Mind Games

Flare Restaurant - City of London - London

Flare advertises itself as fine dining in an elegant atmosphere, and it's not false advertising. The foyer, the dining room and even the bar are done in creams and neutrals, teak woods and ash, with the occasional dark panel for contrast. Etched glass panels hang from the ceiling and disappear into the taupe carpeted floor; some separate the tables, some are merely decorative, reflecting the white recessed lights that shine through them from the ceiling. There are splashes of Egyptian blue color throughout to break up the possibility of monotony: sprinkled in the carpet, accenting the wood panels, decorating the tables as glass candle holders.

The foyer has an elaborate mosaic pattern of dark and light browns highlighted with blacks and darker blues swirled into the floor tiles. The seats are eggshell white leather. The accent wall has a vertical waterfall, the water streaming down etched panes of glass into the marble pool to be recycled and begin the cycle anew.

The bar holds the motif, but fetches in more colors to the palette. The recessed lights behind the bar are a mixture of blue and red, white and yellow. Colorful bottles line the bar shelf, and a huge mirror hangs at angle over the bar, reflecting the marbleized bar top and the bar area, depending on where one stands to look into the mirror. There is seating here too, and starters as well as drinks are provided in the bar.

The wait staff dresses formally: servers in crisp white shirts with Egyptian blue bow ties, and slacks (or skirts) to match. Flare does not require reservations, but they are suggested to avoid long wait times. However, given its location, clients without reservations are as common as though with and the staff is able to juggle both magnificently.


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Corrie Aidan

Over the years there is one thing that Corrie has learned when handling restaurant appearances or rentals — checking the restaurant out on a busy night is much better than simply talking to the front of house during the day.

At night, one becomes privy to how the wait staff handle problematic customers, how the front of house greets people, and even how the chef of the evening prepares the food.

The only issue is that she generally brings Mr. Randall with her so that she doesn't look like a foolish old maid sitting at a table on her own. That would have been the case this evening but with the arrival of Amber Bardot to the new clientele list, her 'date' for the evening canceled so that he could play clean up with the messes and bad publicity her type generally seems to become embroiled with.

A notebook sits to the side of her plate, a pen scribbling across the pages as she jots several notes down about the meal thus far. She's not quite finished with it but has eaten enough to know that the food will definitely work for the reception.


The restaurant is not as busy tonight as it could be, but there's enough of a smooth flow of patrons in and out that it's keeping everyone on their toes. Fortunately, there has only been one complaint directed toward the kitchen - and that one Kim smoothed out with relative ease. Aidan is working the front of the house and is grateful that the back of the house has been drama free this evening.

There are some regulars in tonight and, as is his habit, Aidan takes the extra time to talk with them, giving their dining experience an extra personal feel. It makes them feel good, and more importantly, it keeps them coming back. He and Kim tag-team greeting and hosting and making certain that the rest of the patrons are comfortable and enjoying their meals.

Kim has passed the reins to him and as he makes the next circuit, he notices the single woman with her head down, scratching into a notepad beside her plate. Aidan's face pulls briefly in a frown - but smooths out just as quickly - though he is racking his brain to recall if there were any critics due to sit in tonight. Not that they always announce themselves, but between Kim and his wait staff, critics and reviewers usually don't slip past unnoticed.

Realizing that there's only one way to find out, Aidan veers in that direction, making certain that his movements are defined enough that the woman will detect his approach and that he doesn't surprise her. He flashes a warm, amicable smile that reflects out of his eyes, his voice one of professional but warm inquiry, "Good evening, miss. I'm Aidan, the owner of Flare and I just wanted to take a moment and inquire if you are enjoying your dining experience tonight?"


Just like that, the flow of writing stops, trailing off on the page with a squiggled ~ falling off onto the table. The pen clatters to the floor, and Corrie immediately looks up. There's no mistaking that voice, coupled with that name.

Yet Corrie can play a good game when she needs to, and at the moment she simply allows a light laugh and feigns ignorance in her knowledge of what he is. "I apologize, you startled me."

There is only a hint of a smile upon her lips. "The food is quite good, actually. Simply taking notes so I can provide a client with several potential venues to choose from."


The sudden jerkiness in the writing - or lack thereof - and the pen's subsequent clatter to the floor is hard to miss, though Aidan is temporarily baffled as to its cause. That is until she lifts her head and laughs. He doesn't make it a point to memorize faces or voices; in Aidan's mind there are oh so very few humans worth the effort of trying to recall. However, every once in a while, one does stand out for one reason or another, and this pretty face happens to be one of them.

"Well, isn't this a surprise." He doesn't have to feign the rise of his brows, because he is truly surprised to see her here.

"I didn't mean to startle you." Kneeling, Aidan picks up her dropped pen and holds it out to her. The Vampire doesn't rise, resting an elbow on the table and keeping himself a bit closer to eye level with her. "At least I can vouch for this being a far more reputable … establishment." A beat and he cants his head just a bit, professional curiosity lighting his next words, "Client. Venues. Public relations? Management? Professional agent to the stars?" The last is offered with an uplift of his lips, a charming quirking smile that only hints at the barest of professional flirtation.


It is on the tip of her tongue to lie to him about her profession. Rather than doing so, Corrie simply replies, "Yes." Completely vague, but not untrue.

"I have to say that you really didn't strike me as a man that would own a restaurant." Though she does suppose that it's a wonderful guise for drawing humans away for a little nip. Simply sneak upon them while they're on their way to the loo.

The pen is taken delicately and placed atop the notebook which is then closed. The rest of the notes will need to wait until she's out of here. "I do suppose it's safe to say that Dr. Watson has no idea as to your usual profession? Erstwhile guide, notwithstanding."


Aidan considers the answer that isn't quite an answer, and decides not to press it - for the moment anyway. She's really not at ease with him and considering their last - and only - encounter and Watson's obvious need to protect the woman from the danger that he (probably quite rightfully) believed that Aidan represented, it's not really a surprise.

His smile doesn't falter as he holds her gaze. Aidan knows that he shouldn't ask, but he still has a few minutes to spare and he really can't help himself. "Exactly what sort of man do I strike you as?"

Blue eyes flicker briefly, watching the movement of the pen and the notepad before returning to her. "It didn't come up in conversation," Aidan admits honestly. "Truthfully, I'd never met Dr. Watson before. He just seemed a bit … lost. So I thought I'd help him out." The fact that Aidan was pretty sure that they'd both gotten more than they bargained for? Thought and consideration for another time. "Also, I think that I might have made a very poor impression on you. I was … having an off night. I'm usually much more patient and cordial than that." When it suits him, of course.


"Playboy," Corrie remarks. Vampire is what she might have said were they not in a restaurant filled with people. "Flirt." Monster.

"I didn't suppose it would have, all things considered." The location they were going to, after all, is hardly one conducive to 'pleased to meet yous' and 'so what do you do for a living' conversation.

"Yes, I figured it all out later." I know what you are. "Really, there's hardly a need to apologize. It's not as though any of us were at our best that evening." With the exception, perhaps, of Sir Galahad.

Hands move ever so slightly to adjust the napkin over her lap before it slips to the floor, and she quirks her brow at him. "I'd hardly think that one poor impression from someone you've only just met would matter much to you at all."


