Location: Venice, Italy
Plot summary: Gregori makes his way to Venice. Catori, in search of Ziodex and UV rounds comes to Venice and meets Gregori. They learn about the Therians of the world, as Xiong has come in search of Lyra. Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Venice, Regan meets Fawn. He is captivated by her and decides to make her his after taking her eyes.
(Amendments Note: These logs have been spell checked prior to addition to this site.)
Gregori shuffled through a back alley of the great watery city, cutting across corners and not really thinking of where he was going. The smell of stagnant water and sea salt fought for prominence in his nose, making him slightly nauseous. His new enhanced senses still confused him and the scents tended to all meld together.
He blinked suddenly, confronted by noise and people. He must have made his way to the Piazza. He tugged self consciously at the dirty shirt he wore, the long sleeves hanging off his frame. He brushed a hand through his blonde hair trying for some semblance of tidiness. It had been a while since he had seen a good hot shower and a change of clothes. The money he had taken from home had been spent on the plane ticket to Europe and the last few euros’ that graced his pocket would be saved for food.
Gregori stayed close to the walls of the surrounding buildings, not wanting to brave the buzz of the square. He kept his eyes low, trying to avoid contact. The crowd seemed to pulse and ebb in his mind, pulling at urges he didn’t want. Saliva filled his mouth and he swallowed it painfully. What was wrong with him?!
Xiong Wei Hu made his way through the crowd, employing subtle Tai Chi to maneuver around these perpetually busy western city people. A woman with a large handbag almost caught him off gaurd, but a quick sidestep and the small framed Easterner avoided the swinging walk of her. Xiong smiled, this was nearly as effective as training with wooden dummies. People looked at him oddly as he passed, though they mainly passed him off as just a tourist or a restaurant worker, due to his garb. A young child asked if he was "Jackie Chan" to which Xiong stopped and bowed to her "Greetings, young lady, I am not "Jackie Chan" I'm afraid, I am Xiong Wei Hu of Wu. May I help you?" The young human ran off giggling and Xiong sighed with a smile, the youth were always so spirited.
♍ Catori had returned from Portugal, she brought along her Walther and her cell phone while she'd spend her time in Venice, taking notes and collecting ammunition and blood. It couldn't hurt for the girl to carry some on her, maybe spill it on the ground to draw Vamps one way while she went in the opposite direction. Venice. She'd never actually been here herself, though her Dad did tell her stories of it. He said Carnival was both his favorite and least favorite time. The body count for the war went up with so many tourists pulsating through the area.
♍ Stepping off of the water taxi, Catori held her Walther at her lower back, tucked between her jeans and her flesh. She had her credit card in her wallet, tucked snugly in her back pocket. Her M19 rifle was in a large bag she carried over her shoulder, she had a few days' worth of clothing also packed in there. Catori made a face at the thought of her Passport picture. Mentally checking off her list, she decided she needed UV rounds more than she needed silver rounds, the regular hollow point bullets wouldn't do too much here, but they'd slow the creatures down. Yes, she planned on killing the lot of them, especially if they posed a threat. No other Cleaners' family should have to go what they went through. Not now that Corvinus was dead.
"Hello Venice." Catori sighed lightly towards the Piazza.
It took Gregori a few minutes to get his body back under control, or as much control as he could muster recently. He put his hand over his nose and mouth trying to block the smells and force his thoughts back to something more ‘human’. People were beginning to stare his way, probably seeing a strange, dirty young man who looked like he was either homeless or a junkie, or possibly both. He wished it was something as simple as that.
He finally dropped his hand and walked further into the throng of the crowd. Men in suits or casual dress chatting on cell phones or with women hanging off their arms. Perfume and cologne seemed to hang over them like fog, saturating the air with a harsh chemical aroma. Coughing, Gregori turned in the opposite direction, heading for the open waterways that ringed the Piazza. Coming to the city was turning out to be a bad idea. Everything was so loud and bright. His shins caught a metal fence surrounding a small cafe and his hand shot out to steady himself. The metal groaned under his grip and he looked down to see it bent into a hand shape under his grip. “Shit.” He muttered, pulling his arm back like it stung. He glanced side to side hoping no one had noticed.
He changed course again without looking, colliding with another body. His hands shot out before he could think to steady whoever he had bumped but pulled them away quickly with a loud hiss as his palms started to burn. He rubbed them hastily on his jeans. “Sorry, sorry, didn’t see you.” He apologised, glancing up at the woman.
Xiong Wei Hu broke from the crowd and almost instinctively headed toward the canal. The little man with the large bag moved silently and fluidly through the streets before he came to a small patch of grass with a single lemon tree sprouting from it beside the canal, it was surrounded by the white/grey paving stone of the pathway. Xiong stopped at the edge of the grass and took off his woven straw sandals before stepping on to the grass, beneath the tree. He rested his pack down and took a small rug from it, laying it down on the grass before him, he stood on it and smiled, before sitting down in the shade, resting for a while.
♍ Catori was nearly knocked off of her feet by the man, the bag carrying her rifle and clothes clambered on the ground and she frowned at the man who'd run into her. Instantly she bent over and picked up her things, her eye never leaving the ma— boy. She cocked her head as she brought the bag up to her shoulder once more and eyed him. He looked like he hadn't bathed in days. Smelt like it, too.
