Contemplation of Fire

Lilith is lying on the bed, facing the farther off fire place. And with her is Nerissa, Lil resting herself against part of the snake's broad back, elbows up, chin in hands, staring into the fire. Nerissa is looped, and piled, and lying, all over the broad bed and floor. Both snake and woman lazily lift their heads, then look back and enjoy the fire. "G'evening."

Kass slips inside, eyes going to the snake and then the woman as she closes the door behind her. The cowboy hat gets propped on the doorknob as she considers, her voice bright but quiet. "Hello, Mrs. DeWinter. How are you this fine evening."

Lilith chuckles and waves a hand. "Just fine, Ms…Cindel? Blast, I can never remember." She smiles, as Nerissa shifts to bring herself closer to the heat. Now visible, a plain, smoked glass bottle and shot glass rest on the night stand. "What brings ye by?"

"Not Cindel until after she marries me, so it's still DePaiva." Kass gives the snake a respectful distance; she doesn't seem particularly afraid of it, but more the distance you give a dog you don't know. "Well, I thought I'd see how you were. You lit out last night and seemed a bit .. quiet. I thought you might be coming down with a cold."

Lilith chuckles again. "Naw, naw, not a cold. Just tired. Felt a little out of place." She strokes Nerissa's head, and the snake hisses happily. "Sam's place. Your place. Y'know?" She sighs a bit, then grin. "Besides, I can't get sick now. Just got that from home." She nods her head to the bottle.

"Out of place?" Kass frowns faintly, strolling towards the wall near the fireplace so she can look more fully at you. "What is tht nonsense. Just because we live out there doesn't mean you were not welcome to be there and visit, Lilith. Or should I feel out of place here?" She points with her chin, arms crossed. "What's that?"

Lilith laughs softly, shaking her head. "I know, I know. It's no worry." Nerissa, watching Kass, gives her every movement, now that she's staying in the room, more careful scrutiny, surprisingly…warm, intelligent eyes for a snake. "That…THAT is the very best of Whitefriars and Fleet Street's rotgut. True East Ender fare." She grins, her accent more vibrant…more real, true Londoner then before.

Kass regards Lilith for a long moment, her gaze then drifting to Nerissa. "I see. So .. you had moonshine imported from England?" She hms, shrugging, and moves back to the previous conversation. Another form of chess, this. "So .. if it is now worry, why were you worried about it?" Another pawn moves forward, a different gambit.

Lilith watches her, chuckling good naturedly. Nerissa relaxes, giving Kass an almost…smiling sort of face before flopping over again. Perhaps the alcohol has softened her up a bit. She tilts her head, and then…changes, subtly. Much like Sam in slow motion, perhaps, a shift of voice, a movement of the eyes. She scratches her head, her hair coming loose and flowing around her face, softening her features. With her porcelain fine skin and high cheekbones, she looks almost doll like, and much younger. Innocent…and believably innocent, which is both chilling and frightening. "I wasn't worried! Goodness, I said I was tired." She laughs softly, charmingly.

Kass watches Lilith quietly, watching her 'transformation' without comment. She shrugs then, "Alright." She doesn't appear particularly convinced, but is willing to cede the piece. "Well, there we go then." She sighs, shrugging again, "In any case, as long as you are fine that is all that matters. I am sorry that it .. that you were uncomfortable, but if it was just tired then I am jumping at shadows again."

Lilith comes back a little, watching Kass curiously now. "Kass, what's wrong?" She seems genuinely puzzled. "I was merely jesting. I'm serious, it wasn't a big thing, and you don't need to feel bad."

"I don't feel bad, Lilith. I was just concerned is all. It was foolishness, nothing more." Kassandra uncrosses her arms, brushing absently at her sleeves. She considers the woman, shaking her head. "I oft think we are speaking at cross purposes. I .. have tried a few times to reach out, but I tend to get rebuffed. I am probably just misreading things, I suppose I am not as good at ready people as I once was."

She smiles faintly, "In any case, things are fine, you are fine, and there we stand. There are no problems, there are no issues." The elf starts towards the door, "Hopefully memories of home will bring happy thoughts."

Lilith blinks and rises up. "Where are you going? You just got here…Kass, please, I'm not trying to rebuff you. Honestly."

Kass stops a few feet from the door, looking over her shoulder to Lilith, not turning for a moment. She finally does, leaning on a chair and speaking, "Lilith .. We've not known each other very long. I can understand that we aren't braiding each other's hair and telling secrets like the girls down the hall. But .. I have tried very hard to be open with you, to talk to you. I don't have many friends, and .. well, it seems very much like you keep me at a distance, as if you either don't care for me or just don't want to talk. I am used to both reactions, I really am."

