AN: I listened to virtually lyric-less music as I wrote most of this chapter, but there was one song I kept coming to that did have lyrics.. And please, please review! I accept any kind of criticism or comments, though flames will make me sad! Like any other writer, I thrive on feedback!.. And no reviews makes me feel bad, cause I don't know if any of you like it or not. Also, I know it has been a very long time since my last post, but the computer on which all of my data was saved on had been out of commission till very recently.
The Truth is, the meaning of your life is that you wouldn't have one if you were poor- Kidding by Imogen Heap
Diana awoke the following night alone. It was painfully obvious as she twisted and turned, reaching out to the other side of her bed in search for the man that populated it the morning before. His presence could not be found, but the soft cotton shirt she found herself swimming in certainly belonged to him. The music was off. The lamp had been replaced upon the nightstand, and the broken light bulb had been swept into the trash bin.
She didn't bother turning on the lamp; the layout of her room was familiar enough to navigate, even without her heightened vision. With precision, she slid out of bed and walked toward the bathroom, eager to clean off. Her body felt laden with a sweat she hadn't felt for awhile, and her chest bore a weight she was unaccustomed to.
Diana flipped the light switch without thought once she pushed the wooden door to the bathroom open, and in the light she could see the dark grey color of the buttoned up shirt she was adorned in. Perhaps he slid her into it as he left, taking into consideration her state of nakedness. She wasn't sure what had gone through LaCroix's head, or quite frankly her own, the previous night.
A shower sounded relaxing, and so Diana rolled up her sleeves in order to turn the water on. As it warmed, she abandoned the cotton shell upon the bathroom's marble counter, pale grey in all the beauty of the tower's décor. Mere milliseconds lulled the former hunter into the security of a nice, hot shower. The tranquility of it, the sounds of the water droplets colliding with her skin and the shower floor, left her room to think.
She needed it. What had happened to her in the wee hours of the morning existed in her mind as a simple blur. In all incidents in her life that even vaguely resembled this one, she had never been abandoned in the bed. That could mean many things, but then again, it might just have been LaCroix's automatic response; get out before notice is taken.
One shampoo, face-washing, and body cleansing later, Diana stepped out and reached for the white towel that hung upon the steel towel rack. She felt better now, but that dreadful weight still bore down on her heart. Did she have time to go talk to LaCroix? Certainly not, she thought. It must have been nearly eleven o'clock, and she needed to go speak to Isaac as well. The Toreador wouldn't act kindly if he knew she decided to talk over her feelings with LaCroix before seeking counsel from him.
She stepped out into her room, this time walking toward the door. Though she was wrapped in her towel, she hit the switch that would slide the covers off of the huge windows on the east facing wall. She was several hundred feet in the air at least, so far up that no other buildings reached as high into the sky as her room reached. Peeping toms were the least of her concerns.
The natural light of the moon and the stars flooded in, providing enough illumination for Diana to pick out her clothing for the day. She didn't pay close attention to the articles she chose, finding it irrelevant to really care. Isaac never took note of her attire, aside from when she would walk into the dance classes he taught. If she felt the need, she would change before speaking with LaCroix that night.
She gathered up her things that still lay strewn upon the floor, settling her boots into her closet and her clothes in a bundle in her arms. She stepped into her bathroom and gathered up the shirt LaCroix had left her in. With all of this, she made her way to the laundry room down the hall.
Four hampers waited for the clothes that often occupied them; it was easy to distinguish which one belonged to which inhabitant. The tall black one belonged to LaCroix, sat beside various hangers which suits hung on, awaiting a trip to the drycleaners. Diana dispatched his shirt into this one, as if this could dispatch any inquisitions as to what happened the night before.
Beside it was her own hamper, red among the paler and less outspoken tones of both the room and the other hampers. With a toss, she deposited her clothes into it and turned around. She was faced by her aunt who wore both a interested and amused grin on her face. A certain quality in her eyes betrayed worry only a family member was capable of.
"Why did you have Sebastian's shirt?" She inquired, voice doused in curiosity.
The question caused Diana to flinch. Should she really tell her aunt of her romping with the Camarilla Prince? It might be best if she merely dropped a hint..
"Let's just say that Christian exercised his influence."
Cecilia blinked, knowing full well what it meant but not quite believing it. Though she had been separated from her niece for several years, she knew that she wouldn't lie about something that big. Should she press the issue? No, that sounded like a very bad idea to her.
"Well… go about your business.."
Diana abandoned the room quickly, almost without thought. It was the last thing she wanted, to talk about what happened. The conversation topic was saved for when she could speak with LaCroix. It would linger in her mind until then, sure, but it wouldn't hinder her thinking anymore than that.. At least, that's what she hoped.
In Hollywood, Christian stood patiently before Isaac's desk, wishing to speak with his fellow Toreador. The older one took a deep breath and looked up, a look of wonder in his eyes. It wasn't often that Christian went out of his way to swing by the jewelry store, and it was a surprise that he came on that day out of them all. He hadn't hoped to see two poor, unfortunate souls that had been dragged in to LaCroix's fly trap in one night.
"What a pleasant surprise, Christian. Is there something you need?"
"Do I ever not need something when I come to see you? What I'm here about though isn't something I need, though. I wanted to speak to you about Diana," the flamboyant Christian spoke.
"I'm expecting her to arrive some time tonight, so you may as well tell me what you want me to say now."
"Its not that I want you to say anything to her, its just that I thought you might like to know what I heard when I woke up this sunset."
Isaac braced himself. He knew the power of rumors in the Kindred world, and he feared any that might be directed at Diana. She was too young for this kind of attention, too fresh out of mortality. This wasn't her place, and she would never learn properly as long as she was in LaCroix's care. Simply by being his Childe, she was denied a normal unlife.
"Its probably just a rumor, but a friend of mine told me that LaCroix didn't come out of Diana's room last night. One of two things happened: She either killed him, or they had sex. Neither sounds very promising to me, though you know that LaCroix needs to get laid!"
"Diana doesn't need him dragging her under. If it were up to me, she'd be pulled out of there so fast he wouldn't see it coming," Isaac waved a hand dismissively to Christian's rumor mongering, as if it had little effect on what he had already decided on.
"But he would see it coming. If there's one thing you should know about LaCroix by now is that he has eyes everywhere--- a good majority of them on Diana…The good news for you is that I have some eyes I can put in there for you," Christian spoke softly, as if he didn't want anyone but Isaac to hear his last sentence.
From the door, a young female voice called out. There stood Claudia, smiling gently at the pair of Toreador. She began to speak again, this time authoritatively.
"Don't you try to talk her out of things. I want to talk to her, Isaac! What do you have to say to that? Nothing, I hope.. Because Nemesis is outside that door waiting to blow your brains out if I don't get the chance to have my say with the talk of the town!"