Monday, October 31, 2011


Harper spends the next week doing everything in her power to forget the conversation she had with Uther. Adamaris being "alive" is a dream come true, for sure, but also a dangerous set up for depression if it turns out to be false.  Besides that, Uther isn't necessarily someone Harper feels she can trust just yet.  So instead, she occupies her time by doing the mundane...

She gets a makeover...

...takes a job at the local bookstore at the insistence of her school counselor (who expressed worry over Harper's anti-social tendencies.  It was either this or an after school club;  and Harper chose the option that would pay her to be around people she despised).

She even "borrows" (i.e. steals) the shitty novels from her job, hoping that it will distract her wandering thoughts...

...but it is to no avail.  Harper knows what she needs to do, it's only a matter of persuading herself to take that next step.

This is her "stop taking so many damn pictures of me!" look. IT'S LIKE SHE KNOWS!

Corrigan isn't home very often as of late, and despite their increasing worry over his prolonged absences, Cedric and Harper find themselves growing closer.  Harper, even though pretending to be annoyed with his constant company, begins to notice her fondness for Cedric... which severely hinders her ability to be comfortable around him.  A friend she can handle, but a crush is something entirely different.

"You did something with your hair. I can't quite pinpoint it though."

Harper scoffs. "Dyed it, perhaps? It is a completely different color, you know."

Cedric smiles slyly. "Huh. Didn't notice. You'll certainly have all the boys fawning over you once they see your new 'do.  I'm tempted to go with you on Monday to make sure they don't make any moves on my Harper."

The way Cedric refers to her as "his" Harper would normally have sparked a feminist rant from her, but at that moment it sounds lovely.  Harper finds it increasingly difficult to keep her guard up around him. 

Cedric feigns ignorance of this fact, but he knows he's slowly eroding the walls she built around herself.  It was only a matter of time before he wouldn't have to act like a total buffoon just to get to know her a little better than he did before.

Across town, Corrigan is spending time with Vittoria.  Vittoria knows she can't step into the Dennis' apartment without sparking further suspicion (and possible intervention) from Uther, so she lures Corrigan to her place for the time being.  

The more time he spends with her, the more she is able to increase her control over him; the more she can exert her will, the quicker she can get her revenge and leave this stinking town.  It's all a matter of playing coy and biding her time, two things that Vittoria has still not perfected over the years.  At this point, she's willing to provoke a fight if it means she can get her revenge and move on.  Vittoria is getting desperate, and it's beginning to show.

As Vittoria suspected, Uther sends his companions to watch the Dennis household closely.  Any sign of Vittoria and Uther will know about it.  

The other Umbria's, particularly Dellayna, don't care for their new duty nor do they care for the ones they are sworn to protect; but stopping vampires like Vittoria who jeopardize everyone's  safety by living openly and killing indiscriminately is of the utmost importance.  Dellayna was alive during the last big vampire hunt centuries ago that nearly wiped out their kind entirely, and she would rather not experience that again.  It is common knowledge among the fractured clans that their numbers are simply too few and their weaknesses too strong to win a war against the mortals.  No; it's simpler and safer to live in hiding.

The next week marks Corrigan's birthday.  Cedric and Harper planned to not see him that day, but he surprises them by throwing a mini-birthday party at the apartment.

Lookin' fine, Mr. Snuffle.

Harper and Cedric are excited...

...that is, until she shows up.  Harper gasps as soon as Vittoria enters the room.  She recognizes those eyes, those teeth... that eerie grin.

The way Corrigan immediately follows her lead makes Harper cringe and suddenly remember the warning that Uther had given her weeks before.

"Watch your Uncle intently, Harper."

Watch him.  The one warning Uther had given her, the one he had taken the time to turn back and tell her, Harper had dismissed.  And as she slips out the back door, unnoticed by her smitten Uncle and eerie guest, Cedric simply gives her a nod as if he understands the sudden need to leave the room.  

Harper walks cautiously to the small park where she first met the strange boy. "He said if I was ready to talk, he would come to me.  What do I do, blow a fucking whistle or something?" Harper mutters impatiently.

As if on cue, Uther is suddenly there. "No, you don't need a whistle." He says grinning. "I take it you are ready to discuss your sister?"

Harper nods nervously. "And that woman that my Uncle is dating.  She's one of you, isn't she?"

"Unfortunately for your Uncle, yes.  She is one of my kind... but we cannot discuss this in the open.  Are you comfortable continuing this conversation at my house?"

