Foot in Mouth Disease (attn: Reign)

Kem walked slowly up Reign's driveway, pausing at the door before knocking although it was clear Sirius had heard him. He didn't want to give Reign any reason to panic after the events several nights back so he lifted his hand and tapped on the door.

He wasn't sure this was the best idea ever, but at the very least he owed Reign an apology for his thoughtless words the night of the attack. If nothing else came of this evening, that would satisfy.

Reign 12 years ago
Like he had after the first break in, not that Reign was sure this counted as a break in after all no one actually got -in-, Sirius was on high alert. Before she even heard the knock on the door, he was standing outside it. as soon as the light rap came, he launched into his low rumbling growl and barked, loudly, several times. Reign let him. It was a scary sound.

Picking up the bat, she went to the door and looked out the peephole. It looked like Kem but she wasn't quite ready to be all that trusting. With a quick word to the mutt she got him to be quiet.

"Who is it?"Â?

The alarm was set and would go off if he forced the door and her phone was in her pocket, she could call the cops damned fast, and the Boy had promised to come by after work. But no reason to take chances right?
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
"Hey Reign. It's just me." Kem eyeballed the teeny hole in Reign's door. "Need proof?"

[Here it is.]

It seemed to be enough; the door opened and he almost didn't see the baseball bat. He pretended not to notice it, anyway. Once inside, the apparently ever-present beer in hand, he tried to sit down but wasn't really successful. he walked when he was nervous, and he was definitely nervous now.

He engaged his hand by scratching Sirius behind the ears. He watched Reign as she re-armed her alarm and gave each door a thorough looking-over. It hurt, in a way, to see her so frightened. They'd known each other for a few years now and she had never struck him as the timid type.

Once they were settled, more or less, in the living room, Kem looked down at Sirius, not meeting Reign's eyes.

"So. I owe you an apology. For the way I phrased things a few nights ago."

He did look up, after that. "I didn't mean it to come out quite like it did. It's true, I have a family to look out for but friends are just as important. So... I hope you can accept it for what it is."
Reign 12 years ago
OK the whole voice in head thing wasn't getting any less weird. But at least that couldn't be faked.

Reign knew she was being paranoid but for the next few days, maybe weeks, but she'd settle down. She had before. Eventually she'd get annoyed with Drew here every night and wouldn't set the alarm every time she closed the door. It just took time.

Sick world that she would know this.

She actually grinned at Kem for that comment.

"You went through my little mini-TSA to apologize? Lord. Don't. No reason. Trust me I understand. It's hard to find a way to take care of everyone when you can only be in one place at a time."Â?

Point in case her parents. Who had had a -massive- conniption when she told them. Pop and Alex were expected any day just to check on her even though she'd said repeatedly she was fine and had a friend staying over.

"Most neighbors wouldn't have even called the cops, so I'd say you went above and beyond."Â?
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Kem raised one eyebrow at Reign and smiled wryly. "Please," he said. "Most neighbors don't have the wherewithal to dig shells out of their ribcages and still play hopscotch the next morning. The fact is I said what I said because I was nervous. Lately I've had a lot more responsibility than I'm entirely comfortable with, and sometimes I forget my actions might have repercussions."

He waved his hand vaguely. "At any rate it doesn't matter. Aishe and I both consider your our friend. So what I said was out of line and Drew was right to call me on it."

He finally moved away from his comfort-zone right next to Sirius and sat down on the couch where he'd been that night, surreptitiously making sure there weren't any bloodstains.

"I want to try and help. Not because I was an ass, but because I might be able to make it so you don't have to do all of this." He pointed out her bat, the alarm systems, the closed-tight blinds. It didn't seem very 'Reign' really.

"I still don't know how I can figure out who's after you, but I got in touch with a friend who might be able to help shed some light on the subject."

He didn't quite go into his main reason for being here. Aishe's idea was a good one, but it made him nervous. Very nervous. If Reign was interested he'd be so far out of his comfort zone that not even GPS could tag him... but this might work for her.

If she asked questions, he'd bring it up... but if she seemed to want him gone he'd go. Reign was usually pretty clear on such matters even if she didn't come out and say it in so many words.
Reign 12 years ago
Reign shrugged. She really didn't need details or an apology from Kem. She was OK with what ever Kem had to do, or not do. Still she wasn't so ungracious as to totally dismiss it.

"I appreciate it. Thanks. I won't turn down the help, but don't get your self or your family in trouble on my account."Â?

