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Marcus Carsen

Complete Mother Dearest (Feb. 8 2018)

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

Marcus had made sure to call Gemini that same day to let her know that in a weeks time on the weekend he could clear something up. This, of course, meant that he was on full work mode after meeting with one of his old friends and a new one earlier in that week. Truthfully, the Dhampir was tired but he had no plans to retire to his coffin anytime soon, not when preparation work still needed to be performed! 

There were several cookbooks opened up on the table flipped to various pages: Chicken Parm Dinner, Homemade Biscuits, Honeyed Carrots - He had no idea why he was pushing himself to making such an elaborate dinner. Maybe it was because he felt they deserved it considering that he hadn't realized that Rosie was ALSO her grandmother. That's going to make for very awkward conversation since they hadn't really been able to discuss that small bit of a technicality about Marcus' life. Which. . . Also meant that he knew something deeper about Gem's life than she knew about his own. 

Usually such a thing wouldn't bother him and yet. . . Maybe it was simply because he found her endearing and fun. Another prospect could just be who her grandmother was and it made him feel a bit out of place to have such intimate information. The door to his home was left wide opened while the sound of music played through out the seemingly lived in home. It was a simple instrumental no real words towards it what so ever. 

"What am I forgetting. . . OH, Right, the Ice cream maker." Marcus turned his attention towards a cupboard as he opened it up and pulled out what seemed to be a fully wooden bucket with a well-kept metal crank without an inch of rust on it. Who wanted rusty ice cream? He set it to the side on the counter top as he leaned against the edge of it. "Now to just wait until she swings by. . . " She did say she'd come by early to help him out which he honestly probably needed more than he wanted to admit to anyone. 

At least this day couldn't get anymore weirder than having to deal with certain secrets. 

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

Marcus sure hadn't wasted time in arranging a day, and Gemini heard from him within the day of having met him, only to find out that there was a date set for this experimental dinner that he was apparently cooking. She did have to wonder if he would actually go through with the cooking part, or would give up and call in some kind of fancy take-out and pretend he made it. It was possible, he was a sneaky journalist type after all.

Though, rather than coming to dinner with them, Rosie had instead insisted on taking Gabrielle with her to go to the water park, not even giving Gemini a chance to argue the point before packing her daughter up and telling the young woman to have fun. Sneaky old woman. Though Gabby had made Gemini promise to bring some special ice cream home, so she couldn't cancel.

And so it was that the young woman found herself at the address that had been given to her, peeking inside the door that was wide open.

"He-llooooo?" Gemini sing-songed quietly, though realised that he might not hear her above the music he had playing, and so she went ahead and stepped inside, the six-pack of cider she'd decided to bring along hanging from one hand as she walked through the cozy-looking abode, toward where she assumed the kitchen was, from the sounds of movement that she could hear.

"Hey there, early as promised," Gemini said lightly as she came across the man leaning againse the counter looking like he was deep in thought. She lifted her hand with the drinks, "Brought something to drink while I watch you slave over this apparent non-poisonous food that you're going to make for me." A smirk tugged at her lips and she stepped into the kitchen a little to glance around, "Haven't even started on it yet? For shame," Gemini tutted softly with a shake of her head, as though highly disappointed.

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"Hey there- Wait aren't you half a short?" Marcus replied with a half smile though he was still grateful to see that she had made it early as she promised. His eyes squinted a bit, maybe Rosie was just coming with Gabrielle later? Yea, that had to be it. His eyes lowered to the cider that she had picked up as a smirk soon filled his face. "You know, when I said a good time at dinner I didn't think you meant THAT kind of a good time." He poked a tease at her as he started to open up the fridge.

Then proceeded to take out all the ingredients that he needed and kept it fully fresh, nothing was frozen and had been brought earlier that day to make sure it could be produced to the fullest of qualities. At least with the meager talents that he actually had to manage such a dinner. "Wait going to make for you?" An eyebrow arched up in confusion at first and then slowly his face contorted into a slow sliding understanding. "Oh, we were completely setup." He chuckled as he lowered his head and shook it lightly. 

That couldn't have been Gemini's plan, no, this had Rosie stitched all over it. He wondered what her game plan was but that was something to discuss at another time. Right now? He had an important guest that needed to be fully entertained. "Well if I am slaving you're going to have to help me! I thought we already went through how bad I am at this now?" With one hand he took the six pack of Cider and slid it into the fridge and closed it, the other gripped Gemini's hand lightly as he started to tug her towards the counter to show her the books he had opened. 

"Since the plan has changed up a bit with it just being us two well. . . You may as well help me out. Dinner for two I could always use the extra help to make sure it fits your perfected taste buds. You know, with all that burger snobbyness of yours." His hand light touched her arm as he continued to jest with her.

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

"Yeah, the kiddo was practically kidnapped from me, and I was ordered to have an enjoyable evening,"Gemini chuckled softly as a smirk tugged at her lips while she set the drinks down, pulling one out quickly and taking the cap off before taking a sip. She knew very well why Rosie had done it, and would be having a talk with her grandmother later. It wasn't so much as being set up, but Gemini knew that she tended to keep Gabrielle close to her so that she could keep some kind of distance from other adults. She didn't want to admit it, but she knew Rosie saw it.

"Less so set up, and more like... forcing me to properly socialise with other people without having Gabby as my shield," Gem said with a small nod and raising of her brows. At least she could admit it, even if she didn't like it. And she took another drink from her bottle while she was basically directed around to the counter, where books and ingredients were all laid out. He hadn't even started chopping anything up, "Wow, you really are hopeless, huh?"

It was spoken as a light and playful tease as Gemini gave the man a nudge, before setting her drink down somewhere it wouldn't be knocked over, and then looked over the books, trying to figure out where to begin.

"Alright, well the first thing you need to do is look at the preparation and cooking times, because usually you can have one part of a meal cooking while you work on another, so that it's all ready around the same time,"It was common sense, really, but Gem thought she'd at least pass that little bit of wisdom along, "Believe it or not, even with my snobbish taste buds, I'm pretty easy going. But I'm guessing you haven't chosen anything, soooo... how about some roast veggies annnd the the baked proscuitto-wrapped chicken?"

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"Enjoyable, huh? I can think of a few things that could spice up the evening a bit more. " The thoughts didn't come to mind so quickly as he'd hoped in this regard. It had been a while since he had been in a situation where the fun of a good time with a partner hinged on making the evening engaging but he at least understood Gem well enough to know that fun was part of her favored pass time. His tongue clicked against the roof of his mouth, this wasn't a bad way for an evening to change by any means. 

"Using Gabby as a shield? Tsk, tsk." He scolded her much like she had him as a smile stretched. "It's time to be a big adult once in a while, Gem, so says the guy who is utterly hopeless as you imply!" He shrugged casually but kept his gaze on her. "Honestly I didn't start since you said you were coming by early." He knew sometimes certain kinds of intentions could fly over her head so he followed it up with a more blunt admittance. "I wanted to prep with you, Gem. If the, you know, hint wasn't there and all."

As she looked over the books he stood behind her just a tad to peer over her shoulder. The presence of his chest just gently leaned against the top of her shoulder blade as they gazed into the various books. "Sounds fair enough, don't want different pants cooking ahead of the others and then getting too cold or not coming out on time." That was a common sensual thing but sometimes common sense isn't so much forgotten as it is lost in all the preliminary things that mind wove together. 

Finally, Marcus moved away from her only to start pulling out a few of the instruments that they'd need to start managing the ingredients. Chopping board with preparation mats, sharp dicing knife, a lengthy oven pan, and a deep pot for the veggies. "Yea, I think we can go with those two options. Luckily for you I am pretty snobbish so we're working with fresh veggies not that frozen sin. A bit more work but. . . Current company is due such effort."

