That's a Wrap

White Rock Lake

A reservoir, White Rock Lake covers 1,254 acres and was once used for a portion of Dallas' drinking water supply. Now that it's use as a water source has been supplanted, the area has become one of the favored recreational locations in the city. The forested shoreline is dotted with numerous small cabins, fishing piers, and sailboat docks.

The lake is surrounded by White Rock Lake Park, which is home to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Running through the park is a 9 mile trail designed for hiking, running or cycling.

Though swimming was banned here back in the '50's, it is still a popular location for area teens who generally enjoy the more deserted areas, using the beautiful backdrop as a makeout spot.

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"GOD DAMNIT!" Bones exclaimed as he fumbles a roll of duct tape for the third time, it falling to the sand with a tauntingly soft little thwup. He stands up swiftly from the old dried log that he was sitting on, and points down at the roll like it had slipped from his broken hand quite on purpose. He opens his mouth, about to curse yet again, but he gives a gruff little grunt and admits defeat for the time being, just deciding to look out at the moonlight over the water, sitting back on the log and then slumping forward with his elbows on his knees, thinking to himself about how he was going to replace the dried up tangles of tape on his damaged arm."


After days of cooler weather, the city of Dallas was one again attacked with stifling heat. The temperature has dropped several degrees since earlier but it is still quite unbearable in an upper floor apartment with no air conditioning.

Doctor Bethany Brooks has come down to the lake for the first time since the beginning of the month. It has been the first night that she has felt strong enough to venture very far from home. With the last little bit of heat this month she toughed it out in the garden behind the house.

Wearing an airy skirt, she has her legs curled under her on the grass close to the shore. A large leather bound novel is in her lap a small book light attached to it so that she can see the pages.

The loud exclamation causes her to turn her head and toward the originator, whereupon she eyes him quite curiously.

One finds the strangest things sitting at the shore at night.


Bones reaches down to pick up the roll of duct tape, giving another annoyed grumble as he does so. Dusting it free of sand, he gives up on his attempted first aid and starts up his run back home. He begins moving in a fluttering blur that showcases his vampiric speed, but he only traverses about twenty feet or so in her direction before stopping entirely. He didn't even know she was there untill just now, and his obliviousness makes him chuckle right away. He'd jog at a normal human pace the rest of the way over to her. "Yo!" He calls out when he gets within earshot, waving a roll of duct tape at her. "Hey, you mind helpin me out real quick? It'll just take a sec, you won't even hafta get up."


The entire scene is watched with some curiosity, though Bethany is not as quick to jump into the situation as she was with the horse. Though her calm exterior remains, there is a great deal more caution to her demeanor lately.

Watching the blur of speed is a tad unsettling but she does not even flinch when he calls to her. "Greetings," she offers by way of return, eyeing the duct tape.

"You should see a doctor in regards to your injuries. That duct tape is full of dirt, old one, and while I am aware it will not cause an infection to one of your kind, it will certainly not aid the healing process any."


Bones starts chuckling the moment she spoke, but didn't really release a guffaw until after she was done. "Hahahaha! Hh wow, you talk just like a vampire. That's awesome." He grins at her, and addresses the issue of the duct tape being dirty by dusting it off a bit more over the denim of his jeans.

"I aint exactly got loads of cash lyin around, and wouldn't make much sense for me to get medical insurance know what I mean? Doctors dont work free, and now that we bloodsuckers are on the grid, can't just skip out on the check as easy." He hands her the duct tape, now at least not so sandy. "All I need is for you to start up a strip for me. I ain't askin for you to play nursemaid, but my fingers ain't doin so hot right now."


"If by talking like a vampire, you mean like a well educated individual that dislikes the overuse of contractions, then I suppose I do." Bethany has never really considered her manner of speech to be all that much like a vampire. Then again, she has really only met two of the old ones within the city and has never put much thought into it.

"Very well. Hand over your sand-covered tape and I will pry some off of the roll for you." The book light is turned off, a bookmark slipped between the pages of her old novel so that she doesn't lose her place. Both items are then set on the ground beside her.


Bones rolls his eyes at her crack about education, but dosn't speak up in his own defense. She was, after all, helping him. "So what's a well-educated individual doin alone after midnight in the middle of the park eh? Vampires still snatch people out the night y'know, revelation or not. Plus there's all sortsa still-breathin creepers out there too."

He couldn't help but ask. He was proud of his willpower, but even he was tempted to take a bite considering the perfect circumstances to do so. "You uhh, some kinda.. undercover cop or somethin? Because seriously, you look like a BMW with the engine runnin and the keys in it, out here all by your lonesome."


