Debt not owed

Belmont Hotel

Temperature: 82F/28C Wind: 11mph SE Observations: Cloudy

Entering the Belmont Hotel is much like stepping into another era. While the beauty of the late '40's and early '50's architecture is still apparent, it has faded over time. The lobby is very angular and polychromatic - a symptom of the Art Deco trends at the time it was built. Despite the state of semi-disrepair, the hotel lobby is absolutely immaculate, and a smile can generally be found upon the faces of all who work here.

7 pm in a dive bar on the end of a motel on a Monday night. Needless to say, it's not really a rockin' sort of place. A few alcoholics, the bartender, a business traveller or two wondering how the hell they got to the Belmont, and a paramedic enjoying her one night off. Kate's currently clad in one of the sundresses she tends to prefer when she's not in the field. Deep blue with white halter straps, her fit, tomboy frame actually manages to make the summer Wal-mart special look half decent. White flip flops hang off of her feet and she's got a PBR sitting in front of her and a half full ash tray next to her left hand. Over all, it truly has been a nice, calm evening.

Goodbye 'nice, calm evening', hello vampire.
There is no question that when Marius enters the hotel that he is a vampire. The impassive, expressionless face, the lifeless, cold blue eyes.. nothing about him even begins to hint at humanity. It is as if that spark of life is simply switched off. The door is pulled open, and as it closes behind him, he is already several paces into the lobby of the hotel. Pausing at one of the planters that dot the room, the blond vampire searches the immediate area, or at least seems to be before he begins his search once again.
The humans at the desk, however, their faces turn something colder and less welcoming, not that Marius particularly cares or even reacts to…

The paramedic's scent is all over the place, if he's looking by that. She's lived in the old, broken down hotel since she moved to Dallas, though her smell is mingled with about five other people's in her hotel room down the hall, where she's hot bunked with other volunteers from all over. Tonight, however, there's no doubt of her scent trailing in the direction of that bar with Johnny Cash playing on the Jukebox and the bartender who barely looks alive himself.
Kate takes another sip of her PBR, trying to ignore the familiar, telltale brush of ice that crosses the back of her neck any time a vampire is near. No, no. Not here, not now. She didn't want to deal with this. She curls in on herself a bit more, turning away from the room, facing the bar quite sternly as she moves to light up another cigarette. Probably they weren't here for her. That was a foolish thought.

Vision. Scent. Sound. A vampire can hear, see, and smell things that even a bloodhound would have difficulty discerning. The beating of a heart, the rush of blood to the face in a blush, voices whispered across tables in fervent conversation…
The cigarette smoke, the feeling of a twin-souled nearby sends Marius to the side where the bar lies, the entryway open while the room beyond is lit dimly. He places a hand in his pocket in a seemingly casual gesture and begins the cross towards the area. It's only a few steps before he is even with the bar, the greeter asking if he wishes a table passed quickly, leaving behind a somewhat confused if not a little irritated hostess in his wake.
A german accented voice breaks some of the silence, other than Johnny Cash's singing; a request of the bartender. "A bottle of that disgusting thing they call blood."

After almost two months being in the area, Kate's pretty much resigned herself to the fact that this man was going to be around. Probably of -some- importance among the Vampires, it made him of -some- importance among all the supernaturals. So as much as it grits her to be nice to someone with fangs, Kate mutters quietly to the bartender. "Give him ONeg if you have it….I hear that stuff tastes a bit better than the other shit." And then Kate turns her blue eyes towards him, studying the German up and down for a few heartbeats.
Her expression is unflappable, as usual. She's done very good never to all emotions to come across when he's near, but the rest of her is on edge. She exhales slowly, trying to keep her pulse calm. "Do you -need- something?" She asks flatly, studying his impassive face. "I don't really expect this to be your sort of a hang out."

The bartender nods, a bottle of synthetic blood is placed on the top of the bar, the cap popped before it's passed over to the vampire.
"It is all unappetizing." ONeg? OPos? Marius avoids it all if at all possible, preferring to get his 'on the hoof' when and where he can. While the newer vampires make the change easily, old dog, new tricks…
The vampire sits down on the barstool and takes the bottle in one hand, remaining now facing straight ahead. "I cannot believe you would not understand the nature and reason for my visit this evening." His tones remain low and even, his expression ever impassive. He can hear the beating of her heart.. and it would only take a nudge to send it flying to delicious heights. Later.
"Last night."

Kate's expression tightens just a bit. She takes another deep pull of her beer, instinctively crossing her legs and pulling her skirt down a bit lower on her thighs. She didn't just dress like this because it was comfortable, but around a vampire she feels a bit too much like a possibly delicious looking -meal-, not a girl. She's draining her beer at a record speed as she decides exactly what she should say about last night. She knows there wasn't much printed in the paper. Finally, an empty can is placed down on the counter top and she sighs.
"Someone killed one of your people. Probably tossed him out of the window after he was chained in silver, and that close to dawn there's no doubt that they knew the time. I tried to help. Got the chains off of him but he…dissolved… before I could drag him inside the bus. I'm sorry for your loss." She almost sounds like she means those last words, years of practice saying them.

