Dining with the Devil

Aidan's Flat


Characters

aidanboyle08.jpg ds01.jpg
Aidan Corrie

What many don't realize is that Aidan genuinely enjoys cooking. He didn't open a restaurant - and Flare isn't his first - on a whim. Cooking is one of those things that sparked something inside of him, that gives him true pleasure and enjoyment. A lack of a soul does not mean that he's incapable of enjoyment, or even of finding pleasurable hobbies outside of blood and sex, because really those two things are as more about the nature of the demon - blood lust and sexual hunger - than they are of a true measure of the beast. He wears a human skin, and plays human and integrating into human society means he's picked up so many human quirks and foibles that they are secondary to him now.

As far as hobbies? Live long enough and there are enough things to try for distraction. Plenty to learn, plenty to experiment with. Some things just click and stick. Cooking is one of those things.

He's already eaten - dinner has come and gone; Aidan fully sated his other hunger the previous night as well. Now he's in the kitchen, starting dinner and prepping those things that will have to wait for Corrie to arrive. As always, a low volume stream of music fills the kitchen, and Aidan works in a pale blue shirt, sleeves rolled up to just below his elbows, dark jeans and bare feet.

The vampire is comfortably relaxed and just waiting.

-

Glimpses have been caught in the kitchen as to Aidan's enjoyment of cooking — specifically the night she went to fuss at him — but Corrie still doesn't believe he'll actually bother to cook. It'd just be far easier to order in a curry than spend a great deal of time on a meal for her.

Giving herself another quick once over in her compact mirror, she smiles. Her outfit is simple, comfortable, cute, and casual — a white camisole, and just above knee-length pleated skirt, a pale beige cardigan-style vest, and beige wedge sandals. Really, she could almost be spending the night at the lake and not someone's flat.

Adjusting the bottle she's carrying to her left hand, she uses the right to knock on the door and announce her arrival — though he may already know she's on her way up thanks to the doorman.

-

It isn't the doorman who alerted Aidan to Corrie's arrival, but the fact that he's been keeping one ear open for her. He knows that she's at the door before she even knocks, and Aidan is standing by the door when she does. He does give her the courtesy of allowing her to finish her knock and then waits a moment or two before opening the door.

Swinging the door inward, Aidan flashes her a welcoming grin. "Evening. Come on in." He waves her inside, closing the door behind her.

-

"What? No suit and cape?" Corrie's teasing grin and wink are directed at him as she enters the flat. "This is for you." The bottle is offered over to him, looking much like a soda bottle filled with a deep red liquid. "I hope it's turned out alright…"

It's not like she's well versed with bringing gifts to those of the vampire persuasion, after all.

-

Aidan lifts a brow at the teasing suggestion. Tilting a playful grin at her, he asks, "Is there something wrong with my attire?"

Beat.

"You look lovely." Thrown out casually as he accepts the bottle with a curious look. "Thank you." Another look is given to the bottle, a deeper, although brief study of the dark liquid within.

"I take it that you made this yourself? You do realize that it's hard to poison me?" Not impossible, certainly; just because there's no record of it ever being done doesn't mean vampires can't be poisoned.

-

"Of course not, you just don't look like Dracula," she replies with another wink. Corrie gives him an approving look, and nods. "You look relaxed." There is something in the back of her mind every time she says that word, but she shakes it off.

"Thank you. I wasn't sure how casual I should dress, so I wore something that'd work for any situation." Casual, semi-dressy, comfortable, relaxed. "I nearly put my hair up." The implication being that it would've been in braided pigtails.

"You do realize there are easier ways of doing away with you than poison?" Her brow arches slightly as she steps past him and into the flat properly. "But yes, I concocted it myself."

-

"Naturally I don't look like Dracula. He was old and creepy," Aidan snorts. He rolls his shoulders and then closes the distance between them, a hand gently placed to the small of her back to guide her toward the kitchen.

"We're having dinner. Nothing formal," Aidan says with a faint shrug. Then he grins down at her, "it wouldn't be the same without the knee socks and saddle shoes."

"But poison would be slow and painful," Aidan winks. He wiggles the bottle, "Might I ask, or is it a surprise?"

-

"But he's always depicted as being young, dashing, having dark hair, fangs, and wearing a suit and cape — which is entirely impractical. They didn't have dry cleaning back then." Corrie allows herself to be guided toward the kitchen, not struggling or fussing.

"Can I help with anything?" She's not the best witch in the kitchen, but she knows how to chop and slice things as well as anyone. "I knew I was forgetting something."

Her eyes drift toward that bottle and she grins. "It's a surprise, though don't shake it too much. It's carbonated."

-

"Capes are impractical with or without dry cleaning." Aidan gives her another glance, "But he could also change into a bat and the cape went with the whole bat aspect, I do believe."

Reaching the kitchen, Aidan pauses at the offer of help. "Things are mostly done, just some last minute vegetable chopping. Are you up for it?" Even as he asks, Aidan is sliding a cutting board and bowl of vegetables toward her.

A knife is placed by the cutting board, "Don't forget to wash your hands."

Looking to the bottle again, Aidan doesn't hide his curiosity. "Don't shake it too much. Understood."

-

"You do realize that now every time I see a man in a cape, I'm going to have to wonder about his ability to turn into a bat, yes?" Corrie gives him a curious look before chuckling. "I'll never be able to watch an opera again without that question on my mind."

Setting her handbag on the counter furthest from the food, she reaches in to find an elastic. Pulling her hair up into a messy ponytail, she nods. Steps are taken toward the sink, and she turns the water on and washes her hands quietly. Once she's done, she uses paper towel rather than a tea towel to dry her hands.

