CLAW HQ: Foyer - Sears Tower - Jackson Street
An elegant, understated lobby, this is the headquarters for the Committee for Lycanthrope Acceptance and Welfare, otherwise known as C.L.A.W.. The receptionists are seated behind a desk, and there are a few seats placed neatly around small tables with the usual magazines laid out. The floor is made from that mock marble, and there are some choice pieces of art on the walls. Closer inspection of these reveals them to be done by artists known to be preternatural of one kind or another, and they are displayed nicely against the subtle tones of the walls here. There are several doors leading off this room, and an air of discretion to the place.
Midday and there is a receptionist in place. Some boxes are still unopened, the office still being set up. Mostly though, pictures are on the walls and equipment is in place. Robert himself is standing next to the receptionist, speaking softly. He straightens, with a pile of mail in his hands, his attention moving to the papers.
Making is way through the main doors of the lobby? Santiago stops a moment, eyebrows raising as he makes his way into the 'eloquent' Lobby. He tilts his nose to the air to take an almost.. audible sniff of the air, before he approaches the receptionist on Duty. "Afternoon." The man offers in a thick accent - obviously Spanish, to those educated or experienced in such things. "I'm looking for Robert.. Moye?" The name is said with uncertainty, as if he's pretty sure that he's mispronounced the last name. "I'm probably expected. Santiago Roman." He grins at that last part - an expression that's a cross between bared teeth, and humor.
Robert turns as the receptionist greets Santiago, his gaze neutral, a practical weight to it that is wolflike. "Moye, yes." He speaks before the woman can direct him over, and he steps forward, his power flexing, warm and strong as he offers his hand to the other. "I am Robert. I am expecting you." He studies the other man thoughtfully, his eyes narrowing slightly. "Come into my office." Privacy is better.
As Robert introduces himself, as he turns to approach? Santiago offers the man a slow.. once over. It's not an insulting look, mind - but a trained one. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Moye." The man offers, as that offered hand is taken. His own energy, his power is strong, yet held back. Though, at the presence of Robert's own, there's an obvious.. rumble, a roll of his beast beneath the skin. "I meant to get here a bit sooner then I had. Car troubles, unfortunately." Santiago offers, nodding. "Of course. After you."
Robert nods slowly, his approach having been direct, and his hand shake isn't a competition, his hand warm and calloused, firm but not a pissing contest. The assessment is returned, his own wolf briefly showing in the response, a brush of metaphysical fur before the man nods, turning towards the office and leading the way. He chooses to settle at the couches to the side instead of his desk, indicating the other with a nod, "Your car got here in the end?" The question is direct, the man's manner barely wasting words.
"It did, barely. I felt I was making it here on a.. hope and a prayer." Santiago returns, with a dry chuckle. "But, I made it. Though, a part of me? Thought it might have been sabotage." The man continues, as he makes way towards the other sofa, sinking into it comfortably. "I hope my letter didn't paint.. too poor of a picture, Mr. Moye."
Robert nods slowly, lifting his eyebrows slightly at the suggestion of sabotage and he sets the papers in his hands aside, resting his elbows on his knees, studying the other man with a thoughtful, steady gaze. He is silent for a moment before he speaks. "I think I would like to know more of the problems." The words are perhaps a request but spoken more as a command, stated simply.
And with that command, Santiago leans forward, offering a nod. A somber movement. "I should begin, with saying that.. what I am today? Is a punishment. Retribution, for my actions in a.. previous life." Santiago begins, his expression slowly creasing into a bit of a frown. "Once upon a time, I was a.. Federally appointed bounty hunter. I was recruited from the Corp. I was a Marshal, with a reputation. I was not.. very nice in my tactics. Some of my bounties where legal, and some where.. not. I became what I am now, out of.. you could say, vengeance?" The man pauses then, perhaps to read the other's expression, his reaction.
Robert listens, his gaze serious, his expression almost impossible to read, neutral in the extreme. "I see." His tone also leans into the neutrality that he displays, his only shown emotion a heavy interest in the other's words. His body is still, a wolf watching prey steadily, and his power is controlled but there. "Someone infected you deliberately out of revenge." The words are a statement but a summary.
Santiago nods, at Robert's summery. "He figured that, for all the damage I had done to his people? My reputation where better as a tool on his ends, then the Governments." He notes, lips curling into a smirk. "He allowed me to keep hunting, but under.. his terms, and for his reasons. I did not.. question much. I was a monster, far longer then I've been a wolf, after all." And, with those last words? Comes a humored expression, and a toothy smile. "Dirty work, is dirty work - no matter who it' done for. However, when my Ulfric was.. defeated, I was no longer needed. I was given the options of exile, or death. Sadly, I'm rather attached to living."