"You should watch where you're going." She kept from insulting the boy fully, he didn't look too much younger than herself. "I don't have any cash to spare." Came her immediate response to his attire.
♍ She didn't offer anything more than that, not at the moment. Catori studied the man who'd bumped into her, he had beautiful eyes. She'd never seen anything like them before. Catori pursed her lips into a straight line as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other. There was something about his manner, maybe it was his dress, that unnerved her.
Gregori looked up fully, noticing for the first time that they were the same height. “Sorry, I- I didn’t see you. I’m sorry.” He said, his words tumbling outwards. He mentally cursed himself for being such an idiot. In the state he was, he was more of a danger of ploughing people over than anything else.
He itched his stinging palms and grimaced at her short words. “I wasn’t going to ask you for money.” He blurted, though he could understand why she’d said it. He looked like the typical street urchin, he was glad she hadn’t yelled for the police.
He studied her face, her chocolate tresses reminding him of Anna. A stab of pain lanced through his chest and he grimaced, taking a large breath to steady himself. A sharp, acrid scent filled his nose and he sneezed. “I’m really sorry.” He said again, repeating himself in his effort to appease his mistake.
Xiong took the Sun sword from it's sheath at his hip and smiled at the slow, light rasping it made as it slipped across the chape of the scabbard. Xiong read the inscription as it came out in flawless, though heavily accented English, trying to climatise with the language. "Xiong Wei Hu, Adopted son of Sun Jian, Fourth Tiger General, Holder of the sword of Heaven. Within this blade rests the spirit of Wu and the Sun family. Mountain strong, ocean wise, swift as the wind. - Sun Jian, Ce and Quan" Each of his adopted brothers and father had taken great pains to inscribe this sword, knowing it would one day pass to him. The blade rang like a bell as the point passed the mouth of the sheath. Xiong layed it on his lap and shut his eyes, praying for his adopted family, who were undoubtedly, in Xiong's mind, residing in Heaven."
♍ Catori frowned at his sneeze and moved a bit closer to comfort the man-boy. Her hand reaching for his arm. He didn't smell like a Lycan. Though, that may have been her prejudice against them. He had stared at her face too long.
"Bless you and it's fine. Just watch where you're going." She weighed her words and her actions, there were too many people around for her to cause a scene. "What happened to your hand?"
♍ Her Walter was still snug against her jeans, the deep navy tank top she wore was long and loose enough that it covered any bulk the gun might have had. Her boots were in her bag along with her other clothes for the week while her sneakers squeaked against the stone of the piazza. She shouldn't have gotten them wet when she first tried getting in the boat.
Gregori’s first instinct was to back up as she invaded his personal space but he didn’t. Her eyes studied him closely and he almost felt like a lab specimen. He swallowed, the back of his throat feeling slightly sore but that could have been just from the sneeze. “I will, I’m sorry, it’s just this place is so crowded...I guess I got a little overwhelmed.” He pulled his gaze away from her face down to his hand at her question. A frown creased his face and he rubbed the back of his neck with his other hand. “I’m not sure, it just started itching.” He brought his hand closer to his face, the skin red and aggravated, thought it seemed to sparkle slightly, like someone had poured glitter over it and then tried to wash it off. “I must have touched something I was allergic too maybe, though it’s never happened before.” He added, resisting the urge to wipe his nose with the back of his hand. He felt woefully unclean and he wondered if he could find a hostel somewhere and wash up.
Xiong was brought from his peaceful stature by a member of the local constabulary, who'd taken offence to his sword, even though it was laying across his lap harmlessly. The surly, middle aged man reached for the sword slowly, thinking Xiong was asleep. As soon as the man's hand was about to grip the pommel of the Tang Jian, Xiong opened one eye "Can I help you, sir?" He asked politely. The policeman explained to Xiong that having an offensive weapon on display in public was against the law, but seen as how he was a tourist, he'd let him off with a warning. Xiong apologised profusely and slipped the sword soundlessly back into it's holster, insisting there was no harm done, the policeman went on his way and Xiong packed up his rug, slung his pack over his shoulder, stepped into his straw sandals and made his way over to what he presumed was a café, stopping just short of another obvious tourist who looked as though she was taking pity on a local vagrant. Xiong decided it would be best to offer the homeless young man something to drink, as he was about to get a drink himself, he was no stranger to western coffee.
♍ Her mind was racing and she was torn between taking the very rifle from her pack and ending this poor creature's misery or actually helping him. One thing was certain though. Catori backed up away from him a few feet. Not too far, but far enough that his own immune system should've been able to fight off her own protection against his kind. The Lycan. The boy. The man. He'd been infected. Caught by them? He was far more innocent than Catori and she had no reason to actually harm him. She began pacing in front of him, unsure of what she wanted to do. She sighed and wrung her fists.
"Have you eaten?" Catori asked, she'd never really dealt with a Lycan this way before.
♍ There was a small group around an Asian man, a police officer bent over him. She didn't take too much notice into it, seeing as how this man was her most pressing issue. A silent war raged within her as to how far her compassion should go.
