Aren stretched unnecessarily as she awoke (she had yet to shake that mortal habit) and pushed the cover of her coffin to the side, allowing her room to step out. Up until five months ago, she would have thought that slumbering in a coffin, the resting place of corpses, was a preposterous idea. And when the subject first arose, she rejected the macabre idea. However, her sire, Tazmin, was quite fond of coffins, and had hoped her childe would share her enthusiasm. With much coaxing Aren found them to be cozy and took to her loaned coffin quickly. When she moved to Tahoe she felt the need to purchase her own, one that better suit her. And for Aren Giovanni, it had to be the best. Shortly after she settled into her home, she made arrangements to purchase a top of the line casket; it was lacquered to a brilliant shine in ebon and lined with deep purple crushed velvet. Moving the lid back in place, she pulled her white satin robe off the wall and slid into it, letting it fall loosely around her nude frame. Deftly moving her fingers across the various locks on the steel door, it opened with ease and she exited into the master bedroom.
The acquisition of her small cottage was something that Tazmin had assisted in before Aren left Los Angeles. To Aren's surprise the Giovanni, her family and the extended undead portion of it, had more pull than she was ever aware; after all, as a family they held more power than most people in the world. Some Marc Giovanni along the line was a realtor near Tahoe and, with some persuasion, managed to find Aren a suitable, modest abode. It was fairly small, consisting of two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living area, and kitchen. She spared no expense on the interior décor; she instructed the decorators to use warm, rich colors to reminded Aren of her native Italy. Being of Kindred nature, the kitchen and bathroom would have normally went unused. However, long luxurious baths filled to the brim with steaming water and luscious bubbles were one of Aren's guilty pleasures and she took every opportunity to indulge. The kitchen, which is even less commonly used among her kind, was used nearly on a weekly basis, if not more. In her embrace, Aren had acquired the ability to eat and savor mortal food, something that she used to her advantage when blending in with Kine. She did, however, have to evacuate it from her body sometime along the night by less than pleasing measures. She chalked up the ability to being Italian and having a passion for culinary. Not wanting her coffin to be in plain sight, she had another room built onto the master bedroom for her safe keeping. For all intents and purposes, it would have served as a panic room for a mortal; for Aren, it was her sanctuary and daily resting place. It was concrete and windowless, and only accessible from the master bedroom through a cleverly disguised door within the walk-in closet. Each of the bedrooms themselves were made up to look normal, as per Kine standards; the master bedroom had a large wrought-iron canopy bed, draped with burgundy and white sheers the whole way around. The color scheme continued to the bedding, neatly tucked and draped in all the correct places. The head of the bed was crowned with nearly a dozen pillows, fluffed to perfection. The carpet in the bedrooms, as well as the rest of the house, was plush and soft and colored in a deep shade of wine. Along with the magnificent bed of the master suite sat a nightstand on either side of it, a matching armoire made of deep cherry wood, and a grand, extensively lit vanity. The second bedroom was kept to appear as a mere guest room, and was furnished appropriately with a small sleigh bed, one nightstand, and dresser, all in the matching theme as her own room. The walk-in closet in this room served a purpose as well, but not for safety reasons; this was where Aren kept her extensive wardrobe, completely digitally organized and accessible.
As she floated through from one bedroom to the other to select her ensemble for the evening, she felt fur press up against her ankles. Bending down, she picked up Kiley, her newly acquired Himalayan kitten, and hugged it to her chest. Seeing Jasmine and her hat-wearing companion, Fizban, made her want one of her own. Following Jasmine's lead, she fed her kitten her blood so to keep it that way forever. As if suddenly changing her mind, she walked briskly to the kitchen to fetch a bag of blood from her refrigerator, emptying the contents in a glass and took it to the bedroom with her. Although she hadn't completed medical school in its entirety, she was able to monetarily persuade a fellow Kindred who had a knack for making papers to provide proof that she had indeed graduated from Stanford and obtained her license. She was unable to keep a constant supply for obvious reasons but tried to maintain a small back-up. Feeding was a giant hassle she didn't like to encounter and tonight she was had a meeting and didn't want to spend precious time hunting. Her first meal was, grudgingly, made with Tazmin's assistance. If Aren was anything, she was prideful. While she wanted to go out and acquire her own sustenance, she knew that she was going to require assistance and thankfully Tazmin knew this and spared Aren from having to ask. Los Angeles was a big city, with a lot of people. She had her pick from a large variety of prey, but due to the extreme pain and damage inflicted from the bite of Giovanni, she had to learn to be particularly picky.
