Damn sophisticated bear.
Extraordinary Connection [Limeypanda x Katelyn]
London always had a way of enticing Phillip's naughty side. The most affluent city in the world, an economy ruled and ran by the richest people on the planet, filled almost to bursting point with funds that could feed entire families for generations to come with the most lavish of clothing and covered in the most delightful and finest clothing that they could ever hope to cover themselves in.
And the key to that same fortune only lay a pocket's distance away: Perfectly within the reach of any number of thieves, cat-burglars and pickpockets. Sadly for the rich folk of London, it wasn't any old thief who now stalked the streets, looking for some sort of thievery or mark that might illicit his otherwise uninterested mind. It was, in fact, the thief. If anyone actually knew who Phillip Samson was, he'd be legendary. A man who overshadowed every thief that had did or would ever exist. The few people that knew a single person was behind the greatest unsolved thefts of all time thought his talents were supernatural. Much to the man's delight, his talents were both perfectly natural and utterly superb.
A few hours before, the master thief had been sitting in Venice, drinking strong coffee and enjoying the company of a woman whose breasts were so large he could have eaten his cake off of them: And whose head was so empty that the contents of her recently emptied purse could occupy with great ease. Yet when he got a letter from the League, well, he happily left the woman with the bill and no money to pay it.
It was a delightful surprise to him that he'd been summoned to steal the precious Ma'ha sapphire. It was not, however, his delight to be working with a partner. Partners generally got in the way of his artistic vision of a theft. To him, a good burglary was something one could display at a gallery. So when some clumsy muscle or useless floozy ruined his art, he got urges to abandon them to the police, as had happened to his one-time mentor.
With a sullen face, as well as the hand of a rather intimidating ape of a man on his shoulder, Philip reluctantly waited for his partner at one of the newest delights of the Industrial revolution: A Train station. It was amazing how many business men walked around with their pockets full to burst with cash and watches at a train station. They sauntered around like a child's sweet bag. Full to the brim and so easily made lighter. Sadly though, the Ape man's hand rested on his shoulder, keeping him from practicing his trade. The Ape also had sadly empty pockets. Apparently he'd been informed of Philip's talents beforehand.
“This is dreadfully boring you know. I’m sure I could empty the mark’s collection in a heartbeat. It is quite unnecessary to bring in any assistance.”
Don't deny me...
“Goddamnit,” she growled as she crumpled the invitation or so they said. She had to no choice but to respond to their beckoning, her life seemingly in their grasp. Jasmine walked to the far eastern window of the flat she rented in London and swore a few more times. They were tracking her and knew she was there in the city. There was nothing she hated more than to feel the press of their thumb against the back of her neck. She wasn’t a pet for them to pull and tug, but an immortal with the ability to exist infinitely.
The league had done more than wore out their welcome where she was concerned, but as long as they had her painting, they had her. She was in London for that very purpose, but as always, they’d caused her to put her own plans on hold. Now was as good as any to go and see what it was that they needed her help with. They chose to be vague in their description of the job they requested of her just to piss her off… to remind her who was ultimately in charge.
“That will be changing soon,” her Romanian accented swept the night as she walked out into its darkness, pulling her long crimson coat around her shoulders. She would enjoy the short distance it would take to arrive at the overly decorated location where the league was housed. There was a subtle mention of a partner, but she didn’t work with others and she’d make that perfectly clear to Jeremiah VanHaugh when she saw the old fart.
The street lamps caused London to have a romantic glow, the city coming alive with patrons and visitors alike. A violin wept through the night, the sound radiating from everywhere at one time and yet coming from nowhere. She closed her eyes for a moment as she walked and remembered what it was to be a young woman in this city when it was just being birthed. Her body spoke of youth and yet her soul cried of age. She stopped just outside the door and looked around, a young man tipping his hat to her and blushing.
She blew him a kiss…
Walking into the League she was greeted quickly my a few guards who enjoyed frisking her. She thought about killing them all with the thin blade she kept hidden in the handle of her black umbrella, but decided that to get into trouble to night… at least in this manner… would not be most becoming of her. She turned and smiled at the sound of her name being called, a smirk on her lovely mouth.
“Ahhhh.. the illustrious Grand Master.” She bowed as if a lowly servant to Jeremiah and stood as he approached, “What would you have of me, lover?”
Damn sophisticated bear.