"I may not be the world's greatest chef, but I know how to behave in a kitchen. Mum wouldn't have it any other way." Taking one of the vegetables, she sets it on the cutting board and begins to carefully chop it into neat little pieces.

"It's also for you only." Beat. "Go on, pour yourself a glass if you'd like."

-

Aidan quietly watches the witch prep and is preparing to wash his hands when she makes the last comment.

"For me only?" Curiosity truly engaged, Aidan's brows knit and rise. "We were jesting about the poison, yeah?"

It doesn't stop him from fetching a glass from the cupboard. Jesting aside, he does trust that Corrie is not going to poison him. There are, as she said, other ways of dispatching him and she hasn't done it yet.

Aidan cracks open the bottle and the scent hits him immediately. The acid and fermentation of the wine, but beneath it the coppery tang of blood. His gaze drifts to Corrie's and there's no missing the appreciation in his smile - nor the hint of pride coloring the edges of it.

After pouring, Aidan lifts the glass and inhales the scent before taking a swallow. The carbonation gives it an unexpected effervesence but isn't bad. But that's not what Aidan's senses hone in on. It's the blood. Specifically Corrie's blood.

Blue eyes lock on the witch as he drains the glass. When he's done, he licks his lips, gaze still trained her.

"Thank you." Said huskliy, underscored by an appreciative and hungry look darkening his eyes, before Aidan forcibly pushes it back.

-

Corrie very carefully keeps her eyes off of him as he gathers the glass, and pours the beverage. She focuses solely on keeping each chop of the vegetables even and the same size. When she finishes with one vegetable, she carefully takes another and begins the process again, the sound of the knife on the cutting board the only sound four a long while.

When his eyes lock onto her, she can feel them. Very carefully she sets the knife down and turns around to gaze at him curiously. The darkening of his eyes is noticed and she actually gasps at that.

Then she's blushing, and quickly turning away again. "You're welcome," she mumbles only a little uncomfortably. "Least I could do after all the teasing." And he didn't have to bite her to get it.

-

"The least you could do," Aidan replies dryly. He crosses the kitchen, closing the distance between them in several easy strides. Stopping behind her, Aidan lowers his voice and speaks softly in her ear, "Once again, you surprise me, Corrie."

He waits a moment, then moves to step away and check on dinner in progress.

-

It's a good thing that she's not got the knife in her hand chopping vegetables when he comes up behind her. Not that she'd twist and stab him — it wouldn't do much good anyhow. No, she'd more than likely wind up chopping off one of her fingers. There is a very distinct shiver at the whisper, and she bites her lip.

"How?" Beat. "Has no one brought you gifts before? I'd think a man like you would have received plenty of things like that."

-

Aidan pauses and chuckles softly. However, rather than encroach anymore on her personal space, Aidan steps back to put some distance between them and allow her to regain her equilibrium.

"I've received plenty of gifts. I simply never expected something of the sort from you."

-

"It's hardly unusual for me to attend a dinner and bring the host or hostess a bottle of wine." Corrie glances over her shoulder, then takes a deep breath and reaches for the knife. The chopping is once more done in silence for a while, and eventually she returns to her more relaxed, laid back state.

"Don't read anything more into it than that — a host's gift."

-

"Of course," Aidan's voice rings with politeness. Not coolness, or distance, just a quiet acceptance of her words. "What else would I think that it was?"

Beat.

"How are those vegetables?" It's back into casual mode, as though that flickering of demon hadn't shown on the surface. He moves into her space again, but this time it's solely to check her progress. Evidently, it's deemed worthy because he gives her a grin and a lofty, "Perfect," before taking up the vegetables and adding them to a waiting pan.

Then it's Aidan moving around the kitchen, with practiced ease and skill, most certainly in his element, setting to finishing up the meal. He indicates a bottle of wine on the counter, "I didn't know if you'd want a drink, but feel free to pour yourself a glass."

-

"I don't know," she replies quietly, with a shrug.

When he gets closer, Corrie puts the knife down again. She motions to the vegetables which are all uniformly chopped. "Chopped," she says with a grin. Though she does reach for one of the cubes and pops it into her mouth in a cheeky fashion.

Moving toward the sink, she gives her hands a quick rinse and dry again. Then she lifts up the bottle of wine and pours herself a half glass. "Thank you."

-

Aidan looks up from his work to give her a cheeky grin and then turns back to the food prep. He hssnt forgotten the witch's presence and every now and then he looks up to give her a broad grin.

Eventually, however dinner is ready. There is salad on the table, bread and oil, and pasta in a light wine sauce tossed with vegetables and chicken. It's nothing overly fancy, really just a casual dining room setting for a friendly dinner.

Aidan tops off Corrie's glass of wine, and then pours himself another from the bottle she brought. He waits until she's seated and then seats himself. "No business talk," Aidan warns with a teasing grin.

-

When dinner is ready, Corrie plays the part of good guest and helps carry everything to the table. She waits until he finishes moving around before she seats herself. Her brow creases a little, and she almost seriously asks, "But what, pray tell, are we going to talk about?"

Lifting the glass to her mouth, she takes a sip, and then winks at him. "I promise, I will not discuss any promotional matters for Flare." Beat. "Beyond that mention."

-

"Good," Aidan remarks. He can sense the question, even unasked as it is. He lifts his glass and takes a drink, "Oh Corrie, it seems like we never talk anymore."

After a moment or two more, Aidan smiles invitingly, "Tell me something about Corrie Kavanaugh that I don't know."

