A Good Night for a Traveler


Maltese Brownstone: Front Yard - Ashland Avenue: Bucktown

Modest in size, the yard is surrounded on three sides by a high, wrought iron fence and the brownstone on the fourth. Tall shrubbery run the length of the fence providing privacy. Four wide, marble steps lead up to the front door of the house, providing lounging space for the residents.

To the left and right, well-tended lawns, albeit modest in size, are lined by lamp-posts. To the left, a covered swing bench stands beneath the spreading branches of an oak tree, a marble fountain pouring clean water into a small, stone-lined pond. To the right, a picnic table has arranged on the lawn, a large, gas grill tucked neatly against the wall of the brownstone.

A chilly wind blows from the north, driving dark clouds before it and blotting out the stars in patches overhead. The air is clear and elsewhere they glitter brightly in the dark sapphire sky.



Rodrigo is knocking on the brownstown door, waiting for someone to open it.

The door doesn't open immediately - well, it takes a few minutes anyhow, and when it does crack open, a stocky, broad-shouldered young Asian woman looks through, holding a metal spatula. "…I wasn't aware there were visitors expected at this time," she says, looking at the group without with no small curiousity. "Might I ask who you're looking for, please?" Her accent is foreign - slightly singsong, syllables stressed in odd spots, especially on some of the first ones. Her gaze travels over one, then another, and another - measured, thoughtful, unhurried.

Rodrigo is standing in front of the door with Savina, Elle slightly behind him and to the left and the others arrayed as they are arrayed. He smiles politely, his hands laced in front of him. "Good evening," he offers politely, with no hint of an accent. "I would like to speak with Eric. I realize he may not live here, but people that live here likely know where he does. I wouldn't ask you to give out his location," a smile, "But I would ask you to contact him and ask him to meet with me here. Is that something you could do for me, miss?" As he speaks, he unmasks, letting his power free - not in an assaulting way, but to allow the young woman - if she can sense these things - to understand who he is.

"Eric is not here at the moment, sir." There is a brief, brief moment of tension in Pierce's shoulders. "And I don't know where he is right now. I haven't seen him since yesterday, unfortunately." She inclines her head slowly, then looks over the rest of the group. "I take it everyone here is desirous of speaking with him. I understand, you would like me to contact him for you, but might I tell him who, and what for?" She remains at the door, though her eyes settle on Tobias for a moment, then glide away. "No offense sir. But he might ask, and I would like to be a proper messenger, it's only polite, yes?"

Tobias stands next to Rodrigo and Savina, who are chatting with Pierce. Pierce look over towards Tobias as she talks, and Tobias returns the look with a glance of his own, looking straight back at her, but otherwise watching in silence. He stands with both hands leaning down by his sides, though his right hand looks like it is leaning on a cane.

Rodrigo smiles, his head inclined a fraction. "Fair enough," he offers in his polite, smooth tone. "Tell him," he pauses, concentrating on the young woman for a moment. "Tell him that representatives from the Court of Chicago wish to speak with him. Senior representatives. I wish to speak with him immediately. In fact, if he could come here, that would offer the best solution to our mutual quandry regarding our recent relations. We take our relationship with your family very seriously and I and my friend," a nod to Savina, "Would like to meet with him." A pause and he smiles, "I went to his home, but unfortunately he appears to have moved suddenly. Surely a leasing change to find a better home. But I would prefer to keep this amicable and friendly, as fellow senior leaders should be when discussing mutual interests." He says, his eyes on the young woman at the door. "I've never had the pleasure of meeting him, and I would like to. Could you call him for me? Surely you can contact him. Or someone here can."

There's more movement within the house, Jack stepping up to the doorframe with another face peeking out from behind him. All his visible weapons are holstered, and as far as can be seen his hands are empty. The impression he's dressed to give is rather ruined by the pair of arms around his waist wearing loose-knitted wooly sleeves that are far too long for them. "I'm afraid Eric's promised that he won't come here until the current situation is resolved," the English rodent says quietly. "I don't know where he's gone, either. Sorry."

Olena looks terrified as she peeks out from behind Jack, and she clings to him for dear life. Almost as if she were afraid she would fall dead if she let go of him. The near-vacant eyed woman speaks up now, "Senior representatives…" She frowns, "Senior leaders.." She frowns deeper, "Unless Senior Representatives are Master of City, Senior Representatives have no right to make demands upon Rat King." She blinks and looks toward the others and then back to Rodrigo though not in his eyes. Olena says, "Is way world works. Is way has always works. Otherwise world is chaos. Senior Representatives of Chaos?"

Elle remains quiet and lets Rodrigo do the talking. There is the faintest of smiles though to those that continue coming out of the brownstone.

Savina stands in front of Samuel, too, in this assembly. She's shorter and smaller than the others, although in heels, she's about equal to Tobias in height. There's a peaceful, polite smile on her warm-toned face. "Current situation is resolved?" she echoes at Jack's words. "I'm sorry to hear he's having difficulties." She does look at whatever holstered items are visible on Jack without any change in her demeanor. Olena gets nothing. Instead, Savina slowly looks at Rodrigo, the other senior representative, by turning her neck. It's brief.

Tobias turns his gaze slowly from Pierce to Olena. "I believe the terms used were 'wish to speak with him'" he says quietly, and coolly. With that he looks over at Jack for a moment, then to Rian, nodding his head at each. He falls silent again, half turning to watch each person as they speak. "There have been no demands made yet, and I would like to second Savina's sympathy to Eric's problems."

Lillith stands just behind the others and slightly to the side. She doesn't speak, or really move while the others talk, looking over the various strangers with lengthy glances as each one speaks.

Samuel stands behind Savina, a little to the right so he can see over her shoulder. He's calm, but uncharacteristically his power is fully visible. His senses reach out to taste the emotions of the assembled and when Jack appears he gives the man a polite nod of greeting.

Rodrigo nods, smiling slightly. "Very well." he says as he glances at the new arrival. "That is most unfortunate that he is having difficulties that keep him from being here. I would hope that he would represent your interests in this matter. I do not demand, young lady, I would not be so bold as to do so. However, I am requesting. And I request, under the treaties, obligations and centuries of mutual understanding that bind our relationship, that you step inside, contact him and inform him of our request. And if you would be so kind, return to me his reply. Simply inform him that the senior leadership of the Court wishes to speak with him tonight, now. He can refuse or agree, all I ask is that you pass along my request." he adds in his calm voice. "You have my word that you and those here are in no danger from us. And I am sympathetic to your situation, with us at your doorstep. Please step inside and call him. Pass along our request to meet, to meet now. And please tell me his answer." He has gone still, in that way that only multi-century vampires can - but not threatening. Although his masking is down, so the shifters can sense his power - although he's not so crass as to push it outwards or the like.

There's yet more sounds before a pale figure touches Jack to nudge him gently aside and let Ri onto her porch. Pale yes look over those assembled, lips pursing and eyebrows arching as she sees Samuel. Well. Tobias she knows. Letting out a soft breath, she moves a bit closer, but still not off her porch. Quite a crowd out here tonight. And there's not even music and dancing. "While Eric is not here, may I be of assistance?" She looks to Pierce and inclines her head slightly before turning her gaze back to the assembled vampires.

Olena continues to cling at Jack, her eyes narrowing just a little at Rodrigo, turning and concentrating on his shirt. Her voice is low as she says, "This our home. Would Senior Representatives of Chaos respect this from us?" She clings tighter to Jack and she says, "Olena does nothing wrong. Olena feel /threatened/ by Senior Representatives of City. Olena believes Senior Representatives are here to kill Rats." She quiets when Rian starts speaking burrowing closer to Jack.

Pierce is perfectly courteous and polite in her own answer. "It's always a pleasure to know someone else has amicable relations in mind, sir. Jack's right. If you've already tried his house and he's not there, then, well. I don't know Chicago. But, since you give your word - and this isn't my house, you understand." She realizes she is -still- holding the spatula, then shifts the spatula-holding hand to the side of the door. And then the lady of the house steps forward, and she moves out of the way to let her through, though she remains at her side like a stocky, slightly taller bulwark. "Rian, this gentleman - and the others - would like to contact Eric and set up a meeting with him."

