The Bonds that Bind

Bloody Mary's Bar

Given to irony, Bloody Mary's Bar is decorated primarily in black and varying shades of red. From the black bench seats and chairs, black tables, black walls with chilling red blood flowing down them in a continuous manner, it's quite obvious why this bar has the name it does. Deep red mahogany makes up the floor and bar. Dangling red star lights illuminate the bar, lending to it's somewhat creepy look.

Heading to Mary's? It's honestly the last thing that Chloe wants to do this evening. But just as she was leaving the library, she got a call. A call from a debtor of Mellie's. And since her babysister is refusing to answer the phone (yet again), it becomes a necessity to head into the bar in search of her.

Thus, she's still dressed for work. A chocolate colored halter top, a bronze sleeveless netted shrug, and a bronze toned pleated mini skirt. Way too overdressed to be at the bar, but here she is.

Standing at the bar, trying to get one of the waitresses attention, she quickly glances around to make sure he isn't in residence. He being the sadistic bastard she doesn't want anything to do with.

Josephine luckily hasn't met too many sadistic bastards lately. Just murderous vampires, which just proves how desperate she is to bring her little brother to this place. She promised Hugo a night on the town, paint something red, she was paying. Just never said how red. Blood red. Bloody Mary. "It's cool. Been here before. Know people." Anything she needs to drag Hugo in. Next order of business is get to the bar, order herself something cheap to renew her courage and try to locate one W. Grant. Or if not present, one… "Chloe?" Not always the best with names, she does recognize the back of a librarian. A hand grabs Hugo's and drags him along. "That you?"

Drag is the accurate term for what Jo is doing to her brother. For the last few days he's been hiding out in his apartment at night. Hugo is likewise worried about a certain sadistic bastard that he doesn't want anything to do with, but it is likely a different sadistic bastard than Chloe's sadistic bastard. Possibly even the murderous vampire variety thereof that Josephine is worried about. He hisses softly as she drags him in by the hand, "Are you crazy? Tareq could be here!" Blue eyes dart about nervously and uncertainly. But he's still dressed nicely, with a black silk shirt and black demin jeans. But like Chloe, he is wearing practically the same 'makeup' tonight, though Hugo's bruised cheek is a few days faded now, a bandage on his neck hiding the bite mark beneath it, though it's not particularly subtle either way, covered or not. He acks softly as Jo slows and then jerks forward again, muttering, "Jesus, where's the fire, zusje?"


It's not a sadistic bastard, but it's someone Chloe would have loved to avoid after their last meeting. Still, despite the nice black and purple makeup she's wearing (note: it's a giant bruise shaped like her cheek), she forces a smile to the surface. Time for the niceties.

"Josephine! This is honestly the last place I would have figured you for." Especially since she's made her dislike of certain vampires well known. A look is given to the man she's with, and she reaches out mentally just to see who he is before she winds up putting her foot in her mouth and commending Jo on her good taste.

"Chloe." At first a sigh of relieve, if you'd believe it. An honest one at that. Josephine looks ready to hug the librarian, but then there's the cheek. Sight of the cheek. And uncertainty washes her state of mind, unblocked. "Holy crap. God /damn/ girl, what's with the plum face. What bastard did that to your pretty face?!" She reaches out, an automatic gesture of comfort where touch would probably be least welcome. "I was… Holy crap." Too stunned even to comfort Hugo or introduce him or introduce Chloe to Hugo and… "Holy… That must hurt?" She, for once, bruiseless, of the right skin colour and stone. Cold. Sober.

Even if Marius has no desire to attract attention upon entering Mary's, he does anyway. Word travels quickly through the vampire grape-vine, or.. is that grape-vein?
Regardless, his entrance does elicit some response, which is completely ignored by the Whip.
Every day in the city is a learned experience for the veteran. He's given up on any hope of dining lightly and often and as of last night, reverted back to his 'usual', that is, a drink at the Estate and finishing the evening across the border.
He'd tried, really he did. Experience, however, caused him to realize that while it may be a successful survival for some, it was impossible for him.
Cold, crystal blue eyes scan the room, his gaze pausing on those with a warmer temperature than 'room'. The girls that were present are again, and hanging over a young vampire, all but begging to be bitten.
Steps take Marius further into the establishment and towards the bar, heedless now of the sight that lies before him. The bartender begins to take a bottle of TruBlood out, and is given a slight headshake in response. The next step is pulled out and poured.. and accepted.

