Big-Ass Meeting From Hell

[Balance Without Fault] [folks, clarification — sorry if this shuts anyone out, but of the Garou, only Tribal and Auspice alphas are invited. of the kin, everyone can come.]

[Balance Without Fault] Unsurprisingly, the Brotherhood of Thieves is the venue for tonight’s meeting. The restaurant has been closed, the front door locked and hung with a PRIVATE PARTY sign. The tables and chairs have been rearranged into a large circle.

Balance Without Fault enters alone, unaccompanied by his packmate or the Warder. In true Glass Walker fashion, he’s in suit and tie; he looks crisp and sharp, and it’s just a little jarring to see him like this. So normal, like a trader from the Chicago Stock Exchange coming for an after-work drink.

He takes one of the two wingback chairs. The other is immediately cleared away. That says something about how much this is or isn’t a casual discussion where rank does not factor in. Hint: it isn’t. He confers quietly with Jenny for a moment, then, who leaves the room and soon returns with … a magic eight-ball, of all things.

Those nearby can hear her ask, “Will this do?” They can see Balance Without Fault’s mouth quirk into an amused smile as he accepts it.

“Perfect,” he says.

And then he claps his hands together, three time, calling for attention.

“Welcome, everyone. Thanks for coming. Here are the rules tonight: one speaker at a time. He or she who holds the magic eight ball,” and he holds this aloft, “speaks. No one else.

“Keep a respectful tone, particularly to those of greater rank. For those of equal rank, the Auspice Council holds precedence over the Tribal Alphas. For kin, those with renown hold precedence over those without.

“In case of dispute, we will not go to challenges because of the mixed crowd. A Philodox will be called upon to mediate. If mediation fails, I am the final arbiter.

“Anyone violating these rules once will be given one warning, and one only. After that, you’re out of the meeting, and your viewpoint will be disregarded. The staff has kindly set up refreshments in the kitchen. If you feel yourself getting hot under the collar, go get a drink and come back when you’re calmer.

“Now — settle in, everyone. The meeting will formally begin in,” a glance at his wristwatch, “five minutes.”

[okay folks, go ahead and post in if you want to! otherwise we’ll just assume you’re here. BwF will open the floor shortly!]

[Balance Without Fault] [erp, change that to read: “After that, you’re out of the meeting, your viewpoint will be disregarded, and appropriate judgment will be rendered.”]

[Jackson Montgomery] [[Not posting in]]

[August Grant] August had arrived early. She wanted a good seat. By some reason – she thought that this might end up turning into a good show – and she wanted to be in the front row.

The Coggie kinfolk had dressed up for this evening. She wore a soft pink colored sweater with a V-neck, a pair of skinny jeans and dark brown heeled boots. She no longer attempted to hide her belly which was beginning to swell. There was no point any longer. And, against one shoulder, her little one, Ella, slept peacefully. {Who was gonna watch the kid afterall, all the kinfolk were here!}

She really had no intention of saying anything – she was just here to listen. And maybe eye a certain young man who she kinda had a crush on.

[Leon Davenport] Leon arrived at the meeting, not entirely sure if he should be there but being there nonetheless. He had annonced that he was gonig to take the Glass Walkers kin under his protection and no one challenged him. So, guess it means he was the tribe’s Elder in some way. If not, well Balance Without Fault will kick him out. Better to presume tonight than miss honoring your duties.

He was dressed nicely, in a dark, striped suit with a blue shirt and tie. He walked in, looking around, bowing slightly to BWF and Lukas, nodding to to Gina and Jackson, mostly ignoring the rest. Either he didn’t know them or..didn’t care to acknowledge them.

[Rain McKellar] August had company in the early arrivals. Another Unicorn, this one with dark hair and no babe in arms. The songbird is bereft of her usual company, no dark case at her side, no voice to share with the others. She’s wearing her best, dark jeans and a neatly pressed white button down. Though her warmth could be infectious, could spread to fill a room even this wide and this full of faces, Rain kept that charisma and that smile and that presence quiet tonight. She takes her seat with her Tribe, folds her hands in her lap, and watches the others filter in and settle themselves.

[Joey] [I won’t be posting Quinn in unless she has something to say, but she’s there!]

[Balance Without Fault] As soon as Balance lays eyes on August’s baby, he beckons Jenny over. The Fianna kinswoman bends as the Grand Elder lifts his chin, speaking directly to her ear. After a moment she nods, walks across the floor, and offers August an apologetic smile.

“Miss, the Grand Elder wanted me to take your baby upstairs for a few hours. There’s a lotta Rage in here and we don’t want your little one havin’ nightmares. I’ll leave her with Reuben; she’ll be in good hands.”

[Izzy Montoya] Unsurprisingly, it’s the goddamn Brotherhood Of motherfucking Thieves where they decide to have this little powwow. Izzy can count the number of times she’s willingly set foot in this establishment since her imprisonment here on one hand. Hell, on two fingers if she counts this time, though it’s not exactly willingness that has her here. It might be considered curiosity, but more likely it’s a simple thing:

Kora asked. Izzy came.

It says something, that. She’s a respect for The Jarl, (Not her[i] jarl, [i]the jarl. A minute difference that means something to Izzy alone), for the Last Watch. She’s dressed as she always is – business casual, with her weapon a bulge at the small of her back under her blazer, her hair down, her expression… well. Expressionless, other than a slight jump of the muscle at the hinge of her jaw, where she clenches her teeth together briefly, sets her jaw, lifts her chin and enters.

And gets a drink. No way is she sitting through this stone cold sober. No fucking way.

[Hunter] Hunter Matthews stalks through the door with his pack-mate and a certain bone-gnawer kin while everyone is still milling around. Seats are taken, Hunter remains silent.

[Balance Without Fault] [folks, it was pointed out to me that kieran was the only uktena in town, and ergo the default uktena alpha. if anyone has him in AIM, call him back in!]

[Gina McClaren] *Gina’d come home late, but that hadn’t stopped the pikey from being in the kitchen and underfoot since early morning. The more time she spent at Jenny’s elbow, the more likely it was the saintly blonde would let slip the secrets to her cranberry oat-muffins. As folks file in the Strider pickpocket finally emerges from the kitchen, long hair bound in a messy loop off her neck, floury hand marks on the dull black of her skirt, tank top askew, a smudge of icing sugar across a caramel shoulder. She hops up on a stool near the back, as far removed from those of her tribe as she can get. God knew her voice would carry if she had anything to say in earnest. Those she knows get nods of recognition, and a worn smile.*

[Carter Roth] Carter is present, but he remains close to the exit his hands deep within his pockets and his eyes wary and mistrustful, he didnt know what this was all about and he didnt like it one bit.

But he was here, as a test of himself and a test of the garou, to see what they were up to. He couldn’t very well pass up that now could he.

[Carter is here, but I may not be going to be on and off]

[Rosie] The certain Bone Gnawer kinfolk finds a seat near or by or somewhere in the vicinity of Hunter. She sits: quiet and unobtrusive.

[Amunet Knezevic] Amunet made her way in quietly, several minutes before the meeting was to start. She’s in her own jacket, and the iPad has been left at the condo. She remembers very few times in her life when she has been this nervous. When so much has been riding on a single night.

Moving to the far side of the room, she finds a spot where she can watch the comings and goings, back against the wall to protect herself from surprises. Her eyes flicker around the room as it populates, but the only one they rest on more than a second or two is her sister.

[Holden] A grizzly bearded Fenrir takes a seat out of the way, he doesn’t suppose he will have much to say so the distance does him well.

[August Grant] Oh good! Someone to watch the baby! August likes Jenny – afterall, they spent a lot of time hanging out in the kitchen when August lived here..

The young woman gives Jenny a smile. “Of course.. I didn’t have anyone else to watch her.. Thank you. Tell Reuben she might be hungry..” Ella gets a kiss on the side of her head and the baby is lifted from her arms and offered out to the kin.. a moment later, the diaper bag is also offered out.

[Starla Navarro] There is a painted Unicorn that has joined the others, Starla following on Rain’s heels easily, ducking her head down as she finds a seat next to her tribe mate. Dark head lifting to look around, skirting her eyes across the room at the faces that were familiar and not; the freckles dance across the bridge of her nose and her left cheek. She tucks her hands in her lap, leaning to the side to nudge Rain’s shoulder with her own.

[Kyle] (Not going to post for Kyle unless he has something to say or someone asks him questions other wise he’s just doing his usual watch and listen routine ūüôā )

[Bridget Geroux] The Canadian Fianna kinfolk finds herself at this gathering in her usual state of confusion. She doesn’t look quite like she knows what’s going on. However, she doesn’t appear to be under the influence of anything. She wears a simple black maxi dress, gathered at the waist by a beat-up leather belt, a hunter green jacket covering her bare shoulders, and of course her combat boots.

Bridget finds a place to sit where she can stretch her legs: she knows she’ll probably want to fidget if the Rage gets a bit much. She also wisely follows Izzy’s lead by getting herself a small glass of whiskey. She returns and smiles at the few here she recognizes and is on good terms with: Hunter, Gina, Kyle, Sarita. The Fianna kinswoman does her best to control the feral urges to move around while surrounded by so much Rage.

[Kora] A cool spring evening; spring already, light lingering in the west far longer than she had remembered. The heavily pregnant Fenrir – eight months, perhaps more? – pushes past the private party signs, into the familiar restaurant interior. Her hair is twisted into a loose braid, strands pulled free by the wind. Kora is slower than she was; careful of her body. She walks with her shoulders pulled further back to balance the weight of her stomach. Which is all the more evident when she strips off her winter coat and sets it aside on a coat tree, wrapping a hand-knitted scarf around it in a winding pattern.

She finds her way among her kin, but does not take a seat. Instead, she remains standing at their back, her feet shoulder-width apart, her arms crossed – below her breasts, above the swell of her stomach. There is an expectant tension in her spine and shoulders, and a firm set to her jaw.

[Derek Anderson] Derek came in, dressed in pants and sweater, his kind blue eyes looking around. He bowed respectfully to Balance Without Fault, did the same for Lukas and walked around, greeting those he knew a little with a nod: Hunter, Amunet, Gina, Matthieu and Jackson when the last two arrive.

He nodded and smiled slightly at Sarita when he see her. Izzy received a grin when he pass her by “Hello Detective”

His attention then was on August and Rain, offering htem a warm smile and walking to them “Good evening ladies, I hope you’re doing well”

[Danicka Musil] [I’m totally making Damon post Danicka in with Lukas. I’m in the middle of eating. :p ]

[Wyrmbreaker] Punctual, Lukas arrives moments before Balance lays down the protocol for the meeting. And not in his own car but in Danicka’s, riding shotgun while scarfing down the last of whatever dinner they went out to. Looks like lamb-stuffed cabbage.

Getting out, anyone looking out the windows can see him stepping out of her car, buttoning his overcoat against the wind. He moves ahead to get the door; she laughs, running a few steps after him, which makes him turn around, which gives her the opportunity to lean up and wipe a dab of tomato-based sauce from his cheek. And kiss him.

Public displays of affection out of his system, Wyrmbreaker is somber and dignified, walking in the door. He sees that his wingback chair is taken, the other cleared away. He goes to sit by the bar instead, where Danny hovers with a nervous grin.

“No drinks here tonight, Mr. Wyrmbreaker. Grand Elder says all the food and alcoholic drink is to be served in the kitchen. Nothing but ice water here.”

Lukas huffs a laugh under his breath. “Not a problem, Danny.” He takes a seat on a barstool, shifting one a little closer for Danicka.

[Matthieu] Matthieu arrives on time, even a little early. Ever the peacock the lovely Silver Fang arrives just in time to display the finely crafted suit that he has doubtless poured six months of your average man’s salary into getting each and every thread just right. His entrance was as much a display of his tribes divine right as it was a display of his own natural beauty. Not only was he the representative of his Auspice on the council now but he also stood as Alpha of Harrier’s grace. He was a living representative not only of his tribe but his house as well. Ever regal and dignified. His skin was smooth and pale and his hair looked as if it had been kissed by the golden rays of the sun itself. Falcon’s child carried with him the legacy of a house, and the history and hopes of an entire nation.

He listened to Balances without Fault and nods in agreement with the rules. He was here to listen, and to speak when it was needed. Tradition would be the focus of his reasons for being here. Support of tradition and remembrance of ancient ways. His blood ran hot with the memories of a past tens of thousands of years old. A creature of the modern world and yet still firmly grounded in the wisdom of eras ling since passed.

He keeps his eyes forward most of the time. However, when he is finally seated his eyes do drift somewhere to the back. His eyes drawing in to focus on the Strider kin hiding in the back. Pausing to give his own acknowledgement of her presence. His eyes take the time to wander, perhaps linger, and the act brings a slight smile to his lips a smile which might or might not be shared by the both of them. None the less… His eyes were hard pressed to pull themselves away, and in fact he didn’t see any reason to draw them away until the meeting officially started.

[Joey] Joey enters with Hunter and his kinswoman, but once they’re through the door departs their company to sit closer to the rest of the auspice council. A smile is offered to those she recognizes, dim compared to what it used to be, an upward nod to Balance Without Fault, and Lukas.

Once she’s settled, she seeks out Hunter, meets his gaze, and grins.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He looks a little bit intimidated, all things considered, as he walks into the meeting. He finds a place to sit. His shirt is a lovely shade of light purple; his jeans are black. His flip-flops, a lovely shade of maroon. Lukas’ words make his head swivel, and his eyes widen. Food? No… ice water. He slumps slightly, disappointed, as he waits for everything to begin.*

[Balance Without Fault] [Sorry for the confusion – “no drinks here tonight” was spoken by Danny, bartender kid NPC kin! I’ll try to keep all my NPCing in this name.]

[Delilah Marciano] Back of the room, quiet as a dormouse; the Glass Walker makes an appearance. Dark hair gathered up from her shoulders, she sits alone at one of the tables in the back of the room, whichever was closest to the front. The phone in her hand muted as she set it on the table, dressed in dark charcoal pantsuit with red pinstripe. Silvery gaze focused on those around her.

[Kieran Mondblume] ((Ahh hell. *smacks forehead* My bad.))

[Balance Without Fault] When everyone has settled, Balance Without Fault picks up the magic eightball and speaks again.

“Okay, let’s come to order. Some of you might be wondering why this meeting was called. The reason is simple: over the last month, there have been more rumors and murmurs of kin discontent than in the past five years. Furthermore, there’s been a troubling trend toward Kin thinking of themselves as separate and distinct from the Garou when we are all part of the same Nation. I wanted to dispel the rumors, clear the air, set a basic infrastructure down, and move on from tonight as a re-unified force.

“With that in mind, let’s hear from the kin first. What exactly are your concerns or complaints at the moment?”

He tosses the eightball toward the first kin to call for it.

[Adamidas] Adam slips in and, for the time being, keeps her mouth shut. She doesn’t draw attention to herself, or the fact that she left the bathroom with a pop and keeps herself quietly nestled in.

[Balance Without Fault] [For latecomers who missed it, this was BwF’s protocol post —

“Welcome, everyone. Thanks for coming. Here are the rules tonight: one speaker at a time. He or she who holds the magic eight ball,” and he holds this aloft, “speaks. No one else.

“Keep a respectful tone, particularly to those of greater rank. For those of equal rank, the Auspice Council holds precedence over the Tribal Alphas. For kin, those with renown hold precedence over those without.

“In case of dispute, we will not go to challenges because of the mixed crowd. A Philodox will be called upon to mediate. If mediation fails, I am the final arbiter.

“Anyone violating these rules once will be given one warning, and one only. After that, you’re out of the meeting, and your viewpoint will be disregarded. The staff has kindly set up refreshments in the kitchen. If you feel yourself getting hot under the collar, go get a drink and come back when you’re calmer.”]

[Amunet Knezevic] [Dibs, unless anyone is going to claim it?]

[Balance Without Fault] [whoever types fastest, man.]

[Balance Without Fault] [and on that note, since we’re a scene of twenty-seven right now — let’s try to keep posts short and snappy. i know i’m one of the chief offenders here, but i’m really going to try to keep responses to

[Joey] [yeah that’s pretty short!]

[Amunet Knezevic] “Balance Without Fault Rhya.” Deep breath, Ames. “My name is Amunet Knezevic. I am that one that placed the notice on the board, and the one who has been organizing the willing kinfolk. I believe that this in part may be the cause of the perception of discontent. I would like to clear up any confusion, as our intentions may not be as clear as they should be.”

[Balance Without Fault] [okay, i changed my mind — go ahead and call dibs if you have a longer post to type so you don’t lose your chance. but i’m gonna say you have 10 min from the time you call dibs to get it out, just to keep things moving!]

Balance nods. “Let’s hear it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[She says she’s almost done, it’s a biggie!]]

[Danicka Musil] The Happy Couple — and frankly, they are, however smirkingly saccharine the nomenclature — comes in together, but they leave their more obvious public displays of affection at the door. Danicka is wearing a knee-length gray skirt and knee-high black heels, beneath which are a pair of stockings that extend a little higher than the boots themselves. Her peacoat is doffed when she comes in, hung over the back of a chair no one is using that’s been shoved over by the bar. Underneath is a casual, gauze-thin sweater of seafoam green, laid atop the hint of a camisole. There’s a white applique in some abstract pattern to one side of chest of the sweater, but all of this is just [window] dressing.

Danicka Musil is not the most renowned Kinswoman in Chicago. Not by far. But she is the most renowned Kinfolk here. The Garou, if they ever mention her to each other, if the spirits ever talk about her, don’t talk much about how many fomori she’s killed or that one time she shot a zombie or so forth. She’s known to be brave, to be a Good Kinswoman. Mostly, she’s known to be wise. Granted, when she comes up, it’s hardly even by name. Garou call her Wyrmbreaker-rhya’s mate. And they say that Wyrmbreaker-rhya’s mate is clever, isn’t she? Oh yes, I’ve heard she’s a bit of a bright one.

It’s childish. It’s condescending. But that she is known to be anything at all beyond the mate of an Adren who has not yet given him a child, and that her reputation is solid as a Good Kin is impressive at all. She can’t cast rites, she can’t learn gifts. She can just be… a clever little thing. Good job, Wyrmbreaker. Now stop dicking around and knock her up.

When the magic 8-ball is first offered to the kin, it’s Amunet — rightly so — who reaches for it. Danicka, perhaps there just as a show of support for her comrades, perhaps just because she’s supposed to be there and she’s obedient, turns her eyes towards the Strider she met with last night, her murky green eyes interested. Thoughtful.

[Amunet Knezevic] “My intention is to gather the interested kinfolk in a network that will help the Trueborn, not work against them. Among the first concerns that are being addressed are training and information.”

Her eyes flicker to Sarita, then back to Balance. “It is necessary for us to be able to contact one another easily, not only in emergencies but in everyday circumstances where one of us may need another’s expertise. One of the first projects will be a listing of the kin and their contact information. This will be heavily guarded, not because I don’t want the information to be accessible but because I understand the danger of this type of thing getting into the wrong hands. Cordelia and Jackson have volunteered to begin this process, and to make sure that the information is secure.”

Our second focus is going to be self defense training. We are human, at the end of the day. We can’t count on the Trueborn to be our protectors when they have a war to fight. Carter has extensive self defense training, and he has offered to run a boot camp of sorts for those who are interested. As with everything that we are working toward, it will be voluntary. I don’t want to force any kin to join us, or accept any sort of training except for the third focus.”

She stops for breath. “I would like to see every kin trained in basic first aid. This accomplishes two purposes. Should any of us be injured, there will likely be someone close by to help. Again, we are human. We don’t heal ourselves, and we are out in the world. The dangers that we face come not only from our enemies, but from the people that we are surrounded with every day.

I’ve seen an amazing number of Trueborn that are more than willing to step up and heal a kin that is injured. This is honorable, but wasteful. Again, we are at war. We could be attacked at any time, and should that happen, which of the kin would be responsible for sapping a Trueborn’s gnosis by being healed out of panic or unnecessarily. Prepared kin are kin that are not a drain on the Nation’s resources.”

Her fingers run in her hair nervously, and she licks her bottom lip before continuing. “I’ve been in a Sept that was attacked. I have a clearer understanding of what happens than some of the kin do. I watched kin die, because no one was able to triage them. I watched kin die, because they had all become complacent and lazy and spoiled by well meaning Trueborn. I have friends here. I don’t want to see the same thing happen again. That is why I’ve made this move. That is why these three goals are my first”

[Balance Without Fault] “That’s all well and good,” Balance replies as the eightball comes back to him, “and I’m glad to hear you’re trying to organize the kin. See to it that the Warder has a list of these kin and contacts as well. Areas of specialization, too, if possible. We had something like that for a while, but the parties responsible for its maintenance drifted off.

“Regarding self defense and basic first aid — that sounds like a wise investment. We’ve got a few kin who are accomplished physicians. You might want to get their input. As for self defense, Imogen Slaughter’s known to be a crack shot. Izzy Montoya and Derek Anderson are both with the police; surely they know how to handle a gun as well. You might want to seek their services as well.

“But all that aside — Amunet, you’ve told me everything that’s working. Or that you want to be working, at least. I’m asking why I keep hearing murmurs of discontent.”

[Amunet Knezevic] “Some of the kin that have shown interest are not content, Rhya. Trueborn have become accustomed to dictating to us, and the kin have become accustomed to allowing it. Not only here, but other places where several of the new kin have come from, bringing their biases with them. This has bred discontent. I am in no way suggesting that we should be treated as equals. The fact is that we are not. I would suggest though that we are kept informed, so that when decisions are made and passed down, they do not seem arbitrary and dictatorial. Your kin are willing to work together with the Trueborn, Rhya. We just need a path to follow.”

[Balance Without Fault] Balance Without Fault considers Amunet a moment. Then he sweeps a glance around the room.

“I don’t want to put you under a microscope this early in the night, Amunet.” Maybe that’s a joke. The half-smile says it is. He raises his voice, “Let’s hear from someone other than Amunet. Kinfolk of Maelstrom, this might be one of the few or only times in your life that the Elder Council and the Tribal Alphas of an entire Sept are gathered, silent, with open ears — waiting to hear from you.

“If you’ve got issues, bring them forward.”

[Jackson Montgomery] [[DIBS!]]

[Izzy Montoya] She hadn’t intended to talk. In fact, she hadn’t intended to make a sound at all, but at that, she snorts. Audibly. But that is all, as she starts the ritual search through her pockets for her cigarettes and lighter. she finds both – but doesn’t put them to use other than to keep her hands busy.

After all – smoking inside is against the law.

[Jackson Montgomery] He stands, perhaps unexpectedly, and goes to claim the magic 8-Ball. “I think, if I can speak to this, that a lot of the reported discontent is simple due to the fact that some of the initial ideas being brainstormed are coming out and they aren’t even formalized yet. And some Garou have been volunteering their involvement…which is great. There’s been an impression that this is quickly becoming Garou vs. kinfolk, and that’s not the case.

“The thing is, when a lot of Garou get heavily involved in this, even in the planning stage, it belies the fact that it goes right back to the idea that the kinfolk are relying on the Garou instead of standing on their own. I’ve been talking a lot with Amunet about this, and we’ve come up with some good ideas. And at no point are we trying to push this into two separate factions. But the old saying goes, too many cooks spoil the soup, and there are a lot of kinfolk even as it is with very different viewpoints. We absolutely plan to make this a thing where we’re all involved in the same mission, but we need an actual plan in place for what we’re doing before we start implementing that and integrating it with the Garou side.”

[Balance Without Fault] Balance Without Fault’s eyes swing immediately to Izzy. When he gets the eightball back, he tosses it toward her.

“You sounded like you wanted to be heard, Izzy. Let’s hear it.”

[August Grant] August shifted in her chair. It was slightly uncomfortable for her to sit in the same position for too long these days. A slender hand rubbed at the side of her belly – perhaps where a persistent foot was intent on kicking her. She didn’t say anything.

No matter the extent of her past issues with this Sept.. in her mind, all were resolved as well as they could be at the moment. And, given that her cheating, lying, deadbeat, no good, s-o-b of a former mate had fled, she was a happy camper. Her gaze did shift to her tribesmate as he stood, however.

[Nash] Oh crap when did he get here.

Nash, who most here don’t recognize but for the breeding that pegs him as one of Fenris’s Kin, slips in quietly as Amy is discussing her desire to see Kinfolk trained in first aid. He works his way around the room to stand near Kora and tries to get his happy ass caught up while his player does paperwork.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He watches, back and forth. From Amy, to Jackson, and then to Izzy. Waiting, really, curious about all of this.*

[Izzy Montoya] She arches a brow, ups both her cigarettes and lighter into one hand and still catches the 8ball with a negligent ease. There are some things that become inherrant when one works in a male dominated workplace – like catching random objects being thrown at her.

She waits a moment, then two. She doesn’t look to Kora for permission as some might. She looks to no one – which is not unexpected from anyone that knows her in anyway at all. She is, and always will be, her own person. He wants to hear it. So he does.

“It’s bullshit. You sit there and say you want to hear, you want to fuckin’ listen, and it’s all fuckin’ bullshit. Not a one of you give two shits about what we do or don’t do, unless it directly involves you. Not a one gives two shits about what we might have to do for you in our jobs, what we might have to compromise in order to save your fuckin’ asses in a world you think you’re above – even while declaring you want to fuckin’ save it. Not a one of you.. not even Kora, whom I’ve grown to respect, did shit all when I was beat by one of you, imprisoned here of all fuckin’ places, and sent to work with injuries so severe that half my department wanted to come after whoever had fucked me up with guns blazing. Not a one of you gives two fuckin’ shits – and this is all a fuckin’ sham.”

He hears it. Both barrels.

She points at Amy. “That bitch has been lookin to get her goose cooked since she got here. And the latest scheme? Good god. she’s gonna get us all fuckin’ killed. And likely not by the enemy. Discontent.” she snorts again. “I won’t fuckin talk for anyone else – and don’t you dare speak for me either, I can get my ass beat all by myself – it doesn’t matter what you say here. In the end – you all will do what you want, and I’ll do my fuckin job just as I always have, and do a goddamn good job of it. I’ll cover my ass, your ass, everyone’s ass who I can manage to cover – but don’t expect me to believe that – for one fuckin second – you give a good goddamn what happens in the world we have to travel through every goddamn day. You don’t. You haven’t yet – and one night won’t make it so.”

To her credit though – not once does she raise her voice. If anything.. she sounds… tired.

[Danicka Musil] [Dibs!]

[Balance Without Fault] “Keep your tone respectful,” Balance says evenly. “That’s your only warning.”

That’s all he says for now. He lobs the eightball toward Danicka.

[Gina McClaren] *Restless as Striders were wont to be, Gina hops down from her stool, sashays into the kitchen, and fetches herself a couple of deep-fried wontons filed with hazelnut chocolate and cream cheese.
She pads back into the room midway through the detective’s speech, and settles on her stool once more.

Izzy finishes up, and Gina’s expression darkens a moment.

Then the detective has to use those finely honed reflexes again in short order. As a pikey whistles sharply then overhand tosses a wonton to the weary Fenris kin. Whether in agreement or simply in a bid to get her to cram it – only the guttersnipe herself knows.*

[Nash] Nash claps a few times after Izzy finishes. Not a purposefully sarcastic Slow Clap, but it is a bit on the slow side anyway. He seems to be favoring his right wrist. It lasts a few seconds, and then he stops at the Grand Elder’s warning to keep a respectful tone.

[Hunter] Holden wanders through the room to stand next to Nash and the other Fenrir. He gives a nod to the equally tall man from the north [south] along with a grin of approval.

[Hunter] [OOPS]

[Izzy Montoya] She catches the wonton. Easily.

And manages not to point out that she WAS respectful. For her.

[Danicka Musil] Everyone in the room is free to judge according to their own perspectives what it says about Danicka that when Balance Without Fault lobs the 8-ball at her, she doesn’t even try to catch it. She actually flinches somewhat out of the way, and it’s Lukas who snatches the thing out of the air, handing it to her. Some will call her oblivious that she doesn’t seem chagrined or embarrassed as she takes it from him. She’s a slender sort, not remotely athletic from the look of her.

Sometimes Garou hear of what she’s done to minions of the Wyrm, see her, say, Her?

Holding the ball in cupped palms, she speaks up for the first time, her tone clear and level. She addresses Balance Without Fault. “A lot of what Detective Montoya just said is true. Amunet, as well. We aren’t… like you,” she says, though in a tone that suggests even she realizes how weak that statement is, how far it falls from encompassing the truth. “No matter how much we care about our families, about the world we live in, or about the war — and I think all of us do care, though to wildly different degrees and in different ways — we don’t form ourselves naturally into packs. We are not asked to give everything, a hundred percent, to fighting this war. For Garou, the war is everything. Anything else is marginalized, because it has to be.

“For Kinfolk,” she goes on, “it’s the opposite. We live our lives. I go to school, Detective Montoya goes to the precinct, August feeds and diapers her children, Gina dances, we all… have a life. The war, however important it is to us individually, often comes as an intrusion to the rest of who we are and what we do.”

Danicka quiets for a small pause, clears her throat, but doesn’t give up the 8-ball. “Sometimes when we get hurt, Garou come running. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes when there’s a fight on our doorstep, we have to fight it because there’s no way to run fast enough. Other times we have to give it up as though that’s the natural, only course of action.” Another beat, this one for effect more than to breathe. “The truth of what Detective Montoya says is this: most, if not all Garou, spend the majority of their time focused on things that have nothing to do with us. We are expected to carry on by ourselves without them, unless they show up. And if they do show up, usually without warning and sometimes even without need, we are expected to drop everything to obey them.

“-Rhya, all of us have our own prejudices and biases and differing levels of committment — as well as angst. All of us care. But the discontent comes when we are kept to the sides all of the time, then told to shut up and submit the moment a garou ten or twenty years our junior shows up and acts like they’re our protector. I think what Amunet and her alliance are trying to do is to increase our involvement so that at least the marginalization is lessened. But the discontent is already there. The frustration. The affront, frankly.”

She stops there. She could go on. But she’s talked a great deal, and she silences for now.

[Bridget Geroux] [Dibs]

[Danicka Musil] [Other times we have to give it up and let the Garou fight for us as though that’s the natural, only course of action. GAH!]

[Kora] Nash comes in; the Skald gives him a side glance. It lingers a long moment longer than it otherwise might; then her attention is back on the center of the room. The thin cotton of her extra-long tunic pulls over her shoulders, muscles bunching with a subtle tension, mostly withheld. Her long braid swings down the dip of her spine. A faint lift of her chin, watching Holden weave through the room to join the tribe; a brief glance in Gina’s direction follows after, before her attention returns to the center of the room, following the movement of the eight-ball to Danicka. Once, she shifts positions. Widens her stance, leans further back, relieving some of the unending pressure on her spine. Uncrosses and recrosses her arms.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget sighs when it comes around her direction, careful to look at the eight ball when she holds it up. “Balance Without Fault Rhya, thank you for putting it in the light that we are all a part of the Nation. My name is Bridget Geroux. I know that every Sept is different, and I don’t have any expectations, but the Sept I am from is much smaller. We know each other well, and there is structure. Here, I don’t see the unity. I see reluctance, pain, anguish, and I see anger and pride disconnecting us from one another. Kin from kin, kin from tribesmen… and I wouldn’t presume to understand what goes on among Garou, but if that same disconnect exists on that level… it worries me.”

“And despite the recent bonding efforts to organize the kinfolk, I see a disconnect there as well. It’s a great idea, a great application, a wise and honorable action, but even with the application, I notice those same destructive traits. Just last week, I noticed a separation when a well-meaning Garou was not trying to interfere, but possibly trying to bridge gaps between Garou and kinfolk within Amunet’s… organization, fellowship. Whatever it will be called. And the way she jealously guards it and some others have just jumped on without gauging the situation seems too much like a Jonestown situation to me.”

Bridget takes a breath, exercising great efforts not to swear or fidget. “Maybe this is my own experience, but since I’ve moved here I have never felt more disconnected to my tribe despite my attempts to bridge gaps. At what point should I just go about my business, despite everything my father taught me? I’m… going to open myself up here and speak as truly as I possibly can, but it hurts me to have such a tentative relationship with the other Fianna.”

“This is all perhaps touching on the path Amunet spoke of, but I wouldn’t presume to speak for anyone but myself. I’m not good with a gun or first aid, but I know how to survive in the wilderness with nothing… I know how to work crowds, to work a public social setting. I know I’m not useless, but I feel that way when it comes to the Nation when my offers and talents are dismissed so quickly and without regard to its usefulness. I know how to stand well enough on my own, and I’ve done as much as I can to contribute… but I feel as if there is no point when I’m told to stay inside, discouraged from doing what I’m good at, and still held at such a distance. It’s all too condescending.”

Bridget looks to Izzy now, then sighs. “In a lot of ways, I feel exactly like no one gives a damn whether or not we all rot, what we have to go through or put up with and barely even a hint of recognition, if any of that even matters. I feel like many of us are just a bunch of wild things kept in guilded cages. If you keep any living thing from doing what it’s supposed to do, that’s not a life worth living. I don’t know what else to do but be discontent when I’m expected to stay out of the woods, don’t go make music or connections, don’t spend so much time out in the world doing what I do. I can follow orders, do what needs to be done, but I’m not a machine.”

[Balance Without Fault] [dibs!]

[Balance Without Fault] “I want to take a moment to clarify the purpose of this meeting.

“Jackson, I heard you about needing to get the kin coalition in order before plugging it into the grander framework of the Nation. I agree. Bridget, Izzy, I’ve heard from you both that the way things are going in the coalition are not optimal at the moment. But we’re not here to discuss the kinfolk coalition alone. We should address it more thoroughly, and we will — in a moment.

“We’re not here to discuss how Garou interface with the world, either, Izzy. We’re not here to change the way Garou and kin interact, because that — as Danicka points out — has been set for thousands of years. As you yourself have pointed out, it won’t change in a night.

“As much as you may feel downtrodden and unappreciated, realize that every last Garou in this room, on this planet, will die before age thirty. And they give this sacrifice so that you have a human world to interface in, just as you sacrifice your job and career and human life to support these Garou. The sacrifice goes both ways. And while you might not like it, we are in the end Gaia’s army. There is a ranking order, and it is dictated, ultimately, by our renown.

“But I digress. What we can do, what I want to do here tonight — specifically, without speaking in broad terms and vagueries — is to address points of discontent amongst the kin. I have specific incidents in my mind that I want to discuss, but I want to hear from the kin first.

“If nothing else, no matter how she brought it up — Izzy has noted some sources of discontent for herself. For that, I thank you, Detective Montoya.

“She Who Offers Sorrow, your kinfolk has raised an complaint about the way she’s been treated in the past. She says she’s been beaten and unfairly imprisoned. See to her concerns. If you decide her past punishment was just, then so be it. If it was unjust, make amends as you best see fit.

“Before we move on to other topics, are there any other specific grievances the kin wish to bring forth?”

[Rain McKellar] [Dibs, please!]

[Danicka Musil] Her eyes flick to the Grand Elder when he brings her up, gives at least one interpretation of what she said. She doesn’t ask for the 8-ball again though.

[Balance Without Fault] [erp. “will MOST LIKELY die before age thirty.” seeing as how BWF is like… 45.]

[Carter Roth] [Dibs after Rain]

[Jackson Montgomery] [[“You’re all gonna die before 30…except me. For I am Elite.”]]

[August Grant] {Very short dibs after Rain + Carter}

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita could be accused, often, of not taking things seriously enough. When your deed name is “Echoes of Laughter,” it’s a natural course of people’s thoughts on how you will react. She’s stayed quiet here, sitting near her Alpha and watching…listening. She doesn’t give anyone a particularly strong reaction when they speak. Amy gets a slight smile; Izzy a little frown. The others, she remains even-tempered, thoughtful.

The Strider is doing her best to listen and learn. She’s not even tapping her toe to some sort of tacky dance pop crap.

[Rain McKellar] The girl who rises to claim the magic eight ball next has nothing in her blood that calls out to her Tribe. She has no renown among them. Cloistered as she is with the rest of Unicorn’s kin, this gives some suggestion as to her allegiances.

Catching the eight-ball is only part of the struggle, here. And before she addresses the Grand Elder, her glance slides sideways to the Fenrir Jarl. Her shoulders square, and she calms herself a bit.

“Mr. Grand Elder, sir,” she begins, and her voice rises easily above the gathering. Unexpectedly warm. Captivating, it calls attention to her in ways that might surprise them.

“My name is Rain McKellar, and before I was kin to Unicorn’s chosen, I was Lost.” She says this plainly. “The places I have been treated their kinfolk much differently than here, and I appreciate that you have called us together and allowed us to air our concerns.

“I have no complaints about how I have been treated by my Tribe, nor by the pack that I live with. My Family has been good to me, perhaps better than they should have been by some of what others have said tonight. If I can help in any way, so that kindness and shelter can be extended to others, please let me know.”

Here she swallows and looks down at the eight ball for a moment.

“If I have any complaint it is that, in the intention of being helpful or showing their concern, some True offer up conflicting information. I am concerned about the thing that is hunting Kinfolk. I would like to know, plainly put, what best I should do to protect myself and to help your war efforts. If this has already been communicated to the Tribal and pack Alphas, then I will seek answers with Mr. Roman or Miss Kora.”

She walks across the circle to hand back the eight-ball.

“Thank you for your time, sirs and madams.”

And then Rain retakes her seat.

[Wyrmbreaker] [Quick dibs. And sorry, Lukas is pulling rank to get it for a sec!]

[Wyrmbreaker] Wyrmbreaker, who has thus far sat quietly except to catch the ball for Danicka, raises his hand after Rain speaks. The eightball comes his way.

“I can answer that for you, Rain. The specifics of what kin should be doing is up to each Tribal Alpha. Obey whatever order they give you. As a general rule, I’d strongly suggest getting to a place where you’re protected by the Garou of your tribe. If there’s no such place available to you, come to the Brotherhood.

“As far as I’m concerned, you can chance it on your own if you really don’t want to move. But I don’t suggest it.”

Carter’s hand is up. Lukas tosses the eightball his way.

[Bridget Geroux] Seeing as her concern over being told specifically not to do what it is she does, what she’s good at, was basically glossed over, Bridget goes and gets herself something to eat. She needs to gather her thoughts for a second, fidget as she needs to with all the Rage in the room, before the Fianna kin can take her seat again. There’s a lot to think over.

[Carter Roth] Carter had had quite enough at this point. If no one would take up that magic 8 ball and speak the voice of the malcontent then he would. He strode forward taking the eight ball for himself and turned to face the garou who were gathered all powerful, all alpha’s or elder’s in their right and he held the eight ball in one heavy hand as he spoke.

“I refuse to be ruled by those who will not see me as their equal.” He lets those few treasonous words sink in as he looks across the garou, his eyes falling upon kin in equal measure. “In many places, by many of your kind we are treated like Chattel, little more then servants waiting to be used. I will not argue that here I have seen generous activity that would enrage the masters of these places for that you should be praised. But it is not enough.” He shakes his head slowly.

“Unlike the detective, who will stand and do her duty even as she knows your disregard for the kin who work tirelessly beneath your gaze. I will not, not without equality.” He pauses. “Without it, we are susceptible to every monster of your kind, every garou who believes we ARE nothing but here to serve your whim. Tell me why we should accept our lot as it stands, tell me how it makes sense that such actions continue unabated against those you call your allies, your lovers, your friends. Is an ally told to be silent because you do not like his tone? Do you force a friend to become the mate of another simply because of what lies within their veins?” He lets that settle there, lets it hang, many knew of such instances, quite often they were regular occurances.

He takes another moment to look about. “We are all capable, we are all skilled in our own ways. But we are marginalized, we are shunted aside till we are expected to serve and we will hold our tongues and be greatful for it. I will not.” He looks at Balance Without Fault. “You have said yourself that these things will not change, that they have existed for thousands of years, change it, if you hold to any future that means something for all of us…change it. You wished to hear of discontent, there it lies.”

Carter lets the 8 ball go then and he takes his place against the wall once more. His gaze even and suspicious as it was when he first stepped forward.

[Matthieu] [If I can I’d like to call Dibs after umm August!]

[Kieran Mondblume] *He is waiting, listening to all of the opinions, and he is starting to look a little concerned.*

[Nash] [Dibs are for the weak! (I’m sorry!)]

Nash doesn’t bother with the eightball. When he speaks, after Lukas and Carter have gone, he has a heavy Southern drawl. His voice isn’t terribly loud, and like Izzy, he sounds tired.

“Kinda telling, ain’t it?” he asks. “You got two Kin waiting to talk but a Trueborn can just butt on in?”

[Balance Without Fault] [BWF takes the eightball!]

[Izzy Montoya] She says nothing more – but she does step to the side and light up that cigarette after all. Someone can call the cops if they’ve got a problem with it.

[Amunet Knezevic] “Because we are NOT equal!” She snaps it, then falls instantly silent again.

[August Grant] August swallows. Did she really.. really want to go after that? Geezus christ – she was rather surprised when there wasn’t fur flying.

Once the magic-8 ball was gently -passed- in her direction, the young woman stood. She cleared her throat just a little, trying to work up the courage to speak in a room full of this many important people. She never quite looked the Elder in the eyes, but.. was looking somewhat towards him, maybe at his feet. {oooh.. where’d you get those shoes?}

“Rhya.. s.. since you wanted to know about the discontent from us.. I figured I should mention mine. My mate, up and left me for another, knowing full well I was already carrying a second child for this nation. His child. He left with me with no one to protect me and my cub. The mere fact that no one at the time thought this a grevious act was insulting. It bred resentment.. and.. until I found allies within my tribe.. ” she motioned to those seated near by, “I wasn’t at all content. Things have resolved at this point and I am fine with my lot in life. But things like that – ignoring these big giant world tearing apart events – is going to drive a wedge between us.”

A brief pause. “That is all.. thank you for your time..” A hand smoothed her sweater over her belly and she again took her seat, passing on the ball.

[Starla Navarro] Starla’s head snaps up, she turns and twists in her seat to stare right at Amunet, her eyes narrowing on the kin that snaps out her words. The corners of her mouth flatten into a thin line as she glares at her.

[Balance Without Fault] [this comes before August — sorry, but BWF would immediately react!]

Balance Without Fault snaps his fingers for the eightball. He confers briefly with Kora, gets a name, speaks.

“Stick to protocol, Nash. You too, Amunet. Next time you two step out of line, you’re out.

“In case you missed it the first time around: don’t speak without the eightball. Rank and renown takes precedence. In the event that rank is equal, the Auspice Council takes precedence over Tribal Alphas, who take precedence over the Garou, who take precedence over the kin.

“And I’m sorry, Carter, but there is no equality in the Nation. We are not a democracy.”

It passes on to August.

[August Grant] {Damn, my bad – my screen didn’t refresh. Augusts posts AFTER BWFs}

[Gina McClaren] *Gina makes a noise in her throat thats something along the lines of a pissed off gurgle. Fingers scraping through her hair and across her temples as her head falls backwards in utter frustration. Talon hands coming away from her scalp and settling on the bar with some force. *

[Danicka Musil] [Dibs, when… okay I’m not sure what the list is for dibs, but! Put me on it!]

[Delilah Marciano] Delilah eases out of the chair she sat in, her hand drops to the phone sitting on the table, picking it up and stares down at the screen for a brief second, and then tucks it away inside the inner breast pocket of her suit jacket. She is tall, only because of the advantage point her heels provide her, she stands with shoulders squared back and chin tilted up.

The woman doesn’t exactly command authority, but there is a coolness in her demeanor. A calm, collected disposition that expresses patience, clearly her gesture to stand, instead of sit idly and listen meant she had something to say. She is an unknown face, a stranger to the kin that have served this sept in the past and now in the present.

[Calling DIBS!]

[Rain McKellar] Rain’s arms are crossed low over her middle. Her expression is somewhat anxious, but when she looks up to August as the other Gaian speaks it is with as much support as she can muster in this tense environment.

[Carter Roth] Carter frowns deeply at Balance Without Faults words and he shakes his head, an angry look flitting behind his eyes.

[Balance Without Fault] — and the eightball comes back to Balance.

“I’m sorry to hear you’ve been so ill-used by your former mate, August. Tell us the name of this Garou so that we all know his dishonor.”

The eightball goes back to August.

[Dibs list is currently: August, Matthieu, Danicka, Delilah.]

[August Grant] “Paul Kellogg. He seems to have .. left..” She’d rather use the word fled.. “the city.” And once again, the eight ball is passed on.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget stands at the doorway, listening to the conversation while munching on part of a sandwich. The tightness to her muscles and the smirk on her face expresses her discontent with the line of conversation. She takes a glass of ice water over to Carter and leans against his side. She offers the frigid beverage to the other kin, the corners of her mouth turning in a slight smile, an expression that simply says: here.

[Kora] Kora listens as Rain says her piece; her arms tighten when Balance Without Fault directs her to see to Izzy’s complaint. The look she gives the Grand Elder is direct, her expression ironic, but not wry. When Carter speaks, the heavily pregnant Fenrir audibly rolls her eyes (seriously, Nash can [i]hear/i] it). She flashes him a look when he speaks up. Except for the obvious tension, the expression is quiet, animal, unreadable.

[Starla Navarro] Starla clucks her tongue against the roof of her mouth, shaking her head. She looks over her should at Kora, catching the eye-rolling expression of the Jarl. She turns back in her seat, shifting closer to Rain and draws a comforting arm around the kin’s shoulders, hugging her.

[Jackson Montgomery] [[Add Jackson in after Delilah]]

[Derek Anderson] Derek listened, standing near Rain, August and Jackson. He owuld have loved to stand with people from his tribe but Sasha and Katherine weren’t there, Gabriel wasn’t invited and he didn’t rally knewMatthieu except glimpsing at him at the loft the other night.

He looked relax, hands in his pockets. He had nothing to say about all this really. He has been well treated by his Tribe, other Garou and kinfolks he has met. Well Remy was a jerk but even then, it went pretty ok when he met him. He knew some people had problems with Garou, that some had bad experiences in the past. He wasn’t one of them. Maybe it’ll come, maybe he’ll be like Izzy or maybe not. But for now, his life was good.Maybe he didn’t need much, or maybe it was his upbringing, butr he was..ok with the way things were.

[Joey] When the meeting first came to order, Joey sat looking slightly away from the circle, her head moving nearly imperceptibly to the beat of some rhythm in her head. As soon as the eight ball started going around, though, her attention was on the people in the room, her dark eyes moving from speaker to speaker. For the most part, she just watches, listening attentively. She’s silent, even when Izzy speaks up about her punishment, though there’s a tension to her brow, a slight downward turn to the corners of her mouth. The frown doesn’t leave her face, in fact worsens, especially when August speaks up, the kinswoman so obviously pregnant. Joey knew her mate, knew him for the filthy son of a bitch he could be, and not for the wisdom he supposedly held in the Nation. The fact that he would abandon his mate was hardly surprising to her, but infuriating. Wasn’t August the girl he’d once mistaken Joey for? What a prick.

[Carter Roth] Carter takes that glass with a nod to Bridget as great a thanks as he could give at the moment, and sips it, still looking displeased but for now…silent.

[Matthieu] When the 8ball comes his way he stands in his usual regal posture before kin as well as his peers. He takes the time to acknowledge all who choose to look at him with a smile before speaking up and addressing the others present.

“I hear kin speaking about unity, and about working together and about organization. So allow me to speak up and please do hear what I have to say.”

“Harrier’s Grace was founded under the idea that the Mortal world is an important one which we garou have little direct grasp upon. In the heart of a city as large as Chicago we stand in an awkward position where mundane threats could see us utterly destroyed without the means to address them.”

He takes the time to look over faces one by one.

“You wish to take part in the nation. You wish to take an active role in the pursuits of your own people then now is your chance. Harrier’s Grace was founded specifically with the Kin in mind and with time and your assistance we should like to see that all are both cared for, as well as allowed to take an active role in this nation’s happenings. We need eyes and ears, additionally we need faces and talented minds.”

“The Mundane World is your world and if “We” the Garou are to control it we need our kin to stand with it. So any who stand ready to take an active role in a pack who will share in it’s endeavours with all Garou and Kin who take part please step forth after this meeting.”He smiles a little to everyone present.

“I do not wish this to be a recruiting event for a pack but what I am hearing is that Kin would like a chance to take a more active role in their society. This is what Harrier’s Grace was formed with the intention of seeing through. So it remains relevant to the situation.”

He then looks around at the others involved.

“We are one nation, we cannot exist without the whole of that nation working in unison. Our kin are our support network, our homes, and our families. Whatever one feels of their unique and individual position within this nation know now that we are not oblivious to the plight of our kin. We live and die with the hope that our people will remember us and more than anything our people are our kin.”

“Perhaps we do not always show the proper deference or respect but we have a very difficult job.”He then turns his attention to Izzy.”When our kin stand and denounce us as if we have somehow broken some sacred vow it comes as a potent and dangerous blow. There are warriors in their graves at this very moment who have died defending the kin of this sept. I also promise you right now that if you were in danger there are at least one or two garou in this room alone who would stupidly rush off to their own deaths in order to rescue you. Remember this when you find yourself doubing the importance our kin hold to us.”

“In the end we ask of our kin nothing more or less than we ask of ourselves.”He says with a hint of a smile back at the kin.”In the end we must all stand ready to give everything for this nation if that is what we must. That cannot be negociated it simply must be.”

[Balance Without Fault] [Current dibs list: Danicka, Delilah, Jackson]

[Kora] (dibs!)

[Balance Without Fault] [and for the record – applying a -2 honor hit to Paul’s sheet for getting publicly denounced before auspice and tribal councils, plus half the city’s kin, reduced him to subcliath status. normally i wouldn’t announce minor renown tweaks, but in this case it’s a fairly substantial change in how other chars would perceive him.]

[Balance Without Fault] […if, y’know, the char ever gets reactivated *LOL*]

[Balance Without Fault] [last OOC note! if your character holds precedence and wants to use it, make a note in your dibs-calling so i don’t have to ask individually!]

[Danicka Musil] [I’m almost there! Sorry for the wait!]

[Danicka Musil] It’s as though she had mental notes. Danicka gets the 8-ball after the Galliard Elder and speaks up. Directly, in fact, to Carter Roth.

“I know what you can do,” she says plainly, and simply. Maybe even gently, though her voice is levelled directly at him in public. “I also know, and I am the only person currently in this room who knows as well as you do, what it means to be raised as a Kin of Thunder.

“The Garou will never see you as their equal. You may be able to heal with a touch, but you will never be able to fight as well as they can. You will never know what it is like to enter a new body and hunt on all fours. You cannot cross between worlds at will. You will never share a full measure of their power, and so you will never be seen as their equal.” She pauses a moment. “You say you will not work for the Nation without equality. You will never get it. And in this way — knowing what the stakes are, knowing what we all stand to lose — you are more selfish and dishonorable than any Kinfolk in this room.

“Even in human government, if you ally insults you and will not yield, will not compromise, those alliances end, often bloodily. So too will your connection to the Garou you want to treat you as an equal. Work with them or work alone, but do not get in their way or you will be cut down. We aren’t fools, Mr. Roth, not raised in our tribe. Amunet is trying to find a way to decrease our marginalization. And if you want to be involved, at some point you will have to submit to another’s leadership — and it might be Kin, but ultimately it will be to the Garou. Suck it up or get out of the way.”

A pause. She looks at Amunet. “You do guard the alliance jealously, Amunet. Bridget is right about that. You seemed secretive even to me, when I tried to show you nothing but support and interest. You need to work on that attitude, or all your efforts are going to be in vain. When you come to this meeting and then break the rules, you don’t show yourself as a very good leader for Kinfolk, much less someone the Garou might listen to. I want this to work. By god, believe me, I want this to work. But the Kinfolk have to grow up. We all have suffered, but not a thing is going to get done til we all get over it for the sake of the greater good. And those of you who can’t do that, whose angst and baggage is too much to let go of, I don’t even know why you bothered to show up.”

She takes a deep breath and exhales it slowly. “The last attempt at a coalition of kinfolk failed because the Kin involved wanted it to be some kind of perfectly equal democracy, and that will. Not. Work. Even Garou have to follow orders they don’t agree with sometimes. We do too, if we want to be of any real use at all.”

[Balance Without Fault] [delilah, jackson, kora, and then BWF is retaking the ball!]

[Kora] (drop Kora from the list, pls!)

[Carter Roth] Carter meets Danika’s gaze and he shakes his head at the woman. Before flipping her the bird, he might not have the 8 ball, so he won’t speak, but the message is clear enough.

[Delilah Marciano] When the 8 ball finds its way into the Glass Walker’s hands, she holds it up, gives it a good hard shake. She stares at the rubber triangle for a second; the curve of her generous mouth etches into a thinly veiled frown.

“Will this end well?” Delilah asks the ball, “Maybe.”

