Private Tales An Enticing Song

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Camille

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“Does the blood have to be given willingly for it to work?” Color Camille curious. She didn’t even glance at the last card. She didn't need to.

She did find herself leaning forward in her seat. Just a little. Still cautious though.

She knew beneath the calm chatter, this man was as violent as Jareth. Perhaps not as brutal but certainly as violent.
 
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Tal

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Tal never glanced down at his cards. He knew what they were, and he knew what the river had for him; a full run.

"No." The Tyrian answered simply.

There was a reason that his people were so careful when spilling blood, why the blades were so important. They were not connected to the Readings, but they had become intrinsic to Tyrian society because of their very nature.

Everyone with a knife could cut you, everyone with a knife could take your blood. So, it had simply made sense that everyone would have one. No one truly won a fight with blades, and any drop of blood spilled might be your doom.

A fact all Tyrians knew. "It just needs to be enough."

Tal answered as he pushed another set of chips into the middle of the table, offering the final bet.
 
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Camille

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“No wonder why you’re so fast, Mister Talmanese.” She pushed the rest of her chips forward. Confidence radiating through her. As if she knew she won the game the moment she’d picked up her hand.

As if she had a royal flush.

“The fast fox,” she added. Waiting to see if he’d match her all-in. Or fold.
 
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Tal

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Tal mused for a moment. "Wish I could say it was just me."

A laugh echoed from his lips.

"But, I'm afraid it runs in the family." The blood of every Tyrian, really. Though like every muscle it needed to be flexed from time to time, otherwise it would eventually slip away. His head shook as he watched her.

"Most players go a few rounds." He said, tapping his cards on the table. "Doesn't really do to end the game so quick."

His cigar flickered to the other side of his lips. "Takes all the fun out of it."

Tal commented as he rocked back in his chair, as if still considering even though he offered not a single glance at his cards.
 
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Camille

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“My, my. You’ll have to pardon me, Mister Talmanese.” A small shrug of her shoulders. “I assumed you’d have more chips for us to bet with if you lost this round.”

She didn’t mention herself losing the round at all.

With a slide of her thumb, she unfanned her cards into one stack and lay them delicately down on the table. Still face-down. A small lean forward, toward him. As if she were about to tell him a private joke or share a moment with an intimate friend.

“But I’ll follow your lead. Whatever your comfortable with.”
 
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Tal

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"There's no more chips." Tal said bluntly. "No more chances."

He didn't move an inch as Camille leaned over the table, taking a slow drag of his cigar. The smoke puffed from his mouth, sickly sweet tobacco floating through the air in an oddly pleasant aroma. "Because even when you play for nothing."

Tal let out a 'tsk'.

His chair fell forward, slamming onto the ground as he pulled himself forward. The Tyrian moved so fast that his hands were near a blur. He was like a viper. One moment relaxed, and the next utterly encapsulated with an aura of violence.

"You're playing for something." Camille would feel the blade rest on her throat.

That odd blueish metal pressed against her skin. It's fine edge puckering the flesh just short of drawing blood.

Tal slowly turned over his cards.
 
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Camille

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That smoke curled and teased against her skin. So different from the cigarette smoke Jareth liked. This was sweeter, somehow. More like a caress. And as she was about to lean back in her seat, that edge of his knife was there. She could, perhaps have moved out of the way fast enough.

She had the grace, reflexes, and training for it.

But she was still playing the game.

And he hadn't matched the bet. Regardless of his cards, she had a feeling he planned to win all along. And she didn't flinch or cringe away. She remained statuesque. Slender throat bare to his steel.

"Always," she quietly agreed with the fast fox before her. She didn't move to turn her cards over. She didn't think there was a need to. And if he did, he'd find that she'd been bluffing the entire time.
 
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Tal

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Tal smiled. Win or lose. There was always something to pay. He knew that better than most, understood it to it's very core. The fact was one that settled within his very soul. A debt that his father had placed upon him. A weight he was still trying to break.

The blade flickered from Camille's throat.

It spun in his hand, turning, and then with a thunk stabbed through her cards on the table. He pinned the scraps of paper in place, smiling at her. Fingers drew up, slowly crawling beneath her chin and tilting her head up so their eyes met. "Think we'll call this little game done, Doll."

