Boxed wine [nsfw]

Lavender Heights 
Yes. Well. Wasn't this very heartfelt and straightforward. What wonderful communicators they were. Beauregard found himself struggling somewhat to decide what to say next.

"You can imagine it is even more challenging as someone who also rather likes the feeling but doesn't experience the negative side effects," he said. Of course, he had some obvious senses of the state of her as he drank, but it was far easier to make it her responsibility.

What else was there to say, truly. She was in charge of keeping herself alive. Beauregard would do his best to assist.

"I suppose there's always-" he pointed to the drink in her hand "-as you discover boundaries."

He found that he didn't want to linger on the topic much further, but thankfully had an out.

"Oh, and cookies, which I don't believe have healing powers, but I do have a dozen that I cannot eat."

That was true. She assumed he'd know more because of experience, but then again he wasn't feeling what her body was doing on the inside, so... a nod to the offer of vampire blood infused water, which was again a topic worth meriting guilt in her.

She'd need to get a sense of how much was enough if she was going to last through their back to back birthday celebrations, and probably they'd fall back on this, but how good would it be if she didn't have to make him knife himself in the process.

The change of topic to cookies was enough to bring out a smile. She hadn't gotten to have any before.

"I'll eat them for you," she promised, gathering up the vodka bottle and the glass. She glanced to the cage, seeing Annabel out, and offered the rodent a little smile as she passed by.

Much better. Beauregard wanted this out of his bedroom as much as possible.

He would move out of the room with her, glancing to Annabel once himself as he went. Poor darling, witnessing that messy affair.

The kitchen felt a freer space, and he was more comfortable here by far in the aftermath of it all. He sought to lean against the kitchen island, elbows on the counter as he looked over the food spread.

He found himself short on things to talk about, tired as he was from small talk and games and then serious conversation. An early bedtime sounded nice, truthfully. Or a few hours spent reading.

So he fell into quiet, thinking idly about the idea of a second dinner he would not have.

She set everything down and then moved to finish drinking her magic recovery water, not sure if she needed to but it was better not to waste it.

He was quiet for the moment, and left to her own thoughts she... wondered if she should eat a cookie here, or if maybe it was better to gather up everything and shuffle her way out. At least her car was here, so she didn't have to bother him with driving her home.

She also thought about apologizing for her gross sexual behavior. He'd seemed... maybe halfway interested in best, in that he'd responded physically but hadn't actually tried to act on it? Rika didn't know how to feel anything else but embarrassed by that. Maybe she could just set a private rule to keep her damn legs closed so she didn't try to pull that again.

Water finished, she moved to set the glasses in the sink, and then looked to all the food. The plastic wrap was opened on all of it. Hum.

"Do you have any... containers or Ziplocs or anything?" she asked, half expecting a no because why would a vampire have that, really.

In the quiet, he could feel the sense that she was working through things. Beauregard wondered what she found behaving, whether it was his behavior or hers. He pondered some options. Perhaps he could suggest it out of her.

He tuned in to the haze surrounding her thoughts, wishing he could hear the fine details.

She came out of it with an unrelated question and he blinked.

"I don't," he said, frowning some. "But I could... buy some, going forward, if that would be helpful? I will overbuy for food, always."

"Uhm," she paused thoughtfully. "I have like a million at home. I could just bring some over next time so you don't have to — these are fine like this for the drive anyway."

He spent a lot of money on her. Which reminded her about the whole jewelry topic, and... maybe she should just buy herself a little silver ring or something instead of waiting on him.

That... seemed to be that. She paused on the topics she thought of bringing up and shied from, and — oh, her jacket. She'd left it at the couch. She went to go get it, making sure she had her bag and keys, before returning to him.

Did he do hugs? She hadn't hugged him when they first met, but. "Dunno if you like hugs," she huffed and smiled, lingering with all her uncertainties and, for the moment, forgetting he could feel all of it.

That was, perhaps, more logical. Beauregard didn't know the amenities anyone kept in their home as far as food storage went. He found himself distractingly focused on whatever it was she was working through, even as she did her wandering about, collecting things. She made quick work of preparing to leave, and combined with some mix of embarrassment and uncertainty and possibly even disgust, it was clear he needed to address... something.

"Only from people I like very much," he said, and for all of his showy misery regarding physical contact, he knew the mechanics of a proper hug. Assuming she would accept the embrace, he sought to wrap his arms around her, less a tight squeeze than an encompassing one.

"I... don't mean to pry. But whatever it is you're feeling embarrassed about, it isn't necessary."

He'd be mindful for a sense of whether she wanted to pull away from the hug to talk about it or linger here.

