Who Let the Dogs In?

Sheriff's Estate - The Vault

This room covers almost the entire ground floor of this house. The majority is taken up by a stylish reception area; three chunky, white leather couches places in a neat U-shape, with a low table in the centre. Another corner holds a modern, black table, six comfortable chairs placed around it as though for conference. The final feature is a bar, well-equipped behind it and with a pair of chunky fridge-freezers, containing a variety of synthetic blood. In one corner is a staircase, leading upstairs. On the same wall is a door through to the only area on this floor not part of this room, where sits a small bathroom and the route downstairs, a featureless door, metal constructed and lockable from one side only, though plated to fit with the design of the house.
Three walls are white, the fourth covered in ceramic panels to give some colour to the place. The floor is tiled, in a pleasant, neutral shade. Windows at regular intervals stretch from floor to ceiling, concealed blackout blinds above them. One wall bears a huge flatscreen television, and one aware of their surroundings will spot the speakers concealed at various points in the room. The general feel of this area is a clinical style, a blank, neutral canvas for whatever happens to be going on. Those who know Will generally refer to this area as The Vault, for the round pillars that stretch up to the roof.

chloe_icon.jpg james_icon.jpg marius_icon.jpg tandb_icon.jpg

The rain that pelts outside has moments in which it lets up, only to turn into a torrential downpour once more, making the streets of Dallas a little less populated.
Within the walls of the Estate, within the room of the room referred to as the Vault, a vampire paces, a mug in hand that holds half of the contents of a bag of blood from the stores. Marius is working something through, trying to consider angles and getting himself wrapped around the axel. What would Isobel do? seems to be the silent mantra. Of course the issue is straight forward, right? Easy..
For one such as the Lady, that is. For the warrior turned.. city tender, it is driving him nuts.
Taking another swallow of his mug, the blood trickles from the side of his mouth, and he brushes it away brusquely, though only succeeding in smearing it…

There are plenty of humans within the estate. Mostly during the day. Only a few remain once the sun sets. Chloe isn't often in attendance when Will is off on business, but there were things she had to leave for him on his computer downstairs.

Sounds from the stairs can be heard as she slings her messenger bag over her shoulder in search of her car keys. Where did she — oh, right. In the kitchen.

At first, she doesn't notice the vampire in the Vault. At first, she's just acknowledging the void-mind with a respectful nod as she passes through.


Keys are located, and she's about to leave. That's when she realizes it's Marius. "Wow, you're actually not making a mess."

It slips out without her even thinking about it.

Finding his way here was remarkably easy. In the frist place, as he crossed the boundaries of the city, it was a simple thing to find a vampire-friendly establishment and find a fellow nightwalker with whom to speak. That, in turn, told him where to find the King's estate. The curious thing, really, however, was the sensation that grew as he drew closer to it. As the taxi draws up to the curb, he peers out through the rain that pelts the front passenger window he sits beside.
"That's $56.75," the cabbie says, eying his dark passenger, trying to ignore the slavering beasts stinking up his backseat with their wet fur.
James, his passenger, turns to look at him, animating his dead eyes with a brief smile. "'Course, it is," he says, taking out his wallet and fishing for some bills. Like a good mainstreamer, he pays the man. Then, he opens his door.
Moments later, two wet wolfhounds are circling around on the porch to the grand estate and the vampire is pressing the doorbell to the right of the frame.

"I am.." Marius doesn't finish the sentence in repeating that which Chloe's said, but instead, he easily shuts down and ceases his pacing. Whatever is weighing on his mind is doing so rather heavily.
"You.. I would speak with you." The words are pointed, his tones low. Best get all the information he can before, "What do you know of—"
Saved by the bell, is the phrase?
But, it's more than that. Marius has his deadened expression, but for any who has watched the vampire, there's just something.. different about it. A knowledge. A feeling..
"Get the door."
Marius stands now, his gaze unflinchingly towards the portal. "We will speak later."

"Sure, we can talk." Chloe shrugs a little. Likely something else Will wants her to do, and she's got no issues doing it really. "What do I know of what?"

When the doorbell rings rather than security entering and announcing a visitor, the redhead freezes. That's unusual, but maybe it's just because he's out of town? Entirely possible. She gives Marius a look. "I'm not your bloody maid," she mutters just loud enough for vampire hearing to pick up on it.

