Dead but Delicious

The Raven's Nest 

Perhaps a bit overdressed, but that was often the case. Edvin sat comfortably in a booth facing the door, an untouched glass of water and a Sudoku puzzle before him. He worked at it idly, though his eyes were more drawn to the denizens of the restaurant. Every so often, he would spy a single person or a small group being lead toward the back of the building, but he was not so crass to crane his head around his booth and spot where they were headed. He was more interested in keeping an eye on the front doors, as he awaited the arrival of a woman he was particularly intrigued to meet.
@Pandora Amir


She wanted to grow her business. Sure, she could do the online thing with her previous clients for now, but she would much rather help them in person. Most of them where were regarding the rehabilitation of women. And yet she was meeting with a man. Part of her, a part that was still very much human, wanted to not show up at all. An yet she was here. She strolled through the door, a black trench coat keeping her warm though her outfit screamed “summer.” She still hadn’t switched her clothes out to be more appropriate, but given when she recently moved from, maybe her guest would understand. At least the lace was keeping her warm.

Besides, perhaps she would do some hunting afterward. She was ravenous.

She paused as she cleared the doors, breathing in deeply but noticing the older gentleman in a suit and tie positioned to look at the door... and he was alone. She didn’t smile as she walked toward him, taking off her coat and folding it neatly before sliding into her chair. Were all the vampires around her a part of clutch? She could smell the claiming scent that was on him, could feel now that she was near him. "Mr Beck? I’m Pandora," she said, offering him her hand across the table as she settled in. Her skin crawled at the thought of touching him but she didn’t let it show. "It’s a pleasure." Not.

A woman entered, striking in appearance. She donned a coat, which was slightly out of place given the temperature, but he could hardly speak given his own attire. When she neared, he stood and offered her a nod of his head. He remained silent as she removed her over layer to reveal... a questionable ensemble. Rather lacy and revealing. He was not much for judging others, but he had not anticipated her attending their meeting in such extravagant attire. Nonetheless, he took his seat when she did and moved to shake her hand in a sure grip. "Likewise, Ms Amir." He said with a warm smile.

"I must admit I feel rather underdressed." He said of her outfit with a chuckle and a gesture at his own suit.

Mm. At least he had manners. But was that sarcasm she heard? She wasn’t quite sure, and didn’t share in his laugh. Instead she took in his suit and then her outfit. Definitely sarcasm, she thought as crossed her legs and placed her folded hands on the table. "I’m used to fashion trends from a warmer place.... and I plan on going out afterward," she said, her accent light and seemingly innocent. She wasn’t. She hated men and there was nothing anyone could do to change that. She didn’t even have to explain herself, but since this was for her business he bit her tongue and offered a small apologetic smile.

It was all for show. In reality, her skin itched at being so close to him and if she still had a heart beat, it would have been beating irrationally. She could feel it, the whispers of what used to happen as if it were merely yesterday that she was changed. She didn’t outwardly show that anxiety. No, because that would mean that he had the upper hand. He already does, she thought. "So tell me about yourself, Mr. Beck. You said you yourself just arrived here a few months ago. How is the Moutainside treating you?"

She seemed somehwat sheepish. Perhaps he had been somewhat off color with his comment. It hadn’t been to offend. She seemed keen on moving forward, and Edvin followed suit willingly.

“Very well!” He said warmly. “I have come to act as Second for an aqaintence of mine. Eventide Distrct Clutch occupies Lavender Heights. It is a comforable life, thus far.” He mused humbly.

“My business is unsurprisingly consistent, considering thr supernatural presence here in Mountainside.” Troubled humans and supernaturals alike, though the latter were less often. “Tell me what it is your practice focuses on, Pandora.”

She reached out, not mentally, but empathetically, attempting to gage how he was feeling as she listened to him. Second, of another clutch that resided in the area. Joy. She wasn't much for clutch life, but she could see the benefits. Part of her longed to live with those that were like her, but the other part of her that hung to her human emotions refused.

"I've never been..." she mused. Lavender Heights sounded pretty. Removed from the other clutch in the heart of Cordova. Second. So he had to be either powerful or smart. Or both, she thought. She unfolded her hands, a finger aimlessly circling on the wooden table as she listened. Being near him made her nervous, but being around humans meant she couldn't look dead. She couldn't just sit there like she was tied down to a plant.

"I work with women who have been traumatized in one way or another. Mostly sexually assaulted victims who are trying to move on with their lives," she said slowly. There were a handful that she was willing to continue to work with via Skype, but she wanted to meet with them in person. Too bad she couldn't work with herself. Over a hundred years old and she still couldn't move on. "I can imagine that with Cordova being the supernatural hub of the world, there would be a lot of business here."

It was a surprising and admirable line of business to operate under. Edvin smiled somberly as she elaborated, and listened with a keen ear. "Mm, unfortunately, there seems a never ending river of trauma to be subject to here. Such is the ebb and flow of a large city, especially with the supernatural presence." It was unfortunate that Pandora had reason to be employed in such a practice at all. Cruelty was, in some ways, justifiable. But to degrade a woman; or any being for the matter; out of spite or greed? It was unforgivable. There was a time in which he'd lived where the rape of women had been seen as little more than a claim to victory. Even then, he had not partaken in that breed of brutality.

"I admire your practice." He said warmly.

