Asking Advice

Manhattan - Gramercy Park Hotel - Penthouse Suite

This particular Penthouse Suite is extraordinary in it's design, being that all rooms in the suite face Gramercy Park views. The one-of-a-kind suite unites custom blue plastered walls that utilize a 600 year old European technique, a ceiling of deep mahogany wood, and an original Stanford White fireplace and mantle. All of the furniture in the room are carefully chosen antiques from around the world; most done in deep shades of red.

The large, unique environment is more like a home away from home, being that it includes a living room, dining room, a working wood-paneled kitchen, library, a large, custom bathroom with soaking tub and shower, and a multi-media center with a pair of oversized, flat panel LCD TV screens.


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Chance Harper Bryn Blackwell

After asking Bryn for a good time in his schedule, and pushing it out from Sunday to Monday, Chance is feeling a little bit sheepish and hesitant. The man has been helpful and supportive, and the young sorcerer trusts him. He did say that Chance could talk to him whenever he needed for whatever he needed, but Chance is pretty sure that the sorts of conversations Bryn had in mind have nothing to do with talk of girls and girl troubles. Roommate troubles. Girl and roommate troubles all rolled into one big solid ball.

He's man enough to admit when he needs advice though, and this is one time he's not comfortable going to his father. Only because his father is associated, however loosely, with Jenna's father and also with Siobhan's, which happens to tie back to that whole loose association again. Not that he thinks his father will gossip; it's just weird enough with his grandmother trying to get him to bring the 'la bonita' around and his father pretty much laughing his ass off at Abuela's matchmaking.

Yes, he needs outside advice. Which is why he's here, at Bryn's penthouse on a Monday evening after work.

He's already called the elevator and been told to come up, so when the doors open, he takes a breath and steps out. "Hey Bryn." The greeting is as casual as possible.


Sunday was spent with Serafine. Relaxing, working, talking, among other things. Today has been spent working. Attempting to track down the source that Serafine gave them. Putting out feelers to find the wererat named Wraith.

Bryn has already decided to get Callum over on this side of the pond, simply because it would save a fortune in long distance, and it's not as though the man has any ties other than his brother over in Devon.

"Chance, come in."

Shutting the lid of his laptop, he gets up and moves toward the wetbar. "Would you like something to drink?"


"Sure," Chance nods, stepping further into the penthouse. He looks around briefly, just out of curiosity. His father is a fan of bourbon and sometimes scotch or a martini. Chance is familiar with all of them, though his usually poison of choice is beer. Tonight, however, he'll make an exception. "Whatever you're having, if you're having anything."

The young sorcerer rubs a hand over the back of his neck. "Nice place you have here."


"Scotch, generally." Bryn pours himself two fingers, no ice. Glancing at the younger sorcerer, he nods toward the fridge. "There is cold beer in there if you prefer it. I have a few friends that do, so I keep some handy." Ashcroft and Curtis both prefer the bottle, and it's just easier to have it on hand.

"It is alright. The view is spectacular, though it has slightly less privacy than a flat." Apartment. Same thing, different side of the pond.

"So what can I help you with?"


"Beer then," Chance says agreeably. "Thanks." He moves quickly in the direction indicated and grabs a cold bottle of beer from the fridge.

He opens it and returns to the main room, "Why don't you have your own place then?" Beat. "Sorry, that was rude and none of my business."

He sits on the couch and combs a hand through his hair. "Remember when you said that I could come and talk to you about anything if I needed help or advice?"


"I need some now, and it doesn't have anything to do with magic or anything like that. It's personal." The sorcerer pauses and looks down at the beer bottle, picking at the side of the label with his nail. "This is probably going to sound stupid, and I know you're busy and stuff but … it has to do with a …girl." Chance's mind flashes back to Jenna in her underwear and he shakes his head, "A woman."


"Honestly? I cannot be bothered to shell out the millions of dollars necessary for a gorgeous view like this in a condo or flat." It does help that the Blackwell Dynasty has penthouse suites like this all over the world, and he's able to use them whenever he wants to, provided he takes over the fees for it while he's staying there.

"It has… nothing to do with magic, alright."

