After her tiring extra works she spared herself for the past month, Celia just wanted to do nothing more than to land face first against her pillow and shroud herself with her blanket, maybe even take a hibernating period of this time for a few years… or decades. Because of how much she’s done 3 days ago, she finally got her leave permitted by the hospital board, a 2 day leave, nothing too much, it’s not a long period, nowhere near a vacation worthy period but it meant everything to the Valkyr, considering she’s slowly going crazy and annoyed from smelling the sterilized hallway of the hospital every time she passed them. As a result, the Italian brunette had been spending the second day of her leave wisely. Yesterday, she visited an exhibition in Manhattan and did a side shopping to destress herself. If there was one thing that Cecilia Laterza likes to pride herself into doing, it was probably shopping, even when she probably wouldn’t have enough time to flaunt those new clothing when she’s just going to be stuck inside her office at the hospital nowadays, but still, a little fashion never hurts.

 She had also gotten a few blonde highlights in her hair and trimmed them slightly so it wouldn’t look as bushy. The first thing Ce found herself doing the moment she woke up from her slumber was to reach out for her phone at the bedside table, checking the time displayed across the screen with her eyes squinted before yawning a few times. She allowed herself to bask in the good rest she’s gotten before climbing out of her bed and head over to the bathroom. She may have also had fun yesterday that resulted in a tiny hangover, nothing she couldn’t fix after a cold shower and a few aspirin. Much to her surprise, Celia didn’t party while she was in New York, she only stopped at a few bars to drink and maybe sink her fangs into one or two but she didn’t bring anyone home. So that was something. After spending half an hour in the showers, she came out with a towel wrapped around her hair and body, checking over the plans she had made today, it wasn’t until she saw the invitation to a charity gala on her bedside table that Ce finally remembered she was supposed to attend that one gala in Berlin.

 She went over to her closet to see if she had anything that was formal enough or half as worthy to wear but returned to her bed with a frown, “New dress…” she muttered to herself and decided to drop by a certain boutique today to get a dress tailored. She’s never been there before but rumor has it, the Celestial Wayfinder is managing it so maybe she’d get to have a little chat on the way too. Once the Valkyr dried her hair using the blow dryer, she styled them using the hair curler but the prep for her hair didn’t take as long because if there was anything the Italian Valkyr knew to take care of, it’s also her hair. Dressed in a navy blue blouse and jeans, the female made a quick dash to grab her bag and tucked her phone in as she hummed to herself a soft tune, walking down the hallway and exiting the residence soon enough.

 The engine was started before long and the Valkyr only had a coy smile gracing her burgundy lips as she drove the car to the city center, eyes glazing over the address she had keyed into the GPS a few times. It went on for a while until she caught sight of the boutique across the block after a few minutes of searching. After quickly parking her car, she noticed that two people just exited while giggling to themselves, she wondered if this was the right boutique and contemplated for a while as she entered. That’s when she saw the Wayfinder working behind the counter, “Are you busy or should I come another time?” she exclaimed coolly. "Though I am in a desperate need for a dress..."

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She nodded slightly, she had been very lucky to be able to live her life the way she did, even if she felt like it was at the expense of others it wasn’t like she could have actually done anything to trade places with them “I just wish everyone could have had the same experience as me...actually lived” she was sure Ce could understand the balance of guilt that came with being an immortal and getting more time than a lot of others got. “They need them though….that level of protection is incredibly valuable and it seems bizarre for me to encourage them to take that protection and not be able to do so for myself” Ophelia had demons and they weren’t ones she wanted to share with someone she barely knew, that was why it was so difficult to find someone she trusted with that role.

“I’m not sure how to even know who the right person is” she confessed in a soft voice, this wasn’t just choosing someone who you could cut off down the line if things didn’t work out, this was a relationship that would last for the rest of their lives, whether they wanted it to or not, she could imagine so many different possibilities of what could go wrong with that and she wasn’t sure the benefits would be worth it. She nodded slightly when Ce empathized with her heartache from Adriel leaving “I’m sure he thought it was for the better but it feels like every time I let someone slip by my defenses they end up finding a way to hurt me” probably not even on purpose but it didn’t make it hurt less. She gave a wry smile when the brunette admitted she enjoyed getting her hands on people “You definitely talk a big game” she teased lightly, it was making her curious though, she would admit that.

Phe could feel her heartbeat racing in her chest the moment Ce lifted her chin, forcing her eyes to meet hers. She knew how obvious it must be to a valkyr who could hear her heartbeat but it wasn’t like she could control it. She knew she should pull away or pretend like she wasn’t wondering things she definitely shouldn’t be wondering about but she couldn’t bring herself to pull away, especially because of the way her thumb moved slowly over her lip and for a moment her stomach lurched with nervousness wondering if Ce might try to close the gap between them. Ce’s teasing made her shiver, especially because she was basically reading the celestial’s mind in that moment and she was trying to come up with words to say just as Ce walked away to get changed.

