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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Améa had to stay near blood family. This didn't sit well with her desire for isolation and quiet, the Blairs were social and noisy people by nature, and her mother's family... well, "dramatic" didn't quite cover it. Caleb's ongoing feud with David was getting worse, and Adele liked to have arguments out loud. With everyone. She still felt personally responsible for what had happened to Lorelei, didn't want to talk about it. At all. Now with her smaller size she couldn't even escape into her chores with the animals. There were some she could attend to, but not enough to keep her busy for the full day.

She'd made the mistake of wandering too far, felt the tight strain on her body that Flora had warned her about. It intensified sharply the further she got from her nearest blood relative, and as the energy she was holding grew, the closer she needed to be. Mary was inside, and so Améa had taken herself out to the front yard to sit with a three-legged cat who was new to the rescue. It was timid, but had taken a liking to her.

The necklace that stopped her magic from seeping out had not stopped digging into her skin, and she hadn't got used to it either. Distractions were the only way to go, so sitting in the late autumn sun hand-feeding a scared cat was a good start. The weather had cooled enough that her customary long sleeves were appropriate, all dark in her true Wednesday Addams style. Much as Améa had given up things for Zane, there were some parts of her that never changed.

 

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

Adjusting to life within the rambunctious household was strange, and frankly at times quite difficult. Vladimir often enjoyed silence, and even when he had been a child and growing up, he knew he could have the solace of his room or the treehouse to get away from the chaos the twins would cause. Seeing the animals however was always lovely, and Vladimir assisted Mrs. Blair with the chores, not because he had to, but because he very much wanted to.

She insisted he call her Mary, but he could not bring himself to do as such. She also seemed to insist feeding him until he was fit to burst. His dhampiric metabolism had found it odd to adjust to this new diet.

Without a source of blood, there was only so much he could do.

Everyone was welcoming though, which was lovely, though Vladimir’s face never truly expressed his feelings over it all. The man had taken a moment to restring his cello, but inside was noisy, and Vladimir needed a slightly quieter ambience.

Vladimir exited and spotted Améa sitting with one of the cats; it was still strange to see her in the guise of a child when he knew all too well she was not much younger than he was. His red eyes locked upon the necklace, and the reason why he was there. He was stronger than his brother, more in tune with the vampiric blood within him, and thus more suited for the task of defending the home and the charges within with his very life if he had to.

The autumn air was welcome, feeling the breeze gently through the fabric of his dress shirt. Black, matching his hair and his cello, Vladimir conjured a chair to sit upon, preparing to set up the instrument, though his eyes fell upon Améa from time to time with the cat.

“The scent of fear is dissipating. The cat is content,” Vladimir told her quietly as he finished preparing the cello, bow soon in hand.

He blinked, face impassive as he realized this meant he had an audience for his practice; it was of little consequence, and he knew Améa valued silence as much as he did. Still… Would like for me to play anything in particular?

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Améa's head turned at the sound of the door, a gentle nod to acknowledge Vladimir's presence and indicate that he was welcome in joining her. With all the energy brimming inside her, Améa looked impossibly alive. Her skin glowed, her eyes a sharp and piercing blue. It was a flawless beauty that crossed the boundary of simple attractiveness into unnatural and weird. It radiated in the air around her, a porcelain doll set to explode. The faintest smile graced her lips when Vladimir remarked on the cat, she was proud of her efforts. Améa had a knack with animals that she did not have with people, and it was never more evident than in her ability to calm the fear from the most frightened creatures.

Small hands caressed the soft coat of the cat, marvelling at how friendly he had become. Vladimir had made himself comfortable with his seat and cello, and Améa was perfectly happy with that. In years past, she had heard him play. Once upon a time they had both haunted the rooftops of Tallygarunga, brooding out of sight of the other, connected only by the soft low tones of Vladimir's music. She never told him that she listened, or what it had meant to have that sound there. How it had kept her company and eased some of her toughest heartaches as Adele's life imploded and exploded in endless cycles.

