Tuesday, 6 February 2018

2.44 The Club


If Tula were to recount this day, she would have said it was just like any other. She got up, had breakfast, chatted with Rafael, and then had a completely ordinary shift counting ballots at town hall. Her co-worker Jeffery then gave her a lift home and drove off once she was safely in front of her apartment building. 




It was all perfectly routine until she found herself drawn to a woman standing just on the edge of the apartment complex. Her glowing eyes indicate vampirism, but there's nothing else overtly remarkable about her. This is why when Tula's body fills with cold fear, she doesn't run, but is confused. Nothing has ever made her feel scared before. 



"Yes, come closer dear," the woman says with a frighteningly wide smile. Her huge eyes are roaming and unfocused, flitting about and never quite making eye contact. 

"Look, if you want money, I don't have any-," 

The woman cuts her off with an unhinged laugh. If the situation weren't so bizarre, Tula might think the woman is doing her best impression of a cartoon villain. 

"Money? I have far more than enough of that. No, no, little bird, that's not what I'm after." 

"...little bird?" 

"A parrot, of course! You may not share the same plumage, but you know the saying; "Birds of a feather". Though when Pablo told me of his little, unassuming niece, I didn't expect you to really be this dull." 

It finally dawns on Tula who this woman is, "You must be from the organisation Beau used to work for." 

The woman's face contorts with rage, "Merrick! That lying little scoundrel! Should've gutted him when I had the chance. But he's clever! Got away, made some deals..." her fingers twitch by her sides. 

"You met my uncle?" Tula changes the subject, "I didn't know his organisation was related to yours." 



The woman tsks, "You didn't do any research on the family business? I was told that you're smart. Parrots, always tricky! Can never tell when they really know something or when they're just repeating what they're told. No matter! Come now, little bird, we must go to your new...perch." She takes Tula by the wrist and roughly tugs her along. Tula knows this woman could snap her arm like a twig if she wanted, but she isn't using her full strength. Tula manages to dig in her heels and slow them down.



"What? Where are we going?" 

 "Ask too many questions and you'll be riding in the trunk!" the woman snaps. Before Tula can say anything else, the woman's fingers are on Tula's shoulder, pressing down with inhuman strength. A sharp jolt of pain passes through her body before she falls, completely limp.




When she regains consciousness, a blindfold is roughly ripped off her face. Tula blinks, disoriented, as she takes in her surroundings. A plain, grey garage greets her. There is no furniture except for a heavy, metal table and some dingy patio chairs. Instinctively, Tula looks for the nearest exit, only to see a firmly locked garage car door. 

"Finally awake! Ready to sing me a tune?" the vampire woman greets her. 





Tula glances behind her and sees a man, also with glowing eyes. Another vampire. 




"Oh, don't pay any attention to Michael," the woman says, redirecting Tula's attention, "He's just...hired help. I could take care of any foolish attempts at exiting this conversation, but Michael's way is... neater." 





Tula meets the woman's eyes, unflinching and unafraid. It obviously disturbs her to have her authority challenged, and she raises an eyebrow. Young humans are normally easily cowed! All of her previous recruits were shaking in their boots by now, bargaining with her and begging her for their lives! She pouts. She rather likes that part. 

"There won't be any need for that. Just tell me what you want," Tula replies calmly. 


"Well, I could tell you, but there's a much easier way." She nods to Michael. 




Before Tula has any idea what's happening, Michael has already lifted her to her feet locked in a crushing embrace. His jacket is dripping wet with rain and the cold causes Tula to shiver. 




To any outsider, this might just look like an intimate moment. Michael's nose is almost touching Tula's, his hands are cradling her face. He looks almost loving in his touch, his fingers seeming to caress instead of crush. 

But Tula is paralysed. She pushes Michael's arm with her right hand ineffectually, trying to escape the hot burrowing pain in her skull. 

Stop fighting, a male voice fills her head, you're making this much harder than it needs to be. 

Tula doesn't respond, desperately trying to find a way to flee. There must be a way out from this. 



The woman's eyes go wide with astonishment when Tula screams and her eyes fly open. Michael is obviously bewildered, his balance being compromised enough that Tula is able to push him away from her. 

"What the hell was that!?" Tula's question is one of pure surprise, her expression dazed but not fearful. The woman frowns; why can't this woman be terrified? It's not like she's making it hard! The nerve. 

