Location: Lachance Stronghold - Henderson, NV
Time: Late Evening
Katarina had been anxiously awaiting some news - any news at all - from the witches about Ben’s condition. Suffice to say, they weren’t readily forthcoming with such information, but merely remained quiet… aggravatingly so, in fact. Then, all of a sudden, they disappeared into a room with him, and closed the door behind them, whilst Kat had been instructed to keep out of the way. It rankled and grated on her patience considerably, and yet, for not the first time today, Kat kept quiet. She just had to keep calm, carry on and keep her head down whilst she integrated with the group at large. The other werewolves were with her, each of them swiping distrustful glances over at Kat, but she paid them no attention, preferring to examine the weaponry that she had looted from the Hounds once again, and in much greater detail. So many detailed intricacies that she had overlooked - three-shot burst, for one. She turned the rifle over and over in her hands, testing how easily it was to manipulate and hold for a long time - in truth, all to keep herself from demanding access to her stricken werewolf. She needed something to do
to keep her mind off everything, and specifically, off him
and what he must have been going through, thanks to that damned silver weaponry. She noted something else from the firefight as well, now that she had had time to think; she had not once resorted to magic, preferring to utilise the artificial firepower of the Hounds instead. It was a weakness of hers - what magic she could remember from her libraries was slow and cumbersome to bring to bear upon her foes, and in such instances as said firefight, it could have gotten her killed. And it could have hurt her erstwhile allies to boot. She needed faster-acting and more targeted spells to complement her new arsenal. She’d have to note that one down for later.
But for now, she returned her attention to the rifle. At least that was a concrete and dependable item. Not like anything else around here- the door had opened! The witches filed out, each of them sneaking a look into the room where Kat and the others had been spending their time… Yes, yes, everything is fine, now please, go away.
She watched each of the witches through furrowed brows and unblinking eyes, before getting to her feet and walking over to the doorway, checking to make sure they had actually
left the area, before walking the short distance to Ben’s location. The door was closed, but unlocked. And so, thinking nothing of it, she opened it.
She instantly wrinkled her nose as the smell of rotted flesh, putrefied essence and acidic material washed over her as though she were back at her laboratory in the Tower. For a brief flicker of a moment, her prior memories as the Countess flashed through her mind, but no more. She winked to him as he whirled around to meet the opening of the door, and closed it behind her. ”Don’t get too excited, Ben… it’s only me.”
She gave a snicker.
Ben’s shoulders immediately relaxed when he spotted Kat. He rolled his eyes at her snickering, a bit irritated at her amusement over his image. Public indecency was going to get him arrested one day if he couldn’t control the wolf. His frown deepened. Pushing the thoughts out of his head, he leaned over for his tunic and snatched it up with one hand. His back was turned to Katarina while he shoved his arms through each sleeve then lifted it down over his head.
One final tug, he then addressed Kat. “Where are we? I can’t remember much clearly,”
His voice held a bit of pain at admitting it. ”We’re in Nevada, Ben. Some stronghold of some of your witch friend’s, er, acquaintances, I suppose is the best way of saying it. Truth be told, I don’t know much more about this place than you do, only that it’s mostly safe from the arschloche that decided to fill us all with bullets.”
Kat walked over and pulled Ben into a gentle embrace. His skin was surprisingly warm to the touch, and she subconsciously made an effort to match him temperature-wise, lest he end up hugging something cold as ice. He was soaked with sweat, and the aforementioned smell hung in the air like a miasmatic cloud - in the old days, people would have fled from the room in terror, frightened that the smell would somehow infect them or sicken them. Kat knew better than that, though. And so did apparently modern humans. ”How are you feeling? A little better now that the poison is out of your system?” “Terrible, like lukewarm death and worse,”
Benjamin said as he let her hug him, unsure how to react.
After several moments, he gently removed her arms and pulled away. He jerked down the shirt to ensure his muscles were covered as he considered his next question. Once more he faced Kat. “Where’s the White Witch now and who else came?”
Kat was slightly taken aback at Ben’s reluctance to engage in an embrace, but then, she remembered his earlier reluctance to do so in previous meetings. It was a peculiarity of his; one that Kat, truth be told, had no interest in delving into at any point in the near future. She gave a half-smile, and giggled as he pulled down the shirt. ”Aww… I was enjoying the sights… That’s not good to hear about your condition - though I would know about feeling like death warmed up, huh?”
She sat down on a chair next to Ben, her nose now having been mostly innured to the scent of the… foul effusions that had marked the purge of the silver from Ben’s body. ”I don’t know where your witch friend is, actually… I saw her leave a while back, but haven’t seen head nor foot of her since… apologies. As for who else we have, I believe we have some friends of yours - twin werewolves, I think? Aside from us… nobody else. The French bitch scarpered shortly after we escaped from Vegas - she got us into that scheißsturm and then she vanished into the fucking night, with that robot thing that went with her. She, ah, how do you say it, brought the heat on us? And then ran like the coward she is.”
Kat sighed and rubbed her forehead - she herself had not fully recovered from her own injuries, though Ben had suffered much worse, and Kat was acutely
aware of such matters.”The other twins, the man and the woman, they also left shortly after we escaped. I don’t know where any of those who left are, though… Knowing the French, though, I bet that one fled back to France, as they always do…”
Benjamin looked at Katarina with a hard set jaw, “Why do you say she had something to do with the goons that showed up?”