Taking a seat in his favorite chair, he leans back a little. The glass of scotch is lift to his lips and he takes a sip of it. His brow raises, and he nods. "I am never too busy when someone needs to discuss things that are important to them, Chance." He does have other people looking for Wraith. "The one you attended Kostas' Ball with?"


"I guess that makes sense." There is a reason that Chance is living in what amounts to university style housing when he could afford something else. It hardly seems worth the money that he could be saving and putting towards something else.

Chance takes a swallow or two from the bottle of beer and leans forward, resting his arms on his legs. "Yeah. Jenna Donovan."


"She … I … Christ, I don't even know where to start." The young sorcerer gives a self-deprecating laugh and leans back against the couch, taking another swallow of the beer.

"I met her and her friend Siobhan in the Undercity about a month ago? Maybe a month and a half?" He didn't record the date because it seemed so random. "They were already friends with my roommate, so it was weird coincidence when I found out that Quin knew them already. Quin is a little … odd. Shy. Hesitant around new people." Or he was.

Slowly Chance gives the abbreviated background: how Quin wouldn't admit to being interested in either girl and how Chance was just hanging out to be the wingman, Chance realizing that he liked Jenna but wouldn't pursue her because Quin liked her and he's not much of a 'relationship' type. Then discovering that Jenna liked them both, wanted to get to know them both, right up to the whole Tuesday Madness Fiasco.

Sighing, Chance takes a break, and looks over at Bryn. "You can laugh now if you want. It even sounds sitcomish with me telling it."


"Donovan? Sister to the one Miss Knight is currently involved with?" Bryn pays attention to things. Especially things that affect his friends, one of whom is Robert Knight.

He listens intently to the entire story, not interjecting or interrupting at any point. Chance is right. It does seem as though it is a television sitcom, and yet he still doesn't comment.

Taking another slow sip of the scotch, he glances at the younger man. "And the difficulty is that you like this young woman, and you worry that she is choosing you by default?"


"That would be the Donovan," Chance confirms. He's not surprised that Bryn knows who Siobhan is. Half the sorcerers in the city know who Siobhan and Christian are, or at least of their existence. Also, he saw Bryn talking to Dr. Knight on familiar, friendly terms at the Gala.

He hasn't been drinking while he's been speaking, so Chance takes a few long swallows of beer now. "Yeah. Wouldn't you be?" He picks at the beer label again and rolls his shoulders in a shrug. "Jenna hadn't made a decision about Quintin. She was waiting for him to get back from Vegas. Then, when he did …"


"That would all depend, I think, on the circumstances pre-apocalypse," Bryn comments with a chuckle. He's not laughing at Chance so much as the entire situation. He has been in a place like that, not the same situation, but enough confusion between he and another boy at school, and Brooke Bishop.

"Have you discussed with her whether she made a decision or not prior to the incident?"


Chance is quiet for a long moment. He pulls from the bottle again and then looks over at Bryn. "She says that she had. That she was stressing and worrying over how to tell Quintin when he got back, that she made her decision the night that we spent hanging out together."


"I want to believe her, but how do I know that's not the hurt talking? That she's not telling me what she thinks I want to hear because Quin's out of the picture now and she's afraid I'll run off and screw some unknown girl and hook up with her?"


"You could ask." Bryn finishes off the scotch. The glass is set on the table beside him and he leans forward, elbows on his knees. "Communication is always a good thing to have. The fact is, you will not know unless you discuss it with her."


"Though I do suppose you could try a truth spell, but I generally do not recommend that. You sometimes find out things that you really wish you did not."

Reaching up, he runs his fingers through his hair and sighs.

"The other option is just to give it time. Is there a need to rush into anything? If not, just continue as you were until you both figure things out. There is no harm in remaining friends."


"There isn't, no."


"That's what I thought. That's what I told her. Of course, that was after she stripped down to her skivvies in front of me." Chance doesn't even look at Bryn he says that part. He focuses his attention squarely on the beer label as though it's the most interesting thing in the world that he has ever seen. His ears turn a little pink and he tries not to focus on any of the thoughts and urges he had when Jenna did that. Or the ones he kept having that night.

"Then she kept … flirting. Not the kind of playful not serious sort of flirting, but touches and kisses. Just on my cheek, but it made things hard." Beat. "No pun intended."

