Wednesday, April 30, 2008Athene, A tiff
Chap 60 Athene temple
If a Night person doesn’t feed, he will become a walking skeleton. All their ravagedness can’t be hidden at all. Quinn has been giving us the cakes and food that his family makes, and they still don’t realize that he’s not human. He certainly wants this as long as possible! We still kept in touch. Our mini letters, including the Ls and Mona’s (heehee):
Re: thanx for cake! =)
Hello Noble Prince,
Just to say hiz. I love the cake. Have u told your relatives abt your secret? what if they say want to eat with u?
From: Noble Prince
Re: thanx for cake
Glad to hear that. given some more to frenz and cousins. Haha. Like a delivery of sweetstuff.
Nope. Crazy as it sounds, I’ve tried to admit to them, and hint. But since I’ve always been hyper sensitive, jas and nash think that’s the problem. They don’t care abt that, say that I’ll alw be welcome. It comforts me. only the mayfairs, michael and rowan, know about this.
I just tell them I’m full or I alr ate before coming. Not a problem.
What flavours do u like? Other than choc. Exotic ones, mango, durian? Miss you.
- Cheers, Quinn
Re: eugh durian
No no, I hate durian. Well pineapple’s my fav. I also like marble cake, cheese chiffon, brownies. Absolutely del! Dun see u onl these nights, r u alright? U look so thin. Krys
Re: haha, okk
Oh u don’t hafta worry. I’m ok, just hadn’t eaten much before I came then. Won’t let ya see me in such a state again. Sorry. How’s life?
Pineapple, ok. Jas makes good brownies, sure to share some with u. but hafta be later on. saw your webpage, very cute. Can u really make that?
(Well of course I couldn’t make them. Kind of borrowed from other webmasters and mistresses. )
From: Ophelia to me (from her stuff, can tell abt mine)
Dear krys gal, konnichiwa. Thx for teaching me some jap. Yep they’re so contextual. Love the anime! Yea I watch that too, it’s ok, not too violent. U like fantasy? I do too. Wish Quinn could watch with me, he’ll be more relaxed. We do go thru problems, misunderstandings…. He thinks so much. If only he were simpler. Hey don’t tell him that k? he’s the man.
I replied that Q. was real cool and he was gentle with gals. Surprising they had problems, thought they were lovefest. Funny. Well they are very high strung being both w and v I suppose!
Louis to Mona
Hello guys, I’m louis, your boss’ longtime soulmate. Haven’t talked to u before, miss mayfair. How do u cope being one of us? I’m sure your powers are stronger than a beginning mortal’s. regards.
Louis! My gosh, the one and only… I can’t believe it’s u. but stat doesn’t come online so much. HIII! How are u tonight? I’ve read your book. Why did u not write some more? I am coping with the seniors’ help. Yea it gets so much sometimes, all those voices like ghosts. Sightings I can manage. Saw them since young. How is Lestat doing? I miss his emails even if they are short. Thanks for being my penpal. –lots of love, Ophelia
Hello again. Pls to see your reply. Haha I’m flattered. I didn’t feel like writing anymore, boss had written everything abt us. No need to. Oh, that’s bad. Me too, only my telepathy is just getting
Stronger this time. last time could not even make anything move! It’s still a learning phase for me.
Abt Lestat, he doesn’t go onl now. holes up with music, paintings. Says web’s a waste of time. I’ll ask him to send u something. Wld u mind phonecall?
Dear Louis, ok ok. i don’t mind, wanna talk to him. Quinn ignores me, it’s so unfair. Can I come to visit?
After we persuaded his majesty to inform them about his whereabouts
Lestat to Mona and Quinn (both tog) :
Wow u sure flooded my box! And other spam as it is called… Sorry for not answering, was on a break. I won’t be connected to the web very often. Now they nag me, so here I am.
I am healthy. Don’t worry.
