Midnight stroll 3

Without even a flicker across her face or any trace of the ripple in the glamour Marianne smiled.

“How on earth did you get that name? It sounds like a fascinating tale.“I declined the offer of a great lord who put a price on my head with the courts.”It was a bit harsher than that. I refused to fight for Tokugawa, the only man to ever have any control over the undying. His grip on us was strong and vast. Even the vampires feared him. No magic, Just Iron and the will to use it, the way only man could. Since I refused him he branded me a traitor and set the courts on me. My thicket was first to go I have seen and heard what happened to those who said no to him and I made a choice. His will took even a few tengu and nine tails. What chance did I have? My kits gone, parents gone, mate dead, every thing I had was now ash. Why wait for death? I took my fear used it. To take me would cost until he put me down. Thankfully man is mortal, but his bounty out lived him.The fey are not known for their self control, They are emotion, always to extremes. Never level never just there. Many among the courts both seelie and unseelie still have a sworn blood feud. Fairy Killer a name I had not used in about a century. In terms of the undying I just stopped yesterday. So it is understandable that some may still hold a grudge. I reached a point where I just had to stop, I was way too good at it, hunting them like my cousins hunted rabbits. Like all my kind I am cunning and I pushed. The Fey are hard to kill if you don’t know how, lets say there was never much trouble. In the marshes, turning tables on my hunters. Played dead on a battle field in gory armor for days till one came looking for fear soaked meat. Fast and savage by tooth claw and even man ways. I left the kills outside the pathways, the doors to their word. In the beginning it was only the warriors, but by the end I had started to loose control. It did not matter to me any more. My soul was being consumed drop by drop. Happens when you shift from fear to savage hate without noticing.In the late 19th century I went to Britain with the intent of taking my terror right to the pathways of the court itself. Slumming in the urban blight brought me face to face with what I was and had done. It took a man, a twisted man to open my eyes. Pure malevolence and twisted by his brief understanding of a world he could not cope with. He was oh so right. He did give birth to the twentieth century. Man is a disgusting creature, and I could not stomach the similarities. The day after that encounter I took one and drag it to the closest pathway, and let her live, then left England for the western portion of the new world. A new start, new life and a change of scenery. That’s where I took up the tin and started living with and protecting men, mostly from themselves. For you youngsters That means I became a lawman. Soon after my arrival, paper cranes started to show up , in the post, in my house, at my office. Every where in the oddest of places. After what I can only assume is a thousand, it stopped, the court accepted my declaration of truce. One thousand cranes can make a wish come true.I was surprised that she did not react with a violent outburst. Having the thing that goes bump in the night for the fey standing in from of her had to be fun. Her smile stayed warm and her eyes bright. The old reflex reaction to them was just under the surface. Ever feel your body coil up and dumps a ton of adrenaline? Throw in the thrill of hunting and your real close to what was going on in my head. Marianne might have noticed, most likely not, but her voice snapped me out of it right quick.

“Lyle spoke to me about you being a hero now.” her voice rang softly almost cooing as if talking to a kit.

Lyle motioned for me to sit and Marianne moved next to me taking my arm in hers, holding it close in that semi chaste fashion of about a hindered years ago. It showed limited familiarity and was a lot warmer than sitting rigidly. with out betraying social norms and mores. Of course one goes on edge when a woman does this so you can imagine how this feels. So many of her people died at my hands.

“Madame Chardon a lot has been made of my supposed heroism, I fear it is not but smoke.”

Amazing how the old speech patterns just switch back on. She smelled wonderful which could be bad, its part of the fey hunting tactic. They confuse the senses, get you turned around then snap your dead and cooling meat.

’Don’t be so modest Lieutenant Shippo, a hero is a hero regardless of intent or inflation" Lyle’s voice a tich harsh so as to say there will be no more of that.

Vampires are near the top of the food chain just shy of man, in competition with man really. Basically due to them having been man. The never loose that ruthlessness that only man can have. The only reason that they do not just take the contest is that they are dependent on man and his world to survive so man remains supreme. There is also the fact that Man being finite is a lot more savage.

George saved me from further talking by announcing that dinner was about to be served. Marianne rose and we as gentlemen followed suite. I stepped to the side and Lyle took her arm with a Gallant “Shall we” and thy strolled into the dinning room. I waited a good ten count before following. Keeping in mind that this was not a true social call and that until I was away death could happen rather quickly. Ethan came up behind me making enough noise to let me know he was there and patted me on the back.

“Sorry Red” his voice a little heavy.

