log: hazel & caspar ; the almost murder Who: Caspar Andrews and Hazel Hawthorne What: Late night wine sharing on a dock of the lake, a little life siphoning for dessert. When: The time-fuzz is real. Recently, but also slightly before. Slightly before what? Anything you want. Where: Lake side. Ratings/Warnings: PG-13 with language.
They were meeting at the docks by the lake. The water was placid and reflected the night sky above like a mirror: midnight blue dashed by streaks of silvery moonlight shifting over the water like a spell. It was a magic night, the air alive with an undercurrent of electrical static.. The atmosphere was crisper than biting into a fresh apple, it caught Hazel’s breath in puffs of mist, the spring was mild however-- so the cold was not unbearable, even beside open water. She sat on the edge of the dock blanketed in pale light and shadows all wisps and edges, dark hair flowing from a maroon knit hat cradling the top of her head. Her legs dangled but shiny black boots didn’t break the surface. Sometimes Hazel likened herself to a ghost, although she wasn’t transparent, she imagined, if ghosts walked around as people, solid things--them yes, they’d look something like her, pale and wild hair that easily became untamed by movement or wind.
Sneaking out had her adrenaline pumping, bringing color to her cheeks along with the chill. Her head tilted up, her gaze caught the moon and did not let it go; it remained lingering in her eyes. She shouldn’t be meeting someone, let alone a stranger out by water. She shouldn’t meet anyone. She shouldn’t even be out of the house. Who knew when Frederick would wake up. There’d be hell to pay. She could wind up hurt. Again. She shivered.
Caspar could. He was handsome. A smile coiled her lips.
Handsome faces and persistent charm. Everything deadly in this world began with that. She should know.
A rock she had scooped up along the way to their destination currently rested in her hand, it was smooth and flat, fused together in shades of grey. She could feel the time etched in every grandule. Old. Worn by the elements out of its control. She understood that to a degree, but Hazel was not nearly as polished.. The desire to throw it in the still waters had dulled since she arrived and the longer she kept it in grasp, now she simply let it dance between the slender length of her fingers, looking out the outline of bare trees surrounding her.
Black and silver, black and blue, silver, silver, silver and stars.
It would almost be romantic if the scene were set for something like that, but it wasn’t and it never would be. She heard footsteps on the dock and liquid eyes focused on who was coming toward her. She rose from her spot silently, tousled and wrapped in the red of her button up coat.
This was all very rehearsed, the idea of it. Everything with him was, and he was a wonderful planner. Okay, maybe he was a schemer, but there was nothing harmful in his grand intentions. Not ever… they just so often happened to end badly. What was that phrase about the best-laid intentions of mice and men going so often awry? Yeah, that. Caspar didn't think of himself as the sort who acted purely through reflex, those instincts had been sandpapered away from him in youth. Not-thinking had always been his own personal downfall, particularly in the view of a very political family, but this? This seemed like a truly harmless exploit if there ever was one. He wasn't partying too loud or making a fool of himself in front of witnesses, this was nothing like literally every time he wound up in Denmark.. this was inspired by a romantic comedy, by a goddamn Julia Roberts movie out of the 90's -- and nothing bad ever happened in those, right?. This was just him meeting up with a girl on the docks after dark. Him, her, a bottle of wine, and two glasses. What was the worst that could happen?
Caspar wore gray and black, it made him an animated cut-out of the gloaming, comfortably placed in twilight with the soft, wispy traces of fog that rose from lake water to night air. His dark sweater had one of those little polo embroidery emblems near his heart, and the gray trousers were some soft, effortless looking wool. He looked better suited to some yacht party than a midnight stroll, but here he was.
He sought out red while crossing the dock, finding her like a blood moon beacon in the night. Up close, and Caspar smiled while lifting his hand, a pair of long-stemmed wine glasses trapped between his fingers. "I come bearing refreshment." In his other hand, the wine.
Caspar looked like his name sake; rich and untouchable. That’s what Hazel thought of his name at least, and so far as appearances went he seemed to fit the bill. He was undeniably attractive, but in person? --Damn. Double damn. It was so much more than a picture. He probably knew it too, at least that’s what spoke volumes in the corners of his smile. “Ah, hi.”
