Upside down

Lavender Heights 

Curiosity could kill a cat.

Beauregard, thankfully, was a vampire. But curiosity would ail him this evening, a suffering well earned in exchange for foolish nostalgia and unfounded hope.

It came in the form of a single utterly plain cup of green tea, purchased from a small coffee shop some two hours before the sun set.

He sat at a table just outside, enjoying the lingering warmth of sun on his skin. Steam rolled up from the cup, and he watched it, pondering.

If Beauregard could walk in the sun, if he could resist the immediate damnation of flame... perhaps there was something else he could manage.

The first sip was hotter than expected, though any scalding of the tongue would be shortlived. It was flavorless, save for some earthiness more likely drawn from scent than taste.

Thinner than blood, hardly so rich or nourishing. But it was warm, and the smell was pleasant, and he could convince himself there was flavor there.

In the end, it was a small cup of tea, and he felt no different for having consumed it. Warmer, perhaps.

There was no nausea, no threat of unwellness. Nothing. Beauregard could not deny himself a flicker of hope as he rose from the little table, setting out for a walk in the sunset.

Better yet, he decided, a flight.

That was all the story of how he eventually came rushing down in a flutter of feathers into the quiet botanical garden. He reached the ground as a man staggering a few steps for the abruptness of his own landing.

A man who, quite promptly, bent over a short trimmed hedge and vomited up a single cup of tea, free of bile or other human messes.

Simply tea, as flavorless on its reemergence as it was in its original consumption. It came up with a single grunt of discomfort, splattering into the branches with the lingering scent of greenery.

Pocket squares were not handkerchiefs, but this one would have to make do. Suddenly keenly aware that anyone might have seen his rather abrupt arrival and messy landing, he dabbed the fabric to his lips, folding it mindfully and tucking it into his pocket.

Best to continue his stroll as if nothing had happened, and he would attempt to do just that as the sun dipped deeper below the horizon.

A Dominus could not have it all.

picturing the garden something like this


Things hadn't really looked up since her incident with Asha. She still felt like shit. She still got teary eyed at the thought of what had happened. She still had nightmares of her friend's bones snapping and voice changing in front of her. Safi had done her best to carry on, to resign herself to never speaking to Asha again. The woman probably hated her guts. And she was right to, honestly, seeing as Safi had undermined her trust and forced the truth she didn't want to share out of her. Ugh, Safi was such a piece of shit friend. Why couldn't she have left it alone?

Still... there was the longing to reach out. To apologize. The beg for understanding. To... dunno, learn more? Understand why it was such a big deal for Asha to hide it with such conviction. It wasn't like it was illegal. Maybe it was just dangerous. Safi didn't know. What she did know, is that she was watching a man literally materialize out of a bird some hundred yards away from her. Safiya stopped in her tracks, her grip tightening on the leash she held in her hand, and the dog tethered to the end of it jolting to a stop.

Her wide eyes blinked as a man landed in a stagger, and rushed toward a bush. And puked into it. Uh. She grimaced, but didn't move away. He'd literally just been a bird soaring down from the sky. And now he was some old man dabbing his lips and straightening up and walking away. "Hey!" Safi called, not really even recognizing her own voice as she stepped forward. She didn't have time to take it back. Her feet were moving forward, and Osiris was waddling onward toward the man. He tried to diverge from their path and go sniff at the puke, but Safi clicked the button on the lead and locked it in place so the tether was only a few feet long. "Um, Sir." She said, trying her best not to sound too strained despite the sudden hammering of her heart. Was he a shifter, too? Like Asha, just... smaller? Safi recalled how big the ones were on TV but, did that also count for birds? Or maybe he was a big version of a smaller bird? She didn't know much about birds.

Beauregard would be undisturbed for only a few seconds.

How unfortunate. Back to her, he grimaced for a moment, thankful at least that the voice sounded young and feminine. He deliberately hadn't eaten this evening or the one before. Doing what essentially amounted to swishing tea around his mouth and spitting it out was one thing.

