Fifty years. That was the cause of the big celebration in the French Quarter today. Marking fifty long years since the vampire in New Orleans took over the city and set a curse in motion that kept their enemies from being able to overthrow them. Of course, they were still living amongst the humans and so this annual fall festival in the streets that they threw to mark the years remained disguised as a fun little party weekend.
Something was changing though. The existence of the moonstone had been revealed two years ago and ever since the supernatural had been in a race of sorts to retrieve it. No one knew where it was though but everyone wanted it each for their own reasonings. If the curse was lifted then the vampires would no longer have the upper hand. Everyone would have their advantages back and it could be the start of an all-out war.
The self-proclaimed king of New Orleans wouldn't admit it to many but he was starting to worry that his reign was coming to an end. He'd been sending his best men off to find the moonstone with no results so far. Still, he held his glass up high from the balcony of his home which sat in the center of the French Quarter, and called out to his fellow vampires. His words echoed as he disappeared into the shadows of his home to tend to business
"Laissez les bons temps rouler!"
On the other hand, the wolves were off in the bayou having their own little get-together courtesy of the Crescent pack. Every year the vampires celebrated their triumphant ruling over the Quarter and every year the wolves held their own bayou cookout. Sorta like an anti-curse thing, if you will. Wherever you choose to go just remember, war is slowly brewing and things are about to get pretty shaken up.
Julietta Delphine was nothing short of a handful and of course, she knew it because Nik had told her a trillion times. He was always acting like he had to reign her in because he didn't think she was capable of making the right choices. Juliet was almost always annoyed by his need to hover over her like the over-bearing brother he was. It had been this way since they were kids and while she knew it was because they’d lost their brother to the war between species, that didn’t mean she had to live under his thumb.
Still, no matter how often she told him that she knew what she was doing he didn't let up. This is why the moment he'd been distracted by the barbecue, she had slipped out of the bayou area and made her way into the city. Was it dangerous? Sure. Jules was a werewolf who couldn't transform venturing into vampire territory. On top of that, she was a Delphine, an heir to the Crescent Pack. People knew that.
What was she meant to do though? Hide in the bayou forever? Make sure a wolf bodyguard or her brother was with her before she went anywhere? No way. Besides, Juliet had wandered into the Quarter plenty, even made friends with some of the "killer vampires" and nothing bad had happened. She could handle herself, no matter what Nik thought. She wasn't some fragile thing that needed to be kept behind glass.
Jules could help but find the music and lights fascinating, even though she knew the wicked meaning behind their celebration. Suddenly a voice pulled her from her trance and she spun around to see Arya. If Nik was here to see her talking to the stunning vampire, he'd had lost it but luckily for her, he wasn't. "Hey!" she returned the greeting. "Sounds good to me! Somewhere Nik might not think to look for me," she laughed, motioning for her friend to walk with her. "Hopefully it's not a big deal when a vampire and a wolf walk in again," she laughed.
Juliet liked Mirage and even though it was mostly a witch headquarters sometimes, she was intrigued by the magic it held. The owner, Dorian, was the most interesting aspect of the place in her opinion. He had managed to create a space where magic could be done without detection and she knew that meant he had to be pretty strong. It made her very curious. They didn't have to go very far before they came up to the building that was so cleverly disguised and walked in, ready to have some fun.
Nikolas had sent the wolves on their way and told them to look out for his sister while they kept an eye on things but he knew that Juliet was likely long gone by now. It was just like Jules to disappear and go get herself into trouble so he wasn't surprised but still he wished she would give him a damn break. He couldn't lead a damn pack, look after her, and try to end this goddamn curse all at once. It was hard enough doing just one of those things. Yet here he was with no choice but to shoulder all the responsibility.
He watched as his pack members walked away and turned his attention to the guy manning the grill, nodding in approval. Before he could say anything his heightened sense of smell picked up the scent of someone new though they seemed familiar in some way. His eyes followed and when he saw her standing there he froze. It couldn't be. After all these years he recognized her immediately but he thought she had to be some figment of his imagination. There was no way that Elektra was actually here right now, right?
"Ellie? How? When did you come back?" Nik managed to get out, before looking around her for anyone else out of both instinct and curiosity. He nor the other wolves were exactly a fan of her father after what he'd pulled and while he'd never faulted her for it, she had still been raised by the man. "Are you alone?" he questioned. It was only when he was sure that she was that the alpha wolf raised his hand and waved everyone off so that they knew she was not a threat.
At least, he hoped she wasn't. Part of him was stuck in the nostalgia of her being back for the time being but it wouldn't last long. Nikolas' suspicious nature always beat out everything else and so with time he would begin to worry more about her reasons for coming back. "You shouldn't have come back. Haven't you heard about the curse on this place? You can't turn and you can't leave the city. The vampires took over years ago and we still haven't been able to break it yet," he told her honestly.
