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Rals Jackson

"What? Is it morning?' It was still dark inside the warehouse when Rals opened her eyes to the sound of Joran's voice, calling "Gooooood morning, Rals!" Groaning a little, Rals heaved herself to her feet, though inside she was longing to curl back up on the blanket and return to sleep. Because of Rals's paranoia, there were no windows inside the large place, but she didn't need any in her wolf form. She could find everybody by scent. Joran was grinning like a five year old on Christmas day. Rals could smell the blood on him, so she knew he had already dined on his version of breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, Rals's stomach was growling. "Good morning, Joran. I see you've already eaten." He seemed to have recovered from the incident last night. Rals would introduce him to her pack once they had gotten something to eat. The door to the warehouse started to creak open when Rals started to round the corner of the steel boxes, and she gasped. What Joran had done was organize the pillows and blankets to make the shape of a howling wolf, a HUGE howling wolf, and the clothes were scattered to make smaller wolves howling around it. It was neatly made, and Rals admired it for a few minutes. "It's very, very pretty, Joran. Thank you." She stated, and carefully inspected each of the little wolves, and the giant howling wolf as well. She decided to leave it there for the rest of her pack to admire. They clearly liked it as well, even the ones in human form. One of her werewolves was dragging a dead deer by the leg, along with three other wolves. Good. Breakfast. Rals padded over to the wolves, and everybody started to dig in. The lower-ranked wolves waited patiently, and Rals gulped down the raw, red meat quickly. Soon, her belly's rumbling was silenced, and everybody had eaten their fill. Rals padded over to Joran, licking the blood from her muzzle. "So. Any questions you want to ask?" She asked, laying down.

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~Joran~

 

Joran was pleased to hear Rals shuffle around back in her corner and eventually get up. She was still in wolf-form, and he wondered if it was comfortable to sleep like that. He remembered his own companion wolf, now deceased, and remembered the creature always liked to tear up whatever it was going to sleep on. Joran had always wondered a few things about Werewolves, but his Grandfather had forbid him from asking the 'foolish, childish, and questionable questions' to any Werewolves of Russia or the Nordic Lands.

 

As Rals turned the corner Joran quickly hopped out of the way of the 'pictures,' still grinning. "Good morning, Joran. I see you've already eaten." It still took Joran a moment to understand what Rals was 'saying' due to her Australian accent and the lack of experience he had with Werewolf speech. By the time the door to the warehouse creaked open he had translated what she had said. He was about to reply, but a wolfish gasp stopped him and he noticed that Rals was looking at what he had done with the supplies. For a while she just stared, and he feared she thought it was ridiculous. Well, what else could he expect? Werewolves and Vampires were all the same, far too serious for their own-- "It's very, very pretty, Joran. Thank you."

 

Joran was silent for a moment, staring at Rals as she stared at the art, not sure he had translated correctly. But no, he had; she really did like it. Looking around, Joran was surprised to notice some other Werewolves admiring it as well. All of a sudden he felt slightly sheepish and wondered how many Werewolves had watched him make it. "Your welcome," he said with a pleasant smile. Curious; Werewolves from Australia were a lot different from the Nordic ones. Nordic ones probably would have beat him up for 'insulting' them. Australian ones were more colorful too, far less plain from the solid grey and white ones from Russia.

 

Joran had been thinking of this when suddenly the scent of raw meat caught his attention. He looked towards the door and was shocked to see a wolf dragging a large dead deer into the warehouse. For a moment Joran just stared, the smile on his face gone. Then as the wolves began to tear into the deer's stomach he looked away. He pretended to be looking at the wolves he had made on the floor, but in truth he couldn't stand the sight of the dead deer. In all truth, even at the age of nineteen, he had never seen anything that wasn't already prepared to eat. He had never seen a dead deer be consumed by wolves, or prepared by a cook, or even pelted. He had never hunted--everything he needed was brought to him--and had never drank blood directly from any being. He had never even seen blood extracted from a human and he had never seen another Vampire directly eat a human. He hadn't really thought about it and still didn't, but he was rather unnaturally sheltered from reality. At least he had his two silver pistols in his jacket, and he had taken shooting lessons. Of course, each pistol only had three bullets and Joran had never shot a person before...

 

Finally Joran brought himself to look at the deer again. It had blood all over it, but somehow it wasn't very appetizing. Well, what did you expect, Joran?! A bunch of wolves are just going to waltz into a steakhouse and order five T-bones? Yeah, right, of course they hunt and kill! He shuddered at the sight of the innards being eaten and for a moment of horror saw Steel treating him the same way the werewolves had treated the deer, starting at the stomach...

 

Joran took his mind off the evil Vampire and walked over to his white rose, making sure it was still alive. It was, but it was trying to grow roots and would need actual dirt and water if it was going to live forever. Live forever. It suddenly dawned on Joran that even if Rals was older than him now, he'd be living longer than her. The thought made him somewhat sad and reminded him that he'd be outliving any human friends he had as well. The only ones who would remain were the ones he hated, the other Vampires and the snotty American Vampyres (he decided maybe one or two weren't snotty). The padding of wolf paws made Joran turn from the thought, and he smiled when he saw Rals approaching. There was blood on her muzzle, which was a much prettier sight than deer innards. The look suited her, he thought.

 

"So. Any questions you want to ask?" She asked, laying down. Joran slid down to a sitting position against the wall, silent for a moment as he thought. "Well," he started slowly, the smile fading, "I... guess I have a lot of questions." He paused a moment more, then decided to just ask. "First off, do you know where I could buy glitter, wood, sand, and garlic? N-never mind, more important questions... why did you help me? You know that by doing that you've made an enemy of the entire Nordic Alliance, and... I don't know..." he frowned, staring at his hands. "I want to be as helpful to you as possible, Rals, whatever your goals are, but I'm only nineteen. Believe it or not I've never actually drank blood directly from a human." He didn't mention that he wouldn't know how if he was presented with the opportunity. Where do we bite them? The--the neck? Yeah, it was some part of the neck...

 

"Steel--he's pure evil, there's nothing to him that remotely resembles a soul or sense of empathy. He's going to start killing people I know here in America, and if he ever finds out that an Australian pack rescued me... he's going to go to Australia and start killing people there. And he wouldn't go alone, he has many people who serve him, a huge thrall who are addicted to his blood." Joran looked Rals in the eyes, trying not to show the fear that he had tried to forget about. "Rals, I... don't want him to hurt you... I--I couldn't protect you, just like I couldn't protect any of them! I'm not strong enough, and Steel's too strong. He's got the entire Russian government on his side. And you... you're an Alpha, but you can't be everywhere at once." His voice held a hint of dismay as he spoke. "If you're in Australia, he'll kill your pack here. If you're here, he'll kill your pack in Australia. And he doesn't take prisoners... he kills infants, pups, children... in the most awful and torturous of ways..."

 

Joran looked at Rals with a serious look. "Maybe if I leave now, he won't know it was you who rescued me! I could leave and travel to Canada, or maybe Mexico. I'd love to see Steel try to navigate Mexico..." Joran was grinning at the thought, but behind his grin was a total sense of dismay. Why had Rals helped him? No no, why had he let her help him? She was going to get the worst Russian bombing ever, and it was all his fault. He wished he hadn't been scared out of his wits that night... he wished he had just kept running and not stopped, just ran and ran until his heart exploded or he blacked out or he just couldn't keep running. Instead he had risked the safety of a friend, someone he rather cared for, and her entire family...

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Johan nodded slowly, heading out the door and taking the regular route to his home, Marcy beside him. No, he couldn't bring back the dead, if he could... would he?

 

He was silent the entire trip back to his home, as if deep in thought, which he was. Though not about sentimentality or death, he was trying to remember if there was anything in his home that she might find that would give him away. He couldn't think of anything that wasn't locked up, of course if she went down to the weight room in his basement and saw the bench press with a little over a thousand pounds on it she might think him odd. But what else could she think... it wasn't like she had experiences with vampyres or werewolves before, not as far as he could tell at least.

 

Soon they had arrived the door opened as Johan approached it. Johan turned around and took hold of Marcy's hand, sliding a ring onto her pointer finger of her left hand. The wring was made of white gold, adorned with a ruby in the shape and cut of a rose.

 

"Wear this wherever you go, and you will always be able to enter my home, and I... will always know where you are." He gently let go of her hand and allowed her to look at it, it had fit perfectly, just as he had hoped. He had guessed at the size while watching her play piano for the hundredth time... and it looked like he was right. "If you're ever in trouble when I'm not around, turn the ruby, and help will come."

 

He stood back up and continued inside, "It's precaution and yes it's a leash, but it's this or have me spend all my time with you, and I'd rather let you live as normally as possible under the circumstances. Your room, is the one you slept in last night, up the stairs and straight down the hallway. It's also a panic room, if you're in trouble, in my house, go to that room and turn the ruby on your ring, it will lock down and keep you safe until I arrive."

 

He paused, leaning his cane against the wall as the door shut behind the two of them. "I have business to take care of tonight and tomorrow morning, hopefully I'll be able to take you along for the latter, Call me over protective if you like, but there was a wild animal attack last night, broke into one of the residences, nearly killed someone, and there's a missing person search going on right now, caw it on the news this morning, but they hadn't released names. Could have been what tore up your garden."

 

Johan continued speaking, wanting to get it all out of the way so he could get to work. "No part of the house is off-limits, if you can get into it you can have free reign of it, that said, some parts of the house aren't easy to get into. You can do what you like with the food in the fridge, but the freezer might be hard to get into." He smiled, it was partially a joke. He would let her anywhere she could get into, but the freezer was locked securely, unless she acquired a pair of bolt cutters it wasn't coming open anytime soon. The Basement was similarly locked and password protected, if she could guess it she could get in, he was fine with that.

 

"Hopefully if all goes well tonight, I might be able to start showing you the truth I promised tomorrow afternoon. The only rule is... no guests, except your closest friends, otherwise... if I didn't tell you you can't do it, then go right ahead, though I'd prefer if you didn't try and set fire to the place, the smoke scent just never comes out of the laundry." He grinned at her, "any questions?"

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Marcy enjoyed the silence between them while they walked together back to what was going to be her home for the next month. The house was extravagant, but at least she wouldn’t have to live in it the entire time…that would make her uncomfortable until she really was a Richie instead of a Poorling. At that point in time though, she may not even know Johan for she was sure that he would want to move on to greater things that spending his time on her since he seemed to be one to separate himself from the rest of the world.

 

As he spoke she listened, ignoring the urge to see the ring that had been placed on her finger. The fact that the ring was a leash, was something that made her detest it, but the protection that it afforded was something that she could live with. It allowed her into his house, and luckily she was able tohave the room that she stayed in the night before. It was all a bed which was nice and she could stack the cushions to make furniture if she felt creative.

 

She couldn’t help but wonder what was in the freezer that had to be under lock and key, but she did smirk slightly at her thought of there being a head in the freezer…that would either be really scary, or really awesome! Whatever it would be, she didn’t much care and knew that Johan wouldn’t go back on what he was saying and if she did burn down the house that it seemed that he would be totally cool with it.

 

“Do you want breakfast?” She asked him as

she turned around and walked towards the kitchen. “If you don’t, then thank you for your kindness and hospitality. It has been a pleasure to be in your presence.” The phrase itself was half meant as a joke, and half was meant in all seriousness. She would respect him as the law dictated, but not only as a Richie, but as the man that now held her future until she could grasp it in her bosom and never let it venture from her.