She almost hadn’t expected him to come, bearing wine and an undeniable sway. Trouble, trouble, so much trouble it wasn’t even the slightest bit funny, but here she was--and she wasn’t getting up to leave. No. This was going to be fine. She was going to make sure it was fine. So Hazel tucked some thick hair behind her ear, it was a useless action as the hair had a mind of its own and fell back over her shoulders and ear as if she had never moved it. She glanced at the wine. “We’re going to need that.” She shook her head and her eyes returned to the water for a moment. “It’s chilly.”
In fact the idea of wine warming her stomach to the tips of her fingers and toes sounded perfect. So, instead of listening to that pesky inner voice telling her to get up and go home before one of them got hurt? She stayed and even scooted over so he could sit beside her without trouble. She held out her hand offering help in the form of taking either the glasses or the bottle from him so he could properly sit.
They were grey and black and red all mingling in the midnight mist of lake water.
It would have been a real shame if Hazel got up to flee right then and there. For the briefest of moments, she seemed ready to. Caspar hesitated before her, suspecting that he caught a darting, doe-like look in her eyes. But then she was scooting over and extending her hand to take the fragile, crystalline wine glasses from him. He gave them over, and touching their cool, carved elegance whispered of things very delicate and very expensive.
When she mentioned that it was chilly out on the dock, Caspar tilted his head and contemplated the wind-stitched ripples on the otherwise still lake. "Are you cold? I could fetch a blanket." His voice, all undeserved culture, did not denote true concern, but he offered anyway. Anyway, she was right about the wine, it would warm them admirably. It was a deep red, full-bodied and sure to warm the blood.
"Or you could have my sweater." He didn't expect her to take him up on the offer, since she was already buttoned up in a coat. So he took a seat next to her on the dock, close but not too close. Caspar fished the corkscrew from his pocket and uncorked the wine after knifing loose the wax and foil seal from the bottle's neck. He gestured for the glasses she held. "Is it alright for you to be out like this?" She'd been so apprehensive.
“Not that cold,” she countered. She was not oblivious to tone and the fact that Caspar very much would not want to go and retrieve a blanket. Part of Hazel delighted in the idea of taking his sweater just because he offered, but then she’d have to deal with a put upon man and chattering teeth and so she opted not to. Instead she held onto the cool, carved crystalline beneath her finger tips. They were so very fragile. One push of thumb and the neck would snap easier than a twig. Her thumb brushed and roamed, but held back the urge to push forward. That wouldn’t be very nice for a first meeting, and besides nonchalance over the chill of the early spring Caspar was behaving just fine. Handsome too, that was a plus.
Hazel watched as he sat beside her, that purposeful bit of ‘gentlemanly’ space between them; she watched the almost artful way he removed the wax and the foil as if he had done this over a dozen times or more, and he probably had. It was interesting the small, brief stories you could take away from a person simply from paying attention.
She held out one glass first. “No. It’s late. I’m permitted to walk around the grounds granted I can be kept track of, but considering the time and the company? Definitely not. Does that bother you?”
There was a social bone, it was situated somewhere in his vast and valiant constellation of calcified minerals, that Caspar had not managed to break beyond repair. It'd been fractured repeatedly from disappointment and little losses, but he still found the need to be with somebody during the darkest hours. He could have been at home, getting drunk while shadows and memories picked his wits clean, but the notion was far more terrifying than drinking alongside a stranger. Even if she was questionably young-looking with a potentially furious father or brother figure sure to scour the night with her discovered absence. Solitude was a great deal more terrifying.
Caspar poured their respective glasses of wine, and then proposed a toast with a wordless tilt of his head, a movement that was in sync with the appropriate lean of their stemware. "Bother me? No." Clink go their glasses, and he sips before clarifying. "I've always been a believer in the old adage that rules are made to be broken."
Ah yes, being alone. That was indeed a terrifying endeavor, especially in the dark, where memories and those nasty inner voices liked to pick and pluck at the mind like buzzards with a carcass. Hazel was well familiar with it and that was even without the dulling lull of wine. Some people belonged in the dark, but that didn’t mean they had to like it. She was surrounded by opulence all of her life but could never truly be a part of it. It was that trick of a shadow on the edge of the eye some people had, swiftly there then gone.
She took her glass but did not drink yet, she was listening to Caspar. A charmer. Dangerous. Everything in this fucking town seemed to be. As he sipped and tilted and explained she brought the rim of the crystalline glass to her lips and downed the wine down in a few gulps; gulps that made her throat bob and heat to instantly fill her cheeks. She barely tasted it. She could barely taste anything anymore, still, it was good to feel warm.
