Step quietly into the room. It’s dark except for the soft glow of a night-light. Same balloon shape from her own childhood. The posters have gone, the room’s had a paint job. The clean scent of baby powder as she steps over to the crib.
It’s only when she reaches down to take her son’s hand that she realises her heart is still racing. Adrenalin, even hours after the fight’s over. Wound tight, but she’s got to keep holding it in. Maybe once they’re all home and safe she can let it go.
Taking a few breaths, she gently lifts him into her arms, holding him close. He makes soft, sleepy noises as she kisses his forehead.
It’s only when she starts to put him down again that she sees the blood smeared on the front of his pyjamas. Not hers, of course. Probably Kaerlud’s from moving the body. But definitely blood, staining the clean white of his clothes.
He’s not even two months old.
As a second challenge, and as the National has just been and gone, have another prompt of 'big events'. This can be a big gathering like the National, or a big event in your PC's life. Pieces about your PC's experience of a recent big gaming event (a National or a featured game) would be especially appreciated.
And if people respond to this, I'll try and keep them going on a monthly basis again.
So, go forth and write!
The respectful nod Justin gave me as I requested to drive myself back to Manchester covered his amazed expression. I had never made such a demand of him since I employed him, but I needed something to do. He seemed uncomfortable taking the passenger seat next to me but I make a light comment about my driving ability and he relaxes slightly. He has got used to my moods, and the joke signifies that I'm fed up of the Invictus behaviour for the night.
He after a moment asks if I had a pleasant evening, and I confirm that it was interesting. On autopilot really, my immediate reply. We sit in silence as I negotiate the string of roundabouts that take us away from the lovely old church that houses the court of Wakefield. I know some humans dislike having to drive in darkness, but I don't understand it. It is pleasant beneath the pale street lamps, though I admit to myself that I have never known better.
I relax on to the motorway, performing the subtle flick of chance that will allow me to have time to think as I drive. I drive by instinct now.
There is something about the nobility of Ventrue that I can't help but trust, it seems. I need to make sure I watch this, perhaps I should have found myself a liege lord of their clan so that I could have one that I trust. Sir Daniel I suspect has called it right, though I struggle with my pride to admit it.
The suggestion that I was wrong is a dagger in my thoughts and I fight the anger that raises in my chest. I feel my fangs slip out and revel in the power of my beast, though still not allowing it to overwhelm.
Justin's fingers are white, clenching the cream leather beneath him as he glances at me and amusement floods my mind. My beast backs down quickly and I ride the buzz that follows. I attempt to smile reassuringly at him, allowing my amusement to show. He returns it weakly, I know I'm terrifying for a mortal so I do not expect much more than that.
Putting my eyes back to the glistening tarmac and the flash of passing lights, I put my mind to the task of my most pressing problem currently: what do I want out of it.
Finally I freed my hands, my fingers reaching my face to pull away whatever barred my vision to find my eyes but hollow sockets. I screamed.
And woke with a yell, my eyes snapping open to the darkened chamber. Moonlight spilled into the room from the un-shuttered window. I gasped for the dark night air, propelling myself from bed and filled my lungs with the scent of the palace. My fingers touched my waking face, my eyes, to calm myself. His screams still echoed in my ears and I shuddered. Quickly and quietly I padded across the room, blessing whatever chance gave me the ability to move on silent feet. I fumbled for flint to light a candle and stood there basking in its glow. I glanced over at the bed to see my sheets reduced to tatters. I sighed.
Pouring myself a cup of water from the jug, I softly left my room. I could just remember which was his, two along, on the left… Yes, this one. I stood for a moment by his door. I had to check; I had to make sure he was all right. I strained my hearing, my eyes tentatively shutting out distraction. Soft breathing, yes that was him. I felt myself relax slightly, my heart slowing the pounding in my ears. I couldn’t sleep again tonight.
The light from my candle guided be along the corridor, I did not really need it but the darkness made me feel panicky. I remembered the way to the patio where we broke our fast well enough, distracting myself by recalling it.
The door closed with a soft click behind me. Setting the candle gently on the table, I took a chair to overlook the view. The city was placidly beautiful at night, the waxing crescent moon telling me that dawn was not far ahead. Breathing deeply I began to chant softly, allowing the words to seep into my distraught mind. The smells of the royal palace lazily lapped at my lungs. The whispered words fluttered in the cool breeze that touched my face. My muscles relaxed as my eyes took in the coming roseate sunrise and the waves on the beach far below caressed my ears.
We had two things to do, and not much time to do them in: To rescue George, and to renegotiate the Silver Pact.
George started his own break out, or the lune inside him did. Boomer got pretty cut up trying to extract him, but nothing that wouldn't heal. George came out less well; he died in hospital. I do consider it a win that he didn't die in a cage.
By that point, I wasn't in much of a mood for the Merchant Prince's bullshit. After a thousand years, he was worried he was 'becoming something different than himself' and tried to talk one of my pack, one of my wolves, into being his agent provocateur. So, when he didn't like the new pact - which is actually much, much softer on the Courts than I would have liked, but right now we have one pack in the county - I figured to hell with him.
The Brightaxe sheared through his altar with a sharp crack and the spirit itself disappeared with one last jingle of coins. We could have tried to summon him, but he'd have gone to ground somewhere, in whatever he'd replaced his abacus with after the PKs burned it.
Instead, I turned to the others and said: "It's open season. And in future, as far as we're concerned, it's name is 'Merch'."