As The Chips Fall

The Fates Are Smiling
Or are they?

This is a basic update that has reminders:

– Your character should have 41 skill points.
– Game time has been returned to a start time of 1:00 Eastern, Noon Central, however it works for German time. ;)

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Past Revealed
Vivian is NOT a happy camper

Vivian had been a busy girl. Her campaign to up Giovanni Montegna’s reputation around the city had been going as well as she could have hoped, all things considered. Prior to breaking ground on her new, yet-unnamed club at the Palms Place pool, she’d made an effort to relocate all the employees from Simon restaurant at other locations within the hotel. While Antonio thought it was a waste of time, Vivian sold Johnny on the idea that, if she could spin it as though Giovanni cares about the well-being of the employees at his hotels, it would serve to improve the public’s perception of him. At a time when people are worried about their jobs and losing their houses, if people were relocated within the organization rather than laid off, it would make Giovanni seem compassionate. Johnny approved of Vivian’s plan.

With things in motion from an HR standpoint at The Palms, Vivian had lined up contractors and broke ground on the club. It didn’t take long for the inevitable to happen: She received an email from Kyle – a simple “WTF?” She took her time to respond to it, knowing that she was slowly dying a little more each day as she buried herself more deeply in her lies, and as desperately as she wanted to tell Kyle the truth, she responded with a more diplomatic message:

“Kyle –
I know that when I left Surrender, I asked you to take over for me, and I still believe you are the best person for the job. Nobody cares about Surrender like you do, and I know that in your hands, the club is safe. I also know that when I left, you said that we – yes, you and I – should just start our own thing. At the time, I didn’t know that I’d have it in me to go right back into doing what I’d worked so hard to do at Encore.
I moved to The Palms, and George had approached me; it wasn’t just George, but Joe and Phil came in from California to sell me on the idea. It took some convincing, but I was getting bored not doing anything.
As I’m sure you well know, I have also started working for House Montegna, and their interest and purchase of the Palms Hotel has helped make the decision for me to start something here. That said, at least for now, please stay where you are at Surrender. It will be some time before this place is up and running, and if you still want to leave Surrender and come back to work for or even with me, I will welcome you with open arms. I haven’t forgotten about you, and I don’t want to necessarily exclude you from what’s going on. For the moment, though, your position is far better assured at Encore; at the moment, I just can’t offer you anything here.
If you want to stop by, I would love to see you. I’m just up to my ears in contracts, but will definitely put everything aside to meet with you.
Please understand things from my position, and I’ll make it a point to keep in touch a little better.
Take care until we can get together.
Viv”

With that email out of the way, Vivian needed to let off a little steam – even if it only entailed heading somewhere that wasn’t the Palms or Bellagio. She needed some time away, where she could just decompress. Sure, she knew she would have to keep up her act, and every day was wearing on her more and more, but she needed to just relax a little. With a fairly short phone call to her favorite twin at the Venetian, Vivian headed across town to meet with Shane Goldsmith at the Eastside Cannery.

In a quiet jazz club, Vivian secured a pretty secluded booth away from prying eyes. She’d selected the club because of the acoustics; conversations were private due to the height of the round booth walls, any conversation that managed to spill outward was usually swallowed up by the jazz that oozed throughout the club.

They made a decent amount of small talk, and Shane commented that the Winter Court was pretty surprised to hear that Vivian had signed on with Montegna, and it kind of annoyed Vivian, since she always did kind of work for both White Court Houses in the Valley; acting for both Raith and Montegna as a liaison between the Court and the mortal community. Still, she played it off fairly well, and commented that she had heard that her father was alleged to be at the Venetian quite often. Shane didn’t deny it.

The pair started flirting and flattering, and they left the club for a romp (or 10) on Vivian’s boat. With her demon and Shane sufficiently sated, fairly heavy pillow talk ensued. She worked her wiles to get him to spill that her father is a bastard. Now, that might not seem like a great shock to her, but what was a little surprising was that she learned that Shane had the distinct feeling that her father was trying to hone in on the Goldsmiths’ emissary position. Neither was particularly sure if a vampire could become a fae emissary. Shane commented that it was almost endearing how out of the supernatural loop Vivian was. She didn’t take visible offense to it, but managed to get Shane talking a little more.

Now, have you ever have one of those days when you want someone to do something and the second they do, you want to unsay what’s been said? That was precisely what happened. Vivian had Shane in such a state that he said something that he didn’t mean to say – and that something was something Vivian didn’t necessarily want to hear. “I’m surprised you’d work for Montegna after what happened with your mother.”

Cue record scratch noise. “What?” she asked. Any amount of pleasure she’d been feeling immediately sunk into the pit of her stomach, replaced with dead seriousness. Shane, on the other hand, looked at her as if to say “what what? What did I say wrong?” but only came back with a simple “Shit.”

“What. About. My. Mother?”

“You didn’t know?” No, Vivian didn’t know, but she found out in a manner that hit her like a ton of bricks. Shane explained that her mother and father kind of eloped and when Giovanni found out his cousin – Laura Montegna-Harding – had wed the enemy, he personally killed her in the way he’s best known for killing.

Now, Vivian had been a ball of anger and resentment toward her father because he never told her about her mother. It was a sense of normal she’d always wanted, and he’d denied her. Learning that her mother had been killed by Giovanni Montegna… Knowing the answer to the one question she wanted to know could have possibly put Vivian at risk her entire life, and for a fleeting moment, Vivian reconsidered the words her father had spoken at the Blue Martini about how he would have been a better father if he could have been, but it was too dangerous for a White Court Vampire to love someone as much as he wanted to love his daughter. Without seeming incestuous (we can ambiguously leave that for Shane and Shawn), it occurred to her that Michael may haveintentionally made Vivian hate him so that she couldn’t possibly love her father, and he couldn’t love her back.

Vivian backed out of the bed, got dressed silently, and made her way to the helm, racing recklessly back toward the marina, her mind bent on killing someone. Vivian was pale skinned, pale eyed, and rather terrifying to look at as she drove the boat toward the shore. Shane wanted to get her to calm down and think rationally before she did anything stupid.

It took a while, but he got her to calm down. But Michael Harding was going down, and hard, and Vivian would be instrumental in it. After Mick, Gio would fall. Vivian really is dangerous when crossed.

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Damage Done
Time for Control

(Author’s note: This is going to be pretty short and sweet… I barely remember the game. Have details? Feel free and encouraged to fill them in.)

Soteria had approached Drake to speak about the dark magic that seemed to have inhabited her heirloom bracelet. She wanted to know if he could remove what seemed to be a curse from it, since the bracelet seemed to cause madness in those who put it on, and even in those who touch it. Drake advised against assaulting the magic that was imbued upon the bracelet, namely because if the person who had enchanted the bracelet was powerful enough to invade the minds of someone who wore it, it might not be a good idea to piss that wizard off. Soteria suggested that it might not be a good idea to have a wizard that powerful running around Las Vegas.

Drake wanted to know what Soteria wanted to do. She decidedly wanted to murder the wizard who has claimed her bracelet. Without bitch slapping her again, Drake asked if she’d ever fought a wizard before, to which she replied that she hadn’t. He gave her back her bracelet, and she asked if it was safe to wear, and he said if she could touch it, he couldn’t see why it wouldn’t be safe. Unfortunately, she hadn’t touched it, so she didn’t know.

Soteria returned to the 4 Queens hotel and spoke with Terpsichore, who was practicing a dance of sorts – one that could kill anyone watching, should the muse so choose. She asked for advice on how to kill a wizard, and was reminded that wizards are mortal, so anything that would kill a human being would kill a wizard as well. Terpsichore reminded her, though, that a wizard’s constitution would allow him/her to recover with enough time, if the initial blow wasn’t fatal. It was decided that a bullet would probably be the best way.

Vivian picked Bruce up from the hospital and while she had tried to discourage him from staying with her, she did give in and say it would be fine. She drove him to his place, and when he asked where they were going, she asked him if he planned on spending the next month or so in the same shorts and t-shirt. She also wanted to take some time to speak with him about why she was discouraging his visit.