Blue eyes lift to study Chloe, a mildly sympathetic wince given to her matching bruise, his hand lifting lightly to his own cheek before dropping away. He studies her face, not giving off the grand exclamations that his sister does, wondering that the tightness he perceives there, her pasted on smile. Is it because of Jo, or the rather obvious abuse that she's been through? He waits for now, standing slightly behind his sister, letting the two interact first, getting the lay of the land as it were. Every so often his gaze flickers away, searching for a certain unwanted face amongst the crowd and, blessedly, not finding it. His roving regard cannot help but fall upon Marius as he enters or, more accurately, the buzz that arises upon his entrance. His eyes follow his figure, trying to decide if he is a vampire or a human, and suspecting that it is the former.

"Wrong place, wrong time," Chloe says, gritting her teeth but still smiling. "Got in the middle of something I shouldn't have." Same story she told at the library. Not a lie, but not quite the truth, and her mind? Well it's clamped down with tighter barriers than Fort Knox. "It'll heal in a few days, the swelling's gone down and…"


Suddenly, Chloe's body stills, her eyes lock onto the sadistic bastard, and she starts to slowly usher Josephine and her… well whoever he is, a little further down the way. Questioning about Mellie is going to have to wait.

She hasn't bothered to look for the two fool college girls this time. She gave them warning once, and if they're back and doing their damndest to die? Well that's their problem. She can't take care of everyone in the world, can she?

Since no introductions have been made, she thrusts her hand out toward Hugo. "Chloe Cornett," she offers, as though her name matters to anyone in here that's not a vampire.

"I'll say." Josephine drops her hand before it reaches Chloe's cheek, or rather as Chloe ushers them away from the bar. The bar with the drinks. And with the drinks her courage. "Oh fuck this." A deep breath, shoulders straightened, chin lifted, "Chloe-Hugo, Hugo-Chloe." With a lingering look at the bar - and the drinks visible behind it. Marius to her is just another void in the crowd, her focus already multitasking. "He's my little brother. She's… A liaison." And she will step back for just one moment, to let them get acquainted and to -really quickly- buy two -really cheap- Irish whiskey's. "Sec, okay?"

Oh, he'd caught sight of Chloe, certainly. Marius simply doesn't react or respond to her presence. Easy enough on his part.
Doesn't mean that he doesn't keep an eye on her while he's in the bar, however. Just in case an upstart thinks they can get away with doing what he'd done— namely, chastise the child.
Reaching for the glass offered him, he slides into a seat before dipping his finger into the glass, drawing lines in the surface of the crimson liquid and watches the patterns form in the wake. He's very aware of that which goes around him, even if he appears to be transfixed by the liquid before him.
Pulling his finger out, Marius stares at it as a line drips down..

Chloe's nervousness and tension certainly isn't making Hugo feel any more comfortable about Josephine's 'choice' for tonight. Painting the town red she said? Maybe with their blood at this rate. Still he moves obligingly when Chloe urges it and takes up her hand, shaking it firmly, but not ungently, echoing his sisters quick introduction, "Hugo Bosch … Jo's brother. Sorry for your troubles, though I think I can understand perhaps a little of where you're coming from." He hasn't missed the fact that it is Marius' entrance that has made her so uncomfortable, eyes narrowing as he suggests, "Perhaps you would like to be somewhere else? I'm sure Jo and I could run interference if necessary?" A sideways glance/glare is given to his sister as she starts to slip away for a drink, calling softly, "Zusje, if this is your idea of a good time, you need to have your head examined…" Not that Hugo minds vampire bars. It's just that this might not be the most ideal time, what with her friend abused by one and her brother being stalked by one. With his sister off getting her courage, Hugo's eyes flicker back and forth between where Marius sits with the apparent intention of just looking creepy to where Chloe is standing beside him. "I'm really sorry," he repeats, "this clearly is not a good time for you…"

