We Few, We Band of Brothers (open)
His entrance to the Abby was unmarred by anything so ridiculous as a line. No, this Clan-run club was exclusive, and smoothly organized. Marcallas felt his lips almost curve in appreciation for such a well-oiled operation. He nodded at the man standing guard - muscled and clearly knowledgeable of his function. A professional. Marc appreciated that.
Down the long corridor, and through the doors, a wave of sound and scent hit him as he entered the former slaughterhouse. His brown eyes took in everything - the blonde gyrating on the dance floor about to be eaten; the brunette doing carnal things to another woman who gave no indication of enjoying them. The man to his left, one hand rather too casually on his leg, likely keeping it within reach of his nearest weapon. As he let his gaze shift across the room, he caught the telltale bulge from the corner of his eye. A knife. He nearly rolled his eyes. The man needed a better tailor.
Moving with predatory grace to a table near the bar, he sat with his back to a wall and looked down at the dancers. A bartender roamed over and he ordered idly.
"Yamazaki 18, if you have it." The server scooted away, returning with the bottle of single-malt whiskey just as Marcallas laid out three crisp hundred-dollar bills on the table. He opened the bottle himself as the man collected his payment and tip, pouring liquid honey into the glass left carefully on the table.
He swirled the drink for a moment, scenting in, enjoying the aroma, then lifted his glass in silent salute to no one in particular, drinking it with an appreciative air. In his mind, as he savored, he drank to his brothers, dead and gone for so many years.
Justinian. The man who had chosen him from his tagamata, from the ranks of soldiers and turned him into a warrior. Turned him, too, into a Guardian of one of the greatest ruling families the world had ever known.
Vasily. The fastest man with the sword, laughing at the enemy and joking his way through the worst engagements. Even at the last, he'd never stopped, until the fire got to be too great and consumed even him. His last words, before the fires raging through Chicago claimed him: "What did the vampire say to the fireman?" And then an explosion, and the voice of Vasily, gone forever.
He poured another glass, drinking for his brethren in a ritual he had observed for nine centuries now, still vigilant, watching the crowd around him, his eyes roaming the Clan and its guests, remembering, one at a time, his dead.
all her clothes out to be laundered, then have a few, no several drinks before she made any other decisions, and reconsidered her future.
It never occurred to Shay to go beyond the Tacharan borders, into town. Yes, there was the House of Pain where she could troll anonymously, or even the Club Eternity. Then
too, a new place...Babylon...had opened shortly before she had left Nachton, and she hadn't even been there yet. But socializing wasn't what she was looking for...drinking
was. Had there been any liquor in her apartment, she could have remained home, but it had been a long while since she had been shopping, and she was out of everything.
Shay was somewhat relieved to see the club wasn't terribly full tonight. Her nose wrinkled in distaste to see too many 'juicebags' in attendance. She liked the word, and thought it often, reminding her of Alec, her father, and how she had first heard him use it. Normally she wasn't given to thinking of humans at all, even when feeding. To Shay it was a part of maintaining her life, much, she supposed, like humans did when they ate beef, or pork, or chicken. She doubted humans put much thought into their meals, other than preparing them. Being a vampire meant she didn't even need to prep her food...it was just there, all around her, waiting for the taking. How much more civilized vampires were too...their meals lived on to feed them again, day after day...nothing like the unfortunate cattle the humans consumed.
"Chivas Old Gold 18, double, on ice."
The bartender dared not give Shay any attitude about her drinking her scotch on the rocks. The Chivas wasn't the most expensive scotch around, but for Shay it was the ONLY scotch around, and she liked it cold. What did she care what others thought, she was the one drinking it, and she drank it as she liked it, smooth, and cold, with a slight aftertaste of butterscotch.
"Mmmmmmmmm...good stuff", she murmured as the amber liquid slid down her throat. Her eyes closed, and her head tilted backward, giving her the appearance of being in a trance. Yet Shay was acutely aware of her surroundings, and was curious if the man next to her would speak first, or if she would need to initiate any conversation she might desire.
She had spotted him...like anyone of his size could be overlooked...as soon as she neared the bar. Something about him looked vaguely familiar, yet she knew she didn't know him. Before she left Nachton it was sadly apparent she had no friends, which made her departure so much easier. But when she got out into the world she found it even less appealing, and more difficult to make acquaintences, especially with no common bonds. At least back in Nachton she had Tacharan to fall back on, even if her mother, father, and Dayle were absent.