Gregori blinked as she suddenly backed away from him, putting a good few feet between them. Had he done something wrong? His expression dropped. His first week in Europe and this woman was the only one who had spoken to him more than a couple of words. Not that he had sought much company anyway. No, it was safer for everyone if he stayed away. He shoved his itchy hand in his pocket looked down at his sneakers. He’d eaten yesterday, just a sandwich though it had done little to stop the gnawing in his belly. It seemed that his stomach was never full nowadays. The only time he was ever satisfied was after a full moon but he pushed those thoughts away, trying to forget them as hard as he could. “Not today.” He answered, “But you don’t have to buy me anything, I’m not trying to make you feel you have to.” He blurted, god damnit, he was so bad at this.
Xiong recognised the struggle of a newly turned Therian almost instantly, and would bet that the adverse reaction on the poor boy's hand was silver. Xiong would apologise and explain later. he grabbed the boy's hand from his pocket with one hand, turned the palm over and inspected it, pulling a tanto from the back of his sash with the other. "This will hurt, but it will be better after. I will explain in a moment, please forgive the pain." Xiong said, before the surgically sharp blade cut into the skin of the boy's hand, removing the taint of silver carefully with the blade itsself.
♍ Catori nodded at his words and she calculated how much she had in her account. She could easily go sans bullets and get him a room adjacent to hers. At least then she could keep an eye out if he went to attack anyone. Turned partially away from him, she began speaking.
"You're not making me feel bad. Look, I don't do this. But, I have a bit of extra money I'd saved up. Would you want to help me find a cheap hotel to stay at? I'm sure a bath might clean up that rash. And I could buy us dinner in a thank you for your he— What the fuck are you doing?"
♍ Catori frowned at the small Asian man. With so many tourists around, she hadn't noticed he came up behind the boy. She'd been far too focused on getting him cleaned up and away from people. She'd caught only the last of his words as he apologized to the boy. He was a Lycan as well? Her chest grew tight with anxiety.
Gregori’s pulse increased at her words. She was actually offering to pay for him? In his experience people usually didn’t offer strangers a room and food, but he wasn’t about to say no. Maybe it would be good for the time being. The next full moon wasn’t for another two and half weeks. He would be safe to be around for a week or so before he’d have to leave. Plenty of time to thank her for her kindness. He was just about to open his mouth and thank her when a small asian man grabbed his itchy hand with an iron grip. The pain registered before he could see what was happening to his palm and he tried to jerk his hand back. A strangled sound escaped his lips, a mesh of human pain and the unearthly scream of a cougar. Tears of pain blurred his vision as his palm filled with bright hot agony.
Xiong quickly finished his work, sheathed his tanto and grabbed a length of silk cloth from his pack, which he bound tightly around the wound he'd made, before he looked up to the girl questioning him. "I was... Helping him. He had an... Infection. It is a... Common infection for people of our- His type." Xiong looked back to the boy "I am sorry, young master, but you will thank me soon." Xiong guided the young man to the outside seating at the café and sat him down, ignoring the stare from people at the cougar roar.
♍ Catori followed them both. This man angered her, he'd not only hurt the boy but he made no deal of what he'd done. And he knew what he was! Though, the boy did not sound like a Lycan. She had expected a howl of some type, rather than the reaction he'd given. Catori was confused with them both.
Gregori gasped past the pain and pulled his newly bound hand against his chest. He sat automatically, the blurry shapes of the woman and man in front and above him. Good god what had the man just done to him? He wiped his eyes with his free hand and looked down at his palm. Blood seeped through the silk but the burning was gone. He shot a glance at the asian man, hearing his words. Our type? His grey eyes widened. Was this another like him? “Infection? I-I don’t-.” He stammered, the surprise and pain leaving him shaken. He looked up at Catori and the confusion on her face, “I’m alright.” He reassured her, though he didn’t know if she cared or not. “What did you just do to me?” He asked the man, cradling his injured hand.
Xiong sat beside the boy and began picking a tea set, piece by piece, from his pack and setting it on the table. "I stopped a poison from entering your veins. I am sorry for the surprise and for the pain. But you will heal quickly, you're young." Xiong caught a waiter's arm and asked for a large jug of boiling water for the tea, the man obliged with a slight confusion at Xiong's appearance and accent. "You are not like most people, young sir... Forgive me, I forget my manners." Xiong stood up and bowed lowly "I am Xiong Wei Hu of Wu." Xiong said, addressing both the girl and the boy. He waited for a response, before he sat down. Though he was their elder, he presumed, he offered them high respects as strangers.
♊ He paced the floor, his hands clenched as he walked. He'd finished his last bag of Ziodex and had spent the days drinking from the animals. How he hated those stretches between humanity. The silence he did not mind, in fact the preferred it. It was the loneliness that came and gorged itself against his belly that bothered Regan. His fingers itched at his palms as he strode toward the house at the edge of the horizon. Yes, this was the first house he'd seen in a day's travel. Surely he saw cars pass on the stretch of road as he went, but they were of no concern to him. This house. This house held something for him. Regan's thin lips curled upwards in delight. There was a present waiting for him.
♊ Was it fifteen or twenty minutes that had passed as Regan took his time towards the lonely house? The sun beat down on him, it pulsated, he was irritated by it's light. Regan wasn't quite sure and in all honesty, he'd kept his eyes on the house windows the entire time. Her shadow was cast on the curtain. He'd stay there, tonight. Regan focused on the woman, he could see her breats — what perfect mounds they were— against her slim stomach. Regan ran the last hundred feet towards her back door. He'd meet her inside. He cocked his head to the left side as the actor took hold of him. It had been some time since he'd greeted a woman. Since he'd planned on finishing her. Since he'd actually have the time to finish her. Oh, Regan was abuzz with energy.
