Into the jaws

Faelan rescues Violet from a nasty encounter.. and gets a reward.


It's pretty late. One would probably expect the tattoo parlor to be closed by now… perhaps a light remains on as an employee cashes up or something? Part of the grating that secures the storefront window has been pulled across, obscuring what a passing glance may discern of the parlor's interior, leaving only the doorway partially accessible. But still… something's happening. The changing illumination suggest movement, and of a rather abrupt variety. Particularly when the source, presumably a lamp, is sent toppling to the ground with a crash, leaving lurid light askew across the walls. Any passer by with the ability to hear above the constant thrum of traffic and pedestrians outside might note the sounds of disagreement from within; a woman's voice raised in argument against the lower timbre of a male's. And a worried step inside? Well, that would reveal a genuinely unpleasant scene.

Pressed uncomfortably hard against the edge of the counter, leaning back away from her assailant with a disgusted grimace, the young proprietor of the infamous shop struggles to pry the larger man's hands from her slender shoulders. She doesn't look exactly -afraid-.. perhaps this is someone she knows. But she certainly wants to free herself. Likely due to the rising welt across her cheek.

Joe's Diner has a late-night occupant. With a small book open on the table in front of him, Faelan sips a cup of coffee and attends to an ironically unsustaining breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausages, and pancakes. Half-way through the meal, the Irishman forgets about it and absorbs himself in reading the book: 'Essays on the Cycle of Myth' is embossed in gold lettering down the spine. Discontent causes the man to push away the eggs and get up to his feet, paying his check and turning to go with a narrow-eyed glance at the server that forestalls any commentary about the quality of the meal.

With the book still in hand, the auburn-haired Vampire emerges onto the street with a silent step that doesn't quite constitute a stalking. His eyes wander thoughtfully towards the tattoo parlor across the street, obviously staring into the past evening and the conversation he had not long before. The pale illumination of the lamp inside snares him like a moth to flame, and when that lamp goes toppling to the ground, he's quick to notice. His mien transforms as decades of instinct and discipline come right back to the fore, and his movement across the street is a stalking walk: but his speed would shame an Olympic sprinter. He crosses the street in the shadows of a passing car's headlights, his silhouette snapping between patches of darkness like the shutter of a camera.

His hand catches the doorknob and pushes it inwards, noting it had already been slightly ajar. The room's crazily grasping shadows receive a cursory glance from the man as he emerges into the illuminated waiting room, shedding the darkness of the street outside.

It's hard to follow his journey from the door to the struggle with human eyes, but the exertion doesn't show on his face. Faelan's free hand clamps down on the assailant's shoulder, and a quietly chiding "Tch. You're causing quite the ruckus, lad" escapes his lips.

It's as if the couple inside are moving in icy slow-motion, such is the speed of their separate responses to Faelan's arrival. Violet's crystalline blue eyes are riveted upon the stranger's dark features as he offers what seems to be a gruff-spoken threat, her resolve in seeming unafraid admirable, but ultimately futile. The man is -far- larger than she, and already has her at a disadvantage. He's tall, around 6'3, with dark hair gelled back from romanesque features. Handsome… but cruel somehow. His white wifebeater and baggy jeans look casual, at a glance, but closer inspection or a practiced eye would note them to be of very high quality. Wonderful. A little rich boy playing gangsta.

He's leaning in close, baring his teeth, gritting them as he speaks, and the comparatively petite girl swallows hard. Maybe she's even forming a stinging retort. But she never needs it. As the Irishman's hand settles on the broad, muscled shoulder of her 'friend', she starts somewhat in surprise. It fades swiftly to relief, and an undeniable gleam of triumph as the tall stranger glances down at the offending digits, then into the face of the predator addressing him. "..the -fuck- are you?" He demands, belligerently.

Removing his hand from the man's white wifebeater, Faelan's silhouette momentarily blurs as he sets 'Cycles of Myth' down on the counter with a fond delicacy. He turns around, his expression not betraying the almost child-like anticipation that lurks deeply set in his green eyes. Then he's moving again, his right hand clamping around the stranger's throat and lifting him from the ground. Though the man is easily six inches taller than the Irishman, Faelan's clasping hand around his throat handles him as easily as the handsome man had been handling the proprietor. His eyes rise to meet the other, and he smiles a dead thing's smile.

