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Miss Mayfair if You're Nasty

The cigarette smoke curled out of the dish, and Mr. Cavendish looked at her as coldly as she looked back at him. The cup of coffee au lait was heavily sugared and had a touch of rum in it. Just the way she took it, but she hadn't drunk from it. They watched each other, predator to predator, and in the end she found him lacking.

"You know Vodun is no parlor game, Mr. Cavendish, and I think I proved to your firm that I am no pushover." The cigarette smoke curled into the air again, slender honey fingers curved around the filter. Smoking did nothing for her anymore. But it was a look. Long legs in the expensive white suit, and lips so red she seemed an unattainable dream.

"You misunderstand us. We know possession of the book is familial, and we merely ask for a copy, you see. In exchange we'd be happy to offer certain protections..." Mr. Cavendish hid behind watery blue eyes, but the face he wore would have given anyone pause. He was a vampire, from what she assumed to be Drusilla's line. His features were frankly and openly demonic, and the glasses did little to help the matter.

"Ah, Monsieur, so that's the rub eh? I give you my book and you leave us all be? That's how it goes yeah?" The laughter was genuine and confident, and she leaned forward to put out the cigarette. "What did they tell you about me, Mr. Cavendish? That I was an affable drunk who wore her heart on her sleeve? You believed what they broadcast? Flighty and cute?"

cool smile met hers, and he cleared his throat, "Actually I was told that you were brilliant and shrewd and wouldn't give me the book for anything less than my soul." He opened his briefcase, and pulled out a set of contracts, each more detailed than the last. "This is why I'm prepared to offer our considerable services to your entire line, just for a copy of the book. Think of all the little issues we could smooth over. And of course our protection would extend to your Henry..."

He didn't expect a rise, and he didn't get one. But he did hope she'd look to the contracts at least once. There was nothing, she continued to sip her coffee, never actually drinking.

"You weren't quite listening to me, Mr. Cavendish. I am not some two penny mamba who is gonna give you a dream book and a cheap gris gris that's nothing but ash and cat piss. I wouldn't give you one mote of dust from what I own. And make no mistake, I am not afraid of you or your firm, and so I must gratefully refuse your offer."

Merrick stood without even glancing at the contract. She threw a twenty on the table, and wrapped her coat around her shoulders. "Oh, and Mr. Cavedish?"

Closing his briefcase, Cavendish looked up, determination already set in his jaw. "Yes Ms. Mayfair?"

"We are most certainly the wrong line to threaten. I suggest you rethink your dealings with us and those we love."

Her heels were already clicking back to the house before he whispered, "We certainly will."

Witch With a B

It's said that Oncle Julien slept with anything that moved. Or didn't move. And that was a true thing. The Mayfairs have always known about their Black family, and they assumed us nothing more than an annoyance. We always knew of them, but many of the younger generations knew nothing of us.  We were quieter, certainly poorer. They thought us  lacking in power and drama. After all, we didn't live in that big house in the Garden District. We had no desire to go near it. Only when someone died did they really pay attention, and that was because of familial duty. And we let let them think things. All sorts of things.

But we kept our books and our power to ourselves. Only a few of them knew of my Uncle, my Grandmother, and my mother. And those that did knew it was deadly to cross them. Favored by the magic that ran differently in our blood. Power was in our veins just as well. Old magic. Magic so old that we could switch between power and ritual. And that's something we always had. I didn't need ritual to make the ghosts come to my hand. I didn't need ritual to hear and feel the thoughts of others. I hadn't even needed to be a vampire.

But the Rituals. I do them anyway. I deeply believe in every single action I take. I believe in the lighting of candles. I hear my gods in my head more clearly. Bow down and take the power given to me. Give back. Deep workings are a give and take.

And tonight I planned to take.

I woke early, sliding out of the bed I had shared with Henry for weeks, kissed him, knowing he would not wake. Not until a slight few moments before sundown. I had a feelign if he kept feeding from me he was going to actually awake to catch a sunset through the specially primed windows. The thought made me smile, and I knew that it was the last  geneuinely sweet smile I would have for hours. 

