Dance with the Devil

An old warehouse has been converted into a roller skating rink. The entrance is the main entrance into the warehouse has neon lights that read InterSkate. Another in a window that when lit says the rink is open. Not lit when the rink is closed.

Upon entering, the area is very spacious. To the left of the door are a counter and cash register, where you pay to skate, and rent skates. Behind the counter are shelves of rental skates in all sizes from toddler to adult skates. As well as tools for cleaning and repairing them. As well as a door marked 'Private', with a dog door cut into the bottom of it. Where the office and the stairs that lead up to the owner's apartment. The counter travels all the way along, paralleling the wall. The counter is mostly all wood, carpeted so that skates can be repaired etc. There is also a glass display area, below, for new skate styles of boots. The upper holding the latest styles in wheels regular and in-line, laces, and pompoms for the ladies skates. There are also carrying cases available for sale. Then there is the food area. Glass displays with candy bars. With signs here and there with the brand names of boots available, and wheels. There is also a small kitchen, where hot-dogs, burgers, fries, sodas and other foods are cooked and served, with it's own cash register. There is a small area with tables and benches to sit and eat. Then the area for the restrooms.

To the right of the door is a mini arcade that even includes ski-ball, pool tables and all the really cool old video games. Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pinball games etc. As well as a change machine.

There are three separate rinks. The main floor just for general skaters, that's quite spacious, all wood and surrounded on three sides by a half wall, with entrances here and there on the larger side. With benches on the outer sides, for patrons to sit and put on their skates. In one corner is the sound booth, where a large variety of music is stored as well as the equipment to play the music. The second rink, surrounded by three half walls is a smaller rink. Meant for the really young skaters. Though on adult night, those that want to practice fancy tricks and stuff can do so in there as well. The walls are padded, the decor is pretty well preschool'ish. As well as Disney Characters and other kid favoured characters. The sound booth is more or less between those rinks. The third rink is in a separate room and odd shaped, with a banked floor for roller derby and speed skate races. Surrounded by glass and bleachers. All well lit, unless they are doing pecials, like couples skate, etc. There is a disco ball in the middle of the main floor, as well as strobe lights, and all sorts of fancy lights, that create patterns and pictures over the floor. There are signs here and there, advertising birthday parties, the rules, hours, etc.

The InterSkate roller skating rink is filled with a hodgepodge collection of high school students, younger children, and shifty layabouts enjoying the summer holiday. Many of the occupants are dressed in punk fashions, each one rebelling against conformity in their own way by copying one another. Some old heavy metal rock music is playing over the loud speakers, and flashing lights keep shooting around the large skating floor.

At a table near the arcade and old style video game machines, Darcy is an odd sight in this environment. The man is exceptionally well-dressed, and appears over the average age of teenagers or young twentysomethings that are wasting the summer night in-doors. Sitting on the table in front of him is a black Blackberry Smartphone, and seated next to him at the table is a scruffy looking Emo kid with poorly dyed pink and blonde hair. The teenager is pleading with Darcy about something: "Come on, man, just a drop. You can use me anyway you want." Whatever could they be talking about?

Odd how certain places seem to just draw the wrong crowd. Maybe the skate park is becoming one of these sorts of spots. A tall pale figure enters the scene with a slow, measured gait. He is definitely too old to be any kind of student and he for sure doesn't look like anyone's parent. What he looks like is some sort of wanna-be rock star. Why he would be in a place like this is anyone's guess really.

Daemon slinks to the nearest table. A group of 4 young skate punks sit there. They are smoking cigarettes and drinking something from a plastic cup that probably is not Kool-Aid. He speaks to one of them in hushed tones. It's hard to make out what he says exactly though the words 'score' and 'stash' are part of the conversation. The punks shake their heads at the older man. He frowns in reply. His gaze slowly makes its way through the crowd, eventually settling on Darcy who is as much an anomaly here as he is.

The Blackberry vibrates on Darcy's table, turning the man's attention from the teenaged sycophant to the electronic device. Answering the call, Darcy speaks matter-of-factly to the disembodied voice on the other end. "InterSkate in West Dallas. Meet you here in twenty-minutes," the man says. He harshly adds, "Do not keep me waiting." The phone call is ended, and the Blackberry replaced on the table. A sideways glance has Darcy's brown eyes rest on the Emo-punk styled kid. "Very well. Be patient; I am sure I can find some amusing use for you." What would appear to anyone else to be a lecherous, homoerotic act, Darcy soothingly pats the boy's mixed-dyed hair and the side of his face. As he does this gesture, his brown eyes glance upward to catch Daemon staring at him.

"What do you want?" Darcy asks, his voice lingering on the air like wisps of smoke. Even with the loud music, not to mention the high-pitched talking crowds of skaters, the words are clearly audible to Daemon. This is even more surprising as they are not shouted, but spoken in a soft and refined British accent; moreover, the distance between the two men has them separated by some considerable length. Eerie, no?

