Leave the Riches, Take the Bones

Colorado 
#1
@Kiew


 Eternal life did not promise variety, so Spencer had to make his own. The more distance he put between himself and the human masquerade of collegiate teaching, the more he became aware of the narrow-mindedness of such lack-luster life choices.

 Death was full of possibilities, and he was looking to diversify.

 Spencer pretended to nurse a beer in a bottle so dark no one could tell it was full. The bar was hardly crowded, but there were enough heartbeats in the room to create a thrumming, electric baseline, the signature of prey.

 Hunting here was more of a risk, a greater challenge than the sex workers, truck drivers, and hitch hikers he'd been picking off over the last couple of weeks. He'd been transient, dumping remains in one county than the next, sometimes holding onto parts to scatter them across the state.

 Shifting to make his move on the woman shuffling off towards the bathroom, he paused when he sensed a presence that wasn't human. There was another predator here.
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#2
 Gabriel was some miles away from home - why it was still home, he wasn't quite sure. Some possessiveness over the last place he'd had any sort of claim to; and the money in Cordova was pretty damn good. Greed was a wonderful glue. This didn't mean he wouldn't be back, of course! Just a little vacation, off to stir up trouble somewhere he hadn't bodied multiple people or been caught red-handed by some icy cat woman.

 He lacked his usual flair tonight - no suspenders, no hair gel. It was hard to want to dress up when he still had great, ugly gashes in his cheeks from unnaturally sharp nails. The longer bits of his hair flopped over one side of his head, stringy and almost fashionably disheveled, clothed in a simple t-shirt featuring some band he'd never heard and a pair of jeans that had seen better days. He was happy to sit in some dark corner of the bar, likewise pretending to nurse some cheap drink, occasionally lifting a hand to the sad, scabby wounds on his face. He was too pretty for this :(

 Of course, he'd picked up the scent of vampire long ago, but he was not feeling spirited enough to go hunt them down. That didn't mean he wasn't keeping a watchful eye on the crowd, grasping for some hint of what might be another. This didn't feel like claimed territory, and there was no overwhelming power signature - it was enough to buoy him some. An even playing field, worst case scenario.

 When he saw the man pausing in his tracks to look about, Gabriel could not deny some hard tug of curiosity - and should the guy meet his gaze, he would lift his sweaty beer to him in a silent cheers. If nothing else, it would just be some dumb human who thought him crazy, and that would be that.
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#3
 The elevated bottle was as good a signal as any, not a neon sign, but enough of a marker that Spencer angled himself away from the bathroom and approached. He was cautious, edging on paranoid, though he took the seat across from the other man. Tipping his head, he nodded to the beer in the stranger's grasp. "Your drink looks a little thin."
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#4
 The man took the bait - for whatever Gabe might be fishing for, he wasn't sure yet - and adjusted his course to come over to his lonesome little table. With the approach came the confidence of how this person could be identified! Unquestionably undead. Gabriel grinned some, not his usual too-wide smile, but enough to denote some brand of joy and also deepen the ugly wounds in his cheeks, like badly-done custom dimples.

 "Gotta keep my trim figure," he retorted brightly. Leaning in some, he winked, and added lowly, "Saving my calorie splurge for dessert." Unwise, perhaps, to be fooling with someone who could very well be a local with a web of powerful connections, but what was life without a little risk?
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#5
 Unlike Raziyya and Beauregard, the vampire across from him lacked the weight that came with importance. A commoner, just like him. It was a level playing field that made him a little less wary to take up the devil's dance. The vampire had a long face fit for grimness, his skin heavily tattooed. Physically, they couldn't be more conflicting. He wondered how they'd align in a matter of taste.