Wasting blood was another, much more disgusting issue entirely.

There were a couple ways to play this, of course. He could turn around and simply wipe her memory of it and be on his way. But perhaps it was more fun to merely wipe the embarrassing bit.

Turning to face her, he was not happy to see a dog. They could be disruptive in a feeding, nervous and nipping and noisy. He noted with some inner amusement that he could likely kick that particular dog very, very far.

"Mm, caught red handed," he said with a sheepishness Beauregard truthfully never actually felt when offering up such a sentiment. "Or winged, I suppose."

She was still somewhat far off, but he sought her eyes for when she drew nearer. The girl was pretty, if a bit heavily browed.

He stopped, and it was really only when she neared him did she consider maybe confronting someone that just changed from a bird to a man was potentially dangerous. He looked old, and strong, and yeah. Um. Ossy woofed and yipped as they neared, his whole body shaking as he wiggled at the prospect of someone new petting him. Safi glanced down at the dog as they slowed, making sure he was tethered securely before looking the man up and down.

"Um." She said, lost now that she'd actually gotten his attention. "Yeah. That was..." She glanced up to his face, his brows furrowed. "Are you okay?" Her eyes flashed white, and she blinked rapidly in hope he wouldn't notice. Even if he did... he was just a fucking bird. So. No room to judge, man. Don't lie.

Vampire eyesight was dreadfully sharp, and as he saw her eyes flicker to white, he wondered what game she was playing. Perhaps it was some talent to silence her yapping little mongrel! Beauregard could only be so lucky.

First things first, anyway.

"I'm quite alright, though do forget the messy part after the landing," he said, chuckling as though it were a teasing request and not a literal bid to wipe that part of her memory.

Kindly, it would succeed.

"What ability is it you're trying to use? I can see it in-"

Your eyes, he intended to say, with the dramatic effect of immediately shutting down her power. But it would last only half a second, offering him a sharp pain behind his eyes that cut him off mid sentence. There was a chance she would barely even notice the blip in her own abilities.

Beauregard certainly felt it in his damn skull.

"I'm afraid it doesn't want to play nicely with my own," he said, one hand rising to rub slightly at his temple.

Perhaps she'd be bright enough to knock it off.

That was... weird. Why had she asked if he was okay? Her head cocked sideways, and the color of her eyes flickered a few times as her focus was broken then restablished. Fuck. He'd noticed. And apparently it didn't go well with his own ability. So, wait, he had powers? Did shifters have powers? "I'm doing an illusion." A lie, but she was pretty good at those. "I'm not usually this good looking." A sly smirk to sell the show. Her eyes flickered down to Ossy, who was jerking on his leash in attempt to get to the man.

Still looking down at the dog, an attempt to shield the consistant color change a bit better, she stepped out on a ledge and asked."Are you a shifter?" And this time, she pushed further on the boundaries of her power. "Don't lie. I saw what you did." Her voice was soft yet purposeful, pairing well with the influence of her power like cheap wine and string cheese. No? Just her. Right.

Look at this little creature, so confident. If it was an illusion, he yearned to see what imperfection she sought to cover up.

Beauregard found himself not particularly charmed by her attitude, by her smirk, by her question that seemed to demand an answer.

"I am not," he said, with less flair than was typical of him. Curious. There was some degree of uncertainty within him, one that did not blend well with the smugness rolling off of her.

"Did you feel powerful, asking that question? Catching a creature you haven't identified in a potential lie?"

It would be very easy to drain her dry, right here, and he wondered if she would push him to it.

He wasn't. Okay. So. Just some guy that could turn into animals? Safi's brows furrowed some as she chewed on that potential answer, the color seeping back into her irises. He was annoyed with what she'd done, and rightfully so. She needed to remember that just because she could milk the truth out of someone, doesn't mean they weren't aware she was doing it.

