[Storyteller] Esmond finds himself driving around once more, and after being in town for a while he finds himself driving out to the airport. It’s almost like he doesn’t even realize what way he was headed until he’s already there. As he pulls around there is a woman with two men in suits flanking her on either side, it takes a minute to register that the woman, is Lynn, because she is not dressed like normal.
The smart dressed ventrue opens the door and steps out of Helga and gave her a pat as he approached the now eloquently dressed Lynn. “So, is it me rubbing off on you or are you just feeling that the tassels and cowboy boots don’t suit you anymore?” he asked while moving around to the other side of the car, eyes flicking quickly between the two that were not Lynn and lighting a cigarette.
[Shotgun] turns to the two men and talks to them a moment as she sees Esmond arriving, and as they nod and move off she approaches the car. She rolls her eyes a little bit as she lets him get the door for her. “We’ll talk in the car. Thank you, Esmond. The goon squad – I’m sorry, security detail back there will follow us.”
He quickly jumped back in after holding the door open for Lynn and accelerated out of the pick up zone, keeping a watchful eye on the car that was following them. “Something got you a little scared? I’ve never known you so far to even need protection?” his concern was genuine especially after the way Cora acted the other night.
[Shotgun] sighs and shakes her head. “I would rather not have it but it was insisted upon. Even I am vulnerable during the day.”, she reaches down as he gets out on the road and takes off her shoes, wiggling her toes a little bit and then leaning back in the seat and putting her seatbelt on. “Just keep going this way, I’ll tell you when to turn.”
He nodded to her instruction and continued to drive calmly, ashing into the dash- ashtray. “So, I’m back with a truckload of guns which we have now stashed although you probably already know that. So, without being too formal, I got the guns now you owe me some answers” He insisted, feeling a little braver than usual.
[Shotgun] doesn’t look over at him, just lays her head on the headrest and closes her eyes. “Getting the guns was part of your job. But you seem to be feeling more ballsy than usual, so lets hear it. What do you want to know?”
“Let’s start with the ring, because I’ve been curious about that siunce day one” he asked, beeping the horn at a driver that had decided to cut in front of him, throwing his cigarette out the window in it’s direction as he passed it.
[Shotgun] rolls her head to the side, opening her eyes to look at him now. “Well, I’m married. He’s Ventrue, and a Prince. And I love him and he loves me, we’ve been together a little over a decade. Thinking of him often helps keep me grounded. I know it sounds weird but… there it is. As such, I am a member of his House as well.”, she says as she looks forward again, watching which way they are going and checking the mirror to make sure that the ghouls are following them.
Esmond nodded and was paying attention to her every word which made his driving seem a little distracted as he hammered the horn again at someone else. “That, that’s really sweet Lynn and yet somehow I expected something tragic. Which it may be. Is that where you went? To go visit? or was this definitely business?” he asked.
[Shotgun] chuckles at that and points toward an exit off the highway. “Yeah, I went home. Well, I have a little ranch where I take in horses to save them from being destroyed. He met me there so we could spend time together, as we do whenever we get the chance. But there was some business as well.”, she says with a soft nod. “And those back there are his ghouls, to make sure I am safe during the day. I don’t think Bishop is stupid enough to make a move in the open, but sometimes you never know.”
“You’ve got a soft spot and I can admire you so much more for that. Of course, if I had someone I cared about as much I would have them watched 24 hours. Bishop gives me the creeps, I’m glad we’re talking of cleaning house” he turned as he spoke, and his voice strained a little in concentration but returned to normal when the maneuver was done.
[Shotgun] smiles and sits forward, pointing off toward the garden district. “Not so much a soft spot as passion, but thanks. I don’t know what the verdict is yet on Bishop. But that was one of the things discussed. I am guessing you have talked to Cora though, girl is too smart for her own good sometimes… We moved Haven because I know he is paranoid as to why we are here, and self-centered enough to believe he is the cause.”
