Timeless

Adventuring through twisted time.

Raffaele cried out in his sleep. Another fever dream seemed to be burning through him from the inside and as all the other times before in the last couple of weeks, he could not wake himself. It had been the same nightmare almost every day. He’d be walking through hell among the souls of the people he’d killed when his thirst for blood was all that controlled him. They screamed and cried out for a help that wouldn’t come as they begged him to stop while they were reliving their deaths by his very hand and he had to watch. 

There was so much blood. He begged for their forgiveness which was something he had no right to ask of them and they never gave it as their wailings rang throughout the nightmarish caverns of hell. Raffaele stumbled through the darkness completely drenched in blood. He could never outrun the dead as a booming voice rang through his head, always requesting one thing of him in order to gain some absolution; To find the god-killer. 

The terror always ended the same. Raffaele would come to a dead end, spinning around to face the mortals who he’d slain mercilessly. They would stand there silently in their hatred for him while someone masked moved through the crowd and lifted his sword, swinging to remove Raffaele’s head. 

The sanguine woke finally, seeing a few members of his staff around him with worried expressions. He was latched onto the arm of his cook and sprawled on the floor, completely tangled in his bedding. “Signore.” Raffale looked to the older man who smelled of fresh herbs and spoke softly as concern filled his tired eyes. “You must go to him.”

The hours passed until the sun had finally set and Raffaele mounted his horse. His chef, Vincenzo, gave him a reassuring smile for the journey that was ahead in which he would track down the last known whereabouts of his former comrade. This was something more easily said than done when it came to finding a Gypsy who was as flighty as the wind. Raffaele looked down towards the man who’d become almost like a father to him. His counsel was always a blessing he didn’t believe he deserved. The small staff of his manor did not know what he truly was except for Vincenzo who believed that Raffaele was not bound for hell and his soul would be saved. “God is on your side,” the older man said, making the sanguine scoff and shake his head with a smirk. “You doubt this?”

Raffaele didn’t immediately answer because it would only turn into a long discussion between the two. Instead, he only smiled to his mentor and then took the reins of his horse. “Why in the world do I have a chef?” Really the food the cook prepared everyday was given to his workers that lived on the grounds because it would never be able to fill Raffaele’s hunger, but none of them knew that. It was a question that was not meant to be answered as Vincenzo only smiled back at Raffaele before tapping the horse on the rear to trot off into the night.

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"This city is a dark and lawless place."

"And we are its children." 

Is it odd for a for gypsy to get tired of turning in the wind? "Take. The. Shot." Not knowing where you'll go. Who you'll meet. What trouble one might stir? Jeovani at first thought his listless desires were from traveling alone. He'd grown used to companions and the comradery that bloomed forth from it. Though once he joined a caravan he soon realized how tired he was still. 

It never weighed him down. The terrible tether of gravity never came to tie him to the ground.

But he was tired of turning in The Wind."Take. The. Shot." Maybe his age was getting to him, and idea or thought quickly debunked once his caravan found a place all their own. All caravans from across the world in fact. They still had Nowhere. Hidden and safe. But Nowhere was isolated and detached from the workings of the world. Unaffected by Father Time and his wife Mother Nature. 

The Court of Miracles. Grimy and unappealing to most. But to the gyspsies and refugees amount them it was home."Take it already! The shot!" They'd benefit from trying to fix things to which they did try but with the little resources and no help from the king, there wasn't much they could do. 

"COMEONPENDEJO!"

This, of course, is exactly where one would find Vega. Standing in some bar with all the bets stacked against him. Pot balanced on his head as he challenges the blindfolded drunk to shoot it. This of course is all a ploy. Rigged in Vega's favor. The flintlock barrels the bullet out and the whole pub goes silent. 

The very next sound is that of the pot shattering atop his head. 

He laughs to break the nervous silence and soon is joined by the rest of the patrons and workers. Music quickly refilled the atmosphere and The Gypsy collected his winnings. He didn't stay in the pub long after. He had to pay his fellow gypsy who'd shot him his portion of the winning. And clearly, if he did that in front of everyone they'd have his head. 

