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"Joran decided that we should go together before he even really asked me if I wanted to go with you. Which he didn't really ask," Graham said, and Rals nodded at that. It made sense now, which Joran playing matchmaker here. "But you look nice, really quite grand. I'm sure that we'll have a good time," he continued, and Rals blushed a little bit. "Why, thank you, Graham, that was nice of you to say so. Let's get going, shall we? I don't want to have to enter at the same time as that cheerleader gang. Combined, they have about the brain of a five year old, and are just as mature."

 

That was not the only reason. They'd be a bit early, but that was preferable. Rals had informed her pack that they would leave and enter with the tidal flow of Richies once the party really got started. And then she would start to avoid socializing with Carmandy, and she was sure Graham would do the same. Rals looked over Graham, and saw that while the suit looked a bit vintage, it still suited him none the less. She smiled, and took Graham's hand. "Let's go." she said, and started walking.

 

~

Arata was exhausted. The Richie was hosting a giant party for the night, and he had been preparing the appetizers and dessert for hours now. His hands were still trembling from all that work. Sure, he had people to help him, but the endeavour had still taken at least 4 hours to do. At least the other helpers get paid. As a Poorling, Arata had expected to be taken advantage of. However, to the Richies he provided free, delicious food at the only expense at being able to use a greenhouse they already owned. He was to spend the rest of the evening the greenhouse, out of sight of the party guests, as the Richie family took all credit for the feast. Arata was on 'standby', in case there wasn't enough food. It wasn't fair, but hey, Arata was only a Poorling. Why give him all the credit? At least inside the greenhouse it was warm. Now it was time to crash the party.

 

Grunting, Arata lowered himself on all fours, and started to change. Golden fur started to ripple along his back. First, the crinos form. Slowly, his skull started to alterate, becoming more canine as did the rest of his body. And then it was over, for that part. Now to the final form. Grunting again, Arata braced himself for the small surge of pain for the final transformation. He felt more comfortable on all fours, and finally, he finished changing. His two tails twitched back and forth, and Arata lifted his golden head and sniffed the air. He could smell the plants that he had grown, and of the perfumed stink of the mansion. Arata slipped out of the door, adjusting the strap on his back that held his items. He couldn't fight in this form. Then he just became a golden flash, dashing across the gardens. He paused, however, as he smelled the scent of people. There was one in the japanese garden he had so longingly made, with those delightful flowers. Here Arata paused, looking at a girl. Who is it? But then, Arata found he was in plain sight. He leapt away, and came in contact with the building itself, scaling the walls easily.

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Johan was laughing inside, though he managed, just barely, to keep a straight face on the outside. The two who had just approached him were most definitely not human, they kept sniffing, though they were hiding it, and staring at Marcy. Indeed, it must be confusing, considering her appearance and voice were completely different, but her scent hadn't changed a bit. Still, this had been Marcy's idea not his, though he couldn't have planned it better if he'd done it himself, in-fact it was better that she had, now he didn't even look suspicious in the least.

 

"Xander, Tom, Carmand..." he stopped and shrugged as she walked off, "Dan, girls," he continued, naming everyone as if pointing them out to Marcy though he didn't actually point. "I'm pleased to introduce you to the woman I'll be accompanying for the evening, Mrs. Marcy Livingstone." He smiled without showing his teeth, more like a cocky grin coming from one corner of his mouth. He had waited long enough for the shock effect to have set in on anyone, there was no point in letting Marcy completely control the moment. He had introduced her as the woman he could be accompanying, as if she were the upper class who had invited him.

 

Still... he didn't want to be in close proximity to these people, not just yet. He still had two very important items to make use of, and not until later, now would be too soon, he needed to talk with Marcy first.

 

"I met her yesterday, playing the piano, though as you can see, her playing is only outdone by her beauty, no?" he grinned, again without parting his lips. It was completely true, it was the first time he'd "met" her and her current beauty did outmatch her playing. The impression it gave of course was that he had no idea there had been a change in her appearance at all. And since he was quite sure he'd never been seen with her or ever spoken of her... there was no reason not to believe him, well... except that he was standing next to a woman who had apparently been miraculously healed overnight. But that would give anyone pause.

 

"Is Carmandy not feeling well Xander?" He asked, a look of concern on his face as he changed the topic just slightly. After all, he, unlike they, was not fixated on his miraculously healed date, because he was still under the guise of not having known she had been healed. "I do hope she's not allergic to one of the flowers," he laughed lightly, "with so many it's a miracle more people aren't."

 

He was dying inside, simply dying at his own joke, not the one about the flowers, but Marcy herself was a joke. Not in a demeaning way... but he emphasized words like "feel well" and "miracle" seemingly for no reason at all, and made no reaction to reinforce the fact that he was mocking the immortals to their faces. Well... that would only be true if they knew he knew and the details of everything he'd done.

 

The peices were in place, and in motion. He only wanted to sit back and watch the show. Oh so many theories were running through his mind about how they would react to everything. Marcy's appearance. The fact that he'd brought a poorling to the party and apparently he was her escort... not the other way around. But even she knew the reason he had said that... or thought she did. It was chivalrous, and he did so much enjoy chivalry.

 

 

Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily... Life is But a... Game!

Edited by Rakashua

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"Shutup, you baby."

 

"It hurrrrrrts!"

 

Joran knew he was being pathetic, whimpering like a baby as Steel stuck the needle into his arm. Steel... Joran's Grandfather's most favoritest courier ever. Steel was only a few centuries old, but seemed to show much more potential than Joran did. Joran wouldn't be surprised if his Grandfather put the dark haired Vampire in charge of the house someday. Steel seemed to thoroughly despise Joran, though he never said anything to the lad's face.

 

"Slow down!" Joran hissed as Steel quickly finished pushing the blue liquid into Joran's arm. Steel grinned in return, though with his dark hood the grin was barely seeable. "There you go, little Baalgruf. In no time you'll be jumping off the walls. Now get to work! And make sure no one sees you. As far as I can tell, there's no poorlings home. I've twisted enough arms that the authorities won't be seeing you. Now scram! I'll clean up this mess-of-a-house you have. Idiot, leaving your scent all over like this..."

 

As Steel rambled on, Joran felt his heart begin to speed up and his energy levels spike. His mind began to wander to a thousand thoughts at once, and all at once he couldn't even hear Steel anymore. His breathing began to increase and he growled in sudden annoyance at Steel. Steel grinned widely. "Go, destroy them," he whispered. Joran didn't hear him, but he didn't need to; before Steel could even begin to laugh Joran leapt out the window like black lightning and raced towards the poorlings' residencies as fast as he could... and it was very, very fast. Joran didn't stop once; he knew what he had to do, and exactly how to do it. His reflexes were faster than he had ever felt them; basically the injection had made him as dangerous as a century-old Vampire who was hunting, except Joran wasn't hungry for blood. He was hungry for destruction.

 

Joran slowed as he reached the edge of Marcy's residence. According to Steel, the security cameras around this part of campus were having some 'issues' and wouldn't be working. Joran assessed the residency a moment more, and his bloodred eyes rested on the garden. Dressed in all black with the scent-coverer spread over his body, Joran rushed at it. He ran through it once, and then again, and tore up everything. He accidentally cracked a window of the house while climbing it to get to the ceiling, where he checked for and ruined any sort of foliage that was growing there. He viciously tore at a tree that was near the house, a healthy one that was probably as old as Steel. When he was certain her yard was absolutely destroyed and nothing was salvageable from the garden, Joran moved on to the next Poorling's residency. A tiny spike of guilt hit him, but it only lasted a moment; sacrifices had to be made, and it wasn't like Marcy would be alive more than seventy years. She'd have plenty of time to get over it.

 

The next poorling was a master craftsman when it came to gardens; Joran had purposely put the man in charge of taking care of and preparing the garden and flower arches for the party. Joran had even paid him $500 extra to do it, though he had told the man to keep the payment part a secret. Joran took a deep breath, arms quivering, and charged towards the garden. It was absolutely beautiful, and destroying it would have been delightful if Joran wasn't aware of the time and effort the man had put into the garden. Destroying beautiful things was something Vampires naturally loved to do, as they were attracted to the healthiest sort of meals. Joran tore through the rare plants and beautiful vines, then smashed the young apple tree. He ripped up the ground with the vegetables planted and crushed the special grasses.

 

Joran quickly climbed to the roof, then destroyed whatever might have been on the roof and immediately left the residence. Marcy and the poorling man were the only two who actually cared about their gardens, so Joran didn't even visit the other residences. Instead he ran straight back to the large set of connected suites that made up the rich-Richie residency. He crept to the back doors, where Steel was waiting with his arms crossed. There was a huge grin on his face. "Have fun, Baalgruf?"