Sirius wandered over to sit by her chair, Reign took the suggestion and curled up in her favorite chair as Kem settled on the sofa.

"He was out of line with his attitude though."Â? She snapped, "I'm sorry about that."Â?

Wolf or not or just returning from being a wolf Reign had never seen the Boy behave that way with any one. She didn't understand it, not at all.

She frowned, confused. The alarm system Bas had had put in and frankly it only made good sense, living alone like she did. The rest, she quirked a grin.

"Yeah I guess it does look a little... paranoid."Â?

But like she'd said, it would settle down after a while. She just needed time to reaffirm that she was safe and not going to get jumped at any second. Granted since this was the second situation it might take longer, and she might not every totally relax but it would get better.

Strange place to leave her hanging. Reign raised an eyebrow.

"Oh? I'm guessing said friend isn't a cop or you'd just give me a card. Do a get a clue?"Â?

She said with a cheerful smile enjoying Kem's strange little game. She thought it was fun, but he seemed nervous. It didn't make sense, not really, but she was willing to go with it.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Kem shook his head dismissively. "Go easy on him," he said to Reign. "His kind and mine don't exactly have a cheerful friendly history."

reign's question made him laugh again. "No. Not a cop. A scientist, actually. And no, I won't tell you who. I'm sorry. It's safer that way, for both of you."

He didn't think Xephier or Drew would be too appreciative of his bringing Nikhila into this but he could think of no one else who might be able to glue the facts together as he'd written them down.

He wiped his hands down his thighs nervously and tried to figure out how to broach the next topic. Finally he just sighed and shrugged.

"How would you feel if I told you I could offer you some small amount of protection for now? I can't be with you all the time, and I don't know anyone who can, but if you need help for any reason at any time I can get someone to you. Fast. Night or day."

He was going out on a limb here; Meridian's resources weren't his to use for his own personal gain but if it were temporary, and for a good reason... he thought he might just have that much pull.
Reign 12 years ago
Reign raised an eyebrow at that. What did vampires and werewolves have in common? But she let Kem dismiss it, but damned it some one was going to have to fill her in at some point?

"Oh now I feel save, there is a scientist involved."Â?

It was funny, It really was she couldn't help but laugh. However, Reign didn't ask for more detail, not even who's team he was on, Kem wouldn't tell her and so she wouldn't put him in that bind.

She watched him shift about nervously, it really wasn't like him and Reign doubted he was scared of her. So it must be what he said next. Something about that offer was weirding Kem out. So it must be a big deal of one sort of another. That being the case, Reign took it seriously.

"I'm not big on hiding behind anyone, but, under the circumstances I'd at least listen. Help can be a rare and valuable commodity."Â?

After all Drew had to sleep some time and both he and Kem were limited by daylight. Sooner or later these guys were going to figure that out. For Reign could only assume that the two attacks were related. Some how some way they were related.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
"Better one than an entire pack," Kem pointed out.

He reconsidered what he'd said when Reign mentioned protection.
"Maybe protection is too strong a word," he said. "I think I might be able to give you the means to call in the cavalry, should you find yourself in need of a cavalry."

He drummed his fingers on his knee. "It involves your being willing to be bitten again. But when done properly, I can give you I guess a sort of temporary link with me. A way for me to tell if you're all right. If anything happens to you, I will be able to feel it. My Clan will protect you if necessary, through your association with me."

It was hard for him to explain a familiar bond. He'd tried it twice, long ago, and both attempts had been disastrous. He was terrified of messing with Reign in a manner that might change her for the worse.

Before Reign could ask too many questions, he continued,
"I know you're involved with Xephier and his wolf Pack. I won't ask how involved. I just know you aren't one of them yourself." He would have known when he'd bitten her that night. "This arrangement will be between you and me. I'll have to let my Clan know you're associated with me, but otherwise no one will expect anything of you. Not even me."

There was plenty more to explain but Kem wanted Reign to understand what he was saying before he went into further detail; the compulsion, the obedience, the fact that no matter how beautifully independent she was, he was offering to become the focus of her world for however long it took to get her safe. The fact that it was a huge leap of faith on both of their parts; if Kem were of lesser integrity, he could choose never to let Reign free. That fact made him draw in a sharp breath of distaste. She had to believe he wouldn't do that to her.
Reign 12 years ago
Well the cavalry did always come to the rescue just in the nick of time, and it was probably better than the damned PD who always seemed to take forever. You know normal people didn't know from experience what the average police response time to their place was. That idea alone kept Reign open to Kem's suggestion.