-

Stopping the glass halfway to her lips, she peers at him over the rim. "Such as?" Setting the wine glass back on the table, she glances at the food. Lifting her fork, she takes a small bite, and considers the question.

"I should think, Aidan, that you know quite a great deal about me — and that which you don't know, you could easily find out. So you really do need to be specific. Though if you're asking for things like my favorite colour, it happens to be sapphire."

-

"I don't want to find out. I want you to tell me something. Share something that doesn't have to do with Flare or promoting it." Aidan motions toward Corrie with his glass of wine. "Is there anything wrong with that?"

-

"Why, pray tell, are we playing this game, Aidan?" Corrie raises her brow at him, and sighs heavily.

"You already know what I am. You already know plenty of my likes and dislikes, and you're well aware of my penchant for the bad boy persona…"

Shaking her head, she takes another small bite of the food and chews it thoughtfully. "I'm absolutely horrid in the kitchen. I can handle simple meals, but out of all my sisters, I really was never one for kitchen work."

-

Aidan shrugs. "It's not about what you are. It's about who you are." Beat. "I thought that we'd try something different than the usual bait and jab and shag."

The vampire is not so much eating as he is keeping the witch company while she eats. After all, it isn't as though the food provides any sort of true sustenance for him. "You didn't do so badly with the vegetables. Not even a nick to a finger." Which, really, wouldn't have bothered him in the least.

-

"Chopping vegetables isn't really kitchen work, so much as a necessity so that I don't starve," Corrie points out. She's quiet again as she eats, and then lifts her shoulders in a shrug.

"I can make pasta, I can make sandwiches. Simple things. Give me a recipe for something that requires more effort, and you're likely to wind up with blackened whatever the recipe is for."

-

"You might be amazed by how many people would just as easily end up with a bloody mess of a finger than a sliced carrot," Aidan comments lightly. Still, he can tell that this line of inquiry isn't sitting so well with the witch. He's not sure why, but decides not to press the issue any further. Well, other than telling her, "Sounds to me like you just need a bit more practice in the kitchen."

Beat.

"How about toast? Can you make toast?" Now, he's teasing.

-

"Yes, Aidan," she says dryly. "I can make toast." Beat. "I can also make a meat pie. But that's about as complex as it gets." Everything else is either quick, finger foods, or packaged foods that she's not got to worry about. Which is why, no doubt, she loves going home so often.

"Now you sound like Mum. A bit more work in the kitchen is precisely what I need." Not only would she be able to feed herself far better meals, but spending more time in the kitchen would mean she'd gett better at her spellcraft.

"Was that an offer to help me?"

-

Aidan grins at her across the table. He can't help it given the dry tone of voice Corrie throws in his direction. He does like getting a reaction from the controlled witch - no matter what the situation. "Not so sure I like being told that I sound like your Mum, there. It's not the most flattering comparison to lay on a bloke."

He waits a moment before answering her, and gazes quite seriously back at her. "Did you want help?"

-

Corrie can't help but laugh, and then shake her head. For a long while she just enjoys the meal, not letting on what's amused her so. After sipping from the wine, she gives him a sly look.

"Mum is constantly telling me that if I spent more time on my kitchen work, my spells would be more powerful is all." Using a napkin to daub at her mouth, she stares across at him for a long while.

"I'd like to be able to do more than boil pasta and toss a bottle of sauce into a pan, yes."

-

Aidan waits her out for the source of her amusement. He's good, sometimes, at simply waiting. Sitting back in his chair, he takes a few bites of the pasta, but then simply focuses on watching Corrie. The somewhat admission brings a brow lift and a slight cant of his head, "Maybe they would be." He finishes the glass of wine and leans his arms on the table, giving her a measured and considering look. "You eluded to that the other night. How you have the potential to be as good as Gwen if you only applied yourself? Why … don't you?"

He gazes her again for a long moment, before giving a slow nod. "I could teach you a few things."

-

"I come from a family of overachievers in that department. The kitchen was always crowded." Corrie shrugs her shoulders, eating slowly. When he finally finishes about a third of the food on the plate, she glances to him again. "I've just never felt it necessary to delve into all of the mess and the books. I prefer to learn on my own." Which is probably why she's got a few sorcerer spells up her sleeves.

"Would you?" A smile is offered across at him, and then a nod. "I'd like that." Beat. "Of course, I expect the lessons to be taken out of my pay. I can hardly imagine a master chef would give lessons for free."

-

"The mess and books are there for a reason, though." Aidan taps his fingers lightly against the side of his empty glass and gives her a serious look. "Other than family histories and the like, the grimoires are there to pass on the knowledge and experience to future generations, yeah?"

Rising from the table, Aidan goes back to the kitchen and pours himself another glass as he talks. "Field experience and random experimentation are all well and good, but building a foundation based on what others have done is not necessarily a bad thing. It also stops you from repeating what's already been done and helps you learn from their mistakes. On top of all that, it helps you to improve on what's already out there."

It's probably the longest speech that Aidan has made about anything of import in all the time that Corrie has known him. It's a sign of his age, and the fact that there is clearly more going on inside his head than the pretty face might attest.

"We can work something out, I'm sure." Aidan returns to the table, sliding gracefully back into his vacated seat. "But the lessons will have to wait until I get back."

-

"True, they are." Beat. Nose wrinkle. "But it's also boring. I mean, I've seen sorcerer spells and they're not half as time consuming to figure out." Though they do require a great deal of practice, not unlike the witch spells, but that's not the point.