Mona, love you lots. Come visit if u like. Well, on thurs and fri I’ll be teaching the kids, so not free. Sundays come after 9. I will usually be out. Call me if u come and no one’s home.
Really, he ignores u? give him some time, he’s your mate. Be patient with each other, results do not come so quick. He is nice.
Q, thank you for everything. Hope all is well. Miss ya too. I wld like to hear your voice, can’t remember. U don’t hafta bring cake all the time, bianca is so naughty. Ok I’m gonna watch some anime now. see ya - Le
Today was Guest opening day. The temple of Athena, a serene yet warm place for guests and devout alike. Lit with oil lamps, virgin girls danced with bowls and offerings of fruit. Many wore shifts like greek movies. I haven’t done that before, it’s strictly a volunteer basis and has to be fulltime. I’m not devout. 2 of them in front had their heads covered.
“Amazing, cherie! Thanks for taking the time to accompany us,” Lestat whispered, looking about curiously. People and new places intrigue Scorpios.
“Cool.” I smiled.
“Are we going to dance? It’d be nice,” Louis added.
“Wow, haha. You want to? Sure, after this ritual performance.”
The grand hall filled with some audiences, scattered. The triangles tinkled and lights darkened.
We took our seats at the back row. Stat in the middle, me on the left, Louis on the right.
I explained, “Right now only those who are the priestesses can go there.” The vamps were absolutely transfixed by the activity, especially dancers gyrating and spinning.
The boys jumped perfectly to the rhythm of drums and cymbals. A few of the virgins chanted a tune to accompany this. Bratp sang too, in a soft voice. I leaned against him, the warmth of our connection and affinity. Sometimes, heat was emitted because of his excitement and enthusiasm. Omaga had advised caution about possibility of fever in a weakened body. About last month, Bratp got sick twice, dizzy with the extra heat. Yet, he had not rested because of his wish to go ahead with his promised appointments.
Once fed, this dissipated and he got well again. We wanted to be vigilant anyway, as this seemed a turn for the bad. ‘I’m not an invalid. Don’t be wet blankets. Cheer up.’ He grinned, saying that.
Next a woman in a country dress stepped up. Full skirts, bowed head in a hat, slippers. Suddenly her hat flopped off, out tumbled golden shiny curls similar to Lestat….
I tensed. Was it---oh no. please don’t let it be her…
Alarm bells went off in the blond. The hand on the seat clenched, he mouthed her name. Louis hadn’t noticed, dreaming. I spoke to him mentally.
Louis reached out to touch his clenched hand. “… not be her. Hold on.”
“But we haven’t spoken for years! Wanna see her so much!” though softer than the music, my friend was on the verge of shouting. It was hard enough for him to restrain himself. He leaned forward, almost standing.
Darn! Visitors weren’t supposed to go down there. I prayed that he wouldn’t ask me, or worse, just rush down there to interrupt. It is a sacred ritual.
She was blending in with the rest of them, weaving in circles. Could not see her face at all. There were 20 dancers. Louis frowned. Don’t see her? Which one?
Blond hair. Just now we saw her. Darn, was hoping she wouldn’t come.
Bianca------ Lestat called urgently, I want to go and talk to her. Won’t take a while. His cheeks flushed, almost panting. I met his gaze.
I understand. It might not be------ I said.
She may disappear again! She is my mother, my only kin left. Please! At least want to make sure.
Was it some apparition? Or a hallucination, that the blond wanted it to be her so badly?
Louis held him down and talked to him. I didn’t hear. The ceremony would be over soon.
I felt sorry for him. Of course I would have rushed down too, but this is a temple. Athene isn’t to be offended. He sat on the edge of his seat, digging his nails into the seat. Not what I had in mind, I had wanted them to relax and have fun.
I had had a nightmare, Lestat being strangled by this monster. He was sweating profusely, could not move and crying out for help. I was locked behind a strong door, couldn’t go to him. Could it be an omen?
