Group: Springbarrow (Admin)
Member No.: 4
Joined: 19-June 11
Their discussion of art and the like in the garden, as well as Donovan Ryder's admittance that he had not, in fact, seen some of the more beautiful artwork of the palace, encouraged Amaranth to invite him back inside. True, some of it was inappropriate, which explained why it was hiding away in the back corners of the residential areas, but that did not make it any less beautiful... or less embarrassing.
The lighting in these hallways was dimmed, the artwork being more of paintings than of statuary. Amaranth had removed much of the... inappropriate masonry to the harem where she felt it would be more appreciated. Or something. But, regardless, Amaranth had not wanted to destroy the treasures and so they were kept as much out of direct or damaging sunlight as possible.
"This hallway has all of the artwork that I have over heard humans referring to as fig-leaf stuff. I have no idea what it is really called, but I suppose that is somewhat accurate as the individuals do in fact prominently display fig leaves rather than appropriate clothing."
Ami was thankful for the dim lighting. Discussing the lack of clothing was not exactly a topic of discussion Amaranth was ever up for. Her eyes darted to her partner who appeared to be as cool and unflappable as ever. A small sigh of relief fell from her and her posture relaxed a bit more.
"All that aside, however, the paintings are full of rich colors. I particularly enjoy paintings from this time period because of the fantastic scenes that can be played out in the background. I don't really understand why it was the artist couldn't put clothing on the people but..."
Relaxed and almost enjoying herself, Amaranth allowed her sentence to die off with a shrug. She felt no need to be perfect in front of her companion. His complete void of emotion was so freeing.
Donovan had to wonder why he had, in fact, turned up to this rendezvous in the hallways of the Palace. He failed to appreciate art overly much, since art’s aim was to stir emotion and he more or less had none, thus turning even the most astounding of masterpieces into nothing more than a rather aesthetically pleasing doodle. However, his admittance that he had no seen much of the Palace artwork had prompted the Angel Queen to invite him to view some of the pieces.
He was somewhat grateful that the lighting in this particular area of the Palace was dimmed, as Donovan found bright light to be somewhat irritating to the eyes. His understanding was that harsh lights damaged the artwork in some way and thus more gentle illumination was used. Donovan was used to standing in dark and somewhat dingy places; it was usually the best place to move from in an attempt to feed. If one could simply leap from the shadows onto one’s prey then the victim wouldn’t know what had struck. The vampire’s preference for darkness was purely practical; gloom provided cover, as well as a convenient place to hide the bodies. The murky areas around the Circus currently held many of the misbegotten souls to have come across the hungry Donovan.
“Fig leaf stuff?” What a strange name for an art form. Then again, Donovan could see the Queen’s point; there were an inordinate number of the leaves present in place of normal and appropriate clothing. Gesturing to one particular work, the vampire replied in an off hand manner, “Perhaps the artist was impatient or simply not skilled at clothing; there is also something liberating and pure about nudity, the artist may be encouraging the audience to simply go back to nature.”
i have no brushes, just
How disgustingly depraved these humans could be. Yes, he'd seen the works in the Harem, and rather enjoyed them as such, finding them to appeal to him, but still the wonders of their culture never ceased to amaze him as they turned historic scenes and moments of religious importance into great depictions of sex and indecency. Indulging his curiosity in the next image, his fingers trailed along the vertical edge of the frame, caressing each of the small, decorative bumps as the vicious eyes drifted across the brush strokes which worked together to create this. This 'art'. Not what he was used to in the slightest, but then the demonic sense of artistic fashion was far more detailed, often in statue form, and with so many talented incubi, the results were rather spectacular.
The sound of voices further off piqued his interest, and from the shadows of the dark hallways, the malicious glint could be seen as his head twisted madly towards the source. Amaranth. Donovan. On a little playdate he presumed, hoping to be alone to indulge in the queen's perverse display of her hidden, dirty pleasures. What did she think as she walked around here? Was her mind truly cold and filled with the facts and figures of a machine, or did that just compensate for the burning heat between her legs as she observed the graphic scenes in each of the pictures. Did she wish she was there? Valon certainly expected that was the case, but she would never confirm his thoughts, and would simply deny everything he would say that would portray her as anything but pure.