"Not powerful." She said, shrugging. "Curious, mostly. A-uh. I saw someone start to shift recently. Wanted to ask more questions about it." But he wasn't a shifter, so... What was he? Another pyschic? He obviously had a power, or two she guessed. She'd never come across someone that could change into an entire animal, though. Of course, she hadn't really come across too many different powers.

Beauregard had already learned some lessons on curiosity this evening. There was a not impossible chance he would pass some along, as well.

But for now she seemed to settle down, and his gaze fell briefly on the dreadful little animal at her feet before returning to her face. Exotic, this one.

"I do know a great deal about shifters," he said. "What questions would you ask?"

He was nothing if not a helpful man. On occasion!

Safi's lips pursed as he prompted for her questions. She could seek out the truth on if he was full of shit, but he'd already gotten crabby about it. So she'd have to rely on good ol' human intuition. There was something intriguing about this guy. Charming, yeah, and old. But still sort of slimy, kind of? Ehhhh. At least he hadn't lied just yet.

"Well, I don't think you'd know what I'd want to know if you aren't one." What was he? He'd... called himself a creature. Not a person. That could just be him being a fucking weirdo, or... yeah, remember how vampires also had powers, Safi? Remember? R e m e m b e r? Nerves suddenly bunched in her chest as she looked at him a bit harder. But the sun was still up? So? There was no way.

Pitter-patter went a nervous heart, beating like the dog's at her feet. Her answer did not inspire, and he frowned some, looking to her as she seemed to try to decipher something of him.

Beauregard could nearly hear her mind working, the gears grinding.

"That is certainly an assumption you can make," he said, looking over her face with his own variety of thoughtfulness. The white of her eyes was gone, now.

Questions, questions.

"Tell me, what illusion was it that you'd made? You appear precisely as 'good looking' as before, and I do have a sharp eye."

Well, yeah. It was like asking a white dude about indian culture. He might know a lot but he didn't know enough to really explain it properly. She wanted to know about what Asha had mentioned. How the animal was like... thinking. And making decisions. This guy didn't have that kind of insight. All he had was-






She'd fucking forgotten about her stupid lie. Safi, you dumbass. He'd obviously noticed, and she... didn't have an answer. What was she going to say? 'Oh, I was making my ass bigger. Trying to pick up dicks.' Nope. Okay, quick, think fast Safi. Like that had gotten her so far in life. "You ask a lot of questions."

"I do not lose track of them, I assure you."

Beauregard offered a small smile, seeking her eyes out of habit. Maybe she would run, and he could chase her. Perhaps she would attempt to wriggle out of it. Politely exit. Call for help.

He felt prepared for every option, looking at her expectantly.

Her jaw set. Fuck you, dude. "I lied." She said with a tilt of her head. He'd afforded her the truth, after all. So she guessed he deserved it. "I can sense if someone's lying. I was seeing if you were telling the truth. But I couldn't let you know that, or you'd lie for sure." A soft sigh as Ossy yanked again on his leash. Stop it, pup. "I can still do illusions, though. Want to see?" Another attempt at a distraction.

Truth poured from her, and he drank it in.

"By all means, show me your best."

He recalled Kilo's little fire tricks. Beauregard waved one encouraging hand.

Hopefully she wouldn't attempt to startle him. He did not startle well.

Her best was... pretty impressive. If she did say so herself. It was exhausting work, but she could do pretty fucking cool stuff. And something about this dude made her pretty sure that she'd need to pull out all the stops to... what was she trying to do? Win his favor? Distract him so she could run? She didn't know. She found herself unwilling to just bolt. Both the curiosity of what he'd done and the knowledge that if this guy was a vampire... she wouldn't get far.

"Mmkay." She said under her breath as her eyes slipped into their familiar milky white and glanced towaaaard... the sky. A bird materialized out of thin air, strikingly similar to the one he'd flown down as. It chirped and fluttered around his head, then swooped a few feet away. Safi glanced about, certain no one else was in the vicinity, then focused back on the image. In a valiant display of twirls and fluttering feathers and a little bit of sparkle, the image of the bird transformed. There was a little "Pop!" as a man appeared from the flurry, landing smartly on his feet with his hands raised delicately. The man mirrored the one before Safi with uncanny resemblance, down to the way his smile curled a little too far to be genuine. The mirror illusion pressed a hand to it's torso, bowed it's upper half, and waved the other in a flourish.

