Whip It

Sheriff's Estate - The Vault

This room covers almost the entire ground floor of this house. The majority is taken up by a stylish reception area; three chunky, white leather couches places in a neat U-shape, with a low table in the centre. Another corner holds a modern, black table, six comfortable chairs placed around it as though for conference. The final feature is a bar, well-equipped behind it and with a pair of chunky fridge-freezers, containing a variety of synthetic blood. In one corner is a staircase, leading upstairs. On the same wall is a door through to the only area on this floor not part of this room, where sits a small bathroom and the route downstairs, a featureless door, metal constructed and lockable from one side only, though plated to fit with the design of the house.
Three walls are white, the fourth covered in ceramic panels to give some colour to the place. The floor is tiled, in a pleasant, neutral shade. Windows at regular intervals stretch from floor to ceiling, concealed blackout blinds above them. One wall bears a huge flatscreen television, and one aware of their surroundings will spot the speakers concealed at various points in the room. The general feel of this area is a clinical style, a blank, neutral canvas for whatever happens to be going on. Those who know Will generally refer to this area as The Vault, for the round pillars that stretch up to the roof.

Sunlight has faded, darkness sweeps across the skies and the dirty orange pollution of light makes the horizon glow dully with the light of a thousand fires, The Sheriff's estate is quiet, William Grant himself stretched along the length of a couch, wearing a chunky white bathrobe. He does not appear to be dressing himself today, or at least not yet.

His eyes are closed, and the sound system in the room is playing something delicate and below the level generally associated with human hearing picking it up properly. The delicate tinkle of a piano drifts across the room.

Isobel has been awake a little while. In fact, she is just finishing up a telephone call in an attempt to see about getting a little mini refrigerator installed in her room, so that she can stockpile blood. It's no TruBlood, but if she can get enough bagged blood she won't be so tempted to digest Will's visitors.

Coming up the stairs, she spots him on the couch. Isobel is silent for a moment, then she quietly moves to seat herself on another section of the U-shape. "Good evening, Master," she says, a soft hint of humor in her voice. "You have had several visitors while you have been busy. The girl left a written message, and the little dinner just wished to let you know he stopped by to check on your wellness."

"Good evening," Will responds, failing to either open his eyes or move at all. "Do either of these individuals have names? I should likely see the message."

"Ivan Fontane," Isobel says in regards to the male. "I did not get the name of the girl. One moment." She slips off of the couch, retrieves the letter just where it was left, and brings it over to him. It is a letter from Rose. "Here you are. She seemed pretty certain that you would protect her, or that she owed you, or a combination of the two." This time, she seats herself beside Will, smirking a little as she recalls the incident. "Are you breaking the laws now, Valentinus? Offering to protect two humans?"

"The Fontane boy will likely attempt to manipulate us, and soon. Be wary." Wil takes the letter, scanning it quickly as he continues to speak. "Would you be the one to bring me before the Magister?" he wonders, with a quirk to his voice that suggests he is somewhat amused. "The girl has only been protected by my advice, not my claim. In fact, that does remind me of something that could prove entertaining."

"Only should it become necessary," Isobel answers smoothly. "Though I am not here to tattle on you, it would just be illogical to lay such claims when they go against our ways." As he explains himself, she sidles against him, her arm going to wrap through his. "I have no doubt that the little dinner will attempt manipulation, and should he I would love to have your permission to seek retribution against him." Isobel licks her lips and turns enough to grin at her Maker. "He has piqued my interest a tad, and Erica said he was much fun."

With only a brief pause of consideration, she adds, "The girl I trust less than the little dinner. There was something in her eyes. An unsurety? A hidden hatred? I had more fun toying with her than analyzing her, I must admit."
<RP> Rose is looking for RP.

"If the boy throws a single crooked die with regards to me, I will give him to you, on the understanding that he suffers." Will tells her, as he flicks a wrist, the piece of paper in his hand twirling deftly to skid across the low table next to him. "It is possible she will turn against us, and if such occurs then we shall evaluate the problem. What are you doing for the next two weeks, Isobel?"

After a brief pause, he does continue. "What _were_ you doing, is perhaps a better question."

Isobel licks her lips again at the prospect. "Just how much would you wish him to suffer?" Though she primarily wishes to feed from Ivan, she will gladly help her Maker out while doing so. "I have no doubt that she will, considering her attitude toward our kind. As though we were beneath /her/." Eyes roll toward the ceiling, but his question catches her off-guard a little.

"I /had/ a shoot out in Austin, but that can be rescheduled or passed off to another supernatural employee."

She too pauses briefly. "What I will be doing is whatever you require of me, Master."