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

"Spice up the evening, eh? And just how do you plan to do that?" Gemini's brows rose at the possible implications of such a statement. She wondered suddenly if maybe this was a setup after all. She'd learned after her performance at the Roo that Marcus and Rosie had known each other for a number of years, after all. The woman's eyes narrowed in slight suspicion as she wagged a finger at him, "I'm keeping an eye on you." She murmured, before taking another sip from her drink and turned back to the task at hand.

"Wait, so you wanted to make me work for this meal? You were supposed to be treating me, dude," The young woman huffed softly in faux indignance, before glancing at Marcus again with a semi-confused expression as she tried to figure out what he meant by his statement of wanting to prepare the meal with her. "I mean, if you're too scared to do it on your own, you only have to say so."

It seemed that whatever he'd thought he was trying to convey to her had flown straight over the woman's head yet again, as she turned to the recipe books and chose out the meal they'd have. The roasted veggies could have a home-made seasoning with the right mixture of herbs, and she already knew how to do the cheese and herb stuffed chicken, wrapped in prosciutto.

"Well then, do you want to chop up the vegetables and mix up the herbs to season them with? We'll need to get the potatoes started first, because they'll probably take the longest to cook. Meanwhile, I can get started on the chicken," Gemini's brows rose as she glanced at Marcus, awaiting whether he had any questions or had any other ideas. She also then remembered Gabrielle's request and glanced around, "Oh, I also promised the munchkin that I'd bring some special ice cream home, so we will need to get some of that going. Can't forget it."

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"Wouldn't you like to know!" An elusive answer but what else was going to come from him? Well, maybe a bit more bluntness since it seemed she still wasn't picking up what he had been putting down. Did he need to go out and say? A gentle touch to spark some kind of adrenaline in their chemistry? He didn't want to have to resort to some supernatural use, just wanted to get out his interest in some way. "Kind of what I am hope you'll do." But even then he knew that was just too broad to even be caught as a sigh escaped his lips. 

"Well you just seemed so adamant about testing it for poison! What better way than to have you at my side watching my every move?" Marcus seemed to shrug at the thought of it all, he could of had it all prepared, could have had it all done by now. But he figured he'd try to make it all just a bit romantic or at least suggestively romantic as possible. A snicker escaped from him as she some what teased him. "It's because I like you, Gemini. As in -interested- in you?" He finally spoke up and shook his head. "I wanted to work along side you because I dunno, maybe a bit of flirt touching? Getting to know you personally?" A hand reached out to gently touch the edge of her arm. "I thought the fact I wanted you to help me would be a bit more obvious but. . . Seems I need to be -literally- blunt when it comes to you.

Marcus' head turned slightly away from her as he kept what she said about the vegetables in mind first taking a few and placing them on to the cutting board and began to chop them up versus dicing, at least to give them volume. Then proceeded to put them in a bowl with a few diced herbs and stirring them about to let them. As he let the herbs and vegetables settle with one another he began to peel the potatoes first. 

"I'll put my best work into making her ice cream. I did promise her after all." He kept his gaze down towards the board and the vegetables he had been tending towards. "My bad, I probably made things a bit awkward now, eh? The whole 'I like you and am interested in you romantically', kind of bit"

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

"That 'ooh, wouldn't you like to know' stuff totally doesn't work on me, I'll have you know," Gemini scoffed lightly, her gaze shifting between glancing at Marcus, and looking at the recipe books to work out what to use, so that they could put a couple of them away to make more bench space. She laughed as he accused her of being adamant that he was going to poison her, "I never said it'd be intentional! There are lots of ways to give someone food poisoning, you know." The woman grinned at him as she shifted anything that was unnecessary away from the preparation area, taking another sip from her cider once she'd done that. And then she blinked as Marcus spoke again, before glancing at him.

"You...? Oh... Ohhhh..." It hadn't been something that had even come to mind for the woman, the idea that perhaps Marcus had a greater interest in her than simply the friendship that had quickly kind of just happened. Well, that was something she wasn't entirely certain on how she felt about it. The possibility of going out with someone again was something she'd seemed to shut off when Frankie had died, and that thought alone caused her to go quiet for a moment, before she realised something, "Oh my Gods, Rosie!"

That crafty old wench! She'd known, Gemini was sure of it, because things like that totally didn't escape her grandmother's notice. So that was why she'd been insistent on taking Gabrielle this evening! She was going to have words with the Veela about meddling in her personal life, but right now, Gem realised the awkwardness that this must have caused Marcus, and ran a hand through her hair before washing her hands at the sink, since she was going to be handling meat.

"No! No, I'm sorry," Gemini instantly felt bad for Marcus' sudden change. He wasn't looking at her now, and was practically apologising for seemingly ruining the evening, "Honestly, I've never been great at picking up on subtle hints of the romantic kind, and I guess..." She sighed softly as she began to work on the chicken, getting cheese, spices, and the prosciutto to prepare it with, "... it's not even something I've thought about since Gabrielle's dad, you know?" It had been a few years though, and Gemini knew that the pain was less than it had been. She also knew that Marcus was a great guy in his own right, and felt a bit stupid that he'd been sending hints her way and she'd totally missed them.

"I'm not feeling awkward though, so you're not allowed to either. I appreciate the bluntness, sometimes I need it. But... let's just keep going and see where the evening takes us, I mean it's going to be fun either way, right?" Gem glanced up at Marcus, offering a reassuring smile to let him know he hadn't ruined the dinner for her at all.

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"Now, if I wasn't difficult about stuff in general what kind of journalist would I be, Gemmy?" He gave a sideways glance towards her as a smirk turned the corner of his lips. "Stubbornness, Nosiness, Determination, and Truth - The major components of a good journalist! Occasionally very bad eating habits but that's just because my tastes are. . . Always peculiar." While he's never actually had the craving, the lure towards blood was always there. It was like that one compulsion that you wish you didn't have but can keep away from. "As long as I add baking soda instead of sugar to the cookies it should still be edible!" He squinted playfully at her as his lips parted. "It's not supposed to be baking soda is it!?" 

As Gemini took the moment to be stunned Marcus went into the fridge to grab a bottle of cider for himself. Maybe he needed to taste a bit more 'free', in that sense. He'd pop the bottle off and then shook his head lightly towards Gemini. "That's what I meant by a set up, heh, Rosie is one of the few people who knows me. She knows you well enough, the blonde was trying to play matchmaker." Not that he was ungrateful for the attempt she made, if anything, she was probably trying to add the start of 'Goodness' in both of their lives considering their walk. 

"You don't need to apologize, really. I've also never -really- been good at the romantic bit for a while now. I don't like using the whole 'Dhampiric Seduction' abilities at all, not unless I need to do it." There were times he had to but never in romance, well, unless he needed to woo a particular lady for the benefit of getting some people away. His hand rose up a bit as he waved lightly and brought the brown eyes back onto her. "I expected that, it's why I was trying to kind of avoid. . . Well, this kind of a setup. Originally I wasn't sure if I was even going to follow this 'feeling' of interest. A Young mother and her child aren't the easiest query! Especially with such a snob of a mother, and ugh, that ice cream slave driver! " He gave a playful smile towards he laughed lightly at his words. 

"Oh I am not allowed to? I don't know, you know my kind are sensitive in clothing, secretly in our feels too. Aaah.. So awkward like a nerd in high school." Marcus gave Gem a bit of eyebrow arch and the gave a confirmed nod. "Wasn't trying to rush it, but figured you knowing my intention was pretty important. " A sip from the cider is taken as he raised it up and place it on top of the fridge. "I don't have an easy life I don't even have a safe life. By day a journalist, that is dangerous enough. By night? Most of the time? I am helping out a lot of non-humans or Half-Breeds. I handle some of the more dangerous routes so that your Grammie's people won't have to if they don't need to." 

