Ink, Part 2

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Immediately, Amelia regretted opening her mouth. The second the man at the bar turned to face her, she knew that this definitely wasn't Lamont.

"Er, whoops," Mia said with a bit of a cringe as he stood and, even worse, approached her. "Sorry, you, er... aren't Lamont. I guess I mistook you for someone else."


"Obviously," the man responded with a rather sarcastic, poisonous drawl. The moment he said it, the moment her skin began to crawl; the tattoos, the facial hair, the untamed demeanor... This isn't someone she wanted to  be messing with--too bad she realized it a moment too late.

"Sorry, I'm... I'm Amelia," she stuttered, trying to smooth it over with courtesies.

"Amelia? Amelia Kane?" The man asked, a sense of curious urgency in his gritty voice.


"The one and only," Amelia said with a bit of a squeal. Gwen was right--she was famous!

"I can't believe this. The Amelia Kane... The famous 'Vampire Slayer', here in the flesh."

"Vampire... Vampire what?"

"You know, like Buffy? The tabloids are always going crazy about how you've got some sort of magic abilities to tell vampires from normal humans, or some stupid thing like that. You've made quite a name for yourself with all your... exploits, jumping random folks in bars and what not," he drawled, his smile drawing darkly upwards. "Can't say I'm not an admirer. Takes guts to have that kind of, um, conviction."


"I'm... Not sure what to say," Amelia responded honestly. Great. So Rafael was right; Gwen really had saved her image. She was lucky it was only the tabloids that'd picked up something so ridiculous. 'Vampire slayer'... Vampire slaying, her butt.

"Well, say that I'm allowed to buy you a drink, princess. I ended up on my own tonight as well, may as well make the best of it with such a famous, vicious figure such as yourself, mm?"

Vicious... yeah. Amelia almost snorted with laughter. "You know what, sure. I'd love a drink."


This time, she kept a close eye on her compadre as he ordered up at the bar; he didn't get anything fancy, but, she honestly didn't care. With the night she'd had, anything to put in her stomach was better than going home with a knot in her gut.

But those knotting troubles weren't over.

"Sorry about tonight, Mia," Amelia heard a voice sassily tat at her from a woman walking past. Marina, she saw when she looked up. "No hard feelings, right? I guess you and Jon just weren't meant to be, you know?"


"You know what--" Amelia slammed her drink down on the bar, barely giving the liquid time to settle  before reaching out her hand, grabbing Marina's jacket, and shoving her against the bar. "You're a snob. A rotten, slimey, man-stealing snob, and you deserve the romancing, womanizing likes of Jon Marsh, y'hear?"

With a stiff shove, Amelia let go of Marina, letting her fall against the edge of the counter.


"Whoa, what the heck has gotten into you, Amelia?" Marina gasped, struggling to catch her breath out of shock. "I was trying to apologize, alright?"

"Apolgize? That was an apology?" Amelia roared.

"Well, the only apology you deserved, but I'm pretty sure you don't even deserve that much anymore."


That did it. Amelia was not going to put up with this from this woman. First she almost ruins her band, then she steals her date, and then ridicules her in front of her new acquaintance. Any other night, she'd have crawled underneath a booth and cried.

Something in the air, in this man's description of Amelia being 'vicious', in Marina's poisonous attitude, Amelia was fueled with  utter contempt... And there was nothing more on the planet she wanted then to beat the stuffing out of her.


"BAR BRAWL, Heck yeah!" came a voice from beside her; Amelia could only barely recognize it as the Red Haired Man's, but she was obviously not really paying attention...


... because those ladies weren't keeping things soft or quiet.


"Apologize!" Marina hissed as she got Amelia in a headlock. "Apologize for ripping my jacket!"

"I... owe... you... NOTHING!" Amelia spat as she tried to  break free, kicking wilding at the back of Marina's hip, and desperately trying to tug her head free.


Amelia had little to worry about, though, for the Tattoo'd, Red Haired Man wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty and scratched up from the middle of a catfight.

"Enough's enough!" he yelled as he split them apart, booting Marina to the floor. "Get out of here, ya wench! Run along to your precious, stolen date!"

Marina, thoroughly embaressed by both the state of her hair and her clothes, didn't even question the idea of fleeing the scene; she was gone before Amelia and Tattoo Guy had gotten the dust brushed off their shoulders.


"That was.. that was brilliant," Amelia gasped, still trying to catch her breath. "Thanks... Thanks a million."