She turns her eyes up to meet the Grand Elder’s gaze for second, tilting her head to watch the rest of the room. “This, esteemed rhya, is the breeding ground for the discontent. You ask us for our opinions, you tell us to lay our grievances out into the open, so that we may be heard, so we may have a voice…”

A beat, her body shifts, rolls the plastic ball between her hands, “What is this all for? To what purpose will listening to our bitching serve you, in your judgment of us? They are unhappy, they expressed this, and yet, it will not change. We all know this – you said it yourself, it’s not a democracy.”

She shakes her head slowly, “Amunet is trying to organize an alliance, it has been said by Ms. Musil, it will not work. There is no organization, this is like trying to herd cats, they won’t cooperate without first laying a foundation. Training kinfolk in self-defense and first-aid will do very little against a monster breathing down their necks. If the Wyrm wants to kill us, it will do so.”

“The best efforts of the kin, if they wish to come together and organize, is to take a step away from the front lines, and work behind the scenes as we are meant to do. With our mortal influences, our skills, and our connections. We are the first line of defense in covering up the messes that the Garou like to make in the mundane world.”

With that, she shrugs her shoulders and hands the ball off to the next person that so desires it.

[Kora] (change my mind still keeping dibs!)

[Danicka Musil] Carter flips Danicka off. She shrugs at him and gestures to Danny that she’d like an ice water.

[Balance Without Fault] [bwf takes the ball!]

[Izzy Montoya] She looks around and finally grabs a glass of ice water, and taps her ashes into it. It’ll do for now. It also serves to keep her expression hidden for a moment.

It’s likely a good thing.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Did he cut or did I lose my turn? ūüôā ]]

[Holden] [cutteR!]

[Balance Without Fault] [he totally cut.]

“First and last strike for you, Mr. Roth.”

Then, to Delilah:

“I was actually about to address that. I’ve got a few things on my agenda tonight, and we’re still on number one. I’d like to hear specific concerns from kin first and settle them as I can — so frankly, Garou and kin of Maelstrom, we’re starting to get a little off topic with all the philosophy.

“After that, I’ve got two incidents I want to go over. After that, I want to discuss and settle certain issues with the coalition itself.

“Let’s get back to the kin. Specific concerns, bring them forth.”

— and on to Jackson.

[Gina McClaren] *Gina’s heard enough, and she who had a voice designed – accent and all – for other’s pleasure in her speaking – had nothing nice to say. So like her sweet pikey mother had told her with a rap of knuckles across teeth –

“Effen ye’ve naethen nice tae say, fer christs sakes jes shut yer fookin crumbhole.”

She moves towards the kitchens, bumping past the folk in the door with a low sung “Oot the road please” – before moving to fuss with the food there, warming what had grown cold, cooling what had grown warm . Taking a hefty slug from a dented flask drawn deep from the V of dark cleavage. Liquor finally offered to Bridget and Carter in turn.*

[Carter Roth] Carter grimaces at Balance without Fault and shakes his head at the man, he does not however flip the man the bird. He simply looks to Bridget who was standing by his side looked back to Balance, and dropped his water letting it clatter to the floor loudly, maybe even shatter. He looked around at his fellow kinsman, all who had come here with the understanding that they would be free to speak…obviously that was not the case.

Before he turned and walked out a brief nod given to Gina and her alcohol.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] He takes the 8-Ball with a respectful nod. Yes, he is a good kin. Mostly.

“I had one more concern to bring up, Rhyas. It seems like…and I don’t think this is an endemic issue, but I’ve seen it a couple times now…some Garou try to instruct kin who…well, really shouldn’t be. And I know people may wonder what right I have to say that. But I grew up in a family that was blessed. Both of my siblings were Garou. My father was an Ahroun. I like to think I know a fair amount, though not everything, about certain matters. I won’t give a ton of examples…but one I specifically recall is that a kin, new to our city and rather wet behind the ears, was witness to a Thrall frenzy that took place here. I was present and got the kin to safety…after I left, said kin was told by a Garou that in case of a frenzy, playing dead was a good idea. As if a Garou who was in frenzy, especially Thrall frenzy, would just leave them alone if they were lying prone and pretending to be dead.”

He pauses, trying to figure out how to word this without seeming disrespectful. “To be honest, I was dumbstruck when the kin told me this. It’s…really bad advice, to say the least. I’ve passed it on to Roman, who has passed it further on…but it seems like some Garou could use some kind of instruction themselves before they’re taking kinfolk under their responsibility.”

He hands it back to Balances-Without-Fault.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Oh fuck. You know who that was supposed to be. ūüėõ ]]

[Danicka Musil] [*points and laughs at samael*]

[Nash] [I for one am proud of Sarita and wish him all the best.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[I’m working and shit and it was bound to happen eventually AND LEMME ALONE! *mock cries and runs away* Okay nah, it’s funny, ngl]]

[Balance Without Fault] Over behind the bar, Danny suddenly blurts out a cough that sounds suspiciously like a laugh. He claps his hand over his mouth and holds up the other. “I know, Mr. Balance. First and last warning. Sorry.” And he mimes the zipping of his mouth.

Balance, for his part, takes the ball and answers Jackson directly. “Do you or does anyone know the name of this Garou?”

The ball goes back to Jackson.

[Quinn] So far, Quinn hasn’t had anything to bring up, no concerns or grievances to air. For the most part, she keeps out of the way, helping where she can but generally staying under the radar. But when someone says the advice given in times of Thrall was to “play dead,” her blue eyes widen, then her fine dark brows constrict.

When she rises, it’s not to intercept that passage of the eight ball. It’s to raise a brow at Carter Roth, the look simply How rude, trail briefly in his wake, and bend to retrieve the fallen glass of water. She gestures to Danny to bring a towel or something to clean up the water.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget writes something on a napkin and tucks it into Carter’s hand before he decides to shatter his glass all over the floor and make his way out. She stifles a tiny laugh– it’s not at all audible and she turns her face in Danny’s direction so she doesn’t disturb the conversation– but it’s there.

Gina thankfully offers up some booze, which the Stag kin thankfully takes so she can stifle her grin and shut the fuck up.

[Jackson Montgomery] He takes the ball and seems hesitant to name names at the moment. The information was passed along, but he was given a request. “Kristen. She’s a Fianna Theurge who stays here at the Brotherhood…I don’t know her last name or her deed name.” Handed back.

[Kieran Mondblume] *His eyes widen at that, and he looks back and forth. He frowns, clearly pondering.*

[Balance Without Fault] “Jenny,” Balance speaks directly to the woman watching quietly from over by the kitchen door, “can you get a message to Kristen? Let her know a Thralled Homid would sooner munch a dead body than ignore it, and that maybe she shouldn’t run around teaching the kin for a while.

“Unfortunately,” this is to all, “Garou rarely have time these days to be fully trained before stepping out into the world as Cliaths. The war’s too desperate, and we need soldiers. The downside is occasionally we get a good soldier whose education has been a little lacking in certain non-essential regards.

“There’s really no way prevent these things from happening. I can’t publish a manual of Everything You Should and Shouldn’t Say To Kin. All we can do is troubleshoot one incident at a time, so I appreciate your bringing this up.”

And the ball goes to Kora.

[Danicka Musil] There’s a glance from Shadow Lord Kinswoman to Shadow Lord Elder when Carter leaves. It’s hard to read, for those that don’t know her — for those that are, at the moment, invested in other conversations. He might understand. He might not, even as well as he knows her.

Danicka sips her ice water, and waits for the next blowup.

[Gina McClaren] *Gina’s expression at the breaking of glass is one of frank annoyance. She stands in the kitchen in her barefeet, and hisses irritation. Singing lowly to bridget – yes.. without the 8-ball.*

Trade ye tha sip o’ firewater fer yer gi’en tha broom, Bridget darlin. Dinnae fancy me bloody feet on account o’ foolishness, aye?

[Balance Without Fault] [wait, is Kristen there? i see her logged in. i know patrick’s the fianna alpha, but jacqui ain’t here tonight. well, if Kristen’s here, BWF would speak directly to her.]

[Balance Without Fault] Danny, meanwhile, is hurrying over with dustpan and broom. He shakes his head mutely at Gina and Bridget, forefinger to lips, waving them off. The message is clear: I got it!

[Kristen Burke] ((I was told that Kristen was not allowed to be here As such she has not tried to speak or rebut what was said about her.))

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget moves to action, sets her glass down on the bar, and helps pick up Carter’s mess despite her amusement. It’s alright, the movement gives her something to do. She shakes her head at Danny and helps him anyway.

[Balance Without Fault] [OK, I just saw Jacqui sign on, so I guess Kristen wouldn’t be there after all. Assume Jenny sends her a polite note repeating what BWF said, only a lot nicer and reflexively-apologetic!]

[Gina McClaren] *Gina remains in place. You know. So as not to step in glass with the bare feet. But Danny gives her the shush and she raises an eyebrow in a clear expression of “Oh Enough.” An incredulous shake of her head mirroring the Fianna’s.*

[Quinn] Quinn’s gotten most of the bigger chunks gathered carefully into one hand. When Danny arrives with dustpan and broom, she smiles warmly and rises to carry her burden to the nearest trash bin, which happens to be in the kitchen. When she comes back out again, she weaves around the outside of the circle to return to her seat.

[Kora] There’s something – implicitly feral about the heavily pregnant Garou tonight. She’s standing, not sitting. She should sit. Some of the people tonight are long winded – not telling stories, not remembering deeds, not discussing the dead – just talking.

Those closest to her can feel her restlessness like ozone in the air around her. It does not take much to bring it forward these nights, careful as she has to be now, pregnant as she is. Alone here tonight, her brother – her Godi – gone, her beta in another Sept, seeking his own tribe for challenge.

By the time the eight-ball comes her way, Carter is gone. Her dark eyes follow his path through the room; she catches the scribbing Bridget does on a napkin, watches until the kinsman has left the restaurant.

The creature’s generous mouth flattens then. Whatever she meant to say is distilled down to this: “I have kept my territory open to all tribes, Garou certainly, kin more so. It’s unreasonable to expect you to live in a city and somehow keep track of our changing, Balkanized territory. But, Wyrmbreaker-rhya, that man is barred from mine. I trust you will pass it on to him.”

[Kieran Mondblume] [Dibs?]

[Balance Without Fault] [back to BWF, then Kieran!]

[Honor’s Compass] Katherine and Patrick both here, somewhere, and their player is very apologetic for being tardy! She suggests Katherine is looking very pretty in white standing somewhere near pack-mates and as well as Balance Without Fault and Patrick is over yonder possibly looking confused — also in a very pretty way, albiet more masculine — or simply bored.

Carry on!

[Adamidas] She opens her mouth, then closes it. Her attention seems to be intent on what is going on, and before she can really say anything, the Fury turns her head in the direction of… something. Slightly to the left. She gives the Grand Elder a look and taps her chest with two index fingers, then gestures behind her with her thumb.

Whatever that look says, it must be important. If given the okay, she slips out as quickly as she enters. Just as understated, and punctuated with a pop.

[Balance Without Fault] Though Carter’s departure didn’t provoke an immediate response from the Garou named for his balance, it’s remarked on when the ball comes back into his possession.

“Wyrmbreaker, your kinsman disrespected this gathering again with his dramatic departure. See to it. And let him know that his antics only resulted in the very kin he professes to champion scrambling to clean up his mess.”

He nods to Adamidas, then, before continuing.

“At this point I’m going to make a last call for kin to bring forward their concerns. If there’s nothing else, we’re moving on.”

[on to Kieran! and if there are any more kin concerns, call dibs now cuz BWF is about to move things along]

[Quinn] [dibs because I gotta get something out in case I have to bail before the end!]

[Wyrmbreaker] Wyrmbreaker nods mutely to Kora and and Balance, the second nod deeper than the first. Then he gets up, leaning over to murmur briefly to Danicka before excusing himself from the gathering.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He pushes up, and then he takes the eight ball, shaking it idly.* Clearly, if he’s getting pissed off enough to drop a glass onto the ground and leave, something screwed up happened to him in the past. I think that’s part of the problem. We can’t fix these problems without years and years of therapy that we don’t have time for.

*He tosses the eight ball to his other hand.* But I will say, I’ve noticed every kin has their skills and talents. I don’t think I’m alone in saying, I’d like to hear about those instead.

[Quinn] The tall Fiann has retaken her seat now. It should be noted that she’s wearing clothes, and they’re probably pretty nice, and probably includes a shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal the tattoo on her right arm. Nothing fancy, just some cool looking birds.

Anyway!

She sits up a little straighter when there seems to be a lull, lifts her chin, and indicates she’d like the magic eight ball next. When it comes to her, Quinn doesn’t shake it to read her fortune, though she does smile a little down at it before standing to address the assembled.

“Hello,” she says, her voice warm, and still carries a touch of a Baltimore accent. “I’m Quinn, I own The Winchester tavern up in Lake View. Some of you might’ve heard of it. Like The Brotherhood, we’ve only got kin on staff, so it’s a safe place. If any of you are in the area and find yourself in need of a place to rest or otherwise recuperate for a while, the doors are open. To Kin and Garou alike.” After that, she rolls the ball from one hand to the other, says, “That’s it,” and passes it down the line rather than tossing it to the grand elder.

[Nash] The Jarl is understandably restless. On this side of the bar, the Fenrir are all standing; Nash looks like he probably ought to sit down, but for the moment, he’s still on his feet, his right arm held up against his midsection while bruised eyes watch the proceedings–silently, now that that first [and last] outburst is over with.

There is a lot going on, between Strider and Lord Kinfolk slamming out and slamming glasses. Nash, unlike many others, doesn’t have to stifle laughter. He glances around, then finds a place to rest his eyes when Kora starts to speak. He looks back at her when the Uktena speaks, as if looking for something, but he doesn’t lean over to whisper or anything else that might be considered disruptive.

[Delilah Marciano] Delilah sighs; she steps away from the table glancing around at the assembly one final time. She has heard enough, and the Grand Elder has yet to get beyond the first line of questioning. She turns away, slipping off in silence towards the back entrance of the Brotherhood’ hand retrieves her phone, texting her driver to come around to the back side to pick her up as she left the meeting.

[Kora] There’s something about the way Kora handled the eight-ball. Held it as if it were a cracked bone, as if there were marrow in it – rather than likely toxic water locked behind a window with catchy sayings on a plastic weighted die by children chained to extruding machines in some unlikely backwater of Guangdong province, China.

That sense of animal lingers around her. Her hair is pale, fine-stranded, her skin equally pale, winter-thing, dark eyes set above sharp cheeks made softer by the extra weight of advanced pregnancy. No matter: the wolf is still visible underneath. As now. Nash glances at her, and she lifts her chin, canting her head, dark eyes finding his with an unerring sort of grace. She holds the look for a quiet moment, then glances away.

[Balance Without Fault] The eightball comes back to Balance eventually, passed hand to hand until someone loses patience and tosses it. Catching it neatly, the Grand Elder takes a drink of water before going on.

“Let’s discuss that in a minute, Kieran, when we talk about the coalition some more. I have two incidents I want to go over. Unfortunately, Amunet, they both involve you.

“First up: the Brotherhood defense plans were posted up a couple of weeks ago, and you seemed to have something to say about it. Jenny mentioned you removed the original posting as something of an act of protest.” Over by the kitchen, Jenny looks mildly mortified. “What was that about, and has that been settled?”

[Amunet Knezevic] “It was less an act of protest than an act of frustration, Rhya. Again, the perception of being dictated to, rather than being acknowledged as being willing to work together. I apologize for my rash decision, and hope that my actions will not reflect poorly on those who can be held responsible for me.”

Her fingers run in her hair, eyes flickering away before meeting BWF’s once more. “It has been offered that there be a meeting with myself and those charged with the safety of the Brotherhood. I believe it is just a matter of finding a convenient time for everyone, and then the matter should be settled.”

[Danicka Musil] [Dibs!]

[Gina McClaren] *Her flask of corn liquor is reclaimed and settled back in her assets as she steps aside for the exiting Glasswalker kin. Strider kin maneuvering her way out of the kitchen with an eye to the floor, wary for any invisible shards lying in wait for small burnished feet. The kin moves to stand between Leon and Matt, dwarfed by a good foot or more by each. Curvy kin’s body language filling in the gaps where verbal communication was not allowed. She leans on Mirror’s whisper, floury skirt no doubt soiling his perfectly pressed suit. A painted toe prods Hostile Takeover’s knee, accompanied by a wry smile and a roll of eyes. Familiarity and Affection for both, mingled with no small exasperation at the proceedings. Her attention shifts to those speaking.*

[Honor’s Compass] [Kate has something to add! How do I — *hits the buzzer*]

[Danicka Musil] [Danicka yields to the ranked Garou present *gavel*]

[Wyrmbreaker] [dibs order is Kate, Danicka, then probably BWF.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita doesn’t fail to notice Gina’s brief interaction, such as it is, with Leon. Her eyes narrow a little bit, watching them, and anyone paying attention to her would notice a bit of bristling. She doesn’t speak out, merely watches for a long moment before looking back.

Yeah. She’ll be dealing with that later.

[Matthieu] Matthieu made certain to follow the kin across the floor. Whether Gina knew it or not those eyes followed her quietly. She drew closer and closer and even took the chance to squeeze herself between he and his beta. A slight smile grew and he peeked up at the woman with a hint of a smile. She had likely been drinking and was feeling pleasant. Which was surprisingly okay with the Garou who looked up at her with familiar eyes.

He didn’t speak however, simply welcomed her to join if she pleased.

[Leon Davenport] Finally something interesting happening to this meeting And no it’s not an angry kin storming out or incidents involving one with the Broho’splan or anything else. No, it’s the presence of a beautiful caramel skinned Strider kin, moving between him and his Alpha.

Shelean into Matt and that makes him smile, a genuine rare one from the Ahroun these days. Then she prds hm and the smile grew wider. He kept hi hands in his pants pockets, his smile turning into a grin. Then his piercing blue eyes were back on the meeting

There has been no GW kin here that he knew of. After all he knew Delilah only by her GWnet handle. He didn’t want any of his tribe’s kin getting into troubel tonight. He seem ot have had his wish granted.

[Kieran Mondblume] *His eyes, however, remain on Amy, and the Grand Elder. He looks, very briefly, worried, though it passes rather quickly. Nothing else in the meeting seems to catch his dark eyes.*

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget finally retakes her seat, glass in hand. Her brown eyes shift around the room as if for a second, she forgot where she was. The kinswoman shakes it off and sips the remaining whiskey, her eyes floating somewhere between Patrick and Kieran for whatever reason.

[Honor’s Compass] Honor’s Compass, who has, up until this moment been relatively silent, merely a formidable presence in so far as a regal Silver Fang of her ranking should be, standing to one side with her arms neatly folded over her chest; her coat open to reveal silk blouse beneath, the designer jeans and knee-high boots.

Immaculate as ever, she somehow managed to avoid it becoming ridiculous; her carefully arranged hair; her glossed lips. It was the animal grace in her that controlled it; the thrill of danger posed by those pale eyes of hers as they sweep the assembly, as manicured nails close over the eight ball.

Her eyes find Sarita’s sister.

“If I may, Rhya,” she says in her voice, rippling with its hint of french gentility, “I have some knowledge of these goings on. I was approached here at the Brotherhood by Adara, Song of Life, a Black Fury Galliard I believe my Alpha put in charge of the Brotherhood plans, along with Adamidas. She told me of the issues with the Kinswoman.”

A beat. “She asked my council, and two sides to this issue were brought before me, one from Garou and the other spoken on the behalf of the Kinfolk by one of Cockroaches Kin.” The Fang’s lip curves a little, inexplicably. “My sense was that they were working at cross-purposes, here. The Kinfolk, rightly enough, want their say in their own safety, but the Garou have their own notions on how Kinfolk need to be so protected.

My advice was to meet together, and discuss it. I believe this is the meeting Amunet is referring to.”

[Nash] With his left hand, Nash reaches up to scrub at his scruffy face when the tiny Indian woman moves across the room and proceeds to cause the blood pressure of at least four Trueborn to spike. He doesn’t sigh or stare, but when his hand comes away from his face and returns to his jacket pocket the kinsman glances over at Kora again.

That glance lasts only so long as the silence between active speakers; a few seconds after the regal blonde begins to speak, his eyes slowly drift away to acknowledge her.

[Rain McKellar] ((Rain will stay with the other Gaian kin until the meeting lets out, but her player must go to sleep soon. Thanks, all, for the scene.))

[Balance Without Fault] [night!]

[Danicka Musil] This time, the ball comes to Danicka more easily, since her mate has excused himself from the proceedings for the moment and it seems that Danicka doesn’t trust herself to catch the bizarre little toy if lobbed her way. She hears about the defense plan — something she’s only heard rumors of, not the story she just got. She looks at Amunet briefly when she takes the 8-ball, but in the end, doesn’t address the Strider kin as she did earlier.

“-Rhya,” she says, to Balance Without Fault, “the Kinfolk have tried before to establish leadership amongst themselves before, but in that case and in this one, there’s a serious problem with Garou being kept out of the loop.” She thinks a moment. “If the Kinfolk want to be heard by the Garou — to have a voice, for example, in deciding the defense plan for the Brotherhood of Thieves, to have at least some kind of vote in matters that affect them personally, then is there any reason why the Garou in charge of defense for this place should not have a Kinfolk — preferably a resident — whose counsel is sought in decisions about it?”

A beat. She blinks those round, green eyes of hers, turning to look at Amunet. “And maybe, if only to limit the amount of suspicion and paranoia and rumors of discontent, maybe an alliance of Kinfolk would have a better chance of success if there is a Garou involved in the proceedings and decisions being made — not to dictate, not to rule, but to communicate the needs the Garou have to the Kin, and vice versa?”

[Balance Without Fault] Balance listens to Katherine with clear attentiveness; then Danicka.

“It’s become increasingly clear to me tonight that some level of constant communication needs to be set up between the Garou of this Sept and the Kin. That’s part of what I wanted to discuss when we talk about the coalition a little more. I realize I’ve delayed the discussion of the coalition again and again, but I’m going to have to ask for your patience a little longer.”

He turns back to Amunet.

“There will always be some level of dictation, Amunet. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Nation is not a democracy. There is one Grand Elder. One Warder. One warleader. One Garou in charge of the defense of the Brotherhood, and one Garou assisting her.

“It’s not your place to rebel against that order. If you feel unheard, then speak. You may bring your suggestions up, just as anyone else can — and it seems that with Honor’s Compass’s counsel, you intend to do exactly that.

“You may not, however, display blatant insubordination to those who rank over you. And you must understand that the final say still belongs to those charged with the keeping of the Brotherhood. This isn’t a kin/Garou issue. It’s a simple issue of hierarchy. I would say the same to your sister Sarita, or even to the Philodox Elder.”

Balance turns the magic eightball over in his hands, then continues.

“The second point I wanted to address specifically is this. I’ve heard reports that you were seeking a Garou to … beat you? And that you would tape this as some sort of instructional video?

“What’s the story there, Amunet? I hardly know where to begin.”

[Amunet Knezevic] She looks very tired, very suddenly, tongue bitten to keep herself quiet as she waits her turn.

[Kieran Mondblume] *He flinches visibly.*

[August Grant] A brow rose.

That sounded like the single most stupid idea she’s heard in awhile.

Was that girl daft?

[Izzy Montoya] She’s wanting…. what?! Izzy’s head whips about so quickly her hair flies in a semi circle, smacking her in the face while she stares at Amunet with dropped jaw…. only to have it snap shut on the comment not quite bitten back..

“Motherfu…” snap.

She turns, and stalks to the kitchen. She needs a serious drink. Now.

[Quinn] Quinn actually does a double-take, and frowns at Amunet.Her thoughts are similar August’s. What would that even teach?

[Kieran Mondblume] *He raises one hand, however, before forgetting himself, and he holds his hand out for the ball.*

[Jackson Montgomery] He blinks as the idea for the original plan comes out in a horribly mangled, telephone version of what was actually discussed. He looks at Balances With Fault, then at Amunet and back, before he takes a [[DIBS]] after Amunet.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget tenses in her little corner of the world, and the nearly empty glass falls into her lap before she catches it. A slight amount of whiskey and ice bleed into the fabric.

“Shit,” she says under her breath. Looking directly to BWF with an expression of apology, she zips it quickly, gathers her skirts, and moves towards the kitchen following Izzy.

[Kieran Mondblume] ((Though I am willing to wait for dibs till after Amy and Jackson have had their say))

[Leon Davenport] Leon blinked a few times, eyes on Amy. Ok…now that was..well..totally crazy even for her. He actually had to look at Sarita with a brow raised as if asking her..what the hell? But he doesn’t say anything, doesn’t smile or anything. He was mostly, perplexed by all of this.

He had an idea why she’d ask that, but to him it dodn’t seem like the right way to do things.

[Danicka Musil] Danicka, in the face of people restraining the urge to curse, of staring, of double-takes… blinks at Amunet. There’s no anger, no sudden omgwtfbbq. But surprise. And definite, strong interest in hearing something other than the rumor that Balance Without Fault wants to be explained and clarified.

[Gina McClaren] *Wait – woah.. What? Gina arcs her back away from Matt, squinting at the better bred strider kin across the room. Expression caugt between disgust and disbeleif. She looks up to Matt meaningfully, as if to say “Didn’t I tell you? Crazy. Every fucking one of them.” That flask gets retrieved and sampled from once more.*

[Amunet Knezevic] “Okay. So” She takes a deep breath. Remember what Stefan said, Ames…

“First of all, it was an idea that was being batted around. Just that. I’m unsure why everyone seems content to run around asking everyone else why I’m doing what I’m doing, but that seems to be the trend. It was considered, it was discussed, and nothing has been done. There’s no reason for anyone to assume that it’s moving forward.

As for being secretive and not wanting Garou involvement in the alliance, that is simply not true. The Shadow Lord Nathalie has offered her assistance, and I have taken her up on that. I’m not hiding anything. I’m not trying to exclude anyone that would benefit the alliance.”

She gestures toward the departing Bridget. “She wants to talk, but she wasn’t there for the conversation. She’s referring to Adara, the Fury. She asked to be included in the alliance, and when reminded it was a kinfolk alliance, she compared it to the KKK. Jackson was there for the conversation. I’m sure he can back me up. My issue with allowing her to be part of this isn’t that she’s Garou, it’s that she’s a shitty excuse for a Garou.”

[Quinn] [dibs!]

[Wyrmbreaker] [Dibs is Jackson, Kieran, Quinn right now — though BWF might cut in line at some point!]

[Quinn] [WHOOPS! That was supposed to be Joey!]

[Amunet Knezevic] [I’m assuming she’ll be asked to explain that….]

[Wyrmbreaker] [joey –> jackson –> kieran]

[Kieran Mondblume] ((And Ki gives up his dibs.)) *He lowers his hand again, and then he goes back to listening.*

[Honor’s Compass] [Damn it, now Kate has to speak up. SORRY.]

[Wyrmbreaker] [kate –> joey –> jackson –> kieran]

[Matthieu] His eyes meet Gina’s own and he looks back at the kin though he doesn’t nod. His eyes say enough and he reassures her with a slight pat to the small of her back. Though the Galliard doesn’t wish to appear as if he isn’t listening and taking in every word. Indeed he was listening to everything that was said. Formulating an opinion on each and every personality that shows itself here tonight.

[Izzy Montoya] She’s not long. Long enough to have a shot and pour a second that she brings with her, in time to hear that it was just an idea being bat around, without nay explanation whatsoever. Her jaw tenses, and she finds a space of wall to lean against, setting the glass on the table and lighting another cigarette.

[Jackson Montgomery] [[Officially voicing a request to try to keep a bit closer to the 10 minute posting limit that was established for Dibbers.]]

[Honor’s Compass] Katherine’s eyes cut toward Amy.

“That is the second occasion I have heard, and the first directly from your lips of insult to Song of Life, Amunet. I do not care who you believe you are, who your mate is or how valid your cause — you will pay the respect due to a Garou or you will be sending your mate to every door in the Sept to make amends for your mouth.

I said it before, I say it again.

Respectful disagreement.”

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget returns soon after, patting at her skirt with a towel. She passes Izzy and takes her seat again, then offers her hand up to speak for the second time.

[Bridget Geroux] [Dibs when it gets her direction]

[Kora] Kora does not glance at Amunet. Her dark eyes track Izzy, though, as she weaves through the room. Then, the creature glances back at Nash. Fine blond brows arch eloquently over her shadowed eyes. Restlessness runs patterned beneath her skin. Even standing still she looks ready to prowl.

[Wyrmbreaker] [joey –> jackson –> kieran –> bridget]

[August Grant] Even though she really, really wanted to be here for this lovely conversation – the pregnant girl’s bladder could only hold out so long. So, carefully enough, she made her way to the ladies room .. and then to the kitchen, where she’d find a snack and linger in the door for a moment eating before returning to her chair.

[Joey] The magic eight ball starts to head toward another kin, but the Fostern Rotagar indicates the need for an interception. It goes to Kate first, and when it gets to Joey, she palms it, and inclines her head toward Amy.

“Just t’clarify, this idea,” she reaches up her free hand to pantomime air quotes, “was brought to the elders ’cause you’d already gone at least to Burnout lookin’ for a volunteer. And when I talked to you about it, everything you said told me you were set on goin’ through with it, despite warnings and consequences.

“So you’re not bein’ called out on it just ’cause someone’s followin’ some sort’ve trend.”

The eight ball is passed on.

[Kieran Mondblume] ((Ki actually gave up his dibs.))

[Amunet Knezevic] [dibs after bridget, please]

[Wyrmbreaker] [jackson –> bridget –> amunet!]

[Jackson Montgomery] He takes the 8=Ball and steps forward. “Just to provide my own perspective on this idea. Which, at least when we discussed it, was just an idea. It was brainstorming possibilities, nothing more. Amunet asked me, since I was a film student, if there was a way for us to be able to film…not a Garou beating the tar out of a kinfolk, Amy or otherwise. But potential sparring sessions. The reason for this would be that, if we were in a situation where combat was inevitable, we’d be more capable. This wasn’t ‘Beat the shit out of me and film it and you’ll know what it’s like to be in a fight. Hell, a Garou could spar with someone in homid and we could film that. These specifics weren’t even gone over because it was one three minute portion of one much longer discussion.

“The key was, and what we were discussing, was that if it was done, it would have to be done securely. No internet access to the video. Not multiple copies floating around. Again, this was a big if, and I felt it was conceivably possible, if not a sure thing. No one was setting up sets or anything like that, I wasn’t figuring out lighting and camera angles or what lens to use. As near as I knew, Amunet was checking with Garou to see if there would even be volunteers, because if not the rest didn’t even matter.

He frowns. “If there was some kind of telephone situation where it wasn’t properly communicated, then there you have it. But the idea was far saner and far more brainstorming than that I just heard. Obviously the Veil was our first concern and what we were discussing before any considerations came into play.”

[Hunter] [hunter taking dibs after bridget, before amunet]

[Gina McClaren] *Gina’s taking a fourth shot. Amazing how much alcohol can disappear into the little Indian woman in so short a period of time. The flask’s cap clinks metallic and resolute as its popped on tightly. Flask itself handed to Leon, a flat palm held up, then making an abrupt cutting motion. The fuzziness in her stomach and the hazy tingle behind brown eyes told her anymore would loosen her tongue, and no one wanted that tonight. So the woman who was rapidly becoming a lush entrusts her fire water to the Glasswalker , before settling back against the Silverfang’s comforting hand. Her eyes slip firmly shut.*

[Balance Without Fault] [bridget –> hunter –> amunet]

[Bridget Geroux] “That reminds me when Carter took your injuries last time. We all asked you about the bruises and you wouldn’t answer. I let it go because you seemed uncomfortable, but if I thought for a second you might want someone to beat you up… What the hell, Amy? How do you expect to display leadership among us with… whatever is going on?”

She stops and shakes her head. “I’m sorry, Amy. That got a bit too personal. But when I saw you talking to Song of Life, I just couldn’t hear it anymore. By the way, she has shown nothing but the utmost respect for my crazy ass ways and was one of the very few Garou who has encouraged me to keep doing my work rather than some Garou who have discouraged me from it. Maybe they’ve done it because they cared, but she is one of the few Garou I’d be more than willing to invite to my own house just to shoot the shit. I respect and admire the hell out of the Garou who treat kinfolk– even those not of their tribe– like the family we are. Family might be my whole grievance in the first place.”

“My other issue with the alliance is, like Danicka repeated earlier, that it is too jealously guarded, even from other kinfolk. My father, Meuric ‘Bear’ Geroux for those of you who care about the formality, used to tell me all the time how Septs grow weaker when not even the kinfolk can rely on one another as family.”

[Leon Davenport] He looked at Gina with a grin and took the flask out of her hand, making it disapear in his suit’s jacket. He nodded to her, letting her know it will be returned to her eventually. Not that it wasn’t a big deal if she had something of hers. She had something of him.

So it was with familiarity that he gently nudge her before looking back at those talking.

[Bridget Geroux] [First part got cut off:]
Bridget looks towards Amy with raised eyebrows as she takes the 8 ball, an expression of genuine concern.

[Balance Without Fault] [hunter’s up, then amunet, then BWF is taking the ball]

[Hunter] [oh shit browser didn’t refresh gimme a minute]

[Danicka Musil] At the bar, Danicka glances at the door, wondering about her mate, and frankly about Carter. She sips her water and returns her attention to the discussion. There’s no lightly thoughtful look on her face now. She’s quite serious. Bordering, in fact, on visibly tense.

[Hunter] The eight ball gets grasped in one meaty palm and he doesn’t stand to speak.

“Amy came to me first I believe, out of any Garou, sayin’ she wanted me to do it. I explained this to her at the time but I’ll repeat it because it seems ya’ don’t quite get it Jackson.”

A beat.

“For starters, Amy squarin’ off vs me in any form is just gonna be a beatin’ plain n’ simple. That’s just all there is to it. Secondly from what I was told the purposes for doin’ this was so that kinfolk could get some expertise on how to fight against a fuckin’ spiral — scuse ma language — n’that she’d want me to fight her not just in human form.

Now I don’t know what ya’ know bout’ spirals but fightin’ ya’ is about the last thing they’re gonna do. It won’t be in human form, so sparrin’ vs me in homid ain’t gonna teach ya’ shit. It won’t be to kill ya’ n’I don’t think I need to — nor should I try to, or am adequately able to — express just what they’d be tryin’ to do.

The flaws of this video been pointed out by my Beta quite clearly to Amy, but from where I stand there’s some seriously misguided ideas based on the fact that ya’ thought that me puttin’ a kin near death would actually help anyone learn anythin’ of value against that group’a devils.”

There’s a beat and then:

“The fact that ya’ thought me doin’ that could help is, quite frankly, god damn insultin’.”

[Kora] (going to bed folks. Kora’s still around looking restless and pregnant. Jamie has my permission to NPC her and directions for certain circumstances, cheers!)

[Balance Without Fault] [amunet–>BWF!]

[Amunet Knezevic] “I didn’t want to shame the Trueborn that gave me the bruises, Bridget. No one knew that he was going to heal them, and I certainly didn’t seek him out to do it.

And again, Bridget, you don’t know the whole story. Good for you that you get along with her. I don’t, and I have solid reasons why that is the case.

HOW am I being secretive? What kinfolk have I turned away? I don’t understand how not ramming an alliance down the kin’s throat turns into me being secretive. Explain.”

She flinches when Hunter speaks, eyes searching out anywhere to rest on but him. Her fingers run in her hair again, then move to scratch between her shoulder blades. “Fucking funny how you tell her fucking everything except the shit you’re ashamed of”

[Bridget Geroux] [Dibs if offered]

[Izzy Montoya] She felt Kora’s eyes on her, but she doesn’t meet her gaze. Not yet. Not right away. In fact, it’s not until Hunter’s clarifying that her gaze snaps up again, and there’s something.. something there. Something in dark eyes that’s clearly…

…well. Of all here, only Kora knows and only with passing details. Izzy tightens her hand around the drink, and pushes from the wall. She takes a step forward, and then shakes her head. Then, when she finally looks up and meets Kora’s gaze, her teeth audibly grind, and she turns, sets the drink down and heads to the door.

and if there’s a muttered curse or ten, well. No one who knows her is surprised.

[Balance Without Fault] [bwf is taking the ball!]

[Hunter] There’s a moment where Hunter simply stares at Amy with his jaw firmly set and then? He looks away, relaxes in his seat as much as the — sometimes high strung — Ahroun could ever relax under such conditions.

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Prayers to Broken Stone has been lounging against a wall in his hoodie; arms folded over his chest; sniffing every now and then as if he had a cold. There’s been a beer bottle in one of his hands fairly steadily and at some point; he’d excused himself to raid the kitchen; he returns now, to discussion of beatings and video tapes and something about Hunter being ashamed.

He bites a hunk out of his sandwich, and shuffle-excuses his way back to his little spot like that annoying late-comer at the movies who blocks out the screen as the heroine and her man get it on finally.

[Balance Without Fault] “Enough.” Balance takes the ball back. “I don’t want to dwell on this longer than we have to. This is not a public lynching. I’ll say this, and then we move on.

“Amunet, videotaping a Garou is a very bad idea. Videotaping a Garou in non-Homid form is a worse idea. Asking a non-homid Garou to attack you so you can videotape is insanity. I realize this was a brainstorm. But that sort of idea should never even come to your mind. Not simply because of the threat to the Veil, but because it tells me that you genuinely believe with enough training a kin would have options against a Dancer in warform beyond running.

“Izzy Montoya mentioned earlier that you were going to get people killed. I’m starting to see her point.

“Let me be very clear on this: you can train if you want to. You can learn first aid, you can learn self defense. If the Warleader judges you capable, we are even willing to entertain the idea of an elite kin squad assaulting light targets to support their Garou brethren. But you are not equipped to fight a Garou in warform. If you’re so unlucky as to be caught by one, you should run. And you should teach your friends to run — not lull them into some misguided idea that they might be able to fight and win.”

Balance’s fingers tap restlessly on the eightball for a moment. Then he goes on:

“I want to move on to discussion the coalition, its leadership, and the idea of establishing a Garou-kin liaison to maintain an open line of communication between the kin and Garou of this Sept. Before we get there, I just have two more questions:

“Bridget, you mentioned something about a Garou forbidding you from something you want to do. Be more specific. What do you speak of?

“And Amunet, you accuse Hunter of not speaking of something he’s ashamed of. What are you speaking of?”

[Bridget –> then Amunet, unless she rejects it!]

[Kieran Mondblume] *He looks back to Hunter at that, and he sighs deeply. Looking back to Amy. And then back to BWF. Again watching. He wants to speak, but the words are not coming easily, it seems, so he keeps his mouth shut.*

[Matthieu] Matthieu watches in preparation for Amunet’s response. The Galliard was standing ready and keeping his attention on every word that would come out of the Kin’s mouth.

[Gina McClaren] *Curiouser and Curiouser. Gina’s eyes slowly open, and her gaze rests on Hunter, expression inquiring, her head tilted to the side. Not unlike a german shepard trying to puzzle out an algebra equation.

That is to say – hopelessly lost.

She looks from Leon and Matt back to Hunter, as though she might figure out whats shaking through some sort of elaborate half drunk social triangulation.*

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The Strider is watching with the most intense look of concentration anyone’s ever seen on her face. It is focused on her sister and the Grand Elder. It could be because she’s curious–tense?–to see what might be said, or it could be because she’s not wanting to look at certain individuals who might raise her ire. Her expression is pained. It’s clear to anyone who might look at her that although her protectorate obligations are over with, it certainly doesn’t mean that she doesn’t care. She knows how her sister must feel right now, what this is like for her, because she knows Amy so well.

She would rather it be her in that place instead of Amy, being questioned and having doubt heaped on by others.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget fidgets with the ball when it comes her way, taking a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Amy, if that got a bit too personal. Catch me later if you want.”

She continues quickly. “I have on a few occasions been told by several Garou. Forgive me, but one didn’t tell me his name. The other was Simon, who I think expressed concern over my well being. I should explain. The Sept I am from is in the Rockies, in the middle of nowhere. I’m not boasting, but I know I’m a skilled survivalist. It feels unnatural going for so long in the city without getting some fresh air. But on several occasions, without explanation, I’ve been discouraged from going outside of the city to… do my thing.”

The Fianna kin continues, “I don’t understand what the difference is if I’m alone in the city or in the woods. I can handle myself just fine out there, and I’ve gone out there on several occasions on my own before Simon and some others told me I shouldn’t.”

[Balance Without Fault] “And that’s all you’re doing? Just going into the woods to … hike?”

He tosses the ball back.

[Leon Davenport] His shift position slightly, watching Amunet, glancing at Sarita and then Hunter. What will Amy say? He hoped that Amy will decide not to tlk. For herself, for Hunter and maybe for him. He wasn’t sure what Amy meant, what Hunter did or didn’t do., but somethings were sad that didn’t make him entirely comfortable

Thongs has been dealt with and he had no intention to have them brought back to the forefront.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget catches it, “No. I hunt. I check the trails, get familiar with the landscape. Sometimes, I stay out there for quite a while with little or no supplies. It’s… no different from what I did back home.”

[Derek Anderson] (*things has been dealt..)

[August Grant] {Alright, gotta get to bed – August will stay through the meeting with the other Coggies. Night all.)

[Danicka Musil] [Night! Thanks for playing!]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Patrick will take a break from eating to pipe in at some point RE: Bridget.]

[Bridget Geroux] [Add: check the landscape, figure out the flora and fauna.]

[Balance Without Fault] “I see no harm in that. Patrick, you represent the Fianna. What do you think?”

Lob.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget seems quite pleased with BWF’s comment, but waits on Patrick’s response.

[Hunter] [if anyone wants a description post of hunter’s appearance etc right now let me know otherwise I’m just chillin’ LOL]

[Nash] [I don’t think I’ll survive without one.]

[Rosie] Rosalie has been very quiet. Nothing more than another small body among a wealth of very well bred kin and Garou. While the conversation continues between the primary parties, the kin slips her fingers inside the front pocket of her jeans and removes her cell phone. She is quiet and unobtrusive while her fingers move quickly over the Qwerty keyboard.

[Balance Without Fault] [angelina, since your post is pretty separate from this business with Bridget, you might wanna start pre-writing!]

[Hunter] [AHAHAHA, gina just got a trillion empathy suxx ;((( ]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Prayers to Broken Stone sets his beer down and catches the eightball the way a baseball player might; both hands. He’s finishing chewing his sandwich as he goes and holds up a finger briefly to swallow, then thump himself over his chest to help work it down.

Brushing crumbs from his mouth, the intensely-blue eyed Galliard of Last Watch speaks simply, without intention for pretty wording.

“Thanks, man — Rhya, man. Uh, look I know Bridget fairly well. I think I can say with an attempt at authority she’s not insane, girl can hold her own when fist comes at face. I have no problem with her hiking in the woods. I think of some of the Kinfolk here, no respect really, but I think of them, she’d do pretty well.

So, yeah.”

He nods at the Fiann, and lobs off the eightball.

[Kieran Mondblume] ((And I am passing out. The coughing has not ceased, so whatever he might say in response I can wait on for now, I think.))

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [no.. DISrespect. Hooboy.]

[Jackson Montgomery] [[Jackson: *Pitches a fit and storms out weeping*]]

[Nash] When his phone buzzes in his pocket, he does not whip it out to see who it is while still in the midst of the meeting. He hears it, and quietly steps out from between Holden and Kora to find some sort of an exit. Being as he’s never been in here before, it takes a moment before he realizes the kitchen is through the swinging doors and manages to make it that way, moving at an unhurried pace, keeping his right arm held to his ribs.

Whatever he sees when he ends up in the kitchen makes him laugh, and then the door swings shut behind him.

[Amunet Knezevic] She catches the ball, eyes on BWF and nowhere else. “I understand that it’s a bad idea, Rhya. I put more stock into Laughs in the Face of Death Rhya’s words than was evident at the time. I assure you, the idea had been abandoned long before this meeting.”

Her teeth catch the corner of her bottom lip for a moment, before her head shakes. “I apologize for the comment. To both you and Burnout Rhya as well. It wasn’t about anything pertinent to the discussion or the Nation, just something that my brother and I should discuss at a later time”

[Rosie] Blue eyes sweep over Amunet’s face but what – if anything – she’s thinking at that moment are not completely obvious. Her fingers ghost over her phone before she slides it closed and stands from her chair where she’d been sitting. There’s a quiet apology given to those seated nearest her before she edges away and manoeuvres a path through the proper area and into the kitchen.

[Balance Without Fault] [crap — this goes in before Amunet — ]

“I’d add only two admonishments to that. First: I’d keep that sort of solitude to a minimum until the kinhunter business has passed. You’ll be easy pickings on your own, miles from anyone else. Second: I hope to Gaia you’re hunting rabbits and deer, not Wyrm creatures.”

[Amunet Knezevic] [*scootches back to make room*]

[Prayers to Broken Stone] Patrick watches as one by one, Kinfolk slip into the kitchen. He cranes his neck.

“What is there some secret door I don’t know of back there?” He calls at random, then grimaces in a ‘my bad’ way if looked at sharply for speaking out of turn. He does gesture at the kitchen to others though, in a what gives manner.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget shakes her head at that. “Oh, god no. I’m not that much of a moonbrain.”

[Derek Anderson] He lean against the wall, listening, not talking. He has been one of the few Kin who didn’t speak up and was still there. And he wasn’t going to leave until the meeting was over. He was Silver Fang and he would do things properly. Beside, it was somewhat interesting. He learned a few things, watching everyone, listening.

He offered Rain and August a smile as both kin were obiosuly tired, August understandably so, being prengant and all. He will offer her andEla a ride home after the meeting and Rain too, unless she leaves with one of Kora’s people

[Gina McClaren] *Dark eyes slide from Hunter to his Fenrir Packmate. Flick to Gina’s kinfolk tribesmate. Tipsy kin contemplative as she rests against Mirror’s Whisper, considering the garou of Defiance a moment longer. Leon’s tenseness is sensed in a peripheral, instinctive manner, and dealt with just as naturally. Gina tugs his shirt-sleeve in a gesture of comradery, before settling back in to listen. She’d leave to go to “work” once the meeting was over.*

[ok! I have got to sleep or I’m just going to start typing “Ale-Alejandro Ale Alejandrooo” over and over again. Or something equally inane. Good Night folks! Have fun!]

[Joey] [Do I want to know what’s going on in the kitchen? curiositah!]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 1, 2, 7, 7, 9 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Balance Without Fault] [night!]

[Joey] It’s the laughter that has Joey looking back toward the kitchen, as the Fenrir kinsman disappears behind the swinging door. And it’s Patrick calling attention to it that has her curiosity piqued.

But this meeting is srs bznz. Joey manages to contain that desire to know. At least for now.

[Balance Without Fault] [typing, folks! sorry it’s taking a while!]

[Balance Without Fault] Balance considers Amunet a moment, then nods. “Fair enough. Let’s move on.”

A moment’s pause, reflective. Then Balance takes another drink of water, sets the eightball down beside him, and speaks.

“I think we got somewhere tonight. I think we addressed a lot of concerns, some minor and some major, that needed to be talked about. That said, I think there’s still a lot up in the air, and it’s pretty evident that we need a more permanent mode of communication between the kin and the Garou of this Sept.

“I’m taking a page from my tribesmen in southern California. I’m hereby creating two new offices in this Sept: a Sept liaison amongst the kin, and a Kin liaison amongst the Garou. Their task is simple. They represent the kin and the Garou, respectively, and they interface with each other to make sure there’s an open line of communication at all times.

“If a kin has an issue that requires the attention of the Garou, bring it to the Sept Liaison. He or she is the voice of the kin in this Sept. Whatever the issue, the Sept Liaison is in charge of speaking to the appropriate Tribal Alpha to find a resolution, or — if it’s a matter that affects all the Garou — the Kin Liaison. The Sept Liaison is also tasked with passing critical information from the kin to the Garou. I will consider allowing the Sept Liaison to stand witness at the Crackings of the Bone, though I want to hear the Philodox Elder’s opinion on protocol and precedent first.

“In complement, the Kin Liaison will attend coalition meetings — primarily as a listener, but also as a voice for the Garou when necessary. The Kin Liaison will have a direct line to me and the other Sept and Tribal Elders as necessary. It’s also my hope that the Kin Liaison will have the basic leadership skills necessary to independently handle minor issues.

“Now, as to who will fulfill these roles — Mirror’s Whisper, you spoke earlier of your pack’s role. It seems to me that you’re ideally suited to our Kin Liaison. If you’re willing, the job is yours.”

[Wyrmbreaker] It’s in the middle of Balance’s speech that the door opens and Wyrmbreaker slips back in. He takes his seat by Danicka again. He looks a little worn out, but — rather glad, surprisingly.

There’s no blood on him anywhere. He takes his mate’s hand as he sits, squeezes it once, and then turns to pay attention to the Grand Elder.

[Amunet Knezevic] Her breath catches and holds. There is absolutely no doubt how much she desires to be named to the newly formed position.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget pays a glance to Amy, her face grows concerned. Her eyes flick back to Balance Without Fault as she backs away towards the bar, making herself less obtrusive. Bridget won’t touch that with a ten foot pole unless someone beat her with it and tied it to her arms.

[Wyrmbreaker] [sorry to wreck your transcript, unbrokenites, but!

Lukas caught up to Carter outside and offered him the choice between getting exiled and going voluntarily into house arrest for a month. Carter agreed to house arrest, so he’ll be shacking up at the Loft. Sorry, Kate!

Lukas also stipulated that he’ll have a stormcrow following him around, and that he’s only allowed to be at the Loft and immediately surrounding areas or at work. If he wants a guest over, he has to get Kate’s permission.

Carter wanted to continue training kin, so Lukas said he’d ask Kate if it was okay for Carter to use the rumpus room. If not, Lukas will find him a dojo or something.

/end transmission!]
to¬†Danicka Musil, Honor’s Compass, Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Honor’s Compass] [I’m typing!]

[Danicka Musil] [Sinclair sez: HAHAHA HOPE YOU GUYS ARE HAVING FUN OUT THERE WITH THE KINFOLK DRAMUHZ. I’M GOING TO TIJUANA TOMORROW TO GET FIREWORKS FOR MY BIRTHDAY. WERD.]
to¬†Honor’s Compass, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker

[Matthieu] He nods his head back at Balance without Fault and his smile shows.”Thank you, I should like that my pack serve as a representative not only of the Garou but as a display of what the Garou and Kin can accomplish together. I would proudly accept the role as I would never wish our kin in this sept to go without a voice. They are the heart of our society and I should like that we can repair any rifts between us soon enough.”He smiles and looks to the other Kin present.

[Honor’s Compass] Honor’s Compass has been frowning in consideration for some time as discussion and debate wore on; when Balance Without Fault calls for her opinion on the matter of a Kinfolk standing in attendance at the Moots, she stirs and tosses a wave of silky gold hair over a shoulder; taking hold once more of the ball.

“I see no true issue with the appointed Kinfolk Liaison attending Moots within reason. I do not believe that unless they have matters to bring forward, they need be present and when they are, it would be my advice, Rhya, that they speak only when other matters have been addressed — unless there is reason why they should speak before the collected Garou.

I would further suggest that bearing in mind whoever gains this position, that their tribal Alpha be held responsible for their safety and conduct during appearances at our Moots.”

[Honor’s Compass] [Kate has no issue with the naughty Kinfolk being chained to her house. She has a free room available for him, chains optional.

She’ll provide him with a spare key and inform him he is welcome to make use of the rumpus space as long as he’s respectful to Kate’s other guests and knows if he steps out of line she’ll put him down.]
to Danicka Musil, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker

[Balance Without Fault] [dibs list: kate –> BWF!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [Sarita says: “Long as I don’t have to dodge gunfire for using all the hot water in the shower, sounds like a plan.” Though she’s super-distracted at the moment, too.]]
to¬†Danicka Musil, Honor’s Compass, Wyrmbreaker

[Danicka Musil] [Sinclair sez: WEEE-OOO. TEQUILAAA.]
to¬†Honor’s Compass, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker

[Balance Without Fault] [i’m an idiot, it wasn’t refreshing.]

[Balance Without Fault] Balance Without Fault listens to Katherine; it’s readily apparent that her word is carefully attended to and weighed. Nodding, he takes the eightball back.

“Fair enough. The Sept Liaison may attend the Cracking of the Bone as a witness. He or she may speak if and only if they have a valid concern to bring forth on behalf of all the kin. The tribal Alpha of this kin is held responsible for the Sept Liaison’s safety and conduct.

“With that said, I’ll consider nominations for the Sept Liaison now.”

[Hunter] [dibs]

[Hunter] Hunter takes the eight ball for the second time tonight and by the way he keeps glancing over his shoulder at the kitchen it’s probably going to be the last time.

“Let me just say Amy’s eager if nuthin’ else. She wants to help n’despite all that’s been said tonight, I think her hearts in the right place which is more than can be said for some kinfolk.

