “You handed out too many free jobs on the road and now we barely have enough money for another night here.” She sighed miserably, dropping her head into her hands. She needed to find some work and fast, or tomorrow would be a choice between eating and the room.

    “If I walk the marketplace tomorrow, I may find a job,” she told herself, “People injury themselves all the time. I suppose I could try to find odd jobs as well.” She leaned back in her chair, her braided hair slipping from her shoulder to hang behind her as she stared at the ceiling. Wistful images of weathered stone halls passed through her mind. Torches lit the walls leading from the small cell she shared with Aine to the dining hall. On the walls hung relics of their family’s glorious past, reminding each and every child in the compound of their duty to their family. She walked the halls imprinted in her mind, finding the healing quarters at the other end of the facility. The many windows made it the brightest part of the compound. Or had that only been the warm smiles of the healers? Her hands found her arms, suddenly chilly sitting alone in this quiet tavern. She frowned, leaning forward to return her coin purse to her belt. She hated nights like these.

    She returned to the mug of mead she’d been nursing, gulping down the last mouthful. That was the end of her funds for the night. It would be best if she turned in for the night, to avoid further temptation to spend her remaining coins. Wait... She looked up, becoming aware of a pair of eyes on her. Across the room, a man sat staring her way with an easy smile on his lips. She knew that smile well. On another night, she might have walked away.

    But tonight she'd barely managed to fill her belly and her cold room was all that awaited her. She found herself returning his smile slyly, challenging him to approach her. He was handsome enough with his dark hair and eyes. She’d seen worse men during her travels. Trading a few kisses for another round did not seem a bad idea tonight. The company would be a welcome change.
    #2 Tinder, Sep 3, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  3. In the dimly lit tavern the air stood mostly still except when someone opened the door and the warm still air easily held scents, Imre could feel his stomach rumble slightly as the smell of blood vaguely hung in the air. Not as strong as if someone was bleeding profusely but maybe one of the men in here had a small wound of some sort, perhaps injured during the days work. It may not have been a strong scent but it just teased Imre more, his throat drying up slightly, almost to the point that he ordered some food now instead of waiting until later.

    But he didn't, he was tired of eating meat. The last two towns he'd been passing through had both housed a small group of hunters. It didn't seem like they were on the hunt or suspected him at all, they were probably just passing through on the way to their home or a waiting job but it meant that Imre didn't dare hunt, he was not really a fighter and he was not prepared to fight a group of hunters if they found him out. So he had bitten in the sour apple so to speak and eaten food in a tavern like a normal human and held back his real cravings. But here he had so far not spotted a hunter, or heard of one so he felt safe for now.

    As the woman smiled back Imre rose up and slowly walked over to her table, his thin build more apparent when he stood to his full height. Getting closer to her Imre fully took in her looks, her long hair kept in a braid and her eyes that he now saw were a nice shade of light grey. It'd almost be a shame to drain her, he was certainly hungry but he would perhaps only take a bit. Vampire or not Imre was still a man who appreciated beauty. Despite how different the two races were, they at least shared that much.

    "Evening beautiful," he said smoothly. Pulling out the chair opposite her and sat down. "Can I get you another round perhaps? It's a slow night, might as well move it along faster." He waved over a barmaid and ordered for them both. It didn't take long for the mugs to arrive, in a small town like this the tavern was not exactly filled with people.

    His own mug didn't tempt him that much, he could drink it of course but he didn't really experience any of the effects that humans seemed to get from drinking a lot. Maybe his body treated it differently, he wasn't sure but he knew he didn't much like the taste, it was far inferior to blood in his mind but if it would lead him to just that then he didn't mind it so much.

    "If I may ask, you don't look like you're from around here, are you passing through town?" he asked curiously, looking into her eyes. Resting an elbow on the table, his moss green shirt was open a bit past his collar bone and the sleeves for once were not being rolled up to the elbows.
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  4. My, a tall fellow, isn’t he? Sorcha liked this plan more and more. Though his slender frame was not her usual type, it suited his features and gave him a unique attraction that few other men could boast. She liked unique. Perhaps tonight would be more than an excuse to get another drink. It had been a while since she’d spent time with any one person on the road. There could be a chance that they went the same way for a time, until the situation grew tense or awkward. Perhaps it never will, she mused idly as the man crossed the room, I wouldn’t object to finding something more permeant. She’d never give up her life on the road, but he hardly looked like the settled sort. Two lovers traveling the roads till time tears them apart. Sounds like the sort of story noblewomen might read.

