Risque's mood had been like walking on eggshells on top of a bed of nails. That breach had tipped her over the edge, that war leaving the vampire nothing short of paranoid and seething, not taking much to snap those fragile threads that kept her patience intact. They had been left vulnerable, their feeders pilfered and her precious collection felines gone. She had spent far too much time combing the city only to come up just short of 1/4th of what she had prior. The vampire had not been able to shake the feeling, the anger, the violation she felt. Cade had gone too far, her felines crossing that line between war and absolute insult. The only comfort she had taken was that she had a plan for retribution, to cause Cade to suffer for what he had done. How he had managed such the impossible feat with the level of security she had installed in Syn was entirely baffling. Not even the warlock on retainer could truly figure out much except for several magical signatures, which only mapped out the routes they had taken or where they had been. It was entirely... useless. He had deduced it to two people.. TWO! Two beings were able to cause such unspeakable chaos to her territory. The very thought was enough to make her clench her jaw, that violence inside of her roiling inside of her. While Darcy was lost to that bitter nostalgia which gripped his memories, Risque allowed her mind to sift from her usual cesspool of anger and plotting... It was only thanks to that drive and distance between herself and Syn truly allowed those thoughts to be swept away in a gradient blur of browns and greens. She usually enjoyed those drives in the city but perhaps, her mood and that lack of the change in farmer's fields had left much to be desired. She must have toyed with her freshly done up talons at least 10 times, studying them for imperfections that didn't exist.
The drive took far too long, as far as Risque was concerned. There was simply no way she was going to stay anywhere that didn't have a california king with clean crisp linens which possessed a minimal of 1000 thread count. There was never an expense that was cut short when it came to the vampire woman and luxury, that drive would certainly be well worth the wait. After an hour and half, she wished she still possessed the same opinion. After passing over a dozen fields with an endless expanse as far as the eye could see with corn had Risque narrow her eyes. "How much corn do these humans need?" She could hardly keep that horror and judgement from her French kissed lyrics. At least back in her time, there was variety in the farmer's fields... not just corn, soy, wheat, and hay. It made for a bland visual, more of the same flat dusty land. Such a contrast from the concrete jungle they called home. Every town they had passed, had a similar boring sign, trying to stand apart from the rest and yet they all looked the same. What did people do for entertainment, for work? They passed several inns that looked like they were barely standing... There was no way she would be caught dead in a place like that.
There was one pleasing thing about the country and that was the stars, how long it had been since she'd seen them in their true glory without being choked from light pollution? The air as well, smelled... cleaner than it did in the city, a sweetness clinging to the air that she allowed in by lowering her window, the roar of the wind humming inside rivaling the music. The speed of Darcy's driving, his affinity gripping that vehicle that practically made them fly across the open sprawling roads. The last time she had seen Mary-Beth was when she visited Syn, the woman standing out like neon pink against the blackness of night. How that woman played the role of the perfect southern belle, a woman trapped in time and yet she was anything but. She made for a good ally, the two having worked together on more than one occasion in the past. Mary-Beth needing that link into the city and Risque was it. Her.... Exuberance and shrill self, left much to be desired, but how long had it been since she had sat down with another woman? Felt a kinship with her kind? Her club was flooded with men and she preferred it that way and yet with her hair trigger temper, wanted something different. This break from responsibility, besides that business that was to be discussed was something much needed even though it was so soon after being breached. But she was certain if she spent another day in Syn, she would be one step closer to slaughtering them all. That would not bode well for the impending war.
Finally, after three long hours of racing, they had managed to pull down that long spindly graveled driveway, the vehicle bouncing from the potholes yet to filled in. Do they not believe in paving, in the south? How there were fine luxuries they would surely benefit from, like lights along the driveway and asphalt. She would need to suggest a thing or two to Mary-Beth, the woman would surely benefit from a few upgrades of that plantation. While it looked charming, in its own way, it was surely lacking some of that modern flair. Some actual style never harmed anyone. "Hopefully, our business here won't take too long, I have forgotten Mary-Beth refuses to welcome the era she is in." While the large home certainly possessed its charms Risque would rather sleep beneath the stars than here.
