[Ariyah – International District – Ariyah’s Haven – BoL – NA]
[From Fremont to Uwajimaya Village Apartments]
Ariyah got out of the Lyft at the front of Uwajimaya and made her way through the crowd of late-night shoppers. Her apartment was above the popular little shopping complex, and although it wasn’t a very isolated location, it suited Ariyah in its mundaneness; you just cannot imagine anything out of the ordinary happening here.
In fact, Ariyah works very hard to keep anything related to her unlife away from here. She doesn’t hunt here, and she doesn’t meet anyone not breathing here. The only thing unnatural is her dead unmoving corpse “sleeping” the day away in her IKEA furnished apartment.
So it was with quiet trepidation that Ariyah noticed the neat little black envelope peeking out from underneath her apartment door.
All her “human” mail would have arrived in her mailbox downstairs, and the only undead person to know her address is Marvin, and he doesn’t have a habit of dropping her unannounced communique.
Ariyah unlocked her front door, picked up the innocuous-looking envelope and walked into her apartment.
She made sure her door was locked, her windows shut and the roller shutters down before she sat down at her sofa and sliced open the envelope with a stainless steel letter opener.
It was a response from the Prince regarding her request for the Elysium, and it was bad.
The first half of the letter caused her to draw herself up in indignation, but it was the latter half that caught all her attention.
She’d hoped to gamble a possible minor slap on the wrist against the chance of gaining some status within the Kindred community – and maybe even win her some new clients for her business.
Instead, it seemed she had attracted the wrong kind of attention from the powers that be.
little black stains upon one’s aura
Ariyah wasn’t sure, but she had an inkling as to what it was referring to. She took out her phone and typed a quick message using an encrypted Signal channel.
Hey Marvin, quick question: you know that mistake I made in the past? The one involving J. Is that publicly visible?
The response came back nearly instantly:
Not sure, let me check.
Ariyah put down her phone, a little mystified at how her sponsor was planning on getting that information. It wasn’t like you can just ask the Kindred next to you, “hey do you know if Diablerie is going to leave a visible mark?”
If you weren’t careful, that line of questioning could get you an up-close and personal interview with the Prince himself.
Ariyah just realised that her rave plans for the night had gone up in smoke when her phone buzzed.
Yes. I'm sorry, maybe you shouldn't have gone to E__ yet. Apparently, things like that stain your reputation for a year. I'm assuming someone made a comment? Who was it? Maybe I can *talk* to them.
Ariyah gave a dark chuckle as she thought of Marvin’s reaction when he reads her reply.
She could still remember the taste of Jasper’s blood.
She had been so thirsty, and they’d staked her for such a long time. And then they’d offered her blood, and she didn’t even care where it came from. That was until she’d come back to her senses and saw her Sire lying dead in her arms.
They’d blamed her of course, said she’d lost control and attacked her own Sire. Never mind that she’d been captured, staked and left to starve for weeks. Forget the fact that Jasper had been tied up, torpored and offered to her on a silver platter.
They’d set a blood hunt on her, and that was that.
It had all been part of some Ancillae’s plan, though hell if she knew what it was about. So she’d been set up, driven out of her home, and now it’s all come back to bite her.
Ariyah sent a follow-up message to Marvin.
HRH also asked whether you knew anything about it. I'll be telling him no.
Ariyah could hear the sigh in Marvin’s response.
That might be for the best.
One of them on the outs was better than both of them being in trouble. At least it didn’t look like the Prince was going to call a blood hunt on her any time soon.
If you wish to regain our good opinion, you will have to prove your judgment is not quite so dangerously flawed as it seems currently.
The Prince’s letter seemed to hint at a way of getting back in his good graces. Perhaps there was some task he had in mind. But her skills were mainly in the Arts, and if he wasn’t interested in renovating the Elysium, she wasn’t sure what else he might have in mind for her.
Ariyah sighed, standing up and going to her desk. She had a letter to write.