“Rules being broken can lead to very, very bad things.” She set the glass down and tilted her head up at him. “Don’t you know that? Something about strangers meeting out alone at night. Maybe we’ll wake a lake monster.” Oh, if you only knew, Hazel, if you only know. “So why come out?” She swung her legs from over the dock’s edge so she was fully facing him. “A glutton for the unknown? I had been too once, maybe I still am.”
The wine bloomed on the tongue with dark, red flavors. Romantic berries and pomegranates crushed over an altar. Dry, woodsy musk; dessicated epitaphs beneath the porno-red, candy apple shine of a blood moon. This bottle, Caspar decided, was a perfectly-aged marvel, a rarity fine-tuned for all of the senses. It even looked beautiful; rubied blood, glittering in crystal like some tribute to some garish sequence in a historical, vampyre novel. He appreciated those dark elements of romance, but not particularly the morbidity. But, again, the wine! Caspar immediately decided that he liked this wine better than he liked most people. Then again, that could have been true of any wine, really. Even the basement sale boxed stuff, if he had enough to black out and forget what he was poisoning himself with.
And they were still speaking of rules, heart-crushingly boring rules! Caspar sighed like he was releasing a stone weight from his soul. He drank some more and then set his glass aside, being mindful not to knock it over. He treated the glass with more care than he regularly gave those closest to him. It wasn't even all that vintage.
"Rules are responsible for the grand majority of the world's woes. Well, rules and religion… which are almost one and the same." In his less-than-humble opinion. The prospect of lake monsters only made him smirk.
"I came because I've never been a fan of drinking alone."
Hazel threw back her head and laughed, it was a cacophony in the night, echoing over lake water and haunting it until it faded from the air as swiftly as it came. “Ah, mm. Not a fan of drinking alone, but for certain a fan of drinking it. I could see it in your face, the way your eyes glossed over. The notes, the tang, the subtle nuances that no one truly appreciates. Mournfully poetic, deeply romantic and all that nonsense. Though, I am sure if my tongue were what it used to be--no fucking innuendo intended--that I would be feeling the same. I’m afraid it’s wasted on me. Wasted on me like a skeleton in a cellar still begging for more. Still,” she twirled that empty glass, it caught the silver moon and winked it back into the night as swift as starlight. “It’s good to feel warm, isn’t it?”
She turned partially toward him then as he boasted his opinion on rules, the right corner of her lip carved up against her cheek, a secret spot, an untouchable one. “I suppose I can agree, yes. Rules are a bitch that hold dominion over will, and religion, well where would you place that? Spirituality? People aren’t really spiritual, let’s be real.” Her eyes focused on the black of his. “They’re afraid. Fear is the base for both. Fear of breaking rules. Fear of repercussions. Fear of the unknown. Fear of hell. Fear that actions have consequences. Rules and religion play on that principle, but I hate to tell you, philosopher,---everything has their own set of rules. Even lake monsters.”
Her head turned back to look at the water. “Even you. Even me. Even when we’re breaking them. We skate. We all do and it’s bullshit.”
Of course Caspar was a fan of drinking, the man wasn't a fucking masochist. He was far too big a fan of hedonism for any philosophy that advertised self-flagellation and suffering as a means of getting one's kicks. Although Caspar did find that he often had to remind himself of this pro-hedonism, anti-masochism mentality when he slipped into one of his notorious, poor little rich boy moods.
The night was clear, serving as a dark sapphire distraction reflected back at them two fold in the lake water. From above, and so below. It was somewhere around the moment when she began prosthelytizing about skeletons in closets that he realized Hannah just may have been calling him a lush, if not a full-blown, one-tango-away-from-dialysis alcoholic. Not feeling particularly insulted by his own tumbleweed thoughts, Caspar did not push her into the lake. Rather, he laughed. "Warm, sure. That's what I'm feeling." Not the high-octane hum of a buzz in his bloodstream.
"Why is it lost on you? Because you can't get drunk? Or, because the subtle nuances escape your beginner's palate?" He watched her speak of fear. It was a subject matter that he was deeply familiar with, an invisible riddle evocative of human experience.
"I would have to disagree that religion and spirituality are the same thing. I'd call them distant yet incestuous cousins." But on the topic of rules, Caspa could concede to skating. He was accomplished with his felonious figure eights. "I'm not advocating for total anarchy. We trade the little liberties, like an informal agreement, for the opportunity to live together in society. We do it for our own sanity, our own benefit. It's only the Unabomber-like whack jobs that abolish it all and go live in total isolation."
Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly. Ah, so he was one for returning jabs. It was good, in a way. Hazel liked it. It made her feel better somehow, she couldn’t begin to explain it and she wasn’t about to try with him. “No,” she smirked. “They don’t escape my beginner’s palate, let’s just say my tastes run differently these days, hm?”
Hazel turned to fully face him once again and there were shadows under her eyes revealed only by the light of the moon, indicative of someone who was not a friend of sleep. “I could agree with incestuous cousions though saying that aloud is fucked up as hell, you do know that right? Incestuous cousins.” She repeated thickly.
She set the glass down and then leaned forward balancing herself with her hand. The wind tickled. Her hunger whispered. Famished. “Are you curious as to what my tastes are?” She should be handing the glass back, she should be standing up and leaving him alone, but wasn’t that the joke of it all? Loneliness brought her here to begin with. A handsome face reeled her in and now she was paying for it because the hunger was gnawing and it was wanting a taste, just a taste and she didn’t feel like fighting it right now and unfortunately Caspar and his wine, his cheekbones, his knack for breaking rules and his pro-hedonism was what it wanted to sample.
Hazel crooked her finger to him.
It was inaccurate to say that Caspar had come here with no ulterior motives. These motives might have originated half-formed like sulking minotaurs in his head, but they did exist, even if he had not entirely realized them, even in this moment. It wasn't cruelty or greed that had inspired him to lure, with his jawline and his vintage grapes, the princess from her tower. Mostly, it was loneliness. And, strictly barring the introspection required to acknowledge that, it might have also been lust. He was, as often voiced as a quick-drawn admission of guilt, shot from the hip and always at the ready, just a man.
So, of course he was curious about her tastes. Caspar thought himself admirably able to see through veneers and pick up on social clues. He was, after all, descended from the finest ranks of politicians and hookers. There were some skills that were just hardwired into one's DNA, but Caspar didn't think that he even had to tap into his ancestral spring to properly read the look in Hazel's eyes. "I am… curious." The come hither crook of the girl's finger cemented his intentions. And, with no paranormal sixth sense to raise his hackles, Caspar only grinned crooked at her when he leaned in, compliant.
It had been a while, honestly. It had been a while since she properly flirted with someone, to allow attention to be given to her freely. Honestly? It was nice, because she was also in the same boat as Caspar: lonely and a bit horny. It was to be expected. She was pretty much kept alone with a psychopath for an attendant, with a curse on her soul always gnawing away. Hazel should be hackled herself that the hunger was playing so nice. Just a sample, just a taste. Pretty lies.
So when he leaned in so did she. There was the briefest of hesitations there, right before the moment where lips met and there was a breath of air wide enough to be denied. Her mouth hovered briefly, and she could taste the wine through him more than the drink itself. It was almost cruel. So she kissed him. It wasn’t a kiss made for softness and first times. She wasn’t some locked away maiden in a tower. She was the witch. She set her glass down on the dock to make better use of her hands which reached up to cup that finely chiseled jaw, to enjoy the tickle of his stubble against her palms. She took, just a bit, and yes even his energy was full-bodied and warm as the drink had been on his lips. Hazel was being careful, very much so, just enough to give him a bit of dizziness that could easily be blamed on alcohol--and the kiss. Not too much.
More. Just a little more.
Her lips pressed deeper.
Having no idea what he was getting into, Caspar could only compartmentalize the knowns, flinging the unknowns over his shoulder and into the dark like so much bad luck salt freshly spilled. The knowns were simple, the algebra of their equation was rudimentary, biological mathematics one-oh-fucking-one. Girl plus boy plus romantic moonlight? It didn't get much simpler. Factoring in the wine was a bonus only in the sense that Caspar loved wine like he loved drawing air(most necessarily). The aim hadn't been to get her drunk, but just to extend the vibe. He was complaisant, you see. He thought of himself as here to entertain, here to follow her lead. She crooked her spindle finger and he followed most agreeabley. He lived to please, but it was also true that he lived to be pleased. Which is why, when she kissed him, he had no qualms about sliding his hand high on her waist, fingers curling into the grooves of her lower ribs.