Very eerie indeed. So it's no surprise that Daemon initially draws back, involuntarily even. After all, it's not every day that one comes face to face with the embodiment of death. The voluntarily instinct of fight or flee kicks in and its literally shouting flee. But even as his mortal sensibility recoils at the presence of the Vampire, something darker and more sinister with the mage draws to the fore. Maybe it's a kindred spirit thing, like calling out to like, sympathetic rhythms or that sort of thing? Because there is something with the Witch that finds a familiarity within the vampire, so instead of turning tail and running, he holds his ground.

"You" is the smooth reply. If the player roster wasn't clearly marked, it'd be hard to tell who was predator and who prey in this dance. Because there is certainly something very predatory in the mage's gaze and manner, though nothing close to that of the Nosferatu, of course. Still, much darker than what is in most humans for sure. The Wicked Witch takes a few brave steps towards his certain demise. "If I were a faithful man, I might say this was providence. Instead, I'll call it inevitability." Assuming that Darcy doesn't simply rip his throat out and kill him on the spot, Daemon extends a hand to the vampire. "Daemon. Enchant."

Bemusement spreads across Darcy's pale, hauntingly beautiful facial features. The man waves at the teenager next to him, sending the boy away for a moment with a simple "Go play" order. Standing up, the Emo kid glares daggers at Daemon -obviously jealous of having been supplanted in the vampire's present interest- and sulks away to another table some ten or twenty feet away. As Daemon would approach the pair, he would notice obvious bite-marks on the retreating teenager's neck, wrist, and shoulders visible through his mesh like shirt.

"You are not frightened?" Darcy amusedly asks Daemon. "Most mortals find it impossible to recognise one of my kind. If they are capable, wisdom usually has them flee my presence in a hurry." The hand is seized with a long, cold and firm grasp suggesting the possibility of immense physical strength. "Darcy. Charmed, to be sure. Now why does the fly beg to enter the spider's web?"

The Emo kid is only giving a mocking smirk in return for his eye daggers. The look is more than dismissive. Go play little boy and let the grownups talk. Despite his cheek and affront, Daemon does not rush right over to Darcy. As dark as his soul may be, it's still housed within an all too human frame. It's taking a force of will to overcome the innate reaction of running for the nearest exit. He waits until the kid completely clears off before moving in, some would say to his doom.

"Oh I'm deathly frightened, I assure you." Daemon hand quivers in Darcy's grasp but the expression he wears suggests that it is not only from fear but excitement as well. "I know I'm playing with fire, but I find myself drawn to you regardless." Daemon releases Darcy's hand finally, making trying to gain some sort of composure. "May I?" He waits permission before he takes a seat at the table. "I wager we're alike in various respects. Maybe that's what this dark allure is? Two bad boys looking for trouble?" No pussyfooting around in this conversation, it’s a XXX rated.

"Indeed?" Darcy answers. He inclines his head at Daemon's request, nodding to an empty place at the table. "Please, do be my guest, Daemon." Knitting his long fingers together, Darcy rests his folded hands on the tabletop before him. "I must assure you, sir, I do not /look/ for trouble; on the contrary, I /am/ trouble."

Two rough-looking, tattooed, and broad-shouldered men enter the InterSkate roller rink. Obvious gangsters. They walk directly toward Darcy and Daemon; the leader is confident, cocksure whereas the follower has a nervous, unsure expression on his face. He also keeps fidgeting at something wedged in his pants underneath his shirt, most likely a loaded semi-automatic pistol. As the pair approach, Darcy glances at Daemon and says, "Do excuse me; I shall be quick." The men are offered a bored, disinterested look from the vampire. "In the shopping bag," Darcy says, yawning, as he unfolds his hands and extends one toward the leader. A white plastic shopping back is exchanged for a black one; in the white bag, several thick stacks of $100 bills are wrapped together. In the other: who is to say?

Daemon smiles at Darcy's quip about being trouble. The expression is entirely devilishly. Perhaps they are kindred spirits indeed. But before the Sorcerer can reply with his next verbal gambit, the gangsters arrive. Daemon nods as the Vampire excuses himself, "Of course, take your time." He politely does not watch the transaction, seeming to ignore it in fact. Though any really perceptive person would notice that he was focusing on the event, just not with his eyes. When Darcy finally does return, Daemon jumps back into the conversation as if there were no pause.

"I'm certain you are trouble with a capital T, my friend. But you are much more than that as well." Daemon smiles seductively. "You are a … man …" he pauses a beat as he says that word, "… of particular tastes and talents. So am I. I'm sure that the two of us can form a mutually beneficial relationship. It would only stand to reason. Would you agree?" Daemon eyes Darcy expectantly. Here was the do or die moment.

"I have no doubt I can be of use to you, Daemon," Darcy answers, settling back down into his seat. The two gangsters have since left, arguing together about something. As he talks with Daemon, several wads of cash at a value of $10,000 to $30,000 are tucked in the interior pockets of his suit. "What is it that would make you of use to me, hmm? If you have a death wish, I can certainly accommodate you; and I can assure you, if you think to take up my company, it should only take a short while for others to assist in that area. Now what makes it worth my while to combine my interests with the well-being of a frail mortal, hmm?"

