Privacy Laws

Sheriff's Estate - Marius' Room

Marius' private chambers are sparsely decorated but for a couple obviously personal items. Hanging upon one plain white wall, there is a tapestry sewn of a hunt; the colours of deep hues of blues, greens, reds and russet browns.

There is a simple four-posted bed upon which he sleeps, the coverlet of dark fabric, and a set of pale wooden dresser drawers in which he can place his day to day clothing. A closet holds his items that require hanging; tunics of reds, blacks and dark hunter greens that have long been replaced by the modern clothing.

One of the most remarkable fixtures in the room, however, is a form against the wall near the bed. It stands at about 6' in height and holds a suit of armour made of ring that hangs to where the thigh would be. It shines with each ray of light that shines upon it, the complexity of the weave no longer even attempted in modern times. Upon it hang sashes of red silk, and large, round bronze pins with stylized creatures upon them. Wrapped around its 'waist', a plain belt sits, though a blue silk bit of cloth is looped through. Upon the silk is a delicately-embroidered mythological creature, a phoenix rising done in white thread. Within the animal can be discerned, though with difficulty, the initials 'IS'.

Beneath the armour, something simpler in leather sits; the under-coat that is worn with the armour to allow for a little more protection.

chloe_icon.jpg james_icon.jpg marius_icon.jpg tandb_icon.jpg

Somewhere between midnight and dawn, the estate is generally dead. Quiet. The various vampires are out and about, except for those that act as security. Thus, Chloe has free run of the estate generally.

Tonight, her search for Will brings her to chambers other than his. Sitting on the floor, in the darkest corner of the room she tries to read. Why she doesn't go to a brighter corner is anyone's guess. Probably, she's just enjoying the solitude.


There is a need for a sword. Generally not carried within the confines of the estate, honestly, but lately, there has been some use for steel versus the gun that Marius carries at his hip, charged with silver bullets. He has not yet discharged his pistol, but the medieval german sword has found no little use since arriving in the city.

"Assuming he does not tell us, I believe we have at least another two hours before he will find it to his advantage…" The German accent is unmistakable out in the corridor, beyond the door.

It is only a moment further when the chamber door is opened, allowing a little more light from the hall in. Immediately, the vampire stops, his head following his eyes as he turns to the corner. "My room?"


"Two hours?" James says, slowing only as Marius does, walking by his side. As Marius' eyes come to rest on the girl in the corner, so, too, do James'. Titus and Brutus push past their legs, heedless, or so it appears, of the owner's consent or not to enter the chamber. Both hulking brutes make a short jog across the room to stand over the girl, one snuffling at her, the other staring at her with his shaggy head canted evaluatingly.


"Gah!" The book clatters to the floor, and Chloe laughs. "You know, being around Serenity is nothing like being around you two huge oafs." Though whether she's talking about the dogs or the vampires is anyone's best guess.

Shoulders lift in a shrug as she reaches out to tentatively pet the snuffling dog, giving his ears a scritch. "It was quiet here."


"I believe," Marius begins, but pauses as the dogs make their evaluations, "that the seeking of permission to enter chambers that are not your own remains unchanged these centuries."

He looks to James, his expression dead neutral; this one is so very lucky that she has the protection of the King. "Does it not, James?"

As for the seeking of solitude? The elder vampire of the pair returns his empty gaze upon the fortunate claimed, "Could you have found as quiet a place elsewhere? If I am not mistaken, there are guest rooms above that would suit the same purpose."


James would agree, actually, with Chloe's assessment — providing she does in fact mean the canines. Serenity is a good dog, but still learning. Titus and Brutus, however, are entirely his creatures. What the English leech doesn't quite understand is how the girl could possibly think finding solitude in Marius' chambers was at all a wise move. King's Own or not… few willingly enter the Whip's chambers — especially without his consent.

Following his swordbrother's lead, his features school to perfect neutrality. And it's probably a good thing she can't read vampiric minds, because the single thought in his is: Fool.

Brutus submits to the scritching for a moment or two, though Titus remains aloof. Soon enough, however, Brutus' great head turns and he picks up the book in his mouth, retreating to bring it to his master. James takes it from the beast's maw and examines the title.

