Off Screen Scene: This Glamorous Life

by Aidan Boyle
1297366959|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover (updated 1298324862|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover) | 0 comment(s)

IC Date: February 9th, 2011 — Early Evening
This scene takes place later in the day following the blog entry Kim Cleans Up

Kim knows that Aidan is awake before she steps across the threshold of his flat for the second time today. There is music emanating from the other side of the door, a dull rhythmic drumming and thumping beat that just barely vibrates through her hand as she places it on the door knob.

It’s louder inside the flat, the driving bass seeming to shake her insides and pulse throughout her body. The large flat panel television is on in the living room, tuned to some sporting event, but Aidan is nowhere in sight. The sun has only been down for a few minutes, and the flat has already gone from the empty tomb-like feeling from earlier this morning to being filled with the energy of living. Or at least the mimicry of living.

The swelling bass and driving drumbeat come from overhead, and after divesting herself of coat and gloves, Kim turns toward the staircase. She’s not even a quarter of the way up when she spies the first bright neon orange post it note stuck to the hand rail. Kim plucks it up, her lips quirking into a smile as she reads: Her eyes were not crooked.

The second note, halfway up the staircase and clinging precariously to the hand railing announces: I can dress myself.

Reading that turns Kim’s smirk into a frown. She’d been hoping that she wasn’t going to have to wage a battle tonight. Waging battles with Aidan is difficult at the best of times; impossible at the worse. He can be an immovable force once he sets his mind, and those scenarios leave Kim torn between wanting to pummel the centuries old vampire and wanting to pound her fists and kick the floor like a child.

She follows the music to Aidan’s bedroom. The door stands open, the bass becoming more deafening as she approaches the room. Aidan remains absent from sight, though there is evidence of his passage: the bedsheets are turned down, the pillows shifted and the heavy, thick curtains and blinds now stand open to allow the darkening night to spill into the room. She can hear the shower running through the crack in the door that separates the bathroom from the bedroom. Finding the remote, Kim reduces the volume on the music a bit and takes another look around. As expected, hanging off the hook on the bed are not the clothes she picked out for him this morning.

“Of course not,” Kim mutters. She rakes her eyes over the ensemble Aidan has chosen for himself: black denim jeans, fitted tailored shirt — black, of course. Kim knows what will complete this look; the black boots and leather jacket in a signature look that simply screams "sexy bad boy" and gets Aidan whatever — whomever — he wants without having to call upon a single one of his intrinsic supernatural abilities. This is one of his clubbing outfits; it’s a hunters uniform, if she’s going to be honest about it. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

“Not tonight, Aidan.” The clothes go back into the armoire without a second thought. Kim ruffles through for the second time today, seeking more suitable clothing for this evening.

She hears Aidan enter the bedroom. He’s not making an attempt to be stealthy or quiet, though he has been known to sneak up and startle her simply because he can. Because it’s a reminder to her, possibly to him as well, that no matter how human he looks and pretends to be, Aidan Boyle hasn’t been human for a very, very long time.

“What happened to my clothes?” It’s not so much a question as it is a command to answer. Kim sometimes wonders if Aidan wasn’t the bastard child of some nobleman before becoming a Vampire. He has that air of command and aristocracy about him, the poise of someone who’s been held to a higher standard. He’s that way in the kitchen, whether he’s teaching or prepping, and the chefs who don’t cower away from him actually get turned into something more than mediocre.

“I put them away.” Kim plucks out a pair of crisp black trousers. Not too expensive, but still lightweight and pleasing to the eye. “You’re back of the house tonight, remember?”

“Owen can do it.” She doesn’t need to look at Aidan to recognize the scowl in his voice. “It’s my restaurant. I’m allowed to beg off and delegate.”

