Adventuring through twisted time.
The shutters on Ostana's window flew open. Slamming against the walls and rattling her awake. Today marks a year she's been having these dreams. Losing sleep over seeing her mother's face as she urged her to find someone named Coastillon. She groaned and rubbed her throbbing head. Breathing deep to calm her pounding heart. The moon was still out which made her plop back down into her bed. It was a rare night she didn't have a client with her. She huffed. She was too exhausted to let her wolf out to stretch her paws and too wired to fall asleep. So she just laid there all night. Wide awake thinking of her mother's face.
Having a patron warm her bed would've been better.
She had never seen her mother in real life. Yet now here she was haunting her dreams. Even the Dreamwalkers she knew couldn't explain this phenomenon. It put her on edge and her lack of sleep made her dazed and agitated.
She barked at a patron when the doors opened.
Yeah, so Libelle decided to keep her behind the bar tonight.
She could at least get people's orders right. And if someone tried a bit too hard to persuade her to take them to bed she had an excuse to try and bite them. "What he tried to steal a keg" she'd bat her eyelashes at the mistress. She probably only got away with it because this wasn't normal for Ruby. She was the most popular lady. Outside of Libelle who no longer took clients and everyone often joked about how Ruby could talk a vampire out of his own fangs from how charming she could be. She did learn from the best after all.
She leaned her elbow on the bartop and rested her cheek against her hand. Taking a moment of calm she had to look around at the drinking and debauchery. She sighed and smiled at the site. It might have been weird to many others but this to her was home and she loved to see her family playing the game with the poor people who entered The Dragon Lady. Her eyes passed over a shadowy figure that sat in the corner of her bar. Her gaze boomeranging right back her way.
"Drink. Fuck. Or leave. Either way, if you stay you pay."
She approached the dark figure unafraid. Which was contrary to how everyone else seemed to treat the woman. Looking right into her matching gaze with a smug attitude. Ruby smirked and leaned on the bar in front of Clarice. "What'll it be love? I can't let you stay if you don't buy something." She gave her one of her cheeky smiles and a wink. Something she'd regret later when they learn they're cousins.
"Everything you see is on the menu."
Clarice had looked at the loom and recently events seem to be colliding soon. She couldn’t pinpoint what was going to exactly happen. She would have to follow the threads and one of those clusters of threads seem to land her at The Dragon Lady. A place she had learned about through gypsy whispers along with meeting Libelle when she had started it. She would like to think she had a hand and keeping the Drake encouraged in being a business woman who branched out past just selling her body.
She could use the guise of visiting an old friend to return, maybe being there with her feet on the ground would point out this event that wanted to play out. Be there to help if its something that can’t be handled by those who were there. Seeing how Devon was around though would lead to the events being positive without her help. So after packing a bag and pulling a cloak on she opened a portal to walk onto the busy England streets. Finding the Dragon Lady was easy enough and she kept her hood up as she walked into the rather busy evening swell making her way to a dark corner to watch for a bit.
Her watching the crowd was cut short when the domineering woman behind the bar called out to her. Moving closer she slowly pulled her hood down, the room wasn’t filled with people who would know her, and Libelle was nowhere in sight at the moment. A short chuckle left her lips as the woman in front of her made herself clearly available to services. “Well while the offer is tempting my heart is bound to another already.” She gave a gentle chuckle as she pulled out the small coin bag.
“Ale if I remember correctly Libelle was making one called the dragon’s brew?” She asked with a chuckle, staring at the woman for a moment longer. “Is Libelle around? I am an acquaintance.” She said as she placed the money for the drink in copper coin, knowing gold wasn’t the best to have around Libelle and she wasn’t sure if anyone was a Lupine so she often avoided silver also. “I am glad to see The Dragon Lady has been doing so well since the last time I visited.” she said, taking a long look around the place. She could feel the wave of gems under her feet.
Her gaze focused back on Ruby for a long moment, “Where you here when she opened, you seem so familiar for some reason.” She could just simply reach out and touch the maiden to learn more about her but that was very invasive to do to another. Yet her features reminded her of someone little did she realize it was herself she was seeing in the woman.
She smiled though she was surprised Clarice wasn't here for a gem for the night. "Lucky them." it wasn't every day she got turned down but this was by far the best reason she's gotten. As many came here to forget the one they were bound to for the night. Color her faintly impressed. Only faintly. She was still here for some reason and typically the reasons people came here were to escape their reality... Unless of course you were that weirdo, Vega. Seeing Clarice a bit clearer than before now, however, she recalled each time she came in search of Libelle.
Not many people ordered the signature drinks by name. Each one named after the woman who'd made it, subtly giving insight into its creator. Like a clever little easter egg no human noticed. Even the regulars didn't know the names of the drinks. Often just blurting out which gems drink they wanted rather than the name of the drink. But Clarice said its name and that alone put Ruby on alert. Whether that was good or bad remained to be seen. "We still make that one. We've one named Wolf's Bane now too." she gave no indication that that was her concoction. "It's not for the faint of heart." she picked up a clean pewter mug just as someone fell off their stool beside Clarice. Ruby let out a soft snort to represent a laugh then gestured her hand towards the fallen fellow as if to say see. She spun the mug by its handle around her finger before she topped off Clarice's order.
"Sorry, no Onyx tonight. She had to put me behind the bar but that allowed her to take some time with her family." she placed her drink before her and collected the payment. She then stepped around the bar to help the very drunk patron back in his seat. But as she did a soft change happened in Ruby's demeanor as Clarice mentioned her looking familiar. She was working so, of course, she did not completely flip. And she was well hidden behind the patron, at least she thought so when this quick change happened. She was relatively back to normal when she was back behind the bar. Like it was a suit of armor protecting her from her own feelings and insidious thoughts.
Ruby didn't like thinking about when she first arrived here. At least not certain aspects of it like people saying they recognized her. She was just a hollow shell of herself back then. Where she consistently latibulated in corners. Hoping she would just disappear entirely. She was weak in body and mind. So if she looked familiar to Clarice or anyone that meant she hadn't changed. Gotten better. And though that wasn't true it was what her mind would continually think about. Trying to convince her she was still that broken little pup who collapsed in Libelle's arms begging to be hidden. She recognised Clarice but didn't want to be recognized by her.
"I built this place." she hands the ladies their trays full of orders for the crowd. "Not in reputation. That was all Onyx as I was a vial little thing that didn't like to be touched back then but the architecture you see. The designs. The fortitude. Hell, even the stools at the bar here and the bar itself I built." she, at last, stopped moving to avoid Clarice's gaze and looked at the Mystic. She wasn't bragging it was clear she didn't really want to talk about the past too much. Instead, she was just reciting truths quickly mumbled under her breath so she didn't have to continue to talk about her past self. "What brings you here? I'm sorry I'm not Liby but maybe I can still help."