Curiosity and The Cat, Part Deux

East Dallas

Though mainly older bungalows, Tudor or Prairie style homes built circa 1920, East Dallas has seen some new buildings and establishments crop up in recent years. A lot of the area has been deemed historic, and thereby untouchable, but it hasn't stopped the American Vampire League setting up shop here.
The AVL building sticks out like a sore thumb, being a large, square building with multiple windows - though the shades are generally drawn.

It's a cooler night than it has been recently in Dallas. This means that a certain damnable twin-souled has decided to walk part of the way home tonight, having parked his car a few blocks away. His left hand is clutched tightly around a sharpened pocketknife that remains concealed in his pocket — something that he's started to carry with him since the wolf attack. Other than that, he seems quite relaxed and certainly not at all suspecting of anything strange afoot. He whistles (of all things) "Winter Wonderland" as he makes his way down the fairly empty streets.

A dark shadow flits amongst the rooftops, inhuman flashes of movement taking it from place to place. The shadow stops, watches below, before moving again, a flash of blackness at a speed almost impossible for mortal eyes to follow. Stalking prey, the shadow follows its target.

A decision made, the shadow fires down from above, silent in its deadliness as it lands a distance behind the traveling librarian, continuing to a short distance from the mortal's back. The only sound to the movement is the gentle rush of air as the vampire stops directly behind his target.

It's true that Mischa's senses are a little more keen than most, but certainly not keen enough to detect the unmasked crusader on the rooftops. Mischa is nearing his apartment building without a visible care in the world. He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair with his free hand, digging his keys out of his other pocket afterward. He still hasn't noticed that he's being stalked through the night. Idly his other hand plays with the knife in his pocket. Fat lot of good it's about to do him.

Silent steps carry the vampire in perfect synchronisation with his prey, lengthening slightly to carry him even closer. Finally, he speaks, though his voice is at a low murmur, barely enough to carry through the night. Bearing a faintly Southern tint, the tone is neutral; oddly so. "If I hear your voice before you are in the car that will be coming behind us, this conversation will not end well. You have caused me no small measure of trouble, twin-soul."

Perfectly timed, the sounds of a large engine are starting to be felt in the night. Will, of course, has been in constant mental contact with the driver since starting his stalk.

There's a sharp intake of breath that probably would have soon been a retort to Mister Grant had he not heard the rest of that sentence. When the major of players of Dallas vampire politics talk, Mischa generally listens. As the car pulls up alongside the two on the road, Mischa reaches up to scratch at his forehead. There's the slightest bit of hesitation as he nears the car, but eventually he does walk in that direction. It's painfully obvious from the beating of his heart that he's frightened, but from the look on his face, he's also fighting the urge to say something.

Proving a point, the vampire moves once more, this time past the mortal, letting the faint gust of air that follows his supernatural passage brush against Mischa as he does so. A thunk sounds as the door of the black SUV (tinted windows of course) opens at his touch. "Get in," Will orders. The faintest of predatory smiles touches his lips as he stares unblinking at the librarian.

It's a hard order to pass up. Even if Will weren't the King, he'd be inclined to do so. He gets into the car and sits down, trying to make himself look… not as frightened as he is. He fails. Miserably. And like a good little damnable twin-souled, he waits for Will to speak a little more substantially before he dares venture forth even an utterance of an apology.

The vampire enters the roomy SUV with inhuman grace, letting the door close behind him even as it begins to move. He settles down onto a seat opposite Mischa, for not one moment removing the unblinking stare of the centuries from him. His voice is now at a more normal volume, though still completely lacking any emotion. "Your fear is well-founded, Mischa; but first. You requested a meeting with me. Speak."

Great. Pressure! The librarian manages to stammer only a little as he takes in a deep brief, "W… M-Mister Grant. I'm sure that your Sheriff has told you a bit about why I've requested the meeting." Mischa pauses. The unblinking thing? Totally unnerving. He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair, averting his gaze from Will's — before swivelling it back toward the man. No sense in being accused of not giving Will proper respect or not paying attention. "The woman who hurt you so badly has been constantly in my dreams since that… happened. I had almost forgotten until the other day when I saw a human girl that looks exactly like her. Who was she? The woman that tortured you, I mean." Mischa pauses, before realizing what a terrible, grave mistake he's made. Maybe it's just not his business, but he was dragged into the situation and there have been long lasting effects on him. He feels he has an unfounded right to know. Curiosity may kill the cat after all.

"The woman who tortured me is of no consequence," Will says, without so much as a flicker to suggest a lie. It is essentially true after all. His tone is clipped, words firing out with a speed unusual for the often-languid King. "Especially considering that she is dead, a killing to which you are accessory. The mortal pharmacist is of equal meaning; that is to say, none. Her background has been checked." The eyes still do no move. "I can stop the dreams if you wish."

