Ready or Not

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
Celesse noted the anger. Of course, he would be mad. It was only natural of him. Who else wants to be in his position? The shapeshifter particularly found it difficult to get past the walls the Tiger had built up around him. She looked at him, asking questions she could dodge easily. But would it be so bad to let someone in again? Despite how grim the thought was, Benjamin would be dead soon, anyway. Either by natural causes or by the hand of another, it would be his end anyhow.

“Benjamin, I appreciate the offer, but I can watch my hide. It is you who must watch his own shiny coat before it gets poached, hm?” Celesse vaguely answered. “I did not bring you here against your will, if you want to leave, you are free to go. I never made you a prisoner, you were always free to leave whenever. That shack by the ocean is in excellent condition, you can crawl back to it.” She rebuffed back at him.

It was rare for Celesse to get truly angry. This was mild irritation at best at the ex-soldier. She let out a sigh as she ran her fingers through her raven locks. “You want my advice, Benjamin? Trust yourself. It’s the best and only kind I can offer. I’ve been saying it from the beginning and will continue to say it.” Celesse said in conclusion as he left in frustration. Whether he thought of her as a friend or an ally, that was mistake number one on his part. Celesse could always leave at a moment’s notice, she’s done it many times in the past, present, and will probably continue to do so in the future.

After Celesse packed another bag, she switched into better street clothes. This time around, she shifted her features, exhausting her energy in doing so. Going from raven to platinum blonde hair and her entire face shifting to an average female that would be more blended into the background of the working Seattle. Once she had finished, her legs gave out, and she fell into the bed with a padded thud. Despite how much energy it took, she pushed past the depletion of her energy and grabbed both of the bags. At first, she stumbled out of the room, but soon regain her footing in the corridor.

Celesse placed both of the bags on the island and headed into the kitchen, rummaging through the cupboards for a wine glass, and poured herself some expensive wine. With a quick reflex of downing the wine in one go, she was ready to head out. “Benjamin, if you’re done sulking like a teenager, it’s time to go.” She said out into the condo.
 
Last edited:

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin stepped out of the bedroom just in time to see Celesse falter as she stumbled out of her own. He watched her but said nothing, having already spoken everything he wanted her to hear. She had made it clear that despite everything they had been through together, there was no familiarity between them. Celesse was simply engaged in business, and Benjamin in the act of survival.

Her new appearance was disconcerting. It was the first time he'd seen her with a different face, and it finally hit home to him just who he was dealing with. He had seen one woman enter her bedroom, and a different one reappear afterward. She could be anyone, anything she wanted. He knew she was right. He shouldn't trust her. But no matter how much he tried to deny it to himself, Benjamin longed for the camaraderie and companionship he'd had in the military with his friends, his brothers. He felt like Celesse was the first person in a long time who might get him. But if she did, she either didn't care or didn't show it.

"I'm ready," he said simply as he grabbed both bags of belongings in one hand, his lockbox in the other, looking at her empty wineglass. One more location. He'd follow her to one more location, and if nothing changed then he'd try his own luck. Benjamin knew the chances of his survival were extremely low, but with what felt like half the supernatural world after him at the moment, he wasn't sure the odds would really be that different than if he stayed with Celesse. Either way, he'd go down fighting. "Lead the way," he said, his dark eyes falling back on her again.
 

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
Despite them getting ready to move, Celesse moved in a blur to clean the wineglass and place it back among the others in the cupboard. After it clicked shut, she slipped on her own bags. They were weightless to her and did not restrict her movement as she pulled out her phone. Celesse sent off a string of texts to the one person she never knew she would be in debt to, least not for another millennia. When her phone dinged a minute later was when she placed her phone back into her pocket and nodded in Benjamin’s way, “Alright, we’re ready to go.” She said as she made her way out of the condo, past the melted door and toward the stairwell.

Celesse would look back occasionally to see if the ex-soldier was still following her down the stairs. Once out of the complex, she didn’t have to scan the area for the expensive vehicle parked on the curb – looking out of place among the many other older model cars parked around the complex. The shapeshifter didn’t know many people who had a black-sleek, Rolls-Royce. Apparently in this person’s definition, this was “low cover,” yet was the total opposite. The trunk slowly popped opened, Celesse placed her things in the back, “Benjamin, I know you don’t like surprises.” She says as she stands at the back of the car, “To get suspicions and your infamous anger out of the way, the friend coming to pick us up is Maria. She’s a werewolf and… spoiler alert: She knew your parents.” Her hands were clasped together, the tone of seriousness as she cleared her throat, “I will leave it up to you whether you want to talk to her. In the meantime, I’ll be in the front seat. Be a dearie and close the trunk after you put your stuff in? Thanks.” She lightly patted his shoulder and manoeuvred around him.

Celesse opened the front seat and slid in, closing the door behind her. They were leaving just in time for the storm to come rolling back in. Once she settled in her seat, Maria was already quirking a brow at her. “Benjamin mad at you?”

“So-so.” Celesse retorts, making a balance scale gesture at the werewolf.
 
Last edited:

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin followed Celesse down the apartment complex stairs to the landing outside, ignoring her occasional glances back at him. The black Rolls-Royce at the curb was anything but inconspicuous - it made him think of the mob. People who couldn't help but flaunt their wealth and power any time they were out in public. The tinted windows were too dark to see who might be inside. He wondered how Celesse knew all these different people... surely her age allowed her to make so many connections, but how could she know such a plethora of people and not have many enemies? The whole supernatural world seemed rife with conflict, yet she appeared to stay clean of it despite her choice to get caught up in all of his mess.