In saying that, I spoke with Imogen Slaughter, she’s agreed to step in and help out the cause that Amy’s started n’I think we’d all be fools not to consider her for nomination. She couldn’t be here tonight cause she’s cleanin’ up the mess one’a our kind left behind, but I think she’d do this if it were offered to her.”

The way he looks at Amy is apologetic if anything, but having said his piece, he hands the eight ball on.

[Bridget Geroux] Bridget makes her way quietly over to Patrick, then leans over and whispers something quietly to her Tribal Elder. It is the briefest of moments before she touches his shoulder and retreats into the kitchen.

[Nash] [Oh shit I’m supposed to be proxying for Liz/Kora!

Yes. Dibbage –> seconding of Hunter’s nomination of Imogen for Kora.]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[DIBS]]

[Amunet Knezevic] Just remember, some people there will be skeptical. Some may even try to show that you is not ready by trying to entice your anger. Do not let them bait you.

She brushes her hair back, putting on her very best poker face. It got them out of San Antonio unscathed, it can sure as fuck get her out of this meeting with at least a shred of dignity.

[Balance Without Fault] [go ahead, sarita – jamie was just OOCing it!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita takes the 8-Ball. And believe it or not, she actually considers the thing for a moment before she speaks.

“I really like this idea of Kin and a Sept Liasons. It’s thinking outside the box, which is something our people don’t do often enough. And it’s my job…the job of all of my Auspice…to encourage thinking outside of the box, finding new ways to make the war work. This is exactly one of those things, so I’m a fan.”

“As to who…I’ve heard great things about Imogen. I have absolutely no doubt that they’re true. But I don’t know her. I’ve never met her, or seen her around the Brotherhood during my admittedly short time here. That’s not saying she’s negligent, and certainly I’m not here all the time. But we have a lot of kin that come in and out of here. Even the amount of time I’ve been here, I’ve seen a lot come and go. We need someone who’s regularly in contact with the kin and has their ear to the ground, and has ideas. Maybe not always the best of ideas, but that’s part of why they’ll be working with others, Garou AND Kin. Getting the right ideas pushed forward, and the well-meaning but not well thought-out ones squashed. Which, to be honest, seems to be what’s been happening.”

She twirls the magic 8-Ball like a basketball for a moment, staring at it, then looks up. “Amunet’s done the legwork. She’s got her ear to the ground, and she’s got the drive. She’s got the right ideas, even if some of the wrong are there too sometimes, and she’s willing to listen and hear other people’s opinions, take them into account, and learn from what hasn’t worked to make the right things work better. I think she’s the right person for the job.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[spins on her finger. Y’know, Harlem Globetrotter style. Since “twirls” don’t make no sense. :P]]

[Joey] [Dibs!]

[Danicka Musil] [Dibs, as well.]

[Balance Without Fault] [joey –> danicka]

[Joey] Joey holds out her hands for the magic eight ball, catches it easily if it gets tossed her way. Before she speaks, she grins at her auspicemate, would tip her hat if she were wearing one.

“My associate raises some good points. As for stickin’ around, Imogen’s a rock. She’s been here since long before I got here, an’ I’m pretty sure she’ll still be standing’ when the world’s finally fallin’ to pieces. That said,” she tosses the eight ball from one hand to the other, “Sarita’s right. She’d be a good candidate an’ all, but she’s not here. She’s out there, helpin’ clean up after our messes, but still.

“So how ’bout someone who is?” Holding the magic eight ball with one hand, once again she uses it to point, this time to the Shadow Lord kinswoman by Lukas’ side. “I suggest Danicka. She’s been around a long while, an’ though I don’t know ‘er much beyond her reputation, she’s always been nice an’ respectful.” When it seems the woman in question would like the ball next, Joey doesn’t toss it directly to her. Remembering the earlier incident, she instead lobs it underhand to Lukas.

[Joey] [oh god random apostrophe should make that “standin'” please don’t mistake her for Hunter!]

[Wyrmbreaker] Lukas catches the eightball and, since he has it anyway, speaks up.

“I second that,” he says, “and not because she’s my mate. Because she’s spoken sense every time she opened her mouth. Because she’s respected by the spirits, and pays them respects in return. And because a year ago she did the legwork and set up a coalition before handing it over to the leadership of another kin — who promptly disappeared.

“She’s proved herself. If she wants the job,” and he looks at Danicka for a moment here, considering, “I’d listen to her.”

He passes it over to her.

[Matthieu] [I need to AFK a little bit hopefully Matt isn’t needed for the next half hour!]

[Balance Without Fault] [see you in a bit dude!]

[Joey] [it’s so weird seeing “dude” next to BWF’s name]

[Jackson Montgomery] [[‘Homey’ would have been even better.]]

[Honor’s Compass] [CAN KATE SPEAK. …oops, capsrage.]

[Balance Without Fault] [danicka’s got it, unless kate wants to snatch it out of her hands!]

[Honor’s Compass] [*steeples fingers* …okay, not really. But Kate does want to add something.]

[Nash] [Rage, rage against the locking of the caps.]

[Balance Without Fault] [Fencing Fox just IMed me to check on the proceedings. She wants to say Daoi would have been present, but she has to go to work, and wanted to second either Imogen or Danicka. Also, she is vehemently against Amunet, Neda, Carter and Mickey. So. Consider her NPCed!]

[Joey] [Do not go gentle into that good caps?]

[Danicka Musil] When she initially held up her hand to signal that she’d like the 8-ball to be passed to her when it was her turn, Joey had not spoken yet. And Danicka had opinions on both Amunet and Imogen. The truth is, what she has to say about one was touched on — but not expounded on — by Hunter. What she had to say about Imogen has been said twice now.

And then Lukas joins in, because Joey the athlete decided not to hurl a hard plastic ball at Danicka’s head, and Danicka turns her head to look at the Ahroun Elder. Those who can see past the curtain of her hair over her cheek can see quite plainly that it is, in fact, a Look.

By the time the Magic 8-Ball that is representing the right to speak uninterrupted in this gathering comes into her hands, Danicka’s had to completely reform what she wants to say. Nice and respectful, the Rotagar calls her. The Rotagar who wasn’t here when she lied, smiling, to the face of the woman who is now the Philodox Elder and an Adren. The Rotagar wasn’t here when Danicka whipped around and reamed out a Modi in public

then promptly left town, lest he come after her. Eeek.

Danicka takes a breath. “I think Dr. Slaughter, if she’s willing to do a job she doesn’t yet know exists, would be a more than adequate choice. She’s abrasive at best, but she’s also proven herself more than any other Kin in the city. She would be capable, if not sentimental. One of the first times I met her, she turned and fired on Spirals so that the rest of us could run. As cold as she can be, it would be wrong to suggest that she hasn’t proven herself willing to fight and die for all of us. As dismissive as she can be, and absence tonight notwithstanding, she holds more respect in the eyes of Garou than anyone else.”

A pause. She does not address Amunet as a candidate — either what she wants to say has already been said, or does not need to be said. “As for my own nomination, I’m flattered.” A beat. She knew easily what she had to say about Imogen. It is not, however, easy for Danicka to talk about herself. Not with this many people, and so many of them Garou, listening. Not with her own reputation — and, frankly, Lukas’s — affected by what comes out of her mouth. She takes another deep breath. “I suppose I accept. I would be honored to do my best, if chosen.”

Chosen, she says. Not elected. Her eyes are on Balance Without Fault, but only meeting his for a moment before — ever so respectfully — dropping to his cheekbone instead. She offers the ball out to someone who can hand it to Katherine, who has lifted her hand. Danicka does not lob anything, thank you.

[Honor’s Compass] Perhaps in times gone past, Lukas might tense to see his pack-mate; her pale eyes firmly fixed on his mate request permission from the Grand Elder to address their peers and other Kinfolk alike. Perhaps he’d clench his teeth in desperate hopes she was not about to open her mouth and opine about — well, who ever knew — but while the Silver Fang Elder studies the Shadow Lord Kinfolk nominated alongside a Fianna Kinswoman absent tonight — she does not do so with apparent glorying malice.

Rather, there’s a certain amount of quiet reflection to be had, in all honesty.

“While I respect Doctor Slaughter’s capacities a great deal, I find that I do not believe, knowing her only, I admit, as passingly as I do, that she would willingly take up this position. Imogen Slaughter does not particularly revel in long periods of association around our kind.

My feeling is she endures such, as often as she may foster relationships with some.” Here Katherine’s eyes tick to Kora.

“So it would be my vote to elect Danicka Musil, and add that while she has suffered — setbacks, tonight — and needs to be more controlled in expressing her opinion, Amunet should not be ignored for this, either. She has put in considerable time and effort, and the last thing this Sept needs or wants are Kinfolk who, feeling excluded or resentful, get themselves into trouble.

Work together, please. I have seen too many Kinfolk of my tribe and without who wind up lost, gone or simply dead.

I do not wish to witness it again.”

[Balance Without Fault] [any more dibbers? i’m gonna start typing.]

[Balance Without Fault] The magic eightball makes it way around the room, sometimes passed, sometimes tossed. Eventually it comes back to Balance Without Fault, who catches it with a sort of ease that suggests once upon a time he might’ve played ball for his highschool.

Once he has it, he turns it over in his hands for a moment. Then he looks at the kin who have, by and large, stood so silent thus far.

“This is your representative I’m choosing. Any thoughts?”

[Balance Without Fault] [i’ma give people a couple min to call dibs, and then we’re rollin’ on.]

[Derek Anderson] Derek watched and listened, silent. He didn’t say anything or reacted to any of the nominated canditates. Whoever they chose was fine by him. After all, he doesn’t need much and if something come up, well he could always reach Katherine. He was sad for those whom the old ways weren’t working but it was for him.

So why change something that isn’t broken? No reason. He was just there as a witness, because all kin were asked to come. And he stayed in the main area for it was disrecpectful to go awya in the kitchen while business that touched everyone was discussed.

He hasn’said anything but he had been there and won’t be able to complain later if things turn out badly.

[Jackson Montgomery] Jackson looks up. “Since this is my chance to speak up…I would choose Amy. I only vaguely know Danicka, no offenser. I’ve been working with Amy, and so have others who weren’t able to make it here. And I believe that someone who is involved with the current make-up should be doing it.”

Not very wordy, but it gets his point across.

[Nash] [Thanks for the scene, all! I’m told I have to go partake in a threeway or something, idk.]

[Quinn] [I’m sorry, guys, I can’t stay up any longer, I have to be up for work in a ridiculously small amount of time. Both of my PCs would stick it out until the end, and then disappear into the night. Good night!]

[Balance Without Fault] Balance lets that silence hang, his eyes moving from kin to kin, all around the room. It stretches on. It gets a little uncomfortable. It gets a lot uncomfortable. Then the Grand Elder puts the eightball down on the arm of his chair again. Stands.

“I have,” he says, “the utmost respect for Imogen Slaughter. She very nearly has the renown of a Cliath Ahroun — and it’s no secret that the spirits do not pay attention to our kin as they do our Garou. To gather such a reputation under such odds is no small accomplishment, wolves and kin of the Maelstrom, and she is to be respected.

“However,” he turns directly to Hunter and Kora, “it must also be said that Dr. Imogen Slaughter, while faultlessly dedicated and loyal to our cause, has never been one to involve herself too deeply in the Sept’s politics. Or, as far as I could tell, one who wanted to do so. She’s not here tonight because she’s out there doing what she does best — working for the cause in her own way, on her own time, without our interference. And that’s fine. The work she does justifies that. Her renown stands alone.

“Bear in mind that I’m not dictating the leader of the coalition tonight. That’s up to the kin, and that’s yet to be decided. If you want my opinion, Imogen Slaughter would be a very fine choice. However, this role we discuss tonight, the role she’s been nominated for, is one of mediation, of elbow-rubbing, of talking, of listening, of liaising. And I agree with Sarita, and with the Philodox and Ragabash Elders. She may not be suited to this. She may not even want it. She’s not here to decide for herself, and I won’t pin this title on her in her absence.

“On the other hand, Danicka Musil’s name carries weight in this Sept. She is known for her wisdom, and for glory. She’s tried before to organize the kin, and she’s proven her ability tonight to speak calmly, and with sense, even in the face of controversy and dissent. I agree with the Auspice Elders who have spoken. She deserves this role, and I trust her with it.

“If you accept this duty, Danicka, it’s yours.”

A pause. Then he turns to the final contender.

“And that leaves Amunet Knezevic. Amunet, I agree with your sister, Sarita, and your friend, Jackson, when they say your heart is in the right place. You want this position, I can see it. You want to do well.

“I can’t ignore that you’ve caused no small amount of controversy tonight; that some of your ideas were flawed, and others were borderline insane. I can’t trust you to speak alone for the kin. Not when one kin has spoken vehemently against you; not when, at times tonight, you had trouble explaining your own actions. I’m sorry.

“But the Philodox Elder speaks with wisdom: we should reward those who try hardest. We are not,” a wry nod to the Shadow Lord contingent, “a Shadow Lord Sept, that counts everything by results alone. We do not disregard heartfelt attempts, no matter how futile. After all, it might be argued our entire war is one heroic, futile attempt.

“So here’s what I’ll do. While Danicka Musil is the Sept Liaison — if she’s willing, and if you’re willing — you may serve as her assistant. You may appear where she does, attend what meetings she attends. You can listen, and learn. In time, if your elders feel it appropriate, you may be given duties and responsibilities of your own interfacing between Garou and Kin.

“Will you accept this duty?”

[Amunet Knezevic] She waits. There isn’t anything to be said, after all, until Danicka has her say.

[Danicka Musil] A deep breath is taken before Danicka answers, and she is not surprised Amunet does not want to speak til she has. There’s no need to wait for the Magic 8-Ball this time; it’s done being passed around. She’s sitting up straight on the barstool she chose at the start of all this, and nods. “I would be honored,” she says, which is only what she said before. But this does confirm it: she’s willing.

“I would be glad to work with either Dr. Slaughter or Amunet, whoever leads the coalition Amunet’s reforming, as a colleague who will help me know what issues the Kinfolk need communicated to the Sept. I would also be more than happy to have Amunet as an… assistant, if she is amenable to it.” There’s a pause, and then she turns her head slightly, looking at Amunet. “But before you answer, I do want you to understand one thing very clearly. If you decided you wanted to assist me, I would need you to not only help me, but trust me.” A beat. She stops mincing words. “And frankly, obey me. Not as an automaton, not without a voice, not without respectful discussion, but ultimately, as a subordinate. If you don’t believe you are willing to place yourself in that position, then …be my colleague only as a member of, or leader of, the coalition.”

[Amunet Knezevic] He would be so disappointed in you right now…

She nods once then smiles, directing her reply to BWF and sounding a little too much like her Shadow Lord mate in her perfectly enunciated reply. “I will of course serve the Nation in any fashion that you see fit, Rhya. Thank you for the opportunity.”

[Starla] Starla’s still there…. despite someone going to bed, this is still happening. It ain’t a dream. She blinks, looks at the proceedings that have somehow woken her up in the chair and sits and stares at all of them. The corners of her mouth twisting and flattening suddenly.

[Balance Without Fault] Balance shakes his head quietly. “It’s not an order, Amunet. It’s a duty that you can take up or lay down as you wish. If you want it — if you can live with what Danicka just said, and with the boundaries I’ve delineated — then it’s yours.

“Otherwise, you may reject it without dishonor.”

[Amunet Knezevic] Her eyes flicker to Danicka, then back. “I feel as if I should at the very least make sure that Miss Musil is up to speed on what’s being worked currently. Perhaps we should revisit the question of my continuing role once the preliminary details have been addressed.”

[Danicka Musil] Her brows draw together, her forehead wrinkled in a vague look of confusion, but Danicka doesn’t interrupt.

[Balance Without Fault] “As you wish. If you want the role, let Danicka know. Otherwise, I hope you do continue the work you’ve begun — albeit in a more moderated manner.

“Now then. Let’s wrap up.

“Matthieu Mirror’s Whisper, you are our Kin Liaison. I suggest you make use of your Galliard talent to announce this far and wide. Danicka Musil, you are our Sept Liaison. I’d suggest getting in touch with your fellow kin to spread the word.

“Together, the two of you are responsible for maintaining an open line of communication between Garou and kin, for keeping one another up to speed on the developments on both sides, and for being the first point of mediation in conflicts between Garou and kin. You should interact with individual Tribal Alphas, with the Philodox Alpha, with individual kin, and with each other. In dire circumstances, you may come before me, but it’s my hope that you’ll be able to settle most issues independently, or with the assistance of your Septmates.

“Furthermore, Matthieu, you’re responsible for attending kin coalition meetings as a listener and as a voice for the Garou. Danicka, you will be present at the Cracking of the Bone as a witness and, if necessary, as a voice for the kin. Your mate will stake his honor on your conduct and safety.

“I suggest the two of you meet with each other soon after this meeting and better delineate your working relationship. Here’s hoping it’ll be a long one.”

Addressing the gathered, then:

“If there’s nothing else, wolves and kin of the Maelstrom, thank you for coming. I think we’ve taken significant steps forward tonight, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this kin coalition pans out. There’s still food in the kitchen, if you want to take some home — otherwise, I’ll bid you a good night.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita stands and looks at the Galliard Elder. “Before you go, Matthieu…we need to talk.” The look she fixes on him is a direct one. It’s not angry, but there is something a bit…intense in it. “Just give me a moment.”

She makes her way over to Amy, reaching out to touch the other’s shoulder. “Hey…”

[Amunet Knezevic] “Hey” She smiles brightly, leaning to give Sarita a quick hug. “Thank you. That was very nice of you.”

[Balance Without Fault] [hey guys, i’m bowing BWF out. thanks to everyone who stayed for the whole, 9-hour shebang! @_@ that was a lot of fun and pretty intense at times, but overall reminded me why i don’t do the moots live *LOL*]

[Jackson Montgomery] Jackson waits until it looks like they’re getting ready to go, and he looks up. He nods to the Trueborn around and moves to head out with his fellow Gaian kin.

[[Thanks Damon!]]

[Kyle] He’s been quiet the entire time. Not that he’d have been heard clearly but he really didn’t have much to say. Casually he stands and while he walks stretches out a kink from his back. Stops near Amunet and gives that casual smile but the concern in his eyes is obvious.
“You doing ok?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, shut the fuck up.” She grins a bit, leaning into the hug. “It wasn’t nice, it was the truth.” She leans in, murmuring in Spanish.

[Matthieu] Matthieu listens quietly and nods his head.”I should like to speak to both Danicka and Amunet as soon as that much can be arranged. I look forward to seeing the direction this will head.”

[Leon Davenport] Leon looked at Sarita when he spoke top his Alha and he grinned. He had a good idea what the Strider want to talk to him about. Well, he didn’t care. There was nothing there and if hse pressed the issue, he hope Matthieu would tell her to be reasonable.

He doubted she would. “Have a good night Matthieu” he say to the Galliard and start to move away, unless his Alpha wnat him around for his talk with the Strider

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] ~sp~ “You made me very proud tonight. Don’t you dare let yourself think anything differently. I love you.”
to Amunet Knezevic

[Hunter] [Hunter bailed for the kitchen awhile ago! I’m bailing now too, cya later all thanks for the scene.. or saga.. I don’t think scene does it justice.]

[Amunet Knezevic] “I’m fine, Kyle. Thank you. It’s good to see you again.” The smile doesn’t so much as flicker, turned from Kyle back to Sarita as she nods in response to whatever was said to her.

[Derek Anderson] The meeting was over, he needed to get home. He texted Kristen, asking her if she felt like joining him at his place. He bid farewell to Lukas and Katherine, as well as Danicka since she was beside the Shadow Lord Adren “Congatulation”he tell her

Sarita and Amy gets both a nod and he heads out

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs a bit, looking concerned. She gives Amy a hug once more. “I need to talk to Matthieu. Let’s do something in the next day or two, okay?”

[Prayers to Broken Stone] [Thanks all! If nobody needs my PCs, I’ma say they both wander out. :)]

[Amunet Knezevic] “Of course. Come by the condo.” She hugs her sister, then lets her go and moves toward Stefan as he emerges from upstairs.

[Danicka Musil] Danicka nods, rather simply, to Balance Without Fault, a gesture of respect and perhaps gratitude, though not for the position so much as the trust it implies. When he closes the meeting, she slides off of her barstool and walks over to Matthieu before people can stir up and depart too quickly.

She takes a small pad of paper out of her bag and writes down her number, handing it over to him. “You can call me whenever you need to. Weekends and evenings are best, due to classes, but I’ll make myself available to your schedule.”

To Amunet, when she makes her way over there, she gives a small smile. “If you change your mind, let me know. But you have my contact information. It’s now literally my job to make sure you and the rest of the coalition are involved, informed, and heard. So don’t hesitate.”

Making sure the Tribal Alphas and other Kin know how to get in touch with her and even know who she is will wait another day, though, it seems. Danicka moves back towards Lukas and, catching Katherine’s eye briefly as she does so, gives the other woman a small smile, perhaps coming with a little more difficulty than the one she gave to Amunet. A small nod. The meaning there is even harder to read than the Look she gave Lukas earlier.

Katherine will understand, though. They haven’t always had the best and brightest relationship, these two.

She leans over to Lukas then and exhales as she gathers up her coat, saying something quietly to him.

[Matthieu] He stands slowly and nods his head back to Sarita. His attention on her before he looks to the others.”Let’s go speak away from prying ears then shall we?”He asks her as he begins to lead her in the direction of the Kitchen.

[Kyle] “You’re busy. I’ll catch you around the tracks I guess.”
Looks to both Sarita and Amunet as he casually makes his way for the kitchen to grab a snack and head up stairs.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods to Matthieu once Amy is gone, looking to him. “Sounds good.” He moves to follow along behind him.

[Matthieu] He walks with her into the other room and offers u a little smile.”What seems to be the problem here?”
to Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Wyrmbreaker] The gathering is breaking up; Lukas catches Sarita’s eye as she moves off with Matthieu. The look is — complex. Some touch of compassion; some hint of apology; mostly, though, just a sort of recognition and acknowledgment. Of their relationships, perhaps. To each other. To their kin.

Then he’s turning, bending to hear what Danicka is saying while he reaches for his own coat.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “The problem is simple.” She’s angry now. She’s letting herself show it. Not raging…she does not not even have the capacity to frenzy, except in odd situations. Not even furious. But she’s angry. “Why is one of my tribe’s kin playing footsie with Leon’s knee?”
to Matthieu

[Wyrmbreaker] Whatever it is she says, Lukas laughs quietly; murmurs something back, then takes her coat from her and holds it while she slides into it.

Then he’s lifting his own, sliding it over his shoulders. The gathering has dissipated; he nods to the few that remain as he departs with his mate.

[Danicka Musil] [Thank you guys — those of you still in the room! For the RP. :] I honestly had a blast.]

[Matthieu] “Miss McCalister and I are old friends… She and I are close. I cannot say why she and Leon might have been playing footsies though I do know they have had a short dialogue once or twice. He confessed this to me himself… In fact he’s been quite responsible even going so far is to get my permission simply to associate with other kin.”He smiles a little.”I don’t see the harm, I would not let my beta harm a single hair on your Kin’s head. He’s been careful not to cross any distinct boundaries. She and Leon, as I understand, are little more than passing friends.”He looks up at her.”If anything I suspect it was me Gina was visiting Leon happening to be by my side was simply a matter of fate. He is my Beta, as a result I would not let him do anything to break our agreement.”He says back to her.

“However I understood that it was only your Sister whom Leon was allowed not contact at all and required to keep a distance from. Leon has been doing quite well to tell me who he has talked to and his reasons for doing so and I assure you he is not up to no good with your kin.”He says with a reassuring little smile.
to Sarita Ecos de la Risa

[Wyrmbreaker] [i’m out too! thanks again, folks! i had fun too :] ]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I know you’re close, Matthieu. Gina’s alluded to a Silver Fang who wanted to take her on as a mate. I can do the math, it’s either you, Kate or Ivan and she’s not Kate’s type. So I’m guessing I’m on the right side of the 50/50 odds here. And I don’t have a problem with that. Gina, Amy, Kyle…they can hang out with whoever they want, they can–and I’m not implying here–date and sleep with whoever they want. I’m okay with that. But sometimes, I have to step in. Because I wouldn’t be doing my job as tribal elder if not.”

She frowns. “I want to be clear here. I bet he’s doing a wonderful job of not assaulting kinfolk. Faboo. But until someone challenges me to claim her, she’s my responsibility, and let me be perfectly clear…she is not to be anywhere near Leon. Period point-blank. And if you won’t stop it, I will tell her so myself, which will force me to tell her why.”
to Matthieu

[Matthieu] He smiles just a Hint though he says nothing in regard to whether or not she might be correct in his guess.”Gina is my friend… We’ve been friends since before I met either of you, and I would imagine we always will. It seems like a near impossibility for me to keep Leon and Gina from, themselves, coming into contact. I can ask Leon to obey this but Gina is a social creature and likely to seek him out. It seems like I would be attempting to do the impossible here by only informing one side that the other is not allowed to see them. Still if you are going to be insistent on the matter I can attempt to speak to him and hopefully the matter can be resolved until such point as you change your mind.”He then continues.

“I should also mention a matter of some concern for me. It would appear that the Alpha of Defiance has caught wind of this little matter and he has set out upon a smear campaign against my Beta in relation to other kin.”He says before peeking up at her.”I would like that if this matter is to be buried it be buried… Having the Alphas of other packs walking around carrying judges does not put this matter behind us. It goes, both, against the spirit of our agreement and shows a lack of Honor on the part of another Garou. This matter ended with our arrangement and other Garou have no place involving themselves to any degree.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I agree with that. And I will try to talk to Hunter. As I told you in our initial talk, he knew before that point. I can’t make people un-know something. He hates Leon. Frankly, I kind of do, too, but not the point. I will talk to him and see what I can do. You talk to Leon and see what you can do. Hopefully we’ll both be successful.”

She frowns. “She doesn’t think so, but I like Gina. I care about her, and I worry about her. If she would let me in, she’d see that. But I get it. Just…” She shakes her head, frowning and looking away. “Take care of her, please. I know you will, but I have to say it.”

[Matthieu] “I am going to give you my honest opinion here and I know you are not going to like it but I must give it anyway. I feel that you are not willing to leave this matter behind… I hear in your voice a bitter deep seeded hatred for my pack mate for which you will never forgive him.”He shrugs his shoulders.

“I was not there to pass judgement on what he did to your sister but when we challenge or another suffers punishment in response to his or her crimes we leave the matter alone. When the challenge is settled the challengers leave the ring and their grudges behind them.”

“Neither you nor Burnout appears willing to do this. I have asked my Packmate on my honor to accept a deal which I felt was in the best interest of all involved. He has trusted me and done well to show by example that he is following through with his punishment. He is taking the high road and walking away with his punishment with his head held high. Where as you continue to brood and hold him in neglect for a matter which should no longer be a concern.”

He stops walking and turns to face her.”What you are doing here is not in Gina’s best interest. What you are doing here is attempting to use what power you have to hurt my Packmate to do just that. I do not like it, and I do not care for it one bit… But you are the eldest of your tribe and so long as you continue to be I will respect your wishes. This matter cannot be resolved until everyone involved lets go and stops holding a grudge. This is not honor it is vengeance and it’s only going to hurt everyone who is involved if it continues along this path.”

“If you want my advice, and you might not, what you need to do is let this matter go. This kind of thing happens in our society on a regular basis. Continuing to holda lapse in judgment against my Beta harms everyone it affects. It will breed his mistrust and dislike for you and it will continue to breed your own dislike and mistrust for him. In the meantime Gina is caught in the middle and Burnout simply has no place in the matter in the first place. Still it is not my place to decide. I will tell my Beta that he is to have no contact with Gina whatsoever and I will work to keep them from maintaining any degree of contact.”

“If that is all? I will be on my way.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, I’m not Matthieu. I’m doing it because even if you trust him, I don’t. Did you know that a kinfolk of his sat for like, two days before she got cleansed after being attacked by a Wyrm thing?”

She frowns and shakes her head. “Think I’m doing it for whatever reason you like. You can dislike me for it, Leon and Gina can hate me. It’s no skin off my fine ass. Leon made it clear that after our agreement? Yours and mine? His hatred of me was sealed in stone. He refuses to get over it. I don’t care about him as long as he’s not in direct danger of my kinfolk. If I wanted to harm him, I have ways, and you know I do.”

A pause. “Also, just to make sure…you said you would be asking Kate about giving him training under a Philodox. How’s that going?”

[Matthieu] “That is a failing of the society in which we live and not necessarily a matter that speaks ill of his character.”He then nodded his head.”My Beta feels betrayed… He feels the matter had been resolved and that it was not until much later that the matter was brought back up. Indeed if you and Leon had an arrangement, and I believe you might have, then it was a somewhat dishonorable manner to approach his Alpha later on in an attempt to see him punished again twice for the same crime. Now… he is being punished a third time by asking that he have no contact with a friend of his.”He says back to her.”That would make three times you have punished him for the same crime. I am not a Half Moon but I do not need to be a half moon to see the unbalance in this matter.”

“I belong to a house who has long prided itself on fairness and honor. I do not feel that my Beta is being given a fair shake in this matter. We are, however, and honorable pack and Leon will do as you command. You are Gina’s tribal elder and you have every right to ban them from contacting one another.”He then nods his head and smiles.”I will address that matter just as soon as I can catch her while she is free. In the meantime we are sizing up a few qualified candidates.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “We had no agreement. He threw two grand in my metaphorical face and said he’d leave her alone. I never told him we were all good after that. I’ll make that clear. And I don’t consider Gina being kept from him to be a punishment for him. I consider it looking out for my kinfolk’s welfare. When I’m satisfied that he’s been through his anger management training, then it’s all good. Until then, I’m sorry but I still don’t trust him because he hasn’t had the opportunity to improve himself.”

A little nod. “Let me know when you have. I’ll pass along the message that you’d like to talk to her if you like. I won’t say why; I’ll let you handle that. Other than that…yes, we’re done.”

[Matthieu] He nods his head.”Alright then if you could convey the message it would be helpful. She’s a very busy woman these days.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Will do. Have a good one, Matthieu.” A nod, and she makes her way out.

Loft Party!

[Katherine Bellamonte] She had spent most of the previous night at the Caern, well into the morning hours.

The day rising with knowledge of Katherine Bellamonte’s new standing among her peers did it, for a large part of the day, without her. She slept, deeply, and only arose as dusk sank the day into brilliant reds and pinks across the horizon. Opening her closet, the Half Moon studied a collection of white, of black, of sparkling silver and a vast embassy of footwear.

She selected a pair of black kitten pumps, and came to a decision.

I am throwing a party, the declaration rang over the totemic link to her pack-mates. Tonight, at the Loft. Bring whoever you like, bring swimwear, bring wine and champagne. We’re going to celebrate.

The same general message is broadcast to her tribe-mates; to those she knows of, those she can reach. Word of mouth spreads, Honor’s Compass slips into a slinky silver cocktail dress, that sculpted itself to her frame and left very little to the imagination of any observing her. She pinned her fair hair from her neck, and left tendrils to frame an aristocratic chin, high cheekbones and a long, thin nose. Her mouth was painted bright, blinding red.

She was quite well pleased.

When the doors open for the guests, it is not simply Lucille who is there, but Asha’s former Herald, Thomas, also. Not in his usual role; the Kinsman looked pale, and aged by the death of his Mistress yet details not sorted, Katherine had, being the ever-diligent hostess and Alpha of his tribe, invited him to stay with her as long as was needed for him to decide what was next to occur.

For tonight, however, he is beside the elder Kinswoman to greet arrivals; and assist with coats. Honor’s Compass had not demanded his aid; but it was given without rancor. Perhaps being useful helped the Herald, and Katherine was not one to interfere in another method of grieving.

Still, they enter to the sound of quiet harmony; classical music pumping through speakers; discreetly planted around the Loft’s interior. The pool has been cleaned; and fresh towels lay upon deckchairs for daring visitors. There are trays of food, carried around by waiting staff; champagne chilling in a bucket of ice upon a stand. The black sofas pushed well out of the way so the floor was opened up; all white and minimalistic and utterly elegant.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita’s been more or less staying regularly at the Loft since Amy left at the end of February. Even when he sister return, Sarita remained. Things were different between them, and even more so now. So for her, it’s not difficult to be ready. She just needs to come downstairs.

She isn’t dressed up at the moment. In fact, she isn’t dressed in any kind of regular attire…she’s gotten into her one-piece swimsuit early and is chilling in the pool. It is relaxing, being able to just float in the water or do laps. It allows her mind to stay in the moment and not drift. Drifting is bad…there’s a lot on her mind.

[Sinclair] Perhaps to some it might seem wrong, disrespectful to hold a celebration such as this so soon after Asha’s passing. Those some are not Garou, nor are they Unbroken. Savage, wild wolves lurking in such civilized skins, using money and the cut of a sweater and laughter and technology to smooth over the fact that not a single one of them is even close to mortal, even close to Normal.

Sinclair shows up (comes downstairs) in dark bootcut jeans and bare feet, her toenails painted metallic purple. She’s got a v-necked sweater on, form-fitting and pink. The piercing in her upper arm nudges against the fabric, the sleeves pushed up show the tattoos on her inner forearms, her hair being up in a messy bun — this passes for an updo, with Sinclair — reveals the mark of Earth on the back of her neck.

Passing a server she grabs a slice of cucumber with some mushed-up creamy liver substance artfully swirled onto it, and pops it in her mouth. Goes up to Katherine, glomps her arms around the newest sept Adren from behind, and chews as loudly as she can possibly manage right next to her ear.

[Derek Anderson] He enters the loft and present himself ot Thomas. He never had met Asha’s former herald and introdiced himself. He was allowed in. Tonight, the tall, musucula young man with blond hair was dressed in a dark suit, shoes, a blue shirt matching his eyes and tie. Over the suit was a long dark trench coat.

It was a night for celebration it seem, so he dressed the part. Still he had a bag in his right hand with his swimming trunks in. No wayt he wouldn’t come to the loft and not use the pool. He offered Katherine a warm smile when he saw her “Good evening Katherine. How have you been?” He say in his deep warm voice. “I might appear totally clueless if I ask it, but I will anyway. What’s the special occasion?”

He noticed Sarita in the pool and offer her a nod if she look his way, if not, no big deal. He offered a smile ot Sinclair when she came by Katherine “Hello SInclair, how are you?”He say, looking at her directly for once.

[Adamidas] If you are having a party, you have to expect gate crashers, you see. Because spirits are chatty, chatty things. Adam, however, is not a gate crasher. She’s actually fairly easy to get ahold of, and-

she found herself thinking of what it was that you bring to an Adren. You can’t bring Kate anything pretty of bauble-ie. She had all of that. She had prestige and a title and a nice house and things. She had a pack. She had a family. She had all sorts of things. We digress.

Adam shows up at the front door. Her hair is windblown, but it looks like she’d put some effort into doing it before she hit the road. She’s finally wearing that cocktail dress Harmony gave her… with the same boots she always wears because, let’s face it, she doesn’t own any other shoes aside from her platforms. She’s not sure what she’s going to do when she gets there, but she’s there.

With a messenger bag.

[Adamidas] (or bauble-ie, oi!)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She does note Derek and gives him a little wave in the midst of a backstroke. The grin is faint, but there.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] A little over twelve hours ago, there was a impromptu mini-celebration in the Caern itself, moments after Kate passed her challenge. Since then Lukas has gone home, gone to bed, zonked all day, woken up only the message comes across the totemphone.

Kate passed her challenge, he told Danicka, buttoning his shirt as he ducks his head into her study where she was cramming for her continuous-time linear systems final. She’s having a hoedown. You’re invited, but do you want me to tell her you’re trying to unlock the mysteries of the universe?

And also:

Have you seen the bottle of Wyborowa my dad sent last month?

And not too long after that, he’s parking the Beemer and coming up the walk, giving the door a perfunctory knock before simply using his key. He’s wearing a black shirt, charcoal slacks. He’s also wearing swim trunks under his clothes. He’s carrying a bottle of fine Polish w√≥dka, with which he bumps Adamidas’s back as he follows her in.

“Hey,” he says. “Nice dress. Almost didn’t recognize you.”

[Alejandro] Alejandro doesn’t have many fancy clothes. It’s not that he couldn’t have got them growing up, it’s just that looking good hasn’t been a focus of his. Ever the student; ever the Garou; ever the boy and never the man.

Which is at odds with how he is dressed because his suit just does not fit. It’s old, that could be gathered from the fact that it isn’t last seasons style or even the seasons before that. It isn’t so old that it’s back in fashion, but it isn’t so flamboyant that it could ever been completely out of fashion, either.

This suit is grey, not quite silver but not quite bland, either. There is a little matching waistcoat beneath the jacket and a black tie upon a white dress shirt. The problem is that the sleeves only reach halfway down his wrists. The garment bunches at his elbows, pulls at his shoulders, rides too high at his ankles and reveals thin black dress socks above worn — but clean — leather shoes.

Under one arm there is a cardboard cylinder, tucked up into his armpit and he shuffles towards the front door with steps that announce his pleasure to be here. The cylinder is large — even more so because of his diminutive figure — and when he reaches the front entrance he slips in beside Adam and Lukas.

A little spastic wave is given to both of them, a grin for Adam too. He falls in step beside them. “Hello!”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [FINE, change it to:

Kate passed her challenge, he told Danicka, buttoning his shirt as he drops in on her watching The Fifth Element on BluRay. She’s having a hoedown. You’re invited, but do you want me to tell her you’re burnt out from unlocking the mysteries of continuous-time linear systems? ]

[Katherine Bellamonte] It is understandable that Derek might have received a formal invitation — not a demand, not these days — to join Kate at her home, but the circumstances may well baffle the young Detective. Katherine Bellamonte did not strike many as a woman of easy whim, not when it came to parties.

Sinclair throws her arms around Katherine, and chews noisily in her ear and her sister is bracing an arm over the other woman’s hand, chiding politely: “That is very expensive dip, Sinclair,” as if she expects this to make some sort of difference in the long run. “I am pleased you came, Derek. We are celebrating my achievement of new rank,” a moment, one can feel the gleam of pleasure in Katherine as she says, with quiet pride.

“I am now an Adren in the Nation’s eyes. Please, help yourself to food and drink.”

Thomas, straying from the door, nods to those who acknowledge him, and retreats to seat himself with a cup of tea, he will not drink, and there is a certain somberness surrounding the Herald’s black attire; though he had pleasure enough to greet the Silver Fang with when she first returned home, triumphant. Lucille, ever watchful, however, fusses with coat collars, and hangs each with care. She argues with the hired waiters, and demands they be more careful with the silver and crystal glass ware.

Still, with each newcomer; the sense of celebration grows.

There is something cathartic in it, for the wolves of Unbroken. They have lost someone; there must be balance to their grief.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Hey Kate. Hey, Kate. She’s been doing this every now and then throughout the day over the pack link. You’re an Aaaaaadreeeeeen…

It helps put the grin on her face, and there’s one on there now as she treads water, watching all the arrivals.

[Sinclair] “Everything you have is very expensive,” Sinclair counters, giving her a squeeze around the middle before letting her go. “Except for that bag of Sam’s Best brand Mini Peanut Butter Cups you keep in the freezer. Yeah. I found those,” she adds warningly, getting out of arm’s reach.

[Derek Anderson] He blinked at Kate’s words then strated to say something, couldn’t then smiled sheepishly. He felt very dense right now. That was something incredibly important and he had no clue about it. He took a few seconds to recover and smiled warmly “Congratulation Katherine.” Was all he saud and all he could say. He could tell her it’s amazing, but she knew that already. Beside what used she would have for praise coming from him? She had peers who understood better her pride and joy.

“Thank you for the invitation” He said “Enjoy your evening” Sinclair ignored him, no great surprise here. So he ignored her back and moved away to let Adamidas, Lukas and I guy he didn’t know meet with Katherine

“Good evening Adamidas” He say, remembering the young woman from a short encounter a while ago “Good evening Lukas” He say smiling to both and nodded to Alejandro “Good evening to you as well.” He drifted away for now. Moving toward the pool but not quite. He looked in Sarita’s direction ofr a few seconds as he took off his coat then kept his attention on the Garou surrounding Katherine.

[Adamidas] There’s vodka- w√≥dka- poking her and she turns around. Finds herself looking at a very familiar chest. She grins.

“Harmony’s got awesome taste, he got it for me for Christmas,” of course, she missed Christmas, but that was beside the point. She is walking, and is fine to pass on until she notices Alejandro. The female perks up immediately- you’d think they were childhood friends the way she perks up.

“Hey!”

And Derek gets a wave, “hey Derek. Look at you cleaning up nice… I think this is a little classier party than I’m used to.”

[Amunet Knezevic] One should, in polite society, at least tell your sister in person before vacating town for any amount of time.

She failed to do this last time, which is what brings her to the loft tonight to seek her out

[Katherine Bellamonte] It’s such a strange thing, she has replied with, more than once to Sarita’s reminders, on the hour like clockwork; a quiet chiming of Adren, Adren, Adren. I do not feel any different, but the spirits must see the change, if nothing else.

When Lukas, Adamidas and Alejandro arrive almost sequentially behind each other; Katherine, a shimmering vision in silver and black heels moves forward to greet them, casting a decidedly pointed look over her shoulder at her sister as she reminds her she found the Silver Fang’s top secret, low budget snack storage area. “Those are for guests,” she protests lightly, with entirely too much defensiveness creeping through her voice.

“Not me.”

Then, champagne flute in one hand; she moves forward. “Adamidas, I am so pleased you are here!” A press of red lips to the air beside a cheek, Lukas gets a radiant smile, a brush of a hand to his sleeve and Alejandro a neat little dip of her head to one side.

“Welcome, Seeks the Horizon. Is your brother with you, tonight? I fear he is building mystique in avoiding our meeting.” Her lips quirk. Then: Amunet appears; moving toward the door to the brightly lit complex and Katherine’s fair brows rise in clear surprise.

Sarita, your sister is here.

[Amunet Knezevic] She is dressed for a red eye flight to Sin City, which means she is NOT dressed for this type of party. Looking horribly uncomfortable, she makes her way into the loft and tries to stay out of the way as she sends a text.

Where ARE you? I’m downstairs.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns when she hears that. Yes, when Amy comes around, Sarita tends to think something’s wrong. Do you blame her? No, something usually IS wrong. FInally, you’re on my side. Yep.

Oh wow, the Strider sends through the link, getting out of the pool. Thanks.

She climbs out of the pool, grabbing a towel and drying off quickly as she comes out to the main area, looking for her.

[Amunet Knezevic] She would be the one off to the side, looking uncomfortable and entirely out of place…

[Sinclair] There’s laughter in the room that only Katherine and Lukas and Sarita can hear, because outwardly, Sinclair doesn’t let it loose. It’s in response to some mention over their link, something Katherine said that made her… well. Happy. She wanders around mostly, bumping purposefully into Lukas as though they’re in lupus before she continues on, giving an upward nod to Adamidas and a curious glance at this new kid that stinks of Fang just as much as the rest of the Loft does. She does happen to ignore the kinsman. She doesn’t even give him the little wave of hello that Sarita offers. And it might be that she hates him, for reasons he can’t fathom.

That is something he is free to believe if it accords with his nature. Sinclair, ignoring him, can’t help him interpret her behavior. She glances over at Amunet, tipping her head to the side. So that’s Sarita’s sister.

[Alejandro] Derek gets a cheery smile from the Theurge and a greeting in passing that goes something like: Hi! I’m Alejandro! But then it’s on to meet Kate and the look on his face is nothing if not ecstatic. He seems proud of her, happy for her, pleased to hear of her success.

“Honor’s Compass Rhya! My brother should be arriving, he is not so mysterious as he seems. I once had to wait seven hours for him to cross to the other side once. But he’ll be here!” He beams, using her Fostern name because the spirits know not of any other. “I know that you said you didn’t require any gifts, so please don’t feel I have ignored your wishes but..”

He looks positively giddy.

“I made this!” And he holds out the cylindrical device to her. “It’s that picture — map — of the Umbra! It has all that which is there and not there and sort of almost there marked in different colours because I find it so much easier to read maps when there are colours. Don’t you?”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled back at Adamidas “Thank you. And you look lovely tonight” He reply to her “And don’t worry about it. Later everyone will be in swimsuits probably and make it a lot less classy or formal”

He move slightly away from the young Fury to let her speak with whoever she desire. He noticed Amy, recognizing her from the only encounter and nodded to her. Well at least he wouldn’t be the only kin in a Garou party. Not that he was uncomfortable being the only one surrounded by true borns, especially the Unbroken. For some reason it seem to happen that way.

He folded his trench coat over his arm and then Thomas appeared to help him with it. Once his fellow kinsman was away, he took a champagne glass from one of the waiters.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Because obviously,” Lukas says drily, “you’d serve economy peanut butter cups to your guests.”

Then he breaks into a grin, side-hugging Kate briefly before pressing the Wyborowa into her hands. “Congrats, Kate. This is my last bottle until I nag my dad into sending more, so make the most of it and get smashed.”

[Adamidas] She’s seen this in movies. She knows, in theory, how this air kiss thing works. She doesn’t necessarily understand the entirety of it, but in her mind she chalks it up to Katherine being classy and somewhat French. Sinclair gets another nod in return which, while somewhat urban in its nature,doesn’t look quite as cool when she does it.

“I haven’t seen the place on this side of the umbra, it’s… huge, and you have a pool,” given her inflection it’s quite clear that the Fostern approves.

[Sinclair] “We have a big pool,” Sinclair says, though Adam is really talking to Katherine. She says ‘we’. This is, in a way, pack territory after it is Katherine’s. “It used to be smaller. We begged her and made puppy eyes til she had it expanded. That pool is a triumph of teamwork.”

[Gabriel Ferreira] He doesn’t look nearly as uncomfortable or out of his element as his brother does. When the Cliath of Honor’s Compass’s auspice arrives, it’s with some sort of gift for Lucille that the lower-class writer of this post can’t be fucked Googling but it’s expensive and classy; the grieving herald is given condolences, and once he actually makes his way into the domicile, far more expansive and luxurious than it appears on the outside, he makes a quick sweep of the room to map everyone out.

Once he’s located his brother and found that nothing has been set on fire, his shoulders relax.

The first person he approaches isn’t the triumphant hostess, or his perpetually cheerful brother, but the kinswoman standing off to the side, isolated and irritable. Without any in hand, no champagne glass or hors d’oeuvres, without having met before, the immediate question that comes to mind as he walks up to Amy is What does he want?

His hands are in the pockets of his dress pants as he casually comes to stand by the wall beyond arm’s length from Amy.

“It’s a party,” he says, lightly, in a voice that lacks an accent, “not a tribunal.” A beat. “Unless I read the invitation wrong. That would be embarrassing.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little and makes her way to her sister, coming up next to her. “Hey you.” She smiles to her, and then looks to Gabriel to give him a nod. “Hola.”

[Adamidas] She looks at Sinclair, and her eyes widened. The Glass Walker might as well have said Katherine got the pack their own individual ponies. It’s sheer amazement, “those had to be some pretty intense puppy eyes. I tried to convince Alec once that we needed a pool, and it didn’t happen. I can’t really talk the Coltranes into getting a pool, because it wouldn’t really be practical.”

And the lake is right there. But a lake isn’t a pool, you see.

[Amunet Knezevic] She laughs in spite of her complete unease, fingers running in her hair. “Well. You got an invitation, which puts you a rung above me here.

Oh hey. There’s Sarita. Fresh out of the pool. This is handy, should anyone need the super secret access point to fucking Bizarro land, she’ll just direct them to the loft.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Gabriel hands her a map of the Umbra, and Katherine seems genuinely fascinated as he points things out on it. “Look, Lukas, Adam, Gabriel has drawn an Umbral map for me.” As if he were her toddler, presenting his first finger painting to his mother, her beaming and proud.

The Cliath Fang’s brother makes an appearance, then, and Katherine, carefully passing off Lukas’ gift to Lucille to tend after, finds his figure with her pale eyes and watches him, intently. She glances side long at Alejandro and her eyes ask the question without ever parting her lips to speak it.

Waiters bring around fresh offerings in the shape of colorful seafood snacks; trout and salmon with caviar, more of the same cucumber and avocado relish Sinclair had plucked from a tray earlier; other fanciful combination with names that involved things such as a side of or a sprig of to complete them.

Despite the press of combined Rage in the air around them; the atmosphere of the Loft is airy; pleasant. There is no demands being placed on either of the Kinfolk there; Amy is offered a flute of champagne by a waitress dressed in black slacks and a white collared shirt. There is also sparkling cider and wine on tap.

The Theurge Elder is impressed by the sheer mass of the pool; Honor’s Compass smiles. “I am quite convinced I have the happiest water spirits in it second perhaps only to the lake itself.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You’re here. That’s awesome.” She looks from Gabriel to Amy. “Um…Alejandro’s brother, this is my sister Amy. Amy, this is…Alejandro’s brother.”

Isn’t she good at introductions? “Kate made Adren,” she explains to Amy. “Thus, the party.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] [oops, I meant Alejandro. Shut up, there’s a lot of you.]

[Derek Anderson] He walked around, watching everyone but no one in particular. He knew everyone except two right now. At least by sight. He drinks from his champagne glass, not mingling right now. Everyone was congratulating Kate as they should, people were getting acquinted with others.

He put his bag on one of the benches, for later, when it’ll be time for swimming. Right now, Sarita was the only one dressed ofr swimming and after their last discussion, he won’t go in the pool alone with her if she gets back to it. She mgiht get the impression that he didn’t understood what she said that night. And he did and respected it.

So for now, leaving them alone was ok with him.

[Gabriel Ferreira] “Look on the bright side–”

Whatever that bright side is, he isn’t afforded the opportunity to impart it to his unwilling audience.

Hola, Sarita says, and he leans slightly past the kinswoman to regard the Ragabash. Given his height compared to hers, he could have looked clear over the shorter woman’s head to address her–guardian, sister, cousin, he can’t tell–tribeswoman. As he’s glancing over, that universal sense of being watched creeps up his spine, and his eyes wander across the room to find the source of it.

Spotted!

Ol√°,” he replies, the accentuation different, the accent on a different syllable. That said, he steps away from the wall to form a lopsided sort of triangle between himself and the two females, extending his hand to shake should either of them feel inclined to do so. “Nice to meet you. My name’s ‘Gabriel’ but I’ll answer to ‘Alejandro’s brother,’ too.”

He steps back.

“If you’ll excuse me.”

[Amunet Knezevic] “Amunet. It’s nice to meet you, Alejandro’s brother.” Not that she has the slightest idea who Alejandro is, but….

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “New Fangs,” she says as Gabriel walks off, and she takes a lean next to Amy. She’s content to be at the side of the party with her sister, though she’s keeping her packmates in view.

“I’m glad to see you here. How’d that meeting go?”

[Amunet Knezevic] “Good. Really good.”

She has the same irrational panicked thought now that she did after she lost her virginity to Ox. Can they tell? Does something seem somehow different? Is she marked in some invisible way? Nobody seemed to be paying any attention to her, which she took as a good sign.

[Alejandro] There are things to point out on the map, things that Alejandro make sure they see because they’re fascinating. His index finger darts across the surface of it once it is unfurled and they read labels that are formal and artsy like: Where Water Spirits Whisper, The Windy Peak. There are other labels though, less formal and more personal – notes and edits too.

Fun times with Fire spirits! Caution: Take sunscreen!

Warning: Hole in the basement, unsure where it leads. I totally understand how Locke felt though! I want to open the hatch!

Once he has taken up enough — too much — of her time, he wanders off. It’s in Sinclair’s direction that he seems to meander, a thin youth with a too small suit. He doesn’t say anything yet, though he’ll flash her a sheepish smile if she looks at him. He just sort of.. loiters.

[Adamidas] She peeks along with, but there’s quiet recognition and genuine pleasure on her features.

“Oh wow,” she looks from the map to Alejandro, “how far down does it go? That’s seriously handy.”

She then addreses the rest of the Unbroken, or whoever else could muse about the pool. She grins, “more than likely? It’s a well loved, well-tended place. And nothing is going to mess with them in here. It’s a good, safe place to be. ”

[Sinclair] Sinclair is by the food. She’s not as face-stuffing as a Bone Gnawer’s best stereotype, but she’s making pretty good progress on some finger foods with more of that avocado stuff on them and looks to be considering bringing in a bag of tortilla chips and some bean dip to round out Katherine’s impromptu spread, which would take most people two weeks to set up.

Alejandro wanders over. She’s chewing, and slows down a bit as he loiters. Stares at him. “What?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives Amy a weird look. “Well, awesome.” It’s said in the teasing tone that they used to use with each other. Amy and Sarita can bicker and snipe at each other like there’s no tomorrow, and they can have some of the biggest knock-down, drag-out sister fights this side of a Cops episode. But there hasn’t been much of that lately. Just quiet words, no less frustrated, and hugs and the occasional tear.

