She was in town just for a shoot. A personal project. She needed to build up her portfolio if she were going to move out, move on up. Pay from Phantasie was good, but not hardly enough to afford rent in London, and Londkn, as far as she was concerned, was the place to be to operate a full and diverse photography business.
Streets photography was near to an anything goes game, blending discretion with creativity and charm. She was aiming for personal portraiture today, not the candid she usually captured. Pushing forward with her camera around her neck, to slip around a pedestrian coming from the opposite direction, a force hit her other side, another pedestrian trying to wind their way down the river of people. Camera first, always, and her hands went to it where it hung on a strap around her neck. But balance was forgone and while her camera was safes he was falling for gravity.
Oh London was wonderful! It had changed a lot since he'd last been around and all the pocket computers (mobile phones) were wonderful. He'd already stolen a few loose ones just to play with them. The internet was amazing! Such a cool muggle plaything. Not to mention he'd found some of the darker parts of 'the webb' that he had found himself watching in fascination as he walked the street. He bumped into people right and left as he stumbled along. The people of this era seemed to have evolved with a sixth sense to find things in their path while watching the little screens. It was amazing! Well, until he got to wizarding parts and the functionality of the things practically imploded. That was no fun!
After yet another bump in he had accidentally gotten somebody to start the falling over process. Luckily his reflexes had been trained with the various wars he'd been forced to parttake in through the ages so he managed to catch her just in time and put her back on her feet. "Sorry ma'am. I was absorbed in my cellular device." He leaned in with an exciting boyish grin. "They have the most naughty video's on the webb, it's amazing!" He was far too excited about it all. With little knowledge of the modern world, magical or otherwise, he probably ended up looking rather silly. Then again he had been in the ground for almost ninty years. He felt that was a rather perfect excuse. His eyes gleamed as they noticed her camera. Ooh that was cool! "Nice camera by the way." He noted. He would need to steal one of his own in the future! He was excited for it already.
Before she fell further, she was whipped around, upright. It was a whirl, it was improbable, and the next moment she was staring at a chest. Clothed, was the only observatiton she could make. Someone was speaking words at her. Kira raised her gaze and her pride nearly flew out the window. "Normal people don't have reflexes like that. What and who are you?" She should have said thanks, but there was one of the faces that were reserved for magazine pages. Sure, it was a face she would love to get her camera on. Long hair, piercing gaze. The shadows and contours alone sent a tremor through her. Starsdam genetics. Kira liked fading behind the camera, to be the unseen - as far as she was concerned - unless she was dancing. But even then, it wasn't about eyes on her, it was about the movement. She could see the moves in her head, symphonies of dances and ribbons of color like fireworks that echoed in time with her heart beat.
Then she clued in to his words. "You're watching porn in public then? Saucy." Her gaze flicked to her camera. "It's essential. Couldn't do what I do without it." She tried again, putting a little more space between them. She didn't fraternize with subjects. Not that the thought had occurred to her. "Where do you come from that you still call a cellphone a 'cellular device'?"
He wagged his finger at her. "Normal people used to have reflexes like that. Selection of oldfashioned war. Slow reflexes used to mean metal lodged in your body. It's not my fault uou guys got slow." He said with a friendly smile. She seemed a bit rattled though, which confused him a bit. He wasn't that weird, was he? "I'm Nine by the way. I'm just your average cursed human. Technically, that is. Some actually might actualy call it a blessing. I think I blame Hebe." He was rambly on the best of days so this really was not that weird for him. He was an erratic sort of fellow. Might be seem as insane.
Then the topic came down to his interests. Well that went fast. He wasn't quite sure what sauce had to do with it but he figured it was some sort of slang. Maybe she followed the path of Hermes like him? He had to give her kudos for getting away with it though. Not a small trophy. His nimble fingers touched the old ring that was the cause for his curse (and possibly his insanity). The thing never seemed to show signs it would ever wear out but Nine knew that probably wasn't supposed to happen. Je'd only stolen it though so he couldn't be fully sure.
