Beats a Beating

Glencoe Park

Glencoe Park isn't the largest in the area, but it's still fairly sizable. The grass is in a perpetually well-trimmed state, shining a healthy green year round. Near the southern entrance to the park is a playground cluster filled with swings, a merry-go-round, seesaws, huge forts, and a jungle-gym. Not too far from the playground are fields for both rugby and softball, enclosed by wire fences so that children don't run haphazardly onto the fields. Further into the park is a walking path through a small forested area.

marius_icon.jpg chloe_icon.jpg kate_icon.jpg

The evening is yet young. The sun has only just set, and, as they say, carpe diem, or in the case of the now 'outed' vampires, carpe noctem.
With scattered clouds, the stars still make their presences known, hidden only briefly before they show the earth their sparkles. The moon is beginning to wane, but it yet gives some light over the expanse of park.
Out from the trails within the woods comes a cloppity-cloppity sound; the sound of a horse's iron shoes on rocks going at a moderate pace. Through the dim light of the stars and the lanterns that light the path once it opens to the park is a large dark coloured horse and rider. To an experienced eye, the two are just not.. in synch with each other, and the more one pulls, the other pulls back. An epic battle which, when a feral cat streaks by and startles the already annoyed horse, the horse wins the the rider promptly loses. Head comes down and the back section comes up.. and with power in its hind legs, launches the rider..
Marius, the rider, isn't completely unaware about his lack of seat beneath him, but it does take a moment to right himself.. and rather than landing in a heap on the ground, looks more like a 'controlled fall' off a rodeo bull.

From a bench not far away comes a snicker. While Chloe doesn't have the ability to see in the dark, the park paths are lit well enough and she can tell who the rider is the moment she sees him.

Her snicker is caught in the conversation she's having on the cell phone, and she clears her throat. "No, no. It's just something at the park." Ahemahem. "The Mayor wants the release done first thing in the morning. Call the local news stations, and whoever you can get in touch with in New Orleans, and let him get his ten minutes on the air. Then schedule him for brunch at the country club before going to the station to greet and collect the first wave."

After a few more 'uh huhs' and a couple of 'hmms', Chloe clicks the phone shut. Then and only then does she outwardly laugh at the fallen rider. Doing her best to keep it out of hearing range. Then she can't help herself. The phone is reopened and a picture snapped.

To the trained eye up close the story of the horse and the fallen rider might be obvious and the man's lack of injury clear. But Kate is -just- coming off shift, insomnia heavy in her eyes after working the over night and day time double, no sleep on the horizon, so she's been walking and smoking, trying to clear her head of the disaster-victim ridden day and calm to the point that the hot bunking motel looks tempting. So she's not been paying much attention until the rearing of the horse catches the corner of her eyes and she sees the rider go down.
A moment later, Kate's in action. The exhaustied paramedic still has some adrenaline in her, and her uniform clad body is dashing double time across the park towards where the possibly injured rider could be. Blue eyes now wide and alert, she's already tucking the few fallen locks of blonde behind her ears as she goes so she'll have an unobstructed view. She calls breathlessly as she moves, half smoked cigarette left behind in her dust.
"Sir! Don't move! Just stay still, we'll make certain there's nothing too bad wrong, damn, that was a fall!" Her voice is totally Yankee, all New York City and husky with years of cigarettes. She manages her way straight past the lovely woman as she's running, giving a brief glare as she catches the sight of a photo being taken, but her concern is on the possible patient.

Damn, that was a fall for certain, and with Marius on the ground, the horse is singularly unhappy, and dances around as the running paramedic is seen. Best approach to horses? Calm and slow. There's a growl that comes from the ground as one of the hooves catches Marius' leg, and that is it. No other sound comes from him.
He still has reins in hand, however, and disregarding (for obvious reasons that will become obvious to the paramedic) instructions, begins to rise from the ground.
"Sie verdammte…"
Casting a glance around, he catches first the approaching breather, and it's not difficult to discern a familiar figure on a bench, though the reason for the gesture with the phone eludes him. "There is nothing wrong.. except for this creature.." Damnable beast..
It's an almost human gesture that is made to brush the dirt from his clothing; odd, perhaps, in that he's been known to be much… dirtier without regard. "I am unharmed."