Robert listens again, his silence not uncomfortable for the man, his steady gaze resting on Santiago's face, the beast behind that gaze at ease with the human. "I do not call our people monsters." He comments mildly, but without any indication of censor. His gaze observes, notes the humour, and he nods slowly, a slight movement. "So you are a weapon whose time passed and your new master did not believe he could wield you." A statement, not a question.
"Honestly, I believe he thought I had ambitions for his spot." Santiago smirks. "This, however, is not the case. I'm a soldier, Mr. Moye. Not a leader. Our people are not monsters, inherently. I was a monster, long before I was a wolf." He continues. "As I said." There's another dry chuckle, as Santiago wets his lips. "My Ulfric kept me busy, and busy was knee deep in the blood of others. He had.. many enemies. The new Ulfric forgot, perhaps, or refused to believe that there is.. always a need for monsters."
Robert's nod is slow, his face thoughtful, his gaze considering the other man, weighing him up. "Do you know, I gave nearly the same speech to Jake, the previous Ulfric, when I arrived. A bodyguard, not a leader." There is a touch of wry humor, a flash of a smile before he lapses back into the neutrality that is a more comfortable expression. "I wield the weapons in my Pack, Santiago. I choose who dies, and I control my people. Is that a problem for you?"
His words? Bring a wide smile. "He must have not kept his weapons, busy." Santiago notes, before leaning back in his chair once more - thoughtful about Robert's words. "My existence, has been taking orders, Mr. Moye. I have no aspirations to lead anyone. I sacrificed my empathy, many years ago, so I doubt anyone would survive under my attempts at leadership." The man chuckles. "The tighter your control, perhaps, the better. I make no illusions about what I am, or what I do. If you're willing to wield me, and show me my limits? I can prove myself quite useful, at what I do."
Robert gives him a steady look, considering this seriously, as he listens to Santiago's words. His hands are lightly clasped together but barely moving, his body giving no clues as to whether Santiago passes or fails this interview. His expression remains neutral. "I see. I do not act illegally here, nor dishonourably, and nor does my pack. Those are hard limits, and inflexible except by my command." The dark eyebrows draw together, the first sign of any emotion, and that one merely thought. "Santiago, I offer you a place in my pack, and in return I expect your loyalty and obedience. You will be my weapon to be used and you will not act without my order, is that clear?"
As the room remains silent for a moment? Santiago's expression, his body language goes rather blank as well. Neutral; his eyes portraying an almost.. blank sheen, a 'stone cold', gaze one might call it. A stare shared by the jaded, the battle hardened, and the truly psychotic. As to which the man falls under? Is unsure. Though, as Robert speaks? A smile curls at the edges of his lips - and he nods slowly. "I am a weapon, at your disposal, my Ulfric - should you need me. A part of me.. craves to see what peace is like." Santiago notes, before he wets his lips once more. "However, there's another part of me that.. fears it, terribly."
Robert's gaze takes into the reactions, studying him, noting each moves across the other's face, his own as neutral as ever. "My pack is peaceful now. Things will not remain so." He nods slowly, a flicker of a frown showing. "Now, practicalities. Do you have the means to support yourself, or do you need a home for the moment? Do you have skills that could earn you a living, Santiago?" He considers the other a moment before he adds, softly, "The strength of my pack is its wolves, and the strength of each wolf is the pack that supports him."
"I've always had a soft spot, for interrogation. Interrogation, and gardening. It's.. peaceful. I don't have a job at the moment, but I will.. look for one. Perhaps at a gun range, or.. something similar. I'd prefer if my skills didn't rust, during your time of peace." Santiago grins, the expression wide and toothy. Though, at Robert's words? The man's head tilts slightly; thoughtfully. "Like.. family. Interesting. I'll admit, Mr. Moye, that I lack the.. experience, with family." Santiago chuckles softly. "But, I'm willing to learn."
"My pack is similar to a family." The thought amuses him slightly, and his eyes crease at the corners, his mouth curving into a smile beneath the beard. "I would prefer that your skills be maintained. I do not like to wield a rusty weapon." He glances down, considering his hands for a moment before he speaks frankly, "A family is not all harmony, Santiago. There are those who fight, whose who love and those who mix both. However, all find their place." He considers the other man a moment before he nods slowly. "I think I will keep you with me, for the moment. You will stay at my house and we will discuss your job."
