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Name: MystMoonstruck aka Cyn | Gender: REDHEAD! | Posts: 5,059 | Roses: 235
Old 02-15-2010 at 12:40 PM
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 Post [61] »


Easy "Cat" Tanner

Easy had been trying to read the man's expressions, with little luck. While Lucian Michaud wasn't really a "stoneface", he obviously guarded his response or perhaps wasn't a demonstrative person. There had been movements, true, but nothing that gave the man's thoughts away, at least in this limited lighting. Was he buying what he was hearing or seeing through to the truth? Really, it wasn't as if that truth was so simple, was it? Easy Tanner was a possession, not a youth with money of his own. Everything he had except for his Alleycat attire belonged to those he belonged to. Without his attachment to his "patrons", he would be on the streets for certain, likely living at the old mansion along with other denizens of Paris' dark underside. Forget about the room above Nothing Special! That was decorated with Sanctuary gleanings though he probably could swing the rent if he dedicated himself back to the streets. Was he willing to do that? If it was the streets, wouldn't it be better to be back in California?

“Well, then,” the man began, sounding somewhat subdued. “It seems to me that Chance has done you a good turn." Easy could not help but wince at that statement, as if he had been struck, his tawny eyes widening. It wasn't what he had expected to hear, and he had not been prepared. "I don’t presume to know much about your life on the streets or with him, but I can almost guarantee that living with him is better than living under the opera house." Easy bowed his head upon hearing those words, throat tightening painfully, knowing the man could not realize what that meant. "And, besides, you look to me like you’re… what? Eighteen? Twenty…?” Easy unknowingly echoed the man's shrug, unwilling to give his age because it hurt to acknowledge that he was aging, believing his worth lay in his youthfulness. Becoming a man terrified him. “And as for the ‘talking too much’… Well, that will sort itself out in time, one way or another.”

"Yeah," he said softly, breathily, swallowing several times in an effort to control his emotions, feeling himself falling apart, ashamed of himself for not telling the truth but more ashamed of that truth. Didn't the man understand at all? Didn't he see it? Perhaps he was too good and decent a person to conceive of the tangled web that had been Easy's life. "Living with Chance?" he murmured, trying to laugh but making only a broken sound. "That's goin' back~to California~livin' behind walls 'n' gates 'n'..." Trying to shake off the darkness assailing him, Easy battled a smile into place and looked up at the man. "Guess I should get you back to someplace safe, huh?" He got to his feet, weaving slightly, his body reminding him again of the lack of food and rest. "I~I guess I better work on this place more, huh? Guess it's not ready for guests yet," he tried to joke, "unless they got no taste, huh?" Leaning down, he shut off one of the lanterns and picked up the one he had been carrying, certain there was enough power to guide their way out of the so-called dungeons. As he stepped near the man, he studied the somewhat stern face before once more bowing his head. Speaking carefully, he tried to explain, "For a while, Mr. Michaud, I thought I made a good bargain. I thought I could live with it. Guess I wasn't used to thinkin' more than a day ahead~or a night. I~I don't know if I did the right thing. If I hadn't, I wouldn't be in Paris, wouldn't have been left here to try to be somethin' I'm not sure I can be. Maybe it's crazy to try. Maybe I should ask to go back to California." Sighing, he braced himself, hoping he could keep it together as he looked up at the man, meeting his eyes. "Thanks for talkin' to me, for listenin' to me. You're a nice man. I~I'm not afraid of you," he admitted quietly. "Mostly, I'm scared of people unless they~they..." He gave his head a fierce shake. "Never mind. You don't wanna know." Trying to smile, he cocked his head, glancing sideways at the older man. "C'mon. I'll take you back to civilization before they~like~send out a search party for you."

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Old 02-17-2010 at 04:10 AM
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 Post [62] »


Lucian Michaud

Lucian pretended not to see Easy wince, but even in the dark, the motion was obvious. Like he had said, he didn’t presume to know anything about “Chance” and Easy’s relationship. He didn’t pretend that it was a blissfully happy father-son relationship, nor did he envision a dark and twisted tale of abuse. He supposed that the best way to approach the scenario was with an open—or even blank—mind. It was, after all, none of his business. And if Easy was in no immediate danger, Lucian wasn’t about to make it his business. He had enough baggage as it were. Separation from Natalie, Damian’s engagement, moving to Paris, a ruined career… Narcissistic though it sounded, caring about people was… time-consuming. And it was counter-productive to flee responsibility only to be saddled down again.

"Living with Chance?" he murmured, trying to laugh but making only a broken sound. "That's goin' back~to California~livin' behind walls 'n' gates 'n'..."

Lucian bit the inside of his cheek until he drew blood. Walls and gates weren’t terrible… And yet the imagery conjured resembled a prison. Perhaps it was Easy’s tone, but suddenly the idea that caring was counter-productive made Lucian a little uncomfortable. The child was far too young to have such a broken tone.

"Guess I should get you back to someplace safe, huh?" He got to his feet, weaving slightly, his body reminding him again of the lack of food and rest. "I~I guess I better work on this place more, huh? Guess it's not ready for guests yet," he tried to joke, "unless they got no taste, huh?"

“Easy…” Lucian began in reproving protestation. A hint of apology crept into his voice and Lucian wished that he hadn’t spent so long out of the political arena. Masking emotions became difficult when one was out of practice.

Easy lit a lantern and the light pierced through the darkness and assaulted Lucian’s eyes. He blinked away the spots of light from his vision.

