Chapter 34: First Date Chit Chat

Disclaimer: In spite of the title, the topics discussed in this chapter are not light and breezy. Nothing that hasn’t been directly referenced or heavily implied in previous chapters, but not one of those fairies and pancakes chapters.

“Very grand.” Morgyn noted at the sight of the old building before them. “Good choice.”

Micah did not respond. It would appear it was up to the spellcaster to carry the conversation.

“So, the botanical gardens… sounds like it could be romantic.” The sage said wistfully. “Did you bring any dates here before?”

“It hasn’t changed at all.” Micah finally spoke, completely ignoring the question.

Morgyn was not deterred. “Can’t imagine buildings like this do. Shall we?”

The inside was overgrown, but clearly well maintained. Naturally, there was nobody around at this time of the night. What a perfect little spot, Morgyn thought.

“Well then, you’re the one who knows the venue,” the sage encouraged their vampire companion. “Perhaps a tour may be in order…”

“There’s an old cherry tree in the main section,” Micah said. He didn’t sound as enthusiastic as Morgyn would have liked, but at least he was playing along. The sage followed him through the foyer, into a large glass atrium.

“Would you look at that…” Morgyn couldn’t help but be impressed at the sight of the space, and the large tree in the middle of it all. The sage could only imagine it was even more impressive during the daytime, when the sun shone through the glass ceiling. But of course, a daytime visit would not  been an option with Micah.

Morgyn wondered if that was why the vampire was so visibly upset. For a place he’d supposedly wanted to revisit, Micah did not seem excited to be there at all.

“Let’s go down to the tree,” the spellcaster gestured towards a bench within the atrium. 

“I bet you did bring dates here.” Morgyn grinned as they walked down the stairs.

“Isn’t it considered impolite to talk about one’s past love life on first dates?” Micah asked. The sage took it as confirmation.

Did the botanical gardens remind Micah of a long-lost love, Morgyn wondered? But if that was the case, surely the vampire wouldn’t have picked the place.

“Traditional, are we? Very well. I can do standard first date chit chat.” Morgyn said with a slight smirk, heading for the bench.

“So, since you insist on being mundane, what do you like to do in your spare time, besides brooding in old gardens?” The sage made themselves comfortable on the marble seat. “I suppose all of your time is spare time, after all…”

Micah’s response was brief. “I paint.”

A tortured artist, Morgyn thought. Of course he was. “I wish I’d known. I best add an easel to your new home then.” They offered.

“That won’t be necessary.” The vampire replied curtly.

This was hard work. But the sage didn’t make their irritation known.

“Because you’re not staying? For the sake of tonight, let’s say you are.” Morgyn’s mouth curved into a grin. “Conjuring an easel is really not too much trouble, I insist. But don’t you want to hear about my hobbies?”

Micah let out a sigh. “Sure.”

“I enjoy a good book. Or better yet, an old tome with hidden knowledge… Or is that too close to work for your liking?” The sage carried on, undeterred. “I’m learning to play the organ. I’m close to mastering it, if I say so myself…”

“Tell me about your childhood.” Micah interrupted.

The sage did not foresee that. Of course, the vampire had asked about it right after he drank their blood, but the spellcaster assumed they’d left it at that. Morgyn, for one, had no intentions of going down that road…

“I wasn’t done talking about the organ playing…” They made an attempt at returning to the original conversation.

“Verena played the organ.” Micah shrugged, looking unimpressed. “Not something I’ll miss.”

“No sentimental feelings about flying the nest?” Morgyn took the opportunity to change the topic.

It appeared Micah took the bait.

“I hoped you would help me get rid of her, back when we first met. Verena.” The vampire said quietly.

Interesting. It wasn’t exactly what Morgyn took away from their first exchange. But the sage had known it was about power. Wasn’t everything about power? In this instance, it was about having enough power to overthrow the mistress of the coven. Or was it more sinister?

“You thought I would kill her? Was that what the interest in elemental magic was for?”

“Kill her?” Micah repeated Morgyn’s words. He seemed lost in thought for a brief moment. “No, I don’t want her dead. I just thought you could… I don’t know. I’m not sure what I was thinking. I just figured maybe you could help me get out of her grasp, somehow.”