If she had had her way, Elektra would have never returned to New Orleans. She would have avoided the city and the lackluster memories it held as long as she lived. But, she had a job to do, money to make, and justice to serve. She had to make up for the things she did, for the people her father and she had hurt throughout their lifetimes. The bounty hunter job was her way of doing that, of making up for all the shitty things she had done when she was younger. And for atoning for her father's transgressions as well. Being back in the Bayou gave her a sense of nostalgia, the familiar smells and sounds attempting to pull her down a path to thoughts of her childhood. It had been several decades, but she still remembered it all so clearly. As clearly as she remembered the look on her father's face when the life drained out of him. Out of nowhere, she heard his voice in her head, reminding her that one day he expected her to do what he couldn't, to defect the Crescent Pack alpha and take over for herself. It had been a long time since she had even thought about that. But now, being back, she couldn't help but wonder who the current alpha was.
Shaking those thoughts away, Elektra decided to focus on the task at hand: finding the bounty she was sent to New Orleans to hunt. One of the good things about wolves is that they always had their ear to the grapevine. Someone at that barbeque knew something, she was sure of it. The brunette wolf approached a small group of men chatting around a case of beer, each with an open bottle in their hand. Elektra slipped her hands into her pocket, nodding them as she approached. "Hey there, I was hoping to-" she began to ask but stopped when they all seemed to ignore her. Ellie bit her lip, wondering if they knew who she was. She didn't recognize any of them, but it was possible that they recognized her scent as similar to her father's. Though, she would have expected a much more adverse reaction if they had. Letting out a sigh, Elektra rolled her eyes and stepped away, scanning the rest of the area. And that's when it hit her.
The smell caught her off guard, eliciting memories of running around the bayou as a barefoot kid finding all different types of ways to get into trouble. It was familiar, though distantly. Standing on her own, her icy blue eyes trailed along unfamiliar faces until one she knew popped into view. He looked different, of course, older and more mature. But he was still the same kid she knew from all those years ago. Elektra took a few steps towards him. But a few of the other wolves noticed and didn't seem very fond of that. She was an outsider, she knew, and Nikolas was an heir. However, it seemed like something more than that, something beyond just loyalty. It almost seemed like respect... of a leader. Was... was Nik the alpha?
Leaving the thought alone for a moment, Ellie lifted a hand in a half-hearted wave, letting Nik approach her. She didn't want to incite the rage of the whole pack. "Hey, Nik. Yeah, it's me. I'm back," the brunette wolf responded, shrugging her shoulders as nonchalantly as she could muster. It wasn't hard to tell that her sudden appearance had come as a surprise, and from the way Nik looked around, it wasn't exactly a welcome one either. "I just got into town today for work... By myself," she answered evenly. And then it hit her: the pack didn't know that her father was dead, nor that she was the one to put him into that grave. Nik seemed rather relieved that she was alone, and only then waved off the rest of the pack that had taken an interest in their little reunion. But his next words sent a bit of a stab through her heart. "Well, glad to know you're happy to see me, Delphine," she muttered, crossing her arms over her chest.
Sarcasm lingered in her tone for a bit. But all that was erased when he mentioned a curse holding the supernatural in place. "What curse? No, I haven't heard of anything. But I also haven't been around other wolves in a while," she answered, eyes wide in surprise. "What do you mean, can't turn and can't leave? Do you mean to tell me you haven't been a wolf in years? What happened since I went away? Where's your father? Isn't he doing anything about this?" A bright rage boiled to the surface in the she-wolf, her eyes flashing a stormy indigo. She felt her inner wolf flare up. But it was weak, different than it used to be, distant, like her wolf was buried somewhere deep down. Her anger moved on to panic. She didn't want to be stuck in New Orleans, among a pack that didn't want her and vampires that probably wanted to kill her. Letting out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding, she looked back up at Nik. "Well, this certainly wasn't the 'homecoming' I was expecting."
Mirage had been Dorian's home for as long as he had been in New Orleans. He had built that place from the ground up, and when the vampires outlawed magic, he had hidden it behind one of his expertly crafted illusions. It wasn't because he was afraid of what the vampires would do if they found out he was practicing magic. To be honest, he couldn't care less. While it might be naïve, Dorian wasn't that afraid of the vampires or their supposed power. He had done many a favor for them in the past, whether it was creating daylight jewelry or easing their thirst. In a way, he thought that it would make him untouchable. And so far, it had. Mirage wasn't as hidden as it originally was. While the first patrons were only warlocks and witches like himself, that crowd had since expanded to include beasts and creatures of all supernatural varieties. Though he never explicitly swore them to secrecy, the spell of the Mirage kept it safe.
