A Night in the Life...

Brooks Apartment

The upper two floors of the practice are actually the apartment of Bethany Brooks.

A large sitting room can be found upon coming up the stairs, one that is very open and decorated much like the lower floor. Colors and furniture all reminiscent of the Victorian era. Off the sitting room is a small balcony, fit only for one chair or person.

The kitchen is decidedly more modern, with newer appliances and cupboards. A small dinette set can be found just off the kitchen, and beyond that is a larger verandah which opens up to the yard in the back.

Up another set of small stairs two bedrooms can be found.

The evening's pace has only just truly begun. The lights on the streets glow in the darkness, giving light where the waning moon and pricks of light are obscured by clouds. The summer's heat, too, holds the city in its grasp, and only the stalwart make it out and about.

Within, the lights of the house only shine if the owner has set them to do such a thing as a warm, welcoming beacon burning until her arrival. It bothers one who sits easily in the darkness not.. and Marius is one that enjoys that which can be hidden within the shades of evening.

Marius sits, then, settled upon a chair, his feet resting upon an ottoman, his eyes staring into the middle distance. His hands rest upon himself, fingers entwined.. and he is still. Not a sound, not a movement.. nothing to suggest any form or vestige of life comes.


A light in the bathroom is the only thing that illuminates the apartment this evening. Dr. Bethany Brooks is decidedly absent from her home, having been out.

The man in the darkness must wait at least twenty minutes before her arrival. In the darkness she is unaware of anyone present. She is not truly expecting anyone to be sitting in the dark inside her home.

Like always, she meanders up the stairs from the office rather than come in the side door as she makes guests do. Heeled shoes are left down below. Hands cling to the sides of the dress in order to lift it as she makes her way up the stairs.

Reaching the top step, the half-jacket worn over the evening dress is hung atop the banister and she starts to unpin her hair from the bobbypins that hold it in place.

Marius can wait all evening if he had the inclination to do so. Bethany's arrival in short order, however, states that he is not left to wait. He can hear her breathing, and as she grows a little closer, still downstairs, he can almost feel her blood pulsing. Once she ascends the stairs, his Own comes into sharper focus.. the heat, the breathing, her heart pounding steadily as the slight exertion is done.. and watching her begin her begin her undress, waits for a long moment before he speaks.

"Mein lamm.."

When faced with a situation, Bethany can very usually remain calm.

When entering her apartment and faced with a voice, it causes her to startle a little. Her feet nearly betray her and send her backward a few steps. She catches herself on the first stair down, grabbing onto the banister.

"Old one."

Her voice is a bit breathless from the surprise. Her heart racing though she does her utmost to calm it to its usual steady pulse.

The rise in heat and her heart causes Marius' fangs to lower; he hasn't yet fed this evening, and the opportunities that he knows that lie before him? "Come here." His voice is soft in the mostly darkness, his words taking a slightly over-enunciated sound with the extra.. teeth in his mouth. "I would see fully how you are dressed this evening." He's certain an explanation will be forthcoming. "And I would speak with you."

Perhaps before, perhaps after…


Knowing her apartment well enough, Bethany does not bother to turn a light on before moving toward the living room. Her feet carry her quite slowly. This almost entirely due to the shape of the dress.

"What do you wish to speak with me about?"

There is no explanation for her state of dress this evening, just more pins being removed from her hair until it spills gently to her shoulders.

"I would have been here sooner had I been expecting the visit," she offers with a calm little smile.


Marius rises to his feet at the first sound of movement again. He's decided he's hungry first and will discuss the questions he holds later. "I wish to drink from you first." Here's hoping it doesn't ruin her dress?

There is no other explanation for his unannounced presence, of course. "Yes, you would have.. but it serves my purpose that you remain ignorant of my arrival."

A step is taken towards Beth as the hair-pins are removed on her path towards him, and reaching out to run a hand gently across the now draped neck, his fingers a whisper of a touch, he's close enough for her to see his face in the play of shadows and light. Once again, it holds nothing. Not a breath, not a spark of life that humans take for granted each day in their travels. Psychology suggests that humans fill-in that which seems out of place in their view, but there is no mistaking the lack of everything that brands a person.. a person.

