October 3, 2012
Originally published on A Life Bound by Books.
Melanie is interviewed by Chris, the head of the East Coast division
of the human network that aids the Immortal Guardians.
Melanie: *smiles* You see me all the time at work. Things aren't awkward there.
Chris: We aren't alone at work.
Chris: So . . . you know. There's the whole . . . Iwantthemanyoulovedead thing hanging between us now with no buffers.
Melanie: *laughs* Your desire to kill Bastien or at least see him executed by Seth or David doesn't bother me as long as you don't act upon it. So, shall we begin the interview?
Chris: *smiles* I do like you, Melanie, despite your taste in men.
Melanie: That's why you hired me.
Chris: Actually I hired you for that brain of yours. I knew if anyone could help us gain a better understanding of the virus that infects vampires and immortals and find either a treatment or cure for it, it would be you.
Melanie: *grimaces* No pressure, right?
Chris: *laughs* Right. So, let's do this. A lot of changes have taken place in the Immortal Guardians' world and, by extension, at the network.
Melanie: Big changes.
Chris: I've never asked – and have always wondered: What was your initial reaction to my asking if you would be willing to work handson with the vampires who surrendered during Bastien's uprising? You played it very cool when I explained I'd be moving them in across the hall from your office and wanted you to work one on one with them, so I couldn't gauge your true feelings on the notion.
Melanie: Well, needless to say I was shocked. There had never been a vampire on the premises before that night. And I had never encountered one face to face.
Chris: I don't think anyone at the network had, apart from me. Few had ever encountered an immortal either, for that matter.
Melanie: True. And like the other network employees, I had heard rumors of how vicious and violent and brutal vampires could be. But you told me these were still young, infected only months earlier in the case of Joe and Cliff. A little longer with Vince. So I hoped they would still be lucid or at least would have more lucid moments than they would psychotic breaks. *shrugs and shakes her head* It was an amazing opportunity.
Chris: I don't think Dr. Whetsman or some of the others would describe it that way.
Melanie: *laughs* I believe he said you were off your rocker.
Chris: Not to my face he didn't.
Melanie: He wouldn't dare.
Chris: Were you afraid the first time you met the vampires?
Melanie: I was terrified. But this was the first time a chance like this had ever come along. Vampires voluntarily aiding us in our research? Letting us run tests, do MRIs, document the progression of the brain damage, the madness. For the first time, we have real hope that we may someday be able to slow the damage the virus causes in humans.
Chris: I can see you're passionate about this.
Melanie: I am. The vampires who live here aren't lab rats. They aren't study subjects. They aren't monsters. They're my friends.
Chris: Friends against whom you have to constantly be on guard, in case they attack you and try to kill you.
Melanie: I can't blame them for something they can't control. I've seen how hard they fight it, seen remorse claim them in their lucid moments. *swallows* I don't want to lose another one. Not to the madness, and not to . . .
Chris: *nods* I imagine it's hard on Bastien, too.
Melanie: *faint smile* It kills you to offer him sympathy, doesn't it.
Chris: *throws up his hands* I can't help it! I can't stand the bastard!
Melanie: *laughs* Look, I know his past is a little dark . . .
Chris: *gapes* A little? He raised an army of vampires with the intention of destroying the Immortal Guardians!
Melanie: *waves a hand* That's all in the past.
Chris: I could name several thousand immortals who say it isn't.
Melanie: *frowns* Well, you could help us with that, you know. You have a lot of influence with the immortals. If you could convince them to give Bastien a second chance
Chris: I don't think he deserves a second chance.
Melanie: Really? After everything he's done lately?
Chris: *grumbles something under his breath*
Melanie: *leans forward* I'm sorry. I didn't quite catch that.
Chris: I said it's possible . . . if he doesn't open his mouth . . . and if one examines his actions with a magnifying glass . . . while squinting just so after getting blind stinking drunk . . . that Bastien isn't all bad.
Melanie: I wouldn't love him if he were.
Chris: I'm not even going to *fumbles in his pocket when his cell phone chirps* Reordon . . . *frowns and mumbles* Speak of the Devil. *then louder* At David's place, interviewing Melanie, why? *tosses Melanie a disgruntled look* What? How many? . . . Damn it, Bastien! . . . NO, you can't just leave them there. What if humans see . . . No, don't throw them on the roof! *growls* All right all right. A cleanup crew is on the way. *ends call*
Melanie: *jumps and answers her cell phone when it rings* Hello? *glances at Chris* Hi, sweetie. Everything okay? . . . Uh huh . . . Uh huh . . . *purses her lips* Sure. Pizza sounds great . . . Okay. Love you, too. *hangs up and studies Chris* Wow. Your face is really red.
Chris: Pizza! Seriously? He just painted Duke University red with blood!
Melanie: Not the whole university. And it isn't his fault vampires like to hunt on college campuses.
Chris: *rises* I have to go straighten this out, send a cleanup crew. And, by the way, we didn't need a bus before Bastien came along. One or two cleaners at a time used to suffice.
Melanie: *weak smile* Thanks for the interview?
Chris: *grumbles some more and dials his phone as he leaves*
October 4, 2012
Originally published on Books and Things.
Bastien and Melanie are interviewed by Sheldon, Richart's Second.
Sheldon: Thanks for sitting down with me for an interview, guys.