She didn't even bother raising her eyebrows at his knowledge of the Doc and the Pack. Having Drew about, and the Boy hadn't been subtle last night, was pretty much a dead give away. At least Kem hadn't pressed, because she wasn't going to tell him -anything- that was part of her deal with the Doc and her responsibility to the Pack.

Reign didn't say anything. She got up, Sirius followed her, rinsed her beer bottle tossed it in the recycling and got another after asking Kem if he wanted one too. She settled back in her chair clearly still turning things over.

"OK... Clan so I'm guessing there are more vampires floating round this city than I thought. I'm not asking how many or who I'm asking if you really have the resource to make this worth both of our while. If it's just you and the other one I mean you've proven you're not a pansy but two people who can't go out during the day isn't exactly comforting."Â?

Reign trusted Kem enough not to press him about what he was getting out of this. She didn't ask for any guarantees that he wasn't going to turn her into a permanent snack item. Maybe she'd ask that in a bit though.

And she -had- had had -had- to think about the Pack in all this. She didn't know what was between Drew and Kem... or vampires and werewolves but Reign knew she couldn't become a liability to the Pack. Death before dishonor and all that shit. But still, if Kem had an option for her Reign wanted to consider it.

"But other than that I'm intrigued by your ideas and would like to read any literature you have on the subject."Â?
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Kem inclined his head in acknowledgment of Reign's guess about the "how many" of them there were in Nachton, but didn't elaborate. If Reign agreed with his plan she'd learn a good deal more information, he assumed, but there were things he couldn't share with her without the security of some sort of bond. He considered her questions for a moment and finally answered as best he could. "Well, like I said earlier, I've had a lot more responsibility than usual lately. In short, it's my job to provide leadership to those of us living here not only in Nachton, but everywhere else as well."

He shrugged. "The resources I can summon are not inconsiderable," he summarized, "but at the same time they won't be of any help to you if there's nothing tying us together."

In other words, the Clan would jump to rescue his familiar if he asked it of them, but only he and his few friends might motivate themselves to assist one poor little human with werewolf ties.

"Obviously while most of my kind won't be able to help when the sun is out, all things being equal, I can send equally well to our Clan's humans. I can get help, if you need it, to wherever you are, regardless where on the globe you happen to be."

Kem shook his head. "It's not a perfect solution. But it might let you go about your life without the blinds shut and the alarms armed all the time."
Reign 12 years ago
Reign pinched the bridge of her nose, another migraine was threatening. A little stress went a long way.

"Send is that voice in my head isn't it? I'm not imagining that."Â?

She wasn't stalling for time, really she wasn't she was looking to know exactly what she was getting into. Of course, Kem was dancing about a bit trying to fill her in without exposing the rest of the Clan and she was dancing too trying to learn what she was getting into without asking things she couldn't. Reign had never been much of a dancer.

Hearing that he had the resources to back up his offer revealed Reign though, it felt good. Funny, she didn't doubt him. Kem had no reason to lie about any of this.

"OK you bite me and we form this link bond thinger and vampires and/or other scary people ride to my rescue. Do you get anything out of this offer? Do I turn into a mindless drooling zombie? Do I develop a sudden allergy to garlic?"Â?

You had to know what you were buying. There was trust and there was stupid and uninformed. So far though, so far Reign was leaning towards this plan.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Kem thought for a moment and then shrugged, as much to himself as to Reign. In for a nickel, in for a dime.

"That voice in your head is me. We all have different talents, and that's one of mine. I can move things as well, and I can cause people to see or feel things."

Those were the only relevant abilities he had, he figured, that could effect Reign in any way. It was a leap of faith telling her, and he hadn't expected to feel so - well, exposed, by doing so, but you had to give trust to receive it.

"If you allow me to bite over a period of several consecutive days, then yes, we'll form a bond and you'll become my familiar."

He didn't answer her other questions right away; he wanted to get certain things off his chest and in the open first.
"I won't lie to you," Kem said. "You will lose something of yourself in doing this. Nothing that can't be regained, but a vampire's familiar must be loyal to him first and foremost. It's for our own safety. However, this bond is for practical purposes. I won't expect you to fulfill the role a familiar would normally. I won't ask anything of you that compromises your relationship with Drew and his family. I won't ask anything of you that compromises your own integrity. I'm not interested in that sort of relationship."

He paused a moment before continuing.
"I will have to continue to feed from you to keep our bond active. Not often, though, and not for long. I've been around a long time. I've learned how to conserve what I have." Kem's lips twisted in an ironic smile. The things you learned when you spent centuries subconsciously, or consciously, starving yourself out of self-imposed guilt.