"Ta-daaa!" Safi sing-songed. By the end of it, her head was swimming, and she had to readjust her stance to keep from staggering. Osiris was yapping and wiggling at the display, happy now that there were two potential people available for petting.

It was quite the show.

Beauregard watched with sincerely some degree of interest. She was wise to make a recreation of his favorite subject.

He watched, taking in the details of his feathers, of his own face. Undeniably, he was a handsome man.

"Bravo, bravo," he said, offering a golf clap of approval. She seemed faintly unsteady, and it inspired some predatory sense within him, an awakening that left his gums aching.

"What side effect does it have on you? Such a show."

He seemed to really enjoy the display. So humble. The illusion mimicked his golf clap. She was tempted to make it boogie-oogie-oogie, but something told her he probably wouldn't like that. Plus, making it even clap made her head spin a little. So instead, it did a little flourish and vanished. Safi blinked and stilled herself, focusing on the tappy-tappy of Ossy's excited little feet. The man was asking her a question, and after a moment she answered. "Just get a little dizzy." She said with a sigh. She was fine. Totally fine. Focus. "What is your other power? Aside from changing into a bird." She wanted to let herself think that this guy was totally just a psychic with an obscure power. If he were a vampire... and decided he wanted to feed from her. She'd kind of just given away her best defense mechanism. Great going.

Just a little? It seems she hadn't tried her hardest.

Dizziness was so minor. Nothing compared to the misery of the ability he was trying to master.

"I have the ability to prevent others from using theirs, but I am only just learning it," he said, frowning slightly.

A soft sigh as the dog caught his attention again. If it bit him, he was sure he would harm it quite badly back.

His expression would brighten, and he looked to the girl with renewed interest.

"Have you figured out what I am, yet?"

Weird. She'd never heard of that. It seemed... scary. Scarier than what Cris could do. But it seemed new, so she wasn't entirely worried about him using it. Not like she was going to try anything else on him now. His question brought her attention back to him, and her brows knitted. Welp. If she'd been questioning it now. "You just kinda gave yourself away there, didn't you. Not a shifter, apparently a "creature." And no human would ask that." A vampire. Fucking great. She really wished her heart didn't flutter a bit at the confirmation.

"Are you going to kill me?" She asked suddenly, the words not really connecting with her brain before she said them. Gulp.

She still wouldn't say it. Beauregard was disappointed. Perhaps he could have heard some tremble in her voice. V-v-vampire.

"Only if you deserve it, my dear," he said. "But!"

One finger rose, as if he was struck by an idea.

"I don't believe you will. My needs are very simple, and I have little reason to hurt you. It may be worth to briefly tie the dog up somewhere. I am startled by ankle biters."

He gestured with a hand toward the base of a garden sign not terribly far from them.

If she moved toward it, he would naturally follow.

This was it. That natural, human instinct. Fight or flight. Except, no one accounted for the third option. She guessed "compliance" fell under fight. Fighting against an outcome that would be less than favorable. Safi's throat tightened as she studied the man. He'd been truthful thus far. Almost wanting her to know. Still, there was so little trust built up. He could be lying, and she could find out. But doing it would weaken her. Make her shaky. In the face of being drained dry, her brain came up with the starkly logical conclusion that passing out wouldn't end well for her.

So her jaw set, and she nodded. Her eyes were wet at their own volition, but she wasn't crying just yet. He wouldn't kill her, if she obeyed. So with a soft sigh she looked down at Ossy. "Ossy, come!" She said, her voice a little weaker as she stepped away toward a lamp post. It would take a few moments to unhook his leash, hold him by the harness, and loop the leash securely around the post. He was light, so it was easy to keep him in place as he refastened him. Safi could feel the presence of the man looming behind her. What a fucking creep.

