The coroner's assistant opened the drawer and pulled back the sheet, and Calla saw a living woman. Lucy's face was intact, her eyes closed, her long red hair fanned out around her head. She was breathing softly, chest moving just the slightest bit. Even her clothes were there--gray sweater, dark jeans, a chunk of quartz on a thin gold chain. Calla bit down hard on the inside of her cheek and concentrated on now. The image flickered and blurred and vanished, leaving only the waxy, jawless corpse, naked and autopsy-scarred.

Bodies remembered what they'd been.
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The Sacred & The Profane



 
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 When In Rome, [Jean/Open]
Adrien de la Roche
 Posted: Dec 31 2014, 02:21 PM
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They had been in New York for almost six months, but Adrien had yet to settle in. Though the thick black curtain kept out all but the tiniest slivers of daylight, it could not keep out the noise. The sirens screaming down the street at all hours, the neighbors in the apartment next door solving their disagreements in the loudest and most distracting of ways—these and the other sounds of the city now replaced the transition from the bustle of daytime to the once-quiet, once-sacred night, so that the disappearance of those slivers of light was the only thing that signified the sun's graceful decline.

Tonight was no different. Beside him, Jean still slept, but the barking of dogs and a decade of bad memories kept Adrien awake. They had been learning quickly, if he did say so himself, but caution had been the watchword of the hour and prey was easier for the police to locate in the modern era. So he was hungry, and that soured his even mood further than the noise.

Why, oh why, was Jean still sleeping? After years of dreaming in a musty crypt, Adrien was tired of sleep and tired of darkness (at least insofar as a vampire could be). They'd been thrown into a world they didn't understand, but he was ready to start learning how to survive—no, live—more completely than simply finding prey and fleeing home.

It was only a matter of technicality that the vampire made a similar resolution each evening, and that he changed his mind when they reached the subway (which Jean had a particular love for). Tonight would no doubt be the same, but he took a deep breath and pushed himself back into Jean's arms nonetheless. “We should go out,” he announced plainly, with the hope that it would wake his sleeping companion.
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Jean Bonfils
 Posted: Jan 2 2015, 07:58 PM
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Jean, uncharacteristically, had been awake for a little while now, trying to block out the sounds of the city around them so that he could sleep a little longer. When he finally felt Adrien stirring, he had to admit it was something of a relief, though he hadn’t expected him to announce himself so abruptly. Jean was accustomed to quieter awakenings.

“Nrgh, Adrien,” he grumbled, pulling him closer and hiding his face in the crook of his neck. “you should at least whisper.” He continued to mumble somewhat unintelligibly, barely managing “a voice so loud you could wake the dead.” Jean was always one for terrible jokes.

Sighing, he stretched a little and yawned over-dramatically as he rolled back to his side of the bed to sit up partially. “Where shall we go out, my flower? To a museum? 'Times Square'? Maybe to a café?” Jean knew well and good that Adrien was hungry—even though his own stomach was only beginning to growl, he sensed the antsiness of his brother plainly. Jean was growing tired of being secretive, leaving only to hunt in the morning’s small hours and returning to their apartment well before dawn. And besides, before the crypt they had kept their company in Nico’s chateau, which was more than big enough to give them both their space. He sighed amicably. “I suppose you might like to find something to eat.” He turned to Adrien and smiled. “Is that right, my dove?”
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Adrien de la Roche
 Posted: Jan 7 2015, 11:05 AM
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Adrien was often painfully aware that he was not cut out for solitude, in the manner that only the truly over-dramatic can be, and Jean's waking yawn served as one such reminder for that fact. Never mind that it was a moot point; it gave him an excuse to admire the soft angles of his partner's chest as he stretched, catlike, into the mattress. His agitation was tempered with warmth and affection, and perhaps a modicum of hunger unrelated to the pangs in his stomach.

But there was plenty of daylight to make love during; he let the thought pass and rested his chin on Jean's shoulder. “I am quite hungry,” he admitted sheepishly. “And I am sick to death of this brick-and-mortar box, to be frank about it. Perhaps we could stretch our legs in search of a suitable meal?”

It wasn't exactly a ploy to avoid the subway, but the metal cars rattled like and the sights and smells and people—well, Adrien was already feeling peckish, and that many humans in a small metal box did not sound like it was an exercise in the interest of secrecy.
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Jean Bonfils
 Posted: Jan 11 2015, 10:56 PM
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“Hm!” Jean finished stretching and sat up in bed, running bony fingers through his tangled hair. “I think that sounds lovely.” He eyed Adrien up, observing the line of his jaw and the set of his shoulders, and the flicker of worry passing over his face. “I don’t suppose you would be keen to see the sights before feeding?” Before Adrien would have had time to answer, Jean had weighed this over. “Ehh, no, I’m hungry too. We’ll just have to find somewhere to clean up.”

As much as the practical purpose of a night on the town was to find prey, the desire to stretch their legs was important. If finding a stray victim or two was not so much easier with two, or if either of them were less famished, Jean might have suggested the two take separate paths tonight. This would not be, of course, from any failing on either’s part—it was just that the two tended to spend so much time with each other as to be irritating, and they both valued a little time alone every now and again.

