Thawing relations?


Greenville, commonly separated into Upper and Lower is an area of both nightlife hotspots, and quiet residentials. The area is home to one of the most scenic boulevards in the city and allows residents to walk from the row apartments, and spacious homes of Upper Greenville to the dining, entertainment, and shopping of Lower Greenville. Large old trees line the boulevards, sheltering homes and businesses alike from the roadways.

Night has fallen over the city, the storms having seeming to have broken sometime over the last few days. Moisture lingers in the air, but the night is clear and warm. The yard of the estate is carefully guarded over much like the home itself. Hidden behind the fences and the gates, there actually is a small garden. It is one that Chloe found when leaving one day and one that she tends to a little now and then.

Tonight is one of those 'then' times. With a visiting dignitary inside the Estate, she is not chancing to enter except on Will's arm. Primarily just to keep herself safe, but also because she doesn't want to intrude on anything political.

Thus, with a trowel in one hand, she digs at the little garden, carefully planting in scarlet guara and evening primrose. Two of the nicest smelling, night blooming flowers she knows.

Out and in again.
It seems never to cease, but such is city life and living within solid, safe walls. Duties to attend to, matters of the Crown, as it were, and matters of the Sheriff that the Crown needs not worry his head over until things are past and laid to rest— in one manner or another.
Never let it be said of Valentinus, 'Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown'.
Marius returns, then, his clothing slightly marred from his activities of the evening, with no trace of the rich iron scent of blood. Slowing his step as he closes in on the Estate, his senses catch Chloe's presence before he gaze levels upon her— the sweat, breathing, the blood pulsing through her veins..
Making his way closer, his voice is low, and easily recognizable in the clipped german accent, "Are you that idle that you require something of your hands? Or are you seeking posies to give to the visiting Queen?"

Marius is not the only one that can sense the presence of another. At the tingle of a void mind, her body tenses. It's not Will, or she would have felt his approach via the blood bond, not the telepathy. It's not until he speaks that she's aware that it is the Whip and not one of the visiting dignitaries. Her shoulders relax just a little, and she shakes her head.

"I am avoiding the Queen until Will is able to present me to her," she says, jabbing the trowel into the earth. Pity that it's iron and not silver, but she's going to keep her anger in check if she can manage it. A difficult task indeed, when it comes to the archaic one. "I'm actually planting flowers that bloom at night so that their fragrance can be enjoyed by the Sheriff's visitors. It's less being idle, than wanting to do something beneficial, no matter how small."

But knowing that she's safe? Means that she doesn't turn and acknowledge him properly. After all, he did interrupt her.

The relaxing of Chloe's shoulders doesn't go past without silent note, and without any expression from without, a hint of annoyance passes through the warrior. Safety is relative.
"You mean, kind, that you shall not swoop in and announce yourself as the King's own, declaring that you are above such petty, archaic rituals? You have learned something, then."
Crystalline blue eyes move to the spot wherein she's digging before he looks to the sky, and back to the surrounding areas. "That is simply background noise. A small expectation and only noticed in its absence. The Lady will, however, undoubtedly thank you for such consideration."
As for presenting herself properly to him? Not yet a vampire, though still quite presumptuous. In that, his voice lowers, "Enjoy your airs and presumption for as long as it lasts. Hiding behind a shield for poor behavior reflects upon my Brother and his inability to instruct one as headstrong as yourself."

"You interrupted me," Chloe points out, delicately covering the roots of a small primrose with soil. "Would you honestly I rather hop up and curtsey in your presence, or be myself? I know that you follow the old ways of doing things, but you'll have to excuse me for not following suit. I wasn't raised in the thirteen hundreds." It's not even said sarcastically. A difference for her with this one. Just bluntly honest.

A small bit of water is showered down upon the plant, then she gets to her feet and dusts the dirt off. There is no curtsey offered, but a bob of her head, left lowered in some forced semblance of respect.

"That being said, I apologize for not greeting you properly before. Gardening is delicate work and I didn't want to strangle the roots."

The changes, some subtle and some not so much, are noted with the old vampire. Marius waits for the roots to be covered, the water given to set everything in place, and as she rises, she's met with his cold, neutral face. Her actions are.. understandable, but she has to learn that it is not necessarily -forgivable-. Archaic or not, there is reason for such control. "You were not. If you had, you would know that it is death to one who did not immediately acknowledge their betters. One who slights the Lady in such a fashion is punished. One who slights our King is given their eternal rest."
When given the proper amount of respect, Marius nods his return enough such that the breather may actually see it.
"The visiting Queen still lies within, then."

"So far as I know, yes. I spotted her through the window when I came over, and immediately went out to get gardening supplies." Which would seem odd in anyone but Chloe. Most would just leave and not bother returning, but the little telepath loves the solitude of being around vampires. Having only her own thoughts in her head. It's peaceful.

