Ars Almadel

Barbarian 
#1


@Kilo Jaxon & all welcome

There was a particular joy in picking out an outfit that cast her in such an innocent light in such a crude place. An angel fluttering into Barbarian, seeking the next thrill she could charm home. Perhaps this time she'd manage to keep them.

She was aware of the loose end that was Cris' failure to return to her, though as far as she was aware, the girl was doomed to silence. Perhaps she'd been bitten by more than she could chew.

Nursing some alcoholic mess or another, the scent of it pungent to her nose, she awaited the appearance of something — anything — sweeter as she drifted about.
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#2


"Let go of your responsibilities and go wild!"

This motto appealed to Rabbit while she was on the second floor of the club, dancing amongst the rowdy crowd. The bass thumped in her chest, making her feel alive, disregarding the fact that she felt rather dead on the inside. A few whiskeys were already in her system and only amplified her exciting numbness and warmed her belly.

Beads of sweat formed on the edges of her forehead but an inked hand reached up and swiped them away as she stepped off the dance floor. Heading to the bar, she slipped some money out of a girl's best pocket and slapped it on the bar, in exchange for this time, a shot of tequila.
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#3
There was eventually a much sweeter scent back at the bar — of course at the bar — and Taraneh weaved her way through the crowd as hunger and yearning took precedent. She gathered looks both confused and amused for her out of place style, but they were all rather ignorable. A psychic was here.

The girl her nose led her to was another one with poor fashion sense, young and thin and sporting terribly cumbersome jeans instead of a skirt. It made her sigh internally, but she bared enough skin up top to make herself alluring.

The vampire handed off her drink to someone else and slid in next to her, hearing the girl's sloppy order. She smelled richly of the alcohol Taraneh could not drink, but she could make a doubly intoxicating drink herself for it.

"Why stop at one?" she smiled sweetly, and motioned for the bartender. "Two more each for us both, on my tab."

Surely she wouldn't mind anything given to her for free. And she could have all four.
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#4
A velvety voice called out to her while she stood at the bar. Rabbit adjusted her shirt, pulling up on the sleeve so it wouldn't fall down. The woman was well put together, a little business-like especially for this venue. It peeked her interest, especially when she offered to buy her her drink. Rabbit was hesitant, waving her hands to deny the offer but it was too late. The woman had already ordered four shots. Damn.

"I really shouldn't be drinking that much, I appreciate the offer," she said shyly. If the woman really insisted, she would take at least one of the drinks to not make her feel bad about turning down her offer. And the woman even had a tab. Damn, again. Who was this girl? Someone important? She sure looked the part.
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#5
How suddenly demure, but the wealth of alcohol on the girl's breath spoke to just how much she truly subscribed to such temperance.

"Then don't," Taraneh smiled with a relaxed single shrug. "They'll be here if you change your mind."

She sought conversational eye contact, the kind of thing most people found natural and most later-aged vampires knew better than to engage in, but spoke without an attempt at suggestion for now.

"What's your name?"
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#6


If he were honest with himself, Jaxon hadn't gotten his hopes up whether he would like any of the nighttime venues in Larkspur. It was his ambition to scout the area for curiosity's sake, among other things, but he was ever the opportunistic predator concerning a perspective meal. While the throngs of drunken college students and millennials were promising in that respect, the atmosphere certainly clashed with Jaxon's tastes; the more he observed, the less he liked.

Barbarian in particular stood as a testament to everything he disliked.

The establishment in question tried so terribly hard to be something it wasn't, misguided in its efforts to call upon man's primeval nature. Condemning such a laughable attempt with plastic foliage and garish jungle motifs was all too easy for a practiced man of trickery and deception.

Yet, at the end of all things, nightclubs were still havens for decadence and depravity, and such conditions made for prime hunting grounds.

Compelled by a distinct lack of interest in mingling on the ground floor, Jaxon was quick to ascend the staircase from which lyrics of dreadfully contemporary music howled for his attention. Although the air was thick with scents of booze and sweat, there were other, far more intriguing notes permeating the poorly ventilated space. Something sweet and almost familiar teased his senses, whereas something else warned him that death was already here.

Another night spent spectating another's hunt.