Morgyn beamed. Perfect hook. “Which I have delivered. I aim to please…”

“You still haven’t answered my question about your childhood.”

There it was again.

“You didn’t ask a question.” Morgyn bargained for time. “And even if you did, there’s nothing to discuss.”

“I’ve seen that memory.” Micah stated the obvious.

“And surely that should have satiated your curiosity.” Morgyn retorted swiftly.

But Micah was clearly determined not to let it go.

“Doesn’t seem fair that you’re allowed to poke and prod into my past with all of your questions, but I’m not allowed to do the same.” He protested. “Isn’t that a part of that first date chit chat, sharing childhood anecdotes?”

Damn stubborn vampire. Morgyn cursed themselves. They should have known. After all, Micah had been stubborn all along. Only freeing Cordelia when the sage agreed to share their blood. Clearly, Micah was not one to drop what he wanted to know.

“I think you’ve done quite a bit of your own prodding, I’m just trying to catch up.” The sage said slowly. “You have already experienced my childhood anecdote in its full glory. What else is left to say?”

The vampire was silent, leaving Morgyn no choice but to carry on.

“My parents clearly didn’t have a particularly loving relationship.” They said. Gross understatement, but not something Morgyn cared to dwell on. Not that any of this was pleasant. “I wanted to protect my mother. I knew I had powers. I just didn’t understand them. Didn’t know how to control them. You saw the rest.”

For a moment, there was silence. Naturally. Morgyn just shouldn’t have budged. Not that they shared anything the vampire didn’t know already. But speaking about that day out loud in general… It had been a long time since the sage had even given their parents much thought. Memories delicately tucked away as deep and far out of reach as they could shove them.

Until Micah went ahead and ripped them out of some dark corner of Morgyn’s subconscious. Hopefully, after tonight, it would be at least an equally long time till revisiting them, if not longer.

“I understand.” Micah broke the silence.

Morgyn let out a bitter laugh. “I would highly doubt that. I don’t ordinarily tell that story. You extracting it directly from my mind makes you the first person besides me to know.” And likely the last, the sage thought. “There is a reason I don’t share it.”

“You’ve asked me if I brought dates here.” Micah said. Morgyn was confused. Why on earth did he finally choose to answer that trivial question now, of all times?

“The truth is a date brought me. Girl named Carys.” Micah continued. “She was a florist, loved the place. So she showed it to me. She was a sweetheart. We dated for a few months.”

So there was a long-lost love after all, Morgyn thought. Or something along those lines. “Didn’t get to live happily ever after, the two of you?”

“Didn’t get to live.” Micah corrected them. “Neither of us. Verena turned me into what I am today. The dark gift, she calls it. Not a gift I’d wish on anyone. It’s no gift. It’s just dark. But back then, I thought maybe I could just carry on with my life, in spite of being undead.”

It finally started to make sense to Morgyn. “And you still saw Carys.”

“I wasn’t… entirely delusional. I was a newly fledged vampire. The thirst was stronger than anything else I’d known till then.” Micah explained. “I knew it wasn’t a good idea to meet with her. So I didn’t, exactly.”

Morgyn didn’t say anything, waiting for the vampire to continue.

“I told myself I’d just… check on her. Make sure she’s ok. Her boyfriend had just disappeared… I could just see her, from afar. I figured there’s nothing wrong with looking. Except I couldn’t just look.”

“You didn’t understand your powers.” The spellcaster said.

“I wouldn’t call it power.” Micah shook his head. “It’s the opposite. It owns me, not the other way around.”

“Then perhaps it’s time you change that.” Morgyn told him.

“I don’t think vampire powers are the same as that untamed magic of yours. But you… Didn’t you say that untamed magic can bring the dead back?” Micah trailed off. “Were you able to revive your mother?”

“It doesn’t work like that.” The sage sighed. “It has to be done fairly quickly after the person’s passing, before their soul fully moves on.”

The vampire wasn’t satisfied with that answer. “Moves on to where?

Morgyn considered their answer.

