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THE SHADOWS: EP02 "HOLD MY BEER"

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“HOLD MY BEER”

 

THE MARSH

DAWN

The dream of teeth and the memory of that terrifying howl gave way to pink tinged rivers which Karen's mind slowly realized were the veins in her eyelids. She blinked and pushed herself up into a sitting position looking around her. Others were starting to wake as well. The pain and stress of changing into the wolf was forgotten and the blessing of sleep had masked what ever pain turning back did to them, one of the blessings of the change that no one ever had to go through the process in reverse unless forced to. Meave was still asleep curled into a nearby ball Dan who had been between them was already up and partially dressed, well he had his pants on at least. Others were getting up and starting to dress. Karen noticed her clothes lying beside her and Maeves beside the youngster as well. Some one had placed all the wolves clothes near them so they would have them when they awoke. Again she looked around but didn't see anyone but the ones who had run with them last night.

Dan Had woke a few of the others had woke about the same time. He slipped on his jeans and got up. The kin had brought their clothes and laid them out as usualy. His memory was foggy for a few minute he had dreamed about a white wolf with a blue flash on her side. Dan shook the dream from his head and walk around the pack make sure those who were awake were okay and taking a count. Only one was missing, Cabe. He saw that most every one was waking now and looked back at Karen who was up getting dress, Meave was sitting up rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Dan started that way and saw that Emily was coming into the clearing she looked around and spotted Dan and joined him by the girls.

“Dan Hawkins,” she gave him a quizzical appraisal. She may not have been triggered but she was perceptive and knew that he was the one to go too now. “What was that? We all heard it something came around us but nobody saw anything.Scared most half out of their wits. And what happened to Cabe?”

 

THE ANGELO ESTATE

MORNING

Colby hadn't told them everything and he wasn't going to. Cara had read it in his manner and his eyes. He wasn't afraid of them but he was afraid of whatever had made that ungodly howl. She had had to keep her brother Marco from going after the old werewolf and ripping him apart but she had and that more than anything told her how much of a toll the curse was taking on Marko. She had finally after finishing the bottle of bourbon and half of another gotten him calm enough to sleep and put him to bed. She had not gone directly to her bed after that though she had taken the bones to her private study a room she hadn't been in in almost a hundred years. There she placed them in a box that had been given to her almost five hundred years years before by the man she had thought she had loved, had thought that he had loved her . She briefly looked at the other contents of the magical jewelry box then closed and stepped up to the wall. She placed one end of the box against the wall and whispered a phrase in a language which to the uninitiated would have sounded like Latin. She felt the magic and watched as the box sank into the wall and vanished. It would be safe until she called for the box again, no one could find it there.

Vampires don't have hangovers. At least as humans experience them. Marko had drank after the werewolf had left, had drank a lot and he had selpt after as well. Now he came down stairs he was not in a good mood and while not hungover he could still feel the remnants of the strong alcohol working-through his blood. He was hungry and his throat was dry he need something to drink so he went to the kitchen to get some ice for the bourbon he was carrying. And stopped in the doorway

“Morning,” Mumbled Cheyenne around a mouthful of cereal which was making crunchy sounds as she chewed, a dribble of milk on her chin. Abigail was standing at the counter by the stove she turned and leaned her butt against the edge as she took a swallow from the oversized mug in her hands. On the counter were eggs, bacon, a loaf of bread, butter and several cooking utensils and a large frying pan. “There's coffee if you want some. Do you guys drink coffee? Or eat food?”

“Of course we eat and drink we aren't savages,” Cara said as she stepped around her brother into the kitchen and froze when she too saw what he was staring at.

Cheyenne was sitting at he table in a pair of boys boxer shorts and a t-shirt, Abigail was in a bed-robe and presumably a nightgown or pajamas's underneath, well as slippers but that wasn't what they were looking at.  Cheyenne was eating cereal with a big box of Count Chocula sitting on the table right next o her bowl. The image of the Count staring right back at the two vampires.

“What's an original?”

Both vampires shifted their gaze as one to the older girl who sipped her coffee.

 

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

MORNING

The Simon Magus was open 24 hours a day except on Tuesdays and Thursdays when they close for cleaning and deliveries. The club was busiest from about 10:30pm until 4:00 am, then things slacked off until midday. Last night was different.

The club had always been a go to place for witches and the occasional werewolf and vampire. It was neutral ground a neutrality enforced by the Queen and unbeknownst to all but the owners by the Ancestors. The howl had been heard by every single creature with a drop of mystical blood in the entire city of New Orleans and it's environs. And it had chilled that blood. The mortals of the city may have felt something may have slept uneasy but they hadn't heard it and so were blissfully unaware of the horror that was now stalking their city.

At the Simon Magus, the club had gotten busier and more crowded. Witches who didn't feel safe had come not in one or twos but whole covens had crowded into the venue and the streets in front. Vampires equally freaked out also cam. The club made them feel safe. And with all the supernaturals in attendance so to came the mortals. By the time the place was at and beyond capacity it was like Fat Tuesday and as the sun rose and the dawn washed the streets with a red glow the music still blared, the alcohol flowed and the people danced.

“She asked you about my grimoire? But not what she wanted with it?” Asking about a witches grimore was like asking about their sex life...not something that was done unless you were on intimate terms.

The crowd had had the two witches running back and forth working harder than they had had to work in months the clubs receipts would be equal to what they normally made in a full month, courtesy of the witches and vampires who were drinking profusely and spending in an attempt to drown their fear. Dom and Darrik had finally managed to take a moment and ducked back into their office.

“No, and that was after sitting at the bar for almost three hours. What was that last night,” asked Darrick as he put some cash into the safe.

“I don't know, it sounded like a wolf from hell.” Dominique fingered the necklace around her neck, it wasn't magical but had been given to her by her mother before...before she left. “This can't be a coincidence. Can it?”

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“What's an original?”

Cara sighed and went to the cereal box, tilting it back a little to get a closer look at the ridiculous character adorning the front.

"Not one of these," she chuckled. Such an innocent witness to such a dangerous question.

Without looking away from the box, she then said, "The only reason you know to ask that question is that you were listening to our conversation with our guest last night. Our private discussion."

Finally glancing up to meet Abigail's eyes, Cara went on, "Normally I would not reward a breach of trust with an answer...but to try to keep you from foolishly asking someone else, I will say this."

"As we are to you, an original is to us. We are old, strong, fast and hungry. They are older, stronger, faster...and vastly, rapaciously hungry. We are dangerous, they are deadly. They know nothing of kindness...of decency by any human standard...and your first, best line of defense against them is that you are not anywhere near them, and that no one knows that you've ever heard of them."

"If either of those things is no longer true, then you are in danger that even Marko or I may not be able to save you from. Do you understand?"

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THE MARSH

DAWN

 

Dan was looking for Cabe, but more than likely he left in the middle of the night.  The old Alpha didn't stick around once a new Alpha had Risen.  Still, he was family, blood even, and Dan hadn't wanted him to leave.  Hell, he hadn't wanted to challenge him but it was the only way.  With only Emily, Karen, and Maeve near enough to hear, he answered the older woman.   Normally those who weren't Changed, didn't ask much of the affairs of those who were, but he wasn't going to snub one of his only sources for more information.

"I don't know where Cabe is, more than likely he left some time after we came back here.   I know he made it, but I didn't mind what he did after that.  I probably should have."  Dan answered her.  "What that was last night, was another wolf, one like Colby, only female, with what looked like a blue flame  marking on her side.  She came to the killing field,   And goaded Cabe into nearly making a horrible decision.  Emily she was huge, easily bigger than Cabe and I combined, and then some, and there was this sort of primal fear.  Only Maeve, Cabe, Karen, and I even stood when she came near.  She never paid Cabe any mind, but focused on me.  I took the only action I could to stop it, and when Cabe snapped at me, I struck back, challenging and defeating him."

He  held Emily's gaze, and sighed.  "After that, I had Karen offer her some of the Kill, which she did accept, before loosing that Primal Howl and vanishing."    His voice which was already low enough so that only those right there could hear, dropped lower.  "She smelled of human blood when she showed up.  Considering we were on a whole herd of freshly killed deer, It's telling that I could tell that too."

He looked at her.  "Do you know of another Elder, a female one?"

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THE ANGELO ESTATE

Abigail visibly paled under Cara's gaze.

"We weren't eavesdropping, at least not on purpose," Cheyenne said taking the heat off her big sister as she pointed at the wall by the refrigerator, "someone left the intercom on."

The vampires looked at the device the girl slurping her cereal was pointing at then at each other. Cara tilted her head as if asking WTF. Marko just shook his head, "We have an intercom?"

"Uncle Jer had it installed right after we moved in before... before he passed. It was so he could call us if he needed anything."

