Reblog + 3

averyrook:

There was a thick envelope squashed into Avery’s mailbox, smushed against the penny saver and all the other things not important enough to be delivered to him through extraordinary methods like ghost or pigeon or flaming arrow that somehow seems to avoid setting the message itself on fire.

But even Avery Rook—or at the very least one of his pseudonyms—had to get boring old snail mail every once in a while, and in instances like these it was the only thing that would do.

The envelope, one of those padded sorts with bubble wrap adhered along the inside, was already quite worn from its travels, the manila soft and wrinkled. It lacked a return address, and in fact the sending address was a little off in its numbers, which probably explained the various scribblings and stampings of different offices bouncing it around figuring out where it was supposed to go. 

But here it was at last, just waiting for Avery to come pick it up.

When he finally did pull the squashed envelope out and open it up, he’d find an even more squashed little box that had at least in the beginning been neatly wrapped and ribboned, though the materials were hardly anything for the paper connoisseur to get worked up over. 

The attempt at prettiness seemed to start and end there, however, as inside the box Avery would only encounter more bubble wrap—probably a good idea given the package’s journey—all taped together. Within the wad of wrap was a thin plastic vial, the sort used for prescriptions. It even had the child-proof seal, though it had been duct taped as an extra precaution. But the inside did not look to contain any sort of medicine. In fact, the inside was nearly black, the edges so coated in soot that it was quite difficult to see what else was in there tapping around as the bottle shook. If Avery tapped the side of the bottle, he just might be able to make out the edges of the small ring, though its details were entirely blacked out. It would take a thorough cleaning before one could make out the gold band and the three red stones. So it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if he didn’t immediately recognize it as his great-grandmother’s ring.

Just as he probably wouldn’t recognize what was left of the last woman who’d been wearing it.

Once he’d filtered through all the layers of the package, it took Avery several minutes to figure out what the vial contained.

It wasn’t until he held it up to the light and finally managed to see those rubies that he recognised it.

He almost dropped the bottle. Almost crushed it in his grip.

He wanted to believe this was just some joke. Just wished he could delude himself into thinking Cassie would jump out and laugh at him and then press her lips against his neck and draw him close.

But she wouldn’t do that.

He knew this. This was real. There was no other way someone could have taken that ring from her.

His fingers started shaking and it was only with a dim realisation that Avery noticed his knees had collapsed onto the floor.

He was holding Cassie. The only part of her left on this Earth.

Couldn’t deny this no matter how desperately he wanted to.

She was gone. She was gone and he couldn’t even bring her back.

He didn’t want to feel all this. Didn’t want this anguish tearing through his heart and locking up his throat and freezing the blood in his veins. Didn’t want to stop breathing until he was howling like one of the beasts he researched and overcome by tears flowing thickly down his cheeks.

He didn’t want this.

He just wanted Cassie.

She was all he’d wanted for a long time now.

He just wanted to spend eternity alongside her. Had promised that to her.

Books and paper were flung haphazardly around the apartment in a localised hurricane. Tables were knocked aside and chairs hovered into the air before slamming into the walls.

He screamed as his powers ransacked his mind and seized his willpower and turned it into a maelstrom of psychic assault on everything around him.

The only thing that stopped him from destroying things with his hands was that tiny vial held against his chest, currently the most precious thing in his world.

It took a long time for his mind and body to use every ounce of energy he had at his disposal, and he stayed curled up in destruction in the middle of the apartment, unconscious and plagued by vivid dreams and nightmares and memories and long stretches of darkness where he found himself desperately calling her name. His tears didn’t stop even for a moment.

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

Avery mentally scanned through the pages, analysing each one. Cassie’s signatures were familiar, at least.

"Mmm, yes. The, ah, a-account is in the name Pàdraig DunBroch. So I should use that, yes?" He took his pen and set it down on the paper, ready to begin.

"How long do you, er, th-think this will take to go through, Mister Morris? The real estate agent i-is eager to get things settled."

His brow wrinkled for a moment, and then he nodded. “Yes, yes. Just make sure to print that clearly enough so I know how that’s spelled.” He would have thought Mister Rook to pick more common names for his identities, but that would work just as well.

"I can file everything as soon as we leave here. The money itself is already set up and waiting. I’d give it—oh, twenty-four, forty-eight hours tops?"

