There was more than a little grain of truth to the fact that Summerview had too many eyes and far too many ears for Ethan's liking. He was well aware of a power struggle which was going unseen by many but to somebody as old as him it was obvious and he wondered how the chips would fall. It was honestly tempting to play both sides just to see which one came out on top but then he might have to put his dislike of humans to one side to allow himself to side with the hopeless cause Jayati had seemingly aligned herself to.
Hearing from Nissa had been a very welcomed surprise as it had been a very long time since he'd clasped eyes on that particular beauty. Too long. There was value in surrounding yourselves with likeminded individuals who you could trust, Nissa was one of those people. And this friend of his intrigued him because this friend must be fairly impressive for Nissa to have given up the world at large to come to Summerview of all places.
They'd arranged a meet up in Atlantic City in some seedy bar in a dark alley in the wrong place of town but that was exactly where Ethan felt most at home. You could take the pirate out of the time period but you definitely couldn't take the pirate out of the man. He'd secured a booth at the back and was nursing a drink as he waited for Nissa to arrive.
Getting out of Summerview, just for the night, let Nissa breath a little easier -she knew how to slot herself into the human world, she knew the role that got her what she wanted and needed, how to play mortals off each other. Summerview was kind of peaceful for Nissa, she hadn't worked out where to poke and prod, or exactly what Lily's endgame was there. She was sure it would unravel in time, she just needed to learn to be a little patient, for the first time in a long time it might be worth it.
Atlantic City was somewhere she could just sink back into though, the seedy underbelly of the city exactly the type of place that her cultivated persona just slotted into. The bar Ethan picked was the usual place she'd expect to end up with these types of friends -it wasn't like she was working an angle with Ethan, she didn't need to. They went back far enough that she didn't even consider trying something like that, or lying for any reason.
Rather than order at the bar before heading to the booth she spotted the succubus at, Nissa simply paused long enough to pick up someone else's drink a slip away, all attitude and enough of a warning for her petty theft to be ignored. "You are certainly a sight for sore eyes," slipping into the booth, Nissa automatically crossed her legs and leaned on the table, casual smirk on her face, "This century really agrees with you."
Ethan watched with amusement as Nissa helped herself to somebody else’s drink with that style he had come to appreciate over the years. “I’d definitely say the same about you,” he answered as he too leaned in, closer to the woman he knew more than capable of ending life. If he were anyone else he might think twice about invading her personal space like this but he and Nissa? They went way back after all.
“I still miss the golden age of piracy I will admit.” But this century did have its perks. Like cellphones for example.
There was no need for pretence, for a front. She didn't need to appear delicate and soft around Ethan, didn't have to quell that harshness she carried, behave around him. He knew what she was, and what she was capable of. Just like she was more than aware of him.
She's never really sat down and picked apart her motivations, worked out if she could've gone another direction, even as an Unseelie, if she could've been more delicate, less vindictive, if it hadn't been him who broke her out of the bond. But she'd already been a festering, angry wound of darkness at the hands of her master when Ethan had ended his life. She'd revelled in the death of that particular lineage, all on her own. So maybe it didn't matter who'd been responsible for what.
"What is it you miss more, the freedom of it, or the violence in it?"
Ethan did so enjoy the authentic experience of Nissa because she had a distinct quality about her that couldn't be found or replicated. She was unique, individual and everything he looked for in a companion. She was deadly, lethal but more than that, she was loyal to a fault once you'd earned it and he had a very long time ago.
"Good question," he mused as he reached out and helped himself to a sip of her ill gotten drink. "Between you and me," he began, eyes slipping away before lifting to catch hers, "definitely the violence." That sort of thing was frowned upon these days and wasn't quite as easy to get away with and sometimes the outcome was not worth all the aggravation.
"Isn't that the truth," Everyone got so upset the moment there was some big event, couldn't even massacre a terrorist cell anymore without someone complaining. Not to mention that they were all a little more known and that was a hassle in itself. All these pesky humans putting their noses in, acting superior. And Nissa got the dressing down if she ripped just one of those noses off.
"I never thought I'd miss human destruction this much." She stole back her drink, walking her fingers up Ethan's wrist before flicking at his chin with a smirk, half warning, half tease. "Not to mention they like to fight dirty now." Witches spilling secrets to get a leg up. It just frustrated the little coil of anarchy in her.
Ethan playfully nipped at the tips of Nissa's fingers as they flicked at his chin before he leaned back into his side of the booth and lifted an arm to rest along the back of it, the other now bringing his own drink up to his mouth.
He had no issue with fighting dirty but there was definitely an etiquette to it, some things you just did not do and some lines that were not crossed.
"In my time we'd call them rats."
Rats would be about right, horrible little rodents with no proper sense of purpose. Just the dredges of the world right there, nipping at feet that passed. "I'd be satisfied with dealing with them like rats." Especially the ones that crossed lines, the ones that aided the humans in dealing with others, giving out secrets about weaknesses.
It was why her full name had been lost to time, she learned the hard way what humans did with power, even witches, magic blood in their veins, how they used and used. The wound on her arm was still healing, iron slowing her natural inclination towards a swift recovery. The rest was done, dropping her glamour wouldn't result in a bruised and bloody visage anymore.
Just that one fucking burning wound on her arm.
