Adventuring through twisted time.

After the run in with Kyan barely making it away with her life, Nerissa found herself spending a few weeks healing, hiding in her newly opened shop that Devon had helped her set up. She was sure Devon helped her out in setting up the shop so he would know where she was. Not wanting her to travel with the rogues and their misadventures. If she was honest she missed her friend, she hadn’t seen him in what felt like ages. The upside of that is he never knew she was in trouble breaking into the Fae kingdom. She ripped the letter apart that she had left him stating that she was going on her own to the Kingdom, the moment she was back. She slept what felt like several days in a row. When she woke up from the sleep she found her wounds mostly healed but she moved slowly.

As the weeks passed she was able to find her new rut selling the medicine she made from the plant she stole from Kyan’s land along with the other things in her nature shop. She watched the people get better in the small town, it filled her soul with happiness. Even though she had pissed off the Fae King she knew she had done the right thing. Watching dying children and families hurt her soul. Though maybe it was her guilt that made her do these things, she wondered if she hadn’t put all her people trapped in darkness refusing to give her life if she would ever be this giving. Though it was a useless question, after all if she had done what she was supposed to do she would be dead inside the Mother Red Dusk Tree.

She snapped back into the moment as she messed with some of her herbs before tossing them into the metal pot. She stirred the herbs slowly before taking it off the fire they burned over. She was lost in her thoughts more and more lately. Kyan had brought up points she couldn’t counter act. He was right, she was evil, she murdered her own people. How low could one get. She thought she was doing it for the right reasons, not caving in and giving up on life. “Maybe they would be better off without me?” she looked to the cat that often visited her shop, she reached in a bowl pulling out a piece of chicken to feed to the cat.

“I would miss you.” the cat purred out before taking the piece of chicken in her mouth and laid down to eat it.

“That is because I feed you.” she gave a gentle chuckle towards the cat as she chewed the chicken. “In the grand scheme of things though. What difference would it had made if I would have just done what I was supposed too? If I would have just given my life? The world would still be the world.”  She searched the cat for answers which the cat gave no answers as she finished her piece of chicken and went on her way. “Thanks for the great advice.” She said sarcastically as the cat got what she wanted and left. 

She gave a shake of her head and bottled the medicine, moving back into the shop part of the building when she saw Raffaele standing there. “Oh I had no idea someone was out here, you should have given a scream.” She chuckled as she moved, setting the bottles down on the shelf and moving behind the counter. “Can I help you find anything?” She reached into one of the bins that had flowers picking up a Pink Lily. “Maybe you need a flower for the lady in your life?” She gave a soft smile as she looked him over. He had an interesting look to him, one of someone who had seen a lot of the world. She wondered if her own eyes held the same look.

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Raffaele walked through the busy streets of London, brushing up against its people as they milled about the shops. He pulled the hood of his light traveling cloak forward slightly further as the sun was only becoming stronger, cursing himself for not having some of his stock which was back at the inn. The challenge of staying awake while the night slept was always difficult when being mostly human and the sanguine was certainly feeling the strain of it. Still, this seemed to be a bounty worth taking, especially when a king was the benefactor. Raffaele of course didn't need the money, but there were some things in the world that were better than money when you were an immortal that couldn't freely walk in the day time without certain effects. The fact that he would also be bringing a murderer back to her people to be tried for her heinous crimes was also a bonus.

After a few inquiries of the shopkeepers nearby, he was able to find the small shop that his apparent bounty owned. Raffaele stepped inside and sanguine or not, immediately was hit with the different herbal scents that delighted his senses. He pushed his hood back and peered around the quaint space, hearing someone speaking in a back room. Perhaps she wasn't alone or had someone else working here with her which could prove a bit difficult depending on when he could find the right opportunity to apprehend her. Being at his weakest, now wasn't exactly the best time to make good on his hunt. No, this was just for a bit of reconnaissance. It was always good to meet your prey before striking.

As she moved back into the shop, Raffaele turned and finally saw the woman he was meant to capture. She was a small thing. Raffaele found it rather amusing that the force of a presence the fae king was could be outwitted by her. She was rather beautiful and lithe, airily moving about. He could see the traits of her people easily in this. "I apologize, I was enjoying your wares and didn't want to bother." Raffaele pulled his gloves off and tucked them into one of his belts, taking the flower from her. His fingers moved slowly over the stem and across the soft and vibrant petals. A small smile moved over his features as a memory of the woman that held his heart flashed in his mind before he gave the flower back to the fae. "That lady has passed on."