His eyes averted upwards for a moment as he sighed softly and shook his head. Since they had found out about their mutual connection he now, wasn't sure how much Rosie had told her about himself. "I was forced to come here, to Australia. Grandparents kicked me out for being a Dhampir. They played it off like I was 'abroad' to keep face back in Egypt. My Mother? She stayed behind. So I came her alone, no funds, no people to know, nothing. Not a very good place for Half-Breed to be in, ya know?" Of course she knew, considering her Mother - Herself. "I got mixed up in the Underground racket, met a guy who was going through a rough time himself. Showed me the ropes, how to avoid Auror's a bit, how to fight - getting by and away from the massive crime rackets that were looking for those with 'My Talents'. A bit after I met Rosie and she helped to set me a bit straighter. Set me up with getting documented by the Ministry, helped to put me through VMU, she did a lot for me. I guess she's kind of like the Mother I -wish- I had. "

A sorrowful smile shifted onto his mug. "She's probably the only other person that knew how much I despise myself for being what I am. People like us go through some shit, but, it isn't the same as it is with some of the more voracious linked kind. Most are naturally afraid of me because they think I'd suck their blood, mutilate them with some dark ritual. I just wanna be straight I've never touched blood, I don't plan to." The last sentence of his words was spoken in a slightly more upbeat manner. "Don't know what I am looking for, I am not looking to jump into anything. But I am looking to discovering, guess is the better way to phrase it. You're cool, fun, made me feel less like a freak than most people. So hey, you already have an up on that front of making me feel relaxed! A bit of a kidney puncher but sometimes I need it."

This may have not been the best time for a confessional but, again, he was much more privy to information about her life than she had thought originally, as well as himself until he found out. As he started to finish peeling the potatoes a careful yet precise chopping started to occur to cut them to pieces. "Since I already knew deeper into your past by extension of our meddlesome blonde, you had the right to know a bit more about my own." 

Before the situation could get any heavier, because Marcus was doing such a bang up job at this point. 

The doorbell rang as he started to turn around, did Rosie realize it was a BAD idea after all? "Come on in." Just he spoke a woman of only 5'6" stepped through the door with jet black hair, fine features of a high cheek bone, exotic appeal with the skin of some that could be considered from the middle east from how golden it glazed in the light. The woman barely looked in her thirties as she wore a purple top that held no arms but simply flowed with a golden lengthy dress that seemed to follow the same manner.

"Hello Marc-! Oh! I didn't think you had a guest, I should have called instead of surprising you." She stepped further into the home while the black leather pocket book was settled on dining room table. 

Marcus' own face seemed to shift into half-surprise or was that a sense of. . . Annoyance? "I. . . Well, yea, you should have called." It sounded rough at first but then he huffed to change up his form of greeting. "I mean. . . It's good to see you, again." His gaze shifted towards Gemini. "Gemma, Layla Garai." His focus then shifted towards the one he had named 'Layla'. "Mom, This is Gemini." Yes, 'Mom', Marcus' mother had found this was such a beautiful time to appear amongst everything else that had happened on top of the evening. 

He reached out for the cider on the fridge and didn't take a sip but one massive gulp. The stress was on. 

"Gemini? That's a lovely name!" Layla would have walked over to extend her hand out towards Gemini, it hadn't escaped her notice that they were cooking and the woman had been dealing with Chicken. She could always wait until after for a proper greeting. "It's nice to meet you. Didn't know Marcie had such a beautiful girlfriend. He hasn't really told me much of his life in Australia."

That's how it could be worse. . .

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

"Pfft, difficult my arse," Gemini scoffed lightly, before snickering. Though, as he spoke about destroying cookies, she gasped and stared at him in absolute horror, before shaking her head vehemently with a huffed sigh, "If you ever destroy cookies, I'm going to have to disown you. Those are sacred and should never be ruined." It should have been some kind of holy law that cookies should never be tampered with in a bad way. Tampered to make more awesome? That was forgivable. Cookies aide, however, the young woman was going to have words with her grandmother. Rosie surely had to have known that Marcus must have been interested in Gemini... and she didn't even tell her!

"I didn't even know Dhampirs were supposed to be seductive, you totally suck at it," Gemini snorted softly, though she was definitely teasing him as she grinned and chuckled. "But yeah, a little forewarning from Rosie might have been nice. And hey, Gabrielle wants ice cream? She gets ice cream, damnit." Gem lifted a finger to wag it at Marcus with a faux serious expression, before returning to the task at hand, "No comment on the burger snobbery, it's pretty true."

"Oh Gods, you're not going to start crying, are you?" Gemini scrunched up her nose as she listened to Marcus' dramatic tale of how sensitive he was. "Because, I don't think I can handle being the man in the relationship, having to pamper a delicate wife. That just sounds like way too much work. I already have a kid to run around after." Even so, she couldn't keep her face completely straight, and burst into a small bubbled giggle after a few moments, shaking her head lightly at the man. She raised a brow as he mentioned his life in general though, finding it interesting that he helped out some of Rosie's folks who relied on the Veela's network now and then.

The man's explanation continued on to talk about how he met Rosie, and what his life had been like when he'd moved to Australia, and the young woman listened quietly while she prepared the chicken. She could understand now why he might be a little bitter with his mother, but surely she had to have a good reason for not having come over here with him, right? Gemini didn't interrupt, however, simply listening to whatever Marcus wanted to share with her.

"Psh, you're not a freak. I've seen all kinds of people, and usually the biggest freaks are muggles who don't even realise how big a world there is around them, but who have... really warped minds and ideas," Gemini's brows rose as she huffed a soft chuckle, still allowing a little time to process the evening so far. However, before anything else could be said, the doorbell rang and she glanced toward it, but frowned a little in curiosity. It wasn't Rosie, she knew that much.

A rather stunning woman walked in, however, and Gemini could tell by Marcus' reaction who she was, even before he began to make introductions. Her own features formed a warm radiant smile, however, as she nodded a greeting while she finished up the chicken and turned the oven on. She washed her hands quickly and then stepped toward the Egyptian woman extending her hand.

"And he didn't tell me that his mother was gorgeous, clearly he didn't get enough of your looks," The younger woman grinned and laughed lightly, before turning back to the oven for a moment in order to place the tray with the chicken in, indicating that Marcus would need to hurry it up with the vegetables. She hadn't corrected the woman on her assumption of who she was, however, and with her face turned away from Layla for the brief moment, a look of absolute deviousness crossed her features.

"You're not leaving though, I hope. There's not much to see here, just some dinner and drinks. My grandmother's got the little one, after all, so we can let loose a bit. Cider?" Gemini asked with raised brows. Yes, she had left her words vague, because despite the fact that she probably shouldn't be tormenting Marcus, she couldn't help but want to see his face if his mother assumed he had a kid. Of course, he'd have to correct her, but it was still going to be hilarious nonetheless.

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"I am shocked, SHOCKED! That you think otherwise!" Marcus laughed at her retort against him being difficult at the snicker that followed. Then it seemed she took up the stand and proper guard for the livelihood of the cookies existence of not being baking soda shoved in. "Disown me? Ooh~ Gem, I never knew you had such a connection to me!" He'll have to keep in mind this cookie devotion but maybe it was the same way that he had felt about a well designed pie? It had to be perfect or it was utter crap, no way around it. 

"Well -of course- I suck." He flashed his fangs a bit as a cheeky grin formed. It was a nice way to get that not so often joke in once in a while. Though he shrugged soon after as he crossed his arms. "Hey, I've been off my game for a while here! College was a few years ago and all." Not that long ago, a maximum of at least six or seven years, but that wasn't the point! "Not my fault a beautiful woman is completely dull to any kind of flirt trigger. That's on you." He snorted a bit but smiled brightly. "Okay, okay. But only because SHE wants the ice cream! I wouldn't break this easily for anyone else!" 

The sound of sniffles started to echo through his nostrils even actual tears started to pool and drip from the ducts and down his cheeks. This man was an actor and it proved him safety in the most profound ways. At the mention of pampering someone in a relationship his façade fell apart into a snickering fit. "Oh ho~? Actually considering it now are we? I don't blame you, I'm a pretty good catch." His tone of voice littered with a jestful one. 