His fangs, now lowered, are obvious.

"You will live beyond my hunger this evening." A promise. "I have need of you."


"As you wish."

Bethany too holds the hope that the blood does not spill as much as the last time, and that what does fall on the dress will come out easily enough. She has no need of it again immediately but it will need to be cleaned professionally if blood falls upon it.

With the old one stepping ever closer to her, there is a subtle jump in her pulse. Hidden fear, not excitement. At the promise the pulse calms again and she merely brings a hand up to lift her hair away from her neck, baring it for him.

"I understand the importance of your secrecy. I shall not question your reasons beyond that which I already have." She already gave him permission to be here any time he wishes. She will simply have to remind herself of this upon returning home each evening.


Marius takes Bethany, then, into an embrace that to an observer would be considered something 'tender'. But, that would be in the lyrical poetry of lovers. Pressed against her is the cooler, hardened steel muscles of a creature that has long ago lost the softness of flesh in return for 'eternal life'. Lowering his head, he runs lips across the warm softness that is the side of her throat, following the passage of the blood until it rises closer to the surface. The life of the vessel he holds envelopes him, all the sounds of life, the sights as he watches the blood pulse beneath the skin, begging to be freed and offered so willingly, the touch under his hands, in his arms of a willowy, breakable creature that serves him..

How he wishes to hear her cry out in torment, in fear and pain.. begging for..


It's fast, the subtle rise of his head and the plunge of teeth to pierce the skin and take that which lies just below. The blood washes over Marius, the truly warm and sensual gift catching him in that wave of feeding. It's delightful.. pleasure that could only be surpassed by the torture and death sounds of..

He has need of her.

A swallow.. a second, and the embrace is almost at its end.


To be certain there is fear. Subtle fear. His promise has her calmed. His request something she cannot refuse. Merely because he will take what he wishes anyhow and much better for her and her dress that she acquiesces to it.

Bethany takes a deep breath as the teeth pierce her flesh. Eyes held tightly shut so that she does not focus on what is happening.

The only hint of her pain is when she attempts to speak. "Y-you mentioned the need to speak with me in regards to something?" Her voice wavers, the fear causing a slight knot to form in her throat making the words difficult.


While there is fear, there is no panic; no heartracing chilled panic— the desire to flee, to fight, to strike out absent. In its place is that ever curious mix of fear and .. acquiescence. Not resignation.. no.

The blood trails down Marius' face, the drops falling onto his sleeve, the front of his shirt.. and as he removes the fangs, he licks the drips that seep onto her skin, the slight burbling of crimson from the wound cleaned quickly..

His arms still hold her, his cool against her warmth, her heat, his hands pressing into the softness of flesh. He hasn't made to take liberty yet, her maidenhood still assured. But, like all things with a vampire, that, too, can also be in question. If not now, later? When?

When he isn't quite so.. close and physical is when Marius decides that perhaps he will answer her. To see his face looks as if he was a child with a chocolate ice cream cone. It's in the slow, deliberate wiping of his face with fingers, hand, that he steps back completely. If she's dizzy, there is a chair close that she can seat herself.

When he speaks again, his fangs have retracted, his words sounding a great deal more normal. "You will explain to me what it is you do with patients. Do you retrieve memories?"


Never resignation. Bethany does not believe she is resigned to this particular fate, but rather that it was her choice. In the end she could have said no and potentially wound up dead. This is the far better "deal".

There is a moment before worry over the slight light-headedness she feels takes over. Her eyes drift to the newly formed wound and she checks to ensure there is no blood dribbling to he dress. Then she almost literally falls into the chair causing it to flumph quietly. A hand reaches for a tissue, and she daubs it at her neck.

"There was more taken this time," she muses, more just aloud to herself rather than to him. "I hope it was enough to satisfy."

Comes then the question about what it is she does.

"It is possible, though I primarily work with previous lives. Hypnosis can be used on victims of violent crimes to help walk them through the situations."


