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Hot Summer Nights

Sat Jun 10 2006

You got the call the night before. "Ivanya", Erik said over the phone in that rough around the edges accent of his, "I want to take you out. See the city." He wouldn't answer if you asked him where. "Dress for something fun." He was infuriatingly ambiguous. But there was whiskey laughter in his voice and you could tell he was up to some mischief or the other.
When the next day rolls around, Erik is parked in front of the Seventh House in a black Chevy Impala. It's an old car, made in the day when miles per hour were more important than things like miles per gallon. In excellent condition it's been recently waxes to a sleek polish. Leaning against the side of the car, smoking a cigarette, he's waiting for you. Out here in the street, beneath the warm glow of the streetlight halo, he looks like out of place, out of time. He seems to know immediately when you arrive. Perhaps it's the scent of your perfume. The corner of his mouth curls upwards crookedly, gemstone eyes watching you with predatorial intent. "You ready?"

That call would have put a smile on Ivanya's face for the rest of the night. Even if you were unclear on what type of fun was to be had. She would ask, of course, the pout on her lips something that could be heard over the phone. "I'll look forward to you arrival then," she purred, with that honeyed Russian accent. "And the surprise of it." And then, she hung up, curious and perhaps just a touch nervous.
    Finally having decided that pants and this shirt were good enough for unidentified fun, Ivanya moves away from the cafe, relighting one candle before truly going. She smiles, something that isn't guarded, but open. Warm. The scent of roses clings to her faintly, jasmine. Something not off the shelf, something special. "Ready," she agrees, moving over in front of you, as if to open her own door.

"So am I," he says with a laugh. As you near him, Erik takes a final drag on the cigarette before dropping it onto the sidewalk and crushing it beneath his boot heel. Simultaneously, he pushes away from the car, reaching for the passenger door to open it thereby demonstrating that the man has manners. His nostrils flare as you closer to get in, sucking the scent of jasmine and flesh down into his lungs. Tendrils of the exotic-scented smoke drift from the corner of his mouth before he lifts his chin and blows smoke rings at the stars. Making sure you're tucked into the seat, he shuts the door with a click. And then, with a slightly contented smile on his lips, he moves around the front of the car to the passenger side.
Slidding into the driver's side, he revvs the engine and it purrs like a kitten, before he shifts it from reverse into first, then second and third; in a moment, the two of you are racing down the main road and he knocks it up into fourth, his broad hand circled around the head of the gearstick. As the two of you sail through the night, he lowers his window, and the wind whips through the car. The benchseats are pristine white leather. Occasionally his attention drifts from the road over to where you're seated. He makes small talk for the first few minutes. The customary questioning about how you've been, what's happening at the store. And he seems genuinely interested in the answers. Then a few minutes later he asks out of the blue, his mouth curved in a wicked lopsided grin, "Do you think I'm a trustworthy guy?"

A man with manners. Even amoung their kind, it's still something that isn't run across every day. Crimson lips curl as the door is opened, and she gives a small bow of her head as she slips against the white leather. She even taps her shoes on the sidewalk before hand, as if making sure she doesn't trek anything into your car. Nostrils flare, soft blue eyes closing as she takes in a breath of the smoke, enjoying it. With the sense of taste gone, one has to get their fill of the others, after all. Or at least, that's how Ivanya feels. Out of habit, perhaps, she buckles in once the door is closed. Legs cross, and her body is turned so that it is more towards you, than the road.
Those deep, red lips part to let out a sound of surprise, perhaps even a small flavoring of fear, as the car races off. No, not a woman that's spent much time in such things, despite her young age. Her hands hold onto her knee, almost white-knuckle tight. She doesn't answer your questions right away, her hair dancing around her wildly, like the air has suddenly caught fire and is swirling in attempt to put itself out. Finally, she begins to reply that she has been well, and that nothing interesting has been going on at the Seventh House, truly. The last question catches her off guard, and she blinks, looking over at your curiously. "With a smile like the one you're wearing right now, Erik, I would have to say no. But I do not trust too easily, and I have just met you. And what of me? Am I something to be trusted?"

The engine accelerates as he hits the highway and for the time of night, it is relatively empty; he pushes it into the last gear and the car handles with beauty and precision. The Impala, like its namesake, grips the road with love and the engine is clear and unfettered as the wheels eats the asphalt before it. The city and then the suburbs streak by in a golden blur of florescent light. It is a landscape of indigo and grey geometry, illuminated to keep the twisting shadows at bay. There is a strange comfort in the speed, the familiar falling farther away by the moment. A car is a powerful thing, it can take you towards something just as quickly as it can take you away.

Eyes the color of the starless sky meet your own, the intermittent streetlights briefly illuminating his features. He's still got that wicked smile on his face, made more so by the darkened interior. You worry is sensed, but passes without comment. Perhaps he finds some pleasure in your discomfort, the adrenaline rush thrill of the unknown. Of being the one to show you something exhilarating. His hand wanders from the gearshift, reaching for the wild flames of your hair, watching it swirl around his large fingers. "I have no reason not to trust you," he comments sincerly, grasping at your hair as it's pulled away in the wind. "There's a blindfold in the glove compartment." He dips his chin in the indicated direction. "Trust me enough to put it on, and the surprise will be better."

