Haunts of the Past

Sheriff's Estate - Guest Room

marius_icon.jpg isobel_icon.jpg bethany_icon.jpg

With advent of Autumn, the days are getting shorter and the dark nights are longer. The sun sets earlier and earlier, allowing for the kickoff of the city's nightlife to begin essentially at the end of business hours. It does not require a human to become a night-owl now to handle the business of vampires, and said creatures of the evening hours have more time in which to conduct themselves.
The discussion regarding this first 'order of business' ended a couple of days ago with Isobel's determination that no one would be harmed in allowing for such dalliance such as requested by Marius' Own. If he even questioned the Lady's motives, he would probably 'accuse' her of the same curiousity that his Lamb evinces. He does not, however, and would never.
Now upstairs in the guest room, the door open to the corridor, the Marius paces. He has fed for the evening, his delivery to the Lady allowed for a bag from one of her treasured supplies; and while not completely satisfying (he does like to hear the heart pounding in fear..), it is a great deal better than the synthetic. His jacket is off, his black silk shirt is donned for the occasion in the Estate, and his weapons are put away for safety's sake. Granted, it is more for show than actual safety, but the meaning is clear to all— should the vampire lose all control during this experiment, it may not go well and it is better if he is unarmed (not that it will help any!).
The pacing is controlled, and his expression a mask of impassivity, but within, his mind roils. Close to witchcraft.. He is not completely comfortable with the thought that he will be open to suggestion..

"You should stop pacing, it is unbecoming of a knight to be doing so," Isobel remarks from the comfortable Victorian chair that she's had brought into the room for the occasion. "Should anything go wrong, you and I both know that I am strong enough handle you or that wisp of a woman." Nodding to Bethany she sets her icy gaze upon Marius.
"If you truly do not wish to do this, simply do not do it. No one will think the less of you for it. Beyond which, the possibility of it actually working is likely to be slim."

For her part, Bethany is simply setting up a few things. Normal regression is easy enough. Guided conversation, taking the person back into the past. Working with a vampire mind is most decidedly going to be difficult. Research is slim on such things, as two years is hardly enough time to gather information into the vampiric mind. Especially when they are very close-mouthed about how their physiology actually works.
The woman upon the chair is slightly unnerving, and there is quite likely a visible hitch to her heartbeat. Every two or three normal beats, the rate speeds up for a little until she can calm herself again.
"I believe we are ready," she says calmly, looking to the two vampires. "I shall accept my fate no matter what it shall be."

The reminder of propriety is heeded, and he turns slowly to face the inner room once again. With an inclination of his head, the best he will do in terms of obeissance before his Own, ceases. "Of course." On all counts.
Should anything go wrong, he has no doubt that there is more than enough 'instinct' within him that will pay heed to the Lady, and undoubtedly, she is more than aware of the same. "I have agreed and I will not change my decision. It is nothing.. a trifle.. and as you say, it may not work." The years are long that he has traveled in this 'life', and to break past? Unheard of.
Empty, expressionless eyes turn towards the preparations of his Own. He watches her work, and can hear her heart beating, the way it races as she seems to recall exactly for whom she is preparing… and where she is. Into the lion's den is easy in comparison to this.
In a mortal, the words 'I believe we are ready' would receive a deep, steadying breath in response, but Marius remains silent and still for a long moment before he takes the couple of steps to the bed. He lies down onto the coverlet, boots still on, and looks up, his fingers interlacing upon his chest; laid in state?
"I believe this is where I should be?"

The blonde woman in the chair is unmoving. She simply nods when Marius states he will continue to go through with it despite his pacing. "Should it work, the manner in which it is done will not leave this room."
There will be the forcible stopping of that as well should it be necessary. Isobel is not at all concerned that the one whom belongs to Marius will run off and blab about a weakness though that is because measures will be taken to ensure that does not happen.

