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[Devil's Lair] Fear's Little Dance
There was a little makeover party in their small abode.  Cruz followed with ease though there was a constant peering at Esper.  Her power had made him more smitten with her friend and there was a stab of jealousy still coursing through her when they arrived at the Devil's Lair.  One of Zeke's lesser known establishments -- catering to the darker side of things.  Not that all of them didn't in one form or another, even his charitous nature was dark and self serving.  He wouldn't be family otherwise.  Roza thought to herself.  It was all part of being the outcast -- the Romani -- the gypsies and wanderers.  There was a little bitterness in all of them.  We take what we earn, Roza thought to herself and she slid through the crowd.  

"I want to dance."  She took Rena and Esper by the hand and yanked them into the throng of people.  Cruz would follow.  He was lead on their strings with more enticing fruits
She was aware of the lingering awareness. Cruz orbited around the pull of Esper’s gravity, but if she accepted the worship she gave it no particular acknowledgement. At heart she was a performer though, and there was nothing incidental in the show she gave while they pawed through stage chests and makeup. Rena was welcomed with the familiarity of an old friend. But the only time she lavished her attention on Cruz was when she leaned close to paint cosmetics on his face, sly and morose in her concentration. There was nothing supernatural in the touch, though she was curious to see if he would flinch. Mostly he just did a lot of staring.

Esper let Roza pull her into the crowd at the club. The Lair washed over her in delicious waves, left her weightless in the harmony found in so much like-minded emotion. Music charmed her like nothing else, in all its forms. Here it was always loud enough to rattle bones. As they left Cruz to trail behind, Esper drew in close to press her lips against Roza’s ear. “You know I could help,” she said. “If you let me in.”

It was a promise between them, and not one Esper would break. At least not without permission. Though the mischievous tilt of her smile then suggested her ability to control emotion was not the only way to smooth those little spikes of jealousy.
"We are all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours"
[Image: Samiel-jpg.jpg]

The night was alive with neon lights and the pulsating rhythm of the city's sinister nightlife. Sámiel, dressed in a sexy ensemble that blended edgy fashion with an air of mystique, made his way to the night club following the Carnival's closure. His outfit was a work of art, a testament to his affinity for blurring the lines between masculinity and femininity. A fishnet top adorned with shimmering silver accents hugged his chest, paired with sleek white pants that flowed like liquid chalk down to his ankles. His feet were clad in polished, high-heeled boots that added height and an air of elegance. His accessories were plentiful, dotted with crystals and bows.

As he approached the entrance of the club, Sámiel's emerald eyes scanned the crowd, searching for the familiar faces of Rena, Roza, Esper, and Cruz. The neon signage cast an otherworldly glow upon his features, enhancing the aura that always seemed to surround him. He could hear the thumping bass and the distant roar of the club's patrons, a symphony of urban energy.

Once inside, Sámiel navigated the crowded dance floor with fluid grace, his movements liquid and captivating. The club's atmosphere was electric, a cacophony of music and lights that pulsed with life. He felt a sense of anticipation, knowing that this meeting would be unforgettable.

Finally, he spotted them, a radiant constellation on the dance floor, a vision of youthful exuberance, bodies moving in sync with the music.

Sámiel approached them with confident purpose, weaving in and out of the hands that reached for him as he did. With a sly and inviting grin, he curled a wicked finger in summons, inviting any and all of them to lose themselves in the music and the magic of their escapade.
Within the depths of this hallowed eve,
Where fears converge and nightmares weave,
The essence of darkness, fears untamed,
Samhain's dominion is now unchained.

☽ Samyaza ☽☾ Samhain ☽☾ Sámiel ☽☾ Samóch 

Cruz let the girls do whatever he felt like. It was they who he had to keep happy. And they dressed him in a costume befitting the carnival equipped with a mask to hide his face -- thought it was painted on by the very skilled hand of Cis. He wished he knew their real names, and maybe their cousin might slip and reveal them. But he doubted their con -- whatever it was -- was so shallow. Everyone in the Carnival would play alone he was sure of that much.

The throng of people pulled them in. The music, the dance. The drugs floating around. He'd been here before though he barely remembered it. It too had been fueled with his nightmares. He still saw flashes of the skull floating about. Whatever drug Carmilla had given him was still dripping in his system, and she placed another on his tongue with big bright eyes. But it was Cis to whom he felt connected.

