Sheriff's Estate - Will's Suite

This suite of rooms, dug out of the basement, is designed in a luxurious, decadent style. A modern, chunky four-poster fails to be the main feature, which consists of an entire wall covered in archaic decoration, ranging from ancient paintings to a rubbing from a very old tomb. Weapons, mostly old and all looked after, mostly swords of varying types and size.
The corner is lit subtly, and a mannequin built to small and lithe proportions wears a full suit of old chainmail and padding, meticulously kept in good order. The helm is magnificent, a great helm of the flat-top design, the cross that sits with its horizontal bar under the mean-looking eye slits lacquered in a glorious crimson. The surcoat that covers the majority of the armour is a pristine white, emblazoned with the crimson cross of the Knight's Templar, as is the mantle that sits across the shoulders. In front of the armour sits a kite shield, gleaming white and bearing the same red cross. In front of the shield, held point-down in the two hands of the dummy, is a very old and well-used sword, old notches carefully scrubbed out leaving imperfections in the shining metal.
The other rooms of the suite are simple, a small office area, neatly kept, and a walk-in wardrobe that has a fairly vast array of dark-coloured clothing.

The basement rooms of the Sheriff's Estate are quiet and peaceful, dark but for a flicker of light from a computer screen in the office area. The darkness covers the room's decoration, since Will has been hard at work. At least, someone has been hard at work on his behalf, covering the room in a cascade of white and red flowers. William Grant himself sits at the computer, fingers flashing over the keyboard at a speed beyond mortal ability, typing something of import. The gentle scent of roses has filled the suite, as Will awaits the arrival of an expected mortal; a mortal of his very own.

Unlike others, Chloe doesn't mind being claimed by her vampire. She loves that he wants to keep her safe, and she loves that his claim makes her untouchable — at least uneatable from other vampires. It gives her a sense of security, and while it may be false in the long run, it makes her happy.

A heavy bag is on her shoulder as she enters the room. In the darkness, she can see nothing but the glow of a computer screen in the distance. "Will?"

A dark shadow of movement flits behind Chloe, hands moving to cover her eyes as Will presses himself lightly against her back, his power taking its uncontrollable yet fruitless attempt to thread into her mind. "Good evening," whispers he. "Can I trust you to keep your eyes closed for a moment?"

There is a loud, surprised squeak as there are hands on her eyes. "Will?" She hears his voice and relaxes. "What are you looking for?" She can feel him digging in her mind via the bond, but she's not sure if she should be keeping anything in her mind a secret or not. "Of course. As long as you promise not to let me fall." He'll feel the flutter of her lashes against his hands as she squeezes them tightly shut.

"I do not look for anything," says he, still at a whisper, "I am simply releasing myself to relaxation; you know I can only control it with great effort." Slowly, his hands pull away from her eyes, and one stretches out to flick at a switch, the lights coming on. "Keep your eyes closed, and tell me what is in the room," he continues. "Let the scent tell you."

"Relaxing. You were tense the other evening, I felt it," she says with a smile. It was likely the evening he was swordfighting with Marius. Inhaling deeply, Chloe cocks he head to the side. "Heady," she says with another sniff. "Flowers." She almost peeks her eyes open to see what it is she's smelling, though she's very good and keeps them tightly closed. "Roses?"

"Partly, yes," Will tells her, allowing his tone to drift towards fond approval. "Now, imagine being able to seperate each of the scents of flower in here, letting your senses tell you which thread of pollen leads where, where each flowers sits, guiding yourself with an array of pathways. Imagine the same for your vision, and your hearing, the gentle whirr of the fans in the computer, the faint buzz of the speakers, the very pulse of the person so close to you; the catch of their breath as you-" He pauses, to trail a finger down her neck. "-touch them. This is the immortality that is before you. It will take time, but eventually these paths and scents and wondrous ways of feeling the world around you will be yours."

There is a distinct movement, though no peeking. Chloe takes a step forward, trying to imagine the world as he sees it. Focusing on hearing the sounds that he hears. The scents that he smells. The feel of the proximity of his being. When he touches her, her body trembles. A shiver running down her spine at his touch. "Everything becomes more honed?"

