The drive out to that plantation homestead had taken nearly three hours. Risque having refused to stay at any hotel closer to that home she intended to visit if only for the lack of hotels offering anything she deemed as acceptable by way of service. Darcy, for his part, was far more inclined to the drive then he had been to that flight the night before that had seen the vampiric pair arrive in that southern state of Georgia. He could hardly remember the last time he had been in this state. The Southern vampire having been inclined to eye those passing towns and open roads with some blended mix of emotion that lingered somewhere between nostalgia, apathy and disdain all at once. He had been almost thankful for Risques choice of music. Those songs that so often blasted within that night club having taken over that sleek car he had crafted with enough force to prevent his mind wandering towards those open fields and Ranches that became more and more prominent the further South they drove. His mate, for her part, had appeared equally distracted by that growing presence of ranching country. Risque's features shifted into what he could only presume was some vague displeasure at having been forced to drive through country she found dull and unappealing and yet Darcy was almost relevied to be free of any conversation centering around thoe fucking cats she had lost of late. That recent assault by Blue Moon and subsequent release of her favoured felines had resulted in a plummet within her mood so entirely treacherous even he had moved warily about her. Her temper had become shorter then it had been before, her patience for incompetence paper thin, a part of the man not unwilling to admit he enjoyed watching that temper lash out towards any being not himself with a singular satisfaction that came from observing the suffering of another- and yet the supreme darkness of her moods in the wake of that attack had become as difficult to avoid as raindrops in a thunderstorm. That time away from Syn perhaps the very thing his beloved so needed.
They had arrived at that expansive plantation homestead of Risques long-time associate just after nine in the evening. That vampiric presence in and about the home almost oppressive. That singular awareness that they were no longer upon their own territory pressed heavily agianst him and further tugged at those protective, territorial instincts. The coven here was large and yet, for the most part, they remained unseen beyond two vampire guards who stood outside the doors to the giant home. Darcy had no sooner moved to open the passenger side door for his Mistress then the first of those wolf whistles echoed across the plantation. Risque,despite his suggestion, having dressed in her usual attire. That material all but poured onto her femanine figure to highlight every curve and swell, her heels as precariously high as always, only further drawing attention to the length of her legs. The South, as a whole, so entirely unprepared for his mate in every sense. The comments at th hotel had been bad enough. This Plantation it seemed, destined to be the same, as that ready irritation rose more powerfully within himself. That desire to protect what was his so wholly potent he could feel it near heat is veins. Darcy so barely managing to contain that spitting snarl. How he loathed those eyes upon his mate. That jealous streak clawing at his insides. Neither of those vampiric guards made any effort to look away at their approach. That combination of shock and awe plain enough upon their fucking faces.
"Whatcha lookin' at?"
Both had the sense to look away then. That ready confrontation within his voice so clearly enough to prompt them to yield those stares. Darcy all but spoiling for a fight. The vampires patience taught as a steel spring when it came to his beloved. How he hated their eyes upon her. Not one of them worthy enough to stand before the vampiric Queen that was his lover, let alone lay their hands upon her. He knew what they thought. He knew what they wanted. He could see it turning within their sad little minds. The very idea of it prompting Darcy to near bristle like a dog. How easy it would be to drop them all here and now. It would hardly take a glance. The sudden opening of those large double front doors drew his attention once more. Mary-Beth, dressed in some sort of ludercious ball-gown, all but flew towards them. Wyatt, her mate and husband, reserved as always and yet equally well dressed in those dress pants and vest, lingered just behind his overzealous wife. It had been near a decade since Darcy had seen Mary-Beth last, when she had come to Syn to call upon Risque. She had been dressed much the same then, her blood-red hair equally as styled as if in permanent attendance to some grand ball. She reminded him far to much of the South he remembered. Far to much of the things he would sooner forget. She had failed to grow on him and yet it was neither his place nor his manner to comment on Risques acquaintances. If his lover so value in them then it was surely her right to keep the company of any she desired. No matter how intolerable he found them. Risque! Daaaarling!
