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Oak Cliff Psychological Practice

An historic home from the late 1800's has been renovated to become a warm, welcoming, and comforting Psychological Practice.
The lobby area is actually an old solarium which is lit by the natural light from large windows, as well as refurbished 'antique' lighting. The walls are a soft blue, accented with cream colored moulding, the floor is an original light oak hardwood.
A receptionists desk is situated in an unimposing manner in one corner of the room, and rather than the regular "waiting room" chairs, there are comfortable wicker chairs set around small glass tables.

Soft evening light is no more. Darkness prevails. Those with sense are indoors. Hidden. Sleeping.
Troubling dreams make for troubled sleep. On a street filled with completely dark homes, a single lit window serves as a beacon. Someone is awake within the practice. Too late to be still working.
The light belongs to one of the offices. Dr. Bethany Brooks within it, perusing patient files and making notations here or there. Busy work. To keep her awake and to stave off the blood filled dreams that have haunted her the past few evenings.

Silence in the darkness is easy for one that lives solely within the evening's embrace. For several nights now, Marius has stood in the shadows, watching, listening to the movements that lie within those walls, both on the lower level and above; since he's learned where it is she works, and apparently resides.
From his 'hiding' spot to the front door of the practice, Marius' movement is a blur— a seeming single step and his hand is on the doorknob, turning it, and opening the portal. It's a test as to whether or not he can enter as it serves a dual purpose, and a foot moves across the threshold, and he's in. Closing the door behind him, his gaze moves across the waiting room area, and to the corridor where he knows the offices, and one in particular…

Often spending time alone in the evening is a good way to hone one's senses. Though vampires have the ability to move quietly, doorknobs do not. The familiar squeaky creak of the knob is heard. The light in the office snuffed as she waits only a heartbeat to see if there will follow other noises.
None appear to be forthcoming. Gathering her robe from the chair Bethany situates it about her shoulders. The material falls to the floor as she rises to her feet. No ability does she have to see in the dark but she knows her office well enough that she is able to traverse it without incident.
Pausing with her hand on the door to the office, her pulse quickens a little. The only thing within reach is an umbrella that has been left behind by a patient. Wielding it as though she were carrying a sword into battle, the door is cracked open.
"The office is closed," she explains. A wave of calm washing over her. "We open again tomorrow morning."

The light is snuffed, plunging the office into complete darkness. No matter to the vampire, certainly. There is some ambient light from the moon without, but it's not really necessary for him.
A basso voice with clipped german accent comes from the darkness, "I am aware of that." The next sentence comes from a position even closer than the first, possibly just at the front of the corridor leading to the back. "You and I, we have things to…" Marius pauses, and then finishes, ".. discuss."
A discussion.
"An umbrella, sadly, is no real weapon of defense, lamb. Even if I wished to harm you, which I do not."

Psychological Practice - Dr. Brooks' Office

In keeping with the historic appeal of the practice, Dr. Brooks' office lends towards the Victorian era in design. The floor is the same light colored oak hardwood as the lobby, the wainscotting on the wall coming up to a meter in height. Above the wainscotting is a deeper green floral accented wallpaper. Large windows are hung with both sheer drapes to allow light in, and blackout drapes to aid her with regressions. An antique chandelier hangs down casting a soft glow on the room.
Each piece of furniture in the room lends itself to the Victorian era as well, which means the style is an eclectic mix of Tudor, Elizabethan and Gothic in design. From the couches and chairs, to the tables and planters; each piece is either an original restored, or a very good replica.

"Old one," Bethany says, placing the umbrella back down. There is no sigh of relief, yet no sign of fear either. The door is drawn open and she nods toward the couches. He has every right to make himself comfortable.
"I was unaware that the front door was left open. I have no desire to harm you. I thought you to be a human intruder." In which case an umbrella is a very viable defense.
"Beyond your uncanny ability to track me, what is it you feel we need discuss? Have I displeased you in some way? I have already explained about Abaddon. He is well?"

I have no desire to harm you..
"You could not harm me, lamb, even if you tried."
In that single, rapid step, Marius locks the front door; now the morsel has one more step to do if she hopes to flee.. but there is that curious feeling that sits back in his mind that she truly doesn't fear him. Not yet.
In the blink of an eye, a beat of a human heart, he's rejoined her in the office, though instead of seating himself, he stands directly beside her.
"No, lamb.. you have not displeased me.. and the damnable beast still lives to torment me." Is that a touch of growing fondness for the creature? Real or imagined, if the girl is given to flights of fantasy, it could be.
His voice lowers to almost a whisper as he leans down to put his lips oh so very close to her ear, and reaches out to run the back of his fingers against the pulse of her throat. "On the contrary.. I have laid claim to you to discover your secrets."