There's a thrill in it, a beauty to it. Surrender. Giving oneself up to something, even if you're not sure that you really should. It's a slow process, but Ivanya begins to let go. Her eyes move out the window, watching as things pass her by, as she's taken towards the unknown. Heart beating as strongly as a vampire's can, she's with out a doubt thrilled by it. Enraptured. A fast car is something she can understand the desire for, now. Something her eyes have been opened up to.
Her eyes stay on yours, unwavering despite the almost butterfly-like feeling in her stomach and in her throat. Slowly, her hand loosens on her knees, surrendering a touch more. She smiles as her hair twines around large fingers, and she gives a small nod. The mention of the blindfold widens her eyes, and she looks away from you to the glove compartment. A moment of hesitation, and then she opens it, taking out the blindfold. Tying it, like a woman who's done this a few times before, she muses, "I hope that I do not regret this," barely a whisper. Sightless, she leaves her hands in her lap. Surrendering to the night, the car, and the mysterious man at the wheel.

"I'd say you could put it on me," Erik says with a low rumbling chuckle, eyes briefly on the road as he maneuvers the car around a slower moving truck. "But I think that surprise would involve a high velocity impact and a ditch." The longhaul truck fades into the distance. He glances over at you as you tie the blindfold around your eyes. It's a length of black silk, and there's no doubt of its purpose. Perhaps he's done this a few times before also. His eyes flick from the road, to your hands in your lap, then upwards to your face, caught in profile, illuminated by the city's lights in the backdrop. That rouge-grin is the last thing you see before silken darkness envelopes your sight.
There's the niggling sense at any minute he might reach over and feel you up, stroke your thigh, or caress your shoulder. But he's amazingly well behaved. He instructs rather firmly, "No peeking."

"I only like to tempt fate so much," the woman says with a grin, her skin all the paler, lips and hair more vibrant for the black that covers her eyes. "And, while there's the chance that we could survive such a surprise, this vehicle is too pretty a one to test that out on." No, she doesn't seem to like the thought of final death too much. Unsurprisingly, of course. In that silken darkness, the feel of the wind against her face is that much stronger, the sounds of the car racing through the night that much louder. Not being felt up gives a few points in her book, although she doesn't seem the type that would mind a caress from you. A grope, however, might resuly in something unpleasant. "No peeking," she says with a sigh, fixing the blindfold once more.

"Oh, you tempt a lot more than fate Princess." The purr of the engine reverberates up through the leather seat into your spine. Reaching over, Erik flips on the radio. In the background, Tom Waits plays. His gravely, cigar voice the soundtrack to Erik's antics. The two of you drive for nearly thirty minutes. There's more forgettable small talk before in the end the car comes to a halt. You can tell, from the way the wheels rolled on the ground that he'd driven onto a patch of gravel. "We're here." He announces. He's adamant that you kept on the blindfold, that you don't peek. You can tell Erik is grinning. He might even be laughing. He's enjoying himself thoroughly, and partially at your expense. There is such a childish side to this massive thug of a man. He loves playing games. There's the sound of the door opening, as he gets out and a few seconds later the passenger door is opening. Helping you from the car, he guides you from the car to God knows where. Gravel turns to asphalt beneath your feet. There's suddenly the smell of candy and your ears fill with a cacophony of noises; conversation and whirlings and bells and whistles. Suddenly Erik is behind you, close up now. The sense of his chest inches from your back. And then the blindfold is gone.
The first thing you see is a plump man in checkered clothing, with a big red nose, a white painted face and orange hair. He honks his nose at you three times, as a rose pops out of his vest pocket. Without missing a beat, he hands it to you with a grand bow. A clown! Behind him, a string of little kids, holding hands, runs by; they have gotten cotton candy and balloons and their faces are lit up in laughter. In the background, a ferris wheel spins again and again, slowing arching upwards and then down. Pop, pop, pop! The sound of a gun hitting metal signals a man with his girlfriend, shooting a gun at rotating tin-ducks on a wheel.
A carnival. Erik's brought you to a carnival.

