005 Subtle Clues

Ciara leaves for her date with Anthony. Subtle and dangerous flirting ensues! Date ends without interruption. Leon decided to distract himself by digging up some information about Lily. He goes out to a bar asking around for someone named “Prince Marionette”. He nearly gets himself eaten when Gabriel appears for a rescue. It’s revealed that the “Prince Marionette” is Michael.

  1. Leon is determined to help Ciara get closure about Lily.
[Leon has got it! After extensive and secretive searching, of course!] -02:26 Jul 09
[Ciara lied about the bikini!] -02:26 Jul 09
Leon: *Of course he has been really careful not to do the searching when Ciara or that blasted lawn reject were around. Ciara has been busy and all Leon’s had to do about the gnome was act as a two-legged beer keg!* Come on, Cissy. Call it off. Take ‘im to the movies or out to dinner … *He was going to do one last attempt at talking her out of this.* -02:28 Jul 09
Ciara: *A white jean mini skirt, and a perfectly modest pink longsleeve shirt… Of the shoulders of course! A fashionable pair of sunglasses, and hey.. even those bruises still on her knuckles matched.* No. Get away from the door, I don’t want to be late again. -02:29 Jul 09
Leon: *So much for talking her out of it! In that case, he was going to have go the last resort! He stepped back and plopped on the couch!* -02:30 Jul 09
Ciara: *That was way too easy. She rest a hand on her hip and eyed him carefully.* Are you pouting? -02:31 Jul 09
Leon: *Was indeed pouting! He was sitting backwards, leaning on the back of the couch, resting on his knees! If he’d had his tail, it would have been swinging back and forth!* Come on, Cissy! Let me come with! -02:33 Jul 09
Ciara: Oho… That’s cute. *She flashed him a wicked grin!* Nice try, but if anyone is going to skin you alive, it’ll be me. Unless things go really well, I’ll be home for dinner. -02:35 Jul 09
Leon: *Was not amused! He propped his elbow on the back of the couch and leaned his cheek on his fist.* What am I supposed to do while you’re away?! -02:37 Jul 09
Ciara: You’re a grown man, you can figure something out! *She was rolling her eyes as she snatched up her purse and made sure all the vitals were in there. Cellphone, poisonous lip gloss, little black phone book, keys, wallet, and just incase a nice little gun. Special model courtesy of Oracle.* -02:39 Jul 09
Leon: *Huffed!* I guess I’ll go raid the fridge and watch anime … *He muttered under his breath!* -02:40 Jul 09
Ciara: …the fridge? *She dug in her purse again, pulling out her credit card and setting on the table.* When you’re done devouring everything in my kitchen you can do me the favor of restocking. I’ll be back later. *She pressed the call button on the elevator and stepped inside when it opened!* -02:43 Jul 09
Leon: *Sighed when she left and just eyed the credit card, looking as depressed as can be! All while thinking of every sad thing that came to mind: people wasting food, people burning food, people just being careless with food. Oh yeah, that last one was a good one!* -02:46 Jul 09
Leon: *Then he remembered! He scrambled to the elevator!* Hey! What’s the code to come back up? I can’t bring the groceries up the stairs! -02:46 Jul 09
Ciara: Hmm. If you remember your birthday, you’ll remember the code. *She waved sarcastically and shut the doors!* -02:47 Jul 09
Leon: *Scratched his head!* Huh? She used my birthday? Man, she really is nuts! *He pulled out the piece of paper he’d scrambled something on top of and gave it a smug grin. Heh heh. She was so going to be surprised! He waited until she was off the elevator and gone before calling it back and waiting! Paper. Check. Credit card. Check.* -02:49 Jul 09
Leon: *Riding the elevator down, he asked one of the parking valet directions and they pointed him in the right direction. He thanked them and went marching down the street. It might have been daylight but he knew there had to be someone who could answer his question! He wasn’t too sure about going to the rougher side of town, though!* -02:53 Jul 09
Leon: *He stopped in front of an unmarked bar in a rundown building! The homeless guy had said this was the place but … He was beginning to have second thoughts about this. Maybe he should have brought someone with him. No. He could do this. He was going to go in and just ask a few questions, that was all. No biggie. And certainly not something that would call for brute force.* -03:02 Jul 09

The rundown building had boarded up windows and weeds growing between the cement cracks. There was trash all over the place and not a soul in sight.