Jack returns the nods he's given; with Rodrigo's promise, he relaxes just a little. He pats Olena's arm, but stays where he is in the doorway, watchful and now quiet.

Savina smiles warmly, politely. "I'm sorry," she says agreeably. "I know how this seems, but we mean you know harm." Her voice drifts to a stop as the rats converse. Her white leather gloved hands are folded demurely in front of her.

Rodrigo smiles at Olena, "You are in no danger from me, young lady. And I am sorry if you feel as though you are in danger. We are not here to kill any rats, of any species." His gaze turns to Rian as she speaks and he turns to face her. A moment's pause before he replies, as if remembering something. "Rian, correct? You used to lead the rats. We, myself, her," he nods to Savina, "Need to speak with Eric. He has moved. I came here, since this the home of many of you, to request that someone contact him and pass along that request. I find it very difficult to believe that no one in this house has any method to reach him in case of an emergency. How can he lead you if you cannot contact him?" he asks politely. "All I am asking for is that one of you contact him now. And to pass along my request." he informs Rian in his soft, polite voice.

Rodrigo adds, a moment or two later, "The relationship between our peoples, Rian, is at a crossroads. You know what this means."

Tobias's eyes follow Olena as she moves closer to Jack, and he watches her in silence. His own power is kept close around him. His lips curl up a little in a small smile, and then he looks up at Rian. The smile fades again, going back to his neutral expression, and he watches patiently, waiting for a response.

Samuel continues to track emotions. When Rian appears and gives him an eyebrow arch he smiles. Hopefully it'll reassure. He takes a breath and adds to what Savina and Rodrigo have said, "Truthfully, we wish to resolve this quickly and to avoid further deterioration of things."

"Agreement cannot be made between two people or two factions without the two speaking. That is why we are here. Surely you cannot object to that end," Lillith says, adding in her reassurance in her Russian tinged voice, though she still doesn't move, her expression doesn't change.

Rian lifts a hand to lightly touch Pierce's arm, tipping her head to the passed on information. Her eyes continue to touch on each the vampires, a definite wariness in her gaze, though she smiles as Rodrigo remembers her. There's a faint nod of her head at the acknowledgement before she hmms softly. "That is reassuring, though I have to admit that your numbers indicate something more than just a request for a meeting." Her hands slide down to rest lightly on her hips as she considers. "I have heard a little, though admittedly only rumors, of what has happened, so I hope you can understand why I am a bit leery of producing him to so many of you." She shifts her stance slightly, eyes sliding to Samuel for a moment. After a silent moment, she tips her head towards Pierce to murmur for her ears only before turning back towards the group. "So I'm assuming this is something personal to Eric?"

Rian whispers "I don't know definitely enough of what happened to be able to do much with them. If you can, send someone to get him on the phone, but let me be the relay point."

"If he would feel better, possibly Samuel and I could speak with him if he would rather and convey the wishes of the Senior representatives. I doubt I am a big threat here. But, he was at the Court, we know who he protected and who is angry at and who he dragged out of there. And why he may not be willing to see us." Elle glances between all of them, but presently to Rian who seems to be the voice here. Elle is rather to the point.

Pierce glances behind her, sensing Olena's little burrow. With a faintly crooked smile, she hands her metal spatula over to her, in case she wants to take it and hang onto it for something concrete. Then she turns back to Rodrigo, but leans down slightly to hear what Rian has to say. She nods just once, returning something equally as quiet to her, then moves to slip back into the house, before pausing and looking over her shoulder. "I can try to call him. But, understand, I can only try so far. If he doesn't pick up, or doesn't answer, or his phone's dead, then it is out of my hands." With that, she moves past Jack, her hand brushing briefly over his arm.

You whisper "Let me call him. I'll bring the phone out if he answers, all right?" to Rian.

Olena does take the spatula, but she doesn't break the contact she has with Jack. Just one hand reaches out, takes the spatula, and then both her arms are slipped inside of the coveralls again, clinging to Jack, as she watches silently. The Big People Are Talking.

Rodrigo nods slightly as Rian speaks, and nods again as Pierce answers and steps back into the house. "Thank you," he says simply. He pauses, going still a moment before he tilts his head slightly. "Rian, we must speak with him. It is my hope he answers that phone call. You know how complex these negotiations are. But the fact remains that he broke into an established owned by one of us - a master no less, a senior master - and assaulted their staff. Barged into a private meeting and left with someone he should've have. In front of us, and in front of others so much more powerful than all of us here combined that I can understand his reluctance to come out and speak. But he must speak, for your people, and for his actions. So we can settle this."

There's a click on the other end, as Eric picks up his cellphone.
From your phone, Eric's voice is extremely irritated, "What."

Into her phone, Pierce's voice is calm, but there is a thread of sharp tension running through it. "Eric. There's an entire gaggle of people on the front door of Rian's house wanting a meeting with you. They say they're senior representatives of the Council of Chicago and they want to speak to you.

Into her phone, Pierce adds, "Tobias is there too."

From your phone, Eric is quiet, for a moment. "Throw the phone to whoever's in charge."

Into her phone, Pierce quietly, draws a deep breath. "I'm going to hand you to Rian, she wants to be point of relay. All right? Jack is here, and we're doing whatever we can. I don't know what it's about, but they gave their word they wouldn't do anything. They just want to meet with you. Ok? Hang on then."

From your phone, Eric says, "Do -not- go out to meet them."
From your phone, Eric says, "Throw the phone."
From your phone, Eric says, "It's Tobias. If they're with him, they'll betray you. He pulled silver on me after guaranteeing my safety."

Tobias's eyes blank for a moment, though they are hard to see through his glasses, the sense that he is not all there is distinct about him. He seems to have missed Pierce's call, and then he blinks a few times, before looking around at everyone again.

Quietly into your phone, Pierce's voice is wry. "Too late for that, Eric, they're all on the front door step. I'll pass you on. Hold up a second, ok?"

Lillith has been still throughout this whole conversation, though for a moment even her eyes stop moving from person to person. Then she blinks slowly once, her head tilting slightly, glancing towards Tobias briefly before returning her gaze to Rian.

Jack shifts a little to one side so that Pierce can get past, then goes back to filling the doorframe. He doesn't usually look quite this wide, but he doesn't usually stay in doorframes for any length of time - and he usually dresses to downplay the breadth of his shoulders. "Er - yeah. Treaties," he offers eventually. "If there are some, can we get copies?"

From your phone, Eric says, "Okay, Pierce. Stay calm. You're going to be all right."

The spatula drops to the ground making a bit of a clatter, and Olena buries her face into Jack's back, clutching at him all the harder, around his waist.

Savina goes very still at the same moment as Tobias, and just as it passes for the others in her group, it passes for her as well. She raises a white gloved hand to pass through a rogue curl and push it over her shoulder again. She, too, blinks, but this is at Jack. Her berry tinted lips quirk into a whisper of amusement. Savina continues to stand beside Rodrigo while he does much of the conversing, and while she's quiet and still, it's not the empty vampire sort.

Rian nods her head to Pierce then looks back. "I do. I also know that where they should be done with a clear head and no emotions, they usually aren't. And the judging usually isn't fair." She cocks her head as Jack speaks, smiling softly. "With how often powers shift in this city, it'd probably be wise to start putting it in writing." Her ears prick as she hears Pierce's call, kind of wishing she can add to it, but that would require shouting and thus negate the point. Eyes flick over the other vampires and narrow faintly, a suspicion of something, but not sure…

And then Pierce is in the doorway again, holding a cellphone as she rests her hand on Olena's shoulder for a moment - comfort, perhaps - before she comes out again, back straight, composed. "Rian." She then hands the phone over to the other rat, then falls back into her former position beside her. She's nowhere near as broad as Jack, but she's stocky. Sturdy, at least, making Rian look positively ethereal.

