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Autumn is Falling
Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:29

The lime green and hot pink streamers hung from the ceiling like the tendrils of a poisonous jellyfish, lying in wait for the next victim to walk underneath. Matteo eyed the decorations from his vantage point in Caleb's recliner with Moira perched on his lap. The redhead would hop up again in a few minutes and wander off to converse with other guests, but for now he had her attention all to himself.


The last two days of her vacation had been spent mostly in bed, and the memories nudged him into admiring the way her rounded bottom settled against his thighs. Moira Holmes knew some very interesting tricks, she had the stamina and enthusiasm of a young horse - determined to show that she held the reins. Matteo had allowed it, knowing her reputation could rise or fall on this affair.

His own would only be enhanced, but the Italian had not cared what his contempories thought of him for decades, so long as they kept to their own places and did not cross the line. A thumb caressed the inside of his lover's elbow, the hand shifting long enough to accept a square package as Lucy swept past, apparently handing out gifts. As generous as her mother.

The brunette appeared a few minutes later, settling down on the foot stool that Matteo was currently ignoring.

"I know Jane needs to get home to her kids," Lucy began, grinning at the blush suffusing her sister-in-law's cheeks, "so I'm handing out our presents early." Brown eyes scanned the assembled crowd, knowing a few of the invited guests were still on their way over. "So feel free to attack the wrapping paper and accept my thanks for the most wonderful homecoming I could ever imagine."

She leaned back to plant a kiss against her grandfather's cheek before her husband materialized to scoop her into his arms. There was a definate show of possession; it took a moment to control the laugh trying to work its way up Matteo's throat. Life had a funny way of dashing carefully made plans - his granddaughter should have been married off to the scion of an equally old family.

Lucy had made her own choices, like Caterina, and all the old Medici lord could do was make sure this couple survived longer than their predecessors. Curious now, he ignored the sounds of paper being murdered and quietly unwrapped his own gift.

A set of shot glasses slid out, still wrapped in their box. The silhouette of a jazz musician was etched on each one. He eyed them consideringly. "Moira, my dear, didn't you mention something about a bath and spirits?" The glint in his eyes would have terrified Mae West.

The answering gleam sent fingers questing under the hem of her blouse, stroking lightly against the smooth skin of Moira's back, promising that her night would not end with a sedate kiss against the backdrop of a lonely apartment. "Yes, I think whiskey would be an excellent choice," he murmured against her ear. "And perhaps a bath later on."

His chuckled followed the redhead as she chose that moment to rise in search of a distraction.

Jane Louise Blue slouched in the passenger seat of her uncle's car, blue eyes slanted towards said personage. "They specifically invited you, uncle Rob. The least you could do is go inside for a few minutes." There was no reaction from the driver.

The navy Cadillac sedan sat parked in front of a stately house in the northern section of Manhattan, and had been sitting there for almost ten minutes. The home belonged to one of Rob's employees, who had just returned from a honeymoon. Accustomed to concealing emotion, the bald Special Agent in Charge of New York City stared straight ahead, his eyes watching something that Janey could not see.

She wasn't entirely sure she wanted to, either. But family was family. In one motion, she reached over and slid the keys out of the ignition, ignoring her uncle's startled oath.

"Come on."

Emerging from the car much like a sailor on leave would, the young woman slammed her door loud enough for the few guests lounging on the front porch to hear. Leaning against the hood until Rob did, in fact, follow her lead, the new distraction looped one arm through his and quite literally pulled him up the walkway.

A scowling hoodlum met them at the door, apparently recognized her uncle, and let them through. Janey cast a final glance at him over her shoulder, memorizing features in case she ever needed to recall the man, then followed Rob into the huge house. There was a veritable mob of people, seemingly split into two camps.

First, there was the obvious presence of ... those for whom the law was more of a guideline. Like the ponytailed muscle on the porch, there were other goons scattered throughout her line of sight, standing shoulder to shoulder in some cases with government suits. It was definately a surreal situation.

"Thank you for coming, Rob."

A young brunette glided forward, near to Janey's own age, accompanied by a possessive-looking, very handsome man. The SAC glanced away from catalouging guests and managed his first smile of the evening. "Lucy, welcome home." He allowed himself to be hugged, though the stiff set of his shoulders was a dead giveaway to his niece. "Caleb." Mister Wonderful nodded.

An awkward silence settled in then, with the four of them at a loss for words. Deciding to take the initiative, and let her poor relation off the hook, Janey stepped forward, brushing a long strand of blonde hair out of her eyes. "Hi, I'm Jane Blue, Rob's niece. It's a pleasure to meet you, and thanks for inviting us." She spared a glance for the beleagured agent. "Uncle Rob thanks you as well."

She was tall, around five foot nine, with the kind of legs that should belong on a dancer peeking out from under a denim miniskirt. Black sweater and matching boots completed the decidedly tame outfit, especially when Penny wandered over at the sight of another person her age. The choreographer had donned electric blue and royal purple for the occasion, almost outshining her own decorations.

"Penny, this is Jane Blue." Lucy performed the introductions, and caught sight of her brother and his close, personal friend about the same moment that Janey did.

Loosing a whoop that might have caught the attention of Wild Bill Hickock, she bounded forward and tossed herself right at ...

"Geno Castelluccio!"

Arms wrapped securely around her old friend's neck, the blonde grinned up at John, who had had the sense to catch her during the sudden lull in conversation.