The very apt description makes Aidan laugh, genuinely amused. He's been accused of being worse, and it isn't as though that isn't the very reputation that he cultivates. It stops people from digging too deeply beneath the surface. "It's rather difficult to make a living as either one of those, as fun as they might be as supportive pursuits."

There's something just a bit off to her demeanor, despite her ease and relaxed conversation. Aidan has had centuries watching humans and reading them, and if he listens to what she isn't saying as much as what she is … coupled with Watson's cinder block wrapped in lead hints as he attempted to save the woman in question … Most average humans don't try to get into the Undercity or know of alternate routes. Not forgetting that Watson is a necromancer. After all, Aidan hadn't missed the conversation as Sir Lancelot led the lovely damsel not-quite in distress away. The memory of it sparks his curiosity a bit more. He's not so much concerned that she might have a hint about what he is, but rather he's more interested in what she is.

"Typically, it wouldn't, I'm no different from most people on that score. But, now I have the whole professional angle to consider, and I'd hate for my previous terrible attitude to be a negative factor." Aidan pauses and extends his hand, "Miss?"


"Not entirely true. With the proper representation you can make a great deal as a playboy." It seems to be fact, though it's not as though she can pull out a sheet filled with the numbers to prove her point at this juncture.

Tentatively she offers her hand to his for a brief, but firm shake. "Owens." What better way to get back at the sorcerer for turning her life upside down? Not that she truly believes that she needs to get back at Rhys for anything, she rather enjoys his company… which is likely why his name was the first to pop into her mind when she needed a fake.

"I've made it a point never to judge an establishment based upon the owner. Some owners can be rather charming but their establishments are quite awful." Though perhaps in this case it's the reverse?


"Miss Owens," Aidan repeats, though the way he says her name is some distance away from anything remotely resembling professional. It's outright flirtatious and teasing, sensual and teasing all in the same breath. Her hand is warm, her shake firm and solid and Aidan allows his thumb to stroke the back of her hand as they disengage. "That is very good to know." He means her ability to separate establishments from their owners, but on a different level, yes, he is referring to knowing her name.

"At the risk of being completely unprofessional now, because I really don't make it a habit of doing this, but would you have a drink with me?" Again, complete truth in the words because Aidan does like to keep business separate from pleasure and everything that goes with the latter.


You've been watching out for Jean for too long, you're getting yourself into her troublesome situations now…

"Told you," Corrie replies, keeping her voice even. "Playboy." Don't forget Vampire too. You've not got that spell figured out just yet, and it's not like you can get Mum to help with it.

A lull follows his request, as she tries to figure a way out of it without coming off as incredibly rude. "I've a fairly booked schedule," she begins, knowing the excuse sounds rather lame. Really, there's no good way out of this without revealing that she knows what he is. "Though I can possibly spare a bit of time once I take care of the meal." Provided, of course, that they stay at the bar here as Flare may not be entirely busy but it still constitutes a public locale.


"I can neither confirm nor deny," Aidan chuckles quietly. Not true, he can certainly do either, he just chooses not to do so at this juncture. The wealthy playboy facade has never hurt when it comes to having eye candy on his arm, a physical companion or a favorite snack. Sometimes all three. "Though I think that you might have already convinced yourself that I'm nothing but a rogue."

If Aidan was the insecure type, her hesitance would have sent him questioning his charm and charisma. He's not at all insecure, though, and really he does have an ulterior motive. Other than finding out if she tastes as fiery as she was that night in the underground. Aidan really wants to know what she is, and wants to know what she knows.

He's nothing if not well schooled in moving cautiously and playing it close to the vest when needed. "How about this?" Blue eyes and smile are equally coy as he folds his hands on the table and rests his chin on them, "I can vouch for the wonderful bar here at Flare. We can have a drink there. And if I turn out to be the absolute worse company ever, you are free to go and there's none of that wanting to gnaw your arm off to escape awkwardness." He makes no mention of what - if anything - he expects if she actually enjoys his company.


Corrie will definitely have the upperhand here. One drink, then she's off the hook? She can leave? Chances are he may not be able to locate her without tangling with a few sorcerers for his trouble, thanks to the name.

"That should fit into the schedule then," she admits with a smile, one that doesn't quite reach her eyes. "Though please don't allow me to take you away from business. I know how important front of house services can be to some." Considering that it's something she's heard quite a bit about from both Randall and several past clients.


She hasn't quite bitten hook, line and sinker but it's a close one. Aidan straightens up a bit, his smile shifting towards mischief that reflects in his eyes. "Well, there are three caveats to that. First, you can't go in trying to find a reason to hate me and want to leave. You have to give me a fair chance. Two, no ordering a shot or something you can down in a heartbeat and be done with it. And three, you also have to tell me your first name. It's only fair. You know mine."

He stands then, because though he hasn't looked around, he can practically feel Kim giving him impatient glares from across the restaurant. "I do have to get back to work, but don't worry about the drink. My staff is amazingly capable of functioning without micromanagement. Actually," Aidan dips his voice to a conspiratorial stage whisper, "I think they prefer it that way."


Bloody hell.

To the first and second, well chances are she actually already wants to leave. Still, Corrie cordially replies, "I've never been one for shots." It'a as neutral a response as she can make to that. To the third, there is a bit of quick thinking going on though it appears absolutely seamless when she replies, "Amelia. Though to be fair, I may know your first name but I'm not privy to your surname." Amelia is another small fib. Not entirely an untruth, but not the full truth either.

"Don't we all? Shall I meet you at the bar then?" There is still the matter of her bill to take care of.


I've been playing this game since before your great-grandparents were alive, so I'm really not bad at it, Aidan thinks as he watches her reaction. She's cordial, but she hasn't warmed to him yet and it's bothering Aidan more than he would like to admit. He's tempted to persaude her to his way of thinking but it hasn't quite gotten to that point yet, and the night is still relatively young.

"Boyle," Aidan supplies without missing a beat. It isn't as though he has any reason to hide it, or it can't be found out easily enough. It's not his given name, of course, but that one is so old and buried that it's only in his deepest most private thoughts that Aidan even thinks of it anymore. "Aidan Boyle."

Aidan debates whether or not to tell Amelia that her meal is on the house, because she might not take kindly to it. She didn't appreciate Watson's overblown chivalry, and he would hate for her to think he's trying to find a way to make her beholden to him. The internal debate wages for only seconds before etiquette wins out and he makes the offer. "If I were to offer - hypothetically - that your meal is on the house, would you be offended or accept graciously?" As attractive as she is in full firecracker mode, that is a scene that Aidan would rather avoid.


Games are not something that Corrie is brilliant at, with the exception of being able to spin things within the media when necessary.

"Aidan Boyle…" Beat. "Irish?" Her curiosity may just get the better of her, but the more she knows about the vampire the better she'll be in the long run. Information she can barter with Watson? Potentially, though he could garner the information on his own no doubt.

Allowing the conversation to lull again, Corrie regards the vampire as though considering the hypothetical offer. "Accept graciously, though it really is not necessary. I'm well aware you've a business to run and it's hardly good business sense to give your product away freely."