He let his eyes move about the shop again and walked a few steps across the space. "What about something for sleep? Traveling on the road has made me a bit weary and I find it troublesome to sleep." A partial lie of course, but this was just to further the conversation and his understanding of her, but there was something he couldn't quite accept; She was a murderer? Something didn't quite make sense to him, but he wasn't naive either. People wore masks all the time and he wasn't going to underestimate her capabilities. "Are you from around here? Could you recommend a place I could stay or eat? I plan to stay a few days in the city and it's been a long time since I've seen London."

Nerissa gave a sweet smile as he spoke lightly. “Well I left the door unlocked so really it would be my fault if I wasn’t a shop. I am just glad you may have found something to catch your eye.” She gave a gentle chuckle as she out of habit reached up to take sure her hair was over her pointed ears. Devon would be proud of her keeping her hair down and not looking too out of place.  Her hazel eyes watched him as he took the flower and seemed to have a moment with it before he spoke again. “I am so sorry to hear that, I am sure she will live in your heart always.” She took the flower back and set it on the table there for a moment.

She was no stranger to loss but on a different scale she really didn’t talk about, not even to Devon. “Something for sleep.” She walked out into the shop part of the store, her short statue moving past him with grace as she looked over the shelves and hummed to herself for a moment. “There it is.” She said softly as she got on her tippy toes reaching a bin that she almost dropped trying to grab it before setting it on the table. She pulled out a small pouch from the box among others and moved to him taking his hand. His hand was so much larger than hers. His hand rougher than hers though she was sure he had a more active job then hers. She looked up to him with a big smile on her face.

“Chamomile tea with a small amount of Valerian root. It's been my tried and true blend for those who are having a sleepless time.” She left the bag in his hand as she moved to pick up the box to slide it back into its place, almost dropping it once again. A gentle curse left her lips as she jumped to get it back into place. “I really should have smaller shelves.” She looked over her shoulder to him with a chuckle. She moved back behind the counter for a moment, picking up the flower she had given him that he had given back. She thought on how to answer the question he had asked. It was a complicated story. So she just chose to be vague as possible.

“I am not from around here but I have been here a long time now so of course I can help you.” She smiled as she then kept hold of the flower twirling it between her fingers. “I can walk you to the local tavern that has some rooms. Or there is this lovely brothel, the owner has rooms or if you are looking for a lady of the night you can find one there. There is also an inn in the center of town. That place is a little fancier and costs more. I have always wanted to see inside of it.” Her eyes glazed over with the thought before she gave a shake of her head. “Anyways if any of those speak to you I can lead you there.” She moved around the counter and then placed the flower behind his ear.  “Keep the flower and the tea if it works for you come get more. The flower to give you a reminder to smile when you think of your past love.”

She gave his shoulder a soft pat before waiting to hear if he wanted her to walk him to one of the places she suggested.

Raffaele looked down to the small drawstring bag she had placed in his larger hand. The flavorful aroma was appealing as it wafted upwards and he smiled with a short nod at what she offered. Though it could really never help him sleep, he could appreciate the brew of a good tea. His maroon-brown gaze moved from the bag to the fae as she glided around the counter and came closer to him with the flower again in her possession. He listened to Nerissa's reply to the question that he didn't truly need an answer for, but it did get the response he was looking for as she offered to accompany him for a while. It didn't take more than a second for him to find his opening. 

"You are kind, signorina. I feel terrible leaving without giving you something in return." Raffaele gave a feigned thoughtful look before smiling then as if he'd come up with such a way of repayment. "Please, let me take you to dinner at this fancier inn. I could use the lovely company and would enjoy hearing more about what's become of London in my absence." He slowly walked backwards with a charming grin. "I also won't take no for an answer. I'm to meet with some rather insufferable men of stature and could do with more entertaining conversation before the torture that will ensue tomorrow." Raffaele bowed slightly to her as he reached the doors, taking the flower from behind his ear. "I'll come back when the sun starts to set. I find London always looks best then. Raffaele is my name. I will see you later, signorina."

