Under the Bright Lights

The war between Vampires and Lycans has ended, but an even deadlier threat has risen: Humanity. The world of immortals is a secret no longer, and terrified humans seek to exterminate the source of their fear. Vampires, Lycans, and other immortal species now hide themselves, struggle to survive, and fight back. Their future and their very existence are at stake.
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Quaxo9
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Under the Bright Lights

Post by Quaxo9 »

Riff

While he awoke with a renewed eagerness to find a job and start building the rest of the life he wanted to provide for Maria and Sofie, he knew that couldn’t be the first order of the day. The Fishblatts needed their support. Between the house fire, the rescue of Katie’s sister and Gilda’s kidnapping, the family could surely use some good cheer and encouragement.

Of course, they really had nothing to bring but themselves. But Sofie had an eye for making the fantastic out of the ordinary. He knew they were just weeds, but to her they were the best flowers for making the best bouquet ever. So, the three of them picked vetch, clover and milkweed until Riff’s hand could barely close around the bunch of plants. Sofie donated a ribbon from her hair and Maria tied it into a bow to hold the bouquet together.

Somehow, just having something to bring made him feel that much better standing on the Fishblatt’s porch. Knowing it was made with the love of his little family – the feeling was priceless.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

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Gilda Fishblatt

Gilda could guess who was at the door. A Lycan, a Fae, and a little Fae - there weren't too many candidates for who the guests might be.

She had known she would need to speak to Riff at some point. And soon. He had been involved in... well, she wasn't quite sure what he perceived it as. To Gilda, it was a rescue. But she wasn't quite sure how Riff would parse the situation. Had he been tracking her to try to help? Or under the belief that she had betrayed the Pack?

Facing him made her nervous. But the fact he had brought Maria and Sofie was a good sign. Surely he wouldn't bring his girlfriend and child if he planned to be very harsh. Unless he wanted to provide an object lesson about treacherous Fae...

She opened the door - and was taken by surprise when she was presented with the flowers. Her eyes misted a bit.

Gilda was reminded of the moment she had brought soggy flowers to Sara and Hirsch, her offering of friendship on first meeting. Of course, her gesture - the fruits of a rainy field - had much less finesse. Still, the friendly sentiment was recognizable.

"Please, come in," Gilda said with an ever-so-slightly anxious smile. "Thank you for the flowers. They're lovely. This is so kind of you."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

Post by Quaxo9 »

Riff

He wasn't sure why Gilda seemed so anxious. At least she seemed to like the flowers. He felt another pang of pride over Sofie's lovely soul. Stepping inside, he found he was at a bit of a loss. How does one bring up something terrible that happened without being prodding or insensitive? Perhaps the simplest way was the best way.

"I'm glad to see you're looking well. We were pretty worried about you."

Sitting down in the kitchen was automatic. It had nothing to do with the smell of baking - at least, that's what he told himself. Tucking his legs around the legs of the chair, he rocked back until he realized it wasn't his chair and set it back onto its four legs.

"Anyway, we just wanted to drop by and say hello and see how things are going."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Gilda Fishblatt

"Please, have a seat," Gilda said. "I've been making muffins."

She gestured to the counter, where what seemed to be a mountain of muffins sat in glass storage containers. Apparently she'd been in rather a baking frenzy. Gilda brought over a container of assorted muffins and set it on the table in front of the three of them.

"I owe you an apology, Riff," Gilda said hesitantly. "Again. I am so very grateful that you were willing to help find me. I'm sorry that I led you into danger. I know you have your own family to think of. I just... wasn't sure what else to do. About any of it. It was the only way I could think of to protect my loved ones. It was... well, you remember; you were in Germany back then. Those men yesterday were Nazis too. They would have done the same thing. To Isaac. To Mama and Papa. To Katie and Alice. I had to protect them. But I apologize, sincerely, for putting you in harm's way. I hope you will forgive me, and perhaps... understand that I was trying to act for the greater good, by leading them away from our house. It may be hard to believe my good intentions, with all you know about my past. History repeating itself. Gilda always ending up with the Nazi men. I tried, though. I tried to do the right thing."

She looked down at the table, staring at the knots in the wood as though they might move if she scrutinized them hard enough.

"I was selfish too, though. I wanted to come home. I wanted that so badly that I acted for my own benefit. I'm sorry I put you at risk in the process."
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Katie and Alice

Alice entered her sister's room, and closed the door behind her. "We have a problem," she said, and waved an envelope at Katie.

"What's that?" Katie asked, looking up from her journal writing.

"Paperwork. Government paperwork. They're sending it in because they want to foster me too."

"That's... good, isn't it? That's what we wanted!"

"No, Katie. It's not good. I should have known they were going to do this. They think I'm a kid. They can't just... keep me here without permission from someone. But as soon as they send this in, they're going to know the truth. They'll find out I'm an adult. And probably that I have a record back in the States."

"We could... we could just hide the letter!" Katie said desperately.

Alice shook her head. "That wouldn't work. If they don't hear anything back, they'll wonder why."

"Then we'll run away!" Katie decided.

"No. Not you, Katie. Just me. You deserve a family."

"I'm not staying here without you, Alice. We're going. Together."

Alice nodded grimly.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

Post by Quaxo9 »

Riff

He quite willingly helped himself to two muffins right from the get-go. Perhaps it was rude, but he knew he was going to eat two - so he figured he should just make his move. Gilda's speech, though, he had trouble following. He had been confused right from the start when she said she needed to apologize. Some parts in the middle made sense - like when she said the men would have done terrible things to the people in the house - he'd nodded gravely with a mouthful of muffin. The rest, though...