Like a huge weight being lifted, Vivian spilled the entire ruse to Bruce, explaining that she was essentially on a very dangerous assignment to bring down her father, and quite possibly House Montegna in the process. She went on to explain things about Simon, and the fact that Giovanni had thought that Bruce had been killed, and she felt (at the time) that it was best to let Johnny continue thinking it. However, Bruce explained that outright lying would be looked at badly from someone like Giovanni, if he was all Vivian had suggested he was. He gave her a strategic means of getting out of the lack of correction during the meeting with her father.

The next morning, Vivian had gone to visit Maggie Raith, as planned, but she was far worse than she had been during Vivian’s previous visit. While she may have been more distant, she still referred to Vivian as Laura, and that was something Vivian made a note to look in to at some point. After she left the convalescent home, she returned to the Palms, where she ran in to Soteria, who was still bruised from her altercation with Drake. They shared a girly moment, and Soteria asked if Vivian wanted company on her visit to the Bellagio. Vivian declined, namely because she didn’t know how long her meeting with Giovanni might go.

The meeting with Giovanni was to go over her contract with the Palms; she wanted to break ground on changes to the Palms Place pool and attached club as soon as she could. The meeting with Giovanni went as well as it could, considering the parties involved, though Johnny seemed to be warming up to her (as much as he could warm up to anything). She explained the process she’d been undergoing to improve his reputation throughout the city – explaining that she wasn’t trying to claim his personality was any different than it was, but that he was a very good thing for the city. He in turn tasked her with figuring out who to name as a successor to Oscar Goodman. Johnny revealed that he’d purchased the Palms hotel, and that she could start work there as soon as the transaction cleared.

Although she was still showing signs of defeat at the hands of a dragon, Soteria followed through with plans to train with Alexis. Drake set everything up, and the two met in the warehouse district on the east side of the valley. They sparred for a little bit, but were interrupted by an arrogant German Red Court vampire. Alexis recognized immediately that they should get out of the warehouse, since it was dark and knew that Enno would have excellent vision, now that he’d turned. Soteria, on the other hand, wanted to fight.

If anyone said that Soteria didn’t have any amount of viciousness in her, they would have no clue what they were saying, but the fact was, Soteria was outmatched as far as speed and strength were concerned, even in tiger form. Pipe bombs and night sticks flew around for a little bit, but eventually Alexis ran off, Enno taking chase, leaving Soteria alone and unclothed, since the Molotov cocktail defense (courtesy of Alexis) found a casualty in Soteria’s clothing.

With Enno having run after Alexis, Soteria hid between shipping containers for a few hours. Shortly before daybreak, as things were beginning to stir around the yard, she tried picking the pocket of one of the men on site. He caught her, but when she politely asked to use his phone, he graciously handed it over to the naked redhead, after offering his jacket – an offer she refused.

Soteria, looking rather worse for wear, with bloodied hair and bruised face and, well, naked, didn’t call the police or an ambulance, or any type of rescue group, but opted to call Vivian. Since it was so early, Vivian was fast asleep beside Bruce, and it took her a little while to realize who was on the phone. She agreed to go pick up Soteria, brought some clothes that she knew wouldn’t fit the weretigress, but figured that the tank and skirt would be better than naked, even if the clothing was tailored to the 5’11” vampire’s frame.

When Vivian showed up at the yard to pick up Soteria, and thanked the men for taking care of her. Once in the car, she continually poked Soteria to keep her from sleeping, since the amount of blood in her hair might have suggested that she had suffered a concussion. Vivian called Drake, when Soteria mentioned that she’d been training with Alexis, hoping that Drake could tend to Soteria’s wounds. He suggested that perhaps the muses would be better suited for the job, but gave Soteria the choice of where to go. Vivian dropped Soteria off at the 4 Queens, then drove to the Excalibur to speak with Drake. She said she brought the weretiger to the muses, but wanted to explain things personally. She left him with a rather cryptic “I’m sorry” – which could have been spoken from multiple angles, considering the plans in place by House Montegna.

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Bitter Bitter, Sweet Sweet
Short Term Revenge To Follow

Insisting that she could kill Enno if she had his swords, the session opened up with Soteria looking to speak with Drake. When she arrived at the Excalibur, Mr. Brandt was nowhere to be found – on the surface. His secretary showed Soteria to his chambers, through a secret opening in his office. Soteria didn’t find it overly strange that the secretary didn’t escort her into the elevator, but just endured the extremely long trip to Drake’s private chambers.

When the door opened, Soteria stepped out into a world that was unlike anywhere in Las Vegas (except maybe her room at the moment) – surrounded by gold and weaponry that you just don’t see around anywhere else. As she entered, Drake greeted her, and asked why she was there. She wanted to tell him about Enno. He kept saying that he was well aware of his infection. Finally, after going back and forth like a short tennis match, she told him that Enno took a life. That changed things.

So, Soteria insisted that she wanted Enno’s swords so she could kill him with them. Drake thought it amusing that she had as much fight as she did, and brought her over to the weapons room, handing her a pair of swords. When Soteria said they weren’t Enno’s swords, Drake chuckled, telling her that he needed to know that she could handle swords well enough to entrust her with a pair of holy artifacts – more importantly, to know she could handle herself with a set of swords against someone who has been practicing and mastering the art of swordplay for longer than a day and in reality, rather than just in thought.

She fought kind of valiantly, even managing to get in a few parrys to actually strike the dragon, who came out unscathed despite the sharpness of the swords. However, Drake was faster than her (something Enno would also be – he was fast before turning, and turning would make him even more so), and far stronger. He tossed her like a rag doll toward the ceiling, and on her way back down, she tried to throw a sword at Drake. Unfortunately for Soteria, he caught it, and had now managed to get one of the two swords.

The purpose of the exercise wasn’t to humiliate the weretiger, but more to show her that she wasn’t ready to face someone who has all but devoted his life to practicing and perfecting the art of killing by way of the sword. He suggested that he ask Alexis to train Soteria with swords, and as he was musing, Soteria attacked him again. Without realizing (or maybe just without considering) his mythic strength, he slapped at his attacker, launching her across the room and rendering her unconscious.

Vivian, while Soteria was making her way toward the Excalibur, was on her way to the hospital, where she was going to check on Bruce. She knew he hadn’t been doing well, though the doctors had said he would pull though. She spoke with doctors for a bit, then entered his room to see a frail shell of the man she had come to grow quite fond of. He was sedated, that was obvious, but he looked – small. Sure, his shoulders were as broad as always, but he just seemed fragile. She carefully took his hand in hers and just sat with him. There was no response from him, but she insisted on holding on to his warm hand.

But the temperature in the room around her seemed to change as she was holding on to his hand; the already cold hospital temperature dropping several degrees as Vivian’s hunger grew. She didn’t realize that she was, in fact, transferring her own life force into Bruce – something unheard of among White Court Vampires (or at least unspoken of). She released his hand as the reality of what she was somehow doing set in. The only thing she could think of was “What the hell?” and knew that she desperately wanted to ask Nigel what happened. Knowing she couldn’t ask him, and knowing that her Demon was taking hold of her thoughts, she fled from the hospital (where entirely too many doctors looked really delicious).

As Vivian got to her motorcycle, she got a call from Antonio Montegna saying that he caught wind of the fact that Enno Marx had turned full Red, and Vivian quickly made her way to Encore to tell Kyle. Fortunately for Vivian (not so much for the people sharing the road with her), her bike was fast and easy to weave in and out of traffic. She pulled up to the Valet at Encore, and didn’t even let them park the bike as she made her way directly to Surrender, which had just opened for the night. She told the doormen that she didn’t care if she could go in or if he came out, but she needed to speak to Kyle. Maybe it was her silvery eyes, maybe they could just tell she meant business, but her head doorman (um, formerly hers) made a quick call, and she was allowed entry.