His head which was already wanted for a similar "19 Crimes". Though impersonation of an Egyptian might take a few tries and a hell of a lot of help. The night was beautiful as he waited for his friend. Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, was certainly a creepy and bizarre place to meet unless you were a Gypsy aware of Paris' underground. The loud sound of cement being dragged across a surface pulled his attention from the sky and the cool night breeze. 

"You're late but I forgive you"

"You hear about this Godkiller running about." 

He launched a pouch into the air for the man, Niko to catch.  "I haven't. " Niko caught the pouch with ease. He didn't even count it before thanking Vega. He didn't have to, he was honest when it came to his own kind or those he cared about. Niko hummed and twisted his mouth, almost surprised the words in The Wind hadn't reached Vega's ears yet. 

He stayed a moment longer telling him what he had heard which wasn't much of anything at all. And so in the end, of the brief talk, Vega stayed behind as Niko left. Denying his offer to go drink with him. Tonight he just wanted peace and figured among the dead here would probably be best as most everyone would be too superstitious to join or bother him and his fellow Gypsies would leave him alone. 

He slid the large cement cover to the burial vault back in its place. With The Winds help. Covering the entrance to the True Court of Miracles. He took a breath and clicked his tongue as he wiped his hands together. "If you're here, for my head I'll have to take yours." 

And so, before turning to see who it was approaching. The one he could sense through The Wind. He drew his sword and aimed it the person's neck. Squinting his eyes to see their features passed their silhouette in the dark. 

Should've known better than to expect a peaceful night.

Raffaele smirked in the shadows that covered his identity as the sword moved against his skin, just below his chin. "That is hardly fair. I demand to at least be armed as well. Where's your sense of chivalry? Are you not a man of honor, signore?" He took a few steps to the side with his arms slightly raised in surrender as the weapon remained poised. The moonlight trickled through the nearby trees and across their branches and leaves, casting bits of light over his form. He slowly reached for the hilt of his sword and drew it from its sheath. The weapon brushed down along the length of his opponent's slowly, making the metals sing through the quiet graveyard. "Shall we then?"

The two figures looked as if they were dancing as they expertly moved about. Raffaele didn't go easy as he knew his opponent wouldn't either. Moments like these were what made him feel alive again. Side stepping a blow, Raffaele pulled a dagger from his belt and spun, ending with both at a stalemate; He with the dagger to the man's side and his opponent's sword at his neck once again. 

Raffaele looked to the man's eyes and smiled at the familiar intensity. "I see you haven't gotten rusty. Honestly, I'm a little surprised," he teased, spinning the dagger in his hand and putting it back in its home. "I half expected you to call on the Wind and cheat like you always do." It was a mix of emotions seeing his old friend again. In the time they had met and spent together, the two had become the closest of friends over the years, but it was overshadowed by the one thing that had changed everything and because of it, they'd drifted apart and went their separate ways. They'd sworn to never see one another again.

The sanguine reached for the man's hand in proper greeting and then pulled him in for a hug. Raffaele didn't have much in the way of friends and the loss of Vega had hurt him deeply. Despite the accord they'd agreed on years prior, he was somewhat glad to have broken it despite the circumstances that had him hunting down the Court of Miracles with the hope of finding his old companion which had been no easy task.

He could see the question behind Vega's eyes even if he didn't immediately voice it. He shifted his weight and cleared his throat, looking to the sealed vault for a fleeting moment and back to the Gypsy as he sheathed his sword. "Walk with me." What they needed to speak about was for their ears only and the dead around them would forever keep. 

That voice. Oh, that voice. 

Upon hearing Raffaele's demand Jeo simply chuckled wickedly. He was a man of honor sure. To a certain degree. But more than anything he was raised by Vikings. There was an honor in fighting. And one can't do so without the appropriate weapon of choice. More than anything in this instance, however, he knew that voice. Better than he knew a great many things. So he played along. 

