The interview

Naturally the sun has already vanished beneath the city's horizon of tall buildings and smog filled air but this did not come with the assumption that the rest of world should be sleeping. These were the peak hours of the AVL's operation. It's highly decorated members occupied their offices spaces to prepare for the agendas of this current evening. Everyone had identification badges that granted access to specific floors. Visitors were given their own special black and white lanyards and carted around with someone of employment leading the way. The receptionist's desk was set smack in the center of the AVL's grand lobby. Footsteps echoed beyond as people passed through the front doors and held their badges up to the card reader. It beeped then clicked, signaling the right of passage to that specific person. Occasionally a few beeps were heard here and there as people came in and out of the doors that led to and from the lobby. Behind the desk was a bright eyed red-checked human female awaiting anxiously to greet their visitors.

Right on cue, well, a good ten minutes too early since Josephine had no desire to show up late for this appointment, the human walks into the lobby, heels ticking away on the tiles after she took a moment to the side of the main entrance to take it all in - and to search for her press card in a brown leather shoulder bag that doesn't quite match her attire. Then again, when so far away from home, you can't prepare for everything. When it's her turn to adress the receptionist, she does so with a businesslike smile and a brief introduction, here to see Braeden MacKeirnan as per appointment. While she waits, the aura of burned tobacco she came in on, dissipates a little. Underneath a hint of scotch, yesterday's.

It says Cassie on her badge. The same photo image pinned to her chest matches unironically the bubbly sprite manning the front desk. "Welcome to the Headquarters of the American Vampire League!" She greats the non-employee just before a small introduction to the reason of their visit as fake nails click feverishly to the keyboard. /Jo-se-Josefe no no. Josephine./ For a moment the lobby is quiet as many had already checked in for the start of their evening. /Oh she's going to see Braeden. He's got a great smile. Too perfect. I wonder if people back then had dentists? Should I make an appointment? Oh my god is there something in my teeth!?/ Cassie's hand moves up to brush against her bubblegum painted lips as the computer before her blinked and a visitor's card was soon printed out on the machine behind her. "Is this like an interview? For a newspaper?" Valley southerners had disgusting and airheaded accents.

The woman pinches the bridge of her nose, wrinkling it a little as she tries to stay focused and Josephine just can't help herself, just a little too psyched after having to deal with the remainder of a massive hangover during the daytime, and the first more important interview of her stay about to present itself. She tries to catch Cassie's attention with a finger pointing at her own teeth, smiling, "Magazine, but close enough. Cassie? You've got a little something…" Her accent marks her across the ocean and up north, as the press ID stated.

The horrified expression wasn't too off as the girl quickly grabbed a nearby mirror, yes it was on her desk already, to inspect and then remove the imperfection. Afterwards Cassie would take the Visitor's card and slip into a plastic lanyard for the visitor to wear. "Thanks." She murmured after satisfied that nothing else upon her visage had been in disarray. "That's really cool. I hope it's a positive piece. People keep wanting to find anything wrong with the vampires but you know, people are just judgmental against things they don't understand. Like the gays. I mean, they are God's creatures too right? I mean the bible doesn't mention anything like Satan creating things only God. So that means God made the vampires too. They're not all bad, like people. God doesn't make rapists but we have choice like to do things." Her shoulders bounce up and down as she holds the plastic lanyard out for the woman. "Here's your badge Josephine. If you use it at the elevator it will give you direct access to Braeden's floor. No where else though so like you can't sneak off. There's cameras everywhere and Oh!" As she blathers away the girl points to the women's neck. "Is that aluminum or silver?"

There's very little for Josephine to do but to listen to Cassie waterfalling, an automatic smile keeping the corners of her mouth lifted, though the look in her eyes might come closer to feeling damn, damn tired. Rubbing fingers over her temple, taking a deep breath, she answers, "That's like, you know, not even sure. A gift."

The badge is handed off and Cassie reaches under her wide receptionist's desk to retrieve a plastic container of some kind. The lid is popped off and the belly is held towards the woman. "Better to be safe than sorry!" Her bright smile gleams against the soft bulb lighting. "Silver is not allowed here."