 

“Oh, and do you have a piano?” She asked as she rounded the large island in the middle of the kitchen. Expecting that Johan was organized, she looked through the drawers and found some food in the kitchen that she would love to eat. Eggs, fresh eggs, as well as some various kinds of cooked meats and cheeses with a variety of vegetables. A well rounded refrigerator.

 

Carmandy awoke from her slumber and realized that she had been taken into her room. Instead of jumping out of bed though, she sniffed her fur to see who had moved her and was surprised to smell both her father and Xander. With a small growl, she shifted to her human form to stretch out her tired limbs. Once she was sure that her muscles wouldn’t argue with her, she walked into her closet and quickly found some sort of comfortable, baggy articles of clothes that she placed on her person before stepping back out into her room. For a moment, she wondered where Arata was and then decided to find out. With quiet, lithe steps, she walked outside to her balcony and let out a welcoming howl, as well as a curious one that contained Arata’s name. If he answered she would know that all was well and if he followed, he would find her at the Crystal House.

Mandy stepped outside of her room, looking past people who stared at her with a whisper on their tongues and suspicion in their hearts. They wondered if she knew about what had happened…

 

Xander had stayed up most of the night until at long last he fell asleep on the living room couch. It wasn’t exactly comfortable, but at least it was better than having to be woken up by the loud voices of the Werewolves, and the snide remarks of the Vampyres. Despite the two races living together, they still had their typical spars that lead people to believe that Vampyres and Werewolves were mortal enemies. But that wasn’t the fact. Indeed they were immortal, however that was the problem. If you are going to live with someone, or know someone for the rest of your life, tensions can raise pretty high. It takes serious self-control not to tear out the throat of another being who might as well always be there by your side always correcting you and telling you what you are doing incorrectly.

To be honest though, the thought somewhat comforted Xander. He wished to have someone that would be his comfort, who would correct him and show him what he was doing wrong for he always felt that he was doing something wrong.

Despite wanting to avoid the remarks and voices of the Werewolves and Vampyres, he still heard them loud and clear because of the sheer number of all of them. As soon as they stepped out of their rooms, he couldn’t help but feel as if his sensitive ears were going to explode. He groaned angrily but then sighed with relief as he heard their hushed whispers suddenly overtake their overly loud voices. When he raised his head from the pillow that had been trying to bury his face in, he noticed that Carmandy was awake and being looked at like a foreigner.

“Carmandy.”

 

Carmandy heard her name downstairs and immediately, her head whipped to where that person was. Since she couldn’t see over everyone, she glared at those that didn’t move right away. When she was sure that the person that had called her was Xander, she jumped over the railing to land like a flower petal on the surface of water. “Yes?”

 

Xander waited until the deadly rose approached him and fully explained to her all that he had heard from the other Vampire that night. Everything that he could remember was given to her to hold dear as well and Carmandy found that she was rather scared for her parents as well as the Elders. Not many would dare to mess with them except for their enemies as well as ones so large as the Nordic and Russian groups. They were larger than they were due to the ease of which they could hide as well as the spanse of land that was uninhibited by laws and customs.

 

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((LL, tell me if this is inaccurate :3 Glad I did well last time, we'll see about now... speaking of which, this is a loooong post, I don't expect everyone has to read the whole thing since she doesn't interact with anyone important))

 

~Kanthaya~

 

Hour after hour, and things were just getting more and more frustrating. It was definitely very similar to DNA, and Kanthaya was fairly certain it was DNA. But if she was correct, whose DNA was it? She had no idea. If Johan was telling the truth, his uncle was getting this miracle medicine straight from someone's body. But that was what bothered her; it was almost impossible to find DNA like this. DNA was extremely complex and impossible to fully understand, but some basic and advanced tests revealed that this stuff really had incredible properties. Kanthaya's guess was that Hawk's uncle took DNA from an exceptional individual and somehow graphed it with an incredibly high amount of vitamins and minerals. It was possible his uncle was using stem cells and somehow converting them into protein cells and then somehow adding them to already existing or very young DNA. Possible, but a theory that was not tested or proven. Graphing anything with DNA was also extremely difficult to do successfully and often relied fully on chance. DNA was delicate and if it rejected anything, the entire sample could be ruined. Incredible, really; Kanthaya wondered what kind of man Johan's uncle really was.

 

If Kanthaya had been crazy or believed in the supernatural, she would have believed the stuff could extend someone's life by fifty years--and that was a low-estimate. The health that it had given Marcy now came as no surprise to Kanthaya, and she wondered if Marcy had also experienced some increased strength or energy. The rat had died of a heart-explosion, and sadly it had been a painful death; the rat's body had been healing at an extended rate but its heartbeat and blood speed had increased, leading to expansion of the heart as it beat faster than the rat's body could handle. Apparently the human DNA wasn't fully compatible with rat DNA (no duh) so eventually the rat's heart had gone too fast for its body to keep healing it. It had ripped slowly until the body could no longer repair the tear and the rat died. Ouch.

 

Now Kanthaya was exhausted and her thinking was going in circles. DNA that contained extreme amounts of everything a human needed to be healthy. It spread through the body, making it extremely healthy and likely re-energized. Kanthaya almost wondered how long the extra health would last; this was DNA, meaning it shouldn't have had much of an effect on someone or something when injected or consumed... yet both Marcy and the rat had shown increased health. So... it was a virus? A virus, DNA, and a bunch of proteins all working together? Or was the DNA itself the virus? It seemed impossible; human DNA didn't work like that. Or did it? Was it like the impossible things they did in the movies, somehow making an extra gene in the DNA?

 

Kanthaya sighed and rubbed her temples, blinking and staring at the leftovers from the vial. "Fine," she said to it as she picked it up. "We'll try one more thing before I go crazy enough to drink a drop of you." She managed to smile to herself, wondering how she would change; would her hair grow long? She hoped not, for she liked having it short. She sighed and carefully opened the vial. "Injected into the bloodstream of consumed, you'd probably make me nice and shiny. But what about if I mixed you with some sort of dominant virus?" Kanthaya sniffed the vial's contents, then closed it and spent five minutes waking a dormant sample of a virus that was dominant but didn't actually have any negative effect on the human body. She then prepared the sample in a small dish. She opened the vial to pour a drop out. In one hand she held the active virus. She held it close to her face, and her nose was practically touching it. In the other hand she held the vial, which she very slowly tipped. If she was less tired, perhaps she would have used a transferring tool to get the liquid from the vial to the dish. However, tired as she was she didn't really care. Slowly she poured it; the drip came to the edge of the vial. Her hands were shaking just a bit as she concentrated on just getting one tiny drop out. Almost there, it came to the edge, rested on the edge--*Trip* "AAAGH!" WHAM!

 

Kanthaya gasped and flinched terribly at the sound of someone falling down stairs and running into the lab door. So terribly did she flinch that she spilled the drop on her hand instead of in the dish. "No!" She groaned. She quickly put the cap on the vial as to not lose anymore of the little substance she had left. She then turned her hand in hopes to get the drop into the dish of virus... but the drop was gone. Like, it had evaporated or something. Strangely enough, there was a spot on Kanthaya's skin where the drop had landed. She stared at it a moment more before a knock on the door caught her attention. Agitated at recent events and her lack of sleep, Kanthaya spun towards the door with a harsh look. She saw one of the geeky Richies peering through. He was surprised to see her there (especially since she was still in her party dress), but he gave her a cheeky grin and opened the door. "Hey Poorling, you gotta leave now; I need this lab. Whoa, this place is a mess! Hurry up and clean, the labs are supposed to be open for public use now!"

 

Kanthaya took a deep breath and curtsied to the young man. She felt very agitated, more than she had in years. "As you wish," she said quietly. She turned and began cleaning up her research, carefully tucking her notes and her vial into a disposable bag. There was a moment of silence, and she could tell the geek was watching her. "Ahem?" He said, sounding unhappy about something. Kanthaya turned and gave him a look, her eyebrows raised in a 'seriously?' expression. "Yes? Did you need something? If you can't tell, I'm cleaning up," she said quietly. The Richie frowned. "You didn't greet me properly, you idiot," he said. "I don't care if you're having a hangover, you gotta follow the rules."

 

Kanthaya let a little huff out and shook her head. "I'm really not feeling well," she lied. "You should get me some water." The Richie scoffed and stepped into the room. He was a geek, and Kanthaya knew he wouldn't touch her. Still... why had she just said that? The fact that she couldn't remember what she was supposed to say was possibly a reason, but usually at this point she'd just do her best and pretend she was too dumb to know. But now... no, she didn't feel like being pushed around. She had just discovered something that was incredible. She was about to find out if it was a virus and how strong it was, and now this Richie barges in and wants the entire lab to himself. Did HE have something that could possibly cure every incurable disease in existence and extend human life by 50 years? Kanthaya didn't think so.

 

"Out now, Poorling, or I'm calling the cops!" Kanthaya had all her research, so she had no further reason to stay. She turned and smiled at the geek. Yes, she would leave, but she had to do one more thing first. The bag of research was slung over her right shoulder; with her left hand she picked up the now-dissected dead rat and overhand-tossed it at the Richie. Well, she thought it would be a toss, but her arm muscles contracted and she threw it harder than she had ever meant to... and harder than she had thought she ever could. The geek didn't even have time to move and was hit in the face by an open-rat carcass. Kanthaya's smirk immediately turned to a shocked frown as the Richie screamed and threw the rat off his face. His glasses and forehead still had some red stuff on them even as he threw the carcass to the ground. Kanthaya took his scream as a cue to leave, and she sped out the door quickly and up the stairs, out of the lab complex, and to her Poorling residency. When she got there she locked the door and sat on the bed, heart beating fast. The run... it had been invigorating.

 

Kanthaya looked around her room. Suddenly all of the tribal treasures she had brought with her from her Poorling tribe's homeland looked beautiful. The sparkles were brighter, the colors were deeper, the shapes were clearer. In fact, the entire room looked like that. Kanthaya looked down at her hands. She couldn't believe that she had thrown the rat so fast. Thinking about it, she couldn't believe she had run home so fast. The Vial only had about three drops left now.

 

Kanthaya decided to forget about it for a while; she could continue her research later. Right now she wanted to get out of the dress she was in and into some normal clothes. She had been tired earlier, but now she was full of energy... and hungry. Wow, I'm really hungry, she noticed. She decided changing could wait; for now she needed a snack, just something to get her by for a while...

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Rals Jackson

"Well," Joran started slowly, the smile fading, "I... guess I have a lot of questions.First off, do you know where I could buy glitter, wood, sand, and garlic? N-never mind, more important questions... why did you help me? You know that by doing that you've made an enemy of the entire Nordic Alliance, and... I don't know..." he frowned, staring at his hands. "I want to be as helpful to you as possible, Rals, whatever your goals are, but I'm only nineteen. Believe it or not I've never actually drank blood directly from a human." Rals stared blankly at him. Half of that she hadn't understood. Why would he want glitter, wood, sand, and garlic? Is this some weird vampire hobby I've never heard about?

When Joran started speaking again, she turned her attention back onto him.

