longterm: (11 copy)
Cesare Borgia ([personal profile] longterm) wrote in [community profile] undergrounds2017-05-07 01:17 pm

Cesare vs. Sylvia (Territory Claim)

Cesare was reading the paper, sipping his morning coffee when the news of the Sylvia Redbright scandal broke. Good. He appreciated that so far Samantha had held up to her end of the bargain. All things considered, he had hoped she would but certainly hadn't expected it from her. Over time, Cesare has learned that people can be slippery like that, especially when you give them an opportunity for it. So far, Samantha has been solid. He likes her.

That morning he arranges a meeting with the press in one of the private function rooms of his hotel, somewhere private, where he cannot be interrupted. He's dressed in a suit, though his normal, somewhat ostentatious cufflinks are traded in for something more modest, and he's standing at a lectern on which his speech is written, a speech that he had written weeks prior.

"I am not the representative for my Nest and I speak solely for myself. However, I am certain when I say that President Redbright's behaviour has been shocking, appalling and harrowing. She has lead not one, not two, but three of the most prominent factions within this city and she has done so with underhand deals, deception and subterfuge. It is dishonest. It is corrupt. And it is undiplomatic.

When given the opportunity to be the voice of the people, she has used this power not for good, but for her own crooked personal gain. She has betrayed the people she was charged with representing, and that is why it is only right that she surrender a portion of the territories that she has dishonestly acquired, and give them to the Night Council that she has cheated for so long.

I am asking not for my own personal gain, but as a concerned citizen who has had enough of her corruption. It is time that she be held to account for her actions."
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-05-29 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Natasha is good to her word. After her conversation with Sylvia, when the news breaks, she reaches out to Cesare—she leaves a message for him, letting know she'll be by around 1am, if he's free for a visit. He might not be, she knows that.

But she says it's about Sylvia.

She doesn't think he'll pass up the opportunity to gloat.

Whether or not he opts to join her, Natasha shows up at the hotel promptly and heads for the bar to wait.
Edited 2017-05-29 21:13 (UTC)
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-06-01 03:30 pm (UTC)(link)
"Officially? Neither." Natasha turns toward him slightly, not to face him straight on, but three quarters, something like that. "Officially, Sylvia asked me to let you know she doesn't have any intention of submitting to your demands."

Her mouth turns up ruefully. She doesn't have to feign her discomfort with the situation. That's the trick to doing what she does: the emotions are real, because she's not entirely comfortable with the situation. She's not happy to have tied her fortune to Sylvia here then have scandal come out. That doesn't mean she's not loyal or that she has any intention of actually changing sides, but that part, Cesare doesn't have to know.

The fact she's disappointed in her faction's leadership is enough.

"Unofficially... Maybe a little of column A, little of column B."
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-06-06 02:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Natasha has done this not just with vampire nests. She's faced off with KGB, with Russian mobsters. She knows the steps—and she knows she has to offer something to sweeten the deal.

At least, she suspected. She might still have hoped it wouldn't come to this.

"I'll pass along your message," she says with an air of regret, of resignation. "Hopefully that doesn't mean you won't at least have a drink with me. I had something other than scotch in mind."

He doesn't have to believe she's making a complete turn, doesn't even have to believe she's going off the wagon for good. All Natasha needs is for the gambit to be big enough to keep him interested, keep him talking a little longer, keep him curious where this kind of compromise might lead.

She does a good job of hiding the cold sweat that breaks on the back of her neck at the thought of human blood.
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-06-10 01:31 am (UTC)(link)
Natasha isn't surprised by this. She hoped he'd have something on ice, but she knew better than to expect it. The look she gives the girl is stoic, not showing either her anxiety or her temptation.

She's the one who started this, and she's not going to swerve so easily.

"Would it be possible to go somewhere more private?" she asks rather than argue. "It's been a while... might be better not to have that out in the open here."
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-06-13 04:41 am (UTC)(link)
"I wouldn't call it a change in heart," Natasha says, sitting beside Jessica, her posture just a little more slumped than normal. "More like... a lapse in judgment."

She shakes her head a little, giving him a wry look. Not a smile. "Seemed like a good night to fall off the wagon."