"So you two decided to use it to listen to a private conversation?"

"No!" Abigail cried moving to stand by her sister. "I swear it was on when we got upstairs. I thought you had turned it on," she said looking at Marko keeping her eyes away from Cara, "that you wanted us to hear."

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"Well, we didn't want you to listen in, but since you have, what's done is done."  Cara looked at her little brother as if to say 'that's it?'  The old Marko would have offered up something, a threat a terror inducing anecdote, something.  He poured himself a cup of coffee and snatched up a sausage from the plate, pinching it with his fingers and he nibbled off a bite.

"Chill, sis," he shrugged and sipped his coffee with a smile.  "Look, if they're going to be care takers, they're going to have to learn this shit eventually, right?  The more they know now, the less this shit will bake their noodle later."

"Oh, man this is awesome.  This is like the Vampire game I play online.  See there are thirteen clans of vampires all descended from Caine who was cursed by god- OW!"  Cheyenne held the  side of her head where Marko had flicked her ear.

"Yeah, shut up dip shit, no one cares."  He flicked her again, making her head 'thump' and she winced in pain while giggling slightly.  "And that's for the ironic cereal."

"You're such a dick, I swear!"  She spun about and threw a sausage from the plate at him which hit him in the chest.  She looked to Cara and fumed.  "How do you tolerate him?"

Cara managed a chuckle, although still looking really serious.  "It's taken years.  Marko, you wanna tell them the news?"

"What news?"  Abigail asked, cupping her coffee mug in her hands.

Marko smirked.  The girls were apparently his responsibility since Cara was not for the idea of them staying there, she felt it was too dangerous, but her brother was vehement that they had an obligation to care for the sisters due to their promise.  Both the vampire sibling knew they would be debating this until the sisters were old and gray and it was long irreverent.  "Get dressed, girls.  We're getting you registered for school."

Cheyenne spun around on her stool and looked at Marko.  "Oh, come one, that's bullshit!  We live with vampires, you guys have been everywhere and done all kinds of stuff.  Why can't you teach us?"

Cheyenne held her ear again and Cara flicked it.  "Language.  We don't have time-"

"You have nothing but time!"  She spun about and yelled at Cara, suddenly realizing what we did and got tight lipped real quick.  She grasped her other ear as Marko flicked it.  "OW!"

"Sorry, I have no real reason for that one, it just seemed fun."  He pushed off the counter.  "Look, we're not sitting through complaints or bullshit, okay?  You're going to school whether you want to or we have to compel you to."

"But we don't have records," Cheyenne was doing her pest to put up a fight.  Abigail was smirking, admiring the fight in her sister but knowing that "It'll take weeks to get them!  Oh, darn!"

"Not a problem.  That's where compelling the staff comes in, "Marko smiled again.  "Now, get dressed.  Go."  They didn't seem motivated until the veins around his darkened and his fangs grew.  "Now."

They screamed and bolted faster than the sibling vampires using celerity and were out of the kitchen and dashing up stairs.  His sister looked at him, still not pleased with his decision to allow them to stay.  "Nice."  Cara laughed softly.  "You know it's not that I don't care, Marko, it's just," she sighed.  "It's dangerous here.  They so young, and this city is a mess."

"I know, Cara," Makro nodded as he approached his sister and wrapped an arm around her for an early morning hug.  Cara's expression was one of 'this is nice' and 'who are you and where's my bother'.  Since when had Marko hug anyone in the last... oh, century.  "If they had anywhere else to go, I'd turn them away, but they don't.  Besides, raising kids'll be fun."

"Meaning this is going to be a fiasco of Marko proportions."  She added dryly.

"Most likely." He replied with a Deadpool sweetness to his voice.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

MORNING 

"Hard to say." The signs of tiredness showed in Darrik's eyes as he closed the safe door and the tumblers slid into place as he locked it shut. "Intuition says yeah, not a coincidence. But we don't know more beyond what it sounds like. And that only the supernaturals really picked up on it. Silver lining, we're raking it in." He chuckled, but it was a rather hollow one. That was the thing about neutral ground this past day. The nexus for omens of bad news, but not enough knowledge to be able to do something about it.

Darrik decided to pick a topic they could deal with. "The Regent. Her request. Your grimoire, how do you want to play this, Dominique?"

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THE MARSH

Karen pulled a knit hat out of the pocket of her outer jacket as soon as she zipped it up, breath misting in the early morning air. Ouuuf. Cold. The Californian native did not relish it and waking up in her birthday suit was not endearing the Louisiana weather to her. Hugging herself against the chill, she closed the gap to where she had stashed the cooler, popping it open and fishing out a sandwich. Salivating at the smell of human food after the half-remembered taste of raw deer and sensation of warm blood lapping down her tongue, Karen paused as her eyes took in the sorry sight of some of the pack, particularly those who had used the Juice.

The sheer misery and huddling against the sunlight of those werewolves made her glad she had passed on the noxious cocktail.

Then an unfortunately timed thought made her lower the sandwich. Damn it. The game called. She was looking forward to one of having one of those, too. 

The sandwich went back in it's baggie, and the baggie back in the cooler. She fetched out a couple water bottles and started making the rounds of the gathering, offering water to the afflicted and pointing them in the direction of her stash if they seemed mobile.   

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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

GENTILLY

The muscle car drew stares as it pulled into the guest parking slot nearest the entrance to the school. Marko glanced at the girls in the backseat via the rear view mirror. “Now let me do the talking, and follow my lead. I know you two don't want to be here but really it's best for you and we need to blend in.”

The girls nodded agreement not happy but not totally depressed about the situation either. Marko led them inside and found the Office, after a short wait he found himself facing the overweight administrator with the hairdo right out of the nineteen fifties.

“Umm I am so sorry Mr Cain but I don't see anything at all for your girls here.” Donna Lamoin shifted her ample posterior in her chair and sat straighter wich pushed her huge bosom out just a little bit more and began shuffling through several stacks of unopened mail. "I don't see anything a'tall here"

 

 

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Cara stopped on the sidewalk outside the witches club and closed her eyes, how did I let myself get caught up in all of this. Her hand slipped into her handbag and reassured herself that the bones were still there wrapped and safe.

She hadn't been fond of New Orleans the last time they had lived her enthralled to the twins, and had relished her freedom when they had been sent away never to return. And now here they were. Fools of the ages.

She needed a witch and she didn't know any but if what they had said about this place and the witches that owned it then their neutrality meant that they damn well better be able to keep their confidentiality.

 

The bar was sparsely populated at this time of the morning but there were still a few patrons either stubbornly eking out the last of the nights festivities or getting an early start for this coming Fridays offerings. Several employees of the bar were also present a couple sweeping the floors and two behind the bar cleaning and stacking glasses and inventorying bottles.

Cara didn't see the pretty boy witch from the day before she hoped that he was here. She went to the bar and smiled at the young African American woman who was showing a lot of skin and polishing a shot glass. “ Hi there.”

“Can ah help yah,cher?” The black girl tilted her head and smiled with her smokey eyes.

 

LAUTOULLE'S ALLNITE DINER AND GENERAL STORE

 

Dan stepped from his truck and slammed the door as he looked at the various police vehicles with included the Parish Sheriff, as well as state police he saw Cabe's truck and his cousin talking to the sheriffs deputy of this parish. When Cabe saw him he excused himself and started toward Dan who met him half way.

“Hello cous, I wasn't expecting your call today.”

“Yeah well,” Cabe shrugged,”Dis is your problem now and not a good one. De wolf from last night she done been here and kilt half a dozen pople jus tore em apart last night. She wasn't feeding cous, she was just killin.” Cabe was talking low. “No one discovered anything till dis morning a trucker stopped for breakfast. He didn't call da sheriff he called the state police. They dispatched a car before calling Maurice. So coverin dis up already out the fucking window. Maurice called me once he saw dis mess. He knowed what it was even if he ain't blood.”

Cabe put his hand on Dan's arm and leans in close.”They gots security video cous.”

 

THE FRENCH QUARTER

NEW ORLEANS

Karen had parked the car and her an Meave weaved through the already busy street on foot. It was a lot to take in the street vendors selling souvenirs, the portrait painters the fortune tellers. It was as if everything was a bout the supernatural here.

“Don't you worry It's what the tourists expect, I was the same way when I first came here couldn't believe how open it was but most of them are just fakes maybe one out of six really has a clue.” said Meave as she led her new friend through the crowd.

Karen had decided that she needed to find a place to live on her own and after Dan had gotten a call from his cousin Meave had volunteered to take her in the city to find a room or and apartment. They had gotten a few likely addresses for rooms to rent off the internet and had set out. They had visited a couple of places that were affordable and would do but neither had clicked with Karen so they had a few addresses in the quarter to check out. Meave had told her that these places would be more expensive but Karen had just shrugged. “We can at least look.”