Jeremiah VanHaugh was an old man, by all regards. His appearance gave off a man in his late 40’s. A man who had started to wither, yet had not become decrepit and useless yet. In truth, the man was far closer to 70. He had an incredible longevity brought about by a mixture of good health and scientific endeavours. He was considered too valuable to simply wither and die, yet who had made this decision about his worth would never truly be revealed. Maybe it was a self-importance that made him arrogantly cling to life. It mattered little in the grand scheme of things. Jeremiah had never thought he’d die of natural causes anyway.
Looking over at the immortal in front of him, VanHaugh looked at one of the deadly forces under his control: A woman who could very plausibly kill him right now. He doubted that the guards had stripped her of all her weapons, the youthful minds preoccupied by thoughts of literal striping. Jeremiah had long since abandoned such youthful exploits and thoughts: focusing on his position at the top of the League. When the woman asked him a question, Jeremiah took a deliberate amount of time to roll a cigarette; finely measuring and sorting the Tabaco in the smoking paper. It took him a good minute before the small stick of Tabaco sat between his lips, alight. He puffed a wisp of white smoke into the air above himself and Jasmine: A smile on his face.
“what I will have of you, Jasmine Epatha, is your compliance. We have a mission for you, one that I shall explain when your partner arrives: He is almost as unique in his talents as you. If not slightly less unnatural. He will be arriving within the next minute, I’m sure.” Apparently, the Grand master of the order had nothing else to say, puffing his cigarette as he stood up from his chair, facing the window and puffing the smoke out into London’s streets.
The train ride had been a dreadful bore for the thief. His apish guardian had made sure he could not practice his pilfering perfection on the pompous people who sauntered around the train with a smug sense of self-worth. Philip had a special place of loathing in his soul for the self-entitled aristocracy: they often found themselves the target of the master thief's unique touch. There was a slight amount of hypocrisy in that thought now, perhaps. His criminal activities over the years had amassed a fortune that probably matched or, in several instances outmatched the great majority of the cities wealthier patrons. Philip was no Robin Hood after all: sure, he targeted the rich folk who generally had more dubious ways of acquiring their fortune, but he certainly wasn't one to give the fortune to the poor. He spent it on lavishing his own lifestyle, mainly on fine wines and expensive nights with far too much food and women.
The train ride eventually came to a halt, and the apish man led him to a horse drawn carriage, which would finally take him to the ultimate destination. He didn't understand the desire for secrecy, he'd memorised the map of the area surrounding his destination mentally every trip. He knew it's exact location from any point in London. Were he in the mood to pilfer some of the League's prizes, he could with relative ease. Yet he had never found the motivation, or a worth prize.
The streets leading up to the league's inconspicuous office were filled with the finishing notes of a violinist. Music was an interesting gift; it always left the master thief wondering what tune he had missed. Was the violin before a scene of happy mirth and joyous exposition, or was it a sad melody, fuelled by the soul of loss? He'd never know. That mystery left the thief with an insatiable curiosity, and no possible answer in sight. So sad.
The carriage shuddered to an eventual stop, and his destination was plainly in front of him. The building could have been mistaken for some bank or a lavish warehouse to the unknown eye. To those in the know, this building was a repertoire of knowledge and power. It was the home of the extraordinary, in both name and content. No one ordinary passed through these doors, Phillip included. The apish man led him to the door of a man that the thief held mixed feelings for: On the other side of the door, pausing to look through the keyhole, Philip saw two figures in the room, the familiar visage of the Grand master of the league and someone altogether unfamiliar: A woman, who he did not recognise in the slightest. The woman was assumedly his ‘partner in crime.’ Admittedly, she would almost certainly be a crutch, not a partner in his caper, but he had no control over the league’s comings and goings. Standing up straight, he tipped an invisible hat to the brute that had shadowed him since the train station, bidding him a due before opening the door to the room.
Philip was a handsome man, he had been told this many times by many a beautiful woman whom he’d bedded. Yet this woman stood out as an exceptional beauty. Long locks of bright, shining gold framed her delightful face; her eyes were filled with a mischief and intellect that the thief found delightful and attractive in equal measures. Her nose was a petite button that suited her flawless face, and her lips: so full and kissable. Even he couldn’t hide his delight at his personal crutches’ good looks. If anything, he imagined her making good bed company, should he able to coerce her into whatever bedroom he could procure on this mission.
“Ah, and here is the partner in crime. Philip Samson, meet Jasmine Epatha. You will be assisting each other on your mission.” Philip heard the words of the Jeremiah as only white noise, to content analysing his opponent. She presented a new puzzle. Slowly, he moved towards her and then past her, sitting in a chair set up beside her. Philip remained quiet, not ruining his constant analysis with simple words. Jeremiah cleared his throat with the intent to grab Philip’s attention. Something he half achieved.
