Coming Storm

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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Like she would tell any of her patients, going back to the scene of the incident will help them get over it more swiftly. There should be no fear of a place.

Despite the looming thunderstorms, with the lightning flashing in the distance and the booming noise accompanying it, Bethany has driven herself out to the lake. To think about the incident again. To consider things that are going on in the world around her, and deep worry over her mother who still lives in New Orleans.

A walk along the shore has her pacing back and forth, feet in the damp sand. Worry lines crease her brow, her lips curved downward in a contemplative frown.


It's almost a page from the playbook written by Mr. Bram Stoker. The dark night, the young girl alone walking the 'moors', the lightning flashes that light up the overcast evening sky for a split second before plunging all in darkness once more. True to the script, it is a few lightning flashes before a darkly clad Marius Schlachter shows himself, or rather, allows himself to be illuminated; suddenly there.

His hands are deep within his pockets, cold, dead eyes watching the form and figure of Bethany, and there, he stands in silence for a few more heartbeats before he speaks, "There is a storm coming."


Alone (or so she believes) thanks to the weather, Bethany is most certainly not expecting someone to be suddenly right there in front of her. Especially not when she was very lost in her thoughts about her life.

To have the reaper suddenly before her is enough to have the general calm that surrounds her fall away into a somewhat stifled shriek.

Her movements still. She takes a deep breath. Exhaling it slowly, she attempts to lock her eyes on the figure in the dark.

"Old one," she says, a hint of nervousness in her voice. Something new in her interactions with him.


There it is. Something that had been missing before now. True understanding. If he retained any modicum of humanity, his eyes would narrow and he'd look consideringly at the girl— but, he has nothing of it left, and so his vampire impassive facade remains exactly that. Impenetrable. Unreadable.

"There is a storm coming." As if it bears repeating? "You are not at home." Something of a fact, which, of course, hints that perhaps he'd checked there before coming out to the park. "Is there a reason why you are here?"


Before responding, Bethany takes another deep breath. There is a wash of calm over her, and she stares at him in the darkness. Arms come to rest over her chest but she otherwise does not move.

"Then I suppose I will get wet," she says quietly. As for not being home, it is quite obvious that she is not as she is here at the lake. "I come out here to think. I come out here to remind myself that I did not die here."


"You did not die here."

Marius' hands are still pressed deeply in his pockets, giving him an almost casual air. To know who he is, however, would dispel any thought of that, or perhaps even by simply looking at his face. He is one that simply doesn't care to 'mainstream'.

"Is the reminder not everywhere, then? Every lingering breath?" He pauses before inclining his head in acknowledgment, "You yet live. And today is not the day of your death."


"It is, and it is not."

Bethany watches him silently, her heartbeat slowing at his words. "It is because you are correct. I still live." Her stance shifts and she steps to the side a little so as not to be directly staring him down. "It is not, due to the fact that here was where I could so easily have died."

Wording is accentuated by a rather loud crack of thunder as the sky opens up and the downpour begins.

"Thank you for letting me know that today would not be the day I am to die."


"Does the place truly make a difference?" As a soldier, one place melts into another and another, and with the vastness of time, there are really no places that hold an attachment to him. Perhaps the feel of Hesse, but the chances are good there is absolutely nothing left, including the cathedral in Wiesbaden. For some reason, Marius is being reminded of the stone-wrought house of worship a great deal this past week or so..

"Think nothing more of it, mein lamm. Such a thing will not happen again."

At the crack of thunder, the vampire raises his face to the sky, only to have the rain clouds let loose. There is no sense of annoyance, of discomfort, or really any true motivation that he'd want to seek shelter from the rain, other than offering in a slightly raised voice, "Perhaps you should go home now." Short blond hair is immediately plastered to his skull, and there's something of a drowned rat look to him, and he twists around to locate her vehicle..


"Psychologically it does."

Bethany can feel her hair matting down to the sides of her face but she does nothing to move the wet strands out of the way. "As you wish, old one. I will trust you in so far as that." Even if it were to happen again, there is very little she could do to stop him.

There is a slight smile upon her lips as he turns to the sky to allow the rain to fall upon him. While her worries have not washed away, the are lessened for a moment. "Perhaps I should, though I do not think the rain will harm me overly much."

Uncrossing her arms, she points in the general direction of the vehicle which is in a lot up the hill a ways. "Did you wish a ride somewhere?"


