Not a slumber party

Kathryn goes to Gerard for help.


Seeing as there's only two apartments on the twentieth floor - and very exclusive ones, at that - the hallway that divides them is unsurprisingly quiet. Especially at this hour of the evening. Midnight has come and gone, without much ado. The bustle of the city below is pleasantly muted, barely even audible inside the expensive walls and rich carpeting. The latter, for the moment, is particularly appreciated.

Seated opposite Gerard's door, perfectly content to be on the floor, apparently, despite the quality of her attire, Kathryn Emerson leans wearily against the wall at her back; long legs stretched out before her and crossed at the ankle. A tasteful bottle of Merlot is set besde her, untouched despite the temptation of having been here, all alone, in silence, for at least two hours. 'Not in', the secretary had said, when she called his office. She had responded coolly, with her typical mask of nonchalance even over the phone. But it would seem she has something to discuss. Enough to camp in the hall with an olive branch in the form of alcoholic beverage.

Tugging gently at her neckline, then smoothing the fabric of her blouse with both hands, the young woman then reclasps them loosely in her lap, heavy-lidded eyes resolutely staring at the detective's door. Or perhaps unfocused and it simply happens to be in the way of her gaze. Either way, she plainly has no intent of leaving quite yet.

The elevator door does not ding, because Gerard has not taken it; he emerges from the stairwell instead, his steps surprisingly quiet despite his height. Perhaps he has reason to be suspicious, or perhaps it is simply a developed habit, but the man holds the door-handle down and eases it shut, largely muting the sounds of his arrival. He looks down the stretch of hallway toward where Kathryn sits, reaching up to press a pair of fingers into his temple wearily.
The usually nattily-dressed detective looks awful. He has food stains on his chinos, and it's apparent that he hasn't shaved in days. Tucked under one arm is a thick manila folder, unmarked by any police designation. Whatever is in it, it appears to be private. After a moment's hesitation, the man begins walking down toward his apartment. At first, he completely ignores Kathryn, unlocking the door and swinging it open.
It looks as though he may just storm right through, but without turning around, still standing in the doorway, the lean man says "Well? Come on in." His tone is curt, lacking his usual amiability, and his voice is as rough as the stubble on his cheeks. Without waiting to see if the woman takes him up on his invitation, the lean man wanders deeper into the apartment.

Tilting her head back where it rests against the soft-pastel wall, the reporter watches Gerard approach without otherwise moving; dark-lashed green eyes following him. Similarly, there's no dazzling smile of greeting for the man she usually seems to take such joy in toying with. Perhaps, at this hour and point in time they're each getting a glimpse beneath the smooth veneer.

It's not the most graceful of invitations, but she'll take it. Pushing wearily to her feet, grasping the wine bottle by the neck to carry along, Kathryn steps into the penthouse behind him, gaze still upon him with a wary touch. Mostly tired, though. Half-turning, she quietly closes the door that he left open, then lingers, not wanting to further intrude when Gerard is so obviously sour of disposition this evening. Though, typically, she can't seem to help but offer a remark.

"Hard day at the office, dear?"

"Wine glasses in the cupboard, Kathryn. Give me just a minute, will you?" Gerard's voice echoes from the bedroom area of his apartment. If she chooses to enter the kitchen, she'd see the folder left carelessly atop his formica countertop - perhaps he's too tired to remember who he's dealing with. The sound of running water is audible, followed by a few splashes. Gerard's voice comes through again.
"Just going to clean up. There's some Chinese in the fridge. Help yourself." He seems to be mellowing slightly, perhaps at the feeling of hot water against his face. There is a silence from the bathroom, presumably as the raggedly-groomed man squares himself away. He doesn't directly answer the reporter's sardonic question.

Of course she enters the kitchen. She was moving forward ever before her host finished saying 'cupboard'. Wine. Wine would be good. If she can't see him, he can't see her. Which is probably just as well. Now that she's up and moving and forced to socialise, Kathryn is transparently, for a fleeting moment, uneasy. Her free hand rubs at her nape, beneath her thick tresses, and she pauses by the counter as the bottle is set down, bracing herself there and drawing a slow breath. It's in this pause that her attention falls on the folder.

First things first. She fetches two glasses from the cabinet and sets them out. One of the containers is selected from the fridge and tossed into the microwave, a pleasant, comforting hum thick with the promise of reheated goodness filling the sterile kitchen. Casting a brief glance in the direction of Gerard's dismebodied voice, she then returns to the counter and peels up the file cover by one corner, squinting at the contents. "Thank you." she calls back, absent-mindedly polite.

