Round Two?

Bass Clef Club

Bass Clef is a fair sized Jazz club with the lighting dimmed so that the booths and tables along the back and side walls of the cafe area are slightly shadowed and more private. Eight booths line the bricked walls, four on each side of the club. To get up into the booths there is a single step so that they are not on the same level as the rest of the floor. The walls are decorated with posters from past and upcoming events and entertainers. Several cafe-style tables have been set up in the center of the club with two to four chairs surrounding each. Closer to the bar there are taller tables, being close to forty-four inches in height so that someone could stand next to it and rest their elbows upon them as they leaned in against them.

Across from the large wooden door that is the entrance, there is a very short stage comprised of black marble. In the center of the stage is a grand piano, and enough room for the remainder of the jazz-band to set up. The stage is normally lit up with a spotlight, making it the most illuminated area in the entire club.

Settled on the right wall is the bar. The lights around the bar don't seem to be as dim as those in the rest of the club, but the lighting is still very low in order to keep the atmosphere of the rest of the establishment. Behind the bar the wall is done up in aqua-colored tile before the shelving for the various types of beverages; including soda. A door behind the bar presumably leads to the kitchen and storage areas.

Please Note: The scene began before I entered, and continued after I was forced offline due to bad weather. That part of the log is missing.

Michael shakes his head. "Hands where I can see them kid, remember what I said about going for weapons. I'd hate this to end badly before its even begun." He smiles faintly. "I have no reason to hurt you, other than the fact that you annoy me to no end." He doesn't take the seat until those hands are on the table. "Neither of us want a scene here." He offers what looks like an almost genuine smile. "I do understand your concerns, you're a hunter… and you've found a vampire who's older than most nations… you know this of course because you're…" He pauses as the waiter brings his True Blood over, and doesn't continue until he's long out of earshot. "As I was saying, you know this because you're clairvoyant…. A terrible curse, I've only ever known it to lead to headaches and very messy misunderstandings."

For someone who says she wants to be independent, Desiree keeps running into the same people. A decision to have a drink at the Bass Clef shows her there are people she knows inside: namely, Michael and the young man from the lake. This gives her pause, but perhaps Fate has it in Desiree's destiny she's to act as buffer between the two men. It's a fact she's easily picked up on, that the younger-whom she still doesn't know-has little to no use for vampires. Or, maybe it's personal. She doesn't know, but which ever it is, she's just as concerned for both of them. Strolling over, cool as can be, Desiree is the height of fashion, smiling and cool as a cucumber. Her perfume wafts on the air, growing stronger the closer she comes. His companion might not pick up on it, but undoubtedly, Michael will. She arrives at the table moments after the two men stop talking. "Evening, gentlemen. Mind a third?—or should I find a seat elsewhere?" Not too difficult; the bar isn't crowded.

For a long few moments, Jesse remains just how he is, one hand under the table. The other hand fiddles with the glass on the table in front of him. It's half empty and he seems fascinated with swirling the ice around in the remainder of the root beer. Seems being the operative word. It might appear that his attention is singularly focused on that glass, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Slowly, he brings his other hand back into view. As keen an eye as it would have taken to notice the shift in his demeanor when Michael approached, it would take an even more keen of one to notice the flicker of emotion, shock mixed with something else, something a little more haunted, that crosses his features when the vampire makes it known that he… knows. He opens his mouth to say something, anything, but snaps it shut again when Desiree arrives on the scene. He turns his attention to her and offers a polite enough little nod in greeting and then he just sits there in uncharacteristic silence.

There's a faint smile as Jesse returns his hand to the table, Michael nods pulling out a chair he's careful to check under the table for anything out of the ordinary before taking the seat, he makes a good show of making it seem like he was trying to be subtle. "Thank you, it's never good to start a conversation when you can't be sure of the other sides intent." He stops as the door opens and he picks up the waft of Desirees' perfume, he doesn't however make a move, when she approaches he offers her a smile. "Desiree, I think you know that you're more than welcome to join me… that is if my… associate doesn't mind?" He looks at the other man. "Now I know that you've…. heard enough to know that I'm very, very old. I can understand how to someone in your line of work that can be… intimidating. Yet I also know you've not got many details, I'm here to offer them to you… not all of them, not even many of them, but I'm sure there are questions you'd like answered?"