"Aye, that I am, lass. Born and bred." Aidan grins broadly, letting the brogue slide easily across his tongue. He's happy to satisfy almost any curiosity the woman might have as long as it keeps her here and willing to talk to him.

The accent is shed as simply as it's picked up, not unlike changing clothes, as he nods. "Understood. Then we'll keep your meal on the professional end of things. Drinks, however," Aidan tilts his head, the corner of his mouth quirked upwards in a sexy smirk, "Are another matter. I'll meet you in the bar, Amelia." The emphasis on her name is intentional, spoken with just a hint of heat and caress that could imply so many things and have left many a woman blushing … and interested in more.


Keeping things professional definitely seems to be the way to go. Corrie smiles at him, then collects her handbag, where she gently shoves the notebook before she gets up. Granted, she keeps her head down so it's difficult to tell exactly what her reaction to her name being spoken in that manner is.

Could just walk out of here. He's not got the name. He's not got a clue who I am. Her thoughts pause as she fishes for her purse to ensure she's got enough cash to cover the meal. Granted, he's a vampire and angering him would likely not be the best way to go about things.

Once the bill has been taken care of, and she's had a moment to freshen up and collect herself in the loo, she starts for the bar. A pause of a second or two as she glances toward the exit, then straightens her shoulders and approaches with a business-like air. The best way to deal with the situation is to play it up like the vampire is a client.


Aidan finishes his round, dodging Kim's questioning looks and attempts to get his attention until he's done with it. She's none too happy to hear that he's 'taking off early,' but there are advantages to being in a public venue. Kim can't go into one of her (sometimes) amusing tirades - as though he really ever is chastised by her at all - and she has to simmer and sputter. He'll hear about it later, but Aidan really only listens to Kim when he wants to listen to Kim.

The vampire reaches the bar ahead of his … companion … and that gives him ample opportunity to find a suitable perch. There are tables, but for the moment, Aidan ignores them, choosing the far corner of the bar. It's a bit more private than sitting out in the open, and considering the game he's about to play it's just the sort of playing field that he likes. Of course, it also helps that Desmond is working the bar tonight. There are certain perks to having the puppies beholden to von Richter, and having a wolf working the bar is one of those. It means that if the conversation breaches into territory that it shouldn't, he doesn't have to worry about spooking the help.

Spotting Amelia in the doorway, Aidan waves his hand in half-greeting, half-invitation, an open smile in place as he waves her over, sliding off the bar stool to stand as she approaches. What was that conversation about chivalry?


If only Corrie had the sense to keep herself out of this particular situation. It would have been fairly rude to deny the proprietors request though, regardless of what he is. Allowing a slightly uneasy smile, she glances around the bar and continues on her way.

Were those looks of envy or curiosity? Probably the latter.

Waving in return as she draws closer, she raises a brow. "The far corner. Either you're ashamed to be seen with me, or you're planning something nefarious."


"You are far too lovely for anyone to ever be ashamed to be seen with you." Aidan gallantly waves her onto a stool, not returning to his perch until she's seated. "If some idiot bloke has ever implied otherwise then he was both blind and witless."

The grin broadens and the vampire chuckles quietly. "I thought that this would keep us out of the main throughfare, and it's mostly quiet. As quiet as it can be. Figured you might get the wrong idea if we took one of the cozy tables in a dark corner." A beat. "What, exactly would make you think that I'm planning something nefarious? Do I look the arch-villain type?" He's playful and teasing as he says the words, but Aidan wonders if maybe there isn't something a bit more telling to her words.


"Flatterer," Corrie says with only a small scoff as she takes seat upon the stool. "If some idiot bloke had implied such, he likely would've gotten a pop to the nose as well." There is a tiny twinkle in her eye, the only thing that denotes she might be jesting about that.

"I might've," she answers fairly truthfully. Her handbag set at her feet, one foot looping through the handles so that it doesn't get a chance to go very far without her noticing it being moved. Habit, really, more than thinking anything untoward will happen to it.

"Drinks, and the far corner? Definitely nefarious." Beat. "Especially when one is dealing with a playboy type." Another small beat. "To be fair, not all arch-villains wander the world twirling their moustaches. One never knows."


"Oh yes, I haven't forgotten that fiery spark of yours." Really, it was at that moment that Aidan had re-evaluated her. It hadn't made him decide whether she would make a better meal or plaything - and he still was straddling the fence on that one - but he had put her a few notches above the usual chattel of humanity. "You really stuck it to Sir Galahad." Raising his hand, he motions to Desmond, nodding when the bartender indicates he'll be there after tending to the couple making googly eyes at one another at the other end of the bar.

"Of course," Aidan adds with a wince and hint of chagrin, "I was being a bit of an ass by that time, so maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that." Because he's never an ass? At least, he wants her to think that.

"Arch-villains are sadly overrated. I much prefer to the minion who rises up and takes down the boss. It's unexpected. But playboys? I guess that makes you luckier than most. Forwarned is forearmed, and all that?"

There is no doubt that he's going to have to work for this, unless he resorts to a little bit of glamor here and there. Again, he's still deliberating. As Desmond approaches, Aidan asks, "What would you like to drink?"


"Yes, well, he deserved it." Thankful for the 'save' she may be, but that doesn't mean that she's unable to handle herself, and that tends to irritate her quite a bit. "Sweet, perhaps, but in this day and age, being treated like a damsel in distress is oftentimes bothersome." Were Corrie ever actually in distress, she'd be more than happy to have someone like Sean Watson looking out for her best interests.

"Is that what you intend to do then? Somewhat difficult to manage when you are the boss though, isn't it? Unless you've got one of those personality disorders…"

Glancing at the man behind the bar, Corrie manages to look at him but keep her eyes from meeting his. "Sharpham Vineyard Pinot Noir if you've got it, if not whatever the house red is will be fine."


Aidan asks for Glenmorangie because he knows that Flare stocks it, although there aren't many patrons who are particular about their scotch. He has a few quirks, and being a connoiser of scotch is one of them.

"You sound a lot like an old friend of mine. She's always been very good at taking care of herself and making sure that everyone knows it." It's a compliment, even though the 'old' friend is almost two hundred, and Aidan thinks that Amelia wouldn't be amused to be compared to a vampire. No matter in what spirit the words are given.

"You're assuming that this fine dining locale isn't the front to a larger, more nefarious organization attempting to take over the citizenry of London one gourmet meal at a time."

Amelia - if that is her real name - is careful, but not careful enough. Aidan notices how her gaze slides just past his eyes, only lingering for fractional seconds. It's a very telling reaction and Aidan smirks inwardly. Let the games begin, then.


"I see little sense on relying on anyone but yourself," Corrie replies to the strange compliment. "Doing so generally means that you've not got the confidence to handle situations you may find yourself in." Such as this one.

"Are you considering franchising then? I've heard that it's a fairly lucrative thing to do, if you don't mind others working under your name." The business name that is.

Seemingly keeping her eyes on the barman as he goes to prepare the drinks, she watches Aidan via the mirror. That's one myth she's going to have to bust in the old family book when she gets home — apparently they do have reflections.


The indulgent, appreciative smirk returns as Aidan rests one arm on the bar, angling his body a bit more toward the pretty red head. He's the appearance of comfortable relaxation and openness. "Truer words have never been spoken." It's a creedo that the vampire believes in whole heartedly, but that's probably because he can't afford to truly rely on or trust anyone he can't control or doesn't have some sort of blood hold over.