Harper isn't comfortable, but she agrees and follows him to his residence; all the while wondering why life keeps throwing her the most ridiculous curve balls.
I had to move Harper and company to a new house because the apartment was beginning to glitch itself to hell, but I couldn't fit the move in plot-wise as they will be moving (yet again) to Meadow Glen soon... so just pretend they are still in the apartment. Also, I preemptively apologize for the rush job on the next couple of chapters; the lag in Anne Arbor is unbearable, which is making picture taking a grade-a hassle. :rolls eyes: These glitches are going to give yours truly a hernia the size of France at this rate.

BTW: I totally lied last Chapter. The next Chapter will focus on the Umbria's and Adamaris.  I promise.

Anywho... here be the updates!
--Corrigan is at Level 3 of his Business Career: Report Processor
--Cedric is at Level 6 in the Fireman Career: Fire Sergeant
--Harper and Cedric adopted a cat, but due to the fact that Twallan's Porter borks pets when they are moved, I had to cut his portions in the story.

Here's a short montage of Persilius Maximus Esquire III; in memory of his awesome-ness. He will be missed.

I absolutely had to change my blog template as that orange was killing my retinas.  Hopefully this one is less eye-damaging/headache-inducing. 


Sunday, October 16, 2011

3.3--A Fateful Meeting

Vittoria despises everything about her situation as of late.  This is supposed to be easy, quick, but Uther has beat her to the Dennis' location and is most likely already plotting against her.  The only thing keeping her safe at this point is their need for secrecy, and her budding relationship with the boy.  He wouldn't risk exposing those pitiful meat-bags to any danger, nor would he jeopardize the relative anonymity that vampires have "enjoyed" for centuries.

Vittoria scoffs. "Why should we be hiding in the dark? It should be those pathetic mortals who quiver in fear of us."

She frowns as she throws away her plasma juice; the ridiculous blood imitation invented by a few phobic vampires that was to keep them from revealing their true nature, their true thirst. "The sooner I get my revenge, the better." A small smile plays upon her lips. "I should call Corrigan."

Across town, Harper is annoyed with her "stalker." She just wants to revel in being alone, but this boy's presence is ruining it. So she does what any sane person would do and confronts him directly.  Harper turns around abruptly, hoping to catch him off-guard, but he stands there as if he expects the sudden attention.  As he begins to move toward her, she instantly regrets her decision.

"I apparently have not been hiding myself as well as I thought." He says, letting a smile creep across his face. Harper backs away when she notices his probing eyes and toothy grin.

"No, you haven't.  And I would appreciate it if you stopped following me."

"You seem to be alone quite often." He lets his eyes wander over the expanse of the park, as if emphasizing the emptiness and lack of people.  Harper shudders slightly, suddenly aware of the emptiness as well.

"I am not particularly fond of other people's company, and that extends to you."

The boy laughs into the night. "You are afraid, yet you still fight me.  I'm used to mortals running, not standing their ground. You are certainly a strange one.  Although, Adamaris did say as much."

At the mere mention of her sister's name, Harper's anger flares. "Look, I don't know who you are or what you are getting at, but my sister is dead you insensitive fuck. I don't think she will be saying much of anything at this point."

The boy shrugs his shoulders apologetically and then makes his way to a bench a few feet away to allow Harper some breathing space.  When Harper calms a bit, he continues. "Technically speaking, you are correct.  She is dead, but still among the living."

Harper quirked a brow; this boy obviously has some issues. "Great. So you're insensitive and insane. And I'm alone in an almost entirely deserted park with you... just my fucking luck."

The boy sits back on the bench comfortably, giving Harper that toothy grin that sends shivers down her spine. "My name is Uther and I have been sent here as your guardian, but this conversation cannot continue in the open. When you are ready, say so and I will be there to tell you everything." Uther gets up to leave and is a few strides from being completely out of sight, before he suddenly turns back. "Watch your Uncle intently, Harper. I can only get so close without raising suspicion." 

Before Harper can ask any questions, he disappears into the night; leaving her reeling. As she makes her way home, mumbling to herself that she must be going crazy, Uther follows at a distance silently hoping that telling her the truth is not going to work against him later.
**I apologize for the extremely short Chapter; the next one will cover a lot more. : )

It's a friggin' early Christmas miracle! Cedric's co-workers are actually doing something productive. : /
As soon as Cedric went to join them, they all filtered out (at the same time) like he was a social pariah. *shrug* Cedric doesn't need them.

