Present Day
She stood in the underground room, meticulously working on her spell, learning mastery of the art that she had practiced for over a century. One nail slipped into the skin of her arm, cutting, opening the vein as flickers of a past long gone flashed in her mind…. She began to cast, each step, each movement as deliberate as the first, calling her blood to obey her will. Finally it was ready, and sitting in the middle of the circle, nude on the cold stone floor, she pushed her will outward. As the effect spread, she had a sudden vision of the woman who first showed her what it meant to be an Acolyte…..

You cant always get what you want


1875
He sat, reclining in the chair, watching the room. His peers moved too and fro, politicking, so much said in the flick of a wrist, the shift of a hip, a slight bow without breaking eye contact. A voice caught his attention, silky, teasing, amused at someone’s expense – debating the relative ethics of kindred faith, with a member of the Lance, a childe whose confidence was greater than his wisdom.

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand


“Vittor, come join us” the prince said, calling him over to the group. “This aught to amuse you.”

He moved silently across the room, looking at the flushed face of the neonate, the prince lying indolently, and his companion, a tall Persian woman with red hair, the owner of the voice, and the speaker he overhead. The prince introduced them, his hand on her arm, in a subtly proprietory gesture of ownership, a fact that did not go unnoticed by Vittor or the Persian. She smoothly moved her arm out of his, to hold out a hand, and he meticulously bowed over it, not allowing his mouth contact her skin, meeting her eyes.

I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man

There was a second of connection, one that Vittor hid well, his composure shaken and almost betraying his secret. The debate continued, and he listened, occasionally playing devil’s advocate, and soon enough the Persian’s attention was drawn off the childe, to the man before her.

You cant always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need

And so the game began.

Weeks passed and the dance raged on, stepping around each other, pushing limits, arguing, debating, setting traps, skillfully avoiding them, daring each other to expose just a little more......

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, were gonna vent our frustration
If we dont were gonna blow a 50-amp fuse

Vittor hid well from her probing, her touch, her language, till one night when he slipped in his role, and saw the realisation in her eyes. The following night, when he rose, dressed, and went to hunt, he pauses at a corner, and sees her waiting, watching. They walk, and talk, and she keeps touching him, flirting, hand against his back. Asking questions, debating topics in private dining rooms, and slowly the manners become more relaxed, more feminine, as he listens to her speak.

Present day
She lies on the floor, her blood smeared over her, as memories wash over her – the debates the crucible in which her faith was born and a path appeared… One memory is held in her minds eye, as clear as the moon in the night sky…..

I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands

“…. And why are you so sure being an Acolyte would suit me more than Sanctified?” The words are a challenge to his companion, as they sit in her haven.

She smiles, and stands, walking around his chair, the delicate scent of the rose perfume filling his senses, reminding him of … places of peace, safety, love…. Heaven…. He shifts in his seat, the last thought causing a very slight crease on his forehead. His companion speaks for some time, and they debate certain points, till the silence falls.

He sits, studying her for some time. Thoughts chase through his head, about this woman and the things he has seen her do, the faith she so vehemently protected, the many dreams he had had about things from the past, heaven and hell, angels and demons. He rises and walks to the window, looking out over the rose garden, thoughtful. Finally he nods slightly, to himself, and he turns, and smiles.

She has not moved, the elder watching his every move, the subtle differences between him in private and public. His eyes crinkle with amusement, and a smile completely without artifice appears. She stands, knowing that finally the deal is struck, walks towards him, and kisses his lips. As she draws back, one hand slides down his arm, to the hand, and taking it she pulls off the glove, and then the other, and looks at them. Nodding, knowing her suspicion confirmed, she smiles and speaks.

“If you want to learn, show yourself.”

They find themselves in a private room, drapes all around, and Vittor locks the door. He reaches up and undoes his hair, uncoiling it down to his shoulders, and unties the cravat, the coat, and drops them to the floor. He pulls off his boots, stockings, and the slender feet are completely in keeping with the hands. He unbuttons the trousers, and the long johns, and slides them down, revealing shapely legs. With every action, every step, someone entirely new, shining with promise, appears.

Finally, all that is left, is a cloth around the figure’s hips, and the bandages binding her flat. She pauses, that moment, her first Hierophant, and the sight of the Dark Mother.

You cant always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need


She unwinds the bandages, and kneels. Above her head, Bianca smiles. 

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