Once they're far enough away from Marius, Chloe does relax a little. Not entirely, but a little. Enough so that she's just her typical on-edge girl, trying to block out the twisted thoughts of the fangbangers. So she's a little distracted as the introductions are made, and finally just stares at Hugo. "Brother?" Well see? Good thing she waited rather than make assumptions.

"Oh, no. Really, I'm fine here. My sister is one of the waitresses, just decided to pop in and look for her." Again. "What was that name you mentioned when coming in here? Tareq? That's really unusual. What nationality is it?"

While she talks to Hugo, her eyes follow Josephine, silently willing the woman to avoid the sadistic bastard at the bar, but not giving her an actual mental warning just yet.

At the bar, Josephine jumps the queue, blowing the fanbanger a kiss and orders two, no -after a glance back at Chloe and Hugo- three whiskey. "No, Irish. Cheapest you got. Thanks." Fingers drum the counter restlessly while she waits for her order to be filled and as always looks around her. Marius' fingerfood is given an eye, then a dismissive shake of her head. Some… Beings…?! A deep sigh accompanies the departure of money and welcomes the drinks. Thanks hon. "Tell Mellie Jo said hi?"

Again, that name. 'Mellie'. Someone close to kleines kind. He'll have to keep his eyes open, so to speak.
Marius puts his hand out before him, tilting his hand, playing with the drip of blood that runs in a rapidly cooling trail. Finally, he brings his hand up to lick the red from his finger. Once it's finished and his hand is clean, the still full glass has his attention.
A quick, deep draught is taken, the blood spilling on either side of his mouth, more evident against his pale skin as he brings the glass down once more onto the top of the counter.
Once the first swallow is taken, now Marius straightens in his seat and turns his body fully towards the small gathering of vampires and stares at them for a long moment.

Turning, Hugo steps around Chloe, placing himself between her and the object of her discomfort. A small and rather pointless gesture, really, since there's nothing he could do most likely to protect her should Marius decide to make trouble, but that's just the sort of man he is. Perhaps it at least blocks her from the vampire's line of sight and vice versa. His smile is wry at her surprise as he confirms, "Yeah, her brother. Not her pimp or her date," he jokes. He doesn't seem to have the same talent as his sister, though his mind is not as clear as most of the people in the bar, the likely side effect of having a sister who can read your every thought. Even the average mind can train up a bit. "He's Egyptian. But he lives in NY now. That's where I'm from. I have no idea how old he must be, but I suspect quite…" His eyes flicker about the bar again, warily as he notes, "He's not usually dangerous, but if you ever come across him, be careful that you don't find yourself indebted to him…"

"Mellie ain't been in for a while," says the girl behind the bar. "Don't know where she is, but Mary doesn't seem too happy about that."

Chloe doesn't exactly hear what's being said at the bar, but she (as well as Jo) can likely pick up on the thought, « Too bad, her usual tables have been very generous with the tips lately. Her loss, my gain. » Then the girl is off taking care of another patron.

"He? I would've pegged that for a girl's name. Goes to show what I know," she replies with a smile. "I would never be indebted to him for any reason," she says, boldly. "I'm probably the most protected person in the bar right now." She waits a beat and then asks, "Do you think this Teraq person will be here? If not, you should relax. The owner is really nice, and most of the patrons know how to behave themselves. We'll be left alone."

"Heh." Green eyes follow the girl behind the bar a moment longer before they are, like so many other's, drawn to the drinking habits of the Marius. "Heh." Sucking in a cheek to chew on, Josephine turns her back on the vampire to join Chloe and Hugo. "Here you go girls, Dutch courage. We borrow it /anywhere/, neh." With a lopsided grin she hands out the drinks, continuing in the same sarcastic tone, "Drink nicely now, there's only so many bibs available." Three guesses to who she's referring. "Chloe, seriously though… Do you have a moment. It's important." And with a head tilt to Hugo, "Really imoportant." With Chloe clamped down and Hugo being Hugo, she's unaware of the already shared discussion.

