Night Bytes

Double Devil

12 Jun 2011 21:43  |  by Aidan Boyle
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IC Date: May 19, 2011 — Early Evening
This episode takes place following the log A Night of Revelations

“I simply don’t understand why you have to go now and why you can’t take a few more days to prepare.” Kim follows Aidan down the stairs of the flat, watching as he parks his small suitcase by the front door. “We have an important catering event this weekend, Aidan -”

“I know you can handle it, Kim.” The vampire doesn’t even glance her way as he heads into the main sitting room. “You can handle everything without me for months if you needed to do so. That’s what I pay you for.”

This is one of those times when Kim bristles with absolute frustration and indignation. Aidan is being cryptic and tight-lipped, and the only thing Kim was initially able to get out of him was that he’s going away for ‘business.’ Considering that she manages his business, a little more prodding revealed that it was ‘personal business’ and then ‘vampire business.’ It was that last addition that has her a bit concerned.

In all the time Kim has known Aidan, he has made a point to stay out of Vampire politics. He told her once - and he was as suitably sotted at the time as Aidan has ever been known to get and even then it didn’t last long - that the politics are a headache and he prefers to simply live and enjoy life and not worry about playing those types of games. Naturally, he never chose to explain anything about it to her, and until now, Kim’s never had reason to wonder.

“Yes,” Kim follows him at a slow clip. There’s no need to hurry along behind like a puppy begging for attention, she knows that he is going to the bar to make himself a drink. “But who is going to handle you?”

Aidan looks up from pouring a glass of scotch. “I did manage to take care of myself for centuries before I found you, Kim.” He lifts the glass and takes a drink, blue eyes sparkling over the rim as he regards her. “I think that I’ll manage a few days on my own outside of the country.”

“And I think that you’ve likely no idea how much you’ve come to depend on me.”

There’s a laugh, and then he’s standing in front of her faster than any human could. Kim doesn’t step back, but there is a reflexive blink and flinch. Human senses really were not designed to process movement and motion like that. “That’s where you’d be wrong, Kimmy.” Aidan leans in and his lips brush against her cheek, dragging back to her ear and Kim feels that tugging rise and melting heat in her gut that she always feels around the insufferable arrogant demon when he behaves like this.

“I’m so very well aware of just how much I do need you. I would be so lost without you.” The whisper of words actually feel as though they’re caressing her ear, and Kim tightens her hand into a fist, nails digging deeply into her palm until it smarts from pain. She is alternately annoyed and fascinated with why she responds to him in such a way; yes, he’s incredibly beautiful and simply oozes sensuality - when he’s not being a petulant teenager or arrogant prick - though she knows that it is partly something innate to his nature, and partly that she wasn’t left so untouched by his gift in the early days of their acquaintance.

“You’re full of shite, Aidan.” No way to hide her reactions, not from him, but Kim has mastered schooling herself over the years. It’s a surface game, surely, but one in which Aidan never (seldom) calls her bluff.

He laughs again, stepping away from her and for a moment, the tension and consternation that have been etched into his face for the past two days are absent and the Irishman appears to be his normal, arrogant, playful self. Kim much prefers him that way. If Vampire politics make him harder, sharper - showing his true age in a way that can’t be described in mere words — she would much rather he continue to stay out of that arena.

Kim knows that the door buzzer will sound moments before it does. She doesn’t realize that she knows, that she has even registered the subtleties of Aidan’s behavior as the Vampire’s attention slowly shifts to the door. Or that her attention has causally followed his until the buzzer chimes, filling the flat with a low ringing chime.

“Expecting someone?” Kim asks.

Aidan’s brows knit together. “No.”

Again he moves with inhuman grace and speed, somehow depositing his glass of scotch on the kitchen counter before moving to the door and unlocking it. One upon a time she asked him why he seldom, if ever, checks the security peek hole and he told her its because if he can hear them before the buzzer sounds, then chances are they aren’t attempting to be stealthy. Kim’s not sure she buys into that philosophy, but she’s not an almost four hundred year old Vampire.

There is then, a shift in Aidan’s stance as he swings the door open, his shoulders rolling from tense to near immediate relaxation. Kim can’t see the person on the other side of the door, but she hears a rolling cadence of what sounds to be French, albeit in an accent and dialect that she’s never heard before.

When the vampire half-steps, half-staggers back — Kim’s visual cues take a moment to catch up to the speed of the movements - like trying to decide which racing vehicle crossed the finish line first - he has an armful of woman and there is a somewhat bored looking young blonde male standing idly to one side.

The armful of woman is a literal description because the darkly tanned brunette is fully wound around Aidan. Her skirt is hiked to her hips, her legs round around his waist and joined at the mouths, the pair doesn’t even seem cognizant of anyone - or anything else - around them. As demonstrated by the rattling of the pictures in their frame and the tinkling of things on the bookcases as Aidan crashes them into the nearest wall, the woman’s body pressed between his own and the wall.

Kim cuts her eyes to the young blonde who seems entirely unaffected by the whole display. He’s a handsome one, tall and broad in the shoulders with clear blue eyes… on second inspection, Kim realizes he’s not so much unaffected as he is … vacant. He has that look about him, the one that she’s seen so many times after chasing out one of Aidan’s nightly diversions.