A heave throws the man halfway across the parlor, and Faelan turns away. His voice growls an off-hand comment, "That's who the fuck I am." His hands are already attending to the withdrawl of a small first aid kid from within the confines of his overcoat, and he opens it up. A cold compress is withdrawn and offered to Violet silently as he meets her gaze. His attention never leaves the stranger, even though his eyes are directed elsewhere, and tension remains in his shoulders.

There's a barely-audible sound that rises from the girl's throat as her mind reels under the weight of taking all this in. And then the pressure at her shoulders is suddenly absent, leaving her a little off-balance after a time of rebelling against it. Grasping the counter's edge with her fingertips, tight enough to white her knuckles, Violet stares numbly as the taller of the two men soars through the air, landing in a sprawl on his back and sliding the rest of the distance across the waiting room. If it's childlike anticipation in Faelan's eyes, the angelic blue of the young woman's are imbued with the threat of hysterical amusement, utterly incredulous.

There's something being offered, in the periphery of her dazed vision. Oh. Right. Extending a hand with all the dizzying speed and grace of a sleepwalker, she accepts the compress and presses it unthinkingly to her cheek. Ouch! Too fast. Hissing inward through her teeth, she pulls the cloth back, regards it as if in accusation, then more gently lays it across the bruise marring her cheekbone.

For his part, Handsome Stranger is clambering to his feet, looking infuriated at such an undignified response to his practiced demeanour of control. Flushed, he pushes back his dark locks and eyes the auburn-haired man through narrowed eyes. Taking the safer bet, though, he jabs a finger in Violet's direction, even as he's treading toward the door. "..ain't over. I'm gonna be back." Unable to help himself, apparently, he adds with a sneer, "Don't matter how many fuckin' freaks you know."

After the cold compress is accepted, the first aid kit is set on the counter. From the opposite side of the coat, Faelan calmly withdraws a heavy dirk with a slightly curved blade, out of the view of Handsome Stranger. His tread towards the door isn't fast enough, and he barely manages to get through his sneering speech before the auburn-haired man is upon him and smiling. The heavy dagger draws a thin line of blood as it presses against the man's neck, giving him a close shave. The Irishman gently scrapes it from his chin down past his adam's apple, though the motion is enhanced by his corpselike reflexes. He speaks softly, expressing only a subtle, vicious intent. "My name is Wrath," he murmurs, only loudly enough for the stranger to hear. "And it's over. If you decide to continue pursuing.. whatever this assault is, I'm going to kill you now and drop your body in the desert for the vultures." He smiles as he describes the man's fate, a genuine pleasure underscoring the account and making it difficult to discern if he's bluffing. "Is it over?"

"S..sure, man.." My, what a change in tune. The young man - for he can only be in his early twenties - meets the predator's gaze wide-eyed, seeming transfixed. All the bluster in the world means nothing when you're up against evolution. Or mutation, depending on your standpoint. "It's over. Whatever, man." A brief glance is stolen in Violet's direction, almost pitiful confusion. Why would a vampire care about a tattoo artist? The question may as well be voiced aloud, so clear is it in the stranger's gaze. But it's not for him to question why.. not when he's bleeding all over his pristine wifebeater. "We're all good, man. Lemme go. It's over."

The white-haired waif at the counter remains, wisely, silent throughout this exchange. Though she does turn her blue eyes from the youth when he looks her way, not wanting to see. Bad enough smelling the coppery tang of his blood, why bother reading his fearful expression, too?

Faelan calmly wipes his knife off on the man's wifebeater, and the clinging droplets of blood stain the man's shirt over his heart. The dirk is calmly slid away, and the Irishman exercises.. something, within his gaze. An abyss in the man's haunted green eyes pulls the stranger in, and Faelan whispers softly. "You deserved what happened here tonight. Go, and do not return." The words carry the power of Infatuation, digging deep into the man's psyche. The act of handling him like a rag doll, clearly outmatched and violent, doesn't seem to register on the auburn-haired Vampire's restraint.

He releases the man and steps away, turning and walking back towards the counter to retrieve his book. Faelan's green eyes briefly shift towards Violet, taking in her reaction as he moves.