Benjamin had put one of his bags in the trunk when Celesse suddenly spoke, her tone making him frown. What kind of bombshell was she suddenly going to drop on him now...? But he never would have guessed what came next. His body tensed, unresponsive to her pat on his shoulder, his dark eyes alone following Celesse as she moved around to the side of the car and disappeared inside. His parents? How did Celesse know about that? And who the hell was inside this car that it mattered enough for her to warn him? No one had reached out to him after his parents' passing. His brother had died months before overseas. Benjamin had been left alone. If this person wanted to suddenly show up in his life and act like they cared, they could fuck all off.

He dropped the second bag into the trunk next to the first followed by the lockbox, but he took the time to remove the gun and slide it into his waistband at the small of his back. He wasn't going to go into that vehicle unarmed. Werewolf, huh...? Benjamin closed the lid of the trunk, the smooth movement of the mechanism not giving him the satisfying slam he desired. He walked to the right-hand side of the car, taking the seat behind Celesse's so he could keep an eye on whoever this Maria person was. His long legs touched the back of Celesse's chair, his gaze on the older woman in the driver's seat. Did she look familiar...? He couldn't tell. It had been a long time since he'd thought about his family.
 

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
Maria smiled, it reminded her of his mother’s fiery temper. It was a wonder how his father even ended up with such a remarkable woman. Her smile faltering when the backdoor opened on the right-side and closed. She pressed on the gas petal and the car smoothly pulled away from the curb. Although she watched Benjamin grow up from the sidelines, she even watched over him at a distance after his parents’ unfortunate passing. But him being there in the flesh? It was an entirely different story.

The Werewolf took one glance to know Benjamin was the spitting image of his father, but he had his mother’s eyes. Then back to the road, “So… how long is the ride?” Celesse asked Maria, taking her phone out of her pocket.

“We’ll be taking the longer route this time round. The Ferry’s not available today, but I promise we’ll get there undetected.” She retorts.

Celesse was rapidly tapping on her phone, her thumbs going to work to make arrangements. She looked back at Benjamin, calculated his height, and sent it along with the profile she sent of him to her source. The only sounds of the car’s low rumble, the rain pattering against the car, and Celesse’s tapping made it… awkward. Maria decidedly put on some oldies from the 20s, a time she was most fond of. Soon, Bessie Smith started playing through the speakers at a low volume.

Switching to Latin, Celesse could finally speak to Maria, “I’ll tell you who it is…”

Maria lifted a brow at Celesse, wondering if it was a bright idea to talk while Benjamin was in the vehicle, “It’s Alaric, isn’t it?” She inquired before the shapeshifter could ask. The werewolf always suspected it was the Head Councilman. It wasn’t a surprise, but a revelation that something else was brewing.

Celesse nods, “There’s also something else, Alaric wanted me to coax information out of Benjamin. Although, I don’t know what he’s looking for.”

“I think I know.” Maria says, looking in the rear-view mirror to look at Benjamin. ‘Just what was a bloodsucker doing in Werewolf business anyway…?’ She wondered. That also made her more determined to set the plan in motion of retrieving Lucien back soon. Whatever happened between Lucien and Benjamin that night, it was important enough for Alaric to contract Celesse into doing his usual ‘under the table’ business.

“Does he know you’re Sicarius?” She inquired back in Latin.

Celesse shrugs, “I think he suspects me, but I don’t plan on letting him know about that part of me.”

Maria gave her an incredulous look before turning her attention back to the road, “Why not? I sense he yearns for your companionship – whether or not he knows it himself. Benjamin has been quite lonely after his parents died.” She matter-of-factly put it.

“Some things are never meant to be. Once I owe you and him what I promised, I plan on leaving Seattle.” Celesse finally confessed. “You can keep him safe from others, yes?”

Maria nods, “But Benjamin should know this.”

Celesse shakes her head, “It’s best if he doesn’t know. Besides, ever since I got caught up into his life, I’ve done nothing but put him in danger. I’m not blaming myself, it’s normal for that to happen as much as I hate to admit it… but it’s better this way.”
 
Last edited:

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin caught Maria's glance, her eyes searching for something she might recognize in him. It disgusted him. How could she dare to be so familiar with him...? He had no idea who she was. She knew your parents. His anger at being so blindsided roiled within him, and he turned his gaze away from the front of the car out the side window as the rain began to fall in earnest. Every time he thought he had clawed his way to equal footing with Celesse, she revealed yet another part of the supernatural world to him that made him feel no more than a pawn in someone's massive game of chess. He hated it.

He was exhausted from the fight with the demons, his body still recovering from the long week in the hospital. He refused to sleep with this unknown member in the driver's seat of the car, but the low rumble of the engine combined with the familiar noise of Celesse's fingers running across her phone keyboard and the rain outside was enough to convince him to at least rest. Benjamin leaned against the door of the car, his head resting against the foggy window and closing his eyes. A faint frown came to his lips as the women in the front began speaking... what was that? One of those fancy languages. Latin or Greek or something. He had no idea what they were discussing, but it disturbed him how often they said his name. They were talking about him. But not only that, there was one other name - Alistair - and then one more word that was uncomfortably familiar. Sicarius. Benjamin couldn't help but feel that was where all this trouble started. His job at the SIB and his first case, the elusive Sicarius. He opened his eyes to stare at the leather of the seat in front of him. That first week at the SIB felt so long ago, now.
 