Karen saw a street painter painting a portrait of a young girl that reminded her of her daughter when some one passed in front of her and a flash of colors captured her eyes. She spun grasping Meave's arm.

“That jacket!” She said to the younger girl as she pointed at a group of older teenagers walking away from them all of them wearing Letterman jackets. “My dad had a jacket like that!”

 

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12 minutes ago, The Shadows ST said:

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

GENTILLY

The muscle car drew stares as it pulled into the guest parking slot nearest the entrance to the school. Marko glanced at the girls in the backseat via the rear view mirror. “Now let me do the talking, and follow my lead. I know you two don't want to be here but really it's best for you and we need to blend in.”

The girls nodded agreement not happy but not totally depressed about the situation either. Marko led them inside and found the Office, after a short wait he found himself facing the overweight administrator with the hairdo right out of the nineteen fifties.

“Umm I am so sorry Mr Cain but I don't see anything at all for your girls here.” Donna Lamoin shifted her ample posterior in her chair and sat straighter wich pushed her huge bosom out just a little bit more and began shuffling through several stacks of unopened mail. "I don't see anything a'tall here"

"I'm not surprised," Marko chuckled nervously.  He wasnt nervous in the slightest but he'd spent centuries faking the human condition for moments just like these.  "With the passing of their Great-Great, there's been a lot of paperwork in the shuffle.  Transference of custody, estate transfer, school records.  We've been sitting on a mountain of paperwork for a about a week now.  Chances are the boarding school they were at was late in sending it."

"That's sort of the conundrum we find ourselves in at that moment, by law I can't have these ladies out of school, but that same law says they can't attend without the records."  Getting the records would be no problem, but that would take time they didn't have if the girls were living at the Angelo Estate in violation of state law.  That drew attention, and with spies everywhere in New Orleans, even the minor issues like truancy and not having custody of the girls were all things that could be used as weapons against the Angelo siblings.  Thankfully, they'd been fighting this 'war' longer than most in the city.  "At the very least, if enrolling them isn't an option, Miss, please tell me it's Miss," he flirted with a charming smile. "Lamoin, then at the very least we can tell the state we at made the effort before the records got here."

"Please," Ms. Lamoin said, returning the smile.  She wasn'He ret wooed by any stretch of the imagination, but she had to credit him for the gumption.  "Call me Donna."

Cheyenne arced a brow and snottily added, "Can he call you 'Onna' for now and just give you the 'D' later?"

Eyes widened as Abigail thrust her hand in her sisters face so face there was an audible 'pop' as it covered the hole her sister was using to simulate communication.  "Oh, my, god... Ms. Lamoin I an so sorry for the both of us, she didn't... she has a... sometimes... she... uhh..."

"Outside."  Marko said calmly.  They exited the office for a moment and as he excused them he closed the door.  Lowering himself to Ceyenne's eyes level he smiled.  "Okay, first, that amazing.  Ill timed, but hilarious.  Bump it," he raised his fist and Cheyenne bumped it with an evil smirk.  "Now, I need you two-"

"Us two?"  Abigail chimed in.  "She's the one acting like a child and blowing our chances at getting into a good school,"  Marko and Cheyenne looked around the office that looked like it hadn't seen a makeover since the 50s.  They looked at her.  "Okay, fine, a school... but still."

"I need you to sit out here and let me handle this," he looked to Cheyenne.  "And quit being an ass hat.  You get in first, then you start running the place."

He walked back into her office, a bashful smile on his face.  "Wow, I am... I am so sorry for that.  She's a handful.  Been acting out a lot since she got the bad news, plus the move and the new school.  Poor girl is going through quite a bit," he offered an awkward chuckle.

"Holy shit, he's good," Cheyenna said with her pressed to the wall just outside the office.  "Abby... I think I have found my Pi Mei... I must learn his ways."

Abigail hit her sister, backhanding her as a warning to quit.  It wasn't hard, just that hit siblings give when they don't want one to get the other in trouble too.  "Great, yeah, now quit.  I swear Che, if you mess this up.  I mean, you get it right?  We don't have anywhere else to go... we have no money, no food... you're gonna make either him or Cara mad and they're gonna get tired of it and toss us out.  What then?  Hmm?"

"So here's my proposal, Ms. Lamoin," the ancient vampire smiled.  "I was hoping we could get the girls enrolled now, and since their records are three, maybe five business days out, once they arrive I will deliver them personally.  Is that something we can do?"

Spoiler

Diplomacy first... compel second.

 

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Dan grunted in acknowledgement.  "Before I address everything else, you need to go see Miss Emily, she was worried about you.  What happened last night, it happened.  It don't change that you and I are family, and always will be Cabe.  I'm sorry I didn't see another way to handle it, but I am glad we're both still alive."

His peace said about the events of the night, he looked back to the diner.  "Hell of a mess this bitch left, and I can feel it, smell it on the air, she ain't done by half."   As they spoke quietly, he looked over to the deputies who were doing their own work.   "Do we know if she at least did this in her wolf form?  I mean she couldn't be dumb enough to have gone off like this in human form, nowadays they'd have her run to ground pretty fast if she showed in a city, normally."

"So, we need to at least know what the video shows, and then we can start trying to find her, discreetly.  if that don't work, then I guess we'll have to let the Crescents know we've got another Lonewolf on the prowl."  The look on his face was quite distasteful, he wasn't looking forward to having to do that, but he'd not put it off too long.  This new wolf was a true apex predator, and the Crescents were still Werewolves too, they deserved to be kept in the loop.  The entire time he spoke with Cabe, he kept his voice low, so that no one would overhear them.
 

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Meave gave Karen a 'the hell?!' look as the older woman reined in her outburst with a blush. Between last night's hunt, the haunting or whatever, and the revelation that one in six people who operated a magic-related store in the city might be the real deal, she needed a taste of normal, inane and careless though it was. One in six? She was hoping more like one in a hundred, especially with the damned leeches taking Karen's trade as literally as one could take it atop the mix. The city felt increasingly less safe to her. 

Maybe staying with Dan wouldn't be so bad..? Let tongues wag, he was a *very* good catch if she was honest with herself, and she could always rent a motel room for business purposes if that came to that...

Still, that was tomorrow, she had to check this clue out now. "I'm guessing they go one of the local high schools, Meave?" the dark-eyed Californian asked, already plugging the search for 'New Orleans Letterman Jackets' into her phone just in case, a smile dancing on her lips in amusement at her own enthusiasm, "If so, another link to our mystery before we swing out see how Melody is doing." 

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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

GENTILLY

"Well," Donna licked her lips, "I don't really need their records to start the registration and I suppose I can just make some assumptions for class assignment." She hands Marko a couple of forms " Here Mr Cain, have them fill these out while I get them in the system. Can I see your guardianship forms please?"

Abigail and Cheyenne waited out side the office in the hall, Abigail standing with her arms crossed watching with annoyance as her little sister tried to overhear what was going on back inside. Neither of them paid attention to the tall woman well dressed woman who approached them from down the empty hall until Abigail heard the woman's heels as she came close. Abigail glance and saw the woman and quickly nudged Cheyenne. Both girls straightened and tried to look innocent.

Tall, brunette, clear brown eyes, dressed in a conservative dress which accented her generous curves, Miranda Ellis, Vice Principle at BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL, took in the sigh of the two young girls whom she didn't recognize but wer obviously sisters. "Hello ladies, can I help you?"

Spoiler

famke-janssen.jpg  Miranda Ellis

 

THE FRENCH QUARTER

NEW ORLEANS

Karen was a bit overwhelmed there were over a hundred local high schools in the New Orleans area and a whole lot of them had similar color schemes. A few minutes searching narrowed it down to  a couple of likely ones and after walking rapidly to overtake the teens and get a good look at the front of their jackets she found the one she was sure it was, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL. She quickly looked up the school and bookmarked it.

"My dad went there I know he did. We have to find a yearbook. Melody is with her kin we can check on her later."

Meave scratched her head. "What year?"

 

LAUTOULLE'S ALLNITE DINER AND GENERAL STORE

Cabe introduced Dan to Maurice Dauterive the local Sheriff, and he took him inside to see the video telling the state police that Dan was a deputy. The video was grainy and raw it showed the wolf which most of them assumed was a bear due to her size as she crossed into he parking loot. where she had come from was not on camera. The video was graphic. and while he could tell it was the same wolf, that it was a wolf at all, it's size and the way it moved had all bu convinced the others who had seen it that it was a bear.

What worried Dan the most was that it was the same wolf that they had seen the night before, the same size which indicated that it hadn't changed. The time stamp put the attack here at over an hour before the height of the full moon probably about the time they had begun the hunt which means at least an hour or more before the wolf had come among them. Dan knew from experience that you couldn't hold that for larger more primal form for that long it took too much out of you and that making that change again so soon would cause so much strain and stress as to be inconceivable. A coldness gripped Dan's heart.