"As far as I know, aye," the younger vampire replies to the elder. "In fact, it seems to me the media much ballyhoo the idea that we, in fact, must be invited before we are permitted entry into a private space." He levels a direct gaze on the girl. "It seems only fair the courtesy be returned in our own demesne."


"That's…" Chloe exhales a sigh, looking at James through the darkness. "That's Will's." The history of his life, written in his own hand. "Please make sure he doesn't get drool on it?" The fear of Will's retribution over the history book being destroyed is more than the fear of Marius flying across the room to hit her at the moment.

So she doesn't move.

"You weren't here, and this was the room closest to Will's without smelling like him." Another shrug is given. "Besides which, I need verification as to whether Jim, or John or whatever the hell his name is is dead. So waiting for you here was more prudent than discussing this in the vault where your security personnel would hear it."


Marius digs out his cell phone and tosses it at Chloe. "I do know how to find text messages now." Though his sending them are still a little sketchy, and his spelling? He takes more than a little liberty in his spelling.

"In the future, you will seek permission to enter. Am I clear?" His tones are low and hard, each word enunciated so there is little confusion as to his meaning. Anger is easy.

"As for your inquiry regarding the health and welfare of your office coworker, he is.. indisposed and will not be returning to work in the near, or distant future." Though the pair came to the room to gather his sword, Marius is not in any hurry to pull it from its resting place. Not yet, at least. "His conversation with us was enlightening, however."


James turns the journal over in his hands. With a sleeve, he wipes the noticeable dampness from the cover. It will dry without any noticeable damage, however. He resists the urge to open and read it. "You should be more careful with it," he says neutrally. He continues to simply hold it, now, however, not directly returning it — though one might suppose he'll return it before she leaves. He's just not offering it up, now.

Brutus sits by the door, now, tongue lolling out as he pants lightly; the picture of contentment. Titus continues to stand near Chloe, simply watching her.

Privately, though, James can't help but consider that it would be more accurate to say that the girl's colleague is not so much indisposed, as he is disposeable at this moment. But, really, there's not much point in saying it aloud.


"I was being careful with it until I was startled," Chloe says, slightly indignantly.

Which distracts her just enough to be beaned in the head with the cell phone. Irritably, she grabs it from the floor and snorts. "Sure, I'll just text you while you're off maiming and killing informants. I'm sure you'd like that better." She doesn't bother turning the phone on either. Just glances at the pair of them. Then to the dogs.

A hand reaches out to scritch Titus' ears as well. "Sorry boy. Didn't mean to forget you."

Eyeing Marius once more she adds, "So he's dead then. That's all I needed to know. Don't worry, I won't say anything but it might make sense for you to go to his widow and glamour her into thinking he ran off with the secretary."


The tossing of the phone is meant to make a statement, which, apparently, it does. "If it was important enough, I would read it."

The idea to glamour the widow is actually one Marius hadn't considered. It was easy enough to take the man from the street on his way out of the office; what does he care about 'widders and orphans'? He glances back to James; such a thing would probably be more up his alley than the Whip's. That, and there would be a good chance that James would have the ability to gain any other information without another person going missing. Not that it bothers him, but he's been told over and over that City life is just a little different.. and would he keep the bodycount to a minimum?

He waits for war, however…

"James?" Marius doesn't turn around to face his brother, but rather speaks to him as he continues to watch Chloe and Titus. Unspoken, of course, is the request, would you?, which is actually more like a polite but certain order.

With that out of the way, "Why are you not in Valentinus' chambers reading?"


"Of course, Brother," James replies evenly. Even were Marius not the more highly ranked of the two, he'd still take the task upon himself. It's safer for all involved. Including the vampires. As is his wont, however, he leaves Marius to direct the conversation. Rarely does James assert himself before the elder vampire, though, if he's going to, he's more apt to around Isobel than any others. He knows, though, Marius' opinion of the King's Own, and so knows it's best he act more as watchman and witness than anything else. He is the calm in Marius' storm.

As a reflection of that, Titus appears to enjoy the scritches, though he doesn't dip his head very far to accept them.


"Silly beast," she whispers to Titus. "If I knew you were going to be here, I would have brought some cookies." He gets another minute of scritches before her hand drops to her lap.

"I thought I made that clear already," Chloe replies. She did tell them that she didn't want to be in there. Exhaling a sigh, she looks at both men again before she gets up to her feet. Reaching for the book, she shakes her head. "By the way, you know I could more easily get the information for you, without you killing anyone."