She's also not going to put herself in danger in case it's a crazed vampire out there. And it is a vampire. There's that void again. Frowning, she motions to one of the security types to get the door and freezes where she is in the kitchen.

When the door opens, James has assumed a neutral, entirely dead expression. The dogs still at his side. He regards the security guard. "I've come t'present m'self," he tell him.
The rain falls down as the security guard stares him down.
James meets his gaze directly. He doesn't flinch. He doesn't move. He merely stands, ignoring the rain.
Ultimately, he is permitted to pass.
"Cheers, mate," is the response given as he passes through the portal, into the drier foyer. The dogs follow him in, their nails clicking on the entry way. Before anyone can say anything against them, James holds up a hand. "No. They ain't stayin' outside. Not in this downpour. But, they'll stay here, right enough."
Of that, he has no doubt.

"Insolent whelp. Remind me to have you beaten later," is given as an aside to the woman who has now taken up a spot further back in the room, in the kitchenette. Whether Marius actually means it or not, well.. it is pretty common knowledge that the shiner that Chloe'd sported had been from his hand. And the whispers that the Whip hadn't been punished for it?
Marius' attention, however, is full on the door now, as it opens to reveal—
"You bastard." At first, any who is in hearing distance may not be able to judge from his tones, or lack thereof, exactly what, if anything, Marius actually means.. "Well I will be damned, burned in hellfire… Will you look at that?"
Marius takes a step forward, and the guards .. have absolutely no clue as to whether this greeting is in a good way or a bad one.. and really don't want to bet on one or the other.
"Get in here, you son of a bitch.. Look at you.."
He's.. pleased?
"What hole did you dig yourself out of to find yourself here?"

"Insolent I may be, but one, it's not my house. Two, I'm not the maid." Nor is she Will's assistant, even though she's taking care of things for him when he asks. "If you want a quiet maidservant, get that Baker woman back here." Someone may just be getting irritated at the threat — one that will be told to Will when she sees him next.

There's a change in the tone of things, and the only thing scarier than an angry Marius is a happy one.

Without a word, Chloe drops her messenger bag on the counter. The keys follow. Drawers are opened and she takes out a few fluffy towels and carries them toward the newcomer for himself and the dogs. While the inclement weather doesn't generally bug vampires, the dogs aren't likely at the most comfortable at the moment being wet as they are.

James gives Marius a once over, not missing the bronze whip on his lapel. His expression, however, mirrors the Whip's. He steps forward, reaching out with one hand to offer the clasp of a brother-in-arms in the old style.
"Y'bloody old windbag," the younger vampire responds. Had the security guards been human, they'd no doubt have paled at the insolence. And, yet, this fellow gets away with it?
"Look at you. Fancy pins on yer lapel. Sittin' pretty in this right little palace. Who d'ya think y'are? King over all?"
He highly doubts it. Marius isn't that type. Still, he deserves a little ribbing.
Keeps the old dog humble.
"Oh, y'know me. Over hill, over dale, round the bend and back again. Just up from the south, I am. Got tired of bean-stuffed enchilladas."
His eyes flick briefly towards the woman that brings the towels, overhearing the conversation easily enough. And Marius hasn't beaten her? Old dog must be getting soft.
He reaches for a towel. "Ta, luv," he says, though somehow his expression remains dead — neither friendly nor unfriendly. No. The rain doesn't really bother him. But, he's getting the floor wet. That's just impolite.
Nevertheless, the dogs probably would appreciate a brief drying.
"Brutus. Titus. Shake off, lads."
It's as close to permission to touch them as will be had for the moment.

"Quiet maidservant, that Baker woman? I have half a mind to bring someone in who could teach you a thing or two by example."
Marius' attention swings back around and fixates solely on his friend, and Chloe's fears are possibly founded. A happy Marius?
"Me? King?" He takes the final step forward to grasp the man's wrist and arm in greeting. "Never happen. Not in a thousand years. You of all people should know that.."
If Marius was human, he'd look around the room again even as James makes mention of it. But, the elder vampire knows the room as the back of his hand, and doesn't fall prey to the very human gesture. "All this belongs to the Sheriff.. who, by the way, is out of town on business— And your curs are dripping on her floor."
At the passing of the towels, Marius continues, "The girl is the King's own. Useful, but impulsive. She is learning, slowly. There may be hope for her.. in a couple of years time."