Marius stands now cleaning his face off with a rub of his hand.. licking his thumb, running it along his face to daub at the blood that he knows is there.. and putting the digit into his mouth to catch the last bits. Whether he took more than usual, well, there really is no discussion or argument. "I took what I required to satisfy, yes." His tones sound almost human in their brief fit of annoyance. He takes what he takes.


"Should I require more, I will take more."

It is to the description of her job, however, that the vampire's attention then turns. He won't feed until later in the evening, if at all. Tomorrow, he goes across the border with James, but tonight.. he's fine with relying on his vessel. Vessels.

"That bleating lamb," she would remember Desiree from that description, yes? "has requested the aid of myself and my brother, though he accepted the favour. She wishes to know who it was that attacked her and then .." Marius pauses for a heartbeat— the declaring of abilities is always difficult, even if the one to whom he speaks is his Own. This only makes it more certain that she will lose her life. One day. "… made her believe that it was myself that left her for dead."


"Annoyance does not suit you, old one. If you recall it is why the beast has trouble following your orders." No admonishment, merely statement.

Bethany herself is still calm at this point. Even though his words send a very distinct chill down her spine. The day that "more" comes will be the day she is most certainly freed from this life and allowed to restart anew in another.

"Miss DeVilliers? She was attacked the evening we met her at the lake," the doctor surmises then. "It may be possible to do it, though if you are trying to tell me that your kind has an ability to hide things deep within the human mind…" There is quite a long pause. "You understand that it may be possible but that it would be an experiment. I have never knowingly attempted hypnosis on someone that was affected by an old one before."


Marius takes away the fleeting vision of human expression, leaving behind the cold, dead mask of the weight of centuries. On any other creature, the words would sound almost.. piqued. Petulant. Neither of those words, however, are fit to mark the vampire. "Glib does not suit you, mein lamm.. so I would have you hold your tongue."

Thankfully, there is the second topic under discussion or Marius would cling to the perceived slight. It is actually simply more a 'war of words' the pair seem to be given to of late, and the blond vampire gives it no other thought because of the nature of business at hand.

Now, slow, measured steps are taken to pace before he retakes his original seat in which she'd come across him. "She was attacked, yes. And she asked me if I had attacked her. I told her I did not, and she seemed to believe me." The glamour, perhaps, isn't that strong? "Some of us have an ability that strong." Others, such as himself, have the ability for the basics of survival. "When something is taken, something must always be placed in the hole. In this case, perhaps the hole is not fully plugged?"


Chastisement does not suit either of them it would seem. Bethany does not bother to offer her usual "As you wish." Instead she remains silent, moving the tissue from the wound at her neck. Mustering the strength to stand she moves over toward him. Not close enough to touch him but enough to show that she is not entirely weakened. As he's seated she moves to sit at his knee in apology.

"You could not have attacked her after we left. Your kind is able to move swiftly, but not so swiftly that I would not notice you being gone." He was busy walking her through the park toward her vehicle. "It sounds much like a repressed memory. Something is there in her mind. A blockage preventing her from remembering clearing. I shall attempt to help her if it is your desire. However I caution that she will not be overly joyed to have my involvement in this."


"I will speak to James." Always good to have several approaches for a good decision. Not Desiree's decision, mind, but his and James'.

"You are correct." Marius is mollified when Beth takes her place at his knee. "And, she still lives." Which, to him and his Child, that is the one overriding reason as to why Marius isn't the attacker. "I believe she saw the truth in that." Even if she didn't want to believe that he wouldn't have kept her alive…

"And you wil tell me, lamm, for what purpose did you wear such a dress?"


Bethany simply nods in regards to his wishing to speak with James. Her head leans against his knee, and she cannot help but smile.

"Marius, you have fed from me and yet I still live." Though from the injuries she saw that Miss DeVilliers had, it was definitely not a gentle feeding to satiate briefly.

"There was an event which was necessary for me to attend. To gain funding for a colleague's study."


"It is simply due to restraint, mein lamm." Marius' voice is low in the darkness, and he can feel the lean as she places her head in rest upon him. "Others are not so lucky." Though he has made sure that such drainings are done outside the province. State. Whatever it is called.