Uncertain of the topic under discussion, Desiree frowns. "If this is private, I can sit elsewhere," she offers, staying Michael's pulling out of a chair for her with a hand. She doesn't seem overly concerned; she's had her own questions answered by Michael, after all. Why shouldn't he do the same for someone else? Turning her head slightly, she acknowledges the bow of head with a nod of her own. "It's nice to see you again," she tells the young man. "I do hope you got your leg taken care of?" Finally, she accepts the seat, sliding into it with grace, and an eye to the shortness of her skirt. "I'm Desiree DeVilliers, by the way. I'm sorry we didn't meet the other night, but things were a little … unsettled." And then she's giving her order to a passing waitress: orange juice and champagne. Yum… mimosa.

Anything out of the ordinary under that table is well hidden by Jesse's clothing. He keeps his attention focused on his glass for the most part, but every so often his eyes flicker in Desiree's direction as if he's not entirely certain he should say anything at all in front of her. His voice is pitched so low that his words might go unheard anyway, "It's not like that." Even if they are heard, it's not like their meaning is overly clear. "Leg's fine," he assures in a slightly more audible voice. He leaves out the part about Devon stitching it up right there in the parking lot, best not to turn on 'mommy mode' when it comes to women. His expression shifts into one that makes him look a little like he might be sucking on a lemon, then it shifts to just a brow furrowed in thought. It's clear, overly so, that he might just have some of them there questions Michael refers to, but it's equally clear that he's hesitant to ask them or doesn't even know where to begin.

Michael frowns a little at the lack of manners, but he lets it slide for now. His words come slowly. "This is a simple act of good will. I know that you've got very vague and possibly not well worded information, but I'm basically giving you the chance to question me… I won't give away other peoples secrets, and I can't promise that I'll be willing to share all the information you might like, but if you show a degree of civility I don't doubt I can help you clear out some of the information you've got."
Long distance to Michael: Desiree nods. Or, he could be dragged off, which she sees, and Des can come after him, and manage to free him, somehow. Possibly getting the drainers drunk or something. ::shrugs::

This is definitely getting annoying, which shows on Desiree's face. "It's all right, Michael," she says when the old vampire attempts to instill in the young man some manners. "Doubtless he's just stunned by my appearance and doesn't have the where-with-all to respond aloud." She smiles at the attempt of humor, but it fades quickly. "Look, I seem to have stumbled into something, and clearly I make your young friend upest, or nervous, or something." She takes a breath, preparing to stand. "Why don't you two talk, and I'll go find another table. "Afterward, you can send up smoke signals and I'll re-join you." She begins gathering her things, preparatory to standing.

Gaze still focused on the ice in his glass, Jesse offers up, "I was two when my mother was turned." His voice is still soft, pitched barely above the din of the crowd and the music. "My …. Dad…" He hesitates over that word, as if it just doesn't sound right to him anymore. "… and an associate had just taken out a nest about two weeks before. There were five of them living together. Dad and his partner tracked them all the way from Alabama up to Southern Ohio, just across the river into Cincinnati. They'd left a trail of bodies along the way, some of them children. The vampire that turned my mom was the one that got away. He took her to replace what Dad had 'taken' from him. But what about all the families left with a hole in their hearts and lives by him?" He looks up, meeting Michael's gaze directly and states quietly, "It's why I'm never supposed to let one get away." His attention turns to Desiree then and he adds, "No, it's okay. Stay. I don't need to be here. Me'n him, we're straight. As long as he doesn't leave holes in anyone's lives. I won't leave one in his head."