“Y’okay? You seem a bit…off.”

[Adamidas] “Oh! Kate! When you have time!” she half lifts up her bag, “I have stuff for you. But I didn’t wrap it.”
And, apparently, it’s personal enough that she doesn’t want to take it out yet.

[Amunet Knezevic] “Um. I wanted to let you know I was taking off for the weekend. You know. Not by text this time.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh.” She nods a little bit, reaching up to brush her hand over Amy’s hair. “Well, that’s cool. Just the weekend?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Honor’s Compass does seem very pleased with her gift, she holds it carefully against her side; one arm folded over her middle, the other holding a flute of no doubt very expensive champagne. She’s sipping from it idly, every few moments and smiling around at her gathering of guests.

She has to stand, one should note, rather carefully in her gown; while lovely and light-catching; it was rather on the short side, and dipped into a daring V that bared a great deal of flesh without becoming cheap about it. Still; Katherine wore it elegantly, as was to be expected of her and as Alejandro’s brother crosses toward her she quiets, and sips from her flute, watching him through pale eyes; her lids painted a smokey gray.

“You must be Gabriel,” she greets him, voice quite amicable. “I wondered when you would surface into the light.”

Adamidas has things — but she didn’t wrap them. Katherine’s eyebrows rise. “What have you brought me, Adamidas.” There’s a lightness to that, she’s teasing.

[Amunet Knezevic] “Yeah.”

Wow, this is uncomfortable.

“We’re going to Vegas for a couple days”

[Alejandro] She stares at him and he stares back. The question has his smile shift from sheepish to comfortably cheery. “I’m Alejandro. Do you live here?”

A small hand reaches out and takes up a carrot stick or celery stick if they are on offer, stabbing it into some nearby dip before he chomps on the end of it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Good.” She smiles and nods. She is picking up on Amy’s discomfort, and that is affecting her, but mostly because she doesn’t see why it’s so weird, and she’s concerned. That worry for her sister will always be there, whether she has a mate or not. And in addition, there is joy for her sister. She may not be convinced this is her best course of action, but she’s keeping it down.

“That’ll be awesome. You guys can have a blast, get away from all this. It’ll be good for you. I’m happy.”

[Derek Anderson] He stop somewehre between the pool and the lobby. His kind bluee eyes moved from Garou to Garou, his glass f champagne almost empty. He’s not mingling right now. If it was only the Unbroken, it would be easier, but right now, he kept his distance.

He would probably stay there only for some time nd leave finally. Politly representing the Fang Kins and then let the Garou to their celebration. He move to the food, grab a snadwich and move away again.

[Gabriel Ferreira] Alejandro’s brother isn’t wearing anything quite as eye-catching as Miss Bellamonte, which both ought to go without saying and fill everyone in the room with gratitude. Considering that this isn’t exactly a formal tribal affair, he is not wearing a tuxedo. He wears a three-piece suit, because it’s cold as the devil outside, but it fits better than whatever it is that Alejandro is wearing, and he doesn’t look as though he’d rather be outside rolling around in a mud heap.

There is quite a bit to look at, but she’s his elder, and his eyes behave themselves.

She wondered when he would surface.

“Wonder no more, -rhya,” he says, taking his hands out of his pockets for etiquette’s sake.

Then the Adren is addressing the Fostern, so he waits his turn.

[Amunet Knezevic] The pod people were here. Awesome. Her eyes flicker around the room quickly as if expecting an uncomfortable surprise.

“So…. I guess I should say congratulations and get out of here, hey?”

[Sinclair] What makes Sinclair intimidating — and she is, in fact, very intimidating — is not her rage. That’s eclipsed quite neatly by other Garou in the room. Gabriel and Katherine and Lukas all have more of that internal fire to draw on, to carry with them, to endure. With Sinclair, it’s something else entirely. She looks at Alejandro, another wolf, as though she is gauging whether he is higher or lower on the food chain — literally — than she is. The fact that it takes her little more than a moment to determine just how far below her he is, how quickly she could eat him, how many bites it would take,

unnerves every mortal she meets. Makes Kinfolk uncomfortable. Makes her a little less than popular even among other wolves. She’s not a woman, purple toenails and piercings and human trappings notwithstanding. She’s savage thing made only more dangerous, not more civil, by opposable thumbs and technological intelligence.

She blinks at him, slow and lazy, once. “I’m Sinclair. And yes.”

Over there, people are giving Kate presents, like it’s her birthday or something. Somehow, something completely bizarre seems utterly natural just because it’s Kate. “I’m Kate’s packmate,” she adds.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] Soon after showing up, Lukas disappeared into the kitchen to…

…mix drinks, as it turns out. While Katherine sips on champagne, Lukas reemerges with some eight or ten collins glasses of distinctively blue liquor. It’s not often that he plays chef or bartender, but one supposes tonight’s ample justification for an exception.

So he passes that tray around – to Kate, to his packmates, to the guests. When everyone who wants a shot has one, Lukas raises his voice enough to cut momentarily through the conversation.

“I’d like to make a toast,” he says. “Here’s to Katherine, who proved today what everyone already knew: that she’s a badass Adren Philodox. Here’s to my pack, my brothers and sisters past and present and future.

“Here’s to booze and pool parties. Here’s to friends. Here’s to celebrating us, and the savage joy of our lives.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, you can hang out if you want. It might be fun.”

She gives a little shrug. She wants Amy to be comfortable, but there are a lot of people here she doesn’t know. And it’s not exactly the best time for introductions.

Lukas comes out, and he has shots. Sarita takes one and gives one to Amy.

[Amunet Knezevic] Ohthankholygod alcohol. She gratefully takes the shot, eyeing Lukas and trying to stay invisible.

[Sinclair] Sinclair takes two shots. When the toast is given, she clinks them together. “Hear, hear!”

First goes the left, then goes the right.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine doesn’t offer her hand to Gabriel, or do much of anything but look at him for a good few moments. It’s not challenging, per say, that stare, but rather more curious; considering. She does add, after a long pause of silence, broken by the soft classical music, tinkering from the background. The lapping of water in the pool, as the cleaner is activated and hums along the bottom; greedily eating anything daring to pollute it.

Were Sinclair’s spirit with her; he’d no doubt be EEEing over the machinery.

“It’s nice to put a face to the name, Resurrection. I am obviously Katherine, Honor’s Compass. I am your tribal Alpha, and your auspice Elder in the city. I look forward to seeing you show yourself to be a worthwhile addition here, along with your brother.” A beat, Lukas brings out that dreaded blue mixture of his; Katherine clings to her champagne.

A corner of her mouth flicking with the toast, she raises her glass, eyes gleaming.

In the corner; Thomas and Lucille, sharing conversation among themselves, also toast.

[Alejandro] The only response to Sinclair’s undeniable predatory nature is the fact that Alejandro waited for her to initiate conversation before speaking. After that he is smiles, he seems comfortable. It might be ignorance or innocence or the fact that his spirit soars so high compared to his human nature, but he doesn’t shy away from her despite the fact that yes: She could eat him all up, one bite perhaps two if he were lucky.

Just like her intimidating otherness, there is something strange about the boy – and he is most definitely a boy, not a man. It isn’t strong enough to pin-point, but it isn’t weak enough to be only revealed in the Umbra either. She might get a sense of the elements, perhaps a familiar one because it strikes each individual differently. It’s masked beneath his breeding, but it’s still there.

Her name is Sinclair, she lives here and his smile broadens. Before he can respond, however, there is a toast. He has no drink, no glass, so he takes one of the shots. He’s not entirely sure that he should be allowed to have one but he raises it anyway along with what’s left of his celery stick and joins in the cheer with everybody else.

Once it’s all over and the cheering has subsided along with the speeches he looks again at Sinclair. “I’m going to be living her too,” he says, like that is wonderful news. “I heard you have a friend,” his tone has shifted, something more secretive, something that excites. “I would love to meet him.”

EEEing indeed!

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Okay,” Lukas explains the rules with great patience, “you can’t get Sinclair to take your shot by proxy, Kate.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles and raises her glass. In another time, another day, she would have given some kind of ululation, an over-the-top cheer or the like. She’s certainly that pleased for her packmate, and the warmth shows in her expression. The response however is more restrained. She just raises her glass and winks at Kate, giving her a nod that is both congratulatory and grateful.

And then the shot is knocked back.

[Derek Anderson] He took the shot from Lukas “Thank” He say to the man. He raise his shot like everyone else and down it after the toast. He let the strong mix of liquors burn down his throat. It was really good and wondered if he shold get more. Then again being drunk here mgiht not be the best thing. He had to look respectable in front of Katherine after all.

He handed the shot to a passing waited and took another glass of champagne.

[Amunet Knezevic] “I should go.”

Sarita belongs here, not her. Her fingers brush in her hair again, then she reaches to squeeze her sister’s arm.

“I’ll see you Monday, hey?”

[Gabriel Ferreira] A tray of glowing-nuclear liquid is passed around by a larger, heavier wolf, and it would be terribly rude to not partake in a drink prepared by his elder. The Cliath flicks a glance to Katherine, standing cool and poised with her flute in one hand and the Umbral map in the other, and he suppresses a smile as he reaches out a hand to take one of the Collins glasses.

There’s a ring on his left hand, visible only because that’s the hand he uses to pick up the glass.

“Thank you, -rhya,” he tells the Lord.

A toast, and then Katherine is being teased. Gabriel thinks about tossing his back, but holds onto it while his tribal and auspice elder is reminded of the rules of engagement. There is no verbal teasing, but there is an air of expectation about the taller Philodox.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns. “You sure? I know it’s a lot of people here, but…”

She sighs, and then nods. “Okay. Listen, when you get back Monday we’ll hang, okay? Just you and me?”

[Sinclair] Sinclair’s eyebrows flick up a bit. “A… friend?” is all she can give Alejandro, since the cheerful little poppet doesn’t get more specific than that.

[Amunet Knezevic] “We’ve got a flight to catch.” The words tumble over themselves in a rush to make it out. “I mean, it seems like a great party and all, but we’ve got a flight. Yeah, Monday. It’ll be fun, right? ” She smiles, taking a couple of shuffly steps toward the door.

[Alejandro] The poppet nods his head and takes another bite of his celery stick. The shot remains untouched but he eyes it now and then, like he wants to drink it all the same.

“Yes,” he confirms once he has swallowed the vegetable. “Names are.. not meaningless, but I find trouble in translating them. A spirit, or so I’m told. Is he truly your friend?” He asks the last part in a hushed tone, like he doesn’t want to have the hope that such a thing could be possible. The spirits love him — at least the nice ones — most assuredly. But he doesn’t have that; he has never had that.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs. She knows when Amy’s coming up with bullshit excuses to get away. She rubs at her eyes. “Yeah, totally. C’mon, lemme walk you out.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] “I already have a drink, Lukas,” she primly shoots back at him with an expression of great forbearance. Then, as eyes watch, and wait she heaves a sigh and gestures for the tray. “Very well, but I drink under protest. This is peer pressure, hm?”

She holds one up, studies it, and then swallows it out with her eyes closed.

[Sinclair] At that, Sinclair blinks. “Oh. Tripoli,” she says, like she might actually be talking about a two-legged, five-fingered sort of friend. It isn’t that Sinclair doesn’t understand or respect what it means to have a familiar like the one she does, that she’s received something special in the little metal gaffling’s affection and devotion. But it’s Tripoli.

And Alejandro talks in hushed, awed tones and Sinclair just looks at him like he’s grown a third head. Yes, a third. Two wouldn’t quite cover the weirdness she’s attributing to him. “Uh, yeah.” A beat. “Dude, don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re really giving off this desperate freshman vibe. Have a shot and chill out.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] And move to walk Amy out she does. She stays outside the Loft once Amy heads off, going into her van and changing out of her swimsuit. Yes, she keeps clothes in her van. You would too if you lived out of it cross-country for ten years. Once she’s dressed she lights up a cigarette, hanging outside and smoking for a bit.

[Adamidas] No one can be quite sure where she went, possibly off to the bathroom (which meant that Adam got lost on the way there) or possibly to the umbra to check out and see how the water spirits actually felt about Kate’s pool (pretty damned good. They like the pool, yay pool!) but what matters is this.

The Black Fury comes back and she’s adjusted herself. she’s got chalk dust in her hair again. Just a little bit of it. Enough to be telling. She snags a drink on the way.

[Alejandro] “Oh..” Colour flushes his cheeks then drains just as quickly. He turns his head down for a moment. It isn’t the first time such an opinion has been expressed and it won’t be the last time.

“I should.. I’m sorry, I just..” Resignation at first, then something else: Nervous courage. He looks at the shot glass again then throws it down the hatch with the awkwardness of someone who is probably doing this for the first time.

[rolling stam for his first drink! +1 dif newbieness]
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 1, 7, 8, 9 (Success x 2 at target 7)

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “I applaud your courage,” says the Ahroun who, some time ago, gave a cub a semi-serious lecture about the booze of the tribes. The corner of his mouth tilts, “Now have another one.”

Lukas picks up another one himself then. A moment or two after Sarita escorts her sister out — long enough to let them say their goodbyes — he follows the Strider. Finds her smoking outside, which is one minor sin he’s never really picked up.

“Those will kill you,” he says wryly, taking a seat beside her on the van’s floor, legs hanging out the side sliding door. “But if you’ve got a toke, I’ll share that with you.”

[Sinclair] The Galliard smirks as Alejandro downs the AMF. She glances up as Lukas and Sarita head outside; there’s a flicker of something in her eyes. Maybe longing. She doesn’t go to join them, though. She stays inside the party. There have been times when Lukas has gone to her when she’s down, too. Times when, really, it helps to just have some one on one conversation with their brother.

She goes to find the tray and gets another shot. “Hey, Brass Petals-yuf,” she calls out. “Have a shot! We’re toasting Kate’s awesomesaucesomness.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] The Hostess goes and perches herself on a black leather sofa; crossing her long legs at the knee and balancing at once a flute of champagne and another of the bright blue death drinks her Alpha seems to be intent on her consuming until she falls on her head and has the Grand Elder appearing to strip her of Adren on account of being a drunken dolt.

She tries a second one, however and finds it not quite as eye-watering as the first.

A discreet cough goes unheard beneath a palm and she watches; quite amused as the Theurge re-appears, looking a little dusty. Katherine waves Adamidas over. “What did you want to give me, Brass Petals?”

[Gabriel Ferreira] There’s no triumphant whooping or raucous encouragement as Katherine breaks down and gives into the double-fronted peer pressure from the males. The corner of the Philodox’s mouth quirks into what almost becomes a smile, and then he tosses back his own shot without much effort. The fruitiness of it surprises him, and he blinks.

“I wouldn’t call it ‘peer pressure,'” he says, once he’s recovered.

Her Alpha applauds her courage, bids her take another one, and Gabriel fixes her with another look. She can’t pussy out in front of the Cliath, now, can she?

Then he spares a brief glance around, as if trying to see what his brother is up to. He’s downing shots. Fantastic. A second shot is taken, and Gabriel wipes his mouth before ambling over to collect Alejandro.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over at Lukas and smiles, exahaling a lungful of smoke. “Lots of things that’ll kill you, mi capitan. Whole mess of ’em.” She stubs out the smoke on the fender, and then leans back into the van to pull up a piece of carpet next to the wheel well. It fit seamlessly enough that you wouldn’t even know it was separate from the rest of the laydown carpet in the place if you didn’t see it get removed. There’s a little compartment there and she flicks a combination, then opens it and pulls out a baggie with a several joints. It wasn’t the only baggie in the compartment.

“The key…as I’ve learned…” She pops the joint into her mouth and lights it up. She takes a drag, holds it in and then slowly exhales before she passes it over. “…is to do the things that you enjoy, whether it kills you or not. Odds are, it’s not the thing that’s gonna.”

A pause. “‘sides, if you live denying every joy you’ve got? You ain’t really living.”

[Adamidas] “Weeoo!”

Don’t have to tell her twice. The female trots over and grabs a shot, only to hear Kate calling her name. She stops about mid step and turns, “the hostess doth beckon. Prost!”

The shot goes back, and it’s sheer force of will and a fair bit of practice that keeps Adam from gagging and looking dazed. She lives at the brotherhood. She drinks. She pays tribute to grain (or maybe it’s potato… she didn’t look at what she drank and the female isn’t experienced enough of a drinker to notice the burn in her throat is distinct depending on what she’s drinking.)

She sidles up and sits herself beside Kate. Or, rather, near Kate. She’s got a grin on her face, and her voice drops to the tone of conversational. But not entirely openly so. Shotglass in one hand, she finds something in her bag with the other. It’s offered to Kate.

[Matthieu] Matthieu was not the kind of man to make a casual appearance. Every thrum of his heart was another beat of a living legacy in the making. Pulsing through his veins wasn’t just the blood of the Heroes of the Garou but the blood of the greatest heroes the world had ever seen. The Silver Fang wasn’t simply born into luxury despite the filth the Shadow Lords would attempt to spread about them. Each and every one of Matthieu’s ancestors was a Hero in their own right. Whether they were eradicating the Black Spiral menace from much of France or helping to draw the Wendigo into the Garou nation in a glorious reunion of cousins removed by countless millenia Matthieu’s ancestors were anything but lazy. Each life was a story all it’s own. Each one leaving behind a story to be shared before all. Some would end in tragedy and some would end in triumph but one thing that could never be said about this ancient family was the fact that they had not earned the greatness that pumped through their veins.

Matthieu was not great… Matthieu was not amazing or incredible. He was smart, he was cunning, and he was charming but he was young and inexperienced. Yet he knew that the weight of his own families greatness rested firmly on his shoulders. It wasn’t just that they wished him to be great, no no no these were Silver Fangs. House and Tribe depend on that greatness in both character and strength. A Silver Fang must be faster he must be stronger and he must be smarter because the fate of the nation, and through the nation the world, rested firmly upon their shoulders.

Others would complain, they would boil with discontent, and they would throw themselves against his people again and again. It has happened time and time again and it would happen again several times in his lifetime. The Silver Fang’s life was a double edged sword. They carried the weight of an entire nation on their shoulders and in turn they carried the contempt and hatred of the enemies of that nation as well as their enemies within. Yet there would be no complaint, and there would be no tears.

The wyrm comes and it tears its way through their world it falls upon the weak and the strong alike but against the walls of the Silver Fang’s ancient fortresses is where it is halted like a bull charging against a brick wall.

The Silver Fangs don’t know they are strong because they were born to rick parents. The Silver Fangs know they are strong because their enemies have thrown anything and everything you can imagine their way and still they stand tall and fast. By the Shadow Lords, their ancient rivals, own reasoning it is the strongest who rule. Well so far the Silver Fangs have ruled for how many Hundred Millenia? Longer than any kingdom of man… Longer than science, and agriculture, longer than man has had fire the Silver Fangs have ruled and still to this day they continue to rule.

This is the legacy Matthieu carries to the door of the Loft. It was an ancient legacy and one which swelled his heart with pride. He might not be great yet but he belonged to a tribe who was judged solely on the merit of their greatness. He would be great in action and deed because he, like every other Silver Fang, will accept nothing less than that.

Patient, and quiet until the time came to speak, the Galliard, and now Elder, stood outside the door biding his time. So much to be done in this city and with this city. So much was going on, and so much needed to be fixed. Ten thousand things might cross his mind on any given day but he was a Silver Fang he would address each one individually, if he has to, and confront them all.

[Alejandro] Alejandro takes down whatever was in that glass, he’s not entirely sure. Then Sinclair’s gone with no promise to introduce him to her spirit friend. “Nice going Alejandro,” he mutters to himself then stuffs the rest of the celery stick and a second one into his mouth, much more uncouth now that he’s alone. He mutters again while he chews. “Desperate freshman vibe.. I’ve never even been to college!” Like the statement makes no sense to him at all.

His brother wanders over and Alejandro hastily hides the empty shot glass amongst a pile of bread sticks.

“Hello Gabi.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “I’ll drink to that,” Lukas says quietly, and then does just that: downs his second adios like nothing.

It’s not nothing, though. It’s one of the more potent mixes on the face of the earth, and when Lukas sets his collins glass down on the pavement between his feet he can feel his head lightening. Sitting up again, he grins — a little lazy, a little crooked — as Sarita pulls a joint out like magic.

“I knew you had a stash.” He sounds satisfied. “Anyone who lives part-time in a van has a stash.”

Lukas takes the joint over, then, taking a long slow hit. They don’t see their Alpha indulge in illegal substances much, and the truth is: he doesn’t. He popped a tab of ecstasy with Danicka the night they got — well. Married. Married in front of a city clerk, in a tiny tender ceremony witnessed by exactly three people, all parental units. Married, and then off to a reception that consisted of a club, groundshaking bass, and a harajuku girl that sold them MDMA; then off to a honeymoon of sorts that consisted of holing up in one of the more exclusive suites in the city for a week.

Before that, the last time he touched anything on the DEA schedule was… well. The week before Mrena died. The week he was too busy tailspinning for his own personal reasons to tend to his pack.

He smokes like he knows what he’s doing, though, passes the joint back and lays himself back, stretched out on the floor of the van with his feet still on the ground outside. His eyes close for a while. Then they open and he looks over at his newest sister.

“So how come you’re so quiet tonight?”

[Gabriel Ferreira] The kid is muttering to himself as his brother crosses the room to join him by the table. Gabriel frowns, curious, and casts a glance back over his shoulder at the barefoot blonde who had been speaking with him a few moments ago. Lips form words, and while he is hardly adept at parsing words out of noiseless movement of the mouth, what he can see on the boy’s face tells him that it didn’t go as well as he’d hoped.

That shot glass isn’t tucked away as quickly as he might think it is.

“Jano.”

He comes to stand beside the Theurge, keeping his eyes facing the rest of the room, hands in his pants pockets again now that he’s devoid of a glass to keep them occupied.

“What happened?” he asks, and it’s hard to tell if he’s asking because it’s in the Decent Concerned Brother script or because he actually wants to know.

[Alejandro] “Nothing.” He grumbles, swallows down the vegetables in his mouth. It’s a moment of brief silence and then: “I just wanted to be friends with her and her stupid spirit buddy.” He says, childishly and low to Gabriel. The way he says it makes it clear that he thinks her spirit friend is anything but stupid. A beat later and he’s proving this when he says:

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. No spirits are stupid. Not even concrete is stupid, Adam really likes concrete. It can be quite clever.”

[Derek Anderson] His second glass of champagne is empty, he pick another shot of AMF151. He start walknig again, picking up a carrot as he pass near the food table. He downed the shot, feeling a nice buzz by now and keeping it at that. He leave the empty shot glass on the tray and munch on the carrot.

Lukas has left for the moment, possibly to check on Sarita and Amy. Katherine is talking to Adam with Sinclair nearby and the two unknown Garou were talking together. And now another unkown has stepped inside. He looked at his watch and wondered if he should head out. Maybe text Kristen and see if she was still awake and wanted to go out for a late snack or something. Probably not though. The Fianna was probably asleep right now.

He drifted closer to the entrance. He’ll stay a little while longer than get home.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Mirror’s Whisper enters into a glittery — and strangely eclectic in terms of those present — party in full swing. The Galliard Elder has his coat taken by Katherine’s dutiful maid, Lucille at the door, she nods to him and points him inward hanging it up carefully on a hanger.

Down the corridor; the space opens up into Katherine Bellamonte’s white washed dining area. Large black sofas have been pushed outward to make room for guests and three or four waiters are doing tours with trays of food and drink. Asha’s herald, the Kinsman known as Thomas is here, too. A respectable fellow sitting quietly near the hostess, herself. Honor’s Compass, newly minted Adren, is listening to something the Theurge Elder is telling her, her eyes on a bag that seems to contain something of importance.

Katherine notes Matthieu, he gets a bright smile, and a gesture to enter, and make himself at home as Rain of Brass Petals offers Katherine over a beautiful, if broken necklace. Honor’s Compass frowns at the delicate thing in her hands, setting her glass down so she might better cradle it. Her pale eyes quite focused on what the Theurge is attempting to convey.

“Thank you, Adamidas. It is … beautiful. I am very moved you should give this to me, but are you quite sure you wish to part with something so dear to your heart? It was your friend’s, your words are enough.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins. “Of course I have a stash. Shit, Lukas, how do you think I keep myself in gas, smokes, fast food and cell phone service?” A little chuckle comes forth, fairly dry as he takes the joint. She’s never been blatant about how she and Amy scrape by, but she never really hid it either. Patrick knows; Hunter and the rest of Defiance know. It’s a psuedo-living, nothing more.

She watches him take the hit, surprised when he handles it like a pro. “Well, ain’t you just hardcore? I’m impressed, boss-man.” She takes it back and takes another hit, eyes wandering up to the sky. She always finds herself looking at the sky for some reason when she doesn’t have anywhere else to go. She’s never gotten why, and she rarely even thinks about it. She’d attribute it to Luna if she did. It’s not why.

And then he asks why she’s so quiet. Her eyes drop from their upward cast and look over at him. She lets the smoke out in a sigh and brings a foot up to rest against the fender, knee against her chest. “Lot on my mind, I guess. Lotta changes, and I know change can be good. Some changes…obviously…very good. I’m ecstatic over. Others…” She looks down the road where Amy’s cab took her. “The two don’t correlate and the reasons behind Amy have little to nothing to do with the rest, but it feels like I traded a sister for four (three) siblings.”

[Sinclair] It’s easy to interact with Sinclair — or even try to say hi to her — and end up feeling like she just isn’t interested. That her pack is enough for her, thanks, she doesn’t quite want or need to get to know anyone else. She ignores kinfolk to the point of it seeming as though she despises them — and she wouldn’t be the first Garou to get to the point of just not wanting to deal with them anymore. Alejandro comes over because he’s heard she has a spirit familiar and he’s really, really interested in being introduced, and Sinclair tells him to chill out and goes to get another drink.

This apparently meant, to Alejandro, that she wasn’t coming back. That she was blowing him off. Hardly. She gets her shot, yells at Adamidas to get one, and then she’s coming back to the food, blinking as she overhears some of what Alejandro tells his brother. She looks amused, downing her third — fourth? — shot and laughing as she comes up, slinging an arm around the wee Theurge.

“See? Desperate freshman vibe. You like the shot?”

[Adamidas] “Wouldn’t do it unless I meant it. And I wouldn’t give it to you unless I’d thought about it, besides I don’t think Hera’s gonna be pissed about the regifting,” she says. Can’t be too serious but… well, the first statement is serious enough to carry her weight, “and if she is she’ll just kick my ass in the homelands and we’ll call it good.”

Because even though Adam’s outlived her friend by a fair bit, Hera will still be able to kick her ass in the homelands.

[Gabriel Ferreira] The look on the older Garou’s face becomes one of enlightenment, as though the word Nothing contains everything that he needs to know. Nothing. Just talking to an older, higher ranked, more experienced Garou and she wasn’t impressed by what she saw. No big deal.

Without waiting to be pressed, without Gabriel even looking over and down at him, Alejandro explains. There’s a snort when he calls her familiar ‘stupid,’ and that’s when Gabriel looks over at him.

“Which one’s Adam?” he asks, looking back to the room.

The tall blue-eyed kinsman is slowly sneaking towards the exit, and Gabriel watches him a moment before yet another tall creature joins the fray. Matthieu, too, is watched a moment, and by process of elimination, he comes to the tiny teenage girl speaking with their elder.

Before he can start teasing the younger Cliath about his choice in female companions, the Glass Walker returns, slinging an arm around him. Gabriel watches, and though he’s being introduced as the boy’s brother, there is not even a whiff of hypermasculine overprotectiveness in him.

Must be the age difference meant he never had to slam another kid into a locker for fucking with his brother growing up.

[Alejandro] “That one,” he points her out just as Sinclair is wandering back over to them. Her laughter is noticed before anything else and he’s half prepared for something that just isn’t there. She’s amused and it isn’t mean-spirited, not that he thought she was being mean just dismissive. There’s none of that though, just an arm around his shoulders and he tilts his head to look first at his brother with a surprised twisting of his lips into that boyish smile of his and then at Sinclair.

See? Desperate freshman vibe. You like the shot?

I found it.. interesting.” A beat and then: “I may require another before I can truly give a fair judgement.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “That’s me. Hardcore.” Lukas laughs quietly. “Truth is before we came out here we used to run under Kate’s brother Ed. Total prodigal son, a charming wastrel. My best friend for a long, long time … it’s a long story. But he had the hookups. Silver Fangs, nothing but the finest green.”

And then that quiet, and then he’s asking her why so serious, and she’s … telling him. He turns to look at her as she does; follows her eyes down the road, lifting his head to see. Then, laying back again:

“I don’t blame you for feeling like that, but I don’t think it’s quite that. It’s true that with you getting packed up, she might feel a little like what used to be you and her has become you-and-your-pack, and then her on the side. I think it’s always going to be a sort of tension in our lives. We’re not like real wolves, whose families are their packs. We’ve got pack-family. We’ve got blood-family. I think it takes a lot of work and balance and understanding to make it work, and the sad thing is I think a lot of us … don’t really make it work, ever.

“But I don’t think that’s the only reason she seems to be drifting farther away. You told me from the start that your sister’s a wildcard, and even though you love her you don’t really think you’re capable of protecting her and warding her the way you’re ‘supposed to’.” He doesn’t have to make air quotes for Sarita to hear them. “She’s like a kite. As much slack as you feed out, if there’s too much strain the line’s going to snap. And a whole lot of shit went down for her, fast. It wasn’t your fault and there wasn’t anything you could do better than you did.

“I don’t think there’s anything you can do better than you’re doing, either. Try to keep her close. Try to protect her, but … ”

Maybe it’s the booze. Maybe it’s the pot starting to unfurl. Either way, Lukas’s thoughts are loose and languid, drifting easily from one subject to the next.

“I heard from my tribesman that he’s claiming her as a mate. Is she happy with that?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] The Silver Fang laughs; a light, tinkling sound rather like windchimes and honey, it is all sweetness, that noise. You would never believe that the creature making it could rip your heart from your chest while it was still beating with her claws in another form; she is entirely too much of a lady; too demure and composed.

“Well, let’s just say I’m only looking after it for the time being, before one day, it is passed along again.” A moment’s quiet, Katherine looks steadily at Adamidas. She had done a rite of reawakening with the Theurge, once, not so long ago. They’d brought back the new season; seen much.

“In the spirit of honesty, Brass Petals, accept my words to you. You’ve grown a lot since I’ve seen you last, I know there is much that we do not know of one another, but what I have glimpsed makes me quite proud to know of you, to introduce you as the leader of our Theurges in the city. It is not an easy thing, being the one looked to, to make the choices.”

[Sinclair] “Yeah, you totally need more,” Sinclair says, hearing that. She pulls back, clapping him on the shoulder. “Get some more, get trashed. It’s a party and if you’re gonna live here then it’s not like you have to worry about getting home safe.”

Nothing more is said about Tripoli, her stupid spirit friend. She actually heads off on her own again. Adamidas is giving the defiantly sober Katherine a gift, something shiny. Sinclair doesn’t seem terribly invested in getting to know the latest and greatest Silver Fangs in town, and in general she gives Matthieu a wide berth in case he either thinks being a Galliard means she wants to hear him regale her with tales of his ancestors or that being a Glass Walker means he can snit at her. So far he has never done either, so she’s perfectly happy to keep it that way.

And, with a brief moment of eye contact with Kate to let her know she’s slipping out for a bit, Sinclair heads outside in the direction of her only brother and her newest sister.

There is a knock on the van’s door. “OPEN UP!” she hollers. “I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING IN THERE.”

[Adamidas] “You get old, you grow up,” she says. The situation she’s in right now isn’t that different from the one that she was in a year ago. All things considered, though, it’s a world away and a different place in time. She’s not as… well… she’s different now. She’s learned from failure.

“And someone has to make calls, it’s not easy but… ya know… gotta do it,” she says, but she smiles anyway. It’s something sincere and she bites back that little bit of failing to accept a compliment graciously. She mulls it over and reaches up to push some of her own ahir back, “that means a lot to hear, thanks.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She listens to Lukas as she looks down the road. Her eyes don’t leave the path that the cab left down, but she is clearly listening to him, He’s telling her things she already knew, but they haven’t come from anyone else yet. They’ve been in her own mind–rationalizations and blind optimism that she did everything they could, or platitudes from Amy, who is far from reliable lately at being open with how she really feels. So the words from the Shadow Lord are comfort. They reinforce her.

However, it’s not all true. Not to Sarita, and she shakes her head. “I shouldn’t have lied to her about what happened with Hunter and John. I mean, I know that it was for the best. I know that if I’d told her right then and there, I’d have had to keep her on a damn suicide watch for…hell, days, weeks. But she would have trusted me, at least. Now…that’s broken, because I sat there and smiled while she talked about how he was going to be back soon when I knew he was fuckin’ charcoal.”

She shrugs. “I know what you’re saying. Things…they’ll normalize. I just don’t like the way it is right now, and I don’t like how she’s uncomfortable when she comes here. Which isn’t anyone’s fault, really. I’m worried about her and I hate that I can’t help her.”

The van door gets knocked on, and Sarita hears Sinclair yell. She smirks and shouts through the open back door. “Come around, dork. I an’t crawlin’ through the damn thing to open the door when we got a perfectly good open one here.”

She looks back to Lukas now and nods. “Yeah, it’s true. She’s…yes, she’s happy. I personally don’t know that she’s ready to move on after what happened? And I’m still worried for her. But when I talked to her last night…yes, she cares about him, and he cares about her from what she says. That makes her happy, so…” He shrugs.

“I’m gonna make you kick his ass if he hurts her, though. Just FYI.” A faint joke.

[Sinclair] “WHAT?” Sinclair yells back, as though she didn’t hear. But then she’s laughing, and it’s clear that about four AMFs have got her more than a little buzzed. “Fuck me,” she says, and tromps around to the side door, crawling in like her legs stopped working right as she got to the carpeted edge. She sniffs. “You guys are smoking weed.”

Nevermind that they have the joint out still. She is only using her keen powers of nasal perception. Yup.

[Gabriel Ferreira] “Try not to get too drunk, huh?” Gabriel asks the Theurge, after the Fostern has left to find the rest of her pack. It’s a rhetorical question. “As cute a story as it would be for the grandchildren, if I have to clean blue vomit off of anything I will not be happy.”

The entire time they’ve been in each others’ presence, Resurrection hasn’t shown himself to have much of a sense of humor. Granted, when they first met after however long their previous absence had been, the Philodox had been half-starved and definitely crazed after spending Gaia knows how long hunting the Umbra for a creature of whom he only had scent memory to guide him. He wasn’t cracking a whole hell of a lot of jokes after that.

Tonight it’s a full moon. That certainly isn’t helping.

He claps his ring-bearing hand on the shorter boy’s shoulder, then picks up a pair of champagne flutes from wherever the booze station is. Apparently he’d learned that the best way to approach wallflower Kinfolk is with alcohol in hand; he approaches Derek slowly, careful not to make eye contact least his Rage give the kinsman the impression that he’s undergoing trepanation.

“Here,” he says, handing one of the flutes to Derek before he can sneak out. “This will make the entire affair less painful.”

[Alejandro] He totally needs more, so he totally goes to get more. It’s with a grin to his brother and a nod of his head. “I’ll try not to! But I also may try to get a little drunk, I’m awful curious.”

And he scampers off to collect a pair of shots. These ones he eyes like they’ve got promise rather than any unknown threat. He takes them both over to Adam and Kate, offers one of them to the Theurge.

“Hi Adam!” He beams. “You can have one of these if you would like.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “No, you shouldn’t have lied to her.” There’s this, at least: his blunt honesty has a sort of gentleness to it. “That’s what I think, anyway. But at least you lied because you loved her, not because it made your life easier.”

Sarita talks about Stefan, though, about Amy being happy, about Stefan caring about her. A flicker goes through the Ahroun’s eyes. He’s on the verge of answering when Sinclair bangs on the door and then crawls in the back, making him laugh quietly, reach out, grab her in a bearhug and tumble her down.

“You bet your ass we’re smoking pot in here. Here, let me have another hit.”

And taking it, exhaling it, he goes back to the subject — not bothering to backtrack for Sinclair, figuring she’s bright enough to pick up on the gist even if she’s packed down godknowshowmany AMFs.

“The thing is,” he says, “I am a little worried that Stefan might hurt Amy. Maybe not on purpose. Everything I’ve seen and heard about him says he’s an upstanding Garou, does things right. Does things by the book. But that’s sort of the problem. My mate — who reads people like I read books — thinks maybe nothing’s really there under the surface. Like he’s just … cold and barren inside, just going through all the motions the way he was taught without feeling any of it. Without feeling for any of it, maybe.

“And then there’s this whole business about him apparently doing something so shocking and hush-hush that Defiance might not want to pack with him anymore.” Lukas shrugs the best he can, flat on his back as he is. “I don’t know. I don’t want to smear a Garou’s good name on nothing but conjecture and rumors, and I haven’t had the time to followup on anything yet. But she’s your sister, and you’re my sister. I just think … maybe for a while at least, keep a bit of an eye on her. Even if she’s not technically your concern anymore.”

[Derek Anderson] He had been about to move toward Kate, thank her ofr the party and get out when one of the three unknown Garou stopped near and offered him a flute of champagne. Now, he could be impolite and refuse, bid good night and run home or he could be the proper Silver Fang kin, smile politly with a nod of the head and say

“Thank you, and yeah, I guess it helps” He took the flute

“How are you doing Sir?”He say very polite. He didn’t knew the man, so he didn’t dare being too friendly “My name’s Derek by the way” He say offering his hand to him. He didn’t need to tell him of his tribe. He knew the man could msell him and beside that, he was the only kin, obviously not one of ladies mate, so technically he must be of Kate’s tribe.

“Are oyu new to the city or we just haven’t crossed path?”

[Adamidas] “Oh kick ass,” there is a shot brought to her and she perks up. Half flesh, and she’s content to live in it. Pay homage to it, attempt to beat her liver into submission with whatever Alejandro has in his hand because it goes straight to her lips and down the hatch. Pride keeps her head from swimming but pride also tells her to drink more, which is usually how you end up playing chicken fight in swimming pools and waking up bound to a completely foreign totem.

“Thanks. You having fun?”

A moment.

“We should play, like, Apples to Apples or something. Best game ever.”

[Sinclair] Sinclair has no idea what they’re talking about in here right now. She has only the barest knowledge of Sarita’s troubles with her sister, she never met Drawn in Blood that she can recall, she has only dim awareness of what happened to him and as a rule she avoids thinking about, talking about, or dealing with the pack that is now Defiance, was once the Vanguard. She crawls into the van on her hands and knees, is grabbed,

“Ack,” she says blandly, “ack. Ack.” And flops down.

Lukas leaves her there, gets another hit. Sinclair rolls onto her back and stares at the roof of Sarita’s van thoughtfully, her knees bent and her feet akimbo and her hands on her belly. She listens. “You should talk to Kate about Gabriella,” she says, after Lukas has finished talking for a minute.

Her arm lifts. She snaps her fingers. “GIVE A GIRL A JOINT. Joint. Jointjointjoint.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] The Theurge brings over more shots, and Katherine accepts one with a little smile from the Cliath. She clinks the glass against the Theurge elder and downs it; grimacing briefly.

“Oh,” Katherine says with pink-cheeked enthusiasm. “We have a great mass of games somewhere. On those machines upstairs that Sinclair yells at frequently when she uses them. I also purchased — ” A little hiccup. Katherine covers her mouth, apology never looked so sincere. Continues. “Some gear for the pool so they can play water tennis or something in there. The net just needs affixing.”

[Alejandro] “I am!” He says and tips his own shot back, albeit slightly more delicately so than his Auspice Elder. There’s a brief moment of silence where there’s confusion and indecision on his face before he blurts out:

“What’s Apples to Apples?! Let’s play. It doesn’t matter what it is.” A pause and he fidgets with his ill-fitted suit, plucks at it like it’s constricting him — which it is — followed by: “We must.”

And then there’s more games. Upstairs apparently. “Let’s go explore, Adam.”

[Matthieu] Matthieu enters the house with a pleasant smile. He was a naturally charming individual, he did not necessarily radiate the intense heat of rage that so many others did. Make no mistake those eyes burned with passion and fury alike but that smile showed control. Matthieu was not some savage wild beast he was a beast in complete control of his faculties. This was part of what made one a Silver Fang the ability to exert complete control at all times. To never let your temper flare past a certain point, to never lose your cool unless it was warranted. Matthieu might as well have had a red carpet rolled out before him by the way he strode across the floor and greeted his host with the warmest of smiles. In his hands a small box was held firmly and close to himself. The box itself was hard wood and polished, it was quite decorative but likely not what the Galliard had intended as a gift for the eldest of his tribe within the city.

He came upon his hostess and took the time to greet all in the room with a polite and friendly smile though his intention was in greeting the hostess first. She was his direct elder and was this not a celebration of her achievements? Silver Fang achievements were special affairs. Not to belittle or speak down to the other tribes but when a Silver Fang reached a milestone in their life it was simply grander than that of the average garou. Certainly the other tribes would argue otherwise but if there is one thing that a Silver Fang is used to it is resistance from the other tribes. It doesn’t mean the other tribes aren’t impressive in their own right it is just that Silver Fangs hold themselves to a higher standard than the other tribes. Matthieu has tried to lecture the others in these matters but rarely do they seem to hear him. No only a Silver Fang can truly understand.

He waits until she turns to face him or greet him or otherwise acknowledge his presence. He does not with to impose or intrude in the middle of his elder’s party! When she does turn her attention back towards him he finally speaks in a proud and carefully practiced voice.”Katherine Bellamonte, Truth’s Meridian, Honor’s Compass there are few in the region who have not heard of your ascent. Allow me to honor you Rhya with a gift sent by my own father to celebrate this momentous occasion.”He says this while presenting the box, which was roughly five by five inches on a side and roughly four inches high. The hard wood was held together by hand crafted metalwork and the box itself looked as if it could be older than Chicago itself. A tiny latch held the box closed, and the top of the box held two markings denoting the Silver fang tribe as well as the glyph of the Half Moon.

“We all work hard in our lives Rhya but the rise to Adren is a symbol that few achieve. No longer are you a young woman working to make her way in the world your voice will carry itself within our tribe and nation. For when an Adren speaks even the most stubborn of elders will stop to listen and those cliaths foolish enough not to hear the wisdom spoken from her lips will soon learn to regret their decision.”He adds in the warmest of tones to his elder. His smile shows through and he allows her to take the box before stepping backwards and folding his hands neatly before him.

Matthieu was dressed surprisingly well. It was hard to pick out the designer, however, unless one was familiar with local designers. Everything he wore was custom tailored and each and every thread was carefully placed to fit his figure perfectly. Simply looking at him revealed that he must have spent two hours getting ready for this affair. Appearance was important it showed honor and respect for ones peers. To appear disheveled and worn in the company of others showed a lack of respect for oneself as well as their peers. Matthieu was old money, tradition, well bred and trained. The last thing he would ever wish to do is appear as anything less than who he was.

[Gabriel Ferreira] The flute changes hands, and the strange, Rage-heavy Garou lifts the one remaining in a silent toast before taking a sip. Sir, he calls him, and this doesn’t strike him nearly as strange as it likely ought to. It’s analogous to a civilian referring to a Private First Class as ‘sir,’ but Gabriel doesn’t correct him, or mock him.

He folds his lips to get the moisture off of them and answers, “No complaints, yet.”

His name’s Derek, by the way.

They shake, the Garou’s hand dry yet powerfully warm.

“Gabriel,” he says, yet it is not pronounced as though he was born in America, to American parents; it’s a rounder ‘a,’ stress on the last syllable rather than the first, though he himself does not seem to have much of an accent. “Pleasure, Derek.”

In the scant amount of time that Derek spends asking his question, the slightly shorter male takes another belt off of his flute. He doesn’t have the typical Full Moon’s social awkwardness or the typical Gibbous Moon’s propensity for long-winded speech, yet his Rage would suggest he could easily be either of those auspices.

“Both, it seems. My brother–” He turns towards the rest of the room, briefly, to point out the floppy-haired blond who’s about to disappear with the Theurge Elder. “–and I just arrived this week.” He turns away from the room again to ask, “So which one’s yours?”

[Adamidas] “No no no, that’s water volley ball. If it was tennis then you’d have raquets and the ball would have to bounce and I don’t think I wanna play water volley ball with Lukas because he looks like he has a seriously good vertical leap and spiking the ball could cause a concussion and I don’t want to, like, drown while playing volleyball. It’s not that important.”

She grinned, and her expression is surprisingly mellow. She’s not a very heavy person, she didn’t eat much today and despite her bravado, Adam doesn’t do this often. It seems that her ability to drink, much like a lot of things about her, happen to be directly tied to her strength of will and her strength of purpose. Her purpose tonight, it seemed, wasn’t to look like a badass while drinking. It was to celebrate Kate and get shitfaced.

“And it’s a word game! There are cards and you have a hand of them, right? And someone throws down a word- an adjective specifically, and you have to throw down nouns that match that adjective. It’s really, really fun and I promise it’s not half as lame as it sounds.”

He wants to explode. Can they explore?

“It’s Kate’s house!”
Ergo, Kate’s call.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s already had another hit by time Lukas calls for it, and she passes it over. Sinclair gets a grin when she makes her keen observation. “Good call.”

She looks at the Ahroun when he says she shouldn’t have lied. She doesn’t take it as reproach, just as agreement. She gives a frown though, when Lukas talks about Stefan. Well, he is a pretty crazy sunovabitch. Yeah, but Sarita doesn’t know that. Dude, it’s right on his freaking sheet! You mean that thing that Sarita doesn’t have access to? Oh…yeah, right. Exactly.

The Strider listens, and she shakes her head. “Thaaaat’s encouraging.” She considers. “She seems to think he’s good for her. I can’t say I trust her judgment right now, but she seemed to trust him before this whole shitstorm of doom fell on her like a freaking Rube Goldberg-esque Jigsaw trap of melancholy and Fall-Out Boy songs. Thanks…I’ll keep an eye on her.”

She pauses. “But then, I was gonna keep an eye on her anyway. Assuming we both make it that far, I’m pretty sure I’ll be keeping an eye out on her from the nursing home. Metaphorically speaking.”

[Derek Anderson] He shook the hand firmly and briefly “It’s a pleasure as well”He drank some more from the flute, listening to Gabriel talking. “So ALejandro is your brother?”

His eyes look in the same direction as Gabriel, watching them too. “He kind of told me his name in passing earlier”he say with a lgiht shrugh. The young Garou seemed energitic. His attention return on the older brother

“Which one’s is mine what? Family? None, I come from Pittsburgh, mate? None either” After all one was taken, one was either possibly gay or jsut kin hateful and another was crazy…maybe two of them were. Adam seemed to be in her own world sometimes. “Katheirne is my guardian as she is tribe elder”

He simply say, drinking some more champagne.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “And that’s why you’re a good sister,” Lukas concludes, laughing, “even if you feel like a shitty one right now.”

Serious again, “I mean that. I got lucky with my sister. A lot of Garou with siblings end up a lot worse off. Kate, for one. Rebellion, self-endangerment, heartbreak, you name it. Most of them handle it by either severing all ties or locking their loved ones up. It’s nice to see that you have the courage to just let her make her own mistakes. You’re just there for her if she wants you. If not, you don’t push it, and you make it clear that her mistakes are her own responsibility.”

Lukas doesn’t know where, exactly, that train of thought is going. He lets it go, tucking one hand behind his head. Quiet now.

After a while, “Is Kate still entertaining in there?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Honor’s Compass takes the box from her Cousin with a due amount of tenderness. The Galliard’s father had sent it, and Katherine admires it from every angle, sweeping a hand over the carved Glyphs atop it before raising her head to listen, head slightly tilted to everything the newly anointed Galliard Elder says to her.

Pink cheeks, flushed with drink and accomplishment, further color and she offers a hand up to her Cousin in thanks.

“Your father does me great honor, Mirror’s Whisper in sending such a token, please do pass on my most sincere thanks to him for this gift, and thank you for coming tonight. I am glad to see my tribe doing so well in Chicago. It brings me a great amount of happiness. I hope you will stay, and meet some of our new Cousins.”

Katherine inclines her head at Alejandro. “This is Alejandro Seeks the Horizon, his brother is over by our Kinsman there, his name is Gabriel, another Half Moon as myself.” They want to explore, Katherine smiles. “You are welcome to adventure where you do, but be careful on the stairs.”

[Gabriel Ferreira] So Alejandro is your brother?

The noise Gabriel makes is quarantined to his throat, an affirmation that doesn’t seem to believe it needs to validate the situation with an actual verbal response. Perhaps he’s just loathe to admit it, yet there is nothing outwardly wrong with the Theurge that would garner such a reaction. His renown, endowed with it as he is, is impressive for someone so young. One would think the teenager’s family would be pleased with him.

The rest of the family isn’t present, though, so all Derek has is his older brother. He looks, more than anything else, weary, as though Alejandro is seven instead of seventeen.

No family present. No mate. Katherine is his guardian, as she’s tribe elder.

“So I hear.”

He’s putting a mighty rapid dent in his champagne.

“How’s a guy like you get away with no mate?” he asks.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Thanks. Kinda just the way it had been. I could only get away with zip-tying her in her sleep once.” She’s grinning. But she’s serious, too. It’s a long story.

She scrubs at her face, then looks at the house. “I haven’t seen anyone come out, so either she’s entertaining, everyone passed out or everyone drowned in the pool. Those are about the options I see.”

[Sinclair] “I don’t have any brudders or sisters,” Sinclair informs them, slurring a bit. “I have cousins, but they’re not as bad.” She might be talking to the van’s ceiling. Nobody has given her a joint so her hand has flopped back down on her stomach.

“I think the pack-family is more important for that,” she muses, but she wasn’t here earlier, she doesn’t know that Lukas talked about pack families and families before. “For that… siblingish thing. S’like brothers and sisters, they’re s’posed to know you, nobody else in the world has really had a life like you’ve had or somefing, an they know you or somefing and so they get it. You know? They just… get stuff.

“But we aren’t really gonna have that same kinda close thing with Kin, even if they’re like, our twin. You wanna know a sad story I’ll tell you ’bout some twins an one of ’em changed and one of ’em didn’t and it’s just… ”

There are tears in her eyes. She closes them for a moment. Opens them again. “I dunnow,” she says, quieter. “There’s definitely stuff you can’t get from pack, though. Can’t get from anyone but Kin, anI’m not just talking bout sex or something, I’m not, it’s… y’know there’s reasons.”

A beat. “There’s reasons we have em and need em it sure isn’t to clean up our messes or be all badass with us in battle or be our stupid heralds and servants or babydaddies or something, it’s just something else and so I’m really meaning it when I say you should talk to Kate because if you don’t wanna lose your sister, if you don’t –”

Sinclair is crying now, the tears rolling out of her eyes and down the sides of her face, off her temples, hitting the van’s carpeting. “If you don’t wanna lose her. Cuz it’s so easy to lose them.”

She squeezes her eyes shut, and opens them after she’s pushed out the rest of the tears that came so quickly and so unbidden. She takes a breath, and exhales, and seems to be done.

“Alcohol makes people sad,” she concludes.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Amendment:

Katherine then does open the box.

[Alejandro] “Hello!” Matt gets from Alejandro, just as cheery as usual. He’s a short boy, hair that isn’t so much floppy as it is unruly. But it flops in places, so there is that. He would say more; maybe he would give Matt a proper introduction, he really would like to but Kate told them they can explore [explode].

“I like the sound of this game Adam, this apples to apples. Let us see if we can find it in this wonderful home.”

He scoops up another shot and drinks it rather clumsily before literally running off into the house. He’s a menace, he’s going to break something, he is definitely not going to be careful on the stairs.

[Derek Anderson] He tilted his heaad at Gabriel’s comment “Ha, well either I”m too fragile or just ont the type for some people.” He grinned “It’s ok really. I’m not comlaining at the moment. Seem like I just haven’t found the right person or more probably haven’t been found by said person.”After all usually kin don’t choose, they are chosen.

He drank some more “Also, maybe my work keep peopel at bay. I”m a detective. Many memebers of the Nation are doing dubious things related to mortal laws. Maybe some think I”ll actually try to arest them or I”ll be offended or something” He shrugh “Whatever it is, I guess eventually i’ll change and I”ll be mated. Or I’ll die doing my duties first. Whatever happens, happens right?”

[Gabriel Ferreira] Whatever, his hair is floppy.

[Adamidas] “He’s going to break his faaaace and it’s not my faaauuult-” she says as she’s standing up and heading off to follow Alejandro. She’s decidedly less graceful at this moment, but she’s also loud and-

Oh, wait, being loud isn’t a good thing.

[Gabriel Ferreira] “Don’t run in the house.