"My business manager thinks it would be an excellent idea, but I have some control issues. I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I'd want it done just so and I'm sure that someone would want to drive a sharp implement through my heart." The pause is brief and short, barely a second really, but Aidan watches her face nonetheless. "Or my gut. Depending on if they want to kill me or torture me."


Aidan may be comfortable and relaxed. Corrie, on the other hand, seems a little tense. As though she's expecting something to happen and she'll need to react quickly to it. Despite her physical demeanor, she laughs. "I suppose so. Really it was sort of foisted on me, but it is a good creed to live by." With the number of siblings she possesses, taking care of herself was necessary.

"You could divvy your time between two locations, keeping an eye on both and see how that develops before franchising. Perhaps set up another restaurant on the other end of the city." Why am I giving business advice to a bleeding vampire? "Though I highly doubt anyone would want to stake you simply for desiring to care for your interests." Her expression is schooled neutral, though there is a little hitch of her right eyebrow. Just enough to be seen as a lingering curiosity as to his remark.


"You know, you would make a very good business manager." Aidan's eyes move slowly and deliberately over her, and it's only partially the way a man looks at a woman that he's interested in. The other part is observation and curiosity. Amelis is being talkative and seemingly friendly, but Aidan thinks that if he leans in and whispers 'Boo,' she'll be clinging from the rafters. As amusing as the image is, it really isn't the sort of scene he wants to take place in his restaurant. "You wouldn't be interested in coming to work for me, would you?" The smile says the words are in jest, but the appraising look — that has nothing to do with his words — never leaves his eyes.

Desmond returns with the drinks and Aidan gives him a polite nod of acknowledgment. He wraps a hand around the glass of scotch and takes a drink. Faded blue eyes continue to watch 'Amelia' over the rim of the glass, and a tight half-smile turns up at her choice of words. "You might be surprised at how easily I seem to piss people off." Then again, given their first meeting, she might not.


"As much as I appreciate both the compliment and the offer, I'm afraid I'll have to decline. I rather like what I do currently." Not too much different from managing a business, really. Instead, she manages what people do. Spins the negative into something more positive. "Though," she mentions with a wink — a horrid flirt she most certainly is — "I will keep you in mind if it doesn't pan out."

Rather than taking a sip of the wine, she seems content enough to let it breathe a while longer. Her fingers do tap the bottom of the stem however. A slow, idle tune that's entirely unrecognizable.

"I don't know. I have barely made your acquaintance, but even I can tell that you are prone to swings of mood."


Aidan's gaze drops to her fingers and then make the slow climb back to focus on her face and her eyes. The vampire is puzzling her out. It's not the hunter zeroing in on the prey, unless of course it's that point where the cat wants to poke at the mouse to see which way it will run. "Prone to swings of mood," Aidan remarks quietly, amusement still tugging at his lips. He nods in consideration, "I would say that's the most polite description that I've ever heard. My assistant usually chooses to tell me that I'm a raving nutter." Also, that's he's psychotic and unstable, but he wisely doesn't add that part.


"Obviously your assistant knows you far better than I do," Corrie says with an amused chuckle. "That being said, I hardly know you well enough at all to make any observation other than the one I just have."

The finger tapping continues for a moment or two before she shifts her hand to enable her to lift the wine glass to her lips for a small sip. A show of see, I'm not downing the drink simply to get out of here.


Aidan's brows rise at her amusement. He is really trying not tip his hand and spook her quite yet, but he can't help that he leans a bit more toward her, "Is that … a laugh?" It doesn't mean that she's warming to him, but it's a step in the right direction.

"Right then, it's all right to relax a bit, yeah? I'm not going to bite." In the mirror, Aidan catches Desmond's eyebrows raise as the wolf turns away, attempting to hide the twitch of his mouth.


"I doubt you would in front of so many people."

The second the words are out of her mouth, Corrie clears her throat. "That is, any good playboy would hardly be so bold as to make such an intimate…" Dangerous. "… move in such a public locale." The wine glass tips toward her lips again. This time the sip is longer, though it is still just a sip.


It's almost too easy, Aidan thinks. He nearly laughs aloud, well and truly amused now. Amelia is definitely more interesting than just a nibble. She could make such a fun trinket, and his arm has been vacant of suitable eye candy for a few months.

Crystal blue eyes watch her drink, or rather watch the motion of her throat as she swallows the wine. "Also, it's terribly bad for business." Aidan takes another drink, "The public tends to see it as tacky and inappropriate."

Settling the glass on the bar, he dares to breach the edges of her personal space, pitching his voice low. "Tell me, when did you figure it out?" Truly, he's curious, though Aidan suspects she will either deny having knowledge of what he's talking about, or she'll try to escape as quickly as possible.

Either one will be amusing.


Good lord. Even dealing with the arse Gideon was not as nerve wracking as this, and she has much more to worry about from a sorcerer than the vampire at the moment. They are, after all, still in public, and as he stated it would be rather tacky for him to feed from her in the midst of the dinner hour at his own establishment.

"I imagine it would be." Bad for business, and inappropriate.

The wine glass is given a gentle swirl, her eyes focusing on that rather than him. Trying to ignore the fact that he's eyeing her neck. "About an hour after returning home." Very little point in lying about it. "Between your behavior and Dr. Watson's adamancy, it struck me as a possibility that something was 'off' about the encounter." That, the web search, and the location they were attempting to enter.


Aidan blinks in genuine surprise. It isn't often that someone — some human — manages to surprise him, and the woman deserves kudos for that alone. He straightens up and sits back, allowing the surprise to lift his brows and play over his features. "Wow. I have to admit, I'm impressed. I fully expected you to go with the 'I have no idea what you're talking about' answer to that one."

The vampire mimics her actions of swirling the beverage, his fingers twisting the glass of scotch a bit back and forth while the liquid gently sloshes around. Of course, he doesn't watch the glass, but rather glances at the woman beside him. "So glad we got that out of the way, by the way. Makes conversation so much easier. And just so we're clear?" Aidan drops his voice again, not wanting to project to the entire room, though he doubt he could be heard over the soft jazz piping in, "I really am not going to eat you." Here. Now.


"A lie would hardly help in this situation, especially when you seemed to have figured I knew." Lifting her eyes from the swirl of the wine glass, she glances at him. "Otherwise, you wouldn't have kept making those pointed comments. I may be many things, Mr. Boyle, but I should like to think that stupid is not one of them."

Having it out of the way is likely not to make the conversation easier. Not on her end at least.

"Good to know. You'd likely wind up with indigestion anyhow."


"Tell-tale signs," Aidan throws out an explanation. "You did a fairly good job of hiding it, but you were afriad of me." He pauses and reconsiders, "Are afraid of me. As well, the entire time we've been talking? You seem to focus more on my eyebrow. Sometimes my cheek. Either you knew something you weren't telling or I need to wash my face."

There's another pause while he takes a longer drink, again simply watching her over the rim of his glass. "Yeah, and I've been watching people a long time. I notice things. But no, Miss Owens, I never ever thought you were stupid… is that even your real name?"

