Within the Northern vicinity of the city, the wealthy gather behind meticulously trimmed hedges and high-class architecture. The pristine streets are paved with stone and the storefronts are brightly lit and inviting - for the right clientele. In the North, every establishment is eager to cater to the rich and the wealthy. Many such places are used to the sometimes peculiar requests of the otherworldly but here there is little that money cannot buy - whether it happens to be illegal or merely involves looking the other way. Vampires and Dark Hunters are often found upon these Northern streets, their long lives often contributing to their sizable wealth which allows them the luxuries that the North provides.
The VooDoo Room
The newly opened Eternity is an expensive fine dining restaurant nestled high upon the hills of the North - providing it a breathtaking view of the city below. The award-winning chefs at Eternity collaborate directly with local farmers and producers to source the freshest ingredients for its ever-changing menu. The staff at Eternity pride themselves on serving each customer's unique dietary needs - from the vampiric to the mortal races. Reservations are strongly encouraged as Eternity is frequently booked to capacity.
Located in the heart of the North, the Voodoo Room is the spirits lover's destination of choice in Sacrosanct. The Voodoo room is a craft cocktail bar that aims to provide an eclectic and exotic atmosphere. Nestled among the William Morris wallpaper, gold, and wood, you will find a new kind of neighborhood cocktail bar. One where hospitality and skill work in concert. With intoxicating liquors and a voodoo vibe, the Voodoo room will keep you coming back for more. Guided by the mantra of providing a one of a kind, high-end experience, the Voodoo Room's mixologists meet the highest standards with a fantastically themed selection of cocktails and specials.
Dark, Gothic, and thoroughly theatrical, the Witchery is a place to indulge yourself with it's lavish, theatrical suites. Whatever room you choose, you'll find glamor, indulgence, and luxury. From the Vestry to the Library and the Armory, the suites of the Witchery are nothing short of sensually romantic. A stay at the Witchery is not complete without dining in the rich baroque surroundings of the original oak-paneled hotel or among the elegant candle-lit charms of the Secret Garden. Whether you stay or dine, The Witchery is an unforgettably magical experience.
Brayden hadn't really changed since their high school years, that much was becoming apparent in the short amount of time that they've already spent together. He'd always extruded an air of confidence bordering on arrogance. For a small town, he was what the girls her age would have considered "dreamy", "hot", and many other things. She could hardly remember all the ways she'd heard her friends, both real and fake, refer to him as. Even back then, he had been toned for a seventeen-year-old, although that much was expected. There wasn't much that he didn't get involved in. From being one of the best on the school football team to a well known face among the FFA groups and just about every school even in-between, the man had his face on just about every page in the school yearbook. To the teachers, he had been considered an upstanding student with near perfect grades, which might surprise some. Unlike the notorious jocks that only ever had sports, underaged drinking, and girls on their minds and often recognized as troublemakers and class clowns, Brayden wasn't among that group. Well, not often. To those within his inner circle, the guy was happy to indulge in a beer or two, and he'd definitely been seen leaving those bonfires with a girl on several occasions. Whether it was the school staff or their classmates, he'd made it almost impossible for anyone (outside the drama and scene kids) to hate him. He was smart and charismatic, perfectly toned and sun-kissed skin, brunette hair that always had that roguish look to it, caught somewhere between being messy and being style. He was on just about every girl's "would kiss" list, all with a smile and smolder that had just about so many of them practically squirming and giggling shamelessly if ever he so much as looked their way with that crooked grin. Outside their school, he played the part of generous and contributing citizen, so often among the first to help the local ranch hands with repairing barbwire fences or offer a hand fixing old and worn roads. He'd even helped her father on a handful of days with shipping finished furniture pieces to those who had purchased them.
