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2 yrs ago
On vacation until July 2nd, please be patient with replies and activity :)


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No, that's totally on me. It must've slipped my mind. Sorry about that ^-^'

reread my sheet and found a ton of errors, I guess that's what I get for trying to write a CS on no sleep haha.

Seems like he's done.

Still accepting? I'd love to join :)

I think I'm going to have to drop this roleplay. I think I let myself fall behind in IC and I'm not sure I'll have the time to catch up and write decent posts for Dee. Thanks for understanding :)

The waiter was back almost as quick as he’d gone, lowering his tray to set the glass in front of Valerian. Reluctant to leave his seat, he watched the other vampires already trying to make connections. Probably best to do it here, before every vampire dispersed in a frenzy back to New York. That was when the whole game would really kick off.

His phone buzzed against his hip again, Val turning his gaze towards it irritably. Hadn’t he already told his assistant he didn’t want to be disturbed? If this was another problem from work, someone was going to get fired. Would it be too much to ask to handle one crisis at a time?

A bit roughly, he pulled out his phone and scanned the notification. It was from an unknown number, which was strange. Anyone who had any business contacting him should already be in his contacts.

I need to talk to you about a scarf, a guitar and heart shaped glasses. Meet me in room 312.

Val knew what the words meant immediately, his stomach sinking. Was Aria in trouble? The urge to sprint to room 312 almost had him flying out of his chair, but he restrained himself, setting the phone on the table to stare at the notification blankly.

Even after all this time, Aria still had him wrapped around her little finger. Was he ever going to stop masquerading as her knight in shining armor? The mess his life had been for the past fifty years was all because of her, and yet he’d still drop everything to help her. Even after she’d betrayed him. No matter what he did, regardless of how composed he stayed, Val knew it all meant nothing. His one weakness was always exposed, and as long as they had Aria he’d never be able to stop walking on eggshells.

A bit woefully, he left his half finished drink at the table, grabbed his phone, and made his way to room 312. As urgent as the situation felt, it wouldn’t look good if the royal prince made a scene. That’d only serve to put on an image of weakness.

Once out of the room, Val finally felt as if he could take a breather. Less staring, judgemental eyes. He smoothed a stray strand of hair away from his face, as if that would do anything to calm him. It didn’t. What a cruel game to play, dredging up memories of the best and worst day of his life. If this were some kind of sick joke, Val wasn’t sure what he’d do. All this was probably just his father making sure Val was still under his thumb, even after cutting ties with him. Part of him almost made him turn back, not sure he’d want to go through the humiliation of showing up to an empty room, knowing his father was laughing at his idiocy somewhere. Even if Aria was in trouble, maybe it wasn’t any of his business. No doubt she had a new life now, Val long forgotten in her memories. The thought felt like being stabbed in the stomach.

Room 312 was left ajar, as if expecting a visitor. Val hesitated outside, his hand pressed against the wood. Maybe this was all a bad idea. No one would know anything about that night, so the fact that somehow someone did was all very unnerving. Pushing away any residual doubts, Val opened the door, the wood creaking at the hinges.

”I’m here.” Val nudged the door shut behind him with a foot, confused to find no one there to greet him in the living room. He paced around the room, increasingly unsure when no one was in the kitchen. The bedroom door was open slightly, though. Maybe the messenger was in there?

The scene in front of him was the last thing Val expected to see. Ridiculous amounts of blood covered the bedspread, her face, stickily clumping her hair together as it dried. Valerian was no stranger to death, but this was just excessive. Her skull was no doubt fractured, by whatever had killed her. Her face was barely visible ruined by an incredible amount of force, obscured by coagulating blood. Val realized with a sick, sinking feeling who she was. She was the lady who’d waved at him only a half an hour ago.

Val did his best to commit the scene to memory. Anything that would help him figure out what was going on here. Her shoes were still on, so she couldn’t have been lying down. It seemed like something a force had knocked her backwards, sprawling her out on the bed. Her left eye socket seemed to have been destroyed, as if something had been shoved in there. What it could have been, Val couldn’t tell. Nothing seemed out of place around the body, except...

A pair of polaroids were scattered around her body, and Val reached over her to grab them. Blood dripped off of them onto the thick covers below. He grabbed the corner of one to wipe the picture clean. Aria. That was her, definitely. The other, Aria again but- was that someone else? It was Aria at the beach, hand intertwined with another man’s, foreheads pressed together as they stared into each other’s eyes. A soggy grin plastered her face, illuminated as the sun set between the pair. Val stared at the picture, minutes passing as he tried to make sense of it. It felt like someone was holding his throat closed.