This wasn't the white wolfs primal form this was it's actual form.

 

 

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, The Shadows ST said:

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

GENTILLY

"Well," Donna licked her lips, "I don't really need their records to start the registration and I suppose I can just make some assumptions for class assignment." She hands Marko a couple of forms " Here Mr Cain, have them fill these out while I get them in the system. Can I see your guardianship forms please?"

Abigail and Cheyenne waited out side the office in the hall, Abigail standing with her arms crossed watching with annoyance as her little sister tried to overhear what was going on back inside. Neither of them paid attention to the tall woman well dressed woman who approached them from down the empty hall until Abigail heard the woman's heels as she came close. Abigail glance and saw the woman and quickly nudged Cheyenne. Both girls straightened and tried to look innocent.

Tall, brunette, clear brown eyes, dressed in a conservative dress which accented her generous curves, Miranda Ellis, Vice Principle at BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL, took in the sigh of the two young girls whom she didn't recognize but wer obviously sisters. "Hello ladies, can I help you?"

Marko's head spun as he tried to grasp the difficulty at trying to get a child educated these days.  Whatever happed to just dropping the kid off, saying 'teach him' and picking them up in a few years?  For crying out loud.  "It's all caught up in the system, right now Donna.  As they're transitioning from wards to foster care."  The pupils of his widened and thinned and widened again, like they were focusing on Donna's soul... "All of the paperwork is in order, Donna.  Let me just get these to the girls and you can work on that."  He offered her a smile.  "I'll be back in a moment."

"Probably not," Cheyenne shrugged.  "Considering the hefty decline in the American education system due to under qualified educators and active shooter incidents."

Abigail's eye widened again and all she could muster was a smile at Ms. Ellis.  "Please excuse her, she's retarded."

Before Ms. Ellis could really take all that in, Marko exited Donna's office with two forms in hand.  He gave them to the girls, barely realizing Ms. Ellis was there until... well, he realized she was there.  His eyes feasted on her frame.  "Wow... uh, hi...," was the boundary of his articulation.

"What am I supposed to write on?" Cheyenne motioned about waving the document about.

Marko smiled at Ms. Ellis then slowly turned his head to Cheyenne who was living proof children only existed to be cock blockers.  "I don't know Cheyenne... you're in a school, this is where problem solving happens.  Figure.  It.  Out."

Abigail was already filling her out, having brought her own pen and notepad.

Marko chuckled like a flustered father.  "Heh, hi.  Sorry, kinda new to this whole... parenting thing."  When Ms. Ellis quirked a brow as if Marko should have at least fifteen years experience at it, judging by their age, he amended his statement.  "I'm fostering.  Trying to give these sisters a good home.  Abigail has a bright future and I wanted to see her have an opportunity," he gestured to Cheyenne who pressing her document against the wall outside Donna's office and writing with a pen she'd stolen from the counter.  "That one... I dunno, I'll probably just sell online."  Cheyenne heard him and offered a sharp middle finger in reply with out ever looking at him.

"Oh, uh, Cain.  Marko Cain," he offered that angelic smile and extended his hand.  "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name."

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Cara didn't see the pretty boy witch from the day before she hoped that he was here. She went to the bar and smiled at the young African American woman who was showing a lot of skin and polishing a shot glass. “ Hi there.”

“Can ah help yah,cher?” The black girl tilted her head and smiled with her smokey eyes.

 

Cara bestowed her best room-warming smile on the bartend...er? Bartendress? Was there a rule for that?...and said, "I do hope so. Yesterday there was a young man working here. Handsome. A practitioner. Is he going to be here today? I have an item of business I'd like to discuss with him."

In the meanwhile, she mulled the situation over. The most likely hand behind all this was a witch, of course, but it would have to be an unusually strong one...or perhaps a whole coven. Could be 'native,' but she had her doubts. A native of New Orleans wouldn't want a showdown like this on their home turf if it could be avoided. And Marko had been well outside the city when the curse was laid on him. Cara was not fluent in the ins and outs of witchcraft, but she had a notion that the witches of New Orleans derived their power, in great measure, from the lingering spirits of their ancestors here in the city. Would that follow them far? She wasn't sure, but suspected it was unlikely.

Regardless, it would be expected that she investigate the bones, and that this was the most likely place for her to do that, so she was definitely being observed somehow at the moment...and was playing the game as expected. All for the good.

What was less certain was the extent to which she wished to play. Marko hadn't been exaggerating the risks of opposing the Original vampires...but there WAS another angle to the question. For as long as she and Marko were bound to them, they were in peril. At any moment they could simply die, having done nothing wrong, having committed no mistake. If the Twin who had given them life was an idiot and got themself killed...and yes, they could die, the historical record demonstrated that even if it was unlikely...then nothing could save her. God help them, the Twins weren't idiots exactly, but they were overconfident and reckless and impulsive.

Becoming unbound was therefore attractive. Opposing the Originals...and it wouldn't just be the Twins either, the old vampires would collectively avenge any attempt to attack any of them...was not. Moreover, this witch or coven or whoever they were had not demonstrated the kind of behavior that Cara associated with trustworthiness. There was cause of course...they were playing a dangerous game...but Cara was concerned that she and Marko could easily fall into a trap hidden in the terms of any agreement. Or that whoever was behind this would simply eliminate them too, once it became expedient. Why suffer any vampire to exist, after all.

To learn more, she'd need to be able to move without being spotted. Her business with the witches was more than just these old bones.

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With the State Troopers involved, Dan remained quiet, letting Maurice take the lead, as he was the Sheriff, and he was just an off duty deputy.   The revelation that she was that large in her natural wolf form was sobering.   How the hell was she so strong, and powerful?   Even in the legends, the Lore that was passed down through the generations, he'd never heard of a wolf the size of the bear outside some fantasy writings.  He was astounded, and worked hard to keep it in check.  

Maurice frowned.  "We're going to have to issue a warning to area residents, and I can contact wildlife and Fisheries.  We'll get some traps set, and organize a hunting party or two to put that mankiller down.   I can't imagine with such an attack a matter of record, we'll have too many issues."

One of the State Troopers, Captain Dodgson, nodded.  "No, I cannot imagine there will be any outcry against it."   

Dan nodded along, already wondering how he was going to handle this, he'd have to take the Pack further west than normal, and get the word out fast.  They still had the waning full moon that night, and they'd have to contend with her again he was sure.

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THE FRENCH QUARTER

Karen... wasn't sure how to answer that question. If Colby had been a long time pack leader way back in the thirties, and still looked in as good as he did, only God knew how old her Dad actually was. Or if he actually went to a New Orleans High School and didn't just borrow one of those jackets as a way of covering his tracks, inventing a new past, after cheating death. This kind of research was a pain in the butt dealing with her own currently living peers, let alone a father she apparently knew nothing about. And that was the thing that really stuck in her craw.

It pissed her off that she knew so damn little about her own father, and on some level that she could have died just as easy last night, left her own daughter with the same legacy of not knowing.

And it was going to be a an endless series of rabbit holes until she stumbled over a clue, rabbit holes she didn't have time to dig up between the full moon and the witches and the vampires and settling into a role in the Bayou Pack she couldn't just run from when things went bad. At least not soon. Time time time. Her father, however he might have come back, was pretty definitely dead to her knowledge, and unlikely to get deader. People, living people, were important, and all of this could wait until tomorrow morning. Check on Melody. Get out to the swamp and stop for plenty of sandwich fixings. Make plenty of sandwiches. Be ready to try and think on her feet, er, paws if the goddess-wolf came back. Tackle tomorrow's problems tomorrow.

"No clue, Meave. No clue at all. Let's go. As important as this is to me, we're burning daylight, and I have a feeling tonight's going to be a party," she finally answered the Irish werewolf, tone of voice making clear how unfun a party she meant, "Text Dan to see if he has a preference for food. We're stopping by that Krogers I saw on our way in." 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Cara bestowed her best room-warming smile on the bartend...er? Bartendress? Was there a rule for that?...and said, "I do hope so. Yesterday there was a young man working here. Handsome. A practitioner. Is he going to be here today? I have an item of business I'd like to discuss with him."

 

The bartender, Janelle, was giving Cara a sultry and appreciative look-over while Cara spoke, even parting her lips and licking them slightly, a blatant sexual overture that quite frankly Cara had still not gotten used to from the same sex. Oh she wasn't a prude by any means it's just that aside from a few instances, in England mostly, until this century women hadn't been so open and forward in public with their desires. Cara was brought out of her thoughts by the quizzical look the girl had taken on.

