Leader of the Pack

Leonie reports back to Alpha Tom Mullins.


The main door of the almost-but-not-quite dive bar is pushed inward; briskly but not really enough to warrant undue attention. The same might be said of the casually-dressed brunette who follows the motion inside. Upon closer inspection, she might be considered appealing but she doesn't emphatically demand focus from the few patrons already inhabiting the establishment this late afternoon. Once within, she shoves both hands deep in the pockets of her overlarge jeans, casting a contemplative eye over her surroundings. Looking for someone, or gauging if she's going to be kicked out on her butt for expecting alcohol. Ah. The former, apparently.

Noting the presence of one figure in particular, she starts unhurriedly toward him, her gait long and rangy, belying athleticism beneath the student-esque apparel and tousled hair. Lowering her gaze to the floor as she walks, it's a subtle recognition of her lower rank. It probably goes unnoticed by anyone else, as does the slight, vaguely submissive cant of her head, baring a glimpse of the side of her neck. For all the world, it could just be an odd mannerism. She certainly looks the type to have many of those.

Tom has been seated in a corner booth, granting him sight of the entire pub without having to worry about those approaching from his left or his back. With two directions sealed off, he can maintain awareness with minimum difficulty. His fingers idly spin a cell phone on the tabletop, for lack of anything else to do. A half-empty glass of beer is settled next to his mitt, the foam indicates that the first half was swallowed in a short amount of time.

When his eyes alight on Leonie, he simply nods his head in acknowledgment. A slight tip of his fingers indicates that she should sit across from him.

"Boss." Accompanied by a fractional upnod, the single-syllable greeting might seem abrupt. But anyone familiar with the young woman knows that's just her way. She obligingly slides onto the bench opposite, withdrawing her hands from her pockets and laying them lightly atop her thighs once she's settled. A faint shake rids her of the dark hair that had tumbled ruefully over one eye, allowing her to level her gaze wholly upon the Alpha. She doesn't offer a smile. All in all, she looks rather grave. Even by her own unique standards. "I spoke with Gabe. Seems we have a problem. One with lots of pointy, provoked teeth."

"Lee," acknowledges the man across from her, his fingers no longer swirling the cell phone. His brows appear to have not moved since he has sat down, and they twitch when the opportunity to communicate with one of his own has risen. "Eliminating the recent progress I have made in keeping our connection civil, no less," the man supplies, laying news in like on the table as plainly as the glass. "Go on."

Nodding subtly in assent - though politics really tend to seem outwith her interest - the brunette does as she is bid, curling her fingertips a little against the faded denim of her jeans. "He says two vamps attacked him, in full view of the public. Since I read that in the paper, I'm goin' to assume it's true." Her dislike of the man is apparent to one who knows what to look for. A slight curl of her upper lip, a huff of frustrated breath through her nose. "One of them, he killed outright. The other? He beat to a bloody pulp, put in a sack, and took to some big fanger party. Where he proceeded to throw it on the floor and demand an explanation." One hand rises, sliding beneath her hair at her nape and scratching vigorously for a moment as her gaze wanders, taking on a contemplative expression. "He's about ready to go feral on their asses. And I bet the feelin's mutual. Yeah, he deserved an explanation. I just don't see he went about it the right way."

Despite the details provided by Leonie in full, the man in front of her remains still. From eyelid to collarbone, he has elicited a greater response in greeting than with the news of bloody battle between kin and others. Yet somehow, the barometric pressure of the room seems to drop with the gaze that he sends across the table. It's enough to make one suspect if scratching the neck were some form of slight in the presence of an Alpha. It isn't, but what if…?

"Without opinion," he says, voice rumbling, "Tell me what happened after he brought his gift to the party."

"I wasn't there, I can only pass on what he told me." There's a discernible note of apology to Leonie's tone, her hand dropping abruptly back to her lap as she returns her gaze to Tom, watchful. "..and he tells me that, first and foremost, they couldn't have seemed to care less about his being attacked, or why. He said they seemed most upset, all things considered, that he had interrupted their party." She leaves her response at that, evidently wary of displeasing the man further. To outside eyes, she likely looks like a scolded child. If she were standing, would she dare to shuffle her feet? Likely not. She remains perfectly still.

A waitress seems prepared to come up, noting that Tom is no longer seated by himself. But once she sees the expression on the faces of both seated, she finds herself more interested in another table that may need refills.

There is a small knitting in the man's brow that appears as the story continues to unfold. His shoulders tighten, and his posture changes so that he can lean closer to the table just a little further. "Is that all he has told you, after the fact? After his presentation that he managed to escape with his life intact? I don't want you to leave anything out." Except opinions. Opinions lead to needless conjecture that he can't afford at the moment.

Leonie nods again, firmly this time. "That's all I got from him. Other than his bad temper. They weren't interested, but apparently they didn't hurt him in any way." She seems about to add something further, but bites her tongue. Probably just another opinion, anyway. Not so much as an eyelash flickers in the direction of the waitress; she may as well not exist. "I questioned him about the Frank's Tavern murders, too. He stumbled on the scene, and a witness saw him. That's why he's hiding out. Wasn't nothin' to do with him." Odd timing, to bring that one up… or is it? She leaves it to the Alpha to fill in the blanks.