Marius leaves his glass at the bar, fully intending to return to it… eventually.
Gaining his feet, rather than approaching the three somewhat out of place breathers (who comes to a vampire bar to insult vampires?), he slowly makes his way to a table where there are three young-looking men seated. One smiles at the approach and a comment is made,
"… balls… punished?"
The other two at the table aren't all that sure about their tablemate's smile and are a little more controlled in their reaction as the Whip approaches the table. When they see that Marius isn't sharing in their amusement, however, an astute observer may actually see a flicker of indecision, followed closely by a hint of fear? Concern?
Lowering his head, his lips move, but there is nothing that can truly be discerned. Marius' words are spoken in a whisper; loud enough for the table, and undoubtedly any vampires in the immediate vicinity who care to listen in.

"Really?" Hugo wonders in a musing voice, his ocean-blue eyes resting on Chloe's cheek for a long moment before shifting to her eyes pointedly. "Well, good to know you have all the protection that you need. In this day and age, security is often a rather dubious commodity." He chuckles again, eyes sparkling with amusement, as he corrects, "Tareq. And don't let him hear that you think it's a 'girlie' name. He comes from another time, where women are commodities, not equals." He glances about the bar and shrugs. "Tareq is in Dallas for me. We've already had one unpleasant run-in. I'd rather not have another. He's a vampire, this is a vampire bar. The odds are not so very unlikely that he wouldn't decide to come here for a bite to eat. Stranger in a strange city and all." Turning as Jo returns, Hugo takes up the proffered glass and sniffs it dubiously, not taking a sip but merely holding it in his hand. He doesn't rise to his sister's bait, simply snorts softly as he turns back to Chloe, at a loss really as to what Josephine wants from her so badly. Though curious about the mysterious vampire, with his back to Marius and his hearing merely mortal, he has no idea of what might be passing between him and the vampires's he has chosen to approach.

"There are plenty of vampires who think that way," Chloe says through somewhat clenched teeth, turning to stare at the sadistic bastard as he makes his way to deal with some vampire business. "Though it honestly doesn't matter. If this Tareq were to even think of laying a hand on me, he'd be dead." She sounds so absolutely certain of that, that it may just be a bit unnerving. Still, Hugo is met with a smile, and Josephine is given another as she takes the Irish whiskey and downs it in one shot.

"Josephine, your brother was just telling me about this Tareq character. If you excuse me for a moment, I would like to bring someone else up to speed on it." She would much rather deal with Will than deal with Marius, but Will is out of town and Marius is right here. Mores the pity.

"I'll be right back, then we can wander for some girl chat, if you'd like." Handing Josephine the now empty glass, she makes her way through the crowd which, oddly enough, seems to part for her to make her way all the more easy.

She waits near the table until Marius is done his business, then clears her throat twice.

"Heh." Watching Chloe walk away, Josephine actually starts to smile and she lays the arm holding the empty glass around her brother's shoulders, squeezing for a moment as she lifts her full one to clink with his. "You know, this is going much much better then I hoped. Working out perfectly. Don't even have to beg or to grovel or to offer whatnot." Grinning from ear to ear, pleased as the cat that just ate the canary. "Chill kleintje, your problems will all be over in a blink. She's connected you know. And right now she's fetching the big cheese." If only she didn't have her back on Chloe and Marius.

What Chloe says is indeed true. If this Tareq appeared this evening and bothered Chloe, he would suffer his final death. If, on the other hand, Tareq chose to handle his business with the other sheep, he really, really couldn't care less. A vampire's business is his own, as long as the few basic laws are maintained.
Even Marius knows those laws.
The Whip remains at the table, and as Chloe approaches, the trio seated lift their eyes to watch her approach. Marius' response is swift and immediate— slamming his hand upon the table, his gaze remains fixed and dead.. on the three. The three jump and turn their gazes away, their attention back and firmly on the veteran.
"Better.." is whispered. "Do not look at her. Do not whisper. Nothing."
Straightening, Marius turns his attention on the waiting lamb, his expression set and neutral. "Yes?"