A pause. She doesn't trust Cesare, but she has to say one other thing. There are sacrifices she's willing to make for this mission, but she'll only compromise herself so far.

"You'll make sure I don't get carried away with her?"
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-06-15 01:53 am (UTC)(link)
Natasha guesses it's nerves, but she's committed now. She doesn't know that she trusts Cesare to be true to his word. It's easy for her to imagine him letting her go too far and holding it over her head in the future.

But his assurance is what she's got. She doesn't intend to lose control, but who does.

Gently, she takes the girl's wrist and turns it up, her eyes going to the blue veins visible through the skin. It's almost an effort, in a weird way, to relax enough to let her fangs descend. She's been fighting the urge so long that it's become habit. Or maybe it's fear of what will happen next.

It does happen though, with a sigh, and she lifts the girl's wrist to her lips.
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-06-25 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
She does hear him, but she's in no position to answer. The flavor of blood rolling over her tongue, the heat of the girl's body, the satisfaction of finally, after nearly a year and a half without, feeding on human blood, all keep her enthralled. It takes all of her concentration not to rush.

He's right, though, at least about this. It is good, and she can't hide that she enjoys this or that she missed it.
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-06-27 07:46 pm (UTC)(link)
It's good. It's very good. For the first time in far too long, she doesn't feel sick or weak. There's a thrill that goes with feeding, always has been for her. It's hard to let that go. Cesare's eyes on her, then his voice, the light touch of his hand, stirs up old memories that she normally tries not to think about.

The words had been different then, though.

Natasha doesn't let go of the girl immediately. It takes a short few seconds for her to remember how to draw her fangs out of the girl's skin gently, how to stop the work in her mouth and throat.

When she does finally draw away, it's panting and dazed herself, like a brand new vampire rather than one with a few decades under her belt.

She licks her lips as she comes down, finally focusing on Cesare.
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-07-01 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Natasha can't even argue that. She doesn't say it, but the flush in her cheeks is agreement enough. Her eyes snap open at his words, though, then she glances down at her shirt, the blood dribbled down from her chin.

She wipes her face in a daze and shakes her head.

"Thanks," she says, her attention going to Jessica then. "Don't know if that'll be necessary."

She's not sure it won't be. Is she really supposed to go back to pig blood after that?
outstandingbalance: (cerocida strigosa)

[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-07-13 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm not sure I'm trying to make this a regular thing," Natasha says, but slowly. It's real confusion that she lets cross her face, though she deploys it with intention. He's right that she's trying to get a finger hold on his time. With that, she has room to work.

She doesn't expect him to change his mind though.

Mostly she hopes he'll try to change hers, and drop some information along the way. If he listens to her every so often along the way, it would be a bonus but nothing she counts on. She knows she doesn't have that kind of pull.

"It just seemed like a good night to fall of the wagon. It's been..." She shrugs. "I guess it makes you wonder if Redbright is quite as admirable as it seems. The institute, not the person."

The person, Natasha holds no illusions about.
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-07-17 02:27 am (UTC)(link)
Natasha doesn't imagine he trusts her. She doesn't for a moment imagine that he believes she's come over to his side.

But he doesn't need to. He just has to be interested enough to keep the communication open between them, to give her opportunities. That comes with a risk. It comes with greater temptation for herself.

"I know how you feel about that, but there are worse things than allowing vampires. It's a start. I think—I thought, at least—that it could grow from there."
Edited 2017-07-17 02:27 (UTC)
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-07-23 01:04 am (UTC)(link)
"That's a little beyond my ambitions at this point." She says it with a tired smile, seeing it for the joke but also seeing the suggestion in it. He might not believe she'll take it, not now, but she knows that if Cesare thought he could install Natasha in Redbright, he would be behind it in a moment.

She might not be part of a nest, but he'd definitely love to have a vampire installed in another position of power in London.

"I don't think the school is quite ready for that."
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[personal profile] outstandingbalance 2017-07-27 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
"Of course not." Natasha sghs, considering the situation. She shakes her head, considering the bottle of blood that he's left out for her. "You're too kind for that. But kindness aside... the optics would be terrible. A vampire climbing the ranks outside of the nest would have more or less everyone up in arms against it."