The Request

Studio 10 - Upstairs Apartment

The second floor apartment is open, airy and divided into two distinct areas by a floor to ceiling shelving unit. To one side of the shelves is a kitchen and dining area, on the other is a living room with doors which open onto a roof top patio with a hot-tub. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances, and is separated from the dining room by a high bar with three tall stools. The floor is dark red Spanish tile, and the walls are a complimentary egg-shell white. A window behind the sink has pots of herbs for a touch of green. The dining room is done in warm earth tones, with a carpet to match the tile. Abstract paintings decorate one wall. The table, chairs and china cabinet are black lacquer work giving the room an Oriental feel.

The shelf divider holds books, knickknacks and family photographs. The living room is the reverse of the dining room, with off-white carpet and warm, red walls. A black leather sofa, love-seat and recliner are arranged in front of a lacquered black entertainment center holding a flat-screen television, DvD player, stereo and a vast collection of CDs. A matching coffee table provides a place to set drinks, while hanging plants soften the room with touches of green. Impressionist paintings decorate the walls, while floor to ceiling windows and a sliding glass doors allow for natural lighting. Attractive lighting fixtures provide light at night. Outside, the roof is a jungle of plants around a 10-person spa. Attractive chairs are arranged around a glass-topped patio table.

The car ride home is quiet. Desiree seems lost in her own thoughts, merely nodding, or perhaps saying a word or two but little more. She'll wait until they're at her place, apparently. Still dressed in that exquisite, white gown, she ascends the steps to her apartment, opening the door and shooing back her two cats. Both of them know better than to rub on her, not when she's wearing white. They're smart like that. She leaves Michael to close the door while she crosses the room. A light rain has started outside, but it doesn't stop Desiree from opening the sliding glass door and stepping out into it. Obviously, she's still high on the absinthe, and who knows how much champagne and wine at the meeting?

Leaving that door open, she steps out into the rain, lifting her arms as the drops touch her skin. There's a good breeze with the rain, and she stands near the balcony railing like some ancient priestess invoking the gods. Black hair falls down her back as she removes hair clips, and it's not long before she's drenched through and through. Wearing wet white silk leaves very little for the imagination, but she does look magnificent.

Michael was likely quiet himself, his own mind working over how to bring up the topic he's intending to discuss, as they enter the apartment he gets the usual mixed response from the cats, they're aware that in the past he's fed them, but they're also aware that he's something odd and cause for more than a little caution. Yet ultimately Michael pays them little mind his attention on Desiree, he seems surprised that she'd step out into the rain like she did, although he follows after a moment, intending to wrap his arms around her as he moves up behind her. "Desiree, come inside, you'll make yourself ill."

There's more than rain coming. They can now hear the rumble of thunder following a streak of lightning that splits the night sky. It's going to be a storm; even as Michael follows, the wind picks up and the rain gets harder. It's not obvious that Desiree hears him. She doesn't move, just stands there with her face uplifted to the rain, completely drenched, now. She's chased the Green Fairy, and perhaps found her in the tumultuous storm. Or, perhaps she just needs to feel the freedom of the storm and the wind. Who knows which. At any rate, she doesn't make a move, Finally, "Can't you feel it, Michael?" she asks. "Can't you feel the power, the magnificence? No wonder the Ancients worshipped the storm gods." She steps closer to the balcony. "Villina could fly, did you know? It was one of her powers. All she had to do was step forward and extend her arms…." Which she does. It's not dangerously close to the edge, but close enough she could trip and fall.

His arms wrapped around her Michael's little worry of Desiree falling, but he's also little interest in letting her stay outside in this weather. He intends to carry her in if he has to, but he'll try guiding her first. "Desiree, you're not Villina; if you were a supervillain which you're not. You'd have much better taste than to pick an enemy called Captain Sunshine." He looks at her. "I see there's little point in trying to hold the conversation I'd planned with you." He smiles a little, there is after all generally a degree of honesty that comes with the Fairy, if one's willing to listen for it. "We may as well talk of other things."

She has the presence of mind not to fight him, but sighs softly as her arms drop to rest atop his. "But isn't it marvelous to fantasize?" she asks, leaning back against him a moment before allowing herself to be taken back inside. Even so, she resists when they're standing just beyond the open doors, not wanting them closed. Of course, this means wind and rain can enter the apartment, which is probably not good for things like electronics. The drapes, too, whip about in the wind, getting wet. Finally, reluctantly, Desiree pulls free and closes the doors, leaving the storm outside. Turning to face Michael, she shakes her head. "No, I'm not so taken by the Fairy I can't discuss something important—-which you make this seem. Please. Let's get dry, then we can talk."