In that moment, Darcy swiftly exited the car, moving to open her door like the gentleman that still seemed to cling to him, even in death. Her heels were not made for this uneven ground, and her outfit hardly fit in with her surroundings, and yet she hardly cared. Risque was a creature, one of a kind and she rarely embraced anything that was not suited to her tastes. The moment her exposed porcelain skin felt the comfort of night she felt rejuvenated, those whistles from those around them sliced through the sweet fragrant air. Dogs.. They were. How Risque was used to those eyes upon her alluring curves, that silken dress poured on her curves leaving much to the lusty eye to devour. Those vampire guards hardly hid the look of desire upon their faces as they stared. As though they had never seen a woman before.. perhaps they hadn't.. not a woman like Risque anyways. How Darcy seemed to become tense in a matter of moments, she could feel it within his posture, as his possessive hand found the small of her back as they walked toward the house. Those challenging words all but snarled in their direction, a man ready defend his territory. "There is plenty of time to pick a fight, but let's at least make it through the door first." She leaned into him, to mutter those very words into his ear. "Pay no mind to lesser men." Those guards were hardly worth a glance, let alone Darcy's ire. And yet.... How she seemed to revel in that tension. What a show it would have been if he had snapped... if one of those guards approached her even despite his warnings. That tension began to rise, before that impressive ornate door burst open, releasing Mary-Beth to the world at large. She was a sight to behold, the woman could not wear anymore clothing than she had on already. There was so much frilly lace that she looked like she were a walking doily. That gown she wore swept to kiss the earth, it bobbed two and fro from the excited movements of the vampire's gaiety. No one could be prepared for the shrill excited voice of the woman that greeted him. The woman daring enough to embrace Risque so fully, not even the midnight haired she-devil could have been prepared. How she forgot of the woman's nature.... Of being far too much. Risque stiffened within her embrace, but at least conceded to the kiss, as the French would call la bise. An act shared between friends. Risque made sure her body maintained a certain distance, even in that embrace. "Mary-Beth.. its been a while." Risque uttered in greeting, after they parted, examining that horrify floofy dress with an assessing flick of her pale eyes. There was certainly nothing but subtle about her, including that vibrant blood red hair, recently done up for this very occasion.
That comment from Mary-Beth sounded sweet and yet it contained that ever present judgement, both women seeming to size each other up on appearance alone. Mary-Beth's sickly syrupy voice rose over the quietude of that nighttime country setting, her voice sweet as an overly ripened peach with sugar to hide the lies and bitterness with in those notes. That comment of her attire that caused Risque to tense. How dare this vampire doily comment, and yet... Risque met her with a taste of her own medicine. "I can hardly blame you for not knowing, the south has always been a little on the slow side to keep up with all things modern. Was that the same dress you wore last time? It.... Really shows off... your...." She scanned to looked for an asset to.... Compliment perhaps... a false nicety. Yet she was coming up short, her pale eyes scanning that monstrosity of a dress, internally making her cringe. What fabric was that? It looked so... stiff. "Your dress.. compliments, you." She backtracked, willing to wield her own honest review, her darkened lips curling into an amused smirk, amused by none other than herself.
It would seem her gaze caught Darcy's glaring eyes next, the man wound up tighter than usual. It was entirely obvious in his demenour that he would rather not be here, Risque perhaps admittedly agreeing with him the moment Mary-Beth opened her mouth. "Wyatt.." Risque offered in greeting, not paying any mind except for the brief glance to the dirty blonde haired vampire, the man usually quiet. He was a man of money, his presence reminding her of some French nobleman that once attempted to woo her. She could smell money a mile away... Wyatt, despite his southern appearance was no different. Such a passive little creature that one, not an ounce of fight in him. Mary-Beth's accented, sweeter than peaches voice uttered easily, judging her Darcy after she had only finished judging her attire.. "Oh, Mary... there is nothing wrong with a little bite." She chastised all the same, shortening her name on purpose like she were the one in charge.
Darcy refused to jump to that very command offered by that finely primped poodle of a woman. That flash of displeasure seemed to cross Mary's once smug features, that he was one less man she could boss around.
Risque allowed for that tension to expand, reveling in that uneasy emotion. Not willing to concede to her demands... unless it felt like her idea. While some, hardly could stand that strain, Risqué so fed off it. She waited until it almost seemed like she was going to challenge Mary-Beth on the steps of her home. Her pale hypnotic eyes meeting her own. That expression upon her feminine sharp features was as if she were being fickle, bored with that very proposition the other vampire entertained. As though three hours of driving had hardly put her in the mood to talk business. In a moment, she let it all fade away. "We do have much to discuss.." There was a knowing hint to her tone, her word decisive like a surgeon's blade. Yet there was a suspicion lingering, however silent as it was, a whisper on the wind that Risque could not ignore. One she was quite content to slice to the meaty center of that truth, in due time. She allowed her gaze to slip to Darcy's once more, gesturing toward Wyatt with a slight nod of her head.