Mary-Beth rushed forward to embrace Risque, her lips pressed to either side of Risque's cheeks in that overly femanine greeting before she stepped back to allow her bright blue gaze to sweep over his mates own choice in outfit. You haven't changed a bit, Darling. So much ...leg, is that what they are wearing in the cities now, hmmm? Her words were near sickly sweet, a judgement veiled in a compliment as was so often that Southern way. Darcy's own gaze prompted to narrow at that near hidden slight agianst his mate. Mary-beth and long having taken a pleasure of sorts in attempting to out-do Risque. Little, however, seemed to escape Mary-Beth's own sharp gaze. Her attention snapping towards him. Her femanine lyrics layered in that Southern drawl. Now if it ain't Darcy Blackjack, my honey-pie, you ain't changed a bit either, have ya? So aggressive that one. Wyatt? Take Darcy into the billiard room and entertain him. Risque and I have affairs to attend to that do not lend themselves to need male opinion. Off with you both then. That near abrupt dismissal so readily saw Darcy's mismatched gaze shift from Wyatt to Risque and back once more. Darcy remaining so exactly where he stood, that veritable challenge of sorts lingering within the depths off his own eyes. Mary-Beth, after all, had no command over him. Darcy wholly inclined to wait for Risque's agreement to that very plan before he moved. After all, to do the bidding of Mary-Beth would be little more than a subtle undermining of Risques own authority. Darcy well aware of those femanine games. That hint of displeasure upon Mary-Beth's own features so daring to suggest she understood them in turn. Darcy waiting only so long as it took Risque to dismiss him herself before offering her that dip of his head. Mary-Beth largely ignored as he moved to follow Wyatt toward that billiard room, the women disappearing into the depths of the house. What the fuck women needed to talk about he hardly knew. Wyatt, at least, had always been more tolerable. The sandy-haired vampire closing those doors behind them before reaching for a nearby pitcher and glass.
You want some tea, Darcy?
"Dat sweet tea?"
"I ain't had dat in years, I'll 'ave sum."
I forget, your from round here aren't you?
"Ain't from nowhere near by."
That decided bite to his words readily prompted Wyatt to drop the topic as Darcy eased himself back into the nearest armchair before reaching out to take that offered glass. Hell, but he remembered that taste. The sudden sound of that shrieking, horrific laughter that could only be Mary-beth saw his grip momentarily tighten upon that glass before he moved to place it to the side. That fucking sound. How Wyatt stood it he'd never understand. It was so...shrill. The other vampire moved to take his own glass before collapsing back into the chari opposite. The sound of that laughter coaxing a look of admiration to Wyatt's own features. Tone-deaf bastard. The sooner they were done here the better. Darcy's own mood decidedly dark at having been forced to return to Georgia at all. His mismatched gaze shifted to his temporary companion.
"What does yar Mary-Beth wanna talk 'bout wit Risque?"
Ain't my business, she wouldn't say, you know how they are when they together. Women's business. Probably hair. Mary-Beth tells me ya finally went and made your Risque your mate. How you finding the mated life? She's a real looker, dat Risque.
"Imma hit ya if yar say dat again."
Settle down, Darc. Im just sayin' is all.
"We still new to da mates ting but its workin' out well. Some stuff was un'spected."
"Like, women got so much shit in dare showers it's like bein' in da damn store. I ain't even know what all dem products are for an den she goes and gives me a shelf. I ain't got stuff to put on a shelf. I dun even know showers 'ave shelves."
You got a whole shelf? Mary-Beth hasn't even given me a whole shelf. I got one of dem baskets that hang on the shower. Women though, they need things, just accept it.
"Das jus it. Now I got tings. I go ta take me shower and she's replaced me two tings with like ten new tings like shampoo and conditioner in different bottles and like wash tings dats for ya body and not ya hair and den shaving tings i ain't even know what day do but me 'air ain't never been dis good before. Women, day know tings. I reckon its dat 'ole vera.
Whose Old Vera?
"No, 'Ole Vera."
What? Darc your accent is real thick when you back in the South.
Oh Aloe Vera. The plant.
"Dat. Me 'air ain't never been dis soft."
