Two Thousand Years of Chasing Taking its Toll

Mountainside Cemetary 
@"Yana Novik"

A vampire in a cemetery. How.... Cliché.

His reasoning swept past cliche though it was a simple one — he enjoyed the quiet solitude. It was different from the atmosphere of the museum, which was quiet, yes, but in a different way. The museum was work. Busy work to keep his mind firing on all pistons but work all the same. Those who were interested in his presence could find him there — under a different name than Ramses Nassar.

A deep breath, unnecessary as it was, helped clear his thoughts and pay the attention he needed to the area surrounding him. A vampire could never be too careful, especially considering that there were shifters that lived around here. It was perhaps slightly perturbing that he was unable to sense their ownership of these lands but Ramses had kept his ear to the ground when it came to the goings on in Belle Vista. That and their ownership had all but been confirmed by Margaux.

Another breath, truly clearing his mind this time as he settled on one of the benches in the graveyard and allowed himself to bask in the moonlight. Content and calm, his movement fell away from him, leaving him to be as still as the angelic headstones themselves.


 Maybe she was very fortunate, or perhaps it could best be framed as a series of events that spoke to an incredibly stark streak of bad luck. Either way, it seemed like circumstance had a way of leading her straight to a sense of rot. Given, Belle Vista was not a big territory in the scheme of Mountainside - a home well sized but not sprawling, not daunting. Enough that she knew it like the back of her hand, manageable.

That didn't change the fact that there was another goddamn vampire.

 For a fleeting second, she kept her eyes forward and on the road, watched as the light turned green and cast a cool glow into the dim of the car. She supposed she could turn around - keep going for home and leave it at that. But if it hurt someone ... she breathed in, cursed responsibility without so much as opening her mouth and shelfed her desire to just get home from a tiring day of work.

 It was almost comical when she realized it seemed to be rolling in gusts of gentle breeze from the cemetery. Almost, but not quiet. Either way she got out, ran her fingers through her hair and tugged on her sleeves before she wondered through the wrought iron gates. The walk was easier, closer enough now that it didn't take too much fuss to track properly.

 Were she anyone else, perhaps she might have thought very little of the man her determination was rewarded with. Seemingly sitting and reflecting, maybe reveling in waves of nostalgia about some dearly departed or another. But that wasn't the case in this lifetime and as such she slowed to a stop, out of reach as her hands slid into the pockets of her pants.


Well, it was.

He sensed her approach and found himself curious. Thus far, while he’d encountered shifters in passing, the Egyptian had not taken the time to actually involve himself with one of them. He supposed that this was an inevitable occurrence, though, so he made no move to evacuate the area before the shifter arrived. Instead, he waited, hands folded and resting on his leg.

He was rewarded with a prompt arrival and greeting, amber eyes moving to settle upon her thin form. Ramses stood in acknowledgement of her presence.

"Good evening. I assume you have sought me out because of what I am." The Egyptian did not play dumb or beat around the bush. She was here for a reason, made blatantly obvious by the fact that she arrived here and greeted him directly. "Ramses Nassar." Were she closer, he’d have offered a hand to shake, despite not knowing whether or not she’d even take it.

 Sought him out - as if she had made a pilgrimage to arrive then and there, the idea made her snort as she kept out of immediate arms reach. These things, they were fast. That much at least she knew from first hand experience - but she was strong and had a pretty good track record where these interactions were concerned.

 And while it was tempting to flash her eyes and send him packing, for the time being she decided to entertain his existence. Not because of sudden change of heart, but rather because of the specific circumstances. Cordial enough, removed from the general public - enough little concessions that she would still her hand.

 Her response to his introduction with a quick nod of her head, little interest in sharing her own name with some mystery corpse. "It's hard to miss - what you are, I mean." All the same she moved carefully, measured each word before she said it. "What're you doing out here?" The cemetery or Belle Vista as a whole, she would allow Ramses Nassar to decide.

Hard to miss? He supposed that was fair enough. She didn’t smell particularly appetizing to him and he imagined that she likely felt the same, based on information he’d heard through the undead grapevine. Supposedly, Vampires smelled of corpses — fetid, putrid things. If this was so, Ramses had certainly never smelled it. He could smell her, however, and it was a musk that he chose to overall ignore.

"I enjoy peace and quiet, something that I find to be rare in the hustle and bustle of the city. The cemetery here is well kept and it’s grounds are not consecrated. I deemed it a safe place to sit and revel in the silence rather than remaining cooped up in the confines of the Museum." Her tension, while noticed, was of no concern to him. Should she choose to attack, he would remove himself from the situation. Fighting her was not in the best interest of his own survival. At least, not right now. What happened in the future remained to be seen.

 Immediately she moved, crossed her arms over her chest and shifted her weight to cock her hip slightly to the side. Her shoulders rolled, she cleared her throat as she smoothed out the cover of her poker face. Mentally she started to draft a rough map of Mountainside as she knew it. Locally, there were perhaps a couple historical houses, but a genuine museum ... problematic.

 "What museum?" Not yelling, not spat through clenched teeth - but serious now, a voice reserved for business dealings behind office doors. Deciding to at least leave room, some benefit of the doubt before she would decide if she needed to put her foot down then and there.

Her tone brought the slightest amount of curiosity to him. There was the flit of thoughts about a genuine museum whispering through his mind but the man did not reach out to capture them and truly listen. He preferred his conversations to happen organically and had long since learned how to filter the thoughts away. The power was rarely turned completely off but rather pushed to the back of his mind and pulled forward when necessary.