James needed not reply; Marius is already aware of the answer. Still, the trio isn't migrating away from 'conversationally civil', even if the lamb is in his room. Or rather, call it 'guardedly civil'.

"You did not make it clear. I asked 'why'." Marius mimics humanity in such that he shakes his head in annoyance, "Why is it that females cannot simply answer a question as asked?" The question is asked of the two of them. "It is a simple question. The fact that my room does not smell like his makes no sense to me as to why mine would be preferable to his. He is your Master, your Liege.. and you are His. Perhaps he allows you entrance in his room when he is absent, but such liberties are not bestowed upon my Own."


James makes a mental note to avoid claiming any bleater. Between Marius and Will… He likes being a 'bachelor'. And without Will around to give his consent, he feels no compulsion whatsoever to bring up the Devillier girl's request. Thus, a hint of humanity touches his features as a faint ghost of a smile on his lips and that characteristic glitter to his eyes. Titus accepts the scritches for as long as they're given. But as Chloe rises, he retreats a step or two. James reaches wordlessly out with the book as she nears, allowing her to take it peaceably.


"Riiiight." Chloe rolls her eyes. "Welcome to the twenty-first century, Marius. No one owns me. No one is my master. And as I'm not yet a vampire," oh yes there is a bit of grumbling along with that statement, "he is not my King." Yet, she's here. Helping his subjects or whatever the hell they want to call themselves.

"I might not be his equal. I might not be the same as you, but while I have his protection we have a relationship. I'm not his slave, I'm not just a bag of blood to him." Exhaling a heavy sigh, she adds, "Look, I offered help. You don't want it, fine. You don't want me in this very sparsely decorated room touching the floor that Will had built? Fine. Then get the hell out of my way and let me go somewhere else."

Oh yes. Next time she has information? She'll simply wait until Will is at home to deliver it. If it means that the rest of the vampires in the city get destroyed? Well that's really not her problem anymore. She's done trying to talk civilly to this one now.

Turning to James as she nears the door she quietly says, "Maybe you can make him understand that we're no longer in the twelfth century. Will seems to be able to grasp the fact, and I've never seen you have a problem with it. It'll likely be really dangerous for him if he takes that attitude with the wrong people. Not everyone in the city is vampire friendly." She glances a spot between the two and starts to make for it, grabbing the book along the way. "Vampires may be stronger than humans one on one, but do you think a single vampire is going to survive a mob of angry humans? Maybe Ivan was right. Maybe with enough pushing, people will rise up against vampires. I just hope you're all ready when that happens, because at last count the world was more heavily populated with humans than vampires and I'd hate for the sane ones of your kind to be injured or killed thanks to ones that want to throw progress back to the middle ages."


And just what does she think he's supposed to do about Marius? Marius is a(n un)living force of nature — Death Incarnate. In more ways than one.

"You're the King's Own," James observes calmly, as Brutus rises and moves to stand across the doorway. Either vampire could move fast enough to stop her, if he wanted. But the dog will still slow her down, since either canine can be an effective wall when he chooses to be. "That makes you as much his vassal as we. I'm a Parliamentarian, luv. I don't stand on the same noble ceremony as my Hessian brother. But, even Cromwell's people recognized the authority of their rulers. You'd be wise to do the same, or you'll find your transition — should it happen — a difficult one at best."

He's not in anyway being threatening, nor is there condescension in his tone. He's just making an observation.

Truthfully? He has much more patience for Chloe. For whatever reason, her continual and almost inevitably futile thrashing against the rock that is Marius and the reality of vampire society amuses him. So, he's willing to be a trifle more indulgent. Besides. She's not his responsibility.

Not. His. Problem.

"I think you will be surprised at just how well we weather such a storm."


"You still did not say 'why'," Marius remarks, this time glancing towards James. By this time, he is more than aware he's pushing buttons, and it's a game he enjoys, for as long as it lasts. There is no physical harm, and the worst that will happen is when Chloe sees Valentinus again, she will whine and he will pat-pat her and instruct her yet again that avoidance is probably for the best.

