\ 2021-05-25 06:15 - Tuesday | unlimitedi.net
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The ride to the motel was eerily silent, punctuated mainly by the occassional grunt of pain when they hit a bump in the road. Eventually, light conversation made its way in after the initial shock after her jumping passed, directing them to the glove box for the envelope full of money. Naturally, Jasmin just kind of shrugged when they asked why she had a fairly large quantity of cash in her glove box.
Getting to a room proved to be more painful, the effect of the blood from before starting to wear off on her. The two women did eventually get her into a room, and on bed though, leaving the vampire finally able to relax, staring up at the cieling. "Thank you, both of you," she managed, with a glance over at the clock.
Jasmin pulled blankets over her damaged legs. No sense having the distraction, and she'd need to cover herself completely very soon. "I owe both of you my life, now. Thank you, again. I'm sorry I couldn't explain more, but...." she gestured to the window. "Sunlight. It is a slight issue, as both of you seem to understand."
Anne, feeling more like herself, chuckled at Jasmin’s words and looked at the clock too. It was almost dawn. Frowning, she got up quickly and closed the curtains of the only window in the room; but, not happy with the results, she proceeded to take a blanket from the closet and secure it against the window as well. “This will do,” she said finally.
Cadee watched Anne work silently for a few seconds and then turned her attention on the vampiress. Now it was the time to ask questions, even more so if Jasmin’s ‘gratitude’ may have softened her a little. All cards were in the open, they knew she was a vampire, and she knew they knew. It was time to talk openly.
"You said Romano did this to you,” she asked the other. “That’s why you were in the open almost at dawn? Did he lock you out or something like that?”
"Something like that, yes," she replied evenly, folding her hands over one another. The legs still hurt, and probably would for a while. But at least now they could rest. "He was waiting for me when I got home with his thugs – two of them are still on my living room floor. Romano did... something. Not sure what, but couldn't break the glass doors."
Jasmin chuckled to herself, and shook her head. "And you know, the worst part of it all really is the insult. Like I'm not dangerous enough to properly stake or set on fire."
Cadee smiled, understanding her outrage. “You’re in entertainment; you surely understand the need for a grand finale. He probably thought your despair as the time went by was worth it.” She shrugged, “men usually underestimate women, more so that lecherous one. You may not be dangerous, but you sure are resourceful enough.”
"Hey!" Jasmin snapped back at her, glaring. That was... how could she? Ok, she'd never seen her fight, but still. To hear herself called that by this young woman, whether or not she was a hunter grated her. "I am plenty dangerous. You don't get to be my age without it."
Cadee’s eyes twinkled in mischief at the vampiress’ outrage. “Maybe when you’re recovered we could do a little sparring? Show me how good you are? I’d like the sport.” Her eyes moved to Jasmin’s covered legs, which showed not too straight, even below the blanket, and she sobered up. “Maybe we should straighten your leg up before it heals like that, don’t you think? Or do you have some kind of vampire physician that can do it?”
Jasmin nodded a bit at that, relaxing back a bit more. She studied Cadee in a new light now, appraising her with a thing smile coming to her lips. "Ah, yes. You must be Anne's hunter friend. I suspected she would bring you." And it wasn't obvious, either. It meant the woman was either lucky or dangerous herself. "There aren't exactly doctors among us. Most would find my laid up in bed like this hilarious. Have a good laugh at the jumper."
“Guilty as charged,” Cadee nodded. “I’d intended to pay you a visit, in a few days, but alas, things got a little hurried.” She looked at Anne who was glaring at her. “Sorry, Anne, but if my best friend is working for a vampire, the least I can do is meet her.” Then she turned to Jasmin again. “I’m not the typical hunter, I don’t kill just for killing… never been my way. But I protect my own.”
Jasmin watched the two like ping-pong balls going back and forth, giving out a small chuckle of hers. Of course she had planned it; and she fully expected that any such meeting would have probably included warnings. "Well, then, we're suprisingly more alike than you realize," she spoke lightly, trying her best to put on a bit of roguish charm.
"Killing just seems so pointless." And fun, she didn't say. It could be fun, but there were times to avoid it. Besides, going for the pain was so much better. "I've got a nice life, well, unlife I suppose. It's got power, money, and a nice little niche for myself. Add to that immortality, and it's a nice little gig. Not something you throw away."
“I guess we understand each other, then. Although, to be honest, it’s the first time I talk with a vampire with your… unique approach to life.” Cadee nodded again, thoughtful; she remembered her mother’s stories about Californian slayer Buffy Summers and her vampire lover, Angel. He had been souled, if she wasn’t mistaken, and lost his mind eventually, years after his slayer’s death. However, she didn’t believe it was the case with Jasmin, and maybe there were more vampires like her and she just hadn’t meet them… she was young; she didn’t pretend to know everything.