He reached the place when the music stopped. Louis shook his head. “It might not be her. He misses her too much, Bianca.”
“What if Stat is mad? We’ve done the scanning and scouting secretly.”
“Shouldn’t be. They haven’t seen her.” Louis could listen to what went on. His love had grabbed some people and spoken furiously to them. Pale ghost like face etched defeat and grief, he marched up again.
“ I would be quiet, just to see her. Just now she’d still be there! Why did you stop me?” he demanded.
“Prince, I’m sorry. But this is a temple, can’t interrupt them.” Seriously I wasn’t being cutting, or factual. I loved him as a father, a brother. It cut me up to say that. Please don’t misread me.
Unfortunately Lestat wasn’t in an analytical mood. He assumed I was coldhearted and harsh. His eyes flashed crimson, lips clenched, the heat around us becoming sultry like summer. His fevers affected the temperature around. Louis touched him.
“Are you sick? Sit down.”
“No! I won’t!” Lestat snapped, turning to the exit and stalked off.
My heart sank. This wasn’t the first time, and he always forgives me. The famous Lioncourt temper was short. But it didn’t console me.
The lights dimmed to a minimal. The shy man danced with me. Harvest Moon night. “Tell me about that night.”
Athene saw the honest people working so hard. She treasures that, so Athene declared this day for husbands and wives. They would have a bountiful harvest. It is a kind of grace for them.
Wow so fascination. So, are we a couple? Hehe.
Yea. Remember you pretended to be my bf?(sober) He must be ill.
“Won’t forgive me,” I said, weeping. Vision blurred.
Louis said something nice and wiped my tears. Even kissed me I think… which startled me so much I stopped. Once, this guy vowed not to kiss another girl after his daughter.
Then he tried to scan for Gabrielle. I waited. He swayed on his feet, pressing a hand to his head. Sank down on the floor. “You ok?”
“No reply.” He leaned on the wall.
We walked around some more, but I didn’t get any calls or signals from the musician. I Sent that I would be free this Wednesday and where was he?
Home. Only Marcus there, watching tv. “Didn’t Lestat call back? Or message?” we asked.
“Nah. Thought you all went together.” After the tale, bro kind of blamed me. “Man, should’ve let him go. Now too angry. Don’t think he’ll speak when he’s mad.”
“I couldn’t! Halfway through the thing you know!” I yelled. “Call him. He answers you.”
In a way, they connected quite well whenever Lestat and Ivan were home. They had silent bonding time, different from our chats. The vampire took care of him, since both are youngest. I envied this common guys-bonding.
Guys don’t panic. He will be alright. Can you try?----- Louis said.
Ok, I got a tickle. Ivan said merrily. After adjusting, we could all hear his voice
I’m in Central. Will come back late. Sleep first.
To stall, he replied--- Could you buy me something?
What the--- ok, describe it, Stat reluctantly agreed.
New plug cable.
C’mon! Do I look like I know what you’re talking about? I’ll get muddled.
Orange one, the long one. see this picture. Will be ok. Have confidence in ya, man. I can’t go online without it.
Don’t blame me if I muddle. (not in an angry voice, normal)
No I won’t. Merci merci beaucoup, Lestat!
Next Lo dialled the cellphone. They share one, and usually Louis doesn’t take it, so it’s definitely with him. His intention was to test the instability of his mood: “Hello, mon ange, why didn’t you answer our calling?”
“Answered just now, didn’t I?” Stat shouted. It was because of the noisy background.
“Oh you got the message. Great. Don’t be too late, I’ll wait up for you.”
“Yes! No need to wait, sleep early, bye!” in a tad impatient voice. Implied we shouldn’t call anymore.
I wanted his soft side back, the sleepy guy who asked me to sit with him, hugs and kisses. I stayed awake in the dark, listening to the heartbeats of other animals. In tandem,, and crickets calling. Tears soaked my pillow.