He didn't need her words, however, and without entering light, he passed from shadow to shadow, seeking out the company within the gallery, and finally arrived behind a pillar, with them consulting an image on the other side. Fig leaves? Indeed. He smirked to himself. What a scene. One without emotions, and the other suppressed to the point of self-imposed tyranny. And then there was him, as the loose spanner in their works, with a fully-functioning set of emotions which could appreciate the subject of the depicted image without considering the artist's intentions as far as being provocative or making a statement was concerned. Why he was not invited to this little get-together he couldn't fathom, but thoughts did tend to wander, and wonder, contemplating Amaranth's intentions with the demon.
Was she trying to get away with an affair? Here in this place, where she assumed herself alone? The smile broke wider, wicked teeth evident in the darkness, and the eyes continued to shine with their dark glint. He'd been silent long enough, and his sexual side would no longer stomach this talk of nature when there were plenty of comments concerning female figures and perilous positions within the pictures themselves. He remained obscured, the mainly-empty room echoing his voice as the omnipresent and omniscient figure he often was. "Well now, isn't this an interesting scenario?" His voice was low, teasing. Laced with poison, one might even say. "What her majesty means to say, Donovan, is that she finds the fig leaves to be both arousing and frustrating to her. She would much prefer to see the fully naked body, rather than be teased with scarce concealments."
Ami had settled back onto her left heel, relaxed and enjoying the discussion. She opened her mouth to argue with him and shut it again as she reconsidered it from his perspective. It was quite possible he was correct. It could be less a deliberately suggestive attempt on the part of the humans, and more an encouragement to return to their natural lives.
Nodding slightly, she straightened her posture and opened her mouth to let him know she felt he might have something there when a voice echoed through the room. Not just any voice, Valon's voice.
The change that came over Amaranth was instant. Gone was the relaxed Ami; her back was straight, her eyes watchful and wary. Wings were tight against her back, downy feathers settling from the snap that pulled them tight against her back. She scanned the room, looking for a sign of where he was. When nothing became immediately apparent she determined that, like the coward he was, he was hiding.
Or he was spying. Looking for something to use against her in negotiations. And that thought simply raised Amaranth's ire, which, in turn, lowered the ambient temperature of the room. Whether or not Mr. Ryder noticed the change went unnoticed by the Queen. How DARE that bastard accuse her of such things.
"I hardly think hiding in the shadows is the most chivalrous of behaviors your Majesty." The voice was cold as ice and hard as the woman who spoke the words. "You could at least have the courtesy to come out into the open with your... accusations and assumptions."
Biting her tongue she refrained from continuing the statement and attacking him on a more personal level. She would play this game with him. She had made the point to him before that she was not ruled by base instincts as he was. She was a being of higher intelligence, not some animal ruled by desire.
If Donovan had been capable of being startled then he would, most likely, have jumped three feet in the air and made some startled noise. However, with things being such as they were he merely turned to face his King and leader, sketching a short bow. “Sire?” Mien führer. This thought had a peculiar edge to it, something that Donovan could not identify, and the vampire wondered where this strange thought had come from, unbidden and laced with that oddness. It was almost like a texture. Could words have texture? Of course they could. There were hard, harsh words of discipline, and soft words to whisper in another’s ear. What made the words hard or soft? What gave them that texture and quality?
The Queen’s instant transition from relaxed angel to uptight ruler was impressive even by Donovan’s standards, and he spent a great deal of time watching others in order to improve his charade. Valon seemed to have this particular effect on the Queen on a regular basis; the vampire had never seen Amaranth relax while the Demonic King was around and Donovan thought it all rather curious. Why was the Angel Queen so… tense around his King?