"I have a request to make," she suddenly states, seemingly coming out of nowhere. "I would ask Will, but with the Queen visiting, I'm sure he's far too busy, and since you seemed interested in the swordmaker and all…"

It is beyond Marius' ken as to why, exactly, Chloe continues to seek refuge at the Estate when Valentinus is not present. It isn't as if she's the Lady of the Manor, discharging the duties of the household in his absence, nor is she his hostess.. though mistress and vessel would keep her close. Undoubtedly. Granted, he's never wished to truly know, though he has had hints of it here and there.
This too, shall pass.
"You have a request." And one that she'd present to the king, but barring so due to his other obligations, it's falling upon..
"Speak. What of the swordmaker?"

"There's this thing," she begins most eloquently. Chloe clears her throat, then tries again. "I mean, it's an event." Still no luck. Her teeth grit together, she looks up at the starry sky as though asking it for patience, and exhales slowly.

"There is a renaissance fair happening in the city this weekend." Then a little more grudgingly, she adds, "I was wondering if you'd like to attend." The way it is said denotes that he's probably the last person that she wants there.

Marius simply remains as a statue, waiting, attending her words as they're chosen, spoken.. and attempted a second, and a third time.
As the question emerges in its final form, Marius remains.. impassive. "Does this fair require an escort?" Or, in choosing him, is there another reason? "Is there something amiss of which I need to be aware?" He certainly wouldn't put it past the lamb to hide something until it was too late and unteneable— thus asking for aid.

"It doesn't, and there isn't." Chloe glares at him, since he's going to make her tell him that she's just being nice. Arms cross over her chest, trowel sticking out to the side. "I just thought you'd enjoy yourself. No skin off my back if you don't want to go." Beat. "The swordmaker wants to meet Will, but I can't tell what for." Her way of saying she can't read him. "I'd like to think it's just to discuss weaponry with him, but you might pick up something I missed." So now, if he needs to have a reason for being there, he has one.

"But nothing is wrong, really, beyond me not wanting Will to know that I'm working on a gift for him. It'd spoil the surprise." Beat. "You'll also have a chance to see me dressed up in festival garb, and you can take pleasure in mocking how wrong I look and telling me that I'm not good enough to be a lady."

"I will meet with the swordmaker. I searched for him earlier this evening, but did not locate him." Instead, Marius came across.. a very, very wordy little scholar.
"It is completely possible that the discussion of weapons is all that he seeks," unless Chloe has told the breather more. But she wouldn't be that dumb, right? Imperiousness with vampires is one thing, but he hasn't really seen it while she's with other breathers. "This evening, I was told that even I would be of.. interest to universities in their history departments." That, if Chloe can see anything of the veteran, there is some humour couched within, the message, 'If he's of use, Valentinus would be invaluable'.
As for the clothing wore, while it's not physically done, there is the shrug that lies beneath his tones, "I prefer the style. As for your being a lady, it is birthright and comportment. Long have I fought for Emperors, kings and queens, and yet, I am no knight. No noble either.. and," as he says, "there is no shame in such. To pretend to be that which you are not only leads to disappointments, and in some cases, pain." Literal and figurative…

"Thank you," Chloe says, breathing a sigh of relief. That was a lot less painless than she figured it would be. "If a favor is required for the accompaniment, that is fine." She has no fear of owing a favor, especially since she's well aware that with Marius it would be an actual favor, rather than something overly offensive.

"No doubt," she says with a small laugh. "Any vampire with a history that spans more than two hundred years would be. It would enlighten us to the differences between that which was written down, and that which truly happened. An interesting contrast. Which actually reminds me of the project I should be working on for Will." Here, she pauses again. "You are obviously one of his trusted. I'd like to sit down with you and learn your history sometime. Everywhere you've been, the names you've gone by." Beat. "For the King's eyes only when it's complete."

She makes no further mention of the garb, though she's sure he'll be pleased that she begged off the finery of a lady for the evening.

"There is no favour owed," Marius offers the answer to the formality aloud, just so there is no mistake with the lamb.
Shaking his head ever so slightly to the request, again so mortal eyes make pick up the gesture, Marius continues, "The years flow through with little note but for major events. Agincourt, the loss of the Holy Roman Empire in the East, the Great Conflagration, the Civil War, the rising and fall of nations here and there.. and even there, little remains. Voices that rise with shouts of anger and pain mix with the pleasure and grandeur of majesty. Through it, the years simply pass." Though with Marius, with purpose. He's not of the opinion that he wishes to see the sun rise.. ever.
"Are you turning to a scholar, kind, to be locked in a tower?"

"I'm too stubborn to be a scholar," Chloe says with a slight grin. Dropping the trowel to the ground, she moves a little closer to him. She has no ill intention, merely moving in so that she can quietly whisper something to him and it won't be picked up by any inside the home.

"It is part of the deal I have with Will. If he's to turn me, I have to have a plan. I have to do something beneficial. I offered to make him a catalog of all the vampires in his… er… realm… and any information I can gather would be useful. He just wants me to talk to those he trusts first so that I don't wind up dead."

