Don't Walk

Kathryn unwittingly puts herself in a risky position while pursuing her investigation…


Its a strange thing to be a wanted man in Vegas. Everybody knows that crime happens and things go wrong, but nobody expects to wake up the person with a warrant issued for their arrest. Vegas itself is just as strange as the circumstance. In any other city, one would go out at night and hide during the day. In Vegas? The complete opposite. Gabriel hasn't been showing up to work for the past four days, and as he walks up the Strip something seems to be visually nagging him from the sour expression on the man's face. The sunlight strikes a strange ambience to his mood, offputting with the bright day thats ahead of him in his dark situation.

Having emerged only a few short minutes ago from the infamous Kit Kat Klub - how typical that she should start showing up every day the moment the man she's looking for chooses not to - a pretty redhead now makes her way at a brisk, businesslike pace along the Strip, thumbing rapidly across the keys of a cellphone as she goes. Classically dressed, feminine yet demure, and with dark-tinted sunglasses obscuring her features partially, Kathryn Emerson has the air of vintage Hollywood glamour about her; from the scarlet tresses all the way down to the high-heeled suede pumps. Still, that doesn't make her path automatically clear before her. This isn't a movie, after all. Shouldering gracefully past other pedestrians, the young woman cuts an occasional glance out into the street, as if vaguely considering a cab, but lacking the real incentive to go shrieking in search of one. Surely she's walking the wrong way, anyway? Distracted? Dropping the cellphone abruptly into her purse, she sighs, as if in exasperation at poor unseen bastard, and continues on her way.

Gabriel continues on his path, walking in the woman's direction as he comes from the opposite direction and makes his way through the streets towards the Kit Kat Klub. The man's wearing his usual non-descript outfit of t-shirt and a pair of jeans. A pair of sunglasses hide his hazel eyes under their black shades. He doesn't avoid the business like redhead, of course, because he has no reason to.

Of course, as luck would have it, Kathryn raises her head to glance toward the street again -just- as the tall man makes his way into her eyeline. Though she doesn't come to a screeching halt, exactly, she does suddenly slow her pace, then pivots on a platform heel to change direction, matching his pace from a short distance. No point alarming him until she's certain, is there? Keeping a handful of blissfully ignorant tourists between she and Gabriel, the redhead tails him. It's not exactly subtle… but then, how well can she hide, really? Watching him, she tilts her head a little, craning her neck in search of a better view.

Valentijn has arrived.

The large Danish man isn't hard to follow, especially considering that he stands almost a head taller than anybody else on the tourist crowded streets. He doesn't seem to notice her for the moment, continuing on his path up the street. Stopping at one of the intersections, he looks up at the red light and waits, pressing the little button on the traffic pole repeatedly as he waits.

Oh, he's stopping. Well then. Kathryn maintains her sedate stroll until she reaches the large man's shoulder, then regards him quite openly, her head remaining tilted askance at an obviously enquiring angle. "Excuse me.." she begins, in a lilting accent that is pure English Rose, "..I don't mean to stare. Only, you look remarkably like someone I know. And no…" One palm raises in light-hearted, pre-emptive negation. "'s not a pick-up line."

Gabriel tilts his head slightly to look down at the shorter woman, his eyes staring at her through those tinted shades. The large Dane shakes his head with a less than positive reply as he turns away to look towards the open handed sign signalling for pedestrians to stop. "You must be mistaken, I do not know you."

As for Valentijn — well, it's fairly easy to spot the man: he's modestly well known as a fixture at the Mandarin's Court, which is the building he's just come out of. There's a small mob of people going in, and a few of them are suddenly exclaiming something on the order of, "hey, Mabel, isn't that…?"
Yes, that /is/ Dominic Valentine, whose name is plastered across some of the posters around town — part of the Hunt, a group of cats associated with the Mandarin's Court Casino.
Of course, what's he doing out here on the street? Tapping a packet of cigarettes against his palm, of course. Damned no-smoking signs. Can't smoke in the lush penthouse rooms, can't smoke in the corridors… you can smoke on the casino floor, but that place will give even healthy brains epileptic seizures from all the flashing lights: only God knows how much worse it is for preternaturals.

Kathryn's smile, in response, is entirely unabashed - and unsurprised. "No, of course you don't. But.. hmm…" The young woman trails off into a perfectly practiced and utterly contrived moment of apparent musing, capturing her lower lip gently between her teeth for added effect. The Strip is, of course, busy. And more people are steadily crowding in around she and the Dane. Broad daylight, public setting. She couldn't have planned a better scenario.

"Don't you work at the Kit Kat Klub?" she offers, one slender brow arching above the upper rim of her evidently designer shades in polite enquiry. It's a simple enough question, and so very innocently put. The clamour of the other pedestrians not-so-subtly discussing the appearance of the man outside the nearby casino perhaps serves as a timely distraction for those nearby, but Kathryn herself seems intent upon the man she speaks with. For now.

Sucking air into his lungs through his teeth, Gabriel's eyes wander towards the source of the commotion. "Sometimes, yes. Look, do you need something?" His tone is an annoyed one, and the man is quite obviously on edge as he turns and starts to walk away from her towards the man that just emerged onto the street. The look on his face isn't quite one might expect of an excited tourist, and looks more like what you'd expect from a disgruntled trustee.

Valentijn, for his part, is busy lighting up as Gabriel arrives. "Hey daar, vriend. Om 'een sigaret of iets?" he says without really looking away from his lighter. The language he uses is … strange: it's /almost/ English, but not, /almost/ German, but not. Something about offering a cigarette, maybe?

