Of Proper Greetings and Warnings

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.

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The night is a busy one. The light rain out of doors is just enough to bring the humidity up, but not enough to truly wet the ground. Any concerns regarding follow-up hurricanes is past, and the major cities of the Gulf Coast are trying to pick up the slack for the stricken Louisiana, Mississippi and some of Alabama. While Houston is seeing the greater population of refugees, the Metroplex isn't untouched by the disaster.
This also means a higher population of vampires. And with the population increase, the Whip's job is made just that much more … necessary. With the politics in the air, it is more important than ever that reins be put on the new arrivals so they don't consider the province a 'free for all'; they won't be given a free pass due to hardship. If anything, the chances are better than even that the powers that be will be harder and their judgement harsher.
Marius is only recently entered the Estate, his clothes sticking to his body due to wet and humidity, and, well.. feeding. It isn't too long after that one of the guards seek a clean shirt for the vampire and offer it up with little word. It is accepted just as silently, and unbuttoning the unclean one, he shrugs it off in order to replace it with the clean one.

There has been some avoiding going on, since a deal has been broken. While Chloe can understand that people tend to get busy, her life, her plans were centered around a specific event — the wedding of her brother. That is when she should have been turned, and busily starting her new life… er… unlife?

So far as she is aware, Will has been busy. Helping out his coastal areas. Whatever the case is, she's still human. Still stuck with hearing all the thoughts she doesn't want to hear.

On the off chance that he's back at home, she's ready to forgive and forget. Move past it, and offer some information that she heard the other evening while out with some coworkers.

"Where is he," she asks, without any bother with pleasantries. She's a woman on a mission. A woman who has yet to have her first cup of coffee. A woman who has shown herself in to catch the Whip in the act of undressing in the foyer.

The clean shirt is in hand, and putting it on, Marius takes his time buttoning each, his expression impassive and neutral. He doesn't look up from his position, nor does he deign to answer the question. Not yet.
Finally, as the top button is finished, Marius turns to leave the room completely, his path taking him towards the door that leads downstairs. He doesn't accept such things from vampires, and there is little question that he accepts 'such things' from breathers, regardless of who they are. In fact, in his mind, the 'who' in this case means that it is even more important to teach her correctly.

"You can ignore me if you want to, Marius, I don't care. Where is he?" The demand is rife with concern and worry, her pulse racing with it. "It's important. I wouldn't barge in here — okay, I would but that's beyond the point." Chloe may not know the older-looking vampire as well as she knows Will, but she knows enough about him to figure he's likely not the type to sit around reading the paper.

"You do know that they tried to blow up Bloody Mary's the other night, right? But what I'm guessing none of you know just yet is that they're targeting other buildings. You know, other vampire establishments. Such as the one you keep your horse at." Shrugging, she turns toward the door.

"But since he's not here, and you don't seem to care, I'm going to work."

"You will stop and greet me properly. There is time." Marius' voice is low, and his back is still turned towards the room, though his step has ceased. Vampires have all the time in the world.
"Only then will I respond as to where Valentinus may be." While Marius may have ideas, his job is to know where Isobel is at all times and not necessarily the King, though he does try to keep tabs.

"Time? Seriously?" Chloe wipes a hand down over her face and just glares at him. "Right," she mutters to herself, knowing full well he can hear her, "When they drag your annoyingly stupid horse out and kill it because it's been ridden by a vampire, you tell me if there's time then."

With the mutter out of the way, she rolls her eyes and then forces one of her most dazzlingly fake smiles. "Greetings, Marius. I do hope you're well. How did the night treat you? Did you enjoy the rain?"

The 'greetings' part of it is all that Marius is waiting for, and once given, he turns around, his expression still flat and neutral. Unliving. "Time."
With that, however, Marius does offer the acknowledgment, "Valentinus is aiding those in need on the shores. When he will return is unknown, but I do not expect it will be immediately. We are in no real need. The shore villages are." The in no real need is slightly emphasized, perhaps hinting that he is very much aware of the bombing, though not the potential plotting of works against the restaurant.
"If the horse dies by any hand but my own, they will find their final deaths. Not because I care for the animal, but because he was a gift, and I shall not have the Lady thusly insulted."
If it is even possible, Marius' expression darkens, a hint of annoyance flickering behind dead eyes. "You will speak as to what you know of this."