Leon: *He half-expected the door to be locked or something but he wasn’t sure if he was happy or sad when he found out it wasn’t. He slowly opened the door and peered inside. It was pitch black and hard to see into. The fact that it was so bright outside certainly didn’t help his sight. But he stepped in, anyways.* Uh … Hello? Anyone in here? -03:08 Jul 09

At first, silence. Then Leon could make out an old bar off one side and a broken jukebox with a sign that said “OUT OF ODOR” hanging on it. There were a few tables, all of them round and all the stools standing on the table upside down. The only light came from the cracks in the boarded up windows. There was a thick layer of dust everywhere. A bald man in a tanktop and jeans stood behind the bar, drying a glass. There were a few other guys in there just sitting at the bar, looking like they were dead asleep.

Leon: *No answer? Maybe no one had heard him. He stepped in farther and finally sat down at the bar, beside one of the fellows who looked dead asleep.* Uh … Excuse me. Is this the Devil’s Playground? *He leaned forward to the bartender.* -03:17 Jul 09

The bartender turned his head and spit something on the floor. He looked over at Leon. “You a cop?”

Leon: A cop?! *He glanced around. No one seemed to care except for the bartender. Everyone was still asleep.* Uh … No. I just came because I wanted to ask a few questions. Like um … do you believe in vampires? -03:25 Jul 09

The bartender turned his head again. Spit. “Tch. You gonna order anything or not?”

Leon: Um … Yeah. Sure! Sure, I am! Let’s see … I’ll take a … a … *He was thoughtful for a moment. He wasn’t big on drinking. Hell, he was pretty sure he’d never drunk before in his life! Very sad when you thought about it. Him being about forty and all …* I’ll uh … take um … a beer! Yes, that’s it. A beer. -03:31 Jul 09

The bartender slammed the glass down so loudly that it was sure to make Leon jump! He fished under the counter and practically threw the brown bottle at him!

Leon: *Did, in fact, jump! He barely caught the bottle! He wasn’t too eager to get into it, though!* So um … I know vampires are pretty um … farfetched. But I heard there was a vampire who operated out of this very bar about five or six years ago? -03:40 Jul 09

The bartender snorted and went back to polishing his glass. “So? You’re not about to tell me it was Count Dracula, are you?”

Leon: Uh … I dunno about that. He might have been called that before, though. *He honestly didn’t know but the possibility was there!* You wouldn’t happen to know someone named … um … well not really named. It was more like a title he might have gone by but doesn’t anymore. Um … Prince Marionette? -03:47 Jul 09

The bar became more silent. If that was even more possible. “What’d ya say?” someone asked, far off in the corner of the bar. Unfortunately the person was cloaked in shadow but Leon might have been able to see the worn pants and the sneakers.

Leon: *The alarms were going off in his head but he’d come too far to back away. This was his last chance. If he found a dead end, his mission was screwed.* Prince Marionette. *He turned in his seat to the voice.* Have you … heard of him? -03:52 Jul 09

There was a loud snort. “Guess you could say that.” The man leaned forward to show a face marked with scars. “Heh. But you’re about to wish you hadn’t.” He stood and suddenly the room had a lot more people …

Leon: *Gulped! So much for things going smoothly! Time to go! He dashed for the door!* -04:00 Jul 09

An arm shot out of nowhere to grab him and yanked him backwards, sending him crashing into tables and against the wall! The man with the scars walked over to him and leaned over him. “Tch. Stupid wolf.” He stepped back. “Rip him to shreds.”

The bar was alive with creatures with glowing red eyes and claws! And teeth. Lots of teeth. All of them catching the dim light! They moved in for the kill! It had been awhile since they’ve had fresh meat!

Leon: *Looked up in time to see all the things surrounding him and gulped!* Can’t we … talk about this … Woof? *He suddenly morphed into a dark gray wolf with a rather fluffy tail! He dashed for the door again, weaving around creatures!* -04:06 Jul 09

Seeing the wolf bolt, the creatures start to swarm around the door! He’s not getting away! They block his escape rather effectively!