"Steel--he's pure evil, there's nothing to him that remotely resembles a soul or sense of empathy. He's going to start killing people I know here in America, and if he ever finds out that an Australian pack rescued me... he's going to go to Australia and start killing people there. And he wouldn't go alone, he has many people who serve him, a huge thrall who are addicted to his blood." Joran looked Rals in the eyes, which were wide. Rals could smell the fear that surrounded him, and it made her nose itch. "Rals, I... don't want him to hurt you... I--I couldn't protect you, just like I couldn't protect any of them! I'm not strong enough, and Steel's too strong. He's got the entire Russian government on his side. And you... you're an Alpha, but you can't be everywhere at once." His voice held a hint of dismay as he spoke. "If you're in Australia, he'll kill your pack here. If you're here, he'll kill your pack in Australia. And he doesn't take prisoners... he kills infants, pups, children... in the most awful and torturous of ways..." The entire Russian government? Woah... And his job was to stalk a young boy? Of course, Joran is related to one of the most powerful vampire clans in history, but still...

 

Joran looked at Rals with a serious look. "Maybe if I leave now, he won't know it was you who rescued me! I could leave and travel to Canada, or maybe Mexico. I'd love to see Steel try to navigate Mexico..." Joran was grinning, but Rals could tell that the grin was false. He was truly and honestly worried about her, and it made her heart tighten with pain. It felt like her heart was about to explode from misery at the thought of Joran having to leave.

"As to your first question, I saved you out of personal interest." Rals wasn't about to explain the feelings of love emanating out of her heart right now. He was a little too young for that kind of talk, even if he was a vampire. Maybe she would explain later, once Joran was used to this kind of thing. "You are the most interesting, thoughtful, and weirdest person I have ever met. Ending your life that way would be a poor ending for a main character in this game of thrones." Rals would refuse any more questions about that subject. She wasn't going to reveal her love for him just yet. However, what she had said was true. It would be a shame to do such a thing to a wonderful person like Joran.

"Now, I've heard about this Steel, since you mentioned him while talking with Xander, that vampire who 'caught' you at the party last night. You've told Xander this, and I knew what to expect when I grabbed you and took off. Even though you didn't mention the thing about the Russian government. We Australians hate the Russians, almost as much as we hate the U.S. As for Steel himself, I would love to see him navigate the Outback by scent alone. There is a harsh wind there, and almost none of it has been mapped properly. Human technology is basically useless out there, but my pack has been living there for many, many years. We know the place so well we could navigate it blind. Trackers? No problem either. Once I inform the pack back in the homeland, they'll be fine. Austrialian vampires have no love of the vampire clan you heed from, Joran." Rals took a breath here, and then realized that she wanted to change back into a human. It was daylight already, and she had to stretch before using her human form again. "One moment, please." Rals said, and then grabbed a bunch of clothes from the clothing pile. She dragged them behind the steel crates, and then started to transform.

Panting, a minute later, Rals was back into her human form. Slipping on a pair of black yoga pants and a loose Star Wars t-shirt (forever a fan), Rals stretched for a minute or two before heading out to face Joran. "Sorry about that. It's become a habit to change back into a human form when the sun is up. Now, back to business. I can protect my pack both here and in my homeland. I knew that coming here meant risking their safety. Now, I can acquire those supplies, the glitter, wood, and such, but you do know that going out there or sending a werewolf means risking their lives right now? Even those who weren't at the party are at risk. They might be disguised and smell natural, but we don't know what this Steel looks like anyway. Tell me what you are going to use it for and I'll be the one to go get the stuff if the risk is worth it."

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((edited to add description of Steel near the bottom))

 

~Joran~

"As to your first question, I saved you out of personal interest." Joran's grin went away and he blinked curiously, wondering what in the world she meant by that. Personal interest? It almost sounded creepy, but he had to assume it had something to do with the Australian way of the Werewolf. Perhaps it was like a Vampire owning a human; that would be interesting, but he suspected it was more like he owed her something for saving his life and it would take time to repay it.

 

The more Rals spoke, the better Joran got at interpreting what she was saying. "You are the most interesting, thoughtful, and weirdest person I have ever met. Ending your life that way would be a poor ending for a main character in this game of thrones." Joran blinked and stared, shocked at the compliment. Sure, some girls had told him he was interesting, thoughtful or weird, but never all three at once and not in the way Rals said it. Joran wasn't used to taking a real compliment and so he just kind of stared, also wondering what she meant by 'game of thrones.' Did she think he still had any chance at taking his father's throne? Me, ruling Iceland? Maybe in a thousand years, Joran thought.

 

He listened as she spoke about how she already knew the dangers of Steel... but the more she spoke, the more he wondered if she really did. "As for Steel himself, I would love to see him navigate the Outback by scent alone. There is a harsh wind there, and almost none of it has been mapped properly. Human technology is basically useless out there, but my pack has been living there for many, many years. We know the place so well we could navigate it blind. Trackers? No problem either. Once I inform the pack back in the homeland, they'll be fine. Austrialian vampires have no love of the vampire clan you heed from, Joran."

 

Joran almost laughed at the thought. Russian and Nordic Vampires were so certain they were above everyone else that they didn't even speak of 'little' clans like Australia and Alaska. Until he was ten, Joran hadn't even known Vampires existed outside of Iceland and Russia. However, he wasn't worried about tracking. Steel wasn't stupid, though sometimes he acted like it. No, Steel wouldn't even have to enter Australia to cause it damage; bombs, nukes, air pollution, animal poisoning, landmass destruction... all of it could lead to war but would effectively damage Australia. "One moment, please." Joran was confused as to why Rals would get up suddenly, but then he saw her grabbing clothes and realized why she had left. Even though she was hidden behind crates, Joran still turned his back to the area and instead stared down at his own bare feet. It was nice, having no shoes on.

 

A few minutes later Rals' footsteps made Joran turn back around. He noticed she was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt and he couldn't help but smile; call him weirder than weird, but he loved that old show. And the shirt looked very nice on Rals. "Sorry about that. It's become a habit to change back into a human form when the sun is up." Joran shrugged; he had no idea what it was like to be able to transform into something entirely different from what he was, but sometimes he wished he could. Sometimes he dreamed of growing a pair of black wings and flying over the land, laughing at those that couldn't fly.

 

"Now, I can acquire those supplies, the glitter, wood, and such, but you do know that going out there or sending a werewolf means risking their lives right now? Even those who weren't at the party are at risk. They might be disguised and smell natural, but we don't know what this Steel looks like anyway. Tell me what you are going to use it for and I'll be the one to go get the stuff if the risk is worth it."

 

"Oh I can tell you what Steel looks like, and believe me when I say he NEVER changes. He's got long black hair that he happens to take care of like a girl, he's got a pointy straight nose and sharpish eyes that he likes to make dark brown, and he's always got this sort of smile on his face, like this." Joran attempted to smile like Steel in a sadistic sort of way, and unbeknownst to him he actually looked a lot like his grandfather in that moment; sadistic, power-hungry, and cold-hearted. Then his face returned to normal and he continued speaking. "His skin is really pale though if he's got brains he covered it with something. He's about this tall and his left ear is pierced, and he speaks like this." Joran's voice matched the dark expression he had worn a moment ago, but then it too returned to normal. "Oh, and I wouldn't make you send a pack member out to get the stuff, not during the daylight anyway. I wouldn't send you, either. I'll just go myself," he said, hopping to his feet. "I need to take a run anyway and I know just where to get it, plus I have a few hundred bucks in my jacket over there." Using Vampiric speed Joran raced over to his jacket, snatched up the money and returned to where he had been standing, waiting for Rals reply. He would have to put on some of the spare clothes, he supposed, since going into a store with a blood-covered black workout shirt wouldn't exactly go over well. At least the red eyes would be mistaken as the latest fad or something... yes, fresh air sounded very nice at the moment, and telling Rals what the supplies was for would ruin all the fun.

 

"It's not like Steel's gonna be searching the store area. He'll be searching the college first, trying to track where I went, stealing stuff from my bedroom, and failing utterly at finding me thanks to you guys."

Edited by LadyNatasha

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Rals Jackson

 

"Oh I can tell you what Steel looks like, and believe me when I say he NEVER changes. He's got long black hair that he happens to take care of like a girl, he's got a pointy straight nose and sharpish eyes that he likes to make dark brown, and he's always got this sort of smile on his face, like this." Joran made a sadistic smile on his face. Man, he looks like the Joker when he does that. Just needs some make-up and hairspray... "His skin is really pale though if he's got brains he covered it with something. He's about this tall and his left ear is pierced, and he speaks like this." Joran's voice matched the dark expression for a moment, and then it returned to normal. "It's not like Steel's gonna be searching the store area. He'll be searching the college first, trying to track where I went, stealing stuff from my bedroom, and failing utterly at finding me thanks to you guys." Why in the name of sweet Lupus would anyone want to steal stuff from another person's room? Especially Steel, this cold-hearted killer with the Joker persona in charge of the Russian government. Wow, the resemblence between him and Joran is actually quite similar. They are both stalkers. "Fine, you can go." Rals sighed, tired of discussing serious matters.

--

Arata opened his eyes, full clothed and in human form. After last night, he had returned to his home to find his garden devastated. He had cried for an hour and a half into his pillow, and nothing would be able to cheer him up. Teary-eyed, Arata just stared out of his window. The flower beds torn up, his mother's favorite plants before she died... That was the only thing physical memory I had left of her. And now it's gone forever. The blossoms were dead, and they would never be able to sprout again. It was way out of reach to buy imported plants, not with his Poorling salary. Arata sniffed loudly, and then buried his face in his pillow again for another minute, trying desperately not to start crying again. Once he started, he couldn't stop for a long time. He would have to start fixing it tomorrow, once he got all of his supplies back from the Richies. If I ever find who did this... Arata left the thought unfinished, his fingers clutching the pillow, throttling it. Arata would get revenge for this, but first he would mourn. He put on a pair of black jeans and a t-shirt, intending for a short walk. It would clear his mind.

He heard the welcoming howl, and knew it was from Carmandy. She was in that house she had mentioned the night before, and Arata knew that he was welcome there. A small bubble of happiness rose in his chest, and he set off for the house, eager to see Carmandy again.

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((I laughed at my own post... how sad is that? :3 Reeeead eeet...))

~Joran~

 

Joran hardly noticed the weird looks Rals was giving him as he attempted to impersonate Steel. "Fine, you can go." Joran's eyes lit up with happiness and his grin returned. "Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you, you're awesome and I love your shirt, bye!"

 

With that Joran sped out the front door, careful not to stumble over any werewolves he passed. He raced forward, completely forgetting about a change of clothes or shoes. He laughed loudly as the open air hit his body. Here he was, in the broad daylight, running like a Vampire! Just how things should be in his opinion. As he got to the area where actual people were, Joran quickly flipped his shirt inside-out to hide the bloodstain and slowed his speed to a walk. His eyes lit up in excitement as he saw the store he was looking for. Without hesitation he entered, eyes nice and red and feet bare. A young lady who was working at the store almost gasped when she saw him, but he held up the hundreds of dollars he had and she nodded, managing a smile: Richies were allowed to walk around however they wanted, whenever they wanted, wherever they wanted. That was the nice thing about America; being rich meant you had a lot of freedom.

