The Witching Hour

Arktouros Halkias

Member
Character
Vampire
8
Pronouns
He/Him
Character Sheet
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12:15am
Santa Noche Docks
A waxing crescent moon hung heavy against the inky black curtain of night, luminous even with the myriad of lights which dotted the maritime landscape. The scents which lingered on the air were far more pungent than he who stalked the shadowy bowels of Santa Noche's docks would have preferred, a permanent look of dissatisfaction marred his otherwise pristine visage, though despite this he walked closer to the source all the same.
Though the witching hour was upon them, the occasional caw of languid gulls spilled forth from the heavens, no doubt hidden within the rafters of boatyards and warehouses alike; in general the area was quiet, devoid of the sort of life known to the downtown regions. Waves lapped against the hulls of varying boats, one or two yachts stood proudly among a myriad of fishing vessels and hobbyists boats. All in all it was a peaceful evening, if one ignored the aforementioned smells.
Boots clacked against weathered wooden boards as he stepped unto the pier, seeking eyes curiously set toward the horizon. Nothing loomed in the waters there that the naked eye could see, yet he looked onward all the same with solemn intent. An unexpected breeze pulled the hood down from his head, forcing strands of fiery hair to billow uncontrolled as they were snatched within the wind. A heavy sigh escaped him then, and as though pulled from his ruminations he finally tore his gaze away from the abyss and moved to kneel upon the planks of greyed lumber.
The tide was high that evening, so much so that it sloshed just beneath his feet. Although the gaps in the walkway were hardly wide, peering downward afforded him a good enough sight of the inky, deep void all the same. Imperfect, but it could do in a pinch he supposed... He approached the edge of the walkway, and pulled forth a small vial from within the folds of his jacket. Leaning over the edge, he filled the container with as much sea water as it would hold, and then replaced the stopper. "Poutánas gios" he muttered beneath his breath, as he brought it up into his sightlines and stared at the muddied contents. Certainly this bore little similarity to the waters he knew back home.
But he was not home, and the only remnants he had of such now wetted the streets of Oldtown.
With further grumbles he turned and composed himself once more, taming the wayward hairs and pulling the hood back over his head. With his quarry successfully acquired, he turned his sights back toward the bustling city. One way or another he'd see his frustrations settled.
 

Melody Bell

Miss Bell
Character
Human
29
Pronouns
She/Her
Character Sheet
Link
12:21 AM
The Docks


Foul, acidic taste... The woman found herself on all fours, hunched over the sands and hurling a potent cocktail of greasy food, cheap booze, and whatever else she managed to swallow during her bender.

"God damnit," she exclaimed exhaustedly after the second expulsion.

Melody reached for her arm where she felt a lingering soreness. Upon touch it became sharper, and she gasped at the tenderness. A small patch of bruised skin from where a needle had been injected. Heightened awareness combined with the telltale signs of hangover did not make for a wonderful combination. After staggering upright, she looked around and saw nothing but an empty beach. Empty save for the crushed cans, tossed bottles, and smoldering wrecks of makeshift fires.

She remembered very little. A party, of course, but who invited her. Why did she go, and... "Why the fuck didn't anyone take me home!?" She shouted at the sea. Frustrated, she reached for her phone and made a call.

"Hello?"

"Yea, I know it's late but--"

"You're kidding me, right? Why didn't you tell me you were going to Los Angeles?" Melody groaned and looked around, the phone still held against her ear. "Okay... Yeah, yeah. I love you too. Bye." She hung up and then looked for her other contacts. No one she knew that she'd trust to find her in this state.

"Shit," she muttered under her breath. With no better options, she walked past the small shack she woke up beside and made her way towards the warehouses. At least there she could probably fetch an Uber.

Arktouros Halkias
 
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Arktouros Halkias

Member
Character
Vampire
8
Pronouns
He/Him
Character Sheet
Link
12:22am
His business here was well and truly tended to. With no desire to linger around the potent scents of a fisherman's wharf, he who walked the shadows turned and for a moment did little more than feel the breeze brush against his cheeks and the direction it took. A small smile played upon his otherwise irritable expression, as the desire, nay pure need, to become one with it ran through him. It would certainly be a swifter mode of transport than feet alone, it had been too long since he'd toyed with his Koldunic side. And yet no sooner had the thought come to mind, had he begun to focus on the very vitae which flooded his being, than a shriek broke through the silence he'd previously been enjoying.
No gull this time, nor crashing wave, but the vocalization of a mere mortal. His head immediately snapped toward the direction of the feminine voice, though the words themselves brought a bitter word to his lips. "Skropha" he spat, with a shake of his head; so much had changed in just the past few decades when it came to women and their decency. Such foul words uttered unto the sea... For one who had lived centuries it was difficult to adjust to indeed, this modern world he now existed within.
Still, the ever present curiosity held within him demanded to be satiated. No longer able to merely fade into the breeze, he let out a huff and stepped down from the boardwalk and into the sands themselves. Nowhere near as pristine as those he had been raised upon, though not as bad as others he had visited. At least it was sand. There were plenty of beaches made of stones and dirt!
He saw her as she passed some beach shack, headed up toward the area he had just exited, and in doing so felt only disgust. What had he been expecting from such a place at such a time? Some stately woman of old? He resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Gods was this one a mess. The air around her stank even heavier than the sea and its inhabitants, alcohol and narcotics and vomit. What a lovely perfume she wore. For one with such sensitive senses as he it was rather overwhelming in truth.
It took him a moment to realize the stern glare he'd sent her way, the disapproving look one might expect from their father. Nay... More akin to a grandfather. More aloof, as though the mistakes didn't reflect upon them yet they were forced to endure them all the same.
Perhaps catching the stray breeze wasn't so bad an idea after all.
 

