Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
Anne Rice Fanfiction Again, this sprang from a role play idea. Lusa and Antoinette are my own original characters; Armand belongs to Anne Rice. Inspiration was the Phantom of the Opera. I do ...
To begin with, the splendor must be told the Opera House itself. The ballroom of the House, also known as the main entrance hall, was the place of the splendid masquerade, for no other place in Paris could match for the spaciousness marble floors, sculpted columns spiraling into the high concave ceilings, the wide windows showing the black night sky dotted with gleaming stars, or the pearly marble steps leading deeper into the Opera House. No, no other place in glorious Paris could match this Opera House.
Musicians set themselves upon the first landing of the marble steps, playing rich, merry tunes to keep the mood of the masque light and cheery. The guests made their way in as a throng of party-goers, dressed in their finery. Rich, powerful people, patrons the Opera House could not live without, were present here, and among them, the Opera House people themselves, as waiters and waitresses, dressed to entertain and invite their guests' favor.
One man entered alone, walking silently in the group of people walking into the large ballroom. Unlike those around him, his demeanor was apathetic, as if the whole ordeal bored him. Dressed from head to toe in black, his face covered by a satin skull mask tied with a black ribbon, his auburn locks tied behind his head tightly and smoothly. He entered with an air of self-assurance known to men of many years, or men of power. His appearance was that of a seventeen year old boy. Over one arm he carried the wake of his cape, glancing around himself, now and then letting a smirk slip over his lips, amused at the mortal joy around him.
He took up a position by the musicians, standing and leaning on the rail at the bottom of the steps, watching the other guests enter, and spread about the ballroom. Some took places on the floor and began to dance, while others took spots by the walls and chatted behind fans or masks. But what caught his eye was a pair of black ravens - of all birds, they had come dressed as dismal, death-invoking, sorrow-filled ravens. The man wore a feathered, beaked mask, the feathers tinted with red highlights that the light picked out. It matched the streaming orange-red curls tied behind his head. Glancing down to take in the tailored suit and jacket, one would discover that this was not a man at all, but a woman too voluptuous to ever hide her body with binding or men's clothes. On her arm was a girl, seemingly barely eighteen, her mask tinted with blue to match the wealth of night-black blue-highlighted hair that fell down her back in press-iron curls. Her dress was black, in the style of the times, a tightly bound corset, satin and again, highlighted with blue.
The ravens took to the floor, the red raven taking the lead, holding the blue raven close. They acted like any other couple on the floor, patrons of the Opera House, come to enjoy the masque put on for them. But the man in Death's form knew who they were, and the memories of the blue raven came rushing back. He didn't move, though - he made no obvious sign of noticing the ravens, keeping his cool watch over the entire floor. When the musicians drew the current dance to a close, he moved forward, calmly, through the mortal throng, towards the ravens.
As the red raven came up from her bow to her partner, she glanced at Death walking towards them. A smirk graced her features - their kind was so sure of themselves - and nodded at him. Although she did not recognize him for a specific vampire, she did recognize him as one of them.
"May I have this dance?" He inquired politely in French, motioning one hand at the blue raven, but asking the red raven. Acknowledging who held the power. The red raven nodded and offered the blue raven's hand, lending the quiet possession to a new owner for a time. The Death figure too the blue raven's hand, and bowed to the red raven. She, though, was watching the blue raven's features, and the blue raven in turn had eyes only for the Death figure.
"Lusa, behave." With those commanding words, the red raven faded slowly back into the crowd, moving towards the windows with the chatty guests. She would watch from a distance like an over-protective parent. The Death figure turned his attention to the blue raven, sliding one hand politely around her waist, watching those glittering green eyes under the mask. Surely she remembered who he was. The music started, a slow waltz, and Death and the raven began to move in accordance.
"Lusa -" She shook her head, head turning slightly to look towards the red raven. The blue raven's mistress was deep in conversation with another, someone who had caught her interest with politics. The blue raven sighed with relief and turned back to the Death figure.
"It's not safe to use names; she can hear us, whether listening or not." The next few steps passed, music and laughter the only things in the air. The mood for these two was anything but happy. A turn, step one, step two, the waltz wound on through time, the dancers all in perfect time. One step, two, a spin and a dip, and the blue raven was looking up into the Death figure's gaze. Time froze for a moment, all the dancers in exact alignment, one partner dipping the other. The blue raven looked up, her violently green eyes looking into the Death figure's golden brown ones. Their faces were so close that one strong breath would bring their lips together in a movement familiar to both of them a million times over.
The Death figure bent, as if to finish the motion and give them what they both wanted; the blue raven tilted her head up, accepting it, wanting it, obedient as ever. The Death figure smirked, drawing them both out of the dip, rising up the confused and startled blue raven. He wrapped his arms around her waist, tightly, jerking to him in one quick motion. He gripped her hand possessively. One step, two...
"I love how I can still have this effect on you," his whispered, the hand on her waist creeping up her bodice, playing along the fringes and smooth silk, moving his mouth closer to the bare skin of her throat. She shivered in response to his caresses, her back arching, but still she struggled to control herself - they were in public.
"All this time, and I can still do this to you." His breath played along the skin and hollows of her neck, causing her to throw her head back, the light picking out the colors of her hair and her feathery raven mask. The Death figure pulled back, holding himself back, as he had when they had first met. The blue raven drew her face down, looking at him, her green gaze meeting his golden one equally - they were of the same stature, because of the age they had both been born into the blood. Yet it was obvious who had been the dominant in the relationship. They stood for a moment just looking at each other.