Nodding mutely as he stares into those unsettling eyes, the dark-haired youth then simply stumbles back when he's released, heading to the door and out into the night without another word, his expression bemused but relatively calm. When the shop door clicks closed, it seems to contrastingly rouse Violet from her own, self-inflicted reverie. Snapping her sapphire gaze back toward Faelan, meeting the inviting hues of his eyes boldly (considering what they just did to her assailant), she wets her lips, pulling the compress from her cheek as he draws closer. In the end, she leaves her questions unasked, and offers simply, "..thank you."

Placing the first aid kit atop his book, Faelan places a hand on the countertop. His composure slowly drains away, the forced discipline that had kept raging emotions in check departing. The raw emotion briefly manifests on his features and he rolls his shoulders, leaning forward for a moment. His free palm places against his forehead and he leans against the counter to support his weight, clearly not trusting his feet. "Fuckin'.. too loud," he mutters to himself, wincing at something. An unsteady exhale brings coherence back to his expression and he slowly lowers the hand from his face, looking back upwards towards Violet.

"Are you all right?" he asks quietly, drawing his hand up to touch the bruised line of her cheek. Whatever questions he has about the encounter are likewise kept to himself, and he takes what answers he can from the pale-haired waif's expression.
<OOC> Faelan says, "Getting the hang of posing Faelan, heh."
<OOC> Violet says, "sec again"
<OOC> Faelan says, "no worries museling."

The girl looks a little disconcerted - and fairly so - as the Irishman mutters to himself. But she doesn't press him for answers, or intrude on his space with unwanted comfort. She just watches him with those big blue eyes. Rolling up the compress between both hands, fidgeting a little, Violet glances about the waiting room; the toppled lamp, disarrayed clutter that has been knocked to the floor… and all of a sudden the girl looks utterly exhausted.

The unexpected touch at her cheek abruptly draws her attention back to Faelan, with a blink of dark lashes, before a tentative smile quirks at the corner of her lips. "I've had worse." Truth be told, her cheekbone is already prettily discolored in shades of purple and green. Apparently deciding she owes him an explanation, the least she can offer for his assistance, she draws a soft breath before continuing. "..he was mad because.. well, we were't exactly -seeing- one another.." Why would she be so keen to point that out, to a vampire? "..but he liked showing off. And he didn't like it when I pushed him in a fountain and the photos ended up in some rag." A pause. "He's a musician." she adds, as if that ought to clarify things.

Gently brushing his index finger along the boundary of the bruise, the man nods slowly. His hand drops and he holds her gaze as she explains, glancing towards the door when she's finished. "He's not coming back," Faelan says quietly. "I took the liberty of ensuring you wouldn't be further bothered by him. I hope I was not out of line, Violet.. I /am/ intruding in your business uninvited." He places his hand against his outer thigh and shifts to lean his torso against the counter, green gaze returning to the woman. His mouth twists apologetically. "I was.. leaving the diner and thought you might be in trouble. From the sounds of the conversation." He blinks once, dropping his gaze.

"The compress for ten minutes ought to shrink the swelling. It'd be a shame if that lingered too long on your pretty face." His attention has settled on the back of his hand, where a few drops of blood cling to the pale skin. His eyes close momentarily, and he reaches over to snap the first aid kit open and remove a wad of gauze to wipe it off.

Following Faelan's glance to the door, the girl pushes herself up from the adapted lean against the counter, padding across the floor. Her palm flattens the compress against her cheekbone again. Well, at least she's listening to him.

Avoiding the various things littering the floor, tiptoeing in her sandals, Violet hauls the store door open. Is she leaving? Ah, no. She only leans out far enough to pull the grating all the way closed, with a metallic clatter. "Beter safe than sorry.." she mutters, when she draws back inside. Similarly, the door is deadbolted. Then she sets to the task of tidying up. Sort of. She stoops to at least pick up the lamp, fumbling with the bent shade. It's an uneasy manner of attention to detail. Despite all her nonchalance, she's badly shaken.