"Should he cross me," Will tells her, "then eventually he will die." The look thrown across to Isobel, accented by a hint of a nasty little smile would suggest that the suffering would be great. "However he is yet to do so. I am surprised the girl did not simply fear you," says he, "considering her past."

His attention shifts, drifting over the triad of empty synthetic bottles on the table. "I will be away for approximately two weeks. In my absence you will undertake the duties of the Whip. Upon my return, I shall be looking to fill the role permanently."

"The only thing that kept the girl and her attitude alive was the thought that it would upset you greatly were I to take care of her." Isobel can be perfectly candid about that.

"I will not ask questions, but if they request your presence is there anything in particular you wish me to convey to your… devoted followers?" While the idea of being his second in command doesn't /seem/ to phase her, inwardly she is dying to know why he has requested it of her.

"Perhaps she should be informed that I am unlikely to shed tears over her demise," says Will, "though as it stands, she has been mistreated by one of our kind, that I intend to identify and re-educate." Possibly via the medium of three feet of steel. Or perhaps a pop-up picture book. These things are not yet certain.

"I would greatly prefer a low profile until our enemies are identified and their goals understood," he says, idly. "I shall not be far away, I shall be undertaking my own investigation. It has become necessary for me to visit with royalty."

"I will gladly inform her of such," Isobel says, with a flash of teeth. Rose, for some reason, irked her. "Should any decide not to keep a low profile, do you wish me to take care of them for you?" She hides her fangs once more and looks instantly contemplative. In her silence, her thoughts are on the King of Texas. "When was the last that you met with him?"

"Do not inform her," says Will, "not yet. I would rather she remains useful to me, since she believes she owes favour I am perfectly happy to collect." The Sheriff's hands come together over his stomach, fingers intertwining.

"Only kill if the situation is without question, otherwise allow them to enjoy the hospitality of my basement until we can visit with the Magister. I do not wish any inflammation of hostilities with any party. Maintain a grip on your temper, my little Scottish firebrand." The hint of a smile flits over his lips. "It has been a while since I spoke with the King. Our infrequent discussions can be vexing."

That does get a tiny pout from her, though Isobel nods to show she understands what he's saying. "As you wish, Valentine. I will wait until you give me the go ahead, but I should love to be the one to tell her so."

His admission that it has been a while causes Isobel to shake her head a little. "I know nothing of your relations with him, though he seemed to dislike the mainstreaming a little when I chanced to meet him while he was visiting the Queen of Illinois." Isobel presses against him a little, though in a more friendly manner rather than sexual. "I will do my best to please you."

"We cannot afford to alienate people simply for the sake of it," Will tells her, idly reaching one hand across to rest gently, briefly on Isobel's leg. A fond touch. "Especially those who may help lead us to our foes. She may well be attacked again."

"King Kegan and I have a long-standing history," says Will, "for I have known him for some time, at least by acquaintance. He knows an uncomfortable amount about me, and generally tries to draw me out into a pantomime, whilst I attempt to maintain the formalities and not mis-step." That aside, Will allows the hint of wryness to draw into his voice. "I am entrusting you with great responsibility." Will hardly ever leaves town. "For while I am away, I have no doubt someone will attempt something."

"May I at least carry a message back to Isonzo and Nishimura? Explaining to them that the girl is once more in her right mind, and allow them the time you are gone to convince her to let one claim her? At least this way she would be somewhat under your control." Isobel does not move when he touches her, just remains as she is - comfortable in her position with him.

"I will keep your property safe, and guard it as I would my own." Even if that includes keeping the pitiful humans safe for the time being. "Should someone attempt something, I will try to ensure that your followers do not cause any added rift with humanity."

"You may," says Will, "but phrase it pleasantly. Allow them to understand that my opinion is now that she is of right mind. Or at least, I am open to the possibility. I fear she will not wish to be claimed."

Slowly, he allows a nod. "My priority is to ensure that retribution does not fall upon the innocent. When my response comes, it will be fierce and implacable; the streets will wash with the blood of the guilty. I do not permit such activity in my city."

There is a plan forming in Isobel's mind. One that will see to it that she may just get what she wishes as well. A sly little grin tugs the corner of her mouth upward. "She may wish the added protection if things are as bad as you fear."

His response garners a small nod. "Poetic, though hardly plausible. I doubt that there are so many people involved so as to wash the streets of the city with blood. Perhaps just your doorstop?"

"You are plotting something," says Will, "though as long as I am not implicated, there is no dissatisfaction between our kind and the girl remains unharmed and still willing to repay…" He trails off, permission somewhat implicit, if not explicit.

