Cooperative Fiction

Skip to content

Cats in a Bag


Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

"Absolutely. I left their bodies, and got as far away as I could."

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

Aurelio drew away from the couch and leaned forward, uncrossing his legs so both feet were flat on the ground. He put his elbows on his knees. He clasped his hands between them, fingers pointing down. Silence drew out from him as he first looked at Erebos, then away. When he finally spoke, he was looking at Erebos again. Any playfulness, any neutrality was gone. He showed interest in Erebos, and gave him attention free of his typical sardonic mockery.

"When?"

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

Erebos leaned back in the chair, slowly opening his eyes. He had regained some composure, and with it the throbbing in his head was now just a dull ache. After a long silence in which he studied Aurelio he finally spoke.

"Shortly after my mother died. Ourea came home for a few days to take care of things. In that time I learned that my mother was part of a trade agreement, he practically bought her. I ran away, but I didn't make it very far." Erebos paused, looking at Aurelio. He had expected his cousin to run, maybe even go gather people to light torches and chase him down. He hadn't expected his cousin to behave so calmly.

"I was stopped by two men, who demanded my valuables. I gave everything I had to them, hoping they would spare my life. In return they sliced my stomach open. As I lay there, my blood watering the grass around me, I felt...It's hard to explain..." Erebos looked into Aurelio's eyes. There was fear in his own eyes, and something dark there as well.

"I wanted to kill them. I wanted to see them suffer."

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

At first, the sound Aurelio made was the only sign of acknowledgement. He was back to being still. His brows had drawn down a little, but his mouth was relaxed. His posture was relaxed. He was open. He was listening. He nodded: invitation was implicit in that single movement. Something like understanding was there too.

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

"I just-I couldn't control it. It was like...I had to do it. I killed those men, I felt them struggle for air. There's something inside of me, cousin. It's dark and it never goes away. I can feel it, inside my veins. I'm afraid I can't keep it inside much longer. It's magic, some kind of shadow that needs to cause chaos." Erebos shut his eyes as the pain in his head spiked.

He gritted his teeth, trying to force the pain away but that only made it worse. One hand clutched the wooden arm rest, the other rested on his forehead. Talking about his power only seemed to make him hurt more as he tried to push the darkness away but he was exhausted of fighting himself. He took a few deep breaths and let the emotions run over him and the pain began to recede.

Erebos opened his eyes, but instead of the piercing blue they were a pitch black. "I don't want to dance their game anymore. I am sick of these people that treat us as if we are their play things. They are hypocrites, who find more interest in their dinner than those that are born lower."

Erebos smiled, tilting his head. He was done fighting himself. His head felt clear for the first time in a long time.

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

At the word "magic," Aurelio frowned. At Erebos' little display, his lips formed a moue. He leaned back again, and crossed his legs at the ankles, kicking them further out. He pinched the bridge of his nose with forefinger and thumb. He stayed like that, fingers moving to massage the bridge of his nose, for a full minute. Then he stilled, eyes hidden behind his hand and the angle of his face. Eventually he dropped the hand and sat up, draping one arm across the back of the couch and the other reaching for his glass. He drank slowly, and when he replaced the glass there was still a good few mouthfuls left.

"Still innocent," he muttered under his breath, and shook his head. "Calm down, cousin. There are things whose attention you do not want to attract, and changers only know why they haven't gotten you yet. Whatever you're doing, stop. Now. Does anyone know about this magic? Anyone suspect? Anything that might have tipped someone off?"

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

Erebos chuckled at his cousin's words. Innocent. After a few moments the darkness faded from his eyes as Erebos shoved his emotions away. It was painful, like twisting a knife into his gut. He visibly winced, and grimaced with pain. The throbbing started in his head once more. Perhaps when he had more time he could learn to live alongside his shadow.

"Forgive me, it's painful to mask what I really am...My sisters may have some idea, since they share my mother's blood. But if they do than that means they have the ability as well...I haven't used my power since that day." Erebos did not meet Aurelio's eyes. "Ourea didn't mention the fact I had left and I didn't ever bring it up. Even when I traveled I never used my power. I couldn't risk Ourea finding out."