"For a while, Mr. Michaud, I thought I made a good bargain. I thought I could live with it. Guess I wasn't used to thinkin' more than a day ahead~or a night. I~I don't know if I did the right thing. If I hadn't, I wouldn't be in Paris, wouldn't have been left here to try to be somethin' I'm not sure I can be. Maybe it's crazy to try. Maybe I should ask to go back to California."

Clearly, Easy was not good at taking even the mildest of criticisms and Lucian suddenly felt like a monster. The way Easy spoke… ‘more than a day—or a night” ahead? Suddenly, Lucian felt a snatch of understanding. And it didn’t feel good. Everyone had skeletons in the closet—even random teenagers beneath opera houses. Perhaps even especially random teenagers beneath opera houses. A bitter taste welled up in Lucian’s throat. Had he suggested Easy go back to California? To give up his dreams? If Lucian had, then he was more of a monster than even his worst rivals said he was. Quick to judge and insufferably opinionated. Lucian had never thought of himself as either and he didn’t want a coincidental meeting with a stranger to shake his self-image.

"Thanks for talkin' to me, for listenin' to me. You're a nice man.”

Lucian involuntarily twitched. Nice was hardly a word used to describe him of late. And while it could have simply opened up a flood of warm-fuzzy feelings, instead, opened up the floodgates of guilt.

“ I~I'm not afraid of you," he admitted quietly.

Lucian’s eyes riveted to Easy’s in surprise. He couldn’t help but wonder if the kid was a mind-reader…

"Mostly, I'm scared of people unless they~they..." He gave his head a fierce shake. "Never mind. You don't wanna know."

Not a mind-reader. Just a severely damaged young man. Lucian’s chest began to ache acutely and he couldn’t help but wonder how long it would take him to verbalize his somatic symptoms. But, what would he even say? ‘I’m sorry’? That sounded ridiculous and childish.

Trying to smile, he cocked his head, glancing sideways at the older man. "C'mon. I'll take you back to civilization before they~like~send out a search party for you."

Lucian smiled weakly back. As tempting as the siren-song of “civilization” was, Lucian didn’t want to believe he was so much as a coward as to say sayonara to Easy without a second thought.

“Easy…” he said, his voice was cautious. Lucian wasn’t ready to pledge anything just yet. But, he didn’t want to walk away feeling heartless. “I’m… glad I don’t frighten you. And I don’t mind listening to you.” He inhaled and stuffed his hands into his jacket pockets. “You know… I have a son. He’s older than you… Damian’s twenty-three now.” He smiled briefly but it didn’t linger. “I don’t pretend that I was the best father the world has ever known, but… Well, Damian’s taught me a bit about listening. If you need an ear… I think I’ll be in Paris for quite some time.”

It didn’t fully assuage his guilty-conscience. If he had a business card—and if it didn’t seem so ludicrous to give a stranger a business card in a dungeon below an opera house—Lucian supposed he would have extended one to Easy, with instructions to call him if he needed something. Lucian could only hope he’d expressed himself clearly enough this time around.
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Name: MystMoonstruck aka Cyn | Gender: REDHEAD! | Posts: 5,059 | Roses: 235
Old 02-17-2010 at 12:48 PM
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 Post [63] »


Easy "Cat" Tanner

Easy had to admit that he had anticipated a more positive reaction to his hiding place, not realizing what it looked like through the man's eyes. Perhaps it would have been the same if he had shown him the stables, and he certainly wouldn't approve of the mausoleum though that was only for warmer weather and darker moods. As for Nothing Special... There was no way a man like this would ever go to a place like that, let alone know about it. He probably had lived the life Easy had always imagined might be out there, lives and places he had read about. Occasionally someone from that life would seek excitement on the streets, but he was certain this man was above such things and possibly might not even think of anyone living like that. And, here he had tried to "show off" his lair. It made him feel stupid and unworthy of this man's company. Thus, he had decided it was time to get the gentleman to safety.

The man had said his name before, but, in his usual way, he had spilled forth a stream of words in his halting manner. He was sure he had discouraged the man from wanting to talk to him, so hearing his name again surprised him.

“Easy… I’m… glad I don’t frighten you. And I don’t mind listening to you.” Easy smiled wanly at that, supposing that his near breakdown had made the man uncomfortable, perhaps pitying him. But, he could handle pity. It was one of the softer emotions, and he had experienced little of it throughout his life. Until Paris, kindness and pity were rare indeed. “You know… I have a son. He’s older than you… Damian’s twenty-three now.” When the man paused, smiling, Easy nodded, as if to assure him that he was listening. Damien: He decided he liked the name. Damien and Lucian seemed to fit together. “I don’t pretend that I was the best father the world has ever known, but… Well, Damian’s taught me a bit about listening. If you need an ear… I think I’ll be in Paris for quite some time.”

Easy's eyes widened as he looked up into the man's face, the tawny gaze studying him intently. "Y-you'd talk to me again?" he asked, a note of wonder in his soft voice. The instant he said it, he reminded himself of Jean Sauveur. It was one thing for a person to say he would be there; another for him to be there while not wishing he were elsewhere. His tremulous smile settled into a rueful grin as he tried a cheerier note, more like Cat than the Kitten he felt like at this moment, the youth who yearned to be spoken to and perhaps comforted or at least becoming less confused. "Nah! Why'd you wanna do that, Mr. Michaud, waste time with a~um~petit bette like me? That's what my voice teacher called me~little beast." He shrugged, as if to show it didn't matter, and perhaps it didn't as it was as near a pet name as Lazare Moreau ever had gotten. "Street rat: Some people, they call me that. I've heard them," he admitted, trying to keep his voice level, as if he saw the humor in it. "Not a rat," he amended. "Cat. Alleycat." He gasped as the name slipped out, covering his mouth with his free hand as if he had said something offensive and wished to stop anything like it from following. But, it was out. Lowering his hand, he tried to explain: "Th-that's what I got nicknamed when I was real little," he admitted though the name had grown into another meaning not so many years later. "Funny, huh? I~I kind of.. I..." Giving a dismissing wave of the hand, he stated firmly, "Now, I better get you to someplace safe, right?" Taking a couple of steps past the man, he moved the shattered mirror aside for them to pass through, ready to replace it once more, disguising his shelter.