“That’s not for us to know. In any case, most souls do not linger for too long. And once they do move on, they are out of reach, even for untamed magic. That would include your Carys, in case you’re wondering.” The sage added, painfully aware of where Micah was going with all this.

“I still have a painting of her. Well, had.” Micah’s voice was almost a whisper. “Back at Verena’s house. It’s been 13 years, and I still couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. I took it off the wall, but I still kept it…  Anyway. I guess there’s no going back and fetching it now. There’s no going back full stop. “

“Do you think about her often?” The sage asked. They didn’t really want to know, but clearly, this woman was on Micah’s mind, and if they were to make any meaningful strides tonight, she had to be cleared out of the way.

“How could I not?” The vampire looked at Morgyn.

Morgyn decided to opt for the blunt response. “I doubt she was the only one whose time you’ve cut short.”

“No. She was not.” Micah admitted, his tone hollow. “But she’s the only one I knew before… I cared about her, back when I was mortal. I don’t know if I’d call it love, exactly, but it wasn’t nothing.”

“I’m familiar with the feeling.” Morgyn said softly.

Apparently, Micah couldn’t even look at the sage as he went on.

“I was her undoing. And like you said, that of others. I tried not to. But it took time to learn when to stop feeding… too much time.” Micah shook his head. “I did learn eventually. But those whose only mistake was running into me before that… the guilt never went away.”

“Is that why you kept the painting?” Morgyn pondered, their own gaze wandering to the tree. “As a reminder of your guilt?”

The vampire didn’t respond straight away. “Maybe. What do you do with that kind of guilt, anyway?”

“You’re a vampire, you should know.” Morgyn looked back at Micah, staring directly into his eyes. “You bury it.”

“How can you say that? Look around us… do you really think we deserve to be here? That we deserve this beauty?”

In an odd way, the conversation reminded Morgyn of the one they’d had with Cordelia about her mother on the Von Haunt Estate balcony. Except back then, they couldn’t be quite as frank.

“It’s irrelevant. What people do and don’t deserve does not matter. That’s not how life plays out.” The spellcaster said. “After all, we are here, right now, regardless of what you said, aren’t we? The only thing that matters is control.”

Micah didn’t say anything, so Morgyn went on with their speech.

“Everything that haunts you, even your very state of existence, is down to the fact you had no control. But now you do. Like you said, you have learned. You are in control. Your powers are an asset, your biggest strength, bearing endless possibilities…”

“I don’t think you’re talking about me anymore.” The vampire spoke up.

“Perhaps not.” The sage shrugged. “But it’s the same principle.”

For a split second, Morgyn thought they lost him there. But then the vampire gave them the strangest look.

“Maybe monsters like us do deserve each other.” Micah’s voice was quiet, but his eyes spoke for him. There was a strange hollow darkness in them, but that wasn’t all of it.

The cue was not lost on Morgyn. “As flawed as your logic is, I won’t argue with that.”

24 thoughts on “Chapter 34: First Date Chit Chat

Add yours

  1. There is a mournful melancholy mood throughout this chapter, which also makes me sit with a mournful mood after the last picture 😢
    Two lost souls seeking comfort in each other’s embrace 💕

    The building is very beautiful, old-fashioned and mysterious and provides a perfect setting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s definitely a more sombre chapter. I hope I didn’t bum you out too much. Onwards and upwards. I hope. Maybe.

      Yes, maybe the two of them can find some solace in each other. Than again, maybe not.

      The gardens are gorgeous – I left the details on my credits page as always. The only unfortunate thing is that the tree of course disappears in Live Mode when you’re too close to it, so I actually ended up taking most of the screenshots in Build Mode.

      Like

      1. Everything is good. I like stories that touch me. Both up and down. It sets thoughts in motion 👍

        Regarding photography in the game.
        If you press TAB (in live mode) before taking the picture, the trees will not disappear.
        It took me years before I found that tip somewhere. In addition, the camera becomes much more flexible.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m glad!