"Everything; lines are sharper, colours more defined, scents more complex and sounds deeper of meaning. You will be stronger, faster, more able in every way than a mortal creature." His tone is that of a teacher, a caring mentor who will take their student on the right path. "You will see flaws where there were none, tiny perfections that otherwise would escape you for your entire existence. You will have the time and the chance to see anything and everything you have ever dreamed of, and things you would never have opportunity to dream of. You may take a decade to ponder the meaning of a painting, or spend a year throwing yourself into hedonistic glee, simply because you can."

Her eyes remain closed, even with his proximity. Chloe reaches out toward the voice to offer a touch. A gentle touch. Just to ensure she's not imagining how close he feels. "It sounds magical. Amazing even." A smile tickles her lips and she inhales the scent of the roses again. "Why do I feel a 'but' coming on?" She is never a fan of the 'but' in any discussion.

"There is always a cost," Will whispers, reaching a hand up to catch her own, gently caressing it and confirming his proximity. "The costs are myriad and great, though in mine own opinion, worth every moment." The smile sounds in his voice, approval for her acuity drifts through the mental link. "First, you will gain the supernatural weaknesses of immortality; the sun, silver, perhaps other things. These will all be explained to you shortly after you join the ranks of the immortal. These costs are by far the least of the set."


Chloe draws her lower lip between her teeth, nibbling on it nervously. "I knew of those already. The need for blood as well. That isn't really news to me, though I appreciate that you're reiterating to me how real these weaknesses are for you, and will be for me." Eventually, a small frown turns her lips and she asks, "These are not the costs that you are speaking of, are they?"

"No, they are not," Will tells her. "The first of three major prices of immortality is that of emotion." After a momentary pause, he maintains his touch upon her hand, the other dropping to rest in the curve of her waist. "Eventually, you will find it becomes more difficult to feel. Emotional concepts that come to you now without thought will require effort; some will become practically impossible. With care and judgement, it is possible to retain much, like myself."

"I have no fear of losing my humanity," Chloe says, perhaps naively. "Becoming a vampire will not change how I feel about certain things." As he touches her waist, she stays steady. Not moving until directed to now that he's close. "It is something that I would work at because I really like who I am."

"Good, your answer strengthens my choice," Will tells her, gently. He moves gently, pressing the softest of kisses against her neck. "Retention of humanity is a twofold action, which I will later explain. The second price is that of society." Another brief pause, and he continues. "You will no longer truly be a part of your old society. You will be part of another, where ancient and archaic tradition is upheld as a measure to ensure non-violence between creatures old enough and powerful enough to depopulate cities, should they choose. It is a difficult transition, but one I will help you with as much as I am able."

A kiss for good behavior, and the gentleness of it? It causes another fluttery shiver. Chloe smiles though, as if she's just be awarded something grand. "Not truly part of… though with vampires being in the public eye at the moment, with the Great Revelation, that may also change. Many vampires can easily mainstream. Why must things be archaic? Could they not bend with the times?" It is not that it is important. More or less that she is curious as to why the traditions are so set in stone.

"There is no bend or break, no dream of rebellion can be allowed," says Will, with a seriousness of old blood entering his voice now. "The years present in the elder vampires are so great, and the function of the society so perfect, that to consider change is to court destruction. Perhaps in time, it would become possible, but not now, not while there is so much upheaval with the Great Revelation. A brace of centuries, perhaps. The function of power and strict tradition is to avoid conflict. Imagine vampires reduced to street gangs, imagine the blood and murder and capacity for destruction; no, rigidly enforced rules are the only option. See the current deterioration of society; all because of a relaxation of discipline and rules."

"A brace of centuries is but a blip for vampire kind." This Chloe is well aware of. "I would never dream of rebelling, but it is still possible to mingle a little with human society." Even if it means watching all her loved ones grow old and die on her. She will still be able to see them without having to move out of the city, or change countries every ten to fifteen years. "People have difficulties with change, love. They had issues with desegregation as well, but in time it has become mostly a non-issue. It will be like that for vampirekind as well. I have faith in humanity."

"Mingling is acceptable, encouraged even," says Will, "but it will always be necessary to remember of which society you are. Your segregation argument is a common one, and it will be good for you to remember how closely knit the segregated communities were before there was acceptance." He switches subject once more, allowing another brief touch of his lips against her neck. "The final price is the greatest of all."