While Donovan heard Valon’s words, he did not truly understand them; he knew neither arousal nor frustration. He also wondered why it was that his King was lurking elsewhere in the shadows rather than speaking his words to the Queen’s face, something that the Queen voiced aloud. It felt altogether as though the record of life had skipped and Donovan had missed part of the conversation. What accusations and assumptions? It was rather puzzling, and Donovan’s bemusement showed clearly on his face with very little to no effort on his part; his muscles slid comfortably into this new facial expression with none of his usual mechanical thought. He truly did not understand what was happening around him.
i have no brushes, just
His wicked grin broadened as he sensed Amaranth's entire figure freeze in the instant his voice broke the barrier and hit her. He didn't look to see her, but he could sense that she was there, looking around as best as she could with not wanting to turn her head. Not daring, lest her eyes fall upon him. Maybe she didn't want to look him in the eyes. Didn't trust herself to without falling under his spell, or whatever reason she had determined for herself. Either way, the thought was delicious to his mind, and his tongue ran slowly across the inside of his lip, savouring the torture he could inflict upon the Queen at just being present and speaking. Admittedly, his lack of visible presence was a factor, but wars were not won through brute force alone. In the art of shadow manipulation and stealth, he was a renowned deity.
She would see it as hiding, but then she did the same. Avoiding him when she could, deterring their meetings, trying to pass him off with less than he would accept. She cowered in her bedroom, and her husband was yet to be seen, assuming he still breathed and had not been insidiously assassinated by some plot conspired by the corrupt queen and her army of winged henchmen. She looked around, but her eyes would pierce neither the darkness of his surroundings, nor the pillar which resolutely obscured her view of him. If she wandered towards him, and entered the dim lighting and enshrouding blackness, then he knew he'd have her very much at his mercy. But she'd not do such a bold thing.
He could feel the room dropping in pressure, and shook his head, which rested against the stone, with a silent laugh directed to the ceiling. And she criticized his use of the term 'Ice Queen' for her? "Chivalry is an act that would send a thousand prisoners of war back to their homes to return against you and fight." he muttered into the echoing room, knowing she would find little there to relate to. She could not lead an army, and never had, as far as he knew. Who would follow such a woman, besides? His was the way of a dreaded warrior, and any prisoners who fled and were caught were subsequently executed. Or thrown to the rest of the army, should the carrion they captured be worthy of entertainment or pleasure to the victors, but that was a rare occurrence.
"My accusations stand, but please, speak no ill of what you call assumptions. I find you in the presence of naught but a man and erotic art, and you find it dastardly of me, I'm sure, to impose on you in such a manner. And to draw attention to what is only so clear. My dear Amaranth, you see me as someone seeking to find the corruption within you, and yet it is not a matter of finding it as it is pointing the blatant qualities which your eyes are blind to. Or maybe, not blind... but then that would be you hiding something." His head twisted to the side a little, his voice slipping around one side of the pillar, and his tone remained calm. Stable, but it did have rises and falls, with an innocent and blameless tone which belied his nature completely. Not that it was necessarily untrue, of course, but then he could only speculate. Not assume, but facts were rather much pointing in the same direction.
Now would be the interesting response, to see how well she would deny these, and how forcefully she would argue. 'I loved her husband', she would protest. 'I'm not like you', she would judge. That, and likely a hundred more terrible comments about him, and everything about him, which he would willingly hear just so he could sense that quiver of doubt at the back of her throat. Or, if not, have the chance to place that seed of insecurity there. Did she love her husband? Or was she drifting apart from him, and seeking the solace of company amongst other men. Donovan was, although demonic, rather much like Amaranth in his own way. Emotionless. He was a valuable commodity for Valon. Ruthless when dealing with an issue. Knowing how his enemies thought.
"Yes, Donovan." he smirked at the man's query. "It is I. I hope you have been enjoying your cultural insights. There's some rather marvellous breasts further along." He had no idea just what Donovan felt about women, or the female form at all. He suspected something reserved and blunt, without any of the amazing things that made it such a fantastic piece of artwork in its own right. Possibly not, but he could never be sure. Either way, his body slipped from behind the pillar, moving invisibly through the shadows to the other side. From this vantage point, he could see them to his side, but remained in the darkness. Perhaps in more senses of the term, but this was a situation he'd be shedding light on in due time.