He doesn’t yell, but the Philodox’s voice carries quite a bit further than one would suspect it to be capable of doing. It’s the clapping of Alejandro’s shoes that has him briefly turning his head to issue that matronly warning, and then Derek is answering him.

What he says has Gabriel watching him a bit longer than might be comfortable for the kinsman, or for anyone who happens to be looking over at them at the time. He’s silent, mulling this over, blue eyes drifting from blue only when champagne flutes are lifted, and Derek continues on.

“Right,” he confirms. His flute is becoming dangerously empty, and that AMF is starting to creep into his veins like a pernicious reminder that he isn’t impervious to a few things: balefire, silver, and drinks mixed by Shadow Lords. At least he’s not crying, yet. “You said you’re a detective?” A pause for confirmation. “I can see that intimidating certain females.”

[Matthieu] “My Great great great great great great great grandfather was Joseph Louis II known to the nation as Judgement’s Hand a Half-Moon like yourself though he died an elder, something which I look forward to seeing you achieve. He was a staunch believer in the Garou nation and it’s merits but he could also see it’s flaws.”He says back to her before turning his attention to the other two and greeting each with a polite bow.”Well then I shall have to take a moment after we are through here and properly introduce myself to them all!”

“Judgement’s Hand was not a warrior like his father he was a thinker, and a planner. He knew that we could not rule this nation by might of arms alone. He would be the first to tell you that our laws must be held sacred as the unifying force of our society and as a result there should be no one individual above those laws. Whether he be your king or your own mate justice must be blind to personal opinion.”He continues.

“In this he helped to forge the strength of my own house and sought to open himself up as a judge, not just to Silver Fangs but to all tribes.”He says with a nod of his head.”As Europe head forcefully into the reformation he too helped to reform our own peoples ways and to make certain justice was blind to position and tribe. All garou must have faith in our laws or our society cannot function.”He speaks of his ancestor with such pride, and why shouldn’t he be? Each one has his own stories and tales to tell. So much to share.”You may not be his descendant but he would be proud to know you share his moon, and I am sure one day when you too pass from this world he will be glad to welcome you as a friend.”He says with the warmest little smile.

Inside the box she would find tiny white carvings, each individual piece was rather smooth, and shaped with enough imperfections to imply it was indeed crafted by an artisan who did not have the machinery of today on his side. Half the pieces were red, and the other pieces were white. Anyone familiar with the game of Chess would recognize these pieces as exactly that! Only very very very old pieces.

“He loved the game of Chess, it’s current incarnation came into being within his lifetime and he liked to believe that while it was the Full Moon’s place to rule the battlefield it was the Half Moon whose careful mind saw what the, often brash, full moon could not. In that sense he regularly challenged his peers in order to challenge their minds… In this way garou might become greater for stopping to utilize all their strengths.”He adds in a softer tone.”So in that sense I feel this would be best gifted to you. Might you continue to improve strength of mind, body, and spirit to honor your own ancestors as well as my own.”He finally concludes.

“You will need to find your own board. The original board was destroyed almost three hundred years ago.”He adds with a little laugh.”His granddaughter was not so even tempered as he.”

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [fuck, i misread sarita’s post. i thought she passed the joint to sinclair, not lukas. lukas woulda passed it to sinclair! ohwell. *rolls with it* apparently he’s just TOO DRUNK AND STONED.]

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] “Hey.” Lukas pushes himself up on his elbows, alarmed. “Hey, hey.”

It’s somewhere between awkward and natural, the way he pulls Sinclair against him. He doesn’t tell her not to cry. That seems at once pointless and insulting. He just — hugs her. Sidehugs her, and lets her to cry it out. The joint is still smouldering in his hand. He’s forgotten about it. It’s possible he thinks he passed it to Sinclair already.

“No it doesn’t,” he disagrees when Sinclair concludes that alcohol makes people sad. And this sounds very wise to him right now: “It just makes you stop hiding the sad.

“You should, though.” He’s talking to Sarita now. “Talk to Kate, I mean. She has a sister, Gabriella, who was one of those nightmare kin siblings I talked about. It was … hellish on all of us, but especially on her, to go through that. I think you’re doing better with your sister, but you should still talk to her. She probably has insight I don’t.”

[Derek Anderson] He blinked when the man yelled at his younger brother then the man stared at him. And osmehow, Derek seemed almsot entirely comfortable during that time. After all, he’s the one who enjoys the companie of a crazy Strider Ragabash and actually is fascinated by Sinclair and the predator feel about her. If he could, and it would never happen, he would sit and talk with the Glass Walker for hour despire the feeling, or play vdeo games or what not.

Maybe he wascrazy himself but he didn’t mind danger or feeling fear or discomfort. Maybe that’s why he was a cop or maybe being a cop helped him dealing with those feelings, then again, maybe he was starting to feel drunk and had those crazy thoughts and rationalization.

Either way, he didn’t squirm or look away. He wasn’t bold enough to look the man in the eyes, but if allowed, he probably would “Yes, I”m a detective”He confirm to the man before chuckling at his next comment

“Seriously, my job can’t be intimidating ot a woman who can turn into a 10 feet killing machine and withstand bullets, blades and jsut about everthing else”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her face falls when she hears Sinclair’s voice start to go in that direction. It’s not just the voice…sometimes, there’s a feeling like something in the air. Like ozone before lightning strikes, the hair on the back of your neck. And most of the time, you’re as powerless to stop it as you would be to stop a thunder storm.

And then the tears come. And much like Lukas, Sarita hugs Sinclair from the other side. She doesn’t say anything. She just nods in agreement to Lukas and Sinclair’s advice.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Gabriel’s voice carries a warning and Katherine’s eyes flick his way instantly as it issues such; there is caution enough in that. Her eyes on him; the pale blue conveying the silent reminder. My house, my rules. Yet she does not openly reprimand him, for it does not demand such, yet. He is a brother, cautioning another — she cannot openly fault him for it.

She returns her interest to Matthieu, and carefully extracts a chess piece to admire its craftsmanship before setting it back inside with sincere regard. “Thank you, Matthieu, they are — ” a moment, she cannot find a suitable way to word it, settles, rather than finds.

“Quite lovely. I shall treasure them.”

[Alejandro] Don’t run in the house.

He doesn’t look over his shoulder, but he does suddenly turn his frantic bounding into a very fast paced and awkward walk. He tries on the mask of innocence, like he had never been running in the first place. Adam catches up and then he’s off again, up the stairs and he trips but that’s okay, and he hurts his knee but that’s also okay.

Up and onwards. It would be easy to think that if he scraped himself on the concrete he’d laugh, but if he fell over on the grass he would definitely cry.

What he emerges to is.. well it’s: “This is awesome!” He says to Adam, “Look at all this stuff.” There’s couches and bean bags and gym equipment he’s not really sure what to do with.

“Where do you think Apples to Apples would be?”

[Matthieu] He nods his head back to her.”I did not feel it appropriate not to measure this milestone in your life without something worthy of that moment. I am sure Judgement’s Hand will be honored to know they are safe in your care.”He adds with a little nod of his head.”But enough of that, I suppose I should run and mingle. Seems we’ve had quite an influx of newcomers and I should like to have to chance to meet each and every one.”He continues in a soft and controlled voice. He was practiced so far as speech came. Though he could be wordy each word was spoken in a manner intended to invoke emotions or lead a conversation in one way or another.

He so loved to invoke the names of heroes, or dreams, or beauty and passion. He was a Galliard and his voice was intended to inspire the hopes and dreams of a tribe lay with him and the hopes and dreams of a nation lay with his tribe.

[Gabriel Ferreira] Katherine attempts to shoot a look of warning to the male nagging his younger brother, but for the brief amount of time that the Cliath’s head is turned, he only spares her a few seconds of eye contact.

There is no challenge in it, but neither is there apology. Blood precludes property.

If Derek gets the impression that the Philodox isn’t used to the amount of Rage he has to carry with him, or that he just doesn’t care what sort of effect it has on the Kinfolk with whom he speaks, he wouldn’t be that far off. It seems unwieldy but nothing he can’t handle, like an extra weight slung across his shoulders. He isn’t a broad man, yet Gabriel looks as though his strength is belied by his build. It’s in the way he carries himself versus the muscle strapped to his bones.

“Not your job,” he says. “What it takes to do your job. Garou don’t know what to do with smart Kinfolk, man. They exist, but they’re so uncommon they’ve almost been classified as myths by now.”

He drains his glass.

“Plus, you don’t seem like you take a lot of shit.”

[Sinclair] The truth is, to some extent it makes her feel weak. Like when the moon wanes — as it will again, soon — and Lukas and Kate tend to flank her, subtly and thoughtlessly, as though they don’t even realize they’re doing it. But this is worse, because she’s not actually weak, she’s just drunk and she wants to tell Lukas he’s wrong, that she doesn’t give a fuck if she can’t be around Kinfolk — her own parents, even — for more than a few minutes, she’s over that, it’s fine, she left that behind after the solstice because she just gave up

but the truth is also this: she’s trying so hard not to give up, and now Asha’s dead too and she’s just getting so goddamned tired of being miserable.

It doesn’t mean that when Lukas and Sarita both end up hauling her up off the floor of the van and hugging her, one to either side, that she doesn’t just bawl that much more, suddenly renewed when a minute ago it looked like she was going to stop at the conclusion that alcohol can be blamed for just about anything.

Except her sadness, which is very real, and isn’t going away, and will not be reburied. And it’s not like she didn’t warn Sarita. It’s not like Lukas hasn’t been there, unaware for the longest time of what she was dealing with or how profoundly it had affected her.

In any case. The long and short of it is that in a van that smells like weed, she cries her stupid heart out until she starts wiping at her face and at least tonight she wasn’t wearing a ton of eye makeup so there’s that, but she reaches over and takes the joint from Lukas and says,

“I don’t even remember how to do this,” she says.

[Derek Anderson] He finished his champagne and smiled “I odn’t know how smart I am really. Doesn’t seem like it some times” He shook his head “And maybe I don’t take shit much either. I learned to stand ofr others and it made me able to stand for myself as well. I mean, I know my place and will be respectful, but I will talk back some if a true born lack respect toward me for no reasons

I has happened last week, will probably happen again. I”m not pretenting I”m on an even keel that you or any others. But I refuse to be treated like I’m totally inferior either. I jsut know what I can and can’t do and think tht despite the fact I’m not a true warrior of Gaia, but I”m still a person and deserve to be treated as such

Might sound pretentious, but I know my own worth”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sinclair did warn Sarita. And that’s probably why she saw it coming. She doesn’t complain, doesn’t do anything except comfort her. That’s what Sinclair needs. Well, what she needs more specifically is to come back from the brink. But for now, Sarita is just here to comfort. So she does exactly that, silently and supportively.

She only pulls away when Sinclair is done, and even then only just.

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] And Lukas laughs at that, gently. And gently, he takes that joint from Sinclair, holds it between thumb and forefinger, raising his eyebrows demonstratively.

“Like this,” he says. There’s an irony to this: the Shadow Lord in his fine threads, teaching the tattooed and pierced Glass Walker how to take a hit. But he does it anyway: fits the joint to his mouth, brow furrowing as he inhales

and passes it to her. A little choked, holding the smoke in, “See? Easy.”

[Adamidas] “Hey,” she says, once she gets a look at a window. They’re at a party, sure, but Adam’s a little tipsy. And the moon is so big… and bright… and pretty. And she just looks at it for the time being. She takes a few steps over and taps Alejandro with one of her arms. There’s a smile on her face, and it’s wonder whaen she looks at the moon.

Genuine wonder. Like she’s seeing it for the first time. It’s never been there before, so close. Like she could touch it if she tried.

“It’s a clear enough night,” she tells him, “the path will be bright enough, I think we can make it.”

She looks back at Luna. He’ll know what she means. She has faith.

[Gabriel Ferreira] Will wonders never cease: a Kinfolk speaks, at length, and the Garou doesn’t cut him off, doesn’t make faces or roll his eyes or seem as though he’d rather be balancing his checkbook or reading over his stock portfolio or whatever it is upper middle-class people do with their free time. Whether Derek is able to meet his gaze or not, Gabriel keeps watching him, right hand pocketed, left arm extended with the flute lazily dangling from his fingers.

“Yeah, well,” he says, glancing at his flute to reveal that yes, indeed, it is still empty, “piece of advice: stop giving a fuck if people find you pretentious. You spin it right, you’re confident. Confidence makes up for a lot, you know? You can be the dumbest mother fucker in the room but if you know what you’re doing and act like it, people respect that.”

He’s cut off; no more goddamn champagne.

“Here,” he says, and reaches for Derek’s likewise empty glass. “You leaving?”

[Sinclair] She’s no stranger to weed. But they’re more like distant acquaintances, struggling to remember one another’s name at a party. Oh right, you! Shit, man, how have you been? What you been up to?

Y’know, a little of this, a little of that.

She takes the hit, with a little bit of help to remember how to do this after a very, very long time. And she manages to get a nice long drag off of it, holds it longer than a virgin, finally exhales

and has a coughing fit. “Puddin’ and pie,” she responds, gravelly.

[Alejandro] He wanders over to the window beside Adam and he looks up at the moon that is just so close tonight. It’s right there, they’re both right here. He told her once that he has seen the moon from the other side, but there are so many sides he hasn’t seen it from. He hasn’t touched it and right now he just wants to crawl up inside it and just be.

She taps him on the arm, says those words.

“We can.” He agrees, without doubt. “We shall.” His hand takes hers, and —

woosh

They disappear.

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to the man and did meet his eyes. Nothing about Gabriel indicated that the Garou would take offense.

“I’ll consider your words Gabriel. It’s just that there’s a thin line betwen confidence and insolence sometime. I seen Kin coss it and seen true born having difficulties to make the distinction in kin behavior. Still you’re right. I’ll act how I see fit, the way I wasraised and if someone take slight of it, they can tell me about it or go over my head and seek Katherine.

Or they can be nasty and I”ll deal with it as it should be” He shrugh “Either way, I’ll know I wasn’t wrong. Hopefully”

Her grin slightly and let Gabriel take the empty glas “I think it’s time I should go. Seem like almsot everyone is gone anyway”He say looking around. Only Kahterine and the other guy were left beside Gabriel and him

“It was really nice meeting you Gabriel”

[Katherine Bellamonte] The Theurges vanish — nobody is surprised.

The Unbroken members are found together outside, huddled within a van — this is no shock.

Honor’s Compass does not, as her deed-name would suggest, deviate from her duties as hostess until every last one of her guests and hired waiting staff are long since departed, and in the latter’s sense, paid their due. She takes those precious gifts given to her inside her own bedroom and into her closet, pressing aside wall space to find her safe. They are put thus within, as important to the Half Moon as those things already within it.

Those those linger are welcome, food continues, as does drink until all are content.

Thomas aids Lucille and Katherine, in cleaning away dishes and glasses, the Adren gossiping with her maid as if she were still a child, and the elder woman her nearest notion of safety.

[Gabriel Ferreira] [Thanks for the scene, you maniacs!]

[Alejandro] [Thanks for the scene peeps!]

[Derek Anderson] (thank you all)

[Katherine Bellamonte] [thanks guys! :] ]

[Lukas Wyrmbreaker] [i’m out too! lukas is just gonna … like … pass out or something.]=

Drinking With the Persistant Kin

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Good old Cabrini. Nothing like a slum as a good place to have a good time. Not long ago, Sabrina shot a coke dealer in the head outside of a school in this general vicinity. She hasn’t been afraid to come back, and that’s probably foolhardy.

But then, that’s Sarita.

She walks into a bar, looking like she’s been in a fight. This is a shitty part of town, and the bars are equally shitty. So a person looking like she’s been in a fight is not that uncommon. In this case, she looks like she won, even if she looks a bit battered. And she looks like she enjoyed it. She’s grinning as she rubs at a bruise, looking around and heading for a table.

[Derek Anderson] He walked into club, tall, muscularm good looking and confident. He knows people like him don’t usually go into bars liek this one. He was dressed in boots, jeans, long sleeve shirt and warm coat. His kind blue eyes looked around and found the person he was looking for. He smiled when he found her.

He went to the bar and order a pitcher of beer with two glasses. He made his way back to her “Good evening milady”He say with a grin “I wish I could tell you you look good, but you kinda look like shit. What happened to you”

He say placing everything down, a touch of concern in his voice when he asked the question

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Got in a fight!” she says, way too brightly. She is clearly Amy’s sister, except (and she would never rub this in Amy’s face) Sarita is actually built by Gaia for being a reckless bitch. She has a bottle in front of her already but she finishes it off, setting it aside.

“Couple gangbangers who thought I iced their boy a couple weeks ago.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “Want me to arrest them? Or you think they learned their lesson?” He ask her tilting his head, pouring them beer then sat down with her. He watched her for a moment “Are oyu all right Sarita…seem liek every time I see you, you’re troubled”

She actually seemed in a good mood..maybe jsut too much of a good mood after a fight. HE know she won’t tell, but it idesn’t mean he won’t ask

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Dude, I’m fuckin’ fine.” She grins. “First time in a while. I needed a good brawl, I think.” She lights up a cigarette.

“And naah, don’t arrest them. If they couldn’t pick me out of a lineup for their boy before, they could now.” She shrugs. “They get uppity I’ll beat their asses again.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her, drinking from his glass “All right, I’ll leave them alone.” He leaned into his chair “It’s really good ot see you again. How are things going? With the Unbroken, family and all?”

He pause “I know it’s pretty personal, we can jsut keep it..light”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs a little. “Naah, it’s cool. If it gets too personal, I’ll let you know.”

She takes a drag of her smoke, leaning back in her chair. “It’s okay? I’m meshing well so far. Amy’s been avoiding them though, I think. She spends all of her time with Hunter and his pack Defiance. Which is cool, I have no problem with them and they remind her of old friends and shit. But…I dunno.” She frowns. “I’m worried about it, I guess.”

[Derek Anderson] He tilt his head “I’ve met Hunter. I think I met some members of his pack…John and Joey right?” He ask, remebering the friendly blonde and the silent man looking to be if not close ot Izzy at least respectful of each other. Which wasn’t easy with Izzy…she was a tough one to get close to.

“If I read your sister right the only time Isaw her, she look liek more street level than what the Unbroken look like. I mean SInclair and you seem more hands on. Katherine and Lukas do seem..well more upscale and all. I liek them, all of them, you packmates I mean. Though i could understand why your sister would go with the more “regular”guys. ”

He drank some more “Are you feeling like you’re losing her? Taht your paths are going in different directions?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Right, but she hasn’t even given them a chance. I don’t even know if she’s met Kate yet.”

She frowns when he asks if it feels like they’re going in different directions…if she’s losing Amy. He clearly hit a mark. “For most of my entire life, I haven’t had anything constant. It’s the way we are. Just happens. Amy’s been a constant. She’s the only thing I have…she’s blood, y’know? Not just kin, but real blood.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded and reach to place his hand on hers “Look. I don’t know her much, barely really. I do know you some. If she shares jsut a gene or two with you, eventually, she’ll come to her senses and realize that nothing is worth losing you. As you know nothing is worth losing her.”

He looked into her eyes..fuck it if she don’t like it. He has been looking at some true born in the eyes lately. Maybeb Sar will accept it, he’ll know soon enough

“As for the Unbroken, they are the elite. Some people fear the elite when they don’t know them. I mean, I was uncomfortable around them for a while..now, I think that I’d be fine. After the other night, I got ot know them better and they’re good people with problems liek everyone els.e Of course I won’t start nudging Sinclair or tell Kate jokes, but you know..they’re not bad persons.

In time, Amy will realize it. Heck I could talk to her about them, About family. But most importantly..once she get past her misconceptions, she won’t be as hostile toward them.” He paused “Well I think”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks at the hand on hers, and then up. She doesn’t seem to mind that he’s looked her in the eyes. But then, when you consider her sister, she’s probably used to bold kin. She smiles…not one of the half-crazy grins, but a real, sincere smile.

“Yeah…” She nods, then says it again with a sigh. “Yeah. You’re probably right. She just needs some time with them.”

[Derek Anderson] He nod “Don’t force it though. I think that she need her time on her own if it can be said that way. I heard she has made a few msitakes, maybe she need to make a new set before she listen to you. Or maybe it won’t be a mistake at all, that hse’ll walk that path ofr a while, help her grow and understand your pack better. Sheu might even pick a skill or two that’ll make her more valuable to them. I mean…I’m good..but I don’t think I could bring anything to your pack if I wanted to hang with them. You’re one of the giants in the city”

He gave her hand a squeeze then let it go slowly. He liked of her skin felt, but he didn’t need long physical contact with her. They were..drinking buddies..maybe friends, who knows. Nothing more

“She’s probably intimidated and need to boost her self confidence before facing them.” He took another swallow “I do want to congratulate you though..unless it’s not officla yet, you joining them?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She finally pours herself a glass. “It’s more or less official. We’re engaged, so to speak. Just not married yet.” A little smile at that.

She takes a drink from her glass. “What have you heard about Amy? I mean, mistakes and shit.” it’s not accusing or interrogating, she seems sincerely just curious.

[Derek Anderson] He make a face but he wasn’t going to lie ot her “That was easy, crazy, direspectful..I mean I got someone telling me if I want a good time, there was a girl in room 10 that could give it to me.and well I know she wasn’t talking about you. Got someone else who’s pissed madly at her enough to want to beat her up.”

He paused “So I don’t know your sister. I haven’t made my mind about her. And until she mess with me directly, or really do something bad to someone I care for, I won’t have a problem with her. And no, not gonig to tell you who said whatI told you. And no, I won’t let anyone beat her up if I can help it”

He tilt his head “Not that anyone would dare with you, your pack or her friends around. It would be crazy” He shrugh

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She listens, not surprised. When he mentions the person who beat her up, she scowls a little, but that’s the end of it.

“Jesus.” She shakes her head. “No, you’re not surprising me at all. Making me want to beat some asses, but not surprising me. Thank you for being honest, and for what you just said. I appreciate that.”

She pauses. “For the record, she doesn’t just fuck anyone.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “And you don’t have to defend her to me. I never believe everything people say about someone. Beside, it’s her life. She can sleep with whoever she want.” He shrugh “But I believe you for what it’s worth. One day maybe we could do something, the three of us. So I get to know her better.”

He smiled “And yes, I”m finding reason to drink with you again” He ginned and raised his glass to her before drinking

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Maybe, yeah. If I can pry her away from Hunter and company.”

When he mentions finding a reason to drink with her, she smiles and raises her glass as well. “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.”

[Derek Anderson] He grin “Well then…to drinking together” He drank with then smiled “Well I don’t care if she invite them. I think they’re ok with me. I just think it would be easier to get to know her some without others around..others that might have her act differently.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods and takes a swallow of beer.

“I’ll let her know. It might be nice.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “Ok. So..I’m sure she’s really nice but enough about Amy..what about you..what have you been up to? Just hanging with her?”

He look at her, his eyes focused on her, looking ,ore interested in her than Amy’s life. Not that he was nonchalant about it. He did meant everything he said. Amy was important to Sar and it meant that it was something they would talk about. But hios firend’s life was more interesting to him..because it was about her..and not someone else through her

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ehh.” She shrugs. “Not much exciting. Workin’ my money mojo. We’re movin’ out of the Broho soon. Getting a place between Bronzeville and the Loft, so that we can be in easier access to both.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “Well you can tell me even if it’s not exciting. I mean..it about you right? So at least I’m interested in hearing about it. As for you new place. Found something yet? You have a limited budget? I’m asking because I could look around for you. I”m already doing it for a friend of mine. So..if I can help”

He emptied his glass and filled it up again

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ehh, we can make it work. I did some hunting today.” She smiles and drains her glass. “Thanks though. I ‘preciate it.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “All right..I’ll check things out…find various priced placesand send then to you anyway. Just in case it help” He drank some “What would you like to talk about? I barely know you. Might be how you want it but I don’t know much about where you’re from, your life before the change..your family.” He smiled

“Or we cna talk about something that’s not you”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, god.” She smiles at that. “That’s a whole story. Okay, I can do that.”

She takes a drink off her glass, collecting her thoughts. “I actually grew up outside the Nation completely. My dad, Esteban…he had a one-night stand with my mom. Then went on his merry way. I grew up knowing nothing about that shit, ’till my mom died. Then he showed back up, ’cause I’d gone through my First Change.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded listening to her “I know most true born has a rough time going through the change. How did it go for you? Yeah..I”m a curious man”

He smiled watching her, drinking and listening to her

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A little frown, and she shrugs. “Mine…wasn’t your normal change, I guess.” A little shrug, and she lights up another cigarette.

“It happened literally the night my mom died.”

[Derek Anderson] He blinked “Oh..I’m..so sorry”He said. He didn’t really want her to dwelve too much on her mother’s death. Losing a parent is nver easy, but he had ot ask the question and it was related.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shakes her head, putting on a smile again. “S’fine. You didn’t know. She got shot by some methhead junkie fuck at the place she was waitressing. I don’t remember much after seeing her on the gurney, but from the way Esteban told it, I had my First Change and tracked him down and killed him.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “Still I”m very sorry..especially about the way she died. That’s the kind of thing I work so hard to prevent. And it suck for not matter what I do…there will be something like that somewhere I’m not”

HE shook his head “I know it doesn’t cahnge anything but I”m happy for you that you got him. What happened once your dad found you?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Thanks…I appreciate that.” She says it sincerely, and warmly.

She shrugs when she asks what happened next. “Esteban found me, told me what I was, got me emancipated and then showed me how to use my new shit. Then sent me off to the nearby sept and went on his merry way.”

[Derek Anderson] He nod “Hmmm he had the need to travel in his blood…guess most of your tribe do right?” He say watching her with a smile “I think you might understand him a little since you’ve travelled around right?”

He finished his beer and and poured himself another one. His eyes never left her, he was truly listening . It was interesting

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I do. But…” She shrugs. “I dunno. According to Amy, he like…told her he visited me every year when I was growing up. And told her all the things I was doing. So he came and checked up on me, made his other daughter–who I never knew existed–feel like shit because I was so fucking cool, and never bothered to say ‘Hi, I’m your dad.'”

She’s not truly angry. She’s not even bitter. It’s just a sudden truth about him she learned very recently and so the wound is still fresh, even though the damage was inflicted decades ago. Kinda like Dim Mak.

[Derek Anderson] He tilt his head “Your dad was an ass”He said then blinked and jsut realized what he said and to who he said it. He offered an apologetic smile “Sorry..but I think he was. I think it was unfair that he made Amy feel liek shit or looked out for you but from afar. I could understand the travelling and all..but..I don’t know. I don’t get why he didn’t make himself known to you, or tell Amy that she was as cool as you”

He shook his head “I’m judgmental and talking about things I don’t know about..go on..I’m shutting up”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, you’re right, he was a dick.” She smiles a bit. “You’re not speaking anything I haven’t said in the last twenty-four hours. I don’t know either. But…he was my father. I literally only knew him for like three months, but…”

She shrugs. She can’t explain it.

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “Maybe he was one..but I apologized because he was your father, and no matter his mistakes, that won’t cahnge. I have no right ot insult your family and it’s perfectly normal to still love him despite what it did. I still love my sister even though I put a few hundred miles between us to escape her”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Just do yourself a favor, don’t suggest to Amy that she might love him. She fucking HATES him.” She sighs a little, smiling a bit. “Anyway. I fostered at the Sept after I decided it was time to actually show up. Grand Elder HAAAATED me.” She grins. “Tried to make my life hell. I just took it as a way to keep proving him wrong and piss him off. Eventually I had my Rite of Passage, passed, and hit the road.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “Don’t worry. I won’t. I think I could be her right now if my sister had been my parents. So, I’ve been luckier than her. Not going to say anything about your family when I meet her”

He tilt his head “Now are you telling me your ex Elder was on crack, I think you do. No way someone wouldn’t like you.” He grinned “Seriously this must have sucked bad. At least you had your Rite. Where did you go?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs. “Anywhere. Everywhere. I wandered around for like, nine years. Don’t think I spent more than a month or two in one spot. New York, Miami, New Orleans–okay, I spent like two months in New Orleans. It was Mardi Gras.” She grins. “But yeah, San Fran, Portland, Seattle…even down into Mexico and up to Canada. Just wandered, and learned. And pissed people off, too.”

[Derek Anderson] He chuckled at that “Well i still can’t understand how you pissed peopel off, but I”m going to believe you. Since you mgiht be joining a pack, does it mean you’ll stay arond for a while now?” He ask, looking at her as he drank

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A chuckle. “Yeah, well you haven’t seen me when I’ve decided someone needs to be taught a lesson.”

She nods and finishes off her glass. “That’s the plan, yeah. I’ve wandered enough. I want to stay somewhere a while. I may leave eventually, or take trips for a month or so. But not for a long while. For now, I’m here.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled and filled her glass up, motioning to the bartender for another one. “Well I”m glad to know I’ll be able to see you..regularly..or at least frequently maybe?” He said watching her

“And don’t worry..I”m not getting ideas..I know we’re not of the same blood and all..though maybe Kate would allow you to if you wanted it. I”m just happy to be spending time with you like we have, like we are”

Hedrank some more “I really hope you’ll be happy here while you stay”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins at that. “Well, I appreciate that you’re not getting any ideas. Don’t get me wrong. You’re cute, you’re a sweet guy, and the cop dating the drug dealer would have the perfect Romeo and Juliet vibe, in a Baz Luhrman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes kind of way. Though between you and me, Mercutio was way hotter than Leo. But I would totally break your brain, and you don’t want that.”

[Derek Anderson] He raised a brow “Hmm I wasn’t sure that what you did. And you have to admit, whoever I date is a risk to my careeer. Just by your nature. I might be sweet, nice and all that, but I”m tougher than you might think.”

He paused “Mind telling me how you’d break my brain? JUst in case I can shoot that argument down. Won’t change anything but you know..I’m curious”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs and smiles, and leans forward a bit. She hasn’t done a speech like this in a while. She doesn’t know if she’s any good at it.

“Listen. You’ve caught me on my best behavior so far. I know you don’t think people can dislike me, but believe me, I make it happen. Partly because it’s my job in the Nation, to prick egos and remind people that change is good, and they can’t get set in their ways. But it’s not just a job. It’s what I’m made for. And so it’s not something I can turn off when the nine to five is done. And the other part is…I’m just fuckin’ crazy. I go into a battle with war wolves wielding a .44 Colt Anaconda instead of my fangs. I tell nearly-frenzying Shadow Lord Ahrouns to beat the shit out of me, rather than go out on the street and tear apart some human. You probably think you can handle that, but you can’t.”

She shrugs. “I’m just like my sister, except the reverse is true in that I can heal, and anyone I can be involved with can’t. We’re mirror images of each other, and trust me. You’d lose it.”

[Derek Anderson] He watched her for a moment, listening to everything she was saying “I get what you’re saying. I really do. And yes you sound pretty crazy. And maybe you’re right, maybe I can’t handle it. Though..I think I should be free to decide that. I accept your fears and I won’t harass you Sarita, because I like you. ”

He drank some “But I have two questions for you. Why do you think I’ve only seen you on your best behavior and as crazy as you say you are..are the chances of you physically hurting me bigger than say a female warrior of my blood that i would date?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles a little. She doesn’t mean to sound like she’s laughing at him, and in truth she’s not. She’s just bemused by the fact that she hasn’t scared him off yet. “I say that because you HAVE seen my on my best behavior. With Unbroken, or out on the street when I knew you just a s a cop who happened to be kin. I’ve been behaving, trust me, and if you think I haven’t been…well, consider that. As to the other…”

She shrugs. “I dunno, to be honest. I haven’t gotten to know a lot of Silver Fangs. I know what their claws feel like, but haven’t gotten to know a lot in-depth. It isn’t about Tribe, Derek. It’s about me.”

[Derek Anderson] He leaned forward and looked into her yes again “My point Sar..is that you’re no more dangerous to me than any other female true born that I might end up mated with. Your rage is less than some, you seem to have better control over it. You mgiht be crazy, but you’re smart. You won’lose it on me and have me end up scarred like some other would. That I’m pretty sure of. So..I”m not afraid for my safety..no more, no less than with any other”

He tilted his head “As for my first question, I think you proved my point. I have seen you on your best behavior..I understand why with the Unbroken, but your other excuse..my job? We both know it doesn’t matter at all when it come odwn to you or the others. It’s not like I can throw any of you in jail. I might have a big ego for what I”m about to say..but I also think I mgiht be right. I’ve seen you on your best behavior because my presence make you act that way.”

He paused “Yes, I’m guessing a lot and feel free to destroy my arguments. It’s your job to deflate egos after all”He smile genuinly “And I can take the truth”

[Derek Anderson] (her eyes again)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I ain’t worried about frenzying on you or some shit. I’m worried about the stuff a Theurge can’t heal.” She smiles, a bit muted. She likes the guy–not in that way, for now at least–but she likes him. And his persistence is endearing. But she also likes him too much to ruin him.

“As for the cop thing…sure, no I know you wouldn’t. But there are some out there who would try. If only to prove a point. They suck, and you don’t…but still.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “All right. Look..I’m not going to press the issue..not because I don’t want to, but because I like you too much to annoy you. I might be an idealist but I think that if you don’t lose it with me around, you care for me and are faithful…there’s nothing you can do that will scar me mentally. Not the coming home all bloody and in pain, not the going away for a month or two and not the BSD crashing the door because of who we are.

As for my job. I love it, it pays well and I help people. It’s part of me but it doesn’t define me. If I lose the job, I can find something else. And don’t forget I am a cop. I’ve seen weird shit and if I make it ot homicide, I’ll see even more troubling things.

I’m not fragile, of body or mind.” He leaned back “And that’s all I”m going to say on the subject from now on. You know how I feel, how I see things..if you ever feel liek giving me a chance one day. I’ll be here. If not..well we can always continue ot hang and drink”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little. She really does like him…only like at this point, but she does like him. She feels kind of bad about letting him down, even easy. But she seems to truly think it’s for the best.

“I promise, D. If the situation ever chances, you will be the first to know. Probably by getting grabbed and thrown in the back of my van for a good, long ride. And I ain’t talkin’ about driving.” She grins and takes a sip off her beer.

[Derek Anderson] He smiled at her “Sounds like a plan to me” He drank some “Don’t worry Sar, I won’t be sitting home and wait. Though you’d be worth the wait and the caring for. But I know you don’t want me to do that. So I’ll live my life and do thing. If it’s meant to be, so be it. If not” He shrugh

“So big plans for the coming week? Or life as usual?” He ask, drinking, changing the subject. There was nothing else to be said. Either she’ll accept she is worth loving or not.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Taking Amy to the Loft. Apartment hunting. Ummm…” She frowns. “Probably some more fights. Intentional and non. Sort of the norm, really.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “Sounds good to me” He smiled, drank some more as the bartender brought the pitcher he asked. “And you’re sure you want to bring Amy to the loft so soon?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah.” She nods a little bit. “I think she’ll fall in love with the Loft. And that will make her less opposed to the idea of them in some small way. It’ll go from there.”

[Derek Anderson] He nod “Have her bring a swim suit then…the pool should secude her…I think it’s magical or something”he said with a grin, remembering his only time at the loft and how things turned out by the pool

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A laugh. “Yeah, I have already sold the idea of the pool to her. It’s a big plus in the Loft’s favor to her.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “True, who wouldn’t fall in love with that part of the loft. I should go again just to enjoy that pool again” He looke at her “Ok..weird question of the night. What do you want out of life Sar? Any goals or dreams?”

He doesn’t know where it came from, but it felt like the kind of question you could ask a Ragabash

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises an eyebrow. “Fuck…big picture? Hell if I know. I’m still trying to figure out short-picture, that’s hard enough.” She grins. “Somewhere to belong. A place for me and my sister. Her happy, and me happily driving people nuts.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled at that “Well I hope it’ll happen. I really hope your sister will find her path and it’ll be alonside you. That it’ll turn out well.” He doesn’t say she deserve it, it sounds corny, but maybe she noticed it in his tone. So he now he was sitting, drinking, watching her, silent. He had asked her many questions tonight, learned about her past, a little about her current life and even a glimpse of her future.

He could ask a thousand more. What color she like, music, movies, all kind of trivial stuff but, it could wait. It felt liek an interrogation enough as it is. Maybe she has questions, maybe she want some silence for the moment. Somehow, being silent with her didn’t make him uncomfortable..or so he thought..it never really happened before come to think of it

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[And faaaade…]]

First Time At The Loft

[Cold Victory] The hour is late, but not so much for them. An unlikely sight: Lukas, not swimming determined laps up and down Kate’s pool but floating on one of her loungers, feet and hands trailing in the water, eyes on the stars dimly visible through the pool room’s glass ceiling.

He’s turned off the artificial birdsong in here. There’s only the faint hum of pool filters and pumps, the quiet lapping of water against the tile.

[Brutal Revelation] Nobody seems to really dig the birdsong as much as Katherine does. When Sinclair’s swimming alone she turns it off. When they’re all hanging out together she argues for music instead of pretending they’re on an island somewhere. Katherine calls the birdsong authentic; both Lukas and Sinclair seem to rebel against what is so artificial. Asha does not care, or so it seems. And Christian’s not around anymore. Sarita has yet to voice an opinion on the stereo system of the pool room.

It’s the middle of the night, and when Sinclair comes in she’s fresh from a shower upstairs. Her still-wet hair is in a tight braid that’s been coiled into a bun, as severe as her hairstyles get. And no wonder: with her hair back that hard, it makes her face look all the more animalistic, her cheekbones vaguely feline, her eyes wide and hungry and ghostly in their paleness. She’s not wearing one of her bikinis, or one of the suits she lounges in. Lukas has swam with her, practiced with her enough, to know what it means when she’s wearing one of those black or dark blue or vivid red one-pieces with a halter top and an X-shaped back.

She doesn’t bother with goggles and a cap, but it still means she’s about to work. Not just ‘swim’. Work.

When the door slides closed behind her, she’s already processed the presence of her packmate, sensed him just before she opened the door in the first place. The last time she really saw Lukas was saying goodnight after they patrolled Bellamonte Park and parted ways, she to the Brotherhood and he — most likely — to his mate.

Tonight her suit is red. And there’s all the ink and metal on her skin that’s become so familiar, even that oversized and disturbing viper around her thigh. There’s the scarification that’s glimpsed through the open back of her suit. But now there’s black script on the insides of both forearms, wrist to elbow, spelling out — well. It’s hard to see from his angle.

“Hey, Lukas,” she says, coming to the edge of the pool and lowering herself into a sitting position.

[Cold Victory] The last time they saw each other, they patrolled together. He didn’t say a lot to her, but he could sense her unrest. He didn’t ask about it. He didn’t push — not after his abortive, failed attempt to reach out to her, to reach her, to make her feel included, loved, in touch, family.

He was there, though, quiet and waiting. And at the end of the night she said, I don’t know how to fix this. And Lukas didn’t know either. But he heard her: heard how at a loss she was; heard how she wanted to fix this. And maybe it was a start.

Tonight, she lets herself into the pool room looking like she wants to work. He lifts his head from Kate’s lazy lounger, his pale eyes catching the light, throwing it back. “Hey,” he returns, and waves his hands lazily in the water a few times to paddle himself closer to the edge, out of Sinclair’s way. “Want me to put down some lanes for you?”

[Brutal Revelation] Family, he wanted to her to feel. Not alone. And it would have helped more if that was the sort of loneliness that family and pack could alleviate. If it was feeling disconnected from her packmates somehow, that might have been what he needed to see, and what she needed fixed. But what it is… she doesn’t know how to fix, barely knows how to cope with, knows she doesn’t have much choice but to survive with regardless.

At least she didn’t sound completely hopeless at the end of that night, or completely resigned to just waiting out the misery until the salvation of inevitable death.

“Nah,” she says, and she’s not the sort to excuse herself, subjugate herself, oh no no it’s okay I don’t mind. So she says nah and that’s all it is: exactly as unconcerned as it sounds. She drapes her legs into the water and folds her hands on top of her knees. “You haven’t told me about your challenge yet.”

[Cold Victory] There’s a flicker of a frown across Lukas’s face. Then he shifts to prop himself on his elbows, the lounger rocking under his shifting weight, indenting under the points of his elbows.

“No,” he agrees quietly, “I haven’t.”

The lounger turns a lazy circle in the pool. After a while, a corner bumps the side, and Lukas reaches out to arrest it, one hand gripping the edge of the tile. A moment later he sits up altogether, straddling the lounger now, legs in the water up to the knees.

“Do you want to hear the facts first, and then what I thought about it?”

[Brutal Revelation] She watches him move around in the water. It’s hard to be graceful on a lounger if you dare to do anything but lie on it, but she doesn’t laugh. However, a small smile moves across Sinclair’s lips after he speaks, an expression more of fondness than amusement, more on the mouth than in the eyes.

“Begin at the beginning,” she tells him instead. “And when you come to the end… stop.”

Which may mean just the facts, ma’am. Or it may mean that he needn’t separate facts from his thoughts. Or it may mean that she’s quoting Alice in Wonderland. Lukas can take it as he will, and tell her what he will.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She hasn’t actually been here before, but she’s had the invitation and she’s not one to turn such a thing down. She the Bitchmobile is parked at an available street corner, probably looking very out of place with the rest of the block. It would be like if someone pulled down some artwork in the Louvre to make room for a velvet Elvis and Dogs Playing Poker.

She looks up at the place and grins, making her way toward the building and preparing to have to be buzzed up. Either that or given some very suspicious looks by doormen. Probably both really, she imagines.

[Brutal Revelation] The door is buzzed and opened by a stout, mature latina who may very well never sleep. From the outside, the Loft doesn’t look like much — sort of stark and more like a warehouse than a residence. Inside it unfolds into polished surfaces, glass and pale wood and wide open windows overlooking small courtyards. For the home of a Fang who was once a staunch Royalist and is now… well, not quite a Renewalist… it is shockingly and perfectly modern. Also: very, very clean.

Very very clean.

Outside, Sarita’s Bitchmobile wasn’t quite as out of place as she might have expected. There was an old 70’s El Camino with a black fuzzy dice parked outside, too — it’s possible Lukas’s black BMW is in the garage or around the corner or maybe he came her via the umbra. But Sinclair drove, and Sarita’s probably seen the El Cam around the Brotherhood often enough to find it familiar.

More familiar than the interior of the Loft. Miss Katherine, Lucille explains — first in English, then in rapid Spanish as soon as she realizes she and Sarita have that in common — is unavailable, but Mister Lukas and Miss Sinclair are in the pool room.

The pool is the crown jewel of the home, enormous — nearly Olympic size, from the look of things. There’s greenery at the edges, enough to conceal speakers from whence birdsong often pipes. That is cut off now, though, the room silent but for the water and the low voice of the Shadow Lord sitting on a lounger in the water. Sinclair is perched on the edge of the pool, glancing over her shoulder as the door slides open. She gives a small upward nod to Sarita, but then she turns her attention fully back to Lukas, because what he is telling her

is important.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives Lucille a friendly smile and is very warm and talkative with the woman as they travel through the loft to the pool room. Sarita takes it all in with an impressed look…the girl isn’t completely without class when she needs be, but she is definitely not used to accommodations like this. This is like, what the hotel rooms she and Amy would get after a particularly good score (by her) or con (by Amy) in order to splurge and because Amy was sick to death of sleeping in the van. It’s a perfectly comfortable van to sleep in. Yes, it’s still a van, but hey, there are worse places to sleep. Even if it doesn’t have a shower.

Regardless, the point is that Sarita can’t help but feel a bit underdressed as she makes her way into the pool room, even though she’s the most dressed between her worn jeans, heavy black shirt, cowboy boots and the ever-present duster. She smiles and returns the upward nod to Sinclair, and one to Lukas too. She doesn’t say anything yet, so as not to interrupt the conversation.

[Cold Victory] That fond little smile mirrors itself on Lukas’s face. He thinks a moment, then, and begins.

And he begins at the start. He tells her how he walked into that Sept where he was fostered. He tells her how he wore the sword of his ancestors — the same one he uses when he spars with her, but otherwise rarely equips — because it made him think of things he was taught long before he was anyone’s rhya or even anyone’s yuf. He tells her how he chose which Garou to challenge, and how in the end it was the one known for her unbending honor.

And he tells her what the challenge was. That there was a pack without an Alpha and Ahroun. That he was charged to step into that place, to lead them to find their rightful Alpha.

He tells her, then, how from the start he felt hidden layers in that pack. Secrets. Things he did not know, and was kept apart from. He tells her how that made it impossible for him to trust them from the start, and how that in turn made it impossible for them to trust him. How later he discovered their Beta and Theurge, Key of Heaven, willfully kept him out of their intimate circle. How he made this so easy for Key with his own distrust.

He tells her — with shame in his tone, but without shying from it — that he zeroed in on their Philodox, a muddled creature by the name of Eyes That Wax and Wane, a creature more or less incapable of deceit. That he separated her from the rest of her pack like prey to try to wring the truth from her, gaining only that she trusted her pack, and that she was not so muddled as to not know what he was doing.

Of the actual events of the challenge, the quest, he speaks only in quick, simple terms: that there were eaten humans, reports of skeletal Garou walking the forests. That they tracked the Alpha, and that it was surprisingly easy to follow her into the forest, into the ground, across the Gauntlet into some spiritual cavern deep in the earth. That they went deeper and deeper, battling the skeletal Garou and overcoming them; that the rest of the pack, the Blackwings, operated as a smooth, efficient whole. That they followed him, but that he never quite felt their Alpha, or even a part of them.

Lukas tells Sinclair how they found the true Alpha, Stormstrike, eventually — buried beneath the earth. And she was a proud thing, proud to a fault, strong and vicious and quick. She fell upon her Beta immediately and without explanation, cursing him for an oathbreaker. Key ran; she chased; Lukas followed her, the rest of the pack at his heels. He tells Sinclair how Stormstrike would not submit to him, would not fall in behind him, figuratively or literally; how he did not force her submission.

And he tells her why. Which is not something he’s told anyone to date:

Because I didn’t trust any of them at that moment. Because I didn’t trust them to not turn on me, one and all, if I turned on their Alpha.

He tells her how they fled from the underground caverns, which collapsed around them as they ran. He tells her how Key escaped first, Stormstrike right behind him; then Lukas, then the Philodox and the Ragabash, Sunthief. Last, the Galliard, Threnody for Gaia, who was caught in the cave-in and trapped under the earth.

He tells her how Stormstrike caught Key, then. And told Lukas — ordered him — to hold Key of Heaven while she rescued her packmate.

He tells her how he refused. How in that moment, his pride and outrage kept him from obeying her. How she killed Key of Heaven instead of letting him run away.

I didn’t know if he was guilty of what she accused him of or not, he says of this. I didn’t know anything. It was a mistake to let her kill him. It was utter failure.

Key of Heaven came back, he goes on to say. And Lukas managed to wring the truth out at last:

that Key of Heaven and Stormstrike had broken the Litany together, not by charaching but by tasting forbidden flesh. That Stormstrike fell to the Thrall of the Wyrm first, and Key of Heaven counseled silence; that the hunger stayed with her, and eventually Key of Heaven convinced her to succumb again. That he tasted of human flesh with her, not once but again and again, until finally the Wyrm dogged her heels so that Stormstrike was moved to confess. That instead of allowing her to confess and doom them both, he raised skeletal Garou through some dark magic and set them on her, buried her in the earth.

I wasn’t sure, Lukas says, wry in retrospect, even then that Key of Heaven hadn’t done that to protect her. I was that unwilling to believe anyone, even someone like him, could be so twisted.

Stormstrike hadn’t told any of this to her pack before. She didn’t reach to them either in her imprisonment. It was a sort of protection, Lukas says, though such a condescending one that in the end the pack was only more infuriated to discover it. He tried to counsel Stormstrike to speak to her pack as an Alpha should, here at the end of the road — but she didn’t do that, either.

The trip back to the Sept, he says, was silent. If they spoke, he didn’t hear it. Back before the council of Stark Falls, every last one of them were judged: the Litany-breakers for their crimes, Key of Heaven put to death for his corruption and his cowardice and his malice; Stormstrike stripped of pack and rank and voice for her pride and failures.

The Blackwings judged themselves, and judged themselves harshly. Then they judged Lukas and his challenge, he says, with more —

(here he pauses, looking for the word)

— more impartiality and magnanimity than he expected, or felt he deserved. And in the end, Iceriver, the Adren he had challenged, asked him to speak to the Blackwings in Stormstrike’s place, to tell them what he thought she should have. So he did.

I told them to learn from what had happened, he says, and to face their own failures. To recognize that they followed blindly, and that they could only be misled so utterly because they allowed themselves to be. But I also told them not to become mired in their failure and their pain. To not become cold and untrusting, too scarred to go on. And I told them that each of them had the makings of a good Alpha — and failings that they would need to rely on the rest of their pack for.

Ultimately, I suppose I told them to pick themselves up, learn, grow stronger, continue on. Which, in a way, was what Iceriver-rhya told me, right before she passed me to Adren.

And there it is, the end.

Somewhere in the course of all that, Lucille lets Sarita in. Sinclair greeted her. Lukas glanced over as he spoke, drifting in the water on a ridiculously Beverly-Hills-mansion-esque pool lounger, nodding to her without breaking his narrative. He doesn’t stop because she enters. He doesn’t go back, either — simply continues on as though she were,

in fact,

a packmate.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She finds the story intensely interesting, to be sure. While she listens, she starts to put pieces of it together, and she’s figured out that it’s a challenge before the end. She finds a piece of poolside furniture to settle herself down in to listen to the rest, head cocked to the side and a faint version of her usual lopsided grin.

[Brutal Revelation] Sarita hears most of it, though not the very beginning. And she sees the way that Sinclair takes it all in. The Galliard’s expression is utterly blank, devoid of emotion or attachment, but intensely focused. It’s as though so much of her energy is taken up by listening, by mentally recording, by remembering, that there is simply no room left in her right now to reflect upon it personally. In fact, other than glancing at Sarita to acknowledge her and — in a way — welcome her in, Sinclair barely even blinks as Lukas is speaking.

It takes awhile before he’s finished. It’s a long tale. Not three days, as Katherine’s Adren challenge — another story she must listen to, another packmate she must seek out soon, before the memory fades — but a single night, a clenched fistful of hours leading up to the name he now wears beside Wyrmbreaker.

There are times when Sinclair gives advice. She was the one who, quite some time ago, talked to Lukas and told him quite plainly to stop fucking around and challenge. She was the one who got down in Kate’s face and made double-damn sure Katherine had not forgotten their true purpose, the reason for their pack’s existence, and how separate from Power and Influence that purpose is. Sinclair’s the one who beat the tar out of a Theurge they were once packed with because she didn’t think he knew how to listen to anything else. Sinclair’s the Galliard, and while it is not her duty to play the Half Moon, she sees things differently than Kate and Lukas do, or ever would — that is why she’s here. That is one of the primary reasons he sought her out, a long time ago. She added something to the pack that was lacking. She still does.

But she has no advice for Lukas, and he is seeking none. She heard things in his retelling, things that mattered, but she let them go as quickly as she heard them, because he was talking, and she needed to remember. Remember everything. She’ll be up late tonight, writing. Recording. And after that, her private diary, where she’ll work out her own thoughts, her own reflections. How she feels about it all.

When he’s done, she takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. She moves for the first time since looking at Sarita, blinking a few times and then cracking her neck. She doesn’t ask Lukas to explain the name he was given; she understands now. Without the words being spoken, Sinclair understands that much at least with the sort of intuition that allows Galliards to be, so often, the namers.

Sinclair looks at Lukas. She’s been looking at him all this time, really, but for the first time in several minutes it seems like she’s seeing him as herself, meeting him somewhere in the middle of that gaze. “Thank you,” she says. Then twists, and looks at Sarita again. “Welcome to paradise,” she quips. “I have some spare suits if you wanna jump in.”

[Cold Victory] Lukas’s mouth moves a little as she thanks him. It, like that first smile, isn’t really humor. Something closer to wryness, and fondness – brotherly love, perhaps. Then Sinclair’s welcoming Sarita to ‘paradise’, and some tension lifts from Lukas. He lays back on the lounger again, holding on to the edge of the pool to keep from tipping over.

“Sinclair and I campaigned hard to get Kate to put this pool in,” he says. “It used to be a lot smaller. This your first time here?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The little smile breaks out into a full-fledged grin with the welcome to paradise. “Yeah, seriously. This is….something. I’m feeling like there should be some security guard following me around, making sure I’m not gonna like, steal silverware or something.”

She gives a little chuckle and a wink, then waves off the offer to jump in. “I’m cool for now, thanks. I do love an occasional pool dip, but I feel like I should just let all this bad-assness sink in for a bit. I shouldn’t swim while my head is already doing so, y’know?”

A little nod goes to Lukas when he asks if it’s her first time here. “It does happen to be so, yeah. Was I too obvious with the silver- dollar-sized eyes? Very impressive, by the way.” Though she’s been talking about the environs to date, at this point it’s clear she means his retelling of his challenge, or probably more specifically the challenge itself.