The thought was grimly amusing, but Jaxon was rather peckish. Upon his arrival to the second floor, the man wove through the pulsating crowds, every heartbeat reminding him of the new moon's approach. Such triggers were little more than a nuisance for one his age and strength, but it still tried his patience.

He soon emerged from the crowds near the bar, curiosity piqued by the scents that guided him. While a fair number of individuals sat along the bar's length, it wasn't long before hiss gaze fell upon two women. One of them possessed dark curls, a dress that was far too innocent for her surroundings, and a deadly prowess that rivaled Jaxon's own. Such a vampire of note might have interested him, perhaps even warranted caution, were her sights not set upon a delicate thing with the aroma of a psychic and familiar markings inked upon her fair skin.

Oh no, Jaxon couldn't have that.

Closing the distance with a purposeful step, he overheard the begins of a conversation, introductions initiated with a serpent's gaze. Without so much as a second thought, Jaxon rested a hand upon Rabbit's shoulder. "Small world, isn't it?"

A smile for his prize, a glance toward the competition—Jaxon's first guess was Mediterranean.
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#7
The woman's gentle demeanor made her relax when she confirmed it was fine that she didn't take the drinks to Rabbit's relief. Her red lips formed a light smile in return to the woman's own. Yes, her demeanor was gentle, but there was something more stern or confident about her, that she wasn't quite sure of. The booming music would have made it hard for her to hear her, but somehow her attention was focused on her breath taking beauty, and as if there wasn't any music in the first place.

"Thank you," she nodded, taking one of the shots of the bar, holding it up to her in a cheers before slugging it back. And then she remembered why she didn't drink tequila that often. A cough escaped her as she set the shot glass back down on the bar, laughing at herself. "I'm Rabbit, and y-."

She was getting ready to return the question back at the woman, but a familiar touch rested on her shoulder. Small world, isn't it?

Her eyes gazed up to who the hand belonged to, meeting a familiar face. Desmond. Her small grin for the lady who treated, grew wide for him. "I guess you're right."
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#8
The girl relaxed instantly, which had been her aim. Taraneh laughed pleasantly along with her, finding her name a foolish but cute pet name, and could have guessed the question to follow, but it seemed their fun would be cut short when the feeling of an equal neared, and he was quick to place a claiming hand on the girl's shoulder.

Taraneh might have laughed more, but she had the sense to hold it down. Now, now, no reason they could not compete... or share.

She looked to the man, finding him wearyingly tall. It was all too clear they did know each other, which meant it wasn't as simple as simply intimidating him into running off.

"Not small enough, but that should change. Mahnaz. And you are...?" she asked, glancing to the vampire with a gracious smile and an outstretched hand, but keeping her eyes level with his chin.
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#9
There was that laughter, the very same Jaxon remembered from that night.

Hearing it only reinforced his belief that Rabbit was in fact his. Seldom was he one to actively sabotage another vampire's meal, but Jaxon wasn't fond of sharing that which he considered his own. Nevertheless, he reciprocated Rabbit's smile, ever hungry for those beautiful green eyes.

"Mahnaz." Jaxon then turned and noticed how the other vampire's gaze fell short of his own. "Desmond."

He flashed a wry look as he took the proffered hand and shook it. She apparently wasn't the trusting type, which made neglecting her the courtesy of eye contact that much simpler as he returned his attention to Rabbit. "I hope I'm not intruding." Spoken with measured combination of wit and arrogance, Jaxon could easily imagine what might have gone on in his absence.

Regardless, there was something rather entertaining with continuing the game.
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#10
Rabbit felt the tension in the air and it made her feel as if she was the one intruding instead. Her eyes casually flickered between the two, watching them both as they made pleasantries and shook hands.

"Maznah here was kind enough to buy me a drink," she said after clearing throat, cutting the tension. Her eyes glanced back up to his while an inked hand gestures towards the woman.

The woman’s intentions were now sparking Rabbit’s own curiosity; a stranger buying another stranger two shots seemed a little too generous despite how nice the woman seemed. She was glad she only took the one. It was already taking its affect. Her cheeks reddened and gut warmed, and she was pretty sure her words were starting to slur just the slightest. She had been two drinks deep before Mahnaz gave her another.
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#11
"Desmond," she repeated with a nod. The girl misspoke her name of the evening, and she chalked it up to the alcohol she'd consumed. At least the vampire could parrot correctly.