Elle is once more silent again and she hasn't moved from Rodrigo's left and slightly behind him. The movement of the girl hugging up against Jack makes her wonder a bit at what is really causing all this distress.

Rodrigo tilts his head slightly. "Indeed. And I have never met this man, this Eric, so he can be assured that whatever relations he may have had with others, or they with him, I come with only my experiences," he replies. His eyes watch Pierce as she arrives, settling in silently to simply wait, it seems. "There are no written treaties, per se, it is merely understandings," he murmurs to Jack.

Samuel doesn't blink or pause, but does look at Savina with concern. Once she seems alright though, he relaxes again. He moves fractionally closer to her. He seems to want to speak, but holds his tongue for now.

Rian takes the phone from Pierce with a murmur of thanks, then turns slightly away. She's still keeping her eye on the vampires as she murmurs into the phone, cocking her head. All these little movements as she talks. Then with a soft sigh and a nod, she turns to make her way down the steps and closer to Rodrigo.

Rodrigo is still, still in that spookily quiet way. As Rian begins to move he tilts his head to watch her approach, almost sort of expectantly. One eyebrow goes up, as if sort of questioningly.

Into her phone, Rian mms softly. "Okay. And I will, though who's going to comfort me, hmm?" There's a faint smile in her tone, and the sound of footsteps as she starts to move. "Yah, both him and Pierce."

Into her phone, Rian says, "Bit late for that. And yes, she is. She's inside, though."

Rodrigo waits patiently, his eyes on Rian and his fingers laced in front of him, immobile otherwise.

Into her phone, Rian says, "Like my tail's on fire, love. Here he is."

Rian scowls at her phone for a moment, before back up at Rodrigo. Eyes flick to Tobias and hold on his form. as the phone is held to Rodrigo, body braced.

Rodrigo reaches for the phone with his right hand. "Thank you." he says in his soft voice, lifting the phone to his ear.

Tobias returns Rian's look, but doesn't scowl, just watches. A mild curiousity comes across his features for a moment, and then it returns to his normal bored, emotionless look.

Into his phone, Rodrigo's voice is smooth and soft, fluid. "This is Eric, I presume. My name is Rodrigo."

As Rian moves, Pierce steps behind her, and comes down to the edge of the porch, keeping a pace or two behind. The young woman's behaving like a bodyguard, though since she's escorting the Queen of the Rats - ex-queen or no - it makes sense on some levels. Not that she looks like one, in her sweater and jeans, but there's a straight-backed discipline about her. Then she takes Rian's arm and leads her back to the porch and up. A flick of her eyes towards Jack and Olena in the doorway.

Savina maintains her nice smile, and as the moments pass, she eventually stands patient and bored like an empty but lovely vase.

Samuel maintains his nearness to Savina. He glances at her once or twice, but seems satisfied all is well. Maybe he's imagining the flowers he'd put in her vase.

Into his phone, Rodrigo's reply is just as fluid, his voice unchanged. "I have not been told I was not welcome here, Eric. Is that the case, am I not welcome here?" A pause. "I have been … distracted, as of late. However, this communication is not." Another pause. "It is not what I would prefer. I would like to meet with you, face to face. To discuss your concerns. And to introduce myself."

Rian inclines her head to Rodrigo at the transfer of the phone, then dutifully, lets Pierce lead her back towards the porch. She's not even fighting, isn't Pierce proud of her? She murmurs softly to the other woman as they make the porch, then detaches herself to move to the doorway, standing close to Jack and reaching out a hand to rub along Olena's arm.

Rian whispers "Thanks for coming with me. I was told very manly-like to get inside. I'm assuming you and Jack have stuff up in this front yard should we need it?"

Olena does not allow a break of contact from Jack, and in fact she looks slightly annoyed at Rian when she reaches out to touch her. It's smoothed over a moment later and she starts to gently tug Jack backward, through the threshold and into the house, assuming she can.

Pierce bodyguards Rian all the way up like she might escort a beauty queen, then waits for her to get through the doorway and into the house. Fortunately it isn't like herding cats. She grins crookedly at whatever it is Rian says, and ushers herself through the doorway too, as Olena begins to tug Jack in before answering just as quietly.

You whisper "We've got stuff, yes. I just need to get changed into combat gear now to be ready." to Rian.

Jack makes enough room for Rian to stand next to him, stepping back and a little to the side in order to do it.

Into his phone, Rodrigo pauses again a moment, as if listening. "I will reiterate my request to meet with you, officially, in person, and not speak over this device. Is this something you will do, Eric?"

Into his phone, Rodrigo pauses again, and his head tilts a fraction to the side. "Mmmmm. Of course I will not kill him, Eric." he says in that same soft, even tone. "Murder is against the law, and I could never agree to that. It is unfortunate that you do not wish to meet with me or my associates. I will of course pass along your request."

Pierce bends down for a moment, retrieving her spatula.

Rian nods to Pierce, giving her room to slip by after retrieval of the trusty spatula. Olena gets a narrowed look in response to the annoyed look before she looks up to Jack. Eyebrows lift defiantly as she talks quietly to him, her gaze turning back to the vampires in her yard. Pierce's phone may even survive this encounter.

Rodrigo tilts his head and seems to listen to something that is being said. He begins to speak, and as he gets to the portion that says, "The number is…" He extends his left hand towards Elle, palm upwards as if a practiced move. His eyes fall down, as if he instantly expects something to appear there.

Into his phone, Rodrigo's voice remains calm and even, soft. "I accept no orders from you, Eric. Much as you accept no orders from me, and I have not attempted to order you. I simply asked, respectfully, to meet with you. It is unfortunate we cannot do this. If you wish to speak with me in the future after changing your mind, the number you can reach me at is…"

As if on cue, the card is flipped up with two fingers and then very lightly placed into Rodrigo's hand. A light brush of fingers linger on his and though Elle hasn't said a word, there is a concentrated look on her face for the time being.

Into his phone, Rodrigo says, "562-7124. I will keep this number available for you to contact me with."

"At least dinner will taste better with a lot longer to simmer," Pierce comments. A humorous glance at Jack, briefly. "And I think I'm going to have to make extra chocolate dessert now. And if someone even thinks of using the frying pans for frisbees again, I am going to turn them into crepes." She's now beside Jack, flanking both Rian and Olena, spatula in hand and eyeballing it thoughtfully. "…I really like this."

Into his phone, Rodrigo says, "I have asked to speak with you face-to-face Eric, and it is unfortunate we cannot do that. These devices are poor substitutes for a real conversation, and that is what I must insist on. You have the method to get in touch with me. However, I will tell you this. I am polite. I am respectful. I have not met you. The one that will come after me will begin the conversation in an entirely different manner, and I can assure you of this. I wish you a good evening, and I will take my associates and I from this place now that we have spoke and you have refused this meeting."

Rodrigo flips his hand upright, smoothly putting the card into his pocket as he speaks.

Into his phone, Rodrigo says, "I understand you have conditions that I cannot meet, Eric. And that is unfortunate."

Rian mms softly to Pierce and smiles, tipping her head to rest it lightly on Jack's arm, though with no real pressure. Her eyes continue to rove over the vampires and she sighs. "Pierce, why are men so argumentative? We women, we know how to discuss, don't we?" Of course, if there were any women more different, it'd have to be Pierce and Rian.

Tobias smiles a little at Rian's comment, and then nods his head, looking a bit pensive. "I prefer talking to you, anyways" he says with a small chuckle, and then turns to look at Rodrigo.

"Not all men are argumentative," Jack points out, albeit quietly and with a faint smile; he falls silent and still again a moment later, eyes staying on Rodrigo. He doesn't have a vampire's practiced stillness, but he does have a rather more human variety.

Into his phone, Rodrigo says, "It is doubly unfortunate you choose to insult my intelligence, Eric. I believe I have been both calm and polite, as well as respectful this evening."

Lillith's gaze slides to Rodrigo for a moment, then back to the rats, though she remains silent. Her hands clasp together in front of her, and she seems fairly relaxed.