Alright, not something Jo saw coming, but she's not here to make a point and defend the basic humans rights of silver. After a moment's effort, the chain and anchor slide into the container, even while she likes to know, "Why's that exactly?"

"It's part of the sickness they have. Silver irritates their skin. It burns them. Like someone allergic to bees or honey or sunlight." When the necklace is deposited Cassie then closes the lid and tapes a label on it with Josephine's full name. "You can have this back when you are ready to leave. If I am not here just flash your cute I.D. and the receptionist will return your necklace to you. It's really pretty." She says as it's tucked into a locked drawer of her desk. "Now when you get off on the fifth floor the doors will open to another lobby area with another receptionist. Just mention you're here for the meeting with Mr MacKeirnan and she'll point you in the direction. He's expecting you so, have fun!"

Josephine chuckles softly, "Will do, thanks Cassie." But the moment she has her back turned to the woman, Josephine faintly shakes her head, breathing deep to ground, center, focus, and see if this here card actually works on the elevator. It does, of course and she's off! Up, up and away, with just enough time to check the notebook she's taken out of the shoulderbag by the time she reaches the 5th floor. Again a moment of perusal before the heels click over another set of tiles.

The fifth floor carries the qualities of any office setting filled with high cubicles and people manning the phones. With the media attention surrounding the entire vampire exhibition no doubt a whole team would be needed to manage the inquiries and awareness. Not a single person strayed away from their task to view who came off the elevator next, just the receptionist who was a polar opposite from Cassie. This was Velma and she took one look at Josephine then her eyes returned to the pair of computer screens before her. "Around the corner and down the hall to a pair of beige doors, his name is above them."

"Thank you." Josephine actually means it this time, the deep breath she takes as she starts around the corner, down the hall to those beige doors, a little less strained then earlier. But just another just to be ready, right before she knocks, twice. Efficient.

The door opened too soon as a breeze of cool air left Braeden's office just in the middle of her second knock. His eyes blink and a loose smile is framed on his face. "You're prettier than the last interviewer, the years were not kind on -that- woman. It was probably better she stuck to writing columns instead of aspiring for television." The door is opened further to permit her entry as Braeden increases the gap between the two by heading towards his television which was currently displaying a Spanish Soap Opera on Telemundo.

If it was his intend to catch a journalist off guard, to make her momentarily speechless, to… Well, he succeeded, Josephine needing a moment to compose herself, before she walks into the office, turning to close the door behind her, "I, uhm… You must've missed me when I woke up this morning and broke the mirror just by staring into it," the woman, blurts, halfway under her breath, then turns back to him to show an amused grin, her ego apparently not stroked at all, a hand extended towards him, "Josephine van den Bosch, a pleasure, Mr. MacKeirnan, I've been looking forward to our appointment." Her hand is cool with the energy needed to warm it still occupied with cleaning the alcohol from her blood.

Braeden uses the remote to kill the power to his television just as they were about to reveal who put Sophia in the hospital why the person had chosen to run off with her cat and along with her life savings, in case he was not the only one familiar to the foreign dialect. With the remote set gently onto a nearby table, the door automatically drew to a soft close as he neared the woman once again. "I must have." He idly comments as the gesture is returned, cool matching against his faint warmth, the same hand then motions towards the vacancy of a sofa not too far away. "Is that so Ms or Mrs. Van den Bosch? What is this piece titled?"

"Josephine, or Miss if you insist," the woman fluidly follows his lead, experience or proper upbringing having her wait with sitting on the sofa until he's ready to as well. The mild smirk curving her lips is decidedly amused as she fills the time with explaining, "Could be anything, still, really. I've arrived just a few days ago and am still trying to spin the best angle for the series. It's not just one article you see, we're taking our time to relate the entire stage, if you will."