"Oh!" The sound caught the dark-haired warlock by surprise, realizing he had been stuck in his own thoughts for a moment. Dorian lifted his hazel gaze to appraise a person who had returned to the front of his booth, finding a familiar man standing there. It was one of Mirage's waiters, questioning whether or not he would like a refill. There was a bit of surprise on the man's face, which caused an easy smirk to curve the corners of Dorian's lips. Though he was usually at the nightclub, his appearance was generally later in the evening and accompanied by several acquaintances. "Nonsense, I am perfectly capable of getting my own drinks. Go ahead and take care of the other patrons. Make sure they are having a good time," the brunette answered with a wink, knowing the waiter would pick up on the innuendos underneath his words.
Watching the man walk away, Dorian waved his hand slightly, a swirl of lilac tinted fog crawling across the low table in front of him and into his champagne flute. In its wake, it left a bubbling amber liquid that seemed to be his choice of beverage for the night. The volume of the music began to rise, the subtle base bringing the room alive. More people had begun to show up, like they did every night, seeking a way to forget the outside world and just have fun. That night was a bit more special, with the beginning of the 50-year celebration the vampires were so proud of. Many supernaturals who sought to escape the festival would show up that night, and the club would no doubt be packed. Standing from his seat, Dorian paced over to the railing of the ledge, peering over the bar and dance floor below. A familiar brunette made her way towards the bar, no doubt needing a drink. He was surprised Seraphina would show her face at a witch bar, but he had to applaud her gall. Dorian wasn't really the type to pick sides as it would limit the number of favors he could give out. So, the warlock made his way from the VIP section to the bar, leaning against it alongside the witch. "Wonderful to see you hear tonight, Seraphina," Dorian said with a smirk, "How have you been?"
Seraphina Kuznetsov was used to the looks that people around the city of New Orleans gave her. Even if they didn't know that she was that witch, they just seemed to sense her aura and stay away. Sometimes people even crossed the street so they wouldn't have to walk past her. It wasn't because she was that threatening, at least not on the outside. On the outside, she was just a small framed female, dark hair and dark eyes. But it was her eyes that screamed stay away, along with that aura people seemed to sense. She wasn't complaininag, at least not one hundred percent. She preferred people stay away from her. Or at least... that's what she'd convinced herself.
With her ever present scowl on her face, Sera had left her little apartment that she shared with her little kitten Cuddles, to venture out into the afternoon. The sun hadn't quite set yet, but still, people were partying it up everywhere, it seemed. The town festival happened every year at this time, the humans completely unaware what they were actually celebrating. Sure, this time was fun for the humans who just wanted a reason to get out of their house and party, but Sera and the other supernatural of the town knew the truth. Today marked fifty years since the vampires took over the town, using a witch to create a curse that kept everyone locked here.
Of course, Sera wasn't fifty years old. In fact, the 19 year old was just that: still very much a young adult. Her mother had been the one who create the curse with the vampires, but she'd gone off the rails and disappeared into the night with her husband, leaving Sera behind. The curse had to be 'renewed' yearly, so to speak, which is where Sera came in. She'd been abandoned as a teenager by the people who were supposed to take care of her, and the town hated her. They burned her things, threw things at her, cursed her very name and the ground she walked on.
The vampire who'd come to her had offered her protection from that, and who was Sera to say no?
With a soft sigh, the brunette ventured down the streets of New Orleans, with no set destination in mind. When she ended up at the door of Mirage, she hesitated before entering. The interior was nice as always, but she wasn't interested in this side of things. Art was never her forte, no matter how hard she'd tried to be interested in it. The girl at the reception desk barely noticed her, which was fine with Sera. So the dark haired witch stepped up to the mirror illusion, pausing for a moment before she slipped through it and into the real Mirage. People were already enjoying themselves, but she made her way to the bar to order a double shot.
It wasn't long before she heard a familiar voice coming from her left side, and she turned her head towards Dorian, eyeing him for a moment. "How have I been?" She smirked faintly, shaking her head as her double shot was slid her way. She reached for it and downed it quickly before fixing her gaze on him again. "I'm stuck in a city full of witches who can't use their powers because I'm the witch helping out their enemy. How do you think I've been?"
Mason both loved and hated this city. He never would have come here had he known he would have been trapped. Despite the life of the city-- or maybe because of-- he didn't fit in. Of course, he'd never really fit in anywhere. Not as a human, and not even as a vampire. Though he wasn't quite a loner, he definitely wasn't Mr. Popular, especially with his attitude and bouts of anger. People generally crossed the street to avoid crossing paths with him, and he was fine with that. He didn't want people bothering him, and it was rare for him to bother others.