After the lingering traces of blood are cleared away, Faelan tucks the gauze back into the first aid kit and turns to watch the blonde's progress across the room. A few quick paces and he places a hand over hers on the bent shade, and though his expression isn't familiar with genuine empathy, he does make the attempt. "He's not coming back. Ever." He unbends the shade carefully, removing his hand from Violet's and taking a step back. With bemusement he looks towards the covered entrance, a faint smile passing over his lips at some remark of his inner monologue. It's stored away for later use, however, and his green eyes find the young woman's. "You don't have to worry about that fellow again. He and I, we reached an understanding."

He attempts a smile, though it's tired. "I.. may have been excessive. I'm sorry. Would you like some help cleaning this up? I don't have anything else to do with my evening except wander down to that vampire-themed club and scare tourists."

Looking up slowly when his hand settles upon hers, Violet notes the direction of his fleeting glance and, in spite of herself, smiles wanly. "Yes, I'm aware I just locked myself in. With you." As he steps back, she straightens fully, setting the lamp back on the countertop with both hands and gazing thoughtfully at it for a moment. Then her blue eyes meet his again, studying his features with more scrutiny. "Are -you- alright? You look a little.." Trailing off, she succumbs to the flicker of understanding that illuminates her expression like a lightning-strike. "..oh." The blood-smudged gauze is noted a moment later, confirming whatever suspicion she has.

Sweeping her long tresses back with one hand, she surveys the damage in the waiting room. It's not so bad, really. A few toppled candles, small trinkets. And.. aha. The quiet light of the lamp glints across a few broken shards. A small paperweight, having encountered the unyielding floor, has fallen into curved fragments of glass. Lowering herself carefully to her knees by the debris, Violet cups her palms, scooping the pieces into a small pile with care. "No.. I can manage." she murmurs, absently. The largest shard is picked up gingerly between a thumb and forefinger, and she looks from her distorted reflection in it's surface, up to the weary looking creature standing nearby.

Raising a brow slightly as Violet premeditates his wry comment, the man shakes his head and folds his arms loosely across his chest. "It.. took a lot more effort than I thought it would. Not killing him," he explains quietly, looking towards the locked door for a moment and compressing his lips. The expression fades back into neutrality. "I.. was the leader of a mercenary group. Until a few months ago. I was set up and betrayed by someone looking to turn a quick profit, and my men were killed. This was in Florida." He raises a hand to brush a knuckle across his jaw, watching the young woman as she kneels to pick up the glass. "The rush of fighting sometimes.. I used a similar chokehold while I was making my escape, and the memory came back afterwards. It's still vivid. That's all." Upset? Probably, though Faelan tries to hide it beneath fatigue's veneer.

He returns the wan smile belatedly, leaning against the counter. He slowly looks around the parlor. "I.. like the place, although I have a feeling I'm not getting the full intensity of the arrangement."

Violet listens, quietly. With the glass shards moved into a suitably neat pile, out of the way, she rises slowly back to her feet. The largest piece is still glittering in her hand. Not much of a weapon, if that's her intent. "I'm sorry." she replies, softly, in regard to the loss of his men. The notion that he had desired to kill the young man, merely for being here, doesn't seem to unduly upset her. She's strange, that way.

Daring a step closer, toying with the shard idly, she tilts her head a little askance, watching Faelan as he observes her workplace. "Thank you. It's not much but.. I guess it's home." Biting gently at her lower lip, she then finally voices a pointed question. "Do you often go around rescuing helpless humans, Faelan?"

The question pulls his attention back to Violet, and the man leans back against the counter. His green eyes note and dismiss the shard in his encompassing glance, finding her eyes again. "No," he answers evenly. "I do not." He turns toward her and watches her without pretense, curiosity manifesting in his expression. Faelan blinks once as he considers her, "I suppose you're the first, though I hadn't really thought of this as a rescue. Happened too quickly. If I had known, I would have put on my costume and mask before I entered the parlor." The smile on his lips curves sardonically and he raises a brow towards her. "Why do you ask?"

Shrugging her slender shoulders lightly, Violet casts her blue eyes, somewhat sheepishly, downward once again following the redhead's reply. "I suppose I never considered myself a victim, either. But.. well, if you -hadn't- come in.." The blonde leaves that thought to trail off in the quiet solitude of the waiting room. It doesn't really require further description. Petite, female, alone in the company of an obviously unpleasant former lover. The mind can conjure all manner of scenarios.