“Practitioner?” Janelle looked around while she tried to think, she supposed there could be some nursing students working to make ends meet, but offhand she couldn't remember any. “I don't know any medical workers moonlighting here. But I don't know everyone personally, did you get a name?”

 

While Cara and Janelle were having this little conversation, Darrik stepped out of his office where he and Dom had been brainstorming since last night. She was crashed on the couch catching a little bit of sleep and he wanted to leave her undisturbed. He need to check on things anyway. He stood there unseen for several moments as he survey the already bustling crowd It was early Friday and this was going to be a big weekend. That was when he noticed the Vampire at the bar.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

GENTILLY

 

"Oh, uh, Cain.  Marko Cain," he offered that angelic smile and extended his hand.  "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name."

 

Miranda looked at the offered hand for a few seconds then took it in a grip that while it didn't pain Marko any, it was a surprise. The woman obviously worked out. “I'm Vice Principle Ellis, um Miranda Ellis,” she smiled at him, he was attractive and exuded dangerous charm with those incredible good looks. She glanced at the two girls who were looking at him with odd expressions on their faces, like they were waiting for something. They seemed to be ignoring her.

She let go of his hand, “So getting your girl's registered, very thoughtful, most men leave that to the wives.”

 

LAUTOULLE'S ALLNITE DINER AND GENERAL STORE

 

Cabe and Dan walked back to the car after their discussion with the sheriff and the staties. “One more thing to show you Dan.” he said as he fished his phone out of his pocket and began swiping through e-mails. “You know Cecil Guyote over in Bayou Gauche, he was out checking his lines, sent me this.” Cabe hands Dan the phone, on the screen a snap of pure carnage, torn apart wildlife, just like the humans in the restaurant. Dan swiped through several more photos. He could make out gator and deer to many to count from the pictures but a bunch of them.

“I got to admit I am not unhappy with this being on your shoulders. You the right man to lead us and I want you to know I got your back. I do anything you need cous.”

 

 

THE FRENCH QUARTER

 

"No clue, Meave. No clue at all. Let's go. As important as this is to me, we're burning daylight, and I have a feeling tonight's going to be a party," she finally answered the Irish werewolf, tone of voice making clear how unfun a party she meant, "Text Dan to see if he has a preference for food. We're stopping by that Krogers I saw on our way in." 

 

The younger woman put a hand on Karen's arm “Darlin' yer need to calm down.” The lilt of Meave's irish accent actually did seem to calm Karen and the touch was reassuring, caring. “The moon ain't gonna poke it's head up till late tonight it's still morning hun, we have all day.' Meave pointed at Karen's phone. “Yer been looking fer clues now yer found one, maybe yer should follow it.”

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

 

On 4/11/2019 at 8:31 PM, Darrik Reynolds said:

Darrik decided to pick a topic they could deal with. "The Regent. Her request. Your grimoire, how do you want to play this, Dominique?"

"There's a good reason why the Regent wants to use it and would wait here for hours to do it. It's is the best grimoire around. My family has been here since the beginning and has been building it ever since. So if she thinks I am just going to let her go willy-nilly through my grimoire, then she's got another thing comin'." Dominique said with some of the Haitian accent she picked up from her family peeking through, making her "another" sound more like "anudder".

"Look.: she said with a sigh before continuing, "If she needs help, I will help her. It is what Mama Sue would have done. But she can tell me what it is she's looking for and I will check my grimoire for it." she explained to her friend, partner and essentially brother.

She knew Darrik generally liked to play nice with the other witches, but they had always irked her bit, looking at her with suspicious eyes and always, or at least usually, hiding a level of distrust beneath a veneer of politeness when it came to her. Maybe they thought she had something to do with her mother's disappearance. Maybe it was due to her time on the street. Dominique didn't know why, but it was certainly there. 

Dominique sat on the couch with a small sigh which turned into yawn, contorting her beautiful face into some twisted mask for just a moment before her beautiful visage returned. She had slept, or at least 'relaxed', most of the prior day, but it had been a long night. She kicked off her boots and swung her legs up onto the office couch, wiggling her toes as she lay back against the arm. A small grin crept across her sensuous lips at the thought of the Regent, sitting in their burlesque club for hours, waiting for her arrive. On a certain level it did give her a small bit of smug satisfaction. She was human after all.

As Darrik exited the office Dominique could see Janelle standing at the bar talking to a woman and looking a bit confused. For the most part in their partnership, Darrik handled the books, entertainments and whatnot, while Dominique handled the bar, and seeing one of her bartenders looking confused meant she had to step in.

With another sigh Dominique roses from the couch, slipped on her boots and walked out, giving Darrik a familiar 'I got this' pat on the shoulder as she past him.

"That;s one of the ones I mentioned earlier." Darrik said softly as she passed him, which caused Dominique to sigh.

The beautiful, young, black woman put on her best smile walked up to the pair of ladies talking. 

"Hello. I'm an owner and manager, and could not help but notice a little bit of confusion here. Maybe I can be of assistance." she said to the patron and then looked to Janelle, giving her a nod to let her she would handle it.

Janelle nodded and moved down the bar to another patron awaiting service, leaving the two to talk and work out whatever the problem or issue was.

Spoiler

Made a small edit to the last part of the post.

 

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Dan nodded.  "Yeah Cous, I know.  Tonight is going to be very interesting I think.   Make sure all the Kin head home and don't linger once we leave.  I don't want them out there with whatever this thing is.  It'd be best if they plan to stay in groups, Though I imagine it is abit short notice.   I want you to call each of the families, and let them know that.  They may not be like us, but I know we'll all be less concerned if we know they're home safe."

He looked back at him.  "I'm gonna go try to find the one person who might know more about who and what that was, and more important just what the hell they actually want."

He head for his truck  "I also want to check in with the Crescents, see if they know anything, If anyone from them calls, give them my number, and we'll meet up.  Besides, I can't help but feel that this may have something to do with that poor girl we had to get back from the leeches."

He got in his truck and head into town, hoping that he'd be able to keep everyone safe come the moonrise.

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Cara looked over at the owner and manager and smiled a delighted smile as she extended a hand to shake.

"Assistance would be fantastic. The confusion is entirely my fault. I had the pleasure of attending this club once before when a very attractive young man was working behind the bar, and I was hoping he'd be in sometime soon. I didn't catch his name, but I do believe he was also an owner, or perhaps manager. He had that proprietary air."

"I'd like to discuss something with him. He and I share an interest in a particular...craft."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(at the bar)

 

Dominique shook the offered hand as she listened and let out a small sigh with a slight frown.

"Really? You're how old and that was the best you could do? Interest in a particular...craft? Real sly." she said in a bit of disbelief, rolling her eyes and shaking her head a little, causing her tight dreads to sway.

"Well, I can see if he is available, or will be any time soon, but he and I are partners for several reasons, not the least of which is, as you put it, shared interests." she says and turns, grabbing a bottle of Jim Beam and two shot classes.

She sets down the glasses and pours a measure into each as she speaks,

"I mean, you know what city you are, right? There's prolly a dozen or more witches, shamans and voodoo practitioners with shops within a block of where you stand." she said with a shrug and then slid one of the shot glasses toward Cara.

"Anyways. Manners. I'm Dominique de la Croix. I'm one of the owners of this fine establishment, Lead Bartender, Mixologist, Musician and Witch." Dominique said, introducing herself and lifting the shot glass, holding it up as if waiting for Cara to do the same.

 

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"Ah, now the manners. Better late than never, I suppose. I was starting to think I was in the wrong bar after all," Cara replied, still smiling. "Your other bartender made it seem as if the staff wasn't in on it."

She studied Dominique for a moment then said, "Cara Angelo. A pleasure. I'd like to discuss an exchange of favors. I have something I could use the help of a witch, shaman, or voodoo practitioner with. In return I offer my own talents as a wealthy, connected philanthropist."

With a sweep of her hand Cara plucked up her shot glass and downed it in a swallow when she saw Dominique starting to do the same.

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THE FRENCH QUARTER

A calmed werewolf was a relative thing, especially with the full moon running in its veins, so Karen's answering glare could only warm steel not slice it in half.

"To-mor-row," she answered back, softly, firmly, with the faintest edge of a warning growl in her voice, the verbal shadow of raised hackles and exposed teeth, "Let me make something perfectly clear. My father, whatever else he was, was a lying liar who lied and however he tricked our pack 80 years ago and survived, it caught up to him for his sins and got him dead for real just in time to leave a daughter to wonder just who he was. I am *not* following his example and leaving *my* daughter the same questions by underestimating what's coming tonight and spending all day on a wild goose chase. Is. That. Clear?"

She leaned into the younger woman's space, eyes dark pits of determination, quite unconscious of her quick adaptation of the word 'our pack'.

Maeve stepped back, hands held up disarmingly, "Absolutely. I was just... Okay. How about you call Dan to see what he needs us to do?"