Michael shakes his head to Desiree. "No, please stay. There's a chance that the young man will ask questions that would interest you… I don't know the nature of his information, but I hear it can be quite…. personal at times." He nods to Jesse. "Your father's quite good, I think the most I've heard of two hunters killing was seven." He doesn't sound concerned by the death of the vampires. "You may not believe this but if your father hadn't got them vampire society would have." He sips his drink. "And I've never killed without absolutely no recourse… at least not since I became a vampire, I was with the army in life, it was a ruthless occupation back then." He sighs a little at the threat. "Unlike humans I don't need to kill to feed, and I tend to avoid doing so." He meets Jesses' eyes and there's a hint of sympathy there. "I know what it is to lose everything boy, but trust me, the path you're taking will lead you to trouble and a messy end."

For the moment, Desiree doesn't move, at least remaining at the table. THe story is appalling to her. Her eyes widen, and she shakes her head. "That was wrong on so many levels," she whispers. "He shouldn't have done that, but people often act without thinking. Humans, vampires—it doesn't seem to matter. We're all guilty of jumping to conclusions and … misinterpreting what someone else says." Her voice is quiet, being heard only by those at her table, and since they're all seated together with no one around, it's a safe bet they're not being overheard. "Ask him. He'll tell you the truth, or tell you /why/ you shouldn't ask. It's … it's worth the effort to get to know Michael." She looks over at the old vampire. "There are always bad examples of people in any demographic. It's not right to judge everyone by the actions of the few, or the one. Minds are like parachutes. They both work better when they're open."

"Not even you want to cross paths with Dad on a good day," Jesse offers in that same quiet tone of voice. He's not bragging on the Old Man's behalf, he's stating nothing but the facts. He keeps his gaze on Michael and throws caution to the wind, perhaps it's the sympathy that does it? "Bradley Tobias Archer, son of William Bradley Archer, Grandson of Tobias Archer, isn't a human you ever want to take lightly." The words, again, aren't bragging on behalf of the Old Man, but there's certainly warning in them. He rips his gaze from Michael to look at Desiree. "I know that, or I would have pulled the trigger," he states simply, matter of fact. The Archer line, for almost as far back as it can be traced, has hunted 'things that go bump in the night', but it seems this most recent addition to the family line isn't quite as gung-ho as those that came before him. Paranoid, yes. It's been drilled into him to be. Back to Michael and he adds, "I did what I had to do last night to make sure there were no holes left." In the lives of Desiree's family. "You say vampire society would have taken them out? But when? A year later? Two? What's a few years and a few short human lives to things that have an eternity in front of them? I do what's necessary, not because I like doing it."

"As soon as it was able." Michael shrugs. "You have to understand that it's no different than human law… they have to have limits or else the corrupt can manipulate the system." He shrugs a shoulder. "I knew one of your ancestors." He says it as a fairly casual statement. "He followed me across Inda for a few nights." He looks at Jesse. "Your ancestor knew the golden rule boy, did he pass it on?" He shakes his head. "It doesn't matter, you're right I have no intention of causing you or anyone else trouble unless I'm provoked. But I'll make sure you can see my movements when possible, as long as I don't have reason to believe you're going for a weapon." He takes a mouthful of his drink. "STill this is a very dark mood for the evening. Perhaps if you like I can introduce you to the band, they're not big anymore, but they did some fairly impressive billings in Vagas back in the sixties."

"And I'm glad you were looking out for me," Desiree says, and it's sincere. "You had no idea Michael was my friend, and despite everything, you didn't do anything rash. You acted against your nature to preserve lifemine, yours, Abbey's, even Michael's. I'm grateful you were there, and I only wish you'd have been there when I was attacked by … whatever it was." Her voice is low, projecting only to those around her. "If Michael had been a few seconds later" She stops, shaking her head. "Anyway, I can tell you're proud of your family line, and I hope you keep plugging the holes. Just, not at the expense of the innocent. Even vampire innocents."

