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 The Penthouse

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PostSubject: The Penthouse   Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:30 pm

The bright, early morning sun broke, prism-like, through the glass panes of the Stanely Apartment Complex, as a slightly frazzled looking couple hurried across the street and through the revolving doors. The manager on duty that morning looked up briefly from his paper, not expecting much. Looking at the pair, he immediately started in on his personal game of sorts. The morning shift was dreadfully dull, easy, but boring to the core. So, in an effort to ease some of the tedium, he liked to try and figure out the stories behind the few people he saw walk in. These two were almost too easy to be interesting. Their hurried steps and hunched figures, almost like they didn't want to be seen, gave them up completely. Druggies, pushers, certainly criminals of some kind. Maybe a job had gone wrong. As the man handed over his I.D, his face still curiously averted, the manager half expected warning lights to pop up and start flashing when he swiped the card, the F.B.I to pour in from all doors. Instead of the S.W.A.T. team, a window popped open. This man, Eric Grady, had a room already set up. Penthouse and had had it for quite some time. Handing the card back over, along with the card key for the room, the manager turned to eye the girl this time. Her hair was long, windswept, but obviously beautiful. She was tall and thin, almost like one of the supermodels his wife was always complaining were ugly. Oh, but this girl wasn't. As the man at her side turned to leave, she started off after him, but not before raising her head and flashing him a smile that would haunt his dreams for the rest of his life.
Confined in the elevator with way too many floors between them and the room, Dorian felt trapped, cornered, half expecting the contraption to stutter to a halt and a passel of Faery Knights to be waiting on the other side, ready to take him back to the dank corner of his prison. Who was he kidding? If they caught him again, it would be the sword and the block, no doubt about it. And Wisteria? She was the queen's daughter, the next to inherit, but how long would that protect her, when the weight of her offense would surly continue to press down until they had no other wish than to get rid of her? And all because of me.
Dorian had watched her face, back on the Faery side of the Hidden Glass, when he'd told her he wasn't taking her. Her face had come to life with determination once again, a hard, stubborn line setting her jaw.
"I do know the way, but I'm not taking it," she'd said, her words almost as cold and hard as his own had been. "Too many people know that I helped you. Mason, the guard, and I'm pretty sure my mother wouldn't take too long to reach this conclusion. As much as it'll pain you, I don't really have a choice here. I have to go as well." Her argument had been more than logical. She had been quiet and practically invisible coming to him, he was sure, but she was the Princess. Too many people would have been specifically watching for her. Still, he shied away from the idea. Wiseria, her whole life, reputation, everything would be ruined if she came with him. Didn't she see that? He'd just have to try harder to make her.
The sound of heavy feet on the moss-carpeted floor and the call of a hated voice cut off all paths. All but one. Looking into her eyes, Dorian saw the same realization in her eyes. In a flash, she had his wrist and, using his weight against him, pulled both of them into the depths of the pool. The trip was somewhat jostling, but quick. Her hand still circled around his wrist, Dorian let himself be led out of the pool. On dry ground, he once again looked into her eyes. Her angel's face smiled up at him, apologetic, like a kid confessing to breaking a vase, but knowing that, if they played the innocent, things would turn out better for them. Dorian hadn't said a word. He was angry. Not at her, even though he guessed she’d think he was. He'd had everything figured out. If they'd only had a few moments more, he could have convinced her to go back, and he could have gone to live the life of a loner, blissfully paired with only his rage and pain. But, de Winter had burst his way in, the quadrant of Knights backing him up. All wrong. He'd even known where he was going to go once he passed into the human world. Derek and he had acquired a room in some mundane apartment, a place where they could meet, talk about their lives without a chance that either of their people would see them. The agreement made when Derek had been handed over to the Shadowhunters had forbidden the two from communicating. But, what was a piece of paper to two boys who were, to each other, the only family they had left. Dorian decided that it was still the best place to go. The Knights would redouble their attempts to find him and the Princess, and a human apartment wouldn't exactly be the first place they'd look.
Sliding the small bit of plastic into the slot, Dorian opened the door to the Penthouse, holding it open until Wisteria had passed through. The place had recently been cleaned, and the smell of lemon-scented wood polish made him wrinkle his nose. The curtains on the tall, bay windows had been drawn back, allowing the sun to touch on every surface. The plasma T.V. centered on one wall, the marble floor in the kitchen, the black, leather of the couch and loveseat, the priceless paintings lining the wall. Many would have paid life and limb to have at least one day in the masterpiece of a home. Dorian could only look on it with an indifference that rose only slightly higher than his normal disgust for anything related with humans. It was livable. And, he would be living in it, for the rest of his life. With Wisteria.
"I sincerely hope you know that you can never go back to your life, as it was," Dorian stated, talking to her back. Turning, he walked a short distance down a cashmere-carpeted hallway and into a room, dominated by a white bed. The far wall was one big window that looked out over the waking city. Tossing his duffel bag onto the bed, Dorian walked over to the window and stared down at the ant-sized people, going about their morning routines. Driving to work in their smog producing vehicles, eating food dripping with oil and fats, yelling, always yelling.
"This is our life now."
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PostSubject: Re: The Penthouse   Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:03 pm