"I beg to differ. Chivalry is an act that distinguishes men from cowards. You obviously have none and so it is easy to see on which side of the line you fall."
His innocent intonation simply worked to further fuel her irritation and she resisted the childish urge to march off in the direction of his voice. Amaranth was no fool. She knew quite well that when faced alone with him she was at his mercy. His advantages were unfair.
Unfair as well as ungentlemanly. And so she would fight him with the only weapon she had, her words. "Oh but, obviously we are not alone your Majesty. Quite obviously you are here with me. And certainly you, as a monarch yourself, are aware that as royalty one is never alone." And unlike you, I have no problems remaining faithful to my spouse...
She strove to remain calm in tone, though her posture was far from it. He could taunt all he wanted, she would remain just as "innocent" as he. And at least she wasn't hiding in the shadows like some sort of child. "You will have to forgive the lapse in judgement when I had the art moved. I was not able to oversee it's placement, Mr. Ryder, and when looking through the more... colorful pieces of art these are nearest my gardens."
She was through with Valon. This had begun as an enjoyable afternoon and she was determined to have it continue as one. If Valon were incapable of being polite than she would simply ignore him.
"I have to say that your argument concerning the artwork is one I had not thought of. Much like members of your race, humans have a tendency to indulge their animalistic sides and I am not afraid to admit that may have colored my opinion of their art as well."
She refused to acknowledge the comment about breasts. What would he know about breasts anyway? As if he ever spent time with them... Obviously all he was was fuck and run... constantly... Amaranth shoved the thoughts away before they could undermine her current position and spoke again.
"Some of the more... religious work can be found in the next hallway if you're interested. It can certainly be called fantastic and may open up further opportunity for discussions that perhaps we are both better able to engage in." Humans and their artwork... it was quite quaint the depictions of heaven and hell. Turning, she began to move out of the gallery and towards the doorway. Valon could join if he wished or he could stay and masturbate to pictures of barely clothed individuals. If he chose the latter, Amaranth would no more be surprised than she would have liked to stay and witness it.
Somewhat aware that he was trapped in that political place so fondly referred to as ‘between a rock and a hard place’, Donovan decided that the most diplomatic measure he could take would be to keep his mouth shut. Besides, this was clearing something of a semi-private topic for Valon and Amaranth, and the vampire had little desire to become embroiled in their continuous quest for dominance over each other.
Donovan was vaguely insulted at Valon’s description of him as a ‘man’. Surely the vampire was actually one of the least suspect people around? Although Donovan couldn’t know, the King was actually rather accurate in his gauging of the vampire’s views of women; although ‘reserved’ and ‘blunt’ didn’t quite cover the astounding indifference he felt toward members of the opposite sex. Then again, as Donovan mentally reviewed the females in his life, he had very little to even consider fantasising over; Devlynn, he thought of in terms of a surrogate daughter, someone to protect; Rina was a figure from his childhood, and someone he had not spoken much to in recent times, though he was distantly aware that she was in the Palace. The only other figure of femininity in his life was the Angelic Queen.
Donovan considered the Queen now. He need not make any effort to school his face into stillness, for as long as he made no effort to feint some expression it would remain cold and emotionless. Amaranth was far more like him than any demon he had ever known. Demons were ruled by instinct and emotion, and the Angels by reason and cold logic. It was… Donovan sought after a word… attractive? Yes. The vampire pursued this thought to test it’s authenticity. Angels were attractive. The next thought rather leapt into existence with little prompting on Donovan’s part, and that next outrageous thought was: if Angels are attractive, then so their Queen must also be. The vampire’s face gave an involuntary spasm, a movement doubtlessly noticed by Valon. Luckily, the Queen was already moving on and had her back to him.
i have no brushes, just
He could have laughed at her for that. She had such a romanticized imagination, and a view of chivalry which was simply childish and unrealistic. Did she truly believe that there could be a man on a white horse whom could do no wrong, and would triumph over evil in all its forms? That such an unblemished and pure individual whom had no drawbacks and possessed no negative qualities. "How very interesting." he smirked, finding her amusing. "I would hardly doubt your experience amongst cowards, but then you are surrounded by them regularly. I can imagine that a backbone in your presence is an unfamiliar experience." He knew he was certainly relate to that. So many feminine men, and peace-lovers whom wanted to avoid all the conflicts and just lay themselves down.