She could be standing for a long time as Braeden doesn't come to join her. Instead he remains standing with both hands tucked into the front pockets of his pants. "Such as a documentary or possibly a human interest story." He comments idly while staring at the woman. His blinking is timed naturally, even the sway of his stance is akin to a mortal; shifting from one foot to the other. He studied them well. "What is it that you have to offer Miss van den Bosch? We are approached on numerous fronts from journalists seeking to have their hands buried in the AVL's trials and tribulations. To have an insider's voice revealing the lives of the vampires, how we live, how we choose to live, how we interact on a day to day basis. What is our driving goal and most importantly the 'whys'. Why should we bother to give you our time above someone else?"

That seems to come as a bit of a surprise to her, her teeth finding her bottom lip to nibble on during his explanation, her arms now folded, though still patiently, until she can finally feel the space to speak up, "I was of the understanding that our appointment now was for an interview, Mr. MacKeirnan. I'm on a limited schedule here, I don't have time for preliminary talks leading to a final agreement to get together for an interview in three weeks time. As I explained to your staff before, I work for one of the leading magazines in Europe and intend to write a series of articles in which we shine a light on how America is dealing with vampires 'jumping the grave', if you will. I'd very much like to do that from all angles, including yours, polished though it is as some say…" She trails deliberatly. Was that a first question?

"An interview yes. Your interview." Braeden smiles then moves to claim a vacant seating near but not on the same sofa as Josephine. "We've read your works. We are very familiar with the organization you work for however the final yes on whether or not we would agree to share with you depends on a one-to-one encounter. I know what /your/ magazine offers. I asked what is /your/offer. What do you stand to gain and what is it that you will stand to lose after our deal has been made." He is seated now with one leg crossed over the other in a manly but proper fashion. "Everyone is always looking out for number one. The magazine is looking out for high ratings and huge profits. The average journalist is looking for recognition and of course that sky rise apartment or that flashy new Lexus. The late model. Humor me."

There was a flash of indignation in her eyes as she sits down right there with him, the woman working hard to swallow the bruising of her ego. "My offer is to allow you equal space in what you're here to do, voice the official opinion of the vampire community. 'Hoor en wederhoor', ehm, I'm here to tell the developing story from each and every angle, balanced. Am I that mistaken in thinking that's what your organisation is working for…" Tongue momentarily in cheek, she studies him in silence for all of two seconds, "My gain is my regular paycheck, Mr. MacKeirnan. Don't mistake me for American ambition." Far from sitting back relaxed and placant, she's active on her seat, back straight, all business.

Listening, Braeden doesn't move a muscle as she is given the opportunity to humor him. From the blank expression on his face it would seem he hasn't been. Brows knit as she is given another look over from head to toe. Air is sucked in through the nostrils heavily before his voice kills the silence between them. "A pity. I had hoped you had more personality. You could have said you desire the money for your dog's surgery and I would have been sympathetic. I like dogs. Most of them." He exhales, "I suppose it is going to be one of /those/ interviews then. Very well. " Braeden lifts from seat as if to increase the distance between them. "You're correct in stating that the AVL does seek and need equally balanced opinions in the media. Many of it is negative or speculative in waiting for the next horror encounter with spike the news ratings with one vampire gone wry. Our goal is not to change people's minds in accepting us but increasing their limitation on tolerance. I dislike country music but I will not kill someone if they choose to sing it in my presence. In stating that, I can suggest for you someone to conduct your interview with. " He's now moving towards his desk that has a list of his contacts.

Soft laughter, hosting a fair share if disbelieve follows his back as she rises, but most certainly doesn't follow him all the way to the desk. Just past the sofa will do for now. "Had I been interested in your 'Too perfect smile'", and it sounds a lot like she's quoting someone with a certain accent at a certain receptionist's desk downstairs, "Maybe I would've spinned you a melodramatic story to get your juices flowing. As things are, I don't need my personality to get in the way of what I need to work with, thank you very much. I don't care if it bores you to your toes, but I want what you have and you want what I can do, so lets just call things as we see it, neh." Is she getting worked up? Oh yes, and today she lacks the self control to mask it properly.