Melody Bell

Miss Bell
Character
Human
29
Pronouns
She/Her
Character Sheet
Link
Melody cursed under her breath. "Los Angeles, really? What aren't you telling me..." The words came out half whisper, half aloud. A little conversation to vent her frustrations, and distract somewhat from the growing headache.

As she stepped off the beach and onto some semblance of pavement, albeit cracked and bumpy, she looked in either direction, trying to discern which way to go. Unfortunately, she hadn't spent much time in this part of town at all, and was as lost here as any tourist. When she removed her phone, she let out another frustrated groan at the singular alert that popped up on her screen... Data limit reached.

No maps tonight. Even worse, no Uber--not unless she found a hotspot.

It was one thing to be alone at the docks this late at night, but another to also be in the state of mind and health she found herself in. Melody couldn't help but feel a chill run down her spine, as paranoia began to set in along with the reality that she would have to figure this out all on her own.
 
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Arktouros Halkias

Member
Character
Vampire
8
Pronouns
He/Him
Character Sheet
Link
She would not be the one to satiate him. Though that ever present beast, that gnawing hunger, wracked his body, and though she was the only being he'd happened upon in some time, tainted blood was not a thing he enjoyed. There were some who were unphased by such, others who sought it out, looking for some sort of secondary high no doubt, but the man in the shadows did not share their desires. Yet he did not cease in his observations all the same. As little use to him as she might have been, she was a curious thing.​
Her chatters, aimed at an audience of none, graced his hearing as though she had chosen to shout them instead. Even without intentionally prying he could practically taste the helplessness that ravaged her mind, inebriation might have been discouraging but fear... Fear was its own intoxication. It satiated a different side of his beast, one which did not seek an end to the thirst but a prolonging of it. An ache so fierce that it only sweetened the inevitable release.​
Why else did so many covet the hunt?​
Finally, and all at once, he stepped free from the inky bounds of the shadows wherein he'd lurked, and into the light of one of the few harbour lights that had not fizzled from existence. He watched her for a moment longer, as that shiver of paranoia ran the length of her spine, and then he began his leisurely approach.​
 
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Melody Bell

Miss Bell
Character
Human
29
Pronouns
She/Her
Character Sheet
Link
Melody meant to pass between two buildings and cut across to the parking lot on the other side of the warehouses, but when she turned the corner into the alley she found it blocked off by a chain link fence. As she turned around, a shadowy figure swept down low in front of her face and invoked a panicked shriek. It took a few seconds to realize it was just a seagull that discovered the open dumpster.

"Fucking kidding me..." She muttered quietly, and began to breath deeply as adrenaline started to rush through her veins.

Goosebumps formed along her arms and legs, and she quickened her pace to turn back around the corner and get the hell out of there. She took her phone back out of her pocket and looked back down, wondering if she should call someone else after all. Completely oblivious to what she might run into next.
 

Arktouros Halkias

Member
Character
Vampire
8
Pronouns
He/Him
Character Sheet
Link
The girl stepped out of his sights for a mere moment, and yet in doing so a shriek tore itself from her lips. A wry grin played over his own, amusement bubbling up to the surface, and he picked his pace up just enough to bear witness to whatever it was that had managed to spook her.
A mere bird. How quaint.
As he reached her though she had just turned back around, no doubt hellbent on leaving the alleyway she'd found herself within; the pair collided rather unceremoniously, though he was quick to reach his arms out and snatch her by the shoulders to steady her step. She was just a meek little thing, after all, and in comparison he was an immovable fortress where he stood.
"You should watch where it is you're going at such an hour..." His accent was thick though not necessarily discernable as being from any one place. Centuries of travel had butchered what had once been a beautiful Hellenic voice, yet even so it remained rather melodic. Most certainly pertaining to some part of Europe. Perhaps that was all a US native would hear either way, they weren't exactly known for pinpointing such things in foreigners after all.
As quickly as he grasped her for stability, he released her shoulders and settled his hands back to his side. He didn't move away though, at least not immediately, instead his amber gaze remained fixed upon her.
 