Then he pulled her into another spin, pulling her back to his chest. She turned her head to look at him, breath coming quickly. Her arms were crossed over her stomach, held in place by his hands. She felt helpless, was helpless...the way she loved to be with him. Her utter confidence in his protection, in the safety he promised...yet even that had been shattered. His hands moved down her body slowly, exploring and caressing, fingering the buttons and hooks of the bodice she wore. How easy it would be to rip it off, right here, like so many times before.
One hand traveled up to her throat, cupping the skin for a moment to feel the smoothness and flawlessness, the fingers touching gently where veins ran, making a neat circle around her pulse. Then he took her chin in his hand, tilting her face up. He could read everything in her face; he'd always been able to. She was never very good at shielding her thoughts, and now that she was back with her maker, all the time spent towards correcting these faults was wasted. Her maker would know everything from one look on her fledgling's face, and this scared the blue raven, but the Death figure was arrogant and unafraid.
"I could run away with you right now," he whispered, gently nuzzling her cheek with his, "run away and she would never know, never know where we were, where we had gone..." The blue raven shook her head, her chin breaking free of his grip. He released her from the position he had been holding her in, spun her back about and jerked her to his body. One hand loosely about her waist, one thin hand on his shoulder. Step one, two...
"Why not? I know you want to leave her. I know what she does to make you obey. Was I so much worse?" His words were bitter, bitter from years of rejection and hardship. The blue raven shook her head, almost violently, as if denying his words, but she still didn't speak. She cast her eyes down, closing them and simply swaying to the music. Then her voice came quietly.
"I can't get away. That's become clear to me - I ran away once, and she found me. Now she never lets me out of her sight, and when I leave here tonight, I will leave with her." A pained look crossed her face. "You can't imagine how relentless she is." Death would've protested this, spoken in anger. She wasn't right, he could protect her. Why wouldn't she believe that? But the expression on her face explained everything - she looked tired, so tired. She didn't want to run anymore, didn't want to be afraid, didn't want anything but a moment of peace. He could at least give her that - a moment, if only that. He pulled her close, laying her head on his chest, his arms closing around her. She sighed, and closed her eyes, moving where the dance took them. They finished the dance embracing, moving slowly to the music. The violinist finished the piece with one long chord, and the partners broke apart to applaud such beautiful music. Smiles and laughter were abundant in the masquerade.
The Death figure and the blue raven did not move, did not break apart. They stood in the mass of applauding patrons, Death holding the raven. Then she pulled back with a quiet gasp, as if it pained her to move away from him, and fell into a graceful curtsey, her black gown billowing around her like an inky pool. Head bowed, on bent knee, she was the perfect picture of obedience. Then she stood, leaving her hands at her sides, what little face that was visible under the mask was apathetic. She stayed standing straight, knowing the red raven was coming for her.
"I'm sorry, Armand. I wish you hadn't seen me here." The Death figure struggled to contain his temper. His left fist clenched, the only sign of his displeasure as his face and body remained motionless. He could see, from the corner of his eye, the red raven making her way over to them, slowly, through the mass of mortals clogging the marble floor of the Opera House. He knew that, in a matter of seconds, he could take the blue raven and leave here now, that they could go where the red raven would never find them. Why wouldn't she believe? What had her maker done to her to make her so utterly hopeless?
"I can't leave her, Armand. I can't, and she won't allow it." She spoke as if she could read his mind. Her eyes were blank as she spoke, as though she were repeating words spoken to her a thousand times over.
"You can! I will take us far away, she'll never find you!" His words were quiet hisses, his anger beginning to leak through. He took a step forward, his hands reaching for her. She stepped back, raising her hands in a motion for him to stop, but this didn't faze him at all - he grabbed the flesh of her upper arms, using a grip strong enough to break a mortal's bones. She turned her head away, freezing in place; a rabbit caught in the falcon's talons. People around them were reorganizing, giving them odd looks and whispering behind hands and fans.
"Why? Why won't you come with me?" His voice was a bare whisper, but she could hear him as if he were shouting. "I can protect you, you know I can."
"And when you grow tired of me? When you no longer want me, as a burden or a lover?" Her own words were hateful - they were not her own thoughts. So that was what her maker had done, the red raven had poisoned her mind against him. He would've laughed, laughed at the idiocy of the idea. Grow tired of her? Cast her aside? How could her mind be so that she could harbor these doubts? He would've laughed, drawn her aside and convinced her of otherwise. Break her strongly held ideals as he had the first time. But he didn't have a chance - the red raven came between them, literally, pushing the blue raven behind her. She was smirking, thinking the Death figure was just another nameless undead who was smitten with her fledgling's beauty.
The Death figure stepped back, bowing politely. If the blue raven wouldn't come with him willingly, if she was so afraid of being left utterly alone, then...then what? Watching her face grow blank as she was given back to her maker. He offered no words, no apologies - why should he be sorry for offering her freedom? They moved off to another part of the marble floor, leaving the Death figure on his own. Did she give no thought to him? Of his loneliness, of his wants and needs? He sighed - if he could find her here, it wasn't inescapable that he might find her again.
For now...for now his mind would dwell on the memories, and perhaps he would seek out another of their kind. After all, this was Paris, marvelous Paris, where most of them originated from. He would not be alone for long.
He turned and left the glorious Opera House, the Death figure come and gone as swiftly as a falcon in the sky.