Melanie: Thank you for agreeing to do it. I know Chris Reordon often conducts interviews and didn't think he would be able to . . . get past . . .
Sheldon: The deep-seated hatred he feels for Bastien?
Sheldon: His desire to kill him?
Bastien: We get it. First question.
Sheldon: *clears his throat* Right. So. Melanie, how do you like working with vampires on a daily basis? You're the first mortal to do so for this length of time.
Melanie: It's been an amazing experience. And a heartbreaking one, too. The vampires surrendered during Bastien's uprising and were provided with apartments down at network headquarters.
Sheldon: Right across from your office.
Melanie: Yes. It was a difficult adjustment for them, but they've settled in nicely and have really advanced our understanding of the virus and the madness it causes.
Sheldon: Were you scared?
Melanie: I was nervous at first. Who wouldn't be? But, working with them every day, getting to know them . . . They're friends now. Family. It kills me that I haven't been able to help them.
Bastien: You HAVE helped them.
Melanie: I haven't found a cure. And, even if I did and managed to destroy the virus, they would be left with no viable immune system.
Bastien: You've helped them, Melanie. In dozens of ways. And, if anyone can find a solution to this, you can.
Sheldon: *nods* That's what everyone is saying.
Melanie: That's a lot of pressure.
Bastien: But you're handling it beautifully.
Sheldon: *smiles* They say that, too. So, what do your colleagues think of your working hands-on with vampires?
Melanie: I don't really think about that.
Bastien: *snorts* The men are total wusses and make snide comments because they're too cowardly to do it themselves.
Melanie: You know about that?
Bastien: The walls at the network aren't soundproof. The vampires hear everything that goes on there and passed it along.
Melanie: *nibbles her lower lip* You didn't . . . do anything . . . did you? To remedy it, I mean? Because there haven't been any snide comments of late and I've been wondering why.
Bastien: I may have held a conversation with Dr. Whetsman and his cronies.
Melanie: *groans* Bastien, what did you do?
Bastien: *innocent look* Nothing . . . *sly smile* . . . that they didn't deserve.
Sheldon: *laughs as Melanie groans again* You'd better hope Chris Reordon doesn't find out. He already wants your head on a platter.
Bastien: I'm pretty sure they won't tell anyone.
Sheldon: I bet they won't. Now, Bastien, you seem to spend an awful lot of time at the network visiting the, uh, vampires.
Bastien: They're like brothers to me.
Sheldon: And it's purely a coincidence that you usually visit during times they're working with Dr. Lipton?
Sheldon: Dude, come on. I saw you kiss her.
Bastien: No, you didn't.
Sheldon: Yes, I–
Bastien: *eyes flash bright amber*
Sheldon: *swallows* No, I didn't.
Bastien: *nods, eyes returning to their customary warm brown*
Sheldon: Okay, off the record, I did. Note I said of the record, so you don't have to hurt me.
Sheldon: And she didn't try to stake you, so she must have been willing. Melanie, when did you first realize you had a crush on Satan?
Melanie: *laughs* You love to live dangerously, don't you? I was intrigued by Bastien before I even met him. The vampires talked about him often in their early days here. Still do, in fact. And I liked what I heard. Once I met him, *sends Bastien a flirtatious glance* I liked what I saw just as much.
Sheldon: Gag. Bastien, when did you first realize you had feelings for Melanie?
Bastien: None of your business.
Sheldon: Good enough.
Melanie: *laughs again* He isn't what you think he is, Sheldon.
Melanie: Bastien is a good man, not the monster so many believe him.
Sheldon: He raised an army of psychotic vampires with the intention of destroying all Immortal Guardians.
Melanie: That was just a misunderstanding.
Sheldon: Uh huh. You're not going to convince me, so I'll just change the subject. Melanie, rumor has it you can kick some serious ass.
Melanie: *blushes* Not really.
Bastien: Yes, she can. I've seen her in action. Melanie can hold her own against vampires, an amazing feat for a mortal.
Sheldon: Really? I thought only Ami could do that.
Melanie: I'm not nearly as good as Ami.
Bastien: Melanie is a superlative warrior.
Sheldon: But, how is that possible? You're a doctor, not a Second.
Melanie: Chris wouldn't allow me to work with the vampires unless I could defend myself with as much skill as possible. I underwent extensive training in weapons and martial arts.
Sheldon: That. Is. Hot.
Bastien: Yes, it is.
Sheldon: I love strong women.
Bastien: As do I.
Melanie: *leans into Bastien's side*
Bastien: *eyes flash a brilliant amber once more*
Sheldon: What just happened?
Melanie: Bastien can feel the emotions of anyone who touches him and is . . . reacting to something he felt when I leaned into him.
Sheldon: Oh. Ohhhhh. Gross. He's turned on, isn't he?
Bastien: Interview's over.
Sheldon: Hell, yes. Melanie, it was nice to see you again. I have the name of a good psychiatrist if you ever want to have your head examined and find out why you like this guy so much.
Bastien: If you don't want to get an eyeful of my naked ass, I suggest you leave now.
Sheldon: I'm out.
Bastien: And remember, this was off the record.
Sheldon: Far off the record. So far off the record that the record can't even be
Sheldon: Right. *hustles out the door*
Bastien: *caresses Melanie's face* I still don't know what you see in me.
Melanie: *catches his hand and presses a kiss to his palm* Don't worry. You will someday.
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