Layin' Down Da Law

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.

Since yesterday's trip downstairs in search of something to drink didn't end overly graceful, Susan makes sure she's out and about even earlier today. Not too early to arrouse suspicion about her waking hours, but it's stretching it, the last rays of the sun only barely touching the other side of Earth. On tiptoe she goes down, peeking around the corner to at least make sure there's not a sign of Clarence. And she intends to make it a quick trip, hurrying to the bar, grabbing three random bottles of blood to uncap and pop in the microwave. Still, it's her hurry. Which still is a far cry from anything blurry.

Measured, silent footsteps draw up the stairs, Will around and moving as soon as he awakens, as is his custom. The door to the downstairs area swings open at a touch, revealing a figure wearing only a pair of slim black shorts and a luxurious, fluffy bathroom in gleaming white. William Grant, vampiric royalty, enters the Vault at an easy pace, face a usual mask of expressionless, and hands empty. Eyes alight briefly on the movement in the room, though he does not acknowledge her presence yet; simply walking towards the kitchen area.

Maybe too intend on uncapping the bottles and setting the microwave to be instantly aware of company, but as soon as the machine softly whirs, the petite woman hesitatingly looks over her shoulder, a defensive glare already in place, arms folding tightly about her in protection. But there's no Clarence. And though the glare fades, her wariness tells him she isn't entirely certain his presence is any more reassuring. At a total loss how to react -nobody brought her up to speed with anything resembling protocol- she simply nods.

"In privacy," Will says, his tone idly amused, "a form of bow or curtsy is traditional upon first meeting with royalty." It's not entirely clear if it's a rebuke, an invitation, or simply a factual reminder. He does not stop in his walk, still heading towards the fridge. Attention does not deign to move towards her, Will instead using only peripheral vision to regard her. "Given the circumstances, I am willing to forego the usual, verbal mode of address. You are healing well?"

The result, at least, is instantaneous. Without even a sign of annoyance or ruffled feathers, Sue dips through the knees briefly, bowing her head meanwhile. It's the same greeting she used to give when she was still alive, though never given to royalty. And since she's British, royalty is deeply instilled in the cultural gene. When he nears the fridge, she steps asside, allowing him any and all room he needs. A slower nod, with a mild pursing of lips tells him that yes, she's healing. It might be shame, it might be insecurity, or even proper decorum that has her looking away, to the floor. Hm, toe nails. Will you look at that…

Finally, Will stops, and turns to face the other vampire. He allows a returning nod, an acknowledgement of her curtsy. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Susan." One hand snakes out, opening the fridge to claim a trio of red bottles, synthetic of varying types. "I hope this does not cause future animosity between yourself and immortal authority. Punishment exacted, problem resolved. All that remains is for you to seek method or means by which you avoid future transgressions, thus giving the Magister no option but to pass sentence upon you."

The microwave sounds and the woman is only too happy to empty it, hoarding her three bottles and even taking a first step away from the bar, by looks and appearances ready to leave him to his own devices. His words, however, stall her departure and the set of her jaw stiffens, outrage first widening, then distrust narrowing her eyes. Defense, thy name is Susan Baker. But since she can't speak, there's no verbal denial.

The look that levels on Susan is ancient, penetrating and emotionless, no hint of either joy or irritation, an unreadable mask. "So quick to anger for one so young," he tells her, letting a hint of mockery filter into his voice. It leaves, replaced instead by a serious, level tone - businesslike. "Perhaps you will understand that I am offering you opportunity, not rebuking or threatening you. If you play nicely with authority, play by the rules, then you will find your star rising. The Sheriff is a potent ally in immortal politics, myself perhaps even more so." He leaves the alternative out, for the moment, though it's fairly implicit.

He has her full attention and the message he gives is not given to deaf ears. He can tell by the way she's nearly visibly weighing her options. In the end it's indignity that wins out and she walks over to the bar to deposit breakfast and search for a piece of paper, a pen. Even if she has to open every drawer in this kitchen not hers. If he wants an answer, he'll have to wait.

Will turns back to the microwave, content to place his own three bottles of blood within, and start it buzzing with electric heat. Time is something he has in excess, so he turns once more in place, leaning languidly against the side. It's somewhat unlikely he's going to find something for her. There is paper and pens in at least one of the drawers.

Which she'll find in the end, closing it roughly after she's taken it out. The pain and exhaustion are taking their toll on her selfcontrol, but that should be no news by now, not in this estate. The pen prints deep on the paper with the force she writes with. Uncultured handwriting, from an uncultured woman. Figures. In the end she holds up the paper and if he can make out the words, he'll read, "I have no problem with correctional decisions IF it's called for. But I'll … thank for the honour of being made an example because of some overzealous nutter." There's a word in there she started to write, but then decided to stripe through, a lot. Still, it looks somewhat like 'royally'.