"At least they're still crushable, in the right situation, with the right motivation." People could be swayed into turning a blind eye. "I don't think I've ever ached for a good war like I do now."
Ethan suspected there was a lot more to Nissa's particular brand of vitriol this evening and the Incubus' eyes as they tended to regarded Nissa from beneath expressive brows and with an intensity unrivalled by many.
"What happened?" He held up a finger. "And don't say nothing because I will readily call bullshit."
He echoed Nissa's sentiments though, a good war sounded just what the doctor ordered.
Were it anyone else, she'd flip them off and tell them to mind their own business. Her shit was her own, and when it wasn't work for Lily, she didn't even need to share it with her. Although she tended to, just because Lily was a woman after her own heart, with plenty of colourful ideas on how to deal with even the most stubborn problem. So, were it anyone but Ethan, the first person in this shit hole realm that she hadn't wanted to rip limb from limb, she would've told him to get stuffed.
"I hate witches." It was probably redundant. They couldn't all be bad or the race would've been wiped out the way others had gone. Maybe she just had unfortunate luck, maybe the darkness within her drew out the darkness in them. Whatever it was, she'd never met a witch she didn't want to stab in the face. "A friend needed some business cleaned up, said business had a friend, who happened to share some tidbits."
Nissa finished off the pilfered drink, nearly slamming the glass on the table, "It took longer than expected and really got me riled." And she would've loved to lay waste to the enter country, she really would've, but she knew she'd managed to infect about half a state before her magic gave out and she ended up vulnerable. God, she longed for plagues to make a return, really she did.
Ethan merely lifted his eyebrow in agreement. Witches could be very tricksy creatures and sometimes rivalled the Fae for their mercurial nature. They were valuable in a lot of ways but then there were some that weren't worth the hassle.
As she downed the remainder of her stolen drink Ethan tipped his head and caught the bartender's eye and with a charming smile he asked for a refill at which point the bartender set to.
"You never know when they can or can't be trusted," he sympathised. "And it sounds like you did run afoul of the worst kind of witch." The drinks Ethan had ordered now arrived and the Incubus took care of the bill easily, he was rather generous towards the people he cared about.
The worst kind, Nissa couldn't tell you a better kind, given how they were constantly fucking everyone else over -Nissa was a piece of work, she knew that, she accepted that, but she didn't fuck over other races to get there, she never enslaved anyone for the power boost. She sure as shit didn't tell fucking humans how to hurt them. Humans could work out enough ways on their own.
"I think I'll go with the standard can't," she gave the bartender a grin as the drinks were dropped off, watching the departure with a raised eyebrow and certain appreciation. "I've yet to be proven wrong." And given how things had been going she wasn't really willing to give someone the chance to do that.
"But that's all dealt with now, so there's no need to wallow." At least she was sure she'd dealt with the priorities. She hadn't burnt out a whole family this time, but she had no proof that they deserved it, at least not this time. "What've you been doing with yourself, handsome?"
Ethan watched with some amusement as Nissa openly and unashamedly admired the bartender though he couldn't fault her taste. Not at all. He had also noticed the very admirable aesthetic.
"Wallowing is definitely a waste of energy," he agreed as he lifted his glass to his lips and took a sip. "Oh you know the usual. Negotiating peace treaties for the right amount of money, stealing wolves away from their pack, setting people against one another, making a profit out of misery and rattling the cage of old acquaintances."
Shame was something Nissa never really saw the point in, like wallowing. It was just a waste of energy when other emotions were just so much better to embrace. Like rage and anger. Those were worth while.
"So just a casual Thursday then?" She wasn't surprised, it was hardly like she expected Ethan would head off to live a quiet life when they parted ways, or that things wouldn't carry on like that between their occasional communications. He wasn't a man that did things quietly, or even just let the world pass. No, blood and fire and destruction, that was their way. "Sounds like lots of fun, I'm almost sorry I missed it." Mostly because she knew there would still be plenty to follow in the future. "But I'm sure we can make some fun to make up for it."
Ethan heard the word 'fun' and knew that with Nissa that word had an altogether very different application which was always exciting. He leaned forward to collect his glass by the rim, loosely holding it between the tips of his fingers.
"I always love it when you propose that we have fun." He smirked and regarded Nissa closely. "I have been woefully bereft without your company, Nissa."
Fun usually ranged anywhere between the destruction of a city to a night painting the town red to an exciting roll in the sheets. It was rarely the wholesome type, someone usually got hurt -usually an unfortunate fuck that got in her way- and it ended on a high note. Nissa made a point of enjoying herself when she let her hair down.
Her grin was downright filthy, the kind that promised all of her brand of fun, "We haven't had fun in such a long time," which was downright criminal, since she liked to play hard, just as much as Ethan did, one of few who could honestly keep up with her, "obviously that needs to be remedied tonight." It could start with picking up the bartender, maybe knock off a store somewhere, set something on fire somewhere.
Oh, how he had missed that grin. There was really no other grin like it, not even that of his newest addition to his ranks in the form of his wayward werewolf who was for the moment out on assignment as there was still a lot of work to be done outside of Summerview.
Ethan finished his drink and tipped his head, smirking all the while. "Well, then, we'd better start as honestly no time like the present."
And there really wasn't, Ethan could definitely do with Nissa's brand of fun.