"So what is it you do? Photographer? You know they used to believe a camera would take your soul out of your body and freeze it in the picture forever?" Just a little random fact. Those had been fun times to live though. Hell, one of his old friends had become a God from the stories he heard, which was pretty cool! He smiled at her question. "Greece. Lovely place it used to be too. We invented democracy, you know? Never could have imagined it would get quite this popular." A man from the past couldn't be expected to always act fully integrated into his time. If she was a muggle she was going to be twice as confused though. That could be funny! He was already interested to see how this would turn out.
He was speaking words at her she couldn't follow through the din of the bus driving by, and his intense eyes staring at her. But she noticed his accent, though she couldn't place it, and his syntax, oddly bent to suggest he was somehow separate from she and others. Kira wondered where he was from, and perhaps whether it was a cultural matter. Londoners weren't half as busy-minded and rushed as Americans,
Then his words sunk in. "I'm Kira, just your average not cursed Edinburgher. Are you bad luck or something? Maybe you shouldn't stand so close to me." Just as maybe it wasn't the brightest idea to continue to speak with some delusional muggle who might have escaped from a mentalc are facility. But a story was a story and he seemed harmless so far. She glanced down at her camera. "Yes, this is my baby Jolie. And I reckon they had reason to considering how - " She couldn't mention that photos moved. "Unused they were to seeing their own unchanging reflections." She finished lamely.
"You look pretty good for a 'cursed man'. You should let me steal your soul and take your story for my collection." She would photograph him like one of her French boys too, if he would let her.
Well she was a cheery one. Probably made her smart, all things considered. He raised an eyebrow at her. "I'm not bad luck by curse. I just usually get a lot of people wanting me dead. Majority of those died themselves though. Tyche and Nemesis are not particularly peeved with me from what I can tell. Either that or they already took revenge. It's not contagious either. I already got that part down with the Spanish Flu." Now that hadn't been pretty. He barely remembered that one though. Just euphoria and some delusions and a general weird buzz. He marked it the weirdest so far.
"Psssh, we already got the basics of photography down many years earlier. We just didn't have the technology yet." He said ever so carelessly. He did wave the comment about unused to pictures away. "People are crazy." He was still people too but far too used to change to look into things much. Then came the offer to have his picture taken. He grinned widely. "I already sold my soul to Hermes but you can take my picture whenever you want! Where and how do you want me?" He asked, wiggling his eyebrows. If she wanted him to take his clothes off he would take em off on the spot if he could. But that remained to be seen.
She could listen to him all day - a hazy, sunny shower of comedic gold, a bubbling font of stories. "Ye kin, I have half a mind to drag you to a recording studio and get all the stories I can out of you, but photos first," she remarked as she checked the settings on her camera. His next comment sent a curl of heat through her cheeks, and she looked back up at him darkly. "Careful what you ask me - or how - because I may just answer frankly." He was undeniably attractive in the confoundingly frustrating way of models. But then, that was only the superficial layer. His allure, Kira mused, was much more rooted in his depth, like looking into a tunnel of mirrors that bent just past the curve of perception. "There's a park a block down, great fountain that's good for shoots. I'll get you there, like one of my French boys." She turned on the ball of her foot to lead the way to the park, the paused so that he could walk alongside her. His energy was contagious, sparking a jig in her step as she lead the way down the block, feet kissing the pavement as the only regard paid to gravity. Otherwise the heady mix of an impending photo shoot, a mystery, and an attractive stranger would have had her dancing through the crowds like a ninja.
He laughed freely as she mentioned wanting to get his stories out of him. Now that'd be a thing of wonder. They'd probably found a way to record sound properly, that much was obvious from the sexy video's he'd been watching. Still, she'd need a lot of time to actually record all his stories and he needed a lot of discipline to actually keep telling the truth. History was boring, stories based on history or situations could be so much more appealing!