[Brutal Revelation] “We didn’t have to campagin that hard,” Sinclair amends. “I think Lukas tried casually suggesting it over cognac, then joking about it one day while we were all swimming, then I made puppy eyes at her and she pretty much caved.”

Paradise, then. And Sarita’s first time here. Sinclair huffs a laugh when she mentions stealing silverware, glancing at Lukas. There had been quite a noise made after the first couple of times Sticky Fingers showed up around here. Sinclair kicks at the water, not really at anything, but Lukas might be splashed slightly.

Her hands grip the edge of the pool. Have been like that for some time now. It was awhile ago since she unfolded her hands and braced herself with those newly tattooed arms. She hasn’t let go.

“You know — not talk about her behind her back or anything — but as pleased as Kate gets when people get all googly-eyed over what she can provide, I think what makes her truly happy is when it feels like everyone’s… home, here.” She’s watching the water ripple around her legs, the way they distort under the water. Tips her head to the side a bit.

[Brutal Revelation] [*campaign]

[Cold Victory] Lukas gives that wry little half-smile again and Sarita congratulates him, or praises him. His name, she knows now, is more a reminder than a boast; his challenge could only be called a cold victory at best.

Sinclair kicking her legs sends Lukas drifting out across the pool again, turning in a slow circle until an idle paddle halts the turn. “We actually did have someone steal the silverware once,” he notes, “so if Lucille looked at you askance, that might be why. Tell her you’re pack and she’ll warm up. A little.

“But, yeah. I think once upon a time Kate wanted this to be a packhouse. That never really happened, but … we all crash here from time to time. If you or your sister take up a room here she’ll probably be thrilled. Speaking of which, how’s she doing? She seemed to take it pretty hard when I told her the thick of battle probably wasn’t the best place for her.”

[Brutal Revelation] It’s unmistakable. From her angle in the poolside seat Sarita can even see it. Sinclair rolls her eyes. There is nothing subtle about it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles a little at the explanation for the silverware, and shakes her head. “Naah, she didn’t, at least that I noticed. We found a nice common ground and things seem generally cool.” Of course, what Sarita might consider ‘cool’ and what reality might be the case could vary significantly from time to time. “I’ll mention that as a possibility to Ames. Digging the Brotherhood and it’s nice to be around to be able to see Kyle every two weeks when he actually stops by, plus Gina’s right next door to us now. But you never know.”

When Lukas asks how Amy is doing, her brow furrows, and her expression slips just a little. “She did take it hard. But she’s resilient. She probably won’t give up on hoping that one day she’ll end up being able to be involved in some capacity. It’s just…who she is. I’ve already had people in my face about it but it’s something that was sort of programmed into her from well before I found her.” She speaks about it like it’s something she’s not comfortable with at all. No Garou really could…not that she would ever tell Amy that. But it’s also something she’s had to come to terms with, even if that hasn’t been easy.

“It’s weird, I know. And I don’t expect that most people will ever understand it or be cool with it. She was upset, but I’m keeping an eye on her and I think she’s bouncing back pretty well. She’ll be fine.”

[Brutal Revelation] At Sarita’s explanation, Sinclair quiets, listening. Then she looks over at her possible packsister again, thoughtful. Some time ago she might have just flat-out said Are you for fucking serious? and they might have ended up in a brawl or something. For all she knows, here and now, Sarita saw that eyeroll and raised her a couple mentions of how she’s already gotten shit for Amunet’s insanity, and how most people won’t understand or be cool with it.

Sinclair just watches her for a moment, though not a long moment. “How much of your time and energy are you willing to expend on having to watch her, though?” Sinclair asks, in a voice that is — considering the athletic, predatory female it’s coming from — surprisingly gentle. “I mean, if she doesn’t figure out sooner rather than later that she can’t go charging in alongside the Garou because it’ll get her fucking killed? You’ve got better things to do than make sure she doesn’t go suicidal because she wants something she can’t have. Wants to… be something she won’t ever be.”

A brief pause: “I’m not saying this to get in your face, Sarita,” Sinclair goes on, her voice low. “But I wouldn’t want to see you dragged down and distracted by it.”

[Cold Victory] “For what it’s worth,” Lukas adds, “I suggested some ways your sister could make a difference without actively endangering herself or making herself a liability. She seemed to take to the idea of a bit of human-world recon and espionage.”

It might be noted that he doesn’t actually join the debate Sinclair seems to be setting up. Rather, on that front, Lukas — like Sarita herself so often does — simply watches. And listens.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She listens to Sinclair, head cocked to the side. There isn’t bitterness or anger at the Galliard for speaking her mind about it. She’s being a lot more reasonable than other people have been, and she didn’t get particularly angry at them either. Here, or in the other towns that they’ve been in. She gives the other woman a little understanding nod.

“Believe me, I know what you’re saying. And no, I know you’re not.” A brief pause. “I guess I should clarify. I’m not saying that she’s gonna be sneaking out to come along with us against our will or anything. And yes, it’s insane, and a little bit suicidal. More than a little bit. But I should make this clear. I’m there for her to help her get back up if she falls. I’m not running out after her to stop her every time she goes and does some stupid-ass thing. But she is my sister, and she’s all I have left of my direct blood family. As long as she still has the ability to draw breathe, I’ll be there for her.” Her expression tells the words that she doesn’t say plainly–that the Strider accepts the very real possibility and even probability that she might outlive her sister.

“In truth,” she adds, “Last couple weeks have been…eye openers for her. Can’t say as it’s all been great for her, but it’s changed her perspective a bit. And she’s not as nuts as she sometimes seems. She is realistic about most things, and she did mention your ideas, Lukas.” She nods to him. “I think they’d be great for her.”

[Brutal Revelation] There’s a slight huff at the mention — even the idea — of Amunet sneaking after them. Maybe it’s hubris. Maybe it’s the sheer facts of the matter: an Adren Ahroun, a Fostern Philodox, a Fostern Galliard, a Cliath Ahroun, and a Cliath Ragabash being tailed unwittingly by a Kinfolk. Sure. Right. Like, if that even happened, they wouldn’t just stuff her in someone’s trunk til they could deal with her. It’s not a cruel sound from her mouth, but it’s a dismissive one — as though Sarita’s telling a joke, and Sinclair gets it.

Sneaking out to come along with them. Sure.

The rest of the time, she’s just listening. And it’s a different kind of listening than when she was mentally recording Lukas’s challenge. It’s more involved. She’s… there. She’s not just a scribe. She can see in Sarita’s eyes that awful and — frankly — backwards truth: that Amunet might go out and get herself killed long before the war digs its claws into Sarita and rips out her heart. Which isn’t how it should be. Which isn’t how it will be, for most of them.

In the end, Sinclair gives a nod. “Forgive me,” she says eventually, a bit slowly. “I don’t have any brothers or sisters that aren’t packmates,” she adds with a faint shrug of one shoulder, paired with a small shake of her head. “And I’m not …great with Kinfolk, even my own.”

Especially.

There’s reason enough for that. Sinclair walks into a room and gets one of two reactions from their rageless cousins: they quail or they get their back up, depending on how strong their backbone is. They aren’t comforted by her. She can’t put them at ease. She could burn through every drop of her rage and she would still make people’s neckhairs stand on end, make their brains light up with flashes of primitive fight or flight instinct. Sure, there’s the rare kinfolk who gets a surge oh ooh, sexydangerous, but even they can’t do much more than stare at her before heading for the door. Her parents feel it. Lucille feels it. Jenny and Reuben and everyone else at the BroHo feels it.

I’m not great with Kinfolk is a nice way of putting it. She avoids them; they try not to make eye contact with her. It works out.

“She’s your sister,” Sinclair finishes, with a second shrug, as though, that’s it. That’s all that needs to be said, in the end.

[Cold Victory] “What happened to the rest of your blood kin?” Lukas asks, turning his head to keep the females in sight as the vague motion of the poolwater turns his float slowly about. “If you don’t mind me asking.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods a little bit to Sinclair. Oddly, despite the Strider’s filial ties to her sister, she knows what it’s like to be an only child too, and there is a bit of that understanding in her eyes. It’s almost redundant to be of two worlds that way when they are of two worlds by their very nature. Perhaps that made it easier for Sarita to adapt to her new situation. She probably couldn’t tell you herself.

“She is,” she says in response, and that is all.

When Lukas asks about the rest of her family, Sarita looks that way and shakes her head with a smile. “Not at all.” A little shrug. “My father was the Trueborn, Amy and my blood link. He had a family with Amy and her mother, and my mother was a one-night stand. My mother didn’t know what Esteban was or what I was, and I didnt’ until my First Change.” She pauses a moment. The hesitation is brief, but it is there, before she continues.

“My mother died in a drug-related shooting. That’s when Esteban found me, gave me the basics and sent me off to the nearby Sept. Didn’t see any of my family again until Amy. Her mother died of cancer, and Esteban died soon after in a Spiral raid on their Sept.” She shrugs. There’s no bitterness in her voice toward her father, just less of an attachment than to her departed mother. “Amy found me not long after that.”

[Brutal Revelation] Some of who and what Sarita is, and how Amunet plays into that, unfolds as she tells them what happened to her father, her mother. It comes across, too, in the things that aren’t said, the thing that aren’t expounded upon —

he had a family

basics

sent me off

— and in those flickers of hesitation. Sinclair, perhaps not surprisingly, is a good listener. She tips her head to the side. “Found you? How? Did she know about you?”

[Cold Victory] In a strange way, Sinclair and Lukas — possibly the two most war-invested wolves in the pack — also have the most mundane upbringings. Sinclair was a cheerleader. Lukas has two parents and an older sister; all they were missing was a white picket fence and a dog. The sort of life Sarita describes — drug shootings, one night stands — is very far from his experience.

He rolls sideways off the float, though, as Sinclair picks up the thread of conversation. In a few swift, powerful strokes he reaches the edge of the pool and hauls himself out, sheeting water. Like Sinclair, then, he sits on the edge, legs in the water, at right angles to the Galliard. While he listens, he looks at the fresh ink on Sinclair’s forearms, curious.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a little nod, having expected that question. It’s asked a decent amount of the time. “Esteban knew about me from my birth, and his family knew that I existed for years. Amy knew she had a Trueborn sister since birth, and…that honestly has a lot to do with why she’s the way that she is. Living in the shadow of someone who isn’t even a quote-unquote ‘real’ part of your family, I don’t think, is very easy.”

She runs a hand through her hair, leaning back. It’s not a story that pains her, but she is a bit hesitant as she talks about these portions. This isn’t just her story…it’s hers and Amy’s. That’s significant to the Strider. “Anyway, when Esteban died, she found the information he had on me in his things and tracked me down.”

[Brutal Revelation] There is a reason why most of the time Sinclair and Lukas are both in the pool, she’s coaching him. He has raw physical power, raw physical grace and endurance, but Sinclair is the athlete of the Unbroken. In the water or on dry ground, those skills shine. She was a cheerleader. She was a swimmer. She was a runner. When she got older she surfed, she played volleyball. Last year she learned how to snowboard.

Drug shootings and one night stands aren’t so far from her experience, though. Not because of how she grew up, because of any experience from her life before her Change, but there is this stretch of time between earning the name Warcry and that fateful trip to Las Vegas that ended up with her coming to Chicago where things were very, very different.

Though their roles play a part, too. Lukas is a warmaster, a leader. Sinclair is a the memory of the pack, the voice of history. Sometimes she advises but that’s really Kate’s forte. Sinclair has the strange but sometimes vital ability to sit back, and listen, and absorb

and neither judge, nor act, nor attempt to alter. It is what it is. She hears hints of things in Sarita’s telling of her life, but right now, she doesn’t chase any of them down, scratch them out of the earth. One challenge to Sarita tonight seems to be enough.

She does look at her brother when he hauls himself out of the water, and notices him peering at her forearms. Without interrupting Sarita, she takes her hands off the rim of the pool and turns her arms towards Lukas so he can read the script inscribed into the skin there. Her eyes, then, turn back to the Strider.

Hearing what she does, a faint frown creases her brow, then smooths…willfully. One gets the impression if she let herself she’d just keep frowning until her face stuck that way. Since Lukas has had enough time to read her arms, Sinclair lowers them again, folding her hands on her knees. “You know…”

And hesitation. A beat of it, as she considers her words. It may seem to come out of nowhere — Sinclair seems okay with that. “Sarita, when it’s just us — the pack, I mean, now and particularly if you decide to join us for realsies — you can say whatever you have to say.” She pauses again. “You can trust our discretion. And if we fail you in that way, it’s your right to call us out on it, especially given your moon.”

Sinclair wrinkles her nose, then relaxes her expression again. “Okay, the blunt way of putting that is: if you feel weird about talking about your sister to us ‘behind her back’ or because it might be her private stuff, we all totally get that — just stick around and you’ll see how much Lukas talks about his mate, for example, which is like not at all and don’t think none of us have noticed he’s got a wedding ring now but were we invited, noooo of course not — but, yeah. My point is that what you say among pack isn’t going to come back to bite you in the ass later, even if you choose to leave the pack. I’ve had that happen. I wouldn’t do it to anyone else, and I’d yell at Lukas or Kate or Asha if they tried to do it, too. But they wouldn’t. Cuz they’re them. Y’know?”

She slips into the water. Finally.

[Derek Anderson] He entered the building and after introducing himself in the lobby, he rode the elevator up and once at the penthouse, he was greeted by a severe looking womannamed Lucille. He grinned at her slightly. Despite being almost 6’4″and being quite fit, the woman was almost intimidating to him

Lucky for him, he made a good impression enough, having stopped by his place to get changed after coming home from the theater. He was dressed in a nice purpple shirt, dark pants and shoes and had put on a long, warm jacket. He was led inside, toward one of the bench, then left.

Of course he heard those present and recognize the woman beside the pool and even those two inside the pool. He odesn’t get closer though, keeping out of conversation distance so he wouldn’t be unintetionally spying on them

[Cold Victory] Lukas isn’t terribly subtle about looking at the script. He leans over when Sinclair turns her arms to show him, reading the dark ink on her winter-pale skin. Somewhere in the middle of that she slips in the mention about his newish wedding band — that dark strip of black tungsten and gold that encircles the fourth finger of his left hand now — and his eyes flick up. He laughs quietly, a little abashed, a little pleased, but then the conversation moves on and his eyes go to Sarita.

“What she said,” he says. There’s a reason the gibbous moon chose Sinclair: it’s rare that she ever makes a statement Lukas feels compelled to add to or correct. “I’d add more, but that about covers it. I’m not going to run around airing a packmate’s laundry. Or a proto-packmate’s. Or whatever. No more than you would, I think.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She actually flushes at that. Clearly, she hadn’t even considered it that way, but as Sinclair says it, the words make complete sense and it makes the Ragabash wonder why the hell she didn’t already have that in mind.

“You’re right…my bad.” She sighs. “Too much time on the road. Two back-to-back against the world and all that happy Custer’s Last Stand-style horse shi-ite. Kinda got used to holding each other’s secrets safe from everyone else.” She smiles and taps her temple.

“Keeping it in mind.”

[Saschenka Neal] It was probably wrong to dead meeting the Elder of your own Tribe. Be nervous, of course, but dread? Sasha had never thought she’d have that feeling when meeting one of her own. Still, that was exactly what was pooling in her stomach and it had taken most of the taxi can ride over to convince herself to actually go, and not turn around as soon as she hit the doors.

Her clothes are much better then her usual working nights, nice sweater, nice jeans tucked into nice boots and her hair spilling over her shoulders. She’s even got a good fall coat on,as she comes through the door. There is a murmur, and a polite nod to Lucille, as well as a quiet thank you as she’s lead to where she needs to go and where she’s told to stay.

What she doesn’t expect is more voices, or even to see a familiar face- Detective Anderson. Her stomach clenches even tighter and it takes a second or two for her face to smooth out and for Sasha to force the tension out of her body. She even managers a smile to the man. “Detective Anderson. Thank you again, for your help.”

[Cold Victory] For a moment the Shadow Lord’s head turns; he looks through the glass doors at the passing figure. Turns back, though, when Sarita speaks.

“Don’t,” he says as she apologizes. “It’s nothing to ‘my bad’ about. You didn’t do anything wrong, Sarita. Like you said, it’s been the two of you back-to-back against the world for a long time now. I think Sinclair’s just saying — it doesn’t have to be like that anymore. Not if you’re with us.”

He pushes up on the palms of his hand, then, drawing his legs out of the water and under him. Standing, suddenly tall, he pads wet-footed over to the lounge chairs and draws his swim robe up, shrugging into it as he heads for the pool room’s door.

“Be right back,” he says. “Going to see who the pureblooded new faces are.”

[Brutal Revelation] In the water now, Sinclair moves, well… less like a wolf and more like a fish.

No, not like a fish. Like a shark. Even in the pool she’s more predator than prey, more beast than girl. The shocking red of her racing suit makes her look that much more vicious. She’s not swimming though, she’s treading water and enjoying the feel of it, still part of the conversation and still close to the edge of the pool.

“And I commend you for it,” she tells Sarita, of keeping secrets for her sister. “Just… y’know. You can trust us, is I guess what I’m saying.” She shrugs, and water sluices off of the names along her bicep, the metal through the other. Then she’s underwater a moment, coming up with her long hair drenched and close to the scalp.

She comes up and sees Derek through the glass walls. That crease appears in her brow once more, much like it did earlier as Sarita was talking. Then there’s Sashenka, and she nods as Lukas hauls himself up to go see who the new shiny shiny Fangs are.

Sinclair turns back to Sarita. “Come on. You should go get one of my suits. Jump in. Paddle around. I swear not to dunk you. I can’t speak for Lukas. He tends to jones pretty hard on that Big Brother vibe and would probably noogie you.”

[Derek Anderson] He offer her a warm smile “Good evening Sasha, didn’t think I”d bump into you tonight”He say, plased to see her. They had bumped into each other a few times and the meetings always ended well. HE liked his fellow, she was nice, smart and funny, though sometime unwillingly.

He looked back at the pool, watching Sarita for a moment then caught Sinclair looking in his and Sasha’s direction. He grin slightly and looked away. Something crossed his mind and he looked up fora moment before looknig again at Sasha with a smile.

[Derek Anderson] (*his fellow kin..)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks up, following Lukas’s gaze, and sees Sasha and Derek. She grins a little, head cocking to the side. “Hey, I know both of them.” Then the thought occurs to her. How the hell do I meet all the Fang kin first? The thought gives her one of those Cheshire-style grins, for no reason that she can even discern. Sometimes the Strider just finds shit funny. You don’t earn the deed name “Echoes of Laughter” if it wasn’t the case.

She looks over at Sinclair and finally gives in. “Okay, okay.” It’s a good-natured and willing surrender. She shrugs out of her duster, settling it against the back of the chair. “Show or tell me the way.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] There is no way to avoid the truth.

A Philodox, above all other auspices knows this to be quite true and correct and the truth was — Katherine had been avoiding her pack-mates. Specifically Sinclair and Lukas and even more exactly — her Alpha. She had gone to challenge for Adren at her father’s Sept and she had failed. Failure was not a thing easily written into the Bellamonte manuscript. It was most certainly not on Katherine’s.

She did not fail.

Her Uncle had taught her this much from an early age and despite her hatred of the man and his ploys, she did believe in some things still, deep in her core. Her family were not made to be laughing stocks. The Bellamontes who would go down in the history books would never be those that failed in their endeavors. Humility, Honor’s Compass had admitted to Nobility’s Burden, her father’s old Half Moon pack-mate, humility had been something a long time coming to Katherine’s psyche.

But she had it in spades, now. And she did not know how to process it.

So, she spent time, much of her time, with Martin, or at the Caern. Or in the Umbra; wolf-formed and freer than her human skin felt at present. She was a presence still on the totemlink but she was distant, even in person. Her smiles were half-mast; insubstantial and when she arrives at the Loft; entering silently from the garage she does not announce herself. Merely deposits her keys and stands a moment, listening to the activity.

The Loft, as both Kinfolk soon discover upon entry was what had once been a rather impressive warehouse space. It had been re-built on the inside, concrete given away for floor to ceiling window panes in several places and on the first floor an equally impressive enclosed swimming area. Lucille; a compact Hispanic woman with peppered black hair and wise, quick eyes would lead both after coats were taken down a white washed entry hall that opened up into a sitting area.

The floors were polished wood that gleamed, a rich rug thrown across the floor beneath an arrangement of black leather sofas to greet any exiting or entering from various doors. In a far corner; a staircase made of steel and stone wound upwards to a second level and somewhere, masked by the dominating pool room, there was a kitchen and master bedroom.

Lucille, noting her Mistress, gestures curtly at the Kinfolk to arrange themselves as they saw fit and rushed to take the pretty blond’s coat. Katherine turned her face, and her maid murmured something lowly in her ear. There was a nod, and Katherine came forward; her pale eyes intent on at least one new face.

“Good evening, welcome to my home. I am Katherine Bellamonte.” Derek received a brief cant of her head before the Half Moon’s attention returned to Sashenka. “You must be my newest arrival.”

[Saschenka Neal] “I didn’t expect to see others tonight either.” She admits, following his gaze and recognizing at least one in the pool. Seeing Sarita is both comforting, and bring more dread about the embarrassment that’s soon to follow. She stands at a parade rest, fingers gripping her wrist perhaps a touch to tight… especially with Lukas coming over.

They only tighten further when Katherine walks in; a kin can’t see breeding, but she -can- see the way the woman holds herself. This was a Trueborn Silver Fang, well bred, true and true. And she was looking at Sasha.

“Yes ma’am,” she answers politely and respectfully, bowing her head slightly in deference. “It’s an honor to meet you, thank you for allowing me into your home.”

She’s one who’s grown up around Garou, that’s obvious.

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair grins at Sarita. “Upstairs. It’s the second room on your left past the pool table. Top drawer of the dresser. You should be able to find something that fits, we’re about the same size.”

And with that she tilts to her back and sweeps her arms, swimming backward a bit. The last she heard from Lucille, Miss Katherine was unavailable. And she’s been waiting. She’s been quiet. God only knows Sinclair has had reason enough for the last couple of months to not reach out overmuch, to not invite anything that might become a long discussion.

But she knows Kate is back in town. She knows Kate is near. She knows Kate as a steady white glow in her mind, a pristine presence only sometimes marred by a darkening of emotion or a blinding flare of megalomania. And she smiles at the glass ceiling of the pool room, smiles at the stars.

[Cold Victory] The creature approaching the glass doors of the pool room sweeps rage ahead of him. Quite tall, broad across the shoulders and thick through the chest, Lukas is possessed of a frame that seems to year by year gain muscle mass and solidity. Once, his ancestors were black beasts in the carpathians, shrouded in the furs of their enemies, as strong as the mountains themselves. He’s descended from the same stock, cut to the same cloth.

His expression is curious, though, rather than threatening. He seems about to sweep the doors open and greet them when he catches sight of his packmate coming from the direction of the garage. It’s the first time he’s seen her since she left for New York, and for her own Adren challenge. They haven’t spoken of it, but every one of the Unbroken knows the outcome of that challenge; knows it in the foreboding silence of their totem, the lack of the storm-god’s presence in their bones.

Lukas looks at Katherine a moment, his eyebrows pulling together and upward a little. She goes to greet her kin, though, and Lukas doesn’t interrupt, instead raising a hand in a silent, courteous greeting through the glass. Derek, he’s met. The woman, he hasn’t; but she’s Kate’s business, regardless.

Turning back, he steps aside as Sarita heads up to get one of Sinclair’s suits. “I’m not going to dunk you,” he says to her on her way out, an aside, “but Sinclair might make you feel like a mudskipper to her swordfish.”

He keeps his robe on, though unsashed. Pulling up one of the loungers at the side of the pool, he nods at Sinclair’s forearms. “What’s up with the new ink?”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled as Sasha found herself the focus of Katherine’s attention. He offered the regal woman an nod and a smile when she noticed him. Having no real business with her tonight, he was quite happy to let both woman talk. His attention drifted toward the pool once and it was hard to say who or what he was looking at.

Of course he didn’t look for too long and when Lukas came closer, his attention was on the man. HE offered a polite smile and nod to the Elder then he brought his eyes back to Katherine and Sasha’s meeting

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods to Sinclair with a grateful smile and starts to make her way out of the pool area. When Lukas said he wasn’t going to dunk her, she gave a grin at him. “Hey, all’s fair in love and war. That includes pool wars. Therefore, I make no such promises.” A chuckle, and she gives Sasha and Derek little nods, and a smile to Katherine–not going out of her way to interrupt, just not pretending they aren’t there–as she disappears off to the stairs and up.

[Brutal Revelation] She swims for awhile. Just a little while. To be alone. To be in the water, alone, a sport without cheerleaders and where fans are more of a distraction than a charge. She does just a single lap though, once back and forth down the immense pool, and then she comes to the edge, puts her palms on the concrete, and lifts herself up and out. The motions all slide together, blur into an illusion of a single motion, as though her joints are just levers on a well-oiled machine.

Her arms brace, and then lift. Her knees bend and her legs come up. The balls of her feet press into the concrete and push downward as her legs unfold, as she rises from an eyeblink of a crouch to standing, dripping. Sinclair takes the time to run her palms over herself, skimming excess water away, her hair already tightly yanked back, braided, and coiled at the nape of her neck.

Then she bolts out of the pool room, jumps on Katherine’s back — pool water and all — and hugs the Philodox tightly from behind, burying her face in Kate’s coat, between her shoulderblades.

“Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate,” she says, infinitely pleased. Smiling.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Lukas is noted; but his pack-mate’s eyes linger on him merely a moment, she smiles, but there’s little outward joy to it. Instead, she turns her attention on the two Kinfolk with her and directs both to take up seats on the sofa leather. Lucille is sent for tea, coffee or whatever beverages are requested and their elder; a pretty thing with the regal features and elegant turns of phrase and motion that spoke clearly of her upbringing, and breeding.

“Sit, please.”

She instructs if they have not already, and — Sinclair rushes from the pool room and leaps on her; Katherine staggers a little, and her eyebrows knit, “Hello, Sinclair,” there is fond endurance in the Aristocrat’s voice as she introduces her — and slightly damp, sits and crosses her legs, hands on one knee. Katherine’s slacks were of a fine white material; the lines crisply pressed and the sweater matched with it V necked. She could have as easily fit in at a country club as she could at her home at present.

Even a little wet with pool water, courtesy of her sister.

Sarita passes through at some point during all this and Katherine smiles at her, politely before settling into business. “I will not lie, Ms Neal, your name is one I am familiar with. You have a certain,” The Silver Fang frowns, breathing out slowly, “Reputation among us. I would be remiss not to take that into account upon you setting foot into my governed area. But,” Lucille appeared again, bearing a tray of tea.

“As I said to Derek, I do not care so much for what you do on your own time, as long as you do nothing that discredits your tribe, or my standing as its Elder in the process. Whatever your transgressions were are, as far as I am concerned, firmly in the past. You receive as do any coming under my protection, the benefit of a clean slate.

Where you take this, is entirely up to you.”

[Cold Victory] [delete the last bit of my last post, where lukas addresses sinclair! wires crossed!]

[Brutal Revelation] There are new tattoos on the insides of Sinclair’s forearms. Three words in black going from wrists to elbows, but Kate doesn’t have time to make them out before those arms are flung around her from behind. She squeezes the Silver Fang hard, perhaps tighter than even an absence of three days would warrant, but then

she’s not hugging her like that because Kate was gone for three days. Sinclair was gone for three weeks last summer and it didn’t warrant being clung to like this.

She smacks a kiss on the Philodox’s cheek, lets her go, and once upon a time she held Kate from behind, arms pinned down, and it was a very different sort of embrace, but that was ages ago. She unfolds her arms and, without a second glance at the two Kin being treated to tea and cakes and whatever else, walks back into the pool room. She leaves it cracked for Sarita, but otherwise closes it, as though to give the Fangs some privacy.

Tribe business. Not pack business. There’s a line. Most of the time, there’s a very firm line.

She heads back towards the water, glancing over a Lukas and giving him a small smile. On second thought, she stops, and goes to sit on one of the cushioned loungers near where he is.

[Brutal Revelation] [I’ll probably end up editing my post about SINCLAIR SWIMMING ALONE and all that before I post it in my scene log, too. LOL. *lurnz to reed for futar*]

[Derek Anderson] He offered a warm smile at Sarita when she greeted him and then simply blinked at Sinclair when the woman jumped on Katherine’s back. Weither it was because of how good the Glass Walker looked in a swimsuit or because of her behavior, it could be debated. Both might be a good answer.

He sat as Katherine had offered. He did look at Sasha with some curiosity when Katherine spoke of transgressions, but he would never ask in public. Maybe if they end up at a cafe or dinner alone he will. He could chec her past too, but it would feel..improper.

[Saschenka Neal] A woman, wet, and dressed only a bathing suit, leaping upon a Silver Fang Elder, should pretty much erase all tension in a room. Half sitting when it happened, Sasha gets a little wide eyed at the action, almost… disbelieving that it just happened. Still, the newcomer only makes her skin almost crawl and doubles that flight or fight response that is totally leaning towards flight.

She forces her body to sit though, sitting up straight with her hands pressed into her lap. There is a thinning of her lips at the mention of her… reputation, as the other so delicately puts it, and her head bows ever so slightly. It’s not… embarrassment, not exactly, but maybe a bit of shame. Whatever the emotion, she at least holds it close to her.

Her eyes flick up though, at the but, and there is tightly controlled surprise at the mentioning of a clean slate. Of all the things she expected, that was certainly not it. It takes a moment for her to realize she should respond, and moved beyond stunned.

“… thank you ma’am,” she says quietly, her gaze dropping again. “I understand, completely.”

[Cold Victory] As Sinclair sits down beside him, Lukas leans over, bumping his shoulder against hers. Even through the sleek satiny shell and the thick absorbent liner of his pool robe, she can feel the warmth and solidness of the flesh and bone beneath.

“What’s with the new tattoos?” he asks.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Somewhere halfway up the stairs, Sarita chuckles when she hears Katherine start her address to Sasha. She knows it well already, and she very nearly pauses to listen to it just to see if she can mouth along with it, albeit out of sight. She doesn’t though, and instead finishes her trip upstairs.

Her own clothes get folded up and settled somewhere out of the way after she changes into the swimsuit. She just goes with the first one that she sees, unless there’s a big giant sign that says NO DON’T TAKE THAT SWIMSUIT THAT’S THE WRONG CHOICE. Hey, some people are weird about their swimsuits. Some people juggle geese. Anyway, she’s not partial to a particular style, she just gets dressed, finds and grabs a towel and makes her way back downstairs.

She’s nice enough to tiptoe silently around the periphery of the greeting as much as possible so as not to disturb them. Plenty of time to be disturbing later, right? The door is slipped open and then shut behind her.

[Katherine Bellamonte] “Please be warned,” the Silver Fang goes on without more than a heartbeat between her words and Saschenka’s modestly stunned reply, “that while I am the one who answers for our tribe here in the city, I can not be everywhere all the time, and I cannot control the reactions you may elicit from other, more traditional members.”

She smiles, a brief, shaded look full of sympathy and forbearance on the topic of her tribes-mates.

“But you find no instant quarrel with me, this place, too, my home is a safe place to come if you are ever in trouble or simply need a roof over your head. My pack-mates, if not myself, will always make you welcome in it.”

[Saschenka Neal] “I understand,” she replies, and the very faint smile indicates that she does all too well. She would suppose that being left to fend for yourself was the worst, but… well, people always thought of new ways to cause misery. If being a CST had taught her anything, that was certainly it.

There is a small nod and some of the tension leaves her shoulders. “Yes ma’am. Again… thank you, very much.”

[Derek Anderson] If Sarita didn’t want to disturb him, well walking around in a swimsuit wasn’t the way. His eyes followed her from the moment she appeared till she pass the door and get out of sight. His brain hamster had left the wheel and was face pressed against the glass one of his eyes was, drolling. Only thing that stopped Derek to do the same was his Silver Fang upbringing.

He wasn’t the type to stare at woman or think inapropriate thought, he was usually jsut a nice and charming. He had reacted a little at Sinclair earlier, she was beautiful, but his fascination with that particular Garou was special…it was her whole presence, the danger. While Sarita was a gorgeous woman and she happened to be smart and funny and they aways had fun hanging together

This…this is what he would be thinking about..if only he could think right..but..he can’t

[Derek Anderson] (*think right now…)

[Brutal Revelation] When she’d come back in, Sinclair had initially moved towards the pool. Thinking twice about it, she’d moved to one of the loungers near the one Lukas was taking up. When he looked up and smiled like that, as though he was all happy about something, because she had come back in, she’d sat next to him instead.

Sometimes Sinclair hugs Kate because she wants to hug Kate more than because she thinks Kate needs it. Sometimes Lukas hugs Sinclair or wants her — or any of his packmates — nearby because of what it fulfills for him, how it makes him feel. Sometimes they can feel the fact that she was always an only child in the way she tolerates physical affection more than responds to it. Sometimes they can feel the same damn thing when she leans into a hug, or when she nuzzles despite being in homid, or when she seems so hungry just for someone to not be afraid to touch her that her acceptance of a hand on hers is almost desperate. Starved.

Truth be told, when she sits down next to Lukas instead of across from him, as she’d intended, it’s more for his sake than for her own. It’s as though all night she could sense him wanting to get off the lounger and curl up in a furry pile with his packmates. It’s as though for the past several days Katherine hasn’t been around and Katherine’s been quiet and they haven’t been connected telepathically through Perun. It’s almost as though she knows him, and understands him, and — yes — loves him. That shows in how she decides to sit next to him, and how she smiles sort of patiently but also sort of fondly when he bumps against her like that.

Upstairs, Sarita finds a whole drawer full of swimsuits. Bikinis, racing suits, one-pieces, two-pieces that are slightly more modest than bikinis. Some look more comfortable for lounging, some more comfortable for swimming. Black, red, navy blue, green, purple, brown and pink… Sinclair has swimsuits like some women have shoes.

The room itself isn’t very lived-in, but it’s comfortable. Big comforter on the bed. A purple letter jacket with white sleeves laid on the back of a chair — it’s from Cheer Eclipse, it says, and the arms are covered in patches from years past, awards past, national championships won all those years ago. There’s a door to the bathroom next door, and clean towels everywhere, like it’s a luxury hotel.

And in the pool room, Sinclair is smiling, and it’s fading. She looks at her arms, turning them wrists-up on top of her thighs. “I got them the night after we went and patrolled the park, you know?” Which isn’t much of an explanation. For a Galliard, she stares at them silently, as though not quite sure how to explain, any more than she knows how to stop being like this.

[Cold Victory] Lukas reaches out, his fingers still faintly damp from poolwater when he turns Sinclair’s arms around so he can see the inking again.

“What you can,” he reads, a question, an invitation for explanation, “when you can?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] There’s a faint trilling, and moments later Lucille appears with a phone in hand. “It’s Master Edward,” she announces, in her heavily accented English, and fair brows knitting, the Half Moon rises to her feet.

“Excuse me a minute, make yourselves comfortable, help yourself to tea if you like.”

Taking the phone in hand, Katherine’s expression devolves into tense lines; her brow furrowed, sweet tones sliding into another language altogether; her voice sharp; rising as she pads out of sight into something rather fiercely argumentative. At one point, there is most certainly name calling.

In french.
How quaint.

[BRB, must start dinner!]

[Saschenka Neal] …. she’s not dead yet, or kicked out. Even invited to come back. Definitely better then she thought.

Still, she can’t help but bring up her fingers to pinch the bridge of her nose, letting out something that is almost a shuddering breath as Katherine moves away. She has a headache from being wound so tight, and she’s still about exactly what the woman has all heard, what Derek is going to say, and who all is exactly in the house hearing the conversation. Sarita in a bathing suit isn’t even noted, when the woman comes back down and slips back to the pool.

[Derek Anderson] Hanster finaly get back in wheel and start spinning, brain fonctions returning. He blinks a few tie then notice Katherine was on the phone and Sasha looknig very nervous. Fighting the temptation to loo through the window poolside, he turn his body so he was sitting sideways with Sasha

“How are you handling it?” He ask her with some concern in his voice “You look like you just escaped execution”

He tilt his head, studying the blonde woman’s face, trying to read the thruth from her expression, if she dare answer that se was fine

[Brutal Revelation] She doesn’t jerk away from Lukas’s hands going to her arms. The air is wicking away the moisture on her skin, cooling her to the point of being chilled, but she has no robe for modesty nor warmth. Rage heats her from within. Determination, too. She watches him look over the words, and for a moment something twists inside of her. She closes her eyes, staunching some wound in herself as though to stop the bleeding with her bare hands. There isn’t even a bandage, nothing to cover it with. Just the profound ache of a hole where something else used to be.

Her eyes open slowly, and something in her has changed. She looks exhausted. She looks — frankly put — depressed. Different than she’s been all night. More like she did when she stood in Bellamonte Park and could hardly bear up under the weight of whatever it is she’s carrying.

“Yeah,” she says, barely more than a whisper. It isn’t much of an explanation. Then again, maybe it is: she doesn’t even try to be understood, right now, as though it just takes more out of her than she has to give in the moment.

What she can, when she can. And right now, she can’t.

The pool room door slides open, and shut, and Sinclair looks over at Sarita when the Strider enters. She smiles. It’s less easygoing than before. “Hey,” she says. “Ready to get schooled?”

[Saschenka Neal] Oh, dare it she did.

“I’m fine.” Sasha answered smoothly, dropping her hand back to her lap and forcing herself to lift her head up. “It’s simply… been a long day.”

It’s not as convincing as she wants, especially since she was never a very good liar. Still, she has to save some face somehow in front of her fellow kin. Even if it wasn’t a very good save face.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Now that’s just a cornucopia of swimsuits. Maybe even a sm√∂rg√•sbord. Actually on further consideration, it probably does his sm√∂rg√•sbord status. Ultimately, she’d chosen a simple black one-piece. She does know that Derek’s downstairs and she knows he’s kinds sweet on her. She has no intent to torment the poor boy. So that’s what she’s wearing when she slips into the pool area, the towel resting around her shoulders.

She grins at Sinclair. “Oh, I have no doubt I’m gonna get schooled. All the time I spent around the public pool back home was lounging and ogling lifeguard.s” A shrug and she sets the towel aside, then slips into the water.

[Derek Anderson] He had been lucky Sarita had decided to be modest, she might have killed him on the spot. Heh adn’t really thought she would be walking around in a swinsuit tonight. Anyway, his thoguhts come back to the person in front of his, a very nervous and lying Sasha.

“No you’re not”He say, answering Sasha in his deep warm voice “You don’t have to tell me the truth, but don’t pretend either, Well have have moments. It’s obvious why you were nervous and still are. If my guess is correct, breathe slowly, take it easy, you’ll be fine. Katherine won’trouble you if you don’t step over the line. And I doubt youwill” HE say with a smile

“YOu have friends to keep you in line just in case” He say with a friendly grin.

[Cold Victory] The truth is, Lukas doesn’t even know what that means. What you can, when you can. The subject is missing; the sentence is without a center, without an anchor, shiftless, its meaning locked somewhere in Sinclair’s mind, somewhere behind that facade of bravado and brutality she wears so well that it’s taken him this long to even begin to intuit its inherent thinness.

“Sinclair — ” he begins, but then Sarita is back, and the truth is there are tribal matters, and there are pack matters, and then there are matters that are personal, that are so close to the bone that they can barely be brought to light. Lukas lets the subject go as Sinclair makes an attempt at bluster; as Sarita, his newest sister-to-be, slips into the pool.

Well. He almost lets it go — “Let’s talk more later.”

[Saschenka Neal] Snapping at a kin is not a great way to start a clean slate so Sasha does take a deep breath and let it go, looking after at the other. She watches him for a moment before she answers calmly, “… I’m fine, thank you for your concern. And I’m sure people will remind me to keep in line, if I can’t somehow keep myself.”

It’s not very nice, to be irritated with someone who’s only trying to be nice. And, really, especially a Fang kin that’s being nice despite understanding she has a ‘reputation’ amongst the tribe. She also has to remind herself his last line wasn’t an insult, but an honest offer to help if need be.

Sighing, she closes her eyes and says more sincerely, “… thank you. I am fine though.”

The last line was almost a request- drop it, just for now, and he could ask all he wanted later?

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “All right Sasha, and i just meant you have me and Neda if you need help, support or anything. You don’t need a big brother or anything to remind you how ot behave. Nor do I. We’re all adults. I jsut want you to know I’m around if you need anything ok?”

He spoke calmly, looking into her eyes. He didn’t ask more details, didn’t push her for a more honest answer. He told her what he wanted to tell her. If she need anything, now or later, she new she could ask. It was her choice to do so or not.

[Saschenka Neal] It was uncomfortable having someone meet her gaze like Derek was and Sasha had to work on not looking away. No one had met her gaze like that in some time.

Smiling ever-so-faintly, she nodded. “All right. Thank you.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded, breaking contact with her eyes “You’re welcome” He looked at her again, but more in a general way now “How are you settling in?”He ask her, glimpsing toward the pool area, jsut to make sure they don’t get jumped by Sinclair or something. At least, that’s what he tell himself.

He return his attention on Sasha as she answer, trying to look at the person talking to him as often as it’s possible

[Saschenka Neal] ((Night everyone… thank you ūüôā Sasha will leave after saying thank yous and goodbyes when Katherine returns))

[Brutal Revelation] There are a few things that Sarita can tell when she walks into the pool room again: that look in Sinclair’s pale eyes as though she’s just been drained of all energy, as though just talking and smiling and hanging out is significant work. That look Lukas has, that desire — if not outright need — to help her, to fix it, to make whatever is wrong better. The awkwardness of just not understanding, of not even knowing what triggered that rapid switch from Sinclair seeming okay to Sinclair having to work to make herself get up and walk over to the pool’s edge again.

She looks over her shoulder at Lukas when he says his name. There’s a severity to her with her hair back and wet like that, with her suit a racing variety, with her eyes so pale as to be ghostly. There’s not so much a vulnerability as an emptiness wrapped in a razor-wired shell, a glass sphere that could collapse under too much pressure,

but those are illusions.

There’s a look in her eye, though, that he’s seen when she’s come back from frenzy. A wildness and a fear, a holding on to whatever last shreds will help her claw her way back up. It isn’t bluster. It’s survival.

She just looks at him for a moment, then looks over at Sarita. Yes, it’s personal. Yes, it’s profoundly, agonizingly personal. It’s not something she’s talked about to Asha, for one. It’s not something she even spoke to Lukas about for months. But she does say this, at least, turning back to her Alpha. “It’s a reminder. To do what I can, when I can. But you can put whatever verb there that you want. Fight what you can. Give when you can. Speak. Breathe. Get out of bed. Smile. That’s why it just says what it does, and no more.”

As she’s telling him this, she has two fingers stroking down the inside of her left forearm, as though reading it like braille as she tells it to him aloud. “Because no one can ask more than that of me. And I can’t ask myself for any less. I’m not going to fucking slip off into harano because of this, but…” there’s a second or two of a pause, then a breath. “I’m sure as hell not going to try and tell myself every day that sooner or later I’m going to be fine. I’m honestly not sure I’m ever going to be what you’d call ‘over’ this. And waiting to be All Better and hating the fact that I’m not has been killing me.”

Her arms go back to her sides. “I know it’s hard for you seeing me like this, too. But I know talking about it isn’t going to change the fundamental problem. And talking about it isn’t really helping me get through it. Not when I know how badly you just want to… fix it.”

She’s at a loos for a moment after that, then exhales and walks back over to him, bending at the waist and putting her arms around his neck.

[Cold Victory] What is there to say to that?

Lukas doesn’t look particularly relieved. When Sinclair bends to hug him, slide those strong lean arms of hers around his robed shoulders, he’s unresponsive for a moment, frowning even as she’s leaning in. Then his hand comes up to cover her back, warm and large, patting once.

They don’t have the totem right now. He can’t nudge her across that bond and say what he wants to say, but perhaps she’s known him long enough to intuit it from his silence and his touch alone. And what he wants to say is not Okay or Thank you for telling me or I know you can handle it or even I trust you to do what’s right for yourself.

Just: Yes. I hear you. No more; no less.

When she straightens, Lukas’s hand drops away. Sarita’s in the water already. It might be odd for her to witness this, might make her wonder just what the hell was going on, really, with this strong, vicious wolf they call Warcry, and Brutal Revelation; this wolf that, word around the caern has it, is one of the stronger fighters in the Sept, and not without her share of controversy and notoriety. Perhaps Sarita hasn’t been here long enough to realize what an unusual thing it is to see Sinclair so…

well. Vulnerable. Fragile, almost.

“If there’s something I — we — can do,” Lukas says as Sinclair’s heading to the pool, “let me know. Even if it’s just listen. Or be there. Otherwise — well. I’m here.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The sudden shift in dynamic took her just a second to notice, having been concerned with trying to not make the police officer in the other room uncomfortable. Sarita is a fairly empathic person though, and so as soon as her attention is more focused on the people in the room the about-face in the room’s mood is picked up on. Her brow furrows a little bit and she doesn’t lose a beat. Instead of the more playful tone she’s known for, she inobtrusively slides into the water. The ripples form around her and she takes a deep breath, submerging herself deep within the water of the pool and beginning to move through the water, her form staying close the the floor of the pool.

She’s not a great swimmer–she wasn’t lying about that. But she’s good at holding her breath and while she has nowhere near a great form to her movements, she’s able to move with some vaguely tolerable level of speed. She keeps on the far side of the pool from Sinclair and Lukas, getting used to the water and getting her swimming arms back a bit, motor memory from years before beginning to come back. Staying underwater also allows her packmates-to-be to converse without feeling like they’re leaving her out or being eavesdropped on. More comfortable for all.

[Derek Anderson] He talked with Sasha a little then let the blonde woman with her thoughts. He got up and walked to the window of the pool, leaning slightly sideways against it, watching the pack and future pack members interacting with each other. His eyes weren’t lingering on the women’s body. His initial surprise at seeing those two beauties with less clothes than he was used to, was gone.

No he was just watching them, witnessing a glimpse of Sinclair’s vulnerability? Affection? And Lukas’s almost paternal pat in the back, feeling like he had witnessed something forbiddeen, that could kill him. Well knowing Sinclair..it actually might. So he looked away. He had a few connections in the city, some people he was getting to know better, but no one particularly close, that will come over for dinner or spend their saturday afternoon with.

He smiled slightly, it’ll happen eventually, jsut ont now and seeing those two be so close, made him realized how new he was to the city to be lacking that kind of relatioship with someone.

[Brutal Revelation] She doesn’t let go for awhile. Probably not til after he’s already withdrawn his hand from her back, and then she’s slow to straighten, doesn’t instantly turn and walk away towards the pool. So she’s facing him when he says what he does, and her brows tug together, aching a bit — though for a different reason than before.

“I know that,” she says quietly. “I always know that, Lukas.”

Now moving away, she glimpses Derek peering at them through the glass walls, the crystalline clean doors. He’s looking away, though, turning his gaze from them, but her eyes narrow as she looks at the back of his neck. “Jesus Christ,” she mutters, walking towards the water and seeming to speak more to Sarita now. “You’d think they taught staring all the fucking time at the police academy or something.”

She slips back into the water, kicking off the side of the pool and propelling herself towards Sarita. “I see you found a suit that fits.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine emerges.

Her cheeks are flushed, and her temper cooling. She hands off the phone to Lucille, who stands ready to receive it with a comforting look in her dark eyes. She had witnessed more than a single argument between Katherine and her sibling. Usually, there was never a clear victor.

“Derek, I’m so sorry to leave you for so long. I take it Ms Neal was seen out?”

She steps toward the Kinsman; her face appearing alongside his, peering through frosted glass at her pack-mates.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s just come up for air when Sinclair is heading back for the water. “Huh?” She says it as her hands smooth over her head from eyes to hair, wiping excess water from her face. She blinks and looks over to Derek looking away, the corner of her mouth comes up in a vaguely amused smirk.

“It’s cute, in a ‘never gonna happen’ kind of way,” she says with a shrug to the Galliard. “He doesn’t mean anything by it.” She obviously holds the kinfolk no ill will. Truth told, the attention is something she kind of likes, even she’s not going to pursue it. It reminds her that she’s human as much as she’s other things, and unlike some Garou the humanity is something Sarita has never outgrown.

She smiles when Sinclair mentions the swimsuit. “I did, yeah…thanks. That’s a lot of swimsuits. I’m impressed…”

[Derek Anderson] He looked a Katherine with a smile “It’s ok Katherine, Sasha said she was sorry but she had to go. She appreciated the welcome, she’ll be around I’m sure. As for me, I was just passing by, like you offered me to. I didn’t expect you to have time to spend with me or anything”

He look back at her pack “You should join them, I don’t want to keep you from their company. From what I saw earlier, someone was missing you” He grin slightly as he remembered Sinclair on Kate’s back. It had been funny.

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair rolls her eyes as she moves onto her side in the water. “It’s annoying, in a ‘going to get his eyes torn out of their sockets’ way,” she says, almsot but not quite echoing Sarita as she cuts throught he water a few feet away. “I swam a lot growing up. And I went to a college that’s walking distance from the ocean, so.”

She shrugs, and looks over at Lukas. “You coming in?”

[Cold Victory] Lukas’s eyes stay on Sinclair’s a moment, frank and piercing. When she finally does turn away to join Sarita in the pool, he looks away as well. Derek’s looking through the pool room doors. Lukas eyes him a moment, then Katherine beside him.

He beckons: a quick, easy jerk of his head in place of some hand motion. Come in, the gesture says — an invitation, or perhaps simply a request.

[Cold Victory] Then, to Sinclair – “Nah, I’m going to chill out here a while.” The smile he offers is a little wan. But only a little.

[Katherine Bellamonte] “Dear me,” she retorts dryly, her arms sliding over her chest as she nudges open the door to the pool room with a narrow hip. “How esteemed you apparently consider my life, Derek to believe I have not even an hour to spend with my family. Come, come on.” She gestures with a turn of her long neck and slips inside the steamier room.

There is a definite tropical edge to the room where her pack-mates linger; some seated around the pool edge, some in the water itself; were it not for their combined Rage, it would be most pleasant in here with its birdsong, twittering and chirping from speaker somewhere, concealed by imported plant life.

The female Fang crosses toward her Alpha, stopping only to slip first one, then another shoe from her feet so they are bare as she reaches him. “Edward says hello,” she notes with a touch of weariness. “Oh, you remember Derek perhaps, Lukas? Kin of mine, a Detective on the force.”

Katherine pulls up a seat; and glances upward at the tall man, abruptly curious. “You must know Izzy Montoya, then? She is also a Detective here in the city. Have your paths crossed, yet?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ahh.” She nods in comprehension, doing an iffy but serviceable backstroke. “Yeah, not a lot of ocean property in New Mexico, so we only had the public pool, and yeah…repeat previously said sentence about summer lounging and lifeguard ogling.”

She stops moving through the water and looks over to Sinclair. “Where’d you go to college?”

[Derek Anderson] He wasn’t sure he felt entirely comfortable being around some of the msot important Garou in the city, but he couldn’t exactly say no. So it was with a smiel on his face that he moved with Katherine “Well, I jsut know you are a busy perso Katherine” he reply to her as the made their way to Lukas.

He offer a smiel and slightly bow to him “Good evening Lukas, I hope the night finds you well?” He ask the Shadow Lord, looking at him, without direct eye contact, as he always id with true born. It had kept him alive for 24 yrs, so he had no intention of doing otherwise, unless asked to do so.

His attention turned back to Katherine when she asked about Izzy “I have met her, twice. She’s a hard person to get to know, but we left on friendly enough terms the last time. We don’t work in the same precint but I assume we’ll bump into each other again” He kept his attention on Katherine and Lukas, doing a pretty good job not glancing at Sarita and Sinclair.

[Cold Victory] “Of course.”

The last time Lukas and Derek met — albeit briefly — was at a bar where half the Garou population of Chicago seemed to spontaneously congregate. Lukas was fully- and rather well-dressed then. Right now, he’s in square-cut swim trunks and a dark blue swim robe, broad-shouldered and athletic, looking rather like some olympian taking a breather by the side of the pool. His eyes are still the same, though, direct and cutting and pale. So is his handshake, firm and courteous.

“Good to see you again, Derek. You know,” the corner of his mouth tilts up, wry, “if you want to join Sinclair and Sarita in the pool, we could probably find you swim trunks somewhere.”

His eyes go past Derek then, rest on Katherine a moment. “Glad you’re back,” he says to her, quiet and simple.

[Brutal Revelation] “UCSD,” is Sinclair’s simple answer. “Just for about a year, though.”

She lifts herself up out of the water a bit to look over at Kate, smiling at the Fang. Then her attention goes back to Sarita. “Not a lot of Striders in SoCal. I haven’t met many members of your tribe, to tell the truth.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] “Very true,” Katherine says, turning her smiling face toward her Kinsmen.