Putting those painful thoughts away for now, Shay finished her drink, and got a refill before she turned away from the bar, and toward the small crowd in front of her. Resting her elbows on the bar, she again glanced up at the large, dark man next to her, and again debated saying anything.
As discussed in February, I have moved to Nachton. While I will be pursuing some business opportunities of my own, I would like to discuss some freelance work for the Clan as well. For now, I'm staying at the Crowne; I'll be haunting the Abby while I choose a personal residence and survey current affairs.
Carol still had the crumpled note up in her hand. She had found it after a harrowing incident in the Domicile and she still had the blood from her nose on the hand with the note. She needed something to distract her and the note was perfect.
Walking quickly into the Abby Carol slowed as she reached the cat walk that lead down to the pit. She had not met the individual in question, having only been with the clan a little over four years but a nearby wall CPU helped her find him. Jesus he was huge, she thought as she looked at the picture that the computer had called up from its data base. Couldn't be that hard to find.
Carol walked along the catwalk, down to the bar with eyes searching for one Marcallas, also known as Marc. Six foot three, three hundred pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Her own blue eyes narrowed in on a large individual sitting at the bar and as she approached him, realized that Shay was sitting close to him.
'Shay? Holy shit.' It had been some time since Shay had made an appearance in the Domicile. Not since her turning had Carol actually seen her. Carol remembered a little something about her suffering from some memory loss and hoped that the vampire remembered her.
'Shay it's Carol. Remember me?'
Shay probably wouldn't have recognized the pretty blond, if she hadn't introduced herself, though she might have considered her as looking familiar, much like the man next to her.
The faint smell of blood caught Shay's attention then, and she tried to casually locate the source, assuming it came from Carol, since she had just arrived and the scent with her.
"Are you okay?"
In her attempt to find the blood, which she now thought was on Carol's hand...along with something she seemed to be holding, Shay noticed the woman looked to be a little frazzled. While she didn't remember her that well, Shay did think Carol had looked quite stylish the time she had met her.
"Did you want something to drink? I've got a bottle of Chivas?"
The bartender had left the bottle as soon as Shay paid for it, much to her delight.
Jumping over the counter she bypassed the bartender and grabbed a short square glass. Taking the offered bottle Carol poured herself three fingers worth of Chivas and downed it in two gulps. Now that her throat was on fire, she coughed up what felt like a lung but enjoyed the burning sensation in her stomach.
'I'm having a bit of a day.' She coughed loudly a little more and dropped the note in her bloodied hand. 'I'm actually here to see this guy.' Pointing at Marc from behind the counter, she hoped to get his attention and would have been really surprised if her hacking had not already done the trick.
"'Shay? Holy shit." He listened to their conversation of course, eavesdropping without a qualm even as he mentally saluted his brothers, long gone. When the blonde gestured toward him, he stood up slowly, unwinding himself from the chair itself, letting his bulk register in the eyes nearest him.
Six foot three, built for war, and barely disguised in a custom tailored suit, he radiated controlled violence as he stood. His eyes looked both women over dispassionately, giving no hint to the feelings beneath them. His voice, when he spoke, was deep and smooth, a caress of sound.
"I see you got my note." He leaned up against the bar beside the two women, tall and solid. In his hand he had the bottle of Yamazaki 18, and his glass. He poured himself another glass and signaled the bartender as he looked both of them over again, though he had long since committed them to memory. The situation, after all, demanded no less.
"You're welcome to a glass of this, if you like."
'Yes I did and yes I will.' Holding her glass out she gave the big fellow a look. He was fucking huge, she thought but really it didn't surprise her, nothing much did anymore. The clan had a plethora of weirdness and the norm was definitely not normal.
'So what brings you back to Nachton and the clan, Marc?'
In any case Carol admitted herself to having 'a bit of a day', and Shay could commiserate. She handed the bottle over and watched Carol down more than a couple mouthfuls, then proceeded to observe the other two as they connected.
Feeling slightly in the way, Shay gestured to Carol with her hand, as she moved to the other side of the two, no longer standing in the middle.