The roll of duct tape is taken, nails carefully peeling the sticky tape from the roll. "It is far too warm to be holed up in my home, which has no air conditioning," Bethany supplies. When the tape is peeled far enough off of the roll she motions for him to come closer so that she may tape the arm up.

"I have never had a fear of the night. Less so now." Lifting her eyes up to take sight of the less than savory man she continues in her very calm demeanor. Her free hand reaches up to remove a thin, decorative summer scarf from her neck to reveal a rather pronounced bite wound. "I belong to Marius Schlachter," comes the very simple reply.

There are other reasons for her calmness and her lack of fear in regards to the night, but that is what she was told to tell the other old ones if they showed any sort of interest in using her as a snack.

"The compliment is much appreciated, however."


Bones cocks his head to the side at her request for him to get down to her level. He hadn't meant for her to actually tape up his arm, just to start the roll so that he could do it himself. Still, he wasn't going to complain, as she'd likely do a much better job. "Wrap it tighter'n you think I can stand." He'd say as he fell down to one knee, listening to her explain her lack of fear, a quality he couldn't help but admire.

"Wait, wait. Marius Schlachter? MARI?!" He laughs again, perhaps a little loud in her ears, but he quickly covers his mouth to keep form deafening the poor girl. When he got it under control, he moves his hand so that he could continue to chuckle. "Oh that's gotta be fuckin irony right there. Your big blonde boyfriend is the guy who crunched my arm like celery. What're the fuckin odds of that?"


"You will forgive me for not sharing in your laughter," she says to the stranger as she rolls the tape around his arm. Tight enough to cut off the circulation if he had any. "But I feel the need to correct you on something. There is no relationship between myself and Marius, beyond that of old one and lamb."

Someone seems to know her place well enough.

"I can imagine that he would do more than break your arm if he heard you calling him by a woman's name and reacting in such a manner in his presence." Bethany accentuates her words with another pointed tug on the tape roll as she continues to wrap the arm.


Bones watches her tape up his arm, glad his laughter didn't shake her grip loose. She was doing a damn good job, much better than his last sloppy attempt at least. "Old one? Lamb? Man, more vampire terms I gotta learn I guess." He said with a chuckle. "You didn't hafta clarify that you two weren't on lovin terms. Mari don't see humans as much more than mobile feedin stations, far as I can tell. Maybe yer an exception, or maybe you're just extra tasty, I dunno."

He decides to simply sit down in the grass instead of continue being on one knee, her wrapping being done more slowly than he anticipated. "He wanted me to be scared of em, like everyone is. If he wants respect, fine, he can earn it the hard way, but nobody gets a shortcut on respect from me, whip or not." He finally looks up from her wrapping job to actually meet her eyes. "You probably can't quite afford the luxury of tellin him to fuck off though eh?" He pauses for a few seconds, searching her face for any reaction. "If you could cut him out of your life, would you?"


Drifting her eyes away from the man as she finishes wrapping the arm Bethany yanks the duct tape once more to "tie" it off. "I have little doubt that the old one will eventually see to my death," she says absolutely matter of factly, no sense of fear or worry in her tone.

"You should put the arm in a sling and see to it that it does not get wet. I am afraid that my field is not as a medical doctor, though I recall enough from school to know that you should not be using the arm." Before handing the tape back to the man, she folds it over so that it will be easier to pull off the roll in the future. Then she offers both the tape and her summer scarf to him so that he can use it as a makeshift sling.

"Whip?" This term is something that is new to her. "I do not see the point in using such language to begin with, nor do I believe I have any choice in the matter. We, as humans, have our lives set upon a certain path and there is little sense in stressing over changing it." To the vampire she adds, "As vampires, you are removed from these paths. Stuck as you were, waiting for something to come along and change that for you. Unable to be reborn so that you can correct past mistakes."


"Bummer" Bones responds simply to her acceptance of a rather dark inevitability, a bit of a chuckle in his voice at his drastic understatement. He doesn't ponder that perhaps seeing to her death might simply mean being turned, in which case congratulations would have been in order. "You're probably right about the sling thing…" he said as he trailed off, just a little bit stunned at her forethought in folding over the duct tape and handing him a scarf.

Why's she bein so nice? And why does it creep me the hell out that she's bein so nice?