As he left the shop, the sanguine let out a weary breath. The drain from the sun was really taking its toll and having not had a proper day's rest in some time, Raffaele longed for the bed that awaited him at the inn he'd stopped at near the port; That and the pouches of blood that were tucked away on his mount being cared for at the stable adjoining it. He gripped the fabric of his hood and lifted it over his head to move through the crowds of Londonians, eager to get out of the sun.

The hours which passed went far too fast for his liking. Raffaele woke groggily as his internal clock forced him up just as the sun began its descent. "On with the game then." His dark hair had fallen slightly over his face as he looked in the broken mirror. The color of his skin appeared warmer than earlier now that he'd had slept and was able to empty the contents of one of his blood pouches. It wasn't fresh and the aftertaste was that of the leather of the bag, but it would do. There was a droplet of the meal he'd had hours before on his lip still which he wiped away before giving himself one last look in the mirror. "More a gentleman than monster now."

Shrugging his vest on and stepping outside, the cooler air was pleasant as the sun was now harmless to him. His strength was normal and keen senses heightened. Normality was good. Raffaele took the reigns of his horse and walked back to the fae's shop while the sky turned from fiery oranges and reds to deeper blues and purples. Though he favored his home in Italy for the rolling green hills, London did have its moments among the growing industry of the city. Tying the horse to a nearby tree, the hunter entered the shop once more, ready to continue the collection of his bounty.  

Nerissa gave him a gentle smile hearing words she hadn’t before in an accent that she hadn’t heard before meeting him on that day. She felt a blush burn on her cheeks for a moment as he suggested taking her to dinner,  She opened her mouth to tell him how it wasn’t necessary for a flower but with a gentle sigh at his charming grin. “I will see you later then I guess Mr. Raffaele.” Giving a shake of her head she looked to the door as it closed and sighed softly. “Well this will be an interesting story to tell Devon when he is back.” She made a mental note. Maybe it would be fun going out of her shop for longer than brief moments. She had also yet to have dinner at the fancier inn in town. Not that she often ate anything then what she grew.

Nixie found herself getting back to work, cleaning up the mess she had made and helping the flowers bounce back to life in her shop. The day went by as one usually did for her, a few customers filtering in and out. She often kept herself busy between them by weaving baskets or other things of the sorts. She thought of how she wished to hire someone to be around simply to talk as she had started to grow lonely but couldn’t justify paying anyone when she barely made enough to keep herself a float on the taxes.

When it grew closer to the time that Raffaele was to return she turned the sign outside her shop stating she was closed now before returning to her living quarters and cleaning herself up. Standing there staring at her reflection for a long moment with the seed hanging there she felt the sigh pass her lips. With a shake of her head she got dressed in the nicest clothes she had. After all she didn’t want to stand out like a sore thumb in the fancy inn. She peppered a bit of floral essence on her body to give her a gentle jasmine smell before  moving back to the front of her shop and sighed.

She felt nervous, but mainly because she didn’t know this man. He seemed nice enough but Nerissa knew better than most people that not everyone is how they seem. She looked up as the ding of the bell caught her attention and smiled at the man she had learned as Raffaele. “Well it seems you are a man of your word.” She said as she moved from behind the counter and placed her hands together to rest on her corset. “I don’t believe I ever told you my name, I'm Nerissa.” She said with a smile as she looked down to her outfit for a moment. She was naturally shy, it was in her nature there were few she was comfortable to be around from the moment of meeting. So it was hard for her to hold his eye contact.

“I have never really been to this Fancy Inn so I hope that I don’t look out of place too much.” she gave a chuckle before automatically reaching up to make sure her hair was over her ears. She moved back towards the door of her shop and pulled it open. “Would you like to walk or I can get my horse.” she said looking over her shoulder at him as the fading sun backlit her from the doorway. The cold breeze blowing her hair around her as she stood there in front of him.

Raffaele took a few steps into the shop and his senses couldn't help but notice the array of plants, flowers, and herbs that were heightened now that his abilities were extra sharp with the sun having nearly set. It was almost overpowering to a degree when it was all at once. He lightly cleared his throat to steady himself of the sudden change just as his eyes fell on the owner of the shop. The sanguine gave a smile and short bow as she approached him, giving up her name which of course, he was already well aware of. "It is lovely to meet you, Nerissa. You look beautiful." As she stood at the door, he looked out towards the oncoming night before turning back to her. "It is a rather nice evening. How about a walk through the town to work up our appetite before dinner?" Raffaele offered his arm to her and then lead the way through the streets.