"You don't have to promise to talk to me, Mr. Michaud. I know you've got important stuff to do. I mean, you look important." He was regaining the cocky air he sometimes achieved, a familiar persona he had dwelled in much of the time on the streets. "After all, I might ruin your reputation." He winced at that, as it brought up the possibility that the man would wonder how that would be accomplished. Instead of backsliding, he decided to continue this particular part of his masquerade. "Just ask around: Most anybody will tell you I'm a bad boy." It was delivered lightly, with a pouty look, cheekiness that often captured attention on the streets. Here with this very decent, thoughtful man (a father, he recalled), he knew the man would never recognize the attitude for what it was. "It's OK really. I figure that it's way too late to change what I am. If they throw me out..." Again, he shrugged, pretending it was, as he often declared, no biggie.

"Depending on what time it is, we can raid the kitchen if you're hungry. They sort of expect it: people sneakin' in in the evening, raiding the refrigerators. You just gotta keep the lights out, which makes it real interesting sometimes." Surefootedly, he led the way to the upper level~well, the ground floor, he corrected himself, supposing the dungeons were rather like a basement.

When they were ready to part ways, he would promise himself to never expect to hear from the man again. But, wouldn't it be nice to speak to someone? No! He already had said too much about his keepers and hinted too often at his past.

"Damien," he began. "That's a nice name: Damien Michaud. Sort of~um~musical, like your name. Sometimes I think I should change my name. What d'you think? Think I'll ever get anywhere with a name like Easy~anywhere worth getting?" He held onto the cocky grin, feeling secure now that he was on less-shaky ground emotionally. "I'll bet he's smart and never did anything wrong." He was only a few years younger than the man's son, but they undoubtedly were worlds apart. "Damien, I mean. He's nice, too, I bet~like you." Sighing, he bowed his head, switching off the lantern now that they had reached safety. His voice so faint, almost a whisper, he murmured, "M-my father~Strat... He... He isn't so nice. Or Phaedra~my mother... They..." His throat tightened, for simply speaking their names brought them so vividly to mind. "They're beautiful, Mr. Michaud. They're so~so beautiful, but... I love them. I really do. But..." Again came the dismissing wave. "Forget it. I'm just bein' a~a dope. Thank you," he repeated, "for talkin' to me and... Thank you." As suddenly as it had arrived, the streetmask was gone, and he dreaded the long evening and night ahead of him.

OOC: I hope this didn't seem like godmodding. If you think they'd stay and talk, I certainly can rewrite my post. Just let me know if I need to change anything. BIC:

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Old 02-17-2010 at 09:05 PM
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 Post [64] »


Lucian Michaud

There were moments when Lucian surprised himself. Today seemed to be one of those days. As the reality of what he’d said hit, Lucian’s eyes widened—though not nearly as much as Easy’s.

"Y-you'd talk to me again?"

Lucian nodded. Perhaps not eagerly, but there was no hesitation to it this time. Sometimes, the needs of others were just a shade more important than his. It would have been cruel indeed to turn a blind eye to Easy after the boy had been so open and trusting.

"Nah! Why'd you wanna do that, Mr. Michaud, waste time with a~um~petit bette like me? That's what my voice teacher called me~little beast."

Lucian hadn’t needed the translation, but he wanted an explanation. Little beast could have so many connotations to it. All sorts of deviance lay under the word and Lucian wondered if he was about to get in over his head with a badly behaved child… or worse. Easy’s shrug did little to quiet his apprehensions. Why did he feel compelled to do something right? And why was it, that when he felt so compelled, he didn’t just donate money to some charity or something? That seemed a far more fitting penance than being nice to strange teenagers. After all, Lucian was no saint and likely a terrible role model. Money was something he understood, even if people were not.

"Street rat: Some people, they call me that. I've heard them," he admitted, trying to keep his voice level, as if he saw the humor in it. "Not a rat," he amended. "Cat. Alleycat."

Alleycat? Nicknames and Lucian didn’t mix particularly well. And the tone in Easy’s voice was a little unsettling. Easy, perhaps noticing this, clasped a hand over his mouth. Lucian would have done his best to feign disinterest otherwise… or perhaps nonchalant acceptance of whatever Easy was saying. But now, he lifted a brow and his facial expression changed to one of clouded curiosity.

Th-that's what I got nicknamed when I was real little," he admitted though the name had grown into another meaning not so many years later. "Funny, huh? I~I kind of.. I..."

He waited for Easy to elaborate, but Lucian quickly realized he’d have to settle for the half-explanation as Easy waved his hand as if to brush the rest of the sentence away.

"Now, I better get you to someplace safe, right?”

Lucian watched as Easy moved to a shattered mirror and pushed it aside to reveal a passageway. Perhaps Lucian had been wrong about the under-impressiveness of the place. Perhaps it suited Easy. After all, they both seemed to have their share of secrets. He took a few steps in Easy’s direction.

"You don't have to promise to talk to me, Mr. Michaud. I know you've got important stuff to do. I mean, you look important."