She made her way straight up to the office, in spite of the looks she was getting from the House Raith members already at the club. When she knocked on the door to the office, Kyle let her in then stepped behind the desk. Vivian opted to stay close to the door. She had to explain to Kyle that Enno Marx needed to be kept away from the club and from Kyle – he’d turned and was dangerous (and Vivian knew just how hunger could make a person think). Kyle put in a call to Jay to make sure he was well aware of things, and that Enno was not to be allowed into the hotel, much less the club. Jay seemed to question where the information was coming from, but Kyle just said it was a reliable source. Vivian thanked Kyle for listening, then took her leave.

Soteria awoke in her room at the Four Queens, with a badly swollen face, and decided that she needed to talk to Terpsichore about taking a few days off. After taking a good look at her dancer, Terpsichore agreed, then wondered what happened. Soteria explained that she had met with Drake Brandt and they’d sparred. A little shocked, Terpsichore asked why Soteria would fight with a dragon, and Soteria explained that she wasn’t fighting with him, but got involved in a sword fight to show what she was capable of.

Terpsichore asked whether Soteria would see the dragon again, and she replied that he was setting things up to train with Alexis, so the response was likely a yes. When asked why, Terpsichore replied that she wanted to give the dragon a message. Soteria suggested that she do it herself, but Terpsichore played coy and said that when a lady wants to send a message to a gentleman, she does it through an intermediary. Soteria agreed to pass on the message, asked what it was, but apparently, Terpsichore hadn’t written it yet. Soteria took her leave and went back to her room to sleep off her massive headache.

Vivian was just getting started with a new headache, knowing she had to meet with Giovanni Montegna in regards to her contract with him, and his contract with her. She entered the Bellagio, expecting to head to a dinner meeting, but the agenda had changed, so she met with him in his office. Greeted by Antonio, who followed her into Johnny’s office, Vivian was put off, but didn’t show it. Even her Hunger gave her a break as she discussed business with Montegna.

They came to an agreement on his contract with her, after he explained that her means of watching over her father would be to work with him. As much as she dreaded the thought, she knew it would be the fastest way to get inside information that Johnny could use to get rid of Michael Harding. The sooner he was gone, the sooner she could drop her charade.

Although Johnny alluded to her buying up a bunch of shares from the holding companies at The Palms, she skirted the issue to explain her contract with him, and that she’d already started working on building his reputation in the city. She explained that if she could sell George Maloof on Montegna, it would be an easier sell to others. He understood her reasoning, and said he knew that selecting her as his PR officer was a wise choice.

With her meeting out of the way, she made her way back to the hospital to check on Bruce. But the problem she realized is that she couldn’t go see him with her Hunger egging her toward feeding, and deeply. She was on I-15 when she came across a stranded motorist who had no passengers, but had the kind of lean physique that further stirred her Hunger. She stopped, offering him a lift to the nearest garage, and he accepted. Of course, she wasn’t bringing him to a garage, but instead took him to the Fountainbleau abandoned resort. Still a construction zone that had long since seen any work done, she proceeded to feed on the unsuspecting motorist.

As she was about to climax, he gave in to his lust, and died as she took the last of his energy. Knowing she couldn’t keep a corpse in her car, she sloppily thought to herself that she would have to take care of things herself. Invigorated but disgusted with herself, she unceremoniously tossed the stranger over the construction fence, and drove a short distance away, changed into some workout clothes she had in her trunk, and jogged around the block, coming across the body and calling 9-1-1.

The police questioned her when she arrived, and she was fully cooperational, her lies seemingly convincing enough to push any sort of accusations away from her. Fully fed, she made her way to the hospital. When she got there, Bruce was still sleeping but looked better than he had the last time she saw him. The doctors were shocked at his improvement, and when she went in and took his hand, he roused enough to give her hand a squeeze. He tried to talk, and she told him not to, but he did say Enno. She asked if it was Enno who’d injured him, and he nodded. She said he was lucky he didn’t get hurt differently, and explained that Enno had crossed over to full Vampire. Bruce drifted off to sleep, and Vivian stayed with him for a while.

Speaking of sleep, Soteria had a strange dream involving talking masks and promises of treasure if she killed the muses, starting with Terpsichore. When Soteria awoke, she was in tiger form, and had pretty much trashed her room. She shifted back, and noticed a lapel pin in the shape of the mask that she’d seen in her dream. She went to speak to Thalia about the dream, and explain that people were looking to have the Muses murdered. Thalia seemed sort of calm about things, saying that it was a shame she didn’t have someone who could kill the would-be-murderer(s) before the muses could be killed.

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Heart's Desire with Blood.
August 7th, 2011

The session began with a knock on Soteria’s door at the Palms. While normally a visitor wouldn’t be an issue, our friendly neighborhood were tigress had just poured out a veritable hoard of precious metals and jewels all over her bed and bedroom. Not wanting her visitor to see, Soteria quickly tried to pile all the money back into the bag, but it was taking too long, so she ended up just piling bedding over the wealth and hoping for the bed.

The not so mysterious visitor was George, whom was in the mood for friskiness. Soteria managed to sate his amorous desires and even get him showered without him noticing more than her room was rather messy. Of course, what man criticizes a woman’s housekeeping immediately after she’s made his toes curl?

Enno Marx, having recently murdered three people in broad daylight and narrowly avoided the authorities, was waiting in a rather unpleasant hotel room for Jay, whom he’d called for assistance. Even though Jay was working, the white court vampire took the time to head over and bring Enno some clean clothes. There was some flirting and banter, but Jay needed to work, so wasn’t too terribly playful. He dropped Enno off at the Excalibur for some much needed rest, then proceeded on his merry way.

Vivian, who’s in the middle of one of the shittiest times of her life, had recently been visited by one of her best childhood friends, Simon Raith. He’d come to town because his mother was ailing, and learned that the woman who was basically his sister had not only turned her back on the family, but looked to be making an alliance with the Montegnas. Their conversation had not been pleasant and neither was the task Vivian was faced with now. Maragaret Raith, Nigel’s wife and partner, was loosing the battle with age. While not confined to a deathbed, she was not long for the world, and Vivian felt the need to visit.

The visit was agonizing. Margaret was actually having a fairly lucid day, which meant she understood much of what was happening to her and how her mind was just slipping away, one piece at a time. She hinted at secrets that were locked away in her mind, but they were just that, hints. She couldn’t even remember her own son’s name and called Vivian by the name Laura. There were tears and hugs and more tears and by the time Vivian left, her emotional batteries were well drained.

Soteria, having satisfied her sugar daddy, gathered up all the loot she could, returning it to the magical bag and taking it with her to the Four Queens, where she locked it securely into her safe. Then she went to visit Thalia, who was still recovering from the assassination attempt upon her person. They spoke at length, with Soteria revealing details about the investigation, and Thalia offering to rescue Anton from his fleshygoo prison. After more discussion, Thalia offered Soteria a bargain. For the mere cost of two ovum, Thalia would tell Soteria whom ordered the assassination attempt. She admitted that she intended to use the ovum to raise two loyal fae/weretiger hybrids to serve and protect her. Soteria reluctantly agree and was told Sebastian Ravenscroft ordered the assassination attempt.

Confused, Soteria went to visit Enno.

Enno, however, was having a rude awakening, as armed and armored men burst into his room, beginning the assault with a rather effective flash bang grenade. Despite his blindness and deafness, Enno sensed that perhaps these assailants weren’t supernatural foes and held back in his counterattack. Once he was certain they were police, SWAT to be precise, he allowed himself to be captured and arrested.

Soteria saw Enno being drug away in cuffs and heard the detectives talking about his room was just chock full of weapons. She decided she needed to rescue his blessed blades from police lockup and set about trying to get into his room without too much exposure or interference. She hatched a number of schemes, culminating in triggering the hotel’s fire alarm. Instead of flushing the cops, she instead roused and dragon, and found herself faced by Drake who demanded to know why she was making mischief in his hotel.

After playing coy then trying to bluff her way through, Soteria sort of decided to play along. She told Drake that she’d been helping with Enno’s investigation and that she wanted to keep his blades safe. Drake asked her about the investigation, and was informed that Soteria believed the Red Court was responsible for the Mage murders, specifically naming Katherine Pierce. Drake told her that if she could get to the bottom of what was going on in town, he’d give her Enno’s Blades. Soteria left to hire Enno a lawyer and visit him in prison.