She shakes her head, "I can understand that you have some conflicts in your life. I can understand a great many things. I was simply trying to help. I've managed to screw up helping you, and helping Samuel. I think it may be best if I stop trying to help is all."

Lilith rises off the bed, her now more youthful and soft face hiding the rapidly shutting walls and doors inside her. But…she smiles awkwardly, taking a couple steps forward while Nerissa flops towards the fireplace. "Kass. I'm sorry you feel that way…it's not that I don't care for you or think of you as a friend. I guess it's just that, well, I still don't know you that well, mainly because when we knew each other before you fell in love with Ally, some months ago already, I got the sense that you were more strictly a working acquaintance, a friend from business. I also couldn't shake the feeling you were somewhat disdainful of me and my supposed "softness." She quirks a faint smile, but grows more serious. "And my love of luxury. That previous knowledge is conflicting oddly with your current self, your love affair."

Kass teeters there a moment, on the precipice of simply leaving. She considers her words for a moment before remarking, "Love affair?" She chuckles, a rather dark laugh all things considered. "This isn't a weekend trist, although people seem to expect that for some reason."

"As far as conflicting, Lilith, I daresay it is because I didn't .. and still try not to .. let people in. I am sure that you know something of that." She fixes the madam with a gaze, "And please, don't dissemble, I have lived behind walls most of my life, I at the very least can see when people hide emotions and the like." She waves a hand at that, continuing.

"Regardless. Your love of luxury is simply a reminder of previous days, of the sort of people I've dealt with in the past. I try to look beyond that, to look to the person and not the pretense. I say that you rebuff me, Lil, because as smitten as I am and as addlebrained as everyone seems to believe me to be, I can still see."

Lilith watches her, meeting her gaze evenly, without pretense. "I say love affair in the posistive sense, Kassandra. I didn't mean it lightly or casually." Her eyes, although calm, are cool, pleasant but chilling as a bit of the veneer breaks through. "You try to see beyond what I remind you of. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I don't think anyone I met here, whether friend or foe or love, has looked at me and not seen something, at least one thing, to disapprove of. And this is *Denver*, of all places."

"It is the nature of humanity, you try to see past what people show you. It's my *job* to do that, after all." Kass puts stress on the word job, a not-so-subtle reminder of who she is.

There is another momentary pause, "Disapprove, Lilith? If I may be so bold, *you* are the one who rubs everyone's face in what you do. You seem to almost revel in it. I have never, by word or deed, held your job against you, disapproved of it, or talked badly about you or it. And if you don't look at others and find something to disapprove of then you are either lying or a saint." There isn't any malice in Kass's words, more tiredness.

"In any case. I can already tell that this isn't going to go anywhere. I am glad that you are not ill. I hope to see you again soon." She turns quietly, moving towards the door again.

Lilith takes a step back. For a moment she looks a touch stunned, then hurt, then sad…and her face begins to close off again, hiding the pain but not before a flash is seen in her eyes. "What do you want me to tell you, Kass? What could I possibly speak to you of? Why…I just… I cannot understand why everyone seems to want to question me. Why you do."

Retrieving her hat, the elf seats it on her head, turning to look out from under the brim at Lilith. "I don't *want* anything, Lilith. I am not a client, I am not asking you for any service, any part of yourself beyond the conversation two people have with each other. I do not believe I am some unapproachable Lady looking down at you with her nose in the air, disinterested in what you have to say."

Kass reaches for the doorknob, "I don't have any questions for you, Lilith, nor any answers. I was looking to talk to a friend. You are not quite ready for that, and I can understand, truely. I've been there. One day, maybe, we can chat a little easier." She shrugs, eyes dark, entire mood shuttered and shut down behind adamantine walls. "One day. But now? Now I should let you get back to your contemplation of fire."

Lilith freezes for a moment, then nods. "As you wish." She doesn't shout. She doesn't glare. She doesn't clench her fists or raise her voice. She doesn't throw anything or act angry or behave like she would normally. Voice soft, tired. "I never said you were a client, Kassandra. I never said I was unapproachable, nor that I was disinterested in you. Perhaps I was searching for help to do less…rebuffing, in my previous statement.

She folds her hands in front of her, looking at you simply. "Perhaps it would be best if you leave. I don't want to sound mean saying that, or cold, but I think we're both a bit worked up, it's late, and maybe…maybe speaking together tomorrow, when we've had time to think, would be best. I'll try to be less of a cold bitch. And more of a friend."

Kass simply nods to Lilith, touching the brim of her hat in a salute that might have come from Johny and was probably stolen from his antics. "Perhaps so. Good night, Mrs. DeWinter. Maybe tomorrow will bring answers." The elf opens the door, heading out into the hall.

Lilith nods and waves her good bye.

March 04, 2009

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