Taraneh remained relaxed otherwise, still bearing her smile, tone a light tease.

"Indeed, you've made a rather untimely interruption in my search for friendship. But I can forgive it if you're willing to share company with me."

She wondered to what extent the girl was property of this boy, and if she might be easily charmed from him. Taraneh looked to her again, finding her a far prettier sight in a consumable sort of way.

"Do tell me how you both met."

Again, naturally, Taraneh looked to her face, readying her mental magic for any locking of gazes.
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#12
A vampire who had been kind enough to buy a psychic a drink. "How kind of her."

Rabbit already smelled strongly of alcohol, and Jaxon knew better than to take such an act of kindness at face value. Nevertheless, the man turned his head a touch to acknowledge Mahnaz as she spoke, lending an ear in lieu of so much as glance in her direction. It was all too easy playing the dismissive male.

"Of course. The more, the merrier, as they say?" Jaxon flashed a smile, charming as could be.

Then the other vampire asked how they had met, and he took it upon himself to begin with a preamble of sorts. "At a motel, actually, after a long day of travel." Leaning an elbow against the bar, he raised a brow toward Rabbit, curious to hear what else she might add to that.
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#13
The conversation before her would be normal to any other ear, but the tone Rabbit was sensing was more sinister. She gathered some words she had put together carefully in her head, but put them on pause while Mahnaz mentioned sharing company. Normally Rabbit would have been more aware at the situation at hand, but her handling of her alcohol was getting in the way of that.

She watched Desmond lean onto the bar, casually answering the woman's question of how they met. She met his eyes, those ocean eyes, and exhaled happily. Rabbit was hoping that he would cover the story as minimally as possible but when he looked over towards her to add something, she choked. If she were sipping on a drink, she would have most definitely spit it out.

At a motel, actually, after a long day of travel. He did not. Her face grew red, hoping she could simply blame it on the booze. Booze... she could definitely use more of it to forget this moment. Inked fingers trailed down to fidget with the loop on her jeans while her eyes became dismissed.

"I was just coming from a camping trip by myself and need some help with my ride," she partially lied, looking at Mahnaz and meeting her gaze, not daring to look towards Desmond.
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#14
Oh dear. A motel.

The unladylike sputtering and choking from the girl was more than plenty to clue her in otherwise, and Taraneh rose a brow faintly, a small smile on her lips. What fun could she have with this pet, right in front of her owner?

"A ride indeed. But come now, entertain me with all the lovely details," she pressed, wanting to see just how much the poor girl would bare when compelled for it.

The words were, unfortunately, fruitless. At the very least, her eyes remained their natural brown.

Perhaps her owner would continue to be more open.



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#15
Met by moonlight at a motel of all places? How very scandalous.

A mirthful expression settled over Jaxon's features with mischief in his eyes; he at least appreciated Rabbit's floundering efforts to shed a more flattering light on the story being told, finding them rather entertaining. It was certainly cruel of him to be having such fun at her expense, but it entertained him how destructive and chaotic the truth could be when applied just right.

When Mahnaz wished for all the details, Jaxon was all to happy to humor her—at his own pace, of course.

He was the storyteller here, after all.

"There I was, enjoying the peace and quiet with a smoke," he began with an almost nostalgic aloofness to his words, purposefully so, "When this beautiful young lady appeared, singing a lovely tune. Never have I heard such a voice as hers before."

Flattery was but a single card in his deck of tricks; perhaps it might ease Rabbit's mortification.

If not, then Jaxon frankly wasn't that concerned. It was all in good fun.
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#16
Entertain me with all the lovely details.

The woman was adamant about knowing all of her details to which Rabbit only became more reserved. They seemed to suddenly tower over her with intimidating smiles and she took a few panicked steps backwards from the two. Humiliation started to loom over her like a dark cloud. Her once soft gaze for Desmond was now diminishing into one that was mortified her eyes widening at his story telling.

Was he really going to give this stranger all of their details? And when he continued on with the story, it only confirmed her worst feeling.

"I should go," she practically whispered, unsure if they even had heard her small voice. Her heart thumped in her chest, telling her to take her leave and get away from this encounter as soon as she could.

Rabbit wasn't going to stand here while they talked about her. She was drunk, not stupid. Desmond seemed more than willing to relive the events for this woman, but Rabbit was not. This was not the Desmond she remembered.