Vivian, in the middle of getting her drink on following the visit with Margaret, ran into George, who could tell she was upset. The old friends chatted for a bit, commiserating, when Vivian came up with a plan to both ease her troubled conscience and give herself some wriggle room with the Montegnas. She knew Giovanni would be looking into buying controlling interest in the Palms. George only controlled 2% of his family’s casino, but could buy up to 20% if he had access to the funds. Vivian proposed to front George the cash to buy back the stake, which would increase the overall worth of the shares before Giovanni had even mobilized his interests. Also, that was 20% of the casino that was firmly in Vivian’s pocket, which could be very handy and was certainly financially savvy.

Less savvy was Enno, rotting away in his prison cell, when a well dressed, albeit strange gentleman appeared before his cell asking why he’d not claimed his heart’s desire yet. The terms of the bargain were explicit. If Asya died or was removed from the city, Enno would be granted an audience with his nemesis, Arick Vogel, who would be tied to a chair. Enno explained that he had no hand in Asya’s death or disappearance, so didn’t think he qualified. Sebastian Ravenscroft chided the infected, then asked if he still desired the bargain or not. It was now or never.

Enno chose now.

Arick Vogel appeared, tied to a chair and more than a tad confused. He saw Bastian and cursed, then turned his attention to Enno. At first, Enno wasn’t sure what to do. He’d worked so long for this moment, now that it was here, it was overwhelming. Arick immediately went to work, taunting and chiding Enno, trying to enrage him so that he’d resort to violence and draw the guards. Once the cell door was opened, nothing could stop Arick from escaping. Enno obliged, tackling Arick and laying into him with undisguised rage and his bare hands. Not that Arick was concerned. While Enno was a master with a blade, he was merely competent with his hands, and competence wasn’t enough to be more of a nuisance to Arick. There was no chance Enno could kill a Red Court Noble with his bare hands before the guards arrived.

Enno also saw that truth, so grabbed up a broken piece of chair leg and started stabbing. Arick was now in a bad position. He’d committed to this gambit of counting on the police to free him. If he attacked back after the stabbing, they’d never open the door. So, he just had to let Enno keep stabbing and hope the police could gun him down before the damage done was irreparable.

The police obliged, riddling Enno with bullets, but Enno’s rage was too strong, and he jammed the length of board through Arick’s forehead just as a policeman’s bullet struck him in the face. Enno fell back in a bloody mess, body randomly twitching, just like Arick’s. The police rushed into the room to see if either of them still lived, but fearing the worst.

Well, not the very worst, just the worst from their limited perspective. Had they truly feared the worst, they’d not have opened the door. Driven by pain, hunger, and an instinctual desire to survive, but Arick and Enno sprung up and attacked the officer with fangs and fury, leaving drained husks behind. Arick fled first, as Enno’s body was wracked with the pain of transformation, his humanity dying, consumed by the birth of his new, monstrous self. He escaped next, left a path of blood and destruction in his wake.

Soteria and the lawyer where in the station, waiting to see Enno, but thankfully were not directly in his way as he made his escape. They were left seeing the devastation left from his passing. The shocked lawyer returned Soteria’s retainer and excused himself with apologies.

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Contracts Honored and Proposed
With Bling!

After she finished her dealings with the local police, Soteria felt as though she needed a drink. She called Enno to go over what had happened, but asked him to just meet her somewhere close to where he was. He was in Chinatown, so they opted for the Sleeping Geisha.

When they met up, they discussed whether they believe that Asya was really dead. Soteria suggested maybe Asya faked her death to frame Vivian and gain her own credibility in the city of Las Vegas, but Enno dismissed that idea in that faking one’s death to gain popularity in a city seems like a roundabout way of doing so. After some small talk, Enno apologized to Soteria for not having any work for her, since most of what he had been doing required stealth and therefore no help – especially loud, boisterous, and terrifying tigers. The pair imbibed for a time, and eventually, Soteria called for the company car to bring her back to the Palms, where she, despite her drunkenness, had a passionate evening with George. Enno, made his way back to the Excalibur.

While at the Palms, Vivian was kissing Jay on the cheek just as the elevator opened to let Bruce out of the car. He no doubt saw Vivian in her silk robe and Jay’s hand sliding between her thighs as he exited, but Vivian made no effort to hide what was going on. Jay left as he gave Vivian a salute with the envelope she’d given him, and crossed paths with the FBI agent. Bruce confronted Vivian about what he’d walked in on, and Vivian was completely open and honest with him, explaining that she had asked Jay to pick up a letter to deliver to William so that William wouldn’t have to hear about what happened by rumors and hearsay. Because she was straight with him, Bruce accepted it at face value, and they had a lovely evening together. Had he noticed that she didn’t drain his life force from him, he didn’t give her any indication of it.

While Soteria and Vivian were having respective fun at the Palms, Enno took a shower then proceeded to call Jay, stating he was getting ready to turn in for the night, though didn’t quite feel like doing so. Yes, Enno can be subtle. Jay said that he had to work, and Enno asked if it would be OK if he stopped by. Jay didn’t see a problem with it, though he knew he was rather busy filling in for William in his absence. As he made for the Wynn Enno grabbed a knife that he had stolen for Jay during an earlier shopping trip to buy throwing knives of his own, because nothing says “thanks for being a friend with benefits” like a big, sharp buck knife.

When Enno arrived at the Wynn, he was surprised to see Jay in what looked like a suit, but when Jay rose to his feet, he was clearly himself – jeans and cowboy boots. The pair hit it off once more, and after Jay locked them in the office together for a time, Enno found himself completely exhausted. He didn’t overstay his welcome, but left with time enough to get some decent sleep before his busy day of murderization.

Soteria woke the next day, and George had already left to go about his normal business. She decided to take advantage of the time to head to the Four Queens and check in, and even work a shift. She went to check in on Thalia, but when she arrived, Thalia seemed to be asleep with a mask over her eyes. Soteria opted to write a note, stating that she missed the muse and… Thalia commented on her note, stating (without looking up) “If you miss me so much, why is it you’re spending time with a man?” Some apparent jealousies were exchanged, and Soteria admitted that she was with George for financial reasons – with him wrapped around her finger. Thalia suggested that if he was wrapped so well, perhaps she could get him to invest some capital in a remodeling of the Four Queens hotel.

In the meantime, Vivian made her way to the pool, did some laps, then invited Bruce into the shower before she had to get to her meeting, for which she was slightly early, even though her host was late. She sat at the Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Giovanni Montegna. He showed a few minutes later. She rose and gave him a friendly peck on each cheek, and after he helped her into her seat again, he immediately started rubbing her upper shoulders and neck. As he rubbed her skin with his hands, he casually asked questions of her – namely about her falling out with her House.

Vivian answered the questions quite honestly, figuring that it was quite likely that Johnny already knew the truth (she hoped he was only aware of the truth she and Nigel were portraying, rather than the actual truth). When Johnny took his seat across the table, he quickly got down to business. Vivian was well aware of how the Don of House Montegna did business, and he was quick to tell her that he isn’t as tolerant of things as Nigel was. He also explained that he didn’t like the idea of a rogue vampire of the White Court roaming about the city. He knew she could quite easily pick up and seek asylum with her grandparents, but he also knew that she loved the city too much to ever leave it.

No, he wanted her to work for him – because she had something to offer, and therefore had some value to him. He wanted her to be a Human Resources officer – emphasis on the Human part – and help build his reputation around the city. He also explained that he knew of her relationship with an FBI agent, and had a business that was under investigation by them and wanted all charges dropped. He gave her a week to do so. He also asked her what her take was on the Palms. He said he could take financial control of the hotel, and Vivian seemed nonchalant about it. She said that if that was the case, she planned on helping revamp the club and pool, and she wanted full ownership of the business. Proposals and contracts would be exchanged.