Like any self-proclaimed hedonist, Caspar enjoyed kissing. It ranked up there with wine tasting and reckless driving for his favorite past time. So he was very approving of this moonlit moment when the small talk lapsed and lips parted willingly. When the kiss grew deeper by her influence, his mouth slanted over hers, eager.
The moon was a hedonist too. How could it not be? All the wild things done under its watchful gaze. All of the things blamed by moonlight. Maybe Hazel could blame the moon tonight, too. It made her lonely, it made her stupid, it made her hungry. She nearly pulled away, but his hand settled over her like an anchor and she finally caught his scent mingling with the wine: musky mint, as if he’d been locked away too long like her--it reminded her of sage, oddly enough--and the heat of skin. It was on his skin as if he were made from it, in his air, and it made the hunger in her keen and preen all too happily.
A little more. It won’t hurt him. Please. Please. Please.
Caspar was obliging. He was just as greedy. He was seeking distraction and little bursts of colorful pleasure in the black and white of this fucked up town, so would it be such a sin to take as she obliged him as much as he did her?
Her hands slid into the silken roots of his hair and held on, gently, drinking him in; the wine she could finally taste, the scent of him buzzing in her head just as strong. Hazel kissed him deeply and she swallowed him down, his energy syphoning from his body and into hers delightfully warm. Careful--she had to be--
There was a tiny whimper then. It felt good. His lips, his taste, his loneliness--it filled her up and drowned out all the reasons she should stop kissing him.
Caspar hadn't analyzed or acknowledged the loneliness quite so deeply. The main merits of staying halfway inebriated while not caring about anything or anyone(not even one's own self) was that introspection was rarely required. Caspar didn't even enjoy having soft, squishy feelings; he sure as hell wasn't prone to reflecting on them. Better to pop this pill, down that cocktail, and fuck some stranger. Those options were all preferred to thinking. Thinking hadn't once, not ever, gotten him anywhere. Sure, he could have contemplated the depths of his soul and map the intricacies of where things had all gone wrong with his family, his marriage, and in general, his life. But why? Better to make out with a certified stranger on some creepy dock in the dead of night. Better to get eaten alive by moonlight.
It felt good until it almost didn't. The steep drop in blood pressure, the dizzying hiccup in his veins. His eyes were closed, and he found it slightly disorienting. Was he drunk? Like, drunker than usual? He hadn't meant to get so, and he was having trouble calculating the how of it all. This involved some alcoholic mathematics, one glass of wine plus two tumblers of scotch equals? Perhaps he needed to count out the answer on the tips of his manicured fingers. The math was not adding up. It was unusual only because he regularly had the tolerance of sailors and rockstars, but now felt as if he might need to lie down before he fell down. Feeling strangely lightheaded, he began to pull back with apology.
He was pulling away, and Hazel realized in that moment that perhaps she had taken a bit too much. He was pale--and he looked drunkenly dizzy. Shit. Shitshitshit. Ill met by moonlight indeed. God, she couldn’t take off and run again, the last time she had anonymously tipped the town that Atticus was passed out in a diner lead to some trouble. She couldn’t deal with even more suspicion. However, she was definitely not going to obligingly take the blame for this. What he was feeling could easily be mistaken for too much drink, wasn’t it?
He had tasted good though, didn’t he? So much better than cigarette smoke.
Hazel almost told that little gnawing voice to shut the fuck up, but instead her hands went to his shoulders to steady him.
Just a little more?
“Hey, you don’t look so good Casanova. Maybe we should get you home, yeah? Seems you’re a fan of the drink, but the drink isn’t so kind to you, huh?” Yes. Blame the alcohol. Nothing nefarious as draining his very energy was going on here. Nope.
Hazel’s cheeks were pink and her eyes glittered from her own glass and the thrill of his essence (ugh, she hated that word, but) running through her, giving her some spark of life--but she wasn’t a murderer. Well, an unjust murderer, she wouldn’t drain him dry.
No stranger to inopportune losses in consciousness, Caspar knew that it was coming before she would. The fainting. Not that it should have been much of a surprise to Hazel. Getting some of the literal fucking life force sucked out of you was bound to have some side effects. The last thing that he heard was her calling him Casanova, Caspar tried to mumble something about being fine, and then it was all black. He had the good luck, or the good sense of gravity, to lie back against the dock rather than to fall forward and drown in the water. The dock was cool comfort against his back, and as far as blacking out went… this one was really peaceful.