Juliette Alexander

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image by ArtWow @canstockphoto

Character: Juliette Alexander
Clan:
Ventrue Ghoul
Year of Birth: 1988
Ghouled: 2011
Former Domitor: Jordan Beaucol, Toreador
Current Domitor: Sebastian Dark, Ventrue
Disciplines: Potence, Presence
Quote:“Before you invest in being a hero, review the profit margin.”

Appearance: “She was a sight for sore eyes and well worth the agony, a force coming toward you, like a storm in a little hot pink suit and curls, one that could drown you or save a drowning man, trouble or opportunity in a set of heels…”

…Suit disheveled, tie crooked, a noose, waiting to be tugged, he grabbed Juliette’s twead-armored arm, the bells of robber barons still ringing dimly, a death knell, “If you leave me with nothing, I’m dead come dawn.” Her eyes shone like the glass of Freedom Tower, as she tossed a wad of bills at his spent, sweaty body, like a john with a trick. “There’s still tonight.”

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Early Life in Middle Class Hell: Juliette Alexander had, what some might call, a painfully boring and unremarkable life growing up in Newport, Rhode Island in the mid 90s. Her father, Graeme, of Scottish-English descent, served some time in the Navy and was described as, “the most insufferably dull Scotsmen that ever’d seen the Seven Seas,” by one of his other crew mates, who no doubt, spoke for many more. Graeme served out his time in the Navy with no distinctions, either scandalous or valorous, and used a Pell grant to get a degree in hospitality, which landed him a snooze-worthy middle-management job in the hotel and hospitality industry. While, in contrast, some of the rest of Graeme’s former crew mates became lifetime Naval officers with fantastic tales, some even real, and others gained prestige he’d never know by teaching at Newport’s illustrious Naval college.

While working out his purgatorial position in this industry, he met Juliette’s mother, Eleanor Harris, a woman of German-English descent with features and temperament as plain as vanilla wafers. With her drab, mousy brown hair and simple attire, she practically disappeared in any room. Her looks were so wholly plain, neither remarkable in their beauty nor noteworthy in deformity, that they pitch-perfect matched Graeme’s own bland aspirations. And something just clicked between them, and these two people, bland as unsalted, peeled potatoes, married. They had two children, the other, in addition to Juliette, was Scott Alexander, who grew up to take on a fiercely exciting position as a mid-level manager at a packaging and shipping facility.

To recount Eleanor’s own history in detail would be enough to put a hyper tween to sleep after a triple shot of espresso. Let it suffice to say that she attained a mind-numbingly dull degree herself and ended up managing wholly tedious and nearly coma-inducing records at the Newport courthouse.

“I held that flashy picture of the Astors in my mind, a tantalizing billboard on the long stretch of isolated highway that was Newport; the Astors, an oasis, shimmering in the blistering heat of asphalt on the horizon, tilting full-throttle into that mirage.” – Juliette, on her own American Dream.

The Astor Family Dream: It should be no surprise given the overwhelmingly boring lives of the Alexander family, who happened to live in the shadow of the wealthy and renowned Astor family, and their infamous summer home, Beechwood, that Eleanor Harris Alexander fancied herself a long-lost descendant to such an exciting and well-positioned family. No doubt the excruciating tedium of her daily routine, surrounded as she was by dizzying heights of boxed records, which she forever sifted through, managed, and tried to order like a punishment from Dante’s The Divine Comedy, led her to concoct these stories. Or at best she made some fantastic leap to the Astors based on some tenuous scrap from a thin file laying around that tomb of bureaucracy. She shared these stories with her young daughter, Juliette, who absolutely devoured them like the starving thrust into an extravagant feast, internalizing them as truth. Juliette saw much more of herself in this glamorous, prosperous, and business savvy family than the Alexanders, and so she began modeling herself after these titans, these business moguls, the Astors, who had dotted the United States with towns named after them, eternalizing them, who had been part of the Newport’s Gilded Age in the early 20th century, enjoying a honeyed existence doing business and living lavishly without paying a penny of income tax, who were so well-connected that they even had blood ties to another famous family, the Roosevelts, and who owned so much property for many years in New York City that they were known as the “Landlords of the Big Apple.”

Red Spike
“For every self-made businessman in the Big Apple, there’s a thousand broken pieces of another come undone.” Juliette, on the cutthroat nature of business.

Life in the Big Apple: Juliette set her sights on the Big Apple too with a blindingly, laser focus, managing against all odds, and the Alexander genetic predisposition for trite middling aspiration, to gain entrance into Columbia University where she would get her degree in Economics. To top it all, the summer before her college graduation, she had gained an internship working for one of the Astor’s accountants, and consequently,  attended a meeting at Beechwood. During some idle conversation on a break, still believing she was an Astor herself, she mentioned her connection to the family, and promptly caused such a stir of laughter that they complimented the accountant for finding an intern with such a charming sense of humor so uncommon to that field.

