Dust

/ By Tweedy [+Watch]

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Roleplay Responses

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It was true that Alvér could finish this easily on his own, he almost already had. Growing up as he had, his magic was an extension of himself, as much a physical humor as his blood and bile. It tingled along him like a second skin, and burst out of him if he left it unattended, filling his very lungs sometimes it felt like.

When he was growing aware of it, Alvér had to figure out how to control it so it wouldn't lash out like his temper. That was his first concept of his magic, until he learned what it did, how it felt. After that it became limbs, skeleton. And that, as an adult, is what he used it for, as a further extension of himself that others usually couldn't see or feel. Some could, other magic sensitive folks like him, but not all.

That use had become quite literal in the last year. It did what he could no longer as his body failed him.

"[B You weren't sitting,]" he corrected simply with an arch of his brow as they began. The sound of another knife cutting took his attention, and Alvér watched her. Alenia's downward gaze gave him a chance to look at her now.

It was hardly as dire, but that ever-present hunger trickled down the back of his throat. The curiosity that asked himself what she tasted like. Every body, every diet, had different effects on the way an individual tasted. He wondered what she would be like.

And, after so long, with his general fare being one death and perhaps someone drained deeply but not killed; two people staved, didn't satisfy. That was something he had come to terms with as the months went on like this. Alvér realized he hadn't moved, his fingers drumming, and flattened his palm to the counter. Shifting, he pulled his attention away from Alenia, and returned to the fire, taking the top off of his pot.

Leaning over it and inhaling, the rush of steam that met him told him things were coming along nicely. Time for the vegetables. He returned to the table to continue.

The longer he worked, the more his thoughts returned to earlier. He hadn't at all gotten over it. The panic was blooming again. Periodically, he would feel it coming up again, and would push it down. Push it away. Not now. Not ready. Alvér's cutting initially quickened, deftly, and dangerously, going through the bushel of carrots and finishing them, shoving them back onto the cloth from the cutting board. There, he stopped, putting the knife down flat under his hand, leaning on the table with the other. Anxiety was coming back. His breath caught a bit as he tried to focus on keeping it steady.

His lips pressed, feeling that want to talk to her again. To try and grasp any of it, to ask what happened. But a part of him didn't want to know, didn't want to know what she'd [i say], about him, about it. There was a monster inside somewhere and it wasn't just him anymore. That thought made his hands shake a bit, his eyes empty, hollow.

It didn't take long for the vegetables to finish. He hadn't asked for many, and so there weren't. Alvér gathered them up in the cloth and deposited them into the pot, taking the large spoon and giving it a good stir. He would leave the bone in longer to keep that going. He wanted to press his hands to the hot metal over the fire. Purify. Take the thoughts away. Stop. She'll grab you and try and stop you. She'll try and tell you it's not right.

He put the spoon up on the wall. Now was the hard part. Waiting. The wine would go in after the meat, and the herbs after that. Empty space. Time to think. He didn't move from there, staring at the steam that escaped from under the lid, at the flames that curled around the bottom of the pot. He was still feeling that consistent, nagging discomfort that would stalk him when his mind was at ease. Alvér's hands flexed, resisting the urge to wound himself, give him something real to focus on. His arms crossed, tightly, and the vampire turned, leaning his back against the edge of the open hearth.

There was a bit of silence where he surfaced, briefly. "[B Now we wait.]" he said, voice quiet. "[B I can finish...]"
  Tweedy / 23d 15h 53m 33s
Alenia smiled. She would have thought by now he would have figured out she was a helper. It was what she liked doing; but still, she kept any chuckling at bay and nodded. [b “Yes, I would.”] Without being explicitly invited over, the woman made her way to the counter he was chopping vegetables at, only stopping to grab a knife and cutting board for herself. Reaching to grab a potato, she joined him in dicing the ingredients, attempting to keep the pieces about the same size as he was doing.