The vampire dismisses the question with a shrug, as though he doesn't really care whether or not it is her real name. That's far from the truth, but it's just another road to get what he wants. "I know that you probably don't believe it, but we're not all evil bogeymen."


There are other reasons for not wanting to meet a man's eyes, though she allows him to think that it was simply her hiding her knowledge.

Then he's calling her on the name, and she laughs. "Perhaps. Perhaps not. Though it really is only fair, isn't it? The knowledge that it could or couldn't be? I doubt that your real name is Aidan Boyle." Corrie tips the wine glass back, taking a much larger sip than before.

"It is less the 'evil bogeyman' thing that concerns me, and more the necessity for consuming blood." The last is said extremely quietly over her glass before she settles it atop the bar. "Evil I can handle." She hopes.


Aidan tilts his head theatrically to the side and studies the woman seated beside him. He watches her take a larger drink than before, and purses his lips. "See, now you're not being fair or giving me a chance. Nothing's really changed since we sat down at the bar, except that the horses have left the barn." For whatever reason, Aidan does get a perverse pleasure when people know what he is and have to deal with that fact.

"Aidan Boyle is the name I've been using for " Centuries "A long time. It's pretty much my name." He doesn't ask for hers again.

"As far as my diet, that's hardly a fair reason to dislike me, is it?"


"But it's not your real name now is it?" Beat. "There's power in a name you know. A certain magic, perhaps." Foolish, maybe, that she's taken this lesson from a well-known fairytale, but true regardless.

Corrie quirks her brow at him as she traces a finger over the rim of the wine glass. "A long time, hmm? I suppose if I searched hard enough, I'd find mention of you then?" In the grimoires, if Rosalie ever allows her to scour through them properly.

"I should think that the possibility of me becoming part of the menu is reason enough to dislike you." Though she never actually said she disliked the man, simply that she could handle evil far better than bloodsucker.


Aidan's long fingers trace the rim of his glass, but those metallic blue eyes never leave Corrie's face, even when she isn't looking directly at him. "I've heard that too, about names. Which is why it would be silly of me to start shouting out my given church name, wouldn't it?" Because he was born into it too, and raised up "proper" like any good Irish Catholic boy should have been. It really wasn't his father's fault that it never took. Or maybe it was, either way, Aidan's not going to reflect on the Daddy Issues he left behind so long ago. Of course, there's an entire metaphysical conversation regarding whether or not it is even his name at all, but he's not drunk enough for that train of thought.

The familiar smirk slides across his face and he lifts his glass for another drink. He tosses it back and signals for another. "You could, possibly. I've … gotten around." There's a playful, suggestive lift of his eyebrows at the words. He lowers his voice again, leaning closer to her, and as he speaks, the words are underscored with unrepetant debauchery. "You know, some people don't find the experience at all distasteful."


The finger along the rim of the glass now produces a low singing sound. After about three full circles of that, Corrie stops abruptly and laughs. "I'm honestly less concerned about your true name than I am as to your reaction. You wish the truth from others but don't care to give it yourself. If I'd stuck with another semester of psychology, I'd likely spout some babble about control issues."

Then again, she really has no doubt that a creature who's lived for potentially centuries has control issues. They do, after all, live far longer than the majority of their prey.

"I imagine you have," she replies, not moving whatsoever. Why intensify the hunt and get herself killed? "And I imagine some people have no qualms with being a food source. There are all sorts of fetishes out there."


"It's not always just about … food." The way he says the word 'food,' accompanied by the slight lift of his eyes and lips telegraphs the innuendo in his words. Aidan's been at this too long to not be able to communicate so much with a choice of words, facial expression and body language. He dares to reach out and drag a single fingertip lightly along the inside of her wrist, "Of course I have control issues. I'm old. Set in my ways. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks, blah blah blah."

Desmond returns and begins topping off Aidan's drink, and still the vampire's attention doesn't waver from Corrie. The game is finally turning fun again. "Haven't you ever been curious about walking on the wild side?"


"It may not be in the beginning," Corrie replies, seeming absolutely unphased by the innuendo until his fingers trace her wrist. At that point her eyes close, and when she opens them again it is with a glare.

"Does such blatant seduction work on every woman you come across or just the desperate ones?" Dropping her hand to the wine glass, she lifts it quickly to her lips finishing off the liquid inside of it.

"I'm amused by the fact that you think I don't actually live on the wild side." She may seem good at quick retorts and witty replies. At ease with the conversation even. The off-kilter beat of her heart speaks a different story however.


Aidan is amused, pleased even by her reaction and response. He'd seen her fire when they first met, and it's quite entertaining to see some of it bubbling to the surface again. The woman gives off all the signs of annoyance and ire, but it's the staccato fluttering of the pulse at the base of her neck that speaks to him. She's off-kilter and uncertain, though he doesn't detect any hint of fear in her scent. Not yet. Breaking her would be oh so much fun…

The vampire straightens and sits back, giving her breathing room. "I suppose that's a wrong assumption on my part. After all, a woman who knows alternative routes into … odd places … probably does live a little dangerously from time to time. And," He pauses and raises his glass in a toast, "You did have the courage to actually share a drink with me. Though I suspect that your empty glass is meant to send me a signal?"

Aidan takes a swallow and sets the scotch down. He swivels his stool enough to rest partially against the bar. Folding his arms across his chest, he lifts a brow. "I like you, Amelia. Or whomever you are." He hasn't, after all, forgotten that he doesn't think he knows her real name. "I don't suppose that if I promise to behave myself, I can talk you into another drink?"


"For crying out… would you stop staring at my neck?" That may be paranoia on her part, but Corrie is certain she's seen him glance there a time or two in the span of the shared drinks.

Without further reply, she motions to the bartender and wiggles her glass. It's a bit cheeky but she doesn't feel like calling out to him over the din.

"How did you…" Beat. "It's the enhanced senses. Hearing, right? You heard what I whispered to Watson? Just like you saw the card I was slipping to him." A little frown.

"Courage had very little to do with it. It was simply the most prudent thing to do given the situation."


The urge to tease her and tell her what a lovely neck she has is repressed, but barely. Aidan won't deny that he has looked at her neck — more than once — But isn't it better than staring at her bosom? Probably better not to voice it that way, either. She is motioning for a refill to her drink which means the game isn't over yet, and Aidan doesn't want to rock that boat.

"Perceptive," Aidan responds with a nod. "I am gifted with excellent hearing." Preternatural is more like, but there's really no need to go there. He knows that they're both on the same page. "I was actually impressed that I didn't notice you following along behind us until you tried to occupy the same space as that other pedestrian." The grin is back, but it's not the smarmy smirk or even salacious. If anything, it's simply … cheeky.

"How so?" Cheekiness and amusement are replaced by a completely unfeigned curiosity. "I should think that if you didn't want to have a drink a with me, you could have very easily said 'no.' After our very short acquaintance, I feel confident in saying that you are not the sort of woman who has trouble saying 'no.'" All the more fun to do this in baby steps …


"And have you hunt after me out there?" Outside of the safety of remaining in his establishment? "I may be daft for accepting, but I'd be a fool to say no and gain the ire of one such as yourself."

Corrie is most assuredly not a woman who has trouble saying 'no' in a given situation. Unless she's trying to keep her neck safe. Literally.