He currently stood at his window in his apartment, peering out between the blinds at the people celebrating below. They were loud and obnoxious, and he had half a mind to yell at them all to shut up. But they wouldn't. New Orleans had a life of its own, and even the humans could feel it. Instead, he just growled and moved to snap the blinds shut, frustrated. He wasn't planning on going out or doing anything tonight.
But then there was a knock on his door, and his excellent hearing picked up a cascade of giggles afterwards. He lifted a brow and sighed as he headed for his door, pulling it open just as a very intoxicated female slammed against the door, having lost her footing. "Can I help you?" He nearly growled, the drunk girl blinking as she looked over at him while trying to right herself.
"Holy shi- hi, there." She giggled again, biting her lip as she tried to tuck her hair behind her ears. She just lost her balance again though, and with his super speed Mason yanked open the door and caught her. Righting her in the hallway, he stepped back, but she just tried to follow him inside. "I was looking for my friends, but I found you instead. It's fate, don't you think?" She was slurring a bit and couldn't stop laughing.
Mason just shook his head. "No." And then slammed the door. He'd just gotten back to the living room when there came another knock, harder this time, accompanied by a voice he recognized. He turned on his heel and sped back to the door, yanking it open. "What the hell are you knocking like that for, Aiden? Fucking christ. Are you high?"
It was amazingly liberating that Arya could finally roam the streets of New Orleans alone. Especially at night. Aiden was always after her, rarely let her to her own stuff and was always consumed by his big brother complex. And yes, while Arya loved him for it, it was not always welcome and she hated being followed around. After her accident, she reconsidered many things and knew that if she had died that night, her life would have been lived in vain. Despite being the popular girl at high school and having her fair share of fun, she was never going over the top. And maybe now was the time. Now when she felt more alive than ever.
Leaving Aiden and their place behind, Arya wandered the streets of New Orleans, looking around. The redhead was amazed by everything, the music, the colors, the lively atmosphere of people caught up in celebrations, and for a moment, she really felt like a part of this city despite living here only for a pretty short time. New Orleans had that power. It just sucked you in and made you feel welcome under any circumstances.
Only the flash of familiar brown locks truly caught Arya’s attention though. Arya and Juliet were an unlikely pair and yet this wolf was the best friend the redhead ever had. Coincidence put them together and ever since then, the two were basically partners in crime. Arya never really thought about this mutual hatred between werewolves and vampires and she liked to think that she was able to get along with anyone.
“Nope, not a big deal at all. Oh and…let someone say anything about that.” A mischievous glint appeared in her eyes as the two ladies started to walk towards the club. Mirage was the best place to be. Or so people said. Arya never really went there because Aiden never let her. But its owner, Dorian Dubois, Arya owed him quite a lot. After being rejected by a few witches, he was the first one to agree to make her a daylight ring. He was not an ordinary person and Arya knew that once he was going to collect the favor, it was not going to be anything ordinary.
Mirage was already full of people. Arya giggled and took Juliet’s hand, making her way straight to the bar. Drink was needed and right after hitting the counter, the young vampire ordered a tray of tequila shots for the two. “Bottoms up, Jules! Here’s to us!” Arya grabbed one of the glasses and downed it routinely, setting it aside. “Okay, what--- Ugh.” Suddenly the corners of her mouth fell and she reached in her purse to pull a cigarette out. “Way to shit on my mood.” she mumbled and placed the cancer stick between her lips. The handsome bartender was already there with a lighter so she leaned closer to get to the flame and motioned her head towards the person at the bar. “They will let anyone in these days.” Arya added and flashed a look full of disgust towards Seraphina, blowing the smoke up in the air.
Whatever Arya thought she was doing, it was wrong and Aiden knew it. But maybe it really was time to let her go and try to make a few of her own mistakes. His overprotectiveness was getting in the way and no matter how close the Graham siblings were, if Aiden pushed too much, it could drive them apart. And that was definitely the last thing he wanted. Aiden had left Arya once. And what happened? No way he was losing that pain in the ass again. But maybe one trip to the bars of New Orleans was exactly what she needed.
Ever since they came, he held her close and it was now when the boy started to realize that maybe Arya needed some other people around. She barely had friends here except Mason and that wolf girl. Not that Aiden was happy about that one but there was nothing he could do, just observe. Apparently he was a sister of this big deal wolfie back in the bayou. A dick in Aiden’s book but fine. He was going to see how this went and not pull Arya away. She seemed happy and that was enough for her older brother. For now.
He himself had some plans and so he made his way over to Mason’s. It took time since the streets were overfilled with celebrating people, drink girls, even drunker men and Aiden was getting distracted everywhere. The ladies really did pull all the stops tonight and pieces of skin, the right pieces, of course, were peeking at Aiden from every side. He needed to remind himself every now and then that he was going to see Mason. Not as sexy as the blonde that was just passing him by but sure, he was a bro.
