Location: Just outside of Reeves Estate
Time: Morning (2 am +)
Benjamin and Katarina walked for another half an hour before they arrived at Ben’s estate. The stone masonry gave it a more gothic appearance than most locate houses and wasn’t helped with its sharp architecture, for once making the boy painful aware how much it stuck out among Hudson Valley. Not wanting to draw out the unpleasantness, he began to walk to the glass front doors and raised his knuckles to rap sharply upon the frame to be let in. He didn’t exactly remember taking his house keys with him when he literally leapt out of his second story window into the pool.
The interior lights came on one by one as he could hear someone-likely Lorrie- scrambling about. A feminine figure gradually made her way toward the foyer and open the door.
“Who, in their fucking right mind, would be knocking this-,” Lorrie’s voice abruptly stopped when she spied Benjamin standing to one side on the steps. Immediately her sleek, dark grey eyes narrowed on her would be step son causing her lips to press tightly for a moment. After it passed, her tone became sharp and commanding, “What in the world are you doing out here Benjamin Ethan Reeves! Do you know what time it is? Past midnight. Do you know who could’ve seen you running around like some juvenile delinquent. Do you know the effects that would have on your fath-”
Before she could call Daniel father or get farther in her ranting at him, Benjamin coughed. He then tilted his head toward Kat’s direction. Lorrie glanced into the figure standing behind him and her eyes widened in surprise, clearly not expected a younger lady behind him. The tension in her figure gave Ben a slight and subtle pleasure to know he caught her off guard, her outburst making a scene in front of someone that could’ve been connected to someone important. Lorrie wasted little time trying to recover from her would be step son’s first move in their little chess game, her tone faked a motherly and apologetic tone toward Katarina, “I’m honestly sorry. I didn’t see you there. Come in both of you, we’ll call your parents and Benjamin and I will have a discussion over his behavior…”
As Lorrie turned to head inside, Ben looked at Kat, “Now you see what I wanted to avoid this… so after you.”
He gestured with his hand for her to go first.
Katarina seethed as she watched this ape, this… veritable harridan chastise Ben in such a manner. How dare she be angry with him instead of looking after his well-being, instead of making sure he was alright, he was healthy, fed and watered? It reminded Katarina of her own parents - the Graf and Grafin von Rysech never overly cared for her own welfare, and most often entrusted her to that old letch Revinskas… the things he must have dreamed of doing, they made Katarina shudder with disgust, which she quickly disguised as a shiver in front of the humans. Katarina could see what Benjamin was saying about his parents - more concerned about themselves than their progeny.
“Ben, you might not like what I’m about to do. If you want, I’d look away.” She shook her head and looked at the woman with a slight snarl - she was planning on playing the dutiful little companion, but her disgust was such that she felt like she needed to set things straight immediately. Instinctively, she looked directly into the woman’s eyes, and her own eyes glowed red, two dim beams of light streaming forth from her dead pupils into the woman’s… Katarina connected instantly with the woman’s mind, implanting her own thoughts and commands, smashing through whatever weak will the woman could muster up in response.
“Du wirst so etwas nicht machen. Du wirst uns hereinbringen. Du wirst nicht von diesem Ereignis sprechen. Du wirst uns nicht stören. Du wirst über dein Leben gehen, als wäre nichts passiert. Verstanden?” The woman slowly nodded, repeating after Katarina. “I will do no such thing. I will take you in. I will not speak of this event. I will not bother you. I will go about my life as if nothing happened. Verstanden.” Kat looked over at Ben, and winked. “Didn’t I tell you I could move aside even the stubbornest obstacle?”
Ben’ eyes tightened in order to try to decode what Katarina meant. His attention shifted to Lorrie whose head turned back to Kat and suddenly went slack, any sense of awareness gone from her figure. It was bizarre to see on a woman with an utter value on presentation just standing there like a mindless doll. When Kat winked at him, it began to slow click together what had happened and some sort of mind influence or control was in play here. For a moment, it made Ben uncomfortable. Not because he secretly cared for Lorrie, but he got the sense that if Katarina had the motivation to, she could easily abuse this power on him. There was a slight nagging that maybe she already did.