"It was all you, princess," he drawled back at her. "But I figured you might need some help against the non-Vampire species, mm?"

"Oh, no," Mia giggled between her heaving breaths. "She is definitely a vampire."


It was at that moment that Amelia felt her breaths stop;  the sound of her heart in her head was violent and loud, but her breath... Her lungs couldn't move.

She was standing there, trapped, in the gaze of this man... This man whose name she didn't know, whose past she didn't care about, whose future she wanted desperately to be a part of.

Everything about him screamed 'Bad', but man... How could anything that felt this way be anything but good?


He broke the intensity of their gaze suddenly; without warning, he lept from her side and began sliding up on top of the bar's counter.

"What are you..." Amelia muttered, watching with bewildered amazement. Yeah, she'd done that before, but she'd also been incredibly drunk. As far as she could tell, this man was very, very sober.


"You know you're going to hurt yourself, right?" she chuckled, pointing up at him in disbelief.

"Hurt myself? Nah, don't be ridiculous. But if you don't get your fine toosh up here this second, it's gonna be hurtin' real bad by the time you get home tonight, princess."

"Really," Amelia responded with a sarcastic roll of her eyes.

"Babe, you don't want to chance it." The tone in his voice was pure, pure poison. No. Amelia didn't want to chance it.


She felt stupid, but she'd feel a heck of a lot more stupid if she was the only one up here. "C'mon, move a little," he ordered with a wry curl of his lips. "Stop acting like people aren't liking what they're seeing. You know they do."

He snapped his fingers, rolled his hips; Amelia could barely feel herself moving, so paranoid of her bootheel slipping and her fine tushie getting hurt by the floor...


"Dance, woman." It was definitely a command, but the more he said it, the more she wanted to do it. Dangit, this man must be hypnotizing her or something... But she'd never, ever felt better.

"You are... insane," Amelia laughed, shaking her head--and her hips.

"You know it, princess," he responded with a dark sparkle in his eye.


Amelia could feel herself dancing slower and slower, and finally, when the impulse to jump down to the ground was finally starting to return,  she felt his hands roughly grab her hips and tug her close to him.

"Let's get out of here," he murmured just far enough from her ear to make her squirm.

Hoooobaby, there was nothing she wanted more.


They didn't go back to his apartment. They didn't go back to hers. Amelia was, surprised, to find that he dragged her, excitedly, down the sidewalk, obscurely leading them to the main park at the center of the city.

Amelia could hear the water in the nearby fountain crashing, washing out all the sounds of honking traffic coalescing in the background.

"My name is Jerod, by the way," the man finally revealed. "Jerod Grant. I suppose it's only decent of me to say so, hmm?"

"There's nothing about you that's decent," Amelia said with a rash shake of her head; Jerod did nothing but smile.


 "Decency isn't always what it's cut out to be though, you know?" he began, his voice cold. "Everyone wants you to follow the rules, but really, they just want to keep people tame... To make things easy, and boring."

"Is that really so bad?"

"Of course it is. You're beautiful, Amelia, but you were ten times sexier when you gave in to your animal desires and beat the stuffing out of that Marina chick. Fire isn't meant to be tamed... And you... You shouldn't be, either."


"So you're an untamed fire, huh?" Amelia giggled. "Just because you went out and got a couple of tattoos doesn't mean a scrawny little thing like you is that scary to the rest of the world."

"You're right," Jerod shrugged. "In fact, my buds decided to call me 'Shrimp' 'cause of that, but they also know I'm not someone they want to mess with. No one I don't give permission to can call me that... Otherwise..." He made a sharp, painful noise with his mouth. Amelia didn't have to guess what that meant.


"So... the Shrimp, huh? And you got tattoos to  make yourself look more imposing."

"Not totally, actually," he shrugged, looking beyond her shoulder. "I'm an artist, actually, and nothing gives me more pleasure than having my art with me whereever I go... This way, there's no way anyone can take it from me. My art's a part of me. It breathes with me, walks with me, sweats with me... I am my art."

Amelia's eyes grew; of all the answers he could've given, that was the last she expected. "So?" he asked. "What about you? What about your tattoo?"


"Oh, this silly thing? It's nothing, compared to what I can see of yours..."

"Spill it, princess. Every piece's got a story, I want yours."

"Well... See, my band--The Yelling Birds--we all wanted to do something that connected us to each other... Bonded us in a way we couldn't erase, like sisterhood. At least, I thought it was a good idea at the time."