Pierce grins crookedly at Rian. "I guess we do. Except you're far more woman than I will ever be. Look at my shape. I don't think I could fit into anything not made for a cow." Given she's wearing a sweatshirt, it's impossible to tell -anything-. Though as the conversation - and her phone bill likely - progresses, she too stills herself, and it's very much like Jack's type in many ways though her eyes are a touch more restless. A smile for Olena, a reassuring one.

Into his phone, Rodrigo says, "I am sorry for your loss. Losing those important to us and those that serve us is always unfortunate and emotionally troubling. And I am passingly familiar with the legal requirements of the city. I hope to talk to you again in the future, Eric. You have my contact information. Please call me if you change your mind. I look forward to speaking with you face-to-face. I bid you a good evening."

Rian chuckles softly at Pierce and Jack, one hand slipping out to rub lightly over Pierce's arm. Patience. Of course, hearing Rodrigo's end of the conversation almost makes her want to wince. Tobias gets a faint smile and shrug, as if to say 'what can ya do'. As the conversation seems to be ending, her eyes go back to Rodrigo, body tensing again.

Into his phone, Rodrigo's voice remains calm and polite, even and soft. "Good evening, Eric. I thank you for your time. I expect to hear from you soon." There's an emphasis on the word 'expect'.

Savina 'wakes' from her stillness and pushes a rogue curl over her shoulder. It's time to go, and she acts human enough now to show that she's ready to leave. "It's time to be quit of this place," she says to those with her in a polite but pointed fashion. She looks toward the house as a sort of goodbye glance.

Lillith nods once as Savina speaks. "Indeed," she says, nodding to the rats, before she turns slightly, to face more her companions than the occupants of the house.

Rodrigo covers the phone with his palm as he drops it, to cover the microphone on it and offer it back to Rian. He leans forward, as if to get closer to her to speak quietly. "We will leave now. You should talk to him, Rian. He cannot act like he acts and expect no consequences. You know how this goes. I have been polite, I have been calm, I have been respectful. He threatens my life and insults me." He offers the phone and steps back. "Good evening, all of you. Have a pleasant night."

Samuel nods in agreement with Savina. "I think it's pretty clear he's not going to meet with any of us, at least no with any conditions that are reasonable." He lets out a sigh and offers Savina his arm as they make ready to depart.

Tobias looks to Savina as she begins talking, and then half nods, half bows his head in acknowledgement. As Rodrigo talks, he chuckles. "It is his way" he says with a half shrug, before turning back to Rian. He bows his head to her, and gives a look to each of the others before turning back to Rodrigo, waiting to follow his lead.

Jack shrugs. "I suspect he's still a bit miffed about getting a silver sword drawn on him at a parlay," he says, without inflection, then nods. "Evening, ladies, gents."

Rian shifts forward to take the phone with a slow nod of her head, covering the microphone with her hand as well. "You have been, and I thank you for that. But I cannot change who he is." Eyes shoot to Samuel and there is now a glare, stiffening as she stands next to Jack. Still … "I wish you all a good evening." She'll wait until they all move away to uncover the phone and lift it to her ear.

Rodrigo turns around with a nod to each person, silently walking his way off of the front yard and towards the sidewalk, and away.

Jack's head turns, the man's eyes going wide in shocked surprise at something he's just spotted.

Into her phone, Rian says, "Yes they ar—-"

Rian blinks and whips her head around to where Jack's facing, eyebrows raising and her voice cutting off.

Olena's gaze turns along with Jack's and she shudders and pulls tighter to Jack. She whispers softly, "Death Giver there is a ghost on the fence."

Into her phone, Rian says, "No..I'm still alive."

Rodrigo's gaze turns over his shoulder, to try to follow Jack's gaze to whatever he's seeing.

Pierce looks up sharply as Jack moves - then Rian too. Her eyes dart to his face, then she immediately whips her head to where he and Rian are looking at, and then towards the fence. Her entire frame turns tense as a bowstring, and she places her hand on Rian's shoulder, as if a word would send her into action.

"Yes, good evening," Savina bids to the group. Savina's dark eyes acknowledge Tobias as she turns away from the house. She doesn't smile, no, but it's a good look to receive. Her gloved hand slides over Samuel's sleeve, and she turns her head enough to meet the eyes of her companion. But something stops her, distracts her, and she looks away at something. Surprise clearly registers on her face.

Lillith arches a brow at the expressions on the rat's faces, then half turns, not putting her back to those she doesn't know, but looking to try to see what they're reacting to.

Tobias glances at Jack, and grins. "He broke the rules first" he says with a shrug, and then starts to turn away. As Jack's eyes move, however, he stops, and then turns to look at the rest of the gathering. After a long pause, he looks towards whatever it is that they are looking at, seeming thoughtful.

Who can say when he got there. Who can say who he is. But there is a man sitting as if he were completely comfortable on the wrought iron fence. He has his hands crossed over knees, which are crossed. He's got a very smart looking baller cap upon his head. For those who are sensitive though he can be seen there is absolute -no- sense of him being there. Not that he is human, but that he isn't there. He reaches up and tips his hat to those who are gathered and he says, "No, please, continue. Don't stop on my account."

Rodrigo tilts his head, seemingly surprised. He dips his head - a polite gesture - murmurs, "Sir," just as respectfully and continues along with the others - heading towards the gate and heading from the area as they were.

"Master." The man on the fence corrects Rodrigo with a tone that suggests he won't forgive it being forgotten a second time, but he makes no move to stop the vampires from leaving. He did after all tell them to continue and not stop on his account.

Pierce draws a deep breath, just staring at the man and blinking several times. "That…must be a very uncomfortable fence to sit on," she says with -blunt- diplomacy of a sort. "But we didn't…know it was going to be sat upon either. Oh tin ah fong -pei-!"

Rian shifts and draws in in a shuddering breath, reaching up her free hand to cover Pierce's and give a light squeeze. Eyes slowly travel over that form on her fence, then glance to the vampires, especially Rodrigo. Something's definitely up. Her hand tightens on Pierce's hand at the word 'Master'.

Into her phone, Rian says, "Oh shit. I don't like this…"

Rodrigo pauses, dips himself into a bow - not at all mocking, but a full court bow as if he was standing on a Spanish balcony several centuries earlier. "Master," he murmurs, and he does appear honest and chastened. "That is my failure. It will not be repeated. If you so desire, I can explain what has occurred tonight."

Samuel stiffens at the correction from the man on the uncomfortable fence. His eyes flick from the man to Rodrigo, then Savina, then back to the 'man', or whatever it is.

Lillith cocks her head at the correction given to Rodrigo, and she glances to those she came with, then back to the man on the fence. "Do you wish to join us, or will you be enjoying the company of the rats?" she asks respectfully, inclining her head towards him.

Elle listens for a moment as they all start to turn and leave, she however goes a few steps toward Rian. Sense something, apparently not. While they all look somewhere, she holds out another card to Rian, "Ms. Rian? My personal business card. If some feel uncomfortable, I can be reached." The card simply says: Elle Carter - Activist and her cell number. Something then tugs at her and she turns, hearing a voice and then looking to Rodrigo, a nod. The quick excusing of herself is given as she heads toward the others.

Tobias turns his head as Rodrigo is corrected, exposing his neck to the new individual. He turns it towards the rats, but doesn't look at either of them, and then stands and waits to see what happens.

Jack stays right where he is, just inside the door to the big house. His shock has been hidden, and he's more wary now than before, but still not even close to hostile.

The man's eyebrows raise toward Pierce looking mildly amused in her general direction. Then the man's gaze turns to settle onto Rodrigo. The Traveler looks to his nails and then toward Rodrigo and says, "I think I would like to hear both sides of the story." His gaze shifts about the vampires and then lands upon Lillith and he says, "You may speak. The others from the Court may not." His gaze shifts over the vampires and he settles onto Pierce, "You may speak. The others of the Rodere may not. And trust me, you do not want to fight with me."

Rodrigo keeps his head bowed politely, exposing his neck a moment before he nods, silently. He extends his arm to Elle and remains silent and still.