The sound of Tom Wait's voice brings a smile of recognition to Ivanya's lips. That, and the feeling of the engine go right through the woman. For a moment, she's thankful for the blindfold. Who knows what emotions her eyes would show, were they not hidden. She licks her lips, and says, very softly, "Good song," at one point, though it's clear that she doesn't mean any one in particular, but all of them. One, big epic song in that gravely voice. Even though she gets the feeling that she's being laughed at, a small smile never slips from Iva's lips. It's an unfamiliar thing for her, the game playing, the idea of being driven somewhere for a surprise. She may not be one of the old ones, but that does not mean she doesn't have her own past full of drama, with events that stripped some of the playfullness out of her. Nostrils flare, but nothing gives away their location to the woman as you bring her out of the car. Despite the gravel, uneven asphalt, her stride is still sure, trusting you to guide the way, to keep her from falling. Hair moves with the motions of her head as she looks to where she thinks sounds are coming from.
Blue eyes open, blinking before she sees the clown, taking a step back and into you, startled for a moment. She takes the rose, giving a smile that doesn't show fangs, returning the bow smally. Trying to look everywhere at once, she tilts her head back , and then turns it to look at you, curious. "Where are we? What sort of place is this?," is asked, soft and genuine. The woman, in all her life, has never been to a carnival.

The man behind you is solid, unmovable like the stars or the darkness above. He laughs at your surprise, steadying you with one of his hands. "Don't worry Princess," he murmurs, laughter playing in his words as he lowers his chin to all that vibrant red hair of yours. He inhales, his chest expanding as he draws in the scent of you. "He won't bite you." A few bills are pulled from his wallet, passed over to the clown. The clown honks his nose three more times, proclaiming, "Lucky man, a lucky man indeed!" before he scurries off.
"Not too far outside the city. Close enough to get you home before you turn into a pumpkin. You've never been to a carnival?" He shakes his head, laughing. "Ah what a princess you are. "In the background, a woman shrieks; she's just been dunked into a tub full of water by her lover. "Pick a ride, a game, whatever you want to do. It's all yours. And if you can't decide," he adds half-teasing, half-threatening. "I will."

Looking down to the rose in her hands, Ivanya still seems somewhat tense. As if she's afraid that it might suddenly grow fangs of its own and attack her. Slowly, though, at the feel of strength at her back, your chin resting in her hair, she starts to relax once more. She even manages a laugh as the clown honks his nose this time, a little grin at his complement. No, this is not part of the world she was part of, is part of.
"Never," she admits to you, softly. There's no laughter in that, a touch of sadness in it, though it's quickly stomped out. No, she will not let this night be ruined. Her eyes begin to examine again, and with a wry little smile she looks to the dunking tank. "Not that," she says firmly. And then, she sees the ferris wheel, and eyes widen. "I have seen those, in books. Perhaps we could go on that one, later? And something like that," she says, pointing to the mattahorn, "First?"

"Good choice," he says stepping out around you, physical intimacy dissolving as he moves away. All around you, the crowd of mortals swirls. Tall, short, fat, skinny, young, old, they move by in a parade of bodies and attitudes, ignorant that predators move among them. There are a few electric pricks of therian energy, but the majority of people here tonight of living. With their warm blood and thunderous hearts, Erik leads you through them towards the matterhorn ticket booth. Once the tickets are purchased, he steps into the growing line filled with teenagers. The both of you earn turned heads and curious, even envious, interest. During the wait between rounds, the cars swinging violently around the mountain-shaped track nearby, he comments, "No cars, no carnivals, Princess, I'm beginning to think you were locked in a tower."

Ivanya takes a moment to steady herself once you move away from her, and the mortals in their rushes brush against her as they pass. Life, after all, is short for them. She is thankful that she fed before heading out this night--not only the one hunger, but two. Or else, things could have become interesting in the way that the Master of the City tends to frown upon. Watching as the cars move, she almost changes her mind about the ride. But you only live once, or so she hears. Your comment, however, makes her smile slip just a touch, shoulders slumping. It only lasts an instant, but it's noticeable, before she straightens herself. "In a way, I was," she says softly, not looking to you, but towards some young men trying to win their lovers a huge and ugly stuffed dog.

Aware of the slip, Erik reaches up with his broad hand, touching his callused fingertip to the slip of your smile, just there at the corner of your soft mouth, "Don't frown Princess, or your face will get stuck like that." He winks a gemstone eye at you, rubbing his thumb across your bottom lip before his hand drops again. On the ride, screaming teenagers whoosh around the track, their startled faces a blur of joyous terror. "Besides, you'll be screaming in no time." His eyes say it all, for they glitter with wild anticipation for the coming moment. It may be a ride, and this may be a silly carnival, but it's still excitement. And even for one such as him, there's the sense that he truly enjoys being out here among the mortals. The ride comes to a halt, the passengers staggering on wobbly legs away from the cars. Screams have turned to laughter as they move away into the neon-lit light of the arcade. The line moves forward, passing the You Must Be Taller Than Me! sign. Erik passes the tickets off the ticket collector and then it's all up to you and what car you want to select. Flourishing a low courtly bow, Erik says, "Your chariot awaits. . ."

