This is why we broke up, Stacey

The weekend is quiet, and a slightly melancholy time for many of the new acquaintances. Dante opens the mansion up to the group, but only he, Nicole, Sandra and a mostly absent Tegan opt to stay on the island. Parker feels that he is safe enough to go home, besides is bills aren’t going to pay themselves. And Elizabeth finds she has a lot to digest, unsure if she is fully willing to allow herself to process how much her world has just changed overnight.

This Monday starts out like every other Monday for the past ever for Chad. He shares a one bedroom with his roommate and coworker Bill. Buddies since high school, it’s totally normal and not gay that they share a single bed, so Chad insists. Bill’s never had much to say on the topic. Or any topic really. Knocking off after a long day at the mechanic’s, Chad and his buddy Bill meet with Chad’s ex-girlfriend and current friend Stacy at their normal weekday watering hole, Lucky’s Tavern. Stacey is elated to introduce her new friend to her current ones, and lets Chad know all about how gorgeous this woman is. Eager to meet one of Stacey’s hot friends, Chad puts on his best Chad face, and Bill offers his wordless wingmanship. Just another normal day for Chad and his only friends from and since high school. And it just so happens that Lucky’s is the same bar that Parker’s current case is on. A suspected cheating husband. And though Parker stands out like a sore thumb against, he is none the less amicably treated by the bartender once he gets the guy talking. He says he’s interested in taking a few pictures for a local paper or some other lie he’s already forgotten, and with the aid of three eager photobombers, Parker gets all the evidence he needs to show a soon-to-be divorced woman. A normal, boring day of work for Parker as well. It isn’t until after Parker orders some food that he discovers things are about to get weird.

A rat bumps into Parker’s food, in a hurry to get elsewhere. Were this even a week ago the weirdest thing about the encounter would be the rat looking up at him and telling him “you should leave!” Before scurrying off. But given he’s able to speak to animals now, the encounter leaves him more worried and less freaked out than he might have otherwise been. Almost as if on cue the door to the establishment opens and a woman far too good for a place like this, wearing a dress that likely costs more than the bar makes in a month, enters. Stacey emphatically waives her down, and Chad finds himself flabbergasted by the woman’s comeliness. This woman is not ordinary draft beer woman, no! Chad orders the finest cranberry vodka for her, which she graciously accepts but never touches. Instead, she sits with them for mere moments before making motion to something in a bag and suggesting they leave for somewhere more private. The three friends eagerly agree and exit the bar right then and there. Parker, feeling suspicious and duly warned by a rat, heads outside with the intent to follow them, only to notice that the moment they exit, all of the birds in the vicinity scatter. All the more reason for the private eye to follow. He tails them as they go to Caledonia Park, and follows them off the beaten path to what looks like an average teenage hangout spot. Some rocks in a circle around a small fire pit, empty beer cans strewn about. Stacey asks Chad to come with her, down along a stream a moment so they can talk, while the woman is left with Bill. It is while Stacey is telling Chad that she talked him up to her friend and how much he’s going to owe her, that Parker comes across Bill and the woman, standing close together, Bill’s back to Parker. The woman’s hand comes up, covered in blood and gore and she looks directly at Parker with a smile before taking a bite out of what is clearly Bill’s heart. Bill collapses to the ground. Parker takes no time to run back to his car for that shotgun.

Chad and Stacey return to see Bill quietly sitting by the small fire, with the mysterious woman. Stacey takes a seat next to the woman and pulls out a small baggy, asking who wants to get fucked up. Chad, looking desperately to impress this woman, and prove something to himself, eagerly agrees to try whatever it is. Stacey puts some pills in her mouth and turns to the woman, sharing an open mouth kiss to the amusement of the onlookers. Parker comes upon the scene, shotgun in hand, only to find everything fine. Just some people hanging out and having a good time. Parker lowers his sawed off shotgun for a mere moment before he experiences a strange vertigo, suddenly finding himself looking down from the perspective of a bird above. He sees himself, and then he sees a scene that suddenly frightens him. Bill, the man whose heart Parker saw ripped out, is laid across a small rock, a cavity in his chest. The woman has taken on a frightening beauty, and slowly draws essence from the girl’s mouth. Chad is sitting there like everything is fine. Parker’s vision snaps back to see the same innocent scene of friends having fun, but he trusts the borrowed vision of the bird over his own and rushes in. The group of friends starts screaming, and Stacey keeps herself in front of the woman regardless of how Parker tries to get her away. Parker uses that parkour skill to get past the girl and take a shot at the woman he saw as some kind of demonic thing, but she is unfazed by a direct hit, responding with a smirk and an “interesting,” before fading into the darkness. Not unlike someone else Parker knows. Stacey screams and rushes at Parker, biting him. “This is why we broke up, Stacey!” A frightened Chad shouts.