Savina stops in her tracks and listens. When the Traveler says 'Master', Savina moves artfully to expose a clean line of her neck in respect. She returns to being quiet and empty, patient but very much vampire.

Tobias turns the rest of the way towards the new arrival, standing straight, but bowing his head as the command is given. His cane comes in front of himself, and he folds his hands on top of it, watching the man on the fence, but listening to all. When someone speaks, his eyes move quickly to them, but then immediately back to the man on the fence.

Rian swallows as a nasty suspicion starts to form in her mind. No, she doesn't like it /at all/. Her hand tightens on her phone, pale eyes locked on that figure. No, she's not going to argue with him. Instead, she shifts to give Pierce's hand a reassuring squeeze, though it's probably obvious it's not reassurance that she feels. At the buzzing in her ear at Eric talking to her, she blinks and shifts a bit farther into the doorway, hoping that the no talking doesn't include murmuring into the phone.

Samuel wisely touches his fingers to Savina's wrist, letting those familiar with the gesture that he echoes the politeness and deference Savina just displayed.

Jack's hand goes to Pierce's shoulder, and then he's moving the woman to stand in front of him, albeit now with both hands on her shoulders. He squeezes said shoulders gently, the depressions in her clothing visible, then relaxes his grip again. He looms silently behind Pierce; she alone may be able to speak for the Rodere, but she is not alone.

Olena clings ever harder to Jack, and stares forward, frightened.

Elle does the same with Rodrigo's wrist and then takes the arm, remaining silent there now and watching what is going to happen.

Lillith again inclines her head to the Traveler. "Thank you, Master," she says before she straightens, though her head is tilted to expose her neck as well. She's not about to do or not do anything that'll get her in trouble, it seems. "After the events of the other evening, we came here in an effort to speak with Eric. /Just/ to speak about what happened. Eric, however, was not here, though he did choose to speak with Rodrigo on the phone. He has refused to meet with us, after the terms he gave were rejected. I'm afraid that I am not aware of those terms, though, Master. At the moment only Rodrigo or Eric would be able to tell you what they were," she says, lowering her head slightly to him.

Pierce looks -startled-. She draws a deep breath, inclines her head as a sign of respect towards this odd…person. Master. Sitting on the uncomfortable fence. "Where would you like me to begin, sir?" she asks, something of old-world, very Eastern courtesy in her manner. "I don't know much, I'm very new. But I will do my best." A glance at Jack as he nudges her forward, then Olena and Rian, and she squares her shoulders. "I answered the door today, and found these gentlemen and ladies waiting. The gentleman there…" Her gaze indicates Rodrigo for a moment with a little tilt of her head. "He said he wished to speak with my King, and that the senior representatives of the Council of Chicago would like to meet him. He asked if we could contact him. This is not my house. It is my Queen's house. But, when we were given a promise that there would be no hostilities, I went to call him. He answered. I gave the phone over to my Queen, and she gave the phone to the gentleman and they talked."

The man on the wrought iron fence considers these things for a moment and then gracefully floats down as if he were made of nothing but air. His clothing is straightened and he says to Lillith, "How interesting." His gaze turns toward Rodrigo and he says, "You may speak only to answer my question. I will not have another of the meeting where a thousand voices screamed at me." He straightens his sleeves as he listens to Pierce a nod of his head is given. The man then turns toward Rodrigo and says, "What were the terms this Rat King asked of you?"

In the yard are about a dozen people. Rodrigo, Elle, Savina, Samuel, Tobias, and Lillith closer to the exit. Jack, Olena, Rian and Pierce are either on the porch or just inside the threshold of the house.

Lastly there is a man with a top hand standing just below the wrought iron fence, acting as if he is running the show here. And this man seems to be a vortex of nothingness, no preternatural senses can sense that he is even there.

Rodrigo inclines his head again, a respectful gesture. "Master, his first demand was that I kill Tobias in front of the Rodere here for Tobias' assault on his person and additionally that I formally apologize for Tobias' actions. His second demand when I denied the first was that I order Tobias from the property as a traitor."

"I see him," Eric says. He walks up behind Rian, inside the house, coming from the back. Eric is dressed only in a pair of jeans (no shoes), some haphazard bandages, and a long trench coat that hangs open. It doesn't do -much- to conceal the shotgun he wears hanging over his shoulder. Eric walks out through the front door, through that barrier of safety from the vampires, and pads out onto the ground, barefoot. "For his assault? No, Rodrigo." The voice. It's unmistakable. "Not for his assault. For his violation of his word. He guaranteed me safe passage, then pulled silver on me when I offered him no violence. You defend a word-breaker, while you violate my territory. If any rat of mine acted in the way Tobias or you have, I'd have their throats slit publicly."

The man with the baller hat turns toward Eric now, and says in an even tone, "Be quiet, you have not been given permission to speak." A gesture toward Pierce and then a gesture toward Lillith, "Only those may speak without asking permission first."

Blood blossoms on Eric's mouth, his lips cut right down the middle. Blood starting to ooze out.

Jack seemed to get warning that someone unexpected was behind him only a few moments before Eric pushed past. He lets the King out, moving Pierce to one side and then back into place in the process.

Rian jerks as she hears Eric, her head whipping around as he comes up behind her. The phone is lowered and closed as she sighs softly in relief, hesitating only a moment before moving aside so that he can step out onto the lawn. Her eyes rest on him for a moment before she edges out of the doorway, but stays close. At the sudden scent of blood, her nostrils flail and she makes a soft sound, but doesn't move.

Olena squeaks at the smell of blood and clings ever tighter to Jack.

Lillith turns to look at Eric when he speaks, when he is cut, then her gaze moves back towards the man. "What else do you wish to know, Master? What would you have of me?" she asks, tone still respectful, seeming to ignore the others after that one look, her full attention on the man on the fence.

The man turns toward Tobias and wonders, "Did you break an oath to the Rat King?" His tone is even and bland as if this was the most boring thing he could think of doing.

Tobias grits his teeth as Eric speaks, and his grip tightens on his cane, but he otherwise stands still, watching the Traveler. As the question is asked, he shakes his head. "I made no Oath to the Rat King" he says plainly.

Pierce's fists -clench- at her sides, her shoulders rounding slightly, then straightening again. A sharp little intake of breath as Eric starts bleeding, a swallow, then she turns her eyes back towards the -terrifying- figure on the fence, with those odd powers and such a commanding presence. "…My King told me he had silver pulled on him by that man after he was guaranteed safety," she says, quietly, her eyes going to Tobias and staying there. "He told me not to go out because he was afraid for us."

A man with tanned skin and curly hair walks around the corner and through the fence and makes his way toward the man with the hat. Their fingers lace together, but the man says and does nothing.

The man with the baller hat turns toward Tobias and then toward Eric and then back toward Tobias. He says, "You both believe you are saying the truth. That much I can see."

The Traveler turns gaze onto Eric and says, "You may be the Rat King of this city, sir. But I am the Traveler. And I can kill you with just a thought." The man's gaze slides toward Tobias and he says, "That goes doubly so for you, Tobias."

The hat is tipped and he says, "Savina, Rodrigo. You and your servants my leave. Lillith and Tobias stay." A glance is given to Eric and he says, "You may pick two of your rats to stay with you. But the others must go."

Rodrigo dips his head silently - a respectful deep bow, offering the side of his neck. Then without another word he begins to head towards the gate, stepping through it and out into the street - and gone.

Samuel bows deeply to the Traveler but opts to keep his mouth shut, then lets Savina lead him the hell away from here.

"Olena, protect Rian on her way out. Jack, Pierce. Come on out. It's safe as long as we play nice, now." Safe must be a relative term. The cut across his lips leaks blood, and Eric does not wipe it away. It's not the first bit of blood on him - the smell of it is there, under the bandages. Those looking at him closely can see nasty bruises all over his ribs, and the bandages on his shoulders. Eric says nothing, other than to choose his rats, and stays where he stands, waiting for them to step forward.

