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I Feel Like I'm Drowning

#1
Ezra Offline
Gasoline. 
 
It was blitzkrieg to the senses, a head-on collision with concrete throughout which the breaks were left untouched – while the back of his throat, coated with powder, burned metallic. Hamming fists cracked like fireworks outside the single-occupancy bathroom as Ezra ran his thumb across his apartment keys, catching what cocaine remained in the dulled grooves before packing it tightly against his gums. 
 
Three taps across the spiderwebbed screen of a spare smartphone: that’s all it’d taken to track her down – and how much of a mental strain had it been costing him to work with Evalyn? 
 
It certainly helped that his fears (which were extremely warranted to a sober mind) had been numbed along with the entirety of his mouth, throat, and nasal passages. All sensation was replaced entirely with crackling sparks of confidence, electric charges of euphoria, and gleaming swells of grandiosity. He rode the wave of it (the perfect storm) as he slipped out from the bathroom and flung himself into the waves of club-goers. 
 
Iona Bates. 
 
His scars sang her name. 



Iona
Human (Carmine)

Played by: Meg

Age: 34

Species: Human

Power: N/A

Posts: 26
#2
Iona Offline
The heartbeats were louder than the music. They thrummed around her, a collective thunk so deafening she pretended it was her own. She breathed air she didn’t need, gulping at its thickness. Panting bodies sweat, radiated, warming cool, dead skin. Though a huntress, Iona often played the moth. Humans were her beacon, a buzzing neon porch light, deadly and bright and alive.

Closing her eyes, the succubus tipped her head back. Rolling her shoulders, her hips twisted, arms up, her fingers traced her own outline before they curled up towards the throbbing sky. Turning into someone, she reached back and cupped the back of their neck, placing her thumb on their pulse. Arching backwards, she sucked on her bottom lip and enjoyed the friction.

That’s when she saw him.

Lips parting in what could have been a sigh of pleasure or a shocked ‘o’, she continued to move against the stranger in her grasp, eyes darkening as she stared straight at him. Into him. Through him.
Succubus

Played by: Lyss

Age: 320

Species: Vampire

Posts: 8
#3
Ezra Offline
Mistake.
 
A what?
 
Mistake. He was making a mistake. He shouldn’t be there.
 
Ezra pushed through the crowd, throwing elbows and shoving raised drinks out of the way to cut a more direct path. To where, he wasn’t quite sure, but he knew what it ended with. Flat beer and suspiciously clear, sticky well drinks rained down, christening the shoulders of  his already sweat-soaked tee. His head pounded with each bone-rattling beat of the music.
 
He was too drunk, too high. Still too fucking enthralled.
 
The shrill voice in the back of his head – the one urging (begging) him to stop, to call Grice, to put an end to the ungodly mess he was making – became deftly smothered by the drowning swells of the music, the crowd. The crush of broken glass and hoarse, reverberating shouts of unruly patrons. Biting down on the numb, gummy inside of his cheek, Ezra turned – looked – ducked – darted –
 
And there she was.
 
She stole all air into her uninflated, flaccid lungs, and Ezra, gasping, reached desperately for the bar countertop just within reach. He sagged against the grimy concrete, blind to the faceless blur twisting and writhing behind her.
 
Eyes so blue, they appeared clear.
 
Before he could fully fathom what he was doing, before he could even fashion a word, Ezra lunged across the bar and swiped an abandoned garnish knife from a mess of discarded lime skins, each one scraped to a fleshy pulp.
 
Lips pale, pale, lifelessly pale, till they became as slick and red as that which flowed throughout him.
 
His gaze searched for hers – desperately, hungrily – but she wasn’t looking. Not really.
 
She was ice, and he was fire. She was empty and he was full, so full, fit to bursting—
 
Blood, thick and hot, poured down his hand as Ezra drew the knife across the base of his palm.
 
It was what she wanted. It was what he had to give.
 