He had a variety of names for use on documents and the like, and he’d had that particular account set up when he was still a teenager. He could forgive himself a little whimsy.

"Excellent. That’s very good to hear."

Then the renovations could get underway. He had decided to use a mix of mundane and arcane contractors to get the job finished as soon as possible. All he had to do was finalise the plans and payments.

"D-Do you have a number or email I can, ah, c-contact you on?"

Once finished, Morris bundled up the papers, ripping off the carbon copy of one to give to Avery before putting the rest back in his briefcase. He then brought out a card. “Has my email and my voicemail on it—any questions, you can just message me whichever is most convenient. So is there anything else I can do for you?”

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

Avery stood when Morris entered, and gave him a polite nod. “P-please, have a seat.” One of the bar’s waiters, a short, lithe man with greying hair and eyes sharper than the knife Avery knew to be strapped to his forearm under his shirtsleeve.

He sat back down and settled his hands in front of him.

"D-Did Cassie tell you when she’d be returning?" He’d tried calling her, but hadn’t gotten through, and had quickly forgotten about it. Assumed she was busy and would get back to him when she could.

"I hadn’t heard anything?" He replied apologetically, taking his seat. "She left rather early; I had initially thought to go back home, but apparently not." He gave a bit of a shrug, like what could one expect?

He found Avery curious, just as he had after the first call. Not what he’d pictured while imagining an accompaniment to the vampire, and he was still having trouble figuring where the pieces fit. Most likely meant that this Avery Rook was into some quite grotesque shit. Morris didn’t want to think too much on the details.

"Well. I’m s-sure she’s just busy." Maybe visiting. Maybe indulging in some more familiar bloodstock. Avery didn’t think it was anything to worry about— Cassie would enjoy regaling him with her stories when she returned.

He gave the man a beatific smile and folded his hands neatly in front of himself.

"So. Y-you, ah, have some papers for me t-to sign or something, yes? I have my account details ready." When things were processed officially, he, Cassie, and Ben’s acquisition of the building would look like a wealthy old English peer helping to buy a nice place for her grandsons and their partners. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.

"Yes, you’re probably right," Morris agreed, knowing full-well the vampire’s business and having a fair assumption of it now being ceased.

He pulled some papers from his briefcase, making a neat little pile on the table. “Yes, just a few things for the transaction to go through. That account information can go on this one, and I’ll need you to sign on these lines. Is there a pseudonym you’ll be using?” He flipped through, pointed out where he needed to sign. Next to a few of them was Cassie’s signature, easily recognizable as hers despite not being the one who put it there.

Avery mentally scanned through the pages, analysing each one. Cassie’s signatures were familiar, at least.

"Mmm, yes. The, ah, a-account is in the name Pàdraig DunBroch. So I should use that, yes?" He took his pen and set it down on the paper, ready to begin.

"How long do you, er, th-think this will take to go through, Mister Morris? The real estate agent i-is eager to get things settled."

His brow wrinkled for a moment, and then he nodded. “Yes, yes. Just make sure to print that clearly enough so I know how that’s spelled.” He would have thought Mister Rook to pick more common names for his identities, but that would work just as well.

"I can file everything as soon as we leave here. The money itself is already set up and waiting. I’d give it—oh, twenty-four, forty-eight hours tops?"

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

Avery stood when Morris entered, and gave him a polite nod. “P-please, have a seat.” One of the bar’s waiters, a short, lithe man with greying hair and eyes sharper than the knife Avery knew to be strapped to his forearm under his shirtsleeve.

He sat back down and settled his hands in front of him.

"D-Did Cassie tell you when she’d be returning?" He’d tried calling her, but hadn’t gotten through, and had quickly forgotten about it. Assumed she was busy and would get back to him when she could.

"I hadn’t heard anything?" He replied apologetically, taking his seat. "She left rather early; I had initially thought to go back home, but apparently not." He gave a bit of a shrug, like what could one expect?

He found Avery curious, just as he had after the first call. Not what he’d pictured while imagining an accompaniment to the vampire, and he was still having trouble figuring where the pieces fit. Most likely meant that this Avery Rook was into some quite grotesque shit. Morris didn’t want to think too much on the details.

"Well. I’m s-sure she’s just busy." Maybe visiting. Maybe indulging in some more familiar bloodstock. Avery didn’t think it was anything to worry about— Cassie would enjoy regaling him with her stories when she returned.