"Michael, take care of this!" the woman has no patience to speak verbally. 




Michael quickly regains his wits. In a flash he's on Tula's other side. He instantaneously exploits their eye contact, a blinding light emanating from his eyes and soon emitting from Tula's as well. 



This is far less painful but more invasive and numbing than whatever he was doing earlier. Tula can't even think as he probes her mind, finding the information he wants. 



Only moments later, Tula is released. 

"She's clean," Michael informs the woman. 



"Good. Excellent work, Michael."



Michael allows himself to bask in his employer's praise. He's the very best at what he does. Why else would he have been hired by this organisation? He's particularly proud of this one, it seems. Her mind was difficult to infiltrate- moreso than the average human's- but in the end he extracted what was needed. 




Tula mentally quickly regains her composure, but gracelessly tumbles into her chair. Noticing the woman's unbridled glee at her demeanor finally giving away, Tula decides to play into it. She hunkers down, her gaze meek and hesitant. The woman smiles. 




"I'm glad to see Michael's gentle touch hasn't made you too flighty," the woman says, smirking at Michael. "Well, was that little weasel Merrick right? Will she bring more volunteers for our... unique needs?" she telepaths to Michael. 


"Yes. If she puts in the necessary effort, she shouldn't have much trouble helping us," Michael replies. His tone seems unimpressed; after all, he's seen many gifted con artists in his time here. 

"You need to watch her carefully. She can be as deceitful as she is charming," he adds, frowning as he thinks of her ability to escape his telepathy. In his personal opinion, this alone makes her too dangerous to hire, but he knows Morrigan is in need of Tula's services. She wouldn't listen to his stronger reservations. He's surprised that she listens to him at all. 

"W-what do you want?" Tula makes her voice quiver. Glancing between them, she wonders why they're staring at each other so intensely. 




The woman's eyes snap to Tula's, who immediately looks away. Her smirk becomes wicked in its intensity. 

"Your help, of course. You're good at what you do, yes? Convincing others to do what you want?" 





Tula laughs, unable to contain herself, "Convincing? What I do is...more subtle. I don't so much persuade people as I do...make them realize that all along what they wanted was what I want." 





Morrigan's eyes droop, clearly disappointed. The fear on Tula's face dissipated far too quickly.

"I see. Well, your talent has not gone unnoticed. Work for us and we won't drain you dry of every single drop of plasma in your veins. Once we can trust you not to mess up your tasks, you'll the find the monetary award quite a bit higher than your ballot counting."



She looks at Michael, now looking bored, "Well, is there anything else for this meeting?"

"The initiation ritual," he patiently reminds her.

Her eyes light up, "That's right! There's a little custom we have here for... new members of our little family."

Tula raises an eyebrow. Another test?



Michael pulls her roughly out of her chair, standing her up in front of Morrigan. 

"It's been a while since I've fed from a bird..." 



Before Tula can react, Morrigan's fangs are deep in her neck. The pain is not as bad as she expected, but the sensation of her blood being sucked out is definitely uncomfortable. She reflexively pulls at Morrigan's arm, but her grip is solid and unflappable. 



Morrigan pulls away, smirking and grinning triumphantly. 

"Welcome to the club." 


Sunday, 14 January 2018

2.43 Date Night


Very late the next afternoon, Tula is up. She was going to spend her Saturday at home, but glancing at Jessica and Rafael hovering so close to each other, something tells her she should make herself scarce. 




Neither of them seem to notice Tula hurrying up the stairs. 

"Let's go on a date," Jessica suggests, smiling softly. 

Rafael grins, "That sounds like a great idea. Any place in mind?" 


***




Tula's decided to go on a date of her own. William was more than happy to see Tula again. With Jessica and Rafael out for most of the day, Tula felt comfortable asking William to join her at Mick's Master Karaoke in the early evening. It also just seemed insensitive to ask a vampire to meet her under the full, summer sun. 



William breathes deeply before taking the first shot in pool. He has the worst luck in this game, always managing to sink the cue ball or the 8 ball on his first try. 



Thankfully, this doesn't happen here. 



Tula must be his lucky charm! 



"You enjoying the show?" William asks, flexing a bicep. 

Tula giggles, "Too bad you can't show off much more in a game like this." 




