001 Crossed Paths Never Meet

Ciara Grey has lunch at her favorite cafe – coincidentally the same that Gabriel shows up to meet an informant. The person he needed to meet didn’t show up; but an attack werewolf wearing a special collar did. While cafe patrons are screaming and running for their lives, Ciara calmly leaves, not seeming to be affected by what’s going on besides mild annoyance. Gabriel kills the werewolf and leaves. (Ciara and Gabriel do not meet.)

Outside, Ciara is nearly ran down by a rouge taxi and rescued by a handsome business man named Anthony Carnatelli. He offers her a ride home. At her hotel, Shades, Ciara invites Anthony to her suite where they flirt a bit before Anthony official asks for a date. After accepting his invitation, he leaves.

  1. Anthony has sought out Ciara personally for “amusement”.
  2. Collared Weres.
[Gabriel was back in town but only because he\’s on a mission!] -10:12 Jul 01
[Ciara Mathews Charles Sterling.. or maybe just better known as Ciara Grey, wealthy heiress and owner of The Shades hotel, does what she does best… shopping!] -10:13 Jul 01
Ciara: *A light pair of sunglasses sitting on her nose, despite the fact it was nearly sunset. She stopped in front of a store window. But could they fulfill a large quantity order for a hotel’s worth of dishes?* -10:15 Jul 01
Gabriel: *Personally he thought coming back here was a big mistake. But it wasn’t like he had much of a choice. He had to find Senator Craven’s daughter and all clues pointed to this city. He checked his watch. 30 minutes late. Where the hell was he?* -10:16 Jul 01
Ciara: *And they were closed. She flipped open her cell phone to enter the store’s number in her address book. Why didn’t these places consider that some customers didn’t have time to shop between 9-5? She continued down the street. She might as well have dinner at the cafe before going home.* -10:21 Jul 01
Gabriel: *Had this been a social call or if the person he’d come to meet was someone you could consider normal, he probably wouldn’t have minded that much. As it was, that was not the case and the later Smith became, the more likely it was he wasn’t going to show. Which, in Gabriel’s line of work, meant something went wrong.* -10:24 Jul 01
Ciara: *Her favorite chair at her favorite cafe! Right by the window, where she can order her Mocha Caramel Latte while she went over her to-do list for the next day in peace and quiet.* -10:29 Jul 01
Gabriel: *Hadn’t ordered anything since that last cup of coffee when he’d first arrived. He drank his coffee black but it wasn’t like he needed it. He glanced at his clock and then at the empty cup.* -10:33 Jul 01

A perfectly normal evening at the local cafe. Quiet murmuring of voices in low conversation. The nice fresh scent of coffee and baked bread. When all of a sudden CRASH! A big giant hairy werewolf came bursting through the cafe window, landing on top of a table and smashing it to pieces. It sniffed the air setting it’s sights on… Gabriel! -Ciara

Ciara: *…and there went her idea of dinner. While the patrons of the cafe were up and on their feet screaming and scattering, she drank the last of her latte before getting up from her chair and taking the long way around the furry beast and his victim to walk out the front door!* -10:45 Jul 01
Gabriel: *Looked up at the werewolf and his mouth quirked. It looked like Smith wasn’t going to make it after all–considering the bloodied shirt the wolf was carrying. The same shirt he’d last seen Smith in. So the wolf was a warning and an assassin. Quaint. He put his foot up against the edge of the table and kicked it out at the wolf! As it went sailing toward the furry beast, he pulled out his gun and shot for its forehead!* -10:46 Jul 01

The werewolf ducked low dodging the bullet before leaping from the ground to land on Gabriel! It chomped it’s massive jaws to chew his head off! -Ciara

Ciara: *Her heels clicked on the sidewalk as she stopped on the corner trying to hail herself a taxi! If the city weren’t dangerous enough, now there’s wolves eating people in broad daylight. Now who would so brazenly send out weres like that?* -10:50 Jul 01
Gabriel: *Smirked. This should be fun. He kicked out at the werewolf. Not to inflict damage but to knock the chair back. Then he rolled and landed on his feet and fired a few more shots for the wolf’s head.* -10:51 Jul 01

This werewolf was fast! All claws and jaws as it lept from side to side avoiding death-blowing bullets to jump again and swing his sharpened claws at Gabriel! -Ciara

BBBEEEPP! SSCRREEECCHH! A taxi flew out of nowhere and nearly ran over Ciara! She was pulled out of the way in the nick of time by a tall, dark stranger! “Are you quite alright, Miss …?” the stranger asked with the slight hint of an accent.

