Fräulein Amerika

Outskirts 
#1
Outfit ft. Romeo


America. It was so unlike any corner of Europe that Carmen felt this adjustment, by far, might be the most difficult one yet. One needed nothing but time for language barriers to be broken after a few months, but this? Unfamiliar territory. Americans were a different breed of people, wholly.

Or so she had expectations which led her to believe so.

Carmen had stumbled upon a shabby diner not too far from where she had found herself a property to rent. A few motorbikes were parked outside - not Vespa’s, she observed, but was unsurprised by this development - and inside the establishment was relatively quiet.

Diner, yes? What was the fundamental difference between a diner and a... restaurant cafe which preferred certain aesthetics, say?

Carmen slid into a booth, a plain back coffee arriving on her table and a harsh accent asking her if she wanted to order anything else. She gave a simple shake of her head, and a small no, before touching the mug for her own curiousity. She found it to be burning hot. It was, perhaps, a good thing the item was for show rather than consumption, and that she was a Vampire, not a human. Burnt tongues did not sound pleasurable.

With that, Carmen quietly retrieved a map of Mountainside from her handbag, placing it on the table. It had been rolled to prevent creases, and so she put her mug over one upper corner, napkin holder on the other, while her hands rested on the bottom edge to hold it down.

Mountainside. America. Ending up in the United States had been something she’d known would eventually, at some point, occur.

Carmen’s gaze travelled over the names of the districts, or were they cities? She did doubt they were French arrondissements, at least, and chuckled at the thought. With a pen, she drew a small X where she believed her own property to be - just below this Larkspur and Cordova. A few more minutes of studying, and she felt herself familiar enough with the names and roads which separated each city from one another. Enough that she decided to lift her head, properly regard the other patrons once more in a sense which wasn’t simply for vigilance.

This could have all been done electronically and from the comforts of her own home, but Carmen had never had any interests in being a homebody.
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#2
Night had overtaken the land and it was now a little busier of a time given that the curfew had since been lifted. Liliana had found herself antsy, not wanting to be at home, but not really certain what she wanted. So she'd gone for a drive. It was not unusual to see the little Honda Cr-v cruising along the road from time to time out in the open lands of Mountainside, for anyone that was regularly paying attention. She usually stuck close to home, but there were times where it was just too populated for her to stand and would head out to where it was more open. Having grown up under the thumb of her parents her whole life, she felt freed to make her own choices, even to this day.

Finding herself a little hungry, she stopped at a diner whose sign lit up the night like a comforting beacon. It wasn't until she'd entered through the doors that she caught a whiff of decay and rot. Brow furrowing, not able to pinpoint what was causing the smell, she looked around curiously to see if anyone else was making a face in reaction. Maybe she didn't want to eat here after all? Though no one seemed to be putting up a fuss and many of the people were being served.

Hmm...

Before she could turn around and leave, she was being greeted by a woman and shown to a seat. As she walked, the smell seemed to grow ever stronger, and she looked at the woman questioningly when she was signaled into a table. Still, there seemed to be no ill intent in the woman's gaze, so she thanked her and sat, sliding into the booth that faced the way she had just come. She looked up from the table to see a woman, a map and a cup of coffee on her table, and thought about the smell.
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#3
Carmen was watching.

From the moment the short woman entered, to the moment she was guided into a booth, to the moment she sat, watching her watch her. She could very well hear her heartbeat, but there was something entirely animal about her. Not one fibre of Carmen was interested in drinking her blood.

Curious.

It did not take even a doctor such as herself to understand why, between the news and this. And yet, there was a calmness which was devoted to Carmen's features. She smiled faintly towards the woman, close-lipped. Perhaps she would take it as an invitation.
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#4
Well, things just kept getting more and more interesting. She wasn't quite sure what it was, but pieces of a puzzle were beginning to fit themselves together to give her an idea of the broader picture. She was certain that no one else could smell what she did, which wasn't altogether unexpected given her own circumstances, and that no one else suspected anything odd. It did't work to make her any more at ease, but at least she new it was something otherworldly; Though that didn't bring her much comfort either.