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
Over the next two hours, the duo fell into a comfortable silence. Within the last thirty minutes of the ride, Maria lowered the volume of some classical music playing. Celesse was still wide awake, paying more attention to her phone than anything in the car. She cleared her throat to catch the shapeshifter’s attention. For the first time, she looked away from her phone and noticed the change of scenery.

“We’re approaching the safe house.” Maria spoke in English with a hint of a Romanian accent. “Thirty minutes until we officially arrive. But there’re some rules you should know. Both of you.” She said, looking into the rearview mirror at Benjamin, then back to the road.

“Will I…” Celesse trails off, seeing something in the tree line, moving along with them. “Is that Luca?”

“One, you are guests here and will be treated as such. Two, Don’t leave the compound without an escort – this goes for you too, Celesse. Three, there won’t just be wolves there. There’re other supernaturals, and I suggest you don’t get too friendly with the Sirens.” Maria noticeably was looking at Benjamin when she said that. Celesse had already told her everything. “And finally, don’t stick your nose where it shouldn’t be. Simple? Da?”

“Simple enough, but about my clients…” Celesse asked, “Will I be allowed to continue to work?”

Maria grabbed her phone and whilst driving, slipped the sim card out, smashing it to bits and pieces before tossing it out the window. Then she tossed the phone back to her. “You’ll have limited outside communications. Don’t talk to the bloodsuckers unless it’s urgent.” The Rolls-Royce took a turnoff from the main road. Outside the car, werewolves were tracking their movements. Whether for safety or excited for fresh faces, they wouldn’t know until they got there. Tucked deep into the Olympic National Forest under an enormous mountain was the base.

On the exterior, it looked like a quaint cottage, but it connected to the mountain. Deep inside was where most of the others spent their times. Although, there were others who preferred to stay at the front. Once they pulled up to the base, Maria was the first one out of the vehicle, taking her keys with her. Celesse took this moment to turn back in her seat at Benjamin, “Ready to make new friends?” She gave a smile before climbing out of the car herself. The trunk was already propped open with some ‘servants’ taking their luggage away to their new rooms. Maria was awaiting them while talking to Luca, the second-in-command for the werewolves of Seattle.
 
Last edited:

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Despite himself Benjamin dozed, his body still wrecked and recovering, though he never succumbed to a full sleep. As he heard Maria clear her throat his eyes opened, though it took his mind a moment to catch up. He let out a heavy breath and then sat up, running a hand down his face to try and drag the sleep away. At Celesse's comment he glanced out the window, suddenly realizing there was something in the trees keeping pace with the car. Is this where all the werewolves were hiding?

Benjamin caught Maria's eye as she glancedat him in the rearview mirror, a grimace appearing on his features at the mention of sirens, and he pointedly turned his gaze back out the window. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with the foul creatures, trying to lure him into a premature death he didn't desire. What was Celesse doing anyway, telling this woman all these things about him? At least this compound, tucked deep into the forest, seemed large enough for him to get some space and some air. Being confined to Celesse's apartment made him antsy.

The ex-soldier snorted in amusement as Maria rendered Celesse's phone inoperative as far as connecting with the outside world was concerned, pressing his back into the seat to try and stretch a little. He was fine with the rules - for now. Two or three days from now might be a different story. He wasn't a fan of 'escorts'. As far as snooping, he had a feeling that was more in Celesse's wheelhouse than his own.

As the car finally slowed to a stop, he watched Maria as she exited the vehicle and began interacting with one of the men outside, noting several others carrying away his limited belongings. Benjamin was glad he had taken the time to secure his weapon on his person, instead of having to watch it walk away from him in this moment. He snorted again at Celesse's comment, speaking for the first time since he had gotten in the car. "And you? What are you going to do without all your secret communications with your old pals?" he raised an eyebrow before following suit and stepping out into the fresh, pine-scented air of the National Forest.

It felt wonderful outside. The rain had cooled the temperature down and brought out all the wonderful smells of the earth. Benjamin stretched, careful of ripping the stitches in his abdomen, and took a look around to gather his bearings. Did the vampires know about this hideout in the woods...? They held the largest territory within Seattle, but did they have a backup location like this, too? It was hard to guess how many werewolves could be living within this forest. Enough for a war, he guessed.

"I'm hungry," Benjamin said plainly, leaning against his arm over the top of the car and addressing Maria for the first time. "Am I supposed to hunt my own food, or do you guys have some kind of kitchen around here?"
 

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
As Benjamin stepped out, Celesse thought up of a good comeback, “That’s for me to know and for you to find out.” The shapeshifter booped his nose in what felt like a long time since. Then she turned to admire the woods surrounding them. At least here she could be away from the busy fast life of Seattle and into an old friend’s presence; living in the woods. Now that she thought about it, Celesse hadn’t visited the woods since the 1980s before the rise of serial killers that was. After that, she moved into the city and has been there since.

Maria looked over her shoulder at Benjamin, “There’s a kitchen, use it.” She said before returning to finish up the conversation with Luca. Then, she joined Celesse at the front end of the vehicle, “Celesse, Benjamin.” Maria addressed them both, “I was going to give you the grand tour, but alas… there are other matters need tending to. Marcus here,”

A guy around six foot, at least, emerged next to her side, “Will show you to your rooms. Then you can do whatever you want. Just don’t leave the compound without an escort.” She warned them again before returning to her Rolls-Royce to pull back out and leave altogether.

“Marcus, you pretty boy. You’ve grown!” Celesse said unexpectedly, buttering up the werewolf.

Marcus cleared his throat, “You said that the last time we saw each other. Come up with better compliments.”