[b “That’s better.”] She was speaking to Alvér, but her eyes stayed down at her occupied hands. Accidentally cutting herself was the last thing they needed. [b “I felt guilty sitting around doing nothing while you work.”] She knew he was doing this to be nice, so maybe she should have just let him, but Alenia liked this better. Gave them a chance to chat if they wanted. [b “There may not be much left to do at this point, but I’d rather help, so long as I can manage it without getting in the way.”]
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 23d 18h 46m 14s
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Alvér stopped what he was doing, blinking out of his thoughts and looked over at her. His hands hovered over what he was about to do, the ghostly hand winking out of existence behind him. He had been so focused on being distracted by this, that he had forgotten what he was doing it for. Alenia was standing right there.

He set the knife down, "[B I'm- about done.]" he explained, voice soft, thoughtful. The vampire's eyes glanced over the three bodies of what he had going. Over the fire, in his hands, and the waiting meat. "[B After cutting these, it's only time to wait for the stew to cook together...]" He glanced at the burgundy.

His eyes returned to her, expression hesitant. She was staying away. "[B Would you [i like] to help?]" The vampire's head tipped, "[B I only have to cut the vegetables, and then add the wine and spices later.]"
  Tweedy / 23d 22h 3m 36s
Alenia nodded enthusiastically at his thanks. [b “Of course, glad to help.”] The underlying tone belaying there was more he wanted to say was lost on her for the time being. Alvér often spoke somewhat weightily, so it did not stand out to her. So, when he took the vegetables from her, the little woman started just following him around. She was kind of hoping to receive more directions so she could continue to be helpful, but it seemed between Alvér and his magic he had it pretty well handled.

Not wanting to be in the way, the woman decided to stand back. With a fire going, she was drawn that way. It wasn’t that it was particularly cold that night, but there was just something comforting about the light and warmth. Normally she would be content just to watch the flames flicker, but in this case her eyes kept returning to the man on the other side of the room who busied himself with meal preparation. Thankfully, she had enough willpower to stop herself from awkwardly staring at him. Alenia did not want to make him self-conscious, especially when he was finally back to what seemed to be a more stable form.

Elfin ears heard movement before she saw it. Seemingly unprompted, a small log sat atop a pile of others like it began to make its way toward the fire. She caught sight of the phantom hand a moment later and smiled. It was fun to see magic used so lightheartedly. Alenia came from a background that taught her such things were frivolous and wasteful, but she never really believed that. Even still, she lived by those rules so long she often found herself doing things by hand just because. Well, that and she did not have a lot of magic with day to day practical uses like this, so it interested her. Turning back Alvér’s way she smiled brightly and gave him her thanks. That probably could have been the end of it, but after a short pause she spoke up again. [b “You are you don’t want any more help?] It wasn’t that she didn’t think he could do it, because he was clearly doing just fine on his own, more that she wanted an excuse to be over there with him without feeling as though she was getting in the way.
  Alenia Panala / Loxi / 23d 19h 33m 33s
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The vampire had to smile again as Alenia was solidly ignored. He shook his head as the two left, feeling a little twinge of a smile cross him for a moment more, before melting away as he set to work. First was to find the pot he was thinking of, which wasn't difficult. With a much smaller woman than himself reorganizing the kitchen, it was easy to reach.

Next, was to enter into the basement to go get vinegar, found the salt after some searching, swung it in over the hearth, currently unlit.

With the counters safe, he went to the drawer he knew most of the utensils to be in and found a knife to bone the beef with, dropping it into the ghostly hand of magic that caught it deftly, and carried it over to set it next to the package as he reached for a large wooden spoon to stir with for later.

It felt good to do something active and engaging. It added to the pace and quiet intensity to which he organized his tasks. All of it distracted from any other thoughts, giving him the ability to turn away from them and focus on creating.

As he did this, he boned the cut, taking that bone and depositing it into the solution he had made and snapped the fire to life.

He started to cut up the meat in pieces. And then reconsidered those pieces, recalling how petite Alenia was compared to himself. Hm. Smaller, then.