Normally I would wait a while, happy to just be near him but there were things to do.  There was a note from Quinn on my desk in the room I was supposed to be sharing with Drusilla, and that, I staunchly ignored. The hex I set wouldn't have worked on him anyway. I set it with my blood, he was unfortunately of my blood. truist me, sometimes I wished I could change that. But really Quinn isn't that bad, just terribly insane.

Gathering the few things I needed was always my favorite part. It's like cooking really. Four cones of incense, white and black candles in the shape of men, rum, candy, and hair. Lots and lots of hair.

This may be the part where you laugh, but I am not telling you a story. Never leave a hair brush lying around, a witch could come and steal it. Use it to fix you. Remember I've told you that- cause it's true.

People often assume that I am nice, sweet and that any violence in me is just someone's imagination. But my hands work the dark and the light, and I had had it just about up to my neck with people failing to take my considerations into account. So I watched last night while my hairdresser brushed his hair and set the brush back on the table. And that you see is enough. I knew his name. I had his body. And now I had him in the palm of my hand.

Technically I could have killed him. Instead I sought to just make him understand the horror of opening your eyes to no hair.

The smell of sweet grass was perfect and delicious. And I lost myself. Concentrated as I slashed my wrist. Let the blood flow. Just a lot in case I had to cross a few times and towns to get him. There was the opening of a beautiful veve.  I felt power work through me as I whispered. Burned his hair with my blood. Felt the power reach out and snatch at him like a wife pulling off a mistress' wig.

I knew what my face looked like. The other vampires could snarl in public. Look tough and mean. But I'm a subtle woman. I work behind things. Do all my deeds in shadows so I can live in the light. It was going to take a lot of prayers to Saint Martin for his hair to grow back. And I had a particular in with Saint Martin de Porres that my hairdresser didn't. I like to think he especially understood my plight.

Snuffing the candles out with my finger, I was careful not to light myself aflame. Then I  cleared my little altar in the back yard. Like I said. I knew what I looked like. And I know that only four people in the house knew that same look from me. My eyes were hard, my lips smiled with pride and nasty determination. 

I could still hear him in my head trying to tell me I looked fierce.  The laugh I let out sounded a little too close to my mother's. Well, let's see fierce he looks in the morning.

Everything's on Mute

Never did Merrick speak or move. Everything had to be moved for her. It was for everyone's safety. Until the chip which would stop her from being able to kill or feed. Alicia removed the rosary from slim honey fingers and put it on the table. The fingers remained laced together, as if she was thinking.
If I were your appendages I'd hold open your eyes So you would seeCollapse )


Nice to Know YouCollapse )

Dreams and Madness

Alicia couldn't sleep anymore. There were whispers in her ears and thumping throughout the Mother House. Cold spots were everywhere, and the basement was especially bad. It was as if the entire house was in revolt.

And she came in dreams and through death.Collapse )


I was encased in steel.

The Talamasca knew my weaknesses. They were already prepared for me, and whatever they injected me with left my mind unable to reach out to anyone. I panicked. I couldn't call anyone to my aid. For the first time in forty years I was trapped in my own mind. I couldn't even lift a finger.

They say that your disposition as a vampire may come from your maker. Maybe that was why I felt despair reach over me and close my throat. Louis hadn't even said hello.

And I hadn't even said goodbye.

Silence Can Only Last for So Long.Collapse )

There Are Some Fights You Just Can't Win

It was already six. There was little time to explain, so she just stuck the post it on Henry's laptop, and hoped he'd get it before 8pm. It wouldn't matter much then, she'd be home and then they could pop out for a bite or six to eat.

A bit of Chanel 22 to her wrists and she was about to go out the door. Her journal lay on the bed of the little closet they shared. She debated bringing it, but instead she left it there. Late, she was still running late.

Alicia. She said her name was Alicia.