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

"I'm sorry," Aurelio said. He watched Erebos, watched every flinch, every expression. It was the act of a witness. "I wish you had told me. This isn't something you should carry alone."

There was regret in his voice. He sat across from Erebos, at once so close and so far: layers peeled away to reveal a glimmer of frustration, but not much else. He settled one hand on his thigh, and the forefinger of that hand started tapping. "I want you to back out from Vyaduka."

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

Erebos remained still as a silence passed between them. He had told Aurelio what he had done, what was inside of him and Aurelio had remained calm. He still expected for his cousin to betray him at any moment, he wasn't yet used to the idea of someone else knowing.

"I couldn't risk anyone finding out. I am not even sure why I told you in all honestly." Erebos smiled faintly at his cousin, it was a smile like a small ray of sunshine in a storm. The sorrow and pain was still there but the smile was a start. "But now that someone knows, at least you're one person I don't have to lie to."

"Don't tell me to back off just because of this, no one has any idea. "

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

"Don't be stupid. You're flirting with a judge's close relative, and you don't think that's moronic?" The look Aurelio was giving Erebos was level. He shook his head. "No. Back out. Battlemages and judges aren't too many steps separate, and magic use always gets discovered when the powers that be are involved. You have no idea. But. . ." Aurelio paused, looking up to the ceiling in thought. "I have a better idea of where I can put you. If you're interested."

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

Erebos thought for a minute, taping his fingers against the arm of the chair. True, flirting with a the same blood that was one of the main influences of power in the city was dangerous but it was also productive. Many secrets are told between the sheets. Erebos sighed, letting the situation and argument die. His head was throbbing too much for him to disagree.

"Well don't leave me in the dark." Erebos raised an eyebrow, grinning.

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

"I have a . . . start-up enterprise, you might say. Entertainment has always appealed to me, and I find it a joy to provide such delights to our betters." His return smile was not meant for Erebos, but it was nonetheless directed at the other man. "Two of my better prospects need an escort and an invitation into the more, ah, genteel of gatherings. The sort that attract the very best of us. Hmm?" His expression calmed: lips and eyes relaxed. "And while you're there being a discreet gentleman, you might happen to see or overhear things that otherwise would not be noticed. Who can say?"

There was leverage between them now. Family. Blood. Aurelio's fingers stilled, and he smoothed his trouser as if removing some trespassing bit of lint.

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

Erebos nodded, having traveled with his father he was familiar with the entertainment industry. He had seen fire-eaters, sword-swallower, beautiful girls that could bend their bodies into amazing shapes, and various other shows. "You know I love a good show." Erebos smiled warmly, a trace of mischief in his eyes. "I can whisper in some ears and get your two prospects inside."

Erebos' felt much closer to his cousin, and especially because he was the only person that knew of Erebos' ability. It put him in a precarious position, now that Aurelio knew he could use the new information as blackmail. Erebos was a believer in blood, and he would defend his cousin, maybe even to the death.

"What are the names for the invitations?"

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Aurelio on

"Haneul and Shanuri." Aurelio's eyebrows winged upwards as he replied. "Do you already have something in mind?"

There was some measure of comfortable equality between them. Sand had been kicked, teeth had been bared: though there was still care in the way Aurelio sat, in his expression, something else had gone out of him. There was an ease in his mannerisms, in his eyes, that had not been there when they had first started. It was something. It was certainly better than nothing.

Re: Cats in a Bag

Post by Erebos on

"Not as of yet, but I can keep my ears open. " Erebos touched his hand to his lips thoughtfully. "Of course it also depends on exactly what kind of gathering you are talking about. I can arrange a decent party and pull a good amount of people. But if you want something more..." Erebos paused, tapping his fingers on his lips. "Extravagant, than that will take time as well as planning."

Erebos wasn't sure of his cousins intentions, but Erebos did not want to push Aurelio. Aurelio had provided him with acceptance, which was more than he had expected.

Previous



Return to Old Posts

cron