"So that Marina gal, the one with the same tat--"

"Yeah, she's a lost sister, I guess."


"What about getting it, mmm? Didn't the pain feel you connected to it? Like giving birth to something? Something that'd always be a part of you?" His voice was so intense that Amelia felt as if she herself were resonating with it--but the way he put her on the spot threw her off balance.

"I... yeah. It was no sweat," she said as she recalled the memory... And, blantantly lied. "I'd do it again. It was.. you know... awesome." Wince.


"Who knows," Jerod said with a soft, deep roll of his tongue. "Maybe you will, someday."

Yeah, Amelia thought to herself. Maybe I--What?! What are you thinking, Amelia! You don't want another... but... he's so... Man.

Her eyes dropped to his arm, to his fingers tracing down hers. She couldn't help but feel like right now, Jerod was being downright cruel--and she was loving every single second of it.


"Well, Amelia," Jerod said softly. "Sadly, this is where I'll have to leave you..." His words barely registered to her; it was those eyes, shifting their gaze between each of hers, that drew almost all of her attention. "But we'll meet again soon. Right?"

"Duh," Amelia said with a wheezy, very 12-year-old sarcastic pronouncement. She immediately regretted it; he was intense, seductive, romantic... She was reduced to Junior High School.

For once, though, she really didn't care.


He was long gone by the time Amelia finally decided to head home. She didn't want to; she wanted to watch him disappear, watch every last moment she existed in her sight, and then stand there, dreaming away the night on what he was doing now.

Finally, though, she she moved one foot forward, and she looked up to the stars.

Gwen was right: Bridgeport was very, very lucky indeed.


At least... for some.





It was a week later--seven whole, mercilessly long days--when the Yelling Birds could be found making an exceptional amount of noise in a small practice room not far from Waylon's Haunt.

Yes--a whole week since Amelia had first met Jerod Grant, and a whole week that her head had been trapped in the clouds.


"So Gwen," Katelyn said amongst her typically clumsy plucking, tossing a curious look towards Amelia as she tried to speak over their current rendition of Blue Moon Rising. "We've heard plenty about Amelia's dates... Whatever happened with the one you said you were going on, huh?"

Amelia raised a brow; trust Kate to be utterly blunt at the most inopportune times... But she couldn't help but be a little curious, herself.


"I don't want to talk about it," Gwen groaned as she whacked the drums a little too violently in the next measure.

"Aw c'mon," Kate continued to harass. "We're not going to stop asking til you tell us!"

"It didn't happen, okay?! Something came up at my apartment... Stupid freaking faucet flooded my stupid freaking place. I've been trying to get ahold of him to set up another date, but..."


"Guys, seriously, let it rest." Naomi's voice cut through their chords like a hot knife through butter. "Let's stop the bickering and start from the top. We've got a big shot this next weekend, let's not screw it up."

A few guilty looks were sent amongst the others, but they patiently waited for Naomi's count-off before starting all over again. They were all tired, but their tiredness was no match for Naomi's mood... She'd been exceptionally cranky lately, and everyone was trying to be mindful of stepping on her toes in any way.

In fact, she'd been cranky for precisely a week... a week everyone was ready to be over.


But, at least it wasn't much longer before the practice session was; even Naomi realized she couldn't work everyone to the bone, so when she realized that another play-through wasn't going to help, she called it quits and watched as Kate and Gwen made a beeline for the couch, and generously flopped down on it with a releaved sigh.

"I actually gotta get going, guys," Amelia said after she tucked away her guitar for the day. "Got another big date with Jerod tonight, I'm going out to get my hair done before... Good luck, Gwen--you're gonna need it."

"Wait--" Kate said, confused. "You're not coming with us to the tattoo parlor?! Bummer! I was really hoping all of us were gonna be there for Gwen!"

"I know, I know, I'm sorry... I'll try to make it up to you, I promise."


"Amelia." Naomi rolled her eyes, pursing her lips to try to contain what looked like a cataclysm raging inside her. "This isn't something you can just make up. Gwen's officially joining the Yelling Birds... This whole tattoo thing was your idea in the first place. You should be there."


"You're such a stick in the mud, Naomi," Amelia groaned. "Isn't what I want to do important, to? Besides, all of you guys will be there, all I'll do is faint like I did last time, and nobody wants that."

"Who says?"

"Well..."


