At the Bookshop the mystery deepens, whilst Neema goes in search of her former servant – the wicked Isabella…..who holds the key.
Out on the street, Charmaine parked her red coloured VW beetle just outside the Magic shop that she had owned for the last ten years. A darling store, that had everything that the modern day witch or warlock could possibly need. From potions, to books, crystals and charms that made wonderful gifts, or something a bit more sinister if you asked the right questions. Dressed in a colourful tie died skirt and matching shirt, Charmaine got out of the car and greeted some of the early bird customers that were waiting just outside the doors. Word of the new shipment of books from Europe had reached many ears via her monthly online newsletter, and so there was at least five ladies all lined up waiting patiently. Amelia smiled to see that they had a good amount of customers well before the doors were to even open. This would help the young witch keep her mind off the thoughts of what was going on back at Shane’s mansion. Amelia was dressed as you would expect, in her black school girl style dress with white blouse, knee high black socks and snappy heeled black leather shoes. Her hair was tied into two pony tails, with white ribbons, and this exposed the spider web tattoo that was on her neck. Charmaine fumbled with her massive key chain, and then got the door open, much to the joy of the waiting ladies. All wandered in, as Amelia raced out back to turn on all the lights, and then start up the cash register. This sure beat working at the crime lab for the local police station. She was always on a deadline, and the pressure to be constantly productive took its toll on her. Here, in the shop she was dealing only with happy clients, or some that had been hitting the bowl.
The ladies all filed through and Charmaine advised the clients that she would have the newest shipment unpacked within the next half hour. There was no real rush, but you could sense that a few were eager to get their hands on the latest spell and enchantment books.
There were three boxes that needed opening, one was even a special crate that had come from the middle east. While the customers spread out around the store, Amelia helped Charmaine open each one, using the supplied inventory list to help check off and do the pricing tickets for. As Amelia opened the first box, one book caught her eye. It was about ancient Egypt, and the supernatural of that era. She reached into the box and pulled the golden tome out, and after checking it off the list, she actually set this book aside. There was something about the inscription on the cover that seemed oddly familiar, but she couldn’t place what it was.
More and more books were brought out, and Amelia worked quickly to ensure they were accounted for, marked and put out on the new display table. The ladies were quick to go through the books, and you could hear the delighted squeals from them, as many of the new books were highly sort after.
The register was going off as Charmaine was ringing through each of the sales to the early bird customers. Handing each customer one of the special store bags made from hemp that contained their purchases. It was a dizzying first hour of trade, as more customers filed through the doors, keen to see the latest shipment. New haven’s magical society was very popular and the ladies all pretty much knew each other. It was a tight knit community and great respect was held for Charmaine, who…was considered to be a bit eccentric compared to most Haven residents.
When the rush hour had peeked, Charmaine asked if Amelia would like a cup of tea and a moment to enjoy the book she had put aside.
“You are a lifesaver, Char.” Amelia said, taking up the book and finding a chair near the back so she could investigate the book further. While Charmaine was out the back putting on the jug, Amelia opened the front cover of the book only to then scream at what she saw.
It was a lithograph of Carmen and…a King by the looks of it. The same couple that had been in her vision when she had embraced Carmen at the house. This was the last thing she expected to see. Charmaine came running out of the back room, wondering what had made Amelia scream. “What is it?” Charmaine asked, her eyes wide as she saw the pale look on Amelia’s face. Amelia turned the book around so Charmaine herself could see.
“Who does that look like?” Amelia asked, knowing full well what Charmaine was going to say. Charmaine placed on her small spectacles and peered at the picture of the royal Egyptian couple on the thrones. Charmaine was almost taken aback by what she saw. “That looks like….Carmen. Gosh, the similarities are incredible. But what would she be doing in an Egyptian book on the supernatural?”
Amelia had not had the time to explain everything to Charmaine, but there was no time like the present.
“When…they came home last night, I went to hug Carmen. I had this…flash…a vision of this same couple in the book, and they sacrificed a vampire to the Sun. Charmaine…is it a coincidence that I saw this after holding Carmen, and now I am seeing this same image in this book? Is it me?” There was definitely more to this, than a simple vision. Charmaine took the book and started to go through it. The more she read, the more startling the information was.
“According to this, the woman in that picture was a Queen….a Vampire Queen.”
Amelia knew…that she needed to show Shane the book, as soon as he woke that evening.
The city was slowly coming awake as its citizens prepared for their day. Storefronts were hotbeds of activity as displays were set up, doors were propped open in the unseasonable warm weather. Smells from the local bakery permeated the air as customers and clerks went hither and yon.
The sleek red Corvette pulled into a parking slot outside of a clothing store and Neema peeled her svelte form from within. She slipped on a pair of sunglasses to hide her eyes as she closed the door. She looked around, taking in the people and the buildings with an air of disdain, snorting contemptuously at their humdrum existence. She took the time to stroll along the street, taking in nothing and everything at once.