“Feisty.” Celesse winked at him, “I can find my room. I’ve been here already. Can you be a dearie and show the angry tiger to the kitchen? His favourite food is a saucer of milk.” She joked.

“Really?” Marcus asked, looking at Benjamin. No doubt about him being the only human on the grounds. He looked back to Celesse who was already gone from sight, which was odd since it was only a second. “I imagine you’re not the social type, dude.” He spoke, “Let’s get you some food, eh?” He added with a smile.
 
Last edited:

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
The corner of Benjamin's mouth lifted in a snarl as Celesse tapped his nose, folding his arms across his chest as Maria barely even gave him the time of day. Why did his parents know a werewolf? And a powerful one, at that. Did they know about her supernatural abilities? Surely if Maria knew his parents well enough for Celesse to mention it, then they did. If they had been involved in this world of vampires and zombies, why had he himself not known about it until just recently?

Benjamin found himself more or less eye-level with the werewolf who appeared to show them around, and he felt a sudden unwarranted tinge of pain. The last time he'd been in casual contact with a lycan was at the club with Harold. For a few moments, he thought he'd bond with his fellow co-worker. And then he'd had to kill him. "Benjamin Credit," he introduced himself, holding a hand out to Marcus and ignoring Celesse's comment altogether. He wasn't surprised to find she had already vanished into thin air, but it was a strange sensation not to know where she was or have any way to contact her after they had spent the last week (had it only been that little time?) in such close proximity. He had no doubt, however, that she would be keeping tabs on him, even if he couldn't see her.

Benjamin gave a small grunt of approval at Marcus' comment, looking toward the homely cottage. Somehow it reminded him of arriving on base at the beginning of a new tour overseas. Met by a Private to be shown the ropes. Gather the layout of the land. Find the pulse of the base. Get ready to shoot bad guys. Whatever you do, don't die. "You've known Celesse for a while?" he asked with a faint frown as he followed the werewolf.
 

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
Celesse appeared at the inside of the compound. She was deep within the mountain. It wasn’t so bad. There was a hole and a natural waterfall pouring into it. Many supernatural creatures—mainly naiads, nymphs, and satyrs/satyresses—walked about either in leisure or to their own goals. The compound was a place for displaced folk and took in refugees from around the state of Washington. Celesse leaned on the banister, seeing the waterfall empty into the lake below, the mist was calming to her. After checking out the place, she noted many recent additions. It was much larger than the last time she visited.

Marcus could feel the cautious approach from Mr Credit. He couldn’t blame him. The third-in-command saw the tapes. Harold was a major dumb ass for messing with Benjamin. He was the one ancestral line that meant a lot to his Leader’s mother. “Benjamin Credit.” He introduced himself, Marcus took hold of his hand with a firm grip and let it go. “I’m just Marcus.” He re-introduced himself to Benjamin. With the best of his guiding skills, he lead his new friend into the compound, which was a small cottage of sorts at first. Then they went deeper into the mountain. Instead of using torches or adding lights, glowing worms had naturally lit the way up for them.

“You’ve known Celesse for a while?” Benjamin asked him. Marcus’ smile didn’t falter at the mention of Celesse.

“Sure. About 300 years, give or take.” Marcus retorts, as they turn to join up into a smooth man-made corridor, then they finally reach the centre most part of the waterfall coming from the ceiling. He points up, “That’s how we get our water,” Marcus then points below to the sounds of splashing, “But that’s mainly were the Sirens sleep and live while here.” To the left side of the waterfall is an open space where the kitchen area is.

“There’s the kitchen, fridge… all the essentials, basically.” Marcus says as he enters the kitchen, “Whatever you want we got, or you can order from one of our couriers. Just write it down on this notepad and it will be there in a moment’s notice.” He explained. Their couriers were unexplainable messengers who got what they wanted and brought it back.

Marcus took up a spot at the large island, “Celesse waltz into your life out of nowhere?” Marcus inquired. The Werewolf known Celesse to take lovers and bringing a human around here? That was a fresh experience for him. Whatever Benjamin was worth to the shapeshifter must’ve meant a lot.
 
Last edited:

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin was struck by the beauty of the compound. An incredible amount of care seemed to have gone into harmonizing the space with nature as much as possible, using the natural aspects of the landscape as often as they could. He felt strangely honoured to experience such an incredible feat of engineering, but it also made him feel very out of place. He knew he didn't fit in here. He was born to die, unlike all of these creatures who had hundreds of years to bond with the earth.

His eyebrows came together and he gave Marcus a look as he divulged how long he'd known Celesse for, but Benjamin could tell from the werewolf's features that he wasn't exaggerating. "Three hundred years," he echoed under his breath, clicking his tongue against his teeth. This world was unreal. These creatures must look at him like an ant, or worse, a child. At the mention of the sirens, however, Benjamin suddenly became uneasy. He pressed his palm against the spot on his chest where the needle had plunged into his heart, killing him. Out of everything he had endured that night that tiny syringe had been the one thing to do him in, but it had left no lasting mark. It looked like he wouldn't be spending much time by the waterfall.