Still, he did not aim to hide anything from the woman. "The Cordova Anthropological Museum. I have amassed many historically valuable items over the years and decided to put them to good use." Besides, trusting a storage facility to keep track of his belongings or even keeping them in a house, they collected dust and benefited no one. Not even himself. He had obtained them, yes, but what good did they do just sitting there? None. "I purchased the business little more than a year ago and developed it into what it is today."

He paused, and then offered, "You are welcome to stop by anytime."

 She wasn't sure if the olive branch of an open door policy was supposed to be a joke or if he was a genuine idiot. All the same she stared at him, pursed her lips and considered what he said of his little museum of sorts. It was always nice, pushing culture - higher educational endeavors, the sort of things that did nothing to hurt her bottom line. But at the end of the day the man seated in front of her was a Vampire and that was that. A practically and an inherent leeriness colliding head to head and make her take her time to dissect the issue bit by bit.

"And what if I were to tell you that you need to move your person and your collection elsewhere, Ramses?"

 Ramses did nothing without reason. The offer had been made out of good faith and the fact that she ignored it was rude and petty, though he let her move on without commenting on it. In the end, it was a small act in the grand scheme of things.

 The muscles of his mouth pulled into the slightest of frowns. While he felt the request was unreasonable, the man supposed that, were he in her place, he might very well request something similar. But at the same time, he wasn’t going to roll over just because she had told him too.

 "First and foremost, I would ask if there was a way for the two of us to reconcile and come to some sort of agreement. If we were unable to do so, I suppose I would relocate. " He, of course, did not want to, but he also did not have the time or desire to get into some sort of pissing match with the woman.

 She supposed this was probably the best approach she'd seen, a calm sort of request, at least she could give him that. All the same she huffed, a little burst of laughter and rubbed her hands together, glanced away to count a row of headstones as far as the eye could see in the evening dim. Just enough time to try to extend her limited supply of patience, to try to not shut and lock doors before she had some sense of what was behind them.

 "What do you have to offer besides a respectable set of manners?" To herself she ticked through list of the usual suspects - money, information, but the jury was still out as it if either would be worth opening this specific can of worms.

 She was not as petty as she had initially come off, it seemed. He allowed her the moments of quiet thought, waiting for her response as though he had all the time in the world (he did). Patience, it seemed, was a much greater virtue than he'd thought as a young King. All throughout his years, patience had been the one thing that had never failed him. It aided him now too, as she turned back and asked her next question.

 "Many things. The obvious one would be money but, truthfully, you do not seem like a woman to be bought." An observation more than anything. There were people who went through life desiring money and perhaps she was one of those people, but Ramses often trusted his instincts. He certainly hadn't lived this long by ignoring them.

 His head tipped slightly in thought as an idea began to form. "As it stands, I hold no alliance to any vampire or their clutch in Mountainside. I am my own being. I have heard that your kind isn't quite on friendly terms with my own. Personally, I have no stake in such discourse, however... I would be quite willing to aid you and yours if ever a Vampire was to attack or harm them in some way. The museum could be a safe haven of sorts if they are running from anything and I would be happy to protect them should any harm befall them, if you would tolerate my presence and ownership of the museum in your lands."

 It wasn't an offer lightly made and he knew that there were those of his kind that would frown upon him for it. That was fine. This was for his own benefit, not theirs.

 She was by no stretch of the imagination a millionaire - she did not live a lifestyle that would be sustainable without work. Still, he was right in the assessment that she could not be bought, correct to think that money meant very little when dealing with vampires. Certainly, in theory she could buy quiet a few nice things for the coalition, but at the end of the day no matter the dressings, they were linked by an animal and not a standard. Her face kept hard, not acknowledging the theory out loud one way or the other.

 "I'm not particularly fond of rodents either, but I don't go hunting them." A gentle way of acknowledging that whatever she felt wasn't so easily boiled down to the simple blanket of dislike. "I don't trust you." And that was serious enough to merit her looking him in the eye properly. "Nothing lives for any giant gap of time without being underhanded." In the span of a normal human life, people could be terrible - if one existed for centuries? Well ...

 Still, the idea of an outlier or an ace in the hole, it was tempting. But the fact was that there was no way to lock down his claim to being neutral ground. What if that changed? Doubtful he would ring her doorbell and confess that he'd made friends better suited for his own lifestyle. "Here's what we're going to do, Ramses. I'm going to leave you here because I believe in educated decisions - you will give me your number. You will hear from me within the week with a final answer on whether or not you will need to vacate Belle Vista."

She was quite adept, he noticed. The thought that any being could live so long and remain stable was laughable; they developed different psychiatric disorders over the years — psychosis, narcissism, and paranoia were among the few. He surely had some deficiencies of his own, though that was not a subject he tended to look too far into. Whatever inadequacies he had likely were written in stone at this point, so there was truly no point in attempting to dissect such things.

Still, the answer he received was more favorable than he had expected. While it was not a yes, it was also not a no, and waiting a week would be of no bother to him. "Quite agreeable. If you wish to retrieve your cellular device, I will recite the number you can reach me at." He was rather pleased with this outcome, in reality. All he had asked of her was to at least consider allowing him to stay and she was doing just that. All he had to do was wait a week to see if the museum would need to be moved to a different location. Easy enough.

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