"You offered your aid, and your suggestion to glamour the wife is a good one. One that we are taking under consideration." One that will be done before the sun's rise. "As for your aid, you had come to me because the man's thoughts were unclear. They have since been clarified and we have received all the information we could from him. It has led us to another with more information. That one will be brought before the constabulary.. soon." Not claiming whether or not they are in possession of said 'another', however.

Marius' expression, during the discussion, turns more impassive. Unreadable. "As for your place, lamb.. believe what you will. And believe what you will about how vampires will fare in war. We have always been, and will always be. Around the corner, in a shadow.. in the whisper of a breeze as we move." Which echoes James' sentiment, after a fashion.

Turning around finally, Marius goes to gather his sword; he… they still have work to do, after all.. and the weapon is needed. "We still have work, brother, before the first rays come."


The dog blocking her path causes Chloe to curse under her breath. Eyes narrow at Marius, and for a long while she says nothing. She does not comment on the fact that she was actually talking about the prisoner they were discussing before entering, nor does she say anything more about her place. She knows her place, and no twelfth century swordsman is going to sway her into sending women's liberation back hundreds of years just so she can kiss his damned feet.

"You have existed for so long only because the human population as a whole didn't know you existed. They do now. Don't forget, I can hear their thoughts. There are some that play at being happy you're around. Some that play at being wanted by your kind. Those are the ones that plan the destruction of an entire race in the back of there minds. Those are the ones that are dangerous. Yet you'd rather sit here, keep me stuck in this room, and piss off one of your allies?"

Her head is given a shake.

"It's no wonder some of the people in the American Vampire League are thinking about changing sides. You're old, and you think you know everything, but you all really don't have a clue. You may be able to weather the storm but your numbers will wind up even more diminished than they are now, and that one," she says, jerking her head toward Marius, "Doesn't believe that anyone is worthy of your kind. There are others like him. Eventually, they'll be the downfall of your race." Maybe in that, Tanwen was actually correct.


James isn't particularly convinced Chloe's right, though her assessment of the situation isn't entirely wrong — something he'd have no problem telling The Powers That Be, if he believed they'd listen. At the end of the day, though, he cares more about his own survival and that of his swordbrother's than anyone else's. And that is not particularly under threat at this moment.

His head cants slightly. "Who do you believe is worthy of our kind?"


Marius gathers his sword and straps it on without having to check its traces, so second nature the action is. The sword is oiled each time it's brought out, so he's more than certain it is ready for the job ahead.

"You forget, lamb.. I can feel their hearts. I can hear the swell of blood through their veins as they speak, as they serve, as they hate.. it is a song that is sung through their mortal bodies. One hides fear from another mortal, but there are telltale signs that we can hear, or smell. The sweat as the humours realign within the body.. each little shift can be discerned. Why would the hunter not know their prey intimately? Pets you are, and while we keep you, we learn your ways. For as much as you say you change, you stay the same.. and we, too, adapt. However, in different ways, and in ways that are invisible to you."

James' question to Chloe is of some passing interest to Marius, and he deigns to stay and listen to the response. It's yet another view into the girl's mind..


The 'obviously not me' on the tip of her tongue turns into, "In whose mind? Mine, or that of your century-challenged friend over there?" Chloe can't help but roll her eyes at Marius again. Were he human, she'd likely rap her knuckles against his head to see if it were hollow. Instead, she just stares straight at him, no fear, no worry within her. Anger is at the forefront now.

"Humours? What are you, some twelfth-century quack? People haven't used that term in forever unless they're writing crappy ass Victorian romance novels." The type Mischa was constantly reading at the library. "Look. People can lie so easily to your kind. I see it all the time at Mary's. You talk about hearing something in the blood? Well guess what? This may not be Hollywood but we sure as hell have a lot of actors and actresses around. They can calm themselves. They can act like bleating little lambs… and I'm telling you, in the back of their minds? All they can think of is that they'd be better off without the likes of you."

Then Marius is given what can only be the human equivalent of a death stare. "If you ever call me a fucking pet again, I may break my promise to Will and try to stake you myself. Grow up and join the right century already, you overbearing pompous ass."


James moves directly, now, juxtaposing himself between Marius and the suicidal lamb. "They do seem incapable of a straight answer, yes," he murmurs, answering his brother's early frustrated question. Did he not clearly ask her who she believed was worthy? That was no answer at all. Only a plea for a long, slow death. Though he knows Marius' control is such that he'll not lash out at the girl, putting himself between them still seems the prudent move. There are times Marius forgets himself. Given the session with the unfortunate below, the vampires' blood lust is less than usual, but Marius glories in it. It doesn't take much to spur him on.