“The mission will be a theft. The Ma'ha sapphire has an incredible value to the league. It is currently in the possession of Lord Barnabus of Romania, I’m sure you recall the name Jasmine. You will leave tomorrow morning from this location. You have until then to prepare yourselves in whatever way you will. I wish you good luck.” Jeremiah then did the only thing he could do to make the situation more interesting. He left the room.
Don't deny me...
As was customary, Jeremiah played his games, his face showing a unemotional resolve to complete a task, but her years of watching him had her understanding the slight squint of his eyes to mean he was enjoying himself – too much perhaps. She listened to the proposition and nodded as the question was brought up at her remembrance of the handsome Lord of Romania. She’d have to use a bit of make up to age herself as she’d not seen him in a good twenty years.
Their love affair happened when he was a younger man, hungry for life and full of passion and power. He’d drawn her to him like a moth to a flame, her unmet need screaming for his demanding touch – oh and they had set the beds of Romania on fire with their affair – sweeping across the cities and towns, finding each other in the most uncomfortable of places and hoping to be caught. It was fun, fiery, satisfying for a time. But with all good things, it passed for her and he settled into his role as the Lord his father bred him to be.
And like with every other time in her long life, she disappeared into the shadows one foggy spring morning, never to be heard of again though he looked. He called in many with a talent for search and retrieval because word on the street was that he’d planned to make her his bride. She laughed at the remembrance of his efforts, the sound of her own musing bringing her back into the present. Several guards stood around the edges of the room and Jeremiah had disappeared – typical.
She walked toward the liquor cabinet, popped the lock in a few seconds and pulled out a dark bottle of aged brandy, grabbing a small glass and filling it. She turned to look at the man that was assigned to get in her way and most like slobber all over her finest clothing as they pretended to work with one another. She leaned against the cabinet, the hard wood pressing into the small of her back as she took a small sip of the drink, the burn coating her tongue and dripping down her throat.
It was nice to know something as simple as alcohol could still remind her that she was alive and able to feel something. Life had before boring and dull and she almost longed for the painting to be placed in front of her. What would see look like after all of these years, did the painting feel the pain of aging? She’d only seen it at its commissioning and yet heard so many tales of the beauty she once was, the story seeping into creepy bedtime stories. Many told that the painting itself breathed and labored to stay alive, but she knew not if there was any validity to be found in their words.
The man in front of her was relaxed, perhaps a bit too much, in a lovely plush chair, his hair hanging into his face, a look of personal satisfaction on his lips. He was a child and a cocky one no doubt. Had she been younger her first reaction would’ve been a rolling of her deep blue eyes and a list of rules as to what he wasn’t and was allowed to do around her, but she truly cared not what he did, tried, failed or accomplished.
She wanted this over and would play the part, begrudgingly so. He’d spout out his determination to do this alone and that she was just going to get in the way. Little did he know that without her – he’d never make it into the presence of the Lord.
If nothing else, this would prove to be very, very interesting.
Damn sophisticated bear.
With a confident smile, the thief stared into the woman's eyes, acknowledging her silence with an unflinching smirk. If it were left unchanged, the two would be locked in a conflict: A clash of wills decided by who broke the silence first. Instead, Philip decided to subvert the whole principle of their silent clash by doing exactly the opposite. "I'm sorry, where you waiting for me to speak? How very polite of you." Standing up with a feigned excitability, the Thief rose from the plush seat, bowing lightly before the woman and, before she had the chance to decline, taking her hand and bringing it gently to his lips, planting a delicate kiss on her backhand. "A pleasure to meet you 'partner'. I am Philip. "
Rising from the bow, Philip smiled, holding in his hands her watch, a ring and a glinting golden powder box. The man tipped an invisible hat to his partner in crime, still unsure what she would be able to give to him. Truthfully, every person he'd met in this establishment had been some sort of extraordinary; He'd met a man with an eidetic memory, a woman with the power to break a man's finger with her mind and a strange fish who communicated telepathically. As such, he had a respect for what she must be able to do, even if he doubted its ability to trump what made him extraordinary.
Taking a moment to examine the belongings he'd pilfered from the woman, in her view no less. He was seemingly examining quality of the items, his eyes scanning for imperfections or marks that might make them unsellable and, whilst it was true that he’d more money than most could dream, Philip still appreciated quality. “Very fine items here, I wouldn’t be able to guess but these seem almost gift like in their properties, especially the ring… I for one would much prefer to see an emerald adorning those pretty fingers.”
