History Repeats Itself

White Rock Lake

A reservoir, White Rock Lake covers 1,254 acres and was once used for a portion of Dallas' drinking water supply. Now that it's use as a water source has been supplanted, the area has become one of the favored recreational locations in the city. The forested shoreline is dotted with numerous small cabins, fishing piers, and sailboat docks.

The lake is surrounded by White Rock Lake Park, which is home to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Running through the park is a 9 mile trail designed for hiking, running or cycling. There are also bridal paths for equestrian enthusiasts.

Though swimming was banned here back in the '50's, it is still a popular location for area teens who generally enjoy the more deserted areas, using the beautiful backdrop as a makeout spot.

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With the setting of the sun, the faux gas-lights illumine the park's environs. The moon begins to fade to new, giving up less and less light as the time wears on, leaving the work of lighting the land to the stars and man's inventions. The weather is cooling off, and for a Saturday night, White Rock is quite the gathering place. Couples, groups, all come to 'hang out', and while there is no more swimming to be had (no longer summer, after all), there are still small gatherings.

Couples walk the area by the lake, some even walk the paths of the woods, hand in hand, making way for any passers by before they strike out on their way again. A serene scene, for all the consternation that seems to rear its head on occasion; a byproduct of living in a city.

Slipping through crowds, even vampires pass, and for the most part, unnoticed, or rather, unrecognized for what they are. At a glance, the 'undead' seem all too human, but for one or two.. or perhaps more?

One who stands to the side, under a tree, speaking at some length to a younger man, mid 20s tops, Marius' tones are quiet, though for anyone to look at him, his visage is.. expressionless. Matter of fact. And the man with him … Hispanic, speaking rapidly while trying quite hard to keep his own voice down. The pair are having something of a discussion, it seems….


Nicest thing about White Rock Lake is the paths are shared by all: hikers, bikers, joggers and runners. Even those on horseback are welcomed, though their paths diverge from the main trails onto narrow by-ways which meander through the forest. These are less frequented, since fewer people board horses at the stables these days. That, and a good many people fear being attacked in the dark.

Desiree enjoys the ride for the simple pleasure of relaxing after teaching dance classes all day. She needs the peace and quiet, the solitude and the companionship of a horse to gather her wits and reach a balance. Her Yoga teacher calls it grounding and centering, but Desiree prefers to find it here, rather than contorted into strange positions.

Rounding a bend in the bridal path, she's almost startled to see people in the semi-darkness of gas-light. One, she recognizes, the other, no. Marius stands with a younger man—though that might not be true; appearances can be deceiving with vampires. Her horse gives a pull on the reins, obviously not enjoying the proximity of the vampire. "Easy," Desiree says, trying to soothe the horse with a hand on his neck. "Nothing to be afraid of."

Of course there is, but more for her than for the animal. Waiting a moment until the beast calms, Desiree looks over at the couple, making no move to pass, lest the horse shy. No wish to go flying through the air with Marius watching. Lord knows she's embarrassed herself enough in front of him in the past. Better to simply wait until he moves along.


"Go, now…"

Rather than the vampire moving along, the younger one does.. and more than willingly. Once Marius is assured that his wishes will be carried out, his gaze shifts from the departing breather to the general area around him. Familiar sounds, scents bring his attention around; the heart that beats, the smells of life that each mortal carries with them.. all marks of prey to the hunter.

Blue eyes gaze out into the dimly lit area, and he stares, or rather, simply keeps his attention on horse and rider for a long moment.. two, three heartbeats, perhaps, before he shifts his position. Hands drop into his pockets, and Marius leans, almost casually, against a nearby tree.. all while watching…


The departing person seems to make the horse uncomfortable; he stamps his front feet, shifting uneasily as Desiree attempts to keep him under control. She's a good horsewoman, but somethings are more easily accomplished than others, controlling a 500-pound horse who scents a vampire nearby being one of the more difficult things to manage. Desiree speaks softly, soothingly to the beast who seems intent on fleeing the scene.