The town was still bustling as it was London after all, but the sounds had become somewhat muted as the cries of the merchants attempting to sell their goods had died now that the dark was coming on. Raffaele guided them to the side of the road as the people carted their merchandise away and closed down their stands, remembering what it was like to have to live so simply hundreds of years before. Never in that time so long ago did he think he'd be where he is now, having a manor with staff of his own. Then of course there was the whole demonic blood that ran through him...

"Thank you again for the tea. That was most kind of you. I look forward to using it later and getting a peaceful rest." The words he spoke were frivolous. Even with her reply, Raffaele heard Nerissa, but wasn't necessarily listening as he only turned to continue studying her. The sanguine could instantly see how Nerissa favored humans. It was written all over her face as she watched the people of the city pass by. Her movement to check her hair did not go unnoticed by him when they were back at her shop, no doubt ensuring that she would blend in. Raffaele didn't think it was solely because she didn't want her identity necessarily destroyed, but that she genuinely wanted to just be their definition of normal. He wondered what it was about her own kind that she disliked for her to have done such a horrible thing according to this king. Despite the story Kyan had told him, Raffaele couldn't be so sure that he was given all the details of the tale. "Ah, this must be the place," he said, glancing up to the large inn.

The inside was indeed rather nice, at least for London's standard. He imagined had the fae ever visited his country, she would be in for quite the treat in their grand romantic scale. They were in time to see most of the higher class citizens coming in for a meal, but those would be the travelers that were also staying there after a day through the city on what ever business brought them to London. Raffaele noted the rye bread and game pies that were being brought to the tables. This was indeed a place most people could not afford. "Shall we?"

Raffaele led them to a table and waited for her to sit before doing so, being offered wine a moment later by a barmaid. His dark eyes tried to read her face as she took everything in around her which seemed to be a bit of wonderment. A light chuckle escaped his lips as he leaned forward on the table towards Nerissa with a smirk. "Is it everything you hoped?"

Nerissa wasn’t understanding the correct nature she should have when it came to being an unmarried woman taking a complement such as the one he gave her. She felt the bright pink burn her cheeks as she cleared her throat and bowed to him slightly. “It is lovely to meet you as well, Raffaele. You look rather dashing yourself.” She breathed out a gentle shy breath, hoping the blush on her cheeks would fade quickly. She smiled at him before nodding her head. “A lovely evening opposed to those of rain a few nights ago.” She said as she hesitated for a moment before placing her arm through his. “A walk sounds lovely, believe it or not I rarely get a chance to leave my shop since it's my home also.” she chuckled into the air as she looked to the setting sun. “I grow my own food, so it's easy to not leave.” and necessary if Devon were around to chime in. 

Her eyes fell from the sky to take in the people around them, every slight gust of wind making her touch her hair in an effort to make sure her braid was in the correct place to keep her hair down hiding her ears. “Well I am a woman who is out to help those with her herbs in whatever way she can.” She giggled light heartedly as her eyes studied the people of the city they walked past. Offering gentle smiles, even bigger ones to the children they passed. She wondered if any of them were cursed in the way she was. How she went to sleep wishing she had been born human, had been born with a different set of cards in her hands. Yet she couldn’t change what the universe seemed to have fated for her life.

Her gaze moved back to Raffaele as he turned from studying her to the large inn. She gave an excited nod of her head. “This is the place. Wow it seems so much bigger in person.” She had to stop herself from squealing out fully. “Yes!” Letting a gentle one past her lips before they walked inside. Once they were at a table, she sat down quickly before turning around in her seat to take in every inch of the beautiful Inn. She was sure this would be the only time she ever ate here so she wanted to remember every inch of the beauty it had to offer.

When wine was offered she took the glass, taking a hesitant sip from it, making a face before clearing her throat, setting the glass back down. “That is alcohol I am guessing?” she chuckled before she looked up towards him with a big smile one her face. “Much more than everything I hoped. Take you Sir Raffaele, I didn’t think I would ever have the chance to eat here. Really a once in a lifetime experience for me.” She looked towards the food that circled around. “What do you think would be good?” She asked as she looked back to the man who brought her here.