Gabriel: *He stood up. Side step. Side step. Turn. Duck. Turn the other way. Duck. Drop to the ground and kick out at the wolf’s legs to knock it down to the ground.* -10:57 Jul 01
Ciara: That son of a-… *She kept the rest to herself as she hissed through her teeth. Detaching herself from the stranger and cast him a cool glance. Ah… he looked familiar, didn’t he?* Ciara Grey. And you are..? -10:58 Jul 01

THUNK! My, that werewolf was a solid one with a good grip to the ground! It grabbed Gabriel by the leg to send him slinging across the floor! -Ciara

Gabriel: *In mid-air, he twisted slightly and landed on his feet. His mouth quirked again. A certain someone had been awfully busy. He picked up a chair and ran forward.* -11:04 Jul 01

The werewolf spun around! He opened up his jaws and went CHOMP on the chair! -Ciara

The man smiled. He wore a clean, cut, Armani suit. He had dark gray eyes and black hair and fair skin. “Anthony Carnatelli at your service.” He even bowed and took her hand, kissing the back. “Forgive me for being so … bold like I did.”

Ciara: Ah… the famous Anthony Carnatelli. I’ve heard quite a bit about you and your business. *Ciara gave him her most winning smile.* I appreciate you saving my life, Mr. Carnatelli. -11:09 Jul 01
Gabriel: *As the werewolf chomped on the chair, the gun whipped out and he pressed the muzzle under the wolf’s jaw and fired! BANG!* -11:10 Jul 01

SPLATTER! Wolfy blood and gore splatter in every direction as the body dropped to the ground like a rock! -Ciara

Anthony chuckled softly and spread his hands. “I am but a humble businessman. You, however, are certainly a woman who knows how to create something and keep it running like a … how do you Americans put it … well-oiled machine.” He looked around. “I could not help but notice you were trying to hail a cab. Perhaps you would do me the honor of allowing me to give you a ride to wherever you desire?”

Gabriel: *Watched the body drop and pulled the shirt out of its claws. If this really was Smith’s, maybe he could get a trace off of it. He walked over to the counter where a pimple-faced cashier hid and dropped a wad of bills on the counter before walking outside.* -11:13 Jul 01
Ciara: It’d be a pleasure if you’d take me home. I was returning to Shades. *That soft smile and flirting glace, so well done it was perfectly natural.* -11:15 Jul 01

Anthony smiled, obviously pleased at the company. He summoned his limo with practiced ease and opened the door for her. Then he got in and instructed the driver on their destination. “Shades is such a lovely place. I have not had the pleasure of staying there myself but word of mouth travels quickly.”

Ciara: *Ciara crossed her legs and arranged her skirt over her knees.* It’s been named number one in the city for destinations to stay. I can’t deny being a little proud. Perhaps you’d like a little tour? -11:24 Jul 01

Anthony smiled. “May I? I would be most honored.” He reached over and offered her a glass. “Would you like something to drink or snack on?”

Ciara: After today, I think a glass of wine or brandy would be divine. *She cast him a smile.* You do know how to rescue a lady. -11:28 Jul 01

“I try.” He smiled as he poured her some brandy. “I knew drivers could be so reckless but now they are just … dangerous.”

Ciara: Indeed. There are so many worse things to worry over than reckless cab drivers. *She grinned as she took a sip of her drink.* -11:40 Jul 01

Anthony nodded. “That is true. Ah, here we are.” The car pulled up to Shades. He got out first and opened the door for her. “After you, Ms. Grey.”