A wave of regret washed up on Rabbit's shore. Was she just a mere toy to him? She turned away from the two, hiding her watery eyes. Don't fucking over react. You're just drunk. You're such a crybaby when you drink.
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#17
Desmond seemed itching to be forthcoming. She might have settled in for quite a good story, but alas. Seemed they'd scared the pet; vampire hearing could easily pick up her small word of intent. "Oh dear," Taraneh sighed quietly.

She glanced to the other vampire with a softly raised brow, wondering if his ownership extended to crate training.
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#18
Such a beautiful yet delicate thing.

Whatever confidence Jaxon remembered Rabbit having was absent here tonight as the embarrassed young woman sought to leave rather than participate in the games at hand. His displeasure was locked away behind a stone mask when his prize turned her back on him, the other vampire's voice chiming through the cacophony of the club. "Please, excuse us," he said with a cursory glance to his fellow undead.

Oh dear, indeed.

Standing tall, Jaxon moved to apprehend Rabbit, a hound in pursuit of his prey.

"Rabbit." He sought out those tearful green eyes; all he needed was a chance to make this all go away, to clear the chess board after a poor opening move.
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#19
She held her face in her hands, hiding herself away from them and hoping she could just disappear. A few quiet words were exchanged behind her, but the club didn't allow humans to necessarily pick them up with ease.

Rabbit, she heard his voice behind her, closer than it had been previously so she knew he was pursuing after her.

"Go away, Desmond," she murmured drunkenly through her hands, "I'm trying to make new friends with Mahnaz and you're embarrassing me." If he tried to reach out to touch her, his hand would fall right through as her secure lock on her phasing was wavering.
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#20
Oh dear. She watched the show and contemplated feeding off the bartender.
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#21
Oh, how bleeding hearts never ceased to grate Jaxon's nerves.

The psychic he remembered and the one standing before him seemed like different women entirely, and he could only assume that the heavy scent of alcohol clinging to Rabbit had something to do with that. She told him to go away, that he was embarrassing her while she was trying to make new friends; the naivety Jaxon witnessed also did little for his patience.

Nevertheless, they were still in the game.

"Forgive me," he said as sincerely as he could manage, his voice low and even, "That wasn't my intent."

Honeyed words, perhaps.

He loomed over this timid, softhearted creature, making no move to depart like she requested. As fond as Jaxon was of her, it wasn't Rabbit's place to make such demands, regardless of her intoxicated state.

"Please, will you join us?"
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#22
She finally pulled her hands from her face when Desmond explained it wasn’t his intent to embarrass her. Though she became even more so when she realized that it wasn’t, but what was his storytelling going to entail he she let him continue?

Forgive me. She would, of course, easily without second guessing.

Fingers wiped a couple stray tears away as she gathered herself. Standing up a bit straighter, she took a deep breath and nodded, complying to his request with ease. "I’m sorry, " she whispered to him before making her way back to her new acquaintance. She should be the one to apologize, drinking more than her limit, embarrassing herself. If she wasn’t so intoxicated maybe she could’ve handled her demeanor more and steer the story into the right direction but instead she let herself become childish.

"Mahnaz, thank you again for the drinks," she offered a grin and slipped her hands into her pockets casually. The comment was her attempt to push their past conversation aside if they allowed it.
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#23
No feeding off the bartender. Apparently Desmond was quite capable of reining in his pet; this she approved of. "Oh love, no need for such formality," she cooed, reaching with a smile to pat at the girl's arm reassuringly. "It is my pleasure."

She glanced to Desmond and almost wished telepathy was a natural vampire trait. "Perhaps I should leave you both to your special night?"
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#24
"I'm sorry."

Such simple words, yet so satisfying to hear.

Manipulating others relied upon the same qualities as picking locks: a deft hand and no small degree of intuition. Each mishap offered a bit more insight regarding the task at hand, and success was fulfilling to put it lightly. A gentle smile grace Jaxon's features when Rabbit apologized for her behavior, guiding her back to the bar where their companion awaited. Suffice it to say that his success was made even sweeter with an audience.

Niceties were exchanged concerning the drinks Mahnaz had bought for Rabbit, and the man shook his head when the vampire offered to leave them be.

"It was quite by chance we crossed paths tonight." A wry look was cast toward Jaxon's pet.