<OOC> Gerard says, "The first page is the opening page of a missing persons report for a six-year-old girl. It's covered in red marker in Gerard's hands - notes, connections, etc."

Gerard emerges a few moments later, still buttoning up a new shirt - navy, with silver pinstripes. He watches the woman silently, newly-shaven features betraying nothing. After a beat, the detective walks toward the bottle of wine and opens up a drawer, producing a space-age looking wine opener. Fiddling with the foil-cutter absently, he says "Her name was Alice Jarvey." His tone is distant, features strangely void of his usual animation. He doesn't even seem angry at the reporter's snooping.
"Anyway. I don't remember you ever bringing me wine. So. Kathryn, what is it that you need?" When he turns to look at the woman, there is a knowing glint in his eyes, almost akin to sadness. "You wouldn't have been the first to call if you didn't need something." He smiles slightly, finally managing to yank out the cork, and begins to pour two glasses.

Letting the cover drop, unhurriedly, the redhead raises her gaze toward Gerard as he offers his half-explanation. Likely she's aware he shouldn't be wasting time outside of work with cases like these. Hopeless ones. But she doesn't comment on it. Each to their own. Turning partway to better face him, she folds her slender arms and leans a hip to the counter's edge. The microwave drones on in the background, filling the kitchen with the delicious scent of chicken and rice. "You're quite right." she replies, in her cut-glass accent, offering the detective a faint smile in return. "I need.. to apologise. The last time I saw you, I.." Shaking her head with a sigh, she lowers her eyes to the wine sloshing into the glasses. "..I was having a bad day. An attempt at an interview with a Shifter didn't quite go according to plan. I was angry, and I took it out on you. Which was.. very unprofessional of me." The apology is, frankly, as graceless as his invitation. But at least she's trying.

Clearing her throat, obviously uncomfortable and glad to have that out of the way, she moves on to 'safer' topics. "I've uncovered a few things, recently, that really ought to be brought to your attention. But I understand if you don't want to talk shop, at the moment.."

"You're hiding." The tone is conversational, but Gerard's eyes are keen, a master-interrogator honing in on his prey. "You never apologize, Kathryn. It goes against your grain. Know what that tells me? Tells me you're throwing it out as a distraction." He walks toward the woman, wineglass held recklessly between two fingers. "You're in trouble. And you want to use me to bail you out by having me dig."
Curiously, there's no heat in the man's accusation. If anything, he seems genuinely concerned. "We can do it that way if you prefer, Katie. Or you can tell me what you've gotten yourself into." A sad little smile touches his face for a moment. "Or is this a lost cause?" His eyes flicker briefly toward the depressingly-thick folder.

Meeting Gerard's eyes, surprisingly calmly, the young woman lets him finish, not interrupting with either protest or assent. Taking up the second glass, she swirls the ruby wine idly with a rocking motion of her hand, not yet sipping it. "When am I -not- in trouble?" she points out, still smiling a little as the taller detective approaches her. But then she sighs, shaking her hair back where it has fallen against her cheek. "Alright, I'm in a bit of a predicament. But I really haven't come to beg for your help. I'm not sure you -could- help, even if you wanted to, after you were done with the 'ha, I told you so's."

Biting gently on her lower lip, Kathryn lets her eyes wander the luxurious apartment for a few beats, perhaps thinking how best to approach the subject, now that it's being so simply demanded of her. "There's a new arrival in the city. A vampire, called Adrian. He's bottling and selling human blood within their community." Having been raising her glass to her lips, she now hesitates a fraction, looking down at the crimson liquid. Then she simply steels herself and takes a small sip, licking her lips free of any excess before continuing. "And you're going to ask how I know that."

A notebook appears to magic itself into Gerard's hand. Perhaps in this age of high-tech policework, it might seem strange to see such a talented detective resort to such ancient measures, but he doesn't seem to notice. His wine is set down and forgotten as he begins to scribble notes. Without looking up, he says "I'm SAD, Kathryn. The sort of help I can bring is classified, but it's there. And potent."
There is a slight pause as he draws to the end of his notes, looking up at the woman with a glitteringly-intent stare. "I want you to tell me how you know, yes. But try - really, really try - to believe that I don't care about 'I told you so'. And right now, I don't care about building a case. Tell me everything, but tell me about it as it affects you. Understand?"

Taking another, rather less composed, gulp of wine, Kathryn leans more weight against the counter, turning to rest back against it entirely. A humorless smile tugs at the corner of her lips, lending her a wry expression in the face of Gerard's cool assurance. But she doesn't argue with him. "One of my sources, one of the vampires I interviewed for my latest report? He agreed to let me join him in attending a 'gathering' of vampires in the city. It was on a large scale. But he assured me it would be alright. It -was-, up to a point."