 

Joran didn't say anything. He threw off his hood and dropped it on the ground, then tore off (not literally) the black outfit he was wearing. He kept his head low, and his face blank. Steel said nothing and simply picked up the clothes Joran left on the ground. Joran was then wearing only black pants. "Get inside and get your suite on, your girls are waiting for you," Steel hissed pleasantly.

 

Joran very much was thinking of fist-fighting Steel right there and then, but as the injection wore off he found he had no more energy than a regular human. He muffled his way up the stairs and into his room, where he fell on his bed and stared at the ceiling, all sentient thoughts leaving his head. The only thing he could think of were the expressions on the faces of Marcy and poorling man. Why did he care so much? Joran wasn't sure. He hated being weak, and emotion towards humans was weakness.

Edited by LadyNatasha

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Marcy wasn't sure how to react with the way that Johan had introduced her. It was strange how he had picked his words, but then again, she was sure that he probably had planned the whole thing out. She shrugged as the two girls on Dan’s arms stared at her in shock. The very fact that they were the girls that had trimmed, and sheared her hair into an ugly mess gave Marcy distinct satisfaction in their faces because she knew that they were curious as to how everything had happened.

 

Marcy stopped though in her smiling as Johan started to say something about him being her escort instead of her being his and he also stated something along the lines of being privileged to be her escort. Her face didn’t betray what she felt, only the hold on his arm for it became slightly tighter as she watched all of their expressions change. The last one though that caused bile to rise in the back of her throat, was the lewd look from Dan and a few other men that were there. They were the ones that had been the cause of much strife for her and one of them in particular, she wished dead on the spot as soon as her icy blue eyes contacted his dangerously dark eyes. He turned away though and walked on into the distance and beyond that, Marcy lost sight of him.

 

Xander watched after Carmandy for a moment before he turned back to Johan as he asked after her. The question was odd coming from Johan because he was sure that the man didn’t care about Carmandy but in a way, it seemed that he did. “She’s fine. She has always been somewhat of a recluse and only came to make sure that I didn’t appear without a partner for the party. Unlike what most people think, we aren’t going out.” He said and smiled as a few girls sighed in joyous relief that they still had a chance with Xander.

 

It made him a little curious though as to the healing of Marcy when he looked at the girl again. Just the other day she had been bloodied and battered from a day of hardship, and here she was, seeming to be at the peak of her life without a care in the world. But then again, having someone like Johan order you to come to the party would be something that would have any girl not having a single care in the world.

 

“Are you feeling better Marcy?” Xander asked kindly.

“I am, thank you.” Her now eloquent nature had Xander confused. How could she have had such training in her speaking and the way that she held herself?

 

Marcy chuckled before she made sure to converse with a few Middles that walked over to make sure and see if it was the real Marcy Livingstone. Some of them were happy to see that she was all better, but then again they were also worried that she was sick or something or had been hooked onto a drug. To be honest, they weren’t too far off from the truth.

 

Back in the beautiful Japanese Garden, Carmandy felt herself being watched for a moment and wondered who was looking at her. It was odd enough to have thought that she heard the light footsteps of some other being, but to also smell something that she had only heard about in stories from her parents.

“Who is there?” she asked aloud, but quiet enough that only another one of her kind, or a Vampyre could have heard her. When she turned her head, she was able to see a golden form blur up a wall and hop over the wall to the other side. If she hadn’t been anything other than a Werewolf, she wouldn’t have noticed the being and the two tails that disappeared over the side.

 

“A kitsune?” she asked herself and wondered why one of her smaller kin would be here unless they too planned to ruin the world. “what are we going to do?” she asked herself as she folded her arms around her waist and walked along the pathways. They were well taken care of and they seemed to hold a certain mysterious feeling to them that kept her wondering what kind of wonder was on the other side of the next curve.

 

Carmandy started to hum in a light, almost birdlike voice as she rounded the last corner to the center of the garden. No one would hear her out here unless they too were from her pack or from the house of Vampyre’s. She found herself wondering how one man could really do all of this work unless he had a passion for it. She looked at the Japanese symbol for Peace in the middle of the garden and admired it as she leaned against the railing that surrounded it.

 

“Zebulon dear! We were asked to make an appearance and we should! Would you please hurry with that blasted suit or we will be late!” The usually calm and endearing voice of Jamila Adams was slightly more nervous than usual for the older woman hated to be late to anything. Not only that, but her husband was the Dean of the school and a good friend of those that were holding the party at their home. They had asked the two to show up just to make a friendly appearance. They weren’t expected to stay the whole night, but Jamila was sure that she would get a few dances out of her aging husband whether or not he liked it.

 

The old Vampyre stood at the door to their home in a large ball gown dress that her husband had deemed to gaudy. She loved it though because it looked somewhat old, but instead made her look younger in her opinion. The gown wasn’t simple like her husband had wanted, but instead it was somewhat over done and she had had thicker straps with the same floral design tailored there to make the dress more appropriate for her age. On her hands, she wore cream colored gloves and on her wedding finger, there was a large, chocolate diamond ring.

 

“Zebulon you old fool! Where are you?!” she called then smiled as her husband rounded a corner seeming to be slightly perturbed at his wife’s hastiness.

 

“I told you woman, that I would be here in just a few moments.” He stopped and then smiled at her while posing to make her laugh. “Is the suit good enough for you my sweet?” he asked as he walked over to her and kissed her cheek.

 

“Old people love! Stop it it’s gross!” Came the call of one of the younger Vampyres.

 

Jamila and Zebulon hissed jokingly a the youngster who giggled and ran away. “You look lovely dear.” Jamila said and straightened his tie to be sure that it was perfect. “After over 2000 years, you still can’t keep your tie straight.” She smiled at him and they were soon escorted to the party.

 

When they stepped out of their limousine, Zebulon and Jamila were stared at with awe. They were an old, but very handsome couple as they scaled the steps to the house with ease. Their first job was to greet Lord Baalgruf, a man that they had known for some time in human years. He hadn’t aged much which lead to their thoughts that he may be one of their own kind.

As they spoke with him for a moment, they noticed that there were several of the children that they knew spread about the entire courtyard. It helped that they stayed with the children as they grew up and Jamila was rather happy to see several of them in one place. When they walked out of the backdoor, an announcer called everyone’s attention to the door and announced the arrival of Dean Adams and Head Councilor Adams…

 

((Jamila's gown w/out alterations and Zebulon's suit

Edited by LoveLost

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Arata turned his head to look at the girl as he vanished over the wall. Somehow, she had seen him. Shaking his head at that, Arata thought about just ignoring her. Why was she in one of the gardens? Wasn't she just another Richie, ignorant of the workmanship Arata had poured into all the gardens? Curious... Arata paused, halting his easy lope across the gardens. The party wasn't going to start for a tiny bit, so he had plenty of time... No human could've seen me, anyway. So then, what could that girl be? Arata had never come in contact with either a Vampire or a Werewolf in America. He had heard that the werewolves here were kind (for the most part), but they were not 'kitsune'. Strange. His species' cousins were larger and stronger, but they did not have the speed or agility. I wonder what it would be like to see one.

 

 

Sighing, Arata turned around and started moving through the gardens again, trying to avoid lit areas. He hoped the girl would still be there, enjoying the japanese garden he had built. Arata had seen one of them in his neighborhood when he still lived in Japan, and it had been beautiful. The house had begun to fill up with guests already. There was the wall, ahead of him. Arata quickly scrambled up the side of the wall and poked his head over, curious. The girl was still there, humming to herself. Arata perched on the wall, waiting for the girl to notice him.

{{Short post is short. -.-}}

Edited by Darkshadow

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Carmandy stared at the symbol longingly. Peace. Just the word meant so much to her as a person because she longed for it in her own mind, as well as around the world. Right now, there was far too much strife to do a thing about and it would take eons to figure out how in the world to correct things...if they ever could.

 

Carmandy listened to everything around her. The hum of the crowd, the peck of a bird against the stone to try and find some sort of sustenance. When the bird hopped her way, she smiled and knelt down to place a few crumbs on the ground. "Here, take it to your family." she said and listened as the bird understood her and thanked her in the only way he could; through sweet song.

 

When she stood back up, her head swiveled around as she heard someone, or something scrambling against a wall. It was quiet though and very hard to hear, yet the patterns of feet and hands hitting the wall was unmistakeable. She looked at the very top of the wall glad that there were tall trees keeping her and whoever this 'cousin' was from view of the others. To her sur[rise, she could see a small, gentle, fox-like face appearing from over the wall with a curious look. The entire cute nature of the scene brought a smile to her face.