”No. Please, no.” This couldn’t be right at all. Aria loved the beach. She loved to going to the beach with him, not whoever this guy was. Ice settled in the pit of his gut, Val’s face unreadable save for a frown. Fifty years, and Aria had moved on. He couldn’t even be mad about it. Only a fool would stay stuck in the past.

When will you ever stop being so naive? Of course she’d forgotten him. Val was the only one still living in the past. That was the only thing that seemed to make sense right now. He still had a dead girl on his hands, and he’d never heard what she’d had to say. Was she here to tell him Aria had long since moved on? But then, why would she be dead?

The bedroom door opened behind him, and Val whipped around much more jumpily than he’d have liked to admit. The whole scene had him on edge. Two men in black scrubs pushed past him, barely even glancing at him. The body they picked up indifferently, zipping it shut in a body bag. The bedding they bundled together into a hamper.

”You need to leave, sir.”

”Like fuck I need to leave! I need to know what’s just gone on here.”

”If you care about Aria, you’ll leave here, and keep your mouth shut.”

Val stared at them, dumbfounded and cowed into submission. His gaze switched between the pair, neither responding, as if he were a child throwing a tantrum over a cookie. Without another word, he backed out of the room, shutting room 312 behind him.

So his father was in on this, then? He shoved the polaroids into his suit pocket, the only evidence he’d gotten from the scene. He had to find Aria. Not because he cared, or anything, because he didn’t. He could move on too, just as good as anyone else. He was only going because he needed to get Aria out of there. So he could move on with his life, and not have her held over his head anymore. That’s what he was doing. This wasn’t about her.

Time May 16th, 7:30am → 9:40am Location Tepes Island Grand Hall Interactions Tepes Family

Valerian knew it would be some time until the rest of his family joined him at the table, even longer still before the rest of attendees filtered through the doors to their places. The idea didn't bother him, though. What did jab at his nerves was the fact that he was as clueless of his father's intentions as most everyone else on the island. The silence of the Grand Hall was almost as loud as the noise inside his head, useless speculations and anxieties spinning around his head, crashing into each other as he tried to connect unfounded dots. Val pulled a flask from some hidden pocket inside his jacket, pulling out the stop and taking a huge gulp. He hated how powerless he was to control his cravings, like a druggie desperate for a bump. The blood was warm and deliciously sweet as he found O positive blood to be. His favorite type. The thick liquid coated his mouth, his tongue flicking out to lick a stray drop off of his lip. Too early to be drinking blood, he scolded himself. If his father knew how much blood he compulsively consumed a day, he'd be scandalized. Aimlessly, he stood to straighten the chairs around the table, the collar of his suit feeling too tight around his neck.

Nothing about his appearance was comfortable, but Valerian was here to represent the Tepes house, not to lounge about the island. He'd been up since the early hours, tediously straightening his stubborn curls and gelling them away from his face and giving a final once-over on his stiff new suit with an iron. He'd tried to shirk wearing the silk blue ascot, but his attendants had insisted on tying it in a loose, large bow around his neck, the tails untucked from his suit jacket. The suit wasn't him, but then again the whole facade he'd been keeping to be his father's poster prince wasn't any more authentic.

From his jacket pocket his phone buzzed, the vibration on his hip snapping him out of his daze. Val pulled the device from his pocket, scanning over the email notification. It was one of his representatives updating him on how funding for a potential cruise line launch was faring. From what he'd read, the situation didn't need his immediate attention. He'd already notified his assistant that he'd be away at the island for a couple of days, and made it clear he wasn't interested in letting his work follow him there. With a whoosh the email was forwarded to his assistant with a request for a summary of the week's events to be ready for him by the time he returned from the island.

Footsteps echoed from down the hallway, prompting Val to tuck his phone and flask away, but not before he took a reluctant last sip. He moved to the other side of the table to take a seat. Tepes relatives tailed each other into the room, eyes picking apart every detail of the room. Val always thought they looked something like a school of sharks, the way their lips were always pursed, their eyes always calculating and cold. They raked their gazes over him, exchanging tight lipped nods of acknowledgement before they settled into their chairs around him. Pointedly he noticed that Niko's chair was unoccupied, biting back a sigh. He'd give anything to let his guard drop for a day, even just a couple of hours. The smallest smile played at the corners of his mouth as he recalled the nights he spent sneaking out to meet Aria, exploring the small wonders the world had to offer. He hadn't had that much fun since-

A frown tugged Val's expression from neutral. He hadn't had that much fun since Aria had fooled around with another vampire and gotten herself turned. 'Out of hand' she'd said the encounter had been. Six years together and all it took was for things to get 'out of hand' to tear everything they'd built together apart. He'd been clear he didn't want to bite her, and she'd agreed easily. Val ran his tongue over his teeth irritably as he kicked himself for being so stupid. His mother had been right all along. Humans were always looking for something new and shiny, desperately trying to keep themselves from growing jaded as the years wore on. For vampires, few withstood the test of time, growing bored with existence after a couple centuries. While Val certainly wouldn't call himself fully jaded yet, it had been a while since he'd taken some time for himself.