Karen offered a silent glance  up at the girl, but held her tongue as she pulled up Dan's number and dialed. One ring, two rings, and the Cajun's smooth barotone answered, "It's Dan. What's going on?"

"We're done here, Dan," the brunette replied, pausing a second to look at Maeve, "For today anyway. What needs doing? Getting more sandwich makings and checking on Melody is obvious, but what else is there? Is there anyone in the city who we can ask a few questions about our... problems and trust to keep their mouth's shut? Darrik maybe? He didn't strike me as a snitch."  

 

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Dan scowled as he drove, one hand on the wheel one holding his phone.  "I don't like going to the witches, but if you want to go ask quietly, then go ahead.  Checking on Melody is a good idea, why don't you and Maeve go do that first, since she knows us.   I'm on my way to go speak with the other pack in the area, I'll meet you at my home once I'm done."

 

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"See you then," Karen answered with a ready smile, viscerally satisfied with a problem she could sink her teeth into productively. Yeah, magic was probably scary when aimed at you, but, hell, she had eaten people. They'd deal. Besides, witches were at least human, and this Darrik wouldn't still have a club if he screwed over his clients.

Now what was the name of the place..? Oh, yeah. 

She dialed the club's number as she walked, waiting three rings before the voice of the warlock could be heard over the background noise of a scene that was evidently hopping already, "Hello? Darrik speaking."

"Darrik? It's me. Karen. From last night? We need your expertise on a few problems. Confidential expertise. We'll make it worth your while wherever you want to meet. Today preferably."

There was a pause on the other end of the line, the clatter of glasses, "Simon Magus is running full-bore, so come to the club, get drinks, food and the show, and I'll try to open up some time for you."

"Great! We have an errand to make first, but we'll be along soon," Karen replied, shifting the phone to her neck as she fished out the keys to her car, dropping the volume of her voice to a relative whisper, "I have a dead man in my life who refuses to stay dead, and that's just my personal problem. The pack is facing something that nearly ruined last night's party. I really hope you're the man for the job. Tell you more when I get there."

And then she hung up again, taking in the sights of the Quarter, waiting for Maeve to catch up so that they could check on their kidnapping victim. Poor girl.

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On 5/8/2019 at 10:47 AM, The Shadows ST said:

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

Miranda looked at the offered hand for a few seconds then took it in a grip that while it didn't pain Marko any, it was a surprise. The woman obviously worked out. “I'm Vice Principle Ellis, um Miranda Ellis,” she smiled at him, he was attractive and exuded dangerous charm with those incredible good looks. She glanced at the two girls who were looking at him with odd expressions on their faces, like they were waiting for something. They seemed to be ignoring her.

She let go of his hand, “So getting your girl's registered, very thoughtful, most men leave that to the wives.”

Marko was a bit off his guard for a moment, or at least, he appeared to be, at the mention of a wife.  People, after a century or two or three or more, were a predictable lot.  The right shift in posture or a stammer or a stutter here or there and it made one appear bashful or embarrassed or... vulnerable.  It worked like a charm when manipulating women into bed, well, the dumb one's anyway, the smarter ones it, at the very least, made one appear sensitive, which mingled well with the puckish rogue exterior of Marko Cain.

"W-wife?  Oh, uh, no," he chuckled.  "It's ah, just me, and the girls."

"Really?"  Miranda asked as she looked a mixture of confused and concerned.  "Pardon my saying so, but, a man your age adopting two teenage daughters?  The state doesn't usually-..."

"He's got like mad money, sister."  Cheyenne interjected, nodding her head.  "Laws and regulations mean squat compared to the destructive power of hard currency."

Marko turned his had slowly, as Cheyenne continued to wrack up embarrassing him, or at least, attempting to.  This girl would soon learn she was dealing with a master of shameless.  "Thank you Cheyenne, the whole school now knows my financial situation and is, I'm sure, the better for it.  Now finish your paperwork or I'm locking you under stairs tonight with the angry rats."

"Oh, no, please," Cheyenne over dramatized her begging using a very poor Louisianan accent.  "Not that pappy, I be good... I promise!"

Surprisingly that earned a slight chuckle from the lovely vice principal.  "You know, I'm obligated to call child services with threats like that in my presence."  While she could tell with every ounce of common sense she possessed that Marko's tone implied he was only joking, she figured a bit light heartedness on her part couldn't hurt.  This guy, who not only took in these two girls, seemed to handle everything like it was open mic night at the Apollo.  As far the typical parents that came to meet her eventually, this guy was unique (to say the least).

"Oh, yeah... forgot about you being a state official..." Marko sucked his teeth like he made an error.  He perked up and smiled at her.  "Tell you what?  Why not come by the estate this weekend, for brunch.  You can see the sights, get a look at how the girls are treated, if I let them out of the basement."

"The basement?"  Miranda asked trying to hold back a smile.

"Brand new chains, not the old rusty things that were there when I moved, no way, because I care."  Marko said solemnly.

"He even lined the shackles with soft fur and padding, he's very considerate," Abigail just had to get in on the action.  Sweet, quiet, responsible Abigail.

Marko shot her a look and without dropping his solemn smile to Miranda mumbled.  "Stop helping."

"What?  I'm totally backing you on this, you got her.  Reel her in, dad."  She made a reeling motion with one hand as she held her other like she was holding a fishing pole.

He shirked away in aversion to the word 'dad'.  "Don't label me, my god what are they teaching you here?"  Without missing a beat he looked back at Miranda, that charming smile beaming at her as he repositioned himself with a few shimmying side steps to block her view of the girls who hell bent on cock blocking him.  "So, Saturday?  Brunch?  At this point I can't guarantee whether or not they'll be safe or safely interred by then, but please, do come by," he got all wispy and sincere.  "For the children?"

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IN THE CITY

“Turn right.”

Karen hit her blinker even though she was already turning following the sudden command. She hated having to take directions, but she was so new to New Orleans and so much was going on that she hadn’t even had a chance to set up her GPS. Luckily Maeve knew the way around the city.

“What are you doing?” Maeve sounded completely exasperated as she looked from the window of the car to Karen behind the wheel. The car bounced through a series of potholes.

Karen shot a glance at her young passenger and fellow werewolf. “Following your directions.”

“Then why did you turn?”

“Because you told me to turn right.”

“I did not.”

Karen looked at Maeve and then back out the windshield at the narrow street filled with potholes and then took in the surroundings. The tall wrought Iron fencing which showed incredible wear and corrosion, to the ominous structures and statuary beyond the fence. Angels, weeping with wings spread and cracked marble faces, and tombs and mausoleums housing the cities dead. Karen blinked, the dead should be buried under the ground not on top of it.  Karen slowed the car and came to a stop where the road ended at what looked like a service gate at one of New Orleans hundred plus cemeteries. And an old one at that.

 “Maeve, you said turn right so I turned right.” Anger was creeping into her voice as she slammed the car into reverse then glared at the Irish girl.

“I did not” a little anger was showing in Maeve’s voice as well. “And I bloody well wouldn’t have told ya to turn onto a dead-end street.”

Karen fumed then looked out the front windshield as she started backing up before slamming the car to a stop.

Beyond the gate she could see her father…

 

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

Way too charming and the girls were just as much charmers in their own way. Miranda looked past Marko and studied the girls there was an age difference, but their features were similar enough that she could tell they were related to each other but not to Mr. Cain.

“Saturday? For the children?” She smiled at the handsome and very smooth operator. “I think my calendar is clear.”

The girls looked at one another mouths open in shock.

 

IN THE CITY

Dan pulled the truck into the parking spot downtown. He was lucky to have found one on the street and not to have to use one of the over-charging lots. He had called ahead to make sure that Wayne Leroux, the Alpha of the Crescent’s knew he was coming to see him. Dan was sure that Leroux, a city contractor by trade and some one that he knew by reputation only, wasn’t aware of the change in status of the Bayou packs alpha. He hoped that there were no problems.

Dan stepped into the lobby of Leroux Building Contractors, the walls had framed pictures of the companies construction works some dating back into the mid-20th century. It was lunch time but there were more people in the office than Dan would have expected. It didn’t take a genius to realize that they were there because of him. All of them including the young woman at the receptionist desk were kin, either blooded or cursed.

“Can Ah help ya suh?” The girl was an obvious local with a mixed heritage and a heavy accent.

“Dan Hawkins to see Wayne Leroux.” Dan was feeling caged in by all the surreptitious looks from the others in the lobby.  “He’ll be with ya in jus a minute.” Dan had seen the girl’s fingers fly across her computer keyboard when he spoke, she must have sent an e-mail because just then the door to the left of the desk opened and a tall rangy man with blond hair and glasses came through and grinned at Dan.

