Even though over an hour had passed since sunset the next evening, Haven had not left his bed yet. Upon him waking, Deborah had immediately curled into his arms, clinging to him desperately. Over an hour later, the girl was still in the same state, unable to even comprehend releasing Haven from her grasp. Though it was true that Haven was a male Kindred, like her attackers had been, that bond she had to him made it impossible for her not to still look to him for comfort, despite how terrified she now understandably was of nearly any other male vampire.
As Deborah most likely would never fully recover from what had happened to her, Haven found himself having to ask a question that he had also been considering since discovering what had been done to her and the state it had left her in “Deborah?” he whispered her name quietly from where he still held her atop the bed. As her only response was clinging to him more tightly, he spoke again “I promise to do everything I can to find whoever did this and make them pay, dearly. But until that happens, I need to know if there’s anything else I can do; to help you” he added quietly as he gently kissed her light red locks.
That was when she finally turned her pale blue eyes up to meet his own “like... what?” she managed, though her words were choked as she had been sobbing nearly nonstop for all of the previous day and night.
“I wouldn’t normally consider this for any reason but upholding the Masquerade” he began softly, “but if it’s what you need me to do; if it’s the only thing that will help you go on,” he sighed softly “I can make you forget” he offered nearly inaudibly.
“Forget?” she asked with some combination of shock and hope.
Though before he could offer any further explanation to her, a light knock came at the door of his chambers “yes?” Haven asked with another sigh as a second servant of his slowly pushed the door open.
“There’s someone here to see you” the young fair-haired boy of only twenty or so informed as he regretfully moved his eyes to where Deborah was wiping at her pale and reddened tear streaked cheek yet again.
“Someone who has to see me tonight?” Haven replied with a trace of annoyance at the interruption.
“She said she needs to present herself to you?” the young attractive male servant offered the only explanation he had been given.
Haven sighed again as he looked back at where Deborah pulled the covers up more protectively around her, eyes down “It shouldn’t take long” Haven told her apologetically as he finally moved from the bed to follow his other servant from the room. As Haven followed the young man down the hall, he added “so another female Kindred?” another sigh “did she happen to say what she was, Devon?”
“What she was?” Devon returned as he looked back at Haven questioningly.
“Never mind” Haven sighed again as they started down the steps where Awsha couldn’t help peeking her head out from her own chambers.
“We have company?” she asked Haven quietly.
“Another new Kindred apparently” Haven returned, though distractedly.
“What kind?” Awsha returned with a slight wrinkle of her nose.
“That’s what I need to go find out. But she’s presenting herself to me, so that should narrow it down” he added as he paused only momentarily at the top of the stairs.
“She? It’s a female?” Awsha scowled slightly.
“Yes fifty percent of us do come in that particular form” Haven returned with a slight smirk back at Awsha before moving down the stairs.
When Haven did make his way to the living room, he was thrown a moment by the fact that not only was it a female, but it was a fairly attractive female at that. Though it wasn’t that startling to find many Kindred attractive, as their sires apparently had found them so. His only worry was what difficulties having yet another attractive young female Kindred on hand would be likely to present, considering others in his acquaintance.
When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he found her looking around the room, taking in her surroundings. She stood at about 5’8” with light blonde waist-length locks and wide blue eyes. She was dressed in much the manner of the rare bands of gypsies that moved about through the landscape of the new world offering their wares and entertainment for quite a bit more than such things actually seemed to be worth in most cases. Though her light complexion did not read ‘gypsy’ as her clothing had, so it was an odd juxtaposition.
“Prince Haven?” she greeted him with a smile and a slight curtsy as he stepped into the room.
“Evening” Haven responded as he continued to study her with a fixed expression.
“Glad to make your acquaintance, and announce myself, of course” she added politely.
“You know my name…” he urged, his eyes narrowing at the fact of her appearance as well as her aura, which was nearly unreadable and literally without much hue at all.
“The people who raised me, they just called me Taylor. I helped with the upkeep of their clothing and costumes of course” she added with a small smile, as she tried not to react to the suspicion that Haven seemed to adopt as he watched her.
“And you are here presenting yourself, which would imply a desire to uphold Camarilla laws” he stated as he continued to study her.
“Well, of course. It’s a Camarilla territory” Taylor added with another sweet smile.
“But you’re not normally Camarilla, are you?” he stated as he took a seat in the living chair and gestured for her to take one on the nearby sofa.
“This is the first official territory I came to for miles” she attempted to explain as she took the seat “I’ve moved around all my life, so it never really mattered before” she stated in the same soft, smiling tone.
“With the gypsies?” Haven supplied the answer he had already suspected.
“They don’t particularly like that term” Taylor returned, though kept her volume low.
“And you don’t particularly look like you were born to them” Haven responded, not reacting to the rest of her statement.
“No, I’m from the colonies originally. The Romani took me in when I was very young, after my family… was gone” she added, keeping her voice even as she could.