The rampant thoughts that run through the paramedic's mind cause Chloe to laugh again. Really she does her absolute best not to, but it can't be helped. Marius is obviously not seriously hurt, unless the horse is packing silver shoes (good idea if she wants to peeve him off later).

"I wouldn't worry about him," she calls to the woman as she slips her phone into her pocket. "The only thing hurt is likely his dignity… not that he has any." Slinging her briefcase bag over her shoulder, she thanks whatever it was that caused her to dress casually today, and walks easily down the path toward the vampire, the shifter, and the horse.

There is possibly a joke in that, somewhere.

The last few feet towards rider and horse, especially as Kate does slow down her jogging in efforts to not totally spook the horse, the tired paramedic's features are still pinched in exhausted worry. She doesn't ease up, though, until she watches him get up like that. 'Well, too late now.' Her worried mind echoes, even if Chloe's words earn the woman a slightly annoyed look, 'Is she -serious-? If anything, he's bruised some ribs, if he's lucky!' And more medical thoughs spin through her head as she tries to analyze the way he's moving even though he's standing. Then she stops, just a few feet off, dead still in her tracks as that shiver goes across the back of her neck. Vampire.
"Oh. Of course not. I… didn't realize… From far off, you know…" Kate murmurs, both nervous and immediately suspicious. She doesn't come an inch closer, just trying to catch her own breath from the run, heart galloping with adrenaline that hasn't quite figured out it doesn't need to be used yet. She looks between Chloe and the man now, trying to figure out some sort of relationship, if there is any there.
'Killer. Hopefully he hasn't mind raped her yet already, pretty young thing like her, she's probably in trouble with the guy already. Lucky to be alive.' Thoughts fly by faster than words ever do as the blonde watches everything. Finally, she just takes a step back. "I…didn't mean to bother. Long as you're alright."

The cold as the grave look that is passed along to Chloe from the vampire is, in his mind, warning enough. His hands hold the reins as the horse dances in place, the charger's head pulling up, or rather, trying to but not succeeding all that well.
The warning thus given, and he gives only one, Marius' attention returns to the human that has suddenly put the brakes on her approach. He can hear her pulse racing; some of it from exertion, some from the body's natural reaction to the humours that flow through the body. Her face is flushed with the exercise, the pinkening of the skin.. and sadly, he hasn't yet fed. Blood stocks are low in the Estate, and he doesn't consider TruBlood to be all that satisfying.. thus..
"From far off there is some difficulty for you to discern, yes." His head rises slightly, blue eyes on the girl as he considers before.. "Or not.. perhaps." There's a knowledge of one for another, but unlike (and unbeknownst to him) the previous night of Ronnie's 'outing' the girl, there is none of that now. Shifters and weres are slightly higher on the totem pole in his book, as it were, as predators. "There is no bother."
Turning to look at Chloe once more, there is something of a hint of a smile, "That one, however, has a death wish. Is that a disease?"

« He's not able to do that to me, » Chloe offers to the shifter paramedic, just to make her stress level even worse. There's a friendly smile on her face as she reaches them all and glances first to the horse. "I hope you're not hurt," she offers to it before turning to the woman.

"Hi, I'm Chloe. I don't have a death wish, per se." There is no warning to back off from the vampire. Not yet. The woman seems frightened enough to take flight on her own if need be. Beyond which, Chloe can, and will step in the way as a food source if necessary — even if that'd make Will a tad upset.

"I'm pretty sure you had that right the first time," she says to Marius. "At least in some cases it's true. You can't exactly detect how pale someone is from a distance or that their skin isn't exactly rife with warmth."