"I've decided to move here for a time. My holdings are in capable hands, and doing quite well - it is past time to start something new." He sniffed then, the scent of blood in the air pronounced, then he pushed it aside and continued. "And I hear tell there might be a chance for some fun." A pause, as he considered his next words. "It would be a damn shame to miss such interesting parties." The barest stress on the last word gave away the idea that he was hardly talking about a social soiree. Then again, most people had difficulty seeing past three hundred pounds of muscle and violence, so perhaps his subtle emphasis was completely unnecessary after all.
He looked at Shay then, considering her as he waited for her answer, and said with a quirk to his lips: "Nice dress."
While he talked, Shay casually looked at both Marc, and Carol. Her interest in Carol was due to the woman's state, something Shay remembered as being totally unflappable during their first meeting. She was curious to know what had happened tonight to change that, but didn't feel like she was in any position now to pry.
Marc, well Marc seemed nice enough, from what she had gathered in the two minutes since they met. He really was quite a hunk of man, and when he stood she could feel her eyes grow huge, just like he seemingly did.
"New?" Now she was curious to know more about him...what he did that was old, and what he wanted to do new. Shay's days were pretty boring of late, so anything different was interesting. She only wished she had met both Carol and Marc separately tonight...first there was nothing, now there were two somethings she wanted to pursue.
Her favor began leaning toward Marc, once he commented on her dress. It was new, though she bought it to wear out of town, and never found the opportunity to do so. It was one of the few clean things she had to wear, so she'd figured why not. Sipping more of her scotch, Shay smiled back.
"Thanks...just something I had hanging around."
Shaking her head she felt the alcohol bitch slap her into submission. Wow, she mouthed. Covering her mouth with her hand, she turned her face to the side to try and avoid looking like an idiot, which she failed at horribly.
'Were you,' she sounded like an eighty year old man who had been smoking cigars since of the age of two. Her head was becomingly increasingly fuzzy but she was still surprised to see who she thought was George Clooney walking by with her mother. Clearing her throat again, she gave Marc a completely relaxed, if not totally smashed smile.
'Were you planning on living in the Domicile? I can arrange to have your old quarters snazzed up!' Snapping her fingers, or at least trying to, she pointed at Marc's bottle. 'Wow, what is that?'
Thus began her painfully uncoordinated climb back over the bar counter to join Shay and Marc on the other side. Her boot caught a row of glasses, sending them crashing to the bartender's feet, who had seen Carol's plight and was trying to help her over the bar. Whatever Marc had been drinking, it had severely kicked her ass to the point of ridiculousness. All she knew was that she *had* to get over that counter and the something that had bothered her greatly had been forgotten.
Instead, he reached out a solid hand in an attempt to steady Carol before she did more damage to the bar, moving the bottle out of the way to prevent its breakage - extreme alcohol abuse, in this particular case.
"It hangs around well," he said to Shay, with another appraisal. The silver dress hung well, leaving ample skin for his eyes to roam while the woman who was well on her way to falling-down-drunk struggled to get over the bar. Even while leaving his hand held out like some living jungle gym for her to use or not, he stood firm, unmoving as he talked to Shay.
"I have business all over," he responded to her, though he had no particular reason to answer. "I get bored easily. And you? Newly returned to Nachton, are you? What is it you do?" Hopefully their conversation would give Carol enough time to orient herself. It would be challenging to pass along a message to Simon through a drunken intermediary, after all.
Watching Carol maneuver herself, Shay was ready to lend a hand if needed, but saw that even under the influence Carol didn't seem to need much help. Then too, Marc seemed all the ready.
Unfamiliar with compliments, not having any memory of receiving many, she was skeptical with the ones Marc gave, but she thanked him with a smile.
"I am, newly returned, and..." She sighed rather loudly. "I don't do much of anything, not at the moment, anyway. I'm hoping to change that, but into what, and when, I can't yet say. Maybe you have need of a woman with talents?"
She was just teasing, and not flirting at all, no matter how it sounded. It was more just her flip attitude that loosened her mouth, and sometimes led her into odd situations. From the time she remembered, which was all of the past several months, Shay had been learning...how to function in the world, as both a woman, a vampire, and a motherless daughter. She was getting better at ad-libbing, but still had some minor issues on occasion. Like now, when she was more than serious about a job, yet uncertain how to go about getting the point across, without sounding desperate.