"Gawd, this is stupid. Do you know how stupid this is?" Even though he's blushing a bit, he looks back over to Bryn. "I haven't been unsure around a girl since I was fourteen, ok? I always know how to handle myself, but I don't know if I'm coming or going with Jenna."


Surprisingly, Bryn doesn't laugh or chuckle. He regards the young man for a long moment. Without a word, he gets up and pours himself another scotch. Leaning against the wetbar, he raises his brow.

"She stripped down to her skivvies? I am assuming you mean she was in her knickers and not starkers." Crossing his arms over his chest, he glances down at the glass in his hand and then looks back at Chance. The way the young sorcerer is blushing is definitely telling.

"She is not the usual girl you have your flings with, I am presuming. You actually like this young woman. I believe that makes the difference in this case."


"Her bra and panties, yeah." Chance doesn't look up, his next words muttered. "What there was of them."

Rubbing the back of his neck again, Chance shakes his head. "No, Jenna's not the typical sort. Not at all. I would never have considered her for a fling. She's - " Chance wants to say innocent, but it's hard to reconcile with the girl in her underwear. "Not very experienced by choice. She's not the fool around and have a good time and move on in the morning, or next week, type."


Bryn raises his brow again at the muttered words. To him, it sounds like the young Miss Donovan is doing everything in her power to drive the young sorcerer mad. That he does chuckle at. "An inexperienced temptress? I do hope you see the humor in that."

Clearing his throat, he asks, "If you are not considering her for a fling, what do you want from her, Chance? It occurs to me if you wanted a fling or even something short term, you would have taken it by now."


"In between cold showers, sure." Chance leans back, tilting his head up stare at the ceiling. "I believe her when she says that she's not dated a lot. That doesn't mean she's naive, not completely. She's in theatre. She's friends with Siobhan." Which he realizes sounds really terrible when he says it that way, and the sorcerer blushes for an entirely different reason. "I don't mean that Siobhan's a slut or anything, but girls talk and compare notes."

There's a faint, half-laugh. "I don't know, really. I like her. I like being friends with her. You know that I've never actually been friends with a girl before Jenna and Shiv? I don't want to fuck that up."


"But relationships suck. You get hurt."


Therein lies the crux of the issue, Bryn thinks. He frowns a little, setting his glass down atop the wetbar. "They can, as you say, suck. They can also be the most wonderful thing you can ever experience."


"Sometimes you are the one that winds up doing the hurting. We are, in essence, human. We make mistakes. We learn from them." He should know. He was the one doing the hurting, and he's been forgiven. It may have taken twelve years of 'cowardice' as Bridget would put it, but he's on friendly terms with Brooke again.

"The question that you need to ask yourself is what do you want, and in the end will it be worth it? The relationship and the hurt."


"I've learned that getting hurt … I learned not to put myself in that situation again. It's easier, that way. If it's all just fun and sex, then no one gets hurt. No expectations." Chance frowns a bit, and maybe there is just a hint of bitterness to his voice. He hasn't completely forgotten how he was hurt and made to play the fool for a married woman. Was that relationship worth the hurt? Nope, not really.

"Hell, Jenna wasn't even in a relationship with Quin and look how she got hurt. This weekend? I found out that this douche I knew freshman year was actually dating and cheating on Siobhan back then." Chance is pretty sure the witch would agree that that the hurt wasn't worth it.

"My dad hasn't ever gotten serious about anyone because my mother died and you really can't get any bigger with the hurt than that."


"It is human to feel pain, Chance." Bryn shrugs out of his jacket, and sets it over the arm of the chair. He ruffles his hand through his hair again and frowns. "I hurt someone pretty badly when I was just a little younger than you." He's not going to go into the whole story, but he does say, "We were engaged, and rather than going through with it, I flew back to the United Kingdom without even telling her."

"We happen to be friends today, and despite what happened, I do not think that either of us think that the relationship we had was not worth the pain involved in the end. It simply was not meant to be, and we are both better for it now."

Sort of.

"I am going to tell you something, and you need to promise to keep this to yourself because it is not my secret to share." Though he's fairly certain that Chance's roommate will have told him what the woman he was with is.

"I happen to be dating a vampire at the moment. The relationship is bound to be filled with plenty of things that can be potentially hurtful, and yet, I believe it is worth it all. The thing is, you have to make sure it is what you want, Chance. If all you want from this young woman is fun and sex, then you need to tell her that."