“You are about the size of my elder brother, give or take,” she says, taking in his form, head to foot and returning with a sure, measuring glance. It cannot be entirely comforting, being eyed so by a creature like Katherine. “I am certain Lucille could track down something if you want to swim.”

A beat; Sinclair smiles out of the water at her, and her sister gives her a little quirk of her eyebrows, a particular gleam that is comforting for how Kate-ish the expression is, even if a certain sensibility lingers about her eyes in the process; tightens just so the edge of her lips.

To Lukas; it is a longer, steadier stare that he receives. Her eyes dip, briefly, to the ring on his finger and there, again, is a brief flicker of some emotion in her pale eyes. “Yes, well,” Katherine laughs her easy, empty Aristocrat’s laugh. “What wonders my father’s Sept held, it was lacking my own pack.

I will go back.” She breathes sharply, and runs fingers over her pant leg, smoothing already smooth material. “I will go back.” She re-affirms, quietly.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ahh, cool.” She nods. “Passed through that area once. Didn’t stop. Looked like a nice campus.” In all honesty if there were a story there, she would tell it. The Ragabash has more than her host of stories filled stories of her (or, more recently, her and Amy) passing through interesting areas or having misadventures. San Diego, however, is not one of those cities.

She is getting her waterlegs back a little bit, and she’s not having to try so hard to keep afloat. “Yeah, I hear that one a lot.” The words are in reference to Sinclair not having met a lot of Striders. “We wander so much, it’s tough to catch a lot of us. Especially since, like most tribes I imagine, we have a fair number who avoid cities. Best chance of running into us is if one of us passes through a sept. Otherwise you’re gonna have to hope to find us in random encounters at rest stops or elsewhere on the road.”

[Derek Anderson] He shook Lukas’s hand firmly, certainly not even trying trying to crush the man’s hand. It was jsut a good handhsake. He wasn’t entirely comfortable having Katherine appraise him, but he didn’t show it. Instead he smile to both elders “It’s fine with me to go into the pool but I certainly won’t get in unless I have their permission”

Not to mention the fact Sinclair might just kill him for finding himself too close to her. Granted they were at Kate’s so she mgiht not do it right away. She could just wait later. So he turned to face the two women in the pool “Would you mind some company?’ He ask, looking at their face, just not staring at them in the eyes. But he didn’t look away, unless he had to move his head slightly to look at one then the other

[Brutal Revelation] “You’re not just passing through though, are you?” Sinclair says, swimming towards the side of the pool now, draping her arms back, elbows resting on the concrete. “I mean, you’re considering joining the pack, so… I figured not, but do you really intend to stay for awhile?”

[Cold Victory] As Derek moves toward the pool, Lukas’s eyebrows flick together faintly. He gets up, swim robe rustling against itself lightly. The pool’s huge, and a quiet conversation at one end is easily out of earshot of the other. When he inclines his head toward the perimeter, inviting Kate for a walk, he may as well be asking her for a private word.

If she falls in beside him, it’s a little while before he says anything. When he does, it’s simply: “Do you remember when I first challenged for Ahroun Elder?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] She does fall in beside him, the sleeves on her sweater pushed up her forearms; a slender wristwatch slipping over the delicate tendons in her wrist joint; her fair hair bound back from her face and neatly coiled with a clip at her nape. She expressions her thought at his question; her shoes left behind so her feet make little noise beside his step.

“I believe that I do, yes.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, I’m staying.” She says it with a definite nod. “Listen, my Tribe wanders. And there are some very good and very unfortunate reasons why we wander. But even with that being said…and as much as I love life on the open road….”

She shakes her head. The truth of the matter is evident on her face…its weariness. The Latina may be a mirthful woman, but when she thinks about taking to the road again, there’s a wary dullness to her deep brown eyes. It isn’t an easy life, and it can’t even really be explained to people who haven’t done it, or at least moved consistently. Army brats, Romani…they would understand it perhaps the closest. She doesn’t quite have the words to express all this properly, so she just smiles, and finishes the sentence with:

“…it’s time for me to settle. It may not be home, but it’s somewhere I can believe is so.”

She looks up at Derek when he asks about whether he can join them, and a bit of the amused glimmer hits her eyes again. She gives a shrug, looking over at Sinclair. “What do you think?”

[Cold Victory] “I lost,” Lukas says: ever blunt about the obvious. A few steps later, “It sucked.

“To tell you the truth, even now, I’m not sure I … ‘deserved’ to lose, I guess. What I mean is: I’m not sure I wasn’t the best candidate there, regardless or whatever reason Hatchet passed or failed me on. Maybe that’s my pride speaking, or maybe it’s just the clarity of retrospect, but I cannot genuinely, without false modesty, say that Bones to Dust was a better Ahroun Elder than I would have been. Than I am.

“But here’s the weird thing. If I had won that day, I wouldn’t have been as good an Elder as I was when I won months and months later. It wouldn’t have been driven to be as good as I became, and am still becoming. I would’ve been exactly the sort of Ahroun Elder I showed myself to be that day when I lost — strong, dominant, willing to teach and train, but ultimately … not really seeing the big picture. Not really one to try to weave the Sept into a united force.

“It took losing to teach me about unity. And it took losing to teach me the humility I needed to be a better leader. To really see beyond my pride and my ambition to what really mattered.

“And sometimes I think Hatchet knew that. I think he didn’t fail me because I wasn’t good enough, but because he knew I could be better.”

They’re halfway around the pool now, and Lukas slows, turns to face Katherine. “My point is this,” he says. “I think sometimes we don’t get failed because we’re failures. Sometimes we fail because our elders know we haven’t achieved the potential we could yet. And it’s their painful way of egging us on. So… yeah. I know you’re going to go back. And I know you’ll succeed this time. But I guess what I want to say to you is that sometimes failing is more important than succeeding. And there’s no shame in failing with honor if you learn from it.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine is quiet as Lukas speaks. She does not interrupt him, or seek to protest anything he tells her because she knows too well the truth to his words, and perhaps has known since her return to the city days ago the reason why Nobility’s Burden denied her a more advanced ranking.

When Lukas stops, turns to address her the Silver Fang mirrors his action without thought; it is liquid smooth; even without their totem the sons and daughters of Perun are well synced. They are so familiar now, especially this pair, who were once bitter rivals and by right of their birth tribes alone should have remained so, that they become reflections of the other. She takes a moment, Katherine and a hand reaches up to brush aside strands of hair in a bewitchingly human fashion.

“I understand why I failed, Lukas. I am not entirely saddened because I did not get to take my little rank badge and toddle home here again the triumphant child.” There’s a brief lift of her shoulder, in surrender, perhaps, to the honesty of her words aloud. “I am saddened mostly because I am not nearly half as ready as I believed I was. Oh, I can judge with the best of my auspice do not get me wrong, and I know the Litany backwards and forwards in two languages.”

Here a brief smile, a shake of her head.

“I can see honor when its there in someone, and I value I am becoming a better judge in many things, my own sanity included but I was so focused on proving something to everyone at that Sept. I was so sure I would march in there as Christopher Bellamonte’s daughter and conquer a new ranking. I was so focused on the outcome, that I did not see half the ways I was failing those I was there to help.”

She nips her lower lip, thoughtful, eyes distant.

“I am sorry that I lost, and in turn that we lost Perun for a time, but I am more sorry that I failed myself.”

[Brutal Revelation] Briefly, her eyes track Katherine and Lukas walking around the edge of the pool. There’s an ache in her gaze, a longing to be included, to be near, to be with them. To not be cut off the way she is right now, because of —

There’s no blame, there. No recrimination. Just loss. Just a sharing in it, a sorrow for Kate, something. She can almost hear Lukas, though. She knows that look in his eyes, the way he’s watching Katherine. For a moment she’s only half-listening to Sarita, dragging her eyes off of her other packmates to look to the Ragabash once more.

Play a good hostess. Make new friends. Get up out of bed. Put one foot in front of the other. Breathe.

Sarita asks what she thinks, though. Sinclair frowns, peers. “Huh?” She didn’t hear Derek, apparently, or was pointedly ignoring him. She glances over at him, shrugs at Sarita as her gaze comes back around. “The hills are alive with the sound of all the fucks I do not give,” she says, and there’s an undercurrent of wrath to it the likes of which Sarita hasn’t yet seen in her and which Derek, to be honest, does not deserve from her. But there it is: something almost like hate, and hearing it in her own voice, she pushes against the edge of the pool and draws herself up out of it once more.

She takes a steadying breath, rising to her feet from a fluid crouch. “I’m sorry, Sarita — it it wasn’t obvious when you came back in, I’m kind of –”

There’s no words. Except the ones on her arm. And the one she said she wasn’t going to give in to, that dark term living in the backs of the minds of any Garou unfortunate enough to descend into wolf-killing depression. Harano. She won’t, she said. But whatever is going on with her, it’s bad enough for that to be a real fear for her, a real enemy to fight against.

She’s sorry she’s so… even if she has no way to finish that sentence.

“I need to go be with them right now,” she says. “And I know that’s rude and you might feel excluded and da-da-da-da-da but I also have a feeling you’re not the butthurt type and you’ll get over it pretty fast, so… you swim, whatever, you know you can crash here and Kate would probably be ever so stoked if you did, but… I’ma go over there now,” she finishes, leveling a finger at Katherine and Lukas. Dropping her hand, she does exactly what she said,

and walks around the perimeter of the pool to her packmates.

[Derek Anderson] He almost grinned at Sarita;s tone when she asked Sinclair then heard the other woman’s hate in her voice. Oh he knew Snclair didn’t particularly like him, in fact, he was sure she disliked him. He never thought she hated him. Well it was fine, she had the right to, even if he wasn’t sure what he did to her, beside the fact that he was kin.

He watched her go then gave Sarita an apologetic look “Sory, I didn’t meant to chase her away. I should leave. I’m not sure I should be around your pack after all” He put his hands in his pockets “Well..it was good seeing you again Sarita. Tell the others I bid them good night”He say with a little smile at her.

It’s not that he had to go, but beside Sarita, they weren’t his friends, in fact they probably could care less about what happened to him..except Katherine, for whom it’d matter if what happened to him reflected badly on her. With a nod to Sarita, he started to head toward the door.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks the woman over and there is no measure of being upset in her expression. She completely understands. She doesn’t have packmates, but she has a sister. And of course she knows it’s not the same…but in some ways, it is. She knows, in some fashion, what the Galliard is feeling, and she’s been there. Recently, even.

So no. There is no butthurt. She just looks at Sinclair, and she nods. “Go,” is all she says, and when Sinclair is headed on her way, he looks back to Derek.

“Relax, big guy. You didn’t chase her off.” She watches him, head cocking to the right. “That’s not you. A’ight?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[SHE. Ugh, stupid missed letters.]]

[Derek Anderson] He look in the drection of the three packmates then look back at Sarita with a small smile “Kinda looked that way though. So, want some company? Seem like you might be alone for a few” He ask her, looking down in her direction. “By the way, how are you doing? You seemed in a better mood than last time we saw each other.”

Well to be honest, the mood she had been when she arrvied for when she left, her mood had been consierably better..even despite what he almost told her. LUckilly, he had kept his mouth shut, even if Sarita knew what he had been about to say

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins and shrugs, pushing off from the wall and doing another poor backstroke. “There’s room if you’re interested.” She smiles a bit and shrugs. “And I’m cool. Been a shit ton worse. How ‘about yourself?”

It’s vague, perhaps. She’s not being incredibly open with her sharing at the moment. But she’s not looking especially guarded, either. She just has a natural vagueness about her sometimes. As Lukas and Sinclair have learned tonight, not sharing an enormous amount is just second nature and habit for her.

[Cold Victory] It’s Lukas’s turn to listen, and listen he does: quietly, with hands lacing loosely behind his back. His mouth moves faintly when she speaks of rank like a badge; of herself as a child. He grows serious again as she speaks of her father, that shade always standing in the shadows, a measuring stick made unmatchable by death.

“You shouldn’t be,” Lukas says as she apologizes to him. To the pack. “My tribe and my tribe’s totems don’t tolerate blind failure. But that’s not what happened here. You strove for something; you failed; you understand why you failed and you’re learning from it. There’s nothing to apologize for.”

He reaches out, chucks her gently under the chin. “Chin up,” he quips quietly, and then looks beyond Katherine as Sinclair joins them. “Hey,” he says — smiles.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine is not ignorant of the goings on within her own pack; above and beyond what has been occurring with her own challenge, with Lukas getting married to his mate in the most human, traditional sense, beyond this she has been aware like a flickering candle on her windowsill, threatening to extinguish yet dancing for her all the same as if demanding its light be recognized by her eye; has been Sinclair.

Has been Sinclair’s own anguish; her own struggle.

When she comes to join them; when Katherine is done canting her Alpha a rather lopsided, girlish gleam as he chucks her beneath the chin like a boy and tells her to buck up, to keep her chin held high the Silver Fang turns her eyes on her sister and opens up one side of her body for the other female to come to dock beside. An arm curls around her, and Katherine’s perfume invades her senses.

The essence of Chanel and powder and whatever else Katherine kneads her skin with to keep it smooth and unblemished. “I did see my father’s grave.” She admits, with a great deal of love in her voice; more in fact, than they are accustomed to hearing. “I heard stories of him I had never before.” She tilts her head at Sinclair.

“I shall tell you them, and you will remember him too.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled to her “Glad to hear you’re doing ok. I’m doing good myself” He was used to her vagueness by now and it was fine. He never really pushed her further. She knew he would listen if she wanted to talk and didn’t need to remind her everytime “I’ll ask Lucille for trunks. I’ll be back in a few minutes”

He headed out to find the woman, asking her about Katherine brother’s swimming trunks. Hr followed the woman and she found him a black and green pair with a towel, then left him so he could change. He did so quickly grabbing the towel and making his way downstairs.

If he looked in shape when he was dressed, well not there was no denying it. His shoulders were big, well defined as were his back, arms, upper body and abs. He wasn’t absurdly cut, but there was no extra fat at all on his body. His torso was shaved and looked smooth but solid, as the rest of him was. The trunks were low, slightly under waist level, making the start of “V” shape at hips level so many women found sexy, apparent. He wasn’t flauting as he walked to the pool, he was jsut walking as he always did, back straight, looking straight ahead, making him look..almost regal..even in swimming trunks.

He smiled to Sarita as he got in the pool “So anything new?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “In all honesty?” She shakes her head. “Nothing new with me. I hate to kill my own mystique, but I’m becoming a remarkably boring person.” She gives him a smirk, still backstroking her way around the pool.

“Just smokin’ cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo, as Bruce Willis said.”

[Derek Anderson] He chuckled at her then smiled “Playing solitaire with a deck of 51 too?” He say moving almost effortlessly in the water. He wasn’t the swimmer Sinclair was, not was he a beginner. He didn’t too close to her, just moving around the pool

“And to be honest Sarita..you are a remarkable person…just not boring. I doubt that it’s genetically possible for you to be boring.” HE grin “Not with those wits of yours”

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair moves into the crook of Katherine’s arm when she comes up alongside her as though this is what she was going to do all along, would have nudged Kate’s elbow out of the way and wriggled her way in even if the taller woman hadn’t made room for her so naturally. And it is: so natural. So much family there, instant and warm.

Katherine is aching from her failure, but she’ll recover, stronger than ever. Sinclair seems… less. Not less intense, not less good at what she does. Less herself, as though bits and pieces are slipping away into the gnawing hunger she’s been carrying around inside for months now. Nothing seems to appease it, nothing seems to heal it over. Not even the comfort that comes so naturally when she leans against Kate quite touches it.

She speaks of telling Sinclair tales of her father, to which Sinclair nods. “The story of your challenge, first,” she says. “The rest, later.” But that’s sort of All Business. It’s her duty and her calling; she’s never deviated from that.

One has to wonder, though. Her pack can’t save her from this. Battle hasn’t saved her from this. Her duty hasn’t saved her from this. Lukas is at the point of being at a loss, nothing to do but ache when she aches, watch her shrink into her misery. Katherine, first of the pack to be told of her heartache, knows just how long Sinclair has already been living with this, and knows just how little progress has been made in the last several months.

Sinclair, still leaning against Kate, reaches over and takes Lukas’s hand.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She blinks at what he says, a brow arching high. “Those ~whats~ of mine?” From the way that she says it, it doesn’t look like she thinks he said “wits.” Close, but no cigar. “Wanna try that again, partner?”

She’s looking mostly severe. But if Doug looks close enough, he can see the hints of a grin at the corners of her lips, and the mischievously amused gleam in her eye.

[Cold Victory] It’s not easy, watching his sister sink so inexorably as this. To stand by and, with all his strength and power, be utterly unable to do something. To fix it. To help it.

One of the more bitter lessons Lukas has had to learn is that sometimes he doesn’t have all the answers. Sometimes he can’t keep his mate from being afraid of him. Sometimes he can’t protect his packmate from all harm. Sometimes he can’t get everyone to just stop being idiots and work together. Sometimes — keeping that flame going, keeping it burning in the chambers of his own heart, is all he can do.

Still: Sinclair takes his hand. And he squeezes her fingers gently.

[Derek Anderson] He blinked and stop swimming, luckiy for him, he was tall enought to be able to touch the bottom of the pool and keep his neck and head out of the water “What? What did I say?” He watched her carefully, even as he notice the amusement she’s trying to hide, he frown, trying to remember what he said that could have almsot anger her.

“I said with those wits of y….” He tilt his head and looked almsot shocked “Awww come on Sarita..you know I’d never stay what it could sound like” He say, watching her “Well, I hope you know.”He shook his head “I was talking about your mind. For real”

He flashed her a mischevious smile then just pushed water at her using both palms, making a pretty big wave that would splash over her.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine leans her cheek against the side of the Glass Walker’s head. She breathes out gently, and Sinclair can feel the other wolf’s breath stir strands of hair. She can feel the warmth of the Silver Fang’s arms banded tight around her shoulders, her hand idly resting on a shoulder.

Brutal Revelation reaches over to take Lukas’ hand; and Katherine, her eyes trained on her Alpha’s face with the intent detail of her auspice; of a sister; but more exactly of a long time friend reaches over and chucks beneath his chin with her fingertips. “Chin up, Wyrmbreaker,” she murmurs quietly, and allows her fingers to stray for a moment over his cheek. Stray to his earlobe and tug at it with an affection born of long standing knowledge.

Of a certain intimacy that makes it at once so hard and so inviting to newcomers to the Unbroken to look upon.

I want that, some think at once as they wonder how can I penetrate that?

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair is, as before, soaking wet. But Katherine doesn’t pull away now any more than before. No, rather she holds onto the Glass Walker, laying her cheek to that saturated hair. Sinclair doesn’t tuck her knuckle under anyone’s chin but breathes in Katherine’s unique scent, blended together with perfume, powder, with the way her clothes always smell so clean.

They were a very different pack, when she first joined them. She was a very different wolf, and so was Kate, and Lukas, too, though the changes in him are more internal, less obvious to those who don’t know him so deeply.

She and Lukas hold hands. Katherine tug Lukas’s ear. And after a moment, Sinclair wriggles away from both of them and flaps her hands, going “YeaaaEEECH. Any more gooey-sweet and I’m going to turn into a kindergarten teacher, mother of god.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She cackles when he figures it out, sounding a little disappointed. “Aww, no fun. I was hoping to carry that on for a good solid minute, at least. She grins and winks at him. “In all seriousness, thanks. I appreciate it.”

Over on top of her duster, the Strider’s cell phone goes off. More specifically, the phone plays Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok.” She sighs and swims to the edge and pulls herself out, walking over. By the time she gets there it’s chirping a voicemail message. She checks it, listening.

[Cold Victory] At that, Lukas bursts into laughter. And then, so quickly that poor Kate doesn’t have a chance to react: he seizes her around the waist and tosses her poolward.

Cannonball!

[Derek Anderson] He smiled at Sarita’s deception and her thanks. “Well you know me..I”m sharp..once in a while and you’re welcome” He watch her move ot her duster and let her listen to the voice message.

He was swiming around when Lukas literally threw Kate in the direction of the pool…he quickly swam away to clear the spot where Katherine will land.

[Katherine Bellamonte] There’s a shriek, and a very loud splashing before a scowling, sodden Half Moon appears from the depths of the water; narrow-eyed.

“Destruction, Shadow Lord.” She spits; and lobs one of her discarded sandals at his head.

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair is good at many things. And breaking an otherwise unbreakable moment — ignore the pun, if you pretend it wasn’t there then it doesn’t matter — is something she’s good at. So she gags on how cute and cuddly and warm and intimate and loving they are, and Lukas immediately responds by throwing Katherine in the pool, and Katherine makes them both very happy by reacting just as they knew she would.

Sinclair is also good at swimming. The pool is deep, and she takes two quick steps to the edge and dives in as though she was once one of those lifeguards Sarita might have ogled — though, of course, with breasts instead of rock-hard abs and a sexy v-line — and for a moment there’s nothing but the rapid blur of red underwater as she darts towards the Silver Fang

grabs her ankles

and dunks Katherine under again. She lets go almost immediately, bobbing to the surface and yelling — as though aware retribution is coming any second: “SARITA! HELP!”

[Cold Victory] And of course, on land, Lukas dodges the sandal with an exaggerated, hands-over-head crouch. “You won’t saddle me so easily with an ignoble death by shoe, foul Fang!”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s just setting the phone down when she sees Katherine go FLYING at the pool. There’s a moment where she’s actually confused–did someone attack here and she didn’t notice?–before it sets in. Her eyes widen, a big Cheshire-sized grin on her face. She sees no possible way that this is ending well.

And she loves that fact.

“To the rescue!” She has no idea who she’s rescuing at this point–perhaps she just hasn’t decided–but it doesn’t stop her from taking off in a dead run and jumping in.

[Brutal Revelation] “Jesus, man, careful how you crouch, YOU’RE WEARING TRUNKS. Fuck!” Sinclair yells at him.

[Derek Anderson] And suddenly the pool was filled with playful packmates. He made his way to the edge of the pool and smoothly got out of the water. The man was graceful for his size and was quickly out. HE walked to his towel, letting the the true borns enjoy themselves. He watched them with a smile on his lips. It was quite entertaining.

[Katherine Bellamonte] “I’ll do far–glugag!” The pretty, fair haired Silver Fang is yanked in a highly undignified manner back under the water and erupts back out as Sinclair is yelling for help; launching herself at her sister with the laughter best suited to — well, honestly — the age she looks to be. Twenty-two, beautiful, care-free.

“Down with the Glass Walkers!” She shouts, splashing, dragging Sinclair beneath the water and turning as she falls backwards again. “Come here and say so, usurper!” Thankfully, she is underwater when Lukas so graciously flashes them all. There are some things Katherine would never recover from.

[Cold Victory] So —

the creatures currently splashing about the pool are the Philodox Elder of the Sept, a Fostern Galliard, and one of the more clever Ragabashes to come around for a long while. The creature at the side of the pool, accused of potentially flashing more than he intends with his duck-and-crouch, suddenly gets a gleam in his eye.

Sinclair knows what’s coming by the way he whips his swim robe off. She has enough time, at least, to close her eyes and start hollering uncle before Lukas turns around, drops his swim trunks, and gives the entire pool a hearty full moon.

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair, knowing what’s coming even without the benefit of totemphone, lets out a shriek and dives underwater again, wriggling away below the surface so Kate can’t get a handle on her. She may still be screaming underwater. There’s no way for her to beg anyone to tell her when it’s over.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She pops out of the water, catching her breath as she laughs. Then she turns around…and is struck by the image she sees. “OH GOD, MY EYES! Sweet Merciless Loki Himself, my poor tormented eyes!!!”

Said eyes are covered dramatically and, still giggling, she desperately turns away.

[Derek Anderson] He was watching the women in the pool and turning his eyes he saw was couldn’t be undone..the Elder mooning them all. He quickly his his eyes with his towel “Sweet mother of god” he say softly. Yup, living around true borns was dangerous…he never knew how much until tonight.

He shook his head and directed his attention at those in the pool.

[Cold Victory] “You so asked for it!” Lukas yells, shaking his — quite frankly — lily white ass at the pool. “You so totally asked for it!” And on that note, the Ahroun pulls his trunks back up, takes a running leap into the pool, and tucks his knees to his chest at the last moment for a genuinely

huge

cannonball splash. Sarita doesn’t get very fall, turning away. Lukas — just like he promised not to — grabs her and dunks her, letting go an instant later to backpaddle out of the way, laughing.

[Katherine Bellamonte] The ruckus goes on for quite some time in this manner — Katherine’s shrieking, Lukas’ lower pitched laughter coupled with Sarita, Sinclair and Derek; watching perhaps before later on, forgetting for a moment what he is in relation to these creatures and leaping into the fray.

While outside, passing by, Lucille peers into the pool room and her lips quirk; she shakes her head and wanders past, basket of laundry under an arm.

Coffee With Detective Anderson

[Neda Stevic] “It was nice to see you again. Goodnight, Detective.” She slides out and stands up too.

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “All right, guess, I’ll see you around”He doesn’t say call or text despite the fact they each have the other’s number

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looking fairly irritated when she pushes into the diner, flicking a cigarette out on the street as she does. It’s warm enough that people don’t have to bundle up, and so the Strider is dressed in something a bit more her style. The duster covers a tank top and jeans, with cowboy boots replacing the usual heavy steel-toed ones. She’s a country girl, this one. Who’da thunk it, considering that she has a tendancy to rock out to the most annoying pappy crap she can find.

She takes a look as she slips inside, seeking out a table. When she sees Derek she smiles a little, the irritation fading just a bit as she makes her way in that direction.

[Derek Anderson] He felt and saw Sarita coming and his lips curled into a smile that not Izzy, Neda or Sasha had gotten tonight. Tey had been at the end of small, warm, friendly, even charming smiles,but Sarita receive one few has gotten in the coty. It wasn’t a lvoer’s smile, or a lustful one. It was a Hey, I missed you smile.

He did missed her. Their drunken night had been broken up the other time and he felt liek there was so much they could have talked about. Maybe tonight was gonig to be that moment. Sarita looked liek she might need it

“Hello beautiful lady, how are you?”He say with a plauful smile now, teasing her

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey there Detective Anderson.” She grins and walks over, moving to take a seat. “What’s shakin’, eggs and bacon?”

She seems to be in a good mood, despite the irritation that she showed when she entered. Maybe it’s a front, or maybe Derek just lifted her mood. Hard to say, really.

[Derek Anderson] He grinned at her “I’ve been good. Just getting acquinted with someone I mgiht end up working with once in a while. Sarita, meet Neda” He say with smile. He didn’t ask Sarita how she was, not now anyway. Later, if they are jsut the two of them. Then he might get an honest answer. Now, he would probably just get a fake answer.

“By the way, I spoke with Montoya today..word of advice, tell Amunet ot stay away form her”He shay shaking his head “I owuldn’t want anything to happen to her..or to Montoya in retaliation”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns. “Are you fucking serious? One wrong word and the bitch has it out for her?” She sighs and shakes her head, before looking to Neda. The woman is offered a smile and a hand.

“Hey there. I’m Sarita. He already said that though.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Empathy For Another Scene]]
Dice Rolled:[ 4 d10 ] 2, 3, 3, 8 (Success x 2 at target 6) [WP]
to Neda Stevic

[Derek Anderson] He shrugh “Might be more than that, but that’s none of my business. I thought I’d give you the heads up. I like you and have nothing against your sister. And I”m actually getting along ok with Montoya. Don’t want her to do something foolish and then get hurt because she hurt Amunet and by association you”

He shrugh “Anyway, want something to eat? I jsut ate but could stay. Or feel like having a drink?”

[Neda Stevic] She smiles and offers her hand “Neda Stevic. I was just on my way out, actually. I have an early morning.”

[Neda Stevic] (And the record stands! WOO!)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Nice to meet you Nada.” The handshake is warm and friendly. “Have a good one. Chat atcha later, I’m sure.”

She looks at Derek. “I could have a drink. Ain’t up for eating, though.”

[Derek Anderson] He offered her hand to help her up “Then let’s not stay in a dinner. We could find a quiet bar, have them play some classic rock and have a few drink while wechat. How’s that sound?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “That sounds peachier than a peach.” She grins. “A-let’s do it.”

[Neda Stevic] She nods to the two and heads back home to sleep

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “All right, let’s go”He head out with her, leaving the staff wonder how the hell that guy ended up surrounded by 3 beautiful women at one time, exchanging numbers with them and then leave with a 4th one. He suddenly and irrevocably became a legend to the male staff of that dinner. Maybe even a fantasy to the women there. Not that he’d care about it if he ever learn it.

He walked beside Sarita, having let go of her hand as soon as she was up in the dinner, now putting them in his pockets. “What have you been up to?”He ask her as they walk

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, you know…the usual. Hanging out, making my rounds, earning some cash, yelling at morons.”

She looks at him, grinning. “There’s a lof of each of those things. Rounds and morons.”

[Derek Anderson] He chuckled “Yeah, well I don’t know about rounds, but I certainly about morons”She should know..if she remember his story from the other night. He stopped a nearby bar “How about this one? Or you want to drive somewhere you already know?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, I remember.” She grins at the memory. “It’s still a fuckin’ classic, days later.” A grin, and she chucks his shoulder lightly. It’s a friendly gesture.

When he points out a bar, she looks it over and then shrugs. “Naah, fuck it. This one’s as good as any. Don’t matter if everyone don’t know your name.”

[Derek Anderson] He had smiled at her gesture. It felt weird but in a good way to be so easilly friendly with a true born. Sarita certanly wasone of a kind: gorgeous, smart, fun and down to earth. He opened the door for her “No it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re in good company”

e let her in and stepped in after her “Should we start..liek the other night or more slowly?”He ask her, unzipping his jacket and taking it off, revealing a darl long sleeve shirt, fitting nicely on him

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Fuck starting slowly. I wanna get a little sloshy tonight.” She grins, looking at him as she makes her way to the bar. “I’ll even help you carry shit this time. See how nice I am?”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “You’re the nicest, but I can handle the carrying, if you don’t mind finding a place.”He ask very politly, not about to give any order to a Garou, even a friendly one “What do you want ot drink? Shots? Beer? Jack?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Shots. Jos√© Cuervo por favor, se√Īor polic√≠a.” She grins and walks over to the jukebox, programming a few tracks in. The first to come up is “Behind Blue Eyes” by the Who. Then she picks the table right next to the box, settling down.

[Derek Anderson] He smiled and went to the bar. After a few minutes, he came back with a 26 oz bottle, salt, two shot glasses, limes and a knife “All right, I hink we’re set for the next 10 minutes”He say in a playful tone, seating near Sarita, sideways to her like the other time, not opposite the table. He placed his coat on the back of his chair

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Probably about that.” She grins and nods to him. “Set us up, partner. Let’s get our booze on.”

[Derek Anderson] He put the salt between them on the table, cut the limes, almsot all of them already. He didn’t trust himself with a blade later, then poured the tequila in the glasses. “All right”He licked his hand, poured some salt, waited for her to the same and raised his glass “What do you feel liek dedicating tonight to?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Mmmm….men.” She grins and nods, picking up a shot. She does the salt, but not the lime it seems. “No offense, I don’t count you as a man…” She says it with a wink, clearly joking. “…but rather all men who stupid, hormone-ridden jackholes who wouldn’t know how to fix a problem if the answer smacked them right in the fucking head.”

“God, love ’em.” Or not. She does the salt and then the shot.

[Derek Anderson] He listened to her “All irght, I can live with that” He licked the salt, drink his shotand bit the lime. He iddn’t need it, but kinda liked the feeling. He poured them eac another shot “Want ot talk about what’s been troubling you the other night..and tonight?”He ask, picking his shot up, watching her with his kind blue eyes

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ehh…kind of.” She shrugs, lighting up a cigarette. “I don’t really feel right talking about it to people not familiar. It’s not really fair to those involved. Let’s just say that a woman who was the victim of something bad is getting shit made worse by her stupid fucking boyfriend who doesn’t realize how much he sounds like an abusive spouse.”

[Derek Anderson] He watched her for a moment “Damn, I”m really sorry for that woman”HE said and meant it “Anything Ican do to help? Talk to her maybe? Put the guy in jail? Unles..well..if he’s true…I can’t do that. I can always find a way to mess with him, if it makes you feel better?”He say with a playful smile. He licked his hand, poured salt and when she was ready, drank down the shot and bit the lime, looking at her, though never meeting her eyes

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins. “Thanks, you’re sweet for being willing to abuse your power for me.” She winks at him and shakes her head. “Nah, he’s True, and don’t worry. He does right, or I will use my many, varied and vast resources, wit, contacts and bootheels to put him into the worst living hell he can imagine.”

She’s joking. Mostly. But she’s way too gleeful about it, whether she’s joking or not. She takes a shot and shrugs. “Truth tell, I like the guy. Other than him being a walking cock.”

[Derek Anderson] He laughed. “I don’t want to sound petty…but aren’t most true that way? All rage and hormones? I mean, you take regular men and most are that, for true, it seem amplified”he shrugh “Not trying to find xcuses, but, let’s face it…msot men are pretty desen. I’d include myself in that group sometime”

HE smiled “I ain’t perfect after all” He pured them more tequila “And I wouldn’t liek to be that guy if he mess up. Having you as an enemy msut be as bad a curse as having you as a friend is a blessing..or Isuppose..about both”He say, running a hand through his hair. He didn’t want to assume she was thinking of him as a friend.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay, most of us are heavy on the anger, yes.” She pause. “Okay all of us, in varying degrees. But that don’t mean we’re rampant sex fiends. Thing about this–and don’t ever, EVER tell her I said this–Katheine’s pretty high with the righteous anger of Gaia, right? Do you really think she gets down in an uncontrollable way every time Luna’s half-full?

“Or Lukas. Dude, he almost makes ~me~ uncomfortable that way.” She grins. “But I don’t see him as that type. Our Rage is an excuse. It makes it harder, but if we can’t control it, maybe we shouldn’t be dipping our pens in someone else’s inkwells, y’know?”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “Lukas has a better grip because he’s experienced maybe? I don’t know. I think it mgiht dpeend on your moon phase. Though most of it can probably be related to the individual. Some people are just looking for excuses to do bad things. I see it all the time.”

He look at his shot “If you think that guy could be harmful to thatwoman, maybe you should step in and break it up before it gets worst. I know ome good people, really stand up firends, that I would never present a girl to because I know they would treat her badly. It doesn’t make them bad people..just bad boyfriends you know?”

He shrugh, pured salt and downed the third shot

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods. “I’m keeping an eye on it. Girl in question’s in a dangerous state right now. Separating could make ’em worse…but we’ll see.” She shrugs a little bit. “Love Detective Sarita is on the case!”

A grin and wink, and she takes another shot.

[Derek Anderson] He chuckled “All right. Just saying. Be careful, maybe all the bad things should happen one shot than let something dark crawl and fester, destroying everything that person was rebuilting at a later date.”

He poured them another round “So beside you friend being hurt..how are you feeling? How’s your new association going?”He ask with a smile

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Not too much to it yet.” She gives a shrug. “It’s still prospective, not all official yet. But it’s…good. I’m looking forward to it.” She smiles.

“It’s weird as shit, ’cause I ain’t had but one person to rely on for a long time and no one for even longer before that. But good weird, you know?”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “I’m glad you’re excited. I’d sayI understand the feeling..since I have family and friends to rely to, but from what I’ve heard, the hmm association mentality is very different from that. I can just kinda relate.”He shrugh. He seemed comfortable with his limitations as kin.

“At least you should have interesting times with them. Katherine, Sinclair and Lukas seem special, each in their own way”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins. “Yeah, they seem really cool. And if you want special…just wait till you mean Asha.” The way she’s grinning means she wants to see the expression on his face when he does.

[Derek Anderson] Hechuckled “The one with the herald right?” He say, remembering the conversation from the other night. “From what you all were talking about…she seem singular to say the least.” He smiled holding the salt up to pour it on her hand before doing the same for himself.

“So any big plans beside fitting in with your new group?’

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods and raises her hand for the salt. “Keep all my kin safe. I think somehow I’m kind of the de facto leader of the Striders here. On account of possibly being the only Strider Full in the city. And oddly, even though there’s only three of them…it’s a full-time job in and of itself.”

[Derek Anderson] He poured the salt on her hand “Well from what I heard, your sister seem to be a handful, don’t know the others but I guess some kins might be hard to keep an eye on, especially for one person”

He poured salt on his hand and went to lick it and down another shot “It’s a wonder you get some time to relax”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Kinda hard, yeah.” She nods a bit. “Amy’s a bit of a handful, Kyle’s in and out all the time so it’s hard to keep track of him and Gina…hates our tribe. For good reason.”

[Derek Anderson] He frown “Gina? Cue, caramel skin, talk so weird you need a translator? Not entirely..the most law abidding citizen?” He was with a raised brow

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “That’s her, yes.” She nods. “Why, what’d she do?”

[Derek Anderson] He chuckled “Nothing..except she see to be running from people and not pay her drink bills”He say with a chuckle, picking up the bottle moer slowly, before pouring the shots “Nothing major”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, that’s not so bad.” She gives a ‘psssh.’ “If I had a dollar for every meal and wheel I did…well, I could probably actually have paid for them.”

[Derek Anderson] (* she seem to be..)

[Derek Anderson] He laughed “Like I said, nothing major. But she might end up in some serious trouble eventually though”He say with a light shrugh

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Maybe. I can help them so much. Let ’em fall but be there to catch ’em, you know?” She takes another shot.

[Derek Anderson] He nodded, drinking the shot, skipping the salt and the lime “Well, like everyone, they need ot be responsaible for themselves. Doesn’t mean they don’t need or deserve some help” HE say with a soft smile

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “And I’m always here to offer help to my kin.” She nods. “But yeah, they gotta walk when they’re ready to try.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “Well they’re lucky to have you watching over them” He say with a nod, picking up his new shot.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The grin becomes more of a smile, and she nods. “Yeah, thanks. I can only hope I’ll be able to look after ’em right.” She runs her finger idly over the rim of a shotglass.

[Derek Anderson] He smiled, watching her “If you need some help, let me know all right? I’ll do what I can” He said leaning into hischar, eyes not leaving her face

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs, still looking at the glass. “Thanks. I think this one’s on me though. She takes the shot, knocking it back and then looking at him. Her head cocks to the side when he sees her watching him. “What?”

[Derek Anderson] He blink “A well you’re..”He shut his mouth..ok..you’re getting drunk..drunk is never the tiem to say anything more than empty words..shut up, shut up, shut up….got it “Nothing” He shook his head and downed his shot, trying to look away

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her mouth opens, and she smiles then. “Ahh.” She grins a little. “You’re sweet, amigo. Maybe someday.” She sighs. “For now though, I need to get home. Long week ahead of me, I think.”

[Derek Anderson] He blinked “What?”He looked uncomfortable “Sorry..didn’t mean anything”He say, shaking his head

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins. “I know. You didn’t mean to say anything, and you didn’t. I’m just smarter than your average bear.” She gets up and leans in, kissing his cheek. “And you didn’t do shit wrong, so don’t feel embarrassed. Have a good good, Detective.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “All right. Take care of yourself Sarita”He say, staying seated as she left.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You too.” She gives him a little smile and makes her way out.

[Derek Anderson] He stayed there for some time, jsut letting hte liquor filter out of hissystem a little. Then he picked his coat and left, hailing a cab as he exit.

A Run-In With a Cop And A Pack-to-Be Meeting

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The bar is a fairly low-end place; not a true dive, but hardly the greatest watering hole on the face of existence. Or in Chicago. Or even in this area. It’s got personality though, the kind of place that regulars frequent and everyone knows everyone’s name. An old big-screen TV is showing one of those crime shows, CSI or NCIS or SVU or LMNOP or something like that. No one’s paying attention, because they’re not here to watch TV. They’re here to drink and forget their troubles.

In Sarita’s case, she’s here to hang out.

This is the kind of place the Strider likes best. She’s able to hang out herself, and chat up a few locals. Make some friends, have some booze. Maybe get in a fight, maybe get laid. It all depends on the night, her mood and her luck. Of course, her luck hasn’t been great as of late, but she’s always willing to go out and see what’s coming for her. And whatever the result, she usually enjoys herself.

She sits at the bar, a few empty shotglasses in front of her. She’s not a regular, and as such she’s got the attention of the locals. Her locks can’t hurt that much of course; she’s already had to turn down a couple of middle-aged drunks, though she’s doing it gently with amusement. She’s not feeling particularly mean tonight. She nurses a beer as she looks around, toe tapping to the Lynyrd Skynyrd coming through the jukebox.

[Derek Anderson] He enters the bar, not making a big thing out of it. He’s a tall, muscular man, around 6’3″/6’4″, with short blond hair, kind blue eyes and good looks. Yet, he doesn’t seem to posture or anything, to stare anyone to establish dominance or anything. Of course he wasn’t trueborn, but it was something typically male. True born just do it better. He’s dressed in boots, jeans a white and blue long sleeve shirt fitting his upper body nicely could been seen as he unzips his winter jacket. He looked around, grinning at the type of show they had on the TV: Cop show. His lips turned into a warm smile when his eyes stopped the beautiful Strider sitting at the bar.

He move in a smooth, easy way, back straight, looking ahead, looking almost regal toward the bar. There seem to still have nobility in his blood. He wasn’t pretentious or anything, it just was natural. He stop beside her, leaning forward, elbows on the bar

“Penny for your thought and mind me offering you another beer?” He say in his deep warm voice, still smiling widely, looking at her

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She over at the door as Derek comes in a little grin curling up on her face. She certainly seems pleased to see the man; she enjoyed their little talk the other night. She gives him a little nod, waving him over.

“You can absolutely offer me another beer. I think you’re overpaying for those thoughts though.” She gives him a wink and gestures to the stool next to him. “C’mon, have a stool. Technically it’s not mine, but I can sublet for it on behalf of management. How the hell are you?”

[Derek Anderson] He chuckled at her words, motioning for two beers at the bartender “Really? I thought that it would be a hell of abargain. You have the most interesting thoughts” He smield to her as he seat beside her, making many patrons jealous. He didn’t seem to mind them much as his eyes stayed on Sarita

“I’ve been quite well, to be honest. I learned that one firend of mine was..family” He say, knowing she would catch his meaning “Met a few very interesting people. Probably people you know: Joey, Kora, Hunter, Tabitha, a silent guy, Detective Montoya. Let’ssay that all of them in the coffee shop I was with Cordy…had an interesting effect on the crowded place…In the end, I think only Tabitha and I were left with a shaking barrista behind the counter”

He did had a small look of pity when he remembered the poor girl. But it was still kidna funny when you thoguht about it. He paid for the beers as the tender handed them to him and he slid one in front of Sarita

“How have you been?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ohhhhh….” She gives a laugh that fairly broadcasts what kind of a shitty week she’s had. It’s still amused–she has gotten her sense of humor back–but definitely has a subtext of “Fuck February.” It’s her mantra for the month…and the month is only half-over.

“It’s been interesting.” She sighs. “Okay, let’s see. Joey’s a cool girl for the one time I met her…helped her get a ‘promotion,’ so to speak. I don’t know Kora. Tabitha’s nice enough, though her best friend is a little off-putting. The silent guy is probably John.” She leaves that one there.

“Izzy I’ve only met once, and my sister pissed her off.” She pauses. “Wow, I’m saying that a lot lately. Anyway…yeah, know most of them. Thanks,” she finishes with, taking the beer and downing a good, long swallow.

[Derek Anderson] He smiled at her description of those he had met a few nights ago “Kora is..well she isn’t subtle, but she look to be nice enough. I think you would like her. And yeah, Joey is fun and I don’t know your sister, but Izzy is..well not the most accessible person.”

He smiled “So having some sister related probems?”He say, tilting his head, as he grabbed his beer “And you did avoid my question about how’ve you been. My guess is..not so good. Want to talk about it or just get stupid drunk? Ideally..we should do both. But I”m not going to pry into your life if you don’t want me to”

He drank form his bottle, still looking at her. He really didn’t mind of she want to keep her personal life ot herself. Everyone had that right, Garou sometimes even more…some of them had the worst lives…

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, Izzy didn’t seem too accessible.” She shakes her head. “To be fair to Amy, she didn’t do too much to piss Izzy off. Said one wrong thing if I recall.” She shrugs. That’s Fenrir for you. “Whatever, s’all good. Even Steven.”

She looks over at him when he asks if she wants to talk about it or get drunk. “I don’t mind chatting about it a tiny bit, maybe. And stupid drunk…that’s something I’m TOTALLY down for.” She grins. “C’mon, let’s go get a table away from the bar.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded and tell her “All right, go ahead, I’ll join you”He got them to pitchers (right word?) of beer, paid for them and walked to the table she had picked. He put htem down, went ofr glassesand came back and sat with her, not directly beside her, nor directly at the opposite of hte table. He put his chair sideways so he could look at her, facing her, not too far, not too close either “Ok, I think we have everything to start the evenin well”

He say with a smile “And you can talk as much or as little as you want. When you’re the one people confide to, or help people see the way, soemtimes, having someone do the same ofr you can be helpful.”He shrugh “Not saying it’me..jsut saying” He wouldn’t presume that a true born needed to confide in him.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[That’s the tight word, yep!]]

She moves to a table off in the far corner of the bar, next to the jukebox. The Lynyrd Skynyrd song as changed to “Simple Man,” and Sarita’s nodding her head to it, humming along with when Derek comes over. She may love blasting the Kanye West and Ke$ha, but when it all comes down to it, she’s a Southern Rock and Classic Rock girl at heart. And for all her snark, she’s has her simpler, quieter moments. She snaps out of one of those and smiles as he approaches. She exhales a drag of smoke and moves the ash tray so he can set the pitchers down.

“That’s a good start, but what’re you gonna drink?” She winks and takes one of the glasses, pouring out some of the beer. “Thanks. You’re a doll.”

[Derek Anderson] He laughed “Well the bartender said he’d keep a tab open for me. So I’ll get something later I guess” He grin at her, looking relaxed, enjoying himself. “And don’t call me doll too loud..or all my work trying to look manly will be destroyed. I’ll be doomed”He say mock afraid, then flashed her a charming smile

He poured himself some beer to o”So, want to talk about you..or anything else?” He say, blue eyes looking at her, but never directly into her eyes

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ehh…we’ll get around to me.” She smiles a bit, taking a swallow of the amber drink. The glass is settled back on the table and she takes a drag of cigarette smoke. “First you. Any intriguing cases lately? Any good jewelry heists or bank robberies?”

She grins. “I know you have stories. C’mon, entertain me with one. I demand entertainment.” It’s in no way an order, of course. Not in any serious way. Just a request, phrased jokingly as an order.

[Derek Anderson] He listend to her with a smile. “i’m not a very good story teller. I do have a peculiar case though. It’s about a local Pittsburgh celebrity, a boxer, who had some good years, won a few titles but he wasn’t the smartest guy in the world. The proff? Well..don’t ask me why, but the guy robbed a convenience store in the middle of night, the old fashioned way, ski mask and gun and then ran away. Thing is it had snowed liked an hour before. We arrived on the scene, asked questions and then got out. I see those boots track on the ground, looking liek the right size of boot ofr a guy of the height and weight described. So me and my partners start following them like one block down and would oyu beleive me it lead us right ot his frigging doorsteps.”

He shook his head with a smile “Amreica’s dumbest criminals: celebrities” He looked at her and drank from his bottle

[Cold Victory] The world of Garou is rife with coincidence, and it just so happens that the bar that Lukas asked Amunet to meet him at is the same one at which Derek and Sarita are currently kickin’ it.

It’s cold in Chicago, and there are double doors everywhere. The first one takes the temperature up twenty degrees; the second one, another twenty. When Lukas crowds in, though, it feels like the temperature in the room rises another ten. Or drops fifty. He fills the doorway — very tall, wide across the shoulders, a monolith of black in his overcoat — and conversation around him lulls for a second before picking up again. The moon is waxing again. His rage rises with it, a subdermal beat in the air.

He spots Derek and Sarita, heads toward them with a quirk of a smile. “Hey!” he says to Sarita as he gets closer. A nod to Derek — “Sorry, quick interruption,” — before he’s looking at Sarita again, “Your sister here yet?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins widely at that, about to respond when Lukas comes in. She looks over his way and grins, sitting up a little bit more. “Hey there boss man.”

When she asks if Amy’s here, she blinks in surprise. “Uh, no. Why, what’d she do this time?” It’s said mostly kidding. Mostly. You gotta admit, Sarita has precedence to ask the question. What, you don’t think she does? Well, you don’t know Amy. And she’s nothing like that guy Jack that you don’t know either.

[Amunet Trujillo] She’d texted her sister with a quick “Holyfuck, he wants to meet” before heading out, making her way on foot since the bitch took off with the van. She paused outside the door of the bar, a shiver running down her back before she took a deep breath and headed in.

[Derek Anderson] He looked at the man interrupting them. He had felt his rage and certainly wasn’t gonig to brush him off. “Don’t worry about it Sir”He say politly “If you have business with Sarita and her siter..would you like to me to leave you all alone?”He ask, looking at Lukas but not meeting his eyes “Or you’re welcome to join us” He say with a nod, motioning the empty chairs nearby

He wasn’t about to attend a meeting of true born without being invited that’s for sure, Maybe it’s a pack meeting or something. After all, he has no idea that Amunet is not Garou, but kin like him.

[Cold Victory] “Oh.” Lukas looks briefly puzzled. “I thought she must’ve told you, and that’s why you were here. Coincidence, then.” The Shadow Lord unwinds his scarf, then rolls it up in his hands and dismisses it with a smile. “I got your message, by the way. I’m glad to hear it. Welcome aboard.

“This,” and he hands her a printed slip of paper, and it might not be coincidental that it’s eggshell white with dusk blue type, “is the address to Kate’s loft. I let the rest of the pack know to expect you. We don’t really have a packhouse, but that’s the closest thing, and you’ll more often than not run into one of us there.”

He glances around the pub then; back to Sarita and her friend. A shake of his head, “Thanks, but I’ll butt out for now. Maybe I’ll swing by later, after Amunet and I have had a chance to sit down together.” He extends his hand to Derek by way of introduction and goodbye at once, “Luk√°Ň°, by the way. Sarita’s soon-to-be packmate, hopefully.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Deep breath, Ames. Just breathe.

She stops just inside the door, looking wholly surprised to find Lukas talking to her sister. After watching for a moment and watching some sort of note passed, she moves that way slowly.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She takes the slip of paper and notices the color of the paper and font. A wide, Cheshire-like grin breaks over her face, and she chuckles at Lukas. “You, my good man…are THE man.” She slips the paper into her duster…and THEN her phone vibrates. Stupid T-Mobile text message lag. She pulls it out and flips it open, reading the text. “Oh, yeah. Hey Lukas, Amy says you want to meet with her. Also, I hate my cell phone provider. Can you hear me now?”

She puts the phone away and nods to Lukas. “Sounds good. I’ll stop by. Oh…and Lukas, this is Derek. We met out there in the Park the other night. And had a random encounter tonight. They may have implanted a ‘people who know me’ magnet in here.” A smirk.

[Derek Anderson] He got up to shake tha man’s hand, it was polite after all. His grip was firm, confident, but no way a test of strenght. Sarita told his name ot Lukas so he was left with a “Pleased to meet you Sir” He paused then said “I’m sorry if I”m forward Sir but would the Kate you’re talking about..a Katherine? If so, I”m looking for one, she’s family.”He say, still not looking at the man in the eyes

He had been trying to reach the onyl Silver Fang he knew of..well there was the other one with hte herald, but Sofie didn’t remember her name. It was a lnog shot asking that man about Katherine..but it couldn’t hurt..too much

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over as Amy comes up and nods to her. “And here’s Amy. Hey, you…just got your text. We need to switch providers, these guys suck.” She’s grinning to the kinfolk, but her eyes say Relax, it’ll be fine.

She looks between Derek and Amy once Lukas and Derek are done with introductions. “Amunet, Derek. Derek, Amunet. Now you two have met.”

[Cold Victory] “Katherine Bellamonte, the one and only,” Lukas confirms, his own grip much the same: firm, confident, without excessive brutality or squeeze. There’s a look of curiosity in his eye, which resolves into comprehension a moment later. Of course. With that unmistakable breeding, he should have known. “She’s my sister. I’ll let her know you’re looking for her. Have you a number she can reach you at?”

Even as he’s speaking, he’s turning – alerted to Amunet’s approach by some sixth sense. He’s not sure if he’s met this woman before — the truth is, Lukas’s worldview rarely includes the various kin and mortals he meets every day. His pale eyes flick over her face, curious and assessing for a moment before he nods a hello to her.

“You could also drop by the Loft when you get a chance,” he finishes, turning back to Derek. “Sorry,” he adds, quirking a crooked grin at the frou-frou little slip of paper he handed Sarita, “I only printed out one of those things. But I’m sure Sarita will let you peek.”