"The whip? You don't know the term? Uhh, damn, I dunno if I'm supposed to tell you what that means. It might be some sorta vampire secret or somethin. But whatever, Marius hasn't gotten at me to tell me what I can and can't say yet, so I might as well let you in on what your dude is about eh? I mean, if he's gonna kill you anyway, what harm could it do?" He shrugs his shoulders, and for the moment leaves the tape and the scarf in the grass as he explains to the best of his limited understanding.

"So like, I just learned this stuff myself on account of bein under the vamp radar for a few centuries, but it turns out there's like official vampires in charge of certain areas. Your boy Mari is the whip." He actually brings up quotation fingers to accentuate the title. "Basically, it's a kind of assassin slash executioner guy. When somebody messes up, or the vamps in charge just don't like somebody, they get the whip to take em out. You got yourself a trained killer of expert killin machines. Kinda kick ass huh?""


"You are aware," she replies to the vampire, "that if you were to quit calling him Mari, chances are he would not feel it necessary to perhaps break your other arm?" Bethany straightens out her skirt a little, then falls silent while the stranger speaks.

"It could possibly do a little harm if I thought to mention it to him." Which she will if questioned on the term. Mainly because she has no cause to keep secrets from Marius. "Though that would make sense. He does have an old world aura of authority about him." There is very little she knows of his past, as she will either learn in time or not at all. Either way it means little to her.

"If it is true that that is to be his role, do you not think you should be more careful not to upset him? I imagine that if he is some sort of vampire assassin, you should be more wary in your dealings."


Bones grins at her recommendations about what he should and should not call the irritable German. "And what happens when I suddenly become the guy he wants eh? I cut my hair, put on a suit, stop swearin and start kissin the ass of every vamp with a title? I sacrifice all that I am just so I don't get the occasional beatdown. Pfft, that aint a trade that's worth it in my book. Don't get me wrong lady, I aint aimin to make these guys mad on some kinda anarchist principle or nothing. I just don't see much point in pleasin em for the sake of pleasin em."

He looks down at his taped up arm, admiring her handwork, then picks up the roll of duct tape, and her scarf. "You said yourself there's no sense stressin about changing things right? Maybe next time I run into the brute, I'll be a touch more classy, but somethin tells me that won't change much." A grin stretches across his features at his last sentence. "Y'know it's kinda funny. I think just about the only thing we got in common is that somebody soon Marius is probably gonna end us, hehe."


"He asked you to cut your hair?" Bethany seems rather intrigued by that notion. "As for wearing a suit, have you ever seen him wearing one?" That should at least let the unknown vampire know that Marius may not go for all that frippery. "I did not say that you should sacrifice who you are, just be more wary of what you say to whom." It is all the warning she is able to give, for she knows just what an angered Marius can do.

Case in point, she raises her hand to cover the wound on her neck, somewhat subconscious of the new mark as it is a great deal deeper than the original one.

"That is quite likely the case, yes. Though you should bear in mind that he would hold you in a higher regard than myself." She pauses, reaching back toward her large purse to take out a thermos and have a sip of the sweet tea within. "You are, after all, an old one. I am merely a lamb."


Bones laughs loud again. "Hahaha, okay no, he didn't ask me to cut my hair. I was just givin a shitty… uhh, what's the word. It's one of them words that you use when you're exaggeratin somethin for effect. Hehe, sue me, you're right about me bein uneducated." He rubs the back of his neck a bit at the admission, the body language showcasing himself as more human than your average vampire. "Hey, if I was worried about hurtin his feelings or makin him uncomfortable, I'd watch what I say. Whatching what I say just to avoid gettin beat up just don't feel right."

He looks at her touching at the scars on her neck, and he gives a little crinkle of the nose, realizing that perhaps his stance on Marius is a little disrespectful of what she must be going through with the man. "I don't mean to insult you for doing what the man tells you though. You have your own reasons for doin what you do. Just tryin to explain myself, that's all."

At her giving him that rather lofty title of 'old one' yet again, he couldn't help but start to laugh. "Him holdin me in higher regard than you seems a bit unlikely. I mean you might just be property, but if yer still breathin you gotta be damn valuable property. Cmon, take at least a lil pride in what you are. Every vamp started off as a human after all."


"A hyperbole," Bethany replies to his non-question. "A lack of education is always something that one can correct. Especially if one has the time to do so. Which, as you are one of the old ones, you have plenty of time to do so if you so desire." Her eyes finally find their way back to the vampire and she allows her head a small shake. "You should be more worried about your own unlife than that. It is all the guidance I can offer you."

A gentle smile touches her lips. She will not allow an ounce of fear to shine through. Not at this moment. Now, she needs to remain calm or she will grab her things and run, becoming the very lamb that she does not wish to be.

