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Farfallina

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Aro goes inside the library, he finds himself alone as Caïus and Marcus are about to feed on innocent tourists. He himself has already fed in the morning, having something to do in the city and not wanting to have to deal with pangs of hunger. So he decided to use his free time for a bit of reading. Not that he hasn't read every single book in here, some several times over. Still he has his favorites, and even if he can recall every line clearly, he very much loves the sensation of old paper under his fingers and the scent of it all. Turning the pages has become therapeutic at this point.

However, as soon as he enters, he is not met with the usual calming smell of books, but rather assaulted by the scent of a human. Aro glances around, they are hiding from view but the sound of their heart is very loud and fast, giving away the fact that they are aware of their transgression. They shouldn't be here. A woman, he can tell by the smell of the hormones.

Aro smiles to himself, immortality had a tendancy to be boring at times, repeatitive, redondant, unsurprising. It was all the more important to savor the small variations in the never ending symphony of his life. He is going to take his time with this one, it is too good of an opportunity, a treat just for him. Aro plays the game, pretends he is unaware when he actually knows with exactitude where she is hiding. On the library's mezzanine, between two rows of shelves, likely crouching by the sound of fabric.

He casually walks to the desk where he left a thick book under the dim light of a lamp, opens it and pretends to browse through the pages with interest. He can feel her watching him from above, likely waiting for him to leave so she can do the same. Aro can hear her breathe, she smells pretty good from here already. A bit of venom pours in his mouth but he quickly swallows it down, no killing until he can touch her. The only book in this library he hasn't had the pleasure to read yet. He is very curious to know who she is and how she even managed to get here, what could be her goal.

Is she a thief? Aro tends to forget the value of things over time, overlooking how ancient the books are in a mortal's eyes. Ancient enough to make collectors drool and spill money, for certain. Historians probably would blush at the sight and faint, like a pious man in front of a prostitute. He smiles slightly, amused by his own musings as he elegantly turns another page. He puts himself on display for her, knowing full well she is staring. Who wouldn't? Well-dressed as he is, long ebony hair tucked behind his ears, perfection from all angles.

Eventually, she makes the mistake to look away. In the blink of an eye his is gone, taking the opportunity to take her by surprise. He hears her heart skip a beat, clear indication she realized he disappeared. She is still looking down when he finds her, on her knees with her head against the banister, darting glances left and right in search for him. She cradles a book in her arms, but he can't see the title of it.

Aro stands behind her, book still opened in his left hand, all but forgotten. He takes in her appearance in a mere second, a brunette with glasses in a long summer dress, mid-twenties, all curves and curls. Lovely. Wanting to see her face turning to him, Aro holds back a smile as he expects the adorable surprise on her face.

Posso aiutarla in qualcosa?” he asks casually, eyes returning to the opened page of his book in a regal stance, as if distracted. She jumps out of her skin, gasping and losing balance as she attempts to both turn around and stand up at the same time. She tilts and bumps against the shelf, making a few books fall in the process. She looks at the mess on the floor and gasps again, both hands covering her mouth in what seems to be guilt. Then her eyes finally land on him, expression apologetic but not quite as sorry as she should really be. She has no idea how much she shouldn't be here, Aro realizes.

She freezes, stunned by him, then snaps out of it.

“Oh my God, I am so sorry about that! Perdonami.” she immediately drops to the floor to collect the fallen books, as appalled as if she had broken priceless vases. Aro notes her accent, not italian, english doesn't seem to be her mother tongue either. He notices those subtle things with his accute hearing, but can't quite place her true origin yet.

He smirks, closing his book with a loud thud before putting it back on a shelf and crossing his arms, waiting for her to be done. He observes her every clumsy mouvement, her attempt at carrying more books than she can at once. One nearly drops a second time, escaping her arms, but Aro is quick to catch it. A curse escapes her lips, followed by an apology and a thanks. His hand hesitates, close to her skin, he decides against it. Not yet.

Aro makes the most of that split second when she looks at him, focusing on her face. He so loves to try reading people before touching them, his personal foreplay. He can see the inner struggle, traces of guilt and fright on her delicate traits. She knows she is in trouble now.

"So, may I know what you are doing in this part of the palace?” he finally asks.

She visibly cringes, her lips form a thin line like a child caught red-handed.

“I have no excuse, only a good reason.” she admits. Her glasses slightly slide down on her adorably small nose as she nods to herself.

“And what might that be?” he wonders in a bored tone, he doubts it will actually be a good reason, although he is still dying to hear it.

She glances away, chewing on her left cheek, “I like books?” her shoulders go up in a shrug.

Aro chuckles darkly, “Is that so? We don't do loans, I'm afraid.” he says pointing at the book in her hands accusingly. A nuance that doesn't go unnotice by her and he sees the offense on her expression.

“Oh no, I wasn't... I wouldn't steal it. I just was compelled to grab it. The collection is huge and impressive. So many originals...” she praises.

Aro squints his eyes at her, she isn't lying.

“You are aware that this place is off limits to visitors, right?”

She looks down at her book pensively, before putting it in front of her like some shield, “ Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or silly action for no other reason than because he knows he should not?”

Aro finally notices the book's title, The black cat , a novel from Edgar Allen Poe. She just quoted the author to justify her actions, the audacity of it amuses him very much. He judged the book by its cover, he shouldn't have. As clumsy as she is with her body, her mind is quick-witted and sharp.

His smile widens “Curiosity, may also kill the cat.”

“I am very sorry, I know I should have followed the guide, but... It was a bit boring to be honest, I ventured away out of curiosity, got lost and found this place.” she admits.

The guide? She was with Heidi, she should have been part of a meal, he realizes. Surprise after surprise. Heidi's power should have kept her interested, entranced at the very least. Yet this one took it upon herself to leave the group on her own little adventure, entirely bored by their bait. His curiosity is nagging him, he quickly thinks up an excuse to touch her.

“I see. No harm done, cara mia.” he reassures her, “Allow me to escort you back to the lobby then.”

“Thank you, sir uh... I am Selene, by the way.”

“Aro, piacere di conoscerla. ” he says as he extends his hand to her expectantly. His mind is restless, giddy to appease a different kind of hunger, a thirst for knowledge.

She smiles shyly, her hand lands in his, and Aro is engulfed in a mind like no other.