After ordering what Raffaele suggested she closed her hands together, trying to focus on the man but her eyes kept drifting away to different things around them. “So what business brings you to London?” She asked as she rubbed her finger to the wood of the table softly before her gaze drifted from a painting back to him. “Does your work keep you always on the move? My friend has one of those jobs. Feel like I never see him.” she chuckled lightly for a moment taking in his Maroon Brown eyes with her Hazel ones that seemed to dance different shades in the light. “Do you plan on staying long?” Her curious nature taking over making her want to know more about him.

Raffale sipped the bitter wine, surprised it wasn't as awful as he expected it to be. Perhaps he was a bit of a snob when it came to certain things subconsciously since having been around more of the finer foods in life. Some would say he's privileged because of it, but it certainly wasn't because he had grown up in a wealthy surrounding. The only reason he was in the position he was today was because of the demon who'd changed his life forever and given the chance, he'd choose a mortal life instead of what he was now. Somehow he kept convincing himself that despite the creature he was now, his mother would never want him to end his existence, though the idea was always there at the back of his mind. A temptation he tried to keep at bay. The crimes he'd committed when he'd had no control over his bloodlust was reason enough for him to walk into the sunlight and endure the painful death or maybe a slow starvation from the lack of drinking blood. There were plenty of grounds to make sense of why his life should be forfeited, but perhaps it was truly just because he wasn't going to be able to face whatever it was that might welcome him in death.

His attention moved away from the morbid thoughts that ran through his mind and focused instead on the fae across from him that made him smirk when she asked about the contents of the cup. He nodded in confirmation, drinking from it again. "Yes, it's alcohol. Pretty good alcohol, in fact." Raffaele waved his hand in dismissal at her gratitude. "I am happy to have the company. I should be thanking you. Life on the road, traveling all the time, can get lonely sometimes. I had to take the opportunity to continue our conversation from earlier in the day. Really, I'm the selfish one here." Normally hypnosis would be easy enough to use on a target, but his charm would have to do since some of his sanguine abilities would be useless against her kind. Still, it wasn't as if he was lying either. Traveling and always being alone was something he liked to do, but to pretend he didn't get lonely at times was a lie. The immortal life could be an isolating one and he wasn't exactly someone looking for companionship. Centuries later and he still didn't feel as if he deserved it. "And please, I am no sir. The crown hasn't knighted me yet." 

Raffaele sighed to her question with a sense of nonchalance and sat back against his chair somewhat leisurely with the cup of wine in his hand. Playing the role would continue on. "Oh, nothing too terribly important. I'm a liason between my country and others, yours included, in court. A bit of a messenger, if you will. I ensure the policies and agreements that have been made with Italy and our allies are being met and are in good standing still." Truth, but not in its full extent. "So, yes, I do travel quite often. It is something I'm very grateful for because I do love to see the world and its people. Cultures and languages. The actual work can be boring, but the rewards are worth it." He smiled and put the wine down on the table, leaning forward again to show he was fully interested in her. "What of you, signorina? I recall you saying you aren't originally from the city. Are you from some other part of England? What brought you to London to start up your shop of good smelling earthly wares?" Raffaele wondered what it was indeed that brought her into the world of humans because he still couldn't quite grasp at the concept that this fae was the reason for murdered lives.

As her tiny hands came to cup the glass the wine once again she brought it to her lips taking a sip from it as she made a face letting it swirl its way down in a burning sensation. “That is different, not sure if Alcohol is my thing.” She said softly as she sat the glass back down trying to figure out if she liked it or not. He seemed lost in his own thoughts for a long moment until his gaze seemed to snap back into focus.  “A fan of company to keep your mind off whatever you were thinking before?” She asked since she was a creature that seemed to notice things others don’t. Maybe it was because she herself can get lost in her own tracks of thoughts. “No need to thank me, I would just be at home mashing herbs.” She waved her hand with a gentle giggle past her lips.

She frowned though hearing he was lonely sometimes, “Why be on the road and traveling so much?” she questioned as she wished to understand why people did what they did after all she was still trying to understand why she did what she did. Cursing her people. It was selfish. “I know about selfishness, I would say asking one to dinner is not overly selfish. Sometimes we all just need someone to conversate with.” She gave a gentle smile to him. She tilted her head to the side and let a gentle chuckle pass her lips, “Why do all men seem to fight me on saying sir to them. What should I call you? Mister?” She thought for a moment then leaned on her elbows to get closer to him. “So you plan on being Knighted by the crown then?”