It was odd that a publically hostile group against supernatural would show up right after they met Odette. However, he had doubts she was suicidal enough to risk her own safety and nearly get them all killed. His neck hairs rose up at the thought of Odette causing him to growl in his throat slightly before he cleared it.
Taking a moment to calm himself, his eyes turned to Kat, “I have get my inner wolf under control. This is getting hard and I’m going to be found out if I don’t. I don’t want to end up in a laboratory somewhere being cut open or experimented on.” ”Ben. Think about it. This woman shows up bragging about her unimaginable power, only for the damned Hounds to show up, seemingly from nowhere, and engage us with heavy weaponry, and weaponry specifically designed to deal with us, ja? I mean, come on, I’ve heard of coincidences, but gottverdammt that’s too much, too convenient. Either she’s being followed and dealt with, or she… she led them to us. Either way, I don’t trust her one bit. She’s dangerous and I don’t like it…”
Ben’s following statement raised Kat’s ire, however - of course, the humans still were suspicious of werewolves… superstitious fools. Cut up in a laboratory somewhere? ”Not if I have anything to say about it, they won’t...”
She cocked her head to one side and narrowed her eyes - maybe there was some way that Ben could be taught? It would have to mean giving him over to the witch, and maybe the werewolf twins in the next room… but it beat Katarina trying to teach Ben herself, on a subject about which she knew precious little other than what she had briefly read and witnessed in person. ”I suppose the others in our little group could help with that. I don’t trust them either, but if you do, then I’ll go along with your decision…” “I’m not saying she’s innocent or didn’t have something to do with it, but self preservation is a thing. If I’ve learned anything from Daniel, it’s never to jump to conclusions until you have evidence. It just makes things messier.”
Clearing his throat again, his eyes turned to Kat. He noticed the blood leaking to the surface of the clothing from the now obvious bullet wounds causing him to inwardly groan. Benjamin gritted his teeth a moment before he spoke. “Did you even get looked at? At all?”
Kat sighed and shook her head. He was right, of course, jumping to conclusions such as that would only really serve to engender distrust and dislike between the members of the group - which for all they knew, might have been the purpose of the woman’s visit in the first place, and they could ill-afford fractious tempers at this point in time, particularly after the Hounds had wrought their bloody havoc. Speaking of which, the dull pain from her bullet injuries was back. It was a mild discomfort… well, perhaps mild was a slight understatement. They still were sore
. She winced under Ben’s gaze as he asked the question she hoped he would not. He had a way of turning on the interrogative capability when he wanted to.
Of course she hadn’t sought any attention for her own wounds. His were worse at the time, and he wasn’t a vampire able to regenerate with the sinking of his teeth into a vein. She felt like laying that on him… but decided against it. ”N-no... I didn’t think it was necessary at the time… h-hey, most of the shrapnel worked its way out! I… uh… I think.”
Oh dear. Not the best defence of her inaction. Probably could - and should - have phrased that better. She offered a hopeful smile! “You’re going to make me take care of you, aren’t you?”
Benjamin said the words in an annoyed tone, but the way he said it held a hint of threat. One that unofficially made it clear he wasn’t just going to let her walk away until those wounds were taken care of.
The hopeful smile had not worked. Damn. ”What do you mean by that? I’m sure these will be fine by morning… right? It’s only a bit of metal.”
It was not
just ‘a bit of metal’. And it hurt. A lot. But she was committed to the ruse now - and besides, his wounds were still worse than her own! Never mind that Kat
, the vampire
was the bloody rearguard for a group that included a giant robot thing and several werewolves… and that she’d done that to get Ben to safety as quickly as possible. Contradictions abounded.”Though… maybe I do need taking care of… this is actually quite painful.” “Yeah,”
Ben sighed then sat back down on the bench.
His hand reached for his collar then loosened the tunic around it enough to expose his skin. He turned his head until she could get a full view of the artery and added. “Come on. Let me get you fixed up before you pass out on me.” ”Benjamin, no! You’ve only just recovered from what they did to you, the last thing you need is this…”
Kat’s demeanour quickly recovered from the initial shock of Ben’s idea on how to ‘get her fixed up’. Of course. This was the only actual way to get it done, without injuring anybody else or infecting them with the Kiss. Kat sighed and shook her head, irritated at her need for blood - her own weaknesses coming to the fore once again. ”But… ugh… Fine.”
She got up from the chair and walked over next to him, nuzzling her head into the gap between his head and his shoulder. And then, with some degree of hesitation, she bared her fangs, and sank them deep into his flesh, his warm vitae draining from the wound down her throat, a surge of energy flowing through her torpid veins. The bullet wounds ceased bleeding, and began to close over as she slaked her thirst.
She withdrew her head from the bite area, and wiped at her mouth. The bite site itself closed over quickly, to avoid too much sanguination. ”I wish I didn’t have to do that…” “And I wish I wasn’t a werewolf, but that’s not how the world works,”
Ben pointed out as he wiped away the remains of his blood.
He didn’t mention he felt weaker than before. Kat would only mother him and he couldn’t handle that right now. It didn’t stop him from twisting about then laying his head against her lap. “I think I need some sleep before we do anything else.”
He yawned. ”I’ll say…”
Katarina stroked his hair as she closed her eyes… It would be good to catch a decent amount of shut-eye.