Chance sits up and stares at the elder sorcerer. Just stares for a few moments, because if asked what he expected Bryn to say tonight, confessing to dating a vampire is not high on the list. It isn't even in the realm of being on the list. "Your girlfriend is a vampire?" It's not so much a question as it is a repition of Bryn's words. "You don't like vampires." Not that Bryn is alone in that. Most supes don't like vamps, not because they're bloodsuckers who prey on humans, but because they're master manipulators who can be anyone and anything they want. A vampire that isn't … is a dead vampire.

"She … seemed human. Sweet. Normal." Hot. Which really makes Chance wonder about himself considering how he practically drooled over her.

Realizing he hasn't answered, he nods his head, "I won't tell anyone." Who the hell would believe that Bryn Blackwell was dating a vampire anyway?

Finishing off the bottle, Chance places it on the coffee table on a coaster. "I don't want fun and sex from Jenna." Beat. "I mean, that's not all I … I like hanging out with her. I like spending time with her. I don't want to hurt her, but I don't even know how to be in a relationship."


"Not typically, no. Serafine is entirely different despite her Karneros bloodline." Bryn is aware that Chance may not know what that means, but he is trying to give the young man a hint as to the fact that he may have found her so attractive the other evening because of that. "She is quite normal, actually. She is also very sweet. And she has a genuinely big heart." Beat. "The only reason I did happen to mention it to you is that your werewolf friend would likely have told you eventually."

Bryn motions for Chance to go help himself to another bottle if he wants it. "From the sounds of things, neither does she. Perhaps it is something the two of you can work on together. If it is what you want. If you wish to parallel it from what you have told me, look at your friends, Miss Knight, and Mr. Donovan. They have been friends for how many years before they attempted a relationship with one another?"


"Thanks," Chance says, in response to the offer of another beer. He carries his empty bottle to the kitchen, and after a few moments locates the recycle bin. He is cognizant of some things. It comes from having something of a neatnik for a roommate.

When he returns, he doesn't take his seat right away. Instead the sorcerer wanders to the picturesque window and stares across the city. "I can't see you as the guy who would do that to someone." Then again, it was what eight? Ten years ago? People change. Even Chance isn't as young and reckless as he was four years ago. Two years ago.

"I can't see you dating a vampire either no matter how hot she is."


"A - " Chance snaps the fingers of his free hand searching for the word. " - Succubus vampire… guess that's why she's so hot?" It makes him feel better for reacting to her like a fifteen year old seeing his first pair of breasts. He glances back at the man, curious. "Are you sure she didn't sex whammy you? Or just mesmerize you or whatever it is vampires do?"

Turning back to the window, he's quiet as he pulls from the bottle. "I think Shiv and Harper are the rare lucky few. They knew what they wanted and it was always each other from what I've been told. It just took them a while to get there." There is a note of envy in Chance's voice; not because he's interested in the witch, but because he's seen how the pair are toward one another and there is a part of him that wants that sort of completeness and naturalness for himself.


"You're telling me I should go for it."


"That is because I am not now. People change, and as much as I did love her, I was not at a point in my life where I was ready for a commitment as long term as marriage." A five year relationship was fine. Being tied down to someone at the age of eighteen was not what he wanted.

"I do believe Serafine was hot back when she was human as well." Bryn isn't sure if the Karneros bloodline actually amplifies the way they look, or simply gives them the ability to make humans believe it's highly amplified. "Quite positive." Rolling up his sleeve, he shows the tattoo to Chance. "Anti-glamour." The other sleeve is rolled up. "This one makes my blood taste absolutely awful if it is taken against my will."


"I deal with plenty of vampires in what I do, and I have met more than a few who have attempted to get the better of me. This ensures that if they attempt it, they will fall ill."

Bryn can hear that hint of envy, and he regards the young man again. "Sometimes it does take a while to find what it is we want, but if you never attempt what it is you are looking for, you will never find it."


"I am telling you that if it is what you want, you should at least consider the possibility of putting yourself out there. You may be hurt again, or you may be pleasantly surprised."


