I’ve been holding this one back for a while because I wanted to connect it to the character bio on Thursday. Take a look at the Scrumptious Siren, Chastity Sullivan, and Mab’s slight issue with the lustful businesswoman. She’s gradually becoming one of my favorite characters to write because she’s unapologetically Id-driven and still the most ‘human’ out of the vampires. Check out the full scene in War of Nytefall: Loyalty!
The Scrumptious Siren sits on a flat top hill covered by a birch tree forest. The black and white trees are dotted with purple flowers that attract palm-sized hummingbirds that are every color of the rainbow. Flitting around the cupcake-shaped building, the tiny animals show no fear around strangers and bravely hover near the road until the unfamiliar faces walk out of sight. The curved top of the ebony roof holds an orb that shines like a star whenever it is covered in shadows and emits an enticing mist when touched by sunlight. A vent releases smoke that is sucked into the absorbent shingles, which have been merged to create the odd building’s frosting-like top. Darkened windows surround the circular outer wall, which is made from a pure white wood that cannot be scratched. Half of the sills have pies cooling on them and a fearsome goblin sits behind each one, the dark red creatures waving their tridents at anything that dares to come too close. A cobblestone walkway leads to an arched door with a heart emblazoned on the front, the simple image repeatedly shifting from whole to jaggedly split in half. Flanking the entrance are a pair of wind chimes that remain silent until guests arrive. One goes off to notify those inside if the person is mortal while the other sings in the presence of a vampire. To Clyde and Mab’s relief, only the crimson one on the right rings and the brown chimes remain perfectly still.
The inside of the tavern and bakery is a bizarre combination of styles that still manages to work together. Running to the left and right is a circular balcony where ivory-horned goblins tend to the ovens. Shelves of cookies, cakes, and other desserts surround each window and spectral servants wander about to retrieve anything that has been purchased. The menu is written on the ceiling, but an enchantment reads the viewer’s desires and swiftly draws their eyes to the proper food before they suffer a neck cramp. A few polished steps take the guests to the bar and dining area, which has a dance floor that looks too big to exist in such a small building. Instead of stairs, two metal poles give access to the lower levels where a wide variety of private rooms are maintained by those who have fallen under the thrall of the beloved owner. Throughout the establishment, mortals sit with vampires, but they are trapped in a spell that prevents them from recognizing the undead. Surrounded by blinking lights, a sign warns all patrons that they are not to eat each other or the punishment will only be pleasurable for the hostess.
Standing on top of the bar, Chastity Sullivan whistles while pouring a bottle of whiskey into the mouth of a slender half-elf. The attractive mortal eventually starts to choke and spits out the drink, which causes him to lose a bet. Instead of handing over money, the man drunkenly heads for a doorway off to the side and takes the stairs to one of the curvaceous vampire’s private quarters. Chastity blows him a kiss before roaming the crowd, her black hair trailing behind her like a dark bridal train. Her yellow eyes spark with mischief as she asks every person if their hands match the bright pink prints that are scattered about her dress. The hunt stops when she comes to a vampiric elf maiden, who gleefully goes to await the hostess on the top floor. Cheers erupt from the crowd and Chastity spins with her arms wide, but freezes when she catches sight of Clyde. Excited to see her old friend, she sends a spectral servant to tell the two above to start the festivities without her and runs to give the man a hug. She pouts when Mab steps in her way and the woman skids to a stop that puts them nose to nose.
“I see you’re still holding a grudge,” Chastity says with her arms crossed. She puffs out her chest in an attempt to push the scowling burglar back, but stops when she feels a claw against her stomach. “Don’t go attacking me in my own home, Ms. Winthrop. That’s so rude and it really would end our friendship. Glad to see the rumors were true about you being alive, darling, but I really wish you came to see me sooner. Then again, I’m sure the horrible beast over here has been keeping you on a short leash. Seriously, our people live for far too long to let some minor misunderstanding get between friends.”
“Minor misunderstanding?” Mab hisses, her fangs sliding between her lips. She takes a step back and retracts her claws, but never looks away from the grinning woman. “I caught you riding Clyde like a . . . a . . . I don’t know how to describe it without getting angrier. You were my friend and you slept with my boyfr . . . partner. Undead creatures or not, that’s a line you don’t cross. Especially on his birthday and after I asked you to help me pick some sexy clothes for me to seduce him with. You’re lucky I don’t rip those chunks of fat off your chest and beat you with them.”
“Don’t blame me for your mistakes, dear.”
“How was that my fault?”
“You agreed that I would take your form and do the things you refused to do.”
“That was your gross suggestion and I wasn’t paying attention when I nodded.”
“And I apologized for not making sure, which means I’m in the clear.”
“I’m going to . . . Close your mouth, Mr. Illusions Are My Specialty.”
“He never could see through mine.”
“I challenge you to a fight!”
“Fine, but we all know how this is going to end.”