Will allows her the time, and reads the paper with a quiet flick of pale eyes across it. The microwave announces completion of its duty with a quiet noise, so Will turns his back to the woman to open it, drawing forth his required blood. "Regardless of your belief of your guilt or lack thereof, the Magister's decision is final, and to defy it or to continue to let it affect you is foolhardy." He spins on a heel, a bottle held delicately between finger and thumb, at the neck. His tones waxes more pleasant, conciliatory. "Look forwards, Susan, to your glorious future. Else, you will forever look back to a humiliating past. A past that will inevitably bring you only more pain."

Susan tilts her head sideways, wordless telling him, "That's all…" She shakes her head then and bends over the paper again, this time writing down even more urgently, "I KNOW that. Don't you thin-" But again she decides against it and strikes the second sentence. Starts again, "The Magister will change his mind if someone would just bother to ask ME what happened." She holds it up for him to read, though she can't hold the noteblock still, shifting her weight around with the frustration in her system.

Slowly, Will lifts the bottle of synthetic to his lips, draining it in a single long draught as he awaits the writing. When finished, he places the bottle gently on the side. Eyes once more flick over the paper, fast eyes easily taking it in despite the movement.

"You are incorrect. Even were you somehow to provide irrefutable proof of mitigating circumstance, even innocence, then it would change nothing." Still calm, and easily so. "Your past history notwithstanding, you will garner only a further reputation as a troublemaker, a dissenter who is attempting to make their Magister and Sheriff appear weak. I could easily interpret that as a direct assault upon me. Perpetuating the issue would cause only further grief, and only for yourself. Soon, you will be healed, and the situation forgotten." Another bottle into his hand, and he begins to drain it. Quite a lot of blood so early, it would seem.

Halfway through his words, she's shaking her head and a hand comes up, the woman now soundlessly wording, teeth firmly clenched, "I. Would. Not. Do. That." And again she shakes her head, big blue eyes helplessly pleading with him, though she can feel her shoulders sagging. Her own drinks stand aside forgotten, cooling down.

The King simply looks at her now, apparently unmoving in the face of a pleading girl. He uses the most penetrating of his looks, ancient and stunningly direct; a look that often stops passers-by in their tracks. When he speaks, his tone drifts once more towards pleasant, towards a nicer way of doing things. "Then what," he asks, "do you intend to achieve with this?"

Susan shifts uncomfortably under that stare and tries to give herself a pose by picking up one of her bottles when she realises it. She opens her lips -not her teeth- to word something, but his question has her rethinking. In the end she points at the one thing that can be fixed, the small silver band around her ankle. Then she shrugs and doesn't lift her eyes, sadly looking at the floor again, turning that one bottle around and around. He can see her swallow. Biting back something?

The King shakes his head, slowly but surely. "In my spectacularly humble opinion, attempting to see to its removal would be a poorly judged action. Maintain hold of your temper, play by the rules set in front of you, and the band will eventually be removed."

The tightening set of her lips is the first to tell him of her anger returning, when she lifts her head again the darkening blue eyes relaying the same sentiment. But it's an anger without direction, simmering and boiling with no outlet. And as a result frustration rises with it. In the end she shrugs and with a devil-take-all sigh, she writes down a few words, pushing the block over to him and with another nod turning in order to pick up the rest of her meal. What she's written is simple, in smaller handwriting than the previous words, "There's nothing humble about you."

Will watches impassively, eyes scanning the paper. Then a smile touches at his lips, though it's entirely and completely without friendliness. "Indeed there is not." Then he is a white flash of movement, hand lifted and speeding at his utmost and terrifying speed towards Susan in a vicious backhand, aiming to stop it barely a hair's breadth from her face. His voice drops to a low, deadly whisper, each word bitten off to brutal effect; an ancient predator whispering the doom of his foe. "Do not take my pleasantry for weakness. I would rather see us to an amicable solution, but I will not accept impertinence of deed or word in my presence. Mask. Your. Emotion."

Susan feels her eyes go wide with the sudden shock of it, right before a sharp hiss of air sucked in reveals her fear of him. Mask her emotions, she cannot. "Was. Not. Insult," she words with stressed exageration, though jaws clenched, not daring to reach out for the noteblock or the pen. Selfcontrol fraying even more, she swallows again, biting back the tears she feels rising with the inability to vent one way or the other. A darkening red is already cornering in her eyes, nervously flicking over his face.

His face is implacable, though a dark gleam remains to his look, a ferocious smile savouring the fear. "You are excused," he murmurs now, perhaps allowing her the knowledge of his irritation - looking to leave his presence without permission. Suddenly he's moving once more to turn his back upon her, stepping quietly towards his final bottle of synthetic. "Do not jeapordise your immortality. It would be a waste to see you executed."

Nearly losing one of the cooled bottles, a light dawns deep in her silent gaze and there's a muffled tinkling as she tightens her cargo while dipping another curtsy. To his back. But still it lasts longer than the first she gave him. She even adds a silent, "My. Apology," while rising again. Turn she will though, feet slapping on the floor in her haste to be back in the relative sanctuary of the guest room she's staying in. And probably won't leave for the remainder of the day. First the stairs though. And here's to praying there's no Clarence waiting halfway up.

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