Michael nods as he places Desiree down. "Sometimes it's fantasy is a wonderful thing." He then grins a little wider. "I'm glad you've got that much presence of mind, unfortunately there's not much I can do to dry myself. I haven't any clothes here anymore." He'd taken them when Desiree left for New York. "But you should dry off. I'm fairly certain I won't catch my death of cold." He smiles faintly. "I'm afraid what I'm about to tell you won't be easy, probably for either of us." He sounds almost reluctant now that the time's come to actually have the discussion.

Desiree doesn't say anything for long minutes, then simply turns toward the bedroom. Michael is free to follow. It's a few minutes before she speaks from the doorway. "Not everything. You forgot the sweats I put in my drawer. They're still here." And then she disappears into the bedroom, leaving a trail of damp footprints on the carpet and floor.

Studio 10 - Upstairs Bedroom

Cool, dark colors set a relaxing mood for the bedroom. The walls are pale lavender, while the carpeted floor is a complimentary shade of darker violet. The furniture is antique. The king-sized bed has a beautifully carved head and foot-board, and four posts holding up a canopy. There are dark blue silk curtains tied to the posts by white silk ropes, which, when loosened, form a quiet, private world all by itself. Opposite the bed is a matching, mirrored vanity flanked by two tall chests of drawers. To either side of the chests are doors, one leading into a walk-in closet the other into a handsomely appointed bathroom complete with huge claw-footed bathtub and a separate shower stall. Chairs and a fainting couch are upholstered in blue velvet the same pale shade as the bed curtains.

French doors open onto a roof top garden. Other windows flank the bed, all having heavy velvet drapes matching the carpet. An old fashioned French-style phone sits on one bedside table, while on the other are various items—-a clock, a book and a pair of reading glasses. Make up, perfume and a wooden jewelry box sit atop the vanity, while on one chest of drawers is a stereo. Three CD racks sit on top of the second chest, holding every kind of music you can imagine, from hard rock to Celtic harp. White area rugs lie in front of the chairs, couch and on each side of the bed. Paintings of black cats and irises decorate the walls. Two black Scottish Fold cats are usually found making themselves at home on the bed. The room has been made safe for a vampire to sleep in during the daylight hours.

Michael nods following Desiree almost without thinking that now it may be considered an intrusion. He smiles faintly. "Ah, I'm glad to hear it." He watches Desiree closely, the wet silk's approved of to say the least, but finally he speaks, deciding that now is as good a time as ever. "I have no plans for what I will be doing, other than going to church as soon as I wake, but I would like your company on the twenty-fifth, it will mark the one thousand four hundred and fifty…. third anniversry of the deaths of my family." His voice is flat as he speaks those words, his expression still taking in Desiree. "I have never told anyone that, not even my maker knows the importance of the date." He steps towards Desiree, his hand coming up to stroke the wet hair from her face. The next part's the part of course that he's still somewhat unsure of, and this too becomes obvious in his features, possibly for the first time since knowing Desiree, he doesn't seem certain of himself. "I've never allowed myself to think of it before, but now that I do. I find myself…. tired." He looks at Desiree, his strength finally seeming to leave him he smiles a little. "But we can wait until you're dry to address the rest." With that he leans in for a kiss, his confidence seeming to return now that he's move somewhat away from the topic he'd intended to discuss.

If she could have imagined anything in the world Michael wanted to say, this was the last thing expected. She releases the catch on the neck of her evening gown, allowing the wet silk to slide down her body. Beneath, she wears silky white under things, but her body is quickly covered by a large, fluffy purple towel. Turning to Michael, Desiree shakes her head slowly. "I don't know if I understand," she tells him as she deftly removes those wet under clothes, somehow managing to stay wrapped in terry cloth. She sits down on the bed, removing both stockings and shoes. Then she's ducking into the bathroom only to emerge in her black kimono. She retrieves the sweats in a delicate shade of light blue, and hands them to Michael, along with an extra towel. "We can wash some things, but the suit will have to be cleaned and pressed," she tells him, nodding he should proceed. She's busy drying he hair, turning her back to give him privacy. "I know you've said you're tired before, but why do I get this … uneasy feeling in my stomach I'm not going to like this … discussion?"