Lucian almost laughed. He looked important? Maybe, but his actual importance had long since diminished. It wasn’t self-deprecation. It was a fact. Lucian Michaud had once been Parliament’s rising star. Greed and ambition had taken him over and instead of gaining the power he’d sought, Lucian was just practically a refugee. Not the destitute sort, but it would be a lie for Lucian to pretend to be some sort of political martyr.

“After all, I might ruin your reputation."

This time, Lucian did laugh. It wasn’t particularly good-humored, but it was a laugh at himself and no one else. There was little that could be done to ruin his reputation further… unless he killed someone or took to hitting children and puppies for sport. What did Easy know of Lucian’s reputation? Nothing. After all, the boy thought Lucian was a nice man. A good host, engaging, and polite. Those were the nicest adjectives to be used for Lucian. He wasn’t conventionally nice, if he was nice at all. He wasn’t a complete prick, but… Everyone had their moments. And one didn’t survive politics without being something of a git.

“Just ask around: Most anybody will tell you I'm a bad boy."

Lucian almost felt like waving the comment away with an ‘indeed’ or ‘of course you are’. But he held his tongue. The tone in Easy’s voice gave him no reason to doubt.

"It's OK really. I figure that it's way too late to change what I am. If they throw me out..."

Lucian wasn’t sure who ‘they’ were, but for the sake of practicality, he assumed Easy meant the opera house and its denizens. Most people weren’t creative enough to imagine anything else and Lucian wasn’t about to pretend that he was a unique and innovative individual. He’d pretended to be both for years and the success he’d derived from it had all come crashing down when his innovation was discovered to be little more than criminal cunning.
Speaking of criminal cunning…

"Depending on what time it is, we can raid the kitchen if you're hungry. They sort of expect it: people sneakin' in in the evening, raiding the refrigerators. You just gotta keep the lights out, which makes it real interesting sometimes."

Lucian grinned. For some reason, this sort of typical teenage deviance made him almost glad. Perhaps it was for a sense of normalcy coming from Easy. Less emotional scarring, less… Well, just less. And, as the adage went, sometimes, less was more.

"Damien," he began. "That's a nice name: Damien Michaud. Sort of~um~musical, like your name. Sometimes I think I should change my name. What d'you think? Think I'll ever get anywhere with a name like Easy~anywhere worth getting?"

“That depends,” Lucian said, almost thoughtfully. “On where exactly you think is ‘worth getting’.”

Perhaps it was Easy’s mentioning of Damien that loosened Lucian up a bit. He wasn’t deluding himself that Easy was Damien, but it was certainly time to try a slightly different tactic. Speaking to Easy in a less… formal manner, perhaps? And, besides, with a name like Easy… well, who could resist a good-natured sarcasm?

"I'll bet he's smart and never did anything wrong. Damien, I mean. He's nice, too, I bet~like you."

Nice. Damn. There it was again. Nice. While many would revel in compliments, Lucian couldn’t. He’d spent the better part of three years being told that he was a failure as a representative, as a husband, and even as a father. That he was too selfish, too ambitious to possibly be ‘nice’. And as for Damien… Well… Lucian often pretended his son was a saint. Whether or not that was true, Lucian couldn’t say. There was something about being the boy’s parent that let Lucian turn a blind-eye to anything bad that Damien did.

The lights of the opera house replaced the lantern and Easy flicked it off now that they were above ground again.

"M-my father~Strat... He... He isn't so nice. Or Phaedra~my mother... They..." His throat tightened, for simply speaking their names brought them so vividly to mind. "They're beautiful, Mr. Michaud. They're so~so beautiful, but... I love them. I really do. But..." Again came the dismissing wave. "Forget it. I'm just bein' a~a dope. Thank you," he repeated, "for talkin' to me and... Thank you."

Lucian wanted to protest. Tell Easy he wasn’t being “a dope”. Tell him that talking wasn’t a weakness. But… What was he? A therapist? He was hardly qualified to tackle Easy’s emotional damage.

“Of course,” he said. His voice had been incredibly subdued for the most part and it was again now. Was it guilt that he couldn’t do anything? Or was it simply cowardice? “Thank you, Easy, for bringing me back to civilization.”

A better man would have offered a business card with an address and cell number and extension to be there if ever Easy needed anything. But… Well… Lucian wasn’t as nice as Easy kept saying.

“I suppose I should be going. Have a good day, Easy.”

As he walked away, Lucian couldn’t help but wonder what Natalie would think of him now. He really was as bad a person as she had told him he was. Running away from problems, walking away from people who needed him, and letting himself down in the process. It would be a while before Lucian could get the accusations—and Easy—out of his head.


OOC: End of a very productive scene. BIC:
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Name: MystMoonstruck aka Cyn | Gender: REDHEAD! | Posts: 5,059 | Roses: 235
Old 02-19-2010 at 12:00 PM
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 Post [65] »


Easy "Cat" Tanner

Easy had noted the look of interest when he had blurted out the nickname initially given to a very ragged child caught going through a dumpster after school, hoping to find something edible to tide him over, as he had had little luck with begging and scounging. When had he taken it up so defiantly? Why had he laid claim to it as yet another name? Later, when on the streets, the name took on a twisted meaning, designating what he had become.

He had tried to assure the man that he need not speak to him anymore, but it concerned him that he wanted the opposite, craved having someone to sit and talk with, to help him puzzle out things and to listen to someone leading a balanced, normal life, something he knew he should strive for. Did the man realize what a pedestel he had been set upon?