Her mind flickers back to the little wisp of a blonde whom she awoke in the guest room this morning. Kim traces the pattern of bites on the blonde’s body, and replaying it in her mind’s eyes, Kim knows she’d be hard pressed to find a patch of skin more than a couple of inches square that hadn’t been marked by Aidan’s fangs or the brute strength of his hands. The vampire had been particularly rough with last night’s quarry, which meant there was something going on in that head of his that him all wound up. Not that Kim hasn’t seen the evidence of his roughness — or his deadlier brutality — but Aidan doesn’t bring that into his domicile. That doesn’t typically touch the place where he wore his mask and participated in the elaborate masquerade as part of humanity.

“Beringer and Richfield asked specifically for you when they made the reservations.” The shirt she selects to go with the trousers is a deep, dark burgundy that should wash out Aidan’s pale skin, but never does. Kim turns to face him with the new clothes in hand, and she has to take a moment to appreciate the view Aidan provides. Her employer isn’t unattractive, there has never been a question of why he has women throwing themselves at him. Still wet from the shower, water drips of his slicked dark hair, the droplets worming their ways in winding trails down the tight muscled torso before vanishing into the towel settled low on his hip bones. Kim admires him because she’s only human, because she can, and a little bit because she knows that if she doesn’t stroke his ego, Aidan will strut until she does; or alternately, find a way to be even more difficult.

“So?” It’s thrown out as a challenge. Ice chip eyes rove over the clothes she’s holding out as she approaches him.

“You have a reputation.” Kim holds the shirt up to his torso and votes it suitable. It goes onto the clothes hook. “Which as much as I know you like to pretend that you could hardly care what a bunch of mortal humans think of you, you know that it’s good for Flare.” She thrusts the trousers at him. “And you’re an attention whore. We both know that you’ll want to look good when you come out to meet them.”

“I hate that shirt.”

Kim throws him a glare. “Then you should have been wearing it last night. The Varvartos was new.” She yanks the burgundy shirt off the hook and heads back to the armoire. He’s not fighting the trousers, or the fact that he can’t turn the kitchen stadium over to Owen tonight. It’s two small victories, so Kim can be flexible on other things.

“Yeah, I really did like that shirt,” Aidan sighs, and it’s one of those things that always catches Kim’s attention. The man is capable of expressing an overwhelming number of emotions and thoughts with a broad range of sighs and exhalations that are interesting when emanating from someone who doesn’t need to breathe. “Who knew a little thing like that would have such strong little fingers?”

His voice is a mixture of admiration, amusement and something more primal and feral that sets the hairs on the back of Kim’s neck to standing at attention. Kim figured out long ago that no matter how much bravado she could put up, she would never be devoid of that innate reaction that has protected humans through the ages. At the most base levels, her body recognizes what Aidan is. He’s a tiger, beautiful and sleek, he lets her pet him and play with him, but he could just as easily turn and rip out her jugular.

Yet, for her there still remains something darkly seductive and alluring about that thought. It’s the very reason that Aidan chose her, it’s the reason that she is so perfectly suited to her work for him. Every last detail.

“Spare me the details,” Kim quips. The next shirt is a dusky gray. “Unless you want to tell me what got into you last night?”

“I was hungry.” Aidan’s behind her in the time it takes her to blink. His body doesn’t give off heat — though it will after he’s fed — but it doesn’t make him any less of a solid, obvious presence behind her as their eyes lock in the armoire mirror. “She was yummy. Not that one.”

Kim gives up. She grabs the first solid black shirt she can find and thrusts it out behind her, slamming into side. His blue eyes twinkle as Aidan accepts the shirt. He’s already turning away as she reaches for a tie, and he calls back at her, “No tie, Kim.”

“You do understand the whole idea of image, yeah?” Kim whirls to face him, her arms folded beneath her breasts. She taps her fingers on her elbow.

“I like to let my dishes speak for me.” The towel flutters to the floor, and this time Kim does avert her eyes. Aidan’s low chuckle washes over her. The rustle of fabric tells her that he is, at least, getting dressed. “But, I always appreciate the effort you go through.”

Kim snorts. Keeping her attention focused on the ceiling, she continues tapping a slow beat with her fingers. “That girl last night… that isn’t like you.”