The woman in her focus caught her gaze and gave the slightest hint of a smile. Did that mean a simple response in catching her staring or was it an invitation to ask questions? She was beginning to think she understood who, or at least, what this woman was, and that didn't help matters in the least. However, any conversation she wished to have would mean moving closer to the woman.

"mind if I join you?" She finally voiced, unsure on whether this was actually a good idea or not.
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#5
She did, in fact, take it as an invitation.

The short woman rose from her designated table, coming up to Carmen. "Make yourself comfortable," she replied with a gentle gesture across the booth, pulling the map slightly towards herself so there was room.
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#6
She took the sentiment and slid into the seat opposite the woman, glad that it didn’t seem to be as awkward to approach a stranger as she had first thought. Apparently, she had been growing and changing in the ways of approaching people, hmmm...

With a soft smile she glanced at the map on the other side of the table and recognized the general shape of it. Was this woman new? It was possible, especially given recent times, but Lil didn’t know the area well enough to be able to say for sure. She also felt like it might be rude to ask. But then, what did she ask?

"Thank you," she began, feeling suddenly lost for words. What did she say now? She had several questions, but some of them seemed a little too personal for someone she didn’t know the name of. "I’m Liliana," she added in an attempt of good will.
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#7
Liliana. Such a sweet name.

"I am Carmen," she returned with the faint smile, before inhaling deeply with a glance down at her map. "Do you happen to know which areas of Mountainside are inhabited?" Carmen asked, tapping the pen to the map a few times in thought, looking back up to Liliana. "Werewolves, Vampires. The like."

She kept her voice low enough to not raise any eyebrows from the few patrons that were inside.
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#8
The woman, Carmen, seemed to have bat her to the punch as far as questions were concerned. It also seemed to confirm her own suspicions since she didn’t smell like any were she’d ever met and she seemed so interested in vampires. It wasn’t a concrete answer, but she at least felt more certain, especially given the smell. She didn’t know whether this comforted her or put her on edge; the news painted a particular picture to either case.

"I’m afraid I don’t know much," she offered after a moment, giving a slight shrug. Her involvement in matters had been slim to none, especially where the others were concerned, but that seemed to be changing as quickly as the seasons did here. "I haven’t had much interaction with anyone else of either sort," she added, not wanting to sound as if she was keeping information to herself. Granted, she probably wouldn’t have shared anything that was not discoverable after a little digging, but she didn’t want to be outright tight lipped.

"I live over in Crestview and there’s a group there, but I don’t have any interactions with them, I can just feel it whenever I come back home."
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#9
She studied Liliana's expression for a few moments after she'd finished speaking, before breaking into a pleased and wider smile. "Thank you, Liliana," Carmen said, writing 'WEREWOLVES' over the centre of Crestview neatly.

Unless they were Vampires which Liliana could sense, which didn't seem plausible. They would have discovered one another long ago if that was the case.

"I am new to Mountainside and looking to familiarise myself with it," she informed, in the case the woman was unsure of her motivations. "Would you like the coffee? I have not touched it," Carmen added, glancing to the mug which was closer to the Werewolf than herself.
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#10
So she was new. No matter the type of...being, it sucked to be new. Liliana herself understood that, having been new to both this life and this place not but ten years earlier. It had taken some time to familiarize herself with all of the ins and outs, of which she still seemed to be lacking, so she could sympathize. It was especially difficult for anyone that was not human, given the unspoken rules and regulations that seemed to go between vampires and shifters alike.

"No problem, sucks to be new." She said it matter of fact, giving a slight shrug as she did so.

She was a little surprised by the offer, a little hesitant, but soon the warmth of the cup was embraced by her long fingered grip and she was sniffing at it before taking a sip. "Thank you. Not that the caffeine does much for me, but the warmth and taste is nice," she added in conversation with a soft smile.