Frowning, Hugo opens his mouth to correct Chloe, but she's gone before he has the chance. "I didn't mean that she would be a target. Just was offering a friendly warning. But whatever. Tareq is here for me, not her or anyone else for that matter." Hugo lifts the drink to his lips and then twists them, putting it back down on the bar. "Jo, why are we here? Clearly it's /not/ to have a good time. Cause I'm not having one." He watches as Chloe approaches Marius, frowning. "I don't like this Jo. I don't like asking other people to fight my battles, or for favors that are not owed." Turning, he starts to head toward the door. "Next time you want to go out and paint the town red, go pick up a bucket of paint instead of me, okay?"

A quick glance is given to the three at the table, but then she looks away so that they're not tempted to try to make eye contact with her. "I hate to interrupt…" No she doesn't. "But I have someone I'd like you to meet. Someone who is being harassed by another vampire in your territory." There seems to be a little more that she wants to say, but even Chloe isn't stupid enough to mention that Josephine is someone who is trying Will's patience in front of a room full of vampires.

"When you finish here, maybe you'd be kind enough to grace us with your presence? I would normally speak to the King, but as he's unavailable at the moment…"

"He- Hey!" Josephine hurries after Hugo and stops him from exiting, pulling hard if she has to to turn him around. "Listen." And she'll bring her head close to her brother's lowering her voice to a whisper that hopefully drowns in the music and the buzz around. She's got the look of the dead serious now. Or maybe the dying. "You're not owing favours, understand. It's me. Cause it's… Just let me. My choice. I know what I'm doing. Really, I am. /Trust/ me." And if she can, she pulls Hugo back towards the bar, looking around now to see where Chloe went off to.

Platitudes are fine. Acceptable, even.
As is due respect.
Marius listens intently to Chloe, his expression impassive. Vampire problems…
There is the question that creeps into the back of his mind; what information is being left out? Is this someone the vampire's vessel? Claimed?
"I will listen." Short, sweet and to the point.
Waiting, then, for her to lead back to the pair.. and as Hugo begins his minor tantrum, there comes a hint of a shrug in his tones, "He does not appear to wish your aid."

Hugo turns as she jerks on him hard, frowning and studying her quietly as he returns, "This friend of yours, Chloe… it looks like she's got enough on her plate as it is without adding my dish of trouble to the mix. And I don't want you owing any favors on my behalf. My problem, not yours. If anyone is going to owe any favors for fixing my problem, then it's me. No one else." He lets her drag him back, but his steps are reluctant at best.

He will listen. Peachy. Chloe masks her look of irritation, plasters on that sickeningly sweet smile again, and leads the sadistic bastard over to the siblings.

"You two can argue out who is going to owe favors after my…" Teeth grate against each other as she struggles to spit out the next word. "… friend Marius here, hears out your issues. There may not be any favors to owe?" After all, she never did say that he'd definitely take care of the issue, just that she'd like him to hear about it.

"Sure." Big sister patting little brother on the arm. "You made it my problem Huug, now here's your answer." But when Josephine's presented by someone very much not Will, she frowns as she tries to get with the situation. There's a nod to Marius, then a long, long look at Chloe.

:Via telepathy: Josephine even sounds bewildered in thought as she directs, « Chloe… Where's Grant? What's… What's with the gritting teeth. » A note of worry at the end there.

It's a big thing that he'll hear the breathers out when it comes to having issues with vampires. Knowing what he does about how annoying and almost not worth the time other than to feed off them, Marius is making a rather large exception. Turning his attention to the pair, brother and sister, his expression gives nothing away, nothing to that would give them comfort in seeing a spark of humanity.
"What is it that requires my attention? I presume you are having issues with a vampire." Or Chloe wouldn't go so far as to gain his attention. "Speak to me of your problem."