Glamoured, Kim recognizes.

“Aidan?” Kim calls. She folds her arms beneath her breasts, tapping her fingertips against her elbow.

No response is forthcoming, but Kim doesn’t really expect one. She walks to the bar and makes herself a drink, waiting another minute and then another before crossing the room again to watch Aidan behaving like a hormonal driven teenager sneaking a snog. Kim can’t decide whether the situation is comical or disturbing, and she’s still sitting the fence until the moment the woman’s hands begin to claw at Aidan’s back and his hands can be clearly seen roaming to places beneath the skirt, and that’s when Kim coughs - loudly - and calls his name again.


There’s a moment when Kim thinks that she either has not been heard, or is being ignored. It lasts a few heartbeats and then the woman slowly slides down Aidan’s body, though her hands remain firmly gripped to his shirt. She peeks around the vampire, licking her lips slowly as they curl into a smugly satisfied smile. “Bonjour, Kim. I didn’t see you there.”

“Celia.” Kim pauses a beat, giving a smirk of her own. “I didn’t recognize you at first.” Though really she should have been able to recognize the female vampire even with her tongue shoved down Aidan’s throat. It isn’t as though that’s a sight Kim hasn’t seen before.

“It’s the hair,” Celia smiles, intentionally mis-understanding the words and coiling a tight springy curl around one finger absently. She steps around Aidan, her dark eyes taking in the loft flat. “I’m thinking about going back to wearing curls.”

“I like the curls,” Aidan declares. He snakes an arm around her waist and pulls the younger vampire back against him, planting his mouth against her throat.

Celia reaches back with an eerily human and girlish laugh and pats his head, rakes her nails through his dark, mussed hair. “You are too easily pleased, Ian.”

“Maybe,” Aidan allows with a purr. He nuzzles at Celia’s throat. “But I know what I like.”

Kim shifts her weight, fixing the two vampires beneath an unamused glare, not that it has any effect on their antics. On Aidan’s antics. There’s something both unsettling and curious about her master’s interactions with Celia. Kim saw it when she met Celia so many years back on their visit to Miami. While Aidan is often charmingly playful and Kim knows that she sees a side of him that others often don’t, he’s oddly enough even more human around the younger vampire. They play their human facades off of one another so well that sometimes Kim forgot that they aren’t.

“I would suggest that the pair of you go upstairs,” Kim says tightly as Aidan seems happily content kissing and nibbling on Celia’s throat and his hands are steadily tugging up the hem of her skirt, and the pretty Creole vampire hasn’t made a move to stop him. “I’m sure that would make you miss your flight though, Aidan.”

Her words have the sobering effect that she thought they would. Aidan ceases his attentions and lifting his head, murmurs in his native tongue. Kim doesn’t speak Gaelic and hasn’t a clue what he’s said, but Celia cants her head and gives him an elbow to the ribcage. “That’s absolutely foul, Aidan.” She steps away from the elder, smoothing down her skirt in a facade of modesty that Kim knows the woman does not possess. “What about a flight? Are you leaving London when I only just got here?”

“I didn’t know you were coming.” Aidan waves a finger at her. “You could have called ahead.”

“Then it wouldn’t have been a surprise, cherie.” Celia’s lower lip juts out in a perfectly adorable pout that could only have come from decades of practice. “Where are you going? Do you have to go? I came for your birthday.” Her stroll through the loft takes her to the blonde young man’s side and Celia runs her fingers up the young man’s muscled arm and across his broad chest, “I even brought you something.”

Something wholly unreadable flashes on Aidan’s face and flickers in his eyes as his attention turns fully to the young man. Kim swears that for a moment the room is charged - and she can’t say whether it’s positively or negatively so.

“You see the resemblance, don’t you?” Draping herself across the young man, Celia rests her head on his chest and rakes her fingers from his sternum to his navel. “You know that I can always find you what you wouldn’t ever get for yourself, fear céile mo chroí. This is Brendan. Brendan, do be a good boy and go say hello to Aidan.”

Brendan obediently steps away from Celia and strolls casually over to Aidan as the order - because it most certainly is an order, no matter how sweetly worded - is given. He’s not shy, Celia’s Brendan, as he reaches out to stroke Aidan’s jaw, speaking in a quiet baritone colored with heavy southern United States accent. “Hello, Aidan.”

Even fully expecting it, when Brendan leans in to kiss Aidan, Kim is surprised. Moreso by the hungry intensity of the kiss that Aidan returns, grasping the back of Brendan’s head and kissing him feverishly. Kim shifts her weight again, swallowing unconsciously.

“Delicious, isn’t it?”

Celia’s sudden appearance at her side and leering purr in her ear causes Kim to tense and jerk involuntarily. She immediately hates herself for the reaction, for giving the vampiress notice that she caught Kim quite unawares.

Celia merely smirks at her, in that cat-got-the-canary fashion that’s a near perfect echo of the same smile from Aidan. She’s far too close to Kim, a fact that’s driven home when a flawless cocoa hand reaches out and smooths down Kim’s hair as Celia plants a kiss on her cheek. “There are reasons that Aid chose you.”