Corrie watches as he moves to the kitchen, grinning to herself. He'd not continue to pour himself glasses from her bottle if he wasn't enjoying the concoction.

"I have foundations. Not strong ones, perhaps, but my house of cards isn't about to tip over for lack of ground work." Beat. "I would love to learn from the mistakes of my ancestors, however, I don't yet have the full infomration. I've been trying to track down pages that have been torn from our books, but the process is time consuming and expensive." Even if she were to find a page, there's no guarantee that it's from one of their grimoires.

"I'm truly in no rush, Aidan. Whenever you have the time. I'll appreciate it all the same." Beat. "But I'll not whore myself out to learn how to cook."

-

"Heaven forbid that anything should be boring and time consuming," Aidan laughs. He takes a long drink, and his thoughts flicker briefly to the grimoire pages he has that belonged to Gwen. So many tidbits of the witch's past - and it's all at his fingertips. "I think that you need to practice a bit of patience, Kavanaugh."

Aidan rolls his eyes in an exaggerated fashion at the reference to possibly whoring herself out. "It call comes back to sex with you doesn't it?" There's a teasing lilt to the words, his eyes sparkling with merriment. "That isn't what I meant at all. I simply meant we'll work it out in reference to your pay, or set up some sort of teaching contract."

Beat.

"I quite fancy keeping the shagging separate from things like that, yeah?"

-

"You make it sound like I'm awful," Corrie says with a chuckle. "I'm not. I don't mind taking time to learn things, but I don't really like spending all day and night in the kitchen trying to concoct things." She lifts her eyes to him, and then nods. "Patience is a virtue I definitely do not possess."

In time, she might. Given the right circumstances. Heaven knows she's been patient enough waiting for a certain sorcerer to contact her.

"It's not that it all comes back to sex, it's that I want to be upfront about such things. I'd much rather pay you in some other manner than whoring myself out is all."

Beat.

"We'll work something out then. I appreciate the fact that you're even willing to try to teach me anything in regards to cooking. The meal is superb."

-

"You're not awful. I know awful and you're not it." Aidan leans forward in his seat, arms on the table. "I was going to say that you're patient dealing with me, but I sometimes think that you'd sooner bind and gag me than deal with me at times." Still, he's grinning as he says the words, so that it's clear that there's no malice behind them.

"Thank you for the compliment," Aidan isn't adverse to accepting compliments ever. "I'm glad you like it."

-

"You're not entirely wrong. I would sooner bind and gag you, and leave you for the maid, than deal with you."

Beat.

"At times."

Corrie finishes up the food, and then delicately pushes the plate away in favor of sipping from the glass of wine.

"Thank you for inviting me to dinner, Aidan."

-

Aidan grins, evidently a bit proud and smug in her admission that he does try her patience. It's something of a small boost to him to know that he can get under her skin, and that it's no longer altogether because she fears and hates him. Not that the vampire is delusional, and he has no doubts that there is a part of her that still very much fears him, as any prey instinctively fears the predator. But it's been a slow, careful road gaining her trust and seeing — and reaping — the pay off is more than satisfactory.

There is then, a shift in his demeanor as she finishes the meal and takes up the glass of wine. Propping his cheek on his hand, Aidan watches her drink, his blue eyes unmistakeably following the movement of her throat as she swallows the wine. It's only for a few brief moments before the vampire lifts his gaze to her own, and peeks his tongue out to moisten his lips.

"Thank you for coming." Soft-spoken and nearly purring, the words hold a good deal more beneath them than the simple 'thank you.' There are undercurrents of something else - attraction, desire, lust, hunger - that paint the words and cloud the blue of his eyes. "I do so enjoy your company, Corrie." Tinted coloring on her name, making it sound like a caress and something entirely too dirty to describe.


Much later in the evening, while Aidan's slipped off to shower, Corrie's grabbed his shirt and thrown it on so that she can make her way through the flat to the kitchen. Originally, she was only meaning to grab a glass of water to rehydrate herself after the few glasses of wine with dinner, and the activity afterward.

Then she spotted the dishes and recalls her decision to leave them there. Scooping them up, she's carried them to the kitchen and is in the process of washing them.

It's almost a picture perfect image of domesticity.

-

Aidan takes the time in the shower to regain his equilibrium. Coming on that strongly was a sign of just how on edge he is … how much he needs the holiday away. Not just to be out of the city but to hunt and feed as he was meant to do. He walks a fine line with the witch, down a road that he can't even see a clear end to, and he needs to keep things in perspective.

When he emerges, he slides into a pair of dark work out bottoms and follows the sounds of Corrie downstairs. The loft is open enough that he can't really sneak unless she really isn't paying attention. Even so, the vampire doesn't make an effort to be noisy.

He reaches the kitchen just in time to watch the witch finish the last of the cleaning up. With her wearing his discarded shirt, it's a frighteningly domestic scene.

Aidan shudders inwardly. He doesn't do domestic.

"You look incredibly comfortable in my shirt," Aidan points out idly as he leans against the counter. "And my kitchen."

Beat.

"Thank you for cleaning up, but I would have gotten to it eventually." After she left. Or he would have left it for the cleaning crew.

-

The truth is that Corrie is comfortable. She actually smiles at him when he makes his idle accusation, and then lifts her shoulders in a slight shrug. "I'm generally most comfortable in the kitchen," she replies. She may not like the 'kitchen work' part of her spellcraft, but being in a kitchen is grounding for her. It reminds her of home, of her family.

"Do you mind?" Her fingers fiddle with the hemo fo the shirt, and she glances at him again, biting her lip. "It was just the easiest thing to find upstairs, rather than trying to run through the flat finding my own clothing."