He gave the man a beatific smile and folded his hands neatly in front of himself.

"So. Y-you, ah, have some papers for me t-to sign or something, yes? I have my account details ready." When things were processed officially, he, Cassie, and Ben’s acquisition of the building would look like a wealthy old English peer helping to buy a nice place for her grandsons and their partners. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.

"Yes, you’re probably right," Morris agreed, knowing full-well the vampire’s business and having a fair assumption of it now being ceased.

He pulled some papers from his briefcase, making a neat little pile on the table. “Yes, just a few things for the transaction to go through. That account information can go on this one, and I’ll need you to sign on these lines. Is there a pseudonym you’ll be using?” He flipped through, pointed out where he needed to sign. Next to a few of them was Cassie’s signature, easily recognizable as hers despite not being the one who put it there.

averyrook:

Avery stood when Morris entered, and gave him a polite nod. “P-please, have a seat.” One of the bar’s waiters, a short, lithe man with greying hair and eyes sharper than the knife Avery knew to be strapped to his forearm under his shirtsleeve.

He sat back down and settled his hands in front of him.

"D-Did Cassie tell you when she’d be returning?" He’d tried calling her, but hadn’t gotten through, and had quickly forgotten about it. Assumed she was busy and would get back to him when she could.

"I hadn’t heard anything?" He replied apologetically, taking his seat. "She left rather early; I had initially thought to go back home, but apparently not." He gave a bit of a shrug, like what could one expect?

He found Avery curious, just as he had after the first call. Not what he’d pictured while imagining an accompaniment to the vampire, and he was still having trouble figuring where the pieces fit. Most likely meant that this Avery Rook was into some quite grotesque shit. Morris didn’t want to think too much on the details.

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

Morris was all quite looking forward to settling this matter, hoping to tie up any loose ends. Hopefully nothing would really have to be done; this whole meeting he thought would be a good opportunity to size things up. Mr. Rook at least hadn’t seemed aware of anything odd.

Still, he couldn’t help but feel a bit anxious as the car got closer to his destination. With good reason, of course: Jon wasn’t some gaudy movie villain who went through all these things with a cool nonchalance. However, he still couldn’t get himself to want to go back on any of it.

Out of habit he checked his phone, eyes scanning over the time and date. He smiled, eased slightly. If those contract men had been true in their estimate, then the biggest hurdle should already be out of the way.

Avery had arrived early, picked out one of the secluded half-rooms to do business in. Had a coat full of paper and told the bar security to expect a Jon Morris and to direct him to the room as soon as he arrived.

The realtor was expecting a large cheque to be handed over in the next few days, and Avery was eager to get moved in and settled and maybe surprise Cassie with some nice touches to the place before she arrived home.

He nursed a glass of scotch while he waited, idly paging through a book. Hopefully he wouldn’t be kept waiting much longer.

The man arrived right on time, getting directions from the security and making his way to the more private area.

"Mr. Rook?" he said as he entered, the smile making his round face rounder as he held out a hand to shake. He was quite shorter than Avery and a bit wider too, which had the odd effect of making him look babyish despite his age.

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

"Not a problem." He gave the address for the bar, with instructions to go down to the sub-basement and that he should ask for Anthony Castle. Avery’s pen name and general alias. 

"Would f-four in the afternoon be alright?"

Avery might have been able to hear the phone being cupped as Morris repeated the directions to someone else.

"Yes, four works. See you then."

"Alright. Do I need to bring anything?"

"Yourself is fine. I’ll have everything ready to go."

"Alright, I’ll see you then, Mister Morris." Wondered just how much the man knew about him from Cassie. At least things would be settled and he could get the building soon.

Morris was all quite looking forward to settling this matter, hoping to tie up any loose ends. Hopefully nothing would really have to be done; this whole meeting he thought would be a good opportunity to size things up. Mr. Rook at least hadn’t seemed aware of anything odd.

Still, he couldn’t help but feel a bit anxious as the car got closer to his destination. With good reason, of course: Jon wasn’t some gaudy movie villain who went through all these things with a cool nonchalance. However, he still couldn’t get himself to want to go back on any of it.

Out of habit he checked his phone, eyes scanning over the time and date. He smiled, eased slightly. If those contract men had been true in their estimate, then the biggest hurdle should already be out of the way.