 

The first thing Joran did was buy shoes and a shirt, and then he went and bought a pair of sunglasses. He had pretended it wasn't a big deal around Rals, but he knew that soon Steel would truly start looking for him and would send his thrall out, and red eyes was a dead giveaway. Joran then moved on to a 'junk' store where all the odd things you could possibly want were. He bought glitter, wood and glue there. He moved on to an Asian food market where he bought two heads of garlic, and finally he went to a flooring company where he bought two large bags of sand. All of this took him about half an hour, and all the while he was careful not to be noticed by anyone from school. He only saw two other students his entire time there, and they reminded him... of what he had done to the gardens. He hated it, not because he cared for the poorlings or even because he felt sorry for them, but because it was the last thing he had done to help his nation and now for one mistake they wanted him dead... or at least, he was pretty sure they did. He had sort of sealed his fate by giving away top-secret information.

 

But all the way back towards the warehouse, Joran was bothered by his destruction of the gardens. So instead of returning to the warehouse immediately, he first went to a post-office and wrote two letters out, one to each poorling. Actually, he hired someone to write them for him so that his handwriting and scent wouldn't be on them. They were both simple and said this;

Oi, sorry about the garden. Tell the Richie Alexander that a certain friend he met last night wants him to do a favor and bring the gardens back to life, and believe me, that man can work miracles with the soil. Just do it, and I promise he can bring back the gardens. Show him this note. Hi Xan! You know what to do! Consider it a price for what I told you.

Joran had no idea if Xander would actually use his blood to regrow the plants, but now at least he felt less like a traitor, even though he wasn't really fond of the Vampyres. Thus Joran went back to where he had left his stuff and returned to the warehouse. When he arrived at the outside of the warehouse, he couldn't help but grin and then laugh, for his body was no longer just plain pale; the werewolves that saw him would notice that he was sparkling...

 

"Hey Rals, come see! Look at me, I'm Edward Cullen from Twilight! I'm sparkling in the sunlight!" Joran leapt in the air and did a spinning kick at nothing at all before landing with a bow, facing the entrance where he hoped Rals was watching from. The bags of sand, garlic, glue and wood were all off to the side. Joran grinned and took off his sunglasses as he completed his bow.

Edited by LadyNatasha

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"No thank you," Johan replied, "my diet consists of vitamin supplements and protein shakes, everything the body needs and nothing it doesn't." he shrugged with a smile, "the fridge is all yours."

 

He headed upstairs to his room and answered as he walked. "I'm sorry all I have is an electric, expensive, but not the same as the real thing, it's in the dinging room. I'll be down shortly, don't answer the door."

 

Johan turned left at the top of the stairs and entered his room. He fired up his laptop and logged into the college's e-mail server. He grinned to himself and entered his log in name as Brown, William T. and entered "Password" for the password section. Dr. Brown was one of the most elderly faculty members, at least humanly speaking. He taught sociology, was slightly senile, and a complete technophobe, but he of course was required to have an e-mail, which he was notorious for not checking. Johan knew for a fact that the man had believed that when it asked him to enter "Password" that it literally meant the word... PASSWORD... and so he had done so. Johan, of course, had never taken advantage of this before, but it was now useful, after all... he needed to send a few anonymous e-mails...

 

 

Dear Carmandy:

 

Hello werewolf girl, you can call me, Silver Hand, I'm the one who set off the device you and your kin encountered last night, a high pitched sonic emitter, clearly marking you as non-human, in addition to my other intel that means you're a werewolf, I hunt werewolves... did you know that? Well I also hunt Vampires, not vampyres, whom you seem to be very familiar with. But don't fret and go causing a stir, I'm not here for you, I've been contracted by certain non human members of the government to exterminate a few of your cousins who have taken up residence in the area, I do hope you have noticed them already, it's painfully obvious, all the foreign werewolves and vampires strutting about like they own the place. This is simply a friendly warning, a note from a concerned party that doesn't want to see you and yours die anytime soon.

 

A powerful Vampire family is here to claim one of their own, Joran, I think you've run into him before. He has recently lost standing with his family and is being hunted for extermination. He has valuable information that the American government needs in order to prevent a full scale invasion of our country by vampires. If you have any information regarding him, send it to me immediately, and if you come across him, protect him.

 

The Vampire hunting him is a well trained hit-man and could be very dangerous to you and your pack...

 

Johan proceeded to describe Steel from his appearance to his clothing, to even his scent and estimated age.

 

Maybe I'll stop by for a cup of tea when I'm done here, meet your parents and all, maybe even the dean if those ancients can spare me the time...

 

Farewell.

 

 

 

 

He then sent the e-mail and began typing out another one, this time to Rals, because, while he knew she was a werewolf, it was also apparent she was not American, and though he didn't know what position she held... it didn't really matter... wolves were pack animals, information sent to one would be distributed to the others.

 

 

Dear Rals:

 

My foreign werewolf friend. You can call me Van Hellsing, yes it's an alias, no I don't do autographs, not even for non humans such as yourself. I'm just sending this to you to claim responsibility for the sonic device that interrupted the party last night, at least for all you non-humans, the rest of us seemed satisfactorily unaffected. I was merely testing the waters, seeing how many there were at such a social event, and what do you know, almost a third! Mostly Americans, though some foreigners. Why am I sending you this? Good question.

 

I don't know how large your group is, you might be alone, or what position you hold if any. Or maybe I do know all this and even where you're currently hiding out. You do tend to spend a lot of time... off campus. But I have this bit of information for you as you seek to figure out who I am.

 

There's a vampire here from a powerful house overseas, seeking to kill Joran, not sure if you're familiar with the youngling or not, but if you do see him I'd be very very interested in talking with him and I'm sure he would be interested in talking with me as I'm probably the only one that can make the powerful assassin that is hunting him.... vanish without a trace. I might even be able to make the problems with his family go away too, I'm sure that will interest him. So if you do see him, tie him up or something so he doesn't go anywhere and do be a dear and tell me. In exchange... I can offer you some very valuable information on the vampyres and werewolves living here in America, and specifically those on this campus, a list of names for example, and resources, I have a lot at my disposal. I'd rather buy your cooperation, but if I don't get an answer within an hour of your opening this e-mail (and yes I can check and see when you open it) then I might just turn and give the same offer to the assassin hunting Joran, I'm sure he'll pay me just as well for information about your kin as I'm asking you for information about one boy. I know you'll make the right choice... feel free to arrange a meeting with me if you feel the need to talk further.

 

Farewell...

 

PS: don't worry about Dr. Brown... he never checks his e-mail anyway.

 

 

 

Johan sent one additional e-mail.

 

 

Dear Dean of Crystal Lake University:

 

Oh and your wife, almost forgot her:

 

I won't annoy you by giving you an alias, I;m not revealing my identity either. I'm obviously not Dr. Brown, the man never checks his e-mails.

 

I wanted to send my most sincere apologies for the sonic device I set off last night. Had I imagined that a pair of ancients such as yourselves were in attendance... well ok I would have done it anyways but I do feel very very badly about it. The ears do become so delicately sensitive once you enter your 1500s. Though by the look of it the two of you are far older than that, and here I didn't think any of your kind had survived that long, what a pleasant surprise. You are no doubt at the top or close to the top of the food chain when it comes to all the non-human Americans living on this campus and attending here. So I just wanted to set you at ease, I have no ill will towards you or your kin and your kindred werewolves. I do hope you can forgive my curiosity, I simply wanted to know who was what, I didn't intend to cause anyone your age... such discomfort.

 

To make it up to you I'll let you in on some information you know, some you don't, and some you will very soon.

 

There's a vampire working in this area, several centuries old, on an assassination mission against one of your students. I'm afraid I can't tell you who he's here for or why, as it would compromise my own interests. However, I can tell you what he looks and smells like. (he proceeds to do so). I can also tell you that the woman in critical condition at the hospital will survive, though I don't know in what condition. Her body was torn up not by an animal, but by a newly vamporized woman named Dana Peirce. I unfortunately... was unable to locate the girl, but the telltale marks on Julliana's body are those of a vampire on its first feed. I'm sure the poor girl is traumatized by what she's done, and very scared right now, I would be at least... if you would be ever so gracious as to find her before the police do, and offer her your help, I would be most grateful, I wouldn't wish such a life on anyone.

 

Thank you for your time,

-An Admirer

 

PS: Oh, and tell Dr. Brown he should really check his e-mail more often, as per school regulations (wink wink).

 

Johan smiled, going in and changing Dr. Brown's password to "Wordpass" and deleting everything in his sent box. He shut down the computer and turned on his cell-phone. It would alert him when he received e-mails.

 

The bait was cast, the line set... now it was just a waiting game to see who bit first, and how they reacted. He felt a small weight lift off his chest. Dana would be taken care of with any luck. He didn't want her to have to die for what she had done. She still had value to him, and now that she was a vampire she would be the prize he won for surviving his own plan. Yes, if he survived... he would take her back to London with him and begin her reeducation about her new life, her real new life, not the lecture she was sure to get from the vampyres.

 

He sniffed the air... Marcy was cooking, she smelled delicious! The food didn't smell half bad either, and Johan headed to the bathroom and locked himself in, taking a few minutes to painfully file down his fangs before returning downstairs to see what she had concocted.

Edited by Rakashua

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{{My mind is eternally scarred. V.v' }}

 

Rals looked up and saw what Joran had done. He was covered in glitter, and looking for all the world like an insane maniac. "Hey Rals, come see! Look at me, I'm Edward Cullen from Twilight! I'm sparkling in the sunlight!" Joran leapt in the air and did a spinning kick at nothing at all before landing with a bow, facing the entrance. The other werewolves started chuckling to themselves, some even outright laughing, but Rals felt panicked. What was wrong with Joran? "What is he doing, and who is Edward Cullen?" she asked the others, who just shrugged their shoulders. She hadn't had much time to read any American novels, but why did Joran expect to know this one? And why did it involve people who sparkle? He's cracked, hasn't he? The thought of freedom has gone to his head too much. Rals took a deep breath and pointed at him. "He'll attract too much attention. Take him inside and make him lay down for a while. Maybe that will calm him down. He's acting too strangely." she whispered, and her werewolves nodded. Taking a step outside, Rals walked up to Joran, cautiously moving forward. It was never a good idea to provoke an 'overly-excited' person, who was seemingly crazy. "Are you feeling alright, Joran?" Rals said, cautiously. "Do you need to go lie down?"

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((must...stop...laughing!))

 

Joran was pleased to hear laughter from some of the Werewolves and he had to restrain himself not to laugh. He had never actually seen or read Twilight, but he had heard of it from fangirls who had told him he wasn't a Vampire because he didn't sparkle. He thought the entire notion of sparkling in the sunlight was too ridiculous to pass up. To his dismay when he looked up, Rals wasn't laughing. She wasn't even smiling, and in fact she looked strangely worried. She approached him slowly. "Are you feeling alright, Joran? Do you need to go lie down?" There was an awkward moment of silence, and then Joran lost it; he burst out laughing and laughed so hard he fell to his knees, continuing in his wild laughing.

 

He held his stomach and laughed more, shaking his head. "You--" *bursts out laughing* "Never seen--" *more laughing* "Twilight?! The look on your face!" And more laughing, until it really did hurt. He couldn't help it; it was so funny! She looked almost scared of him, like she thought he was insane. And the innocent fact that she really had no idea what Twilight was made it even funnier. Tears were edging at Joran's eyes as he finally mostly stopped laughing and tried to breathe...