Putting the last plate away, she hops up onto the counter, looking far too relaxed. "You prepared dinner, the very least I could do was clean up."

-

"And yet, the height of your culinary skill is boiling a pot noodle." Aidan can't help but tease in light of their earlier conversation. "Though if you like it that much, please feel free to come over and clean up my kitchen anytime."

Once she's settled on the counter, and Aidan again registers that the witch appears to be more relaxed around him - and in his environs - than he's ever seen her. It's an interesting change, but one the vampire doesn't overly analyze at the moment. Maybe once he returns, if the Corrie pendulum hasn't swung the other way by that time.

He gives a gentle tug to the sleeve of the shirt, pairing it with a lazy, relaxed smile, "I don't mind. It looks good on you."

-

"I never once eluded to me being all that great in the kitchen, just that I'm comfortable here." She snorts at his humor of her coming over to clean his kitchen whenever, and then makes a face. "I don't think so."

Corrie stares down at his hand tugging on the sleeve and then laughs. "Really, now? Then I do suppose I should keep it. Pair it with denim. Toss the hair up under a hat, or throw it in pigtails…"

Yes. Yes she is teasing him.

"What the bloody hell was all that about earlier? Not that I'm complaining, I just can't figure you out."

-

"Eh, can't blame me for trying now, can you?" Aidan asks, and then laughs. "Firstly, you're a terrible tease with the whole pigtails allusion. Secondly, I didn't say you could keep it. I said it looks good on you. It happens to be one of my favorite shirts." He leans forward, elbows on the counter, hands folded. Aidan rests his chin on his hands. "Unless you're planning on keeping it as a trophy of some sort?"

He's just as good at teasing.

A slow, deliberate and innocent blink is given. "That was dinner."

-

"I'm keeping it, make of it what you will." Be it a trophy or something else entirely, she's not leaving here without the shirt — even though it really won't go with her skirt. Corrie doesn't make a fuss when he leans against the counter, though she does prepare to keep him at bay with her foot if necessary.

"And dessert, I'd assume. I've never seen you react like that to a simple gift."

-

Aidan isn't sure what to make of it, so he does what he typically does when he's at something of a loss. He ignores it for now, and will come back to it later. It doesn't stop him from giving her a mock pout, "But it goes with my eyes."

He's making no attempt to close the distance between them any further, nor to be over the top flirtatious. "Dessert is actually sorbet and fresh fruit - a strawberry and kiwi mix. If you're in the mood for dessert." Yes, he chose to intentionally misunderstand her words. "Didn't I say 'thank you'?"

Choosing not to point out that it wasn't just a simple gift, but an offering as well, Aidan sobers from the teasing verbal avoidance. Mostly.

"It wasn't entirely the gift, Kavanaugh," Aidan says after a beat. He nudges her lightly with his fingertips. "I'm leaving on holiday. Maybe I just wanted to make sure that you'd miss me."

-

"Fat chance. I'm planning a party as we speak," she replies snappily to the fact that he wants her to miss him. There's no denying it though, she'll at least miss the physicality of him — her heart skips a beat, her body gives off a slight tremble despite her words.

"That means it goes with mine too." Beat. "But sorbet, hmm? I'd kill for some of that right now. Where are you hiding it? The ice box?"

-

"I knew that you couldn't possibly wait to have me out of your hair." Aidan feigns mild offense, but the look only lasts for a few seconds. "Looks like I'm going to have to try harder next time." Whenever next time might be.

"Yes, the ice box." Aidan straightens and combs his fingers through his rather unruly, damp and curling hair. "Why don't you help yourself and I'll be right back?" He hasn't forgotten - at least not long term - that he wants to give her Gwen's necklace. Just a little extra protection while he's awa

-

"I'm counting the minutes until you're gone," Corrie says with a fluff of her hair. It's light, and teasing though. She's not really trying to spoil the evening for eitherof them.

"You're cute," she blurts when he runs fingers through his hair. "I mean, with those curls. It makes you boyish." She starts to slowly slide herself off the counter and nods. "Alright. Two strawberry kiwi sorbets, freshly made, coming right up."

-

Aidan lifts a brow and gives her a half-smirk. "Thank you." He can accept a compliment graciously even if that reason is among the many of ones that he doesn't wear his hair styled so.

He watches Corrie slide from the counter, merely enjoying the view and glimpses her movements provide. "I'll be back momentarily."

Turning, he heads out of the kitchen and back up the stairs. Aidan takes his time removing the necklace, in its old fashioned wooden case, from the bedroom safe. When he returns downstairs, he places the box on the coffee table in the lounge area and ventures back to check in on Corrie.

-

While he's gone (again) Corrie has no trouble with making herself comfortable in his kitchen. She finds the sorbet, prepares two bowls (though perhaps not as expertly as he would've), and even finds a few extra strawberries and garnishes the top of the dishes with them. Not that Aidan likely needs to eat, but he can enjoy the sorbet as well as she can, she's sure.

By the time he wanders to the kitchen she's got spoons in the bowls and is preparing to carry them out to the lounge area.

"Didn't even slice off a finger," she teases with a grin when she spies him.

-

"Impressive," Aidan remarks. He gives her a cheeky grin, "There might be hope for you yet."

He liberates one of the bowls and motions Corrie ahead of him into the lounge. Following her, he snags her camisole from the dining room chair with a smirk and dangles it from one finger.

-

"There just may be," Corrie agrees with a laugh. Though really, one would have to try extremely hard to slice off a finger while spooning sorbet into bowls.