Wisteria followed Dorian, as he led her to the penthouse. He was quiet, barely speaking, and she couldn't bring herself to break his concentration. He seemed tense, almost numb, and the Princess could hardly say she blamed him. What had happened in the past hour was such a whirlwind of unfortunate events that anybody would be lucky not be caught up in the storm and drowned. So Wisty kept her silence for now, patiently waiting for the right time to speak.
Giving the man at the front desk a small grin, her way of making up for Dorian's cold and blunt interaction with him, Wisteria took quick steps to the elevator, and the doors slid shut with an almost scary absoluteness. If Dorian had any intention of talking to her yet, he wasn't letting on, and he merely pushed the button to their floor. Wisteria watched him from the other side of the elevator. He wouldn't look at her, his gaze fixed on some spot before him. For a brief moment the Princess was a little afraid, feeling trapped with someone who looked like they could snap at any moment. But this was Dorian, ever in charge of his emotions, and that just simply would not happen.
Once in the Penthouse, Dorian made quick work of getting to his room. Enthralled by the room, Wisteria gazed a priceless paintings, one she recognized from the early Renaissance time, but she couldn't place the artist. Fingers so close to brushing the canvas, she drew her hand back as she heard the Knight's voice from his bedroom.
"This is our life now." He said dully, completely void of emotion. Wisteria followed his voice, only to find Dorian staring out at the window, at the humans down below. Always busy, always somewhere to be here, nobody stopped for anything down below. Call her crazy, but Wisteria had a small bit of respect for the humans. Few were crazily beautiful, none were as talented or charming as Faeries, and yet they still stumbled through life, much like herself. They made mistakes, and didn't wallow in them, but got up and moved on, trying to make their lives better, despite what some of the Fey would call their disgusting, inadequate existence.
"Well, don't sound so damn disappointed," Wisteria said sharply, leaning against his doorframe. Dorian turned to her, as if seeing her the first time since they had left, and the Princess could finally see the raw emotion in his eyes.
She went and stood next to him, staring out the window as well, as he returned to his people watching. She was struck by just how breakable they were, how in just one instant everything could fall apart.
Softening her voice, she spoke again. "Look, Dorian, I know that it seems like everything's gone. Life will never get better. But it will, I promise. If it didn't, nobody would bother putting up with the crap we get thrown. Besides, I'm still here. Not all is lost." She offfered him a small smile, and raised her hand to give him some sort of reassuring touch.
He drew back immediately, out of her reach, and something about her words set him off. All of a sudden Dorian was yelling, finally cracking under the pressure, and Wisteria answered with a glare of her own.
"Whatever. I knew you didn't want me here from the start." She stomped over to the bathroom, turned the light on, and closed the door until just a crack was left. "That's just too bad, you're stuck with me." She didn't even realize she was degrading herself until the words left her lips, as if she was some sort of disease, or annoying child to be dealt with, not respected. Maybe Dorian's opinion of her really hadn't changed as she'd thought a short while ago.
Stripped of her clothes, Wisteria peeked her head out of the door, and caught Dorian's eye. "I really hope this doesn't bother you," She said in a sickly sweet voice, before turning the hot water on and stepping in the shower.
The Princess took her time, not about to start rushing for the first time in her life over some petty disagreement with some boy. There were other boys. There would always be other boys. Just because this one didn't give a crap about her, didn't mean that others wouldn't be dying for her to give them a chance.
Finally finished, she cut the water off and wrung her long hair out, the water making satisfying dripping sounds. Snatching up her clothes in one hand, wrapping herself in a towel, Wisteria exited the bathroom, a playful, but still mean smirk present on her face.
She casually strolled through the bedroom, very aware of Dorian's eyes on her, and made her way to the other bedroom across from his. Shutting the door slightly, Wisty's arm snaked through the crack and tossed the towel with only a fairy's strength and precision, content when it landed in Dorian's lap, just as she had planned.
The room was cold, so she put her clothes back on quickly. Now that the excitement of her little game was over, and no Dorian was falling at her heels, Wisty felt oddly empty. What had she been doing? There was no point. She was pissed, and her teasing hadn't made herself feel any better. In fact, she felt a thousand times worse. She just might be the whore that James had called her, that her entire kingdom gossiped about. But it wasn't her kingdom anymore. Wisteria, former Princess, now had nothing.