Savina drops into a low curtsy, drops her chin, only to lift it and expose her neck once again to her master. She pulls herself up to her full height of not-tallness. She goes as Rodrigo goes, but she and Samuel diverge, taking their own route home.

Tobias bows his head to the Traveler once again, and when he looks back up he says "I will speak for myself," in a plain, emotionless voice. He stands nearly alone now, with all of his companions except Lillith walking away. However, he does not appear to notice, nor does he turn to look at them. His head raised again he stands perfectly still, awaiting further orders.

Jack steps across the threshold, releasing Pierce's shoulders as he does. He waits for Olena and Rian to clear the doorway, then closes the door behind them before turning and assuming a position just behind Eric's right shoulder. There he stands, silent; whatever he's feeling doesn't show on his face or in his body-language, but there's the ever-so-faint scent of his fear in the air.

Lillith inclines her head to the Traveler as she's directed to stay. She glances, just briefly, to the others as they take their leave, then looks back to the Master, saying nothing for the moment.

Pierce lifts her hand to rest on Jack's for a moment, then she's turned to take her position just behind Eric's left shoulder. She's quiet herself, her dark eyes very wide, and the occasional clench of her fingers to mark her nervousness. There's fear too - very rigidly controlled, but it's there.

The Man With The Top Hat looks between Tobias and Eric both. His arms cross over his chest and he says blandly, "I have half a mind to show you both just how mortal you are."

His gaze shifts toward Eric and he says, "My vampires have told me that you are nothing but an arrogant asshole high on his own power, well, Rat King. You do not know anything about power. And you are lucky that I am the only member of the council who is actually here." A flashed smile that looks more like a grimace. "Padma would have you polishing his cock."

The Man's eyes shift toward the doors passed Jack and Pierce to where Olena and Rian disappeared, "And the sick one he'd have special fun with breaking her all anew."

A glance is given to Tobias and he says, "You. You and the rest of the vampires in this city have failed to make the shapeshifters understand why there are agreements between vampires and shapeshifters. Because there are people stronger, better, more powerful. On both sides. There is a lion, a tiger, a leopard, and a wolf in this city and all four of them alone are more powerful than most of the leaders of this city especially over their own leaders. And more powerful than most of the vampires of the city."

He grimaces again, it looks cruel. "And n there are vampires out there who are more powerful than they are. That is the reason why vampires and shapeshifters make treaties. Not because you like each other. Not because you think you are equals. But to protect your city."

A shake of Traveler's head is given and he says, "I could destroy this city. And none of you would be able to put up a fight. NONE. It. Is. Pathetic. This city is pathetic."

There are a few moments of silence, from Eric. He looks over his shoulder, to Pierce, and cocks an eyebrow upward, questioningly. He lifts a hand to his bloodied mouth, then gestures toward Traveler, with a look of slight frustration.

Jack remains stoic, unmoving, as the words fly back and forth. He breathes, he blinks occasionally, he's definitely listening - but he doesn't seem to feel the need to say anything yet.

Tobias bows his head as the Traveler turns to face him, and keeps it there while he is spoken to. Only once the Traveler is finished talking does he nod it slowly, and then raise it, looking up at the Traveler again.

Lillith doesn't say anything as the Traveler speaks, neither does she take her eyes off the vampire. She's not /that/ stupid, it seems. Eric and the other rats are ignored, as is Tobias, for the moment.

Pierce draws a quick, somewhat unsteady breath as Eric looks to her. "…Sir," she says, very quietly though the Traveler can probably hear her no problem at all. "I'm new to this city, and I do not know much of what goes on, not yet. But I know that…that we don't want trouble. We don't…court trouble, or we try not to…" A moment where she falters, then she continues with a gulp. "…Might my King…please be allowed to speak for us, for my kind since he is my King, and knows the situation better?"

"No." The Man With The Top hat says to Pierce. And he says to her, "Not unless you have another who can become King. Because from what I have heard of your King, the next time he opens his mouth I am going to want to kill him. And your-" He looks directly at Jack there, "-government cannot stop me."

He turns toward Tobias and considers him and then turns toward Lillith and asks, "Little One, how would you handle the situation? The vampires have failed, and the Rat King is so stupid I can't believe he manages to function."

Something snaps inside Jack, and suddenly everyone present can feel what he's feeling. Shock, horror and dread, and a terror that basically boils down to 'we're all dead if we breathe funny, and there really is nothing we can do to stop him'. It snaps off a fraction of a second later as Jack gets control of himself again.

Eric, very slowly, shrugs off his coat, and lets it fall to the ground. There is a quiet, intense sense of meaning to every motion as he pushes the coat out of the way and steps back. A hand reaches out, pressing against Pierce's shoulder as if to reassure her, then a brush against Jack's arm, a tight squeeze. His eyes are on Traveler, but he does not speak, merely stares.

Tobias seems like a statue with movable parts. His whole body is tense enough that it looks like moving at all would be painful for him, but he stands perfectly still. His eyes are glued on the Traveler now, though his head manages to bow again as the Traveler looks at him, looking up again when he addresses Lillith.

Lillith tilts her head slightly at the question addressed to her, and she takes a minute before answering, glancing towards the rats now, studying them before she looks back to the Traveler. "Their King has interfered in our business, insulted our Master, and brought human law into preter politics. He has made not one mistake, but several, including thinking that we would do nothing. I would make an example of him, Master. To show what happens when we are treated as lesser. Then something can be worked out between us and the rats, to prevent an insult like this from occurring again. We are vampires, we are not weak, and we will /not/ be toyed with by a shifter high on his own power," she says, her voice calm, even, as if she were talking about the weather.

The Man turns to Pierce and says, "The vampires feel your Rat King has toyed with the vampires of the city." A pause and he says to Lillith, "And vampires should follow your human laws. I am in favor of vampires being legal citizens, of having rights here in America."

Then The Man turns back to Pierce and he says, "How do you feel about this? How do you feel about the vampires of the city?"

That's when Pierce lifts her chin, and through her fear, there comes with it a sense of gritted determination. "…I speak from only what I have seen since my arrival here, sir," she answers and while her voice wavers slightly, that gritty sense of purpose comes through. "But…what I have seen is tension. Some…fear them. Some hate them. But none of them want trouble. This is…this is a city. This is our city - vampires, shifters, other races - we none of us want war. We don't want to be seen merely as unimportant low-life who serve no purpose. We are shifters - yes, we are rats, but we would like to be respected too, from the vampires as well, if we give respect in return. I feel…as if we have been taken of no account by the vampires of this city, and treated as of no account. I do not know the truth of the matter. But if what my King says is true - that there was silver pulled, despite protection being given…then we cannot trust the vampires, and treaties - agreements - are built on trust. That is our general feeling for now, that I know. That we fear to trust, because a promise may be broken, and our lives may be forfeit. This isn't about war. This is about respect, mutual respect - and we would like the same respect that other shifters are given."

Lillith inclines her head to the Traveler. "I agree, Master. It is very preferable to the alternative. But calling the human law's attention to internal politics is to risk our status as legal citizens, isn't it?" She looks towards Pierce then. "They say they do not want war, yet their King came into a meeting of our Court, with a weapon, threatening us. That does not sound like the actions of someone who wishes peace with the vampires to me." She turns her attention back to the Traveler. "But if what she says is true, then I would suggest that someone sit down with the rats, with a promise of peace and nonviolence from /both/ sides, and come to some sort of arrangement between our two groups. I hold no ill will towards the rats as a group, and I'm sure the same can be said for several of the other vampires."

Pierce's speech has two effects on the Rat King. One, Eric looks over his shoulder at Jack, an eyebrow arching up hard as he peers at the man. Two, Eric turns back away, the smallest hint of a smile curling at the corners of his lips, posture suddenly more relaxed and confident.

"Very well." The Man says and then turns toward Lillith and says, "You. Call a meeting with the alphas with the city. Do something about your city. Or I will."

His gaze settles onto Tobias and he says, "You have already been punished for your failure, but to pull a silver sword upon a Rat King. You nearly incited war in this city."

"You." This is to Eric, "Came into a meeting and insulted me by taking my enemies from the room, and I let you live. But you will be punished for it."

