A New Devil's Influence

IC Time: Evening
Location: Forks - Battaglia's Book Store
Synopsis: Isis finds a new play thing in meeting Charlotte and makes her first move in this devil's game of chess.
Submitted by: Isis

It is mid-Summer, but you certainly would not think it. The rain is a drizzle. A misty-cool affair that seems to soak you through despite any attempt at umbrellas or anoraks. There is simply no point and perhaps that is why Charlotte Walsh doesn't bother with either.

The old-fashioned chimed bells that act as notification for business twinkle softly within Battaglia's as she enters, a soggy, young human who seems lost in the tinny sound that resonates from the purple ear-phones plugged into her ears. "Hi …" She calls to no-one in particular as whoever should be in attendance at the desk has something better to do. And so the tall, blond girl hums simply, striding along to the shelves which contain books on art and history. There she stays, backpack dangling from her shoulder, her large turquoise eyes focused.

Rain - An annoyance, and more importantly a weakness in some cases, force Isis to walk with a small emerald-hued umbrella propped up over her shoulder. The new arrival has been searching the town for just such an establishment. Books - Vampire or not, the drive to learn was unerring. Isis nudges open the little country door with her shoulder, folding her umbrella and giving it a shake behind her. Strange that a woman of her ilk would show care enough not to bring in any more rain to the floors of the shop.

\The little redhead faces about, the scent of humans assaulting her from all angles. She closed her eyes a moment, fingers knitting into little fists at her sides as she stolen a deep breath to steady her nerves and slipped down the first aisle of books. It isn't till she turns down the second that she finds the human girl blocking her path, filling her senses of sight, sound, smell… Taste? She bites her tongue at the thought and plasters on a smile. "Hello, there," she coos, her voice a honey alto that does not seem to fit her cold, distant demeanor.

Nineties grunge, her favourite. Eddie Vedder loud and clear, another burst of "Ohhh I-ye, I'm still alive …" And then that voice. Charlotte blinks, her mascara darkened eyelashes sheer contrast to the aqua pools of her eyes. For a moment she does not consider the volume of her music or anything but the model of a girl standing before her.

Startled into politeness one earphone is popped out of her ear unceremoniously, "Hello…"

A slick, errant lock of golden hair sticks to her damp cheek as she speaks and she consciously brushes the offending lock away. "If you are looking for the sales assistant, well, your guess is as good as mine I am afraid." Charlotte's accent is plainly English, only a twinge of Americana poisoning her tone. But some reason long after her words have faded, the teen cannot pull her eyes away from Isis and yet something, call it gut-instinct, tells her she should.

The predator, under the guise given unto her by being birthed into a tiny, slender frame, steps forward. "Just browsing," she replies sweetly enough, even as her head cants a subtle degree to the side - as if a new angle might reveal something more about the young mortal fate has placed before her. There was something decidedly intriguing about this one, and yet the Vampire could not put a cold fingertip on just what it was. As thoroughly as the mortal's attention was wrapped up in Isis, so too was Isis's crimson gaze stuck upon the visage of lady before her.

All the more reason to put on the ever rare show of being polite, for now at the very least. Isis steps forward, a bit to hurriedly than she should have admittedly, leaving the lacking mortal eye faltering to keep up with the Vampiric speed. The tiny predator gives a nod of greeting. "Forgive me, I'm new around here. Isis," she offers by way of introduction.

A flush of crimson prickles at her high cheekbones, the heat there palpable. This girl is not good being the target of attention. Though clearly used to this social disability, Charlotte lightly shakes her head as if to ward off the embarrassment. "Hey Isis, great name. I'm Charlotte." The teen bites her lip, nervous laughter threatening. "And you're lucky, being new. Forks is not exactly a hive of life or activity."

Again her accent is more clipped, pronounced and she clears her throat. "I am not even sure why I come in the bookstore, I could get more variety, and cheaper from Amazon." She perks a blond brow. "But there is something about the mustiness, the smell of the place I like, it feels old … but very little in this country really is."

A bit of a geek? Perhaps. But there is an innocent charm about Charlotte as she runs an ink-stained finger along the spines of a few books, her eyes lowered and appraising before she slides the tome from the shelf, cradled in her hand.

"Charlotte," the little woman repeats the name, as if to taste the syllables upon her tongue as she might have easily tasted of the named one's flesh. Her smile - that carefully practiced expression of false sweetness, turns into something startling sincere when the youngin' begins to make small talk about the nature of the book store. "I cannot blame you. There's nothing quite like being around so much knowledge, hm? A website can't give you that."

Yes, there was definitely something about this one. "What sort of books do you prefer?" she inquires, her curiosity and need to learn more about the human doing well to combat the hunger beginning to tie her stomach in painful knots. She finally turns her attention away, the atmosphere seeming to breath a sigh of relief when those garnet irises turn their predatory attentions to something else - Paradise Lost, in particular. A cold hand of slender digits reaches out and claims the book from the shelf.