The elf was just finishing up when he heard Alenia come back inside. He glanced over at her with her quarry, hands deftly rewrapping the meat with a glance around to see the cat had not accompanied Alenia. Myhrr, after she had spent much of the expedition involving herself as cats were wont to do in wanting to play with Alenia, thus slowing down the collection of the vegetables, had decided to go off and prowl after hearing a night bird.

"[B Perfect,]" he said, crossing to her. He took in the numbers of the items, eyes bright and pleased in the firelight. "[B Thank you,]" he murmured, glancing up at her, and relieved her of them. His words felt heavier than that simple pleasantry, quickly swallowing what else could be given to that thank you.

With that, he went to the basin and pump to set them inside, taking a breath.

With a wave of experienced, absent fingers, the ghostly hand returned once again to begin to pump water into the basin so he could rinse them off, then pull off their heads, roots and other unused items.

The fire crackled behind it all, tossing wavering shadows along the walls. Alvér glanced back towards Alenia, standing by it, and made another motion. Beside her, the sound of wood moving signaled the hand had reappeared once more, delivering more firewood into the hearth to keep the heat going.

Wringing his hands drier, he took a cloth and piled the vegetables in it to take back over to the counter to cut them, patting them dry. With another motion over his shoulder, he procured a new knife, handed him by the hand once more, appearing from behind him this time.
  Tweedy / 24d 20h 11m 46s
When Alenia first looked to Alvér, he wore a thoughtful look on his face. It was the kind of expression that made her think he was lost in thought. However, he came back to and responded without the need for any extra prompting. It felt less like she was bothering him that way.

Nodding as he listed what he wanted, that all sounded fine by her. Plus they were all easy to identify plants. She wasn’t going to have to scour the garden for some next to unheard of ingredient that she had no way of encountering before now. But he could definitely see Alvér raising something like that amongst the common plants. Though, while that was fine and dandy he added one more request of her. Taking the cat with her. Alenia laughed lightly at his dismissiveness of the animal. [b “Aw, poor Myhrr. Is Alvér being mean to you? Calling you ‘that’ and kicking you out?”] It was understandable, she was a handful at her normal side, being all big like this only made her harder to deal with. Especially when she was after the food you were in the midst of preparing. As was betrayed by the fact that Myhrr barely gave so much as a glance her way when she called her name. She was focused squarely on the cut of meat her owner had brought out.

Giving up on her feigned sympathy, Alenia came closer and cooed at Myh to get her attention. It took some effort, but she finally looked her way. With a couple of good pets and the promise of going outside she was able to coax the cat away. She had been stuck inside just about all day, so when the elfin woman opened the door she just about bolted out. [b “We’ll be right back… or at least I should be.”] There was no guarantee their four-legged friend was going to be so eager to return now that she had a taste of the fresh air.

Letting the door close behind her, the woman eyed the trees in the distance for a moment. In the dark the finer details were lost, but she could still feel a looming sense of dread looking out to the woods. Gaze dropping down to what was right in front of her, Alenia did her best to ignore those feelings. They were unfounded and she knew it. But just because she knew that didn’t mean she could help it, so for now she would just focus on getting what she came for and getting back to the kitchen.

Considering everything Alvér asked for was either a root vegetable or a tuber, she was going to have to get a little dirty, but that wasn’t really a big deal. Alenia wandered leisurely about looking at the vegetation until she discovered the things she was looking for. Once they were all spotted she knelt down to dig them up one by one, careful not to disturb any more of the plants than she had to. She brushed as much soil from the veggies as she could before collecting them together and carrying them inside to be washed and cut. [b “I found them!”] She announced as she walked back inside with or without Myhrr in tow.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 25d 17h 20m 8s
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Her smile made him hesitate on one of his own. It was small, tentative, but a turn of his lips in what almost looked like relief. He was doing something, he could control this, and she looked happy about it.

