|In the Presence of Royalty
Faye stretched her long legs out in the back of the plush limousine. Someone handed her a champagne glass full of warm red liquid, and she sipped it primly. "I don't dignify the rumors," she said, as if continuing a long-running conversation. "There are some who wish to discredit me. Others wish I was dead. Well, you know, more dead." She gave a tinkling laugh, a tendril slipping loose from her pinned-up hair. "The truth is, maybe I'm not the most conventional queen. But since when are vampires supposed to be conventional?"
The shimmering black car slipped through the streets of Chicago, bright lights playing off the high-gloss surface. Usually, Faye and her companions stuck to the outskirts of the city; she preferred the expanse of empty fields and the total darkness that only rural areas provided. But sometimes she liked to venture deeper into the center of things.
"I want a new recruit. Are there any good vampires in this city?"
Since becoming a vampire, Thea hadn't really had to worry about being interrupted or caught in the act of a theft. Supernatural strength and speed had its advantages, and it helped that Thea retained years of of theft expertise after her turning. Still, even as she ran through the crowded sidewalks of Chicago, a duffel bag slung over her left shoulder, trying to avoid hitting people as the owner of the pawn shop she robbed trailed after her, raining expletives into the air and shaking a baseball bat in his hairy fists.
( Sign Me Up )
[NPC Faye was written by Jessica.]
|A Man Walks Out of a Bar
The natives were getting restless. She was the only bartender on duty and it was heading into the peak busy hour of the night. She cleaned a glass with a rag without really paying attention; she was just spreading dirt around. Jamie was worried she was starting to have a mini-breakdown. Her co-worker, an Eastern European immigrant girl with architecturally big hair, was an hour late, and Jamie was pretty certain she was at home fucking around with the new grease ball she had nabbed from this very bar a week previously.
"Hey, we asked for a pitcher over here! Step on it, will you? We're starting to get sober." A round of slurred laughter issued from a table in the center of the tavern. Jamie set down the Collins glass with a heavy sigh, grabbed a plastic pitcher and held it under one of the domestic taps. The idiots didn't care what swill they drank, as long as it counted as the three-dollar pitcher special that was currently drawing in this sophisticated set of clientele.
Muttering under her breath, she brought the beer over to the table. A backwards-cap wearing lug was currently setting fire to a cocktail napkin by holding it over one of the cheap candles in a votive jar that counted for ambiance in the place. "Hey, cut it out," she said, slamming the pitcher on the table and sloshing some onto the drunkard's lap. "You're going to set off the sprinklers."
Doing his best to keep a low profile, Jensen watched the commotion at the table from his station in the far corner of the bar. He wasn't necessarily here to drink -- though there was a half-empty beer in front of him -- Jansen was testing himself. He wanted to see how long he could last within the company of the waitresses and some of the other clientele in this dive without completely losing it. If he was to begrudgingly oblige to the sheriff's request, Jensen at least wanted to know that he could do it.
( Interesting Types )
[NPC Donald Jensen written by Jeff]
Finn smiled to himself in the dark as his fingertips ran across the cold stonework of the dormant fireplace. It was like tracing a design he knew very well, and he needn't even open his eyes. He knew what firewood to gather, what made the best kindling, and even what the heat of the flames felt like when he came too close to the hearth. He hadn't done this in over one hundred years, but it was in the memory of his body.
The vampire sheriff looked up at the sound of footsteps on the concrete steps outside. He brushed his palms together and dust trailed off into the empty air of the living room. It smelled of old blood; Finn had no doubt that Jensen had brought home a few of his many victims. The sofa had a trace scent of perfume, most likely the only remnant of one of the young girls that the rogue vampire so favored.
Donald Jensen had owned the house on Cicero since 1962 ... when he was still human and married to his high school sweetheart. When he was turned in 1979 and turned his wife into his first undead meal, keeping the house seemed to make sense. It was comfortable, familiar. Jensen always knew where it was, and he didn't live out his unlife like other vampires, wondering where he was going to sleep every day. He had a comfy bed, complete with sun-blocking blinds and drapes. That, combined with its relative distance from the bulk of the city, made this an ideal lair.
Why would he want to leave?