Those guards were smart to keep their expressions blank, their comments to themselves within Mary Beth's presence, the woman would not tolerate attentions on anyone else but her. Everything about her loud in every sense, feeding off the attention of those surrounding her. It was then, the two powerful vampire women slipped away into an opposite section of the house, following up several creaky steps that groaned beneath their foot falls. Risque was momentarily concerned that her weapon-like stilettos would pierce through the aged wood of the floor boards while Mary-Beth seemed content to chatter about trivial things, attempting to flaunt her status and money. As though she had something to prove.
It was only once within that office, the other vampire closed the door behind her that she issued for Risque to sit across from her at her desk. Risque hardly taking to that chair just yet, the very woman meandering that office, with a preciseness within those steps, observing the photographs and artwork on the walls of that office that was far smaller than her own. Mary-Beth seemed to revel in those reminders of the past, Risque kept so little in plain view. The woman altogether private in all matters of her past.
Mary Beth was quick to give way to that conversation, small talk. She bragged about one a man she intended to make her lover in town, that he was below her station.... Like that mattered anymore. It would appear Wyatt had competition. The southern woman, then laughed shrilly at her own joke about some other woman within one of those old photographs, boldly brushing against Risque in the process. That sound nearly made her wince, her poor ears suffering that awful shrill loudness still resonating within her skull. She moved onto the next photograph, in an attempt to maintain that neutral expression. It was a picture of herself and Mary-Beth, the southern woman beaming a wide smile while Risque's expression seemed less than impressed, wearing a black evening gown.... She had remembered that photograph and yet surprised the woman hung it up. Why, was probably a ploy on her part to manipulate her. Risque said little about it before that talk of business began. Some of that added bravado slipping, her accent still present and yet she toned that show down. It made Risque more inclined to listen.
'I heard about.... Your little war... it sounds just dreadful. Why would anyone... try to rival you? They must certainly have a death wish... as do anyone that try to rival me. But I suppose, I should jump right in.. I know how you prefer I jump to the point.. no fun.... As you know.. I am a predominant force in the underground moonshine business, cherrypie, oh come on now, don't feign surprised. I know you seem to know everythin... about everyone..'
Risque rose a brow in response, before gliding toward that desk sitting on top of that polished cherry wood furniture. Apparently, it was considered unlady like as Mary-Beth stopped herself from making that comment, knowing all too well how it would have been received. "Perhaps... Do not call me Cherrypie and do not bring up my.... War.. I am far from pleased with that." She responded reluctantly, not keen on any of the to she seemed to bring up.. nor willing to give up any of her hand while Mary-Beth attempted to make herself far more important than she was.
'Well hun, I have been diligently working on making.... Something stronger... somethin' for vampires.... You know how hard it is to get drunk.. well not any more..' She ruffled through her desk, the woman sitting within her chair before pulling out... a labelled bottle. 'its called... brace yourself Risque... Moonjuice. The first moonshine that can get a vampire feelin' just wooonderful!' She placed the bottle upon the desk sliding it toward the feline queen, pride in her pretty blue eyes.
Moonjuice? What an appalling name Risque thought. Reaching for the bottle, peering at the atrocious pink label with floral all over it.. pink and frilly, such a blatant contrast to Risque. "Are you telling me. You made a drink for vampires that can make them tipsy..... and you want me to sell that paint remover to my clients with the name Moonjuice?" Mary-beth seemed a little surprised that Risque hardly seemed more... excited about it.
'Marvelous aint it?? And I want you to sell it. I want us to be partners. You and I. Mary-Beth and Risque.. I can see it now. Think of all the money! I reckon you should try it.. see for yourself. Take the bottle and I will give you some to take back with you. To do a trial at your fancy establishment.' That southern belle was crafty, Risque would give her that while Risque glanced downward at her manicure once more before flattening out bottom of her dress that seemed content to ride up her thigh.
There was no way Risque was trying this makeshift poison brew here. There was no way she would allow herself to become drunk in front of the woman that would take any opportunity to best her if given the chance. "So it is true then.. you are having... money trouble." There was something sly about the way she inserted that tidbit, she watched the other vampire like a trained huntress waiting to pounce.