"There may be, and I am willing to end them all," Will says, levelly. "I am impressed you held your tongue in asking why I will see the King. I feel that he may know more about this group; they may be active elsewhere, and I will not circumscribe him. Besides, it has been a while."

"I am," Isobel admits, her grin just broadening a bit. "I shall consider it a little fun before Valentine's Day arrives." Which is all she is willing to say on the matter for now.

"Though I had wondered as to your reasoning, I figured that should you wish me to know you would tell me. Should you not wish me to know, any amount of prying would not get the information to me." Isobel is still for a moment before adding, "Just be on your guard, Valentine. I do not think that he is the man you remember him to be."

The Sheriff does not bothering commenting further on Isobel's little plot. Instead, his attention wanders, flitting over the single painting on the wall. "Kegan has not been a man for a very long time," says he, "nor does he need to be. He is royalty, and thus beyond any law, be it mortal or immortal." And doesn't Will hate that. "Rest assured that I shall approach him with my usual methods."

"See that you do," Isobel says, her voice shifting back to an icy neutrality. "I would hate to have found you, only to lose you again so swiftly." Though neutral, her intonation may just inflect that she fully suspects Kegan may try something. "Do you have any special instructions for the red head?"

"It would take much for you to lose me," says Will, levelly. The faint score of trepidation that skims along their mutual connection is there, barely. Seems someone actually does understand that there are powers greater than he. "I am not an unpopular creature in some quarters."

"I do not. She may do as she wishes, as always. If you encounter her, please tell her I should return within a brace of weeks."

There are many questions that Isobel wishes to ask in regards to the red head, but she just presses her lips together. "As you wish."

Understanding that there are powers far greater than herself is likely all that has kept Isobel alive so long. It is not a topic she likes broaching, but in certain circumstances it is necessary - circumstances like this one. "I have every confidence that you will return safely after your visit with the King, whether or not you obtain any helpful information."

"I am merely visiting my superior," says the Sheriff, with something like levity. Something like it, anyway. Okay, not much like it. Someone is not looking forward to this meeting.

"Is there anything else you need to ask of me before I go?" he queries.

"Do you love her?" Isobel lifts her head to watch his expression as she so boldly asks that. Waiting for him to draw away from her - expecting it even.

Then she waits quietly for his response before adding, "Will you be available by telephone whilst you are gone? Should the need arise to contact you, that is."

The expression remains impassive, though the sharp eye of Isobel likely picks up the tightening of his jaw. He does not draw away, instead simply answering, "I have always loved her, even when I ended her. Only her."

"I may be unavailable, dependant on where my investigation leads. Leave a message and I shall find it, eventually."

Isobel watches him silently, knowing he is full aware that it was not Ysolde that she spoke of. Yet, she will allow him that and plays off of it a little. "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." She slowly begins to draw away from him at that, expecting that he will not like what she has to say next. "She may have come to love you over time, but it was a selfish love, or she would not have sent your Child away, and told you she was dead. Still, you are courageous, and should not be afraid to be so again."

Messages she can leave, even if he does not answer. "As you wish."

The jaw tightens further, clenching and pressing out the line of his facial muscles. "Once is enough," says Will, "for one who was never destined to even have that." His voice is as tight as his jaw, teeth barely coming apart for the sound to leave his lips. "I will never forget what was done to you in the name of love. I will not accept the weakness to mine armour that comes with such feeling. It is beyond the realm of my duty."

"Nor will I forget what was done out of selfishness. That was /not/ love, /Will/," she says, his current name coming out as more of a disgusted noise. Isobel rises to her feet, then looms over him momentarily. "Then I shall not waste time protecting your human companion."

The body of the Sheriff flashes a dark line, coming to his feet and staring at Isobel, dark anger burning in his eyes. His hand has shifted, partly raised as though prepared to strike her with a backhanded slap, though slowly being lowered again to his side.

When his voice comes, it is a quiet whisper, neutral as Will is able, and scored through with an ancient accent. "You touch a nerve, Isobel," he tells her, as his mask falls back into place. "It would behoove you to let my love well alone, for some wounds do never heal." Quite who he is talking about is uncertain.

Isobel does not flinch at the reaction, she just stands there. She well deserves the slap, stepping across the line as she has. "No," she says gently, "some wounds never do." There are several which will never heal for her now, due to the simple fact that she cannot extract retribution for wrongs done to her due to those involved being already dead.

"Be mindful, and enjoy your time away." A pause, then a shake of her head. "By your leave then, Master?"

The Sheriff's response comes slowly, and levelly. "By my leave," he acknowledges, at a whisper.

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