Kate was going to speak, her full mouth (the most feminine part of her features), parting to offer forth some words, but then she hears thoughts not her own echoing in her head and her eyes just SHOOT wide. She stares a both of them, trying to figure out who did it first before her brain processes the statement. It had to be the woman. She looks over to Chloe and her thoughts are all accusation, panic 'Can she hear this? What the fuck is she doing? This is not possible. Holy fuck, I'm going crazy. I need to sleep more than 2 hours a night, damn adrenaline, damn hurricane. This is a hallucination…' But just as her body was starting to calm again, a fresh wave of adrenaline has hit, tension running through her whole frame. She's like a spooked horse herself, ready to buck and run.
To not look totally insane, she gazes back to him, trying to let her thoughts catch up with her breathless lips as she finally murmurs, "Liking to be around your sort… if that is her death wish, I suppose it could be considered a disease. Some obsession, of effects of depression if the person is actual suicidal. Either way, it's unwise for anyone who enjoys life." There is no love lost in her voice for vampires, a hint more accusation narrowing her blue eyes as she watches his handsome, slightly rough frame for another few heartbeats. Her thoughts flash memories a few moments. Blood everywhere, a young man, throat torn out. A flash of a room, three girls no older than 20 strewn about like rag dolls. More blood. The coppery scent on the air. It's almost overwhelming, if Chloe contines to read her mind.
"If I'm not crazy, doll, and you're hearing these things… say away from him, or that's what you'll get. Too pretty, too young to die… " Kate tries to warn her softly, the worried tone of a doctor to a drug addict in her husky voice.

There it is again.. the spike of the heart rising; tension and fear. Marius can feel it, the heat running off the already slightly warmer twin-souled. If Chloe wishes to believe that this creature before him is human, then all the better.. he will neither retract his statement nor correct her. Not in front of this new girl.
It is a testament to Marius' control, however, that the rush of blood doesn't cause his fangs to lower in prelude to feeding. There's a touch of annoyance that flickers behind the impassive facade, and is gone as Chloe steps effectively between them. The impertinent whelp had a bruise once to show for her actions, and if she continued, would sport yet another one before the night is through.
"Obsession. I like that word. There are too many who are.. obsessed with what they cannot have nor ever achieve." Marius inclines his head in both agreement and acknowledgment to the paramedic's words. "Perhaps there is a cure yet?"

The first wave of the thoughts are normal. It's what Chloe hears every time she tries to mess with someone, minus the part about the hurricane. The second wave of thought has her feeling nauseous just from the imagery. Not necessarily what was done, or the age of those involved, but the imagery is enough to nearly knock her on her ass.

Chloe, for once, looks decidedly ill as she regards the other woman. "That may have been there, but that isn't happening here." That she's aware of anyhow. Will hasn't shown her the underbelly of things, and maybe she's a little bit grateful for that. Still, she immediately drops her hand to her purse to fumble around and try to find the bottle of Tylenol she keeps with her. It won't stave off the nausea that threatens to burst forth as something more… but it will kill the pending headache.

"It is not obsession," she says to the vampire, keeping her eyes upon the shifter. "As for a cure…" Shrugging, she shakes her head. She likes the undead thanks to the fact that their minds don't shoot off thoughts or brainwaves. It gives her a bit of peace in each day.

"Thank you for the compliment," she says to Kate as she pops open the bottle of pills and swallows two without taking water. "But I'm likely the safer out of the two of us at the moment." Even if Marius does backhand her again, that'll be all that he does until Will tells him differently.

To try and ease all the tensions she can feel she finally turns to look at the vampire once more and smiles. "I like the horse. I really wasn't expecting that." To be sure she'll likely find some way to print out that picture and give copies of it to Will. Maybe she'll just plaster them to the door like she did the bib. Now that would be amusing.

Maybe she does have a deathwish after all.