He was pleased that he lured a laugh from the man with his weak joke about ruining his rep. Actually, if the man knew about his boychick past, he just might take the youth seriously~not that Easy intended doing anything that would cause problems. It simply wasn't in his nature to do such a thing. He found it interesting that the man had not fended off his warning about being a "bad boy". Could it be that the man was beginning to see who was standing before him, what Easy Tanner was?

Then, they were at the ground level, the demarcation point, the place where they must part ways since it was apparent that the kitchen suggestion had not sparked interest. If it had, he would have had to pretend to eat something. Worse still, he might end up "spilling his guts", as Lydia referred to it, something he had done far too often here in Paris though no one had been told everything. Lilith and Iah perhaps had known more about him than anyone else, but they had removed themselves from his life.

“Thank you, Easy, for bringing me back to civilization,” the man said, and Easy smiled weakly, hearing the finality in that statement, knowing the man was being kind to him but aware that he had made no move to offer Easy a number by which to contact him. Why should he give a strange youth something so private? “I suppose I should be going. Have a good day, Easy.” Then, the man began walking away from him, and Easy was torn between desperation to not lose contact with him and the need to rectify his manipulation of the truth.

Suddenly, he burst into a light run, catching up with the man, reaching out to touch an arm lightly. His voice held low but full of tension, he moved to where he could look into the man's eyes. "Mr. Michaud! Please! I~I have to tell you somethin'. The dungeons... I don't live there, OK? I live in a house owned by Mr. Mehmet's family. I had roommates, two of 'em, but they left because I~I hurt them. They loved me, but I couldn't..." He seemed to run out of energy there, his body sagging, breaking eye contact. "I'm sorry. I didn't exactly lie. I..." He felt utterly miserable, ashamed of himself. "I think I wanted you to~to maybe feel sorry for me so maybe you'd like me or spend time with me. Mr. Mehmet and Mr. Chancery, they give me money to take lessons and stuff. When I'm through tryin' to be somebody else or maybe change my life, one or the other wants me back. Th-they..." He took a deep breath then quietly stated the truth: "They own me, Mr. Michaud. I made a bargain~if Chance'd take me off the streets and keep me away from Strat~my f-father. I thought it was a good idea, but..." Biting at his lower lip, he wondered what more he could say. "I didn't mean to... Yes, I did, but... When I was on the streets, I was used to makin' up stories, and I can't seem to stop. You're such a nice man I just couldn't let you go thinkin' what you did, if you thought I was a poor kid with no place to go." If he could have, he would have sunk through the floor, and he wouldn't blame the man for yelling at him or simply walking away, condemning him with silence.

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Old 02-23-2010 at 04:51 AM
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 Post [66] »


Lucian Michaud

Coward. The word reverberated in his ears. Lucian was the one calling himself that. He knew that. He didn’t pretend to be insulted by someone else. But the veracity of the name… That hurt. Whether Lucian thought he was cowardly for leaving Easy or cowardly for leaving when needed by many others was hard to say. Although, to be perfectly honest, the latter seemed far more likely. After all, if Easy really was a “bad boy”, that was to say, a drug dealer, criminal, or something, Lucian was savvy for getting away. After all, with every step he took down the hall, Lucian further convinced himself he’d be better off not being a personal psychologist. In fact, by the time he’d made it half-way down the corridor, the echoes of ‘coward’ had diminished to mere whispers and he had pushed as much of the strange encounter out of his head as he could.

Running footsteps quickly replaced thought in his head and Lucian felt his shoulders tense as someone tugged at his arm.

Christ, no…. Lucian did very little to hide exasperation from his eyes. Baby ducks will mistake a toddler on a tricycle for their mother if separated from the nest for too long. “Alleycats”, it seemed, would be just as likely to do the same.

Easy came into view as the youth whirled in front of Lucian as to stop him from walking away. If he was more persistent, Lucian would have walked around. Instead, he stopped and stared at Easy. What repressed childhood memories had the kid thought of now to share with Lucian?

"Mr. Michaud! Please! I~I have to tell you somethin'.

Lucian didn’t suppose he got much of a say in this.

The dungeons... I don't live there, OK? I live in a house owned by Mr. Mehmet's family.

The confession was something like catharsis for Lucian. He didn’t think he would have lost sleep over Easy’s situation if the boy was homeless, but he was certainly glad to know that… Hold on. Easy lied to him? Not that Lucian was new to lying. Everyone lied, after all, and Lucian had done more than his fair share. However, there had always been motive to Lucian’s lies. Unless Easy had some sort of pathological lying disorder, there had been really no reason to lie to Lucian. If he hadn’t been annoyed earlier, now, he was.

I had roommates, two of 'em, but they left because I~I hurt them. They loved me, but I couldn't..." He seemed to run out of energy there, his body sagging, breaking eye contact. "I'm sorry. I didn't exactly lie. I..."

Just didn’t tell the whole truth. Lucian filled in the rest of the sentence instinctively. How many times had he said it himself? And yet… Lucian never did anything without a reason. His mouth stayed in a taut, firm line and his brows drew together slightly.


I think I wanted you to~to maybe feel sorry for me so maybe you'd like me or spend time with me. Mr. Mehmet and Mr. Chancery, they give me money to take lessons and stuff. When I'm through tryin' to be somebody else or maybe change my life, one or the other wants me back. Th-they..." He took a deep breath then quietly stated the truth: "They own me, Mr. Michaud.”

Lucian could only imagine what things two men would want with a desperate, young boy like Easy. He felt something like revulsion. For a while, he’d actually believed that Mehmet and Chancery were adoptive parents. Lucian had seen what he’d wanted to see. Hell, he’d seen what he expected to see. Any well-bred and educated person would have rather believed that Easy was adopted by a gay couple, rather than be owned by two men.