Months of Tricks and Tricks in MonthsCollapse )

No One Understands Borders

The beauty and splendor of God never failed to astound me. I kneeled quietly, and began my litany of prayers, my fingers moving slowly over my rosary. The prayers came somehow easier than I thought they would, now that I was back at the scene of what was perhaps my most happily committed crime. Since I was still standing and not struck by the hand of the Lord, I figured I was safe for now.

Heaven knows what a girl can do/Heaven knows what you've got to proveCollapse )

It's Not All Wine And Roses

The desire to sink into the floor of her faerie infested room had never been greater. Merrick knew it was faerie infested, because everything fairly shimmered with cheer and cleanliness. Fresh flowers were always in the vase, and there was not a single outfit she owned that hadn't been repaired. That included a pair of underwear that was in her ever growing to be replaced pile. Most importantly the ink had been replaced in the well she used to write formal letters. Instead of it being the standard she used, it was was ink made from walnuts.  Also, Spoike looked the happiest he'd ever been. Someone had made him a tiny pillow.

Her PA bounced a little, her hands shifting the mail left to right. Jenny was still talking. And it was her voice that drew Merrick out of her daze.  "Um. It has free healthcare? Wait. You don't need healthcare. It uh It has...Maple Syrup? Hmm. Hockey? They speak French sometimes!" 

Merrick lay her head on her desk. So far she was certain she had spent more time with her crew than she did the other housemates. It wasn't a bad thing, but sometimes they were no help at all. Maybe she could just go back to the closet and crawl under the covers. Read a book. "Canada is a country with a rich history and endless beauty," Merrick muttered the lines that would have made the tourism board proud. When she looked up into a pair of peppy grey eyes, she sighed, "It is also cold." It was the lamest excuse she had ever given for doing anything.

"You get used to the cold. besides, you can't even feel it right? Do any of your uh family live in Canada?" Jenny chewed her hair a bit, still reluctant to give over the mail and complete her task.

No. They didn't. In fact, she was sure none of the people who could drive her crazy lived in Canada. Her eyes lit up, and Jenny thought she solved all problems and was about to become the best PA ever, until Merrick's brows creased.

"Dear Jesus I am an idiot. None of my family lives in Canada." She took off her gold rimmed glasses, which were more for show than anything and rubbe dher eyes. "You should not be allowed to fall passionately in love with someone before you know whether or not their family is insane." At the words passionately in love, Jenny squeed. Merrick raised an eyebrow and she stopped. It was the first time she had said it to someone else. It certainly sounded right. It felt right. Everything was right when it came to loving Henry. Her hands raked through her curls and and wondered if they'd grow back when she pulled all of her hair out. 

Here she had been falling in love and scampering through the woods and never once did either of them inquire about what came before the house. Sure there were tidbits here and there, but they had skipped courtship and infatuation and ran right into the fact that living seemed a little less brighter if they were apart.

She didn't want to be apart from him, even if she was a little terrified to know what lie in the Great Frozen North. Though she figured it was probably just a swanky apartment and heaps of good looking women and men who came at his beck and call. Which oddly didn't bother her one bit. What did bother her, and left her feeling sheepish, was that she had never inquired about his family (if he had one). She could be intruding on some epic love story and have a five hundred year old vampiress breathing down her neck. Or maybe he just had a writers group he liked. There had to be other people important to Henry other than Merrick. Maybe she could bring it up over dinner, if vampires did dinner. When dinner wasn't each other.  Her predatory smile vanished when Jenny popped her gum and brought her back to earth. 

A frustrated little scream echoed the upstairs hall.

"Give me my mail, Jenny. And see if you can find me some brochures for Canada. I have a feeling I'm going to be freezing my behind off in the near future."

She could buy a parka. She'd look stunning in a parka. 