“You must be Dan; I heard a lot about you. I’m Wayne Leroux, why don’ you come back into my office we can talk.”  Leroux hadn’t extended his hand for a shake instead he gestured for Dan to go into the office.

With a glance around the room at everyone he nodded and stepped past the Crescent alpha into a working office. Wayne followed and shut the door “Please have a seat,” he said as he went around behind a desk littered with papers and plans and sat in the chair there.

“So like ah said ah have heard a lot about Dan Hawkins. What can ah do for you , Dan?”

 

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Darrik watched Dom and the vampire for a few seconds and could see from the look on Cara Angelo’s face that Dom wasn’t making a good impression. He stepped from the alcove that led to the office with the intention of going over but as he scanned the room out of habit he saw Erica Linder walk through the front door.

Today she was dressed in a blue and white casual flower print dress which showed off a full and fit figure with out making her look like a slut. Her hair which had been pulled back yesterday was loose and framed her face in shoulder length curls. A large purse was slung over her shoulder and she had some papers in her hands, her resumé probably. All and all she looked like an advertisement for spring, the only thing missing was a wide brimmed hat.  She was looking around the room as well and when she spotted Darrick her face lit up in a genuine smile. She pushed through the early lunch crowd toward him.

“Hey,” she said as she came up and stopped close to Darrik. Her voice wasn’t as loud as the day before, but it was almost bubbly. Darrik noticed she was wearing the same shoes. She looked around, “Wow this is a lot busier early in the day than I would have expected. Is it always like this?”

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Karen's glare burned so hot it could have melted through her windshield enroute to vaporizing the specter where it, he, whatever, lurked after fucking with her head.

"You can't wait one god damn day, you lying sack of shit, can you? Fine. Fine. You want to do this? Let's do this. Meave, keep the engine running. Got a dead man to talk to about how he's making his granddaughter an orphan by not letting me work my work," the dark brunette growled as she undid her seatbelt and got out of the car, eyes already burning gold. Rage thrummed through her veins, a California wildfire born of the frustration at having her life yanked around by this supernatural bs. She didn't even bother to ask if the other girl could see him. Meave hadn't heard the voice leading them here, so why the hell would she see him now? Fine, if she was Hamlet, she'd at least try to pay him back for screwing with her.

Her booted heels hit the ground like it had offended her, covering the ground to the, thankfully for it, unlocked gate. Even if Meave called after her, she was deaf to all but her heartbeat, vision lasering in the image of the dead man in front of her.

"All right, Dad! I'm coming in! And you damn well better have something say other than you're sorry this time!" she shouted through the gate, gripping the handle with hands that began to bleed as talons pushed through the flesh of her finger tips. The brunette slammed the gate open and crossed the gap between her and him, living and dead, poised for a fight or a meaningful conversation and not knowing what she wanted.

Spoiler

Feral Weapons Rouse Check http://orokos.com/roll/731729 1 Success, I think.

 

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Dan looked around for a moment, and took note of just how many people, those like him, and those not, were present.  He was fairly certain everyone there was in the Know,   else they'd not be acting the way they were around him.

"There's lots of stories, Mr. Leroux."  he spoke softly as he took the proffered seat.   "Dey ain' all true, but like as with anythin' else, some are."  He'd relaxed a little for a moment, bu locked his gaze onto the other Alpha's eyes, and nodded.  "We have a significant situation brewing, as I imagine you're well aware.  One of yours was abducted, and working together with various others, she was recovered, safe and sound, near as can be told."

He shook his head.  "We've got some old relatives in from out of town, and things started going to hell right around then.  I damn near watched the Queen get her heart tore out by someone with a definite grudge, and there was damn little any of us coulda done to stop it."

He shrugged.  "Not that I'm fond of them, but at least with the status quo, we all know pretty well where we stand."

He paused for a moment.  "And then of course there's Her to contend with.   A White wolf, at least three times larger than any I've ever seen, Big enough, strong enough, to take on a whole damn pack by herself.   That was her howl everyone heard.  Soon enough, because they won't be able to keep things quiet much longer, you're gonna see some of her other handiwork too.   Which is gonna cause us ALL some real headaches."

He wasn't telling everything, mostly as he didn't want to give away all his information for nothing.   The packs would have to cooperate to handle whatever the hell was about to go down.   

"That's enough for starters I think.   Now, I think that the packs should work together resolve the issues we're facing.   We are all kin, after all.   I'm not asking for consolidation, but just cooperation.  We still have the wanining moon tonight to contend with, and after last night, well, I don't expect it to be quiet."   Of course, his speech definitely  made it sound like he was speaking for the Bayou Pack, and in truth he was now. 

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ST VINCENT DE PAUL CEMETERY NO 1

 

"All right, Dad! I'm coming in! And you damn well better have something say other than you're sorry this time!" she shouted through the gate, gripping the handle with hands that began to bleed as talons pushed through the flesh of her finger tips. The brunette slammed the gate open and crossed the gap between her and him, living and dead, poised for a fight or a meaningful conversation and not knowing what she wanted.

“What the fucking hell are you doing?”

The shout from behind her burned through the ringing of the blood in her ears and the haze of rage, caused Karen to glare back over her shoulder at Maeve, “Stay the fuck there!” Her replying shout, more growl than legible words caused rage to flare in Maeve's breast but she had been at this longer and held herself in check. Not sure really why, she knew she could rip Karen to pieces if she had wanted too, but still she stopped, spun and slammed her palms onto the hood of the still running car. “Fuck!” She grabbed her phone from her back pocket and speed dialed Dan.

Karen had not slowed and her warning glare had lasted less than a second but when she turned back, he was gone. Frantically she looked left and right trying to locate him through the maze of tombs a low feral growl escaping her tight throat. There! She saw him a couple of rows away and she darted after him losing sight of him almost immediately. She ran down row after row sniffing but smelling nothing but death and decay. She would catch a glimpse or thought she did and off she would go again and again tears of rage and frustration and loss she never knew she felt stained her cheeks.

After minuets of this she was totally lost and made one more turn and found herself in a opened area of the cemetery. Before her a old wrought iron fence with a gate, partially open. Inside a dozen low tombs, old, uncared for, forgotten, the spaces between filled with untended shrubbery and a few stunted trees. The sight brought Karen to a halt.

“You need to learn to control that rage girl or it will be the end of you.”

Karen looked to the left and saw the man she thought was her father leaning against a tomb arms crossed as if he had been waiting for her.

 

 

LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

Leroux had been studying Dan the whole time Dan spoke, taking in what he was saying but also taking the measure of the man in front of him. When Dan paused he leaned forward arms on the desk. “Okay, all well and good, but tell my friend, why are you the one being here saying all this and not Sheriff Cabe, he be your Alpha, don't he?”

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

"He was our Alpha,  but last night that changed."   Dan's tone seemed to freeze over.   "I'm the Alpha of the Bayou Pack now.  No he's not dead.  He's still blood, family.   Things happened that forced me to take this step to save the pack."   He wasn't that willing to lay out everything that happened, they'd find it rude if he asked about the details of how their pack changed alphas, he was sure.

"What matters now is that we cooperate and work together.   There's already been enough bloodshed, and if this really does turn into some sort of supernatural shadow war, We should at least all be on the same side."   It was his hope that it wouldn't come to that, that they could all work together and stop whatever the hell was going on in New Orleans, but he knew too well the peace they'd enjoyed was a fragile thing really.  Only the Status Quo kept lots of innocent blood from being spilled.

 

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ST VINCENT DE PAUL CEMETERY NO 1

Sucking wind from her mad dash sprint through the cemetary, she glared narrow-eyed at the creature in front of her, a few ugly tears still making their way down her cheeks. Give Karen a minute to catch her breath, and... and... whatever this thing was would... She'd... Thoughts tumbled like dead leaves through her head, the bitter bitter pill of childish hope and need and want mixing with the purity of rage in her veins. Still, years and years of playing the Game came to her rescue, loosening her tongue. Facts first.

"'So you can talk, asshole. Good. I have questions and if you don't answer 'em. I'm going to walk away from this city and catch the nearest greyhound anywhere else. One, *are* you actually my Dad?," the brunette started to reel off, pausing as she caught sight of her new deadly manicure, "Two, why trick me here, now? Three, what the hell is wrong with this God forsaken sinkhole of a city?"

She very carefully kept her eyes on him as she spoke, one final, clawed digit coming up, a bit more anger seeping back in despite gulping in a breath of calming oxygen, "Four... Yeah. That's it for now, 'Dad'."  

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(at the bar)

 

On 5/9/2019 at 8:28 PM, Cara Angelo said:

"Ah, now the manners. Better late than never, I suppose. I was starting to think I was in the wrong bar after all," Cara replied, still smiling. "Your other bartender made it seem as if the staff wasn't in on it."