Wiping a layer of invisible dust from the cover, Charlotte smirks, her cupid-plump lips pulling gradually into a remnant of a smile. "I am studying the Pre-Raphealite movement at the moment. I love the dark romance behind their vision, the myth, legend."

She takes a few steps further away from Isis, skipping almost gracefully to another aisle closer to the rainbow watch of the stained glass window. "But for pleasure I am reading the Iliad, Homer." Her words are spilt like a confession but there is the ire of excitement contained in turquoise eyes. "You can learn so much from the classics." A kid in a sweet shop, candy store, Charlotte offers Isis another tentative smile. "So what brought you here, are you visiting family?"

Isis lofts a brow without turning as shuffling, graceful little skips steal the presence of warmth a little further away. Pity. The little redhead thumbs at the book in her hands, passing a hand lovingly over its cover before turning that unique, sanguine gaze back up, a hand following to banish a few wild curls from before her pale countenance. "Family? No. I don't have any family. I'm…" She purses her lips and looks up towards the ceiling thoughtfully. "Looking for a new start," she remarks, the comment drawing that mischievously sweet smile, of which her lips seem so fond, back upon her visage.

"What about you? It doesn't sound like you're from these parts."

The first few pages of the art book have been ruffled open, the sound of crisp paper competing with the wurring sound of her ipod, still playing, Pearl Jam's melodies quite haunting as a turn of Oceans peaks at the chorus. The English teen seems ensnared by the contents of the text, the fluid forms painted across the page, Gabriel Rossetti's "Beata Beatrix" in all its melancholy glory. "A new start? Oh." She is too young to have the confidence to question too much and does not ask for further detail, but instead strides to the check-out desk, banging her palm against the golden bell sat on the Mahogany surface. "Gosh, are we ever going to get served around here today huh?" Her voice is dropped to a conspiratorial whisper, blue eyes wide.

Then she recalls the last question. "I am from England originally, Surrey - it's near to London." A detail it seems she has to tell all Americans that ask.

Isis steps towards the edge of the isle, but allows the human to claim some distance from there on out. The Vampire steals a fresh breath, more dilute with the aroma of books than the beckoning call of the young girl's presence. That she was hesitating was a testament in itself to the worth of the teenager's life.

The little predator glances down to her own book, taking on a casual posture as she leans her shoulder to the shelf and offers a devilishly sweet smile. "Just snag it. I won't tell." She looks up and flashes a quick wink before her attentions become quickly absorbed in the spirited little geek. She was judging now, testing, watching keenly for the youth's reaction to her statement.

The girl's mouth forms a very defined "o" shape and her brows knot together. "I couldn't" Her voice is but a whisper and yet there is clear temptation in pale blue eyes. After all nothing exciting ever happens in this town. Perhaps in her very provincial life, so why not? Charlotte shrugs then, the weight of the book balanced from one hand to the other, akin to the dual voices of her conscience. And then quickly as if in a flash (for human standards anyway!) the book is safely tucked away inside her rucksack, a weight of guilt pulling against her shoulder.

But there is a sigh — she pulls a twenty dollar bill out of her pocket, leaving it squarely on the counter. "I'm a coward, what can I say? But an honest one."

Isis watches the subtle, outwards signs of the internal battle like a house wife might watch the latest turn in her dramatic soap opera. She lofts a brow when at the last moment her little pet of interest turns out a few bills and lays them upon the counter. The Vampire drums her cold, slender digits along the leather binding of her own claimed novel before her boots shift again, drawing her through the thoughtfully slow and graceful paces that take her to Charlotte's side.

The tiny predator leans forward and lifts her book between them. "Life is what you make it. Live in cowardice and expect the 'bore' of Forks to claim you all the more thoroughly, Charlotte." With that she wriggles a finger into the opening of the girl's bag and deposits the book, Paradise Lost, within the confines. She offers a quick wink and snags a newspaper from the counter for herself, before turning on a heel. "Be well, Little Miss Charlotte." With that the door chimes, as if mocking the predator trapped in the tiny woman's body, and Isis disappears through the frame.

Should one look later on, a small card would be found within the cover of the book, writ with a single name and phone number in spiraling, elegant script.

Dumbfounded, mystified. Hmmm. It is hard to attribute a word to the teen's expression as the beautiful, but enticingly dangerous woman leaves her standing, both statuesque and impressed. Oh yes, impressed.

Clearing her throat as if it might clear her mind, she takes small, well-measured steps from the store, the ear-phone popped back in her ear for familiarities sake. Eddie Vedder is still there, singing now words that do not quite touch the perimeter of her mind.

No, her innocence has been questioned, another world of opportunity spied and it is hard to think of anything else …

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