As the meeting came to a close, Johnny excused himself without eating, since he had other meetings to tend to. She told him she understood. After he left, she had virtually no appetite. The maître’d understood that, since Montegna scared the living crap out of him. Out of politeness to the chef, she ordered a salad, which she tried to stomach as much of it as possible, but left about half.

Vivian and Giovanni wasn’t the only meeting going on at the time. Enno had a date with death, and if he played his cards right, it wouldn’t be his own. He made his way to the bathhouse he’d previously staked out, knowing that Xue Tseng was present for his normal appointment. When the attendant left to allow each of them time to change from their clothes, Enno made his move, swiftly disposing of the life of the Triad leader. As he was washing the blood from his hands and self, fighting back his mounting hunger, he was interrupted by Xue’s bodyguards. Double murder of the guards left him to find his way out, opting for a back exit through the kitchen. Unfortunately, the door was locked, so Enno made use of his affinity for intimidation, eventually getting the key from the head chef and fleeing to the alley behind the bathhouse.

With emergency vehicle sirens having arrived at the scene, their flashing lights blocking off either end of the alley, Enno deftly lifted a manhole cover and dropped into the sewer below Chinatown. He tried to wait it out, but moved farther into the tunnels just in time, before the police began spying down the hole. He exited the sewer and found a few vagrants searching for food and clothing in the various alleyways. His hunger was overwhelming, and he gave in, though not wholly. The bum’s blood alcohol level was high enough to cause Enno to feel slightly lightheaded – enough that he could forget about the hunger long enough to make his way back to his room.

In the meantime, Vivian returned to her room, with the hopes of fleeing with Bruce to her boat. When she opened the door, Bruce was dressed in a suit, apologizing in writing for having to leave. He stood up and crumpled the note and explained that he needed to go in to work. She didn’t like that idea, and nudged at him with her Incite ability, but he quickly stopped her. He had to deal with the death of a crime boss who was in charge of an international syndicate. She pouted but let him leave. She needed time to think about things, still not certain that she actually agreed to work for Johnny. She desperately wanted to call Nigel and explain things, but opted to just head to her boat on her own.

With Enno in the sewers and Vivian on her boat, Soteria was busy after a shift, trying to make good with Thalia, but when she went to the muse’s room, there was no answer. Soteria was about to return to the Palms, but as she was walking through the lobby of the Four Queens, she overheard a few local fae talking about someone who looked as though she’d been beaten. Soteria badly faked that she was sending a text message, and the phone started loudly spitting out obnoxious dance music, causing the two fae to stop their discussion. After helping her with her phone, Soteria asked about what they were talking about – curious as to who looked like she’d been beaten. The two fae stated that the one in question was none other than Thalia. That prompted Soteria to return to Thalia’s room.

Still no answer at the door, she forced her way in and was greeted with a scene similar to what she’d seen at Asya’s. She quickly looked around for something to use to mop up blood, deciding on the ice bucket’s plastic bag. While she was cleaning the room, she found a key stuck to the floor in the bathroom, which she kept. With everything cleaned up, she wrapped the bag of blood in a towel and put it in her purse, then left the hotel to call Vivian.

When Vivian answered the phone, Soteria asked how tight her hold was on Bruce (Soteria doesn’t waste time!). Vivian said it was getting thinner, which Soteria didn’t like hearing. “Do you think he could get blood tested without any questions asked?” Vivian said no, but suggested the lab facility near Sunset Park. Soteria proceeded there, dropped off the blood, asking for DNA testing to determine who it belonged to. It would cost her a decent amount and wouldn’t be quick, but a few Ben Franklins later, and she was on her merry way to the airport to find out what the key was for.

She opened the locker and took the carry on bag back to her room at the Palms. She looked inside and saw jewels and gold, though there was no way that she would have been able to carry the bag. Still, she lifted the gold coins and they seemed to be the weight they should be. Soteria ended up dumping the bag out on the bed, but gold and jewels just kept falling, until it started spilling off the edges of a king sized bed. Just as she emptied the bag, the doorbell to her room sounded.

View
In Demand
And wanting to go home.

(Editor’s note: Since there was only Jesse and me, this is a really short adventure log)

Vivian and Shane spent quite some time together in Vivian’s villa, leaving them to some pillow talk. Vivian had actually pulled back, having fed quite heartily on him. It was slightly odd, however, since Vivian had tasted Shane in the past – he was sort of that hot cinnamon flavor – but as she fed, she could taste something more like an icy vanilla-mint flavor. While she didn’t comment on it, it was in her mind. Also, her Hunger had never been as satisfied as it was; at least not without killing her victim.

She spent some time stroking his ego, and he warned her that people already think his ego is big enough. Still, she mentioned to him that it was pretty amazing, and incredibly satisfying.

He asked her how she was getting by, since she was no longer part of a ‘family’, and Vivian said she was fine and that she was finding herself on her own. While there was something terrifying about being alone in the world, she found it liberating. She’d spent her entire life considering how her actions would reflect upon her House, and without that worry, she was able to just live for herself.

Shane said that he didn’t think she would be happy off-strip, and as such, offered her a position working for him. She found that rather amusing. He informed her that it wouldn’t be the first offer she’d receive; and he already knew about the offer related to revamping the club/pool area at the Palms, and he was offering her something less mundane – as a liaison between the Winter Court and the White Court.

Vivian declined. She’d considered for a moment that it might provide her one heck of an opportunity to find out about whether House Montegna was siding with the Winter Court, however, she declined because she felt she would likely be put in a position of giving away secrets of her own House. Besides, she really didn’t trust the Fae.

Although she didn’t trust him, she also knew he wasn’t big on the lying thing – sure, he was a mortal Winter emissary, but working for the fae had left him fairly straightforward. So, when he told her that she should be expecting a call from House Montegna, and that Giovanni would likely make her the proverbial “offer she can’t refuse”, Shane suggested that she do her best to refuse it. Those words were something she took to heart when she received the call from Giovanni.

“How about lunch at Prime Steakhouse?” he asked. Vivian pointed out that Prime is only open for dinner, but Giovanni pointed out that it was probably a discussion best had in private. Lunch would happen the next day, leaving Vivian about 17 hours or so to squirm.

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Blood Abound
And some lesbian action

Enno received a call from Asya, stating that she was finished with her gooey potion that would help him isolate the wizard who created the Unmen, and that he could come and pick it up whenever he was able. He said he was going to gather up Soteria and make his way over to get the goo. When he contacted Soteria, he found out that she was at the Palms, and made his way to the hotel.

Soteria and George had enjoyed a rather pleasant evening together, so when Soteria agreed to meet Enno, George was curious. He knows that strippers often have side jobs, and he was wondering why she might be headed out with a guy. Soteria said he was a friend and they do work together. George told her that he’d like to meet this friend of hers. She was fine with it.

When Enno appeared in the lobby, Soteria met up with him, and gave him the present she had worked on for him. Enno was curious about whether he’d missed some sort of holiday. She just shook her head, handed him the package, and told him there was someone who wanted to meet him. She brought him to meet with George who proved to want to interrogate.

“What is it you two do together?” he asked. Since they hadn’t had a chance to get the story straight, Enno said they consult on some jobs together, to which Soteria nodded. George wasn’t buying the story, especially when the pair said that they “clean” together. Since neither seems the maid type, George pushed the issue. Eventually, Soteria confessed to everything, but did so in such a way that it sounded like pure sarcasm. He pressed forward with questions, but decided to just let Soteria head out with Enno.

As they were heading out, walking through the casino to the exit, Enno was approached by a few members of the hotel security staff. He wasn’t certain why he would be stopped – so he claimed – and security apprehended him, ushering him to a conference room to hold him for local authorities. While Soteria wasn’t kept from joining him in the room, she did remain close to the door, fleeing when she recognized the cop they’d beaten up (well, Enno had beaten up; she’d just watched). Enno was arrested and taken away in handcuffs to the Clark County Detention Center.