Wandering into the room in front of him, she makes her way over to the couch. Rather than sitting on it proper, she perches on one of the arms with her feet on the cushion. Spotting him holding the camisole, she laughs again. "Are we planning on doing a trade? I really can't picture you in women's clothing."

-

Aidan tosses it playfully in her direction as he settles at the opposite end of the couch. "I just thought that you might be looking for it later."

Beat.

"I think it's safe to say that that's one thing we're never going to see."

-

Catching the camisole before it lands in her bowl of sorbet, she sets it on the back of the couch. Then she lifts her shoulders up in a shrug. "I suppose I would've been." Beat. "Eventually."

Dipping her spoon into the sorbet, she takes a small bite. Closing her eyes, she smiles. "Mmmm. This is actually really good."

Beat.

"That's good, because unless you were dressing the part of Frankenfurter to be ironic, I really don't want to see you in women's clothing."

-

Aidan smiles faintly in appreciation of the look on Corrie's face as she savors the sorbet.

"I have good taste," Aidan replies.

Beat.

"That's good because that makes two of us." He dips into his own bowl and props his feet up on the coffee table. "I'm considering buying a night club. Did I mention that?"

-

"You do," she says before taking another mouthful of the sorbet. As much as Corrie wants to know what the surprise is, she'd rather not let the dessert get all melty. Plus, she wants to savor it as much as possible.

Licking a bit of the sorbet off her lips, she blinks over at him. "You didn't, no." Immediately there are about fifty different promotional ideas floating around in her head. It takes a great deal of effort not to discuss them, but she did promise 'no business' earlier. "What brought that on?"

-

Aidan takes another spoonful of sorbet and licks his spoon clean. "My financial and investment advisor mentioned that I'm on firm enough footing that another business investment couldn't hurt my portfolio."

Because Aidan isn't just investing in his current life but in his future as well.

"He also mentioned a few word of mouth investments that were low risk and capital, but would turn a steady profit. Several of which were pubs and clubs that are in danger of going under due to poor fiscal decisions on the part of their current ownership."

The vampire enjoys another spoonful of the sorbet. "I like the challenge of the idea." Also, having his own club to feed the sexual energy and lust would make things so much simpler.

-

Corrie listens quietly to the entire explanation, enjoying the sorbet as she does. It's pretty much the only way she doesn't jump into business mode. Once the sorbet is finished she sets the bowl onto the table and nods.

"It sounds like a good idea." Beat. "Have you taken into account rennovation costs? Theme?" Just curious questions, not at all business yet. "It's all well and good to have a pub, but there are so many pubs about that you'll want yours to stand out."

Slipping down onto the couch properly, she nudges him with her toes. "You'll need a public relations person for it?"

-

"That's what Marshall skims his commission off my portfolio for," Aidan remarks lightly referring to gentleman who manages his money. He enjoys a bit more of the sorbet and then places the bowl to the side.

"I haven't delved too deeply yet. Its still all in the planning and possible purchase stages. I'm considering a sort of gothic theme though. Something dark for a nightclub."

Aidan glances down at her foot and gives her a teasing, cheeky grin. "Why? D'you know someone?"

-

"I might possibly know someone who'd be interested, but as she promised not to talk business… we can discuss my fee when you get back," she says cheekily.

The fact that he wants something dark and gothic, just makes her laugh. Corrie doesn't even try to stop herself. "So you will need that suit and cape after all then? Isn't it a bit… typical to go the route of vampire-owned-goth bar?"

-

"Very well then," Aidan says, "I'll pencil in one fee negotiation discussion when I return."

He allows Corrie her moment of laughter, sitting quietly back until she finishes. "You need to get the cape idea out of your head. It's just not happening." Aidan gives her a curious look, "What would you suggest then?"

-

Corrie considers, watching him for a long moment. Eventually she nudges him with her toes again, and cocks her head to the side. "You're not thinking goth bar simply to have a bunch of misguided children begging to be bitten, are you?" She doesn't want to have to ask that, but she wants to ensure that's not the reasoning behind things.

"Besides, that crowd is really hard to promote for."

Flicking her tongue out over her lips to moisten them, she sighs. "I don't know, really. Promotionally, I'd suggest something with a bit of fun for everyone, not just keeping with one specific group." Beat. "That is, there's no issues with it being a goth-friendly venue, but if you want the revenue, you'll likely want to make it everyone-else-friendly too."

-

Aidan stares at her a beat. Then two. Then rolls his eyes in an exaggerated fashion. "With one exception," a pause to give another pointed look to the witch, "I don't have to rely on misguided children for the begging or the volunteering. There is a reason that I'm not starving and I don't have to rely on glamouring either." And truthfully, it's not about the biting end of things at all.

That said, Aidan sits back and seems to ponder it for a moment. He leans his head back, resting it against the back of the sofa and gazes up at the ceiling. "I do have some ideas … nothing solid yet. A heaven and hell theme. The elements." Aidan shrugs, and rolls his head to look at her. "I'll come up with something."

-

"You know I had to make sure that wasn't the reason." With all the vampire-in-the-mainstream these days, it would be easy for a goth kid to get all caught up in the 'omg bite me eeee' squeeish fanning of it all. Nudging him with her toes again, she smiles. "I wasn't asking to insult you."

When he mentions the theme, she nods. "Now that I can work with. There's a lot that one can do to promote that theme." Beat. "But I'm not supposed to be talking business."