 

Edited by LadyNatasha

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Rals Jackson

 

"You--" *bursts out laughing* "Never seen--" *more laughing* "Twilight?! The look on your face!" Joran was laughing so hard it looked like he was going to choke. Tears were edging at his eyes as he finally mostly stopped laughing and tried to breathe... And Rals rushed over, but her cellphone buzzed her in pocket, reminding her that she had an email. Flipping out the cellphone, Rals motioned for her guards to take Joran in before he killed himself.

Dear Rals:

 

My foreign werewolf friend. You can call me Van Hellsing, yes it's an alias, no I don't do autographs, not even for non humans such as yourself. I'm just sending this to you to claim responsibility for the sonic device that interrupted the party last night, at least for all you non-humans, the rest of us seemed satisfactorily unaffected. I was merely testing the waters, seeing how many there were at such a social event, and what do you know, almost a third! Mostly Americans, though some foreigners. Why am I sending you this? Good question.

 

I don't know how large your group is, you might be alone, or what position you hold if any. Or maybe I do know all this and even where you're currently hiding out. You do tend to spend a lot of time... off campus. But I have this bit of information for you as you seek to figure out who I am.

 

There's a vampire here from a powerful house overseas, seeking to kill Joran, not sure if you're familiar with the youngling or not, but if you do see him I'd be very very interested in talking with him and I'm sure he would be interested in talking with me as I'm probably the only one that can make the powerful assassin that is hunting him.... vanish without a trace. I might even be able to make the problems with his family go away too, I'm sure that will interest him. So if you do see him, tie him up or something so he doesn't go anywhere and do be a dear and tell me. In exchange... I can offer you some very valuable information on the vampyres and werewolves living here in America, and specifically those on this campus, a list of names for example, and resources, I have a lot at my disposal. I'd rather buy your cooperation, but if I don't get an answer within an hour of your opening this e-mail (and yes I can check and see when you open it) then I might just turn and give the same offer to the assassin hunting Joran, I'm sure he'll pay me just as well for information about your kin as I'm asking you for information about one boy. I know you'll make the right choice... feel free to arrange a meeting with me if you feel the need to talk further.

 

Farewell...

 

PS: don't worry about Dr. Brown... he never checks his e-mail anyway.

Rals's eyes widened at the email. What should she do? The man, Van Hellsing, didn't know anything about her. That was obvious. Despite the overly-pompous tone, the email didn't really reveal anything new that Rals had not already knew from Joran's information. Still, an oppurtunity to clear Joran's name and put off Steel's hunt... Tempting. "Joran, I found an important email. You may want to read this." she said, waving off her guards and beckoning Joran closer. "It concerns the fate of your life."

 

 

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Graham didn't sleep on the job. He would slow down, pause, perhaps lay down, but he didn't sleep, not when he had a scent. His current scent, of course, wasn't the scent of a werewolf. It was the overwhelming scent of lavender. He could smell it when he wasn't near lavender, and he could see the tracks of paws or the scratches of claws against rocks that were half-buried in the ground. Ridell had been working most of the night. He insisted he hadn't slept, though there were a few times he'd jerk his eyes open and lift himself to his feet once more. When one is alone in the middle of the dark, cold and fuming, their feelings towards whatever they might've been angry about don't lessen. They amplify. They think and they go over what happened again and again, use it as their fuel, and think about all the wrongs that were ever done to them. They slowly push themselves onward, force themselves to continue, all so that they might get revenge, even if the original crime wasn't as bad as they have now convinced themselves it was. And this is what Graham had done. Graham had convinced himself that Joran knew he was a werewolf, that he purposely built their friendship and made Ridell like him just so that he could back stab him. And so, when Graham was close enough some of the scents were fresh, that night he had finally let himself sleep. He had slept so that in the morning, if there was a fight, he could be at his full strength.

 

That morning Graham pulled back his lips in a yawn, shook himself off, and looked at his surroundings. There was that horrid stench of lavender he had grown to hate. There were several cedars a bit of a ways off that he noted. The scent of cedar might at least slightly cover his scent, though he didn't mind going in there being known he was coming. He would kill them all anyway. With his sharp teeth, he was able to pull and snap off a few branches, which he rolled on, wincing. And then Ridell followed the lavender again. This time there was bits of werewolf scent in the lavender, there had been before but not like this, and he could tell he was very close. After several minutes of running and tracking he thought he caught sight of something. Or more of, he was blinded by something. Something that was... sparkling? What the hell? That was a... person that was sparkling. That was... Joran. The vampire. Hah. From that stupid novel all those girls liked? And Joran had read them? That was pretty funny. But I've got to stay on task. I have to kill him, and tear his flesh off... even if it's sparkly. Ugh. But the whole sparkly-ness would ruin everything. The blood would become sparkly. See, this is all flamboyancy gets you. You'll die just like everyone else, except you'll die sparkly.

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~Joran~

 

Joran was still sniffling with laughter when some Werewolves attempted to pull him to his feet. He coughed a little and stood, trying to think of how to explain to Rals why it was so funny, but he really couldn't think of anything and... she looked quite busy. She was staring at her cell phone. The guards began to tug at Joran, each holding an arm and encouraging him to move towards the warehouse, but he when he attempted to whine like a pup and didn't struggle they let him stay for a half minute more just to see what Rals might be doing. It seemed they were staying more because Rals looked ready to tell them something, and they were still holding Joran's arms.

 

Rals' face got more and more serious, and slowly Joran's humored look also faded until he was attempting to see what she was reading (but was too far away and at the wrong angle). "Joran, I found an important email. You may want to read this." Finally she waved off the guards and they released Joran. He gave them a grateful smile and approached Rals, wondering what it was about. "It concerns the fate of your life." Joran's entire expression changed and he rushed forward to the cellphone. "What?!" He began reading it...

 

There's a vampire here from a powerful house overseas, seeking to kill Joran, not sure if you're familiar with the youngling or not, but if you do see him I'd be very very interested in talking with him and I'm sure he would be interested in talking with me as I'm probably the only one that can make the powerful assassin that is hunting him.... vanish without a trace.

 

Joran shook his head as he read that portion of the email. No, this guy was crazy, whoever he was. No one could make Steel disappear, no matter how great and amazing they were or how much power they thought they had, and Joran was certainly not interested in speaking with some lunatic who thought he could. This guy was probably one of Steel's loonies, trying to convince Rals that he was a good guy.

 

I might even be able to make the problems with his family go away too, I'm sure that will interest him. So if you do see him, tie him up or something so he doesn't go anywhere and do be a dear and tell me. In exchange... I can offer you some very valuable information on the vampyres and werewolves living here in America, and specifically those on this campus, a list of names for example, and resources, I have a lot at my disposal.

 

Joran almost laughed (not in happy way) when he read the first line; it was impossible. First off, if anything happened to Steel then the Nordic and Russian lands would find some reason to declare war on America and would destroy the country; together they were more powerful than it, especially since it was corrupt and two of the members of its government weren't actually Americans. Second, there was just no way that his Grandfather would give up searching for him. If Joran hadn't known what he knew and if he didn't have Bampaia blood, maybe his Grandfather would have let him go. As it was, however, Ulran would never; Bampaia blood was so ancient (according to Nordic Vampires) and so well-kept that even an outcross like Joran was too valuable to be released to the general public. How special I am, Joran thought bitterly. But as Joran read on, he saw that this man was offering Rals something; information. She needed information if she was going to complete her task. Joran didn't know what kind of information, but certainly some.

 

I'd rather buy your cooperation, but if I don't get an answer within an hour of your opening this e-mail (and yes I can check and see when you open it) then I might just turn and give the same offer to the assassin hunting Joran, I'm sure he'll pay me just as well for information about your kin as I'm asking you for information about one boy. I know you'll make the right choice... feel free to arrange a meeting with me if you feel the need to talk further.

 

Joran slowly lowered his hand, a blank expression on his face. How did that guy even guess I was here? Is this--no, Xander wouldn't... would he? "Rals," he said quietly, "I'll go." He managed a smile. "After all, this guy has a lot of information he can give you, and maybe he can help me. Anyway if I don't he'll tell everyone who your pack members are. I know this guy's type; he wants something, me in this case, and he's willing to cause however much destruction necessary to get me. He must have been there last night at the party, and must have somehow noted who left the room when the sound went off, which means any pack members of your that might still be at the college..." Joran shrugged and stretched, yawning. "Give him an email, we'll meet him outside Pizza Hut or something. Maybe he'll let you stay for whatever he wants to talk about." He looked back at Rals and smiled.

 

His mind was so distracted that he didn't even notice Graham, who was well disguised anyway...