Fine, his problem, his consequences. Turning to Marius, Hugo meets the Whip's gaze directly before he explains the situation. "I'm from New York City. During my years living there, a vampire by the name of Tareq saved my life, though not at my bequest. Unbeknownst to me, he felt that this meant that I belonged to him, in the old traditions of a life for a life I suppose. He never gave me any indication or explanation of this opinion, and I have never had any problems with him until now. I'm here in Dallas for a few months. Apparently he realized I had left NY without asking him and without permission. He came here to remind me of his right of ownership. I managed to oust him from my apartment, but I honestly have no idea what rights he believes he has to me or what I can do to dissuade him from his current actions against me." He keeps it short and to the point, studying Marius quietly and thoughtfully, part of his mind already painting images of the vampire before him.

A look is given to Josephine. The type that says 'don't ask questions'. Chloe makes sure to snap her attention to Marius, and Marius only so as not to arouse suspicion about what she can do. There is no touching of anyone, no letting her eyes linger on anyone but the sadistic bastard.

And still, she wears that sickeningly sweet smile plastered on her face.

While Hugo talks, she uses her telepathy to pry into his mind to see if she can get more of the story than what's being said. She does her utmost to make her prying feel more as though his sister is doing it, trying to recall what Jo felt like when she tries to pry into Chloe's own mind.

:You contact Josephine: Chloe says, "Will is away on business. This is someone who works for him. He can be trusted, but he's not my friend."

There's a widening of green eyes, first at Chloe's look, then at Hugo's version of the evening Tareq came for a visit. It wouldn't be hers. But something is having her give Marius a second look now. More wary, on guard. And shifting a little closer to her brother, protectively so. But she doesn't say a word. Not a fraction of one even, though the quick look to check how far it's to the exit probably speaks volumes.

"You wished to die." A statement.
Marius stares at the man before him, considering the facts in which they're presented him. Breathers have such faulty memories, and he's certain there's got to be things omitted from the story. Things that he currently cannot discern. More's the pity.
"So, he gave your your life back, and you have decided that you wish to live.. and can do so because of his graces." Or the fact that it was an easy meal.
"What is it in return that you give him in exchange for your life?"

There are no words to pluck from his brain which, if plumbed, reveals what Hugo is thinking. His ability to keep his sister out is little more than thinking distracting thoughts and keeping a buzz going on in his mind. But with Marius before him, Hugo's thoughts are as focused and concentrated as his eyes are on the vampire. Pain, blood, fear, two attackers, indistinct and clear, the flash of a blade, his body curled in a protective ball as they kicked and pummelled him and then their bodies were pulled away. Screams of horror and pain that were not his own. A voice pulling him up, urging him to drink, flesh placed against his skin, his mouth already full of blood, unable to distinguish his own from the vampires. "I did not wish to die, no. But he came to my aid for reasons unknown. I did not ask for help. Hell, I couldn't even speak." Taking a breath, Hugo notes, "He never said that I owed him my life, let alone that he 'owned' me. On occasion he would ask me for a favor and since I owed him my life, I would oblige him. But this idea of ownership … I do not belong to him. I am grateful to him, I will do my best to repay him, but my life is still my own." His voice is firm on this final point, his gaze steady.

The rapid bombardment of thoughts, images, and noises from Hugo's mind make Chloe's attempt at a blank expression futile. Her eyes snap quickly shut to hide the pain. Were Marius Will instead, she could share with him what she saw.

Instead, she looks directly at Marius and simply says, "He's telling the truth."

Then she looks back at the siblings before turning her attention back to the sadistic bastard. "That's not how a claim works. It's not valid if he didn't agree to it, right?" Will did go so far as to explain that much to her, even though he cheated and got her to accept it without knowing what it was.