This was a time when she wished that she could simply have some wine. She barely experienced the taste of it when she was human and now she couldn’t have anything aside from blood. She wished she could say it got old, but it never did. Her brown eyes studied his face, not seeing any disregard to what she said. Not so much as a sneer. She tilted her head, much like a feline studying something amusing.

"Thank you," she said, catching her bearings as she crossed her legs at the knee, breaking away her gaze to look at the intricate restaurant around them. "It’d be inappropriate to say that I hope there’s a lot of business around here. If my practice died due to lack of need, I wouldn’t be upset," she admitted with a small smile. It bothered her that he was a part of clutch, but she was willing to ignore that as long as he didn’t try to recruit her. She wasn’t about that life. Not when there were too many variables.

"So what is it about this restaurant that you wanted to check out? Seeing as we can’t partake in the festivities," she said softly, her accent light as she gestured toward the people sitting, eating and drinking with friends and family.

"Such is the life of a therapist. One always feels guilty for hoping for plentiful business." He mused back, not in the slightest thinking ill of her for saying so. At her question, he turned his attention to the atmosphere around them. A soft, mischievous smile turned the corners of his lips upward. "I have heard rumor of this establishment being more than what meets the eye." He answered, purposeful in keeping it enticingly cryptic.

Okay. She couldn’t help but be intrigued. Her fingers drummed absently on the wooden table, he dark brown eyes assessing the area around them. The background music that played was soft and elligant, and the food they served seemed to be a mix of different cultures. Brows creased together as she leaned back, trying to figure out. And failing. She hates to fail.

She turned her attention back to Edvin, leaning forward and resting her weight on her elbows. You call the shots, she reminded herself as she paused for flare, reaching up to hold her wavy hair behind her ear. "And what Do you think they could possibly be hiding?" she said softly, as if she were partaking in some intimate conversation with her lover.

He raised his brows indulgently as she leaned forward, folding his hands beneath his chin and resting his elbows against the table. "Mm, we might have to merely speculate." He hummed, then gestured with a nod toward a nearby waitress, "Or perhaps ask nicely." With that, he extended a hand to wave her down. He fixed the young girl with a pleasant smile as she approached, and waved her even nearer as she stopped some inches from the table. Her brow furrowed, perhaps worried the man she had come to greet was perhaps hard of hearing. When she was comfortably close, he spoke with his eyes fixed upon her. "Tell us what it is that happens behind those doors, dear." It would be a success, as it was so very easy to impress upon young human girls like this.

Normally Pandora didn’t like to use her suggestion unless nessisary, but what Edvin said peaked her interest. She was new to this city and she knew nothing. She wanted to know the ins and outs of what was happening. And although Edvin was in a clutch and a man, she wasn’t scared. She watched the girl with dark brown eyes, feeling magic in the air as the human blinked and smiled.

“Gambling. But only special guests are invited.” She leaned in toward them, cupping the aide of her mouth telling them a well-kept secret. “I don’t think it’s legal, if you ask me,” she whispered before giving them another smile and straightening up, picking a small speck from her shirt. "Huh, that sounds interesting. No wonder they are so well off," she said before leaning back casually in her seat.

"Do you gamble Mr. Beck?" she asked, looking up at him with dark brown eyes full of secrets. She was never good at gambling. She was too expressive. She lost a few well-loved artifacts through gambling in her early vampire years only to gain them back after the human died.

The girl obliged. Illegal gambling, hm? Edvin sat back, satisfied with the information. The girl wandered off, looking somewhat perplexed, but said nothing all the same. His hands folded atop the table as he looked back to Pandora when she questioned him. "Not in some time." Edvin admitted. When had it been? He supposed sometime in the mid-eighties. "I fear something in the back of a restaurant in the heart of Greater Cordova might not be particularly up to the standard that I am accustomed to." Of course, he had found himself in the nicest establishments one could track down in 1980's Europe.

She let her foot swing idly underneath the table as she watched the girl walk away and thurm her attention back to the other vampire. He peaked her curiosity, but that was it. "And what are you accustomed to? When I was ... younger... I did not participate in such masculine things. I was forbidden to," she said her accent soft. She was simply a woman that was a slave, used for her husbands pleasure and “cursed” to where she couldn’t have any children. She had been locked away, hardly ever allowed outside her chambers.

"This life has given me the freedom I would have never had. Would you like to take a peak?" she said, offering him a part of her history in exchange for one of his. At least, she thought that was fair. She has scooted forward, sitting on the edge of her seat though her legs were still crossed, brown eyes sparkling with curiosity. She loved culture. She loved doing things people told her she couldn’t.

It was... troubling to hear that Pandora had been forbidden to do anything. Alas, such had been the world some thousand years ago. As someone whom had seen it grown and change with his own eyes, he quite preferred how it was now in comparison. The woman shifted nearer, and suggested something he hadn't expected of her. A small peek into this secretive casino. He could not say that he was not intrigued. "Do not thing we have anything to lose." He said with a wink. If she would join him, Edvin would rise from his seat and sweep his hand in a motion for her to follow.

She liked to keep others guessing. Especially men, as it gave her a sense of security with no one knowing her next move. She smiled, a single corner of her lip lifting upward as she slowly stood in one, smooth motion. She quickly straightened the silky fabrics of her skirt, waiting for Edwin to take the lead. She was thankful he didn’t offer his arm for her, knowing before hand that Pandora would have ignored the gesture. "Mm. Let’s see what this is all about, Mr. Beck," she said softly, smiling at one of the waiters that glanced their way, eyes wide.

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