Both of his hands lift up, the curly haired man with him moves his hands to the side of the Traveler's face. The Traveler makes grabbing motion at Eric and Tobias. And then jerks his hands downward as if he were pulling down a curtain.

There is a -horrible- ripping down as both men have their skin forcibly removed from the front of their bodies. It will hang lip and horrible in their clothing still.

Tobias moves now, as the skin is torn from his skin, his mouth opens in a quiet scream, and his eyes close tight. The cane falls forward in front of himself as his arms spread in front of himself, as if they were pulled forward, too. There is the sound of a soft dripping, and his clothing are soaked in blood, and hanging oddly off of him. Slowly, he falls to his knees, and then to all fours, head hung down.

The scream from Eric isn't quiet. The suddenness of it, the horror of it, drags a scream from him that is impossible to muffle. His flesh hangs off like a bloody skirt, supported by the waistband of his jeans, and he drops down, unable to remain on his feet even for a second. His blood gushes out, wetting the grass in a wide spray in every direction. Jack and Pierce, most likely, will need showers.

Lillith nods to the new command to her, then looks to Tobias and Eric as they're skinned. She looks at them for a moment, but doesn't move to help either of them. Instead she looks back to the Traveler. "As you wish, Master. I'll begin to see to the arrangements once we're through here." She, of course, doesn't mind the blood, even if some does get on her. If she eyed it for a brief moment, it can't be seen as too odd, she IS a vampire after all, but her mind is, apparently, on business first and foremost.

Jack remains utterly impassive through getting his rather unusual shower. The old soldier's back straightens until he's standing properly at attention, though his knuckles have gone white; he makes no move to help Eric, and no move to distance himself from his King.

A small sound - somewhere between a keen and a wildly terrified gasp - comes from Pierce, choked off as she jams a clenched fist to her mouth as she -reels- back at the hideous ripping sound and all that blood. Her expression is positively sick with fear and terror - but the minute Eric goes down, she's gone down after him, trying to get her arms around him and support him so he doesn't actually hit the ground and make the pain worse - though very little -could- be worse after that. "You'll be all right…" she whispers, her breathing shallow, uneven, and then she looks up, face splattered with blood, and at the Traveler. Her words shake, but she manages, "S-Sir…y-you have our word…we will meet —on terms of p-peace." To hell with what anyone thinks of her. She's both bodyguard, -and- the Mama Rat with the Spatula.

Tobias stays where he is, completely still. The impression is given that were he alive he would be breathing very deeply now. With the skin very noticeably missing from his body, it's also easy to see the small bits of it that have already begun to reform, a very transparent, but noticeable layer beginning to recover the muscles in his face.

"Very well." The Man says to both Pierce and Lillith. He wraps an arm around the man with him and then they move out of the wrought iron fence and off into the night. He is gone.

Lillith watches as the Traveler leaves, then looks to Pierce. "Let him know that I'll send word here as to the time and place of the meeting once he's recovered," she says before she bends down, face even with Tobias'. "Do you wish help? It is time to leave," she says, offering a hand to him.

Eric, on his knees, finally quiets down somewhat. He lets out a small sound, not quite a hiss, not quite a gurgle. As soon as Traveler's gone, Eric says, "Jack. Ow. Would you do me an enormous favor and develop telekinesis to lift me into the house without having to walk across the grass without skin? Also, call me a tanner. I -refuse- to waste the unique opportunity to preserve and keep my own skin all in one piece."

Olena edges into the threshold, peers around the edge of the door. A soft eeping sound is made. It amounts to 'it already to come out now'?

Jack watches the Traveller go. "Sorry, man, no can do on the telekinesis front," he says quietly to Eric, lifting a hand to rub the blood from his left eye. "Taxidermist, though, that's possible." He nods to the vampires, then bends down to offer Eric a hand up.

Pierce looks up at Lillith. "I will do that," she returns, her voice quivering but steadied down a bit now. "Thank you." Someone needs a BATH. Badly. Then she looks down at Eric. "W-we'll carry you if you must and if you hurt youself again, BLOODY SI PAT KUNG, I will kill you myself! Sei hei! Wasting all that b-blood! Oi SEI ah lei?" Seems someone's recovering herself - with -class-.

Eric's hand, sans skin, takes hold of Jack's. There is a horrible squishing sound as Jack's fingers sink into muscle and fatty tissue. Eric pulls himself, slowly, to his feet. He then stumbles, unable to support himself on skinless soles, and lets out a scream as he hits on his knees. A helpless, wet laugh escapes at Pierce's words. "Hey," he says, pain filling every sound he makes, "There's enough of it to go around. Lick anywhere you want. Thank fucking god for immunity to infection, right?"

Tobias nods his head as the skin finally makes a more complete cover for him, though it is still covered with a light sheen, and he fishes around in his pocket. Every time his hand touches fabric he winces, and then finally a cell phone is produced. He throws it to the ground barely in front of himself, and then falls onto his back. "There. Second number in my call log. Get my driver to this address" he says, laying on his back and starting to relax. "He should be nearby" he adds.

Lillith nods as she picks up the phone, dialing. She gives the address, then hangs up, though she holds onto the phone from the moment. "He'll be here shortly. I'll help you to the car when I hear him pull up," she says, not paying much attention to the rats for the moment.

Olena slips through the doorway and she says, "Olena will heal. Both Rat King and Toothy One. Lay down on grass on back." Her blue eyes dart between the two. She says to Eric, "Rat King must help Olena? Rat King can?" She's stripping out of her clothing as she does so. Making her way toward Eric. She reaches out and touches his hand softly, very very softly but making a physical connection.

It is a total bloodbath on the porch and the grass, and anywhere else that a nice large spray of blood could fountain. Jack and Pierce look as if they've just taken a swim in the Blood 101 Spa, and Pierce has her arms around Eric, trying to help him rise to his feet -and- trying to catch him as he falls and splats onto raw flesh. "Sei ah!" she storms at him, her face totally streaked with gore. But when Olena comes through and asks, she lays him down on the grass on his back and settles to her knees. "You STAY. You move, I'll beat you up," she threatens, her voice shaking with the force of tension and release. "Tung kwa! Sei tung kwa! Stay!"

Olena's hand is seized. "Pierce! Don't let her heal the skin back on, I want to keep it, damnit!" It's possible that he's delirious, but he's saying it anyway. The touch of Olena starts small tendrils of flesh poking out beneath the blood. It's as if his body were crawling with tiny tentacles of bloody skin.

Tobias nods his head slowly to Lillith. "Just tell me when he gets here" he says quietly, keeping still for a long moment as more skin appears on him. Sure enough, the sound of a car pulling up to the edge of the property can be heard, and a black limo becomes visible, the driver immediately stepping out of his door. "That him?" Tobias wonders, looking up at Lillith.

"Rat King being stupid!" Olena informs him. Then reaches down and takes ahold of his pants. Good old shapeshifter strength and it's ripped off. His underwear too. Assuming he had any. Ew. The skin is then picked up and laid beside Eric in the grass.

She then bites down into her wrist and starts to pour blood all over him.

Lillith glances over, then nods to Tobias. "Da. Come on, let's get you out of here and home," she says, moving behind him, trying to help him up without touching the raw flesh more than is absolutely necessary.

Pierce moves aside for Olena. "Yes. Rat King being stupid!" she agrees and while her voice isn't shaking wildly any more, there's still tension tumbling out in the form of words, something, anything. Only then does she look over her shoulder at the sound of the car pulling up. "…Tobias. Get better soon." It's an -odd- thing to say, but it's meant sincerely, even odder. Then she's looking back at Eric and Olena and slowly wiping her face, smearing blood all over it worse than ever since it's started to get all clotty and sticky by now. What a mess.