"Yes, photo's first." He agreed with a cheeky grin. "And you wanted my picture, I just offered to shock you with the divine shape of me!" He joked as he exaggerated the flirty move of hands through the hair to make it seem ridiculous. "And speqk frank will you?" He said, waggling his eyebrows as he took his shirt off. People were starting to stare. They'd surely never seen an old fellow this hot. Then again, they had no idea how old he was and he'd be locked up if he told the truth. Escaping madhouses was easy enough though. He'd one had a mad house go mad on the whole. Even the staff was locked up and he was shipped off thinking he carried a disease. He'd escaped and lived happily ever after... well, until he fell off a cliff.
The french boys thing baffled him utterly though. "But I'm not French. And what do you do to those French boys anyway? Also, swimming in the fountain, yes or no? I don't want to get in trouble with Juventas. She can be absolutely nasty." He said as he followed, leaving his shirt in the street as nothing mire than an okd rag. Clothes were so disposable. Besides, he hadly had issues with the cold anyway and he was a thief, not a hoarder. He didn't need things, he wanted them and lost interest equally fast. Very simple.
He had a nice laugh. And she decided firmly to stop that line of thought there. This was already way over her head, she was practically scuba-diving now. Kira couldn't fathom what astronomical events or random chance had spun to land her this encounter with Nine, but it was a glorious blessing. She finished adjusting her camera and glanced back up at him. Oh, well, his shirt was coming off. She would have asked him anyway - he was cut like a Roman sculpture - but she hadn't expected him to ditch his shirt so easily. "But what's one without the other, I suppose." She muttered, spinning around to snap a candid of test photo of him and checking the image on the screen before continuing their walk. She had half a mind to school him on the oddity of his actions, but then it would ruin all the fun. She could help him come to speed with the times later, if he was inclined. So far, no harm no foul right?
"Play your cards right, and I might just show you. I prefer showing over telling, you see." Kira looked up at him - Nine was easily a head taller than her at least- and then past him to the fountain in the plaza they were approaching. So mething fluttered against her leg. There went the shirt. This was fine, she decided. It was all about the attitude, anyway. Clothes were just superficial, yes, and Nine had attitudes in spades. She only had to keep an eye out for the muggle police. Auorrs couldn't be bothered with something as trivial - there were trainees for that - and the muggle police were far more bothered by trivial things such as exposure. "As far as the fountain goes, yes. Only, be prepared to run if the muggle police take notice. I don't know this Juventas, but the muggles are a bit touchy when it comes to half-naked people and their local monuments, no matter how fetching they are." Kira sauntered then in the direction of the fountain, turning over in her head the conundrum that was Nine.
Oh he was hot! She already couldn't help but snap him up with that camera. Way to give a guy a confidence boost so close after digging out of his grave. He liked her already. He snuck up to look at the picture she'd taken and blinked a few times. He looked like that? He hadn't been in contact with such direct pictures of himself in that quality and his reflection always kept looking him in the eyes. His reflection was an annoying git. The guy on that photograph? Nine would totally do himself if he looked like that... He needed to get his hands on some polyjuice potion just to try that out. He was pretty sure there was somebody in the world he could pay to get that guilty pleasure of his checklist.
He chuckled slight. "Careful what you wish for. I'm a notorious cheat in card and dice games. You could land in more trouble than you bargained for." He warned, wagging a finger at her but his grin betrayed the obvious mischief on his mind. She would most likely get in trouble today if she kept hanging out with him. He did have a policy never to be taken alive after all. Not even for a trivial thing like stripping in public. Nobody bothered making a criminal record for a dead guy. They were not gonna be causing trouble again after all.