Alvér led the way downstairs, being sure to avoid Myhrr who was bounding down beside him. He wasn't feeling very alright, currently, and so the promise of doing something with his hands was giving him something to focus on other than the uncertain pit in his stomach. There was still so much to sort through, and looking at Alenia brought an amount of it back into his thoughts, being so close, and alone with her.

As if being close and alone with her in the kitchen would change that. But something about being in her room made him uncomfortable, possibly unwelcome.

He was still sorting through this feeling he had about her. It was different, it was confused, and anxious. She had come to him in what verily had been his darkest hour, when he felt as if he were in a dream, a horrible, unreal, incomprehensible half-reality where he wanted to destroy her, devour her, not just in a vampire's sense, but wholly. Alvér had rarely had the desire for actual flesh, that was not his affliction, he was no ghoul. He didn't peel, chew and swallow a person's body, he tore through to reach something else, something much more difficult to get. But this desire he had had was completely different, when she approached him then. That wasn't something he felt he could control, he hadn't known if he could control anything of himself for very long at that time. It scared him. That was what made him throw her back and force himself into the sun.

Alvér didn't know how much of that was him, or how much of that was other.

He pulled his thoughts away from that again, away from the feeling that was more than he was willing to comprehend. It all swirled together into an unending knot of notions that coincided with others, threading together until they were so numerous he couldn't separate them and would become overwhelmed. This was serious.

Suddenly he found himself in the kitchen, blinking, and moved to the counter to set the bottle down. He took a breath, setting down the package, and turned it over to start unwrapping it. Inside was a beef bone-in cut of meat.

His eyes returned to her from over that center counter where she had perched by a stool pulled up next to it.

"[B Carrots, onion, and potatoes, if you would, please.]" He said to her, inclining his head. Myhrr took the currently unclaimed stool seat and Alvér gave her a warning look. "[B And take [i that] with you.]"
  Tweedy / 26d 17h 30m 0s
His laughter caught her by surprise as well. It happened so seldom; she almost forgot how it sounded. But this brief mirthful flow reminded her it was a pleasant, soothing sort of sound. Alenia wanted to hear more of it, though she wasn’t entirely sure how to do that. That was fine though, if it remained few and far between she would just consider it a treat. Just as she did his offer to make food. A stew sounded delightful.

Happiness bubbled up inside her as he said she would be permitted to help. It was not the sort of feeling she would, or even could, hide. Her joy manifested in an even bigger grin and a brightening in her demeanor overall. [b “I can certainly do that.”] She spoke in a singsong voice and walked with a spring in her step as she followed hot on his tail leaving her room.

The three of them continued together down the hall and to the stairwell. All the while Alenia was thinking about which vegetables she had seen in the garden and which she thought might go best in this dish. Considering she wasn’t entirely sure what her friend was planning, her attempts were not all too successful. But that just meant more conversation for them as they rounded into the kitchen, which killed two birds with one stone. She got to spend a little more time inside with Alvér, but it also delayed her going out. Alenia hadn’t entirely gotten over her paranoia. Sure, she would probably be fine staying close to the manor, but who was to say where garden ended and forest began? She did not want to forget again... The thought did not last long as she looked back to the raven-haired man. [b “Was there anything in particular you wanted me to grab from outside?”] Alenia wasn’t sure what his personal aversions were, but then again, she also wasn’t sure if he was going to partake at all. He had, technically, just eaten.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 26d 18h 35m 33s
Alvér gazed at her. He felt those things come up again, the things he wanted to say. He wanted to talk to her about it, what happened, what he was feeling. To address the fear, and that she might have. Of him. Alvér was still processing all that had happened, what had happened to [i him]. He remembered the fear in her voice. But he didn’t want to face her criticism again. That he still was uncomfortable being looked at, being [i seen] in that way, and that it was out of his control. That he had been out of control this time. It made him want to do something for her, to- thank her.

Best focus on what he was doing right now, keeping his attention on Alenia again.