“Yeah me and Cora have been getting along swimmingly which I did not expect. She’s shared a new trick with me so now I can keep up when we’re outnumbered which I’m thankful for. The apartment is a bit of a mess though, I haven’t been back for anything but sleep.” Esmond sighed and took the next turn toward the garden district. “Part of me is hoping that we get the thumbs up. I can’t state again how much his negligence pisses me off”
[Shotgun] gives him a brief glance as they pull into a drive she points out. It’s a nice house, on the edge of the district, it looks at though it has seen better days but still retains a certain old style beauty. She gets out of the car, shoes in hand and waits until they are on the porch before speaking again. “She taught you a trick?”, she asks finally, held tilted a bit as she puts the key in the front door but holds off going inside while she waits on the ghouls to arrive.
Esmond waited for Lynn to crack open the door and followed her inside. “Yeah, I can move a lot faster now which isn’t part of my clans usual playing hand.” the ventrue answered quickly hoping that he wouldn’t have to explain how and the elder Brujah would put two and two together.
[Shotgun] talks to the two men as they arrive, then introduces them. “Esmond, these guys are Jacob and Alexander. Guys, this is Esmond, he works with me so he is welcome here no matter the time.”, she says and as they nod their understanding she lets them in, then follows. As they go about their business, she turns back to Esmond. “Yeah, I get that. Cora… she reacts to stress by seeking affection. Which is not really a bad thing, just be careful with how far it goes.”
“I’m being wary, it was not my first choice.” the young ventrue responded, shaking each of the ghouls ahands and nodding as they came in. “she’s very handy to have around to say the least” he stated as he followed.
[Shotgun] goes over to one of the couches and takes a seat, tossing her shoes to the side. “I don’t know how you all can stand to wear this stuff all the time. It is certainly not for comfort.”, she says with a grin. “She needs it though, she lives on the edge of her being around people that if they ever knew about her they would tear her apart. It’s important she have someone to fall back on that she can trust. It’s also good for you to learn new things, and the bonds of blood, even in minor form, can protect you both from the wrath of each others’ Frenzy.”, she says as she settles in, making herself more comfortable. “Which brings me to another thing… If you see me, or any other lose control like that… playing dead is always a good option. We tend to go for moving targets.”
“I’ve only had it happen once and it was weird and hazy to remember. I’ll remember to go stiff if you do though.” he replied to on the topic of frenzy, following her to the loungeroom and sat on the couch there, smiling at how quickly she was shrugging off the suit. “You’ve gotta look your best when you’re dead. They don’t bury you in rags so it makes sense to spend the unlife the way you should have been in the grave.” Esmond continued, nodding along to what she said about Cora. He had felt the tug of the blood bound.
[Shotgun] shakes her head at that but smiles anyway. “Something else too I want you to consider, as you’ll be around some of my kin off and on in the near future is that it’s really not their fault the way they are. Cora understands, she lived with them for some time. But our passion used to be for knowledge, we were scholars once but it was well before my time. Our places of knowledge were destroyed over the ages, and it left us with this hole, our passion without direction makes the younger ones latch on to whatever cause they find anymore.”
“I’ve met a few of your kind in my unlife but never intimately.” Esmond responded feeling for his cigarettes, before continuing on with his thoughts. “I’m hoping that most are like you but I can see that the Ventrue is rubbing off on you so to say I’m worried is a little bit of an understatement.” he finsihed, finally lighting up and offering one to Lynn.
[Shotgun] reaches out and takes the offered cigarette, smiling at him. “Actually I was like this far before coming into such… intimate contact with the Ventrue. A few are like me, but the majority, especially those you and Cora will be dealing with, are not.”, she says and then lights it up. “I think you’ll be fine though, you seem to adapt pretty well.”
Esmond leaned forward and lit the cigarette for her and then comfortably leaned back. “I try to make that my selling point. I’d rather not follow completely in the steps of my ancestry. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a reason we Ven’s exist. I just think it would be better if we went back to being kings rather than boardroom sovereigns” He explained, exhaling some smoke between them. “So, hopefully, that’s going to help when I come face to face with the rougher of your kind” Esmond was trying to hide his surprise that Lynn was this temperant before the embrace.
[Shotgun] tilts her head, then shakes it, keeping her original thought to herself. “So, you going to be okay staying with Cora? None of it making you uncomfortable or anything?”