Then he spotted the fountain and the grin grew tenfold. "Pants on... wet pants... pants off......" He didn't muse that one for very long though. He did catch her slip in presuming he was magical though. It made him even more mischievous, if humanly possible. He leaned in to whisper to her, brushing the hair from her nek. "Muggle dear one? Camera's at the ready. The show begins!" As soon as he said that he sprinted the last bit towards the fountain and dove straight in, pants still on. With a huge splash he landed. He flipped his luscious locks back and laughed as he came up. "Juventas, my dear, is the Roman Goddess of fountains." He shouted, drawing quite a bit of attention. "I never liked the Romans though. They were pricks!" And once again he laughed jovially as he rose to his feet, waterdroplets clinging to his hair and body. He then took a few deliberately slow steps towards her, giving her that mysterious and seductive look with just that edge of bad boy darkness that had nearly all the girls swooning. He had plenty of time to practise seduction after all. Had she had enough time to resist?
She had needed to update her portfolio. She loved landscape as much as the next photographer, but even more Kira was passionate about portraiture. Cross people with landscape, natural or urban, and voila - you had Kira Aislin Carrigan's essence. Making the most of simple sets through minimal magical special effects, lighting, costuming (or sans). This is where she wanted to go, and to go as far as she could with it, professionally, and spatially. Spain, there was a place she wanted to visit sometime. And Iceland. Nine peeked over her shoulder as she played with the camera and Kira glanced up at him. She could see this playing out in her head, felt it in her muscles like a strident, staccato-smooth Argentine tango. You couldn't be sure where it lead, but the whole dance was charged and they were moving together in a swift-slow push and pull.
She only had her camera, and few spare items on her person. She raised the camera again to expose for the brighter light in the open plaza when a hand grazed her neck neck as Nine brushed her hair back, his breath ghosting across the side of her face as he whispered to her. She could believe he was centuries old; no one born in this era could be so spontaneously deliberate and suave. Nine went for the fountain in an impossible dive that carried him along the surface of the water - pants and all - without striking the bottom. A child playing on the other side let out a squeal,and pidgeons rocketed in to the sky in a burst of feathers, and a clamor of shouts and whoops as a bustle of youth off to her left encouraged the chaos. When Nine surfaced, Kira cursed him. Damn indecent son of a time turner.
She gave him an arch expression, the breeze whipping her teal hair into a distraction for which she had to pause and tie down into a french braid. "We can do this dance but doesn't make me your dear." Nine rose from the fountains and she shook her head. Either he spent time in front of a mirror or he had been photographed before because she didn't need to give him any direction. She began shooting, moving along the fountain as sun streamed down on him, highlighting the water beading and rolling off his skin and casting shadow slivers along his neck and across his torso. "What'd they do to you?" She called back as she closed in to the edge of the fountain to angle a shot slightly upwards. "Couldna' been worse than the British though, right? Least the Romans didn't draw and quarter enemies of state."
It was a matter of opinion. Torture was torture - and this was a particularly different kind of torture, which Kira would have to address later if things didn't pan out as intended them to - but no nation under the sun was exempt from ignominy. The worst was when they lacked ignominy altogether. Nine may have been speaking lightly, but part of her wondered at his story. If he was as old as he suggested, he was either incredibly damaged or broken to endure whatever allowed him to persist for so long. Then again, maybe being ancient as he was allowed him to disconnect fully from humanity. That, Kira mused as she eyed him, could be an altogether worse reality: to be so detached from existence to reach apathy and moral directionless. She knew of the sorcerer's stone, having read of it in her alchemy class in seventh year. She also knew that after a near thousand years, Nicholas Flammel had willingly chosen to fade along with his wife after Harry Potter inadvertently destroyed it in a fight with the dark lord (so pretentious). Light and swift as a fey, she had been described - which was quite preposterous for her deliberately honed 1.5 meters in height - so maybe it was the hair: a fine white-blonde between dye sessions - teal, green, pink, purple, or some combination thereof. Or maybe the quarter veela influence. It just meant she was particularly captivating when she put her full intent into her speech, a commanding presence, ironic for one so comfortable behind the camera. But through light and slight frame, there was a deepness to her soul that one couldn't put in words. No one talks about souls and history and impressions. Kira hopped up on the edge of the fountain to shoot downwards, gaining height on his taller form.