On a gut feeling, he inhaled a quick sniff. That familiar scent, close to Rune and Katarina herself, sparked into his memory causing him to relax. Through he didn’t have a clear memory, his instincts told him she had been kind enough not to use this ability on him while she spoke German earlier. This made him relax a bit through observing the aftermath was still uncomfortable and strange to him.
“Well, that is a useful trick. It give me an idea, mainly to make things easier for what I need later,” Ben said as he entered the house after Katarina, his hand gently shut the door behind him with a soft snap, “Think you can insert the idea and sense of need for a few days trip to Las Vegas, Nevada? I have some business there that I rather not become a missing child in order to accomplish it.”
As he stepped farther in, he then added, “I also don’t think you need to bother with Daniel, he won’t notice me coming in this late unlike Lorrie. To be honest, unless we encounter reporters or other media, I don’t exist to him. Something I prefer often enough.”
Katarina frowned. An odd request - Ben had made several of these odd requests, that was for sure, but she supposed he had his reasons. And her best chance to start making it in this new, modern world was to stick with him, and go along with him. She nodded after a brief moment of hesitation, and then looked back into Lorrie’s slackened face, ready for new instructions. “Wir müssen nach Las Vegas, Nevada gehen. Widersetzen Sie uns nicht. Fragen Sie uns nicht. Stellen Sie sicher, dass auch niemand anderes tut. Verstanden?” Lorrie once again nodded and repeated after her. “You need to go to Las Vegas, Nevada. I will not oppose it. I will not question it. I will ensure no others question it. Verstanden.” Katarina nodded. “Sie können jetzt gehen.” Lorrie sloped away, seemingly uninterested in anything else around her other than Katarina’s instructions. Hopefully they would last long enough for Katarina and Ben to leave for Vegas… Hopefully.
Kat walked over and leaned on a wall, glancing around at the house, whistling slightly in satisfaction. It wasn’t the Tower, but it was likely to have a lot more creature comforts, if the modern world was anything to go by.. “Nice place you and your family have. Whereabouts will you be putting me? In the basement so I can be an evil monster who spooks the children if they don’t go to bed early? Rawr.” Katarina growled mockingly and scratched at the air towards Ben. “Or do you have somewhere else in mind? Of course… I don’t sleep, so it doesn’t actually matter where you put me per se, just interested… that’s all. Some place I can indulge in Kaffee und Zigaretten… The only vices I allow myself nowadays.”
“Unless you like cliche horror movie themes, but I figured you were too classy for the basement. Through you’re going to have to explain what Kaffee und Zigaretten is as I don’t speak German,” Ben stated. His eyebrow raised in question, his face turned to Katarina and sized her up, “As for places, we have either the downstairs guest room or as I mentioned back at the school, my upstairs sanctuary. It’s private, got an extra shower and you won’t have to encounter Daniel or Lorrie until we’re ready to leave.”
He let her digest the information he gave before a loud growl rumbled through his stomach, causing him to casually avert his eyes sight and consider how to escape long enough to satisfy his hunger. With the multiple shifts, his metabolism had burned a lot of energy causing him to require much more than was normal. He also had a craving for raw meat as well, unsure if Emma had set anything out ahead of time or if he would have to defrost something.
“Movie? What’s a movie? You’re going to have to explain about as much to me as I will have to explain to you at this rate. As for your question… ah, my only vices nowadays, coffee and cigarettes. And if I can get it, chocolates - schokoladen in German. I keep forgetting you don’t know my language… I might have to restrict my use of the language around you, save you getting confused over what I’m saying or doing.” Katarina stretched, her joints cracking in several ways that joints… perhaps shouldn’t really crack. She rolled her head about, almost as if trying to loosen some tension in her neck, and then looked back at Ben. “Probably for the best of us both if I go upstairs with you - keeps me out of the way of your bösartig kleine schlampe... no, you don’t want to know what I just said. Besides, we can get to know each other better that way. You know…” Katarina gave a derisive chuckle. “Yes, get to know this random vampire who just appeared out of nowhere and now you took back to your place. It sounds so odd when you put it like that, right? Sounds… almost absurd, but then again, life is absurd. In wonderful ways.”