"I-I know a girl that gets paid to do this." She said conversationally as she stood to take a few steps away and face him, as if talking would make this any less terrifying. "Do you pay anyone for their blood?" It kinda felt worse if he did.

There seemed a sense of defeat within her. He frowned some. She was very obedient, if nothing else, and Beauregard could appreciate that.

"I do not," he said, allowing her few feet of distance for now. "At times, I go to dinner and other outings with those who enjoy socializing, but truly it is hardly payment."

He wondered who this girl was, and just as importantly, who was paying her.

Beauregard beckoned her nearer with a hand, but sincerely, he did enjoy conversation. Fangs pushed from his gums, but he could find patience and mercifully had practice in talking with them.

Maybe Cris was one of those people he went out with. Just because he didn't pay her didn't mean someone else didn't. He was motioning for her to come closer... but maybe Safi was stalling a little. "Oh, I didn't realize vampires made, like, friends out of humans they fed from." She shrugged her shoulders a little. She couldn't imagine being friends with this guy. "Cris, the chick I know, she does seem to know a bunch about vampires, though, so..." Safi, you couldn't stand there all day. He was going to get impatient. With a gulp probably audible to his freaky vampire ears, Safi started a little closer. "Uhm, will it hurt?" She'd never been actually fed from. Not that she knew of, anyway.

The enigmatic Cris, holder of all vampire knowledge. Beauregard felt a throb of impatience, an ache of his fangs, and yet there were steps he needed to take here.

The suffering of a Dominus.

"Cris?" he said, sounding surprised. He frowned some. "Do the two of you keep in touch? It has been some time since any of us had heard from her. Is she well?"

There were other questions the girl had asked, but they were of lesser importance for now.

Oh, he knew her. Um. "Not really. No. Last time I talked to her was a while back. Seemed fine then." Safi said. She was getting a little antsy now. Not entirely comfortable just standing around waiting to be fed from. But then again, making conversation was better than having her blood sucked. "You're friends with her?" She prompted, a hand coming up to rub the back of her neck.

That was good enough response.

Young people had ways to contact one another. Texting, Facebook nonsense. If they were friends, it was highly unlikely this girl would be without a way to contact Cris.

Seeking the pretty thing's eyes, he spoke very clearly.

"Contact Cris to tell her that she needs to come here immediately, using whatever excuse you know to likely work best."

A stupid braggart of a girl with stupid braggart friends.

Beauregard was miserably hungry.



Good idea. Safi nodded compliantly and pulled out her phone.

Hey girl, I know this is random but I've been out of town and now im back and wanted to see if you would say no hanging. I'm kinda lame and don't have friends soooooOooo.

No, that wasn't good enough.

I also got some vamp deets, and i know we talked about swapping info. but stuff like thats better in person 1_face_wink

"Okay. I tried." No telling if it would work. Cris wasn't that cool with her so. Like. But she had to do it.

He would look unabashedly to her phone, to be sure she was compliant.

And... she was, to some degree. But Beauregard realized very quickly that this would be unlikely to work.

Perhaps he'd expected more urgency. He hardly had the patience to sit here for the evening, or drag this girl elsewhere. Perhaps Taraneh could do it.

She would in a heartbeat, if she had one, he was sure.

As the girl's phone indicated a reply was being typed, he felt himself a man watching a soap opera unfold, waiting to see it come through.

Safi wasn't someone she really expected to hear from.

But honestly, the texts were kind of nice. She appreciated being thought of, even if she'd never fucking admit it.

I'm down, you wanna do this weekend or something?
be fucking careful around vamps



This couldn't wait for this weekend.

Man, i'll be out of town again this weekend. i was hoping for tonight.