If he was inclined to stick around, there were several other photoshoots she wouldn't mind putting him in. Her portfolio would thank her, and perhaps her future bank account would as well. "Just like that. Now, no smiles for the next few. I want you to give me depth. Don't look right at me or the camera." She would let him strut and she would capture him naturally. She looked around swiftly. There were too many people, and a few children, and it was far too early in the day to invite him to turn this into a boudoir shoot. Kira rather wanted to do him all over the city, by Big Ben, by the Palace, posed as a dancer in a plaza.... the possibilities were endless. The things she could do with him and shadow and silhouettes could make for a powerful series....
"It's a type of endearment! It means I enjoy your company." He said with a grin, revelling in the attention of the crowds. He had noticed the kids and knew people in this frame of time were still weirdly sensitive about nudity so he kept his pants on. Once upon a time, before his fall from grace into thievery, he'd competed in the olympics. He didn't know if he won or lost as nearly all memories from before he stole that ring were hazy. He did remember that clothing was a huge no. Sports were just as much an appreciation of they body as a love of sports. The body could not be fully appreciated if it was covered in clothes. People now might say he was morally ambiguous but he was born and raised in very different times. They worried about other things then.
His face grew dark as she wondered how bad they could be. He looked straight at her and in his eyes and face there stood ancient pain and loss beyond description. "How bad right? Innocent people forced to kill each other for sports. If their battle didn't entertain enough the already tortured victor would still be executed. How much worse really? Murderers were publically thrown to wild animals and the whole crowd cheered, children included. How much worse? While being torn in pieces is excruciatingly painful at least it's relatively quick. I once knew a guy that killed his hag of a stepmother. They tried wolf hide around his head, put wooden shoes on his feet and put him in a bag with animals. Living animals I might add. Everybody laughed at the choas as the ricky cart was loaded and slowly ridden to the river. The procession followed with mirth. At the river they threw in the bag and watched the desperate struggles of whatever was still alive in there as it drowned. I'm not sure how bad the Bretons truly were, but the Romans were cruel enough on their own." He really truly deeply despised the Romans. There was a darkness in his soul that never slept after all he'd seen and experienced. It usually simply stayed hidden in the facade of the silly young man that lived and died in an endless cycle. No such luck indeed. They cruelty of men was endless, but Nine always clung to their kindness to keep his sanity. At moments like this it wavered.
She was pretty, but all things pretty withered and died eventually. So would she. As full of life as she was now, as dead would she be before too long. He had too many graves to visit so he'd visit none of them. Not more than once at least. It would take several life times to see all his deceased friends. It wouldn't do to dwell on the past and forget to live. He'd seen things too horrible to imagine for people in these times of comfort. He washed his face and allowed the water to clean his mind as he muttered a quick prayer to Juventas. He has not spilled blood in any of her fountains and had kept his pants on. The least he could do was thank her for allowing him to clear his mind. He took a deep breath and smiled again, although it was still small. He listen and didn't look at the camera. At first he let the peace and quiet of the moment settle in, then he returned to his seductive stances. It was a game really. Nothing more. What else did a man like him have left to live for? There was enough darkness already. He would stay in the light and ignore the endless night that crept up on him so strongly. He'd left destruction in Italy and Greece behind gim for a reason. Nostalgia would have him turn to a darkness so profound it would never bear the light of day. No, he needed to be positive. After a moment of instensity he burst out into bubbly and cheerful laughter again.
