A Tempting Deal

St. Cecilia Catholic Church

He does not live here, far from it in fact, although he is here at night. It might not be unusual for a man of the church yet he is not even official. Then why is it that the man sitting in the front pew is even in the church at all? It is quite simple: vampires. It is not unusual for the undead to turn to the church for answers, or even conversation. Sadly not all men of the cloth can tolerate sitting through such things so he volunteers to help out as he can. Currently Elliott is sitting with perfect posture, his blue eyes focusing on the candles not too far away. It is quite soothing.

Years have passed since Isobel has set foot in a church. Centuries even. Since the night she was saved, and brought over to the vampire side of life, actually. Her previous church was far different from this, and has long since reverted to stone ruins back in her home town. For some reason, she feels compelled to enter the St. Cecilia Catholic Church. Her movements allow her to be silent as she enters, the lack of breath meaning her presence is not given away at all. Except perhaps for the eerie feeling of someone being watched. Turning to the candles, she lights one and sends up a quick prayer before moving toward the pews.

There is an eerie feeling of being watched but this is not unusual in the church. People come and go, and he is under the eyes of the Lord. Visitor or no, it is still quite relaxing inside of the church. He leans his head back for a moment before opening his eyes, the brilliant blues looking to the ceiling. Enough is enough, however, and even Elliott tires of sitting. Slowly the man stands, still not having seen Isobel yet. The way he's positioned she will be able to see his side profile. In the candlelight he may seem to be someone that he's really not.

Only the difference in the hair now stops her from crying out in surprise. Isobel carefully moves away from the pews, heading down the aisle with a silent step until she is directly in front of the man. Her own icy blue eyes glint eerily in the light of the candles, yet she says nothing. Waiting, her head bowed slightly, until she is acknowledged. Her attire is a modernized version of something worn when younger. The hem lifted as appropriate the time-period she is now in, but the bodice remains as it once was.

With the slightest of stretches he moves to actually accomplish something with his evening. When he does so he finds himself face to face with a young blond. It doesn't seem to startle him in the least even if he doesn't immediately react. She is examined closely as Elliott allows the candlelight to capture her beauty with each flicker. Were he any less devoted he may not be able to act properly or may think of improper thoughts. All he does is acknowledge her beauty to himself before nodding in greeting. "Good evening," he finally greets, a soft smile offered as he does so.

"Good evening." Each nuance, each movement, each little shift of his eyes are noted. Isobel steps aside. "Pardon me for blocking your path. Surely you wish to make your way home, based on the hour. I was honestly surprised to find the church open this late into the evening."

Perhaps it is a good thing that he is as respectful as he is. Even as she steps aside his eyes remain on her icy blues as best as they can. Elliott makes no effort to leave and keeps his movements to a minimum. The man is not afraid; he is simply acting as he always does. "This is a church. Not everyone can attend during business hours. It should not be restricted." He's wearing a tie, a dress shirt and dark pants. He's not a priest, at least not by appearances. "I personally prefer this hour. It's peaceful. Although, I might say that I've not seen many others wander in."

Icy blues lock onto his bright ones, and she just stares /through/ him. Isobel grins a little. So easy to control his mind, so easy to fall to it. Yet she is not Ysolde, and she will not take advantage of a man of the church. "I am inclined to agree, though others would not be so apt to, I fear. Your evening congregation is of course, avoiding vampire encounters, and rightly so. Half are likely afraid they will go up in flames, the other half do not feel that those who may only attend night services are anything but demons."

It would be a lie to say that he isn't fully open to whatever harms could befall him. This man is not a fighter nor a magician; he is but a man serving what he believes to be the greater purpose. He does not fear what she says in the least but he doesn't face her with anger or hatred. "If I am to lose my life by the hand of a vampire, then it shall happen. I respect their powers but I will not keep away those who feel the desire to come speak to the Lord." Elliott finally looks away from her but only to look at the room and it is very brief. "We are all his children, no matter what befalls us. I may be out of place to assume so, but you do not seem to be presenting me with any ill fortunes. You very well could, but I see no threat just yet."

"Were I to present you with ill fortunes, good sir, I would hardly blasphemy so much as to do so here within the church." Isobel's smile is sly as he tears his eyes away, knowing that even in the slightest she has just gotten under his skin. "Men of the cloth are so much braver now than they once were. It has been many years since I have set foot in a House of the Lord, and as I bear you no ill will, perhaps you will be kind enough to talk with me for a while."