Leon: *Skidded to a halt when he realized he was blocked in! He leaned close to the floor! He was trapped! What was he going to do?! He snarled at the creatures drawing in on him and bit at anything that came too close!* -04:11 Jul 09

BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG! Several rather large holes appear in the door behind the creatures, casting bright light into the bar!

The creatures struck by the light shrunk back, hissing! They fled away from the light! The others turned and looked up at what was happening at the front!

Leon: *Realizing this was his chance to take cover and that the door wasn’t safe, he cleared the bar and took cover beneath it!* -04:15 Jul 09

BANGBANGBANGBANG! Several more shots pierced the door only to fly straight across the bar and through the back wall, causing more light to spill in!

The creatures cried out and now were attempting to slink back into the shadows they had come from! The man with the scars was just standing there, looking around wildly for any sign of the wolf!

Leon: *Those noises! He just had to see what was happening! Against his better judgement–and he rarely had those–he lifted his canine head over the counter!* -04:20 Jul 09

Ah-ha! The man spotted him peeking over the bar to get a glimpse of the action! He crossed the distance to grab him by the scruff of his neck. He drew his lips back in a snarl, showing fangs!

Leon: *Struggle! Kick! Claw! Bite! Anything! He twisted and turned in the grip! He was in trouble now!* -04:23 Jul 09

Someone kicked the door open and dashed forward! BANGBANGBANGBANG! More holes were shot in the bar, causing the room to be lit up even more!

The man suddenly dropped the wolf as a shaft of light hit his wrist! He snarled and stepped back. Then he moved around the light and grabbed Leon again!

Leon: *Was just scrambling to safety after being dropped when he felt a claw grab his tail! OOOOOOOOWWWWHHHHH!! He threw his head back and howled! THAT HURT!* -04:29 Jul 09

Gabriel: *Pressed his gun’s muzzle against the vampire’s temple.* Drop the wolf.

He froze and glanced over at the muzzle that was suddenly there! He loosened his grip on the wolf and let him drop! He didn’t dare move. He might be a vampire but he knew that voice. Then again, few in the vampire world didn’t.

Leon: *Didn’t stop howling until he managed to scramble away and realized his tail was free! The throbbing slowly went away and he turned to see … Gabriel?! Man, this was twice he’d saved his life!* -04:34 Jul 09

Gabriel: *Moved the gun away from the vampire’s temple–only to shoot him in the back of his knee!* … Where is he?

The vampire dropped to the ground, howling! He put his weight on his other side and moved his wounded leg away from his body.* What the–What … what is this?!

Leon: *Managed to calm down enough to turn back into his human form. He winced as he walked though, toward Gabriel. He didn’t get too close. He didn’t want to get his head blown off!* -04:40 Jul 09

Gabriel: No. Where is he? *He pressed the muzzle against the vampire’s temple again.*

“I … I … I don’t know, man!” He was breathing heavily. No matter how much he tried to ignore it, the pain didn’t go away. What was even more confusing was that his leg wasn’t healing! “I mean … ugghh … a lot of guys come and go through here!”

Leon: *He sat down on a stool at the bar and watched. He couldn’t help it. There was a morbid fascination in how all of this was going on.* -04:44 Jul 09

Gabriel: *The gun moved again and this time, it shot the vampire in the back of the knee in the other leg!*

“AAAGGGGGHHH!!” The vampire let out another bloodcurdling howl as he dropped forward! Now he was scrambling to get away, using his claws to inch forward! “Please … Please don’t kill me!”

Gabriel: *A foot on his back. The gun against the back of his head.* Michael.

Leon: * – second and -04:52 Jul 09

The vampire reached into his jacket to pull out a business card and handed it to Gabriel. “He–he’s there! Now please … please don’t kill me!”

Gabriel: *Took the card, examined it, and put it inside of his jacket. He pulled the gun muzzle away from his head and took his foot off–only to point the gun at the vampire’s head again! BANG!*

Leon: *Nearly jerked back in surprise as the bullet split that vampire’s head like a watermelon! He didn’t know if Gabriel had noticed him or not–although nothing seemed to escape this guy’s notice. He stole a glance at the place and to see if there were anymore creatures lurking about! -04:57 Jul 09

No creatures! Just the vampire’s corpse–Oh wait, that turned to ash!