He's still flipping through his list of contacts as Josephine exhales her retort to his insult. Maybe he's found a name as Braeden is plucking a pen from a container of many others and scribbling to a white pad of paper. "Incorrect." He says while flipping his eyes between the pad of paper and the contact information listed in his black book. "Your personality is very much a part of writing, it only enhances the poetry of your words, it coasts the context with experience and passion otherwise your profession would be better sought out as a writer for dictionaries or encyclopedias." He dots the I's and crosses his T's.

"As I see it a good journalist isn't detached from her work. The experience is shared between the resource and the scripter. Whether you work for a magazine, a newspaper, a small Podunk town in Hershey, Pennsylvania or a major operating magazine tribune based in London or New York city. The way it stands this piece would not just take notes and form opinion on the surface of our mission but the nuts and bolts and the factory that makes our glue would be scrutinized. For that I can have a video camera follow one of us around and send it to you. However as your supervisor had stated, this resource gathering could span over the time of weeks, months if need be. Why on earth would I condone having an interview with a rock? This is an opinion piece is it not? Gathered from both sides of picket lines. You wish an opening into the life of our struggle you should show life yourself to guarantee what we are doing is real and not just some expose to demean our entire work with someone less enthusiastic or lifeless than we are." Braeden rips the piece of paper with the contact information scribbled upon it in black ink. "Here, he is a good candidate to follow and speak with. He is just as boring and one sided as you are. Unless, you want to prove me wrong Josephine?"

Well, he wanted personality? How about fury hot enough to shade her eyes a hint darker, if he can make it out since she's narrowed the gap between lashes to a fraction. Or anger radiating enough to have her press her lips thinly together, makes those long, slender fingers curve into a ball and shake with rapidly fading control. Or maybe the glimpse of justice she feels as an idea dawns, and the pressure of lips is lifted to curl them in a smile too sweet. With a healthy dose of venom. "You want boring and one sided?" She holds out her hand, "Be /very/ careful what you wish for."

"No, that is not what I want. I thought I was clear on that?" His demeanor is completely opposite; utterly calm but feigning a disappointment. "If you are to be a cut, copy and paste writer why not pair you up with someone who will say exactly the right things to suit your article? At least that is what I am getting from you. " His hand holds out the contact information of the one sided vampire suggested, when and if she would reach for the paper it would be retracted as he adds, "I may change my mind if you can tell me your own reason for wanting to be up close and personal with vampires. Journalism is a great cover for wanting to be biten." He smiles warmly.

That doesn't exactly bring her in better spirits, but she isn't exactly taking the piece of paper either. "Oh, fuck this," she tells him, jaws locked, "You want to know why I took on this assignment?" She smacks his hand to the side, forgoing on the offer, "Because I wanted easy for a change. People trying to build something instead of raiding refugee camps and raping four year olds. Trying to overcome their fears, at least trying to instead of giving into it and bashing their neighbours' brains in with a machete, no matter if there's a baby being breastfed. So you know what?" This time she actually spits on his lovely, shiny shoes, right before she turns and paces towards the door, "Screw you."

His eyes lower to the excrement shining as a runny wad down the bevel of his right shoe as he doesn't seem in any hurry to pause her exit. "I've never had hate sex before. I've been told it's great." He comments mostly to himself while reaching for the tissue box, most likely unused ever by himself, and lifts his foot onto the chair. "Was that so hard to admit to Josephine? Do we need to go through this charade in order to have the truth between us? Oh turn around and turn down your rage meter by a few notches."

She's almost near the door when she realises, "You're lovin' this?" Outraged, she looks over her shoulder, "You're fuckin' lovin' this, son of a bitch…" She opens the door, but it doesn't do the otherwise /so/ satisfying crash into the wall when opened with violence thing.

One of Braeden's hands are on his desk as the other is wiping away a mucin treasure Josephine had left behind, intentionally. The door was then pulled to a quiet close without another soul on the side. From a study in the room the man could have pressed a button attached to a mechanism that opened and closed the door. A moment of honesty would debunk that theory. "A little, but the theatrics could have been avoided if you were forthcoming in the beginning. Now, go have a seat and we'll continue. I'll even rip apart this piece of paper." The white slip is waved in the air for emphasis.