"That is why I'm a gambling man. People seem to have lost their way these days but this is still holy ground. I would like to consider it sanctuary. For everyone. It has nothing to do with bravery. In fact, I believe I'm considered a fool." He's not even acting brave. Elliott shakes his head, then, the movements slight. "However I should note that I am also not a man of the cloth, yet." Now he inserts a welcoming smile. "That may change your mind, but if not I would be more than happy to speak with you."

Isobel moves once more, sitting in the pew before them. "Were I here to seek confession than perhaps my mind would easily be changed. I have come merely to enjoy the atmosphere, and choose a direction for myself." Hands fold neatly into her lap, and that is the last human movement that she makes. "Why have you chosen to take up the cloth. In this day and age, it is increasingly rare to get the calling."

His eyes continue to follow her but he does not. His intentions are not to seem interested as he is in no position to do so. "If I am intruding in your atmosphere, let me know. It would be a shame to distract from the wonders of such an environment." It may be the candles but he does almost seem to glow with this. Elliott pauses as he considers the question. "Why not? My life was rather set as I was to take over my father's business. While I'm told I would be good at it, it isn't what I wanted. Then I sought out this place for direction and I found that I would find my answers here."

"If I wished you gone, you would not be here speaking with me," Isobel points out. While glamouring may not be completely common knowledge, at least she hasn't done anything to scare him off. "It is strange to me that you were given the opportunity rather than being forced into it due to familial status, or being widowed." There is a still silence before she adds, "How noble of you to follow the call."

"Fair enough." This is said through the tiniest of chuckle, one of respect. "I was given no choice in my career. I did go to school and everything. I made the decision on my own. It wasn't agreed upon but I'm certain that my family will see that I had to do what is best for me. I'm not certain if anyone will take me seriously in my pursuits but I will continue to do what is best for myself, my Lord and humanity." This apparently includes vampires. "If I am welcomed here, then I am happy. If I am not, then just as well. Yet you mentioned possibly seeking direction of your own?" Elliott is not about speaking just of himself, after all.

"Is there a seminary around here then?" Isobel has not been in the city all /that/ long, and has not done extensive research into such things. Her stay was meant to be temporary, prolonged only by the fact that Valentine is here and he needed her assistance. "Ah, merely direction due to a… career change of sorts. Entirely complicated to go into, but needless to say I find myself in a highly unanticipated position and felt the need to avoid my usual haunts for the evening."

He finally moves to sit but is careful to give her the space he feels proper. She is a lady and not someone who may be accustomed to someone else being close. "There is. This is Dallas. You can find nearly anything that you need here." Elliott listens to her story and only when it is over gives a thoughtful expression. "So a sudden promotion of sorts? You say that it is unanticipated but is it unwelcome?" He's merely trying to speak with her rather than be curious.

"Were it unwelcome it would not have been accepted." After all, to obtain a position so young is quite the honor. Isobel sits still as a statue, just speaking with the man. "I have not explored much of the Dallas area, to be quite honest. My time here has been short, and a full exploration has not been possible as of late. When do you take up the cloth?"

The man bobs his head with her point, as if it should have been obvious. "I suppose I should have known that, but even I have fallen into positions before that weren't exactly desired." This could be why he's so used to wearing a suit and tie. "I don't mean to tell you what to do, Miss, but you should allow yourself the time to explore. Even if it is just the theatre district, you might find something that you like." Elliott looks away from her, his eyes focusing on some candles. "Not for several months. Proving myself is not so easy, even if I have enough to tend to this shift."

"The theatre district is extremely high upon my list." In fact there are plans to attend within the next few weeks for a bit of enjoyment. "There are perhaps several differences between us however. Were the position not desired, it is highly unlikely that it would have been offered to me at this juncture. Though it /does/ make things a tad more difficult." In that she now has to remain in Dallas, /and/ turn someone for her crimes against her own kind. "What difficulties are you finding in proving yourself to the seminary?"

"You won't be disappointed. If you are? You can hold me personally responsible." Not that he's even offered her a name yet. Elliott almost seems to sink into the pew even if his posture remains true. It appears that he's rather comfortable here. "Any promotion presents difficulties. It's just accessing if they're worth overcoming. I have no idea what's going on but it would seem as if they are." Now the tables are turned yet he doesn't even bat an eye. "I came into it late and haven't had a chance to have a family. I am a man, a young man, and there are doubts that I might stray. That and I have a few lessons that I need to complete."