Ciara: *It didn’t take long to reach the docks. She took one of the hotel shuttles to be dropped off and walked the rest of the way. She was checking her watch as she stopped in front of the boat ramp. Her captain should already be on board, and everything all prepared. And this time, no one was going to sneak on board and assassinate her date before she could do it herself!* -02:52 Jul 09

In no time at all, a familiar black limo pulled up! The driver opened the door and Anthony walked out, dressed in a suit of course!

Anthony: *Stepped out and shielded his eyes, although he wore sunglasses!* Ah, Ms Grey! How lovely to see you again! *He said as he walked up to her.*

Ciara: *She graced him with a wide smile!* You’re dressed to kill, Mr. Carnatelli. -02:59 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly and bent forward to take her hand and kiss the back.* And you look enough to eat, Ms Grey. *He chuckled softly.* But perhaps I should save the snacking for while you are reading these … humble pages. *From inside his jacket, he drew out a large dark yellow envelope, the sort you sent documents through the mail in.*

Ciara: *None too shy, she pluck the envelope from his hands and started up the ramp, she flashed him a grin over her shoulder as she walked.* Welcome to my Sea Princess. It promises to be a dreadfully uneventful day over the water. -03:05 Jul 09

Anthony: *Smiled and chuckled softly as he followed.* I would not be too sure of that. After all, I happen to find your company anything but uneventful. But it would be nice to spend some time alone with you.

Ciara: *Once on the ship’s deck she snapped her fingers twice. The captain could see her and nodded. She led Anthony around to the back, stepping down a few steps and in to a spacious but intimate gathering area. There was a small bar, already providing a few snacks and drinks, and a plush sofa that Ciara straight for. She dropped her purse on a table, and sat herself comfortably, with her legs pulled up underneath her.* Feel free to make yourself at home. I thought a more casual day might be less stressful. -03:13 Jul 09

Anthony: My thanks. *He chuckled softly as he settled down and took off his sunglasses.* After a long day at the office, a casual day is more than welcome. I never expected you to be the seafaring type, Ms Grey.

Ciara: For a while I thought I was going to be a pirate, but then I realized most pirates end up hanged, so I gave it up. *She was already pulling the papers out of the evelope and looking them over. Her sunglasses tilted far down on her nose so she should see. This would be the easiest date ever.. all she had to do was pretend he was Leon and ignore him when she wasn’t smiling sweet!* -03:21 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly.* Indeed. But you would have made a most wonderful pirate.

Ciara: I would have enjoyed it too. Talking parrots and swinging swords… That was the entire reason I took fencing lessons. *Ciara counted how many pages there were, kicking her shoes off in to the floor.* -03:29 Jul 09

Anthony: Fencing, did you say? A graceful sport indeed. I often watched people fence when I was younger. I lacked the grace and poise to be a champion fencer, I fear.

Ciara: *She pulled off her sunglasses, casting him a look of disbelief.* Now why don’t I believe you? You very much look like a sword man to me. -03:33 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly.* I am more a collector than an actual wielder, Ms Grey. *He winked.* There were times when I dreamt of being King Arthur, knighting men and swinging swords. My father often told me to get my head out of the clouds and get back to work.

Ciara: If I weren’t so incredibly busy reading these papers, I might show you a thing or two, Mr. Carnatelli. *Oh yes… Swinging a weapon at his head would be a great deal of fun. Ciara grinned to herself!* -03:36 Jul 09

Anthony: *Another soft chuckle.* Oh, I am quite sure you will. *He murmured.* So … have my words caused your brain to decay just yet?

Ciara: To be honest… *She turned to another page.* Maybe I overestimated your talent just a little. *A teasing smile.* It’s not too bad. -03:43 Jul 09

Anthony: *Put a hand to his chest and feigned a look of pain. He chuckled softly.* You have cut me to the quick, Ms Grey. But I suppose the fact that your eyes have not yet begun to bleed is considered a very good thing.

Ciara: So maybe you cn’t be a writer. You could still… well. At least you have your current business. *Smirk!* I hope I haven’t broken your heart. -03:47 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly.* The truth does hurt, I must confess. But I more or less expected such. I must thank you, Ms Grey. It is rare that I ever find someone who can be honest with me nowadays.