“You’re talking to a teenager who just pretty much discovered I’m a freak among the supernatural and have a very uncomfortable connection to what I believe are ghosts. I’m getting a little worn out over surprises popping up randomly. Personally, I’m expecting a giant, pink elephant to be sitting in my room right now at the rate my day is going,” Ben answered honestly. He lead the way toward the spiral stairs leading up to his lofty bedroom where he suspected it to be a complete mess from his transformation. Unless the Agency officially cleaned up the mess, he figured he would have to literally block the broken window in his room and still needed to satisfy his hunger.
Katarina started up the stairs, but quietly, so as not to disturb those who perhaps were sleeping in the house. Like Ben’s father, perhaps. “I’ll see if I can find these quarters of yours you’ve mentioned… I assume from that noise you’re getting something to eat? Ah, the advantages of a blood-based diet…” Katarina snickered and climbed the stairs.
“I’m going to see if I got any meat upstairs, first. Then I’m going to raid the kitchen down here but I’ll likely have to defrost it in the microwave. Besides, someone needs to show you what a movie is and keep you occupied.”
When they finally reached the room, he lead her from the loft through the gym and into the media room. It looked like every tech junkie’s dream with surround sound system, two forty two inch screens on one single wall and more. He gestured for Kat to follow him toward the couch and big screens where a small snack bar was stationed nearby making this room seem like a homey mini theater.
“Just take a seat and I’ll pop in a DVD you can watch while I get something to eat.”
When Kat sat down, the lights dimmed and suddenly the screens flickered on with moving pictures.
Katarina watched, agape, at the screens. They had pictures. Moving pictures! Was this magic? Had technology really progressed to the point where one could watch what might as well have been moving paintings on a screen? Maybe they could see what was going on on the other side of the world, perhaps. Ben had mentioned something called a DVD… and a microwave… a kitchen obviously she knew about, but in her day, kitchens were still mostly separate from the main living quarters, in their own building, although in some areas such as England or the stately homes of France and Italy, the kitchens were an addition to the main building instead of their own construction. It would certainly be an interesting time. Katarina got to her feet and walked over to a pile of small plastic boxes, which had pictures and names written on them. One of them struck her interest - one of these ‘DVDs’ with a strange red-clad man… called ‘Deadpool’ on the front of it. Frowning, Katarina opened it and saw the circular disc that, too, had the same picture on it. “Interessant…”
“If you want to watch that movie instead, hit this button and place the round disc into the tray completely flat. Then press the button again before making your way to the couch. The DVD is set that it will begin to play the movie almost immediately. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to grab something to eat,” Ben commented as he moved toward the nearest mini fridge to rummaged through for something to eat. There wasn’t much that he was carving as he originally suspected. He sighed, then grabbed a soda from the top counter before he popped the tab and set it on the table where Kat would likely sit. The brand was Dr. Brown’s soda and black cherry flavor too. He guessed she might enjoy the red color and strong cherry flavor.
“I’ll be right back. I think I smelled a steak thawing down stairs, there’s more soda in the mini fridge over here. Some snacks in the bar over there, just help yourself if you’re able to eat that sort of thing.”