"Oh, come on now. You wanted the pleasantries, the very least you can do is answer my questions." Chloe is being obstinate, yes, and stubborn. She is slightly agitated due to her 'plans' not working out as well as they should have, and almost childishly doesn't want to share the information with the Whip.

Slipping through the foyer toward the kitchen, she reaches into the fridge and counts the bags of blood. Then she grabs a bottle of water and cracks it open to pour into a glass. He's the one that said he had time, so he's being made to wait a moment.

After taking a sip of the water, she adds, "I'm fine, thanks for asking. It means so much to me." Her voice is a tad falsetto, her smile obviously faked. Once that moment is over, she sets the empty bottle down and brings the glass toward the couches.

"What I know is that someone in the mayor's office is currently involved. What I don't know yet is if he's part of the Fellowship, or working on the current mayor's orders to try to paint the other candidate in a bad light."

"I expect the proper greeting." There is a pause, and it's given for that extra twist that he can get from the figurative knife. "Even if you are still among the breathing."
Marius follows Chloe's progress into the kitchenette area, watches her as her eyes flicker to the contents of the refrigerator before water is pulled from within.
"Then you have identified this individual. Who is he?" There's a death sentence if ever there was one. "I will get the information from him." He who has broken vampires. "If he is in the Mayor's office, then the Lady Isobel should be made aware." As to her whereabouts, however, Marius does not divulge. "I will have her contact you."

The slightest eyetwitch can be seen as the proverbial knife drives right into the heart of her irritation. Chloe presses her lips together until they form a tight, white line. Then she forces that ever-so-fake smile right back onto her face.

"I expect answers to my pleasantries," she offers in return, lifting the glass to her lips. "His name is Jim Johnson," she says before taking a sip of the water. "Or John Jimson, or something like that. I don't really know him. I don't really know what his job is at City Hall. All I know is that he was thinking it loud and clear last night when he wandered back to the table drunk."

The fake smile falters, slowly becoming a frown. "You do realize if you injure him in anyway, he and whoever is helping him, are going to have their point proven, right?"

"If he is a soldier for the Fellowship, yes. They will have deepened purpose. If he is simply in someone's employ, there is no point proven because he will simply disappear." It's so cut and dry in Marius' mind. "If he is a soldier for Fellowship, there is nothing that can be done to change their purpose, regardless. And they will have their martyr. One less. They will not throw down their swords simply because we show mercy. Zealots are zealots, and their purpose is God driven, regardless of the Cause."
Marius makes mental note of the name and shifts his weight, his hands dropping into his pockets, almost making him seem casual.. and almost human. The continued lack of expression, however, belies that.
"And there was no thought of for whom he works? Was he behind the bombing of Mary's?"

"Failed bombing," she points out. "I don't think the incendiary devices actually went off. At least, it didn't look totally destroyed when I went by on my way home earlier." Chloe finishes off the water and curls her legs up under her on the couch.

"Even if he's not a soldier for the Fellowship, and is just some random guy doing some dirty work for someone in City Hall, he'll still be proving the point of the Fellowship followers. Tensions are already high with all the evacuees we have in the city, do you think making it worse is really the best way to go about things?"

Resting her chin on her hand as she sets her elbow on the arm of the couch, she watches him. "I can find out who he's working for, or if it's even a group. It could have just been a couple of drunk guys, but you may want to let other vampire establishments know to brace for the same sort of attack. He was gleefully going over his plans, and I don't think he's left any out."

"Regardless of what vampires do, because we exist, it proves their point, as you say. Pretending to be that which we are not," human, "proves their point. Being what we truly are.." proves their point.
"I do not care what they think of us, nor will I stay my hand in deference to them."
Marius turns around again, facing the door that will lead him downstairs, "I will speak to the Lady and warn our kind, but do not expect any visible reaction. What you see, what the city sees, and what we do are three very different things."
Pulling a hand out of his pocket, he pulls on the door, "I will expect more information tomorrow evening." With that, the door is opened, and Marius departs down the stairs, the door left to close behind him quietly.

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