-

"Because there is a problem with someone freely offering me a sip from a vein?" Aidan shakes his head with a slight smile. "I wasn't insulted. Simply pointing out that not everyone has your … "

Biting the inside of his cheek, Aidan gently takes hold of her foot and lifts it into his lap. "That's right. No business talk." He trails his finger up the sole of her foot. "This is a relaxing night. Also …"

Aidan trails off and leans forward, grasping the wooden box. He gazes down at the box, then extends it to Corrie. "It's in the box. It was Gwen's."

-

"With someone freely offering a sip, no." Beat. "With you building a nightclub for people who are into the whole vampire genre in the hopes they'll be more brazen with allowing it…" Yes, Corrie does have an issue with that. He's a vampire. He needs blood. She's accepted that. But allowing it in the club would just bring down a whole slew of issues that she'd really not have to get involved with.

There's a squeak as his finger tickles across the sole of her foot and she starts to draw it away quickly. "That tickles."

Beat.

A glance is given to the box, and she stares at the box for a moment before taking it and opening it up.

"It's magic," she says immediately. She can sense the magic in the item, though she can't tell what it is. "What does it do?" Beat. "Do you know?"

-

"I promise that the purpose of the club is not to corral food," Aidan says honestly. At least not the sort of food that Corrie is thinking about.

"It's supposed to tickle." The vampire smirks. He crooks a finger again, but doesn't tickle her foot again. It's just a lingering tease.

As her attention shifts to the box, so does Aidan's. He nods. "It is. It's spelled." Beat. "It has an anti-glamour charm on it."

-

Even the motion of him pretending to tickle her foot is enough for her to finally yank her foot away and stick her tongue out at him. It's one of those rare moments where she's acting like she would with anyone else, and not being as fully guarded around him.

Fingers drift carefully and delicately over the necklace. "You're… serious?" Lifting the necklace from the box, she holds it out in front of her at arm's length.

"But why give it to me?"

-

Aidan watches her remove the necklace and can see that Corrie is clearly taken with it. He props his arm up on the back of the couch, shifting his body around to look at her. "Technically, it is yours. Your inheritance, I suppose you would say."

Beat.

He reaches out and nudges her leg with his finger tips, "Do you know of someone else whom I should give it to?"

-

"Technically…" Beat. "Though why not give it to anyone else throughout the generations?" The question, really, is why her. Corrie twirls the necklace around in her hands, trying to get a good feel for it.

"The amusing thing is, the night you found me in the Undercity, I was looking to buy something like this." Then he glamoured her, and she cast sorcerer magic on Gideon, and things got messy from there.

"It's beautiful, thank you." Beat. "Can you help me put it on?"

-

"I haven't exactly made contact with anyone through the generations. I've watched, not interacted."

Aidan's gaze is drawn to the necklace twirling between her fingers. "Why would you have been looking for …" Abruptly Aidan stops and forces out a breath of air. Followed by an amused chuckle. "Right. You were protecting yourself from me. Probably not a bad idea at the time."

He reaches instinctively for the necklace, but his hands freeze before he actually takes it from her. Aidan runs his fingers along the necklace and weighs the pros and the cons. Finally he says, "That would be a bad idea. From what I understand, part of the magic is that only the person who clasps it can unclasp it."

-

"But you could simply have left the necklace for any one of them." Corrie shrugs finally, figuring that he'd not want it to wind up with just anyone, but someone who learned about Gwendolyn Bishop. She can understand that.

"Ding, ding," she says with a laugh. "If I'd found one, it likely would've saved me a bit of hassle that night."

Then he just blinks at him. "I… but why would you tell me that? Wouldn't it be more to your advantage had I not known?" She twists herself around so that her back is to him and motions to her hair. "Hold it out of the way so that I can put it on?"

-

"Probably. But I'm patient. I would have just upped the ante and the game plan." It's likely a somewhat creepy admission, but Aidan thinks nothing of it. He's being truthful; his motivations and consideration for the witch might have changed but it doesn't change the past or his usual methods of operating.

Gathering up her hair, Aidan holds it away from her neck as asked. "It would have been, yes." Beat. "I'll consider it a huge leap in the proper direction the day you take it off around me."

-

Corrie raises her brow at the admission, and quietly asks, "Just what would that have entailed?" Better to know than to be kept in the dark, on the off chance she's got to be expecting something like that from another vampire.

With her hair out of the way, she fusses with the clasp and carefully settles the necklace around her neck. Once it's in place she adjusts the chain so that it's sitting properly, and then glances over her shoulder at him. "I suspect that you didn't give it to me to keep me safe from you."

-

"Everyone has their own ways of hunting," Aidan says, only now his voice is a little more quiet. He brushes his hand over the nape of her neck as she settles the necklace. "There's the usual threats and leverage. Stalking, terrorizing."

Beat.

"No, I didn't give it to you to protect you from me," Aidan admits. "There are more of us in London, however. I'm not the only one." He's not going to tell her how many of them there are, as chances are slim that Corrie will encounter any of them. There is always the chance of Seamus, however slim, but he's also not going to mention that. "Gwen wore it nearly constantly. Even once Edward was out of the picture. Safety."

-

"Would you honestly have gone to such lengths? Just because I didn't want to be friendly?" Corrie gnaws at her lower lip for a few moments before turning around to catch his eyes. "To kill me?" Because she's not a fool, and she knows that was more than likely his original intention.

Fingers brush over the necklace again, and she nods. "I don't plan on taking it off unless I'm on my own at the flat." Beat. "That myth is a truth, right? You can't get into my apartment without an invitation?"