As Aiden came closer to Mason’s house, he noticed a girl stumble from his door. Now what was that about. A shit-eating grin curled on Aiden’s lips as he approached the door and knocked. When Mason finally appeared, he had his own answer to that and it made Aiden laugh. Was he high? “Nah, not yet. But I wanted to make sure I wasn’t interrupting anything. I saw the kitten leaving here. Mason, you stud!” Aiden laughed even more, walking inside. “Okay, come on, you little wild thing. Let’s go get you some drink. You deserve one after all.”
“Nope, not a big deal at all. Oh and…let someone say anything about that.” Arya's tone was almost as mischevious as the look in her eyes as the let the words roll off her tongue. It was that hint of trouble and utter confidence that had drawn Julietta to the redheaded vampire in the first place. Arya knew how to have a good time and she didn't let anyone stop her of tell her what to do. Jules was honestly in awe of how effortless she made it look sometimes.
Okay, so they were destined to be enemies and maybe in the right circumstances they would be. If it came down to it, each girl would undeniably protect their own kind, their own families against the other, right? Plus, Vampires and werewolves had been feuding for years which was why they were all trapped in New Orleans to start. Maybe that could change though. Maybe it didn't have to result in all of this forsaken bloodshed and war.
As the shots were poured and then presented in front of them, the young wolf grinned. This was exactly what she needed. A good night away from her brother's constant over-protectiveness and interragations. The shot slid down her throat, burning the whole way down, and she heard Arya's voice chime in again. Only this time she sounded considerably less enthusiastic.
Her eyes trailed over to where the vampire had been looking and noticed Seraphina. Juliet didn't know much about the girl but there were rumors, of course. In a town like New Orelans and among the supernatural, everyone talked.
Some said that she helped the vampire faction willingly, others said she was forced, some said she practiced dark magic. She'd even heard that Sera was responsible for the deaths of a whole coven. Murdering your own kind in coldblood? It sounded to insane to be true. Alas, Nik had warned Jules to stay away from the witch. Rumors started somewhere. They weren't just pulled out of thin air. That's what he's said and expected it to scare her away but instead it only made her more curious.
"So, what's the deal with her anyway? Safe to say you two have history?" she asked casually, taking another shot and downing it as her eyes retreated from Seraphina back to Arya. It was crystal clear that Arya didn't much care for the brunette and Jules wanted to know why. To know what it was that made everyone avoid the poor girl like a plauge. Why Arya seemed so disgusted by her. Dorian seemed close enough with her so were the rumors true or was is all exageration?
To say that Nik was surprised at seeing Elektra here was an understatement. He hadn’t ever imagined that he’s see the day when she actually returned to New Orleans, let alone the bayou. She had come without her father which left him with more questions. Was she here to rejoin the pack? Did she have other motives? Where the hell was her traitor of a father? Was she here for revenge? Well, there went his paranoid instincts finally kicking in. Right on time.
"What curse? No, I haven't heard of anything. -- What do you mean, can't turn and can't leave? -- What happened since I went away? Where's your father? Isn't he doing anything about this?" Her own questions came flooding in, one after the other as she was stunned by his news. She clearly had no idea that one she came into the city she wouldn't be able to just turn around and leave.
How hadn't she heard of the curse? It had been on the city for years, not just five or even ten but right at fifty years. He'd assumed most supernatural beings knew of it. After all, word of such things powerful as a curse like this seemed to spread. Plenty of wolves who didn't want to turn had come to New Orleans just so they would be under the curse, vampires so they could live like superiors and so on.
"Come with me?" he said it like a question, motioning for her to follow him over to one of the many cabin's situated along the bayou. Leaning against the wooden porch he sighed, not fully prepared to explain the whole curse thing to her. "We've been curse for going on fifty years, today actually. The wolves aren't the only ones affected though. The witches they can't use their magic, not freely anyway. The vampires have been in charge and we haven't exactly found a way to end their reign yet," he told her, his tone stale.
He debated telling her how they had heard of a way to end the curse. How there was a moonstone out there that so many people wanted possession of. He couldn't though, he wasn't sure he could fully trust her. She was no longer a part of the pack and hadn't been since they were kids. No matter how much nostalgia came up from her presence or how happy he had initially been to see her again, there was that voice telling him that something was off.
And just then her earlier question echoed in his head again. The only one he had avoided answering so far. "Where's your father? Isn't he doing anything about this?" Dead. He died trying to finally do something about this. He knew this revelation would only bring on the question of his brother who was next in line to become alpha so might as well get both over with at once. Better than dragging on the curiousities.