"To be honest, this idea scares me," he said frankly. "I've tried it twice before and the results weren't promising."

It took a few tries to get the stories out, but Kem eventually detailed the nature of his first two familiar bonds. They worked the same way, both of them, two humans believing they were cursed and damned because of their bond with a vampire. The first time, Kem hadn't really understood the ramifications of his actions and his familiar had killed himself. a hundred years or so later he'd tried again, the wiser for it, and the results had nearly been the same. That time he'd realized what had happened and when it became apparent, he'd let go of the bond and walked away, relieved that that one had survived. He hadn't ever thought to try it again until now.

"I won't let it come to that," he said to Reign. "If it does, I'll walk away again and we'll figure out some other way. If you trust me, though, Ill release you as soon as it's safe. And at the same time, I'm trusting you not to betray me, or my family, to our enemies. No matter what comes of tonight."

There was a lot of trust involved in this plan, but Aishe had seemed to think it had merit and even Kem had to agree. It was risky all around but something was clearly going on with Reign and they owed it to her as friends to do their best by her.
Reign 12 years ago
For as serious at this was, for as much thinking she was doing, Reign's lips twisted into a smile. She tried to fight it and finally gave up and giggled a bit. She didn't know why it struck her funny, but it did.

"Do you cheat at pool too?"Â?

That was, after all, how she and Pakpao had met. And to this day the little Thai... er... Siamese vampire would mess with Reign's game any time she was around. Well unless it was a tournament, Pakpao had that much class. But she still wasn't going to give Kem the name of the only other vampire she knew.

The biting didn't bother her too much. Well a little, but not too much. Reign wasn't really worried about it. Kem wouldn't go to this much trouble to drain her dry or Reign was a -really- bad judge of character. So other than making a note to get a migraine or three to make it really worth while she just let that go.

OK now -that- bothered her. More than a little. That she'd lose something of herself, Reign prided herself on standing on her own two feet. That he'd had one familiar kill himself and almost lost another. Reign sipped at the her beer and absently leaned over to pet Sirius, reassured by his presence.

It was a risk, there was no two ways about it. But, whatever was going on here was bigger than she was. And Kem had obviously thought this through. God, she was just going to have to trust him wasn't she? Trust that he wouldn't use her against the Pack or take advantage of her.

Reign lapsed back into silence trying to think things through. Oddly enough the fact that Kem nervous about it made her feel a little better.

"So this is kind of big is it?"Â?
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Reign's question, spoken past a laugh, hit the same spot in Kem and he snorted with amusement. "Depends who I'm playing against. You, almost assuredly." He grinned to show her he was joking. Maybe.

Otherwise he waited, somewhat uncomfortably, while Reign appeared to mull it over. He went through his mental checklist. Had he been completely honest with her? Yes, for the most part. He might tell her more about Evenhet if they went through with this, but the fact remained that she was still involved with the wolves somehow. He hated secrets but sometimes they were necessary.

Reign's voice startled him out of his thoughts and he blinked at her for a second.

"It's as big as we make it," he finally answered after a minute's thought. "We don't have to make any more or less than we need to. There are obviously people who need to know, but there are probably more who don't and I'm all right with that... on both sides of the fence."

He shook his head. "It's just an offer Reign. You don't have to do anything. But I can promise you that if you do choose this, I'll do the best I can by you."
Reign 12 years ago
Something about that little bit of humor made the situation tolerable, she could think about this clearly and relax a bit. She was suddenly able to think about this without totally freaking out or freezing up.

"It's a good offer. I know it isn't a magic fix or any guarantee that I'm 100% safe and I appreciate you making it. I really do."Â?

Sirius' head was now firmly in her lap. That was actually, what did it. Who was going to take care of the mutt if something happened to her? Sure, her folks would probably take him in. Hell Vince might, but... some how both of those were just wrong. He was Reign's and she loved him. If her mom were to be believed, he'd miss her. She said he'd not ever really relaxed for those few days she'd watched him.

"Scouts honor if this starts looking bad or I turn into a mindless zombie or something dumb you can and will call it off?"Â?

Reign knew the answer. Knew it before she asked the question, but she needed to hear it out loud. It would make her feel better.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Kem hunched over a little on the sofa, wrapping his arms around his waist. The fact that Reign was willing to do this was frightening to him. He was getting better in situations like this. He was starting to figure out that nothing was going to explode or implode as more and more people trusted him with the running of an entire Clan. but oddly enough, having one small person place her faith in him to do the right thing all the time terrified him.