Benjamin followed Marcus into the kitchen and began opening cabinets to inspect the contents, much like he had done in Celesse's apartment. The couriers sounded like something straight out of heaven, and definitely something Celesse would enjoy. She was constantly ordering stuff from her phone. "I first met her in a bar," he said in response to Marcus' question, his back to the werewolf as he perused his food options. He finally decided on a sandwich. It would be quick to make, and his stomach was rumbling eagerly with the anticipation of food. "She said it was a coincidence, that first meeting, but after everything that's happened... well, it's one hell of a coincidence. I can't tell if I'm the luckiest damn fool or the unluckiest. Maybe both," Benjamin shrugged, tossing the items for his sandwich onto the island and grabbing a plate before joining Marcus again on the opposite side of the counter. "One thing is for sure, though. I'd be dead without her," he frowned as he looked down at the slices of bread on his plate. It was hard to discern the line between the trouble he brought her, and the trouble she brought him. Regardless, he owed her a huge debt. Not that she would see it that way. She'd tease him about it, he was sure, but Celesse seemed to be happier without any significant attachments to anyone.
 

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
Marcus watched Benjamin rummage through the many cupboards, inspecting to find what he wanted to eat. The common denominator between werewolves and humans were, they both needed food to sustain their lifespan. While he was making himself a sandwich, Marcus poured himself some water from the nearby clear pitcher into a cup. Taking a sip as Benjamin relayed how they met.

The werewolf quirked a brow, “Good ol’ Celesse.” Marcus remarked. She was always there at the most convenient times, even if it wasn’t convenient at all. He was surprise that Celesse got herself easily tangled up with Benjamin’s life. One thing was for sure, Lucien would want to know about him and Sicarius’ entanglement. Marcus cleared his throat, taking another drink before answering, “Y’know out of all the years I’ve known Celesse, she’s never brought a human around here.” He said, gesturing to around him. To be a good friend to Benjamin, he added, “But there’s something you should know about Celesse. She doesn’t get close to anyone. It’s not a personal thing, I learned it the hard way.” Marcus watched him looking down at his food, “Don’t be surprised if she leaves you here.”

Marcus finished his water and got up to place the cup in the sink, “Let me know when you’re finish eating so I can show you the room Maria chose for you. Fair warning, it’s more extravagant than the usual rooms around here.” He winked at Benjamin as if he was trading secrets with him.
 
Last edited:

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin stared down at the plate for a moment more before bringing himself out of his thoughts and continuing to assemble the sandwich. Lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, mustard, mayo, turkey and, the best part, bacon. He'd probably end up eating two of these. Or maybe three. He took his first bite, savouring the flavour and looking back up as Marcus cleared his throat. He wondered for a moment why the werewolf was divulging such information to him, and what he was supposed to take from it. And then he realized he had just spent the better part of a minute talking about Celesse. It wasn't like he had gushed about her - he was merely stating the facts. But Benjamin knew for himself, he never talked about anyone that way.

The tall mortal chewed, swallowed, and nodded his appreciation. "I'll keep that in mind," he said, licking a spot of mustard from his thumb as the werewolf got up to take care of his glass. To be fair, Marcus wasn't revealing to him anything Celesse hadn't warned him of already. She kept telling him not to trust her, not to trust anyone but himself, really. But then he would end up in situations where he had no choice. When he had been attacked by the vampires in the SIB, she could have just left him to die.

Benjamin frowned as the werewolf mentioned the special room he was being given - he didn't like that at all. He'd be more than happy with a tent outside in the forest. In fact, as long as he could accomplish that without giving a big middle finger to the supernaturals' hospitality, he might just ditch the room altogether. "Thank you, Marcus. I'll let you know," he said with a nod, sitting down to finish his sandwich.

He wasn't surprised to hear he was the first mortal Celesse had brought to the compound. He knew there was something she needed from him and that meant she had to keep him safe, and this seemed as good a place as any. He didn't think there was any reason to feel special in that regard, though Marcus seemed to suggest he should. What Benjamin was surprised to find he was bothered by, however, was the werewolf's caution that Celesse may just leave him behind. As he devoured the rest of his sandwich and set to work building another, he was genuinely amazed by the depth of betrayal he felt considering that possibility. It's not a personal thing. Don't be surprised if she leaves you here.

For a moment Benjamin sat at the island, his hand over his eyes, berating himself. He was lonely. He couldn't deny that. It was simply a fact. And Celesse had come along and saved his life, more than once. That kind of intimacy created a bond, whether you wanted it to or not. But she'd lived enough lifetimes to learn how to shrug off that bond while he was stuck with the comforting, suffocating weight of it. Marcus was right to warn him. He needed that wakeup call. Benjamin dragged his hand down his face with a ragged sigh, polishing off the second sandwich and indeed eating a third. After cleaning up the mess he had made, he stepped out of the kitchen to find that three hundred-plus year old werewolf.
 

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
Alaric watched from the monitor, his long nails drumming against the glass. He hit the space bar on the computer and let out a disappointing sigh, “Oh, Sicarius… tsk, tsk, tsk.” He murmured at Celesse’s new form frozen on the CCTV video. She was climbing into the Rolls-Royce belonging to none other than his enemy, “Maria, Maria…” He sung his enemy’s name with a bitter tone. He looked up from the monitor to Ulrich, awaiting his Master’s final decision.

“You have my permission to take out Celesse.” Alaric speaks, “Her usage is well worn pastime. Lucius tracked her phone heading toward Olympic National Forest. I don’t know whether the Supernaturals up there will guard them, but don’t take their security lightly. We’ve yet to find where they all hide.” He brought to light, mostly keeping to himself that enemies would head up North and would be found nowhere.

A wicked smirk spread across the Demon’s face. He stood up, “Mors Vincit Omnia. It will be my pleasure.” Ulrich cracked his neck and left Alaric’s office.