There was a really strange sensation as she typed all of this, and her brows furrowed at the second message. This wasn't working. She had to try harder.

its actually kind of urgent and its too much to discuss over the phone

Try harder. You have to. Why did she have to? She just had to.

i think i might have been like. turned.i didnt watn to freak you outtor anythign but

Her hands were trembling from the sudden realization that this guy could actually make her one of him if he wanted to.

you knowabout vamps and im kinad freaking out

"I- i don't know if this is working." She said, her throat tight.

The performance improved.

Beauregard was kind.

"Patience," he murmured, watching with interest.

But the racing of her heart, the nerves of her, had him truthfully running out of exactly that.

Oh fuck.

This wasn't a fucking social visit at all.

Was she already a vampire? Cris wasn't going to fucking go out at night with a brand new vampire.

Fuck. Fuck.

Its not a might have, did something fucking kill you and feed you its blood?
If you're not already drinking blood you can come over to Cedar Creek as soon as the sun's up, if you are I can't help you, I can't fix it

She felt sick. Why the fuck did this have to happen. Why the fuck did people have to get turned.

Was it too late to ask Katya to turn her into a wolf?

Anything, literally anything was better than a vampire.

Lie. Lie because... Fuck.

yes and no leik. liek im not dirnking blood but the firs thting happens

Safi was genuinely shaking now. She needed to sit down.

i cant move im so fuking scared eh left but im aloen with my dog and ia dotn know what to do


God fucking damnit.

Safi was a goner. Safi was a fucking vampire. She nearly threw her phone before thinking better of it, but it would take a few seconds before she found it in herself to reply.

It was strange how she considered the protection of vampire blood for herself, but the idea of actually turning. Of anyone turning.

There was some awful choked whimpering sound from her, and she was suddenly vividly thankful she wasn't on a call.

There are vampires that might be able to take you in. If they turned you on purpose, they d want to keep you safe e

Like Katya and the wolves? Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I'm sorry im really sorry.

Cris so rarely apologized, but it felt sincere here.

Maybe she could ask Marybeth. Maybe she could ask Dax.

In the meantime, she put her phone down, held her face in her hands, and made a few noises of panicked guilt.

The melodrama was excruciating.

Some miserable friend was Cris, it seemed, and situated so very conveniently in the heart of wolf territory.

"Don't make a damn sound and it won't hurt," Beauregard mumbled darkly, irritated with his own inability to create something from this and flat out unwilling to witness the digital whimpering of two girls any longer.

With supernatural efficiency, he reached out to grab the hand of hers that held the phone and tug her sharply toward him, then grasp her neck with his other hand to be sure he could properly keep her still.

Assuming she didn't fucking worsen it all, he'd sink his teeth into the skin of her neck.

At least blood would taste better than tea, regardless of the drama surrounding it.

hit 4 attack stuff


Fuck, fuck. fuck.

It wasn't working. It wasn't. And the man was fucking pissed and she was about to fucking die. She was so tired of this fucking feeling.

It didn't even feel real when he yanked her up. When he sunk his teeth into her throat. When she felt her blood slip from her veins. Safi froze in a silent scream, her eyes bleary and her hands gripping her phone.



The world was a better place for the time he would spend feeding.

Teeth in her neck, he held her firmly, breathing out some soft sigh to the familiarity and warmth and richness of blood that tea certainly wasn't providing.

And as with the best feedings, she was not only nourishing, but intoxicating. On his better days, he knew when to pull away. When to release a meal before it was too late.

But Beauregard had been embarrassed by what he felt to be a thoughtful enough plan. And here he was, with several messes to clean, but very little suggestive capacity to do so. He had perhaps one more try, if it even worked.

Wiping her memory would not wipe Cris'. They could speak again, and surely the little arsonist bitch would blurt it all out, explain away forgotten memories.

Through all of this thought, he drank, and he did so gluttonously until the high was nearly enough to knock him from his feet. Every fiber of his being felt alive and exquisite, and were she not slackening in his arms, he could have twirled with her.

Or... attempted to. He staggered back, feeling as though he was soaring, pulling her along with him, a kite. Or perhaps he was a kite.

Or she was an anchor, maybe, if she were to faint. Beauregard was terribly strong. He would have to be.