Not many can say they danced with the devil in the pale moonlight. 

Jeovani after tonight certainly could. A wide smile sprawled across his face at their impasse. Giving a dry laugh to Raf's word. "Rust is for those who don't often have to live on the run." 

"Where is the honor in cheating?" 

He gave his old friend a slay look as he brandished a flintlock. Raffaele's flintlock. Cleaning it as he waited for it to dawn on him that he had used The Wind to steal it. Yet his smile did slowly fade as he thought about their last encounter with each other. Keeping Raf's gun and sheathing it which he should've expected he eyed his friend. 

There was so much he wanted to say. Ask. Do. Instead, he waited. Wanting to see how Raffaele might handle this moment. He froze the moment he was pulled into a hug. But that didn't last long at all. He hugged him back and shamelessly took a deep breath. It felt good to have that comradery and with someone you've known for so long. 

Longevity wasn't friendly to a wind waker.

"Lead and I'll follow." 

Raffaele led the way through the cemetery, peering at the headstones which told the shortest version of someone's life in a few words for strangers and loved ones to recognize them for. He always wondered when that day would come for him and would always fear it no matter how much he tried to repent and atone for what he'd done. Of all the places in the world to find his elusive friend, did it have to be this graveyard? He supposed it was fitting though. The amount of bodies they were responsible for could fill dozens of these graves, even if it wasn't they themselves which gave those victims their direct line to the afterlife. 

"I know we swore to stay away from one another," he began, focusing instead on their footsteps over the earth and not their passed sins. "I've been dreaming nonstop. Nightmares. Things from my past mixed in with some type of prophetic future to come." Raffaele had shared the stories of his former life when he'd torn through villages, draining the lives of its inhabitants without remorse. Somehow Jeovani had found reason to see him for who he was now and not for what he'd done those many years prior. Raff had thought him a fool then and tried to remain the recluse he so wanted to be, but the gypsy was rather insistent on ensuring he didn't stay locked away in his manor, brooding until the end of days. 

He stopped walking then and turned to his friend. The images of his nightmares had felt so real. He wasn't so sure that it was just a dream and he hadn't been transported to the depths of hell where the oceans of blood carried his dead victims along for the journey. "A voice spoke to me." The words were so clear to him still. The booming echoes of it pulsed in his mind as he recalled it. "A.. god spoke to me." Raffaele hesitated saying it. He knew how it must've sounded to Jeo. He'd probably think he'd finally gone crazy from all the torturous images that haunted him through his lifetime. Regardless, he continued on. It needed to be said. "Hades. The god of the underworld. He told me of a godkiller and I swear..." Raff stopped for a moment. He didn't want to believe it when he saw the person in his dream, always hooded and hidden beneath a mask, but something deep in his gut told him his instincts were right. It was something he didn't want to believe. "I think it's Rodric. I know it's Rodric."

Raff looked to his companion then. What he was saying was something impossible, but there was no denying the familiarity that he felt despite it being only a dream. "Somehow he escaped, Jeovani. He got out of that box we put him in and he's been scouring the world going after the most powerful. Killing these eternal beings. Hades can't get involved and has asked me to take this task, promising some salvation. That I won't go to the underworld for my previous crimes if I do this." He sighed, shaking his head and remembered the events leading up to the betrayal of their friend. It was one of the hardest days of his life. The curse plaguing Rodric had finally begun to drive him mad and he'd slaughtered so many innocent people. Raffaele and Jeovani had tried to stop him, but they were no match for the man. Instead, they'd had to enlist the help of a thaumaturge to trap him, locking Rodric in a warded box, and bringing it to the ocean where a group of sirens had promised to take the box to the deepest depths of the ocean. Alive, but forever imprisoned. 

He didn't know who would free Rodric. Raffaele could only guess it was the mystic who had cursed their former friend in the first place. If that were the case, there was no way he would be able to do it alone and he knew Jeovani would want to see this through. Rodric was their responsibility. "Will you help me?"