"Have you visited many places yet?"
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#11
Carmen, in truth, enjoyed the challenges which arose from being new to a place. It seemed Liliana was not of the same mind. That was telling.

She watched her curiously as she sniffed the drink, as if Carmen might have perhaps poisoned it. The thought was amusing. "Is that so?" she thought aloud. What did it mean that caffeine did little to her? That her body ran in such a way that it burned caffeine too fast for there to be any effect, perhaps?

"No, not at all," Carmen said, slightly enamoured by the ease of conversation with the Werewolf. She let the pen rest to the side of the map, clasping her hands together on the table. "I only arrived the other day. This is my first proper... outing, if you will. Have you lived in Crestview for long?"
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#12
It seemed Carmen knew about as much of her kind as Liliana knew about vampires, interesting. From the news, a picture was painted that pitted them as long standing enemies. Maybe she'd also interpreted wrong. It had been out of her field of vision, a worry that was there but didn't directly involve her. She just kept to herself and made sure to be more aware of what was carried to her on the wind.

"Yup, at least with coffee. If I were to drink several monsters in a short enough time I might feel a little of it, but not for long," she admitted with a shrug, careful to keep her tone low. It would be telling to anyone else, especially given recent events, that something wasn't normal should they overhear their conversation.

"Hmm about ten years or so now," She answered without much hesitation. Should she feel at odds with this woman simply because she was a vampire? Part of her said yes. However, the feelings of regret at being too open hadn't reached her.
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#13
Liliana was oddly willing to provide information, even though Carmen wasn’t actively making an effort to prompt her. Which was always nice - the more she knew, the better. There was no downside.

”Ten years is a long time,” she replied, thoughtful. There was something to be said about the commitment to one place for such a period of time. Even in previous cities Carmen had lived, she had rarely stayed in the same area of town for so long.

Then again, Liliana did not appear to enjoy the idea of being new to an area.

”Is it your career which ties you to Crestview?”
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#14
"Hmm" She answered thoughtfully. It was a long time. Not that she needed to explain what had brought her there and what had kept her there. She also held no desire to move away. This had been her first sense of true safety in as long as she could remember, though the humor in that was not lost upon her given recent events. At least here she called all her own shots and made her own choices.

"Partly, though I work the next town over." she added when prompted. She had mostly stayed for the job, but there had also been Tommy, who had really brought her here. Now, however, that was very uncertain and it was all of her own making. That pang, his need to stay with his mother for an undetermined amount of time, was new and still fresh; especially after almost a decade together. Still, it was something she rather not think on.

"it's got its problems, but it's not so bad. What brought you here to mountainside?"
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#15
She did not truly elaborate, instead turning a question onto her.

That was fine. Carmen’s lips briefly rose at the corners before she answered Liliana. ”The news. It was here or New York, truthfully, but New York seems a little too...” Her thumbs tapped against one another, hands still together. ”Crowded.”

Carmen paused for a few moments, considering her words.

”I thought Mountainside might compel me to settle, or at the very least, I might learn something here.”
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#16
To be honest, Liliana had never been anywhere close to New York, but from what movies and books depicted, she could agree with that assumption. Also, for her personally, the idea of never having anywhere secluded enough to shift without fear of discovery made her blood run a little cold. That's what she liked so much about Mountainside, the fact that there was often more nature than there was civilization.

"It seems you chose well. There's a lot to be learned from here." That had never been truer than it was now, especially given the last few months.
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#17
So it would seem. Such a short time in, and she'd already met a Werewolf.

The waitress appeared again, and Carmen wondered if Liliana would order. She folded up the map and placed it in her handbag in the meantime - the same went for the pen - and only spoke once the waitress left them.

"I should perhaps find my own dinner, if you wouldn't mind," Carmen informed, seeking to deliver the words as politely as she could. "It has been very nice to meet you, Liliana."

She would rise and pat down her blazer unless stopped.
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