    He sat next to her, offering her another round before he pulled the barmaid aside to order. “I wouldn’t mind another round,” she answered, if only to keep herself from smirking at his first line. So his opening could use some work. His following offers made up for the beginning.

    The drinks appeared within a seconds which Sorcha was grateful for. She took a drink, content to let the sweet flavor warm her from within. She set the mug down and leaned forward onto the table, allowing her eyes to wander back to her companion. Though she’d only intended to win herself a drink, she found herself warming up to the young man’s advance. He’d left his shirt loose at the top, allowing her a glimpse of his pale skin. Her own shirt was loosely laced at the top as well, though not quite so open as his own. The light olive tunic stretched down to her thighs with the sleeves partially covering her hands which she tucked by her elbows. The tanned leather jacket she typically wore over hung over the back of her chair. Tonight she made no attempt to hide behind pretend modesty.

    She moved to tuck some loose hair behind her ear, keeping her eyes trained on his own. “That’s right. I’m a traveling healer. I heard they were having some troubles out here and so I decided to see if I could help.” Or see if I could find any vampires. “I’ve been traveling these roads for quite some time now.”

    She leaned back and took another slow drink, breathing out slowly as she set the mug down. “What about you?” she inquired with a slow smile, “What brings you to this tavern tonight?”
  5. A healer, huh? That didn't sound like much of a threat. Her words allowed Imre to fully relax and work on charming her enough to get her alone. For about a week he seemed to have been followed by misfortune, both towns he had passed through having been occupied by hunters right at the time he was there so he didn't dare hunt and the very sunny weather that had plagued him for most of the week all worked together to make up a pretty crappy week. But now that finally seemed to have turned.

    He couldn't really imagine a healer working double as a hunter, of course that must be possible as well but he decided to think of it as less likely, although his interaction with hunters was relatively limited for a vampire. But he held more respect towards healers than a normal, weak human due to their skill, not that he had ever seen that skill for himself since vampires didn't need aid to heal their wounds. However it was still an impressive feat to save people from pain and death with nothing but herbs and a body with no extra healing powers.

    "Not something as noble as your own reason," he answered, taking his first sip from his own mug while thinking over his next words. Barely avoiding scrunching his nose in response to the taste of the beer, never getting used to the unique taste and feel of the beverage. "I'm just traveling around for now, preferably to places with some history and interesting architecture." And places with no hunters, he was in no way itching for a fight every other day.

    Taking another mouthful, this one going down smoother than the first, maybe his tastebuds were starting to go numb, or more likely he was adjusting to the liquid. "You've been traveling a lot you say?" He continued, steadily meeting her gaze. "Do you always travel alone? There are plenty of dangers around in the world that may prove a danger to lone travelers." Some might have added a line singling women out specifically as being in more danger but Imre was so used to strong females he would not often think of such a thing. In fact many of the women he knew, at least the vampire ones, were stronger than him, or in some cases weaker but far more vicious when fighting.
  6. “A traveler seeking history? Not the sort of story I ordinarily hear.” Sorcha lifted her own glass to her lips, taking a sip. This traveler was by far the most interested person she’d met on the road in weeks. Ordinarily, she only spoke with the people of the towns she traveled through. Their stories tended to be more about continuing their family business or raising a family. Humble modest tales that warmed the heart as you sat gathered ‘round a fire in the dark of the night. Sorcha had grown fond on those little lives during her travels, but she always longed for some variety.

    The traveler’s following question pulled her back from her delusions. Her features remained unchanged, but caution began to creeping into the back of her mind. Some habits are hard to break. “I manage well enough alone. I like to explore the world unfettered as it were. Without the bother of other people,” she said with a playful smirk, idly swirling the liquid in her mug, “Too often they have their own agendas that can ruin a perfectly good adventure. Traveling alone allows me enough freedom to satisfy my curiosity whenever an opportunity arises.” She leaned her chin onto her upraised hand, keeping her eyes trained on her drinking companion. “Such as when I meet an interesting stranger. You would never have approached me had there been someone sitting at my side.”