But then… If Easy was admitting to lying, who was Lucian to think that this story was now the truth? Did he look so stupid? He wanted to feel sorry for the kid, wanted to be a kind and caring and, well, “nice” human being. The champion of human rights he’d so often pretended to be. But Lucian was human. And the years had taught him that skepticism was usually the best way to approach things you didn’t fully understand. Why hadn’t he remembered that earlier?

I made a bargain~if Chance'd take me off the streets and keep me away from Strat~my f-father. I thought it was a good idea, but..." Biting at his lower lip, he wondered what more he could say. "I didn't mean to... Yes, I did, but... When I was on the streets, I was used to makin' up stories, and I can't seem to stop. You're such a nice man I just couldn't let you go thinkin' what you did, if you thought I was a poor kid with no place to go."

“Funny, isn’t it, how one, little lie can multiply?” Lucian remarked quietly. His tone was not gentle, though. It was stern, irritated, and laced with self-loathing. After all, he knew what he was talking about when it came to lying, didn’t he? “Bit of advice: don’t lie without motive. Pathological lying is pointless and gets you in no one’s good books. While I... am… flattered that you would want to speak with me, Easy, I am hardly a worthy candidate for your… admiration. I don’t intend to clarify, but I am certainly not the “nice” man you think me to be. You’d be far better off seeking help from the authorities or a professional. They have both the resources and the training to handle whatever it is your dealing with.” Lucian sighed. “I’ve no objection to speaking with you, but I do object to being manipulated into pity. I don’t know whether or not the story you’re telling me now is the truth. Frankly, I don’t care if it is another lie. But you really ought to know that to take advantage of a stranger’s better nature is an incredibly stupid thing to do. One day, you’ll hurt a truly decent person unintentionally or find that the person you’re dealing with has no better nature to appeal to.”
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Name: MystMoonstruck aka Cyn | Gender: REDHEAD! | Posts: 5,059 | Roses: 235
Old 03-12-2010 at 06:47 AM
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OOC: I apologize for the dreadfully long delay, but I honestly have been unable to type until very recently due to the arthritis/gout that made my hand swell to nearly double its size, with excruciating pain. Thank goodness it's getting better! BIC:

Easy "Cat" Tanner

Confessing to the man had been extremely difficult though he had known Lucian Michaud for only a short while. It was agonizing, realizing that this thoughtful, kind man had visited with him and trusted him, only to have that trust responded to with twisted truth. The man's rather fierce expression told him so much. It was what he deserved, that look of disapproval and reproach, as if he should be banished from sight. It hurt deeply, pain he had brought on himself. He felt the warning burn of tears and blinked rapidly, hoping to stave off such shameful weakness.

“Funny, isn’t it, how one, little lie can multiply?” the man asked, Easy supposing that it was one of those rhetorical questions though he nodded several times by way of answering, leaving his head bowed at the final nod, so ashamed but ready to take a lecture. “Bit of advice: don’t lie without motive. Pathological lying is pointless and gets you in no one’s good books. While I... am… flattered that you would want to speak with me, Easy, I am hardly a worthy candidate for your… admiration." That admission startled him, and he peered up at the man, wondering what the man might mean, as it sounded as if he was demeaning himself. "I don’t intend to clarify, but I am certainly not the “nice” man you think me to be. You’d be far better off seeking help from the authorities or a professional. They have both the resources and the training to handle whatever it is your dealing with.” The man's sigh made him look up, the tawny eyes wide and wondering. “I’ve no objection to speaking with you, but I do object to being manipulated into pity." Again came a pang of guilt for his words and actions. "I don’t know whether or not the story you’re telling me now is the truth. Frankly, I don’t care if it is another lie. But you really ought to know that to take advantage of a stranger’s better nature is an incredibly stupid thing to do. One day, you’ll hurt a truly decent person unintentionally or find that the person you’re dealing with has no better nature to appeal to.”

His throat constricted, the pain making it all the more difficult not to break into tears, to cover his shamed face and weep as if his heart had broken. But, somehow he managed to not give in to that impulse.

"I-I'm not lyin' now, Mr. Michaud. Honest I'm not. I told you the truth this time, only the other wasn't such a big lie. The house I live in, it's just~like~a loan~from Mr. Mehmet. It belongs to his family, but he said I could stay there and have friends live with me. Only I messed things up, and they both left 'cause I~I..." Hot tears trailed down his face, burning so that he imagined them ravaging the smooth, pale flesh. "I'm s-sorry! I just~just wanted you to..." Once more, he bowed his head and wrapped his arms about his slender frame as if to comfort himself or perhaps to keep himself from falling apart. "I have hurt people but not by lying~by bein' honest with them. Lyin' maybe would've been better~tellin' 'em I loved them, what they wanted to hear. I ain't~um~haven't been lyin' much, Mr. Michaud, not since livin' in Paris. I used to have to lie all the time growin' up and bein' on the streets. We~um~my p-parents and me~we had to move~a lot. So, we had to pretend my records were on their way or got lost or..." He shrugged hugely, recalling the fabrications that seemed to never end. "I wanted you to~to like me," he admitted meekly. "I thought if~if you f-felt sorry for me..." As his voice faded into a sigh, he felt as if he might sink into the floor from the shame of it. "The authorities...," he remembered. "You mean like cops and people like that?" Giving his head such a fierce shake that the raven tresses flew, he muttered, "No! No way! Th~they want to~to..." How could he explain to the man how he dreaded being involved with such people? "Can't trust 'em," he declared though he had to admit that Calvin Booth had helped him though the man seemed to have broken contact with him, perhaps because of his illness or maybe because Easy Tanner had not stopped his prowling ways. "I'm sorry, Mr. Michaud. You were bein' a good guy, and I messed up. You don't have to bother with me again, so..." He fought a smile into place, one of his offkilter ones, and looked up, not caring if his tears were seen. "I'll let you go. I just had to tell you the truth~really the truth~as much of it as I can tell you."