He twirled her around in delight, or so the girl assumed from his wide grin, and immediately turned towards a slim young man who had sauntered up with him. There was a moment of hesitation, and then the big oaf spoke.

"Sean, this is Janey Blue, the bane of my college years. Janey love, this is Sean, my..." He paused, clearing his throat. "This is Sean."

Two sets of pale eyebrows shot up, one in consideration and the other in annoyance. Janey extended a hand, smiling warmly at her friend's ... friend. "Pleasure to meet you." She risked a look at the color slowly rising up John's neck, then glanced back to Sean. "Come find me sometime. I'm easily bribed for stories."

And that was how Jane Louise Blue found herself summarily tossed into the backyard swimming pool, fully clothed. All in all, she mused later, it wasn't a bad end to the evening. Huddled on the couch in dry, borrowed clothing, she perched next to her former babysitter and watched her beloved, and only, uncle finally begin to relax across the table from Caleb's father, James -- the two old warhorses reminiscing about forgotten incidents.

Sean stepped onto the Village square, blood screaming through his veins. He wasn't jealous. He couldn't be, not with the cute blonde his lover had abandonded him for. Jane Blue was extremely attractive, but the joy on John's face had been fraternal. It had become fairly obvious that the big hulk considered her a little sister, even when she tugged him right into the water with her.

The actor had laughed along with the other witnesses, then generously provided her with some sweatpants and a tee shirt from the clothing he kept at Lucy's house. But an offer to take them out for dinner and drinks had been declined, leaving the slim man with a desire to paint the town red, and release some of the strange energy plaguing him.

A quick stop home had netted a nicely outrageous shirt of crimson silk and tight jeans. Perfect for some of the bars littering one side of the square. Combat boots and a black trench allowed him to blend into the night's crowd, just another easygoing party guy looking for a good time.

So obssessed with not being jealous of Jane Blue, Sean never saw the first blow when it screamed out of an alley way, and only intercepted the second one out of luck. And then they were on him, blotting out his memory for such things with a vicious delight that might have appalled Hitler.

. . .

"Dispatch, this is officer Tennyson requesting an ambulance at sixtieth and Garden. We have a white male down, mid twenties to early thirties, multiple bruising and possibly broken bones."

Sonnet Tennyson kept one hand on her gun holster and stood next to the crumpled form of a hate crime victim. Blood soaked his shirt, though the crimson material camoflauged alot of the damage. His right cheek was a wall of purple and blue, stark in the police cruiser's headlights. A drunk had flagged her down just minutes before, babbling about one of the area's gangs wailing on a victim.

The auburn-haired officer wasn't sure she could control the urge to hunt down the predators and shoot them all. Violence against gays was her sore spot, and Sonnet knew this particular man was gay. Everyone who lived or worked in the Village knew Sean Cafferty. Hell, she'd seen him perform as Raoul the past year, thanks to a free ticket.

Steadying herself with a breath, the cop lowered into a crouch and began a closer inspection of the actor's wounds so the paramedics could do their job armed with vital observations. His wallet was located in the inside breast pocket of his jacket, which solidified her gut reaction that this wasn't a random mugging.

"Dispatch, be advised that victim is a white male, five foot ten inches, one hundred and eighty pounds. Age twenty six, blond hair and hazel eyes. Name is Sean Cafferty ..."

Her father was not going to be happy when he found out. Not happy at all.

    • Squealing TiresCaleb Holmes, Tue Nov 22 22:47
      “Who the hell are half these people?” It was Caleb, with his ever present knack at knowing when to supposedly treat a situation tactfully, murmuring out the side of his mouth to Sean. The blonde only ... more
      • Fatal BeatingsAlan Smithee, Wed Nov 23 23:19
        Repeating: Victim’s name, Sean Cafferty. White male, DLN zero-two… Lucy couldn't think clearly in the silence, Penny noted with a detached sense of self. It was like watching a movie on television... more
        • Twists of FateCaleb Holmes and Miscreants, Thu Nov 24 20:22
          Repeating: Victim’s name, Sean Cafferty. White male, DLN zero-two… What?! John stared at Devon, still remembering that day in which he decided Lucy truly wasn’t in love with Caleb, and tried to take... more
          • Leaps of FaithTennyson | Cafferty, Mon Dec 5 13:05
            Tennyson, someone wishes to speak with you. Those words always sounded so forboding, especially when coming from a cop the size of Devon. She'd graduated from the academy a year after he had, where... more
            • Interludes for the IneptCaleb Holmes et al, Tue Dec 6 00:14
              Ah-ha! Spic and span. Falling into the office chair situated behind the desk, Caleb heaved a sigh of relief. No more empty soda cans, no more ashes and cigarette butts everywhere, the office was... more
              • Tricks and TreatsCafferty | Tennyson, Sat Dec 10 10:48
                The costume had absolutely no wings, but it did have tights. Sean eyed himself in the mirror, ignoring the mumbled threats on the other side of the door. John was on the other side, reluctantly in... more
                • Politicking with BanistersWilliam Wallace, Sat Dec 10 18:31
                  Slowly, ever so slowly, he had been making amends with his family. One by one Devon had approached them, caution flaring in both parties. Jane had been the easiest to win over, Benny was indifferent... more
                  • Dead Man's PartyAnony Moose, Fri Dec 16 12:52
                    I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go. Walkin' with a dead man over my shoulder . . . There was nothing like a damned good party. Especially one hosted at your brother-in-law's house where you... more
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