Their cousin beckoned them when he arrived and it didn't take Cruz much to join him. He wasn't into men, but Samiel was not like others and he also pulled at the fear just skirting the edge of his visions. Like Cis there was something about him. He wouldn't fall into the trap, Rena was obviously interested in the man, but Cruz would dance to his tune for now. Feel the fear creep over his skin. It was indulgences he'd never considered. Rebellions his father might like and his mother hate. And his grandfather.... oh he'd hate it if Cruz followed after his father even a little.
The sweet whisper of Esper's voice tickled her ear and Roza hummed in anticipation of those words. Letting Esper in was dangerous. She'd know all her feelings, know everything -- things even Roza might not know. Or want to know. But she nuzzled against her friends lips and smiled. "I know you feel what I'm feeling because it's on the surface. But it's not fair that I don't get to know how you feel." Roza turned her face into Esper's with a spry smile. "A kiss now to make our little mark jealous." Roza whispered. "Tonight when we are alone maybe you can take the sting away and show me how you feel."
She followed the girls, Cruz in tow. He seemed to dance on their string easily. The dilation of his pupils and the sheen of sweat and the way he looked at them made it clear they were playing with him.

A part of her wondered if he had done something wrong to them. Had he mistreated them or someone they knew? Was this some sort of elaborate revenge? It was hard to believe that, honestly, the kind of thing you might read in a novel or watch in a movie or on TV. People didn't really behave like that, she decided. 

And to be honest, she found the strange relationship between the two women strangely engaging. She'd catch herself staring as their words and looks and whispers spoke of something between them. They could be lovers. Or sisters. Or both, though that was gross. They were joined in some way she found interesting, though.

But even as she tried to work out all the puzzles before her, her attention kept drifting back to the man who had called to her, his dark and transcendent beauty. He almost seemed to be touched by the other world or the spiritual. They things he'd said, the way he seemed to know her thoughts....he was a dark angel. Or maybe a beautiful demon.

Whatever he was, she wanted to be around him. And these girls were the key. 

She was given many choices for what she might wear when they went dancing. The clothes ranged from heavy brocade Gothic gowns and robes to traditional Roma finery to in between. 

She could see his piercing eyes as she looked through them, imagining his slender fingers delicately tracing down her arm, her hip. She wanted to feel whatever he was.

The cobalt blue dress she chose exposed skin at side and stomach, below her breasts. It swelled tight over her hip and legs, only coming to mid thigh. It made her feel sexy and regal to wear it. Black boots that went to her knee completed the ensemble, comfortable enough for dancing but still elegant. 

Reapplying her makeup, deepening the red of her lips and smokey dark of her eyes, she was ready. 

The disco itself was not one that would excite comment among her friends or even herself. In her new life as a model, dancing and clubs were part of their world.

But all the same, it did stand out. Instead of the fever pitch of hunger and seeking oblivion or pleasure or escape, a dark energy hung over the place. It felt a vortex of midnight and the other world, a portal to something beyond. Or maybe where the world was thinner and the otherside passed through.

She felt herself being drawn in, feeling the call and darkness inside her. It was hunger, but not as before. She felt called home somehow.

Amid the lights and crowds she saw him. Across the room, he stood, electric and pulsating in the way he stood and looked at her. Not at them. At her, she knew. 

As if in confirmation, his hand beckoned. She held herself from running, that much at least she could control. But gliding across the floor to him, he seemed to swell until he encompassed her entire vision.

He was beautiful.
Even in the mass of bodies and souls and shared emotion she was aware of Sámiel’s arrival. There was a distinctiveness that few possessed, and she could always pick it out in a room. But it was peripheral information; her attention was consumed with Roza and the intoxicating aphrodisia of their surroundings. The thump of the music was like a drug to Esper. The crowd seeped through her like nourishment, though she was already pushing just that subtle bit outwards, preventing anyone from coming close who she did not wish to. She left the others to the Lair’s delights. The walls often told stories: warnings and strange riddles, scrawled out in graffiti or picked out by the flood of neon light. The drink was plentiful and the drugs easy to find.

Her hand rolled over Roza’s hip with the rhythm, tugging her closer, and she gave a devilish smile. Esper didn't think the suggestion would make Cruz jealous, though she was sure it would make him feel something. It didn’t matter to her. In the midst of the needs of several hundred sweaty bodies, Esper felt need. She watched Roza's lips like a predator. Twirled a strand of the other girl’s long dark hair between her fingers as they moved.

“That almost sounds like an offer,” she said about that maybe. “And if it is you know I will collect.”

Roza knew her oddities well. The ways she didn't lie. The solemnity with which she understood transaction. From the moment eight year old Esper had stumbled into the carnival and been scooped up by the Vas family they had been inseparable. Their lips brushed now in provocative promise for any watching eyes, almost incidental given how intimately they had been dancing. Then Esper’s palm crept up the damp line of Roza’s neck. Her tongue flickered a tease, and after she kissed her deeply.
"We are all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours"
The people unfolded like a tapestry of colors and music on the dance floor. Sámiel beckoned with a magnetic allure that drew Rena toward him like a moth to a flame. Her steps, at first hesitant, soon matched the rhythm of the music, and she joined him in a dance that felt like a conversation without words. He ran his hands up and down her body without ever seeming to truly touch her yet their bodies swayed and spun, each movement an expression of shared energy and connection.

