October 25

Bury All Your Secrets In My Skin

The Universe:
{meanwhile, Edward and Alexei walk into the area where Phoenix is waiting}
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix keeps her eyes on the dogs as she stands again}
The Universe:
{Edward looks at her, quietly} The dogs aren’t for you. They’re to help clean up the mess. Phoenix, this is Alexei. He’s going to be caring for you now. Alexei is the head of our household staff and a Revenant. Alexei, this is Phoenix DeSaetan.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles, bows slightly } It is nice to meet you.

The Cosmos:
{Phoenix looks over at Edward while he speaks} Thank you, Edward. {looks at Alexei} It’s an honor to meet you, Alexei. {looks at her hands} I’d offer you a hand, but….{shakes her head}
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} I understand. We will take care of that. I will be taking you somewhere so that you may clean up and we will find you something appropriate to wear. I understand you are one of the former residents. I can take you to your former room.

 

The Cosmos:  {Phoenix quietly} My former room was off the servant’s quarters. {looks at them} The small room at the back. The larger apartments were relegated to the vampires and the families. I hadn’t…proven myself yet.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} Well.. then I am afraid it is no longer available. We will have to put you somewhere more appropriate. The ghouls reside in the servant’s quarters.
The Universe:
{Edward looks at her} I’m going to leave you now, but I’ll see you again in the throne room.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix looks at Edward} Thank you. For everything.
The Universe:
{Edward smiles} You’re welcome. I’ll see you soon. {heads out of the room}


The Cosmos:
{Phoenix looks at Alexei} I don’t mind.. wherever there is a place for me to shower is okay with me.
The Universe:
{Alexei watches him go, looks back at her} There are showers on the floor above is. It is where we housed the humans before the selections. We will stop there so you may rinse off and I will find something to cover you before we head into the castle proper. We will take the servant’s stairs to the floor which houses the vampires and I will find you a room there where you may bathe more thoroughly while I find you something appropriate to wear. If it pleases you, that is.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix looks at Alexei, smiles} I am…a..prisoner of war in a way. Whatever courtesies you extend to me I am grateful for, Alexei.
The Universe:
{Alexei shakes his head} I have not been informed that you are any such thing. As far as I know, you are an honored guest and shall be treated as such.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix nods, softly} Thank you..
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her, quietly} Our king is cold and harsh, but he is also fair. He will not punish you for crimes you have not committed against us or crimes you *may* have committed against those who were here before. In fact, I do not see where you have crimed at all and doubt he will either.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix shakes her head} I ate three of my family’s children.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} The king does not like children.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix looks down} My family placed great importance on the children. They were strictly off limits to the vampires. We all knew this. They interacted with them and the children knew that the vampires were family. {looks at him} He doesn’t? {smiles} That bodes well for me at least.
The Universe:
{Alexei walks over to her} It is my understanding that there were children present where they had no right to be. That it is your elders’ failure to protect them. If they were so important to your family, if they were off limits to the vampires, they should not have been *around* the vampires. Particularly during the creation of one when everyone who knows anything knows vampires are the most unpredictable and least in control.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix takes a step back} Children were always at the creation. Just never that close. Creation happened in the theater. Usually the children were in the balcony so they could see but be relatively safe.
The Universe:
{Alexei stops when she steps back, looks at her} My family also has members who are vampires and we and the children interact with them regularly as well. But never are the children allowed to witness the creation rite. It is not only a great honor and mystery but it is a privilege bestowed only upon the most deserving of us.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} So why was this different? Why were the children close and not where they usually were?
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix shakes her head} I don’t know. They *shouldn’t* have been there. Not that close.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} Precisely. You are not responsible for that. And it was a long time ago. You have served your sentence, it is over and now your new life begins.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix smiles, quietly} A new life.. Wow.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} As for our king.. he is actually repulsed by children. I am sure he will think you did the world a favor.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix smiles more genuinely} I hope so. I think I would like living again.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles more broadly} If it were up to the king, new humans would be adult clones, perhaps teenagers and there would never be any need for any to actually give birth. Something else he finds repulsive.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix laughs} I’m guessing he didn’t have any children of his own?
The Universe:
{Alexei walks toward the door} Come. Many of the others have also taken lives upon their creation that they regret deeply. {shakes his head} He has not. Babies offend him. We had a woman once who had an infant and he all but refused to stand in the same room with them.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks over at her, smiles} He says they are weak, foul smelling leeches that resemble maggots when they are swaddled.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles again} He is repelled by them as vampires are supposed to be repelled by crosses.