"My father was murdered, two years ago trying to end this curse. He thought he had found a way, turned out it wasn't as easy as he expected. And before you ask about Tristan, he's dead too. My brother and I stood along the pack and fought fifty years ago and he didn't make it out alive. They were too strong and we were outnumbered. They had a powerful witch and it's just all a long story," he sighed.
Speaking of fathers... "What about you? I never thought that I would see you again, let alone without your father trailing behind. Where is he? Should we be worried he is lurking in the shadows somewhere waiting to exact his revenge?" his tone nearly matched the bitterness of hers earlier. Maybe he could've toned it down a little but he couldn't take no chances with a snake like Lykouros Padamore.
Even after all these years, Elektra could still read the expressions on Nik's face, no matter how small they were. She knew he would be surprised to see her. Hell, she was surprised to see him. But at the end of the day, her job dictated where she went. Bounty hunting was the only thing in her life that made her feel as if she was making a difference. She didn't think she would ever be able to give it up as her debts and sins could never be fully paid. For a split second upon hearing the news of the curse, however, Elektra regretted her trip to New Orleans. If she believed in fate, she might think that she was there for a reason. Maybe to help lift the curse. Would she still have even come back if she had known? Ellie wasn't quite sure. But there was no use in dwelling on that, she had already made her choices and mistakes.
For the majority of her life since her father's death, Elektra had been in the human world. She ignored her wolf, only shifting entirely on full moons like was physically required. She bounty-hunted human criminals, the worst that she could fine, and did her best to avoid any of the supernatural. Humans could be brought to justice by the law system. But creatures of the night were essentially lawless beings, taking matters into their own hands and resorting to primitive measures such as torture and death on those that they didn't see eye to eye with. It wasn't justice, it was cruelty. Ellie wasn't even aware that her most recent hunt was a werewolf until she picked up on some information while investigating, and she was too far in just to drop it. She did her best to avoid news from her old life, though she couldn't help but regret that then. Maybe she wouldn't be stuck in her hometown had she known.
"Yeah sure," Elektra responded, following Nik away from the pack to one of the cabins. She remembered running around them as children, and ran her fingers over the wood railing with a wave of nostalgia. Pushing that down, she turned to face Nikolas again, icy blue eyes assessing his stance as he leaned against the railing. Not being able to shift or use magic for 50 years, that seemed almost insane to her. "What about the witches? Are you aligned with them or is this an 'everyone-for-themselves' situation?" Ellie asked, tilting her head a bit. Wolves were prideful and cautious creatures, often wanting to fix things themselves instead of asking for help. She wouldn't be surprised if they were sticking to their own inner circle instead of working with the the other enemy.
A chill ran down her spine when Nik stated that Alpha Delphine was dead, murdered. She remembered how powerful that man was, how he had destroyed her own father and banished him. It seemed almost wrong that he could be killed. And Tristan. Though she had been closest with Nik, she had known Tristan as well, and liked him. But he was gone too. And then the cold realization of his words washed over her. If both his father and brother were gone, that meant that Nik was in charge of the pack. Nik was the alpha. And if she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps, take over the Crescent Pack, that would require her to kill her childhood best friend.
Ellie was overwhelmed by all that news. So when Nikolas brought up her own father, the bitterness clear in his tone, she couldn't help the angry fire that brewed in her. "It seems as though we have something in common then. My father is gone as well, murdered. So he won't be hurting anyone any longer," she answered, the latter sentence softening her tone a bit. Elektra didn't find it necessary nor did she know if she was ready to reveal the truth behind her father's death. So instead, she let out a sigh and stuck her hands into the pockets of her leather jacket, glancing back to the barbeque. "Look, I haven't been a part of this world for a while. I just came here for a job and thought you might have some information. But, if I'm not welcome, all you have to do is say so and I'll disappear. Well, at least into a different part of New Orleans anyway."
When the vampires took over the city of New Orleans, Dorian had originally thought he would be put out of business. But lack of respect for the vampires' rules had the opposite effect, shooting business into the stratosphere. On top of that, he made a living in favors. At that point, nearly the whole town owed him something. And though he took advantage of those favors every now and again, there were still plenty to cash in. So, he kept his doors open to everyone, even the so-called traitorous witch that now stood alongside him. The brunette warlock was well aware that helping the vampires was not entirely Seraphina's decision. Her mother was the original culprit. But, she was gone, and those that were angry needed someone to blame. Hence the unnecessary isolation of and hatred towards Seraphina Kuznetsov, who continued to reinstate the curse each year.