The young woman fails to entirely suppress a shudder, which wanders through her from toe to shoulder. Her wine is kept safely secure, though. Priorities and all that. "I met Adrian when I was there. He wasn't pleased at me being invited, presumably because he was showcasing his 'wine' that evening. I also met a woman… Gwen." She recalls the name after a hesitation. "And I've since learned that she's some sort of Lieutenant to their leader. A 'Mister See'."

Now that the floodgates have opened, Kathryn seems relieved to pour out all this information, her words rushed and a touch less elegant than usual. "Anyway. Both she and Adrian took a rather… intense interest in me. So.. I left." Just like that? Hmm. Rather an anti-climax. Unless she's deliberately skipping over a detail. "They can do this.. thing. With their eyes. It's almost like hypnosis. I don't like it."

"It's not -almost- like hypnosis. It -is- hypnosis, of a sort. A sort that works." No surprise that the detective is up-to-date on that particular threat. He reaches out to touch the young woman's shoulder lightly - not a possessive gesture, but rather one of reassurance. The man's gaze has never departed from the young woman's eyes, and his posture is that of an eager listener; perhaps he breaks most of his criminals simply by letting them talk, just like this.
"You just left. Kathryn, tell me the rest of it. It's okay." There's no judgement in his tone, only the soothing voice of a confessor. Indeed, his whole manner is almost priestly - a calm benevolence radiates from the fellow, likely a 'magic' of their own that certain types of detectives spend years delving into.

"I know. He tried to do it to me. I think." The redhead's tone is uncertain, her green eyes wandering upward to regard Gerard's, as if expecting dismissal or annoyance to be found there. Neither. Interesting. "I've seen him again, since then. He said he doesn't like to force humans into anything… he takes greater pleasure in them offering. How he -gets- them to offer is something I don't want to imagine." Another sip of wine. Dutch courage.

"He sent me a letter, too. At least, I -assume- it was him. But technically, according to their own laws, he can't touch me. And this is the part where you may get annoyed." Tucking her hair back behind her ear, the reporter forces herself to hold the detective's gaze. "He wasn't backing off, that night at the gathering. So the vampire who accompanied me.. well, frankly, he lied. He told them all he had a prior claim upon me. Which meant any sleight toward -me- would be taken as a personal attack on -him-. It was quick thinking. But now.." She shakes her head again, and that persistent lock of scarlet hair tumbles against her temple again. "Well, it's enough of a bloody headfuck trying to consider myself the property of a vampire. But what's worse, is that this leader of theirs has summoned him to a meeting. It more than likely has something to do with me." Biting her lip again, she watches Gerard for his reaction.

"And so, the real point of my coming here, and telling you all this. If anything happens to him, I'm in massive trouble. And if anything happens to -me-… well, at least you have the information -I- have. It won't all have been in vain."

The same gravitas remains on Gerard's features the whole time. He squeezes Kathryn's shoulder, then speaks in a quiet, contemplative tone. "My father was shot to death leaving a casino. Did I ever tell you that? Know who pays for this place? The Mafia. It's a death allowance." His tone is gently ironic as he reaches for his wine, taking a sip and setting the notebook aside. "Alice Jarvey's mother calls me once a month. The first Monday, every month, she calls and asks about her little girl."
His musings are vaguely distracted as he extrapolates, then looks right at the woman. "Kathryn, you're not going to go missing. You trust me, right?" When he smiles, the man looks like a kiler, the same smile he showed that night at the bar. "I won't let them hurt you. Neither of them. Not Adrian, not the other one. Because SAD has prior claim on you, kiddo, and we outweigh vamps. Okay?"

"You didn't tell me that, no." If she's thrown by the tangent, Kathryn also seems to take some relieved comfort in it. A glimpse into the detective's world, to distract her from the shadows in her own. "I'm sorry." What else do you say, to a statement like that? Meeting his gaze when it abruptly returns to her, the young woman nods slowly in assent. She already trusts him. She wouldn't be here, otherwise. And not out of dire necessity, or anything otherwise contrived. She just trusts him. On the other hand, of course.. there's that discernible, gut-wrenching fear in her green eyes whenever she speaks about Adrian. The vampire is under her skin, and -nobody- gets under Kathryn Emerson's skin.

Jolted from her thoughts with a start and a gasp as the microwave *DING*s to announce the food being done - has it really only been a few minutes? - the redhead then laughs quietly at her own foolishness, passing a hand across her brow. "God.. I don't like not knowing what's going to happen. I hate it."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License