03.16.3014: Them Crooked Vultures
Summary: Nitrim and Evey discuss her recent romantic direction…and truth is slanted.
Date: 08 December 2013
Related: None
Evey Nitrim 

The Central Arcade — The Westend, Landing
The Westend of Landing is also known as the Entertainment District. It is most active at night, where the neon lights sends the world into a kaleidoscopic glow. The Central Arcade is a wide, circular plaza with various thoroughfares spreading out like spokes on a wheel into the various regions of the district. At the center of the arcade is a round stage that nightly hosts various musical artists and groups to keep the party going even between venues. Neon piping is inlaid into the cement, creating various geometric patterns and creating pathways to various nightclubs and restaurants. AMP and Red Eye dealers covertly move through the crowds, trading doses for currency.

During the day, the Arcade is far quieter and more law-abiding, though by no means empty.

March 16, 3014

With the news of Nitrim's recent less-than-friendly brush with tabloid reporters making the rounds, the young drake of Volkan seeks dark corners and places to slink away to. Like the serpents he holds so dear, he doesn't take to an open field, instead opting to find a place where he can blend in and chameleon his way into the local population and go unnoticed. Landing it is. Landing's West-End district, for all its dark shadows, nightclubs, and bars, some of which are far removed from the gossip network that comes with plush culture.

The long hem of his undecorated black coat sweeps past Nitrim's booted heels as he steps off of the sidewalk and onto the cobbled stone. All around him are the sights and sounds of club-goers and drinkers, and the loud revelry that comes with it. It's white noise; a din that signals thousands of conversations about nothing, and they are all conversations the lord ignores as he dips the end of his cigarette into the palm of his hand and lights it.

Walk like you belong there. Dress like you're not looking for attention. These are Nitrim's rules for going places unnoticed, and so far…it's been working. There's a lot to walk about as of late.

Science, science, science. Evey is not a scientist! And yet everytime some wandering noble with a project concerning the stars happens to ask for help…she still accepts. Leaving the Academ, the Dalton certainly is in need of some entertainment. Hard to miss in her strapless, golden-yellow dress, she strolls with confidence, albeit a tired one.

She yawns long and covers her mouth before looking up to the sky. Now wait a minute…if this was the West End, then…crap. Time to pull out the datapad and figure this out again. Her eyes scan briefly and, lo and behold, there's the Young Drake. "Lord Nitrim!" She says from across the arcade with a wave. So much for hiding.

Nothing says playing it low like having your name yelled out across a busy street. Of course, Nitrim's face remains a calm, cool atmosphere as his internal monologue fills with mother-fucker! and for the love of... His head turns, blone eyebrow creaking across the row to a girl who's expression and dress are a bright contrast to his quiet gloom.

He comes to a stop. He's been snared.

Turning, he slows at the edge of a sidewalk to allow a romantic couple on a rickshaw-like vehicle to pass in front of him. He looks both ways and steps out across the beer-stained rock to cross over to Evey's side.

"I guess it's only fair, Evey, last time I'm the one that snagged you out of a crowd, wasn't it?" Nitrim murmurs over the filter of his cigarette as he pulls a small case out, opens it, and offers a cigarette for the Dalton girl.

It's a nasty habit. Thankfully she's only been smoking when around Nitrim or one other smoker. "Of course, Nitrim." She grins to him softly as she offers a quick hug. "How're you holding up?" Piercing Dalton eyes look to him, leaving unsaid the pains of losing a sibling.

"I am all sunshine, rainbows, and things as bright as your dress." Nitrim murmurs over Evey's shoulder as he leans in for that quick, familiar hug. With a squeeze to her hips, he steps back and allows his eyes to white over, offering a small flame for the woman to light her cigarette with. All lies, of course, as Nitrim sounds as tired and quieted as he looks. "I was just getting out into the dark and blowing off some steam. Would you like to talk a walk?"

"Someone has to try to shine some light in all this brooding." Evey says with a soft smile as she takes his arm and puffs the cigarette with her other hand. "A walk sounds nice." She says, as if her motion hadn't made that clear enough.