As more and more guests entered the room, the silence was washed away by conversation. Guests navigated around the room to greet each other, smiling and hugging. If you told Val that the whole vampire population of New York had been invited to the island, he'd probably believe it. He stayed in his seat, watching the guests mill about the room and eventually take their seats with a perfected air of disinterest and aloofness.
You really are your father's pet, he sniped at himself. His nose crinkled in annoyance as he willed the bothersome voice in the back of his mind to shut up already.

Loudly, the doors of the Grand Hall burst open and Niklaus, Octavius, and Emiliano entered the room. They strutted across the floor as if they owned the very foundation it rested on. Their appearances were disheveled, their demeanors unworried. Did they even know how late they were? More likely, they just didn't care. Jealousy twisted something in his gut, curling its claws in the pit of Val's stomach. Almost as quickly as it came, he was shoving it away.
No time for pity parties.

Across the room a lady was trying to catch his eye, not so subtly peeking at him over her drink. It was a mimosa, Val observed critically. A bit early to be drinking, but on cue with the judgey thought, the flask in his pocket felt like it was filled with lead instead of blood. Point taken, he conceded, as if his guilty conscience was a different person altogether.

The woman raised her hand in a small, shy wave when she realized she'd caught his eye. She seemed like she had expected to be unsuccessful in her attempts, her expression unsure, not unlike a dog that had finally caught its tail and didn't know what to do with it next. He felt as if they'd met before, realizing with a twinge of guilt he probably should remember at least her name. He didn't though, so he raised his hand slightly in return and hoped she didn't try to talk to him after.

The female's attention snapped away from him, followed by a hush that swept over the room like wildfire. Following her gaze, Val's father, Dmitri, was standing at the podium. A single eyebrow quirked up in interest as he watched Dmitri clear his throat to speak. Maybe now they'd finally figure out what they were doing on this island anyways. The sooner they did, the sooner he could leave.

It wasn't that he didn't appreciate the island, make no mistake. The island was impressive, as expected for the head house. The beaches were pristine and looked like they belonged on a postcard. The housing was lavish, exceeding the quality of a five star hotel room several times over. The thing was, the awe had a way of dulling after you'd been dragged off to the island so many times. Dinners, meetings, exclusive VIP events, as the poster child of Dmitri Tepes Val had attended them all. Besides, being away from work too long, despite how much stress it caused him, made Val feel idle and stagnant. Somewhere in the past half a century he'd lost his sense of how to relax. Jesus, he needed to get out more. This was getting pathetic.

There wasn't much time for Valerian to deprecate himself for too long, since Dmitri was already launching into his speech. What his father was proposing was shocking, to say the least. Val was grateful that he didn't have to speak, at the moment his mind was completely blank. He hoped his expression wasn't betraying the surprise he was feeling.

It wasn't that he was worried for his wellbeing. On top of his hotel chain, Valerian owned several luxury apartments all over New York. His bank account was well cushioned, to say the least. Landing on his feet wasn't the problem here.

Rather, the cowing part of it all was the freedom returning to him so suddenly. Being independent from the Tepes house meant Val wasn't under his father's thumb anymore. He couldn't imagine Dmitri had been too happy about the idea. Maybe if things didn't work out he'd try and rope Val back into succeeding him, Val thought with a stab of horror.

Too make matters worse, Val had no idea what he was supposed to do with himself. Most of his life was dictated by his parents. Where he went, when he went, what he did throughout the day. For the past half a century, his scheduled had been stuffed to the gills with princely duties. What, was he supposed to go enjoy himself with all the time he had on his hands now? The thought made Val chuckle mirthlessly. What a concept. Maybe now he'd finally get himself his own identity, or a hobby or something.

Almost as quickly as Dmitri had dropped the bomb on everyone, he had disappeared, Val noticed. Meaning, it was probably time for him to start making the rounds. He could feel a headache coming on, one large hand going to rub his temple. Impulsively, he waved down a waiter with a tray of empty champagne glasses. For the first time in a while, disappointing his father was the least of his concerns.
"Two shots of absinthe, cut with sugar and O positive blood instead of water, in one glass, please. Quickly." The waiter nodded before heading towards the bar.

Val turned his gaze back towards the masses of people. Some were pale with anxiety, others seemed to be calculating their next move. Regardless of the different levels of success and wealth spread across the people in the room, each person had to play their next cards very carefully. One mistake could quite possibly destroy your chance of leaving a huge legacy in the vampire world. It was time to separate the lions from the lambs.
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