He didn't want to see Reign turn into a depressed morose maudlin version of herself because of him. And given his past history, he had no reason to think their bond would be different except for the very small fact than when he'd bitten Reign the other night he'd felt nothing but pleasure and a sense of warmth. It couldn't mean anything, but it gave him a little bit of hope. And he knew he had the willpower to step away if it turned sour.

"It isn't a perfect fix, no," he said. "It's the best way I can keep you safe, or at least help. I know you don't want or need the protection, but you have friends who want to help... so you might as well let them."

He offered her a smile and a shrug. His way of helping was a little riskier than most, maybe, but Reign could do worse than to become the familiar of Evenhet's current leader. He couldn't offer any more or any better resources than the security of an entire Clan.

Kem had already answered Reign's next question but he nodded, trying to hide his slightly miserable expression. Half of him had hoped Reign would say no and he would be absolved of the responsibilities having a familiar entailed. And yet half of him was happy to help her, glad to be able to offer something.

"I promise if you even look slightly zombie-fied and I can rule out 'lack of coffee' as a for-sure cause, I'll go as far away as I can and stay there until you're entirely you again."
Reign 12 years ago
It was hard not -not- to see how Kem was reacting to his. Something about it was not right. Given what she knew of Kem though Reign suspected it had to more to do with him than her. He wouldn't make this offer unless he completely meant it.

She took a deep breath and nodded.

"OK, deal."Â?

Got help them both. That's all Reign had to say. She really felt like she was in -way- over her head. However, if she turned it down, that would remain true. Stupid forces beyond her control. Why did she stay in this city again?

"So... ... now... what?"Â?
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
If his heart had been beating regularly it would have skipped several. As it was he did manage to suppress a shiver.

"You're sure? You can think about it if you want," he said. He didn't want to coerce Reign into this just because he thought it was a good idea. Who knew what could happen? It might turn out to be the best thing either of them ever did.

It was the right offer to make her though. This way she could go about her life without worry of being jumped in a dark alley, or simply trying to spend an evening relaxing at home. He knew deep down he wouldn't impose restrictions on her; to the core of his being he never wanted to dictate anyone's actions to them. He could give her more freedom than, perhaps, many other vampires who could make a similar offer. Even his dietary needs were less than others' owing to his age. He would probably have to bite her more often then he himself needed to be fed.

This made a lot of sense in many ways.

And Reign was looking at him like he had all of the answers, which, he supposed, after 1600 years, he should. He'd do the best he could.

"Now," Kem said, fortifying himself with a deep breath and straightening, "We do what we did the other night. Now, tomorrow, the day after, until it's done."
Reign 12 years ago
All she could do was nod. If she tried to say anything, she'd sound like a little girl and probably more scared than she was.

She deliberately kept Sirius with her. The dog had to get used to this, it would mess with his head to shut him away every time Kem came over. Reign did, however, give him a few quick commands, in Latin, but nothing too fancy, just sit stay. He'd listen, he'd not try and get between them.

That done Reign found some confidence, from somewhere, and walked over to the couch and sat near Kem. Not next, too, she wanted him to have some space and find his timing on this, not pressure him. He was the one offering to help her after all.

"I'll probably need an iron supplement eventually."Â?

She said with a grin. Giving Kem control of the situation.
Kem`Raaisu 12 years ago
Kem kept a wary eye on Sirius. They were friends, but he didn't think for a moment Sirius would hesitate to go for his throat if the dog thought he was injuring his mistress. When Reign moved closer he shifted as well, leaning down toward her and laughing when she said what she did.

"I promise I'm an easy keeper," he said with a grin. "The older ones get great mileage."

He offered his arm to Reign and relaxed a little when after a moment's hesitation she leaned into him.

"You want me to stop, you say so," he said seriously. "I'll manage."

He carefully brushed Reign's hair from her neck, wondering briefly if being fed so often was going to spoil him. Just seeing her neck made him feel that little edge of hunger, the monster inside that licked its lips and urged him to drink greedily.

Kem had mastered the monster long ago. He drank delicately instead, his eyes drifting closed when he realized Sirius wasn't about to attack him. Warmth, an encouraging feeling compared to his last attempt at this, suffused him from top to bottom and like a few nights ago he wrapped his arms around Reign almost unconsciously and pulled her close. One hand stroked her hair, not provocatively, but as if to say 'it will be all right.'