He didn't waste anytime with caution as he made his approach on the manor; why bother when his legs carried him at speeds nigh-invisible to the human eye. He was upon the manor's keep in only a few short minutes after his departure, sifting through the trees surrounding the establishment effortlessly and fluidly like some terribly agile serpent. He hoisted himself atop the tree nearest the establishment, one whose apex-branches extended practically to the top of the manor itself, and with little more than a hop made his way on top of it's roof. Surprisingly there weren't any guards stationed around the castle, or if there was, they certainly weren't earning their coin. The fact that it was considerably late for those who occupied the manor and relatively early for those who occupied the nearby tavern probably didn't help in keeping them steadfast to their job.
"Oh well, easier for me."
He said to himself inwardly as he winded down the manor's farthest wall away from the gate-keep, and against the window that led into the manor's parlour. Listening keenly he tried to make sense of any noise within the room, but picked up on none, and so, with an extremely emphatic thrust of his palm, severed the mechanisms that held the window closed. The actual window panel fell deftly into his grasp, and in mere moments he had slid into the room, setting the piece against the wall. He moved quickly and quietly through the audience chamber, trying to ignore, with little success, the room's very tawdry personality. He wasn't sure where the woman was located, but, being a noble himself, he knew exactly where he could find such information. A woman traversing the manor's hallways in her robe and carrying a burning candlestick hardly knew what to do with herself when Gabriel leapt from the shadows and seized her. Her eyes were so laden with fright that he was sure her weary, aged heart would give out at any moment. Her hot, rank breath had hardly anywhere to go with his hand clasped so tightly against her mouth; an object placed precariously against her neck and Gabriel adorned with an expression that practically invited her to squeal. But she didn't. She sat there silently, motionlessly, refusing to so much as squirm within his grip lest her life be usurped in those few short moments she was sure represented the end of her life. Gabriel moved his head in closer, the woman's own barely flinching away as if out of instinct. "Eliza Crozier," he breathed into her ear, "it would do you best if you showed me to her room."
The woman, as loyal as she may have been, succumbed to the ineffable fear seizing her. It felt as if the very shadows themselves had become animated and took to forcefully enveloping her. She wasn't at all inclined to attempt a protest; the fear of it all confined her thoughts to mere necessities. Get to that room!, was probably the only notion her frightened mind could afford to entertain, and without so much as a bat of her eyes in opposition she silently led Gabriel to the room. Ironically enough, Eliza's room wasn't at all far from where Gabriel had entered the manor, in fact, soon before he realized it, the woman had stopped moving altogether. In his embrace, she remained motionless, her eyes pleading with his own; her life was valuable, even if she did nothing more than wipe the asses of every noble member of this family. She didn't care she'd probably be spending the rest of her life toiling away at the every whim of the occupants of this manor; she simply wanted to live. Gabriel could relate and a part of him, whether he would admit it or not, actually felt sorry for the creature in his arms. 'Tis a miserable life, the human existence.
Not quite sure what her fate would be, Gabriel opened the door silently and pushed the woman inside as he closed it behind himself. Sure enough, a woman of apparently high-born status, was lying deep-asleep in her bed on the opposite end of the room. Gabriel looked to the woman as if to say, "you so much as move and I'll have your neck," and released her to take the seat in front of the boudoir. The woman, taking this act as some sign of his mercy, hurried to the seat, not quite sure what to do besides watch after him. Only when she did, his stern expression prompted her to turn around immediately; as she bore into the mirror in front of her, trying desperately to make out the view behind her, she could hear the sound of his footfalls as they crept ever-closer to the bed suddenly stop. With already weakened eyes, she tried to peer into the darkness reflected in the mirror, using the scant moonlight as her only means of reference. She made out some of Eliza's furniture behind her, some of the portraits emplaced against the wall, but when she tried locate the man she was unable to find him. The room fell eerily silent, the fact that she wasn't at all privy to the man's actual intentions scared her even more into thinking he was ultimately going to kill her. Gabriel could feel the uncontrolled tremors reverberate throughout her frame, her head bowing subserviently against the desk, and her hands clasping each other as she attempted to vie for her composure. What a horrid mess she was.