"Murdered one of my kind."
Marius cants his head sideways now, studying the two-natured seated beside him. "You are not sorry for the loss, so please do not insult me or yourself in speaking them. I am not a grieving widow or family member. I am, however, interested in seeing that the person who did such a thing come to justice."
Looking back to his bottle before him, he lifts it up and brings it to his lips to drink. One swallow, two.. and the contents of the bottle dribble out the sides of his mouth in small rivulets, stopped only when they drip down to the dark-coloured shirt. Upon the third swallow, he replaces the bottle to the top of the bar and wipes the blood from his mouth with fingers.. and licks them clean.
"Silver chains. What else do you know of this crime?" Of course, Marius could simply go to the police department, but this is his first stop.. and hopefully the last. "What else is there?"

Kate shakes her head quietly. "Not much. The only reason we got his name was his wallet was in his jacket that I tried to get off him to cover him." It made sense at the time, the fabric could do more than cover his already clothed body, but the sound of her words might make it seem like she tried to unclothe the severely weakened vampire under the sun. Hopefully he can hear the truth in her. Despite her nearly always slightly quicker pulse around him, her heart hasn't skipped or quickened more in guilt over this all. She motions to the bartender for another beer, grabbing her pack of menthols between her fingertips as she waits.
"Anything else…nothing I could tell. No hate messages, no one else injured. If there was more in the hotel room over head, I certainly wasn't told. Though, I'd say your perp is escalating. He, or she's…gone from humans to vamps now. If it's the same person." That bit of worrisome advice given, Kate falls quiet as she slips the filter of her cigarette between her lips and strikes up a match.

Marius listens, allowing for the human gesture of a nod to play, acknowledging that he is, indeed, taking in all information that is given. "If he was not harmed other than with the shackles, he should have survived." Unless the victim is a younger vampire and didn't understand the options that are available for one of their kind when they are caught out when the sun begins its ascent into the sky. "Unless he was uninstructed." That is as far as he'll go with that explanation.
"They." The single word is spoken with some assuredness. "They. It is more than one. They are gathering forces and attempting to destroy us, trying to force our hand to finish the war that they are starting." Much to Marius' annoyance and irritation, he's not being used to his.. abilities.
The fact that there were no messages left at the scene at ground level annoys the vampire, and turning his gaze back to the two-souled, he narrows his eyes in consideration. "I would have you search his room." He could, of course, but a little bit of distance is always good.

Kate frowns a touch at the comment about he should have survived. "I…I was thinking the same thing. I thought you lot were a bit more durable than that. Maybe he was drained first too? I know drainers like to use silver in such a manner. Or hell, maybe he -was- trying to committ suicide and this is as big a deal as we think." But her husky voice sounds doubtful about that. She's too smart to really believe it was a simple suicide. She takes another drag of her cigarette, just beginning to relax that perhaps he'll let her be, when he makes the final comment.
Kate just laughs. "Look, buddy, I've given you what I know. I'm not one of your people, and I sure as hell don't take orders from you. I'm not going to break into a crime scene just because you told me so. I respect the law. The cops know what they're doing." She states flatly, almost believing it all. She works closely with the cops, she must respect them, but the fact nothing's been solved probably means it's not been a priority case either.

"We are." A great deal more durable than all that. "The fact that you think there is the potential of his being drained means there is something that bears looking in to." Marius agrees with the EMT regarding suicide. "When one of my kind wishes their final death, they greet the sun on their terms. Not bound in silver."
The vampire doesn't move, his body still.. and there isn't even the draw of breath that can be seen until just before he speaks once more, his voice low. "There will be no investigation but for that which you do. We both know and understand this." A simply stated fact, nothing more as far as Marius is concerned. There is no emotion behind the words to give it that 'paranoid' flavour. His voice moves to something barely above a whisper, "A murderer will walk free. And when they come for your kind due to a careless word, a slip of the tongue.. or a poorly chosen location for a change, we will sit back and watch the slaughter, knowing that you had it within you to aid in a small way and chose not to."

A slight wince crosses her freckled, tanned features as he seems to agree with her assessment of the situation. There was no way this was suicide. Kate exhales slowly through her nose, head dropping forward a bit with the headache forming at the base of her skull. "What else could make him burn so fast? Other than being drained?" Kate asks, not yet agreeing to go help, but at least medically curious enough to try and assess the situation with all the necessary information.
She doesn't look at him, the two souled walking that fine line between hate/fear and genuinely wanting to serve the community. It's not a comfortable line to tread. She, instead, inhales deep off her cigarette, letting the nicotine speed her pulse instead of his presence at her side. She'd rather be nervous on -her- terms. Finally, a hint softer, she asks, "Would you really come to our assistance if we had come to yours?"