He had to laugh at her surprise, his face shifting, a smile fanning across him. “[B I survived on my own for this long,]” the vampire explained. “[B I picked up a few recipes here and there.]” He wasn’t always undead.

“[B I have most of the ingredients to make a stew,]” the vampire explained, glancing at her.

Surprise crossed his features once more, something warming inside of him that was pleased that she wanted to stay near. “[B You can help if you like,]” he said, shifting to move towards the stairs again. “[B I need some things out of the garden while I make the soup.]”

With that he turned to return downstairs. Myhrr followed, fixated on the paper parcel. It was good that Alenia was coming, because she could control the cat while he was cooking.
  Tweedy / 26d 19h 40m 56s
The energy between them felt… awkward. Alenia wondered if that was her fault. Though, she really didn’t need to wonder because it was fairly obvious that was the case. But for the moment there wasn’t much she could do about it. Though, she was able to look back up to him and smile when he confirmed that he was no longer in pain.

Alvér’s next comment sort of threw her for a loop. He was going to make something? [b “You can cook?”] It was not a skeptical outburst, but one of trivial surprise. When she had got there it looked like the kitchen hadn’t been used in years. Though maybe it was just that he hadn’t had occasion to use it. Probably wasn’t much reason for a vampire to fire up the stove. [b “What were you thinking of making?”] Alenia was beyond curious. She wanted to know what he was planning and just what he had brought back with him. In that way she was much like Myhrr who was still making attempt to snoop about.

[b “And do you want any help?”] It wasn’t that she felt bad letting him make something for her, after all she had done the same for him on a couple occasions now, but she wanted to spend more time with him. Even if he would just let her sit in the kitchen as he worked, she would be content. Though, he might not be able to escape that. There was a good chance she was going to follow him downstairs regardless.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 26d 23h 54m 24s
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His brows arched, surprise fanning across his face that that was her inquiry, not towards his state of mind as he was more accustomed or expectant. Being reminded of the pain, however, did send a shiver of sensitivity over him. It was like new skin underneath a burn. Huddling in the memory of recent throes, expectant, fearful, reminiscent.

"[B ..Yes.]" he responded, a bit belatedly, eyes absent before he pulled them back to her. He was glad as well, that that physicality of it all was over. He had much to sort through, thinking he had lost control overnight. It made him feel delicate and trepidant. It was a familiar membrane, he felt he sat on now, easily unseated from his ownership of this body.

Alvér tipped his head to the side, pulling his thoughts from that graven rabbit hole and returned his focus to Alenia.

"[B I believe it is my turn to make something,]" he said, indicating the bottle and the package in his hands with the tilt of slender wrists.

The paper wrapped package wasn't small in any way, but the vampire held it as if it were weightless, shifting again as the cat reached up to have a smell at it and pressing it against himself protectively.
  Tweedy / 27d 40m 11s
Steadier. That was good, she supposed. [b “So, the pain has subsided… I am glad.”] That was more along the lines of what she was worried about for him. It seemed as though he had fully healed when she left him before, but she did not want to assume he was fine just because he looked unburdened by the tendrils that often plagued him. Eyes glancing down to his arm that she had bandage, she wondered if that burn was fixed too. With him in long sleeves, she could not see. But that did prompt her to pay a little more mind to his outfit.

Alvér was dressed nicely, a far cry from the formless robes he generally donned. And it reminded her of the first time she saw him in what she could only assume was his originate form. She remembered thinking he was handsome then too. But that was a thought she quickly buried as not to fluster herself and potentially have to explain why. Myhrr pressing in between them was a bit of a blessing in that regard; she gave Alenia an excuse to look away.