That's the problem. Chance isn't all to sure of what he wants. He likes Jenna's company. It brought a smile to his face and warmed him to make her smile and give her a good night after the week that she had. He's already arranged to send her flowers tomorrow before her audition because he knows it will make her smile.

He doesn't want complications. He doesn't want her to go in with crazy expectations of some future. Maybe he's willing to try not having it be a fling … but right now, he's not ready to be, as Pres would say, Sharper.

"I like spending time with her. I like making her happy, but I don't want to build up any expectations."


"Then simply talk to her when you are ready to, Chance. You are a rather honest young man, and I think if you continue to be honest with both yourself and Miss Donovan the only expectations you will build up are the ones that develop over time."

Bryn reaches back for the scotch and takes a sip from it. He moves from the wetbar back to the chair and sits down, the glass finding a place on the table at the side again.

"As you said there is no need to rush things, and you can continue doing what you enjoy for the moment."


"Though if you would like my honest opinion? You obviously care for this woman quite a great deal. You would not have come to discuss the situation if you did not."


"She's a good friend." The words sound automatic and fall just a little hollow to Chance's ears but he pretends not to notice. Jenna is a good friend and he doesn't want to lose her friendship or Siobhan's (because he has a good idea that hurting Jenna will put him in a bad place with Siobhan, too and he really doesn't want to deal with a pissed off witch-sorcerer on top of everything else).

"Maybe I like her a little more than that."


"But what about Quintin? I know he moved on but … I like him. We get along and I don't want things to be awkward. I don't want Jenna to feel uncomfortable."


They sound a little hollow to Bryn too, but he doesn't push it. Chance will need to work things out for himself, and see what he wants to do. As much insight as Bryn can help him with, he can't make the younger sorcerer's decision for him.

"If your flatmate, and Miss Donovan both want to be in your life, they will work it out between themselves. Things will likely be awkward for a time while everyone susses out their feelings and gets over their anger and hurt."


"I get the feeling that if Miss Donovan was comfortable enough to strip down to her knickers in front of you, that she will not be uncomfortable at your flat even if your flatmate is there."


Chance is quiet for a few moments longer. He continues to stare out across the beauty of New York's skyline.

"You must really like her. Sera, I mean." He glances back at Bryn. "I know, that's rude and personal, but … you're not the type to just jump into something like that. She must really be … different, if you're willing to risk it."

His father is lenient and supportive, but Chance suspects that even Rhett Harper would balk at dating a -

"How did she know my father?"


"I do." Bryn has no qualms answering questions about Serafine. Not any longer. Since he came clean to Ashcroft and decided that he'd be public about it no matter the consequences, he finds it much easier to discuss. "As I said earlier she is far more human than any vampire I have ever met, and I have met plenty."


"It is my understanding that she and your father were involved several years ago. I cannot tell you in what capacity, because I was not there." He knows, but he also knows that it'll likely be better if Chance hears it from his father rather than him.


Chance nods. He really shouldn't expect Bryn to give him any more information than that. Chance's first thought was that Sera would have had to be a lot younger - his age - if she'd been involved with his father 'years ago,' but now, knowing she's a vampire?

Did Dad know? It is a question Chance will bring up with his father later.

"You're not worried about be disinherited or pissing off any vampires? I've heard that they're kind of territorial and possessive." The change in conversation is as much curiosity as it is a distraction.


"It is a possibility that it could happen. There is hardly anything I could do to prevent it." At this point, Bryn looks positively relaxed. Suit jacket off, sleeves rolled up, leaning back in the chair. Like he's not at all worried about either thing coming to pass.

"The thing is, Serafine is most definitely worth the risk for me. There is a connection there that was entirely unexpected, and I would much rather explore it than deny it." He has only felt such a thing with one other person, and it was hardly this intense.

"The worst thing the Dynasty can do is blacklist me, and they would much rather keep me on their side, even if they need to publicly denounce me."


"Like the Knightleys did with Shiv's dad?" It hasn't hurt Dr. Knight from what Chance can tell. Other than Uncle Wyatt being an asshole, from what Chance has heard there's not a sorcerer in the city who wouldn't chose Robert Knight over any other surgeon if it were a matter of life and death, no matter to whom he's married.

"Except that he's kind of only blacklisted on paper?"