"What of the homeless? They're nearly dead anyways, and no one will miss them." Aren suggested with disgust as she and Tazmin walked in a section of downtown; she was better than feeding on the inhabitants of the slums, but would take direction from her sire obediently.
"A good choice, Aren. Many of our kind prefer to feed on the nearly or recently dead to avoid getting rid of bodies, but then comes the issue of where to find a corpse every time you need to feed. You must also remember that you do not have to take every drop; take only what you need. Killing the Kine is unnecessary and only makes more work for yourself." Aren nodded in acknowledgment. "Now come. I will show you wear you will feed this evening." Tazmin approached her car and slipped in, Aren following suit. They drove for approximately ten minutes and made their way into a rundown area known for its appeal to the homeless. "Take your pick. There's plenty of selection." Tazmin dimmed her lights as she approached, parked some ways away, and got out to walk with Aren.
"An alleyway… That'll be the most inconspicuous. Maybe I'll find a passed out drunk or the like… That would make this whole night go a lot easier." Aren thought to herself as she walked towards a small road in between a set of buildings. Tazmin followed closely behind, ready to pounce and intercede if anything were to go awry. Aren spotted a woman, scantily clothed and make-up smeared, lying against the wall with a bottle in her hand. She approached her quietly, knelt down, and felt her wrist for a pulse. It was very faint, but still beating. She looked up to Tazmin, who merely nodded. She put her arm around the woman and pushed her matted blonde hair away from her neck, and nervously bent to bite her. She sunk her teeth into her neck and let the blood flow. It was hot, sweet, and thick with a tinge of alcohol, and most of all she loved it. She bit harder and let more of the whore's lifeforce rush into her mouth. A red curtain fell over her vision and she felt the beast inside of her rip and roar, clawing to escape. Tazmin sensed this and placed her hand on Aren's shoulder firmly, pulling her back. Drinking in as much as she could, she pulled away and panted.
"Now, lick it to close the wound." Tazmin instructed. Aren obediently bent and did so, but the holes didn't close. She tried again and again, but to no avail. "Curious… You, my dear, are double cursed, and this is going to make your feeding very hard, Aren. It seems you are unable to close the wounds you inflict. You must be as cautious as possible when feeding so you do not break the Masquerade." She glanced down at the whore for a moment. "Let us leave here. You had fed your fill, yes?" Aren nodded, still slightly dazed. "And look at that, you didn't even make a mess." From that point on, Aren tried to go as long as she safely could without feeding to avoid complications. She chose different areas and sometimes even traveled to other towns to try to not make a trend of her feeding. The last thing she needed as a Prince on her ass about her feeding habits and the breaking of the Masquerade.
She walked back to guest bedroom and flipped the light on in the closet. In the center, there was a fair sized computer screen, dimly lit; her manicured nails flew across the touchscreen, tapping several buttons. She paused occasionally several times, shifting her weight as she pawed through her wardrobe choices. After ten minutes, she finally settled on a cream cashmere sleeveless sweater, a pair of fitted black slacks and knee high dress boots in a rich shade of coffee. She dressed leisurely, chose a few simple accessories, and sat herself at her vanity. It was neatly littered with make-up of every type imaginable. Her skins natural olive complexion had already begun to fade, even though she was only embraced six months earlier. Careful and precise application of make-up helped alleviate this issue, as well as using some of the blood she ingested to give her skin the glow of a mortal. As she selected the products to use for the night, she thought back to the recent event of teaching Jasmine, a Kindred that had been embraced at the same time as her and cast no reflection, how to properly apply cosmetics and giggled. She finished her blood as she put on the final touches of her make-up and styled her dark chocolate hair in loose curls. Tonight she was planning on meeting with Kithillian in his Reno club. When they had all first met, Jasmine had naturally taken interest in the stocks of his company, being an accountant in her mortal life. Aren had shown slight interest, and with Jasmine's financial assistance and guidance, she planned to do the same. The meeting with Kithillian would serve to launch her financial goal and as a friendly visit. Kissing her kitten on the head, Aren walked outside and slid into her red Porsche 911 Carrera and hit the highway to Reno, with the stereo blaring.