Alaric had stroked the image of Celesse’s new face, “If only…” He trailed off to turn the computer off and get up from the plush, red-velvet chair toward his window. His temporary silence interrupted by the sounds of knocking, he turned to tell them to come in. And it was one of his butlers with a letter. The wax-seal belonging to CTS. Alaric swiped it out of the help’s hand then sending them out of the room. He opened it, breaking the seal in the process to find…well, surprising news that would cause him to break his computer and shred it to pieces.


—​


Maria pressed the gas pedal to the metal. The roaring sounds of her Rolls-Royce overtaking the civilian traffic, drowning out the honks, and the voices of the others in her car. She ignored the smell of metallic as she swerved into merging traffic, taking the shorter way back to the compound. To say she has never been this scared before would be an understatement.

“Just hold on! W-we’re almost there…” She murmured the last part, breaking through the next line of traffic to head into the road heading toward the Olympic National Forest. Maria could blame herself for not being quicker, but her plan was solid. There were no holes in it. She expected the usual security, but not to the extent of Lucius guarding her son’s cell. Her anger flared; it gave away the moment she saw her son’s state of wounds. They were feeding him silver bullets to the chest and back.

The plan was to get her son out and leave. Lucius would’ve been a bonus for when they could ensure Lucien’s safety, but everything went wrong the moment they entered the building. Maria had started something every faction wanted to avoid: A War. In the commotion of fighting off the enemy, at last turn she had severed Lucius’ head from his body. The millennium-old Vampire’s life ended just like that; his ashes blew away with an angry wind. They let a curse out of Pandora’s box.

And they weren’t spared without one of their own, Luca had taken multiple bullets protecting Maria and Lucien. The second-in-command was losing too much blood, and it was too late to save his life by the time they pulled up to the compound. With help from the Satyrs, they took away Luca and her son to be treated in the infirmary wing deep in the mountainside. Maria had left her vehicle running, blood now dried on her hands and front of her body.


—​


Celesse seen it first as she was coming out of her room. The giant Satyrs carrying two bodies through the adjoining lounging area, other wolves shouting for those to get out of their way. The smell was horrendous, and she could second-guess that it had to be Maria. The shapeshifter had blurred past the other supernaturals, unknowingly even Benjamin as she made it outside; in front of the compound was Maria, covered in blood.

“Maria, what happened?” She asked, a dread feeling crept up on her.

Maria turned around to face Celesse, a bewildered look in her eye, “I- Lucius is dead.” She confessed.

A shock ran throughout the shapeshifter’s body. She stiffened in her stance; the second-in-command of the Council is dead. Her mouth gone dry, Celesse closed her mouth to look at Maria. She came closer to envelope her old friend into her arms. Whether or not she needed it, Maria gripped Celesse’s forearms as they fell into the gravel. She didn’t know it herself, but she was crying.

Celesse comforted her for what felt like hours when it was only a few minutes before she pulled back, “Right now, you need to go see your son. I’ll handle this, I promise.” She helped the werewolf back to her feet, cleared away her tears, and pushed her toward the compound entrance. Celesse followed after her once she re-composed herself and went in searching for Benjamin. Looks like he would learn to fight before he could recover, no biggie.
 

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin had barely made it out of the kitchen when he caught sight of the commotion coming down the hallway, a large group of werewolves clearing the way for yet more magical creatures carrying... bodies. He pushed himself against the wall as they passed by, catching brief glimpses of the men being carried. The first he recognized - the werewolf Maria had been speaking to when they first arrived at the compound. Benjamin's lips pursed in a grim line as he saw the state of the body, soaked in blood and riddled with bullets. You didn't have to be a doctor to know that man wasn't long for this world, if he was even still alive. The second was unfamiliar to him, but at least had a little colour left in his features. There might be hope for him, yet.

The ex-soldier looked down the hallway to check if there were any more coming, but what he saw instead was Celesse sprinting past, making her way up toward the surface. This couldn't be good... was it an attack of some kind? Silver bullets meant whoever had caused this damage was prepared specifically for werewolves. Benjamin glanced again at the retreating backs of the procession, and then returned his gaze to the hallway ahead. He had been looking forward to a few calm days to relax and really recover, without the inconvenient interruption of demons this time. It looked like he wasn't going to be so lucky.

Benjamin had started his ascent to the surface again when he suddenly caught sight of Celesse, still getting used to her new look. "What's going on?" he asked, wondering if he would get any answer at all. She would only give him what information seemed convenient to her, always leaving him halfway entrenched in the dark. He hesitated and then spoke again, watching Celesse cautiously. "Did we bring this here...?" The attack by Harold's sadistic girlfriend had simply been revenge for her boyfriend's death, but she had been given access to Benjamin by Ulrich. And then when she had failed, presumably it had been the demon who sent his siren assassin after Benjamin in the hospital. Why did Ulrich want him dead? He had no clue. It made no sense to him. But his old boss's two demon lackeys then showed up for Celesse, not knowing she was connected to him. There was some deep thread of mystery tying everything together that Benjamin was not privy to, but this was a peaceful place and if the chaos that had been following him was part of the reason for the sudden tumult, he needed to leave.
 
Last edited:

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
The eventful commotion was worrying enough to anyone that could see the two werewolves being ushered away toward the infirmary wing, deeper into the mountain. The supernaturals were already starting to whisper among themselves, and Maria could hear them as she followed the familiar scent of her son into the infirmary wing. Her outfit must’ve caused some uneasiness among the others, but she didn’t care. Only her son and Luca were all that she could think of at the moment. Coming mere moments behind was Celesse and finding Benjamin quickly as he made himself known.