The Astor family tree was well known by those in attendance, and Juliette and her mother, Eleanor, did not cling to even a tiny sliver of one of those illustrious branches. Juliette was utterly devastated. But she could either argue a point that would earn her their ire, or leave them with the impression that she was a witty and charismatic intern for an accountant, a rare jewel, Juliette. She wisely did the later, which, in essence, she had done all her life, building herself up, a self-creation, both Dr. Frankenstein and his monster.

Dream Job, Nightmare Reality: And she never lost sight of the power of self-presentation, which along with her degree in Economics, merited her a job in New York, at the global business consulting company, Deloitte. At this highly-competitive company though, Juliette found herself stuck in one of countless middling side offices. She struggled through a suffocating, Machiavellian air of intense competition, fiercely frustrated with her lack of advancement or notice despite her Herculean efforts, while she ever-increasingly sacrificed anything resembling a personal life. And so, for all her accomplishments, she found herself in a faceless position, just like the rest of the Alexanders of her reality, and not the exciting Astors who had filled her fantasies.

By some sweet, cruel, twist of fate, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, named for the Astors, was visible from the tiny slit of a window of her corner office. She took to spending time there in the lounge, having a few drinks, having a few guys. One night she had overestimated her tolerance for the Long Island iced teas the new bartender was making, probably having had forgotten the part in his training about adding more cola to dilute the hard liquor, which was ultimately more expensive for overhead costs. Light-headed, the world a pleasant, numbing, blur, she had stayed late, the lounge had officially closed, but out of this silence beautiful, tinkling piano music, raw undisguised talent, talent that pulled at her to make her way to the source, only to find it was a simple janitor at the piano, who was quite chagrinned at being caught touching the expensive piano, and begged her not to tell his boss.

dark
“The first taste of vitae is better than Heaven, the first night without it is worse than Hell.”

She didn’t tell his boss, but she told two clients who were starving for new talent, and the pianist fit the bill. He made them a tidy sum, and he got a lot less in return, but mopped less too. But Juliette, she was on a roll, the kind of roll that was thick, green, and bulged…and put money in a few of the right pockets. And she began to cultivate a reputation for having an eye at finding talent, finding money in unexpected places, anticipating trends. She started frequenting some of the clubs in town, artistic shows, adopting a sleek bohemian style of sharp suits.

Commencement of a Fatal Addiction: And it was here that she truly caught the attention of the Toreador elder, Jordan Beaucol, a local dealer in rare books, who introduced her to the world of darkness, and to the immortal delights of vitae, as she became his ghoul. Though initially impressed with Juliette’s style and her knack for pinpointing talent, her ambition ultimately trumped her artistic interest, and the two parted ways. Cut off from her supply of elder blood and the intense passion she felt in the presence of the magnetic Jordan, she experienced a harrowing withdrawal that nearly killed her, nightly, then hourly, a suffering few mortals know and can still maintain their delicate sanity.

Dark Prosperity: Some whisper that the end of the partnership between Jordan and Juliette came on the heels of a deal lost between Jordan Beaucol and the Ventrue Sebastian Dark or that, she was in fact, in danger from some of Jordan’s more anti-commercial childer, but this is just idle gossip and hearsay. It was just a happy circumstance, to be sure, that the well-liked man of enterprise and ambition, Mr. Dark, found a use for the suffering former Toreador ghoul Juliette, but sadly not all the uses she craved. For as the starved ghoul tasted his vitae in a gush over her lips, the blood bond between them tied into an intricate lover’s knot, a kind of binding contract in her soul, and with it came an unquenchable urge for his blood and body, the later he seemed unwilling or unable to share. Though he did share other career-advancing opportunities with her like contracts furthering the fiscal viability of a number of his properties, such as the Red Spike and Dark’s Mall. He also brought her in as a consultant on series of investments, especially pertaining to marketable talent. With her thirst for Mr. Dark ultimately unquenched, she competes with those closest to him, like his childe Ann Van Cort, for his favor.

Because of her past switching hands between domitors, some kindred are uncertain about who exactly owns Juliette, especially as she’s often seen in the company of the Thompson or “Tommy” Vyzu, an international investment banker, and Ventrue, who is a long-time known associate of Mr. Dark. Juliette usually sees this confusion as more of an advantage than a disadvantage. The more powerful kindred she’s associated with, the better connected she ultimately appears. And Juliette learned a long time ago about the power of appearance.

Nights of a Ventrue Ghoul:
The Hunters and the Hunted