-

"Possibly." Aidan considers it for a moment. "With any luck, though, I would have gotten quite bored and moved onto the next target." He gives her a lopsided smile, "I just really don't like it when I don't get my way."

The vampire reaches out and runs his fingers through her hair and then trails his fingertips lightly down her shoulder and over the material of his shirt. "I happen to actually like this outcome better." Leaning in, Aidan presses a faint kiss behind her ear. "Much better."

Because though he might not admit it out loud, he does enjoy the witch's companionship and has a peculiar fondness for her.

"Probably a good decision," Aidan tells her. "Yes, that's true. I really can't get in without an invitation." Beat. "Notice I haven't tried to get one, though."

He knows where to draw the line, at least for now.

-

"So I've noticed," Corrie replies, somewhat dryly. "Though had I known you'd have grown bored, I might have continued to take my chances," she teases.

There is a great deal of argument that can be made as to the outcome. The witch knows that she's in far too deep to actually get out without making a very huge issue of it all. "I suppose I do too. It's far better than having you plotting my demise."

Leaning back against him, she nods. "Good." Beat. "Not that I wouldn't invite you at some point in the future, but it means others can't get in and I'm happy with that."

-

"Kim has accused me of having the vampire version of ADD on more than one occassion. I dare to guess that she is likely right about that." Aidan isn't so much easily distracted as he is able to weigh the pros and cons, and sometimes willing to take the blow to his ego.

Corrie wasn't one of those simply because she is what she is, and Aidan's not at all blind to the usefulness of having a witch by his side or as an ally, particularly given his current position in the vampire hierarchy. He knows - by her own admission - that she's not terribly powerful, but he can help her with that.

He draws a sigh and soft chuckle, "I think that you would have found that I'm much more persistent when I really want something." Beat. "I do like you better like this. Alive." Aidan strokes his fingers lightly through her hair as she settles back against him, his next words almost wistful, almost admiring, "You have so much potential, mo cailleach mórán."

-

Corrie may not be a powerful witch with the defensive spells, but she does teach herself some rather useful things that aren't witch magic. Not as strong, perhaps, as what a sorcerer would be able to produce, but useful regardless.

"Vampire ADD? So you're like a busy little honeybee sucking nectar from one flower before flitting off to the next?" The image that immediately springs to mind at that thought causes her to laugh. "Yes, I can see that. No wonder she was adamant that you'd grow bored soon enough."

At the wistful words, she blinks. "Do I?" Beat. "I suppose so." Potential for what is on the tip of her tongue to ask, but she bites it back for now.

-

"Not everyone has the potential of engaging me and holding my interest," Aidan grins and chuckles faintly. He doesn't argue with the description, because he can admit that it is one of his flaws. Kim's known him a long time, and she knows him fairly well. Her assessments aren't usually wrong, and going into this pursuit of the witch - well, she hadn't been wrong then either. It's simply that now his interests and motivations have shifted somewhat.

"Yes, you do," Aidan says but he doesn't elaborate. He runs a thumb idly over the necklace, and says casually, "Do try not to get into any trouble while I'm away?"

-

"Ah," Corrie says quietly, "That sort of potential." Not dwelling on it too much, she chuckles, "Should we take bets as to how long that's going to last? I'm certain Kim could set up some sort of betting pool in the kitchen."

Beat.

"Do I look like the type of girl that'd purposefully get herself into trouble?"

Beat.

"Don't answer that."

-

"What sort of potential?" Aidan asks curiously. Just to see where her head is. Though it's still entirely possible that he won't elaborate on what's going on in his. "I'm sure the kitchen doesn't need any help with betting pools."

The laugh Aidan looses is full and truly amused. "Yes, what's say I don't touch that question with a very long length of pole, yeah?" After all, he did see her spell a sorcerer and willing being in a vampire's bed isn't exactly a recipe for being branded as 'trouble-free.' There is, indeed, a world of trouble waiting to happen if her coven should learn about their dalliance - which all the more reason Aidan is more than happy to keep everything professional and business-like on the surface. Rumors around Flare can be regarded as just what they are, rumors and eventually those will fade away as well.

-

"The sort that simply keeps your interest for a month or two."

Corrie actually giggles, and starts to move slowly away from him. "Well you could touch on it, but then I'd have to come up with counter-arguments and I really don't think my head is in the right space to do so at the moment." Fingers brushing over the necklace, she smiles at him.

"Thank you, for this." Beat. "And for telling me about the little supposed bonus. You didn't have to do that."

-

Aidan brings his hands to rest on her shoulders, gently pulling her back against him when she tries to move away. "I think," he whispers in her ear, "You can do better than a month or two."

He nods in acknowledgement of the necklace though she really can't see it. "I'm not all bad, Corrie." Granted he's not terribly good either - if at all - but he does have his rules and motivations that keep him in line.

Beat.

"Where is your head right now?"

-

There's something of a small tensing when he draws her back, but Corrie immediately relaxes as it's more of a gentle coaxing than a forcible one. "Semantics," she replies. A month or two, or six… really it won't change things.

"No, I suppose you really aren't." That's not to say she trusts him entirely on it either. He may be telling the truth — as he knows it — or he could be lying through his teeth. Either way, the necklace itself is quite lovely and she'll have plenty of time to look into what it actually does.

"It seems," she says a tad cheekily, "To be against your shoulder, now doesn't it?"

-

"Why worry about it, anyway?" Aidan asks running his hands down her arms, "Better to just enjoy the here and now."

His hands drift down her arms and then tease at the hem of the shirt as he lowers his head and presses a fluttering kiss to the side of her neck. "Cheeky lass."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License