“I was thinking, if we can manage, that I’d quite like to see a movie at some point,” he said with a smile, over exaggerating the first vowel. “They seem quite fun, don’t you think?”
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Adrien de la Roche
 Posted: Jan 16 2015, 12:20 PM
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Adrien had never been a tidy diner; it had been chief among their sire's frustrations with him as a fledgling, and spending years in the deathsleep had rendered him no better at containing his zeal. There were certainly more viable options than finding somewhere to clean up after their meal, but he was hungry now, which put them between a rock and something of a hard place. “I suppose we could bring spare clothes,” he tried thoughtfully. It wasn't the least conspicuous option available to them, but it was perhaps the most realistic.

He leaned his head on Jean's shoulder and issued an exaggerated sigh. “I'm sure movies are as exciting as they have ever been,” he said, somewhat disdainfully. Adrien had seen film in its early days, had been forced to sit through more than a few amateur compilations during his time at art school, and he had to admit that he had not been impressed one bit. The technology might have gotten better in the years they'd been asleep, but he sincerely doubted the craft had any more merit than before.

“Perhaps we would enjoy a play instead? From what I can tell, they have gotten quite creative with their costuming.”
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Jean Bonfils
 Posted: Jan 19 2015, 01:26 PM
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“Oh, Adrien,” Jean groaned, getting out of bed. “I’m tired of plays. We always go and see plays. Plays are something we used to do. Going to a cinema sounds fun! See what the fuss is about. You’ve seen the advertisements,” he added petulantly. Jean was becoming quite interested in televisions and screens, and he had seen quite a few movie trailers while out and about in New York. He was excited about them if Adrien wasn’t, and it certainly beat musical theatre, in his mind.

“Come on, get out of bed, go find some clothes,” he mumbled, digging through a pile of laundry on the floor. He found a pair of jeans he was pretty sure were his and pulled them on, then yanked a tee over his head. The novelty of modern clothes was finally starting to wear off, but Jean couldn’t help but take a moment to appreciate the softness of fabrics now, even if clothing fit tighter than it used to.

“What if…instead of spare clothes we just zipped up our jackets over our shirts?” He paused and considered the logic of this suggestion. “And brought handkerchiefs for our faces…?”
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Adrien de la Roche
 Posted: Jan 23 2015, 02:21 PM
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Adrien grimaced. “You know I am a messy eater, Jean,” he whined. He was also not particularly patient, which made it easy to forget such simple steps as zipping up a jacket. The hot, sticky smell of blood on his clothes would make it difficult for him to focus the entire evening; he would probably fidget all night long. “Perhaps we could find sustenance closer to home, and then see about stretching our legs after we have changed?”
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Jean Bonfils
 Posted: Jan 27 2015, 09:54 PM
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“Fine, fine,” Jean groused, pacing the floor of their tiny apartment in search of socks. “If you are so desperately hungry as you claim, my love, it might do you good to get out of bed.” He pushed aside notebooks and pens stacked unceremoniously on the floor, finding his wallet in the process. “We’ll see what we can find nearby. I suppose there will always be beggars.” He sighed, wrinkling his nose as he pulled his newly located socks on. “I don’t mind the smell too much.”
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Adrien de la Roche
 Posted: Jan 29 2015, 09:56 PM
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The twenty first century was awash with the kinds of people that society didn’t miss when they went missing. Transient youths and young upstarts whose families would make a fuss about their disappearances, but who would ultimately be forgotten in a week or two. Adrien had never been fond of the cold, but he had to admit that these days, the snow made it easier to find a meal.

People who had warm homes and families in them didn’t leave them in this weather. Adrien turned up the collar of his wool coat and shook a light dusting of snow out of his hair. “I do not like this New York weather,” he groused to his partner. They’d had snow in Marseille, of course, but the winters had not gotten so damnably cold. “It is good for hunting only.”

The streets were next to empty, but they were also bright; though the snowfall was only enough to cover the streets in a thin layer, the lanterns that illuminated the modern era were much brighter than those in his day, and the reflection of their pink-orange light pushed even the darkest corners back several feet from their usual positions. It was not the best weather for hunting, and their meal would not be a clean one.

Now more than ever, it was crucial to select someone whose death would not be missed. Adrien ran a gloved thumb over the blade of a knife in his pocket—it made for good cover to allow the murder to be discovered, without revealing the murderers or their methods. He had been forced to leave more than one such implement at the scene of a meal.

Around a small fire in a trash can huddled a small group of youths, not homeless from the look of their clothes and their attitudes, but certainly seemed as though they were trying to reject modern comforts—at least for the night. Adrien did not understand such a movement; in his day, they might have been called insane, but now they listened to bad music in alleyways, smoking and making conversation until the police came to disperse their merry bands. Didn’t they want to get out of the cold?

He eyed them thoughtfully. Four young men, able-bodied but not in peak physical condition. It was the best they’d do tonight. “Shall I begin, or would you like to take our time?”


(Tiiime Skippin)
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