Author's Notes: Orginal Fic, fantasy/sci-fi, some horror aspects. Will have sex and language, I'd put it about NC-17.
I'm looking for feedback on what people think of what I have so far. I'm branching out here cause these are all characters I have created, this isn't a fanfiction or a crossover fanfic, so I'm diving into deep waters for me. I really mean it, I want to know what you think and any constructive critiques are going to be taken very seriously. I thank you now for reading and for commenting.
Ryanne O'Reilly sat in front of the small dressing room's brightly lit mirror and tried to bring her breathing under control. She'd just awakened from a nightmare while napping before the night's show. She felt like she'd just barely escaped from something monstrous without knowing exactly what that something was. She wondered if she would have woken up without her older brother Nicholas calling through the door, reminding her that she had an hour before showtime. His voice had pulled her from the mad chase she'd been in , in the dream. She knew she had been being chased in the dream and strangely enough it had been as if by more than one hunter.
Her heart stopped and stuttered for a second at the word her mind had chosen, Hunter. She had a passing acquaintance with being hunted, along with her family. They traveled due to their career choice in music and circumstances which forced them to avoid certain hunters, while at the same time they hunted for something themselves. Yes, she thought, you could call what she and her twin Rorey were doing as hunting, too. Hunting for a place to belong, people who would accept them and a safe haven to run to for sanctuary from the night. She glanced at the tiny window looking out at an alley and could see the twilight deepening to full darkness and shivered again. She finally shook herself from head to toe like a dog shedding water and began applying her stage make-up, nightmares and fears aside, there was a show to perform and that came before all else.
Once her make-up was on and she'd donned the gypsy-like dress made up in shdes of green and blue she went out seeking her twin and two older brothers. She located them in the slightly larger dressing room they were sharing, sitting in wait for the time to start the first set of their show, eahc in a manner reflective of their own natures. Rorey was strumming his guitar and mouthing words tothe songs. Benjamin was checking his hair, clothing and skin in the duplicate of the mirror in her dressing room. Grooming was ever so very important to Benji. Nicholas was reclining on the delapitated couch in one corner, eyes closed and completely relaxed. Nick believed in expending energy only when absolutely necessary, and then doing it to the utmost, but only when necessary.
"Well, you all look comfy," Ryanne spoke with a slight lilt of Ireland in her voice. It was only when she was excited or angry that the full brogue would come through. The same went for Rorey and Nick; Benji had lived the longest in Eire so had the broadest accent of the four O'Reillys. Something he used to his advantage when negotiating contracts or romantic interludes. It amused all the O'Reillys how taken the Americans were with a foreign accent, as long as it wa "quaint" and not hard on the ears.
"Eh, as comfortable as a place like this could supply," Rorey quipped. He continued to strum his guitar softly, but smiled over at his twin with affection. Anyone looking at them would have known them for siblings, same going for Benji and Nick. But there was something that even the average Joe on the street would have looked twice at Rorey and Ryanne O'Reilly and known there was a special link between them. It wasn't just the auburn hair, though all four were redheads, the twins hair color was identical, a rich burnished red gold that caught the light and shone like a well worn penny. Ryanne's eyes were the dark green of a glad in a primordial forest, and Rorey's eyes were the sky blue of a robin's egg in the nest. Rorey was also almost a foot taller than his sister standing just over six foot and only five and a half feet tall. But when they smiled, it was like looking at the flip side of the same coin, one side showing the female and the other the male; the differences just melted away.
There was a special fae quality that hung in the air around both of the twins; a sparkle that made people look twice. Rorey used this to his advantage with women, while Ryanne was much more selective in her choices for male companionship. It wasn't that she wasn't interested in a relationship, she just wasn't prepared to settle and some guy hitting on her in a bar wasn't her idea of Prince Charming. And since she spent most of her life in bars singing for her supper, there were fewer chances for her to meet the right type of guys. And when she did meet men they were generally scared off by her brothers.
Ryanne looked around the relatively shabby dressing room the manager of The Emerald Isle, Irish Pub had supplied them with. Pauley, said manager, was a slicked back slightly slimy man in the early stages of lecherous middle age. Ryanne had already ordered her brothers to never leave her alone with him. She wasn't even sure if Pauley was the man's first or last name, but he kept asking her to have dinner with him after the shows and she'd continued to tell him no.
"Ah now Rorey, it's just like home, it tis," Benji joked as he flicked an imaginary speck of dust from the sleeve of he hunter green, silk shirt. He neatened the tuck of his shirt in his black slacks and ran his fingers through his shoulder length, dark auburn hair to tousle it artistically. Ryanne laughed at him and tossed a pillow at his head. Nick opened one eye at Benji's growl of displeasure at his now inartistically mussed hair due to the pillow impact.
Nick's arm snaked out in a flash and he clasped Ryanne's wrist to tug her down onto the couch with him. He cuddled her to his chest and stroked her hair, he spoke softly in her ear, "You look worried about something, muirneach. What's on your mind, little one?"
Ryanne smiled at the Gaelic term for beloved. She sighed and snuggled in her big brother's arms. She sighed before answering, "Aye, I had a well, I suppose you'd still call it a nightmare, even if t'was during the day. I was being... hunted. By more than one hunter, it felt like, and for more than one reason. I think it was brought on by the show tonight."