If it isn't obvious, Adamaris' disappearance was supposed to be my introduction of vampires into the story. The plot was much more dragged out and planned better with the Dennis', so I'm hoping that by tweaking it as I go I can at least create a plot that is somewhat as involved.  It's proving difficult though.
Buckley: You still have my full permission to do whatever you please with Mar. : )

--SP made Vittoria and Uther enemies, which is absolutely perfect! Me and SP still have a love/hate relationship though.
--Cedric reached Level 5 of his career; he is officially a Fireman. WOOT!

The next chapter will be focus mostly on the history of the Umbria's and how Adamaris ties into all of this.  As in, here comes another conversation-heavy chapter. *facepalm* 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

3.2--Being Followed

Corrigan and Cedric spend the next three nights bar-hopping.  Harper is often the one pushing them out of the house in order to have some solitude.

When Cedric brings up the fact that Corrigan's love life has been utterly abysmal, Corrigan scoffs in response. He'd much rather have some drinks with his best friend than go on a date with someone he barely knows.

However, one lost drunken game of darts later and Corrigan has been forced to enter the dating scene unwillingly... with the added bonus of a makeover at Cedric's insistence. 

Harper enjoys her time alone and watches shitty romance movies, in order to convince herself that she will never get as carried away as the "idiots" on screen.

The following Saturday, Cedric forces Corrigan to adhere to their bet and takes him to the local Salon for a makeover.

Corrigan looks into the mirror incredulously. "Ced... I look like the member of a boy-band."

"No. You look stylish. Or at the very least, style conscious."

Corrigan does a typical boy-band pose in the mirror, before sighing. "Nope; definitely look like a washed up pop star."

Cedric laughs, pulling his friend away from the mirror before he psyches himself out of their plans for that night. "Okay, so the game plan is we are going to that new dance club on the other side of town and you are going to ask at least one girl out, take her on a date on a designated day... and then you can go back to being the reclusive person that you are. Deal?"

"I don't know about this Ced. I'm not good with... uh, conversation and such.  Can't I just give you ten dollars and we can call it a day?"

"No way.  You are seeing this through, man.  Look at it this way, you get it over with tonight and then never have to worry about me nagging you again."

Corrigan smirks. "That certainly shines a different light on the situation. All right then, deal."

Back at home, Harper decides to get out of the house for a bit.  She visits her usual haunts, feigning ignorance of the boy that has been following her since she started school.

She is convinced that if she ignores him, he'll go away...

...that turns out to be wishful thinking.  She had seen this mystery boy milling around at their school, but had never talked to him;  mostly because she loathes almost everyone there.  However, recently he had been following her around town; always just a little bit behind her so he wouldn't arouse suspicion.  As soon as she showed an active interest in him, he would disappear for a few hours only to reappear at a later location that Harper had moved to in the hope of losing him.

"This is getting ridiculous." Harper mumbles to herself.

Harper returns home, deciding that she would rather be alone in her house than stalked by a strange boy; while Cedric takes Corrigan to the decided upon club.  The club is dead, that is until she walks in.

She is different, seductive, beautiful, alluring... and Corrigan feels entranced by her.

Cedric, on the other hand, views something else.  She is too beautiful  and far too interested in Corrigan for Cedric to be comfortable. 

"Who is that woman?" Cedric asks the bartender.

The bartender shrugs nonchalantly. "No idea.  Must be a new in town. Another drink?"

Cedric shakes his head, watching the woman intently.  There is something about her that isn't natural, he just can't quite place what it is.

Corrigan feels a sudden confidence boost, and begins dancing with her completely unaware of Cedric's worried gaze.

"What's your name?" He yells over the music.

The woman smiles. "Mmm... what is yours?"

"Corrigan.  Corrigan Dennis."

As soon as he says his name, the woman perks up. "Dennis, you say? Well my name is Vittoria Rillough and I'm new here.  Perhaps, you can show me around sometime."

Corrigan nods enthusiastically. "I would love to."

"I bet. Are you busy tomorrow night Corrigan Dennis?"

"I am now." Corrigan purrs.

Vittoria smiles sweetly and then gets his number, stating that she doesn't have a phone number yet (having just moved in yesterday), and then leaves so quickly Corrigan isn't entirely sure if she is real or a figment of his imagination.  All he knows is, Vittoria is the one for him and he would do anything for her to feel the same.

When Cedric and Corrigan return home, they gather at the table with Harper.

"I have a stalker." Harper begins.

"I have a girlfriend." Corrigan adds.