From the moment Jeovani discovered he was a Gypsy he struggled with what that meant. What he would be allowed to do and what The Wind would take as a violation. This would be a fight he struggles with throughout his whole life. Unlike most Gypsies, Jeo wasn't born and raised among his gypsy family. He was born in Kattegat. On a cold night. To a Valkyrie in a world where men were warriors. Vikings. Fighting. Killing. Dying in battle was all honoured. It was the only way to achieve Valhalla. This is what Jeo was raised in. That killing was okay. But dying in battle without your weapon wasn't. It didn't help that his mother was the Valkyrie that trained the new Valkyrie and Vikings in the art of battle and war.

Then The Wind took him. It bought him to the land of his father. It showed him everything he could do. Have. Achieve with it. It made him feel seen in a world where he thought he was alone. But this is where his inner turmoil began. Killing was so easy for him and he was good at it. It didn't matter if he was using a weapon or his hands. But The Wind. The Wind didn't take this kindly. Taking from him everything it gave him. Including itself. Whenever he broke that vow to peace. The Wind finding that it to be stricter in certain things and lenient in others for Jeovani to fully understand it like a Gypsy raised in Nowhere. 

With no one willing to hire a Gypsy and Jeo's skillset being that of fighting. Hunting. Killing. He took to hunting. Hoping The Wind would stay if the bodies he left behind belonged to a wicked one. Trying to find a loophole around his vow. To keep The Wind and still kill and hunt. It never worked. In truth, before he and Raffaele broke up the band Jeovani was debating living. Being torn apart by The Wind wanting him to stop and leave but his undying, relentless loyalty to Raffaele needing him to stay. In the end, the split came in time to at least save Jeo's soul. He only deeply regretted he couldn't do the same for his brother. For Raffaele. 

Silence. 

For Gypsies the belief in the gods was natural. Their Wind being regarded as a god among them. For the son of a Valkyrie, it was, even more, believable given that they collected souls for their gods. But Jeovani still was at a loss for words. A slight doubt of this truly being Hades calling to his brother playing at the back of his mind. His demeanor and facial expression tightening at the sound of that name. Roderic. It came as no surprise but it was still ultimately sad to hear what had become of one of them. In fact, all of them seemed to be dealing with something. None of them was alright. He wanted to say ol Rody had done this to himself at first. But it wasn't in his nature. It wasn't like him to be so cold and heartless when Raf of all people knew he wore his heart on his sleeve. And so he huffed the words on the tip of his tongue away. "Raf." He put his hand on his shoulder and gave it a light squeeze. Shaking him faintly to shake off that nervousness Raffaele seemed to have. "You're my brother. Despite how we may have ended. I still love you. I'd still kill for you." Jeo smiled softly at him.

"Let's go get our old friend." 

Raffaele let out a shaky breath. Hearing that Jeo seemed to believe him was a type of validation that maybe he wasn't going crazy. At least for the time being. He didn't know that he would ever feel at peace with himself, but if finding Rodric and righting this wrong would somehow bring absolution, he'd take it. It was a stupid notion, this he knew, but any small bit of penance made his soul quiet for a little while. Making the nightmares stop was all he wanted. Quieting the voices of the dead was paradise to him. Even if his redemption didn't come, Raffaele knew they had to stop Rodric. Having him upon the earth again meant the lives of the innocent were in danger. The longer their former companion was free, the higher the body count would rise.

The sanguine gave an uneasy smile in return to his friend before letting out a chuckle. "I half expected you to finally have me committed." Despite the joke, Raffaele had asked his friend to promise him such an end if he couldn't control his bloodlust, but more to the point of death instead. "Don't worry, there's time." He smirked and continued walking through the graveyard, feeling an immediate comfort at having his brother beside him again. Jeo was like an anchor for him. The man kept him grounded when he thought he might lose control. It was the reason he remained shut away from the world most of the time when they had sworn to part ways after imprisoning Rodric to his watery grave.