Meanwhile, Vivian and Bruce made their way to the motorcycle dealership to pick up the beast that Vivian had custom ordered. Bruce was a little intimidated by the bike, and Vivian was just amused. He said he had to head to work, and Vivian nodded, asking if she would see him later, and he said he would text or call if he was going to be kept late at work. With her new toy, Vivian became rather intimately acquainted with its curves and crevasses before she rode around the valley to return to the Palms. She decided to stop by George’s office to see if he would have time to discuss whatever sort of business he had hinted at when she moved in.

Upon arriving at his office, Vivian was greeted by Soteria, who was having a somewhat heated discussion about Enno with George. She asked Vivian to come back, and George invited her in anyway. Despite any awkwardness in the room, Vivian got down to business and said that she knew he wanted to discuss something with her, but then Bruce and Soteria were included at her place so business wasn’t addressed. George said he would be happy to discuss things with Vivian at a later time. She took her leave and went to the Palms Place Pool to take in some scenery.

Soteria and George concluded their conversation, leaving it at the fact that Soteria would not be permitted to see Enno, at least not until he was absolved of his accusations.

During this time, Enno was held in an interrogation room, and waited for someone to question him. As luck would have it, a well-dressed blond arrived – one who was dressed well enough to indicate he had a higher position than simple officer. No, it was Agent Walker, presenting Enno with an offer: he would be released, charges dropped, in exchange for his sworn blood oath to act as Bruce’s liaison with the supernatural community as well as potentially act as … well… a supernatural cleaner of sorts, should the need arise. As it was essentially an offer he couldn’t refuse, Enno accepted, signing a very elaborate looking contract on parchment, in his own blood.

After Soteria was excused from George, she headed down to the pool area where she met with Vivian. She explained that Enno had been arrested, and George had forbid her from seeing him. The fact that Enno had been arrested didn’t faze Vivian, and she said she’d see about changing George’s mind on the Enno front. Soteria asked Vivian how she was doing and Vivian was happy that she’d picked up her new toy, but as she mentioned it, she became apparently sad. Soteria could see that Vivian wasn’t happy, and gave her a hug.

The hug was what Vivian’s Hunger was waiting for, the contact made Vivian incite emotion in the weretiger, and before they could consider their surroundings, the two women were kissing. Because her Hunger had been surfacing, it became visible, Vivian’s skin paling and cooling, her eyes taking on a grayish/silverish hue. They made their way up to Vivian’s penthouse villa and proceeded to discover one another until Soteria reverted into tiger form and slept. Vivian continued stroking the tiger’s head and neck for a time before drifting off to her own sleep – troubled, but still sleep.

In the morning, Soteria awoke in the second strange bed in as many days, but quickly realized she was at Vivian’s. She shifted to human form, and made her way out to the pool deck where Vivian was sitting quietly, keeping watch from afar over the Strip. Soteria had been quite sexually sated by Vivian (and Vivian was quite satisfied by Soteria), but Vivian seemed pretty emotionless as they spoke. Soteria offered to leave, and Vivian said that she’d ordered up breakfast, so there was no rush to leave. She went on to spew out the clichéd “it’s not you, it’s me” line. She was regretting not the sex with Soteria (though Vivian isn’t typically into women), but regretting that she’d given in to her Hunger yet again. In short, her own weakness was leaving her unnerved.

Soteria did leave Vivian’s villa and made her way to speak with George. Rather than coming out with what had happened, Soteria spent her time trying to figure out what to tell him about where she was the previous night. He knew she was lying at first, and she did eventually say where she had been and that Vivian just had that certain something about her. She took her leave from George’s office.

Shortly after Soteria left the office, Vivian stopped by and was shown in. “If it isn’t Miss Irresistible herself,” George joked, and Vivian’s first reaction was ‘Oh god, people didn’t see what happened at the pool!?’ He assured her that the only photos he knew of were on the security cameras. The pair finally got to the meeting George had hinted at a few days earlier, and stated that he’d like to have Vivian do for the Palms what she’d done for Encore. People were curious about what Las Vegas’ Sweetheart’s next project would be. Vivian didn’t refuse, but she also didn’t say yes. She said she’d think on it.

JESSE OR SOMEONE WILL HAVE TO FILL IN WHAT HAPPENED WITH ENNO AND SOTERIA AND ASYA THAT HAD SOTA FINDING A SUICIDAL WIZARD IN A TUB.

Soteria called Enno when she found Asya in the tub, and she said she would contact William and Nigel, and then call 911. Enno said he’d talk to Vivian, which he did. His call was answered by Vivian wanting to make sure it was Asya and not an elaborate hoax made to look like Asya.

Soteria called William, but got his voice mail (a charming “I’m afraid I can’t take your call because I’m out of town, but I assure you I miss you as much as you miss me” message). She contacted 911, and they said they’d send someone to the scene. She also called Nigel, who wasn’t available to talk to her. He returned her call while she was speaking with the responding officer. She hoped her cryptic “Can’t do dinner tonight, It looks like Asya killed herself” message would be properly conveyed to Nigel.

Enno decided to unwind with a little bit of Sake in Chinatown, and while he was there, he was recognized by a young Asian man who asked him what kind of rate he would charge for ridding the city of an old man. After some conversing, Enno arrived at a figure of $50,000 which seemed entirely reasonable to Seung Tseng. He was handed a package with information in it about an old man (Xue Tseng). Enno proceeded to check him out.

Vivian, however, was intent on getting to the bottom of the Asya apparent suicide thing. She contacted Tina and asked her to meet at the safehouse. Without thinking, Vivian asked Tina to show up as Vivian. When they were both them, the started talking, Vivian asking questions aloud, and Tina responding with illusions written in the air. Vivian asked for a list of who could do what Tina does. Tina came up with a list of “Muses, Ravenscroft, Drake, Bartleby, and Visiting Fae (I think I’m forgetting some)” and possibilities in the form of Goldsmiths. While Vivian didn’t want to send Tina in to try to find out what the Winter Court was up to, she wanted to know about anything that would link the ‘suicide’ to the Winter Court. Vivian then gave Tina a secret cell phone number and asked her to text any information to that number.

Across town, Enno was spying on a bathhouse that Xue Tseng was known to frequent. He was basically hoping to study patters so he knew his best plan of attack.

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Making New Friends
And Business Deals

Before I get to the adventure log, a few things of OOC note:
– Your character should have 40 skill points.
– Game time will be pushed out by 30 minutes, to a start time of 1:30 Eastern, 12:30 Central, however it works for German time. ;)
– There shouldn’t be a problem with next week’s game, but Jesse will keep everyone informed.

On with the show –

(Note: Because Kat was out the previous week, we sort of backtracked through the course of the day to begin with, then jumped forward somewhat to bring us to the present game time.)

As Soteria appeared at the Venetian, she was met by Shawn Goldsmith who told her that unless the trolls swore fealty to the Winter Court, they couldn’t help out, since the trolls were Summer trolls. With a bit of a sigh, Soteria tried to get in touch with Enno to see if he could help with transporting the trolls, but when she got no answer, she proceeded to call Vivian.

When Soteria asked if she could borrow Vivian’s truck (aka, her Range Rover), Vivian laughed and asked if Soteria would be comfortable driving the vehicle, considering how it’s armored, extremely powerful, and even more extremely heavy – everything combined into a vehicle that doesn’t handle like an average sedan. She then offered to play chauffeur, since her morning plans were dashed by William being sent away for training.

She showed up at the Venetian’s loading dock where Soteria waved down the pearl white SUV. The non-amputee troll tossed his injured kin into the back seat of the vehicle, and Vivian just watched as they settled into place. Wanting to get the trolls to a better place to heal, Vivian drove away as soon as Soteria was settled into the front seat. As they were driving, she asked Vivian for her cell phone so she could call Thalia, and Vivian was only too happy to oblige. Handing over an iPhone to Soteria, Vivian smiled as the technophobe had trouble figuring it out.

Strangely enough, it was the troll who explained how to use the phone, and Soteria managed to get through to the Muse. Thalia told Soteria that she could bring the trolls to the Four Queens and proper measures would be taken to get them to the Never Never to have them seen to. When Vivian pulled in to the loading dock area of the Four Queens, two trolls greeted them and helped with the injured ones.