"You were rather caught up in your conversation with Watson. Far be it from me to have interrupted." Which would have garnered her less information. Not that what she did garner was all that informative, really.

"So is this where you continue playing the game? Attempting to seduce me? Attempting to convince me that it would be a lark to bed you, then take a little nip in the throes of passion? Or are we at the point where we can drop that pretense, because it is most assuredly not going to happen."


Aidan has no problem dropping the pretense. Sometimes he does it to be intimidating, and sometimes because he can. Seldom on demand, but in this instance it works. He swivels around and leans into her space far more quickly than a human could ever manage to do. This time, however, the flirty innuendo is absent from his tone, though he refrains from projecting a threat or even danger. More like a a deadpan somber curiosity. Aidan keeps his voice low; he doesn't want his words to carry. "Were you hunted or abused by a vampire as a child, because I'm sensing a lot of mistrust and a world of preconception and misjudgment." A frown furrows in his brow, and his jaw tightens and he can almost convince himself that he is as offended as he pretends to be. "I wanted to have a drink with you because you are an attractive woman, but I would hardly have chased you down like a zebra on the savannah if you'd said no." Both are actually true. Aidan could have come up with other options tonight that would not have involved hunting the fiery red head down.

It's a smooth, but slower and more human motion that brings him back to a properly upright position and out of Corrie's personal bubble. Another drink is taken, and he studies her intently over the rim of the glass. It stays in his hand as he lowers it, "You said it yourself, I'm a playboy. Of course, I'm completely motivated by the thought of getting you into bed. But I really do have some self-control." At his discretion, naturally.


Corrie holds her ground when he enters her personal space. She does not back off, she does not lean forward or otherwise move. There is no indication that she's going to give him even that little thrill. He could snap her neck right here, and she's positive no one would even notice… and while that scares her, she also knows that it would be bad for business so he won't unless he's ready to shut the restaurant down for good.

"If I were, I've repressed it. Of course there is an apt amount of mistrust. I believe with the exception of spirits, your kind is one that has been written about through the ages. There is quite a great deal of back story and myth to support preconceptions. Though if you'd like to enlighten me as to the misconceptions…"

Desmond chooses that moment to finally appear and refill her wine glass. It takes Corrie only a moment to down the entire thing and set it upon the bar for another refill. It's not that she really cares to have yet a third drink with the vampire, but that it's really keeping her from casting a spell.

"Here I thought that you'd get a thrill from the hunt. Most other playboys," vampires, "Would."


"Yes, and all Muslims are terrorists, all Germans are Nazis, and all priests are pedophiles. Everything fits in a nice little box, all stereotypes apply across all fields, and there's no such thing as deviation and free will." Aidan manages to sound both bored and annoyed by the turn in the conversation. Part of what gets him his way and what allows him to get what he wants is his ability to convince others that he's not like all the rest. Not that he isn't a demonic creature that feeds off of blood, because that's part of what he revels in, but the pretending to be human, the seamless integration into human society — that's what earns the trust, and that's the part of the game he loves so much.

He follows her example and downs his glass as well, setting it back on the bar for a refill. "I don't need to hunt," Aidan says. Yes, it's arrogant, but it's also true. He's never had to search that long or that hard to find someone willing to offer their neck and warm his bed, and when his prey is particularly stubborn, there's always been glamor. And why the bleeding hell aren't I using it now? The thought makes his scowl inwardly at himself. "But yes, I do like the chase, but as pretty as you are, if you walked out of here, I wouldn't have followed." Not the most complimentary way to get a woman on his side, but Aidan suspects that Amelia would prefer the honesty to a half-truth anyway.

"You should slow down, especially if you're driving. I'd hate to be responsible if you wreck. Also, you might try to accuse me of getting you drunk so that I could have my way with you."


"Only if you actually attempt that," Corrie points out. She'll be fine. She's got a car service for the evening, courtesy of a new client. Regardless, the third glass will mostly be toyed with.

"Should I be appalled that you believe I think like that? Is that the ploy in this round? Or is it merely that I've hit a nerve? It's not as though I'm thinking you're Lestat, though I've no doubt you've got about as much soul as he did in the novel. You're far from Bram Stoker's representation though." Beat. "No one said a bloody thing about deviations and free will, however, unless you include my reference to sexual fetishes, in which case, certainly everyone has their own deviations they prefer."

Swirling the wine around in the glass, she raises her brow again. "Good to know. I'd rather not have a bloody hunter following me through the city. No offense, but it's not exactly my idea of a pleasant evening out."


"Well thank you for at least not comparing me to Edward," Aidan remarks drolly. He ignores the refilled glass of scotch, reassuming his lean against the bar with arms crossed over his chest. He recalls now that urge he had to simply drain her and/or snap her neck back at the Underground, and Aidan wonders why he restrained himself. There is a small part of him that still wants to do just that very thing, just for the brief satisfaction it would provide. But there's another part, a larger part that really wants to make her squirm, that wants to see her break, to stumble down the path she is so extraordinarily certain that she will never travel.

"You are a right piece o' work, ya know that?" It's a sign of his annoyance that the hints of brogue work their way into his words. "Why are you still here, yeah? Way I see it, you are either trying to provoke me to prove a point, or you're more interested than you want to let on."


"Luv, if you started sparkling, I'd have been out of here far more quickly than I could have laughed." Corrie snorts gently, then continues to toy with the glass of wine. Not drinking it, just playing with it.

"I'm still here because I'm enjoying this fine wine that…" She glances toward the barman attempting to recall his name. "Desmond? It is Desmond, right? Well it'd be a shame to let this wine go to waste. Not to mention you are getting rather agitated at a very simple conversation." A slight smirk. Yes, she's provoking him which is not the safe thing to do but then she does know that she's safe here. "Perhaps I'm simply trying to suss out your connection to Watson, Imef, and Erik."


"I have no idea what you're talking about," Aidan says dismissively with an innocent shrug of his shoulders. She may be playing a game and fishing, but she's not that good at it. If she knew anything about Imef or Erik then she probably wouldn't be standing here dangling those names around. "Watson needed a guide, I guided him. As for the rest … well, it's always good to know how to say the right words in the right place at the right time." The woman was going to have to try harder if she wanted to get anything more out of him on that front.

"I'm agitated because I was being solicitious and you are being…" a bitch "Difficult." Any place else but here and Aidan would have had her under his spell by now … or dead. He's still not certain which one he would prefer.


Corrie grins. "Of course I'm being difficult. I'm not exactly one of those girls you can just smile at and wander upstairs with." Beat. "Not, necessarily that you've got a place upstairs, it's an expression." On the off chance that he's not familiar with it. Though she really may just be attempting to irk him a little more.

"Too bad. I've been a bit curious as to those names, though I suppose it really wouldn't be that difficult to research such things if I put my mind to it. If I really wanted to." Beat. "I don't, however. Mere curiosity, you understand." Corrie continues to toy with the glass, the wine swirling nicely within it now. "I may not be as swift as you are, Mr. Boyle, but that does not mean I've not got a few tricks up my sleeve yet." Would a modification to the basic fireball spell even work?