Others may see it as a silly carnival, but to Ivanya, it's something different. Something new, something previously not experienced. Princesses in towers don't get brought out to this sort of thing, after all. Her lips find their smile once more as that finger touches it, the callused piece of flesh such a different texture than her own soft skin. She watches the faces as they spin, a little nervousness slipping back into her. And then the ride comes to a stop, and she swallows audibly as she's lead onwards. She looks up into those dazzling eyes, and can't help but feel a little adventurous. A laugh comes at the bow, and her hand reaches out, caressing your cheek as she passes. Selecting the car with the number seven on it's side, she gets in carefully, settling into the metal death trap. "Promise you will not laugh if I scream," she asks, eyes almost pleading.

Eyes twinkling, Erik offers no promises. That wicked crooked grin is his only response. Somehow, amazingly, he manages to fold his body into the ride next to you. Regardless, there's barely any room left; thigh to thigh, hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder, he takes up the majority of the car. It's impossible not to touch him. The bar is pulled down across your lap. Around you, the other cars fill with passengers. Behind, a couple of teenage boys have already started rocking their car back and forth. The next car up has a couple on a date. The girl's snuggled in close to the boy, and they're laughing at some private joke, the contents of their murmurs audible to supernatural senses. The inside of the ride has been painted with a mural of the Alps, or at least what the artist imagined the Alps looked like; tall white mountain peaks covered in snow. Once everyone is in their car and the attendant, an older worn-down looking man, has checked to make sure all the pins are fastened so no one falls out of the ride, the bell goes off. Ding. Ding. Ding. And you're off!
Slowly at first, then picking up speed. Around the track, up over the 'hills' and down into the 'valleys.' The car starts to tip inwards, rocking more violently from side to side as the velocity increases.

No, Ivanya didn't think he'd make the promise, or even keep it if he did. She moves over as far as she can to make room for you, a slight, but there, flare of power at the touching. Nothing challenging, or even intentional. Still new to this, or atleast one aspect of it. It's a power that speaks of both lust and death, and she quickly pulls it back in. No, that is not something she wants to unleash here. Her hands rest on the bar, fingers wrapping around it lightly once she's settled. Atleast squished in like this, she doesn't have to worry too greatly about flying out of the car once they start going. Or so she hopes. Looking over the mountains painted along the inside, she seems to care more about them than the conversations of others-- until the dings sound. It's to you she looks then, eyes widening slightly. "That means we're about to..." the car moves forward, "That answered my question, never mind." The car starts tipping, and she lets out a girlish squeak, then bites on her bottom lip. One can almost hear the silent mantra in her head: Must not scream. Must not scream. She does, though, softly as the speed quickens, fingers tightening around the bar. Eyes squeeze shut, even before they're at half the full speed, fear moving through her.

The brush of power slides against his own, a metaphysical static electricity sparking where the two meet. Cold fire and steel. His is a death that comes in the wilds with sharp tooth and claw beneath the silent canopy of snow. Something sleek and oily slithers across his gaze at that brief touch. The moment breaks. He laughs, the sound ferocious and whiskey smooth, just as the car starts to move.
Around and around, faster and faster. The faster the ride goes the more violent the swinging motion. Around one of the corners there's a giant stuff snowbeast looking creature. A seven foot tall Yeti costume looming over the tracks. But it passes so quickly, it's a big white blur. Erik whoops aloud. He's got such a charming, schoolboyish grin on his face and his eyes are bright and twinkling, full of laughter at the sensation of it all. He's an adrenalin junkie. Here's a man who will do something simply for the thrill of it. Even if it's just a jaunt around the matterhorn track. "Don't close your eyes Princess," he hollers at you. In the front car, the girl has started screaming. But it's an exhilarated sound, rippling with ecstatic terror.

It's almost too much, the sounds and the sensations and the scent of fear and thrills that come as the ride goes faster. Ivanya hesitantly opens her eyes, one at first, and then both. Her hair whips around behind her, the air catching it as they spin around, flames of it threatening to flicker over your face as her head turns to see how close she is to the ground with the car tilted as it is. She lets out a scream as they take one of the dips, whip around a corner. It's a long scream, though one that ends much different than it began. No longer something of pure fright, but that ecstatic terror that the girl in the car ahead of them has. White-knuckle tight, she still holds onto the bar, not that brave yet, leaning into you slightly as they take another turn. Some wall in the woman breaks, and she manages a smile somewhere, something that says she's enjoying it, now that she's had time to adjust. Another scream, ringing through the night beneath the canopy of the ride, the painted clouds and snowy sky that it has. She throws her head back slightly, eyes closing, but not in fear, but with the force of the laugh that follows the scream.

The world passes in a blur of neon orange and yellow neon lights. Senses meld and expand. There are his gemstone eyes, the crooked curve of his lips, the press of his body against yours, smelling of sawdust, cigarettes, and whiskey. Head turned, he's watching you. Around and around. All to soon the ride begins to slow, the car rocking back and forth with less violence now. A few moments later it comes to a halt. The announcer comes over the loudspeakers to tell everyone to wait till the ride has come to a complete stop before getting out of the car. Of course the teenagers don't listen. They're clambering out of their cars almost immediately, footsteps echoing on the steel grate as they stagger and run towards the exit.
"How was that Princess?" Erik asks, pushing the bar up away from your laps. He adds with a wink, "You've got quite a nice set of lungs on you."