Despite his possessiveness of Rabbit and his frustration with her behavior moments ago, he found himself curious of this other vampire. "This isn't my first choice as far as venues go, admittedly, but I was curious about the area."

Jaxon glanced from one woman to the other, his gaze ever in motion.

"Although, I'm told Larkspur has its share of pests."
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#25
Mahnaz's beauty and friendliness made her smile even harder. It was hard to be anything other than giddy around this goddess-like woman. Her comment about their special night made her blush. It was true, they had just randomly ran into each other by chance. Rabbit sure wasn't expecting him to show up here of all places. He seemed out of place. Something more old fashioned would suit him better than a young boozy club.

His wry look made her shift in her stance, casting him a shy look.

She had only come here to relieve the stress of her bike crash and Were encounter. The lively scene of this particular place seemed like the place to do such that. Drink her problems away.

Rabbit honed back in on Desmond's mention of pests. It caught her attention and she gave him a curious look. Pests? She wasn't sure what he was talking about.
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#26
Oh, they wished her to stay? Then stay she would.

"I have yet to have any run ins with them," she smiled, and then, noting the girl's confused expression, thought to impart some useful knowledge to the little psychic.

"He means shifters. Best be careful not to interact with any. They'll steal you for their own numbers like a plague."
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#27
"How fortunate," he said to his fellow undead with a raised brow, "They inhabit more places than not."

Perhaps the shifters here weren't as diligent in patrolling and enforcing their dominion than Jaxon had expected.

Meeting Rabbit's curious gaze then, Jaxon considered elaborating further before Mahnaz beat him to it. He offered a short nod to her words, admiring her colorful allusions to the shifters' kind being little more than a blight upon the land. It was a sound philosophy, the beasts being a threat to the flock, immortals like themselves their shepherds.

"Coyotes, to be exact." It was no skin off his bones. "In Larkspur, that is—hardly the noblest of animals to begin with."
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#28
Shifters. Weres. Pests.

Rabbit shifted in her stance uncomfortably. She felt out of place.

They both talked about shifters as if they had a sour taste in their mouths.

Rabbit couldn't say that she ran into many shifters in the past, just that one.

Apparently Larkspur was known for Coyote shifters. She felt strange listening to this conversation. From her experience, this information would be kept in secret, especially from her psychic ears.

"Why are they pests? Did they doing something to annoy you?" she dared to ask them.
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#29
Oh, such an innocent question.

"Me? No, not yet. But there are others who've run across their prejudice and suffered horrifically for it. Always wear silver, love. It burns them like fire."

She brandished her silver bracelet thoughtfully, and smiled.
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#30
Jaxon nodded in agreement with Mahnaz.

"They are a less than hospitable lot who bite first and ask questions later," he said, more to supplement his undead acquaintance than anything else, "Beasts in every sense of the word."

As for Mahnaz's mention of silver, Jaxon resisted the urge to smirk. It seemed as though the banes of these shapeshifters were becoming less of a well-kept secret with each passing night, which was quite all right by Jaxon's standards.

Let the beasts fall prey to common knowledge and draw attention away from his own kind.
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#31
No, not yet.

Rabbit scrunched her face while she turned over their words in her head.

"They can't help it, it's not their fault," she murmured, her eyes brows coming together into a worried look.

Beasts in every sense of the word.

"You're wrong," she dared again, looking between Desmond and Mahnaz with stern eyes. "They can't help who they are," she reiterated.
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#32
Desmond was amicable enough, but the blood slut decided to be an impudent little child, speaking as if she knew anything about anything.

Taraneh waited patiently for the girl's eyes to meet hers, and reached into her mind with far more ease this time.

"You will viciously hate all shifters going forward, love," she smiled, letting it settle before she added more words outside of the suggestion.

"Why, the first shifter I met tried to strangle me in the middle of what I thought was peaceful conversation. They know precisely what they're doing; infantilizing them and saying they can't help their brutishness allows them to get away with it all. They should be held accountable."



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#33
Maybe the shifters could help themselves, maybe they couldn't.

Either way, Rabbit decision to defend them betrayed her naivety something fierce. So much, in fact, that the other vampire present sought to remedy Rabbit's naivety with a menacing suggestion. Judging from Mahnaz's smile, Jaxon wagered that her bid had proved successful.