 Casting his gaze out sideways, he took stock of the patrons in the bar. "What's looking good to you?"
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#6
 The guy looked so... normal! Funny, but most of them did, really - he'd learned long ago that relying on the eyes did nothing for a vampire. As such, the man's question garnered a toothy grin, too broad to fit his face, and he leaned his gashed cheek against his hand. "Oh, I'm not a picky eater," he said, tone whimsical. "Why? Are you asking me out on a dinner date?" Oh, he was so funny. He'd do his best not to laugh just yet, though, icy eyes on his newest companion in an attempt to gauge his reaction.
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#7
 Spencer typically wasn't one to nit-pick appearances. But the open wound on the side of the man's face was anything but inconspicuous. If they were planning on hunting together, it would be a handicap. "I could be." In lieu of reaching across the table and angling the stranger's face to the side to get a better view, Spencer stared intently at the man's visage, yearning to get a better look. "Are we far from whoever gave you that lovely cheek decoration?" The last thing he wanted was another enemy.
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#8
 Oh! What titillating banter! Gabe snickered, but frowned shortly after as he realized the stranger's gaze was on his sad cheek. He'd lift his head from his support and touch the wounds delicately, letting out a sigh that was somewhat melodramatic. "Yes," he pouted. "Should you ever wander to Mountainside, be mindful of the shifters. They're nightmarish." He shook his head solemnly, then leaned back in his seat, wiping at the condensation on the glass. "I won, though," he added sharply, more bitter a tone than their brief conversation had cause for just yet.
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#9
 There was an ugly flare of paranoia that he'd been followed. But if that were the case then why was the vampire across from him sporting such a nasty wound? Surely he hadn't caused enough trouble to warrant a man hunt. It all seemed rather excessive for a man with a penchant for pretty psychics but an underdeveloped skill set to control them properly.

 He'd give the stranger the benefit of the doubt. "I don't doubt that. I spent some time in Mountainside myself. I stepped on a shifter's toe in a bookstore there once, complete accident, and I was convinced the heinous bitch was going to swipe my head off between the Poe and the Proust. Pure volatility."
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#10
 Gabriel's eyes lit up some at the man's mention of also having spent time in that shit hole. He didn't look at all familiar, likely not a part of Bone Hollow - just another rogue wandering around, like him! He smiled his broad sneer, resting his chin on his fist as he chuckled for the man's story. "Well, what can we really expect from animals, yeah?" There was some playful gleam in his eye, and he sat back with a sigh. "Well, what do you say we go get a bite to eat?" This without asking for a name, or anything personal like that - none of it had much value until he decided whether or not he liked this man, right? Safety in numbers, potentially.
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#11
 Spencer had never been fond of sharing, but there was twice the chance of success with a partner. "What're you craving? Male or female, old or young?" He had his preferences, but he'd leave the final selection to the stranger.
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#12
 For the man's question, Gabriel let out a long, dramatic, high-pitched hum as if it were a difficult decision to make. His eyes rolled away, scanning the handful of patrons in the establishment, and for a few long moments he would try to eyeball the drunkest among them. His target would end up being a man, somewhere in his late thirties, average height and build, swaying precariously where he stood. He was the loudest among the cluster of people around him, and none of them seemed mightily impressed with his obnoxious mouth.

 "That one. The loud blonde guy," he said, gesturing slightly with his chin. "Maybe we saw his car getting messed with." That was a quick way to get a macho man's attention, right?
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#13
 Spencer angled his gaze over to the group of humans. The man's voice carried across the room like he was at a rally. He was a try hard with hair too still and shiny and an impending hot rod purchase to gouge his barren bank account. Certainly not his type, but he wouldn't turn down the assisted meal. "I'll go give him the bad news. Walk him out to meet you."

 It was a risk, aiming for coordination without practice or excessive thought. Getting up, he walked over to the throng with a worried expression. "Excuse me, sir? I'm sorry, I arrived about the same time you did and I just went back to my vehicle for something and it looked like someone was trying to get into your car."
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#14
 How scandalous! Gabriel grinned and would slide out of his seat, meandering outside moments before his companion delivered the news to their target. This was a little sloppy, he realized then - not sure where exactly the man's car was, or what it looked like, and unable to wait there for him. Casually, he'd scan the side of the building for any sign of cameras - there only seemed to be any at the entrance, but that could be enough to incriminate anyone involved.

 But old Gabriel had not survived so many years without good reason. As the other vampire and their newest friend emerged into the parking lot, he found he'd be happier to think about the technicalities after the thrill of their cheap hunt. In a snap, he was beside them, his sneering smile warping the ugly gashes in his face. "You will be silent," he commanded, but there was no magic to hammer the words down. "You will comply!" Again, nothing, and now the man was scowling down at him. "You will remember nothing of this night." The magic failed him once more, fickle bitch of a gift, and with a snarl and a sidelong glance towards Spencer, he'd mean to use his brute strength against the human instead.
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#15
 How wonderful to have picked a dud.

 Like a lemon that needed to be returned to the factory, his hunting companion struck out spectacularly fast. Rolling his eyes, he decided not to take the same gamble, using good old-fashioned force instead.

 Grabbing the man from behind, he hand covered his mouth while the other pinched his nose, forcing quiet. Fangs lengthened, and Spencer wasted little time biting down on the gentleman's neck. It was an awkward angle, a bit too far back to make the blood flow well, but at this point he knew to take what he could get.
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