♍ Catori took her seat, as Xiong Wei Hu had already ordered for them. She set her rifle pack down on the floor, next to the table. She took care not to sit too close to the boy, instead she sat directly across from him. Ever cautious of the Asian man. Xiong. Xiong. Xiong. She committed it to memory as she spoke it aloud softly.
"I am Catori." She responded, as was polite.
Jareth had only been to Venice twice before in his five centuries, so this was almost like visiting someplace new. Which to him was a nice change. After nearly five hundred years, places can get rather old. But he had returned, only a two days ago and now found himself sitting at a table in front of one of the many cafe's reading. He was dressed rather lightly for a change as the weather was very nice. A simple t-shirt, a black pair of shorts, flip-flops and with him his well worn backpack. People were everywhere, and he tried his best to ignore them. Well, that was until he heard what sounded like a cougar. He looked up and saw some commotion not too far away, and he focused his senses. *Oh,* he thought to himself, *there's a cougar therian over there.* He put his bookmark on the page he was reading and closed his book, stuffing it into his backpack. He stood and then instantly caught the sent of the tiger. "Really?" he said to himself. Those are two species he's not had contact with before, and for them to be in Venice of all places. "Fascinating," he said so himself.
Gregori stared at the man for a few moments, letting his words sink in. Ok, don’t panic, he told himself. Maybe now he could actually get some concrete answers about what was and what had happened to him 11 months ago. It helped that the woman had stayed, Catori . He felt a little less ambushed by information with her sitting across from him, equally confused. “Thanks, I guess.” He murmured lightly before he regained his manners. “I’m Gregori, or Greg, whichever...nice to meet you both.” The scent of his own blood was clear in his nose and he fought not to dribble on himself. He wiped a hand over his mouth and tried not to look desperate. He wanted so much to question the Chinese man but he didn’t want to give himself away to his new friend either. Surely she would think him crazy and retract her kind offer.
Xiong sat down, the water was brought to his table and placed before him. Xiong arranged the tea set and began the ceremony, a large earthenware pot in the centre of the table and a small bowl placed before Gregori first, then Catori, then himself. Xiong poured water into the pot and stirred the boiling water into a vigorous swirl, before adding several generous pinches of leaves and buds from a pouch he'd produced from seemingly nowhere. Watching the leaves and buds swirl in the pot for a while, Xiong then immersed a bamboo ladle into the large pot and ladled out three servings of tea, first to Gregori, then Catori, then himself. "Young master Gregori, lady Catori, please accept this tea as a simple act of peace between us. I sense your hostility and confusion." Xiong also sensed they were being watched, but there was just curiosity, nothing sinister.
♊ The back door had been left unlocked, to Regan's surprise. He let himself in, and almost danced his way up the staircase. Surely she heard him. Her hair was short, pixie cut and the deepest shade of chestnut, it would have looked black had Regan not the eyesight he had. Those eyes. They reflected his own in every way imaginable. Regan was at a loss for words, the teasing tone struck from his mouth. She smiled a slow smile.
"Come to my parlor, said the spider to the fly." She stated, curling her finger towards him.
♎ Fawn arched backwards in a stretch as she turned her back on him. It'd been ages since she'd been with Vidar and the coven. She had business to get to and she was in the middle of packing for the Ardennes once more. This man, he seemed interesting enough. Some human, since he'd been out during the day. He'd regret coming to her house. Though, she could use the feeding.
♍ Catori had never been around a real monk before, she dipped her head in thanks before she took the tea and held it before her. She had yet to drink. Watching the boy, Catori made a note of his name, "Greg." Xiong would have seemed nice enough if she handn't just watched him cut the poor boy's hand. With a low voice, Catori questioned him.
"How many of you are there, here?"
Jareth normally would stay away form others of his kind, being what he was typically made him an outsider, but nevertheless, not having met a tiger or cougar before, his curiosity had gotten the better of him and it lead him closer to where they were. Wading his way through the crowds of humans, he suddenly stopped dead in his tracks. He turned his head to his left and within an arms reach was the table where the felines sat. Jareth wasn't expecting to come upon them so quickly like this. He was caught off guard, which was an odd feeling for him. It's not often a hybrid is surprised like this. His big blue eyes got even bigger as he stammered for something to say, but nothing really came out of his mouth other than, "Uuuh, hi." There was a moment of panic, *keep on walking, or try and talk to them,* it was at times like these when he wished his teenage mind had a few more years of social skills, before it was locked in place by his lycanthropy.
Gregori accepted his tea with a nod, holding the little cup with his good hand even though the pain in his other seemed to receding. “Thanks again, for y’know.” He muttered, trying to fill the silence, “I didn’t mean to yell.” He smiled a little, knowing it was probably a little girly of him. Catori’s question caught him off guard as he sipped the tea and he spat most of it on the table. “W-What? How many what?” he asked a little too quickly, trying to cover up his mistake. Damn it. The other boys appearance saved him though and he tried to steer Catori’s attention that way. “Hi...” He answered, rather lamely.
