A stranger in need

Claire sat across from the woman in her office. Normally she was not a psychological councilor, not that she didn't have some training in it, but the psychiatrist that volunteered at the shelter was not in tonight.

She found the woman, Mrs. Heather Edwards standing rather timidly outside the offices when she came in. It was shocking to realize this scared woman was actually taller than she was. Claire had almost not noticed. Heather fidgeted with the handbag that she carried, wringing the fabric in her hands. She never seemed to look Claire in the eyes.

"Okay, Mrs Edwards, how can I help you?"

Mai_NPC 13 years ago
"I... My husband. I believe he's following me." The woman's voice came out in a harsh whisper. It had a ragged edge to it, as if she had spent many hours crying herself hoarse. She wrung the ratty denim handbag, looking down at her long french manicured fingers as if they belonged to someone else. "I'm... afraid." She glanced up at the doctor, quickly glancing down again.

"He was..SO angry when I left. He...he said he would...kill me."
Claire 13 years ago
Claire reached out and placed a reassuring hand on the woman's arm. "We will make sure that won't happen. You can stay here. You will be safe. I promise you. Do you have a job that you need to go back to?"

It would make things more difficult but living was better than losing a job, even in this economy. She could call, as a doctor, and say that Mrs Edwards needed a leave of absence. If that didn't work then hopefully the woman had some paid vacation she could take while they tried to get a restraining order out on her husband.

With Sofia gone Claire would have to look into the man herself. If he was as dangerous as his wife believed then the shelter could help relocate her to another state. Claire found herself missing Sofia's ability to make the men leave or cease harming the women they pledged to love. It didn't always work, some of the women refused to believe they were safe and still wanted to leave. She couldn't say she blamed them.
Mai_NPC 13 years ago
The woman's response was whispered softly. "Thank you."

Her hands eased their relentless torture of her handbag, smoothing it back out again absently. She frowned thoughtfully, looking concerned again. "N...no. He wanted me to stay at home to raise the children, but..." Heather twisted a finger into the fabric of the pale pink polka dotted wrap dress that she wore. "I...We weren't able to have kids."

"Do I need a job?" She asked quickly, glancing up at the doctor. "I can do anything you like here, clean dishes, take out the trash...whatever you need!"
Claire 13 years ago
"I'm so sorry." Claire patted the woman's arm again. She quickly reassured the woman that she didn't need a job in order to stay at the shelter, certainly not right away. "Its okay. You don't need a job. We won't turn you out. You're safe, I promise. "

The woman stopped twisting her dress and sat up straighter in the chair. Her whole demeanor changed in a second. The tranquil comforting smile left Claire's face as she looked into grey blue eyes.
Sorin 13 years ago
"I am very glad to hear you say that, Claire." Sorin's smile didn't reach his eyes. "It would seem I have very few places where I might feel safe these days."

He watched his child through narrowed eyes, tapping an acrylic nail against the wooden armrest. "It would be nice to believe I can trust my own progeny. Can I?"

Sorin had his doubts. He would not consider himself safe in Claire's presence but he was here to see what she knew. He was not overly concerned for his health for the immediate moment. She was no match for him and she had no time to call in reinforcements. Sorin also had a hard time believing that she would turn him over to Anantya. She might not stop them from taking him but he doubted she would hand him over. Claire could have tracked him a long time ago, so could any of the other vampire trackers. He had prepared for that and the gods best help the tracker that comes without a small army to look for him.
Claire 13 years ago
Claire looked at her Creator, horrified and impressed. He was always a marvelous actor, history forgot that part of the man named Nero when they spoke of his excesses for the pursuit of art. He would have been a beloved performer, famously successful but instead he was known for his failure to rule, an occupation thrust upon him at an early age.

She sighed at him.
"Do you intend to stay here?" Claire hoped not, as much as she wanted him to live she also felt it her duty to see that he found justice. The longer she let him reside in the shelter the more she would become accustomed to his presence. It would be harder to resign herself to his eventual capture or probable death.

Coming out of the chair, she knelt next to him, reaching for his hand.
"You are not safe here. There is someone hunting people with Command. Those involved in the werewolf treaty. Anantya believes there is a traitor amongst them." Claire searched his eyes. "It seems likely that they would know I am your daughter. They will look here for you."
Sorin 13 years ago
Sorin watched her; he noted that she didn't answer his question. He waved a nonchalant hand at her question. "There are more comfortable places to stay than this." Not to mention that he had far better access to resources and contacts outside the shelter. Though he had to admit the disguise was a descent one. It wouldn't fool all of his kind, normally it wouldn't have gotten past Claire but she saw what she expected to see here. The disguise would have been less likely to withstand her scrutiny on the street.