Wyatt's head nodded in a clear understanding. Both men, in that moment, in clear and distinct agreement over the notion that women understood things when it came to hair. Darcy's attention shifted but briefly once more, that vampiric hearing straining agianst the silence to hear Risque or Mary-Beth and yet the pair must have moved deeper within the house. Darcy remaining aware of his mates presence nearby all the same as he reached for that glass once more. His gaze returning to Wyatt. Darcy turning that conversation back toward business.
" 'Ow is business out 'ere?"
Good. The property market is strong at the moment, cattle prices are high and we've had good rain. How is Syn?
"Good, busy as always. The city gets bigger all da time."
A couple of our boys been talking about heading toward the city lately, is there really as much prey as they say in the papers?
"More. Da streets is swimmin' wit livin' bodies. If any'o yar vamp boys wanna head into da city day can stay at Syn, we'll 'ave 'em, give 'em board, in exchange for doin' a bit o'work for us o'course."
That seems fair enough. I've got about ten who could use some city experience. Could you take on ten?
"We got da space. Long as day ok wit da cats. Send 'em down in a few weeks. We'll give 'em some work experience."
That easy grin found Darcy's lips once more. The Southern Vampire seeing little need to mention that very war that was all but brimming upon their doorsteps. Wyatt cold hardly complain, after all, those ten vampire boys would gain experience in far more than city life. Those who survived likely to come back far more well trained then they had been before. Risque in turn likely to be pleased about those added numbers to their ranks. Darcy nothing if not opportunistic when it came to furthering Syn's goals and further fueling that force agianst Cade. The sound of heels upon the floor readily drew Darcy's attention once more, those doors opening then to omit both Risque and Mary-Beth back into the room, Darcy's gaze content to sweep over his mates figure to assure she remained in the condition in which he had left her. Hopefully, whatever business the women had required to take care off had been seen to. Darcy entirely eager to return to that car and the drive back to the hotel. The man more than willing to leave that wretched state altogether. Wyatt the first to speak then. Did you ladies take care of things? Darcy's gaze shifted from Wyatt, to Mary-Beth and to his own lover then.
"Are we leavin, Darlin'?"
The sooner they got back on the road the better. Darcy ill inclined to linger within the South longer then he needed. Mary-Beth was quick to speak up once more, her eyes narrowing sharply. That Southern woman, for all that act she put on of being little more than an innocent girl was decidedly shrewd and far more dangerous then she appeared. Darcy watching her warily all the same. Irritating though he found her he could hardly deny Risque chose her 'friends' well when it came to power. Mary-Beth as capable of that domination as his own lover. Oh! But you can't possibly leave just yet, we ain't even given you any supper. You must stay for supper at least. Darcy's gaze shifted briefly to Risque and back again. Those chosen words polite and yet holding that faint note of finality all the same.
"We got a long drive back, Ma'am."
Oh boo. Don't be a bore Darcy. Isn't he a bore, Wyatt? Tell him. Tell him he's a bore.
Wyatt, obedient as over, nodded readily. The sandy-haired vampire's far less pronounced then his wife's own. Where Wyatt had originally come from Darcy hardly knew and yet it sure as hell wasn't anywhere South. Wyatt quick to do as he was bid. Yes, Darcy. Don't spoil the girls fun. Darcy's tongue toyed easily with his fang, that choice hardly his own, after all. Darcy unwilling to fall into that veritable trap Mary-Beth had set in one of her teasing games with her little attempt to see if he might make an effort to command Risque in turn and spark that argument between them. She always had liked to stir. That near coy smile at her lips near giving her away. Your boy is not much fun, Risque. I thought him a good Southern Boy to..... Her eyes so firmly met Darcy's own as if daring him to disagree. Like a child plucking at the strings pf puppets she hoped to make dance. Her attention returning to Risque then.Will you stay, or must you truly be going already? Wyatt? Wyatt! Fetch me a drink will you, no, not that! I shall make a great noisy fuss if you bring me the wrong thing. I swear I shall. Good boy. Go and sit down again. My Wyatt is a good boy, isn't he? Now where were we, of yes, will you have supper?
We are rough men and used to rough ways.