"Easy." Her voice is a little more urgent, now. The horse, too, is larger than those she's used to riding: a good 16 hands high, and at least half Tennessee Walker. A beautiful mount, and usually quite easy to control, but this one is definitely skittish. Not one to ignore danger signals, Desiree is ready when the horse rears, neighing shrilly. That first rear sets him off, and it's not long before Desiree is forced to admit defeat.

Accompanied by a shrill, panicky whinny, Desiree loses her seat. She has sense enough to loose her feet from the stirrups, and roll away when she hits the soft grass beside the trail. Not giving human nor vampire time to catch him, her mount is fleeing at top speed back along the trail toward the stables. Desiree, on the other hand, lies on the grass, trying to catch her breath. There's pain, but it feels more like bruises than breaks. After carefully moving her head, arms and legs, she slowly rises to a sitting position.

Turning to Marius, she says, "And, a good evening to you, too."


Oddly enough, the tableau is nothing that hasn't yet happened to the vampire in the not-so-distant past. There are more than a few indentations in the dirt where he has fallen, thanks to the damnable beast. Landings, however, are far less painful than what the little lamb's seems to be.

Marius doesn't twitch a muscle in movement to approach or aid, for that matter. He remains where he is, hands in pockets, though he does respond, tones … lighter than usual, though no less accented/ "I have been told that the art of riding consists of keeping the horse between you and the ground."


Desiree watches the vampire with a plethora of emotions crossing her features. Finally, she simply sighs, nodding. "That, or make sure where you land is reasonable soft — like grass as opposed to rocks or pavement." She again tests her legs and arms, and, satisfied she's not badly injured, slowly gets to her feet. Brushing grass from her clothes, she looks about for her Stetson. "Isn't the first time I've been tossed, won't be the last."

Spotting the hat, she moves a few steps away and picks it up, wincing as she bends over. "Icarus seems to be frightened of you," she says wryly, adding, "Not that it's not warranted, I suppose." Oddly enough, her usual fear of the vampire seems to be under control this evening. Oh, there's a quickening of her heartbeat, and a wariness about her movements, but that could be accounted to her fall. Finding a fallen tree, Desiree seats herself as comfortably as she can.

"Can't help but wish you'd chosen another place for your rendezvous," Desiree says quietly, still brushing at stubborn grass stains on her riding skirt. "Then again, I suppose most people have sense enough to stay indoors after dark." A pause. "I have it on high authority that I'm not suitable as a dinner date." A bit wry, that, with her lips twisting into an ironic smile.


"Most creatures have the sense to understand they are simply prey." It's matter of fact; a simple statement of belief for the vampire as he watches Desiree pick herself up, brush herself off and find her hat. "It is only you breathers that actually believe you are on the top of the hill." Marius pauses and his head cants, "King of the mountain."

Finally, Marius straightens, though he doesn't remove his hands from his pockets, lending him something of a casual air; a posture rarely seen 'in public'. "Most have the sense, yes, but apparently few heed it." He allows his expression to darken, and taking a couple of steps closer to the now seated dancer, pauses in his pace, "Though there is more danger for them than a casual use as a vessel. But … not for too much longer."

Marius is apparently either in a good mood, or simply chooses to be a little more animated than usual, and he nods his head slowly, the corners of his lips rising, "You settled in with a vampire with delusions of grandeur, lamb. Dangerous, that … and we have long, long memories." He shrugs soon after and looks up into the air thoughtfully. "Though he may have repented, I know not. Nor," his gaze falls, "do I particularly care. As long as we all understand our place in this world, all is well."


Desiree listens with her own head canted to one side, her eyes studying Marius with some degree of curiosity. "Tall hog at the trough," she suggests to his "king of the mountain" comment. "That's just it, you see," she continues, obviously feeling the need to speak what's on her mind. "It's hard as hell to go from being on top of the food chain to being just another prey animal. Before you vampires revealed yourselves, we humans were considered predators of the first degree." A pause, a lift of one shoulder.