( Let Myself In )
[NPC Jensen written by Jeff]
To some vampires, the need of an invitation to enter someone’s home was a nuisance. To Thea, it was a challenge – an opportunity. This would be far too easy if Thea could just wander into the Thurston estate, take whatever she was after and leave.
Thea didn’t want easy; she wanted to be tested. The thrill of possibly getting caught, the obstacle of needing to talk her way into the house … it was such a rush for her. The adrenaline was addictive, and if Thea was completely honest with herself, sometimes that thrill turned her on.
Surprisingly, the gates to the Thurston estate were open, which meant Thea could walk straight up to the front doors. Decked out in a grey business suit and skirt she yanked off some investment banker three nights prior – and a matching pair of black-rim glasses – Thea went over her mental checklist after ringing the doorbell.
If the Thurstons weren’t home – leaving everything in the hands of a maid or servant – that would make this whole exercise easier. While Thea enjoyed a challenge, she didn’t like difficulties to the point of frustration. Frustration would lead to anger, and if Thea got angry, there was no telling what would happen.
( Way too easy )
It's a wonder there aren't more attacks in the middle of the night on college campuses. What cold-blooded vampire wouldn't relish the thought of tucking away in the shadows, just waiting for the prettiest co-ed to saunter her way out of class for the night, only to have himself young and incredibly tasty meal.
Who cares if the Sherrif frowns upon that sort of thing? We have fangs, dammit, and I know of at least one vampire who plans on using his. I didn't become a vampire to spend my entire life sitting around in some dark den sipping bitter liquid from a glass bottle. I had enough of that when I was in college.
University of Chicago is my favorite -- plenty of places to hide. Lots of trees and bushes, not to mention the shadows provided to me by the buildings. I suppose I could just wander about, make the co-eds think I'm a faculty member or something -- I do have the look. It would be so easy for me to just sit on a bench in front of the library, let the Chicago wind ruffle my hair and make like I'm ... I dunno, Professor Jensen or some bullshit like that.
But I can't. I just love the thrill of the hunt too much. My heart hasn't beat in almost 30 years, but every time I close in on a kill, I swear I can hear it thumping away in my ears again. The rush is impossible to describe, and even harder to ignore.
( Advantage: Me )
[Submitted by Jeff.]
Nicole Thurston was used to the finer things in life. It was one of the many benefits of marrying her husband, Adam. As far as the public knew, she was an heiress, the daughter of a condo developer who was notorious in Chicago. What they didn't know was that the fortune had been squandered long ago, and the wealth of her family was just an idea, at best; a theory of sorts. She was rich on paper. But none of that mattered anymore, because she had the financial security she craved. And her father could just go to hell for all she cared, despite the fact that he had arranged Nicole's introduction to Adam by way of his late father.
No, the only thing that was troubling the redhead at the moment was her apparent inability to conceive a child with Adam. At the age of thirty-four, the entire culture was letting her know that her biological clock was ticking, and in her opinion, she needed something more tangible than a diamond wedding ring to keep him safely attached to her. He was a politician, and she knew that was dicey territory. She didn't so much care if he had affairs, but what if he decided he wanted someone younger, fertile, and God forbid ... foreign. Whenever she thought about it, that whole Mark Sanford business came to mind.
She idly straightened a photo hanging on the foyer wall, killing time until Adam arrived home for the night. Nicole always made sure to be there when he got home; she believed in the old fashioned ideal of a wife, save for the house cleaning and chores, of course. She had a stable of maids and housekeepers for that.
Now that the campaign for mayor was really starting to pick up steam, Adam considered himself lucky if he was able to walk through the front door before midnight. As much as he had to go all around the city, making his case for running Chicago, Adam was glad he wasn't running for the state legislature -- or the United States Senate, like his late father did. The travel and time demands those elections would've entailed would've been far worse. As it was, Adam was considerably beat as he walked into the vast foyer leading into his house's living quarters, green tie loosened around his neck.
( Between Adam and God )
[NPC Nicole Thurston was written by Jessica.]
|One Thing In Common
Jamie entered her tiny living room, an assortment of items in her hands. She set them down one by one on the thrift store coffee table: a glass pipe, a small baggie of weed, and a Zippo lighter. She straightened the frayed hem of her denim skirt and took in a deep breath, setting her blue eyes on the man -- well, more of a boy, really -- lounging on the small couch as if he were king of the world. "You know, you always complain about my place," she said, "but you never invite me around yours. You're probably embarrassed of me." The blonde sat down next to him and began packing the pipe, efficiently and deftly.