"Well…mortal I am without a doubt. Frail? When compared to someone of your raw power and strength, yes I am. As to useful…." Daemon grabs a hand full of napkins that were simply strewn on the table. He does a quick sleight of hand move; making them disappear in one gesture, then reappear in another equally swift motion. But when the paper falls from his grasp they are not napkins but bundles of hundred dollar bills like those Darcy has just pocketed. "….I have many uses my friend. You only need open your mind to the possibilities." The mage smiles, self-assured that his point has been made.

The vampire checks his interior pocket at the sight of the bills. Rage quickly fills his brown eyes, and Daemon might quickly reconsider the good sense to try and win over the bloodsucking corpse: it could be his last trick, after all. Upon discovering that his money is completely intact, however, the expression fades away to wry bemusement. "A charlatan magician, hawk and trickster just like those from Kensington Gardens, yes? Capital." His hands are once more folded on the table before him. "Very well, Daemon. You just might live - and perhaps we might find something amusing, yes?" Having said these words, Darcy pauses to intently consider Daemon. Finally, he asks, "How am I to be able to trust your loyalty, hmm?"

On the outside Daemon holds his facade when Darcy's expression becomes enraged. On the inside however, he's shaking like a leaf. Most people don't get to see an angry vampire face to face and live to tell of the ordeal. This might be his best con yet, fooling himself into thinking that this 'relationship' is somehow a good idea. But as Darcy's demeanour relaxes so does Daemon's trepidation. "A man of your experience and upbringing knows trust is a two-way street. And once earned, loyalty is irrevocable and ironclad." Daemon makes a slight gesture and the 'money' turns back into napkins. No need to get the natives riled up over the sight of free cash lying about. "Perhaps we should have a test to prove each other's intentions. Once both parties are satisfied, I'm sure we can then enter into a more 'bonding' agreement?" He uses the term like he even has any idea of what it really means.

Darcy is obviously finding amusement with Daemon. Is the man actually trying to put conditions before the vampire? Silly, impudent mortals! "You are very cocky, old chap. I have yet to decide whether it is a positive or a negative trait for you. Let me offer you this caution: /never/ assume that we are equals, and do not presume to think I would ever condescend to 'earn' your trust!" Darcy leans forward, and rests his face mere inches from Daemon's own. In a deep, grave voice that suggests his centuries of existence, Darcy adds, "Betray me and I will feed you your fucking lungs!" Simple enough.

Hubris has been the downfall of many and will be the downfall of many more. Daemon is no exception to this rule and is in truth more an exemplar of it. When Darcy breathes out his threat, the wicked Witch wisely pulls back, proverbial tail between proverbial legs. "Understood. Forgive my headiness….it's hard to be in a presence like yours and not get swept up. I meant no disrespect." Daemon bows his head slightly. His tone is genuine remorse, but still has a hint of cock and cheek to it. Old habits just die harder for some.

"Good. We understand one another." The vampire has leaned back to reassume his earlier relaxed, motionless position. "In fact, I might have some use for you tonight, actually, where you might prove your worth to me. Those men you just met are distributors of certain items which I supply, but I have the distinct impression that they have other designs on me than simple commerce. You see, I always benefit from a more /thorough/ understanding of the local street-based powres, if you catch my meaning. If I should have to /dispose/ of a certain criminal element, I should like to know whom to replace them with as a business partner." Darcy peers at Daemon for a moment. "Should you of course find any other business interests or opportunities; you will bring them to my attention. Prove yourself capable, Daemon, and I will introduce you to my other associates. "

"Your wish….is my command." The Witch actually manages to get that out with only a slight smirk. After all, no need to piss off the boss unnecessarily. "I'm certain that I can find the opportunities that you seek. Power is something that I'm very acquainted with." Daemon gets a dark look in his eye when he says that. It all sounds very Faustian. "I'll carry out your directives to the letter."

"Capital!" answers Darcy. "Here is an advance, yes?" The vampire reaches back inside his breast pocket, and pulls out one of those bundles of cash. Running the nail of his manicured thumb over the bills as they fan out, he breaks the stack in half (tearing the band) and extends his cold hand toward Daemon. By any rough estimate, five thousand dollars is being pro-offered. "Needless to say, if you have any problems, you speak to me and only to me." This is how the Devil works his business contracts: with civility, the promise of riches, and ruthless termination clauses.

You would think that of all people, a Con Man would know when he's being taken for a con. But some folks just can't see what's plain in front of their face. Daemon extends a hand and takes his thirty pieces. Again, the contact lingers a moment longer than it needs to. "You and only you" he parrots the phrase as if almost in a trance. He pockets the money into his own inner pocket. "A -pleasure- doing business with you." He smiles impishly as he says that. Play with fire; you're bound to get burned.

The rest of the money is returned to the inner-sanctum of his own bespoke suit. "Excellent, Daemon. Now go off and enjoy yourself with whatever amusement you find fitting, yes? Only do not neglect your duties to me, and I shant forget to reward your diligence. There are many opportunities to be had in my service, and -with my guidance and protection- I am sure that I can make something out of you in this city." The Devil is a gentleman; he corrupts with a cordial smile.

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