Tula, however, can. She looks at the position of the various balls on the table. The kind of geometry needed for this game isn't too complicated. She could probably sink three balls if she hits the cueball at just the right angle.

Tula takes her shot and... 




"Ow! Damn it," she swears under her breath, rubbing her bruised shin. When did the pool table get so close? 




She looks up, seeing that her slip-up still got the cueball to move. Unfortunately, it didn't hit anything else, meaning her turn is over. 

"Guess tonight's just not my night," she says with a smile. 

He looks at her and returns her smile, "At least it seems to be mine..." 



On the other side of town, Jessica and Rafael walk out of the movie theatre, tightly embracing. 

"Did you like the movie?" Jessica asks teasingly. They spent most of the film locking lips like a pair of teenagers. Jessica's pretty sure the movie wasn't that good, anyways. 

"Wasn't paying much attention to the movie," Rafael smiles, and kisses Jessica lightly. Before she can return it, he pulls away. 

"You are so beautiful..." 

Jessica quirks an eyebrow, "Well, you're not too bad yourself." 

He shakes his head, still smiling. How lucky is he? Holding the woman he loves, being happy... 

Reaching towards his pocket, his resolve solidifies. 



"Jessica Talon..." he pulls a small velvet box out of his pocket. He bought it just before their vacation to China, planning on having this conversation during a romantic vacation. He just couldn't find the time. Then when they got back from vacation, they were both so busy with work... he's been keeping it on him whenever they go out, just in case, but it never did. Not until now. 

"Rafael..." Jessica has sensed this question building up in Rafael for over a year, but wasn't sure if he'd ever ask. She was content in their life together, living together as committed partners, so she never pressed the issue herself. 

"Being with you, seeing the world together has been absolutely wonderful. I love you, and I want to be with you for as long as my measly human life will let me." 



He gets down on one knee. 

"Will you marry me?" 

Jessica's only answer is enthusiastic nodding and a broad smile. 




Back at Mick's, the pair has moved downstairs to get some drinks. 

But noticing William's uncomfortable fidgeting, as well as his slight sluggishness, Tula wonders if he's truly enjoying himself. 

"William, is there something wrong?" 




William looks over her shoulder at the patrons starting to trickle in. 

"I...I'm not used to crowds of people," he admits honestly, "They make me uncomfortable." 

Tula nods understandingly, "Then let's go outside. I'm sure there are less people there." 



Once they get outside, William is feeling much better. Without so many prying eyes, William is more than confident enough to go in for a deep kiss. 




When his hands begin wandering a bit too much, Tula pulls away. 

"We should go somewhere more private," she suggests with a sly smile. 

William's smile becomes teasing, "Well, there are a few bushes over there..." 

Tula rolls her eyes, "I'm not feeling too at-one with nature right now. I'm feeling something more... indoors."

 William grins and pulls her closer, "Well, my place is pretty empty right now..." 



And a long cab ride later, they are at William's place. 

"Wow, nice place," Tula comments, an awe-struck expression on her place. They even have a security gate! 

"It looks much better on the inside, trust me." 



Tula agrees. 

William looks at her slip, "Very nice."

"Me or the outfit?" 

William grins, "Both." 



Tula's surprised at how warm William is; she had always been told that vampires were cool to the touch. Aside from a few hugs from Jessica, she's never had an opportunity to verify this information for herself. 

It's nice to be proven wrong, sometimes. 



Come morning, Tula rolls out of bed, shivering as she straightens the covers. She would have been perfectly content to stay in bed longer but her stomach's growling just won't permit that. 



She eventually finds her way to the kitchen. She's mildly surprised to see someone else there. 

"Oh, good morning! Sorry to invade your kitchen like this," she apologises to whom she assumes is a housemate of William's, "But I'm starving. Is it ok if I make myself some breakfast?" 

"Sure, sure," the man says. After swallowing his bite of salad he adds, "I'm Romeo, by the way." 

"Tula. I'm a...well, friend isn't exactly accurate, but let's say a close friend of William's, if you catch my meaning." 



Romeo nearly chokes on his salad. 

William bringing home a girl? A hot girl?! All those times Romeo tried to wing-man for William in clubs and facepalmed as he embarrassed himself with a stupid pick up line or a dumb comment... not even the best wingman can save someone from themselves.  