Xiong smiled at Catori "Many of us, lady Catori. Many of you. I wager we are not what you expect, however. We are approached by another, I believe. Welcome, will you take tea with us and become less of a stranger, sir?" Xiong spoke to Jareth welcomingly. He liked children, he was reminded of innocence and frivolity by them, and by the girl he was looking for, Lyra.
♊ He swallowed the saliva that had gathered at the sight of her. Slim build, beautiful hair - even if it was short - and those eyes. Those eyes, those eyes, those eyes. Regan saw himself in those eyes. He saw their silvery depths. He did not quite know that they burned a dim white when she fed. It hadn't registered to him that she'd be anything but mortal, in all honesty. Regan followed the girl and he closed the door behind him, not that it mattered anyway. His eyes roamed over the contents of her room. The orange suitcase was wide open with several different sets of clothing piled in. Her shoes were held in a separate suitcase of their own. A PDA blinked and flashed on her bed, the pillowy violet comforter caressing it. His tongue flicked inside of his mouth, against the soft pallet of his roof as he practiced before speaking.
"Won't you answer that?"
"A lady would never keep her guest waiting, sit."
♎ Fawn moved from her dresser and sat on the bed, pushing her suitcase aside as she leaned for her PDA. A reminder of when her flight was, the next evening. She set the PDA to the end table next to her bed and curled her finger towards him once more, her lips turned upwards in a mischievous grin. She let her canines elongate as her eyes flashed into a dull white.
♊ Regan, his hand already popping a tic tac past his lips, gulped immediately. He made a mental note of where his scalpel and his dagger were, respectively. The actor feigned a smile and went towards the woman and her luscious violet shaded bed.
♍ She bit her lip at Xiong's reply. Catori knew with every fiber in her being that the only abnormalities of this world were that of the Lycan and the Vampyre. Along with herself, the Immortal. She had never been schooled on any other thing. Greg was new to this world within the world. And this man, Xiong seemed to know so much more than she. Catori finally drank from her cup, her left hand waving to the new young man who'd joined them.
Jareth felt more at ease. It was as if the voice of ... *HE'S the tiger!* he yelled in his mind ... it was as if the voice of the tiger calmed his moment of anxiety. Whether that was a gift, or just how the Asian man spoke, the young hybrid wasn't sure. But, he smiled softly and nodded. "Thank you," he said. Jareth slid a chair over to their table form another adjacent table, slipped his back pack off, setting it on the floor next to his feet as he himself sat down. "I'm Jareth, and I hope I'm not intruding. I just couldn't keep myself from coming over here."
Gregori looked from the new arrival, Jareth, to Xiong and then to Catori. Maybe coming to the city was turning out to be beneficial after all. In the space of about 45 minutes he was seated at a cafe, drinking tea with three new acquaintances. “Not intruding.” He said with a little smile. Suddenly he didn’t feel so isolated, though he wondered if this newcomer was something else than what he seemed. Xiong obviously knew the score and Catori had some idea whereas he was still pretty much floundering in the dark. He didn’t want to say anything first but the words were jumping about on the edge of his tongue.
“So...” he hesitated. “What’s everyone doing in Venice?” He finished, backing out at the last minute. He didn’t want to chance it that these people would label him a freak and leave him alone again.
Xiong placed a bowl before Jareth and filled it with tea, before taking up his own and drinking deeply. "Master Gregori, your wound will be healing well by now, I believe" Xiong nodded and stopped, taking a moment to breathe deeply. The last 45 minutes had been a rushed blur or activity, Xiong felt the weight of it upon him.
♊ As he reached the end of her bed, Regan hesitated as his hands went comfortably to the his thigh where his cargo-like pants held both blades, each pointed downwards. He went to the woman, the Vampyre.
"I do not even know your name."
♊ Though, at his own words, he chided himself. He knew her eyes and that they were his. That was all that was necessary for him. Regan kept his hand in his pocket, his thumb stroking the side of his dagger, the pommel in his hand comfortably.
"Yet you came into my house, uninvited."
♎ Fawn replied, her voice low on the air. She leaned toward the mortal she thought Regan was. She had no reason to fear him. She knew nothing of his mindset nor what he had planned with the dagger. How he'd already imagined himself on top of her, straddled there with Sickert's dagger in her chest while his scalpel carved those beautiful eyes out.
♍ Catori's questions had gone unanswered and they'd been set aside for idle chatter. She groaned inwardly and smiled purely out of courtesy. Her head arching side to side, she waved the waiter over and ordered an expresso. The tea wasn't cutting it.
"I'm here on business. I've things to attend to and this is the only place that I know of that has what I need. And what of yourself?"
Jareth nodded after hearing her answer, then he gave his own answer to the young man across from him, "I've not been to Venice in almost 200 years." He shrugged and continued, "It's always been one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and since I was in Europe, I thought I should come for another visit." He then realized, he had said *almost 200 years.* Was that appropriate? The young man he was giving his answer to, was the cougar, but Jareth had suddenly realized he was new to it, *Was he aware of his condition?* It was just like he was new to his vampyrism. Which he was quickly reminded of when the bowl of tea was given to him. The last time he had consumed human food, he became incredibly sick and threw it all back up. As a normal Lycan, he had no problem eating normally, but after becoming the hybrid he is now, made eating normally impossible. He froze momentarily, not wanting to be rude to this incredibly polite man, but he reluctantly said, "Thank you, very much. Sadly, I fear that I cannot consume human food and beverages any longer."