"Well then, will you show me what you do to your French boys now? Because I am curious and would love to know more." He said, flopping down with laughter and a splash before leaning on the edge of the fountain beside her. She was an enchanting kind of woman and he worried very little. She reminded him of the sirens of old. Experimental breeding had been popular in his days but that couldn't be her magic. Men fell ever so easily to the siren songs. "Can you sing Kira?" He asked her curiously. "And if you can, might you sing for me just once. I am curious to know if the stories are true." He did not plan to elaborate on that unless he was forced to. He just hoped she'd humour him.
She paused between snaps as Nine responded. He spoke lightly but it was overshadowed by the weight of his words, beyond simple words: a narrative of loss. His account washed over her and Kira felt it rush through her: the cold weight infiltrating her chest with a painful terror - dull by second hand account, but her imagination made up for that. Kira was shaken, gladly, by the depth she saw in @nine 's eyes, the coarseness of his voice. There was not anything appropriate she could say in response; sometimes the best response was acknowledgement.
As Nine finished, he seemed to heed her words as he stilled with a faraway gaze that never quite met the camera. Like a time and weather-worn rock face, he was still and marked - imperceptible to the naked or passing gaze, but with the camera she could draw it out and so Kira set to it. Heightening the shadows spilling across his skin from clouds scuttling across the sky above, the stark gleam of sun on ancient skin as the clouds passed over - skin like a burnished bronze statue somehow surviving from the Age of Romans, as painfully beautiful in full contemplation as it was abhorrent for what it represented. Just as she snapped her last shot, satisfied that she had more than enough to curate a series (1), Nine broke again, fountain-like, with bubbling laughter. Kira tried to suppress her reaction, shaking her head at the insufferably giddy wash of hormones through the back of her mind. (To be rational and young was a war with self and biology with alternating winning and losing sides.) She smirked delicately, focusing instead on flipping through the pictures until she could stand to look at him again.
But then Nine was coming up to her, wet and sun-warmed and half-dressed. "Well then, will you show me what you do to your French boys now? Because I am curious and would love to know more." There had only been one French boy that counted, plus three more that she photographed. Kira glanced at Nine, and then looked deeply for any lingering scars, or wrinkles, signs of the time he wore within. Nothing. A wave of grief swelled within her fast and heavy and a sensation flashed in her mind of burying her face in his neck to pour her sorrow as close as she could to his pulse so he could know: I hear you, I feel you. As she raised her gaze to his, she wondered whether he had ever managed to grow roots. Had he ever desired his name to be known, or would that bring more trouble. As long as he lived, he couldn't forget everything he lost - again, and again and again . But what about him? Who would remember him? There was nothing between them but possibility for this single, precious day. The wave dissipated as fast as it came and Kira released the turmoil in a great, controlled exhalation, fixing Nine with smiling blue eyes to mirror his own sheer thrill. That's all they were - passing waves - and she resolved to carpe diem with all the zest she could muster. Naturally, this would involve carpe novem if she could help it.
"Ye kin, I don't sing. My art is my song. God, that's sappy." Kira shook her head, then sat down on the marble edge of the fountain, swinging her legs around to dip into the fountain, and resting one hand on his warm shoulder and, with a deep breath to shore up her confidence, she leaned into him as he had done to her before diving into the fountain, whispering into his ear just as she had learned. "But I'm more than happy to show you just exactly just how I treat 'my French boys,' mon' cherie." She grabbed his hand and lead the way from the plaza to one of the old apparating allies, disguised as a garbage dump and warded to keep muggles away. "My place." she said by way of explanation as she gripped his hand in hers and apparated them to her flat. It wasn't strictly true that she didn't sing. She sang well enough by most accounts, but perhaps in response to her enhanced heritage, she had developed an aversion to using the capabilities with which being quartre-veela had gifted her. And so she never sang never on command, or request. She sang for Raina, she sang for Reagan, but she wouldn't sing for Nine. It was a part of herself that they all, in one way or another, kept hidden.