Aidan’s initial reply is something between a snort and a bark of laughter. “Right. Really? I could swear that you’ve seen me do a whole lot more.” The pride and passion in his voice are very plain.

“Not the point.” Kim ventures a glance at him. He’s wearing pants, though there is still want of a shirt.

“Then what is the point, Kimmy? Because I’m not quite getting it.”

Kim knows the conversation, if that is what it could be called, is over before it even begins. Aidan’s casual tossing about that horrid nickname is as indicative as anything else that he’s not going to talk about whatever it was that triggered his reaction last night. Because it is now that Kim has a moment of clarity and realizes that what she saw was evidence of Aidan’s own special brand of temper tantrum. Fortunately for last night’s victim, it was only a mild one.

“You’re going to need to eat before you cook tonight,” Kim changes the subject as easily as switching the station on the telly. “I’ll take care of it.” There are actual channels in place for this sort of thing, done discretely enough. Aidan doesn’t hunt because he has to; he hunts because he wants to do so.

Aidan nods and waves her away, his attention already shifting to the flat panel television, hanging in the corner of the bedroom, that he’s just turned on. Kim is half-way out of the room when he calls behind her, “Not Suzie.”

“Sara,” Kim automatically corrects.

“That’s what I said,” Aidan replies dismissively. “I’d like a switch from blondes.” Kim waits, because there’s something in his tone that tells her Aidan’s not quite done yet. She doesn’t have to wait long. In the next breath, he continues, “Oh and Kim? I need you to find someone for me.”

The request isn’t unusual. Someone caught Aidan’s eye at the club, or maybe even at the restaurant. “A’right, yeah, who?”

“A woman.” Aidan pulls his attention from the television — he’s catching up on current events, there’s a wicked clever brain behind that handsome face, but he hides it well — and slides his arms into the sleeves of the shirt. “She was at Vortex last night. Her name is Grace. She’s about five-four, five-five. Brown hair. Gray eyes.”

Kim stares at him for a beat. Then another. Then finally another until she realizes that there really is no further information forthcoming. “You want me to find a brunette named Grace in the middle of London? Which pocket do you want me to pull her out of?”

Aidan’s head snaps around and his eyes are as cold as a winter’s morning. “Not funny.”

“I’m not trying to be funny.” Kim threw her hands up in exasperation. “I don’t do miracles, Aidan. Might as well ask me to find a needle in a haystack. I need more than a description and a first name.”

“Well, I don’t know anything else.” Aidan’s hands fly over the buttons faster than a human could ever manage, and faster than Kim’s eyes can see. “Just see what you can you do, Kim.”

It’s on the tip of her tongue to argue more, but Kim catches a glimpse of Aidan’s face and eyes before he turns away from him. She knows without asking that this mystery woman is the reason for Aidan’s temper tantrum. Kim doesn’t have a clue of what could have caused it, but clearly the mysterious Grace is the one who got away. Aidan’s intimated, but never outright admitted that there are those who are immune to his supernatural persuasion, and it’s almost amusing to considering that perhaps Aidan has run up against just such a person. Almost, but not quite because Aidan gets surly when he doesn’t get his way, and that means the messes that Kim has to clean up keep getting bigger and messier.

Instead of arguing, Kim racks her brain for a moment. “I have a friend who’s a PC. Detective Inspector. Might be able to look at the CCTV, see if anything jumps out. Maybe see what she was driving, if she comes there a lot.” The chances are slim to nil and Kim knows it, but if Aidan thinks something is being done, he’ll restrain himself for at least a little longer. “That’s not a promise, Aidan, but it’s the best I can offer.”

“Good,” Aidan nods. He turns back to her, his eyes as soft now as they were cold a few moments before. “Thank you, Kim.” There is a hint of genuine gratitude in the words, a rare occurrence indeed where Aidan is concerned.

“I’ll take care of dinner now,” Kim gives him a smile and departs, leaving the Vampire focused on the telly. She’s been up since before sunrise, and her day is nowhere near over yet.

In the service of a Vampire, it never is.


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