“What’s going on?” He asked. Celesse watched Maria disappear around the corner before looking at the ex-agent, “Did we bring this here…?”

His questions were unrelated to the incident. Instead of out in the open, she had grabbed his hand and pulled him away from the lounging area, from prying ears and into her room. Which wasn’t that far away from the lounging area, anyway. Once they both had entered, she shut the door behind her. The room was small and quaint. Her luggage was resting on the footrest at the end of her twin bed. She paced for a few moments before answering Benjamin.

“No, we didn’t cause this. You can rest your pointed ears, tiger.” Celesse gave a wry smirk before getting serious, “Would you like to get that training started now? I promised you how to fight other supernaturals.” Of course, she could avoid the topic of the two injured wolves, but this time it was entirely out of character for her to tell him what was happening. “You saw the two wolves, right? That was Luca and Lucien. Lucien is Maria’s son and the leader of the Werewolves Faction within Seattle.” Celesse was in the dark about what entirely happened, she could guess that Maria’s plan was to retrieve her son unscathed. But it must’ve gone wrong from the start. “Anyway, I think that was what she left to do, to go rescue her son. Lucien was a prisoner of… the Vampires.” It was weird saying this all to a mortal. Also, the fact that she gave away too much information for her liking. The ex-soldier would likely inquire on how she exactly knew about this. If so, Celesse was ready to spill the beans, or at least some beans to satisfy his hunger.
 

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin frowned as Celesse took his hand and dragged him along but he suffered the physical touch as one, he didn't know his way around this place yet and two, it was not the time to make a scene over something so trivial. As she pulled him through the hallways he built a map in his head, growing like the roots of a tree. It really was an incredibly beautiful hideout. If they ever wanted to monetize their secret and sell rooms to high-profile businessmen looking for a vacation, they could make a killing. But all these ancient supernaturals always seemed to be independently wealthy, anyway.

He frowned as Celesse finally turned to face him in the confines of her borrowed bedroom, folding his arms across his broad chest as he chewed on what she had to say. Maria, this woman who had supposedly known his parents, had a son who had been held captive by the vampires? If that were true, than the SIB was doing an incredibly poor job fulfilling their duties. The whole goal of the Bureau was to keep the peace between these ancient factions that continued to find themselves in closer and closer proximity with each other, each one trying to grow without the space to do it. The proud claim of the SIB was that they were, in fact, keeping the peace. But this new information suggested otherwise. And it was easy to deduce after Maria had gone out to rescue her son herself and came back with at least one corpse that there had been a battle. A battle that, by the tone in Celesse's voice, would lead to a war.

Benjamin was tired. His body was weary, his mind exhausted from trying to keep up with this new world he now existed in. Did he really want to learn how to fight this...? After the disaster at Celesse's apartment with the demons, he had been contemplating leaving her side to try and make it on his own. That avenue was still open to him. With the chaos that was surely currently erupting between the factions, he could slip through the cracks and vanish into thin air. He could get cleared medically to join the military again and ship off to some war-torn hellhole where the enemies at the end of his scope weren't a thousand years old and made of teeth. He could find a community again there. Chances were low that they would all die again.

He couldn't deny that an attractive part of that idea was the fact that it meant he could leave Celesse behind before she had the chance to do the same to him. Maybe that would be better for both of them. But it was a petty idea, and Benjamin couldn't stand pettiness. Besides, he had a bone to pick with a particularly bratty female vampire who had literally touched his heart. He'd love to know what he needed to do to get her to explode into a cloud of ash. That, and he still owed Celesse for saving his life. Twice. "Alright," he agreed finally with a nod. "Teach me. But don't treat me like I'm an idiot," Benjamin frowned as he watched her. "You're wrapped up in this somehow... are you safe here?" He relied on Celesse to translate this new world to him - its language and history and even its inhabitants were completely foreign to him. The only thing he could trust was his gut, and his instinct told him danger was lurking just around the corner.
 

Dan

The Dread Wolf★
Benefactor
After she finished extending her offer, she watched him go through the motions of processing it. If he didn’t want to- which was something Celesse could only hope on since- “Alright. Teach me.” ‘He accepted?’ The hopeful outlook of wanting to ditch Seattle soon had flown out the window. “But don’t treat me like I’m an idiot.” Celesse smiled, practically snicker at that. “You’re wrapped up in this somehow… are you safe here?”

Her smile never faltered. “Oh, don’t worry about me, Mr Benjamin Credit. An old woman can handle herself.” She teased. Truth was, she was better at slipping away unnoticed at the most convenient times. Celesse could admit she was more like a snake than a shapeshifter, she could slither away to another peaceful town and start her life over just like that. If there was conflict, she could and would handle herself… but only if it was her own doing. If it was someone else’s war? You could bet on her never appearing in battle when she lied that she would be there the day of.

Celesse manoeuvred around Benjamin to plop herself onto her bed, laying back into the various pillows (requested by herself). She felt the sheets and pressed into the cushion of the bed, “Not as good as my thousand cotton Egyptian threaded bed at home, but it will do.” She murmured. Admittedly, she had a habit of skirting around what she did. The shapeshifter could see the suspicion in the ex-agent’s eye already. Whether Benjamin planned on leaving soon or had a plan set in motion to- it wouldn’t bother her. But then why was she bothered about him leaving. It was a feeling she didn’t like and wanted to kill.