Marius watches the play of emotions that run upon his companion's face. He can hear the calming breaths, the attempts at keeping this as level as possible. "Youth." Which also accounts for the victim's inexperience. However, "He was obviously unable to defend himself from his attackers." There is a whole slew of vampire "tricks" that are available that can be used as defense. "Speed. Strength." Of course, the Whip hasn't yet heard anything of the state of the room in which most of the action occurred.
The vampire's voice cants low, that hoarse, germanic accent thickening as he does so. "We have an agreement between our kinds as established by the Second of this City." Cinco. "We do not involve ourselves in your petty issues as you do not intercede in ours. We will also not hinder your actions.. as you will not hinder ours." A pact of neutrality. "If it is in our best interest, and we are asked, there will be aid." Of course, 'our best interest' could mean anything, and it could mean there is something there, however many layers down it may be.
"It will be in your best interest to aid me in this." Why, however, is unspoken.

There's a bit more tension to her body again, a quickness of her pulse she cannot hide, no matter how she wishes she could remain the tough girl ice queen around him that most humans with whom she interacts gets. Cinco. Someone she's never met. A pact of which she's never heard. And no real way to tell if he's being truthful or not. Kate's eyes turn, daring to take his in with her own, searching for something in his gaze that says if he's being truthful or not. Her empathy is normally something on which she prides herself, being able to mark a drug seeker from a mile off, but vampires are different. Still, she looks.
"I've never been told about this pact. Granted, I've only been here two months. Still, I haven't heard a thing. I'm not one of the werewolves." Just a shifter, independent and on her own normally, "So I don't, generally, run with that crowd. You tell me how this would be in my best interest. Or, more so, you tell me how this will be in the -city's- best interest, and I'll go up there and help." If she went tonight, she could probably even pick up scents still. The thought of getting to do some good old fashioned tracking alone excites her a touch. "But I'm not doing this for me or for you. That's not my job."

"Do you think there is no communication between my kind and yours?" Even if he's not taking the nuance of werewolf and shifter. "There is peace." Though it was a little.. iffy some months ago with the rogue werewolf going on a rampage-killing spree. A werewolf that, to his knowledge, never was caught.
Marius simply.. stares blankly at the woman as she studies him, no spark of life behind those eyes. Now, he could explain how he wishes to tear the city apart to find those in particular who are killing his kind, or perhaps he could give a blow by blow (literally) account of what has been done up until this moment.. and where the pieces of the body is buried…
But he doesn't.
"It will spare bloodshed.. on both sides." An understatement if ever there was one. "We also work within the law. Should we discover who is responsible, we will bring it to the attention of the authorities. We have done so in the recent past." And the vampires are watching to see what is done with their 'catch'.. if the police charge him or let him go. "Is this what you seek?"

"I -seek- the truth. I hope that's what you've given." Kate grits her teeth slightly, not trusting her ability to read the vampire any more than she does her ability to throw him across the room — which is none at all. She sighs, pulling blue eyes away and down to the beer in front of her, suddenly not really having the taste for it. "Give to me your -word- you will let the mortal authorities do their job, and I will go on this wild mission for you. But you owe us. You owe -me-." That last part is said a bit tougher, jerking her eyes back up to him as if she could actually convince him of her point.

Marius continues to stare at the two-souled in an impassive, deadpanned expression. "I do not lie." There is a moment, then, that the edges of his lips turn slightly upwards; a hint of a smile. "You seek my word when you believe that I could be lying. I have always thought that odd." The vampire pauses before he takes a breath simply to exhale softly, his words coming on the next breath. "Should we find him, he will be turned over to the proper authorities. Should he be caught by the mortal authorities, I will endeavor to have him set before a tribunal for murder."
To the point of being in debt to the shifter, however.. there is a slight shake of his head. "You have finished telling me that you are not doing this for me, or for you. Therefore, there is no debt to be incurred. I will, however, continue to do that which I do within this city, and maintain our goodwill with your kind."

"A man giving his word is different than a man playing politics or dancing around pretty statements. A man's word is a time honoured tradition. I trust that almost more than anything, especially with gentlemen of your calibre and age." That was…almost a compliment? As backwards and twisted a compliment as one can be from the two natured, but it was actually meant to be a touch of respect, and she meant every bit of it. She breathes in her cigarette again deeper, shutting eyes against the headache which has grown gale force now at the base of her skull.
"Fine, fine…I'll see what I can find. I still don't understand why you can't get one of your underlings to do this. Hopefully I can track better than they can." Kate sure as hell thinks she can, a blood hound's trained nose and years on the job, but it'll do no good to go bragging to the vampire when she doesn't want him to use her services.

Marius is no politician, certainly. He is as plain speaking as they come; a warrior and not a statesman. "A man's word is the one thing that he owns, or throws away." And the vampire prides himself on keeping his word, and his vows, even if either (or both) are spoken in a fit of fury.
Rising from his seat in a single, fluid motion, Marius reaches for the bottle of synthetic, and finishes it in a couple more long, large swallows; the blood tricking from the sides once more. Replacing the bottle back onto the bar, he wipes his mouth with one hand before digging into his pocket for the money in which to pay his 'tab'.
"I have my reasons for my choices."
The vampire straightens, and as a farewell, offers, "I look forward to hearing from you. I no longer have a telephone that I carry with me, but should you require my presence, a word in Mary's will bring a request to me."

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