And James doesn't really believe Will would punish Marius all that severely for merely putting the lamb back in her place.

Regardless, why take unnecessary chances?

"Right, luv. Let's you and I go for a walk, eh." He eyes Marius briefly. "I've some business to take care of, an' I think you could help. We'll leave you to your pleasure, brother."

I.e. Go rip the guts outta the bleater in the basement.


Marius looks.. unfazed at the verbal onslaught, his expression still impassive; a statue of Death. "They can believe they are better off.. and still, we take from them our meals.. and leave them for another day, or drain them. It is by our whim they survive to see another day.

"As for those 'actors' you say, you have no concept of what it is we see. You believe yourself so clever because you wish to seem our equal.. or if not our equal, worthy enough to be considered above the others." Good luck with that. "Do not believe for a moment that we do not see."

James' interposing is taken for what it is, and giving the other vampire an acknowledgment for his efforts, his head rises, his voice calm and even. "Go about your business then, brother. I will speak with you before the rise, or after the setting."

To leave before the pair is problematic at best, but Marius does make the attempt to move past the pair and into the corridor. He's got a job to do, and it's one that he enjoys.. immensely. James is correct in that. Unfortunately, the man will be turned over to authorities… eventually.


"I'm not incapable of a straight answer, but my answer depends entirely from the point of view you seek. If it's from him," Chloe says, inclining her head toward Marius, and now ignoring his pompousness completely, "I expect only serial killers and madmen are acceptable to be changed. If it's from my perspective, then I would think anyone to whom the vampire wishes to bestow it upon should be considered worthy."

She watches as Marius takes his leave and then frowns. "I didn't need the intervention, and I'm not walking with you anywhere." That's because she fully intends on going home and eyeballing the broken piece of wood she nearly killed Will with. "I have calls to make to ensure the death of that idiot your friend killed doesn't get out in the public, and I've got to clear it away with a few at the office to ensure his position will be filled before the election. I'm so sick and bloody tired of cleaning up these types of messes," she mutters.

"If Will were here, the city wouldn't be falling to pieces like this."


"Nevertheless," James says, dropping the almost friendly act for one more neutral and implacable, "I would walk with you." A beat. He adds, "You'll find I can make your evening's work much lighter." He then steps from Marius' path, letting the elder vampire pass — though he was perfectly willing to leave in advance of him. The dogs are at his heels, and at Chloe's. They're herding animals by breeding. And James knows how to use them as such… and more.

He levels his gaze at Chloe, not expecting her to be foolish enough to meet it, nor even thinking of glamouring her even were she so foolish. But, he allows his expression to make it clear he is not yet finished speaking with her and he believes she really should listen to him.

With eyes not leaving her face, to Marius, he adds: "Enjoy your diversion, Brother."


Oh, Chloe has no qualms staring James in the eyes. He can try to glamour her if he wants, but he'll find it doesn't work. Her brain is just not wired that way. It's the reason she and Will even bothered talking to one another in the first place.

"Don't you start with that idiotic middle ages gallantry. I get paid to do my job, and I'll damned well do it myself. I don't need a bodyguard keeping me safe from him. And I don't need you following me around to ensure I'm doing what I said I was going to." HMPH.


As Marius disappears down the hallway, James relaxes into a far more human stance. He even goes as far as to roll his eyes — mannerism not terribly unlike a ridiculous Cockney Billy-Idol-wannabe pseudovamp he's seen on late night reruns. "Oh, come on, luv. Do y'honestly think I give a rat's ass what you're paid to do 'round here? His Majesty fancies you. Fine. Good enough for me." He flips a hand almost dismissively. "I knows better 'an to cross swords with his like. An' I knows damn well your gift don't work on me any more than mine works on you. You can't touch my mind, I can't touch yours. Fair deal. Wha'evuh. Don' care."

He shakes his head. "Look, luv. I'm gonna go to th' missus, fill 'er pretty 'ead full of lurid lies about her god-fearing crusading sot of an 'usband. Woulda done it, even if y'hadn't suggested it to Marius. I've spent more'n a few years cleanin' up after 'im, long before now."