They spent a week in an enclosed setting, far too closed off for her liking. But spending a lot of time together in those days had made her a bit, just a little bit, more vulnerable than what she’d like. And when she learned of Benjamin’s tragic past, it was relatable. ‘What did this ex-soldier have left but his own miserable self?’ She wondered. Something akin to a friendship had kindled a week ago. Whether she was over a thousand years old and more cynical than she’d admit to, there was something in Ben that reminded her of being a human once.

Celesse was conflicted. She smiled at Benjamin, “I’m wrapped up in my own web, Benjamin. Whether I wish to escape its clutches is up to me. But I promise you that you are not wrapped in it.” As vague and cryptic as she could put it. Now that Lucien was rescued from Alaric’s clutches, Celesse figured she could get the information from the Werewolf instead. The Vampire already given her reason that Benjamin and Lucien had convened at some point. If Lucien had the answers, she was looking for than she no longer needed Benjamin. Much as she wanted to bare her soul out to her target, that would be a huge mistake.

“…We can start tomorrow. Figured you could use a day to process another big move.” Celesse said as she just remembered another thing, “And one more thing…” She sat up on her bed to her bedside table, pull the drawer open and grab the silvery-glitter liquid inside a vial. “Here. It will help you heal faster. Don’t worry, I know the Sherlock Holmes eyes you’re giving me, but it’s a healing elixir. It was produced here by the Satyr’s who just took the werewolves to the infirmary wing. You’d be surprised at how many mortals they heal here when they get lost from the trails.” She placed it in his palm. Then laid back into the pillows to look at him.

“Benjamin…” She breath out. Closing her eyes, the suspicion was mutually shared by the agent. Only it was for Ulrich and her own bosses. Now, that Maria had come back to deliver shocking news. Perhaps it was a best time to let him know it was only a matter of time before he figured it out, anyway.

She looked him directly in the eye, “You know the ‘X’ file you were working on? That’s me.” It made perfect sense. Also, because SIB wasn’t exactly that tight-lipped about the file. There was always one of their agents willing to exchange information over for money. And whether he took the confession badly or understandably, well… that would be his problem. Celesse’s smile came back tenfold, “…What do you think?” She was curious what she thought of her revealing herself as ‘X’ to him.
 

rawheight

Wake me if you're out there.
Benjamin supposed Celesse must have survived many such wars like this one in her long history. It was difficult for him to remember just how many lives she'd already lived, since such prolific lifespans were still a new concept to him. He was foolish to think he could do anything for her. What did he have to offer a woman who had survived on her own through unimaginably tough times against increasingly powerful creatures? The ex-soldier put his trust in very few things, but over the past several days even those few things had been called into question. His body, which had never failed him before, had nearly succumbed to death. His strength, which had allowed him to survive nearly impossible circumstances up until this point, was now just a joke. His skills, which had been honed perfectly to hunt the mortal man, drew up short when it came to vampires, werewolves, and the like. The only thing he had left was his instinct and his stubborn spirit. The same spirit that had stared down a siren and refused her sweet song of death, even while his body failed. Truly, he had nothing to offer Celesse. So why was she still here, working with him?

His gaze followed her as she moved past him and collapsed on the bed and he turned, pressing his back against the wall and folding his tattooed arms comfortably across his chest. When he considered how far they'd come in such a short time, it was strange to feel so relaxed in her presence. He thought about the night she had come to his house, denying everything he accused her of and playing him off like a fool, laying her accent on thick. She still frustrated him, her staunch determination to keep him stiff-armed at a safe emotional distance, all the while dragging him into the strange supernatural world she inhabited. But at least she wasn't trying to hide everything from him now.

He frowned as she held up the vial containing the mystery magic liquid, reaching his hand out palm-up so she could place it there and inspecting the contents. It looked like it had come straight from one of those glitter lamp things popular in the 90's. He raised an eyebrow and gave her a dry look, just in time for her to call him out for it, sighing and tucking the vial into his pocket. "Alright, I'll take it tonight," he relented. It wouldn't be the first time he'd been pumped full of mysterious liquids - the military was good at that kind of stuff.

Benjamin focused back on Celesse as she breathed his name, realizing she was preparing to tell him something important. He was quiet to give her time to prepare her words, his dark gaze catching hers as she opened her eyes again to watch him.

'X'.

Celesse was X.

There was no surprise or shock or alarm that crossed his features. Benjamin had figured as much. The more time he'd spent with her, the more it just seemed to fit. As the smile came back onto her features he sighed, unfocusing his gaze and reaching his folded hands out before him, stretching his shoulders. "I suppose there was always the chance it was some supernatural creature I had yet to meet, but... you were always the least common denominator," Benjamin let his hands fall back to his sides, slapping against his legs before he tucked them into his pockets. "Especially once you revealed to me that you were a shapeshifter. That made everything that didn't make sense about the 'X' file suddenly click. You could be anything, anywhere, anytime."

Benjamin fell silent again for a moment, looking down at his feet in contemplation before he raised his gaze to her again. He had many questions now, wondering how she operated and why she targeted who she did and what benefit she gained from it, on a personal level. But there was one question that rose first in his mind. "My first week on the job I was given a case that Ulrich believed belonged in the 'X' file. An anonymous caller reported a murder happening in a back alley downtown. By the time I got there, there was nothing left but blood splatter on a wall. No hairs, no fibers, no body, nothing. Blood sample came back with werewolf DNA, but nothing more," he shrugged, watching Celesse. "Was that you?" At the time he hadn't thought the murder fit the profile of the 'X' person they were trying to hunt down. But now, X herself was sprawled out on the bed before him, nonchalantly commenting on the thread count of the sheets beneath her. He wasn't sure what to think.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dan
Top