Michael nods as he changes into the sweats. "No, I suppose you wouldn't know what I mean." As soon as he's changed he heads over to join Desiree on the bed. "I… Few people truly understand it, even most vampires are too young to see." He sighs. "The world turns Des, it changes and it adapts and humans have only as brief time that they hardly notice." He smiles. "That's why I seem so impatient, because I know how little time you have." He reaches out to take Desirees' hand. "But over centuries, over a millenium it becomes harder to constantly be changing, you grow tired.." He looks at Des, his eyes meeting hers if possible. "Have you ever heard of meeting the sun? It's a very rare event that some old vampires consider.

Desiree doesn't look at him at first, concentrating on drying her hair and combing it out. Finally, when she's finished, she turns to him, letting him take her hand. Her face pales at the mention of "meeting the sun." She knows the phrase, and it terrifies her to hear it coming from someone she's that close to. "No," she whispers. "No, Michael, you can't." She's tense under his touch, her body stiffened as her face goes from neutrality to icy horror in a few seconds. "I've heard other vampire friends talk about it, how some elders have ended their existence that way." She shakes her head almost violently. "Please, no. Don't even think that way, Michael. It's … no. Just, no." She takes back her hand, pulling it from his, to bury her face in her palms. Her voice is muffled through her fingers. "I don't want to know this, Michael. Not after…" She gulps back what might be tears. "…everything we've been to one another. If it'll stop you from doing this, I'll…" Steeling herself. "…I'll let you put a claim on me and stay with you for as long as I live, young, old, it doesn't matter. Just don't meet the sun."

Michael gets up, he moves to wrap his arms around Desiree. "And you think that would solve anything? Letting me posses you, knowing that it's not what you really want? That you do it only because I've taken myself hostage?" He actually smiles. "I have thought of meeting the sun, I have considered it more than once… it was in part one of the reasons I came to Dallas, to both attempt to avoid it, and to prepare for it." He shrugs. "I don't have plans yet, but I wanted to let you know that I've considered it… and that if I decide to do it, I plan to leave the majority of my estate to you." He sighs. "And while I have no right to ask it. I can only say if I do chose to do it, I'd wish nothing more than to watch my last sunrise with you."

"No! I don't want to hear this!" Desiree cries, struggling to free herself from Michael's arms. He's not holding her against her will, so she is free easily. "I don't want to lose you, Michael," she tells him, shifting to where her eyes can meet his. "I may not want to be owned, but that doesn't mean I don't care for you, or want to be with you. I miss sleeping beside you, and you being here when work ends. Even the cats like you." She's near tears; it can be heard in her voice, that tightness when the throat closes up from deep emotions. "You have so much to look forward to. Things are changing, yes, but for the better. Your business is doing well, I've heard you say that. There's just so much to live for, Michael." There's pleading in her voice, now. "I don't want your estate. I don't need it, I need my dearest, closest friend Michael," she tells him flat out. "And … no. No, no, no… don't ask me that. Please. Don't. Ask. Me. To. See. You. Die. I … I couldn't do it. I just … couldn't, and I'd hate myself for that until the day I died." Face is buried in her hands.

Michael reaches out again, his smile faint. "Business has always been nothing more than a game for me Desiree. I've had more wealth than I could ever think to spend." He sighs. "I'm sorry I forgot how different our views on these things are. I can't explain it, but meeting the sun is seen as crazy by many younger vampires, but ultimately once you reach a certain age, you can see the…. reasoning behind it, but I won't do it." He reaches down to try and lift Desirees' face so he can look her in the eyes. "But we still need to discuss other things… things that still confuse me." He smiles a little. "You seem to be stuck on the idea of me… owning you, possessing you. I am curious, where has this come from? Have I ever tried to make you do anything? Or demanded anything from you?"

When he succeeds in lifting her face, it's to see tears running down her cheeks. There is no make up to disguise the anguish in her eyes as she looks at him, not even streaks of mascara. It's purely Desiree, and Michael can see the vulnerability in that face, so young, so unsure, so afraid. "Y-you … won't?" she asks, voice barely above a whisper. "Please … don't lie to me. Please, be telling the truth." Such fear in the words, such need. Hands clasp his forearms, fingers digging into the velour of the sweats, kneading the muscles beneath. "I couldn't stand to k-know you …" She stops, hangs her head as he speaks at more length. When he finishes with his questions, she looks up, eyes brilliant green after crying. "Y-you said a claim meant I would b-belong to you in the eyes of other v-vampires," she tells him. "That for all intents and purposes, I would belong to /you/ alone." The words are slow, but even so, she stutters when her voice comes close to cracking. "N-no, you haven't, but …" A swallow. "…you wouldn't have to d-demand anything. I'd do what you asked if I could. Just because you're my f-friend, and I care for you." A pause. "But don't ask me to watch you die. I can't."