When Celia draws back, Kim’s not sure she’s grateful that the woman hasn’t left her personal space completely - or that she wishes she would.

“It’s okay to watch,” Celia smiles at her, “Aidan doesn’t enjoy the pretty boys nearly enough, I think.” Beat, and suddenly the Yank is all business. “Now, what’s this about Aidan going away?”

Kim pulls her eyes away from the tableau of Aidan and Brendan, taking a breath and feigning a calm that she doesn’t actually feel. “He has a flight to catch. It’s business.”

“Business?” Celia tilts her head, and it’s that feeling of prey being watched by an idle predator. Which really, pretty much hits the mark. If Kim weren’t protected due to her status as Aidan’s human servant, that look would make her feel quite a bit wary. “But you manage his business. Whatever it is, it can be postponed, can’t it?”

Kim frowns. She doesn’t like the tone of Celia’s voice, but she knows that the woman is as mercurial as the vampire who created her. “It’s not that. It’s something else. Vampire business.

A scowl mars Celia’s pretty features. She turns to study the two men, and then sighs. Arms folded beneath her breasts, she strolls over to the pair, casually stroking her fingers through Aidan’s hair. “I hate to interrupt, but what’s Kim talking about?”

Aidan breaks away from Brendan, dismissing the younger man with quietly spoken words in his ear. Kim doesn’t hear them, but the way that the young man nods and walks toward the couch fills in the blanks rather nicely. Aidan’s blue eyes - bright with lust and hunger - flicker toward Kim and then back to Celia. “It’s something I have to do.”

“I thought you were staying out of court politics, Ian.”

“As much as I can. Trust me, it’s not at all where I want to be.” Then comes a short burst of words in yet another language that Kim doesn’t speak, but Celia clearly does. Kim frowns; she doesn’t like that Aidan still leaves her out of things. As he winds down, the elder vampire suddenly tugs the younger into his arms again, with a crooked smile. “Your timing is absolute shite, Cel. But we’ll catch up once I get back.”

“We better.” The woman leans up and whispers something into Aidan’s ear that earns a laugh as the man sweeps her up in his arms, crushing her mouth to his. When they finally break, Celia calls out, “Come Brendan.”

As the trio heads up the staircase, Kim sighs and begins mentally rearranging hers and Aidan’s schedules. Dealing with Aidan is difficult enough; she suspects that having two of them around is going to keep her on her toes.

Plan B

16 May 2011 19:46  |  by Aidan Boyle
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IC Date: April 10, 2011 — Early Evening
This episode takes place the following night following the log Dancing with Danger

Watching Aidan sleep is a fascinating past time for Kim. He has told her that what he does between sunrise and sunset is nothing akin to sleep as she knows it; he does not close his eyes and pass into slumber. Aidan says - when she wheedle these little nuggets of information out of him at all — that he is merely no longer there; no consciousness, no link to the world around him until the sun sinks beneath the horizon again. Knowing that only makes the observing that much more interesting.

When he is awake, Aidan is a mimicry of humanity on all levels. He walks, he talks; he eats, and laughs and plays. Aidan breathes though he has no need of oxygen in the way that humans do; his heart beats within his chest, and aside from his slightly cooler body the only time one is aware that Aidan is not a real boy is when Aidan wants one to be aware of it; or when the mask slips and the little mannerisms show through, the predatory reactions, the seconds when his eyes and face will be more something else than a reflection of humanity.

This is why Kim is fascinated by watching him sleep. There is utter stillness about him as he lies there on the bed. His chest does not rise and fall, the heart does not beat. That he is not human, not alive there is no doubt, and Kim should find this creepy and disturbing. Instead she is mesmerized by the sight of him, frozen in time for centuries in that youthful shell. He is like a sublime, classical piece of art, carved from marble in a perfect echo of humanity. He is beautiful to the eyes, dark hair and long dark lashes a contrast to his pale skin.

Kim reaches out a hand to brush the unruly fringe away from his forehead and then jerks back sharply as the sun begins to set. It’s not the clock that speaks the time, but the sudden arching of Aidan’s back off the bed as he draws in a huge draught of air. Muscles cord in his neck and arms, flexed to the point of strain it seems. His eyes are wide, staring at the ceiling but wholly unseeing even as his body drops back down to the mattress. A brief grimace of pain mars his handsome features - he has told Kim that ‘sleeping’ is far more pleasant than ‘waking’ but details have been lacking - and she wonders -

Nothing. A spark of panic rises inside of her as she finds herself abruptly on her back beneath the vampire’s body. A cool, strong hand is wrapped around her throat, her arms stretched taut above her head near to the point of dislocating both shoulders. The fear is primal, instinctive; the urge to fight against and run away from the dangerous predator whose face hovers above hers screams out in every part of Kim’s body. Aidan’s eyes are feral, blood dark, fangs extended and it’s only through strength of will and years of association that Kim remains still. She forces her breath to something normal and her heart beat to still, though the scent of fear she knows she can do nothing about.