 

~~~

 

~Steel~

 

As Steel had suspected after his meeting with Johan, there was no trace of Joran on campus. Steel himself didn't go far into the campus, for he didn't wish to meet with other Vampires that might be Johan's 'friends.' Instead he sent in some servants that had been living where Joran's "parents" lived a short distance outside of campus. The servants had entered the campus like they normally did when bringing Joran letters or supplies from his parents, but no one they asked knew where Joran was and he certainly wasn't in his room. The men who had seen Joran giving away information to a Vampire and Werewolf the night before hadn't been able to identify the Vampire/Werewolf, which unfortunately meant that at least two beings on the little campus would know that the servants didn't actually belong to Joran's real family. It didn't matter, though; who would suspect the human servants were in on what had happened? Jarl Ulran would have preferred they had no clue, as he didn't like using humans to do his work. Steel had no qualms about using humans for one of the only two things they were good at.

 

Half a mile outside of campus and sitting in a tree, Steel was texting. He was texting Ulran's favorite servants back their Canada base, informing Jarl Ulran about Johan's presence and how possessive he was of the campus. He described Johan in extreme detail, down to how the man moved and spoke and how old he claimed to be. He described the sword, the arm-movements, and the man's supposed experience with Asia and London. He wasn't suggesting Ulran take action, he simply wanted Ulran to know what kind of Vampires already owned the campus. Johan's records were vary scarce, though he was for certain a student on the campus if he was giving his real name. When the information was sent, Steel closed the cellphone and destroyed it by crunching it in one hand. He got a tiny shock from doing so, but it didn't bother him in the least.

 

So, you're not on campus. But certainly you wouldn't go far. If only Ulran had taken my advice and stuck a tracker in your skin, you'd be gone and I'd be set up to inherit what I rightfully deserve. Yet it is only a matter of time, Joran. No matter who your allies are, however powerful or hidden they are, I will find you out and I will make you pay... in the worst of ways.

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Rals Jackson

"Rals," Joran said quietly, "I'll go." He managed a smile. "After all, this guy has a lot of information he can give you, and maybe he can help me. Anyway if I don't he'll tell everyone who your pack members are. I know this guy's type; he wants something, me in this case, and he's willing to cause however much destruction necessary to get me. He must have been there last night at the party, and must have somehow noted who left the room when the sound went off, which means any pack members of your that might still be at the college..." Joran shrugged and stretched, yawning. "Give him an email, we'll meet him outside Pizza Hut or something. Maybe he'll let you stay for whatever he wants to talk about." He looked back at Rals and smiled.

Rals growled at him. "No. The mysterious Van Hellsing or whatever his alias is wants me to talk to him. Alone. I'm going to that Pizza Hut, and once I get the info, I'm going to murder him for threatening your life. I hate people who believe that they are God, and therefore can manipulate people to their will. If he truly can help you, then I'll just beat him a little." she said, her hands clenching into fists. In all honesty, Rals was rearing for a fight. She was tired of sneaking around, relying on speed and stealth and deception. She wanted the feel of sinking her teeth into something, or at the very least punching someone.

Rals pulled out her cell phone and started to type in an email. Will meet you at the local Pizza Hut. 1:00 PM. Come alone. She pressed the 'Send' button. 1:00 was three hours away, giving her plenty of time to plan with Joran.

Turning back to Joran, Rals gave a small sneeze. She smelled something... strange. Whipping her head around towards the source of the smell, Rals growled, "Come out, wherever you are hiding. I can smell you, whoever you are."

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Marcy had watched Johan walk away with a strange curiosity as to why he ate so little. He was strong enough to be able to pick her up and yet he ate so little. With a shrug, she turned around to look at the kitchen and really take in what it looked like. Nothing in this house was simple in any way and the kitchen was no less worse for wear. It had all of the latest kitchen tech which made it easy to fix herself an omelet that was filled with cheese, sliced meat, and vegetables. She had added cream to the eggs so that they would fluff up enough to be just as light as air but also substantial enough to fill her.

 

As she cooked and then served her, meal, she also made sure to cut up enough vegetables for snacks as well as for a soup that would last her the next few days for lunch. Her omelet slowly disappeared as she continued to eat it and make the soup. She had found a lovely pan that would fit enough vegetables for her diet, and to her joy, she found several different kinds of meats that she had never tried before. But for now, she settled with food that she knew how to cook and that was you general beef. It was ground with the bones of the animal which had been powdered. It was the cheapest, but in her opinion, the tastiest meat on the market. The meat was soon turned into seasoned meatballs which she cooked while vegetbales in the pot simmered.

 

After a few more minutes, she added the meat into the vegetables, then quickly poured in water and some seasonings that she had gathered. They all tasted well together which was something that she rarely had. At one time, she had taken a cooking class just in case she was ever able to entertain guests. Of course, this had been several years ago, but the memories were still there allowing her to complete both her swift 3 minute omelet and her soup in the time it took for Johan to come down from wherever he had been.

 

The last morsel of the omelet was palced daintily in her mouth and she chewed with pleasure before washing the dish and setting it on some sort of odd looking dish rack. When she turned around, she could hear the footsteps of someone and didn’t doubt that it was Johan for a moment. “Was your business conducted easily?” she asked cordially since she knew it would be rude not to comment on anything.

 

While waiting for him to respond, she finished cutting the vegetables form the refrigerator and put them into little baggies which she placed back in the refrigerator along with bags of nuts and raisins. When she turned around, Johan was sure to be standing there and she looked at him waiting for his answer.

 

Carmandy stared at Xander as he told her everything that she had needed to know as well as everything that she had missed out on. It was hard for her to grasp everything and it actually scared her out of her wits to think that the Russian and Nordic groups were trying to take over America. However, an angered growl came from her chest as she stood up. She ignored Xander’s questions as she walked out of the living room and outside where she could think for her own instead of having to answer questions. Familiar sounds of a rowdy breakfast were heard inside, but she didn’t much mind. She had to stop and think for a moment, but that thinking time was soon to be interrupted which irritated her even more than she had been earlier.

 

Her phone vibrated on her hip and she flipped it out to see that it was an e-mail notification. Something that she had noticed, was that it was form a professor that hardly ever checked his e-mail, let alone send one even to his students. It took her a little bit to read the e-mail, but when she had finished, she found herself nearly crushing her phone. Thankfully, the tech group of Werewolves and Vampyres had reinforced her phone with steel as well as waterproofed it which made it harder for the phone to be damaged.

 

With a flick of her finger, she forwarded the e-mail to her father so that he could see what was going on as well as placed his e-mail address into the “to” section of the e-mail to make sure that he would see what she was going to say in reply.

 

Good morning,

 

It seems that you have the audacity to threaten my or at least your words make it seem that way. If you are not, then I suggest that you re-word what you say. However, the fact that you call yourself a Silverhand is a threat in and of itself. If any of our cousins that you are hunting are within our pack, you will find yourself being the one hunted and not us if you do even manage to get your hands on one of them. Consider THAT a solid threat.

 

If we find Joran, he shall be underneath our protection if it is his choice. However, any information that we have is our own.

 

As to the man hunting him, I thank you on behalf of my father and the whole pack for your warning. It would do us well to keep on the lookout for him.

 

Die Soon for your sake,

Carmandy Forks

 

Oh and tea sounds wonderful.

 

Carmandy grinned at the e-mail then quickly sent it off to make sure that this man would see that they could be both hospitable as well as murderous depending on their mood. She sniffed the air that was supposed to be a sniff of disgust, but a smile crossed her face when she smelled Arata on the air. It was a few moments before she could see him, and once she did, a woof was released to show him where she was. From what she could tell, he was completely in his human form and stood much taller than she probably by several feet. His eyes were an intense gold much like her own, but his hair was dyed a bluish black color. She could tell it was dyed because his coat was a true gold.

 

She walked up to Arata and bowed to him in greeting her dark hair swinging into her face for a moment then as she stood, it seemed to sweep back on it’s own but It was only the wind. “How do you fare Arata-san?”

 

Zebulon and Jamila had been awake since the dawn of the day, spending time with each other. Even as they grew in age, their love for each other was still very important to the both of them. Their hearts were beating in unison and their breathing was synchronized as well as they looked up at the stars that were disappearing, then towards the college. It was easy to see everything from their vantage point.

 

By the end of their morning time with each other, an e-mail had arrived on Zebulon’s phone and both husband and wife read the e-mail with growing trepidation. Whoever this was, was apologetic for causing them harm but his curiosity had blown their cover to more than one group and another groups to their own. They had seen the young werewolf alphess walk out of the room and had placed several around her for there were too many following her out of the room for her not to be anything other than a pack or Clan leader.

 

At the moment, they couldn’t think of who would send such an e-mail as to both show them the presence of one of their own kind who was at a similar age, but also to help them at the same time. After a few minutes of deliberation as well as sending the e-mail off to their technical group, they decided on a way to reply to this being, either man or woman…but they distinctly thought it to be a man by the way that he wrote.

 

Dearest Admirer,

My wife and I are very grateful not only for your admiration, but also for your apologies and warnings. They have proven that your character is somewhat honest, as well as devious which is to be expected if you are not in our own Clan.

 

That is not to say that you are evil, rather just different.

 

Your apology is accepted, however we do wish that any further harm to us or our clans would be avoided. If we do find your identity then we will have to ask you personally to meet with u for we would wish to discuss matter, as well as stories and past times, that can only be discussed with one that is near our age instead of that of the younglings.

 

We thank you for the information of the man that is hunting Joran. I am sure that you already know who it is, as well as why the young man is being hunted. Despite your actions against us, we do ask that if you meet Joran, to please entreat him to find suitable protection against one as strong as the one you have described. If he has done as we thought, then a mere 20 wolves will not due against this being that you have described.

 

Do not worry for your friend. She shall find safety from harm in our home which is also open to you should you ever need it. Just be sure to mention this e-mail and we shall know who you are.

 

Please do join us sometime for a cup of tea, or luncheon but do be forewarned mainly by my wife. If you harm any of our Clan and they end up dieing because of you, you shall find yourself being hunted like the animal that any with our blood is. They are our family and we shall not allow anything to happen to them.

 

Blessings,

The Ancient Ones – Zebulon and Jamila

 

Xander had been waiting outside of Montague’s room where Zebulon and Jamila had met him not fifteen minutes earlier. He knew that it was going to involve him and finding Graham since Rollo and victoria had things to handle to keep their pack together and start to organize what they needed to do to keep everyone safe.

 

As soon as he was given his orders, Xander disappeared in a blur, following Graham’s scent. It was hard, but then again, everywhere that Graham’s scent was, there was a precursor of lavender which meant that he had been following Rals.

 

Luckily, it didn’t take Xander too long to reach Graham and see the bloodlust in the boys eyes. “ I wouldn’t do that you idiot. It’d be best if you killed yourself some sort of hunt instead of fellow immortals. If you killed Joran, you would have not only Rollo to deal with, but also the ancients. If you do not fear them, then you are clearly stupid.” He said then disappeared as he observed what was going on between Rals and Joran. From where he stood, he could hear easily what they were saying and was surprised to hear that they had received some sort of message that called Joran to meet up with someone else and if Xander wasn’t to sure, it sounded like the same person that wanted him dead.

 

“if I may interrupt.” He said rolling his ‘r’s and landing near them in the warehouse. “the dratted things about warehouses is that they have too many entryways. Makes them far to easy to get into. But one as young as you Rals wouldn’t have a hard time overlooking that sort of thing. Far too young to know much of anything really, which is why I don’t understand how you are an Alphess.” It was clear that he was trying to provoke her, but then again, Xander sometimes found it very entertaining to insult those that caused them trouble.

 

“Now, my interruption is to state the obvious. This can be a trap and if you, all of you,: he turned to the other wolves: come with me, there can be an easy way to protect all of you. Joran, do you want Rals and her wolves hurt because you refuse to go underneath stronger protection? Of course she has either stated or suspected that this was an easy place to defend, but she has probably never even come near a 500 year old Vampire am I correct?” Xander looked at Rals and as he spoke, his voice wasn’t in any way biting. It was kind, endearing and meant to be that way.

 

“I understand that you wanted to save him from us Rals, but instead of saving him, you merely made a larger hole for this other Vampire to come and catch him, you and all of your wolves. We have information on this Vampire…and we can help. Would you want to lose all of your family to a vicious Vampire? Come, you must see sense in something, either of you.” He looked between them and made sure to keep his guard on. He had to get one or both of them back to the Crystal House.

Edited by LoveLost

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{{I WANT TO KILL SO BADLY RIGHT NOW AGHHHHHHH.....}}

“If I may interrupt.” Xander butted in, landing down on the ground and looking around like he owned the place. His cocky attitude made Rals want to murder him. Oh great. Just great. This just makes my day even better. “The dratted things about warehouses is that they have too many entryways. Makes them far to easy to get into. But one as young as you Rals wouldn’t have a hard time overlooking that sort of thing. Far too young to know much of anything really, which is why I don’t understand how you are an Alphess.” It was clear that he was trying to provoke her, and Rals's hair bristled, and her loud growl made all of the other werewolves back up slightly. Rals was not to be messed with when she was angry. She wanted Xander to leave, NOW.

“Now, my interruption is to state the obvious. This can be a trap and if you, all of you,: he turned to the other wolves: come with me, there can be an easy way to protect all of you. Joran, do you want Rals and her wolves hurt because you refuse to go underneath stronger protection? Of course she has either stated or suspected that this was an easy place to defend, but she has probably never even come near a 500 year old Vampire am I correct?” Xander looked at Rals and as he spoke, his voice sounded as cocky as Joran had when he was hiding under the mask of a rich boy. Rals wanted to bite his face off.

“I understand that you wanted to save him from us Rals, but instead of saving him, you merely made a larger hole for this other Vampire to come and catch him, you and all of your wolves. We have information on this Vampire…and we can help. Would you want to lose all of your family to a vicious Vampire? Come, you must see sense in something, either of you.”

Rals had had enough. Her voice was full of unbridled, unchecked rage. "Now, you just come strolling in here like a cocky, arrogant vampire you are. If you didn't notice, the warehouse only has one entrance, for starters. Now, you just come here, uninvited, and start telling my pack what to do. Sure, I'm SURE you meant kindly, telling us that it was a trap. No duh! I may be younger than you, but that gives you no right to try and understand why I'm the Alphess here. As I told you before, power doesn't always come with age. Yes, I've met an 500 year old Vampire; there are vampires in Australia as well, American. Now, I want you to leave, and let me, Joran, and whoever else wants to decide whether or not they want to go with you. Now, OLD MAN, get the censorkip.gif out of here and leave us in peace." Rals said, fur starting to sprout all over her body. She only just kept herself from transforming and feeding her bloodlust.