 

Without really concentrating, Carmandy released her scent in the direction of the kitsune and waved to him. She was tempted to change into her own form, but then again, the dress was a gift from her mother so she didn't want to ruin it.

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Arata's ears pricked as the girl waved in his direction. She wasn't afraid of him? And then he smelled it; the girl's scent. It was similar to his own, and to his mother's scent. A Werewolf! Why didn't she change? Scrabbling over the wall, Arata landed silently on the ground, his two tails flicking back and forth in eagerness. He hadn't seen a werewolf since he and his parents had moved to America. Sure, she wasn't a kitsune, but still... A werewolf was a werewolf after all. However, Arata had questions. Was she a part of a pack? Were there other kitsunes here? How many werewolves were there?

 

Raising his head, Arata nuzzled the girl's hand gently, his own way of saying hello. He couldn't communicate properly with the girl still in the human form anyway. Arata was glad that someone was admiring his gardens, the pride and joy of his hard labours. He had made the three japanese gardens, connected by the bridges, have the japanese kanji for peace, love, and joy, three values he and his parents had upheld before coming to America. It was a little sorrowful now to think about the peaceful days in Japan, living with the kitsune community in Hokkaido. There was no fear about humans discovering their identities, and having two tails was considered good fortune for the family. Arata looked up at the girl, his golden eyes full of curiousity. What was she like?

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Carmandy found herself looking down into eyes that were the same color as her own as the ktisune nuzzled her hand gently in greeting. It wasn't an uncommon occurrence for a wolf to greet a human formed werewolf in that manner so she didn't shirk away from his touch. "Hi." she said and crouched down beside him to look at him more evenly. The features of a kitsune were very fine compared to a Werewolf and speedy. Their speed was unparalleled by even a Vampyre that was centuries, maybe even a millennium old.

 

"You are very far away from home cousin." she said aloud her voice still somewhat of a monotone. It was kind and gentle though, but she made sure to stay wary. "I would transform, but, well, my dress....however....you know you can talk, and I can understand you." she chuckled slightly and allowed herself to sit on the pristine clean stone. "Who are you? Where are you from? What is your class? Age?" the questions would keep coming as soon as he chose to answer them, but that would be in his time. Right now, while she waited for him to respond, Carmandy looked around the entire area at the flora and fauna.

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"You are very far away from home cousin." The girl said aloud, her voice still somewhat of a monotone. It was kind and gentle though, and it reminded Arata of . "I would transform, but, well, my dress....however....you know you can talk, and I can understand you." she chuckled slightly and allowed herself to sit on the pristine clean stone. "Who are you? Where are you from? What is your class? Age?" Arata cocked his head to one side. Really? He hadn't known that werewolves could communicate to human-form werewolves. "My name is Arata Shou. I am an immigrant from Japan. Poorling Class. I am 18 years old." Arata said, staring up at the girl. "I am the one who made these gardens for the Richie whose house you are going to have a party at. These japanese gardens are beautiful, no? My family had one, back in Japan."

 

It wasn't much information, but Arata felt necessary to give it to this werewolf girl. It had been so long since he had come in contact with another kindred of his species. Arata rubbed his head against the girl again, giving a fox equivalent of a purr. It wasn't much, but it was enough for him. "I haven't met another werewolf here since my mother died and my father left. I was going to observe the party from above. What is your name?" he asked, looking up at the girl again.

 

 

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Tom's eyes glittered with brief interest as he saw a beautiful jaw-dropping woman approach with a man who he recognized as Johan. He visibly bristled as he realized that the woman was none other than Marcy, the stupid poorling who had an annoying sense of pride and self-respect. At least, that's the vibe Ruthlop got from her. What had happened to the girl, he didn't know, but no longer was she a bruised and beaten girl, instead she was a beautiful glowing masterpiece, and this served to enrage the blonde even more so. Practically seething with anger, he glared at Marcy, his mouth pulled into a slight snarl. How dare a poorling come flaunting up to them like that, showing off her new-found beauty? She would pay, and Tom vowed to be the one to follow up with this promise. He ground his teeth for a moment dangerous, barely restraining himself from taking his revenge here and now. Instead a deep rumble of a growl came from his throat.

 

"Hello Marcy, Mr. Hawk," Tom acknowledged them each in turn, a slight dip to his head when he turned to Johan and pointedly did not both give Marcy the respect of referring to her by last name and also not dipping his head to her. Chivalry was not Ruthlop's strong point. "So what is it? Plastic surgery? Extensions? Or perhaps some new drug? There's no way this happened on it's own, Marcy. We all know that. So pray do tell us your secret. I'm sure these girls would love to hear how their handiwork was ruined," he murmured, blue eyes slits as his words, though calm, positively dripped with hatred when they escaped his lips. he was inwardly twitching at the fact that since he was stag, when he had first seen her he had thought 'Damn, I'll ask her to dance!" and then she turned out to be Marcy. Who he hated, mostly because she was a poorling that dared to have a spine. Which was attractive in a way, but wrong on so many levels. She was the scum of the earth. Not only was she a poorling, she was a human poorling. That was the lowest of the low, the kind of stuff that was stuck to the undersideof Ruthlop's shoe.

 

Elbowing Dan hard in the ribs as he saw the painfully obvious lustfull look in the man's eyes, he locked eyes with the poorling before her, challenging her to look away. It was her right to. She had to look away and bow before him. She had to do what he said. Tilting his chin up arrogantly, it was strangely evident that this jock wasn't like Dan or his other friends. There was a glimmer of intelligence in his blue eyes that studied Marcy cunningly, almost hungrily. He was waiting for the opportune moment to attack, not to physically attack just yet, but to prey upon her weakness. He would get his revenge for her insult of... looking... pretty. Suddenly he was stumped. What had she done that was all that bad? He needed an excuse. She was breaking a code of society? Well, not really, not yet. But she probably would, wouldn't she? She always seemed to take a very fine line on those social boundaries. Tom would find a fault in her. And then he'd have his revenge.

 

~~~~~~

 

"Quite," Graham murmured in response, taking her hand formally and bringing it to his lips before turning and leading the way to the party. He hoped they wouldn't see Ruthlop or the cheerleaders. If they were lucky they could just miss them, or perhaps he'd be dragged into a long and dreary conversation. Regardless, he was stuck going nonetheless, but at least he was going with Rals. Slowing, he smiled and nodded to himself, mulling over a few things as he neared the place. He could see Tom and Dan and several other people clustered in a little group chatting, or rather glaring at each other, it seemed. Uneasily stepping quietly, he sighed in exasperation as Ruthlop spotted him. The blonde swiftly grabbed Graham's collar and pushed him up against the nearest wall rather roughly. Ruthlop then punched him in the nose much harder than he had punched Tom, and then kneed Graham where it hurt. As the man doubled over, he was roughly tossed to the ground and his attacker wore a broad smile on his face as he walked back to the group he had been talking to.

 

Groaning, Graham stayed on the floor a long time, pain and anger tearing through his mind. Why hadn't he then gone and punched Ruthlop? Granted, Tom had pinned his upper body rather solidly, but he probably could've broken free. Feeling his nose, he found that he was able to set it, but with great pain while still on the floor. When he was able to get up it was slowly and with a grimace as he wiped the blood of his nose with a handkerchief someone was nice enough to give him. The boxer was tempted to teach Ruthlop a lesson for punching him, but he decided against it, mostly because it wasn't only Tom standing there, but Dan as well. Dan was taller and more intimidating, but Ruthlop was the one that could actually pack a punch. Dan could, but he was slow and didn't do it with great force. But still, Dan could probably hold him while Ruthlop could beat him up, and that wouldn't be fun in the least. So he would stay away.

Edited by Packgoater

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Kanthaya entered the party just in time to see that she was, once again, lucky; some guy was smashing another in the nose, and Kanthaya was just late enough that she wasn't in the way. She kept her head low and said nothing as she entered the party, but her eyes searched for another poorling. Of course none would come to this party, she thought to herself with fear. None are stupid enough to. Once the champagne starts going around, I'll be the first one to receive the force of it. Maybe I should just leave now.

 

But Kanthaya didn't want to leave; she wanted to watch. Never in her life had she been to a party, and she was curious to see how people acted and reacted to each other. Apparently none too well, for the man who had been punched and kneed had a bloody nose. Some people were grinning at him, but most pretended they hadn't seen it. Kanthaya almost offered him a handkerchief, but someone beat her to it. Anyway, a Richie like him probably wouldn't want her poorling handkerchief, even if it was clean.

 

Kanthaya was wearing the most expensive dress she could afford, a simple cream-pink dress that was comfortable and not revealing. She wore white gloves with it and a shawl to cover her shoulders, for she wasn't used to wearing clothes that didn't cover her entire arms. Even being there she was slightly embarrassed, but to her great relief none of the girls were glaring at her. No they were all busy glaring at... Kanthaya frowned and furrowed her eyebrows, wondering who exactly they were staring at. She was a beautiful girl in a shockingly red dress. She was also accompanied by the richest Richie Kanthaya had ever laid eyes on, so Kanthaya assumed the girl was probably his evening delight, there to be shown off and only there for the night.

 

Kanthaya sighed, her dark skin suddenly feeling cold. As she glanced to the left, she noticed with delight that there was a set of doors leading to a garden. She wasn't into plants at all, but the peace she could get from being in the garden later that night would come in handy when things started getting rowdy. For the moment, she simply leaned against the wall, watching the happenings.

 