At his question, she turned back to watch him again, the cat crawling across her lap and trying to find more food. A melody jumped to mind, a melody that played forever in the back of her mind. She kept it silenced, unable to bear the searing pain that came with it, now it roared symphonic in her mind.

"The song I should wish is not one that is known," she said. It was a melody of home, a lullaby first crooned to her cradle and later played in duet. Améa would be pressed to remember the name or origin of it, but she knew each note intimately. Améa looked back down at the cat, biting her bottom lip.

"Play what it is your favourite," Améa's final answer was light, or tried to be. The song in her mind would not cease, she needed to drown it out.

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

As Vladimir focused upon Améa and her words, the man could hear sounds entering his head. Music. Notes. Pleasant, if not seemingly augmented in volume. He was not the source of it, and thus logic could only dictate the source to be Améa. This seemed to be confirmed when she expressed to him that the song she wished was not known.

As to why it would not be known, Vladimir could not entirely fathom, though he suspected it might have something to do with her family and her magical line. ”I see,” Vladimir replied verbally, opting for using his vocal cords considering Améa had now done the same. He could hear it though within his mind.

Vladimir began to memorize the sounds as they entered.

In the meantime, he observed the woman turned child sitting there with the cat; it was perhaps a welcome though internal relief to see her eyes turned back to the shade of blue that Vladimir recalled from their days at Tallygarunga. His own red eyes blinked slightly as he continued to process the notes within his head. He locked them away for the time being, as he prepared to play the cello for his audience.

”As you wish,” he told her softly, lifting bow to strings and beginning to play a melody that had been with him since his earliest days; a song mastered by the age of ten and had been the melody of choice upon the rooftops of the school. His face expressed the emotions that would not come forth otherwise these days, a departure from the normal stoicism.

Vladimir’s face continued to dance with emotion until the final note sounded, and he allowed his bow arm to rest; his facial features changed as well, and returned to stone. 

”Music is a language that need not be translated. It is universal, crossing multitudes of boundaries,” he mused softly to Améa, his mind training to hear more of the notes of the song she had been thinking of previously. 

”Shall I play another?”

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

She knew the song. It echoed the soundtrack of her deepest sorrows, a first love crashed and burned. A sister loved and lost. A mother she needed and pushed away. Cold nights behind the defunct chimneys of Tallygarunga, staring up at the stars and pleading for a way to make sense of her life. All that had ever come was the music, and while it could not carry away her burdens, it had kept her company through them. Améa wondered if he knew, if he had been aware of her listening. Had he chosen the song so specifically? She kept her face pointed away, down at the cat that crawled around her lap, in case he should be able to read her feelings from her expression.

The song of her home played still in her mind, winding through Vladimir's performance as a counter-melody. The two seemed to fit perfectly, and when his instrument fell silent she felt her own song stronger than ever. She heard it in her mind as her father played it, as they had played it together. She could see him on the balcony waiting for her, her stool and violin ready. 

"If it is your will to keep playing, I would not protest," she said, picking the cat up to hold it close. How far life had come from those happy, truly happy moments. But that had been her choice, hadn't it? She had done this to herself. She did not deserve music, let alone the love of the man who taught her. Every sorrow was deserved and she had more debt yet to pay. This was to be her mission, she realised. To atone for the wrong she had caused, and she would never be truly done.

How could she be? There was no price she could pay, even as long a she might live, that would satisfy what she had taken away from the world. She buried her face in the soft fur of the cat, letting it soak up the tears that were beginning to form. Music was indeed universal. It spoke to Améa in ways that words would always fail. It brought back feelings she longed to numb. It made her realise how beautiful art and music and life could be.

And how she deserved none of it.

  • Broken Feels 1

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

So she would not protest him playing more, but Vladimir wondered if he truly ought to. The song that came from Améa's mind kept permeating through his own brain, and every new note and sequence etched itself within his mind. His eyes turned up from his bow hand and the cello strings to look at Améa, watching as she began to hold the feline close. Vladimir could not smell fear from the animal, so there was no fear there for anything.

But...

Were those tears?