“Mmm, will do. Thank you… again.” Katarina followed the instructions that Ben gave her, and marvelled as the DVD began to play its contents. She sat there, fascinated by the technology more than anything else, and then she got to her feet and rummaged through the snacks on offer. She took out a bag of what were called ‘potato chips’ and a bar of chocolate, and then went back to the seat, taking a sip of the drink that Ben had set in front of her. Recoiling in surprise and slight bewilderment as the fizzy beverage buzzed on her tongue and in her mouth, Katarina took in the taste and smell of the drink. Highly artificial, but very palatable. Modern food had been much improved since days of old. She knew that her consumption of mortal food would end up strengthening her thirst for blood, but she didn’t care. She was safe, with a handsome man all to herself, in the comfort of modern technology.
As far as she cared, nothing else really mattered at that moment.
About less than half an hour later, Ben had returned with about seven packages of various meats. It all ranged from skirt steak to bottom rounded roast, most of them heated in the microwave enough to thaw and completely raw. His nose twitched but the aroma wasn’t appealing to him compared to fresh meat causing his stomach to twist in reaction and already judge the priorly frozen meat before he had tried it. Mentally Ben made a note to start stocking his mini fridges with his own meat reserves in the future through that was bound to get costly.
Slamming the door shut behind him, he then moved toward the nearest table and dropped the hoard he had managed to find. He tore into the two skirt steaks first by ripping the thin plastic top and began to rip off chunks to satisfy the hunger. There was still hints of ice in the center but he bit back the chill sensation in his teeth and continued to devour it like a piece of jerky. He plopped beside Kat to watch the movie while he ate.
Katarina kept an eye on both the movie and Ben as she watched him devour his food hungrily. She had been munching on the snacks that Ben had provided for her, and now as he flung himself down on the couch, Katarina gently shifted over to lean slightly on him, watching the film intently. She sniffed at the air - it was heavy with pheromones, Ben’s cologne and… probably something else he wore, her own perfume and the smell of meat. So many scents, so much in the air. She leaned her head on his shoulder and smiled. “Thank you once again for your hospitality… So. What do you need to go to Las Vegas for?”
Benjamin paused in his eating, noticing the closeness of Katarina. Truthfully this was the closest he had ever been to the opposite gender, at least one that wasn’t a snobbish witch, and for a moment his mind went blank to the answer to her question. After it passed, he relaxed then debated on telling her. Seeing little harm in it, he decided to be mostly honest with her, “I owed two guys a favor, which they asked I help them with a job in Las Vegas. I hate owing people as I don’t like being dependent on others, so I figured I would return it by giving them some help in locating what they are looking for.”
He took another bite, his teeth tore into the beef and felt the cold blood dribble down his chin a bit. He lifted up to reach for a napkin to wipe it away the liquid before he shot and sank the crumbled paper into the wastebasket. Ben laid back into the arm as he then asked Kat a question of his own, “So, after you got out of the coffin what happened?”
“After the coffin… mmmh. Not my finest hour. There I am, in front of a whole load of gawping mortals who were looking at my coffin as the exhibit it was. I did some theatrics, and then some security guards ran over… guns drawn. Now, bearing in mind I’ve just woken from a 400 year nap, my thought processes were a bit murky. So when one of them went to open fire… well… I…” Katarina faltered and sighed, looking down at the ground. “I killed him with my bare hands. And then slaked my thirst… because that was my instinctive response. And then things went from the sublime to the ridiculous. There was this girl… no idea what her business was, but she… she had Excalibur. You know, the ancient famous British sword from the days of the Romans? She had the sword, it was right there… and I thought she was one of the Grail Knights. But no… just some girl who was the reincarnation of King Arthur, allegedly. And some magical sorceress-type, who of course called themselves Merlin.” Katarina took a drink of the soda. “And then after they showed up, they took me to this… pocket dimension thing which I didn’t completely work out how it worked, but it had a huge library.” Katarina smiled and nodded. “There I learned a lot about the modern world… and then I looked you up. American werewolves. And so… After that I decided to see if I could track you down, and the rest is history.”