And then, there was Lani. She was nowhere near popular and certainly not to be found within that inner circle of his. For her entire high school life, she'd been that sweet and ever friendly blue-eyed blonde who loved music and was almost always in the school library. She was every English teacher's classroom favorite, and adored by most all of the other school staff in turn. There weren't many in Willowhaven who knew the outgoing and kind girl and weren't found of her. She was the girl that boys might have flirted with here and there, but in the end, they'd always end up chasing after other girls that were more easily... swayed into certain things. While Andras found her timidity endearing, as did some of her genuine friends, it went without saying that "the cool kids" hardly noticed her. Lani had hardly been concerned with being among the most sought after, always happy to simply focus on her grades and spend time laughing with those that she'd befriended, which often included those who'd been labeled by the rest of the school as misfits or nerds. It was the blue-eyed blonde girl with a smile like sunshine or summer rain that was giving her extra pencil to someone else or stopping to talk to someone sitting by themselves and asking if they wanted someone to have lunch with. Even now, the fae woman doesn't really know when or how exactly she'd managed to catch the attention of her school's "hottest" guy, suddenly gaining a little more attention from the rest of her classmates in turn. She'd hardly given him more than a friendly smile in passing, occasionally being "the lucky one" and getting paired with him during certain school projects, but never had she really been genuinely interested in him - especially when his reputation among the girls was hardly a secret. To her, Brayden seemed shallow and full of himself, nothing more than trouble waiting to happen for any girl that was daring enough to think he would actually, truly care about them. It was when he happened to notice her one day that earned her more attention from some of her peers.
It was right around the first time when Brayden had been seen outside the school talking with Lani, leaned up against the fence as he attempted to charm her with a dazzling smile in some torn up jeans and a form-fitting white tee shirt, that Brittany and Jordan appeared in her social world, two girls among the cheerleads, insisting that they wanted to be friends.
They were the reason the fae woman had ended up in some semblance of a relationship with Brayden in the first place. At first, Lani had thought that they'd really wanted to be friends with her somehow, even though to her it seemed rather strange that some of the prettiest girls in the school would even so much as talk to her. They'd sit with her during lunch, even talk and laugh with the other few friends the blue-eyed blonde chose to spend her downtime between classes with. It wasn't until Brayden had stopped by the three of them standing outside the Heritage building where most of the English classes were held, tossing Lani and sideways smile and a compliment, bypassing Brittany and Jordan altogether saying 'Liking that top, looks great on ya' before moving off with two of his friends, though not without looking back and tossing a wink at Lani. She can still remember how Brittany and Jordan had giggled in the same girlish way that any who got a compliment from the brunette guy."We have no idea how you do it, Lani. But if I were you, I'd be all over that. He's so out of your league, it's wild that he even notices you", Brittany had said, the blue-eyed blonde only blushing sheepishly before brushing it off and excusing herself, walking into the Heritage building and making her way to class. She'd hoped that it would have been a one-off thing, that he'd disregard her when she hadn't reacted the same way other girls did when he would talk to them. Maybe he would chase after Brittany or Jordan... not that he would have even had to try and chase them, the two cheerleaders just as smitten as the rest of the squad that hadn't already been "graced" by Brayden. However, that was not what had happened. If anything, the brown-haired boy would seem to go out of his way to find her as time went on, give her some sort of compliment or try and strike up some conversation, and she'd just smile warmly and indulge him with a thanks for the compliment or have some excuse not to join him and his friends for a bonfire after school just so that Brittany and Jordan wouldn't hassle her.
Looking back, she was almost entirely confident that she'd been nothing more than some sort of conquest to him, Lani being perhaps one in a terribly small minority of girls that didn't really care for him. And, while it wasn't as though she disliked the guy, there was just something (or, rather, some things) about Brayden that just screamed 'trouble'. And, seeing him now after all this time, the fae woman supposed that she shouldn't have been surprised that the boy she'd gone to high school with hadn't really changed, his ego even seeming to have become even larger and more arrogant even though that smile of his could have still been easily seem as the same charismatic grin he used to wear in their younger years. His gaze still dared to trace over her slender frame, lingering on the skin of her chest uncovered by the sweetheart lines of the strapless black dress, the fae woman forcing herself not to squirm nervously under his gaze, wishing that she would have brought a coat or something. It was so unlike the way familiar, dark hazel eyes would look at her that something about the way Brayden very nearly undresses her with his gaze at the impeccably neat and tastefully decorated table in one of the finest places in Sacrosanct felt entirely and utterly wrong. There was a predatory look there within those depths, and yet something about it felt...cold. Truthfully, she didn't quite know how to describe the way it was different from the way Andras would look at her, but something within the fae woman detested every moment he so indulged himself. When the fae man would have his hazel eyes upon the fae woman, despite their often predatory nature, there was something about those wants flickering within dark, hazel depths that warmed Lani, made her breathless. It didn't leave her wanting to shy away and hide, didn't have her trying to think of any reasonable excuse to take her leave and not look back. With Andras, there was warmth in his eyes when he would look at her, a simper that was often so very wicked, and yet so very far from cold or cruel.