Amelia turned to the two sitting on the couch. "Do you want me there, fainting all over the tattoo artist while she's got a needle in Gwen's arm?"

"I'd... have to say no," Gwen said with a shudder.

Kate, on the other hand, just shrugged. "I always think it's cute when you faint, but if you're that excited about this thing with Jerod, you shouldn't be forced to come with us."


"You know what--just... fine. Just go. Go doll yourself up and look like a Barbie for your new little boy toy, mmkay? You're right. We don't want you there." Naomi turned her nose up, disgusted. 


Amelia, however, was not happy with this reaction. "What is your problem, Naomi? Are you seriously that jealous that I can actually find myself a date and you can't that you want to be a total nag about how I want to spend my time?"


"I--I... You're right."

"I'm right?"

"Yeah. Yeah, okay?" Naomi raised her hands in defeat. "I'm jealous. Okay? You're always the lucky one. I'm a bit cranky about it. I'm sorry. But I still think you should put your friends and your band ahead of this guy. I doubt it really matters to him whether you spent 200 simolies for someone to put curlers in your hair or not."


"You just. Don't. Get it." Amelia stamped her foot, clenching her fists to try and contain her anger. "I'm really sorry you don't. I'll see you guys later."

Naomi had no chance to try and apologize again; Amelia left the building in a huff, disappearing beyond the door with a loud 'smash' that the girls could've sworn put a crack in the glass.


Naomi was utterly appalled. Both Katelyn and Gwen looked totally shocked, unsure of how to react to what just happened between the two roomates.

"I'm... gonna go start the car," Kate said, edging backwards towards the door, making herself a quick escape. "You gals come and meet me when you're ready to go, mmkay?"

"Yeah yeah, just go already," Naomi said behind the cover of her hand.

"We'll be right behind you," Gwen added, trying to smile.


"So... I know this is none of my business, but--"

"Is she gone?"

"Kate? Yeah, she's gone. But, um, yeah--Naomi..." Gwen locked her gaze, unwavering, on Naomi's cowered face. "What the heck was that all about?! Seriously, for Plumbbob's sakes, what is going on between you and Amelia? You guys have been at it for like a week, it's driving Kate and I bonkers."


"It's... complicated," was all Naomi could manage.

"Yeah, well, life's kinda complicated," Gwen said with a roll of her eyes. "That's not a straight answer. I'm about to make a commitment to you guys, and I wanna know I'm not just gonna get a brand on my arm one second and then have you two break up the band the next. I can see something's wrong, I just want to know how serious it is."


"It's... It's not that serious. It really isn't," Naomi sighed. "It's not her fault at all, actually. It's mine. I just need to get over myself is all."

"Naomi." Gwen raised her brows--clearly, something was wrong, if the strongest member of their group was berating themselves over it. "Naomi, what's wrong? Just tell me already. I seriously need to know."


"Look, Gwen..." Naomi stiffly blinked her eyes, tugging back any emotion that was threatening to expose itself. "This isn't something I just tell anyone, alright? It's important that no one know... Especially not Amelia."

"I understand that."

"So... Can you keep a secret?"


"Naomi, I'm a Mayweather. If you can't trust a Mayweather, then you can't trust anyone."

"Well, then..." Naomi gasped, breathing out a deep sigh as she closed her eyelids over. "As long as I have your word..."




If you had to describe The Grind in one word, it would definitely be loud. Loud music, loud people, loud lighting, loud attitude... It's a good thing, because you didn't come here to talk.


You came here to dance.




"Say yes," he whispered in her ear. "You know you want to..."

"Do I?" she asked, one eyebrow raised.


He spun her fast, hard; "Yes. You do."


"Say it... Say yes."


She looked in his eyes... those deep, impenatrable eyes. It had been a week... a long, blissful week. Perfect week. She didn't want it to end... Not now. She wasn't sure she ever did.

"I don't think I could ever say no," she said with a slow, knowing shake of her head.


To that, there was only one response.


"Have you ever felt happier?" he asked in that deep, rough voice that cut down to Amelia's core.

She smiled; he knew, she didn't have to answer... But she also knew he asked only because he wanted to hear it.

Naughty boy.


When dawn finally rolled around, they departed the club seperately, but for the last time? Hardly. For them, things had only just begun.

"I can't believe it," Amelia said to herself aloud as she pressed the gas harder on her scooter, honked the horn, and looked over her shoulder at the car behind her--the car she knew contained her brand, spanking new Boyfriend.