“Kim,” Aidan growls. His eyes bleed back to faded denim, and the grip on her throat loosens allowing Kim to take a gasp of air that she didn’t realize she needs. He doesn’t release her wrists, and Kim is far too aware of the weight of his body pressing her down. “I’ve told you to not hover when I’m first waking. One of these days, I’m going to end up ripping your throat out.”

“No you won’t,” Kim croons softly, the tone one would use with a frightened child or skittish animal. “I trust you, Aidan. You haven’t killed me.”

The grip on her wrists tightens, the tug on her arms increases. There’s a cold, hard warning in her vampire master’s eyes, it burns through her and into the sting of muscles cramping and twisting beneath the force on her body until she frowns and gives a quiet cry, “Aidan -” It’s two parts pain and one part something else, and Kim knows it’s twisted but she’s long been past caring.

“Yet,” Aidan bites off. Warning delivered - and Kim has no doubt that it is a warning - Aidan releases her and rolls off of her body and out of the bed in one sinuous, graceful motion. “You’re here early. What’s the crisis?”

Kim idly rubs her wrists. There will be bruises, already she can see the faint pinking of her skin. “No crisis. I was a bit concerned about you.” She looks away from her wrists, resigned to long sleeves and bracelets for the next few days. Her eyes trail over the damnably handsome and wholly immodest vampire as he parades nude toward the bathroom. “Your playmates made it home this morning. All except the one. She said you asked her to stay for dinner?”

“Eshe,” Aidan tosses a grin over his shoulder at Kim. “She’s from Mozambique. So much more appealing than her friends. She has the cutest little accent, doesn’t she?”

“Yes, I did notice that you had your own personal little multicultural harem last night.” Really, Aidan has never been particular so long as the bodies are beautiful and willing and the blood is warm. However, when he begins to make an effort to create themes and patterns, or feels the need for a party in multiples, it raises a flag for Kim. “What was that about then?”

“I was really, really bored and lonely.”

Kim follows him into the bathroom because it’s clear that he doesn’t intend to stop what he’s doing to actually talk to her. “It has nothing to do with that witch being in the restaurant again? You disappeared pretty quickly after talking to her.”

The vampire steps under the hot spray of the shower, pulling the glass door closed. He tilts his head back, allowing the water to cascade over his face and down his toned body. Kim gives him another appreciative once over before focusing her gaze on the mirror that is slowly fogging over.

“Your silence is telling, Aidan,” Kim points out. “Did she manage to piss you off again? Throw off your glamour?” Turning, Kim hops up on the bathroom counter, crossing one leg over the other. “I do believe that I told you she is not worth it.”

“We had a very pleasant night.” Kim turns back at the sound of his voice, not truly expecting him to answer. She immediately steels herself and averts her gaze again, not really needing to watch Aidan lather soap over his body. “I took her to Vortex, we had a drink. We danced. I played so very very nicely with her.”

“What’s the problem, then?”

“Oooh,” the word is a low hungry growl. “She is so innocent and sweet. So naive. She looked up at me with those bright, innocent eyes and I just wanted to shag her senseless and rip into her pretty little throat while doing it.”

That actually explains Aidan’s triplets of fun last night. He restrained himself in the presence of the witch, locked down the predator; then felt the need to make up for it something fierce. Kim looks over at the shower stall, keeping her eyes focused carefully on some spot over Aidan’s shoulder. “Why didn’t you?”

“It would have been over too quick.” Simple, matter of fact statement. He dunks his head under the water again, rinsing the soap from his hair. “She is so very judgemental and moralistic … so far up on her pedestal of good and evil and right and wrong.” Aidan reaches out and turns off the shower.

Kim can already see where this is going. Aidan’s … hobbies … are a curious sort, really. He exists as close to humanity as possible, using his victims for sex and blood, with them leaving none the wiser about the blood - unless they like that sort of thing. Every now and then though, he finds amusement in raising the stakes, in seeing if he can tarnish purity and destroy innocence. It’s a challenge that he lives for, and if it keeps him entertained and out of trouble, Kim doesn’t interfere.

She tosses Aidan a towel as he opens the shower door. He grasps it and begins wrapping it around his waist as he steps from the shower. Kim makes a special effort to not watch the rolling and weaving droplets of water on his torso. “Don’t you think that you’re stretching it now? Treat her like all the rest, Aidan and be done with it.”

“But Kimmy, that wouldn’t be any fun.” Aidan steps up to the counter, leaning against it. His blue eyes twinkle, but it’s not light or playful. There’s a deviant sort of darkness there which doesn’t frighten Kim as much as it probably should. “You’re the one who’s saying I need to get a hobby.”

“A new hobby,” Kim corrects. “You’re just re-treading old ground.”

Aidan taps her nose with his fingertip. “Don’t get jealous, Kim. She’s just a toy. They’re all just toys.”

Kim grabs his finger, twisting his hand down and back until she feels the muscles tense and bone resisting. It doesn’t truly hurt him, and she knows it, but it’s one way she can make a point. Though probably not as strongly one as she would like given that Aidan’s smile is one of amusement, and she knows that the deceptively handsome man-creature likes pain. “She’s a witch.” Beat. Kim releases his hand, giving him a rough shove away from her. “You’re playing with fire. She can hurt you in ways that a regular human can’t.”