He mused.

"I don't need to see your truth." Because he already knew it.
 
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Camille

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Camille saw it in his eyes. Like she did, he too, knew the cost of playing the game. Win or lose. Something that went beyond the cards in front of them. Something that was decided the moment she was born with the magic running through her veins. The moment Jareth saw her singing in the Nightingale Club. Sometimes fate had a way of making a participant, willing or not, to play.

And yes, there was always a cost.

As his fingers worked along her smooth skin and pale, lavender eyes connected with his gold ones. It was strange that the runes along her skin warmed with his contact as if the markings sensed something familiar. Even as she treated those digits of his like they were still the knife.

“Then what do you need to see?”
 
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Tal

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"That would be giving away the game." Tal said quietly, staring into her eyes for a brief moment. He seemed to search for something. Lingered. Then his eyes glanced just over her shoulder.

He seemed to see something there.

Then suddenly he pulled away from her.

His hand slipped free of her skin. The chair was pushed back, and within a flicker of motion the Tyrian was standing half a dozen steps away from Camille. The odd blue blade remained pinned to his desk, her losing hand beneath it. Almost as though the Underboss had no desire to know of he'd actually won or not.

It didn't seem to matter. "And..."

He turned on his heel, looking back at her. There was a glass in his hand, an odd brackish crimson liquid within it.

"I haven't quite decided whose side you're on just yet." That wasn't true. He knew exactly whose side Camille was on; her own.

There was no doubt in his mind that she was no porcelain doll. That in her mind she had a plan or plot of her own, that she'd try to use all of this chaos for her own gain. It was what he would have done, and that veneer of calm she so clung to was a reflection of his own. There was no coincidence in that.

There was also no trust.

She was dangerous. Maybe even more so than Jareth.

Another lingering smile, and then he downed the strange liquid in his glass.

An odd sort of shiver seemed to run over Tal's skin as he drank the crimson concoction. The veins on his neck seemed to pulse, a line of red flickered through his Iris', and a sharp breath drew into his lungs. "Time to take the stage, Love."

Then, almost as if on cue, a thunderous knock echoed out on the docks.
 
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Camille

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A shiver beneath her skin as his fingers dragged free of her. The moment he looked beyond her shoulder, her pointed-ears heard it, too. They were here. And she had no idea if her message made it to where it was meant to go.

Perhaps this was her final act.

Standing, her fingers wrapped around the handle of Tal's dagger and she yanked it free of the table and cards, sheathing it into her belt, behind her back at her waistline. Her eyes remained on Tal as she did it. As if to say she did not want to be left weaponless in all of this.

If anything, she knew he was more than capable of taking it back when he wanted it. He was a man who was used to getting what he wanted. Just like Jareth. The best of them could always get what they wanted. There was another thunderous sound and the floor of the warehouse shook.

Camille's grace kept her standing even as the doors to the warehouse banged open, filling with Jareth's retinue. Camille knew Jareth wouldn't be here. Not yet. He would be close, though.
 
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Tal

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Tal took a sweeping step forward.

A blade seemed to flicker from somewhere on his wrist, sliding over his palm and landing within the crook of his fingers. It rested there for one brief fleeting moment, and then his hand caught the side of Camille's hip.

Cold steel would run against her back for the span of a breath. Carefully gracing her skin as the blade slipped besides the one she had taken from the table. His hand then crawled to the hilt of his own weapon, fingers wrapping around it and drawing it free as he unwound himself from the dancer. "Not this one, sweetheart."

The Tyrian told her firmly, another thunderous knock seeming to permeate the air.

Outside the warehouse one could hear shouting, calls, Jareth's men running rapshot over the docks. They howled and searched for their foes, confusion setting in as they found no one waiting for them. Tal only smiled at Camille, and then slowly began to make his way towards the corner of the warehouse.

There, inset into the ground itself was a divet. It seemed to run through the ground and beneath the wall. A liquid set inside it, and as Tal approached he pulled a match from his pocket.

A flame was struck. "Time for a different kind of song, love."

The Tyrian said as he lit his cigar, and then dropped the match into the gutter.