"We came here assuming that we could all die here at the hands of the non-humans. What am I, some half-grown pup playing pretend at the role of a leader? No! I am not some half-wise American werewolf." she said, and turned to her wolves. All of them gathered around her, pack-mates that would never separate. "Now leave, old one, and leave us to decide." This is why I hate Americans. She looked to Joran. "You can go with him, if you want, or stay here and discuss with me. However, it sounds to me like he treats this as a huge game, and I wouldn't trust him with my life." Rals said, and started to head inside the warehouse with her pack-mates.

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Xander hissed whens he stated that he was being cocky, but his hiss grew louder until it sounded like it was a rushing river when she stated that he thought of this as a game. "If you think that I am cocky, then you are partially correct. I fight daily with your kind for fun and they with me for fun. And I am also cocky because you have invaded OUR territory Alphess." He took a breath and then looked her in the eye wondering why in the world she was so territorial over Joran and again, he had to remember taht there was some sort of crush that he had on her. "I'm glad that your experience speaks for you Rals but still, there are more than one way to enter a Warehouse. main entrances? sure. But this is a warehouse. If you won't come into protection, then we will not help you when this other Vampire comes. Most of the Vampyres here in the states date back to the beginning of America, and most of them are much better than I at helping....let alone not getting lost in the games that we usually play together."

 

Xander took another deep breath and realized that he had done what he did with the other wolves when he wanted to fight with them to test himself. Why did he do that? Was he really that bored with everything going on? didn't matter...would he be man enough to apologize? Yess.....great, he had to if he were to do anything to repair what he had done. It was obvious though that he didn't like to do it, but he did anyways.

 

"I will not bow my knee to one who thinks that she knows everything when her age is much less my own and of those that are older than me, nor will I listen to your orders. However, I will apologize for what I stated...it was wrong of me to provoke you as I do those that I spar with. It was foolish and I didn't realize how tense I was until then. But I am honest however, as to the safety of not only Joran, but you and your pack now that you have fraternized with him. Youa re connected to him and this man, from what we know, will kill to get to Joran."

Xander didn't seem any less of what he was as a person, in fact he hoped that the apology would be well accepted because he didn't mean to infuriate her. However, he was NOT going to listen to her and leave. And one entrance? Pushaw! He had come from one of the air ducts with a little bit of expansion at the opening.

 

"If you are truly an Alphess, then think of your pack." he said looking at the wolves behind her. There were some that seemed to be older than Rals and some that were younger. He was very surprised to see that 20 of them followed her and allowed one so young and with such an irritating attitude to lead them.

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At her words, Xander started blowing air out of his mouth, making an irritating noise akin to a cat hissing.

"If you think that I am cocky, then you are partially correct. I fight daily with your kind for fun and they with me for fun. And I am also cocky because you have invaded OUR territory Alphess. I'm glad that your experience speaks for you Rals but still, there are more than one way to enter a Warehouse. main entrances? sure. But this is a warehouse. If you won't come into protection, then we will not help you when this other Vampire comes. Most of the Vampyres here in the states date back to the beginning of America, and most of them are much better than I at helping....let alone not getting lost in the games that we usually play together. I will not bow my knee to one who thinks that she knows everything when her age is much less my own and of those that are older than me, nor will I listen to your orders. However, I will apologize for what I stated...it was wrong of me to provoke you as I do those that I spar with. It was foolish and I didn't realize how tense I was until then. But I am honest however, as to the safety of not only Joran, but you and your pack now that you have fraternized with him. You are connected to him and this man, from what we know, will kill to get to Joran. If you are truly an Alphess, then think of your pack."

 

Rals took a deep breath, and sighed. Again, this vampire was automatically assuming things that put her in a bad light. "First off, making a bunch of hissing noises isn't going to scare me or prove in any way that what you're saying should matter to me. I never asked you to bend your knee, or obey what I say? I never stated anything of the sort. Also, since when have I invaded anything? I've never launched an attack, stolen your resources, or tried to kill off anyone. I'm a legal citizen of the U.S., and according the laws of your precious government, I have a right to be here as anyone else. Furthermore, I never stated I knew everything at my age. True, I'm young, but that doesn't mean I'm stupid or as wise as the rest of you. Before you start assuming things, listen to what I am saying, and to what you are saying. Look from my point of view here. A strange vampire who I've only met once strolls in and insults me severely, questions my authority over my pack-mates, and then expects me to just accept everything and go with him, handing over a precious friend of mine in the process. I do understand the apology, though, and I accept it. Also, one more fact. Other than telling me how stupid I am, you haven't proven anything to me other than you can impersonate a cat quite well and crawl through air ducts. Before you go on about 'bending the knee', prove yourself to me first." Rals said, and she remained calm. It was true. How was his offer any different from the strange man on the email? For all she knew, it could be a trap for her, her pack, and Joran as well. She didn't know any of the Americans, and Rals didn't trust any either. Xander had proven nothing with his words.

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((wow, that was quite the argument :3))

~Joran~

 

Joran was disappointed when Rals said she'd go by herself... not just disappointed, but a bit panicked. He was about to speak up when a sudden voice caught his attention. “If I may interrupt.” Joran's look of disappointment changed to one of fear and surprise as he suddenly saw Xander appear. He automatically took a step back, and his sparkly skin paled slightly in self-defense. “The dratted things about warehouses is that they have too many entryways. Makes them far to easy to get into. But one as young as you Rals wouldn’t have a hard time overlooking that sort of thing. Far too young to know much of anything really, which is why I don’t understand how you are an Alphess.”

 

Joran just stared at Xander, blinking. He was insulting Rals... why was he insulting her? Why the heck did he even care why she was Alphess, and why was he even there? Joran swallowed, wanting so desperately to run but knowing he wasn't fast enough; wanting to attack, but knowing he wasn't strong enough. He hated elders, for this precise reason. They just talked and acted cool and bored and did things that satisfied only themselves, just like little humans did. He only got satisfaction from the fact that someday their bodies would no longer be perfect and he'd have the chance to... kill? He wasn't sure.

 

“Joran, do you want Rals and her wolves hurt because you refuse to go underneath stronger protection? Of course she has either stated or suspected that this was an easy place to defend, but she has probably never even come near a 500 year old Vampire am I correct?” Joran just stared, sparkles and all, still wondering how Xander had even found them and why he cared. Why did he care? Then Xander mentioned a Vampire who was after Joran (obviously Steel) and Joran wondered even more why Xander suddenly cared. He hadn't been pursuing them all night, had he?

 

“We have information on this Vampire… and we can help." Now Joran frowned and his look darkened. Someone had given them information about Steel, which could only mean one thing... actually, Joran had no idea what it meant and now was attempting not to panic more than ever. "Would you want to lose all of your family to a vicious Vampire? Come, you must see sense in something, either of you.” Joran had sense, yes, and perhaps this was the perfect escape... or the perfect trap. At that moment Joran felt very trapped; no matter where he went, it seemed he was doomed. Go to Mr. Brown, and he was trapped. Stay with Rals, and they'd both eventually be trapped. Go with Xander, and it would be just like going with Mr. Brown. Then suddenly Rals growled loudly and Joran stumbled back a step.

 

"Now, you just come strolling in here like a cocky, arrogant vampire you are. If you didn't notice, the warehouse only has one entrance, for starters. Now, you just come here, uninvited, and start telling my pack what to do. Sure, I'm SURE you meant kindly, telling us that it was a trap. No duh! I may be younger than you, but that gives you no right to try and understand why I'm the Alphess here. As I told you before, power doesn't always come with age. Yes, I've met an 500 year old Vampire; there are vampires in Australia as well, American. Now, I want you to leave, and let me, Joran, and whoever else wants to decide whether or not they want to go with you."

 

She was really ticked off, and Joran watched in partial amazement as she almost transformed. Her pack loyally gathered around her, but Joran stood where he was, lost in thought and attempting not to be a cowardly sparkly Vampire. "Now leave, old one, and leave us to decide." Then Rals turned to him, and he met her eyes. "You can go with him, if you want, or stay here and discuss with me. However, it sounds to me like he treats this as a huge game, and I wouldn't trust him with my life." I don't have much of a life left to trust anyone with, Joran thought bitterly. Rals began to leave, and Xander's rushing his made Joran wince and take another step back.

 

"If you think that I am cocky, then you are partially correct. I fight daily with your kind for fun and they with me for fun. And I am also cocky because you have invaded OUR territory Alphess." And then he got back to the warehouse thing. Honestly, Joran didn't care if a warehouse had one or one-thousand entrances. What was the big deal? Obviously it was an elder thing, complaining about meaningless things that made no sense. "If you won't come into protection, then we will not help you when this other Vampire comes. Most of the Vampyres here in the states date back to the beginning of America, and most of them are much better than I at helping.... let alone not getting lost in the games that we usually play together."

 

Joran just stared; now he was certain it was either an elder thing or Xander was just plain crazy. He refused that it might just be the fact that he didn't care to understand Xander and was too busy fighting the mental urge to escape the situation. More than once he had thought of withdrawing his silver pistol, but he knew that Xander's speed would easily take care of that. He wasn't even sure who he'd point it at, himself or Xander. Xander spoke again, and this time was apologizing, which confused Joran even more; Vampires didn't apologize, ever. They did what they meant to do, nothing more or less; an insult was an insult and it was meant to make a point. Of course, Xander was a Vampyre, and Americans were probably sissy like that, apologizing and all... but he was still a lot stronger than Joran. "But I am honest however, as to the safety of not only Joran, but you and your pack now that you have fraternized with him. You are connected to him and this man, from what we know, will kill to get to Joran."

 

"If you are truly an Alphess, then think of your pack."

 

Then Rals made a nice little speech that Joran thought made a lot of sense, but still left him confused. "A strange vampire who I've only met once strolls in and insults me severely, questions my authority over my pack-mates, and then expects me to just accept everything and go with him, handing over a precious friend of mine in the process. I do understand the apology, though, and I accept it." Joran blinked. A... precious friend? The very thought made him feel guilty, and he vowed that in another century or so he'd somehow forge an alliance between the Nordic lands and Australia, and he'd help the werewolves there... if he lived that long. "Also, one more fact. Other than telling me how stupid I am, you haven't proven anything to me other than you can impersonate a cat quite well and crawl through air ducts. Before you go on about 'bending the knee', prove yourself to me first."

 

Joran would have laughed, but right now his mood had dropped considerably. Instead he growled slightly and stepped up to Xander. He glanced at Rals. "Excuse me," he said to her, and then turned back to Xander. He let his Nordic accent show through when speaking. "Hey blondie," he said to Xander with feigned annoyance, "Howabout you listen to the guy who's gonna be killed before you make big assumptions, yah? Y'know, the guy who's grown up with the insanely evil psycho-maniac child-murdering Vampire that's after him? That'd be me, by the way. Once Steel figures out I'm not with Rals here he won't give dust-mite about her pack, and I don't know who told you otherwise if anyone but they were wrong unless it was Jarl Ulran himself. What I want to know is why by the stars would you care to help me? That's the stupidest thing you could possibly do if you care about your country--" Joran didn't pause, for he found talking was a good way to forget about his fear and how stupid he felt talking to someone who was twenty-five times his age and could crush him. It'd be better than whatever Steel would do, he kept telling himself-- "or anyone you know! What kind of Vampyre would put his entire country up against Russia and the Nords?"

Edited by LadyNatasha

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Good, she thought things through quickly and on the spot. It would be something that the Alpha’s would enjoy hearing about for if she didn’t respect the customs of the Werewolves of the Vampyres, then she was to be lost to them and no longer be a part of what they considered to be “valid immortal citizens”. But she didn’t know that, however Xander was starting to enjoy this banter. She was right that he hadn’t proved himself and he knew this was a part not only of her, but of the entire werewolf community. He had proven himself over and over again to Rollo and Vitoria, as had most of the general immortal population that was known about in the United States.

 

But as for Rals, he knew that he would have to prove himself to her to do any sort of conversation that was anywhere near civil. For some reason though, she reminded him of Carmandy and how the two of them became friends. It was actually the reason that he trained so hard.

 

“This is not intended as an insult Rals, but, I AM 350 years old…sometimes your old language comes back and bites you in the butt making you sound like a fool.” It was meant as a joke, but when she said that he needed to prove himself before she would really even consider talking to him, he smiled. It wasn’t dark or insane, but it was almost as if he was going to enjoy every minute of proving himself.

 

When Joran stepped between them though, Xander let out a huff of irritation. He then said this big long amount of words that were all used to state that he was the victim and shouldn’t Xander listen to him before really doing anything?“You’re right, but you had been quiet for so long, and you are quite pale beyond your natural color. Are you feeling alright? That’s beside what you wanted to say isn’t it? Please, do go on….but once you are done, I am itching to ‘Prove’ myself to this Alphess.”

Xander didn’t know why, but when there was a challenge to overcome, or when his honore or the honor of his friends was insulted, he was quick to fight. Just about every human knew him as the kind hearted photographer, but immortals knew that he was a sceptic fighter that analyzed every move. His one downfall in fighting was that his speed was slow compared to the other Vampyres but his strength was like that of the werewolves. He had trained to try and experiment with his body to find a balance between the two types of training and abilities, but had yet to find a perfect medium.

 

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~Joran~

 

The entire time Joran spoke, it looked like Xander was looking right through him. Turns out he was... “You’re right, but you had been quiet for so long, and you are quite pale beyond your natural color. Are you feeling alright? That’s beside what you wanted to say isn’t it? Please, do go on… but once you are done, I am itching to ‘Prove’ myself to this Alphess.” If anime emotes existed, blue lines would have been Joran's. Did this guy seriously just miss everything I said? Elders... I'll never get them. He's more interested in proving himself to Rals than he is in saving his own country! Argh! Didn't anyone catch the 'child-murderer' part? The only pleasure he got was from imagining the expression on Steel's face if he saw someone like Xander not take him seriously; Steel hated being belittled, which Joran thought was probably one reason he caused so much pain to others, as a sort of warning or dominance thing. Adults were weird; Joran hoped he was never like them.

 

Joran straightened and sighed, still on high alert and prepared to run but not really all that impressed with Xander anymore. "Nevermind," he said, Nordic accent still happily flowing free, "just go on and prove yourself to Rals, have fun, the world can wait, you know what's important." Joran moved himself out of the way, sitting on a rock a distance away from Xander and Rals but (unbeknownst to him) closer to where Graham was. His skin was still pale and his fangs long; just thinking of Steel, the note from Brown, and the random appearance of Xander all added to his agitation. It seemed unreal; here they were with Steel getting closer every moment, and all the three-century-old Vampire wanted to do was spar or somehow prove himself to Rals. Rals was right; it really was all a big game to them. "Hey I'm going shopping again, I'll be back soon," he called to Rals. "Don't let him prove himself with ease," he said as he turned and began to walk away.

 

He headed into the woods, his steps silent and his hands in his pockets. Yes, some time alone to think would be nice...

 

