“Thank you,” the succubus said, accepting the compliment to her house. “I had the luxury of getting in on the…aha…ground floor, so to speak. When real estate here wasn’t quite the cuttthroat game it’s become.”
A hint of amusement tugged at Angelina’s lips, watching her interlocutors squirming around the elephant in the room - what she was. In part, it was due to her nature - an appeal she couldn’t fully control herself, and for that she couldn’t blame them. On the other hand, it made it hard to get regular business affairs taken care of with any sort of efficiency…and if there was one thing she didn’t have at the moment, it was time.
“Unfortunately, I doubt I have any thing to tell that’s terribly interesting, these days,” she said, her tone light. “I’ve retired from the family business, so to speak. This,” she gestured with her hand, meaning the masquerade, “is really the only salacious bit of anything I’m involved in…and I’m rather worried that if whomever’s behind this is successful, I won’t even have that.”
“You ask what happened?” She tapped her fingers on the wooden arm of the chair, thinking as she spoke. “In hindsight, I suppose things began happening long before I realized that I was being threatened. Understand, please, that I hold these balls four times a year, and I am already planning the next one the day after the last one.”
“We are a legitimate charitable organization.” This was said with a hint of censure, as though many other such groups weren’t. “That means tax obligations, public filings, and working with the local business - both charitable recipients and contributors. Our last event was New Year’s Eve, and I went into the office on January fifth - the following monday.”
“Someone had left, very prominently, a large bouquet with a card on my desk. It congratulated me on my retirement - which,” she laughed softly, “it seemed like a joke, you understand? I’ve always said that this was my retirement, so I merely thought it was a friend giving me a gentle jab, only none of the regular suspects would admit to it.”
“I didn’t think much of it then, but over the weeks, I would continue to get little notes and things, suggesting that I was past my prime, if you will, and that my health would improve were I to step aside. All and all, though, it wasn’t exactly threatening, you understand? Discomfiting, yes, but I don’t have competition, really, so it just seemed to be, well, merelyodd.”
“The closer we’ve gotten to the date, the actions have become somewhat more threatening - in a rather old-fashioned way, however. Deliveries held up, suppliers bullied a bit…nothing substantial, and nothing more than an annoyance that could be smooth over with a little ‘tip’ for their services. Obnoxious, when you’re running a charity, but nothing I’ve not dealt with before. Really,” she added, shrugging, “it’s only the past thirty years or so I haven’t had to deal with that, which has been quite refreshing, I assure you. Thus it’s a bit irritating to find it happening again!”
“Then…” Again, she laughed, this time in disbelief. “That horse-head. Once again, I thought it was a joke - in poor taste, of course - but as though someone were suggesting I should do a mob themed event… And yes,” now, she pursed her lips, “I do have…acquaintances…that would think that was a perfect way to make a suggestion, you understand? Anyway, you may imagine my surprise when I went to clean the thing away, and felt the hex on it.”
She shook her head. “Nasty. I had to pay to have that cleared away, you know. It was really quite offensive. And then…after that, the threats seem to have gotten….well, more real, you understand? The notes have changed tone, somewhat. The annoyances are more concrete…once again, still not murderous or anything of that nature, but nevertheless…” She growled, and for a brief second, the demon that she was flashed in her eyes. “I do hope you find out who’s responsible before I do. I am becoming quite vexed.”
Members of the Lanza Clan - Stefano (Silver Eyes), Cici (Scarlet Harlot) and Joe (Him? Really?) - were implicated in having plotted to disrupt the party, use an innocent bystander (Jeremy) for their nefarious scheme, and potentially start an inter-family war.
Unfortunately for them, Joe seems to have been possessed by some sort of shifter, probably a Skinwalker, with plans of his/her own - deadly plans.
- Stefano was supposed to be implicated in the murder of one of his paramours, Elena, but this was disrupted by Maeve and Derek.
- Scarlot was implicated in the scheme by the shifter.
- Jeremy was given a cursed knife and setup to be injured or potentially killed in a security response.
Many Faces - the Shifter - got away by escaping into the Diyu, and blocking the path behind him/her.
Stefano was taken into custody, but Scarlet was still on the loose.
Angelina was satisfied that the plans were disrupted without any major interruption to her event, and turned the matter over to S&M.