Fire spark and ran along the gutter, and outside the window in a rush of air Camille would see flames spring to life. An inferno exploded out upon the docks, sprouting through the crowd and turning angry yells into screams of utter horror and agony. The sound of burning men echoing into the warehouse.
 
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Camille

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"If you don't want me to touch it, don't leave it out," a quiet whisper against his ear as he took his knife back. A moment as she held her breath, feeling what he left behind. A closer look at the veins in his neck. The fleck of red left behind in his eyes. It almost matched his hair. And she felt it again with his hand on her hip. That strange...feeling with the runes on her pale skin. And she didn't like it.

But just as quickly he was out of her space.

A questioning look at the Underlord, her gaze snapping outside. Camille did not appear more relaxed. If anything, she looked more rigid. Even as she kept her hands calmly at her sides.

"I hope you have more planned than that," her tone was calm and quiet, the very opposite of her stiff posture.

He would need it if he wanted to get out of this alive.
 
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Tal

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The screams continued to echo outside, calling to the pair in the warehouse with a shrill and utterly painful resonance. "One would think."

Tal said as he walked back and away from the gullet.

Flickers of light reached through the windows, casting shadows into the warehouse and over Tal's form. The fire would continue to rage for some time. The docks had been all but soaked in the oil, and there was no doubt in his mind that they would last just long enough to do what he needed.

"You'd have a little more confidence." He seemed to stride past her, walking towards one of the walls.

A hand came up, drawing over the old stone, pressing one of the bricks. "I think I've made my penchant for being a step ahead very clear."

The wall seemed to shift, and then suddenly fall away to the side. Revealing a tunnel that stretched into darkness.
 
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Camille

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If the screams affected her, she didn't show it. She would know a lot of them. Would have worked with them for the past several years. Just like the bodyguards in the club that Tal had extinguished so quickly. If anything, it was a waste of good resources.

But with Jareth?

She knew there would be no other way. She almost hoped for Jareth's sake that he'd think better after that. Withdraw. But she knew he wouldn't be able to walk away from her.

And by the look on the fox's face, she knew he knew it too.

"Mister Talmanese. Why would I need confidence when you have enough for the both of us?" A cool stare in his direction at the sudden tunnel. At him. She made no move toward either.
 
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Tal

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"I suppose that's true." Tal conceded with surprising swiftness.

There was a smile on his face.

It never faltered, never flickered. He did seem supremely confident. As though no set back, no step could keep him from what he wanted to do. There was an air that hung around him, like reality itself would bend to his will. No matter how ludicrous the concept.

"Now." He began. "Will you join me, little Song Bird?"

Tal asked, already half into the tunnel. "Or will you roll the dice?"

They both knew how Jareth saw her. Both knew what she would return to if she stepped into the man's arms. Tal had made his promise, but Camille had absolutely no way to know if he would keep it.

At least until they stepped through the threshold.
 
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Camille

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He’d given her a knife at her back. She didn’t trust him. And she didn't spare those burning outside a second glance as she strode forward. A swish of her midnight hair over one shoulder. She followed the smoldering end of his cigar in the dark.

“I think I prefer cards over dice,” a brief curl of her lips in the darkness. “Should I be concerned about where you’re leading me, Mister Talmanese?”
 
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Tal

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"Not really." Tal remarked as they began to head into the darkness of the corridor.

The light began to fade around them, the wall that had opened slowly closing as it cast them into the shadows. The air was tinged with dirt, a scent of dust clinging to it even as they continued to walk down the corridor.

"I am leading you to safety." He remarked. "Away from all the troubles of the world."

He glanced back at her. "Is that not what you desire?"

A wicked smile touched his face.
 
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Camille

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Hips swayed in the dark. She was thankful she had these clothes on instead of the silken dress from last night. She could see fairly well thanks to her heritage. Still, she stepped carefully. The last thing she needed was an ungraceful fall.

She could see the glint of his smile in the dark just behind the bobbing light of his cigar.

"If that were the case Mister Talmanese, I'd be be twelve feet under the crocodile swamps with a chain wrapped around my ankles." Camille truly believed only in death could one truly find the absence of troubles. "Will you tell me what desire you hope Jareth Blackthorn will fulfill of yours?"
 