"It is not so much that he tells me to do things, but that it seems silly to refuse a request when I am well aware that your kind could easily overpower a human and force them to do what it is you wish." Bethany knows her place very well.

"You are a vampire. In every regard that makes you superior to humans. Humans are merely available as food or entertainment, regardless of the availability of synthetic blood products."


"Hyperbole" Bones repeats to himself, trying to commit it to memory. "I don't see a lack of education as a problem that needs correctin really. There's a difference between knowin alot of facts, and bein smart, in my book." He grins at her shaking her head at him. "I've been given immortality, already lived somethin like four modern lifetimes. Far as I'm concerned, if I was staked tomorrow, I woulda had a damn good run."

Her smile brings about a chuckle from him. "And yeah, sure, suppose we can do whatever we wish… to humans. For a while there I thought bein a vamp was a taste of the freedom I'd wanted so much in life. No dice though, turns out that it's pretty much the exact same fuckin thing, with some asshole tellin you what you can and can't do on account of the fact that they got some bullshit title."

Despite his obvious animosity towards authority, he continues to chuckle, remaining surprisingly upbeat. "I don't understand the whole superiority thing honestly. I mean sure we're stronger and faster than humans, but so are fuckin silverback gorillas. We're immortal, yeah, but so are some fuckin jellyfish. I don't gotta justify the fact that I'm a killin machine by telling myself 'oh, it's okay that I'm doin this because she's just a lesser being.' Fuck that, if you gotta tell yourself that then there's some sorta internal moral struggle you went through a long time ago, and yer in denial." He chuckled a little bit and cleared a bit of stray hair out of his face. "Course, when you can squash fifty humans about as fast as a human can squash fifty ants? I can see why that'd give some people a big head, hehe."


Therein lies the irony. "I would make the assumption that many likely became vampire due to the immortality and the sense of freedom, but you should be careful what you wish for. Things are not always what they seem to be at first. That is why we are given many lifetimes to correct our mistakes or find those that we lost previously." Bethany is very aware this makes her sound as though she is a bit of a kook.

"Rules are always in place for a reason, old one. Perhaps you should look at them as a way to preserve your kind as opposed to alerting those with the mob mentality to fight back against something that keeps more and more humans terrified and in their homes after dark."

With a quiet grace, Bethany collects her belongs and rises to her feet. The conversation has turned to easy killing and frankly that unsettles her quite a bit though she is very good about not letting it show except for the light in her eyes disappearing. "I should return home. Work comes very early in the morning and I have a regression to do."


Bones listens intently, though loses her train of thought almost right away. "Find those that we…" He pauses trying to think of who specifically she could mean. Was he supposed to go find some Dutch guy with his last name? "I think you went over my head with that one."

At the mention of rules, he suddenly finds himself with a topic he's spent much more time pondering. "Rules are there for the stupid. I've been so good at bein a vampire that even other vampires didn't know I was around untill a few weeks ago, I think it's clear I can handle myself without a babysitter just fine. But no, now it's Mari's job to teach me a bunch of stuff that's apparently important. How important could it fuckin be if I'm still here talkin to you?"

He gives a grumble, and stands up with her, of course carrying the duct tape and scarf. "Oh, uh, sorry if I creeped you out with all my murder talk. I forget sometimes that humans aint used to that kinda shit." He looks down at the scarf, then gives her an inquisitive look. "Hey, you sure you wanna give me this? I'm just thinkin bout Mari seein me with somethin of yours, and how that might not go so good for neither of us, hehe."


"Past lives," Bethany explains. "It is my belief that we humans tend to go through many such lives trying to correct past mistakes. Vampires do not have that luxury, being stuck in the life they were in when they became what they are now."

It may still go over his head, but at the very least she explained herself as succinctly as possible.

"Something to think about," she offers to the stranger, "they may have been aware of your presence but just did not care until you made yourself known to them. Chances are that if they considered you a threat they would have sought you out before now." She shakes her head once more, slipping her purse over her shoulder. "Look at it as a new learning experience and take from it what you can. You have obviously learnt enough to know that harming someone who belongs to another would be ill advised."

When he grumbles, she glances over at the scarf. "It would likely be inadvisable for you to continue to wear it indefinitely, but I highly suggest that you keep it on for the evening until you find something more suitable. You may dispose of it afterward, I have plenty like it."

Carefully making her exit, she walks backward up the hill keeping her eye upon the strange vampire until she is certain that he does not mean to follow her. Then she quickly hightails it to her waiting vehicle so that she can get home.

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