Tucking Evey's slender arm into the crook of his, Nitrim lets out a quiet sigh of cigarette smoke away from Evey's face that only manages to leave a cloud for another pedestrian to walk through. The walk starts in a slow-moving silence as they turn a corner past a rock bar, with its loud music filtering out into the city street.

"So I take it you've heard, then." Nitrim replies, glancing to the profile of her face before his eyes turn forward again. "It's been a long week and no marriage banns announced to give me something to gloat about."

Evey's far more judicious in where she blows her smoke, but makes no mention of Nitrim's. The music seems to be a dull thud, but perhaps within recognition. There's a soft smirk on her face. "I seem to recall someone suggesting matches between trees and mythical sea drakes." But she shrugs as her eyes give him a teasing look. Seems like at least one Dalton enjoys the rumor mill. It's what the InfoSphere wad invented for, right?

"Yeah, and a few weeks prior there were rumors he was chatting up Reena while her engagement to Kadmus was falling apart." Nitrim retorts, ashing his cigarette to the side as his face two-tones: His smirk is genuine, but the weight on his brow from mention of his recently departed sister is a hard thing. His back straights and his arm squeezes hers gently. "And then there's all of this talk of that tree's roots getting into a lot of places. Not that I'm one to point blame, right?"

There's a tightening of her grip on his arm as Reena is mentioned, though Evey's face holds its playful demeanor. "I've always heard roots need to stretch wide and deep, right? It's just a shame. I hear the match was mutually desired…and could've bridged two very disparate houses. More unity and whatnot." She says casually. "Though we'll see who's right in the end. Stars have yet to fail me."

With a lull in his step, Nitrim grins quietly and leans back, tugging on her arm as they near a streetside coffee vendor. Elbow steering is a learned skill. "I learned the hard way that simply not caring and getting your jabs in to your family with lack of discretion will kill future opportunities. I wouldn't be surprised to learn they're both being melted verbally by their folks." Nitrim replies, glancing to his feet before dragging his eyes back over to Evey's face. "Did I ever tell you your cousin had a sit-down with me once? I consider the lot of you lucky I didn't cause any problems with you and your house. I like you Daltons a bit."

The Dalton follows along, freely allowing herself to be tugged. "Emotions are powerful, crazy things." Evey says, her smile obviously recalling some memory or another. "And families have their own concerns. Though it's a hard lesson to learn or understand. I'm sure they mean the best though. And did you now? When the sun shines brightly, people find there's much less to hide."

"I've got a long way to go if I want to be bright and shining, Evey. I might get there eventually, but with the war we're all going to end up married and fighting this fucker. I'm still on the fence as to whether I should drag you into my web." Stepping over the curb, Nitrim reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet, one-handing it to flip out some money. Finding the world of one-handed wallet work isn't his forte, he holds the open wallet to Evey. "You've got the free hand, pull out a twenty for us?"

The palm of her free hand has a long cut that seems to be healing, but the cut is quite deep. "Are you a spider now, young Drake?" Evey asks, clearly amused. "And for goodness' sake, Nitrim, why are you still holding paper notes in your wallet?" She fumbles thru it and pulls out the twenty.

"I'm not going to give you my credit stick, what do you think I'm crazy?" Teasing her in turn, he claps the wallet shut and slips it back into its rightful place with a wave of his coat. Guiding her to a stop before the drink menu, he presses his finger against the screen to start his order. Without asking, the Khourni reaches for her wrist and pulls her palm into view. "And yes, I'm a spider. What the fuck happened here?"

Evey starts to shrug at the mention of handing a girl his credit stick. "Just saying!" She chuckles a bit…and then he's grasped her hand and she's a bit shocked at the quick, fluid motion. There's not a jerk back though. "Nitrim Khournas, you don't get to ponder whether or not to draw me into your web then go about asking silly questions." She retorts, but softly continues. "It's…well, it's a symbol for someone."