"I can't help feeling like we failed him," Raffaele continued, looking over to Jeo as they wandered slowly through the grounds. This wasn't some new revelation. It was hard to stay around one another when this would always hang over their heads. "The curse consumed him so quickly and for it to be passed down to him through blood..." It was complete and utter helplessness in those last days with their friend. "He didn't deserve that." They'd promised Rodric they would find some way to break the curse of his family, but nothing seemed to work. His behavior deteriorated fast and the monstrous beast that he turned into only when provoked for defense was coming out on the drop of a coin. He was soon only ever in the brute form and it had taken both their efforts to finally cage him, but not without nearly dying themselves. Rodric had left a trail of bodies in his wake. Neither he nor Jeo could find the resolve to end his life, but that also meant finding the cure to his curse. Instead, they could only think to keep him locked away with the help of the thaumaturge so the monster could no longer hurt others. 

"If the sirens did as they were paid to do, I can't imagine anyone else getting him free again except the thaumaturge, but why? What could he want with him?" It was something that plagued Raffaele ever since the nightmares began. "The visions in my dreams show Rodric last being in Ireland. One of these Ancients with no memory of their past existence was torn apart by him." Raffaele tried to focus on the dream and recall the things he saw through the eyes of Hades. "As mindless of a monster that he was, it seemed like he was being controlled. Maybe by this thaumaturge. I think it best we try and pay him a visit to learn more."

Of all of them, Raffaele was always the most brooding. The most serious of them. Rightfully so given everything he'd been through before and with Jeo. Jeovani only wished his friend would rely on him a bit more. That he wouldn't try to hold the whole weight of the world on his shoulders alone. That's not any one person's responsibility but everyone's as a whole. Helping each other in unison. Jeo's smile slowly faded long before Raf could speak again. He wanted with all his heart to lighten the burden of Raf's load. He'd do anything. 

"In many ways, we did fail him." 

He dropped his head as he spoke. Breathing a puff of warm air from his mouth and watching it swirl out in front of him. Until it disappeared in the light of the moon. He was comfortable in this brisk cool air of the night. Put him in the heat, however, and well you get a very agitated man. "But in many ways, he failed us too. He could've told us of his hereditary curse. Even if he was unsure if he'd be affected. We all talked of our bloodlines. Or lack thereof." He forced an audible breath from his nose. "He could've told us sooner. Instead of when it was too late." 

Jeovani had to be given some credit here. Up until now, he was taking everything extremely well. From Raffaele breaking their vow to each other. The mention of Hades haunting dreams. Mystics using the cursed ones as puppets. To Rodric killing the already supposedly fallen gods. It was a lot to dissect and digest. Yet Jeovani took it all with no judgment or anger. Just shared remorse and heartache that they couldn't help Roderic before it came to this. However, at the mention of Ireland, he stopped walking. Of all the things to cross Jeovani's line. 

Ireland. 

He inhaled a hissing breath. Clenching as he shook his head. Sweat suddenly beading across his skin as he fought his sudden rage and agony. "Ireland" his Spanish accent rolled over the word smoothly but there was a bite in his voice as his throat shot it out. His opaque gaze which went suddenly dark met that of his long time friend's. "I have been there twice now." His lip twitched. "And it's taken everything from me both times. Just for being a gypsy. Or a Drake. Or anything they deem blasphemous." His eyes dart away and he for a moment paced. 

"I can't go back there."

His words to himself as he stopped pacing.

And then The Wind blew. It ruffled through his hair. Along his face. It played with part of his clothes that flowed with it. And so he took a deep breath in its presence. His serenity returned. 

"I say again then amigo. Lead and I'll follow. Even unto the depths of Hel itself." 

He hated to admit how right Vincenzo was sometimes. Being around Vega made him feel like everything would be okay despite the insurmountable odds that were facing them. Raffaele knew he shouldn't have broken this vow, but selfishly he was glad he did. Even when it meant they were going after their friend who they damned to a watery grave of eternity. Or so that was what it was meant to be. Now Roderic was upon the Earth again and most likely in a more monstrous way than when he was put into the depths. To be controlled by another being as well as dealing with the family curse, Raffaele didn't know if Roderic was even conscious of his actions after so long and though he agreed with Jeo on wishing they'd known about his condition sooner, the guilt did not lessen.