"Now? — now we're not on the bottom, but there's something out there a lot stronger, more powerful and better than us. It's hard to slip out of our original mindset." Desiree takes a deep breath. "I made a mistake with Michael. He was kind and sweet to me, and I thought —" She stops. "Well, it doesn't matter what I think. I admit you're right. I haven't heeded my instincts, but short of having my mind messed with again — which I really don't want — I don't know how to undo what's been done.

She shakes her head, setting her hat on the log beside her. "I should never have got mixed up with vampires if I want to remain free. Suffice to say, Ms. Symon made my place in this new world quite clear upon our last meeting." Desiree gives a soft snort of self-depreciating laughter. "I bet you really enjoyed watching me get my comeuppance."

As she speaks, Desiree's expression settles into one of acceptance. "Have you found a way to unblock my memory, yet? I know I still owe the boon, whether or not you find anything, so no worry about that." Save that her tone tells him she is very much worried about it.


"Humanity is and has always been built on castes. The rich, landed, the poor, the peasant, the serf, the slave. There has always been bigger and stronger. Lords have always held position and their vassals owed to them fealty. The military.. officers and infantry," Marius explains slowly and deliberately. "History says that humans prey on their own. It is those who think themselves lords and ladies that chafe under the yoke."

Pulling his hands from his pockets, the blonde hessian vampire crouches, his arms resting upon his legs, his attention upon the seated young woman. "There are those of us who are weak… who believe that they have lost something when they became. Those have lost their way, and either they will learn, or they will greet the morning sun. Our kind will not weep for them, nor will we ever beg for them to reconsider. We have purpose, or we do not. We are what we are." A sharp intake of air sounds a bark of laugh. "Sweet. Kind. To what end? For yours? For his?" Shaking his head, he waves a hand idly. "I care not."

Instead, he falls silent, his gaze studying. "'Free'. Do you believe breathers are 'free'? In your heart, do you truly believe that?" Rising to his fully height, the vampire takes a step back, his hands falling back into his pockets. "Do you understand why the Lady Miss Symon said what she did?"

And … yes … she did ask James for that boon. "I believe you asked the boon of James? As for your memory, there are possibilities, but permissions must be gained before anything can be done."


This is probably more than Marius has ever spoken to her, and Desiree is both fascinated and wary of this change. She gazes at his face, studying the square, Germanic features with some degree of curiosity. "History is correct," she replies slowly, carefully balancing each word. "That's why there've been so many wars, so many races enslaved by others. As much as I'd like to think we've grown beyond that horror, I know it's not true. We're no better than we've ever been, we just have more powerful weapons with which to kill more efficiently."

But that doesn't seem to quite satisfy what Desiree wants to say. "You talk of your own kind in much the same manner as you speak of humans preying on other humans. That doesn't seem to make your kind superior than mine. In fact, just the opposite. Is there really that much difference between humans and vampires? Other than dietary habits, I mean. Both races want power —- yours just has a better chance of achieving it." She sits on the log, pressing her lips together. "I thought Michael wanted to be around me because of my intellect and my art. Now I know I was a possession, not — oh, it doesn't matter. Why did Ms. Symon say it. I'm not a loose woman. I'm not a … she made me sound like a whore."

It's Desiree's turn to be silent as Marius speaks of James. "Yes, James accepted the boon. I rather got the feeling it was for both of you, though." She shrugs. "I'm sure you'll let me know when the permissions are granted, yes? You or James, I mean."

There's the soft sound of a motorized vehicle on the hiking path. "That's probably a groom looking for me," she says softly. "I expected they'd send someone when the horse arrived riderless."


"There, you are incorrect. Ours does not seek power for its sake. It simply … is. By divine right." Hello, Medieval mind.

Marius doesn't say much more on the subject, instead pulling his head up and around at the sound of the vehicle. "There, you are probably correct. He comes for you." The edges of his lips curl in a hint of a smile. "You will learn when we have information for you. When that will be depends upon the ending of those fools who seek our final deaths." And that end probably won't be very pleasant, given the smile…

Turning now, Marius departs without further word.


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