"This couldn'tbe more perfect!" she felt herself yelling, laughing, with elation.


Within his car, a very thin, wayward smile began to crawl up Jerod Grant's lips. His eyes thinned, and his brows furrowed deeply down on his forehead, contemplating how elegantly everything had just unfolded.

"Things could be more perfect," he said himself, with a laugh.

... a poison laugh.

11 comments:

PiB February 22, 2011 at 3:46 AM  

Ohhh, two posts in a day!

And what a post it is. Finally Jerod (Shrimp) Grant enters the story. And enters it with an amazing performance.

Amelia Kane - vampire slayer. LOL Tabloids are very funny.

Marina is not the most popular gal around. I'm sure that Jerod very much enjoyed the show the girls put on for him.

Mia, honey, he is a bad man. You can trust me on this, he's mine. :) Party loving bad to the bone. Love the reason he's covered in ink.

Poor Naomi, life isn't so hot for her. Seriously cranky indeed.

Ah Mia, boyfriend? This does not bode well for you.

Kaleeko February 22, 2011 at 3:51 AM  

Jerod Grant, entering the scene and breaking hearts every which way. ^^

Amelia Kane, Vampire Slayer... Got a nice ring to it, eh? ^^ I've been dying to put that one out there for a while.

I hate Marina. It's weird, because I actually find her a very visually striking Sim... But when I found out Brad married her in one of your games... *shakes head*

Well, Mia doesn't know he's bad yet, obviously. ;) Well she knows he's bad... She doesn't know he's BBAAADD.

I was tempted to not drop any hints to his evilness at all in this post, but it just *fit*. That last screenshot I took was just dying to have an evil laugh attached to it. I just hope it's not too obvious what he's up to... If it's obvious at all.

Kaleeko February 22, 2011 at 3:53 AM  

Also: I feel so so bad for Naomi, but it's kind of her fault that she's in the position she's in. Still... Why she's in that position in the first place will become clear later on.

Woo!

PiB February 22, 2011 at 4:02 AM  

Enter stage left; Jerod Grant - chewing the scenery and breaking hearts and tailbones along the way.

I haven't tried to deal with Marina personally. But I did notice that her marriage to Brad was less than the best news you'd had.

He's bad. very bad. Mia is playing with a flamethrower. Who has an extinguisher nearby? :)

As to what he's up to...no, no idea. That he is rushing her around and making her completely thoughtless is obvious though.

Poor Naomi, she has got herself into a bit of a trap.

M.J. February 24, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

A very well done post, Kaleeko!

The pictures are beautiful.
Hmm... I sense something wrong here, especially about Jerod.

Jennifer February 24, 2011 at 8:36 PM  

A poison laugh, what!? Oh no! Jerod does seem a little too good to be true. What has Amelia got herself into?

I wonder what's up with Naomi too. Is she just bitchin' cause her bff gets all the attention, I think it might be a little deeper than that.

Loving your shots Kaleeko and please don't keep us waiting too long! :D ...I really want to know what this Jerod is up too.

Kaleeko February 25, 2011 at 7:49 PM  

Yes, something's definitely a little fishy about Jerod--but what? *eyebrow waggle*

Naomi's reasons for having a stick up her butt are complicated--just like everything else about that girl--but it'll mostly be revealed next episode. Must... write... *rubs creative part of brain*

I feel plenty motivated to write, but also plenty distracted. Stupid guild needing me to play stupid MMOs! Gah.

Dee February 26, 2011 at 10:05 AM  

Jerod, Jerod, Jerod. Just what are you up to? I can't help but wonder if he has a grudge against Jeb and is going to use Mia in some way to pay Jeb back for.....something.
Hmmm. Maybe he is a vampire in disguise. Nahhh.
Whatever he is up to; I feel sure it's not good.

Kat,  October 10, 2011 at 12:23 PM  

I just started reading - first of all I LOVE YOUR LEGACY. I'm sorry to say that I read the summaries for first four seasons... but now that I have just finished this chapter. I can't believe Jerod! He was so perfect - I totally did not see it coming.

Kaleeko,  October 10, 2011 at 4:27 PM  

Awwww!! Thank you!!! ♥ :D It's not *quite* a legacy--it moves a lotlotlot slower, haha.

And don't worry--that's what the synopses are there for! I don't have any for 5+ on though because I think it's worth reading through them. ;D

I hope you keep enjoying it as you keep reading--and thank you so much for stopping by!! *tacklesmooch*

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