Ciara: *handing him her glass, she climbed out of the limo. An enigmatic smile as she glanced up at her hotel. Ciara stopped at the front doors, nodding at the doorman and waiting for Mr. Carnatelli.* If you joined me upstairs, Mr. Carnatelli, I’d love to show you around my hotel. -11:50 Jul 01

“Thank you. I believe I shall.” He turned to the driver. “Find some parking. I’ll give you a call.” The driver nodded and in a little while, the car drove away. He turned to Ciara and smiled. “Well, Ms. Grey, I am at your disposal.”

Nothing … Then there was that soft chuckle. Was someone playing with her? Was her mind playing tricks on her? Was it the wind …? What could it be …?

Ciara: *The Shades was an extraordinary hotel! Bright, classic, and extravagantly beautiful! It was also wonderfully advanced. She’d enter a special keycode in the elevator to take them to her floor. Upon reaching her level, she led the way in to a grand foyer that connected the the main room with all the others. She set her purse and keys down on a table.* The entire top floor is my suite. Impressive, hmm? -12:02 Jul 02

Anthony looked around and for several moments, he was silent. Then … He turned to Ciara and smiled. “Very much so. You have done a splendid job, Ms. Grey.”

Ciara: Of course this entire suite for little me is occasionally lonely. But I seem to be lucky enough to find myself in good company. *A subtle grin.* -12:14 Jul 02

A soft chuckle. “I am most flattered. So tell me, Ms. Grey, how does it feel to be so successful and have … everything?”

Ciara: I can honestly say there’s nothing special about it. *She crooked a finger at him beckoning him towards the sofa as she took a seat herself.* And you, Mr. Carnatelli? I’ve been told you dabble in everything from real estate to hmm, what was that phrase again… Eccentric Hobbies? -12:28 Jul 02

Anthony chuckled and took a seat. “I have a love of traveling, yes. And I pick up a few items here and there. That seems to be all it requires for one to supposedly be … eccentric.”

Ciara: Well, vampire tombs or old mythological weapons. Yes, I do listen to local gossip. *She flashed a grin.* I suppose I have a few interesting things myself. -01:19 Jul 02

Anthony smiled. “Yes. From what I hear, you have quite a collection yourself. I believe the term was … collecting husbands?”

Ciara: I think the term was Black Widow, but I try not to be too offended. -01:22 Jul 02

A soft chuckle. “You are quite a woman to rise above such things. I admire that in you, Ms. Grey.”

Ciara: Your flattery is unnecessary, but very much appreciated. *She leaned back against the sofa.* Maybe you’d like to spend more time with me, Mr. Carnatelli… unless you’re wary of danger? *A wicked smile!* -01:29 Jul 02

A smile. A chuckle. “I have found that I enjoy danger. Very, very much …” He smiled and leaned toward her.

Ciara: Hmm. I suspect you’re flirting with danger right now, Mr. Carnatelli. *She didn’t move away, just a slow grin.* -01:43 Jul 02

Another chuckle. “Yes, I do believe you are right, Ms. Grey. But that is what makes danger so … irresistible, yes? The way your heart beats, the risk, the thrill.” He slid one arm around her waist and pulled her close.

Ciara: The art of the chase and catch? *She twisted away, not out of his reach but just turning her back to him.* And never so easy. -01:58 Jul 02

A grin. “How about over dinner then? Unless the ever-busy heiress and all-around successful businesswoman has other plans.”

Ciara: *Ciara slowly turned back around, seeming to give it a great deal of thought!* Hmm… I think dinner would be acceptable. -02:03 Jul 02

“How about … tomorrow evening, then? Eight o’clock.”

Ciara: It’s a date, Mr. Carnatelli. You can pick me up downstairs.-02:23 Jul 02

A chuckle. A grin. Then he slowly released her. “Then … I shall take my leave.” He took her hand and kissed the back again. “Farewell, Ms. Grey, and goodnight. I shall see myself out.” And then he was gone.

Ciara: Well well, now I have them coming to me. *Ciara kicked off her shoes and settled on the sofa! Anthony Carnatelli was one of the big-bads from what she’s heard. Very tricky…* -02:23 Jul 02

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