Wouldn’t she look now?
Human (Carmine)

Played by: Meg

Age: 34

Species: Human

Power: N/A

Posts: 26
#4
Iona Offline
The air thickened with a metallic perfume.

Her head turned slowly and her eyes shone, the slight thimble of a woman transforming into a predator. What her cousin and her brother failed to understand was that she had an addiction too. As much as Ezra and all the rest were slaves to her bite, to the sweet sucking thrill of a feed, she was a servant to being worshipped.

The man, no, the boy, knelt down at her altar of livid music. His knees touched the sticky floor and he hoisted his arm up like a sacrificial offering.

His weakness preyed on her weakness. In that, they would always be one.

Iona rushed towards him, her speed inhuman and reckless. Despite the screams, she picked him up by the throat, staring at him like she held the most beautiful bomb in the entire world. Deftly, she pulled  the safety pin and latched her lips onto his arm so they could explode together.

"Someone call the police! We got a wild vampire! Everyone clear the area, quick! "

She tutted, her lips smeared and her eyes wild. “Look what you made me do, Ezra, darling. You always know just the thing to make me be bad.”
Succubus

Played by: Lyss

Age: 320

Species: Vampire

Posts: 8
#5
Ezra Offline
Mass panic ignited.

More than a few screams bulleted through the air, and showers of breaking glass cut deep into the dizzying EDM beats. It sounded as though half the club had dropped their drinks as a solid entity, communally christening the sticky floor with suspiciously syrupy splashes of the bar's Father, Son, and unholiest of spirits.

She was air. She was what he needed.

His palm stung. Burned. Fantastically, irresistibly. Every hammering heartbeat was another rush of blood over Iona's lips, across her curled tongue. His hiss of pain, lingering from the lime-soaked blade being sliced over his paper lab rat’s skin, turned quickly to a sinful groan. Around them, below them, above them - people screamed. Bar lights shot on with an nearly audible groan, casting all-too-clear visibility on what should've forever remained a dark and mysterious place. Police sirens sounded from outside; blue and red bursts flashed and flickered on the grimy walls.

There was before--

And there was after. Pre-Iona. Post.

Asleep, then awake. So blindingly awake after a full twelve months he could no longer remember, only feel and taste and crave. The most perfect, incredible, blinding year. They tried to prolong the unconsciousness, to quash the psychicality of it, with deconditioning- with drugs- with weeks of sweaty, shivering withdrawal. But no methadone wean was enough to erase Ezra’s dependence entirely...

Control vanished along with his airway, but it was the release he needed as Iona pressed her lips to the mess of his palm.

"Hey, baby," Ezra slurred thickly, getting a completely different sort of high from the suction of her lips than what he'd gleaned in the bathroom.

"l've missed you."
Human (Carmine)

Played by: Meg

Age: 34

Species: Human

Power: N/A

Posts: 26
#6
Iona Offline
The club emptied, spilling patrons onto the sidewalk like a toppled jar of marbles. Prowling vampires made their own hasty exit. 'One of the fodder' was an easy role to play among panicked sheep.

Each species had its procedures, as ingrained as 'stop, drop, and roll.' Humans had drills for crazed vampires like they had drills for mass shooters and hurricanes.

Get away as quickly as possible.
Don't look them in the eye.
Have your holy water handy!

Iona had been taught too, by a brother and cousin who she'd tricked into thinking she'd never been grievously hurt.

Always be aware of your surroundings,
If a meal or target is in a crowded place then wait until they are alone or leave them be.
Leave the moment you hear sirens.

It was a code that served them well, a code she shat on for one more fix of him.

Too busy sucking mouthfuls of laced, vibrant blood, Iona ignored the sounds she'd been trained to flee from.

When her mouth opened again it was not a sigh of pleasure but a screech. Rounding on the specialized unit that had dosed her with holy water, Iona bared her fangs, eyes wide and body stiff like some cornered animal. Whimpering as her skin fizzed, she turned towards her tormentor, her love.