The ride comes to a stop, and the world still spins. Ivanya turns her head to look at you, her hands leaving the bar, having to stretch her fingers out. She sits there for a moment, trying to get things to stop moving when they're really staying still, shaking her head briefly. Her eyes move away, following the teenagers, and a smile comes to her lips. Slowly, she stops leaning against you, turning her body slightly in the seat so that she's no longer hip-to-hip with you. A blush manages to rise on her cheeks, and she has to clear her throat before answering. "It was... a rush," she decides on with a little laugh, her hair wild and untamed around her moon-pale face. "Though I think that I may need assistance getting out of this thing, and walking. I feel as if I am drunk." A bit more blush comes through, a faint rose on her cheeks, her eyes downcast as if the woman could actually be... shy.

Laughing, Erik rises from the car as you pull away, long legs and torso unfolding like some intricate piece of origami. "The ferris wheel is pretty tame in comparison. Unless you want to neck when we get to the top." The last is punctuated with a wink, his voice teasing. He reaches out with a hand, the palm callused and rough from physical labor. "Don't worry Princess," he says with laughter drifting between the words. "I'll make sure you don't fall on your face."

"Neck?," Ivanya asks as she slides across the metal seat, hand extending to take yours. She rises, not as graceful as she normally is. To a human, it may be unnoticeable, but to one of their kind, the deliberate steps could almost be called painful to watch. Suddenly, a realization of what you may have meant by 'neck' dawns on her, and the woman's steps do falter, almost tripping. Holding to your hand still, she closes her eyes, willing the world to still, then opening them once more. "Well, Sir Knight, I rarely 'neck' this early in a date. Unless I'm throughly impressed." She gives her own little wink, leaning into you once more before letting go of your hand. "Perhaps if you won me something huge, I'd consider," is offered, teasingly.

"What, I'm not huge enough for you?" Erik laughs, looking down at you. Carefully, moving slowly, he leads you off the ride, passing through the small exit gate which he holds for you. "Ah," he continues as you walk back to the arcade where all the games are. "You probably want something soft and cuddly. With googly eyes."
Scanning across the various booths that line the arcade, Erik considers the options. There are games that involve shooting a stream of water from a gun into a plastic-head clown's mouth, Fish till you Win, and a variety of gun games that involve shooting everything from plastic ducks to balloons. Finally, he settles on one of the last that involves hitting the bulls-eye with plastic pellets from a rifle. The prizes are some of the biggest animals of all the games; black-striped tigers, long purple snakes, fuschia colored pigs, white fluffy swans, and even massive teddy bears. Leaving your side Erik makes his way up to the young kid standing behind the counter. Bills are exchanged and Erik takes up the rifle. "Pick a prize Princess," he comments over his shoulder before commenting offhandedly to the kid, grin wide, "If I don't win her something huge, she's not going to kiss me."

Bright blue eyes wander over you, from head to toe, and Ivanya chuckles lowly. "You, my dear, look anything but soft," she muses as she moves through the gate. Her steps grow sure once more, and she looks over the various games, watching as plastic horses race across a wall and some little boy attempts to launch a rubber frog into a lily pad. She stays close by your side as steps lead the pair through the crowd, and the game is picked. Moving out from behind you, she grins, tilting her head as she looks between the snakes and the swans. "Oh, I can't decide yet, that would jinx you, perhaps. Though I'm not sure if I should make this easy for you, or not..." She steps behind you, then, leaning against his back. Raising to her tip-toes, lips by your ear. "Because part of me would rather enjoy kissing you, I believe," she whispers, hand trailing down your back as she moves away, to the side.

"Oh Princess," The breathy moniker draws out from his lips like honey oozing across the senses. "I can play as hard or easy as you want." One moment, he's considering plastic gun violence on the defenseless bulls-eyes and in the next, with your lithe body pressing against his back, the only thing he can think about has to do with the backseat of his car. And so with a reluctant lustful grin, he turns his attention back to the game at hand.
It's a relatively quick game. Almost immediately there's no question that he's going to get you that googly-eyed stuffed animal. Despite whatever mechanical wizardry might have been set up to keep the clients from winning, Erik manages to hit each bulls-eye with unsettling accuracy. All the while, there's that faint almost smile linger on his lips. Between shots, he jokes with the kid about the targets being too big or too close. Whatever the reason, Erik's a crackshot with a gun. While many vampires, especially the old ones, shy away from modern weaponry, it appears Erik's not one of them. The first plastic token is soon exchanged for the prizes higher up the ranking, until he's won enough points for you to select the extra-large animal of your choice. Returning the gun to the kid, Erik turns from the game, grinning crookedly at you. "Which one's it going to be Princess?"