She studied Dominique for a moment then said, "Cara Angelo. A pleasure. I'd like to discuss an exchange of favors. I have something I could use the help of a witch, shaman, or voodoo practitioner with. In return I offer my own talents as a wealthy, connected philanthropist."

With a sweep of her hand Cara plucked up her shot glass and downed it in a swallow when she saw Dominique starting to do the same.

 

Dominique downed her shoot and shrugged.

"Probably because they're not 'in on it', as you put it." she said nonchalantly.

"This is mine and Darrki's place." she added, nodding to her partner with a glance, noting the woman now speaking to him, who stood out like a sore thumb. She smiled as a thought crossed her mind and shrugged again, turning back to Cara.

"Anyways. He seems a bit... preoccupied... at the moment. But anyways..." she said and offered her hand.

"Dominique de la Croix. I'm from one of the oldest lines of Hoodoo practitioners in New Orleans, if not the New World, for that matter, so I think I fit your bill." she explained as she closed her eyes for a second and muttered something, only to open them once again and give Cara a more noticeable once over.

"So what's the problem? Restless spirits? A bad hex? Help with some revenge?" Dominique asked and poured two more shots.

"Or does this have something to do with the fiasco last night that somehow spilled into my club this morning?"

 

Spoiler

OOC: I am pretty sure it is moot, but Dominique will use Sense The Unseen on Cara to see if she can pic up anything, especially any sort of hex or enchantment or whatever.

 

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"I couldn't say for sure on the last, but it's likely related to any number of fiascos. I wouldn't be shocked if that included yours, one way or another."

Cara took another sip from her glass, using the pause to consider her words and perhaps make Dominique a little more impatient and eager to hear what she had to say.

"I need your professional insight into some items I've come into possession of. I believe they have some kind of magic about them, but I'm far from an expert in such matters. I'd like to know what kind of magic, how strong it is, and how old it is. And of course, depending on what you can discover, I may have follow-up questions. There is one catch though."

She smiled. "I'd like to keep this as discrete as possible. So, if you're interested in this, I'd need you to come to my place. I'll throw dinner in, if it helps."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

"Not most days." Darrik told her. "Last night and today were special." Just how special was to be left unsaid.

"Now, Dominique is in, and I will introduce you to her shortly. She makes the decisions relating to bar tending, but I wouldn't worry too much. If you're prepared, I imagine she'll approve of you. Any questions?"

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(at the bar)

 

"You left them at at home?" Dominique asked. to which Cara nodded in response.

She looked over Cara for a moment, her gaze drifting over each curve of the undead woman before her, while Dominique's other senses brought other concerns to her mind.

"Then you might want to fire your stylist or re-think how you accessorize," she commented, half jokingly, "... because I can sense the Dark Magic radiating from here." she added, noting Cara's reaction to her observation.

"Lucky for you, this is probably the safest place in the city when it comes to bad juju like that. So how about we step into the office, you spread'em and let me have a nice look, getting all up close and personal." Dominque offered as she grabbed the bottle by the neck and nodded to the office door, adding, "...your figurative cards, that is. Though, dinner at your place I'll take you up on sometime." for clarification with a wink.

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ST VINCENT DE PAUL CEMETERY NO 1

The 'ghost' pushes itself off the tomb it was leaning on and stands up straight, Karen is a bit surprised at how tall it, he , is. “Any particular order you want those answers in little girl?” Karens growl caused the apparition to throw his hands up in a fending off gesture of peace.”Whoa, whoa, just making a little joke, you know lightning up the mood. One at a time in order.” He smiled at her “To start I am not your daddy. I'm you great grandfather. Your daddy died a human he was never burdened by our curse, neither was my son god rest them both. And I am very sorry that you have to live with it, if there was anything I could do to change that I surly would.

As for tricking you it wasn't meant to be a trick you just got close so I could call out to you. I can talk to you here.”

He steps close to her and reaches up his fingers brush across Karen's cheek. She can feel them, not like a real caress but like a gentle wind brushing her hair. “You have grown into a beautiful young woman, Karen, I am so sorry you are caught up in all of this.”

 

LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

 

Leroux watched Dan with a wary air and nodded along with him before speaking again. “So you challenged old Cabe but you didn't kill him, your not afraid he might harbor some ill will about all of that? Him or his friends?”

Dan now wary himself, noticed that Leroux fixated on the alpha issue and seemed to ignore everything else.

 

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Erica looked around again and couldn't see any special theme or mood just a bunch of people eating and drinking earlier than she was used too. “No sir I don't have any questions yet. I came more prepared to answer yours today.” She said hold out the resume she had been asked for. Darrick took the paper from Erica,“Dominique is with a customer at the moment why don’t I get you something to drink and I’ll let her know you’re here.” Darrick leads Erica to one of the nearby booths while Dom leads Cara into the office.

 

Edited by Nina

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

Dan shook his head.  "Cabe isn't like that.   He's wolf enough to come right up and do it himself.   My action saved the Pack, he knows that and has said as much."   his tone was still even, but there was an icy coldness to it, as Dan reigned in his emotions.  "I know my cousin, and I know the way of things.   If anyone within the pack finds fault with how an alpha does things, they have the  right to challenge, just as the victor has the right to exercise mercy or not.  Once it was over, I gave the Pack the customary chance to challenge me, and none did."

He was on guard now, as the Crescent Alpha focused on this. He thought back to the final exchange between Cabe and himself this morning.   "Cabe  told me we were good, that he was glad I lead the Pack now, that he felt relieved.  I'm going to take that promise and praise at face value, because my cousin's never given me reason to doubt his word."

He turned his gaze an locked eyes with Leroux.   "Do you have some problems with this?   Now's probably the time to air them, because I don't want it to come up later on.  There's enough going on in the city, that a fight between packs just isn't going to help anyone.  I'd rather talk things out before things get there."

He was pretty sure they didn't have anyone who could do what he could, or potentially even know he could do it.  He'd come today as a potential Ally, trying to keep the supernatural population all on the same page, or at the least, the faction he was kin to.   He waited for Leroux's answer, as that would determine the next steps.

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Cara laughed at that. "Help me with this problem, and there'll be all sorts of things you can take me up on," she said, returning the flirt in equal measure as she slipped past Dominque into the office.

A little embarrassing to be caught out like that, but it served a purpose. She now knew the witch had the power and knowledge to be of some assistance. It would have been nice to conduct this on friendly ground...but Cara had to admit, a witch's sanctum could very well be a safer place for such concerns to be addressed.

"Hopefully your office can be made private, hm? Wouldn't want anyone barging in on us...and prying eyes from those of similar persuasion as yourself may be involved. I'm not sure who to trust, so I'm rolling the dice on you."

She ran her fingertips over the desk, covered as it was with manilla folders and papers and assorted other office and witch-related paraphernalia.

"Shall I spread them here then?"

As Cara asked, she withdrew from the inside of her sleeve the rolled-up bag containing the bones and looked at Dominque.

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22 hours ago, The Shadows ST said:

ST VINCENT DE PAUL CEMETERY NO 1

The 'ghost' pushes itself off the tomb it was leaning on and stands up straight, Karen is a bit surprised at how tall it, he , is. “Any particular order you want those answers in little girl?” Karens growl caused the apparition to throw his hands up in a fending off gesture of peace.”Whoa, whoa, just making a little joke, you know lightning up the mood. One at a time in order.” He smiled at her “To start I am not your daddy. I'm you great grandfather. Your daddy died a human he was never burdened by our curse, neither was my son god rest them both. And I am very sorry that you have to live with it, if there was anything I could do to change that I surly would.

As for tricking you it wasn't meant to be a trick you just got close so I could call out to you. I can talk to you here.”

He steps close to her and reaches up his fingers brush across Karen's cheek. She can feel them, not like a real caress but like a gentle wind brushing her hair. “You have grown into a beautiful young woman, Karen, I am so sorry you are caught up in all of this.”

"Yeah. Well, I've been getting by on making risky decisions my entire adult life. I'll deal with this set of problems, too," Karen replied, stepping back from the touch reflexively and thoughts grappling with the implications of what the 'ghost' was saying and how much she could trust it, "So they got you for upending their cozy little arrangement, the leeches and the witches and the other wolves. But they missed getting your son and his son and, until now, me. That right?"

Her dark eyes glittered with a cocktail of mixed emotions, "So what does this have to do with stopping the super wolf from murdering the pack tonight? How many deer am I going to have to sit on to keep her from our throats? What don't I know I don't know, so I can ask Darrik the right questions? And, no, I don't give a shit about 'pack matters' not with someone... crazed and strong as that running around. I only remember bits and snatches of her, but her heat, the madness boiling off her..."

The brunette hugged herself and shuddered, "She's on another level. Scares me more than any game I've ever run before, no matter how tight or well-informed the local players were."  

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