"We were hardly given the choice," Isobel says, voice only remotely above a whisper. "They should be happy that the choice is your own, and you were not forced into it. Should you have wanted a family, you would have had one. Should you mean to stray, you will stray. God works in the most mysterious ways, allowing those that would have otherwise fallen to illness to survive the centuries. Should you stray from your current path, or are unable to complete your lessons, it is not though you are straying from God in His entirety. Only if you were to stray /after/ you become ordained would there be difficulties for you."

What she says catches his attention. "You weren't given a choice?" This is most interesting, indeed. "Times are different than they used to be. People don't just turn to the church like this without some sort of tragic event in their lives. I can't think of anything tragic. I just am looking for my best fit in the world." Only now does Elliott turn to look at her, his eyes soft as they seek hers. "That is precisely why I am not hiding from the world. Until I am ordained I wish to be exposed to as much as possible. I would much rather stray before such dedications are made."

"Things were not that simple then. When one could not present a child, and one was found without a husband and there were no other prospects, one was shipped to the nunnery and forgotten." That was not the only choice that was not hers, but that is neither here nor there. "Have you ever considered that the church may not be your best fit? Things have changed in the world quite recently, and perhaps that is what they are concerned with. Especially with you offering to cover late night hours." Isobel's icy blues just stare through him then, curious as to his response.

Even with her question he's more focused on what she's telling him. In that moment he looks her over again before shaking his head. "The thought of your true age is both frightening and fascinating at the same time. Being a gentleman, however, I will not guess." Finally Elliott decides that answering her question would be the polite thing to do. "It very well could be not my best fit. I am open to that idea which is why I am not complaining that I have yet to be ordained." He hasn't actually addressed the late night hour part of her question which can be taken as either ignoring it or not dismissing the idea. She may never know.

"I was born in the year of our Lord, thirteen-hundred-and-thirty-two." Isobel raises a hand to slide her bangs across her brow, and then falls still and silent for a long time. The fact that he does not answer her doesn't phase the young-looking woman. If she really wished the answer, she would just glamour him to get it. Hardly the point in pleasant conversation. "While I do hate to sway one from their path, might I suggest that you see what is out there before you take your priestly vows? It may be too late afterward, and you would hardly wish to live with a lifetime of regret."

She's offering it up all too easily. The way that he looks at her is almost as if he's seeing her for the first time. It passes quickly but even he cannot hide that surprise. "It would do me good to listen to your advice then. You would have to have learned some valuable insight into things to appear as well as you do now." It may appear as if Elliott is hitting on her but again his comments are vaguer than anything. "The Lord will always be in my heart, I agree. I propose a deal of sorts, if you are willing to allow it. If you allow me to show you some of Dallas, I will allow you to expose me to things that might sway me from my chosen path."

Isobel laughs. "I am not a temptress set before you," she replies to him. "Nor do I wish to sway you from your chosen path. Merely point out that since the Great Revelation, a great many things within your world have changed, and it would be a sad thing indeed were you not able to stand before God, knowing what temptations are present, and still commit yourself to his work." Her head is dipped in a small nod. "Though if you desire to show me around the city, I would be most obliged to your kindness."

The laugh is oddly reassuring. "I didn't mean to imply that you were. My apologies, my lady." Is that the faintest sign of embarrassment? "I simply meant that I might be more likely to see these temptations if I had reasons to be out and about. My evenings are mostly spent here and so I'm lacking the exposure I would need." Elliott knows that by showing her around he will be tempted to actually leave the church. "I almost insist." As he speaks, he moves so that he can remove his wallet. From there he extracts one of the business cards he had made while working for his father. He may not be active with the company but the contact information is still the same. The card is offered to Isobel. "Whenever you are free."

The card is taken, gently tucked away, and then the man is eyed. "Thank you, Mr. Hartigan. It is rare to find a true gentleman in this day and age, and one that merely means to do a good deed rather than request to become a vampire, or seek some form of political gain." While she has no card of her own to proffer - this vampiress does not work this way, she simply introduces herself. "Isobel Symon." However, after the introductions have been made, the vampiress takes her leave of the church, moving so swiftly he may not even notice she's gone for a while.

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