-------------- TIME: JULY 2011 PLACE: KIRA CARRIGAN'S APARTMENT
Apparition was a blur. She shared it with one roommate, Roxanna Daniels, now a professor in training at Hogwarts, who was away at a conference over the weekend. Their new place was just outside of Ediburgh, close enough so that Roxanna could make it to and from Hogwarts in the comign year without far apparition, and close enough for Kira to reach her studio in London and any appointments for shoots. Spacious, timeless, and airy, it held touches of Roxanna's Parisian affection and Kira's classical-modern fusion with a few scattered photographs Roxanna had found suit to rescue from her periodic purges and make a place for them on the walls. But it was average size by Edinburgh accounts. Its only redeeming feature was that it was a corner room and so they had windows on two walls and a corner balcony that opened up to look on the city below. This, they had attained, because three years before there had been a murder in the flat and they were able to sign on discount. There still was an apparition that manifested from time to time at certain hours of the night, some murmuring included. Kira turned, still holding Nine's hand and swung a wide arm to encompass the place. "Welcome to House Gryffinclaw. So, french boy, or whatever you are originally, how about you start with those wet pants, and then I'll lay you out." She considered doint it herself. An older, bolder Kira might even have done so, but there was still a current of professionalism - No. Ther was nothing about this, Kira laughed, that was impersonal or professional. Standing a few feet from him, she itched to touch him, and so she dug her fingers into her hair instead, easing some of the tension from her braids as she waited for him to strip down.
Nine got curious about his situation, a rare thing considering his constant avoidance of the truth. Yet now he waited as he wondered and wondered as he waited. Vampires supposedly had no soul. Humans that were turned into werewolves would not be able to control their hunger for human flesh. Yet as humans at least they did have souls. Yet where did their souls go when the beast took over? Locked within a cage in their mind and body? Or kept safe elsewhere to keep them from harm where the demonic poisons raged through their bodies as the moon stood in the sky...
Where truly did his soul go between deaths. It could not be kept in a mind if their was no mind to keep it in, and that had been tried once or twice. He never remembered but had nightmares for weeks at times about a place he was certain his body had never been. He looked at Kira then and smiled. She did not sing, except with her photographs. Such a pity, that would have made a death worth remembering. "That is a shame. I always wanted to be killed by a Siren but they're hard to find these days. Now that would be a thing worth dying for. A song so beautiful and mesmerising experienced sailors would kill themselves to hear up closer. You have a magic about you Miss Kira. It's odd to me, but in the beat ways possible. I don't meet girls like you every life." He figured he didn't need to mention the tiny details that he didn't always live long enough to meet anybody anyway. That didn't change that she was very special. Extraordinary.
He was going to find out about the French boys. She took him home for that part it seemed. Such a curious bird of flight she was. Yet he didn't complain and threw the many onlookers kisses and winks as he was dragged off like a misbehaving child. It truly was too much fun. He's kept his manners to Juventas, even if he hated Romans and she was one of theirs. At least she brought some good things too. Nine frowned in the alley, just before the apparating.
He'd never get used to the experience of apparated and avoided it all costs. He'd splinched himself a few times and always died. He didn't take well to healing of any kind. It was as if the spells could not function on something that died ages ago. Even if he actually lived. So he first did a quick limb check. All accounted for. He let out a sigh of relief. "You're a strange bird." He told Kira. "You will not sing but you take a stranger into your home that claims to be unable to die. I could be extremely dangerous but you somehow have no problems taking me home."
Oh right, clothes had to go. He was probably dripping all over her carpets. Oops he supposed. Yet if the photos on the walls were any indication of her work he was going to look good. He really needed to steal himself one of those or one of her at some point. While he knew he could probably get at least one of himself if he asked it was a lot more fun to steal them. He tried to think of one as he grinned broadly and took the last bit of clothing off. It probably made him look more cheeky than klepto all in all. A thief with so many years of experience lifting things was nit likely to be caught scanning his query.