But nothing he was to concern himself with: the focus of this godforsaken journey, the reason he was troubled with leaving the comfort of his own residence in the first place, was lying right in front of him. He couldn't quite say, but something peculiar was absolutely amidst. There was some sense of danger surrounding her, be it her parlously inviting allure, a beauty that seemed to rival even the immortal kind Gabriel was constantly subjected to, or the simple fact that she pretended to be sleeping, when in fact her heart was racing like some wild animal caught in the crosshairs of a hunter's bow. "You can abandon the farce my dear Eliza Crozier. I haven't all night."
The lady did her best to contain herself, establish some sort of composure despite the disadvantage she was faced with, though it was an attempt she was ill-suited for; Gabriel could very clearly hear the throbbing anxiety of her heart, he imagined how heavy it must be sitting in her body. He thought to say something of consolation, though thought better of it; best to maintain his own composure considering the predicament he was in. At any moment she could scream, alerting the patrols outside of his presence, and while niceties might encourage her to cooperate, he figured it was more effective to discourage her. She rolled over, her restless hazels taking in the shadowy figure before her as best she could; though swiftly looking over to her care-lady with due weariness. And in that mere instant, Gabriel sensed that her fear had given way to her concern for the woman, that even in the face of the threat of death she was more worried for the well-being of the woman who served. A very backwards logic, Gabriel observed.
"Ms. Clementine, are you all right," she asked softly, relieved to hear a bit of a rustle somewhere in front of her. She was still alive, and that was all that mattered to the dame right now. She could feel it practically wafting off of him as if tangible matter. Thick, poignant rivulets of icy bitterness seemed to surround her, gracing her with frosted tendrils that practically chilled her to the bone. It was as if he was a corpse, standing there, breathing death down the back of her very neck. Disturbed, and yet morbidly intrigued, she leaned over, long strands of curled brunette falling against her petite frame, which was still halfway hidden beneath her blankets. "Who are you, and what business do you have being in my room," she questioned him gently, having more commonsense than to begin a mutiny. She didn't know him, and thus, she didn't know what he was capable of doing to her, and Ms. Clementine.
Gabriel looked at the woman intently, shedding her inquiries as if they had never even been pronounced. He wasn't here to inform her of the nature of his presence, nor console her apprehension with his lies; the very fact that he had been so conservative in his approach in the first place was entirely uncharacteristic of the vampire. And even as he tried to dismiss her questions he couldn't help but notice the brief feelings of suspicion that plagued him as well. Something was terribly amiss about this woman; some instinctive and ineffable emotion kept him at bay as he stared after her. Despite this small instance of internal conflict, his hardened expression never wavered in its fierceness; his steely eyes bore into her flesh as if it were nothing more than glass. Her every fear and security so transparent and superficial underneath his gaze. She was a human, and despite that sense of caution lingering in the back of his mind, he knew there was nothing for him to consider any longer.
"Ms. Crozier, I must admit this isn't the most ideal of introductions, but I think the fact that I'm awarding you one in the first place is a very generous gesture on my part, considering. Being that it is considerably late in the night, and that I am not accompanied by any of your constituents, I think it's fair to assume what exactly my intentions are. I'll be leaving here tonight and so will you I'm afraid." Gabriel paused and looked after the woman he had seized earlier, her body noticeably strained and her posture taught in preparation. Even before she was aware of whatever the hell it was she was doing, Gabriel disappeared from sight, appearing just before her, his form seeming to materialize out of the very darkness itself. A hearty moan escaped the woman's throat as her form contorted around the wound fist lodged into her gut; not a lethal move, just something that would incapacitate her for the time being. He certainly didn't need to subject himself to the headache of even more people to oppose him.
He looked back towards Elisa, her eyes wide in fright and her mouth agape in horror; Gabriel not really sure if it was from the manner in which he forced the realization of his nature upon her, or the fact that someone close to her had just been stricken down. Whatever the case, he smiled obliviously and set the woman's slumped frame back into the chair she had just recently attempted to escape. "Don't bother yourself with such worry, she isn't dead. Just not as lively," Gabriel asserted as he made his way uncomfortably closer to the woman. From the angle he was at, Gabriel was sincerely taken aback by the sheer fierceness in her features, that through the apparent fear lie a defiance he wasn't sure he could compromise. Her mortal beauty was astounding true, but it was that enigmatic self, deeper within, that appealed greatly to the vampire.
"Having said that," he continued as if never troubled with having to stop, "I now present to you only two alternatives. "A", I can give you a moment to collect yourself and find some appropriate attire for the cold outside wherein you will willingly accompany me out of this manor of yours. Or "b"," he turned around and looked at the sullen form of the woman occupying the chair and turned back with a suggestive expression, "I can do my best at persuading you. If you want my personal opinion, I'd go with the former, but--then again--the decision is yours."