The Cosmos:
{Phoenix goes with him to the door still holding her rags closed around her} So if he advances grab a baby not a cross. {smiles} They don’t resemble maggots. {shakes her head}
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} It is your best chance of escape, yes. {walks through the door and heads up the stairs to the dungeon level} He also thinks they look like little aliens in the womb. The mother did not appreciate his points of view in the slightest.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix follows him} I’m sure she didn’t. What happened?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} She held the child between them like a shield when she did not desire his company. It worked very well for her.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} I believe she enjoyed his discomfort immensely.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix looks at him} And the child? Did the child survive?
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} She did. {smiles} And she was a beautiful child. Her mother, however, was turned. The child was taken by a couple who adored her and they moved somewhere they could give her a normal human life.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles more broadly} The king was the only one who was not sad to see her go.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix smiles} That’s why he doesn’t like children.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her curiously} Because he was not sad to see her go?
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix shakes her head} No if he liked them they’d have power over him.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} Perhaps you are right. {steps into the dungeons proper and heads toward the showers} I will find a blanket to cover you.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix goes with him} Thank you.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods, opens the door into the showers for her, then heads to the supply closet to find a blanket}
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix smiles} If you think about it.. it makes sense. The king can’t get all gooey over a kid because if something happens to the kid he’ll be hurt. {Goes into the showers, turns on the hot water, drops her clothes and steps into the spray}
The Universe:
{Alexei grabs a thick, clean blanket, walks back over to the showers and waits for her, loudly so she can hear him over the water} More than that, any weakness is one his enemies can exploit.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix nods, sticks her head out of the shower so she doesn’t have to yell} Exactly. And kids are the easiest to exploit. {pulls back in and finishes cleaning herself, steps out of the shower}
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} And seem to be the weakness of most decent people. {smiles} The king would not like to be confused with “decent people”.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} What great vampire would?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles again} True. {holds the towel through the door, keeping his eyes averted}
The Cosmos:
{Nix takes the towel, and dries herself} It’s my understanding that vampires by nature aren’t decent people.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods again, passes her the blanket} Vampires usually do not look for decency in those they wish to turn, no.
The Cosmos:
{Nix takes the blanket and wraps herself toga style in it, uses the towel on her a hair and steps to the door, smiles at Alexei} I feel better now, Thank you.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her, smiles, quietly} You are most welcome, Bella.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} Almost human again.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles again} I was going to ask that but I was not sure if it would offend you. {moves out of her way} If there is anything you require, you need only inform me and I will see that you get it.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods, walks through the door and into the room, smiles} Just the necessities, please.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods, heads toward the stairs} The rooms are already equipped with basic toiletries. One of our humans crafts bathing products. She will be doing that for us. If you have a favorite scent, I will see that she has it on her list.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} Wisteria and lilac.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her, smiles} A nice choice.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at him} Thank you. They are smells I remember from the gardens.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods, heads up the stairs} We also have gardeners that will be restoring the gardens to their former splendor. They have fallen into disrepair.
The Cosmos:
{Nix follows him, quietly} What can I expect from the others?
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} I assume you mean the vampires. You have met Edward. He is our empath. Damien is hard but fair and just. He was attacked and staked by an escaped human and he turned her and staked her in turn.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her} She was kept for several hours that way and then he released her. She is being mentored by Glen. Glen is… ambitious, loyal and very outspoken and opinionated. He is also Italian and therefore very passionate. He has a hard edge tempered by reason and mercy but he will say exactly what is on his mind.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} How many are here?
The Universe:
{Alexei thinks} About a dozen. Lucien is a drama queen. He thrives on soap operas, as it were. He is Genja’s second. Genja being the king.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} Heather is.. free spirited. Sebastian is an animal. Literally.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} A shape shifter? My uncle shifted shapes.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} He is, yes. He introduced himself to the humans in his beast form.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} They thought he was a werewolf.