        Thank you 🙂 I should have clarified but I didn’t want to bore you with the details – I do use tab all the time (rarely take pictures without it to be honest, I’m so picky about my angles). The way the person who made this lot achieved the cherry tree’s old withered look was by stacking up a cherry tree on top of an old dead tree decoration (I think that one is from Vampires) and lifting one up above the other. When pressing tab, the tree on top would appear but the dead stomp at the bottom would not, so it was just floating in the air weirdly. I’m not entirely sure why that is, possibly the split leveling of the place. I couldn’t find a way around it other than taking pictures through build mode. But the place is beautiful regardless. (Sorry to bore you with all the details here, I know it’s not very interesting and not relevant to the story at all!)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m confused as to why you said you didn’t want to write this, etc. Painful stuff like this needs to come out. It deepens the characters.

    I like how Micah got Morgyn to open up. I don’t think it would’ve happened for anyone else. I do think it rather selfish of Micah to pick that place to go, but then again, I’m wondering if he even considered this a first date in the same way Morgyn did.

    I’m curious as to what Verena is up to during all this hullabaloo. Of course, she’s ticked off, but just how MUCH is she? 🙂

    And then there’s our ever-popular Cordelia. My heart breaks for her and her infatuation with Morgyn, who doesn’t care near as much about her.

    Overall, it was nice seeing some of Micah’s past in this chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you’re absolutely right, this chapter was very much needed, and I know that. I did feel uncomfortable writing it, but it was necessary. I often worry about catching readers off guard too, because the initial chapters of the story might make it seem like the story is a lot lighter than it really is.

      Definitely. Of course, Micah has the advantage of already having seen a piece of Morgyn’s mind, of course he has better chances at getting them to open up. And yes, I don’t think Micah really thought of it that way, he took up Morgyn on the offer to go anywhere he wanted to see and didn’t particularly care if it would be a good “date” setting. They both still have somewhat different expectations of what they are hoping to get from the other person.

      I’m sure Verena is being her normal delightful self 😇 Unless she’s still a gnome, of course.

      Yes, Cordelia… I’m glad she doesn’t know about any of this, she’d probably fall to pieces had she been privy to this whole exchange.

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really liked this chapter because it shows some of Micah’s backstory. I like the somber feel of the gardens and the cherry tree scenery was very beautiful.

    They have a lot more in common than I originally thought. They have both lost people that they cared about because of some kind of intervention on their part, though that is not what either of them intended to happen. But they both have different outlooks on what happened. Micah clearly still blames himself for Carys, and Morgyn just pushes things aside and buries things. Who knows, maybe this could be good for each of them for the time being. Morgyn might help Micah move on and forgive himself, and maybe Micah will help Morgyn be more vulnerable and open about their past. And I like how Micah isn’t afraid to ask hard questions. Or maybe it won’t work out. Both of them are stubborn, so they might butt heads, eventually. I really don’t know what will happen, and I’m excited to see how this budding romance unfolds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I came across the gardens randomly and knew I had to use them. So beautiful!

      They do. There might be a reason Morgyn gravitated towards Micah in the first place, not that I think they could have known how much they actually have in common. And yes, that is spot on. Of course, Micah’s intervention was even more direct than Morgyn’s, which may play a role. Or perhaps not, perhaps it’s just their different personalities.

      Yes, Morgyn’s way of coping is absolute denial and compartmentalising. Might have something to do with why they’re not the most emotionally available, like you pointed out 🙂

      Time will only tell how this will go and whether they will be good for each other. In spite of this talk, they both still have a lot of walls up. And of course, poor Cordelia is still in the mix somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t be afraid to embrace the darkness, you do it really well. It’s sombre, it’s haunting, it’s beautiful.

    I’m highly intrigued to see where this might lead, but… oh boy… how can this ever end well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder – now that Morgyn has “figured Micah out” in the same way that they “figured out” Cordelia during the masquerade – will their interest vanish and make them want to move on to the next thing? Because that is exactly what happened to Cordelia. As soon as they got the story behind the sprites and the kiss, and they encountered someone else interesting, it was onto the next person.

