Note: I know several people who participate in the "LARP" (Live Action Role Play) called "Vampire-Masquerade". They asked me to come down to check it out. As they explained it to me, I asked how the characters were developed, and got some interesting answers. While the idea of joining in this activity doesn't hold my interest, I came up with this particular character, in case I ever do. Read, enjoy, point and snicker, whatever. I make no apologies to the fans of "Twilight" or "True Blood".
What happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there.
The casino had been built in the early 1950's. At that time, it had been one of the fanciest in the area. But, progress had come, and bigger and brassier was the song being sung in Las Vegas. Sung to the tune of money passing from the hands of the foolish to the clubs, and to the people who ran them. As a result, this particular place was now a little off the beaten path. Overlooked by many of the tourists, but still popular enough with the local folks who would come to relax after a day's work, maybe have a drink, a meal, and watch the lounge acts.
He had been there for years, working in one capacity or another. Turnover was high, so few noticed. And those that did? Well ... They soon left as well. He knew every nook and cranny of the old casino. Even through the renovations that were done to try and keep it competitive with the big places on the strip. And he used that knowledge to his advantage.
He stood before the locked door to one of the old storage rooms. To actually find this particular room, one would have to go down long, unused, dark hallways in a secondary basement that was not on the blueprints to the building. The floor was strewn with old papers. Faded advertisements for singers who had either gone on to fame, or faded into obscurity, forgotten like the room. He dug a key out from his pocket and opened the door.
A single, 40 watt light-bulb, dangling from a wire, lit the room in a soft glow. Scanning the room, he could see the boxes and dressers that held his belongings. A coat-rack in the corner did double duty, holding two suits that had gone out of style with the Rat-Pack, along with a second rack that held styles of this particular time. And in the corner, a bed. He smiled to himself as he spied her still there, just as he had left her, wearing nothing but her undergarments. But then again, she really couldn't go far. How could she, secured as she was with all that duct tape binding her with arms behind her back?
The tape went from her wrists up to her elbows, making it unpleasant for her to try to roll from her side onto her back. The tape also was wrapped from her dainty ankles, up to her knees. He had savored the touch of her soft calves, when he had wrapped them earlier. Tracing a finger up and down, and allowing his gaze to travel further up towards the brightly colored cotton that covered her intimate area. He had left her mouth uncovered, so she could breathe freely.
Her eyes fluttered open, and a soft moan escaped her lips. "Wha... ?" Quickly she realized her situation and drew in a breath, making ready to scream for help.
"You will be silent," he stated. "We are so far away from anyone who could hear you that it's pointless to try." She blinked, and her mouth snapped shut.
He smiled as he recalled the moment he had spotted her the previous evening. She had been sitting with friends in the back of the lounge. Four sweet young girls, out on the town together. No doubt they were on a tight budget, and that is why they had elected to go to the casino where he was working. The drinks were cheap (and watered down), and the cover-charge was only $5.00 to get in and see the show.
He had been on-stage, singing "standards" from a time long gone, when music had meaning, and the lyrics conveyed a message. That message could be one of joy, sorrow, or any other topic. But it was NOT the type of crap he heard today, where the vocalist (he couldn't bring himself to call them "singers") sounded more like he was in pain, and had stuffed a rag in his mouth to muffle his screaming, while electrified instruments squealed and pounded with no sense of melody.
Doubtless, the girls had come inside to escape the lingering heat of the day after sunset, and relax. His keen hearing could easily detect their silly conversations about boys they had seen strutting around Vegas, or the cheap souvenirs they had purchased.
But what had really caught his attention was the comments of how "old school" and out of date, his music had been. The snide remarks of how they had heard better stuff from a high school talent show, and how anyone could stand this stuff were beyond their comprehension.
As his set had finished, the four stood to go. She had excused herself for a moment, stating that she needed to use the restroom. The others answered that they would meet up with her at the next casino, since one of them wanted to try her hand at roulette. His decision had been instantaneous.
No one had seen, no one had known. As she was exiting the restroom, he had come up from behind, and had taken her. Easily over-powered, he soon had her in the basement, secured. He went upstairs to start the next set, leaving her to eventually wake up and ponder her situation. The fact that it was almost two hours later before her friends had returned to look for her had also amused him. Eventually, the police would be notified, but of course, by then, it would be too late.
"Tell me your name, pretty girl," he smiled, looking down at her. And she was indeed, VERY pretty. She was hardly five feet tall, with long, straight hair the color of a raven's feather. So black, it shown with highlights of purple. Green eyes glistened with moisture. Porcelain skin, clear with just a splattering of freckles across her torso and up her slender neck to her face and button nose. Not too much on top, but enough to let you know she was indeed a woman. The only "blemish" to her was the tattoo in the small of her back. A series of five small flowers with ivy intertwining them. The common term for a tattoo in this area was "tramp stamp", and he was certain that this lady was no tramp.
"N ... N ... Na ... Nancy." She shivered slightly. "Please don't hurt me! Let me go, and I won't say anything about this. Please!" Tears started leaking from her eyes.
"Nancy. What a lovely name." He sat at the edge of the bed and traced a finger down her cheek. "You are SO lovely, and believe it or not, you look JUST like her. You could have been her daughter." His eyes unfocused slightly as he recalled days in his past. "You could have been OUR daughter." He paused to take a deep breath. "Do you know why you are here, pretty girl?"
"Sex? R ... r ... rape? You're going to rape me and kill me?" The tears started flowing faster.
"No, sweet Nancy, nothing like that. Something better. I'm going to tell you a story. And after that, you can decide your fate. How does that sound?"
Unsure how to answer, she could only blink.
"It was a time, years past, when I first saw her," he began. "I doubt your own parents had even been born yet. I was upstairs singing in the exact same place that you saw me earlier tonight." He looked down at her and chuckled. "I may have even been singing the very same songs!"
"Have you ever been in love, Nancy? So deeply in love that you would offer your life, your very soul for that other person?" He looked down at her frightened eyes. "I'm not talking about the lust and groping that you kids seem to always be participating in, as your hormones go insane. I am talking about being willing to exchange your very existence for another person, to make them happy!"
She shook her head.
"I didn't think so." Squaring his shoulders, he continued. "She came into the lounge one night. The heat was still intense, and though all the others were sweating, she looked as cool and fresh as a flower. She looked very much like you do. And as I saw her standing in the back of the room, I suddenly felt my heart lurch." He paused a moment. "Ever have your heart 'lurch', Nancy? It's a hell of a feeling."
Again, she remained silent.
"She sat there the rest of the night, listening to me sing. I could feel her eyes upon me as I offered my voice to her as a gift. I could tell she was interested, because she never touched her drink. And when I was finished for the night, I made my way to her. I had to know who she was.
"I could see her eyes following me as I came to her table, and the smile on her face was soft and tempting. I asked if I could join her and she nodded. Sitting down, I introduced myself, and she replied that her name was Celeste.