Teeth clenched together, Chloe near tosses the towels at the stranger but thinks better of it. "I'm not your bloody maidservant either."

The dogs seem to be in better humor than she is, and so the woman who hates dogs, starts to towel them off. "You two are much better behaved than those two," she mutters with a nod to the vampires. "Can't wait until Will gets back."

Giving the dogs a strange look when their names sink in, she adds, "Really hope you're not betrayer's like your namesake." This said to both as she's not sure which is which. Just to ensure they're not shifters hidden in guises, she prods at the minds. When she's positive they're just dogs she exhales slowly. Then she starts to mop up the water that's been dripped on the floor.

"Good thing then that the floor isn't carpet and can easily be tidied up." Eyeing the pair she smirks a little. "At least he is only dripping water." Marius likes to drip blood. It's why he got a bib as a gift.

~King's own, eh?~ James gives Chloe a once-over, taking her measure — and through her, that of the King.
She's insolent, spirited. The monarch is either quite tolerant or sadistic enough to enjoy the sport of breaking her. Still, if Marius is Whip, then he's sworn fealty, which is a good enough recommendation for James, to be sure.
"Hardly a blink of an eye, then," he says in response to the time frame Marius gives, his other hand coming up to match Marius' in the ancient grip. He'll not apologize to the girl at all. Far as he's concerned, he's not insulted her. Indeed, he thanked her for the towel.
Apparently she missed that.
The dogs, however, shake off as Chloe approaches, soaking the floor and nearby furniture. They eye her some, not particularly automatically friendly with strangers. However, they do ultimately accept her efforts. Perhaps it's because their master has.
"Not the king, eh?" Even with the neutral, vampiric tones, there's a sense of ribbing there. Of course, he knows Marius isn't King. The old dog would immolate himself first.
"Well, there's still another few hundred years to go to be sure, eh? Still. I imagine the current king's worth your sword, or you'd not have given it. That's good enough for me."
Translation: He's not fool enough to challenge the monarch his Maker and Brother have endorsed.

"She is insolent, as I said. Finds offense in the enjoyment of my meals."
Marius finishes the greeting and drops his hand before he turns around to make his way towards the kitchenette. "You would not know the king.. but he is a warrior I fought with before you were a lecherous spark in your father's eye. We parted ways almost when the War broke out, come to think of it. He is an excellent swordsman and a good brother in arms to have. He is, of course, first and foremost my Master." One who serves and does so willingly.
"You must tell me what you have been doing.. in Mexico, are you?
"Chloe.. call the Carmilla and have a room readied for James.. and his mongrels."

With the dogs actually shaking of, it means she's soaked as well. There goes her dressiest pair of slacks. Chloe mutters a little more but eventually gets the dogs wiped down, the walls wiped down, the floor wiped down.

Glaring at the wolfhounds she gathers the towels and takes them to dump them down the chute for whoever takes care of that sort of thing. It's definitely not her.

"And send him back out in this rain?" Chloe frowns slightly. "The guest room the Queen was using downstairs is available. You are running things at the moment, so it's your decision… but wouldn't your…" Friend? She's not sure what to call the man. "… guest… be more comfortable here for the night? I can arrange a room in the morning though, if you'd like."

Breathers. What can you do? Persnickety things, they are.
"Then, he shall be mine, as well," James declares easily enough. "For so long as I am here." The wanderer needs to qualify it. He's good at remaining at his post, though. Marius can attest to that.
James looks to his dogs, after the girl has retreated. "Titus. Brutus. Down." The pair obediently take up stations on either side of the door, laying down but heads up and alert.
He follows Marius toward the kitchen. "I've been huntin' down south, aye. Though I think the herd there need a bitta time t'recover their strength. Lots of depredation." Were he human, he'd smile. But, he's not. So, he simply adds, "I fancy they're gettin' on two fronts." From both sides of the border, just because of American law.
Were he human, he'd also looks surprised at the girl's suggestion. But, again… he's not. So, his expression remains neutral. "I don't need my curs stinkin' up the Sheriff's estate nor the King's residence," he tells her firmly. "The Carmilla will be fine. In any case, I won't need a room till morning."
After all, chances are he and Marius will spend much of the night reminisicing. At least, as much of the night as the Whip's business and duties will allow.
Beyond that?
James doesn't need to be underfoot.

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