She went inside a breakfast diner that had caught her eye and claimed a table in the back corner. A sleepy waitress walked up to her table with a yawn.
“Morning. What can I get ya?”
“Coffee, black. And a daily periodical if you have one.” The waitress frowned slightly and gave Neema an odd look.
“You mean…a newspaper?”
“Is that what you call them here? Interesting.” Neema mused. The waitress gave her another odd look before walking away.
She returned a few moments later with the requested items.
“That’s $2.00 for the coffee.” the waitress stated. Neema recognized that she was required to pay for the service and dug into the pocket of the pants she was wearing and fishing out three $1 bills.
“Keep the change.”
The waitress rolled her eyes, muttering something about “cheap bitches” as she walked away. Neema ignored her as she began to read the paper. She needed to get her bearings before she continued her search.
As she was reading the society section, a particular article caught her eye. The more she read, the more evil her smirk became.
“I found you, you evil, conniving little bitch.” she grinned. She slapped the paper down on the table and quickly left. The waitress went over to clean the table and noticed where the newspaper had been left open. She had to wonder why her cheap customer was interested in the auction from the night before.
After some judicial use of her returning powers, Neema finally located Isabella’s home. It wasn’t as locked down as Shane’s place, but it still took her some time to find a way in, doing so by breaking a basement window and crawling in. She wanted to be there when Isabella woke for the night. And then…they were going to have a woman-to-woman talk.
Neema stretched out on the couch in the living room and closed her eyes. She wanted to be well rested for the ensuing conversation. She fell asleep with a smirk on her face.
When Isabella woke for the night, Neema was waiting in the darkened living room. The woman had to have sensed that someone else was in her home and Neema did not wait any longer to make her presence felt. Her dark aura flared drastically, the air heavy with the weight of it.
“Hello…Isabella.” Neema smirked in the darkness just before she flipped on the lamp on the table.
Awakening from her daylight slumber, the shutters on the mansion started to open to allow the moon’s rays to filter through into the expansive bedroom suite of Isabella. It was easy to say that Isabella had not rested at all well, what with the murder of her foot soldier Luther, and the horrible threats from Vlad’s dog – Emilia. Clutching the key necklet that she still wore around her neck, Isabella slid out of bed and then yawned as she padded across her room and picked up a sheer black robe to cover what was a simple teddy beneath. Jason was of course still sleeping, and for the time being she felt it best he stayed there. For some curious reason Isabella had a weird feeling about this night. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but she felt that maybe if she went down to where she had hung her latest purchase of the $10 million dollar painting, that it might ease her mind.
Going down the stairs, each of the lights started to come on as if by the magic of her very presense. The rest of her coven were all sleeping in the basement, which was what she preffered. Isabella for the most part was a solitary person even though she had kept Luther very close to her. Without him to aid her on the outside, she was going to have to raise one of her other followers up from the ranks. But she didn’t trust easily, so that was going to take time. Time she could ill afford.
Heading into the main drawing room, there was a click of a lamp light that the Vampire had not activated with her mind. It was done by another.
“Hello …Isabella.” That voice….that…unmistakable voice. With the edge to the accent like one from the middle east. Isabella spun in the direction from where the voice had come from and saw to her shock and dismay, that there was a woman lazing on one of her love couches. And not just any woman.
“Neema?” Isabella asked, almost as a gasp was trapped in her throat. The hell was she doing in her house…..or in the country for that matter. Isabella had left that mad woman’s clutches so long ago that Neema should be nothing but a mummy in some far off museum. Even though Neema was using Carmen’s body as her host, the two women were identical.
Growling under her breath, the Vampire mistress shook with fear and anger. “What are you doing in my house?” Little did she know…what Neema had come for. Her eyes darted about the room to see if Neema had brought her own followers, but saw none. Did Neema know about Vlad? That was one of many questions.
Live Skype Session on August 14, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT
Players: CharlotteCarrendar as Isabella and LadyBelz as Neema
Roleplay: Aeternam Venustas
LadyBelz: “Hmm…quite a nice place you have here, Izzie.” Neema smirked, crossing her legs. “I especially like the artwork of yourself and Vladmir. Spent a bit of money on it, did you?” she arched an eyebrow, glancing at the painting in question. There was silence between the two women before Neema’s expression became downright nasty. “Did you really think you could get away with betraying me, betraying my coven? I spent thousands of years, entombed, hearing my own screams as I slowly died from the thirst, my spirit, my very essence awaiting the day I could return to body and take my revenge on those who betrayed me.” Faster then a human could blink, Neema was directly in Isabella’s face, looking her over with her dark gaze. She reached up to brush a loose strand of hair back behind Isabella’s ear, a caress that was sensual as well as a warning. “I won’t kill you…yet…for your betrayal. You have information I want and your answers will determine if you live…or die.” Neema stepped back away from Isabella and returned to the couch. “Where is my key?”