Gregori nodded, falling back into his awkward silence. He clenched his injured had carefully, testing it. It still pinched slightly and he was in no hurry to remove the bandage. “I hope your offer isn’t impeding your business. I can find somewhere by myself if it does. I’m here...looking for answers I suppose.” He finally said, shrugging one shoulder. His gaze jerked to Jareth as he answered. “Two...two hundred years?” This conversation was just getting weirder and weirder. He stared at the boy, though it was rather rude of him. “You look younger than me, how can you be over 200?” He asked disbelief in his voice. He looked to Xiong and Catori to judge their reactions to this news too. “I didn’t mean to sound rude.” He corrected himself, “I don’t...really have much experience of this sort of thing.”
Xiong smiled at Jareth "Believe me, Master Jareth, this tea you will find most pleasent. I blended it myself, to suit the pallette of all kinds." Xiong then placed a reassuring had on Gregori's shoulder "Young master Gregori, you have not long been a Therian, you will grow accustomed to the ways of the other-kinds, though it will be a while before you become used to the apparent age gaps... For example, how old would you presume I am?"
♎ Fawn yawned at Regan, the bangs of her hair fanning over the violet hued bedspread. She was curious about this one, he didn't shy away as most did when she flashed fang. There could be something useful about him afterall. Her chest rose as she inhaled a deep breath.
"Little fly, little fly. Tell me, what is your name?"
♊ Regan's eyes followed her and he knelt down on her bed, his knees quite close to hers. How he could take advantage of this situation and release those eyes! His heart raced at the thought of it.
"No, no. You're not impending my business. In fact, you're helping me. If you're willing to come along, that is."
♍ Catori turned for her espresso as the waiter brought it back her way and she drank from the cup heartily. She was American, she didn't take her time with things as she should. After she'd downed the cup, she let out a soft sigh. This other boy was 200. She almost couldn't wait to live that long. And this Lycan man, he'd questioned Gregori as if he were older than that. A small thunk of her Walther against the chair as she sat back against it had Catori lean upwards once more.
*Yeah, that was too much information,* Jareth thought to himself. He was busy formulating an answer when the Asian man told him about the tea. He gave a slight nod, and cautiously took a sip. He waited a moment, and he felt fine. He smiled warmly and said, "This tea is amazing, thank you." Since he was about to find out anyway, Jareth decided to just be honest. He looked at the young man and said, "I'm actually 478 years old. Sixteen years after I was born, I was turned into a Lyc... a werewolf. But that's a story for another time. Then just over a year ago, I had a confrontation with a vampyre. And, well... now I'm both." He sipped some more of the tea, it was so nice to be able to enjoy a new taste in his mouth. He then said as politely as he could, "Sorry, but I didn't catch your names?"
Gregori smiled gratefully at Catori, glad beyond anything that her offer was still open to him. “I am, thankyou.” He cast Xiong a sheepish glance, studying his face for a while before he answered truthfully. “I would say that you’re about 35-40 maybe. But you’re going to tell me different aren’t you?” He just couldn’t get over this age thing. “Will I live as long?” He asked, lowering his voice. He cocked his head as Jareth answered. Wow, a real life werewolf straight out of a myth. It hadn’t really occurred to him that other...types might exist and vampires too! He took a deep breath and tried to absorb everything. It was like trying to fit something extremely vast into his head all at once. “I’m Gregori.” He answered for Jareth. “Sorry about all the questions.”
Xiong stood up and faced Jareth, bowing lowly to him aswell. "I am Xiong Wei Hu or Wu, it is indeed an honour to meet a living fable..." Xiong wasn't too sure how to treat a hybrid, so opted for most courtesously. "Master Gregori," Xiong began as he re-took his seat. "I am, as of this year, eight hundred and twenty five years of age. When I was around your age, I was serving as a General under my lord and brother Sun Quan of Wu, in the year... 206AD. We fought the mighty navy of Tsao-Tsao on the Yangtze river, it is where my great friend Gan Xing lost his life and where I gained his lucky sash." Xiong motions to the impressively decorated sash around his waist.
"Martin." He responded.
♊ Regan stayed knelt beside the woman in her bed, his hand forever on his dagger. It kept him from touching her thighs. It kept him from pinning her down and taking the scalpel to her supple flesh, even if it were cold flesh at that.
"What of yourself?"
♎ Fawn sat up with Regan kneeling at her side, she bit her lip and let her fangs nick her full lips, a droplet of blood ran down her chin. She was testing this Martin. This mortal.
♊ That was the last straw. Regan hadn't fed properly in a while and those eyes with that blood... His own eyes flashed the same hue as hers and he did not give her the time to register what he was before everything he'd been imagining had come to pass. Seconds were a blur as both Vampyres fought for dominance. Regan already having the upper hand as his knees pinned her thighs down. She shrieked in pain, her mouth wide, ready to bite him. That hand that had been on his dagger ripped his cargos in his desperate tug and stab of it. He'd hit her diaphragm and violently pummeled it in again, just under her breast.
♎ Lycan. Catori finished the word and she frowned. Were it not for the odds being completely against her, she would have acted on that. Instead she listened to him. A Hybrid only meant one thing.
"Son of Corvinus."