It was like night and day, summer and winter, the vast differences between the fae man who so effortlessly had those walls the blue-eyed blonde had built around her heart crumbling in mere moments and the man she found herself practically trapped with this evening. In fact, so different was the way Brayden looked upon her that she would have given anything to have Andras here instead.
She sits there under that nearly taunting, judging gaze of the man from her past, fair-skinned cheeks flushed in sheer embarrassment and at a loss for words in that moment. If she dared to tell him that she was between jobs at the moment... Lani has to suppress a shutter at the very idea. So caught in trying to think of how likely it was she could come up with some kind of excuse to just leave, familiar tenor tones have the fae woman's gaze darting up from the menu she'd practically been hiding behind to see him approaching the table as he answers the question Lani had been trying to find words for, baby blue eyes bright with surprise at both the fae man's sudden appearance and the words he'd given Brayden. Manages an exclusive museum? She's puzzled for a moment, wondering if that was true or if Andras was simply offering the man sitting across from her some sort of answer that might be impressive so that it might have the taunting and expectant expression on Brayden's face disappearing completely. She dares to glance back to Brayden who seems... somewhat surprised by the sudden appearance of the ever well-dressed fae man towering over the table, but there is a cool and incredulous look on the man's face as he regards Andras for a moment before looking over to the fae woman with the same expression."You? A museum curator?", he says smoothly, his words clearly suggesting that he didn't believe it to be true in any sense. She has to stifle her own surprise, hoping that perhaps Brayden would just assume that she was caught in the moment of trying to make sense of the unexpected appearance of the fae man. While she was indeed trying to understand how Andras had managed to very nearly appear out of thin air, she can hardly ignore the intensity with which those dark, hazel eyes are practically bearing down on the man sitting across from her. She sees something fierce there, something she felt as though she might have seen once or twice, and yet so caught in trying to understand what he'd said, she can't place the hardened look on his face.
Andras speaks again, still entirely intent upon the man Lani was sitting at the small table with, his tenor tones as intense as his glare, though Brayden simply meets the fae man's gaze with cool indifference."Does it matter? Frankly, it's none of your business how I choose to speak to women", the man answers icily, hardly faltering in maintaining that air of... arrogance and some self-entitlement. His eyes seem to take in the fae man towering over them, but he makes no move to stand, instead remaining in the same relaxed state he'd been in, leaning back with all the calmness of someone who was entirely certain that they'd hardly committed any sort of injustice or crime. It was the look of a man who believed he could do as he pleased with whom he so pleased, unconcerned with what the other man might think."Besides, this is a private conversation, in case you hadn't noticed", he adds after a moment of cool silence, his own deep voice snide as they fall almost lazily from his lips. The fae woman can practically see the tension that electrifies the air as the two men seem entirely focused on one another. Even the waitress who had been making her way towards the table stops, observing the two men locked onto one another for a moment, and turns away to another table nearby to take their orders, clearly having sensed the intensity of the moment and opting to wait for such a moment to pass. The fae woman hardly blamed the woman, though. Even Lani dared to wonder if perhaps she might excuse herself and make her way to the restrooms on the other side of the restaurant... and yet, the fae woman finds that she'd hardly dared to take a breath, baby blue eyes flickering from the fae man to Brayden then back. After what felt like some sort of ultimate stare-down, those few moments having felt like hours, Brayden looks over to Lani, and how she wished that he hadn't..."You know this guy? Is he your boss or something?", he asks then, again lifting a single brow expectantly as his cool gaze now settles over the fae woman.
While part of her knows that she should have expected this question, Lani was entirely unprepared and caught off-guard, stricken into speechlessness as she timidly looks up from the menu and to Brayden before turning to rest baby blue eyes on Andras."Well?", Brayden says then, that single word expectant and demanding in every sense as he keeps his gaze over the fae woman struggling to find any words at all...