There were still muffin crumbs on his fingers when he gently placed his hand on the table in front of Gilda. He wanted to be in her line of sight and if she was going to look at the table, well, he was going to provide a friendly gesture.

"Gilda, you have nothing to apologize for. I know you were protecting your family. I think you did an amazing job. You weren't selfish - you were selfless - you put yourself in harm's way to protect the ones you love. Anyone can see that. An' as for me, it was an easy decision to make to help Isaac rescue you. We're sort of always at risk being what we are - so any extra really isn't a big deal."

The seriousness of his tone turned into a lopsided grin as his slid his hand back toward him and the lonely muffin. Carefully peeling the paper off, he paused to add, "I'm just glad I was here to help." before popping in his mouth, top first.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Gilda and Maria

"Thank you," Gilda replied, sounding both pleased and relieved. "That means a lot. Truly."

"Please don't feel bad," Maria said, echoing Riff's sentiment. "We're part of your Pack now. We're all family, right? This is what family does. We help each other. I know we haven't had a lot of time to tell our stories, but Riff is used to this kind of thing. Rescuing people. He's done it a lot. And we know you'd do the same for us, if we needed it."

Gilda nodded to confirm this was true.

The kitchen door swung open, and James sidled in and plopped down at the table. Gilda looked a little startled, but quickly recovered. Clearly his arrival hadn't been expected. James popped a blueberry muffin in his mouth and started chewing. Noticing belatedly that everyone was staring at him, he shifted the bulk of the muffin to one cheek, looking a bit like a chipmunk.

"How's it going?" James asked casually through muffin-filled mouth.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

Post by Quaxo9 »

Riff

It hadn't escaped his notice that his and James' entrances hadn't been terribly different. Apparently he wasn't the only lycan with a penchant for baked goods. The difference was in where they sat - and he didn't mean around the table. With the hosts. Gilda's reaction told him all he needed to know. James hadn't apologized for the assumptions he'd vocalized yesterday. He'd hoped the guy had come around with the revelation that Kraus was dead, but proof didn't seem to be enough for some reason. It was time they had a talk.

"James, I gotta talk to you...outside."

The man seemed surprised, but he still did as Riff asked. He moved to the end of the porch, attempting to get out of earshot - at least of Sofie's ears, if not Isaac's lycan ones. Riff turned to face James, realizing he didn't really know exactly what to say. Where did he even start? With the truth.

"You didn't apologize to either of them, did you." Riff didn't wait for a reply. "For what you said about Gilda. It was pretty obvious what was really going on in that situation and you went with your preconceived notion of Gilda instead of the one you've met face to face. I don't get you, man. We could have gotten to her so much faster - she wouldn't have had to endure so much - if you had just called Isaac as soon as Gilda was taken. Why do you keep assuming the worst of this woman who has been nothing but kind and forgiving in spite of the crap you keep dishing out on her?"
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

Post by Monkey Kitty »

James O'Brien

James had not apologized. And he didn't plan to. He had shown up, and was prepared to continue as normal. As if nothing had happened. Wasn't that enough?

Riff's words made him instantly defensive. Not because Riff was wrong. Rather, because they struck a chord.

Still, he couldn't help snapping back. "She wasn't taken, Riff. She left with them. Willingly. How many times do you have to see that woman end up in some Nazi's arms before you realize that maybe she isn't the spotless innocent she has you hoodwinked into believing she is? Huh? Look, I'm not saying anything about Kraus. I get it. You're right. I... I can believe that he's dead. That he's not involved anymore."

That alone had been a hard thing to realize. It had been hard to admit to himself.

"But yesterday? You weren't there. You didn't watch her flirting with them and making eyes at them. And that trail she left? You realize she basically led us into a trap, right? Look. I'm trying here. I'm trying to protect this Pack - since it seems like no one else is going to bother!"
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Under the Bright Lights

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Gilda and Maria

Riff and James were talking outside - and privately Maria hoped Riff was giving James what-for, in his own caring Riff way. Sofie had gone off in search of Hirsch and Sara to give them a picture she had colored. Now that they were alone, Maria asked Gilda, "Okay, so how are you really?"

Gilda smiled, but it was a little shaky. "I'm fine."

Maria raised an eyebrow. "Really? Because I wouldn't be."

Gilda eyed her warily. "Why not? Nothing bad happened. Nothing really bad."

Maria shrugged. "It doesn't have to be the absolute worst case scenario for you to have emotions about it. No one would blame you for being freaked out. It must have been terrifying."

Gilda nodded and looked away abruptly. "It was," she said softly, staring at the wall. "I was scared. So scared. And I still feel... off-balance. I want life to be back to normal. But I'm afraid I'm stuck in the past again. I'm afraid it'll be like before. That I'll be like before."

"I get that," Maria replied honestly. "Look... I don't have the best past either. I get not wanting to go back to times that were rough. You're not, though. It's nothing like before. You have Isaac. You have your family. Your Pack. Your kids, and your baby on the way. You'll always have that. Nothing can take it away. Try not to be scared. What happened was awful... but it's over. You're safe now. You're not back in the past."

Gilda nodded, and looked a little more confident. It was the same thing she had heard from Isaac - but Isaac loved her, and she knew he would keep loving her even if she stopped deserving it. Maria was a more unbiased observer, who still understood. If Maria thought things could be alright, that was worth listening to.

"Thank you," Gilda said. "Truly. That... helps, a great deal."
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