CharlotteCarrendar: Isabella was wearing the very key that Neema sought. She was rooted to the ground when the woman came at her with such speed and power. Isabella could hardly believe that the woman was there in the flesh. Neema was meant to be nothing more than food for the scarabs. But as she listened to what Isabella’s betrayal had done to the woman, she knew that now her own unlife was at serious risk. The painting – oh that would have angered Neema all the more as Isabella enjoyed her coupling with the great Vladimir. Isabella was one of many that the Count enjoyed over the thousand or so years that he continued to walk the earth, while the whereabouts of his beloved Neema became nothing more than a terrible mystery. Isabella shivered coolly at Neema’s touch. The woman had a way about her that could barely be described as anything more than sinister. “Everything I have…I gained myself, without help from the likes of Vlad…or you. You….are just some spirit in an unwilling host. I’m sure that is not going to last much longer. So…taunt me all you want. I am never telling you of the key.” Isabella said with an air of defiance.
LadyBelz: Neema watched her with dark eyes, malice glittering in their very depths. She was impressed, slightly that Isabella would argue back with her. She had wanted to judge the woman’s intent and now she had her measure.
She chuckled darkly. “That wasn’t really a request, my darling Servant.” Neema hissed the last word as an insult, reminding Isabella that she had once belonged to Neema and she wasn’t going to let her forget it. “You will tell me what I wish to know…or I will destroy your entire coven…including your little playmate I can smell that is laying in your bed right at this moment.”
Neema was a smart woman. She knew Isabella was a vain and insecure person, keeping secrets was an art form for her. But Neema had sensed her own blood, kept in the tip of the very key she sought and had seen the fine silver chain around Isabella’s neck. She was testing Isabella, judging her truthfulness and finding her severely lacking. It was only a matter of time.
“Second question while I let you think over the first some more. Vladmir is here in this town. Where is he?”
CharlotteCarrendar: Isabella hissed violently as she bared her fangs at Neema. “You shall bring no harm to what is mine. They are of my blood and serve me. I am the Mistress in this house!” she screeched as she flew into a terrible rage at the thought of her darling Jason, or her other blood dolls and vampires falling prey to the woman. Her chest rose and fell sharply, and this was when the glint of silver of the chain would be seen, as though winking out from beneath her black sheer robe. Rounding on the woman, Isabella seethed. “You think you will have Vladmir fall for you again. You might want to rethink that. Oh..he is here alright. In this very town. All you have to do is follow the stench of his blood hounds – his Generals if you want to know where he is holed up at.” Isabella was still smarting over the fact that Emilia, his right hand had murdered Luther in such a horrific fashion. Also…wanting the damned key. To Isabella, no one was truly safe from Vladmir. She may have the portrait of her intimate times with the Count, but she like many knew of how much he changed after losing Neema. And to add salt to the venomous bite of Isabella’s words, she added. “I stopped being your servant the day I sealed your tomb.” <3>
LadyBelz: Neema sat upon the couch, calm and cool and let Isabella have her little rant. So…Vladmir had his hounds with him. She vaguely remembered Emelia. The little tart thought herself to be in love with her Vladmir. But there was only one woman for him and Neema was going back to him. “Hmm. I should have known. You always did strive to be better then others, rising above your station. Do they know you were once my slave? My little…plaything to trot out to the soldiers under my command?” Neema smirked, getting to her feet once more. She stalked toward Isabella, like a panther stalking her prey, walking around her in a small circle. She stopped behind the woman, smirking at the top of her head as Neema was about a foot taller. She placed her chin on Isabella’s shoulder. “I should take you as my slave again…make you perform like a monkey before me.” she whispered darkly. “But I will not dirty myself with such filth.” Neema walked around until she stood before Isabella. She reached out and grabbed the chain, exposing the key to her eyes. With a quick hard yank, she broke the chain, and dropped the key into the palm of her hand. She gave Isabella a sideways glance. “I will be returning for you. You cannot hide from me, so don’t even try.” Neema leaned in and planted a kiss upon a stunned Isabella’s lips. “Enjoy the rest of your evening.”
With a dark laugh, Neema turned and sauntered casually from the house. She had a Master Vampire to find.
CharlotteCarrendar: The tug of the silver chain around her neck caused to make the chain break and it fell freely into Neema’s hand. The one piece of history that would keep Isabella safe was now in the hands of her greatest enemy. Isabella scowled and grit her teeth as Neema moved to touch her, and then planted a sickening kiss on her lips. Warning that she would return for her once she had fulfilled her mission. Obviously she wanted to seek out Vladmir. That would either go one of two ways. Vlad may not even realize it is the same Neema, perhaps think it is bait to a trap, or…he would embrace his former flame. Either way, Isabella did not plan on simply waiting on Neema’s return. As soon as Neema had walked past and out of the house, with the key now in her possession, Isabella let out a blood curdling scream of rage, that broke many a window in that room. She had to get away…and fast.