"And with an attack such as that, there would be reason to keep the thing alive. To torment again, perhaps, but not in this time. Perhaps one hundred, two hundred years ago, the sport could have been maintained." Marius isn't stupid in his lack of regard. While there is the understanding that there is nothing that human law can truly do to him, there is the vow that he is bound to while in the territory and in the city. That, and his position of authority.

"An event. Did this event require an escort?" How quickly and seemingly easily he changes the subject, keeping his low, even tones.


Truth in his words, heard and understood. For now, the old one is able to restrain himself. This may not always be the case. A chill races up her spine, her heart pumping a little faster. Beyond the subtle shiver she maintains her calms as much as humanly possible.

"Sport? A game of cat and mouse it would seem. Miss DeVilliers was less than pleased with her broken arm." Bethany tilts her head to regard him quietly. "She was jealous of my intercourse with Mr. Stockton."

The event seems to cause him to ask quite a few questions. "It did."


The brief racing of her heart garners his attentions, and the subtle quiver against him brings his crystalline gaze down, easily discerning her in the darkness. "Sport. Nothing more. I would not do so in this City." He pauses for what could seem an eternity, his voice takes on a more.. deadened quality, if that could even be possible. "You had chance for intercourse with Mr. Stockton?" His english, he believes, is good. Certainly good enough, and the word is defined..

"Has he taken your maidenhead?" The question comes flatly, though there is .. something that sounds ominous lying under the words. James.. he wouldn't. Not when he is full in the knowledge… "He knows you are mine."

But, to hear of escorts.. and intercourse.. and..

"You were escorted this evening." Marius doesn't recall hearing a vehicle outside.. car doors slamming, words spoken loudly to carry in the evening..


"Yes, the intercourse in the cemetery." Bethany is giving him a very odd look due to the extremely long pause. "The conversation you bid me have with him in regards to the envelope." The contents of which she still has no idea about.

"My maidenhead?" Drawing away from the knee, the good doctor tilts to the left and gazes up at him. "Not to my knowledge, and I am quite certain that is something I would remember."

Away from his knee she remains, leaning back on one of her arms to keep her gaze upon his face. "The event was not far and the evening lovely enough to walk."


"Intercourse in the cemetary." There's something he's missing, but he can feel his ire rising. "Conversation I bid you have was to pass the key. How does this result in intercourse." Marius is puzzled, and confusion is expressed in anger. "I bade you to hand over a key."

As Beth raises her head to look at him questioningly, Marius reaches out to take hold of her head, fingers under her delicately lined jaw. "Look at me." There's no indication of glamour, and once again, he's put into a position where he knows in the depths of what soul used to reside that his brother, his Child, would do no such thing against him. And yet, she uses this word..

"Speak to be of all that was done when you saw James in the cemetary. You said that the foolish lamb was jealous of.." He's having a hard enough time. Medieval mores.. "And now, an escort." Normally, of which he'd approve. But, given his mood at this given moment?


"Intercourse. Defined as dealings between persons and groups." Condescension is not in her tone. Bethany is merely matter of fact. "The envelope was handed over. One of the dogs followed me as I went to speak with Miss DeVilliers. Mr. Stockton remained behind after I left. I know not what occurred after that."

Bethany was looking at him but finds that she is forced to not take her eyes off of him for a moment. "Miss DeVilliers and I spoke of the death of her father. I offered her an ear should she ever feel like discussing her incident that caused her arm to break."

A nod is attempted though difficult to manage with the way she is currently held. "I have no concrete proof, but I believe her attitude was one of a woman jealous that another had shown interest in someone she had designs on."


Marius lets go, slowly, understanding coming slowly. Language and its nuances. Words meaning many things, and sometimes not what they'd originally meant when he'd first learned it. People can die over misunderstandings, by his hand, and after, no remorse shown. This would be no different, he was certain.

Listening to her explanation, Marius can't find fault with anything she says. Everything that exits her lips feels like the truth, as echoed in her body.. her heart beats without fear, the heat of her body rises not, and he just.. is confused. And with confusion comes anger.