A few steps away, Esper and Roza found themselves drawn into the whirlwind of the night and each other. Their bodies mingled with the music as they moved together, their connection evident in every graceful gesture. The chemistry between them was palpable, a testament to the unspoken understanding that had developed between friends who had become more then family. He smiled to himself when he witnessed their embrace.

The nightclub's patrons, lost in their own world of dance and revelry, seemed to create a vibrant sea of humanity meanwhile, their collective energy giving life to the pulsating music. The atmosphere was electric, charged with anticipation, and it was as though the boundaries between individuals had dissolved into the shared experience of the night.

A group fueled by liquid courage and the infectious spirit of the Lair, began to form a spontaneous dance circle. The circle grew larger, and the dancers within it took turns showcasing their moves, each performance more daring and exuberant than the last.

Sámiel, ever the master of festival and revelry, couldn't resist the invitation. He slipped into the center with a lithe figure that seemed to glide effortlessly between the bodies, each step a testament to his mastery of mesmerization. Sámiel's dance was nothing short of captivating, a bewitching spectacle that held the entire circle in rapt attention. As the pulsating beat of the music surged through his veins, he moved with a fluidity and grace that seemed otherworldly. He began with a slow, sinuous sway of his hips, a subtle undulation that drew the eyes of onlookers like a spell was cast upon them. His hips moved in hypnotic circles, the rhythm echoing the ancient heartbeat of forgotten rituals. Overhead, his arms traced intricate patterns in the air, like a sorcerer casting spells with every graceful gesture. One moment, they reached upward, their fingers extending like tendrils toward the heavens, and the next, they cascaded downward, as if beckoning the earth's energies to rise and meet him. Sámiel's gaze remained fixed on an invisible point in the distance, holding a deep, haunting intensity, a look that seemed to pierce through the fabric of reality itself. It was a gaze that spoke of ancient wisdom and secrets hidden in the shadows that he seemed to bend to his will.

And with such power, he summoned Rena to approach.
Within the depths of this hallowed eve,
Where fears converge and nightmares weave,
The essence of darkness, fears untamed,
Samhain's dominion is now unchained.

☽ Samyaza ☽☾ Samhain ☽☾ Sámiel ☽☾ Samóch 

The wall of music and noise seemed to fade away with each step she took, fading to nothing but the powerful vibrations that reverberated through her hypnotically. 

At each step, he grew closer, filling her vision, the moon bright in the blackest of skies, light cold and soothing, tendrils that seeped into a world asleep.

He was the God of the Night made flesh and he opened himself up to her. His hands, shafts of moonlight, caressed her body without touching her, twisted and moved around her, always just out of reach.

And she lost herself in the dance, in the movement. Distant memory wondered at the Magiks woven tonight, wondered if her state was the play of this fallen angel as she had done to others.

For she understood that she did not care, in this moment. She only wanted him.

The movement and people pulsed as one, a sea of heat and want and thrist and hunger and release and anger and joy, water becoming waves becoming water in the crashing, order and disorder ebbing and swelling. A circle formed and she felt the coldness of dark as he entered its center, pulling all eyes to him.

She surpressed a flash of jealousy as he seemed to focus on the others, praying he not forget her.

He could not. No....could he? The darkness seemed to thicken around her as she forced herself to stillness, pushing away the noises until she lay safely in a cocoon, surrounded by a quiet that pressed on every side, watching him from a distance, heart safe.

The edges of her bubble vibrated, a feeling, not sound, spread along its surface, as if something had tried to push through. She watched him focusing arms and hands raises, as he communed with the beyond, and again the thru across her hiding place, more insistent. 

She felt a tug at the corners of her mouth, wondering what it might be. Another, now, a deep basso that she felt in her core and somehow she could feel him, feel something pulling at her, needing her with want.

The walls shimmered down as she walked into the open space, walked passed her safety and into his dark beauty, surrendering herself to him.
It seemed the darkness drew in everyone, and drew others to their partners. Even Cam and Sis were wrapped tightly around each other in an embrace. He watched the deepening kiss and he knew a show when he saw one. All for his benefit. He wasn't after lust. The thrill of whatever had transpired was fading and he sought the adventure again. There had been screams in the dark corridors -- he didn't remember it.

But Cruz remembered how he'd slunk off into the halls seeking refuge to rest his head while the drugs did their thing. Armed with only his half wits on whatever drug Cam had given him Cruz slipped away from his so-called friends and followed the dancing skull that screamed his name in his dreams. It wasn't just the sticker or the images in the tent. It drove him down and he wondered where he'd been dreaming of death and gore. Blood soaked fangs and his screams. The thing of nightmares had come from this place and he sought it in the depths of the Devil's Lair.

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