Isn't it frustrating when things happen that you don't see coming. Jo kicks the door once, hard, forgetting she doesn't wear the usual boots and when she turns around, those angled jaws are clenched even tighter then before, though the pain is soothing her fury /that/ much. "What makes you think I even want to include your side of the story anymore," she demands to know, "Or maybe I should just add a little frame at the bottom of the page," and here she illustrates with her hands in the air, "AVL - Burns bridges well."

"Because you know as well I do that your magazine company wants this article and that they were one of the chosen to do it. They may assign someone else but we could say we won't work with anyone but Miss van den Bosch which would put you in a very tight and possibly uncomfortable position. They may offer you more money to agree to write the article and so forth and so on." He begins ripping up the slip of paper and drops the pieces into a nearby paper shredder. "What I want is for us to have equal ground here. When you ask me a question I will answer it honestly. I will expect the same vice versa or else we'll be right back here again with you wanting to spit, piss and rant with a gallant exit out the door. Are we in an agreement?"

Josephine stares at him, brows raised in inquiry - if there was anyone doing chosing, she sure wasn't in on it. Running her hands over the side of her face, then gripping her hair briefly, she closes her eyes and inhales sharply. Eyes open, hands fall down to fold with arms and she has a measure of composure back. Never mind the testing twist of her right foot to see how painful that kick actually was. "/What/ is the slightest bit equal here." Human - vampire. Door - button. "Seems to me all you've been working on is getting the higher ground." Not willing to wave a white flag around, for sure.

"Fair enough." He shrugs as if he's already considered a few outcomes of his next decision. "The floor is yours, do with it as you will. Choose to leave or choose to stay, I'll resend from my soap box." Braeden gestures to the space between them as he plucks the remote from off the table and moves towards the seat that faces his television. It's not turned on but the remote is held close by as he stares to Josephine in waiting for what will leave her lips next.

A stretched pause in which she just observes him, even closes her eyes at some point, maybe to listen for clues. "Damn," she decides at last, "Wish you lot didn't keep to yourself so much, never seen, well, people so private." A deep sigh, then she tilts her chin to at least hold on to a fraction of pride, "Alright. What are you offering."

His brows raise at her first statement but he doesn't offer a remark to it. "I'm offering one full access pass into my night to night dealings. Where I go, you go. The only way for you to have an accurate assessment of our reason for being here and our reason for pushing this agenda is to see what I deal with every day. You'll be in attendance of my meetings, conferences, press releases, investigations and so forth."

Ooh, won't Cassie be jealous… "You think you're interesting enough?" Asked dry enough.

"I could be." Braeden smiles as he eyes his watch. "We can begin tonight if you are prepared." His finger presses to the remote and flips to a certain channel where the audience is chanting 'Jerry! Jerry!'. The remote is returned back onto the table and the Vampire settles in attentively to an episode of Springer. "Real people with real problems." He points to the television before returning to appear locked on the station.

Josephine barks a laugh, there's no other way of putting it, "Maybe. But no Jerry Springer. That's a three foot line I'm drawing right there." It's also the first time she studies him from head to repolished toe, "For how long."

"We'll give a week." He answers as his eyes are still glued to the television. "If the situation is working out for you, we'll arrange a more lengthier time. If not, then no hard feelings against your magazine company. Oi, why would you bother to marry a woman that sleeps with your brother?!" He yells to the flat screen. "Then we'll start tomorrow night. Without Springer."

"Thank you." Her alto curves it so that the words have little meaning to gratitude and a world of meaning as to his taste in tv. Must really dislike Jerry Springer, as she returns to the door and tests the handle.

He's not by his desk so it would open and close with ease, at least to her knowledge. "'till Tomorrow Josephine." He says without turning his back, clearly addicted to the talk show and not wanting to miss a second of it. "Get a lot of rest, you may need to change your sleeping schedule."

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