~~~~~~

 

Beep, Beep, Beep. Beep, Beep, Beep.

 

Joran awoke to the sound of his phone vibrating in his pocket. He blinked several times, trying to remember what he was doing. Then he remembered and felt his stomach turn. "Heh," he said to no one as he sat up and ruffled his hair. "It's not that bad. Just some stupid plants, they'll get over it. After all, it's only two poorlings with gardens. Yeah, they can just replant, they've got their entire pathetic thirty or fifty or something years to live their lives planting pathetic gardens."

Joran couldn't convince himself as he got into the suite he was going to wear to the party, so he stopped thinking about it. After all, it wasn't like he was going to talk to the poorlings; certainly not that Marcy girl, who'd probably be standing in a corner. Maybe he could do something nice for her and she wouldn't suspect him of destroying her garden. It wasn't like Joran was the only Richie who was going to be late to the party, so he wouldn't be the only one to blame. And how could Marcy ever figure out who it was anyways? She wouldn't. She'd never no, and neither would anyone else. Every Vampyre and American Werewolf (however many or few) on campus of any experience could investigate, and Joran was certain they would never find out who did it... not with Steel's cover-up methods.

 

Beep, Beep, Bee-- "Halló?" Joran sighed and moved the phone away from his ear as a stream of angry words came spewing through it. It was his "foster" dad, the Vampire who was showing up at the party as though his real father. Joran hated the man, though he never said so or let the hate show. He didn't even have a reason to hate him; he just didn't like the fact that this man was acting like a 'dad' which Joran never even had. Joran had heard rumors that his birth-related dad had given him a different name, though he never found out what it was.

 

"Yeah yeah, I'm on my way." Joran hung up on the still yelling Vampire and tossed his cellphone to the ground. He yawned and shook his head, trying to clear out the last effects of the drug. "Well, I better get going," he mumbled. He stood and stretched and walked towards the door, not at all in a mood to call a limo to pick him up. Nope, today he was going to walk...

Edited by LadyNatasha

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Johan hadn't expected Tom to respond quite as he did to Marcy right then and there, and even in front of him. He knew the boy was a bit dull in his mind, typical of a human, which Johan had labeled him. But he had assumed that his presence would shield Marcy at least temporarily... and it had not. Now she was poised to react and he couldn't let that happen, not quite yet, he wasn't interested in dealing with the social norms until he was prepared to move beyond them, and that wouldn't come until later.

 

Fortunately fate provided him a way out in the form of Graham, who, as Johan expected, took a beating. While that was happening Johan made his move before Tom could return and follow up on his words.

 

"Actually that's my fault." Johan admitted to the question Tom had asked when he had been present, and the question that was no doubt on everyone's mind, how had Marcy gone from her previous state to her current. "A small miracle of modern medicine really. A small price to pay for such a picturesque date don't you think?"

 

Then Tom began to return but Johan was now prepared for it, and motioned to the front entrance, "ah look, our esteemed hosts have arrived, Marcy, I simply must introduce you to Lord and Lady Adams, the oldest couple to still attend college dance parties to be sure..." And under that guise he began to lead her away in their direction, she would come with even if he had to half drag her, which wouldn't be good but it wouldn't be the end of the world either. A world which may have come crashing down if she and Tom had it out right then and there...

 

"Lord and Lady Adams," Johan stopped in their path and bowed low in respect, recovering himself as if it were a motion he'd performed a thousand times. "Welcome to the party. Mrs. Adams you look lovely this evening, I'm Johan Hawk a transfer student from England and this work of art is Marcy Livingstone. I do hope you will enjoy this evening's festivities, the music shouldn't be too new fangled, though there was rumor that someone tried to replace the orchestra with a DJ I assure you nothing of the sort happened."

 

The mysterious Mr. and Mrs. Adams, Johan knew almost nothing about them. He'd always wanted to meet them though, they seemed to have their hands in a lot of other people's pies, to use the colloquial, if rumors were anything to go by. Either way they were respected people with a lot of influence, good people to be nice to.

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Marcy looked at Tom as he asked her a question and was about to answer when he elbowed Dan in the side It distracted her enough to make it a surprise when Tom looked her in the eye very harshly but she wouldn't dare back down. But then again, she wouldn't have a need to when Graham walked into the room. The boy had punched Tom earlier for insulting him and when Tom punched him, she couldn't help but feel sorry for the boy.

 

But then again, he was a Richie and squabbles between them were nothing more than an amusement. Graham was strong, but his character wasn't from what she could see. She had watched him several times always curious about why in the world he was so, well, adverse to finish things like she knew he could. It wasn't an unknown fact that he had been taught by an expert boxer and could easily knock Tom’s lights out, but Marcy wondered why he wouldn’t.

 

She was about to respond to Tom when Johan interrupted her breath and answered for her. She was about to growl underneath her breath at the interruption, but decided against it so that she could glance around the party for a moment. Towards the entrance, she noticed a fellow Scholar and one who kissed up to the Richies. She didn’t hate her for it because she knew that she was trying to work her hardest to get higher in life and she wished the girl luck. She nodded at Kanthaya with a light smile that showed no hostility. If anything were to happen to that girl, someone who was kind and innocent, she would love to tear the heart out of the person that would do such a thing to a good person.

 

When Johan bought her attention back to the crowd, Marcy realized that he was walking her towards the Dean and Head Councilor. To her thanks, it was well known that they were Poorling lovers and hated to see them treated indifferently although they couldn’t go against the laws without causing a huge stir. She was rather enthralled however, with the look of the older couple. It almost seemed as if they had more knowledge than anyone around her even though they were far older than she was. The graceful way that Jamila walked was beautiful and the stately way that Zebulon stood was something that reminded her of Johan. How odd.

 

“Oh my! Johan, that is correct. I know your name dear, do not worry about introducing yourself.” Jamila smiled a clear bright smile that reached her eyes easily for it was a real smile without any malice or derision.

 

“She’s the Head Councilor son, she had better know everyone’s names.” Zebulon commented as he was handed a small glass of aged scotch from his own stores that he had brought for the older members of the party. “And Marcy, if I do remember correctly, you are one of our Scholars is that not correct?”

 

The sound of Zebulon’s voice was filled with the power and knowledge of many waters as he spoke, but then again, it was also as soothing as a calm lake. How could he have so much that placated Marcy’s temperament? She was thoroughly confused as to how he could do such a thing, but decided not to let it bother her. “Yes sir…yes, I am.”

 

“Well dear, it seems that you have found a good hearted Richie, if not a bit eccenttric (she giggled slightly as she said this). And thank you Johan for being so kind as to wish us well for the party. I am also glad to hear that they didn’t replace the orchestra. But I do believe that some of you younglings, “ she caught herself after she used the common word for young Vampyres/Vampires and Werewolves and made it seem as she had thought that she would offend them by calling them younglings “I mean, young men and women, are having a party next month that allows for a more…well…hmmm….” She couldn’t figure out what words she wanted to use to describe the dancing.

 

“Primal dancing?” Zebulon interjected in his wife’s conversation. “More suited for the young and not for all.” Zebulon chuckled his dark eyes dancing with mirth. “How do you find Colorado Johan?” He asked as he stepped closer to them with his wife supported on his arm. They were old, but somehow they seemed to still move without aches or pains or any sort of problem to cause them any sort of discomfort.

 

“And you Marcy, how do you enjoy it here?” Jamila asked Marcy and the two conversed for a moment with polite comments and compliments then turned towards the men waiting for them to finish their conversation.