"That is what I meant. That I would not try."
The speed at which the man moves is unnerving. Bethany remains calm. No fear. No pulse jump. Not until his lips are at his ear, his fingers at her throat. There is a leap in the beat of her heart then. A more rapid pulse despite the calm demeanor.
"I am glad to hear that the beast is still well." Conversation is a bit stilted yet still maintained.
"Laid claim to me? Might I have explanation as to the meaning of that?"

There it is.. and Marius savours the brief acceleration of the pulse that beats just beneath her breast and under his fingers. He doesn't move from his position, his lips close to her ear. "It means, lamb, that to my people, you are inviolable. Untouchable. Under my protection."
Straightening, the vampire moves slowly around the girl to settle once more, should she remain still, on the other side of her. "You are like a .. sweetmeat. A delicacy to be unwrapped and savoured. Once others learn of you, they will wish for you to be theirs.. but they will be too late. And should any touch you, they will be meeting my hand of retribution."

The closer he gets, the more the pulse jumps. Fear. Excitement. Uncertainty. When he settles to her front again, the calm returns. It simply is what it is.
What he says is accepted. It is a sound thing to agree upon. She would be protected from injury by another old one. "As you wish," Bethany replies with a nod. "I hold doubts that others will see me as such. Your claim is acceptable, old one, even though I cannot see why you wish it to be so." Better to accept than to die by fighting it.

"That is one.. of the two things that I require."
Marius ducks his head a little lower, his voice sotto, the .. room temperature breath that falls upon her throat where his fingers had brushed only seconds ago. He can smell the blood, the momentary rush of fear, of excitement.. and the calm. Perhaps she is what the Lady had suggested; a vessel waiting to serve?
At the thought, it is all he can do to keep his fangs from dropping into place. "Oh no, lamb.. you have been discussed, and it is agreed that you are a prize that others wish.. and there is just one more thing that will finalize my claim."

"One of two things," Bethany echoes, waiting for the next "thing" to drop.
His mouth is too close to her, the teeth that could tear her flesh edging closer. "The finalization," she asks, words sticky and caught in her throat. "Do you… it is the blood."
Lips are slowly moistened with her tongue, the fear peaking a little. "I have never bled for anyone before," comes a gently quiet voice. "I know my preference means very little to you, old one, but I should like to keep my blood within me."

It is the rise of her fear, that realization that comes with the pulse of her heart and the breath that is caught in her throat as she speaks that brings his fangs down. It excites the vampire in a way that little else can, other than all out destruction. "It is the blood, lamb.."
There are no promises of.. gentleness, no promises that everything will be 'okay'. Marius hears what he wishes, and it is the coursing of blood through her veins that sings to him the siren's song.
"I know, lamb. You are untouched as a maiden aught.." That, too, brings a rise to him. Virginal.
"It is that which is given in trade. Safety in the night, for that which courses through your body.."

Knowing what he is she can handle. Seeing the physicality of it, seeing the fangs causes a shriek to catch in her throat. The calm that is normally with her wavers. The peace inside her begins to crumble away.
Through that, Bethany sees the logic in it. Signing a contract with a devil must always be done in blood in the lore, so to must this be done.
A moment passes. Another. The fear subsides and acceptance settles in. There is no turn of her head. No baring of the neck. A wrist is offered up instead. "As…" A pulse. A beat. "As you wish then." Acquiescence as a survival instinct. Subservience kicking in. There is yet a request though. "Be gentle please."

Pleasure rolls over Marius, and so does that touch of disappointment. There is that momentary horror of what he is, the position that she now finds herself.. but there is no pleading, no begging.. though he can feel the acceptance of her fate. It comes with the passage of a breath from her throat, from the relaxation of muscles.
The wrist, however, when offered.. is at first rejected. Oh, he so wishes, but his conquests are always held by the throat, where the blood flows the warmest and the most rapidly. His face remains at her neck, even though she hasn't bared it to him. "Here, lamb," is whispered, "at your throat.. it is where it flows quickly.. and hot. At the wrist, it is slow, labourous.. and painful." Didn't she want gentle?
"Here.. or.." Marius hand appears, reaching to touch her side and slide down to her thigh, pausing.. and not moving to that pulse point just within the inside of her thigh, at that most intimate of junctures, "…there is another place where the blood runs freely from the vein."