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PostSubject: Re: The Penthouse   Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:49 pm

Dorian heard the soft patter of her feet as Wisteria followed him. His eyes stayed locked on the people below, finding it easier to watch them in their shameful existences then to turn around and face his own.
"Well, don't sound so damn disappointed." Her voice shot out with a sharpness that surprised him. Abandoning his view of the humans, Dorian turned to observe his princess, her relaxed position on the door frame not matching her tone. Even though he'd recently come to find that Wiseria wasn't what most people saw her as, he still hadn't expected her to be sharing any of the feelings that currently ravaged his mind. But, there as plain as day, were lines, small but noticeable, breaking the composure of her beautiful face, hinting at the stress within. Crossing the room with the usual grace of a Faery of the Royal blood, she trained her own gaze on the chaotic figures below. Somehow he knew she saw them in quite a different light than his own. They were undeserving of any opinion of hers, whether negative or positive.
"Look, Dorian, I know that it seems like everything's gone. Life will never get better. But it will, I promise. If it didn't, nobody would bother putting up with the crap we get thrown. Besides, I'm still here. Not all is lost," she turned to him, her voice as soft as a feather now. She followed her words with a small smile, reaching to touch him. It was amazing how much of a change something as small as a smile could bring about upon a mind already weakened by pain and suffering.
Abruptly turning away, Dorian subconsciously threw away her sweet words and gestures. What was she playing at? Wisteria was acting like nothing had happened, like they hadn't just been expelled from the world that had been theirs. Light words and jokes weren't going to solve anything, and yet she stood there, igniting his fury at the world with her naivety. Her sharp words from earlier had been more acceptable, more fitting to the situation at hand. Things needed to be dealt with, and, in that moment, Dorian had hoped she would be able to help him. Before he knew it, he found himself shouting at her, going against everything he'd ever followed concerning his conduct. She was acting like a child, and did she know how utterly hopeless their situation was? They had no resources other than the Penthouse, no friends unless he counted his brother who he was forbidden to speak to publicly. Maybe he'd been too quick to change his opinion of her.
"Whatever. I knew you didn't want me here from the start." Wisteria stomped back across the room and into the large bathroom. The slam of the door echoed through the apartment, drawing the action out with an almost dramatic touch. "That's just too bad, you're stuck with me." The bathroom was a surprising choice for an escape, but it was the closest and he had just yelled at her. With his anger receding like the tide, Dorian saw what a poor choice that had been.
"I really hope this doesn't bother you," Wisteria said, her voice coated with too much sweetness to be genuine. For a second, Dorian couldn't decipher the meaning to her words. She'd only stuck her head out and part of her shoulders to speak to him. What he'd seen of her shoulders had been bare, the milky paleness of her flawless skin a unfamiliar sight. Coupled with the sound of the water turning on, her intent was as bright as day. Dorian felt a blush slowly creep up, turning around almost instantly, unnecessary as it was. What did she mean by doing this?
The minutes ticked by slow as if they were passing through syrup. He almost jumped out of his skin when Wisteria finally emerged, dripping and wrapped in a snowy, white towel. Every knightly bone left in him screamed for him to keep his eyes averted, but he was still a man. Her long, slender legs gleamed in their smoothness, reflecting the light. Her hair shown wetly, swinging with her movement. She was out the door as quick as a breath, reaching a hand back in only to toss her towel straight into his lap. The last few minutes had left Dorian with a fog lingering in his mind, so he was slightly late in reacting to the implication of the towel. With the knowledge that he had, at that very moment, a naked princess walking around his apartment also came the truth that she'd been playing him, a payback for releasing his anger on her. Taking a deep breath, Dorian collapsed back on the bed. He could at least vouch that the girl didn't take attacks without following up with a counter.
Half fearing that he'd walk out and still find her skin bared to the world, Dorian told himself that he was only giving her time to cool off. He chided himself for acting the prude. Any other Knight in his position would have rushed out the door the minute she left, but he wouldn't chase after her like a hormonal, mundane. She deserved better. Plus, it hadn't been an invitation, only a game meant to make him uncomfortable. Well played, Princess. In the time that was now left to him, Dorian decided to change out of the mundane clothes he'd worn the last time he'd visited the human world, now disgusting with filth and sweat. He would have loved nothing more than to don the uniform of a Knight of the Seelie Court, but he was no longer one. Grudgingly, he pulled on a simple white t-shirt and a faded pair of blue jeans. Guessing that he'd allowed enough time to pass, Dorian made his way out into the hallway, grabbing the towel as an afterthought.
Finding her door closed, a small light seeping out from the crack, Dorian knocked and waited until a small voice came, allowing him entry. She sat cross legged on the vast bed, clothed in soft, light blue pajamas that had come with the room. She wasn't looking at him, her eyes on her hands in her lap.
"You forgot this," Dorian said, indicating the towel in his hand. It was meant as a joke, but his tone of voice stayed soft and serious, utterly failing at any hint of humor. Hesitantly sitting on bed, not too close as to startle her, he tried to work up the words. "I shouldn't have yelled at you earlier. The anger inside me had been growing ever since we arrived in this godforsaken place and your words unfortunately set it off. You did nothing wrong, Princess. I was weak in my control. I'm...sorry for that. I'm sorry.....for a lot of things."
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PostSubject: Re: The Penthouse   Fri May 25, 2012 2:12 pm