    Had it been my sister, you would never have had the chance. Human or monster, it never matter to Sorcha’s twin. She saw enemies everywhere outside of the folds of the family. Sorcha had never understood that reasoning. She preferred the outside world; so much more variety. She took a drink and set her mug down, “My turn for a question? I could ask why you have chosen to travel alone, but I’m far more curious about your goals. Why travel to study history? Are you a scholar? A bored nobleman’s son?” A nobleman bored of court life traveling the roads, perhaps through studying his books and thirsting for real world knowledge. A part of her doubted either options could be her companion’s whole story. He had an air of wisdom about him, an old soul reflected in his dark gaze. She could loss herself in those eyes. The stories he could tell, but will he let me hear them?
  7. Imre nodded as she explained her travelling preferences, placing his own mug on the table as he leaned back against the chair. "You have a sound view on travelling. Too often can a companion be a hinderance rather than an aid." He agreed, that was actually one of his own reasons for continuing to travel alone even when he probably wouldn't have such a hard time to find someone willing to stay with him.

    "Ah, you wound me," he said, quickly dropping his recent serious tone as he tried to sound appropriately wounded, placing his left hand over his chest with a touch of drama to his movement, barely holding back an amused smirk from breaking out. Pretending to be hurt over her suggestion he had only come over for shallow reasons, which in reality could be said to be true depending on one's view. "That would have entirely depended on who your supposed companion would have been." His dark eyes glittering, holding a mix of mirth and mischievousness. He had to admit she was by far the most interesting as well as beautiful human woman he had met for quite awhile, maybe because he had only passed through smaller towns and villages recently, and the more interesting people were more easily encountered in cities.

    A scholar? Him? The notion was amusing despite it not being so farfetched, with all he had learned through his years he probably could get by as a human scholar although he would probably not be able to keep that job for long. "I am no scholar," he chuckled. He was no noble either, at least not in human measurements, but perhaps that was a good ruse, it would give him a nice cover if she for some reason would get suspicious. "You next guess is closer, or perhaps a mix of the two. I wouldn't call myself a noble really but I guess that's what my family makes me. My family is old and with so much history around me I took a liking to it so that's what I prefer to focus on while travelling." To him lying wasn't a big deal unless he knew the person he was lying to, and while he avoided it in that case he was still very skilled at it.

    "My turn again it seems. Hmm, what to ask..." He wondered out loud as if it was an important choice, resting two fingers against his chin as he thought. Lowering his arm as he came to a decision. "Would you give me your name? Or do you prefer to be a mysterious fair maiden travelling after her own mind leaving broken hearts behind?" Maybe Imre's profession actually lay in theater, his flair for the dramatic and tendency to add some theatrical movements to accompany his words certainly fit in well with that notion.
  8. A nobleman then. The mystery continues to deepen. Sorcha had no reason to doubt his word, only a nagging suspicion in the back of her mind that continued to whisper words of caution into her ear. While her companion’s intentions seemed straight forward, something about his appearance and mannerisms kept her on edge mentally. Years of training were hard to break. He phrased his answer oddly, she knew, he purposefully kept his description vague. Not out of fear or discomfort, not from what his appearance suggested at least. His relaxed posture and continued flirtation was far too causal. Something hidden from view.

    His next question came with more theatrics, yet she perceived a challenge behind his question. Sorcha sensed the night progressing from the innocent game she thought it to be. But where are we going and just which one of us is leading? To give her name would be to show her hand, an action she could come to regret. An intelligent person would stand up and leave. A smirk curled her lips. She’d never claimed any sort of brains, “A tempting offer…however tonight I have it in my heart to be generous. It’s Sorcha.” Bait taken, now to follow the trail and see where it led. Don’t disappoint me now. She tilted her head curiously, shifting a hair closer to her companion, “What might I call you, my lord? Or would you rather remain the mysterious prince from a far off land?”

    She crossed her ankles beneath the table, assuring herself that her hidden dagger remained in her boot. She’d tucked it down into the boot to keep it from being detected. She ran the risk of it taking time to retrieve in an emergency, but she found a surprise blade to be better than a quick one on the road.