Pleading there is, just in her own unique way. Bethany freezes. Her body tensing fully from head to toe as he rejects the wrist. His logic, once more sound, is far more dangerous this time.
"You will mark me? Brand me? You will…" Gulp. "…not touch there, please." Not the neck, the thigh. An internal struggle commences, and finally she swats at his hand where it's paused. "You know me not well enough to touch me there." Subservient she may be but she can't allow that.
"Can you not make the wrist less painful?" The dreams. The portents. They come swirling about her like the sea of blood. A deep hidden panic beginning to bubble to the surface. "Is there nothing I can offer you instead?"

"It is a mark that will fade to the eyes of breathers, yet remain bright to my kind."
The tensing of Bethany's entire body is felt, and the delicious fear and trepidation brings him a half step closer where he can feel the heat radiating off her body in waves. He's close to simply not caring; his patience is wearing thin as his hunger grows.
The swat at his hand is like a fly buzzing, though now, he's certain she can feel the cables of muscles in his hand. Marius actually chuckles, the sound hoarse through his need, and his hand shifts away. Maidenhood reassured.
There is terseness in his tones, now, stating this is the last that he will discuss.. "The wrist is twice as long as the vessels that carry the blood are twice as thin.. twice as delicate."

A chuckle is not what she was expecting, though is much more heartwarming than a beating.
"I should run," she says quietly. "I should run and reject you. I should…" Panic and fear course through her, the beat of her pulse literally racing at this moment. "It's futile. You can outrun me. You can catch me. I believe you would enjoy the chase," come the words from the psychologist who is merely trying to maintain her calm.
She is failing.
Slowly her head cants to the side. Slowly, the neck is bared to him. "Do it as you must then. I apologize for the scream that is about to come."

"You could not get far from me, lamb.. and you may yet reject me, and still.. not get away from me," Marius' hoarse whisper comes. The pleasure rises in the hunter, the sound of her words turning to a buzzing as he listens to the rhythm of her heart, and the tensing of her body once more. He can smell the fear, the horror.. and the understanding that she is prey..
At the bared neck, now, Marius' head rolls back ever so slightly before his fangs plunge in, breaking her skin and finding the vein expertly. The rush of slick blood, filled with the heat and life of the vessel that bears it is delightful.. a spray of essense that can never be found in the bottle of disgusting liquid they've named, ironically, 'TrueBlood'. It is easy to get lost in the orgasmic rush, and the first mouthful is both drank deeply of.. and drips down the edges..

Eventually the bloodstained nightgown will remain as the only remnant of her "blooding". The promised scream rushes up. The sound a horrid accompaniment to the pain that shoots through her body as the fangs pierce her skin.
The screeched sound only causes the blood to pump faster. To rush more to the surface. She may accept her fate but the fear and pain ARE there. "S-stop. Please. You can…" A wince. Another cry. Silence for the time it takes him to enjoy another mouthful of her blood. "… you cannot study if you kill. You… please. At least… " He may feel a warm wetness upon his hand. Tears which roll easily down her cheeks.

Sweet, sweet bliss.
This.. this is the joy in being what he is. The cries, the pleading, begging for her life brings waves of deadly passion over the vampire. Soon enough, with the second draw, Marius has to remind himsel to pull away from the delightful meal that is laid before him. So very hard to exert that self-control, but ultimately, he lifts his mouth from the punctures, and runs a bloodied, dripping tongue over the holes to catch the slowing dribbles that still seep.
And upon his hand, Marius can feel the hot, salty tears.. and leaves them there to linger.
To look into those blue eyes would be to look into.. nothingness. A shell that looks like a man, but is so far removed from humanity, that it is but a whisper in the past.

The words "don't kill me" die in her throat as he stops feeding. The tongue upon her throat receives another cry. Still feared. He may decide to feed again which would not be all that well for her.
Time passes before Bethany once more finds her voice. When the words come they are filled with shock though seem to be returning to that eerie calm she possesses. The acceptance of what has happened. Nightmares may come of it yet at the moment the fear melts away to being just what it is. Her life.
"My sleeping gown is ruined," she says of the white bloodstained nightgown. The still wet blood upon it sticky on her skin. "Was it…" The blood loss, though not as major as it might have been, is making it harder to consider appropriate words. "… sufficient to solidify the claim you seek?" Quiet words. Meek words. Calm, yet a hint of lingering fear.