In the car, Vivian turned to Soteria and asked what she had planned for the day, and Soteria said she didn’t have all that much going on. Vivian then asked if they’d managed to get Anton and Ryuu out of the Never Never, and Soteria had to explain that they hadn’t. She was pretty certain that from what Enno had told her, that Anton was in the lake of ‘Unmen Goo’. Vivian needed an explanation of what constituted an “unman” and concluded that she’s glad she avoids any dealings with the Never Never. Soteria said they would have to go back in to try to get them, but would require more firepower – or electrical power as it were. “After all, it’s why we mugged the cop – to get his taser,” Soteria explained. Vivian was shocked at that, having been certain that Alexis was the redhead that Enno was with.

Vivian felt the need to ask why Soteria was working with Enno of all people, since she thought that the two were less than fond of one another. “He’s not too bad after you get past the fact that he’s a vampire,” Soteria explained. She said she initially called him to try to earn extra money.

Vivian found that funny, since Enno had gone to her in the hopes of getting additional money, and when she gave him a job to do, he drew upon one of his weakest skills to get the job done. Vivian is no doubt still somewhat bitter at the whole Angelica thing.

“You know, I’ve seen your show,” Vivian said to Soteria, “and I know you can move. If you’re looking for cash, Surrender can always use new dancers. It’s not the same kind of dance as your show, but it pays well.” Soteria considered it for a moment and said she might take Vivian up on her offer as long as it wasn’t any sort of conflict of interest with the muses. Vivian had no intention of pissing off a Muse, and fully understood, assuring her it wouldn’t be a conflict.

The offer had been made before lunch.

After some cleaning up and relaxation after her ordeals in the Never Never, Soteria had given Vivian’s offer some thought, and made her way over to Surrender, dressed in her stripper clown outfit given to her by the Muses. If nothing else, she figured Vivian would get a laugh out of it. When she arrived at the club, though, she was stopped by the doorman. She said she wanted to just go in and talk to Vivian and shoved past the doorman before he could say anything.

She got a number of amusing looks, and when a waitress stopped Soteria to ask what she was looking for, Soteria explained she was there to see Vivian. “Vivian no longer works her, hon,” the waitress said. Shocked and a little bit angry at the revelation, Soteria left the club and called Vivian.

Vivian explained that things had happened, and at the time that she made the offer, she still worked there. Soteria tried to be sympathetic, asking if she needed anything. Vivian said she had moved over to the Palms and was having a small get-together, and Soteria was welcome to join. Vivian said they had food but if Soteria wanted to bring beer over, she could feel free – and yes, it was a genuine invitation.

Soteria showed up at the front desk of the Palms, and got some odd looks, seeing as she was still in the stripper clown outfit, but Vivian okayed her to go up to the room. When Vivian answered the door, she was definitely amused by the outfit, but did offer her a change of clothes. Soteria responded with “I’m fine, but if it makes you uncomfortable.” Vivian just rolled her eyes and brought the beer to the kitchen, and told Soteria to feel free to make herself comfortable on the terrace by the pool.

Though tempted not to, Soteria kept her clothes on, and walked out to the terrace to see 2 men there. Vivian joined them a few moments later and made introductions. Soteria seemed quite surprised when Vivian introduced Bruce as an FBI agent. While small talk was exchanged, Vivian sat with her feet in the pool, eyeing the Wynn and Encore hotels with feigned sadness. The mood by the pool changed as George Maloof suggested that Soteria dance, since she’s a dancer. He chose a Miley Cyrus tune, since Soteria said she could make any song work. Oddly enough, she did make it work, arousing both George and Bruce, which made things dangerous for Vivian – dangerous enough for her to excuse herself from the group and make her way to the kitchen. There was a bit of conversation before Bruce excused himself as well, to see if Vivian was ok. That left Soteria and George alone by the pool.

Bruce walked over to Vivian who was occupying herself with just straightening up the slightest bit of mess that had been made, and began kneading her shoulders. Vivian’s response was a feral growl at the feel of his hands on her skin, her Hunger mounting inside her. With all the discipline she could muster, she pulled away from him, turning to face him, but not making eye contact. When he asked why she was pulling away, Vivian made the briefest eye contact with him before she admitted, “I don’t want to screw this up, but I don’t think I can control myself.” Bruce replied by taking her face in his hands and kissing her on the lips.

While that was going on in the kitchen, Soteria had joined George on the poolside daybed/couch and became quite friendly together. It didn’t take long, though, for Soteria’s enhanced feline hearing to pick up the sounds of Vivian and Bruce inside the villa and she said they really should just leave. George didn’t argue, and suggested his place.

Once at George’s, he made an offer to Soteria – seemed that George was looking for a werekitty of his own. Unfortunately, he wasn’t aware of that side of her, but offered to give her a place of her own, pretty much any sort of clothing she might want, use of a company car, and basically all she needed to do was be at his beck and call. He did understand that she works at the Four Queens, and didn’t want there to be any sort of conflict, but since he wasn’t looking to publicize his relationship with a mistress, it didn’t look like it would be much of a problem.

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Deals and Deceptions
The Politics of Supernatural Vegas

When Vivian woke in the morning, she put in a call to Nigel. She knew it was far too early to actually get him at the office, but she left a simple message: “I’m in.” She’d had a chance to think on what he had spoken about the previous night, and despite it being an extremely dangerous venture (not only for her physical neck, but her social standing), she felt that it was necessary. All she hoped was that she could pull off the massive deception it would require. After the phone call, she made her way down to the main floor of the casino so she could head to breakfast.

When she arrived on the floor, she saw William, and rather than completely ignoring him, she made eye contact. William made his way over to her and greeted her. Considering they had quite recently attempted to murder one another, they were decently cordial. Vivian wasn’t sure how much, if anything, Nigel had been able to tell William, but if they had spoken, William wasn’t giving any indication of it. Vivian thanked William for refraining from interrupting the previous night’s concert, and she said that Tina seemed to have enjoyed herself (and said she seemed a little star-struck). He seemed a little surprised at it, but let it sort of slide, then asked Vivian what she was up to, and when she replied that she was about to grab breakfast, he asked if she’d like company. Vivian agreed, and they made their way to a café.

Apologies were exchanged over breakfast, and Vivian admitted that she hated when they fought, but loved when they made up. William stated that they were doing things backward, because normally breakfast was after making up. He asked if she had any plans or if they might have a chance to properly make up, and she said that she intended to head to her boat. He asked if she’d like company, and she asked him if Nigel had anything for him to tend to. He said he was free at the moment, but had a meeting with Nigel so things were subject to change.

Rather than heading to her boat, Vivian opted to stay at the hotel, and did some laps in the pool to kill time. At the conclusion of one lap, she saw William crouched at the end of the pool and she swam over to him. He had some good news and some bad news: Bad – he was being sent away for training; Good – he was already packed and ready to go, and had a few hours. They took some time to make up, but when he had to leave so he didn’t miss his plane, she told him she hated when he wasn’t around. She knew she was going to need some support in her task, but still gave no indication of what she was about to do.

As William and Vivian were making up, Enno had emerged from the Never Never. Soteria had wanted to take care of the trolls who had helped them in the Never Never, and had indicated going to the Winter Court for help. Enno decided to give Asya a call and explain what had happened, indicating that they hadn’t managed to get Anton out of the Never Never, but he said he was certain he found him in the Unmen lake. In her usually charming way, she basically said she was impressed that he didn’t die on the other side, and suggested that the best way to handle the rescuing of Anton would be to destroy the wizard holding him captive. She asked if he was confident enough in his speed to attack and subdue a wizard, to which Enno said he was. She said she would start working on a tracking spell to find what they needed.

After his conversation with Asya, Enno made his way toward the Venetian to speak with someone from the Winter Court. As he entered, he was greeted by Shane Goldsmith. Enno mentioned that he was hoping for a status update on the trolls that Soteria had brought. Shane told Enno that it seemed that they were unclear on the status of the Winter Court in Las Vegas – they weren’t in the business of healing; especially those who are not affiliated with the Winter Fae.