Aidan returns her smile with one of his own. It's still charming, but the flirtatious heat has long since died. He takes several long swallows the scotch. Bright blue eyes roll ceilingward in exaggerated annoyance, "Yes, I know, I get it. You're scared and frigid and I don't have a chance of getting in your knickers, that horse is well and truly dead, might we bury it?"

He glances down at the wine swirling in her glass, "I thought you weren't going to let the wine go to waste?" It's a distraction tactic, mostly to stop himself from following on the urge to just glamour her into doing exactly what he wants. Again, he's not sure why, but something is making him hold back … for just a little bit longer.


"I note you've not mentioned the names again," Corrie remarks as she takes a slow sip. Drawn out. Enjoying the wine.

Her hair is tossed over her shoulder and she eyes him curiously. "Have I upset you? Overstayed my welcome?" There's no denying the grin upon her lips, just as there's no denying the catch in her heartrate. Terror this time, rather than smarmy annoyance.

"I can go if you'd rather hunt down a more amicable prospect for the evening…"


There are stages to Aidan's reactions, particularly when he is in trying situations where he doesn't get his way. Aidan likes getting his way. He's arrogant and spoiled and convinced that humans are toys and playthings for his amusement. When his will is thrawted he's like a child, first throwing a tantrum, then sulking, then settling into quiet acquiesance until he can strike back later. He's moved through the first two stages and now, he slides easily into the third which is the most dangerous place for him to be.

With a preternatural and feline grace, Aidan slides off his stool, the movement carrying him fully into her personal space. The racing of her heart sings to him, and if he was a younger, less experienced vampire, he'd use his speed to whisk her out of here and just have her and it's decadently amusing to him that the woman truly has no idea how nice he is being right now.

Aidan rests his hands on the bar, one arm on either side of her, and to all the world it looks as though they're simply getting friendly. His blue eyes bore into hers, and he nudges into her mind, clouding her thoughs, his words soothing and suggestive, "I think that you want to leave with me now."



Really, it's the only exclamation one thinks of when another is invading their personal space. Corrie considers pushing back at him, but while that's absolutely fine in a verbal manner, doing so physically will likely get her nowhere. Rather, she keeps her eyes locked to his and frowns a little.

"I'd rather not, if you please. I've somewhere else to…"

Upending her glass of wine, she lifts her shoulders in a slow shrug.

"As charming as you are, as pleasing on the eyes as you are, I'd really no — fine."

Corrie raises from the stool and glances at him briefly, then waits for him to show the way. She's got a fairly strong will, but it would appear that at least for the moment she's spellbound.


There's a twitch of annoyance for the moment when Aidan thinks she might actually be fighting him off. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case and he's grateful. He's really had enough of the games and the song and dance, and he can't completely be himself under the watchful eyes of the restaurant patrons.

Aidan is actually being impulsive and reckless and has no idea what exactly he intends to do with the woman when he gets her alone, but he's certain that he will think of something, some way to salvage the not fun of the evening. He grins down at her, and there's no way around the hint of predator in the smile, though his words are polite as ever. "Thank you." As though she has a choice.

Keeping up the pretense, the vampire presses his hand gently against the small of her back, guiding her from the bar and toward the corridor containing the restrooms and the entry into the administrative area.


Corrie keeps trying to fight it. Truth be told, Aidan may just have a few problems with this one.

For a moment, there's a bit of Latin spouted at him.

Then as soon as it's begun, she's falling silent again. Corrie looks at him with rather 'dead' eyes. More or less eyes filled with absolutely no willpower. There's a subtle shift of her body as though fighting off the hand to her back, then she's heading toward the administrative area along with him.


It's the Latin coming out of her mouth that truly gets Aidan's attention, and makes him almost consider just sending her about her way. Only almost though because he's just that annoyed and frustrated with her, and Aidan doesn't give up that easily. However, the odd behavior does give him an internal pause as he realizes he is actually going to have to formulate some kind of plan instead of just winging it.

Winging it is so much more fun.

The main office, where Aidan (and Kim) do the actual work of running the business is empty and that suits him just fine. There are two desks, file cabinets, book cases, and a leather couch. There's also a hidden entrance to a private flat — for emergencies — but Aidan doesn't plan on going in there. He guides Corrie into the office, and closes and locks the door behind them.

"Little witchling," Aidan murmurs, leaning against the door with his arms folded across his chest. He shakes his head and gives a humorless chuckle, "I probably should have known. It's just my luck. Of course the last witch I met actually liked me, blood consumption aside."

Aidan pushes off from the door and strides up to the woman. With a lover's light touch, he tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and then lightly taps her nose, clouding into her mind again. "No setting me on fire or trying to stake me," Aidan draws out the words with exasperation, "But other than that, it's time to be yourself. You and I are gonna have a chat little witchling."


For a long while it seems as though Corrie is completely under his spell. There's no argument once they reach the administration office. There's no argument when the door is locked. There is no argument when he calls her witchling (though really it wouldn't be fair to argue that now would it?). There is no argument even when he tucks the hair behind her ears.

When there is argument, however is when he demands she not cast a spell. There is a great deal of resistance there.

"Tap my nose again and I'll ensure you're in pain for eternity," she snipes at him. "How'd you get me here?"

Then just as swiftly as she's making threats, she falls silent. Until… "What did you wish to chat about?"


"You are cute when you're fired up," Aidan's grin and words are truly appreciative. "If you'd stop being such a frigid bitch, you could actually be hot." He draws a breath and blows it out, and settles himself on the couch. Aidan pats the seat next to him. The last glamour isn't that strong, excepting the part where he really doesn't want her to cast any spells on him, but he does want to get a few things clear. "C'mere then. Join me." Aidan doesn't know if she will or not, nor does he particularly care. He waits a beat, adding, "Just in case it escaped your notice, if I wanted you dead, you'd be dead by now. If I wanted to feed, I would have fed by now."


Again there is a struggle of wills.

Again Corrie loses.

Finding herself seated upon the couch, she crosses her arms over her chest. It's a protective measure of a sorts, though she highly doubts it will do any good.

"I'm well aware. Your kind has ways to ensure certain… things are not dealt with within the realm of the public eye."


"Well there is that, but that really has nothing to do with it. I just don't want to kill you." Beat. "Anymore. But don't get too confident, the night's young, you really seems to have a knack for pissing me off."

Aidan angles his body towards hers, bending one leg on the couch. He can't resist brushing her hair away from her face, mainly because he knows it will piss her off. His voice, when he speaks, is oddly soft and gentle, and completely at odds with his words. "You intentionally provoked me. It's a really, really bad idea to provoke me. Have you ever heard the saying about not poking the sleeping bear? It's one to pay attention to. I really had just one interest tonight, in you, and once it was settled that that was off the table, you could have left. Why didn't you?" Aidan is truly curious about that, but there's also something else that's tickling the back of his mind, and as long as he has her here, he has to ask, "And what's your real name anyway?"


"Good because I'd really rather not be killed at this juncture."

The only confidence Corrie has is in that. If he doesn't mean to kill her, then chances are she'll go free. She's not hedging a lot of bets on it, but she's hoping that it'll be the case.

There is another internal struggle. This time it almost seems as though Corrie will win out. Will swat his hand away. Will refuse his questions.