They understood each other all right, there wasn’t need of more talking on the matter. And she didn’t think Jasmin would tell her more about Romano, but she had to try; besides, her interest in the sorcerer had grown since Logan had told her he worked for him.
“What did you do to enrage Romano like this? You sure he won’t follow you here?”
Now she continued to appraise Cadee carefully. She had to tread especially carefully now; that she wasn't dead already meant that this might be why, though she did doubt that the other woman would do anything with Anne around. At least, not right now. Unfortunately, with Balthazar, she had a great deal in the way of conjecture and very little in the way of evidence for any of her conjectures.
"I have a reputation among the local community," she spoke evenly, simply. Start with the true and easily verifiable. "My library isn't nearly as good as any of the more specialized ones, but being a generalist means being able to point people in the right direction. Romano... I recently tried to lead him astray in some of his research. This was him stealing an item from me that I was attempting to keep out of his posession."
She paused again in her consideration. Yes, that would do. Cadee had no need to know what the exact item was, and unless there was no other alternative, she wasn't about to tell her, either. But Jasmin knew the next question that was to come; and she knew that the answer was terrifying. "I confess that I don't know his exact intentions. But, I believe that Romano is attempting to achieve immortality. His questions of late have involved artifacts relating to restoration of life, and once, regarding to mystical theft of bodies."
Anne’s gasp was clearly audible in the silence that followed, even if she felt cast out of the conversation, she didn’t miss the gravity of the situation. After Jasmin’s warning about Romano, she had questioned Cadee about him, and worried about her friend’s answers. An evil sorcerer, unscrupulous enough to take whatever measures to attain his goals; owner of a multimillion worth company that covered for a myriad of shady business, natural and supernatural… who could achieve immortality? Not good news at all.
Cadee looked at her and read her expression easily enough; besides, she was sure it mirrored her own. “I didn’t think Romano’s area of expertise was necromancy,” she said slowly, and then a thought hit her. “Those… things in the club, they weren’t alive… I’ve found two more of them since then, and I’ve overheard the cops of the SCU talking about their growing in numbers, all over the city, they are worried sick about the matter… You mentioned body theft, could they be Romano’s doing?”
Jasmin perked up at the question. The things that had attacked Graveyard fell to the wayside in her research in favor of the Eye. But if the Special Crimes Unit was talking about them, and there were more? That wasn't exactly the best news. She whistled lowly at that. "If they were, why were they there? But, it's possible. I know less about what those things are and more what they're not."
She raised her hand, counting off fingers, wincing a bit at her rib cage as she moved. "Feels like three broken ribs. Anyway, they aren't vampires. They weren't room temperature. They also aren't zombies of either stripe I've heard of. Too intelligent for one, and even zombies tend to stop moving faster than them."
“No, not zombies. I dealt with two of them that night, in your back alley; maybe you have me on film,” she winked at Jasmin at that. “The ones I found in my rounds, I couldn’t kill them either, and one of them was an old woman, she still had her bathrobe on. They were attacking a homeless guy, at least I could help him.” Cadee sighed, frustrated at the memories of that night. Those things hadn’t even tried to fight her when they noticed she wasn’t easy prey, finally managing to escape after she had hidden when a police patrol passed by.
“However, they surely are too fast and awake for zombies… they talk too. But you’re right, why would Romano attack a place he was in; too much risk.”
She looked at Jasmin in the eye, a little doubtful about what she was going to propose; but she knew her limits, and if what the vampire had said was true, she could be a good source of information. “What if I can get one of them here, so we can interrogate it… maybe we can learn something that way? Seems you know Romano better than me."
Jasmin listened to the new information, testing the movement she had in her arms without eliciting extreme pain. "That's... odd. Extremely odd, actually. Someone could be experimenting, but I don't think Romano would be careless enough to allow his experiments to escape. It's not like the man. He's far too careful."
She drummed her fingers a bit. "If we could get one to question, it might provide answers. I could even tell you if it's human, with a drink of its blood. There's differences in flavors and textures, you see."
“I’m sure you can.” Cadee smiled broadly, wondering what she would notice if she drank her blood, she guessed it’d be like a cocktail of different beings. “So it’s settled, I’m a little busy tomorrow and the night after, but I’ll get you one of those things by Saturday night tops. Now, about your legs? Want me to try my best?”
Jasmin nodded slightly at that. "Knock yourself out. I'm going to need a wheelchair. Be a regular terror on wheels by the time this is all through. Can make the best of it, though. Just get a nice blanket and drape it over. Be like FDR. Shame I could only vote for Truman and Ike." That's right, hide your worry about her behind bravado. Just like your femme fatale roles.
Cadee nodded, serious, not buying the bravado but respecting the vampire for it. “Just get something to bit on, then. We’re in for a ride.”

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