Bethany glances toward the scary blonde, nodding once. "I have no need to tell anyone of the technique. Supposing it works at all that is."
Watching Marius lay upon the bed she nods. "Whichever state you are comfortable in will work. You must be comfortable and receptive. I will not push any thoughts upon you, simply walk you back past the life you have held for so long to see if there is anything beyond that."

Marius is in full agreement with the Lady; the manner in which control of his memory is wrested from him will not leave the room. For their safety, for his safety, that portion of the event will undoubtedly be removed from his Own's mind, allowing for the memory of what is gained. He will not take that from her, anyway.
"The state in which I am most comfortable—" is one where there are eviscerated bodies lying around him, as Isobel well knows. "This will be sufficient." He is in the presence of one whom he trusts.. as far as he can trust anyone.
Marius lies with his eyes open, fingers entwined. "I am ready." The vampire allows for a tight-lipped smile , "There is nothing before, but you may try.. ask your questions of me, Lammschen."

Isobel smirks, wandering over to the bed. She leans down to whisper, "I suspect you will wish to go over the border this evening. Take James with you and do try to find out what it is he was doing at City Hall the other evening." One could wonder how the Sheriff is privy to that information. She would have her ways, even if she wasn't alerted to it by the man himself.
"Tch. Marius of the Slaughter, one cannot enter into these things when one does not have an open mind. Even I opened myself up to the Lady Tanwen when she visited us for a short while."

There is curiosity in Bethany's eyes when the blonde leans in. She would probably like to know what is being said but instead must calm herself.
"Close your eyes, old one. Relax yourself. Remember that you are not at war within yourself. Think back to your earliest memory. Recall as much of it as possible." She moves to seat herself on the hard chair beside the bed so that she can be near for the second step.

"If you wish to accompany us, my Lady.." the words are whispered so very quietly, pleasure running beneath them. "I will discover what it is he knows, for I am privvy to some of his actions. Not all, however." Nothing will remain unknown between the three, at least as far as Marius is concerned. Isobel will have her secrets, and undoubtedly so will James. The Whip, however, is an open book.
At Bethany's request, Marius falls silent for a moment before he begins, his eyes closing as he speaks. His voice is a touch deeper, the germanic accent becoming richer and fuller. He's not 'bewitched' yet, however. He merely recounts as if reading from a book.. a book of his life.
"I was born August 9th, in the year of our Lord, 1385. I was baptized Marius Jacobus within the Church shortly after. My first memories are of the fields.. the dry heat, the soaking rains in which I had to tend the animals as a small child. It was my job to bring them in to the house to keep them safe and dry. In winter, it kept us warmer. When I turned of age to hold a sword, it was decided that I would be the one from my family to be called to fight for the Emperor; so I worked the fields with my father and spent my Sundays learning at the hands of the Duke's man…"

"I will consider it," Isobel replies to Marius. She really should save the blood bags in reserve in case the trucks start disappearing again. It would be awful. Though with all three of the men out of the city for the night someone should stay in place in case something goes wrong.
Settling back into the chair, as statuesque as possible, the Sheriff watches with great interest. To see if this could possibly work, and to figure out if it can be used for ill will against their kind.

"No, old one," Bethany says quietly and patiently. "Not the story of your life. Your first memory. The first scent that you can recall smelling. The first sounds that you can recall hearing. The first kind words, or perhaps angry words from your parents. A favored food, a favored pet. Something of the sort that will link you to the earliest time in your current life."
Her words remain quiet. Soothing. As though trying to lull him further and further into his own mind.

First memory. First memory?
What is that? The request is something that Marius really has to concentrate on.
A mother's soft word? A father's gruff speech?
No.. the feeling of hunger deep in the pit of his stomach. Marius lies still, a statue upon the bed, his voice quiet in the room.
"Hunger." The word is heavily accent. "Always hungry.. and fatigued. Never cry, never complain.. My father's cross words to cease my complaints. «You will always be hungry, boy, and it will keep you strong.»" The final words are spoken in a harsh, oddly accented.. what is probably an antiquated German.. Hessisch.