"Was this a trap? Did you trick me?"
Succubus

Played by: Lyss

Age: 320

Species: Vampire

Posts: 8
#7
Ezra Offline
He was losing air.

His helplessness tinged with ecstasy, Ezra gasped for breath. He was the trout on the end of a line, a humpback whale washed ashore. His feet jittered and jerked several inches off the ground while his free hand clawed reflexively against the edge of the bar for support-- for relief-- for the fighting chance that his lungs could fill up once again.

Iona, face hidden by hair, blood, and an insatiable thirst for what gushed freely his palm remained ignorant to his mortal plight. And hadn't that always been the case? Hadn't that always been their (quite literally) fatal flaw? He would give her his world if he could, but he had only so much to give. In breath, in love, in blood…

They'd danced too close to the sun before. There was a time emergency room workers rolled their eyes when he came staggering (or dragged) in, hypoxic and delirious. Frequent flier, they’d announce, clapping a nonrebreather on his face and queuing up the transfusion before the now-outdated type and screen even came back. With O-neg in such critical demand and shortage, there was no wasting the universal shit on the thralls who’d just be back the next week, needing same precious resources-- and why would they, when his face had quickly become synonymous with “three units of A-neg” in hospitals all over the city?

Alone in the corner they left him-- alone with the drunks and addicts, whose arms bore constellations of track marks rather than scars… alone with their naloxone, their isotonic drips and zofran infusions… See you next time, Ezra. 
 
Chest screaming for air, Ezra's unscathed hand pulled weakly at Iona's ironclad grip as his vision dotted and blurred. He'd just gotten a limp, faint grasp around her wrist when a spray of water hit his face.

Iona, shrieking more loudly than the continuing club music, dropped her hold and whirled around on the source: a cluster of armored, uniformed specialists employed to handle situations such as these.

Ezra, rubbing at his throat with bloodied fingers, collapsed, heaving, onto the nearest barstool with shaking knees.

"Wh-What?" He coughed, staring back with shining, hooded eyes.

"Who the fuck do you think I am?"

Still trembling, still coughing, Ezra made to stand-- to reach for her. Immediately, two officers intercepted. None too gently, they forced him back onto the stool. Latex gloves pressed compresses against his wound while, with a grip tight as a tourniquet, another set forced elevation.

Sir, do you know her?

Ezra tried to stand, tried to resist.

Was the attack unprovoked?

He couldn’t see her. There were too many people. Too much was happening.

Are there any other injuries you're aware of? Sir?

Sir?

“Iona!”
Human (Carmine)

Played by: Meg

Age: 34

Species: Human

Power: N/A

Posts: 26
#8
Iona Offline
Bodies larger than her closed in, fashioning a cage made of flesh.

There was no heartbeat in her throat, no hitching breath. But there was fear. Ezra called to her. Bait or trickster or junkie in the wrong place at the wrong time - she didn't care what he was. She wanted someone familiar.

"Ezra! Help me!"

A God shouting for her disciple.

If you're caught, don't struggle, silver leaves permanent scars. The police want peace, they fear us. They will look for any excuse to put a stake through your heart.

Her eyes burned, disallowing her from opening them longer than was absolutely necessary. Certainly not long enough to hold someone's gaze. Her arms were wrenched behind her back and a hood was placed over her head. The handcuffs weren't silver, but the reinforced titanium was enough to give any Vampire pause. They dragged her outside, into a sea of smartphones - selfies with a succubus. If the good city of Syracuse didn't kill her, Eoin and Gavin would.

But she never made it to the county jail. The newspapers the next day called it a winter weather tragedy. Unfortunate but not uncommon. The cop car had gone off the road, straight into a telephone pole. The two men transporting the vampire were honored for their service, widows teary at the cruel irony of their deaths. To the public, Iona had perished in the vehicular fire that followed the crash.

She hadn't. She'd been taken.

Her hair snagged when they ripped the hood off her head.

"Hello, Iona. Welcome to Carmine.''
Succubus

Played by: Lyss

Age: 320

Species: Vampire

Posts: 8
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