Gemini did have a point, most muggle people were a bit more of freaks than he could ever be. Though so could many of the Wizards in their secretive world that existed over the layers of the Muggle one. He had met his fair share of odd balls both in the eccentric fashion and one of the more morbid approaches. Though that was no longer the main concern any further, his mother stood in the center of his home, here and catching him not only in a very curious situation but also the most massive insinuation ever. 

Before he could even respond to her Gemini had course ahead and started to shake Layla's hand. The Egyptian woman all too glad to offer a firm yet fragile handshake showing the frailness of her body despite the somewhat healthy appeal she seemed to be sporting. "He has a lot of his Father's mannerisms. Mostly the staying away from home portion." She laughed weakly. "You should have told me she was also so charming, Marcie!" 

Marcus couldn't find the words to respond entirely stupefied by the fact Gemini had neglected to correct his mother on the nature of their relationship. That grin she shined showed even further she knew of that fallacy immediately. WHAT. IN THE WORLD. WAS THIS GUITARIST. DOING!? Wait, she wasn't leaving? The man wanted to immediately object but knew he couldn't not after things had been dug in so deeply. 

"Little one. . .?" Layla seemed to speak in a somewhat breathy tone as she was taken back from what the true implication meant. "Marcus Carsen Garai! You didn't even -think- to tell me that I have a grandchild!?" All the sense of offense struck into the womans firm features as she glared down the Dhampir. 

His hands rose up to palm against the edge of his face as he sighed. What was Gemini doing to him? "[b[No-[/b]" The woman continued on as she stepped forward towards the much taller man as she only seemed to be the height of five feet and five inches. Neck craned upwards as her almond hues glared intently at him expecting a proper exposition on why he hadn't spoken such crucial information. 

"Damn it, Gemini. . ." His hand weaved through his hair in frustration. "Mother, she's pulling your leg, okay!? We aren't together and we don't have a child together, alright? I am in no way, shape or form, fit to be a parent." He shook his head as he lowered it a bit. 

Layla took a step back as she pressed a hand to her chest as she looked between the two. "Oh. . . OH! I am. . . Sorry. "

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

"Aha! Here come the bloodsucker puns," Gemini snickered, shaking her head gently, before then snorting out a small laugh, "Oh? So you're saying that you actually did have game at some point?" She couldn't help but tease and pick on the man, it was simply in her nature, plus he seemed to take it so well. Definitely much better than most people would. A chuckle followed again as he said he'd do the ice cream for Gabby, but only because it was for her. To be fair, Gem had to admit that her daughter had a way of charming people almost as easily as she did herself, except that Gemini had a habit of not being aware when she was personally doing it.

"Oh yeah, such a great catch, with all the tears and PMS and whining," A long drawn out sigh was offered, before Gem chuckled. And then it seemed company had decided to drop in, in the form of Marcus' mother who Gemini knew he hadn't spoke with much if at all for a number of years. It was actually rather strange to see the woman here, and she had to wonder if the man had actually given her a call... perhaps started taking steps to try and mend the bridge between them.

Gem would be pretty proud of him if he had.

With the handshake along, Gemini had sensed the weakness to the woman, despite her appearance, and there was a brief moment of concern, however it was brushed away with the older woman's own joking about Marcus. And then, of course, Gemini couldn't help herself but be an imp. It was worth it to see the look of horror on Marcus' face, and the young woman had to fight not to bust a gut too soon or else she'd give away her joke. But goodness, did he ever look like the most frightened deer in headlights. It was his own fault for not having kept in touch with his mother over the years, Gem told herself as she watched the scene between mother and son.

Finally, once Marcus revealed that Gemini had been purposely cheeky with her wording, the young woman had to giggle before taking another long drink from her own bottle. She set it down and once she'd calmed she held up a hand.

"I'm really sorry for that, honestly, I couldn't resist the potential look of horror that Marc would have. I dohave a daughter, and she is with my grandmother, but Gabrielle's father died a number of years ago," Gemini explained, offering Layla an apologetic look, though she couldn't help but still smile at the woman. She sure had some fire in her, which made Gem wonder what would have kept her in Egypt, rather than going against her parents and coming over with Marcus. "He doesn't know what he's talking about either, all that nonsense about not being fit to be a parent. Gabby's absolutely enamoured of him." A gentle snort was offered as Gem waved a hand Marcus' way.

"It really is good to meet you though, Marcus mentioned you to me. I have to admire the care you must have put into raising him, especially given his special differences to most children growing up."

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"They had to come around eventually, after all that talk about my cape! You can't break that secret and expect not to get the fangs, love." He couldn't help but snort out his own laugh as well. It was just one of those moments in time where he could put a bit of a spin against his condition, no, he probably shouldn't keep thinking about it as such a way. As Ikeda had said, He can't change that he is Dhampir no more than someone can change that they're a Muggle, a Wizard, or any of the like in the world. "Oh, ho, ho! You can't make that jab, you're the one whose missing all my clues. Avoiding the dating game." The reason wasn't lost on him, he had assumed she loved Gabby's father dearly. The little girl was a precious one and he enjoyed her energy. Lot's question did burn into his mind once more. 'Thinking about kids?' that was when his hand slapped against his cheek. How did he get here to this kind of place? What was he even thinking?

Now he was beginning to question Rosie himself but that was the nagging inner fear within himself. If not for Gemini's quick joke he probably would have been delving further before the untimely arrival. 


Marcus only scoffed at how buddy-buddy the two seemed to have gotten as his gaze turned away from the both of them. "You know, you both could just go get ice cream or something. The door is right that-a-way." He shook his head as he brought the tips of his fingers against his forehead and started to rub it lightly. This was worse than any kind of torture in his mind but he kept just how much it actually bothered him tightly locked deep inside, almost as if a feeling of indifference had formed into some kind of wall. Maybe that was his more predatory nature building up as a protection. 

Laylah chuckled as her hand waved up to wave dismissively. "Sometimes taking life too seriously could leave to much more complications." That was just something she had learned within her waning years due to other reasons. Her hand reached out to gently rub Gemini's shoulder in a comforting way. "I'm so sorry, dear. Losing someone you love is never easy, especially with a child left behind." Her eyes shifted a bit as she leaned in with a brief smile. "Though Carsen was already dead technically. . . But he did run off." She laughed weakly before a coughing fit ensued which caused her to look for a chair to start to sit down. "Now stop that brooding, Marcus. Not everything is as bad as your face makes it look." That staring eye of Mother who knew her child even after years had passed threatened once more. 

Listening to Gemini's statement Layla nodded in agreement. "He's always been so severe since he was a lad. It seems somethings a person just never grows out of." She offered a motherly smile. "Oh? So you know?" As much as it was a rhetorical question it was one pure surprise. "It was easier for having a better lot in life but figuring everything out was a bit more difficult. Oh my. . . You wouldn't believe the range of screaming he had when first exposed to the son as a baby. " The memory alone was heart shattering as her voice quivered. "But we managed to get through the worse of it.

Marcus wanted to bite back so badly, no, she managed to get through the easiest part. The WORSE of it all was shove primarily on himself. It was enough that he sunk both of his fangs deep into his lips without concern from the pain just to keep himself cordial, to stop himself from being so. . . Spiteful. The woman deserved accolade for at least getting far enough, He knew this. "Yea, well, sometimes certain things in life are harder." That's all he could say as blood dripped form the puncture wounds. Perhaps the few times blood ever touched his lips and it was always his own. "Now are you staying or not? If so just. . . Sit down or relax or something. I don't know." This damned confliction within himself. He reached into the fridge to pull out one of the ciders and settles it on the table in front of her as he tried to walk away as quickly as possible. 