Isobel quietly slides the chair closer to the bed, trying to discern if Marius is actually under or simply recalling a feeling. Her movements are impressively silent and she does not get close enough to touch him.

"Hunger. That does explain quite a bit," Bethany says, sticking her teeth to her lower lip to keep from lightly laughing at the thought. "Always hungry. Follow that feeling, Marius Jacobus. Follow that feeling until a time beyond the hunger. Beyond the year in which you were born to this very life. Locate the dark passageway of that hunger and follow the thin line of light that appears as it draws you deeper and deeper into the past…"

Marius is comfortable, his body relaxing as if preparing for sleep. He can hear the voices in his mind; his father's voice loud in his head. The motion of Isobel to come nearer to the bed is missed, now that he is falling inward to his own memories and thoughts.
"Hungry.." is a thickly accented word before he falls silent once again. It is a long moment before he speaks again, the basso voice sounding slightly.. off. "Hungry and cold.. but the spoils of war are so very nice. It pushes me forward, to wives, mistresses, and land."

Bethany is honestly surprised when the old one falls into the deeper thoughts of the regression. She was not expecting it to work on him whatsoever. The simple words that she carries, trying to weave the spell of thought on him continue even though he still speaks.
"Always a warrior," she muses quietly. "Which war is it that you are speaking of? What spoils are those for you to keep? Do you know the name of the land or who currently rules it?"
Her hand reaches out to lay gently upon his as though anchoring him to this life. "Anything that you can remember or recall will be helpful." She is quite careful at this point to not speak his name so as not to pull him out of the trance.

"We fight always, and take what we will," Marius' tones are soft, and very much his own even if the accent has changed somewhat. It still holds the germanic sound, but a touch of slavic, french, "for his Majesty, Henry of Winchester." There is no real acknowledgment of the hand upon his, the warmth simply melds into the cool of his own.. unheeded. "Lean and hungry are we, his men to deliver a message. On the way, there are none who will stand in the way of the King's business."

"Henry of Winchester? You mean Henry the Third of England?" Bethany shifts her eyes toward Isobel, silently for a moment.
"What is the message his Majesty wishes you to deliver? Who is it that is standing in the way of the King's business?" Though she has no recording device as she normally would, she will simply have to recall everything. Her memory is not perfect but enough of it will be recalled that she can jot down notes once she returns to the office.

"One hundred miles to Wales," the word comes out almost as a sneer. "His Majesty seeks his payment for lands, and we few come to receive it for his coffers." The last comes out almost.. proud. "Horses under us, we take the roads and all that lie beside it. And we feed our hunger." Again the word that pushes him on.
Marius falls silent, his expression still unreadable.. impassive until, "When we arrive, there is food put before us. Wine, women.. and song. Everything flows in deep rivers, but for.."

"Wales…" The word is just a whisper upon Bethany's lips but she looks as though she's been bitten by a rather large snake. Her eyes are wide, the color has drained from her face. "Payment for lands… from the Prince?" Things need to be verified. And verified again.
"Horses." Which means a need to stop at the stables beforehand. Her thoughts flit to Archer Atwood and she closes her own eyes.
"Everything flows in deep rivers but for… what?"

The vision before those closed eyes brings the vampire's fangs down in pleasure. Wine, women, song.. feasts brought before him in partial tribute to the King they serve. "It is by His Majesty's Whim.. and promise to his father John that the Prince remains." For the daughter.
"And she.. her maids are the lovliest. The pleasures divine that come forth from them, even in their protestations of chastity.. Their perfume lingers, as does the sweet taste." Marius' voice trails off, and he falls silent for a long moment before, "Freely given to us.. but three of Regina Clementina.."