Philip eventually handed them back to the woman, the smile he wore giving him a handsome air of confidence that now proved to be at least somewhat in the basis of reality. "It appears I'm your master thief for the remainder of our daring caper. Should you desire, I double as a personal bed warmer, chef and occasionally a masseuse. Should you have demand of any of those services." The joking tone was held a subtle undertone of both joviality and general offer. He was indeed talented at cooking; and he had yet to find a conscious reason to not attempt to bed the woman.
Taking a seat back in the plush chair he'd occupied before, Philip watched the woman, a lion watching a tiger. "May I ask what your name is?" Philip’s head tilted lightly, watching the tigress opposite him with a mix of healthy curiosity, an open but quiet confidence, a hint of scepticism, just a dash of respect and a light drizzle of hungry desire.
Don't deny me...
Jasmine wanted the younger man prance around and speak with arrogance that was less than becoming, but so very typical of his age and station in life. He had something to prove and thus he used his wit, rugged good looks and cunning vocabulary to do just that – or so he thought. She stood and watched him with unemotional apathy, her body relaxed and yet ready at any moment to pounce him should he get too close.
A smirk rose on the side of her mouth as he took her jewels and a few other items, the soft caress of his fingers where he touched her only noticeable because she was so very old and wise, but otherwise – he was quite incredible and by far the most talented at his craft that she’d seen in all her years. Not wanting to be a total bitch, she afforded him a small sardonic smile as he tried his hand at flirting while she put her jewels back on.
“I’ll not be needed anything of the sort, but the offer is most becoming and should I change my mind, you’ll be the first to know, rest assured.” She stood as he sat back down and inquired of her name. “My name is Jasmine and my only offering on this venture is to get you into the castle of the Lord. He will recognize my face and allow us to take up to half his possessions as I was to be his bride, but our only steal for this job will be the commissioning that we’ve received.”
She turned and filled her glass again and looked over her shoulder. “Other than that, keep your distance physically from me. I’m not interested in a fling, romance or a slip in the sheets. I prefer my men a bit older than you and to be honest have lost all taste for lust as it were.” She turned toward him, “So to be honest, I’m only here to get you in and detail our lovely Lord. You are to do the rest and then we will accompany each other here, turn in the jewel and part ways for the likes of eternity.”
She walked toward the opening at the far end of the hall, swirling her drink as she did. “Goodnight Mr. Samson. Nice to meet you, Sir and when you’re done with my locket – I’ll take it back please.” She slid into the hallway, a hidden smile on her mouth. She was just as crafty as him, but where he seemed to enjoy his trade, she had begun to hate hers.
Damn sophisticated bear.
Watching as Jasmine left, paying a particular attention to the delightful sway of her hips, Philip would only smile, saying an overloud "Oh fooh, so cold." so that the woman could hear his playful words. He slowly rose from the chair, walking over to the desk of his employer: ignoring the multiple other presences in the room. It took him exactly half a second to open the lock and the draw, as well as another second to open it and look at its content. Including a copy of both Jasmine's and his own file, along with a copious amount of tobacco and a small, hand written note about something called 'P'. The thief toyed with the idea of robbing the file and reading up on his fellow extraordinary, but where was the fun in that? One of the guards noticed him looking through the draw but, with a smile, Philip left it: open and with its content unchanged.
Philip took a few moments to exit the room, Jasmine already out of sight by now. Not that it mattered to him, Philip would likely spend his day doing nothing of importance anyway, as was so common for him. Boredom was not becoming for the thief, and yet it was becoming all he experienced as of late. He reached into his pocket, withdrawing one of the only things the guards had left him with: A notebook and a pen. Should they have looked inside, all they would have seen was a strange scrawl of cooking ingredients and a few recipes. To most, it was just that, and yet to the trained eye, a code lay underneath: Plans and such grand designs that most would deem the thief to be a madman. "She speaks of eternity so haphazardly. How intriguing. I wonder what secrets make you so Extraordinary, Jasmine." Philip's smile was broad as he turned to a particular page in the booklet; an unfinished page on apple pie.
The night for Philip was a lonesome affair. No one accompanied him, nor did he seek out the mysterious partner in his caper. Instead he spent most of his time between reading through his notepad and pondering the locket, which he still had yet to return. He wondered what could possibly be inside it, yet he found himself unable to open it. Not through some trickery, he simply didn't have the will for it. The mystery of Jasmine remained ever the provocative mystery that he didn't want hints towards. She was something that Philip craved, as foolhardy as it was. Jasmine presented a challenge, a mystery of sorts that he couldn't solve. That made her a devilish target for his interest. The fact that she had such a gloriously crafted ass didn't hinder that same interest. Slowly the thief drifted to the realm of sleep, locket locked firmly in his grip as he slept alone and without any particular.