She came to kneel next to him, placing her hand on his. Sorin remained impassive, listening to her tale. He smiled slowly, placing his other hand on top of her's.
"My dear child, You do not tell me something I don't already know."

Claire's concern for him was touching. Perhaps he could trust her; he was suspicious of everyone these days. The betrayal of Thaddeus cut deeper than he would have expected; of course, Sorin would admit that the man did have ample reason for it. He searched Claire's eyes for signs that she was feigning this concern and found none. He relented and explained. "I have known that someone was targeting people with command for some time. I had been working on finding out who this person is and getting close to them. There were several Nightsmen working on it with me."

He frowned and turned more fully towards her in the chair. "You are telling me of this person now because there have been deaths in Nachton." Sorin looked up at the ceiling thoughtfully and then regarded his daughter once more. "Sofia is dead." He had not seen her when he came in; he noticed because he would have done his best to avoid speaking to her. Several things around the shelter had been different. Minor things, a picture changed, a knickknack removed, but Sofia was fanatical about order in her own way. She had to have been gone for more than a day or two for these little changes to make a big enough impression that he would notice.

What she was telling him was cause for concern if there have been more people dead in Nachton. That Sofia was gone was hardly of consequence; the killer had taken out many vampires, some more powerful than the Greek. The person behind these attacks would normally wait for at least a decade or so before striking again. Unless.... Sorin tapped the long nails on the edge of the armrest in a furious rhythm while he thought over all of the past deaths that he had compiled information on and attributed to the same person. The number was staggering.

"The rate of killing has increased and werewolves have entered the city."
Claire 13 years ago
Claire looked at him, simply stared for a long moment. She had just found out about this news mere days before. She laughed inwardly at her needless concern for his safety. Apparently, even in hiding, Sorin still knew much.

The second revelation of his skill was less shocking after the first. Claire realized he would have gathered that piece of information based on visual clues around the area. He knew, like she did, that Sofia would not leave her shelter without great cause for very long. Death was a likely guess.

His last statement was also not a surprise. Claire nodded her head slowly, agreeing that werewolves had been spotted inside the city limits. Sorin obviously knew about the killer and therefore had already likely deduced his reasons for choosing his victims. He must also know how few of those who held the original command in place were left. Doing the math after that was fairly simple.
Sorin 13 years ago
She nodded, confirming what he suspected. Sorin stood and drew his daughter up with him. He smiled at her, pulling her into his arms. "Thank you for telling me this, Claire." He wondered whether or not she was going to come find him or if she had only mentioned it now that he had come to her. He would find that out in a moment.

Leaning back, he held her by the shoulders and looked into big brown eyes.
"You're right. The killer is likely to go through you to get to me."

He let her go, turning his back on her, biting his knuckle and appearing thoughtful. "We should hide you as well. I don't want you harmed for my sake." A part of him actually meant that. Sorin noted that little ounce of feeling, pondering over it with interest for a moment before turning his thoughts toward more important matters.

"This person is very skilled, very old and very dangerous. I do not know if we can find a place outside his reach. You might have to go into hiding with me until the Order is able to find him."
Claire 13 years ago
Claire watched her Creator as he paced the small open area of her office. His concern for her safety made her feel guilty and she looked at her hands for a moment before returning to her chair. She listened to him talk about taking her into hiding with him. It would only be a temporary solution. Sorin was on the run from his clan. The murderer was very skilled as well, probably had a lot of resources. It would be a time game, could they stay hidden long enough for the person responsible to be caught?

"It would be too much of a risk to you to hide another person."

Claire sighed and stood up since Sorin continued to pace. She walked around to the front of him and put her hands gently on his arms. Smiling up at him, she said.

"You know what needs to be done. Its been done before. Just please stay safe so that it can be undone."
Sorin 13 years ago
Sorin didn't smile outwardly when she came and put her hands on him but inwardly he was pleased. He had been a little worried that she didn't care enough to go along with his plan but, no, she was still the same old Claire.

He frowned and shook his head, muttering that it was too risky. Claire continued to stand there. Sorin waited another moment before heaving a dramatic sigh and gesturing to the chairs they had just vacated.
"All right, if you insist but do be careful, my daughter, I don't want to lose you." He didn't but she could be tortured or commanded to find him. Sorin would have let her in, past his defenses because he trusted her.

That won't be a problem after tonight.

((OOC: Sorin and Claire out ))