She answered with an exasperated sigh and began her way towards her dresser, reserving herself to the task at hand because she knew if she tried to assist her caretaker she'd probably be met with the same unfortunate condition. Though even with her mind preoccupied, she did do her best to sate the vampire with a bit of her logic. "Now, do I really come off to you as a woman who would enjoy creating a ruckus? Really...you should have figured when I didn't scream the moment you came into my room. I know, I'm very calm...and it's even frightening myself," she relayed, lithe fingers sifting through the collective attire she had, picking out different articles of clothing appropriate for the weather outside.
As everything was laid out, she finally turned her eyes towards the man, lifting a brow in question. "Despite our...circumstances, I would appreciate it if you turned around whilst I changed my clothing," Elisa inquired, already beginning to untie the knot at the front of her negligee.
Gabriel looked at the lady curiously, slightly bewildered by her relatively unperturbed demeanor despite the very nature of the circumstances surrounding her and the unnatural event she had just witnessed. She didn't at all seem concerned with the notion of Gabriel whisking her away out of home and the securities it offered; taking her to some godforsaken place her mind couldn't even conceive her being. Gabriel was inclined to believe that those who disposed of their fears in the face of that which was truly fearful had to, on some important level, be considerably daft. But this didn't seem to hold true in her case; she was obviously competent, being a product of royalty and the extensive grooming process they undergo, but even more than that, her eyes seemed to radiate with some natural, unfounded wisdom. So it wasn't necessarily her intelligence the vampire was calling into question; but then what, how did she compose herself in such a nonchalant manner? Was she extremely brave of heart and hardly moved by all that which was occurring? Or perhaps she had encountered another of his kind before, and his display wasn't as novel an experience to the woman as he originally thought. Whatever the case, she wasn't as frightened as one might be--as most would expect--of someone in her predicament. This served to intrigue Gabriel even more.
"How truly curious," Gabriel said while obliging her request, "one would expect that the predicament you're in, would demand some kind of fear; and yet, the only thing you appear bothered about is the prospect of me watching you undress. Not the expected response, but, then again, you are a human; your every breath defies the natural order of things." Gabriel walked to the door, passing the unconscious woman who, admittedly, looked reasonably peaceful despite the ominous dreams lurking behind her eyelids. Something curious had excited his senses, taking him from the largely one-sided conversation he was having with the lady, to the area without the room's door. Various pitter-pattering sounds echoed off the manor's stone walls, reverberating throughout its entire length and finding themselves being received by the intruder their issuers were unaware of.
At first, he mistook them for the footfalls of the late-night servants tending to their master's nocturnal whims and desires, but the sound that came to him spoke of a more threatening purpose. It was the sound of a relatively large detail of guards closing in on Elisa's room. Steel armor clamoring in tension as the men behind proceeded with labored movements; they had all the stealth of a three-footed elephant; obviously not the finest of the king's arsenal, but they certainly did present a problem nonetheless. He, himself, was meant to conduct this mission under extreme discreteness; the very act of him being caught meant certain death whether it be by his captors or the Elders when he returned. Relation between the races was already precarious enough; matters of this sort would undoubtedly cast it into a perilous position. One that neither sides could truly afford but that both put much hope towards. Gabriel looked back at the woman, ignoring entirely her demand, as he grabbed the nearest peace of furniture and placed it against the door, barring it from the men currently on their way.
The lady looked at him quizzically but he hadn't the time to explain himself. "I suggest you quickly finish lest I take you in nothing more than your undergarments," Gabriel said while walking towards the window. In the middle of tampering with it--which wasn't even designed to open-- Gabriel heard the tense footsteps of the men approaching the room. Surprisingly, the sound to follow was a fervent rap at the door. "M'lady, it is I, Sir Haples, I have come at the bequest of the king who was informed that a group of vampires have attacked Bexley. May you oblige your father by letting us in?" Gabriel turned swiftly around facing the woman with a countenance that wasn't menacing in the least, but noticeably perplexed. Bexley was a town leagues away from any coven and hardly a location of opposition to the vampires, why exactly were they here, though more importantly why were they attacking its denizens. This complicated matters entirely, though he did his best to mask the effect of such news. A light smile played at his lips which expressed sincere joy in the thought of her informing them that one of the intruders they were pursuing was actually in the room accompanying her. If necessary, he would dispose of them all before they could report their findings to anyone, and be gone with the girl before anyone were to report finding their bodies; but this sounded less ideal juxtaposed with the instructions Castello had placed before him.