Before he could even escape her presence fully a hand reached out to grasp his own. Layla could feel that barely lukewarm presence in her son. It was in that moment he could feel the weakness in her body it was enough for his gaze to sharpen towards the woman as his jaw set. Half in defiance of her even touching him, it was too soon, half in concern as his senses seemed to pick up something was wrong. "It's okay, you don't need to get all huffed up."

How long? He wanted to ask. How long had she been sick beyond magical assistance? Marcus snorted. "I have an extra room, you're staying." That was a clear, not a request. A command, demand even. Once he loosened his hand from hers he walked over towards the counter and started to wipe a napkin at his lower lip. "Lucky for you, I had planned for most guests but they didn't show. So. .. We have more than enough food." 

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

Marcus' irritation that was growing was easily felt by the empathic woman, even as she and his mother joked lightly. To be honest, Gemini was just glad that Layla had a good sense of humour and hadn't taken her teasing too seriously... much unlike Broody McBrooderson in the corner who almost looked like he was going to start glaring.

"Why go anywhere? You're supposed to be making the ice cream, remember? You can't let Gabby down, or else you're the one who's going to have to deal with her sad face when I bring her over for you to explain why," And Gabby was unfortunately much like her mother, and could pull of the saddest and most heartbreaking expression when she really wanted to. It almost even broke Gemini sometimes... almost. Except that the mother had been the one to teach her daughter that look.

"I agree with you, Layla. Can't take everything too seriously, life's far too short to hold onto grudges," The words of the young woman were a little pointed, mostly because she'd felt that slight wrongness or weakness within the older woman's body. As good a front as she was able to hold up, there was something beneath the surface that became more and more obvious the longer Gemini was in close vicinity to her.

A small smile of appreciation was offered, however, at the words from Marcus' mother, regarding the dead of Gabrielle's father. She offered a gentle shake of her head and a small smile.

"It's been a while now. At first, it was a hard hit, especially since I was, well... still a teenager, and he was my first love and all, but. It's helped, having Gabby. Like there's a piece of him still around, plus she's just the cutest," And instantly, Gemini reached for her wallet in her jeans pocket, pulling it out and opening it to a bunch of photos of her daughter. She handed it to Layla to look through, there were a few, since she had them in a little wallet sleeve that held up to almost twenty photos back to back.

"Aw, I can only imagine how heartbreaking that would be. As a baby, he wouldn't even know why he was in pain, just that he was," The young woman could even hear it in the mother's voice, how difficult it was to see that happening to her own child, and her heart went out to her.

It seemed that Marcus' was stuck at spiteful, thought, given his short response, and Gemini cast him a slight scolding look, before tutting at him with a shake of her head. That was no way to treat his mother. Of course, he probably wasn't to know the condition that the older woman seemed to be in either, so perhaps that was a big difference. His actions and the way he spoke caused Gemini to huff and roll her eyes.

"Attitude," The young woman said to him, before aiming a brilliant smile to his mother, "Well, Marcus still has to finish preparing the vegetables, so we can go into the living room or something to chat while he gets his head settled, if you like." She offered brightly. Gemini figured if maybe he got a little time to get over his surprise and irritation of the unannounced visit, then he would be able to converse a bit better when he joined them. She offered Layla a hand to lead her through if the other woman agreed, before wagging her finger at Marcus.

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"Oh, I never said -she- wouldn't get her promised treat." Gabby wasn't the one offering him any form of uncomfortable torture. That's what this all amounted towards in his mind. Though his eyes rolled at her pointed accusation about grudges. He turned away from the both of them at that point to have his hands pressed firmly on the counter. Things are always easier said when you don't know the experience.. That thought pressed into his mind as he closed his eyes, the only recent memories had nothing do with a warm home, a coddling mother trying to console a child in constant pain. No, it was the muck of the Australian back alleys, the blood that curdled around him from those he had to defend himself against unwillingly. 

"The first is always difficult. Oh. . . I remember when Carsen swept me off of my feet. He didn't even need to use his Vampiric wiles. That much I Knew. A Wayward wanderer but just the most charming aspects of him shined. He never talked much of his past but that didn't really matter." The man had lived for -years-, such pasts were meant to forgotten to leave to Historians. At the mention of pictures her features lit up vibrantly. "Yes, please!" Her hands grasped at the wallet as she started to look down the lining of photos. A flutter of her heart as she sighed softly. "She is simply beautiful! Your grandmother must be so happy to see her." She avoided mentioning her Mother, after all, why would a child be with the Mother's grandmother unless a tragedy occurred? "Maybe some day I'll have a grand child." Another pointed accusation. Then she took her large black bag and started to pull out what seemed to be a weighty photo album. 

That was more of a sting against Marcus, the last thing he wanted was to introduce more of what he was into the world. A 'Thing' to people to be watched because of the danger they held, their unpredictability. "Don't know, haven't been thinking about it." A lie though his tone still hadn't left from the agitated state. 

Layla gave a curt nod. "It's heart wrenching. We didn't find out until a few months later from a specialist on why. Even the concoctions we used to reduce it didn't even entirely work Soon, he just stopped putting it on and dealing with it." Her hand lifted up curl a short dislodged strand of hair back over her ear. "He's always been stubborn when he's 'made up his mind'." That seemed to have changed very little but she could tell his mind wasn't fully made up in the moment. With Gemini's suggestion the elder woman nodded and picked up the book and started to head towards the living room to sit down and open up the photo album.

Marcus turned a gaze over his shoulder. "Oh, don't think you're off the hook either, Gemini." That was his vocal response to the whole 'Attitude' comment. Every second that passed he was regretting ever calling that insufferable woman. The audacity, to pretend that there wasn't a massive chunk of time missing, as if he just distanced himself for no reason. He had started to finish up the vegetables but he no longer wanted Gemini's help at the moment, no, this was as if he were back in his days fighting on his own terms. 

Once they had been prepared he had started to settle with setting up everything in its proper pan and area and set the stove on to start the process of cooking the food. His hand reached up to grab the cider in his hand. Damn, he needed something harder than this and a bunch of them all at once. His eyes glazed over towards the alcohol cabinet nearby - no that can wait until later tonight when he sat in his office. Seething could be one way to place how he was marinating in his emotions. 

He started to question why he was even attracted to the woman aside from her physical beauty, but maybe that was just his anger thinking. "Now I remember why I keep away from people." Marc seemed to mutter to himself as he just stayed in the kitchen and kept his eyes pinned towards the food. It wasn't going to cook any faster but at the moment it was much better to be as far away as he could without seeming 'too rude'. He took a sip from the bottle and turned his gaze towards the ceiling.

The curious thing about the Photo Albums is that the pictures seemed to stop at the age of Seventeen - nothing seemed to fill them much further of anything with Marcus with anyone of his family or his Mother. To be expected, surely. 

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

It was already very clear that Gemini had moved into Marcus' bad books, at least temporarily if not longer. She could understand that, he had a lot of issues that he had only just begun working on, and now he was forced to face them all before he was really ready. But at the same time, to her, this felt like some kind of divine opportunity, as though the world was maybe telling him that it was time to face those demons and learn about why it was events had occurred the way that they had. And if he didn't do it, then Gemini was at least going to find out on his behalf.

"Ha, I think it was the other way around for me. I did the sweeping without even knowing that I was doing it,"Gemini grinned a little as she chuckled, but was only too happy to share pictures of her own little treasure with the older woman. She was extremely proud of Gabrielle, but anyone who met the young mother would be able to see that within minutes of talking to her. She'd never cared that she'd been sixteen when she had her, had struggled through finishing school, and then the deaths of her own mother and then Gabby's father. Through all of it, the little girl had been her most precious treasure and given her reason to keep going.

"Ah, kids will be stubborn. I know Gabby doesn't like wearing a hat in the summer a lot of the time, I practically have to glue it to her head," Gemini chuckled, pointedly ignoring the sharp comments that were being made by Marcus. To respond to them would probably only invite potential arguments, and there was literally no reason to be arguing tonight.