A sudden urge to gently nuzzle the still straining throat is quashed; Marius is with a vessel, and now the claim is solidified. Nothing more. Now, he has more time to study and learn..
If he was anyone else, there would be soft words of reassurance, caring words, but this is not to be. The hardened vampire is who he is, and any vestiges of humanity that may lie deep within, lie so very dormant as to be dead.
"This is sufficient." Now, Marius takes a step back, and wipes at the blood that tinges his mouth, his cheek and chin with the back of a sleeve. There's the reason he wears black and no other.
"You are right.. it is ruined," and the smell of the residual is enough to cause his hunger to pique once again.
Now, however, Marius turns his back on the lamb, away from the sight of the clinging nightdress that shows curves.. and brilliant stains of maidenhood ruined in order to retract his fangs. He's done enough here.

Some need reassuring words. Some need solitude.
Bethany merely needs time to accept fully what has come to pass. To remind herself that this incident was not something in the realm of dreams. Not something she has had to deal with in the past.
"Do you wish it then?" The nightgown, that is. "Proof of the claim made? I am still uncertain as to how that works." She never did ask for full information on it either.

"Any who see you will know. Any who seek to press, my name will send them away. Any who seek to harm you by laying a hand upon you will be crucified." Marius did warn Isobel that given his freedom in punishments, that was a formidable option.
Marius turns around now, his expression settled into a comfortable impassive, though the smears of blood remain. Blue eyes fall upon the form and figure of the lamb, and rise.. and drop in study. The sight.. pleases him. "I have given you my name before, lamb. Do you remember it still?"

"When the mark fades, how will they know?" Bethany will not wear the mark proudly, she is not the sort. A proper jacket. A decorative scarf. Something will hide it from view until it heals and fades.
"Crucified? Surely that is very harsh. You speak of it as though you were once in the situation to have been crucified, or done the crucifixion yourself. Persian? Roman? Seleucid? Though on the receiving end I should think Breton or Celt."
Aware that she is babbling a little, a way of dealing with shock, she locks her eyes upon his form. Calmly, she states, "Old one, I can scarcely remember my own name at the moment. Things are disjointed for me." But for the history as she can recall it.

"It does not fade for us."
Marius doesn't care if she wears it proudly, or hides it. It has been done, and the claim is sealed.
He inclines his head in the briefest of nods, "My claim is not a shield for stupidity, but you do not strike me as one who would wear a claim as proof against foolhardiness and presumptiousness. And for that, should one break our law, the punishment is my own to mete. And it will be so. They will be punished harshly."
Marius steps around and sits down in one of the seats now on the opposite side of the desk, his blue eyes still upon the lithe, exotic frame. "Later. Hessich.. mercenary. I was turned after the Battle of Agincourt in the year of our lord 1415. I fought for the Holy Roman Emperor Wenceslaus.. and his decendents until the Empire fell."
His lips quirk into the barest hint of a smile, "There has not yet been a creature that has bested me, much less hung me on a cross." He is, after all, before her. "My name is Marius Schlacter. Son of Mars, the Slaughterer. Those who are old enough have heard my name. Those younger seek to avoid me."

Bethany has yet to move. The blood upon the gown is slowly drying. Her neck still bearing coagulating ribbons of red.
It is a sight to be certain. The paleness of the gown in contrast with the deep red of the blood.
"You have a very rich history. It is not, perhaps, your first." Before his name is given, the woman settles to her knees on the floor. In part to see if the rug beneath her feet needs be cleaned. In part because he has seated himself finally.
"By which do you prefer to be called? Slaughterer or Marius?" Mr. Schlacter just does not seem to suit the old one in any shape or form.

Visions of sitting at the feet of his teacher rise, centuries dead and buried. There's the flicker of desire for the child to come and sit beside his knee, to rest her cheek against him in a setting of domesticity.
His voice lowers, the sound of the accented words appearing normal, and conversational once more. "Marius, lamb.. that is the name to which I answer. It has always been so for six centuries, and I have never felt the need to change it. I rarely require the use of my surname. It is simply.. there."
Marius crosses one leg over the other such that the bottom portion of his leg sits upon the top of his thigh, and he leans. "My life is full and varied, lamb. There is much that keeps my attention and shall until the end of time." Even if he doesn't carry a cell phone or know how to use a computer. "I need to know nothing of the past, when I was not who I am now."