The southern vampire's face fell. Giving her away. 'No, that absurd! My coven is prosperous... we just bought...'
Risque interrupted, waving her manicured hand nonchalantly. "It doesn't matter to me about your financial crisis." Oh but it did. It was then, Risque had all the confirmation she needed. The southern vampire needed her... Which had her exactly where she wanted. That conversation so took a life of its own at that point, leaving them at an impasse. Mary-Beth's charm had certainly altered her demeanor considerably, allowing some of those preliminaries to fall to the wayside. Risque having said she would call her after trying the product, that was the only promise she was going to get tonight. There was no way Risque was going to sell that poorly branded product the way it was. After wrapping up that conversation, the two women left that office, Mary-Beth's putting on that exuberant charm once more... for the sake of keeping up appearances, but the woman seemed.. worried, despite her facade... perhaps she needed that deal more than she led on.
They left that office once more, meeting Darcy and Wyatt who seemed peacefully enjoying a drink and neither of them seemed to have ripped each other apart. Given his mood, Risque seemed curious if she would be returning to a blood bath. It was almost a pity. She would have enjoyed seeing the look on Mary-Beth's face. Regardless, Darcy seemed eager to leave. That question falling from his lips. Risque seemed inclined to agree that their time here was finished, that bottle still within her hand tipping slightly to the side, that would have spilled if it was not sealed shut. If Mary-Beth wasn't going to concede, there was simply no purpose in staying, except for the promise of a meal. To be truthful, she was not looking forward to that returning drive. However, that red haired vampire woman had other plans, her eyes narrowing at Darcy's question. Risque had not a second to speak.... That mention of supper a ploy to get them to stay longer than either of them wanted. Darcy attempted to convey that it was time to leave.
Risque interjected, bored. "I am on fence." A sigh upon her lips, although the thought of blood certainly didn't seem that bad. She might have Mary-Beth exactly where she wanted her.
Mary-Beth seemed to content to ignore Risque, intent on keeping them here, additionally calling Darcy a bore, challenging his own words like he was beneath her. How that insult of her mate had affected her, far more than she even wished to admit, truly she was unsure if she even realized what had happened. An attack upon him, no matter how slight, was an attack on her. Her posture straightened as that tension spilled, flooding her at once. A bore? How dare she. And to hear those words from Wyatt had something snapping inside of her. Risque began to move like a shark, that move nothing short of predatory. Her voice seemed nothing short of goading. That friendly rapport now strained. That mention of Darcy being no fun had took all she needed to allow those words to spill. It took every ounce of control not simply attack the woman.
"Oh Mary, quite contrary... that is where you are wrong. He is far beyond the south now. And unlike your little lamb, he is far from boring. I suggest, unless you care for a demonstration of sorts, you mind your tongue." The warning spoken all the same, that near growl nearly rising within her speach. She would not tolerate Mary's attacks on her mate.
That offering of dinner, she hardly truly wished to stay and yet she could not pass up the opportunity to reveal those suspicions that had dawned upon the cunning vampire queen. "Give me exclusivity and rebranding right... and you might sway me in your favour to stay for a bite." Those words, although they were like silk, there was no room for negotiation. She had no intentions of making a deal tonight, or at all for that matter, Risque content to string her along until she deemed fit. Especially not without trying that product first, she was absolutely certain she was not going to try that..... 'moonjuice' here, opening herself to vulnerability within another vampire's home. Mary-Beth was an opportunist... but Risque was ever aware at the very fact that she was desperate, that she needed this deal or else face bankruptcy. There was a sense of worry, although, she was quick to contain it. 'Stay for dinner and I might change my mind.' Mary's gaze shot to Darcy as if expecting him to make a fuss, apparently content to take that lack of no that as a yes.
Her shrill words then uttered to Wyatt, Risque moving toward Darcy smoothly then. Her pale eyes trained on his face while Mary-Beth yelled after Wyatt. "Are you not the least bit curious what is on the menu? I truly do not want to have to hear her.... Kick up a noisy fuss at us, do you?" She shook her head slowly as if she couldn't believe she even said the words, she woman nearly shuddering at the demonstration of a noisy fuss. "It would appear they are trying to sell us moonshine.." She felt like she was getting increasingly more southern by the minute.