He would hold her up with arms tucked beneath hers, trying to see if she could even look him in the eye, an overly dressed fool holding up some nearly unconscious prom date with a different variety of the typical bad intent.

Osiris was barking, and whining, then quiet as he looked on. Safi was fading. It was quick as it wad surreal. A surge of discomfort, then disassociation, then a plummet of consciousness. She went slack in the arms that pulled her, her head whirring and hand falling limp around her phone. It clattered to the concrete, to be left abandoned as he head sagged and her eyes flickered shut. She wasn’t dead, but the swell of lightheadedness and... emptiness left her incapacitated.


She wouldn't look at him, perhaps couldn't look at him, and with great drama he released her from his arms to...

Fall to the grass, though it felt as though he were releasing her to another world entirely.

"How terrible," he lamented, and the world did not want him to stand. Gracelessly, he reclined onto the grass to sit, heaving a heavy sigh as the dog yipped just out of reach.

Looking to the girl on the ground beside him, he reached to turn her head to face him, to look at closed eyes and frown. He could save her from such a dreadful fate with a little of his own blood, he supposed, but where was he supposed to procure that. Beauregard made no habit of keeping open wounds, or carrying objects to slice open his own skin.

Back to dreaming of eye contact.

One hand reached out to very rudely pull up one of her eyelids.


There was something softer now. Against her. Not a steely grip of hands. Grass. Her head lolled sideways and she swallowed hard. Her eyes slid open, closed, open again. The world was a mix of colors, and Safi was drowning in them.

There was something pulling at her eye, and her head pulled away from the abrasive touch. Touch was distantly recognizeable, but even that was painful.

Beauregard was in hell, waiting for her to look at him. He stared into that grossly wandering eye until she flinched her head away.

How rude.

If he had to kill her, it would be by taking more of her blood, and what a terrible decadence that would be.

"Look me in the eyes or I will pluck them out of your little face, darling."

He sought to turn her head toward him again, sighing with drama.

There was a voice. His voice. She fucking hated it. The say it lulled and commanded and made her want to vomit. Or maybe that was the spinning of her head. Through half open lids and a mess of hair that had tangled across her face, she did what she could to look into the face. It was a blur, but she could reconize his evil little eyes.

Oh, Beauregard, you terribly handsome devil.

This would have to work.

"You will never have any willingness to talk to or about that dreadful Cris again, even if it means you have to..."

A dramatic wave of his free hand.

"Run into traffic to escape."

Oh, it worked, and he was thankful for it. But it was only a very small part of this.

"You relax right here until I have a friend arrive. You can crawl to your dog, if it would soothe."

Yes, right, you could do that, Beauregard? Soothe.

He would seek to do that, to press a metaphysical force upon her with all the subtlety a drunk could offer.

Roughly... a bludgeoning to the head, but with a feeling of zen instead of a wooden bat.

In the meantime, he'd also clumsily send out a very thoughtfully worded SOS.

At least the sun had set!

Need tour help to forget. Ran out of suggestion. We can be evven now.

Also! Look what he'd learned to do!

Beauregard shared their location


At least the sun had set.

She woke in her home promptly upon night's descent, reaching for her phone to check the time, having had a little private joy every day as night started earlier and earlier. Instead she saw two texts from Beauregard, and she shot up as she swiped open her phone on them.

Ran out of... damn this Dominus going out and making trouble for himself when she could not follow. Frustration twitched her lip as she responded.

On my way.

The location memorized, and deciding against sparing more moments to dress more suitably, she was in bat form a moment later.

It made sense. Never speak to Cris again. Nothing about her sounded appealing. The idea of speaking to her actually made Safi nauseous again. She groaned as the hand moved away, and her body roll on instinct. He let her be for now, and the mention of her dog actually shook some awareness into her. Osiris. She had to find Ossy.