The offrance of the statement that such a 'close call' shall not happen again could be construed as a promise, and apology, or a simple statement of fact. The acknowledgment that Bethany understands and accepts it as such is enough, even if there are other words tacked on. Words, then, that he questions. "Trust me insofar as that." A statement. "Is there something in which you do not trust me, mein lamm?" His gaze is firmly on the girl now, as he waits for an answer, waving away the idea of driving anywhere at that given moment. "It does not matter to me whether you do or not. It is out of curiosity that I inquire."


"You are a high authority," she replies to him gently. "There was one, who's name I do not know who told me so. He named your position as Whip. He said that you are an assassin of a sort." Bethany's heart beats faster, a little bit of fear though outwardly she remains calm. "As to the matter of trust, I wish to trust you and not fear you. That is why I come here, old one. To work through that way of thinking."

Rain falls into her eyes. Her hand brushes at them to keep the droplets from hampering her sight.


"Do you believe him?"

Marius doesn't yet deny such a thing, instead looking for information. Once he has received all that can be gained, then he will determine if the girl's mind should be altered so she forgets such information. The fact that he's considering it is not yet given voice, and won't be. One of those vampire tricks in his arsenal that some know about, and others are blissfully ignorant of.

"Do you think that of me?"


"That you are an assassin, or that you have the capability of being one?" Bethany moves to his side to look fleetingly at his rain-soaked face.

"As to the first, I am uncertain. If you are an assassin then I do not see why anyone would send you after the likes of me. As to the second, I do believe you have the skills necessary to act as one. It is part of being a warrior."

There is a rather long pause as she gazes at him. A pause that is broken when she glances toward the water and says, "He used the term Whip."


Now is the time when Marius needs more information. If he's going to be removing it, how much has to be measured.

"I am a warrior, yes. You are correct. I am not, however, an assassin. There is a difference."

As to the title of Whip, however, it is to that he speaks. The rain continues to pour from the heavens, and still, he feels no desire to find shelter. His attention is firmly on his Own, seeking answers to his questions. "What has he told you of that term?"


"He said that there were official vampires in charge of certain locations. That you are the Whip. That you are trained killer and that it is your responsibility to kill others for those who are in charge."

Bethany wipes her hair back from her face. For another long moment she is silent. Completely silent. Then she adds, "He mentioned that you broke his arm. I helped him wrap it though he wished it done with duct tape and not properly."


That is all that Marius needs to hear; the layering of responsibility, and he who gave up the information. The one that calls himself 'Bones'. "I did."

Taking a step forward, Marius reaches out to take a gentle hold of Beth's jaw, the action slow and deliberate. He brings himself close, almost touching.. and with her face in his hand, his thumb strokes the warm but very wet cheek of his own.

A romantic would ascribe his actions as tender; regretful, even. But in all truth, Marius doesn't have a hint of remorse or regret for what he is about to do.

A gentle tilt is all that is needed for the vampire to have Bethany look into his eyes, and he shakes his head ever so slightly, his words falling low, a gentle whisper intermingling with the patter of the Texas rain. It is thusly that the attempt at glamouring begins. "There is no position of 'Whip', there are no vampires who hold sway over others of our kind.. and if any mention it again, it will not be recalled unless I speak of it. Instead of arguing the point, should it be brought up, you will simply.. nod and forget when the conversation is complete. Nothing more."


The sudden touch is enough for Bethany to bring a question to her lips. When her eyes lock upon his, all thoughts of the question are forgotten. For a moment she makes the attempt to draw away from him. At the first whispered words she finds herself frozen. The words sweep through her mind, washing away any of her thoughts on the subject of what his employ actually is.

Automatically comes the reply of, "As you wish."

Then her head is given a slight shake, and she smiles. "What was it we were discussing? I apologize. My mind was elsewhere, wondering if my mother survived the storm."


Of all people with whom the information would be safe, it would be with his Own, and Marius knows that. What the Whip also knows, though, is that the information should never be put 'out there' to the breathers. It's not proper or right, and if Marius must take the lead to show others that even he is not above the Law, then so be it. After all, it is not only himself that he protects, but the Lady and the vampires that have sworn their fealty to her. He hasn't survived this long to relax now.

Marius' thumb ceases stroking the soft, warm flesh of her cheek and lets his hand lower, taking a step back. "We were discussing your return to the park, but if you wish, we may retire to your house so you may check on your mother's safety."


Bethany has no reason to distrust the old one, after all beyond the harsh feeding that left her weakened he has done nothing to harm her. He did not kill her, though he could have. She has her eyes closed as he lowers his hand, but again there is a soft smile upon her lips.

"I would not even begin to know who to contact," she admits. "Though it would likely be best to get out of the rain and the storm." Turning, she begins the trek up the slippery slope toward the vehicle.

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