Giving the wound a quick once-over, Nitrim gently releases her hand and steps aside so that she can place her order. He glances over the counter to the portly, teen-aged barista with a flat yes this is business smile and lowers his voice. "I'm either a fool or a genius; anyone I pull into my nonsense is gonna suffer the same fate. You should probably think about that before you risk yourself to whoever this sweetheart is you made this promise to." Nitrim's features darken. "I'm going on a limb here and guessing, but that looks like some kind of promise-cut if it's a symbol."

"Perhaps then, you ought to let folks make their own decisions, spider." Evey says with a supportive hip-bump for good measure. "And I'm a woman of my word. Yes, it's, well I suppose it is a love pact I suppose. Though I'm ever certain he'll run away before long." Her smile fades a bit. "And it could've just as easily been some hermetic ritual."

"Oh but fucking hermetics is all ash and sand and not as good as your stars remember?" Nitrim has to pluck the cigarette from his lip to avoid blasting it out of his lips with the laughter. Handing the money over, he steals Evey over to a quiet lightpost to lean against while they talk. "Who's the guy? I always figured you had plenty of guys chasing you around, but cutting your hand?" Nitrim's eyes lid playfully. "You're braver than I."

Leaning against the post, Evey chuckles even Iouder. "I think I like that it's not about me getting the ingredients wrong, if that makes sense. The stars are there. Maybe hermetics just have a better work ethic than the rest of us." She shrugs softly before considering his question. "Many followers, few interesting enough for more than a passing glance." She leans a bit more closely. "Considering all that's happened recently…well, you'd understand my request for discretion, yes?"

Taking another pull from his cigarette, Nitrim leans his shoulder against Evey's and tilts his head, smoke nearly blowing down the front of her dress as he tries to not blow it in her face. "And yet here you are, out in public, arm-in-arm with me of all people. Honestly, I'm surprised no one took pictures of us having coffee on the Ring. Maybe it was because Helena dropped in; they couldn't try to word it as some kind of date." Nitrim shakes his head. "And if the next banns is yours, you forfeit this bet. Are you folks arranging it?"

Evey shows no shame or reticence as the smoke hits her strapless dress. "I think he's tougher than that. Besides, the Lord has made clear his intention to never introduce me to his family." Evey shakes her head as her hand rests softly on Nitrim's chest. "I'm a Dalton. My folks have little interest in marrying a cousin of the main line off anytime soon."

Somewhere…in the darkness…one of the coffee shop customers pulls out their datapad to make a call and…snaps a convenient picture.

"I'm not your father and I'm not your therapist, but I can tell you, Evey, if you're cut-your-hand serious about a Lord that doesn't want to introduce you to his family and your family isn't expecting to marry you off…" Nitrim tsks, shaking his head as it cants to paint his attention on Evey. Lips curling into a flat frown, his eyes widen just a little. "Be careful, alright? All of those things I did, and those being just the things I got caught doing, have made me nigh-unsellable. I'm pretty sure in my Father's eyes I'm more trouble than I'm worth, and he doesn't know the half of what I'm working on. Detrius is great and you Daltons are too. Be careful."

Pulling back a moment, Evey looks around the coffee shop. "I suppose you're right. It's what I get…falling for someone so young." She goes to grab the prepared drinks. "Though you'll accomplish quite a bit, of that I'm sure. Sellable or not. Helena sees it too." She hands him his drink.

The affectionate moment, if that is what it was at all, is over as soon as it began and Nitrim takes his coffee from Evey with a scant nod of thanks. "My advice? Be up-front. Don't get too wrapped up until you know there's some long term in it and if there isn't? Citizens and brothels." Nitrim murmurs against the spill-lip of his cup while he takes that first, pensive sip. Hot. He falls back into line for their walk. "We're humans. We're thoroughbreds for showing. I'm just glad the populace doesn't think I'll ever accomplish anything, because it gives me room to work without being bothered by people that have the right to tell me to stop, you know?"

The picture taken, the conversation lulls into the distance as the two continue walking the streets, speaking quietly as they go…

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