Vladimir could smell the saltine drops with his enhanced senses, and the man paused in thinking of music. His face did not change in its expression, but he could feel his heart crack a little bit within his rib cage. The music he had played had affected her, or perhaps it was in combination with his words and the music he could hear running through her mind. Was there a story behind it? Vladimir did not want to pry, but without answers, he did not know how to help. What a terrible guard and companion he was, then, if he could not help the person he was charged with watching over.

He did not even know that Bach had been the soundtrack to Améa's life whilst they had attended Tallygarunga together. Even as he had played upon the rooftops, he could sense someone nearby, but with so many conflicting scents, and his own sorrows and problems, looking into had never happened.

If he only knew...

With Améa in her current state, Vladimir set his cello down gently within its case, putting the bow away before the strings could be damaged in any way. The smell of tears was still there, and a sense of sadness that pervaded the air, to which Vladimir certainly wanted to fix. Perhaps... Yes. Perhaps that would help. The cat could not stand to be within her hold forever, even if it had grown to find her comfortable. Vladimir had a solution to this. So without much thought, he closed his eyes and let himself shift, bones reforming and fur spouting, his ears changing place and shape until he found himself on his four panther paws. The cat squirmed, and Vladimir approached carefully, the panther's red eyes fixated on the feline, until he was close enough to gently touch his panther head upon her shoulder.

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Sure enough, the kitten was not one to be confined and squirmed out of her grasp with great impatience. Améa struggled to keep it there, even as her ears picked the sound of shifting and changing, but the kitten would have none of it. It struggled free, leaping away for the freedom to roll about the grass and tear apart a small weed flower. It was only the kitten's nature, and yet that innocent rejection stung. Her face exposed without the kitten as a shield, her arms felt empty and she was plunged into a deep sea of loss. Free falling into a vast pit, there didn't seem any end to this. 

All her life she'd sought for something stable to hold onto. Something she could guarantee. First her father, then.... she'd made the mistake of hoping Adele could provide that same security. When she didn't, Zane had been there. Now... now there were others who promised her they could and would, but who could she really trust? And even if they were genuine, it seemed only certain that whatever she found would be taken away as punishment. She just kept... falling. Drifting. Aching for connection and too afraid to believe it would last. How many times did Jezebel and Stuart and the others have to prove themselves to her?

It wasn't them. It was never them. They had nothing to prove, she was just... not worthy. It wasn't enough, either, for them to think she was worthy--mistaken as they may be. Fate knew the truth and fate would tear them away from her no matter what they believed. The loneliness was crushing.

The gentle nudge to her shoulder made her turn, and freeze. Caught out, she knew the panther was Vladimir, the eyes could not lie. Her breath caught in her throat as though it were a solid block, instinct screamed at her to push him away. Keep him back. Deny that she hurt. Make him leave. Call him a liar for using a form that was not the one she knew. Turn anger upon him until he left and never again tried to soothe her. Caught in that red gaze, she was paralysed between fight and flight. Run away, never speak of this again. He has seen your pain. A long, heart-twisting moment passed.

Until her breath came back in deep gulps, arms flying suddenly around the neck of the muscular beast, squeezing tight until her face was buried safely among the glossy black coat. In gasps she sobbed, curling her knees up and taking solace from the sound of the panther's blood beneath his skin. Warm, solid. She clung to him as if he were all that was real.

And perhaps he was.

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

The pain that emanated from Améa was palpable, even in his panther form, the expression on her face one that was so very familiar to him. He had seen that same expression, of hurt and fear and despair, reflected back to him whenever he would look into a mirror. And though Vladimir did not know the entirety of the pain Améa was experience, he knew how it felt.. He allowed his red eyes to hold hers, patient, waiting.

There was turmoil in her eyes, that much he could see, but Vladimir would press no further than the emotions he could sense and feel pulsing from his mind.

The next thing the dhampir turned panther knew, Améa had wrapped her arms around his neck. If a panther’s expression could have turned into something akin to absolute sorrow, his expression did just that as he felt her bury her face into his fur. Her sobs wracked the air, and his overtly sensitive hearing found it almost painful.

And yet he knew all too well how that felt. He supposed the only difference between the two of them right now was that he had not had the opportunity to release his sorrows so viscerally.