There was also another hidden agenda behind offering to sit in the living room with his mother, besides giving the man breathing space so that he could sort out his emotions and come to grips with being forced to face all this tonight of all times. Gemini had an arm on Layla's elbow as she walked with the other woman, and helped her sit down comfortably, before she accepted the photo album as she sat right beside her, and began looking through the photos.

"What a little cutie," A small grin picked up Gemini's lips to see little baby Marcus. He looked happy as a baby and child, despite the troubles he must have had, that in itself told her a lot about the mother and son relationship back then. It also told her that he'd been more than just a little wounded by the fact that Layla hadn't come to Australia with him. No doubt having felt abandoned by someone by the person he loved the most in the world, perhaps resentful because he believed that his life might have been a little easier with her there to go through the adjustment with him.

But would it have been?

"I hope you don't mind my asking," Gemini murmured, so quiet that only the woman beside her would hear, compensation for the fact that Marcus was still in the house by making sure she whispered right near the other woman's ear as she continued to look at pictures. "But how many years have you been sick?" Gemini's gaze shifted from the photos to the woman beside her, the gaze all to telling in it's knowledge that she wasn't healthy, despite appearances.

From what Gemini could feel, her arm pressed against the other woman's as closely as they were sitting, Marcus' mother probably had a few years left in her perhaps. But nonetheless, her body felt wrong, weak and deteriorating very slowly.

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"Oh~ I made sure that earned every bit of what he was trying to chase. But once he did well. . . It is life. " Layla let loose a gentle chuckle at the thought of her younger days. It filled her with joy to remember them even if they were brief it provided her with everything that she loved in life - even if at the moment that very person didn't see it that way. Headstrong takes ages to cool, much like the water's assault on the surface of the rocks. Her eyes nodded towards Gemini in understanding, in truth, she was a 'Young Mother' once upon a time - not as young as the young woman before her. 

The Egyptian woman laughed happily at Gemini's response. "That they are, often designed from their own mothers." She sighed softly as she started to nestle into the couch as they glimpsed over the photo album. Their relationship in the pictures were fond memories, a time where there wasn't a chasm sized rift between the two of them. Though by the time it reached near the Marcus' sixteenth year of life, Layla's own body seemed to be slightly less for wear than previous years. Noticeably so. There had been less muscle mass and more of a frail appeal to her arms and legs which she now kept mostly covered due to it. 

"He was always getting into some kind of mess. Explored whatever came across his path like some little troublemaker. But a good heart. . . " There had been a few pictures of Marcus with, what seemed to be a female of the same age but with fine features. The way the pictures were taken would suggest a childhood friend. Her eyes lifted up to stare at Gemini as she whispered her question as a soft hum resounded from her. "Twelve years. A few years before he was sent away." Her eyes lowered as she offered a small smile and whispered out. "Bone cancer. But. . . My parents influence have increased how long I was able to hold on. But since I had managed to find out where he was while he was in School I tried to. . . Make amends. A woman with such a disease isn't easy to care for or provide for."

Meanwhile. . .

Marcus had started to simmer about as well as the food had at this point as he just looked down and kept his mind focused. This was only a couple of hours, that's all. . . He sighed as he started to set out the plates but only two as they were then set with the food and a second drink of Cider. He had his own second drink but sat at the edge of the table with no actual plate. The hunger had been. . . Slightly stricken from him. But he could hold off for the time being and cordial. 

"It's finished and all that."

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

"Well, they gotta earn it, can't go thinking that they're gonna get the girl all that easily, right?" Gemini grinned lightly. Honestly, it seemed like Marcus' mother was a lovely woman, and very likely regretted that he had to fend for himself the way he had. She listened as Layla spoke about him as a little boy, looking over the photos, and even in those she could see a change in the woman in Marcus' later teen years. It made her realise that not everything was exactly as it maybe have seemed to the young man. And then if the relationship wasn't repaired as soon as possible, then there were going to be a lot of regrets left to hang over him when his mother passed away.

"An adventurer, huh? Sounds like him still," The younger woman chuckled quietly, but then listened intently when she was given an answer to her question, and her heart lurched for the poor woman. How difficult must it have been to send her son off, knowing that he was likely to hate her for leaving him to fend against the world? Rather than be a burden on him as her illness got worse.

"I'm really sorry," Gemini said softly, once again looking over the photos for a small while in contemplation. They really looked like they'd been so closer. And now the only thing that maintained the divide was the fact that he'd never been told the full story of what his mother had been going through even before he left, and that she'd saved him the trouble of having to provide for both of them while trying to take care of her and struggle in a new country. He'd done as well as he had because he had no responsibilities, no one else he had to worry about.

"You're going to have to tell him," Gemini closed the book when she reached the end, and looked to the other woman. "You've only got a few years left, at most. If the bridge isn't repaired as soon as possible, then it might never. And then he's going to have to live with the guilt of not realising that you'd only ever done what was best for him, even if the didn't know it at the time." Gemini rested a hand on Layla's and offered a small reassuring smile.

"We can do it right now, tonight, if you want. I'm mostly saying this because, well, you never know what can happen tomorrow. I... I lost my mother, not long after I had Gabrielle, and there were so many things I wished I could have told her still. For both of you, I think he deserves to know the truth."

And then, as though on cue, Gemini heard Marcus' voice call from the kitchen dining area, and she glanced there a moment, before raising her brows at the other woman in a 'it's now or never' type expression, before pushing herself to stand and then offering her hand to help the other up, before moving to head back to where the brooding man was seated. Gemini's expression formed an unimpressed pout to notice that he hadn't set up a plate for himself.

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

Layla chuckled in agreement as she nodded towards Gemini. A man that couldn't put up the chase for a woman didn't find her worth it, as much as it seemed hypocritical the chase was for the both of them. A test to truly see what the connection between two people could truly be. She wasn't sure the state of her Son mentally at this moment whether or not anything would really be set into place but she had to try with what little time was held within her body. She wanted to at least have the opportunity to hold an actual grandchild before she left the world. 

"Oh yes. . . I make sure I read everyone of his articles. A friend of his often goes out of her way to assist me, she's a doll. Reminds me a bit of you." In the way that the woman seemed to already have an idea on how to handle apart of her Son, at least the part of him that could easily seethe with disdain for a person. Her head shook at the apology. " You don't need to apologize. Things happen in the world that are often beyond our help, other things are but those choice we have to live with every day.[/b]" The choice she made may not have been the most motherly in standard but she had only hoped it'd be better than what would have been offered. 

At the insistence that she had to tell him such news her eyes narrowed towards Gemini before turning away in thought staying silent as she considered the prospect. To have that on her conscious without his knowledge had been difficult enough. "N-Now?!" The woman was surprised, not entirely ready herself and the call from Marcus only felt more like a death knell. Slowly, with assistance, she started to stand up and walk forward. Until they had reached the dining room. 

Marcus started to stand up and pull out the chairs then proceeded to push them in once both women had sat down. Being pissed off didn't mean he had to neglect his manners that's just inexcusable though he did take his seat once more not giving any attention to the pout Gemini had offered. "The food was Gemini's idea." In terms of recipe and making the main entrée. He held the bottle in his hand between the middle and index finger of his right hand. "Not the best in being cooked but it shouldn't be too harsh for the stomach, I don't think."

"Are you . . . Not going to eat with us?" Layla asked as she picked up a fork and knife and started to slice apart the bits that she wanted to reduce. "You both have put so much effort into it, would be a shame if you don't eat any of it, Marcie." She was stalling or maybe making an opening as she glanced over towards Gemini then back towards the Dhampir. 

Marcus shook his head with mildly light groan. "No, I don't really have much hunger at the moment. I'll just pack some left overs for when I head to do some work later in the night." He didn't have anything, cancelled all of his plans for -this-. But he'll look and find something, anything just to get his mind fully away. 