A creak and slip shut of the main door. He’s back! I crept to my own door and peeked through. I can see who has come in downstairs, but it’s usually obvious. So I switched off all lights. Only my luminescent clock face said 02:00. The distinct outline of a male undressing, padding to the tv and turning it on, softening the volume. Once he switched a few channels, he leaned back, kicking off his shoes. Started sorting the mail at the same time.
I padded to the top of the stairs, one foot at a time. holding the banister, I sat and inched down so there was absolute silence. I masked my thoughts confusing them with the animals outside. A lamp near the letter pile flipped on. By now, I was right behind his armchair and opened my mouth.
When Lestat spoke, “You’re awake.”
I analyzed the tone. Surly, furious, or grieved. Neither, just normal. Uncertain of his mood and its extent, I remained behind him. He tossed a few letters out on the bin.
I whispered, “Yes. When are you going to bed?”
Not paying attention. Still staring ahead. I chanced a look, yea, his large grey pupils fixated, riveted ahead of him. What was so nice about that drama? A corny cast, lousy clothes, laughing away. He didn’t answer or acknowledge me.
I didn’t dare to touch him. A volatile character shouldn’t be touched. Everytime someone called, or we needed to talk, Stat switched off what he was listening to, or watching. He’s such a good listener. This meant I could not be forgiven. But I got to try.
“Lestat,” I raised my voice. Some distance, not too close. He didn’t look. “I was waiting. Are you free on Tuesday? I look forward to something.”
I told him goodnight.
Next day there wasn’t even a reply or a note. I felt depressed and disappointed. Surely my stopping him wasn’t gonna be written up as a permanent mistake. I’m not perfect! I would like her to be there too! That’s not my fault!
Morning became afternoon. I dreaded going to his mansion, so went to my aunt’s place. I usually ate her cookies.
How sweet of you to visit me!
Haha, I thought, eating her chocolate chip
Bianca someone broke your heart? You look sad.
No, not really. I’m just tired.
He is a bloodchild? They are so unpredictable, dangerous! Not worth to be sad over. High strung.
But he’s good to me, normally. (funny she thought he was a child)
She said: there were others between unions too. My daughter went with Vincent. Only found he as one after she invited me to wedding.
How was that possible?
They’ve two kids,, mixed. So they can walk in the light.
And they always make up, she’s so fierce he wouldn’t flirt.
Thursday, April 24, 2008Chapter 59 another secret and a tiff
“Louis I think Gabrielle attended Lestat’s performance too. I felt her!” I exclaimed.
“What?” Louis flushed. He motioned for me to lower my voice. “C’mon in.” The door closed. He told me, “Armand also confirmed this. When we called him. I should’ve felt her too.”
I nodded. “She smelled exactly like the photo you showed us.”
“Smell?” the other was puzzled and touched my cheek. I explained to him, smelling a person was important for us Shapers. We can always sniff out a distinctive person, just like auras are all unique.
That time that was the only way to find you among the crowds, Louis. Remember?
Yes… I do now. He smiled. “If it’s really true, then I’ll be so happy. I like her.”
I did not expect Bratprince to hear us, he’d been too tense to sleep and should not wake up now. My phone rang. I silenced it and picked it up.
No he isn’t moving. Don’t worry.-------- my companion said.
“Hey Bianca. Why didn’t you call me back?” the mellow voice spoke. It lent an image of a youth with amber eyes, skin and red hair. When you hear voices, especially if you know that person, he or she will materialize in your head.
“Armand! Sorry I forgot to check. Anyway you saw Gabrielle?”
“It’s fine. Yes but she left so quickly. Once it finished, she disappeared.”
Louis could hear this perfectly. “So do we tell him yet?”
“No,” Armand replied. “Not yet. I know Stat and his misery. It will not do to cause him such anxiety. Keep it a secret. I’m not sure if she herself wishes to make contact with us.”
Archaic eh? I don’t think they really fit in with us.
“Okay,” I said sadly.