Among her many magazines, and two fan letters, there was a cream envolope. Another little letter from the Talamasca. She hadn't responded to the last one. And as she scanned the lines taking in all of their meaning, Merrick knew she would have to respond to this one. She knew exactly what they were threatening to do. her house in New Orleans was a venerable fortress. The only way they could try to get around that would be mortal authorities. And that would be bad. Really bad. For the moment, Merrick had no chocie. They wanted to meet in the same little cafe near the Cathedral. That could be done. She'd set them straight with a few displays of power. Send them back to their books. 

Merrick jotted off a quick note that said she would meet there, and called it a day. She felt like she should tell Henry. Mention it in the middle of that conversation about whether or not some vampire was going to try and jump her if she turned a corner in Canada. Henry didn't need to be dragged into any of this. All he needed to do was continue to write before his editor murdered him, and continue to make her realize how fantastic life was when you actually lived it. 

Leaving the letter open on her desk, and a small shotglass of brandy(for the faeries) she picked up her leatherbound journal and a set of car keys. Merrick needed some fresh air.

"Thank God there are no Motherhouses in Canada."

Letters and Placation

There was music coming out of the room Merrick Mayfair shared with Drusilla.

Which was unusual. The only thing that normally came out of that room was shrieks about closing blinds and personal space. If there was music coming out of Merrick Mayfair's room it should have been something classic. Something like Hayden or Bach. Opera, should've been coming out of her room, not Beyonce.

In fact Merrick was not at all impressed with the woman. She found her vocals too dramatic and she did not have the power or merit of the true divas. Nina Simone. Ella Fitzgerald. Billie Holiday. And she wouldn't have even listened to it, except there was a mixed CD on her desk under her mail, and Merrick found that the mindless catchy beats were fun. She'd have to snuggle (or strangle) Jess.

It made the first letter she had to write somehow less terrifying.

The letter happened to be for Mekare. It would be delivered to her room with a massive collection of Pokemon games, Spongebob DVDs, crayons, and the piece de la resistance... an Amazonian parrot in a gorgeous gilded cage. It already knew how to say such fine things like: "Awwk! LULZY!", "IM GON NOM U." and "O WAI?!". If ever a Queen of the Damned had a talking sidekick, it would have been that parrot.

The second letter, was the one that made her actually chuckle.

Handing the envelopes to a bored looking Didi, she hadn't realized she had uncovered a sheaf of notes. The woman craned over Merrick's shoulder and snorted, "Is that a dissertation?"

Merrick shoved the entire pile into her desk, "No it's not."

"It totally is. You're totally writing a dissertation on race and class in 16th century Europe. I just SAW it."

Merrick peeled off a fifty dollar bill, "No you didn't. You obviously only saw the two damn letters I just asked you to deliver." Didi took the bill and tucked it into her bra, holding back a laugh that spilled out as soon as she entered the hallway.

Groaning, Merrick saw one letter among her correspondence that she had forgotten. It looked like a bill. She sliced it open and read it in full. Taking out her checkbook, she began to write out a number with far too many zeros. The picture of the smoking HD rig came to her mind, and she sealed the check in a reply envelope. It was really a small price to pay for love.

Not that she was going to admit that.

A Little Protection Goes A Long Way

People fear me.

This is not a bad thing.

In New Orleans they know, they understand. I am a secret. A mystery. There are a dozen masks and more in my face. I am whispered of and stayed far from. When they watch the show they will assume I am pretending. That I am not as lighthearted or as loving as I am here. They are wrong of course. I am truthful in my expression here. Sometimes too truthful. But they will assume things, and I will let them. Bad for business, if I don't.

I wasn't doing this for Henry.

I was doing this for my crew. For Don and his shock of red hair that passed onto all of his six children. For Didi who held a boom mic, and dreamed of making enough to go on a vacation. For Marisol who had fought her way tooth and nail to be a cameraman. For Jess who ran all the silly errands, and giggled incessantly and made bad puns. This was my crew, people who whether they knew it or not, hoped that I'd keep them safe from the likes of Willow and even Claudia.

Don't Let One Hand See What You Do With The OtherCollapse )