Vladimir remained silent, letting Améa cling to him for as long as she wished it, a low purr ever emitting from his throat. Where he failed before, he would not fail again, and he could redeem himself. Even though his family had forever told him that what had happened with his first love had not been his fault, he blamed himself. That she had been a coward, to flee and leave him with no word, and no closure. Or perhaps he had been the problem all along.

Here, at least, he could comfort someone else’s pain.

And so he did not move, keeping his body still, allowing Améa all the time in the world that she needed. He wasn't about to go anywhere.

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Narragyambie Guest
25* year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Her heart howled with the pain. Améa had been taught from a very young age not to seek comfort, but to push back the flood of emotion. Act on reason, on what was logical, on what was true. Anger had been her weakness, she struggled to push that back, but pain like this was different. The urge to seek help was so easily smothered, tears locked away until a more appropriate time could be found to let them loose. And what would she do with them anyway?

She couldn't cry to her mother. She didn't know her father well enough. Or even Jezebel. For all that she was loyal to them, her blood, there was not one among them that she felt she could seek out for comfort. Sadness was a private thing, and Zane had never liked to see her cry either. It was only for the quiet moments of alone time, when she couldn't hold it back anymore. 

Loose fur stuck to the tears on her cheeks, itching at her skin... but she didn't care. The wind had a chilly bite, the ground was rough, but none of that mattered because she didn't want to move. If she left this moment, it may be gone forever. The comforting buzz of the big cat's purr, the gentle rise and fall of his body as he breathed alongside her. No words came to her lips, but they didn't have to. 

The pain painted a picture, a slideshow of snapshots from her life. Herself, her father, the violin duets, the balcony, the betrayal, the knife, the blood. The violin as it was now, discarded and dusty. A broken heart with spiderwebs woven between the strings, and an emptiness that echoed where the music used to be.

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Melbourne ☆ Master Cellist/Conductor of the MSOSanctusX
28 year old Halfbreed Dhampir ☆ He/Him

The agony she was exhibiting was almost unbearable for the man to listen to. And yet still, his breathing did not change, the purr continuous as he remained still, letting Améa draw whatever she wished from him. The display of emotion was truthfully strange for Vladimir to see from Améa, considering he had only ever seen her as a pillar, made of stone, granite, or at least masquerading as such. Vladimir knew that all humans were capable of feeling.

How much one wanted to express to others was another thing entirely.

It was at that moment that images began to flood into his mind, and Vladimir focused his entire being on those images and the story behind them. A younger Améa, unlike he'd seen her before. A man, whom he did not recognize. The violins playing together almost brought a smile to his face, though he held the panther's tongue, as the sound was pain, not happiness. It began to make more sense, as it culminated together in an image of blood and knife, of violin discarded. Would that Vladimir could siphon away Améa's pain into himself to spare her the grief, but such was a folly. There was no magic on earth that could do that, at least that the dhampir knew of.

There was no music, no happiness - nothing but eternal sadness and a hollowness that Vladimir felt resonating within his own beastly chest at that moment.

A symphony he knew well enough as his mind broke down ever so slightly, a companion duet of images flowing from his mind. The hollow sensation of waking up alone and abandoned. The note that indicated she was gone. Cello and violin, double bass and music stand, forlorn and forgotten. Sitting alone in his silence, with only his thoughts to go through his head.

Failure. Failure. Gone - no one can love an immortal. Gone - you are nothing but a problem. Monster. Vampire. Disaster. Cretin.

The panther's eyes shut and his breathing paused for a moment as he reined his emotions back in. Idiot, this was not the time. His breathing returned to normal, his purr gentle and continuous once more. A slight shift in his body posture allowed Améa to hold more tightly to him if she needed to. He could aid someone else where he could not have aided himself. He had promised not to fail as her guard - perhaps now, more a confidant, but that was besides the point - and Vladimir could not afford to fail again. 

At least he could convey that he knew what pain and forlornness felt like. 

I can remain like this for as long as you wish me to. If it took all day and all night to release the anguish that resided in her heart, then so be it - Vladimir would remain stalwart.

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