With a visible effort to pull herself together, the young woman tosses back her long hair and offers Faelan a wavering smile. "I'll even forgive you the lack of tights. But I don't like being in anyone's debt.. it's not my style." Pressing her lips hard together, admirably keeping from even a flicker of a wince, Violet draws the curved point of the glass shard across her forearm, leaving a trail of welling crimson droplets in the wake of the shallow cut. It's little more than a scratch.. but to a hungered vampire.. "Don't argue. I've nothing else you'd want anyway."

Watching the welling of blood for a moment, Faelan exhales softly when the coppery scent fills the air. Lips slightly parted he regards her, taking a slow step closer. His pale, haunted green eyes rise from the wound upwards to the woman's face, raising a brow. "I'll be honest," he begins quietly, his mien changing slowly. While he still retains his civility, the hunger in his eyes that emerges at the sight of blood accents his expression, invoking more strongly to the fore the aspect of the predator in his personality. His voice remains a low-spoken, resonant thing, more eloquent than a growl but still ferally cast. "I wanted to kill him. That's what I got out of coming here." He takes several steps forward in a heartbeat's span, his shadow abruptly shifting on the wall as his position changes relative to the skewed lamp. "I could feel the violence in this room from across the street, and it sung to me." His hand lightly finds the bloody shard of glass in between Violet's fingers and takes it from her.

The crimson-stained point of the shard is brought to his lips and his tongue touches the blood. "My life's work was destroyed, recently, and I would like nothing more than to wreck something. He was sufficient to wet my appetite." The shard is turned over delicately, the same treatment applied to the other side. The glass is then discarded to the floor, shattering into smaller pieces. "I've no more need for violence this evening. Not yet." His green eyes meet Violet's gaze and he smiles thinly, "So you see, Violet, you don't owe me anything. But," his right palm presses lightly to the wrist of the wounded forearm, fingers languidly curling across her skin, "If you're offering.." His lips turn upwards into a smirk, eyes still on hers.

To her credit, the young woman doesn't recoil as Faelan slowly moves closer. She simply watches him with an air of quiet appraisal, studying the subtle changes to his carefully constructed facade with a fascination only an artist would find in such a moment. Most -sane- people would either sway under notions of romantic beauty, or give in to the age-old instinct of flight from the advancing predator. Violet does neither. "Why didn't you." Her question is just as quiet as his explanation. "If you wanted to, why didn't you?"

Vibrant blue eyes, such a contrast to the jaded quality of the vampires, watch as he tastes the subtle sheen of blood across the jagged glass. "Not that I encourage murder… but it's not as if -I- could have stopped you. So what did?" As his fingertips close upon her wrist, she falls silent briefly. But her gaze remains level upon his. "I'm offering." The affirmation is simple, and without apparent fear.

"Anonymous corpses are easy to come by," the auburn-haired man explains as he raises her forearm upwards with a guiding touch, gently insistent, "But people change after they've seen you kill in front of them." His eyes remain engaged with hers, possessing a strangely bottomless quality that speaks of their dormant compulsive ability to entrance. Looking into them is almost vertigo inducing, as the resonant infatuation lingers in the irises and acts subtly upon those that peer too long. "I would have to find someone else to talk to at the Diner, late at night, because every time you'd see me, some part of you would recoil at the image of blood splattered on the floor of your home, pulled by my fingertips. You'd see his dead eyes and then see mine, and make the connection that his corpse and mine are not so dissimilar."

He smiles momentarily, raising the arm to his lips with one hand and drawing the other around her waist to create a more comfortable poise. "And that would be unfortunate, Violet, because conversation without pretense is rare, and I have no desire to spoil it with something as easy as killing." His mouth lightly touches to the wound, soft skin at first. His teeth are a blunt edge a moment later, not breaking the skin, and the rasp of his tongue follows against her flesh to collect the offered blood.

At first, Violet listens intently. One may even think her to be astonishingly calm all by herself. But.. ah. The magnetic quality of those fathomless eyes. That seems to be what holds her in limbo, now. The rich quality of Faelan's voice is something she hears, as though from increasing distance, while the words themselves become a little lost in translation. If any part of her feels revulsion at his summary of how things might have played out, either she doesn't care or the spell soothes the edges of instinctive unease away just enough. Still, she blinks a few times when his lips brush her skin, rousing somewhat. Enough to answer, somehow. A slow nod is all she offers, in apparent agreement. Is it her own, or the product of muddled thoughts?

