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.
Knowing what needed to be done or said and actually having the inner strength to do or say what was needed were two entirely different battles. At least, they were to her. Once, she might not have struggled with what had happened inside the restaurant. There had been a time in her life when the blue-eyed blonde woman would have hardly hesitated to draw that line in the figurative sand and been quick to rebuke anyone who might dare to try and cross it. She'd done it once with Brayden that night when she'd been practically pulled along on a trip to the well-known swimming spot for antics which could not have been further from anything Lani wanted to indulge in. Unlike most of her classmates, she'd never been considered 'wild' or 'rebellious'. Not by her family, teachers, or peers. Anyone who genuinely knew the young woman would have laughed at the idea of Lani willingly going skinny-dipping at night with boys. They would have dismissed the possibility of it altogether, of this she had been certain. She had been Beylani, the girl whom so many thought of as the embodiment of summer sunshine and soft springtime showers. They would have insisted whole-heartedly that the blue-eyed blonde would much rather spend her nights reading those books that lined several shelves in her room instead of running around during those twilight hours getting into mischief and taking risks. While Brittany and Jordan would go to those bonfires and partake in the drinking and dancing, happily indulging whatever attention they were given from the guys surrounding them with wolfish eagerness, Lani would be home delving into the pages of a book or perhaps looking through the photographs she'd taken that day of whatever might've caught her eyes. The ideas of going out to parties, being fawned over by guys she didn't even know or have any genuine interest in, it had all seemed so... short-sighted and shallow. Truthfully, Lani hadn't ever really seen the appeal in such a reckless lifestyle, not then and certainly not now. Where was the meaning in getting drunk and kissing perfect strangers? What possible sense of fulfillment could there be in such things?
Yes, she might have wandered a time or two how it might feel like to have someone look at her in such a way that it would send her heart a-flutter. Sure, she would have wondered how freeing it might be to dance her heart away without a care in the world. And yet, for all the wistful wondering, Lani knew that she wanted moments like that to mean something.
Before she'd died in that cellar far, far away from where she was now, Lani would have refused to let Brayden talk to her the way that he had. If anything, the blue-eyed blonde would have even gone to the length of insisting that it this entire blind date couldn't have been anything more than a mistake and taken her leave long before they would have gotten to the table which he'd reserved for them. She'd turned him down once before, on the one night from her high school days she'd never stop regretting, and there was little doubt that if life hadn't taken the turns that it had three years ago, Lani would have done it all over again. Then again, if it hadn't been for what happened those years ago, the blue-eyed blonde likely wouldn't have ended up at the restaurant under such circumstances to begin with. Her mother wouldn't have been worried enough to take it upon herself and arrange a blind date with the well-intended hope that Lani would find someone to keep her company despite knowing that Lani had Ellie. Had everything been different, Lani might have been going there with Ellie tonight for a fancy dinner between best friends. It wasn't something that the two women wouldn't have done, both being more than capable of dressing up to imagine what it would be like to live a life of glamour and wealth where they would eat at expensive, high-class places every night if they so desired. They would have laughed over wine and pasta, talking about anything they cared to, people-watching and amusing themselves with silly curiosities regarding the complete strangers dining around them. Maybe... she might have been going with Andras... She would have worn the same dress she was now, and they would have wined and dined together in a somewhat similar way...They might have talked quietly amongst themselves, caring little for those they shared the dining room with. More than likely, Lani would have spent the evening blushing under his hazel gaze and devilish simper as he might dare to tease her about the way she looked in the dimmed ambiance or remark how well the strapless black dress hugged her feminine features. It was just as easy for her to imagine spending the evening with him as it was with Ellie, but that's all any of it would ever be - an imagination. Instead of a night spent in good company where her eyes of clear summer skies were bright and her heart had never stopped beating, it had been nothing shy of a nightmare made real in which she'd come face to face with one of her biggest past mistakes and every painful moment of her past grasped at her very soul so tightly that it felt like she would perish all over again.
And so, still very much the lost spirit she's been for the last three years, Lani had struggled in vain against the speechlessness that had stricken her. All she'd done was sit there, silent and feeling every bit as small as she'd felt that night in the back of Brittany's mustang, trying to hide behind the menu in her hands and wishing that none of it had been real.
The street they walk is quiet bordering on deserted, but despite the cold that brushes against the fae woman, she can't help but feel the rage that wafts off Andras, every chiseled muscle screaming of the fury that flickers in the form of shadows around him. Only when she shudders subtly from a small nighttime breeze - something she is entirely unaware of - does he finally give pause to his forward strides, turning to place the jacket over her shoulders. And yet, even in this gesture, baby blues blinking under dark lashes see only wrath within his hazel gaze before he turns to stare into the darkness with jaws clenched. Lani pulls the jacket around her ever tighter as if seeking more than warmth from it, swallowed up in the silence that hangs heavily over them now. She doesn't count the moments that pass as she desperately searches within herself for something to say... and, when finally words do find her lips, those hazel eyes settle over her again with all the fury that had been there the moment they'd left Eternity. Tenor tones snap at the fae woman, and she has to physically stifle that flinch in the form of her own slender frame tensing beneath his words. She could practically taste the anger there, but she keeps her baby blue gaze locked with his, a subtle plea for him to understand flickering there within their depths though it fades like the soft breeze that had been swirling around them only moments ago. She could explain why, but it was genuinely the last thing she wanted to think about. Again, she has no words for him, and when she dares to ask him what it was he believes she should have said, the fae man removes one hand from his pocket and reaches to tuck a tousled strand of elegantly curled blonde hair behind her delicately pointed ear before his hand moves to lift her chin up ever so slightly. Lani only has a moment to watch the shadows curling around his strong bicep before baby blues are beckoned back to burning hazel as he answers her, his voice very nearly growling each word. Her eyes widen in surprise at the fierceness of his words, astonishment illuminating baby blue at the vulgarity of his reply. Before now, Andras hadn't said such things, the fae man having always been refined and the epitome of perfect, practiced composure. It's in his moment that she only just begins to grasp the depth of the wrath that engulf the fae man."I just... I didn't want to make a fool of myself in front of him again", she replies, her voice barely above a whisper as she has to force herself to look back down at the pavement. Even if she had said something to Brayden, she likely would have made a fool of herself, anyway.