"Or you probably have a real girlfriend, some socialite in training who wears a brand new outfit every day and knows how to play stupid shitty sports like polo and tennis." She smiled and turned to him. "Am I right?" Taking a puff, she passed the bowl to him. "I mean, tell me how far off I am. I want to know."
Taking the bowl, Spencer Matthews smirked and shook his head. His black blazer sat folded over the back of a nearby chair, his red tie loosened around his neck. Black loafers sat on the floor, his feet dangling over the edge of the bed. Spencer glanced at the contraption in his hands, but did not take a hit. Not yet.
"I'm not embarrassed," he answered with a shrug. "You know how important it is for me to keep things quiet with my job. My boss is out there telling everyone what a good, upstanding moral Christian he is -- do you really think it would help him if one of his assistants was seen parading about with a young, pretty thing like yourself while toting around a bong.
( Beneath (Content Warning: Sexuality) )
[Spencer Matthews written by Jeff]
The drinks were tasting worse than usual.
Not that Thea really enjoyed drinking that swill they bottled up and passed for blood -- in dives like this, she really had no choice, even if she preferred the real thing -- but Tru Blood really left a bad taste in her mouth this time. Her face scrunching up in an expression of disgust, the black-haired vampire pushed the bottle away from her, rolling her eyes.
Maybe it wasn't the drink after all. Maybe it had more to do with the self-righteous wannabe mayor who's all-too-mortal mug just graced the HD screen, talking about how he and he alone could fight off the vampires. The louse had called Thea and her ilk practically every name in the book -- monsters, leeches, parasites, creatures, menaces -- yet she couldn't bring herself to feel insulted.
If anything, Thea appreciated the honesty. Besides, she already knew what she was; she didn't need some pretty boy in a tie telling her.
( I'm your girl )
On one wall inside Finn Howard's heavily guarded town home was a bank of flat-screen televisions. All but one were muted. Adam Thurston's crowd-pleasing speech issued from the plasma television in all its high definition glory. But Finn was not paying much attention; he didn't need to. The reactions of the other vampires around him was enough.
"This human is trouble," said one male vampire to Finn's left, slung casually across a black leather armchair. He was known for being melodramatic, and it often annoyed the sheriff to the point where he'd throw the miscreant bodily from his residence.
"No," said Finn. "He's par for the course." With the remote, he paused the digitally recorded segment and leaned back. "What troubles me is the church. The public doesn't know what they're capable of, and that's what bothers me. This place is ripe for an uprising, and with more firepower, more support, than ever seen before."
His eyes swept over the glass table before him. It was littered with half empty bottles of True Blood, which annoyed Finn. He only bothered with the muck in public. In private, he had donors more than willing to provide their blood to him, and with no messy clean-up afterward. It was widespread knowledge that some humans, for whatever reason, willingly gave themselves to vampires in return for many things; sex, money and thrills being only a few among those possible reasons.
( Fragility )
The lights were bright, but Adam Thurston never squinted. Nor did he blink, nor did he flinch. The television camera staring at him were no bother, and Adam paid almost no mind to the mass of microphones attached to the wooden podium before him. If Adam were to run his palm over the microphones, it might feel like one of those egg pads people put on their mattresses.
“For too long, these monsters have run amok in this city,” he spoke, gripping either end of the podium. “This city’s history is in many ways shameful, but no amount of corruption or mafia influence can compare with the dangers and all-too-real threats posed to our citizens by these … creatures.”
Adam’s left hand twitched, fingers threatening to curl into a fist. He took a deep breath to steel himself, standing up straight and smoothing over his navy blue tie. His eyes narrowed not in a squint, but in a show of steely determination.
“I wasn’t planning to take questions today,” Adam said, shooting a sideways glance at his press secretary. Of course this was supposed to be a simple speech in front of Navy Pier, a nice photo op that would eventually lead to nice footage for eventual attack ads against whoever the opposition lined up in the coming months.
( Atheists are annoying )