Tula pretends to be oblivious to Romeo's astonishment and goes about making herself breakfast. 

"So, Romeo, how did you and William meet?" she asks casually. 



"We, uh, work on the police force together. I used to be his boss..." 

"Used to?" 





Romeo shakes his head, pulling his mind out of the gutter and his eyes away from Tula's legs. 

"Yeah, he got promoted last week." 

"Ah, I see. Lucky William." 

Lucky is right, Romeo thinks, taking one last glance at Tula's shapely legs. 

"Well, feel free to make yourself at home. The bathroom's next to William's room if you need to freshen up. And don't worry about dishes, I can wash them later." 

"Oh I wouldn't want to impose..." 

Romeo shakes his head. Tula looks over her shoulder and he smiles brightly at her, "You're a guest. I'll take care of it, don't worry. Anyways, I'll be in my room. Just shout if you need something." There was no way Romeo was going to let William mess this up with bad manners. He better thank me later, he thinks to himself with an internal sigh. 



With that, Romeo leaves Tula to making pancakes. 



Tula decides to eat in the dining room. If she wanted to eat in the kitchen she could do that perfectly well at home. 



Then she passes by William's room. He's still out like a light, so she takes the liberty of running herself a bath. There's no rush for her to get ready, it seems. 



Once she's dressed and freshly made up, she finds William gone. She finds him upstairs in another bedroom- she guesses Romeo's- doing jumping jacks. 

"Ah, there you are," Tula says in greeting. 





William whirls around, a guilty smile on his face, "Oh, I thought you were Romeo for a second." 

"Would that have been a problem?" 

"Well...I might not exactly be allowed in here without him. But he's using the our bench press and I don't like working out downstairs. Too many windows, too much sun." 



Tula nods and then pulls him into an embrace. 

"Last night was great, but I have to head home now. I have a pile of paperwork with my name on it." 




"Oh, so are you a corporate drone or something? I guess you do look like a rich-bitch." 

Tula raises an eyebrow, "Well, not so sure about the bitch part, but I'm definitely not rich. I wish. No, I work at town hall. I count ballots." 

"Oh no, you're definitely not a bitch. Definitely not," he trails off, running a hand down her arm, "You sure you don't want to stay? I could drive you in the morning." 

"Aw, you're so sweet. No, I'll be fine. I can order a cab myself." 

"So, will I...see you again sometime?" 

Tula smiles triumphantly, "Oh, definitely. I'll call you." She pecks him on the lips and loops her arm around his. 

"Walk me to the door?" 

William grins, "Gladly." 



While Tula waits for her cab, Jessica and Rafael finish up one of their many rounds of celebration of their engagement. 

"This weekend has been amazing," Jessica sighs, "We really need to do this more often." 



"Well, I guess I'll just have to buy more rings," Rafael beams. 

As they gaze into each other's eyes, Rafael's grin turns into a smirk, "Hey, Jessica?" 

"Yes?" 

"...will you marry me?" 



He doesn't really give her a chance to answer. 




When Tula comes home, the apartment is oddly quiet. She's about to head upstairs when she hears faint giggling. 

Guess Jessica and Rafael are home, she thinks. Well, while she's alone, there is an important call she can make. She pulls out her phone and dials the number Jessica gave her on Thursday night. 




"Beau Merrick? Yes, this is Tula Winterly. I was wondering if there was any word on that job offer?Getting closer to Fangmann this weekend was no problem. I'm sure whatever it is you want me to propose to him, or get from him, I can do it." 

There's a pause, but after a moment, Beau's answer comes, "Excellent. My former employer is quite interested in meeting you. You will be contacted in several days." 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AN: So I was not expecting Rafael to propose marriage. But a wish was rolled and well... there it is. 

William actually tried to leave the date halfway through! I had to send Tula to intercept him and send them both to his house immediately. I was surprised to see that William lives with his boss, Romeo Rake. Romeo is romantic interests with Jun Xu in my game (Jun being a doctor in Bridgeport) and is still a triple agent. 

So I have a decision to make, and I need some input from you guys; should Rafael and Jessica have a wedding or not? I've never done a proper sims 3 wedding in this blog (as in, with a cake and arch and everything) and it seems like a pain. But a club wedding would be quite something XD It's up to you!