Turning to Carol, she saw another opportunity, and decided she might as well take it too.
"Which makes running into you Carol, most fortuitous...know of any openings around the Domicile?"
Once she asked the pretty blond the question, she thought it was probably pointless now. If Carol heard and understood now, she probably wouldn't later, when it would count.
Carol's boot slipped again, this time kicking the bartender behind her in the stomach. He doubled over and fell back against the mirrored wall, breaking more glass.
'Whoa, dude. The glass,' Carol said looking over her shoulder at the bartender who was messing up the place. A hand appeared in front of her offering assistance and with much concentration Carol saw it belonged to the new vampire Marc. Well not new, she thought to herself as she tried to get a grip on the counter that seemed to be sliding off to the side. Happily she took hold of his hand and pulled herself part way over the counter.
'Openings...Domicile...any?' Her broken speech made her pause and then she snorted loudly, mumbling to herself. 'That's like yoda speak. Uh, you might want to talk to...uh...God what's his name...he wears white leather a lot...uh...oh Alec. Speak to Alec, you will.'
Snorting even louder Carol brought her foot over the counter and promptly fell, upside down, onto the bar floor.
"How is he?" She was angry with him, yes, but she still loved him, had worried about him, and wanted him to be okay.
She didn't want to let on that the main reason she had left town was Alec's lack of interest in anything beyond revenge. Yes he had loved Ginnie, and yes Ginnie had died, but were all the things they had done as a family a lie, because Ginnie was gone now? She had loved Alec like a father, but it became clear his feelings for Shay had been purely to accommodate Ginnie all along. With Dayle gone, right after Ginnie had died, Alec was the only connection Shay had had to anything, and when he removed himself from the picture too she just couldn't stick around.
She knew she would probably run into him sooner or later, but wasn't quite ready for that yet. That didn't mean she wasn't concerned about him.
It occurred to Shay that this probably wasn't the best time to find out about Alec. If Carol knew anything, there was a good chance what she had to say might not make a hell of a lot of sense. And Shay also wasn't too keen on Marc knowing her business either, or Alec's for that matter.
But what was done, was done.
"Opening my rooms at the Domicile would be ideal, please. And I've a need to talk to Simon, I think, about some odds and ends that may need to be handled. Nothing urgent, mind you." His voice was calm and urbane, and he hoped that the tone cut through the fog that was undoubtedly surrounding the human at this point.
As Shay asked for positions at the Domicile, he turned his attention to her, interest sparked by the hint of desperation in her voice, concealed somewhere under the glib teasing and humor. She looked a little awkward, he thought, and perhaps a little out of place. He made a quick decision.
"If you're looking for work, I may have a position for you, depending on your qualifications." He ignored the innuendo. He had no need to pay for personal services, but an assistant could be useful.
"What is it you can do? Or hope to do, anyway, at the Domicile? Have you any particular talents?"
'Uh, sure yeah I can do that...ugh...for you. I'll leave a message for...Simon. God, stop shaking the bar,' she yelled at the bartender. 'Simon will contact you in a bit. He's,' and that's when the memory she was happy to forget came rushing back. Pushing back against the counter, she stumbled onto her own steady feet and turned away. Happy fun drunkenness was forced to make room for weepy, crying heart breaking drunkenness.
'He's busy taking care of his business. He'll find you.'
Carol ran her hands over her face and took a wobbly step back toward the Domicile, away from Shay and Marc.
((OOC - heading out pending responses)
Remembering she had been asked a question, Shay gave Marc a glance.
"Qualifications? Oh yea...I can shoot a hand gun pretty well, and am becoming a lot more proficient with knives, though I do need to get my back holster adjusted...damned knife keeps getting caught in my bra strap."
Sadly, right now, those were about the only qualifications she had for anything.
"Oh, and I'm progressing rather well in hand to hand combat, and self defense."
Which she would promptly start up her classes in, once she reached her trainer.
"Beyond that, I am a decent cook, can change the oil and spark plugs on a car, and...oh yea, I'm a damn good researcher." The Food Channel had served Shay well in teaching her how to make several dishes from the easiest to some of the more difficult. Hell, if you could read, you could cook, she thought. The oil change lesson had come about during her travels, when her rental car broke down, and she didn't want to wait a day to get a loaner. That auto mechanic had been helpful in ways he never would have thought, and Shay couldn't resist the desire to lick her lip in memory.