♍ Instinctively she was torn again, unsure of whether she should respect this creature, this Jareth, or if she should go out trying to take him down. The boy, Gregori knew nothing of this world. He knew nothing of what their lives were like. Her hands went to her jeans and she held her fists there, gripping the cloth tightly.
"Catori is my name. My father served under your forefather for many years, Jareth." She fought hard with herself to keep from adding the biting words 'And he died for your forefather because of the beast you became.'
Jareth chuckled at Gregori's reactions. It's not often he's come across someone new to what's really out there in the world. But when Xiong stood, it made Jareth jump ever so slightly in his seat. He started to stand to return the bow, but he was already seated again, so he played it off as readjusting himself in his seat. But what really threw him was being called a "fable." Jareth was again surprised to hear just how old Xiong was... nearly twice his own age. He waited till Xiong had finished then said "Gregori, asking questions is the only way we learn. And I'm still coming to terms with being an 'abomination,' which I've been called more than once." He looked back to Xiong again and said, "Being called a living fable, that's a first." When Catori spoke, the young hybrid gazed at her, he could sense her... anger? "Yes, I'm a Corvinus descendant. I didn't know that till a year ago. I knew I came from a family of Immortals, but I wasn't aware of the exact lineage. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised when I didn't die after being bitten by that vampyre. This isn't anything I asked for..." His voice trailed off, then softly, and quietly said, "It's... lonely."
Gregori’s mouth dropped open as Xiong revealed how old he really was. “Holy sh-“ He shut his mouth before he finished. He’d gone through his own personal hell and back, and wished himself dead on more than one occasion since his ‘incident’ but what he’d learnt today he could officially class as cool. The sudden tension between Catori and Jareth made his skin tingle and he watched hesitantly, flicking his gaze to Xiong to see if the old man might jump in if any violence ensued. Gregori wasn’t a fighter and he would have no idea what to do in the face of a battle between his new found friends. Obviously Catori knew more about the world he’d entered than she’d let on. He sympathised with Jareth, he knew loneliness. “I can’t imagine living that long with no one to share it with.” He said softly. “Even these past months have been...hard.”
Xiong scratched his head absently, "I know very little about Vampyres and Lycans, as they are rare in China, but I know a species mix is something rare and special, Master Jareth." Xiong began studying Catori, what did she think he was? Why was she so hostile toward him and Jareth? Who was this Corvinus? Xiong would ask Lyra, if he ever found her. he decided the direct approach would be best. "Pardon my... Direct tone, but what is the reason for you hostility, Lady Catori, have I offended you somehow?"
♎ Pain blossomed all along her abdomen and her chest. Fawn's eyes closed from it and she sank her fangs into his shoulder. It was all she could do at this point, her arms were useless against his and he'd pinned her legs down. Fawn bit him over and over, her teeth ripping his flesh in her frenzy. She watched his blood spill over the violet coverlet in satisfaction before the pain overrode her adrenaline.
♊ Regan cried out loudly as she bit over and over, he shoved his dagger in further than it would allow, his hand moving as quickly as possible, fumbling for the scalpel now on the bed — it had fallen from his torn pocket — as he grabbed it, he slashed at her ear in a frenzy, the blade catching her skin and dragging it upwards along her hairline. This would be messy. His left hand took her shoulder down and his weight simply overpowered hers as his right hand slammed her head against the mattress. Regan's eyes burned white as they reflected Fawn's.
♎ Regan's white eyes and his blood spilling was the last thing Fawn saw before his hand blocked out the light. Before the loss of blood and pure pain paralyzed her. Her body had gone into shock and she lay limp.
♊ Regan licked his lips and her blood as he nicked along her neck. Giving her back everything she'd inflicted on him. His body moved up along hers and his legs held her down properly, straddling her exactly at the waist, the dagger's handle being the only spacer between them, along with their clothes of course.
♍ Yes, she was angry. She was resentful. She was hurt. But she didn't allow those to show on her face, instead Catori did her best to smile politely at Jareth and she turned her main attention to Xiong. The heavy accent was apparent in his voice and she weighed her words before she spoke them.
"You have not offended me, Xiong. I was raised in a family that knew of the Lycans and the Vampyres and thei' your war." She finished, certain that she was sitting with the enemy.
Jareth let out a "heh." He then said to Gregori, "Actually, and here's where is gets complicated, the one who turned me into a Lycan," he interrupted himself, "which is another form of werewolf, did it to save me from dying. We fell in love and for four centuries we were together. Then about a hundred years ago we fell prey to a group of Death Dealers and he didn't survive the attack, but saved my life again by giving his own. So the past one hundred odd years have been lonely indeed." Jareth then finished, "It was the vampyre that killed my mate a century ago that I confronted last year. We fought, he died, I became what I am." He then listened to what Catori said, "You have no need to fear me. I'm not looking to harm anyone. I understand your resentment, but I can't change what I am. Like I said, I didn't ask, and certainly would have preferred to not have gone through any of this."
Gregori felt the sadness in Jareth's words, it must have been horrible to have your loved one die to save you. To live on after their sacrifice. The conversation was straying into areas that he had no idea about, so he sat and listened, sipping on his tea and picking at the blood stained piece of silk around his hand.