"Entrecours." The word is virtually whispered, the sound .. vaguely French, but certainly not pronounced as in modern, Parisian French, though it could easily be due to his own native accent. The word was originally for commerce, and as such, his Own is correct..


Bethany remains as is for a long while. Afraid to move. Afraid to speak again.

When it becomes apparent to her that he has no mean to twist her neck she returns to her original position at his knee.

"My intention was not to displease you, old one. I should have weighed the word more carefully before speaking it." Normally this would be little issue. Due to the hour she did not judge her words as carefully as she normally would have. "Mr. Stockton was nothing but a gentleman, I assure you. I did as you bade, and informed him that I was yours."


Marius sits in silence for a long beat of Beth's heart; still and silent. Not a whisper, not a breath drawn to speak.. no sound comes.

Finally, he moves once more, and his places his hand upon her head, his fingers laying in her hair. "The punishment that I mete out for trespassing upon my own is final death. I protected James when he was young, meting out my justice when he was still yet unable to raise his hand. For one who takes that which is mine, the punishment is the same.. and depending upon the crime, my Own is also put to the sword."

Entwining hair gently in his fingers, Marius' voice remains just barely within a mortal's range to hear, soft and holding nothing.. no emotion, no hint of what lies behind. "That is good that you have done so. He has told me he has received the key." But they have yet to spar, though they have already hunted. Just… not Hunted.

"Now, mein lamm.. your escort of this evening. I would know of him."


"You should constitute what you consider trespassing so that I can ensure it does not happen."

Bethany is absolutely frozen when his hand sets to her head. Her breath is held until his touch seems to be gentle. A slow woosh of air exhales and she angles her head forward in a very small nod. Raising her hand she settles it upon his thigh.

"He too was a gentleman. An acquaintance from another practice. He has no intentions toward me if that is what your request is angling at."


"There will be none to take your maidenhead, nor have desires for such." Marius likes the idea that she is, as of yet, untouched. Unsullied. That there has been no vampire to take from her the life that flows in her veins and no man to have taken the flower that would burst in an almost identical flush of .. life essence. That, perhaps, he'll save for himself.. unless he is commanded otherwise. There is still 'droit de seigneur'..

"There is only one, other than me, who may claim that right." And he's pretty sure that won't happen. As far as his claiming? Not likely…

Feeling her cheek upon his thigh, he ceases in actively touching her hair and lays his hand still. "Sheep are nothing but sheep. They have little honour. A gentleman is of noble born. Is that what your intent is? Or.. is he courteous and takes the manner of his betters?"


"Provided that you are full aware that I cannot control the desires of others…" Bethany has many abilities as a psychologist, and she can likely scare off any potential suitors with her odd calmness. But even she has no power to stop anyone from considering her in such light.

"I would have hoped to have a little say in the matter." Yet this is not something the woman is actively seeking. Happy enough in her life as it is for the moment.

"By the standards of today, one would suppose he would be. A family of wealth and prestige. He is also courteous and well behaved."


"Then perhaps we should consider your dowry." Marius looks down at Beth as she sits settled in against him. "One of weath and prestige. A young noble in the eyes of today." Courteous and well-behaved is a benefit.

"You have little say because of your sex that makes it so. While I will grant that you are quiet, calm and proper, you still carry that most unfortunate of afflictions." Womanhood.

"Or mayhaps I shall keep you as you are. Untouched by a man's hand. While you may not be able to control the desires of one who may look upon you with longing, I can."


"A dowry?"

Bethany shifts her weight once more. This time she stares at him with much disbelief. "You wish to marry me off simply to kill me later? That seems like a great waste of money or… cattle… to me."

There is a twinkle in her eyes that denotes a bit of mirth as she says this though it is simply that his words caught her by surprise.

"Should that truly be your desire, you will hear no argument from this quarter. Simply look at it logically, old one."

She may be edging up on thirty but she has not yet found the need to marry, nor had the desire to do such. Thus, remaining as she is would be the best possible outcome of this particular scenario.