“She can,” Aidan agrees. The smile broadens and grows even darker, if that’s possible. “But I don’t think the little witchling is quite as sweet and innocent as she thinks she is.”

Kim cocks her head. “All the more reason to leave well enough alone.”

“If it doesn’t have a little risk, then it isn’t worth doing.” Aidan smirks and strolls toward the bathroom door. He tips a sly glance over his shoulder at Kim, “But you already know that. You like the fire, Kim.”

She doesn’t bother arguing with him, because it’s pointless when he’s right. Sliding off the counter, she follows him into the bedroom. “Is last night going to become a regular occurrence? I’d like to know how big of a mess I have to clean up in the mornings.”

“I’ll try to keep the blood to a minimum.”

“Of course you will.” Kim sighs and walks to the bedroom door. Looking over her shoulder, she calls back, “Don’t forget your dinner with her cute little accent is waiting.”

Turning Points

05 Apr 2011 19:24  |  by Aidan Boyle
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IC Date: April 1, 2011 — Night
This episode takes place immediately following the log Breaking the Ice

“Nicely played.” The sound of Aidan’s voice tugs Kim’s attention, causing her to look back over her shoulder at the Vampire as she locks the front entrance to Flare. He leans against the hostess podium, and Kim envies the way that the man makes even that sort of comfortable lazy slouch look so graceful and attractive.

Her smile is the slight upturn of lips, and a quirk of brow that Kim’s learned from mimicking him. “I’m sorry?”

Aidan’s sonorous chuckle shakes his shoulders. “You’re not nearly as good at deflecting as I am, Kimmy.” He gives a small tilt to his dark head, “That was very … clever with Jacintha. I give you kudos for that one.” Aidan underscores his words by bringing his hands together in light applause.

“I wish I knew what you were talking about,” Kim bats large brown eyes in his direction, continuing to milk her innocence for all that she can. She knows what Aidan is talking about, and for whatever reason, she couldn’t resist keeping him out of the loop on tonight’s meeting. Partly because she likes giving him challenges that unseat him and shake up his game (even if it’s only a little while) and partially because for reasons that Kim can’t comprehend, Jacintha Westlake crawls under the man’s skin in all the wrong ways and she can never predict how he’s going to react after an encounter with the woman. Giving him time to prep for meeting her and settling into his moody stalker mode didn’t seem the wisest idea.

Having met the woman, Kim has even been at more of a loss to figure out what Aidan’s attraction is. Jacintha is nothing like the usual socialites and debutantes that Aidan fills his idle hours with him. Nor is she the whimsical, flighty and flirty sort who’s currency is her body and is easily swayed by a rakish smile and empty words of nothingness; the type that Aidan seeks simply for the taste of blood and to warm his bed. Even the red head witch with her temper and bravado isn’t so out of character for Aidan; she’s the particular cute sort of arm candy that Aidan would love to have as a pet and plaything, and Kim knows that part of the man’s interest in that direction lies in the fact that the red head is a witch and in wanting to break her like one would an untrained pony.

The Westlake woman is … collected. Mature. Kim might go so far as stating that the woman is elegant and refined. She’s professional and clearly doesn’t hold with any nonsense or the sorts of flashy antics that Aidan usually employs to lure in women.

Jacintha Westlake is work and Aidan Boyle doesn’t work for companionship.

“Whatever the case,” Aidan drawls the words slowly, “I owe you one.”

Kim’s not sure how to take that. Her mocking flippancy slips as she warily eyes the Vampire whose body language and facial features are giving nothing away. “With all the hell you put me through sometimes cleaning up your messes, why don’t we just call it even?”

“You don’t even want to know how it went?” The man is still withholding, offering nothing to hint at his true feelings toward the meeting with Jacintha. Once, Kim might have been fooled, but no more. He’s not in a bad mood, or even radiating that sort of dangerous tension that makes Kim’s hairs stand on end (and scares her and excites her in the same moment). Kim might even go so far as to say that Aidan is satisfied. Satiated. Like the cat that got the cream. Or the canary.

“I assume you finalized the contract and all is in order, because you’re not upset or disappointed by the loss of business.” Kim steps up to the podium and rests an elbow there. She eyes the Vampire again, reading him as best she can. It’s not just that the contract has been signed, but there’s something more in the depths of those eyes, in the contented smile on his lips.

“What did you do?” The accusation slips out before Kim can stop it. Seems that she’s been asking him that question a lot lately.

Aidan sniggers and rolls his shoulders. “Absolutely nothing. We signed the contract. We had a drink. We talked. She left.” His grin lifts a bit, pleased. “I think it was a good meeting.”

Kim wrinkles her nose into a frown. “Huh.” Beat. “Really?”

“Really,” Aidan drawls. “I wouldn’t go so far as to say that she’s warming up to me, but I do think that there might be a few, very faint, hairline fractures in the ice.”

“You didn’t mess with her head?”