With as much efort as she could muster, Safi lifted her head to peer around toward where she knre the dog was. He was laying now, resigned to curling in a ball and watching on as he trembled. “Os-“ Safi croaked, and pushed herself foreward. Her tears stung her eyes, and she wished she could just curl up and actually die. No more of that empty, imminent feeling.

Her hand found something hard on the ground as she moved. It scraped against the concrete, and it took her a second to recognize the cool glass of her phone. It was cracked now, but still lit up. She stopped to glance at it. The page with Cris’ name still showed. Safi closed out of it.

She continued on, dragging herself the few yards toward her dog. When she reached him, she buried her face in his fur and sobbed. He licked her temble, and inwardly she noted that if she died, he would kill Osiris too. She couldn’t let it happen. There was no garuntee this guy wasn’t just playing some morbid game with her. What if he enjoyed watching her crawl around? Watching her struggle and cry? Some sick, twisted bastard would probably like torturing a dog.

Her hands shook as they stroked Ossy’s fur. As they moved over his harness. As her fingers found the clip. Safi pressed a tearful kiss into his fur, then undid the fastening. He jolted up at the sensation of being free, but lingered still. “Go.” Safi whispered, then louder, as she shoved him away. “Go!”

The dog whimpered, confused, then glanced toward the man nearby. There was a moment Safi feared he’d go toward him, and she wouldn’t be able to stop him. Instead, then dog turned, shook out his fur, and pattered into the bushes. He still had his collar. If she survived... she could find him, right?

Oh, how unfortunate.

Beauregard sent his two clumsy messages, trusting that Taraneh would vaporize out of the ether to scold him.

The girl crawled away to... release her dog.

That certainly wasn't the wisest choice, was it.

"He's going to be hit by a car now," Beauregard lamented with the tone of a man wistfully explaining the circle of life. "If you'll hush your damn crying, you'll be happily on your way in a few minutes."

A sigh.

"I have a very lovely friend joining me. You will look her in the eyes when she arrives. If you do anything foolish, we will take turns pulling your limbs off."

That felt suitably frightening. He pushed himself from the ground, finding a renewed steadiness, and offered a hand out to her.

"Leave your phone on the ground, that will unfortunately be your one loss here."


For all they were associated with crazed, frenzied flight, bats actually moved quite linearly given a lack of obstacles or distractions.

She crossed the distance in very little time, and as she lowered her altitude and honed in on Beauregard's magnetic draw, she saw them. Some girl on the ground — one who, upon closer look, might have resembled her, or her daughter from ages past.

She gave a greater flapping of her wings as she took ground next to Beauregard's feet, transforming into herself a second later in her nightgown.

"Look to me, sweetness," she cooed gently, reaching a cold hand to her raise her chin. "You will forget the last three hours."

Except it failed, and in the midst of her frustration over it and her embarrassment in front of the Dominus, she readied to try again.


More threats. More tuanting. She wanted to spit in his face, but that would just dig her grave deeper. Safi glared as she pulled herself up to sit with her back against the lamp post, her hands clutching the harness.

She would say nothing, make no sound, until a small bird appeared out of the darkness. Except it wasn’t a bird. A bat. Then a woman. Safi stared, stunned, as she drew nearer. She was undeniably beautiful. Safi didn’t fight the direction of the woman, and she was willing to make the eye contact. She was supposed to forget... but nothing changed.

“Wait!” Safi blurted, her voice strained and her hand coming to clasp around the woman’s wrist. “Don’t make me forget about my dog.” She plead. “Please. Let me remember something. I don’t.,. Can’t lose him.” She regretted letting him go. But him being lost was better than being gutted by a maniac.

Taraneh arrived dressed for bed, and Beauregard decided it a stupidly showy endeavor. Oh, how quickly she'd rushed, not even able to throw a dress over her.

He didn't roll his eyes, but certainly he considered it.

The first attempt to wipe her failed, and Beauregard was patient.

"Tell her she's spent the last three hours looking for her lost dog," he murmured to Taraneh. "How kind we are to help her."

That was better than sheer forgetting, anyway.

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