"Money. Land." He doesn't miss the quip regarding cattle, but ignores it. Still, money and land— he has neither. He only owns that which has been given him, and the few possessions he keeps and has kept. Logic, from his vantage point.

"Perhaps not. I shall keep you as you are."

Marius remains quiet for a moment, his hand resting upon her. When he does move, it is to shift slightly— his cell phone and the fact that he has forgotten how to retrieve the messages is recalled. His last order of business before departing. He hands the small device without word to her.


Money. Land. Both are sincerely overrated these days.

Bethany may not be like most women who may demand their independence or freedom, but these are the things that she prefers to have. Some semblance of choice along the path life has put her on.

Exhaling a breath she was unaware she was even holding, she takes the phone without any further word. Sliding her fingers over a few of the keys she quietly notes, "Your message box is full. Do you wish me to show you again how to retrieve the messages?"


Marius is more than aware of the breath, and each draw and exhale that exits the mortal frame. He has learned the particular thrum of her heart, the sound of the blood as it rushes through each artery, each vein. He knows that she was… unhappy regarding the potential path her life is to take, and relief that there has been some rescue from it.

"Yes." Straightforward enough of an answer. "And is there a way that it is easier to retrieve the messages?" There are probably— no, definitely messages from Isobel in Asia, some chatty, some more business-minded.. and ending with the queries as to whether or not he's actually receiving said messages (or reading them). "Those who contact me feel the need to do so with this phone."


"An easier way?" Bethany regards the telephone. Without the book it is doubtful she can manage it. "If the messages are of a private nature, I may be able to set up something with the press of a button. If you would rather not deal with the phone at all, we can set up an answering service for you who will forward you the phone messages via personal messenger."

She slowly goes through the motions of the original way of retrieving the messages. When the first starts she holds the phone out for him to take once more. "When you are done I will attempt to set up something easier."


This is when Marius gets frustrated again. Reading is not his strong suit. At all. Thankfully, some of the messages are short and he's able to catch the jist of what each of them say and, in turn, mean.

Still, the phone isn't crushed in hand or thrown against a wall in annoyance.

"I am done." The phone is handed back after a few long minutes of silence, the dimly lit screen adding to the light from the other room. "I do not wish an answering service." The messages that he receives needs no other ears. "I will learn this. It needs to make sense to me, however. This," an almost human gesture is made at the phone, "does not make sense." Yet.


"I will let you in on a little secret, old one. Most cellular devices make little sense to many people." Bethany takes the phone back, scrolling into the menu. Her fingers deftly go through the listings until she finds the voicemail set up.

The next takes a little longer as she reads through the screens. Eventually she is able to program it so that holding down the "1" will bring up the voicemail immediately.

"With any luck you will need only to press this button to retrieve your voice messages from this point out."


There is nothing that Beth does that makes the least bit of sense to the vampire. The screens are familiar, but not. One looks the same as the next to him. When she hands the phone back with her explanation, however, he takes it and gives the phone a long look as if somehow the information held within will seep into his understanding.

No such luck.

Instead, he pockets the phone and removes his hand to gain his feet. "That is all I require, then." Blood. Reprogramming his cell phone…

"Should you require my aid, you understand that is not the way to contact me." If anything, the chances were good that he may know regardless.


"I should hope that I never require your aid, old one." To require his aid would mean that she is in th most dire straits imaginable.

Once he is to his feet, she regains hers as well. "By the time I could reach for a telephone, chances are it would be too late for me anyhow and your aid would be only to retrieve my corpse." To many, this would be quite morbid. To Bethany it is merely acceptance of the truth.

"Be safe this evening, old one."


"I am never far, mein lamm."

Leaning over, Marius noses where the fresh bitemarks lie, his fangs extending in the memory of the blood rushing into his mouth minutes before. Licking the spot slowly, his tongue draws over the location and takes a long moment to speak. His voice is low, a slight hiss behind it for the fangs, and is barely heard for the whisper, "Never far."

Once he finishes essentially teasing himself, Marius heads for the door, but rapidly, in a flicker of motion; there and gone, presumably into the night beyond.

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