It wasn't like anything that she can remember seeing before, the fury that so gripped the fae man... This was a side of Andras that she is unfamiliar with, and for a moment, though she does not fear for herself, she is unsettled by the overwhelming fury, the way those shadows twist and wrap around him and trickle through his dark hair.
He continues, calling her baby blue gaze back up to meet his of hazel yet again, tenor tones lowering to a snarl before Andras removes his hand from her chin then and returns it to the deep pocket of his pants. Was this something she could promise him? She wanted to... and yet, how could she? It wasn't as they the fae woman could enforce others to treat her the way that Andras deemed suitable, and the last thing she wanted was to make a promise that she could not keep. She would try, gods, how she would... They simply look at one another for a moment, and when he speaks again, his question takes her off-guard. Dark lashes blink up at the fae man in surprise. Was that... jealousy? The sensation brushes against her consciousness, though it is almost entirely lost in the flames of his anger, and she dismisses it for a moment."It was a blind date. My mother...", she begins, more than happy to answer his question. After all, it wasn't as though Lani had anything to hide from Andras. All he'd ever need to do was ask, and even now, she tell him what she could. However, she is interrupted by yet another surge of that earlier sensation, it is stronger this time, something that was altogether unexpected to feel from the fae man... and suddenly, she jumps slightly as large, familiar wings explode from his shoulders, baby blue eyes widening. Just as quickly as he steadies, Andras reaches for her arm and leads her into a nearby alley, the fae woman knowing with complete certainty - and understanding - that he didn't want to be seen in such a state. He lets go of her arm once they are concealed by the shadows, moving to rid himself of the remains that had once been a shirt. Baby blue eyes dare to look at the defined muscle of his chest, but in less than a heartbeat, the fae man is moving towards her, dark hazel eyes still smoldering in fury that has hardly dissipated since they'd left the restaurant. He speaks that same question again, but this time, tenor tones are cool as he presses in on her, Lani reflexively having to take a step back only to feel the cold, damp brick of the wall against her back."My mother arranged a blind date. One of her colleagues -", she attempts to continue explaining, hesitating as her thoughts try to push through the overwhelming sensations. Between the weight of his wrath, the memory he awakens in her of that night not so long ago when she'd kissed him, and the mere nearness of him to such an extent that despite the physical contact she can feel his warmth, she practically has to remember the natural motion of drawing a breath.
She tries to continue with her explanation, tries pushing past all that threatens to drown her in this moment, but she hesitates too long, and the next words the fae man says have her shocked into silence. Astonishment illuminates her baby blue gaze again. For a moment, she is once again shocked into silence. Why would he think that!?
"What!? Release? Andras, why would you think that?!", she says almost breathlessly. It made no sense to the fae woman. Not in the slightest. For a moment, Lani thinks back to the encounter with Brayden, tries to understand how it was that the fae man could have possibly thought that she'd been interested. Had he not seen how unhappy she'd been, sitting there under the judgement and nearly mocking look Brayden had given almost from the the start? I knew I should have just come up with some excuse... and now this?!... She searches his hazel gaze then, wanting to know for certain that he actually he believed his own words. This wasn't the Andras she knew. The fae man continues, her astonishment only rising at the mention of that drug she'd been warned of in high school, but that's not what settles within her mind in that moment. No, it was the fact that he'd told her then and there that she could have sought him out for intimacy, that he would have... taken her... but even more so, those words dared to suggest that she would have allowed another man to touch her the way that Andras had once before. It is then that those baby blues shift from astonishment, to disbelief, and finally... they harden upon furious hazel in a wordless challenge as everything begins to sink in."Firstly, he was my ex. There was absolutely no way I'd ever let him touch me again", she starts, her voice no longer breathless. Instead, her words are determined, fierce and yet hardly wrathful like his had been."Secondly, a colleague of my mother's said his name was Michael. But neither she nor I knew he now calls himself by his middle name", she continues, baby blue eyes unblinking. She pauses for only a moment, wanting to make sure that her words were getting through the flames of fury that seemed to surround Andras."For three years, I've only ever thought of one man... and that remains true even tonight", she says slowly, her voice lowering to a whisper now as though she feared the world might hear her now. Without thinking, Lani lifts her hand and rests it on the bare skin of his chest, slender fingers over where she could feel his heart beating. She wanted to make sure that he understood what she was about to say next, albeit entirely unaware of the... love that rushes through her, no longer held by the walls that she'd once built to keep her soul safe from the sea of emotions she'd never really been able to escape."There's only ever been you, Andras.... no one else....", she says then, baby blue eyes softening for a moment... "and there never will be"....These last words do not pass her lips.
Instead and almost... unbidden, she sends them through her thoughts, through her touch as she keeps her slender hand upon his chest, baby blue eyes fierce and steady."Need me to prove it?", Lani asks the fae man then, each word ushering a challenge in every sense as her baby blues stare meaningfully into his of dark hazel.