There was a lot on her mind as she went around cleaning up and putting everything back where it belonged, she jumped when she heard Ce talking behind her and turned around to face her “Yeah...it’s getting pretty late so I don’t think any more customers are coming by” she confessed and nibbled her bottom lip slightly “Why? Did you want to do something?” she honestly had no clue how to handle herself with Ce.

She pursed her lips and smiled sadly at what she said, it was natural for them to wish others would have the opportunity to live the good life they had, especially for Phe who was the leader of her people. She would want them to get the same chance she did and Ce understood why she felt like that. "Some people are just lucky then" there wasn't much they could do about it and while the Italian wasn't a fan of accepting destiny as it is without fighting for it, she certainly didn't have the room to tell people to call bullshit over everything. Sometimes life is like that. "Having a Volakiri is a huge boost for both sides, honestly. I can't see why we wouldn't want to extend this partnership, I mean getting into the other's head and knowing this and that would feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable at first. But you eventually get used to it. God I remember those early days when there were so many experiments." 

Since she was the first to acquire one, they basically ran through every theory possible to test out the bond. It was a field day. "Maybe you'll find someone compatible one day, though it's extremely beneficial for both sides, don't push yourself just to find one. Remember, it's a bond that will last forever. You can't just sever it just because you don't like that person so just… find someone you can connect to. God knows how many times Atticus and I have fought before." They were lovers, once upon a time, after all. When she expressed her concern and said she didn't know who the right person was, Ce bit her lip and pressed a reassuring hold on her shoulder, "You'll know when you do." "Things like these… they just click." There was no knowing when it'll be. Feeling the heartbreak seeping in was something she could relate to the celestial, Ce still had the memories of her first love, one she held onto dearly and a thousand years could pass and she wouldn't be able to forget about her. 

Everyone became the subject of comparison to the blonde, it was no wonder she wasn't able to settle down. It wasn't that she didn't want to, it's that she couldn't forget her. So she accepted the fact that she would never find anyone else and honestly, Ce felt fine with that. "Allow your heart to heal first, for however long you need." That's the only thing she could tell her. Celia scoffed and crossed her arms upon hearing that, "I don't just talk a big game, Fifi, I do it." She walks the talk and rarely just lets her mouth do all the work. The fact that her heartbeat was beating faster than usual was all but means to the valkyr to find her next pleasure and excitement. It was so amusing to see the celestial crumble underneath her stare alone, she's guessing even the wayfinder wasn't immune to her 'attacks' after all. It was interesting to see how she attempts to run away from her attraction when they both know it. 

Her lips were so close to hers and should she want it, the brunette would've been able to close the gap between them but she didn't. Not yet. "Do you want to go and grab a drink maybe? We could chat more" she suggested coyly, honestly she didn't just want to go back home after this trip only to know she'd be thinking about the petite female.

“Lucky is one word for it” Ce responded though there was a certain sadness in her voice because honestly, she felt guilty for being the lucky one, especially now she had been reunited with her stars and seen so many people who deserved to really live their lives “I just hope they have the chance to recover from it and find what they want now...whatever it is” she was fighting to keep their freedom in this city so they could make up for the time they lost and actually live. “It’s just a big commitment to make to someone you barely know...not everyone is who they make themselves out to be when you first meet them” a valkyr could just as easily use the bond to get the upper hand on a celestial if they wanted to.

She nodded slightly “I’m sure it’s much like finding a soulmate of sorts...except more of a family bond” she commented under her breath, though she was sure it went deeper than that for some, finding someone who you were happy to share your deepest thoughts and feelings with too a lot of trust and honestly trust was something Ophelia didn’t have a huge amount of lately. She smiled when Ce assured her she would know when she found the right person to enact a volakiri bond with “Too bad you’ve already found yours” she commented in a soft voice, she did feel like she had clicked with Ce after all, after that first time where she spent the evening reassuring her and their strange friendship since then.

Thinking about the idea of finding the right person romantically was a whole different ballgame though, she had tried through the years to find connection with people and she thought she had found it in several people she met, but then in time things happened and she was left in the end with the bitterness of a goodbye. For some, she didn’t even get that. “What if its been too badly damaged” she commented in a soft voice, there was only so much heartbreak she could handle and she had suffered three harsh rounds of it. Phe raised her brow when Ce said she followed through on her words, she honestly wondered to what level this subtle flirting that was happening was serious for Ce and how much of it was a game because honestly it was hard to tell.

She widened her eyes when Ce asked if she wanted to get a drink and she shifted on the spot a little nervously because she was wondering how much of the drink was actually drinking and how much was because she wanted to continue teasing the wayfinder “Sure, just let me get my things from the back and close up” she scurried off to get her things and fumbled as she looked for the keys.