Dorian took a sip from the champagne flute between his fingers, chocolate brown eyes twinkling as she all but snapped back at him. Sera easily drank the entirety of the double shot, leading him to believe she had done so several times before. "Well, I could certainly help you relieve some of that tension if you'd like," the warlock said, winking at her. "For old times sake." His tone was teasing, but he would gladly follow through if she wanted. With a wave of his hand, the same purple fog from earlier appeared a crawled over the top of the bar. In its wake, it left two shot glasses filled with golden liquid and the smell of tequila in the air. The magic smoke twirled into Sera's empty glass, refilling it with her preferred liquor. While his specialty was illusions, Dorian certainly didn't manifest the illusion of a good time. He created the real thing.
His eyes scanned the club, mostly out of habit over anything else. They found a few more familiar faces at the bar, zeroing in on two well-dressed beauties and a tray of tequila shots. A smirk played on his lips, realizing that three of his favorite playthings were in his presence. Waving one of the bartenders over, he leaned in and said, "Make sure those ladies get everything they want tonight." Making eye contact with them, he tipped his glass to the girls before turning his attention back to Seraphina, the smirk still playing on his lips. She was beautiful, with sharp features and a sass that made her more interesting in his book. It was a shame that all those that blamed her didn't get to see it. Taking another sip from his champagne, Dorian sat the glass on the counter before meeting her gaze. "What about you, Seraphina? What do you want tonight?"
Sera was used to the looks, the stares, the fingers pointing both behind her back and even in front of her face. In fact, she almost appreciated the latter more, as those people were definitely forthcoming in how they felt about her. At least they weren't liars. Although not everyone in New Orleans knew Sera was the witch helping the vampires, it was not a well kept secret, and Sera didn't go into any conversation thinking someone didn't know. She'd be less surprised that way when the truth of their feelings came out. Sera refused to let anyone use her for their own personal gain. She made her own damn choices, terrible as they may be.
She downed the double shot Dorian placed in front of her quickly before she set the double shot glass back down, answering his question with a dry comment of her own. Her lips curled up into a smirk at Dorian's suggestion, and she gave a small shake of her head. "You're relentless, Dorian." She slid the shot glass back in his direction, nodding at it to inform him she wanted another. Though she didn't plan on getting wasted, the whiskey flooding her veins would definitely help with her sour attitude. Her eyes watched with interest as the purple smoke crawled down the bar, circling in her glass as it filled it with more of the liquor.
She reached for the glass and brought it closer to her, though she didn't take the shot yet. Instead, her gaze followed his down the bar, where she recognized the two girls there. While she didn't have as much of an issue with the blonde, the redhead was another matter. Sera's eyes narrowed as she looked back at Dorian, giving a small eye roll as he lifted his glass in their direction. "Letting the trash sit at the bar now, Dorian?" She questioned innocently, not caring if her voice was loud enough to drift down in their direction. Leaning back on her barstool, Sera lifted her shot glass in their direction as well, giving them a smartass grin before she downed the shot.
At Dorian's words, Sera turned her head back to him, setting the glass down and crossing her arms over her chest. "A raincheck on your offer, first of all. I'll pencil you in sometime." She rolled her eyes again, obviously not meaning it. Sighing softly, she leaned forward again, lifting her hands to rest her head in them. "I just want one night where people don't look at me like I'm less than dirt on the bottom of their shoe." She hadn't realized the truth of her words until she spoke them, but once they were out, they were out. Lifting her head, she dropped one of her hands, looking back at the bartender. "What about you? What do you want?"
This was the most his door had been knocked on in one night in quite some time. Normally, Mason's door was quite, and he was quite content with that. But for some reason, the stupid idiots out there were drunk as hell, celebrating something they had no idea about. It made no sense to Mason, but whatever. If they wanted to either pretend they didn't know about the supernatural side of New Orleans, or actually were stupid enough to not believe in it, then that was on them. But that didn't mean that their drunk selves had to come bother him. Of course, after the girl left, someone else came to bother him. Someone Mason knew.
Aiden let himself inside, and Mason just grimaced before he shut the door, turning to look at Mason. "You saw nothing." Mason snapped, heading past him further into the apartment. "I don't even know who she was. Jesus." Reaching up, he ran his fingers through his hair, knowing that Aiden was going to believe what he wanted. Whatever. Turning around to face the closest thing Mason had to a friend, he gave his friend a raised brow look when he spoke about going to get a drink. "You want to go out? Now? In this?" Not that Mason was afraid, oh no. Definitely not. But damn if Aiden didn't want to drag him out anyway, no matter the occasion.
"Fine, fine." Grumbling a bit under his breath, Mason glanced down at himself. "Let me go change." Heading into his room, he threw some different clothes on and then headed back to the living room. "Let's go before I change my mind." The pair headed out of Mason's apartment, walking the streets of New Orleans as they headed for the best bar in town. Mason kept his eyes and ears open, even thinking that he saw the girl who was at his apartment a short time ago. She was gone before he could confirm, but he made sure to speed up some just in case she caught sight of him.