Then, shoulders slumped, head down once more, the image of dejection, he turned to head for Sanctuary, dreading the emptiness and the solitude but knowing there was nowhere to go where he would not be alone.

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Old 03-27-2010 at 05:11 PM
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 Post [68] »


Lucian Michaud

Who the hell did Lucian think he was? Easy’s father? And yet, there was a certain amount of satisfaction that came with finishing the lecture. After all, Lucian said his piece, made his point, and refused to be made a fool by some kid twenty something years his junior.

And then the tears started falling. Easy started to cry. While Lucian hated seeing a child in pain, Easy was an adult (a very young adult, but an adult nonetheless) and should have known how to deal with criticism.

"I-I'm not lyin' now, Mr. Michaud. Honest I'm not. I told you the truth this time, only the other wasn't such a big lie. The house I live in, it's just~like~a loan~from Mr. Mehmet. It belongs to his family, but he said I could stay there and have friends live with me. Only I messed things up, and they both left 'cause I~I... "I'm s-sorry! I just~just wanted you to..." Once more, he bowed his head and wrapped his arms about is slender frame as if to comfort himself or perhaps to keep himself from falling apart. "I have hurt people but not by lying~by bein' honest with them. Lyin' maybe would've been better~tellin' 'em I loved them, what they wanted to hear. I ain't~um~haven't been lyin' much, Mr. Michaud, not since livin' in Paris. I used to have to lie all the time growin' up and bein' on the streets. We~um~my p-parents and me~we had to move~a lot. So, we had to pretend my records were on their way or got lost or... I wanted you to~to like me," he admitted meekly.

Lucian’s grim mouth became a confused frown. To like him? Well, that… That was new. Typically, when someone lied to be liked, they talked themselves up and not down. Easy Tanner was certainly a strange duck…

"I thought if~if you f-felt sorry for me..."

Pity and liking were two very different things. Lucian didn’t know how to say that without interrupting. He just gave a soft, “Ah, I see…”

Whether he did see or not was immaterial.

"The authorities...," he remembered. "You mean like cops and people like that?" Giving his head such a fierce shake that the raven tresses flew, he muttered, "No! No way! Th~they want to~to Can't trust 'em,"

Lucian felt the beginnings of an ironic smile swelling on his lips. The police could be trusted… with the right incentives, of course. Although, Lucian supposed, that if Easy really had lived on the streets, there was that stark dichotomy of the law. Wherever you went, marginal populations existed and were in conflict with the law. Homeless—or even just drifters—never inspired trust in law officials.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Michaud. You were bein' a good guy, and I messed up. You don't have to bother with me again, so..." He fought a smile into place, one of his offkilter ones, and looked up, not caring if his tears were seen. "I'll let you go. I just had to tell you the truth~really the truth~as much of it as I can tell you."

Lucian watched the dejected and confusing boy walk away. Strange city, Paris.
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Old 06-25-2010 at 09:06 PM
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OOC: For anyone! BIC:

James Sawyer


James was, in more ways than one, lost. He had been away from the opera house for so long, and he hadn't liked it. He held a box there. He donated spectacularly. He was invested in the place, with time, money, and heart. He loved the old restored building, and saw it as the perfect house for the beauty of the arts. Paris had captured James Sawyer's heart, but the building housed his soul. So one of the first things he did logically was visit the place when he breezed back into town, heart fit to burst with pleasure at just being there. This was home. The house he had grown up in far away in the United States had been nice, pretty, and even cosy. But he had always felt like an outsider there, specifically because he was an outsider there. His parents were religious, upright citizens who were very kind but slightly misguided. There was nothing wrong with region of course. It provided moral guidance and could be used as a crutch in hard times. James himself believed in God, but he did not take every word of the bible to heart. He couldn't. Not with the secrets he kept.*

His parents would surely take away the only thing they could -- their love -- if they knew of his lifestyle. Though he supposed 'lifestyle' might be the wrong word. Could he call it that if he never acted on his desires for other men? Could he call it that if he hid that part of himself from everyone, even sometimes still himself? Completely alone in this part of his life, he sometimes felt that God was the only one he had to turn to. It was a conundrum for him, a closeted homosexual, having been told since early childhood that such people were "immoral, wrong, and vehicles of evil", to be religious. But he privately beliefs that religion was what you made it. And he believed that his God would not have to forgive him for what his parents would have called sinful thoughts. Because his God loves everyone, regardless of their affections. He believed that his actions would count more than his biologically given gender preference.