The sudden halting of their walk made Raff look to his friend. He could see the emotion that passed over his features which hardened, even in the dark. Ireland. Of course. How could he be so stupid as to forget? A light sigh came from Raffaele though there was no air he really needed to breathe. The human reaction was just a habit still. His lips parted to speak, but what could he say? He knew the feeling of wanting to stay away from a place and never return. In his life as a newborn, Raffaele had many along the map of the world he didn't wish to see again. He had yet to visit his hometown in Italy where he slaughtered his parents the night he was turned. Returning there seemed impossible, but Vincenzo insisted it would help him find closure. 

Raffaele tried to find the words to encourage Jeo like he had done for him, but suddenly a breeze picked up. It passed over him and went to his companion like a gentle embrace. His keen sense of vision watched The Wind do as it always did when it came to nudging a gypsy on the path they were meant to walk, though he'd only seen the elusive entity a handful of times in his incredibly long existence. As boisterous and lively as most of the travelers were, their ever watchful savior was just as quiet and peaceful. It seemed The Wind was on their side this time. They could use all the help they could get.

Raffaele gave a reassuring smile to his friend at his words. "There's no one I'd rather at my side to venture the fires."

-----------

If finding the Court of Miracles had proved hard for Raffaele, locating the thaumaturge would prove even harder. Sure, it was easy to spot a gypsy among the various cities of the world that could lead to more of his or her brethren, and maybe the elusive hideout, but mystics were not so easily found. They did not usually move about with others of their skills and of course there were no immediate signs to their unique ability to use magic. He had been lucky in learning about the whereabouts of the one they worked with so long ago in helping them bind Rodric. He had left a scorned woman behind who was all but happy to tell Raffaele where he'd been planning on going. He only hoped the man would still be there.

It was early in the morning and though the sun was not at its highest point, Raff felt the effects as always. He was drained. His blood supply was gone now and as humans mingled about him through the busy streets of the city, his fangs ached to sink into any one of their exposed necks while he watched them from above on his horse like the predator he could be. The sanguine looked to his friend as they walked the cobblestone streets, the pallor of his skin so opposite of his usual tanned complexion. For as long as they'd been friends, Raffaele knew he didn't have to say much for him to know he needed to find blood and soon. "Vega..." he said quietly to the gypsy and it was all that was needed. Some form of tavern would do for now to at least be rid of the walking meals around him.

For as well travelled as Jeo was he had to admit this world of magic. Madness and curses were all very new to him. And if there was one thing Jeo couldn't stand it was facing something he was unfamiliar with. People relied on him. His family needed him alive. Natural reasons to make a man say no to Raffaele's story and scheme but also the very thing to make a Gypsy say yes. Why? Because it wasn't far fetched for a Gypsy to assume that any new threat on this earth was a bigger threat to them. They were walking targets no matter where they went so Jeo with the safety of family and loved ones in mind. Raffaele towards the top of that list. He said yes even when faced with having to return to a land that burned his people alive. 

"And you're the only one I trust as we descend into the depths of hell, brother." 

...

The sound of creaking leather could be heard as his hands clenched his reins. His body stiffened utop his saddle as their horses trudged through this land. The stench attacked his senses. And so even though this particular town didn't smell foul it was still in Ireland. His breath quickened and shallowed. His heart raced. His blood rushed to his ears. Everything around him began to fade as he slowly got lost in his panic. Yet another emotion sparked too. Making him hot. And rising quicker than his panic.

Rage? Was he losing his senses to his temper? 

Was his want for revenge still alive after so long?

Why couldn't he get a hold of himself? Was it the people staring? Or their whispers in the wind?

They knew what he was. Was he in danger? Did he misinterpret The Wind's embrace before? 