It really has little to do with pride and Michael, being as old as he is, might just see it for the warning that it is. Jesse's family's reputation likely precedes him. It's on that same warning that he speaks his next words, "Dad's joined the Fellowship." Now there's a scary little thought, a well trained hunter signed on to train that lot of bible thumping idiots? "I'm sorry I wasn't," he offers up and he almost sounds guilty over the fact that he wasn't, looks it too with the way he can't quite look directly at Desiree. "I saw it," he continues while reaching up to brush his fingertips to the side of his temple. "What I see, it stays up there, like memories, like I lived it myself." He shifts his attention to the band and then back to Michael. "Did you ever see Chopin in concert?" Damned if his eyes don't sparkle a little when he asks the question, like he might just be dreaming about what that would have been like.

"I'm afraid not. I did see Bach perform once." Michael shrugs a little. "In those days my time was spent either at dances, or shows, there was little else to do of course if you could only come out after dark." He smiles. "The radio and television changed that, but even bars were different then, I will confess I never found a passion for music until later however.. I liked lyrics, I was a big fan of Al Jolson." He runs a hand through his hair. "It's strange that those I most enjoyed seeing often came to nothing, in history."

"It's all right," Desiree tells Jesse. "Michael was there in time, and I survived intact except for the nightmares. Now that I've faced my fear of the lake, I'm sure even they'll fade." There's sympathy in her expression. "I … don't know how you see it, but I know there are times when my brain just won't shut off, and replays things like movies. Thoughts, memories, the day—all kinds of things. It's hard to get to sleep when you have all that whirling around inside your head." She smiles to him, then turns to Michael as Jesse asks his question. It's the kind of thing she's been trying to get set up at the AVL. Music. She must make a mental note to include music on her list of questions and time periods to discuss with the elder vampires. "Al Jolson…" She muses on this, again reminded of how much history Michael has witnessed. "You're so … that's just amazing. Bach. How about the Strauss Brothers?"

"Do you know other people.. like me?" Jesse, unlike most psychics, is well aware there are others out there like him, he knows more than the average bear should, but that doesn't mean he's ever met one. "Do you know what causes it? Some of the reading says it's hereditary, but what starts it?" The answer to that question seems to really mean a lot to him. Eyes still focused on Michael, he addresses Desiree, "It's always there, always on, like someone with a TV on in the background, but normally it's just background and the channels are changing so fast that I can't see anything but a blur, but sometimes something stops it on a channel and turns the volume way up and it sucks me in like I'm there. It's those parts that get remembered, recorded. If it's loud enough, I can even sometimes feel it like it's happening to me. Those are the ones that make my nose bleed." Like it did last night when he saw her being attacked. "Were you at Woodstock?" he asks, switching gears back to music again.

Michael reaches out to try and take Desirees' hand and give it a gentle squeeze. He smiles faintly. "The brothers no, although I did see Eduard Strauss' last performance." He laughs shaking his head. "Not woodstock, I met the Who several times though." He skips back to the mention of his powers. "Yes, once, and think I met others, but it's hard to be sure." He shrugs his shoulder. "Some aren't even aware of what they can do, others never admit it. As for what causes it? That's as big a mystery as how old vampires are, or how we came to be…. I don't think anyone knows." And again he returns to music. "I met Bartolomeo Cristofori not long after he created the piano. That was a strange machine the first time I saw it."

Desiree is completely aware of Michael's hand on hers, but she's interested in knowing the answers to these questions, and she's learning more and more from the young hunter. She doesn't comment on his questions, or the statement about his power being a TV in the background. No, best to merely listen, now. Until the question comes of the 60s' greatest of all pop festival. "My grandmother was," she says, grinning. "She told us stories of it when we were kids. From what I gather, it was amazing." And then silent again, to hear what Michael says. UNtil, that is, she rises. If you gentlemen will excuse me? I need to take this call. I'll be outside where I can hear." With that, she's up and heading toward the door.

Jesse falls silent as he watches Desiree get up and make for the door. Then he turns his attention back to Michael. For a long time he remains silent, his expression pensive, brow furrowed. "Mom's name is Rachelle Archer, do you know her?" he asks and it's clear he's trying really hard to keep the hopefulness from his voice. "I've only seen her three times since…." He doesn't finish the sentence, but everyone knows the ending to it anyway. "Sometimes I think I catch glimpses of her with my eyes or… other ways, like she's watching me, but I can never be sure."

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