 

Xander looked watched with growing frustration at what Tom was doing. He was a rude idiot that had a problem with people who stood up to him. “Can’t you let sleeping dogs lay Tom?” Xander asked as he glared at him and handed Graham a handkerchief. “You are really getting to be an annoying brat. Someone who considers anyone to stand up to him something that challenges himself because the only way that he can stand up to someone, is to either maim or kill them. He doesn't have enough knowledge or personality to do more than hurt.” Xander’s eyes flashed darkly as he made sure that Graham was all right. “At least he has enough sense not to ruin a party by beating you to a pulp which we both know he could.” Xander said using words as his battle at the moment. If Tom came at him, it wouldn’t be that hard to catch his hand in mid air and squeeze his fist until he either tried to hit him again, or fell to his knees. He didn’t care if he had to embarrass him, he would.

 

Carmandy smiled briefly as he answered her questions in a way that she adored. Simple, short and to the point. It made it easy for her to absorb the information and process it as well as store it away in her mind. “Arata….Arata…..you’re a Poorling… and very young.” she said with a smile then looked at him for a moment before answering him about the garden. She looked around at the garden as she answered a smile slipping across her lips. “it is very beautiful. You have done a wonderful job on the garden Arata-san.” She said using a form of respect to him.

 

Carmandy chuckled as he rubbed his head against her hand again then stroked the fur behind one of his large ears and smiled. “I am sorry that that happened to you. To not be around your own kind is, not fun.” It was hard for her to really form a quick sentence without thinking about it because she didn’t want to make herself sound weird or stupid. “You can’t learn more about yourself. My parents told my stories of your kind, the kitsune, and for a long time I thought it was merely a myth. But they remembered meeting your kind and conversing with them. Their comment was ‘Wonderful beings steeped within their culture. Something which we lack.’ “ She smiled again and looked down at Arata from where she sat.

 

“My name is Carmandy Forks. My parents, Victoria and Rollo are the Alphas of the Pack here in the United States.” She didn’t say it to make him think that she was all high and mighty, she merely wished to give him information as he had given her. “I am of the Richie class, and am 50 years old.”

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Johan traded comments with Mr. Adams, finally beign convinced to stop calling him Lord or Mr. and just call him Zebulon, obviously something Johan was not accustomed to. But the two of them did seem to get along, Johan was mostly interested in things having to do with America that he wasn't familiar with yet though he didn't go into much detail about his own home.

 

"Well it has been lovely to meet you lo... Zebulon, and Mrs. Adams. But we mustn't monopolize your time, I'm sure there are others waiting to greet you as well." Johan took Marcy's hand lightly once more and bowed, turning to go in another direction. "Come on," his voice suddenly sounded a bit excited, in a real way that shown through any formal mannerisms he'd put on for the evening. "I have the most wonderful surprise for you!"

 

Yes, things were beginning to move, even as he took Marcy back into the back of the ballroom, and through a small door to where the Orchestra was setting up. It was time to prepare the next part of the evening's... festivities.

 

"Excuse me master Gale," Johan spoke to the conductor of the orchestra, a man he'd made friends with in a very monetary way halfway through last semester in order to find out when Marcy generally played the piano and not be bothered when sitting outside the room she was in. "Do you think you could spare Big Ben for a few moments?"

 

The director looked at Johan and Marcy, but didn't recognize the latter of the pair. "Sure thing, just don't be long, we start the dancing in ten." The man went back to organizing the other musicians as Johan smiled at Marcy, a twinkle in his eye as he brought her back into another room, empty, except for the presence of Big Ben.

 

Big Ben was a piano, a grand piano, a very grand piano. In fact, there were only two other pianos in the world that were as grand as the beauty that stood before them, reserved only for the finest occasions. It was massive, made of solid oak, hand carved in such a way as to produce perfect acoustics, the room itself was oddly shaped with the wall jutting out in curves here and there, an engineering marvel of sound wave immersion.

 

"Marcy, meet Big Ben, please, don't be shy, I'm sure he'd love to feel your fingers on his keys." Johan smiled hugely in the dark room, lit only by the lamp standing above the sheets of music on the piano's music stand. "Don't worry about anyone else, they haven't turned on the sound system yet, no one... but us... will hear it."

 

 

Johan moved to the other side of the massive piano, running a fond hand over the oak edges. In truth his fondling of the instrument included placing a small flat device on the bottom-side of the piano, out of sight thanks to the black silk draped over the outer woodwork. Everything was going to be perfect, there was no better place... than Big Ben, to begin phase one.

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Rals was outraged as another Richie walked up to Graham and punched him in the face, and then in his manhood, and then walk away like nothing ever happened.

“Can’t you let sleeping dogs lay Tom?” It was Xander, glaring at the man like a righteous idiot and handed Graham a handkerchief. “You are really getting to be an annoying brat. Someone who considers anyone to stand up to him something that challenges himself because the only way that he can stand up to someone, is to either maim or kill them. He doesn't have enough knowledge or personality to do more than hurt.” Xander’s eyes flashed, and Rals sighed again, this time bored with the speech. “At least he has enough sense not to ruin a party by beating you to a pulp which we both know he could.” Xander said using words as his battle at the moment. So now Xander wants to pick a fight. Great. These men just love to hurt each other. Rals rolled her eyes at Tom and drew herself up to her full five foot six height. She was going to teach that man a lesson for messing up her evening. However, one of her pack, who had come up behind her, lay a restraining hand on Rals's shoulder and shook their head. Rals sighed again, her anger still pent up, but now she didn't want to try and tear that man apart. She shook off her pack member's hand and shook her head a little. "Let's get going, Graham, before these two try and duke it out." She reached for Graham's hand, intending to pull him inside the mansion before he too got any visions of joining the two idiots and start trying to punch each other to death. Sure, she didn't mind a good fight, and she wouldn't have minded to join in, but now wasn't the time.

 

“Arata….Arata…..you’re a Poorling… and very young.” the girl said with a smile then looked at him for a moment before answering him about the garden. Arata felt a little anxious. What was she thinking? She looked around at the garden as she answered a smile slipping across her lips. “It is very beautiful. You have done a wonderful job on the garden Arata-san.” She said using a form of respect to him. Perking his ears up, Arata looked at her, a bit startled. Most people didn't know the added -chan, -san, -sama, or -senpai was used depending on the person's status. Arata hadn't heard those words for years.

When the girl stroked him behind the ears, it felt really nice. Arata was content to just keep on letting her do so. “I am sorry that that happened to you. To not be around your own kind is, not fun.” Arata shook his head. It had felt like the world was out to get him, being a kitsune without any other contact with his kind, afraid of what would happen if he was discovered. “You can’t learn more about yourself. My parents told my stories of your kind, the kitsune, and for a long time I thought it was merely a myth. But they remembered meeting your kind and conversing with them. Their comment was ‘Wonderful beings steeped within their culture. Something which we lack.’ “ She smiled again and looked down at Arata from where she sat. Arata nodded. He had never heard his species described this way. Is this how his American 'cousins' thought about his culture?

“My name is Carmandy Forks. My parents, Victoria and Rollo are the Alphas of the Pack here in the United States.” Arata's eyes widened. Carmandy's parents are the Alphas? Maybe I could meet them...“I am of the Richie class, and am 50 years old.” 50 years? But she looks so young, around my age.

"Well, Carmandy-san, it's very nice to meet you." Arata dipped his head in reply to her name. "The party is about to start, so you better get going. However," his voice got a bit fearful, "I would like to meet you again. I haven't seen another werewolf, kitsune or no, in 10 years or more. So, I'll probably be on the roof of the building, or circling around. Meet me here again?" Arata desperately wanted to talk to this girl again, who was a link back to the world he had known and longed for. He turned and scrabbled up the wall again, then turned his head to wait for her reply.

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Kanthaya was surprised when the Richie she didn't recognize gave her a light, warm smile... a smile that was very familiar. Too familiar. Kanthaya dipped her head and smiled back shyly, but confusion showed in her eyes. Johan... wasn't that the name of the man this strange Richie was with? Kanthaya didn't like Johan, but then again there weren't many Richies she did like. Johan, however... he seemed sly and smart and careless and witty in a way that no one else was, as though he knew far more than anyone his age should even care to know. But, that was just Kanthaya's opinion. At least he didn't play chess.

 

Marcy. Kanthaya almost gawked as she suddenly realized who the man was with. Th-that's Marcy! She walks like Marcy and sounds like Marcy and smiles like Marcy, but--how is that possible? Did she go through some sort of surgery?

 

Marcy had always taken beatings that Kanthaya knew she could avoid, but Kanthaya didn't think her stupid for it; she greatly admired Marcy and felt rather embarrassed when around the older girl, usually because she wouldn't dare stand up to Richies like Marcy did. If any Richie asked, Kanthaya might call Marcy a bit dull. In her heart, however, Kanthaya saw Marcy as a hero. But--how did she get a date like him? Does she even know him? You're in for the night of your life, miss Marcy, Kanthaya thought as Marcy and Johan greeted the Adams.

