Encounters VII - January 6th, 2016

*Jaylen Catseye*

"Anyways, why did you call me in? I assume it's something important."
"That depends on your definition of important," Jaylen replied with a shrug. "I want you to meet someone." He led the way to a small atrium where a woman was waiting. She had long blonde hair and white wings glimmering at her back, but her most distracting feature were her eyes.
"Eli, this Alena. She's a vila. Alena, this is my friend, Elias Hawkins," Jaylen introduced.
Alena smiled radiantly and curtsied. "A pleasure then."

*Carmilla Icari*

Polished nails clicked incessantly on the marble tabletop of a secluded booth. Fallow yellow hair draped limp and dead down her spine and a tall glass of ice water sweated on a saucer beside her twitching fingers.
The waitress came again for the fifth time, asking if her booth’s occupant was ready to order. She was met with a quiet ‘no, I’m waiting for someone.’
A tall, slender man immaculately dressed approached the table moments after the waitress left and sat in the opposing booth.
“You’re late.”
The man smirked darkly. “You were counting, weren’t you?”
Across from him the young woman smiled in an unnatural, predatory fashion largely enhanced by two pearlescent ivory fangs.
“I’m always counting, Ascelin.”
Ascelin eyed his cousin warily now. “Why did you call me here?”
“We have things to discuss.” She glanced out from the booth at the customers passing by and frowned in disgust.
“In public?” Ascelin inquired, and the woman’s attention snapped back to him.
She shrugged. “Well, had I ordered you to meet me in private you would’ve feared execution, wouldn’t you?”
Her cousin shifted uncomfortably. “What do you want, Carmilla?” he asked quietly, avoiding her gaze.
Carmilla tapped a pointed fingernail on the side of her glass, again gazing out at the restaurant's other patrons. There was a look of intense hunger lingering in her eyes. “You know what I want, Ascelin. You still support me, don’t you?”
“Look, I know William is dying but there are still years--”
Carmilla glanced at him. “Years to be spent preparing, Ascelin, so that when William finally dies I can take his place as head of the Icari clan.”
Ascelin still had not met her eye. “Cynfael will never stand for this,” he muttered.
Carmilla ceased her tapping of the glass, frowning. “Cynfael? What does Cynfael have to do with this?”
“William adopted him as a son,” her cousin murmured softly. There was a tremor of hesitation in his voice.
Carmilla restrained herself from flipping the table and nodded instead. “Another heir.”
Ascelin continued: “And according to Icari law, an adopted son is still a son, so Cynfael is also a candidate.”
His cousin regarded the half-melted ice in her water with forced calm. “How did Tereza react to the adoption?”
He sighed. “Unfavorably.”
“Good. If Tereza is unfavorable of Cynfael’s ascension we might be able to use it to our advantage…” Carmilla trailed off, once more tapping her fingernail rhythmically.
Ascelin shook his head. “We can’t rely on Tereza’s favor. She may not like Cynfael but I daresay she prefers him to you. She disowned you.”
Carmilla shot him a quick glare. “Watch where you tread, Ascelin. What made you think I was going to ask for her favor?”
“I just thought--”
Ascelin was silenced by another glare before his cousin returned her attention to the chinking noise of her nail on the glass. He sighed after a moment and she began watching the patrons once again.
“Cynfael has won practically the whole clan over. Very few would oppose him, let alone side with us,” he muttered dejectedly.
Carmilla nodded thoughtfully, still watching the customers with a shameless stare and earning several uncomfortable ones in return. “I hope our clan has not been idly worshipping Cynfael so much they have forgotten I was William’s original heir. Perhaps I should do something to jog their memories. I will have to think on it later, though--you’ve made me tardy for another meeting.” She stood, grabbing her cardigan. “I’d like to hunt with you tonight, perhaps continue our conversation.” The vampiress then swiftly exited the restaurant.
Ascelin turned as the waitress stopped once more at the table, pen in hand and pad at the ready. He smiled at her. “I’m sorry we didn’t actually order but I hope this will make up for it,” he said, sliding a fifty dollar bill onto the table and standing. “Have a nice day.” Then he too exited, leaving the waitress to stare at the door in mild confusion.

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