He stills once more, as Robert speaks - as if paying particular attention to the man's words now. Told where he'll live? Santiago nods slowly. "As you wish." He offers, before a more.. genuine smile tugs at the edges of the man's lips. "Thank you, Ulfric." He offers then, with a nod. "I'm also practiced in torture, Ulfric - if that is a skill needed, for those that do not know how to.. integrate." His words are serious. An actual offer.
"No." The Ulfric's response to that offer is clear. "I have not laid a hand on any of my wolves to make them listen to my words, and should it be necessary, I would have already lost as their leader. If I cannot rule them without torture, Santiago, I should not be ruling them at all." There is a seriousness in his gaze as he studies the other man. "And should such a thing be necessary for other reasons, I do not flinch from my own dirty work."
He nods then, as he purses his lips. "I respect that." Santiago offers. "There are some, who would turn squeemish, at the thought of doing their dirty work. It was.. my place before, at times, for my former Ulfric." He notes - though it brings up another idea. "Will I be punished, if I kill in a dominance challenge, that leads to it? For you, I would try not too. But my former ranks, where won by death. I was.. always made to prove harder, then any other, because of who, and what I was before."
"The only fight to the death for dominance in my pack is for my position. I would punish those who killed another pack member, unless in proven self defense." Robert is setting out boundaries clearly, his gaze levelled on the other man, his expression holding that neutrality from his wolf. "We fight to the submission or inability to fight onwards. We do not weaken the pack by removing its members." He tilts his head slightly, "Ask any other questions?"
Again, Santiago listens intently, as if cataloging all of this away, nodding. "Understood." Asked to bring up more questions? Santiago appears thoughtful another moment, head tilting. "If a rogue is found within your city, are they fair game to hunt? Would I be punished for killing someone who is.. unrecognized?" Again, the man's tone is serious - and his own expression neutral.
"If I declare them rogue and send you, you may. But we do not act to bring the law down upon us." Robert pauses, adding carefully, "One of our allies, the Rat King, is a federal marshal, and I respect his position and work to avoid putting him in the position of hunting one of mine. Does that clarify matters?"
At mention of another Federal Marshal? Santiago's brows furrow. "And if I have a warrant for me? Am I allowed to kill anyone, that tries to kill me first?" Another serious question. Obviously, he's serious about learning his boundaries. "Also, if I am challenged to a dominance fight, and do not kill. Will I be punished if I.. disable my opponent? At least temporarily? I have learned that fear, is also a valid modivator. If you are feared, then you have to fight less. The less you have to fight, the less likely it is, that there is death, and a law is broken." Santiago notes matter-of-factly, curiously. "I'd rather be feared, then disrespected." Again, the man's head tilts. "Though I suppose that would make me less.. family, right?"
Robert frowns at him for a moment, more an indication of thought than anger and he leans back in the seat, stretching his legs out in front of him. He rests his hands on his stomach, meshed. "Should I expect a warrant for you?" The question is blunt, delivered with a tilt of his head. "Define disable." Another question, and the neutrality of his expression returns, his gaze wolflike as his head tilt mimics the creature.
"I left the hospital, after my injury, and did not return. I am more then likely considered.. a person of interest. I know how to dispose of a corpse, without trace, Ulfric. They are unlikely looking for me. However, I do have blood on my hands. It might be a matter of time, it might not." Santiago replies, his tone still even. "And by disable, I mean nothing that they will not be able to heal, with the full moon. I've learned that we are durable, Ulfric. There is.. much that we can survive, and will never forget."
The Ulfric studies the other man, letting the silence fall after his words, and the utter emptiness of his gaze does reflect his words before, that he can do his own dirty work. "You must find your place in my pack, Santiago, and if that means fighting, then I approve that. But you will not cause harm to another that will last more than a week unless they fight further." The other matter takes a longer moment, before he speaks. "If there is a warrant with your name on it, I will find that out. Then we will manage it. You will not kill police or marshals without my permission."
"Understood." Santiago offers, with a grin. Slowly? That mask of humor rises once more. A practiced thing, it seems. "Then I don't have any other questions for now, Ulfric. My only request of you Ulfric? I have problems controlling my.. anger at times. My urge to draw blood, and hurt. I beg you to.. correct me. My last Ulfric, my.. 'master', kept me in line, that way." He notes, with a smile that just.. doesn't match his words.