The overgrown feline quickly pawed her way up her master to her hind legs. She was intensely interested in what he was holding and suddenly the bard was too. Alenia hadn’t noticed before, but he came bearing a bottle of wine and something wrapped in paper. [b “No, not yet.”] Her response mirrored his, but instead of chiding a pet she was answering his inquiry.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 27d 6h 41m 39s
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Alvér had hesitated around the corner of the door, just shy of entering into the light of the doorway. But he hadn't stopped moving. He had heard her coming, but he hadn't realized she had made it to the doorway and stopped just short of running into her. He blinked, surprised, and stepped back, his hair falling from behind his ear.

The vampire's eyes were green once again. To Alenia he had filled out a little more since she had left him. The bruise-like hollows in his cheeks, temples and under his eyes had faded, and whether it was that or how he stood in the candlelight, he looked more filled out.

How was he feeling. Flashes of what had happened earlier that day went through his mind's eye and his mouth thinned, wondering if she had concerns. "[B Steadier,]" he responded, eyes turning down and away from her.

They flickered back after a moment, recalling the things in his hands. "[B Have you eaten?]" His head tipped to the side a bit, brow arching. He glanced over to Myhrr who was sliding between Alenia and the doorway so she could weave around everyone's legs. But she paused, turning, and stretching up to smell at the paper wrapped bundle he had in his hand curiously.

"[B Not yet,]" he chided, moving it up and away from her, returning his attention to Alenia.
  Tweedy / 27d 16h 1m 20s
Leaving him there after everything that had just happened was immeasurably difficult for her. However, Alenia managed to walk to her room without turning back. She could see herself accidentally catching him getting up and sending herself in a tizzy. Though, hearing him gently speak with Myhrr was a comfort. It told her things were going to be okay. So, despite the difficulty, she was able to close the door behind her when she made it to her destination. Though, she did wonder when she might be able to safely leave again. It was not a thought that plagued her however, especially when the light pitter-patter of paws came from the other side of the door. Alvér must have left, or at the very least moved, if the cat was coming back to her. Alenia returned to the door to let the animal in, then the two of them curled up on her bed to snuggle. It gave her some time to unload everything that had come to pass without feeling like she was talking to herself. There was a lot that happened, and speaking it aloud helped the woman to sort of process it and accept that it really did happen. However, Myhrr seemed to eventually grow bored of this and went back to the door. There she mewed until the elf gave in and let her out.

Her leave was short lived. The meowing was back a few minutes later. Alvér must not have been back for her to bother, so Alenia was the only option with all her ramblings. She let her back in, though like before, the woman was sort of just relaxing from all the excitement. Though now she had taken up residence at her vanity. In all her time here she hadn’t taken the time to properly organize her things. Now that she knew she was in this for the long stay, she was more comfortable putting her belongings away in the drawers. Not that there were many of them, but it made it feel more official.

Again, a few minutes later, Myhrr was scratching at the door. Letting out a long sigh, the bard went back to the door, but this time gave in fully, opting to leave it open for the enlarged cat to have free roam while she went back to finding places for her things. This included her clothes. And after looking in the mirror she noticed that there were black smears across her outfit. It was now in desperate need of being washed, so she went ahead and changed while she was at it. This ensemble was a little more homely, just a shorter sleeved shirt, a skirt and an apron to add an additional splash of color. It wasn’t something she would generally work in, but it was comfortable.

After settling into clean clothes, and having finished with all the organizing she could find to do in the room, Alenia decide to just sit down and relax. It was tempting to do so on the bed, but she worried she might fall asleep and it was still too early for that. So, she found herself sitting back at the vanity once again. However, Myhrr made herself right at home by jumping up onto the surface. Being as big as she was now, she took up nearly the entire space, but Alenia let her do as she pleased. Simply petting her as the animal went ahead and pressed their heads together lovingly.

As this distracted the three-eyed cat, Alenia did not hear Alvér approach until he was calling at her door. Though, in truth there would have been no sound to hear even if she was sitting on her own. Giving the affectionate animal a small kiss on the nose, the elfin bard let that be her ‘farewell’ as she turned in her seat to look back to the door. [b “Yes?”] It was an invitation for him to enter, if he so desired. Though after a moment she decided she should probably be more direct. [b “You can come in, if you want.”] She stood as she spoke, already making her way to the door to greet him, just in case he was so inclined to keep to the hall. There was a chance that he was just here to make sure she hadn’t left in his absence, as he was prone to doing, but even so she wanted to see him. Alenia wanted to make sure he was still okay.