Aidan leans toward Kim, his smile dripping with self-satisfaction. “I didn’t have to. Apparently, even she is not immune to my irresistible charm. Resistant, yes, but not immune.” Aidan straightens then, “I want to send her another gift.”

“For having a drink with you?”

“Why else?” Aidan replies. “Send a bottle of wine. Make it the Pinot we were serving tonight. And a fruit and cheese basket.”

“And an invitation to enjoy it with you?” Kim asks deadpan.

To her surprise the man meets her words with a smirk. “Not yet.” Then, “After the wine is delivered, give her a follow up call in a few days to make arrangements for a menu sampling. Be very flexible with the dates and times, leave it up to her if she wants to come during the day or in the evening.”

“If this wasn’t a business thing, I’d almost say that you’re angling and leaving the ball in her court.” As soon as the words are out, it hits Kim then like a ton of bricks. She snaps her jaw audibly closed before she starts gaping like a fish. Just when I thought he couldn’t possibly surprise me. “Cor! Aidan! Are you really going to try and …” Kim trails off. The thought seems so far out of the realm of what she’s come to expect from the Vampire that she has to work to bring herself to say it. “You’re going to woo her?”

“Oh don’t make it sound so dastardly and unexpected. I have done it before.” Aidan shrugs and starts walking away, leaving Kim no choice but to follow if she wants to continue the discussion. “It’s been decades, maybe a century since I have, but it’s not a foreign concept to me. I am capable.”

“Why? I mean, why bother?” Kim catches up to him quickly, falling into step beside him. She glances up at him, scrutinizing him as though she’s seeing him for the first time. Well, I’m certainly seeing this side of him for the first time. “Why not just make her like you and be done with it already?”

“Because I don’t want to, yet.” Aidan hits the light panel on their way through, dimming the dining room lights to their nighttime setting. “Not that I’ve taken that option completely off the menu. But there’s nothing wrong with changing things up a bit every now and again.”

“I don’t understand you at all,” Kim shakes her head. “You never want to exert this much effort. Why the change?”

The Vampire stills briefly, before turning to look back at her. Then gives a half-bored and dismissive shrug. “I don’t always like it easy, Kim. I’m not saying that easy isn’t fun in its own right. I do like having a lovely young woman on my arm and in my bed and as an easy meal,” Aidan waggles his eyebrows suggestively, earning an eye roll from Kim, “But it has been a while since I’ve had a real challenge of doing it the mundane way.”

“And what about your little witch?”

Aidan frowns. “If she’s still alive and I don’t have to tie up those loose ends, I still have plans for her.”

Translation: Aidan has not abandoned the idea of having a little red-haired witch as his plaything.

“You want to have your cake and eat it too.”

Aidan smiles, and it’s definitely the cat that’s got the canary. “For now.”

Just So Typical

04 Apr 2011 17:46  |  by Aidan Boyle
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IC Date: March 22, 2011 — Night
This episode takes place immediately following the log Mind Games

“Come with me.” Kim snags Aidan’s arm at the elbow as he tries to sidle past her in the kitchen. The insufferable Vampire has been dodging her for well over an hour and she’s not going to let him escape again. She grips tight, digging her nails into the flesh at the bend of his arm, pulling him non-too-gently along behind her. He could resist, if he wanted, but the expected resistance isn’t forthcoming and Kim exhales in relief.

His cooperation doesn’t lend toward Kim giving him any leeway. Aidan’s mercurial at the best of times and Kim won’t give him any excuse to wait for her guard to drop so that he slip out of her grip like an eel. She tightens her hold as they walk along, half-dragging and half-leading the Vampire to the nearest unoccupied space which happens to be the employee break room.

Kim kicks the door closed behind them after shoving Aidan into the room. Arms folded across her chest, she positions herself between the Vampire and the door. It won’t really matter if Aidan should decide that he wants to move her, but Kim likes the illusion of control.

“What the hell was that about?”

Aidan’s brows rise clear to his hairline, those blue eyes widening with surprise and deceptive innocence. “What was what about?”

Right, then. So that’s how he wants to play it. Kim tilts her head. Her foot taps a steady, slow rhythm on the floor. “The red head. Ameila? Whom happens to know that you’re a Vampire.” Kim waits a beat for that to sink in, because yes, she’s not devoid of the pertinent information. She took Desmond aside the moment the werewolf bar tender had a few free moments and grilled him up one side and down the other. “As well whom fled here as quickly as she could without running.”

“Oh, that.” Aidan drawls the final word with that charming/infuriating upturned smirk of his. A step backwards is taken and he hops up and slides onto the break room table directly behind him. Shoving out a leg, Aidan edges a chair closer and rests his feet in it. “That was Corrie Owens. Amelia was just a fake name. She’s a witch.” The emphasis on the word witch carries all sorts of dirty innuendo and the Vampire’s peculiar brand of twisted depravity. “They are delicious. The blood is …” Aidan trails off licking his lips, flashing a hint of fang. “Indescribable.