"Such things shape who you have become." Bethany issues forth a faint and gentle smile. "Such things give credence to your current life, the one you are frozen in."
The vision remains unspoken, thus she does not move. They are not so familiar as that for her to just rest against him comfortably. There is still to much fear in her to do so without being commanded to.
"Marius it shall be then. No other name is needed, though I appreciate you sharing it with me." Especially considering their conversation on the power a name can hold.

"My training as a youth has shaped my life, lamb. Over 600 years ago. My experiences in this life. I can not, with any faith, say that anything that came before has any merit or bearing. It was my father's choice to put me at the pells instead of attending Mass. It was my choice to be trained.. and it was my choice to leave my life behind."
Marius will not speak to the visions simply because it is a life with which he is unfamiliar and requires a gentleness that is simply.. not within to speak of.
"Thus it shall be."
His gaze doesn't depart from the lamb, and he touches on what he'd told her before. "The Lady was right in suggesting that I take you to me. There are many who would wish you." A vampiric game of 'keep away'?

This makes twice the Lady is mentioned. Bethany has questions in regards to this but she has no certainty as to how to pose them.
"You have a long past with which you are comfortable. Not many are lucky to have that," she point out gently. "One day you may ask to understand, and I shall explain as you desire. I do not mean to upset you with my talk though."
There will be no more of it until he asks.
Finally, the words find her. "You speak of this lady as though she were nobility. Someone you respect? Though I still have no understanding as to why many would wish me specifically. I have very little to offer to an old one."

Marius watches the lamb as she begins to relax; he can hear it in her voice, and in her posture. The blood doesn't rush, but rather, returns to an easier beat. The blood dries upon her dressing gown slowly, the brilliant crimson fading to a darker brown.
He doesn't speak of the Lady again, as such. Instead, the vampire lowers his voice, the clipped sound of his tones sounding almost gentle. "For the same reason why I have claimed you. I will not repeat myself because it is not becoming to seek flattery." There's a hint of chastisement there. "What you offer is yourself, and that is enough to intrigue others as it's drawn me."

It may never really make sense to Bethany, his reasoning. It will be explained deeper, or not at all. As in everything else it would seem that she will accept this too.
A hand reaches to adjust the strap of the nightgown. Moving it away from the wound upon her neck lest it be stuck there and hurt to remove later. "Compliments are unnecessary," she muses. More to herself than directed at him. "Understanding desired, though I will accept it as you say, old one. I have no reason to do otherwise."

Vampires dislike explaining the obvious, and even moreso to breathers, chattel. Marius isn't much different there, and at times, more terse than most of his kind.a
As far as he's concerned, her 'training' has begun; how to be a good and proper vessel. Now, whether or not she recognizes that is completely immaterial to him. "There is no need to understand, lamb. There is only acceptance which is your lot." And in her own words, perhaps she'll understand what it is she's said.
Reaching out, Marius makes to run the back of his hand down the side of her throat again, "You will take care of yourself.. I am told there are philters and potions which will renew your strenth and rebalance your humours."

There is a cringe and her body shies away from the touch. Calm though she may be, Bethany does not wish to lose more blood this evening. When he speaks words about care she finally allows the touch.
"Philters and potions? By which you mean medicines? Vitamins?" Hopefully this is so. She would have no hope of knowing what to use otherwise. "If you have their names I will gladly procure some. Though, I am not adverse to looking such things up." There are certainly vampire message boards these days. It wouldn't be hard to obtain the information she'll need if she just looks for it.

There isn't much chance of another round of tasting the wares, so to speak. Marius doesn't appear to notice the cringe, though there's that pleasure mixed with annoyance. He can feel her fear, smell her fear..
"Yes.. medicines and vitamins." Marius has never 'done this' before, and there are things, now, that he's only learning. "I know of only one that is of any use, and it is something for my kind." Looks like she'll have to check the vampire boards after all.
Pulling his hand away, the veteran rises to his feet once again. "Go and tend to yourself, lamb. The evening still awaits me, and there is more.. required to satiate me before the sun rises."

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