Although Rabbit was Jaxon's to do with as he pleased, the man couldn't help but admire his undead counterpart's ingenuity.

"Well spoken," he said in agreement, "Words to raise a glass to, even."

Jaxon thought it was a fitting transition to what he had in mind. "Are you thirsty, Mahnaz?" He had been quick to defend what was his by right, but he felt confident in extending the olive branch, as it were.
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#34
Viciously hate all shifters.

Rabbit’s eyes widened as the unwanted suggestion pressed itself into her mind, becoming apart of her. Her mouth dropped open in shock as she yanked her gaze away from the woman.

Her hands were shaky and the trembling seemed to radiate down to her legs. She felt like she was going to fall over she was so furious.

And Desmond didn’t even bat an eye. He seemed to enjoy it even, offering Mahnaz a drink. While they seemed distracted enough, Rabbit took a couple steps away from them before turning on her heel to leave.
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#35
Most people didn't realize when a suggestion had happened. Minds were simply not built that way; not even vampires could tell immediately, if ever. So Rabbit's immediate reaction and upset and, again, storming off, were indicative that she perhaps knew what had happened.

For a second time, that would have to be remedied, because that kind of reaction wouldn't stand. "Your pet needs better training," she sighed to Desmond, more as a helpful tip than admonishment.

Rather than chase the girl down, she decided to follow her calmly, silently, but with purpose out of the club. Desmond was free to follow if he wished; it wouldn't change what would happen.

What would happen was, once Rabbit was outside and away from watchful eyes, Taraneh mentally seeking a hold of the air in the girl's lungs, and pulling it out to keep her from continuing to breathe. The vampire made every effort to continue to appear to walk calmly. Ideally, she wouldn't notice who was causing it. People never really did. Suffocation didn't permit for a very good job of thinking, or moving.



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#36
Jaxon considered himself a patient man, all things considered.

Yet, like the final grains of sand in an hourglass, Jaxon felt his patience run out the moment Rabbit stormed off without so much as a word. He had already chased after the young woman once tonight, and he had no intention of being so merciful twice. A nod was given to Mahnaz when she sighed, Jaxon's gaze set on the departing psychic.

As fond as he was of such games and theatricality, they were secondary to his frustration.

Jaxon watched his undead companion rise from her seat in predatory silence, and it seemed as though they were of one mind. He quickly followed suit, straightening his posture as he accompanied Mahnaz out.

Upon departing from the club, his gaze frigid with intent, Jaxon fell into step with his companion. He eyed the delicate thing ahead of them, so dreadfully alone, but he was well aware of their surroundings. The city was alive at night, especially in this day and age, making their hunt quite possibly the most dangerous game of all.

All the while, Jaxon thought of how he had sought to defend what was his earlier in the evening. It seemed so foolish, now.
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#37
Rabbit didn’t noticed she was being followed. She was upset, watery tears streaming down her cheeks. She wasn’t sure what she was upset most about..

As she weaved in and out around the other patrons, she felt a sudden closing of her throat once she was outside. She tried to take a deep breath but failed, feeling as though a fist had closed around it. Her hands reached up, trying to pry the imaginary fingers off of her neck.

The air was taken from her lungs quickly. The rush of force sent her falling to her knees. Unable to call for help, she sat there, gasping for air, unable to plead.

Was someone doing this to her? She knew vampires had powers, but who was doing it? Or was this her? Having an allergic reaction and her throat closing on her?

Rabbit glanced around, no one was around in her perrifial vision, but as she turned further around she saw Mahnaz and Desmond standing behind her.

Her face held a look of horror. Which one was doing this to her?

She sat there on the ground, defenseless and desperate to get oxygen in her lungs again.

The lack of it was causing her to go lightheaded, ready to pass out any second.
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#38
As she held fast on the suffocating girl's air, eyes hazel with the effort, pleased otherwise that Desmond had chosen to follow. She would have had to resort to other measures if not.

The girl looked to her, and Taraneh smiled.

"You will forget the last several hours."

But it would not take — perhaps because her focus was split, perhaps just luck of the evening, and she sighed. "You'll have to take the reins at this point, Desmond. See if you can get her to forget what vampires are capable of as well, after."

A small mercy, she allowed the girl a small second to breathe, before seizing it away again.



