Irene Adler
To Sherlock Holmes she is always The Woman.

Name: Irene Adler
Character LJ:
Player: Becca
Canon: Sherlock (BBC)
Age: A lady never tells (though she looks about thirty years old)

Physical Description: Irene Adler is elegance defined. Slender, with long, dark hair, features that are a touch too sharp to be traditionally attractive, legs that go <i>all</i> the way down to the floor, and a smile that could launch at least a few hundred ships (and probably has), she knows how to glide across a room with the sort of grace that makes men turn their heads. On the other hand, that same grace allows her to slip into the shadows and disappear without a trace when it suits her. You shouldn't trust her smile, but you will, despite your better judgment. Everyone does in the end.
Race: Vampire
Abilities: The basic vampiric skills - she is incredibly fast, stronger than she looks, and has heightened senses. She is also incredibly intelligent and perceptive of human psychology, though that has more to do with having been around for so long than any special vampire gifts.
Living situation: She owns a roomy apartment in a classy neighborhood.
Occupation: Professional dominatrix. Her offerings are pretty standard for her profession, her style generally of leather-and-lace variety. Most of her clients don’t even realize what she really is, though a few come to her for very… specific services that only a vampire can offer. For more information about her pro dom work, see the post in her journal here

There Are Many Names For What She Does.

Piecing together the history of anyone who has been around as long as Irene Adler would be tricky – and by playing her cards very close to the chest, she certainly doesn’t make it any easier. The most that can be said about her early life is that she was born somewhere on old Earth a very long time ago, probably to a family of few means and far too little imagination to ever guess where their little girl would end up. After she was bitten (something else she never talks about, and very few are the people – and even vampires – that know that particular story) , she left behind for good her family, her name, and her circumstances. Were you to ask her who she had once been, she would tell you she didn’t know, a statement significantly closer to the truth than most things she says.

Irene has lived her share of lives since then. She has been a courtesan in France, an opera singer in America, and mistress to countless world leaders. Though she has changed her name in every new incarnation, it is to Irene Adler that she returns over and over, though its significance is anyone’s guess.

It's Been a Pleasure. Don't Spoil It.

Over the course of her (very long) career, Irene has always kept a book of secrets. Once, it was a literal book, though these days, it is merely a phone that can easily slip into her pocket, or into a nothing of a purse, that contains the greatest secrets of the world’s most powerful men (and, in some instances, women). In the past, she has always used this information sparingly – a destroyed marriage here, a modest coup there – in order to win money, or comfort, or protection, or merely for the fun of it. Playing with people has always been what she has done, but she has never done it with much purpose or ambition. Purpose and ambition take effort.

All that changed when the name Jim Moriarty crossed her path.

She had known about him for a while, of course – everyone who danced in certain shadowy circles had heard of Moriarty – but about a year ago, the path to actually getting in touch with him opened. By then she had already moved on to New Earth and under the title of dominatrix (she liked the ring of that particular word, though the job itself was not so very different from the one she had been doing for hundreds of years before anyone thought to give it a name) had stirred up a minor scandal or two, just to keep herself entertained. But this time, she had a bigger scandal to sell, and Moriarty was very happy to buy, so long as she included in her schemes a man by the name of Sherlock Holmes. With enough patience and Moriarty whispering in her ear, this scandal could win her enough income and comfort that she would never have to work again. When she found out that Moriarty had been killed, she didn’t even blink, for she no longer needed him. The pieces were already in place.

Now newly settled in New Earth’s largest city, all she has to do is wait for the opportune moment to strike.

The Big Problem With a Disguise

By trade and by habit, Irene Adler is a chameleon, but as she herself points out, every disguise is a self-portrait. Though she would like to imagine that she is somehow immune to this fact, she is not.

Her own standard disguise, for all the complexity with which she presents it, is fairly straightforward. She presents herself as, to put it in an old fashioned sort of way (and she does have a soft spot for the slightly old-fashioned) a woman of the world – cool, confident, a bit detached, and ever the businesswoman up until the moment she pulls her dress over her head or lets her blouse drop to the floor. This is the person that most people see when they notice her on the street, or chat with her in the line for coffee: a beautiful, intelligent, charming woman who would never make a mis-step, not even in four-inch heels.

Most of all, though, Irene projects herself as a woman in control. From the moment she walks into a room, she knows precisely how many eyes are upon her, and how to draw the gaze of those who have not yet seen her. Yes, when it comes to the bedroom, she makes her living on being in control, but her lust for it goes deeper than that. It’s her main driving force, and the real reason she keeps her stockpile of secrets. They are insurance, but more than that, they prove that she has the final card up her sleeve, the dice loaded in her favor, the last word in a world of men who refuse to be silenced.

So what is the more complicated truth that she hides under a steady veneer of confidence? Her need to prove her cleverness, to show just one more person what she’s capable of, to bring one more man to his knees, has gotten her into dangerous trouble more than once. At her weakest, Irene is not so much overconfident as desperate – desperate for those eyes to turn on her, desperate to win, desperate to rise above it all. The fact that she has succeeded at doing exactly that for hundreds of years only makes her hidden weaknesses more dangerous to her. And after so long, her veneer is growing dangerously thin. Even a vampire can crack eventually and expose the emotion hidden underneath.

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