“You killed someone?” Ben leaned back and absorbed the fact, his eyes glanced up at the ceiling as the words echoed in his attention. It seemed first times were crappy for everyone. He was lucky, he only went on a joy run through New York or shifted at the wrong time like in the museum. As far as he knew, he hadn’t killed anyone. The thought hit him as a memory, hazy and unfocused, jarred across his attention. A dead woman, a large Alpha wolf and the encouragement to devour human flesh. He shuddered realizing that despite his self control, even werewolves were able to take a life.
After the slight pause in the conversation, Ben spoke again, “I guess first times are shitty for everyone, uh?”
Katarina could smell his blood, and the blood of the meat that he was eating. She thirsted. She had been using much of her energy to conjure up her magic in the necromantically-weak areas of this city - she’d have to look into that later - and she needed to recharge. But she couldn’t simply go and find someone to feed upon… or feed upon him… could she?
As if reading her mind, Benjamin then asked the most daunting question he dared to, “Is feeding a regular thing for you? I mean do you need to?”
Katarina’s gaze fell to the floor. “Yes. If I don’t… then I die.” She looked over at Ben, a mournful expression marring her features. “I tried for decades in Neuhausen to free myself from this curse. All I could do was create a chalice that was ever-filled with blood… so I never had to feed on the common people. I lost the chalice during the Fall… So now I’m back to square one. All that time and effort wasted.”
“Alright, answer me a few questions: Does it have to be living blood? Any type or a specific one? Any requirements?”
Katarina looked back at the floor in front of her and sighed. “From my research, and this might only apply to my breed of vampire, but I don’t know… But it must be human or of human origin… and it must have come from a living or very recently deceased person. It must be iron-based.”
“Look, I’m not trying to make you uncomfortable. I’m trying to figure this out,” Ben explained as he continued to puzzle the problem in his head, “How are you feeling right now? You have fought recently and anything else you can tell me?”
“Ben… You… You’ll know the answer I’m about to give.” Katarina looked back at him, and shook her head, before continuing. “That last fight… took a lot out of me. I need to feed. And soon.”
Ben fell into silence once more. His head turned to the video and watched the scene, the part where the character went through series of torture in order to active his mutant powers. At the moment, he found himself relating in a moral sense before he spoke, “As much as I hate Lorrie and Daniel, I can’t really allow you to feed on them… that only leaves one choice…”
Letting the words linger, he then turned to her, “Me. So, that’s settled and now my last few questions are related to how in the world do we do this and is there anything I need to know before we do?”
“B-but… you…” Katarina sighed and bared her fangs. “I haven’t fed on a living being in 400 years. I don’t even *remember* what happens. I do remember it getting quite heated though, so we should probably be prepared for anything. I also remember both parties enjoying it… quite… a lot...” She cocked her head to one side. “Shall we find out?”
Ben arched an eyebrow in question at her statement that both parties enjoyed it quite a lot. This time when she bared her fangs, he wasn’t fazed and managed to hide the shudder that ran up his flesh. It wasn’t anything against Kat, but a natural reaction to the primal fear that ran in his human veins. His head leaned upright as his hand scratched the back of his neck lightly in hesitation, “Alright, fair point as many people can’t even remember beyond a week. So heated and enjoyable… that sounds an awful lot like sex. There’s one issue, I’m not sure how my ‘wolf’ is going to react to this whole experience. I don’t think you want me shifting in the middle of feeding so...shit.”
He leaned his head back and pressed his palms to his eyes, rubbing them a bit to relieve the tension in his head, “Bad part, there’s no other choice is there. I really don’t want you to die or feeding on Daniel or Lorrie, the media aftermath would be a nightmare.”
Benjamin inhaled then raised his head back upright, “Alright, but if I turn then keep me in the room no matter what. I don’t really want to wake up naked in the middle of someone’s backyard later.”
“This will be as much an experience for me as it will be for you. No promises about how we end up, but I’ll do my best to keep things under control.” Katarina slowly approached Ben’s neck, before taking several deep breaths. After some deliberation, she finally took the plunge… and sank her fangs into his flesh.