They reached Mirage a short time later, and Mason had to admit that he was in a bit of a better mood. Still, he probably looked quite unapproachable as they headed inside the bar, through the magic veil and to the bar behind the front. "Maybe I did need a drink after all." He shrugged, heading for the bar, ordering a shot of cinnamon whiskey and a mixed drink as well. His eyes roamed the bar as he waited for his drink, his eyes finally landing back on Aiden. "Isn't that your sister?" He nodded down the bar at the redhead sitting next to the blonde, his eyes lingering for a few seconds before he looked back at Aiden.
Arya had never felt better in her life. She was out, Aiden was not on her butt and she was free to enjoy drinks with her friend without being patronized and commanded by her older brother and his complex. It was understandable where Aiden’s moods were coming from but enough was enough. A girl needed her freedom. And this was it. Mirage, tequila, Jules. This was the perfect combo for the redheaded vampire at this moment.
Downing a shot or two at the bar, Arya started to look around. Her gaze fell upon that man nearby, dressed to the nines, sharp look in his eyes. One that had chills running down her spine, freezing her to the bone and yet she found his smile warm and lifted another shot glass to indicate a little toast his way before the content of the glass disappeared down her throat. Only then she noticed who Dorian was talking to and the loud groan left her lips.
She was about to answer Juliet’s question when the words hit her ears. Seraphina was talking loud enough for Arya to hear. Her lips created a thin red line, eyes narrowed and she was close to showing her fangs right there. Only the thought of scandal and knowing that Dorian would stop her immediately made Arya take control of herself again. Nope, it never occurred to her that Seraphina herself could be strong enough to stop her. But the warlock, Arya was afraid of his powers. Especially since she already owed him a favor.
“Exactly. Trash at the bar. Someone should take you out then, hun.” she chirped, turning her head in Seraphina’s way. “See, Jules? This attitude is bugging me. Someone should put the bitch in place. Trust me, I would’ve already ripped her throat out, hadn’t it been for Aiden.” she spoke back at Juliet and took another shot. “But my brother seems to have a soft spot for her.” she whispered and laughed over that though. “I guess he’s charitable like that.” The shot disappeared down her throat faster than lightning and Arya set the glass down just in time to notice the newcomers. “Speak of the devil…” she groaned and put her cigarette out. “I’ll need more alcohol. Or a bae. I feel like I should find me a boy toy for tonight.”
Ever since he and Arya arrived to New Orleans, Aiden felt a little lost. He admitted it rarely to never but it was also one of the reasons why he was so overprotective of Arya. She was now the only family he had left and if something, anything ever happened to her, Aiden would blame himself. It was enough that he turned her into a vampire. She was always very free-spirited and outspoken and being a vampire only strengthened those features. But when siblings came here, there was only one person that helped them and offered a shelter until they found their own place. And he might have been gruff and rough around the edges but to Aiden, Mason was like a brother.
Aiden was here to annoy the man, that much was clear. Sure, when in fight, he would put his life on the line for him but any other time, poking Mason was just way too much fun for Aiden to not do it. “Sure, sure, uh huh…” Aiden nodded, pretending to believe that Mason didn’t know the girl leaving his apartment. Ignoring the other vampire’s comments, Aiden just laughed and waved it away, lurking around the living room while Mason was getting ready. He had a bottle of whiskey set there and Aiden was tempted to get himself a drink but refrained, deciding he would wait for Mirage.
Mason was exceptionally grumpy today and Aiden already thought of million remarks he could make about it but he still needed a friend to go out with. A wingman. Maybe Aiden would get lucky tonight. He could even find the one. The thought almost had him bursting out laughing. Uh huh, sure yeah, he was definitely the type to commit in a relationship. Anyway, once Mason got dressed, the pair left his place and walked straight to Mirage through streets filled with people running, stumbling or dancing around.
It was right after they hit the bar and placed their orders when Mason pointed at a certain redhead nearby, asking whether it was his sister. Aiden’s eyes followed where Mason pointed and he almost groaned. It was Arya indeed, sitting there with Juliet and a tray of tequila shots. From what Aiden could see, a good portion of those was already gone. Yeah, great.
It took a lot in him to remain in his place. “Yeah, that’s her.” he squeezed through his clenched teeth and reached for his glass of gin tonic he ordered, downing a half of it immediately. “She made it very clear she wanted to be independent so fuck her, let’s see how that goes.” he spat, unable to hide his annoyance. The rest of his drink disappeared in him within seconds and Aiden knew he needed something stronger. “Hey, lovely! How about you bring me four shots of B55.” he winked at a bartender and turned to Mason. “What were doing, brother?”