"Princess Joan." The two words are again whispered, and this time Bethany yanks her hand back as though having burnt it. "Not all freely given," she says through grit teeth. Of that she seems unwaveringly certain.
"There is no way…" A deep breath, her concentration seeming to break with her protestations. She needs to refocus it so stares once more at the eerily still woman. "Normans? The unwanted guests…"

"The ones that remain chaste are promised to her sons. Dowried maids who serve Joan." Marius' tones take a darker note, "Pure for the bastard sons." Now he draws an audible breath to carry his words. "Too comely for the likes of them. Voices pleasant, their singing filling the rafters.. and yet we are met with inhospitality. So our pleasure is taken with those who would come to us, with always an eye towards the treasure."
The word 'Norman' is caught, and a ghost of a smile comes to his face. "Born to rule this land and make use of all that lies within her borders."

Now there is something at war within Bethany. Her naturally calm demeanor is gone, replaced by a slight bit of confusion. "There is no way I would have been…" Her eyes shift toward the woman again, and her lips clamp tightly shut for a moment.
"Take a walk down to the stables. Tell me what it is that you see there."
This is what she needs to know. Not about some Norman knight come to extract payment from the Lord and Lady.

Once again, Marius falls silent, his body still as if lying in state. He's quiet for a long moment before, "They are well taken—" A hiss escapes his lips suddenly before he falls silent once again, obviously looking out over the scene as requested. His tones sound angry.. bitter, "He tries to take that which I …" would have. "Whispers, questions.. the touching of fingers to lips for lovers' silences."
Marius' fangs are still lowered, but it doesn't seem to be out of pleasure anymore. He can feel his anger rise, his muscles tensing. "A groom.. a peasant that has lofty visions.."

Isobel finally stands up. She sets herself upon the bed, hands holding Marius' shoulders down. Icy blue eyes lock onto Bethany's. "A different train of thought perhaps, child. His anger is not something you wish upon yourself, whether he is in a trance or no and as strong as I am, he has had years of military training and will easily be able to break free from this if he wishes."

Bethany watches the reaction, frowning all the more. "That which you…?" The groom. It all comes down to the groom, the one whom she is forbidden to speak with. "A knight… angry at the groom. The groom has taken something, no, someone of yours. One of the free maids?"

A cool touch… an oh-so-familiar voice that rises in the distance…
There is movement under Isobel's hands now, his shoulders tensing as his ire rises. "Promised to the bastard Gruffydd… and protests it to the rafters. And now, to see her traitorous whisperings…" Marius' voice is quiet and dangerous, taking on the original timbre of his basso tones.. hard and german. His fangs are still lowered, and it's a twitch that is given only to give hint to Isobel that he is rolling, and quickly to a side to gain his feet.

"Marius, I command you to still yourself." Isobel has no control over Marius normally. She is not his Maker nor anything all that special to him. But her words are concise and authoritative. She does not wish to wind up on her backside on the floor. Should he decide to not still himself, she is swift in getting out of the way to allow him to rise. A double clap of her hands has someone bringing in goblets filled with blood, upon an old pewter tray.

"Gruffydd… ap Llywelyn?" Bethany's eyes grow wide and she backs away from the bed now. Though there are more questions that linger upon her lips, she whispers, "Come back to the present now. The hour grows late."
The hour grows late, and her heart is beating as though she is abjectly terrified of something. Footsteps have her backing quickly toward the door in the hopes of getting outside before he awakens and decides to throttle her.

Control. That is the word.. and at the moment, there is very little that is bringing Marius under its sway. With a swift move, the vampire is on his feet, cold, dead blue eyes searching the room now as he homes in on the rapidly beating heart, and the heat that flows through her veins in that terrified state.
The command of Isobel's that rises in the fog of being is heard now.. now that he's on his feet. He spins around and blinks.. the look of death upon his face so easily taken. It's the voice.. the voice that calls to him to still himself. The sound of fear that comes from beyond.. is prey..
The Whip's reaction is rapid.. faster than a mortal eye can comprehend, and he falls to a knee before the Lady, trembling in the effort to control. He's coming back.. and he's confused and disoriented.. and hungry.