He steps back from their table, then, raising his eyebrows at Amunet. “Want to grab some beers and find a table?”

[Cold Victory] [SPEAK OF THE DEVIL.]

[Katherine Bellamonte] [WTG Lukas, you summoned her.]

[Amunet Trujillo] She nods to Derek, but most of her attention is understandably on Lukas. The kin is oddly subdued, eyes flicking around the bar every few seconds as her nerves clearly show.

[Amunet Trujillo] The kin nods at Lukas, chin lifting in a show of confidence, then lowering just a touch so that she doesn’t come off as too self assured in front of the Elder. “You get the table. I’ll get the beers.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “Thank you Sir” He rached into his pocket nad hand a card to Lukas, reading Detective Derek Anderson with a cell number. “As for Sarita, I”m not sure if she’ll let me peek or play guessing game, but I assume she will give me the adress.” He gave him one last nod, almsot a bow “Have a nice evening”

He turned to offer a smile to Amunet “Pleased to meet you Miss” He say to her and understanding her lack of response, he sat down once Lukas attention was on Amunet. He then smiled warmly at Sarita

“Well congratulation are in order it seem. Guess we have a good reason to get drunk now” he say in a playful tone

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She laughs a little at that. “Yeah, I guess that we do. Not that I need a reason to get drink, but hey, if an excuse gives you a reason to feel good about it in the morning, feel free.” She gives Derek a wink and takes another draught from her glass.

The semi-dive bar’s jukebox switches from “Simple Man” to “Freebird.” The Strider has loaded up the damned thing’s queue with enough Skynyrd to last until closing time.

[Katherine Bellamonte] [I swear I’m typing now! Was just finishing up another scene. *zoom*]

[Cold Victory] “Just Luk√°Ň°,” Lukas brushes the ‘sir’ off. “I’ll see you guys later.”

The jukebox queues up more southern rock. Most patrons like it. A few are disgruntled by the lack of trendy underground music — this is the Loop, after all, or close enough not to matter — and go elsewhere. Lucky for Lukas, a table just so happens to clear out. He’s tossing his coat over his chair as Amunet returns with beers.

“Thanks,” he says, taking one before gesturing her into the other chair. There’s a sort of unconscious courtesy to him: he waits for her to sit before he does as well, relaxed, accustomed to these human, social, slightly upscale surroundings. He knocks his longneck back, then smiles across the table at Amunet.

“So, what’d you want to talk to me about?”

[Amunet Trujillo] Her hand brushes through her hair quickly as she glances to Sarita before focusing fully on Lukas.

“Couple of things, actually. I know that Sar accepted your offer. I need to know what my part in this is going to be” There’s a tiny pause, and she looks at the table before looking back at him. “If I’m going to have a part.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to LUkas, next time he will adress him, he will use the man’s name. He laughed at Sarita’s words” Well to be honest, having a drink with you was a good enough reason, you receiving a good news just made it better.” He raised his glass at her “To your..promotion?”He say, not actually about to say pack out loud even if lukas and Sarita’s presences had pushed the patrons to the other side of the bar.

He didn’t know if Sarita will talk about her last week and how she felt now that her sister and new packmate were around, but it didn’t matter, she seemed in better spirits already.

[Katherine Bellamonte] She had long ago drawn some line in the sand, Katherine Bellamonte, about what she would and would not allow herself to enjoy with the excess of privilege and wealth that came with her name and titles. From a mortal standpoint that meant she had a lovely sleek car — all dark lines and tinted windows — but never employed a driver to take her anywhere.

There was one on retainer to her family, but she very rarely called on him.

There was, after all, a certain freedom in being the one behind the wheel and Katherine Bellamonte had always relished the power of being in the driver’s seat — such as it was, this mentality was reflected, or had been at least, in many other areas of her life — both human and monster. Tonight, the figure that swings long legs out of a black BMW has been called to by her Alpha. One of the Kinfolk she’d recently been informed of was present, and the Strider Sarita, now a prospective pack-sister was also here.

Come and meet them, Lukas had urged.
Honor’s Compass had sighed, and closed her novel.

Now, you could scarcely have imagined the blond female who swarms in the door of the Pub in her winter’s coat with fur-trimmed sleeve and collar, with her perfectly coiffed hair and pink glossed lips had ever been laying on her sofa, in a lazy state of repose. She was a striking woman, there was little to be argued against it with a fine, thin nose and high, crafted cheekbones. Pale lashes swept each, and her eyes were of a particularly pale blue that seemed to dominate her pack; Sinclair and Lukas both also bore the shade, though each carried their own slightly different hue of it.

At the door, Katherine checks her progress, and her eyes unerringly discover Lukas. Then, they flick and disconcertingly quickly place Derek. He, she studies for several seconds.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Mmm, let’s say to my new professional association,” she says with a chuckle. “I tend to think of our version of promotion as something different.” She finishes off the beer and then goes to repour.

“And that was a friggin’ awesome story. America’s Dumbest Criminals indeed. How good was the look on his face when he realized what had happened? Please tell me it carried all the way to his mugshot, and that you have a copy of that mugshot..”

She looks over, noting Katherine. Okay, no way is this coinkydink. She smiles a bit, nodding to her. “Hey Derek, we got more incoming,” she says as she smiles to Katherine. “One you were asking about.”

[Cold Victory] Lukas sits with his back toward a wall, his eyes facing most of the bar. That sort of placement doesn’t even seem purposeful anymore. It’s something he does. It’s something he’s used to doing. It allows him to see Katherine when she walks in, though. Amunet can see his eyes flick over her shoulder and beyond. The smile he gives his packsister is a world away from the subdued, polite smiles he gave the stranger that was her kin.

Across the pack bond, Katherine can feel Lukas’s mind brush against hers: a warm, dark, solid presence; an unvoiced greeting.

Then his clear, pale eyes come back to the kin across from him. He looks curious again, and curiosity is an animal thing on him. Everything about Lukas is animal: somehow not quite human, somehow just a touch savage, no matter the facade of civility and courtesy he wears so well. “Your part,” he repeats, as though tasting the words. “In truth, Amunet, I don’t consider myself the Alpha of those kin allied to my pack. You remain your sister’s ward, and the only time I’d interfere is if her good judgment regarding you somehow failed in a way that damages the pack as a whole. So I suppose the simple answer is … you’ll be involved however she wants you to be involved.

“If you’re actually wondering how you can get more involved, though, that’s a different matter. I suppose I should ask you: how do you want to be involved?”

[Amunet Trujillo] And here they go again. She sits up a little, leaning forward to be able to keep her voice down.

“I fight. It’s what I do. I’m not like normal kin, who are happy to stay on the sidelines. I’ve got too much training and have fought too hard to do that. Ask Sar if you want. I can hold my own as good as she can against anything this side of… you know.”

Her eyes flicker to Sarita, then back to him. “I want to be part of the pack.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “I know..I jsut couldn’t find better. So yeah, to your new association” he smiled even more when she came back to his story “You wouldn;t beleive the face he made. It was priceless. I’ll try ot get you the picture. Might actually make a good poster”He said good naturelly. The man had been a world class idiot.

He was drinking from his glass when Sarita noticed Katherine and told him about her. He almost choke on his berr..Dammit, he thinks, how will I look right now, dressed casually, with two pitchers of beer probably looking liek I”m flirting with her new pack sister? He thinks to himself, feeling embarassed. Wiping his mouth with a nearby napking, he got up to greet Katherine.

He was a tall musuclar man, about 6’3″/6’4” with short blond hair, kind blue eyes, usually a charming smile, but right now, it was sa slightly embarassed smile. He was dressed in boos, jeans and a white and blue long sleeve shirt, the sleeve partially rolled up. He stood straight, looking at her but not meeting her eyes. The way he had moved from sitting to standing spoke of grace that few big men possessed.

He waited for Katherine to be closer before slightly bowing and say a very respecful “Madam Bellamonte, I”m honored to meet you”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles at Derek’s reaction, and rises herself. For her part, it’s a simple respectful gesture to the Master of the Challenge and her potential packmate. She even stubs her cigarette out. Sure, it was about dead anyway, but that is totally not the point. What is the point? I’d think that’s obvious. You’re obvious. You’re a point, too.

Oh, right. So anyway, she lets Derek do his introductions. Tribe business before gonna-be-packmate business, she always says. Well, she just started saying now, anyway.

[Cold Victory] Lukas’s dark eyebrows flick up, then furrow. “Are you asking me to treat you like a Garou — to bring you along on hunts, put you in harm’s way as a warrior?”

[Amunet Trujillo] She nods slowly. “Within reason, of course. I won’t expect or ask to go on anything that I would be a liability on. And I’m prepared to prove myself, if need be.” She catches her bottom lip with her teeth, holding it there for a moment before going on. “I can do this. I can be an asset to you, if you let me.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] They ought to be careful, deferring to a Silver Fang like that. One might think such gestures would go straight to Katherine’s head. Still, after she greets Lukas — silently, naturally, a brush of familiarity — she heads toward the table where the True Born and her Kinsmen are rising to meet her. There’s certainly a curve of her mouth upward in the suggestion of appreciation for it.

But there’s also amusement.

“You must be Derek,” Katherine’s voice was not exactly what one expected, and then again, it was entirely as it should seem. Sweet, peppered with the faintest traces of french [affected or not it was there, though she was in large part American born and raised] which gave her something of an exotic air. He greets her as madam and the smile grows.

She laughs, it’s hard to resist. A ripple of gold and light; silvery and genteel for all that she feels like a monster up close; smoldering with Rage beneath that tan skin. “Enchante, I am sure but please, call me Katherine.” Sarita gets the benefit of a warmer smile, too and the Half Moon gestures that they sit down.

She remains standing only to unbutton her coat.

[Cold Victory] There’s a sense that Lukas is somewhat at a loss. His brow is furrowed; in his hand, the beer bottle turns in place on the tabletop, slow circles whose sound is lost beneath Lynyrd Skynyrd. After a while, he picks the bottle up, takes a drink, then hunkers forward over the table.

For the most part, Lukas dresses tastefully, with an eye toward concealing the weapon that is his body more than he flaunts it. His coats are cut to make the breadth of his shoulders seem less imposing. His shirts sleeken him. When he sits like that, though, he seems a mountain of strength: all thick shoulders, heavy chest, biceps bunched and forearms corded. An Ahroun of the Adren rank, through and through.

“I believe in your dedication,” he says quietly, “and I believe in your skill. But the fact is my pack is a pack of war, and most of us are Fosterns or higher now. Strong enough to face the mighty foes Perun directs us against; made stronger still by Perun’s blessings.

“I don’t doubt that your heart is great, Amunet, but you simply don’t have the raw strength to follow us into most of our battles. You would be crushed in an eyeblink, or else the rest of us would have to struggle to protect you constantly. The brutal truth is — on a pack hunt, you probably would be a liability more often than not.”

A pause.

“There is this much I can offer you, though. Last year, my mate tried to form a coalition of kin. For numerous reasons it never panned out, but if I remember correctly, there was plenty of martial interest amongst the kin. If you want to form and lead a fellowship with likeminded kin, I’ll keep your group in mind in the course of the war. I’ll send you against lesser targets that I find.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey Katherine.” She sits down when the Philodox makes the motion, relaxing. “Can I get you a glass? We’ve got a couple pitchers here.” She gestures to the the containers of beer on the table. The Ragabash isn’t exactly sure if Katherine will accept…Sarita’s seen her in a bar before, but she doesn’t remember if she was drinking. Still, she’s gonna make the offer, if only to be polite.

Yes, Sarita’s polite. She’s the fuckin’ very pinnacle of etiquette. Prove it’s not the case. Okay, beside that one time. And that time too. And the one with the goat. The goat was totally asking to get hit though. She’d swear to it.

[Amunet Trujillo] She nods very slowly, picking at the label of her beer as he talks. When he’s finished, she runs her fingers in her hair again and nods more decisively.

“I appreciate it.”

Her eyes flicker over to Sarita, watching her now as she continues. “You made a really good decision with her. She needs something like this.”

[Adamidas] There is a pop, somewhere. And it’s not sonorous or over-stated. It’s just quiet and doesn’t seem to make much of a fuss.

It’s accompanied by the flush of a toilet. The running of water. A theurge walking out of the bathroom.

Now, there are lots of questions that one could ask. They could ask why is a small brunette wandering out of the bathroom? How long has she been in there? They could ask how come she isn’t cold? She’s wearing a skirt for crying out loud! They could ask isn’t she a little young to be in here in the first plce?

There are enormous, gaping plot holes that are linked to Adam’s entry into the bar, especially since they came from a non-conventional entrance. Those plotholes are glossed over simply by the answer she’s a theurge, it’s what they do.

She wanders to the bar, and doesn’t order a drink. She asks for the time, and smiles. Grins ear to ear.

Not last call yet.

She orders a beer, and the bartender looks at her funny. She orders a coke and he seems more okay with this request.

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to Katherine, answering with his deep, warm voice. “Yes Mad…Katherine” He say with a slightly sheepish smile. He moved to sit down as Sarita invite Katherine over. He was glad the Strider did. He wasabout to do it but didn’t want to go over Sarita and decide for her.

When Sarita offer Kaherine a glass for the beer, he has a feeling the Silver Fang would prefer something else, like champagne or maybe Brandy. But th offer was made a true born and he wasn’t about to counter it and suggest something else. He did say “It’d be a pleasure if you joined us.”

He wondered if he should leave, it seem that Lukas pack and pack to be was gathering. He felt like he was intruding in a very select group. He didn’t appear too uncomfortable but he was considering letting the pack be with each other. He could always talk and drink wth Sarita later.

He was about to say something when the young brunette came out of the bathroom. His blue eyes watched her for a moment. This almsot dive bar had just too many incredbly beautiful women around.

He prefred to drink form his glass, glancing at Sarita, one of those beauty and jsut smiled. Suddenly the place was “crowded”

[Sinclair] The moon is hers tonight.

Normally when Sinclair enters a room there’s not a mortal nor wolf who can ignore it. There are plenty of Garou whose rage eclipses her own, and there are plenty of Ahrouns whose prowess in battle is better known, but it’s just something about her that seems a little more feral, a little more wild, a little more hungry. Her looks imply a girl-next-door sort of neutrality: wheat-colored hair, sky-colored eyes. Freckles. Not the girl who wore heavy eye makeup in high school but the girl who might have been the prettiest band nerd or the most wholesome-looking cheerleader.

Not anymore, though. The rage and the predatory grace of her every movement are augmented now. Metal glints in her ears, ink coils under her skin. She has a low center of gravity, walks with the ingrained physical awareness of a dancer. Or a killer. And on nights like tonight, when the moon waxes away from Katherine’s phase and into her own, Sinclair is a thing to behold. Light catches her hair differently, glints in her eyes, making them gleam. She looks softer. She seems stronger. She’s a pretty girl. Under her moon, she’s beautiful.

Even indoors, which is where she’s walking now, there is something about Sinclair that makes people look. Even the people who sense her and feel a cold, clammy terror in their guts as they lift their heads.

She walks straight for her packmates, wearing — of all things — a pair of well-fitted green pants and a charcoal gray v-necked shirt screenprinted with white silhouettes of birds rushing across her chest towards her shoulder. The shirt is longsleeved, hems nearly covering her hands to the knuckles, tissue-weight cotton. It’s revealed in patches and then in whole as she grabs a chair and swings it around, sits down at the table without asking if she’s interrupting, and unbuttons, shrugs her way out of a black peacoat with a broad turned-up collar.

Other than a glance across their faces, she mostly ignores the two kinfolk they’re sitting with at first. Gives a little upward nod of greeting to Sarita. Then looks at Derek and Amunet. “‘Sup.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine’s attire, much like her Alpha’s, was tasteful. Though she tended toward white more often than other darker shades; though black had, for many years, been making an increasing dent into the Silver Fang’s everyday wardrobe. Still; tonight she wears her favorite; a white blouse paired with winter slacks. The material neatly pressed, the lines clean.

The boots she wears with them are impressive, and add to her height, rounding the Philodox out at just over 5’10. When she seats herself; it’s with a fluid, albeit thoughtless grace. Derek would not be the first unsettled by her, or her pack’s close distance. The Ragabash asks after a drink for her, and the half moon fusses with a wayward lock of hair, thoughtful a moment.

“I would like that, perhaps you could see if they serve Champagne? Or if not, a glass of their house white will suffice nicely.” She returns her attention to Derek. “Now, I want to hear all about you, Derek. Tell me what brings you to Chicago, and how you have been settling in. My main duty toward all my Kinfolk in the city is to be your source of connection, and, should the need arise — your protector.”

It’s somewhat ludicrous, this slim young thing, barely into her twenties, telling a fit man like Derek that she will protect him. Some would take offense to it; others would flush with anger. But it’s there, subtle, felt — the potential for lethal threat implied in the Fostern. Pretty and poised she might be, but she was just as monster as all the rest.

Speaking of — there’s the slight turn of Katherine’s face as the door opens once again.

Sinclair’s presence is felt, answered by Katherine before Sinclair has even progressed far into the room. “This is Sinclair, Brutal Revelation. My pack-sister. A Galliard of the Glass Walkers. Sinclair, meet Derek Anderson, a new come addition to my tribe in the city. We were just getting acquainted.”

[Cold Victory] It doesn’t escape Lukas’s notice that Amunet’s face falls; that she changes the subject soon thereafter. There are Ahrouns that are little more sensate than clods of dirt. Lukas is not one of them. Most who make it past cubhood, make it past Cliath, aren’t. He looks at her for a moment, his eyes pale and keen. When she mentions her sister, his eyes move toward Sarita for a moment; he smiles in spite of himself.

“I think we need someone like her too. We haven’t had a Ragabash in a long time. And this entire Sept has a distinct lack of wise Ragabashes.”

A pause; a sip of beer. Then, gently, “Listen, Amy … I know it’s not easy to hear that the one thing you want to do most is something you can’t do. I can’t imagine how hard that must be. But for what it’s worth, I am going to try to find ways for you to be useful to us. I’d do that even if you weren’t willing, yourself — but that you are is a big plus in my book.

“Is there anything else you do well? Any other skills you have, or are willing to learn?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She seems to be fairly amused as she’s sent off to ask about Champagne or white wine. Mental note: must program some Allman Brothers into the jukebox to take place after Freebird, That Smell, Simple Man again, Freebird again, and the Kid Rock ballads. Yes, Kid Rock ballads. If you don’t like it, spend your own quarters. Kid Rock ballads rock.

She grins and nods to Sinclair along the way to the bar, then talks to the bartender. Adamidas gets a brief nod as well. It takes a little talking to the man, but eventually she’s coming back with a glass of the white.

“Sorry, no champagne.”

[Sinclair] For a member of a pack that lives (mostly) in a place like the Loft, where one Ahroun is a mated Adren and alpha of pack, auspice, tribe

and one Ahroun is the daughter of a house of kings

and the Philodox is nearly an Adren herself and wealthy beyond dreams,

Sinclair sort of stands out. She has nicer clothes than she did when she first came to Chicago but she hasn’t upgraded from the car she rebuilt with her father all those years ago, that nasty green El Camino parked outside. She doesn’t dress like Kate and Lukas unless Katherine is taking her to the symphony or some such shit and letting her borrow a dress. Lukas is in dark clothes befitting his tribe, Kate wears white. Sinclair wears a pair of Skechers that, by god, have seen better days and were once a bright, silver-lined magenta. Against green pants. And a gray shirt.

Look at this fucking hipster.

She is introduced by Katherine as she sits. She is given the name of the male and she looks at him for a moment. But then she drags her eyes off, following the conversation Lukas is having with Amunet.

[Adamidas] Sinclair is pretty. Adam’s never actually noticed this; she knows that Sinclair has a nice bone structure and that she has a unique look and she’s got some very pretty blonde hair. At this moment, Adam looks at Sinclair and the first thing out of her mouth isn’t thank you for the coke in her hand, it’s-

“Wow.”

Right. She realizes it’s come out of her mouth and she isn’t embarrassed about it. Tonight, Sinclair iis Calliope. She is Thalia. She is Melpomene and Erato and Mnemosyne. Seriously, kids. Look. At. That. Fucking. Hipster (and be awed.) At about the time where she’s musing about the muses and realizing oh yeah, I still have a drink, she realizes she’s staring like a dumbass. So, her response to staring like a dumbass is to wave hello in that general direction. Kate, Derek, Sinclair? They’re all covered with that wave.

Luckily, Sarita nods at her and Adam, in turn, turns her head and heads over that way.

“Why do I keep seeing you in bars?” the song changes, “what’s on the jukebox?”

[Derek Anderson] He felt more than saw Sinclair coming in and when he saw her, the beer stopped from reaching his lips for a second or two..It’s getting ridiculous, he’s tihnking to himself. Somebody shoot me. He blinked and swallowed. “Good evening” He tell Katherine’s packmate with a smile. “Pleased to meet you”

He found enough of his smarts to offer Sinclair a hand. He willshake her hand brieftly and firnly if she take it. His hand not calloused nor smooth. The base of his fingers was harder inside his hand and the knuckled were rougher as well.

Hisattention turned back to Katherine to answer her, his glass on the table. He wasn’t sure if he had enough focus to handle holding a glass while talking. It hadn’t happened often to him. But tonight, well..anyway..

“I was transferred from Pittsburgh” He tells Katherine “I jut made detective and made to try my luck somewhere else. A spot opened in the 18th precinct and here I am. I’m also slettlng in well. I met various people and all seemed pretty friendly. I can’t complain at all” He say with a smile. “And it’s very generous of you to offer your protection”he say in a respectful tone “If I need anything, I will call you without hesitation” Hewasn’t embareasse or offended. After all, that’s how things worked

[Amunet Trujillo] Just a few days ago, she would have gotten angry and launched into a defensive argument about what she’s capable of and how he’s just not seeing it.

All of the fight is out of her now, though. This is, after all, just another thing on the list of what she wants but can’t have. Better to keep her temper in check, and salvage something.

Her eyes move over the others at her sister’s table. The blissfully unaware kin. The woman that represents a threat so severe, it made even the stubborn Strider kin reconsider her priorities. Sarita looks at home here, among these people. She owed her more than stubbornly insisting that she’s somehow special.

“I can learn anything the pack is willing to teach me. I don’t really know much other than fighting, but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to try”

[Sinclair] There’s a hand coming her way. Sinclair notices it, but she glances at it like she’s just seen something curious amidst the fallen leaves on the ground. It takes her a second to go ahead and take Derek’s hand. She gives him a small nod. “And you.” Polite, but not exactly warm. She takes her hand back when he seems done with this greeting and mercifully goes on ignoring Amunet. Mercifully because, from the feeling this woman brings into the room with her, being the object of her attention is an uncomfortable place to be at best.

“There’s always things that need doing around Bellamonte Park,” Sinclair says, though, more to Lukas than to Amunet. It sounds like a suggestion. “That place is like a revolving door for any humans Kate hires.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Her eyes move from her table to Sarita’s again, looking over Sinclair as she tries to process what was just said in her direction, feeling the hopelessness that’s building inside her grab a little more of a foothold.

[Cold Victory] Lukas thinks a moment, his eyes drifting over the bar — glimmering even in the dim light here. Catching that light, refracting it, throwing it back. There was a running joke that blue eyes are a trademark of this pack — common across Lukas, Kate, Sinclair, even Christian. Some of their fallen, too. Mrena with her pale eyes. Katarina. Sam.

Not Asha, though. Not Sarita, either. The truth is, the pack evolves. Time passes; they all change. Lukas’s eyes come back to Amunet. He takes a swallow of beer, then sits back.

“Maybe you could help us scout,” he says. “Not the sort of battlefield scouting I’d ask Sarita to do. Something more along the lines of scoping and staking things out. The Wyrm is entrenched deep in the fabric of the community up north. There are plenty of organizations and institutions either fronted by or composed mostly of humans. A woman without Rage could slip in and out of those places more easily than even a Ragabash, and your combat skills would come in handy if you got in a pinch and needed to fight your way out.

“I’m sure your sister could teach you some tricks. And perhaps Katherine and her kin too, if it’s more subterfuge and intrigue that you need to learn.”

[Sinclair] [Cut the bit in my post about Sinclair speaking to Lukas/Amy about Bellamonte Park.]

[Amunet Trujillo] She chuckles softly, peeling at the label on her bottle again. “Oh, I’m good at lying to people. Point me in a direction, and tell me what to keep an eye out for. I’ll be happy to do the legwork.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks back at Adamidas and grins. “There’s a good reason for that. I drink a lot.” She picks up her glass of beer and, as if to demonstrate, takes a drink of alcoholic goodness. It’s set down and she pulls out a cigarette, settling down into her seat at the table with Katherine, Derek and now Sinclair.

“And on the jukebox, by the way, is the epicn brilliance of Ronny Van Zant and Lynyrd Skynyrd. All ‘y’s’, no other vowels. Just shut your eyes and let the sweeping guitar solos take you away.”

It’s said as an side to the main conversation between Katherine and Derek. She’s not meaning to interrupt that.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine is brought wine, and it likely doesn’t even strike her to consider that perhaps it was not fitting to send another Garou on an errand for her in a Pub. Then again — Sarita had made the offer to begin with. The Half Moon accepts the glass with a murmur of appreciation for the Strider’s handiwork and raises the glass to her lips; perfectly groomed eyebrows rising a notch as Derek begins to tell her about his coming here.

She listens, Katherine, her attention is wholly fixed on him for as long as he speaks, and she answers. For all her apparent youth, there is a sense of established knowledge banked in the Fostern’s pale eyes; it’s present in her voice, too. In the friendly, if politely practical manner she lays out her reply. “I do not believe we have had a Detective of our own,” of her blood, she means, “at least not as far as I can recall. I’m certain you will make a most useful asset to the Sept, and to the tribe.

A few things I should lay out now, while I have you here.

I run a tight ship, as far as our tribe is concerned. As Kinfolk, some of the demands I set are not yours to answer to, but, by the same token, because you are Kinfolk and my responsibility, if you cause trouble that is laid at my door I will hold you accountable for it, and punishment will be dealt out. I have no time for stupidity in my blood relations — those that are useful, I reward with tasks. I treat with according respect.

Those that waste my time, I will see they find little to enjoy.”

A beat, a sip of wine. “My home, the Loft, is a safe place should you find yourself in trouble, or needing temporary accommodation. In short, Derek, I am gladdened to greet more family, and as long as you keep your nose out of trouble, we should only need to meet formally every other moon.”

[Cold Victory] “Will do,” Lukas replies, the corner of his mouth tilting upward. He lifts his beer bottle up, eyeing it to see how much remained before taking another swig. “So, that’s item one. Anything else you wanted to talk about?”

[Sinclair] At I have no time for stupidity in my blood relations Sinclair can’t help but laugh. It’s a quick, half-stifled thing, a burst of amusement — though the reasons behind it are probably unclear even to Kate — that is followed by a grin when she informs Derek that those that waste Kate’s time are …well.

Fucked.

Sinclair gives a nod of greeting to Adamidas as the Theurge joins them, and glances over at Amunet and Lukas. She senses they’re not done. Can see it in the way Lukas holds himself. Turns back to those she’s sharing a table with, particularly Sarita. “You know, I wouldn’t mind you joining if only because the Fang-Lord parade of swank needs more of a shakeup than lil’ old me can provide. Did you know our other Fang has a herald? A herald, woman. Now Kate wants one, too.”

[Adamidas] “You’re pooooor liver,” she says. She even sounds like she’s lamenting, but it doesn’t quite hit her eyes, and her mouth hasn’t quite caught that she’s lamenting, either, because she’s grinning her underaged head off. She takes a drink of coke and looks at the conversation taking place. Her voice has dropped and she’s half-muttering asides to the Strider like they’re going out of style.

“So, Lynyrd Skynyrd… the number of Y’s proportional to the amount of badass in the band?” she asks because she does know better. She’s been made to ride in the back of a pickup truck for questioning the goodness of Skynyrd.

[Amunet Trujillo] “No. That’s pretty much all of it tied together, it seems.” She flashes a smile. The rest of it, after all, is irrelevant now.

“Thanks for your time. I wanted to make sure that you knew that I was ready to help out. I should probably get out of here, and let you talk to your pack.”

[Adamidas] She sees Sinclair, and this time she doesn’t stare at her. Oh no, she plays it cool and offers her the same upward nod that Sinclair gave her. Sup without saying it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins at Sinclair, a chuckle escaping. “Happy to shake it up. I’ve…yes, I’ve met Asha and…Thomas, was it?” It’s clear from her expression that Sarita really doesn’t know what to make of that still. She’s gotten some perspective by Lukas, and that helps her understand a bit, but still…she just nods.

“Yes, I’ve met them.” You just said that. So what, I’ll say it again. When you get something more tactful to say, lemme know. Since there isn’t, it’s just that and a smile.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks at Adamidas and grins about the Skynyrd comment. “You know it. I like the way you think.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to Katherine “I will do my best Mad..Katherine. I try to stay out of trouble, I have the authority to stop some of it. I won’t bring you embarassement or will accept the consequences if I do. I doubt you’ll have to see me for anything other than reports or if you ever have need of my skills.”

He kept it at that. He could profess he has good instincts and judgment. That he had met many true borns and kin in the city and has been behaving as it would be expected of him. But it would sound too much like he need to pro himself.

His eyes did wander to Sarita coming back with the beautiful brunette, then Sinclair, back to Sarita and the woman, Sinclair aaaand ceiling. Yup, ceiling is good. With beer inside of him. Definitely. He downed his glass and brought back his eyes on the pitcher and poured himself another glass.

He took a smaller drink from it this time.

[Derek Anderson] (*He keep it at that…)

[Katherine Bellamonte] “Yes, Thomas.” Katherine’s expression softens, adopting a wistful cast. “Wonderful herald, comes from a long line of them, too.” That raises such fascinating questions about the Silver Fangs. Did they breed a family simply to serve as heralds? How did it work, exactly? Was there a market somewhere in France where they were bred, and kept in pressed suits with sticks to bang against the floor before commencing?

“I must ask him about his family.”

[Sinclair] “Thomas is one of my favorite people ever,” Sinclair informs Sarita, deadpan. “I think my very existence makes him weep for the future, and I kind of get a kick out of that.” She shrugs. “Asha’s great, though. She will tear shit up in a fight, too. I think second to me, she’s Tripoli’s favorite wolf.”

Tripoli. Said like triple-e.

If Sinclair knows that Sarita is withholding judgement of the young Fang of Blood Red Crest or her herald, she doesn’t seem to acknowledge it. She doesn’t bring it up. Doesn’t argue. What she says about Asha seems, at least on the surface, genuine enthusiasm for her packsister. Dismissive, accepting amusement and little else about her traditions. Her herald.

Stop half-saying Madam and then calling her Katherine,” she says suddenly, though, looking at Derek with a swing of her gaze that pins him like a butterfly. “Listen to yourself, man, it sounds like you’re calling her Mad Katherine. Hello. If you start to say Madam because you can’t stop yourself, then don’t stop yourself. Chase that feeling. But Jesus. It’s making me twitch.”

[Cold Victory] “They’re your pack too now. That’s what you wanted, wasn’t it?” Lukas gets up, grabbing his coat off the back of his chair as he does. “Come on. Let’s go say hi to Kate’s new cousin.”

[Adamidas] “I’m one wise mothafucka. I need to get it on a wallet like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction,” she says.

She looks at Kate and blinks. She catches the part about heralds. Having come from a long line of heralds, and it makes her think. She looks at Kate longer and harder, like she’s trying to think of something.

“Wouldn’t that get really frustrating? Having a person who… what exactly does a herald do? It’s, like, a person who rattles off all the important information for you, right?”

[Amunet Trujillo] She stands as well, keeping the smile in place and nodding. “Yeah. Sorry. Just kind of a new concept, you know?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] And with one single, solitary line and Samuel L. Jackson, the Fury is on Sarita’s “Badass People of Chicago” list. She smirks and looks about to say something, before she notices Lukas getting up. She gets quiet suddenly, watching Lukas and especially Amy, taking in their movements, reactions, body language and such.

[Sinclair] For no apparent reason, Sinclair knocks on the wooden table with her knuckles quickly.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine’s mouth quirks at one edge at Mad Katherine.

Her eyes shift to Derek, she’s almost soothing as she says, “I’ve been dubbed far worse, I assure you. If Mad Katherine is as bad as it ever gets again, I shall count myself the luckiest of women.” She smiles around her wine glass, sips from it and then says, idly as an aside to Sinclair.

“I thought you said I was Tripoli’s second favorite wolf because I cleaned her so often.”

Then, Adamidas is staring, and Honor’s Compass is turning her attention on her; expectant. “Oh, no. It’s very useful. In fact, you can have them memorize not only your entire lineage, but remember other important things like your social security number or the combination to the safe. Endless uses, honestly.”

She may be joking, judging by the gleam in her eyes.

[Cold Victory] “You’ll get used to it,” Lukas reassures. His hand comes to her shoulder briefly, warm and heavy. “At least I hope you do.”

Then he’s ushering her back toward the larger table, his half-finished beer snagged up as he goes. When he returns to them, he nods to Derek again, then drops his coat over the chair between Sinclair and Sarita. The Ahroun follows, dropping down much the same way — palpably comfortable in the presence of his pack.

“Hey,” he says to his sisters. His beer bottle clunks down on the table. “You guys meet Amunet yet? She’s Sarita’s sister.”

[Adamidas] “…. oh my god, I want one. Can I get them at Target?”

[Cold Victory] “And I always thought I was Tripoli’s second favorite because I just kick so much ass,” Lukas puts in, and affects a sniff. “Katherine, I think we’ve been played.”

[Derek Anderson] “Yes Ma’am!” It came instinctively and he was sitting straighter under Sinclair’s gaze. She handn’t told him to call her by her name. And the way way she spoke, reminded hin of his drill sergeant. He looked at Katherine “I’m sorry, Katherine. I hope I haven’t offended you”

He nod back to Lukas and offered a small smile to Amunet. Ok…now he was really intruding into pack business “Hmm maybe I should leave you guys alone. Being all associated. Might want to discuss things that are none of my business”

He

[Amunet Trujillo] Sarita gets a big smile, and she leans against her sister’s chair as she nods to the others. “Hey.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[I Empathy You!]]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 2, 7, 8, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)
to Amunet Trujillo

[Derek Anderson] (Wow..hmm scratch one way…and the last He who is completly alone and useless ;0 )

[Sinclair] Sinclair blinks at Kate, furrowing her brows together in bewilderment. “Her? Dude, Asha helped save him from slavery to the Wyrm. You polish him with Turkish towels. It’s a tossup but I think she still wins.”

Gently, she kicks Katherine’s shoe under the table. Smiles at her. Lukas sits down beside her and she leans over, bumps against his arm before sort of bouncing off. She doesn’t sit up straight. She slouches, sprawling. She hasn’t gotten anything to drink yet.

“Hey, Amunet,” she says to Sarita’s sister. Without looking at her much. Without missing a beat before: “Dude, it’s really kind of sad that you want to be a wee gaffling’s favorite, okay? He barely even knows you exist unless you give him cutlery.”

Derek sits up straighter. Calls her Ma’am. Sinclair gives him a weird look. It looks like this:

O_o

[Cold Victory] “But he’s really cute,” Lukas argues, sounding utterly earnest about it all. “If you gave me the choice, I’d totally rather have a metal gaffling than a herald. Sarita, you meet Tripoli yet?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Lukas gets a look, it’s at once fond and exasperated, and then pale blue eyes are turning on Amunet and the Silver Fang presents her with a winning smile; a flash of straight, white teeth. “Bonjour,” she purrs amiably enough and then — returning Sinclair’s kick beneath the table as if they were five instead of their respective ages she turns her attention to Derek once again.

“You really don’t need to go, unless you wish to. Stay, please. Have a drink with us, and get to know my pack and some of the Garou better. Have you met Adamidas properly?” She inclines her head at the pretty brunette Theurge. “She is our Sept’s Theurge Elder.” Then, a seeming random belated protest:

“Those are imported towels. If I cared nothing, I’d use the toilet roll.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks up at Amy, and her expression softens a little. No one knows Amy better than Sarita, and big smile aside, the Garou can see the little things that betray how the other is feeling. There’s a bit of sympathy in the Ragabash’s yes for her sister as well as a touch of sadness. She gives her a look that says I’m sorry, we’ll talk about it before she leans back against her sister, looking back to Lukas.

“I can’t say I have met Tripoli. I’ll have to do that, though, at some point.”

[Derek Anderson] He offer a sheepish smile to Sinclair “Sorry, old habits from my upbringing sand police academy. Don’t mean anything by it, but you’d scare my drill sergeant” He smile a little more, the lookede at Katherine. “Ok it it’s all right with everyone, I’ll stay”

Of course it had started as a drink with Sarita..and now it’s have a drink with our pack. Yeah, they owned the place now and he was just a guess. He did offer a charming smile and his hand to Adamidas “Pleased to meet you”

[Derek Anderson] (*if it’s all right with…)

[Cold Victory] [don’t wait for me! i’m conquering egypt!]

[Adamidas] She offers her free hand, and she stands up to her full height. She’s comfortable in her size, shape, the amount of space she’s taking up. She’s not too self-conscious. Her features are young, her eyes are dark, and so is her hair. She has pretty teeth. Her eyes are too far away, though.

“No problem, I’m Adam,” she says. Boys name in a skirt, “and stick around.”

He’s a cop. But he’s kinfolk. He’s a cop but he’s kinfolk. She regards him closely, looks over details and is right there for a split second. Adam nods to some unseen force. Derek is deemed acceptable.

[Sinclair] [HAVEN’T THEY BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH]

[Adamidas] [NEVAR!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles around and gets up. “I’d love to stay and hang, but it’s getting late and we should go. Been a long day for both of us.” She smiles at her packmates to be, and then Derek.

“Later guys.” She drops down some money for the drinks and then makes to go.

[Sinclair] “Well, who wouldn’t,” Sinclair says, as though wanting a gaffling over a herald should be obvious. She turns to Sarita. “A little while before I made Fostern, Asha and I fought some minions who were enslaving metal elementals and… well. This one poor dog.” There’s a faint wince in the words, in her eyes, though not her expression as much. “One of the gafflings sort of followed me home after that. He’s been getting stronger, though. And he’s pretty much the most adorable thing ever, but he’s sleeping somewhere right now. I like to think that when he sleeps, he goes to the umbral pocket realm that is filled with nothing but the epiphlings of Tin Cans and Coke Can Tabs.”

A nod, then. “Later, Sarita. And Amunet,” she adds, obviously an afterthought.

Derek gets her attention for a moment, then, after the sisters have taken their leave. Smile or not, sheepish or not, she didn’t return the expression as he told her that she’d scare his drill sergeant. “You military, too?”

[Cold Victory] Lukas — sprawled out in his chair — looks up as Sarita gets up next to him. He holds up his hand, clasping hers briefly, fraternally, before waving to Amunet.

“See you guys later,” he says. “I’m glad we talked, Amy. And — I’ll keep what we discussed in mind. See what I can find you. In the meantime, you should think about what I said too. Forming a fellowship, all that.”

Hello, Officer…

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s out late, having gotten a little case of wanderlust. She has a lot on her mind, and sitting at home doing nothing but staring at the walls wasn’t helping her any with it. So instead, she’s in the park, leaning against a light pole and staring at the sky. Yeah, that was a smart move, girl. Really fucking helped.

The Strider is dressed in her usual get-up, her duster flapping a bit at a small breeze. She lights up a cigarette, taking the drag in and holding it, then exhaling slowly into the air. She watches the smoke dissipate into particles, and then nothingness. Something about that is amusing to her, and she chuckles slightly.

[Derek Anderson] He was walking in the park, hands in his pockets. He was a tall muscular man, about 6’3″/6’4″, with short blond hair, kind blue eyes and a charming smile. He was dressed in jeans, boots and a warm winter jacket. He was walking in long easy stride, looking pretty graceful for a man his size. He noticed Sarita from afar and tilted his head, wondering what looked like to be a gorgeous woman was doing alone there. Prostitution was almost out of question. There just wasn’t enough people passing by for it to pay enough, he guessed. Being alone like that seemed ot him liek a sure way to get attacked,and the cop in him had to make sure she was ok.

He came closer and the woman was definatly gorgeous, with her exotic features. Now that he was closer, he noticed something about her, something about her presence. It wasn’t as strong as with some others but it was definatly there. Well she definatly doesn’t need to fear an attack, he had a feeling she could defend herslef quite well. So he slowed down and offered her a nod “Good evening”hesay in a deep, warm voice, as she probably could smell his pure brteeding.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over at him, shaking out of her own thoughts long enough to give him a quick onceover. Her head tilts to the side, a brow raising as she picks up on the strength of his breeding. The corner of her mouth quirks upward into a lopsided grin and she gives Derek an upward tilt of the head in greeting.

“Well, and a beunos nochas obscuras to you too.” She exhales another drag of smoke, turning to face him. That results in a backward lean on the night pole, which ironically probably makes her look more or less like a hooker, but for her style and the bad location. “You’re new. To me, anyway. What are you doing out in the middle of nowhere at night?”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “Well you’re right on both accounts..I”m new..and new to you” He say his expression friendly “As for what I’m doing, well I found out I enjoy walking in this park. It’s beautiful, it’s quiet and it has a soothing effect on me at this time of the night. What about you?” He ask in a polite tone. It tone was pretty warm and relaxed when he spoke about himself, but took a more respectful tone when he asked about her.

He took a big hand out of his pocket and offered it to her “My name’s Derek, by the way.” He say with a small smile

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Sarita.” She takes the offered hand in her own, giving a good solid shake. “Strider. Nice to meet you, Derek.”

When she asks what he’s doing out here, she sighs and looks around. “Much the same as you, really. It’s a good place to think. Well, think and freeze your freakin’ ass off.” She chuckles and shrugs. “I enjoy seeing a little green every now and then. Makes me think of some of the nicer places I’ve been if I look at the certain spots right.” A pause, as she waves her hand vaguely. “You know, without all the manicuring and the big fountain and the benches and shit.”

[Derek Anderson] He gave her a firm professioanl handshake, as if he was used to it. His hand wasn’t calloused nor was it soft. The skin was harder at the bottom of the fingers, inside the hand and his knuckles were rougher too. He listened to her with interest as she spoke of seeing other places and he chuckled at her comment about the decor.

“I’m a SF if you ever wanted to know”He say as she gave him her tribe. “And it’s nice to meet you Sarita. You psoke of travelling, are new here? And where I”ve you been?”He ask, looking at her but not directly in the eyes “Me, I only seen pittsburgh and now here”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Pittsburgh, eh?” She nods a little bit. “Passed through there once. Didn’t stay though. I was just on the way.”

She nods when he asks if she’s traveled. “Yeah, I’ve been around. My peeps, we don’t stay in one place very long as a rule. I’ve been…wow. Pretty much all over the States, and up into Canada briefly. Not everywhere, mind, but it’s not an exaggeration to say that I’ve gotten around.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled to her “That’s pretty impressive. Wish I could od that too sometimes. But I have resposabilities and it doesn’t really allow me to grab a bag and travel all over. To each his or own they say” He shrugh slightly “Feel liek walking with me? Or do you prefer stay here with your thoughts?”He ask her with a smile. He doesn’t seem to be flirting with her, nor out of lack of attraction for her, but maybe..he’s jsut better than that and know his place with a Garu, even one as attractive as her

“We could get a cup of coffe or something too after”He say as he knew he would eventually feel the cold. He wasn’t sure she would, but he could always offer

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks like she’s considering it for a couple moments, and then she grins and nods. “Yeah, sure. I’m totally down for that. Why the hell not?”

Truth to tell, she still had a lot of thinking to do. But sometimes, too much thinking was a bad thing. She needed something to take her mind off of her thoughts before they sunk her, and Derek could work well for that. She pushes off the light pole and takes a drag off her cigarette, starting to walk with him.

“So, what brought you from the city of Three Rivers to Chi-Town?”

[Derek Anderson] He had put his hand back into his jacket pocket and walked with her “A transfer. I wanted to leave Pittsburgh and there was an opening here” He say, looking at her as they walked. He did look ahead once in a while, he had no intention of finding himself meeting a lamp post face first or something.

“Have you been here for long? And what made you stay and just not pass through”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Bout a month now.” She shrugs. For her, it’s average…some places, she’d be out by now. But she doesn’t let that out just yet. “My sister and I came through. Never been before, thought it might be a good place to try settling down for a bit. So far, other than insane fuckin’ snow storms, so good.” Well, and the drama, but that’s not the city’s fault. She looks back over at him, looking him up and down once more.

“What do you do?”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “I’m…a cop” He say, watching her reaction. Some people react strongly, one way or another to what he did. “I got promoted to detective recently” He say with a touch of pride. He was after all young to be a detective. “Well, I heard a few good things about the city.I”m glad you and your sister a liking it as well” He say, walking easilly beside her, shortening his strides to fit with hers

“And you’re right, this winter here is out of the ordinary. I arrived the day before the storm, it was completly crazy”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “A cop?” She grins at that, which is quickly followed by a chuckle. “That makes sense.” What exactly she means by that isn’t really clear. She looks up to the black sky and shakes her head before she looks back to him. The attitude isn’t mocking of him or belittling, she simply seems amused at the turn of events.

“Congratulations on the promotion. You don’t work vice, do you?”

[Derek Anderson] He shook his head “No not vice. I”m aiming ofr homicide, but right now, I get all the theft and assaultsand stuff liek that. I won’t say the obring stuff, because it’s a lack of respect for the victims..the less glamorous stuff would be a better description.”He say then smiled a little more “Why did you ask about vice? If I had work for them, would I’ve had crossed you path?”

He grinned, jsut teasing her a little. It’s not like he would arrest a GArou after all.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The chuckle becomes a legitimate laugh, the sound unrestrained and full. Sarita doesn’t half-ass her laughter. She looks at him sideways. “Probably not. I have a contact that keeps me clear of vice. I just would have advised you not to check my pockets” She throws him a little wink.

“Homicide’s gotta be the way to go. Petty crimes are probably shit to work, and I can imagine it’s a bit of a drag. But it’s not like you don’t do some good there. Everyone needs someone to protect ’em, right?”

[Derek Anderson] He chuckled at her comment about her pockets “I learned long ago, never to check some pockets” He say with a smile “And like I said, the owrk is less glamorous, btu I take it seriously and not jsut a stepping stone to get to homicide. It wouldn’t be fair for those people involved in my case. They deserve justice just as much as murder victims. They are just luckier in a way, because they can still go on despite what happened”

Hedidn’t seem to be in any hurry to exit the park or head for a coffe shop. The woman beside him had a nice presence. He was actually surprised by how easy gonig she was. Siver Fang Garou rarely were that friendly and Tabitha, the only other Garou he has really spoke with here, had been very guarded

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She doesn’t seem to be in any major hurry to get anywhere specific, but then again the girl is a wanderer; if she had a course set in any but the occasional circumstance, she wouldn’t be Sarita. She nods a little bit at what Derek says, musing about it.

“Interesting point…but in all honesty, you gotta sometimes wonder if the people who are assaulted are the luckier ones. I mean, someone kills you, you’re dead. You ain’t dealing with shit afterward, you know what I mean? Unless you’re one of those poor fuckers who end up in the Dark Umbra, anyway. You wake up in the hospital after a bunch of skinheads decide you’re worthy of a hate crime, you’re dealing with a lotta pain for a while. Maybe your whole life if you get crippled. So really, who’s the lucky one?”

She doesn’t say it in a maudlin way at all; she’s not trying to get all emo on him. She’s just musing philosophically…or it would seem such, anyway. She looks over at him, curious as to his response.

[Derek Anderson] He nods “I see your point. And yes, surviving a rape, gang beating, racist or religious violence, losing motor fonction, an eye or anything is awful. “he scratched the back of his head “I always had the feeling that if you’re alive, you can still work ot make your life better..no matter what happened to you, how much shit you’ve been through. When you die, you die..it’s game over, there’s no continue.”

He took a deep breath “Then again, I”m healthy, I”m fit, my life is going well, so maybe I can get in the head of someone who hit the bottom of the barrel. Or can’t imagine well enough how I would react if I was crippled, unseless to the force…or the nation”he say the last word very softly. There wasn’t people around, but you never know right?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She stops as he talks, head cocked as she listens. Her smile grows by a degree as she hears him give his perspective on it, brown eyes warming a touch as well. When he offers counterpoint, the smile grows even more, and she looks up to the sky a moment before sighing and looking to him with a nod.

“That’s a damn good answer…Detective Anderson.” It’s clear by the grin in her voice that the use of his title isn’t because she’s formal, although that was probably already obvious. Nor does it sound mocking of the title. Just a good-natured change in how he is referred to in her mind. Everyone needs a nickname. “You pass.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled warmly at her. He hadn’t tried to impress her or needed her approbation. Yet getting it, gave him a nice feeling of pride. After all which man doesn’t like to have a gorgeous woman smile at him that way, and which kin doesn’t look, at least a little, to be ntoiced by a trueblood.

“Thank you Ma’am”He say and fake tipping his hat at her. “You made me question something i believed in and made me saw something else. I really thank you. Sometimes some people are too set in their own ways that they become blind. Especially cops And that makes them dangerous instead of useful”he say, standing where they stopped, looking down at her as he was taller, yet never in her eyes

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey, it’s what I do.” Literally…they just passed her moon phase, after all. She nods a little, looking around the park as she considers. “It’s funny that you say that…and it’s true. People get in ruts, and that does make for problems. It’s important that the boat gets shaken every now and then, and the unexpected happens. It may not always be fun and an easy ride, but without it…well. You get stuck in stasis, and that’ll drive you mad.”

There’s something deeper in what she’s saying. The Ragabash isn’t known for being a deeply serious woman; she tosses out pop culture references left and right and loves her banter more than most. But when it happens, she takes it damn seriously. She sounds like she’s talking about something more personal than pure philosophy. After a moment she sighs, takes the last drag off her cigarette and flicks it into a nearby ashtray.

“Everyone could stand to remember that from time to time.” She looks at him with a grin. “Yours truly included.”

[Derek Anderson] He listened to her with attention. Was it because she was a woman, a Garou or simply because he cared when someone spoke to him? She didn’t know him enough to know the real answer, but fact was, he was attentive. He smiled slightly when she grinned and mentioned that herself could use her own advice. He let her words hang in hte air for a moment then slowly moved ot start walking again

“Has something happened to yourecently? Want to talk about it?”He ask, looking almsot into her eyes. He didn’t really need to know what happened, what he wanted was to have her talk, confide might be too strong a word, but jsut let it out if she needed to. Sometime having someone to listen, even a stranger..heck some prefers stranger..and give you perpesective lead to a better rest, with a calmer mind

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks as if she considers it for a moment, but then shrugs. She doesn’t know him that well yet, and somethings are just a bit too personal to share with a guy you just met. Instead, she throws him an enigmatic smile.

“Just…been in a comfortable rut for a while, and somethings thrown me out of it.” She shrugs. “I could blame the people involved, but that wouldn’t make any sense. Any way I go now will put me out of the rut, and that’s the good news. I just have to be ready to accept that things may happen that I don’t think I’m ready for. If they shouldn’t happen…” She shrugs. “I have options. But if it’s for the best, then I need to get over myself and let it happen.”

Yes, that’s about as vague as it can be. Still, it somehow feels like she’s confessing an intimate secret. For her, it may well be one just to say what she has.

[Derek Anderson] He walked with her very slowy as she spoke, his attention on her. She had been vague, but it was ok with him. She was talking, almsot conessing it seem, and maybe it will do her some good. He hoped so. He thought about her words for a moment “Well if things happens that you aren’t ready for, at least youdon’t have to face them alone right? You have your sister..maybe friends. If all fails you know a cop…I can arrest anyone that annoys you..even if they don’t deserve it”He say with a playful smile. Of course he wouldn’t do that, not really. He hate abusing his authority, unless it was to help another Kin or a Garou

“Anything I can do to help, seriously, other than buying you coffee?”he ask, geuinly offering his help. For no other reason that if he oculd help her, he would.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She considers as he talks, nodding a little. When he makes the joke about arresting people who annoy her, she grins. It’s a full-on, Cheshire-style grin. She looks at him with amusement twinkling in her eyes.

“No, no. I appreciate it…and maybe some other time. But for now, coffee would be wondrous, thank you. That’s just about what I need to set me right for now.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “All right, I’m glad this will help. If you need anything though, I’m pretty sure you will be able to find me” He said with a smile. He didn’t offer ot give her his number, not yet..she didn’t know him at all after all. And probably not ever. That’s really forward to hand a Trueblood your number unless they ask ofr it. If she need it, he has no fear she will let him know. If she doesn’t ask and need him, well eventually enough Garou and kin will know him or she can always call the station

He start to head toward a Starbuck’s, simply because at this hour, most local coffee shop were closed.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] And off to the Starbucks they go. [[Finite!]]