Oh. That was very nice of him, to say that, and to move in to hug her. Rika gave a grateful smile and wrapped her arms around him, mindful of the tightness of his hug and doing her best to match it and go no further.

She could not at all deny that she felt extremely safe with him in general, but especially right now when she felt extremely vulnerable and regretful of her actions.

Which made his words even more difficult to fully attempt to deny. How had he — persuasion, right. Or maybe empathy was the better word in this case. He claimed it wasn't necessary, but it absolutely was.

She literally could not keep herself against him for this. Wasn't happening. Rika pulled away gently enough, trying to find words she could say to explain without actually having to say words at all. How much easier it could be if he could just read her mind instead of her emotions.

"I'm..." she started, leaning against the counter, looking down at her nails. "I got... really... into it, more than I have before. And. I'm just... feeling kind of."

There would be a faint flush of her skin, and her skin also wanted to politely crawl off of her. How to explain.

"I don't really... I'm not... sex is weird for me, usually. I don't really like to... I haven't really done it a lot. But the... " she made claws of her fingers, latching them into her neck in the mime of a bite. "That feels good, and I think that's why I react the way I do. And I'm just. Feeling like. Embarrassed about it."

Deeply so for having stumbled out these words.

Goodness, she was young. There was comfort in that she hadn't had many partners, though it was a surprise given her prettiness.

But she did put in the effort of explaining it all, and here Beauregard had to decide his role to play. There were several realities he could offer her, but he was uncertain if they would comfort.

"Rika," he said gently, looking down to her with the faintest smile. "It's a... complex thing, all of it, I know. But you've watched me fall off the couch and spent ten minutes mumbling out a song afterwards. And I have been just as interested, only much clumsier."

It was a touchy-feely conversation, and he found the pink in her cheeks roused some ugly mess of interest again. Goodness, Beauregard. If nothing else, it made the conversation easier to continue, knowing he wanted her not to go home and decide to vanish.

"It's all very... messy, but that is a great part of the joy. You are a delightful young woman with poise and thoughtfulness beyond your age, and the last thing I want you to do is have regrets."

Because how unfortunate it would be if she decided this was her last visit.

"What is done while we are both very drunk is something for us to enjoy and perhaps laugh about at times. I have no expectation or want for you to sit rigidly still while I hum drunkenly at your neck. How boring that would be for both of us."

Rika listened.

It was true, he'd done embarrassing things in his high. She tried to wriggle out of the comparison somehow, find a way to find falling off the couch somehow better than clumsily tugging away clothing with the intent to do something she normally wasn't very comfortable with.

But he seemed content to equate them, even laugh about them. Complimented her in a way that she acquiesced with a small, brief sort of smile, hesitant but accepting. Told her he didn't want or need her to change her behavior. How boring it would be. Rika certainly didn't want to be boring.

It was all... he was very soothing. And in the wake of the reminder that he could read how she felt, part of her wondered if it was just his words — which would have been effective enough on their own — or if he was manipulating her emotions, somehow. Wasn't that a fun little mystery? Would she feel it if he did it? Or would it just feel like a sudden shift in mood in a very flighty person to begin with.

She decided the ends justified the means, whatever the means were. She took a second after he spoke to absorb all that and also to work out her response. It started with a slow nod, still looking from his face, but at his arm now.

"Okay," she said, and truly she was trying to accept it all. That her... inclinations were something to enjoy and not be ashamed of. That he was also interested, to some extent, which both comforted and flattered and latently roused and yet admittedly also made her want to run away. She wasn't sure if she could ever laugh about it. But maybe she could convince herself to accept it. Enjoy it, as he said. Enjoy his... whatever part he wanted to play when she was in that very unfamiliar, very primal state.

"Sorry, I... it's a lot to take in," she huffed, tried to laugh, managed to at least offer something of a smile. "But. Yeah. I'll try to do that. You, um. Have a really nice voice by the way. The... singing. I think it helped me relax, so."

Beauregard was a fucking professional. The twist of thrill he felt for her coming around, even without the use of his power, was undeniable. She was so very young and so very human, and he wondered how she would change under his influence. The possibilities were exciting.

He decidedly did not have any special variety of nice voice. It was average, he supposed, rendered tolerable by the fact that she liked him and had been nearly comatose. Beauregard had never been a humble man; these were simple facts. But he could accept it teasingly.

"I have spent much time practicing it in the endeavor of annoying others around me," he said with a slightly crooked smile. "If you are leaving, am I allowed to walk you to your car?"