Realizing this, he looked at Elisa was an expression of indecision. "Their lives are in your hands," Gabriel mused as he undid the metal framing of the window. Another, even more anxious, rap sounded at the door as he removed the panel of glass and set it against the wall. A lively gust of wind drafted through the window throwing the woman's hair out of her eyes. "So, what will it be then, m'lady?"
"As the gentlemen you are, I'm sure you've already made the decision yourself," she replied sarcastically, to which he smiled.
"Very well...then, shall we," he wound his arm around her waist and leapt clear out of the room, landing deftly on the adjacent tower to her room and proceeded on wards towards the farm. A quick glance backwards revealed that the detail of soldiers had taken it upon themselves to barge into the room anyways, one of which he made out pointing and shouting in his direction, though he was far from incapable of doing anything at that point. It was a mere matter of seconds that Gabriel realized the true matter of his opposition didn't come from his captive's guards, but rather the blood-curdling screams of anguish and torment resonating from various locations in the town. Eliza looked up to him out of morbid curiosity, though he could tell by her reaction that she didn't quite grasp the predicament they were soon to be faced with.
Beyond the screams of agony, was a scent of blood so pungent, Gabriel could practically taste dribble in his mouth; it certainly did speak to the beast in him and he felt his mouth moisten with the fear of it all. Such a predatorial reaction was innate to his kind, it didn't matter what your allegiance was, the frenzy that humans succumbed to when in the face of death provoked an intoxicating sense of hunger for his kind. It was a very oppressive sensation actually, very nearly impossible contain one's composure in the face of, and in this instance almost blinded him to the threat lingering just below him. Realizing that the woman was still in his grasp, as human as she was, he was afforded a brief moment of awareness which allowed him to just barely shift their weight out of the path of his assailant. He landed in a stumble, though managed to set the girl down and leap to the side, narrowly avoiding a blow from what he realized was a vampire. And from his behavior alone, he deduced that it was a newborn; ravenous and unpredictable, functioning purely out of instinct with no foreknowledge of a situation at all. They had strength unrivaled by even he, a seasoned fighter, though had no tactical sense to use and thus easily exploitable.
The newborn wasted no time with the pleasantry of an introduction and leapt with ferocious speed after Gabriel, who did his best to weave out of the path of his numerous blows. The few that did catch him, were glancing to say the least, and merely caught him off guard; he dipped low, making sure to exploit the vampires high energy with controlled movements and just when the opportunity presented itself, he leapt forwards, directly into the vampire, and thrust his fist with blinding speed into his gut, severing the sinewy flesh like paper. Blood gushed without reservation from the wound, and while the wound threatened the youngling's life, the vampire bounced around just as lively, viciously making his attempts at Gabriel's neck.
Elisa watched with both equal parts of awe and horror, as the two combatants danced around each other at speeds nigh invisible to her; the blows they landed on each other were strong enough to sever a human in two though merely bounced off each other. The dance continued on for mere moments, until the assailant leapt forward, leaving his whole underside without proper means of protection, upon which Gabriel seized the vampire by its neck and tore it off with visceral strength. The sound of their skirmish had alerted the attention of another young vampire who attempted to dispose of Gabriel in his moment of preoccupation. Though the two disappeared into the thick woods surrounding the town, and from its darkness resonated the most guttural roars. Sounds of pure primal fury, at one point Elisa had forgotten that the two were even human resembling and entertained the notion that two beasts were killing each other back there. Finally, Gabriel emerged, albeit bloodied and weary, he rushed to the woman's side sparing no time carry her off into a nearby house.
As he slammed the door shut, an eerie silence befell the room, disrupted only by the occasional beckons of chaos being issued throughout the town. She thought to say something, felt it owed to her a couple answers, though fear restrained her voice, and instead she looked on in silence fighting the barrage of sobs forming in her gut. Instead she merely took her seat at the table trying her best to ignore the two bloodied human-corpses on the floor in front of her, wiping vigorously at the hot tears welling up in her eyes. Gabriel noticed that one of the figures on the ground was a woman and was stricken with an idea.
"Quickly, go upstairs and replace your garments with hers. With haste and without questions."