 

Then they left, the Johan boy seeming quite fickle as he led Marcy on towards the backrooms. Kanthaya turned her attention back to the main of the party, hoping Marcy wasn't simply being taken advantage of; having such attention from a Richie and looking quite rich yourself could mess with your mind... was that why Marcy had changed herself? Spent all her savings to be popular? Never. Kanthaya knew she wouldn't. Kanthaya could hardly believe it was Marcy, but she knew it was...

 

~~~

 

The walk was a bit cold, but Joran liked the cold; it helped him think, helped keep his mind sharp. And boy did he feel weak, weak and lonesome. Joran had often felt lonesome, but he figured it would leave with age; after all, he had a decade of centuries to get to know people and find friends. Humans, they weren't worth making friends with. They were short lived and not very smart and easily angered and bothered by the smallest things...

 

Joran kept telling himself this as he walked towards the party. He didn't walk quickly as he wasn't too excited to be there; he didn't even feel like finding his dates and dancing. The dancing would be starting soon, he knew, and the famous piano known as Big Ben would be played. It had been crafted by an old Vampyre who had nothing better to do with his time. According to Vampiric legends, he had spend a year on every piece of the piano, crafting it to perfection. An incredible waste of time in Joran's opinion.

 

Finally, off in the distance, Joran spotted the party house. He stopped and checked his suite to make sure it was straight. The sound of an engine caught his attention and he turned his left to see what had made it. It was a security officer in his vehicle, slowly driving around campus. Joran smiled; Steel had 'redirected' the path of the security officer so he wouldn't drive by poorling residences. The officer slowed and wound down his window, and Joran grinned. "Hey officer, how's the drive?"

 

The officer smiled when he recognized Joran. "Very well, sir, no trouble yet. Do you need a ride somewhere?" Joran shook his head and his smile faded somewhat. "Nope, just getting some fresh air before the music starts." The officer laughed lightly. "Then I'll leave you to it. Good evening." Joran gave a slight salute to the officer as the officer wound up the window of his vehicle and drove on.

 

"Yeah," he said quietly. "Real good evening."

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Carmandy smiled widely at Arata a hint of joy in her usually emotionless eyes. "To meet one of my own kind would be something that I could enjoy." she watched him jump up to the wall and stood up slowly as she dusted off her dress. "I could never be entertained by a party..." was a comment that she made as she walked to the wall, her heels clickling slightly on the stone. It was strange for one like her to be so light on her feet, at least for a werewolf.

 

"I will have to find a way to make an excuse to come here because I do love the gardens. Maybe sometime you can come and meet the pack. We live with the US Vampyres in the house that stands on the mountain." she said and then waved farewell to him before walking back to the party. It was strange to find one so similar to her, but then again life was full or surprises.

 

Carmandy sighed as she walked back to see Graham hitting the ground then being helped up. Another girl behind him who smelled like lavender all the time seemed to puff herself up as if she was about to but in on the conversation, but someone stopped her. A gentle growl escaped Marcy as her golden eyes sparked angrily. Xander was much older than she, but when there was wrong doing going on, he wouldn't stand for it no matter the locale.

"Excuse me gentlemen." she said allowing a coy tone to enter into her voice as she stepped between them and standing in such a way to afford Tom a clear view of her so. She could hear Xander trying to get her attention, but she ignored him. "I do believe that the dancing is about to begin, so how about we walk to the ballroom and gather so that we are not late. Wouldn't be good to have the richest Richie, and the best History professors child as well as the daughter of two head of the Veterinary department late now would it?" she asked as she looked at Tom in the eye, her golden eyes flashing with some irritation.

 

Marcy was beside herself. That was the only way to describe her emotions and thoughts as she looked at the beautiful piano in front of her. The keys were made of solid, clean, ivory and the frame itself was made of solid oak polished to a ruddy sheen. The whol mystery of the room that extended into shadows added to the majesty of the instrument before her. As she walked around the piano, her heels clicking and her dress rustling on the ground, she couldn't help but feel a slight shiver of happiness crawl up her spine as she looked at Johan, a bright, wonderous smile on her face.

 

It was hard to make Marcy truly smile and this time she did. There were a few things that could make her smile; music, family, and her garden.

 

Her fingers trailed along the perfectly polished and dusted wood as she walked around to the bench that was made out of the same wood and had small ivory decorations inlaid into the wood. Her breathing was even, but her heart was beating quickly as she felt herself become excied while sitting at the bench. The piano was ages old and had the best acoustics in the world. It was one out of two in the world as old as it was but this one...this one would have to be her favorite because of the look of the piano. The other was decrated in a more Roccoco manner, but this one, it was simple and perfect...just perfect.

 

Her hands rested gently on the keys showing her polished fingernails and her tanned skin in stark contrast to the white of the keys. She stopped for a moment agian and looked at Johan once more, still wondering if this was a real event or if she was just dreaming...she HAD to be dreaming.

 

But once she looked at Johan, she knew that it was not a dream...this was REALITY!!!! Marcy decided to play an ancient song that was very happy in her opinion. It was a song that she had been working on for months and months on end because of the persistence of her music professor, Professor Kachine Darkfoot. She hadn't given up on Marcy for the past two months and had made the girl learn the song on pain of getting a bad grade and Marcy couldn't do that.

 

When she started on the song, it seemed simple enough over the first few measures, but soon into the next line, as she saw it in her head of course, her fingers picked up speed and a smile spread across her face. The

resonated through the room and Marcy played for a full nine minutes and fourteen seconds, the perfect time for the song that even allowed for extended fermatas, and subtle mistakes.

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Johan simply leaned against the wall, listening as Marcy finally began to play, for a moment he was worried that she was too afraid to touch the magnificent beast of an instrument. But, true to his assessment of her personality, she soon was riding the thing for all she was worth, taming its ivory keys against her fingers and causing it to speak in beautiful tones.

 

He sighed quietly, not wanting even the noise of his breathing to interrupt the playing. This... was one part of his plan he could live to repeat... and in the future, he made a note of bringing Marcy here again sometime, if she decided she wanted to ever be around him again that is. That of course... would be completely up to her. For the next part of the plan, Marcy and him needed to separate, and he had come up with a very good excuse for that. Another poorling had arrived, not someone Johan had memorized, but someone Marcy knew.

 

He would suggest that the two of them chat that should give him just enough time, perhaps between one of the dances. Speaking of which... he checked his watch right as she finished and there was a knock at the door, perfect timing.

 

"That's our cue," he said, "perhaps one day you two can get better acquainted." He opened the door as she finished and the pianist entered, a Frenchman who had flown in for the occasion, not many would pass up the opportunity to play a piano such as Big Ben in their lifetime. "She's all yours," Johan motioned to the man, speaking suddenly in French as he took Marcy's arm once more and the other man sat down.

 

"I do believe that the dancing is about to begin, would you like to dance Marcy?" He asked her, "I assure you, I'm quite good. It may not live up to playing with Big Ben, but I'll do my best." he bent and kissed the back of her hand. "Or would you prefer to go speak with the other poorling who came in earlier, her name escapes me. I'm sure she could use some company and I don't mind leaving you two alone for a while."

 

"Or..." he grinned, "you could do both, even invite her over, if she's your friend then I welcome meeting her."

 

By this time Johan had lead Marcy, who still looked like she was star-struck, out of the orchestral rooms and out to the edge of the ballroom, as it appeared the others were preparing for the dancing to begin as well.

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Marcy, as soon as they had walked out of the piano room, still looked slightly dazed, but overall, most of her personality had returned to what others had deemed as normal. "That was wonderful, thank you." she said and looked up at Johan as she spoke. "It is rare to see something so beautiful is it not?" she asked and then listened to him speak about dancing. Dancing in front of people was something that she was as nervous as all get out about. She couldn't help but be a little bit nervous now while she was paraded about like a prize.

 

But due to her personality, she wouldn't let it show in deed or emotions that would be apparent. She nodded at what he said then thought for a moment, or at least made it seem as if she was thinking before she made her decision. "I think that I shall go and talk with Kanthaya...she seemed surprised to see me and I owe her an explanation. Maybe later tonight, I can introduce her to you..." she said and then gently pulled her hand from his grasp and walked through the crowds out to where she had last seen Kanthaya. Before long she arrived near the girl with a look of apology on her face.

"Hi Kanthaya." she said and kept up her accent and speaking instead of falling back into what she normally did. To be honest though, she was enjoying every moment she was having here for it was entertaining to see the looks of disdain from the Richies that still mistook her for a Richie. She was talking to a Poorling and that wasn't very kosher.

 