~~~

~Steel~

 

Steel had been mulling over what to bring that midnight to the woods. There was the slightest chance that Johan would have informed the Vampyres that Steel would be showing up there at midnight, and there was also the slightest chance that Johan would show up with weapons. Steel couldn't imagine why the elder would want him gone though, unless by some odd chance he happened to be a friend of Joran's. So then perhaps Johan did have information for Steel; he seemed like the type who would get bored and play games just for fun. Steel had never actually been bored of life before and had never had time for games, so the only way he could relate to that was by thinking of his old friend Ulfen, Ulran's son. Steel had grown bored of their friendship and had happily gotten his friend killed. The unfortunate side-effect had been Joran's birth, but Steel supposed that would be taken care of soon enough.

 

But then, what would he do after that? His goal in life had always been to gain more power than he had, but he didn't desire world domination; it came with too many side-effects. Ruling the Nordic lands would be nice, and perhaps he'd take over Russia after that, but what then? Steel supposed he would be bored then and would finally have to find something to entertain himself with. The very thought of being bored made Steel anxious and he growled quietly at the tree he was sitting in. Killing would get old, eating would become boring, even dissecting live prisoners would eventually be nothing but a pain.

 

Footsteps approached in the distance, and Steel stopped to listen. The footsteps followed a certain pattern, stomping and tapping and dragging and pausing. Then, after about fifteen seconds, the footsteps went away. Steel smiled; the language was only known to the Bampaia family and their thrall and was an excellent mode of communication. "I suppose we best get started," he said with a smile. "After all, there's still so many hours until midnight..."

 

Steel landed gracefully and silently on the ground beneath the tree and was out if sight in the blink of an eye.

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Graham had been patiently watching, or perhaps stalking, crouching low to the ground, still in wolf-form. His inner Graham-ness had somehow convinced himself to stay where he was and not come out, to wait patiently for the right moment to strike. And he was rewarded with information, a distraction, and the wandering-off Joran. Grey eyes glittered as the Vampire walked ever closer to him, walking forward to the woods, while he was being stalked by a predator. Of course, Joran didn't seem to notice. He wasn't as smart as Rals or Xander. But Xander had been rude and tried to deter Graham from his path. Rals merely wanted to fight him. Graham wasn't sure who he wanted to be killed more between Rals and Xander. It'd be nice if they both died in a fight between the two of them. But he had to turn his attention to his prey. They were far enough now that Rals probably wouldn't hear Joran scream unless she had followed them, which Graham wasn't ready to doubt. But it was the perfect time for action. With a snarl he leapt at the vampire, noting to himself that Joran was on edge, fangs out and skin pale to prove it. Why wouldn't he be, when he had to fake concern around Xander? That sniveling little traitor was probably worried the Vampyre had seen right through him. But Joran wasn't Xander's prey. He was Graham's.

 

"You dreadfully stupid Vampire! You think you can back-stab me and get away with it? Hah! I'll take pride as I rip your stupid flesh off. Rollo can thank me later," he growled, eyes flashing with longing and hunger. "You knew I was a werewolf all along! You! You knowingly did this! You thought I was too stupid to care! You are just playing it all up in front of Xander to save your cowardly but. It you had it your way, this whole place would be destroyed! You tried to befriend me while you knew you would have to betray me in the end! I was a pawn!" Graham howled, landing just before Joran and circling him, mouth occasionally opening and snapping shut to accentuate points. "I'll look forward to see your carcass on this ground. You put those sparkles on you to taunt me. You knew I would come to kill you, and now your last act is to deny me a kill that one would normally take pride in! You damned Vampire. I'll slaughter you for the insults you payed me. For everything you've done against me you'll lose a vital organ! I've taken anatomy class! I know how to preform a proper dissection! The only difference about this is that you'll be alive and slightly... sparkly."

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~Joran~

 

Joran had meandered quite the distance, though he kept the clearing within sight. Rals and Xander; proving themselves to each other. Joran didn't see what the big deal was, but he supposed some day when power maybe actually mattered to him he might figure it out. Right now, though, he didn't care if he ever ruled a throne. He just wanted Steel gone forever... and maybe his Grandfather, too. He sort of wished the old Vampire would just drop dead or something. He felt guilty holding such thoughts, but the more he looked at it the more he realized that his Grandfather only cared about Joran's Bampaia blood, not his very being or life... just as it had been with his father, and thus was the reason his mother had been killed. There was a sudden rustle to Joran's left and he barely had time to turn and gawk as Graham's bloody-faced wolf form suddenly leapt out and landed in front of him.

 

"You dreadfully stupid Vampire! You think you can back-stab me and get away with it? Hah! I'll take pride as I rip your stupid flesh off. Rollo can thank me later." Joran's eyes widened in surprise. Graham had followed them this entire way?! "G-Graham, I--" "You knew I was a werewolf all along! You! You knowingly did this! You thought I was too stupid to care! You are just playing it all up in front of Xander to save your cowardly but. If you had it your way, this whole place would be destroyed! You tried to befriend me while you knew you would have to betray me in the end! I was a pawn!" Joran stared at Graham, wondering where in the world Graham had gotten such ideas. Has Steel somehow met up with him and convinced him that I'm was the enemy here? Oh, boy... Graham was now circling, and Joran could tell that he was on edge. He didn't know how old or experienced Graham was, but he had a feeling the werewolf was older than himself. "Graham, I didn't--"

 

"I'll look forward to see your carcass on this ground. You put those sparkles on you to taunt me. You knew I would come to kill you, and now your last act is to deny me a kill that one would normally take pride in!" Sparkles?! It took Joran a moment to remember that he was still nice and sparkly, although he was in the shade of the trees now. He remembered his pistol, but he really didn't want to shoot Graham and wasn't sure he could aim anyway. "I'll slaughter you for the insults you payed me. For everything you've done against me you'll lose a vital organ! I've taken anatomy class! I know how to preform a proper dissection! The only difference about this is that you'll be alive and slightly... sparkly."

 

Joran was silent for just half a second, staring at Graham in disbelief. "Graham!" He managed finally, automatically attempting to hide his accent, "I'm not the bad guy here! I didn't mean to--to back-stab you! I clawed you out of instinct, I'm not that great at controlling my transformation and it was an accident! I'm not your enemy, I swear! I don't want America destroyed and I only put these sparkles on to show Rals what Edward Cullen looks like!" He gritted his teeth and backed up slightly, unable to decide whether to run or try to talk Graham out of killing him. What in the world had gone on the night before? What had made Graham so upset, so crazed for Joran's life? It had to be Steel, somehow twisting Graham's mind to make him think Joran was the enemy there. "And it's really hard to perform dissection on a Vampire, believe me." Wait, why did I even say that?

 

Joran raised his sparkly fists, prepared to defend himself against a boxing-champion-werewolf-superangry-dude. He decided to try one last time to get what he meant to say straight; "Look Graham, I'm sorry for clawing your face; it was an accident and I had no idea you or Rals were werewolves, much less from rival packs or whatever! I don't want to fight you but I will if I have to, and... and just because I'm from Iceland doesn't mean we have to be enemies, I'm not against America! P-please?" Joran was prepared to dart away; he really, really didn't want to fight Graham... but he was pretty sure Werewolves were faster than Vampires. Or were they stronger? He couldn't remember. He didn't want to use his gun either and he was rather glad Graham was in wolf form and couldn't use the gun either...

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