Rorey stopped noodling on the guitar and looked up unhappily at her words, "You aren't going to back out now, are you Ry? You promised..."
"I know what promised you Rorey Patrick Anthony O'Reilly, so just you watch yourself," Ryanne snapped. "I told you I was worried about what could happen. I canna help it if that worry affected my sleep."
"Nothing bad will happen, we've gone over it a hundred times and we've done this before. And you are so stellar, twin," Rorey wheedled. "Tis but a wee little thing, just an added spark to a lovely song."
"Aye and tis manipulation, pure and simple, ya great twit," Ryanne snarled, "And who's soul does it go on? Mine, and yours, and Benji's and Nick's! We want to help you, but you've got to take this seriously!"
"I do! But ya canna understand what tis like for me, none of ya. Ta be so alone," Rorey looked down at his hands, resting on his beloved guitar. He then set it aside and stood to go over to the small window to look sightlessly at the brick wall across the way. When he spoke it was quiet, almost desperate, "I need to find my place. It's like a craving for alcohol, or a drug; it never dulls and it never goes away."
"Ye're not alone, Rorey-Boy," Benji spoke up with a rare serious look on his handsome face. "we don't go through it like you do, but it does still affect us. And think of sweet Ryanne, here. She suffers for ya, and does all she can ta help ya."
"I know that! Ya make me sound like some ungrateful git," Rorey turned and crossed to his twin. He knelt on the floor in front of her and ran his fingertips over her cheek. She smiled at him and caught his hand in hers. He tugged her forward and wrapped her in his arms. She hugged him back tightly and he murmured into her hair, "If ya don't want to do the bloody song tonight, muirneach, we won't. I won't have you upset."
"Nah love, we'll do it, but not as a duet. I think it would be better if just you sang it. Tis your calling, after all, not mine," Ryanne smiled up into his blue eyes. She then sobered, "Tis too powerful when we sing it together."
"But we need it to be strong. I feel like we're so close," Rorey pleaded, using all his charm and a pitiful look to his eyes to beg her to capitulate.
"Rorey, please, no, I have a bad feeling about it," Ryanne wasn't past using her own bit of begging to avoid what her brother wanted. She was a gifted witch and had written the song spelled to help her twin; it was a calling song, basically a puzzle song. It was like a picture calling out for its missing piece or vice versa to come home and be where it belonged. The problem was that the spell was by its very nature manipulation, so it pulled in negative things as well as good. Hence the hunters that they had been trying to keep one step ahead of.
"Well, I suppose, but you do it so much better, love," Rorey coaxed. "Your lovely voice could call the very birds from the sky. If you were to sing it in the first set, I could sing it in the last two sets to cement it. Please Ry, please?"
Ryanne sighed and rubbed her temple, "No, you do the first set, I'll do the second, and you can 'cement' it with the third. And that's enough of that. Let's talk of something else. Benji, how goes it with that lovely new lad you nabbed the other evening?"
Benji pouted without pulling to much of a face and shrugged, "Who knows, love, they come and they go. Tis like leaves in the wind they are, and that's just fine by me. I've nae wish to be settling down right now as tis."
"When someone does finally ensnare your heart, I'll be that amused to watch you fall," Nick joked. "Love'em-and-leave'em-Ben will one day get his comeuppance ya wait and see. The old man twill fall like a dropped anchor, I vow."
"Who're ya callin an old man, ya loony git?" Benji snapped, quite affronted. "Ye're only two years younger than me!"
"Aye, younger, not older, like you," Nick sneered. Ryanne and Rorey laughed merrily at their brothers' harping. They didn't notice the knock on the door until a man's head popped in.
Pauley was a man who knew money and acts for his club. He liked loose women, preferably of Iris descent, Irish whiskey and Irish music. He'd hoped when he'd signed the O'Reilly's he'd get to enjoy at least two out of three, but the gal just wasn't being cooperative. And there she was with all three of her brothers, who protected her like a pack of wolves, so he knew there'd be no chance of getting her to the side to ask her to have dinner with him that night. Not that she'd said yes before, but he had decided to get serious; he'd just hint that their contract might be in jeopardy if she wasn't a little more 'friendly'. Hopefully that would turn the trick. He cleared his throat and spoke to the room at large.
"Just wanted to remind you all that you have about twenty minutes until show time," Pauley didn't bother hiding the fact he was checking out Ryanne, and Rorey shifted so he was interrupting the lecher's line of sight. He met Rorey's eyes and felt the hair on the back of his neck and arms stand up in an atavistic fear he didn't quite understand. Pauley cleared his throat nervously, "I figured you might want to make sure all of your instruments and stuff was ready for all three sets."
Nick rose to his feet and stood next to Rorey completely blocking Ryanne from view. He smiled sardonically at the manager and gestured at the door, "Ya can head on back ta ye're office, Pauley, we know how to get ready for a show. We've been onstage since we could all walk and carry a tune. Ya know that, so go on with ya."
Rorey feinted forward towards the older man and he paled and quickly left and headed back to his office. He cursed himself and his odd reaction to the youngest male O'Reilly, the boy scared the hell out of him and he had no idea why. He shook his head and decided to corner Ryanne after the first set and talk to her about dining with him that night. As he settled in behind his desk he entertained himself with fantasies, he just hoped he got to pursue one of them.