Eye contact breaks not a moment later as he laps lightly at the wound, taking only a small amount before breaking off from the offered blood. He brushes a thumb lightly against the cut for a moment, applying a steady pressure with one hand over the scratch. His other hand retrieves a pack of gum, and he pops a stick of it into his mouth. "I can't take much from you, of course, but I'll.. savor the taste." Indeed, his flesh is more healthy looking and warm, and he seems more vigorous and human. The back of his free hand wipes across his lips momentarily. "That's all, then. You're square. No debt between us." His mouth turns back upwards in that amused smile, beginning to withdraw the arm curled around her waist. "Fair?"

Still looking rather dazed, but gradually coming out of it as if waking from a drugged stupor, Violet nods again, numbly. "No debt. Fair." she echoes, agreeably. What was she agreeing to, again? Something important? Passing a hand across her brow, looking dizzy maybe, the young woman seems only to register Faelan's arm being around her when he chooses to withdraw it. Oh. Curiouser and curiouser. "I uh… yes. Alright." Her tone is more firm this time as her wits are slowly gathered back into a haphazard pile, not unlike the broken fragments on the floor nearby. "Thank you." It seems right to offer that, regardless of what's going on. And yet… why isn't she disentangling herself more abruptly? The blonde seems more intent upon her study of the vampire, even now, than in establishing a 'safe' distance. As if such a thing exists.

"What do you see?" Faelan inquires softly, the gum taking the stench of blood away from his lips as he speaks to her more proximately. Instead, green apple flavors his breath. "That makes you so willing to step into the jaws of death for the sake of fascination?" His brows furrow downwards conjoining the question, and he stops in the gradual retreat as he takes in her reaction. "I've not experienced anything like it in the past." He blinks once, making eye contact again for a moment. The addling affects are more consciously withheld now that the vampire is sated, hunger's animating force no longer driving his actions.

"Real artists are willing to step into the jaws, if only to try and imagine a way to capture the light's glint on the fangs that await them." Quite eloquent, for a white-trash tattoo artist. Violet herself even seems surprised.. or she would be, if she could shake off that daydreamy feeling. Faelan's frown is slightly reflected upon the canvas of her own features, to a lesser degree. But she seems emboldened, oddly enough, by his questioning of her nature. Shouldn't it be the other way around. "I like my fascinations. Why bother trying to decipher them?" One fingertip is brought slowly upward, hesitating as it approaches the vampire's lips, then simply drawn back again without touching him. She's not -that- brave. "Faelan..?" Her voice is growing steadily softer, though it's likely easily audible to him. "..may I draw you?"

"Draw me?" The question seems to catch him genuinely by surprise, and he raises up his own hand. Faelan's index finger imitates the motion that the blonde only half-finished a moment earlier, lightly touching her lips with the tip. "I suppose. It'll cost you though," he teases in something more emphatic than a deadpan, dropping the finger back down after a few moments of fleeting contact. "We can decide how to settle that later, if you like." Curiosity gets the better of him for now, and he blinks once, "I can work as your model, however.. yes. What would you have me do, Violet?"

Smirking ever so faintly at the light touch to her lips, Violet chuckles very softly in response before drawing a slow breath. "I want to capture… that." A vague gesture passes toward his pale green eyes. "I don't even really.. remember. But there's something more. It's.." Her head tilts a little aside. "I don't know. Just let me try? You don't have to do anything… just… come back sometime, so I can try."

Disengaging from Violet more fully, the auburn-haired man looks over her for several moments of silent study. Then he nods, tucking his hands into the pockets of his suit jacket. "All right. I'll come back. Besides, you know how to contact me, if you ever have a spare evening and wish to attempt it." His lips turn upwards for a moment, responding with a smirk. "I do have a job now, so I won't be entirely at your beck and call as I might if I were still a bum.. however, my schedule is mostly my own." His pale eyes shift over the chaotic mess of the room for a moment, inhaling slowly. "Thank you for the exciting evening, Violet. Perhaps there will be more." He inclines his head slightly towards her, "I will no doubt want a copy of the finished artwork. It's.. an interesting proposition. A first. You'll have the honor."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License