Robert tilts his head slowly once more, before he speaks softly, "Firstly, my pack call me Robert. The world calls me Robert." The wry humour shows in his eyes as he speaks, his voice soft, despite the words he speaks. "Correct you in which manner, Santiago? If a look from me is not sufficient for you to control yourself, then you may be in the wrong pack."
"As you see fit.. Robert." Santiago tries the man's name for himself. "Please, don't take my words as a lack of control. More.. a… a warning? As I said when we started, I am a monster. I do not pretend to be human, Robert. I doubt I ever was. I have learned, over time, that I require a sense of place - and leadership. My faults begin to shine, when I see a distinct lack of structure. When someone does not respond to my challenges in their dominance? They are.. no longer worth my time, they are beneath me." Though, with those words? He holds up a hand - his expression going neutral once more, as he speaks, that mask of 'humanity' dropped once more. "However, I did not consider my last relationship with my pack as 'family'. I'm willing to learn." Once more, a genuine smile comes.
Robert nods slowly, the neutrality firmly in place. "I have a structure in my pack. I have a Geri, a Skoll, a Hati. I have a Vargamour, and you will treat all of these with respect, until you reach a position to challenge, should you choose to do so." His slow nod is considered before he leans forward again, his elbows resting on his knees. "Family is what my pack is, and I care for every single one of them. I have given them my protection, as I have give it to you. I believe the thing you can learn first from us is how to be with others in that position." He pauses, adding more softly. "I have other house guests. To them, my home is a place of safety, and your arrival is not to change that. Understood?"
He listens in silence, and it's a long moment before he nods. "Understood." There's something deeper, implied within that simple answer. An acceptance. ".. And how do you with to be greeted? I'm told there are several ways, to greet those above you in rank. I was made to lick my former Ulfric's bottom lip. I did not.. like that." He notes.
Robert gives Santiago a slow nod at the acceptance, acknowledging it. "I do not require that my wolves grovel to me. My ego is not that insecure. I rarely require a formal greeting except at the Lupanar, or should you be meeting with me formally as Ulfric." He pauses, adding softly, "An offering of your neck, a brush of cheeks. Either suffices for me. My officers may feel otherwise, and that is their right."
Santiago nods slowly, as he grins once more. "And should they require such a thing, they will have earned it." The man notes matter-of-factly. "Please, don't think that I'm not greatful for being allowed to live here, in your city. I'm not.. quite sure how to show how.. happy? I am, to have a place, once more. And I'll do everything I can, to follow your law - and to make sure that law is followed. That much, you can be sure. I am a weapon, Robert. A honed, tuned, and government sharpened killer. I am, however, now yours to wield." And with that? Santiago stands, making his way in front of Robert's couch. He moves onto his knees then, offering the other man his throat.
"Following my rules is enough. I require only loyalty and obedience. The rest comes with time, Santiago." Robert bends his head to brush his lips lightly over the other's throat, the lack of teeth offering trust in this moment, with the rules agreed between them. Robert gives him a steady look, before he nods slowly. "Welcome to my pack, to my family, Santiago." A formality is in his words and his power flexes, letting Santiago know how controlled his is.
An as his neck is brushed? Santiago's eyes lid slightly. "Thank you." He notes again, before standing. "Should I.. head to your place now? Or would I have time to explore the city a little, before hand? I'm.. Starving, and wish to eat, before I become.. cranky." Santiago grins, a toothy expression. "If.. that's alright, Ulfric?"
Robert straightens, rising to his feet and heading across to his desk, reaching for his suit jacket. Clearly, it has been abandoned the entire day, but he draws his wallet from it, taking out a card to offer to the other man. "These are my numbers and my address. I will contact a pack member to escort you for the day, I believe." He draws out a cell phone, dialling it rapidly.
PHONE> You dial Cherish's phone.
PHONE> There's a click on the other end, as Cherish picks up her phone.
PHONE> You may now +talk to the other end and +hangup when done. Type '+phone/help' for more options.
From your phone, Cherish says, "Hello?"
Into his phone, Robert says, "Cherish, this is Robert."
From your phone, Cherish pauses, "Something wrong, Robert?"
Into his phone, Robert says, "I have a task for you if you are free. I have a new wolf, who needs feeding. Could you take him out to dinner? It is on my tab."
From your phone, Cherish is heard shuffling through papers, the phone probably tucked between ear and shoulder. "Uh, sure. Who am I to turn down a free meal? Where do you want me to take him?"