The distance was still profound and it caused the Egyptian woman to stall in her words while she took a bite of the chicken that had been cooked. It had a very herbal based taste, refreshing even. A sigh exhausted from her as she placed the fork and knife down. "I didn't forget about you all those years ago. More than anything I wanted to be with my child but not at the expensive of making more of a harder job on you." How was she to break this particular news towards him? "Marcus, I've had Bone Cancer for years, since before they sent you away. I couldn't travel until I knew my body was well maintained enough especially with the sudden changes. You didn't need someone to care for, you needed to build on your own path without worrying about me every second of your life. In a foreign land that's a difficult step."

Marcus listened and though his face and expression never changed a slight sense of alert came into his mind. So. . . Something was wrong and had been for quite some time it seemed. His eyes went towards Layla then towards Gemini in a very accusatory glance before shifting back to the woman. Veela's. . . They were being meddlesome even more, weren't they? He hadn't responded and just sat there letting the words twist into his mind while a sip from the bottle of cider was taken. 

"Yea well. . . " What was he to say? He was sorry? He understood? He needed time? As if anyone at the time really cared what he needed. His hand lifted up as he rubbed his forehead. "I'm sorry I froze you out, okay? Neither of you really know what I've been through. Ones heard snippets, you've heard nothing. For good reasons. " Very, very good reasons. His hands weren't clean, he had to do many things he wasn't proud of and stare in the face of things he wished he hadn't seen. There had been a reason he chose Investigative Journalism and it wasn't for the adventure or danger. "So. . . Yea, maybe what you did helped, maybe it didn't. . . Isn't something we'll know now, but. . .I do acknowledge that you did what you did out of love and in thought of my benefit." Just knowing the truth didn't defuse him, by no means, but it did make him more amicable towards understanding. 

Layla's eyes watered as her heart seemed to increase in beat as she nodded. Even with subtle gasps she managed to choke out a few words between the sobs. "Then . . . Maybe we can start to rebuild in the time we have left? Perhaps even some grandchildren?" The crying made Marcus more than uncomfortable as he shifted in his seat. "Knock it off, stop peddling that grandchildren advertisement too! Acting like I have someone I could even do that with." That was more of his irritation about Gemini's intervention still on the patch of his arm. 

The Egyptian promptly raised up the blunt edge of the knife and smacked it against Marcus' fingers. He was a strong lad something as simple as that wouldn't cause that much damage to him. "She was trying to help you, us. It may have been unorthodox but you aren't the most orthodox of people. It takes special talent to get through a thick skull. She'd be a wonderful wife." 

A groan of embarrassment stretched over as he took another drink to the head.

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

Layla sounded like such a proud mama, talking about Marcus' articles, it made Gemini smile brightly, even as they wandered back into the dining room. She sat down, surprised a little by the manners that the man still seemed to have, not to mention the fact that she hadn't even expected him to assist with their chairs. Didn't gentlemen who did that like die out years ago? She couldn't remember, but she watched as the mother took a bite of the meal while questioning if Marcus was going to eat.

And then it appeared the time for honestly was upon them. Gemini herself hadn't touched her own plate yet, only taking sips from her drink. She pointedly avoided looking Marcus' way, but she felt the accusing glare that he sent her way. Rather, this was a moment for the mother and son, and the tears that sprang to Layla's eyes didn't go unnoticed, suddenly tugging at something in Gemini's chest.

The young woman was silent as she listened to the banter between the mother and son, and it brought back memories that suddenly caused a pain in her own chest. She barely heard the comment about her being a good wife, but automatically chuckled at it, before shifting to stand.

"I just remembered something. I'll give you two some space for a moment," Gemini said with a small smile, before grabbing her phone from the bench and stepping out toward the back door. She then walked outside and leaned back against the house as she dialed Rosmunda's number. The Veela woman wasn't the one to answer it though, instead a familiar girl's voice that spoke with happiness that warmed the young mother's heart every time she heard it.

"Hello Mummy! Are you having fun?"

"I sure am, sweet pea. What about yourself?"

"Yes! I'm going now to go on the big waterslide!"

"Alright, I love you," Gemini said, despite knowing that the girl was likely already taking off and the phone had been passed on to the blonde who was with her. And sure enough, she heard her grandmother's voice.

"Is everything alright?"

"Yeah... yeah, just a surprise visitor showed up..." Gemini trailed off a moment as a hand came to her chest, that pain resting there still as she gasped out a soft half-laugh, half-sob, "It just... I guess... I just miss Mom, that's all." She said, her voice cracking slightly. There was silence on the other end for a few moments, before Rosminda's voice responded softly.

"Me too. Are you sure you're alright? I... well, I thought maybe some time alone might have been nice for you both, was all."

"Yeah... yeah, I'm... I'll be fine, I just wanted to hear Gabby's voice. I better go now. Love you, Gran."

"I love you too, sweetheart," Came the gentle response, and Gemini pressed the end call button on her phone, before closing her eyes as she sniffed, resting her head back against the house while she took a few moments to gather herself.

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

The both of them watched as Gemini excused herself, though neither needed to be an Empath to feel something had struck the woman. Marcus knew a bit better or at least a good assumption but had been struggling with indecision as he sat at the table still looking at the maple wooden table. The bottle of cider in hand. Layla looked towards her son and it was almost as if it were. . . A disappointed glance. 

"I have never been disappointed in you Marcie. . . Until now. Are you going to let her just walk off like that dealing with whatever has her? I thought I raised you better than that." Another swat from the knife wrapped against his knuckles as the Dhampir pulled his hand away to rub at the appendage. Just because he had a high resistance DIDN'T MEAN IT DIDN'T HURT! "But. . ." He was about to interject as if he had some kind of good reason for holding back, besides being petty. 

"No. Don't make the mistake of pushing someone out of your life for helping you, just because it wasn't done -your- way. I know. . . You had to have a degree of control in your life to keep yourself together. It's written on your face. But she does care, don't toss that way from a misplaced upset heart." It was advice that a Mother could give one last time, the lesson she never got to teach her boy. A hand rose up as she gently slapped his cheek and pointed her head towards the direction that Gemini had walked towards. 

What. Even. Was this night!? Could he not get a word in edgewise? But maybe it was time to stop thinking about 'Himself' he wasn't on the street anymore. A sigh exhausted as he pressed the cider on the table. "Hold my beer." He memed. 

As he followed behind her he kept his steps soft and waited until her phone call was finished. Like a predator searching for proper prey each step became softer and softer but not to sneak up on her or startle her. He needed to collect his thoughts, what he'd do, and compile everything he knew of the woman. Words of affection flowed over her head if they weren't direct and straight to the point. "You know you're one of the most insufferable women around." Before she could fully turn around to acknowledge him he had stepped behind her with a single arm cuddled around her waist in a comforted embrace. "But you don't get to escape that easily, you know. You kicked open my doors, it's your turn."

Marcus gently started to turn her around to face him as he stared into her eyes by lifting her head with the tips of his fingers. Arm still embraced around her waist. "You don't have to hold in the pain now, you can let it out, Gem. I'm here for you in all my equally annoying glory." He pressed his forehead gently against hers as smiled and offered fully felt words. "Thank you. . ." The hand that rested under her chin slid to the side of her face as he touched it softly. "I am here for you too." He didn't press his luck further than that, no, everything had a pace to it - a timing. The timing now was for her to know that he was physically, mentally, and emotionally there for her.

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

Silent perhaps, but the man's emotions were high enough that the woman knew he was there before he spoke. However, he was too fast in moving to catch her before she could turn to react, except for a huffed laugh at being called 'insufferable'. Like mother, like daughter, Gemini supposed, remembering how often Melanie would be called that, usually by Frankie when she meddled in his life to try and help him out. Good lord, the memories of both of them still stung even years later, and Gemini couldn't keep the tears from welling up, even as she was turned around to face Marcus.