He regards her directly. "But, you, luv. Y'gotta stop risin' to 'is bait every time 'e yanks yer chain. There's gonna come a day when yer not un'er Good King Willie's protection. An' Marius, 'e don't 'ave no problem waitin'. Y'think y'knows us. An' to a certain extent, y'do. But, we's got th'advantage that we's been human. Some o'us even 'member what it feels like. But, you ain't never been vampire. Once yer turned, and bin 'round a couple of centuries, then y'got somethin' t'compare. Till then… Keep yer bleedin' temper in check. I'd ask it as a favour, but… Tss!" He snerks. "There ain't no reason. It'd be a favour t'yerself an' th'King. No' me."


"I wasn't talking about around here. I'm no common whore, thank you!" Chloe counts to ten, because let's face it, at least James is talking civilly to her. She exhales another breath and then tucks the book under her arm instead of holding it awkwardly. "You know what, James? Maybe you really shouldn't be too sure of my gifts. I've actually read the mind of a vampire once."

She's going to leave it at that though.

"By the way, what I was going to tell your jerk of friend was that there's something big going down in the mayor's office tomorrow night. I was going to leave the key, but he'd likely go in like a berzerker and kill everyone, and I'd rather not have to explain that one either. If you can think of someone sane to send, you let me know before nine tomorrow night."

Then she's trying to scooch past the dog so that she can actually leave before she tells James off too.


The dogs are still effective walls, and their ears go flat before she gets too far.

James opens his hand, palm up. "Good for you, luv," he says as to her gift, showing no discomfort at the revelation. "Now, why don't you just give me the key? I'm about as sane as you're gonna get 'round here." Which might make other people weep for condition of the vampiric race in Dallas, but he finds himself remarkably sanguine about the whole thing. Besides. If Isobel or Marius were here, he knows damned well he'd be the one sent in.

"I'm your best hope, 'round 'ere, luv, for discrete." A shrug, a lopsided grin. "That's why they keep me 'ere. Ain't cause o' me pretty face."


"The card will only work tomorrow at nine," she says, reaching into her pocket to extract it. Offering it over she shakes her head again. "Actually, I'd have to say that Will is probably the sanest vampire I've met. He can be old-fashioned sometimes, but on him it's quaint. On Marius it's overbearing." Readjusting the book under her arm to ensure she's got a good hold of it, she frowns.

"I have rules. No bloodshed, no killing. The mayor's offices are filled with plenty of cameras and other security devices meant to protect against your kind. Just watch yourself, eh? I don't want tall, blond and cranky trying to cut my throat because I sent you into a dangerous situation."


James smiles tightly as he wraps his fingers around the card. Actually, he offers up a dry chuckle. Tall, blond, and cranky. He could use that for either Marius or Isobel, some days. He likes that. And his eyes sparkle.

"Don't worry, luv. I'll be as meek as a lamb." A beat. He gives Chloe a once over that's assessing rather than leering. "At least as meek as you."

At some unspoken command, Brutus and Titus give way, their ears and tails rising as they move out into the hallway. James, however, waits until Chloe has exits before he does the same, firmly closing Marius' door behind him.

"Just out of curiousity, though… Do y'know 'xactly what's goin' down?"

Forewarned is forearmed.


"Really? Then I guess we're all doomed," she says, sticking her tongue out at him. Childish, sure, but it's her way of calming herself down. That, and the bottle of gin she's likely to open once she gets home will work wonders for her humours.

Stepping out of the room finally, she breathes a sigh of relief. At least the brooding German isn't coming back to lock her in a hidden room. "Hmm? Oh. I'm not really privy to all that sort of information. But I can hear the murmurs of it. Something big. Some big council. Some senator is coming in, and it's got something to do with the VRA and testing something here in Dallas. I'll try to get more information before you go in. No guarantees though. McNaab's been sending me out of the office more and more frequently." Chances are, Ivan ratted her out to the man before he left. But she can't confirm that one way or the other.


"Well, if I'm not awake," James suggests, "leave me a message. I'll try an' be up at the crack o'dusk." Which, for him, is actually quite possible. Painful, but possible.

He waits until she has started down the hall before he moves to leave himself, calling, "Enjoy the rest of your night, luv."

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