"You are probably wanting an explanation for all of this aren't you?" she shift so that they could both see the goings on, and still talk to each other. "The truth is," Marcy went on to tell Kanthaya about what Johan had done including finding him listening to her music while she played in the art hall. The only thing she left out about the whole ordeal, were the effects of the medicine on her strength and senses as well as the euphoria. No one really NEEDED to know that except for Johan. "He asked me out of the blue too....and he wants to meet you. He seems to be one for us, not against us..."

 

Marcy looked expectantly at Kanthaya waiting for what the girl would say. All of it was too good to be true and she couldn't help but be somewhat entertained by everything going on.

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Ten minutes passed by, but to Kanthaya it was like seconds; moments after wondering about Marcy she had fallen back into her imagination, remembering a book she had read some time ago about a famous doctor who had come up with the cure for Asthma in young children. But he hadn't just been any doctor who discovered an amazing cure; he had been a ambitious, rambunctious, blunt and cocky man who learned so many lessons through making mistakes. Besides being a doctor, he had learned four languages and become a swordsman, married a young woman who was a cancer survivor, and adopted five children. Five! Usually Richies only had one or two children, but this man had gone out of his way to adopt five poorling children into his family! Of course that was only a sidenote in the book, but it was the part that mattered most to Kanthaya. The man was old now, but still living.

 

"Hi Kanthaya."

Kanthaya turned with surprise to see Marcy, or the girl who seemed to be Marcy. Marcy seemed to be greatly enjoying her time, and Kanthaya couldn't help but smile. She was very confused, but didn't want to ask any question that could set things on edge; she didn't want to come off as jealous, because in truth she wasn't. Lucky for her, Marcy took the initiative.

 

"You are probably wanting an explanation for all of this aren't you? The truth is..."

 

Kanthaya could hardly believe what she was hearing. Marcy had almost been beat to a pulp and had gone off to play on the piano as Kanthaya knew she usually did, and then a Richie came up randomly to listen to her? Not only that, but he complimented her on it? Kanthaya had to smile in excitement for Marcy, because it was rare for a poorling to be treated so kindly, but she also had caution while listening to her friend's story. Even standing there, Kanthaya felt somewhat lower than Marcy who was all clean and healthy. Then Marcy mentioned the medicine, and Kanthaya's eyes suddenly had a look of hunger in them. Medicine. Medicine of some sort did this to Marcy, changed her to be healthy and beautiful and... happy. So very happy. Kanthaya hadn't seen Marcy this happy in, well, forever.

 

But Kanthaya had studied many medicines, and not one had the ability to grow someone's hair from rags to riches overnight, much less fill them out to a healthy shape and no further or less... much less take away all scars... impossible. But Marcy wasn't lying, unless she was very good at lying. But why would she even tell Kanthaya such an elaborate story if she was? I have to know about this medicine. I must find out where it came from! I've studied so many medicines, but nothing could do this to a person... overnight! One dose! This isn't real!

 

At the beginning of the story, Kanthaya had been prepared to warn Marcy about the Johan guy. Now, however, she herself desperately wanted to meet him and find out where he had obtained such medicine.

 

"He asked me out of the blue too.... and he wants to meet you. He seems to be one for us, not against us..."

 

For us, not against us... hard to believe. Kanthaya looked into Marcy's eyes for a moment. "Alright, Marcy, I would be honored to meet him, but be careful... you know how Richies like to... well, sometimes take advantage of us." Then she suddenly lifted her head and quickly changed the subject, a hunger coming back to her eyes. "Did you save any of the medicine? What's it called and where'd he get it from? I would love to get a sample of it, and meet Mr. Hawk, of course, if he really does want to meet me... why would he want to meet me?" Kanthaya stopped speaking then, for she realized she had sort of bombarded Marcy with questions. She smiled and shifted a bit, her dark eyes waiting for Marcy's answer.

Edited by LadyNatasha

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Johan nodded after Marcy, allowing her hand to slip from his with only the slightest hesitation. It was easier for him this way, to do as he wanted, but Marcy was still a large part of things. He went to the side of the ballroom and listened keenly to what Marcy was saying, and what this other poorling would say back.

 

He became only slightly agitated when Marcy told her about the drug, but the hunger in the other girl's response soon turned his agitation to glee. does no one know that they should really be more careful for what they wish for? he wondered.

 

Satisfied, he walked into the men's room and ditched his outer clothing, stripping down to a simpler outfit (he appears just as in the picture except with blue eyes and no claws) and donned a hair piece to hold his white hair in place during the dancing. This was, perhaps, one of the riskiest parts of the whole evening. He chose to dance in his former priestly outfit, because, during a time in Spain, similar outfits had become popular while he was still frozen, so to speak. But this revealed hi scent, and even though he had previously descented himself and his clothing that evening... his lack of scent might be noticed. Well... it wouldn't be a complete lack, he had a cup of hot garlic tea before coming as well, so he would smell a bit like garlic and deodorant, but that should... hopefully not arouse suspicion.

 

He exited the men's room, leaving his other items, the cane and suite, in the changing stall with his name on it, set up before the party was to begin. He smiled confidently as his new attire turned a few more heads, mostly female, and then their dates.

 

Fortunately, as usual, there were more Richie girls than there were guys to go around, so when he motioned to one in a black and red dress that went along with his to some extent at least, though it didn't match his as Marcy's was designed to. She came out and joined him on the dance floor took his hand and then seemed surprised for a moment.

 

"Sorry," Johan whispered, "a little antibacterial gel, thought I got it all off..."

 

The girl, Dana Pierce, smiled at him and would have said something in reply, but at that moment the music kicked in and everyone found themselves beginning a

of the 1900s era. One of the ones in fact that Johan had trained on. It was a little fast paced for a typical waltz, but Johan quickly lead his partner through the motions, once, twice, three times.

 

She was a very accomplished dancer herself, a member of the cheer-leading squad who had traditional parents. He knew she would be coming to the party without a date, she had broken up with her boyfriend of two weeks... a long time for her to tolerate someone actually, and was fishing once more, for what Johan wasn't sure, she never did seem to particularly like anyone.

 

As soon as she got her bearings on the music, Johan began to incorporate other twists, turns, and flourishes as fast as she could keep up with them. To his delight she turned the tables on him and began to add her own talent to the dance. It was quickly apparent, as the dancing duo stared with hard, yet excited, eyes at one another, that they were, in fact, dueling on the dance floor.

 

And quite a duel it was, considering that the waltz was almost ten minutes long. They weren't showy, and they held to the traditional waltzing techniques, but every movement was fluid and quick, forcing the other partner to be equally quick and adept or lose their footing.

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Marcy grinned darkly for a moment as Kathanya seemed to be hooked on what Marcy was saying. Before Marcy answered what Kathanya asked, she stood in such a way to make sure that Kathanya wouldn't confuse anything about Marcy. "You know better. The reason that I stay beaten, and i stay harmed and starving is because no one takes advantage of Marcy Livingstone." she said a little more harshly than she had wanted to.

 

She let the statement sink in for a moment then looked out at the dance floor noting someone that she had seen before but didn't know where from. His back was the same size as...it was the same shape....his face... as he turned, Marcy found herself looking at Johan dancing with another woman that was acutally a true Richie. She was beautifula and their dancing was exquisite. She couldn't compete with that...she couldn't....why was she thinking on it so hard?

 

Marcy turned her attention back to her fellow Poorling and thought for a moment. "He was kind of vague in a way when he told me about it. The gist of it though is that it was designed by his uncle and never sold for it was a finicky drug to say it in his words. He said that it reacted differently with each person. With some it would only heal recent wounds, and with others, like myself, wounds and scars and broken bones from the past. I mean, I used to have a crooked nose and a broken cheek bone....everything....it corrected the bone structure over night and even healed something internal i just don't know Kathanya....i just don't know." Her brows knitted in frustration but she tossed the frustration aside as she decided to answer the last question.

 

"To that, I have no idea. He seems to be a really social person. I mean, he introduced me to the DEAN of the school....that was intimidating..." she said with a smirk then looked back and immediately found Johan still dancing. It was irritating seeing him in such a handsome outfit...he was handsome...okay, he was REALLY handsome.

 

Was he trying to show off? Was he trying to make her jealous? She couldn't dance in front of all these people...she wasn't like some of them. Only her music was really good and to her, her dancing was mediocre in her opinion. She was light on her feet, but she couldn't add the brilliance of sheer knowledge and talent like Johan and that other girl did...no, she was dull in comparison. When the dance ended, Marcy couldn't help but stare. Yup, she was jealous.