At the woman's somewhat strong reaction to the images Kate has thrown her way, the blonde calms just a bit. It confirms that the thoughts go both ways, and seems to have served as a bit of a defense. "Stay out of my head, and you won't have to see it. Though I promise you, it is happening here. It's happening everywhere there are vampires." A cool look towards Marius, no forgiveness in her eyes for him or his kind, "Some just hide it better than other's. The less population, the less vampires, the less stupid ones. A place like New York City, there's a fuck ton of nests and a fuck ton of blood suckers. There are bound to be more stupid ones than down here. Doesn't mean there are less deaths here." Kate states flatly, no hesitation in her voice, just the cool lecturing warning from her husky tone. And then she's looking back to Marius.
"Well. Shouldn't you be on your way? It seems your horse has calmed and I wouldn't wish to delay your evening any longer." Apparently, she's not going to let the girl and he walk off together, or so she's trying to protect Chloe against him as best she can. White Knight Syndrome. Even if Kate can delay it a few hours or a few days, she'll not permit a human, very alive young woman to walk off with a vamp that's clearly pissed off at her. So Kate lingers close to Chloe and a few feet back from Marius, almost trying to now impose herself between them but not being quite that direct.

Marius doesn't look the least bit put out or offended at the twin-souled's words. In fact, if anything, there's a pleasure taken at the words. Granted, it seems more like a single-sided conversation, and given Chloe's reaction— he's heard hints and whispers and is only beginning to actually understand what Chloe is, there must have been something remarkable. He makes absolutely no move to aid the seemingly briefly stricken girl, virtually ignoring her for the moment. Instead, dead, cold crystal blue eyes turn to the paramedic at her later words spoken specifically to him.
"I am not one to be lightly dismissed, lamb." There comes the title now. Perhaps with thought later, she'll understand the reference.. like lambs to the slaughter.
Isobel would be somewhat disappointed in him; his job is to help keep the other vampires in a low profile?
"I will depart when I am ready."
With Chloe's words of 'liking the horse', Marius hands the reins to the telepath. "Then you will walk him back."
Once the directive is given, Marius turns back to Kate and cants his voice low, "Most are correct to fear the night… and those who do not revel in our attentions. Pain and pleasure are one. Death, the moment of death, brings the greatest rise of life before it is extinguished."
In a somewhat louder tone, though never above conversational, Marius looks to Chloe once more, "He goes in the second stall. There is no need for hay, but once his tack is taken off, he is to be rubbed down with his straw."
At the end of his statement, there is something of a blur, a whisper of wind, and where the vampire was, he is no longer. Time for the Hunt.

And so, Chloe is left with a horse. Chloe is left standing there, holding the reins, looking somewhat perturbed. "What the HELL am I going to do with a horse?" As though she's got any clue where to take it. "There isn't an stables at the…"

Grumbling, she holds the reins in one hand, gives Kate a sheepish look, and reaches for her phone with the other. "It beats getting hit, I can tell you that much." Then it occurs to her where to bring the horse, and she sighs. "I'm not walking that far, that's for sure."

Another friendly smile is offered to the shifter. "Thanks, but you really didn't need to stick your neck out for me. Since you did though, let me do you a favor." She drops the phone back into her purse and reaches for a card. "I know you guys don't generally like to congregate with the Pack, but if you get in touch with this guy here he might be able to help you out a little." It's the number for Eli Donato.

Before she's asked how she knows all of this, she adds, "My mother is a werewolf. Bitten, not born."

As a bit of an after thought she adds, "Don't mind him, really. I think he's just cranky because he forgot to eat earlier."