There's a wicked little grin on Ivanya's lips as if she can hear the train of your thoughts changing tracks at the press of her body. "Promises, promises," she whispers, that teasing tone still there as her eyes flash. Having what little experience that she's had inside of cars, it's probably a good bet to think that she's never been contorted into some position in a back seat in the search of pleasure.
She falls silent, as the shots are lined up and taken, watching as the targets fall with a little smile. Others, mortals, stop to watch briefly as you make easy work out of the game, a few of the men muttering that they could do it, too. And then their dates, egging them on until there are men picking up plastic rifles, handing over their own bills to the boy that runs the game. Ivanya laughs, her head shaking as she looks from you, to the wall again, and then takes the steps to get back to your side. "Well, I was thinking the swan, but if it's a token to remember you by, perhaps it should be the serpent. Tempting, strong, and with a gifted tongue..." Another look to you, as the kid fetches the snake. "So I hope," she near purrs, arms out to accept the huge stuffed creature.

The almost smile spreads across his lips, both corners curving up widely. His jeweled gaze scans you slowly, without apology. Stepping up close, he reaches for a draping portion of the serpent. It's a typical carnival prize, impressively oversized and gaudy in its coloring. "Princess, I have more than just a gifted tongue." He lifts the tail of the snake, wrapping it around your shoulders like a feather boa. "And hopefully you'll remember me for more than just this old snake." He doesn't immediately back away, the weight of his gaze heavy with intent. The arcade swirls around them in a kaleidoscope of sound and color. Still, it falls away, the world shrinking to the two of them as the mortals scurry by. Lowering his voice Erik asks, voice rough and gravely, "So we gonna play it hard, or easy?"

The world slips away, and Ivanya looks up into your eyes, fingers stroking along the stuffed snakes head. "I'm sure that I'll remember you for more than /this/ snake," she replies, her voice dropping low, a rich and honeyed thing. The words drip from her tongue, growing heavier under the intensity of your gaze, the intent in it. "We'll see how far we play, before we decide on how hard or easy. Usually, though, I prefer a slow build. Just so you know." Her hand reaches out, fingers soft against your chin, as the smooth pad of her thumb moves over your bottom lip. "First, though, I believe I was promised a ride on the Ferris Wheel." Her hand moves away at that, and with a grin that's nothing short of cruel, she turns, walking though the buzzing crowd of mortals.

Erik's laughter trails after you as you slip away, drifting into the crowd. He remains by the game booth for a few moments, watching your backside until its vanished. A cigarette is bummed from one of the men whose just won his woman a stuffed teddy bear. Dipping his chin to the kid, Erik shrugs a shoulder at the boy's question of a promised kiss, "Guess my snake's just not impressive enough for her." With a wink, he moves away from the booth, working his way through the crowd after you in the general direction of the Ferris Wheel. By the time he's caught up to you, he's half-finished with the cigarette and has purchased a pair of tickets for the next ride. Sliding up behind you he plucks the cigarette between his fingers from his mouth, commenting casually, "You should enjoy this one. It's real slow."
The line for the Ferris Wheel isn't nearly as long as the last one. Most of the crowd here now is a younger sort, more interested in the fast, violent rides that make them scream and shriek. The line moves quickly.

Fixing her hair, Ivanya's movement through the crowd while alone speak of a woman that often spends time navigating through groups of people in motion. City living, perhaps, or maybe it's from the club that she oft visits. Whatever it is, the woman makes it look easy. Twisting, turning, her black-clad form catching occasional glances from other men as she continues to wear the serpent about her shoulders. At the line, she waits for you, looking over her shoulder with a smile as you arrive. As long as she's not stopped, she takes your hand that holds the cig, bringing it to her lips so that she can take a drag, blowing the smoke away to the side. "Slow has its benefits, especially after one so hard and quick," she quips, leading the way this time as they're told to board the wheel. She slides into the far side of the seat, leaving room for you beside her, untwineing the snake a little.

The responding bark of laughter is electric. "Princess, I only regret that you probably aren't going to scream so sweetly this go." Sliding in beside you, the seat rocks slightly beneath his weight. Erik pulls the bar down on the Ferris Wheel. A few moments later the wheel begins turning, the seat curving upwards higher, the ground falling away. Soon the carnival is laid out beneath your feet like a carpet of neon stars. In the distance, there's the twinkling of suburb lights, and behind that, the congestion of Chicago. Beside you, Erik leans back in the seat, his arm draped casually over the back. There's enough space on the seat that you're not crammed against him as before, and his arm is not so close that it implies any improper sense of intimacy. Though that might change in a moment. Lifting his chin, he exhales a trio of smoke rings up into the darkness.

"Maybe I'll scream for you another time," comes the purred response, as the wheel turns, bringing them into the air. Even though there's room enough on the seat to keep a distance, she scoots in close to you, legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles. Her head tilts back, looking up to the night sky, taking in a deep breath of the carnival air. This, of course, brings her head against that arm behind her, which she turns and nuzzles softly, looking at you. There's a moment of hesitation, before she moves in closer, so that there's nothing but fabric and a bit of air keeping your body from hers along the legs and hip. A smile comes, and then she leans in, placing a kiss against your jaw while it's lifted to let out the smoke. Soft, and tender, those lips move higher, until she's kissing the corner of your mouth. Then, she turns to look over the pattern of lights and people moving below.