As he spoke of what his job was she sat back, setting up straighter for a moment. “Oh I had no idea you were doing such important work. I have never been graced in the world of Policies and agreements, I am sure it keeps you busier than I could imagine.” She looked from him for a moment as her mind wandered to how busy he may be and how he would be a man Devon may not like at all. After all her friend was one to fight injustices and agreements. “Do you ever wish to settle down and not travel?” She wondered out loud, it was a question she asked often of other travelers, mainly rouges. Though the cultures of others seemed far more interesting to see up close.

When the subject got returned to her and that of where she was from, she knew she couldn’t lie, dancing around the truth was in the Fae nature though. “Well No, I don’t overly know where I am from. Across the water is all I could say. I lost my family, my people and had to find a new life on my own.” She said as she watched the fire of the lamp flicker away before she let out a soft chuckle. “Well I had been living and surviving off what I could in the woods. That is until I meet Devon, My friend who travels a lot. He brought me here to give me a sense of home since this is where he is from.” She gave a gentle smile. “The shop was more so to keep me out of trouble since I often find myself on the wrong end of things if I am not focused with a task.” She gave a gentle shrug for a moment. “Being able to help the people be less sick here became a mission for me.”

Raffaele picked apart her questions and responses. The tone was ever so important as he paid particular attention to the details she was giving off naturally without ever thinking to do so. Her oddness was immediate in the words she chose to use when describing her life prior to her arrival in London. It would've made any other human look at her funnily, but he let the conversation continue without giving it away and answered her inquiries. The fae was far too trusting as she continued to divulge more of her story. It would get her into trouble. Really, she was already in a trouble she didn't even see coming. 

There was a hint of some emotion when she mentioned losing her people, but he wasn't sure what yet. Uneasiness perhaps? This was the link he was looking for and there was confirmation from her own lips that Nerissa had indeed lost the ones she was meant to be with, but that cause was still a mystery to him. The sanguine could not yet be sure of what her role may have been in this supposed slaughtering, but her mentioning of it in lesser words was at least a clue to ring some truth to the fae king's words. Raffaele had the feeling still that he was not quite seeing the whole picture and these bits and pieces were bringing together the story that was really truth. "You are very kind to do what you do then, Nerissa. They are lucky to have you here in London."

It was then their food was presented to them. The pies and bread were brought over and laid in front of them which smelled very tempting. Food like this was not ever as appealing or fulfilling as the one thing he needed to survive, but it did taste well enough. Somehow the makings of this immortal body just processed the food into nothingness as if the blood that pumped inside him destroyed it before it could ever really fill him. He sipped from the wine goblet before the barmaid poured more drink inside of it, excusing herself when she noticed Nerissa had barely had any. The bread wasn't stale and tasted fresh with the game pie that held tender meats. If he were human, he would've slept well after a meal like this. Instead, this was just another chore.

Raffaele offered his arm to her again as they took the slow walk back to her home some time later in the night when the inn was open for residents only. "Tomorrow I am to go to a meal with far less agreeable company," he lied, smirking to her. "If all of traveling meant meeting lovely people such as yourself, signorina, I wouldn't be so lonely on the road." The streets had nearly emptied now with only a few scattered people about. Candlelight from the windows in the buildings was the only thing that dotted the path in front of them as the moon was mostly covered by clouds. It was those flickering lights he tried to focus on along the path ahead despite the pumping of her heart which echoed in his ears dully. This had been something he trained himself to ignore as much as possible after years of practice, but the idea of tasting a fae's blood was incredibly tempting nonetheless. He could feel his fangs reacting to the passing thought and the chemical change his body wanted to take. The taste of venom trickled along his lips which made him clear his throat and toss the thought away.

"I am sorry to hear the reasoning of why your life has brought you here, but you are certainly strong to have continued on given the circumstances. London seems to be treating you well. Many others aren't so lucky. It is good you've made friends." The sanguine focused on the task at hand instead of the notion of what her blood would taste like against his tongue. "I do have a permanent home in Italy," he continued, circling back to their previous conversation. "But I suppose I couldn't stay there. Traveling is something that will bring me to new experiences and people, but it also keeps me away from the painful memories that are attached to home sometimes." He smiled to her at this to show an angle of empathy before looking ahead again at the lights along the stonework of the road. "Though each of us has different reasons for ending up where we are now, some good and some not so good, I am still thankful for what I've experienced on the path laid before me." Raffaele then brought his free hand to rest on hers as it looped through his arm, planning to push further and hoping Nerissa felt more at ease. "If it's not so awful to speak of, how did you lose your family and the ones you were traveling with?"