Into his phone, Robert says, "Come to the offices, and you can take him anywhere. I'll give you my card. I will see you in a moment."
From your phone, Cherish says, ""Alright, I'll be there in a few."
PHONE> Cherish hangs up her phone.
"She will be here shortly." He puts the cell phone back into his pocket, withdrawing a credit card from his wallet and pressing a button on the desk's phone. "I am expecting Cherish. Send her in when she arrives." The two men are in his office, the door closed.
"Thank you, Robert." Santiago grins, with a wide grin. Slowly, he makes his way back to his feet. A moment before? He was kneeling before the other man. He settles back onto the couch, to wait. "Is Cherish one of your officers?" He questions curiously, watching Robert with that neutral expression. It's not aggressive, just.. blank. Obviously, there's no need at the moment, for any emotion it seems.
She arrives in a timely manner, running her fingers through her hair as she makes her way to the office. Her usual dress, but it appears for those that have seen the brunette recently, there is one difference, the artistic body modification of scars is gone. Keys clipped to a belt loop, she passes the secretary with a nod. Checking her wallet which is tucked into her back pocket, she steps through the door and into the office proper.
"She is not but she is a member of my pack that I hold particularly dear to me." He leans against his desk, resting his hands against the wood, considering the other man thoughtfully. "She will take you for a meal, and you will treat her with respect." Spoken as she arrives and Robert rises, straightening to bend his head and offer her a brush of his cheek, giving her a smile, and his credit card. "This is Santiago. He is new in town. He will be living at mine."
"As you wish." Santiago notes, with a bob of his head, and a crooked smile. As the door opens? He stands too, offering the woman a slow, once over evaluation. "A pleasure to meet you." The man offers, in an even tone - as his energy rises a moment, curious perhaps, about the new arrival. It's a momentary brush, before it's drawn back once more. He's quiet however, as Robert gives her 'orders'. And as he waits? His stance is.. somewhat military. A trained 'resting' position.
The brush of his cheek to hers, is accompanied by a kiss on the Ulfric's cheek. Taking the credit card, she tucks it into her pocket behind her wallet. A tilt of her head, a small narrowing of her eyes and she purses her lips. Intelligent eyes give the other man a once over that scans him in totality, head to toe. A nod follows, "Hello." Her energy is warm, almost hot and she makes no attempt to return the brush of his energy, at least not right now. "Anyplace you favor?" This to Santiago.
Robert observes the interaction, his eyes narrowing slightly as he does so. "You kids have a good time." A brief flash of the Ulfric's humor, dry and barely shown as his eyes crease at the corners, and he turns back to the pile of mail that Santiago's arrival paused. "Make sure he is home safely, Cherish, and don't chew on this toy." That is spoken with affection, a light teasing from the taciturn man as his attention moves from pack, to CLAW business.
"A nice cut of meat, would be heavenly." Santiago offers, his words holding a near purr. "That is, if it's alright?" The question is turned towards Robert - before he approaches Cherish with smooth, thoughtful steps. He makes no attempt, it seems, to hide his predatory nature. "And perhaps you can tell me a little more about.. the pack? I hear I've quite a bit of climbing to do." At Robert's 'dry' humor? Santiago offers Cherish a wicked little smile. "Only if she doesn't mind her toys chewing back."
She purses her lips, making a frown that only shows in her lips and not her eyes. "I didn't chew on the last one. My teeth never touched him." She says with a following flash of a rather wolfish smile. "You never let me have any fun." As the man approaches her, she straightens, as if trying to gain a few inches and lifts her chin in a rather defiant posture. His words make her peer around his form, to the Ulfric, a single brow cocked before she straightens and looks back to her dinner companion. "If he bites he first, I'm going to call it self defense." She says, obviously this meant for Robert, motioning Santiago towards the door with a sweep of her hand, then again maybe she just wants a backside view.
Robert's chuckle for both is amused and he returns Cherish's look steadily. "If he bites first, you may bite back." He rumbles softly, moving to take a seat behind the desk, a snort of disgust matching his expression as he tosses one letter into the bin. "Make sure you at least bring him home." He mumbles, his attention mostly gone from them as they leave.
And as he's ushered out the door? Santiago watches Cherish, until he moves past, his smile still wicked. "Thanks again, Robert." He offers, with a wave of his hand. "Perhaps if I can move my things from my trash heap, to your vehicle? I don't have much." Just a few tools, really!