When she laid eyes on him, it was almost as though he was a different person. He wasn’t of course. He was always Alvér. But there was more life to him, a subtle, healthy glow. She knew where it came from, but did her best not to think too closely on it. [b “Feeling better?”] After seeing him, she didn’t really need to ask, but she did all the same. She wanted to hear it directly from him.
  Alenia Panala / loxi / 27d 16h 21m 22s
He shivered again as she ran her hand down his neck once more, eyes on her, surprised by the gentle contact.

Alvér watched her as she pulled away, seeing how she removed her eyes with discomfort from him. His first instinct was to prevent it, to speak, but he stopped himself, keenly reminded that he was in no condition to move right now, his hand closing a bit more on the vest she had given him.

There was more to say. More he needed to say, it pressed at his chest, and up against his tongue. She saved him. He had questions. He felt like he needed to explain, but this. This was what he had warned her about. He let his hand slip away from hers, looking away. He felt he wasn't able to do much in the way of anything. He was trying to keep it together, still.

He watched her go, looking down at the- well, less down than he anticipated at the cat next to him. Alvér's eyes widened as she nosed not just at his upper arm but at his shoulder and neck. Next to him, he didn't recognize the cat. She was a cool, sooty gray with bright blue/green eyes and a third, milky, blind looking one at the center of her forehead. But she had the same smell, the same voice.

Alenia could hear the Undercommon from his lips as he murmured what sounded like a 'my gods' at her, before continuing. His hands pet over her large head, over her ears and down her neck and back. Alenia did catch, in the quiescence of the hallway, the elven word for 'gargoyle' as he mused at her, his voice still husky and dry, but still in that upper register he had when she found him in the tower.

"[B Why don't you go with Alenia?]" he whispered, petting over her again. With a rumbling sound, the cat pressed their brows together, all of her peculiar eyes closing, and scraped their faces together. He squinted against it, rubbing at her familiar, warm skin.

Soon, however, there was a patting of paws near the doorknob of the room Alenia was in, a plaintive sound rising behind it.

Taking the vest with him, Alvér went into the basin room. Folding the article, he set it on his bed. Standing there for a moment, in the room, he felt a tightening of his stomach. In the darkness here, he felt watched. He felt [i seen]. It reeked of the stagnant, empty silence that he was all too familiar with. It felt close. He felt permeable here.

Shaking his head, as if to dislodge the feeling, he turned, pausing at the crunch of broken glass at his feet. In the darkness he could see the shadow of himself in the piece as he shifted off of it. He pulled his gaze away. His blood was in this room as well. On the broken mirror, on the floor. He suppressed a shudder, hand out to find the edge of the wardrobe door he left open. He didn't want to look. Not at anything.

Fumbling a bit, Alvér managed to find a matched coat and tunic, finding his boots and pants and belt and took those, striding into the next room and only then letting his breath out.

Standing there, he recognized the familiar tight, relentless heat in him that spoke of panic. The things in his hand dropped and he pressed the hand to his chest. Panic. He looked up at the chandelier in this one, the cold tile centering him for the time being on his bare feet.

His safe place. That bedroom. It was supposed to be his safe place. [i But so is my body.] His fingers clenched a bit, feeling unsteady. His brows pressed and he wavered, needing to crouch down to breathe. What is safe? For so long, his body was his last place. It was where he could hide things, where he could be alone. Safe. No one could take him out of it, they could wound the flesh, they could curse it and lash it and burn it, but no one could reach [i him].

His fingers slid into his hair, feeling his breath unrelieved. His chest tight. What was safe??

