“Go get supplies, he says. Go find Raori, give her this. Screw you, Sezuan.”
Deserae grumbled to herself, dropping the small wrapped package into the nearest trashcan with a satisfying thump. She ran a hand through her short brown hair and repositioned the bag slung over her shoulder so that the strap wasn’t digging into the bare skin at her collarbone. In traditional nomad fashion, she was dressed comfortably but functionally in a strapless black blouse and matching pants, the unneeded silver dagger tucked inside the top of one leather knee-high boot. It was an attractive outfit, she knew it well enough, but the dagger Sezuan insisted she carry was just ridiculous. As she walked forward into the bustling market, she went over his words again in her head, trying to make some sense of them. Some humans are dangerous, more dangerous than you are. Don’t get cocky. Dangerous? No human could get the best of her. Hell, no human man could get close to her without her in complete control of the situation.
“Jewels for the pretty lady?”
She looked over her shoulder at the demon that was shoving something shimmery in her face. She shook her head and continued on, grudgingly. Vanity, her downfall. She adored jewelry, but Sezuan only gave her enough money for supplies and food while she was there. The boys had found a hostel to stay the night before continuing on to Paris. Ugh. Parisians in this century were so disgusting, no class whatsoever. Hopefully she could convince Sez to make the drop and leave. She could bribe him with Venice, possibly. The thought of Venice immediately triggered the thought of wine. There wouldn’t be anything decent here, and certainly not anything she could afford and still get the supplies they needed, but she was thirsty. She turned to the nearest demon, ignoring the hungry look in it’s eyes.
Trying her best to seem nonchalant, she gave it a charming smile and asked, “Where’s the nearest place I can buy something alcoholic?”
Her English accent was made less apparent by the Italian undertones she’d somehow picked up from Sezuan and the boys over the past three years, but she couldn’t help acting a bit superior talking to a demon. She couldn’t help acting a bit…posh, or whatever it was they called it these days. The demon hardly noticed; it probably wouldn’t know the difference anyways. With a dirt-stained bony finger, it pointed towards a dusty-looking building that was so out of place Deserae nearly laughed out loud.
The building, a square brick thing with loiterers outside and thick smoke coming out the top of it from a lopsided chimney that, by all laws of gravity, should not have been able to lean that far sideways, was in the middle of the road. Not exactly in the middle, because really it looked as if the road had been built around it, but it was free-standing with nothing on either side of it at all except for a couple collapsible stands. How ridiculous, was Deserae’s first thought. But she supposed that, had she not been lost in thought, it would have been the first thing she noticed in this desolate, repetitive market. Being noticed, especially by someone who had traveled nearly everywhere, was a good thing, and certainly good for business.
She followed the finger towards the brick cube building, curiosity rather than thirst driving her now. After almost falling on her face a couple times trying to get through the crowd without touching anyone, and a short encounter with another insistent jewelry-seller who nearly ended up with a fist or boot in his gut, she finally made it to the open front door. Inside was lit less brightly than the streetlamp-lined market behind her, but the two-story, cube-ish building hardly needed the extra light, especially because, at a glance, she knew all the occupants would not need any light at all.
There were no demons here. So to speak.
Most of the other vampires ignored her grand entrance, talking in muffled voices across tables pushed against the walls. A few followed her progress to the bar, undoubtedly watching her swinging hips, before returning to their conversations or solitary drinks. Adding to the oddity of it all, the bar was a hollow circle in the middle, ringing a spiral staircase that disappeared into the floor above. She slid onto a barstool with cracked upholstery, telling herself over and over again not to ask questions, not to sound like a tourist, not draw too much attention to herself. The trick was to draw attention to herself, but just enough to be forgettable. Someone who tried to hard to blend in was always obvious.
“The cheapest thing you have with the highest alcohol content.”
She flashed a smile to the bartender, tall dark and unremarkable, and spun on the stool to lean backwards with her elbows on the bar, watching her surroundings and the passerby outside with a carefully bored stare. Nothing caught her attention. The novelty of the strange layout wore off quickly. Pity, nothing was surprising to her anymore.
“Lord almighty,” she mumbled, taking a swig of the clearish liquid the bartender had set beside her hand in a tall glass. “I’m becoming Sezuan.”
[Okay so that kinda reeeeeally sucks. I promise she'll get better. Really. I'm just not used to her yet.]
Etta was sat quite ordinarily in the pub, drowning her sorrows in alcohol that she didn't even like, when a brown-haired vampire entered and went to the bar.
She perched on one of the barstools and said, “The cheapest thing you have with the highest alcohol content.”
Etta smiled and observed the newcomer with some interest, her day wasn't going too well thus far. It had begun when a rather obnoxious demon had arrived at her door having heard all manner of untrue things about her...habits. He moved things and messed with her little bottles of perfume and pushed things out of place as he passed. She followed him around, straightening things and trying to avoid being too panicky. The demon was so very tall, over six foot by her reckoning, which was tall in her eyes. When she had tried to be nice and flirty to get rid of her, he had rebuffed her - a double blow in the space of a few minutes. It had taken her a long time to get rid of him and he'd left such an unpleasant smell of tobacco in her darling room that she had been batting at the air in hope to get rid of it. Defeated and stained by the blood tears, she'd changed her clothes and left for the market.
The market, although sometimes a little grimy, was nice for picking up little oddities. She had so far picked up an engraved snuff box, another perfume bottle and some more silk scarves in red and black. The little bit of retail therapy had made her feel a little better, but the sense of rejection was bitter on her tongue. She finished the last of her drink and decided she needed something a little less alcoholic - some smooth white wine, perhaps. Fluidly moving from the table, Etta pulled herself up onto the stool next to the newcomer's. Her clothing was not to Etta's taste, but she had always thought that nomad clothing seemed to conceal great secrets - something which Etta had grown to love. She waited until the barman had noticed her and then smiled somewhat sweetly, voice high and tinkly
"A white wine, please, Giorgio."
The bartender complied, throwing over his shoulder, "Feeling a little better, cheri?"
With a smile and a small nod, Etta confirmed that her mood was improving. She was so good at lying now that she almost believed it.
"Get the same again for this woman, here, I fear she feels as I did before."
Smiling good-naturedly at the woman as she took a sip of her wine, Etta hoped that she would be accepted, not once more rebuffed.
[Don't be silly - it was a lovely post. *Nodnod*]
[Ayie!! I love Etta. So charming. ^_^ I'll reply when I get home later tonight. Busy busy day.]
[[Sure thing, no rush cheri! ^_^]]