That made her smile more, but it was true, she definitely did like it. And there was a hypnotic quality a pleasant voice took on in very close quarters. Ultimately, Rika could not be convinced to ever find it annoying.

Leaving his company, she was realizing, was a multi step process entirely because she really enjoyed being in it. And who wouldn't feel secure in the presence of a very powerful vampire, on the right side of their affections.

"Yes please," she said with a slowly budding return to her usual enthusiasm. She'd hold the cheese tray and cookies if he would get the door.

Beauregard considered some offer to help her hold things. Perhaps he would suggest it in the elevator. Either way, she was plenty strong now on the influence of his blood.

He smiled, grabbing his jacket from the chair at the kitchen island to slip back on entirely out of habit. Stepping into his shoes as well, Beauregard would get the door for her, all varieties of pleased with himself for how the evening had gone for all that he was tumbling through inner turmoil earlier.

Everything was smoother in retrospect.

"You'll have to let me know what sorts of food you'd like each time," he said. "Assuming you'd like a variety."

"I can do that," she nodded, and then since her brain was on food, decided to take a stab at things she might like. "If you want to surprise me, I like sandwiches usually. As long as it's not very messy. Or spicy, I'm not too good with that. So nothing that mentions chilis or jalapenos. Oh! But I do like sushi also. Salmon kinds are the best."

Balancing the cookies and the cheese on one arm, the former settled on an emptied space on the latter, she decided to pick up a cheese slice since that was less crumbly. She'd demolish those cookies in the car, though.

"Did you... want to go silver shopping together maybe?"

She fell into detail and Beauregard wished he'd brought something to write all of that down. Sandwiches, not spicy. Sushi, with salmon. (He did find the idea of bringing the smell of fish into his apartment unpleasant.)

Then she fell into a question that reminded him of... well, something he'd truthfully forgotten. Oops.

"I actually purchased some pieces a few days ago," he admitted. "But they have been sitting in my closet while I decide if I like them enough to gift them to you."

The last few words came with a chuckle, but there was true uncertainty there. He'd press the elevator button as they reached it.

"I had some assistance in picking them out, which is a story for another time, but I am finicky about this sort of thing. Perhaps you can text me your address when you get home and I can send them to you. Whatever you don't care for, you can return. And we can find more for you together next week."

... oh!

She blinked at him, wondering why he would be reluctant? Rika was so, so tempted to suggest they go back into the apartment. They were literally right there, and she even glanced back to the door. But he seemed less than willing overall. Maybe he wasn't confident in his choices.

Also, he wanted her address. Which was maybe slightly wariness-inducing at first, and then she realized that if she was ever to get into trouble and be unable to reach him, she would probably benefit from him being able to check up on her. Maybe take care of Lumi or find her another home. So her enthusiasm returned, and she nodded to the texting of her address.

"Yeah, I can — wait, more?" she asked on surprise that was absolutely buoyed by flattered interest. She didn't even know how much he'd bought already!

Her pleasant surprise soothed some private insecurity of his, the latter a feeling Beauregard muddled in very rarely.

"I imagine if you have a wide variety, you'll be more inclined to wear it. Matching a variety of outfits and all that," he said. As the elevator opened, he was dismayed to find a trio already waiting inside. He would hold the door open for Rika, feeling dampened by the presence of others.

There was some temptation to toy with the strangers' emotions for his own amusement, but Rika wouldn't be in on the joke without some verbal cue. So for now he would behave if she did, waiting the short amount of time it would take to reach the bottom floor.

Ohhh, that made sense and it was really thoughtful of him!

But how sad they couldn't keep talking. If only Rika could read minds! She went similarly quiet as he did, though she stood a comfortable closer to him than the others in the elevator.

Eventually they would empty out, and she would be walking out of the lobby with him with a sense of déjà vu. Outside and without other ears listening in, she turned a curious question his way.

"Do you think if I turn invisible again this food will just look like it's floating in midair?"

She was certainly feeling better as a person.

What an unexpected question. He laughed, tilting his head thoughtfully.

"I'm not sure," he said, then hummed a single contemplative note. "Is there some way I should fluster you so that we can test?"

Rika had already been plenty flustered earlier, he knew, and so this very comment was designed to inspire such a thing in itself.

It felt good to be able to make him laugh... especially because it felt genuine.

His question crept a shyer smile on her face, almost prepared to be embarrassed and honestly sort of there already. "There are lots of ways to fluster me," Rika admitted, laying herself on the chopping block now.

There was some pink in her face.

"How scandalous!" he said, and his approach was already laid out for him quite clearly.