“If you had asked me that a week or two ago I would have grumbled but after everything that we’ve been going through as partners I think I feel more comfortable when she’s around. She has a better handle than me on this whole business… at least for the moment. I’m trying my best boss.” He looked to the ground and then back up to the ceiling and then back to Lynn. “I’m thankful for the compliments but I can’t help but think I could be a better Archon sometimes” Esmond was sharing, mainly from a need to show Lynn that it was okay to trust him with at least some things.
[Shotgun] “You know why you haven’t met the boss lady yet?”, she says as she does that thing that only girls can manage, taking off her bra without removing her shirt and tossing it aside to make herself more comfortable. “Because I still want you to have a chance to walk away if you decide you can’t handle this. She doesn’t believe in walking away. Ever.”
The ventrue lets that though simmer between them for a moment before responding. “I want this. I need to have a way to fit into the bigger picturing that isn’t posturing or ending up like that prick bishop.” He answers, voice filled with conviction. Suddenly feeling a little silly for even doubting himself. “I can meet the boss lady whenever you’re ready to take me” Esmond finsihed.
[Shotgun] sighs, shaking her head softly. “Maybe when we are done with this snake problem you can go to London with me.”, she says finally. “Also, tomorrow night… Patrick has found where the snakes are nesting again. He and I will be going out there to burn the nest and kill anything that moves… and you will be going with Cora to the Rave to take out any of the ones there along with their servants. There will be Anarchs about, but they’ll have no love for the snakes either.”
“I’ve never been to the british isle but I’ll look forward to it.” Esmond leaned forward when the talk switched to that of orders or at least an update on what they’re doing. ” Please be careful, if I were prince I’d make a deal to take you out in the nest. I’ll have to dress down won’t I?” he finsihed the question with a touch of his pant leg almost in mourning.
[Shotgun] “I don’t think he is working with the snakes, the information we got out of the person that Cora and your friends rounded up would indicate that they were simple fleeing the Sabbat of Baton Rouge.”, she says somewhat quietly. “The drugs here weren’t even distributed by the snakes… it was one of the Sabbat who stole some of the drug and tried to poison us the way they had been poisoned… but it seems that our feeding habits are not the same and it hasn’t spread the same way it did for them.”
Suddenly it all made sense to Esmond but he was still wary. “Just be careful, you’re our anchor to this town and I can imagine if anything happened to you, bishop will make our stay a lot harder.” the ventrue cautiond taking another long drag of his cigarette, watching it get awful close to the wick and his fingers.
[Shotgun] smirked a bit. “If I disappear, he’ll really be in for it because the boss will show up.”, she says calmly. “You and Cora be careful at the Rave, the snakes will be divided but they are certainly dangerous. I would not be surprised if the Sabbat you encountered before showed up either. If they attack you, don’t hesitate to kill them, but avoid conflict if you can because I don’t want 50 of them where there were only a few before.”
“We managed to be civil last time, they were helpful at least and I’m still trying to figure out why. The snakes are as good as dead and honestly Lynn the sooner that this Prince is exposed for what he is, the better. Makes us all look bad.” Esmond dabbed out the cigarette in the closest thing he could find to an ashtray and winced in Lynn’s direction as a kind of sorry for ruining any fine china.
[Shotgun] leans forward and does the same with a light shrug. “It is hard to say. The city was under their control for a while before Bishop took over, before that it was somewhat neutral until the local Sabbat toppled the old Chantry, which sparked a major conflict that ended in them taking the city.”, she says before leaning back into the couch once more.
“One less city that belongs to them is one in the pocket.” Esmond mused, also leaning back into the chair and crossing his legs. “I can keep it civil with the sabbat tonight. Something we won’t have to worry about when you take me to London I hope. I’ve heard nothing but stories about the place being a stronghold.”
[Shotgun] shakes her head. “No, though there are other things to worry about there. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it though. I need your head clear and not over-worried.”, she says and then glances to her watch. “You better head back to the apartment if you’re going to beat the sun, Esmond. But you now know where to find me here in the city.”
Esmond stands up and brushes a little loose ash off of his pants leg. “Sure, boss. If you need help don’t hesitate to give us a call, ghouls are good but it’s hard to kill what’s already dead” he spoke half heading for the door with a wave back to her.