“And your sire? Was he or she a colonist or a…Romani” he corrected his earlier phrasing.
“That is a very good question” Taylor returned, casting her eyes downwards as though hurt.
“Oh, so you’re claiming to be a Caitiff, are you?” Haven responded, his own voice not losing much of its suspicion yet.
“Caitiff?” Taylor returned innocently.
“Clanless” Haven returned, “an orphan” he added “in both the human and Kindred sense, apparently” he added pointedly.
“I guess I’ve been particularly unlucky” Taylor responded with another look downwards.
“Well, dear girl, your luck may be changing, as I would almost be willing to bet on you being a Ravnos” he stated simply.
“Ravnos?” Taylor repeated, though there was a brief flash in that otherwise completely unreadable aura of hers.
“Your clan. Your sire’s clan” Haven replied with the slightest trace of coolness.
“You don’t sound like you think that’s a good thing” Taylor replied with apparent wariness.
“Ravnos aren’t generally Camarilla” Haven returned flatly.
“But can’t any Kindred be Camarilla if they just follow your laws?” she stated with some mix of innocence and guile, if such an unholy pairing could exist at once.
“I guess that is what we shall find out” Haven told her with the same coolness as he stood once more.
“You already seem like you’re having a little trouble trusting me, though” she dared.
“I’m a Prince whose territory has been suffering quite bloody attacks in recent nights. Trust will need to be earned” he told her bluntly.
“Well, then I guess that’s what I’ll have to do” she stated with an attempt at confidence as she also stood.
“Hiding your aura from me is not a good place to start. Just so you know” he stated plainly before moving back up the stairs once more, leaving her with that slight warning.
A moment after Haven ascended the stairs to return to Deborah’s side, Awsha glanced after him before her curiosity drew her to the stairs as well. She reached the bottom of the staircase just as Taylor was approaching the front door again with a slight sigh.
“You’re the new Kindred?” Awsha greeted her as she let her dark eyes move over the girl’s frame.
“I suppose that would be me” Taylor agreed as she made a half-hearted attempt at a smile as she turned at the sound of Awsha’s voice. She then added “Taylor” she then reached out her hand “but I think I’ve somehow already made a bad impression” she attempted conversationally while still warily watching Awsha herself.
“On Haven?” Awsha replied, though did move to just as warily take the girl’s hand “usually he saves most of his scowls for…others” Awsha stated as she released Taylor’s hand once again.
“He thinks I was trying to hide something, I guess” Taylor returned with an innocent shrug of her shoulders.
That was when Awsha gave her a questioning look “kind of hard to hide anything from Haven, considering” Awsha replied. Then upon considering the girl’s words, she readjusted her own vision “ok, that is odd” Awsha said as she continued to look at Taylor with narrowed eyes.
“Something’s odd?” Taylor asked with the same innocent tone.
“Your aura, it’s like, not really there. I mean it is, but… That’s just strange” Awsha repeated again.
“My aura?” Taylor swallowed a bit “Oddly, Haven mentioned that too” she admitted.
“Yeah it’s like there’s nothing there. Like it’s been erased or something” Awsha returned as she continued to look at the girl questioningly.
“Ok. I guess that’s unusual?” Taylor replied in the same tone. As Awsha said nothing more but continued to try and focus on any color at all appearing in the girl’s aura, Taylor spoke up again “he accused me of hiding it from him” she repeated Haven’s words as she watched Awsha closely for any reaction to that.
“Are you hiding it from him?” Awsha asked as she returned her attention to the girl’s pale blue eyes.
“That wouldn’t exactly be a good way to endear myself to my new Prince, now would it?” was Taylor’s only response, which was somehow not a denial or a confirmation of the accusation.
That’s when Awsha couldn’t help scoffing “Oh darling don’t even bother trying. I myself have been trying to endear myself to him for almost sixty years” she informed wryly.
“I didn’t realize he had been Prince here that long” Taylor responded.
“No he hasn’t. But I’ve been with him since before he ever even came to our lovely home here” Awsha informed.
“You were his companion even before he became Prince?” Taylor returned as she gave Awsha another head to toe look, as if she suddenly found her much more interesting than the slight pull any mortals or younger Kindred already felt in Awsha’s presence.
“Yes. Haven is actually the one who made me; all the way back in 1672” Awsha returned though her tone was rather flat.
“You’re the Prince’s childe?” Taylor reiterated, suddenly seeming much, much more interested after all.
“And like I said; he barely trusts me most nights. So don’t feel too bad if he’s a bit slow to trust the new girl too” Awsha replied with what almost passed as a reassurance.
That was when Taylor offered another smile as she moved to take Awsha’s arm “then I guess that could make you my new best friend” she chuckled “now, let’s talk about that gorgeous dress you’re wearing” she added with another smile.
“Or we could talk about how you can make your aura look like that” Awsha returned, though allowed her own smile.
“You show me yours, and I’ll show you mine” Taylor added with another chuckle as the two began heading up the staircase together once more.