She strides quietly her footsteps light, purposeful. She pauses at the door, a striking figure silhouetted in the dim light of the moon. There is no hiding what she is. The dark horns on her head, adorned with silver hoops, the large leathery wings tucked tightly behind her, the twin tails that flick anxiously in the doorway. Even without these things her skin, the color of pale ashes, and those eyes, deep pools of shadow that seem to draw the unwary in, her unearthly beauty, these things would mark her as demon. Indeed, she is a study in black and white, the only color upon her was the bright shock of long red hair, and her moist red lips. The rest of her seems to blend into the moonlight and shadows of her favorite haunts.
She steps inside the door, letting it swing shut behind her. She falls into darkness, the shadows rushing up as if to greet her, and mayhap they do. She steps forward, toward the lone candle ensconced in the lantern on the table, left on, no doubt by the estate manager. She had called ahead that morning and told him she would be by to look over the property. Strange that he himself had not chosen to stay behind to show her around.
‘Yes…passing strange indeed,’ she thinks, her eyes quickly adjusting to the dimness of the room. Her tails push against the door as she steps up to the table, making sure the front door was latched fully, wanting to know if she was followed by the sound of the door opening behind her, rather than any sort of surprise attack. She had quite enough of those in recent months, thank you ever so much. Her thin pale finger, tipped with a sharp red nail slides over the table. She wrinkles her nose at the dust that it draws up with its slow trail. She idly flicks the residue away, looking about the first floor of the building.
“Black Rose, indeed.” She mutters to herself, her voice deep like passion, though with a frightful edge of tightly controlled hunger.
Oh…but she is so hungry.
Three months had passed sense she had fled her last home. Three long hungry months where she had wandered the worlds, a demon adrift in the ether of time and space. She had been egged on by the disembodied cries of her people, their need for a home, a hunting ground. As their queen it was only right that she be burdened with the search. As their queen she had been the one given stable form to wander the worlds in search of their resting place. She who fed from all emotions of lesser beings, not simply limited to the baser passions of her succubi sisters. She could feed on more than just lusts, and that gave her the ability to travel longer, to seek out their desires as they themselves could not. Still the delight of the feeding was the slow tapping of her lover’s life force, a macabre dance of death that could not be satisfied with the frenzied coupling she had been forced to endure while she searched the worlds over. These brief feedings giving her just enough power to slip back into the shadows, to move between worlds, but not enough to be…filling, to sate her hunger as she so desperately needed.
Her eyes wander over the faded wallpaper, the carved wooden railing that slid up the stairs into the darkness of the second floor. She paused at the first door and opened it, seeing rough concrete floors and peeling green paint. ‘A kitchen at one time,’ she thought idly as the stench of something rotten filled her senses, making her shiver with the memory of her beloved home. She licks her lips and moves on, filled with purpose as she steps to the next heavy wooden door.
An office, a large desk of some dark wood filling the space nicely. She steps up to the picture on the wall, an old black and white sign for the Black Rose, faded, yet she could still make out the woman’s beautiful face, her dark hair pulled up in an elaborate knot. She smiles as she sees the single tear that glints on the woman’s cheek.
‘This could be perfect.’ She muses.
The rest of the house was in similar disrepair, but she does not worry upon these mundane details. The foundation was solid, and her clients would not be concerned with the wallpaper. She chuckles, oh no…their minds would most certainly be elsewhere. ‘Indeed.’ She thinks, her spirits lifting for the first time in months, ‘This place would be quite suitable for my needs.’
Though a stray thought gives her pause, and she returns to the first floor, and the light, which suddenly seems jarring to her sensitive eyes.
Smoothing her hands down her narrow waist and over the long flowing skirts of her dress she opens the door once again and steps out, looking up and down the street. The Black Rose was situated in the warehouse section of this strange place. She had been to many Londons in different times and places, but this one…oh she had high hopes for this one.
She moved slowly down the street, the cobblestones causing her steps to echo among the buildings. She pauses at the tracks at the end of the street, her eye out for the bright red trolley that ran along it. Seeing it farther down the tracks she slipped up and along them, following their path across a short bridge to a building she had learned was a Café and one of the ritzier establishments she had found. Her wings wrapped tightly around her to stave off the effects of the cold she quickly strides inside.
She takes in the plush red couches and the long estate table as she shakes the mist from her dress. Her eyes snap to the large fireplace with the strange blue flames. Quickly hurrying over she sighs as she finds it still holds the same heat as other, more normal colored flames. She holds her hands out to capture the warmth as she hears a quiet melodic voice behind her.
She turns in a rush, unsure of her reception. Her wings spreading slightly to capture what warmth she could before being cast back out into the night. Her tails sliding along the warm stone of the fireplace idly, touching, flicking, a near caress.
She bobs her head, “Good evening.” She glances down at the woman, noticing immediately her own dark eyes under her spill of long copper hair.
“I’ve not seen you around before.” The woman says, moving to the bar at the side of the room, “Can I get you anything to drink?” she rummages around, seemingly unconcerned at her appearance, “Whiskey, ale…” she pauses, looking her over with those whiteless intelligent eyes, “maybe a bloodwine?”
The Demoness smiles and steps forward, wary, but willing to accept the hospitality, “A bloodwine sounds delightful, thank you.” She rests her hand upon the bar as she slides onto a stool, “I’m Na’amah.” She says, inclining her head to the barkeep.
“Leigh.” The woman says as she grabs a glass from under the bar and pours the thick red wine. “Owner.” She adds on, setting the wine on the bar and pushing it towards her.
“Pleasure.” Na’amah smiles, accepting the wine and swirling it in the glass before taking a sip. Her eyes open wide in shock and she gives a startled laugh, “REAL Bloodwine? How delightful!”
Leigh cocks her head to the side, “Of course, what else would it be?”
Na’amah chuckles softly, taking another sip, savoring the flavor, “Oh…not many places are willing to mix human blood with their wines. Could be they use Sheep, or pig.” She wrinkles her nose distastefully, “It always seems to spoil the flavor.”
Leigh nods once her face not giving away anything, “Indeed, it does.”
Na’amah hmms and watches the woman carefully, the scent of roses was faint, but sliding to her from across the bar.
Both of the women turn towards the stairs as they hear heavy footfalls. “Ah…” Leigh murmurs, “That would be my mate.”
Na’amah’s eyes go wide as she sees what is obviously a vampire, descend the stairs, scowling furiously. He had pale bloodless skin, rivaling her own and shaggy black hair. He was dressed in an ornate brocade vest and black breeches. His white shirt finished the ensemble, making him look very much the gentleman. He made no move to hide his fangs as he moved over to the long wooden table, flopping down and burying his nose in a book that tingled faintly of magic against her skin.
Na’amah raised an eyebrow and turns back to Leigh, who simply shrugs and continues her work behind the bar.
Na’amah grins into her glass, ‘oh yes…this place will be wonderful.’ She chuckles to herself and resolves to return to the estate manager’s office this evening and finalize the contract for the Black Rose.