Wisteria's voice, quiet and lacking emotion, granted Dorian entrance to what she would now call her room in this new apartment, what was now her home, and would become her new life. She barely looked up as he came in, the widening crack of the doorway letting more light into the room, as she'd closed the blinds when she first got there.
The pajamas she was wearing were fleecey, soft to the touch, yet had the unmistakable cleanliness of having never been worn before. They were no comfort, and for the briefest of moments, the Princess ached for her home, her own bed, and her own silky nightclothes, which she just remembered she'd forgotten to pack in her one duffel bag she'd brought. It was amazing what little things someone could miss from their old life.
Dorian offered her the towel, a reminder of her failed game and poor choice of actions, and Wisteria snatched it from him before angrily throwing it on the floor. His attempt at humor paired with a serious voice did nothing to make her smile, and couldn't even make her look at him. Dorian sat on the bed next to her, and Wisteria continued to stare at her smooth hands, which were clenched tightly together as if they would prevent her from falling apart.
"I shouldn't have yelled at you earlier. The anger inside me had been growing ever since we arrived in this godforsaken place and your words unfortunately set it off. You did nothing wrong, Princess. I was weak in my control. I'm...sorry for that. I'm sorry.....for a lot of things."
His words were the only thing that gave her the ability to finally look at the Knight, giving him the chance to finally see the lost look in her eyes, the pain she'd fought so hard to keep hidden.
"A lot of your things aren't your fault," She began, horrified to find that her voice was cracked with emotion. Wisteria couldn't bring herself to cover it up though. This was the person she'd be living with for a while now, and he might as well get used to seeing her as far from perfection.
"So I don't see why you're apologizing for them. I came here by choice, even if my options were rather awful to begin with. This isn't entirely, actually it's not at all, your fault. I wish you'd quit blaming yourself. It's not going to get us anywhere."

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