"If it is the King's wish that lives and deeds are to be catalogued, then it will be." Marius states a fact, and as far as he is concerned, it is to become the rule of the land. "You will tell me how you wish to progress and to whom you wish to speak after me." And he'll aid her.
Looking down at the girl, he nods, "If you do not find something that will hold your attention in the first century, you will regret your passing. And while such caution for your safety is commendable, it will not be from vampires for which you need my aid. There are others, though you already understand that."
Changing the subject somewhat, Marius' expression locks back down into what is his natural impassive state, "Have you yet attended the Lady's restaurant?"

"Really?" Chloe gives him a dumbfounded look, and just stares at him for a long moment. Not at all sure what to think about his offer of help. "I appreciate that, thank you." She's really not sure what else to say. So she just stares at him again. At least she's not gape-mouthed at his offer. "I don't really know many other vampires beyond the estate, Mr. Isonzo, and Mary. Will keeps me away from most when he can." Which makes her sound like a kept woman, causing her to frown.

The frown is shrugged off when she realizes that to them she is property, so it's unsurprising that she's not pranced about like a trophy unless necessary.

"Since it has changed hands? No. I went there once a few years ago, but I couldn't stay." No elaboration, though.

"If it is truly the wish of the King, then it will become a command." Pure and simple. "All within his realm will speak with you and none may refuse." Marius is pretty sure Chloe understood that before, but apparently it bears repeating. "In our.. archaic society, when the king wishes for something to be done, all will comply. Ours is no parliament where learned men come and discuss. It is a monarchy. An absolute. No thanks is required or necessary in the doing of the King's bidding." Nor reward.
"It is well that you do not know more vampires from without the estate. What—" What she needs is.. a tutor. A lady from whom she can learn. His Maker had taught him the necessary things to remain alive in court, and after much time and struggle, he is able to function. "I would bid you to read on…" Books.. they really aren't any good. "I would that you find instruction on the ways of court. There is no reason why you should be acquainted with those outside the Circle. You are the King's own, and it means a great deal more than you have any true understanding. I am not one who may instruct, however." There are so many circles, so many levels and strate of vampire culture and protocols flow all through.
"Know you of history.. of vassels, peasants, merchants, lords and ladies and dukes.. and the like? Would a peasant know of all who sit in court? Would a duke know each of his vassels by name that work below him? So you, there is no cause or reason to know of anyone not of note."
Marius' attention is turned now to the brief instruction, or rather, explanation, and Medieval Times is set aside.

"Truth, but the trouble is, not everyone is safe. There are plenty in the state that don't particularly like what he did to become king. I'm pretty sure regicide is frowned upon, even if it is for the benefit of everyone." Chloe isn't so worried about those she knows are loyal to Will already. She's more worried about those outside of her comfort zone. But that is why there is need for babysteps.

"There are hardly any books on vampire politics, but if they follow the path I think they do, then I know the books to help." They may be books, and they may be antiquated and hard to come by, but she knows the books. Books were, after all, her only friends for years.

"But Will should know all of those that he lords over. To know if any are the type that would try to rise against him, or hurt those that are close to him. He needs…" Her face screws up in a strange expression, her mind working swiftly to draw out the word she needs. "A Chancellor." Beat. "Not me. But I don't mind the footwork to put things in place for whomever he chooses."

"And they will die if they lift a finger." Marius' tones take a low, dangerous rumble. "What you think of me, kind, is nothing compared to what others know of me. They will not risk my attention." There's nothing that even comes close to a veiled threat. It's all there, out in the open. "And none will stay my hand."
In Chloe's explanation, the veteran shakes his head slowly, once more such that she can pick up the gesture. "He has what he requires, or rather, all that which is required. He has Sheriffs, he has.. his trusted men in positions through the province. It is through this network that we discover those who would seek ill." Still, he truly does understand the concept of Chancellor, certainly. It's not a bad idea, just.. not something he's ever thought needed. "He has spoken of this, then."

"Of a Chancellor? No. But the database could act as a Chancellor for him. A click of a button, and he will know anyone who comes into his area." Eventually. Though really she can't expect to catalog every vampire that has ever been created. Footwork though. Interview a few, get some names from them, work on learning about them. A nice network of names.

"I have no fear of him being in any danger. I am well aware that you have no qualms with striking at a potential threat." As her beautiful green-yellow bruise on her cheek announces to the world. "Whenever you feel inclined to discuss the past with me, just let me know. I understand you'll want to verify with Will before you do and I don't take offence in it."

Will is certainly more savvy as to the uses of tools and machinery in this century that Marius could ever hope to imagine, and the Whip is fine with that. So far, all that he has learned has suited him well and there are things that he simply can do without. There may be a few that despair because he does not carry a cell phone.. nor does he use a telephone. Period.
"I will speak with him." There is no question, nor is there any hint of .. anything in his tones, other than is his intent.
"I take my leave now, however. There are needs to which I must attend."

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