Cedric chokes on his food. "Wow... this conversation went from creepy to incredibly creepy in a matter of seconds. Corrigan, don't you think you're jumping the gun a bit?  You barely know her."

"Know who?" Harper asks, intrigued.

"Vittoria." Just the way Corrigan says her name makes Harper gag and Cedric cringe.

As soon as the opportunity arises, Cedric pulls Harper into his room, hoping to use this small window of time to his advantage.

"This girl that your Uncle is currently infatuated with, well... I don't like her."

"You say this after reprimanding Corrigan for forming an opinion of Vittoria without fully knowing her? That's a bit hypocritical."

Cedric shakes his head vehemently. "No. Trust me on this.  She's not... normal.  I mean, neither is Corrigan but this is different.  You should have seen the way she was looking at him."

"Okay... so what do you want to do about it? Break them up?"

Cedric sighs, rubbing the back of his neck in concentration. "No.  I guess I'm just asking you to help me watch over him.  I have a bad feeling about her, but I don't want to ruin this if it turns out I'm wrong."

Harper smiles sarcastically. "You probably are wrong, but I'll help you anyway.  I don't trust people very often, so you might be asking the wrong person. Just FYI."

"Well I hope you trust me."

The mild dejection in his voice makes Harper blush. "Of course I do."

The Umbria Residence
Meanwhile, a similar conversation is taking place just down the street from Harper's apartment.

"You are absolutely sure it is her Meladonna?"

Meladonna nods gravely in response. "Yes, Uther. I'm positive."

"We cannot let her get too close.  If we allow leniency, she will take the first opportunity to strike and we will be unprepared."

Uther clasps his hands together tightly, ushering silence from the others. "I applaud your enthusiasm Viktor, but we must tread lightly.  If she suspects anything, she will strike in desperation leaving us just as unprepared. No.  For now, we watch.  We cannot risk instigating a fight around Harper or Corrigan."

Meladonna places her hand on Viktor's shoulder, calming him. "Uther is right, my love. Simply lashing out would be far too risky and would compromise our mission. And what about Lord Vincent?" she asks, turning her attention back to Uther, "He will want to know of our plans as he is surely aware she is here by now."

"Yes, I suppose so.  That responsibility will fall to you, Meladonna.  Make sure the correspondence is both short and discreet.  Vittoria will be watching us; we must act as if we are ignorant of her presence."

Dellayna, the quietest of their clan, interrupts. "And the girl and her Uncle, what of them?"

Uther sighs heavily. "I was hoping to keep them in the dark, but these recent events force my hand.  It's time Harper and I had a talk."

Before Viktor can interrupt again, Uther raises his hand sternly to hush him. "I know what you are thinking, good friend, and if the situation were different; I would agree.  But this concerns Harper and Corrigan directly and they deserve to know. For the time being, I want everyone on their guard.  Vittoria has a plan and we need to know what it is before it's too late."
So I thought instead of coming up with a new plot, why not just re-work the one I already had planned before the Dennis Legacy went kaboom?  I had originally intended it to be much more Olive-centric; it technically still can be as I have Olive saved in my bin, but I decided to make a few changes and have Harper as my leading lady (ya' know, being the heir and all probably helps).  The next Chapter will certainly clear some things up; particularly the connection I am attempting to make.

A quick explanation of the Umbria family.  I created them long ago for a vampire challenge that I never went through with and decided to actually use them.  Viktor and Meladonna are the "parents;" Uther is the "son;" and Dellayna is the youngest.  Apparently Viktor and Meladonna are expecting a child soon, but I'm not sure if I'll let them keep it as it kind of ruins their back-story. *sigh* SP can eff up my plans sometimes.  I'll also delve more into Uther's (and the rest of the Umbria's) past as the chapters go on.
And yes, Uther is named after King Arthur's father. I'm such a nerd. 

For the Cedric fans...
>>Here's the song you should be playing during this very short montage.<<

*Be forewarned: He's not as muscly as he looks in his shirt, but he's working on it.  

He's sure workin' hard, ain't he? *dirty/terrible pun*

He's lookin' at you.

--Cedric is at level 4 Handiness and Athletics and officially a level 4 Firefighter (they promote pretty quickly in this field... I was surprised).
--Corrigan is at level 2 Logic; since they don't have a computer (I can't grab/select/place objects when in build/buy atm) he has to get his butt down to the central park waaaaayyyy across town and I've been far too lazy to keep leveling him. *shrug* Poor Snuffle.  He is also at level 2 within the Business Career (Filing Clerk).

Chapter 3 is up next... in case you can't count. ; )