Of course, what his parents and society would think of him if they knew his truths did not matter now that he was about to die. He had strolled into the opera house just to be there again, hear the young choir girls practice and chatter, see the crowds rushing about the stately edifice, smell the combination of two hundred year old wood and brand new perfume. And he hadn't been paying attention and had gotten a bit lost in one of the various corridors and halls. He had done one simple thing, leaning his weight against the wall in a specific place whilst he tried to remember which way led to the Main Foyer, and the wall had slipped back, causing him to tumble into lord knew where.*

The dungeons, surely. He had heard of them, and would have loved to see them from a scholarly angle with a guide of sorts while researching his newest book, not as a terrified patron thrust into darkness with the last of light and freedom closing with the dull thud of stone on stone. He stood up, breathed a small "Well," and claustrophobia slammed into him like a brick.*

I am dead. This can't be happening. I've died and gone to hell, he thought frantically as his hands slapped and scratched at the wall that had just gotten him into this mess. These situations happened to his internationally acclaimed heros in his fiction novels, the type with muscles and brains and weapons to see them through, not forty year old writers and patrons of the arts with various phobias and nothing but a cell phone in his pocket. Cell phone! He reached for it in his pocket only to see that he had no reception. Perfect. But he did have the rectangular light of his cell phone (and Tetris he could play until he actually died). He did the only thing left to do.*

"Help? Heeeelp! HELP!!!!"

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Old 06-25-2010 at 10:31 PM
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OOC: I hope this is OK to respond. Let me know, and I can revamp it as an open post. BIC:

Easy "Cat" Tanner

Easy knew that he should be home with Eden, trying to communicate with his newfound son or even attempting some sort of play. Instead, following rehearsal, he had withdrawn to his lair, now conscious of the potential for damage to Azer but not wanting to leave the violin unattended anywhere. Since his encounter with Devlon Deemer, he had fretted about the "mold babies" possibly attacking the now-beloved instrument, truly the first object Easy had held in such regard, having never experienced the link children could have with toys, not that he had seen the child/toy bond in his own son, who definitely preferred books. He tried not to think about his son, Sanctuary, lessons or rehearsals, attempting to clear his mind which always seemed far too busy, too full of questions and haunting memories. He tried very hard to lie quietly in the near-dark, only the faint light of one of the lanterns offering a break from gloomy cast of this place that soon after his arrival in Paris had become a shelter though at first nothing like what he had made of it. Now, there was a foundation of pads, with blankets and pillows, makeshift tables of upended crates, covered by scarves, and colorful tins for food and beverage. Amazingly, in all this time, no one had discovered the "nest" he had made among discarded props, a place he had shown to only a few people, none of whom had returned for another visit. He had stashed a change of clothes, so it had been a relief to doff the black suit-white shirt combo he typically wore in favor of worn jeans and one of his Property of Opera Populaire ~ If lost, return to Lazare Moreau T-shirts though Moreau was no longer in his life, pain that was less-searing but still there. He had yet to put on the ancient sneakers he clung to or the long-sleeved black silk shirt that would cover his scarred arms. There was no one to hide from.

Lying there with eyes closed, he thought perhaps he might sleep for however long he could before the nightmares descended upon him again, jolting him awake to lie terrified still, his heart racing, trembling till the effects finally wore off. Maybe... Maybe he would not have nightmares. Maybe he would dream of Jules or Devlon or even the fantasy of being with Iah again though his dark nature likely would take him into the grasp of fiercer lovers, predators to his prey. He shivered, perhaps from those thoughts or from the chill of the dank air, perhaps a combination of both. Then, he thought he heard a sound, a word, then...

"Heeeelp! HELP!!!!"

Sitting up, Easy sat dazed for just a moment, half-suspecting that he had imagined it if it hadn't been for the echoes that trailed the plaintive sound. Getting to his feet, he grabbed the lantern, turned it up to full power then went to the makeshift door, soon on his way to explore the cries. He realized with a jolt at the feel of cold stone on bare feet that he had forgotten to put on shoes. Shrugging off the element of discomfort by telling himself that he needed to toughen up, he began his search.

"Hello?!" That didn't come out loudly enough, so he tried again, swinging the lantern as he tried putting his trained voice to work, projecting from the diaphragm, so to speak. "Hello! Do you need help?" He hesitated then, with a shrug, "Yell again!" That was followed by a rippling giggle because he felt a tad silly, roaming barefoot through the dark, trying to rescue someone. It wasn't as if the person could be that lost, could it? Then he had to remind himself that not everyone had the compulsion to explore that he did. While he wasn't crazy about the darkness, there were regions that had enough lighting to get by in. "Hello?!" he cried out again, turning in a circle till something~no~someone seemed to leap out of the darkness. "Oh!" Smiling now, he padded toward the tall figure, his bare feet making only slight sounds as he closed the distance between them.

Lifting the lantern enough to light their faces so that the man would not mistake him for some insane killer roaming the depths, he considered the person before him, uncertain of his age but for some reason reminded of one person recently in his thoughts: Devlon Deemer. The memory stirred excitement, but he sternly ordered himself not to think of such things at this momet. It was a nice face, a pleasant one. However, he was well aware that a pleasing face could hide the worst monsters, from Wolf Quantrell to his own parents, whose extraordinarily beautiful exteriors masked (barely at times) people capable of doing horrifying things.

"You got lost, huh?" Grinning crookedly, he shrugged one shoulder, as if to indicate to the man that the situation wasn't dire. "You're found now. You'll be OK, Mister," he assured him, "or should that be Monsieur?" Given the English-spoken outcries, he was guessing that Mister was the correct choice.

Then, it struck him that holding the lantern high revealed something he tried to hide from the world: the pale scars crossing his wrists and stretching from there up his inner arm. The lantern shook faintly as he struggled to keep it aloft, hoping that the marks would not be noticed by the obviously distressed man. Golden-brown eyes tried to lock their gaze to the man's, which might calm him and assure him more than words could.

"You're OK," he assured him, his smile now openly sweet, with none of the attitude he usually had. "I'll help you." It felt good to be able to say that and to do it after proving too weak too often.

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