A Brewing Storm

The wings of night are long settled over the skies of Dallas, the stench of a potential storm riding high through the midnight air. The touch of the witching hour has brought Dallas to quiet, even the usual nightspots running quietly, subdued and mitigated.

The Vault is silent, utterly so. William Grant, King of Texas in temporary residence, lounges on a couch as is his wont, stretched languidly across the light leather. Dressed in total black, dark jeans and a simple tee, his feet are bare for the moment, one resting atop the other in a pose of gentle relaxation. He is, however, deep in thought.

A whisper on the night's air. A hint of something that stirs through the evening sky, riding on storm clouds. There is a pull that brings the old veteran from his path south, changing his direction to the more northerly portion of the province. State. They call them states.
It's not a summons, no. Not in the sense that Marius Schlachter knows them. It's.. a warming. A presence felt that stirs the memories, for the good in that it brings the thrill of battle and the slaying of foe to the fore.
Looking upon the manse door, Marius raises a fist and with a good hit, strikes it once, twice.. and thrice.

A whisper of something brings Will to attention, a flash of dark shadow bringing him to his feet in the barest instant. A flash of darkness passes through his eyes; a preparation for deadly battle. It passes after a moment, the momentary twitch settles and he turns, voice lifting to carry through the door. A single word, devoid of passion or emotion. "Enter." He stands motionless, though the language of body suggests relaxed.

There is no thunderclap, no lightning strike upon Marius' entrance. The opening of the door is confident but not violent. The stride in is certain, and cool, crystal blue eyes searches the room for that which had tapped him. It is there.. right then that the vampire strikes a pleased smile. To see his brother in arms once more, after the centuries? Did this portend battle to come?
Crossing the room in great strides, by mid-room, his voice booms a heavily German-accented word, "Valentinus."

"Marius," replies Valentinus, that emotionless mask faltering into the beginnings of a smile; feral though it is. "It has been too long." His stance changes not, though the pale eyes that settle on the other vampire are penetrating. "Your brutal hands were in my thoughts but two days ago."

Pausing in his step, Marius cants his head, his expression curiously interested. "Oh?" The pleased smile shifts into one more dangerous, but not any less pleased. There's promise.. and hope. It's one that knows and can feel the blood pulsing through his hands, the wailing of the tormented, and…
"Tell me there is more work to be done."

"There is always work for a cold-hearted brute," Will tells him, dark humour etched in his voice, as he turns towards the kitchen to take his customary quiet, measured steps in the direction of the fridge. Old blood and old violence in mind brings his thirst to the fore. "The Sheriff of Dallas has need for a leg-breaker, a Whip in her hands to quell the insufferable onslaught of rebellion and misdemeanour. I shall introduce you to my child, Isobel, who may choose to take you to the task." He reaches for the fridge door, turning head to shift an inquiring look to the other; an invitation for synthetic, at the very least.

Marius inclines his head at the moniker, an acknowledgment of something of which he has great pride.
His hands remain at his side, and he stands motionless even as his sword brother moves away and crosses the room. "The Sheriff.."
Now a step is taken in the direction Will had moved, and a question comes forth. If it was from a breather, it could almost be described as 'eager', though the vampire keeps his tones even, even if there is the thrill of potentials that lie beneath. "The chattel needs to learn their place?" He's almost disappointed that something so minor could be suggested. 'Leg breaking'?
"You do not mean that I would be reduced to a two-bit oaf that knows not the difference between the hilt of his sword and a stick?"
Synthetic is disgusting. It lacks.. a great deal. Still, one kills in the presence of his sword brother, and one drinks deeply. With the barest of nods, he acquiesces. "Thank you."

A pair of bottles are withdrawn, and slipped into the microwave for heating. "The Sheriff," says he, turning to face the other man, "needs a second in command. A sword to bear in her hand while she talks sweetness and light, a psychotic fiend of unknown factors to strike fear into the rebellious." Head tilts, lips purse to consideration. "No oaf. You would serve as the right hand of Dallas. The monster in the darkness who obliterates that which displeases authority. Assuming she consents to have you." Ding. Two bottles withdrawn, and one flashed sideways, thrown towards Marius with a speed beyond that of mortal capacity to catch, but easily within the remit of an older vampire. Just testing.

There, there are the words that he had heard centuries ago in the fury of battle. Monster in the darkness ready to step from the shadows simply to destroy that which annoys them, buzzing like a fly. They are the words of the warrior that he'd respected and held… that called to him as he drew near to the estate.
The smile turns hungry for renewed battle, and reaching to snatch the bottle from the air, his words come easily; the bottle in hand as if he'd always held it. "If she requires a sword arm, Valentinus, there is none better." A statement of fact, nothing more. "If she requires a fool, then anyone will do.
"If you have a care for this province, I will be that sword and serve."

"They call me majesty now," Will tells him, with the feral smile starting to return - the remnants of ancient war stirring his blood. "Majesty and royalty demands care of the state, of the land and the race. Even the most caring of fathers must needs have a switch to punish the careless and the disobedient. You are the perfect sword." His mind quests out, seeking to see if contact with his child can be made, a summons attempted. He's really not sure where she is.

He pauses, to open the bottle with a twist of wrist. "You will meet Isobel, and when the ugly head of a foe appears, we will meet it with swift and merciless retribution." Bottle lifts a little, something like a toast. Then he drinks, long and deep.

Almost as though summoned to the meeting, the Sheriff of Area 9 appears at the door, looking pristine with not a hair out of place. There is a cellular phone to her ear and she snaps, "I care not, Gregory. If you have to spend until dawn searching for the pest, you will do so. Were it not for your interruption, Darcy would not have been able to slip away. I trust that you do not wish my wrath, and I trust that you will see that he is found and brought to the estate forthwith, or I will have your tongue as well."