She was a glowing pale little thing, rejuvenated so quickly with a bit of his blood. There was power there, and yet he found himself decidedly stingy with it. Just offering her the potential to die and return seemed as if it would become more likely to happen. Alas.

"But I think you've already beaten me to the punch, blushing as you are already."

"I'm not — I can't even hide my face, this isn't fair," she whined. While smiling. He was the worst.

Indeed she felt a little heady, and as they made it to her car she felt the same urge to offer as she had last time they were in a parking lot by her car, so... so.

"Want some before I go? Or are you full?"

Did vampires get full?

How feminine she could be for a... gym teacher or whatever it was she did. He smiled, feeling handsome, feeling youthful. This was why Beauregard liked women so young and lovely.

He sought to carefully take her food from her, to set it on the hood of the car so it would be out of their way. It was lucky that the breeze had died down.

"I have a few shortcomings, I'll admit," he said with the sort of tone that implied he had more than a few. "But among them is a slight inclination toward gluttony."

If she would let him, he would happily move her hair away from one side of her neck, fangs making a lazy appearance behind his lips.

She'd be none the wiser to the hidden meaning in his tone. At worst she'd maybe seen him get a little upset here and there, but he always recovered himself pretty fast. He was allowed to be minorly flawed in the face of all that was great about him.

Ever a gentleman, he freed up her hands and Rika felt a little flutter in her chest as he moved her hair out of the way himself. "Don't think that's a bad thing," she answered with something between a smile and a smirk.

She'd tense and lean into the cold of his hand when he gave it to her neck, letting herself feel a little more comfortable wrapping her arms around his shoulders. The feeling of "interest," as he put It, would flourish once she got past the unpleasant cold of his lips and to the drinking part.

Good news for him, then.

Beauregard decidedly wasn't hungry. But he was greedy, always, and content to draw near her in a public space, embracing the taboo of an older gentlemen getting close with a much younger woman.

His hand remained at her neck, and he leaned in to press lips and teeth to her skin. She wasn't drunk enough to have the same sparkle, and he would be reminded of his faint disappointment, the same he'd experienced for this last sort of embrace. Their bodies would brush some, though it was hardly some sensual pinning against the car.

The drinking would be quicker, hardly some languid effort like before. But he would let it go on for only a few seconds, enough to give him some small, quick buzz and her a likely equally involved thrill.

Only a few seconds.

It was too short to have any kind of personal crisis on whether or not to press more fully against him, but if she could, Rika would not go further than he did anyway. He told her to enjoy herself, or something like that, but she was still rendered somewhat shy by how she'd overshot herself before.

Still, her arms did rest comfortably over his shoulders, his greater height shallowly only adding to how she felt safer around him. Arousal pulsed in her and she let out something of a very small sigh — her way to be quieter, and not so fiercely needy as she'd been upstairs. It would be more responsible for the peaceful daze she was left in than any blood he'd taken from her this round.

She could feel it when he stopped. She exhaled to it, though as he didn't pull away she decided not to as well. She was, of course, still learning how to mold herself to be what suited him best. For all she might have to accept him having another "long term dinner partner," if he ever did find another, Rika wanted to be the favorite one.

Her thoughts lit on the fact that this was one of the last steps to actually parting. She hadn't missed that he mentioned doing the shopping next weekend though, and that made her feel somewhat powerful, in her own, non-magical way. That he set the date. Which also reminded her to send him her address.

It was only a matter of a few seconds that she would feel him start to pull away, and she would too to lean against her car, offering him a sleepy smile. It had been a long... very involved date. She was ready to nap, and honestly might just do so here for a bit before properly leaving.

"Thank you," she would be the first to say, even if she'd just given him dessert.

It was quick and the high mild. Beauregard was too satiated for his own good, truly, and it left him very lazy so early in the evening. Perhaps he could drag himself to the planetarium to do some work, but that felt like a grand effort.

Her thanks was faintly amusing, and over and over again he was treated to the reward of having triumphed over her prior pissiness.

"You are a delight, Rika," he said, and in the moment it felt true enough. Perhaps he should have praised Kaylee more often. "Stay out of trouble. I'll see you again soon."

His smile was very much a pleased expression. He would contently part from her if she let him, hoping she would indeed heed his advice.

"I will," she promised, inspired to good behavior for at least one more week. She watched him go until he entered the building, and then turned around and — oh!

She had food. She almost forgot. How sad would it have been if she hadn't seen it, and it went flying off.

Rika broke into a giggle opened her door, and set her cookies and cheese tray on the passenger's seat next to her. She'd eat some from both, allowed to pig out a little, and then fall asleep for an hour after texting him her address and playing that game on her phone.

She still kept dying in it.

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