"Before I left town I became pretty well versed in the INTERNET, and getting information about a myriad of topics, though..." She sighed again. "When I say it all out loud, it sounds rather pitiful."
Shrugging, Shay knew her finances were okay for now, and that she didn't NEED to get a job...unless she was truly concerned about remaining sane.
"Carol? You need help there?"
Shay wasn't sure the receptionist...was that what she was? Anyway...she wasn't sure Carol had heard her, and almost repeated the question, quite willing to lend an arm should one be required. Instead she gave the blond space to decide if she could make it to wherever she was going on her own, and waited.
He lifted the bottle to his lips, drinking deeply, finishing the last of the whiskey. He pushed away from the bar somewhat reflectively, then looked at Shay. Her dress made his blood warmer, and she claimed to be lethal - an interesting combination, at least. And she seemed to need a job.
"I haven't decided in which direction to take my business ventures first," he said, uncharacteristically open. "But if you're willing to do some research for me, I would be willing to hire you for now." He grinned at her suddenly, flashing a white smile that still managed to seem feral and dangerous. "Until we decide to kill each other, or until you decide that you can't stand to be around me." For him, it was a very real concern, as he had a temper hotter than an Irish scrubwoman's and twice as vicious. Which, from close personal experience in the seventeenth century, was saying something.
He thought, momentarily, about following the familiar home, making sure she made it. Then he shrugged to himself and returned his attention to Shay. He was sure that the human would find ample protectors, if that was needed, in the persons of the guards near the door, who worked directly for Simon. Unless he decided to join the cadre of killers and mercs in the Clan's pay, he had no real responsibility at the moment.
Marc...why did he keep looking at her like that. It wasn't like the way most guys looked at her, one thing on their minds. This one...well she couldn't make out what he might be thinking, and it was a little unsettling. She shoved those thoughts to the back of her head, having no time for them now.
"Like I said...or did I? Well anyway, I'm back, no job, and sure, I'll check out anything you want me to check out."
Her semi-smile went still and she raised one eyebrow as she regarded him. Ginnie and Alec had trained her well with guns and knives, but it wasn't common for Shay to go around killing anyone. Now if she ever found those responsible for Ginnie's death, she would move heaven and earth to get rid of those bastards without so much as the blink of an eye, but she saw no reason why this guy would wind up with the same fate.
"I really don't think you have anything to worry about. I used to get a little overwhelmed by things, but I seem to have worked through all that. Oh...I guess I should tell you...I've got a form of amnesia...when I was turned I came to without a glimmer of my past." She had told the story so many times...at least five or six...that it was almost like she was giving a weather report, for a very boring 75 degree sunny day.
"Aaaaanyway, if you are all creeped out by that, I would understand changing your mind. I mean, yea, I'd like the job, but I'd hate to give you any reason so soon for considering...you know."
Drawing her finely manicured nail across her neck, Shay gave a poor but clear imitation of decapitation.
"Listen, we can talk about this all more later...do you dance?"
She hadn't come to the Abbatoir with the intention of dancing, but the music had her starting to move in time, and it sounded like it would be a lot of fun.
It took him a moment to process her words, so surprised was he at the question. Was she insane? Dance?
"No." His reply was terse, but urbane. "But by all means, feel free." He stood up, still watching her, seeing a woman who might be competent with self defense, but without the reflexes of a killer. He wondered if she even noticed the two men who had come up, looked her over while she spoke to him, and then wandered off - quickly - as his eyes met theirs during the conversation. He stood up, gathering himself with the stillness of a stalking cat, and inclined his head to her.
"I'll send around a packet to the Domicile tomorrow evening, with a preliminary outline of thoughts, and some details - including pay." He smiled slightly, for the first time, still managing to look quite feral. "I believe you'll find it an attractive offer. And don't worry about the amnesia. It happens to all of us, sooner or later." With that remark his smile faded, and he was once more the inscrutable warrior in the black suit, eyes scanning the crowd continually for threats.
"And now, I believe I'll go find a bite to eat. Good evening to you, Shay."
(( OOC - Marc out pending response ))