Michael nods leaning in to try and kiss Desirees' cheeks. "I never needed to claim you, I've never wanted the claim for anything other than your protection." He smiles "And you should know I don't lie to you." He grips at Desirees arms gently. "But we do need to work out… things with us." He smiles. "You just offered to become my property, you were telling me you had feelings strong, and complex enough that you thought they were the product of a psychic bond." He smiles. "I'm starting to get mixed signals…" There's an almost teasing grin now. "And I'm not sure if I'm allowed to buy my own clothes now or not?"

If you're getting mixed signals, it's because I don't know what I want," Desiree tells him with complete honesty. "I care deeply for you, Michael - as a trusted friend, a lover, someone I can rely on. I never had that before, except from my father, and even he deserted me after mother left." Her explanation is open and almost blunt. "The thought of losing you is … hurts deep. I'm afraid to commit, but someday … someday I will. Right now, there are issues I need to deal with, things I need to get out of my system." She shakes her head, looking down at her hands on his arms. "I want you around, Michael, but I don't want to be exclusive. I want to learn a little more about life and other people. You've had centuries to know what life is, I haven't-but that doesn't mean I don't need you. I do, in ways I haven't explored yet." She lets him kiss her cheeks, and when he attempts humor, she smiles. "Of course not," she tells him, sniffling a bit. "First off, I have exquisite taste, and secondly, I love spending your money." The eyes are brighter now, less fearful. Honesty, as it is said, is the best policy. "Please, Michael, bring some of your things back so you can stay the night when-ever you wish. I … I'd like that."

Nodding Michael looks at Desiree. "The truth is that I've never learn how to deal with these things myself… I didn't know I was capable of feeling for another person until I met you, I haven't not in any meaningful way." He shrugs. "I haven't really been in the position, all I learnt was how to look like I know what I'm doing." He nods at the mention of clothes. "I'll bring some with me next time I visit, I'll leave my other suit here when I leave as well." He reaches up to stroke Desirees face. "I'm sorry to have upset you so much, I really never intended to." He smiles. "I remember once we discussed our dreams, I think it's time we actually told each other what they were?" He smiles. "Even the silly little things."

Desiree's eyes are dry, now, the tears abated. "I guess I never learned how to accept Ryan's betrayal," she says softly. "He was everything to me, especially after Dad…died. I thought marrying him would make all the pain, the fear, the uncertainty go away. It was good, at first, too. We were a team, together in all things. It was only later that things went … wrong." She sighs, her expression sad. "I never really got over him, and I think I still love the Ryan I knew in high school. I … mourn the loss of him, not his later incarnation." Her hands rest more gently on Michael's arms. "My dreams? They're nothing elaborate, really. I just want not to hurt anymore, but hurting's part of life. Pain isn't fun, but as long as you can feel pain, you know you're alive. Sometimes that beats the alternative." She pauses. "I don't mean being a Vampire, I mean being dead forever."

Nodding Michael frowns slowly. "It's like I said earlier, it's not how you begin that matters, it's how you end. Ryan was at the best a weak man, at the worst he was always bad." He shrugs. "You deserved better, you're stronger than he is, and you're right; the pain matters. The pain helps you grow, but you need to know when to let go of that pain." He begins to gently rub Desirees' arms. "So, there's nothing you'd like to do? Nothing you'd like to see?" He chuckle. "I would like to fly in a plane… somewhere I didn't need to be in a coffin." He looks amused, his tone very light hearted now. "I'd also like to walk on the moon, but somehow I don't think that will be happening."

"You never know," Desiree says, smiling now. "My dreams aren't so special. I just want be the best dancer in the world," she tells him. "I dream of being acclaimed by thousands of adoring fans." At this, she laughs. "Oh, to be Villina, too! That would be great fun. To fly without a plane, feeling the wind on your face." Her eyes are full of humor now. "See? Nothing special. I just want to rule the world." A laugh, and she's rising from the bed, fetching her night clothes and slipping into the bathroom to change. Back in the bedroom, she smiles, holding out her hand to Michael. "Come to bed, and maybe we can dream something special for one another."

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