Kim’s brain derails for a moment. Not because of what he says, but because of all the implications behind it. She’s (mostly) immune to Aidan’s shenanigans, but every now and again he completely side-swipes her. “Fuck, Aidan, tell me that you didn’t!” Feed on her in the restuarant isn’t said aloud, but it’s written in the stiff line of Kim’s back, the way she marches up to the smirking vampire, her words hissed in anger rather than shouted out.

“Ouch! Kim!” The vampire theatrically clutches his heart beneath his hands. “Do you really think I lack that much self-control? I’m hurt.”

“Yes, because your feelings are hurt so easily.” Kim rolls her eyes upward.

She’s pressed against the edge of the table, her body caged between Aidan’s legs before Kim can fully register the Vampire reaching for her and tugging her toward him. He drapes his arms over her shoulders and around her neck, and she’s close enough to see the various shades of blue and silver streaking in his eyes. “They could be.”

He’s distracting, but not nearly enough. Especially not to Kim who’s been fielding this behavior for more than ten years. She places her hands on his chest, pushing back enough to give her some breathing room and focus; to not look like she might be intimate with the boss should someone walk in, because it’s bad enough that the rumor seems to start anew every few months, and Aidan finds it so entertaining that he never goes out of his way to discourage it.

“Aidan. What did you do to her?”

The Vampire’s entire body seems to sigh in resignation. He pulls a face. “Not nearly enough.” A worried furrow worms its way into the space above his nose, between his brows. His eyes darken and his mouth creases into a constricted line. “She broke my glamour. I don’t like that.”

There’s a low, frustrated groan. As she dips her head and closes her eyes, fingers pressed to her forehead, Kim realizes that it was she who groaned. “There’s a witch. Who knows that you’re a vampire. Who’s brassed off with you. Honestly, Aidan. What were you thinking?”

“I was thinking that I wanted to shag her and feed on her. Then maybe shag her again. The rest was a bit of an unexpected upset to my plans.”

“Why would you even consider farming from our clientele?”

“You think …” Aidan stops mid-sentence. It’s the soft chuckle that causes Kim to raise her head to glare at him.

“You think this is funny?”

“No, not at all.” Aidan shrugs, though the curling smile on his lips says otherwise. “Corrie wasn’t a patron. Well, she was, but we’d met before. We have history. I met her when I was on my to the Undercity. I probably would have eaten her then, but Watson was playing white knight, and I really wanted to find out what he was sniffing about for.”

It takes a few moments, possibly up to a full minute for Kim to make sense of what Aidan is telling her. She’s gotten bits and pieces about his adventure in the Undercity with a Dr. Sean Watson since the night he showed up at her flat battered, and chased off her ‘date.’ “D’you think she came here looking for you?”

“No, that was just a lucky coincidence. Or unlucky. Depending on how you look at it.”

“Is she going to be a problem?”

The question shifts the handsome Vampire into a somber mood. He straightens on his perch, his body stilling completely. Kim sees his gaze turn inward and distracted, focused on the question and his internal thoughts and feelings. He’s not human now, that’s easy to see, but it doesn’t bother Kim in the least.

Finally, he purses his lips, thoughtfully. “I don’t know. I told her that I’d keep her secret if she kept mine, but that was before she broke the glamour. I think … that she’s scared enough to keep quiet.”

“If she isn’t?” Kim asks.

“Then I’m going to hunt her down and kill her.” The words are delivered with the confident matter-of factness that one would use for discussing the weather. Aidan jumps off the table and returns the chair to its rightful spot. “That would be a shame though, she is really cute.”

Kim snorts, “She’s breathing and has breasts. You really don’t have much more in the way of prerequisites, Aidan.”

Those crystalline blue eyes lock on her, twinkling with mirth. Aidan’s smile is smugly satisfied as he fixes her with a mischievous look, “You might be surprised.”

Round We Go Again

04 Apr 2011 01:07  |  by Aidan Boyle
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IC Date: March 17-18, 2011 — Late night, early morning
This episode takes place immediately following the blog entry Building a Mystery

Aidan takes Kim out to a movies and then to a pub that’s boasting endless pitchers and karaoke in honor the venue’s anniversary. He can tell that she’s shocked and bemused, because it’s been a while (at least a few years) and she forgot that he can do casual and informal, that it isn’t always about fine dining and making an elegant impression. One human mask is as good as the next, and sometimes this one is better than the others because it doesn’t require all that much effort.

Bemusement turns into stunned merriment when Aidan actually takes the mic on the karaoke stage. It takes a few shots of tequila before he coaxes Kim up there as well. (Aidan stops counting around Kim’s fifth shot as he wonders how someone so tiny can hold her liquor so well and wonders if he’s going to have turn her sooner rather than later to save her from cirrhosis.) It’s a few more shots (and something the bartender calls Brain Damage, and Aidan makes a note to get the recipe) before Kim really lets her hair down (literally and figuratively) , taking ownership of the stage and cleaning up at the snooker table. Aidan thinks that relaxed is a good look on the woman, and makes a mental note to get her away from Flare and send her on holiday. He thinks that he has competent staff all around him, and a week or two away would clearly do Kim a world of good, and everyone will breathe easier if she’s not being a raging uptight bitch so much of the time. (Aidan refuses to acknowledge that managing him is part of what keeps Kim so stressed out.)