Reaching up and patting his hand in reassurance I just winked at him. We go a long way back so we are used to these tight spots that would kill a normal friendship. When you make a Friend like Ethan you understand that sometimes its not like the stories or movies and things happen for the greater good. Most wolves hate vampires so much it is kill on sight. Ethan being who he is takes a longer view of a harmonious way that leads to control of the now. Personally I think as a cub he got really fucked up by one and has been forever gun shy. He says its that the real enemy is man. What ever the reason, he is a brilliant diplomat.

Dinner was a ten course opulent affair. Full service wit a full spread. I have seen this type of dinner before. It lacked the ostentatious display I once saw of a dirt filled troth running the length of the table but it was close. The guest at that dinner had little golden trowels and were encouraged to dig for party favors. The robber baron who threw the party had an odd idea of party favors. Rubies, emeralds, Diamonds, just every precious gem know to man was in there. Another reason to hate man, they exploit the misery of their own with out a care till the string of their life gets really short. I am sure a few hindered donated libraries made up for the wide spread poverty, exploitation and death that made a life time of such excesses possible.

The chef out did himself with simple but very well crafted dishes. Small portions of grilled seafood risotto, flank steak, and its like drifted in and out of sight, hand moving plates keeping glasses full and there by the dinner chatter going.

Lyle was king today and I must admit it was fun watching him lord over his court. There were a few city councilmen, the chief of police, the deputy mayor. Some of the big in town investors and those were the highlights. Some were undying most were men, one or two looked really uncomfortable. I winked at my “buddy” the consul man who looked like he was about to fall apart any second. I wonder if Lyle and I have the same dirt on him or if Lyle found something better than a few dalliances with interns. Lyle enjoyed the social chess game that came with such dinners he was a master player. Multiple opponents all vanquished
I had Ethan on one side and a devotee of Hecate on the other. She was a riot. I have to admit I love witches, they are women who decided long ago to give the finger to what ever society they belonged to and live their own way. This one was regaling Ethan and with baud tales from her love life. Who knew that the great conquer from Macedonia was a crier and just wanted mommy to hold him.

Lyle king that he was held no where near the sway Of Marieann, who glided gently from conversation to conversation, smoothing feathers, laughing at the right times and making everyone feel welcome. A wonderful hostess, I could almost forget where I was. Almost, One of the local undying big wigs who I burned when one of his money making ventures collapsed in an investigation asked the big question.

“Tell us, how did you take down that serial killer and save that boy”

Goblins can be really annoying, he did not even try to hide the oily sneer in his voice. What a prick. The “serial killer” was a fey warrior who was exiled from the courts for some crime only they could fathom. This poor kid was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He ran into a hungry Fey warrior who had worn out the skin he took from his last victim. Ever see some one who just did not look quiet right and had an unreal feel to them. The courts dump their refuse on the man world partially to forget without guilt and partially as a big joking fuck you to man. They use the skins to strengthen the glamor and after a few months they wear out. So little Johnny goes out one day all sweet curls and smiles in the morning and comes back at night a completely different surly bastard. Most times it really is Johnny being a normal ass teenager, but once in a while it a fey. Truth be told I had been tracking him for a while, I just had to find his den. For some reason the warrior did not kill the kid right away and followed the kids scent to the den. After that it was no trouble at all, and very quick. Yosei Satsujin -han strikes again.

Mariann’s voice turned a bit stern and stopped the table chat dead.

“I hardly think this is the time of place for Lieutenant Shippo to indulge your ghoulish curiosity.”

Were things different I could have liked her an awful lot. She had power to her and I bet the man folk in the room could see it radiating off her like bright burning star. They miss an awful lot but I guess the merchant hit a nerve. She just got brighter and brighter and I started to think she was going to burn him right here. To the man folk in the room it would look like he just dropped dead into his soup. To the undying he would light up from the inside as the fey light ignited his essence. Only certain noble houses can command the fey light and they are all sticklers for manners and polite conduct. Its a ritual corner stone of their society, the goblin breeched the harmony of the table and was about to roast for it. How Lyle managed to reach that high and win her must have been an amazing play.

“Marianne I am sure that Mr. Heath meant no insult.”

Lyle’s inflection had the slight hint of a stand down order. Her eyes never went off Heath but the light faded slowly, and the hold on the table was broken and dinner resumed. If you dared look you could see that Lyle had whisps of smoke coming off of him. Looking over at Ethan I smiled and let him know he could let go of my hand. Like I said we have a friendship that can deal well with things that would kill a normal friendship.

Midnight stroll 3


Syracuse, United States

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