Chad insists Bill provide him backup as he shouts at both the gun wielding maniac, as well as at Stacey to calm down and stop biting people. An irate Stacey loose herself on Parker, and the small girl unleashed inhuman strength, slamming the guy against a tree. He drops his weapon and Chad rushes to grab it, still desperate to calm the situation as the gravity hasn’t exactly hit him yet. However, as the mysterious woman fades, so too does her illusion. Stacey hisses and bounds off with uncanny celerity into the woods, leaving Parker to deal with Chad discovering his long time friend Bill has been murdered. The gravity has still yet to hit as Chad, willfully ignoring the gaping hole in Bill’s chest, insists that Bill sit up and stop fooling around. It is only after Parker forces Chad to confront the fact that Bill is dead that he is willing to leave the park. Chad insists he cannot stay at the apartment that he and Bill shared (a one bedroom with only one bed…) Chad makes sure to grab the shark tooth necklace, but seems to have little care for anything else in the apartment right now. Parker, unsure what to do with this stranger who insists he’s fine, does what anyone in his situation would do, and takes him to a semi-abandoned, burnt mansion on crackhead island.

Meanwhile, the mansion has been slowly being cleaned and fixed up. With a reluctant Dante at the helm after a long and mostly frustrating day as a wedding photographer, Sandra and Nicole aid in making the place a little more livable. Tegan mostly watches and contemplates why she is even still here. The mansion feels so empty and hostile to the girl. And the burnt hallway only serves to reinforce the feeling that she shouldn’t be here. The place starts shaping up just in time for Parker to return. He brings Chad in and asks to speak with Tegan and Dante. After Parker and Chad inform them of the night’s events, Tegan tells them that the woman is a Vampyr. The immediate question is how do we combat her, to which Tegan says “we don’t. We let her do what she needs to. She’ll pass soon enough, and until then we just stay out of her way.” The rest of the group don’t care for her frank and pessimistic response, but they have little to go on. She tells them what she knows of their weaknesses, what is fact and what is fiction, but insists that engaging is not an option. Not for them.

Chad asks if the mansion has anything to drink, and Parker searches the house, finding a full bar in the basement with about half or more of the wine still good. While Parker is off, Dante takes a quick glance at Chad’s aura, only to find there is definitely latent magic in him. Reluctantly he allows Chad to stay as well, though he decides he needs more help. The events of the past few days have moved so fast that he feels he should consult Lysandra. However, before he does so, he sneaks a glance at Tegan’s aura, only to find powerful black and red surrounding her. A clear indicator of Shadow and Death magic! Parker returns with the alcohol and before anyone knows it, Chad is about five sheets to the wind. He passes out on a couch that Nicole is nice enough to help him to. Dante informs the fledgling coven of his discovery, and they discuss what to do. Dante lets them all know that he’s contacted his surrogate mother to help them, both in establishing the coven and with what to do about everything. Nicole and Sandra then press Dante to help them figure out their magical abilities, and he obliges the best he can. Parker, ever the investigator, notices that Tegan has vanished. He notices movement outside and finds Tegan with a backpack, setting off into the night. He calls to her and she stops. He pleads with her to stay, but she insists she’s hurt Dante more than he could possibly ever forgive, and that she’ll be more harm than good. Parker speaks very plainly about how and why her staying is necessary and welcome, and she promises not to leave yet, but asks him to leave her alone. He obliges and heads back into the house. He’s had a bit to drink and doesn’t feel comfortable driving, so he decides to find an unoccupied room for the night.

Author: Miranda

Queer gamer girl. Writer. Nerd. Probably a kitty. She/her. Nicknames include: Mira, Kitten, Nerd, Princess Candy Angel

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