Honestly, the Brownstone did /not/ need repainting. It was just fine as it was. At least Rats are good with messes. Cleaning them anyway. Stepping out into one, now…that's a slightly different issue. Yet if Olena can head out, Rian is damn well coming out too. The smack of blood scent, as well as the obvious gory mess, causes a jerk in Rian's stride before she's lengthening it to jog after Olena. "God damnit!" That's eloquent. A hand presses quickly to Pierce and Jack, giving them a quick look to check them before dropping down beside Eric. Squishy grass. There's a catch in her breath as she looks over the mess that is her King. "I know you were eager to strip, Eric, but isn't this going too far?" Ahh, defense mechanism, much?

Tobias pushes himself up to sitting with remarkable ease, but does let himself be picked up by Lillith, and begins limping towards his car. It's an awkward kind of limp, since both of his legs are in equal amounts of pain, but he moves at a respectable pace. He gets about 5 feet, and then lifts up off the ground, floating the rest of the way towards his car.

Lillith watches Tobias move away, then shrugs, handing the phone over to him, to follow him out. She pauses at the gate, glancing towards the rats as they cluster around their King. She nods to them, then continues heading out of the yard.

"It's good to be loved," Eric growls out as he's placed on his back on the grass. Stretched out, he peers at the porch, head tilted back, peering at the door of the Brownstone. As Olena's blood begins to flow, Eric's power explodes, a hot flash of it that fills the yard, then sucks back inward, focusing into Olena's body, knitting and twining with hers. The two of them are connected, her empowering him, him empowering her, an endless loop that makes both so much more than they are separately. And then Olena gives of herself, and Eric leans up, taking, taking greedily, sucking the blood from her arm. The tendrils of flesh begin to wriggle like worms, pushing out, knitting together, his flesh alive with the crawling of new skin and connective tissue. In mere moments, Eric lies naked, covered in blood but whole, completely hairless, like a newborn baby on the grass. He pulls back, drops his head, and pants out in relief. "Enough, Olena. Enough. Thank you. God, thank you."

Olena tries once more to just boost up Eric's healing. She places her hand over some where some skin has newly grown over and closes her eyes. Her energy shoving into his own body, trying to jump start his healing.

Tobias stops at the car, looking over his shoulder at Lillith. "Thank you for your aid" he says quietly, wincing a little and healing a little more of his skin, as he looks over his shoulder at the Wererats. He slowly sinks back to the ground, wincing again as his feet touch the ground, and his driver opens the door for him. "Do you have means of getting home, or should we give you a ride?" he wonders, gesturing towards the car.

Lillith smiles faintly and shakes her head. "I'll manage. You do what you need to do, I have things to attend to. And do try not to get hurt again, hmm?" she suggests, before she begins to head off. Maybe she has a car stashed elsewhere, perhaps she wants to walk. Who knows!

"Rian, I'll help clean it up," Pierce says, and she does -not- reach up to touch Rian's hand right yet. She's covered in clotting blood. It doesn't -go- with the Queen's complexion. She's mostly steady now, but her hands are -cold- and they're shaking slightly. "…Oh good, Jack went to look for the hose…" That said, she -eyes- Eric. "If you do that again? I'm going to do -more- than swear at you," she informs him baldly. But she stays on her knees, just in case he needs help to get up or something.

Tobias nods his head, and then slides into his car, holding a hand up, and the driver doesn't close the door. "Contact Savina and Rodrigo please. Koray as well. Tell them what happened here, it may prevent them from making a mistake." With that he brings his hand down with another wince, and the door closes immediately after. The driver, seeming to notice nothing wrong, or even anything happening, turns on his heel and walks back around to the other side of the car, sliding in to the driver's seat, and closing it.

Rian looks up to Pierce, blinking a moment with suspiciously damp eyes before she glances around her yard. "Oh." Smiling faintly, she lifts her sleeve to scrub her eyes. "It's alright, Pierce. Best to get yourself cleaned up first." Blood always goes with white. It's just hopefully not /her/ blood. Eyes look up to see Tobias get into his car, then back towards the side of the house at the mention of Jack getting the hose. Looking back down to Eric, one hand lightly, hesitatingly, reaches out to touch his arm. "She won't be the only one."

"Pierce, it's all right. And congratulations. I was wondering when the two of you would realize. I honestly didn't think it was something he couldn't have already known." Bending down, naked, Eric gathers up his skin and jeans. "So. Somebody call me a tanner or something. And if the vampires show up again without calling, call the cops and have them arrested for trespassing. I need to go hose the blood off my skin so I can turn it into a momento." He looks down at himself, looking concerned for a moment. "And, for the first time in my life, I think I'm going to go look for somebody who makes merkins." As Rian touches his arm, Eric turns, and looks at her with a grin. "You got extra pants somewhere?"

Olena gives a soft sigh and crawls away from Eric now. She finds herself a non-bloody place in the grass and curls up. She looks tired now. Drained, and the wound at her wrist heals over.

Pierce stares up at Eric for a moment, total non-comprehension spreading across her features. "…Congratulations?" she asks blankly. "But what —" Then the penny drops. "OH." And everyone is treated to the sight of Pierce Cheung -blushing- like the sunrise even under all that blood on her face, right up to the roots of her hair. "…I didn't know either," she squeaks. Yes. Squeaks. With absolute and utter shyness. "Th-thank you…I…err…thank you." What on -earth- she's referring to, only Eric knows at this point. But then her gaze is caught by Olena's movement, and she gets to her feet unsteadily, stumbling a little from the damned pins and needles tingling through her limbs, and limps over to the girl. "Olena," she says softly. "Olena. Do you want me to carry you back inside?"

Rian doesn't get the inner joke, though seeing Pierce blush is certainly something she's going to keep tucked away should she ever need to convince Pierce to do something. And there goes Eric, totally unconcerned that his skin is draped over his arm an that he's stark naked in her yard. "Damnit, Eric!" A pale fist aims a most likely pathetic punch at his arm, considering it's got no power behind it what so ever, before she bounces up to wrap her arms around his neck in a tight hug. "Just use a Sharpie and color it on." She huffs out a breath, rubbing her cheek lightly to his. "Yes, there are bound to be pants somewhere."

One arm wraps tightly around Rian, and squeezes her hard. "Rian, it's okay. I've got to get Olena." He pulls away, and as if he were handing her a coat, gives Rian the skin draped over his arms and turns to walk over to Olena. "I've got her, Pierce. Least I can do." Naked-Eric plucks Naked-Olena from the ground like picking up a small child. "Somebody open a door and show me which bed I'm putting her in. Then somebody else make a damned pot of tea while I put on pants. Pierce, have you been cooking? I'm fucking -hungry-. Killed Jacob earlier, then this today, my week isn't going very well. And Chelli's dating a fucking college kid. Damnit! This shit always comes in threes."

"There's food in the kitchen, it got slightly interrupted," Pierce states. "Of course I was cooking, if there is a lot of food in the kitchen, Eric." She watches as he picks Olena up easily, then moves to the door before pausing. She then, very calmly, bends down and unlaces her combat boots, leaving them outside so they don't track blood into Rian's nice house. Her jeans get rolled up so they don't drag the floor either for the same reason, and her sweater sleeves are tugged up above her elbows. -Then- only does she shoulder the door open and go inside.

Olena is carried inside, and Eric finds a place upstairs to put her - probably the same place Rian put him while he was staying. There are bloody bare footprints, and Eric doesn't even seem to notice, not even after Pierce is so careful. Inconsiderate bastard. All that blood on the lawn, and he's letting Jack hose it down. And I bet he doesn't even offer to mop, just goes and gets in the shower before anyone else gets to.
And he steals all the hot water.

Wherever it is Pierce has gone, 'upstairs' seems likely. When she emerges again some five minutes later though, she's still in her bloodstained sweatshirt even though she's changed into a pair of very faded cut-offs and is barefoot. Her face has been semi-scrubbed clean of blood, though she'll take a much longer crack at it later. In the meantime, business is business - hosing all that gore down from the lawn before it becomes a vampire feeding ground or worse - and that's exactly what she goes to do. From the sound of things, a bit shortly on, Jack's taking the hose to the mess too, so between them both, the place will get cleaned up nicely even if it does take a little and the drains will look like a slaughterhouse for a day or two.

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