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An Offer You Can’t Refuse
#1
Right now Helen was very dissatisfied, and she made certain the one responsible felt the heavy, silent burden of her dissatisfaction. She was supposed to meet with a new customer within an hour, but she arrived early to check herself if all preparations were done according to her wishes. The master’s eye makes the horse fat, doesn’t it?

So there she was, at L'araignée Rose, a seemingly shoddy and pretentious house of ill repute. Most patrons averted their eyes from the Ventrue lady, not because they knew who she was, but because she appeared so out of place: well-dressed, elegant, not a tiny bit nonplussed about the lewd surroundings, and looking down on the proprietor.

But hadn’t she expressed her wishes about the room that was to be prepared for tonight’s dealings clearly? She was certain she never booked some meager broom closet. Helen went straight to the owner, and explained to him the grave error he made. She never threatened the man, though. She didn’t have to.

So now the Rippers’ second-in-command waited in a private lodge, while a better suited room was being emptied. She heard female shrieks and male curses, or maybe just imagined them? Anyway, when the owner finally came back (bowing so often and so low that it seemed almost comical), he showed Helen to a room that met the requirements: it was brightly lit, thoroughly ventilated, and the speakers were disabled. There was no bed; instead of it, a desk took the central place. There was even a flashy, dizzying wallpaper, so the customer will be forced to look her in the eyes.

The Kindred sat down on a chair and put interlocked fingers in front of her. She wasn’t alone; Charles stood behind her, silent and ready; Robert waited outside the room, supposed to ask for the password: ‘the three-body problem.’ Helen took it from a book by a Chinese writer she had read recently.

Tonight’s customer got verified, as far as any verification was possible – little Jackie vouched for them. Now everything that was left to do was to wait. Helen liked it: the moment everything was set, buttoned up, and irrevocable. She fixed her gaze on the door, feeling a slight, but pleasant excitement. She was ready.
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#2
A boy

A young guy entered the room. He was a skinny dirt-blond thing, wearing a dark blue suit and a purple tie. Such outfit fit him perfectly, on a technical level. His slight awkwardness, however, spoke loudly of someone not used to formal clothing, or perhaps to clothing at all, and made him look as if his excellently tailored suit was indeed too big for his scrawny body.

"Good evening... My boss sent me for... errr... Well, I think we can speak freely enough here, correct?"

He looked around, checking the room for cameras, holes, anything vaguely suspicious. Desperately trying to be discrete, he dried a hand on his trousers and offered it to Helen. A hand warm, pinkish, clearly human.
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#3
Helen really wished she could roll her eyes. Instead, she scrutinized the newcomer. Now, now, if it wasn’t just another of these poor humane mortal fools. She wondered if sending one of these her way was meant as an insult. She decided probably not.

The Ventrue didn’t try to dispel the young guy’s nervousness. After a short, but palpable pause she shook the offered hand – her own fingers fueled with a bit of vitae to feel warm and humane, too. Helen had a firm grasp, but unlike some, she didn’t try to prove anything with it.

‘Pleased to meet you. Do take a sit.’ She slipped back into her own chair. ‘Yes, this place is secure for business.’
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#4
the boy

He sat down, looking now at his hands, now at Helen. "Thanks. That's good to know". A short pause, one he needed to search for words. "Business, then. I'm here to buy. Well, my m- my boss is. He needs blood, the actually good stuff. Oh, not saying he isn't good at... you know...". He scratched his neck. "...but, let's say one had to throw a party? Something appropriate for a party, and a large one. Not just bottles, you know. People. People who does not complain, try to raise their price, change their minds... People who could disappear. Not that they should, but - let's say that it happens. It shouldn't cause too many problems". And finally, he breathed again. He still needed that, after all.
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#5
Helen allowed herself to gently rise eyebrows. A party? Now that sounded interesting.

The Kindred remembered vaguely one particular night when her sire decided to give her a lecture about a group he referred to as ‘the Sabbat.’ She thought he might had mentioned something about ‘atrocious, lavish, and mostly mindless parties’ those killers liked to throw. How did Fabron know that, though? She suspected he made the whole story up to cow her into obedience, like a parent scaring a naughty child with some spook.

But there she was now, and someone wanted to throw a party.

‘How large a party are we talking about?’ Helen asked in a professional voice. ‘We can certainly handle any order, but we need details. How much, when, where. Is there a preference for any particular type of juicebags?’ She watched the boy closely, trying to see if the pejorative word would make him even more nervous; if it would cross his mind that her kind might view him as a simple juicebag, too. ‘The more particular the order, the more time it may take to organize things, depending on our stock.’
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#6
The boy

He was sweating. Not oblivious he still counted as food as well. He did a half-decent job hiding his discomfort, however: physiological reactions, he couldn't do much about those, but other than that he kept on talking, as if discussing any mundane business deal. A good trainee, although perhaps more diligent than talented.

"Perfect. I mean, I - we, we had to make sure the product was available, first of all. As for the details, how much in advance do you need the numbers? So - you see - we can make our evaluation more accurate. As for quality, I think variety is the key at this point".

Breathing again. Still breathing.
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#7
Some kind of irritation arose within Morgan. She fixed her gaze upon the poor guy. Was it the Beast sensing the prey? Fabron had claimed Ventrue always somehow know if a given mortal is the right one. Another wonder of the nightly world. So, was the human in front of her just nervous or did he actually suffer from some... prolonged hardships?

The Kindred rubbed her temple. If this errand boy noticed anything, she wanted him to think it was a simple migraine.

‘We have some supplies available right away.’ The gangster forced a studied smile on her lips. ‘At this point, it should be around half a dozen of juicebags of different types, if I remember correctly. Both male and female, younger and older, different backgrounds. Some are indeed... expendable. If that’s not enough, we expect another... delivery in the near future.’

Don’t eat your customers, Helen, the Ventrue thought to herself, or the boss will get your ass for it.
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