Asking Will for a favor on top of a favor seems a very ill-advised thing to do. And yet Will is offering something that Mischa has longed for months now; some vague sort of peace of mind, a night's sleep without the horrific incidents of Valentine's Day being played out in his head. "If it's possible, then yes. I realize that this comes with a price too… I am in your debt and service, Mister Grant. And I apologize for the inconvenience that I caused with your Sheriff. I did… I didn't mean to err, upset her. If she was." And he does quite assume that she was, given Will's general demeanor.

The twist of Will's lips waxes towards the predatory once more. "My price is simple. Provide me with a flow of information when the Muea Tseena Pack are undergoing any activity outside of their usual meetings and the such." Because Will always wants additional confirmation that his information is accurate. "I do not ask for major secrets, and it is a small price for your sanity. What the woman who organised this meeting requires of you for doing so; I do not know. I am certain she will let you know."

The very premise of owing Isobel a favor is enough to make Mischa's eye twitch very slightly, but he nods anyway. The man takes in a deep breath. "Very well. That seems quite agreeable and fair of you, Mister Grant. I am… sure that Isobel's favor will… be repaid." He can't exactly say agreeable or fair in her case, but he'll repay her.

"Ms Symon will exact her price from you, I have no doubt," Will replies, with a dark humour settling through his tone. It drifts more serious, and the ancient predator within flows to the surface once more, in the glint of eye. "I will give you warning once; you are not my only source of information regarding the Pack, so failing me or lying would not serve you well." A broad, open-toothed smile follows that, as a pair of glistening white fangs flick out to punctuate the point. The vampire remains otherwise motionless, a solid mask of unreadability in place. "Are you ready?"

Mischa does not bother to reassure the man that he'll tell him the truth. That almost guarantees their agreement is set in stone. He nods briefly before clearing his throat. "I'm ready to begin whenever you are. I had really hoped that our first conversation would be more… amiable than this. Though I suppose that I'm not dead yet, so things are going as smoothly as I can hope. Yes, ready to begin whenever you are."

"Your error was in speaking about subjects that should remain silent in a public environment," Will replies, before snapping his fangs back in. "Well," he begins, starting to thread the glamour into his voice, into the mind of the man sitting opposite, his eyes taking on a stillness beyond human capacity. He slowly begins to lean forward, reaching one hand forwards to rest on Mischa's knee. His voice falls low and gentle, even haunting as the glamour begins to fold through in earnest. "Your mind will begin to settle; the events that are haunting your dreams will begin to fade. You remember, but as through a fog; you will feel no anger, no guilt, no pain, and will cease speaking of it. It is no longer important to you, just a part of your past, it will cease to be within your dreams or your mind unless you take great effort to recall it. The woman matters not, the blood and filth are outside of your mind. Memory is yours, but negativity is not. It does not matter any more." A delicate operation, to leave memory intact but alter feelings and attitudes, including the desire to never think of it or speak of it again. Not easy work, even for a vampire with Will's surgical skill of the mind.

"In addition, when you next see Ms Symon in a suitable environment, you will fall to your knees and beg her forgiveness for your foolishness in speaking out of turn." Just an addendum to the glamour, mostly for Will's own amusement. He withdraws his touch and his glamour as he leans back into the seat.

Mischa starts to reply before figuring it best not to. At first the twin-souled man's mind resists Will's probing — for about a split second. Given Will's age and power, it's not hard at all for the man to break through. Mischa's eyes shut and he slumps a little bit as he listens to Will's not entirely unpleasing voice smooth out the wrinkles in his mind. His mind is luckily receptive to these changes, perhaps worn down from the trauma of the past few months. And of course, Will's final suggestion that Mischa kneel and beg Isobel for forgiveness is accepted as well. For better or worse.

The vampire gives the mortal a few moments to let the glamour run through his mind, as he relaxes languidly against the seat once more, now regarding Mischa with something like high amusement. The latter part of the glamour clearly amused him. "Now, if that is all, Mischa?" he wonders, mildly. "Do you have any other questions or requests before you leave my car?"

The amusement is picked up on, and Mischa regards Will wearily for the briefest of moments before shaking his head a little bit. "No, I… think that's it. Thank you, Mister Grant, for seeing me." He doesn't bother to tell the vampire King that he didn't have to stalk him and be so damned shady about it, though the sentiment is worn largely on his face. He starts to ease toward the door. "Shall I contact Miss Symon or should she… should I wait for her to get in touch with me?" It's an earnest and innocent question, really.

"Next time," says Will, bringing forth a slim, white card, "contact my assistant if you wish to speak with me. I bear you no ill will, though I cannot speak for all." The card is held out, even as the car starts drawing to a halt, in a district not too far from where Mischa was picked up. "The choice is yours; I would advise against contacting her somewhere public, considering the last engagement you had." Which Will can largely only guess at from Isobel's anger at him.

Mischa takes the card and glances at it before he puts it in his pocket with white knuckles. "..Thank you, I shall. Excuse me, Mister Grant. I have… a cake to bake." Sadly, it might just be the truth. The man exits the car when it's slowed down enough and starts off toward his apartment building, walking as fast as he possibly can without breaking into a dead run for the front doors of his building.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License