Melody Bell

Miss Bell
Character
Human
29
Pronouns
She/Her
Character Sheet
Link
Melody was already filling up on adrenaline, so to suddenly run into someone--let alone one who appeared a man, and a tall one at that--sent her into a frozen state of panic.

At first she simply locked at her feet and looked up at him with wide eyes. She stood quietly and her muscles tensed. If it wasn't for wincing at the pain in her back, she would've been expressionless, and yet the shot of pain was something of a godsend as it pinched her back into reality. She took a few steps back and shrugged out of his steadying grip just as he was already releasing it. The flight reaction wanted to say 'thank you' and try not to anger the man, but her fight reaction had her reach behind her back for the small plastic bottle of mace clipped to her beltloop. She didn't act further than that, still waiting to see what the man did.

"I'm here to meet a friend," she blurted out. Her cheeks went pale as her heart began to rush. There was something particularly off about him... Not just his accent, or his appearance. It was something she couldn't put her finger on, and yet seemed painfully obvious as the glow of the moon reflecting off the puddle of water she stood in.
 

Arktouros Halkias

Member
Character
Vampire
8
Pronouns
He/Him
Character Sheet
Link
The lie was an obvious one, even for one who did not have the more supernatural senses afforded to he. The swiftly paling face, the clamminess brought about by a racing heart, even the way she spat the words out in such a rush, it was all indicative of fear and pressure. It was funny how often mortals reacted in such a way.
"In Los Angeles?" he inquired softly, one brow raising in curiosity as he pinned her in place with his gaze, "You may want throw out your map if you think this is such..."
Resenting the residual toxicity pulsing through the girl's veins, he took a stride backwards from her to give the illusion of freedom and then lightly shook his head. Why he was even bothering with such ilk was beyond him, that initial curiosity had well and truly waned at this point and all that was left in its wake was apathy. Just another human living out one blink of their small, mediocre existence.
"Downtown's that way, by the way," he remarked, jutting one slender finger out toward his left. Without another word he turned and began to head in that direction himself. Once upon a time he might have acted upon the animalistic whims of the beast within all the same, hunted for the sake of hunting, but these territories were not belonging to him. The more noise he made the less he could attend to his studies in peace.
 

Melody Bell

Miss Bell
Character
Human
29
Pronouns
She/Her
Character Sheet
Link
Melody now seemed less frightened, and more offended. "Are you following me or something?" She accused.

There was no way someone would've overheard her call and then manage to follow her all the way to this alley without her notice, they thought. Then again Melody realized that she wasn't exactly in the right state of mind. Regardless of there something clearly being off about him, he seemed more peculiar than harmful at this point. But she wasn't about to let her guard down, nor did she release her tight grip around the mace held behind her back.

When he pointed out the direction of downtown, Mel furrowed their brow and moved to the side without keeping her eyes off him. "What are you doing down here anyway?" She asked. "You don't look like a warehouse worker."
 

Arktouros Halkias

Member
Character
Vampire
8
Pronouns
He/Him
Character Sheet
Link
"Good heavens, no," came his rather swift retort to her accusations, a light shake of his head tousling his red hair, "If you wish not for your private business to become public knowledge, mayhaps you ought not shout it to the ocean, hm?"
True by mortal standards it hadn't been very much of a shout, though the frustration had certainly allowed it to carry more than she likely intended if only by tone alone. Sensitive ears, sensitive subjects... It was very much impossible to ignore such a distressed sound, his beast all but whined when presented with a potential hunt it could not partake in.
He was aware of the fact that she was following him in the direction he'd pointed by the patter of footsteps, before her voice gave her away. Not that she was trying to hide such. He simply hadn't expected her to do so, given how standoffish she had been thus far. Good instincts, for a mortal. Shame she'd gone and ruined that by squashing down her doubts and walking alongside him regardless.
"One need not work in a place to make use of its offerings," he said with a loose shrug, "Haven't you ever wanted to enjoy the solitude of the sea before?"
Just what was it with mortals and their need for reasons. Why, why, why... Like toddlers, really, craving all the answers they couldn't possibly comprehend even if one was willing to provide them with such.
 

Melody Bell

Miss Bell
Character
Human
29
Pronouns
She/Her
Character Sheet
Link
"Is that an invitation to swim?" She asked, in a mixture of joking and nervous. It was hard to stay calm--or at least keep up the illusion that she felt safe around him.

Somehow she felt that were she to run, it would only cause this man to become violent. Mel struggled to put the feeling to rest, and yet at the same time there was a certain draw to him that she understood even less. It made him both incredibly threatening and rather alluring all at once. What the fuck was going on, she wondered?

"So I take it I just interrupted your wave watching then?" She tried to break the ice for the... whatevereth time.