Xiong laughed at Catori's words "Xiong Wei Hu's war was 800 years ago, Lady Catori. I mean no disrespect, but I am sure you were not part of that, unless your name is Sun Shang Xiang." Xiong smiled to the girl. "I assure you, Lady Catori, I am not what you think I am. I am a tiger of Wu." With this, the oddly mannered asian man began packing away the delicate tea set.
♊ His skin burned where she'd bitten and Regan felt something altogether new and strange. He simply went to continue to claim what was his. Those bright eyes. Regan sliced her eyelids off, to start with, his scalpel cutting precisely where he dragged it. Regan lifted the skin via her eyelids and ripped the last chunk of skin he hadn't full cut properly.
♎ When Regan pulled that chunk, Fawn's body bucked and arched against him, her scream was cut short with his left hand while his right carved around her eyes, the sound of the blade scraping against bone turning her stomach upside down, she fought again, with renewed strength, her arms flaying around, trying to grasp at his hair.
♍ Catori did not understand, there were only Lycans and Vampyres. It had only been that, for centuries.
"A tiger... similar to the Lycans, with the exception of being a cat, respectively?" Her brain told her it was impossible.
Jareth nodded. "There are various forms of Lycans. There are also the Feline and Ursuline equivalents." He finished his bowl of tea as he heard his cell phone chyme at him from his backpack. "But the Canines are the most numerous. And just so you know, if the Vampyres would leave the Therians alone, there would be no war." He reached for his backpack and pulled out his phone, "I personally want no part of it." He pressed a button and read a text message, it was from one of friends back in the States.
♊ He'd cut into the sclera a bit and had mutilated her right eye, it was soft in his fingers as his scalpel searched for the optical nerve. When he found it, Regan severed the link between the two and set his handiwork to the side.
♎ Fawn was sobbing at this point. Sobbing and hissing at the man, Martin. The Dhampyre. The Vampyre. He'd taken her eye. Her eye! His bloodied hands moving told her that he wasn't quite done just yet and she screamed, finally successfully pushing him up from her as he set her eye down.
♊ Regan was taken a back, but the little Fawn had lost her sense of depth and it'd cost her dearly for fighting with him. His hand turned into a fist with the scalpel held tightly in it and his fist connected with her temple, knocking her unconscious in one deft move.
♍ Catori's heart ached at hearing Jareth's words. There were more of them. She knew most of the story of the war, she knew what her father knew, to an extent. It was all she could do but ask Jareth more questions, she had to learn about these others. She had to be prepared to defend herself if need be. No, they had not caused her family's heartache, and she would not go out hunting them, but she did need to know their weaknesses.
"They have the same weaknesses as the Lycans?" She asked. "And, I am sorry for being so hostile, earlier. It was rude of me." She added on hastily, a yawn forming in her mouth as she spoke.
Jareth again nodded. "Yes, silver. We all have different abilities and adaptations and strengths, but silver is the one thing they all have in common. Of course, it doesn't affect me, to be honest, I don't know what would." He sent a quick text reply back and put the phone back in the backpack. "And I'm pretty accustomed to hostility. Which I'm sure you can imagine. Just know this, most of us just want to be left alone to live our lives. Hurting anyone is not something we live for. Some do, yes, but most don't."
♊ As she lay there, Regan settled himself over her body, removing the dagger from her chest. He licked the blood from her skin and kissed her forehead as his scalpel and hands went to work. After several minutes of careful working of the blade, he cut the optical nerve cleanly, pulling her second eye out of it's socket. Regan sighed and looked at the bed. Her suitcase was stained and the shades of red complimented the violet. He was hungry and they'd both lost a considerable amount of blood. Regan went to search for food within her house, namely the kitchen.
♍ Catori nodded at Jareth's information. She looked to Gregori and inclined her head towards the hotels that ran along the grand canal.
"Excuse us, but I think it's best we both get to our hotel." Catori yawned once more, at the end of this sentence, as she stood, gathering her bag from beside the table.
"Yeah that's ok. I need to go also." Jareth stood and said to Gregori, "If you need any help, have any questions, or just need someone to talk to, let me know." Jareth quickly pulled out a scrap piece of paper and a pencil and wrote down his number, giving it to the young cougar. Jareth flung his pack over his shoulders and said, "Nice meeting you."
♊ Regan went down the stairs he'd danced up and warily, dizzily, he reached the refrigerator. Ah, what a lovely stock she had in here. No, he shouldn't thin the blood with ice. Regan punctured and drank two pints messily as he regained strength and as his wounds healed. He drank a third and a fourth one at a much slower rate, calmer now. Grabbing six more, he made his way to her bedroom again. Regan stripped his clothes, as they were messy and torn, he also removed hers. He relocated her suitcases and took down the comforter set from her bed. The mattress was a stark white with the exception of the stains where she'd been pushed and pinned down. Regan left the pints on the mattress and from her adjacent bathroom he got himself a washcloth. He cleaned the Fawn's skin, unsure of what to do with her eye sockets. Regan laid over her body, nicking the Ziodex bags open. With his nails, he scratched his wrist open so it bled and he held that over her wounds. Regan kissed and licked at her flesh as he did this, making his way upwards to his bites and where he'd taken his prize. He finished spilling the Ziodex down his gullet and he opened yet another, this one to be poured down her mouth. Not forcefully or quickly in any manner, but a slow steady stream worked as Regan made his way between her legs and consummated his prize.