"This wasn't about me, not really," Gemini said quietly, her lips tugging into a smirk, even as she found her forehead pressed to Marcus'. How could she explain that she was happy for him and his mother, that they had a chance now? That they still had time? Sniffing again, she pulled her head back a fraction, so that she could wipe her eyes a little.

"You can be pissed with me, I don't care about that, because I could feel the pain inside both of you. I could sense that you miss her just as much as she misses you, and because..." The young woman inhaled deeply as she glanced away for a brief moment, allowing memories to seep back in. "I loved my mother, and I loved Frankie. They butted heads regularly, but they loved each other. When Mom went... it was sudden and unexpected and I wished I could have said more, but..." She grimaced, the following was going to be more difficult, but she allowed her gaze to return to Marcus'.

"When Frankie died though, the last time we'd spoken to each other we'd had an argument. It wasn't even anything really bad, but we'd each said things we obviously didn't mean... and then he was gone. And once someone's gone, you can't take back those things you said, the time for apology has passed and you're stuck with knowing that you were never able to make things right before it was too late," By this time, the tears had returned and were streaming down the woman's cheeks as she spoke, before she swallowed thickly and sniffed again.

"I didn't want that for you," Gemini then said quietly, "I know you've suffered and had to live in a way that still affects you. But if you can't let that go, then you're never going to be able to move past it. What happened happened. But, you can still control now and your future. And you have some years left to be able to create more happy memories with your Mom. And I was happy and willing to have you be angry at me, if it means you get that chance now."

Finally the woman sighed softly as she nodded, bringing her hand up again to rub at one of her eyes with the heel of her palm.

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"Oh, no, I am pissed at you." He admitted though a half-smile perched on his face. "I am livid you cut yourself in knowing my very reasons for keeping arms length." But sense? Did she have some ability to capture their feelings in some kind of way? That was another question for another time because it wasn't the important focus here. He had allowed the words she had spoken about the two people that she had lost and the effect left on her from those moments and incidents. 

Marcus reached up towards her cheek and gently started to wipe the tears away with the edges of his thumb shifting from one cheek to the other. "What is with everyone trying to decide what's 'best for me'." His head canted towards her though it was a rhetorical question more than one he expected to be answered as he shook his head. "There are many things I can't let go, things that can never be let go. The very same reasons I don't tell her what happened in my life afterwards. As much as he hated being sent off like some pariah to the very existence of society, as much as he landed in a country where its laws were a designed hatred under the guise if 'safety' for what he was, the last thing he needed for his mother was that he had to -Kill- to survive. Even to this day he had to do such an act to protect people, even if it was under such a thing it still never left him. 

"You risked a lot for a chance that could have came eventually. A lot on 'What if she died suddenly tomorrow.'. " He wasn't trying to make her feel bad nor diminishing the intentions that her heart had been towards. "You're still a evil sneak. But. . ." A deep breath was taken inwards as he thought more on her words. "Yea, yea, I Know you did it because you didn't want that for me. Assuming a lot from a monster but. . . Nice to know someone in this world things I actually have a heart." A partial joke on his end and then his gaze fell stern onto her. "But risking it with my time to make happy memories with -you- is equally foolish. Everything you just said? Falls under the same category. You may have thought you'd be happy but in destroying one thing you only gave something else a temporary satisfaction which would and could have caused even greater damage. " 

Marcus' own stare turned away from her for a moment to consider his next words once more and then started to lower his hands to wrap both of his arms wrapped around her waist. "Don't you realize you silly woman? Without you or Gabby. . . That's still as much of a hole in me as it would be with my Mother. To have the two people you've let in, after a LONG while do something so reckless? That's a sure good way to make me shut down for good and trust no one -ever- again. Selfless? Sure, long term damaging? Definitely." That was how much apart of him they had begun to become so quickly equally as much as her Grandmother had been in his life. 

"Then after my mother would pass, what then? Get what I mean? I appreciate it but never. .. Try to risk yourself, Gemmy. Because I don't think I could have taken that hit either."
 

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Melbourne ☆ Musician & Vocalist★ LilyCat
24 year old Halfbreed Veela ☆ She/Her

"Cool, good to know," Not that Gemini couldn't sense the fact that he was pissed. In fact, Marcus seemed to hold a whole lot of mixed feelings within himself right now, and she wondered how many more needed to be added for him to internally explode. Not that she wanted that to happen, but she had to wonder just how he kept so much volatile emotional internal battling in check and still managed to come out and talk without shaking her like a bad puppy or something.

"I'm not saying forget... I'm saying let go of the chain that holds you back from everything else," Gemini shook her head with a sigh. Men. Really. It was as though there was no getting through to them sometimes. Perhaps that's why Veela, and their children, were women. Still, she listened as the man continued to speak, her brows raising in curiosity as he then went on to call her an evil sneak (well, duh), and appreciate that someone believed he had a heart, and then scolded, scolded, her for apparently potentially sacrificing hers and Gabby's places in his life over this?

Wut?

Gemini simply blinked at the man as though he'd grown a second and maybe third head within the past minute as he went on about how important they were and how he wouldn't be able to handle the loss of them either. She decided to let him get all that nonsense out though. Because it was... utter nonsense.

"You done?" The woman asked, as she canted her head at the man, before then raising her brows, "Because that is perhaps the stupidest thing you've said to date. You really think that because you're pissed at me, that it means that's it? I'm just going to never be in any way or form involved in your life ever?" Gemini snorted aloud and rolled her eyes at him with a long heaved sigh, "You are such a boy." She bemoaned, "I said I'd be happy to take the hit of you being angry, I didn't say I was going to just walk the fuck out. Wow, drama llama?"The woman lifted a hand to pat his cheek and then grinned cheekily.

"Besides, it would only be a matter of time before I snuck back into your good graces, I mean really, how in the holy hell could anyone resist this?" Gemini pouted soft and sad as she fluttered her eyelashes at him, before then pulling her lip in to bite at it, her teeth running over the plump skin gently. She knew exactly what she was doing, and was purposely teasing, but he had to realise that a bloody fight didn't mean the end of the world.

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Melbourne ☆ Investigative Journalist✩ Kaitore
27 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ HE/HIM

"Chains are sometimes there to keep people safe, unless they're people like you who think chains mean 'Jump over the fence, it's more fun that way." It was an inquisitive smirk that slapped on his lips. But being a mixture of feelings was welled up within, containment . . . One didn't get out safely from a place by blowing their entire gasket only enough of it to use it as leverage, enough to be irritated. 

"Cocky. You do realize I would have been completely happy -not- talking to my mother if a bunch of people didn't nag at me, right? You think you actually had a chance?" He shook his head a bit. "Heck, I've ditched entire gangsters. You have an opponent whose good at staying in the shadows and avoiding people. No ties, can have his daily work handled by someone who sweeps by and picks it up just outside of the door." His point being, he kept low ties for just that reason alone. As she tapped his cheek a snort escaped from him. " I never said you'd walk out my life, maybe more tossed out depending on how bad it really had gotten. You're just lucky I like kids and the only person I am staying for is Gabby instead of fleeing the country." That was a thought he had always had regardless of the situation even plans set in place so that he could shove off as quickly as possible. 

If only it weren't for this. . . Insufferably beautiful and amazing woman and her little kid, too.

Eyes lowered towards the fluttered eyelashes and the shape of her lips curving around the teeth as she bit into them. A sigh escaped his lips as he shook his head and leaned into press his lips against hers. Teeth and all. If successful he'd start to loosen the grip of his arms from her waist slowly. "You underestimate my will power. Just remember. . ." If only she knew how long he could burn in his anger. He had years, many more than most not immortal but enough that eventually everything could just feel so fleeting in comparison. "Nice to know you admit you want to be involved in my life. " A cheeky smile formed on his face as he started to pull his arms fully away from her and pressed them into the pocket of his pants. "You're going to give me a hard time for a very long time, aren't you?"
 

 

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