She made no efforts to turn towards him, or approach him, and as such the distance persisted. Who was the coward now? Was she truly too afraid to enter his court and prove herself truly above him? Of course she wasn't, but he was not surprised by this, and simply stored it as another hypocritical mark against her. "Of course, we are not alone physically. But you presumed yourself without the presence of anyone but yourself and your art partner. As such, my point stands. Royalty is never alone, but of course you know that. I'm sure you can't stand your own company for too long." Not that she wasn't fun to spend time with. He had immense amounts of enjoyment doing so. In these types of situations, at least.
He watched her for a moment, keeping his eyes latched to her as she continued talking, and it took a few seconds before recognising that she was talking to Donovan, though was loud enough for him to hear her. Excluding him from their conversation, and in the process blocking him entirely from her mind. Or at least trying to, but she couldn't consciously block him without being aware of him, and he found that a rather appropriate and delicious concept. The pains she would put herself through. Playing hard to get indeed, but it was a game she was going to lose at this rate. "Interesting that she would refer to us as animalistic, isn't it Donovan?" he spoke, returning to his Captain. "It's as though she sees us entirely inferior to her, simply because of our biology." How very unfairly racist of her. Not bad for one supposedly without emotions.
He followed on in the shadows, stepping ahead as the queen had began her walk, and from behind the next pillar his face was bathed in low light, watching from the darkness and following her movements with his eyes. They flicked back to the motionless Donovan, just in time to spot the small spasm cross his face, and Valon's eyes grew immediately fierce. They narrowed, shooting black daggers, and his steps drew backwards into darkness again, his face becoming slowly concealed by shadow until he was concealed, and then immediately passing onwards to keep up with the queen and her musings. His own mind was busy, wanting to know just what it was that had caused the facial twitch on the other demon. And thoughts moving ahead to what he needed to do. His eyes stalked her as the moved, and his mind worked on how to dispose of Donovan.
Shit. fuck. damn. fuck. shit shit shit shit shit. fuck. and damn
Damn that arrogant fucking bastard making her so flustered she couldn't think.
In her eagerness to escape Valon, Ami had chosen to move for more neutral artwork. A delightful choice were it not that she had allowed the designing of these areas to be done without her supervision. Religious artwork was filled with statues, the room was large and looming, full of shadowy areas, the lighting itself had always disturbed her. The room had been done to enhance the... violence in the artwork... humans... and was set to invoke a feeling of hell.
In fact, she recalled mentioning her displeasure at this, but had let it go as at the time she had not seen any reason to spend the funds on having it redone again. She could kick herself for the lack of foresight, but then really, who had seen the coming of that bastard. Now, in more ways than one and for lack of a better term, she was on his turf.
If she chose to simply pass through this room he would see it as a sign of weakness. If she stayed she would putting herself in a dangerous position. He was following her, she knew it and she figured he probably was aware that she knew as well. She could feel his thoughts tripping after her, feel the singular desire to destroy seeping through the air and making the ambiance of the room even worse.
And she had no choice but to stand and fight.
She stepped as naturally as was possible into the center of the room, staying in the light and ignoring the overwhelming feeling of being toyed with. Her eyes refused to rest long on any one piece of artwork, and she clasped her hands loosely behind her back. Amaranth struggled to keep from letting on how unsettled the room made her in general, the feeling only magnified in the current situation.
After all, art work depicting the rise of demons, heaven and hell at war, ravaging of angels... what of it wasn't made to stir feelings of discomfort in someone like her?