They went on to discuss things, and Shane led Enno to an office. Over drinks, they discussed Asya. It seemed that Shane (and the Winter Court) was looking to have her removed from the city, and considering that Enno was still indebted to the fae, he was curious as to why he’d been seen working with her. Enno explained that it was a matter of rescuing Anton and Ryuu, and to do so, they required a wizard. With Asya back in town, it only made sense. It was then that Shane made an offer to Enno: Either remove or dispose of Asya, and the Winter Court would give him that which he holds closest to his being – the head of his nemesis. Because the Red Court had a bit of an alliance with the Winter Court, allowing them free passage in and out of the Never Never via the Winter Court’s doing, they held that relationship quite dearly. No matter how influential and how powerful any one individual Red Court vampire might be, the head of the Red Court would not hesitate to hand over that powerful individual in exchange for keeping the path to the Never Never open. With the promise of any one Red Court Vampire in exchange for Asya’s departure, Enno could not possibly refuse. With a sworn oath and an eerie handshake, the deal was sealed.

Following William’s departure, Vivian made her way back to the Casino level, and when she exited the elevator, she noticed Asya. Though she didn’t approach the wizard, she watched for a bit, only to see her joined by Nigel. Although there was no lust or even passion involved, Nigel gave Asya a greeting with kisses on each cheek before leading her toward the restaurants. Vivian hung back somewhat while they entered Tableau, eventually getting a table for herself so she could watch what was going on.

Asya and Nigel made small talk until Asya grew tired of it, asking Nigel what he wanted. She was rather busy with certain problems in the city. Nigel then got down to business, stating that he would like to hire her, since he had no access to any more wizards with Anton and Ryuu gone. She stated that she didn’t really need to be affiliated with the Court, seeing as one of the members basically had her blacklisted with the NGC. Nigel assured her that he had nothing to do with it, so they went on to discuss what her involvement would be as a White Court-hired wizard, and following that, Nigel slid a napkin with a very large salary scrawled on it. Just then, Vivian made her move.

She confronted Nigel about what he was doing with someone who was intent on the downfall of the city – or some other over-dramatization of what Asya was capable of. As the conversation heated, Nigel excused himself from Asya and pulled a fighting Vivian toward the kitchen. Only once they were alone in the walk-in freezer (after Nigel barked the single word of “out!” to the employee who was just doing his job) that Nigel released her arm with Vivian replying with a scowling “OW!”

He indicated that people could hear them, so Vivian played along, disputing his decision, essentially issuing an ultimatum of “It’s her or me”. Nigel cautioned her about her words, but she stood firm in her convictions, stating that she couldn’t wait for Nigel to come crawling back when he realized that Asya’s presence in the city was a horrible mistake. He said that he knows that Vivian would pose no threat to the city, but Asya needed guidance, and he would rather have an extremely powerful wizard working for him than against him. Vivian then sealed her fate by calling Nigel a coward. The conversation continued for a brief moment afterward, before Nigel returned to the table.

A fuming Vivian (fuming because Nigel would consider Asya a more valuable asset than herself), she got in her car and tore out of the hotel. With the intention of just driving recklessly for a while, she received a phone call. She answered with an uncharacteristic “Vivian Harding”, and was greeted by Enno on the other end of the line. He could tell that there was something amiss with her, and asked her if she’d like to get some dinner.

Vivian stated that she didn’t have much of an appetite, and Enno suggested drinks. Vivian asked where he was, because she would go and pick him up. She circled around and squealed her tires at the Venetian as she raced off with Enno in the car. With another shriek of rubber and its accompanying burnt rubber smoke, she pulled into the parking garage of the Blue Martini. They made their way to the bar, where the hostess offered them a table or perhaps a private room – they opted for the latter.

Once in the room, they basically had the drinks coming like water and they discussed their days. Vivian was in horrible shape because she’d essentially screwed herself over with House Raith. Enno responded with a “Welcome to my world.” To Vivian, it was horrible, namely because she’d never been on her own; she’d always had the support of her house and William, and now she’d lost everything.

Distracted in her self-pity party, she and Enno discussed Asya and the fact that she’d become a thorn in the side of the city, and it was agreed that the plan to get her out of the city by whatever means necessary was a good one. They tried to come up with a list of people who might help. She said that Shawn and Shane – well, the Winter Court as a whole – couldn’t stand her. Enno asked about Drake, and Vivian said that he was fully supportive in getting rid of her the first time. It was decided that Enno would seek help from Drake.

As they parted company, Enno making his way on foot up to the Excalibur, Vivian left the private room and sat in the main area of the bar, only to be joined by her father. Her discussion with him was as pleasant as any discussion between Vivian and Michael Harding. Eventually she confessed that she was out of House Raith, and would be moving out of Encore to the Palms (after she had to explain that she hadn’t spoken to Joe MERCADO, but Joe and Phil MALOOF). Michael said that the offer he made when he returned still stood. She was skeptical of his words, and stated that if such an offer even existed, she’d need it from more than just a former House Raith vampire, but one who was actually affiliated by blood to the Montegna house.

He understood her reservations, and she continued her tirade against him, several dirty martinis deep into her own world of sorrows. She insisted that if it was anyone else speaking, she might actually believe him but since she couldn’t rely on him throughout her life, now wasn’t a time to start. He then went on to explain that she of all people should understand why he did what he did. In distancing himself from her, there was no danger involved, but long and short of it was, he lost Vivian’s mother, and she was all he had left of her. If they had been anything other than what they were, it would have been different, but she knew why he couldn’t love her. She retorted with a “the least you could have done was told me so I could have been normal” guilt trip which didn’t work. He stood to take his leave, and Bartleby came over with yet another martini for Vivian, and offered them some privacy. Michael thanked Bartleby, but declined, saying he was leaving, but perhaps he and Vivian could take up the conversation when she was sober. Vivian replied with a “You say that like I plan on being sober.” Bartleby reminded her that she had her father’s metabolism, and Vivian was well aware of the fact that he didn’t buy that she was drunk. Her interpretation of ‘sober’ had to do with Michael implying that she would come to her senses. Fact was, she would never see things his way.

While Vivian was dealing with daddy issues, Enno went to visit Drake to ask for his assistance in getting Asya out of the city. Drake was curious as to why he would do that, considering how he was looking to hire Asya to help with the Anton problem. He also casually mentioned that Enno now had a warrant out for his arrest – by name. Enno was taken aback by that revelation, much as Drake was taken aback by Enno’s explanation of the bargain struck with the Winter Court. He wondered aloud why removing Asya from the city was so important to the fae that they’d offer Enno his heart’s desire. Enno asked if Drake was implying the Winter fae were behind the city’s recent trouble, which the dragon denied in a noncommittal fashion. While informed of Nigel’s intention to hire Asya, Drake said he would have to have words with the Raith leader on the matter. After a discussion, where Drake issued a warning about priorities to Enno, they came to the agreement that Enno would help Asya with the Anton situation, but once that was handled, Drake would support Enno’s efforts to rid Las Vegas of Miss Markovic.

Enno called Vivian to give her the update, and she seemed rather intoxicated. She didn’t much care for the news Enno gave her, having wanted to get Asya out of the picture as soon as possible. After the phone call, she got into her car and raced back to Encore to pack stuff from Surrender. While she was in her office, putting things in boxes, a knock interrupted her. Kyle entered and saw the boxes, then asked if she was remodeling. She said it was more of a reorganization.

Kyle thought that she was firing him and she shook her head as she made her way to the fridge in the office, offering him a drink. Vivian explained that she was the one leaving, and Kyle insisted that she was the owner of the club – without her, it wasn’t Surrender – and they couldn’t just fire her. She pleaded, teary eyed, with him to take care of the club. He was the one person who cared about the club as much as she did, and she didn’t want to see anything bad happen to it. He said that he would quit, and they could go somewhere else and start from scratch. Vivian nearly begged Kyle (who had punched the wall and bloodied knuckles in the process) to not do anything drastic, and promised him that once she landed on her feet, she would call him, and told him that she could always be reached by cell phone if he needed anything. She just knew she was no longer welcome at Surrender.

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