    That place was beautiful! Is this a location in San Myshuno, or does it come from the exchange, or did you make it yourself? I love that cherry tree with the falling blossoms =O

    Also Micah is such a pained soul and I just want to wrap him in a blanket and make the pain go away. T.T But then there wouldn’t be so much delicious drama. I think hot vampy and Verena are my new favourites, next to Dandy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting hypothesis! I do like having parallels between relationships in general, so you’re right that there’s some similarities, but there’s also some differences. I guess we’ll find out if there is a pattern or not (of course, whether Morgyn has fully moved on from Cordelia is also up for debate, considering they decided to include her in the whole magical house setup. But I digress).

      It is beautiful, and I definitely did not make it haha. When in doubt, I do try to keep the Credits page up to date 🙂 It’s this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3Qb_1St0ZU So far the only thing in the story that’s by me is the interior of Micah and Cordelia’s new house (though I got the shell off the gallery, and then I gutted the interior, added a second floor and slapped way too many mismatched windows on the thing) – I’m not a very patient person, so I don’t think I would build a “set” that we will only get to see in one chapter. Unless I really couldn’t find what I was after, but there’s so many talented builders out there so I haven’t needed to.

      Aww that’s lovely ❤ Though I bet Micah would protest and say he does not deserve the blanket. That's an interesting assortment of favourites, they are all so different from each other! But you've got good taste 🙂

      Like

  6. Ooh I play the organ too! *Waves at Verena waves at Morgan too I guess* One thing I thought was that when Morgyn thought Micah didn’t understand, he would be so wrong. Since Micah’s abilities allow im to inhibit his victim’s state of mind temporarily and feel their desires. Like Cordy’s will and Dra..(Omg.. what’s his name?)’s love. I wonder what feelings did he extract from Morgyn. Did he feel present Morgyn’s feelings or past Morgyn’s longings? Maybe Micah should bite him again so he can tell us hahah!

    So they both lost loved ones by their own hand. Oof I can’t imagine living with that. I like the contrast though. Two events but they both turned out so different from one another. Morgyn seems like he’s detached himself from his past actions. Not exactly sure what kind of detachment technique he’s using. He said ‘Bury’ and he talked about ‘control’ so I’m guessing to some extent Morgyn doesn’t see his present and past self as the same person. Like Trunchbull from Matilda who hates children and says she never was a child. Lol bad analogy but uh I hope the analogy kind of makes sense.

    And I so didn’t expect that kiss at the end. That escalated very quickly. But y’know they’re both lonely, they both bore their souls (well, Morgyn had no choice but to bear his. Does this hint at what Micah felt of Morgyn’s state of mind when he took his blood?) ;D He could be responding to that too. Owhhh I’m pretty sure they didn’t just STOP there, right? Right? Riiiiight?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The number of instruments you play will never cease to amaze me! Good question. Micah can generally sense some of people’s emotions if they are particularly strong (like Cordelia’s fear in the catacombs), and of course more so when they are diving into their memories through drinking their blood. But he accesses them very much as you would an old memory, not as if he was there at the time of it actually happening. So he could feel Darrel’s love for his fiance, because that’s very much Darrel’t current state of mind, for instance.

      With Morgyn, I know the part when Micah drank from them was mainly images, so it’s harder to say what state of mind was attached, but you do have that one short paragraph to go by – where Micah saw a woman and a child, pretty much as an observer. I’ll let you come to draw your own conclusions about what that means about how Morgyn processes those memories, but the references to burying things and control are definitely important.

      Your analogy makes a lot of sense, even though I would have never thought of Matilda 😀

      Well, it was very much Morgyn that initiated the kiss, and it was something on their agenda going into the “date,” so… Haha I guess that for now, it’s up to you to decide if they took it any further or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. owh.. No exclusive scenes 😛 breaks me heart.

        Oof vamps are powerful to probe people’s minds like that. Snuffy’s Lillith is like that too. Must be a general vampy power thing. (cluelessness showing, don’t mind me. 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Snuffy’s Lillith is next level – none of my vamps can just walk up to someone and know what they’re thinking in that very moment (if any could, it would be the really old ones, like Verena, but even she cannot). Mine can only see a piece of their mind through drinking the blood – because they’re directly taking a part of their life force (or all of it, depending on the vampire). But that’s just my headcanon anyway, everybody has a slightly different take on vamps 😊

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