“Hmm. It’s easier if we confirm first. It may not be her, centuries since she came out from seclusion.”
“But there’re blonds, not many of our race,” Lo added in. I held the phone to him. They spoke quietly below my frequency. The younger preter calmed down, becoming still again.
Bro popped in.Yos, why’re you all here? Didn’t want to talk to Puppy?
I told him the short of it.
K I’ll distract if he wakes up. So far, very quiet.
I took the phone back. “Armand, hi. Can you tell us if it’s her? I mean, when it’s ok.”
He agreed. Before he hung up, he said, “Cherie, thank you for the scanning. Don’t overstrain your mind. So will you pick up at this number?”
“Yea. Sorry. How about messaging me? Msn also. I check those.”
“I want to talk. All right (laughing) I shall. Make sure you check.”
“Kk. Bye.” We hung up.
Lestat stirred and got up when we passed by. Quite a shock. “Guys. Hey.” He said sleepily in purple.
I came in, careful not to be too near. He was so thirsty his veins all protruded. Lestat sat down again, pouting. “Lelio needs sleep and food. Dump the trash k?”
We chuckled. Suddenly he’s using his stage name again! Good sign. Oui, from his love, but I called him stupid. The blondie shot me a death-glare.
“What the- Hey! I already did it last week.” Annoyance clouded his generous features, the storm breaking.
“Yea yea.” I brushed off. “Whatever.”
His mood rose to a peak and fell but didn’t quite subside. Internally: I hate taking out dirty things, you don’t appreciate! I’m not gonna do anything, don’t care!
“Krystal Bratford, it’s not my stuff but I still do it. Do you expect me to get up now?”
“Ok ok, I agreed. You happy now?” I ranted.
Louis slapped his forehead. Don’t push it! We are unpredictable. Princie seemed about to explode.
I could, coz I know how much to push. Too much was like the time when I accused Lestat of being a criminal rampantly slaughtering people like sheep.
Prince slipped back into the soft bed. Languidly the vampire stretched his full frame, half lying down. I thought he had slept again, until he asked, “Do you want to have lessons? I’m free again.”
I thought for a while. “Sure. But not Tuesday, I’ve got late tuition. Let’s have on Thursday and Friday.”
“Won’t you feel tired if it’s continuous?” he murmured, golden locks tumbling onto the soft pillows. I felt the urge to stroke his hair from his brow and hug him. Had to discipline myself. He seemed to hear me, an irresistible smile tugged at his lips though a placid and blank face was more appropriate.
“Nope. Gonna clear trash now. I hate it,” I moaned, dragging my feet to the stairs.
Haha guys, don’t I get away with it? Evil laughter and humming. Louis said he was so worried I would be kicked in the ass. “The master shouldn’t be tested. I don’t want to see his sulkyness for the whole month again.”
I shrugged, going to the heap of rubbish. So smelly! I tied it up and heaped it on the container. Tried to jam it in. It couldn’t. “I know. But Lestat loves me to bits, he won’t hit me.”
Finally it sank in.
“What about shouting matches? I hate that! I can’t even read in the peaceful silence.”
I came back in, making sure to use lots of handwash liquid. That pungence was horrifying!! Louis stacked the last plate into the container. “It’s ok, chill.”
He sighed and didn’t speak for some time. Then wrote a note to stick on the fridge. Oh, the expiry dates of all the food. “Hey, thanks for cooking and stuff. Um, you’re better than my mum. She only cooks but doesn’t clean.”
He turned around, small smile. “Welcome. I’m happy to. We’re a family.” Without a hint of sadness or nostalgia for Claudia and the three of them during that time. I grinned.
Why did I sound so emotional?
I opened the fridge to get a slice of fruitcake. Quinn had sent it to us by ‘airmail’, because his housekeeper made them obsessively and insisted he eat more. Yea that guy was getting so thin! They don’t have to go on slimming programs, but becoming ragged can run to anorexia. Oh dear.