They voted to let Kali stay - which, whatever. Linqian didn’t actually care that much. As long as he stayed well away from her it was fine. She didn’t trust him one bit but keep your enemies close, or something. At least most of them seemed to want him to stay to actually keep an eye on him. Jack gave a whole speech of thinly veiled threats. Hopefully some of it would get through Kali’s thick head.
”I hope you didn't let Emily or Vashti know about this little reunion, then,” Linqian said. ”Last thing we need is Emily turning up and crashing the party.”
She didn't like Emily (who did), but if she wasn’t involved with Father Wolf Linqian didn’t care. He was the one who’d killed her brother, and who she was here for. She leaned back, feeling something warm pressing against her mind. It was nice, almost a feeling of relief from the heaviness of her thoughts, and she almost leaned into it.
Wait, she recognised that subtle touch, like someone knocking at the door to her mind. The warmth turned to something slimy, and disgust roiled in her gut. Fucker really hadn't changed… but nor had she. There was no way she wanted someone messing with her emotions like that. They were her own, thank you very much. She immediately slammed the hypothetical, mental door in his face and shut him out.
"Fuck’s sake, Greyson," Linqian snapped, sharply glaring at him as he was staring down Kali as if they were in a Mexican stand off. Linqian honestly didn't care if they were about to shoot each other, she was much too pissed off with his attempted mind probe. "Stop tryna fondle my brain."
Having told him to fuck off, her flare of anger dampened again, and she turned back to the rest of the group.
“Anyway, I’m with Drake, let them deal with each other, Father Wolf is who we're all here for. I couldn't give less of a fuck about petty coven turf wars.”
It looked like everyone was in favour of getting a move on anyway. Linqian stood up, only half paying attention to the door opening. She recognised the voice, of course. Seemed Britney had decided to join them after all. How nice. Not that Linqian felt one particular way or another about Britney… and she certainly wasn’t running to hug her like Everleigh did (what the fuck, they hugged now? Gross).
Instead she just followed right behind Greyson… and right into him when he stopped in his tracks. What the fuck? Had Britney grown a second head or something? Or was Kali suddenly, creepily, whispering in his ear enough to stop him in his tracks?
One scowl up at Greyson was enough to tell her what was actually going on. Holy shit, he was head over heels for her. Had they dated after the coven? They definitely weren’t together anymore, otherwise they’d have arrived together, or be making out in the back. Damn. For the first time that night Linqian’s expression softened, dark eyes shining with pity and lips curving up into a smirk.
”Damn, buddy,” she patted Greyson on the shoulder (if he didn’t stop her), lowering her voice so hopefully only he (and maybe Kali) could hear. ”You sure got it rough. Don’t worry, I get it. Been there.” She still was there, but she wasn’t exactly going to just spill that she wasn’t over her ex from ten years ago. ”If you ever want anyone to drown your sorrows with, I’m here.”
She then leaned around him and gave Britney a lazy wave.
”Hey Britney. You're late. Meeting’s pretty much over, actually, we're on the way to the strip club now for some much needed fun.”
Interactions: Simone @QueenBea, Specifically avoiding interacting with Britney
Flowers and Canvasses
Kali was staying. Good. Luca wasn’t sure what was going on with him, but he really didn’t want him to get kicked out. Maybe he should try talk to him after… See if he was doing alright, because some of what he’d said was unhinged. Luca was still reeling from him being alright with someone shooting him.
Like, we should probably do some digging or surveillance before taking him on.
“Simone has a point,” Luca said, glancing over at her. ”Maybe some of us should stay behind and look into other leads, do the digging and all. It’s better to have more information than less.”
Also, he couldn’t really go to the strip club, and he still wanted to be useful. If they insisted on everyone going, so be it, he could keep watch outside.
As he thought about this he felt a warm, slightly familiar feeling - someone tapping at his mind asking to let him in. He considered it. He’d done it before, once, ten years ago… And he felt better than he had since the rot adjoined to him. But that was just the problem. Back then the rot had used the opportunity to slip in the gap he’d opened up for Edict, trying to whittle away at Luca’s sanity. He’d been able to resist it then, but now? After ten years of its constant torment? He wasn't so sure.
So he didn’t let Edict in, and turned his attention to the opening door. Who else was there to come? Surely it wasn’t-
Just like that, Luca's mental walls cracked, leaving a gap large enough for Edict's renewed, probing tendrils to slip in, unnoticed by Luca himself.
Luca didn’t let his smile slip, expression calm even as his feelings ran wild inside of him. There was pain there, and the hatred he’d thought had long cooled off. It wasn’t as strong, but it was there, suddenly eating away at his positive facade just like his abstraction ate away everything around him. Everything he’d suppressed surged up.
Part of him, the part he tried to keep buried, wanting to walk right over there and shake her hand like nothing had happened… Like he was offering a truce, letting her know he'd moved on. The pain she’d feel from it would only be a fraction of what he’d suffered, but it would be satisfying. He’d pull away before her skin started to rot, of course. Well, maybe he’d let it start, just a little-
The harsh whisper of the rot in his mind snapped Luca out of the horrible thoughts he’d been dwelling on. No, he wouldn’t. He’d moved on from this. Sure, seeing her was a lot… But he’d been prepared for this when he decided to come back. The turbulent concoction of emotions made it difficult, but it was fine. He’d be fine.
Ignoring her was the best move.
Luca turned away from the door, reaching for his bag. Maybe there was a back door he could leave through, he’d ask Auri-
The side of his bag that he’d grabbed disintegrated in his hand. Three cheap phones clattered out onto the floor, along with a couple of tubs of prescription pills. It wasn’t quiet, because the phones were built like bricks and landed with a bang.
So much for making a quiet exit.