Hunger. It gnawed at his attention, suddenly, with a painful twist of his stomach. Alvér's throat went delicate, trembling, and he felt the familiar, empty, gagging feeling that made his mouth water. He needed to feed on something.

Blindly, squeezing his eyes shut, his hand went out to the dropped robe-length tunic, fingers closing in short velvet. He breathed out, slowing his breath to a ragged push. He needed to feed, [i now]. The sun was set. And in the darkness, Alvér imagined cool, moonlit forests, his usual haunt, familiar paths and soft moss over exposed roots that made his step silent. He breathed out, thinking of mists crawling along the floor, centering himself on that thought, and pulled the cloth over long limbs.

For Alenia the house grew even more silent, as if settling again, into the night. Relaxing.
[center [pic https://onestoryslinger.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/untitled.png]]
Alvér let himself out into this night. It was fast cooling, and clear. He breathed in, looking around with a modicum of shock. He could go hunt now. It had been some time since he had in this form. The stories Alenia heard in the town varied, but most were of the large, shambling mound of horror that would come into Kalenfort and stalk the streets, haunting the woods outside of town. But some, if she found other legends, or rowdy drunks trying to correct their comrade, had an older one. The slender, pale thing that rose and attacked people at night, leaving torn, bloody bodies. They thought it was a human, a ghost, a ghoul.

Alvér didn't have time to stalk the streets. He needed to take someone, now. It was early, and so he knew there would be some form of drunk in the street. His only hope was to find someone wine drunk.

Gliding into the town, he felt his senses spread about him and he inhaled again, letting them. The smell of animals, and people, the crow of the night birds above him. He opened his eyes again, hearing things that couldn't hear him. A pair.

Alvér slipped into the shadows, listening to their voices, and smelling their salted, savory bodies moving. Mortals, two human men, brazen, large, worked well into their drunkenness by a meager diet. His hand raised to his lips, anticipation forecasting their taste.

They didn't see him as he stepped into the street to follow them. Their merriment making him almost giddy as he let them stop by a well. One caught sight of him, calling out.

"[B Oh, don't stop on my account,]" the thin man breathed, waving them on. He approached them, letting his presence bathe the small square. The vampire's presence infatuated them, and at once made him dear, and inconsequential.

The two men marveled, eyes wide, as Alvér marveled at them, at their rosy, ruddy skin, how their sinews moved beneath, the tightening of a tendon in the neck of one as he turned. He looked upon them with joy, beckoning them on.

They nodded, turning to look back at one another. His presence was sweet and following, like a sleek cat as he let the men enter their garret together. The vampire followed, closing the door behind and watching them as they ascended the stairs and to their small beds.

He listened to them as they talked, voices lowered, in the intimacy of darkness. The vampire approached now, and they looked to him.

He killed with grace, lowering each body into their bed and bringing their legs up, tucking beneath them. He savored their hot, soft flesh and how it made him feel whole, how it warmed his body. And as he laid down the second, he spotted the glint of a bound bottle in the moonlight.

Turning, Alvér bent and retrieved it. It was unlabeled. He turned it, trying to see if it was inscribed, and then pulled the cork. Smelling it, he recognized burgundy. Ah. That gave him an idea.

The vampire glanced around the dirty little room again, eyes curious and accustomed to the darkness.
[center [pic https://onestoryslinger.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/untitled.png]]
The house was quiet when he returned to it, his items in his hands. He had the bottle of burgundy, and a little bundle wrapped in paper in his other hand. Not even a fire had been lit in the parlor.

He made his way upstairs, forgetting that he moved like the dead. That was the thing with the dead, they were so silent. That was what was always so jarring, the stillness. With mortals, and such things, they were alive, loud, breathing, shifting position with some rustle of clothes or some such. With the dead, that was much rarer.

He came to Alenia's door, surprised to find it open. He saw the slant of the lamplight on the carpeting.

"[B Alenia,]" he called softly, from the doorway.
  Tweedy / 27d 17h 40m 47s
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