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Tal

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”I imagine it’s very close to yours.” Tal stated simply, offering no further explanation as to just what it might be.

Even under the best of circumstances he had never much been one to share details. His closest friends had always wondered how he’d known half the things that he did. Information was the key to power, to getting what you wanted.

The one lesson his father had taught him which he held to heart.

”But.” He remarked to her. ”Don’t you worry. I know I’ll get it.”

Another quick smile, and then suddenly they reached a corner in the tunnel. A ladder lead it’s way up the wall, and Tal motioned for Camille to make her way up it. ”Move the hatch, you’ll find yourself on Kelrin Street.”

Which was little more than an alley in the Shallows. ”I suggest you head left and towards the old Coterie Club.”

A smile briefly flickered over his features.

”I think you’ll find something interesting there.” The Tyrian waited for her to climb, not yet moving away.
 
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Camille

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She gave the Underlord a 'look' in the darkness. One hand delicately falling to her hip. "Do I looked worried Mister Talmanese?" Light lavender eyes traveled away from his face and up the shaft.

Now she was really glad she wasn't wearing that club dress. And that the Crimson Dawn tattoo was hidden beneath the sleeves of the borrowed blouse.

"Is this where we part ways?" She took to the ladder, pausing a rung up or two so she was just above eye-level to the man.
 
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Tal

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Tal smiled, that easy smile that hid something beneath it. "For a little while."

He had every intention to fulfilling his promise to her, if only because it was an easy thing to do. Why make enemies when you could make friends? Especially friends that would have the connections. Not that it would matter much after he left Alliria.

For now though, there was still their mutual friend to take care of.

"I'm sure we'll see each other again." He flickered with a smile. "Maybe even at the Cotorie."

He said, taking half a step backwards further down the tunnel. "If you go, anyway."

A shrug rolled over his shoulders.
 
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Camille

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"Hmm," sensuous-melodic voice intoned as the only response he would get. A long, silent look his way as he stepped back into the shadows then her attention shifted to above. She would go. Because she was still deep in enemy territory. And she had no doubt a man like Tal had a lot of moving pieces on the board or was playing a different game entirely.

And so was she.

Without looking back, she'd make her way up. A push and shift of the hatch and she found herself back on the streets of the Shallows. Humid-sticky air making her clothing cling to her pale, smooth skin. She looked right but turned left. Footsteps taking her toward the club.

While she looked relaxed and as if she'd walked these streets a thousand times, she was on high-alert. But she didn't expect to be harmed by Talmanese or his gang. She truly expected to be taken up by Jareth Blackthorn or those he owned.
 
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Tal

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She wasn’t taken.

In fact, by the time she reached the Cotorie Club the streets once again came alive. The Shallows were always buzzing, just like the rest of Alliria. People milling to and from work, others buying drugs, others delivering whatever they carried. It was an odd sliver of life, and the Cotorie Club sat in the middle of it.

The building itself was nothing to speak of really.

Two stories, a few windows, and a soundscape that seemed to roll from the front door and between cracks in the walls. It was an atmosphere that seemed almost wondrous, the air of tobacco and other things lingering.

Inside laughter could be heard, and although it was far from a full house, the Cotorie Club seemed to be in swing of things. A band steadily played music, some of them on strange instruments. The people seemed happy, and the waitresses quickly flurried about.

As Camille entered, a man sitting in the back of the Club waved to her. He was a Tiefling, though one of his horns was missing, and his skin was a dark blue instead of red.
 
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Camille

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Head tilted slightly at the music. A moment of appreciation. Eyes tracked to the one who waved at her. Taking in the others in a subtle way.

A waitress with bright purple hair.

Two dancing near the band, their bodies swaying and grinding to the music. The smell of freshly cooked something. Camille glided to the tiefling. The hidden knife a sharp weight at her back.

“Hello,” she slid out the chair across from him and lowered herself down delicately. A part of her wondered if she should’ve followed Tal in the tunnels, instead. But no. It was a relief, even in the swampy air, to be above ground. Nevertheless, she sat so her back was not to the door.

“Are you one of Mister Talmanese’s?”
 
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