Though she is being kissed again, she exhales a heavy hearted sigh. "The final price is losing you." Chloe really doesn't need to say much more than that. It's feeling as though her heart is being torn from her, and while that flits through the bond, she does her best to clamp down on the feeling before it bleeds through too much.

"No," says Will, "you are incorrect. That is outside of the three great prices." A finger against her waist taps in a gentle, reproving manner. "The final price is retention of self." He pauses once more, allowing her to collect herself. "Each vampire finds a different means of retaining themselves, choosing whether to embrace the monster or not. There are some who embrace it, and in doing so, find purpose. There are others who dedicate themselves to a cause, or simply to resembling humanity as much as they are able. The latter are now called 'mainstreamers'. For rest assured, we are a seperate species. There is a place for any type in the society, though my charge to you is to keep the monster from your door, else I will destroy you myself."

"You will still want me?" Chloe slowly starts to open her eyes at that, if only to blink at him incredulously. "We could still be… as we are? For a while?" She knows it will not be forever, because forever is a very long times in terms of one who can live forever. "Check. You do not wish me to turn into someone like the previous King. I can assure you, Will, I would never intend to be like that. I don't think I would know how to be a monster if I even tried to be."

"When I say you will eventually lose me," Will explains, "it is likely to be a half-century, perhaps a century before it becomes absolutely necessary." A gentle smile touches at his lips, and it shines through into his voice. "I have never been with a vampire in such a fashion; it is often considered strange, but I am willing to see." Another kiss meets the back of her neck. "It is necessary for me to inform you that the monster will try; your nature will be a predator, your instincts will alter, and you must maintain strength in the face of it."

"A century." Much more than she could ever hope to ask for. Chloe allows her defenses to relax, and she melts against the kiss to the back of her neck. "You decorated the room with roses. For me." A smile. "Very beautiful. I am in awe of the detail you went through, just to make me aware of what would change and what would not." She pauses briefly, then her voice drops to a whisper. "If you feel that I am becoming the monster, will you promise to guide me through it and get past it?"

"If you are at risk, and agree to fight it with me, I will support you with my very last ounce of strength," Will tells her, seriously. "You may open your eyes, as I make apology. My humanity was marred, my honour scored black, by feeding from another and not out of necessity. A human man, an honest man of open emotion, would come clean, and thus I do. I apologise, Chloe, and please accept this decoration as a gesture of that apology. I do not even know the girl's name." Nor will he ever, a random girl picked up in a random bar, alongside his old battle-comrade Marius.

Though the smile remains upon her face, the tension and emotion that boil through the bond are unable to be held back — something that Chloe will have to work on later. "You were with him. It was the night I felt the tenseness in you then." The bond is very telling, and while she may not know what he is up to, she feels what he feels. She does not seem to be very angry with him, thinking him to have been manipulated. "It is not to me you should apologize, but the poor girl. At least tell me that you left her alive?" There is no shrillness yet. Nothing.

Eventually the internal emotions are locked under control, and she steps to him. "The honesty is very appreciated Will. I accept your apology, and I promise I will do my utmost to not feel put out that you did not seek me out instead."

"I was with Marius, yes," Will admits, gently. "However, the mortals in question were willing, and were not harmed." Any more than a standard feed anyway. "There was no predator, no catching of prey." The hand against her waist moves slightly, tracing up and down slowly, gently. He allows a nod. "Thus do I retain my humanity, do I keep the viciousness of my instinct at bay."

"Next time though, if you feel the need? Please come to me? At least until the turn occurs. I have been good to keep up with my vitamins, and I rest when I can to help the blood replenish more swiftly." Smiling at him genuinely once more, Chloe moves forward tip-toeing up so that she can place a small kiss on his neck. "I don't expect you every time, but I am more than willing to give you my life's blood should you hunger it. From your favored location even."

Will nods, once and only once, to acknowledge her request. When she kisses him, his eyes lock to hers, and he whispers, "Temptress," bearing a smile that speak of good, wicked humour. "Offer, and ye shall provide." With a rapid, effortless movement, Will picks Chloe up and deposits her gently on the bed, amongst countless crimson and white petals.

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