"Another time," he agrees with confidence. His jaw is rough beneath your soft lips, grizzled slightly with a perpetual five o'clock shadow. It's another facet of his appearance that he puts on every evening; like his tattoos snaking down his bare arm, his long blonde hair, or his worn dark clothing, that compose the man called Erik Black. He doesn't tilt his chin to seek your lips with his own. Grinning faintly, he just sits there while you trail your so-soft kisses across his flesh. His power covers him like a great cloak of fur, cool to the touch, enveloping you as you lean in clean against him. "Careful Princess," he says in mock-warning. "Keep that up and we'll never get off this ride."

The stubble doesn't bother Ivanya, that roughness to your skin. The kisses stop, but touches soon come instead. A hand lifting, so that she can run one warm finger over your jaw, down your neck and to your chest. Moving though that power, her breath catching slightly at it. It makes her want to roll around in it, to feel that sensation of fur against her bare skin. Her position shifts, so that one leg raises, crossing over yours. "That wouldn't be so bad," she whispers. "And I believe that I owe you a kiss, for this," is reminded, as her free hand moves over the snake. The other hand continues down, until she strokes over your stomach, and then moves away. "But your lips are all the way over there."

Around and around the Ferris Wheel turns. The sounds of the carnival grown louder as the ground approaches, then falls away as the great wheel circles back upwards again. Jaw to neck, further downwards to his chest. He is a study in harsh lines and flat planes. There is no softness about him. No extra flesh. What is not muscle and tendon is bone. His is a body hardened by brutality, fashioned for war. The ridges felt beneath the thin cotton fabric of his t-shirt are unyielding. How sharp the contrast between your own soft curves and silken flesh. Without life, there is no warmth to him. What little stolen warmth remains is cool enough to determine it has been several days since he last fed. Fingertip trailing over his flat stomach, he lowers his gaze. Midnight gaze swallowed in black eyes search your cornflower blues and in his gaze is a mixture of amusement and lust. Now you've got his attention.
One final suck on the cigarette before he drops it to the floor of the chair, smashing it beneath his toes. The smoke is exhaled over his shoulder, while his arm behind you pulls you in closer. Instead of leaning into you, he draws you towards him, towards his lips.

It's easy to see the flash of desire in Ivanya's eyes, a scent aside from her perfume softly flavoring the night. There's a little tsk of disappointment, though, feeling so much of that coolness in your body. No warmth means no blood, which could very well mean she can't feel exactly how much of your attention she's gotten. She smiles, something seductive and wicked about the twist of her lips. The type of smile a siren must have, something that's surely lead men astray before, dashed them on the rocks. She's pulled, and her body presses tighter to yours, that hand from before raising to cup the back of your head, fingers playing in your hair. Closing that distance, she makes the moves she needs to, brushing her lips against yours. It's a soft kiss, lips parted slightly, the scent of cinnamon on them, her breath. Lips, and nothing else, moving tenderly. Much softer than the desire in her eyes burns.

You taste like cinnamon and night, jasmine and a forgotten memory of the sun. Dead these few years, the memory of blue sky burns more recently through your veins than his own. And Erik, Erik smells of whiskey and old tobacco and sawdust and metal. His arm curls around your shoulders, his large palm cupping the back of your head. The lack of a recent feeding doesn't seem to hamper his body's reactions. He's aroused, that much is clear, from the bulge in his jeans and the way his fingers wander here and there, down your back, over your neck, up against your jaw, even as his cigarette lips brush briefly against your cinnamon-flavored ones. His eyes are open, watching your expression. While he's not denying the kiss, he's not pressing for more, leaving the intensity of the moment to your own volition. Enjoying your attentions. For now.

The kiss is pressed into a bit more, Ivanya drinking in those tastes, the scent something that threatens to drown her. Her hand slips away from your hair, tracing lightly over the strength of your body, back over your flat stomach. And then, lower. The touch only lasts what would be a few heartbeats, a tease and nothing more, before her hand moves away, fingers playing atop your thigh now. How far, exactly, she's willing to let the kiss go, how intense she'll let it become... goes unanswered, as they return to the ground. Discretely, the human operating the ride coughs, and Ivanya pulls away from you with a small grin. Hands leaving you, she wipes the corners of her mouth with the nail of her thumb, as if making sure her lipstick isn't smudged. Lucky for you, it's one of those kiss-proof types. Turning that grin to the operator, she lifts the bar herself, and climbs right over you, out of the chair. Sauntering towards the exit, snake draped over her shoulders still.