Ce could only attempt to reassure her that life goes on the way they want it to be, "I'm sure they'll all eventually find what they want in life. They must figure it out on their own, nobody's going to offer it to them otherwise, you should do well to make haste with your part too, you know… a leader is a leader but even she should have the opportunity to live her life the way she wants it." The city served them as a better home than they ever had in all their years of living as a celestial, it could mean a better future for them as well. "Do you know anyone who is a valkyr before? That would help you on your journey to find out, for a start" she suggested, it wasn't common to find celestials who knew valkyr as friends but who knows? Ophelia certainly has lived quite a while and she might have come across one or two. 

"Your volakiri will end up being your very… very good friend but it helps if you know them at first. But there are a few who don't even know each other but still ended up having a good bond" Yeon instantly came up to her mind, the male didn't even know who his celestial was but now they were practically inseparable. Ce couldn't help but chuckle when she heard that though, "Having a volakiri for a romantic partner is either very disastrous or very convenient. The only thing that stings like a bitch is when you eventually break it off with them." Atticus was exactly that but thankfully, they managed to talk it out and things were… fine. Ish. Anyway, he didn't cause any trouble with it so she was fine with it. "Yeah… too bad I've already found mine. It would've been interesting to form one with you, to be honest" Phe was an interesting person and Ce would lie if she said she didn't intend to get closer than she already was with her. "My volakiri is such a pain in the ass, what I wouldn't give for a new one" she chuckled, too bad they could only have one for a lifetime. 

"I'm sure you'll find yours very soon, you're a likable person, Fifi" she quipped. The way she spoke so softly was for sure breaking her heart too, how did someone even break someone as gentle as her? Ophelia has proven herself to be someone with a gentle personality while being fiercely protective over the people she cares about and that is exactly one of the things that drew the Italian to the Wayfinder. "If it's been too badly damaged, either you let it heal or you heal it yourself… leaving it be is either the best or worst decision you will have ever made." There's not much she could say about it. After all, she is still pining over her first love even after a millennium. So, was she really someone who could even talk on that topic? She couldn't even move on. 

A part of her wanted to chat longer with Phe while the other part of her wanted to see how drunk the celestial could get, as well as how low her tolerance to alcohol is. "Take your time" she sang and tried to search for a new bar nearby, one she probably hasn't been to just for the sake of trying something new. Her usual hotspot was usually the one near the dhampir and valkyr territory but that's where a lot of valkyr hung out at. Once she returned, Ce perched herself on the counter with a grin, "Do you have a favorite bar?"

She nodded slightly, Ce was right in saying that she didn’t know how much time she actually had and she should reach for the chance to live the life she wanted to as well, the only issue was trying to figure out what her calling was. When she was younger, goals were very simple for a woman, she was to protect her reputation, find a good man to marry, settle down and have children but now there was so much more to choose from than that. Not that she was complaining about it of course it definitely made her stop and think about where she wanted to go. “I mean I knew one valkyr but he was the very same person who up and left without a word so” she dropped her gaze, she had deluded herself back then into thinking she could have the whole eternal love thing but it wasn’t to be.

“I’m not sure my sanity would allow me to share a piece of my mind with someone I didn’t even know” she confessed in a small voice and bit her lip softly, it wasn’t that she didn’t want this, of course she wanted the extra protection and perhaps even the companionship that came along with having a volakiri but she had also been betrayed many times. She raised her brow when Ce mentioned how complicated dating her volakiri could be “I bet the bond was really strong when it was at its peak huh” they must have been really in tune with one another at a point in time. She laughed when she said she would like to trade hers for a new one “Maybe you should tell him he needs to step his game up” she jested shaking her head in an amused manner.

She couldn’t help the smile that crossed her lips when Ce said she was a likeable person though, she definitely knew the valkyr wasn’t the type to give out compliments to just anyone and that was a very kind one “I try to be” she spoke softly and nodded, as hard as the world tried to make her become she kept fighting to be someone she was proud to be, someone she liked herself. “Healing is such a hard journey” she agreed with her that it was for the best to try and get there and not let herself wallow in the hurt and never move forward but it wasn’t just as simple as waking up and feeling like she could love again either, there was a hard line to walk between there.

She took a few breaths as she composed herself and went around the back room gathering her things and grabbing her coat from on the hook so that she could shrug it on, she pulled it close around her shoulders because she knew it was going to be cold outside tonight. She neatened her paperwork and placed her design journal in it’s usual spot on the shelf before heading back out to where Ce was waiting. She raised her brow noting how the valkyr was perching on the counter “Not particularly, I mean I’m not really one to spend her time in bars...I heard there was a new cocktail bar open not too far from here though, we could check it out” she smiled wondering if Ce would go for something like that.

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