Even Josephine is surprised at the amount of information she can get from Hugo and in a show of comforts she hugs an arm around him, a deep frown of worry casting her eyes down. In unison with Chloe's words, she nods, slowly. A deep breath is needed before she glances up at her brother and squeezes again, this time encouraging. "That's my little brother," she says softly, proud. Unlike Hugo, her alto has the very Dutch accent to her English.

:Via telepathy: Josephine sends out a quiet thought, tentative, almost as if she doesn't want to know the answer, « Chloe, how much not a friend is this guy… »

"He has stated that he owes him his life, and performed duties because of that debt," is given in response to Chloe's query. Tacit agreement, though the claim is tenuous. That part remains unspoken until a later date.
"Is it your wish not to be claimed by this vampire?" Problem is, the claim is made even stronger with the passage of blood in both directions, willingly or not; the vampire's to safe the breather's life, and the taking of it as seen by the bandage on the neck.
"You wished not to die, he gave you your life back. You have stated you are in his debt, though you state that you are a free man.
"What is it you wish? The removal of this claim?"

"If I said that I didn't owe him my life, then I would be a liar. I am not a liar. He saved my life. Maybe someone would have called an ambulance. Maybe a doctor would have saved my life. I feel a debt because I should. If he hadn't interferred, I probably would have died in that alley for nothing. But I do not believe that I belong to him. That my life is his to do with as he pleases. I am grateful. And until now I was happy to do small favors for him when he asked me to. But that was out of gratitude, not a sense of obligation. I do not believe there is any 'claim'. He never stated having a claim on me and it has been years since this incident occurred." Frowning, Hugo explains, "I want peace between us. I am still grateful to him, but I do not beleive he has the right to dictate the rest of my life. If that means I want the claim removed, then yes, I want it removed. That won't change the fact that I am grateful to him, though."

"By that logic, Michael Isonzo would have every right to lay claim to me over Will, as he saved my life during a rather vicious attack, at the risk of his own life. I don't think Will would see it that way." Chloe's not questioning Marius' thoughts so much as just seeking answers to questions she'd normally be able to ask of her bonded.

"My own question would be does this vampire have a right to lay such a claim in a territory not his own? Without having introduced himself to you or the Sheriff?" She's careful not to give away any names, or to elude to the fact that Will is much more than Sheriff now. In the company of only vampires she has no qualms with speaking the truth. In the company of other humans, especially one she doesn't fully trust? That secret remains locked behind her barriers.
:You contact Josephine: Chloe responds, but doesn't say how much of an anything Marius is. « If there is a vampire law broken, he will take care of the problem. If there isn't, he'll take the information to Will. »

Josephine keeps right at her brother's side, not feeling the need to speak up, though she does send him a look of mild surprise when she finds he's grown up more than she even thought he had. Squeeze. Chloe's contribution is rewarded by a simple nod and the taller woman leaves it at that.

Marius looks down at Chloe, his gaze empty. That decision was probably bourne of the idea that Valentinus wished the lamb for himself and was in a position to nullify any claim brought. That, and he's pretty sure that Chloe's life was traded; purchased. What claim would any vampire have if not claim of saving a life at the risk of their own?
"There must be some payment," that Chloe probably didn't see as it simply isn't her place.
Returning his attention to Hugo, the Whip stands silently, looking very much a statue as he considers. After a couple long heartbeats, he exhales for effect. "He has a right to claim an existing bond. However, the fact that he has not presented himself," assuming kleines kind knows of all the movements of vampires in and out of the city? "is an issue more pressing than a bond." Vampire law first.. and that is a biggie.
"I am not in a position to dissolve this bond." Read: Marius does not wish to. "We will find this Tareq and speak with him."

Frowning, Hugo nods, disturbed that somehow he got signed up for something that he never asked for and that no human would assume except from very ancient and traditional cultures. Certainly not something you would come across in Holland or the United States! "I believe that Tareq is… in disfavor in NY. I don't think he is supposed to leave the city… something he alluded to once. He chafes under the rule of others. Blue eyes lift to Marius' face as Hugo asks, wanting to be completely clear on this point, "Is there some sort of debt that such actions on your part will require from me?" Jo shifts as if to protest, but Hugo squeezes her hand tightly and flashes her a very serious look, urging to her stay quiet. "From now on, I would like to know exactly what I'm getting myself into with regards to debts and favors and lives owed and owned." Personally, Hugo cannot help but wonder what the United States goverment would have to say about vampires thinking they can own human lives by saving them. Seems downright unconstitutional.