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#39
Out of morbid curiosity, Jaxon watched as Mahnaz sent Rabbit crumbling to her knees; he could only imagine what powers his companion possessed to induce such an effect. The petite vampire in his company attempted to erase Rabbit's memories then, but Jaxon raised his brows when Mahnaz informed him that the duty fell on his shoulders.

She must have failed.

"Very well," he said, turning his gaze to those familiar green eyes, his own now devoid of sympathy, "You heard our friend, Rabbit—forget all that has happened since your arrival to this establishment."

Only it didn't work.

Jaxon frowned, glancing to his undead companion before quickly kneeling before the tattooed woman he considered his. "You will forget the past several hours." He spoke with a sternness that betrayed his frustration, but once again, there was no trace of magic to his words.

"Fuckin' hell..." Hints of an Irish temper bled into his words; Jaxon hated repeating himself. "Forget tonight in its entirety. Now."

Failure, three times over.

What devilry was this?

Jaxon's cold blue eyes burned in outrage as he shot to his feet, fists clenched as he turned to address his fellow vampire. "Do you have any to spare?" He could barely believe what had just happened.

One, two, three consecutive failed suggestions.


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#40
Rabbit took in a deep gasp as the woman let go of her wrath but only for a moment. She took in all the oxygen she could gather before she was succumbed to the powers again. Her sudden breath only lasted her so long. She crumpled further down, her head in her knees as she struggled.

She heard Desmond approach saying a few astranged comments that she couldn’t hear over her writhing in pain. Her eyes glanced at his with desperation but she couldn’t understand why he seemed so frustrated.

Desmond, she wanted to blurt out. He should be helping her. Her wet eyes streamed rivers down her cheeks while her tattooed hands grasped at her neck, anything to possibly get the sweet breath of air once again.
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#41


This had to be a cosmic joke.

No, Desmond, she had nothing to spare at the moment, but she did have her other power. Retaining fiercely her hold on any air from entering the girl's lungs, Taraneh, Raziyya, Mahnaz, whatever the hell her name was at this point would persist until the girl passed out.

The logical solution was killing her. They weren't even on vampire land. Her death would look like sudden suffocation. It would be untraceable.

In the end her heart would still beat, however weakly.

When it was done and the girl was unconscious, she looked to the vampire. "You are going to take her to wherever you call home and fix her. See to it that she does not escape before then, drain her repeatedly if you have to. If we cross paths and I see her acting out again, you will have to find yourself a new pet."

She was not going to ask Beauregard again for help so soon; her pride would not permit it.
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#42
The easiest solution would have been killing her, but Jaxon's profession for decades had been to kill and get away with it. He saw too many variables in committing an impromptu homicide, here and how. There would be witnesses who saw him and Mahnaz with Rabbit in the club, and there was no guarantee that a stray pedestrian or surveillance camera wouldn't catch them in the act on these well-lit city streets.

Watching as Mahnaz did her work, all but suffocating the psychic at his feet with her cruel magic, Jaxon raised a brow when his companion addressed him.

He didn't like her tone, but she was likely just as frustrated as Jaxon himself.

"Don't you worry," he said to Mahnaz, glancing around once more before he moved to sweep Rabbit up in his arms, "This will not happen again."

If only the two of them had met under more accommodating circumstances. Alas, Jaxon had little room in his head to humor any sentiment that began with "if only."
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#43
He was dutiful at the very least. She imagined the mercy of not killing the girl prior to him making an attempt to correct her wrongs might have aided him in his agreeable decision.

"I'll have to meet you again some time," she sighed, calming her frustration from her tone with him. "Perhaps out of pest territory."

She reached to stroke a finger along the unconscious girl's cheek. "And perhaps next time we can share her."

That said, she would have to find a less theatrical meal elsewhere tonight.
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#44
"Certainly." Jaxon couldn't deny how he looked forward to possibly crossing paths with Mahnaz again.

He watched as she stroked Rabbit's cheek, his thoughts elsewhere as e wondered what to do with the delicate thing in his arms. "One can certainly hope." Every good pet needed to learn obedience, and he had been a neglectful owner in that regard.

"Have a good evening, Mahnaz," he said once more, offering the shorter woman a departing nod before briskly carrying Rabbit toward his car.

They still had the rest of tonight ahead of them.
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