Erik seems to recognize the kiss for what it is, a tease. He doesn't protest the short duration of the touch of your fingers or offer excuses for his body's reactions. The tip of his tongue flicks the corner of his mouth as you pull away, savoring the last taste of you before you are gone from the ride. There he sits, viciously tattooed elbows resting on his thighs, watching you with a faint lopsided half-smile on his lips. Gemstone eyes trail the length of your form, from the flow of your fiery hair, over the curve of your hips down to your designer shoes. Finally, he pushes up from the seat, casually adjusting his jeans, winking at the human attendant. Sauntering across the arcade towards you; there is a quiet confidence to his step, the distance closing between you. He catches up to you near the exit, stepping in beside you. As you walk back across the parking lot towards the car, leaving the bright lights and sounds of the carnival behind, he teases, "Time to get you home Princess. Before you turn into a pumpkin."

There are times when Ivanya is beyond thankful to be a woman. Getting off of the ride is one of them. While she's aroused, greatly, there's nothing obvious to show it, except perhaps for the spark in her eyes, the twist of her lips. Her stride changes to match yours once you're by her side, her hand taking your arm, giving you little choice but to let her take it, to escort her. "I thought it was the coach that turned into a pumpkin, and I that would loose my slipper?," she teases softly, head resting against your strong arm for a moment. She looks back to the carnival, and her smile becomes something girlishly happy. "Thank you, Erik," is said softly, genuinely, as she looks up to you, a warmth in her eyes and a smile that doesn't bother to hide fangs, now that they're away from the throng of mortals.

Falling smoothly into the role of escort, Erik leads you back to where the Chevy Impala waits in a patch of shadow. Once the car door is open, he pauses, gives you a look and in that look, all is said; his lips are quirked at the corners and his eyes are bright, illuminated with the light of the stars. It's a kiss with just a look. "You're welcome Princess," The rough whisper is a caress with callused fingertips that do not touch flesh. It is a tone better suited to being spoken across pillows and not a dark parking lot. But instead of touches or kisses, he leans his chin down, murmuring, "And if you want to leave me your shoe so I can come find you, we can play that game too."
Right hand placed on the small of your back, he ushers you into the car. An intimate touch that lingers as he guides you downwards to your seat. Only when you've settled in does he withdraw, shutting the door and moving around to slide into the drivers side.
Something in that gaze makes her shiver, a response brought on by the tightening of things low within her, the lipless kiss. Ivanya smiles, and brushes a kiss against your lips once more. It's brief, not even lasting a second, lips featherlight against your own. She looks down at the shoes she wears, chuckling softly. "I'm fresh out of glass slippers. But you know where I live, anyway. Maybe next time, we can try for a different fairy tale." Suppressing another shiver, she slides into the seat, watching as you move around the car, buckling herself up once more. The serpent is spread across her lap, the woman idly stroking its head as she looks out the window, into the night.

The journey back into the city passes without conversation. This time, he doesn't ask you to put on the blindfold. Darkness eventually turns to suburbia transforming into the empty streets of the city. Silver-fingered dawn is still a few hours away. The inevitable approach of the sun hums through the heavens, a dirge for the dead. Window down, Erik smokes a cigarette as the gravelly voice of Tom Waits plays in the background. Quiet and subdued, there is a fierceness to the song, to the lyrics.
Now her hair was as black as a bucket of tar
Skin was as white as a cuttlefish bone
I left Texas to follow Lucinda
Now I'll never see heaven or home
Thirty minutes later, Erik pulls up to your cafe. He leaves the engine running as he comes around to open the passenger side. The cigarette he'd been smoking is flicked into the street, cherry sparking as it's dashed on the pavement. Standing there grinning at you while you get out of the car, Erik doesn't offer to walk you in or otherwise suggest that he wants to follow you home like a puppy. No, this is where the evening ends. There's no good-byes or promises of calls tomorrow, but there's the sense this isn't the last you'll see of him. "You take care of that snake, Princess," he says dipping his chin towards the stuffed animal. "Keep it warm and well fed."

Ivanya is content, to watch the world pass her by, to listen to the words of Tom. Some songs she knows, others she doesn't, but she doesn't bother mouthing the words when she does. No, the silence belongs to the purr of the engine, the sound of tires on the street and the voice of Tom Waits. Silent, perhaps even thoughtful, as she occasionally looks down to the purple snake, over to you as you drive. Dawn pulls at her, the young creature that she is, making her crave her underground lair, to let the life leave her until darkness falls once more.
 She gets out of the car with a grace that's surely familiar by now, fingers moving to smooth out her pants before she turns, bending, getting the snake fully out of the car, along with the rose from the clown that had been hiding beneath the fuzzy serpent. She smiles once she's turned to face you, not asking for promises of calls or other dates. No, she's not that kind of woman. She does, however, place a kiss at the corner of your mouth, before nodding. "I will," she replies softly, before moving away, towards the cafe. "Good night, Sir Knight," is given to the night air, before she disappears behind cafe doors. Leaning against it, once inside, head tilted back and a smile on her lips.



Windy City Girls

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