An empty gaze is returned to the vampire. For all of two seconds, before loathing can very easily be seen.

"You will have to speak to Will about that," she says stiffly, giving him a gentle reminder that she is Will's property, while not giving away any information on that front either.

Chloe takes a deep breath and then shakes her head at Josephine. She'd point to her cheek, but there's no point in it. She's fairly certain that Jo can put two and two together.

As for knowing if the man has presented himself or not? It would have had to have been done away from the estate, because that's where she's been staying up until last evening.

Chloe's bristling is ignored. Of course there was payment; she was simply never told of the nature of the transaction.
"There is no debt."
As a matter of fact, the littie breather is doing them a favour by alerting them to the fact there is a vampire in the city that may not have presented himself, and one that may not have been allowed to leave the city. It is an easy check; if what Hugo says is true, then Tareq will be killed on sight. There is no 'first warning, second warning' in his book. There is only.. transgression and punishment.
"If you wish to remain free of such entanglements, I would suggest you remain away from vampires." A truer statement never spoken?
"We will find this Tareq and speak with him." Beyond that, there is nothing these breathers need know. Of course, Chloe may understand the word 'speak' is used rather.. loosely if what was said is true.

The tension between Chloe and Marius is palpable, and once again Hugo finds Jo's choice of coming here for 'help' a dubious one. But rather than add fuel to the already building flames, Hugo keeps him mouth, at least, closed on that point. His lips do, in fact, curl up at Marius' advice, noting, "Easier said than done, I find. And even when done, one does not always get a choice in such matters. I did not." But he is polite enough, dipping his head to Marius and offering courteously, "Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter."

Was there payment? Certainly. Was it between Michael and Will? Not a chance.

Chloe eyes Marius, and then nods. No debt which means that this poor man may be free of his issues. So all that she says on the matter is, "Thank you for your time. I appreciate it." But now he can be left to get further details from Hugo, and she can make her exodus before she mouths off. She really did promise Will that she'd do her utmost to avoid this man, and that she would do nothing to make him upset again, especially while Will is out of the city.

Besides which, the way he says 'speak' wigs her out a little.

Duty and obligation does not carry the burden of debt. It is in the position of Whip that Marius speaks. If he had been approached as a personal favour, that would be completely different.. and payment of a life is, well, a life.. and not ncecessarily one of any great length.
Inclining his head in acknowledgment of the thanks, Marius turns on his heel to go back to the bar. There is a half-taken mug of O that he'd like to finish before too much longer.
And with this information now in hand, the Whip needs to begin the search of this elusive Tareq. Perhaps it is something with which Cabot can aid him…
A test.

A hint of tension fades from Hugo, deflating him slightly as the vampire strides away and he leans into Josephine, his sister hugging him and leaning into him in turn. "Thank you, Chloe," he mumurs, his gaze sliding toward her regretfully. "I know that that was not something you wanted to do. I'm sorry we put you on the spot like that." Jo kisses Hugo's cheek and murmurs, "I need a drink… be right back," slipping away from the pair for the moment to head toward the bar.

Chloe wafts her hands at the siblings. "Nothing to it," she says as cheerfully as possible. "But I should really be going, myself. I need to locate my sister." There's a waft of worry there, since it's not like Mellie to skip working at the bar. Maybe Mary would know? But since the door to the office is closed, she's not going to disturb the woman. "Good luck, Hugo. I hope your problem gets solved quickly, and without too much more injury to your person." A nod given to Josephine. If she thought Will was trying to buy her off for helping him, what can she possibly be thinking of now that she'll likely legitimately owe him a favor?

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