Chance rubs the back of his neck. That's way more complicated than he'd be willing to deal with, he thinks. Then again, maybe he would; he's only friends with Siobhan, but he considers her a good enough friend that he'd stand up for her and defend her. He was ready to defend his friendship with Quintin if he'd had to years ago as well.

So, yeah, if he's willing to do that for friends, he'd probably do it more for love.

Speaking of protecting his friends …

"Totally off the topic … could you do me a favor? I don't trust Siobhan. I mean, I trust her you know as a person, but I don't trust her to not get herself into trouble. I was going to try and find a way to talk to Dr. Knight, but she'd know it was me probably and then she'd be pissed." Chance takes a drink from the beer and goes and sits back on the couch. "You know him. Could you maybe mention that you saw her in the Undercity? Just you know, so her parents know what she's doing?"

She hasn't gone back alone yet … but she's talked about it, and even though Chance promised to go with her, he sensed some stubbornness there that might make her venture to parts unfamiliar on her own.


"Similarly, yes." It was much more difficult for Robert at the time, simply because he was worried about his inheritance. Bryn isn't as worried for his own, because he'd been siphoning it away for years, after the threat of his father being disowned completely came up when they were exiled to the United States to begin with.

"Has she been in the Undercity?" Bryn raises his brow at that and knows that Robert's not going to be overly pleased that his daughter has been down there on her own. "I can mention it to him." He can also let Brooke know so that the Coven can catch wind of it as well.

"I have no idea why everyone is so keen on keeping it all a secret. Teaching the younger generation how to deal with what they may find there would actually help the Coven."


"Yeah," Chance shifts awkwardly in his seat. Part of him really wants to protect the witch from herself mostly, but he does feel a little guilty for the reveal. "That's where I met her and Jenna the first time. Shiv was looking for charms. She wanted something that would let her and Jenna go out and dance without guys trying to get grabby."

Given how the girls look and dress when they go out dancing? Chance knew why they'd want such a thing.

Chance shrugs. "I've known about The Undercity for a while, but from talking to Shiv, the Coven seems a lot more protective." Sheltering seems a better word, and if he was talking to anyone else, he wouldn't even have gone as far as he already has. He does trust Bryn though.

"I decided to help them out before she ended up brokering a deal with the wrong person. Shiv didn't trust me, but Jenna did."


"I should probably have mentioned that Jenna is an empath." No, it's not his secret to tell, but again, he does trust Bryn.


"Right, you did mention that." Not the part about them looking for charms, but about where he met them. Bryn furrows his brow and then rubs the back of his neck. "I really did think that things would change when Regina Young took over as Coven Matriarch, but it seems she is being as sheltering as the previous one."

Frowning, he shakes his head. "I had really been hoping that in the twelve years since I have been away, things would have changed a little." It was difficult enough explaining things to Brooke the first time he took her there. "I will definitely let Robert know what is going on. Whether he goes with her or not, he should know what his daughter is up to on the off chance she does find herself in a dangerous situation down there."

Finding out after the fact is never a good thing.

"Therefore she knows how you feel about things without needing to sit down and discuss things with you." Bryn considers this, and then nods. "On the plus side, it is quite possible that she sees parts of you that you may not see for yourself yet."


Chance leans forward a little and shrugs. "They know we're hanging out. Shiv and I, I mean. I don't know that they know we're working on sorcerer magic together … but that could be why they gave her a mentor."

Taking a drink from his beer, Chance gives a lopsided grin. "I guess I'm on the least of 'acceptable sorcerers for association' or something."

The grin turns to a frown and Chance rakes a hand through his hair. "I think … I'm going just … keep on as we have been. Friends. You know, until … I know that she's sure." He might talk to her. He might not. He might try to pry info out of Shiv.


"Yes, I do believe that Regina would have given her a mentor after the boating incident." Bryn is not one to look all over the internet to find instances of magical mishaps, but that one was a little difficult to miss as no less than three of his contacts sent it to him; including Callum.

"I think that whatever you do, Chance, will be fine. You need time to figure out what it is that you want, and that time will also give her time to be certain."

There is a beat while he takes a sip from the scotch again, and shrugs. "Who knows? You may find something like what your friends have, or you may not. You could find something even better. I think the important thing is that you open yourself up to trying if it is something you want for yourself in the future."

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