"Greek actually." He said after his pants came down. He waggled his eyebrows at her before stepping out of his wet clothes and closer to her, approaching until he stood a slightly inappropriate distance from her. "So how exactly did you want me?" He asked seductively, layering his voice with that suggestive hint and the undertone of desire quite on purpose. She had her magic, he had his own. Not particularly useful, his own, but it did give him time to learn and practise anything he put his mind to. He just hoped things like this didn't mean even more Arai for him in Tartarus....
One wall was decorated with an array of photographs, simply framed with plain matting. Star-trails above stonehenge. Silhouettes in fog just as sunrise streaks pierced the low clouds. Billowing breeze and autumn leaves around a model, back to camera, caught in the camera flash against the indigo twilight of summer. A collage of images from a concert, Hawksbill, crisp black and white tones of a guitarist in mid-air, another of singer between verses, mouth open like a prayer, Kira had allowed Roxanna to choose, only after hastily discarding much of her early work to stack her portfolio with only those worthy of display. Still, Roxanna had chosen well, and a diversity of the shoots Kira had done. Nine was eyeing them and Kira felt a flutter of pride. She preferred pleased, it wore like a worn leather coat, but pride had the kick of a summer sun while pleasure had the crisp of summer nights cooling off.
Nine turned back to her then. Piece by piece, he shrugged off the obscuring fabric until he was standing inches from her in the complete opposite of shame. She could feel the heat radiating from his body. Nine hundred years old and honed as a - "Greek, actually," - Grecan statue. It could have been distracting if Nine didn't wear his charm like dirty martini - classy, dangerous, and playful. He was a showman, and she was an artist, and this was a dance of a different form. So while she traced the planes of his unfairly sculpted chest with an artist's eye, she dragged her gaze back to meet his expression, like that of a fox that charmed the hen. And he had the hair to match.
"So how exactly did you want me?"
Kira let it hang in the air for a moment, drawing in a deep breath to still her nerves. She was right where she wanted to be, pushing her comfort zone meter by meter. It was simultaneously thrilling and terrifying because she was in that moment rewriting her very unknowns. Now her world was expanding to include "Can photograph attractive man naked and remain professional.". True test of cerebral fitness, Kira didn't become flustered, but she had to remain dignified. Even though she walked herself into this, she felt somewhat like a child playing in dress-up. As she stepped aside to direct Nine towards the couch, flicking her wand to swing the curtains shut, her gaze slipped to his eyes with a raven's smirk. But she searched almost reflexively for any sign of wrinkles, anything to hint at his age. None. As frozen at thirty-something physically as the muggles who stuck needles in their face with a paralyzing serum were far from it. Nine was centuries old, and Kira was trying to play games with a being that was the stuff of untold legends. His story was the material around which masterful and gullible people formed theologies. Her mouth felt dry and the air seemed to have left her lungs. Time seemed to stretch before Kira broke it with a smile. Stretch out on the couch while I get lighting set up." And then she turned away, retrieving two standing lights with attached flash umbrellas. Reserving one for later, she moved a table aside and placed it to the rear left of the couch. Then she returned her attention to Nine, raising the light to allow the shadows to drape across the lower half of his form and the light to cast the upper two thirds of his figure and his face in a golden halo. She leaned over the edge of the couch to look at him upside down. "If at any point you get uncomfortable, let me know and I can provide you with a bathrobe." Kira reached a hand toward his. "And if you'll allow me, I'm going to rearrange you exactly how I want you." The trick was to have him as stretched out as he could be along the length of the couch while retaining the ease of posture to allow him to be comfortable through several takes. This close and her hair brushed face as she rose, moving several meters away. Kira summoned her tripod and fastened her camera to it, turning to face him. As she began adjusting the settings on her camera, the playfulness drained away and was replaced by a keen focus. Check, adjust, see through the viewfind, readjust. Ready, snap. Snap. Snap..