But then he heard Raff. Like a drop of blood in water. And so with a sharp inhale his head snapped towards his brother's and just like that he was the priority. If there was one thing that could be said about Vega it was that he always put others' needs before his own. "I've got you." He was very quick to find a tavern all thanks to The Wind. Its gentle breeze hurriedly guiding him to the one spot in town that accepted Gyspies. Though not the most desirable place it was just what they needed right now. A dark lit tavern nearly void of people to tempt Raffaelle's hunger and trigger Vega's currently defused temper. 

He sits with his friend across the intimate table. Ordering just a pint for the time being when the waitress came by. "How much do you need?" He's leaning on the table looking around to see all the other shady figures keeping to themselves. "...because my arm is right here but if you need more we might need to think about who owes us a favor or five nearby." 

Things were becoming a blur. Raffaele's focus was purely on trying to keep his natural instincts in check as not to become a monster among the everyday people. He'd been in worse predicaments than this currently, but it was still a chore to be human nonetheless. It didn't help that he was keeping his focus on his friend and following him so closely that he could see the beating of his pulse under the tanned skin. Faster than usual. He wondered what it was that caused the rise of his pumping lifeforce. He'd have to ask about it later when he wasn't in such an elevated state. It was at least an immediate relief to have the shade of the tavern Vega found as soon as his boot stepped inside. The smell of every human there seemed intensified. Their sweat hovering in the air around him.

He let out a concentrated sigh through his nose and was glad to be seated at the worn and wobbling table, pretending there was now a bubble of just him and Vega so he wouldn't look at anyone else. "I'm out," Raff replied simply, keeping his focus on a spot on the top of the table where it appeared someone had carved something into the wood with a dagger. Every time he opened his mouth, it was an invitation for his fangs to want. When Vega offered his own blood, the sanguine shook his head. "No," he responded quickly in a huff, knowing his friend would understand. Somehow, doing that made Raffaele hate himself more. "Wouldn't mind if you went to see about those favors though. I can stay here for a bit. I'll find a room in the meantime to keep away from others till you get back if I can't..." He left the rest of the words unspoken. Vega had seen that side of him before. There was no need to say more. 

Raffaele forced a dry and aching swallow that was like drinking burning dessert sand. "Doesn't have to be human," he said quietly. "Preferably not, in fact." He reached to his belt and lifted off a pouch of coins, throwing it to his brother. Thankfully, money wasn't a problem for him after living for so many hundreds of years. It certainly meant getting what you needed no matter what year it was in history. "In case you find anywhere that might offer a supply of some no questions asked." Another concentrated breath passed through his nose, more of habit given he didn't actually breathe. "And toss them a few more if they do it with haste. Preferably faster than you calling on the Wind when we spar." He gave a forced smirk to Vega that quickly dissipated as he went back to concentrating on staring at the table before a growing vision of him lunging across the table could fully cement itself in his mind.

He so hated what he was...

There was a silent understanding between the two. So when Raff said no Jeo just took a deep breath and accepted it. While that might have made things easier at the moment there was no telling what the future would be like for the two afterwards. That did make things more difficult for Jeo because where in the world would he find someone that owed him a favor here? He had offered it as an option without fully thinking it through. He knew sailors and merchants that could help if they were in town but the caravans knew better than to come here. So his people wouldn't be an option. 

He took another deep breath that seemed more like a sigh. "Stubborn old man" he crosses his arms over his chest as his playful remark escapes under his breath. His reflexes allow for him to catch the coin pouch without much effort but seeing it made Jeo frown. It would just draw more people to him and not the kind he wanted... Unless Raf was in the mood to drink... Jeo didn't finish the thought. It was dark and wicked and unlike him. He was just nervous about having to venture out around here alone. Even if just for a second and those thoughts as dark and vengeful as they gave him an odd sense of comfort. 

It was the Viking in him. Screaming for war and bloodshed. A side of him he denied the most... 