"Calm yourself, spiorad cairdeach. You are here in the estate. You are safe." Isobel reaches for the first goblet of the blood, handing it down to him. "Drink. Feed yourself. Do not concern yourself about your Own. She is trying to make it to the door but can easily be escorted back up should you desire it."
A sisterly hand sets atop Marius' head.
"It worked. I do not know how she managed it. The more she spoke, the angrier and more jealous you appeared to get. I know not how she gets so under your skin."

Bethany is racing with alarming speed down the stairs, and through the Vault toward the entrance. Her books and purse have all been left behind in the attempt to put a great deal of distance between her and the extremely angry old one.

Marius' head is bowed, and as the first goblet is offered him, he takes it in both hands and without word, lifts it to his lips and drinks deeply, the wash of blood spilling over the edges, falling upon his neck, his chest in rivulets. Reason, simple, basic reason begins to filter back into the Whip's head. Pulling his head up and back, still upon bended knee before Isobel, his voice is quiet as he speaks an answer. "She made a vow.. She was my Own." If nothing else, that is the feeling he gets from everything. Anger threatens to rise once more, though this time it is much more controlled, "Witchcraft.. the perfidy of women.." He has half a mind to release the girl before having her killed.
Marius' fangs retract and he hangs his head once more. "Allow me passage to the border, my Lady."

The second goblet is handed to him as she takes the first.
"You mean to release her then?" Isobel's brow raises at this. An interesting turn of affairs. "Rise up, you foolish man. There is no need for you to take a bended knee with me, as you well know."
Icy blues shift toward the hallway, a hand wave all that is offered to those that wait outside. "You always have my permission as you well know. Only, take James with you this eve so that he can see to your safety should you relapse. Promise me this and I will see that the breather returns to her home, none the wiser as to any of this."

The second goblet is drained in the same manner as the first, though it is obvious that control and reason have returned, albeit a little shaky still. The crimson liquid drops from the sides of the vessel, adding further moistness to the silken black shirt that he still wears.
As for what he means and what he will do, Marius is torn between releasing the girl or keeping her to her vows. Rising to his feet, he twists around to replace the goblet upon the tray. "I will bring him, yes.. and I will discover that which he knows and pass it along, if he has not yet already." That mission is a lot easier to swallow than to allow his Child to tag along to keep him safe. Still, not a whisper considered to gainsay. "I promise he shall accompany me.. and the lamb should not recall how it is she touched my mind." Others, of course.. but not his. "I will consider if I shall release her."

"Yes, gain the information from him. I know he would bring it to me himself, but perhaps you can shed further insight as to the situation via discussion." Isobel always feels better after she is full and has the time to think things over in the presence of others. Perhaps it will work as well for James and Marius.
"Do let me know. Should you choose to release her and maintain her life, I will gladly weave her mind so that she will not recall anything of your presence." Her glamour may be a little stronger.
"Oh, and Marius? Worry not about dripping blood throughout the house this eve. Come next month I am beginning renovations anyhow."

"He serves you as faithfully as he serves me, Lady.. and there is no question." Anything Marius has or knows will ultimately be shared with Isobel.
Wiping his hand across his cheek, he licks his fingers and hand before he wipes more off his face, and some of his jaw, repeating the process. Not unlike a cleaning cat.
"I will tell you, should I make that decision. She has—" There is a moment when Marius considers continuing that train of thought, but thinks better of his decision. Instead, "That will be best, should I decide to spare her life.. if that time comes."
The Estate..
Isobel had said that she had to ask 'permission' to renovate, just because it had belonged to Valentinus before… but now? The difference is…?
Marius' hands are up at his buttons, ready to remove the shirt in order to have something of a clean trip downstairs to make ready for their jaunt across to Mexico. "You are not considering more white." A statement..

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