Once again, the redhead seems unperturbed by the man's tone. You don't become a reporter without developing a thick skin, after all. Gracefully turning once more, moving through the bustle that surrounds them, she follows after Gabriel without hesitation. But, seeing as the man is so obviously in a hurry to be - well, anywhere but here - she casts a more substantial hook. "Actually, since you ask… I'd rather like to hear your thoughts on the hit and run last week." A few heartbeats of pause are permitted, mostly as she's forced to dodge round a few Japanese tourists posing for 'comedy' photographs and catch up with him again.

"It -was- you, wasn't it." That's not a question, not even remotely. "A few witnesses took photographs." By the time Gabriel's addressed by the other, she's fallen quiet, presumably waiting for some sort of reaction. Valentijn is offered a cursory glance - at first. Even beneath the cover of sunglasses, recognition flashes across the young woman's features. Well, it makes sense that she would at least know of him. Though obviously not in so familiar a fashion as the one being offered a cigarette. Her attention lingers a moment longer, largely in assessment of the diversion, before flitting back to the Dane.
"Ja, I could use one." Taking the cigarette, if that was in fact what Valentijn was offering, Gabriel looks over at the woman following him with a raised eyebrow. "Wait, what? A hit and a run, what are you talking about?" Apparently the man has forgotten the accident due to the recent course of events. Looking back over at Valentijn, he leans in and speaks in a hushed tone. "I need to talk to you. In private." When he says those last two words, he gives Kathryn a suspicious glance.

"Wie is die oulike bokkie?" Valentijn quips as he taps out a Marlboro, offers it to Gabriel along with the lighter. He doesn't offer to light the cigarette for Gabriel — that would just go a little against both their airs of machismo, shatter the illusion a bit, and as everyone knows in Vegas nothing is more important than your image. However, once the man says 'in private,' Valentijn studies Gabriel with a faintly furrowed brow: not quite a scowl, but more of a wondering what's going on.
"Okay, then. Where do you want to talk?" he asks in quite fluent English. Accented English, yes, but clearly English is one of his native tongues.

"The hit and run, on the North End. Last week." The slender reporter offers the echo with the pleasant, patient air of a mother ensnaring a child into admission of pilfering the cookie jar. "A large, unidentified male, struck by a small hatchback… then walking away with barely a scratch. Do you have any thoughts on that?" Her lips curve in a lazy smile. "Or shall I ask the pretty blonde who was with you, instead?"

Pushing her glossy, well-styled hair back with one hand as a stray breeze casts it across her cheek, Kathryn seems to soften a little. "I only want to know what happened. I'm not interested in causing you any trouble, just in keeping my job for another month. Do you think it was deliberate? Any ideas on who the driver may have been? -Anything-?"

The softest of sighs escapes her as the two men have their little exchange, but she doesn't intrude. No more than she already has, anyway. It's a free country, she can stand on any patch of sidewalk she likes. In the end, though, she does offer up a quiet afterthought. "..I don't believe you have any less right to justice than anyone else. If I can help the police track down the driver, I will." -That- much, in contrast to practically everything else in her demeanour thus far, seems truly genuine. Just what Las Vegas needs - a good guy. And with that, she's silent again, ignoring Valentijn for the time being. How dare he be hospitable and such, when she's trying to get a story?

"Wherever." Taking the offered cigarette and lighter, he pulls air through the cancer stick as the flame hangs under its unfiltered end. As the cherry springs to life, he hands the lighter back and shakes his head. "One moment." Now his attention is fully on the small redhead and her questions. "Deliberate? What am I, some sort of ah…ah…Godfather Don? No, some fool wasn't looking where he was going. Besides, it didn't hit me that hard. Just knocked the wind out of me." Taking a drag from the cigarette, he releases the smoke from his lungs out into the air. "Who are you anyways and why do you even care?"

"The club in thirty," Valentijn answers in that exotic-accented English. "Maybe she'll follow. Maybe she won't. But we can surround ourselves with enough naked chicks to either make it distinctly uncomfortable on her if she wants to sit near enough to overhear — or to give us a damned good show if she's into that." Valentijn gives Gabriel a smile, then looks over towards Kathryn. "No offense intended, of course. Just two blokes trying to have a quiet word somewhere."

Drawing a simple business-card from a side-pocket of her purse, the young woman offers it toward Gabriel with a delicate flourish, proferred between a fore and middle finger. "Kathryn Emerson, Las Vegas Sun. If you change your mind, my number's on there." Oh, so she's taking the hint, at last. Flashing a polite smile toward the Dane, the redhead then levels her shaded gaze upon Valentijn, a wry smirk tugging at one corner of her lips. "I doubt even -you- could afford that particular show. It's only for a very elite few." Being uttered in her sweet accent somewhat softens the bite of the sarcasm. Probably just as well. It doesn't seem intended all that maliciously, at any rate. "No offense taken. Enjoy the rest of your day, gentlemen." Turning smoothly from the pair, flciking her hair back behind her shoulders with a pricey-salon swish, Kathryn's off again, as if nothing had ever given pause to her brisk stride.

Snagging the business card from between her fingers, Gabriel lifts his glasses to take a look at the text that's just been read out loud to him. After turning it over in his hands a few times, he slips it into his pocket and shakes his head. "Don't count on it." Somebody isn't in a playful mood. As she comments on her price and their inability to pay it, he smirks and gives her an apraising look. "See you around, fire cracker."
As she walks away, Gabriel's attention works its way back towards Valentijn. Looking the strange foreigner in the eye, Gabriel nods up the street towards the club. "You can find me there."

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