The phone is quickly snapped shut and thrown against the wall, so irritable she is this evening. Only after her short little tantrum does she take note of the two men.

"Apologies, my liege. I was not aware you would be entertaining guests this eve— Marius?"

The information imparted is met with a throaty laugh and a raise of the glass. With it comes a courtly bow as taught to him centuries ago in the courts of France. Soon after, his bottle is raised in toast, and the first draught is taken. "Then your Majesty has a loyal and true Arm of Retribution. It will be as if we never parted, mein konig. Brothers in arms, and yours to command."
With bottle to his lips to drain the last of the offering, the moment the door opens, Marius catches the movement, and makes the connection of the words he seemed to have overlooked not once, but twice. After all, a woman? A trifle, even if she holds the position of Sheriff. He and his brother, the King, are well aware of who holds the power, yes? She is in fealty to—
But this..

"As I said, 'tis only with the consent of the Sheriff; if she chooses not to take you, then we shall just kill together." The King watches the incoming Isobel with quiet grace, a hint of a smile touching at his lips, before the mask drops back in. Her reaction causes an eyebrow to twitch, just a little, an usually high reaction. Then Marius' causes it to ratchet further. "Something to inform me of?" he queries, of both.

"Nothing more than the usual with Darcy," Isobel replies to Will, knowing full well that is not what he is questioning. Making her way toward the pair, she smiles. "It has been many years, Marius. Three hundred or so, by my best estimation. I still have not repaid you for saving my life during that bothersome fire." Icy blues scan both the men, though she does not move increasingly closer, nor does she take herself off to the kitchen to procure a bottle of the synthetic.

Turning toward Marius, she cants her head slightly. "I was not aware that you were acquainted with my Maker, however."

"The Great Conflagration of London. Burned most of the city to the ground," the recounting is rote before he turns his gaze back to Will. "I suspect that it had been an attempt to get at us; an agreement between the animals of the city as only ten perished. I chose not to take more, but simply had my fun.. in a different way."
Inclining his head in Isobel's direction, he still speaks to Will, his expression neutral. A simple recount of events as they occurred. "I removed her from the path of the fire. I would not have one of ours injured by a pathetic attempt such as that had been."
As for Isobel's comment, however, Marius stares at the woman before he looks to Will. Cold, crystalline eyes remain on his sword brother in his reply, "He and I fought together before that." Canting his head, he returns his gaze to Isobel, "Battles fought brings brothers together.
"Now, I am here."

Will glances between the pair, a faint offering of confusion replaced by an amused twitch to his lips. Remarkably open for him. "Marius fought alongside me at Ysolde's estates, when once they were threatened," he explains. "A long and bloody battle, from which we emerged as bloody-handed gods amongst insects." His face drops back to its mask, though pale eyes still regard the pair with penetrating study.

"Now he is here," Will echoes, "a sublimely-forged sword and deathly shadow of night for a Sheriff. If she would have him."

The mention of Ysolde brings a faint twitch through the bond she shares with Will. Displeasure that the woman's name has been spoken, but outwardly she shows no sign of the distaste. Merely a cool, neutrality that has her eyeing Marius once more. Consideration, thought, and silence seem to be the make-up of the Sheriff at the moment.

Isobel studies the man, icy eyes roving over his figure. Noting posture, scarring and the formidable air that seems to surround him. "She will have him with one caveat."

"It was a battle that has no rival, brother." Marius' tones make him sound almost… disappointed. "None have come to the fore to rival our ferocity. It has been a pathetic ride where I have simply taken my share but I have learned," the word is given a slight stress, "a great deal more in the joys of torment to make the blood spilled contain that elusive flavour of true victory." The pleadings, the cries of mercy, and the delicious screams of torment and pain are as music to his ears.
Isobel's words bring a deathly cold expression to the veteran. There's something of an affront there. She has a caveat? Could this be a vain attempt to rein him in more than his brother and leige? "And what is that."

Isobel's words bring a faint wash of approval through their mental link, from Will's direction. Also curiosity, but he is content to watch and wait; to see the butting of personalities that could prove so potent. "I lament," says he, "the lack of true warriors remaining in this world. Kegan was one, before I tore out his heart." Then he falls quiet, simply watching. Watching and waiting.

"Kegan was a fool," Isobel spits. He may have been the King at the time, but he dared kidnap her Maker over one simpering little breather, and that makes her hold little regard for the man.

Someone is fiercely loyal, it would seem.

"Do not take that expression with me, Marius. I have need of your services, but the caveat is that you are to stay here at the estate until you find lodging that is more suitable to your needs. There is yet an empty room in the basement that you are welcome to for now."

"My needs," is repeated. A glance is spared to Will, but it is fleeting. The other man is well aware of Marius' needs. As to fulfilling them? He looks forward to it immensely.
Marius allows a drop of humour to enter his tones, and setting his now empty bottle to the side, makes a sweeping bow to the unsuspecting Isobel as a courtier taught in the halls of Paris. "I will do as you ask, Sheriff Lady Isobel. I will remain here, as guest, in the spare room. In return, I serve."
He adds, his expression unchanging, "I will remain here… until I find something more … suitable to my needs."

The King allows a nod to the exchange between the pair. "I am certain your talents will match and balance, forming a formidable force with which to maintain control in this our fair city," he says, rather formally. "You have much to discuss," he continues, a statement of fact rather than suggestion. "Marius, we shall go about the city for a jaunt soon." A mental communication trickles towards Isobel, « He is a brutal and unbreakable creature of death. Use him well. » Will turns to start taking quiet, measured steps to the door, merely allowing, "I shall see you both anon," before he is away.

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