In the end her will is not at all strong enough to power over the control he has and that irks her more than anything. He'll be able to pick up on that irritation even though she complies and doesn't lash out.

"Poor you. Provoked. To put it simply, I was enjoying the conversation until we came in here." It's the most argumentative she's been since leaving the bar.

Her teeth grit and she fights against giving him her name. Really she does. "Corrie." No surname provided due to the fight, yet it's still her name. Internally, she's cursing herself.


"Corrie." Aidan tests her name, rolling it around on his tongue. "Corrie. That's a pretty name." No point in spouting flattery to impress her, he's simply stating it because he does think it's a pretty name. It fits the pretty witch glaring daggers at him even though she hasn't managed to break through his glamour.

"No, you were smirking and practically crowing that you'd gotten under my skin and irritated me. Almost makes me think that you're some sort of masochist. Which I don't really have a problem with, but there's no need to pretend to be so innocent and pure if you aren't." Now who's doing the provoking?

Aidan runs fingers down her arm, his mouth curled up in smug half-smile, "We really could have had so much fun together. We still could, but I do have some standards. So much better to take a willing, warm body to bed." Which means he isn't going to use his preternatural skill to coax her into sleeping with him. He waggles his eyebrows, his voice taking on its usual cadence of flirtatious decadence, "I don't suppose you're willing?"


"It is, isn't it?" Not entirely unusual, but not normal enough like 'Janet' or 'Sheila' as to be boring.

"Is that what it made you think?" Corrie poo-poos at that. "Really, a few questions here, a bit of a push there. I fail to see why you're tied in such a knot over it." Fixing her own errant curls now, she tucks them behind her ears and then scoffs at the smug smile.

"Perhaps we could have were you not a blood sucking fiend." Beat. "I will admit you're not hard upon the eyes, but there is still that little issue of consumption."

Another beat.

"Not particularly." Granted, Corrie's got a bit of a crush upon someone else. Not that she'd ever admit it.


"Mainly it's because I'm a spoiled brat, I like to get my way and you weren't giving it to me." It's a stream of pure unadulterated honesty from the vampire, and something that most people never hear. Aidan's willing to give her that because he did glamour her, she is a witch and he can't do any of the things he wanted to do to her because the last thing he wants is a vengeance hyped coven after him.

"Blood, blood, blood." Aidan rolls his eyes theatrically and tilts his head back to stare at the ceiling. "Save me from … whatever." His head whips back down and around to her quickly enough to give a human whiplash, "What is it with you and the blood consumption thing? You eat cows. And you kill them first. I like my food living and breathing." Sometimes fighting and squirming, running and screaming, but there's no need to go into those details.

Aidan sobers and cants his head, studying her. He can't keep her — Though the thought is amusing — which means he's going to have to let her go. "If I let you go, are you going to go peacefully or am I going to find you trying to spell me into some netherworld?"


"I'm humane enough to ensure the cow is dead before I decide that it's to become a food source." Whereas everything she knows about vampires is simply that. Hunting, toying with, fighting with, allowing the person to squirm as it feeds. It's a disturbing way to go.

Corrie considers the offer quite simply and addresses it as such. "I'd love to know how you figured it out, but if you mean to let me go peacefully without chasing me down, then I'd rather not have to obliviate you." Not that most witches have that ability anyhow.

"And I'd prefer it if you weren't running off about the potential of my capabilities, just as I will not rush into the restaurant and inform any other unsuspecting single women that you mean them for a shag and a bite."

At least not this time.


"I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree on that one," Aidan declares. "You likely aren't going to believe me when I tell you that it's not the painful torture that you've been misled to believe." Unless the vampire feeding wants it to be painful, which is sometimes the case.

His brows rise at her inquiry and Aidan figures he can give her that much. "You tried to throw a spell at me on the way here. I probably wouldn't have realized it, but I knew a witch a … while back." He reaches out and coils a lock of her hair around his finger, his face softening and his eyes turning almost inward, wistful maybe. "She was a ginger too." Beat. "And like I said, she actually liked me and didn't mind the whole blood thing. At all." The last is said with his typical, heavy laden inneundo and suggestiveness.

"I don't have any reason to tell anyone anything about what you can or cannot do. Really, it's not my business. But," Aidan's voice hardens and the eyes are like cut glass. He grips her chin and tilts her face up to look at him, "Know that you were the exception and not the rule. I don't chat up single women in the restuarant, and if we hadn't met previously, I wouldn't have approached you that way at all. I keep my business separate from … everything else." Everything from his tone to his body language screams out his other-ness at that moment, and there is no way to mistake Aidan Boyle as human.


"You're right. I'm not apt to believe you when you say the torture one would have to endure to become a mere body of sustenance would be unbearable." Corrie wants to draw away at his touch, that much is apparent in her eyes. In the anger that bubbles beneath the surface. Even she is not stupid enough to just yank herself away from an irritated vampire.

"Several words in Latin? Honestly? That is what you are basing your assumption on? Perhaps I was merely attempting, poorly, to pray for your lack of soul."

Not that he'll believe that in the least.

"There are, in my experience, very few red headed witches." Corrie eyes him curiously, then lifts her shoulders. "Does that mean that you'll allow me to leave? I'm well aware that you'd rather have killed me than spoken to me. I accept that."


"You need to work on your game face," Aidan smirks, sliding back into his human mask. "But you didn't exactly deny it when I made my observation, and you're not denying it now. My game face is better." He can see it in her eyes how much she doesn't want him to touch her, and they're flashing too with a dangerous anger. Aidan bemoans the waste of such fury and fire that could be so creatively channeled in any number of places.

"I think that we can say that my experience is likely quite a bit more broad than yours." Aidan releases her chin, but it's only to slide his fingers along her jaw, cupping her cheek in the palm of his hand. Her skin is soft and warm, and he brings his other hand so that her face is — tenderly — held between his hands. There's a fleeting moment when Aidan toys with the idea of kissing her, just to get a reaction, to see if she has enough will to smack him … or enough weakness to respond. But, this diversion has gone on long enough and he has a business to run, and it's only a matter of time before Kim comes looking for him.

Aidan catches her gaze and holds it, calling on his powers of glamor and persausion one last time, "You are going to forget all about this little meeting of ours. In fact, all you are going to remember is that we had drinks and we talked and we had a really good time. Then we came back here, and we … got acquainted. And," Aidan pauses, releasing his hold on her face, "I think that it's time for you to go, Corrie."


"Sorry. I've not had what? Centuries to work on playing mind games with others." Corrie rolls her eyes at him, though she's not yet pulled away.

When he releases her finally, she takes a deep breath and smiles sweetly. Diversion or not, she's learned quite a bit. Including the fact that she may now be on someone's menu, which does not entirely thrill her.

At least he's not got her full real name. Which should keep her family safe enough for now until she figures out how to best deal with him.

Her will wins out in the end and she simply smiles at him again. It's a fair struggle and she's got to tear her eyes away from him to ensure it works. Even that is a great deal of trouble on her part.

When she stands to quickly unlock the door and make her way out, she pauses.

"I highly doubt I'd ever forget such an encounter, and if I'd really gotten acquainted with you I'd much prefer the physicality of it than another mind game."

Quickly making her exit she grins. "See you 'round, Aidan."

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