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Ten minutes passed slowly and by the end of ten minutes as the music ceased... Johan and Dana recovered their composure, glared at one another one last time, both smiling at one another, and bowed, backing off stage. Neither was sweating, but not because their bodies weren't exhausted, rather, because no Richie would be caught dead sweating, anti-sweat salve was a must when attending formal occasions involving dancing.

 

As the musicians began to play another, slower waltz, Johan exited the dance floor. There was no longer a woman who wanted to dance with him, not because they no longer found him attractive, but because Dana was probably the best dance artist of most any of them, and none wanted to be shown up by her, and therefore chose not to ask Johan to dance. Good for him, because he had hoped it would happen that way, even so, he had enjoyed himself. Only a dance with another vampire would have been more thrilling and satisfying, and then... it would have had to be a much faster dance too.

 

But that... would perhaps happen sooner rather than later. Johan did not return straight to Marcy, instead he headed back into the restroom and dropped off an empty crystal vial that had moments ago contained a clear, odorless liquid with slight alcoholic properties and certain other... more permanent side effects... than what Marcy had previously experienced. He wiped the vial clean of telltale fingerprints and tossed it carelessly in the trash.

 

He quickly donned his suite though he still wore his decorative hairpiece. He took his cane, and exited the restroom. Heading straight for Marcy and her friend, Mrs. Kathanya.

 

"Marcy," he smiled at her, taking her hand once more. "Now that I've fulfilled any social obligations for the evening and had a chance to stretch out of this ungainly suit. Do introduce me to your friend. Mi'lady I'm Johan Hawk, though I'm sure Marcy's managed to mention that much at least. I'm afraid I don't know your name, I never forget a name and a face but one can't remember what one has never been privy to know. And since I haven't watched you before, I can't say that I know it."

 

He smiled in a friendly way at the other girl who was so interested in his "magical cure" that couldn't possibly be real. He absently checked his watch. the one thing he could predict would happen in about twenty minutes, the one thing he couldn't... that being when Marcy would suddenly and rather violently, hit withdrawal... could happen anytime in the next few hours. But so long as it didn't happen in the next twenty minutes.... that was OK.

 

Johan so hated things he couldn't predict. Unfortunately the effects of his blood on Marcy was one of those things, there simply was no way to predict it. It would heal her very quickly, within an hour of use, leading to euphoria and an intense energy burn that would last until the energy was spent, following would be a round of unconsciousness. After that... well... the blood was strong, the withdrawal wouldn't kick in for up to twenty four hours after the initial taking, leaving the most likely window to be between now and midnight tonight. At which time... Marcy would spend a few hours with a cold sweat and a desperate desire for more of whatever it was he had given her. She would have a hunger, a craving, that food couldn't satisfy, and she'd feel weak and tired at the same time.

 

This was why Johan had used so little, it was addicting to a human after only the first try, like certain drugs that could hook you with one taste. But unlike those types of drugs, this had no lasting side effects after only one use. Just a severe withdrawal period of a few hours. If she never had the stuff again she'd be fine. Continual usage however lead to dependance, five or six times and your body would start relying on the stuff to keep you alive, and trying to quit it cold turkey would cause your vital organs to shut down.

 

It worked well for making people dependent on you and willing to do anything for you. But that type of use sickened Johan. He wasn't without morals... his morals were just... eccentric, like himself.

 

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Carmandy smiled widely at Arata a hint of joy in her eyes. "To meet one of my own kind would be something that I could enjoy." she watched him jump up to the wall and said, "I will have to find a way to make an excuse to come here because I do love the gardens. Maybe sometime you can come and meet the pack. We live with the US Vampyres in the house that stands on the mountain." she said and then waved farewell to him. Arata nodded, his heart full of excitement. There are Vampires here too? Wow.... I wonder if any came to the party.. And then he became a golden flash, easily bounding across the extensive mansion gardens. When he reached the mansion, Arata simply leapt up the side of the building, digging in with his claws to retain a grip. There was a partial glass ceiling, to allow guests a view of the clear, starry black sky. It allowed Arata to catch a glimpse of the guests below.

 

Arata looked down. There was a girl in a dazzling red dress playing a piano, and people were dancing below. But what attracted Arata even more was the scent wafting from the open windows of the kitchen. Arata crept closer, and dropped down to in front of the window ledge. The pies were on the ledge to cool slightly before dessert was served (which would be in a long while). There was steaming chicken and other meats, appetizers (the extra food which would be served on platters), and a whole slew of food from Arata's own gardens. Arata dashed into the kitchen, becoming a golden blur that was basically invisible to humans as he nimbly manuvered through the large kitchen. He grabbed a chicken leg, which would be his dinner.

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Dana Pierce

 

Dana finished her dance with Johan, breathless, though she wouldn't let him see it. Ever since he had dumped her, she'd sworn never to speak with the man again. No one dumps her... she dumps others, not the other way around. any man that can't keep up with the graceful art that she puts her body through... simply isn't worth her time. Then there was Johan, someone who could do just that, honestly it was a thrill to dance with him, it reminded her of the first time, when the two of them had danced literally until they were too tired to move anymore. She had been in heaven.

 

Then... then he had dumped her, said he wasn't interested in having a girlfriend at the time, and that when the time was right maybe he'd reconsider. The arrogant prick! How could he refuse her? Any guy would be more than happy to have a girl with a body like hers, and smart too, and rich... but he didn't even give her a second look, he simply said no.

 

She shouldn't have danced with him, should have given him the cold shoulder... again... but... after having experienced it once, there was nothing like it. Dancing with someone who matched her professional gymnast flexibility, poise,and grace. As much as she hated him for it... she had enjoyed the dance so very much.

 

But apparently she shouldn't have had that scotch the Dean brought before hand, it wasn't agreeing with her stomach at all. She quickly crossed to the edge of the ballroom and headed for the women's room at the same time Johan headed for the men's.

 

maybe he couldn't handle it either... she smiled at the thought.

 

She walked in and made it to a toilet in time to throw up the contents of her stomach... and then retch again and again until she thought she would pass out. Then it subsided and she suddenly had a bad headache. Sitting on the seat of the toilet she dialed her cellphone.

 

"Hello? Dana?" it was Juliana, a Richie from North Dakota. She wasn't as rich as Dana was, but the two of them were good friends and roommates, not because they couldn't afford separate living arrangements, but because they enjoyed one anothers' company, having been good friends since the first day of school last year.

 

"Hey Juliana," Dana replied, her voice a bit scratchy, "hey can you come pick me up, I'm not feeling well, I think it was Dean Adams' million year old scotch..."

 

"Dana!" Julianna exclaimed into the speaker, "you sound awful! You got sick last year from that stuff too, I remember, and you weren't even old enough then you snuck some, well I guess this is what they call poetic justice."

 

"Yeah yeah, well at least I'm at a party not studying dead things..." Dana retorted, "besides I got to dance with Johan again... you should have been here, it was heavenly, I swear we had everyone's attention. But... he still ignored me..."

 

Juliana was a history major, studying early cultures from the early 3rd century BC. Dana's mother owned a large private artifacts collection her family had found and become mostly rich on. They dated back to the 3rd century but were otherwise unrecognizable and in a language that hadn't been translated yet. It was how the two girls had met. Even though they were complete opposites, they had hit it off and become best buds by the end of Freshman year.

 

"Alright I'm on my way, meet me outside, and you'll have to tell me everything about your dance when I see you!"

 

Dana, feeling slightly better now, made her way out of the restroom and skirted the dance floor as the musicians had begun a new song. She made her way to the entrance and good to her word, Juliana was waiting there to pick her up.

 

Dana plopped into the car and groaned, the headache was coming back again. "Ugh... I feel like I have a hangover..."

 

"Dang Dana... how much of that scotch did you drink?" Juliana asked, quickly driving the short distance back to the dorm.

 

"Just one glass I swear... it was probably the dancing, my gosh Juliana, he was so hot! He was wearing some retro Latino dance outfit that had an open chest." Dana giggled giddily as she walked inside with Juliana, starting to sway on her feet a little.

 

"Wow, that's... making a statement..." Juliana managed to say, personally she was repulsed by the idea of a guy taking off his shirt, one of the reasons she avoided the gym like the plague. "Let's get you out of that dress and in bed... you don't look so good..."

 

"I'm... fine... I'll be fine... just give me two of those sleeping pills and I'll be good when I waky again..." Dana said as the dress fell off her and Juliana guided her onto the bed, pulling the covers over her.

 

"If you say so..." Juliana gave her the pills and a glass of water, both of which Dana immediately downed, and then went back into the other room to finish studying, expecting her roommate to be right as rain by morning...

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