((is that my dumb handwriting being used as a reaction image))

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

"Not a problem." He gave the address for the bar, with instructions to go down to the sub-basement and that he should ask for Anthony Castle. Avery’s pen name and general alias. 

"Would f-four in the afternoon be alright?"

Avery might have been able to hear the phone being cupped as Morris repeated the directions to someone else.

"Yes, four works. See you then."

"Alright. Do I need to bring anything?"

"Yourself is fine. I’ll have everything ready to go."

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

"How would you prefer I send the information to you, then?"

"These are the sort I prefer to handle personally. Which is why Ms. Cosmihra came out here in the first place as you know, but unfortunately she had some other dealings and wanted me to finish up on the rest." His voice, which had been quite pleasant, had taken a slight grating to it. It was gone quickly, however.

"I’m upstate on some unrelated business currently: I thought I might handle this while I’m here."

Avery frowned, tilted his head.

"Er. It’s Casimira. J-just… so you know. And I suppose we can meet, if that’s, um, m-more amenable to you. I can travel a short way. Where is easiest?"

"Right." That was definitely not committed to memory.

"It won’t be any trouble getting to Newark: would you know of a good place for this sort of dealing?"

Avery almost asked how this stranger knew where he lived, but then remembered this was Cassie’s finance organiser. She probably updated him about those sorts of things.

"Um. There’s an underground bar that hosts th-this sort of thing somewhat frequently. Or a derelict boarding house that’s never occupied." Except by ghosts but they rarely bothered him.

"I’d rather enjoy the bar, to be honest with you."

"Not a problem." He gave the address for the bar, with instructions to go down to the sub-basement and that he should ask for Anthony Castle. Avery’s pen name and general alias. 

"Would f-four in the afternoon be alright?"

Avery might have been able to hear the phone being cupped as Morris repeated the directions to someone else.

"Yes, four works. See you then."

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

"How would you prefer I send the information to you, then?"

"These are the sort I prefer to handle personally. Which is why Ms. Cosmihra came out here in the first place as you know, but unfortunately she had some other dealings and wanted me to finish up on the rest." His voice, which had been quite pleasant, had taken a slight grating to it. It was gone quickly, however.

"I’m upstate on some unrelated business currently: I thought I might handle this while I’m here."

Avery frowned, tilted his head.

"Er. It’s Casimira. J-just… so you know. And I suppose we can meet, if that’s, um, m-more amenable to you. I can travel a short way. Where is easiest?"

"Right." That was definitely not committed to memory.

"It won’t be any trouble getting to Newark: would you know of a good place for this sort of dealing?"

Avery almost asked how this stranger knew where he lived, but then remembered this was Cassie’s finance organiser. She probably updated him about those sorts of things.

"Um. There’s an underground bar that hosts th-this sort of thing somewhat frequently. Or a derelict boarding house that’s never occupied." Except by ghosts but they rarely bothered him.

"I’d rather enjoy the bar, to be honest with you."

Do you regret anything?
Anonymous

Coming here. Thinking I could—not thinking. I don’t—I’m not sure how I’m going to get out.

averyrook:

queenoftheneighborhood:

averyrook:

"How would you prefer I send the information to you, then?"

"These are the sort I prefer to handle personally. Which is why Ms. Cosmihra came out here in the first place as you know, but unfortunately she had some other dealings and wanted me to finish up on the rest." His voice, which had been quite pleasant, had taken a slight grating to it. It was gone quickly, however.

"I’m upstate on some unrelated business currently: I thought I might handle this while I’m here."

Avery frowned, tilted his head.

"Er. It’s Casimira. J-just… so you know. And I suppose we can meet, if that’s, um, m-more amenable to you. I can travel a short way. Where is easiest?"

"Right." That was definitely not committed to memory.

"It won’t be any trouble getting to Newark: would you know of a good place for this sort of dealing?"

Come pester my muse with questions about their life choices.

rpmememaker:

Make them hate you and scream at you to leave them alone. C’mon. You know you want to.

averyrook:

"How would you prefer I send the information to you, then?"

"These are the sort I prefer to handle personally. Which is why Ms. Cosmihra came out here in the first place as you know, but unfortunately she had some other dealings and wanted me to finish up on the rest." His voice, which had been quite pleasant, had taken a slight grating to it. It was gone quickly, however.

"I’m upstate on some unrelated business currently: I thought I might handle this while I’m here."