If there's anything that the man approves of, with respect to Leonie's prompt and accurate supplementary details, he doesn't show it with words. That feeling of pressure surrounding the table lessens; either she has grown acclimated to the tension seeping from the Alpha or he is toning himself down. There's no mistaking the unsettling that this report has generated. His is a reaction that she's seen before, but not for something that ended with no pack casualties. Again, without assurance that her answers are correct or accurate, Tom offers another question. "Where will I find him now?" Not can. Not we. Not yesterday.

The brunette apparently knows the difference between a hypothetical enquiry and an 'uh oh..'. And she supplies the answer as simply as she can. "Just outside of Jean. You go through, head out maybe five miles along one sixty one, then take to the dirt. There's an abandoned ranch house. Last time I was there he had a blue van parked outside. Might not be the case now." With any luck, it won't be. Considering a blue van featured in most of the blurry photographs that found their way into the news. She doesn't say that, of course. The Alpha doesn't need to be spoon-fed these sort of things. If she's perturbed at not being expected to accompany him, she keeps it well-concealed. Probably best that she doesn't, even she has to concede.

"Good," says Tom, one mitt now reaching for the glass of beer that has since lost the foam that had clung to its walls. He lifts it from the table, taking a short swallow of its contents before returning it to the tabletop with nary a sound. His eyes still on the woman in front of him, his tone rumbles once more. This time, it lacks the threat of a thunderclap just waiting to be released from just underneath of his rib cage. "You were right about how him looking for answers in the wrong way. Could you imagine if the roles were reversed? How would you react if one of your own were carried in a bag and presented to you by a vampire? Nevermind that there were others at this … 'party'… who might suspect Gabriel of all murders instead of witnessing and self-defense." His nostrils flare for a moment, as if taking in the non-existent bouquet of his domestic brew.

With the imminent threat no longer making it's presence so acutely obvious, the brunette gently rolls her shoulders back, relaxing lean muscles she hadn't realised were tensed. In others, aggressive quirks only serve to rouse Leonie's annoyance, and swiftly. In Tom, it's something she not only accepts; it's something that makes her behave without question. "I told him that. About the roles being reversed." she replies, softly. Or as softly as her oddly low-pitched voice ever allows. "I don't think he really understood my meanin'. He's lucky he got out of there alive. But he's invited them to be angry at more than just him, hasn't he?" It's a rare moment of insight. Normally, she doesn't bother to dissect the actions of others. Maybe this whole place is beginning to smooth away her rough edges. Not too much, though. "I'm also sorry, in advance, if he complains about me punching him. I couldn't think of a better way to distract him from his idea of coming straight back to the city and going on a vampire murdering spree. So.. sorry, boss."

"There are some loose ends I want figured out," says Tom, bringing the focus back to Leonie. She may have offered sincere apologies, but to him it could have been a volunteer statement. "I want to know who those two leeches belong to. If it were someone important with a reputation to maintain, he or she might not stop at sending two after Gabriel. If they happen to be low on the totem pole, we might be able to encourage them to leave Gabriel… and the pack… alone." He clucks his tongue on the inside of his cheek, "As for Gabriel, I need to explain to him the inherent dangers of showing off like he has. If he puts us at risk, he should know that the vampires aren't the only ones he'll need to contend with."

The young woman inclines her head subtly in acceptance, without a trace of hesitation. "Alright. I think maybe Gabe tried his own brand of 'interrogation' on the one he took. But seems like he didn't get any answers, if he felt the need to crash the party that way. I'll see what I can find." Leonie's mind is already kicking into high gear as she ponders how best to go about the given task. Because there's no question, she -will- find a way. The only thing worse than getting in a jam while looking into something for the Alpha is coming back empty-handed. She hasn't done so before… and now is not the time to start.

Though she seems prepared to rise and depart immediately, following Tom's request, the brunette lingers a moment, daring to venture a quiet question. "Boss..? I ain't gonna pry into business more than I ought but… do you know what -did- happen, at Frank's? I heard they reported shifter involvement but.. well, I just hope it wasn't one of ours. Yours." She corrects herself, lest he mistake her meaning.

Judging by the look on Tom's face, he isn't immediately interested in answering the question. Given a tick on the clock, and something else encourages his disclosure. "Not exactly," he tells the woman, "On account of I don't know who done it. But if my suspicions are correct, the pack is in the clear with Frank's." He reaches for his beer again, and lifts it to his lips. Two swallows later, and the remaining half of the gless looks as empty as the first half when Leonie seated herself.

That, apparently, is good enough for the Beta. Maybe it confirms her own suspicions, maybe it's just a relief to hear him say it. Either way, she nods, a slight smile finally tugging at her lips as she slides out of the booth and to a stand. Her hands automatically dive back into her deep pockets. "'Kay. Happy trails, boss. I'll call, soon as I've got somethin'." It seems a definite case of 'when'. Not if. Having something to do suits Leonie… with the added bonus of keeping her out of the way, and out of trouble. Mostly.

Notably, her first step is taken backward, amber eyes flitting to the floor in a respectful mannerism to accompany her outwardly casual farewell. Then, she simply turns on a sneakered heel and starts for the door.

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