By the time they leave, Kim is practically floating and when she begs him to put the top down on the BMW, Aidan indulges her. And even if she doesn’t pass out from over-indulgence when they get back to his flat (the Vampire is very surprised when that doesn’t happen because he’s certain that the woman has had enough alcohol to kill several small house pets), he’s still along for the ride and continuously indulgent because Kim in a good mood and lighter spirits can only mean good things for him. What’s the old adage about happy employees being productive employees?

Aidan eventually takes the journals out and leafs through them, discovering that one is about him, the other is about Seamus and the third is an unknown which he just doesn’t want to take the time to figure out just yet. He directs his attention to the journal pertaining to his brother, because Aidan doesn’t know what he might find in the pages of his journal and he’s not sure how much he feels like sharing (even if it won’t matter when the sunrises and sets again).

”You have a brother?” Kim is stretched out on her back, her dark hair cascading in waves across Aidan’s lap where she rests her head on his thigh.

”Yes.” There’s a wealth of emotion in that one word: disgust, frustration, dismissal. The first part of the leather bound handwritten tome is written in Celtic, and Aidan can read that, but it’s like reading a biography and doesn't tell him anything that he doesn’t already know.

”What’s he like?”

From where he leans back against the headboard of the bed, Aidan glances down at his lovely dark haired human servant. “He’s an ass.”

”So are you.”

”Yes but,” Aidan punctuates the pause by tracing his fingertips along her collarbone, “I’m a likable ass.”

The language of the journal changes, and sometimes it’s to a language that Aidan can’t read. Even when it isn’t, the writing style changes from prose to poetry to something that seems like it’s some kind of half-arsed code that kept reinventing itself with every page change. He doesn’t like it (not because he can’t read it, because he can always find a translator) because it means that someone has been watching him, that someone knew things about him that they really shouldn’t have known.

Aidan is careful with the journal. It’s old and delicate, and he holds it gently in one hand, using the other to slowly turn the page without disturbing the soft curvy form beside him that bleeds warmth into his body.

It doesn’t work. She stretches the arm flung over his stomach, flexes nails and scratches lightly against his side. “Still reading that, then?”

“Yeah. What I can of it.” Aidan turns another page, casts his glance slightly to the left and down. “You talk in your sleep.”

“Shut it!” Kim smacks his exposed abdomen with the open flat of her palm. It isn’t meant to hurt, and it doesn’t. Still, Aidan retaliates, brushing and pressing the pads of his fingers to the ticklish spot above her hip; never lifting his eyes from the page he’s scanning even when Kim squeals and twists against him. Kim shuffles and slides up his body, stretching to peer at the inked pages. “Anything new and interesting?”

“Not as of yet.” Not that Aidan thinks he would tell her either, if there were. If only because he doesn’t feel like getting into a complicated explanation. “I’m not surprised. Like I told you earlier, the only thing interesting that Seamus ever did was becoming a vampire.”

An arm is folded and Kim rests her chin on her hand as she looks up at him. “This is a rather new look for you, you know? All scholarly and such.”

His gaze glides from the handwritten journal to the woman by his side. His brows rise, half-curious, half-amused by her assertion. “Scholarly?”

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this … intense when reading before. You’re not even intense when you’re closing the books or doing business for Flare.”

Aidan sniffs. “I may have been born during a time when most people were illiterate trades people, but I do read.”

“Oh don’t go getting offended. You are so touchy sometimes.” Kim pulled herself up and over so that she straddled his thighs. “It was a compliment.” Beat. She flattens her hands against his chest. “Plenty of time before sunrise?”

The nails of one hand scratch (hard, leaving red welts and a sting that he enjoys far too much) down from his chest to his navel and all of it combines together to finally pull Aidan’s full attention from the journal. He closes it gently, placing it on the night stand beside the bed. His other hand wraps around Kim’s wrist and tugs her closer, “Long enough.” Their mouths connect somewhere in the middle, and Aidan buries his hands in the thick, dark tresses of her hair, flipping them and pressing her lithe (warm, pounding heart and filled with flowing blood) form into the mattress beneath him. If he were capable of feeling guilt, Aidan would feel it for what he knows has to come eventually.

When all is said and done, he’ll make sure that Kim doesn’t remember anything about tonight beyond the movies, and the tequila (and maybe he’ll give her the karaoke too). She won’t remember the journals or the bits of his personal history that Aidan’s shared with her, she won’t remember the sex (and he’ll be oh so very careful to not leave incriminating bite marks that can’t be explained away as easily as an accidental bruise).

She won’t remember that this isn’t the first time (since he bound her as his human servant) that he’s taken her to bed or that he’s opened up to her.

Kim believes she’s immune to the glamour and memory wiping that Aidan does to others. (And she is, unless she’s willing and when her defenses are down and her mind is wide open, she is so willing to let him do and say whatever he wants) She doesn’t know how many times Aidan has wiped the slate clean and taken this away from her.

She doesn’t know that eventually, it’s entirely possible that he’ll do it all again.

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