"Yeah well, The Wind and I always let you win." He knows Raffaelle's kind are the fastest in their world but that doesn't stop him from teasing. "I'll be back as soon as I can." He places his hand on Raf's shoulder. "Hang in there." He tucks the coin pouch away to hide from the world and vanishes in the light. An old gypsy trick but it got the job down of needing to move quickly. Gypsies never needed to hide their abilities. Just themselves because people don't accept what they don't understand. 

They see their windwalking and control. Their great wonders and weird ways and because it's not human it must be bad. This was rarely the case. Jeovani was proud of being Gypsy just as much as he was to be Viking. But sometimes that pride drew in unwanted attention when The Wind blew for him.  A few men from the Tavern followed him down the road. Keeping a watchful eye on this "wicked gypsy" and Jeo knew it. It was why he showed them what he was back in the tavern. So he could get them alone. "Want something gentlemen?" He spun to face them with a smirk right as The Wind began to blow. 

The men grew cautious. And so, Jeovani's smirk grew wicked. Yet the longer the men stood there silently the harder The Wind became. Jeo chuckled and crossed his arms. "I asked a question." His words are nearly swallowed by The gusting sound of the wind. This is all a game. Jeovani had no friends to ask for favors and no knowledge of the underground here. So...

"Well since The Wind has taken your breath away..." He stalked toward them slowly.

"I guess I'll ask for what I want."

...

..

.

"I hope you love me." 

An hour had passed before he returned. Setting down both the coins and a barrel of blood. "Asked them to make it look like mead so I could travel with it. But don't ask how I got it for free..." He took off his hat and sat with a groan. Huffing out a much needed deep breath.

Reunion Tour

He wouldn't lose control. Not again.

Every sound around him pounded in his head. His abilities were heightened tenfold because the sanguine instinct was preparing him to hunt. His body began to shift into predator mode the longer he was without the sustenance he needed. Every single footfall was heard of Jeovani's boots as he exited the tavern and then his senses somehow increased further. Perhaps it was because he was holding back without realizing it, knowing he had to keep in control around his friend, but now that he was gone, that control was slipping. 

Raffaele was gripping the table so hard that the wood began to splinter in his hand. It brought him around again and he quickly let go and stood. The cacophony of human behavior was unbearable; Laughter, arguments, snoring, eating... but nothing louder than the heartbeats that drummed in his head. He nearly fell against the counter where he didn't meet the eyes of the innkeeper. "A room."

The man looked at Raffaele with annoyance. "Rooms I got. Requires coin though like most everything else."

Raffaele finally glanced up, but not to meet the man's eyes. Instead his gaze bore through the man's dirty and torn top, straight to where his heartbeat thrummed. He yanked another pouch from his belt and dumped it on the counter top. The innkeeper couldn't move any slower, but Raffaele was finally presented a key.

Years. It felt like years. The sanguine paced in the modest room he purchased to keep away from everyone, but it didn't stop the noise. He already knew how many people were in each of the rooms he'd passed on the way up. The heartbeat of a man was rising as the woman he bought began her services, though he could tell from her steady one that this was strictly business, but even more enticing were the two children in the room next to him. He could hear them playing behind the walls as he locked onto them, ignoring that their parents were also in the room with them. They couldn't stop him. No one could.

Raffaele's eyes closed. He wouldn't lose control. Not again. He clamped his jaw closed as his fangs fought against him to slip from their housing and then... a familiar scent on the street below drifted up and through the open window. His brother was near. 

He was downstairs in an instant, ignoring the fact that people could've seen him had they chose that specific moment to step out of their rooms. The table they had been at was still unoccupied and he sat there just as Jeo came back inside with a barrel in hand. Raffaele ignored the coin pouch and took the blood without a word. He didn't dare open his mouth for fear that his fangs might win over. He also knew the gypsy would understand the perceived coldness, but no one needed to see what would happen next. He made his way back upstairs at the slow pace a human would take and slammed the door to the room to shut the world out for the monster to come out.

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Citizen of the Realm Raffaele Spataro
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