Nerissa never knew the way she talked could be considered strange though no one ever pointed it out as so either. So she just kept talking, letting the nervous nature of hers take over. “I like to think I am lucky to be accepted by the people who have accepted me. This city has helped me keep my little roof over my head.” She gave a genie smile before picking at the food in front of her. Before she worked on eating as much of it as she could. Yet she placed the bread in her pocket for the animals that visit her home. She filled up rather quickly and let out a satisfied sigh. “That was delicious, thank you.” Taking another sip of the wine letting out a small hiccup before standing to walk back to her home. Her arm slipped through his, her eyes closing as the warmth of the wine spread through her chest.

“Come now, I am sure the company you are going to be with will be far easier to talk with then I was.” She gave a knowing chuckle as she forced her hazel eyes to open once more and focus on him as the dim moon light bounced on his tanner flesh through spots in the clouds, smiling slowly at him. “What does signorina mean? You keep calling me it.”  She asked softly as they walked down the quieting streets. Her gaze turned towards the inn Devon and his men stayed in when he was home, when he wasn’t in her home. Giving a gentle nod to one of the younger new rogues that she had nursed recently as they passed. 

“Well I made my friends on the road and he brought me here. Really I owe it all to him.” In many ways she owed Devon her life as he believed he owed his to hers. “Italy?” She asked softly and gave a gentle laugh past her lips. “I have never heard of a place called Italy, maybe one day I can see it.” It was a notion that she wasn’t sure would fully happen but it was nice to dream. She looked to him and frowned and wondered what had driven him from his home. “Painful memories linked to your home? I am sorry to hear that. I know the pain of memories that drive you far from your home.” Maybe he was more like her then she had realized. Could she trust this man? 

“I know what it's like to be thankful for the experiences that have made you who you are and brought you where you are.” She muttered feeling his hand on hers as they drew closer to her home. “Maybe we are more alike then I would have thought.” She gave him a soft smile as she leaned her head to his shoulder as the alcohol coursed through her making her sleepy. Another hiccup left her as she frowned to his next question. “They were never traveling with me, they never made it from their home.”  She said softly as she pulled her head back to her home a few steps away. “Would you like some tea?” 

She let go of his arm as she reached the door and opened it going inside and moving around to get what she needed to make tea. “You know I am not meant to be alive right now.” She said as she hiccupped again as she reached into a bucket to pull out a root to add into the tea yet she forgot she had placed a blade there the day before. “Ow!” she said loudly as she pulled her hand back seeing she had sliced it open on the blade in the bucket.

Raffaele patted her hand which lay on his arm still and chuckled at his cue. "Italy is a beautiful place. Perhaps you can visit me there someday. It would give me a reason to stay there for once, signorina," he said, lowering his head near hers as he stressed the native word in a whisper to her ear. "It's a title. It means Miss in Italian and it sounds like this friend of yours is dear to you. It was fortunate you came upon him then. It's always good to have those you can trust around you. The world can be a cruel place with dangerous people preying on the weak and unknowing." The irony of those words to her were not lost on him. As Nerissa leaned into him, the sanguine took this as a good sign that she was indeed trusting him more which would prove its usefulness as the night played on and he hopefully drew more information from her. He had the feeling this bounty would need to be to completed or the king would certainly try and send his guards looking for answers in whatever form Kyan deemed appropriate.

Her passive remark about her kin disappointed him, but it wouldn't show on his countenance. Instead, Raffaele simply nodded to her offer as they neared her home. "Tea would be wonderful, thank you." Letting go of her arm and stepping in line behind her, Raffaele naturally scanned the surroundings of her house and shop to ensure there was no one watching him enter. Witnesses were never a good thing. They tended to complicate matters and he was no murderer of the innocent. Not anymore. In ways, this line of work was a way to atone for his past, though those kinds of debts were the ones that would never be fully paid. It couldn't stop him from trying. 