Don't deny me...
Jasmine lay in her make-shift bed all night, tossing and turning as people moved around the house. One thing was certain about the league - the bastards never slept. She was grateful to see the sun rise a little after four and slipped out of bed, leaving her long white nightgown on, but pulling a crimson robe around her shoulders before slipping out into the quietness of the early morning. She walked to a small wooden bench at the back of the property and sat down, gazing at the sky as the sun rose slowly from its slumber.
The brilliance of the pinks, reds and oranges that filled her view almost overwhelmed her, but the sun rising and setting was the only thing that did so anymore and she was grateful for its continued efforts day in and day out. She pondered on her journey to come and realized that life had tainted her further sometime in the last hundred years. She was rather rude to her new partner in crime and perhaps should've given him a warmer welcome. She was stuck in this predicament, but so was he. They could suffer together and even perhaps get through it quicker if they actually worked together.
She stood and reached for a small red rose that bloomed just as the sun hit the sky with its full glory and a smile touched her lips. She wasn't completely dead inside and going on an adventure, though one that was forced upon her was still something new and different to do. Her days had run into months and months into years and nothing really changed much anymore. She changed her attitude about Philip in that she'd still be her - sardonic and offstandish, but she'd give him a chance. A small one, but one nonetheless.
Damn sophisticated bear.
Waking up the next morning, Philip felt a sense of excitement building in his stomach. He was giddy at the prospect of a challenge, something he'd lacked for such a very long time, and hoped the league would provide that challenge. He had no great love for the institution. Were they able to, they would rather put the thief into chains than into their pay check: thankfully for Philip, they had yet to invent handcuffs that could hold him against his will: A few pairs that he condoned?
Only in the hands of a pretty minority though.
Getting out of the bed, devoid of his attire, the Young thief opened the window, staring out at the radiant sunrise shining over London’s rooftops. The league had provided him with lavish accommodations, as they always did with their extraordinary associates. His view of the sun was private enough that no one would look up at him, standing on the balcony naked and smiling. Philip wondered when he’d have to actually start this crazy mission, but that was answered when a loud knocking was heard, rapping against the door. Shrugging, the thief strolled back into the room: closing the window behind him as he retrieved his underwear.
In the hallway, now draped in a full attire of; black trousers, a white shirt that hugged his form and a locket around his neck which didn’t quite belong to him, Philip looked ever the respectable soul. The appearance he always portrayed. He’d long since abandoned the image of his true self, as the memories were painful to recall. Suffice to say, beggar-boy-who-was-sold-for-pocket change isn’t the most attractive look a man can wear.
Since the deadline of their departure was closing in, Philip made his way out of the building, standing by the entrance and awaiting his travelling companion. He wondered if the mysterious Jasmine would be in a better mood today, not that it would matter. She was interesting to him, despite her mood. That made her infinitely more interesting than every other person in the stuffy league building. Not something he’d admit openly, of course: but honesty he’d share with himself. He awaited Jasmine by a carriage, which had been arranged to take them to the train station. Romania would take a few days to get to: Philip had a couple days to get to know the woman.
Don't deny me...
She turned at the sound of him approaching, a smile touching her lips. He was a boy stuck in the body of a handsome man and for some reason that made her both hot and cold. She dropped the rose on the ground, removing life from the natural beauty by plucking it from it source of sustenance. She walked with purpose, her head held high toward him, a hungry look in her eyes and a smirk on her full red lips.
She wanted to play with him and have a bit of subtle fun, hoping that he'd not take offense, or perhaps the opposite was true. Anger and violence did make for a fun roll in the sheets. He had exactly the physical build and youthful prowess that she used to delight in. She'd grown old over the last few years and felt for a moment that he might just be the one to wake her up from her stupor.
She moved just before reaching him and let the air from her movement brush past him, her eyes looking just beyond him. "Philip." She said nothing more and yet her words were heavy with meaning.
Her words were soft, moan-like and yet barely audible as she walked toward the waiting carriage through the side gate of the house. She looked down into her hand and smile, reaching up to reattach her locket onto her own neck. He wasn't the only one with skills. She slipped into the carriage and thanked the bellman, sliding back and crossing her long legs as she watched him climb in. The cold morning air ushered him in and the carriage was off before he had time to really gather his footing.
"The next time you take something of mine for more than a few minutes, do expect to find yourself naked, bloody and tied to a bed somewhere, hmmm, love?" She rub the locket absently, her eyes boring into him. The trip would be dangerous, difficult, but most of all adventuresome.