Hardness and quiet hate, that's all Marius gets from Kathryn's blue eyes. She might be a fairly petite framed woman, but she's not scared in the least. She remains slightly between the girl and the vampire, even as he hands off the horse. She watches it all, letting him finish his business in silence before he speaks with her again. His words make her lips twist into a full, cold smirk. "You are wrong in that. Perhaps, for you, pain and pleasure are all one… but they are very different things to many others. And people can ride their highs of life far, far before death, over and over again, because they have been given the chance to live. I won't stop reminding people of that, or giving them every opportunity to fight for that life when they want it. All you do is take it from them. There is no good in that." And then he's gone. Perhaps he didn't even hear all of what she said. Kate slowly breathes out, trying to calm her galloping heart as she looks back to Chloe.
"He's a vampire, ma'am. He's nothing but a parasite that feeds on your life, my life… everyone's life who is lucky to still breathe. I do mind him. And I worry about girls like you who don't open their eyes to the TRUE danger of it all." Kate's voice is all concerned, motherly lecture even if she's too young to probably have children herself. She sighs, pulling out a pack of her menthol cigarettes, something to clear and calm her head from the madness of the last few moments. The comments about the local pack makes her frown, her head tilting just a bit. "I… needn't any help. I'm down here to help others, that's it… with the disaster. Your words are kind, but I'm just fine." Kate insists softly.

"That one," Chloe says, jerking her thumb in Marius' direction, "doesn't feed on my life." Taking a deep breath, she shakes her head. "Some are dangerous, sure. So are some humans who run around murdering people for no good reason. So are some of your kind, that have been attacking my family and trying to pick us off one by one. Should I judge you based on what I know?" Due to the fact that Chloe can hear most everyone's thoughts, she doesn't really think anyone is all that good or all that safe.

"You may think you don't need help, but you do. Keep the number in case you need it. If you don't reach the man listed, I'm sure someone can help you." The telepath doesn't know everyone's name in the Pack, but she knows a few. "I can introduce you to some other's like you if you want."

There is a slightly sly grin upon her lips. "He'd probably kill me if I attempted to ride this horse through the city." Which is exactly what she intends to do because Medieval Times is just too far away to walk to.

Kate still looks skeptical, a good frown upon her full mouth as she looks to the card, but she takes it at least. 'Might as well not be a total bitch', echoes her thoughts as she accepts the card instead of protesting like she'd want to do. She slips the card into her pocket without looking at it, at least not burning it up or tossing it away. She then pulls out her lighter so she can actually strike a flame across the cigarette between her lips that she pulled out moments ago. Much better.
"Well…be careful, alright? This horse is clearly spooked, there's a fuck ton of distractions that are going to scare it, and I suspect you are far more delicate than that vamp was if you should fall off. EMS service in the area is shite right now, most of us working on the refugees coming in frmo Katrina and double shifting the whole time anyway. So, this isn't the time to break your neck, capiche?" Kate states stiffly, not the best sort of bedside manner, clearly used to dealing with drunks and stiffs, not humans.

"Think of it this way," she offers to Kate, "You have the number if you need it. If you don't? What's one more card in your rolodex?" Chloe turns to look at the horse who's reins she's holding. She has no name for the beast, and no idea really how to ride beyond what she learned the few times she went to one of the local ranches as a kid with school.

"Okay, horse. We need to get somewhere, and I don't feel like walking. So be nice and let me ride you." Her first attempt to mount the horse has her falling back onto her rear on the grass. She's considerably shorter than Marius is and thus the stirrups are pretty high up. Her second attempt, the saddle shifts and she falls again.

She's a bit stubborn, but even when the horse steps to the side and pulls the reins taut, she tries to mount it again. It takes a few more tries, but by the sixth, she's up in the saddle and looking almost every bit as uncomfortable as the horse.

"I'll be careful," she offers to the paramedic. "It's not like we'll be going at breakneck speeds… at least I hope not…" Gently nudging the horse, who looks much displeased with the action she starts to turn him toward the street. "If I fall again, I'll call the place and get someone to come pick him up." Provided she doesn't crack her skull on the street somewhere.

The first few tries, Kate stands back, actually thinking that the woman knows how to do this. Then she realizes she probably doesn't. Kate mutters a faint curse beneath her breath and walks over, trying to assist the woman up gently without spooking the horse. Once the woman is up, she frowns deeper, "…Alright. Yes… well…take it slow. I'll keep the card." Kate pats the horses' flank gently before stepping back. She knows nothing much about horses herself, so she can say anything else, she can simply watch the woman head off into the twilight with worried, tired eyes.

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