Raffaele walked into the now familiar space. He noted how she prepared the useless tea and leaned against some of the shelving before surveying the place further as if he may have missed something earlier when his senses were dulled and the sun was high. What could he have missed in this tiny little home that may give away to the murderer she was or may have been? To him it still seemed all rather ludicrous. He even chuckled slightly to himself trying to imagine that she was taking him here to be the prey instead, but the thought suddenly vanished at her abrupt comment. Not meant to be alive? Dark brows forwarding slightly, he stood straighter at this wondering if this would be the moment she were to divulge the missing information he was so curious to obtain. "Pardon, signorina?"

He slowly moved closer to Nerissa, though the urge to rush was more what he was feeling. He told his feet to step calmly instead to appear an innocently curious party to what she was about to tell him. Then came the exclamation of pain. And blood. It hit him the face. The chemical reaction in his body was instantaneous and the nature of his true self was demanding to come forward, no longer idly pressed behind the human facade. Her blood was so alluring and he hadn't even tasted it yet. Yet. No. No, he quickly rolled his tongue across his teeth in an effort to stop his fangs from aching, but the gesture was useless and he immediately tasted the venom. He steeled himself before moving any closer, though he could barely keep from grabbing her into his arms and sinking his teeth deeply into her skin.

"Are you alright?" Raffaele took a rag nearby and gently held the hand she'd cut. The crimson blood pooled in her palm and if he had a heartbeat, the sanguine imagined it would be racing by now. Fae blood was so intoxicating. The stories were true. She could be his first... Stop. "Here. Let me." Wrapping the wound, he carefully tied the cloth and swallowed hard to make the aching need to have her cease. His eyes moved to the pulsing of her neck as the lifeforce pumped through her before finally meeting Nerissa's eyes. He could barely hold down the natural need to glamour her.  "Better?" Even wrapped, the smell of her blood was overwhelming him.

Nerissa had to admit in herself it was nice to have some company for a little while. She did grow lonely when Devon was away. She had come to find companionship among other beings this world offered. Such as her Siren friend Rainore that she hoped was doing well also. She wanted to drag out the time a little longer, so inviting in Raffaele was more of a selfish act. She wasn’t ready to be alone again. She could hear the lecture from Devon she would receive when she told him of her venture with a man from Italy.  Maybe that was why she had become so loose lipped, or maybe that was the bit of wine she had. 

It was causing her to be careless. She was talking about the real herself, which was something she had only shared with Devon recently. Maybe the universe was saving her in that moment as her hand was cut open in the present of a predator looking for info unknown to her innocence and openness. She was so naive and told so often by Devon men. So as the blood started rolling from her hand, as she cut it open. She wasn’t aware of the effect it was having on the man a few steps away from her. She looked to the Crimson drops that pulled in her tiny hand. It wasn’t until Raffaele's voice cut through her thoughts on how she should gather her blood to maybe use in some of her remedies. 

“What?” she blind a few times as she looked up to him finally. “Oh yes I am okay I just stupidly left those not in their proper place.” She waved to the blade in the bucket with her none injured hand. SHe felt him tie the cloth and then she frowned “Wait no I need to catch it before I heal!” She was quick then, in her Fae like nature to move to her counter and pull out small vials. She quickly unwrapped her hand in a swift action and started to fill each little vial until her clotting factor refused to allow more.  With a sigh and only filling about eight of them she shook her head. “I could have gotten more if I hadn’t been day dreaming.” She said as she moved to pick up a tin opening it she rubbed the ointment on the cut and wrapped it once again. She held her hand to him. “Can you tie it for me again?” She asked softly.

After he helped her out, she moved back to place corks in the vails. “What were we talking about before?” She asked herself as she tried to remember before a sad sigh past her lips. “Ah yes. How I wasn’t supposed to be alive.” She mumbled under her breath as she moved to start a fire in the little fireplace nook that was there. She placed tea to bring to a boil before she sat there watching the flames. “That is a long sad tale I wish not to bore you with.” She said looking up from the floor to him. “Tell me about all your travels that have to be far more interesting!” She gave an excited jump as she pulled her knees closer to her chest. Her eyes finally focused on him no longer lost in her own manic episode to catch her blood which now she was realizing was extreme oddball behavior.

In all honestly she was surprised he was still standing there. “Are you okay?” She asked him as he seemed to look different in the fire light. He looked uncomfortable. She was going to ask again but the whine of the tea made her jump and she was quick to get it and fill two mugs her back to him in that moment before she settled back by the fire and offered him his mug. “Do you wish to still have that tea?”

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Chosen Citizen

Citizen of the Realm Raffaele Spataro
Vote for December

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