The Cosmos:
{Nix laughs} That must’ve been frightening for them and entertaining for everyone else.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} For most of them, yes. {looks at her} Glen was also a priest in life and he is our priest now. Kendra, his childe, was a nun. She is reserved in public and level headed. None will call for your destruction. If they do, I would be extremely surprised. Expect some of the men to be.. very forward.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at him} In my experience men usually are.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles, nods} That does not surprise me.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} Maybe I should say the men in my family were.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods, looks ahead} Most Revenant families share that trait.
The Cosmos:
{Nix quietly} Was yours?
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her, smiles} Of course.
The Universe:
{Alexei shrugs} Revenants are incestuous by nature, Bella. Some are moreso than others.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix looks over at him, nods} Mine was…very much so. And the *rules* there were so many that encompassed everything from dating to a girls first time to wedding and how we’re supposed to treat the elders and *everything* had a rule for it.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods} There are not so many rules here. The one you must never forget, however, is to always speak to the king respectfully. He is… adamant.. about that.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix nods} Of course… I would never be disrespectful to a king.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods again} Sometimes, people forget themselves. I am summoning Eden {as he summons Eden} She is the one I was telling you about with the bathing products. She is also of the king’s herd and one of his favored.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix nods} As it pleases you, Alexei. {looks over at him, quietly} How much time to I have?
The Universe:
{Alexei checks the time on his phone} Will an hour be enough?
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix nods} Yes plenty. Is it formal attire?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles, putting his phone away} I do not believe it will be *too* formal. But it will not be casual either. You will not need a ball gown. {looks at her} There will be some who are suspicious, Bella. Do not let them intimidate you. There will be others who are much friendlier. Do not trust them too easily.
The Cosmos:
{Nix smiles} Does that include you as well?
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} If I say no, you will not know if I am lying.
The Cosmos:
{Nix laughs} Very true.
The Universe:
{Alexei steps onto the landing and starts down the hall} You can ask others about me if you are curious.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix nods and starts to say something when Eden approaches from the other end of the hall, with a curious look on her face}
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles seeing Eden} This is Phoenix. She will be staying with us.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at Nix} This is Eden.
The Cosmos:
{Eden smiles} Cool name. Nice to meet you. {looks at Alexei, smiles} She’s going to have the men in a tangle.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles again, nods} I believe you are right.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at Eden} You too, Eden.
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at Alexei} It is not my intention to have anyone tangle.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at Phoenix} It will be an unfortunate side effect of your beauty, Bella. {smiles} You will simply have to endure it.
The Cosmos:
{Phoenix smiles} Then maybe I shouldn’t have cleaned up.
The Universe:
{Alexei laughs} That would work on the humans. I am not so sure about the ghouls and vampires. {looks at Eden, smiles} She must get ready to be presented to the king. I am showing her to a room now, but she will require something more than simple soap.
The Cosmos:
{Eden smiles} I think I can do that. {looks at Nix} Do you have a signature scent?
The Cosmos:
{Nix looks at Alexei, nods, to Eden} Wisteria and Lilac.
The Cosmos:
{Eden nods and heads off, over her shoulder} I’ll be right back.
The Cosmos:
{Nix quietly} She’s very…young.
The Universe:
{Alexei watches Eden go, quietly} Be watchful of her, Bella. She is young, but she has the king’s ear.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} I will. Thank you.
The Universe:
{Alexei walks up to a door, pulls out his keys and unlocks it, pushes it open for her, looks at her} I have seen no reason not to trust her, but the humans have only been.. free.. for a few days. We do not know them very well, yet.
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} That explains the sudden silence of the webs.
The Universe:
{Alexei looks at her curiously} The webs?
The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} Yes.. {frowns} When I visit someone I can leave a trail back to them. Making it easier to visit again. Imagine a spider web with yourself at the center of it. That’s what the trails look like. I can use that connection to visit or receive images from them. Sometimes feelings.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} I understand. Astral threads.

The Cosmos:
{Nix nods} Yes. I started calling them webs when I was young.
The Universe:
{Alexei nods, motions toward the room} This will be your room if it pleases you.
The Cosmos:
{Nix walks into the room and nods, quietly} It’s very nice. Thank you.
The Universe:
{Alexei watches her from the doorway} I assume you are already familiar with the floor plan.
The Cosmos:
{Nix turns to face him} Yes.. please come in. You don’t have to stand in the doorway.
The Universe:
{Alexei smiles} I was going to leave you to your bath and find you something more appropriate than a blanket to wear.
The Cosmos:
{Eden comes back with a basket full of stuff, knocks on the door}

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Posted October 25, 2012 by The Universe in category "Fiction", "Vampires