Ciara: Ah, Mr. Carnatelli, were I a saint of honesty, I’m not so sure you’d like me very much at all. I can say some awful dreadful things when the mood hits me. …Or I hit someone. *She held up her hand to show off her knuckles.* My new assistant dodged. -03:51 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly but then he took her hand gently and examined her knuckles.* Ah, he is quite quick on his feet, I see. *He kissed the knuckles before releasing her hand.* I hope you are taking it easy.

Ciara: Hmm. A day with an interesting man on a private boat. I do think that’s taking it easy. *She leaned forward to set the papers on the table.* -03:55 Jul 09

Anthony: *He watched her set the papers down and chuckled softly.* As do I. So, Ms Grey, you must have had quite the life. A heiress from the start, I have heard.

Ciara: All the ponies and dolls a little girl could ever want. It was really quite dull. *She leaned backed against the sofa, reguarding him with an examining glance.* I know so little about you outside of the business world… Maybe you could shed some light on it. -04:02 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly.* I don’t know. Many would consider that paradise. But as to your request, I shall take that to mean I am doing an exceptional job at keeping my life private.

Ciara: You’re certainly a mysterious man. I suppose that’s why you’re so interesting… the pleasure of trying to uncover all of your secrets. -04:06 Jul 09

Anthony: *Smiled.* Ah, Ms Grey. You struck me as a woman who loves a challenge.

Ciara: Am I that obvious? *She cast him a grin, waving a hand as if to brush the idea away!* I suppose I am that person that tries things most people wouldn’t dare to do. -04:11 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly.* Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. Where would the world be if there were not people who dard to be different, to break from the mold they were cast in?

Ciara: A very boring place. *She leaned towards him, bracing a hand on the cushion between them.* We are unbelievably lucky to be in an interesting world. -04:15 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly and leaned close.* Indeed. And may it continue to be an interesting world for a very long time.

Ciara: That’s so very true! But.. what do you suppose would make it so much more amusing? *Ciara gave him a wicked smile!* -04:19 Jul 09

Anthony: *Soft chuckle.* I don’t know about the world but I know kissing you would make my life more interesting.

Ciara: Ooo.. what a brilliant idea. Maybe you should kiss me, Mr. Carnatelli. *Ciara closed her eyes as she smirked!* I’ll even pretend it’s a surprise. -04:22 Jul 09

Anthony: *Grin!* Alright … *He leaned forward–and kissed her on the cheek.*

Ciara: *Blinkblink! Ciara didn’t bother to hide her disappointed scowl.* What am I, your sister? I’m sure you could do better than that. -04:25 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly. The smile on his face told her he was amused.* I am a bit rusty, Ms Grey, but I will give it a try. *He moved closer to her and finally kissed her lips. A gentle brush, then a bit more firm.*

Ciara: *That was better. It’s not like she was wearing poison lip gloss… yet. She leaned forward to tilt her head and take advantage!* -04:31 Jul 09

Anthony: *One arm came around her waist to pull her a bit closer as he continued the kiss a little longer.*

Ciara: *Ciara thought about kittens. Yes! Cute fuzzy kittens. That had her smiling against his mouth as she kissed, and brought her hand up to his arm clutching the fabric of his jacket.* -04:38 Jul 09

Anthony: *He kissed her harder, leaned against her and he opened his mouth against hers. His tongue brushed against her lips and a “Mm” escaped.*

Ciara: *She should have worn that lipgloss. Ciara shifted so she could slid her other arm around his neck. Nipping at his bottom lip with her teeth and a subtle smirk!* -04:46 Jul 09

Anthony: *Smiled and he slowly leaned back to break the kiss. He chuckled softly.* Ms Grey, I may be rusty but I must say you are quite the kisser.

Ciara: *Her best breathless voice!* Hmm… I’ve had some practice… You’re not so bad for an old man. -04:51 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly.* A compliment and and a barb. Very nice touch.

Ciara: *A devilish grin.* I could call you names and curse if that’s any better. -04:54 Jul 09

Anthony: *Chuckled softly.* I am afraid I reserve that pleasure for my third dates. *He smiled.* But if you were interested, I could arrange something.

Ciara: *Ciara leaned back against the sofa, twirling a bit of her hair around her finger seeming to give it a great deal of thought!* That sounds tempting. And it would promise to be as fun as today…? -05:01 Jul 09

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